Hi! I'm Anita!
Hi Anita! My family (two kids, two adults) will be going to Walt Disney World this summer. My sister, her husband and son will be going also but are staying at a different resort. We will want to eat together sometimes and want to know how to do this with separate dining reservation numbers. If I call and make my family's reservation for a character breakfast and my sister wants to do it at the same time, will I be able to do this for her as well, or will she have to call and make a separate reservation? Thanks for your help.
If your two families wish to dine together, you should call and make one Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for the entire combined party. If you call separately and end up with two reservations, chances are great that you won't be seated together as you'll show up in the reservations system as a party of four and a party of three rather than a party of seven.
By the way, it doesn't matter where the members of the party are staying. You could include local relatives or friends staying at a non-Disney resort as well, and it would make no difference as long as you're all on the same ADR.
I hope you all have fun at your character breakfast!
My family and I have been going to Walt Disney World every year since 1995. In 2004 there was a cartoon channel that was on our resort TV at the All Star Movies Resort. My then 4-year-old loved a certain cartoon called Lambert, about a lion. We all loved that cartoon but have not seen it shown at that resort or any other place since then. Can you tell me if there is some way I could purchase it? Thanks!
"Lambert the Sheepish Lion" is the name of the animated short you and your son remember. It was produced in 1952, and is available as part of the Walt Disney Treasures boxed set series. It can be found in the "Disney Rarities-Celebrated Shorts 1920s to 1960s" set. It's been in release since 2005, and can be found in most stores or websites that sell DVDs.
I love the walks at Animal Kingdom, but one thing seems to be missing. Where are the boats in the river? The docks are there and it looks like it was planned to be an alternate form of transportation to get around the park. Wouldn't it be wonderful to sit back and cruise through Asia and Africa?
There must be a discussion about this taking place somewhere on the web, as I've received three questions about the Discovery Riverboats in the last two weeks. Freshen up your beverage and have a seat. This is a long and sad tale of an attraction gone wrong -- very wrong.
When Animal Kingdom opened back in 1998, there was in fact a boat ride that circled Discovery Island. That's why those docks are there. These boats may actually hold the record for having the most names ever in an attraction's lifetime. It is certainly a serious contender for the most short-lived attraction, as it was only open some 16 months, from April 1998 to August 1999, and was closed for retooling for much of that short time. In fact, it may take you longer to read this than the length of time the attraction was actually open! (Kidding, but only a little...)
So anyway, the Discovery Riverboats, Discovery River Taxis, or the Radio Disney River Cruise (depending on the date of your visit during those 16 months) started off as a good idea, but never really had a chance for success. Why? Well, the ridiculously long wait times didn't help increase its popularity, nor did the fact that after your ridiculously long wait, you got to see exactly... nothing during your trip. Well, not really nothing, because you did get a fairly close up look at the Tree of Life, as well as just about the only view in the park of what would have been Beastly Kingdomme, had it not been placed in limbo due to budgetary problems. You can still see the dragon-head shaped rock waterfall from the bridge to Camp Minnie-Mickey, but you can't see the dragon's cave that used to breathe fire well from anywhere but the river. Since the cave hasn't actually breathed fire in nearly a decade, you're not missing much anyway.
During park previews in March of 1998, my friend the Czarina and I braved the ridiculously long wait and rode the boats, where we were treated to a view of... nothing. Less than happy about having wasted a lot of time with it for little payoff, we both wondered what lines would be like once the park was opened for real, and how guests would feel about that lack of a payoff. As it turned out, we were not alone in our consternation, as there were an epic number of complaints about the boats once Animal Kingdom opened.
In addition to being the literal "slow boats," did I mention that the five colorfully-painted, natural gas-powered boats (humorously named Darting Dragonfly, Otter Nonsense, Leaping Lizard, Crocodile Belle and Hasty Hippo) were difficult to steer and got stuck en route? One day, I sat at one of the Flame Tree's lower dining areas and watched in fascination as one got stuck near Dinoland, and couldn't get free no matter how it was maneuvered. Another one came along to try and nudge it free, and then they both got stuck. I had to leave before it was resolved, but I knew at that moment this attraction was doomed. Slow loading, long waits, boring rides and getting stuck along the way did not spell success, if you know what I mean. Sure enough the boat ride closed for good in August of 1999.
A couple of years ago, I saw one of the boats on Discovery River with a live band playing on it and then a couple of months later with characters on board waving to the crowds on shore, but no sightings since then. Perhaps someday, if those crazy rumors I've been hearing about a revival of the Beastly Kingdomme concept are true, the boats may make a comeback, and we'll finally be able to see... something. Until then, we'll just have to wait to find out what happens, if anything. Meanwhile, RIP Radio-Disney-Discovery-River-Boats-Taxis-Cruise.
Anita, I am loving this site -- it is so helpful! Do you know anything about the new African-American princess that is supposed to be unveiled in the winter of '09? We are going to WDW in the fall and would LOVE for my little princess to meet the new princess that just might look like her! Any info would be appreciated. :)
19-year-old Princess Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) will be the heroine of "Disney's The Princess and the Frog," a musical love story tentatively set for a release date of 12/25/09. The film is set in 1920s New Orleans, and is the first hand-drawn animated feature film produced by Disney since 2004. To see the trailer and art from the new film, go to www.disney.go.com and click on the tab for "Movies."
Although nothing has been officially announced about Princess Tiana appearing in the parks, I'm guessing she'll begin making appearances as soon as the movie release date draws closer. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that she'll be doing meet and greets before the film is released, so I hope your trip is scheduled to coincide with it so your daughter is able to meet her.
Trivia Question: Before "The Princess and the Frog," what was the last hand-drawn animated feature film released by Disney? (Answer in next week's column.)
I read in last week's newsletter about the hot air balloon rides in Downtown Disney. This week I went to show my daughter and the article was gone -- or is it there and I cannot find it? Was it there, and is this true about the hot air balloon ride? If it is true, do you know when it will open and how much it will cost? Sorry for all the questions but we would love to do this ride. Thank you!
Strangely, I can't find the article either, but here's what I know about the new Characters in Flight attraction coming to Downtown Disney:
The balloon ride, similar to one at Disneyland Paris, is under construction right now on the lake shore between the West Side and the former Pleasure Island. It is expected to open in Spring 2009. The tethered balloon will carry up to 30 guests 300 feet above the lake, which is approximately 100 feet higher than the current highest attractions at the World. Ticket prices and other details have not yet been announced, but I would expect it to be at least in the $20 - $25 range for an adult. No word yet as to whether a Baudelaire poem will be recited. (Just kidding!)
Anita, I just want to start by saying that I love reading your column and it brings joy to my workday on Mondays! My question is about the Cinderella Suite in the Magic Kingdom. Now that the "Year of a Million Dreams" is over, what are they going to do with the Cinderella Suite? Has anything been announced? Thank you!
After the "What Will You Celebrate?" questions, the Cinderella Suite question has been ranking quite high on the most frequently asked list!
According to the Orlando Sentinel, during the What Will You Celebrate promotion this year, the Cinderella Suite will again be awarded as a prize, but not randomly in the parks or resorts as it was during the Year of a Million Dreams promotion. Instead, this year, it will be awarded as a prize in several contests and sweepstakes (some from outside sources) so you'll have to enter to win.
I have also heard, but can't confirm, that the suite will occasionally be used by certain children's charities such as the Make a Wish Foundation.
Which of the four Hapsburg emperors was left off the facade of Das Kaufhaus shop in the Germany pavilion?
Emperor Maximilian I is the missing Hapsburg ruler. Why? A simple lack of space. Das Kaufhaus (also known as the Gild Hall) is a scaled-down version of the original building in Freiburg, Germany, so somebody had to be left off the facade. The likenesses of Philip I, Charles V and Ferdinand I appear on the building.
That's it for this edition!
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