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WDW Radio Newswire: Soarin’ Grounded For First Half Of 2016


Plus…. Skipper Canteen nears opening date, Menu changes for Pecos Bill’s and Tortuga Tavern, and more!
It’s that time of year again. A time when hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange noises echo through the halls. It’s Halloween time once again, not just at Gracie Manor, but all throughout the land. So whether it’s tricks or treats, costumes, candy, masks, or make-up, I hope everyone has a delightfully ghoulish All Hallows’ Eve! Now, it’s time to summon the spirit of the October edition of the WDW Radio Newswire….

We begin this edition of the Newswire with some breaking news out of Epcot. For this one, let’s venture through Future World‘s western breezeway and make our way into The Land pavilion. Soarin’ is officially set for a lengthy closure just after New Year’s. The attraction will be closed beginning Monday, January 4, 2016, with a tentative re-opening date scheduled for Summer 2016. An exact opening date hasn’t been announced yet, but I’d expect the attraction to be back up and operational in early summer as opposed to late summer. Soarin’ is by far one of, if not the biggest attraction draw in all of Epcot, so the quicker it’s back in action the better. The closure comes as no surprise however, as construction is already underway on the addition of a third theater for Soarin’. Once the other two theaters close in January, they’ll both receive audio and projector upgrades to match that of the new theater. The attraction will also open with a brand new film: Soarin’ Around the World. The new film will feature sights from globe-trotting destinations like the pyramids of Egypt, China’s Great Wall, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, just to name a few. Just like its counterparts, the third theatre will generate 87 Guests per trip. This addition should help alleviate some of the excessive wait times for the popular attraction.

adventureland - disneyTime to board the Monorail and venture over to Magic Kingdom Park now for an update on the Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen restaurant currently under construction in Adventureland. The new table service dining experience based off the nearby Jungle Cruise attraction will take up the space formerly occupied by the Adventureland Veranda. Work has been ongoing at the site since mid-July. No official opening date has been announced, however it has been confirmed the restaurant will be open for business by the end of this calendar year. The restaurant shares a kitchen with the Liberty Tree Tavern, which has been closed itself since Monday, July 6th to upgrade the aforementioned kitchen. The Tavern is set to re-open on Thursday, November 19, so look for Skipper Canteen to follow suit shortly thereafter.

For more news on the Magic Kingdom dining front, let’s make our way over to Frontierland, where Pecos Bill’s has just seen a major change to its menu. The burgers, chicken, and french fries are long gone. In their place, you’ll find an all new menu featuring a southwest flare. Burritos, rice bowls, and fajita platters highlight the new menu at Pecos Bill’s. You’ll also find southwest salads and chicken enchilada soup amongst the offerings as well. Entree items are priced between $9.99 and $14.49, with the most expensive items being the fajita platters. But, the biggest highlight to the menu isn’t a food item, as you can now obtain your very own Country Bears Themed Jug filled with your favorite fountain beverage!

The menu change at Pecos Bill’s has also sparked a change in the menu offerings at Adventureland’s Tortuga Tavern. The “open seasonally” quick-service spot used to feature a menu similar to that of the new one at Pecos Bill’s. So Tortuga Tavern completely transformed its menu, with feature items now including pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ chicken sandwiches, BBQ beef brisket sandwiches, as well as a variety of roasted corn and vegetable salads. Entree items are priced between $7.99 and $11.99.

Time to park-hop over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios now, as an all new character Meet & Greet has just opened up in Animation Courtyard. Guests can now meet Minnie Mouse amidst a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed backdrop. The Meet & Greet can be found right next to Disney Junior: Live on Stage.

For more news out of DHS, let’s head over to Sunset Boulevard, as two quick-service dining spots have just shuttered for refurbishment. Both Catalina Eddie’s and Rosie’s All-American Cafe closed up shop on Sunday, October 11. A re-opening date of Friday, November 20, has been slated for both establishments, just in time for the start of the busy Thanksgiving period.

Well, that’s gonna do it for the October 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 ©Disney)
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.