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Update for November 21 – 27, 2005

Go directly to: News & Views | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Park Events | Discounts/Promotions | Park Hours | Events/Entertainment Schedule

News and Views

MouseFest is next week!

Just a reminder that MouseFest is scheduled for November 30 – December 5 (land) and December 4–8 (sea). MouseFest Gold Sponsor MousePlanet is organizing three events and officially participating in a fourth during the land portion. For more information and how to let us know that you're coming, visit our MouseFest events page (link). For more information on MouseFest, visit the MouseFest event site (link).

The pocket guide for MouseFest is available (link) in two versions: one for viewing (pages are in order in the document) and one for printing (pages will be in order once you assemble the booklet. Pocket guides will also be available at the event, including the MousePlanet-sponsored events, but if you want to be prepared ahead of time, go get 'em.

Autopsy results for park deaths confirm Disney not at fault

In June, 4-year-old Daudi Bamuwamye died after riding Mission: Space at Epcot. In August, 12-year-old Jerra Kirby collapsed at Typhoon Lagoon and died. Last week, autopsy results on both were released by the Orange and Osceola County Medical Examiner's office. In both cases, undiscovered heart ailments were the cause of death.

Kirby's death was apparently due to arrhythmia caused by an early-stage viral heart infection. The honor roll student from Newport News, Virginia, had been relaxing near the wave pool at the water park, and passed out shortly after lifeguards had asked her if she was feeling all right.

Bamuwamye apparently died as a result of idiopathic myocardial hypertrophy with fibroelastosis of the left ventricle, or dead scar tissue and abnormally thick muscle walls in his heart. While it is a rare condition in the U.S., according to the medical examiner it affects a third of the children with heart disease in Uganda, the native country of the boy's parents. The heart condition is apparently so severe that those suffering from it are at risk of sudden death throughout their lives.

The sole remaining question, which will never be answered, is whether a quicker response by cast members to Bamuwamye's condition would have resulted in the saving of his life. Cast members immediately assisted Bamuwamye's mother when they spotted her carrying his body off of the ride. However, CPR was not started for over two and a half minutes after one of the cast members called 9-1-1, as they thought that the boy had merely passed out. However, due to the severity of the boy's condition, it is unknown whether starting CPR or even using defibrillators immediately would have prevented his death.

Walt Disney World Resort issued a written statement, simply stating, “Our sympathies are with the families during this difficult time. In regard to the reports, we believe they speak for themselves.”

Weiss promoted to worldwide Parks & Resorts post

Last Monday, the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts division announced a reorganization of its upper management “aimed at aligning internal operations and capitalizing on future growth opportunities in the expanding global family vacation market.” As a result of these changes, Walt Disney World President Al Weiss will be moving up in the hierarchy, overseeing all parks and resorts as President of Worldwide Operations. Weiss will report to Parks & Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo. Weiss will continue to hold the position of Walt Disney World President on an interim basis until a replacement is appointed.

Several other changes were made as a part of this reorganization. We'll take a closer look at all of these changes in a feature story later this week.

It's here! “Club Cool” officially opens!

MousePlanet contributor Stephen Kiskamp reports from Epcot:


Ice Station Cool reopens to the public as Club Cool. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

The long-awaited (at least for many of us) opening of the rethemed Coca-Cola refreshment spot finally happened at Epcot on Friday, November 18. Gone is Ice Station Cool with its glacier-themed exterior, frozen-caveman gimmick, and cold drippy water on your neck. In its place is a brand-spanking new Club Cool to get your Vegitabeta fix, or to trick your friends into trying Beverly. It's so new your shoes won't stick to the floor... yet.


Returning flavors include Smart Watermelon, Vegitabeta, Mezzo Mix, Kinley lime and, of course, Beverly. The flavor from Mozambique has apparently not arrived yet. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

One piece of bad news: To squash (unfortunately) one of the persistent rumors associated with the retheming, Club Cool, will not be selling Coke products not currently available inside the United States. So, for those of us who had hoped to be sipping Vegitabeta in our own living rooms, we're out of luck.


Guests enter Club Cool through what used to be the “glacier” entrance. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

The first thing one notices is the new entrance. The removal of the whole glacier facade opens the interior up to quite a bit of light comming in from both the front and rear entries. Both the entrace and exit have step-downs to the main floor, but they are also both wheelchair-accessable with easy to use ramps. Outside, away from the doors, there remains a construction wall, but it appears to have no effect on the operation of Club Cool.


A wheelchair ramp is visible in the background of this view of the new stand-up table area. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

Visually, the overall remodel was done quite well. Copious amounts of red and silver are stylized throughout the area, with strings of silver discs hanging from the ceiling to give the illusion of bubbles from inside a glass of Coke. When entering from the front door of what used to be the glacier, you notice sets of fixed stand-up tables, something the old Ice Station did not have. Personally, I thought this odd, since people do not normally take their two-ounce samples from the fountain to sip while standing around having a conversation. Although no one was using the tables when we walked in, we quickly found out the reasoning for them.


The Frozen Coke and Style my Coke displays are adjacent to one another. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

There are two new experiences that Disney has added to Club Cool. One is 'Style my Coke,' where for 50 cents more than the normal cost of a 20-ounce Coke, you can select one of four “wraps” to stylize your Coke experience. These wraps are shrunk onto the bottle in a clear chamber, so you can watch it happening. It is one way to get a fairly inexpensive souvenier from the shop and still enjoy your drink. Of course, there are the multitude of other Coca-Cola branded souvenier products, from T-shirts to bags to Christmas ornaments.


The new “Style my Coke” machine allows guests to wrap their bottles of soda in special shrink wrap. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

The second new activity at Club Cool is actually a transplant from Goofy's Candy Company in Downtown Disney: Frozen Coke. Only two flavors are currently available: Regular Coca-Cola and Fanta Blue Rasberry. Also transferred was 'Build-a-Cup'. For $8, you can get your 20-ounce frozen Coke in one of four character topper cups: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Stitch. These topper cups also come with feet.


Custom character tops and bottoms are visible at the “Build-a-Cup” display. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

There were only two criticisms that we pointed out to cast members on Friday: One, the music was too loud. It appeared that Disney was going for more of a teen feel with the retheming. However, if the tables are an indication that Disney wants people to spend time to converse, then the volume needs to come down a bit. The CM I spoke to agreed with me and said it would be brought up as feedback.

The second item was the fact that Vegitabeta should not be carbonated. It was quite an odd taste, indeed. The manager we spoke to agreed that there was an error, and it would be recitified. It appears that Coke has to be called to do the change, so it may take a few days. If you want a unique taste, however, hurry in for some carbonated Vegitabeta.


Many varieties of Coke merchandise are available, including apparel. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

All in all, I have to say that it was good to see the Coca-Cola tasting area open again, no matter what the name is. To be able to go in after walking around on a hot day and get a small bit of free refreshment is a wonderful thing indeed.

Now, if we could only convince them to actually sell the product. Mmmm... Vegitabeta.

More news bytes from Epcot

Stephen Kiskamp also reports:

The “inferno” barge has no current schedule for return. Recent viewings of Illuminations make the absence of the barge quite noticable to those of us who love the show and know every part of it. The cast member that we talked to about its return was on stage the day of the “incident,” which he downplayed as “minor,” although he was able to hear it from his station at the front of the park.

The extra 4-minute Holiday tag will be added to Illuminations starting Friday, November 25. It is not known how the absence of the inferno barge will affect the show.


Metal latticework now prevents guests from sitting on the bridge walls near the Mexico pavilion. Photo by Stephen Kiskamp.

Changes to one of the prime viewing locations: It appears that Disney is doing even more to discourage people from sitting on the bridge walls between World Showcase Plaza and the Mexico pavilion. New metal latticework has recently been installed on top of the wall on both sides of the bridge. As of Friday, the two end posts are covered with wood, suggesting the probable installation of light posts as the side of the bridge away from World Showcase Lagoon. A cast member notes that these additions were started about a month ago.

Also, a cast member lamented the fact that holiday decorations are not going up in the same fashion as before. In the past, holiday decorations went up in a single night (usually the night before Thanksgiving) in a mad scramble to give the parks the Disney magical changeover to the holiday season. This year, the Christmas tree at Epcot went up six days earlier than normal, and the rest of the decorations have been trickling out over the last week or so. There is speculation that this may be due in part to cut-backs and/or outsourcing in the overnight staff that leaves less manpower to perform the tasks.

Goodbye forever for Wonders?

The Making of Me, the only remaining attraction from the Wonders of Life pavilion, disappears from the “operational updates” section of the WDW Web site after December 31. This feeds the rumor that it will close for good after the pavilion reopens from December 18 through the end of the year.

World Baseball Classic coming to WDW

Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex has landed another high-profile event for next spring, when Cracker Jack Field hosts six games of the World Baseball Classic, the 16-team tournament sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation. The tournament is also supported by Major League Baseball and its Players Association. Disney will host an opening round pool of games between teams from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Australia and Italy. Players will report to training camps on March 3, with games being played March 8-11. The top two teams from the round-robin pool will continue on to Round 2 in Puerto Rico against the top two teams from the opening round pool that will also take place in Puerto Rico. The other opening-round pools will play in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona and in Tokyo, and the other second-round games will be played Anaheim, California. The semifinal and final games will be played in San Diego.

The tournament will likely require some changes to the Atlanta Braves' spring training schedule, but with so many fields available, the only conflicts will likely be during the four days of competition, when the tournament will require use of Cracker Jack Field. It is likely that the Braves will be scheduled for away games on those days.

“The Orlando area is one of the nation's top international tourist destinations, and we are very pleased that the World Baseball Classic will be a part of that landscape,” said Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. “Baseball historically has been a major attraction in Florida each spring, and we are confident that Disney's Wide World of Sports will serve as an excellent host for the World Baseball Classic.”

“Our agreement with Disney to host the opening East Coast round of the World Baseball Classic is another important step towards making these inaugural games the success we envision,” said MLBPA Executive Director Donald Fehr. “It's a great venue, which has played host to a number of world class events, and I know the fans, as well as the teams playing in the Disney round, will have a great experience.”

“We are honored to host round one of the World Baseball Classic at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex,” said Reggie Williams, vice president of Disney Sports Attractions. “The sports complex is home to many world-class athletic events each year, so we are excited to be a part of these historical games.”

Military families get special role at Magic Kingdom

Every day at the Magic Kingdom, a military veteran is selected each day to participate in the flag retreat ceremony at sundown. Now, and for the next month or so, Disney will pay special tribute to U.S. military families in conjunction with the Shades of Green Resort, a resort for active and retired military. From November 24 through January 1, Shades of Green and Disney will collaborate to pick two families each day. One family will get to join the Disney characters as part of the Train Station Welcome ceremonies at park opening time, and the other family will act as Grand Marshals for the Share a Dream Come True parade during the afternoon.

Diamond Horseshoe to house temporary buffet

In a fashion similar to the way that a temporary buffet at El Pirata y El Perico Restaurante was used to soak up the crowds from the excess demand for table service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom during the final days of the free dining plan, the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon will be used this week for the Thanksgiving dining crush. A buffet, to be served by Walt Disney World Convention Services (rather than Magic Kingdom Food & Beverage Services), will feature a Thanksgiving-style menu and will be available Wednesday through Saturday only on a walk-up basis.

New Year's Eve events at Pleasure Island announced

While special fireworks shows and live entertainment will be available at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney-MGM Studios theme parks on New Year's Eve, the big hard-ticket event every year is at Pleasure Island in Downtown Disney. This year is no exception. Smash Mouth will headline the party, with the S.O.S. Band and Paul Jackson, Jr. also performing. A champagne toast will also welcome in the new year during a midnight fireworks show (the last fireworks show to be held at Pleasure Island). The event, which will run from 8 p.m. - 2 a.m., is limited to those 21 and older. Tickets, which will set you back $89 plus tax per person, are now available.

Bus system enhancements on the way

The Walt Disney World bus system will be getting some aesthetic and technological enhancements. Rolling out across the resort over the next couple of years will be changes to make the waits shorter and the rides more pleasant.

On the aesthetic side, loading areas will be enhanced with new decor and buses will receive new artwork, perhaps including full-bus wraps. Once on board, guests will be entertained by background music and audio/visual entertainment and messages.

On the technological side, GPS tracking systems will be installed on all buses, allowing dispatchers to route buses more efficiently. Dispatchers will no longer have to guess about wait times at bus stops or rely on supervisors to radio in information, as cameras will be installed at all resort and theme park bus stops.

Park & Resorts up, even as Walt Disney Company profits drop 27 percent in fourth fiscal quarter

According to figures released last Thursday, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts increased revenues 9 percent to $2.4 billion and operating income from $282 million to $309 million for the fourth fiscal quarter. Prior to adjusting to include the impact of a stock option expense, the operating income figure would have increased 14 percent to $321 million. However, largely due to the drag on profits by huge losses in the Studio Entertainment division (dropping 13 percent from last year) and the new stock option expense (an accounting change), the company's profits dropped 27 percent for the quarter.

The Walt Disney World Resort saw a 10 percent attendance increase, with hotel occupancy rising to 77 percent during the quarter. The Disneyland Resort saw a 15 percent rise in attendance, with hotel occupancy at 97 pecent. Additional increases in Parks & Resorts revenue were due to the additional inclusion of figures from Euro Disney SCA, which runs the Disneyland Resort Paris, and the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland during the quarter.

The fourth fiscal quarter of 2005 marks the end of the tenure of Michael Eisner, who resigned as Chief Executive Officer at the conclusion of the quarter. New CEO Bob Iger focused on the annual figures, stating, “We are pleased to report another year of strong double-digit growth in earnings per share, providing further evidence that our strategy to achieve growth through great creative content, global expansion and the application of new technology is working.”

Iger also focused on Disney's focus on technology as a future driver of revenue. “Advances in technology have changed how content is created, distributed and consumed. As a modern media company Disney is well positioned to take advantage of these changes by continuing to develop strong content and leverage that content across our businesses and new technologies. Our agreement with Apple to make programming available on the iPod is a fitting example of our efforts in that regard. As the media landscape continues to change, our creative excellence and consumer focus will enable us to continue delivering benefits to shareholders.”

We will have to wait and see how those technological advances will affect the Parks & Resorts sector. However, if the tests reported earlier this year in our Disneyland park update are any indication, there will be a much greater level of electronic interactivity at the parks in the future. We will have to wait and see if the overall impact is positive, or whether the increased electronic focus will detract from the communal experience of interactivity between guests in the parks.

Euro Disney cuts losses

Euro Disney SCA, the operator of the Disneyland Resort Paris, cut its full-year net losses, despite a drop in visitor numbers and hotel revenues, thanks to freedom from last year's heavy restructuring charges. Euro Disney cut its loss from $169.3 million last year to $110.8 million this year on revenue of $1.26 billion.

While park visitor numbers dropped slightly from 12.4 million to 12.3 million, per capita spending at the parks offset the loss at the gate, and helped to balance the drop in hotel revenue, which fell 3 percent to $461 million.

ABC Radio to produce live, pre-recorded holiday specials from WDW

Two holiday-themed radio specials will be produced at Walt Disney World this year for broadcast over the ABC Radio Network.

Now in its fourth year, Christmas Around the World will be presented live from the Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World. The program will run from 6 p.m. on December 23 through 9 p.m. on Christmas Day (Eastern Time). At 51 hours in length, the program (which features holiday music, Yuletide remembrances and celebrity interviews) is 20 hours longer than in previous years.

Pre-recorded for broadcast by affiliates between December 19-25, Merry Christmas from Walt Disney World 2005 is a three-hour family special feature contemporary holiday music and holiday memories from celebrity guests. Hosted by Dick Van Dyke, guests include Jennifer Garner, John Travolta, Hilary Duff, George Lopez, Shaquille O'Neal, Geena Davis and Teri Hatcher.

National martial arts championship to be held at Walt Disney World

Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex will be the host of a new national amateur martial arts championship, it was announced last week. Martial arts equipment manufacturer Tiger Claw and Walt Disney World jointly announced that the Tiger Claw Elite National Championship will be part of Disney's Martial Arts Festival, which will be held October 27-29, 2006 at the Wide World of Sports Complex. The championship will be fed by 10 regional qualifying tournaments, including the new Disney's Martial Arts Qualifier, to be held at the Disneyland Resort January 6-7, 2006.

The stated goal of the tournament is to allow competitors from different existing circuits, organizations and schools to meet and compete with each other, and to to give new opportunities to amateur competitors for exposure and recognition, according to a press release. The championship will be advertised in national martial arts-focused media, and competitors will be tracked tournament-by tournament on Tiger Claw's web site. The champions of the 2006 Elite Championship will be eligible to become featured models for the following year, as well as role models for younger martial artists. For more information, see Tiger Claw's Web site (link).

Home Depot College Football Awards ceremony returns to BoardWalk

If you see many large men walking around the BoardWalk Resort on December 8, you would be correct in assuming that they were football players. The 2005 Home Depot College Football Awards will be broadcast live on ESPN from the Atlantic Dance Hall at the resort from 7-9 p.m.

Disney Store to offer special early-bird Black Friday discounts

The day after Thanksgiving, where the surge of the traditional opening of the holiday shopping season puts most retailers “into the black,” (into profitability—in accounting, red ink represents negative numbers and black ink positive numbers), is known in the retail industry as “Black Friday.” This year, Black Friday will be marked with a special early-morning sale at Disney Stores across the country. Most Disney Stores will open at 5 a.m., and for the next five hours everything in the store will be 20 percent off. Additional exclusives and specials will be offered throughout the weekend, including an free DVD with any $75 purchase. (DVDs must be chosen from Cinderella Platinum Edition, Bambi, The Incredibles, The Pacifierand National Treasure.)

Ears to the ground

…Timekeeper will be open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. November 23–26. If you want to see this attraction, now is the time!

…The currently-planned closing date for Tarzan Rocks is January 21. This, of course, is subject to change.

…Magic Kingdom locker rentals have been moved to the right of the ECV and wheelchair rental location on the right side of the entrance plaza between the entrance turnstiles and the Main Street Railroad Station. Stroller rentals have been moved to the newsstand on the left side of the entrance plaza until station completes its refurbishment, when they will be moved underneath the station.

…The opening cast member team for Expedition: Everest has been selected. They will report for work on January 8, at which time they will begin learning all about the ride and their duties. This would seem to point to an early February soft-opening. Everest merchandise will include plush Yeti figures, which may ruin the surprise as to the appearance of the creature if spotted before actually going on the ride.

…The long-neglected Treehouse Villas are apparently now in use for Walt Disney World International Program housing. They're being used to house part of a group of 800 Brazilians that were apparently brought in for two months to help deal with the holiday rush.

…Performances of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular will continue unabated during the week of December 4-10 this year as the 2005 Pop Warner Cheer and Dance Championships will be held at the Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.
Talk about Walt Disney World on our discussion forums here.

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress – refurbishment of seats and carpeting occurring on a rolling basis; the attraction remains open. However, the Carousel has been returned to the list of “seasonal” attractions, so its open status may change at any time.
  • Main Street Railroad Station – under refurbishment through December 20. Guests will still be able to board the train at the station, though the entrance and exit may be relocated during the work. The locker rental stand area is being converted to stroller rental, with the lockers moving elsewhere. In addition, the curb in front of the station will be disappearing to allow easier transit for newly-rented and about-to-be-returned strollers. The station is also slated to receive new glass, canopies, paint and so forth.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – is not operating due to refurbishment through April 1, 2006.
  • Country Bear Jamboree – will be closed January 3–7 for its return from the Christmas Special to its regular Jamboree show.
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin – will be closed January 4 – February 8 for refurbishment.
  • Splash Mountain – will be closed January 23–27 for refurbishment.
  • Timekeeper – open seasonally. The attraction will be open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. November 23–26.
  • Cinderella's Surprise Celebration – reportedly returns after the 18-month “Happiest Celebration on Earth” festivities end.

Epcot

  • The Living Seas pavilion, including the popular Turtle Talk with Crush attraction, is closed for refurbishment through November 22. The entire pavilion has been rethemed to Finding Nemo, and Sea Base Alpha has been renamed simply “Sea Base.”
  • Ice Station Cool – now open! Go get that Beverly!
  • Norway's Stave Church – has now reopened.
  • Test Track – will be closed for refurbishment January 9 – February 14, 2006.
  • 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 is currently closed, and has been removed from park maps. It is now expected to open one final time from December 18 through the end of the year, then close for good.

Disney–MGM Studios

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie sets – are officially scheduled to open on December 9.

Animal Kingdom

  • Expedition Everest – is scheduled to open in Spring 2006. The likely official opening date is April 22, which is both Earth Day and the park's birthday, but previews may start as early as February 2006.
  • Tarzan Rocks – scheduled to close on January 21, 2006. Its rumored replacement is a show based upon Finding Nemo, which would debut in November 2006 after the Theater in the Wild gets a complete makeover. The stage, lighting and sound system will all be gutted and the theater will be completely enclosed, as with the Lion King theater in Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Resorts

  • All–Star Movies Resort – The Fantasia pool will be closed January 3 – early February for refurbishment. Guests can use the Mighty Ducks pool or take a complimentary shuttle service (10 a.m. – 10 p.m.) to the other All–Star resorts to use the pools there.
  • Wilderness Lodge – Roaring Forks Snacks will be closed January 9 – late March for refurbishment. Whispering Canyon Cafe and Artist Point will remain open, and grab-n-go items will be made available elsewhere during the refurbishment.
  • Polynesian Resort – Work is now underway on the complete refurbishment and upgrading of rooms and hallways in all buildings, which is expected to be completed by June, 2006.
  • Contemporary Resort – The South Garden Wing is closed for refurbishment through September, 2006. Rumors indicate that the buildings may be completely gutted and rebuilt as Disney Vacation Club villas. However, another rumor states that new DVC lodgings will be built on the current site of the Disney Tennis Center at the resort, and there is no confirmation of the either rumor yet. Renovations on the rest of the resort are also underway, with the tower building being done one floor at a time, and are expected to run through November, 2007.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – Phase I's four buildings and Phase II's eight units are complete, Vertical construction for Phase III's six units is underway, with the six units expected to open between June and December, 2006.
  • Disney's Vero Beach Resort (DVC Resort) – Roof repairs due to hurricane rehabilitation are ongoing and scheduled to run through late November.

Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach – Closed for its annual refurbishment through December 24.
  • Typhoon Lagoon – Will close for its annual refurbishment on December 25, and is expected to reopen on February 26, 2006.

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs Tuesdays – Saturdays. No performances December 4–13.

Park Events

November 2005

  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. Thru Jan. 8, 2006. Millions of lights bombard the eyes at the Disney-MGM Studios (link).
  • Festival of the Seasons. Thru Dec. 24. Downtown Disney celebrates the season (link).
  • Holidays Around the World. Nov. 25 – Dec. 30. Epcot celebrates the season, including the popular Candlelight Processional (link).
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Nov. 27, 29, Dec. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20. Snow on Main Street, free hot cocoa and cookies. What's not to like? (link).
  • MouseFest 2005. November 30 – December 3. Meet your favorite Disney Internet and guidebook authors (including some of us!) at a gathering of the Disney Internet community around the World (link).

December 2005

  • MousePlanet presents a mini-MouseAdventure at MouseFest. Dec. 1. Meet at the outdoor seating area by Casey's Corner in the Magic Kingdom at 10:00 a.m. for this event. This is a shortened version of MousePlanet's signature event (link), and marks the first time that the event has been held in Florida.
  • MousePlanet presents the second annual Mike Scopa Dole Whip Meet at MouseFest. Dec. 1. Meet at the Aloha Isle take-out window in Adventureland at noon.
  • MousePlanet presents the first annual Shocolate Mousssse Meet at MouseFest. Dec 3. Meet at Boulangerie Patisserie at Epcot's France pavilion at 5:00 p.m. following the Mega Mouse Meet for this event. For more on the origin of the Shocolate Mousssse phenomenon among MousePlanet readers, please see this thread on our MousePad discussion forums.
  • Pop Warner Super Bowl. Dec. 4–10. Football players and cheerleaders descend on the resort for the annual championships (link).
  • Pleasure Island New Year's Eve. Dec. 31. Pleasure Island celebrates the actual New Year (link).
  • New Year's Eve at Cirque du Soleil. Dec. 31. Cirque puts on special New Year's performances (link).
  • Atlantic Dance Hall New Year's Eve. Dec. 31. Ring in the New Year at the BoardWalk's own dance club (link).

January 2006

  • Disney's Health and Fitness Expo. Jan. 5–7. Check in for the weekend's races and check out the vendors (link).
  • FamilyFun Magazine Family Fun Run. Jan. 7. The shortest run of the weekend (link).
  • Walt Disney World Half-Marathon. Jan. 7. Registration closed (link). [Note: The full- and half-marathons are now held on separate days. Read our WDW Marathon Guide.]
  • Walt Disney World Marathon. Jan. 8. Registration closed (link).
  • College Cheerleading and Dance Team Championship. January 13–16.

February 2006

  • National Dance Team Championship. February 3–6.
  • National High School Cheerleading Championship. February 10–13.
  • Atlanta Braves Training Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex (link). Dates in February ? March TBA.
  • Twirlmania. February 17–20. Twirlers, auxiliary guard, pom, and dancers descend on the Wide World of Sports (link).
  • Cheer & Dance National Championships. February 25–26. School & Youth Rec Cheer February 25, All-Star Cheer & Dance February 26 (link).

March 2006

  • Cheer & Dance National Championships. March 3–5. All Star/Studio March 3, School Dance March 3–5 (link).
  • ESPN The Weekend. March 3–5. Corporate synergy brings the cable channel back to the Studios for its third go-round (link).
  • World Baseball Classic. March 3-11. Baseball's best players from Australia, Domincan Republic, Italy and Venezuela square off in the first round of the international tournament (link).
  • National All Star Cheerleading Championship. March 10–13.

April 2006

  • Disney's All-Star Kids Classic. April 1. Registration is now open for the kids' inline race (link).
  • Walt Disney World Inline Marathon. April 2. Registration is now open (link).
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. April 21 – June 11. Epcot comes alive with topiaries, other floral displays, gardening demonstrations and the “Flower Power” concert series (link).

May 2006

  • Disney's Minnie Marathon Weekend 5K and 1 Mile (link). May 6. The short runs of the ladies-only running weekend take place at and near Downtown Disney.
  • Women Run the World 15 K (link). May 7. The ladies-only run starts at Animal Kingdom, goes through the Studios and ends at Epcot.
  • Star Wars Weekends. Dates TBA. The popular event is slated to return to the Studios in 2006 (link).
  • Epcot Teddy Bear and Doll Weekend. May 18–21. Collectible bears and dolls at Epcot (link).

September 2006

  • Tom Joyner Family Reunion. Dates TBA. The annual gathering hopes not to be cancelled by hurricane again this year (link).
  • Night of Joy. Dates TBA. Disney's annual Christian music festival (link).
  • Walt Disney World Triathlon. Sept. 24. Athletes compete in a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike ride, and a 10K run (link).
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Sept. 29 – Nov. 12. The annual celebration of things gustatory, plus the Eat to the Beat concert series (link).

October 2006

  • Disney's Race for the Taste 10K. Oct. 8. The annual Disney 10K race continues its association with the Epcot Food & Wine Festival (link).

January 2007

  • Walt Disney World Half-Marathon. Jan. 6. Registration now open (link). [Note: The full- and half-marathons are now held on separate days. Read our WDW Marathon Guide.]
  • Walt Disney World Marathon. Jan. 5. Registration now open (link).

Current Discounts & Promotions

Passholder Best Rate Program extended through April 13

The Passholder Best Rate program is now accepting reservations, online only, through April 13, 2006. In addition, some rates have dropped even lower, with value resorts going for $49 most nights from January 16 - February 4, 2006.

Radisson Resort Parkway releases rates through the end of 2006

Radisson Resort Parkway, a MousePlanet sponsor, has announced their rates through the end of 2006. Note that the resort has allocated some rooms as low as $77.00 weekdays and $87.00 weekends now through December 22.

 
Standard View
Pool View
Bed & Breakfast Package
Sleep Number - Standard View
Sleep Number - Pool View
2005
     Through Nov 26
$107
$117
$126
N/A
N/A
     Nov 27 – Dec 3
$97
$107
$116
N/A
N/A
     Dec 4 – 22
$87
$97
$106
N/A
N/A
     Dec 23 – 27
$133
$143
$152
N/A
N/A
     Dec 28 – 31
$175
$185
$194
N/A
N/A
2006
     Jan 1 – 10
$95 (M-F)
$105 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$114 (M-F)
$124 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
     Jan 11 – 14
$125
$135
$144
$135
$145
     Jan 15 – Feb 2
$95 (M-F)
$105 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$114 (M-F)
$124 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
     Feb 3 – 15
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
$134 (M-F)
$144 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
$135 (M-F)
$145 (S,S)
     Feb 16 – 19
$175
$185
$194
$185
$195
     Feb 20 – Apr 6
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
$134 (M-F)
$144 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
$135 (M-F)
$145 (S,S)
     Apr 7 – 12
$145
$155
$164
$155
$165
     Apr 13 – 16
$175
$185
$194
$185
$195
     Apr 17 – 22
$145
$155
$164
$155
$165
     Apr 23 – 29
$115
$125
$134
$125
$135
     Apr 30 – May 24
$95 (M-F)
$105 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$114 (M-F)
$124 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
     May 25 – 29
$125
$135
$144
$135
$145
     May 30 – June 8
$95 (M-F)
$105 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$114 (M-F)
$124 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
     June 9 – 29
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$124 (M-F)
$134 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
     June 30 – July 8
$125
$135
$144
$135
$145
     July 9 – Aug 19
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$124 (M-F)
$134 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
     Aug 20 – Oct 5
$95 (M-F)
$105 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$114 (M-F)
$124 (S,S)
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
     Oct 6 – Nov 4
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
$134 (M-F)
$144 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
$135 (M-F)
$145 (S,S)
     Nov 5 – 25
$105 (M-F)
$115 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$124 (M-F)
$134 (S,S)
$115 (M-F)
$125 (S,S)
$125 (M-F)
$135 (S,S)
     Nov 26 – Dec 19
$95
$105
$114
$105
$115
     Dec 20 – 25
$115
$125
$134
$125
$135
     Dec 26 – 31
$175
$185
$194
$185
$195

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

Plan ahead and save a few bucks

Walt Disney World's entire ticket price structure changed as of January 2, 2005, to the new “Magic Your Way” passes. Advance purchase discounts are only available on tickets above the base ticket of at least 5 days.

Adult/Child Total Cost 1-day 2-day 3-day 4-day 5-day 6-day 7-day 8-day 9-day 10-day
Base Ticket $59.75 / $48 $119 / $96 $171 / $137 $185 / $148 $193 / $155 $196 / $157 $199 / $160 $202 / $162 $205 / $164 $209 / $167
w/ Park Hopper option $94.75 / $83 $154 / $131 $206 / $172 $220 / $183 $228 / $190 $231 / $192 $234 / $195 $237 / $197 $240 / $199 $244 / $202
w/ Water Park Fun & More option $104.75 / $93 $164 / $141 $216 / $182 $230 / $193 $238 / $200 $241 / $202 $244 / $205 $247 / $207 $250 / $209 $254 / $212
  (plus 2) (plus 2) (plus 2) (plus 3) (plus 3) (plus 4) (plus 5) (plus 5) (plus 5) (plus 5)
w/ both options $139.75 / $128 $199 / $176 $251 / $217 $265 / $228 $273 / $235 $276 / $237 $279 / $240 $282 / $242 $285 / $245 $289 / $247
w/ both options, no Expiration N/A $209 / $186 $261 / $227 $280 / $243 $308 / $270 $321 / $282 $334 / $295 $382 / $342 $392 / $395 $399 / $347
Advance Purchase Discount N/A N/A N/A N/A $7/$6 $9/$7 $11/$9 $11/$9 $11/$9 $12/$9

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 April 2006.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
 
11/21
11/22
11/23
11/24
11/25
11/26
 

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

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

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

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

MK 9a-12a
EF 9a-7:30p
EW 11a-9:30p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 9a-7p
BB closed
TL 10a-5p

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

11/27
11/28
11/29
11/30
12/1
12/2
12/3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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
  • Italics = Morning Extra Magic Hours
  • Bold = Evening Extra Magic Hours

Entertainment Schedule

Hours and entertainment schedules are currently available through April 2006.

Theme Park Events

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 11/21

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations 9p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-8p

Fantasmic 7p, 8:30p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Tuesday 11/22

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations 9p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-10p

Fantasmic 7p, 8:30p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Wednesday 11/23

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations 9p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-10p

Fantasmic 7p, 8:30p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Thursday 11/24

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Illuminations 9p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-10p

Fantasmic 7p, 8:30p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Friday 11/25

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Candlelight Processional - narrator Rita Moreno 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-10p

Fantasmic 7p, 8:30p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Saturday 11/26

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Candlelight Processional - narrator Rita Moreno 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-10p

Fantasmic 7p, 8:30p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Sunday 11/27

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 7p-12a

Candlelight Processional - narrator Rita Moreno 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-8p

Fantasmic 7p, 8:30p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Monday 11/28

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 7p

Wishes Fireworks 8p

Candlelight Processional - narrator Phil Donahue 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-8p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Tuesday 11/29

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 7p-12a

Candlelight Processional - narrator Phil Donahue 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-8p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Wednesday 11/30

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 7p

Wishes Fireworks 8p

Candlelight Processional - narrator Phil Donahue 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-7p

Fantasmic 6:30p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Thursday 12/1

Share a Dream Come True Parade 3p

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 7p-12a

Candlelight Processional - narrator Haley Joel Osment 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-8p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Friday 12/2

Filming of WDW Very Merry Christmas Parade for TV early morning thru mid-afternoon

Share a Dream Come True Parade 4p

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 7p-12a

Candlelight Processional - narrator Haley Joel Osment 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-8p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Saturday 12/3

Filming of WDW Very Merry Christmas Parade for TV early morning thru mid-afternoon

Share a Dream Come True Parade 5p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Candlelight Processional - narrator Haley Joel Osment 5p, 6:45p and 8:15p

Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat 6p

Illuminations 9:30p

Hollywood Holly-Day Parade 3:30p

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights 6p-10p

Fantasmic 7p

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45p

Downtown Disney Entertainment

(Separate admission required)

Rock & Roll Beach Club
West End Stage
House of Blues
Monday 11/21

Stormbringer

 

 

Tuesday 11/22

The Big Idea

 

Marc Broussard with Special Guests David Ryan Harris and Mosaic (main room), $12 advance/$14 day of show; 7 p.m.

Wednesday 11/23

The Big Idea

 

 

Thursday 11/24

The Big Idea

 

Playstation Presents The Breed Love Odyssey Tour Featuring Mos Def and Talib Kweli with Special Guests Pharoahe Monch and Jean Grae (main room), $32 advance/$35 day of show; 9 p.m.

Friday 11/25

Frankie & The West End Boys

 

Bauhaus with TBA (main room), $36.50 advance/$39.50 day of show; 8:30 p.m.

Bird Dog Bobby (Blues Kitchen), free; 11 p.m.

Saturday 11/26

Frankie & The West End Boys

 

An Evening with Dolly Parton (main room), $50 advance/$55 day of show; 9 p.m.

Beautiful Bobby Blackmon (Blues Kitchen), free; 11 p.m.

Sunday 11/27

Blue Stone Circle

 

The Turner Brothers (gospel brunch), $30 adult, $15 child (3-9); 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m.

Monday 11/28

Blue Stone Circle

 

 

Tuesday 11/29

Blue Stone Circle

 

 

Wednesday 11/30

Blue Stone Circle

 

Fantasma & HOB Present Cyndi Lauper with Jill Sobule (main room), $25 advance/$27.50 day of show; 8:30 p.m.

Thursday 12/1

TBA

 

 

Friday 12/2

TBA

 

ORock 105.9 No Snow Show Featuring Pepper & Hot Hot Heat with Diamond Nights and The Redwalls (main room), $19.50 advance/$22.50 day of show; 8:30 p.m.



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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.