September 2002
WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the September 3, 2002, Issue #154 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

What a great collection of assorted Bits and Bites we have this month, starting with our retrospective, "Step Back in Time"!

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

So what was going on in the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square when it opened 30 years ago?

Themed as Colonial America at the time of our nation's founding, Liberty Square was designed to bring our American heritage to life. The buildings in the area represented the original colonies.

The Liberty Tree Tavern was modeled after a late 18th century New England inn, with each room named after one of the great men of that time: Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Franklin, Jackson and Madison.

Walking around the square you might have encountered the Town Crier, ringing his bell to attract listeners and then reading from a scroll, acting as the "newspaper" of the time. Benjamin Franklin also strolled around the square occasionally.

Mademoiselle Lafayette's Parfumerie was one of only four perfume shops in the U.S. at the time that allowed customers to blend fragrances of their choice. The Silversmith Shop featured items from the 1700s. Old World Antiques had authentic antiques, as well as reproductions ranging in price from $5 to $15,000. The Heritage House and the Tricornered Hat Shoppe rounded out the stores.

The attractions open in Liberty Square in 1971 included Admiral Joe Fowler's Riverboat, the Diamond Horseshoe Revue, the Haunted Mansion and the Hall of Presidents. The Riverboat was constructed at the Morgan Yacht Company in Florida and was assembled at the WDW dry dock. The promenade deck featured a small stage where entertainment groups could perform.

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Your Czarina has been a devotee of the low-carbohydrate way of eating for several years now, and we believe some of you may be, too. Having just returned from a most enjoyable WDW vacation that included stays at Port Orleans (French Quarter), the Disney Magic 7-day cruise, and a few days at the Grand Floridian, we thought you might like to hear how we managed, cuisine-wise.

You can read the Czarina's entire report at:

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Speaking of dining at WDW, many of you have written to remind us that although you enjoy our in-depth reviews of fine-dining establishments like Jiko and California Grill, you also want to hear about other, more moderately priced dining options. We hear that! Senior Editor Debra Martin Koma paid a visit to several counter service restaurants during her most recent visit to WDW several weeks ago and gives her impressions of a few here:

Tangierine Cafe, Morocco Pavilion, Epcot -- After hearing rave reviews of this counter service cafe from a number of folks, I was happy to finally have the chance to try it for myself. The atmosphere is dark and cool, making it a quiet respite from the hub-bub of World Showcase. Fragrant spices scent the air, and the decor carries an obvious Middle Eastern motif. On the advice of a friend, I tried the lamb shawarma combo platter -- the generous portion of savory meat is served with pita, hummus (a chickpea spread), tabouleh (tomatoes chopped with mint, bulgur wheat, onions and spices), and couscous salad, all for about $8.75. This is one "fast-food" meal that won't leave you hungry an hour later! Other items on the menu were equally appetizing: chicken shawarma, rotisserie chicken, leg of lamb, Mediterranean wraps and pizzas, as well as less exotic items for kids. With the purchase of any sandwich or platter, you can even try one of the honey-soaked baklava for an extra $2.50 -- if your stomach still has room! The cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating, and is open late, making it a perfect spot for pre-IllumiNations dining.

Filling, tasty, and not your run-of-the-mill burger and fries -- Tangierine Cafe is worth a stop for those who want to eat well without going to a fancy sit-down restaurant.


Flame Tree Barbecue, Animal Kingdom -- Since it's only "open seasonally," I hadn't had the opportunity to try Flame Tree before, even though I'd heard lots of positive things about it. One rainy day in July, a group of us stopped by. Not being fond of smoky barbecued meats, I opted for the chicken salad sandwich -- loaded with chunks of mildly spicy chicken breast on a fresh roll, the sandwich was served with a mini-cob of corn and a small portion of bbq beans, all for $6.79. Members of my group raved about the Flame Tree's tasty ribs and bbq chicken, but Flame Tree also offers other sandwiches (smoked pork, smoked chicken) and light options (fruit plate, salad with chicken), plus peanut butter & jelly or hot dogs and beans for the small-fry. Although it's truly counter service with not many tables in the immediate area, there was plenty of outdoor seating a few steps away underneath a shelter in the midst of much greenery. All in all, Flame Tree Barbecue offers a great alternative for those tired of taking the burgers and pizza route to reasonably priced eating.


Look for more capsule critiques of WDW's lower-priced dining options in upcoming issues of ALL EARS®. And, if you have a favorite you'd like to recommend, or would like ALL EARS® to check out, drop us a line at

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Jennifer Watson, co-author of Passporter WDW enjoyed a trail ride at Fort Wilderness this summer with Dave Marx and his daughter Allie.

"Dave made reservations for the three of us at 4 p.m. on Monday by calling 407-824-2832 (reservations must be made in advance, up to two weeks ahead of time, and can be cancelled without penalty up to 24 hours in advance). The trail ride is $32 (includes tax) per person. The Tri-Circle D Livery at Fort Wilderness offers guided trail rides six times a day at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. We were instructed to arrive 30 minutes ahead of time and it was suggested that we wear long pants and close-toed/heeled shoes.

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courtesy of Steve Soares
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WDW Live Entertainment Site (Unofficial)

Nova Era, the New Age/Classical group that performed at the Italy showcase from September 1999 to September 2000 now has a fan club with news of the group's latest doings. The website is

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courtesy of
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This Timeless Tip o' the Week comes from Michelle:

There are lots of little biting bugs around WDW but don't let them spoil your trip! Many of the mosquitoes, 'Noseeums' and biting flies are not repelled by bug spray. You still get bit, but you don't have to itch. Carry a tube of antihistamine cream (such as Benadryl) or a Sting Stick to apply as soon as you feel you have been bitten. It will help relieve any itching and most of the time any swelling caused by bug bites!

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Canadians are eligible for a new "at par" deal at the Walt Disney World Resorts. Ask for Code CWJ and get a room "at par" -- that means you pay the same amount in Canadian dollars that you would pay in American dollars. This offer is valid for check-ins from 10/03/02-12/25/02, with a four-night minimum required. See for more details.


There's also a new discount code being offered to Florida residents. Ask for Code CKV and get special discounted "Jolly Holidays" rates, starting at $49 a night at select Disney resorts, November 3 through December 25. See more details at

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In looking back over past years, September seems to be the month of closings. Consider:

America on Parade, the special Bicentennial Parade, had its last performance September 6, 1976.

The Mickey Mouse Revue closed on September 14, 1980, and was sent to Tokyo Disneyland.

The Main Street Electrical Parade ended it first run in the Magic Kingdom on September 14, 1991.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea closed on September 9, 1994.

On September 1, 1997, the original Enchanted Tiki Birds closed.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed permanently on September 8, 1998.

Let's hope there aren't any such surprises this month!


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.