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Ears the News with Richard


Part of the 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, 'The Land of Oz Garden’, is now open. Although the rest of the festival does not open until 3/6/2013, this kids playground is now open daily from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The area is based on the new Disney film, “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

Video from the Disney Parks Blog

It appears that Epcot's last remaining Segway tour, 'Around the World at Epcot,' has now been discontinued. According to members on the WDWMagic discussion forums, Disney has been contacting those with reservations to cancel, and no new bookings are being taken.

The Fort Wilderness' 'Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway Tour' looks to still be available at this time.

Rosetta will be rejoining Tinker Bell at Tinker Bell's Magical Nook in the Magic Kingdom from 2/22/2013. It is expected that at the same time Periwinkle, who has been meeting with Tink since last September, will be leaving the meet and greet.

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
Disney has also confirmed that the new character meet and greet location at Disney's Animal Kingdom will be opening in the spring of 2013.  This new meet and greet will be named “Adventurers Outpost”. The new indoor meet and greet location will give guests the chance to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The space was previously home to the Beastly Bazaar store, near to the Flame Tree BBQ, which closed on 8/12/2012 to make way for the new meet and greet location. Disney has also said that other characters will continue to meet in Camp Minnie-Mickey, along with the Festival of the Lion King Show.

In addition to this new meet and greet, there are a few other changes coming to the character lineup.  In the spring, Daisy and Donald Duck will both be moving to the Discovery Island boat dock area to appear together. In order to make way for their arrival, the Winnie the Pooh characters will be moving to Camp Minnie-Mickey.

A President's Day themed Limited Time Magic week long celebration began earlier this week featuring the Voices of Liberty in a special 8-part theater performance. Along with the a capella group performing some of the nations most memorable songs, guests can also hear memorable quotes from American Presidents. Songs include Golden Dream, and the American National Anthem.  The 30 minute show takes place in the American Gardens Theatre at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase. Show times are 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM daily though until 2/24/ 2013. 

Video from WDWMagic

Splitsville has reduced its operating hours from Sunday through Wednesday, now opening at 10:00 AM and closing at 1:00 AM. Thursday through Saturday hours are 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM. Splitsville was previously open until 2:00 AM daily.

Cinderella's Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom is scheduled for a brief refurbishment in May. The restaurant closes on 5/13/2013 through 5/16/2013, 

Disney has just added some new restaurants to the Annual Passholder/DVC dining discounts. The discount at these new locations is 10% as normal - blackout dates do apply.
Jiko (dinner) at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Hollywood Brown Derby (lunch and dinner) at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Biergarten (lunch and dinner) at Epcot
Shutters (dinner) at Disney Caribbean Beach resort
Boatwright's Dining Hall (dinner) at Disney's Port Orleans Resort

The official Disney Parks Blog has today released a backstage look at the new interactive queue and special effects being installed at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom. No word yet on when they will go live, but for now check out the video below for the tour with Walt Disney Imagineering.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oNfl19gKA2Y
Video from the Disney Parks Blog

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