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News and Views

Reedy Creek firefighters have new contract

Last Wednesday, the Reedy Creek Improvement District's Board of Supervisors approved a new three-year contract for the members of the Reedy Creek Firefighters Association, bringing a close to the over two years of contentious negotiations between the District and the union. The new contract includes raises, a signing bonus, improved retirement health benefits, and increased training.

Anti-Gay Days activists protest at state capitol

Last Thursday, the Christian Action Network staged a protest against the popular Gay Days event at Walt Disney World. Armed with poster-sized photos allegedly of gay men exposing themselves at last year's Gay Days events, the protesters asked state legislators to put pressure on the state attorney general to crack down on enforcing public indecency laws at this year's event, scheduled for June 3 to 6.

Watch out alligators, the Croc is coming to town

Disney Sports Attractions—the arm of the Walt Disney Company that runs Disney's Wide World of Sports, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and all Walt Disney World hotel pools—has signed an agreement with Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. to make the Izod line of clothing the official swimwear provider of the water parks and resort pools, as well as the official sportswear provider and preferred sportswear brand of Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.

Disney lifeguards and other water sports staff throughout the Resort will begin wearing Izod crocodile-logo swimwear in July.

Unless the crocodile is themed to look like Tick-Tock, though, it's hard to see how the brand fits the theme of the Resort.

Ears to the Ground

…Shortly after last week's update went to the production desk, Walt Disney World moved up the rehab date for “it's a small world,” pulling the start date from June 7 to May 2. By doing this, Disney hopes that the attraction will be ready for next year's spring break season. However, the Snow White's Scary Adventures will be reopening three weeks ahead of schedule, on May 7 instead of May 28.


Have any interesting news or rumors? Let us know.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • it's a small world” – down for rehab through Spring 2005. Originally scheduled for Jun 7 through March 18, the rehab was moved up approximately 5 weeks to ensure readiness for next spring break season. Expected work includes upgrades to the lighting, audio, and electrical systems, rehabs to sets and audio-animatronic figures, asbestos abatement, roof repair, regular water maintenance (draining and refilling), replacement of boats, and the rumored swapping of the entry and exit queues for better traffic flow.
  • 20,000 League Under the Sea lagoon – walled off to “clear the land as well as add landscape for future use.” The work is expected to run through November.
  • Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress – expected to remain open for the duration of the Stitch's Great Escape construction.
  • Timekeeper – returned to seasonal operation.
  • Adventureland – now opens at 10 a.m. on non-peak days, but opens with the rest of the park (except for the Jungle Cruise and the Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management) on Sundays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • El Pirata y el Perico – closed through May 14 for a rehab.
  • Splash Mountain – opens at noon from May 10-14 for final work related to the rehab that caused late openings earlier this year.
  • The Hall of Presidents and the Country Bear Jamboree also open at 10 a.m. every day.
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures – closed for refurbishment through May 7.
  • The Enchanted Grove – closed for rehab through May 23.
  • Mickey's Toontown Fair train station – rumored to be slated for replacement between May 3 and June 11.

Epcot

  • The Universe of Energy – expected to close for a short rehab shortly to remove the ExxonMobil signage now that its pavilion sponsorship has ended.
  • Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room – the pub portion will be closed until just before July 4. The rehab is rumored to include a complete rebuild on the pub portion and the building of a divider between the pub and the restaurant.
  • Food Rocks – closed permanently to make way for the entrance to the new Soarin' Over California attraction.
  • The Behind the Seeds Walking Tour of the greenhouses at The Land – discontinued during reconstruction of the Food Rocks area into the queue for Soarin'. The tours are expected to resume upon completion of the construction.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – open seasonally. The Pure and Simple eatery and the Well and Goods Limited shop will remain closed, while the Body Wars, Cranium Command, and The Making of Me attractions will now be open when the pavilion is open.
  • Restaurant Akershus – open for the Princess Character Breakfast only through May 10, but not open for lunch and dinner during this time.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • Residential Street at the Disney-MGM Studios – closed and demolished and construction is well underway to turn the site into Lights, Motors, Action!, an American version of the popular Moteurs… Action! stunt show from the Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris.
  • Star Tours – closed for rehab from July 16 - August 1.
  • The Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure – closed for rehab May 3 to June 30.
  • New York Street – undergoing a great deal of construction to change some facades to represent Chicago and San Francisco. The Chicago facades appear to be complete, while San Francisco is underway. The target completion date for the rest of the newly-titled Big City Street is October 2.
  • The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights – now confirmed to be returning this year, from November 24 through January 2.

Animal Kingdom

  • Dinosaur – closed for refurbishment through June 4. Rumor has it that the problematic Fastpass merge point will receive some attention to improve crowd flow.

Resorts

  • Port Orleans Resort – A two-year extensive rehab of this resort's rooms is ongoing. For Phase I, French Quarter closed May 4, 2003 and reopened March 21. Phase II involves Riverside going through a phased rehab. The Magnolia Bend mansions will go down one by one, followed by Alligator Bayou closing in sections.
  • Polynesian Resort – nearing completion of the refurbishment of longhouses. Each longhouse under rehab is walled off and isolated during its rehab. Niue and Rarotonga are the last remaining longhouses currently scheduled to undergo rehab, and are tentatively scheduled through May 2. Tokelau, Tahiti, and Rapa Nui have not yet been refurbished, but they have not yet been scheduled, either.
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort – The main pool will be closed from September through the end of the year for construction of a new water slide.
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (a Disney Vacation Club resort) – has an announced grand opening ceremony date of May 27, however guests may stay at the Resort beginning May 17. Reservations are now available.

Water Parks

  • No current water park rehabs underway.

Elsewhere

  • World Drive – undergoing a repaving project through the end of May. Watch for delays and lane closures along this main route into the resort.
  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performing Tuesdays through Saturdays, but will be closed June 20-July 5, August 22-25, October 17-20, and December 5-13.
  • The All Star Cafe at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex – now closed Monday-Wednesday. It is open Thursday-Sunday, from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Park Events

Ongoing

  • Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (link). April 16 – June 6.
  • Cinco de Mayo celebration at Pleasure Island. April 30, May 1, 5.

May 2004

  • Danskin Women's Triathlon (link). May 16.
  • Florida Half Ironman Triathlon (link). May 23.
  • Disney Vacation Club Member Homecoming event/Saratoga Springs opening. May 25 – 27.
  • Star Wars Weekends (link). Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, May 14 – June 13.

June 2004

  • Gay Days (link). June 3 – 6.[Not official WDW events.]
  • National Kidney Foundation 5K for Organ & Tissue > Donation Awareness (link) . June 12.
  • Family Pride Coalition Weekend (link). June 17 – 20.[Not official WDW events.]

July 2004

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex (link). Dates in July and August TBA.

September 2004

  • Tom Joyner Family Reunion Weekend (link). September 2-5.
  • Nights of Joy (link). September 9 – 11.
  • Disney's International Distance Triathlon (link). September 26.

October 2004

  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (link). October 1 – November 14.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link). October 1, 3, 8, 12, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29 and 31.
  • 2004 Komen Central Florida Race For The Cure 5K (link). October 9.
  • Disney's 10K Classic (link). October 10.
  • Funai Classic at Walt Disney World (link). October 21 – 24.
  • 999 Happy Haunts event. Dinner, October 25. Gathering, October 27.

November 2004

  • Super Soap Weekend (link). Dates in early November TBA.
  • Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney (link). November 12–14.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (link). November 28 and 30, December 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 17.
  • Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney (link). November 26 – December 24.
  • Holidays Around the World (link). November 26 – December 30.

December 2004

  • New Year's Eve celebrations at Pleasure Island (link) and Atlantic Dance (link). December 31.

January 2005

  • Disney's Health and Fitness Expo (link). January 7 & 8.
  • FamilyFun Magazine Family Fun Run (link). January 8.
  • Disney Marathon (link) and Half-Marathon (link). January 9.

February 2005

  • Atlanta Braves Training Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex (link). Dates in February through April TBA.


Current Discounts & Promotions

Discounts for hotel-only and Dream Maker packages now available

Discount rates for Annual Passholders, Florida Residents, and general guests for stay from April 18 through July 4 are now available. Visit MouseSavers for more details.

Florida resident Play Four Days pass returns

Disney's Play 4 Days pass for Florida residents is again on sale. The special pass is essentially a four-day park hopper pass for Florida residents that is available for $109 plus tax. The pass is good for theme park visits from January 4 through June 4, with blockout dates April 3-15 for the peak Easter week season. Passes are available at Walt Disney World theme parks, Florida Disney Stores, AAA offices. The cost of a Play 4 Days pass may be applied to a Florida resident Annual or Seasonal pass. For more information, either visit the Play 4 Days Web page (link) or call 407-WDW-4DAYS (407-939-4329).

Free commemorative coins for APs at Studios

Annual Passholders can receive a free commemorative coin, celebrating Disney-MGM Studios 15th Anniversary by showing their valid Passholder I.D. at the Sorcerer Hat Shop between May 1 and May 13, 2004. Created by celebrated Disney artist Don "Ducky" Williams, the coin features Director Mickey filming Minnie Mouse.

Gaylord Palms to pay for gas

Guests of the Gaylord Palms Resort will receive a $75 credit to cover the higher cost of gasoline for stays of at least three nights from June 15 through Sept. 6. The Orlando-area resort will provide the room credit to guests who make a reservation using the promotion code FREEGAS. It is not a requirement that guests drive to the resort in order to get the discount.

Disney's Summer Price Slice returns

Summer Price Slice is back with special-value greens fees on tee times after 10 a.m. daily from May 17 through Sept. 30 on Disney's five championship courses.

Golfers can test the premier Osprey Ridge course after 10 a.m. for $65 (compared to a normal seasonal greens fee of $119) or Eagle Pines for $50 (compared to a normal seasonal fee of $109). Post-10 a.m. rounds on the Magnolia, Palm or Lake Buena Vista courses are $45 (compared to a normal seasonal fee of $99). Cart is included.

Disney's Summer Price Slice also gives golfers the opportunity to play afternoon rounds late into the day. Golfers can take on Osprey Ridge after 3 p.m. for $35 ($30 after 5 p.m.). Eagle Pines, Magnolia, Palm and Lake Buena Vista start at $30 after 3 p.m. ($25 after 5 p.m.).

For tee times, guests may call 407/WDW-GOLF. For information on the Walt Disney World golf courses, visit: www.disneyworldgolf.com.

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 $26 per adult, per ticket with the “Advance Purchase Savings” program. These prices are before the 6.5 percent Orange County sales tax.

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
$219
$202
$17
     Children ages 3 - 9
$176
$162
$14
5-Day Park Hopper: Adults
$249
$230
$19
     Children ages 3 - 9
$200
$184
$16
5-Day Park Hopper Plus: Adults
$282
$259
$23
     Children ages 3 - 9
$226
$208
$18
6-Day Park Hopper Plus: Adults
$312
$288
$24
     Children ages 3 - 9
$250
$231
$21
7-Day Park Hopper Plus: Adults
$342
$316
$26
     Children ages 3 - 9
$274
$253
$21

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

Hours and entertainment schedules are currently available through June 2004.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
5/3
5/4
5/5
5/6
5/7
5/8
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Entertainment Schedule

Hours and entertainment schedules are currently available through June 2004.

Theme Park Events

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 5/3

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Disney Gardening at Home: Creative Wreaths for All Seasons 11a, 2p

Flower Power Concert: Orleans 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 5/4

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 8:30p

Wishes Fireworks 9:30p

Disney Gardening at Home: Creative Wreaths for All Seasons 11a, 2p

Flower Power Concert: Orleans 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 5/5

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Disney Gardening at Home: Creative Wreaths for All Seasons 11a, 2p

Flower Power Concert: Orleans 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 5/6

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Disney Gardening at Home: Creative Wreaths for All Seasons 11a, 2p

Flower Power Concert: The Grass Roots 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 5/7

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Great American Gardeners Series: Richard Johnson 11a, 2p

Flower Power Concert: The Grass Roots 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 5/8

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Great American Gardeners Series: Richard Johnson 11a, 2p

Flower Power Concert: The Grass Roots 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 5/9

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Great American Gardeners Series: Richard Johnson 11a, 2p

Flower Power Concert: The Grass Roots 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 5/10

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Disney Gardening at Home: Big Show, Little Dough 11a, 2p

Flower Power Concert: Dave Mason 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Downtown Disney Entertainment

(Separate admission required)

Jazz Club
West End Stage
Rock & Roll Beach Club
House of Blues
Monday 5/3

Joy Wright

Caliente

 

 

Tuesday 5/4

Joy Wright

Caliente

 

Stereophonics with Plain Jane Automobile (main room), $15 in advance, $17.50 day of show 8:30pm

Wednesday 5/5

Joy Wright

Caliente

Kabang

Iced Earth with Children of Bodom and Evergrey (main room), $19.50 in advance, $22.50 day of show 8pm

Thursday 5/6

Eric Essix

Stormbringer

Kabang

Big Al & the Heavyweights (Blues Kitchen), free 11pm

Friday 5/7

Eric Essix

Stormbringer

Kabang

Seven Mary Three with Big 10-4 and TBA (main room), $12 in advance, $15 day of show 8:30pm

Jimmy Griswald (Blues Kitchen), free 11pm

Saturday 5/8

Eric Essix

Stormbringer

Kabang

Twista with White Boy (main room), $19.50 in advance, $22.50 day of show 9 pm

The Midnight Ramblers (Blues Kitchen), free 11pm

Sunday 5/9

Elliot Dyson

Bluestone Circle

 

Apostle JL Cash and Praise (gospel brunch), $30 adult, $15 child (3-9) 10:30am, 1p

Monday 5/10

Elliot Dyson

Bluestone Circle

 

 



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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.