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News and Views

Princess consolidation

If you're one of those people who run around the park trying to find all of the princesses to get their autograph and a photo, you'll be able to save a lot of legwork, as Disney is now co-locating all of the princesses in the new Princess Room at Mickey's Toontown Fair in the Magic Kingdom.

Currently, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Snow White and Cinderella are the primary princesses, and other princesses will be available on a rotating basis. Hint: This is the place to look for Ariel while her grotto is under refurbishment.

Stormalong Bay pool refurbishment continues

An overall refurbishment of the Stormalong Bay pool area at the Beach Club is running through early 2005. Certain sections of the pool will be unavailable at various times during the project. Those parts of the main pool not immediately being worked on will remain available for use. The first portion of the work should be completed by December 23. The main Shipwreck Slide will be closed only from January 3 to February 25, 2005, due to a painting project in that area.

Union leaders picket grand opening of new World of Disney store in NYC

The grand opening of the new World of Disney store in New York City last Tuesday had a few dozen uninvited guests. Informational leaflets were handed out by about 60 representatives of the Service Trades Council, the umbrella organization for six unions currently negotiating with Walt Disney World.

The unions, representing about 22,000 workers at the resort, had rejected Disney's last contract offer less than a week before witb a remarkable 97.5 percent “no” vote.

Union leaders said that the leaflet was aimed at increasing the visibility of the contract fight in front of the large number of reporters covering the grand opening.

Talks resume next week.

Champion to sponsor WDW Marathon

Through an agreement with Disney Sports Attractions, Champion, a maker of athletic clothing, will sponsor the 2005 Walt Disney World Marathon and Half-Marathon, and will provide its new Double Dry Performance long-sleeved T-shirts for all event participants. The company will be introducing the Double Dry line of clothing in 2005.

Hilton Head's Chef Gordon goes to Food & Wine Festival

If you've been curious about Chef Gordon Holmes from Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort after reading articles by Sue Holland, now's your chance to see him at Walt Disney World. Chef Gordon will participate in culinary demonstrations on October 28 at 2:00 and 4:30 pm, October 29 at 7:00 pm, and October 30 at 3:15 pm, in the "Odyssey Special Events Pavilion," formerly the Odyssey Restaurant. Guests will have the opportunity to watch Chef Gordon at work, ask questions, and sample the finished cuisine.

Alaska Airlines extends Kids Fly Free to Orlando deal

Alaska Airlines has extended its popular Kids Fly Free promotion to Orlando for travel through February 17, 2005. The offer is valid for children ages 2 to 11 accompanied by an adult with the purchase of an Alaska Airlines Vacations package by October 31, 2004.

Vacation packages include round-trip airfare from Anchorage, Spokane, Seattle, Portland or Boise to Orlando, airport transfers via Mears Transportation, three or more nights accommodations at Disney Resort Hotels and Ultimate Park Hopper tickets for travel between now and February 17, 2005. Those buying the package also receive two Disney trading pins and a choice of one round of miniature golf at Winter Summerland or Fantasia Gardens, one Leave A Legacy tile at Epcot, $25 off dining at Planet Hollywood located in Downtown Disney West Side. or a specially designed Disney Character poster. A larger discount is available for those who book by October 31 and travel before the end of the year.

To book Kids Fly Free, call Alaska Airlines Vacations at 1-800-468-2248.

Mousefest

If you're planning to attend MouseFest 2004 (link), let us know! MousePlanet will be well represented by Brian Bennett, Mark Goldhaber, Mike Scopa, Lani Teshima and Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix. Either send an e-mail or post a message to the MouseFest thread on our discussion boards (link). If you choose to send e-mail, please put “MouseFest” in the subject to allow for better sorting of e-mail.

Ears to the ground

…Cypress Gardens will soft-open on Fridays thru Sundays beginning November 19. Grand opening will be December 9. During the soft opening period, the rides, botanical gardens and craft village will be open, but the nature and arcade areas will be off-limits to visitors. The most-recently planned November 18 grand opening was scrapped due to damage from Hurricane Jeanne.

…It was rumored that some guest “snatching” may be underway, as guests may be asked to “test drive” the new Stitch's Great Escape attraction in Tomorrowland, even though it's still a few weeks away from being finished. Reportedly, the best time to be “snatched” is in the late afternoon. Good luck!

…It's now the Disney Wonder's turn to get its refurbishment, including a replacement of the ESPN Club from the faux smokestack to a teen coffee house that is the current teen hangout with an adults-only lounge, redoing much of the floors, and touching up the paint on the hull. The Magic has already undergone similar work.

…Last week, we mentioned that Edy's had become the new name sponsor of the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor. Edy's is one of many Nestle ice cream brands, along with Dreyer's, Haagen Dazs, Carnation and Nestle. So it's not so much a “new” sponsor as much as a different product line from the same company.

…It seems like this will indeed be the year that Typhoon Lagoon gets its new Master Blaster-style water coaster. Vertical construction has begun already, and the pace of work will probably accelerate when the water park goes down for its annual refurb on December 12.

…Characters from The Incredibles have started to make appearances at the Studios to promote their movie.


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. Latest word is AP/DVC previews November 5-7, official grand opening press event November 16, soft openings TBA.
  • 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 – opens seasonally.
  • 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.
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin – closed September 13 – October 19.
  • Ariel's Grotto – closed September 13 – November 11 for theme-matching with the 20,000 Leagues Lagoon reclamation.
  • Cinderella's Carousel ? will not be operating November 2 - 14.
  • The Hub area in front of the castle – undergoes more refurbishing in January 2005 in preparation for the Cinderellabration show coming later in the year.
  • 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 at any time to remove the ExxonMobil signage that has remained for an inexplicably long time since its pavilion sponsorship ended.
  • Food Rocks – closed permanently to make way for the entrance to the new Soarin' 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.
  • New York Street – undergoing construction to change 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 Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights – returns this year on the Streets of America backlot, November 24 – January 2.
  • The Magic of Disney Animation – will not be operating September 13 - October 17. (Annual Passholder preview - October 15-17.)
  • Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure – was closed due to damage from Hurricane Jeanne, but reopened on Thursday.

Animal Kingdom

  • 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 is closed 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 – undergoes its annual refurbishment from October 24 - December 11.
  • Typhoon Lagoon - closes for its annual refurbishment on December 12.

Elsewhere

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

October 2004

  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (link). October 1 – November 14.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link). October 12, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29 and 31.
  • 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.
  • Join MousePlanet at MouseFest (link). December 9-13.
  • 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

  • Twirl Mania - The Twirler's Championships (link). February 18 - 21.
  • 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.
  • Walt Disney World Inline Marathon (link). April 30 - May 1.

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

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.

Radisson Resort Parkway announces rates through 2005

Radisson Resort Parkway, a MousePlanet sponsor, has announced their rates through the end of 2005, and has reduced their rates for much of the rest of this year. 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
Through 10/18/04
$65.00
$75.00
$83.00
10/19/04 - 10/23/04
$99.95
$109.95
$117.95
10/24/04 - 12/21/04
$69.95
$79.95
$87.95
12/22/04 - 1/1/05
$109.95
$119.95
$127.95
1/2/05 - 2/3/05
$79.95
$89.95
$97.95
2/4/05 - 2/16/05
$109.95
$119.95
$127.95
2/17/05 - 2/20/05
$119.95
$129.95
$137.95
2/21/05 - 3/17/05
$109.95
$119.95
$127.95
3/18/05 - 4/9/05
$119.95
$129.95
$137.95
4/10/05 - 4/16/05
$109.95
$119.95
$127.95
4/17/05 - 6/29/05
$89.95
$99.95
$107.95
6/30/05 - 7/4/05
$99.95
$109.95
$117.95
7/5/05 - 8/13/05
$89.95
$99.95
$107.95
8/14/05 - 9/29/05
$79.95
$89.95
$97.95
9/30/05 - 10/22/05
$89.95
$99.95
$107.95
10/23/05 - 12/22/05
$79.95
$89.95
$97.95
12/23/05 - 12/31/05
$109.95
$119.95
$127.95

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

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 December 2004.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
10/11
10/12
10/13
10/14
10/15
10/16
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

10/17
10/18
  • 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-6p
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-7:30p
AK 9a-5p
BB 10a-5p
TL 10a-5p

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


Entertainment Schedule

Hours and entertainment schedules are currently available through December 2004.

Theme Park Events

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 10/11

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Eat to the Beat Concert Series: The Beach Boys 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 4p

Fantasmic 7:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 10/12

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 7p-12p

Eat to the Beat Concert Series: The Beach Boys 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 4p

Fantasmic 7:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 10/13

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Eat to the Beat Concert Series: Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 4p

Fantasmic 7:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 10/14

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 7p-12p

Eat to the Beat Concert Series: Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 4p

Fantasmic 7:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 10/15

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Eat to the Beat Concert Series: Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 4p

Fantasmic 7:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 10/16

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Eat to the Beat Concert Series: Taylor Dayne 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 10/17

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 7p-12p

Eat to the Beat Concert Series: Taylor Dayne 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 10/18

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8p

Eat to the Beat Concert Series: Taylor Dayne 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations! 9p

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3:30p

Fantasmic 7:30p

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 10/11

Barbara Trent

 

Kabang

Home Grown with Spitalfield, Denver Harbor and Halifax (main room), $10 advance/$12 day of show; 7pm

Tuesday 10/12

Barbara Trent

 

Kabang

 

Wednesday 10/13

Barbara Trent

 

Kabang

Deftones with Dredg (main room), $25 advance/$27.50 day of show; 8:30pm

Thursday 10/14

Davonda Simmons and Soul Conspiracy

 

Kabang

Dio with Anthrax and Fireball Ministry (main room), $25 advance/$27.50 day of show; 8pm

Freight Train Annie (Blues Kitchen), free; 11pm

Friday 10/15

Davonda Simmons and Soul Conspiracy

 

Kabang

Senses Fail with Madison, Name Taken and Silverstein (main room), $12.50 advance/$15 day of show; 7:30pm

Jukies (Blues Kitchen), free; 11pm

Saturday 10/16

Davonda Simmons and Soul Conspiracy

 

Kabang

TBA (Blues Kitchen), free; 11pm

Sunday 10/17

TBA

 

Kabang

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

Monday 10/18

TBA

 

Kabang

TBA (main room), $10 advance/$12 day of show; 7pm



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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.