/ Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

As heard on The WDW Radio Show, episode #77, July 27, 2008

After months of rumors, a date appears to have been set for the start of the IllumiNations Earth Globe refurbishment. It is believed that it is currently scheduled to begin August 13, 2008 and end in late September to mid October. During the refurbishment, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is currently scheduled to be shown, with alternative show elements replacing the Earth Globe float. Not officially confirmed by Disney as yet, so still reporting this as a rumor.

If you’ve heard my Adventureland Audio Guide you’ve heard me speak quite fondly about the Adventureland Veranda restaurant. Well, I’m being told that The Adventureland Veranda has re-opened AND is serving food after years of being closed. While not the original menu, or even a full-blown restaurant, the location is now serving a variety of beverages, cold sandwiches, and fruit daily through August 2, to accommodate the heavy summer crowds. I think a research trip may be in order – if anyone has photos, please share.

Another rumor pertains to the conversion of the “Disney Pals” room into a “Disney Fairies” room in the Toontown Hall of Fame. The Walt Disney World resort has officially announced auditions to be held July 23, 2008 to be “friends” of the Disney Fairies, leading to speculation that a new meet and greet may in fact take place, even before the speculated opening of the new room in early 2009.

A number of listeners have emailed me recently about a Disney Vacation Club survey they received in the mail, asking about travel destinations in the United States such as Lake Tahoe, Hawaii, NYC, Las Vegas, as well as Cabo San Lucas and St. Thomas. One listener said “The survey asked about thoughts on three possible future DVC destinations and if I would be interested in staying there. [It] sounded more like an interest survey for the descriptions as opposed to the locations.”

Here are the descriptions they gave:

“Disney’s Las Vegas Resort: If Disney decided to build this resort, it would be located 30 minutes away from the Las Vegas strip. Disney’s Las Vegas Resort would offer both easy access to the excitement of Las Vegas, plus an escape to the activities and relaxation of a desert-oasis resort.  Golf, rock climbing, hiking, biking, and scenic desert tour opportunities would abound.  There would be no casino in this resort…just Disney-inspired vacation fun.

Disney’s Los Cabos Resort, Mexico: If Disney decided to build this resort, it would sit on a secluded sandy beach at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Disney’s Los Cabos Resort would offer all the best of a relaxing Mexican ocean-side vacation getaway. You could recline on the beach; involve yourself in activities like golf, scuba, sailing, or sport fishing; or head into nearby towns of Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo for shopping or dining adventures.

Disney’s Lake Tahoe Resort: If Disney decided to build this resort, it would be surrounded by mountains on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Disney’s Lake Tahoe Resort would provide year-round opportunity for outdoor vacation fun and relaxation: ski season would offer ski-in, ski-out access to a major local ski resort and other snow-themed pursuits, while warmer seasons would provide access to the lake and its abundance of hiking, biking, and water activities.”

I currently have a poll on the DisneyWorldTrivia.com home page asking “If Disney was to build a non-theme park resort somewhere else, where would you like it to be?” Head on over to cast your vote for your favorite possible destination.

In the wishful thinking department, there are rumors of new technology being implemented in the Walt Disney World theme parks, after Disneyland Resort Paris recently introduced a new service for guests, allowing them to receive free information to their mobile phones via Bluetooth during their time in the Walt Disney Studios Park. Using the service, guests with Bluetooth technology on their phones will be able to find out information such as wait times for rides or show times, etc. Four Bluetooth terminals have been located in the Walt Disney Studios Park and when a guest walks past one, they will receive an alarm that reminds them that they can receive information via Bluetooth. They can then accept or refuse to receive the free content delivered in the reception area, approximately 20m around the terminals. This something that US guests would likely enjoy as well, especially based on feedback, and the successful tests of the Nintendo DS devices. Rumors of an official iPhone application for the theme parks has also been heard as well, although no details are available at this time.

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