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Update for April 9 – 15, 2007

Go directly to: News & Views | Coming Soon | Trivia of the Week | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Park Events | Discounts/Promotions | Park Hours | Events/Entertainment Schedule

News and Views

Free Dining Plan coming back

Starting today, Disney Rewards Visa is offering a new free dining package to its cardholders. The package will be available for trips beginning August 26 through September 22. If all slots do not sell out in the first three days, the package is scheduled to be offered to the general public this Thursday, April 12. Minimum stay will be three nights and a minimum one-day theme park ticket per person is required to get the free dining package for the length of your stay. The Walt Disney Travel Company was recommending to callers to reserve via phone rather than Internet to have the best chance of getting the package for your dates. Sales open at 7 a.m. both today and Thursday.


Captain Hook's pirate ship welcomes visitors to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Fairy Tale Weddings now to include same-sex ceremonies

Gay and lesbian couples can now organize their commitment ceremonies at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and the Disney Cruise Line.

Last Thursday, Disney opened up the Fairy Tale Weddings policy at both of its U.S. resorts to homosexual couples. Previously, the Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons program was only open to heterosexual couples with a valid marriage license, reasoning that the weddings program should only be available to those taking part in a legal ceremony. Neither Florida nor California issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

The change in policy allows gay and lesbian couples to hold commitment ceremonies as part of the program. They had previously been allowed to set up their own events in rented meeting and banquet rooms at the resort, but not as part of the Fairy Tale Weddings package—which starts at $2,950 and goes up as high as people are willing to pay, with an average wedding cost of $28,000—in the variety of locations available under the program.

The announcement that the program guidelines were being updated to include commitment ceremonies noted that it was prompted by "an inquiry from a guest that asked about this service," and that the change "is consistent with our policy of creating a welcoming, respectful and inclusive environment for all of our guests."

Of course, the "inquiry by a guest" may have been a bit of a simplification, as many gay couples have inquired as to this possibility in the past. It may just be that a more open-minded team is now overseeing the policy. It also may be that Disney had recently been criticized by the Web site AfterElton.com for not allowing same-sex couples to participate in the program. After Disney's announcement, the site applauded Disney's decision.

For the past few years, the Gay Days event in early June has featured wedding ceremonies, planned by Sascha Voss. There's no word on whether this will change that tradition, whether Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings department will now begin to exhibit at the Gay Days Expo, or if this will leave the events relatively unaffected.

As of Sunday, there had been no major response from the religious community that had protested Disney's gay-friendliness in the past. The Southern Baptist Convention and the American Family Association, which had abandoned their boycotts back in mid-2005, may not have had time to formulate a response, or they may have just decided that it's not worth arguing about any more.

If you've got an opinion on the topic, join the discussion underway on our MousePad discussion forums.


Our hungry crocodile, as always, lies in wait behind Captain Hook's ship. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Magic Kingdom again world's most-visited park; Animal Kingdom closes gap on Studios

While Amusement Business magazine has gone out of business, the annual theme park attendance listing is too much anticipated to have gone away completely. Economics Research Associates (ERA), the group that put the highly regarded estimates together for the magazine, has found a new partner. The rankings will now be distributed through the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and InPark and Park World magazines.

Once again, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom finds itself atop the heap, with 2006 attendance of over 16.64 million visitors. Disneyland Park in California duplicated last year's #2 finish at 14.73 million guests. Tokyo's Disneyland and Disney Sea parks finished third and fourth with 12.9 million and 12.1 million, respectively.

Disneyland Paris had its lead over Epcot halved, as it held onto fifth place with 10.6 million visitors. Epcot had 10.46 million to stay right behind. While the lure of Expedition Everest didn't enable Disney's Animal Kingdom to overtake the Disney-MGM Studios, as originally thought, it did close the gap by 59 percent as the Studios welcomed 9.1 million guests to the animal park's 8.91 million.

The top-ranked non-Disney park was Universal Studios Japan, with 8.5 million visitors. Disney's California Adventure showed up at number 13 on the list, with 5.95 million, and Hong Kong Disneyland showed up at number 18, with 5.2 million guests. Way off of the charts was the Disney Studios Paris, which only pulled in 2.2 million visitors, good for 11th place in Europe. The world top 25 list was cut off at 3.91 million for Nagashima Spa Land in Japan.

Attendance again grew at all U.S. Disney parks, with Disney's Animal Kingdom leading the way at 8.6 percent. Epcot saw a 5.5 percent increase and the Studios followed with 5 percent. The Magic Kingdom saw a 3 percent hike in guests, while Disney's California Adventure managed a 2.1 percent bump. Recovering from the initial burst of the 50th anniversary celebration in 2005, Disneyland still managed a 1.2 percent rise. The U.S. Disney parks took six of the top seven domestic spots, with Universal Studios Florida sneaking in at 6 million visitors, topping DCA by 50,000.

U.S. water park rankings saw Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach rank 1-2 with 2.05 million and 1.88 million, showing gains of 6.6 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. Attendance at Wet 'n' Wild in Orlando was flat, with the park coming in at 1.34 million.


And what opening topiary grouping is complete without Stitch in a dinghy? Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Disney introduces Tower of Terror 13K race

Disney has now officially announced a special event for the Disney-MGM Studios that both celebrates Halloween and features an endurance race event. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K race, first reported in this Update last week by Lani Teshima, will take place on October 27, and will be supplemented by a 6.5K race on the same night. This is the first nighttime race in the Endurance Series at Walt Disney World, and helps to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the Tower of Terror.

The course stretches from the area of the Tower of Terror to the Wide World of Sports Complex, then back to the Studios via the Lights, Motors, Action stadium, down New York Street, past the Sorcerer's Hat and right into the Twilight Zone near the race's start. The 6.5K will go only half of the distance out and back.

Racers will start their runs at 9 p.m. and get to partake in a post-event party until 1 a.m. The party will be held in the park and will feature a live band and access to the Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and The Great Movie Ride. Racers will receive glow-in-the-dark race shirts, as well as finisher medals. Registration for the 13K will cost $65, while the 6.5K will cost $40. Additional post-event party tickets can be purchased for $25.

Registration is not yet open, but demand is expected to be high and the event should sell out fairly quickly. Keep an eye on the event page to be sure to get in. Once registration opens, we'll note it here in the Park Update.


Work on the Japan pavilion at Epcot continues. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Three Disney staffers caught in Internet sex sting

The Polk County Sheriff's Office has concluded Operation Cyber Hawk, a four-day undercover operation conducted inconjunction with detectives, officers, and special agents from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE, Plant City Police Department, Rocky Mount Police Department North Carolina, Nash County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina and members of the State Attorney’s Office along with the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

The operation was an undercover sting to catch sexual predators, with officers posing as 13- and 14-year-old girls in chat rooms on the Internet to catch sexual predators trolling the chat rooms looking for underage girls. The men would then be lured to an undercover location in Davenport, Florida, where they were arrested for soliciting a minor via Internet, attempted lewd battery and assorted other charges.

Of the 28 men arrested in the sting, three of them work for Walt Disney World:

  • Julio Segundo, 21, an intern for research and development, was arrested on the above charges;
  • Richard Gaugh, 55, a part-time instructor at Disney's Animal Kingdom, was arrested on the above charges; and
  • Thierry Ferron, 43, an electronics technician, was arrested on the above charges, as well as contributing to delinquency of a minor and receiving computer statements for purpose of sexual conduct with a child.

According to Disney, none of the three worked directly with children. All were placed on unpaid leave in the wake of the arrests, and it's likely that they will be dismissed if convicted. All passed background checks before they were hired.

With the large number of people in Central Florida working for Disney, I suppose that it's inevitable that some Disney employees would be included in a group like this, but it's disturbing nonetheless.

Get your MousePlanet swag!

The MousePlanet.com store is now open for business (link)! You can get shirts, mugs, hats and even a Teddy Bear! Check it out and show your MousePlanet pride! Now you can show everybody in the parks what site you read!

Hotel Royal Plaza offers discounts to MousePlanet readers

We'd like to welcome the Hotel Royal Plaza as a new MousePlanet sponsor. As part of our new relationship, the Royal Plaza has created a special offer just for MousePlanet readers! From now through the end of the year, anyone booking their stay through the MousePlanet web site will receive discounted rates up to 20 percent off on all room types.

The completely-remodeled 394-room resort is located on Hotel Plaza Boulevard, just a few minutes' walk from Downtown Disney. Bus service to all Walt Disney World theme parks is included with your stay. Their Giraffe Caf restaurant, Giraffe Tavern sports bar, Marketessen deli-style caf and Sips Pool Bar are ready to serve you. And children 10 and under eat breakfast for free!

And so we'd like to thank the Hotel Royal Plaza for joining the MousePlanet family, and invite you to try their hospitality.


Pirate Mickey and Princess Minnie topiaries welcome guests to World Showcase Plaza. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Lights, Motors, Action drivers, bikers get union representation?

We have received an anonymous e-mail letting us know that the previously non-union drivers and bikers at the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show have now been provided union representation through legal action. The note says that they will be covered by "the union that represents all the other performers in stage shows," which we're assuming refers to the Actors' Equity Association. AEA represents approximately 500 cast members, and their current contract runs through September 20, 2008. The writer made a point of saying that the drivers and bikers didn't ask for the union coverage, but are happy that they will now be represented. (Side note: We protect all of our sources. If you send us a tip, please let us know how to contact you so that we can follow up with any questions.)


Pirate Donald and Pluto flank Mickey and Minnie to the east side of World Showcase Plaza. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Disney Magic departure delayed by bomb scare

Saturday's departure of the Disney Magic cruise ship was delayed and passengers were evacuated from the ship after a bomb-sniffing dog detected something in the ship's mail during a routine search of the ship. The dog homed in on a package sent to a crewmember around noon and all passengers were evacuated from the ship and from Terminal 8 to Terminal 5 while the sheriff's office was called in to investigate. Those passengers not already in the terminal were diverted from the parking lot and directed to return later.

After scanning the package, the sheriff's office determined that it contained a wireless device for a crewman's laptop computer. It was confirmed that the crewmember was expecting the device, and that it was not a danger. An all-clear was given at 3:30 p.m., and all passengers were able to board the ship for departure. While this delay posed an inconvenience for the passengers, it is certainly understandable that Disney took the necessary precautions to ensure that there was no hazard posed to the guests before allowing the cruise to board.


Meanwhile, Pirate Goofy mans the west side of World Showcase Plaza. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Disney's Animal Kingdom welcomes new arrival

She's 6-foot-1 and 151 pounds, and she's expected to draw quite a lot of attention when she greets the public at Disney's Animal Kingdom in a few weeks. Her name is Rori (ROAR-ee), and she's the latest giraffe to be born at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Rori, born on March 26 to 10-year-old Nikki, is the fifth giraffe born at the park, and the sixth at Walt Disney World. (A giraffe was born at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in November 2005.)


Rori romps around backstage while waiting for clearance to join the herd on the savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Image Disney.

Rori is Nikki's first calf, and they're both doing fine. They are expected to join the herd in the next few weeks. Nikki became pregnant through natural breeding in late 2005. A normal giraffe gestational period is 15 months. Congratulations to Nikki and the team at Walt Disney World's Animal Programs team!

Jim Shore merchandise event

Jim Shore will be signing his new carved-wood sculpture, Cinderella Castle "Castle of Dreams", at its release this weekend at Walt Disney World. Shore will be signing on Saturday, April 14, at the Town Square Exposition Hall from 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. On Sunday, he'll be at the Art of Disney Gallery in the Downtown Disney Marketplace from 10 a.m.-noon and 4-6 p.m.

If you won't be there and would like to get on the wish list for this piece, you can call Walt Disney Event Services at 407-827-7600, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


Jim Shore will be signing his latest wood sculpture this weekend. Image courtesy of Disney.

For more information on the event, go to the Disney Gallery web site. For a much-larger image of the piece, go to Jim Shore's site and click on the picture.

Menus wanted!

Want to help MousePlanet upgrade our park guides? We're looking to add menu information for all restaurants to our Walt Disney World Park Guide (link). Send photos or scans of menus (no fair copying from other web sites) to menus@mouseplanet.com (link). Please note that there is a 5MB limit on total attachments in a single email.

Boating Party dining experience changes to include landlubbers

The Boating Party for Disney Dining Experience cardholders that we reported on two weeks ago has opened up reservations to those who prefer not to go fishing on the lakes of Walt Disney World. The event, to be held this Saturday, has just about sold out the $225 (plus tax and gratuity) slots for fishing, lunch and afternoon reception (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), but is now taking additional reservations for those who just want to start at lunchtime. For $145 (plus tax and gratuity), you get the special lunch at the Flying Fish Cafe and the reception at the Wyland Gallery. For more information and to make reservations, call Rosa at 407-560-5703.


A tower of impatiens is assembled as the start of the Flower & Garden Festival draws near. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

DVC restricts Member Services phone lines to members only

In a recent e-mail, the Disney Vacation Club told members that guests listed on members' vacation reservations are no longer able to call Member Services to handle dining reservations, Disney's Magical Express or any other services related to their trip, and only the member may call Member Services. Members calling the number will need to verify their name and confirm their identity with two pieces of information to access their reservations. DVC stated that "[t]his policy is designed to maintain the exclusivity of Member Services and to make the best use of Members’ Annual Dues."

While this should not cause too much of a hassle in normal vacation situations, it may have a restrictive effect on those people who are renting DVC points from a member for their vacation. Instead of being able to call Member Services to confirm that a reservation had been made under their name for their vacation dates, they will need to rely upon the member to provide valid confirmation. Whether this will chill the market for DVC point rentals remains to be seen.


The Three Caballeros prepare for the opening of their new attraction. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Quick takes …

…It's looking like the projected dates that we originally reported for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party were only mostly accurate. The dates of October 1, 9, 15, 22 and 29 appear to have been incorrect, and additional nights of October 8, 14, 21 and 28 were not included (though we did say that the dates were tentative). The expected party dates, based on published hours for the fall months, are Sep. 14, 21, 28, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31. Expect tickets to go on sale at the end of the month. Tickets for the Pirate & Princess Parties in August and September will go on sale June 1.

…Following a delay from the anticipated Monday date, the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros finally opened on Friday at Epcot's Mexico pavilion. The old theme song has been replaced by the Three Caballeros theme song, all videos have been replaced with Donald/Panchito/Jose Carioca videos, and the finale carousel has been replaced by an "amphitheater" featuring a performance by the three birds. Discuss here.

…Apparently, Disney is using "MLF" as the abbreviation for Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, trying to avoid the potential issues with the off-color acronym if they were to include the initial for "Inc."


The Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor played to large crowds after opening last Monday. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

…Rock 'n' Roller Coaster recently began operating its new single rider line, whose construction we first reported here last November 21.

…We've got some more detail about work on the Polynesian Resort's monorail station. Apparently, a 2,500 square-foot section of the 2x4 tongue & groove woodwork will be removed and replaced. This still should not affect the operation of the monorails.

…The Lotus Blossom Cafe has reopened from its refurbishment, now sporting video monitor menu screens and a revised menu (including potstickers—yum!).

…With the addition of self-service beverage machines, the toppings bar has been removed from the Electric Umbrella in Epcot's Future World. Sauces are still available, but the rest of the burger toppings are gone.

…Voting concluded on March 30 for the CareerBuilder Disney Dream Job contest, but winners won't be announced unti April 17. We'll report on the winners in the April 23 Park Update. Good luck to all of the finalists!


Over at Disney's Animal Kingdom, construction work continues on the Yak and Yeti Restaurant in Asia. Photo by Cathy Sowa.


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

A personal appeal, for the second year

I'm spending my birthday at the end of April participating in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica to prevent birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Last year, through your generosity we raised $2,525 in just four weeks. This year, we're beating that. We started much earlier this year, and we're shooting to raise $4,000. We're over three-quarters of the way there, with just under three weeks to go! Please visit my fundraising page for more information.

Coming soon

  • April 5 – June 3. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival [park guide page].
    • Flower Power Concert Series
      • April 5–9: Paul Revere and the Raiders
      • April 10–14: Tony Orlando
      • April 15–18: The Buckinghams
      • April 19–21: The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie
      • April 22–24: The Box Tops
      • April 25–28: The Tokens
      • April 29–May 1: Peter & Gordon
      • May 2–3: Jose Feliciano
      • May 4–5: Petula Clark
      • May 6–10: Nelson
      • May 11–15: Davy Jones
      • May 16–19: B.J. Thomas
      • May 20–22: Grass Roots featuring Rob Grill
      • May 23–25: The Guess Who
      • May 26: The SOS Band
      • May 27–30: Gary Puckett
      • May 31–June 3: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone
    • Themed Weekends
      • April 13–15: Garden Parties Weekend
      • April 20–22: Art in the Garden Weekend
      • April 27–29: I Dig Bugs Weekend
      • May 4–6: Cinco de Mayo Weekend
      • May 11–13: Mother's Day Weekend
      • May 18–20: Characters in Bloom Weekend
      • May 25–28: Memorial Day Weekend
      • June 1–3: Festival Farewell Weekend
  • April 20, 21, 27, 28. Disney Grad Nite.
  • April 21–22. USASF Cheerleading & Dance Worlds.
  • April 27. Mickey's Pin Trading Night at Contemporary Resort.
  • May 25-28, Jun. 30-Jul. 7, Aug. 31-Sept. 3 and Nov. 19-25, 2007; and Dec. 16, 2007-Jan. 2, 2008. DVC members may not pool-hop on these dates.

Trivia question of the week

This week's question: Who provided the voices for both the safety spiel at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Ben Franklin at the American Adventure, among others? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "Who plays Ellen DeGeneris' neighbor in Ellen's Energy Adventure?" is:

Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

Do you have a trivia question that you'd like to share? If we choose to use your question, we'll give you credit in the Update. Email us here.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

Epcot

  • Maelstrom – closed for refurbishment from April 30 through May 24.
  • Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki – closed for refurbishment from April 15 through August 25.
  • Le Cellier Restaurant – closed for refurbishment May 14–18.
  • Lotus Blossom Cafe – has reopened from its refurbishment.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – has again closed, perhaps forever and perhaps just until next Thanksgiving weekend.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • No known refurbishments at this time.

Animal Kingdom

  • No known refurbishments at this time.

Resorts

  • All-Star Music Resort – Conversion of Calypso buildings to Family Suites continues. All work had been expected to be completed by October 13, but that date has not been met. All buildings not containing Family Suites will be renovated between January and June.
  • All-Star Sports Resort – All buildings will be renovated between June and November.
  • Caribbean Beach Resort – The feature pool closes for renovation January – June, 2008. Exact dates have yet to be announced.
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Building 6 (Concierge) closes in September for a full refurbishment.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – Phase I's four buildings and Phase II's eight units are complete, Construction on the six buildings of Phase III is underway, with all six units expected to be completed in late 2007. The new buildings will comprise two additional sections, to be called The Carousel and The Grandstand. The two buildings in The Carousel have been completed, and the four in The Grandstand are well underway.

Water Parks

  • No known refurbishments at this time.

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs Tuesdays – Saturdays. No performances May 20–June 4, July 29–31, September 23–October 1, November 25–27.

Park Events

April 2007

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). April 5 – June 3. Epcot comes alive with topiaries, other floral displays, gardening demonstrations and the “Flower Power” concert series at the 14th annual event.
  • Disney Grad Nite (link). April 20, 21, 27, 28. Graduating high school seniors have a huge party in the Magic Kingdom.
  • USASF Cheerleading & Dance Worlds (link). April 21–22. Teams descend on the Wide World of Sports.
  • Mickey's Pin Trading Night at Contemporary Resort (link). April 27. The popular 3-hour event returns to Fantasia Ballroom G.

May 2007

  • Disney's Minnie Marathon Weekend 5K and 1 Mile (link). May 5. The short runs of the ladies-only running weekend take place at and near Downtown Disney. Registration is now open (link).
  • Women Run the World 15 K (link). May 6. The course starts at Animal Kingdom, goes through the Studios and ends at Epcot. Registration is now open (link).
  • Muddy Buddy (link). May 12. Athletes get down and dirty in this competition. Registration is now open (link).
  • Danskin Women's Triathlon (link). May 12-13. Athletes compete in a 400 yard swim, a 9 mile bike ride and a 2 mile run. Registration is now open (link).
  • Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays (link). May 15-17. Regular-season Major League Baseball comes to The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports for the first time.
  • Teddy Bear and Doll Weekend (link). May 18-20. The annual event features over 30 artists displaying their wares.
  • Walt Disney World 70.3 Ironman Triathlon (link). May 20. Athletes compete in a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run. Registration opens soon (link).
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Adventures on the Seven Seas Lagoon (link). May 21-24. Disneyland may get the movie premiere, but Walt Disney World gets a three-day, multi-tiered event on open water.
  • Gay Days 2007. May 31 - June 3. The 17th annual gathering of the GLBT community at Walt Disney World (link1 | link 2).

June 2007

  • Star Wars Weekends (link). June 1–24. The popular event returns to the Studios in 2007 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars film.

July 2007

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp (link). Late July – Mid-Aug. The Bucs return to Disney for another year's training camp.

August 2007

  • Disney's Pirate & Princess Party (link). Aug. 11, 15, 18, 21, 24, 28, 31 and Sept. 3. A rerun of this past winter's new hard-ticketed event celebrates the pirates and princesses in all of us.
  • Tom Joyner Family Reunion (link). Aug. 31 – Sept. 3. The radio host's annual gathering returns for another year.

September 2007

  • Night of Joy (link). Sept. 7–8. Disney's annual Christian music festival.
  • Disney's Pin Celebration (link). Sept. 7–9. This year, the event's theme is "Where Dreams HapPin". Registration opens May 9.
  • Walt Disney World Triathlon (link). Sept. 23. Athletes compete in a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike ride, and a 10K run. Registration opens soon (link).
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link). Sep. 14, 21, 28, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31 (dates tentative). Get your costumes ready. The Disney characters will certainly be wearing theirs..
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (link). Sep.28 –Nov. 11. The 12th annual celebration of things gustatory, plus the Eat to the Beat concert series.

October 2007

  • Race for the Taste 10K (link). Oct. 7. The annual October classic steers runners through the Disney-MGM Studios and Epcot. Registration is now open (link).

November 2007

  • Disney Golf Classic (link). Nov. 1–4. Joe Durant returns to defend his 2006 title.
  • Festival of the Masters (link). Nov. 9–11. Disney's annual arts festival at Downtown Disney's West Side.
  • ABC Super Soap Weekend (link). Nov. 10–11. Your favorite ABC soap opera stars converge on the Disney-MGM Studios.
  • Pirates of Castaway Cay pin cruise (link). Nov. 11-15. Pirates, pins and a Disney cruise, all rolled into one.
  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (link). Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. Jennings Osborne's amazing display returns to the Studios.
  • Old Spice Classic (link). Nov. 22, 23, 25. ESPN Regional presents the second annual 8-team, 12-game tournament, featuring George Mason, Kansas State, North Carolina State, Penn State, Rider, South Carolina and Villanova.
  • Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (link). Dates TBA. The Animal Kingdom Parade trades its Jammin' for Jingle in this holiday makeover.
  • Holidays Around the World (link). Nov. 23 – Dec. 30. Epcot's World Showcase gets storytellers, special entertainment and crafts for kids, the Lights of Winter and a spectacular Christmas tree.
  • Festival of the Seasons (link). Dates TBA. Downtown Disney gets a holiday makeover.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (link). Nov. 13, 15, 16, 26, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21 (dates tentative). Snow on Main Street, free hot cocoa and cookies. What's not to like?.

December 2007

  • Pop Warner Super Bowl (link). Dates TBA, expected to be Dec. 2–8. Football players and cheerleaders invade the resort for the pigskin championships.
  • MouseFest 2007 (link). Dec. 2–10. The annual gathering of the Disney Internet community takes place at sea from Dec. 2–6 and on land from Dec. 6–10.
  • Pleasure Island New Year's Eve (link). Dec. 31. Pleasure Island celebrates the actual New Year.
  • New Year's Eve at Cirque du Soleil. Dec. 31. Cirque puts on special New Year's performances.
  • Atlantic Dance Hall New Year's Eve (link). Dec. 31. Ring in the New Year at the BoardWalk's own dance club.

January 2008

  • Walt Disney World Half-Marathon (link). Jan. 12. Registration opens January 8, 2007.
  • Walt Disney World Marathon (link). Jan. 13. Registration opens January 8, 2007. [Read our WDW Marathon Guide.]

Current Discounts & Promotions

New discounts for everyone, plus passholder and Florida resident rates

Disney has announced new discount codes for room-only and package stays for mid-April through late May. It appears that the discounts are approximately 15 percent off of value and moderate resorts and 25 percent off of deluxes. (Values start at $84 per night.) The rates are valid April 15-19, April 22-26 and April 29-May 23. Use rate code BUC, for room-only reservations. For Magic Your Way packages, use ZHD, and use ZHE to add dining to your package. You'll have to book these rates by April 14.

Annual passholders and Florida residents have longer to book their discounted rates, as their rates are available through the end of the promotional period, subject to availability. Passholder and resident discount dates are for most nights from April 15-19 and April 22-May 24. Passholder rates start at $10 less per night than the regular discounts (as low as $74 per night for value resorts), while Florida resident rates are $5 less than the regular discounts (as low as $79 per night for values). Full hook-up campsites for RVs start at $55 per night for passholders, $60 per night for Florida residents.

Magic Your Way ticket price guide

Walt Disney World's entire ticket price structure changed as of January 2, 2005, to the new “Magic Your Way” passes, and prices increased on January 1, 2006, and again on August 6, 2006. Advance purchase discounts are only available on tickets above the base ticket of at least 4 days, with higher discounts on those tickets with both options. Prices do not include 6.5% Florida sales tax.

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 $67 / $56 $132 / $110 $192 / $160 $202 / $168 $206 / $169 $208 / $171 $210 / $173 $212 / $175 $214 / $176 $216 / $177
w/ Park Hopper option $112 / $101 $177 / $155 $237 / $205 $247 / $213 $251 / $214 $253 / $216 $255 / $218 $257 / $220 $259 / $221 $261 / $222
w/ Water Park Fun & More option $117 / $106 $182 / $160 $242 / $210 $252 / $218 $256 / $219 $258 / $221 $260 / $223 $262 / $225 $264 / $226 $266 / $227
(plus 3) (plus 3) (plus 3) (plus 4) (plus 4) (plus 5) (plus 6) (plus 6) (plus 6) (plus 6)
w/ both options $162 / $151 $227 / $205 $287 / $255 $297 / $263 $301 / $264 $303 / $266 $305 / $268 $307 / $270 $309 / $271 $311 / $272
w/ both options, no Expiration N/A $237 / $215 $302 / $270 $337 / $303 $356 / $319 $363 / $326 $395 / $363 $432 / $395 $459 / $421 $466 / $427
Advance Purchase Discount - 1 option N/A N/A N/A $2/$2 $5/$2 $6/$2 $7/$2 $7/$3 $7/$3 $7/$3
Advance Purchase Discount - 2 options N/A N/A N/A $12/$10 $15/$10 $16/$10 $17/$10 $17/$11 $17/$11 $17/$11

Park Hours

Hours and entertainment schedules are currently available through September 2007.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
4/9
4/10
4/11
4/12
4/13
4/14

MK 8a-12a
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 8a-8p
BB 10a-7p
TL 10a-7p

MK 8a-12a
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p

MGM 9a-10p
AK 8a-8p
BB 10a-7p
TL 10a-7p

MK 8a-12a
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 8a-8p
BB 10a-7p
TL 10a-7p

MK 8a-12a
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p

MGM 9a-10p
AK 8a-8p
BB 10a-7p
TL 10a-7p

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

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

4/15
4/16
4/17
4/18
4/19
4/20
4/21

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

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

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

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

MK 9a-12a
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p

MGM 9a-8:30p
AK 9a-7p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p

MK 9a-7p
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p

MGM 9a-10p
AK 9a-6p
BB 10a-6p
TL 10a-6p

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

4/22

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

  • 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 September 2007.

Theme Park Events

Magic Kingdom
Epcot World Showcase
Disney-MGM Studios
Animal Kingdom
Monday 4/9

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 12p, 3:30p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: Paul Revere and The Raiders 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 4/10

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 12p, 3:30p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: Tony Orlando 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 4/11

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 12p, 3:30p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: Tony Orlando 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 4/12

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 12p, 3:30p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: Tony Orlando 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 4/13

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Garden Party Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Patricia Lanza 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Tony Orlando 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 4/14

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Garden Party Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Patricia Lanza 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Tony Orlando 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 4/15

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Garden Party Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Patricia Lanza 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: The Buckinghams 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 4/16

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: The Buckinghams 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 4/17

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: The Buckinghams 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 4/18

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: The Buckinghams 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 4/19

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: The Turtles Featuring Flo and Eddie 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 4/20

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Grad Nite 10p-4a

Flower and Garden Festival Art in the Garden Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Clyde Butcher 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: The Turtles Featuring Flo and Eddie 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 4/21

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Grad Nite 10p-4a

Flower and Garden Festival Art in the Garden Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Clyde Butcher 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: The Turtles Featuring Flo and Eddie 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p, 10p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 4/22

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Art in the Garden Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Clyde Butcher 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: The Box Tops 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 8:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Fort Wilderness movie schedule for April 2007

Movies begin at 8:40 and will be preceded by a campfire at 7:30 and a singalong at 8:00.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat

9
Finding Nemo

10
The Pacifier

11
Brother Bear
12
The Incredibles
13
Herbie: Fully Loaded
14
Monsters, Inc.

15
Mulan

16
The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again

17
The Jungle Book 2

18
Snowball Express
19
Toy Story
20
The Little Mermaid
21
The Shaggy Dog

22
Cinderella

23
The Country Bears

24
Inspector Gadget

25
The Fox and the Hound
26
Pete's Dragon
27
Tarzan
28
Lilo and Stitch

29
Dumbo

30
The Rookie

Downtown Disney Entertainment

(Separate admission required)

Rock & Roll Beach Club
House of Blues
Monday 4/9

Charlie Hotel

Tuesday 4/10

Leonard Brothers

Wednesday 4/11

Untouchables

Cute Is What We Aim For, Circa Survive, As Tall As Lions and Envy On The Coast (main room), $14 in advance, $16 day of show; 7 p.m.

Thursday 4/12

Untouchables

The Flaming Lips (main room), $38.50 in advance, $40 day of show; 8:30 p.m.

Freight Train Annie (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m.

Friday 4/13

Untouchables

Brand New with Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra (main room), $18 in advance, $20 day of show; 8:30 p.m. ***SOLD OUT***

Pocket Change (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Saturday 4/14

Untouchables

Jagermeister Music Tour featuring Stone Sour with Shadows Fall, Lacuna Coil, and Indorphine (main room), $24 in advance, $27 day of show; 8 p.m.

Scholars Word (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Sunday 4/15

Stormbringer

Evangelist Daniel James and the Revelation Chorale (gospel brunch), $32.50 adult, $16.25 child (3-9); 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m.

Hot Topic Presents Haste the Day & From Autumn to Ashes with Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, The Sleeping and Alasana (main room), $13 in advance, $15 day of show; 5:30 p.m.

Monday 4/16

Stormbringer

Tuesday 4/17

Stormbringer

Wednesday 4/18

Stormbringer

Thursday 4/19

Orange Avenue

Little Z Band (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m.

Friday 4/20

Soul Drive

Tyrese (main room), $25 in advance, $27.50 day of show; 9 p.m.

Walker Smith Band (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Saturday 4/21

Soul Drive

Static-X with 2 Cents and OTEP (main room), $20 in advance, $23 day of show; 8 p.m.

Charlie Vegas Band (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Sunday 4/22

TBA

Apostle JL Cash and Praise (gospel brunch), $32.50 adult, $16.25 child (3-9); 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m.

Butch Walker and the Let's Go Out Tonites with The Honorary Title and Rocket (main room), $16; 7 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.