Disney announces ‘Limited Time Magic’ experiences for 2013

What was a three-story-tall ice castle doing in the heart of New York's Times Square on Wednesday?

Disney used the dripping, larger-than-life sculpture to announce its new Limited Time Magic program--described as "52 weeks of magical experiences big and small that appear, then disappear as the next special surprise debuts."

Mickey Mouse and company unveiled ice castle, made out of 45,000 pounds of ice, and surrounded by six additional ice vignettes. Like the program it's promoting, it will last only a short time until it melts away.

Here's how it works:

Starting in January, visitors at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts can take advantage of special events --like Pirates's Week or True Love set around Valentine's Day -- in limited amounts of time. Once the next one is set to appear, the one before will disappear for good.

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Here’s some of the special Limited Time Magic events for guests in 2013:

True Love: Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout Valentine’s Week with special moments and entertainment geared to lovebirds. Guests can celebrate their Valentine as Magic Kingdom and Disneyland turn up the romance, complete with their iconic castles bathed in hues of red and pink. Disney Princes join their Princesses to meet park guests in special settings, prix fixe menus turn up at select restaurants and Valentine collectibles will be offered for the week.

Independence Week: It’s red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party — for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.

During “Long Lost Friends Week,” lesser-known Disney characters will move from the shadows to the spotlight with meet-and-greets on both coasts. Photo opps with characters that could include Flik, Clarabelle Cow, Remy, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will surprise and delight guests. And Disney guests will even have the chance to vote online for which characters they want to see.

Pirate Week:  Why talk like a pirate one day when you could celebrate these scalawags all week long? The adventures of Jack Sparrow come to life like never before during a bicoastal buccaneer bash in which Disneyland and Walt Disney World become pirate-palooza: pirate bands, pirate meet-and-greets and more.

Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands: Dapper Dans, the iconic quartet from Main Street, U.S.A., will add a special finale to their show, claiming the title of the “Original Boy Band” and delivering a medley of hits from One Direction, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.

Unleash the Villains: A Friday the 13th in 2013 is a special day, so Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios are staying open until the 13th Hour (1 a.m.). Maleficent, Capt. Hook, Jafar and other Disney villains host a dance party, complete with limited-edition collectibles and nighttime mischief on Sept. 13.

Golden Horseshoe Revue: The fabled Frontierland show returns to Disneyland for one month only, bringing back the corny jokes and enduring songs that were often enjoyed by Walt Disney himself.

Limited Time Magic is in addition to Disney's New Fantasyland opening in December, which is its largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.