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Ears the News with Richard

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
Next week's Limited Time Magic brings a Monsters U dance party and pep rally to Disney's Hollywood Studios. The fun starts on 6/14/2013 at the Sorcerer Hat Stage from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

 Here is the full info from Disney:

"Make way for a Monsters University Homecoming celebration! The MU School of Scaring is hosting a campus bash inspired by Disney•Pixar's Monsters University and it all goes down each evening at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Hit the quad where you can hear your DJ—"Monster of Scaremonies"—spinning the latest beats, and take part in a series of fun activities. Then, get pepped up as the MU cheerleaders pop in to lead the MU Fight Song before those monsters of rock, Scare Supply, take the stage. Enjoy a medley of monstrous mash-ups, and laugh along as they're joined on stage by Mike and Sulley. It's a pep rally of epic proportions, and it is all part of Limited Time Magic!"

The major exterior refurbishment at Downtown Disney's Rainforest Cafe is now complete and both the erupting volcano and Lava Lounge bar are now fully open to guests.  The spectacular volcano smolders throughout the day, but come dusk, it erupts with an elaborate fireball show. You can see it every 30 minutes, on the hour and half hour. Each eruption takes around 2 minutes, and can be seen from all around the Marketplace.  The Lava Lounge bar sits on the side of the building overlooking the lake, and is built into the base of the volcano. It has a number of waterfalls reaching 18ft high, and a near 15ft long crocodile animated figure. The main dining room in the restaurant remains open as normal, and continues to offer the familiar favorites.
The Rainforest Cafe is typically open from 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 AM to 11:30 PM on Friday and Saturdays.

Video from WDWMagic.com

Spaceship Earth is scheduled to be closing for a week-long refurbishment in August. The closure begins on 8/18/2013, and runs through until 8/25/2013.

Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom is scheduled to be closing intermittently during September 2013 for refurbishment.
  • The periods of closures are: 9/3/2013-9/5/2013, 9/10/2013-9/12/2013 and 9/23/2013-9/26/2013.
It appears that at least part of the work will involve trim brakes being added along the track with the aim of reducing the speed during parts of the ride. The exact reasons for this are not clear, but typically trim brakes are added for safety purposes, to reduce g-forces, or to reduce wear and tear on the track and vehicles.

Walt Disney World is set to begin testing an all electric bus during the summer months. The initial route is expected to be on the Fort Wilderness Resort internal loop for guests, and backstage at Epcot for cast members. Disney is currently in the process of updating the bus fleet with new higher capacity articulated buses, new buses replacing the oldest in the fleet, a new drop-off loop at the Magic Kingdom, and an all new paint scheme.

Disney's Palm Golf Course is now closed for refurbishment beginning 6/12/2013. The refurb is expected to continue until mid-November 2013. The other golf courses will remain open as normal during this refurbishment.

The End Zone food court at Disney's All Star Sports Resort is set for an extensive refurbishment beginning this summer.  From 6/28/2013 to 8/4/2013, the All Star Sports arcade will close to be reworked into a temporary grab and go quick service location. Starting on 8/5/2013, the former arcade will take over dining needs as the main All Star Sports End Zone food court will then close on 8/5/2013 through to December 2013. During this time food will only be available at the temporary grab and go location; however busses will transfer guests to the nearby All Star Music to use that food court if required. Arcade games will not be available during the refurbishment work.

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
The largest test so far of Disney's NextGen MyMagic+ will begin next week for select pre-invited guests staying at either Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge or Disney's Contemporary Resort.
Beginning on 6/20/2013 and running through until 6/26/2013, the test will for the first time allow guests taking part to use all the capabilities of MyMagic+ including 'Touch-to-enter,' 'Touch-to-pay,' FASTPASS+, and use both the RFID Key to the World Card and the MagicBand. The test is invite only, so you will not be able to take part in this unless you have already been contacted by Disney.
As with previous tests, guests will be able to preselect three FASTPASS+ experiences via the My Disney Experience app or website. There will also be kiosks available for those guests who do not own or wish to use their own device to select FASTPASS+. The kiosks are located at:
  • Magic Kingdom: City Hall, Buzz Lightyear FASTPASS distribution, Splash Mountain FASTPASS distribution.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios: Tower of Terror FASTPASS distribution, Star Tours FASTPASS distribution.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom: Guest Relations and Primeval Whirl FASTPASS distribution.
  • Epcot: Captain EO FASTPASS distribution and Maelstrom FASTPASS distribution.
There will also be full self-service kiosks giving guests access to the entire My Disney Experience site at Town Square Theatre in the Magic Kingdom, and at Guest Relations in the other three parks and Downtown Disney. The lobbies of the two participating resorts will also have kiosks available. During the test, guests will also be able to take part in the regular paper-based FASTPASS, and the standby lines.
This test looks to be a significant step towards the full deployment of MyMagic+ later this year, when it is expected that all guests will be able to use the system throughout Walt Disney World.


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