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Update for June 25 – July 1, 2012

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News and Views

Fireworks to light the sky on July 4 | New entertainment, food at Disney Water Parks | D23 to host Sip & Scream event | Partner News: CruisingCo.com/MouseEarVacations.com celebrates 25 years with special offer for MousePlanet readers! | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd Update

Fireworks to light the sky on July 4

Independence Day always brings out the best in Disney nighttime spectaculars, with three of the four parks lighting up the night.


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As usual, the Magic Kingdom's "Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky" show will also be performed on July 3, allowing many park guests to see that show a day early and then spend the Fourth taking in another park's performance. The show is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. both nights. The park is open 9:00 a.m. to midnight on July 3 and 9:00 a.m. to 1 a.m. on July 4.

The Fourth of July is one of the two days a year on which Epcot brings out the "World War III Barge," this time for the "Heartbeat of Freedom" tag to the regular Illuminations show. The show starts at 10 p.m. and the park opens from 9:00 a.m. (Future World) and 11 a.m. (World Showcase) until 10 p.m.

Disney's Hollywood Studios presents an all new "Rockin' 4th of July Celebration" show, with live music by Mulch, Sweat, and Shears accompanying the fireworks at 9:45 p.m. It will be preceded by a 9:00 p.m. showing of Fantasmic. The park will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For those looking to avoid all of the fireworks, Disney's Animal Kingdom will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with morning Extra Magic Hours from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

New entertainment, food at Disney Water Parks

Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon water park is featuring some new additions this summer.

The park is featuring calypso music every Friday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Caribbean steel drum music, provided by "Tropicals," will be performed until July 15 near the Crush 'n' Gusher water coaster area.

Nearby, a new temporary food and beverage tent called Tropicalamity will serve a variety of food, including hot meatball and cold Italian subs, citrus chicken salad, chicken jerk pita wrap, and more.

Over by the High 'N' Dry Sundries shop, Lilo and Stitch will be greeting guests all day. Blizzard Beach guests will also be able to participate in character greetings with Goofy, who will be roaming the park.

The water parks will again feature Extra Magic Hours on select mornings. Typhoon Lagoon currently opens at 8 a.m. for resort guests only instead of 9 a.m. every Wednesday morning through August 22. An additional day of Extra Magic Hours will begin every Saturday morning starting July 7, running until August 18.

Blizzard Beach currently has early morning Extra Magic Hours every Thursday morning until August 23. A second day of early entry will begin Tuesday July 3, running until August 13.

Calling all with a spirit of adventure!

Are you ready for MouseAdventure: World Explorers IV? The fourth iteration of the scavenger hunt/puzzle quest/race through Walt Disney World's parks takes place on Saturday, November 3 at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (the game has been going on at the parks of the Disneyland Resort for more than 11 years now). Do you think that you know the Magic Kingdom? We bet you don't know it as well as you think you do. Test your wits against those of our puzzle masters. For more information, check out the MouseAdventure information page. Registration opens next week!

D23 to host Sip & Scream event

D23, The Official Disney Fan Club, hosts its Sip & Scream event on October 2 and 3.

The standard Sip & Scream package ($125 per person) takes place entirely on October 3, and starts at 10:00 a.m. at Epcot's World Showplace with presentations on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Walt Disney World's Halloween celebrations. This will be followed by a tasting of the Food & Wine Festival's new dishes with wine parinigs. From 1:00-7:00 p.m., guests will have time at their leisure to explore Epcot, and will also have the hospitality suite inside the American Adventure pavilion available to relax in during this time. At 7:00, guests will have reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat concert with Sugar Ray, followed by a dessert party at the France pavilion featuring private viewing of Illuminations with special "Mickey Vision" glasses. Of course, there will also be surpises and commemorative gifts.

An upgraded "Super Scream" package ($320 per person) will also include events after park closing at Disney's Hollywood Studios on October 2, with a private tour of the Creative Costuming building and a progressive dinner inside The Great Movie Ride, with drinks in Gang Land, dinner in the Old West, and dessert in Oz.

Tickets are only available to D23 members in good standing, who may purchase tickets for themselves and one guest. The tickets do not include park admission, which will be required for October 3's events at Epcot.

Tickets go on sale at 1 p.m. Eastern Time this Wednesday, June 27. For more information and the link to buy tickets once they go on sale, visit the event page on the D23 website.

Send us your menu photos

Click on the "Dining" section from our Walt Disney World Guide to see our complete list of of the park restaurant menus from Walt Disney World. Please help us keep the menus up to date! Send photos or scans of park menus to menus@mouseplanet.com to help us keep our listings updated.

Partner News: CruisingCo.com/MouseEarVacations.com celebrates 25 years with special offer for MousePlanet readers!

CruisingCo.com® ~ MouseEarVacations.com® is celebrating 25 years of making vacations Magical, and has partnered with MousePlanet.com to offer our readers a special gift.

Book a new Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort or Disney Cruise Line vacation** using the code MEVMP and you’ll receive a 5-piece Disney leather travel gift set as our thanks to you!

Even better, if you're looking to book a Disney Cruise, you can combine the MousePlanet offer with MouseEarVacations' new Disney Cruise Line special, offering up to $600 shipboard credit for all new reservations booked between June 18 and July 1, 2012.

Visit www.MouseEarVacations.com to book a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort vacation package, and be sure to mention code MEVMP to receive your special gift.

For full details of the Disney Cruise Line offer, and to receive a no-obligation quote for your next Disney Cruise, visit http://www.mouseearvacations.com/promo/?id=276.

**This offer is valid for new bookings only made June 25 to July 22. Must mention the code MEVMP. Valid only on Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort Vacation packages 3 nights or longer that includes park tickets of equal time; Valid at Disney Resort Hotels only. Disney Cruise Line vacation must be 4 nights or longer. One gift set per reservation to be shipped upon completion of travel. This five-piece red-leather travel set includes a travel document holder, key chain, luggage tag, and journal with pen. Each item is made with luxurious red leather and features an embossed Disney Parks logo.

Construction update

The following is a listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:

  • Magic Kingdom Storybook Circus – Phase III retail (big top) tent.
  • Magic Kingdom Storybook Circus – Phase III Dzone/cart support tent.
  • Magic Kingdom Storybook Circus – Phase III area development.
  • Magic Kingdom Storybook Circus – Phase III meet & greet tent.
  • Epcot Norway pavilion – Syncrolite replacement.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Soundstage 4 – drapery install package.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Idol Theater – construction.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – roof repairs.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Theatre of the Stars – electrical.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Theatre of the Stars – electrical alteration - speakers.
  • Transportation & Ticket Center bus lot – site work, concrete, electrical, plumbing, landscape, and irrigation.
  • Typhoon Lagoon smoking pavilion – building shade structure.
  • Blizzard Beach Downhill Double Dipper – construction.
  • Blizzard Beach Tikes Peak – general construction.
  • Disney's Winter Summerland check-in pavilion – construction.
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort Convention Center service kitchen area – change storage room to serving area.
  • Disney's Yacht Club Convention Center – contractors general conditions.
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa entrance road – general construction.
  • Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort path of travel – concrete.
  • Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort entrance signs – metal.
  • Disney's Golden Oak Resort – mechanical.

Quick takes …

…The second Dumbo spinner and the interactive queue, as well as a new Fastpass location, have all joined Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station in "soft open" status, though there should be an official opening ceremony some time in July. The Fastpass distribution location is located at Mickey's PhilharMagic, adjacent to the Fastpass kiosks for The Many Adventures of Winnie- the-Pooh. The Pooh Fastpass stations are decorated in teal and aqua, while the Dumbo Fastpass stations are colored red and blue.

…A new Walt Disney World souvenir book has apparently spilled the beans on an upcoming change at the Magic Kingdom. A photo of a float from the SpectroMagic parade is accompanied by a caption that reads in part: "(Note: The magic returns after the Main Street Electrical Parade revival ends its run.)" No word on when that changeover will take place yet.

…The Disney Vacation Club is reportedly closing its Chicago-area "Doorway to Dreams" location on September 14. The store in Schaumberg, Illinois, will have been open for just over five years. At this time, there is no word on the fate of the Doorway to Dreams at Long Island's Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York.

…Disney Phineas and Ferb's Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure opened at Epcot last Saturday.

…We are hearing that the Mexican Folk Art Gallery inside Epcot's Mexico pavilion has been mostly removed. At the moment, the area is just empty space.

…The 2013 Princess Half Marathon weekend takes place February 22–24, 2013. Registration opens Tuesday, July 10 at 12:00 p.m. EDT.

…Registration for the September 28–29 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is now full. There is a waitlist in case additional spots become available. The related runDisney Kids' Races are now 57 percent full and the 5K is now 56 percent full.

…Registration for the November 9-10 Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is 77 percent full.

…Registration for the January 10-13, 2013, Disney Marathon Weekend is now open. Registration for Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge is 82 percent full, the full Marathon is 61 percent full, and the Half Marathon is 54 percent full..

…The MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun MouseAdventure bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, go to the MousePlanet main page and enter your email address in the top right box labeled "Join the MousePlanet Newsletter." Click Join, then fill out the fields in the registration page, including your first and last name. The Newsletter is free, but you must complete this registration to receive it, even if you may have signed up for one with us in the past.

Crowd update

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Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, to help you better plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."

It's another week of moderate to high crowds at Walt Disney World. TouringPlans.com can help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls, and will help you avoid the dreaded tour groups, with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. Now more than ever, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

Date Overall
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8 / 10
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7 / 10
Thursday, June 28, 2012 6 / 10
Friday, June 29, 2012 7 / 10

Check out the Disney World Park Crowd Levels page on TouringPlans.com for park-specific predictions and recommendations on which days to visit and avoid particular parks!

  • If visiting Epcot, remember that Test Track is closed until Fall 2012; plan your FASTPASS strategy accordingly.
  • An air-conditioned play/waiting area, FASTPASS, and twice as many ride vehicles are now available at Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. Expect more pleasant (and possibly shorter) waits!
  • Following a Touring Plan is important when crowd levels spike at the park you're visiting!

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disney World wait times on your iPhone, Android or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.


 

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Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.

Coming up

  • June 26: Candlelight Processional dining packages go on sale.
  • June 27: D23 Sip & Scream tickets go on sale.
  • July: Remainder of Storybook Circus opens at Magic Kingdom.
  • August 10: The Lion King wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
  • August 14: Reservations for Party for the Senses at this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival open.
  • September 7-8: Night of Joy.
  • September 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30, October 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, November 2. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
  • September 15: The Little Mermaid wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
  • September 28–29: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.
  • September 28 to November 12: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • October 2-3: D23 Sip & Scream.
  • Fall (exact date to be determined): Splitsville opens.
  • November 3: MouseAdventure World Explorers IV.
  • November 8–11: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
  • November 9–10: Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.
  • November 9–11: Festival of the Masters.
  • November 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, and 30, December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 21. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
  • November 22, 23, 25: Old Spice Classic.
  • "In time for Holidays 2012": Little Mermaid- and Beauty and the Beast-themed sections of New Fantasyland open at Magic Kingdom.
  • December 13: Disney Vacation Club Condominium Association annual meeting.
  • January 10–13, 2013: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
  • February 22-24, 2013: Disney's Princess Half Marathon.
  • May 4, 2013: Expedition Everest Challenge.

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station – now in soft-open status, official opening in July!
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures – closed permanently on May 31 for conversion to Princess Fairy Tale Hall.
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin – closed for refurbishment June 27-29.
  • Enclosed Dumbo queue, – now in soft-open status, official opening in July.
  • Second Dumbo spinner – now in soft-open status, official opening in July.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment August 4-10.
  • Country Bear Jamboree – closed for refurbishment August 22–October 16.
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant – opens by Holidays 2012.
  • Maurice's Cottage – opens by Holidays 2012.
  • Gaston's Tavern – opens by Holidays 2012.
  • Bonjour Village Gifts – opens by Holidays 2012.
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid – opens by Holidays 2012.
  • Princess Fairy Tale Hall – opens 2013.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – opens 2014.

Epcot

  • Test Track – closed through November 30 for "reimagining."

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • No known current refurbishments.

Animal Kingdom

  • Affection Section – closed for refurbishment May 3-June 29.

Resorts

  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Grand Floridian Spa closed through mid-2013 for refurbishment.
  • Wilderness Lodge – metal roof seams recoated thorough June 29.
  • Beach Club Resort – Cape May Cafe closed for refurbishment July 9 through August 3.
  • Yacht Club Resort Yachtsman Steakhouse – closed for refurbishment August 27 through September 15.
  • Yacht Club Resort – building exterior repaired and refinished through August 3.
  • Yacht Club Resort – rooftop HVAC hot water piping replaced January 9 to September 28.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort – villa buildings undergo exterior cleaning and painting one at a time between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through August 30.
  • Coronado Springs Resort – Ranchos buildings experiences tile roof repair and replacement through July 27.
  • Pop Century Resort – repairs of concrete deck at Hippy Dippy Pool through September 28. The pool remains open during the work, but some small sections of the pool deck will be closed periodically throughout this period.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed October 28 through January 5, 2013 for annual refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach – closed for annual refurbishment starting January 5, 2013..

Elsewhere

  • Oak Trail Golf Course – closed through September 28 for refurbishment.
  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays. For 2012, the show is not be performed:
    • July 24
    • September 18–22
    • November 27

Current Discounts & Promotions

Tables in Wonderland members can save on tickets to La Nouba

Tables in Wonderland members can purchase discounted Category 2 tickets La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil on performances Tuesday through Saturday nights, May 29 to June 27. Prices for members and up to 3 guests are $57.85 plus tax for adults and $46.80 plus tax for children. To purchase tickets, call 407-WDW-SEAT (407-939-7328). Note that a valid Tables in Wonderland ID and advance purchase is required. Tickets must be picked up at the La Nouba box office Will Call window.

Military ticket offer

From now through September 28, 2012, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with either the Park Hopper or Water Parks Fun and More option for $138 per ticket, plus tax, or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $165 per ticket, plus tax. No Base ticket is available with this offer.

The tickets expire and may not be used after September 30, 2012. July 4, 2012 is a blockout date.

Eligible service members include active or retired members of the U.S. military including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservists. Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased at Shades of Green or at a participating military base (MWR/ITT) office. There is no tax charged for these tickets but they must be activated at a theme park ticket window. Tickets may also be purchased at Walt Disney World Park Ticket Offices and Guest Relations Offices where tax will be charged. No more than twelve Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased, activated and/or used by any Eligible Service Member or spouse during the life of this promotion, and no Eligible Service Member or spouse may purchase, activate and/or use more than six Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets during any single week of the promotion. One of the Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets purchased on each occasion must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or spouse. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. Valid military identification is required. The tickets are non-transferable and may not be resold.

The tickets may be upgraded to Seasonal Passes or Florida Resident Weekday Select Passes (for Florida Residents), or Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, or Disney Premier Pass with credit toward the upgrade based on the actual price paid. The no-expiration option and other upgrades, such as additional days, are not available.

For complete information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets, military personnel may call 407-939-7830, visit the Walt Disney World website, or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.


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(Send an email to Mark Goldhaber)

Mark (@MPMark) is a veteran of dozens of trips to Walt Disney World starting in 1972, with a few Disneyland trips thrown in for good measure. As a Disney stockholder and a Disney Vacation Club member, Mark is always in touch with what's going on with The Mouse. Mark serves as MousePlanet's Walt Disney World content coordinator. Mark is a senior information technology manager working for the State of New York. He lives in the suburbs outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son.