Listen to Episode 69 of the Wakefield Report

Story 1 Cruisin’ For Less: The Disney Cruise Line has announced a new set of discounts for Florida residents. The rates are for sailings on June 10th, 17th, 24th, and July 1st and July 8th. These deals are only available until the end  of may, so book your cruise fast!

Story 2 MyMagicParking: Premium parking options are now available for guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For an extra $15, you can park your car closer to the front gate of DHS. It would save you about 15 minutes of walking. I am not fully sold on the value of this since you spend hours inside the park walking around. So what’s an extra 15 minutes?

Story 3 Opening Dates at DAK: We have some opening dates for new attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Two new “after dark” attractions, the new Tree of Life projection show, and the night time safaris will be opening up on May 27th. The new show “Jungle Book: Alive with Magic”, will be set to open on May 28th. Disney hopes these new offerings will be a good stop gap for guests as construction on Avatarland moves along. Hopefully, this will be enough to keep people in the parks longer.

Story 4 Love is a Construction Wall Coming Down: We finally have an opening date for the highly anticipated Frozen Ever After attraction at Epcot. Last week the Disney Parks Blog announced that the dark ride will be open on June 21st. The Royal Summerhus will also be opening along side the attraction in the Norway pavilion. Fast passes for this new attraction are already in high demand. Many people expect this to be the hottest new offering of the summer from Disney and lines are sure to stretch for miles.

Story 5 On the Picket Line: Disney World cafeteria workers are looking to unionize. A lot of current employees at WDW are already members of various unions and now the cafeteria workers want to get their fair share. Sammy Torres, a chef at Sodexo, says, “I talk to people who deal with last-minute schedule changes, switched shifts. I know workers who are living in their cars. We’re trying to get better benefits and show we’re not paid enough. I’m 46. There’s no retirement plans. I’ve been fighting this for a while now. We’re going to keep fighting.” 75% of the on site  cafeteria workers have signed cards stating that they want the union group, UNITE HERE to represent them.

Story 6 Like Taking Money from an Orca: A former SeaWorld Orlando employee has been accused of stealing over $100,000 from the company. Lisa Olivardia was a manager at SeaWorld’s Aquatica park and SeaWorld claims that she manipulated transaction to steal over $100,000. SeaWorld noticed there was a huge discrepancy in the amount of voids processed by Olivardia compared to other  Aquatica managers. SeaWorld called law enforcement and Olivardia was questioned. Police say she confessed saying, “I did it all.” She has been charged with grand theft.

Story 7 There’s More than Gators in Florida: The Florida tourism group, Visit Florida, says that a record number of people visited Florida in the first quarter of 2016. Almost 30 million people made the trip to the Sunshine State. That is an increase of almost 5%, compared to the same quarter last year. While both Disney and SeaWorld saw a decrease in the number of overall visitors, the Orlando market did see an increase. So who made up the difference for the increase in the Orlando market….?

Story 8 Everybody Walk the Dinosaur: Reports are coming in the Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be down for two months this summer for a refurbishment. There are many issues with this ride and it is almost sure that Disney will not be able to fix all of them during the downtown this summer. add that too the already beleaguered state of attractions at Animal Kingdom, it means it is going to be a long summer at DAK.

Story 9 Told You So: It looks like things did not get any better for Disney and their After Hours event at the Magic Kingdom. The highly priced event had reports of record low attendance when it debuted and Disney has decided to pull the plug on the program. With a price tag of $150, very few people took advantage of the event and there were reports that Disney was offering tickets at half price to resort guests and DVC members.

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