Skip to main content

Ears the News with Richard


Epcot's Fountain View Ice Cream closed on 4/6/2013 to begin the remodel into Walt Disney World’s second Starbucks location. Construction walls now surround the building, with the new Starbucks expected to reopen on 8/2/2013. The new kiosk that was built near to the Electric Umbrella has not yet opened. It was originally thought this would open with the closure of Fountain View, although it may operate seasonally during busier times.

Another element of the NextGen MyMagic+ initiative is now live and in use across all of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels.  Called 'Mobile Lobby Experience,' the system equips Cast Members with iPads and allows guests to be checked-in from locations other than the front desk. It is being used to quickly check-in guests from curbside or in the lobby area of the hotel. 'Mobile Lobby Experience' has the big advantage of being able to check-in guests very quickly on arrival at the hotel, without the need to join a queue or even find the lobby check-in desk.  'Mobile Lobby Experience' joins 'Touch to Enter,' 'Touch to Pay,' FASTPASS+, and MagicBand in the suite of new systems coming online this year with MyMagic+.

Disney's Animal Kingdom celebrated its 15th anniversary on 4/22/2013. To mark the event, the park held a special opening ceremony. There were appearances by Josh D’Amaro, Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Dr. Jackie Ogden, Vice President of Animals, Science and Environment, and also included a performance of “Circle of Life” from the park's 'Festival of The Lion King.' If you couldn't be there, WDWMagic was kind enough to post a video of it.

WDWMAGIC Forum member ronmeri28 got to take part in a pre-opening playtest of the Magic Kingdom's latest interactive game, 'A Pirate's Adventure - Treasures of the Seven Seas.' 
Check out the video below for a walk-through of the game as it was played in the test. The game takes places in Adventureland, and is expected to be fully open by the summer 2013.
Video from Ron Dumply Jr

The popular BoardWalk Bakery will be reopening on 4/26/2013 following its extensive remodel.  The Bakery closed in January of this year for the refurbishment, which has now been expanded into some of the space previously occupied by the ESPN gift shop. Additions include a new queue area, new entrance and an expanded menu. Along with its usual baked good offerings, it will now serve soups, salads and sandwiches. The BoardWalk Bakery will also feature a refillable mug station for guests at Disney's BoardWalk Inn.

Disney has announced that Imagineer Theron Skees is the project leader on Disney Springs, the massive redevelopment of Downtown Disney.  Skees has an impressive track record at Imagineering - working on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris, Tower of Terror v4 at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and most recently working on the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland.

Skees told the official Walt Disney Company Blog, "I really love the new project I’m working on, Disney Springs. It’s truly a combination of everything I’ve learned over my 15-year career at Imagineering. Disney Springs is urban design at its best – it will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, and we are very excited about it."
Theron Skees is the second high profile Imagineer to be linked with Disney Springs, with Kathy Mangum taking part in the Disney Springs announcements.

The official Disney Parks Blog has just released some art of the latest monorail conversion at Walt Disney World. Featuring characters from the upcoming 'Monsters University' movie, Monorail Teal is decorated to mark the opening of the movie in theaters on 6/21/2103. According to the post by Disney, it will be appearing on the Magic Kingdom Resort beams.

There were also some earlier rumblings about equipment being installed on the roof of the Epcot monorail platform. Check out the video below to find out just what that equipment was.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8sojdkelE
Video from Inside the Magic

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

5 Ways To Get Psyched For Your Disney Trip!

Hey-Howdy-Hey, Disney Guys and Gals!      Is anyone familiar with Barney Stinson's "Get Psyched" Mix? Anyone? How I Met your Mother Fans? Ok, great! So you totally get where I'm going with this! If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can watch a clip  HERE!  Basically, the theory is that no matter what's going on in your life, you can get yourself psyched up and ready for something awesome to happen, all by listening to the right piece of music. Playing off of that theory, I feel that one of the very best things about a Disney trip is actually  preparing  for it, or getting psyched! You can have a whole bunch of crappy stuff happening in your life at the time, but if you have a Disney trip on the horizon... even if it's 564 days away, you have something to look forward to and enjoy preparing yourself for. In fact, many Disney fans, (myself included), pretty much get from one day to the next by preparing for upcoming trips. You may even book a ne

Mythos Restaurant at Universal's Islands of Adventure

Located on The Lost Continent of Universal's Islands of Adventure, Mythos is an award-winning, full-service restaurant that offers an otherworldly experience. If you've ever been to Universal's Islands of Adventure, you've undoubtedly walked by this restaurant with its towering rock formations, waterfalls and ancient figures carved into the side of the building. The restaurant has been calling to me for years and I was finally able to give it a try. When you enter the restaurant, it feels like you've entered a cavernous grotto from another world. There are oceanic and mythical touches throughout the indoor dining room and there's also outdoor seating with great views of the park. View from our table The menu features a mix of Mediterranean, Asian and American cuisine including Spanakopita Dip, Pad Thai and a Bacon Cheeseburger. There's also a kids menu for little ones and a dessert menu featuring Chocolate Banana Gooey Cake.  On our first visit to Mythos, we

Bigfire Restaurant Review

Bigfire is, in my opinion, a great addition to Universal CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort. Having been a huge fan of Emeril's which was previously in this location, I was skeptic, but quickly put at ease once we were inside and met our server and have been back several times since. After a full day in the parks, we had a pretty late dinner on the agenda so we started in the lounge attached to the restaurant.  The cocktail selection is quite extensive, with bourbon drinks being the star here. My Manhattan was delicious and set the tone for a great meal ahead! The bar is also a great stop if you don't have a reservation, I found the bartenders friendly, attentive, and making great drinks! The open kitchen is a great feature as you enter the dining room.  The d├ęcor is modern yet cozy with touches of plaid throughout.  The highlight is of course the "big fire", where they wood smoke a variety of meats for the entrees. We started the meal with some wine a