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Update for September 10 – September 16, 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

Fastpass modification patent filed; changes coming? | Walt Disney World looking for "Moms" for panel | Three more resorts get green certification | Mystery machine starts dispensing pins | More residents on display as Haunted Mansion reopens | Cypress Gardens up for sale again | Shuttle Endeavour's crew honored | Construction update | Quick Takes …

Possible changes coming with filing of Fastpass modification patent (or "All guests are equal, but some guests are more equal than others")

On August 30, The Walt Disney Company filed a patent application for "Management of the flow of persons and advertisement distribution via wireless media," which would extend the scope of its existing Fastpass patent. Credited as the inventors were Imagineer Jonathan Ackley, Parks & Resorts Chief Safety Officer Greg Hale, and Walt Disney World design engineer Kenneth Schweizer.


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The new patent would provide much wider application of the Fastpass technology, including the ability for you to:

  • Set up all of your Fastpass tickets for the next day from the comfort of your hotel room
  • Get your next Fastpass from the other side of the park via mobile phone or other wireless device
  • Get a reminder message on your phone 15 minutes before your Fastpass window opens
  • Trade in your Fastpass for a different attraction completely if you change your mind about riding

Another interesting feature would be the ability to have your mobile phone or wireless device tracked as you move around the park and make recommendations to you regarding your alternatives if the attraction that you have a Fastpass for breaks down. Some decry the invasion of privacy, though Disney already has some ability to follow your movements through your use of your Key To The World card or any other media being inserted in Fastpass machines, used at merchandise kiosks, and so on. It would be a huge undertaking to try to crunch the sheer volume of data from such an endeavor, though, so unless they're actually targeting an individual for some reason and actually scanning for one particular code, it's unlikely that anything other than gross numbers are being used from that data.

Also included is the ability to offer food and merchandise discounts related to the attraction that you hold a Fastpass for. For example, you could get a coupon on your handheld device around the time of your Fastpass for Space Mountain that is good for a discount on all Space Mountain merchandise, all space-themed merchandise, or even for a snack at Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies.

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of this pending patent, though, is the ability to impose a hierarchy upon the Fastpass distribution process. For example, Disney has indentified several methods of segmentation in the patent application. The first identified is spending per guest at hotels, indicating that "the more that is spent by a patron, the higher the priority can be for Fastpass." Priority can also be higher for those staying at Disney resorts than other resorts, and "more luxurious hotels can have higher priorities." Also, seasonal differences can be factored. "Accordingly, special promotions for Fastpass can be provided according to the season." So if Disney is trying to fill rooms, how about, "get all of your Fastpasses in advance with a Magic Your Way package" instead of free dining?

Now, there's no guarantee that Disney will use any or all of this technology just because they've applied for a patent on it; however, it does mean that they've at least been thinking about it. One interesting part of the patent is that some of the associated diagrams hint that it may have its first application at Tokyo Disney Resort.

For now, what Disney might actually implement from this patent is only speculation. If you want to add your own speculation, join the ongoing discussion on our MousePad discussion forums. We'll also look at this topic in more depth on Wednesday's MouseStation Podcast.

Walt Disney World looking for "Moms" for panel

Continuing the overall Disney push into the online world, Walt Disney World is looking for 12 panelists to act as online experts on discussion forums that it is creating. While Disney is portraying the panel as "moms"—even to the point of setting up their panelist search site as disneyworldmoms.com—the search is open to all applicants, male or female, who are at least 18 years of age and who meet other qualifying criteria.

The forums are planned to provide "a wealth of helpful planning information, expert tips and advice about various topics related to visiting the Walt Disney World Resort," according to Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton.

Twelve finalists will be selected to serve on the online Walt Disney World Moms Panel. In preparation for the launch of the forums in January, winners will receive a six-day/five-night vacation to Walt Disney World for themselves and three other guests, which must include the days of December 8-12, 2007.

To apply for the "mom" positions, you must fill out an application at disneyworld.com with three essays of 100 words or less telling about you, your family, and why you should be an advisor on all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World Resort. Applications must be received by October 5, and finalists will be notified by November 2.

You can find the full announcement and an ongoing discussion about the panel on our MousePad discussion forums.

Three more resorts get green certification

Three more hotels at Walt Disney World have earned designation as Green Lodgings hotels. The Contemporary, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs Resorts were named the 34th, 35th and 36th hotels in the Florida Green Lodging Program, run by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The resorts were cited for such improvements as reducing waste, reducing water usage, improved communications with guests, and bulk purchasing.

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!

Mystery machine starts dispensing pins

Last Thursday, on the eve of the annual Disney's Pin Celebration, Walt Disney World debuted a new angle on collecting pins: Mickey's Mystery Pin Machine. The first of the new machines is located at the MouseGear shop in Epcot's Innoventions East.

For $5 per game, which includes three tries, guests try their hand at a climb-the-hill-type arcade game. But unlike the arcade game, everybody wins. A maximum of one pin will be distributed per game. The machines will dispense pins from three open-edition pin collections. The five-pin collections are themed as Puzzle, Pirate and Disney-Pixar.

Future machines will be installed at Disney's Pin Traders at Downtown Disney Marketplace, Tomorrowland Arcade at the Magic Kingdom, Sorcerer's Hat Shop at the Disney-MGM Studios and Everything Pop! at the Pop Century Resort. The machines will accept all major credit cards, as well as Disney Key To The World cards.

Basically, you get a randomly selected open-edition puzzle pin for $5, plus you get to play the game three times. For more information, check out the official Disney pin trading Web site for details.

More residents on display as Haunted Mansion reopens

When the Haunted Mansion reopens on Thursday, even more of the 999 happy haunts will be visible to guests. Even another wing of the manor will be revealed. Residents will appear on an endless staircase.

According to Kathy Rogers, Senior Show Producer for the attraction, the attic will see some major changes, as well. "In the attic the long, sad tale of Constance on her wedding days finally comes to light. For almost 40 years, our Guests have come face to face with Constance the bride. Now it's time for them to meet her and her grooms face to face -- all five of them! They all loved Constance. In fact, you could say they lost their heads over her."

If you happen to visit the Haunted Mansion in the near future, let us know! Send us an email or post to our MousePad discussion forums.

Cypress Gardens up for sale again

After a valiant attempt to save and resurrect Cypress Gardens, the biggest amusement park attraction in central Florida until the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971, Kent Buescher has decided that the time has come to throw in the towel. Buescher's Adventure Parks Group declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year due to an inability to reach an agreement with its insurance company over damages to Cypress Gardens from three hurricanes during reconstruction in 2004 and the resulting difficulties in repaying debts.

Adventure Parks Group, which owns both Cypress Gardens Adventure Park and Wild Adventure Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia, will offer both parks, either separately or together, to the highest bidders at an auction on September 25. The best offer or offers will be chosen by a federal bankruptcy court on September 27. The parks will remain open during the sale process.

Shuttle Endeavour's crew honored

On Thursday, the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour were feted at ceremonies at Walt Disney World. Commander Scott Kelly, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dave Williams and NASA astronauts Charlie Hobaugh, Tracy Caldwell, Rick Mastracchio, Barbara Morgan and Alvin Drew attended a plaque dedication at Mission: Space, served as honorary grand marshals of the Disney Dreams Come True Parade, and met with reporters to answer questions about the mission that ended with their return to Earth on August 21. They also hosted an education session for local school children.

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 last week:

  • Creation and installation of new displays and marquees at Epcot's main entrance, tear drop and tower flower beds, the Oklahoma exhibit, and World Showplace.
  • Installation of two vertical platform lifts at the Coral Reef Restaurant inside the Seas pavilion at Epcot.
  • Modification of drinking fountains at the riverboat landing in Liberty Square and the Adventureland breezeway in the Magic Kingdom .
  • A new lid is being installed on the Cinderella Castle sump pit at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Installation of emergency lighting on the exterior stairs at Building 10 at the Polynesian Resort to comply with the Reedy Creek Improvement District building code.
  • Installation of a new ramp at the walkway to the merchandise delivery area near the porte cochere at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
  • Replacement of the ozone system at the otter exhibit at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
  • Installation of fiber optic cabling and electrical circuits at the Downtown Disney Bus Parking Lot and the Downtown Disney Cast Services Building to support the Magic in Motion transportation program.

Quick takes …

…Have you been wondering what happened to the pieces of the wand after it was removed from Spaceship Earth? Wonder no more.

…Disney has announced information for the 2008 Minnie Marathon Weekend. The weekend features the Women Run the World 15K on Sunday, May 4, the Go Red for Women 5K on Saturday, May 3, and kids' races. For more information, check out the event Web site.

…The Tower of Terror 13K is almost sold out, and was at 95 percent of capacity at press time. If it continues at its current pace, it will be sold out before the week is over. It will then join the Tower of Terror 6.5K, plus the Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon and Goofy Challenge in sold-out status. Disney's Family Fun Run 5K during Marathon Weekend is again selling quickly and is at 70 percent of the registration capacity.

…It looks like the cutover date from the High School Musical Pep Rally to the High School Musical 2: School's Out caravan show at the Disney-MGM Studios will be September 23.

…James O'Conner, a popular greeter and bellman at the Grand Floridian Resort for 18 years, passed away last Tuesday at age 78, following a battle with cancer.

…No dates have yet been announced, but Disney is again planning to run the Pirate & Princess Party this coming winter, most likely from January through March again.


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

  • Sept. 23. Walt Disney World Triathlon.
  • Sep. 14, 21, 28, 30, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, Nov. 2. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
  • Sep.28 –Nov. 11. 12th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. [View our special Park Guide page.]
  • 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: In honor of the Haunted Mansion returning from refurbishment this week, who is honored on the only tombstone outside the Haunted Mansion that features movement? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "What is the oldest attraction in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom?", which was submitted by MousePlanet reader Jimmy McKinley, is:

The Roy O. Disney steam train, which was built in February of 1916. Disney claims it's Cinderella's Golden Carousel, which was built in 1917. [Ed. note: It probably depends on whether you consider a single locomotive an attraction in itself or if you have to average out the ages of all four engines.]

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. E-mail us here.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

Epcot

  • Spaceship Earth – closed for refurbishment July 9 – November 13. Removal of the wand is expected to be completed by late September.
  • Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki – closed for refurbishment through October 31. It reopens on November 1 with a new name: Teppan Edo.
  • Tempura Kiku and Matsunoma Lounge – are being reconfigured into a new dining experience to be called Tokyo Dining, to open fall 2007.
  • L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante – closes on August 31 and reopens under new management on September 1 under the name "Tutto Italia." Tutto Italia closes in the spring of 2008, will be completely remodeled, and reopen in fall 2008 under yet another new name.
  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earch – the globe used in the show is rumored to be removed from the show from September 5–23 for major upgrades; it will be replaced by additional pyrotechnics.
  • Honey I Shrunk the Audience – closed from September 10–23 for a reported redesign of the queue area.
  • The American Adventure Pavilion – the American Heritage Gallery is closed through September 26 for installation of a new exhibit.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – has again closed, perhaps forever and perhaps just until next Thanksgiving weekend. It appears that The Making of Me is being dismantled to clear the central area for use as the Festival Center for the 2007 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • Nine Dragons – closes January 6 – July 31, 2008 for renovations that include the creation of an exhibition kitchen.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster – closed for refurbishment September 4 – October 4.
  • Mickey Avenue – closed through at least next spring for installation of the Toy Story Mania attraction and related theming.

Animal Kingdom

  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant – the new combined full-service and quick-service restaurant opens November 14, 2007.
  • Tusker House – closed August 20 – November 17 for conversion to a buffet restaurant with a character breakfast.
  • Restaurantosaurus – Donald's Breakfastosaurus will end November 5. The McDonald's-based restaurant will remain open for lunch and dinner.

Resorts

  • All-Star Sports Resort – All buildings will be renovated between June 2007 and February 2008. The Surfboard Bay pool is closed August 27 – October 4 for refurbishment. Guests can use the Grand Slam pool at All-Star Sports or the feature pools at the other All-Star resorts.
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – Much of the resort's main buiding (Jambo House) is closed through the beginning of October during conversion of rooms for the Animal Kingdom Villas DVC resort. Construction of the Kidani Village annex building for the villas is expected to take until spring 2009.
  • Caribbean Beach Resort – The feature pool closed for renovation January – June, 2008. Exact dates have yet to be announced.
  • Fort Wilderness ResortHoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue will not be performed on Tuesday or Wednesday between September 4 and October 24.
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Building 6 (Concierge) closed in September for a full refurbishment. 1900 Park Fare restaurant is closed for refurbishment through October 1.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – All buildings are now complete and open.
  • T-Rex Cafe – reportedly opens in Downtown Disney in early 2008.

Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach – closed for annual refurbishment January 6 – March 8.
  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed for annual refurbishment October 28 – January 5

Elsewhere

  • Lake Buena Vista Golf Course – closed through the end of September.
  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs Tuesdays – Saturdays. No performances September 23–October 1, November 25–27.
  • Official All-Star Cafe at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex – closes on September 23, and is expected to reopen on November 20 as a quick-service eatery.

Park Events

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.
  • Mickey's Pin Trading Night at Yacht & Beach Club Resort (link). Sep. 6. A special 2-hour edition of the event helps to kick off Disney's Pin Celebration.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Pin Trading Night at Contemporary Resort (link). Sep. 28. The popular 3-hour event returns to Fantasia Ballroom G.
  • 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). Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. 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). Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. 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). 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.
  • Festival of the Seasons (link). Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. Downtown Disney gets a holiday makeover.
  • Walt Disney World Half-Marathon (link). Jan. 12. Registration is closed.
  • Walt Disney World Marathon (link). Jan. 13. Registration is closed. [Read our WDW Marathon Guide.]

February 2008

  • ESPN – The Weekend (link). Feb. 29 – March 2. Synergy strikes again as Disney's flagship cable network returns to the Disney's Hollywood Studios.

March 2008

  • ESPN – The Weekend (link). Feb. 29 – March 2. Synergy strikes again as Disney's flagship cable network returns to the Disney's Hollywood Studios.
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). March 19 – June 1. Epcot comes alive with topiaries, other floral displays, gardening demonstrations and the "Flower Power" concert series at the 14th annual event.

April 2008

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). March 19 – June 1. Epcot comes alive with topiaries, other floral displays, gardening demonstrations and the "Flower Power" concert series at the 14th annual event.

May 2008

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). March 19 – June 1. Epcot comes alive with topiaries, other floral displays, gardening demonstrations and the "Flower Power" concert series at the 14th annual event.

June 2008

  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link). March 19 – June 1. Epcot comes alive with topiaries, other floral displays, gardening demonstrations and the "Flower Power" concert series at the 14th annual event.
  • 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 Cafe!. 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 Cafe restaurant, Giraffe Tavern sports bar, Marketessen deli-style cafe and Sips Pool Bar are ready to serve you.

We'd like to invite you to try their hospitality!

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).

Passholder, Florida resident discounts announced through end of the year

Disney has released discounted room rates for passholders and Florida residents for the end of September through md-December. Discounts are available for select resorts for most nights from September 30 through December 23. (The nights of November 21-24 and November 30-December 7 are excluded at non-DVC resorts, most likely due to Thanksgiving weekend and the Pop Warner Super Bowl invasion, while only the Thanksgiving dates are blocked at the DVC resorts.) There are two effective rate periods for this discount, with September 30-October 3, November 25-29, and December 8-19 carrying passholder rates of $59 per night in value resorts and $164 per night in a DVC studio. The remaining dates in the promotion period (except for the nights of November 21-24, which have no discounts due to Thanksgiving weekend) have nightly passholder rates starting at $79 for values and $194 for DVC studios. Florida resident rates are $5 higher than passholder rates.

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.

An interesting twist on this deal is that, for certain check-in dates, you can get a Disney Dining Card with $20-$100 per room with your minimum 2-night reservation. This perk is available for stays with check-in dates between October 21-November 3, November 11-17 and December 9-15. The card can be used toward food & beverage only, and not toward merchandise.

Rooms available at these rates are very limited, and they're going quickly!

Magic Your Way package discounts also available through end of the year

Discounted Magic Your Way packages have been released for most nights from September 30 through December 23. (Check-in dates of November 20-23 and November 29-December 7 are excluded, most likely due to Thanksgiving weekend and the Pop Warner Super Bowl invasion.) Packages can be booked as straight Magic Your Way packages or as Magic Your Way Plus Dining.

Availability is extremely limited, and you must book these packages by September 26.

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.