August 2000
WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the August 1, 2000, Issue #41 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Deb's WDWIG_EZine has a new name, ALL EARS®! WDWIG_Ezine was a mouthful and so I went in search of a new name that would be easy to remember. When you see ALL EARS® instead of WDWIG_Ezine in your email box, know that it is the same accurate and dependable WDW newsletter you have come to enjoy! ALL EARS® will have it's own website soon, too!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ******************************************

Port Orleans and Dixie Landings to Merge! These 2 moderate resorts have been "sister" resorts since they opened, sharing a common waterway, bus system and other services. Disney recently announced that they will be consolidated to become one resort. The merger will be effective April 2001.

The overall name of the resort will be Port Orleans with the former Port Orleans called the French Quarter and the former Dixie Landings called the Riverside.

The following are reports of immediate impacts from the merger: the closing of the Port Orleans marina (date unknown) and, as of August 5th, the closing Bonfamille's (the sit down restaurant at Port Orleans).

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Dinner and Dancing at Downtown Disney! I read about this new "package" on the Official Disney website and called 407-939-7646 for details. Even though this package began in May of this year, I hadn't heard anything about it and the person I spoke to was not entirely familiar (although she tried her best to answer all my questions).

Starting at $29 (excluding tax, gratuity and alcohol) per person, you can dine at a selected Downtown Disney Restaurant and also received admission to Pleasure Island.

The $29 restaurants are: Cap'n Jack's Restaurant, Planet Hollywood®, Wildhorse Saloon®. For $39 you can dine at: Bongos Cuban Cafe, Portobello Yacht Club, Rainforest Cafe and Wolfgang Puck® Cafe.

In all cases you will be ordering from a set menu and will have a choice of entree, dessert and unlimited soft drinks. Some of the restaurants also offer choice of appetizer or a salad.

The package is valid until March 31, 2001 (excluding New Year's Eve 2000). Tickets are non-refundable but good anytime during the offer. You can book via phone if you wish at the number above. If anyone has additional information about this package or has tried it, please let me know!

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The Disney Institute has closed it's seminars to the general public and refocusing more on programs that cater to groups and corporate retreats. Also gone are the great Kids Camping Programs which offered fun as well as educational experiences for the younger crowd.

It's sad that the Disney Institute failed to live up to expectations. I participated in several of the day programs that were offered and I always felt the instructors and the classes were top rate. Several people I know even paid for the very expensive week long Photography and Animation Events and felt they too, were first rate.

All along it seemed that Disney did a poor job of marketing the Institute. I don't know if it was done in house or contracted out, but the information was always VERY hard to locate when it came to signing up for programs. It was this way when it began and was that way through the entire program.

You are still able to stay in the Disney Institute accommodations (town houses, villas, etc) and if you are a group of 10 or more, you might still be able to participate in their program offerings.

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Walk Around the World Bricks! Believe it or not they are now sold out. No more bricks are available for purchase. I wonder if they were discontinued to help boost sales of the Leave a Legacy Photos??

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Pleasure Island Annual Passholders - VIP Passholder Party is August 11th from 7:00 pm until 9:00pm at 8TRAX in Pleasure Island.

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New as of July 27th, "Al's Toy Barn" at the Disney-MGM Studios -- meet & greet opportunities with Toy Story characters from10:15am-5:50pm. It will be located next to the Backlot Theater, across from the Stage One Company Store. Come meet Buzz, Woody, Bullseye, Jessie and their friends.

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Lord of the Dance continues during August in Epcot. No reservations are required however, if you want reserved general seating and dinner, contact WDW-DINE for the dinner package.


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Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.