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News and Views

Shades delayed? Some visitors with reservations at Disney's Shades of Green Resort have received letters informing them that the grand reopening of the hotel, scheduled for December 2003, has been delayed until March 2004. The hotel is an Armed Forces Recreation Center, and is open to Armed Forces members and their families. The current expansion project, started in March 2002, will adds 290 guest rooms, 10 suites, two restaurants, banquet facilities, and a parking structure to the resort.

Volunteers needed for the WDW Marathon – Let's say your significant other has decided to run the WDW Marathon, and you want to be supportive, but there is no way you're lacing on a pair of running shoes. Consider joining the hundreds of “Sports Enthusiasts” (volunteers) who help to make the event a sucess.

Walt Disney World is currently accepting applications for those who wish to volunteer to help with the full and half-marathons, scheduled for Sunday, January 11, 2004. Some of the most popular postitions are already full but many other great opportunities are still available, including:

  • Baggage – Responsible for checking in and out runners' personal belongings before they start and as they finish the race.
  • Chip Removal – Responsible for removing the timing chip from runners' shoelaces as they cross the Finish Line. The timing chip tracks the runner's race time.
  • Course Monitor – These volunteers help reinforce existing cones and signage to keep runners "on course" in particularly complex areas.
  • Family Reunion – Take messages for runners and family members by way of alphabetized tents. Host runners and family members as they wait to be reunited. Finish Line Crowd Control: Keep spectators in their assigned section and away from the busy activity of the finish line.
  • Finish Line Escorts – Escort runners as they complete the race. Direct runners from chip removal to mylar, medals, and medical.
  • Finish Line Food and Water – These volunteers distribute oranges, bananas, energy bars, and water to runners after they have crossed the finish line.
  • Finish Line Set-Up – Set up chip removal, medal, and mylar areas prior to runners crossing the finish line.
  • Food Stop – Four food stops are located along the course. These volunteers set up the stop, and then prepare to distribute food to runners as they pass. Bananas, oranges, and energy bars are available along the course.
  • Information Tent – Disseminate information to runners and spectators. Answer questions, give directions, and assist with resolving challenges that may arise.

Participating volunteers will receive a jacket, food and beverage, and a WDW one-day, one-park ticket upon the completion of their shift. For more information, check out the Sports Enthusiasts Web page at the Disney World of Sports Web site (link).

Disney Cruise Line Offers Guests Fireworks at Sea on Select Cruises – For a limited time only, the Disney Wonder features a “Wish Upon A Star” fireworks display on select sailings. During Disney's popular Nassau deck party, a pyrotechnics show will light up the sky on all four-night sailings now through Sunday, August 24.

Not to be confused with pyrotechnics used in stage shows, this aerial display launches full-sized fireworks shells hundreds of feet into the sky, resulting in giant bursts of brilliant color. It is believed to be the only fireworks show of this scale in the cruise industry. While this display can be seen for miles, only Disney Cruise Line guests experience a multi-sensory experience, complete with accompanying music choreographed to an “Under the Sea” medley inspired by Disney's Little Mermaid film.

WDW water parks refurbishment schedules for 2003 – Blizzard Beach will undergo refurbishment beginning Saturday, November 1, with Typhoon Lagoon to follow beginning in late December. As in the past, there will be at least one water park open during refurbishment periods.

Spa at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa closed for construction – To accommodate continuing construction of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, operations at the spa will be temporarily suspended beginning July 25. Formerly the Spa at the Disney Institute, spa services will reopen when the new resort opens in Spring 2004.

Spa services are still available at the Grand Floridian Spa and Health Club. You can make reservations by calling 407-824-2332.

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Blizzard Beach will undergo refurbishment beginning November 1, 2003.

Typhoon Lagoon will undergo refurbishment beginning in late December 2003.


Park Events

Upcoming 2003 events

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 (934-7639).

September 6, 2003 - National Kidney Foundation of Florida 5K Fun Run/Walk Race.

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

September 24 – 27, 2003 - 22nd Annual World Airline Road Races

September 27 – 28, 2003 - Tri-America Triathlon Series Finale.

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

October 12, 2003 - Disney's 10K Classic

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

October 27, 28, and 29 – Magic Kingdom's “999 Happy Haunts Ball.”

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 (934-7639).

December 7, 2003 – Doll & Teddy Bear Weekend.

Upcoming 2004 events

January 9 – 10, 2004 - Disney's Health and Fitness Expo.

January 10, 2004 - FamilyFun Magazine Family Fun Run.

January 11, 2004 – Disney Marathon and Half-Marathon.

April 16 – May 30, 2004 – 2004 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

May 2, 2004 - Walt Disney World Inline Marathon.


Current Discounts & Promotions

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

Play 4 Days pass – Florida residents can purchase a new four-day ticket for just $109, plus tax. (That's almost 1/2 the price of a regular four-day park-hopper ticket) The ticket is valid for four admissions from now until September 30, 2003. These tickets are park-hoppers.

Residents can purchase just one ticket per person, per day, so your out-of-town relatives must buy their own, regular-priced admission. Tickets are non-transferable, and you must show a valid ID each time. These tickets can be applied towards the cost of any Annual Passport, as long as you upgrade by October 31, 2003. (Your annual pass expires one year from the date you first used your Play 4 Days Pass).

The Play 4 Days pass can be purchased at any WDW park ticket window, local AAA offices, Florida Disney Stores, by phone at (407) 939-4329 or on the WDW Web site (link).

Plan ahead and save a few bucks – The Walt Disney World Resort is encouraging visitors to buy their theme park tickets before they even leave home, by offering a slight discount on advance purchases. You can save as much as $22 per adult, per ticket with the 'Advance Purchase Savings' program.

You can also receive these Advance Purchase Savings with packages purchased through AAA.

Multi-Day Tickets
Gate Prices
Advance Purchase Price
Savings
4-Day Park Hopper: Adults
$208
$192
$16
     Children ages 3 - 9
$167
$152
$15
5-Day Park Hopper: Adults
$239
$217
$22
     Children ages 3 - 9
$192
$172
$20
5-Day Park Hopper Plus: Adults
$269
$247
$22
     Children ages 3 - 9
$216
$197
$19
6-Day Park Hopper Plus: Adults
$299
$277
$22
     Children ages 3 - 9
$240
$222
$18
7-Day Park Hopper Plus: Adults
$329
$307
$22
     Children ages 3 - 9
$264
$247
$17

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)
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:

  • 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 $109 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
 
7/14
7/15
7/16
7/17
7/18
7/19
 

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

MK 9a-11p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 9a-6p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p
MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
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
MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-10p
EW 10a-10p
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
7/20
7/21
7/22
7/23
7/24
7/25
7/26
MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-6p
BB 9a-7p
TL 9a-7p

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

MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 9a-6p
BB 9a-7p
TL 9a-7p
MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 9a-6p
BB 9a-7p
TL 9a-7p
MK 9a-11p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-6p
BB 9a-7p
TL 9a-7p
MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-10p
EW 10a-10p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-6p
BB 9a-7p
TL 9a-7p
MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-6p
BB 9a-7p
TL 9a-7p
7/27
7/28
  • 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-10p
EF 9a-6p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-6p
BB 9a-7p
TL 9a-7p

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


Entertainment Schedule

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 7/14

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p, 11p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Tuesday 7/15

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p, 11p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Wednesday 7/16

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Thursday 7/17

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Friday 7/18

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Saturday 7/19

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Sunday 7/20

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p
Monday 7/21

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 9p, 11p

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 10p

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.