Friday, September 6, 2013

Ears the News with Richard

Beginning in early September 2013, look for Twinings tea bags to replace the current Nestle offering at quick service restaurants throughout Walt Disney World. Continuing their sponsorship of Epcot's Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom Pavilion, Twinings will also begin new sponsorship of the Garden View Tea Room at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. The full roll-out of Twinings to table service restaurants will follow throughout the year.

Twinings has been selling teas for over 300 years, and serves 100 countries with over 200 teas. The relationship with Disney began with the opening of Epcot and the United Kingdom's Tea Caddy shop.

FastPass+ at Fantasmic! Has been added to the round of testing, with the first show of each night now having an allocation for FastPass+. Those taking part in the MyMagic+ testing should be able to make reservations for the show.

The Magic Kingdom's Main Street Trolley show switched to the fall show on 9/1/2013.

Shows are performed daily, typically at 9:15 AM, 10:10 AM, and 12:00 PM. The show beings near Casey's Corner, and travels along Main Street U.S.A to the train station with multiple stops along the way. 

In the past year the Trolley Show has been constantly updated, with new seasonal shows being switched in throughout the year. Here is a full show video from the opening day of the fall show last September.

Video from WDWMagic.com

The brand new Fountain View Starbucks at Epcot has officially opened.

The exterior has undergone a complete refurbishment from the old Fountain View Ice Cream, with new paint, signage, landscaping and an extension giving more interior space. There is no longer any exterior or interior seating, although a few standing tables are available outside. 

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
As with the Magic Kingdom's Starbucks, the new Epcot location will offer the standard Starbucks menu, along with a few Disney baked goods. The interior follows the same setup as the Main Street Bakery, split into two sides. Both have their own queue, ordering positions and pickup area. A central case between the two sides provides the baked goods and grab and go items.

The next two Starbucks locations at Walt Disney World are now confirmed to be at Downtown Disney.

The first will be in the West Side, taking up the space currently occupied by Wetzel's Pretzels and Haagen Dazs Ice Cream. Both Wetzel's Pretzels and Haagen Dazs will continue to operate with new kiosks located near to Disney Quest.
The second Downtown Disney Starbucks location will be a kiosk near to World of Disney in the Marketplace area.

Starbucks at Downtown Disney has been expected since the announcement of Disney Springs, but the construction of the new Starbucks location is now planned to begin in October 2013. This means that these new locations will open in the existing Downtown Disney rather than opening with the redeveloped Disney Springs.

At least two more Walt Disney World Starbucks are planned - at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. No specific locations or timeframes are available on those two locations at this time.

The Winnie The Pooh character meet and greet location at the United Kingdom Pavilion is currently closed for a refurbishment. During this time the characters will instead be meeting guests at the International Gateway, just inside the turnstiles. You can see them daily from 1:00 PM to  8:15 PM. The United Kingdom location is expected to reopen in early October 2013.

The Marketplace kiosks are now being setup around World Showcase at Epcot for the 2013 International Food and Wine Festival. The festival takes place this year from September 27 to November 11 2013.

Spice Road Table construction and Food and Wine Festival preparation has forced a move for MO'ROCKIN into various temporary locations around the Morocco Pavilion, but now they look to have settled into new permanent home. A new stage has been constructed on the opposite side of the promenade from their original location.

Drive Electric Orlando is teaming up with leading rental car agencies, hotels, and tourist attractions to offer vacationers and business travelers the ability to use an electric car during their trip.
Orlando is the country's leading travel destination, and the world's largest car rental market, with the majority of attractions located within a 20 mile drive of each other. These factors all make Orlando a prime opportunity to leverage all the benefits of electric vehicles.

Drive Electric Orlando is working with Walt Disney World, Universal, Sea World, AAA, GM, Nissan, Hilton, Marriot, Enterprise and many more of the regions major businesses to promote the use of electric vehicles and to give people the opportunity to drive one.

For the first time, you can now rent an electric Nissan Leaf from Orlando International Airport with Enterprise for as little as $30 per day. You can read more about the program at the Drive Electric Orlando website.

Video from Drive Electric



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