Quantcast
MousePlanet.com


Update for July 2 – 8, 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

Animal Kingdom Lodge to be nearly vacant this summer | Parents leave child in hot stroller, go to ride Pirates | The dilemma of Downtown Disney | Candlelight narrator schedule announced; dining packages on sale today | New August/September discounts for all | Hotel Royal Plaza expands discounts for MousePlanet readers! | Downtown Disney area hotels stage surprise sweepstakes | Small World Vacations offers free backpack with booking | Disney to host high school All-America football game in January | Final hole filled in "PreschoolPalooza" | Democratic candidates come to Disney | Construction update | Quick Takes …

Animal Kingdom Lodge to be nearly vacant this summer

We are hearing that the construction going on at the Animal Kingdom Lodge has become so disruptive that Disney is moving nearly all guests with reservations at the hotel to other resorts through September 1.


advertisement

Guests are being offered discounted stays at the Saratoga Springs Resort and stays at other deluxe resorts for the same price that was reserved for the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Disney is handling this on a case-by-case basis, depending on the original view reserved and the availability at other resorts.

Disney is calling guests in a chronological order to assist them with the change. Boma, Jiko and the Mara are expected to remain open, but perhaps with limited hours.

There is apparently a few categories of rooms that will not be affected by the construction: Pool View Bunkbeds, Suites (except Vice Presidential and Presidential which are used for limited concierge services), and Club Level Concierge (QG) rooms with standard view will not be relocated during the construction.

We'll let you know if we hear more about this situation.

Parents leave child in hot stroller, go to ride Pirates

In what has got to be one of the worst cases of people checking their brains at the gate, two parents left their 3-year-old daughter in a stroller in 91 degree heat and went to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. At 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, a concerned guest notified ride attendants at Pirates of the Caribbean that they had seen a small child unattended in a stroller.

Upon finding the girl, the attendants noted that she appeared overheated and was sweating profusely. The attendants moved the child into the shade and called for assistance. The ride manager arrived 10 minutes later and noted that the child appeared unresponsive and covered with sweat, then called Reedy Creek Emergency Services.

Upon arrival, the Reedy Creek paramedic noted that the child appeared to be lifeless and unresponsive and displaying early signs of heat exhaustion, then moved her to an air conditioned area to cool her down. Once in the cool air, the girl began to respond and react, and was given cool water to bring her temperature down.

The parents finally approached a Walt Disney World security officer around 5:35 p.m., asking for help in finding their child, and were brought to the Orange County Deputy Sheriff responding to the incident. The father stated that the girl was accidentally left behind becase she was sleeping and that he thought that his wife had the child. The mother thought that the girl was sleeping in a second, covered stroller.

The mother had gone on the ride while the father waited for her at the ride's exit. The father went back to move the stroller to the correct stroller parking area, but did not notice the girl in the sunlight when he did so.

The girl was noted to have a swollen, red mark on her forehead that her parents explained was from a fall the day before for which they had not sought medical attention.

Due to the possible heat exhaustion, combined with the potential head injury, it was concluded that the girl had been placed in harm's way, which could have possibly led to death, especially if she had been left alone in the 91 degree heat for nearly an hour until her parents went looking for her. The parents were charged with child abuse and brought to the Orange County jail. The girl was placed in custody of other family members, with the approval of the Florida Department of Children and Family. The parents were later released on $2,500 bail each.

I'm not even going to editorialize on this one. I shouldn't have to.


An aerial view (from a parasail) of the construction of the new DVC resort at the Contemporary provides a great overview of the work. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.


Another view of the construction from the monorail provides a closer look. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

The dilemma of Downtown Disney

In the wake of last week's crackdown at Downtown Disney, Disney found itself in the middle of a storm of controversy when four of those banned from Disney property for life turned out to be top football prospects for Florida State University. The high school students from Philadelphia and cities around Florida, are expected to play for FSU after they graduate in 2008. They had gotten together for a barbecue at a local player's house to get to know each other. The local player's mother works for Walt Disney World at the Polynesian Resort, according to media reports.

Accusations of racial profiling began circulating in the media. The Orlando Sentinel reported that 45 of the 46 people banned from Disney for life were black or Hispanic. The only white person banned was loitering outside the Planet Hollywood restaurant, arguing with and swearing at Disney guards and refusing to leave the property. The four football players later had their lifetime bans on setting foot on Disney property reduced to being banned only from Downtown Disney, and just for one year.

While Disney's claims that "a gang-like presence was unfortunately identified at Downtown Disney," trying to keep the place safe is another matter, as the area is designed for loitering for the purpose of shopping, dining and being entertained. How do you determine the intent of the people loitering?

MousePlanet asked Disney spokewoman Jacquee Polak about the criteria used to lift the ban on the FSU prospects and whether others who were banned could also have their bans lifted. Polak noted that the lifting of the ban "is consistent with our practice to review trespass citations upon request," and that "Our practice is to listen to our Guests and we will certainly consider any request." She noted that those who have been banned could request a review by either sending an e-mail to Guest Communications or sending a letter to: Guest Correspondence, Walt Disney World Executive Offices, P.O. Box 10040, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830.

Polak also stated that the criteria used to differentiate between those loitering to enjoy the "street-party atmosphere" of Pleasure Island or the general festive environment of Downtown Disney from those who might be loitering dangerously and for stopping and/or detaining suspected troublemakers would not be modified to take into account the current controversy over the accusations of racial profiling, noting "Recently, we identified an increase in inappropriate youth behavior at Downtown Disney. In cooperation with law enforcement, additional deputies were pro-actively assigned to patrol the area. It was an effective response and will continue as needed. Inappropriate activity will not be tolerated."

When asked whether there was anything else that concerned, frequent Disney visitors of all races—especially those with teenage children—would want to know about this situation when planning their trips, Polak responded: "Our priority, and that of law enforcement, will continue to be maintaining a safe experience for our employees and tens of thousands of Guests who visit Downtown Disney everyday to shop, dine and enjoy our entertainment offerings."

But at what point does perception by tourists impact the actions of those hired to keep tourist areas safe? It's a difficult tightrope to walk. We'll take a closer look at the Downtown Disney dilemma in the future.


Dining reservations at Epcot were very difficult to come by in late June, even before the park opened. A guest rushed in asking, "Can we get a reservation for Le Cellier?" The cast member responded "Yes, for December 17th." Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

Candlelight narrator schedule released; dining packages on sale today

One of the most popular reservations each year is the Candlelight Processional Dining Package, which combines a dining experience at an Epcot table-service restaurant with reserved seats for the Candlelight Processional, a reading of the Biblical Christmas Story at the America Gardens Theater by a celebrity narrator, backed by a 50-piece orchestra and a 400-voice massed choir.

The pricing tiers and dining hour restrictions from last year have returned on a permanent basis. All meal times will be during set windows based on the time of the performance to be seen. All seating times will be prior to showtime.

Those viewing the 5:00 p.m. performance will actually have their meal during lunch hours, with seatings between 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. This seating will carry a lower price tag than the two "dinner" seatings (see pricing below). Those wishing to attend the 6:45 p.m. performance will need to be willing to eat dinner with seating times between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The 8:15 p.m. performance is the only one with close to "normal" meal times, with reservations between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Tier

Prices

Participating restaurants

1

  • Lunch: $27.99 adults, $12.99 children 3-9
  • Dinner: $32.99 adults, $14.99 children 3-9

2

  • Lunch: $36.99 adults, $12.99 children 3-9
  • Dinner: $42.99 adults, $14.99 children 3-9

3

  • Lunch: $41.99 adults, $12.99 children 3-9
  • Dinner: $47.99 adults, $14.99 children 3-9

Dining packages go on sale this morning at 7 a.m. EDT. Call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) to make reservations.

Note: There are no dining packages available for the 5:00 p.m. performance on December 2.

The line-up of narrators (subject to change) is nearly complete:

  • David Robinson (Nov. 23-25)
  • John O'Hurley (Nov. 26-28)
  • TBD (Nov. 29-Dec. 1)
  • Dennis Franz (Dec. 2-4)
  • Phylicia Rashad (Dec. 5-7)
  • Steven Curtis Chapman (Dec. 8-10)
  • Neil Patrick Harris (Dec. 11-13)
  • TBD (Dec. 14-16)
  • Kirk Cameron (Dec. 17-19)
  • Edward James Olmos (Dec. 20-22)
  • Gary Sinise (Dec. 23-25)
  • TBD (Dec. 26-28)
  • Marlee Matlin (Dec. 29-30)

Get your MousePlanet gear!

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!

New August/September discounts for all

While the free dining package is no longer available, Disney has released new discounts for July 29 through September 29. There's very limited availability, so book quickly if you're interested. Value resorts start at $69 per night, while moderates start at $104 per night. Discounts are also available at deluxe and Disney Vacation Club resorts. Rates for this discount are higher than the passholder and Florida resident rates for that time period, but just barely. These rates are also available in conjunction with Magic Your Way and Magic Your Way Plus Dining packages. The booking window for this offer runs from June 28 through July 28.

Thanks to MousePlanet sponsor Small World Vacations for this information.

Hotel Royal Plaza expands discounts for MousePlanet readers!

MousePlanet sponsor Hotel Royal Plaza, in the Downtown Disney resort area, has enhanced its deal for MousePlanet readers. From now through the end of the year, anyone booking their stay through the MousePlanet web site has been able to receive discounted rates up to 20 percent off on all room types. Now, for a limited time, you can get even more! The discounted rates now include free breakfast for two in the Giraffe Café!. Plus children 10 and under always eat breakfast for free! (Two children 10 and under eat free from the kids menu when accompanied by an adult dining from the regular menu.)

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 so we'd like to invite you to try their hospitality!

Downtown Disney area hotels stage surprise sweepstakes

Disney isn't the only one giving away free hotel stays during the Year of a Million Dreams. The seven official Walt Disney World Hotels in the Downtown Disney resort area are giving away free three-night stays at check-in throughout August and September.

To celebrate the completion of renovations at all of the resorts, the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels will be awarding guests at each of the participating hotels with up to three nights of complimentary accommodations during the the Surprise Stays at the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels sweepstakes. Each week from August 12 through September 22, one lucky winner will receive a free stay upon check-in. (For those trying to do the math, that would be one winner for each of the seven hotels.)

"This year is a very exciting time for the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels," said Bill Green, marketing chairman for the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels. "We are pleased to reward our guests through this promotion with magical stays and allow even more travelers than ever an opportunity to experience the millions of exciting changes and exclusive guest perks available at our hotels."


Along the approach to Kali River Rapids, work on the second floor of the Yak & Yeti Restaurant continues. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.


Around the other side, the walls of the Yak & Yeti will butt right up against the Caravan Stage, where the current construction work is providing many disruptions to the Flights of Wonder bird show. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

Small World Vacations offers free backpack with booking

Book a new Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney cruise vacation July 1 - August 1, 2007, with Small World Vacations and get one free collapsible sturdy backpack. Backpack will be mailed with final documents. If the reservation is canceled, this offer is null and void. Travel must be complete by December 31, 2008.

This offer is not valid on previously booked reservations or room only reservations.

Let us know that you found Small World Vacations on MousePlanet and include the word Backpack in the special request section of our price quote form.

Offer good while supplies last. Substitution may be necessary if supplies are exhausted.

Disney to host high school All-America football game in January

Those getting tired of watching college football bowl games next January will be able to watch a high school all-star game as a break. ABC will broadcast the "ESPNU High School All-American Game" on Saturday, January 5, 2008, at 2 p.m. The game is owned and operated by ESPNU, and is tied to the ESPN/Scouts, Inc. recruiting site.

The 75-80 players will practice all week at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, with ESPNU televising the practice sessions and a skills competition on January 4. Many of the top high school players in the country have already committed to play in the game, with more announcements expected in coming weeks.

Final hole filled in "PreschoolPalooza"

The final slot has been filled in the "PreschoolPalooza" concert series during Little Ones Travel Time this fall. The complete schedule for the concerts at the Disney-MGM Studios is:

  • Aug 30-Sep 2. Imagination Movers.
  • Sep 6-9. Doodlebops.
  • Sep 13-16. Playhouse Disney Live on Tour.
  • Sep 20-23. Imagination Movers.
  • Sep 27-30. Choo Choo Soul.
  • Oct 4-7. Choo Choo Soul.
  • Oct 11-14. Ralph's World.
  • Oct 18-21. Johnny and the Sprites.
  • Oct. 25-28. Dan Zanes and Friends.

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.

Democratic candidates come to Disney

Walt Disney World's place in political history was sealed when it hosted Richard Nixon's infamous "I am not a crook" speech back in 1974. It added yet one more event this past weekend, as all Democratic candidates addressed the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Annual Conference at the Contemporary Resort's ballroom on Saturday afternoon. All of the Republican candidates turned down an offer for a similar session on Friday. Participating for the Democrats were: senators Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, former senator John Edwards; Representative Dennis Kucinich, and Governor Bill Richardson.


Construction walls surround the CyberSpace Mountain simulator that was on display adjacent to DisneyQuest. The simulator is being removed. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

Construction update

This week's listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:

  • Spaceship Earth was the subject of much paperwork, being slated for improvements to its egress lighting system and to the existing smoke detection system; replacement of three chilled water air conditioning air handler units (two at 52-feet elevation and one at 40 feet elevation), with related electrical work; construction of a new air circulation system including ride space and stair towers for a total of eight new fans; and (most notably) complete ride control replacement with a Siemens system, including inter-vehicle platform installation, wayside extension installation, door monitoring and intercom upgrade. The attraction closes next Monday for all of that, plus changes to the ride's scenes and soundtrack.
  • Barriers will be installed below the monorail beams around the Transportation and Ticket Center to prevent guests and cast from getting too close to the beams. The barriers will be concrete walls with gates for access only with approval from maintenance that will lock out the beam. Landscaping inside the walls will be changed to minimize need for access.
  • Mission: Space will see the installation of "FastPass Rotunda Package II"
  • The Epcot projection screen replacement continues with the screen in the Circle of Life Theater at The Land pavilion.
  • A "Life Achievement Wall Package" will be installed at the Disney-MGM Studios, our guess is that it will most likely be near the ATAS Hall of Fame area.
  • The last building of the Saratoga Springs Resort has finally been added to the DVC inventory, following its completion and the declaration that it is ready for occupancy.

Quick takes …

…We are hearing that the globe will finally be leaving Illuminations for refurbishment some time this summer, but we don't have specific dates yet. The globe will be temporarily replaced by additional water effects.


The globe in the Illuminations fireworks spectacular is expected to go on hiatus this summer. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

…While the Haunted Mansion is closed for refurbishment, it will be replaced on the Keys to the Kingdom tour by "it's a small world."

…In case you didn't notice it in the Candlelight Processional story earlier, the name of the restaurant replacing Alfredo's will apparently be Tutto Italia.

…A new Segway tour featuring the new X2 off-road model is now having test runs at Fort Wilderness on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The cost is $65 per person for two hours, including about 45 minute of training on outdoor usage. Up to 10 guests (ages 16 and up) can participate at a time. A nice writeup of the tour can be found at MouseSteps, a site run by one of Small World Vacations's travel agents. (Small World Vacations is MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel provider.)

…The 2008 Walt Disney World Marathon is now at 70 percent of capacity. The Half Marathon sold out long ago.

…We've heard (but not confirmed yet) that Rock 'n' Roller Coaster will close for refurbishment September 2-30.


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

  • 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 11-Aug 12. Sounds Like Summer concert series at Epcot.
    • July 2-8 – Respect (Aretha Franklin)
    • July 9-17 – Bjorn Again (ABBA)
    • July 18-24 – Hotel California (The Eagles)
    • July 25-29 – 52nd Street (Billy Joel)
    • July 30-August 5 – Captain Fantastic (Elton John)
    • August 6-12 – Transit Authority (Chicago)
  • July 27. Mickey's Pin Trading Night at Contemporary Resort.
  • July 27 – Aug 16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp.
  • Aug. 11, 15, 18, 21, 24, 28, 31 and Sept. 3. Disney's Pirate & Princess Party.
  • Aug. 31-Sept. 3. Tom Joyner Family Reunion.

Walt Disney World trivia question of the week

This week's question: This week's question was submitted by MousePlanet reader Ryan U. How many floors are there at the Wilderness Lodge? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "When I was at WDW in April, riding the friendship boat from MGM to the Epcot resorts area, the cast member driving the boat challenged everyone on board to answer the ultimate Disney trivia question. The question was: Name the seven things at WDW that are called "________ Mountain" or "Mt. ________". Can you name all 7?", which was submitted by MousePlanet reader Mike Andrews is:

Our answer was: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, CyberSpace Mountain at DisneyQuest, Mt. Mayday at Typhoon Lagoon, Mt. Gushmore at Blizzard Beach and Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. Reader suggestions included Mt. Olympus (at Fantasia Gardens) and Mt. Mickey (at All Star Sports).

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

  • Spaceship Earth – closed for refurbishment July 9 – November 13.
  • Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki – closed for refurbishment through August 20.
  • O Canada – closed for refurbishment August 20–24.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – has again closed, perhaps forever and perhaps just until next Thanksgiving weekend.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • No known refurbishments.

Animal Kingdom

  • No known refurbishments.

Resorts

Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach – closed for annual refurbishment January 6 – late winter.
  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed for annual refurbishment October 28 – January 5

Elsewhere

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

Park Events

July 2007

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp (link). July 27 – Aug 16. The Bucs return to Disney for another year's training camp.
  • Mickey's Pin Trading Night at Contemporary Resort (link). July 27. The popular 3-hour event returns to Fantasia Ballroom G.

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.
  • Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K (link). Sept. 9. The annual fund-raising event to fight breast cancer will be run at Disney's Wide World of Sports this year.
  • Walt Disney World Triathlon (link). Sept. 23. Athletes compete in a 1.5K swim, a 58K 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 Jingle Jungle Parade (link).Nov. 12-Jan. 6, 2008.The Animal Kingdom Parade trades its Jammin' for Jingle in this 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (link).Nov. 12-Jan. 6, 2008.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. 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21. 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.
  • Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (link).Nov. 12-Jan. 6, 2008.The Animal Kingdom Parade trades its Jammin' for Jingle in this holiday makeover.
  • 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 (link1 | link 2). June 6 - 9. The 18th annual gathering of the GLBT community at Walt Disney World.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Hotel Royal Plaza offers discounts to MousePlanet readers

MousePlanet sponsor Hotel Royal Plaza, in the Downtown Disney resort area, has enhanced its deal for MousePlanet readers. From now through the end of the year, anyone booking their stay through the MousePlanet web site has been able to receive discounted rates up to 20 percent off on all room types. Now, for a limited time, you can get even more! The discounted rates now include free breakfast for two in the Giraffe Café!. Plus children 10 and under always eat breakfast for free! (Two children 10 and under eat free from the kids menu when accompanied by an adult dining from the regular menu.)

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 so we'd like to invite you to try their hospitality!

Passholder, Florida Resident discounts available for summer

Disney has released discounted room rates for passholders and Florida residents through most of the summer. Discounts are available for select Disney Vacation Club and deluxe resorts from June 3 through August 4, and for select moderate resorts between July 1 and August 4.

For passholders, the DVC rates start at $164 per night plus tax in a studio at the Old Key West or Saratoga Springs Resorts. Prices go up from there depending on the resort and accommodations. In addition to those two DVC resorts, discounts are also available at the Yacht Club, Beach Club and BoardWalk Resorts. Rates at the moderates start at $139 per night. For Florida residents, the DVC rates start at $169 per night and the moderates start at $145 per night. Minimum stay requirements apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals.

All rates can be booked up until the date of arrival. Passholders and Florida residents can book via your respective web sites, by calling your travel agent (Small World Vacations is MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel provider) or by calling 407-560-7277 for passholders or 407-560-7722 for Florida residents.

Passholder discount codes are FDL (DVC/Deluxe) and FDJ (Moderates). Florida resident discount codes are FDP (DVC/Deluxe) and FDN (Moderates).

August/September passholder, Florida resident discounts announced

Disney has released discounted room rates for passholders and Florida residents for August and September. Discounts are available for select Disney Vacation Club and deluxe resorts for most nights from August 5 to September 29, and at moderate and value resorts for most nights August 5–9, August 12–29 and September 2–29.

For passholders and Florida residents, the DVC rates start at $164 per night plus tax in a studio at the Old Key West or Saratoga Springs Resorts. Prices go up from there depending on the resort and accommodations.

In addition to those two DVC resorts, discounts are also available at all deluxe resorts, with passholder rates $5 per night less than Florida resident rates. Some sample rates are garden view rooms at the Polynesian ($249 passholder/$254 resident), Contemporary ($225/$230) and Grand Floridian ($295/$300).

Rates at the moderates start at $94 per night for passholders and $99 per night for Florida residents. Value resorts start at $64 for both passholders and Florida residents.

Minimum stay requirements apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. All rates can be booked up until the date of arrival. Passholders and Florida residents can book via your respective web sites, by calling your travel agent (Small World Vacations is MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel provider) or by calling 407-560-7277 for passholders or 407-560-7722 for Florida residents.

Discount codes are FDR (passholder) and FDT (Florida residents).

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.

For ticket prices, park hours, and entertainment schedules, please go here.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.



Talk about this article and more, on the MousePad community forums.


(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.