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- Quite a few pieces of refurbishment news to pass along. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment has been pushed back from March 4-7 to April 27-30, reopening on May 1. Also Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin will be closed for two days, March 4-5, reopening March 6. Finally, Peter Pan’s Flight will be closed from March 5-6, reopening March 7.
- The Tomorrowland Arcade at the Magic Kingdom has closed officially as of February 9. Many believe this is due to the recent (and supposedly vaguely written) law that bans internet cafes. (Essentially, this law could have the opportunity to potentially be applied to video game arcades that dispense prizes or provide winning tickets, which many of Disney’s arcades in both the parks and resorts did. Therefore, many arcades across Disney property have been seeing changes and removal of both games, as well as prize counters.)
- The Richard Petty Driving Experience will be closing permanently at the Walt Disney World Speedway. The date of closure is tentatively set for June 28. This closure is taking place to make room for an unspecified transportation project.
- The Las Ventanas restaurant at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will be open now for dinner from 4:00 p.m. –10:00 p.m. The dinner menu will be the same as the current lunch menu. In addition, lunch and dinner reservations can be booked beginning March 1.
- Eligible Guests staying in a Walt Disney World hotel will now have the option to participate in the Direct-to-Room Check-in process where they can go directly to their hotel room once it is ready, without the need to stop at the Front Desk. In order to be eligible for this optional offering, there are a few things that must occur. First, Guests must have the MagicBands for their current stay shipped to their home. Second the Guests must have completed the Online Check-In process including paying for their reservation in full or establishing a credit card and PIN. They also must provide a method of communication–either text or email. Once Guests have created their MagicBand and had them shipped to their home, they will receive an email making them aware of the service, as well as the other steps that need to be completed to be eligible. If all eligibility steps are completed, they will receive a message via email and/or text prior to their arrival notifying them of their room number and that they then have the option of going directly to their room. Once the Guest arrives at the hotel, they will be greeted by Curbside Cast and the Guest can to choose to use the traditional check-in method or to go directly to their room instead. This process is being slowly phased to all resorts. The schedule is:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (including Jambo House, Kidani Village)
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort (including Bay Lake Tower)
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn (including Boardwalk Villas)
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (including Grand Floridian Villas)
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (including Wilderness Lodge Villas)
- Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts (including Beach Club Villas)
- Disney’s All-Star Resorts
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground implementation is to be determined.