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Update for March 16 – March 22, 2009

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

News and Views

Spring discounts | Seeing double? | D23 | New Gaylord discount | CSR goals | Construction update | Quick Takes …

Spring discount offers released

Walt Disney World has announced a new set of special room-only rates for travel between April 12 (Easter Sunday) and June 6. There are two sets of rates, one for all guests and one for Annual Passholders.


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Discount nights at value resorts start at $86 (for Easter night) or $68 (for all Sunday – Thursday nights starting April 19, except for the night of April 26. Moderate resorts start at $129 (Easter night) and $104 (all Sunday – Thursday nights starting April 19). Select deluxe resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge) start at $229 (every night of Easter week) and $179 (every night starting April 19). Studio rooms at deluxe villa resorts (Old Key West or Saratoga Springs) cost $244 (all Easter week), $209 (Sunday – Thursday, starting April 19) or $169 (Friday – Saturday, starting April 24).

There are a limited number of rooms at these rates. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals where applicable. You must book these rates no later than April 18, and they are good for stays through the night of June 6. Rates at other resorts may not be discounted. The discount code for this offer is RYD.

To book these rates, go to the Walt Disney World Web site (link), call 407-939-7603 or contact either MouseEarVacations.com (link) or Small World Vacations (link), MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers. Just remember to book by April 18!

Meanwhile, for Passholders, rates slightly lower are available starting April 19. Value resorts start at $64 (instead of $68), moderates start at $94 (instead of $104), deluxes start at $164 (instead of $179) and deluxe villas start at $199 for Sunday – Thursday (vs. $209) and $154 for Friday – Saturday) (vs. $169). In addition, Fort Wilderness Cabins are $189 per night most Sunday – Thursday nights and Premium Campsites are $83 per night most Sunday – Thursday nights. These rates can be booked until the day of arrival, and the discount code for this offer is EDB.

To book the Passholder resort rates, go to the Passholder Web site (link), call 407-939-7812 (resorts) or 407-939-7665 (Fort Wilderness), or contact either MouseEarVacations.com (link) or Small World Vacations (link), MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers.


Topiaries depicting the presentation of Simba from The Lion King greets guests arriving in World Showcase Plaza, in celebration of the movie's 15th anniversary. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Scar and Zazu look upon the scene from nearby. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Two giraffes, Timon and Pumbaa are also nearby. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Seeing double?

At last week's annual shareholder meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the names of the two new Disney Cruise Line ships that have just begun construction at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Paperburg, Germany. The Disney Dream is expected to set sail in 2011, followed by the Disney Fantasy in 2012. Both will call Port Canaveral home port through at least 2014.

"The names are very telling of our brand and are part of our history," said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations. "Disney is known for making dreams come true, and for creating worlds of fantasy that go beyond the imagination. The names are a natural choice for our ships."

There's an interesting twist, though. Not only does Carnival Cruise Line have ships named Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Dream, but the Dream (launching this September) will be home-ported out of Port Canaveral beginning this December, giving Canaveral two ships named Dream sailing out of the port at the same time (the Fantasy sails out of New Orleans). The two Dreams will actually be similar in size as well, as the Disney ship weighs in at 128,000 tons and the Carnival ship is slightly larger at 130,000 tons.

The interesting confluence continues, as the Carnival Dream's sister ship, setting sail in 2011, will be named the Carnival Magic, leading one to ponder: Will the next Carnival ship be called the Wonder?


A Mickey Mouse-shaped topiary presents the Let's Get Moving garden. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Exercise equipment sits within the Let's Get Moving garden. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


A Donald Duck topiary shows off its skateboard. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

D23 is here. Now what is it?

As reported in yesterday's Disneyland Resort Update:

After months of speculation, Disney made D23 official at the annual shareholders meeting last Tuesday in Oakland, California. D23 is essentially a revamped, expanded (and significantly pricier) version of the Disney Club, and offers member-exclusive merchandise as well as somewhat discounted access to events and merchandise available to the general public. Financial commentary Web site Motley Fool had a critical take on D23 (link) and MousePlanet's Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix gives a complete rundown of the program, pricing, benefits and everything else in her MousePlanet blog. Some highlights:

Members-only benefits

  • One-year subscription to D23 magazine – non-members can purchase individual issues)
  • Membership card and certificate designed by Disney artist Dave Pacheco – for an additional $89.99, Disney will sell you a commemorative frame in which to display your certificate.
  • Surprise collectible gift – this may be the thing that makes the club worth joining for some Disney fans, but it remains to be seen what the gift really is.
  • Exclusive special events and merchandise – great for Disney collectors, but may not appeal to fans who don't need another $800 porcelain sculpture.
  • Subscription to bi-weekly D23 FanFare e-newsletter – members can opt out of this newsletter, but will need to remember to visit the official Web site to stay up to date with coming events.

D23 offerings that anyone can enjoy

  • Access to Disney.com/D23 – described as "Breaking news, insider info, and exclusive feature stories from every part of Disney, as well as rare classic articles and other treasures from the Walt Disney Archives". The site also includes regular items like vintage daily comics, D Society and This Day in Disney. None of the content on this Web site is off-limits to non-members.
  • D23 magazine – anyone can purchase the current issue through DisneyShopping.com, or your local book and magazine retailer.
  • Access to the D23 Expo – members receive discounted admission, but anyone can attend.

D23 Expo – the official description:

"It's the ultimate Disney fan experience, taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California (across the street from Disneyland), September 10-13, 2009. This four-day can't-miss event will feature incredible speakers, celebrity appearances, breathtaking exhibitions, sneak peeks, film screenings, one-of-a-kind merchandise, and so much more! There will be something for children of all ages, fans, the whole family, and friends."


The parterre near Minnie's Magnificent Butterfly Garden is watered in preparation for the opening of the Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Enchanted characters from Beauty and the Beast are on display along the bridge from Future World to World Showcase. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Vending booths are lined up, waiting for the start of the Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Gaylord Palms debuts new exclusive rate specials

While the special $119-per-night offer expired last Tuesday, MousePlanet partner Gaylord Palms Resort has followed it up with another great offer, this time valid for stays through the end of the year! For approximately 5 nights out of every 7 for the rest of the year, you can stay at the Gaylord Palms at the special MousePlanet reader discount rate (Reserve now!) of $129 per night. Even better, you can book these rates right up until the day you arrive! This new rate is even lower than Disney moderate resorts after June 6! Why stay off property? Because you can get luxury accommodations at moderate prices! These special low rates are available on the following nights:

  • March 11, 15–17, 21-29
  • April 1–13, 18–19, 24–27
  • May 10-11, 15–27
  • June 2–6, 9-17, 20–23, 28-30 ($139 rate)
  • July 1-6 ($139 rate), 7–18, 23–28
  • August 1–9, 13–15, 18–19, 22–27, 30
  • September 1-2, 6–8, 12–14, 18–20, 25–27
  • October 2–5, 13–18, 23–24, 29–31
  • November 3, 7, 12–15, 22-30
  • December 1-5, 9, 13–27


Aladdin rides his magic carpet near the Morocco pavilion. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


The popular troll topiaries have returned at the Norway pavilion. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Meanwhile, building repairs are underway elsewhere at the Norway pavilion. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Disney details corporate social responsibility goals

Last Monday, the Walt Disney Company announced significant long-term environmental goals as part of the company's comprehensive Corporate Responsibility Report, the first time that the company has produced such a report. The report details the company's approach to various corporate responsibility issues.

Overall goals target diverse areas such as charitable giving, nutrition, online safety for kids and workplace diversity.

"Disney’s enhanced corporate responsibility efforts make our brands and products more attractive, strengthen our bonds with consumers, make the company a more desirable place to work and build goodwill in the communities we operate," said Disney president and CEO Robert A. Iger. "All of this contributes to shareholder value."

Long-term environmental goals set include:

  • Producing zero waste
  • Producing zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions from fuels
  • Reducing indirect greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumption
  • Having a net positive impact on ecosystems
  • Minimizing water use
  • Minimizing product footprint
  • Informimg, empowering, and activating positive action for the environment

"While Disney has always been a leader in environmental stewardship, we are taking ambitious steps to help preserve our planet for future generations," said Disney Senior Executive Vice President and CFO Thomas O. Staggs.

The report, available online (link), details challenging 3-5 year targets and the company's philosophy and activities in the five main areas of children and family, content and products, environment, community, and workplaces.


The stage for Stitch's Supersonic Celebration looks like it's going to be quite interesting. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


The building across from the Stitch stage is also quite the sight. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Meanwhile, pavement work has moved up further along the Star Traders facade, toward the Tomorrowland Speedway. 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).

A personal appeal to help babies through the March of Dimes, for the fourth year

I was informed recently that I was the top walker for the March of Dimes Northeastern New York region for 2008, and the #2 walker for all of Upstate New York (everything above Westchester and Rockland counties)! I couldn't have done it without the help of all of the wonderful MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners. Thank you so much! Now, the big challenge is to raise the bar in these tough economic times.

On April 26, I'll be walking for the fourth time to raise money for the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. I'm raising money for the cause because new parents should be able to bring their children home from the hospital, not bury them. I know from first-hand experience how devastating that is.

Last year's total, raised through the generosity of friends, family, co-workers and MousePlanet readers, was $5,043.42. This year, our new target is $6,000. I think we can do that. I know that the economy is tough right now, but charitable causes are also hurting and in need of money.

We're over one-third of the way there, but we've only got six weeks to make up the rest. Let's show that MousePlanet readers support the mission of the March of Dimes and help give all babies a fighting chance to make it home!

For more information about why I'm walking, or to donate, please go to my fundraising page (link). Thanks for your consideration!


The corner of the Main Street Camera Center is undergoing refurbishment. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Walt Disney World buses now sport "What Will You Celebrate?" livery. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Construction update

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

  • Magic Kingdom Crystal Palace bridge – provision of structural framing.
  • Magic Kingdom Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar – installation of security cameras.
  • Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion people counter – provision of conduit & wire for new people counter.
  • Magic Kingdom Liberty Square Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe – replacement & rehab of facade.
  • Magic Kingdom Cinderella's Royal Table – rehab of dishroom.
  • Magic Kingdom Village Fry shop – Proviwion of conduit & wire for new receptacle.
  • Magic Kingdom Pinocchio Village Haus – Removal of wood shake roofing, replacement with synthetic shake roofing products.
  • Epcot Innoventions Underwriters' Laboratories Safety Smart Theater – installation of graphics package.
  • Epcot Refreshment Port – switching out of cooking equipment and hood with similar equipment. Switching out of graphics on the building.
  • Epcot Canada pavilion – installation of new panel conduit wire and outlets on Popcorn Cart.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios – addition of aluminum Luxo at Toy Story Midway Mania building, includes all electrical.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Pixar Street – Figure masking package.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Voyage of the Little Mermaid – installation of marquee package.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Fairfax Fries – removal of fryers and hood and modify building for electrical warming ovens. Switching out graphics and menu boards to support menu change.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios – installation of San Francisco Street Mural Package.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Fantasmic Restroom Building – replacement of 1 Auxiliary Heating Unit.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom – replacement of the existing Island Mercantile Planter Marquee.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest – addition of new 100 amp, 120-208 volt, 3-phase panel in breakroom.
  • Typhoon Lagoon Crush 'n' Gusher – modifications to boiler plumbing.
  • Downtown Disney West Side Cirque du Soleil and Disney Quest – installation of cameras.
  • Downtown Disney TrenD - provision & installation of 2 new signs using existing mounts, includes all electrical.
  • Downtown Disney Marketplace Hanes Design-A-Tee – Installation of photo op.
  • Northeast Resort Parcel – installation of entrance intersection improvement package.
  • Flamingo Crossings Phase 1 – installation of telecommunications conduit.
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Transportation Dock – replacement of existing wood posts and existing dock rope.
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa lobby area – removal of lobby carpet and installation of new marble flooring.
  • Contemporary Resort Porte Cochere, Bus Stop and East Walkway – removal of existing Kalwall translucent panels and replace with new CPI product.
  • Contemporary Resort – installation of new finishes in the interior cab of the monorail elevator.
  • Yacht & Beach Club Resort – rebuilding of two boilers.
  • Beach Club Resort Newport and Nantucket Suites – fabrication and installation drapery. reupholstery and touchup of furniture. Furniture removal/installation. Interior painting.
  • Yacht Club Convention Center – IP modifications to restrooms includes electrical and plumbing.
  • Boardwalk Resort Flying Fish Cafe – removal of five compressors and replacement of five evaporators in kitchen.
  • Boardwalk Resort Spoodles – replacement existing ductwork with new stainless steel ductwork in main kitchen.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort – interior resurfacing of High Rock Springs pool
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – change of tube bundle in the kitchen heat exchanger.
  • All Star Resorts – relocation of luggage desks.

Quick takes …

…The price for Tables in Wonderland (formerly the Disney Dining Experience) has gone up to $75 for Passholders and $100 for Florida residents. It is still not available to any other individuals.

…Florida residents can enjoy a 20 percent discount off the regular price of Category 2 seats for Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba through June 27. Limited-time promotional discounts are also available on select items in the La Nouba boutique. Discounted ticket prices are $64 (adult) and $52 (child) plus tax, and can be purchased at the box office or by calling 407-WDW-SEAT (407-939-7328). Passholders can get 30 percent off on the same dates at the box office or by calling 407-939-7604. There is a limit of four discounted tickets per transaction. Blockout dates are between April 4-18. There are no performances between May 18 and June 1. Proof of Florida residency or Pass must be presented at the box office when picking up tickets.

…The next exhibit to come to Innoventions at Epcot will be The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, opening this spring. Sponsored by global investment firm T. Rowe Price, the exhibit will offer lessons in financial literacy to park visitors. The four financial themes addressed include setting goals, saving and spending smartly, staying ahead of inflation and diversifying your investments. This will be a welcome exhibit in these tough financial times.

…You could see this day coming three years ago, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened their One Buccaneer Place headquarters and training facility in August 2006. The Bucs will not return to Disney's Wide World of Sports for their eighth year, and instead will hold their camp at their own facility.

…2010 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend events continue to fill up – Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge is now 95 percent full, while the Half Marathon is now 70 percent full. If you want to run these races, sign up now (link)!

…Approximately 5,800 Walt Disney World VoluntEARS filled bowling alleys this past weekend as part of the Disney Bowl-A-Thon. The event, at bowling centers around the area, raised more than $237,000 for Junior Achievement.

…Last week Walt Disney World presented a van recently retired from the company's vehicle fleet to the Central Florida Police Athletic League, which will be used to transport program participants to various events and activities, such as trips to the museum, intramural basketball competitions, tennis lessons and tutoring sessions. In 2008, Walt Disney World Resort and its Cast Members contributed approximately $32.5 million to local organizations.

…Not only can you join the MousePlanet and MouseStation Podcast groups on Facebook, or become a fan of MousePlanet or the MouseStation, you can also follow us on Twitter! You can follow WDW Resort Update editor Mark Goldhaber, the general MousePlanet feed and the MouseAdventure feed! If there's something special that you'd like to see us do on Facebook or Twitter, 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

  • Feb. 15-Mar. 30. Atlanta Braves Training Camp.
  • Mar. 18-May 31. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link).
  • Apr. 24-27. USASF/IASF Dance and Cheerleading World Championships (link).
  • May 17. Florida Half Ironman Triathlon (link).
  • May 22-Jun. 14. Star Wars Weekends.
  • Sep. 20. Athletes for a Cure Triathlon (link).
  • Sep. 26. Expedition Everest Challenge (link).
  • Oct. 11. Race for the Taste 10K and 3K (link).
  • Oct 24. Tower of Terror 13K and 5K (link).
  • Dec. 7-12. Pop Warner Super Bowl (link).
  • Jan. 7-10, 2010. WDW Marathon Weekend (link).

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • The Hall of Presidents – closed November 1 through July 4, 2009, major infrastructure upgrades, as well as for addition of President Barack Obama.

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.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • No currently scheduled refurbishments.

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 – mid-April. 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.
  • Saratoga Springs – High Rock Spring feature pool under refurbishment from March 9–30.
  • Bay Lake Tower at Contemporary Resort – Construction continues. The resort opens August 2009.
  • Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Construction continues. The resort opens June 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. There will be no performances from May 18 through June 1.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Walt Disney World Buy 4, Get 3 Free deal!

From now until March 29, 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 now-April 4 and April 19-August 15, 2009.

As a bonus, if you travel by 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 $53 per person per day for a family of four in a standard room at a Value Resort from February 13-April 4 (total package price $1,466). That price is 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
$1,466 ($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 March 29!

Disney Cruise Line offers "Kids at Half Off" deal

Disney Cruise Line now offering a "Kids at Half Off" promotion. The deal offers 50 percent off 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 April 11 through May 17 in a variety of stateroom cabins.

To book your "Kids Half Off" cruise, visit the Disney Cruise Line Web site (link), call 800-951-3532, 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 "KHO." 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 debuts new exclusive rate specials

While the special $119-per-night offer expired last Tuesday, MousePlanet partner Gaylord Palms Resort has followed it up with another great offer, this time valid for stays through the end of the year! For approximately 5 nights out of every 7 for the rest of the year, you can stay at the Gaylord Palms at the special MousePlanet reader discount rate (Reserve now!) of $129 per night. Even better, you can book these rates right up until the day you arrive! This new rate is even lower than Disney moderate resorts after June 6! Why stay off property? Because you can get luxury accommodations at moderate prices! These special low rates are available on the following nights:

  • March 11, 15–17, 21-29
  • April 1–13, 18–19, 24–27
  • May 10-11, 15–27
  • June 2–6, 9-17, 20–23, 28-30 ($139 rate)
  • July 1-6 ($139 rate), 7–18, 23–28
  • August 1–9, 13–15, 18–19, 22–27, 30
  • September 1-2, 6–8, 12–14, 18–20, 25–27
  • October 2–5, 13–18, 23–24, 29–31
  • November 3, 7, 12–15, 22-30
  • December 1-5, 9, 13–27

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 2009 released

Passholder rates for February 15 – April 2, 2009 have been released, with value resorts starting at just $69 per night, moderate resorts starting at $114 per night. Select deluxe resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge) starting at $214 per night and studio accommodations at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa starting at $229 per night. The rates are valid most Sunday – Thursday nights during that period.

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 PYS 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).


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.