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WDW Radio Newswire: Brand New Character Meet and Greet Coming to Animal Kingdom’s Discovery Island

Plus…News on Upcoming Refurb for the Country Bear Jamboree,

Tentative Opening Date For Princess Fairytale Hall,

and more!

by Don Myers

The calender has turned to June. The BBQ’s fired up, the tiki torches are lit, and the “Summer Season” is in full swing! So let’s add a little Disney magic to the poolside fun with another edition of the WDW Radio Newswire…..

We start today’s Newswire with some info out of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It seems as if Discovery Island will be the future home to a brand new meet and greet experience, as Disney recently announced plans to transform the store Beastly Bazaar into an indoor “Character Spot” for Animal Kingdom. The store will be closing on Sunday August 12th, however no official opening date has been given for the meet and greet, as Disney has simply stated “Fall 2012” for the debut. This new character spot is exactly what Animal Kingdom needed, as the Park has seen several “character casualties” since last Fall, including Pocahontas, Jiminy Cricket, Meeko, Lilo, Stitch, Flik, Terk, Timon, Thumper, Miss Bunny, and even Daisy Duck. There’s no word yet on who will be appearing at the new location, but hopefully some of these Characters (as well as a few new ones!) will be included in the line-up.

For more meet and greet news, let’s Park-Hop from Animal Kingdom over to Magic Kingdom, where Disney has made an official announcement pertaining to the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall. A time-frame of “Late 2013” has been given for the new meet and greet experience, which will be taking up residence in the area formerly occupied by Snow White’s Scary Adventures. Princess Fairytale Hall will be rounding out the Final Phase of the Fantasyland Expansion, along with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coaster, which is scheduled to make its debut sometime in 2014.

Let’s stay in Magic Kingdom, and travel from Fantasyland over to Frontierland. It looks as if the residents of Grizzly Hall will be going on a little vacation this Summer, as the Country Bear Jamboree will be closing down for refurb on Wednesday August 22nd. But fans of the singing bears fear not; as Henry, Wendel, Liverlips, Big Al, and the rest of the gang will be back in action on Thursday October 18th. If this estimate stays on track, then this will put the attraction’s downtime at just under two months.

While we’re in Frontierland, let’s quickly make our way over to Liberty Square, where there is some news to report on the Liberty Square Riverboat, aka the Liberty Belle. The Riverboat will be seeing a little downtime this Summer as well, however this refurb is only scheduled to last for a week. The closure is slated to begin on Saturday August 4th, and if all goes according to plan, the Liberty Belle will resume its cruise along the Rivers of America on Saturday August 11th.

For our final bit of news, let’s move out of the Parks and head over to WDW’s newest Resort: Art of Animation. In just about one week’s time, Art of Animation will celebrate the debut of its second (of four) themed areas. Fasten your seatbelts, because the Cars Section is set to officially “start its engines” on Monday June 18th. Also opening on that date is the Cozy Cone Pool, which is located between the area’s two Guest Buildings.

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.