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News and Views

Lord Stanley visits the Magic Kingdom

Dave Andreychuk, captain of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, brought Lord Stanley's hardware to Walt Disney World on Saturday. Andreychuk and the Cup appeared in a parade down Main Street, U.S.A., followed by the Lightning's Zamboni. This marked the Cup's second appearance at Walt Disney World in a month, following its appearance in front of Team Mickey's in the Downtown Disney Marketplace on May 25.

Registration opens today for the 999 Happy Haunts event

Reservations is available for this year's 999 Happy Haunts “A Ghoulish Gathering” event beginning at noon Eastern Daylight Time (9 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time). Three package levels are available, each named after one of the hitchhiking ghosts at the end of the Haunted Mansion attraction.

“Ezra” package ($149.99 ; October 27 events only):

  • Entry into the Magic Kingdom after 7:30 p.m. for the event
  • Spirited Entertainment especially for the Ghosts of the evening
  • Themed dinner and dessert reception
  • Ride on the Haunted Mansion attraction
  • Meet & Greet with Artists of the 999 Happy Haunts Event Merchandise
  • Opportunity to Pre-Purchase Limited Edition 999 Happy Haunts Event Merchandise
  • Special art showing & presentation of a Haunted Mansion first time piece by Disney Collector Edition
  • Commemorative Gifts

“Gus” package ($529.99) includes everything in the “Ezra” package plus:

  • One (1) night accommodation at Disney's Contemporary Resort (night of October 25, 2004 only). Note: Couples purchasing the “Gus Event Package” will be offered a second night hotel accommodation (consecutive to the first night – October 26, 2004) in a standard room/double occupancy at Disney's Contemporary Resort in lieu of two rooms for one night
  • Dinner at Disney MGM Studios (October 26, 2004)
  • Buffet breakfast (October 27, 2004)
  • Seminar with Jason Surrell (October 27, 2004)
  • Live Auction (October 27, 2004)

“Phineas” package ($2,299.99) includes everything in the “Gus” package plus:

  • Two (2) nights accommodation at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (nights of October 25–26, 2004 only). Couples purchasing the “Phineas Event Package” will be offered a third and fourth night hotel accommodation (consecutive to the first two nights - October 25–27, 2004) in a standard room/double occupancy at the Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in lieu of two rooms for two nights.
  • Dinner at the Magic Kingdom (Inside the Haunted Mansion Attraction) (October 25, 2004)

Reservations are online. See the Disney Gallery Web site (link) for reservations or more information.

Soft drink price reduction tested during June at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom

Beginning Sunday, June 6, Disney reduced the prices on bottled soft drinks in the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks from $2.50 to $2.00 (including tax) for the month of June. Products affected include 20 ounce bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Minute Maid Lemonade, and Nestea Iced Tea, as well as the 24-ounce sport bottle of Dasani water. The retail price of POWERade remains unchanged.

The price reduction is effective at all locations selling the bottles. The test price is not in effect at any other Walt Disney World locations. The test will run though the month of June and the decision to either extend the test or terminate it will be made at that time.

Olympic medalists to visit Downtown Disney Marketplace in July

Several Olympic athletes are making special appearances this Summer 2004 as part of Walt Disney World Resort “Olympic Weekends.” Olympian appearances at the Downtown Disney Marketplace include:

  • July 3rd – Gold Medalist, Bob Beamon
  • July 10th – Gold Medalist, Sheila Taormina
  • July 17th – Multi-Medalist, Dennis Mitchell
  • July 31st – Gold Medalist, Dot Richardson

In addition, Olympic Gold Medalist Sheila Taormina returns for a special appearance on Saturday, August 14 at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. No other information on the “Olympic Weekends” is available at this time.

Tomorrowland Stage comes down

Removal of the Tomorrowland Stage began last Thursday. The removal process is expected to take approximately four to six weeks. Magic Music Days performances now occur at the the Galaxy Palace Theater and Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Accommodations will be made in the future for events such as Disney Grad Nite and Night of Joy.

Only two weeks left to reserve “5 + 2” package

“Disney's Five Plus Two Dream Maker Package” offer, also known as “seven for the price of five,” is available for stays between July 5 and November 18. However, you must make your reservations by June 28, so you only have two weeks left. Time's a-wastin'!

“Eat to the Beat” concert schedule

The following is the tentative schedule for the “Eat to the Beat” concerts during this fall's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:

  • October 1–5: Kool and the Gang
  • October 6–10: Starship
  • October 11–12: Beach Boys
  • October 13–15: Temptations Review
  • October 16–20: Taylor Dayne
  • October 21–25: Commodores
  • October 26–28: Three Dog Night
  • October 29–30: Survivor
  • October 31 – November 4: Blake Shelton
  • November 5–9: Eddie Money
  • November 10–14: Chubby Checker

Correction

On June 1, we reported that Cypress Gardens would be getting extra rehab money in this year's Florida state budget (link). Our information was wrong. That money was vetoed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush before he signed the budget. We regret the error.

Ears to the ground

…Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba shuts down for two weeks beginning Sunday, and returns on Tuesday, July 6.

…Super Soap Weekend dates have been announced. The event takes place at the Disney-MGM Studios on November 13–14.


Have any interesting news or rumors? Let us know.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • it's a small world” – closed for rehab through March 18, 2005. Expected upgrades: 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 and more stroller parking. The audio upgrade includes a return to a cleaned-up copy of the stereo soundtrack heard at the 1964 World's Fair, which has been very well received since it returned to Disneyland a couple of years ago.
  • 20,000 League Under the Sea lagoon – walled off to “clear the land as well as add landscape for future use,” expected through November 21.
  • The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter – closed for good. Undergoing a major rehab, reopens in fall 2004 as Stitch's Great Escape. The official opening of the new attraction now appears targeted to October 1.
  • Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress – expected to remain open during the Stitch's Great Escape construction.
  • Timekeeper – returned to seasonal operation. Open for the summer from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through August 14.
  • Adventureland – opens with the rest of the park daily with the exception of the Jungle Cruise and the Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management, which open at 10 a.m. There is a rumor that the Jungle Cruise will open with the rest of the park for the summer, from mid-June through mid-August.
  • The Hall of Presidents and the Country Bear Jamboree also open at 10 a.m. every day.
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway - remains open during its rehab, which will continue through August 8.
  • Tom Sawyer Island - closes July 25 – September 25.
  • The Enchanted Grove – has returned from rehab.
  • Mickey's Toontown Fair train station – will be torn down and rebuilt between May 10 and June 18. During this time, Walt Disney World Railroad only stops at Main Street, USA and Frontierland, though the train will stop to take on water in Toontown once every three trips around the park. Guests will not be allowed to board or exit the train during that time.
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin – down for rehab September 13 – October 15.
  • Ariel's Grotto – down for rehab September 22 - November 19 for theme-matching with the 20,000 Leagues Lagoon reclamation.
  • Astro Orbiter – down for rehab January 2 – February 16, 2005.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – down for rehab January 10 – February 10, 2005.

Epcot

  • The Universe of Energy – may close for a short rehab at any time to remove the ExxonMobil signage now that its pavilion sponsorship has ended.
  • Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room – the pub portion is closed until just before July 4. 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 have been removed, while the Body Wars, Cranium Command, and The Making of Me attractions will now be open when the pavilion is open.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • Residential Street at the Disney-MGM Studios – closed and demolished; construction well underway to turn the site into the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, 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 – rehab extended through July 12.
  • New York Street – undergoing a great deal of construction to change some facades to represent Chicago and San Francisco. The Chicago facades appear done; San Francisco is underway. Target completion date for the rest of the newly titled Big City Street: October 2.
  • The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights – confirmed returning this year on Big City Street, from November 24 through January 2.

Animal Kingdom

  • No currently reported rehabs.

Resorts

  • Port Orleans Resort – A two-year extensive rehab of this resort's rooms is ongoing. For Phase I, French Quarter has reopened. Phase II is underway, and 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. Rarotonga has reopened after its rehab. Tokelau, Tahiti, and Rapa Nui have not yet been refurbished, but they have not yet been scheduled, either.
  • The Never Land Club at Disney's Polynesian Resort - refurbished through June 30, 2004. Operations have been moved to the Tangaroa Terrace during this time.
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort – The main pool to close from September through the end of the year for construction of a new water slide.
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (a new Disney Vacation Club resort) – now open. Construction continues on the rest of the resort; the other three buildings of Phase I are due by the end of the year, the eight units of Phase II are due in 2005, and the six units of the newly-announced Phase III are due in 2007. Phase III will involve the razing of the old Fairway Villas.

Water Parks

  • No current water park rehabs underway.

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs 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. to 9 p.m.

Park Events

June 2004

  • Family Pride Coalition Weekend (link). June 17 – 20.[Not official WDW events.]
  • E-Ride Nights at the Magic Kingdom. June 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30.

July 2004

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex (link). July 31 through August 19.
  • E-Ride Nights at the Magic Kingdom. July 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30.
  • “ESPN The Weekend” (link). July 31 and Aug. 1.

September 2004

  • Tom Joyner Family Reunion Weekend (link). September 2–5.
  • Nights of Joy (link). September 9 – 11.
  • A Family Pin Gathering - Disney's Pin Celebration 2004 (link). September 10 – 12.
  • 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 (link). October 25-27.

November 2004

  • Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney (link). November 12–14.
  • Super Soap Weekend (link). November 13-14.
  • 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.

April 2005

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). Dates in February through April TBA.

June 2005

  • Gay and Lesbian Day at Walt Disney World (link). June 2-5.


Current Discounts & Promotions

Florida Resident Cirque du Soleil La Nouba special

Florida residents can receive 20 percent off Category Two tickets at Cirque du Soleil in Downtown Disney's West Side from June 1 – September 30, 2004. Blackout dates are June 20 – July5 and August 22–25. Proof of residency and advance purchase are required. The discount is not available at the ticket window, and there is a limit of four tickets per transaction. To order call 407-939-1282.

June discounts for Georgia residents

Disney has announced a discount for Georgia residents for the month of June. Discounts are for room-only reservations. Visit MouseSavers for more details.

7-for-5 package now available

While not as deep a discount as last year's 7-for-4 package, this year's buy-five-get-two-free package is still a good deal. The package—officially called “Disney's Five Plus Two Dream Maker Package”—is available for stays from July 5 through November 18, but must be booked by June 28. A Disney Visa version of the package that also includes 25 Disney Dollars is available. Visit MouseSavers for more details.

Discounts for hotel-only and Dream Maker packages now available

Discount rates for stays from July 5 through August 28 are now available. Packages must be booked by June 15. Visit MouseSavers for more details.

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 (407-939-4653). For information on the Walt Disney World golf courses 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 $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 August 2004.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
6/7
6/8
6/9
6/10
6/11
6/12
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

6/13
6/14
  • 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-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-6p
BB 9a-6p
TL 9a-6p

MK 9a-11p
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
AK 9a-8p
BB 9a-6p
TL 9a-6p


Entertainment Schedule

Hours and entertainment schedules are currently available through August 2004.

Theme Park Events

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 6/7

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 6/8

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 6/9

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 6/10

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 6/11

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Star Wars Weekends celebrity guests: Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett) & Amy Allen (Ayla Secura)

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 6/12

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Star Wars Weekends celebrity guests: Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett) & Amy Allen (Ayla Secura)

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 6/13

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 5:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Star Wars Weekends celebrity guests: Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett) & Amy Allen (Ayla Secura)

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 6/14

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

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 6/14

Elliot Dyson

Herb Williams

 

 

Tuesday 6/15

Elliot Dyson

Herb Williams

 

Guster (main room), $15 in advance, $17.50 day of show 8p

Wednesday 6/16

Elliot Dyson

Herb Williams

Kabang

Dashboard Confessional with Thrice, Get Up Kids and Hot Water Music, presented by CIVIC (main room), $23 in advance, $26 day of show 7p

Thursday 6/17

Davonda Simmons & Soul Conspiracy

Herb Williams

Kabang

Dashboard Confessional with Thrice, Get Up Kids and Hot Water Music, presented by CIVIC (main room), $23 in advance, $26 day of show 7p

Damon Fowler (Blues Kitchen), free 11pm

Friday 6/18

Davonda Simmons & Soul Conspiracy

Herb Williams

Kabang

Dashboard Confessional with Thrice, Get Up Kids and Hot Water Music, presented by CIVIC (main room), $23 in advance, $26 day of show 7p

Damon Fowler (Blues Kitchen), free 11pm

Saturday 6/19

Davonda Simmons & Soul Conspiracy

Herb Williams

Kabang

Sister Hazel with Matt Nathanson (main room), $15 in advance, $17.50 day of show 8:30pm

TBA (Blues Kitchen), free 11pm

Sunday 6/20

Elliot Dyson

Nu South Playaz

 

Daniel James and Revelation (gospel brunch), $30 adult, $15 child (3-9) 10:30am, 1p

Monday 6/21

Elliot Dyson

Nu South Playaz

 

 



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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.