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Update for September 24 – September 30, 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

Epcot 25 celebration | Moms panel shuts out applicants | Epcot dining | Cirque price hike | $10 million hospital donation | Another cast member arrested | Construction update | Quick Takes …

Epcot 25 celebration to take place next Monday

After months of denying that there would be any official public recognition of Epcot's 25th anniversary next Monday, Walt Disney World is now planning a rededication ceremony and other events to commemorate the park, which opened on October 1, 1982. Disney's plans were perhaps spurred in part by the huge response to the "Celebration 25" event created by Jenn Waitt and Adam Roth, and to a smaller event called "The Epcot Thing" created by Nathan Rose. The fact that several hundred people were willing to travel to attend an unofficial event helped convince Disney to involve the "Celebration 25" group in the official rededication ceremony that takes place at the Fountain of Nations plaza behind Spaceship Earth.


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In addition to the 10:01 a.m. ceremony—which echoes the park's original dedication ceremony—Epcot is installing a special exhibit in the south corridor of Innoventions West near the character greeting location, distributing commemorative buttons to all park guests, and adding a special ending tag for the evening's showing of Illuminations. The tag will feature well-known Epcot music and the voice of Walt Disney, most likely from "The Epcot Film," and will include perhaps as many shells in the closing seconds as the show's entire holiday tag.

"Retro" guidebooks, menus and other souvenirs will also be involved in the event. The Innoventions exhibit will be in place through at least the end of the year; we'll bring you photos from the exhibit in the October 8 Park Update.

Also, park guests will have the opportunity to chat with Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar in the Circle of Life Theater inside The Land pavilion, though seating will be limited. World Showcase restaurants will also get into the act, providing menus reminiscent of the original 1982 menus. It will be interesting to see how that integrates with the opening week of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Despite that, much of Disney's focus remains on cast-oriented events, as originally planned. The 300 opening-day cast members who still work there will be recognized, and other giveaways, decorations and celebrations are also involved.

Moms panel shuts out applicants

The application period for the Disney World Moms panel has closed well ahead of schedule. Originally announced for September 6 through October 5, Disney had only planned to allow 5,000 applications. Response was so strong that the application cap was increased to 10,000 within the first week, and within the week after, the application period was closed—about three weeks early.

Those going to the application Web site now find the message:

"We have reached our maximum capacity of 10,000 applications. Therefore, our application period has concluded at this time. Your interest in the panel is very important to us. Please come back in January and meet the panelists, ask your questions and learn how to get the most from your vacation! Thanks for visiting!"

Those who visited the site back when we first ran the story did not see any message about a cap on applications, and were caught unaware when the site suddenly shut down. Many who were taking their time in planning their responses have made known their disappointment in being closed out well before the application period ended. While it's understandable that Disney can only process so many applications, as each one must be read and evaluated individually, it's surprising that they would expect that it would take a month to get 5,000 applications. It's also disappointing that they did not note the cap on applications right from the start.

Good luck to those MousePlanet readers that did get their applications in successfully. Let us know if you make it onto the panel!


Main Street, U.S.A. is decorated for the season on a beautiful fall day. Photo by Brian Bennett.

More Epcot dining news

Disney has made more restaurant-related dining announcements for Epcot, though some have already been reported. You can read the full announcement on the Announcements section of our MousePad discussion forums, but here's a quick rundown:

Tutto Italia Ristorante is finally open in the Italy pavilion. The restaurant, which means "everything Italian," features cuisine from different regions of Italy. It features an open kitchen, freshly-made breads and pastries, handmade mozzarella and pasta and an array of Italian wines.

"My inspiration for Tutto Italia was the incredible variety of cuisines that I have enjoyed during my visits to Italy," said Chef Joachim Splichal. "I wanted to distill that experience and create a restaurant with some of my favorite dishes."

Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo are expected to open in the Japan pavilion during the month of October (The reservations system is telling agents that it opens October 14, but no reservations seem to be available for booking before November 1). Teppan Edo is the name of the redesigned teppanyaki rooms, which now feature Wagyu and Kobe beef. Tokyo Dining combines the former tempura bar and sushi lounge into a 140-seat restaurant with a show stage for sushi chefs. Tempura, grilled steaks, and seafood join sushi and sashimi on the menu.

"This is not a renovation, but a complete redevelopment," said Yutaro Iwamura, director of business for Mitsukoshi USA.

Recent changes at the China pavilion include the upgrade of the Lotus Blossom Cafe to add more authentic Chinese cuisine and the addition of a Joy of Tea cart featuring frozen green tea mixtures and alcoholic drinks.

Meanwhile, China's Nine Dragons restaurant closes early next year for a major conversion to include five interactive cooking stations, and is scheduled to reopen next fall.

A new tequila bar opens adjacent to the San Angel Inn Restaurante in the Mexico pavilion, while the pavilion's outdoor Cantina de San Angel expanding next summer with more seating and a new menu.

The Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room in the United Kingdom pavilion is expanding its outdoor seating, with even more seats for its in-demand view of Illuminations.

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!

Cirque prices going up

When La Nouba returns from its week off on October 2, it will feature higher ticket prices. The Cirque du Soleil show at Downtown Disney is raising prices by $1 to $2 plus tax. All prices below include 6.5 percent sales tax:

Category Guest Old Price New Price
Front and Center Adult (Ages 10+) $119.28 $121.41
Child (Ages 3-9) $95.85 $96.92
1 Adult (Ages 10+) $103.31 $105.44
  Child (Ages 3-9) $83.07 $84.14
2 Adult (Ages 10+) $84.14 $86.27
Child (Ages 3-9) $67.10 $69.23
3 Adult (Ages 10+) $67.10 $69.23
  Child (Ages 3-9) $53.25 $55.38

 

Walt Disney World gives $10 million toward new children's hospital building

Walt Disney World and Disney Worldwide Outreach presented a $10 million contribution to Florida Children's Hospital last Wednesday, the largest gift to a hospital ever from the Walt Disney Company (the company gave $5 million to Children's Hospital Los Angeles last year). The hospital is expanding from 155 beds to 200 beds when the new center is completed in 2010.

Florida Children's Hospital, run by Florida Hospital, is adding the Disney name, but the final name of the medical center is yet to be announced. The children's hospital is currently served by nearly 60 pediatric specialists and over 600 employees. The "Children's Hospital of the Future" will have 200 beds; private, family- centered pediatric rooms; a dedicated pediatric Emergency Department; an Advanced Center for Pediatric Surgery; destination pediatric programs including advanced surgery, oncology, neurosurgery, cardiology, transplant services, and full-service pediatrics; and an innovative Health and Obesity platform.

"This contribution is part of our ongoing commitment to making dreams come true for the children of Central Florida," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "Even during uncertain times, children want and need to play, to exercise their imaginations, and to dream. At Disney, we thrive on that kind of imaginative energy, and we hope to bring some of that same spirit to this special place that will provide care for the children of our community."

"This partnership with Disney is blending our two areas of expertise: the healing hands of Florida Children's Hospital and the imagination and creativity of Disney," said Marla Silliman, administrator of Florida Children's Hospital. "By bringing them together, we are creating an environment in which even the sickest children can experience joy and happiness while they are in the hospital."

Florida Children's Hospital is one of what will be three children's hospitals in the Orlando area. The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, run by Orlando Regional Medical Center, is already up and running, while the Nemours Foundation plans to open a children's hospital in nearby Lake Nona.

Disney has also worked with the Arnold Palmer Hospital, which sports a scale model of Cinderella Castle in its lobby. Disney Parks & Resorts Vice President for Operations Al Weiss noted that Disney expects to establish a relationship with Nemours, as well.


Town Square is decorated with bunting in autumn colors. Photo by Brian Bennett.

Yet another cast member arrested for kiddie porn; do you want us to keep reporting these?

Another Walt Disney World cast member was arrested for possessing child pornography over the weekend, it was reported by Orlando local television stations. Apparently, Darren Roberts, who worked at Disney's Animal Kingdom, left his laptop computer in a laundry room at his apartment complex. When it was found and turned into the complex's office, the staff there turned on the computer to try to find out who owned it, and found files of photos of child pornography, as well as a separate photo of Roberts. Somehow, it took from April until this past weekend for police to arrest Roberts, who admitted that the laptop was his.

We've received some email asking us why we keep reporting stories like this, and why the stories sometimes use very descriptive language. Please let us know whether this is something that you'd like for us to continue reporting, or whether you'd rather that we just leave it to the Orlando newspapers and television stations.

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:

  • Installation of Sprint/Nextel distributed antenna systems at Expedition Everest and Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.
  • Replacement of the roof over the main entrance to Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.
  • Replacement of several sections of the handrail at the Toontown Train Station.
  • Rehab work will take place on the ferryboat dock pilings at the Magic Kingdom and Ticket and Transportation Center.
  • Renovation of the existing floating dock structure at the Mexico Friendship dock in Epcot's World Showcase.
  • Installation of guardrails around 9 new sycamore trees which have been planted along the walls near and on both sides of the bridge leading from the France pavilion to the small island on the World Showcase Lagoon.
  • Repairs will take place along the ramp walkway in front of the Canada Pavilion.
  • Imagineering has filed paperwork for the installation of the rigging package at "Siemens Spaceship Earth."
  • Installation of three sprinkler headsat a new canopy on New York Street at the Disney-MGM Studios.
  • Replacement of pool heaters at the Contemporary Resort.
  • Installation of remote condensers on the roof of the High Rock Spring Pool Bar at the Saratoga Springs Resort for the cooler and for new split air conditioning systems.


Scarecrows decorate the plantings in Town Square. Photo by Jeff Kober. For more great photos of this year's holiday decorations, check out Jeff's photo tour from last week.

Quick takes …

…The "National Treasures" exhibit at the American Adventure pavilion opens this Friday, featuring such historic items as one of President Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hats and a tribute to America's melting pot, including memorabilia from African-American baseball great Jackie Robinson, Native-American space explorer John Herrington and Japanese-American World War II hero Sen. Daniel Inouye. Other items on display include one of the microscopes used by George Washington Carver and original inventions of Thomas Edison. The exhibit will be officially dedicated as part of Epcot's 25th anniversary celebration next Monday.

…The new High School Musical 2: School's Out! caravan debuted yesterday, replacing the old High School Musical Pep Rally at the Disney-MGM Studios.

…Reminder: The 12th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival opens this Friday.


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

  • Sep. 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: This week's question was submitted by MousePlanet reader JillAnn. The land of Africa in the Animal Kingdom consists of one village: Harambe. In Swahili, what does Harambe mean? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "How many triangles make up the surface of Spaceship Earth, and what are they made of?", is:

11,324 ALUCOBOND triangles, made of a thermal polyethylene composite core bonded to aluminum – an ALUminum-COmposite BONDed material.

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 is expected to be completed by late September.
  • Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki – closed for refurbishment and renaming. While it is said to be reopening as Teppan Edo on October 14, no reservations are available until November 1.
  • Tempura Kiku and Matsunoma Lounge – are being reconfigured into a new dining experience to be called Tokyo Dining, to open fall 2007.
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante – is now open, but will close in the spring of 2008 to be completely remodeled, and will reopen in fall 2008 under yet another new name.
  • The American Adventure Pavilion – the American Heritage Gallery is closed through September 27 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 in early 2008 for renovations that include the creation of an exhibition kitchen. It is expected to reopen in fall 2008.

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 will be 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 will be 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) will be closed in September for a full refurbishment. 1900 Park Fare restaurant is closed for refurbishment through October 1.
  • 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 2008

  • 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.