November 2007 WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the October 30, 2007 Issue #423 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. Keeping with Epcot's 25th Anniversary celebration, we travel back 11 years to 1986 and the opening of Captain EO.

Captain EO was shown in the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion in Epcot from September 12, 1986, until July 6, 1994. During the height of singer Michael Jackson's popularity, Captain EO showcased his talents. It brought together original songs, dance and special effects created by executive producer George Lucas, director Francis Ford Coppola, and the Walt Disney Company. The show also starred Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston.

For 17 minutes, with the help of special 3D glasses, you were transported to another dimension with musical characters that included a green elephant that sneezed musical notes through his trunk (Hooter), an orange-haired monkey with butterfly wings (Fuzzball), and much more.

For the rest of the article and photographs visit: http://allears.net/tp/ep/captaineo.htm

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HIDDEN MICKEYS ALERT
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Steve Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickeys book and webmaster of www.HiddenMickeysGuide.com, highlights the following Hidden Mickeys for your next journey to Walt Disney World:

1. On the DINOSAUR ride in Disney's Animal Kingdom, stay alert for a classic Mickey near the loading dock. Just as the ride starts and before you travel back in time, a classic Mickey at the lower left corner of a white greaseboard appears on a wall to the left of your vehicle. These WDW whiteboard Hidden Mickeys can come and go, but this one seems to have staying power. If you ride DINOSAUR and discover that it's gone, please let me know! (Thanks to Jesse Kline, Chris Williams and Brodie Mumphrey, Trisha Johnson, Annmarie Benavidez, William Goodwill, and Charles.) http://allears.net/btp/hm187.jpg

2. Finally, a decent cannonball Mickey! At Typhoon Lagoon, this cannonball classic Mickey is on your left under the first cannon past the waterfall if you're drifting in the creek. If you're walking on the nearby trail, it's just past "Forgotten Grotto" in the rear of the park as you walk alongside the drifters. These cannonballs aren't all the same size and seem to be proportioned well. (Thanks to Ashley Izzo and William Goodwill.) http://allears.net/btp/hm188.jpg

3. This Hidden Character is hard to spot! In Goofy's Candy Company, Downtown Disney, there is a hidden Goofy shadow behind the giant mickey Rice Krispy treat on the upper back wall. Great work, Imagineers! (Thanks to Salina Barbosa and Johnny Bartolomeo.) http://allears.net/btp/hm189.jpg

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
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by Doug Ferguson

Now that you've experienced Mission:Space, maybe it's time you saw where the real astronauts start their voyage into space. The Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is about an hour or so drive from Orlando and makes an excellent one-day trip. You may also want to visit before or after your cruise that departs from nearby Port Canaveral.

Getting to KSC from Orlando is pretty simple. Take Rt. 528 (Beeline Expressway) east. Unless you're from the Midwest, you've probably never seen a road as flat and straight as this. Also, the speed limit is 70 mph. Don't be surprised to have people passing you even at that speed. You'll see signs for KSC as you near Route 1.

Admission

There are several different admission packages available. If you are staying at a nearby hotel, they may have discount tickets available. Here are the prices as of September 2007:

-- Maximum Access Badge: Provides access to the KSC tour, IMAX movies, all exhibits including the Apollo/Saturn V center, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. $38.00 for adults, $28.00 for children 3-11
-- Standard Admission: Provides access to the KSC tour, IMAX movies, and all exhibits including the Apollo/Saturn V center. $31.00 for adults, $21.00 for children 3-11
-- 12 Month Pass: Provides access to KSC tour, IMAX movies, all exhibits, and Astronaut Hall of Fame for one year. $50.00 for adults, $35.00 for children 3-11

There are also some additional tours and events that you can add to your visit. These prices are in addition to a standard or maximum access admission, which is required.

-- NASA Up Close Tour: Tour launch areas with a private expert tour guide. Extra stops include the A/B Camera Stop - the closest viewing for the Space Shuttle Launch Pads, the Shuttle Landing Facility and a stop outside the Vehicle Assembly Building. $22.00 for adults, $16.00 for children 3-11
-- Cape Canaveral Now and Then Tour: Tour America's first launch sites from the 1960s, visit the Air Force Space and Missile Museum and see today's active unmanned rocket program. $22.00 for adults, $16.00 for children 3-11
-- Lunch with an Astronaut: A lunchtime space program briefing with an actual NASA Astronaut. Enjoy a delicious meal and take home an autographed souvenir. $22.99 for adults, $15.99 for children 3-11

Planning Your Visit

Prior to visiting the Kennedy Space Center, I would recommend visiting the website at http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com to see if any special activities are planned during your visit. If you are lucky enough to be there for a shuttle launch, I would advise getting launch tickets well in advance. The visitor center and all tours are closed on launch day.

Special events in the past have included the Astronaut Hall of Fame induction, 40th anniversary of the base, and anniversaries of various missions. On these days, there are usually special events such as lunches where you can meet such notables as Buzz Aldrin, Scott Carpenter, and many of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts.

For more details on visiting the Space Center, visit the online guide authored by Doug Ferguson here: http://allears.net/btp/ksc.htm

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BOOK REPORTS
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Columnist and blogger Jack Spence has recently completed and reviewed two new books about Walt Disney World:

The Disney Mountains - Imagineering at Its Peak, by Jason Surrell: "The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak," describes the creation and building of the many man-made mountains that Disney has built around the world. Starting with the world's first steel-tube rollercoaster, the Matterhorn at Disneyland, and ending with their latest creation, Expedition: Everest, each mountain (or mountain genre, like Space Mountain) is given its own chapter. The forward by Marty Sklar is especially entertaining. This book is an easy read as it is only 128 pages and is chock full of illustrations..." For the full review: http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2007/10/book_review_the_disney_mountai_1.html

"Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World" by David Koenig: "Ever wonder why Walt's vision of EPCOT was never brought to fruition? Ever wonder why Disney only built three hotels until Michael Eisner came along? Ever wonder why the Swan and Dolphin hotels are located where they are? Ever wonder why all the shops now carry the same merchandise? This book answers these and many other questions." For the full review: http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2007/10/book_review_realityland_1.html

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MONTHLY REMIND-EARS
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Animal Kingdom

Donald's Breakfastosaurus character breakfast ends November 5. A new character meal, Donald's Safari Breakfast, will be offered at Tusker House. Restaurantosaurus will continue to be open as a quick service restaurant from 10:30 a.m.

The new Yak and Yeti restaurant is scheduled to open November 14.

Disney-MGM Studios

ABC Super Soap Weekend - November 10 - 11, 2007 -- One weekend each fall, stars from the ABC soap operas make appearances at the Disney-MGM Studios. Park guests are treated to a spectacular interactive weekend with their favorite actors and actresses from the ABC Daytime dramas All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital. http://www.allears.net/tp/mgm/m_supersoap.htm

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights: November 12, 2007 - January 6, 2008 -- The Streets of America backlot cityscape at Disney-MGM Studios comes alive with millions of sparkling lights each evening. 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. http://www.allears.net/tp/h_osb.htm

Epcot

Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival concludes on November 11, 2007. Full details: http://www.allears.net/tp/ep/foodwine.htm

In addition, the fest's nightly Eat to the Beat! concert series will feature an even more varied lineup this year, including classic rock, oldies and country performers. At World Showcase, America Gardens Theatre. Show Times: 5:45 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.

Jon Secada Oct. 31 - Nov. 3
Chubby Checker and the Wildcats Nov. 4 - 6
The Contours featuring Sylvester Potts Nov. 7 - 8
David Sanborn Nov. 9 - 11

Holidays Around the World - November 23 - December 30, 2007. This Epcot tradition continues with storytellers, a character tree-lighting ceremony daily, a stunning display of snow-white lights, and the 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. http://www.allears.net/tp/holiday.htm

Candlelight Processional - The updated list of Epcot's Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators for the upcoming 2007 holiday season includes (subject to change): http://www.allears.net/tp/h_cpfaq.htm

November 23-25: David Robinson
November 26-28: John O'Hurley
November 29-December 1: Neil Patrick Harris

Magic Kingdom

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party concludes November 2, 2007!
-- Information: http://allears.net/tp/mk/mnssh.htm
-- Reader Reviews: http://land.allears.net/reviewpost/showproduct.php?product=222&cat=65

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party -- November 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30; December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 2007 Holiday merriment fills Magic Kingdom. There are special holiday shows, fireworks and treats. For ticket information, guests can contact 407-W-DISNEY. http://www.allears.net/tp/hol_mk.htm

Downtown Disney

Festival of the Masters - November 9 - 11, 2007 http://allears.net/btp/festmast.htm

Festival of the Season - November 23-December 24, 2007, Holiday Happenings.

The PGA TOUR's final stop of the fall season at the Walt Disney World Resort will now be known as the Children's Miracle Network Classic. A milestone multi-year agreement between the PGA TOUR, Walt Disney World Resort and Children's Miracle Network was recently signed, and runs through 2012. This year's event is scheduled for October 29 - November 4, and will be held on the Magnolia and Palm courses at Walt Disney World Resort. GOLF CHANNEL will televise all four rounds of competition.

Disney Cruise Line - Pirates of Castaway Cay Pin Event - November 11-15, 2007

Pirates have invaded Castaway Cay! Join Mickey Mouse and friends for a swashbuckling pin adventure aboard the Disney Wonder. This Disney Pin Trading event will feature an adventurous 4-night Bahamian cruise with unique dining experiences, spectacular entertainment, a visit to Castaway Cay, and, of course, pins! Just call 1-800-951-3532 or your travel agent and ask for the Disney Pin Trading Package. Package must be booked prior to Sunday, November 11, 2007. http://eventservices.disney.go.com/pintrading/event?id=21411

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

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Rehabs and Closings

Animal Kingdom

Tusker House remains closed until November 17 while being converted to a buffet service restaurant. Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery remains closed while Tusker House is rehabbed.

Epcot

Spaceship Earth, presented by Siemens, will be undergoing a number of changes over the coming months. The changes will combine the attraction's time-travel adventure into the past with a new finale that provides guests the opportunity to imagine their futures. Each of the ride scenes will be enhanced, and new show scenes will be added to the attraction's story along with new lighting effects, costumes, set decoration, narration and musical score. With phased renovations occurring throughout the year, Spaceship Earth's makeover is scheduled to be fully completed in early 2008. The reopening of Spaceship Earth has been changed to February 18. Read the full press release here: http://www.allears.net/news/hnews.htm#41107

Magic Kingdom

Main Street Cinema is closed for refurbishment through November 20, 2007.

Mickey's Country House is closed for refurbishment November 5 - 16, 2007.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

There is ongoing construction in the Lodge for the conversion of deluxe rooms to Disney Vacation Club Villas. Also, there is outside construction of a new animal barn and Disney Vacation Club buildings. Construction is scheduled to last through April 2009.

Contemporary Resort

The North Garden Wing has been demolished. The tennis courts and playground are also gone. Rumors persist about a Disney Vacation Club Resort being built; however, no official announcement has been made.

Coronado Springs Resort

The Jaguar Slide at Coronado Springs Resort's Dig Site will be closed November 26 - December 14, 2007. Only the slide will be closed; the pool will remain open.

Fort Wilderness

The Wilderness Swimmin' Pool at Fort Wilderness will be closed November 26 - 27. Meadow Swimmin' Pool will be partially closed November 28 and 30 while its deck is cleaned; however, the pool will remain open.

Wilderness Lodge

Hidden Springs Pool at the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge is closed through November 21. The feature pool at Wilderness Lodge will be open during this refurbishment.

Yacht Club

The Yacht Club's "Quiet" Pool is closed through November 29, 2007. As an alternative, guests can use the Dunes Cove pool at the Beach Club Villas, or Stormalong Bay.

The Official All Star Cafe at Disney's Wide World of Sports is closed for refurbishment through November 19, 2007.

Typhoon Lagoon closed for its annual refurbishment beginning October 28, 2007, and is scheduled to reopen on January 6, 2008.

The Palm, Magnolia, and Oak Trail Golf Courses are closed now through November 5, 2007, for the PGA Tour's Children's Miracle Network Classic. The Classic runs November 1-4, 2007.

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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 reports of guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland receiving "dreams" from the Dream Squad and some of these Magical Moments, as well.

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Heather Barnhart: My son received a magical moment while we were vacationing at Disney World the week of September 18-25, while we were waiting to catch our Magical Express bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge. The bus had taken an extremely long time to get there (longer than usual for some reason) and the cast member was commenting on how well-behaved my 4-year-old had been. Once our bus finally came, we were escorted on the bus, and waiting for us was the cast member who had been talking to us. He told us he had a surprise for my son. Mickey Mouse had heard about the bus being late and had a special gift for him. The cast member gave my son a Mickey Mouse glove autographed by Mickey Mouse! My son was so excited!

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Pam Kane: We were in the Magic Kingdom, it was getting hot, and the line for "Dimbo" (as my son called Dumbo) was getting long. We were pondering whether to brave the line, as my son's birthday dinner was scheduled in 20 minutes at the Crystal Palace. As if from nowhere, a lovely Dream Maker from Northern Ireland stepped up and asked my son if it was his birthday. He said yes. She asked if he'd like to go to the front of the line! He was allowed to pick his favorite color of Dumbo to ride in that car, and then she had him close his eyes. She said, "Oh! I think I just saw Tinker Bell fly over!" and sprinkled glitter all over us. My son was enamored. She then gave us a Fastpass for the whole party of six to any ride we chose that evening.

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Stacy: After spending six months planning a surprise "magical" trip to Disney for my daughters (7 and 4), by the time we arrived at the park on September 12 I was physically exhausted. However, after reading about the Year of a Million Dreams, I thought the only thing that would make this trip extra special would be a visit from the Dream Squad. We traveled to every park from dusk to dawn and not once during the week-long stay did I see the Dream Squad in action. However, during our day at Epcot we lost a Disney bag (how many of those are lost per day?) that contained our daughters' costumes that they wore to the princess breakfast, the photo that we purchased of them with Belle, and their autograph books. I was devastated! I happened to run into a member of the Dream Squad (Chelsea from Ecuador) who was done with her "dream" duties and now had her customer service hat on. She was so kind. She invited us to be her guest at the premier seating for the fireworks, allowed our girls to "blow out" the torch to start the fireworks, and replaced their autograph books with ones that were completely filled. She was like a dream come true. Although we were not granted a big extravagant dream, we were blessed to have run into Chelsea and to have met her. My wish is to somehow get word to her, to thank her again for making us feel as though our lost bag was the most important thing to her on that day. Thanks, Disney!

P.S. The bag was found five days later and was mailed to our home within two days.

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Sara from Central Florida: Just wanted to share that even pets can get in on the extra Magical Moments that are part of the Year of a Million Dreams. We recently left our dog Abby in the kennel at Disney's Animal Kingdom. When we picked her up at the end of the day, we were informed that she had been chosen "Pet of the Day." She was presented with a Magical Moments certificate as well as a bag that included two squeaky toys and one rope toy for us to take home. We were so excited and proud of her! As we left the park, other guests stopped to pet Abby, tell us how cute she was, and ask what had happened! We commend Disney for including four-legged members of the family!

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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

For more Magical Moments: http://allears.net/tp/yomdmm.htm
For Dreams: http://allears.net/tp/yomd.htm


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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.