More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap Nov. 14, 2009

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

This week, we announced that the Space Mountain attraction will be reopening with a few surprises, including an extended storyline and special lighting and “darkening” effects. Also, we gave a first look at how Magic Kingdom Park was transformed for this year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you missed it, here’s the time-lapse video:

We also offered more details on Mobile Magic, our first Disney Parks mobile application now available for download and a first look at Phineas and Ferb as they made their Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade debut during a taping at Disneyland Park. Here’s the list:

Mobile Magic – First Disney Parks Mobile App Now Available — We posted a list of phones that the app is currently available on.

First Look – Phineas and Ferb — Phineas and Ferb made their Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade debut during a taping at Disneyland Park.

A Room with a View — We offered a look inside the staterooms of the Disney Dream.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Starts November 13 — Heather shared her top 10 holiday experiences in the Parks.

Familiar Disney Faces at Children’s Miracle Network Classic — PGA Tour stars at The Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World were not the only ones grabbing attention.

Celebrating Veterans at Magic Kingdom Park — We showed video of our flag retreat ceremony at Walt Disney World.

Reflection of China — Walt Disney World photographer Gene Duncan shares another unique image from the parks.


  • My family and I were in Disney on Nov 2 and then again on Nov 4. We could not believe the transformation. Disney is truly a magical place. How exciting! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Oh, you forgot to mention that this week was the week that you announced via Twitter that the Lights of Winter display at Epcot was retired because it was “obsolete technology”. I am really hoping that some sort of “newer fresher technology” based light show will replace it next year. Any word on that yet?

  • That’s wonderful news!

  • When is the technology for Lights of Winter going to be updated?

  • Please give us an update of Lights of Winter … are they being updated, and when can we expect to have them back in place ?

    Also, in the meantime, is the fountain still performing synchronized to the same holiday soundtrack that has been used in previous years, or has that been discontinued this year as well?

  • Maybe we can get an honest answer on Lights of Winter in this weeks update?

  • Just got back from 4 days at WDW. Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios were beautifully decorated, however, I’ve got to say that Epcot was significantly lacking in holiday cheer. The absence of the Lights of Winter really leaves a tremendous void in World Showcase plaza. Hopefully Disney will come up with a way to update L.O.W.’s technology. Afterall, if they can cover Cinderella Castle with a shimmering layer of “ice”, surely they can re-imagine the Lights of Winter. ºoº

  • Indeed, we’d really like to hear if there is any response to the feedback you’ve recieved on the removal of Lights of Winter. It seems pretty clear that this display is incredibly important to your Holiday visitors. Christmas lights are probably the single most important decorations for establishing the holiday mood and removing the most significant display of lights at Epcot seems really counter productive to us.

    Please update the tech needed to bring back Lights of Winter!!! Epcot REALLY needs it. Compared to many other technological requirements of Epcot this should be childs play!!!

  • We will be going to Epcot on 12/5. One of the main things we were looking forward to seeing was LOW. How disappointed we were to find out it’s no longer there! Even more dissapointing was the reason. Obsolete technology? In Walt Disney World? How odd.

    Hopefully someone there will be able to figure out a hot new technology and create something just as grand. Any word on that yet?

  • Was hoping for a confirmation that the fountains at Epcot will still be performing to the Holiday soundtrack that used to be coordinated with the Lights of Winter.

    Still disappointed with the decision to abandon the lights and not spend the $$ to upgrade the technology.

  • I am dissapointed about the Lights of Winter going away. My family has enjoyed watching them the last three years we’ve seen them. It shouldn’t always be about having the latest technology. It should be about bringing joy and this attraction did.

  • I’m confused. This blog post was about the entrance to MK. Every single comment was about Epcot. Good job changing out the flowers of Mickey at MK for Christmas!

  • I too am disappointed by the decision not to bring back the Lights of Winter in EPCOT. It’s lacking some holiday magic without them.

  • Hi Paul, no one seems to be answering your question so I will give it a try.

    The title of this post is “Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap” which includes all Disney Parks, be it Florida’s Magic Kingdom, Florida’s EPCOT Center, or Japan’s Tokyo Disney, and so on…. so the Lights of Winter questions are still within the scope of the topic. A lot of people are disappointed in its termination (and this includes my entire family) and are hoping for some good news soon.

    As far as the changes to the MK’s entrance… yes I agree they did an outstanding job in changing out the flora… In my opinion, the people who work with the vegetation at the various Disney parks are magical!!! If you have not ever seen the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival in the spring, I would encourage you to make it a point to do so!

  • The transformation of Magic Kingdom from Halloween to Christmas is magical. I first started going to WDW in October a few years ago. When we first went, the decorations only seemed to come out for MNSSHP, but now the entie kingdom is decorated in oranges, browns and reds. Those banners are an incredible splash of color.

    Now we have reds, greens, lights and wreaths transforming the kingdom into another fairy tale land. It makes me so excited to bring my family for the the first time ever to WDW in December Grand Gathering scheduled for Dec 5).

    Unfortunately, news this week along with accompanying pictures of EPCOT’s scaled back holiday offerings have dampened our trip. The loss of the Lights of Winter takes away from magic of that park.

  • We’re still wondering about an update on the LoW too. With 10 days coming up in December and many days allotted for Epcot at night, I;m really disappointed that there’ll will be almost nothing to see in the way of Holiday Magic. My almost 4 year old would’ve loved those lights!

  • After several days since Disney’s LOW “obsolete” announcement, I still cannot forget what’s happened to our beloved attraction.

    Bring back LOW. Bring it back. Please.

  • Still waiting for an update on the Lights of Winter debacle — and a reversal of the decision to “retire” them from Epcot, which is looking decidedly non-festive without its best holiday decorations.

  • The video to the entrance to the Magic Kingdom was amazing to see how quickly that Team Disney can do something when they want to accomplish it.

    However I have to agree with most people here that EPCOT is severely lacking in Christmas Spirit right now. I went to EPCOT the other night to see what it was going to be like and I was severely disappointed and almost sad when I left the park with the minimal Christmas decorations that are out right now. I look forward to seeing the Poinsettia trees and towers and I only was able to spot two in the entire park. The front plant areas where there is usually a great display is lacking any sign of it being Christmas. The usual decorations by the pin station are completely gone and the plant area in front of the stage has some white plants with a few red ones a sad replacement for the doves and lights that are usually there.
    There is a lot of comments about the Lights of Winter not being there and I can only completely agree with them. EPCOT is severely lacking in Christmas feel right now and I only hope that in the next few days there is a HUGE change in response by Disney. I can only hope that Disney realizes that this was a HUGE mistake and they will act accordingly and bring back the Christmas spirit back to EPCOT.

    I can asure you that I will not be back in EPCOT this holiday season as I felt absolutely sad when I left the EPCOT park the other night. I truly tried to give it a chance to put me in the holiday spirit and it did nothing but bring me down.

    Disney do the right thing and bring back the Holiday spirit back to EPCOT.

  • I too will be arriving on Nov/29 and was looking forward to seeing Epcot’s Lights of Winter. I can’t understand why Disney would retire such a lovely display and not replace it with something more outstanding. I find it difficult to believe that it was retired because of the technology.
    Bring the back Disney’s LOW as many of the Disney Park visitors want to feel Xmas cheer at Epcot

  • Walt Disney always looked for new ways to do things. From the multiplane camera, to animatronics, to adding sound to cartoons for the first time ever. Walt Disney was an innovator. Surely the company that he founded can find an innovative way to bring back the Lights of Winter or something just a good or even better. Walt would never have called anything in his park “obsolete”, he would have improved upon it or presented an entirely new experience.

  • The decorating jobs are superb as always, but the Magic Kingdom still needs to go back to offering the Country Bear Xmas show during the holiday season, as well as following suit with Disneyland by offering the Haunted Mansion Holiday and It’s a Small World Holiday.

  • Maybe what makes Lights of Winter obsolete is that there is no way to attach a gift shop at the exit.

    Which is a shame, because I totally would have bought a plush. (Call him “Archie” 🙂 ).

  • I’ve heard quite a bit of fan reaction about the endidng of the lights of winter at Epcot, mostly folks are unhappy about it and in some cases seeing it a part of some larger negative trend.

    I will admit that I may tend to lean a bit more to the Polyanaish side and tend to give Disney the benefit of the doubt on some things that others may be upset about much more quickly, so what you will get here is the view from the “Polyanana side” looking at the announcement by Disney.

    When I heard that “they said that this technology was obsolete”, what I imagined was that when they went to fire up the lights the control board or some other part of this that would have been relatively expensive to replace did not work, and much as I have to do when my old car breaks down and needs a repair they had to say “do we replace this part, or do we just save that money and put it toward the development of a new show” (in my case it would be towards a newer car)

    I understand that “you guys are Disney” and it’s not going to “break your bank” to replace the expensive part even if it was for just another couple of years until they replace this, but it just did not really bother me at all, now i will also admit that the “lights of winter” were not something I paid a lot of attention to, and I TOTALLY understand that others will have their own opinions possibly formed by cherished memories of their own experiences that tied in with these lights, but for me they never did much and if the decor in this part of Epcot went away for a few years it really would not bother me a bit.

    One last disclaimer, and I hope it is an unnecessary one since I think I’ve been trying all along to point this out, we all have our own opinions on this, but almost all of the opinions I have heard on this have been on the “negative feelings about this change” side and I just wanted to point out that there are quite possibly some others out there who have a differing opinion on this particular subject.

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