Walt Disney World Resort Updateby Mark Goldhaber, staff writer
Update for January 17 – January 23, 2011
Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Coming Soon | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Discounts/Promotions
Fire damages Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management | Press event to debut new castle show, new ship | Wild Africa Tour begins taking guests through the bush | LEGO store to move during remodel | Construction update | Quick takes
Adventureland's central Aladdin plaza area was closed off for over two hours Wednesday evening after a small fire caused an evacuation of The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management at around 5:30 p.m. The fire took place in the attic above the show, and was completely extinguished by the building's fire suppression system. Although the area was reopened around 8 p.m. according to the Orlando Sentinel (link), the attraction remains closed.
Reports on the Internet are swirling, with many attributing the fire to characters in the show, the Florida Orange Bird, the show's original management. Reports quoting "reliable" or "trusted" sources coming from the blogs Progress City, U.S.A. (link) and Imaginerding (link) provide a little more information on the damage. Reportedly, the fire caused the most damage to the "Iago 1" figure, the one seen through most of the show. Ironically, it is the "Iago 2" figure (which appears only at the end of the show) that is made to appear somewhat singed. The Zazu figure and the "bird mobile" were also damaged, but that damage was reportedly caused by the fire suppression system.
The show debuted on the Magic Kingdom's opening day in 1971 as Tropical Serenade at Sunshine Pavilion, closing in 1997 for refurbishment. It reopened on April 5, 1998 as The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management.
The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management remains closed for now. It is unknown at this time whether Disney will replace the damaged characters only, do a full refurbishment of the show, or take the opportunity to modify the show again.
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts is holding a major press event this week taking place on both land and sea.
Tuesday evening, the Magic Kingdom closes at 6:00 before the after-hours start of the press event. The evening kicks off with a presentation on what's new and what's next at Walt Disney World. Later on, the media will get the first look at the new "The Magic, The Memories and You!" castle projection show. (The show will premiere to the public on Wednesday night, and will debut on the facade of "it's a small world" at Disneyland Park on Friday night.)
Wednesday, the action moves to the ocean with the Christening Voyage of the Disney Dream. The Disney Cruise Line's newest ship will be christened at 10:40 a.m., and you can watch the ceremony live on the Disney Cruise Line Web site (link). Following the ceremony, the ship will sail away with the media for a two-day cruise, providing the media with an opportunity to find out about all of the new amenities on board. There will be media sessions on the interactive play floor in the Oceaneers Club, the new Magical Portholes that give inside staterooms a view of the outside, the AquaDuck water coaster, interactive artwork, new restaurants, nightclubs, and Disney's Believe – the Disney Cruise Line's newest show.
I'll be bringing you reports from the various events via Twitter (link), Facebook (link) and my blog here on MousePlanet (link). I'll have a whole lot more in my wrap-up of all of the events next week in this columns (and further columns during the week).
Disney's latest tour opened yesterday, following a ribbon cutting by Imagineer Joe Rohde & Disney's Animal Kingdom Vice President Michael Colglazier, as Wild Africa Trek began taking guests through the "back-country" of Kilimanjaro Safaris. Guests cross a swaying rope bridge, stand on the edge of a cliff over hippos and crocodiles while tethered to a lifeline, ride in an open savanah tour Jeep where they can move around for the best view, hike through the woods and enjoy African refreshments on a platform overlooking the savanah. Binoculars are available to guests while on the "Boma" platform. Tours are currently available for the special price of $129 per person. Word is that "Trek" is not just a name; you'll really have to take a hike on this tour.
On the Wild Africa Trek, guests will end up at a viewing platform above the Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah, and will be able to enjoy African refreshments and wonderful views. Photo by Disney. Kent Phillips, photographer.
Downtown Disney's LEGO store will be moving east temporarily, setting up shop near Once Upon a Toy, while a major expansion project is underway. The store will square off its corner nearest World of Disney to increase storeroom space. The shaded play area on its northwest corner, closest to Pleasure Island, will be moved to the northeast corner, requiring reconfiguration of the nearby planter. The former play area will be part of a large, curved new facade that will start on the northern facade (nearest the sea monster LEGO structure in Village Lake) and curve all the way around to the corner closest to Pollo Campero. The addition will stretch as far as the tree and plantings near the store and Pollo Campero. The end result will be a large, much-needed increase to the interior retail space of the store.
Here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
- Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – roofing work.
- Magic Kingdom Liberty Tree Tavern – slate roof replacement.
- Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion – signage and graphics package.
- Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle – electrical work.
- Magic Kingdom Main Street MO-7 (northeast block) – roofing repairs.
- TTC Monorail building – electrical work.
- Epcot Seas With Nemo and Friends – elevator cab upgrade.
- Epcot Wonders of Life pavilion – elevator repairs.
- Epcot Innoventions East – elevator work.
- Disney's Hollywood Studios Muppets Theatre – plumbing and electrical work on compressor.
- Disney's Hollywood Studios Sounds Dangerous – roof replacement.
- Disney's Hollywood Studios Epic Theater – metal flying wing shade structure roof replacement.
- Blizzard Beach Summit Plummet, Ski Patrol training camp, Avalunch – carpentry work.
- Downtown Disney Westside Dock – carpentry work.
- Yacht Club Resort – stamped concrete staining.
- Beach Club Villas – flashing work.
…Initial reviews from yesterday's first running of the new Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun parade at Disney's Hollywood Studios are unanimously unimpressed with the park's latest offering.
…Cold weather kept Blizzard Beach closed last Wednesday and Thursday, then over the weekend the park closed for its annual refurbishment. Typhoon Lagoon has reopened from its refurbishment.
…Registration opening dates have been announced for the 2011 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (February 14) and the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon, Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge and other 2012 Marathon Weekend races (March 15).
…The 2011 Disney’ Princess Half Marathon is 94 percent full for individual and team registrations. Disney's Royal Family 5K and Kids' Races are each 60 percent full. You can register at the official event web site (link).
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- January 14–17: UCA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship (link).
- Love is Magical pin trading event at Epcot (link).
- February 7 to March 31: Atlanta Braves Spring Training (link).
- February 11–15: UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship (link).
- February 25–27: Disney’s Princess Half Marathon (link).
- March 2 to May 15: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (link).
- March 3–6: ESPN The Weekend (link).
- March 12–13: UCA National All-Star Cheerleading Championship (link).
- April 28 to May 2: USASF Cheerleading and Dance Worlds (link).
- April 29, 30, May 6, 7: Grad Nites (link).
- May 7: Expedition Everest Challenge (link).
- May 8: Danskin Women's Triathlon (link).
- May 15: Rohto Florida Ironman 70.3 (link).
- September 30, October 1: Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (link). Registration opens February 14.
- September 30 to November 13: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (link).
- November 24–25, 27: Old Spice Classic (link).
- January 5–8: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (link). Registration opens March 15.
- Splash Mountain – closed for refurbishment January 3–31, 2011.
- Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment January 29–February 4, 2011.
- Mickey's Toontown Fair – closing permanently on February 11, 2011, to make way for Fantasyland expansion.
- No known scheduled closures.
- Star Tours – closed for refurbishment through May 16, 2011.
- Studio Backlot Tour – closed for refurbishment January 3-29, 2011.
- Honey I Shrunk The Kids Movie Set Adventure – closed for refurbishment January 3-29, 2011.
- Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage! – closed for refurbishment January 30 - March 5, 2011. A new segment will be added, and the show will be rebranded from Playhouse Disney to Disney Junior.
- Block Party Bash Parade – final performance was January 1; Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! begins performances January 16, 2011.
- Kali River Rapids – closed for refurbishment January 3–29, 2011.
- Primeval Whirl – closed for refurbishment January 17 through April 5, 2011.
- Saratoga Springs Resort – Paddock Leisure Pool closed November 29, 2010 to June 29, 2011, for expansion into a new feature pool, wet play area, and quick-service eatery. During the renovations, the Paddock bus stop and laundry facility will also be closed. Guests can use the High Rock Spring pool near the Carriage House or the leisure pools at Congress Park or The Grandstand. Nearby bus stops can be found at The Springs, Congress Park and The Carousel. Alternate laundry facilities are located at The Springs and Congress Park.
- Coronado Springs Resort – Cabanas Leisure Pool closed for refurbishment January 3–28, 2011.
- Yacht & Beach Club Resorts – The main slide and kiddie slide at Stormalong Bay are closed from January 3 through mid-February, 2011. Guests that wish to use have a pool slide as part of their resort pool experience can use the Luna Park pool at the BoardWalk Resort.
- Polynesian Resort – Leisure Pool closed for refurbishment January 10–February 18, 2011.
- 'Ohana – closed from January 17–20, 2011, reopens for dinner on January 20, 2011.
- BoardWalk Resort – the Keister Coaster slide at the Luna Park pool will be closed from February 7 through mid-March, 2011. Guests that wish to use have a pool slide as part of their resort pool experience can use the Stormalong Bay pool at the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.
- Blizzard Beach – closed January 9, 2011 through March 26, 2011 for annual refurbishment.
- Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays.
- Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney – now open on the site of the former McDonald's.
Room-only discounts now available through mid-April
Discounts of 15-30 percent are available for room-only reservations for stays at Walt Disney World for most nights February 17 – April 16, 2011.
- Value resorts – 15 percent off
- Moderate resorts, including Fort Wilderness Cabins – 20 percent off
- Deluxe Resorts – 15-25 percent off
(Note: Animal Kingdom Lodge is 15 percent off. Polynesian Resort is 20 percent off.)
- Deluxe Villa Resorts – 30 percent off
Deals are also available for January 2 – February 16, 2011. Discount percentages appear to match those for the other dates.
You can book the deal from now through February 13, 2011. 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 (link), by calling Walt Disney World at 407-939-7678, or your travel agent and using booking code XV9. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).
Room-only discounts for April-June and August-October
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 (link), 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 (link) and Small World Vacations (link).
Kids Stay and Play Free through October
Walt Disney World has released a Kids Stay and Play Free offer that has availability February 17 to April 16 (book by February 13), as well as April 28 to June 14 and August 14 to October 1 (book by March 27). When booking a non-discounted room and ticket package, kids ages 3 to 9 staying in the same room as an adult get a free base Magic Your Way pass. Additional restrictions may apply.
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 (link), by calling Walt Disney World at 407-939-7684, or your travel agent and using booking code GW8. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).
Passholder discounts now available through mid-April
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.
- Value resorts – 32 percent off
- Moderate resorts, including Fort Wilderness Cabins – 35 percent off
- Deluxe Resorts – 32-42 percent off
(Note: Animal Kingdom Lodge and Polynesian Resort are 32 percent off)
- Deluxe Villa Resorts – 42 percent off
Deals are also available for January 2 – February 5, 2011. Discount percentages appear to match those for the other dates.
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 (link), 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 (link) and Small World Vacations (link).
Military ticket offer
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.