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Update for September 17 – September 23, 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

Final slots filled for Candlelight | Haunted Mansion reopens | Marathon add-on packages available | New Rawlings store opens at Marketplace | Another cast member arrested on sex charges | Correction: Space Shuttle Astronauts honored last Monday | Construction update | Quick Takes …

Final slots filled for Candlelight

The schedule of narrators for this year's Candlelight Processional at Epcot's America Gardens Theater has been filled, with Neil Patrick Harris moving up in the schedule to November 29-December 1 to make way for Chita Rivera to take December 11-13. Isabella Rosellini will follow Rivera on December 14-16. And in the hallmark of synergy, High School Musical (and Dancing With the Stars) star Monique Coleman will narrate on December 5-7.


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Here's the full lineup, pending any further changes:

  • Nov. 23-25 – David Robinson
  • Nov. 26-28 – John O'Hurley
  • Nov. 29-Dec. 1 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 2-4 – Dennis Franz
  • Dec. 5-7 – Monique Coleman
  • Dec. 8-10 – Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Dec. 11-13 – Chita Rivera
  • Dec. 14-16 – Isabella Rossellini
  • Dec. 17-19 – Kirk Cameron
  • Dec. 20-22 – Edward James Olmos
  • Dec. 23-25 – Gary Sinise
  • Dec. 26-28 – Rita Moreno
  • Dec. 29-30 – Marlee Matlin


The Haunted Mansion again looms forebodingly over Liberty Square, free of the scaffolding it sported during refurbishment. Photo by Jeff Kober.

Haunted Mansion reopens

The Haunted Mansion emerged from its lengthy refurbishment last Thursday. MousePlanet's Jeff Kober reports that the upgrade was well worth the wait:

The changes to the mansion are wonderful. The ghosts are more colorful, as they are now in very soft pastels and greens as to add a touch of color and not make them look so washed out. The stairs scene is very cool and fairly involved. The attic is so very improved, as is the stretch room. All worthwhile changes.


The newly expanded canopy over the Haunted Mansion's queue keeps guests cool while waiting to enter. Photo by Jeff Kober.

Marathon add-on packages available

Runners' Retreat and Grandstand Fans packages for the Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon are now on sale.

A limited number of Grandstand Fan Packages are available for $25 per day at (link), while the Runners' Retreat Packages, also limited, are available for $50 per day (link).

The Grandstand Fan package includes reserved grandstand bleacher seating at the finish line, boxed breakfasts, hot and cold beverage service throughout the race and noisemakers for cheering on friends and family. The Grandstand Fan seating area opens at 6:00 a.m. on both Half Marathon Saturday and Marathon Sunday, and will close once the races are completed.

Participants an pick up their Grandstand Fan Package wristbands at the Health & Fitness Expo in the Packet Pickup area. The wristband is required for entry into the Grandstand Fan seating area. Kids 5 and under do not need a wristband to be admitted to the Fan seating area, but they won't get breakfast, either. The Grandstand Fan Package is non-refundable.

Free, unreserved bleacher seating will be available near the finish line on a first-come basis.

The Runners' Retreat package provides exclusive pre- and post-race access to the Runners' Retreat, which includes a heated or cooled tent, pre-race hot and cold beverages with fruit and bagels, post-race beverages and snacks, carpeted area for stretching, exclusive baggage check, on-site restroom facilities and special character greetings. Ten minute post-race massages will also be available for $10.00. The Retreat will be open on Half Marathon Saturday from 3:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and on Marathon Sunday from 3:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

While the Runners' Retreat will be located in the Family Reunion Area, only runners who have purchased the package will have access. Spectators, family, and friends will not be allowed into the Retreat.


Work on the Yak & Yeti Restaurant continues as workers race to meet the November 14 target date. Photo by Steven Kropf.


The Yak & Yeti will be quite an extensive building when it is complete. Photo by Steven Kropf.

Get your MousePlanet gear!

The MousePlanet.com store is now open for business (link)! You can get shirts, mugs, hats and even a Teddy Bear! Check it out and show your MousePlanet pride!

New Rawlings store opens at Marketplace

Rawlings opened a new one-of-a-kind location inside the Team Mickey Athletic Club store at the Downtown Disney Marketplace last Monday. The location allows fans to have their names, signatures, or even amateur team logos laser-engraved or embroidered on the item of their choice while they watch.

This is the first time that Rawlings has had this extensive a product line available for customizing, and the first time that has been open 365 days a year. The product line includes bats, balls, gloves and helmets.


Mickey Avenue is walled off as work continues in preparation for next summer's opening of Toy Story Mania. Photo by Steven Kropf.


While the walkways have been ripped up, the facade of the soundstage buildings are still largely intact for now. Photo by Steven Kropf.


The construction zone stretches all the way across the street. Photo by Steven Kropf.

Another cast member arrested on sex charges

Brian Fries, a 27-year-old Walt Disney World cast member, was arrested on Thursday night after attempting to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old girl for oral sex. Instead, the "girl" that he chatted with on the Internet was an undercover police officer, and Fries was arrested on charges of soliciting a minor using the Internet when he arrived at the parking lot for the apartment complex that he expected to meet the girl.

Fries was released on bond from the Orange County Jail on Friday. He and his family left without comment. However, when he was arrested, Orlando television station WKMG was there. On the station's video, Fries is seen saying, "I just want to apologize to my parents, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Mom and Dad. You raised me better than this. I'm sorry" (link).

Fries has apparently worked in various capacities since 1996, including bartender, merchandise worker, character greeter and Jungle Cruise skipper.

Meanwhile, Tony Guerra, a 21-year-old food-service worker at the Disney-MGM Studios was denied the request to move to his father's home in Wisconsin while awaiting trial. Instead of going home and wearing an ankle monitor, U.S. Magistrate David Baker ordered that Guerra remain in jail. Guerra had been arrested for soliciting "hard core videos involving babies" on the Internet.

Both men are on unpaid leave from Disney pending the outcome of their respective cases.


The new Jedi stage looks like it's going to be quite large. Photo by Steven Kropf.

Correction: Space Shuttle Astronauts honored last Monday

It seems that we jumped the gun last week, when we said that the astronauts of the Space Shuttle Endeavour were honored at Walt Disney World on September 6. We apparently misread the information from our source. The event actually took place last Monday, September 10.


The crew of NASA space shuttle mission STS-118 walks down Main Street, U.S.A., greeting guests along the way. Pictured, (L-R): mission specialist Alvin Drew; teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan, a mission specialist aboard the flight; mission specialist Dave Williams, a Canadian Space Agency astronaut; commander Scott Kelly; pilot Charles Hobaugh; mission specialist Tracy Caldwell; and mission specialist Ralph Mastracchio. Photo by Gene Duncan, © Disney.

The crew of STS-118 appeared at Mission: Space to reveal a new plaque featuring a quote from teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan: "Reach for your dreams… the sky is no limit." After participating in a special education session with local schoolchildren and answering questions from Epcot guests, the astronauts walked down Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom ahead of the afternoon parade as honorary grand marshals.

We regret the error in the dates in last week's article.

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:

  • Removal and replacement of double doors at the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in the Magic Kingdom's Frontierland.
  • Installation of new crossing arms at the parade bypass railroad crossing in Adventureland.
  • Installation of a new public address system at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
  • The cast member parking lot at the Magic Kingdom will be expanded and the Property Control location will be configured.
  • The Soarin' restrooms will be receiving new flooring.
  • Installation of a new monorail beam and hoist system at the projection booths for Soarin'.
  • Installation of a new kitchen equipment at Les Chefs de France.
  • Replacement of the background music speakers in the Tower of Terror queue.
  • Installation of a new air compressor at the Tower of Terror.
  • Installation of a new neon sign at the restrooms inside the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater at the Disney-MGM Studios.
  • The storage facility being created for the new Block Party Bash floats coming to the Disney-MGM Studios will have its lights and door increased to a minimum height of 25 feet.
  • Refurbishment of the Disney Vacation Club location at Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom, with the concrete being removed and a new slab being installed. Four new fans will keep the cast members cool, and the sign and podium will be relocated.
  • Installation of new monitors at Mannequins at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.
  • Some reconfiguration at the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney Marketplace.
  • Installation of fiber optic cable will be run to Gang Plank Falls, Ketchakiddie Creek and Crush 'N' Gusher at Typhoon Lagoon for Wi-Fi access points.
  • Renovation of Chips & Slices at the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course will be renovated into a working distribution prep kitchen to be used by the golf cart vendors.
  • Building of a new roof over the valet desk at the Wilderness Lodge.
  • Refurbishment of the exterior facades at the Boardwalk Inn will be refurbished.
  • Creation of a new six-foot wall opening for the Disney's Magical Express location at the Pop Century Resort.
  • Installation of new lighting at the landscape shed area for the Old Key West Resort.


The back end of Epcot's Italy pavilion has been walled off during the changeover from Alfredo's to Tutto Italia. The new restaurant is expected to reopen today; check with the Walt Disney World Dining Line to be sure. Photo by Sharon Moore.

Quick takes …

…It looks like after 25 years, next year's Night of Joy event will be moving out of the Magic Kingdom for the first time. The 2008 Night of Joy event will be held at the (soon-to-be) Disney's Hollywood Studios on September 5 and 6. Concert venues will include the Lights, Motors, Action! stunt show theater, the Sorcerer's Hat stage and the soon-to-be-rebuilt Backlot Theater. (Now we know what is going to happen after they demolish the existing theater.) Already signed for the event are MercyMe, tobyMac, Chris Tomlin, and Rush of Fools.

…We now have more accurate dates for the refurbishment of the feature pool at the Caribbean Beach Resort. The pool will be closed from January 7 through mid-September next year. Temporary "child-sized" slides will be added to the quiet pools in the Jamaica and Barbados Villages while the main pool is closed. Thanks to reader Zan Hecht for the information.

…The Tower of Terror 13K has now closed registration.


Vertical construction continues on the new Disney Vacation Club resort being built next to the Contemporary Resort. Photo by Jeff Kober.


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. 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. Mickey's Pin Trading Night at Contemporary Resort.
  • Sep.28-Nov. 11. 12th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. [View our special Park Guide page.]
  • Oct. 7. Race for the Taste 10K.
  • Oct. 27. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K and 6.5K.
  • 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: How many triangles make up the surface of Spaceship Earth, and what are they made of? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last 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?", is:

Leota Toombs Thomas, who provided the face (but not the voice) for Madame Leota, whose head is seen in a crystal ball in the seance room, and the face and voice of Little Leota, who reminds you to "hurry back" at the end of the attraction.

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, reopening 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 – closed on August 31 and is expected to open under new management on September 17 under the name "Tutto Italia." Tutto Italia closes in Spring 2008 for a complete remodel, reopening 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 ends November 5. The McDonald's-based restaurant remains open for lunch and dinner.

Resorts

  • All-Star Sports Resort – All buildings undergo renovation between June 2007 and February 2008. The Surfboard Bay pool 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 7–mid-September, 2008. Temporary "child-sized" slides will be added to the quiet pools in the Jamaica and Barbados Villages while the main pool is closed.
  • 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 closed.

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?
  • Filming for the Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade. Dec. 1, 2. The parade is run slowly, one float at a time, so that they can film each float for broadcast "live" on Christmas Day.
  • Pop Warner Super Bowl (link). Dec. 2–8. Football players and cheerleaders invade the resort for the pigskin championships.
  • MouseFest 2007 (unofficial event) (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.
  • Disney Grad Nite (link). Apr. 18, 19, 25, 26. Graduating high school seniors have a huge party in the Magic Kingdom.

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 (unofficial event) (link1 | link 2). June 6–9. The 18th annual gathering of the GLBT community at Walt Disney World.

September 2007

  • Night of Joy (link). Sept. 5–6. Disney's annual Christian music festival moves to Disney's Hollywood Studios for its 26th year.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Dates Sept.–Oct. TBA. Get your costumes ready. The Disney characters will certainly be wearing theirs.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Dates Sept.–Nov. TBA. The 13th annual celebration of things gustatory, plus the Eat to the Beat concert series.

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.



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(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.