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If you missed the news, Thomas Staggs has made Disney’s most clear statement to date on exactly what NextGen will bring to the parks. The guest will encounter it via the MyMagic+ program. There’s a fairly good write up on the program by Brooks Barnes in the New York Times.

There was also this bit officially released by Disney:

With MyMagic+ Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is taking another step forward to evolve “how” guests experience Disney Parks and is using technology to make it easier than ever before for guests to make the most of their Walt Disney World visit. Many of these efforts fall under the umbrella of MyMagic+, which has the ability to connect nearly all aspects of the guest experience and make it better for everyone, at no additional charge.

A new website and mobile app called My Disney Experience provides a one-stop shop for all things Walt Disney World throughout every phase of a guest’s vacation. It will enable guests to:

Disney’s Hollywood Studios continues to be one of Walt Disney World’s more neglected properties. It will be seeing some major changes soon, not in the park, alas, but in how you get to it. Road work is under way that will funnel all guests to the parking lot via the main entrance. Right now a significant portion of guests enter off Buena Vista Drive, which only has two lanes and sometimes back up into the intersection. In the future, that traffic will be redirected around the park to Osceola Parkway where a new off ramp will direct guests to the main entrance. The work they’ve done so far looks pretty nice, but it will be a bit difficult to get used to the change. The Buena Vista Drive route will still be used by busses and as an exit from the park.

One hopes they’ll also take advantage of this to reroute the entry road and allow for a little more expansion on that side of the park. Speaking of expansion, we heard that they’re once again looking at adding a Nemo themed coaster similar to the one in Paris to Pixar Place. Not sure how much weight I put behind that rumor. We do know for sure that DHS will be getting Fastpass Plus. The electrical requirements have been added to a number of attractions, as you can see on the floor to the right of the Tower of Terror entrance here:

There is some work being done on the secondary entrance for American Idol Experience. This could be related to Fast Pass Plus too.

There is no longer an American Idol Experience store.

The other day I was at the Magic Kingdom and it started raining cats and dogs. I was just finishing lunch at Pecos Bill and didn’t want to run through the rain, but I remembered you can actually walk from Pecos Bill all the way to Pirates of the Caribbean under cover. Even better, with everyone else holed up waiting for the torrential down pour to stop, I pretty much had Pirates to myself.

There’s a good reason to check out Pirates these days as the queue has been getting some upgrades done to it. There is a popular rumor of an interactive game called “Pirates Adventure: Jewels of the Seven Seas” that will let you use an RFID device to interact with elements in and around Pirates. Construction walls have been up in the queue for over a month.

When walking through the queue this time, I noticed that Disney has unveiled the first of the new theme elements. It looks like the idealic Caribbean castle the queue winds through is under attack. Cannon ball impacts have added new damage to the walls, there are even a few spots whee the cannon balls are still stuck within the wall.

While the project isn’t complete, I can get on board with this sort of plussing the story. I can’t wait to see what else is unveiled in this makeover and if the interactive game elements are added as well.

A couple more photos below the jump: