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Update for October 8 – October 14, 2007

Go directly to: News & Views | Coming Soon | Trivia of the Week | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Park Events | Discounts/Promotions | Park Hours/Events/Entertainment Schedule

Note from the Editor: I just got back from a long weekend of research at Walt Disney World. I'm exhausted, so I'm going to try to keep this week's Update short and link you to stories elsewhere; however, I am going to throw in a heck of a lot of photos in this week's Update, and I've got even more to throw in next week.

News and Views

Second Year of a Million Dreams | Hawaiian Resort | Stevens gets promoted | DCL on-board check-ins | DCL port battle | Here we go again | Getting the band back together | Quick Takes …

Second Year of a Million Dreams announced

For those who missed it, we provided extensive coverage of the announcement of the second Year of a Million Dreams in last week's the Disneyland Park Update.


Disney's new resort in Hawaii continues its westward expansion, building on the trend started by the new annex at the Grand Californian Hotel. Image &copy Disney.

Disney to open new resort in Hawaii

Disney has announced its plans to build an 800-room resort on the Hawaiian island of O`ahu. The resort will be split between Disney Vacation Club villas and standard hotel accommodations.


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We'll have more on this story next week, but MousePlanet reader Dave Welty writes some interesting speculation that the Disney Cruise Line could become involved with that resort, as well, for a site called DVC News.

Stevens gets promotion

Disney's Animal Kingdom Vice President Dr. Beth Stevens has been promoted to Senior Vice President Environmental Affairs, Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. There is no word yet on her replacement at the park.


Work progresses on the construction of the Kidani Village annex for the Animal Kingdom Villas. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


Workers work on the Kidani Village annex. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

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!

Disney Cruise Line begins on-board check-in service

The two ships of the Disney Cruise Line have announced that this fall they will begin an on-board airline check-in service similar to that in effect at Walt Disney World Resort hotels


Tower cranes rise above the "not-a-DVC" site adjacent to the Contemporary Resort. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The locations for footings to support a walkway from the new resort building to the main Contemporary Resort are seen in this photo. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


Heavy equipment works on the new "not-a-DVC-property" adjacent to the Contemporary Resort. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Cruise Line being wooed by many ports

The Disney Cruise Line is adding two more ships in the next five years, and many ports are looking to land those ships for themselves. Read about it in the Orlando Sentinel.


Work on preparing for the construction of Toy Story Mania continues apace. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


Installation of the Osborne Lights is underway in anticipation of the opening of the lighting spectacular in November. Photo by Mark Goldhaber


The Jedi stage has now opened, and hosts the Jedi Traiing Academy several times per day. The stage is themed like the entry to the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The temporary stage for the Playhouse Disney concert series sits behind the entrance area of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Here we go again

Another Disney cast member has been arrested for allegedly trying to arrange to have sex with an underage girl via the Internet. Check the story in the Orlando Sentinel for details.

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.


Stephen Twining, of Twinings of London, chats with tea fans and autographs tea canisters and other things for guests. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The Original Family Stone performs some of their classic hits during the Eat to the Beat concert series. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Voices of Liberty to have reunion concert

The Liberty Voices, a group that performs at Epcot as the Voices of Liberty, have announced a special reunion concert celebrating the group's 25 years. Everyone who has ever performed with the group is invited to join the mass sing at Faithworld on October 26. It promises to be a heck of a show. If you're gonig to be in the area, please go check it out.


The American Adventure has an impressive display of model work at the Epcot 25 tribute area in Innoventions West. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


Spaceship Earth has a prominent display location as you walk into the room. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


Those looking at the Horizons tribute who spot something interesting about that photo at the bottom are correct. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


MousePlanet contributing writer George McGinnis works with Tom Fitzgerald in this photo by Disney. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Quick takes …

…You can watch some videos of Epcot's 25th anniversary rededication ceremony at YouTube here.

…The new O Canada film had its official opening on Friday morning.


While most of the limited retro-Epcot gear sold out last week, there are still a few items left. Photos by Mark Goldhaber.


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

  • Oct. 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.]
  • Oct. 27. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K and 6.5K.
  • Nov. 1–4. Disney Golf Classic.
  • Nov. 9–11. Festival of the Masters.
  • Nov. 10–11. ABC Super Soap Weekend.
  • Nov. 11-15. Pirates of Castaway Cay pin cruise.
  • Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
  • Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade.
  • Nov. 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
  • Nov. 22, 23, 25. Old Spice Classic.
  • Nov. 23 – Dec. 30. Holidays Around the World.
  • Nov. 12 – Jan. 6, 2008. Festival of the Seasons.
  • 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 Jeff Peterson. The attraction Soarin' opened in Epcot's The Land pavilion in Future World in 2005. What World Showcase pavilion has featured a "sorin" since the day Epcot opened on October 1, 1982? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "In October 1982, when the French and British pavilions officially opened at EPCOT Center, the representatives of those countries arrived in Orlando (on October 18, to be precise) in notable fashion. How?", which was submitted by MousePlanet reader Lloyd Lawrence, is:

Both arrived on Concordes originating in their home countries that landed simultaneously (side by side) at Orlando International Jetport. (Independent verification here, though this person was apparently unaware of the Disney connection.)

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 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

  • 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 15, 2007.
  • Tusker House – closed August 20 – November 17 for conversion to a buffet restaurant with a character breakfast. The restaurant is now taking reservations.
  • 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.
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – Construction of the Kidani Village annex building for the Disney Vacation Club's Animal Kingdom 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.
  • T-Rex Cafe – reportedly opens in Downtown Disney in early 2008.

Water Parks

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

Elsewhere

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

Park Events

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 Caf!. 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 Caf restaurant, Giraffe Tavern sports bar, Marketessen deli-style caf and Sips Pool Bar are ready to serve you.

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

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!

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.