March 2002
WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the March 5, 2002, Issue #128 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

This month's issue of Walt Disney World Bits and Bites is chock full of tips about Walt Disney World!

But before we get into the tips, let's STEP BACK IN TIME to March 1972...

...Rooms at the Contemporary and Polynesian Village resort hotels are $29, $36, and $44 per night, with suites ranging from $60 to $150. The same rates are in effect all year long! Campsites at Fort Wilderness are $11 per night and include utilities and transportation to and from the Magic Kingdom.

...There is a 50 cent charge for parking your car at the Magic Kingdom (but it's free if you are staying at the Polynesian or Contemporary). Wheelchair rentals are $1 per day and strollers are 75 cents per day.

...7-Adventure Ticket Books cost $4.95 for adults, $4.50 for Juniors (ages 12-17) and $3.95 for children (ages 3-11). Inside the theme park you can buy additional tickets for 10 to 90 cents each.

...There are 20 eating places in the theme park. Typical prices: hamburgers are 60 cents, hot dogs are 25 cents, sodas are 15 and 25 cents, popcorn is 20 cents. The Town Square Cafe (now Tony's) serves a breakfast of sausage and eggs for $1.50. A complete prime rib dinner at King Stefan's Banquet Hall (now Cinderella's Royal Table) is $4.50 for adults and $2.25 for juniors.

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The Czarina's Royal Table visits Palio

First things first: Palio is an Italian restaurant in the Walt Disney World Swan Resort, not to be confused with Palo, which is a shipboard Italian restaurant on the Disney cruise ships, Magic and Wonder.

Palio, a hidden gem of WDW in the Czarina's opinion, is Italian bistro style, not too formal. The décor is unmemorable -- it's just a large, comfortable room, basically pastel and nicely lit. (I don't know about you, but bright lights in a restaurant are a definite turn-off for me.) I have recently had two memorable dinners there.

Want to read more? Check out the full review at: http://allears.net/din/reviews.htm

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Sammantha just finished a six-month tour working at Disney's Animal Kingdom and offers some "insider tips" on two very popular attractions:

IT'S TOUGH TO BE A BUG

-- You might not need to bother with a FastPass. The way the line is designed your wait will never be more than 30 minutes.

-- Cast Members will park your strollers for you, so be prepared to take all your belongings with you. (Remember, they just park them, they don't watch them.)

-- Each pair of 3-D glasses is the same, so there's no need to switch them. Cast Members immediately remove those that you've put back and take them to be cleaned.

-- If you have small children who might be scared, sit in the back of the theater. When the show grows intense, the special effects are less harsh in the back. Yes, Hopper can be mean and scary, but he's really a nice guy. Sometimes he just forgets to have his morning coffee. ;)

KILIMANJARO SAFARIS

-- Best time to ride is in the afternoon, around 2 or 3 o'clock. That's when the animals are most active because most of them are getting ready to be brought into the barns for the night.

-- If you get a driver from Africa, ask them questions. Many are very happy to talk about their homeland! If you have questions about the animals, ASK. Though there is an assigned script, every safari really is different depending on where the animals are and who your driver is. So ride as much as you want!

-- If you don't want a bumpy ride, ask to sit in the front of the truck. The ride feels bumpiest in the back. Some drivers will hit EVERY pothole in the road, but most will warn you before you leave the dock.

-- PLEASE REMAIN SEATED AT ALL TIMES! I can't stress this one enough. So many people stand up to take pictures. Because the drivers are not allowed to stop on the ride path, the truck is always moving (the trucks are governed so the maximum speed is only 10 mph, though it feels faster). Animals can move in front of the vehicle at any time causing the driver to slam on the brakes and causing you to go flying. There are many mirrors on the trucks for the drivers, so just because you can't see an animal doesn't mean the driver can't. If you want to take good pictures sit on the end of the rows, you get better shots.

-- Chances are your driver has already been on safari for a couple hours, so please be nice to them!

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COLLECTING PRESSED PENNIES

Bonnie Corso of the Disney Dollarless List shares her idea for an inexpensive souvenir, the Pressed Penny!

What IS a pressed penny? It's your own penny smushed flat into an oval shape and embossed with one of many Disney designs.

On our '98 trip we came across these fairly inexpensive little treasures, which cost a mere 51 cents -- two quarters and, of course, the penny. (There are also a few pressed quarter machines, which are slightly more expensive.) There are numerous pressed penny machines located throughout the WDW, each with about three or four different designs. To collect them all could get expensive, so I recommend saving your quarters and pennies now, rolling them, and bringing them along. If you are fortunate enough to own a PDA (personal digital assistant), you may wish to download the following information, or print out these checklists from the following website to help ensure that you find all of the pressed penny machine locations and start collecting those pennies!

Most theme park gift shops and other shopping locations sell books specifically designed to hold your newly pressed coins. The book sells for about $7.

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PINFORMATION FROM DIZPINS.COM

Recently, the Princess Ball Pin Event was held at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. The event, while dampened with rain, was a huge success. One of the highlights of the event was the release of a "Surprise" Pin of Tinker Bell and the Castle, complete with magical pixie dust! While there are no markings on this pin to signify its edition size, we have been told that this pin is a Limited Edition (LE) of 1000.

Walt Disney World recently announced the specifics for the next two pin events:

On March 16, 2002, the Disney-MGM Studios will host "On with the Pin Show!" This event will feature pins from various shows and attractions at the Disney-MGM Studios. The event package price, which includes the first opportunity to purchase the exclusive "On With the Pin Show" pins and another LE 1000 pin featuring an archival photo of Walt Disney, is $25.

This event will also debut the release of a new series of open stock pins called the "Pure Series" celebrating the Fab Five Characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto). Those who sign up for this special pin event will also have the opportunity to participate in a Fantasmic Dinner Package!

Have you have heard about Chester and Hester?

Well, Chester and Hester are two of the many dinosaurs at Disney's Animal Kingdom and do they have a special surprise for you! Chester and Hester will be hosting the first ever Pin-O-Rama on April 23, 2002, hosted by Disney's Animal Kingdom. All of Diggs County will be on hand for this "dino-mite" dinosaur carnival. There will be rides and games and food enough for the entire family -- and of course, there will be pins!! There will be many exclusive LE pins available to those who purchase the event package, including some Artist Proof sketches and pins!!

The cost of this event package is $125 and also includes a wonderful dinner, live entertainment and much more. Details on this event can be found at: http://www.dizpins.com/events/wdw_pinorama.htm

For those of you who need to get a pin trading "fix", Disney Stores celebrate pin trading every Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m., allowing you the opportunity to trade pins with Cast Members and Guests.

For the latest up-to-date information, don't forget to bookmark Dizpins.com.

From all of us at Dizpins, Happy Pin Trading!!


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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.