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Update for October 6 – October 12, 2008

Go directly to: News & Views | Coming Soon | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Discounts/Promotions | Park Events

News and Views

New Disney Cruise Line itineraries | Food & Wine notes | Super Soap says goodbye | Race for the Taste | John Curry dies | Quick Takes …

Mickey says "Da" to Russia as Disney Cruise Line announces new itineraries

The Disney Cruise Line announced its special itineraries for 2010 in New York City yesterday. There will be new summer itineraries for both the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder in their last year before they are joined by the first of the two new ships that Disney has under construction.


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The Disney Magic will spend five months, from April 10 to October 2, 2010, away from its home port in Florida, with 14-night Trans-Atlantic cruises bookending three different European itineraries. The Westbound repositioning cruise, from April 10-24, will stop at Castaway Cay; Madeira, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain and Gibraltar, U.K. en route to Barcelona, Spain. From there, the Magic will embark on two pairs of 11- and 10-night Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona, each of which will stop at Valletta, Malta; Tunis, Tunisia; Naples, Italy (Pompeii); Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome); La Spezia, Italy (Florence, Pisa); Ajaccio, Corsica and Villefranche, France (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice), with the 11-night cruise having an extra day at sea.

After the four cruises in six weeks, the Magic will head north on a repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Dover, England with a 7-night cruise making stops in Gibraltar, U.K.; Cadiz, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal. From Dover, the Magic will then begin a series of four 12-night Northern European Capitals cruises with stops in Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemünde, Germany (Berlin); St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland (or Tallinn, Estonia) and Stockholm, Sweden. Helsinki and Talinn will alternate, with each being visited on two of the four cruises.

"The Northern European Capitals itinerary provides our guests with an amazing collection of destinations to explore," said Disney Cruise Line President Tom McAlpin. "We're excited to bring the rich history, culture and folklore these ports offer to life for our guests in a family-friendly way only Disney Cruise Line can deliver."

After the Magic is done plying the northern waters, it will reposition back from Dover to Barcelona, this time stopping in Cherbourg, France; Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain and Gibraltar, U.K. Once back in Barcelona, it will sail two more pairs of the 11- and 10-night Mediterranean cruises before heading back to Port Canaveral, with stops at Gibraltar, U.K.; Madeira, Portugal; St. Maarten; Tortola and Castaway Cay. Complete itineraries and dates are listed below.

"The response from guests who sailed on our Mediterranean voyages in 2007 was overwhelmingly positive," said McAlpin. "We're thrilled to bring the ship back and look to make the 2010 season in the Mediterranean even better, with new destinations and more one-of-a-kind Disney experiences for our guests."

The Disney Wonder isn't being neglected with all of this itinerary-changing, though. From May 30 to August 22, the Wonder will be going from its usual alternation of 3- and 4-night cruises to a series of 5-4-5 night cruises. The first 5-night itinerary will include two stops at Castaway Cay in addition to a stop in Nassau and a day at sea. The four-night itinerary will remain unchanged with stops at Castaway Cay and Nassau and one day at sea. The second five-night itinerary will feature stops at Castaway Cay, Nassau and Key West in addition to its day at sea.

Bookings for these cruises all open next Tuesday, October 14.

While the remainder of the cruise schedule was not released, it can be assumed that it will be the standard series of 7-night Caribbean cruises for the Magic and alternating 3- and 4-night Caribbean cruises for the Wonder. Some quick math and calendar-checking shows that this would result in 126 combined sailings from Port Canaveral, 16 percent below Disney's contractual guarantee of 150 sailings in the agreement just signed with the port back in March. It is uncertain at this time what penalties Disney might have to pay to Port Canaveral for this shortage or how those penalties might manifest themselves into the cruise fares that passengers might pay for Caribbean cruises in 2010.

Disney Magic 14-night Eastbound Trans-Atlantic Repositioning Cruise, departing April 10, 2010
Starting From $999 per person

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Saturday

Port Canaveral

 

4:00 p.m.

Sunday

Castaway Cay

8:30 a.m.

4:15 p.m.

Monday

At Sea

 

 

Tuesday

At Sea

 

 

Wednesday

At Sea

 

 

Thursday

At Sea

 

 

Friday

At Sea

 

 

Saturday

At Sea

 

 

Sunday

Madeira, Portugal

10:30 a.m.

7:15 p.m.

Monday

At Sea

 

 

Tuesday

Cadiz, Spain

8:30 a.m.

10:30 p.m.

Wednesday

Gibraltar, U.K.

7:30 a.m.

6:30 p.m.

Thursday

At Sea

 

 

Friday

Barcelona, Spain

7:00 a.m.

Overnight

Saturday

Barcelona, Spain

8:00 a.m.

 

Disney Magic 11-night Mediterranean Cruise, departing April 24, May 15, August 7 and August 28, 2010
Starting from $2,799 per person

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Saturday

Barcelona, Spain

 

9:30 p.m.

Sunday

At Sea

 

 

Monday

Valletta, Malta

8:45 a.m.

5:30 p.m.

Tuesday

Tunis, Tunisia

8:45 a.m.

4:00 p.m.

Wednesday

Naples, Italy (Pompeii)

9:00 a.m.

9:00 p.m.

Thursday

Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome)

7:45 a.m.

9:00 p.m.

Friday

At Sea

 

 

Saturday

La Spezia, Italy (Florence, Pisa)

7:30 a.m.

7:00 p.m.

Sunday

Ajaccio, Corsica

7:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Monday

Villefranche, France (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice)

8:00 a.m.

7:00 p.m.

Tuesday

At Sea

 

 

Wednesday

Barcelona, Spain

6:45 a.m.

 

 

Disney Magic 10-night Mediterranean Cruise, departing May 5, May 26, August 18 and September 8, 2010
Starting from $2,799 per person

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Wednesday

Barcelona, Spain

 

9:30 p.m.

Thursday

At Sea

 

 

Friday

Valletta, Malta

8:45 a.m.

5:30 p.m.

Saturday

Tunis, Tunisia

8:45 a.m.

4:00 p.m.

Sunday

Naples, Italy (Pompeii)

9:00 a.m.

9:00 p.m.

Monday

Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome)

7:45 a.m.

9:00 p.m.

Tuesday

La Spezia, Italy (Florence, Pisa)

7:30 a.m.

7:00 p.m.

Wednesday

Ajaccio, Corsica

7:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Thursday

Villefranche, France (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice)

8:00 a.m.

7:00 p.m.

Friday

At Sea

 

 

Saturday

Barcelona, Spain

6:45 a.m.

 

 

Disney Magic 7-night Northbound Repositioning Cruise, departing June 5, 2010
Starting From $1,819 per person

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Saturday

Barcelona, Spain

 

5:00 p.m.

Sunday

At Sea

 

 

Monday

Gibraltar, U.K.

7:30 a.m.

6:30 p.m.

Tuesday

Cadiz, Spain

8:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Wednesday

Lisbon, Portugal

8:00 a.m.

6:00 p.m.

Thursday

At Sea

 

 

Friday

At Sea

 

 

Saturday

Dover, England

8:00 a.m.

 

 

Disney Magic 12-night Northern European Capitals Cruise, departing June 12, June 24, July 6 and July 18, 2010
Starting from $3,649 per person

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Day 1

Dover, England

 

5:00 p.m.

Day 2

At Sea

 

 

Day 3

Oslo, Norway

8:30 a.m.

4:30 p.m.

Day 4

Copenhagen, Denmark

9:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Day 5

Warnemünde, Germany (Berlin)

8:00 a.m.

8:30 p.m.

Day 6

At Sea

 

 

Day 7

St. Petersburg, Russia

11:30 a.m.

Overnight

Day 8

St. Petersburg, Russia

 

10:30 p.m.

Day 9 (June 12, July 6 sailings)

Helsinki, Finland

9:45 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Day 9 June 24, July 18 sailings) Tallinn, Estonia 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.

Day 10

Stockholm, Sweden

7:30 a.m.

4:30 p.m.

Day 11

At Sea

 

 

Day 12

At Sea

 

 

Day 13

Dover, England

8:00 a.m.

 

 

Disney Magic 7-night Northbound Repositioning Cruise, departing July 30, 2010
Starting From $2,139 per person

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Friday

Dover, England

 

5:00 p.m.

Saturday

Cherbourg, France

7:30 a.m.

5:30 p.m.

Sunday

At Sea

 

 

Monday

Vigo, Spain

8:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Tuesday

Lisbon, Portugal

8:00 a.m.

5:30 p.m.

Wednesday

Cadiz, Spain

9:30 a.m.

5:30 p.m.

Thursday

Gibraltar, U.K.

8:30 a.m.

6:00 p.m.

Friday

At Sea

 

 

Saturday

Barcelona, Spain

6:45 a.m.

 

 

Disney Magic 14-night Westbound Repositioning Cruise, departing September 18, 2010

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Saturday

Barcelona, Spain

 

9:30 p.m.

Sunday

At Sea

 

 

Monday

Gibraltar, U.K.

7:30 a.m.

6:00 p.m.

Tuesday

At Sea

 

 

Wednesday

Madeira, Portugal

8:45 a.m.

9:00 p.m.

Thursday

At Sea

 

 

Friday

At Sea

 

 

Saturday

At Sea

 

 

Sunday

At Sea

 

 

Monday

At Sea

 

 

Tuesday

St. Maarten

7:30 a.m.

6:00 p.m.

Wednesday

Tortola

7:30 a.m.

4:00 p.m.

Thursday

At Sea

 

 

Friday

Castaway Cay

11:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Saturday

Port Canaveral

7:35 a.m.

 

 

Disney Wonder 5-night Caribbean Cruise itinerary A, departing May 30, June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, and August 8, 2010
Starting at $899 per person

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Sunday

Port Canaveral

 

4:00 p.m.

Monday

Castaway Cay

8:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Tuesday

Nassau

9:30 a.m.

7:00 p.m.

Wednesday

At Sea

 

 

Thursday

Castaway Cay

8:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Friday

Port Canaveral

7:35 a.m.

 

 

Disney Wonder 5-night Caribbean Cruise itinerary B, departing May 30, June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, and August 8, 2010
Starting at $899 per person

Day Port Ashore Onboard

Tuesday

Port Canaveral

 

4:00 p.m.

Wednesday

Key West

12:00 p.m.

7:30 p.m.

Thursday

At Sea

 

 

Friday

Nassau

9:30 a.m.

7:00 p.m.

Saturday

Castaway Cay

8:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m.

Sunday

Port Canaveral

7:35 a.m.  

Food & Wine Festival notes

Cashiers at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival are so conditioned to accept Disney Dining Plan snack credits that they are now automatically trying to charge portions to snack credits, even if the guest is not on the dining plan. If you don't have the dining plan or you're trying to eat the snack off-plan, make sure to tell the cast member that you're using a room charge before they start ringing it up. Then double-check your receipt because the cast members still sometimes proceed with a dining plan charge.

In addition, new Disney Gift Card wristbands themed to this year's Food & Wine Festival are available for purchase or addition of funds at eight locations around Epcot, including the Festival Welcome Center at the Wonders of Life pavilion. The wristbands can be set up with initial amounds of $5 to $1,000. The design of the cards will be changing for next year, making this year's cards collectibles.

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!

Super Soap Weekend decides 13 is enough

Super Soap Weekend will be held for the 13th and last time November 15-16 at Disney's Hollywood Studios. In this case, the ending of the event was not instigated by Walt Disney World, as the event directly correlates with traffic into the theme park. The event will not return next year because ABC's Daytime Division has decided to move to a nationwide platform. The 2009 Soap Nation Tour will be a collection of nationwide events that will take place year-round in "more cities, more often."

The final incarnation of the event at Disney's Hollywood Studios will feature over 30 stars from three soap operas. Representing All My Children will be Rebecca Budig, Bobbie Eakes, Melissa Claire Egan, Ricky Paull Goldin, Thorsten Kaye, Alicia Minshew, Eden Riegel, Aiden Turner, and Darnell Williams.

One Life to Live stars include Kristen Alderson, Brandon Buddy, Kassie DePaiva, Michael Easton, Farah Fath, Susan Haskell, John-Paul Lavoisier, Erika Slezak, Jason Tam, Brittany Underwood, and Bree Williamson. General Hospital will be represented by Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash, Julie Berman, Tyler Christopher, Jason Cook, Rebecca Herbst, Cameron Mathison, Kelly Monaco, Kirsten Storms, Jason Thompson and Laura Wright. The participation of All My Children's Susan Lucci will depend on her schedule with Dancing with the Stars.

Special events at the weekend include celebrations of the 45th anniversary of General Hospital, the 40th anniversary of One Life to Live and the 10,000th episode of All My Children. There will also be celebrity motorcades, autograph sessions, game shows, interviews and special merchandise sales.

Race for the Taste hits new record

Registration for Sunday's Race for the Taste 10K has closed, but it's uncertain whether or not the race will sell out. Over 3,200 runners had entered by last Friday, but the capacity for the event is 4,000. Still, the event set a new record for entrants.

With a ceremonial toast and fireworks display at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, runners will start a 6.2 mile course that will take them through the site of the Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show, past the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and around Epcot's World Showcase before finishing—as always—in the Epcot parking lot. Runners and ticketed friends and family members will then have the chance to sample some of the international cuisine from the Food & Wine Festival. Runners will also receive a chef's hat-shaped finishers' medal. There are also kids' races as part of the event.

Participants and spectators are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the event for donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Disney's World Loses a Pioneer

David Koenig first reported this on his blog a week ago, but it didn't make it into last week's Park Update:

Sad news. I've just learned that John Curry, the man personally hired by Walt Disney to build his first hotels (in Mineral King and at Disney World) passed away last night of a massive brain hemorrhage.

John's family owned the famed Curry Village in Yosemite, one inspiration for Mineral King. Joining Disney in August 1966 as administrator of hotel planning (the company's first ever hotel employee), his task was to plan, get built, hire for, open and eventually operate Disney's hotels.

His background in hospitality management, however, did not sit well with Dick Nunis and other theme park-trained execs, who forced Curry out in May 1972.

Within a year, he was helping to develop an entire new resort destination—South Carolina's Hilton Head Island.

John was a kind, generous, wonderful person, and meeting and speaking with him and his wife Valerie were among the high points of the 10 years I spent researching and writing my latest book, "Realityland." I will forever regret that I never had the opportunity to take them up on their offer of getting together with them on their turf, Hilton Head. He will be missed.

Help us keep our menu listings up to date!

Did you know that MousePlanet now has menu listings (link) for all theme park restaurants at Walt Disney World and many resort restaurants? You can help us keep them up to date! Send your photos, scans or other copies of restaurant menus (no fair copying from other Web sites) to menus@mouseplanet.com (link). Please note that there is a 5 MB limit on total attachments in a single email.

 

Join MousePlanet at MouseFest!

MousePlanet is hosting or co-hosting a number of events at MouseFest 2008, and we'd love to see you there! Here's a list of what we've got planned so far:

MouseFest 101 – Thursday, December 11. Mark Goldhaber will again co-host MouseFest 101 on Thursday, December 11, with Mike Scopa of AllEarsNet at a time and location yet to be announced.

Mega Mouse Meet –Saturday, December 13. MousePlanet will again host a table at the Mega Mouse Meet at the Yacht Club Resort Convention Center on Saturday, December 13, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (we'll also be there during the Extra MouseFest Hour from 10:00-11:00 a.m.).

Epcot's Never Lands Tour – Saturday, December 13. David Koenig will host Epcot's Never Lands, a walking tour of the World Showcase that never was, from 3:00-4:00 p.m.

MousseFest 2008 – Saturday, December 13. MousssseFest 2008 will be held on Saturday, December 13, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. at Boulangerie Patisserie.

Mini-MouseAdventure – Sunday, December 14. The fourth annual Mini-MouseAdventure will be held from 10:00 a.m.-noon in the Magic Kingdom.

Hustle-tini Meet – Sunday, December 14. The second annual MouseStation Podcast Hustle-tini Meet will be held at the Pop Century Resort from around 5:45-6:45 p.m.

For more information on these meets, check out MousePlanet's MouseFest page!

For those who are not yet aware, the Mega Mouse Meet this year is moving to the convention center at Disney's Yacht Club Resort, and in conjunction with that there is a special rate of $243 per night plus tax at Disney's Yacht Club Resort (which also includes free MouseFest registration for all reservations of two nights or more). Payment in full for these rooms is due by October 31. See the MouseFest Web site (link) for more details.

Quick takes …

…The Nine Dragons restaurant at Epcot's China pavilion did open early, at the end of September, as was rumored.

…Last week, we erroneously reported that the Pixie Hollow meet-and-greet location for the Disney Fairies was open. In fact, not only is it not open, it appears that it may not even be ready in time for its scheduled October 28 opening.

…The 16th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be princess-themed. The main topiary will feature a "Cinderellabration" theme, featuring four Disney princesses. Cinderella and Prince Charming, Snow White and the seven dwarfs, Belle and the Beast and Ariel will all be represented in plant life in the main planter inside the main entranceway.

…The Atlanta Braves will return to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex again next year for Spring Training.


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. 30, Oct. 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
  • Sept.26–Nov. 9. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • Oct. 5. Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K.
  • Oct. 12. Race for the Taste 10K.
  • Oct. 25. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K.

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

Epcot

  • Tutto Italia Ristorante – is now open, but will close at a date to be determined to be completely remodeled.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – has again closed as such, and most likely will only be used as a Festival Center until a new sponsor is found.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • High School Musical 2: School's Out – ended September 13, and will be replaced with new show themed to High School Musical 3: Senior Year, opening in time for the new movie's October 24 opening.
  • American Idol – under construction in the soundstage that formerly hosted Superstar Television and Doug Live!. Scheduled to open January 2009.

Animal Kingdom

  • Primeval Whirl – closed for refurbishment September 2 – November 15.

Resorts

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – Phase 1 of the Kidani Village annex building for the Disney Vacation Club's Animal Kingdom Villas is expected to open in May 2009, with Phase 2 opening in September 2009. Jambo House construction is complete.
  • Yacht and Beach Club Resorts – Stormalong Bay pool area under refurbishment January 5 – late March. The pool will remain open, but sections will close one at a time for work. The three quiet pools will remain open during that time, and the Luna Park pool at the BoardWalk Resort, with its Keister Coaster water slide, will also be available during the work on the Flying Jib slide.
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort – Construction continues. The resort opens fall 2009.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – Surfing classes and events are not available until after the park comes back from its winter maintenance due to work required on the wave generation machine. The wave pool will continue to operate, but the monster waves necessary for surfing are out of commission. The park closes for its annual refurbishment October 26 through March 21.
  • Blizzard Beach – closes for annual refurbishment September 28 – October 25.

Elsewhere

  • Portobello Yacht Club – closed for refurbishment on September 27 and will reopen on October 12 as simply Portobello, as it shifts to its new Trattoria theme.
  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs Tuesdays – Saturdays.
  • T-Rex – opens in Downtown Disney October 14.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Gaylord Palms offers deep discounts through December

MousePlanet sponsor Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa is offering MousePlanet readers an even deeper discount than our usual 15 percent off of "regular" rates (which are already a deeper discount that you'd get by calling the hotel directly, by calling a travel agent, or by using Expedia, Orbitz or any other channel).

Check out these rates!

September:

  • $99 (9/4 – 9/16, 9/19 – 9/23 and 9/26 – 9/30)

October

  • $99 (10/1 – 10/3)
  • $139 (10/8 – 10/11, 10/17 – 10/20, 10/29 – 10/31)
  • $119 (10/25)

November

  • $139 (11/1 – 11/5, 11/12 – 11/15)
  • $109 (11/20 – 11/30)

December

  • $109 (12/1, 12/14 – 12/15)

Discounted ECV rentals for MousePlanet readers through Scooter Vacations

Scooter Vacations, MousePlanet's mobility scooter rental partner, is offering MousePlanet readers a 10 percent discount on their scooter rentals by using code MP10 when making your reservation for any of their five scooter models.

Orlando Fun Tickets offering 5 days for the price of 3

For a limited time, MousePlanet discount ticket partner Orlando Fun Tickets is currently offering a free upgrade to a 5-day Park Hopper pass when you purchase a 3-day Park Hopper. Check out the special offer or any of the other great prices on tickets at OrlandoFunTickets.com!

 

Fall passholder discounts

Walt Disney World Annual Passholder discounts on rooms and dining plans are now available. The discounts are valid for travel dates between September 28 and December 23.

Passholders should use the following Booking Codes when making your reservation (standard passholder discount rules apply):

  • PWE – Passholder rate room only
  • DHZ – Passholder rate with Dining Plan
  • JZJ – Passholder rate with Deluxe Dining Plan Rates

Disney Cruise Line half-price deposits for online reservations, for a limited time

The Disney Cruise Line has announced a special deal where any bookings through the Disney Cruise web site (link) will only require payment of half of the usual deposit, with the other half due with the rest of the final payment. The offer is only good on new bookings, and for category 4-12 cabins only. The offer is available to those booking online or through their travel agents (though the travel agent would have to book the cruise through disneycruise.com for the offer). Bookings are also eligible for the standard $25 onboard credit offer for all online bookings. The deal is available "for a limited time," but there's no word on when the limited time expires.

For upcoming park events, 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.