April 2002
Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the April 2, 2002, Issue #132 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

Springtime has arrived in Central Florida -- and perhaps where you live, too! This April at Walt Disney World brings not only Epcot's Annual Flower and Garden Festival, but the official opening of Primeval Whirl in Disney's Animal Kingdom, just in time for that park's fourth birthday. Look for a special article on the Flower and Garden Festival in next week's issue of ALL EARS®!

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Let's Step Back to 1988!

*Purchase an Annual Passport with unlimited admission to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center for $165.

*A One-Day Ticket is $28 for adults and $22 for children 3-9. Three ($78), Four ($96) and Five ($110) Day World Hoppers get you into both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom, the two parks constructed so far.

*Florida Residents can purchase a one day/one park ticket for just $19.50. A three-season salute is also available for unlimited admission from January to February 14, May and September for only $65 ($55 for children 3-9).

*An All America Parade makes its way down Main Street USA every afternoon featuring hometown bands and 16 wonderful Disney floats representing different regions of the United States, among them California surfers, a Mississippi Riverboat, and cowboys and cowgirls.

*The Epcot Daredevil Circus Spectacular performs in Future World around Spaceship Earth!

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Many of you wrote in after reading our March 12 feature, "How to Become a Super Star... without Really Trying!" Here are a few of the stories you sent in:

Don't forget the Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom. A person is chosen from each section to be the 'lead' animal and make the sound. I believe there is an elephant, giraffe, warthog and lion section.

From Becky Ashley: On one of our previous trips, my daughter (who was around 10 years old) was selected to introduce the Hunchback of Notre Dame show. We arrived early and I spent some time chatting with one of the Cast Members at the front of the stage. Right before the show, she asked my daughter if she wanted to introduce the show. She had to read off of a card, so it was very easy. She received a certificate for her efforts!

For my son's 14th birthday, we went on the Magic Kingdom Railroad and the Cast Member at the rear of the train noticed his birthday button (from Town Hall). She announced his birthday to the whole train. He got to stand at the rear of the train with her and push the buttons to play the announcements. We also rode in the front of the monorail and the driver announced his birthday to the whole monorail!

For the very shy who want to be a superstar, they can "hang out" outside of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- Play It! and hopefully be chosen as a complete stranger. You get to be heard (but not seen) by the studio audience, and afterwards, you get an official "I Was a Complete Stranger" pin. But beware! After we got home, my kids were more than happy to say that their dad was a complete stranger. This did not make their mother very pleased.

From Robin McConnell: My middle child, Erin, was the luckiest. First, she got to demonstrate the lion roar for the "lion section" before the Lion King show. Then, while we were listening to Voices of Liberty in Epcot's America Pavilion, they were one girl short for "Skip to My Lou" and picked Erin! They talked to her, asked her where she was from and if she had a boyfriend (she said yes and I about fell over -- she was 6!!) then finished singing it with one of the singers holding her hand. Afterwards they talked to us and one Cast Member in the group gave us a ride upstairs in the CM elevator! We sure felt like stars that trip!

If you missed the article, you can read it (and more first-hand reports) at: http://allears.net/btp/star.htm

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Recently we asked you to send in your ideas for celebrating birthdays at WDW. Wow, did you all have some fabulous ideas and stories about special celebrations!

From Cindy Mohr: In June 2000, we were at Disney when our daughter turned 6. When our reservations were made, the travel agent made a note of this. We had requested a Magic Kingdom view at the Contemporary, but were told there were no guarantees. When we arrived we were not given a Magic Kingdom view and my husband said that we'd be willing to change rooms during the week to make that change. The person at the desk said they'd go check and when they came back they said that yes, they could do that: "Anything for the Birthday Girl!"

After checking in we went to dinner and then to Epcot for the evening parade. When we came back to our room there were several "Happy Birthday" balloons with a birthday card and a 5x7 photo of Mickey, Pluto, Donald, and Minnie signed by the characters. To this day, it is my daughter's most prized possession.

On the day of her birthday, we had lunch reservations (again with a note of our daughter's birthday made by the travel agent) at the character meal at Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom. When we were called for our table, the Cast Member asked, "Who's turning 6 years old today?" My daughter's eyes popped open as she said, "Me!" and then she had Mickey Mouse confetti sprinkled all over her head. As we were finishing our meal, our waitress brought a cupcake with a candle and the other servers came over and sang "Happy Birthday" to her. She also got a birthday card signed by Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger.

After coming home late that night, we watched Magic Kingdom fireworks from our balcony.

It was a wonderful trip and an unbelievably magical time. I didn't think I'd see so many smiles during such HOT June days!! Disney Magic was wonderful!


Ray Meany sent in this great idea: Obviously not all of us can celebrate our birthday at Walt Disney World, but when you do have a chance to visit take the opportunity to "Celebrate Your Unbirthday." Remember the tea party in 'Alice in Wonderland'? That's when I first learned that there are 364 "Unbirthdays" in a year. When we went to the character breakfast at 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian), which featured the Mad Hatter, he got all the characters that day to sing "A Very Merry Unbirthday" song to my princess -- my wife, Gayle. She certainly felt very young again and her face shone from all the attention -- or was it just from being embarrassed??!!

Read all about Birthday Ideas for Children and Adults at:

http://allears.net/pl/bday.htm (for children)
http://allears.net/pl/bdayad.htm (for adults)

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by Dizpins.com

Pin traders are getting ready for two great pin events: Chester and Hester's Pin-O-Rama on April 23, 2002, hosted by Disney's Animal Kingdom, and the Disney Pin Trading Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder May 16-19, 2002. Both of these events will feature Pin Trading like never before and the release of many Limited Edition pins, surprises, and everything from dinosaurs to pin trading on the high seas. With these Pin Trading Events, Disney Pin Collectors are truly a part of the Magic.

On March 22, 2002, Disney began Mickey's Pin Trading Nights, held every Friday evening at Disney's Contemporary Resort from 7 to 10 p.m. All Disney pin traders, young and old, veterans and those just starting out, are invited to come and meet other Disney Pin Traders in a good old-fashioned trade meet.

In the past, Disney Pin Traders have met regularly on their own to trade pins, share stories and mingle amongst other pin enthusiasts, but Disney now will add some more fun. There will be a "Kids Under 14 Trading Zone," where only kids will be allowed to trade with other kids and Cast Members. Say good-bye to Mom and Dad and join others in the Kids-Only area to discover that hard-to-find pin or just make a new pin-trading friend. Also, there will be a resident Disney Pin Trading Expert to assist guests as they make their trades. There will be additional tables and chairs set up to accommodate all of the Pin Trading guests.

For the latest up-to-date information, don't forget to bookmark Dizpins.com. From all of us at Dizpins, Happy Pin Trading!!

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Courtesy of www.themouseforless.com "The Magic for Less"

Binnie writes: Here are a few more sites on car travel with kids:


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from Steve Soares WDW Live Entertainment (Unofficial) http://wdwent.com

Right now there are many high school and college bands performing all over WDW property -- mostly in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Downtown Disney Marketplace.

I heard a couple of really good symphonic orchestras the weekend of March 23-24 at the Future World West Stage in Epcot. They both sounded like professional orchestras and played for about 30 minutes.

I don't think Disney does enough to promote them, because it's usually just me and the families of the band members in the audience. That's really a shame because I know these young people have practiced many years to get as good as they are. I'm sure many park regulars would enjoy the performances if they knew where and when they were.

I've been including the Magic Music Days schedules on my site for quite some time now. I hope to see more people turn out for these shows. Come on out and show these young people your support!

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The Tip of the Week in last week's ALL EARS®, from James D. Sirks, featured Radio Disney. Here's some additional information:

>From Kimberly Doucette: You can listen to Radio Disney just about anywhere, not just in Orlando! See the Radio Disney website (www.radiodisney.com) to find out where Radio Disney is broadcast in your area. This way, you can listen for your whole drive to the most magical place on earth! While you are in the Disney-MGM Studios, stop by the Radio Disney booth, located next to the Drew Carey Sounds Dangerous show. B.B. Good broadcasts live from the Radio Disney studio Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. We stopped by to meet her and she asked my daughter to sign her autograph book! We live in Maryland and my 9-year-old daughter listens every day! It is the BEST radio station for kids. TONS of prizes, but you must be 14 and under to win! We've attended many local Philadelphia Radio Disney events and had a blast. I can't say enough good things about this radio station. Disney just knows how to do things right!

>From Dean A. Laddie: If anyone subscribes to XM Satellite Radio (http://www.xmradio.com), Radio Disney broadcasts on Channel 115. The sound is CD-quality digital radio. And best of all, it can be received coast-to-coast.


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.