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Update for July 16 – 22, 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

Soarin' queue games a hit | Disney signs on with Chelsea | Pecos Bill's gets anachronistic enhancements | Golf tourney tickets on sale | Construction Update | Quick Takes …

It's a very slow week for news, so we're going to pad the Update out with some photos of the construction work on the future Disney Vacation Club resort adjacent to the Contemporary Resort's tower.

Soarin' queue games a hit

The new games are up and running at Soarin'. The queue for the attraction now features interactive video games on the screens formerly used to show nature scenes and ask trivia questions of those waiting to ride.


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The new games use motion and heat sensors to detect movement in the groups of people in the queue area to guide the actions of on-screen characters, such as having everyone lean left to turn a flying bird to the left.

Early reports indicate that the games are a big hit, with people getting so caught up in the games that they don't even realize that the line has moved forward and they are holding things up.


The new resort will be a C-shaped building on this jut of land with the open end facing Bay Lake. Photo by Brian Bennett.


This area will eventually be the parking area for the new resort. Photo by Brian Bennett.

Disney signs on with Chelsea

Manchester United, eat your heart out. Disney has picked the Chelsea Football Club to sign to a four-year marketing and promotion deal. The Premier League club will become "the Official Professional Soccer Club of Disney's Wide World of Sports and presenting sponsor of the Disney Soccer Showcase Series."

The Blues will provide coaching and player clinics in association with many of the soccer events at the Wide World of Sports Complex, and will also create an educational exchange program where at least one Chelsea Academy tema will compete at the complex in Florida while a winning team from a selected Disney soccer tournament will travel to train at Chelsea's academy and watch a Chelsea home match.

The two sides will continue to work together to explore possible broader partnership between the club and various Disney brands.


Some heavy machinery prepares to dig a hole for a pile to be driven. Photo by Brian Bennett.

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!

Pecos Bill's gets anachronistic enhancements

Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn and Cafe is a popular counter-service eatery at the Magic Kingdom, with its rustic atmosphere, its Western decor and its … touch-screen self-service ordering kiosks? That's right, the latest location to get the touch-screen ordering kiosks is that Old West dining location in Frontierland. A great deal of effort has gone into making the kiosks themselves match the decor and the screens themselves have a Frontier-like look, but they still look a bit incongruous in Frontierland. (These touch-screen devices were first seen at Taste Pilots' Grill at Disney's California Adventure, and made their Walt Disney World debut at Captain Cook's Snack Shop at the Polynesian Resort.) We've heard that this is only a test, so we'll see whether they stay put or if they disappear into the mists of time. Note: For those that prefer human interaction, the regular ordering lines are still available.


A view of the future parking lot from the fourth-floor balcony. Photo by Brian Bennett.


Another view from the fourth floor. The future resort location is to the right, the future parking lot is to the left. Photo by Brian Bennett.

Golf tourney tickets on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the 2007 Disney Golf Classic (which is hoping to soon find a sponsor) taking place November 1-4, 2007 at Disney?s Palm and Magnolia golf courses. One-day tickets cost $10 for practice rounds (October 29-31) and $30 for tournament rounds (November 1-4). A weekly badge, good for practice and tournament rounds, is $50. Tickets for the Ruth's Chris Fairway Club, which includes admission to the day's round plus unlimited access to the Fairway Club (which features complimentary food and beverages), plus preferred parking, is available for $75 for one tournament day or $150 for two tournament days.

Tickets are available online from DisneyWorldSports.com (link). More information about the tournament is available at 407-824-2250.


A view of the future parking lot from the fourth-floor balcony. Photo by Brian Bennett.

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:

  • The new location of the Arribas Brothers shop on Main Street, U.S.A. will expand into the long-vacant Disney and Company space on Center Street. The existing walls surrounding the front stockroom will be removed, new walls will be built to divide the space, ceilings will be redone, wall bays and fixtures will be removed and replaced with new ones that are themed for Arribas products. A glory hole (an opening in a furnace, or a stand alone furnace, which is used to reheat the molten glass as it is formed), glass blowing oven, exhaust duct, and HVAC unit will be installed. The carpet will be removed and replaced with a new flooring system. The package will be completed with additional lighting and graphic signage.
  • A new "Fantasia" merchandise shop will be constructed north of the new games arcade on the fourth floor of the Contemporary Resort.
  • Scat Cat's Lounge and the main lobby at Port Orleans French Quarter will see major restroom work, with replacement of plumbing fixtures, countertops, partitions, floor tiles and wall tiles.
  • Studios Fastpass machines will be upgraded at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Star Tours, Voyage of The Little Mermaid, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
  • Contemporary South Garden Wing IP Tub Rooms will be upgraded.
  • The south bus loop at Disney's Animal Kingdom will be repaved.
  • The Disney-MGM Studios Music lot will be repaved.
  • The audio system at 1900 Park Fare is going to be upgraded.
  • Irrigation controllers will be replaced in the Land greenhouse and the Living with the Land boat ride.
  • The Toy Story Midway Mania showset package has been cleared for installation.


The new Fantasia merchandise shop will be located in the space to the right in this photo. Photo by Brian Bennett.


Additional construction is going on in the Contemporary's lobby. Photo by Brian Bennett.

Quick takes …

…We've heard an interesting story about Epcot but we need to do a little more research before we bring it to you, hopefully next week.


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 Sean Boundy. In Cranium Command, who plays the girl the main character fall in love with? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "What web site is on the giant computer screen at the computer pool at the Pop Century Resort?", which was submitted by MousePlanet reader Anthony Uriaus, is:

ABCNews.com


The computer screen in the 90s section of the Pop Century Resort features ABCNews.com. Photo by Anthony Uriaus.

Correction to last week's answer: Next time, we'll make sure to pay closer attention to the submitted questions and answers. The question "How many floors are there at the Wilderness Lodge?", which was submitted by MousePlanet reader Ryan U., came along with the submitted answer of "Four." Of course, the Wilderness Lodge has seven floors in the main building and six in the wings. Last week's Update has been corrected. Thanks to all who wrote in to bring it to our attention.

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 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 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.