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Questions, Comments, and Corrections

MousePlanet Mailbag for February 20, 2003

We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot publish all of them, the following may be of interest to other readers.

Follow-up from our 1/16 Mailbag

In our January 16, 2003 MousePlanet Mailbag, Bruce M. asked:

"I read in an e-mail newsletter a few weeks ago that Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge stopped operating its own smokehouse and that the food had taken a huge quality hit. I haven't been able to find any confirmation... Do you know if it's true?"

We asked MousePlanet readers to help answer Bruce's question, and Kent C. wrote with his recent experience:

I went to Whispering Canyon in December. I don't know about them closing their smokehouse, but for the food I can answer that. The ribs were a little over done, but OK for all-you-can-eat. They no longer have the turkey legs that they had two years ago, but the rest of the food was good.

Thanks Kent!

Feedback for Sheila Hagen

I'm passing on my response to a typical question I get two to three times a week for the last 18 months regarding Disney's Magical Moments Pins and Game:

Many visitors to WDW in the last 18 months have bought the Magical Moments Game for their children to play. Of course, batteries eventually die out and we've been besieged by parents desperate to reset the game so their children can continue game play. Here are the reset directions from the instruction booklet:

  1. Turn the game on or go to the Game Menu (Cinderella Castle should be on the screen).
  2. Press the Up arrow, followed by Down, Up, Down, Up, Down and all of the games will be activated.

Happy gaming!

Feedback for Brian Bennett

The following were in response to Brian's Family Reunion Trip Report.

Tamara C. writes:

I am an avid reader of your column. I just read your family reunion trip report, and I just wanted to say that I found your family reunion trip report very good and pack with a lot of information.

We are planning a sort of family reunion trip to Disney World this August 14 to 22 for 18 people (eight adults and 10 kids) with five-day passes to Disney and two days at Universal. We are all rookies, so it's the blind leading the blind. I know we must be crazy. But thanks to you, we'll make use of some of your ideas and planning, and hopefully our family reunion will be as successful as yours. We're open to any tips, suggestions or ideas that you might have. Thank you and your staff for all the information provided on your site.

Thanks for the kind note about my report, Tamara.

I'd strongly suggest that you look through MousePlanet's WDW Trip Planning Guide. You'll find all kinds of information on planning a trip to Walt Disney World. There's information there on the resort hotels (including room rates), parks (including admission media), and all other aspects of planning a trip down to see the Mouse.

If, after you'd surfed through those pages, there are questions you don't have answers to, let me know and I'll be happy to help as best I can.

Tim W. writes:

Amazing report! (I may finish reading it someday...)

A couple of quick questions: The guns in the fort on Tom Sawyer Island were all removed when we visited in June 2002; I thought they were pulled for PC reasons.

The Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party crowds: I thought as did you that it was a limited ticket event, like the Halloween nights. When we went to Halloween, other than Dumbo, no waits over 10 minutes, if that. Are there less attractions open like on Halloween?

Everyone complains about the carnival games in Dinoland, but there are a couple of important differences from a real carnival: the quality of the prizes, and they don't pressure you into having a certain number of players to start a game. I see why people aren't crazy about their prescence, but the cost is minimal when you consider things like $3 water bottles, $14 flashlights, $5 cokes in a "souvenir" 12-ounce mug, etc. For myself, I'd rather my son play a game there than at some dirty, seedy, travelling carnival, loaded with unruly teenagers using foul language!

Again, great report!

Tim – Thanks for your note and comments.

I believe the guns on the fort that were removed were at Disneyland. WDW's Fort Langhorn still has its guns.

Regarding Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, it appeared that the whole park was open, which is fortunate because the place was so crowded.

Margaret W. writes:

I enjoyed your new trip report and I'm glad you had a better time than on your last trip. I like the new Mouseplanet format and I agree that it's better for you to edit your mailbag rather than posting everything. One design suggestion: put links between the sections of the planning guide so that readers can read it through without returning to the index. Also, Mouseplanet should consider including some information on the differences between the Central Reservation Office and Walt Disney Travel Company reservations policies.

I was also at WDW during the holiday season but decided not to do a trip report for my two day trips. One was to the Grand Floridian to have tea with my mother. The tea is elegant and a good value, but has less generous servings than comparable teas in Britain. We enjoyed seeing the resort and its decorations, took the monorail resort-hopping, and returned to the Grand Floridian to have dinner at Citricos and see the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

I also used the remaining day on my Park Hopper from August to visit all of the parks briefly to see their Christmas decorations. Animal Kingdom was crowded and strangely hot for a chilly day — is it ever not crowded and hot? I agree that the Osborne Family Lights are amazing. After a crowded day at the Magic Kingdom, it was so deserted after 11:00 p.m. that a Splash Mountain cast member actually said, "You can stay on and ride again if you want."

Another (perhaps obvious) Magic Kingdom observation is that the classic advice to do the popular attractions during parades only works if you make certain that the parade will not block your access to the rides. If you get stuck on the left side of Main Street the only place you can go is Adventureland. In general I think that it's wise of Disney not to sell one-day tickets with hopper privileges; you can't help yourself from trying to do too much.

Thanks for the kind note and your wonderful comments, Margaret! I am very glad that I had a better trip without any major problems.

Chip N. writes:

Dear Brian,

As you have always answered my questions, I just had to respond, not on your questions, but on your wonderful comments!

For so many years I've wanted a family reunion at WDW. My wife and I have taken our children many, many times to the World starting in December of 1996, but have never had the experience of being with other family members at WDW. The only time we experienced something of this nature was in December of 1998, and that was with my uncle (who is the father I never had) and his family. My uncle has a son close to my age (and he is like the brother I never had). I got to see through another child's eyes (meaning my cousin's children) at WDW what the whole experience is all about. And quite frankly, when one experiences these moments, as they say, "The moment may be temporary but the memory is forever" is very true. I can only hope that one day I get to experience something of this nature with my only siblings. Again one can only hope. Great report!

Thanks for the kind note, Chip. It was a fun report to write.

Lara writes:

I am so happy for you and Barbara adopting another baby. I have been away from MousePlanet for a long time, but happy to see all you have done with your site. Thank you for such a great report.

Thanks for the kind note, Laura. We're glad to have Michael, too.

Feedback for Park Updates: Disneyland

J writes:

Do you know when the Southern California Salute ticket promotion is going to end? We are planning to go to Disneyland, but want to take advantage of this great offer.

J – The SoCal Salute ticket program started on January 6. The first admission must be on the same day as the ticket purchase, and the second must be used by May 16, 2003.

Andrea M. writes:

Hello Mouseplanet! I read your site quite a bit, and wanted to tell you guys that you are all doing a great job! I was reading the latest update for the Disneyland Resort and I noticed that it says the Matterhorn will be closed indefinitely. If you know the story behind this could you let me know? That is one of my favorite rides!

Thanks in advance, keep up the good work!

Andrea – The Matterhorn was listed as indefinite because Disney kept changing the ending date of the rehab. The ride re-opened last week.


Do you have specific questions about an upcoming trip to Disneyland, Walt Disney World or another park, or do you need help with your trip planning? While you can contact one of the columnists, we encourage you to join our special MousePlanet community on our MousePad discussion board. There, you will find like-minded Disney park fans who can try to help answer your questions.


Did you read something interesting (good or bad) on MousePlanet, or here in the Mailbag? We'd love to hear from you! Send your comments to the Mailbag here.

We welcome your questions and comments, but keep in mind that all questions submitted to MousePlanet become property of this Web site. Letters of interest to the readership may be published, and may include your full name unless you specifically request that your last name not be published. They may be edited for length or style and in consideration of a family readership. Questions may also be quoted on other parts of the site as well.



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