The maintenance worker injured while working on Primeval Whirl last week died early Monday morning following a traumatic head injury. Russell Roscoe (52) of Webster, Florida, was working on the "Little Dip" area on the attraction's "A" side when he got in the way of a moving vehicle, according to the recording of the 911 call placed to Reedy Creek Emergency Services. The accident occurred around 3:45 p.m. last Sunday, and Roscoe was pronounced dead early Monday at the Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was flown by medical helicopter.
The attraction was behind a construction wall, and the accident took place out of the view of the park's guests, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Roscoe's family told Central Florida News 13 that some of his organs were donated after the accident. A memorial service for Roscoe took place on Friday evening, and friends and family gathered on Saturday to remember him. He will be buried today at Florida National Cemetery.
There is still no word on what caused the accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the incident, along with the Orange County Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit.
Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton released the following statement:
Our Walt Disney World community has experienced a tragic loss. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Russ Roscoe’s family and we are working to assist them during this difficult time; our thoughts and our prayers are with them. Our thoughts are also with Russ’ fellow cast members and the first responders who came to his aid. We deeply appreciate all their efforts. There is no higher priority than the safety of our cast and our guests, and we will work with authorities to thoroughly review every aspect of this incident.
Walt Disney World has applied for and received a permit from the South Florida Water Management District for changes to the shoreline of Seven Seas Lagoon, drainage, erosion control, and other modifications related to the construction of a new Disney Vacation Club building to be part of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa near the Magic Kingdom park, between the existing main building and Disney's Wedding Pavilion. Changes include demolition of tennis courts and walkways, installation of a new covered walkway, the new resort, a new parking lot and more.
The location, currently a large grassy area and beach between the Beach Pool and the Wedding Pavilion, will house a large T-shaped building that will extend into the current Seven Seas Lagoon. The shoreline will be built out to accommodate the new building. This will dominate the view from the Wedding Pavilion toward everything to the left of Big Pine Key (building 9).
The new resort will have 200 keyed entries (a "keyed entry" is any room that can be locked off and entered separately, though it will probably counted as fewer "two-bedroom equivalents"—which counts connected studio and one-bedroom units as a single "two-bedroom equivalent"), but we have received word that there will also be additional existing rooms at the Grand Floridian that will be converted to DVC units, as well. This will result in a roll-out similar to that of the Animal Kingdom Villas, where the converted fourth- and fifth-floor rooms in the original Lodge building (now called "Jambo House") were later joined by the new rooms in the Kidani Village addition.
The existing parking lot by the to-be-demolished tennis courts will be removed, and replaced by two new parking lots—a 192-space lot for the guests of the new building and a 124-space gated lot specifically for the Wedding Pavilion. The gated lot will connect directly to the circular driveway for the Wedding Pavilion, while the resort lot will connect to the circular drive for the new building and fill the space between the existing Spa & Health Club (which will not be affected), the Wedding Pavilion lot and the main entry driveway. The entry to the new lots will cover much of the current tennis courts, though it appears from the site plan that enough room will remain for a half-court basketball court adjacent to the Spa & Health Club. Don't expect these new parking lots to ease parking restrictions at the Grand Floridian, though. Magic Kingdom resort parking is apparently enough of a problem that all Magic Kingdom resorts might be restricting their parking more in the future.
The existing walkway from the Grand Floridian to the Wedding Pavilion will be demolished and replaced by a covered walkway that only goes as far as the new DVC building. Another existing walkway from Floridian Drive to Luau Cove at the Polynesian Resort will be relocated to make way for a new drainage pond.
To compensate for the reduction in the capacity of Seven Seas Lagoon, the shoreline of Bay Lake will be cut in two locations. The first is north of the Wilderness Lodge's cast member parking lot, almost all the way to World Drive. The second expansion will actually provide more space at the docking area for the Magic Kingdom Resort boat fleet, as it will expand the docking inlet to the north of the Contemporary Resort and northeast of the Magic Kingdom.
If you'd like to look at some of the permit documents, you can find the site plan, extended plans, and application documents at the South Florida Water Management District site. You can also go to the Water Management District's site and search for application # 110307-4, permit # 48-00714-S for all documents related to the project.
What do you think? Join the discussion on our MousePad discussion forums.
A permit still pending at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is to build new restrooms on the current site of the Fantasyland Skyway station, and to create a new walkway that will route much of the traffic between Fantasyland and Liberty Square north of the existing Yankee Trader shop, meeting the current walkway just outside the gates of the Haunted Mansion. With the added traffic flow, the new interactive queue area for the Haunted Mansion will go a long way toward pulling the Mansion's crowds from the new junction, where the overflow for the Mansion's old queue would regularly fill some of the space.
Creating the new restrooms and walkway will allow the existing restrooms between Peter Pan's Flight and the Columbia Harbour House to be closed, and for the expansion of the Peter Pan queue into that area, as well as into part of the existing walkway area. Whether this means the closure of the walkway under the Harbour House bridge is unknown, but that portion of the walkway does still appear on the plans submitted to the SFWMD.
The existing queue for Peter Pan's Flight—one of the most popular attractions in the park—is long, unthemed, and claustrophobic. The "Next Generation" queue purportedly under development would add theming and lots of entertainment, which would go a long way toward making what can still be a long wait more bearable.
You can see the related maps and plans at the SFWMD's website, and you can also go to the Water Management District's site and search for application # 110217-4, permit # 48-00714-S for all documents related to the project.
Last week, Disney provided a sneak peek into the developments in the new interactive queue area for the Haunted Mansion. Disney Imagineers Eric Goodman and Pete Carsillo take you through a look at just some of the new features of the expanded area, including a close-up look at the Decomposing Composer's Crypt, with its interactive instruments. Some of the gravestones formerly seen in the "graveyard" adjacent to the old queue now appear in new locations (some of which seem incongruent for a grave marker, as there's no room for a body underneath), and there's a new wall of crypts with inscriptions honoring those who worked on the creation of the Haunted Mansion.
One interesting new feature of the queue is a hidden cryptogram puzzle. If you're planning on visiting the attraction in the near future, you may want to save the puzzle to solve on your own. If you can't wait, Ricky Brigante of Inside the Magic has solved it for you. Ricky does a nice job of exposing the puzzle in layers, so you can see as much as you want without completely spoiling it, if you like.
Some of the markers moved from the Haunted Mansion's old graveyard (such as Master Gracey at center) are placed on plots of ground too small to believe that a body is buried beneath them. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Look for the new queue to officially open around the end of the month.
Registration is now open for all events during the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon. Events take place the weekend of January 5-8, 2012, starting with Disney's Health & Fitness Expo and the Pasta Party in the Park on Thursday, January 5.
In addition to the Marathon, Half Marathon, Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, Disney Family Fun Run 5K and Disney Kids' Races, there's a new option available to runners. The Walt Disney World Marathon Relay allows two runners to each run a half-marathon and together complete the full marathon. The new race's medal will feature Chip 'n' Dale. The first runner will begin at the start line of the Marathon near Epcot and run through part of Epcot's Future World and to the Magic Kingdom. The second runner will take over there, and run through Disney's Animal Kingdom, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Disney's Hollywood Studios before rounding Crescent Lake and entering Epcot's World Showcase on their way to the finish line in Epcot's parking lot. Registration fees for the new race are $280 per two-person team, or the same cost as registration for the marathon or half-marathon for one runner. Cost for the Goofy Challenge is $310 per runner.
There's a benefit to registering soon if you're planning to run, as registration fees go up by $10 ($20 for the relay and the Goofy) on April 25, and another $10 (or $20) on July 4. Registration fees have no escalation date for the Disney Family Fun Run 5K ($50, or $55 for stroller division), Disney Kids' Races ($10) or the Mickey Mile ($25).
A 16-minute per mile pace is still required to avoid being swept, and racers expecting to finish the Half Marathon or first half of the Marathon Relay in less than 2:45 or the Marathon in less than 5:00 should submit proof of time to get their start corral placement.
The Pasta in the Park Party takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the World Showplace pavilion at Epcot, and will include a buffet dinner, a live DJ, Disney character appearances, and a reserved viewing location for Illuminations. The party will cost $47.50 plus tax for adults (ages 10 and up) and $28.35 plus tax for children (ages 3-9). These tickets are not on sale yet.
For more information, go to the Walt Disney World Marathon website.
This past weekend, Walt Disney World hosted the first-ever "Disney's Magic of Healthy Living" event, where 50 young winners of an essay contest and their families got to mix and mingle with Disney Channel stars and Disney characters while exploring new ways to "make 'healthy' fun and easy." The contest winners, ages 8-14, shared their own ideas for leading healthier lifestyles. They got to meet such Disney Channel stars as Alyson Stoner, Jennifer Stone, Kenton Duty, Daniel Curtis Lee, and Caroline Sunshine.
The stars and kids participated in a "TRY-athlon," in which there were four different major activities:
On Saturday, all participants also interacted with the attendees of Disney's Social Media Moms Celebration and their families.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than a baby who is born too soon having medical complications that leave them with medical difficulties for life, or worse, that never let them leave the hospital alive. On May 15, 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.
Over the last five years, through the generosity of MousePlanet readers, friends, family, and co-workers, we have raised nearly $19,000. This year, let's do something really special. My personal goal is to raise $5,000 this year, but you can help in ways other than donating to my walk. This year, 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 site near you. If you join me in walking, money that you raise will help babies in your area to get a fighting chance to survive!
For more information about why I'm walking, or to donate to my walk, please go to my fundraising page. To sign up to join Team MousePlanet, please go to the team page. Let's show those struggling babies how much MousePlanet readers care!
With the help of our fantastic Guide Editors, we've just completed a major update of the park restaurant menus from Walt Disney World. Click on the "Dining" section from our Walt Disney World Guide to see the list. Please help us keep the menus up to date! Send photos or scans of park menus to firstname.lastname@example.org to help us keep our listings updated!
Here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
…The Town Square Theater meet-and-greet location is scheduled to open on April 1. It is rumored that the new, Fastpass-supplemented meet-and-greet home for Mickey, Minnie and the Princesses will have its Fastpass return times strictly enforced, but we haven't had that confirmed officially. At most attractions, Disney does not enforce the end of the return window to allow for difficulties in returning due to extenuating circumstances, but it's possible that they feel that the timing of meet-and-greets will require a little less flexibility. We'll find out whether that's the case in just under two weeks.
…StudiosCentral.com is reporting several character meet-and-greet changes coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Lots-o'-Huggin Bear will leave his spot at the Magic of Disney Animation, to be replaced by Winnie-the-Pooh. The spot has been used to promote the latest animated features, so this is no surprise with Pooh opening on July 15. Lotso remains in the Pixar Pals Coundown to Fun parade, though. Cars 2 opens three weeks earlier, on June 24, but Lightning McQueen won't fit into the building. Instead, McQueen will disappear from the existing Luigi's Casa Della Tires meet-and-greet on April 8, leaving Tow Mater behind to meet the guests until April 18. At that time, the whole location will go under wraps for conversion to a Cars 2 theme with a new backdrop and a new look for McQueen. The new area will open on May 16 (there's that date again). Of course, it will come as no surprise, then, that the new Phineas and Ferb meet-and-play location will debut on May 16.
…The Jedi Training Academy schedule will be modified slightly starting Sunday, March 27. The 9:55 a.m. show moves back 5 minutes, to 10:00 a.m. In addition, on days when Fantasmic! is showing that evening, five additional shows will be added due to expected elevated crowd levels, with an early morning show at 9:15 a.m., plus four evening shows at 5:45, 6:40, 7:35 & 8:30 p.m.
…The reopening of the Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management is reportedly now July 1. Still no word on whether the show remains the same, revert to the original show, or become yet another variant.
…The date has been set for the 2012 Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend. If you're interested in participating in next year's run, save the dates of February 24-26. Registration for Disney's Princess Half Marathon, the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, and Disney's Kids' Races will open on July 5.
…If you're making plans to sail aboard the Disney Dream, please be aware that there has been a slight adjustment to dining times. The seating times have been moved up one quarter-hour, moving from 6:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., and from 8:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. This change became effective yesterday.
…Now that construction has been completed, the the Disney Cruise Line's guest drop-off location at Port Canaveral has returned to the original location along the north side of the terminal.
…In the past, Disney Cruise Line guests who were visiting the Atlantis resort in Nassau could visit the Royal Tower and view the Great Hall of Waters. Atlantis has now changed that policy so that day guests are not allowed, and only those guests on pre-purchased port excursions are allowed into the Royal Tower to view the Great Hall of Waters.
…AAA is conducting a sweepstakes with a grand prize of a night in the Cinderella Castle Suite as part of a 5-night Walt Disney World vacation. You must enter by April 15, and the prize travel must be completed by September 30.
…Registration for the Expedition Everest Challenge, scheduled for May 7, is now 70 percent full. Sign up now.
…Registration is now open for all races during the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend. Sign up now for the Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, Disney Family Fun Run 5K, and Disney Kids' Races. Registration for the weekend's ChEAR Squad will open later.
…Registration for the events for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2012 is now open.
Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the Web site of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, to help you better plan your trip to the Disneyland Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."
The first week of the Spring Break season proved extremely busy at Walt Disney World Resort. Our research team and fabulous Lines users submit wait times year round. Last year, here's what our statistical team measured for the upcoming week:
The second week of Spring Break should be no less crowded than the first, with the Resort Crowd Level hitting 10 four times this week!
See Disney World crowd predictions for the next 365 days.
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Walt Disney World Passholder merchandise discounts have been extended through the end of 2011. Epcot After 4pm, Weekday Select, Seasonal and Annual Passholders get 10 percent off purchases at selected locations, while Premium Annual Passholders (including bi-coastal Premier Annual Passholders) get 20 percent off. The discount is available at Walt Disney World-owned and operated shops, but not those stores owned by "operating participants" (third-party stores). The discount is also not valid on a long list of products, and can not be combined with other discounts, offers or promotions. For a full list of what is not included in this discount, check out the Art of Disney Parks Web site.
Disney Vacation Club members and Passholders can get 30 percent off Category 2 tickets to see La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil when purchased in advance. The discount is good on any performance from February 1 through April 9. You can purchase your advance tickets by calling 407-939-7604. The offer is valid for DVC members and/or Passholders plus up to 5 guests. This offer provides a deeper discount than even the troupe's own Cirque Club, which is offering a 25 percent discount over the same dates.
Tickets will be available for pick up at the La Nouba Box Office's Will Call window. You'll have to present valid DVC Member or Passholder ID to pick up your tickets. Please plan to arrive at least one hour before show time. This offer isn't good for gift certificates or on tickets you've already bought, and you can't combine it with other discounts. The offer is subject to availability.
Room-only discounts are being offered for April 28 to June 14 and August 14 to October 1, for which you must make your reservations by March 27. Fall discounts are for five percentage points more than the late spring discounts, and discounts vary by type of resort. Here are the discounts applicable for each resort type:
|Resorts||April 28 - June 14||August 14 - October 1|
|All-Star Movies||15 percent||20 percent|
|Remaining Values, Port Orleans French Quarter||20 percent||25 percent|
|Remaining Moderates, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Polynesian||25 percent||30 percent|
|Remaining Deluxes||30 percent||35 percent|
|Deluxe Villas||35 percent||40 percent|
Note that 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, by calling Walt Disney World at 407-939-7722, or your travel agent and using booking code TSU. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com and Small World Vacations.
Passholders can save 32 to 42 percent off their room rates for stays at Walt Disney World for most nights February 6 – April 16, 2011.
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. Suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas are not included. An adult passholder must show their pass at check-in. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.
Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World Web site, by calling Walt Disney World at 407-939-7939, or your travel agent and using booking code AU6. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com and Small World Vacations.
If you'd like to take a TransAtlantic cruise for as little as $57 per night, now is the time to book! The 14-night Eastbound repositioning cruise of the Disney Magic is offering eight days at sea and stops at Castaway Cay; Madeira, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Gibraltar, U.K.; and Barcelona Spain for just $799 per person based on double occupancy for an inside stateroom with restrictions. The cruise leaves Port Canaveral on May 14 and arrives in Barcelona on May 28.
Reservations may be booked through the Disney Cruise Line website, by calling the Disney Cruise Line at 800-951-3532, or your travel agent. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com and Small World Vacations.
From now through September 28, 2011, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with either the Park Hopper or Water Parks Fun and More option for $138 per ticket, plus tax, or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $165 per ticket, plus tax. No Base ticket is available with this offer.
The tickets expire and may not be used after October 1, 2011. The tickets may not be used at all Walt Disney World theme parks and other gated attractions on the following blockout dates: December 27-31, 2010 and April 17-23, 2011. Additionally, the tickets may not be used at the Magic Kingdom on July 4, 2011.
Eligible service members include active or retired members of the U.S. military including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservists. Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased at Shades of Green or at a participating military base (MWR/ITT) office. There is no tax charged for these tickets but they must be activated at a theme park ticket window. Tickets may also be purchased at Walt Disney World Park Ticket Offices and Guest Relations Offices where tax will be charged. No more than six tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or their spouse, but not both) for themselves, family members, and friends, and all tickets must be purchased at the same time. If the immediate family has more than five dependents, additional tickets may be purchased for the dependents, however, additional tickets for guests may not be purchased. Valid military identification is required. The tickets are non-transferable and may not be resold.
The tickets may be upgraded to Seasonal Passes or Florida Resident Weekday Select Passes (for Florida Residents), or Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, or Disney Premier Pass with credit toward the upgrade based on the actual price paid. The no-expiration option and other upgrades, such as additional days, are not available.
For complete information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets, military personnel may call (407) 939-7830 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.
(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.