Plus…. Writer’s Stop set to remain open beyond April 2nd, Dinner Hours extended at ‘Ohana, and more!
We begin the April Edition of the WDW Radio Newswire with some exciting news out of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was just announced that Muppets Courtyard will be a part of the new landscape at the park! Muppets Courtyard will be comprised of the area surrounding MuppetVision 3-D, including Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and the currently closed Pizza Planet. Mama Melrose’s is slated to keep it’s theme intact, but it’s now likely we’ll see a conversion of Pizza Planet into a Muppet’s-themed restaurant! Since its closure in January, all of the Toy Story-related props and signage have been removed from the building, with all indications now pointing to a Muppets inspired quick-service pizza restaurant opening up in the area formerly occupied by Pizza Planet. If current plans stay on track, expect the location to be open for business late this fall, most likely sometime in November.
For more news out of DHS, let’s venture over to the nearby Writer’s Stop. Fans were saddened to hear of the scheduled closure of the Writer’s Stop on Saturday, April 2nd, along with several other areas on the Streets of America, including the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, the Monsters, Inc. Meet and Greet, the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Playground, Watto’s Grotto, High Octane Refreshments, and the Studio Catering Co. Well, April 2nd came and went, and all of the aforementioned places closed up shop…except for… The Writer’s Stop! That’s right, fans of the beloved sweet spot will rejoice with news that the Writer’s Stop will remain open beyond its scheduled closure date. The full menu of mouth-watering baked goods, specialty drinks and coffee will still be available, including the beloved Carrot Cake Cookie. Also in the mix is a whole new assortment of kitchen and home-inspired merchandise offerings. Operating hours for the Writer’s Stop will run from 11:30am until one hour prior to the closing of the neighboring Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.
There’s one more newsbit to address at DHS. For this one, let’s head over to Hollywood & Vine, where a brand new Character Dining experience has hit the scene. Minnie’s Springtime Dine at Hollywood & Vine is available for limited bookings now through Monday, June 5th. The dinner buffet features an interesting twist on some classic picnic food staples, featuring delicious items like BBQ meatballs, herb-roasted pork, and buffalo baked chicken. You’ll also find lobster and shrimp mac n’ cheese, as well as tempting desserts like key lime tarts, passion fruit cheesecake, and banana cream puffs. As for the character lineup, Minnie is accompanied by Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy, as all five are decked out in their finest springtime apparel. Prices are set at $46.99 (plus tax and gratuity) for adults, and $27.99 (plus tax and gratuity) for kids ages 3 to 9. For a few dollars more per person, you can book the meal along with priority seating for Fantasmic!
Time to park-hop over to Magic Kingdom Park now. Our first stop is the Walt Disney World Railroad. The railways are scheduled to close for a brief period later this month to address some minor track repairs. The refurb is set to begin Monday, April 11th, with work set to wrap up on Friday, April 22nd.
Time to venture over to the Main Street U.S.A. Flag Pole for some news on the character Meet and Greet front. Guests can now pose for photos and get autographs from Stitch at the Town Square Flag Pole. The location had previously been occupied by Marie from The Aristocats.
For more Character Meet and Greet news, let’s hop over to Epcot now. The Character Spot is set to add Sadness and Joy to the Meet and Greet lineup. The Inside Out Characters are slated to debut early this month in the Western Breezeway area formerly occupied by Innoventions West.
Time to make our way over to World Showcase now for some news on the Norway pavilion. The Stave Church is scheduled to close for refurbishment on Monday, April 18th, with doors set to re-open Saturday, May 28th. Work is progressing rapidly on both the Frozen Ever After attraction and the Frozen Royal Sommerhus Meet and Greet, so many are also pointing to May 28th as a possible target date for the complete re-opening of the entire Norway pavilion. This part of the equation has yet to be officially confirmed, however, so don’t start planning any late-May trips to Arendelle just yet.
Our final bit of news today takes us out of the parks and over to the tranquil south sea shores of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The dinner hours have recently been extended for the Polynesian‘s signature restaurant: ‘Ohana. Dinner hours now begin at 3:30pm, with seatings available until 10pm. Dinner hours previously ran from 5pm to 10pm. The extension to the dinner hours comes on the heels of February’s extension to the hours for ‘Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast.
Well, that’s gonna do it for the April 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!
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.