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WDW Radio Newswire: Journey of The Little Mermaid and Fantasyland Expansion Poll

Plus…News on the Studio Backlot Tour, Phineas & Ferb at Downtown Disney, and more!

by Don Myers

We have a very special edition of the Newswire on tap, as today we’ll be exploring all four Parks, as well as Downtown Disney! There’s a lot to get to, so let’s dive right in to the latest edition of the WDW Radio Newswire…….

Let’s kickoff this edition of the Newswire inside Magic Kingdom, where earlier this week Disney gave us our first glimpse inside the soon-to-be open Fantasyland attraction: Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid. The photos show off some of the brand-new state of the art Audio-Anamatronics featured inside the attraction, including a familiar scene from the movie in which Prince Eric and Ariel are about to share their first kiss. If you’ve seen the film, then you know how the scene turns out. But now for the first time ever, we will be able to watch this scene, as well as many other classic scenes from the film develop right before our eyes inside Magic Kingdom! The release of these photos doesn’t change the dates for the Soft Opening (Nov 19th) or the Grand Opening (Dec 6th) for the next Phase, but it does solidify the fact that the Mermaid attraction is indeed on track to be open in just ten weeks’ time. For a look at additional photos, head to the official Disney Parks Blog.

Okay, time for more news on the Fantasyland Expansion. This one is a follow-up to the headlining topic from the last edition of the Newswire on September 4th. In the article, I mentioned that the first group of individuals had gotten to experience a special viewing of Enchanted Tales with Belle. I explained that these individuals were Cast Members, Imagineers, special guests, V.I.P’s, ect. Finally, I summed it all up by saying that the attraction was now a finished product eleven weeks ahead of the Soft Opening date of November 19th, so one would speculate that it’s only a matter of time before the general public gets its first look inside the walls of Beast’s Castle. WELL…..a few days ago, Guests were given the opportunity to experience Enchanted Tales with Belle following the conclusion of their viewing of Philharmagic! So this just solidifies what I was speculating last week, and it also means that we could be a matter of days away from special previews of the aforementioned Little Mermaid attraction!

Time to board the Monorail and venture over to EPCOT now, where there is news on a new meet and greet coming to World Showcase. It looks as if the France pavilion is about to become the site of a new permanent Character location, as construction walls have recently sprung up along the right-hand side of the pavilion. There is no official word yet as to which Characters will be appearing at this new location, but Princess Aurora, Belle, Beast, and Marie from The Aristocats have all been regulars around the France pavilion for quite some time now. So it’s safe to assume that all or some of these characters will be calling this permanent meet and greet structure their new home.

Let’s Park Hop over to Animal Kingdom now, where there is a small newsbit to report over at Kali River Rapids. The Park will soon be affording Guests with the luxury of a free locker rental to keep their belongs dry while riding the rapids! That’s right, you will soon be able to secure any items you don’t want getting soaked, and it’s absolutely free. The lockers can be found right next to the main entrance for the attraction, and rentals will only be valid for a two hour period as opposed to the all day rentals currently offered for a fee. And if you’re wondering, the all day rentals (located near the Park’s front entrance) will still be available for purchase despite the presence of these new Kali lockers. So if you’d rather go that route, you will still be able to do so.

Time to hit up our fourth Park of the day now, as we head over to Hollywood Studios for a pair of news items. First up is the Studio Backlot Tour, which will be closing up for refurbishment on Monday October 8th. The attraction is scheduled to re-open on Saturday November 17th, which will put the total downtime at just under six weeks. Our second Studios newsbit comes from the nearby Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure. This is follow-up from the Sept 4th edition of the Newswire, in which I said that the playground will be closed from Monday September 10th until Saturday September 15th. Well, it looks as if the attraction will be seeing yet another closure, as it was recently announced that the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure will also be closed from Monday October 8th through Friday November 16th. This will be the second scheduled closure at the playground in as many months, and will perfectly coincide with the refurb time of the nearby Studio Backlot Tour.

For our final bit of news today, we head out the Parks and make our way over to Downtown Disney. An all-new interactive experience has just opened up on the Westside entitled: Phineas and Ferb and YOU- A Brand New Reality! Located next to Bongos Cuban Cafe and open daily from 2pm until 930pm, this new interactive experience puts you onscreen and right in the mix with all of your favorite characters from the show. In addition to Phineas and Ferb, you’ll also encounter and interact with the likes of Agent P and Dr. Doof as well. And here’s the best part…the whole experience is absolutely free, and you even get a digital photo as a keepsake! But you better hurry, as this is only a limited time engagement. Phineas and Ferb and YOU will only be in operation until Saturday December 1st, so be sure to head over to the Westside before it’s gone.

Well, that’s gonna do it for today’s update. But before we call it a wrap, let’s take a look back at our last poll question and see who came out victorious. The question was:

Which Crescent Lake Resort is your favorite?

. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

. Disney’s Beach Club Resort & Villas

. Walt Disney World Swan

. Walt Disney World Dolphin

. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas

And the winner is…..

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas with 39% of the total vote! This was pretty close battle, as BoardWalk narrowly edged out Disney’s Beach Club Resort & Villas, which finished second with 32% of the total vote. A big thank you once again to everyone that took the time to vote, and now on to this week’s poll question:

[poll id=”72″]