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Update for October 22 – October 28, 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

New Year's Eve lineup | Get the good news from Mickey, again | DVC extension update | Child molestation case finally closed | Construction update | Quick Takes …

New Year's Eve lineup announced

Once again, Walt Disney World is throwing multiple parties all over property to celebrate the New Year. Some are included in regular admission, while some are hard-ticketed, higher-priced affairs.


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Three of the four theme parks will be open to ring in the New Year, all included in standard park admission. The final night of existence of the Disney-MGM Studios (before becoming "Disney's Hollywood Studios") will see the park open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. with three performances of Fantasmic (6:30, 8:30 and 10:00 p.m.) and the Osborne Lights, plus "a special showering of fireworks at midnight." Whether that's the Lights! Camera! Happy New Year! fireworks shown last year or something smaller is unknown at this point.

Hours at the Magic Kingdom will be slightly longer, with the park opening at 8 a.m. and staying open until 1 a.m. There will be two showings of SpectroMagic at 7:00 and 10:30 p.m. In addition, Hoiday Wishes will be seen at 8:30 p.m. and the New Year's edition of Fantasy in the Sky will once again appear at 11:50 p.m.

Epcot will also be open from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., and will feature live music around the park and two showings of Illuminations. The first showing will be at 7:30 p.m., while the special New Year's extravaganza will run at 11:40 p.m. (Hint: watch from the vicinity of the Germany and Italy pavilions to see the New Year's finale of Illuminations and Fantasy in the Sky at the same time!)

While Disney's Animal Kingdom won't be open until midnight (we don't want any fireworks freaking out the animals now, do we?), the park will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for those who want a longer day at the park before celebrating quietly back in the room (or putting the kids to bed early). The Jingle Jungle Parade will run at 3:45 p.m.

Of course, it's not just the theme parks that celebrate the New Year. Cirque du Soleil will host two special presentations of La Nouba on New Year's Eve, at 6 and 9 p.m. The show will feature a special souvenir program, a "champagne toast celebration," glow sticks and a gift. Tickets are $67-$139 plus tax, depending on location.

While now a couple of years removed from its legendary party with big-name headline acts, Pleasure Island is still holding a six-hour party from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. including live music, dancing in the streets, a dinner buffet, hats and noisemakers, fireworks, midnight champagne toast and fireworks. The party, which will include all seven clubs on the island, will run you $99 plus tax per person. Annual Passholders can get up to two tickets for $89 each plus tax.

While not included in the official press release, it appears that Atlantic Dance at the Boardwalk Resort will also be holding its annual New Year's Eve bash, as well. With a $20 cover charge and first-come, first-served admission, it might be a good option for those who don't want to brave the theme parks and don't want to pay the cost for Pleasure Island. There will be "dueling Video DJ's" playing music videos and tunes from the last 30 years, plus a champagne toast at midnight. You must be 21 years old to enter. If you want to stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom until closing, then dance your way into the New Year, this might be a great choice for you, as the doors open at 9 p.m.


Innoventions has yet another new logo. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


Even the construction signs are getting into the 25th anniversary spirit.. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


…and yes, we'll have to wait until November 14 before we find out what. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Get the good news from Mickey, again

Once again, Walt Disney World will be holding a promotion to let you have Mickey himself give your family the good news that they're going to Walt Disney World with a phone call on Christmas Day. If you book a Walt Disney World vacation between November 23 and December 23, you can sign up to have the Mouse deliver the news.

It's expected that you can once again choose from a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays greeting. If the details from last year repeat, you'll also need to provide your birthdate and a phone number to call on December 25, as well as your reservation number, to schedule the call. The call will be made between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Magic Your Way vacation packages start as low as $58 per person per day for a family of four in a standard room at a value resort. To book your trip, visit disneyworld.com/gift or call 407/W-DISNEY between November 23 and December 23. (The web address is not yet active, so don't try to jump the gun.)

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!

DVC extension update

Three weeks ago, we reported about the official terms of the Disney Vacation Club lease extension at the Old Key West Resort and wondered about the remaining unanswered questions. We've finally received official answers to the questions from DVC, though we're not sure how valuable the answers will be to you. Let's take a look:

Q: Can those who elect not to extend their ownership interest change their mind and repurchase their extra 15 years from DVD later on?
A:
"Members are being give the option to add on to their membership or not at this time. We do not have plans at this time to extend the offer again. However, we reserved the right to do so."

Q: If they don't extend, what will that do to the resale value of the points?
A:
"We cannot speculate on the resale value of points."

We followed up by asking:
Q: [W]hile DVC can't speculate on what might happen to resale values, you should be able to speculate on the dollar level at which you'd exercise your right of first refusal, which does have an impact on resale values. Can you project what impact extending vs. not extending might have on the point at which you'd use ROFR to buy the ownership interest back?
A:
"We really can't speculate on resale value or the dollar level."

Q: Why is Old Key West the only one receiving this offer? "This is our flagship resort and this offer was in celebration of our 15th anniversary." What about the rest of the 2042-class resorts (Hilton Head, Vero Beach, BoardWalk, Beach Club and Wilderness Lodge)?
A:
"Disney's Old Key West Resort is the only property where this offer is being extended at this time."

Q: Why are [you] forcing this decision on DVC members (who have about five months to make up their minds, complete their financing and pay in full) 35 years in advance?
A:
"It is a Member's choice to add on or elect not to do so. Members are able to finance the extension amount through Disney Vacation Development the same terms we offer for financing of new purchases."

So basically what they're saying is that they're not saying. What's most likely going on here is that this is a trial balloon to gauge interest and response from DVC members. If there is a huge amount of interest, you can probably bet that the other 2042-class resorts will follow. If it falls flat, this will be a one-shot-only deal. Disney will likely watch the resale market to see what happens to the going rate for ownership interests both with the 15-year extension and without before determining what they're going to do with ROFR trigger points. The ability to repurchase the extra 15 years later if not done now will probably be another decision based on market values.

So if you're waiting for Disney to blink first, it's not going to happen. Make your decision based on your best guess as to whether you think that the extension will be good for you. As for me, I'm going to hold off on my decision for now. I'll be at the DVC Condominium Association annual meeting on December 4, and maybe I'll have a little better idea of what I'm going to do after that.


The Disney Vacation Club area is closed for a major refurbishment at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The Harambe School is an interactive learning adventure in Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


Diverse lessons are taught at the Harambe School. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Child molestation case finally comes to a close

The Walt Disney World child molestation saga that went public nearly three years ago has finally gotten its last conviction, as Matthew Mancuso pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted sexual battery on a child under 12. We first reported in February 2005 about the release of some photos of a resort where the molestation had taken place in 2001 by Toronto police, which were promptly identified by citizens as having been taken at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.

Three months later, the Orange County Sheriff's Office got involved, releasing a photo of another girl who was not involved in the molestation but was believed to be a witness. It only took three weeks to identify the victim and the molester – Matthew Mancuso, the girl's adoptive father – who had already been convicted in 2004 for molestation.

At the time, the Orange County Sheriff's Office stated that they didn't want to see Mancuso out of prison again, but would not press charges as long as Pennsylvania could guarantee his incarceration in order to avoid dragging the victim through another trial. Apparently, however, since the Pennsylvania case was currently under appeal, the case was brought to the Orange County Circuit Court, with Mancuso facing eight counts of capital sexual battery and life in prison.

Just before the trial was to begin, however, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charges. The conviction will still carry a 14-year sentence. The prosecuting attorney for the state noted that the plea deal was struck to avoid forcing the girl, now 15, to testify again. The Florida term will be served after Mancuso finishes serving a 15-and-a-half year Federal sentence and the 35-year Pennsylvania sentence that is under appeal.

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 in the last week:

  • Permits for construction of the new 40,286-square-foot table service restaurant at the Contemporary Resort, reportedly to be called The Wave, have been filed. The new space will include dining area, lounge and administrative areas.
  • The south side of City Hall in the Magic Kingdom will be touched up.
  • New light fixtures will be installed on the Astro Orbiter.
  • The rear-projection screen at the American Adventure will be replaced, reportedly in January.
  • Toy Story Mania work continues, as Walt Disney Imagineering has submitted a permit applicatin for installation of "Graphics Package I" for Soundstages 2 & 3 at the Disney-MGM Studios (soon to be Disney's Hollywood Studios).
  • Rockwork at Typhoon Lagoon's Shark Reef and storm slides will be removed and rebuilt and several water fountains will be modified.


The new High School Musical 2: School's Out enters by driving up Hollywood Boulevard from the park's entrance, then drives back. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The Backlot Stage will reportedly be the home to some of the concerts during next fall's Nights of Joy. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


It's uncertain whether they'll just open up the theater or if they'll rework it first. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Quick takes …

…An alert for those nut-allergic folks out there who may have purchased cookies at Walt Disney World in the last month: Dairy State Foods of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has recalled packages of Minnie's Bake Shop Chocolate Chunk Cookies that were sold at the resort. Apparently, the cookies contain macadamia nuts. The cookies were available between September 18 and October 2. The packages have been pulled from the shelves. However, if you think that you have bought these cookies, look for UPC number 400136148117. Please call 1-800-435-4499 for more information.

…The replacement for Dr. Beth Stevens as vice president of Disney's Animal Kingdom is Val Bunting. The 31-year Walt Disney World veteran was formerly general manager of the Magic Kingdom and part of the opening team of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Jackie Ogden, a 10-year cast member, has been promoted from operations leader for Animal Kingdom to vice president in charge of animal programs and environmental initiatives for all of Walt Disney World. Stevens was recently promoted to Senior Vice President Environmental Affairs for Disney Worldwide Services, Inc.

…Universal Studios vice president Scott Trowbridge, the man behind The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure park, among others, has been lured away by Walt Disney Imagineering to be vice president for creative research and development, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Trowbridge's departure comes at a critical time for Universal, as they gear up to create The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at IoA for a late 2009 opening.

…In last week's Park Update, we wondered what Columbia Harbour House was doing with pizza ovens when they don't serve pizza there. We subsequently received information that the pizzas were for sale at the Liberty Square Market, with further information that Mickey waffles are now available at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments.

…The Segway X2 tour of Fort Wilderness that we reported on back in July has now been made permanent. The "Wilderness Back Trail Adventure" is offered twice a day on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for $85. Cost is $85. Guests must be 16 years or older to participate and reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687).

…The first cut has been made on the Disney World Moms panel. Those not selected have received e-mail thanking them for their interest, providing a couple of links for "virtual stationery" and inviting them to return to the Disney World Moms site when it officially launches in January.

…The remaining copies of the Thomas Kinkade painting of Cinderella Castle entitled "A New Day at the Cinderella Castle" are available offered as a giclee on canvas and a giclee on paper at both Art of Disney locations, in Epcot and at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

…Added to the lineup for Super Soap Weekend after we went to press last week was Sherri Shepherd of The View, where the backstage goings-on sometimes resemble a soap opera itself.

…The Jaguar water slide at Coronado Springs will be closed for refurbishment from November 26 – December 14. The Dig Site feature pool and all quiet pools will remain open during the refurbishment.


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. 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 Brian Seed. The counterpart of what Audio-Animatronics character located in Epcot became famous in Europe for wearing coonskin caps? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "What land in the Magic Kingdom does not have direct bathroom access? Why?", which was submitted by MousePlanet reader Nick Murphy, is:

Liberty Square, because in Colonial America there would not have been bathrooms.

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.
  • Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki – has reopened as Teppan Edo.
  • Tempura Kiku and Matsunoma Lounge – have been reconfigured into a new dining experience called Tokyo Dining.
  • 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 as such, perhaps forever and perhaps just until Thanksgiving weekend. In the meantime, the central area is being used 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 full-service restaurant opens November 15, 2007.
  • Yak & Yeti Market – the new 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 – 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.
  • Coronado Springs Resort – Jaguar water slide closed for refurbishment from November 26 – December 14. The Dig Site feature pool and all quiet pools will remain open during the refurbishment.
  • 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 late 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. Will hold special performances on New Year's Eve.
  • 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 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 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.