Registration began last week for 2010 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage seminars, with prices listed at the culinary demonstrations are $9 and $13, per person tax included. Prices for the wine/beverage seminars are $8 and $12, per person tax included. Theme park admission is required by not included in the program pricing.
You can register for the demonstrations and seminars at the Disney Web site (link). Guests must be at least 21 years old to register for any wine/beverage seminars.
There are a limited number of discounted tickets available for Tables in Wonderland members, annual passholders, and Disney Vacation Club members. The discounted rate is $7 and $10, per person tax included for culinary demonstrations, and $6 and $10, per person tax included for wine/beverage seminars. The discount is not available at the event and must be purchased 24 hours prior to any individual seminar or demonstration.
The culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage seminars last up to 45 minutes. At the culinary demonstrations, guests can meet the featured chef and wine presenter, pick up a few tips, and taste the demonstrated dish and sample wine pairing. At the wine/beverage seminar, guests can meet the featured winery principal, learn a few tips, and sample the selected wines/beverages.
As part of Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival, Disney is offering some special events for D23 members on Friday, October 15, and Saturday, October 16. The weekend begins Friday evening with a wine and cheese reception in the foyer of The American Adventure pavilion.
The VIP Lounge of The Living Seas is the site for an elaborate celebration dinner will be served in honor of Disney Legend Dave Smith, retiring Chief Archivist for the Walt Disney Company. Dinner includes a selection of crisp salads, grilled flatbreads, pecan-roasted turkey, fresh scallops, beef medallions, sweet potato mash, wild mushrooms, truffle macaroni and cheese, German sausage, baked spaetzle, and a selection of sweets inspired by Disney movie classics. Dinner also includes wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. Note: there is an additional cost to attend this dinner.
On Saturday morning, guests can convene at the newly opened La Hacienda restaurant in the Mexico pavilion for robust Mexican coffee and pastries hosted by Ricky Deblar, president of the San Angel Inn. Then it is off to the Odyssey for exclusive presentations by Chef Scott Hunnel and Israel Perez of Victoria and Albert's restaurant, Guerlain, and Givenchy.
In the afternoon, guests can join D23 head Steven Clark, Dave Smith, Archives Director Becky Cline, Disney twenty-three editor in chief Carmen Capone, D23's Disney Geek Jeffrey Epstein and others from the D23 Team for a “sip and stroll” around World Showcase. Each guest receives a “passport” they can use to obtain exclusive “sip and stroll” surprises.
Also included with the ticket cost:
Ticket are $85 per person or $185 per person which includes Dave Smith's retirement celebration dinner. Tickets go on sale today, Monday August 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Go to the D23 Web site for details (link).
While America may not be as familiar with Duffy the Disney Bear, he is, by far, the most popular character at Tokyo Disneyland. And beginning this October, Duffy is coming to Epcot as the newest character that will have regular meet-and-greets in the park. Duffy appears in many types of merchandise, including a stuffed animal with different outfits sold separately. Japanese fans line up for hours for a chance to purchase his limited edition merchandise, and he even has his own Web page at the Tokyo Disneyland Web site (link).
A Tokyo DisneySea storybook tells the tale of Duffy's origins—the night before Mickey was to embark on a long sea voyage, Minnie made Mickey a teddy dear so that Mickey would not be lonely. Mickey was very happy with the present Minnie had made for him. Mickey put the bear in his duffel bag and called him “Duffy.” Mickey took Duffy around the world. Duffy kept Mickey’s spirits up. Although the actual backstory has more to do with the Oriental Land Company purchasing the rights to use the Disney bear as a campaign mascot, Duffy has taken off in Japan, and he is now reaching American shores.
Walt Disney World passholders can hear Duffy’s story at a special presentation on September 18 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at The Odyssey at Epcot. Reservations open on Tuesday, August 31, at Disney’s passholder Web site (link). However, Weekday Select and Epcot After 4 p.m. passholders will need valid admission to Epcot. More details are provided at the Daily Disney (link).
(Mouse)Adventure is Out There! Join us October 9!
Are you ready to earn more merit badges for your sash? We've released more information about our next MouseAdventure: World Explorers event, which takes place Saturday, October 9, 2010, at Disney's Animal Kingdom park.
The day begins with a breakfast before park opening at Restaurantosaurus, and concludes with a resort meet later that night to announce the results, with results posted on MousePlanet.com in the following week.
Registration is now open! Cost is $175 for a two-player team, plus $35 per additional player up to a total of four players per team. That registration fee gets you an early morning escort through the not-yet-opened park to breakfast, the breakfast itself, and the fantastic, fun-filled game. It does not include admission to Disney's Animal Kingdom park, which is your responsibility.
Guests at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach always have had a way to beat the heat, by taking a plunge into cooling waters. Now, they can get out of the sun and just “chill” at the two popular Walt Disney World water parks: Beachcomber Shacks and Polar Patios.
Available for day-long rentals, Shacks and Patios are premium spaces that put a roof or a large umbrella over guests’ heads, provide upscale Adirondack seating for relaxation, put beverages to quench a whole day’s thirsts at guests’ fingertips, and give them a service attendant who does the leg work if they want to purchase food from the a la carte menu.
The spaces—six at Blizzard Beach and seven at Typhoon Lagoon—accommodate six guests each and cost $250 ($150 for non-peak season) plus tax for the day rental, which includes towels, a locker, all-day drink mugs and an ice chest stocked with bottled water. Four additional guests can be added to the standard six at a charge of $25 per guest. Water park admission is not included. The spaces have been extremely popular and usually sell out within one hour of park opening. They can be reserved by calling 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529).
Soon after the calendar pages turn to 2011, Disney will celebrate the launch of a new year with the launch of its newest ship, Disney Dream. And that’s not all that is happening at Walt Disney World Resort during early 2011. Here’s a spring snapshot of special events taking place:
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a cruise vacation onboard the Disney Dream, visit the Disney Cruise web site (link), or call the Disney Cruise Line at 888-DCL-2500 (888-325-2500).
Spring-a-Leak, a 2,400-square-foot water playground, has opened at Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay. Spring-a-Leak helps guests cool off while immersing them in what appears to be the remnants of a storm-ravaged structure. The washed-away beach dwelling leans in the direction of the prevailing winds. The watery fun begins as guests enter the structure, greeted by dripping pipes, broken plumbing and hissing mister, exposed and twisted by the tropical tempest that wiped out the original structure.
The splash pad is the focal point. It gives the impression of water pooled on the ground. Water jets squirt, spray and saturate guests. Shade is provided by leftover pieces of corrugated steel roof, aged and distressed fabric and the occasional palm tree growing up through the floor foundation. Parents can relax and have a seat, or, better yet, join the fun, as kids frolic in the wet and whimsical setting.
Spring-a-Leak is the latest improvement at Castaway Cay. Pelican Plunge, a floating platform with two water slides, opened in May.
Walt Disney World is offering a terrific Labor Day weekend “Play All Day” rate. From Friday, September 3 through Monday September 6, Guests can play unlimited rounds of golf, subject to availability, for just $59, per person, per day. This offer is available at the following courses:
The first tee time may be reserved in advance. Subsequent tee times on the same day will be assigned on a space-available basis. Guests may change courses for subsequent rounds if they choose. The package includes use of an electric golf cart, green fees, and one bucket of pre-round practice balls.
Alternatively, there is a “Twilight Special” being offered where guests can play up to 18 holes after 3:00 p.m. for just $39.00. The “Twilight Special” is valid after 3:00 p.m. between Friday, September 3 and Monday, September 6. The rate is per guest, per day, and includes green fees and the use of an electric cart at any one of the listed golf courses.
The rates do not include tax. Restrictions apply. The offer may be withdrawn or modified at any time without notice. You can book this offer online (link) or call Disney’s Golf Line at 407-939-7415.
The sixth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney returns to Central Florida with a full slate of events from September 2-5 to celebrate legends of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), salute the accomplishments of great HBCU student athletes, and encourage young people to reach for their dreams. The challenge takes place between representatives of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), two HBCU leagues.
The sixth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney kicks off at noon ET on Sunday, September 5, at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. This year’s matchup has been a long time coming as the Southern University Jaguars will take on the Delaware State Hornets for the first time in nearly 25 years.
“As a company that values diversity and supports education, we are proud of our role in the 6th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney,” said Eugene Campbell, vice president of minority business development for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is more than a game—it’s a weekend long celebration for our whole community that gives enthusiastic football fans another reason to enjoy Central Florida.”
For more information on the sixth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, visit their Web site (link).
Vidia, who is known as the fastest-flying fairy there is, began making her appearance last week at Pixie Hollow in the Magic Kingdom. Here’s Vidia with Tinker Bell.
Here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
…The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced last Thursday that Walt Disney Parks & Resorts has agreed to pay $433,819 in back wages owed to 69 employees at Walt Disney World. Disney agreed to make the payments following an agency investigation that uncovered violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The investigation found that managers were not adhering to internal policies regarding off-the-clock work where inventory control clerks in the park’s food and beverage department had not been paid for work done before and after their regular shifts, during meal times and when working from home.
…The three baby warthogs born on July 1, 2010, have started making their appearance at Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
…The new live, rock-concert style show based on Disney channel hits including the High School Musical series, Camp Rock and StarStruck that will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on October 22 now has a name. It will be called Disney Channel Rocks! As reported in our earlier Update, the show replaces High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!
…Four restaurants have been added to the Tables in Wonderland discount program: Via Napoli at Epcot’s Italian pavilion; Big River Grille & Brewing Works at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort; Bongo’s Cuban Café at Downtown Disney Westside; and Paradiso 37 at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.
…A quick reminder that Candlelight Dinner Packages at Epcot are now on sale. You can purchase tickets by calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) and also learn more by checking out our earlier Update.
…The Daily Disney is reporting that the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Walt Disney World’s semi-autonomous government, which is attempting to improve emergency services radio coverage, will be installing new radio-transmission equipment inside the fourth floor mechanical room at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Reedy Creek will also install two new radio antennas atop the roof of the attraction (link).
…WDWMagic.com is reporting that Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is now offering an a la carte menu service for lunch instead of a buffet service on a trial basis (link). The menu includes chili, fried chicken and waffles, sautéed catfish, grilled pork chop, spicy grilled shrimp and andouille sausage, Wilderness s’mores and a warm sticky bun sundae. No word yet on how long the trial period will last. Breakfast and dinner are set to remain as a buffet.
…The 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon is 65 percent full, the Half Marathon is 77 percent full, the Goofy Race-and-a-Half Challenge is 70 percent full, and the Disney Family Fun Run 5K 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 official Walt Disney World Marathon web site (link).
…The Inaugural Disney Wine & Half Marathon and the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Relay have both reached capacity. The Kids Races are 80 percent full and the Mickey's Halloween Family Fun Run 5K is 70 percent full. Both adult 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 or to register, go the ESPN Wide World of Sports Web site (link).
Join our networks
Everyone can save 15 to 30 percent off your room rates for stays from August 15 through October 2. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.
For any stay from August 15 through October 2, you get some great discounts:
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), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
If you're a Annual Passholder, you can get even deeper discounts. Passholders can save 35 to 42 percent off their room rates for stays at Walt Disney World this fall. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.
For any stay from August 15 through October 2, you get some great discounts:
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 SIA if booking via the special reservations phone line for this offer (407-939-7617) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Free dining is back, with the same split-level implementation as has been the case recently. Those staying at value resorts will get the Quick Service Dining Plan for free, while those in moderate, deluxe and deluxe villa accommodations will get the standard Disney Dining Plan for free. Free dining is available on select dates from this October through next September:
You must book free dining by December 20. The 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 web site (link), by calling Walt Disney World at 407-939-7926, or your travel agent and using booking code NL7. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Room-only reservation discounts are available for selected nights from October through mid-February. Guests receive discounts of 25 percent at value resorts, 30 percent at moderates, 25-40 percent at deluxes (varies by resort) and 40 percent at deluxe villa resorts. Discounts are available:
You must book this discount by November 21. The 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 Web site (link), by calling Walt Disney World at 407-939-7926, or your travel agent and using booking code AK9 for 2010 reservations and MM2 for 2011 reservations. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
If you book a room-and-ticket package and would prefer a Disney Gift Card to free dining or a room discount, you can get a $500 gift card for stays of 5 or more nights at deluxe or deluxe villa resorts, $300 for moderate resorts or $200 for value resorts on a non-discounted Magic Your Way room and ticket package. This offer is valid for the same dates as the room-only discounts:
You must book this discount by November 21. The 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 Web site (link), by calling Walt Disney World at 407-939-7926, or your travel agent and using booking code ZH9. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Passholders can save 30 to 42 percent off their room rates for stays at Walt Disney World from October through the end of the year. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.
For any stay from October 3 through December 25 (except for the Thanksgiving weekend of November 24-26), you get some great discounts:
You can book the deal from now through your day of arrival, through the rooms may go fast. 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 Web site (link), by calling Walt Disney World at 407-939-7420, or your travel agent and using booking code XO7. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
(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.