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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (link). Please note that there is a 5MB limit on total attachments in a single email.
This week's listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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).
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 59, August 1229 and September 229.
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 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.
(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.