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Update for January 11 – January 17, 2009

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

News and Views

Space Mountain refurb | AED installation | Hanes T-shirt store | Mission: Space lawsuit settled | Armed Forces Salute | Construction update | Quick Takes …

Space Mountain: Go for Refurb

The long-rumored refurbishment of Space Mountain is a go. The iconic Magic Kingdom attraction closes on April 19 (right after the Easter break crowds leave) and officially returns "late 2009," though we've heard a target date of November 22—just in time for the Thanksgiving crowds. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority (WEDway PeopleMover, for you old-timers) will be closing the same day, and will be out of action until mid-August.


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The two attractions will be out of commission for the entire busy summer season, which will cut down on the total theoretical hourly ride capacity of the Magic Kingdom's attractions. However, unlike the closure of the people-eating Spaceship Earth at Epcot in 2007, the lower crowds due to the recession will decrease the impact of that reduction in capacity.

While Disney's first-ever indoor roller-coaster will reportedly see its entire track replaced, the track layout will remain the same. The ride's queue will reportedly get a new queue area and a new treatment on the inside of its concrete ceiling.

This is the latest in the series of makeovers to Walt Disney World's signature attractions, following similar work on Pirates of the Caribbean, "it's a small world," the Haunted Mansion and Spaceship Earth. This work is not expected to be as extensive or take as long as the two-year refurbishment of Disneyland's Space Mountain. Unless a sound system is added—increasing the weight of the cars—the support piers for the track should not need replacement. In addition, with the back side of the show building being outside the berm, construction crews should be able to have unhindered access to work on the attraction without interfering with onstage appearances or backstage traffic.

We'll have more on the refurbishment as it progresses.


A wall blocks off a large space in the middle of Tomorrowland for construction of a stage for Stitch's SuperSonic Celebration. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Serious work is underway on the stage for Stitch's SuperSonic Celebration, which will feature a live video version of Stitch interacting with guests and a high-energy dance troupe. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Defibrillators to be installed throughout theme parks

Walt Disney World is installing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the theme parks, located near some of its most popular attractions (see the construction permits section of this Update), in order to provide additional support in case of guest heart attacks. With the amount of time elapsed from the heart attack to use of a defibrillator being critical, Disney is making them more accessible in more locations, just in case. With the AEDs becoming easier to use—even without training—perhaps it has become less of a liability concern for Disney. Locations include the following:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • Splash Mountain
    • Big Thunder Mountain
    • Haunted Mansion
    • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Mickey's PhilharMagic
    • Stitch's Great Escape
    • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
    • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
  • Epcot
    • Test Track
    • Mission: Space
    • Soarin'
    • Journey Into Your Imagination With Figment
    • Honey I Shrunk the Audience
    • Gran Fiesta Tour
    • Walt Disney Imagineering Main Building (backstage)
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • Tower of Terror
    • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
    • Star Tours
    • Studio Backlot Tour
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • Dinosaur
    • Kali River Rapids
    • Expedition Everest
    • It's Tough to Be a Bug

The AEDs will be installed largely at or near the unload areas of the attractions.


Some pavement work is going on near the restrooms adjacent to Mickey's Star Traders. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Two Celebrations at Walt Disney World

by Jeff Kober, staff writer

Two celebrations occurred this week during the 2009 What Will You Celebrate campaign. Friday was the ribbon-cutting, character-greeting, confetti-popping, cake-eating celebration of the new custom T-shirt design and printing store at Walt Disney World, sponsored by Hanes. It's located across from Disney's Days of Christmas, in a shop that was for a short time known as Disney's Wonderful World of Memories. The shop is bright and friendly, with computer gadgets and tubes running about—not too unlike Goofy's Candy Co. nearby. I mention the location of this store because it's the first one you'll step off of if you use buses going to that end of Downtown Disney. If you're interested in creating your own shirt, you'll want to stop there first, as you will likely wait an hour or so before you can pick up your purchase. That will give you time to shop elsewhere.


The Hanes Design-A-Tee store awaits its grand opening ceremony. Photo by Jeff Kober.


Mickey Mouse presides over the opening of the store. Photo by Jeff Kober.

It really is about custom designing T-shirts. Not golf shirts, button shirts, or anything else. The shirts come in long sleeve and short sleeve, and a variety of colors, depending on the size desired. You can purchase a shirt up to 5X, but you may only have one color option. There were many different Disney characters to choose from for your shirt. And I liked the fact that depending on the shirt size, the size of the character, text, and so on. increased or decreased. My only disappointment was that there were really no park logo shirts, either celebrating parks like Disney's Animal Kingdom or Epcot. Nor could you choose shirts that celebrate Mission: Space of Tower of Terror. Still, there was a large selection of character logos. With that, you could have up to three lines of text, one above and two below. You could choose logo phrases such as "Happy Birthday" or "Walt Disney World". You could also write your own words onto the shirt. That's what makes the combinations potentially infinite. It's left to your imagination.


The store's opening was celebrated with a T-shirt shaped cake. Photo by Jeff Kober.

Once you make your selection, a receipt is printed out and you take it to the register. After making your purchase, you are given a token in the shape of a mini T-shirt to insert into a computer on the wall. Press Start, and a vacuum-like tube similar to the kind you see at the bank sends a T-shirt flying across the room and eventually into a wall.


The interior of the store is another contraption-filled showplace. Photo by Jeff Kober.

The final result comes with a clothing bag in your choice of colors. It makes for a unique presentation when giving the shirt to others. My purchase came to around $30. I'd consider that rather high for shirts and logos that really looked like you could have gotten them from Wal-Mart. But if you are looking for a unique purchase, celebrate a special occasion or create a group T-shirt so that you are all recognized as one group, then this is the place to head to. It is added to a list of places at Downtown Disney where you can have something uniquely tailored to your needs (not too unlike the arts and crafts days of the original Walt Disney World Village). Adjacent to this location, you can customize your own Mickey ears, while across, you can have holiday ornaments tailored to your interests. At Goofy's, select a caramel apple created your way. At Rawlings Making the Gear you can have customized sports gear. At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, you can choose the princess of your dreams and have your own makeover. And at T-Rex Cafe you can build a dino. It's all a part of what has become a more interactive form of shopping.


The interactive kiosks let you design your own shirt, step by step. Photo by Jeff Kober.


After placing your miniature T-shirt into the slot, push the button for the pneumatic tube to carry it into the back to be "stretched, dyed and printed". Photo by Jeff Kober.

Most importantly, I like wearing my custom T-shirt. Which brings me to my second celebration: I wore the T-shirt the next day in a photo with Mickey and my son. While I have many, many photos with Mickey, this was the first time my son had ever wanted to come close to a Disney character. In his autism, he has struggled with larger-than-life Disney characters. At age 6 he finally had his first encounter, and I'm sharing a photo for all. As they say at Disney this year, it's part of what I will celebrate this year!


Jeff's son has his first magical encounter with a Disney character. Photo courtesy of Jeff Kober.

Disney at ETC finally settle lawsuit over Mission: Space

Walt Disney World Co. and Environmental Tectonics Corporation (ETC) have finally come to a settlement related to the dispute over the Mission: Space attraction. ETC first filed suit against Disney in 2003 (link). Disney filed for dismissal of the suit a little over a year ago (link). Details of the settlement are confidential; however, in a statement, Peter E. Steinman, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Walt Disney Imagineering, stated that "Disney very much appreciates the role that ETC played in the design and development of Mission: Space. The centrifuge technology expertise and experience that ETC brought to the project was very important." In return, William F. Mitchell, Sr., President and CEO of ETC, stated, "We are pleased that we have resolved our differences with Disney on an amicable basis. ETC was proud to work on Disney's spectacular Mission: Space attraction."


Work continues on the conversion of the Frontierland Fry Wagon to the Golden Oak Outpost. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Disney Parks announce "Disney's Armed Forces Salute" for 2009

Disney's Armed Forces Salute offers active or retired members of the U.S. military free, multi-day admission at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, plus the opportunity to purchase additonal friends and family tickets at a substantial discount. The offers differ by Resort, with the Walt Disney World offer valid through December 23, 2009:

At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida:

Through Dec. 23, 2009, each active or retired member of the U.S. military may obtain one complimentary 5-day "Disney's Armed Forces Salute" ticket with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options. This ticket is valid for five days of admission into the four Walt Disney World theme parks, plus a total of five visits to a choice of a Disney water park, DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park or certain other attractions. During this offer period, active or retired U.S. military personnel may also make a one-time purchase of up to a maximum of five 5-Day "Disney's Armed Forces Salute Companion" tickets (one theme park per day) for $99 per ticket, plus tax, for family members (including spouse) or friends. Although this ticket for family members and friends does not include either the Park Hopper or Water Park Fun & More options, this ticket can be upgraded to add either such option, or both, for an additional $25, plus tax, per option. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by Dec. 23, 2009.

Walt Disney World Resort hotels are also offering special room rates (up to 40 percent off) for active or retired military personnel. The number of rooms available at these special rates is limited.

For information regarding "Disney's Armed Forces Salute" at the Walt Disney World Resort, or to make reservations, military personnel may call the ITT office on their base or go to a special page on the Walt Disney World Web site (link).

Full details of the offer, including eligibility guidelines and other restrictions, are posted on in a blog post from last week by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix (link).


Although Woody's Cowboy Camp may be gone, there is still a Frontierland Hoedown show. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

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).

Gaylord Palms announces discounts through May!

While the Gaylord Palms always offers discounts of at least 15 percent off of normal rates to MousePlanet readers (link)—which is lower than you can get by calling the hotel directly, the main Gaylord Palms Web site, Expedia, Orbitz or any other channel—they've got an even lower discount running through May 31. On 83 selected nights, the resort has rooms at a low rate of $189 per night. This offer is available on the following nights:

  • January 7-16, 25
  • February 2-13, 21-22, 25-28
  • March 10-17, 21-29,
  • April 1-8, 12-15, 17-19, 23-28
  • May 1-3, 10-11, 15-16, 21-27


Splash Mountain is closed for refurbishment through Sunday. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Workers touch up the fading Briar Patch at Splash Mountain, with the dry flume in the background. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Construction update

Here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:

  • Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Stitch, Monsters Inc, Buzz Lightyear – Install new AEDs and phone lines.
  • Epcot's Test Track, Mission Space, Soarin', Imagination, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, Gran Fiesta Tour and WDI Main Building – Install new AED and phone lines.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios' Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Star Tours, Studio Backlot Tour – Install new AED and phone lines.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom's Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, it's tough to be a bug – Install new AED and phone lines.
  • Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain – Provide conduit and wire for new intrusion detection system located at drops 1 and 3.
  • Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain – Replace carborundum decking; remove and replace 4x4 post and netting.
  • Magic Kingdom's Frontierland – Golden Oak Outpost sign install package.
  • Magic Kingdom's Mickey's PhilharMagic – Replace carpet in PhilharMagic Theater.
  • Magic Kingdom's Mickey's PhilharMagic – Remove existing deck, install metal stud framing. Install new deck, includes electrical.
  • Magic Kingdom's Pinocchio Village Haus – Install ice machine head.
  • Magic Kingdom's Pecos Bill – Install ice machine head and bin.
  • Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland Magical Celebrations Control Booth – Building a new stage at Tomorrowland, includes all electrical and plumbing.
  • Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland – Install Emergency Generator and components.
  • Epcot's Innoventions West – T. Rowe Price exhibit showset package.
  • Epcot's West Restrooms near Spaceship Earth – Renovation of interior mens and womens guest restrooms.
  • Epcot's Fountain of Nations – Refurbish the fountain in Epcot's Innoventions.
  • Epcot's Japan pavilion – Repair and recoat existing flat roofs.
  • Epcot – Japan pavilion – Refurbish the Pagoda building.
  • Epcot – China pavilion – Refurbish the column bases at the China gates.
  • Epcot – Electric Umbrella – Rehab entire kitchen with new wall, equipment, modular service centers, includes all electrical and plumbing.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios – Catastrophe Canyon – Replace blowdown separator and repair piping.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios – Sunset Shops – Replace existing chandeliers in Shop 8 and replace with new; retest emergency lights in Shop 8.
  • Typhoon Lagoon's Kiddie Slide – Install new FRP slide where current foam slide is installed.
  • Downtown Disney's Cirque du Soleil – Add Verizon antenna to an existing building. Add equipment to service antenna.
  • Coronado Springs Resort's Casitas Building 5 – Add Verizon antenna to an existing building. Add equipment to service antenna.
  • Beach Club Resort's Cupola – Add Verizon antenna to an existing building. Add equipment to service antenna.
  • Yacht & Beach Club Resorts' Stormalong Bay Pool – Resurface interior pool finish. Install accessible handrails and chair-life anchors.
  • Grand Floridian Resort's Beach Pool – Install accessible handrails and chair-lift anchors.
  • Caribbean Beach Resort's Martinique Pool – Resurface interior pool finish. Install accessible handrails and chair-lift anchors.
  • Contemporary Resort's Bay Pool – Remove section of existing metal railing and install new concrete slab, includes electrical.
  • Old Key West Resort's Boat Dock – Repair safety stop for the boat launch.
  • Wilderness Lodge's Lobby – Modify existing log themed ceiling mechanical access doors for this installation of a hinged system with gas spring closer.
  • Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground's – Construct the expansion of 600 Loop.
  • Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground's – Visual display complex – Build-out and set-up eighteen modular trailer units.

Quick takes …

…Passholder and Disney Vacation Club Member previews for The American Idol Experience will take place on February 5-8. Check the Passholder and DVC web sites for more information and to reserve your spot. The attraction is expected to begin sneak preview performances this month. A gala press event will be held on February 12, and the grand opening will take place on February 14. Walt Disney World's Public Relations department has provided a video of Idol winner David Cook talking about the attraction.

…Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members will get the chance to have an exclusive preview of the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure January 23-25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with missions beginning every 15 minutes. Mission teams will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis from the location on east side of the bridge from Future World to World Showcase. Missions launch from the "Team Possible field stations" every 15 minutes, with missions taking 30-45 minutes. You must present your Annual Pass, your DVC member card or your Key to the World card displaying a DVC Member designation. The interactive attraction officially launches to the public on January 28.

…In what has become his personal race, Brazilian Adriano Bastos won his sixth Walt Disney World Marathon—his fifth straight—in 2 hours, 20 minutes and 38 seconds, about seven minutes ahead of second place finisher Aaron Church of Virginia. Bastos led from start to finish in beating his time from last year by 20 seconds. The women's title was won by Lisa Mizutani of Japan, who also led wire-to-wire in finishing in 2:46:27, well ahead of second place finisher (and last year's champion) Melanie Peters of Florida. The Half Marathon men's and women's champions were David Jankowski of Michigan and Elizabeth Chelagat of New Mexico, respectively. Registration for the 2010 Marathon weekend begins today (link).

…If you're in the Orlando area today and want to see a bunch folks from the Adventurers Club and Comedy Warehouse perform together for a good cause, head on down to the Orlando Repertory Theater for "The Number 2 Revue" (link). The variety show will benefit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Billy Flanagan and Sheila Smith Ward play host, while Karl Anthony, Andrea Canny, John Cannon, John DeHaas, Anne Hering, Laura Hodos, Julie Ohrberg, Kyle Mattingly, Krista Miller, Marissa Montigney, Meghan Moroney, Layden Sadecky, Justin Sargent, Stacy Schwartz, Amanda Wansa, Terry Ward, Cory Warren and Jenn Warren are all scheduled to appear. You can also check out the event via Facebook (link).

…The Walt Disney Company and the government of Shanghai, China have submitted paperwork to the central Chinese government requesting approval of a join theme park project in the Pudong area of Shanghai. The initial phase would include a theme park, a hotel and a shopping and dining area, and would be operational by 2013 or 2014.

…The Disney Dreams Come True Parade at the Magic Kingdom will reportedly be going on hiatus after January 22 for retooling to go with the Celebrations theme for 2009. No return date is known at this time.

…Disney's Online Check-In service is scheduled to begin operation this month. Through the service, you'll be able to log in and complete your resort check-in (including adding credit cards for room charges, making room requests and listing special occasions) up to 10 day in advance of your arrival. When you get to your resort, your entire welcome packet will already be assembled and waiting for you at a special welcome location. If you're traveling to Walt Disney World and are able to try out this service, please let us know what you think of it!

…Travel + Leisure Magazine ranked four Disney resorts on its annual list of the 500 best hotels in the world. Three Walt Disney World Resort hotels – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (scoring 83.10), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (79.95) and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (79.31) – and one Disneyland Resort hotel – Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (80.60) – were selected. For more information on the rankings, read the Travel + Leisure article (link).

…As promised at last month's Disney Vacation Club Condominium Association Meeting, the DVC has already announced the date for the 2009 meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, December 9 this year, a shift from the Tuesday date of the last two years. The location of the meeting will be somewhere at Walt Disney World, but has not been announced yet. That information will become available later this year.

…It seems pretty certain that Mickey's Pirate & Princess Party has been cancelled, as it has not appeared on the new Walt Disney World Web site and the Princess Half Marathon has announced that the original plan for discounted tickets to the party that weekend has been scrubbed in favor of an exclusive Princess Half Marathon Happily Ever After Party at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

…The 2009 Walt Disney World Moms Panel (link) officially launched last week, featuring 15 moms and a dad.

…Architect Peter H. Dominick, Jr. died last Thursday from an apparent heart attack at age 67. Dominick designed the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World and Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland.

…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!


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

  • Jan. 23-25. Passholder and DVC previews of Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure.
  • Jan. 28. Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure launches.
  • Feb. 5-8. Passholder and DVC previews of American Idol Experience.
  • Feb. 12. American Idol Experience press event.
  • Feb. 14. American Idol Experience grand opening.
  • Feb. 27-Mar. 1. ESPN The Weekend.
  • Feb. 28. ESPN The Weekend 5K.
  • Feb. 15-Mar. 30. Atlanta Braves Training Camp.
  • Mar. 6-8. Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend
  • Mar. 18-May 31. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

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.
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure – closed for refurbishment January 5 – March 22.
  • 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.
  • Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure – has been delayed. It continues testing and will open in "early 2009."

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Studio Backlot Tour – closed for refurbishment January 4 – February 28.
  • American Film Institute Showcase – closed for refurbishment January 4 – February 28.
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid – closed for refurbishment January 27– 29.
  • The American Idol Experience – under construction in the soundstage that formerly hosted Superstar Television and Doug Live! Scheduled to soft-open in January 2009, with the official press event scheduled for February 12 and the grand opening scheduled for February 14..

Animal Kingdom

  • No currently scheduled refurbishments.

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 – Closed for its annual refurbishment October 26 through March 21. Major work is required on the wave generation machine.

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs Tuesdays – Saturdays.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Walt Disney World Buy 4, Get 3 Free deal!

From now until January 24, if you book a four-night, four-day non-discounted Magic Your Way package, you'll get three additional nights (including tickets) for free.

The offer is good for stays on most nights February 2-April 4 and April 19-June 27, 2009.

As a bonus, if you travel between January 4 and March 29, you'll get a $200 Disney Gift Card that you can use to pay some of the costs during your stay. It's also valid at Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Store and disneyshopping.com.

Packages start at net prices of $46 per person per day for a family of four in a standard room at a Value Resort from January 4-February 12 (total package price $1,271). For February 13-April 4, the package price is $1,466 for a per day, per person cost of $53 at a Value resort. Those prices are based on families of two adults, one junior and one child.

Packages for other resorts and lengths of stay are also available.

Here's Disney's rundown on pricing and savings:

Disney Value Resorts Disney Moderate Resorts Select Disney Deluxe Resorts Select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts
$1,271 ($316 savings)
Jan. 4-Feb. 12, 2009
$1,571 ($541 savings)
Jan. 4-Jan. 12, 2009
Jan. 19-Feb. 12, 2009
$1,981 ($848 savings)
Jan. 4-Feb. 12, 2009
$2,228 ($1,034 savings)
Jan.12-Feb. 9, 2009
$1,466 ($484 savings)
Feb. 13-April 4, 2009
$1,778 ($718 savings)
Feb. 13-April 4, 2009
$2,498 ($1,281 savings)
Feb. 13-April 4, 2009
$2,611 ($1,320 savings)
Feb. 16- April 4, 2009
$1,375 ($416 savings)
April 19-May 21, 2009
$1,666 ($634 savings)
April 19-May 21, 2009
$2,206 ($1,017 savings)
April 19-May 21, 2009
$2,363 ($1,135 savings)
April 19- May 21, 2009
$1,421 ($450 savings)
May 22 –June 27, 2009
$1,733 ($685 savings)
May 22-June 27, 2009
$2,206 ($1,017 savings)
May 22-May 25, 2009
June 2-June 27, 2009
$2,363 ($1,135 savings)
May 22 –June 27, 2009

Prices are based on two adults, one junior (ages 10 to 17) and one child (ages 3 to 9) in a standard room at a Value Resort, Moderate Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Deluxe Resort) or a studio at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (Deluxe Villa Resort). Savings are based on the non-discounted price of a 7-night/7-day Magic Your Way package. The discount code for this offer is IUZ.

To book these packages, go to the Walt Disney World Web site (link), call 407-939-7928 or contact one of MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers, Small World Vacations (link) and MouseEarVacations.com (link). Just remember to book by December 20!

Walt Disney World room-only deal for everyone!

From now until January 4, everyone can book a deep-discounted rate for reservations most Sunday through Thursday nights through April 2. Lowest rates are through mid-February, with discounted but not quite as low rates from then through early April.

Room rates start at prices of $49 per night for a standard room at a Value Resort from January 4-February 12. For February 16-April 4, the Value Resort rate is $74 per day. Rates at other resorts are also available.

Here's Disney's rundown on pricing:

Disney Value Resorts Disney Moderate Resorts Select Disney Deluxe Resorts Select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts
$49
Jan. 4-Feb. 12, 2009

$94
Jan. 4-Jan. 15, 2009
Jan. 19-Feb. 12, 2009

$154
Jan. 4-Jan. 15, 2009
Jan. 19-Jan. 31, 2009
Feb. 7-Feb. 12, 2009

$189
Jan.4-Jan. 15, 2009
Jan.19-Feb. 12, 2009

$74
Feb. 16-April 2, 2009
$124
Feb. 16-April 2, 2009
$229
Feb. 16-April 2, 2009
$244
Feb. 16- April 2, 2009

Prices do not include tax and are based on a standard room at a Value Resort, Moderate Resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (Deluxe Resort) or a studio at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa or Disney's Old Key West Resort (Deluxe Villa Resort). The discount code for this offer is OZ.

To book these packages, go to the Walt Disney World Web site (link), call 407-939-7545 or contact one of MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers, Small World Vacations (link) and MouseEarVacations.com (link). Just remember to book by December 20!

 

Disney Cruise Line offers "Kids Free" deal

Disney Cruise Line now offering a "Kids Free" promotion. The deal offers free passage (plus government taxes and fees) for children ages 12 and under on three-night voyages when traveling with two full-fare paying passengers in the same cabin. The offer is valid on most sailings from January 22 through May 28 in a variety of stateroom cabins.

To book your "Kids Free" cruise, visit the Disney Cruise Line Web site (link), call 888-325-2500, or contact one of MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers, MouseEarVacations.com (link) or Small World Vacations (link) and make sure to use booking code "FREE." For more information on other discounted cruises from MouseEarVacations.com, check out their list of cruise discounts for MousePlanet readers here on the MousePlanet site.

Gaylord Palms announces discounts through May!

While the Gaylord Palms always offers discounts of at least 15 percent off of normal rates to MousePlanet readers (link) – which is lower than you can get by calling the hotel directly, the main Gaylord Palms Web site, Expedia, Orbitz or any other channel – they've got an even lower discount running through May 31. On 83 selected nights, the resort has rooms at a low rate of $189 per night. This offer is available on the following nights:

  • January 7–16, 25
  • February 2-13, 21-22, 25-28
  • March 10-17, 21-29,
  • April 1-8, 12-15, 17-19, 23-28
  • May 1-3, 10-11, 15-16, 21-27

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!

Passholder rates for early 2009 released

Passholder rates for January 1 – February 12, 2009 have been released, with value resorts starting at just $49 per night, moderate resorts starting at $89 per night. Select deluxe resorts (Wilderness and Animal Kingdom Lodges) starting at $144 per night and studio accommodations at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa starting at $179 per night. The rates at value and deluxe resorts are valid January 2–15 and January 19 – February 12. Moderate resorts are available January 4–17 and January 21 – February 12. Saratoga Springs is available January 1 – February 12.

The number of rooms available is limited and minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. Reservations may be booked through the Passholder web site or by using code DYS if booking via the Passholder phone line (407-939-7722) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

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. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).


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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.