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News and Views

Parks crowds down? Disney boosts attempts to lure locals

Disney appears to be pulling out the stops to get Florida residents into the theme parks this month. Not only are they bringing back the Play 4 Days pass, a bargain-priced 4-day park hopper for locals, they're also lifting the summer blackout restrictions on seasonal passes.

Play 4 days, a pass usually seen only in the spring, is being offered again, with the passes valid for any four days between now and November 21. The passes are selling for $119 ($126.74 including tax), barely more than the cost of two one-day tickets. The ticket is available at Disney theme parks, Florida Disney Stores, and other locations such as Florida AAA offices. Proof of Florida residency is required. The cost of the passes may be applied toward the cost of purchase of a Florida resident Annual Pass or Seasonal Annual Pass.

The seasonal pass, at one third less than the standard annual pass, is valid year-round except for certain blackout periods during peak seasons, such as the December holidays, spring break, and the summer. This summer's blackout period was scheduled to run from June 12 through August 19. However last week, passholders started to receive postcards stating, “Like magic, you've just scored three extra weeks!” The postcards stated that the blackout period would end on July 30, and also offered resort discounts.

Southern students return to school earlier than their northern counterparts, with some schools beginning today, and many others starting next Monday. August is traditionally a lower-volume month due to the combination of southern schools beginning classes and the high heat and humidity. Disney is trying to convince more locals to come to the parks despite those facts.

Whether or not the promotions will have the desired effect remains to be seen.

Union contract vote this week

On Friday, the approximately 20,000 members of the six unions represented by the Service Trades Council vote on parts of a new contract, even as the council and Disney continue to negotiate. The employees are currently working under an extension of the old 3-year contract, which expired on May 1. However, two of the six unions are already complaining about Disney's stance.

The proposal, which encompasses the non-economic portions of the deal—such as work rules and changes to grievance procedures—has largely been agreed to by both sides. Disney has not yet made a proposal on economic issues such as wages and overtime pay, but is expected to do so this week. The company is expected to propose bonuses instead of wage increases.

Local 362 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union (HERE) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) are both upset that Disney wants union workers to pay the same amount for health insurance as executives and non-union workers. The remaining four unions, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 737 of HERE, Teamsters, and Transportation Communications International Union, have not yet commented on the proposal.

Another expected proposal by Disney that concerns the unions is a plan to increase the number of part-time positions, which might reduce the number of full-time positions. In addition, Disney also is proposing that any worker hired after the ratification date of the contract would not receive personal leave or be covered by the company's pension plan.

Discussion on the economic issues is expected to take until at least mid-August.

Disney tries to keep Tigger outfit from trial

Michael Chartrand will go on trial today on charges that he molested a 13-year-old girl in February while he was portraying Tigger at Mickey's Toontown Fair in the Magic Kingdom. The defense plans to use a Tigger costume to show the jury the limited visibility and sense of touch in the mitts in an attempt to show that there was no way that Chartrand could have known if he was fondling the girl.

Disney has asked that the costume be altered before being used, by removing the ears and dyeing the suit white or black. While Disney would not comment on the specific changes requested, spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said, “Our hope is that the use of our costume will be handled with appropriate sensitivity so as to preserve the dreams and magic for our younger guests as much as possible.”

Chartrand's lawyer, Jeffrey S. Kaufman Jr., who has also portrayed Tigger at Disney, has opposed altering the costume, as it might make his client appear freakish or demonic.

Indians to join Braves in 2006?

Disney and Osceola County officials are in discussions with the management of Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians team to bring the team to Disney's Wide World of Sports for spring training, beginning in 2006. The Indians are looking for a new home because the town of Winter Haven, where they currently train, is planning to develop the site of its current stadium. Their agreement with Winter Haven is scheduled to end after 2005.

Disney is in competition with Fort Myers, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona, for the Indians, though the team is said to prefer the Wide World of Sports location. Accommodating the team would require about $20 million in enhancements for the Cracker Jack Stadium complex in order to avoid disrupting the facilities used by the Atlanta Braves, who already use the facility for their spring training.

The funding for the new clubhouses and office space would come partly from Osceola County, which is asking for help from the Florida Sports Foundation, a private, not-for-profit corporation working under contract with the state of Florida to globally promote Florida's unique sports industry. The foundation has already turned down a request for funding on the basis that the stadium is privately owned, but the county is hoping that their its to split the cost would convince the foundation to change its answer. The county hopes to have a proposal to vote on in about a month.

The Braves have not yet commented on the possibility of sharing the complex with the Indians.

Celebration exploring incorporation

Residents of Celebration, the town founded by Disney and originally touted as a fulfillment of Walt Disney's dream of an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow before being sold off, are spending about $200,000 to a University of Central Florida professor to conduct a study to determine whether or not the community will be better off if it incorporates as a city. The study is being funded by approximately 30 residents, who are contributing $7,000 each.

The community of 8,500 residents is continuing to grow, with population up from 8,000 last year and 2,500 back in 1999. Regardless of the decision on incorporation, the community does not want to lose its small-town feel.

BASS fishing excursions announced at WDW

Walt Disney World is teaming with BASS, the world's largest fishing organization, to present a number of catch-and-release programs on Bay Lake, Seven Seas Lagoon, and other WDW waterways. Guests will have access to 100 new Bassmaster rods and reels, as well as depth finders and other professional-grade fishing equipment. The BASS logo will appear on guide staff uniforms, Disney boats, and marina board menus. In addition, all BASS fishing participants at Walt Disney World will receive a one-year BASS membership, which includes a number of discounts and benefits.

Two-hour “catch-and-release” tours are offered daily on an advance-reservation basis. Pontoon boats are fully stocked for excursions with rods, reels, fishing gear, beverages and a digital camera. A party of up to five people can participate in tours, and no fishing license is required. Prices range from $195 to $215 for parties of five, and typical tour hours can be arranged for early morning, mid-morning, or early afternoon. Guests can make reservations up to two weeks in advance at 407-WDW-BASS (407-939-2277). General BASS tours are also available for children, ages 6 to 12, for $30 per child for one hour. Excursions will also be available as an option through Disney's Dream Maker vacation packages.

The heaviest largemouth bass caught and recorded at Walt Disney World was 14 pounds, 6 ounces. Guests routinely catch bass weighing from two to 8 pounds. Most trips catch five to 10 fish, depending upon time of day, number of people on board… and luck.

Hess Sports Fields open today

Today is the grand opening celebration for the 20-acre expansion of Disney's Wide World of Sports complex, called Hess Sports Fields and sponsored by the Amerada Hess Corporation. The expansion includes new multi-sport fields for soccer, football, lacrosse and other sports, as well as new diamonds for baseball and softball. This is the first expansion of Disney's Wide World of Sports in the 8-year history of the 200-acre complex.

Bullet train to be on ballot

Opponents of the proposed high-speed rail project, mandated in a 2000 amendment to Florida's state constitution, won a major battle last week as the State of Florida officially certified petitions to put the repeal of the amendment on this year's election ballot.

DErail the Bullet Train (DEBT) presented petitions with 499,610 verified signatures, almost 11,000 more than needed, to the Division of Elections. A lawsuit was filed earlier in the week by train proponent C.C. “Doc” Dockery, alleging that the petitions should be declared invalid because the names and addresses of the people paid to collect them were not included. While the judge refused to issue an injunction, he did give permission to go ahead and request supporting documentation from DEBT.

The campaign was largely funded by those who would be adversely impacted by the measure. Of the $1.3 million raised in the first quarter, $330,000 was from a lobbying committee formed by the Florida Transportation Builders Association (FTBA), a road builders' group. $250,000 was contributed by SeaWorld Orlando, while Universal Orlando kicked in over $220,000. Those two parks were upset that the only stop for the train between the Orlando International Airport and the airport in Tampa would be at Walt Disney World, instead of the alternate location on International Drive. $100,000 more came from three railroad companies that would ostensibly lose business to the new bullet train. And $300,000 more came from The Villages, a huge retirement community in Central Florida, whose developer is coincidentally a major Republican fundraiser (Florida Governor Jeb Bush is one of the major opponents of the train.)

The bullet train opponents stressed that they were primarily interested in the fact that the train was fiscally irresponsible, and that there were more important things to spend money on. The president of the FTBA said that his group would probably be the people to build the railway if it were to be built, and that they were just looking out for the state's fiscal interests.

Oddly, there appeared to be no discussion at all devoted to the question of whether unfunded mandates were an appropriate subject for a constitutional amendment in the first place.

“it's a small world” rehab update

The rehab of “it's a small world” in the Magic Kingdom is proceeding well. The water has been drained from the attraction, and the demolition of the load area is proceeding. The lighting elements from the backdrop have been removed, and the floor of the waterway appears to have been removed.

We have been informed that when it reopens next year, the attraction will have a completely redesigned load area. The entrance is moving to the location of the present exit. The area adjacent to that (the Fantasyland Skyway Station) will be a new stroller area, keeping the quaint Bavarian arches and waterfall theming. As the guests enter the new queue for the attraction, they will be greeted by a new facade inside the building that mirrors the current facade in Disneyland with the clock and the parade of figures. The Florida rains would ruin this feature so Walt Disney Imagineering thought it best to put it inside the load area. All 242 dolls are getting new dresses, all 6,432 animatronic movements are being made operational again, all sets are being repainted, new lighting is being installed and there will be an enhanced sound system as well.

We're not just getting their rides, we're getting their commercial, too!

Walt Disney World is already getting Soarin'—an import of Soarin' over California—from the Disneyland Resort in California. Now, even the Anaheim resort's commercials are being “repurposed” for the Florida resort. A Disneyland commercial featuring a dog running around the park and riding the rides has been redone to promote Walt Disney World. The only problem is that readily identifiable features of the California park remain in the commercial, including water under the Dumbo attraction, Sleeping Beauty Castle (with the Matterhorn briefly in the background), and the Astro Orbitor at ground level. While Cinderella Castle has been edited in at the end, many scenes are obviously not from WDW. It seems that even WDW can be the “poor stepchild” sometimes.

More Stitch details “escape”

Disney has confirmed the story of the Stitch's Great Escape attraction, planned for a fall 2004 opening in the Magic Kingdom. Guests will be recruited to provide additional security as Experiment 626 is teleported to a processing center for low-risk prisoners. (The building's new name is the Galactic Federation Prisoner Teleport Center.) The latest audio-animatronics technology will bring the alien to life, as special effects add sound and smell effects.

The attraction will include several other characters from Lilo and Stitch including the Galactic Federation's Grand Councilwoman, Captain Gantu and Agent Pleakley, with voices supplied by the movie's original actors. Skippy, a guest favorite from the pre-show of the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, returns in the new attraction.

Another new feature will be two “plasma cannons” that are programmed to follow Experiment 626's DNA, wherever it moves.

Smelly giant flower impresses

While I was on vacation and not writing the Update last week, the Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) at Disney's Animal Kingdom bloomed. The plant, also known as the “corpse flower” for its rotting-flesh smell, opened up in a span of five hours (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.) on Friday, July 17, and remained open through Sunday, July 19. As there was a good breeze blowing most of that time, the smell dissipated fairly well and some guests were disappointed that the smell was not as overpowering as they had been warned to expect by the media. The fragrance was most noticeable on the morning of Saturday, July 18. The huge purple flower was located at the “Bradley Falls” portion of the walkway between Asia and Africa in the theme park.

The plant, which grew 24 inches in just over a week, reached 61 inches before blooming. This is only the 26th blooming of a Titan Arum in the United States. Horticulturists try to cross-pollinate the plants, which are both male and female, as much as possible. Pollen from the male flowers of a Titan Arum (named “Jack”) at the Stephen F. Austin State University Mast Arboretum in Texas (which in turn received pollen from an Arum at the University of Connecticut) were brushed onto the female flowers of Disney's Arum (named “Claire”) by Disney horticulturist Jim Thompson on Saturday. Thompson was hoping to collect pollen from the Claire's male flowers to send along to the caretakers of an Arum approaching bloom in Atlanta.

The seeds for the plant have a gestation period of nine months, though fruit (up to 1,000, each containing up to two seeds) should appear before that. Still it may be a while until horticulturists are certain whether or not the pollination was successful.

Disney currently has four Arums, and they are hoping to have another bloom next year.

Ears to the ground

…When Stitch's Great Escape opens this fall, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress closes for a much-needed rehab and facelift.

…The Tom Sawyer Island rehab currently underway includes resurfacing of trails, painting (and, in some cases, rebuilding) of buildings, and major changes and enhancements to the landscaping on the island.

…The facades of all the buildings on Main Street, U.S.A. are being repainted, one each night, after park closing.

…The current rehab of Donald's Boat in Mickey's Toontown Fair includes a much more interactive wet area for the little kids.

…When the Hub area goes under rehab in January, the Pavilion Garden area in front of Cinderella's Castle is being completely redesigned (work on this may start in December) to lower the gardens themselves and increase the width of the sidewalk (and viewing area for guests traveling in wheelchairs and ECVs). This will also give guests a better view of the Castle for the Wishes fireworks presentation. In addition, the Castle forecourt stage will be renovated, including new lifts on the stage itself and a wide set of stairs will lead up to the stage from the Garden area. This is being done to facilitate the new Cinderellabration show from Tokyo Disneyland. Cinderella will ride up Main Street from the firehouse gate late each afternoon in a beautiful carriage pulled by a team of horses and, with the assistance of her footmen, will ascend the grand stairway to the forecourt stage for the show. It is hoped that the stairway will also be used to provide some much-needed elevated viewing for the SpectroMagic Parade at night.

…Contrary to the story that we ran two weeks ago, demolition of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea show building has not yet been done. The lagoon area is all cleaned out, the track supports have been removed in many places, and they have started smoothing out the bottom of what's left.

…The exterior of the Soarin' ride building in Epcot appears to be complete, while the construction walls inside continue to encroach on the food court.

…We have heard that the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay rumored to be headed for Walt Disney World will be heading for Tokyo Disneyland instead. Apparently, the WDW brass were offered the attraction, but turned it down. However, it seems that WDW will be keeping Walt's private office, in the One Man's Dream exhibit.


Have any interesting news or rumors? Let us know.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • it's a small world” – closed through March 18, 2005 for rehab (info).
  • 20,000 League Under the Sea lagoon – walled off to “clear the land as well as add landscape for future use” through November 19, with the walls tentatively coming down on November 11.
  • The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter – closed for good to be replaced with new Stitch's Great Escape, scheduled to open October 1.
  • Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress – expected to remain open for the duration of the Stitch's Great Escape construction.
  • Timekeeper – seasonally open from 9 a.m. – 10 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. However, Jungle Cruise opens with the rest of the park through mid-August.
  • The Hall of Presidents and the Country Bear Jamboree – open at 10 a.m. every day.
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway – remains open during its rehab. Work on the grandstand and other support areas runs through mid-August, track work through late September.
  • Fantasyland Skyway building area – under rehab through September 30. The waterfall, bridge and pond to be replaced with a meet-and-greet for Snow White and a new stroller parking area for “it's a small world.”
  • Donald's Boat - closed through August 12.
  • Tom Sawyer Island - closed through September 25; Rivers of America unaffected.
  • Jungle Cruise – closed August 22 – September 5.
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin – closed September 13 – October 15.
  • Ariel's Grotto – closed September 22 – November 19 for theme-matching with the 20,000 Leagues Lagoon reclamation.
  • The Hub area in front of the castle – undergoes more refurbishing in January 2005.
  • Astro Orbiter – closed January 2 – February 16, 2005.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – closed January 10 – February 12, 2005.

Epcot

  • The Universe of Energy – may close for a short rehab to remove the ExxonMobil signage now that its sponsorship has ended.
  • Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room – has returned from rehab.
  • 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 Land pavilion – expected to close January – March 2005 for completion of the Soarin' attraction.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – open seasonally. The Pure and Simple eatery and the Well and Goods Limited shop have been removed; Body Wars, Cranium Command, and The Making of Me attractions now open when the pavilion is open. It appears that the pavilion will not open this summer, which does not bode well for the future.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • Residential Street at the Disney-MGM Studios – closed and demolished and construction is 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.
  • The Magic of Disney Animation – closed for rehab September 13–24.
  • New York Street – undergoing a great deal of construction to change some facades to represent Chicago and San Francisco. Previously believed to be renamed Big City Street, the newly confirmed name of the area will be the Streets of America Backlot. The target completion date: October 2.
  • The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights – returns this year on the Streets of America backlot November 24 – January 2.

Animal Kingdom

  • Pocahontas and her Forest Friends – closes September 7–11.
  • Festival of the Lion King – closes September 16-18.
  • The Boneyard – closes September 20 – October 14.

Resorts

  • Port Orleans Resort – Ongoing two-year extensive rehab of this resort's rooms. French Quarter has reopened. Phase II is underway, and involves Riverside going through a phased rehab. The Magnolia Bend mansions goes down one by one, followed by Alligator Bayou closing in sections.
  • Polynesian Resort – longhouse refurbishment nearly complete, walled off and isolated during rehab. Room refurbishments resuming. Scheduled: Rapa Nui January 3 – April 1, 2005, Tahiti April 24 – August 17, 2005. Tokelau refurb yet scheduled.
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort – The main pool closes September through the end of the year for a new water slide.
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (a new Disney Vacation Club resort) – now open. Construction continues; 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 – Saturdays, but closed 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; open Thursday–Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Park Events

Ongoing

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex (link). July 31 through August 19.

August 2004

  • E-Ride Nights at the Magic Kingdom. August 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13.

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.

May 2005

  • Star Wars Weekends (link). Weekends in May and June TBA.

June 2005

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


Current Discounts & Promotions

Play 4 Days is back

The Florida Resident Play 4 Days Ticket allows Florida residents four days of play in Disney?s four theme parks between July 30 and November 21, 2004 for $119 per person ($126.74 including tax). Park-hopping is permitted on the days used. The ticket is available at Disney theme parks, Florida Disney Stores, and other locations such as Florida AAA offices. Proof of Florida residency is required.

New September Dream Maker package discount

A new specially priced Dream Maker package is available for most nights from August 29 – September 29. The discount is on the room portion of the package only. Reservations must be made by August 28. See the Walt Disney World web site (link) or MouseSavers (link) for more information.

Room discounts through September

Discounts are available on rooms at Walt Disney World for stays from August 29 through September 29. Reservations must be made by August 28. See the Walt Disney World web site (link) or MouseSavers (link) for more information.

Special Night of Joy package available

A new Night of Joy Travel Package is available starting at $149 per person, per night based on double adult occupancy at Disney Resort. The Night of Joy Travel Package features: three-night accommodations at a Disney Value Resort; one Ultimate Park Hopper Ticket good for all Walt Disney World theme parks and more from check-in day through check-out day; and one three-day Night of Joy Ticket for Disney's 22nd annual Christian music celebration in Magic Kingdom. The package also includes an Official Walt Disney World Travel Company luggage tag (one per person), two souvenir Disney trading pins and two lanyards (per room) plus a Choice Feature such as miniature golf, a Leave a Legacy tile at Epcot or savings on a dining experience at Planet Hollywood at Downtown Disney West Side. Reservations must be made by August 28.

Rate reductions at Radisson Resort Parkway

Radission Resort Parkway, a MousePlanet sponsor, has advised us of the newest discount rates for the remainder of 2004. In addition to these reduced rates, guests can receive a complimentary upgrade to deluxe pool view accommodations for the remainder of 2004 simply by typing in the code of UPGR in the promotional field of the reservation.

Courtyard View
Deluxe Pool View
Bed & Breakfast Pkg – Courtyard View
7/12 – 8/14
$84.95
$94.95
$102.95
8/15 – 8/31
$79.95
$89.95
$97.95
9/1 – 9/30
$75.95
$85.95
$93.95
10/1 – 12/23
$84.95
$94.95
$102.95
12/24 – 12/31
$109.95
$119.95
$127.95

Click here for more information, or here to make reservations.

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 – July 5 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.

Gaylord Palms to pay for gas

Guests of the Gaylord Palms Resort 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 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 September 2004.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
8/2
8/3
8/4
8/5
8/6
8/7
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

8/8
8/9
  • 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-7:30p
TL 9a-7:30p

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


Entertainment Schedule

Hours and entertainment schedules are currently available through September 2004.

Theme Park Events

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 8/2

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 8/3

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 8/4

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 8/5

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 8/6

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 8/7

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 8/8

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 8/9

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

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 8/2

Joy Wright

Fifth Year Crush

 

 

Tuesday 8/3

Joy Wright

Fifth Year Crush

 

 

Wednesday 8/4

Joy Wright

Harry Dash

Kabang

 

Thursday 8/5

Bill Allred

Harry Dash

Kabang

Midnight Ramblers (Blues Kitchen), free; 11pm

Friday 8/6

Bill Allred

Harry Dash

Kabang

Presented by Ikky Entertainment House of?Punk! Featuring The Know How, In Passing, Sleeping Girl Drowning and Unsung Zeros $6; 7:30pm

Charlie Sauza & The New Tropics (Blues Kitchen), free; 11pm

Saturday 8/7

Bill Allred

Harry Dash

Kabang

Edwin McCain with The Blue Dogs (main room), $15 advance/$17.50 day of show; 8:30pm

TBA (Blues Kitchen); free, 11pm

Sunday 8/8

Elliot Dyson

Harry Dash

 

The Chambers (gospel brunch), $30 adult, $15 child (3-9); 10:30am, 1pm

Jim Bean Presents Gavin DeGraw with Toby Lightman and Mark Broussard (main room), $14 advance, $16 day of show; 7pm

Monday 8/9

Elliot Dyson

Harry Dash

 

 



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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.