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Update for May 7 – 13, 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

Walt Disney World hotels go smoke-free

Walt Disney World Resort Senior Vice President for Operations Erin Wallace announced last Tuesday that all hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club accommodations will become smoke-free by June 1. Demand for smoking rooms has become steadily lower. Right now, only 3.5 percent of the total 24,000 rooms at Walt Disney World are designated smoking-optional.

The policy applies to all guest rooms, patios and balconies and designates outdoor smoking areas at all resorts. The new prohibitions are in addition to the already smoke-free areas such as lobbies, common areas, restaurants and convention spaces.

If you're a smoker, you can still smoke at the resort but you'll be restricted as to where you can do it, just like in the theme parks and water parks, which restricted smoking to designated areas in January 2000.

What do you think of this decision? Let us know!


This troll stands between the Norway pavilion and World Showcase Lagoon during the Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Man caught in the act of molesting child near Swan pool

A convicted child molester was arrested on Friday, April 27, after being caught in the act of molesting an 8-year-old girl in the bushes near the pool area at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort. 61-year-old William Bishop, of Estero, Florida, had apparently tried to approach several different young girls before finding that particular girl, who was playing near the pool without her parents' supervision.

The brother of one of those girls told his father, who kept an eye on Bishop as he wandered the pool area. When Bishop went into the bushes with the 8-year-old girl, the father sent the boy to see what the man was doing. The boy saw Bishop fondling the girl and himself while videotaping the activity, then reported back to his father.

The father then notified the pool lifeguards, who went to the area. Bishop left in a hurry, heading to his vehicle. The lifeguards confronted and detained him until Orange County Sheriff's deputies could arrive.

Bishop was hastily erasing the recording in his video camera when caught, so it's uncertain whether there's any footage on there that could be used against him. However, police seized a laptop and a handgun from Bishop's car, and plan to search the computer, as well as his hotel room and his home south of Fort Myers, Florida, for any evidence.

Bishop has a history of similar arrests dating back to the 1970s, though all of his convictions pre-date Florida's current tracking system for sexual predators. He is being held without bond.

This serves as a reminder that, while Disney vacations can be carefree, they should not be vigilance-free. While security at the Disney resorts and parks is widespread, they can't stop everything. Just as Willie Sutton purportedly noted that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is," child molesters will naturally be drawn to locations with many children. Have fun on your vacation, but don't let your guard down too much and make sure that your kids know what to do when confronted by a stranger, regardless of where they may be at the time.


Smaller rock trolls also decorate the landscape. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Disney swaps land with Reedy Creek

Last Thursday, Walt Disney World and the Reedy Creek Improvement District completed a land swap, with Disney receiving 4.79 acres of land north of the intersection of Maple Road and Floridian Way, north of the Grand Floridian and west of the Magic Kingdom. Reedy Creek received 5.27 acres near the site of the Western Way expansion.

The Western Way land appears to be some outparcel acreage in the northeast and southwest corners of the development area on the west side of the Western Beltway, which might possibly be used for supporting infractructure for the upcoming development. The Floridian Way land seems to be at or near the site that was proposed for the proposed new Fire Station #3. We'll see if we can find out more about this land swap.

Addendum: Apparently, we misread the deeds, and the swap is taking place in the opposite direction. Reedy Creek will be receiving the land near the intersection of Maple Road and Floridian Way for the construction of Station #3, while Disney will be receiving the additional acreage around the Western Way expansion. That makes much more sense. We apologize for the confusion.

Disney adds quinceañera celebrations to its party portfolio

As the Latin quinceañera celebration continues its rise into the stratosphere of lavish party-throwing, Disney has finally responded with three quinceañera packages to allow Latina teenagers to have a coming out party in Disney style. The traditional quinceañera is a coming-of-age celebration for girls in the Latin community, where she symbolically passes from childhood to young adulthood.

With a target market of the over one million Latinas turning 15 each year, these parties range from "A Reflection of You," with a dessert reception overlooking Illuminations (starting at $1,800); through "Dancing with a Star," with a multilingual DJ providing music for either a reception-style party or a buffet dinner at a resort hotel (starting at $6,900); to "Belle of the Ball," featuring floor-length linens, twinkle-lit trees, artistic centerpieces, tiered cake, photography, dining and dancing for groups of 100 or more (starting at $20,000).

Additional options include a Cinderella Castle facade, storybook entrance, horse-drawn carriage, Cinderella's crystal coach and visits from Disney characters.

To kick the new business off, last Tuesday 15 girls selected from nine U.S. cities and Puerto Rico via an essay contest were honored with a huge "Dream Come True" quinceañera party at the Magic Kingdom on the Cinderella Castle stage. The all-Spanish language event featured a dinner reception in Fantasyland with mariachis, DJ music, a serenade from pop star Fonseca and a nearly 11-foot-tall tiered cake. The girls exited down Main Street, U.S.A. in horsedrawn carriages to a fireworks finale as dawn broke.

Disney has a little information online now in English for Walt Disney World, and a bit more available in Spanish for Disneyland.

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!

Chef Mickey's adds lunch during peak of Free Dining

Chef Mickey's will be open for lunch from August 28 through September 8 in order to accommodate all the people on the free dining plan. As often happens, so many people take advantage of the free dining that there aren't enough reservations available at table service locations to use all of your table service credits. To provide additional opportunities to use those credits, Chef Mickey's will be open during lunch for the peak of the free dining period from 12:30–2:50 p.m. for the lunch service. We'll have to see whether the buffet at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station returns as well.

Disney announces, then backtracks on Tower race pacing requirements

Disney made—and quickly reversed—a decision early last week. Last Monday, those interested in participating in one of the Tower of Terror races to be held on October 27 found on the races' Web page that Walt Disney World had added a pacing requirement of 15-minute miles for both the 13K and 6.5K races, which is even faster than the 16-minute-per-mile pacing required for the Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon.

This requirement was added after non-refundable registration for the events had already opened. Apparently, there were many people who were angry at having the rules changed on them, as Disney modified the page on Tuesday to note that "All participants for the 13K and the 6.5K must be able to finish the race within two and a half hours."

While there's still a time limit, it's not going to be nearly as restrictive as it was for a short while last week. If you were planning to walk the 6.5K, you've got no worries. You can walk 38-minute miles and still be safe. Those doing the 13K can do 19-minute miles and still not get swept.


A children's play area is located near the Germany pavilion during the Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Disney brings in Dining Experience, Richard Petty to sell baseball tickets

Disney has called in the reinforcements to help sell seats at the three regular-season Major League Baseball games scheduled to be played at The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.

For the first game, on May 15, between the host Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the visiting Texas Rangers (who were not a big draw in Tampa, either), the Disney Dining Experience will be hosting "A Night at the Ballpark" featuring a tailgating reception, an open bar with soft drinks, beer and wine, and a game time entrée. The tailgate party hors d'oeuvres and open bar will be served at the Tavern on the Green.

The menu for the "tailgating reception," which runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. features Chilled Lobster Canapés, Peppered Seared Beef with Horseradish on a Focaccia Crouton, Sun-dried Tomato, Olive and Garlic Tapenade on an Endive Spear and a Cheese and Fruit Display. The game time entrée choices include Chicken and Roasted Pepper Sandwich with Cilantro Almond Relish, Proscuitto and Brie Sandwich with Rosemary Fig Confit on Ciabatta Roll and a Vegetarian Pita Sandwich with Eggplant, Cucumbers, Roasted Peppers and Tomatoes. All of those come with Boursin and Tillamook Cheddar Cheese with Crackers, Terra Sweet Potato Chips, Fuji Apple and a Chocolate Cherry Brownie.

The package costs $85 per person, plus tax. Reservations for this event open today at 9 a.m. and can be made by all Disney Dining Experience cardholders by calling Rosa at 407-560-5703.

While the special event for the first game caters to gourmands, the second game aims for the NASCAR fan. Racing legend Richard Petty will sign autographs before the second game of the series, on May 16, then throw out the first pitch. The autograph session is scheduled to run from 5:45-6:45 p.m. on the concourse of The Ballpark. Fans are being encouraged to bring their Richard Petty collectibles for "The King" to sign. Petty's affiliation with Disney started several years ago with the opening of the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Speedway adjacent to the Magic Kingdom parking lot.

Tickets for the three-game series between the Devil Rays and the Rangers are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and devilrays.com, as well as by calling 888-FAN-RAYS.

Party news updates

We've got a couple of updates regarding the Party information that we published last week. First, DVC/Passholder discounts for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party are available for September 14, October 4, 16, 23 and November 2. Last week, only the first two dates made it into the Update.

Secondly, we now have the prices for this round of the Pirate & Princess Party. Regular prices are $38.95 plus tax ($41.48) per adult and $32.95 plus tax ($35.09) per child ages 3-9. Advance discounts are available to DVC members and Passholders only, and only for the dates of August 15, 21 and 28. The discount pricing is $35.95 plus tax ($38.29) for adults and $29.95 plus tax ($31.90) for children ages 3-9.

At press time, tickets for the Halloween and Christmas parties were not yet available online. Call 407-939-4321 to purchase your tickets by phone.


These topiary heads near Germany bear a striking similarity to the Marx Brothers. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

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.

Lindley steps down after 45-year career

Another long-timer has left the building. Lonnie Lindley, who started his Disney career 45 years ago selling guidebooks at Disneyland's main entrance after graduating from high school, has retired. After working in the Parts Warehouse, then as a painter trainee and apprentice at Disneyland, Lindley moved to Florida to join the Magic Kingdom construction team.

In Florida, he worked with the Buena Vista Construction paint team, coordinating all of the colors and prep materials, conferring with late Disney Legend John Hench on the exterior color palette. By late 1970, he was running all of the paint operations on property. By 1981, Lindley was the Superintendent for both the paint and sign shops at the Central Shops. In 1998, Lindley moved to the Ride & Show Engineering group, and eventually became the coatings specialist for Architecture and Facilities.

Lindley has a window in his honor on Main Street, U.S.A. that reads:

Rainbow Paint Co.
Polychromatists
Lonnie R. Lindley
World's Largest Collection of Color Samples

We wish him the best of times in retirement.

Disney honors Dreamers and Doers

Disney honored 100 students from surrounding counties at the 2007 Dreamers and Doers awards ceremony last Thursday. Nearly 500 students were nominated by their schools. The 100 finalists were selected by a panel of community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members. Three of those finalists (one each in the Elementary, Middle and High School categories) were selected as DisneyHand Shining Stars during the ceremony at Epcot's World ShowPlace pavilion.

The three winners, chosen for their outstanding character development and achievement, received Walt Disney World Annual Passes for themselves and their immediate family. All Dreamers and Doers receive four theme park tickets, a certificate and a special pin. The 100 finalists also were given a Disney Dreamers and Doers medallion.


These topiary golf balls are ready to be teed off near Innoventions East. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

King Salmon returning to Artist Point

The salmon are running in Alaska and Washington, which can only mean one thing: Wild Copper River King Salmon will be showing up at Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge soon. Starting in mid-May, fisherman in Cordova, Alaska and Seattle, Washington will be starting their harvests of these fish. The fishing process is designed to run for 12 hours every five days for 3-4 weeks to preserve the continuity of the species. The fish will appear at the restaurant in the near future, and will be available as the success of the harvest permits.

Quick takes …

…The June meeting of the NFFC's World Chapter will take place on Saturday, June 23, at the Quality Inn and Suites. The special featured guest speaker will be Greg Ehrbar, a 21-year Disney veteran and co-author of MouseTracks, The Story of Walt Disney Records. For more information, see here.

…Spaceship Earth's lengthy closure that begins on July 9 is schedule to run through November 1. When the attraction reopens on November 2, it is not yet known whether there will be a further closure for additional changes, or if that will be the entire extent of the makeover to retheme the attraction for Siemens.

…Two more weekends' worth of performances have been announced for the Playhouse Disney in Concert series during the Little Ones Travel Time promotion. Choo Choo Soul will perform the weekends of September 27-30 and October 4-7. That leaves September 20-23 as the only weekened still unscheduled.

…Passholders and DVC members can get a 25 percent discount off of regularly priced Category 2 tickets for Cirque du Soleil performances from May 1 through June 30. Note that the show is not performed on Sundays and Mondays, and the offer is not valid for performances from May 22 through June 5 due to the Memorial Day crowds. DVC tickets must be purchased in advance up to 30 days before the show by calling Member Services. Passholders may buy tickets at the box office or up to 30 days in advance by calling 407-939-7604. DVC members may purchase up to 6 tickets; Passholders can buy up to 4 tickets.

…Raglan Road Irish Pub at Downtown Disney Pleaure Island is going sweet on Disney Vacation Club moms for Mother's Day. In addition to the usual 10 percent member dining discount for lunch and dinner (not including alcohol, tax or gratuity), moms dining in the pub on May 13 will get a free select dessert with the purchase of an adult entrée.


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.

Coming soon

  • Apr. 5 – June 3. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival [park guide page].
    • Flower Power Concert Series
      • 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
      • 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
  • May 12. Muddy Buddy.
  • May 12 – 13. Danskin Women's Triathlon.
  • May 15 – 17. Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
  • May 18 – 20. Teddy Bear and Doll Weekend.
  • May 20. Walt Disney World 70.3 Ironman Triathlon.
  • May 21 – 24. Pirates of the Caribbean Adventures on the Seven Seas Lagoon.
  • May 31-June 3. Gay Days 2007.
    • May 31 – Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • June 1 – Disney-MGM Studios
    • June 2 – Magic Kingdom
    • June 3 – Epcot
  • 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.

Walt Disney World trivia question of the week

This week's question: This week's question was submitted by MousePlanet reader Jorge Ramos. In what year did the Walt Disney World Resort welcome it's 100 Millionth Guest? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "Who was the original narrator of Spaceship Earth?" is:

The original narration was done by Vic Perrin. Walter Cronkite replaced him on May 29, 1986. The current narrator (for the moment) is Jeremy Irons, who replaced Cronkite on November 22, 1994.

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.
  • Spaceship Earth – closed for refurbishment May 7–10, June 22–23 and July 9 – at least November 1.
  • Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki – closed for refurbishment through August 20.
  • Le Cellier Restaurant – closed for refurbishment May 14–18.
  • 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 – Work began Friday on refurbishment of the Calypso pool. The accessible chair lift and transfer station will be replaced, along with other general touch-up work. Similar work on the Fantasia pool at All Star Movies took about five months. In the meantime, All-Star Music guests may continue to use the "quiet" pools as well as the main pools at the other All-Star resorts. All buildings not containing Family Suites are being 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

  • Blizzard Beach – closed for annual refurbishment October 28 – late December.
  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed for annual refurbishment late December – late winter.

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

May 2007

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). Apr. 5 – June 3. Epcot comes alive with topiaries, other floral displays, gardening demonstrations and the ?Flower Power? concert series at the 14th annual event.
  • 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

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). Apr. 5 – June 3. Epcot comes alive with topiaries, other floral displays, gardening demonstrations and the "Flower Power" concert series at the 14th annual event.
  • Gay Days 2007. May 31 - June 3. The 17th annual gathering of the GLBT community at Walt Disney World (link1 | link 2).
  • 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

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

  • 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.
  • 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, 30, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, Nov. 2. 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

  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link). Sep. 14, 21, 28, 30, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, Nov. 2. 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.
  • 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).
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K and 6.5K (link). Oct. 27. Disney's first night-time endurance event is Halloween-themed, and concludes witha big after-party. Registration is now open (link).

November 2007

  • 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.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link). Sep. 14, 21, 28, 30, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, Nov. 2. Get your costumes ready. The Disney characters will certainly be wearing theirs.
  • 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.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (link). Nov. 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21 (dates tentative). Snow on Main Street, free hot cocoa and cookies. What's not to like?
  • 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.

December 2007

  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (link). Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. Jennings Osborne's amazing display returns to the Studios.
  • 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. 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21 (dates tentative). Snow on Main Street, free hot cocoa and cookies. What's not to like?
  • 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

  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (link). Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. Jennings Osborne's amazing display returns to the Studios.
  • 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.]

June 2008

  • Gay Days 2008. June 6 - 9. The 18th annual gathering of the GLBT community at Walt Disney World (link1 | link 2).

Current Discounts & Promotions

Free dining plan is back for late August–September

Disney is offering a new free dining package for trips beginning August 26 through September 22. 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. Just remember that this is during peak hurricane season, which is why Disney needs to offer this promotion to get people to visit the parks and stay on property. While the odds of a hurricane interrupting or cancelling your vacation are low, you may want to take advantage of the trip insurance offered by Disney, just in case. Packages must be booked by June 24.

Passholder and Florida resident rates

Annual passholders and Florida residents have discount codes for room-only and package stays for mid-April through late May, available for booking through the end of the promotional period, subject to availability. Passholder and resident discount dates are for most nights through May 24. Passholder rates start as low as $74 per night for value resorts, while Florida resident rates are 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.

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 Café restaurant, Giraffe Tavern sports bar, Marketessen deli-style café 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.

Disney's Price Slice golf rates are back

Disney's popular summer golf discount program, Disney's Price Slice, will return from May 14 through September 27. During that time, a round of golf at any of the Walt Disney World courses will be less expensive after 10 a.m. daily, due to the heat of the summer season. The Magnolia, Palm, Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge courses will carry a fee of $55, while the Lake Buena Vista course will cost $45. Rates include the use of an electric cart, and are $34-$44 cheaper than regular rates.

The rates include the use of an electric cart and are discounted from the before-10 a.m. prices of $99 for resort guests/$109 for day visitors (Magnolia and Osprey Ridge), $89 for resort guests/$99 for day visitors (Palm and Eagle Pines) and $79 for resort guests/$89 for day visitors (Lake Buena Vista). To reserve a tee time, call 407-WDW-GOLF (407-939-4653) or go to the Disney Golf Web site (link). Note that the site's front page still appears to have difficulty with browsers other than Internet Explorer. Once you get past the front page, you should be all right.

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
 
5/7
5/8
5/9
5/10
5/11
5/12
 

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

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

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

MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p

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

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

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

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

5/13
5/14
5/15
5/16
5/17
5/18
5/19

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

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

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

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

MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p

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

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

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

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

5/20
 

MK 9a-9p
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-9p
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 5/7

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 5/8

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8:30p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 5/9

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 8:30p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 5/10

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 5/11

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Flower and Garden Festival Mother's Day Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Raymond Western 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Davy Jones 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 5/12

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Mother's Day Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Raymond Western 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Davy Jones 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 5/13

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Flower and Garden Festival Mother's Day Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Raymond Western 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Davy Jones 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 5/14

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: Davy Jones 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 5/15

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Flower Power Concert Series: Davy Jones 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 5/16

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Flower Power Concert Series: B.J. Thomas 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 5/17

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: B.J. Thomas 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 5/18

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Flower and Garden Festival Characters in Bloom Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Robert Bowden 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: B.J. Thomas 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 5/19

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Characters in Bloom Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Robert Bowden 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: B.J. Thomas 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 5/20

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

Flower and Garden Festival Characters in Bloom Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Robert Bowden 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Grass Roots featuring Rob Grill 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Fort Wilderness movie schedule for May 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

 

7
The Apple Dumpling Gang

8
The Incredibles

9
Home on the Range

10
The Little Mermaid

11
Cars

12
Herbie Fully Loaded

13
Cinderella

14
The Princess Diaries 2

15
The Great Mouse Detective

16
Mary Poppins

17
Chicken Little

18
Tarzan

19
Lilo & Stitch

20
Homeward Bound

21
Mulan

22
Mighty Joe Young

23
Bambi

24
Hercules

25
Finding Nemo

26
Peter Pan

27
National Treasure

28
Bedknobs and Broomsticks

29
102 Dalmatians

30
Valiant

31
The Tigger Movie

 

 

Downtown Disney Entertainment

(Separate admission required)

Rock & Roll Beach Club
House of Blues
Monday 5/7

Leonard Brothers

 

Tuesday 5/8

Hip Kitty

PE, Authority Zero, Mower and Villibillies (main room), $15 in advance, $17 day of show; 7 p.m.

Wednesday 5/9

Hip Kitty

 

Thursday 5/10

Hip Kitty

Akon (main room), $32.50 in advance, $35 day of show; 9 p.m.

Sonny Rhodes (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m.

Friday 5/11

Hip Kitty

Say Anything & Saves The Day with Manchester Orchestra and Meg & Dia (main room), $16 in advance, $19 day of show; 7:30 p.m.

Sonny Rhodes (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Saturday 5/12

Hip Kitty

House of Blues presents FONSECA Tour Corazon 2007 with Banda Kabuyah y Zambatuka (main room), $40 in advance, $45 day of show; 10:30 p.m.

Sonny Rhodes (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Sunday 5/13

Stormbringer

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

Monday 5/14

Stormbringer

Relient K. with Mae and Sherwood (main room), $15 in advance, $18 day of show; 7 p.m.

Tuesday 5/15

Stormbringer

 

Wednesday 5/16

Stormbringer

George Clinton & Parliament (main room), $23 in advance, $25 day of show; 9 p.m.

Thursday 5/17

Untouchables

Johnnie Marshall Band (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m.

Friday 5/18

Untouchables

Mint Condition (main room), $25 in advance, $27 day of show; 8 p.m.

Juanita Dixon & Jeff Prine (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Saturday 5/19

Hip Kitty

Frontline Promotions Presents The End of School Bash with Twista and DJ Prostyle (main room), $17.50; 10 p.m.

Lois Greco Band (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Sunday 5/20

TBA

The Turner Brothers (gospel brunch), $32.50 adult, $16.25 child (3-9); 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m.

Ghetto Youth Foundation Presents Stephen Marley with Jr. Gong and K'Naan (main room), $21 in advance, $24 day of show; 8 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.