December 2000
WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the December 5, 2000, Issue #62 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

Meet the Authors Series Continues in 2001

ALL EARS® is pleased to announce our next Meet the Authors Interview is with Dave Smith, Director of Archives at The Walt Disney Company. Dave is responsible for collecting and preserving all aspects of Disney history. He is the author of several books including: "Disney A to Z" (the official Disney encyclopedia), "Disney: The First Hundred Years" (co-authored with Steven Clark), and "The Ultimate Disney Trivia Book" Volumes 1 through 4, co-authored with Kevin Neary. Dave also writes a regular column in the Disney Magazine, in which he answers questions about the parks, movies and products of the Disney Company.

Now's your chance to submit questions to Dave! Send your questions in care of allearsnet@yahoo.com and be sure to include your FULL NAME and HOME TOWN. DEADLINE: Your questions for Dave must be received no later than DECEMBER 22, 2000.

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Guest of Honor Pins

Many of you wrote asking about the Guest of Honor pins mentioned in the November 14, 2000, issue (#59). The pins now cost $5 plus tax. They are available in each of the theme parks. In the Disney-MGM Studios, they are located in the last store on your right on Hollywood Blvd. In this store you have an option of 4 different colors and 4 different characters.

Customized pins are also available at the Disney Marketplace.

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Special Holiday Celebration at Animal Kingdom's Camp Minnie-Mickey.

From December 10-25, there will be cookie decorating and ornament making, special live music, a camp tree-topper ceremony and a special version of the Twelve Days of Christmas performed by a "special guest."

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Event Changes during the Holiday Season:

* The Taste of the Lodge Tour (afternoon tour) at the Wilderness Lodge is not available during the holiday season. The tour will resume in January.

* DisneyQuest Closing Early on December 24. The operating hours for that day are 10:30 am to 9:00 pm

* Fantasmic! Dining Package not available during December 24 though December 31.

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FASTPASS Continues to Expand

Over 25 million FASTPASSes are estimated to have been distributed in Walt Disney World since the innovative system was first introduced in August 1999. FASTPASS will be added to several attractions in the near future.

On the way:

December 2000: It's Tough To Be a Bug (Animal Kingdom) and Peter Pan's Flight (Magic Kingdom).

Spring 2001: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney Studios) February 2001: Living With the Land (Epcot) April 2001: Norway's Maelstrom (Epcot) June 2001: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom)

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Fifth Annual Holiday RADP (rec.arts.disney.parks) Meet December 6-15 at Walt Disney World.

More than 300 Disney fans from as far away as Japan will gather in Walt Disney World for the 5th Annual Disney Internet Meet. Why don't you join us?? For a listing of events visit: http://allears.net/btp/00eet.htm

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HOLIDAY EVENTS

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade at the Magic Kingdom December 16 to 24 at 3 pm December 25 to 31 at 2 pm

Country Bear Christmas at the Country Bear Jamboree in the Magic Kingdom November 25 to January 2

Epcot Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:55 pm each night, with Cast in Bronze performing.

Holiday Storytellers are throughout World Showcase in Epcot, check your guidemap for times.

Disney-MGM Studios Tree Lighting Ceremony each night from Nov 21-Dec 25

Downtown Disney Tree Lighting Ceremony each night at 6:30 pm

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"Keys to the Kingdom" Tour News

The popular Magic Kingdom tour has been changed. The tour has been expanded to include lunch with the Tour Guide! About 2.5 hours into the tour it is time for lunch at the Columbia Harbor House. Your meal is already prepared and waiting for you. (Orders are taken upon check-in before the Tour begins).

The lunch cost is included in the $58 tour price and offers a unique chance to dine with an expert on Walt Disney World, while also saving the time of waiting in line to order a meal.

The "Keys" Tour is designed for Guests who have been to the Magic Kingdom before and are interested in everything that went into the initial construction of the world's largest vacation Kingdom, the history of the Disney Company, behind the scenes secrets of the park, stories about Walt and our Disney heritage, and a rare opportunity to take a peek into the backstage areas including the Utilidoor under the Magic Kingdom as well as the Parade Production Center.

For more Behind the Scenes Tour information visit: http://allears.com/btp/tours.htm

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Special Holiday Celebrations at the Dolphin Resort!!

The magic of the holiday season comes alive in the Dolphin lobby where Guests will behold hundreds of decorations on a 45 foot tall poinsettia Christmas tree, and other holiday spectacles such as life-size Nutcrackers, Toy Soldiers, Dolls, Presents and more! Don't miss the evening's finale - a dazzling light show presentation and a visit from Old Saint Nick. Times are 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. nightly in the Dolphin Lobby.

Holiday Story Telling at the Swan Resort!! December 21-24

Come and hear a holiday story told each evening at 7 pm by one of Santa's helpers. Each night will feature a different story: "Frosty the Snowman", "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and on December 24 "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Dolphin and Swan Resorts announce Elf Tuck-In Service!!

On December 23 and 24, you can make your child's night special with a bedtime tuck-in by one of Santa's elves. This service includes milk and cookies, a holiday gift and a bedtime story. Elves are available for tuck-in service from 7 to 10 pm. Cost: $25 first child; $15 each additional child. Reservations are limited, so make your arrangements early by calling (407) 934-4264. This is the DOLPHIN and SWAN hotels only!!!!

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"THIS WEEK IN MAGIC KINGDOM HISTORY"

The following excerpt is from the December 1973 Walt Disney World Guide Map:

"Welcome to Holiday Fantasy! You're just in time to enjoy a whole holiday World of fun, all highlighted by extended Magic Kingdom hours now through January 1. Candlelight Processionals are featured at 7pm December 15 and 16 on Main Street as Rock Hudson narrates the Christmas Story, accompanied by more than 1,000 choir voices."

"A brand new Magic Kingdom attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean, opens December 17, inviting you to set sail on a fun-filled adventure. Daily, you'll enjoy holiday shopping, live entertainment, and special Holiday Parades up Main Street."

"Every evening at 9, watch the Electrical Water Pageant, followed at 10 by a Fantasy in the Sky Spectacular high over the entire Vacation Kingdom. And on December 31, be with us for the biggest New Year's Eve party in the World...right in the Magic Kingdom. There'll be free party hats, noisemakers, live entertainment and a special Fantasy in the Sky Spectacular at midnight!"


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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.