December 2001
WDW Bits And Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the December 5, 2001, Issue #115 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

It's not just Walt Disney's birthday this month, it's also time to celebrate the anniversary of the Pirates of the Caribbean!

In the late 1950s, Walt Disney introduced the concept of a pirate adventure to his staff at Walt Disney Imagineering. Like so many other of his ideas, it was far ahead of the current technology needed to achieve the desired effects. It was not until the mid-1960s that the show moved closer to reality. Pirates of the Caribbean opened in Disneyland's New Orleans Square in February 1967, and in Walt Disney World on December 15, 1973.

The attraction is themed to the West Indies of the 1700s when Pirates ruled the waterways. During the boat ride, you'll find yourself in the midst of a battle between a pirate ship and a granite fort. Soon, the pirates have pillaged the town and are drinking, partying and chasing women.

Pirates of the Caribbean is home to 125 Audio-Animatronic® figures, including 65 pirates and villagers and 60 animals and birds. The waterfall ramp at the beginning of the ride is 52 feet long, but the actual drop is only 14 feet.



Czarina's Royal Table recently visited Olivia's Cafe at Old Key West Resort. ALL EARS® readers can see the full article now, before it goes live on Deb's WDWIG. Simply click on the URL after the brief description that follows:

Olivia's at the Old Key West Resort -- My vote for best home cookin' in the World goes to OLIVIA'S at Old Key West. It's so good that I know Cast Members who make special pilgrimages here for down-home dining at fair prices. Just walking into the big, breezy space overlooking the Old Key West Marina makes you feel relaxed. Read the full review at:



Did you know...?

... Walt Disney World employs a full-time Christmas Services Staff...

... the Christmas Services Warehouse covers 70,000 square feet...

.... the four theme park trees range in weight from 28,000 pounds to 32,000 pounds. And each tree has more than 5,500 lights!

.... approximately 140 trailer trucks of holiday decorations go to numerous locations around the Walt Disney World Resort...

.... the Walt Disney World Resort is decorated with more than 8,237,030 lights...

....there are enough decorations to fill every room of an average three-bedroom house more than 90 times...

....the Christmas trees in the lobbies of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge and the Grand Floridian are each 50 feet tall...


Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Update

A special Magic Kingdom party featuring Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade, live stage shows, holiday fireworks, many attractions and even snow on Main Street, U.S.A.

Friday, December 7 and 14 are both Sold Out!! Tickets still remain for December 6, 9, 11,13, and 18, 2001! Call (407) W-DISNEY


Cast Member Magic

The following is an except from the What Walt Would Do Website (, here with permission.

Anthony of Chester, NY and his girlfriend Nicole (who survived the World Trade Center attack) became part of the Magic at Walt Disney World on September 28, 2001.

Upon arriving in WDW, the couple noticed guests and Cast Members with an "American Flag Mickey" pin. They searched everywhere looking for these special pins, with no luck. Each Cast Member they asked said the pin was sold out. Anthony didn't give up.

The very last day of the trip they returned to the Magic Kingdom and met Dean, who was handing out park maps. Anthony noticed Dean's American Flag Mickey pin and asked if he knew of anywhere to find them. Dean explained that his pin was very special as it was given to him by a member of "New York's Bravest," a firefighter who was also involved personally with the rescue efforts, a real hero!

They talked with Dean for some time and could see in his face he was genuinely happy and touched just that Nicole was alive. He went above and beyond by telling the couple that he would take their address and send a pin when the new shipment arrived. Dean then extended himself even further and asked them to be the GRAND MARSHALS for the afternoon parade. Nicole and Dean shared a hug and a very special day was about to commence.

Later that afternoon, getting ready for the parade, Dean appeared with one of the American Flag Mickey pins and presented it to Nicole. Anthony and Nicole were overwhelmed. Then, off to Dean's right, a man appeared along the parade route. Dean flagged him to come over and he introduced everyone. This was the firefighter from whom Dean had gotten the pin. It was an emotional moment the couple will never forget. The firefighter and Nicole hugged and there was barely a dry eye in the group -- this was the most amazing moment.

Dean is truly one of Walt's Legacies and a special person who deserves to be well-honored as not only a cast member but as a human being. Anthony and Nicole send their heartfelt thanks to him for making their lives just wonderful.

What Would Walt Do is an independently owned, internet-based recognition program for Disney Cast Members. The program rewards and recognizes outstanding Cast Member performance by regular guests and visitors to Disney parks. Guests purchase WWWD pins online, and present them to Cast Members when they provide outstanding service.

For the full story and to learn more about the program visit:


ALL EARS® HEARS...............

Breathless is available on limited evenings in December! The beautiful 24 foot ChrisCraft reproduction of a 1930 runabout has finished rehab a few weeks early! Breathless is available for rental on selected "Day-Of" dates in December. You must inquire *in person* at the Yacht and Beach Club marina on the day of the IllumiNations Cruise you desire. To see a photo and read more about Breathless visit:


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.