Friday, July 17, 2015

Ears the News with Richard

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

With the completion of the Disney Vacation Club Villas and Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Resort, attention is now switching to Disney's Wilderness Lodge, which will undergo a similar expansion to the Polynesian.
Disney has started to advise guests arriving in the fall that a number of leisure and recreation amenities will be unavailable from October 26 2015.
The main impact will be to the Hidden Springs leisure pool, the resort beach, the playground and the fire pit. During the closure of the leisure pool, the main feature pool will continue to be open as normal.
The nature trail, boat and bike rentals, and spa treatments will also be unavailable from October.
The project will see the addition of 26 waterside bungalows, similar to the recently opened Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, although the Wilderness Lodge units are not built over the water. Also part of the plan is an expanded pool area, a new restaurant and recreation areas.
The project is expected to extend through to the end of 2017, although Disney has not yet given any details or announced the DVC expansion project.
Last month it was reported that the new brochures for the 2016 Disney Deluxe Dining Plans did not include appetizers as part of the Deluxe Dining Plan.
It turns out that all the worry was for nothing as the brochures have been updated and the appetizers are back on. The benefits for the deluxe dining plan remain an appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage.
It is the big 20th celebration this year for Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival and Disney has released a little more information on what we can expect.

Along with the previously announced addition of ABC's "The Chew", visitors can this year look forward to four Future World Marketplace kiosks - the first time that kiosks have been offered outside of World Showcase.
At the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese area featuring the Cheese Studio and Wine Studio, marketplaces will evoke the ambiance of Napa Valley with grape vines and welcoming pergolas
Image courtesy Disney Parks Blog
along the walkway to Future World West.
    At the Cheese Studio, a cheese sample platter will be served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines.
    The Wine Studio will serve premium wines on tap and showcase palate-pleasing wine varietals organized by color in artful displays.
At the new Next Eats area near the Epcot Character Spot, Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces will be inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. “The Chew” announced July 2 that the show will broadcast from Epcot during the festival.
    At Sustainable Chew Marketplace, guests can taste delicious dishes inspired by “The Chew” co-hosts.
    At Chew Lab, food science meets the hottest culinary tech trends to present innovative dishes like the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.
Over in World Showcase, the Dominican Republic Marketplace will return with fresh flair, serving new dishes including Pescado con Coco – seared grouper, pigeon peas with rice and coconut sauce.
New Premium Events

New premium ticketed events will be on offer this year.
    One of a series of popular Party for the Senses premium events will be the first-time Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses 31, an elegant, dance-the-night-away, gourmet tasting party with Champagne, wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails paired with food. Guests will be encouraged to masquerade in chic yellow and black. Reservations will open July 30, 2015, for festival premium events also to include the Mexican Tequila Lunch, Japanese Craft Beer Tasting, French Family Meal Traditions and dozens of events including Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining.
    “The Chew” cast will host a new premium event: the Rockin’ Burger Block Party 8, with specialty burgers and sliders inspired by top names in the music industry such as Dave Matthews and his Dreaming Tree Wines and Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble Tequila. Two additional Burger Block Parties are set for Sept. 25 and Nov. 6.
The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, and other special beverage and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Reservations will open July 30, 2015, for all premium events including the new Rockin’ Burger Block Party. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) and get details at epcotfoodfestival.com beginning July 15.
Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, has announced that the second Invictus Games have been awarded to Orlando, Florida. The 2016 Games will take place from May 8 to May 12 2016 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Invictus Games use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.
The inaugural Invictus Games was held in London from 10-14 September 2014 and was attended by over 400 competitors from 13 nations.
Prince Harry said: “As I've continued to work with wounded servicemen and women, I regularly see the power of the soldiers' stories to inspire others. For every competitor last September, there are hundreds of others around the world who would benefit from having the same opportunity. I wanted other cities and countries to look at the competition - what it meant to those taking part and those who saw it - and take up the challenge for the next Invictus Games. I am absolutely delighted that the United States has taken up that challenge and will host the next Invictus Games in 2016. I have no doubt that the USA will set the bar even higher than London did and put on a great show.”
Following the success of the 2014 Invictus Games, the Invictus Games Foundation has been established to develop and pursue the event’s legacy. It manages the selection of the hosts for future games and oversees their delivery.
The Foundation set out desired requirements for future host cities to ensure the next Invictus Games meet stringent quality standards. This includes a mandatory minimum of 10 participating nations, 250 competitors and five sports; a strong families programme; appropriate venues and sport infrastructure; extensive broadcast and media coverage and access to the Games for spectators and media.
Since the end of the 2014 Games, The Invictus Games Foundation has received a number of bids from potential countries and cities wishing to host the Invictus Games over the coming years. The US bid for Orlando won the rights to the 2016 Games thanks to the city’s outstanding sporting facilities and great tourist infrastructure, which make it an ideal host city for both competitors and spectators.
U.S. Army Sergeant Ryan McIntosh, a winner of three medals in London in 2014 including one gold said: “The power of sports and competition has proven to me that I am still the same person I was before Injury. No matter what comes I will face that adversity and come out on top, Unconquered.”
Ken Fisher, President of the 2016 Invictus Games Organising Committee said: “Sport and exercise are important to the health and healing of our wounded warriors. We are honoured the Invictus Games is coming to the United States. The competitors, their families and caregivers are all inspirations and each of their stories is a testament to courage, love and perseverance.”
See the video below for information (if it does not load, click here)

Disney's Hollywood studios will open the 'Ice Palace Boutique' on July 26, a place where guests ages 3-12 can undergo a Frozen inspired transformation.

Located in the former American Idol audition area, just across from the ABC Commissary, the 'Ice Palace Boutique' will offer four packages to fit various budgets.
Image courtesy Disney Parks Blog
    Frozen Summer Fun Boutique Package – This package includes Anna or Elsa-inspired shimmering makeup palette, face gems, nail polish, a braided hair piece with sparkling snowflake accessory and an exclusive photo opportunity. Package retail: $75, includes tax.
    Ice Palace Boutique Package – This package includes the items offered in the Frozen Summer Fun Boutique Package. It also includes access to the Ice Palace Café and reserved seating at one of the “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” shows. Package retail: $175, includes tax.
    Ice Palace Boutique Deluxe Package – This package includes an Anna or Elsa costume plus the items offered in the Ice Palace Boutique Package. Package retail: $240, includes tax
    Olaf-inspired package that includes a glitter hairstyle and Olaf tee-shirt. Reservations are not required for this package and will only be available on-site at the location. Package retail: $19.95, plus tax.
Also part of the higher priced packages is reserved seating for a showing of the Frozen sing-along at the Hyperion Theater. The Ice Palace Boutique Package and the Ice Palace Boutique Deluxe Package is for up to 6 guests, including the child getting the magical transformation.
Those higher end packages also include access to the Ice Palace Cafe, where additional party members can enjoy the exclusive Ice Palace Café, an immersive “Frozen”-themed café with included snacks while they wait for their Anna or Elsa.
Reservations open 7am July 17 on 407-827-7400. The location may be able to accommodate guests without reservations on a limited, first-come, first-serve basis each day.
The 'Ice Palace Boutique' will be available for a limited time, through to the conclusion of Frozen Summer Fun on September 7 2015.


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