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Monday evening Walt Disney World Resort news update

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Published: July 11, 2011 at 7:54 PM
Sorry for being out of commission today - I spent the better part of last night and this morning at my friendly local emergency room following an unexpected visit from Mr. Kidney Stone. After a quick tour of the hospital's finest pharmaceuticals, I'm back and ready to blog.

Let's start with some news updates from the Walt Disney World Resort. First the good news, a new video from Disney detailing what's coming in the New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom:

Now, for the bad news: Disney's announced that it's cutting hours on monorail service at the resort, to one hour following regular park close at Epcot, effective this week, and one hour following park close at the Magic Kingdom, starting August 1. That means folks attending evening Extra Magic Hours are out of luck if they were planning to use the monorail to get back to their hotel or car. You'll have to use buses or boats instead.

Finally, the absurd news: Disney fans on Twitter have been having fun with the news that the "Balzac" balloon ball stands around the Disney World theme parks seem to have disappeared. Living away from Florida, I have no idea what these things are/were, but apparently some folks are thrilled to see them go. Feel free to discuss and enlighten the rest of us, Florida readers.

Readers' Opinions

From Adam Dodds on July 11, 2011 at 8:05 PM
By fiance worked for the monorails few years back, so I constantly heard about the pressures of repairing those old monorails in time. They were supposed to be replaced years ago, so hopefully this is a sign for Disney that they actually need to replace them. I hope for a day where all the property is connected via monorail, but baby steps...new Monorails.
From Hermione Potter on July 11, 2011 at 8:29 PM
The Balzac stands are gone? Yes! That stand at Epcot caused so many arguments with my family because my brother always wanted one and even the ones the size of your fist start at $20. The largest ball was $150 over a decade ago, I can only imagine what it went for this year.
From 69.205.225.120 on July 11, 2011 at 8:36 PM
I'm glad those stupid ball stands are gone - I always got pegged in the head with them walking from the Test Track area to the Main gate. :)
From Dominick D on July 11, 2011 at 8:52 PM
How come Ive been to Epcot and have never heard of this? Im 20 minutes away from the place!
From 97.97.33.225 on July 11, 2011 at 9:51 PM
just got back from EPCOT and while on the monorail that all they kept saying when you get on and before you get off. its not a bad thing i think. there are other ways to get around that would cost less
From Jeff Elliott on July 12, 2011 at 6:10 AM
I hope you are feeling better, Robert.

Don't be fooled by what they say, kidney stones are more painful than child birth, my sister has had both...

From Dominick D on July 12, 2011 at 6:25 AM
2 Things:

1.Now I remember what the Ballzac is. Im glad its gone!
2.Robert, I hope your feeling better.

From Rob P on July 12, 2011 at 7:51 AM
When someone said that you'd passed a Stone I thought you'd just walked by Keith Richard at Disney Studios. But , alas , it was actually the "other" stone which is a lot less fun to pass. Hope you're feeling much better now Robert and can get back to the grind...er...stone. ( sorry ).

Now then......Balzac's balloons. Have to admit that I have no recollection of them at all. I MUST have seen them at some point but they obviously failed to make any impact on me. So for that reason I was going to say that " They're fired".
However I looked them up and think they're pretty good , that I have seen them before and actually remember dodging them under Innoventions as the guy bounced them to passers-by.

From Daniel Etcheberry on July 12, 2011 at 9:16 AM
I'm dying to see a video about the "Seven Dwarfs Mine Train" with all the details. The Little Mermaid ride is already open at California Adventure, and we have already seen the YouTube video, so there is no surprise here.

Robert, maybe the emergency room is better than MK's Tiki Room?

From Mark Fairleigh on July 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM
I hope you're feeling better, Robert! Had my share so I know they're no walk in the park!! ;)
From travis traymoore on July 12, 2011 at 11:58 AM
as for ballzac-I never particulary cared for them, though it will be weird to see theme gon3.

For those of you who don't know what a ballzac is, it's, more or less, a designed canvas that is inflated by an inner, rubber balloon.

I'm outraged at the monorail news as I can't see theme discontinuing it for Extra magic Hours. How about the people who stay at hotels on the resort line? You can walk to the contemporary, but the only other way is to boat to Grand Floridian and Polynesian and considering EMH keep the parks open to latest 3am its obviously SAFER to take a monorail back to your hotel than a small resort launch in open water. TTC uses larger ferrys' so it wouldn;t be as bad for them as the tiny resort launches(there only about 20ft long and seat around 25 ppl)

and last but not least feel better

From Terri Pierce on July 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM
Thank goodness the Balzac Balls are gone! The CMs always syke people out and throw them towards you... it just creates annoyances. I was sitting on the curb near the Electric Umbrella one day when the guy insisted on playing ball with me.... Was not so excited because he wouldnt leave me alone.
From 173.189.12.85 on July 12, 2011 at 12:33 PM
I noticed in the video he said that the Little Mermaid is the anchor of the new Fantasyland Expansion..... I was kind of starting to feel like the new Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs roller coaster was going to be the anchor.... whether they meant for it to be or not. It seems to be the most anticipated addition to the land to me (but maybe that is just me personally). I hope they don't make it something rinky dink since it's not considered the anchor.
From Mike Gallagher on July 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM
Kidney stones, gallstones.. been there, done that, didn't enjoy one minute of it. Never saw the ROLLING Stones, but I did learn today that the theater where I work will be presenting STONE Temple Pilots.

Glad you're okay, Mr. N.

From 173.66.204.173 on July 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM
When is the Fantasyland expansion supposed to be completed? Or if it will open in stages, when would the first open?

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