'Be Our Guest Restaurant' has been incredibly popular, with dinner reservations being near 100% booked for 180 days in advance, and the lunch queue beginning at park opening.
Starting this month, selected guests are going to be given the chance to choose an arrival time for lunch online, and even choose items from the menu prior to their arrival. This will all be done on a website, similar to the new FASTPASS+ system that is already in testing with guests. Once the arrival time and menu items have been selected, the guest will arrive at the designated time, check in and pay at an express location, take the magic rose to the table of their choice, and the food will be delivered. This new system being tested looks like a way to manage guest flow through the restaurant more effectively, and reduce time taken in the ordering phase once inside the restaurant.
The test will be in limited numbers; with guests being invited into the test at their resort check-in. Regular walkups for lunch will still be available for all other guests not taking part in the test.
Epcot's nighttime spectacular IllumiNations Reflections of Earth and Wishes have started a round of testing for inclusion into FASTPASS+. Two locations are in Epcot going to be trialed, one near Germany and the other in World Showcase Plaza as well as sections around the hub at Magic Kingdom. FASTPASS+ will ultimately allow guests to not only choose attraction FASTPASS times, but will also provide preferred viewing locations for shows, parades, and fireworks.
Disney has invested heavily in the NextGen project that is introducing a whole host of new trip planning technologies across the entire Walt Disney World Resort. The latest product from the project is a brand new version of the official DisneyWorld.com website. Completely re-written, the site no longer uses Flash making it much more iPad friendly. It is also much more focused on providing information and creating itineraries. As you would expect, the new website also features a dedicated 'My Disney Experience' section, that will allow visitors to manage all of their FASTPASS+ ride reservations, dining, accommodations and PhotoPass.
The site is being rolled out gradually, so is not available to all users. It appears to be random, so keep trying if you want to see the new site before its full launch.
'Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage’ at Disney's Hollywood Studios is scheduled to close for a brief refurbishment in early January 2013. The refurbishment begins on 1/7/2013 and reopens on 1/13/2013
‘Disney Junior - Live on Stage!' is closing for month long refurbishment in early 2013. The refurbishment begins on 1/14/2013 and reopens on 2/15/2013.
The official Disney Parks Blog has confirmed that “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First” will be joining “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” at the attraction.
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has a new holiday display this year. The palm trees between the two hotels now form a nightly show, with the trees performing approximately every 10 minutes from 6:00 PM.
Video from WDWMagic