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News and Views

A New Resort-Wide Logo - Walt Disney World is getting a new logo to emphasize the entire resort as a expansive destination. The internal reaction is pretty split so far, with many finding it too bland.

Great Movie Ride Refurb Schedule Changes, Again - Originally scheduled to reopen on April 13 and then pushed out to June 29, the ride is now schedule to reopen by June 9. The good news is that is appears to be confirmed that all three cast members that perform during the ride will have new scripts to work with.

From Starship to Gary Puckett, May is 31 Days of Musical Fun at Epcot – Performers who created pop music hits during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s will rekindle the memories during May when the Flower Power Concert Series at Epcot features 10 acts live at America Gardens Theatre.

Running concurrently with the 10th Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Flower Power performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m., and are included with regular Epcot admission. The remaining performances are:

  • The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie May 16-19
  • The Grass Roots starring Rob Grill May 20-22
  • Herman's Hermits featuring Peter Noone May 23-26
  • Dave Mason May 27-29
  • Gary Puckett May 30-31 & June 1
  • The Buckinghams June 2-3
  • The Lovin' Spoonful June 4-5
  • Arlo Guthrie June 6-8

The Force is With Disney-MGM Studios Guests – The power of the Force and the magic of Disney combined this weekend and will continue for four more.

Inspired by the Star Wars films and using the Star Tours ride as a centerpiece, each Star Wars Weekend will fill the park with movie characters as well as a couple of the actors for meet-and-greets, photo opportunities, and autograph signings. For the first weekend, guests were able to see Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Anthony Daniels (C3PO), and Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing).


Anthony Daniels at his meet-and-greet. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The schedule for the remaining weekends is:

  • May 23, 24, 25: Andy Secombe (Watto) and Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok). Autograph signings at 12pm and 3pm.
  • May 30 & 31, June 1: Silas Carson (Nute Gunray) and Mike Quinn ("Nien Nunb")
  • June 6, 7, 8: Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca)
  • June 13, 14, 15: Temuera Morrison ("Jango Fett") and Michonne Bourriague ("Aurra Sing")


Billy Dee Williams signing autographs. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Other events during the weekends include:

  • Roaming character appearances - Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am - 7:30 pm.
  • Legends of the Force: A Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade - Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 am. (Features the celebrity guests for the day)
  • Celebrity Welcome at the Star Wars Stage - Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:15. (All of the characters and the two celebrities appear on stage for a photo op)
  • Behind the Force: The Saga Continues "A behind-the-scenes look documenting George Lucas and his creative team as they painstakingly produce all fht espectacular movie magic of the latest installment in the Star Wars saga - Episode II: Attack of the Clones. 20-minute shows, located inside the ABC Theater."
    • Fridays and Saturdays at 10:15 am, 12:15 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm
    • Sundays at 10:15 am, 12:15 pm, 3:30 pm, 6:00 pm

  • Jedi Training Academy presented by Hasbro (Random kids are chosen to play onstage with toy lightsabers). Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 am, 10:15 am, 11:30 am, 12:40 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:20 pm, 3:10 pm, 4:00 pm, 6:30 pm.
  • The Padawan Mind Challenge "Use your Star wars nowledge to pass the trials and become and official Padawan learner (for ages 11 and under)". Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays - registration begins at the information desk at 11:00 am, challenge begins at 11:50 am.
  • Tatooine Trivia Trials "See if you have as much Star Wars knowledge as a protocol droid. (for ages 12 and up). Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays - registration begins at the information desk at 9:00 am, challenge begins at 6:00 pm.
  • Star Wars Weekends Hyperspace Hoopla "Join your favorite Star Wars characters as they participate in all the fun and intergalactic antics of the day's closing event." Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:00 pm.
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire - Play It! - Star Wars Edition "All the excitement and prizes of Who Wants to be a Millionaire - Play It! combined with Star Wars fun and surprises... and yes, all the questions are about Star Wars. 20-minute show." Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am, 12:20 pm.
  • Stars of the Saga - Star Wars Celebrity Talk Show "Experience the facinating life and movie-making adventures of our two visiting Star Wars celebrities. Get your questions ready because the presentation concludes with a lively audience Q & A session. Located in the ABC Theater." Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm.

Lilo & Stitch Go On a Cruise - Disney's Oceaneer Club and Disney's Oceaneer Lab have been given an intergalactic boost this summer thanks to new programs and activities inspired by the family themes of Disney's Lilo & Stitch.

The imaginative themes of this summer's hit family film have been weaved through new elements of Disney's extensive line-up of children's programming. Enhancements include:

  • Lilo costumes that allow youngsters to play the film's cheerful little star
  • Interactive computer games that combine the unforgettable characters and imaginative story
  • A Hawaiian themed welcome night for children entering programming at the start of the cruise
  • The energetic soundtrack, setting the mood for these all-new themed programs and activities.

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

The Theater in Epcot's China Pavilion closes for refurbishment March 26 to 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 originally scheduled to return on April 13, then the closure was extended to June 29. It has apparently been pushed forward again, to reopen on June 7 or June 9.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh will be closed for refurbishment April 25, 2003 - June 27, 2003. Pooh's Thotful Shop will be open during this refurbishment.


Park Events

Upcoming events

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

May 16 - June 15 - Star Wars Weekends. See above for more information.

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

October 3, 5, 10, 14, 16, 19, 24, 26, 30 and 31 - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom.

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

November 30, December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 19 - Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. Order by phone at (407) W-DISNEY.


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
(S - Th)

Courtyard View
Weekends
(F, Sa)
Pool View
Weekdays
(S - Th)
Pool View
Weekends
(F, Sa)
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 Fairytale Vacation Packages can mean savings of 40% or more when you visit Walt Disney World. Read all about this amazing new offer at MouseSavers.com.
  • 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.
  • 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
 
5/19
5/20
5/21
5/22
5/23
5/24
 

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

MK 9a-9:30p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-7p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-7p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-7p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-9:30p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
5/25
5/26
5/27
5/28
5/29
5/30
5/31
MK 9a-9p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p

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

MK 9a-7p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-9:30p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-7p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-7p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
6/1
6/2
  • 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 10a-6p

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


Entertainment Schedule

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 5/19

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

 

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Tuesday 5/20

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 8:45p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 9:30p

 

 

Illuminations! 9p

 

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Wednesday 5/21

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Thursday 5/22

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Friday 5/23

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Saturday 5/24

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 8:45p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 9:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Sunday 5/25

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

 

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Monday 5/26

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

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.