If you're looking for a way to celebrate Halloween at Walt Disney World at a lower cost or earlier hour than Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, or if you've watched the event sell out without getting a ticket, you and your small-fry can head to Downtown Disney on October 30 and 31. On those two nights, the shopping and dining location will host a free Happy Haunting event from 5-9 p.m.
Candy will be distributed to costumed kids at World of Disney, Team Mickey, Mickey's Pantry, Disney's Pin Traders, Once Upon a Toy, Disney's Days of Christmas, World of Memories, Pooh Corner, Mickey's Groove, DisneyQuest Emporium and the West Side Pin Cart until supplies run out.
There will also be storytelling, a magician and a comedian in the Marketplace. From 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the "pumpkin patch" near Earl of Sandwich, the comedian performs on the half-hour while the magician performs on the hour. The storyteller will entertain near World of Disney at the same times as the comedian is on.
A DJ will play music at the Fountain stage during the event, and there will even be stilt walkers costumed as very tall skeletons. If you're looking for an alternative Halloween celebration at Walt Disney World, this should fit the bill.
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!
On Saturday morning, an armed man hijacked a Mears bus and forced the bus driver to take him to Downtown Disney. The driver was making several stops on her route and the bus was on the Central Florida Greeneway (S.R. 417) at around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. when the man exited the restroom aboard the bus and pulled the gun on her.
The driver said that she did not see when the man got on the bus, but that he appeared upset.
She dropped the man off at Downtown Disney's West Side, then called 911. Disney security and deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Office searched the area, temporarily halting bus service and water transport, for the man without success. The search, which included K-9 patrols and a Sheriff's Office helicopter, was called off at around noon Saturday, but the Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate. Downtown Disney was operating as normal shortly after the search concluded.
The hijacker was described as a black male with a moustache in his late 20s weighing 150-160 pounds, wearing black jeans, a black sweatshirt, and a black baseball cap. No surveillance video or photos are being released at this time.
Former Walt Disney World Executive Vice President of Operations Lee Cockerell has written a book entitled "Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney" that was released on October 14. You can check out the book review, as well as an interview with Cockerell on the MouseStation podcast, here on the MousePlanet Web site.
We'll be giving five copies of the book away to MouseStation listeners and five copies to Walt Disney World Park Update readers. To enter the contest for Park Update readers, send an email to Mark Goldhaber with a subject line of "Creating Magic" and give us your ideas on how we can create more magic on the MousePlanet Web site. Entries must be received by October 27, and the winners will be announced in the November 3 Park Update. Books will be awarded randomly to five email entries. You can send us as many suggestions as you'd like, though we'll only count one entry per person
If you're planning a holiday visit to Florida but the fake snow on Main Street, U.S.A. doesn't give you enough of that "winter" experience, you might want to visit the Gaylord Palms Resort, a MousePlanet sponsor, where ICE will feature more than 18,000 total square feet of space filled with—what else—ICE! The attraction will be filled with decorations carved from 5,000 blocks (or more than 2 million pounds) of ice by Chinese artisans.
The Gaylord Palms is running a special promotion where you can get a room plus two admissions to ICE for just $139. That gets you MousePlanet's special discount deal on your room, plus an additional discount on the ICE admissions. You can only get that "Just Chillin' ICE" discount by clicking here! If you don't want to see ICE and just want the regular MousePlanet discount rate, you can still get that by clicking here.
Remember, though, that ICE only runs for 49 days this year, from November 17, 2008 – January 4, 2009.
Renderings depict the audition process, the queue area and the main stage at The American Idol Experience, which is scheduled to open in January. All images © Disney.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (link). Please note that there is a 5 MB limit on total attachments in a single email.
Due to preparation time constraints, we've fallen behind in listing construction information. This week we're catching up in bulk, so here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last few weeks:
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:
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.
…Walt Disney World's new dining reservations system appears to have been delayed again, as they've released just another few weeks of dining for advance bookings. You can now make Advance Dining Reservations through March 22. The next set of dates will reportedly be released on December 21. Thanks to Marisa G. from MousePlanet sponsor MouseEarVacations for posting the info to our MousePad discussion forums.
…Construction paperwork shows that the Coronado Springs Resort's rooms in all buildings are being refurbished, while queen/queen rooms in buildings 1, 2, 4, 9A and 9B are being converted to king bed rooms, perhaps due to the demands of those attending conferences at the resort. Business Lounges and Hospitality Suites are also getting upgrades.
…MousePad moderator Drince88 had the chance to play the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure yesterday. You can read all about here experience, including some spoilers, on our MousePad discussion forums. The game is still in test-and-adjust/sneak preview mode, but if you're heading to Walt Disney World, you just might have a chance to play it!
A Mission Pass distribution center for the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure features designs reminiscent of the animated television show. Photo by Cathy Sowa.
The Mission Pass distribution center is in Innoventions near a Kidcot Fun Stop, which is also themed to Kim Possible (left). Photo by Cathy Sowa.
MousePlanet reader Mary poses with one of the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure mission dispatch cast members in their new costume after completing her mission. Photo by Cathy Sowa.
…High School Musical 3: Right Here! Right Now! opened October 24, replacing High School Musical 2: School's Out, which closed on September 13. The show (which still utilizes the caravan stage used for the first two High School Musical shows) features 14 performers, who perform six original songs from the new movie High School Musical 3: Senior Year.
…For more of that frontier experience, the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground has added a new archery range, which is open on select afternoons. An archery guide offers training and tips to resort guests and non-guests, who will get 90 minutes of training and shooting (including equipment) for $25 plus tax. You can book this experience ahead by calling 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529).
…Blizzard Beach returned from its annual refurbishment yesterday, while Typhoon Lagoon closed down for major refurbishment. The work, which includes repairs required on the wave generation machine, will have the park closed through March 21, 2009.
…MousePlanet has recently joined the Facebook nation. We're just getting started, but you can join the MousePlanet and MouseStation Podcast groups, or become a fan of MousePlanet or the MouseStation. If there's something that you'd like to see us do on Facebook, let us know!
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 the room-only rates below! You can only get them by clicking here. Rates that include two admissions to ICE (a $40 value) are just $30 more! You can get the special Just Chillin' ICE deals by clicking here.
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.
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!
Walt Disney World Annual Passholder discounts on rooms and dining plans are now available. 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):
Disney Visa cardholders have access to a special deal—free dining for stays most nights from September 28 – October 11, November 9–22 and December 14–20. A limited number of packages have been allocated, so you'll need to book quickly. Call 407-939-7635 or your travel agent and ask for offer QXZ.
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.
(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.