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News and Views

Cast members preview Mission: Space – Late last week, Imagineers were able to preview Mission: Space, while regular cast member previews begin this week. One attendee of the Imagineering preview posted a description of the ride vehicle at another Web site. Once you get into your capsule, over-the-shoulder harnesses are pulled down to your waist. Then the control panel in front of you (with joystick and buttons), moves towards you until it is in place. Then, finally, the capsule door closes, the ride tilts backwards, and things really start going.

Some of the facts that cast members are memorizing for guests and tours:

  • 25 NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory experts, including five astronauts, were called on in the design of the ride.
  • The sites of all 29 manned and unmanned missions to the moon by the United States and Russia are labelled on the Moon in the Planetary Plaza.
  • Almost 100 shades of red were tested to select the color of the red planet at the attraction's entrance.
  • One ride capsule has more computing power than an actual space shuttle.

The final cast costumes for Mission: Space are beginning to make appearances. We'll provide more details (and hopefully a picture) when we can track them down.

To Infinity and Beyond! – As of June 1, the prices of tickets purchased at park gates will increase in price significantly. The prices of annual passes and tickets purchased in advance will remain at the same prices, putting quite a price on spontaneity.

A four-day park-hopper bought at a gate will cost $208, an increase of $16. A five-day will go to $239 (plus $22). The five-, six-, and seven-day park hopper plus passes will all be $22 more than their advance purchase prices.

Single park passes can only be bought at the gates, and their prices remain unchanged.

Better late than never – This offer was announced on Monday May 12, but slipped through the cracks here at MousePlanet. But it is good through December 19, so it is doubtful that too much time has been lost.


Graphic ©Disney

Through Friday December 19, all active members of the United States military (including Coast Guard and activated National Guard and Reservists) qualify for Disney's Armed Forces Salute and can claim one free 5-day park-hopper tickets. Since the tickets expire on December 19, you must claim them by December 15 to use all five day's worth. The passes can only be claimed at a park gate ticket booth. To claim the passes, valid military ID must be shown; activated National Guard and Reservists must also show their active duty orders.

In addition to the one free pass, each qualifying person can also purchase up to five 5-day companian passes for $99 each. If the qualifying person cannot visit a park to purchase these companion tickets, a spouse may do so instead.

Additionally, such qualifying military personnel are also eligible for discounted room rates (up to 40% at selected hotels) as well as discounts on most sailing of the Disney Cruise Line through December 18.

For full details, go to the Disney Armed Forces Salute page, or call 407-939-7424.

Philharmagic schedule firming up – We're hearing the following tenative schedule for the opening of Mickey's Philharmagic Orchestra in the Magic Kingdom:

  • Gift shop opens first (of course): mid-June
  • Cast previews: September
  • Soft opening: end of September
  • Official Grand Opening: October 8, 2003

The marquee, Fastpass area, and Standby display are all completed.

Start saving your pennies – Walt Disney World has just announced the dates for Magic Kingdom's "999 Happy Haunts Ball." This three-day series of events, scheduled for October 27, 28, and 29, is rumored to include an extravagant dining experience similar to those held at Disneyland — with a $2,000 price tag.

Outsource it all! - The Gourmet Pantry, one of the last Disney Marketplace stores at Downtown Disney actually operated by Disney will close and be replaced by something called "Earl of Sandwich."

Don't play ball - The Orlando Rays, a minor-league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball team, will be moving to Montgomery, Alabama after this season. This will create a vacancy at Disney World's Wide World of Sports complex where they played their home games for the last three years.

Current Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom film shoot from June 2 through 6 will cause some disruption on June 3 and 4. All Main Street Trolley trips will be canceled. On each day, the first three Cinderella's Surprise Celebration at Castle Forecourt Stage (9:45, 10:45, 11:45) will be canceled as well.

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.

The Theater in Epcot's Canada Pavilion will be closed June 9-June 13.


Park Events

Upcoming events

April 25 through June 8 - 10th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Also see the May 19 Park Update: WDW column for details.

May 16 - June 15 - Star Wars Weekends. Also see the May 19 Park Update: WDW column for details.

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 - Night of Joy. An evening of Contemporary Christian Music at Magic Kingdom. $35.95 for one night (all ages) or $57.95 for both nights. Buy tickets online or call (407) W-Disney.

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.

October 18-November 16, 2003 - Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Included with park admission, sample wine and food from 25 countries.

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

Free 5-day Park Hopper for Active Military, as well as discounted companian tickets. Offer valid through December 19, 2003 and includes all active military personnel, including Coast Guard, as well as activated National Guard and Reservists.

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)
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
 
6/2
6/3
6/4
6/5
6/6
6/7
 

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-10p
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-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
6/8
6/9
6/10
6/11
6/12
6/13
6/14
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-10p
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-9p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
6/15
6/16
  • 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-8p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-6p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p

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


Entertainment Schedule

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 6/2

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 6/3

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
Wednesday 6/4

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
Thursday 6/5

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 6/6

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 6/7

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 6/8

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 6/9

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 9:45p

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.