Plus…College Hoops ready to invade ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex once again, Update on Kilimanjaro Safaris, and more!
by Don Myers
The witching hour has finally passed, as Halloween is now in the rear view mirror. That means it’s full steam ahead into the Holiday Season…time to start thinking about turkeys and trees! And if it’s the Holiday Season, you know the parks and resorts are overflowing with a plethora of newsbits to report. So let’s waste no further time and dive right in to the latest edition of the WDW Radio Newswire…….
We begin this edition of the Newswire inside Magic Kingdom, or more specifically, Adventureland. It’s here where one of the park’s most beloved attractions, Pirates of the Caribbean, recently saw a few minor additions introduced into the show sequence. Playing off elements from the franchise’s fourth film: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the attraction now features several mermaid references. There is now a skeleton of a mermaid washed up on the beach, and the water ripples and splashes in various places, insinuating there are playful mermaids swimming about. But your sight isn’t the only sense stimulated, as you can also hear the ominous sounds of a singing mermaid. But don’t get confused…this is definitely not Ariel! One final element was also introduced, and this one plays off a similar feature that was previously brought to the attraction back in 2006. Projectors are now in place to give off the effect that there are actually mermaids swimming around the boats! This use of projectors first debuted in the summer of 2006 when the image of Davy Jones first appeared in the mist. It was revised again in 2011 when Captain Blackbeard’s image was brought in as a replacement. When you combine all the new features together, you really get some pretty clever visual effects at the attraction. In addition, no major elements of the classic show were compromised with these introductions. So really, you get a “win-win” situation here as far as I’m concerned. What do you think about it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section!
Time to park hop over to Animal Kingdom now, where there’s some news to report on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Back in the February 21st edition of the Newswire, I reported that the area containing the attraction’s finale scene was being completely revamped, and would thus result in the removal of Little Red. Well, the baby Audio-Animatronic elephant was indeed removed from the area in the spring, and the section of savanna has undergone quite a transformation. The modifications to the savanna were recently completed, and the new occupants have finally moved in, as the area is now home to a group of plains zebras.
Let’s stop by the water parks now for some news on Typhoon Lagoon. Last week the lagoon closed up shop for a lengthy refurbishment. However this is nothing new for Typhoon Lagoon, as the park always sees a period of downtime at this time of year. The park is slated for a January 6th re-opening, which will put its total closure time at just over two months. And for those of you who may be wondering, when Typhoon Lagoon opens back up on Sunday January 6th, WDW’s other water park, Blizzard Beach, will be closing down for its annual refurb.
Our final stop on today’s adventure takes us to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It’s that time of year again. Time for NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball to invade the HP Field House for the Old Spice Classic. The 2012 edition of the 8-team tournament will take place over Thanksgiving weekend, beginning Thursday November 22nd and concluding on Sunday November 25th. This will be the 7th edition of the Old Spice Classic, an event that has called WDW Resort its home from the beginning. High profile conferences have been featured in years past, and 2012 will be no exception. This years field boasts its share of heavy hitters from some of the nation’s top conferences, including the SEC, ACC, and Big XII. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) will hold the distinction of being the tournament’s sponsoring conference, an honor it’s held since the Old Spice Classic’s inception back in 2006. The MAAC’s representative for this years tourney will be the Marist Red Foxes. They’ll be joined by two preseason Top 25 teams, the #19 Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC) and #22 Vanderbilt Commodores (SEC). The other five teams rounding out the tourney this year will be the Clemson Tigers (ACC), Oklahoma Sooners (Big XII), West Virginia Mountaineers (Big XII), U-TEP Miners (Conference USA), and Davidson Wildcats (Southern Conference). Twelve games will be played over the course of the weekend, with the action set to tipoff Thanksgiving Day at noon with Marist vs. West Virginia. Vanderbilt and Davidson will hit the hardwood next, as their matchup is set to begin at 230pm. An intermission for dinner will follow, then Oklahoma and U-TEP will get the evening session going at 7pm. The final first round matchup will tip at 930pm, as Clemson will battle it out with Gonzaga for a coveted spot in the semifinals. All four of the first round games can be seen on espn2, and the rest of the tourney can be found on either espn, espn2, espn3, espnU, or WatchESPN. For more info on the 2012 Old Spice Classic, visit here.
Well, that’s gonna do it for today’s update. But before we call it a wrap, let’s take a look back at the results of our previous poll. The question was:
Who is your favorite Disney Villain?
. Captain Hook
. Wicked Queen (Snow White)
. Cruela de Vil
. The Big Bad Wolf
. The Headless Horseman
. Lady Tremaine
. Dr. Facilier
. Shere Khan
. Prince John
And the winner is…..
Ladies and Gentleman…we have our first-ever TIE, as Captain James T. Hook and Maleficent both finished in a dead heat atop the poll with 25% of the total vote! 2nd place was also a tie between Gaston, Jafar, and the Wicked Queen from Snow White, as they each garnered 7% of the votes. 3rd place saw yet another tie between Ursula and Dr. Facilier, as they both captured 5% of the total vote. This was a very fun and exciting poll question, and the results reflect that, as we saw the biggest voter turnout to date with this one! We even had write-ins for Scar and Zurg! Naturally, I wanted to include each and every Villain in the poll. But unfortunately, it had to be limited to fifteen choices. I hope everyone was satisfied with the Villains I chose, and I want to thank all of you for taking the time to vote! Okay, on to this week’s question: