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Ears the News with Richard

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
L'Artisan des Glaces is now open at Epcot's France Pavilion. Serving specialty ice creams and sorbets, the new eatery can be found in the location of the old bakery which recently relocated into a new space in the France Pavilion.
You can find 10 flavors of ice cream and 6 sorbets, and for those of you who like your ice cream a bit more adult - you can add a shot of liquor. A small cup or cone is $3.99, a slightly larger cup is $6.10, and the liquor version is $11.50. The ice cream had good flavor and was extremely smooth and creamy, although our taste testers felt the portion size could be larger for the price. The single scoop size is the size of something you may find at a Food and Wine kiosk.
The ordering system is a little unusual. You first go to a register and choose the size, but not the flavor. You then pay, and move to a display case where you then choose the flavor and cone or cup, both are the same price. You then move to the pickup side to collect your treat. There is no indoor seating, but there is available seating at the bakery next door, or outside in the street area.
L'Artisan des Glaces is currently operating from midday until 9:00 PM, so for those of you who like ice cream with a twist, be sure to check this one out.

The walkway between New Fantasyland's Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus is now open to guests on what is expected to be permanent move. The walkway connects the area outside of the Little Mermaid attraction to the entrance of Storybook Circus. This has the great advantage of allowing guests to enter and exit that area of Fantasyland from both sides. The path has been open during busy periods in the past year, but has not remained open on a continual basis. The new walkway also provides additional stroller parking for the area.

As expected Disney has raised ticket annual pass and parking prices for the 2013-2014 time frame. They have priced a single day Magic Kingdom ticket higher than the other parks.
Starting 6/2/2013, a Magic Kingdom single day ticket became priced $5 higher than the other Walt Disney World parks. 
A single day Magic Kingdom ticket is now $95 for an adult, with the other three parks costing $90 for an adult single day ticket. Child prices are $89 for the Magic Kingdom, and $84 for the other parks. All prices exclude tax.

Parking has increased by $1. A car will now cost $15, and a camper/trailer will cost $16 per day. Both prices include tax.

Annual Pass prices have risen by $35 as the cost for an adult or child Annual Pass becomes $609, up from $574. The Premium Annual Pass, which also offers water parks and recreation, increased to $729. All prices exclude tax.

Magic Your Way multi-day tickets increrased in price as well.
Increases have occurred across all multi-day tickets, but to give you an idea, here are some of the more popular options and their changes. An adult 10 day base ticket increased from $318 to $339, with a 3 day base ticket increasing from $242 to $262. Park hopper add-on increases by $2 per day, as does the water park option. Park hopper and water park option increased by $5 per day. No expiration also increases, with a 10 day no expiration option increasing from $275 to $325, and a 3 day no expiration option up from $40 to $45.

It is officially summer at Walt Disney World, and as part of Limited Time Magic, a special summer edition of the Main Street Trolley Show is now playing at the Magic Kingdom. New music, choreography and props are used in the show.  The show makes 4 stops along Main Street, and concludes in front of the train station. Show times are typically at 9:15 AM, 10:10 AM, and 12:00 PM, starting outside Casey's Corner. The train station finale features a performance on ground level and on the balcony of the train station.

Video from WDWMagic

Annual Passholder parking has seen some changes this past week resulting in some guests having to present photo ID and having their ticket scanned.  Members on the WDWMagic discussion forum have reported that when arriving at the parking plaza, their pass has been scanned and also checked against photo ID. This appears to be happening most frequently at Disney's Hollywood Studios, but does not yet appear to be consistently happening. No word yet on whether this is currently in testing for a permanent implementation, or if it is a short-term security process.

Another large round of MyMagic+ guest testing will be starting later this month across all four theme parks. Guests staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Contemporary Resort are being contacted from today to take part in the test, which will take place in the last week of June. During the test, guests will be using FASTPASS+ at all four parks, 'Touch to Enter,' and 'Touch to Pay.' The test is invite only, so if you are not contacted, don't expect to take part in this round of testing.
Nintendo are visiting Downtown Disney this month to promote the Wii U console and the upcoming Disney Infinity platform coming this August.

The Nintendo tour opens today and is located near Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney's Marketplace until 6/23/2013. Also part of the experience is a photo opportunity with Mario and Luigi.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes are hosting a 'Sock-Hop' ticketed event as part of next weekend's Cars Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney. You can buy tickets online here.
Taking place on 6/15/2013 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, the event features:

Disney's Sock Hop Dancers will perform dances from the 50's and 60's, while a DJ will be spinning favorites both old and new.
Chip Foose and Jay Ward will be on hand meet & greets.
The party includes an appetizing buffet of delights: a nacho bar, pizza, and Splitsville's famous sliders. Guests also receive two (2) tickets for select alcoholic beverages.
Go for fun and prizes in a bowling competition (sign up at the event, space is limited).
Raffle items celebrating all things "CARS" to be given away throughout the night!
Price per Guest is $69.00 per adult (ages 10+) and $59.00 per child (ages 5-9)*.

Tickets are limited. Entertainment is Subject to Change.

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