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Ears the News with Richard

Fit2Run is now open at Downtown Disney West Side. The runners superstore carries everything you could possibly need for training, races and recovery. They have a full selection of shoes, clothing, electronics, accessories and nutrition. If you are looking for new shoes, they also offer treadmill and video gait analysis to find you the perfect fit. The store is located beside Curl, in the new space next to the entrance of Splitsville, opposite House of Blues.

Disney has today announced that a new concept store will be opening in early 2014 at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Taking the space of the existing Team Mickey, which will close in January 2014, the new store will offer shops within a shop, each one showcasing a Disney product concept.

Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller caught up with Tom Sheldon, manager of retail design and development for Disney Theme Park Merchandise, to learn more.  “Think about your favorite marketplaces from across the US,” said Tom. “These unique shopping experiences in major cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York all have something in common – they are compelling and distinct, allow visitors to connect to the environment, and foster a sense of discovery. This is our goal with the Marketplace Co Op.”

“This public marketplace will serve as a laboratory to showcase new concepts and specialty products,” continued Tom. “It will be an incubator to introduce exciting new Disney retail shops and products.”
At opening, The Marketplace Co Op’s six new spaces will be:

Beautifully Disney – A beauty destination for woman featuring make-up, fragrance and beauty accessories.
Cherry Tree Lane - Accessories for the sophisticated woman with a passion for scarves, shoes, bags and jewelry.
D-Tech on Demand – A place to personalize and customize your own electronic accessories.
The Trophy Room- Vintage inspired, lifestyle sports apparel and collectibles.
Centerpiece - Home product for Guests that want a splash of Disney in their room furnishings, textiles and everyday ware.
Zoey and Pickles - A girls’ destination containing the latest trends and glamour for the up and coming fashionista.

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
The Jingle Cruise opened this week at the Magic Kingdom, providing guests with a festive river cruise through the jungle. Along with new signage, props in the queue area, and festively named boats, the cruise has new jokes inspired by the holidays.  The Jingle Cruise will be running everyday through the holiday season.

Video from WDWMagic

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights opened this week at Disney's Hollywood Studios and for the first time features Glow with the Show ear hats. During the dancing light sequences, Glow with the Show hats join in with the show, all synchronized to the music. The hats are available for $25, and also work with Wishes, Celebrate the Magic and Fantasmic!


Video from WDWMagic

If you are visiting Downtown Disney and park in the overflow parking off-site, be aware that the shuttles are now color coded. Each of the four off-site lots are marked with a color and to return to that lot you must board a shuttle with the corresponding color. The red, blue and green lot shuttles drop off and pick up at Cirque du Soleil, and the yellow lot shuttle drops off and picks up at the West Side bus loop.

It was reported at the end of October that Walt Disney World resort hotel guests will soon be issued with only MagicBands and no Key to the World Card. MyMagic+ is now about to take another step forward as MagicBands become the default option at one of Disney's largest hotels.

During the past few weeks this has been tested with cast members and a limited number of guests, but from later this week, all guests at Disney's Pop Century Resort will only be issued with MagicBands. 
The MagicBands will give access to all hotel and park functions, including touch-to-enter, FastPass+, and touch-to-pay. Key to the World Cards can be requested, however, the magnetic strip will not be activated, meaning it cannot be used for traditional FASTPASS, only FastPass+.  Expect to see the MagicBand-only program to roll out to all resorts over the coming months.

The delayed table service dining cancellation policy that will expand the $10 cancellation fee to all table service restaurants without day before notice will begin on 11/19/2013.  Originally planned to go into effect on 10/31/2013, guests will be required to provide a credit card for all table service reservations. A charge of $10 per guests will then be automatically applied if a cancellation is not provided at least one day in advance.  In the case of pre-paid locations such as dinner shows, the entire amount will be retained in the event of failing to cancel. The new policy also applies to non-Disney operated restaurants.  Cancellations can be made on the Disney Dining website, at guest relations, a restaurant podium, or via a special phone number at 407-WDW-CNCL. To avoid the penalty, the cancellation must be made up to 11:59pm on the day before the reservation.

Downtown Disney's Festival of Seasons begins on 11/15/2013 with a chance to meet Santa, take in some seasonal entertainment, and of course some festive shopping and eating.
Santa will be appearing in his chalet in the Marketplace between Basin and World of Disney:
November 15 to 28 from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
November 29 to December 24 from noon to 10:00 PM
Santa Goofy will be appearing from Christmas day onwards:
December 25 to 29 from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
Look out for stilt walkers, toy soldiers and story tellers throughout Downtown Disney.

Starting early next week, Disney's Hollywood Studios will be testing a significant change to the way FastPass+ selections are made. FastPass+ experiences will be selected from two groups of attractions, with one selection from the group 1 and two selections from group 2. The groups are currently setup as follows:

Group 1 (One selection can be made)
Toy Story Mania
Rock 'n' RollerCoaster
Fantasmic!
Beauty and the Beast

Group 2 (Two selections can be made)

Great Movie Ride
Tower of Terror
Star Tours
Indiana Jones
Lights, Motors, Action!
MuppetVision 3D
Disney Jr Live on Stage

As you can see from the groups, this means it will not be possible to hold a FastPass+ for both Toy Story Mania and Rock n RollerCoaster. The only option will be to use the standby line for one of these attractions. Those of you who already have FastPass+ setup will not be required to move into this test grouping unless you modify all of your existing selections.

A similar system will be tested at Epcot. The Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom are not yet using any attraction groupings

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