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Ears the News: February 10, 2017 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com.

Disney has released the performer line-up for the 2017 Garden Rocks concert series, part of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

Performing for the first time at the festival is Berlin, Exposé and Simple Plan. Also new this year, shows will be taking place on Mondays, in addition to Friday through Sunday.
  • March 3-4 – Jon Secada – “Just Another Day” 
  • March 5-6 – Dennis DeYoung – The Music of STYX – “Grand Illusion” 
  • March 10-13 – Pointer Sisters – “I’m So Excited” 
  • March 17-18 – Simple Plan – “Welcome to My Life” – NEW 
  • March 19-20 – Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah” 
  • March 24-27 – Night Ranger – “Sister Christian“ 
  • April 7-10 – Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice – “Spinning Wheel” 
  • April 14-17 – Gin Blossoms – “Hey Jealousy” 
  • April 21-24 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO – “Evil Woman” 
  • April 28-29 – Exposé – “Point of No Return” – NEW 
  • April 30-May 1 – Berlin featuring Terri Nunn – “Take My Breath Away” – NEW 
  • May 5-8 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas – “We Built This City” 
  • May 12-15 – The Guess Who – “American Woman” 
  • May 19-22 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone – “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” 
  • May 26-29 – The Spinners – “Working My Way Back To You” 
Show times are at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM Friday thought Monday. Concerts are included with regular park admission to Epcot.

The Captain's Grille restaurant at Disney's Yacht Club will be under a lengthy refurbishment later this year.

The work begins mid-May and is planned to continue through to Fall 2017.

During the refurbishment, the restaurant will relocate to Ariel's in the nearby Beach Club. Originally a seafood restaurant, Ariel's closed in the late 1990's and has since been used as private dining event space. You can read more about Ariel's at the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings site.

The Magic Kingdom has introduced a new way to experience 10 of the park's top attractions -The Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour.

Costing $199 plus tax, the four hour tour takes you on some of the park's most popular rides, including Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “it’s a small world”, and Peter Pan’s Flight. There is also a meet and greet with Mickey Mouse.

Don't expect any thrills though, as the tour is designed not to have any height restrictions. A stop at a restaurant isn't included, but a classic Disney treat is included on the way.

Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour takes place on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and can be booked on 407-560-4033. Theme park admission is required and is not included with the tour.

Dining packages are now on sale for the Garden Rocks concert series, taking place as part of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

The Dining Packages include reserved seating at the concert, and are available on:

March 3-6, 10-13, 24-27, 31

April 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-24

May 5-8, 19-22

Prices for Breakfast Packages start at $39 plus tax (for adults) and $23 plus tax (for children, ages 3-9). Prices for Lunch Packages start at $39 plus tax (for adults) and $15.50 plus tax (for children, ages 3-9). Prices for Dinner Packages start at $53 plus tax (for adults) and $17.50 plus tax (for children, ages 3-9).

Call (407) 939-3463 to make reservations, and view the full Garden Rocks performer line-up.

The newest Disney Springs restaurant, Paddlefish, is now accepting reservations.

You can make a reservation for dates beginning February 6 at OpenTable, and for dates beginning February 20 at Disney.com.

Beginning today, Disney will be piloting a new in-room dining service at its resort hotels.

Called Express Fresh, the new service aims to deliver quick and casual meals for private dining in guest rooms.

The key difference between regular room service and Express Fresh is that with the later, food will be packaged to be left at the guest's room door, rather than requiring setup inside the guest's room. Delivery of Fresh Express is planned to be within 30 minutes of ordering.

The initial pilot program will take place at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Disney's Yacht Club Resort through to the end of March 2017. Traditional in-room dining will continue to be offered alongside Express Fresh. Look for a special Fresh Express menu inside the room information package.

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger has announced that Pandora – The World of Avatar will open at Disney's Animal Kingdom on May 27, 2017.
Photo courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog


No further details were announced, but it would appear that this is the official opening date, with various previews and soft openings likely before that date.

Bob Iger also announced that the Star Wars Lands at both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland will open in 2019.

Doc McStuffins from the Disney Junior TV series will be heading to Disney's Animal Kingdom later this month.

Following the show's renewal for a fifth season, Doc will appear for meet and greets just outside the veterinarian clinic inside Rafiki's Planet Watch.

You can also catch her in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and for breakfast at Hollywood and Vine.

Chip and Dale will be leaving Planet Watch to make way for Doc.

Rivers of Light has been added to the official operating hours of Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Photo courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog


According to the newly posted hours, Rivers of Light will officially debut on February 17, 2017. Showtimes for February are at 7:15 PM with a single show taking place typically every other day.

The show moves to the later time of 8:45 PM in March, but continues with shows every other day. April sees the introduction of two shows per night, at 8:30 PM and 9:45 PM on some days.

FastPass+ is also available for Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Dining Packages are now on sale for Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom, combining a table service meal with reserved seating for the show.

Reservations are available from the first official performance on February 17, 2017 at Tiffins and Tusker House. You can view the full Rivers of Light performance times through June on our calendar.

Each meal includes a non-alcoholic beverage and seating for the show.

Tusker House Restaurant

While this dining package is available for all meal periods, Guests must arrive to dine no later than 2 hours and thirty minutes prior to showtime.

Rivers of Light Dining Package Prices (Dining Plan Eligible) 
  • Breakfast, starting at: $39.00 adults $23.00 children ages 3 to 9 
  • Lunch/Dinner, starting at: $52.00 adults $32.00 children ages 3 to 9 

Tiffins

While this dining package is available for both lunch and dinner periods, Guests must arrive to dine no later than 3 hours prior to showtime.

Rivers of Light Dining Package Prices (Dining Plan Eligible) 
  • Lunch/Dinner starting at: $67.00 adults $26 children ages 3 to 9 

Reservations for both can now be made at 407-WDW-DINE or online.

Wishes at the Magic Kingdom will have its final performance on May 11, 2017, to be replaced with a brand new nighttime spectacular.

Debuting May 12, the new 18 minute show is titled "Happily Ever After," and will feature fireworks, projections and lasers.

Like the recently opened "Once Upon A Time," the show will draw on Disney films, including "Pirates of the Caribbean," The Jungle Book," "Beauty and the Beast," "Moana," "Brave," "Big Hero 6," "Zootopia," "The Princess & The Frog," "Aladdin," The Little Mermaid," "The Lion King," "Frozen," "Toy Story," "Peter Pan," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Hunchback of Notre Dame."

The crowd favorite moment, Tinker Bell's flight, will continue to be a part of the new show.

The score for “Happily Ever After” was recorded by a 75-piece orchestra in London under the supervision of Senior Music Producer Roger Butterly and Music Arranger Tim Heintz. James Silson of Disney Creative Entertainment serves at the Show Director. His previous work includes A Frozen Holiday Wish at the Magic Kingdom, Disney Junior Live on Stage and Olaf's Summer Cool Down - both at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The Happily Ever After song comes from a Hong Kong Disneyland show "Mickey And The Wondrous Book." The score used in the upcoming Magic Kingdom show is orchestral, but check out the video below to hear a pop version for an idea of what to expect.

Wishes debuted in October 2003 at the Magic Kingdom, bringing an extensive upgrade to the park's nightly firework spectacular. Rooftop launch locations were added, bringing more depth and precision to the show.

In recent times, the park has been upgrading the lighting package around the castle, culminating in the new lighting show, "Once Upon A Time." The new "Happily Ever After" show will make extensive use of those new lighting systems.

Holiday Wishes and Happy HalloWishes are expected to continue to be shown at the Christmas and Halloween parties. 


Video courtesy of The Disney Parks Blog.
Click here to watch the video.

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