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The Mickey arm, glove and wand, along with the stars and "Epcot" signage adorning the geosphere are being removed starting today, a change already generating a great deal of conversation on discussion forums around the Internet, including our own MousePad forums. (You can join the discussion here.) Epcot Vice President Jim MacPhee, who replaced Brad Rex back in May, let news of the change slip during an interview with Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers. You can read the story in the Sentinel here.

The 50-ton, 257-foot-tall structure (including its FAA lights at the top of the structure) is expected to be completely dismantled before October 1, the 25th anniversary of Epcot's opening. The 165-foot diameter geodesic sphere, mounted 15 feet above ground level, will stand free and clear for the first time since 1999, when the tower was erected as the centerpiece of Walt Disney World's Millennium Celebration, with the number "2000" next to the wand. At the conclusion of the celebration, the "2000" was replaced by the word "Epcot."


Spaceship Earth, as seen from the monorail in the late 1980s. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The Leave a Legacy kiosks—which sold the opportunity to have your image etched onto a piece of metal that would be mounted on the granite stones in Epcot's entry plaza—have been removed, and the mirrored pillar in the front of Spaceship Earth is once again pristine, which will make the icon reflect its original appearance even more closely.

With Spaceship Earth returning to its former 180-foot total height, it again becomes the second-tallest park icon, behind the 189-foot Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. Next-tallest is the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom at 140 feet. The shortest of the four theme park icons is the 100-foot Sorcerer's Hat (erected to the dismay of many for the "100 Years of Magic" promotion in 2001) at the Disney-MGM Studios, mounted 22 feet above the ground for a total height of 122 feet.

During the dismantling of the tower, traffic flow along the east side of Spaceship Earth may be severely disrupted. Be prepared for traffic jams along the west side of the geosphere.


Spaceship Earth will again be wand-less in less than three months.. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

We asked Disney what role Siemens (the new sponsor of the Spaceship Earth attraction) played in the decision to remove the wand, and whether the removal of the wand signaled a possible change in the previous decision (under Rex) that there would be no official celebration of Epcot's 25th anniversary. At press time, Disney had not yet responded.

Pipe bomb-like device explodes at Downtown Disney

Early last Monday morning, some time between midnight and 12:30 a.m., a pipe bomb-like device exploded in a remote parking lot at Downtown Disney, damaging a trash container and creating a lot of noise and smoke. The container was located in the far-west parking lot beyond the Cirque du Soleil building, near the Lake Buena Vista golf course and the Saratoga Springs Resort. A Disney security officer on bicycle patrol reported the explosion to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's investigators secured the area around the trash container and initiated an investigation to determine the source of the noise and subsequent smoke. At a press conference later Monday morning, Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary stated: "Our investigators found end caps, which usually indicate a pipe bomb-like device. We believe this was not designed to cause significant property damage or injuries."

A later release from the Sheriff's Office noted that "Detectives are currently working investigative leads and have recovered physical evidence from the scene that will undergo detailed forensic analysis. Analysis of the evidence will take at least two weeks. They have declined to discuss the specific nature of the leads or recovered evidence."

July 4 Day of 1,000 "American Dreams"

In the past, Disney has celebrated Independence Day by holding a mass naturalization ceremony for a few hundred people at Epcot's The American Adventure in conjunction with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). This year, as part of the Year of a Million Dreams celebration, Disney made bigger plans, hosting 1,000 new Americans as they took the Oath of Allegiance at a ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.

Emilio Gonzales, Director of the USCIS, presided over the ceremony, which also featured a speech by Cuban-American U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), presentation of Outstanding "Americans by Choice" certificates to Cuban-born naturalized citizens Gloria Estefan (who performed the national anthem) and her husband, Emilio Estefan, as well as a performance of "God Bless the U.S.A." by Lee Greenwood.

Following the ceremony, the Walt Disney World Band led the new Americans in a parade down Main Street, U.S.A., escorted by Walt Disney World Ambassadors Michael Kelley and Lowell Doringo. When the parade reached Town Square, two Air Force F-15 fighter jets made a flyover pass above the assembled crowd as confetti and streamers rained down (along with real rain).

A video summary of the event is available online.


Fighter jets from the U.S. Air Force fly over 1,000 new Americans on Main Street, U.S.A. as streamers rain and pyrotechnics explode following a naturalization ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle last Wednesday. Photo by Kent Phillips, © Disney.

New additions to "Golden Dream"

The film shown during the "Golden Dream" segment of The American Adventure got an upgrade a couple of weeks ago as the 45 seconds of additional footage that we reported on back in January were added to the film. New footage includes Tiger Woods, Michelle Kwan and the image of the firefighters raising the American flag at ground zero following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City.

In order to add the 25 new images to the existing 85 while still fitting the time of the song, the images were time-compressed, a process that keeps all existing images, but cuts their duration by speeding up the film speed.

This is the film's second update, many faces being added during the last change back in 1993.

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!

MouseFest planning underway; MousePlanet to host several events

MouseFest event scheduling has begun, though meets won't be officially announced on the MouseFest site for at least a couple of weeks yet. We can tell you, though, that MousePlanet is again planning to host several events this year, in addition to participating in the Mega Mouse Meet (currently scheduled to be held on Saturday, December 8, from 1-3:30 p.m.). Here's the current rundown of MousePlanet-hosted events:

  • Mark Goldhaber and Mike Scopa host "MouseFest 101" from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday, December 6 at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station lower seating area. This will be an introduction to MouseFest and what you should expect, aimed at first-timers.
  • Mike Scopa's Fourth Annual Dole Whip Meet will be held from 3-4 p.m. on Thursday, December 6 at Aloha Isle in Adventureland.
  • David Koenig will host a "Stroll in Card's Footsteps" historical walking tour of Epcot from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, December 8, re-creating the original EPCOT Center of 25 years ago.
  • MousssseFest 2007, a.k.a. the Third Annual Shocolatte Mousssse Meet, will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 8 at Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot's France pavilion.
  • The Third Annual Mini-MouseAdventure will be held from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, launching from and returning to the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station lower seating area.

There will also be a MouseStation/MousePlanetWatch podcast meet at a date, time and location to be determined. Let us know if you have any ideas for this one.

We'll have more information on MouseFest as we get closer and the meet information starts to firm up some more.


Readers have wondered about the location of the smoking areas at the various resorts. Thanks to reader Anthony Uriaus, we have some answers. Here, a smoking area at the Polynesian Resort is located outside the Tahiti building, along the path that leads to the Transportation and Ticket Center.. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

Disney Ambassador wins health student award

Lowell Doringo, one of two Walt Disney World Ambassadors this year, was recently named as the 2007 Outstanding Alumni Member of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), a national organization. Doringo joined HOSA while studying to become a certified pharmacy technician. He was named the Outstanding HOSA Member of Texas in 1997 and in 1998 was elected as the HOSA National President.

"This means a great deal to me, especially this year, because I was elected as National President of HOSA here at Walt Disney World. And now, 10 years later, I have the opportunity to represent another group of outstanding people, my fellow Cast Members," said Doringo. "HOSA allowed me to grow both professionally and personally, and although I didn't go directly into healthcare, I'm proud to be part of a business that also takes care of people."


This smoking area at the Pop Century Resort is just outside the '80s A building right next to Hour Glass Lake. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

Luau performer wins world title

Have you ever seen the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and thought: "Boy, these guys are good"?

Maybe that's because one of the world's best is in their midst. Cast member Andrew "Umi" Sexton recently was named a Senior Division World Champion at the 2007 Samoan World Fireknife Dance Championship and Samoa Festival in Laie, Hawaii.

Sexton, a third-generation fireknife performer, began learning his craft as a 3-year-old growing up on Oahu, Hawaii. Fireknife is a Polynesian war dance that combines twirling knives with foot stamping, head movements and sometimes tumbling—which all symbolize the intimidation or attack on an enemy. It also is common to see fireknife dancers use flaming knives.

"My dad did it, my grandpa did it and now I do it. It's a family tradition," said Sexton. "I love the adrenaline rush, hearing people cheer and the culture." And now he's a world champion.

You can make reservations to see Sexton and his colleagues in the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show by calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).


This smoking area at Port Orleans Riverside's Alligator Bayou section is right along a walkway around Ol' Man Island, just outside Building 27. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.


These smoking areas at Port Orleans Riverside's Magnolia Bend section are in the courtyard area of the Building 90 manor. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

Water giving Nemo problems?

MousePlanet's David Koenig is currently at Walt Disney World, and reports that a thin, almost invisible sheet of water sprayed across the front of the stage of Finding Nemo: The Musical during a sudden downpour at the resort on July 4. The show was ended prematurely to ensure the safety of the performers on the wet stage.

It was explained to him by a cast member that the rain was so heavy that the roof had begun to leak. The cast member said that "water blowing in" was highly unusual, and that cast members were already on the roof trying to figure out what happened.

Since the press premiere of the show was held in a downpour without any leakage, it would seem that this situation is indeed unusual. Disney spent a lot of money having the theater enclosed after the final performance of Tarzan Rocks!, so it would seem highly unusual that a situation like this was not considered during that work.

We don't know any further details of the problem at this time, but we'll let you know if we find out.

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.

Construction update

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

  • Port Orleans Resort Riverside Old Man Island Playground: Remove old playground equipment, install new perimeter fencing, sidewalks and playground equipment, including electrical work.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lion King Building: Install new vestibule.
  • Spaceship Earth has more work listed, including installation of catwalks and the facility and showset packages. Of course, this is all part of the work beginning today as the attraction closes for its overlay of theming requested by new sponsor Siemens.
  • The Caribbean Beach Resort's Trinidad North & South Buildings (buildings 31 thru 39) will see replacement of rusted or damaged gutters and painting of architectural elements above the roofline of the buildings.
  • At the Disney-MGM Studios, a permanent Star Tours Jedi Stage and Tech Booth will be constructed and installed to allow better year-round performances of the Jedi Training Academy. The stage is to be reminiscent of the Imperial Bunker on Endor from Star Wars. It is uncertain from the documents filed exactly where it will be located, but it is possible that it may replace some or all of the Ewok Village.


The construction wall blocking off the Haunted Mansion is well-themed, with a nice note from Master Gracey asking us to be patient while renovations take place. Photo by Anthony M. Uriaus.

Correction

A couple of readers wrote in to correct factual errors in last week's Park Update story about the Democratic candidates speaking at the NALEO conference at the Contemporary Resort.

  • While President Nixon's "I am not a crook" speech did indeed take place at Walt Disney World, it was in November 1973, not in 1974.
  • Seven of the leading Democratic candidates were present, but former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK) did not attend. We also stated that no Republican candidates attended the conference, but Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) did in fact accept the invitation on that Friday.

Quick takes …

…When Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki reopens next month, it will have a new name: Teppan Edo. Thanks to Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations for the information.

Mickey Avenue at the Disney-MGM Studios is closing today, and will reopen as Pixar Place when the Toy Story Mania attraction opens next year.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster will indeed close during most of September, but we still haven't been able to confirm dates yet.

…Disney is reportedly in talks with the Children's Miracle Network and one of its over 30 corporate partners to make a deal on a name sponsorship for its annual PGA golf tournament. The tourney, taking place November 1-4 this year, has been looking for a new sponsor since Japanese electronics company Funai's four-year deal expired following the event last year.


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

  • June 11-Aug 12. Sounds Like Summer concert series at Epcot.
    • 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.
  • 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 Anthony Uriaus. What web site is on the giant computer screen at the computer pool at the Pop Century Resort? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "How many floors are there at the Wilderness Lodge?", which was submitted by MousePlanet reader Ryan U. is:

Seven floors in the main building, six floors in the wings.

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. Removal of the wand will take place between July 9 and late September.
  • 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

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!

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 are 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 them 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.

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.