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Ears the News with Richard

Food Truck Park, the permanent home to the 4 Disney operated food trucks is now complete and open on the West Side. The new area has space for four food trucks, and includes tables and chairs for waterside dining. The elevated highline structure that runs alongside the park provides shade, lighting, and covered benches. The park also includes a small performance area for live entertainment. Operating hours vary, but the truck typically open at 4:00 PM daily.

The last of the new acts to join Epcot's refreshed World Showcase entertainment line-up has made its debut at the United Kingdom. The Paul McKenna Band is a 4 piece acoustic folk band, performing just outside the The Crown and Crest shop in the heart of the United Kingdom pavilion. Show times are at 11:00 AM, 11:50 AM, 12:45 AM, 1:40 AM, 2:35 PM, 3:35 PM and 4:50 PM. The pavilions other band, The British Revolution, continues to play in the garden band stand. Click here to view the video if it doesn't load below.



Video courtesy of WDWMagic.com

The 'Peace on Earth' finale to Epcot's Reflections of Earth has a new look and sound this year. The familiar voice of Walter Cronkite narrating the finale has been removed, and in his place comes Mary Thompson Hunt, who's voice has been heard all over Walt Disney World in the past. Mary was a performer at the Comedy Warehouse, and also voiced the original pre-show announcements for Reflections of Earth when the show debuted.

Also debuting with the new Peace on Earth finale are new more colorful lasers, installed both in the 3 pavilion laser locations at Mexico, Canada and the American Adventure, and an all new location on the island in the lagoon. Replacing the previous mirror bouncers, the island laser gives a much brighter laser effect in the center of the lagoon. Completing the changes is a new pyrotechnic design for the finale. The monstrous barrage of fireworks is still there, but the new design takes on a more intricate approach and looks fantastic. You can see the new show playing daily at Epcot as part of Holidays Around the World through until December 30 2014. Click here to view the video if it doesn't load below.


Video courtesy of WDWMagic.com


The Magic Kingdom's Pirates of the Caribbean is scheduled to be closed for a one day refurbishment on December 17 2014.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Magic Kingdom will be closed for a short refurbishment in March 2015. The refurb begins on March 4 through to March 7.

The Winter Summerland mini golf course is scheduled to be closed for refurbishment in the new year.
The closure begins on January 4 2015, and will last for approximately 6 weeks. There are no major changes planned - expect to see some roofing replacement and new paint.

Star Wars Weekends is now confirmed to be returning to Disney's Hollywood Studios for 2015.

Good news for Star Wars fans is that just like last year, there will be five weekends, which is an extension to the usual four weekends. No word yet on attending celebrities.

Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney World website
Weekend I: May 15-17, 2015
Weekend II: May 22-24, 2015
Weekend III: May 29-31, 2015
Weekend IV: June 5-7, 2015
Weekend V: June 12-14, 2015

It should be no surprise that the popular Star Wars character dining experiences that were introduced in 2014 are back for the summer of 2015 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Start your day with the “Star Wars” Dine-In Galactic Breakfast! at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Breakfast at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant will include classic Star Wars movie characters and scenes from the films. “Star Wars” Dine-In Galactic Breakfast characters may include Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Jawas, Greedo, and Boba Fett.

For dinner from 4:00 PM, the Hollywood and Vine has been transformed into Jedi Mickey’s “Star Wars” Dine at Hollywood and Vine where Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Chip and Dale have all come together to celebrate the greatest saga ever told.

Both of these new character dining experiences will be offered daily, and not just on Star Wars Weekend days, from May 4 through June 14, 2015.

Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine will cost $57.99 per adult and $34.99 per child age 3 to 9 (tax is included; gratuity is not). The Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast is available for $49.99 per adult and $31.99 per child age 3 to 9 (tax is included; gratuity is not).

Yon can make reservations now by calling 407-WDW-DINE or online at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining. For guests on the Disney Dining Plan, both experiences will require 2 table service credits. No discounts of any kind are available.

The price for pre-purchasing the Memory Maker photo package has increased today from $149 to $169. The non advance purchase pricing remains unchanged at $199. The PhotoPass Memory Maker package has undergone a number of upgrades over the past few months, including the introduction of onboard ride videos at Tower of Terror and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and the introduction of animated 'Magic shots.'

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