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WDW Bits and Bites
This article appeared in the October 2, 2001, Issue #106 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
WDW Celebrates 100 Years of Magic!
Despite the terrorist attacks that hit our country on September 11, 2001, Walt Disney World decided to go ahead with its plans to kick off the 100 Years of Magic Celebration on October 1 as planned, albeit without the media fanfare. This 15-month celebration to honor the 100th birthday of Walt Disney brings new parades and attractions throughout the park, some of which debuted unofficially before October 1. ALL EARS® friends who were in the World last week submitted some early bird reports with their impressions:
The Czarina and Czar just happened to catch a preview performance of Epcot's new Tapestry of Dreams Parade and they say:
Tapestry of Dreams is a slightly shorter recycling of the popular Tapestry of Nations Parade from last year's Millennium celebration. It features all-new music, and appears without the Sage of Time figure who used to introduce the old parade. The filmy puppets and circular "clock-drums" are still in place, however. It's a beautiful production and well worth seeing in its new form!
ALL EARS® Reader Kim Ruesch previewed the new One Man's Dream exhibit at the Disney-MGM Studios and writes:
The exhibit's really great! There are three parts: the first room takes you from his birth to right before Disneyland. There is his grade school desk, Main Street USA model, the mechanical bird, a multiplane camera mock up, and the 'dancing man'. In the next room it takes you up to now with lots of great models of attractions then and now -- with a really great one from DisneySea! The last room is the theater with a movie about Walt -- if you saw the ABC special September 16, then you got the long version of this short film (or so it seemed). My Magical Moments pin went nuts during the Snow White premiere!
Jennifer Watson and Dave Marx, authors of the PassPorter Walt Disney World guidebook, flew from Detroit to Orlando for a double Disney celebration -- the start of the yearlong 100 Years of Magic Celebration, and the 30th Birthday of Walt Disney World.
The 100 Years of Magic Opening Ceremony -- held in front of the WDW Railroad's Main Street Station facing Seven Seas Lagoon -- exceeded all our expectations. We were treated to Main Street walkaround characters, the 15-piece Main Street Philharmonic Band, and The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet.
As the last strains of "Casey Junior's Comin' Round the Bend" ended, the WDW Railroad train came chugging down the tracks and into the station. Goofy lead the procession from the engine, followed by scores of Disney characters filling the passenger cars, all waving and smiling.
As the train stopped and a blast of gold confetti rained over the assembled guests, Al Weiss, president of Walt Disney World, stepped up to the podium. He began by explaining why the Disney Company had chosen this spot for the opening ceremony (after all, Disney-MGM Studios does seem like a more natural choice for the 100 Years of Magic). The railroad was Walt Disney's pride and joy, and this would likely have been his favorite spot in the Magic Kingdom, if not the whole of WDW.
Mr. Weiss also recognized the September 11 tragedy when he said, "I'm never prouder to see our cast uphold the vision than during times of uncertainty like those we face now. Because no matter what is happening around us, it is certain that time together with family and loved ones, in a place like Walt Disney World, is truly well spent."
Then, from an archway above the clock in the train station, a young girl appeared, and sang a very touching song about Walt and his dream. Mickey Mouse joined her for the grand finale, and the new 100 Years of Magic display was unveiled in a shower of shimmering red, white and blue metallic confetti. All in all, the 10-minute ceremony was moving and magical, and was met with resounding applause from everyone assembled.
NEW DISNEY-MGM STUDIOS PARADE
Disney Stars and Motor Cars is the new parade at Disney-MGM Studios. The parade starts with two uniformed fellows on motorcycles, weaving down the roped-off streets with sirens blaring -- the police escort for the stars that are about to appear. Next come a pair of park guests dressed as drum majors, bearing a banner.
The first stars in the first motorcar are the day's grand marshals, followed by characters from Toy Story -- Jessie, Bo Peep, and the Green Army Men, who are followed by Buzz Lightyear and Woody in a fancy, Toy Story-inspired chauffeured limousine. Next comes Mary Poppins and Bert atop carousel horses, which are built into their motorcar.
More stars appear, including those from Muppets (Miss Piggy and Kermit), Star Wars (Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2, and Darth Vader), Mulan, Aladdin and Jasmine, the Villains (Jafar, Cruella, Hook, and Hades), Atlantis, The Little Mermaid, friends from Disney Playhouse (Rolie Polie Olie, Bear, and Stanley), and Snow White and several dwarfs. Bringing up the rear in the place of honor are Mickey and Minnie in a 1929 Caddy.
As you can see, this parade focuses on the stars -- more than 70 characters in all. The customized motorcars are creative and fun, but they really seem to fade into the background in the face of all this fame. The parade passes by in about 20 minutes and follows the same route as previous Disney-MGM Studios parades.
You can read Jennifer and Dave's full report at: http://allears.net/news/hnews.htm
Courtesy of Steve Soares, Webmaster of WDW Live Entertainment, an Unofficial site
NEW IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM
Cinderella's Surprise Celebration! has replaced the Castle Forecourt Stage Show. An opportunity to "Meet and Greet" the characters follows the new show.
NEW IN EPCOT
Kidcot Fun Stops offer children cardboard compasses illustrating the 11 World Showcase countries with a press-out "coin" in the center of the compass. As the nightly Tapestry of Dreams procession begins, recorded voices of children tell their dreams for the world as three "dream spinners" dance along. During the parade, young guests can make a wish as they toss their "coins" into a dream catcher that passes by in the procession.
The October America Gardens Theatre schedule includes the special Mariachi Festival on October 13. The Mariachi Cobre invites high school mariachi bands to Epcot for workshops and to perform on the America Gardens Stage. There are usually dancers in colorful costumes, in addition to the bands and Señor Mickey also makes an appearance wearing a mariachi costume!
NEW IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
WES PALM -- Watch out! You may find yourself talking to a live palm tree in the Oasis, mornings only.
HAPPY CAMPERS -- This a cappella group performs nostalgic camp favorites in Camp Minnie-Mickey, from late morning to mid-afternoon.
PINFORMATION FROM DIZPINS.COM
Pins, pins, and more pins!!! Pins are now at WDW, DL, DCA and TDL!!!
Hundreds of new pins were released to commemorate the opening of DisneySea at Tokyo Disneyland. And on October 6, 2001, Disneyland Paris will kick off Pin Trading!!
On September 22, 2001, the Disney Store premiered the release of the first eight pins in the "100 Years of Dreams" Pin Series.
Pins will be released every Saturday at Disney Store retail locations through December 15, 2001. They will retail for $4 to $5 each. The last pin in the series will be something very special: "The Magic is You" will be unique to each of the 50 states, all provinces in Canada and Puerto Rico.
Dizpins previews the Disney Store pins every Friday, and has developed a printable checklist for the entire pin series. Also, select Disney Stores will begin Pin Trading soon, and hopefully, within six months, all Disney Store CMs will be pin trading with Guests.
October 1, 2001, marked the beginning of the 100 Years of Magic Celebration at WDW. Many pins are being released to celebrate this great milestone. Throughout the day and into the night, the interactive pins magically illuminate during parades, fireworks shows, and select attractions, surprising guests and reminding them that they're a real part of the celebration. There are five interactive pins in all, one for each Walt Disney World Theme Park and one exclusively for the 100 Years of Magic Celebration.
For the latest up-to-date "Pin"formation, don't forget to bookmark Dizpins.com!!
How Can I Travel at a Time Like This?
by Mike Corbo
for DisneyDollarless (www.themouseforless.com)
We all face the tragedy that surrounded the past few weeks in our country in one way or another. It has affected us all in different ways. And while it may seem insignificant in the scheme of things, a hot topic on all the Disney message boards, newsgroups and websites is "Should we keep our upcoming vacation plans or cancel?"
Our president made a speech the morning that this article was written (September 27, 2001), during which he said, "Go down to Disney World in Florida, take your families and enjoy life." Obviously, the choice as to whether to travel at this time is a very personal one. But should you decide to keep your current plans, or to reschedule, or to make new ones, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Vacation destinations have been plagued with cancellations over the last two weeks, forcing some major players in the travel and leisure markets to reconsider their strategies and even causing some to declare bankruptcy. Bargains exist out there at the current time that were unimaginable even at the beginning of this summer when we all thought that the bargains were great. There are reports of $100 round-trip coast-to-coast airfare, $25 rooms at the Downtown Disney Marriott, even other theme parks offering installment plans for annual park passes!
Reports from various sources indicate that on-site rooms are going for 40% off rack rates from now till the end of the year.
Reports from my travel clients and DisneyDollarless members note that the airlines and hotels are bending over backwards to try and keep any travel already booked from being cancelled.
Your continued support will help prevent the closing of attractions and restaurants by keeping attendance at normal levels throughout this difficult period in our history, while helping our economy.
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.