Yesterday, Disney announced Limited Time Magic—a year’s worth of weeklong celebrations for visitors to its Disney World and Disneyland resorts in 2013.
The announcement was made at a press event laden with the happy Disney touches (a barbershop quartet cheerily singing boy-band hits, a Mickey appearance, and a castle carved from 45,000 pounds of ice) but also a dark taste of the queen’s poisoned apple—a panel of marketing experts and psychologists placed surprisingly grim emphasis on the fleeting nature of childhood and the parents’ limited and precious time with their kids.
The 52 weeklong celebrations will feature limited-time elements—themed souvenirs that won’t be offered again, entertainment that will be performed only that week, special menu.
Besides seasonally themed Limited Time Magic—a week of romance around Valentine’s Day; a patriotic themed week around Independence Day—plans are afoot for weeks featuring pirate takeovers of the parks, a Long-Lost Friend week (with seldom-seen characters roaming the park for photo ops and performances), and a Villains week.
Some of the Limited Time Magic themes will be surprises when families arrive; others will be announced on the Disney Parks Twitter feed, @DisneyParks, and the Disney Parks blog. Keep your Mickey ears open for the week that suits your family best or just assume that whatever week you choose to go will offer magic of its own.
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.