November 2006
Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the October 31, 2006, Issue #371 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

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STEP BACK IN TIME
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Ever wonder what Walt Disney World was like way back when? Each month we visit a time gone by in Walt Disney World history. This month we step back to the days of Kitchen Kabaret presented by Kraft in the Land pavilion at Epcot.

This musical comedy starred a host of characters who touted good nutrition facts through musical song and dance, courtesy of the Kitchen Krackpot band (featuring Audio-Animatronic containers of mayonnaise, mustard and barbecue sauce). The band opened the first of six acts with "Chase Those Mealtime Blues Away," followed by a giant refrigerator that revealed Mr. Dairy Goods and his three Stars of the Milky Way: Miss Cheese (a Mae West type), Miss Yogurt (with a French accent) and Miss Ice Cream (a la Pearl Bailey). These stars taught us all about dairy foods.

Next up were the Cereal Sisters: Mairzy Oats, Rennie Rice and Connie Corn, singing "Boogie Woogie Bakery Boy," like the Andrews Sisters. The Hamm n' Eggz performed a vaudeville-style comedy routine about protein. The Colander Combo and Fiesta Fruits introduced Latin rhythms about vegetables. The last act was the entire group of animated characters reminding everyone the importance of a balanced diet.

"Proper foods each time you dine,
Can keep you fit and feelin' fine.
Eating right's a healthy sign,
And feelin' good makes each day shine and shine."

The Kitchen Kabaret closed in 1994 and gave way to an updated show about nutrition called Food Rocks, which in turn closed in January 2004. Of course, the reason for Food Rocks closing was to make way for a new ride -- known as Soarin'!

If you have any photos to share of the Kitchen Kabaret, please send them to: allearsnet@yahoo.com

Food Rocks photos: http://allears.net/tp/ep/ep_frocks.htm

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HIDDEN MICKEYS ALERT
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Steve Barrett, author of "Hidden Mickeys: a Field Guide to Disney's Best-Kept Secrets" and webmaster of www.hiddenmickeysguide.com, suggests looking for these Hidden Mickeys in Fantasyland and Mickey's Toontown Fair the next time you're in Walt Disney World:

1. In Mickey's PhilharMagic, watch closely as Donald chases Aladdin and Jasmine on their magic carpet in the sky. Stare at the bottom left of the screen for three round buildings on the ground clustered as a classic Mickey. They're visible from above only for a few seconds.

2. Walk through the front door of Mickey's Country House to spot Mickey's key ring on the opposite wall. One end of the black key is shaped like a classic Mickey. http://allears.net/btp/hm133.jpg

3. Continue on to Mickey's garage. The front middle window of a bird house on a table is shaped like a classic Mickey. http://allears.net/btp/hm134.jpg

4. Along the right side of the entrance queue at The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm are fans mounted high on metal supports. The fifth fan, after you pass through the barn, has a classic Mickey in the decorative ironwork inside the support. http://allears.net/btp/hm135.jpg

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SUPER SOAP WEEKEND
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Actress Susan Lucci headlines a star-studded lineup of more than 30 actors and actresses from the ABC daytime dramas on November 11-12, 2006, at the 11th annual ABC Super Soap Weekend at Disney-MGM Studios. ABC Super Soap Weekend is the largest soap fan event held anywhere in the country. Festivities include autograph sessions, motorcades, interviews and talk shows, game shows, musical performances, and the chance to purchase one-of-a-kind memorabilia from the shows. Note that this year, the event features a bonus for die-hard General Hospital fans: Friday, November 10, actors Genie Francis and Anthony Geary will make an exclusive public appearance in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the wedding of their on-screen personas Luke and Laura, which was the most watched television event in daytime history. Admission to the ABC Super Soap Weekend activities is included in the regular theme park admission to Disney-MGM Studios.

Sue Hodnicki writes: Even if you don't get up at the crack of dawn and get a chance to get an autograph and pose with your favorite stars, don't give up. Use the guide they give you, plan which stars you most want to see, and find out where they are and at what time. You can still get close enough to them to get great pictures; we did!

Try to go to all the events you can fit in -- the motorcades, talk shows, street jams -- they are well worth it. Publicity shots are given out to whoever asks for one at all the autograph sessions. We collected most of them.

If you are an ABC soap fan, and are wondering about going, do it. My mom and I had a great time seeing them in person. We were five feet from Susan Lucci!

Ed Popielarczyk writes: We went to the Studios last year during the Super Soap Weekend. We found the wait for rides to be very short, as most people were listening to the soap stars!

Elaine Prosecky suggests, for those who aren't interested in seeing the celebrities: My Super Soap Weekend tip is to avoid Disney-MGM Studios entirely during the day. Instead, visit the park in the evening, preferably after the conclusion of the Stars and Motor Cars Parade. We did this and pretty much walked on the big rides (e.g., Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster). And, the crowd for Fantasmic! was much smaller than usual -- we entered the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater less than 20 minutes or so before showtime and got great seats!

http://allears.net/tp/mgm/m_supersoap.htm

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UPDATE
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MouseFest is an international Disney fan gathering that takes place every December at Walt Disney World and on the Disney Wonder cruise ship. Everyone is invited; there are no membership requirements.

Beginning with the MouseFest Cruise, December 3-7, 2006, fans from around the world will take part in a variety of meets to share their mutual enjoyment of Disney. Already, 19 Disney online communities/websites, 15 Disney Podcast networks, and 12 authors have committed to participating in the weeklong event.

We are excited to announce that more than 1600 people are now registered for MouseFest 2006, including 247 MouseFest Cruisers! Disney fans will be attending from eight countries: Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States (47 of the 50 states - where are you, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana?).

EXCLUSIVE special for ALL EARS® Readers on the MouseFest Cruise: We have goodie bags for your cabin filled with fun and practical merchandise for your cruise! If you'd like to receive a goodie bag on your cabin door, please email allearsnet@yahoo.com. In the subject line type: MouseFest Cruise Goodies and be sure to include your cabin number!

For more details and updates visit: http://mousefest.org

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MONTHLY REMIND-EARS
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Walt Disney World kicked off its newest promotion, the Year of a Million Dreams, on Sunday, October 1, 2006. Look for lots of fun, prizes and surprises in the coming months. http://allears.net/tp/yomd.htm

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival wraps up on November 12, 2006. The Festival features international tasting marketplaces and a lineup of winemakers and guest chefs, elegant dinners, wine schools, tastings and pairings. More than 100 wineries offer tastings, and guests can sample the marketplace cuisine in tasting portions ranging from $1 to $6.50. In addition, the fest's nightly Eat to the Beat! concert series features: November 1 - The S.O.S. Band; November 2-4 - The Contours; November 5-6 - Chubby Checker & The Wildcats; November 7-8 - Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes; and November 9-12 - Jon Secada. For more information: http://allears.net/tp/ep/foodwine.htm

Festival of the Masters - November 10-12 -- More than 200 visual artists -- sculptors, photographers and painters -- from 29 states plus Israel will transform Downtown Disney into a vast outdoor gallery during the 31st edition of the event. Participants, who are honorees from art festivals around the United States, will vie for awards totaling $40,000 in 10 categories: clay; drawing, printmaking, and digital art; glass; jewelry; leather, wood, fiber and paper; mixed media and collage; painting; photography; sculpture; and watercolor. In addition, House of Blues has confirmed 40 folk artists for the eighth annual "Where the Art Meets the Soul" Folk Art Festival that runs concurrently with Festival of the Masters. The weekend also features live musical entertainment, chalk art and children's activities during festival hours of 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission or parking. http://allears.net/btp/festmast.htm

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Holiday celebrations at Walt Disney World begin in November!

Magic Kingdom:

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party expands in 2006 with five party nights in November -- November 13, 17, 27, 28, and 30. The party includes a special parade and holiday fireworks spectacular.

For information visit: http://www.allears.net/tp/hol_mk.htm

For reader reviews and to post yours: http://land.allears.net/reviewpost/showproduct.php?product=221&cat=72

Epcot:

Holidays Around the World -- An Epcot tradition with storytellers, a character tree-lighting ceremony daily, a stunning display of snow-white lights, and Candlelight Processional -- guest narrators accompanied by a massed choir and orchestra for a retelling of the Christmas story. The holiday fun is included with regular Epcot admission and begins November 24. http://allears.net/tp/holiday.htm

Candlelight Processional Guest Narrators -- November 24-26: David Robinson; November 27-29: John O'Hurley; November 30-December 2: Rita Moreno. http://www.allears.net/tp/h_cpfaq.htm

Disney-MGM Studios:

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at the Disney-MGM Studios begins November 13 -- The Streets of America backlot cityscape at Disney-MGM Studios comes alive with millions of sparkling lights each evening. This year, the spectacle has been enhanced to include choreographed "dancing" lights that swirl and soar to an exhilarating medley of holiday music every 15 minutes, thanks to electronic wizardry featuring more than 400 dimmers. Every building facade, all the trees, wreaths, bells and holiday figures dance to classic tunes among Florida "snow flurries." The lightshow is in collaboration with Arkansas businessman Jennings Osborne, who developed the display for his daughter. The dazzling spectacle is included with Disney-MGM Studios admission nightly through January 7, 2007. http://allears.net/tp/h_osb.htm

Animal Kingdom:

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Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade kicks off at Animal Kingdom on November 13 at 3:45 p.m. and continues daily through January 6, 2007 (dates subject to change). http://allears.net/tp/ak/ak_mjjhol.htm

Downtown Disney:

Cirque du Soleil will present a special edition of La Nouba on New Year's Eve. Attendees at the 6 and 9 p.m. performances on December 31, 2006, will be treated to a champagne toast, a limited-edition full-color souvenir program and a special grand finale. Tickets can be purchased through the Disney Reservation Center, the Cirque du Soleil box office, or Ticketmaster. For more information: www.cirquedusoleil.com http://allears.net/btp/cirq.htm

Don't forget to check our Events page for periodic updates: http://allears.net/pl/events.htm

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Rehabs and Closings:

Animal Kingdom

Theater in the Wild in Animal Kingdom is now closed and under renovation. It will reopen later this year with the new show, Finding Nemo -- The Musical. See the "NEWS BITES" section below for details on show previews coming up in November! http://allears.net/tp/ak/nemo.htm

Disney-MGM Studios

Fantasmic! Will be closed for refurbishment November 1 - 8, with performances resuming on Thursday, November 9. http://allears.net/tp/mgm/m_fantasmic.htm

Journey Into Narnia: Creating the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe closed for refurbishment October 1 and is scheduled to reopen Friday, November 10. http://allears.net/tp/mgm/narnia.htm

The Backlot Tour will be closed for refurbishment November 11-13. http://allears.net/tp/mgm/m_backlot.htm

Magic Kingdom

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will be closed on November 15 (one day only).

Downtown Disney

The West End Stage and the Hub Stage at Pleasure Island refurbishment continues into late 2006.

Cirque du Soleil La Nouba at West Side - No shows November 19 - 21.

Blizzard Beach closed for its annual rehab on October 29, 2006, and will reopen on January 7, 2007.

The Breathless, the 24-foot ChrisCraft reproduction of a 1930 runabout which gives IllumiNations and other cruises on Crescent Lake, is undergoing a rehab as of October 1, 2006. Some guests report being able to book the Breathless for December, but we have had no official word on its availability.

Polynesian Resort -- Captain Cook's 24-hour counter service in the Great Ceremonial House closed June 19 for refurbishment. In the meantime, a counter service location with a limited menu is operating in Tangaroa Terrace. No refillable mugs will be sold or refilled here during this time. In addition, Polynesian Resort longhouses are still undergoing rehab, with minimal effect on guests.

http://allears.net/menu/menu_chh.htm

The Fantasia Pool at All Star Movies will be closed for an extensive rehab from September 11 - February 18, 2007. All Star Movie guests can use the "quiet" pools as well as the main pools at the other All Star Resorts.

Hess Gas Station at the Disney Car Care Center (Magic Kingdom Toll Plaza area) closed August 21 for an extensive refurbishment to last approximately three months. Once it reopens, a brand-new structure will house 4000 square feet of merchandise, as well as food and beverage space enhanced by a unique theme approved by Walt Disney Imagineering. During the construction period, the Disney Car Care Center and Alamo Car Rental will continue to operate. The station is tentatively scheduled to reopen by Thanksgiving.

Be sure to check our Rehabs and Closings page for periodic updates: http://allears.net/tp/rehabs.htm

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DREAM LOVERS
WHERE ARE YOU?
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The Year of a Million Dreams officially began Sunday, October 1, and as part of that celebration Disney Cast Members are not just dispensing "dream" prizes, but are also creating an unprecedented number of "Magical Moments." These include guests being tapped to help with the pixie-dusted opening of Magic Kingdom, getting the star treatment at a celebrity-style handprint ceremony at Disney-MGM Studios, or being named Official Wildlife Spotters at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We have some early reports of guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland receiving "dreams" from the Dream Squad and some of these Magical Moments, as well:

Amy from NY: We visited WDW over the Columbus Day weekend and I was a recipient of a "Dream Come True!" During the Sunday night Extra Magic Hours, we stopped at the bakery for our usual coffee and cookies. I ordered my chocolate chip and sugar cookie among other things. The Cast Member had everything on my tray except the chocolate chip cookie and every time I reminded her, she just said, "Yes." Finally, when I got to the end of the line and she gave me my tray, another Cast Member presented me with a "special" 12-inch chocolate chip cookie. He made a short speech loud enough for the whole store to hear and congratulated me! It's such a small gesture, but it really did make my night!

Jodi Granata: We had a Magical Moment! Our family of four was heading for our two strollers and a Cast Member that was trying to keep the area in order asked my 3- and 5-year-old daughters if they had ridden on the Dumbo ride. Of course both girls went mute and did not answer any question Carlos asked them. Carlos then handed us four FastPasses for a one-time use for any ride in the Magic Kingdom.

The Miller Family: We had reservations at the Liberty Tree Tavern. My husband checked us in and, while we were waiting, the hostess said she needed to see us for a moment. She took us into the back part of the restaurant where all the characters were there for us to meet. We had time to get pictures, autographs and Chip even gave my husband an acorn. Then they led us to the top of the stairs, had my daughter ring the bell, and they announced us. We then read a little passage and they handed us a certificate. When we sat down, my daughter started practicing her name just in case anyone wanted her autograph!

Cheri Rulli: My daughter and I were having dinner at the '50s Prime Time Cafe when I offered to take a picture for four women sitting next to us so they could all be in the same picture. After the picture, the manager came up to me and commented on how nice it was of me to do that. I didn't think anything else about it when she came back a few minutes later with Tinker Bell pins. She gave me the Tinker Bell pins and explained the idea behind them -- one to keep and one to give away. Now the pressure was on -- to find someone to give the other pin to... The next day, while we were waiting to be called for our reservation for lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom, we were watching all of the girls in their princess costumes and noticed one girl in particular. She was so cute, so well-behaved and so excited to be there. She waited so patiently to meet Cinderella and have her picture taken. My 16-year-old daughter even said that she was the type of child that made you want to have children. We decided she should receive the other pin. We went up to her mother and told her about the pin, and tears welled up in her eyes. She explained that her mother-in-law had passed away the day before, and that was why her husband wasn't there, but that he wanted them to go ahead with their plans to meet Cinderella, etc. She said everyone had been so nice to them. I explained that you couldn't buy the pin and she told Lilly, the little girl, about the pin and I shook Lilly's hand as she smiled.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: If the Dream Squad bestows a "dream" upon you, or if you receive an official "Magical Moment," please let us know! We'd love to hear what you won, how you were chosen, and don't forget to send any photos if you have them! Email us at allearsnet@yahoo.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.