Plus…. Date set for final performance of IllumiNations, TRON Coaster construction goes vertical in Tomorrowland, and more!

Let’s kickoff the May 2019 Edition of the WDW Radio Newswire with some exciting news out of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney has recently confirmed a new table service restaurant will be coming soon to Toy Story Land: The Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant. As with the rest of the land, the Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant will put Guests right in the middle of a fun toy playset environment. The menu is yet to be announced, but given the name I’d expect chicken, ribs, and possibly pulled pork and brisket to be at the forefront. Original plans for Toy Story Land called for a table service restaurant, so it’s nice to see the plans finally come to fruition. Original concept art also showed an Al’s Toy Barn merchandise location…fingers crossed we’ll get that addition someday soon as well! 

For more news on the dining front, let’s venture over to Epcot now. World Showcase will be seeing the addition of a new signature restaurant soon, as Takumi-Tei is set to join the dining landscape at the Japan Pavilion. Takumi-Tei (which translates to House of the Artisan) is scheduled to open up for business later this Summer, with a multi-course tasting menu and traditional Japanese tea service to satisfy your palate. 

Epcot Forever Concept Art copyright Disney

There’s more news to report out of Epcot, as the date is set for the final performance of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Mark your calendars, as Monday, September 30 will be the swan song for the beloved nighttime spectacular. The following night, October 1, a new show will make its debut: Epcot Forever. Paying homage to the early history of the park, Epcot Forever will include a musical soundtrack of Epcot Center classics like One Little Spark, Magic Journeys, It’s Fun to be Free, and other beloved songs from the park’s infancy. Plans call for kite flying jet skis zipping around World Showcase Lagoon, and fireworks, lighting effects and lasers will all be in the mix as well. Epcot Forever will be a limited engagement, as a yet-to-be-named permanent nighttime spectacular will be nestling into World Showcase Lagoon in 2020. 

Time to park-hop over to Magic Kingdom Park now for a pair of newsbits. Let’s follow the hub over to Tomorrowland, as the Tomorrowland Speedway has just reopened after a lengthy refurbishment. The closure saw the track rerouted to allow ample space for the TRON Coaster currently under construction nearby. The Speedway also received a fresh coat of paint and some new landscaping during the downtime as well. The track rerouting is minor, as parkgoers will notice little to no difference in the attraction experience. 

There’s more news to report out of Tomorrowland, as construction at the site of the TRON Coaster has finally gone vertical. Work on the track installation has officially begun, as dozens of steel supports have started to rise up across the Tomorrowland skyline. This is a big step forward, but we’re still about two years away from the attraction’s estimated 2021 completion. 

Our final bit of news today comes from the Disney Skyliner. Until recently, the gondolas have been covered in protective wrap, preventing us from seeing their designs as they undergo the test runs. The protective wraps have been removed from all the gondolas along the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Line, and we can now catch a glimpse of the colorful designs and characters represented. From classic Disney cartoon and film characters to Pixar and Star Wars heros, you’ll find all your beloved characters on the various gondolas. Testing continues along the Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Caribbean Beach and Art of Animation Resort Loops, and testing has also officially commenced along the Epcot Line. The gondolas along the Epcot Line still have their protective wrap, but I’d expect the gondolas will shed them in the coming days/weeks. The timetable for the opening of Disney Skyliner is still firmly on track, as plans have the system operational by “Fall 2019.”

Well, that’s gonna do it for the May 2019 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!

Images copyright Disney

To learn more about Don and read his recent posts for the WDW Radio Blog, visit his author page by clicking the link on his name at the top of this post.

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