Tuesday theme park news round-up: Avengers run through Disneyland, and changes are coming to the Magic Kingdom hub
Written by Robert Niles
RunDisney today announced its newest running event: an Avengers half-marathon weekend at the Disneyland Resort in California. The November event will be the third annual running weekend at the Disneyland Resort, joining the Disneyland Half-Marathon in August, and the Tinker Bell Half-Marathon Weekend in January. RunDisney's first Marvel-themed weekend also will be the first character-themed Disney running event not targeted specifically toward women. (The other character themed event, in addition to the Tinker Bell weekend, is Walt Disney World's Disney Princess Half Marathon, which completed this past weekend.) Of course, any Marvel-themed RunDisney event would have to happen as Disneyland, as the Universal Orlando deal prevents Disney from including its Marvel characters inside the Walt Disney World theme parks. Registration starts online on March 25 for the event, which happens Nov. 14-16.Tweet
Ditch these tarps, please!
Also in Disneyland news, the park confirmed again today that its Alice in Wonderland ride will be getting its long-awaited exterior makeover, closing March 9 for an extended refurbishment that will last through summer. Alice in Wonderland joins Big Thunder Mountain, It's a Small World, and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage on this year's extended refurb calendar, though Thunder's in testing and could be returning any day now.
Wrapping up on the West coast, Disneyland also welcomed the semi-annual "Dapper Day" this past weekend, when thousands of park guests go old-school by dressing up in what a previous generation called "their Sunday best" for their trip to the parks. (Way back when, many people dressed up to visit Disneyland. Or, at least, they dressed up relative to today's, uh, rather casual apparel standards.) Dapper Day is coming to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on March 9. If you're interested, you can get convention-rate discounted tickets to the MK that day via the Dapper Day website.
Looking for another Orlando-area ticket deal? SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa are offering $50 weekday tickets, now through May 5. You must use the ticket by that date, and U.S. residents must purchase them in advance via the parks' websites or by calling 888-800-5447.
Of course, the best discount is getting something for free. U.S. rail service Amtrak grabbed some attention this week for okay'ing a couple of writers' pitch to give them free tickets to write while traveling on Amtrak. That inspired Gawker to come up with some alternate travel-related "writer's fellowships," including the "The Six Flags Over Georgia Ninja Roller Coaster Distinguished Writer Fellowship" for seeking a "creative jolt" to "write provocative reflections on the illusory distinctions between up and down, left, and right." (And thanks for the link, guys!)
Finally, work's getting underway for some changes to the hub at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The plans apparently call for filling in the section of the old Swan Boat waterway between the Crystal Palace and the Tomorrowland Terrace, creating space to help lay down a second pavement ring, with a wider circumference, surrounding the existing hub roadway. That will create more paved space for people standing (or sitting) to watch the nightly fireworks, and provide some crowd control relief after those shows. On busy nights in the MK, audience control cast members have created makeshift pathways through the grass on the hub to hep exit the large crowds. This refurbishment will create additional permanent pathways around and exiting the hub, including two pathways leading from the new outer hub ring to the alternate exits on either side of Main Street USA.
Update: Disney's just posted a video:
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