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News and Views

Hurricane Charley: A report from the storm

MousePlanet reader Christopher Wing sent along some photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, which are shown throughout the Update. The following is Chris' first-hand experience with the storm.

I was on vacation at Walt Disney World from August 7 to 14, but had to stay an extra three days because of the hurricane; it was the earliest the airline could reschedule me. Port Orleans Riverside was very nice about letting me keep my same room at the same Annual Passholder discount rate for the extra days. I had friends visiting WDW at the same time (staying at another resort), but for the most part I was travelling alone.


A shattered tree lies on the ground at Port Orleans Riverside after the storm hit on the morning of August 14. Photo by Christopher Wing.

The day of the storm, the parks all closed at 1 p.m. When I got back to Port Orleans Riverside, the food court was completely mobbed. People were grabbing all the food they could carry. I went to Boatwright's instead and put my name on the waiting list (all reservations were cancelled, and it was walk-up only). They said the earliest I could be seated was 4:45. I arrived back at about 4:50, but my table had already been given away.


Speed limit signs are bent from the force of the winds near the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Wing.

They gave me a pager and told me to wait, which I did for about two hours, then the crowds started thinning, and eventually when I was the last person left there, they said, “Why are you waiting here? We stopped serving an hour ago." I was alone on this trip, so nobody told me anything until it was too late.

Apparently the storm was upgraded to a Category 4 by this point, and everybody had to go back to their room. The food court was still mobbed, and by now, totally gutted of food. The pizza counter folks were shouting over the crowd that they had no more pizza left. I saw people carrying stacks of 8 large pizzas back to their room. On the way back to my room, one of these people jokingly offered to sell me a slice for $5. Even the vending machines were totally sold out.


Cast iron lightposts snapped off at the base lay beside the walkway between the Boardwalk and Disney MGM Studios. Photo by Christopher Wing.

I think Port Orleans was particularly severely hit by the food shortage because the entire Fort Wilderness campground was evacuated to Port Orleans Riverside for the duration of the storm. The parking lot was literally flooded with RVs. This put an incredible stress on the facilities at Port Orleans Riverside. I had friends staying at Coronado Springs, and they said that Pepper Market stayed open, and there was some sort of dinner service arranged in the convention center area for the resort guests. No such luck at Port Orleans Riverside. I went to bed without lunch or dinner.


Half of the letters from the marquee at JellyRolls were blown away. Photo by Christopher Wing.

Back in the room, there was nothing to do but watch TV. All the local stations were covering the storm, of course, and the Disney stations were all showing movies in continuous loops: Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., A Bug's Life and Brother Bear. It was funny to note that they just popped in the DVD somewhere and pressed play, because when the movies were finished, the DVD menu would come up, and you could see someone going through to select “play" again.

Every few hours, the message light would blink on the phone, indicating another status update from the front desk, telling us to stay indoors until we got the all-clear. Despite the 100+ mph winds, the building hardly shook at all. The worst part was the noise, which sounded like a freight train howling past.


A shop near the International Gateway's awning is removed after being damaged by the storm. A little bit remained. Photo by Christopher Wing.

In the morning, messages told us to stay in a little while longer (presumably so Disney could clear away some of the debris that was blocking roads). The food court was again mobbed at breakfast. Instead, I went to the Magic Kingdom. Tony's Town square was not serving breakfast, they said, but they made an 11:30 priority seating for me at the Liberty Tree Tavern.

Service was slow because all their computers were down. My server was very apologetic for the delays, but I told him there was no need to be. It was 27 hours since my last meal, so an extra few minutes weren't going to matter much. Fastpass was down at all the rides as well, so their computer problem seemed pretty widespread.


Echo Lake at the MGM Studios is filled with stripped palm fronds and bark blown off of trees by Hurricane Charley. Photo by Christopher Wing.

The remaining three days were alternating rainy and sunny, like the weather before the storm. On the news, they kept saying that the airport was NOT a storm shelter, and I thought this was kind of odd. But then when I got there, (see photos) I saw what they meant. The place looked much worse than WDW. I had to walk through a puddle to get to the door of the jetway.

 


A tree blocking the pathway from Alligator Bayou to the South Bus Depot was cut with chainsaws to allow guests to pass. Removal of the remainder was a lower priority. Photo by Christopher Wing.

Thanks for sharing your story and photos, Chris!

Hurricane Charley: Walt Disney World reacts and responds

Last Monday, Al Weiss announced assistance for Central Florida families and cast members in the wake of Hurricane Charley, saying, “Our Disney family always steps up in times of crisis to assist those in need. We are joining with other caring corporate citizens to provide much-needed help and compassion in the community and within our own company.”


The Downtown Disney AMC Theatres sign has been stripped of its shell. Photo by Christopher Wing.

DisneyHand, the outreach arm of the Walt Disney Company, announced a contribution totaling $100,000 to the American Red Cross and the Heart of Florida United Way. At the same time, Walt Disney World will conduct a food drive with employees to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank, while at the same time providing work crews to assist with the recovery effort.


An uprooted tree lies near the entrance to the resort. Photo by Christopher Wing.

To assist cast members, the resort is providing an array of programs, offering up to $5,000 for cast members who sustained catastrophic damage to their home or severe personal injury, up to $1,000 to assist needy cast members with recovery from the storm through a fund with an initial donation of $50,000 by the resort (additional funds may be contributed by cast members worldwide), complimentary rooms at resort hotels for cast members who have experienced catastrophic hardships or have unique medical needs, a 50 percent discount on resort hotel rooms for cast members who can't stay at their home due to a loss of electricity or other reasons and increased childcare capacity for school-age children at on-property childcare locations.


Orlando International Airport's gate 5 is flooded and taped off. Photo by Christopher Wing.

Hurricane Charley: The company thanks the cast

In the wake of the response of the Walt Disney World cast members to the strike and aftermath of Hurricane Charley, messages were sent to the cast by company CEO Michael Eisner and Walt Disney World Executive Vice President for Operations Lee Cockerell.


Fallen ceiling tiles were turned into soggy mush by water near Orlando International Airport's gate 22. Photo by Christopher Wing.

Eisner's message attempted to reassure the cast members (and employees, though what the difference might be is unclear) that the company appreciated their work and that it will provide financial support to those in need.

Dear Fellow Employees & Cast Members:

As I'm sure you're aware, today, Florida is undergoing a massive recovery effort following one of the most powerful storms ever to hit this area. Throughout the state, Hurricane Charley has destroyed a great deal of property and, most tragically, has taken lives.

Of our over 50,000 Cast Members living in and around Orlando, many have been affected with damage, flooding, loss of power and other hardships. We sincerely hope that no personal harm has been suffered by our Cast and their families through this tragedy.

Even through the devastation of Hurricane Charley, your colleagues at Walt Disney World displayed remarkable dedication to ensure the safety and comfort of the 75,000 guests currently staying at our resort hotels. In fact, with their families secured at home, many of your fellow Cast Members remained to see our guests through this disaster, including approximately 15,000 Cast Members who stayed on-property last night.

It's nothing short of amazing to see such commitment and loyalty. At our theme parks and resorts, we've always believed in the concept of “we work while you play,” whether it's the weekend or Christmas Day, but this goes above and beyond the call of duty. We will never forget seeing this extraordinary quality in our Cast after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and I am once again proud of and overwhelmed by their complete and total dedication to the happiness and welfare of others.

To help alleviate any burden to our Cast Members affected by this terrible storm, we have already placed Disney Operation Care (D.O.C.) into motion, much as we did for our employees impacted by the horrible Southern California wildfires last October. Through D.O.C., your Company will provide financial and other assistance to help those Cast Members who have experienced significant hardship. In addition, the Company has also committed $100,000 to the American Red Cross and the Heart of Florida United Way hurricane relief funds.

While Hurricane Charley has passed through the region and heads up the Eastern Seaboard, reports confirm that another tropical depression is currently forming in the Atlantic. Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Cast Members and our fellow Americans during this difficult time. Even after the storms have passed, the rebuilding and recovery effort will continue to be part of their lives for some time to come. As always, we strive to be a responsible member of the Central Florida community, and we will continue to do our part to help.

Michael

Cockerell's note took more of a cheerleading tone, praising cast members for sacrificing and pulling together to continue to bring the magic to reseort guests despite the hard circumstances.

“Magic” During Hurricane Charley

The last few days have been difficult for all of you, I know. Hurricane Charley put everyone under additional stress, and I want you to know how much I appreciate the wonderful job that all of you did under the pressure of taking care of our Guests, while taking care of yourself and your families.

From time to time we have a crisis to deal with, and the outcome is always the same: YOU always create “magic” for our Guests.

We have been receiving unbelievable comments from our Guests on the extraordinary job YOU all did these last few days. One lady said, “This kind of service and kindness could only happen at Disney.” She is correct by the way.

The commitment and spirit that all of YOU show-in good or difficult times-are remarkable.

I know that many of you are going through some very difficult personal situations with damage to your homes and property. Please let your Leader know if there is something that we can do to assist you. Even if we can't assist you, perhaps we can direct you to the right resources.

Even after Charley passed, the number of YOU who came in to help out and to take Cross-U shifts to cover those who could not get in was again beyond expectation. Because of your commitment, we were able to provide our Guests a “magical” day on Saturday.

Michael Eisner in a note to all of you made the following comment: “It's nothing but amazing to see such commitment and loyalty."

Bob Iger sent me the following note:

Lee,

"The efforts of the entire Walt Disney World Cast have been Herculean. Forget the Olympics… Your team is the winner of the Gold Medal"!… Bob

Jay Rasulo was continually in contact with us and offered the following perspective: “The Walt Disney World Cast once again showed the world why we are the best in the hospitality business."

Al Weiss, when hearing that the call-ins were below normal on Friday the 13th even with the approaching hurricane, simply said, “That's our Cast."

I really cannot add much more to Michael's, Bob's, Jay's, and Al's comments other than to say, “I am proud to say that I am on this Walt Disney World Team of Champions. This is the first big crisis that we have had to deal with since 9-11-2001; and once again, YOU all came through with flying colors."

We have had four really serious crisis situations over the last ten years that I remember well because all four of them caused us to close the parks. We had Hurricane Erin, Hurricane Floyd, 9-11, and now Hurricane Charley. We defeated all four of them, and they went home as losers. We are still here creating “magic” and memories, so the score is Visitors 0 - Walt Disney World 4.

The reason that we won all four of these big events is that we have a world-class team that always stays focused on our Vision and Purpose while performing our Roles in the show. Great Job, Everyone!… Lee

 


Orlando International Airport's gate 22 is flooded, with debris on the floor. Photo by Christopher Wing.

Hurricane Charley: Charley deals Cypress Gardens a setback

Following the $2- to $4-million damage caused by Hurricane Charley, Cypress Gardens owner Kent Buescher said that the park will not open in October, as previously scheduled. Many plants and trees were destroyed and several buildings were damaged, including the ice palace theater. There is no new estimated opening time yet. The storm will live on, though, as Buescher said that it's likely that one of the four new roller coasters will be named “Hurricane Charley.”

Hurricane Charley: After surviving Charley, next up is mosquitos

One portion of the aftermath of Hurricane Charley is not related to destruction of property, but rather standing water. Mosquitos breed very successfully in standing water. Some areas, already wet from last spring's rainstorms, received six to eight inches of rain. As the mosquito eggs hatch this week, the new young mosquitos will be looking for food, which in this case is blood.

With the eggs already beginning to hatch, emergency measures are being taken. Orange County is spraying and distribution of mosquito repellant to those who ask for it, in priority order. The county will have 100,000 cases of mosquito repellant with the active ingredient deet. If you plan to bring your own repellant, please make certain that it includes between 25-30 percent deet.

Court approves listing of train measure pricetag for ballot

Florida's high-speed rail project was dealt another setback last week when the Florida Supreme Court approved ballot language for the proposed constitutional amendment repealing the previous amendment that forced the state to go forward with the bullet train project. The approved version of the language notes that the state could save an estimated $20-25 billion over 30 years. When the original amendment was approved four years ago, no cost estimate was included. The amendment will be on the ballot this election day.

Pleasure Island update

We've now been able to confirm that the Pleasure Island price-reduction test we reported on last week will run through December 30. During this test period, not only will Pleasure Island one-night tickets be reduced to $16.95 plus tax, but current Pleasure Island Annual Passholders will be able to get an additional three months added to their Annual Pass by visiting a Pleasure Island ticket booth. Guests purchasing a Pleasure Island Annual Pass during this test also will get a Pleasure Island 15-Month Multi-Club Pass.

Those who read the schedules at the bottom of the Update are probably familiar with the schedule of nightly bands at the West End Stage and three or four nights of music at the Rock and Roll Beach Club. Thanks to the new open access to Pleasure Island's walkways for all guests, it appears that this configuration is coming to an end. As of the beginning of September, Disney is cutting off entertainment at the West End Stage and running nightly acts at the Rock and Roll Beach Club. This appears to be intended to make Pleasure Island more of a “walk through but don't hang out unless you're in the store. There's no word yet on whether this means that the nightly New Year's Eve celebration will be ending due to this.

Sea Raycer/Water Mouse policy clarification

We reported back in April that the requirements for renting recreational boats had changed. Apparently, the changes are only for the new Sea Raycer boats, due to the increased performance level of the boats. The locations that continue to use the Water Mouse boats (Downtown Disney, Disney's Old Key West, Disney's Caribbean Beach, Disney's Port Orleans, Disney's Yacht and Beach Club and Disney's Coronado Springs Resorts) will continue to apply the old policy, which permits guests at least 12 years old and 5 feet tall to operate independently as long as the parent/legal guardian signs for the child.

New AP rates expected imminently

Annual Passholder room discounts and fall Dream Maker packages are expected to be released at any point, though they were not available as of press time. Expect them to be available any day, covering August 29 through December.

Ears to the ground

…We're sorry to have scared those of you who read the Refurbishments and Closures section last week. Disney had listed Liberty Square as being closed from September 9 to 18 and we had resported it as such. They have now clarified that it is the Liberty Square Riverboat that will be down, and the correct dates are now September 5 to 18.

…The mermaid atop the fountain from Splash located near the Backlot Tour at the Disney-MGM studios was broken off by Hurricane Charley, though there are reports that the fountain has already been repaired.


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, then will go down for major rehab.
  • Timekeeper – seasonal – finished summer run on 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.
  • 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.”
  • Tom Sawyer Island - closed through September 25; Rivers of America unaffected.
  • Jungle Cruise – closed through September 5.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat - will not be operating September 5 - 18.
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin – closed September 13 – October 15.
  • Ariel's Grotto – closed September 13 – November 11 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.
  • The Electrical Water Pageant on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake – will not be running through the end of the month. Damage to one of the floats from Hurricane Charley is still being repaired.

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 – 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'. Expected to resume upon completion of the construction.
  • The Land pavilion – expected closure 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, while the Body Wars, Cranium Command, and The Making of Me attractions now open when the pavilion is open. The pavilion did not open this summer, which does not bode well for the future. However, it is expected to be open next January – March during the closure of The Land pavilion.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • Residential Street at the Disney-MGM Studios – closed and demolished and 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.
  • The Magic of Disney Animation – closes for rehab September 13-24.
  • New York Street – undergoing 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 is 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 for rehab September 20 – October 14.

Resorts

  • Port Orleans Resort – Ongoing two-year extensive rehab of its rooms. Phase I's 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. Room refurbishments are resuming. Scheduled: Rapa Nui January 3 – April 1, 2005, Tahiti April 24 – August 17, 2005. Tokelau, not yet refurbished, is not yet scheduled.
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort – The main pool closes September 7 through mid-December to construct a new themed water slide.
  • Disney's BoardWalk Resort – portions of the resort will see work on the piping system take place in corridors outside guest rooms daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through summer 2005. No work is scheduled inside guest rooms.
  • 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

  • Blizzard Beach – closes for its annual rehab on October 24..

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays, but closes 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

September 2004

  • Tom Joyner Family Reunion Weekend (link). September 2–5.
  • Disney's Soccer Showcase Qualifier (link). September 4-6.
  • 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 & 30, December 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, & 17.
  • Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney (link). November 26 – December 24.
  • Holidays Around the World (link). November 26 – December 30.

December 2004

  • Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships (link). December 5 - 11.
  • Disney's Soccer Showcase (link). December 27-January 2, 2005.
  • 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 – April TBA.

April 2005

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). April 15 – June 5.

May 2005

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

June 2005

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

Current Discounts & Promotions

Last week to reserve 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. Additional discounts were also announced for Annual Passholders, Florida residents, and Canadian residents. See the Walt Disney World web site (link) or MouseSavers (link) for more information.

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 Nov. 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.

Last week to reserve 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.

Last week to reserve 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 reduced their rates even more. Rates have been dropped effective immediately to September levels. Book now through the end of September for ratest starting at $75.95. 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
8/9/04 - 9/30/04
$75.95
$85.95
$93.95
10/1/04 - 12/23/04
$84.95
$94.95
$102.95
12/24/04 - 12/31/04
$109.95
$119.95
$127.95

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

2005 rates will be available shortly.

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 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 September 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 October 2004.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
8/23
8/24
8/25
8/26
8/27
8/28
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

8/29
8/30
  • 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-8:30p
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-8:30p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-6p
TL 9a-6p

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


Entertainment Schedule

Hours and entertainment schedules are currently available through October 2004.

Theme Park Events

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 8/23

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 8/24

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 8:30p

Wishes Fireworks 9:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 8/25

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 8/26

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 8/27

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 8/28

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 8:30p

Wishes Fireworks 9:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 8/29

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 8/30

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8:30p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 8:30p

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 8/23

Elliot Dyson

80Z All Stars

 

 

Tuesday 8/24

Elliot Dyson

Harry Dash

 

 

Wednesday 8/25

Elliot Dyson

Kabang

Fifth Year Crush

 

Thursday 8/26

Joy Wright

80Z All Stars

Fifth Year Crush

Psychedelic Furs with TBA (main room), $17.50 advance/$19.50 day of show; 8pm

The Vodkanauts (Blues Kitchen), free; 11pm

Friday 8/27

Joy Wright

80Z All Stars

Fifth Year Crush

Heart with Lennon (main room), $45 advance/$47.50 day of show; 8:30pm

The Damon Fowler Group (Blues Kitchen), free; 11pm

Saturday 8/28

TBA

TBA

TBA

TBA (main room), $5 for 21 & up/$7 all others; 8pm

TBA (Blues Kitchen); free, 11pm

Sunday 8/29

TBA

TBA

 

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

Monday 8/30

TBA

TBA

 

 



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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.