Eli Manning, quarterback of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVI, will make good on his promise in the "I'm Going to Disney World!" commercial filmed last night, and will appear in a mini-parade at the Magic Kingdom today. The Giants beat the New England Patriots 21 to 17 to win the National Football League's championship game. This is the 45th in the iconic series of commercials, and is also not the first time Manning made the proclamation in a commercial a win at the Big Game; his first was for Super Bowl XLII in 2008.
The parade is scheduled to start at the Liberty Square bridge at 1:20 p.m., go around the hub and down Main Street, U.S.A., finishing in Town Square. The time is subject to change due to travel for Manning from Indianapolis, site of last night's game. Last year's parade featuring Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers was delayed over an hour and a half due to travel issues.
To accommodate the parade, some entertainment schedule changes have been made, with an additional Dream Along with Mickey show scheduled at 12:00 noon, and the 12:00 Trolley show and the 1:15 and 2:15 Dream Along with Mickey shows being cancelled.
Disney has released a Passholder discount for most nights from March 9 through June 14. Discounts are 35 percent for select Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa accommodations, and 30 percent for Value resorts from Sunday through Thursday nights.
Unlike most Passholder discounts, you must book this discount by this Wednesday, February 8, rather than up through your arrival date, if discounted rooms are not yet sold out by then. The rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Suites and 3- bedroom Grand Villas are not included.
For stays on the nights of March 9 to 31 and May 25 to 27, guests receive discount rates of:
For stays on the nights of April 12 to May 24 and May 28 to June 14, the discounts are:
You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-1875 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code A7B. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
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For the second year, the Jane Goodall Institute is providing the opportunity for guests to participate in an "Adventure of a Lifetime" and explore Disney's Animal Kingdom with Dr. Jane Goodall herself. The 2012 Walt Disney World Safari VIP Weekend takes place April 20–22 this year, and includes all scheduled events, two nights in a savannah view room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, select meals, a three-day Park Hopper pass, and more.
We haven't been able to confirm the pricing yet, but since a number of events included in last year's event are not listed for this year, and the event is one day shorter, it is likely that the cost will be somewhat less that last year. Last year's price tag was $8,500 per adult or $7,500 per child.
As of Sunday, February 5, the trip is not listed on the Jane Goodall Institute website, but information should be there shortly. Space will be extremely limited, so you'll want to keep watch and make your reservation quickly.
For those who cannot afford the cost of the event but would like to hear Dr. Goodall speak, she is giving a keynote at Rollins College on April 19, the night before the event.
Tables in Wonderland, the discount dining program available to Annual Passholders and Florida residents, is hosting another in its series of Discovery Dinners next week.
A program announced for Thursday, February 16 is another Discovery Dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors at the Contemporary Resort, with a 6:30 p.m. reception and 7:00 p.m. dinner. The $110 price per person includes tax and gratuity. Appetizers are paired with wine during the reception, and dinner features an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert, with a wine pairing for each course. This month's dinner celebrates hydroponic micro-produce from Cahaba Clubs Herbal Outpost in Odessa, Florida. The event is limited to 46 attendees.
Dishes during the reception include Cahaba Farms Chimi Churi Marinated Gulf Shrimp with Winter Park Cheddar Grit Cakes and Tamarind BBQ Sauce; Grilled Lamb Tenderloin with Cahaba Micro Mint and Caramelized Onion Essence; and Mozzarella and Local Egg Plant Caponata on House-made Focaccia, paired with Edgebaston Pepper Pot. Dinner starts with an appetizer of Port Canaveral Coconut Crusted White Shrimp with a Micro Mustard Marmalade, paired with Nugan Estate Vision Chardonnay. It will be followed by a salad of Hydroponically Grown “Living Lettuce” Salad featuring Micro Celery, Onion, Sakura Radish, and Arugula, accompanied by Sherwood Estate Sauvignon Blanc.
The evening's entree will be Bone-in Rib Eye Cowboy Steak with Florida Lobster Mac n Cheese and King Family Farm Roasted Vegetable of the Moment. It will be served with Oliverhill Red Silk Shiraz. A cheese course featuring an assortment of cheeses and seasonal dried fruit featuring Winter Park Artisan Raw Milk Cheddar, Drunken Goat Cheese, and Point Reyes Bleu will be accompanied by Eventide Viognier. A dessert trio features Warm Chocolate Cinnamon Cake with Beet and Micro Herb Reduction, Citrus Fennel Salad, and Lemon Basil Ice Cream, all paired with RL Buller Fine Muscat.
Dress 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; be prepared to provide your credit card number over the phone at the time of confirmation.
Imagineer Peter Ricci describes the new water features on board the Disney Fantasy.
When Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens at the end of May, its Landscape of Flavors food court will offer five mini-shops featuring a wide variety of what Disney is referring to as "better-for-you" food options. Some of the already-announced options include:
A wide variety of beverages is available, such as made-to-order fresh fruit smoothies, lemonade, and pomegranate limeade. There are also organic teas, beer (including gluten-free), wine, coffee and juices. In addition to plain coffee, French vanilla and mocha iced are available. Wine aficionados can even get half-bottles of wine paired with entrees from the food shops.
The food court will be part of the Disney Dining Plan, details to follow.
We hear that the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game is unofficially open daily starting yesterday, but is not officially open until February 21. The game lets guests do battle with the forces of evil in the form of more than 20 Disney villains attempting to take over the Magic Kingdom. Utilizing QR code technology similar to that used in the Mickey's Midship Detective Agency game aboard the Disney Dream, the cards activate and interact with portals set up in Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Main Street, U.S.A.
Guests go to game headquarters at the Main Street Fire Station, where they are issued a map, one identity card, and five "spell" cards with which to do battle with the villains. The identity card identifies the guest to the game so that their storyline will be continuous from portal to portal, and each spell card provides power with which to battle the villains. Each spell is themed to the character on the card, such as Rafiki's Wisdom Stick, the Queen of Hearts' Card Army, Pumbaa's Odorous Gas, Bolt's Super Bark, and Monstro's Water Spout. The 70 possible spell cards are divided into nine spell classes: Princesses, Heroes, Machines, Toys, Animals, Mystics, Monsters, Fairies, and Warriors. Cards are also marked with indications of their rarity: stars for rare cards, moons for uncommon cards, and planets for common cards.
The general storyline holds that the villains are trying to steal one of four shattered pieces of Merlin's crystal ball. Guests are deputized by Merlin as sorcerer's apprentices to help to prevent this from happening. There are eight different adventures for guests to complete. Those finishing all of them get a bonus battle. So far, only the basic level has been tested. The moderate level is likely rolling out shortly, with a high-difficulty expert level further down the line. As the other levels are available, guests should be able to select their level at sign-up time.
Here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
…Passholders can attend special screenings of Disney's John Carter in 3D at the Premier Theatre on the Backlot of Disney's Hollywood Studios on March 3 and 4. Screenings are held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. Reservations are only available online through the evcent page on the passholder website. Note that, while the movie is rated PG-13, the film may be too intense for younger viewers. Registration closes February 22 or when capacity is reached, whichever comes first.
…We're hearing that First Lady Michelle Obama is visiting Walt Disney World on Saturday. Unlike her husband, her official visit will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to appear with Disney Channel and Disney XD stars in support of her health and fitness initiative.
…The Liberty Square Riverboat's refurbishment has been extended. Originally scheduled to return this Thursday, the Liberty Belle will not be back until Sunday, May 20. No word on the reason for the lengthy extension.
…The roller coaster trains of The Great Goofini have been seen in testing in the past week. The formerly blue plane-themed cars are now painted red.
…Innoventions welcomed another new exhibit last Friday with the opening of Habit Heroes. The exhibit, sponsored by Florida Blue and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, encourages kids of all ages to learn healthy lifestyle habits. Habit Heroes Will Power and Callie Stenics will help guests defear villains like Insomnia, Nicotina, and Stress Case. Kids can play at home as well, at the Habit Heroes website.
…You may win your choice of Disney Cruises in a new Hanes Cruise in Comfort Giveaway on Facebook. You can enter daily through March 30.
…While details have not yet been announced, this year's collectible trading celebration will be called Mickey's Circus and take place September 7-9 at Epcot's World Showcase. Formerly the Pin Trading Celebration, the event has been expanded to include Vinylmation and other merchandise, changing the name to Disney Trade Celebration. We'll have more as details are announced.
…Congratulations to Walt Disney World, which won the Best Theme Park (worldwide) category at the 2012 World Travel Awards. The awards are presented by the Travel Weekly industry magazine.
…Registration for the May 5 the Expedition Everest Challenge is now open.
…Registration for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler opens in just over one week, on February 14.
…Is this the week that registration fills up for the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon (the weekend of February 24 to 26)? The Princess Half Marathon is 97 percent full and the Royal Famly 5K is 94 percent full. The Royal Family Kids' Races and the Pasta in the Park Party are sold out.
Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, to help you better plan your trip to the Walt Disney World 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."
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Florida residents can take advantage of a special 3- or 4- day ticket at discounted prices through late May. The "Wild for 3" (and "Wild for 4") tickets are available for purchase through May 21, and are valid for admission any three (or four) days through May 24, excluding blackout dates. The tickets are not valid February 18-20 and April 1-13 due to high crowd levels.
The Wild for 3 Pass ($99 plus tax) and Wild for 4 ($129 plus tax) passes are good at any one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks each day, but without park hopping privileges. Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options can be added for $27.50 each ($55 for both).
Proof of Florida residency is required for each adult age 18 and older. The discounted price applies to both adults and children.
Disney has released a Passholder discount for most nights from through March 8. Discounts are 35 percent for select Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa accommodations, and 30 percent for Value resorts from Sunday through Thursday nights.
As with most Passholder discounts, you can book this discount up through your arrival date, if discounted rooms are not yet sold out by then. The rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas are not included.
You can make your reservation through the Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7731 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code H5L. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Disney has released a room-only discount for all nights from April 13 through June 14. Discounts vary based on date. However, many resorts are excluded from the discount, including All-Star Movies Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, Contemporary Resort, Beach Club Villas, Wilderness Lodge Villas, and premium views at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
For stays on the nights of May 25 to 27, guests receive discount rates of:
For all other nights during the discount period, the discounts are:
You must book this discount by February 28. The rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.
You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1917 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code N6P. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Passholders can save 25% on Category 2 tickets La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil on performances Tuesday through Friday nights, from January 31 to March 30. To purchase tickets, (407) 939-7604. Note that a valid Passholder ID and advance purchase is required. Tickets can be purchased up to 30 days prior to the show date, and must be picked up at the La Nouba box office Will Call window.
From now through September 28, 2012, 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 September 30, 2012. Blackout dates are April 1 to 12, 2012; and July 4, 2012.
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 twelve Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased, activated and/or used by any Eligible Service Member or spouse during the life of this promotion, and no Eligible Service Member or spouse may purchase, activate and/or use more than six Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets during any single week of the promotion. One of the Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets purchased on each occasion must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or spouse. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. 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, visit the Walt Disney World website, 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.