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Ears the News with Richard

We all knew this was coming…Disney will release two limited edition MagicBands for the final weekends of Star Wars Weekends. There have been a few specialty printed Magic Bands since they made their debut, but this is the first time that a printed design MagicBand will be sold.
Photo from the Disney Parks Blog

There will be a green retail MagicBand with Yoda’s image and a red retail MagicBand with Darth Vader’s image - note that they match the color of their respective light sabers. The bands will be limited to an edition size of 2500 each, packaged in a decorative Star Wars Weekends box.

As with all retail MagicBands, you will need to link the band to an existing My Disney Experience account at the time of purchase. The cost of the bands is currently set at $29.95 plus tax.

Photo courtesy of WDWMagic
Downtown Disney will once again see the return of 'Car Masters Weekend' at the West Side on June 14 - June 15, 2014 from 9:30am to 6pm.

Here is a full rundown of what you can find at the event.

On the West Side Event Expo Stage:

Chip Foose
The master designer provides insight and details about his legendary involvement in the automotive industry.
(Saturday, Sunday) 9:30am

Rock’n Dune Buggy Chat Show
Learn the history behind the creation of the Meyers Manx dune buggy.
(Saturday) 10:30am

Jay Ward

Creative Director of Disney·Pixar’s “Cars” chats about Pixar Animation Studios and how he became the “Cars” Legacy Guardian.
(Sunday) 10:30am

Duncan Yo-Yo

Enjoy performances by professionals and national Yo-Yo champions!
(Saturday) 11:15am, 1:30pm
(Sunday) 11:15am, 1:30pm, 4:45pm

Richard Petty Driving Experience
Learn how you can get behind the wheel at
Walt Disney World Speedway.
(Saturday, Sunday) 12:00pm

Disney “Planes: Fire & Rescue” Chat Show
Join Director/Co-Writer Roberts “Bobs” Gannaway and Producer Ferrell Barron as they chat about their new film.
(Saturday) 1:00pm, 3:45pm
(Sunday) 1:00pm, 4:00pm

Meguiar’s Chat Show
Join appearance care specialists as they share tips and tricks for automotive care at home.
(Saturday, Sunday) 2:15pm

Chip Foose and Jay Ward
Join this duo as they share their love of automobiles. (Saturday) 4:15pm

Drawing Session with Chip Foose
Join automotive legend Chip Foose, and draw along as he shares his techniques for car design. (Saturday, Sunday) 3:00pm
A limited number of wristbands will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for children ages 5-12 who wish to participate in this activity. Wristbands will be distributed beginning at 2:15pm each day near the Event Expo Stage until supplies run out. Children must be present to receive wristband. Wristband is non-transferable. 

At the West Side Event Expo:

Bosch
Enter the world of Clean Diesel Technology. Find out how your drive can be more efficient, less costly and more friendly to our environment.

Chevrolet Performance Mobile Tour
Pose for photos with one-of-a-kind vehicles, and discover the latest in automotive design and technology.

Foose Design
Get up close to original Foose Design vehicles.

General Motors

Sit behind the wheel of Chevrolet’s most exciting new vehicles.

Meguiar’s
Visit trained appearance care specialists for information on Meguiar’s high performance automotive products.

Meyers Manx
See the Meyers Manx dune buggy and chat with an expert about the latest designs and technology.

PLANET HOLLYWOOD Vehicles
See vehicles from classic movies on display.

Richard Petty Driving Experience
Get up close to real-life supercars and learn how you can get behind the wheel.

This year, kids are invited to ride along with Piston Cup Racers Aiken Axler and Sage VanDerSpin at Walt Disney World Speedway.

Cars Movies at the AMC
Disney·Pixar’s “Cars” Movie Marathon
See some of your favorite characters back on the big screen during a special showing of Disney·Pixar’s “Cars” and “Cars 2.” Purchase your tickets at the Box Office.

Disney·Pixar’s “Cars”
(Saturday, Sunday) 10:00am, 3:00pm

Disney·Pixar’s “Cars 2”
(Saturday, Sunday) 12:30pm, 5:30pm

Car Show
Cruise through over 100 Classic, Muscle and Exotic vehicles from across the country placed throughout Downtown Disney West Side Promenade.

Vote for your favorites along with experts in the industry. Voting takes place at Meguiar’s Exhibit in the Event Expo.
(Saturday) 9:00am–6:00pm
(Sunday) 9:00am–2:00pm

Enjoy the finale of Cars Masters Weekend and celebrate the winners of the Downtown Disney Car Show Presented by Meguiar’s. The ceremony takes place between La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues on Sunday at 6pm.

Dining Discount
Complete a voting ballot for the case show and you will receive a coupon for a 20% lunch discount to use at any of the following participating Downtown Disney restaurants.
  • Bongos
  • House of Blues
  • Paradiso 37
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Splitsville
  • Wolfgang Puck
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic

The Yankee Trader in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom is scheduled to be closing for refurbishment from July 7 to September 30, 2014. It is expected that the store will be transformed into a new Haunted Mansion gift shop, that will feature an on-ride photo pickup location, along with a range of Haunted Mansion merchandise. The new Haunted Mansion on-ride photo opportunity is speculated to take place in the hitch-hiking ghost scene.




The FastPass+ experience group tiers are about to change for both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Effective now, FastPass+ selections for June 16, 2014 and later will be subject to the following changes.

At the Studios 'The Great Movie Ride' moves to group 1.
At Epcot 'Living with the Land' moves to group 1.
At Epcot 'Character Spot' and 'Maelstrom' move to group 2.
If you already have selections made from the old groups, they will continue to be valid unless you cancel them.

Here is the full updated line-up. Disney's Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom do not make use of experience groups.

Epcot Tier Group 1 (One selection can be made)
IllumiNations
Soarin'
Test Track
Living with the Land

Epcot Tier Group 2 (Two selections can be made)

Captain EO
Journey into Imagination
Maelstrom
Character Spot
Mission: SPACE
Spaceship Earth
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Turtle Talk with Crush

Disney's Hollywood Studios Tier Group 1 (One selection can be made)
Toy Story Mania
Rock 'n' RollerCoaster
Fantasmic!
Beauty and the Beast
Great Movie Ride

Disney's Hollywood Studios Tier Group 2 (Two selections can be made)
Tower of Terror
Star Tours
Indiana Jones
Lights, Motors, Action!
MuppetVision 3D
Disney Jr Live on Stage

Beginning today, a 20 percent merchandise discount can now be yours by dining at certain Walt Disney World quick service restaurants.

By dining at one of the participating restaurants, you will receive a coupon attached to the bottom of your receipt. The discount is available from June 10 to July 15, 2014, available only from store opening until 1pm. Check the list of participating locations below.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Quick Service Restaurants
Flame Tree Barbecue
Kusifari Bakery
Pizzafari
Restaurantosaurus
Tamu Tamu

Shops

Island Mercantile
Disney Outfitters

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Quick Service Restaurants
ABC Commissary
Backlot Express
Catalina Eddies
Fairfax Fare
Pizza Planet
Rosie's Red Hots
Starring Rolls
Studio Catering Company

Shops
Mickey’s of Hollywood
Keystone Clothiers

Epcot

Quick Service Restaurants
Electric Umbrella
Fountain View
Liberty Inn
Sunshine Season's Food Fare
Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Downtown Disney will be hosting a local food truck event later in June at the West Side.

'Trucks on the Town' will take place on June 21 2014, from 5pm to 10pm, and will feature 14 food trucks. The Daily City has published a list of the trucks attending the event.

Photo from the Disney Parks Blog
TheDailyCity.com Food Truck Bazaar by Prestige Trucks
El Cactus Azul
Ellie Lou's BBQ
La Empanada
Magic 4 ur Plate
Mayan Grill
Philly's Best Cheesesteak
TJ's Seafood Shack
Yum Yum Cupcakes
Disney's World Showcase of Flavors
Disney's Superstar Catering
Disney's Namaste Cafe
Disney's Fantasy Fare
Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Truck

The Intermission Food Court at Disney's All Star Music Resort will be closing later this summer for a major refurbishment.

Currently scheduled to close on August 1 2014 through to December 20 2014, it is expected that the restaurant will receive an update similar to the one carried out at the All Star Sports Resort End Zone Food Court last year. You can see the how that turned out here.

During the refurbishment there will be a temporary grab 'n' go location setup in the Melody Hall lobby arcade area. Offerings will include salads, sandwiches and desserts. Refillable mug stations will also be provided.

The Singing Spirits bar will remain open during the work, and will also provide food options and a refillable mug station. As another alternative, there will also be transportation to Disney's All Star Sports Resort to make use of the recently refurbished End Zone Food Court.

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