With the storm taking place last week, it was a good chance for us to put together a pretty significant helping of News Nuggets. The theme for this edition: “changes”. We have closings at The Studios (shocking, I know), as well as other various changes and new entertainment offerings. Let’s get to it!
- Lights, Motors, Action! to close on April 2, 2016 – There were rumors about more closures coming to the Studios, and now we have the date for Lights, Motors, Action!’s official closing. The Disney Parks blog post also indicates that “nearby locations will be closing”, but doesn’t specify what those are. On Twitter, WDW News Today suggests those nearby locations include Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Backlot Catering Co., Watto’s Grotto, Youse Guys Merchandise, and the Mnnsters, Inc. meet-and-greet (which would seem to make sense.) The big question though: What is going to happen with MuppetVision?
- Earful Tower to Come Down – The above mentioned change isn’t all that’s coming the Studios. The iconic “Earful Tower” will also be removed as part of construction. I like the quote that Tom Corless uses in his WDW News Today write up: the tower would be “visually intrusive” to those at Toy Story Land, where “guests are shrunken to the size of toy.” (I don’t put a lot of weight into this rumor that the Disney Springs water tower will actually be the Earful Tower.)
- Flights of Wonder at Animal Kingdom to close for refurbishment – A 2 month closure from January 25th until approximately March 17 to add a new roof over the arena. It always stinks to have an attraction down for an extended period, but adding a new roof is probably as good a reason as you can get for why something has to close.
- TradNation to Perform at Epcot’s Canada Pavilion – Huh. This doesn’t sound as “electric” as I thought the new entertainment would be. I wonder if this is only a temporary plan. WDW Magic has a video.
- Kylo Ren Meet-and-Greet Coming to The Studios – This is pretty cool, and not something I expected. I wonder if he’s going to talk.
- “Star Wars Rebels” meet and greet coming to Disney World – Interesting. I wonder if this will be for special events only, or if it will go in the new meet-and-greet area they’re building at The Studios.
- You Can Now Modify Your Disney Dining Reservations – A nice functionality upgrade. I wonder how it impacts the cancellation policy (can I change my reservation to 1 person before cancelling day-of so I’m only charged $10?)
- Big Thunder Railroad to be closed for long refurb over Spring and early Summer. – Woah. April 4 through July 15 is a long time for such a premiere attraction to be closed. I doubt this will impact crowds at the Magic Kingdom, but with Soarin’ already down during that time, it’s a big hit to “iconic” Disney World rides.
- New “Afternoon Tea” offering at the Beach Club’s Crescent Solarium. – This is another new offering that just seems strange to me. At this point it’s not available for online booking, but you can check available dates via Disney Dining phone line.
- Inside Out Meet-and-Greet Rumored to Start at Epcot Next Month – The rumors are just for Joy and Sadness. Personally, I really want to get an Anger meet-and-greet.
- World of Coca-Cola experience under construction at Disney Springs – This isn’t the most exciting addition to Disney Springs, but it seems like it might be a nice touch.
- Seashore Sweets on Disney World’s BoardWalk Scheduled to Close February 1st – I knew that Flying Fish was going under a major refurb, but I hadn’t heard about Seashore Sweets. I’m bummed this place is closing, I have a lot of good memories that involve getting ice cream here and walking around Crescent Lake (and it goes without saying that I really hope it re-opens.)
- Menu Changes at the Nine Dragons in Epcot – A few interesting changes, and the $18 per person prix fixed lunch isn’t a terrible price. It’ll be interesting to see the first round of reviews on this.
- Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter to get Separate General Managers – This is kind of a small-ish news item, but I think it might result in some improvements to French Quarter as a stand-alone resort. Combine this with being so close to always improving Disney Springs, and I think French Quarter is going to be an even more prime location in coming years.
I’ll finish up this post by urging you to check out a new feature that Josh at easyWDW has been doing: daily wait times analysis. It’s a nice “only at easyWDW” feature that it is worth checking out if you’re into that kind of in-depth analysis of crows at Disney World.