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Update for May 21 – 27, 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

Land Ho! Disney Magic reaches Canary Islands

MousePlanet's Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix reported in yesterday from aboard the Disney Magic:

The Magic docked at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands this morning after six consecutive sea days. The trans-Atlantic journey has been fairly uneventful, though we've experienced somewhat high seas on two days, which caused some activities to be rescheduled. The Goofy pool was even closed yesterday due to high surf in the pool! The cruise staff have done a phenomenal job of dealing with the "inclement weather," and I know a lot of people were just happy to see dry land today.

We set sail tonight for another sea day before we reach the port of Cadiz, Spain. Boyz II Men are performing in the Walt Disney Theater this evening, and Jim Brickman is scheduled for a concert later in the cruise.

Adrienne disembarks in Barcelona for her return home on Saturday. MousePlanet will have a full report when she returns.


Rough seas mean surf's up in the Goofy Pool aboard the Disney Magic. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Cell phone service now available aboard DCL ships

For those that can't afford to be out of touch, even when they're at sea (or those who can't stand to be without their cell phones), the Disney Cruise Line is lending them a helping hand. Disney has partnered with Wireless Maritime Sevices to provide a wireless cellular network aboard the ships of the Disney Cruise Line.

The network supports subscribers of more than 340 cellular providers worldwide, including US carriers Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile and Alltel. However, you can't use your phones on deck – the service is available only in guest staterooms.

Those who choose to use the network will be billed by their cell phone provider, and rates vary according to the carrier's plan. The network is only enabled while the ship is at sea, as any local cell phone services on land when the ship makes port are available to carry the signal. The shipboard service provides guests with the ability to make and receive phone calls, as well as send and receive text messages, email and other cellular services.

The service is now available aboard the Disney Magic, and will be installed aboard the Disney Wonder by mid-summer. Wireless Internet service has been available since last year.


The Disney Magic sits in port at Tenerife, Canary Islands, for the first time ever. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Disney Parks to start On Demand cable channel

Debuting today on Time Warner Cable and next Tuesday on Cablevision, Disney Travel on Demand is a new Video On Demand (VOD) offering from Disney Parks & Resorts that provides yet another way for Disney fans to get a theme park fix from at home, and another way for Disney Parks & Resorts to reach potential theme park guests.

The service will feature four original episodic series, plus additional programs showing behind-the-scenes information about the Disney theme parks, as well as providing information on how to make the most of a Disney vacation. Concerts and celebrity hosts will also be featured on the service. Disney Travel on Demand on Cablevision (which will run on channel 650) will also feature a new "Talk To Agent" feature, where viewers can request a telephone call from a Walt Disney Travel Company agent to help them make their travel arrangements for Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Adventures by Disney. That particular service will not be available on Time Warner, where Disney will share space on "Journey TV" with the Busch Entertainment theme parks, the U.S. National Park Service and others. On Time Warner, the most interactivity available will be the ability to click to have Disney mail them a travel information package.

Original shows on Disney Travel on Demand include "Making the Magic," which follows Tristan in his attempt to become a performer at Walt Disney World; "Disney Fact or Fiction," which features Imagineers revealing secrets as they debunk some Disney myths; "Dream Makers," in which celebrity hosts like Joey Fatone and Michelle Kwan show some of the big winners in the Year of a Million Dreams, as well as information behind the sweepstakes; and "Disney Travel Insiders," in which Elisabeth Hasselback (The View) provides ideas on tips and tricks for taking a Disney vacation, from Walt Disney World to Disneyland to Adventures by Disney.

Animal Kingdom won't be as short on counter-service as we had thought

Last week, we reported that the conversion of Tusker House to a buffet-service restaurant would mean that the park would be down to three counter-service restaurants, none near the back of the park. Alert readers reminded us that, when we originally reported the story about Yak & Yeti (then just known under the working title of "Asia"), we noted that the restaurant would include both full-service and quick-service. Another reader pointed out that another web site has reported that Drinkwallah and Tamu Tamu Refreshments are now offering expanded menus, including burgers, sandwiches and salads. It looks like we may need to do further dining research at Disney's Animal Kingdom (at the expense of our waistlines).

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!

Devil Rays find that Disney is a winning place to be

After salvaging a win at Toronto following a six-game losing streak, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays headed back to Florida for a series against the Texas Rangers last week. The games were to be played at The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The D-Rays won all three games, including two extra-inning victories, to put together their first four-game winning streak in nearly a year and increasing their record to 18-22. Perhaps they should have stayed at Disney, as upon their return to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg they proceeded to drop three in a row to the Florida Marlins.

The Devil Rays are trying to increase their fan base in Central Florida, and decided to bring a series of games there to try to boost their visibility. The series against the Rangers was picked because that matchup has been a poor draw of crowds in St. Petersburg, averaging 8,241 for last year's six games. The three games at Disney drew 8,443, 8,839 and 9,635 for an average of 8,972 fans per game. Those crowds were a much better fit in the 9,500-seat Ballpark than the 38,000-capacity dome back home.

While the team was not yet ready to commit to a return to Disney next season, they were extremely satisfied with the crowds and the outcome of the games. If only they could've kept it up in St. Petersburg against the Marlins.

Cast member union votes down proposed contract

Despite the official support of five of the six member unions, the rank-and-file membership of the Service Trades Council Union (STCU) voted down a proposed three-year contract with Walt Disney World last Friday. More than 52.6 percent of those voting decided that they did not like the terms of the agreement.

The 2,870-2,583 vote was much closer than the three rejection votes the last time that the groups negotiated a contract back in 2004. That time, the first two rejection votes had only 15 and 96 people voting for the contracts, respectively. The third rejection vote had a 43.6 percent approval rate. The fourth proposal was approved only after Disney refused to extend the then-current contract and stated that they would impose some of the new contract terms unilaterally if the unions did not approve the agreement.

While things don't appear as desperate as they were in 2004, some work obviously still needs to be done to gain acceptance. Teamsters Local 385 recommended that their 2,000 members vote down the proposed contract due to insufficient raises for those at the top of their pay grade and the fact that cast members would have to pay the same health-care costs as salaried employees. The contract was recommended for approval by the other five member unions of the STCU: UNITE HERE Local 362; UNITE HERE Local 737; United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1625; Transportation Communications International Union (TCIU) Local 1908; and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) Local 631.

The current contract, which originally expired on April 28, has been extended through midnight tonight. There is no word yet on whether the contract will be extended again or when the sides will continue negotiations.

The STCU umbrella union negotiates for the members of all six member unions. The contract under negotiation would cover 21,000 full-time cast members, over one-third of Disney's 60,000 employees. The STCU also represents 8,000 Casual Regular (part-time) cast members, for a total of nearly one-half of all Disney employees.

Mickey Avenue being cleared for work on Toy Story Mania entrance, facade

It looks like Mickey Avenue will be closed for construction in the near future, as this will be the final week for the Sorcerer Mickey meet-and-greet on Soundstage 1. Lightning McQueen and Mater have already moved to Streets of America, and Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable will be following them soon, as will the Jojo's Circus and Little Einsteins trailers once the new meet-and-greet locations are ready.

The moves are in preparation for the next phase of work on the Toy Story Mania facade, entrance and exit. Rumors are that the entire street will be re-themed.

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.

Monorail interior upgrades underway

Following a test on car five of Monorail Yellow last October, a new interior design was rolled out to all of Monorail Lime two weeks ago. The center fold-down seats designed by MousePlanet contributing writer George McGinnis have been removed and replaced by four thin floor-to-ceiling posts. New handrails and lean rails have also been installed. Hard laminate floors have replaced the carpet so that dank, moldy "monorail smell" may be soon be a thing of the past, or at least seriously reduced. New bright white LEDs have replaced the dull yellow LEDs, as well. The changes are expected to start appearing in other monorails over the summer.

As the interiors begin their upgrade, the new touch-screen driver's consoles are nearing completion of their roll-out. With the work being completed on Monorail Lime, the only other monorail awaiting the upgrade to the Windows 2000-based system is Monorail Blue, which is in serious need of the refurbishment.

While there may be no plans for a Mark VIII in the near future, it's good to see that our old Mark VI monorails are at least getting some attention and TLC.

Walt Disney World gives $14.2 million to local causes

Last Monday, Walt Disney World donated $12.5 million to the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center at a special event at Lake Eola last Monday. Through its donation, Walt Disney World will be sponsoring one of the two halls at the center. The donation puts the Orlando Performing Arts Center fund drive well past the halfway mark to its goal of $100 million in private donations. The center hopes to break ground in downtown Orlando next spring, with the construction process expected to take four years.

"Disney Cast Members take great pride in supporting our community and making Central Florida a better place to live, work and play," said Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton. "It's exciting to be a part of the renaissance taking place in downtown Orlando and helping to make our community?s dreams come true."

That wasn't the only donation announced at the special event, though. $700,000 in Helping Kids Shine Grant Awards were presented to 38 Central Florida non-profit organizations. Two special named awards were given in honor of Walt Disney World executives who have made significant contributions to the community. The Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award is named for the late Disney Legend (more on Bob Allen's window on Main Street here), and $60,000 was presented in his name to the Kids Hosue of Seminole, Inc., to help them recruit and train foster grandparents to work with pre-school age children. The Dianna Morgan Children's Champion Award (named for a children?s advocate who forged relationships among Disney, community members and leaders throughout Florida during her 30-year career with the company) awarded $52,500 to The BETA Center to fund its apprenticeship program. Thirty-six other recipients, selected from over 130 applications by a panel of judges made up of Central Florida community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members, split the remaining $587,500.

"It is a privilege for Walt Disney World Resort to support community organizations that demonstrate such a deep dedication to improving the lives of children in Central Florida," said Eugene Campbell, Walt Disney World?s new director of Community Relations.

The ceremony took place at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park, which had just completed a $1 million renovation over the past four months. A team of Imagineers, led by Stephen Silvestri (who also led the Cinderella Castle Suite project), worked with engineers and architects from the City of Orlando to develop the new design and color scheme. The amphitheater was built in 1989 with a $425,000 donation from Walt Disney World.

Death of "The 'Boo"

Last Monday, the fate of an unofficial Disney icon was sealed. The Osceola County Building Department made the official decision that the former Big Bamboo Lounge on U.S. Route 192 was unsafe and likely to collapse and gave the owners 30 days to demolish it or the county would do it for them at the owners' expense.

The lounge was once a favorite haunt of Disney Imagineers and other creative cast members, but the tiki bar closed after suffering severe hurricane damage in 2004. Rot set in, and then after looters and squatters emptied or destroyed much of the remaining contents, a late 2005 fire pretty much finished the place off.

The daughters and widow of the former owner, Bruce Muir, owe about $40,000 in back taxes and – after unsuccessfully trying to find a way to reopen the bar – have put the property up for sale for $2.3 million. It's now certain that time is just about up and there really is no hope left for "The 'Boo," which was once decorated with cast member name tags, Imagineers' drawings and other memorabilia.

Quick takes …

…This year's Star Wars Weekends merchandise has been unveiled, as well as some really fun backlit airport display signage. You can see it over at starwars.com.

…It appears that new queuing system will be used at Epcot's main entrance, as paperwork has been filed for the installation of 20 signs and 800 linear feet of guardrail outside the turnstiles. No further information was available at press time.

…It appears that the Chronicles of Narnia walkthrough at the Disney-MGM Studios will remain themed to that movie series. The attraction is scheduled to close down in January for conversion from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to Prince Caspian, which opens next May 16.

…Five of the final six buildings at the Saratoga Springs Resort are now open and occupied. Exterior construction of the final building has been completed, and interior work is expected to be finished and the building ready for occupancy in mid-June.

…Tickets for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party are now available online, joining the tickets for this summer's Princess & Pirate Party.

…We're hearing that Remy the rat (star of Ratatouille) will be doing meet-and-greets starting some time next month at the Magic of Disney Animation attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios, replacing the Meet the Robinsons characters.

…For those considering taking a side trip, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will debut its Shuttle Launch Experience simulator attraction over Memorial Day weekend.


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 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 26?28: Memorial Day Weekend
      • June 1?3: Festival Farewell Weekend
  • May 20 - June 4. No Cirque du Soleil performances.
  • May 22-25. 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.
  • June 1–24. Star Wars Weekends, Fridays - Sundays.
    • June 1-3 - Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok, Episode VI, and Wald, Episode I) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2, all films)
    • June 8-10 - Ray Park (Darth Maul, Episode I) and Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett, Episode II)
    • June 15-17 - Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett Episodes V and VI) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca, Episodes IV-VI and III)
    • June 22-24 - Anthony Daniels (C-3PO, all films) and Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars, Episodes II and III)

Walt Disney World trivia question of the week

This week's question: This week's question was submitted by MousePlanet reader Marcus Stone. Which famous author helped design Spaceship Earth, and the themes, along with narration? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "Who led the 1,076-piece band down Main Street, U.S.A. on opening day of the Magic Kingdom, October 1, 1971?" is:

Meredith Willson, who composed "Seventy-Six Trombones," which the band played as it marched down the street.

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

  • Haunted Mansion – closed for refurbishment from June 6 through September 12.

Epcot

  • Maelstrom – closed for refurbishment through May 24.
  • Spaceship Earth – closed for refurbishment June 22–23 and July 9 – November 1.
  • Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki – closed for refurbishment through August 20.
  • 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 – Refurbishment of the Calypso pool is underway. 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 will be closed for renovation January – June, 2008. Exact dates have yet to be announced.
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Building 6 (Concierge) will be closed in September for a full refurbishment.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – Phase I's four buildings and Phase II's eight units are complete. Five of the six buildings of Phase III are done. The final building only has interior work remaining, and should be ready for occupancy in mid-June.

Water Parks

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

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.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Adventures on the Seven Seas Lagoon (link). May 22-25. 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 is now open (link).
  • Walt Disney World Marathon (link). Jan. 13. Registration is now open (link). [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.

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.

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.

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5/23
5/24
5/25
5/26
 

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

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

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

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

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

5/27
5/28
5/29
5/30
5/31
6/1
6/2

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

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

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

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

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

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

6/3
 

MK 9a-10p
EF 9a-7p
EW 11a-9p
MGM 9a-10p
AK 9a-7p
BB 9a-6p
TL 9a-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 5/21

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

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

Tuesday 5/22

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

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

Wednesday 5/23

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

Wishes Fireworks 9p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 5/24

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 5/25

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Great American Gardener Series: Gary Alan 12:30p, 3:30p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 5/26

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Memorial Day Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Gary Alan 12:30p, 3:30p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 5/27

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Memorial Day Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Gary Alan 12:30p, 3:30p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Monday 5/28

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Memorial Day Weekend

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Tuesday 5/29

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p, 11p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Wednesday 5/30

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

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

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Thursday 5/31

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower Power Concert Series: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Friday 6/1

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Farewell Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Georgia Tasker 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Star Wars Weekends

Celebrity Guests: Jay Laga'aia (host), Warwick Davis, Kenny Baker

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p, 10:30p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Saturday 6/2

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Farewell Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Georgia Tasker 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Star Wars Weekends

Celebrity Guests: Jay Laga'aia (host), Warwick Davis, Kenny Baker

Stars and Motor Cars Parade 3p

Fantasmic 9p

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade 4p

Sunday 6/3

Disney Dreams Come True Parade 3p

SpectroMagic Parade 9p

Wishes Fireworks 10p

Flower and Garden Festival Farewell Weekend

Great American Gardener Series: Georgia Tasker 12:30p, 3:30p

Flower Power Concert Series: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone 5:45p, 7p, 8:15p

Illuminations 9p

Star Wars Weekends

Celebrity Guests: Jay Laga'aia (host), Warwick Davis, Kenny Baker

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

 

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 5/21

Madchester

 

Tuesday 5/22

Madchester

 

Wednesday 5/23

Charlie Hotel

 

Thursday 5/24

Charlie Hotel

Hellogoodbye with Boys Like Girls, The Rocket Summer and The Secret Handshake (main room), $15 in advance, $17 day of show; 7 p.m.

Jimmy Griswold (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m.

Friday 5/25

Kings County

Mastodon, Against Me!, Cursive and These Arms Are Snakes (main room), $19 in advance, $21 day of show; 7 p.m.

Beautiful Bobby Blackmon (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Saturday 5/26

Kings County

Jagermeister Presents Hatebreed with God Forbid, Evergreen Terrace, Terror, The Acacia Strain & After the Burial (main room), $17 in advance, $19 day of show; 6:30 p.m.

Billy Chapman Band (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Sunday 5/27

Untouchables

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

Brian McKnight with Joe (main room), $38.50 in advance, $40 day of show; 7:30 p.m.

Monday 5/28

Untouchables

 

Tuesday 5/29

Orange Avenue

 

Wednesday 5/30

Orange Avenue

Dimmu Borgir with Unearth and Kataklysm (main room), $22 in advance, $24 day of show; 7:15 p.m.

Thursday 5/31

Orange Avenue

Ziggy Marley and The Neville Brothers (main room), $29.50 in advance, $32.50 day of show; 8:30 p.m.

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

Friday 6/1

Hip Kitty

The L Word and Music with a Twist Presents Goddess & She AND Kristen Price (main room), $20 in advance, $24 day of show; 8:30 p.m.

Saturday 6/2

Hip Kitty

Pandora & Alison Burgos presents Girls in Wonderland '07 with DJ Pride (main room), $26 in advance, $28 day of show; 9 p.m.

High Octane (Blues Kitchen), free; 10:30 p.m

Sunday 6/3

TBA

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

Shiny Toy Guns (main room), $13 in advance, $15 day of show; 7:30 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.