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News and Views

Cypress Gardens fallout – The sudden closure of Cypress Gardens, the first amusement park in central Florida, is shaking things up a bit. The Orlando Sentinel reported last week that Florida Governor Jeb Bush is investigating whether a state fund for preserving environmental and historical sites could be used to purchase at least part of Cypress Gardens. The early response from environmental groups was to support a state purchase of the park's botanical gardens, but they aren't so eager to see an environmental fund used to purchase and maintain amusement park rides.

Several Orlando-area attractions are stepping up to claim the business of former Cypress Gardens annual passholders. The most prominent is SeaWorld's offer of a Silver Passport at 50 percent off the regular price. Several other local attractions (such as Spendid China in Kissimmee) have free entry for various time periods.

They have lawyers in Florida, too – The Magic Kingdom's Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction closes for rehab on April 25 and remains shuttered until late June. Among other things, new gates will be installed in the rides loading area.

For your safety... The permanent bag check stations recently completed at the Magic Kingdom are now complete and in use at the other three parks. The hope is that these new stations will minimize delays, but no word on whether it will actually make anybody safer.

Might as well make it official – Even though Michael Eisner “accidentally” spilled the beans at the Annual Meeting last month, press has been invited to Animal Kingdom on Tuesday, April 22 for an announcement about a future project. This will be the official announcement of Forbidden Mountain, and is timed to highlight Animal Kingdom's fifth anniversary.


Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh closes for refurbishment and safety installations on April 25 and is scheduled to reopen on June 27.

The Theater in Epcot's China Pavilion closed for refurbishment on March 26 until May 22. The gallery, merchandise shop and restaurants continue to operate.

Great Movie Ride at Disney-MGM Studio closed for refurbishment on February 24. The ride was scheduled to return on April 13, but the closure has been extended through June 29.


Park Events

Upcoming events

April 25 through June 8 – 10th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

May 15 through 18 – 5th Annual Celebration of Walt Disney Art Classics cruise and mini-convention aboard the Disney Wonder

May 16 - June 15 – Star Wars Weekends. Get more information in Brian Bennett's WDW Trip Planning Guide on Star Wars Weekends.

June 3 through June 9 – Gay Days 2003. This unofficial event is not sponsored by Disney. Event information can be obtained from the event sponsor.

June 14, 2003 – Mickey's Toon Town of Pins at the Magic Kingdom.

September 5-6, 2003 - 21st Annual Night of Joy at Magic Kingdom. Every year, this musical event brings together some of the biggest names in Christian music. This is a hard-ticket event held after park closure.

September 19-21, 2003 – Disney's Pin Celebration at Epcot.

November 16-20, 2003 – Pin Trading Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder.


Current Discounts & Promotions

The Radisson Resort Parkway – a MousePlanet sponsor hotel, is offering great rates to MousePlanet readers through December, 2003. Sample rates for selected dates and rooms are listed below. To take advantage of these special rates, make your reservations using the link found on this page.

Date

Courtyard View
Weekdays
(Sun - Thurs)

Courtyard View
Weekends
(Fri, Sat)
Pool View
Weekdays
(Sun - Thurs)
Pool View
Weekends
(Fri, Sat)
3/23 - 4/26
$81 (all days)
$91 (all days)
4/27 – 6/4
$63
$73
$73
$83
6/5 – 6/7
$109 (all days)
$119 (all days)
6/8 – 8/9
$73
$83
$83
$93
8/10 – 8/30
$63
$73
$73
$83
8/31 – 10/2
$59 (all days)
$69 (all days)
10/3 – 11/1
$73
$83
$83
$93
11/2 – 12/18
$63
$73
$73
$83
12/19 – 12/23
$83 (all days)
$93 (all days)
12/24 – 12/31
$99 (all days)
$109 (all days)

MouseSavers.com reports some great rates for travel to Walt Disney World:

  • New hotel discount codes are available for check-ins April 27 through July 3. Sample rates range from at $74 at the All Stars, to $420 for a main lodge concierge room at the Grand Floridian. Travel must be booked by April 26. Use the discount codes found at MouseSavers.
  • Florida residents can stay on property for as little as $59 at the All Stars, $74 at moderate resorts, and $124 at Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. These rates are valid for arrivals between April 27 and July 3, 2003.
  • Disney's Visa card holders can purchase specially priced Dream Maker packages for check-ins most nights from May 26 to August 3. You do not need to use your Disney Visa to book Disney Visa Summer packages, but you must provide your account number to qualify.
  • Delta is offering rates as low as $138 roundtrip for travel to Orlando. Purchase by April 16 for travel April17 - October 1, 2003. Some blackout dates apply.
  • Florida residents can buy a “Play 4 Days” Pass for just $116 per person. The park hopper pass is good for any four days between April 1 through September 30, 2003. (July 4 is the only day excluded)
  • Cruise Deals – MouseSavers has a list of Disney Cruise Line Magical Rates, available for departures through January 2004, and early-booking discounts for Fall 2003 itineraries.

If you are itching to break in your new Disney Visa card, you can receive a $50 onboard credit when you book a Disney Cruise Line vacation and pay with your Disney Visa. The offer is good for sailings through the end of this year. When you charge your cruise to your Disney Visa, you pay no interest for six months.

Annual Passholders can receive 10% off the price of their lunch meal at selected Walt Disney World Resort hotel restaurants, and the discount is good for up to three guests. The offer is valid Monday through Friday. Call 407-WDW-DINE for locations and reservations.


Park Hours

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
4/21
4/22
4/23
4/24
4/25
4/26
 

MK 8:30a - 12p
EF 9a - 7p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 10p
AK 9a - 7p
BB 9a - 6p
TL 9a - 6p

MK 8:30a - 12p
EF 9a - 7p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 10p
AK 9a - 7p
BB 9a - 6p
TL 9a - 6p
MK 8:30a - 12p
EF 9a - 7p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 10p
AK 9a - 7p
BB 9a - 6p
TL 9a - 6p
MK 8:30a - 12p
EF 9a - 7p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 10p
AK 9a - 7p
BB 9a - 6p
TL 9a - 6p
MK 9a - 8p
EF 9a - 7p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 9a - 7p
BB 9a - 6p
TL 9a - 6p
MK 9a - 8p
EF 9a - 7p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 9a - 7p
BB 9a - 6p
TL 9a - 6p
4/27
4/28
4/29
4/30
5/1
5/2
5/3
MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 9a - 5p
BB 10a - 6p
TL Closed

MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 9a - 5p
BB 10a - 6p
TL Closed

MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 9a - 5p
BB 9a - 6p
TL Closed
MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 9a - 5p
BB 9a - 6p
TL 10a - 6p
MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 99a - 5p
BB 10a - 6p
TL C10a - 6p
MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 9a - 5p
BB Closed
TL 10a - 6p
MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 8:30p
AK 9a - 5p
BB Closed
TL 10a - 6p
5/4
5/5
  • MK = Magic Kingdom
  • EF = Epcot, Future World
  • EW = Epcot, World Showcase
  • MGM = Disney-MGM Studios
  • AK = Animal Kingdom
  • BB = Blizzard Beach Water Park
  • TL = Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 9p
AK 9a - 5p
BB 10a - 6p
TL Closed

MK 9a - 7p
EF 9a - 6p
EW 11a - 9p
MGM 9a - 9p
AK 9a - 5p
BB 10a - 6p
TL Closed


Entertainment Schedule

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 4/21

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3:00pm

SpectroMagic 9:00pm, 11:00pm

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10:00pm

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:00p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10:00p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Tuesday 4/22

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3:00pm

SpectroMagic 9:00pm, 11:00pm

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10:00pm

Illuminations! 9p

 

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:00p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10:00p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Wednesday 4/23

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3:00pm

SpectroMagic 9:00pm, 11:00pm

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10:00pm

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:00p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10:00p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Thursday 4/24

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3:00pm

SpectroMagic 9:00pm, 11:00pm

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10:00pm

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:00p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10:00p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Friday 4/25

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3:00pm

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:00p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Saturday 4/26

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3:00pm

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:00p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Sunday 4/27

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3:00pm

 

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:00p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Monday 4/28

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3:00pm

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:00p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p


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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.