June 2001
WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the June 5, 2001, Issue #89 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

Three New Areas Open in Innoventions at Epcot!

Networked Living Experience (IBM), Mission: Space Launch Center (Compaq), and Tom Morrow 2.0's Playground have opened in Epcot's Innoventions area. You may have seen Tom Morrow, the diminutive robot host, previously as you entered Innoventions East. Now he has his own interactive play area.

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The Power of BLAST!

America Gardens Theatre in Epcot will host selections from the hit Broadway show BLAST! This show definitely marches to its own drums, with an inventive blend of energetic movement, brass and pounding rhythms. The Power of Blast! will perform at America Gardens Theatre from June 16 through August 23, 2001. Show times are 3:00, 4:30, 5:45, and 7:10 p.m. daily. Epcot admission is required.

Dining Packages are also available as described below:

Blast! Dinner Package: Preferred Seating at the show and dinner at Epcot. Dining includes choice of soup, salad or appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage at select Epcot restaurants. Call 1-407-WDW-DINE.

Tier 1: The Garden Grill Restaurant, Nine Dragons Restaurant, Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, Restaurant Akershus, or Biergarten Restaurant for $32.50 plus tax for adults and $10.95 plus tax for children ages 3-9.

Tier 2: Le Cellier Steakhouse, Les Chefs de France Restaurant, Restaurant Marrakesh, Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki Dining Room, L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante, or San Angel Inn Restaurante for $42.50 plus tax for adults and $10.95 plus tax for children ages 3-9.

Prices include gratuity!

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MetLife No Longer an Epcot Partner!

"MetLife has ended its involvement with the Wonders of Life Pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot. As a result, the sale of Walt Disney World and Disneyland discounted tickets through MetLife will be discontinued." (Thank you Perry !)

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As a result of the Coral Cafe in the Dolphin closing, Gullivers, effective June 11th, will have character dining 7 days a week.

And speaking of Character Dining, I sadly report that as of June 10, 2001, the Villains Character dinner at the Grand Floridian is being replaced by Pooh and Friends.

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Minnie-Mizing the Mouse

Mike Corbo of the Mouse For Less list (http://www.themouseforless.com) submits the following:

DisneyDollarless members recently had some discussion on two "clubs" that seem worthy of the investment involved based on the benefits received.

The first is the Rainforest Cafe Safari Club. Since there are two locations of this themed restaurant on WDW property, it may be worthwhile to join. The cost is only $10. You must apply while at the Rainforest Cafe to become a member. Benefits will not be available to you on the application visit, so stop by and apply the day before you plan to eat there.

Some of the benefits are: an instant $10 certificate good toward your next meal at the Rainforest (which could be the next day), another $10 certificate in the mail with your membership card, 10% off merchandise in the gift shop and guaranteed priority seating. I have been using this card for a while now and even when waits exceeded an hour, I have never had to wait more than five minutes for a table.

The application also asks for your birthday and anniversary, and they mail you coupons for free appetizers and buy one/get one free entrees on these occasions.

DisneyDollarless members have been volunteering to pick up applications and submit the applications for other members, so they can use the benefits on their next trip to Walt Disney World.

Our next pick of the week is the Hard Rock All Access Club. Previously Hard Rock offered a free 30th anniversary version of this program. The current program costs $29.95 to join. You receive an instant $20 credit for food and merchandise. Other benefits include a $20 credit on your card for every $200 spent on merchandise, food and beverages, a limited edition pin and preferred seating with access to their online preferred seating website to make arrangements up to 30 days in advance. (If only Disney would come up with that one!) The club also includes discounts on rooms at the Orlando Hard Rock Hotel (currently offered to members at $125 per night).

It appears that Hard Rock will occasionally add dollars to your card in order to entice you to use it, for example, an extra $10 for your birthday. They just added $10 to my card for no apparent reason, and my wife's card is now eligible for $1.50 for every $1 purchased to reach that $200 goal!

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WDW Pin News (courtesy of Dizpins.com)

Another month has come and gone with more Disney pin excitement!!!

May was a fun month for pin collectors. The Countdown Event at the Disney-MGM Studios was great, with Lights...Cameras and "PIN" Action of course!!! Many pins were released, including a Limited Edition (LE) 1000 Dinosaur Gertie pin along with the third Countdown Dangle and the first in a nine-pin series celebrating the 100 Years of Magic of Walt Disney and these pins are individually numbered. The first in this series was called Walt Disney's Letterhead 1922.

Guests also enjoyed an interactive "Pin Production" that took them through the park as they gathered the last-minute elements as a Production Assistant. Once the guest received all of the backstage pass stamps, by either trading a pin with a CM or answering a question about that specific prop shop, they received their "Production Credentials" added to their day's "script". The Production Credential included a free Backstage Pass Pin!!

June will be just as exciting. The Magic Kingdom will host the next Pin Celebration Countdown on June 14, 2001, and will feature an event exclusive LE 1000 pin of Swan Boat, the fourth of the Countdown Dangle, a beautiful LE 3500 Cinderella Boxed Coach Pin and the second in the series of nine pins celebrating Walt Disney's 100 Years of Magic.

Guests will also be given the opportunity to set out on Pixie's Pin Path, which will lead guests on a magical adventure throughout the Magic Kingdom as they pursue the ever-elusive fairy. In seven different locations, guests will trade pins or answer trivia questions while on her path. If they succeed in their quest, they will be rewarded with a collectible pin featuring our favorite pixie.

Also, it was recently announced that in honor of Walt Disney's 100th birthday, and to share in the joy and magic he has brought to so many, the Disney Store will release the "Walt Disney 100 Years of Dreams" pin collection. This collection, a total of 100 new pins, will be exclusive to Disney Stores in North America. Pins will be released every Saturday from September 22 to December 15, 2001.

And, if this is not enough, the Contemporary Resort will host the Pin Celebration Countdown on July 1, 2001!!!

If all of this is just to much to remember, click your Mickey "Mouse" on www.dizpins.com for all the new pin-related information.

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Construction continues at the Pop Century Resort, scheduled to open mid-December 2001. The large bowling pin icons for the 1950s buildings are now installed, along with catch-phrases and dance silhouettes. Concrete pouring is now finished for more than 2,000 of the 5,760 rooms at the value resort.


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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.