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News and Views

Kitchen Kabaret character displays at Food & Wine Festival


The Kitchen Karnivale at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival provides entertainment for children. MousePlanet photo by Mark Goldhaber.

For those who miss the old Kitchen Kabaret Players from the former attraction at The Land, they are making a return appearance at a special area of the Food & Wine Festival aimed at kids.


The stars of the old Kitchen Kabaret show return to play host to the Kitchen Karnivale. MousePlanet photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The players appear as flats throughout the Kitchen Karnivale area, with some of the show music on the background loop in the area.


Find out "The Buzz" About Honey and sample fresh honey and make your own bee at this pavilion at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival. MousePlanet photo by Mark Goldhaber.

There's a swing-the-mallet-and-ring-the-bell carnival-type attraction, a veggie-veggie-fruit-fruit hopscotch court, and even free (that's right, free) fruit cups at the area on the rose walk between Future World and World Showcase—that's the pathway to the west of the main pathway, on the Imagination/Canada side.


It's eleven-thirty in the morning, but for some it's never too early for a beer. MousePlanet photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Just down the rose walk from the Kitchen Karnivale is an area featuring “The Buzz” About Honey. At this pavilion, you can find out about how honey is made, taste some fresh honey straight from the hive, and even make your own bee with colored cotton balls, colored pipe cleaners, and a little concentration.


Kids (and kids at hear) can play hopscotch over the Kitchen Kabaret Players at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival. MousePlanet photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Agony of Da Feet: Marathon update

Registration for next January's Walt Disney World Half-Marathon (link) filled up in record time this past March—so quickly, in fact, that Disney increased the event size by another 1,000 registrants for a total of 6,000. Registration for the Walt Disney World Marathon (link) took a bit longer to fill (it's easier to decide to run “only ” 13.1 miles instead of 26.2), but that event has now also filled up, with 18,000 registrants. However, you can still register by running on behalf of one of many charitable organizations. A list of participating organizations can be found on the Marathon page.

Their course—26.2 miles for the full and 13.1 for the half—takes them on the highways and byways of the Vacation Kingdom, including such fabled avenues as Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom, World Showcase Promenade at Epcot and Hollywood Boulevard in Disney-MGM Studios.

The two running events, on Sunday, January 11, serve as centerpieces for the 2004 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which also features the FamilyFun Magazine 5K (3.1 miles) and Kids' Races on Saturday, January 10, and the two-day Disney's Health and Fitness Expo presented by Tylenol 8 Hour in the Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex on January 9 and 10.

If you have friends or family that you'd like to be able to see you while you're running, the Marathon and Half Marathon pages contain a list of viewing locations and directions on how to get there in the wee hours of the morning. Remember, the runners go around the course once, so spectators will not be able to see their favorite runner pass by more than once. Depending on timing, however, you could travel from one viewing spot to a later viewing spot before the runners get there.

Princess Tea Party Event test run adds limited edition pins

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort has been testing a tea party designed for girls ages 4 to 12. Called “My Disney Girl's Perfectly Princess Tea Party,” the tea is 90 minutes long, and is held at the resort's Garden View Tea Lounge.

The five-part party is led by a professional actress/singer named “Miss Rose Petal,” and culminates with each child getting to meet Princess Aurora, Disney's Sleeping Beauty, in person. The tea also includes tea and brunch for two, a Princess dream dessert for all guests, a My Disney Girl doll, a princess bracelet, special gift for adults, and a “Best Friend” certificate so girls can name their My Disney Girl doll. In addition, the following (last) days of the tea include special artist proof princess cameo pins (one per group with a child attending the tea party):

  • October 29 – Cameo Tinkerbell
  • October 30 – Cameo Aurora
  • November 1 – Cameo Snow White
  • November 2 – Cameo Cinderella

The tea costs $200 plus tax for one child and one adult. Each additional child is $135, and each additional adult is $65. There is a limited seating of 42 per day. To reserve a space, call Walt Disney Event Services at (407) 566-5880.

Singh wins Funai Classic golf tournament

Congratulations to Vijay Singh for winning the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World.

The 40-year-old from Fiji finished at 23 under par 265, and was four strokes ahead of Tiger Woods, Scott Verplank, and Stewart Cink.

The tournament was played over the weekend on the Palm and Magnolia courses near the Magic Kingdom.

Festival of the Masters info

Approximately 150 award-winning visual artists will show their works at Downtown Disney the weekend of November 7-9 at the 28th annual Festival of the Masters. The Festival will also include special performances, including Cirque du Soleil acts performing on Friday and Saturday at 2pm and 4pm. The Festival also includes such diverse elements as the House of Blues Folk Art Festival, performance artists, Madonnari Masters Chalk Artists, Disney Magic Music Days Jazz Jam, and children's activities.

Lunch (or dinner) with a Disney Imagineer now official

You can now have a nice pleasant meal with an Imagineer at the Hollywood Brown Derby at the Disney-MGM Studios. The four-course lunch costs $60.99 per person, while the four-course dinner with included wine pairing costs $99.99 per person. You can make reservations by calling 407-WDW-DINE, which is the same number as for the Lunch with a Disney Artist program.

Ears to the ground

…The Magic Kingdom has recently opened a second bus turnaround for guests to help handle the upcoming addition of the Pop Century and Saratoga Springs resorts. The Animal Kingdom Lodge, Old Key West Resort, and Port Orleans buses pull up to the original bus turnaround (pavilion "A"), while all other Disney Resorts use the new turnaround (pavilion "B").

…A quick unscientific survey on the opening day of the Food and Wine Festival showed that many people didn't care what time it was, they wanted their beer. Lines at the Specialty Beer Garden were growing rapidly at 11:30 am.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain is scheduled to be closed for refurbishment through Saturday, November 22.
  • Mickey's PhilharMagic is now officially open.
  • Wishes: a Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, the new fireworks spectacular for the Magic Kingdom, has now replaced the venerable Fantasy in the Sky show.
  • The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter closed for good on October 12. It is now undergoing a major rehab and will reopen in mid- to late-2004 as Stitch's Great Escape!
  • Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress will be open from park open to park close for the duration of the Stitch's Great Escape! construction.
  • Timekeeper will be open from 10am-6pm for the duration of the Stitch's Great Escape! construction.
  • Adventureland now opens at 10am on non-peak days.

Epcot

  • Food Rocks may close on January 3 to make way for the entrance to the new Soarin' over California attraction.
  • The Eiffel Tower structure at the France pavilion is due to return from rehab in December.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • Magic of Disney Animation is closed for refurbishment through November 23.
  • Residential Street at the Disney-MGM Studios has been closed and is undergoing demolition to prepare the site for an American version of the popular Moteurs… Action! stunt show from the Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris.
  • Due to the loss of Residential Street, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights will not be presented this holiday season. It is expected to return in some form for 2004.
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is continuing to receive a lot of rehab work through November, reportedly on the ride control system and cable replacements. The Tower will be running one side only through Monday, November 17. Capacity will be decreased during the rehab, but should be offset by smaller off-season crowds.
  • Sets from the upcoming Haunted Mansion movie are now open in the old Backstage Pass soundstage.

Animal Kingdom

  • No known closures at this time.

Resorts

  • Boardwalk Resort - The Keister Coaster slide is closed through October 29 for refurbishment. During this time, the 190,000 gallon Luna Park pool will remain open, and Boardwalk Resort guests will also have the option of using the Stormalong Bay pool complex at the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts (ID may be required).
  • Pop Century Resort - This resort officially opens on December 14.
  • Port Orleans Resort - A two-year extensive rehab of this resort's rooms is ongoing. For Phase I, French Quarter closed May 4, 2003. Phase II will involve Riverside going down in sections. We have not yet heard a date for completion of Phase I.
  • Polynesian Resort - This resort is seeing the longhouses refurbished one by one. Each longhouse under rehab is walled off and isolated during its rehab. There are only a couple of longhouses remaining. Tuvalu is scheduled for rehab October 20, 2003, through January, 2004. Niue and Rarotonga are the only other longhouses currently scheduled to undergo rehab, and are tentatively scheduled for January 18 - May 2, 2004.
  • Shades of Green - Major construction and rehab is ongoing at this military-run resort. It is currently expected to reopen in March, 2004.
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (a Disney Vacation Club resort) has a tentative grand opening date of May 1, 2004.

Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach is undergoing refurbishment through December 13.
  • Typhoon Lagoon will undergo refurbishment beginning on December 14.

Elsewhere

  • The All Star Cafe at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex is now closed Monday-Wednesday. It is open Thursday-Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Park Events

October

  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. October 3, 5, 10, 14, 16, 19, 24, 26, 30 and 31.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Included with park admission, sample wine and food from 25 countries (link). October 18 to November 16.
  • 999 Happy Haunts Ball at the Magic Kingdom. October 27, 28, and 29.

November

  • Festival of the Masters - 150 artists and their creations on display at Downtown Disney's West Side. November 7 to 9.
  • ABC Super Soap Weekend at the Disney-MGM Studios. November 8 and 9.
  • Pin Trading Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. November 16-20.
  • Festival of the Seasons at Epcot featuring lighting displays, fun window displays, and more. November 28 to December 24.
  • Holidays Around the World at Epcot lets you celebrate holidays in the style of the World Showcase countries. November 28 to December 30.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom – Order by phone at (407) W-DISNEY (934-7639). November 30, December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 19.

December

  • Doll & Teddy Bear Weekend. December 7.
  • Disney's Pop Century Resort opens December 14.

January 2004

  • Disney's Health and Fitness Expo (link). January 9 & 10.
  • FamilyFun Magazine Family Fun Run (link) January 10.
  • Disney Marathon and Half-Marathon January 11.
  • Annual Passholders' Cruise (4 nights) on Disney Magic. January 25.

April 2004

  • Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. April 16 to May 30.

May 2004

  • Walt Disney World Inline Marathon (link). May 2.

Current Discounts & Promotions

New Disney Visa Dream Maker Package - Kids Stay Free!

That there is a new Disney's Visa “Kids Stay and Play Free” Package, available most nights January 4 through June 12, 2004, where when you buy a full-price Walt Disney World Dream Maker Package with your Disney?s Visa card, for each adult on the package, one child (3-9) gets a free Ultimate Park Hopper pass for the length of stay. 4-night minimum. Plus you receive $100 in Disney Dollars per package at check-in! Go to www.disney.com/kidsfree for more information, or call your travel agent and book using package code ZXFA. You must book your package by January 2.

Great rates at the Swan and Dolphin

Are you planning a trip this fall? Check out this offer from the Swan and Dolphin:

  • WDW Annual Passholders can book rooms as low as $139 per night, plus tax and resort fee, through the end of 2003, including a free upgrade! Rates include a free upgrade, and are subject to availability.

Get more details and the discount codes at MouseSavers.com.

Military Salute hotel and cruise discounts available

Active U.S. Military personnel or spouses are also eligible for a 40 percent savings per night (based on the non-discounted price of the same room) at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, and special rates on Disney Cruise Line sailings. This offer is available most nights through December 19, 2003 at Walt Disney World, and for most sailings through December 18 on the Disney Cruise Line. Hotel rooms and staterooms are limited at this special rate.

For more information, call (407) 939-7424 for Walt Disney World, and (800) 951-2659 for the Disney Cruise Line. You must be 18 or older to call these numbers.

Free 5-day Park Hopper for Active Military

Disney is offering a special for active duty military—a free five-day park hopper ticket, 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. See their official Web site for more information.

Annual Passholder and Florida resident rates available

WDW Annual Passholder and Florida resident rates are available at select Walt Disney World resorts for check-ins October 2 through November 24, and November 28 through December 26. Discounts range from approximately 30 to 45 percent off regular rack rates.

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

Annual Passholders

Receive 10 percent 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 Mondays through Fridays. Call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) for locations and reservations.


Park Hours

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
10/27
10/28
10/29
10/30
10/31
11/01
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

11/01
11/02
  • 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-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-7p
AK 9a-5p
BB closed
TL 10a-5p

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


Entertainment Schedule

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 10/27

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 7p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 10/28

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 6:30pm

Wishes Fireworks 7:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 10/29

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 7p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 10/30

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 10/31

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 11/1

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic 7p, 9p

Wishes Fireworks 8p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 11/2

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 7p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 11/3

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 7p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7p

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.