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Update for September 6 – 12, 2010

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

News and Views

MouseAdventure: World Explorers registration extended through Friday! | Best Friends Pet Care Grand Opening | Space Mountain: Now in Starry-O-Phonic Sound | Kids sail free on certain 7-night cruises | Jeff Galloway joins runDisney | Walt Disney World quarterly injury report | One Year to Aulani Resort Opening | Construction update | Quick takes

MouseAdventure: World Explorers registration extended through Friday!

Due to the level of demand, registration for MouseAdventure: World Explorers has been extended through 11 p.m. EDT this Friday, September 10. Only a few more spots are available though, so hurry and sign up before they're gone! If you think that you've seen everything there is to be seen at Disney's Animal Kingdom, you may be in for a surprise. See the park in ways that you've never seen it before! For more info on the game and for registration information, check out the information box below. We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Best Friends Pet Care Grand Opening

Vance Cope attended the Best Friends Pet Care opening last Wednesday, September 1. Here is Vance's report:


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In a grand opening ceremony overseen by Pluto, Best Friends Pet Care opened its new pet resort at Walt Disney World on September 1, offering both basic and deluxe accommodations for most pet owners. Best Friends Pet Care, which has operated all of the kennels on Walt Disney World property for the last two and a half years, is located across from the Port Orleans Riverside Resort and can accommodate up to 300 dogs, cats, and pocket-sized pets.

The new 17,000-square-foot pet care facility contains a wide variety of options when it comes to boarding and pampering your pet. For dog owners, the choices range from basic indoor boarding all the up to the VIP (Very Important Pet) Suite, with its TV, deluxe bedding, and special treats. All dog boarding includes a least one daily walk, and depending on the type of suite booked, food and water. Also available on-site is a 25,000-square-foot dog park with a splash area that pet can enjoy with their owners. Kitty City, a room located away from the sights, smells, and noises of the dogs, is available for cats at the resort. Felines stay in either a two- or four-level "Condo" and are allowed to individually roam the room while their condo is being cleaned. Best Friends also has a room dedicated just for “pocket pets” (hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, fish, and so on) for those needing to board them while on vacation. (Sorry, but no exotics, venomous animals, or primates are allowed.)

In addition to the basics included with your pet's boarding, there are many additional services, activities, and treats available while they are staying at Best Friends. Some of the options available for dogs include Playtime, Cuddletime, Bottled Water, Ice Cream, and even a Bedtime Story. Treats for feline guests include Tuna on a Ritz, Cookies & Milk, Playtime, Deluxe Bedding, and an Activity Toy. Best Friends also has a full-service grooming salon on-site for its guests.

Best Friends is open 7 days a week, one hour before the earliest park opening until one hour after park closing (however, the facility is staffed 24 hours in case of emergencies). Dogs must be current on rabies, DHPP, and Bordetella vaccines, while cats are required to be current on rabies and FVRCP. Discounts for multiple pets sharing the same suite are available, and Disney Vacation Club and Annual Passholder discounts may be available. For more details on reservations, pricing, services and hours check the Web site (link) or call 1-877-4WDW-PETS.

[Editor's note: The phone number provided is toll-free, but is 8 digits long and does not follow the standard phone number format. We have confirmed that both 1-877-493-9738 and 1-877-493-97387 will reach the correct line, however some cell phones may interpret the last number (7) incorrectly. If that happens, please call 1-877-493-9738, and leave off the last 7, or add the number in your address book simply as 1-877-4WDW-PET, singular.]


(Left to right) Dennis, CEO of Dolan Best Friends Pet Care Inc. and Phil Bernard, vice president of Operating Participants for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts,share high-fives with Pluto as they welcome the pet resort’s first guests. Photo by Garth Vaughan. © Disney.


Best Friends Pet Care is a brand new luxury pet resort open at Walt Disn. Garth Vaughan, photographer. © Disney.

Space Mountain: Now in Starry-O-Phonic Sound

Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom has a brand new audio system that Disney calls “Starry-O-Phonic Sound.” According to the Space Mountain Team, “Space was once a silent void, but now, every twist and turn on your galactic journey will be accompanied by a zippy musical track, the whoosh of passing asteroids, and the rush of interstellar traffic, making your space voyage and all-encompassing cosmic joy-ride.” For guests familiar with Space Mountain at Disneyland, this is not the same soundtrack as the Disneyland ride. Walt Disney Imagineering has added a new composition that is exclusive to the Magic Kingdom that will play different music and sound effects throughout all “flights” on 60 newly installed “off-board” speakers. “Starry-O-Phonic Sound” compliments other enhancements that debuted on Space Mountain last November, including new lighting, storyline elements, in-queue video games, and an on-ride photo.


Space Mountain now has a new audio soundtrack. Photo by Julie China

(Mouse)Adventure is Out There! Join us October 9!

Are you ready to earn more merit badges for your sash? We've extended registration for just one additional week for 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. Winning teams will have their prize packages mailed to them after the event.

Registration is still 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. Registration closes Friday, September 10 at 11 p.m. EDT. Don't miss your chance to participate in an amazingly fun romp through the park!

For more information about MouseAdventure and this event in particular, check out our MouseAdventure site and subscribe to our MouseAdventure newsletter.

Kids sail free on certain 7-night cruises

This information was posted by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix in her blog last Tuesday.

Ted from Two Bears Travel (link) just alerted me to the new Kids Sail Free offer on Disney Cruise Line offer on Disney Cruise Line:

“Children ages 17 and under traveling with two full-fare Guests in the same stateroom sail free on most 7-Night Caribbean cruises from January 8, 2011 through March 5, 2011, excluding the February 19, 2011 sailing.”

There are definitely some restrictions and exclusions. The discount applies only to verandah staterooms (except concierge and suites), and it cannot be combined with any onboard credit discounts. Taxes and fees are also not included for the free children.

If this works for your family, give your favorite travel agent a call. Your agent must use booking code KFO to get this rate.

To see all the details on the offer, see the promotion Web page (link).

Jeff Galloway joins runDisney

Jeff Galloway, a leading marathon trainer, has signed on as the official training consultant to Disney’s series of endurance events, which has been rebranded as runDisney. Galloway is a 1972 Olympian and the founder of the Galloway Marathon Training Program. Galloway will be offering training methods and tips at all runDisney events as well as at the runDisney Web site (link) and at Facebook (link).


Jeff Galloway poses September 2, 2010, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Paul Hiffmeyer, photographer. © Disney.

The runDisney brand brings together the four Disney endurance events that include the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA, Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Lady Foot Locker, the inaugural Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, and the Disneyland Half Marathon.

“The runDisney events are widely respected and are all favorites among runners everywhere,” Galloway said. “I’m really excited about working with Disney to help the beginners get started, to push the experienced runners to improve their performance and to help everyone at runDisney events have even more fun.”

Walt Disney World quarterly injury report

According to the Orlando Sentinel (link), Walt Disney World reported nine injuries in the second quarter of this year (April through June). Basic details of the injuries are reported as part of a longstanding agreement in which Florida’s big theme parks avoid government ride-safety regulation in exchange for submitting quarterly reports documenting noteworthy injuries.

The reported injuries included

  • After riding Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom, one man (54) had trouble breathing and later experienced a heart attack; another man (74) became dizzy and felt ill
  • After riding Spaceship Earth at Epcot, a woman (68) experienced chest pain
  • After riding Mission: Space at Epcot, a man (27) felt ill
  • At Castaway Creek at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, a woman (54) fell and broke her shin
  • After riding Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a woman (72) had a seizure. In a separate incident a man (65) experienced chest pain
  • At the Mad Tea Party at the Magic Kingdom, one woman (68) broke her hip, while another woman (61), on another occasion, broke her left arm

One Year to Aulani Resort Opening

August 29 marked one year until the opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii. Disney Parks has released a video of Mickey making a summer vacation stop at Aulani to admire his likeness sculpted out of sand.

Construction update

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

  • Magic Kingdom – the Diamond Horseshoe construction work.
  • Magic Kingdom – Frontierland Promenade construction work.
  • Magic Kingdom – Fairytale Garden construction work.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom – main entrance electrical work.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Conservation Station construction work.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Adrian and Edith’s Head to Toe Costume Ship construction work.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Star Tours rehab signage.
  • Epcot – American Gardens Theatre construction work.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House concierge lounge interior rehab.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Nutcracker Ballrooms 1, 2, and 3 repairs and rehab.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Third floor equipment room lighting modifications.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – DVC signage.
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Convention Center Kitchen electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work.
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Captain’s Shipyard and Summerhouse painting.
  • Downtown Disney – Guest Services construction work.
  • Sun Trust Building (across Downtown Disney) – electrical work.
  • Walt Disney World Monorail – concrete pylon installation.

Quick takes …

…Walt Disney World passholders have a chance to preview the new Tinkerbell film, Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue on September 11 and 12 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 11 a.m., noon., and 2 p.m. on both days. Passholders must register for the advance screening at the passholder Web site (link).

…The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is taking applications September 13–17 at its Web site (link). The panel is an online forum that serves as a resource for families planning a Disney vacation by offering time-tested tips from real Disney fans.

…According to the Daily Disney (link), court papers were filed last week for a pending lawsuit by the mother of Austin Wuennenberg (who was killed in July 2009 while working as a Walt Disney World monorail pilot when two monorails collided) has accused her son’s former boss of leaving his post and creating a dangerous situation.

…Through December 31, 2010, D23 members and up to five guests can receive 15 percent off their meals at House of Blues in Downtown Disney. Offer excludes alcohol, tax, and gratuity. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Some restrictions apply.

…Actor Frank Langella has been added to the Candlelight Processional narrator list for December 2–4, 2010. Narrators are subject to change without notice.

…The 2011 Adventures by Disney e-brochure is now on line (link).

…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 have also reached capacity and the Mickey's Halloween Family Fun Run 5K is 80 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).

…The “Village Beatniks,” a five person percussion ensemble, will have their last performance at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on September 25.

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Coming up

  • 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 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 August1 to October 22.
  • The Mad Tea Party – closed for refurbishment September 26 to November 10.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – closed for refurbishment October 25 to November 14.
  • Storytime with Belle – last performance on September 12. Will be replaced with a new “play and greet” with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled starting October 15.
  • Pooh's Thotful Shop – closed for refurbishment October 25 to November 7.

Epcot

  • Cantina de San Angel – closed for major renovation, tentatively set to soft-open in mid-September as two restaurants, both the returning Cantina de San Angel and the new Hacienda de San Angel. Taqueria Del Lago remains open.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Star Tours – closed for refurbishment September 8, 2010 through May 16, 2011.
  • One Man's Dream – closed for refurbishment August 16 through November 2.
  • "High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!" – final performance October 2; "Disney Channel Rocks!" begins performances October 22.

Animal Kingdom

  • Flame Tree Barbeque – closed through September 24.
  • Beastly Bazaar – closed for refurbishment September 5 to October 2.

Resorts

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed October 31, 2010 through January 8, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach – closed January 9, 2011 through March 19, 2011 for refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • 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 October 2

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:

  • Value resorts: 30 percent off
  • Moderate resorts: 30 percent off
  • Deluxe Resorts: 40 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 40 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), 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:

  • Value resorts: 35 percent off
  • Moderate resorts: 35 percent off
  • Deluxe Resorts: 42 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 42 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 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 through September 29, 2011

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:

  • 2010
    • October 1-7
    • October 22-28
    • November 12-18
    • November 27 to December 2
    • December 10-21
  • 2011
    • January 1-5
    • January 9-13
    • January 21 to February 3
    • February 11-17
    • February 25 to March 3
    • May 27 to June 2
    • August 19 to September 29

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 discounts through February 16, 2011

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:

  • October 3 to November 23
  • November 27 to December 25
  • January 1 to February 16

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).

Free Disney Gift Cards through February 16, 2011

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:

  • October 3 to November 23
  • November 27 to December 25
  • January 1 to February 16

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).

Passholder discounts through December 25, 2010

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:

  • Value resorts plus Animal Kingdom Lodge – 30 percent off
  • Moderate resorts, including Fort Wilderness Cabins, plus Grand Floridian Resort – 35 percent off
  • Remaining Deluxe Resorts – 42 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts – 42 percent off

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).


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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.