The year 2012 was a big one for Walt Disney World ®, and they are continuing the pace with many improvements scheduled for 2013 that will wow your senses. One of the biggest refurbishments on the docket starts today, Jan 2nd, at Magic Kingdom. Ol’ Br'er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear will be taking a break and will be closed for the refurbishment. The popular thrill coaster closed today for a two-month refurbishment through March 19. No word yet on what will change but we’re sure it will revitalize the experience even more.

Meanwhile on Jan. 7, the Mad Tea party will also close for some updates before re-opening Feb. 18. Liberty Square Riverboat will take a short refurbishment break from Jan 1 through Feb. 7 and the popular Main Street Bakery has already closed its doors and won’t re-open until the summer under it’s new name, Starbucks!

At Epcot ® the Character Spot, which closed in October of 2012 is expected to re-open in February. There will be a temporary location near Fountain View Ice Cream where guests can meet Mickey, Minnie and Pluto. And speaking of Fountain View, the restaurant will close in March and re-open in midsummer also as a Starbucks.

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ® will close Jan. 7 and re-open just five days later on Jan. 12 with some fresh changes while Disney Junior – Live on Stage will close on Jan. 14 and reopen a month later on Feb. 14. They will be updating the show to include new Disney Junior characters from “Sofia the First,” and “Doc McStuffins.”

If you’re already itching to hit up one of Disney’s ® water parks you only have to wait a few more days as Typhoon Lagoon ® will let guests splash their way into the spring beginning Jan. 5. But you won’t be able to cool off at Blizzard Beach until March 16.

As far as Disney ® resorts go, there will be plenty of changes coming this year including refurbishments to Uzima Springs Pool Slide at Disney’s ® Animal Kingdom Villas – Jamb House. The pool will be closed until Jan. 18.

At Disney’s ® BoardWalk Resort, the BoardWalk Bakery will be closed for expansion until April 26. In the meantime guests can enjoy coffee from a coffee cart located in the boardwalk area. The Luna Park Pool at Disney’s ® BoardWalk Resort will also close Jan. 28 until March 1. Guests can use the other leisure pools located next to Community Hall.

The California Grill at Disney’s ® Contemporary Resort will close Feb. 2 and re-open in the late summer and the resort’s Bay Cove Slide will be closed for refurbishment Feb. 4 through Feb. 15.

And that’s just the start of what’s coming to Walt Disney World ® in 2013! Stay tuned for more refurbishment details. In the meantime you can enjoy the fresh changes with discounted Disney World ® tickets right here on Best of Orlando.

Orlando, FL – 01/02/12