Plus…. Finding Dory Characters coming soon to Turtle Talk with Crush, Update on track expansion at Toy Story Midway Mania!, and more!
We begin the March edition of the WDW Radio Newswire at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where an opening date for Rivers of Light has just been announced. The new nighttime spectacle is set to make its debut on Friday, April 22nd, which by no coincidence just happens to be Earth Day. Rivers of Light will use a combination of choreographed dancers and performers, vibrant lighting displays, floating water lanterns, and other special effects to depict and celebrate the spirit of the animals. The soundtrack will be composed by Don L. Harper (Speed, Twister, Armageddon, National Treasure, and Fantasmic!), and Mark Mancina (The Lion King and Tarzan) will be creating an original song. Work has been ongoing along the Discovery River since September 2014 for Rivers of Light. Expectations are quite high, as the nighttime experience will be the first of its kind for the park.
Time to park-hop over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios now. For this bit of news, let’s venture over to Toy Story Midway Mania! for an update on the ride track expansion. Construction on a third track for the attraction is rapidly progressing, with plans now pointing to a completion date of “Summer 2016.” As part of the expansion project, the attraction will see a one-day closure on Tuesday, March 15th. As of now, this is the only scheduled closure for the attraction from now until the third track opens this summer.
Time to hop over to Magic Kingdom Park now for a pair of newsbits. Let’s first venture to Liberty Square, where The Diamond Horseshoe is set to re-open its doors for the upcoming Spring Break season. The restaurant will be back on the MK dining scene on Saturday, March 13th, and will feature a table service style lunch and dinner at a fixed price of $33 (plus tax) for adults and $19 (plus tax) for kids 3-9. The meal begins with a hearty Frontier Salad comprised of roasted corn, corn bread crotons, and fresh house made chipotle-ranch dressing. Entrée choices include tasty favorites like BBQ pulled turkey, spit-roasted ham, or stewed beef, and dessert features your pick of either a campfire brownie or apple tart. Lunch hours begin at 11:30am, with dinner served most nights until 9pm or later, depending on park closing.
Time to mosey on over to Frontierland now, as there’s an update to report on the refurbishment date for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The attraction was originally slated for a near four-month closure from Monday, April 4th to Friday, July 15th. However the refurb date has been pushed back a few months, as the closure is now set to run from Monday, August 8th to Friday, November 18th.
Time to board the Monorail and make our way over to Epcot now. For our final bit of news today, let’s make our way over to The Living Seas pavilion, as there are some brand new character elements on tap for Turtle Talk with Crush. The popular Finding Nemo franchise is set to return to the big screen this summer, as Finding Dory hits theaters everywhere on Friday, June 17th. To tie-in with the movie, several new characters will be incorporated into Turtle Talk this summer. Joining Crush and Dory in the big blue will be the trio of Destiny the whale shark, Bailey the beluga whale, and a “septopus” named Hank. In addition to these new characters, several more familiar fins will be making their first-ever Turtle Talk appearances: Nemo, Marlin, and Crush’s favorite little dude, Squirt.
Well, that’s gonna do it for the March edition of the WDW Radio Newswire, but I’ll be back again next month with lots more news, notes, and happenings from Walt’s beloved Florida Project!
Don Myers has covered news and recent events in Walt Disney World for the WDW Radio Blog since 2011. 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 was also a contributing writer for Celebrations magazine, submitting over 30 articles and 7 cover stories for the publication from 2009 to 2012.