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Ears the News: August 4, 2017 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com.


Mobile Order has begun at Columbia Harbor House which completes the roll-out of the service at Magic Kingdom.

Mobil Ordering has also begun to roll out at Epcot. Electric Umbrella is currently online and Liberty inn will follow on August 7, 2017.

Tables in Wonderland can now take advantage of the recently announced 30% discount for Annual Passholders and DVC Members at select resort restaurants.

An important difference with the Tables in Wonderland discount vs the Passholder discount is that it also applies to alcoholic beverages.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com

There is now a 30 percent discount (up from 20%) on regular price food and beverages when dining during the dinner meal period before 6:30pm or after 8:30pm at the following locations through September 30, 2017:

  • Jiko at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge 
  • Flying Fish at Disney's BoardWalk Resort 
  • The Wave...of American Flavors at Disney's Contemporary Resort 
  • Citricos at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa 
  • The Grand Floridian CafĂ© at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa 
  • Olivia's Cafe at Disney's Old Key West Resort 
  • Boatwright's Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside 
  • The Turf Club Bar & Grill at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa 
  • Artist Point at Disney's Wilderness Lodge 
  • Captain's Grill at Disney's Yacht Club Resort 

You can now order one of Disney's Minnie Vans using the popular Lyft app.

“Playing a part in a family's experience at the most magical place on earth is a dream come true,” Lyft President John Zimmer said.

Minnie Van Service will be priced at $20 per trip per vehicle, with testing currently underway at Disney's BoardWalk and Yacht Club Resorts between 6:30am and 12:30am. Guests staying at Disney's BoardWalk Resort and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts can learn more by visiting the Bell Services desk.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com

Later, the service will expand to more locations throughout Walt Disney World. Unlike Disney's Magical Express service which is operated by third party Mears, Minnie Van drivers are actually Disney cast members.

Under the wrap, Minnie Vans are a 2017 Chevrolet Traverse Premier mid-sized SUV, which offers three rows of seating. The second row features captain's chairs (two full size seats), and the back row can seat three, giving a guest capacity of six. Disney has also equipped its fleet of Minnie Vans with two Graco car seats.

The operating hours for A Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas at the Magic Kingdom have been significantly reduced.

New operating hours are 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM daily, down from the usual park open to near park close.

Yak and Yeti Local Foods now serves breakfast at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Menu items include Breakfast Tacos at $9.99, Sausage and Egg English Muffin at $9.99 and a Bacon and Egg Sandwich at $9.99. View the full Yak and Yeti Local Foods breakfast menu.

Breakfast is served daily from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM.

“American Idol,” will debut on its new home at ABC in 2018, and open auditions will begin at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The Idol bus will be at Disney Springs on August 17 giving you the chance to audition with “American Idol” Producers. (Celebrity Judges will not be on site.) Early arrival is encouraged.

Parking will be available as early as 4:00 am, but not before. Registration will begin at 6:00 am with auditions starting at 8:00 am. Early arrival is encouraged, as registration will close at 12:00 pm or sooner due to capacity. No overnight camping will be allowed.

The auditions will take place outdoors. Parking will be available at the surface parking lot on the West Side of Disney Springs, near House of Blues and Cirque du Soleil.

All singers must be at least 15 years old to audition. Pre-Registration is encouraged. To Pre-Register and for additional details, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, and terms and conditions, visit www.americanidol.com. Those auditioning can bring one guest to accompany them and the guest must be over 5 years old.

Disney Springs will debut a new hyper-reality experience this fall, "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire."

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy. They will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multi-sensory Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience in a way that allows them to interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters. This ground-breaking experience will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning this holiday season.

“At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusion, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”

Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLab, said, “At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories. Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

“Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire marks an important milestone in the continued expansion of The VOID, which also joined the 2017 Disney Accelerator earlier this year,” said Cliff Plumer, CEO of The VOID. “Through the power of The VOID, guests can now experience the magic of Star Wars firsthand.”


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Looking to plan your next trip to Walt Disney World? Contact the agents at Kingdom Konsultant Travel to help you plan your dream vacation. Email vacations@kingdomkonsultant.com for a free quote today.

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