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Ears the News: January 19, 2018 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com.


Disney's Hollywood Studios debuted an all new set of background music as part of the park's redevelopment for the future.

At the Main Entrance you can hear Big Band arrangements of Disney tunes.

Along Hollywood Boulevard there are Big Band instrumental arrangements of popular songs from the 30’s and 40’s.

Sunset Boulevard features vocal tracks from similar Big Band hits played on Hollywood Boulevard.

At Echo Lake you will continue to hear Big Band sounds, pushing towards the 50’s and 60’s with bright, brassy horns and lush string arrangements.

Grand Avenue plays music inspired by present-day Downtown Los Angeles, the music on the street includes retro-contemporary west coast funk sound defined by a strong bassline, electric guitars, horns and synthesizers.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster courtyard plays live versions of classic rock songs, including Aerosmith.

Here is a brief video courtesy of WDWMagic.com. with some of the new tracks playing throughout the park.


Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube. 

At Epcot, the Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in the Norway Pavilion will be closing for a major refurbishment in February.

Beginning February 4, 2018, work will include expanding the location, with a reopening expected in the summer of 2018.

During the closure, a temporary location called Midnattsol Bakeri will open on the World Showcase promenade. Many of the pastry items will be served at the temporary kiosk, including the guest favorite School Bread.

Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com.
Disney's Animal Kingdom is celebrating the birth of a Nile hippopotamus, the first to be born at the park in 13 years.
Disney announced that the calf was born Saturday night at 10pm to mom Tuma, the gender is still to be determined.

Tuma and her mate Henry were chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Nile hippopotamus is a vulnerable species with a declining population, making this birth even more significant.

Look out for Tuma and her calf on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Enzo's Hideaway is now open at Disney Springs, completing the opening of four new Patina Restaurant Group venues in The Landing.

Operating hours for the restaurant are Sunday - Thursday 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM, Friday - Saturday 11:30 PM to 11:00 PM. The Tunnel Bar operating hours are Sunday-Thursday 11:30 AM to 12:00 AM, Friday & Saturday 11:30 AM to 1:00 AM.

Walt Disney World will soon be testing a cash-less environment with a limited pilot program in February.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House will be the first location to accept electronic payment only for all purchases and services. Guests with resort or dining reservations for the pilot period are now being advised of the change.

Valid forms of payments will be MagicBands, credit cards, debit cards, Disney Gift Cards, Disney Rewards Redemption Cards and contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.

Disney has been at the forefront of electronic payments, accepting nearly every method of payment available, including being one of the first to accept Apple Pay back in 2014.

Although the resort will be cash-less during the pilot period, the resort will continue to accept cash for tips, and guests staying at the resort can use cash to add to their room charge capabilities.

The pilot begins February 12, 2018.

The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Officially Opens

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration of its ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Walt Disney World Resort officially opened a new multi-purpose sports and entertainment arena, continuing the growth and expansion of the 220-acre Disney sports venue that is widely regarded as the leading facility for youth sports in America.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com.


ESPN Wide World of Sports executives, along with AAU and Varsity executives, marked the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured streamers as cheerleaders performed a high-energy routine involving Minnie Mouse, who sported her new cheerleading outfit.

The 8,000-seat arena will host a variety of major indoor sporting events from basketball to volleyball to gymnastics to wrestling. The venue also will host runDisney Health & Fitness Expos during runDisney race weekends, beginning with the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in February.

The new arena is the third indoor competition venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and is one of the largest in the country designed specifically with cheer and dance events in mind. Its launch marks another milestone for the Disney sports facility, which opened in 1997 and pioneered a new type of sports vacation experience where athletes at all levels and ages can pursue their sports dreams.

“We have created one of the most unique sports arenas in the country,” said Faron Kelley, Vice President of Disney Sports. “We sat down and really listened to what our partners told us they needed the space to look like and what we ended up with is a fantastic new arena. We look forward to hosting many events in our new building for years to come.”

One of the unique features of the arena is its flexibility. It can be converted to host more than six regulation-sized basketball and volleyball courts and can be further expanded to host open-floor exhibitions and other major events, such as the College Cheerleading and Dance Team Championship, which will feature more than 4,700 athletes.

“We are thrilled to have our 35th College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship as the inaugural event in the new arena,” said Varsity Brands Founder and Chairman Jeff Webb. “This year, we’ll host seven premier events and welcome nearly 70,000 athletes to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Our athletes and coaches are going to be very excited when they see the space, the warm-up areas and all of the other amenities that truly make this building one of a kind. We’re looking forward to a fantastic event, in a great building that’s being hosted by a terrific partner in Disney.”

Other features of the new arena include two versatile auxiliary venue spaces, an attached box office, plus built-in loges and judges’ boxes with seating for approximately 70 people. There are also seven concession stands and 35 concession points of sale, which will include specialty items such as hazelnut churros, chocolate banana empanadas, donut chicken, Greek Dogs, and an Adobo Chicken Rice Bowl.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com.

“We spent countless hours doing research to make sure we designed a building that caters to the needs of existing partners and potential future partners, including developing sports such as e-sports and futsal,” Kelley said. “The word we kept coming back to was flexibility and our new arena has something special and unique for all of our partners.”

The addition of the arena is another step in Disney’s efforts to expand its sports business through a relentless growth strategy centered on enhancing existing events, developing new and more diverse events such as tournaments, competitions and entertainment and creating additional sports experiences for our guests.

Future plans for the sports complex include expanding the portfolio of outdoor sports, continuing to host high-profile events such as the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl Week and further supporting the 100-plus existing events that take place at the sports complex year around.


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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