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WDW Radio Newswire – IllumiNations: Reflections Of Earth To Be Replaced In 2019

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth - copyright Disney

Plus…. Pixar Place set to transform into Incredibles-Themed area, pair of 2019 Festival dates announced for Epcot, and more!


We begin the September 2018 Edition of the WDW Radio Newswire with some bittersweet news out of Epcot. The beloved nighttime spectacular IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is set to be replaced at the conclusion of Summer 2019. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth was created for Walt Disney World’s Millennium Celebration and began its 20-year run on October 1, 1999, under the name IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth. There’s no official word from Disney as to a name or concept for the IllumiNations replacement; however, they have confirmed that the new show will be debuting immediately upon the conclusion of IllumiNations run at the end of Summer 2019. There have been hints that drone technology will be implemented into Epcot’s new nighttime spectacle, so rest assured I’ll be doing a follow-up report in a future Newswire as soon as more information is officially announced!


Epcot International Festival of the Arts - copyright DisneyThere’s more news to report out of Epcot, as the dates for two upcoming Festivals have been confirmed. The 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be returning on Friday, January 18, with events set to wrap-up on Monday, February 25. In addition, the dates for the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival have also been confirmed, as the event is set to run from Wednesday, March 6 to Monday, June 3. There’s an additional newsbit to report, as both festivals will be expanding their respective concert series’ to seven days a week at the America Gardens Theatre for 2019.


Time to park-hop over to to Disney’s Hollywood Studios now, as there’s news to report at Pixar Place. Disney has just announced plans to transform the area into a bustling city block from The Incredibles hometown of Metroville. The area will feature a brand-new Edna Mode Meet and Greet, where Guests can get up close to the famed designer and see some of her latest and greatest creations. Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible,and Frozone will also be present in the area, as their bravery and heroism are celebrated with a lively block party filled with singing, dancing, fun games, and good times. Metroville is scheduled to open up and welcome in eager park-goers on Friday, January 18, 2019.


For more news out of DHS, let’s venture over to Walt Disney Presents. The Star-Lord and Baby Groot Meet and Greet is scheduled to wrap-up later this month on Saturday, September 29. Taking the place of Star-Lord and Baby Groot will be Monstropolis’ greatest scare-duo Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan (Sulley), as the pair will be taking up residence inside Walt Disney Presents beginning Friday, January 18, 2019.


Time to hop over to Magic Kingdom Park now, as a new table service breakfast option will soon be available for a limited time. From Sunday, November 4, 2018, to Saturday, January 5, 2019, The Plaza Restaurant will offer up a delicious array of breakfast favorites. Menu items include Lobster Benedict, Create-your-own Omelette, and the Classic All-American Breakfast with scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, Mickey waffle, and a biscuit. A Kids Menu will also be available for the little ones to choose from. The Plaza Restaurant breakfast will be offered from [8:00] AM to [10:30] AM, and reservations are now available to be booked over the phone or online.


Time to venture over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park now, as a new backstage tour will be debuting soon. Up Close with Rhinos is a one-hour guided tour that will take Guests behind the scenes to get an up-close and intimate look at how Disney cares for Animal Kingdom’s white rhinos. The tour will also highlight the conservation efforts underway to try to save this endangered species, and Guests may even get a chance to touch one of the rhinos during the tour. There will be one tour offered each day, at a price of $40 (plus tax) per person. It’s also worth noting that Guests must be at least a 4 years of age to participate in the tour. Up Close with Rhinos is set to debut on Thursday, November 1, 2018, and tours are available to book now by calling (407) WDW-PLAY.


Our final bit of news takes us out of the parks and into the Resorts. Let’s venture over to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, as a big expansion has just been announced. A new 14-Story Tower is set to be built, with the new structure taking up residence beside the Swan Resort. Construction is scheduled to break ground this Fall, with completion of the new tower slated for “Fall 2020.” The expansion will bring an additional 349 Guest Rooms to the property, with 151 of those rooms to be Suites. Plans also include a 90-seat restaurant and 50-seat lounge inside the new tower, as well as a grab-n-go market, Health Club, and cocktail bar in the lobby.


Well, that’s gonna do it for the September 2018 Edition of the WDW Radio Newswire. I’ll be back again next month with lots more news, notes, and happenings from Walt’s beloved Florida Project!


(Photos copyright Disney)


To learn more about Don and read his recent posts for the WDW Radio Blog, visit his author page by clicking the link on his name at the top of this post.