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Ears the News with Richard


IBM THINK is now open at Epcot's Innoventions West.

Longtime Epcot sponsor IBM's latest exhibit in Future World examines ways in which we can make the world a better place through five distinct categories: Seeing, Mapping, Understanding, Believing and Acting. The interactive exhibit begins with a huge interactive digital wall at the main entrance. Once inside, a 10 minute film inside a mini-theater begins the experience, which then leads to a room filled with touch screens. Here guests can explore the concepts touched on in the film, and can hear from notable figures in the respective fields.

IBM THINK is open daily from park opening until 7:00 PM, and is located in Epcot's Future World at Innoventions West..

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
Great news for fans of the bakery at Epcot's France pavilion. Another new feature for this hugely popular location is that it will now be opening at 9:00 AM daily. Now those pastries can be a part of a “balanced” breakfast.

The Main Street Bakery will close 1/12/2013, and is expected to reopen again 5/18/2013. The Tomorrowland Terrace will be opening for breakfast during this period. Menu items will include waffles, yogurt parfaits, egg/cheese and ham croissants, oatmeal, danish pastries, coffees and beignets. Cinnamon rolls can be found at Gaston's Tavern in the new Fantasyland. You can also grab a continental breakfast at Auntie Gravity's Galatic Goodies, Cheshire Cafe, Sleep Hollow, Sunshine Tree Terrace and Westward Ho.

The operating hours for Epcot's Disney Visa cardholder character meet and greet have been extended to now operate from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM daily. Located inside Innoventions West, guests with a Disney Rewards Visa Card, Disney’s Premier Visa Card and Disney’s Visa Debit Card can meet Disney Characters and receive a complimentary 5 x 7 photo.

Epcot's Le Cellier Steakhouse will be moving to a single all-day menu beginning in 1/16/2013. The full menu is not yet available, but the official Disney Parks Blog has indicated that the popular lunchtime burger will no longer be available. The restaurant will remain a signature dining location, and will require 2 Dining Plan entitlements for those using the Disney Dining Plan.

The new Mickey Check healthy eating standard for kids begins at table service restaurants starting in 1/16/2013.  'Be Our Guest Restaurant' in the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland was the first location at Walt Disney World to offer menu items from the program back in November 2012. The program is now being rolled out to other quick service restaurants and table service restaurants from tomorrow.

Mickey Check is part of Disney's efforts to ensure that foods meet nutritional guidelines set out by Disney, and will be used throughout the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Menu items that meet the criteria will be marked on the menu with the Mickey Check icon. You can read more about the program at the Disney Magic of Healthy Living site.


Photo Courtesy Disney Parks Blog
Disney has announced that a new 'Wilderness Explorers' interactive adventure game is coming this spring to Disney's Animal Kingdom, based around the Disney Pixar movie UP.

From the official Disney Parks Blog
We’re happy to announce that the Wilderness Explorers adventure organization is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with a planned opening this spring. Soon, guests can become Wilderness Explorers and experience the entire park using their field guides, completing challenges and earning badges as they go. With more than 30 badges available, Wilderness Explorers is fun for the whole family and helps guests experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom and its themes in a new and exciting way.

The Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort has closed for a major refurbishment. It is expected to reopen in the summer of 2013 as "Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort."

This refurbishment will be similar to the recent Spa upgrade at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, returning the Spa back to a Disney owned and operated location. During the work on the spa, the fitness center will remain open.

The Magic Kingdom's nighttime castle projection show 'Celebrate the Magic' is now showing the romance edition. Just like the previous 'The Magic, The Memories and You!', the new 'Celebrate the Magic' show will show different editions throughout the year.

Video from WDWMagic.

'Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage' at Disney's Hollywood Studios has reopened this afternoon after a slightly longer than expected refurbishment. Originally expected to reopen on 1/12/ 2013, the work took a few extra days which resulted in a delay. The show times for this afternoon are 4:15 PM and 5:30 PM.

A couple of refurbishments are scheduled that will impact the beach pool at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.

First up is a refurbishment of the beach pool slide, from 2/24/2013 to 3/8/2013. Secondly, the beach pool will be closed completely from 3/7/2013 to 3/8/2013. The courtyard pool is currently closed for refurbishment, and that is tentatively scheduled to reopen on 3/16/2013.

The Yacht and Beach Club Resort Stormalong Bay kiddie pool is scheduled to be closed for refurbishment from 2/1/2013 to 2/12/2013.

The main feature pool slide at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club is now closed for refurbishment through to 1/25/2013, reopening on 1/26/2013.

Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney's Polynesian Resort is set to be closed for a short refurbishment from 1/29/2013 to 2/1/2013, reopening again on 2/2/2013.

The main pool slide at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is scheduled to be closing for a short refurbishment later this month. Closing on 1/21/2013 It is expected to reopen in early February 2013. The pool itself will close on 1/24/2013 for a couple of days of refurbishment.

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