Friday, October 31, 2014

Ears the News with Richard

If you are wearing a MagicBand, your on-ride PhotoPass photos will now be automatically linked to your My Disney Experience account!

This automated MagicBand to My Disney Experience service has been testing at various attractions over the last few months, but now moves to full operational status. You may find that if you have been in the parks over the last 45 days, those photos are also now available.

For those guests without MagicBands, new touch-points have been installed at the photo preview walls at select attractions. After riding, you can touch your RFID card to the reader to associate the photo to your My Disney Experience account.

Attractions already setup with the touch point features are: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain. Test Track, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Dinosaur, and Expedition Everest will be coming mid-November.

Expect to see the MagicBand automated linking to become the default method in future attractions for on-ride PhotoPass, with video walls no longer to be added to new attractions. The latest Walt Disney World attraction - the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will not be offering video wall previews, and will only offer MagicBand association of on-ride photos.


Two new restaurants for Disney Springs have been confirmed. Among those would be The Boathouse and Morimoto Asia.

The BOATHOUSE will be an upscale, waterfront dining experience featuring spectacular floating artwork: dream boats from the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s.
The restaurant will feature three separate bars, The Captain’s Raw Bar, The Admiral’s Club Bar and
Courtesy Disney Parks Blog
The Dock Bar. Also part of the restaurant's nautically-themed rooms will be The Runabout, Twin Transoms, and The Lake House. There will also be two private dining rooms for special events, conventions and presentations: The Regatta and The Trophy Room.
The gourmet menu will be served daily until 2am, including menu items such as steaks, chops, seafood and a raw bar. The BOATHOUSE restaurant will be managed by internationally renowned and award-winning Gibsons Restaurant Group  (recently named Best Steak House in Chicago).
The experience will also include live music, and water cruises - ranging from the upscale guided tour aboard the 40ft wooden Italian Water Taxi, The Venezia, to the 20 minute guided tours onboard the Amphicars. The Harbor Master will orchestrate daily flag ceremonies, accompanied by a lively musical performance of beloved bugle songs, performed aboard a classic 1800’s antique steam boat.
“Combining dining with interactive entertainment, The BOATHOUSE helps bring to life our vision of Disney Springs as a welcoming place for guests of all ages to enjoy with their friends and family amid the charm of a waterfront town center,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

Courtesy Disney Parks Blog
“We are very excited that The BOATHOUSE is joining the Walt Disney World family at Disney Springs,” said creator Steven Schussler. “We are proud to bring the culinary expertise and impeccable service of Gibsons Restaurant Group to The BOATHOUSE. The outstanding cuisine, the excitement of Amphicars, the Italian Water Taxi, and live music will make The BOATHOUSE a must-see destination for Walt Disney World guests from all around the world. Walt Disney Imagineering has created a wonderful, interactive, culinary and entertainment experience at Disney Springs. We are proud to be part of this magical experience.”


Famed celebrity chef, Masaharu Morimoto and the Patina Restaurant Group, will open Morimoto Asia in 'The Landing' district at the new Disney Springs development.
Courtesy Disney Parks Blog
Opening in summer 2015, Morimoto Asia will be a pan-Asian dining experience, including open terraces, grand hall, private rooms, long bar, cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more.
The restaurant is being designed by STUDIO V Architecture, and will be a 2 story layout with  36ft tall interior space.

Flavors will come from across Asia, while exhibition kitchens will showcase the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum.
“We are delighted to work with Morimoto to create this one of a kind restaurant, which will be a spectacular dining destination at the new Disney Springs,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.
Courtesy Disney Parks Blog
“I’m very excited to bring this new concept to Disney, something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Chef Morimoto. “It’s a wonderful chance to share some of my favorite foods from across the Asian continent.”
The restaurant will be taking up the space of the former Mannequins Dance Hall in Pleasure Island, which has been under construction for the last year. “We’re thrilled to bring Chef Morimoto’s renowned culinary style to Disney Springs as we expand the range of dining experiences for our resort guests as well as local Florida residents,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.


Disney has released a few more details today about the new 'A Frozen Holiday Wish' show starting next week at the Magic Kingdom.
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Confirmed to appear in the show on the castle forecourt stage are Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf. And naturally, Queen Elsa uses her powers to transform the castle into an ice palace for the holidays.

'A Frozen Holiday Wish' begins on November 5, and runs through to December 31 2014. 

Show times are 6:15 PM and 7:30 PM on regular park days, and 6:15 PM and 8:00 PM on Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party nights.

'A Frozen Holiday Wish' will replace the previous 'Cinderella's Holiday Wish' show.


The Legend of captain Jack Sparrow is the next attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios to be permanently closing.
Following in the footsteps of The American Idol Experience, the Studios Backlot Tour and The American Film Institute Showcase, The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will come to an end on November 6 2014.
The attraction opened less than 2 years ago, in November 2012, and presents a walk-through experience of elements from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
The continued closure of attractions at the Studios continues to reinforce speculation that a major redevelopment of the park is on the horizon. Disney has not yet made any comment or confirmed any expansion plans.


The new Disney Springs West Side parking garage is expected to open to guests in late November 2014, providing much needed parking capacity heading into the busy holiday season.
Cast members will begin using the first floor later this week, with floors 1 through 4 becoming available for guests in the final week of November.
Entrance to the garage will be through entry 3, which is located directly across from team Disney. In early December, expect the Marketplace parking lots to close as work immediately switches to the second parking garage construction.


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