Friday, April 3, 2015

Ears the News with Richard

Disney has just rolled out an upgrade to the Wi-Fi infrastructure across all four Walt Disney World theme parks.

The update aims to increase performance and network stability for the ever-increasing number of guests trying to use the service. Part of the upgrade has been made possible by removing support for old devices that were connecting on the 802.11b band. This means that owners of some early Wi-Fi phones and iPods will no longer be able to access the Disney Wi-Fi service in the parks.

Due to the importance of accessing My Disney Experience, access to the Internet in the theme park has become a critical part of a day in the parks. AT&T has also been working at improving cell based data services as an alternative to Disney's Wi-Fi service.

Image courtesy Disney Parks Blog
D-Tech Me expands figurine line-up with TIE Fighter Pilot and Jedi Knight.
The Pilot and Jedi Knight are joining the existing lineup of Carbon-Freeze Me figurine, Alderaan
Princess figurine, and male and female Stormtrooper and X-Wing pilot figurines.

D-Tech Me uses a high resolution 3D face scanner to capture your facial features, and then a 3D printer to produce the figurine.
The Star Wars – D-Tech Me 7-inch figurines are $119.95 each, plus shipping and tax. 16-inch figurines are $999.95 each, plus shipping and tax.
Reservations can be made now by calling 407-939-8324, with the experience only available during Star Wars Weekends days.





Image courtesy WDWMagic
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace opened on Saturday bringing the hugely popular concept from Disneyland to Walt Disney World.
Trader Sam's brings two new lounge areas to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort - inside is Trader Sam's Grog Grotto, and then outside is Trader Sam's Tiki Terrace. The two share the same menu, but both have separate entrances and are essentially separate experiences.
Inside at Trader Sam's Grogg Grotto, you'll find seating for just 51 guests, but lots of detailed theming and an environment worthy of a theme-park attraction. The menu offers a range of speciality cocktails, ranging in price from around $20 to $50 - served in a specialty take-home souvenir glass. Also on offer is a selection of appetizers, including Sushi Rolls and sliders.
Outside at Trader Sam's Tiki Terrace there is seating for 80 guests, with live music, a walk-up bar, and table service offering the same menu as inside at Trader Sam's Grog Grotto.
Both are open from 4pm to midnight, with Trader Sam's Grog Grotto only admitting guests aged 21+ and over after 8pm. Outside on the Tiki Terrace there is no age restriction.

If you want to visit Trader Sam's Grog Grotto you'll need to go to some effort. Firstly, there is no parking available at the Polynesian Resort for anyone other than resort hotel guests, or those with a confirmed dining reservation. Guests visiting by car for Trader Sam's will be denied entrance at the security checkpoint and sent to the TTC for parking, which means another 30 minutes or so to get back to the resort by foot or the monorail.
Assuming you manage to overcome the transportation difficulties, you will then need to somehow get past the high demand for the 51 seats. On opening night, pagers were given out to those guests waiting after the initial 51 seats were taken, but demand for the pagers was so high that their distribution was halted at 4:45pm, leaving guests with no way to get onto any kind of wait list, leaving it to a first come first served, luck of the draw situation. As you can imagine, given the difficulties getting in, many guests once inside stay for a couple of hours at least. Much of the initial high demand will no doubt decrease over the next couple of weeks, and getting in to Trader Sam's should become easier.

Outside at the Tiki Terrace, the 80 seats give you a better chance to get in, but for many it will be the secondary choice after all the elaborate theming inside at the Grog Grotto. There is live music outside however, and there will soon be a waterfall to enhance the area. The terrace is not covered, so during the summer months weather may become an issue.

There are no discounts available at either Trader Sam's, nor are reservations accepted. Trader Sam's is currently in soft opening, with an official opening set for later in April 2015 as part of a series of enhancements to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, including a new lobby, main pool area and addition of the DVC Bungalows and Deluxe Studios.

The Diamond Horseshoe at the Magic Kingdom is currently opening for quick service lunch, and for family style table service dinner.
You can find sandwiches, snacks and beverages for quick service lunch through to April 11 2015, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Menu items include Barbecued Turkey Sandwich, Hand-carved Pork Brisket Sandwich, Portobello Sandwich, Hand-carved Turkey Sandwich, Tuna Salad with Croissant - all for $9.49 each.
From 4:30 PM to 9:30 PM, the restaurant will be open for table service family-style turkey dinner through to April 11 2015. Offerings include Roasted Turkey Breast, Carved Beef, and Sliced Pork with Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Herb Bread Stuffing, and Macaroni & Cheese. Desert is Tavern-made White Cake filled with Apples and Craisins Dried Cranberries, topped with Ice Cream. Dinner is $34.07 for adults, and $17.03 ages 3-9.

A new quick service kiosk has opened in Epcot's Future World offering gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.
Image courtesy WDWMagic
'Taste Track' is located just outside of Test Track, next to the Cool Wash play area in a space that was previously Cool Wash Pizza.

Menu items include some exotic takes on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich, using ingredients
such as gruyere, sour dough bread, fontina, apple butter and cinnamon raisin bread. The sandwiches are served with a choice of soup or salad, and all sell for just under $10.
Also available is a Roasted Chicken Salad, a Tomato Bisque and range of bottled beers.
There is no dedicated seating, but there are some standing tables nearby, and benches throughout Future World.
Taste Track is open daily from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

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