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April 3, 2013

Now it's time to say goodbye... And Other News

Lots of little updates this week -- but we start at Disney's Hollywood Studios -- where you have just days left to catch two of the park's long-running entertainment options.


disney channel rocks

April 6th marks the final day for the long-running  Disney Channel Rocks! show -- featuring up-beat performances of songs from the Disney Channel's shows and specials. Also going away that day -- The  'Pixar Pals Countdown To Fun!' parade. Why are they going away? Disney says the usual -- that it constantly is evaluating its options, etc.
Off-the record -- I hear they are not only NOT replacing this show and parade -- Cast members tell me the plan is to demolish the backstage parade warehouse and other parade support facilities.

countdown to fun

Why get  out of the parade business -- when parades are so popular?  Sources I trust tell me Disney is getting serious about revamping Hollywood Studios. Exactly what will get built and when is still being decided, but I hear construction will make running a parade through the center of the park difficult.  That may mean the days are numbered for the Studios "Icon." Officially it is called the "Sorcerer's Hat" --- but many fans call it the BAH (an acronym that doesn't stand for Big Awesome Hat).

big ass hat
 
It was added for the 100 Years of Magic Celebration in 2001 -- and was thought to be temporary -- but like the Mickey Hand that used to tower over Epcot's Spaceship Earth -- it has stayed much longer than originally (officially) planned.
Personally -- I think it would be great to get this view of Hollywood Boulevard back.

hollywood blvd

And no -- there is no truth to the rumor that the BAH was put there to hide the Chinese Theater due to "copyright issues." Big urban myth. If there WERE some kind of issue like that -- Disney would have to change the facade of  one of its most beautiful buildings.


chinese theater

In other news -- Disney has confirmed what I reported months ago -- a waterside tapas restaurant is coming to Morocco at Epcot.

The Spice Road Table  will feature Mediterranean cuisine -- along with other "enhancements" that will expand the pavilion beyond just Morocco. Construction walls are going up. So -- sadly -- this peaceful view will be a thing of the past.

MOROCCO WHEEL 1

MOROCCO WHEEL 2
Look for the Spice Road Table to open by the end of the year.

Finally -- an announcement from SeaWorld. On its web site -- the park says its Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins land & ride will open May 24.
antarctica

The site also recommends a free Antarctica app -- screensavers and ring tones. Yes -- Your cell phone can sound like a mating penguin. Here's a link.

We'll bring you more on Antarctica soon -- as it gets ready to open.

More tomorrow from Universal -- we'll take you on a construction tour from Sky 6 -- showing the boom in new things coming soon.

Until then -- feel free to keep emailing me your tips, questions and feedback. Always happy to hear from you.