Plus… New details announced for the 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Wishes approaching its final performance, and more!
We begin the May 2017 Edition of the WDW Radio Newswire at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park for a few more tidbits on Pandora – The World of Avatar. Let’s begin with one of the land’s two attractions: Na’vi River Journey. Through recent previews, we’ve learned that the attraction itself is about 4 1/2 minutes in length, and the ride vehicles are reed boats that seat up to eight Guests, in an arrangement of two rows of four. Meanwhile, over at Satu’li Canteen, it looks like specialty drinks and souvenir glasses will be in the mix. For $11.99, you can get a Pandora souvenir sipper filled with your choice of fountain beverage. Also on the menu is the Pandoran Sunrise, a non-alcoholic blend of tropical juices and Melon Powerade. The drink is available in a souvenir Satu’li Canteen Flute Flask for $13.49, and is also served without the souvenir flask for $4.49. In addition, you’ll also find a pair of specially crafted draft beers on tap. Hawkes’ Grog Ale is green in color, and features a flavorful brew of apricot, peach, and a hint of wheat. Mo’ara High Country Ale is amber in color, and features hints of toffee, caramel, and nuts. You’ll also find a pair of Banshee Wines, and a Dreamwalker Sangria to quench your thirst. Satu’li Canteen and Na’vi River Journey both officially open along with the rest of Pandora – The World of Avatar on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Time to park-hop over to Epcot now, as details have emerged on the 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This year’s incarnation of Food & Wine will begin earlier than ever, as the event will run from Thursday, August 31 to Monday, November 13. This puts the total number of Festival days at 75, almost two weeks longer than last year’s 62-day event. In addition, five new kiosks will be in the mix for 2017, bringing the total number of Marketplace Kiosks to a whopping 35. The five new kiosks haven’t all been announced yet, but it has been revealed that Spain and India will both be joining in on the festivities this year.
Time to board the Monorail and venture over to Magic Kingdom Park now, as Wishes! Nighttime Spectacular is set to wrap up its run of nearly a decade and a half. The nighttime spectacular will light up the skies over Magic Kingdom Park for the final time this Thursday, May 11. The next night, Happily Ever After will be replacing Wishes as Magic Kingdom’s new nighttime fireworks spectacle. Ahead of the Wishes farewell, the Emporium is currently selling commemorative shirts, hats, and souvenir cups. Wishes made its debut on the night of Thursday, October 9, 2003.
Our next newsbit takes us right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A, as tarps and construction scrims are now covering the majority of the exterior of the Emporium. No word on how long this exterior refurbishment will be going on, but the store is scheduled to remain open for business throughout the duration of the construction work.
For more MK news, let’s travel down the Avenue of the Planets and into the heart of Tomorrowland, as a new interactive character has been out and about mingling with parkgoers. Dubbed the iCan Showbot, this friendly robot ventures all over Tomorrowland, stopping to talk to any guest willing to converse with him. Wherever iCan Showbot goes, he travels to his own soundtrack of music and sound effects. In addition, if you tell him the name of your hometown, he’ll instantly begin to spout off extensive details and fun facts about your area! The iCan Showbot is making appearances around Tomorrowland daily, with his most active period being in the morning and early-afternoon hours.
Our final newsbit takes us over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as a new Guardians of the Galaxy character experience has made its debut. The Meet and Greet can be found inside Walt Disney- One Man’s Dream, and features Star Lord and Groot. The new character experience coincides with the May 5 theatrical release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the Meet and Greet is slated to operate throughout the remainder of 2017. In related Meet and Greet news, BB-8 is now making appearances at the Star Wars Launch Bay. The Chewbacca and Kylo Ren Meet and Greets are both scheduled to continue daily operations as usual, as the BB-8 Meet and Greet will be an addition, not a replacement.
Well, that’s gonna do it for the May 2017 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!
To learn more about Don and read his recent posts for WDW Radio, visit his author page by clicking the link on his name at the top of this post.