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WDW Radio Newswire: Change to the Opening Date for Storybook Circus

Plus… Exotic Driving Experience Takes the Checkered Flag, Recap of Marathon Weekend, and more!!

by Don Myers

There’s some Breaking News to report on the upcoming Fantasyland Expansion, so let’s jump right into the latest edition of the WDW Radio Newswire……

Well, it looks as if we’ll have to wait four weeks longer than anticipated to see the unveiling of the new Storybook Circus land, as it has just been announced that the opening of the dueling Dumbo attraction has been changed from Friday February 17th to Monday March 12th. Fantasyland Train Station and the Great Goofini kids coaster were also slated to open up on Feb 17th, so their debut has been delayed until March 12th as well. With the Feb 17th deadline just five weeks away and a great deal of work still left to be done, it was becoming quite obvious that an extension was going to be needed. The additional four weeks give construction crews a total of nine weeks to get Phase I of the Fantasyland Expansion up and operational. Tick Tock…

For more news out of Magic Kingdom, let’s head over to Liberty Square, where the Liberty Square Riverboat is scheduled to close down for a quick refurbishment later this month. The Rivers of America will only be without the Liberty Belle for a few days, as the closure will be from Saturday January 28th until Friday February 3rd. For more Magic Kingdom refurb news, let’s take the bridge over to Adventureland, where The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is scheduled to see some down time starting Thursday March 1st. As with the Liberty Belle, this one isn’t expected to be very lengthy, as the carpets are slated to be back in flight on Sunday March 11th.

Now let’s head over to Epcot Center, where information continues to pour out pertaining to the upcoming VISION House at Innoventions. In last weeks blog (Jan 9th), I said that it was looking like the VISION House was targeting an opening sometime in the month of June. Well, another press release was issued a few days ago stating that the exhibit will be ready sometime in April. This puts the VISION House’s debut a full two months ahead of schedule!

Shifting gears (no pun intended), we now move over to the Walt Disney World Speedway, where the brand-new Exotic Driving Experience officially hit the track on Monday January 16th. This new venture (which was announced back in October) affords Guests with an opportunity to get behind the wheel of some of the fastest automobiles on the planet- with names like Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, and Lamborghini all part of the lineup. The Exotic Driving Experience will share the track with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, which has run at the WDW Speedway since 1997. And as with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, the Exotic Driving Experience will be run by Petty Holdings, LLC. For more info, including details on pricing, call: 1-855-822-0149 or visit: http://www.exoticdriving.com/

Before wrapping things up, let’s take a look back at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The festivities took place from Thursday January 5th through Sunday January 8th, with the Marathon serving as the headline Event on Sunday. But before Sunday’s big race, the Half-Marathon was run on Saturday. Brazil’s Jose De Morais was the first place winner on the men’s side, finishing with a time of [1:10:12]. Mauricio Mendez crossed the line second, with a time of [1:11:03], just 51 seconds behind the winner. Rounding out the top three was Johnathan Lejeune, who finished the race with a time of [1:11:39]. For the women, the first place winner was Ecuador’s Rosa Chacha, who finished the Half-Marathon with a time of [1:16:43]. The next day (Sun Jan 8th) the big race took place, and the Country of Brazil produced the first place winner yet again, as Fredison Costa won the WDW Marathon with a time of [2:19:02]. Costa is now a “back-to-back” Champion, as he was the first place finisher in 2011 as well. Fellow Brazilian Adriano Bastos took home second place honors, finishing a mere 14 seconds behind Costa with a time of [2:19:16]. The United States own Renee High was the women’s winner, finishing the Marathon with a time of [2:48:35]. For a detailed recap of the entire WDW Marathon Weekend, be sure to check out Lou’s latest podcast (Show #257).

Well, that’s gonna do it for today’s update, but I’ll be back again soon with another edition of the WDW Radio Newswire…….


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.