Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ears the News with Richard

Ears the News is brought to you courtesy of our friends at WDWMagic.com.

The fourth and final in-park Starbucks at Walt Disney World will be opening on June 18 2015.  Located at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the former Creature Comforts gift shop on Discovery Island, the new Starbucks will offer all the beverages, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches served by the other three in-park locations.  Coinciding with the opening of the Animal Kingdom Starbucks, Pizzafari will be discontinuing breakfast service from June 17, 2015 onward.  The quick service restaurant currently serves a bounty platter, breakfast burrito, and a breakfast croissant from park opening through to 10:30am.  Pizzafari will continue to serve lunch and dinner as normal.

Image courtesy of WDWMagic.com
A new rendering of STK Orlando has been released today that gives a first look at the new upscale restaurant and lounge coming to Disney Springs later this year.  STK Orlando will be the largest STK location yet at 14,000 sq. ft. and will feature the only rooftop dining option in Disney Springs.  Located in The Landing district of Disney Springs on the site of the former Comedy Warehouse, STK Orlando will bring a unique ambiance that blends elements of a modern steakhouse with a sleek lounge, including a DJ.

The animated short 'Frozen Fever' will be playing as part of 'Frozen Summer Fun LIVE at Disney's Hollywood Studios.'  Each day from June 17 to September 7, 2015, the ABC Sound Studio will be showing the short, starting at 10:00 AM, with shows twice per hour.  Click here if the video doesn't load on your browser.


Video courtesy Walt Disney Animation Studios


Tony's Town Square Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom will be extending its operating hours from July 3, 2015.  The Italian restaurant currently operates lunch service from 11:30 AM to 2:45 PM, and then offers dinner from 4:40 PM to close.  From July 3, 2015 onward, the restaurant will operate continuously once it opens in the morning at 11:00 AM, with no break between lunch and dinner.  The closing time varies with park operations, but is typically 9:30 PM.  Expect to see a single menu, with the same items available throughout the day.

Image courtesy the Disney Parks Blog
The Disney Parks Blog revealed some details about what to expect from Malestrom’ transformation into a Frozen dark ride. The attraction will be called “Frozen Ever After” and is described by the Disney Parks Blog as “an adventure fit for the entire family that will take guests through the kingdom of Arendelle. The fantastic Disney storytelling combined with new technology and favorite moments and music from the film will make guests feel like they stepped into the magical world of “Frozen.”  Guests will be transported to the Winter in Summer Celebration where Queen Elsa embraces her magical powers and creates a winter-in-summer day for the entire kingdom.  They will also visit Elsa’s Ice Palace and the ice-blue world of the North Mountain along with other locations before returning to the Bay of Arendelle.  Of course, favorite “Frozen” characters, including the Snowgies from the animated short “Frozen Fever,” will be part of this new attraction, along with the spectacular sights inspired by the film.”

Further details were revealed in a Wall St Journal article:
  • The setting for 'Frozen Ever After' is the winter festival that takes place in summer in Arendelle.
  • The queue line will include a trip through Wandering Oaken's Trading Post.
  • Olaf and Sven appear near the beginning of the ride.
  • Troll Valley is where Grandpappy Troll tells a story of how Anna and Kristoff met before moving up the lift hill along to find Olaf.
  • The big show scene is Elsa, on a balcony, singing 'Let it Go.'
  • Marshmallow, from the short 'Frozen Fever' makes an appearance.
  • The final scene features a firework celebration with a wave from Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Sven and Kristof.
  • Ride time is around 4 minutes.
The ride makes use of audio-animatronics and builds on the success of those introduced in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  Rear projection technology is combined with fluid moving animatronic figures to deliver extremely expressive facial features.  An opening date has not yet been announced, although the expectation is for late Spring 2016.

Disney also revealed a small bit of information about the Frozen meet and greet under construction next to the soon to be “Frozen Ever After."  The exterior will feature unique Norwegian architectural features, and the interior design of the “Royal Sommerhus” will reflect the cultural arts and crafts of Norway.   Inside the "Royal Sommerhus," guests will be able to meet Anna and Elsa.

Image courtesy WDWMagic.com
Concept art has also been released for “The Edison” that will be opening next year in the Landing district of Disney springs.  The Edison will be a lavish "Industrial Gothic" style restaurant, bar and nighttime entertainment destination.

Inspired by its sister location in Los Angeles, The Edison will offer classic American food, cocktails, and live entertainment - including cabaret and music.  Themed to a 1920's period electric company power plant and boasting 35ft high ceilings, The Edison will feature a number of distinct spaces. The Lab performance space, The Ember Parlour, Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Tesla Lounge, The Radio Room, and a Waterfront Patio.  The Lab performance room will feature entertainment such as contortionists, palm readers, live DJs and more.  The restaurant will be operated by the Patina Group, who also operate a number of other Walt Disney World restaurants, including Via Napoli and Tutto Italia Ristorante in Epcot's World Showcase.  “We are delighted to bring this extraordinary destination to the new Disney Springs,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.

The Edison is being built on the site of the former Adventurers Club and B.E.T., which is currently in the site preparation stage.  An opening of The Edison is expected in 2016.  In Los Angeles, The Edison sits inside the historic Higgins Building in downtown Los Angeles and was designed and created by Andrew Meieran in February 2007.  An AIA award winner, The Edison has won global recognition and design awards nationally and internationally, including being repeatedly named one of the world’s top 20 bars in GQ, Esquire, Condé Nast Traveler and The Los Angeles Times.  The Edison has been featured in many other renowned publications, television programs and films for its unique visionary design, has been the winner of the Zagat Guide’s Best Design Category, and has been named the best bar/lounge in Los Angeles every year since it opened.

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