May 2002
WDW Bits And Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the April 30, 2002, Issue #136 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

May is here and spring is in full bloom at WDW! Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival is underway and the displays are beautiful!

Just as spring signals new beginnings in nature, it also means the beginning of changes throughout WDW. For example, fans of the Port Orleans French Quarter will see their favorite resort reopen on May 31 with a new food court. The boat ride to Downtown Disney will also be back!

Elsewhere in the world of Disney, the Disney Cruise Line embarks on a new Western Caribbean seven-day cruise on May 11. ALL EARS® Editor and Publisher Deb Wills will be on board checking out the new itinerary!

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If you are sailing on the May 11 Disney Magic, you'll have the chance to meet up with Deb Wills and Passporter WDW authors Jennifer Watson and Dave Marx.

WHO: Everyone is welcome!

WHEN: Monday, May 13, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Disney Magic.

WHERE: Promenade Lounge (next to the Internet Cafe) on Deck 3 Aft [Note: If the lounge is closed, full, or busy, we'll go to Preludes outside of the Walt Disney Theatre on Deck 4 Forward.]

WHAT: A casual Meet and Greet during a day at sea! Have a cup of coffee or just sit and talk with us about all things Disney... or anything else that comes to mind!

We'll look forward to seeing you then!

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Ever wonder what Walt Disney World was like way back when? We rummage around in the archives for this monthly feature, which takes you back in history for a glimpse of Walt Disney World through the ages.

>From the 1982 WDW Vacation Guide, here's a look at some of the meals and shows that are no more:

***Top of the World, which was located at the top of the Contemporary Resort (where California Grill now resides) featured a musical revue with 30 years of Broadway hits called "Broadway at the Top"! Entertainment charge for adults was $7.50 and for children was $3.75. Dinners were priced from $9.95-$14.50.

***Breakfast a la Disney, aboard the Empress Lilly Riverboat (now Fulton's Crab House), was a hearty breakfast that included a visit by Walt Disney characters and a special memento for each child. Prices were: adults, $5.50; children (3-11), $4.50.

***Dinner a la Disney at the Golf Resort (now Shades of Green) was a family-style dinner featuring prime rib, chicken and fish, and included a visit by Walt Disney characters and a special memento for each child. Prices were: adults, $12; juniors (12-18), $10; children (3-11), $7.50.

In 1982, you could also borrow (with deposit) the new Kodak Disk Camera and Kodamatic instant cameras from the Camera Center at the base of Spaceship Earth. Polaroid One-Step cameras were available in the Magic Kingdom.

Finally, the Olympiad Health Club in the Contemporary Resort offered massages at $25.

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Courtesy of Steve Soares' WDW Live Entertainment (Unofficial)

Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival will be featuring new entertainment this fall. Already scheduled are:

  • October 19-23: The Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards
  • November 3-7: Little Anthony & The Imperials
  • November 8-12: The 5th Dimension
  • November 13-17: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats

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Jeneice Seagraves writes: I received a special discount e-mail from Wishes and dreams really do come true, like this magical offer. You pay only $94 per night at one of the Moderate Resorts. You must book by 5/19/02. The rate is available most nights 6/23/02 - 8/24/02. The number of rooms is limited. Ask for code CEW.

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There is a new series of pins, the Lanyard Series Pins, which is taking the "World" by storm. These pins are exclusive to Cast Member lanyards, and in order to get one, you must trade a pin with a Cast member who is wearing one on their lanyard. These pins will never be for sale -- the only way to acquire one is to trade with a Cast Member.

So far, there have been a total of 21 pins released in this series. Pictures of these can be found at

The pin celebrations at WDW just keep getting bigger and better!!! Guests had nothing but rave reviews for Chester and Hester's Pin-O-Rama, which was held at Disney's Animal Kingdom on April 13, 2002. We have all seen the pins, but if you were unable to attend the event, Dizpins will take you there:

The next big Pin Event is the Pin Trader Cruise, which sets sail aboard the Disney Wonder on May 16, 2002. The cruise has been sold out for quite a while, making the Disney Wonder Pin Trading Heaven!

Plans are underway for Disney's Pin Celebration, which will take place on September 20-22, 2002 at Epcot.

Remember -- for all of your Disney Pin Information, visit your friends at!!

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The Disney-MGM Studios will celebrate the opening of the latest Star Wars movie, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, during the weekend of May 17-19.

More than 20 Star Wars characters will be in the Studios over the weekend, milling about the park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and appearing in the afternoon "Stars and Motor Cars" parade. Look for appearances by: Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, Ewoks, Jawas, Boba Fett, Cantina Band Members, Tusken Raiders, Emperor Palpatine and his Royal Guards. Artists will also be on hand to paint the faces of Guests like many of the Star Wars characters.

There will also be Star Wars-themed, limited-release pins available during the weekend. The collectible pins feature the likenesses of many Star Wars characters and starships, including: Anakin Skywalker, Boba Fett, C-3PO, Chewbacca, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, R2-D2, a TIE fighter, an X-wing, and Yoda. Each pin will sell for $6.50.

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Using "Connections Vouchers" Can They Hook You Up To Savings? By Tammy Sittinger

Connections is a travel/leisure program you can join for $79.95 per year. Your membership entitles you to discounted gift cards to various retail stores and theme parks. Walt Disney World lunches and dinners are part of the program, and, since we love to eat at The World, I was intrigued! I decided to try the program to see if it would save us money. My research told me I could use a code for $10 off my membership, or that I could cancel within thirty days, only owing a $1 trial membership fee. I joined online with no technical glitches and was promised an informational kit within two weeks.

I pulled up menus off and did some calculations based on our favorite fast and sit-down spots. I determined that the Quick & Casual vouchers would serve our family best at $10.50/voucher. I bought 10 at $105. We used three for our meals on our last trip:

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafè in the MK: Half Rotisserie Chicken w/mashed potatoes ($6.99), Medium drink ($1.99), Sugar-free Brownie ($2.29). Total original cost including tax: $12.62. We saved $2.12. (Let me add that two of us split the rotisserie chicken at Cosmic Ray's so that was really a good deal.)

Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn & Cafè in the MK: Paul Bunyan Half-Pound Double Cheeseburger w/bacon ($7.28), medium drink ($1.99), Chocolate Cream Pie ($3.49). Total original cost including tax: $14.26. We saved $3.76.

ABC Commissary in Disney-MGM Studios: Fish & Chips ($6.29), medium drink ($1.99), Nestle King Crunch Ice Cream Bar ($2.39). Total original cost including tax: $11.84. We saved $1.34.

If you are the type of traveler who enjoys full-blown counter service meals, including sides plus dessert, you may enjoy some great savings with the Connections program. However, we prefer to eat lighter, especially in hot weather, and we struggled at times to finish the meal AND the dessert. Or, if your family is inclined to "share" meals, I think you can really come out ahead. Unfortunately, our family tends to want to order different items. I was able to successfully cancel my membership with no penalty and return the vouchers we didn't use.

In summary, I would check out the menus on Deb's site, plan the restaurants you would like to try or pick old favorites, and do some quick calculations. The Connections program just may save you some money!

For details on this program, 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.