MousePlanet Mailbag for April 29, 2004
We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot publish them all, the following may be of interest to our readers.
Feedback for Scoping
the Parks (Mike Scopa)
Hello, I would like to start off by saying that I love
MousePlanet. I enjoy all the trip reports and articles. I have
a question about discounts to the water parks. I was wondering
if Disney still gives annual passholders 20 percent off admission
to the water parks? Thank you for any help you can give me.
Hi Shannon The last time I looked AP holders were given
$4 off adult admission and $3 off the children's admission to water
parks. I don't believe this equates to a 20 percent discount. This
discount is offered to the holder of the AP and three (3) guests.
Kenton Possberg writes:
Mike, we are going to Disney World Feb 17, 2005 for eight nightsa
family trip with 10 people total. Wondering if you have any advice,
or what services are available in planning for a party this size?
Hi Kenton Well with a large family like that, I would seriously
consider Hoop Dee Doo as one of my options. With a large group such
as yourselves, you would have a shot at being placed not front row
center but certainly close to the stage, and the cast would certainly
interact with a large family group. I would also guess that one
of your group would end up on the stage.
Also, why not also consider an Illuminations Cruise? Watching Illuminations
from underneath the archway between the UK and France pavilions
is quite an experience, not to mention the trip to and from that
spot. Those two idea could be the highlights of your trip. A word
to the wise
book both of these early
Why not call today?
Dennis Mattinson writes:
I was reading your article on tips for photographing the World.
Being a shutterbug myself, I understand the need to organize all
those pictures because multiple trips tend to get intermingled
and you find yourself not knowing which is which. I also saw mention
to something about scrapbooking and thought about a program I
had once seen that was a free download and allowed all those digital
photos to be scrapbooked without incurring the expense of printing
all those shots. It is called Gazo Digi Book (link).
This is a nice way to save all those digital pictures in a format
on the PC that allows you to look and share the photos as if they
were in a photo album. I enjoy your articles and look forward
to reading future updates. Keep up the good work!
Hi Dennis Thanks for the information on that virtual
scrapbook. I'm sure a lot of people can find use for that.
Hi, I have a question for you about the hidden Mickeys. What
about the one in the Tree of Life? Isn't there supposed to be
one carved in the tree? Do you know where it is? It's always bothered
me, ever since I heard about it. Or is it just a rumor? Thanks.
Emily I'm not sure if it's carved in the tree or is shaped
by some green moss, but Steve Barrett says there is one on the front
of the Tree of Life.
I just read your article and I must say good job! But, I noticed
while reading that you referred a lot to the final video Walt
made. Several times you said If we ever get a chance to see it
we should. I have found a Web site entitled Waltopia (link)
that has both the full 24-minute video and a transcript of it
on the site. If you could link it on your site you could allow
all who visit a chance to see the true Epcot as Walt envisioned.
Hi Paul Thanks for the tip. I received mail from other readers
with the same information. I think that your suggestion about listing
it for everyone is a good idea
one that I hope to combine
with other links.
Larry Krueger writes:
Mike, I am hearing very little about E-Ride nights. They used
to be announced and posted, but, recently, there is no information.
I am headed to Walt Disney World in late May and was hoping to
go on one.
Any news on dates of the E-Ride nights or has WDW stopped doing
In addition, the last time I went, we were on property, but,
this time I will be spending a week in our time share off property
and four days on using my annual passholder discount. Do I have
to be on property to go on E-Ride or not? Thanks for your help.
Larry There may be something in the works to replace E-Ride
night although with the popularity of E-Ride night this would be
risky. And yes, I believe you must be a resort guest to take advantage
of this offer.
Hi Mike! I somehow missed the article on the Disney Zone the
first time, so after reading the second part, went back and read
the first also. I wanted to offer a little insight from the mind
of a 30-year-old. I never associated Disney World with the TV
shows because by the time I was a kid there was simply so much
television that I don't even think Disney had programming, until
the Disney Channel rolled out. For me, my love of Disney World
came from the memories and love of my parents.
My father had grown up pretty well off and went as a child all
the way from Connecticut to Disneyland with his parents. My mom,
on the other hand, had a tough childhood, the only child of a
divorced woman. When my mom was 18, her brother was born, and
she devoted her life to helping raise him and to helping out her
A few years later, she met and married my father, and a couple
years after that had me. By this time, the brother was about 7
and my father decided it was now or never to take him before he
got a bit to old to believe that it was all real. My mom thought
it was crazy to take a 7-year-old and a 1-year-old, but my dad
stood firm. So he packed my mom, his brother in law, and a newborn
(me) into the car.
I proceeded to be bad bad bad for the entire trip. I would make
such a ruckus that strangers would offer to hold me so that my
parents could shovel food into their mouths at dinner. But my
father always said that was the best trip. Whatever magic Walt
had created, my father was not going to let his brother-in-law
So maybe when you see a child pitching a fit in a restaurant
and you mutter under your breath, Go Home, remember
that sometimes people have to take the magic when they can get
it. Thanks for bringing me into the zone, and by the way, both
the brother-in-law and I married people also in the Disney
Hi Allison Well I have certainly seen my share of babies
at a Walt Disney World and have often wondered how much energy it
takes for a couple to properly deal with the child and enjoy themselves
as well. I even recall one evening last summer at Chef Mickey's
where a couple had to take turns holding their child so they could
eat and greet Mickey and company. I think you're right in that for
some people the magic is a necessity and they get it at any time
Danny Ortiz writes:
Hi Mike! I'm from Los Angeles, California. I'm going to WDW on
April 24-30. I'm going on my own. I was thinking if there is a
Web site or any suggesttions or tips. How can I get a pen pal
or someone to join me at the park? Because both parents are working,
and a brother and a sister both work, too! I don't want to go
by myself. Can you help me? Thank you!
Hi Danny I know many people who go to WDW on their own.
In most cases, these people belong to one or more Disney Internet
communities that have forums similar to what we have here at MousePlanet.
Usually after spending time in one of these communities, you are
bound to find people who are planning vacations the same time you
are. In those cases, you can always arrange to meet these friends
at one of the parks. I have done that several times, and have made
quite a few new friends who share the passion I have for WDW. So
my suggestion is to do a search for some Disney sites that have
those forums, and become an active member. Why not start with our
Mousepad forum? Good luck.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Mike
Feedback for Lani Teshima
As expected, we got quite a bit of feedback regarding the interview
with Gary Nowak, the publisher of the SaveMichaelEisner.com Web
site, which we ran on March 30 (link).
Some people were downright rude, but for the most part our readers
just had some opinions they wanted to share. Here are just a few.
[With yesterday's official announcement by Comcast that it was dropping
its bid to acquire Disney, it will be interesting to see how everything
plays out. Lani]
I loved the SaveMichaelEisner.com article. It gave me a new perspective
on things. I do support Roy Disney's opinions about Eisner, but
the SaveMichaelEisner site made me see that it really isn't the
best idea to run a campaign like that at a time like this. A time
when it could leave Disney vulnerable to Comcast takeover. Although
I am not particularly fond of Eisner, I guess there are worse
things that could happen to the Disney company right now. And
I would like to urge other Disney lovers to take a more objective
look at the whole situation and keep an open mind.
I understand that the 43 percent vote of no confidence against
Eisner may have been largely emotionally based, but that is because
it has become an emotional issue. I understand Gary Nowak's position
and as a cast member, I, too, fear a takeover. However, who allowed
things to become so off track as to have lynch mobs storming the
castle? The man in charge, Michael Eisner!
As a Disneyland cast member, I can tell you that we feel abandoned
and betrayed by this man. There is not just discord at the top,
as Diane Miller has said, but it has trickled all the way down
to the hourly theme park cast members. If you really want to know
what is going on in the park, just ask us; we work there. While
Michael was constantly focusing on Orlando, our park has been
falling apart. We all know about the lack of anything futuristic
or anything even remotely entertaining in Anaheim's Tomorrowland.
Only recently (since Roy's campaign) has Eisner started to show
up in Southern California.
All of us at the park know that he is only trying to save face
with his photo opportunities, and it is disgusting. Everyone is
tired of the straight-to-video crap and especially the sequels
to animated features (except maybe for parents with small children
who use videos as baby-sitting devices). Once upon a time there
was such a thing as a good story ending with Happily Ever
After. Now it might as well be, To be continued on
His children used to run up to us in the park and tell us that
they could have their dad fire us (no joke.) Well, it's about
time that he knows that, together, we can have him fired.
Ben Tritle writes:
while I have no problem with someone wanting to create
a Web site, I have the feeling Eisner might call and ask him to
stop. At least SaveDisney.com is intelligent; this pro-Eisner
site just throws a lot out there and hopes that the person reading
will be so blinded by all the mud that they'll believe something.
Even the links that are on the site are suspect.
Only one of the two are from a reputable business site, and that
one is an editorial with little in the way of hard facts to defend
Eisner. It seems like the biggest defense available goes to Eisner's
first decade. There's a lot there that talks about how the company
grew during the first 10 years. Great
if this were 1994,
I'd be all over saving Eisner. But it's not
it's 2004 and
the lights are dimming.
Evan Millward writes:
Lani, I just wanted to comment on your article about Mr. Nowak's
SaveMichaelEisner.com. I visited the site with an open mind, thinking
I would find some useful facts or something to move my opinion,
but all I found was the same thing he criticized Roy for doing,
being personal and opinionated. Also, the site tends to contradict
itself. Plus, I tend to find that Roy has hit the obvious points
about company outlook.
Being a Disney Vacation Club member and an annual passholder
at WDW, I have seen maintenance slip, though not as much as some
people tend to make it out.
Now, I do admit that if Eisner holds onto the helms until 2006,
he really should make these last years his legacy. I agree with
Mr. Nowak there, definitely. However, I feel the site is more
aimed at shooting down Roy Disney (remember the importance of
the name and heritage here) and not of convincing me to support
Michael Eisner. Maybe you should take another look at your approach,
Rich Robertson writes:
Mr. Eisner has let his ego and greed get in the way of running
the Walt Disney Company.
The no-confidence vote was [a sign], and he should leave yesterday.
He has surrounded himself with yes men, as the fiasco of Disney's
California Adventure park has shown. [Former Disneyland heads
Paul] Pressler and [Cynthia] Harriss have done enormous harm to
the Disney image by providing a run-down, second-rate park (DisneyLand)
and a third-rate park that must be given away to get anyone to
go there (DCA).
The problems have been discussed for a couple of years now, and
there is still no wake-up of Eisner. As a Disney stockolder, it
is a shame that the only thing to raise the stock price was the
Comcast offer to buy Disney.
Fire Eisner and his stooges on the board now!
John Purcel writes:
Isn't it odd how when [Nowak] quoted Diane Miller,
he forgot to include that it is her publicly stated opinion that
Eisner should step down.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Lani
Feedback for World
View (Mark Goldhaber)
Regarding the World View series of articles by former Imagineer
George McGinnis about Epcot's Horizons attraction (read part
1 | part
2), Susan Main writes:
Thank you so much for bringing in Mr. McGinnis to do this feature
article. I just love the history of everything relating to Disney
and, as about a million others, just miss Horizons terribly.
Being able to choose your ending was one of the best things about
Horizons, being able to feel like you were traveling through space,
and being loaded into the cars and moving sideways was a nice
different touch to the ride.
Good for Mouseplanet for bringing such interesting subjects to
its Web site! Keep up the great work! It is greatly appreciated,
as is Mr. McGinnis' contributions!
Thanks, Susan. I'll pass your note on to George. I'm sure that
he'll enjoy reading it.
Mike Parker writes:
Mark, I'm not sure if I should be bothering you with a question
like this, but from everything I have seen at MousePlanet, you
really know your stuff about WDW.
We have a unique situation and are not exactly sure what to do
to handle it. I'll try and be as brief as possible: My family
of 10 are all traveling to WDW in october. I guess I should mention
that we are staying at the All-Star Movies Resort. My father and
brother are airline employees. When we booked the three rooms
we needed, the cast member was very nice and suggested that we
put two rooms in my father and mother's name, and one in my bother's
so that we get the discount for all three rooms, It worked great,
or total went from a Disney rate of $2,661 (room only) to a whopping
$1330.50. We saved an incredible amount. The problem we didn't
foresee is that my family of four (not the airline employees)
are arriving at 9:30 a.m., with my father and brother arriving
at 6 p.m. We cannot check in until my father arrives.
And that's where our problem begins. The cast member did tell
us that as long as we are in the reservation somewhere, and we
are, that we could drop our bags at the front desk when we arrive.
My question to you is, being that we have not checked in and
received a room key, would we still be able to use the WDW busses
to travel to say Downtown Disney? We won't have a rental car and
are taking Mears to/from the hotel. We have never used the WDW
busses before and weren't sure if we had to present a room key
to board or not?
Also, my wife had another idea. Simply drop the bags at the desk,
grab lunch in the food court, and then change into our bathing
suits in the restrooms (we'd take our suits and towels in a carry-on
that we wouldn't leave at the desk) and hit the pool for the day
until my father and brother arrive around 6 p.m.
Are we allowed to use the pool at All-Star Movies even though
we haven't been given our room key yet, if we will be given it
later that day? Also, do you know if there are restrooms in the
lobby of the All-Star Movies that would be appropriate to change
in. (we wouldn't want to seem out of place by doing so)?
I know it's a pretty wild situation, but any help would be greatly
appreciated. We weren't trying to scam Disney out of 50 percent
for my family of four's room, but since the cast member suggested
booking this way, my father did. We just wanted to make sure we
could do something until the others arrive.
Thanks for your help, sorry to bother you with our troubles.
Hi Mike There should be no problem with you using the Disney
transportation or the All-Star Movies pool. If your park passes
are not attached to your room reservation, you should even be able
to go to a theme park for eight hours before the rest of your family
arrives. (If they're on the reservation, they you won't be able
to get them until check-in.) And remember, if your father and brother
are landing at 6 p.m., they won't be hitting the resort until at
least 6:30 to 7 p.m. (possibly later if they're using a shuttle
instead of renting a car). Hope this helps, and enjoy your trip!
Marc Lichon wrote:
Please let me tell you that MousePlanet is one of my favorite
morning-coffee Web sites. You know
of news/entertainment sites you visit with coffee in hand before
actually starting work! So, let me thank you for helping
start my day positively! I love the trip reports; I read them
and can almost smell the sweet Florida air and the anticipation
of the day.
Anyway, I've only been to WDW twice, when I was 4 (doesn't really
count) and last year for our first family vacation. My
wife, three kids and I were estranged from the rest of the family
for nearly a decade, so soon after things worked out, we all went
to WDW, which made it all the more special!
My brother and sister-in-law are Disney dweebs, and I never understood
how a couple with no kids in their middle 30s could go to Disney
World twice a year; it was weird! But, my kids wanted to go, so
Now, I was raised in a Disney family, but thought I grew out
of it as I grew up. But during that vacation I was steamrolled
by my own Disney Zone realization. This sounds too
picturesque to be true, but it absolutely is (after all, this
is the Magic Kingdom we're talking about!). It happened
in the middle of the first of three days. I was standing at the
hub at the entrance near the Walt & Mickey statue, my older
brother and I had my two daughters on our shoulders and the Share
a Dream Come True parade surrounded us
and it all came together,
everything gelled, the planets were in alignment, and suddenly
all was well in the universe.
I suddenly remembered all the movies, television shows, and (more
importantly) the sense that there were good things in the
world; there was I time when my life was simpler and that there
was a peace we as adults can never re-create for ourselves! I
love my family, but who doesn't want to be a kid again?
I didn't really appreciate the impact, though, until I stepped
out of the Disney bubble into my peach-grey cubicle at work. I
didn't see it coming
I sat down to log into my computer
and rather than land in my chair, I fell down the rabbit hole
into the deepest depression I'd ever felt! My mind just couldn't
conceive of the fact that I wasn't back in the All-Star Music
Resort getting donuts while my family woke, preparing for another
magical day (even though I drove nearly 1,000 miles back to Ohio
the previous two days)!
I couldn't sit for more than five minutes at a time, and eventually
took a walk around downtown to shake it off, but couldn't,
and took the remainder of the day off to deal with it. Adult life
up to that point had been a really rough road, and in the midst
of it all I forgot about any magic, so that is probably why I
had such a time getting back to reality
I didn't want to
go! Man, it's hard to write this without getting a boulder in
So, I've spent every day since working to get back there. Yeah,
I've got responsibilities and I take care of business, but whenever
I have a few extra bucks they land in the Disney fund. I've have
this ever-present thought/feeling in me that repeats, I've
got to go back
I've got to be there with my kids again
and (I don't know if this is weird, but) there is a song that
wells that feeling up whenever I hear it.
I wrote all of this because I'm looking for the song that plays
in the background of several commercials and on the Disney Destinations
Web site (link).
Whenever I hear that, I get chills and relive those three days
in just a few seconds. Sometimes I use it as a pick-me-up, sometimes
I use it to escape the sterilized cubicle walls and the smell
of the coffee break room. Listening to it now, actually
I don't think I've gone overboard, just making up for lost time!
Do you know what the song is and where I can find it? Also, I'm
building a DVD of our trip for the grandparents and this would
be the perfect background music for the scene where the kids come
from around the hub and the castle makes its stage entrance, just
like Walt wanted. The more I read the more I realize what a genius
40 years ago he made a decision that made my
kids smile just last year, and he knew it would! So, do you know
what that song is and where I can get it? I'd more than appreciate
Newly converted Disney-Dweeb, Marc Lichon
Hi Marc What a great story! If you haven't already, you
might want to consider writing up a trip report and submitting to
the MousePlanet trip report archives. I've found that writing up
a trip report helps me to remember my trips long after the trip
is over. Also, I've had a number of e-mail correspondences start
based on my trip reports.
As to your question, it sounds like you're asking for the Where
Magic Lives theme. I agree that it's a great bit of music.
To my knowledge, it is not available on CD anywhere. The only place
that I've heard it in pre-recorded format is on the Walt Disney
World vacation videos and DVDs. I've also heard that it is available
out on the web, but as that's not a legal means of obtaining recordings,
I don't indulge in it. If you're planning to attempt it, you might
want to search your favorite music retrieval method with terms like
where magic lives, WDW theme or disney
world. Good luck, and welcome to Disney dweebdom!
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Mark
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