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Ears the News with Richard

The brand new Kiki Tikis Splash Play area is now open in the Lava Pool area at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.

The splash play area that is part of the newly expanded deck space at the Lava Pool features a whole host of wading pools, water jets, waterfalls, and two slides - one enclosed. Adding splash areas has been a recent trend at the moderate and deluxe resorts, but the Polynesian looks to have the best of the bunch.



The start date for the refurbishment of Pirates of the Caribbean has been pushed back to June according to the official Walt Disney World website.
The closure was originally scheduled to begin on May 11, but has now been moved to June 8. The refurbishment will run through to September 25.

Image courtesy Disney Parks Blog
Margaritas are back at the Marketplace in Downtown Disney the opening of Dockside Margaritas!!

The brand new water-side bar and lounge features a wide range of margaritas, frozen drinks, local Florida craft beers, Florida fruit wines, and even a non-alcoholic specialty drink.
Dockside Margaritas replaces the old Captain Jacks Margarita bar with more seating, including both a lounge area, and bar counter area - both with views of the village lake. There is also a quick service pickup window if you prefer to get the drinks without the full bar service.
Live music takes place 2:30 to 10:30 PM on Sunday through Thursday, and 12:30 to 10:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. Operating hours are 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM Friday and Saturday.

The new breakfast offering at the Magic Kingdom's Be Our Guest Restaurant has now been extended further into the summer.

Originally announced to be available through to June 18 2015, the test will now run until at least July 18 2015. Reservations are available on the My Disney Experience app and website, along withpre-ordering of menu items.

Innoventions West at Epcot had its final day of operation on this week. With the closure of Innoventions West, THINK presented by IBM, The Great Piggy Bank Adventure presented by T. Rowe Price and Where’s the Fire? presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance.

The Chase Meet and Greet will continue to operate in its existing location at Inventions West beyond April 29. The meet and greet is exclusively for Chase Disney Visa credit card holders, and provides a complimentary PhotoPass picture as part of the experience.

New high-tech laundry machines are now available for guest use at most Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
The new machines offer live reporting of availability via the internet, where guests can view the status of each machine, and receive notifications of availability and when a cycle is completed. You can view the machine status at http://www.laundryview.com/disneyworld.

Along with the internet connectivity, the new machines offer quicker cycles to reduce wash time and an increase in capacity for larger items.

All locations also now accept credit and debit cards in place of coins.

Coin operation continues at a limited number of locations at Disney’s All-Star Resorts, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Most resorts have already been upgraded, with the final locations expected to be completed by early May 2015.

Disney's Hollywood Studios is testing pre-ordering of food and merchandise using mobile apps at Backlot Express and during Fantasmic!
In a move that could dramatically reduce wait times for quick service food, the Studios test will use the guest's phone as an ordering and delivery tracking device.

The test at Backlot Express will comprise of two phases.
     From April 28 to May 4 2015, guests will be able to order from the app and pickup food at a counter on a tray for dine-in, or pickup in a to-go bag for take-out.
     From May 5 to May 12 2015, guests will be able to have an order ready for pickup in a bag to take out, or have the order delivered to a table.

At Fantasmic!, the test will take place from April 28 to May 12 2015, and guests will be able to order from a food and beverage menu, along with a range of merchandise. The service will be available during the Fantasmic! pre-show and the first performance of the night only.

The service is made possible with the 'Express Order' app from VenueNext, and requires Bluetooth and location services to be available on the phone. You can download the app from the App Store now on both iPhone and Android.
In both cases, the order will be paid for at pickup or on delivery. Payment is via credit card or Apple Pay only. There is no cash option, or using Disney Dining Plan credits.

American Music Machine, a new 5 piece acapella vocal group made its debut performance on April 29 at Epcot's American Adventure Pavilion.

Performing in the America Gardens Theater, American Music Machine delivers an impressive range of pop hits from yesterday and today, all with no backing tracks and just pure vocal talent.

The group will typically be appearing Wednesdays through to Sunday, with 20 minute showtimes of 11:45 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:40 PM, 2:20 PM, 3:00 PM, and 3:45 PM. Check the times guide as times do vary.

American Music Machine is the latest new act to open after a large reshuffle of Epcot live entertainment. Fife and Drum Corp, Mo'Rockin, Off Kilter and World Showcase Players were all closed to make way for the new acts. In addition to American Music Machine, Epcot has recently seen the introduction of the Canadian Lumberjacks, Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro, Paul McKenna Band, B'net Al Houwariyate, and the Mexican Marimba Trio.





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