By: Don Myers
The calendar has shifted to December and 2013 is rapidly winding down. A few more weeks and it’ll be time to to ring in another New Year. It’s already shaping up to be a busy 2014 for Walt’s beloved Florida Project, as openings, closures, and refurbishments are being announced at a torrid pace for the upcoming year, so let’s get to it. Time for the latest edition of the WDW Radio Newswire…..
We begin this edition of the Newswire inside Magic Kingdom® Park, where a plethora of attraction and restaurant refurbishments were recently added to the schedule for early 2014. Let’s start with the attraction refurbs. Our first closure takes us into the Land of Tomorrow, where the TTA PeopleMover will be seeing some downtime from Monday, February 10th until Friday, March 28th. Our next attraction closure is a minor one, as The Barnstormer will be on a mini hiatus from Monday, February 3rd through Wednesday, February 5th. For our third attraction closure we follow the hub over to Liberty Square, where the Liberty Square Riverboat will be docked for repairs from Tuesday, January 21st until Friday, January 31st.
There was also a pair of restaurants recently added to the refurb schedule at Magic Kingdom. Our first closure can be found on Main Street USA, as The Plaza Restaurant will be out of action from Monday, February 17th to Saturday, March 15th. Fantasyland® is the site of our second restaurant refurb, as Pinocchio’s Village Haus is also scheduled to close up shop on Monday, February 17th. The refurb at the Village Haus will run a couple weeks longer than that of the Plaza, as Pinocchio and friends won’t be back in business until Monday, March 31st.
Time to board the Monorail and venture over to Epcot® now, as last week saw the kickoff of the 2013 edition of the Candlelight Processional. Actor Gary Sinise got the festivities underway on Friday, November 28th, serving as Guest Narrator for the duration of the weekend. The event will play at America Gardens Theatre through Monday, December 30th, with big names such as Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, and Sigourney Weaver still to come on the Guest Narrator list.
For more news out of Epcot® let’s now head over to the Morocco Pavilion for an update on the construction of World Showcase’s newest dining location: Spice Road Table. It has been confirmed that the restaurant will be open by the end of the year, and when it does it will add nearly 200 seats to the Epcot dining landscape. The 120-seat outdoor terrace will be nestled along the shores of World Showcase Lagoon, and the interior of the restaurant will provide additional booth seating for another 60 guests. The layout for Spice Road Table is based on the traditional outdoor cafes that dot the shorelines of the Mediterranean, and the décor is inspired by Morocco’s indigenous Berber tribes. There’s even going to be a henna tattoo artist on hand offering up temporary body art to willing guests!
Time to park-hop over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom® now for some news on Festival of the Lion King. Construction of a new show building has been ongoing for some time now over in Africa, and we now have official confirmation on the date for the show’s final performance in Camp Minnie-Mickey. Festival of the Lion King will go on hiatus after park close on Sunday, January 5th, with a re-launch of the show scheduled to take place in its new home in Africa in Summer 2014.
Well, that’s gonna do it for today’s update. But before we call it a wrap, let’s take a look at the results of our last poll.
The question was: What is your favorite quick service dining spot at Magic Kingdom® Park?
. Casey’s Corner
. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
. Pinocchio’s Village Haus
. Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café
. Gaston’s Tavern
. Tomorrowland® Terrace
. Columbia Harbour House
. Diamond Horseshoe
. Be Our Guest Restaurant (Lunch)
And the winner is…..
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café with 23% of the votes! Sonny Eclipse narrowly edged out counter service lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant, as Fantasyland®’s newest dining spot nabbed second place honors with 22% of the votes. Columbia Harbour House rounded out the Top 3 with 20%, and Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café finished in fourth with 18%. This was one of our closest polls to date, as a mere THREE votes separated First Place from Fourth!
Okay, now onto this week’s question:
(All Images Copyright Disney)
Don Myers covers news and recent events in Walt Disney World. He has been enamored with the World of Disney since his first trip to WDW in 1986. As they say, the rest is history! Don also has been a contributing writer for Celebrations magazine since 2009.