The few months Walt Disney Studios Park spent without any construction fences earlier this year were brief to say the least. Now, the fences are back -- preparing a new entrance for 2009's Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage.,
This live show attraction, to be housed inside the Walt Disney Television Studios building right next door to the popular new Stitch Live! interactive CGI show, was first rumoured back in November 2007. Since then, the show has been confirmed internally to resort Cast Members and will be pushed heavily as one of the key additions for 2009, alongside Disney Stars & Motor Cars Parade.
The actual location of the show within Walt Disney Television Studios, the former home of the unpopular Television Production Tour, was originally quite uncertain. With its flatmate Stitch Live! now open for business, however, and the former Disney Channel CyberSpace post-show room of the original tour still closed, it is now confirmed that this vast space will house the show.
Diagram showing inside of Walt Disney Television Studios.
Current construction areas are shown in blue.
Indeed, reports from several people “in-the-know” suggest work inside is already well advanced with casting and rehearsals scheduled soon.
In fact, those returning construction fences signal the start of this new construction project on the exterior of the building — the attraction’s new entrance. Nothing is yet known about the design or placement of the entrance, how it will link into the Stitch Live! turnstiles right next door or even how the queue line will cross the exit path of that same show.
Looking at the current placement of the blue fences, it appears that the entrance will be similar in size to Stitch Live!, but separate from the building and angled slightly more toward The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror across the courtyard.
Additional fences next to the old Mickey Mouse Trailer, which has been sitting unused for almost a year now, appear to have removed an old Production Courtyard lamppost here. The placement is interesting if we were to still consider Soarin’ to be built in the space behind, squashing four attractions into just a small corner of one courtyard.
The show itself is believed to be near-identical to those at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disney’s California Adventure, featuring Playhouse Disney favourites Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, My Friends Tigger and Pooh and Little Einsteins. At these two locations, the entire audience sits on a soft floor and watches the action on a raised stage, the characters mostly brought to life through puppetry from below.
When can expect it to open? Well, there is currently some speculation that both the new show and parade might debut as early as Christmas this year, rather than being held off until the real launch of the 2009 celebration in April 2009. With the parade cars sitting backstage and this show’s preparations relatively minimal, it could be possible — but how likely?
Opening early would follow the plan used for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which opened last year on 22nd December 2007 with full advertising not starting until April this year. For a major E-Ticket attraction such as this, it allowed for a long period of build-up and for word of mouth to spread.
For a small children’s show and a new parade, brought over from another resort? It could just lead to a massive anti-climax come 2009. For fans, at least. Watch this space.
[Photos: WDSfans.com; Walt Disney World]