/ Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Latest rumors indicate that the Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain will get a major refurbishment including overhaul and possible replacement of some or all of the track (although the layout will remain the same), new load area, new on-ride effects, darkened on-ride environment, and new trains which include single passenger seating and new audio systems. Now here’s the bad news – the refurbishment is rumored to begin in January 2009 and last anywhere form 10-11 months.

Over in Frontierland, the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon will allegedly open for lunch on select days beginning in the next few days. As previously done, the Diamond Horseshoe will once again offer a lunch serving of assorted sandwiches and snacks, today, May 25th, as well as the 27th, and 30th from 11:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. Unsure if this will continue throughout the summer to help with park crowds.

At Epcot, I have been told that all references to Nestle as sponsor of The Land pavilion have been removed. This, coupled with the recent closure of the Junior Chef Program, appear to confirm that Nestle has ceased sponsorship of the pavilion, although no formal confirmation from either Disney or Nestle has been released.

Number of listeners have let me know that the Fuel for Thought post-show exhibit at Test Track has closed for a seemingly unscheduled refurbishment or possible replacement. It is currently unclear whether it will reopen as Fuel for Thought or a new exhibit altogether.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Soundstage 1, the former home of the Sorcerer Mickey meet and greet, now has a new marquee that reads “soundstage 1 – hot set – We are preparing for a new production”. While I did see some workers coming out of the building during my visit a couple of weeks ago, the windows are still blacked out, leaving us all to wonder just what’s coming next.

Looks like the new c-shaped tower being built at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, originally referred to as the Kingdom Tower may be getting a new name, even before it opens. It appears to be referred to as the “Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort” in construction permits recently filed. Speaking of construction, the bridge between the current tower and the new building is almost complete and will link the fifth floor of the Bay Lake Tower with the fourth floor of the Contemporary. Why the different floors? This is likely due to the Contemporary’s Grand Canyon Concourse and lower level ballrooms taking up additional height. Also, access to it will be controlled by key-card locks. Disney has not yet formally announced what the name of the building will be, or whether it will be for resort Guests or a DVC property (although I’m betting on the latter).

Other little rumors I’ve heard include plans to bring Oswald merchandise into the Art of Disney, and I’ll just tease you with the possibility of an all-new dining location coming to the parks, as well as a new party included as part of your admission coming to one of the parks as well.

If you have any rumors to report, email Lou here or leave a voicemail at the WDW Radio Show voicemail box: 206-202-4WDW (4939).