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Ears the News with Richard

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in the Magic Kingdom is now confirmed to be closing for refurbishment from 7/31/2013 through to 8/28/2013.

The refurbishment of Spaceship Earth that was originally scheduled for 8/18/2013 to 8/25/2013 has been pushed back by a couple of days. The latest closure dates are now 8/22/2013 to 8/27/2013.

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
The Magic Kingdom is now converting another large section of turnstiles to the new MyMagic+ RFID 'touch-to-enter' system. Only 12 of the conventional turnstiles now remain, and that includes those designated as exits. 

Part of Sid Cahuenga's One-of-a-Kind is set to become a service center for MyMagic+ later this summer.

Each park is being equipped with a Guest Relations staffed service center location to help guests with MyMagic+ and to have access to iPads to enable My Disney Experience access for making FASTPASS+ reservations. The Magic Kingdom location is in Town Square Theater. For Disney's Hollywood Studios, the lobby and porch area of the collectible store will be converted to the service center, with the remaining space still offering merchandise. It is expected to open in the first week of August 2013.

'The Hat Lady' element of Epcot's Rose and Crown Pub is no longer being performed. 
Starting today, the entertainment at the Rose and Crown will be purely music, with guests being able to sing along and make requests. The former "Hat Lady' will continue to appear, but as a pianist only, and she will not perform the 'Hat Lady' show.

Actress Sigourney Weaver has just been added to the 2013 Candlelight Processional line-up for Epcot's Holidays Around the World. She will be appearing on December 8, 9 and 10 2013.

The recently opened Rapunzel themed restroom area in Fantasyland has been upgraded to now include USB charging stations. Located in the tree stumps in the seating area, the chargers now feature 2 USB ports alongside the regular 20amp electrical receptacles. This will allow you to charge any USB device, such as an iPad or iPhone, with just the USB cable instead of also requiring the main power adapter. 

Apricot Lane at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island is now closed. The clothing store which opened in August 2011 was the last retail store on Pleasure Island, and further clears the area for development into Disney Springs.

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
A major section of parking lot at Downtown Disney will soon be closing to begin work on the first of the two parking garages for Disney Springs. The current plan calls for lots I, J and K to be closed on 7/22/2013. Combined with the recent lot H closure, this will mean that all parking lots from Disney Quest to the Pleasure Island bus stops will be closed. Disney expects to be able to accommodate parking in the West Side and Marketplace lots on most days, but during busy periods, parking will be available for the first time off-site. The Team Disney corporate parking lot will be made available for guest parking, and a shuttle will transport guests between that location and the West Side. Team Disney is located directly across from Downtown Disney on the opposite side of Buena Vista Drive. 

The first of the parking garages is expected to become operational by late 2014, and is a critical component of freeing up space for the Disney Springs expansion.

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