March 2001
WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the March 6, 2001, Issue #75 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

Welcome to this edition of ALL EARS®' Monthly Bits and Bites. There are a couple new features beginning this month that we hope you will enjoy!

ALL EARS® welcomes Steve Soares, webmaster of a site devoted to Walt Disney World live entertainment, and Dizpins.com as new contributors!

Look for Steve and Dizpins.com in future issues of ALL EARS® Bits and Bites.

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Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village
Happy Birthday!

The Marketplace celebrates its 26th anniversary this month! The "Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village" (as it was originally called) opened for business March 22, 1975. It was promoted as a "restful shopping atmosphere similar to a New England seaside village."

The following shops opened the shopping village: a wine cellar, tobacco shop, pharmacy, pet store, and small kiosks to watch craftspeople make candles, pottery and candy.

The marketplace evolved slowly over time and on May 1, 1977 the Empress Lily Riverboat (now Fulton's Crab House) debuted with its elegant dining room and lounge complete with a jazz band.

The name underwent several changes too. In 1977, the name was the "Walt Disney World Village" and in the 1980s it was the "Disney Village Marketplace."

In 1989 Pleasure Island opened adding a new dimension to the once quaint shopping village. The 1990s saw a large expansion of brand name restaurants and shops including the Rainforest Cafe and Lego Land.

The Downtown Disney area, consisting of the new West Side, Pleasure Island and the Marketplace officially opened in 1997.

Here's a bit of trivia for you: The Annual Village Wine Festival, which began in 1986, led to the creation of Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival 10 years later.

Four former eateries were named after characters: Donald's Dairy Dip; Goofy's Grill, Minnie Mia's Italian Eatery and Chef Mickey's (moved into the Contemporary Resort in 1995).

Today the Gourmet Pantry, Captain's Tower, and 2R's Reading and Riting are the only venues that have the same name as when they opened 25 years ago.

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Ever wonder how many people travel through Orlando International Airport in a week? According to a February 22, 2001, Orlando Sentinel article, the airport served 30.8 million travelers in 2000!

At least 31 million passengers are predicted for 2001. At the current rate, over 38 million passengers are estimated to travel through MCO by 2005, about the time the new international terminal will open.

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WDW Pin Collecting Corner

ALL EARS® is pleased to welcome Dizpins.com as a new monthly contributor writing about, what else? Disney Pin Collecting!

DIZPINS.COM is very excited to be asked to share pin trading experiences with you. Most of all, we are excited to be able to give you previews of upcoming pins and pin events at WDW.

Starting in March 2001, Walt Disney World will be having monthly pin events, which will culminate in August with the biggest pin event EVER held at a Disney park!!

On March 22, 2001, "Countdown to Disney's Pin Celebration" kicks off at Downtown Disney with the release of the the Spring Break 2001 Limited Edition pin created by Mark Seppala. Mark will be on hand to sign pins from 10:30am to 11:30 am at the Dock Stage. The Event Exclusive Pin was created by Allan Davis, who will be signing pins from 11:00 am - noon at the Dock Stage.

Also on March 22, there will be a "Guest Experience" called "Pluto's Pin Pursuit," from 9:30 am - 5:00 pm. Guests will be given a map at the World of Disney that will guide them to various locations throughout Downtown Disney. At each location, they will be asked a trivia question or can trade a pin with a Cast Member, then get their map stamped. Once the Guest has had the map stamped at all locations, they return to the information desk to receive a special pin.

There will be eight pins premiering as part of Pluto's Pin Pursuit game, each representing a location at Downtown Disney.

April's event will be held on April 22, 2001, at Animal Kingdom and the May pin event will be May 16, 2001, at Disney-MGM Studios.

The monthly countdown event to Disney's pin celebration will conclude at Epcot August 9-12, 2001, when Epcot presents Disney's pin celebration: Pins Around Our World.

Dizpins Pin Tip: If you find your pin has a scratch, you can use a car polish for clear coat paint. Put a drop of liquid car wax on a terry cloth washcloth. Rub in a circular motion and let it dry. Then wipe off with dry part of washcloth. If the polish get in cracks of pin, use a tooth brush to clean it out. Your pin will be bright and shiny again!!

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DINING AROUND THE WORLD

The Czarina, Debra Martin Koma, Alex, and Deb Wills have been busy writing dining reviews of Disney restaurants they recently sampled in the World.

ALL EARS® readers can see the full articles now, before they go live on WDWIG, by going to the URL after the brief descriptions that follow:

Kona Cafe - The Czarina says that "as the election mess dragged on in the Real World, your Czar and Czarina made a blissful escape to Disney World and to the Polynesian, home of the wonderful Kona Café. We had lunch there even as the hanging chads and recounts were going on elsewhere in the state of Florida, and I can assure you there was no contest. Kona is a hands-down winner." http://allears.net/din/rev_kona.htm

House of Blues Sunday Brunch - Debra Martin Koma had been wanting to try the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues over on Disney's West Side for some time. "I hadn't heard too much about it, and it sounded like something different, possibly fun. Well, having gone a few weeks ago, I can safely say that it's not for everyone. I know this because it was not for me." http://allears.net/din/rev_hob.htm

Sci-Fi Drive-In - Deb Wills traveled back in time to the 1950s while she dined at the Sci-fi Drive-in "We waited only a few minutes before we were brought down a darkened hallway to the front of the theater by our "parking attendant" who escorted us on roller blades. This was our first glimpse at the array of cars inside the Sci-fi. As we walked to our car, we could hear the familiar sounds of the McGuire Sisters singing for Coca-Cola." http://allears.net/din/rev_scifi.htm

Flying Fish - Eight-year-old Alex shares, "I didn't think I would like going to the Flying Fish restaurant. I thought it was going to be a boring, adult-type of restaurant. I was wrong!" http://allears.net/din/rev_ffk.htm

Debra Martin Koma also visited the Flying Fish recently. She writes: "When you hear your dining companions using phrases like "the best I've ever had," and "out of this world", you know that you're sharing a stellar dining experience with them." For an adult perspective on this trendy seafood restaurant on the Boardwalk, visit: http://allears.net/din/rev_ys.htm

Yachtsman Steakhouse - Debra Martin Koma offers an opinion on this red meat mecca: "The idea of a "steakhouse" conjures up images of dark, heavy woods and dark leather furnishings in my mind's eye, so I was surprised to encounter the bright, airy atmosphere that greeted me on my recent visit to the Yacht Club Resort's Yachtsman Steakhouse." http://allears.net/din/rev_ys.htm

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ASK ALEX!

You've heard about Ask Ann Landers? Well, ALL EARS has Ask Alex!

Alex is our "kid korrespondent," currently writing an article about his stay at the Dolphin Hotel. If you, or your child, would like to "Ask Alex" a question about the Dolphin to get his perspective, please email alex@allears.net

Answers to your questions and Alex's review of the Dolphin will appear later this month.

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WDW Entertainment

ALL EARS® also welcomes Steve Soares of the Walt Disney World Live Entertainment website. Steve keeps us all up-to-date on WDW entertainment, acts, and schedules!

The European cast of Barrage will be performing on Epcot's America Gardens Theatre stage from March 1 to April 16. Show times are 3:00, 4:30, 5:45 and 7:10 pm. Each set lasts about 30 minutes. Barrage is a unique violin concept that combines music, showmanship, choreography, youth, athleticism and energy. The European Cast, the newest addition to the Barrage family, was formed in the late summer of 2000. With members from England, Ireland, Scotland, The Netherlands and New Zealand, this ensemble has been rehearsing intensely in preparation for full-scale touring in 2001. For more information, visit their website at www.barrage.org.

Over the last couple of years, WDW has been changing much of their live entertainment. Gone are groups like Nova Era, the Magic Kingdom Marching Band and Future Corps. Other groups/acts have replaced them such as: Main Street Philharmonic, the Notorious Banjo Brothers And Bob, Fantasyland Woodwind Society and Tomorrowland Blast.

Recently, the Hollywood Hitmen, who performed at the Disney-MGM Studios, were terminated. As of yet, there is no replacement.

Visit Steve's Walt Disney World Live Entertainment site at: http://wdwent.com


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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.