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Update for April 12, 2010 – April 18, 2010

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

News and Views

"Kids Stay and Play Free" offer extended to general public | MousePlanet Meet at the Magic Kingdom, May 15! | Demolition work starts to make way for Fantasyland re-Forestation | Night of Joy acts released | Disney Cruise Line announces Remy premier restaurant | March of Dimes | Construction update | Quick takes

"Kids Stay and Play Free" offer extended to general public

The "Kids Stay, Dine and Play Free" offer that has been available to Disney Rewards Visa cardholders has now been extended to the general public, but without the "Dine" part of the offer. Additionally, the "stay" portion of the deal really doesn't have much value, since the cost of the room doesn't change whether there are kids in the room or notbut the free park passes may provide some needed relief in your travel budget.


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The new offer also has a much shorter valid timeframe. The Disney Rewards Visa offer is good from now through August 14 (though you must book by April 24), while the general public offer is only good from May 2 through June 3 (though you have until May 8 to book it.

In the new offer, kids ages 3-9 staying in the same room as an adult (limit four guests per room) can get free standard Magic Your Way passes for the length of the vacation package. Reservations may be made by using code BF4.

The number of rooms available at these rates are limited. To reserve a package, you can book online (link), call the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line for this offer (407-939-7905) or contact a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

MousePlanet Meet at the Magic Kingdom, May 15!

Will you be at Walt Disney World the third weekend in May, maybe for the D23 Flowers & Fireworks event? Come to the MousePlanet meet at the Magic Kingdom on Saturday, May 15 at 2:00 p.m. at the gazebo just past Aloha Isle in Adventureland! Meet Mark Goldhaber and visit with other MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners. We'll have some MousePlanet buttons to hand out, and maybe some hats and classic mini-MouseAdventure packets. If you're attending Flowers & Fireworks, you've got until 5:00 p.m. to check in at the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, so there's plenty of time to attend the meet and still check in on time.


Here's where the meet will take place. Stop on by! Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Demolition work starts to make way for Fantasyland re-Forestation

Work is progressing in the Fantasyland Forest project. Starting today, that work will start affecting areas that have been accessible to the public. The Ariel's Grotto meet-and-greet location, Scuttle's Landing snack counter, and Pooh's Playful Spot playground have all closed to the public effective today, as those areas must be demolished to begin making way for the Beast's Castle, Gaston's Village, Cinderella's Chateau, and Sleeping Beauty's cottage.

The demolition of Ariel's Grotto means that the only locations to see the mermaid princess will be in the Celebrate a Dream Come True and SpectroMagic parades through the Magic Kingdom and at the Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney's Hollywood Studios. There are rumors, though, that she will appear (in human form) with Prince Eric in Adventureland starting in the middle of next month.

We're hearing that demolition work in Mickey's Toontown Fair will not begin until early 2011, which means that Dumbo the Flying Elephant will remain where it is for some time yet, and construction and demolition work will occur around it.

Night of Joy acts released

The line-up for the 28th annual Night of Joy has been released. The two-night event returns to the Magic Kingdom after two years at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on September 10 and 11. Here is the list of acts. Show times and locations are expected to be announced in the near future:

Friday, September 10

  • Chris Tomlin
  • David Crowder*Band
  • Casting Crowns
  • BarlowGirl
  • Francesca Battistelli
  • Group 1 Crew
  • Tenth Avenue North
  • Sidewalk Prophets

Saturday, September 11

  • mercyme
  • Third Day
  • Family Force 5
  • Smokie Norful
  • Red
  • LeCrae
  • Day of Fire

Tickets go on sale soon at 407-W-DISNEY (407-934-7639), or at the Night of Joy Web site (link).

Disney Cruise Line announces Remy premier restaurant

The Disney Cruise Line has announced Remy, its first premier dining option for the Disney Dream. Named for the star of Disney-Pixar's Ratatouille, the fine dining restaurant's menu is being designed as a partnership between chefs from l’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin two-star restaurant just outside Reims, France, and chefs from Victoria & Albert's. l'Assiette Champenoise Chef Arnaud Lallement and pastry chef Gerard Siegrist are teaming with Chef Scott Hunnel and Master Pastry Chef Erick Herbitschek of five-diamond Victoria & Albert's to create an amazing menu that will be overseen at sea by Remy's executive chef Patrick Albert.

The new restaurant, to be located on Deck 12, Port-Side, Aft, will feature French-inspired cuisine and impeccable service, wonderful views of the ocean and wonderful Art Nouveau decor. The meal will be an eight to nine-course affair, preceded by a signature cocktail and followed by coffee service (French press and grand crème).

The restaurant has a capacity of 80 guests, and the private Chef's Table seats another 16. The main room is decorated in greens, reds, and gold, and features floral and leaf design in the carpet. The image of Remy is integrated into the design. High-end linens, glassware, silverware, and custom china complete the setting for the restaurant. The private room is done in red and gold, with scenes of Paris on the walls. Another private dining area, also seating 16, is a glass-walled wine room with marble flooring featuring more than 900 bottles of wine.

Please help raise money for the March of Dimes

On April 25, I will once again be walking 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. My first son was born far too early, and did not make it home from the hospital. My second son was also born too early, but thanks to medication, therapies and treatments developed under grants from the March of Dimes helped him to survive and come home. He's 11 years old now. I want to help more parents to have the experience that I had with my second son, not my first son.

Over the last four years, largely through the generosity of MousePlanet readers, we have managed to raise over $15,000. This year, let's do something special. My personal goal is to raise $5,000 this year. But you can help in more ways than just donating to my walk. This year, for the first time, you can walk with me. Even if you aren't in the Albany, NY area, you can virtually walk with me by joining Team MousePlanet and walking at the March for Babies in your own area. For more information about why I'm walking, or to donate to my walk, please go to my fundraising page (link). To sign up to join Team MousePlanet, please go to the team page (link). Join me and help be a part of saving babies! Let's help to make sure that new parents bring their babies home from the hospital and not to the cemetery.

Construction update

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

  • Magic Kingdom Adventureland – building, electrical and plumbing work.
  • Magic Kingdom Fantasyland – carpentry, plumbing and electrical work.
  • Magic Kingdom Fantasyland Skyway Drive Station – electrical work.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Rock 'n' Roller Coaster – painting guitar icon.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Catastrophe Canyon – plumbing work.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Animation building – electrical upgrades.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Oscar's Stroller Rental – electrical upgrades.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Hospitality Building – installation of new water boiler.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom – Pollination Garden sign package.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Tree of Life – mechanical work on underground LN2 tank.
  • Stolport site – development package.
  • Downtown Disney Marketplace World of Disney – electrical upgrades.
  • Downtown Disney West Side DisneyQuest – electrical upgrades.
  • Downtown Disney West Side Cirque du Soleil – mechanical work.
  • Bridge between Beach Club and Boardwalk Resorts – repairs.
  • Contemporary Resort South Garden Wing – mill & overlay parking lot.
  • Old Key West Resort all buildings – guestroom renovation.

Quick takes …

…As we noted on last Thursday's MouseStation Podcast, early last Tuesday morning MouseStation favorite Eddie Carroll, the current voice of Jiminy Cricket, passed away at age 76 following a short battle with a brain tumor. Carroll passed away shortly after 3 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday morning April 6, his and his wife Carolyn's 47th wedding anniversary. In May, we will have a tribute to Eddie on the MouseStation, including some never-before-aired audio from the archives. We send our deepest condolences to Eddie's family and friends. There is a tribute section set up at Eddie's Web site (link). Eddie's family would be honored by your memorial donation in Eddie's name to his favorite charity, St. Jude Children's Hospital (link).

…The new pizzeria coming to the Italy pavilion at Epcot now has a name—it will be called Via Napoli.

…Walt Disney World restaurants did well in a recent Orlando Magazine poll, with three restaurants taking the top spot in at least one category. Victoria & Albert's took first in two categories, "Best Service" and "The Restaurant You Are Dying to Visit." It finished second to the California Grill in the "Best Hotel Restaurant" category. Victoria & Albert's was also second in the "Best Romantic Restaurant" and "Best Chef's Table" rankings. California Grill was also ranked third in the "Best View" category. Rounding out Disney's awards, Sanaa was voted the winner in the "Best New Restaurant" category.

…StudiosCentral.com reported on Twitter that there will be a "rolling rehab" of the the stadium for the Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show where one section of the stadium will be closed at any one time, but the rest of the stadium will be open for show attendees.

…Guest room renovations are in the offing for the Old Key West Resort, as permits for the work were filed with Orange County last week.

…An interesting permit filed last week was for "Stolport site development package." It may be that they're ramping up the site to support the construction of the Four Seasons Resort and luxury vacation homes at the north end of Bonnet Creek Parkway or they could possibly be prepping something else to be located on the former airstrip. The site has been used primarily for bus parking and park-and-ride space, though it was also used as a staging area and office for the construction of Bay Lake Tower.

…While D-Street is already open at Downtown Disney West Side, the official Grand Opening will take place this Friday at 9:45 a.m. The ceremony will feature a performance artist that will create a work of art as part of the event, plus a live DJ providing music. There will also be special Vinylmation creations and signings, and some more surprises.

…The Trek Women's Triathlon (link) will be held at Walt Disney World on September 5. Participants will swim a half a mile, ride a bicycle 12 miles, and run 3.1 miles. The swim will be one lap of Bay Lake, starting and ending at Fort Wilderness' Clementine Beach. The bicycle route will take riders from the transition point past the Port Orleans Resort, to Epcot, and back to the transition point. The run will be a single loop along bike paths and roadways inside Fort Wilderness and will finish near Pioneer Hall. The entry fee for this race is $105 (all other races in the Trek series cost $85). You can register online (link).

…UPS will reportedly be providing shipping services exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests who would like to ship items back home from Europe. This service is being offered for the Transatlantic Eastbound, Mediterranean, Northern European and European Repositioning sailings. Shipping stations will be located inside the cruise terminal buildings in both Barcelona and Dover during debarkation hours. UPS staff will also be available from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on Friday, April 23 in Barcelona for Transatlantic Eastbound passengers. Rates will be based upon items and quantity shipped.

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Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.

Coming up

  • March 3 – May 16: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link).
  • April 23–25: USASF/IASF Dance and Cheerleading World Championships (link).
  • April 23, 24, 30, May 1. Grad Nite (link).
  • April 24. Walt Disney Classics Collection Figment in Tuxedo: Top Hat and Tails Product Release & Signing (link).
  • May 21–June 13: Star Wars Weekends (link).
  • June 12: Expedition Everest Challenge (link).
  • July 14–27: ESPN RISE Games (link).
  • August 27–29: Disney's Pin Celebration: Trade City, U.S.A. (link).
  • September 5. Trek Women's Triathlon (link).
  • October 1–2: Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon (link).
  • October 1–November 14: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • November 11–14: Childrens Miracle Network Classic (link).
  • November 12–14: Festival of the Masters (link).
  • November 25–28: Old Spice Classic (link).
  • December 4–11. Pop Warner Football Championships (link).
  • January 6–9, 2011: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (link).

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Ariel's Grotto – closed permanently April 12, 2010, to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • Pooh's Playful Spot – closed permanently April 12, 2010, to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • Scuttle's Landing – closed permanently April 12, 2010, to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • Baby Care Center – closed for refurbishment May 14–20.

Epcot

  • Cantina de San Angel – closed for major renovation in January and is tentatively set to re-open September 24. Taqueria Del Lago will remain open.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Animal Kingdom

  • No currently scheduled refurbishments.

Resorts

  • Coronado Springs Ranchos quiet pool – closed for refurbishment from April 5–17.
  • Pop Century Fast Forward Arcade – closed for refurbishment May 10–13.

Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach Teamboat Springs – closed through May 15 for refurbishment.

Elsewhere

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

Current Discounts & Promotions

Passholders save 35-45 percent at select Walt Disney World resorts through June

Passholders can save 35 to 45 percent off their room rates for stays through June 3. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.

For any stay from now through June 3, you get some great discounts:

  • Value resorts: 35 percent off (1-3 nights) or 40 percent off (4 or more nights)
  • Moderate resorts: 37 percent off (1-3 nights) or 40 percent off (4 or more nights)
  • Deluxe Resorts: 42 percent off (1-3 nights) or 45 percent off (4 or more nights)
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 45 percent off (1-3 nights) or 45 percent off (4 or more nights).

The deal can be booked from now through your day of arrival. The number of rooms available at these rates are limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World Passholder web site (link) or by using code QIJ if booking via the special reservations phone line for this offer (407-939-1303) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

Room-only discount rates available for Passholders and the general public through mid-August

Everyone can save 15 to 30 percent off your room rates for stays from May through mid-August. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.

For any stay from May 2 through August 14, you get some great discounts:

  • Value resorts: 15 percent off
  • Moderate resorts: 20 percent off
  • Deluxe Resorts: 25 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 30 percent off.

The deal can be booked from now through the day of your arrival. The number of rooms available at these rates are limited. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World web site (link) or by using code ID6 if booking via the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-7515) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

If you're a Passholder, you can get even deeper discounts. Passholders can save 30 to 40 percent off their room rates for stays at Walt Disney World this summer. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.

For any stay from June 3 through August 14, you get some great discounts:

  • Value resorts: 30 percent off
  • Moderate resorts: 35 percent off
  • Deluxe Resorts: 40 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 40 percent off.

The deal can be booked from now through your day of arrival. The number of rooms available at these rates are limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World Passholder web site (link) or by using code KD5 if booking via the special reservations phone line for this offer (407-939-5684) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

Disney Rewards Visa kids stay, play, and dine free package

Disney Rewards Visa cardholders can take advantage of an exclusive offer when they purchase a 4-night/5-day Magic Your Way Vacation that includes room, theme park tickets and the Quick Service Dining Plan for most nights between March 14 and August 14. When you purchase the package, kids (ages 3-9) will receive 5-day theme park tickets and the Quick-Service Dining Plan for free. This discount must be booked by April 24. Reservations may be made by using code OD3. Deposit must be made at the time of booking with your Disney Rewards Visa credit or debit card.

The number of rooms available at these rates are limited. To reserve a package, call the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-7607) or contact a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

Military discount

Active and retired U.S. Military personnel can save up to 40 percent on rooms at select Disney resorts for most nights through September 30. This discount must be booked by July 31. Reservations may be made by using code OUQ (room only), OUR (with Quick Service Dining Plan), OUS/OUT (with regular Dining Plan), or OUU (with Deluxe Dining Plan).

The number of rooms available at these rates are limited. To reserve a room with the Military discount, call the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-7607) or contact a travel agent. 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.