January 2001
WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the January 2, 2001, Issue #66 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

As we begin a new year, let's take a few minutes to mention some of the WDW highlights from 2000.

January started off with a fantastic Millennium Celebration throughout the *world*.

A new smoking policy was instituted in all the theme parks with designated smoking areas.

On March 22, the Downtown Disney Marketplace celebrated its 25th Anniversary.

Rosie O'Donnell spent a week broadcasting live from Disney's Animal Kingdom in April.

Indiana Jones at Disney's MGM-Studios underwent a six-month refurbishment.

At Animal Kingdom, Countdown to Extinction was renamed Dinosaur and Conservation Station was renamed Rafiki's Planet Watch.

The Disney Cruise Line began seven-day cruises in August with new ports, including St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

Al's Toy Barn opened at the Studios as a place where Toy Story 2 characters can meet and greet fans!

The Wilderness Lodge Villas opened November 15th.

FASTPASS became available in a total of 19 attractions and shows with over 25 million tickets being distributed.

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Now what's in store for 2001??

The WDW Marathon takes place on January 7, 2001! The first marathon took place January 1994.

In March, the new pool at the Polynesian should be open.

April will see the Grand Opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge resort.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It! will open at the Disney-MGM Studios in the spring.

Star Wars weekends will be in May.

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin will open during the Summer.

Chester and Hester's Midway and Dino-Rama will open in 2001 at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

October begins the "One Hundred Years of Disney" celebration and the 30th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. Look for new parades at the Magic Kingdom and also in Animal Kingdom.

Disney's next value resort, Pop Century, opens Phase I in December.

New FASTPASS Attractions:
Spring 2001: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney Studios)
February 2001: Living With the Land (Epcot)
April 2001: Norway's Maelstrom (Epcot)
June 2001: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom)

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Atlanta Braves Spring Training FanFest, January 6 at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex

This year's FanFest will provide fans a chance to meet some of the Braves top players, collect autographs and talk baseball with the pros. The field will also be open so that the Braves' youngest fans can run the bases and participate in games and activities on the diamond. Special Walt Disney World Spring Training packages, which include accommodations, theme park tickets and game tickets, are also available by calling 407/939-7810.

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Typhoon Lagoon has completed its seasonal rehab and is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 1-31. Single-day tickets are $27.95 plus tax for adults and $22.50 plus tax for children.

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Free Planning Videos are available!

Call 1-800-515-2607 for the free WDW planning video.

Get a free Disney Cruise Line Video by visiting: http://godisney.com/find/disneycruise/video

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The 2000 that is part of Spaceship Earth's shimmering icon will be replaced by the word Epcot. The 2000 will be removed this month, with the full project expected to be completed by May. Two hundred fifty thousand shimmering metallic eye-catchers will be used to spell the word "Epcot".

The popular Millennium Village, the pavilion created especially for the Millennium Celebration, ended its successful run on January 1, 2001, after 15 months as a World Showcase celebration of countries and cultures. As planned, the space will become a convention and meeting facility opening in the spring of 2001.

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Did You Know....

It takes approximately 8 hours to animate one second of movement in the sophisticated A-100 Audio Animatronic figures? These state-of-the-art figures, developed in the late 1980s, have very fluid movements and gestures.

Can you name the A-100 audio-animatronics at WDW?

The Wicked Witch found in the Great Movie Ride at the Disney-MGM Studios was the first. Other figures include the Carnotaurs in Animal Kingdom's Dinosaur attraction, Bill Clinton and Abraham Lincoln in the Hall of the Presidents, S.I.R. in Alien Encounter, Timekeeper in Timekeeper, and Hopper (the most complex with 68 different functions) found at It's Tough to be a Bug in Animal Kingdom.


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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.