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WDW Radio Newswire: Pandora – The World of AVATAR Readies For “Summer 2017” Opening


Plus…. Cast Member previews for Rivers of Light, alcohol now available at select restaurants at Magic Kingdom Park, and more!

pandora-the-world-of-avatar-disneyWe begin the December Edition of the WDW Radio Newswire with some exciting news out of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Last month, Disney officially confirmed Pandora – The World of AVATAR will be opening this Summer! The land will bring two new attractions to the park. Na’vi River Journey will be a slow boat ride through the bioluminescent forests of Pandora, complete with stunningly life-like Audio-Animatronic figures. The second attraction is a flight-simulator style ride, as Guests will soar high above the canopies of Pandora on the back of a Banshee. In addition, the land will bring in a brand new dining location: Satu’li Canteen. The restaurant will be a table service location highlighting the artwork and cultural history of the Na’vi. There will also be a drink spot nearby called Pongu Pongu, as well as an expansive gift shop: Windtraders. Entry into Pandora – The World of AVATAR will come via a special bridge that transports you to the base camp of Alpha Centauri Expeditions, the eco tour group in charge of preparing Pandora for adventure seekers and explorers alike.

Rivers of Light - disneyFor more news out of DAK, the long-awaited and much anticipated Rivers of Light may be nearing an official opening. A few weeks ago, Cast Member previews were held after hours at the park. This is a promising sign the nighttime spectacular may soon be ready for public consumption. Rivers of Light was originally slated for an April 22, 2016 opening, but the show had some technical issues and hit a few snags, and has thus been delayed for eight months now.

There’s one more bit of news to report out of DAK, as Kali River Rapids will be seeing some downtime early next year. The attraction will shut down on Tuesday, January 3, with a re-opening scheduled for Monday, January 30.

For more news on the refurbishment front, let’s park-hop over to Magic Kingdom Park now, as the WDW Railroad will be out of commission for a couple months. The closure is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 9, with a re-opening date set for Friday, March 3, 2017.

In more MK news, alcohol will now be served at several table service restaurants around the park. Beginning Friday, December 23rd, beer and wine will be available at Liberty Tree Tavern, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, and the Jungle Skipper Canteen Restaurant. Cinderella’s Royal Table will be expanding their alcohol menu to include champagne and sparkling wine as well. Previously, Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table were the only two locations offering alcoholic beverages on the menu at MK.

Our final bit of news today takes us down the Avenue of the Planets and into the heart of Tomorrowland, where Stitch’s Great Escape! has just re-opened for the busy Holiday Season. The attraction will be open from Saturday, December 17 to Monday, January 2. Stitch was reduced to seasonal operating status back in October, and had been shuttered since Tuesday, November 27.

Well, that’s gonna do it for the December 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!

(Photos ©Disney)

Don Myers has covered Walt Disney World news and recent/upcoming events for the WDW Radio Blog since 2011. He has loved “all things Disney” since his first family trip to WDW in 1986. As they say, the rest is history! Don was also a contributing writer for Celebrations Magazine, penning over 30 articles and 7 cover stories for the publication from 2009 to 2012.