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Ears the News with Richard


There is not a lot going on in the wonderful world of refurbs this week. Disney's Polynesian Resort is now getting the RFID lock upgrade on guest room doors.  The work is currently in progress and is set to be completed by the end of the month.

The fitness center at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort has been temporarily relocated to an air-conditioned tent in the convention center parking lot. The temporary location is open daily from 6:30am to 10:00pm daily, and is expected to be in use until early November.

New costumes debuted for the entire cast at Epcot's American Adventure pavilion.

Picture from wdw71fan at WDWMagic.com
The Magic Kingdom parking plaza entrance is getting a new paint job. The Pepto-Bismol pink is out and attractive shades of blue are in.


The 'Alice in Wonderland' themed kids splash playground at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort is now open to guests.

The new area features a central play zone with two slides and several interactive waterfalls, all surrounded by a shallow splash area.  Some of the water effects take place on a timer, with regular dumps of the huge overhead 'hatter' hat, while others are activated by kids pulling on pull-cords and turning valves.

In addition to the splash playground there is a plethora of deck space, with lounge chairs spread throughout the area.  The newly opened beach Pool Bar and Grill is located right next to the area for convenient access to food and drinks.


Picture courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
When Big Thunder Mountain reopened from a five month refurbishment back in May, we were led to believe that some interactive elements were going to be added to the queue. Much to our chagrin, that never happened. However, Disney has confirmed that those interactive elements will be introduced in the near future.

As usual they are light on the details, but there does appear to be a hint given in the last sentence - "It’s guaranteed to be a blast!". 


"Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering just shared with us that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland is next in line for such an addition. When it opens, guests will be able to participate in the story of the Big Thunder Mining Company like never before. It’s guaranteed to be a blast!"

The new 'Characters in Flight' balloon is now onsite at Downtown Disney, and is being prepared for test flights. No word yet on when it will reopen to the public.

Animal Kingdom is starting to embrace their zoo side a little more. Starting 10/1/2012, Disney's Animal Kingdom will begin offering complimentary animal guides to guests. The guides will give additional information to guests as they move through the park. The paper guides will be available for pickup at the tip board, the main entrance, and Mombasa Marketplace. The trial period is set to conclude on 11/30/2012.

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