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Update for July 5, 2010 - July 11, 2010

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

News and Views

More Tables in Wonderland exclusive special events | New Space Mountain PhotoPass options | Captain EO returns to Epcot | Disney‘s Aulani Resort update | Construction update | Quick takes

More Tables in Wonderland exclusive special events

Tables in Wonderland, the discount dining program available to Annual Passholders and Florida residents, is hosting three exclusive special events in July:


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Thursday, July 8: A sneak preview of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival ($95 per person, plus tax, includes gratuity) – limited to 80 guests, this event features:

  • Hors d‘oeuvres paired with wine at the reception
  • A plated dinner featurint seared albacore tuna and romesco sauce, heirloom tomatoes with Oregon blue cheese, macerated red onions, and basil, and grilled lamb chop with roasted potato salad, red wine reduction, and Murray River sea salt, served with wine.
  • A dessert sampler will be served with Godiva chocolate iced coffee.

This event takes place on Thursday, July 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Wonders Retreat located on the second floor of the Wonders of Life Pavilion at Epcot.

Thursday, July 15: Discovery Dinner ($92 per person, includes tax and gratuity) – limited to 50 guests, this dinner event features:

  • Hors d‘oeuvres paired with wine at the reception.
  • A seafood course, salad, and entree, all paired with wine, an intermezzo paired with rum, and dessert paired with a sweet shiraz.

The evening‘s host will be Brooks Tropicals, a grower of tropical fruits and vegetables in Florida and the Caribbean.

The event takes place at the Wave… of American Flavors at the Contemporary Resort, with the reception starting at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17: The Great Movie Ride Dinner ($155 per person, plus tax, includes gratuity) – limited to 80 guests per day, this event:

  • Is being held at the Great Movie Ride at Disney‘s Hollywood Studios from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., after the attraction is closed—you will be able to walk through and dine in the attraction.
  • Hors d‘oeuvres, beer, and wine, will be served in the Gangster Scene, a plated dinner will be served in the Western Scene, and a dessert buffet will be served in the Land of Oz.

Dress for all three events is casual evening attire.

To request a reservation, send an e-mail to Tables in Wonderland (link) with your interest, name, daytime phone number, home address, and the number of people in your party. Reservations are first-come, first-served. You will need to provide your credit card number over the phone at the time of confirmation.

New Space Mountain PhotoPass options

Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom is offering new PhotoPass options for the picture taken on the ride. You can purchase your Space Mountain photo as a digital download from the PhotoPass Web site; you can purchase your print in a variety of sizes and packages, or purchase your photo with other bonus digital content on a Disney USB flash drive. You must make your purchase while you are still at Space Mountain shop at the end of the ride. You'll receive a Space Mountain PhotoPass card for any of the options which can be used at any other PhotoPass location. Other photos added to the PhotoPass card will be treated like normal PhotoPass photos.

Captain EO returns to Epcot

Captain EO, the classic 3-D science fiction featurette starring Michael Jackson, returned to the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot on July 2 for an open-ended limited run.


Comedienne and Academy Award-winning actress Mo'Nique poses with a pair of 3-D glasses and one Mickey Mouse glove as she prepares to visit "Captain EO" on the film's grand re-opening day at Epcot. © Disney

Twenty-four years ago, Jackson joined forces with Disney, producer George Lucas and director Francis Ford Coppola to create this film, featuring Jackson as Captain EO, and Angelica Huston as the Supreme Leader. The Disney-created characters include Hooter, a little green elephant-like creature who sneezes musical notes through his trunk; Fuzzball, an orange-haired space monkey with butterfly wings; the Geex, a golden-haired, two-faced personality with two left feet, one right foot and two shaggy heads named Idy and Ody; Major Domo, whose mirrored silver costume becomes a complete drum set; and Minor Domo with his sparkling torso that turns into an electric synthesizer played by Hooter.

It has been 16 years since Captain EO last played at Epcot. Parents might watch Captain EO with fond memories while children may find it cool, in a retro, 1980s, white leather, moon-walking way.

Disney‘s Aulani Resort update

Mark your calendars! Disney‘s Aulani Resort, at Ko Olina Resort & Spa on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, is scheduled to open on August 29, 2011.

Aulani is the Hawaiian word for “the place that speaks for the great ones” or “the place that speaks with deep messages.” Aulani is currently under construction on 21 acres of beachfront property. When completed, Aulani will have 360 hotel rooms and 481 multi-bedroom Disney Vacation Club villas. It will also include an 18,000 square foot spa, two restaurants, kids clubs, wedding lawn, a 14,545 square foot convention center and banquet facility, and 48,685 square feet of outdoor venues, including a “wonderland of water” featuring snorkeling lagoons, river pools, sunset-facing hot tubs, waterfalls, water slides, fishponds, pathways and tide pools with native sea life.


© Disney

Aulani will begin accepting hotel room reservations on August 2. DVC Aulani owners can make reservations starting September 29, and all other DVC members can make reservations starting January 29, 2011, for opening night.

Disney has started selling DVC time-share interests in Aulani. For more information, visit the DVC Web site (link) or call (800) 500-3990. Just so you know, we are not Disney‘s only target market. A 15,000 square foot showroom featuring a two-bedroom Aulani model is scheduled to open this month at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort in Japan.

Construction update

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

  • Magic Kingdom Walt Disney Story Theater – carpet replacement.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Dinoland U.S.A. – Primeval Whirl conduit relocation.
  • Epcot France Pavilion – Givenchy shop rehab.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano – boiler work.
  • Disney's Beach Club Resort – fabrication and installation of new awnings.
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort – fabrication and installation of new awnings.
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort – front desk electrical work.

Quick takes …

…Last Monday, a construction worker was injured at Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii. Fire rescue crews and paramedics were called to help a worker who had been pinned by a scissors lift, which is a folding industrial platform. The worker to a local hospital in critical condition.

…Disney Cruise Line has revealed another restaurant aboard the new Disney Dream, which begins sailing in January. Inspired by the picturesque gardens of Versailles, Enchanted Garden recalls an elegant conservatory in France. The restaurant boasts painted frescoes of rolling hills, lush greenery, and blue skies overhead. During dinner, the ceiling will change from daytime blue into a golden red sunset, and then into a night of twikling stars. The flower light fixtures will bloom and become bathed in color, decorative wall sconces fall away to become folding fans, wall paintings project dusky illumination and the centerpiece fountain is flooded with shimmering light.

…The 2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon is 65 percent full, and the Goofy Race-and-a-Half Challenge is 50 percent full. If you're interested in participating in these races, now's the time to sign up! You can register at the offical Walt Disney World Marathon Web site (link).

…The Inaugural Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is 70 percent full and the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Relay is 70 percent full. Both events will take place at the Walt Disney World Resort on October 2 at 10:00 p.m. on a brand new marathon course. For more information, go to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Web site (link).

…Heads-up pirate fans. Even though the Kauai set of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is off limits to all but cast and crew, Jerry Bruckheimer, the film‘s producer, aka “@BruckheimerJB” has been sharing photos through Twitter.

…According to research done by an animal expert at Disney‘s Animal Kingdom and published in the journal of Nature Communication, there are now just 7,000 cotton-top tamarins left in the wild. Dr. Ann Savage of Disney‘s Animal Kingdom and Dr. Len Thomas of St. Andrews University in Scotland were able to develop a technique for attracting these small tropical forest monkeys through sound vocalizations so that they could be counted. Guests at Disney‘s Animal Kingdom can spot the cotton-top tamarin shortly after stepping off the train at Rafiki‘s Planet Watch.

…Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra, a volunteer ensemble of nearly 300 Disney Cast Members, has chosen Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Northern Florida as their 2010 beneficiary. They will perform Dream Our Dreams, A Musical Tribute to the Legacy of Disney from July 30 through August 1 at Epcot World Show Place. Tickets are $15 and are available through www.encorecentral.org.

…Outlook Bar on the Disney Magic is now closed. It does not appear that there is anything in the works for Outlook Bar during this year's dry dock.

…Essence Communications Inc. is joining forces with Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey, a program created by Disney Parks to provide career-exploration and mentoring to high school teens. The program is being relaunched as Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. It will bring together 100 high school students from across the country from March 3 through 6, 2011, at the Walt Disney World Resort for workshops and seminars, mentoring and inspiration focusing on careers and life enrichment. Nominations must be submitted by October 31. More information is available at the Disney's Dreamers Academy Web site (link).

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Coming up

  • June 6 to August 14: Summer Nightastic! (link).
  • July 14-27: ESPN RISE Games (link).
  • August 27-29: Disney's Pin Celebration: Trade City, U.S.A. (link).
  • September 14, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, and 30, October 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, and 31, and November 1. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link).
  • September 5: Trek Women's Triathlon (link).
  • September 10-11: Night of Joy (link).
  • October 1-2: Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon (link).
  • October 1 to November 14: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • October 9. MouseAdventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom (link).
  • November 8, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 28, and 30, December 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 19. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (link).
  • November 11-14: Children's 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).
  • February 25-27, 2011: Disney's Princess Half Marathon

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Ariel's Grotto – closed permanently to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • Pooh's Playful Spot – closed permanently to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • Scuttle's Landing – closed permanently to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • it's a small world – closed for refurbishment August 1 through October 22.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment August 16 through August 25.

Epcot

  • Cantina de San Angel – closed for major renovation, tentatively set to re-open September 24 as Hacienda de San Angel. Taqueria Del Lago remains open.
  • Via Napoli – new pizzeria under construction, tentatively set to open September 24.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Star Tours – closed for refurbishment beginning September 8.
  • Toy Story Mania – closed for refurbishment August 16 through August 28.
  • One Man's Dream – closed for refurbishment August 16 through November 2.

Animal Kingdom

  • Flame Tree Barbeque – closed August 9 through September 19.

Resorts

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed November 1 through January 8, 2011 for refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • Lake Buena Vista Golf Course – closed Mondays only June 21 through July 26 for refurbishment.
  • Magnolia Golf Course – closed Wednesdays only June 23 through July 28 for refurbishment.
  • Palm Golf Course – closed Tuesdays only June 22 through July 27 for refurbishment.
  • Osprey Ridge Golf Course – closed Thursdays only June 24 through July 29 for refurbishment.
  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays.
  • McDonald's at Downtown Disney – closed permanently; the location is being converted to Pollo Campero, opening this fall.

Current Discounts & Promotions

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 is 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 is 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).

Kids Stay and Play Free offer for the general public extended

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 not but the free park passes may provide some needed relief in your travel budget.

The general public offer is good from May 2 through October 2 (you must book by August 14).

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 is 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).

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 is 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.

 



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(Send an email to Julie China)

Julie China first visited Disneyland in 1974 when she was very, very young. She re-discovered the Disney theme parks during her 1993 honeymoon to Walt Disney World. Ever since then, Julie and her husband have made annual, and sometimes even multiple trips each year, to Disney World. Julie funds her Disney vacations by working as an attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii.