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Ears the News with Richard

The wrecking ball has its sights set on the former Cap'n Jacks Restaurant and marina. Both are now being demolished as part of the plans for bringing the new Disney Springs redevelopment to life. The restaurant closed in mid-August of 2013, along with the boat rental marina. 

Water Taxi service continues at the nearby dock and Cap'n Jacks Margarita Bar is still in operation.
Offering a range of photographic services linked with MyMagic+, 'Memory Maker' will launch at Walt Disney World this Friday December 6 2013.

Photo Courtesy Disney Parks Blog
The new NextGen Memory Maker package is another component of MyMagic+ which combines a number of photo services into one 100% digital product. Using the My Disney Experience app and website, photos taken my a PhotoPass photographer and linked via MagicBand, onsite attraction photos, and photos from other guests linked by My Disney Experience can all be accessed and downloaded from the day they were shot, and up to 45 days from that date. Uniquely with Memory Maker, you can download photos an unlimited number of times during your stay, and up to 45 days after they were shot. Previous digital PhotoPass products allowed only a single post-trip download.
You can purchase Memory Maker online or by phone with Disney Reservations prior to your trip. It can also be included as part of your package. Once at Walt Disney World, you can purchase from PhotoPass locations inside the parks and at Downtown Disney. 

'Memory Maker' will be replacing PhotoPass+. Look for full details and pricing this Friday at the My Disney Experience site.

The Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland Dance Party is set for an update to include characters from The Incredibles. Expect to see Mr Incredible, Mrs Incredible, and Frozone from 12/9/2013 onward.

Tortuga Tavern will be offering a new 'Island Dinner Buffet' dinner during the busy holiday period at the Magic Kingdom. 

Beginning on 12/212013 and available through 1/4/2014, reservations are available now for dining between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM. The cost is $35.99 for adults and $17.99 for children, plus tax and gratuity.
Some of the menu items (subject to change) include:

Ocean harvest chowder with crackers
Lush garden greens with lite vinaigrette, Black Pearl balsamic dressing and ranch
Gulf grilled vegetable pasta salad
Shipwrecked tomato, mozzarella and basil salad
Sea salted green beans
Caribbean spiced sweet potato wedges
Treasures of mac and cheese
Rosemary-garlic pork steamship
Cannonball meatballs with marinara and parmesan
Banana leaf baked mahi with Gold Coast mango chutney
Barbosa’s braised beef with julienne carrots, celery and pearl onions
Captain Jack’s chicken breast with lemon and parsley
Assorted rolls with butter
Rice crispy bon bons
Mickey brownies
Assorted ├ęclairs
No sugar added lemon cookies
Assorted cup cakes
Fresh fruit salad
If you are heading to Walt Disney World in February and March be sure to check on the latest updates to the park hours. 

The operating hours have been extended for most days in February and March 2014, across the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Along with the hour extensions, there are also changes to Extra Magic Hours and entertainment line-ups.
Disney Mobile Magic, the first of Disney's mobile apps for theme park visitors, is to be discontinued on December 23 2013.

The more recent 'My Disney Experience' app will now become the primary mobile offering for Walt Disney World visitors, available for iOS, Android and Kindle devices. Disney Mobile Magic has already been removed from the app stores, but will continue to function until December 23 2013.
A quick update to the news from last month that the Comedy Warehouse will be returning to Disney's Hollywood Studios for the holidays this year.

Showtimes for the seasonal Comedy Warehouse show at Disney's Hollywood Studios are now available. They will be at 12:45 PM, 1:45 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM. The shows will be held  in the Premier Theater from 12/21/2013 to 1/5/2014. Keep an eye out on My Disney Experience for FastPass+ reservations and, as always, check your time guides for any changes.
Beginning on 12/13/2013, Downtown Disney will be operating revised traffic patterns throughout the holidays up until 1/4/2014. Starting outside Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort, the right lane of Buena Vista Drive will be closed to all vehicles allowing Disney busses exclusive access. Entrance 1 at the Marketplace will be closed to all inbound traffic except Disney busses, but will remain open to exiting traffic.

As always, during the construction of the new parking garage, your best method of reaching Downtown Disney is to use Disney transportation, or to travel by car at off peak periods.
FastPass+ is entering another phase of testing and will be available to off property guests for the first time. This test will be at Disney's Animal Kingdom only and will begin on 12/18/2013. During the test, regular paper FASTPASS will not be available, giving guests the choice to use FastPass+ or the standby line.

Non-resort guests will not be able to make FastPass+ reservations ahead of time, or using My Disney Experience. Mirroring the functionality provided by FASTPASS, offsite guests will need to visit a FastPass+ kiosk to make the reservations on the day they visit. MagicBands will not be available for non-resort guests. Instead, they will use their RFID enabled ticket media to access the FastPass+ kiosks and touch sensors.
Resort guests will continue to be able to make advance reservations using My Disney Experience. As with current testing, guests will be able to secure 3 FastPass+ reservations for that day.

The attractions available for FastPass+ are:
Character Greeting at Adventurers Outpost 
Expedition Everest
DINOSAUR
Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo – The Musical
Kali River Rapids
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Primeval Whirl
It's Tough to be a Bug!
Kiosk locations are at:
Kali River Rapids
Primeval Whirl
Expedition Everest
Outside at Disney Outfitters

Outside the service center located at Creature Comforts

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