Disney's international guided touring escapes, Adventures by Disney, has just released its list of experiences for next year. For its fifth year, Disney's entry into the lucrative market includes 19 itineraries on six continents.
For more information, go to the Adventures by Disney Web site (link), call Adventures by Disney directly at 888-325-2500, or contact your travel agent. MouseEarVacations (link) and Small World Vacations (link) are MousePlanet's preferred travel providers.
Disney has made it easier to book a land-and-sea package. For itineraries starting in 2010, guests can book land packages of any duration before or after their Disney Cruise. Packages will have the option to add one- to five-day Park Hopper passes with a one-night minimum Disney resort stay. With a minimum two-night pre-cruise stay, guests will be able to check in for their cruise at select hotels.
Meanwhile, at the Disney Cruise Line terminal at Port Canaveral and at Castaway Cay, changes are in the works that will accommodate the larger Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, scheduled to start sailing in 2011 and 2012, respectively. At the port, a six-level parking deck will be added across from the terminal building, while the luggage area will also be overhauled. Concierge guests will also get a new private check-in and waiting area. Road improvements are already underway on the main road into the terminal. The facilities at Castaway Cay are also being revamped to accommodate the larger crowds that the new ships will bring.
MouseAdventure's Summer Warm Up
Congratulations to MousePlanet reader Terry for being the first to post the correct answer to our Week 6 quest. If you'd like to check your own answers, download the Quest 6 answer key (link). The answer to the Disney's Hollywood Studios in-park quest is also available to download (link).
Quest #7 will test your knowledge of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels (link). (Once again, the answer from Quest #6 is the password you'll need to open Quest #7) Remember, you can solve this quest at home using information found online at MousePlanet.com. Once you think you've solved the puzzle, visit our MousePad discussion boards and post your answer (link) . The first person to post the correct answer to our MousePad discussion boards will win their very own copy of the MouseAdventure: Personal Edition packet, filled with quests from the Disneyland Resort. Good luck!
The Inaugural MouseAdventure event at Walt Disney World will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2009!
The day will begin with a private breakfast at the Odyssey Center prior to park opening, followed by a six-hour fun-filled race around Epcot park for a fresh look at things in the park that you never noticed before! The first part of the game will be in the classic MouseAdventure format, sending you on quests throughout Future World. After completion of that portion, teams will engage in an Enchanted Race around World Showcase to the finish line!
The lineup for the 27th annual Night of Joy has been released. The two-night event is celebrating its second year at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. on September 11 and 12. Here is the list of acts with show times and locations (subject to change, as always):
Friday, September 11
Saturday, September 12
Tickets are on sale now for $49.95 (one night) and $84.95 (two nights) at 407-W-DISNEY (407-934-7639) or at the Night of Joy Web site (link). One-night tickets will cost $54.95 on event nights, if available. Group packages for two nights of the event, plus two one-day, one-park tickets are available for less than $100 per person are available by calling 877-NITE-JOY (877-648-3569) or at the Night of Joy Web site.
The Grand Floridian Resort is adding marble to most of the first and second floors of the main lobby building. The project began in mid-July and will continue until the fall. The resort's original tile floor was demolished in January 2008 in preparation for the marble installation; temporary carpet has been in place in the meantime. Photo by MousePlanet reader.
The lobby display at the Grand Floridian includes a sample of the Disney character silhouettes that will be inlaid at key points in the floor. Photo by MousePlanet reader.
The marble pattern on the second floor between Commander Porter's and M. Mouse Mercantile is complete. Photo by MousePlanet reader.
If you look closely at this closeup of a marble pattern corner on the second floor, you'll see some of the Disney details that are part of this new installation. Photo by MousePlanet reader.
Mark Priest, 47, died last Monday after being injured during a performance of Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial in the Magic Kingdom the previous Friday. On August 7, Priest was playing the character of the captain's sidekick Mack when he was injured during his swordfight with the Captain Jack Sparrow character. At the end of the fight, the captain offers some misdirection ("Look! The Governor's daughter!") and when Mack turns to look, he kicks Mack in the buttocks and runs away. In this case, when Priest was kicked and started forward, he hit a slick wet spot on the pavement and banged into the nearby stone wall, breaking a vertebra and suffering a cut that required 55 stitches to close.
Upon suffering the injury, Priest rushed offstage to avoid frightening any guests. He was rushed to Florida Hospital Celebration Health and later transferred to Florida Hospital Orlando. His condition was upgraded after surgery on Saturday, but developed complications, suffered a heart attack, and died on August 10.
MousePlanet sends its condolences to Priest's family, friends, and co-workers.
Kouzzina by Cat Cora opened at the Boardwalk Resort on Saturday night. The opening went smoothly, according to staff there. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Friendly staff are waiting to greet you in Kouzzina's spacious lobby. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
While some details have been changed in the restaurant's decor, the layout is largely the same as when it was Spoodles. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Last Tuesday, a jury found John William Moyer of Cressona, Pennsylvania, guilty of misdemeanor battery for inappropriately touching a woman portraying Minnie Mouse at Walt Disney World in June. Brittney Duncan McGoldrick testified that Moyer had grabbed her breasts during a character meet-and-greet photo session and that she had pushed his hands down to try to get them away from her breasts. She immediately reported the incident to a handler.
Moyer claims that he is innocent and that he would never touch a woman like that, a contention supported in court by his adult son's testimony. Moyer was sentenced to supervised probation for 180 days, and must complete 50 hours of community service within four months, pay $1,000 in court costs, write a letter of apology to McGoldrick and undergo a mental evaluation and complete treatment if so indicated.
…The refurbishment of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority has been extended through August 31.
…Osceola County Sheriff's deputies arrested four people last week on charges of Illegal sale of Multi-Day Tickets and booked into the Osceola County Jail, according to a report from the Sheriff's Office. Approximately $6,000 is cash was seized, along with over $131,000 worth of park tickets. The four—Darren Ditzel (47), Francisco Ferrer-Monssalve (32), Elena Matveeva (22), and Jose Elias Cedeno (34)—were charged as a result of complaints received from tourists at Disney and Universal who were denied entry to the parks after purchasing the illegal tickets from the business.
…If you're looking to get your pirate on for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (September 4, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29, October 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31 and November 1) and are hoping to have Disney's experts help you, you're in luck! The Pirates League in the Magic Kingdom (link) is extending its hours of operation to 8 p.m. on those nights to accommodate the anticipated requests from partygoers. Walk-ups will be accommodated (if possible) until 7:45 p.m. on those nights. However, reservations are strongly recommended. Call 407-WDW-CREW (407-939-2739) to reserve your spot to become a pirate for the Halloween Party (ages 3 and up).
…Walt Disney World resort hotel guests can get special savings on Disney's four golf courses in September. Guests can play the Magnolia, Palm, Osprey Ridge and Lake Buena Vista courses for $62 plus tax on weekdays or $69 plus tax on weekends. The price includes greens fees, use of an electric cart, complementary golf club rental and pre-round practice balls. Disney will even throw in complimentary transportation between your hotel and the course if you need it. Those rates are 30 percent off of regular guest rates for September. Make your reservation at 407-WDW-GOLF (407-939-4653) or at the Disney Golf Web site (link). You'll need to show your resort ID to get your complimentary clubs.
…La Cava del Tequila will open at the Mexico pavilion on August 28, and will feature over 70 types of authentic tequila from several major brands. A wide variety of margarites will be served. A tapas-style menu will be available as well, a quick-tastes menu style not available at Disney since the early days of Spoodles. A "Tequila Ambassador" will be on hand to educate park guests on the history of tequila-making. The location will also host the first reservation-only special event for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival on September 25, a Mexico Tequila Tasting.
…The Athletes for a Cure Triathlon, originally scheduled for September 20, has been cancelled. According to organizers, "The objective of producing this race was to provide athletes with a quality event that generated awareness and funds for a great charity, the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Given the costs associated with producing this race, we simply cannot meet those objectives." Registrants will be contacted individually about other race options, but must contact Disney themselves to cancel any hotel reservations.
…The Orlando Sentinel is reporting (link) that the Luxo Jr. animatronic that first appeared a couple of months ago across from Toy Story Mania is on hiatus for some tweaking.
…Nominations for the 2010 Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey will be accepted between August 25 and October 2, 2009. Teens enrolled in high school for the 2009–2010 term can be nominated by parents, teachers, family or friends. Nominations for the event, which will take place February 11–14, 2010, can be made using a form that will be available at the Steve Harvey Web site (link). The Class of 2010 will be announced in November.
…The 2010 Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge is 97 percent full (7,500 capacity). The Walt Disney World Marathon itself is now at 75 percent of capacity, the Family Fun Run 5K is at 88 percent and Mickey's Marathon Kids' Fest is at 55 percent. The Half Marathon is already sold out. Time is running out! Register now (link)!
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If you pick up the phone inside the hat shop on Main Street, USA, you can hear a conversation between two women!
From now until September 26, if you book a three- to fourteen-night, non-discounted Magic Your Way package, you'll get Disney's dining plan for free.
The offer is good for stays on most nights September 27 – December 17, 2009, except November 25-28, the Wednesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.. This time, the free dining comes with a twist: while the package stays the same if you book at a moderate, deluxe or villas resort, free dining packages at value resorts will be the quick service dining plan instead of the basic dining plan. You should be able to pay to upgrade your plan, but the "free" value of the deal at the values will be $29.99 per day for adults, $8.99 for children instead of $39.99 per day for adults, $10.99 for children. For a family of four with both children under age 10, that's a difference of $24 per day. For a family of four with both kids age 10 and up, it's a difference of $40 per day. Please be aware of that before you choose your resort!
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 September 26!
MousePlanet sponsor Gaylord Palms Resort has announced a new set of nights for a special promotional rate of $119 per night (Reserve now!). Why stay off property? Because you can get luxury accommodations for the price of a Disney moderate, just a mile from Disney property. Many other nights are available for $129 per night (see below). The following dates are now available at $119 per night:
There are 32 more nights that you can stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort for just $129 pr night! Combined, these rates are available for approximately 2 nights out of every 3 for the rest of the year! Check out the special MousePlanet reader discount rate (Reserve now!) today! The special $129 per night rates are available on the following nights:
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.
Passholder rates for August 9 – December 24, 2009 have been released. Rates are available for all dates except for November 25– 28, the Tuesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving week. Under this promotion, the starting rates at these resorts are:
The Disney Dining Plan may also be added to these discounted reservations. The number of rooms available is limited and minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. These rates may be available through your date of arrival. Reservations may be booked through the Passholder web site or by using codes EQA (8/9-10/3) or NBM (10/4-12/24) 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).
Discount room-only rates are now available to the general public for dates from October 4 – December 24. These rates are blocked out from November 25– 28, the Tuesday through Saturday of Thankgiving week. Under this promotion, the starting rates are:
These rates must be booked by September 26. 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 Walt Disney World web site or by using code FSC if booking via the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-6244) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).
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), Small World Vacations (link).
(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.