November 2002
Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the November 5, 2002, Issue #163 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

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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.

On October 1, 1991, Walt Disney World celebrated its 20th Birthday featuring Roger Rabbit! The Surprise Celebration Parade at the Magic Kingdom featured 35-40 foot inflated Disney characters. Goofy was a 35 foot jack-in-the-box, Minnie a Brazilian dance queen and Donald a calypso drummer!

A special Parade of the Stars was held at the Disney-MGM Studios to kick off the celebration! Celebrities included: Art Linkletter, Rose-Marie, John Lithgow, Eva Gabor, Pat Sajak and Vanna White, Buffalo Bob Smith, and Sally Struthers.

More than 33,000 Cast Members were employed to keep the entire Walt Disney World Resort humming. Seventeen hotels, a campground and vacation villas totalled more than 15,000 rooms and Port Orleans Riverside (then Dixie Landings) was under construction, to add another 2,000.

A one-day, one-park ticket cost $33 for adults, $26 for children. A Theme Park Annual Passport was $190 for adults and $165 for children. Admission to Pleasure Island was a mere $11.95!

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HANDSTAMPS AT THE PARKS
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A good friend of ALL EARS® just happens to work as a theme park greeter and kindly shares with us some tips on "Entering and Exiting a Park":

I would like to clear up the misconception about handstamps. The handstamp is a back-up means of identifying Guests that's necessary in a few situations. One, if a Guest leaves the park and then comes right back in, we expect the Guest to have a handstamp, as his or her ticket will show that it has been recently used. Two, the ticketing system sometimes goes down -- it's computer-based, so it does happen. In that case, the handstamp is the only way that we know a Guest has been in a park that day, so that is how we know to let him or her back in. Three, if a Guest is escorted in by a Disney cast member, he or she will get a different stamp, on the arm. The Guest will need that stamp if he or she goes to another park.

When you leave a park, be sure to get a handstamp if you plan on going anywhere else, even if it is to return to the same park. It is a harmless thing that might just save you some trouble. You will still use your ticket to get back into any park. Scanning your ticket again will not take another day off, since the computer is centralized and knows that you have already been in. If you ask a Park Greeter when you come in, he or she can let you know if that is your first use of the day or if it shows you have already been in that day. Also, going to Guest Relations can answer any questions. They can scan your ticket, and let you know where and when you have been and verify that you were not charged twice for the same day.

The only people who do NOT need a handstamp are annual passholders, seasonal passholders, and Cast Members. All others need a handstamp if they are plan to re-enter. Chances are, you won't be asked for a handstamp, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If you have a parkhopper pass, YOU are the one that this policy is in place to protect, so that you can get in or out. Most people think if they have parkhoppers, they are immune from having to get the stamps.

These stamps are waterproof. You may shower, swim, bathe, wash your hands, or anything else that might get your hands wet, without removing the stamp. About the only thing that will remove the stamps are alcohol-based lotions, such as hand sanitizers, and even those need to be used in HEAVY quantity to take off the stamp.

To read more on entering and exiting the parks, visit: http://allears.net/tp/enter.htm

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A FRESH FACE!
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The home of this newsletter, http://www.allears.net/ae/ae.htm, is sporting a new look this week! Please visit our website, where you'll find archives of our feature articles, reader tips, and Mousy Mindbogglers, as well as a peek "Behind the Ears" at our fabulous staff! If you're not a subscriber yet, our sign-up form is there, too! Drop us a line and let us know what you think: allears@allears.net!

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DISNEY ON THE TRAVEL CHANNEL
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Mary Shields writes: The Travel Channel is featuring Walt Disney World hotels on the following dates:

11/18 - 5:00 p.m. Animal Kingdom Lodge 11/18 - 5:30 p.m. Disney's Yacht & Beach Club
11/19 - 5:00 p.m. Wilderness Lodge
11/21 - 5:00 p.m. Grand Floridian

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ABC SUPER SOAP STARS
BUBBLE UP AT WDW THIS WEEKEND
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The 7th annual ABC Super Soap Weekend is nearly here! The event, scheduled for November 9-10, 2002, will again be held at Disney-MGM Studios. All My Children's Susan Lucci is again set to headline this popular event, which will feature more than 30 celebrities from ABC daytime soap operas. In addition to Lucci, the soap opera stars scheduled to appear include: Walt Willey, Linda Dano, Vincent Irizarry, Thorsten Kaye, Wally Kurth and Vanessa Marcil. There will be autograph sessions, motorcades, interviews and talk shows, game shows, musical performances, and the chance to purchase one-of-a-kind memorabilia from the shows. There will even be special celebrity editions of Who Wants to be a Millionaire -- Play It! hosted by ABC-TV's Meredith Vieira.

Admission to the ABC Super Soap Weekend is included in the regular theme park admission to Disney-MGM Studios.

For more information, visit http://allears.net/tp/mgm/m_supersoap.htm or ABC's official site at http://abc.abcnews.go.com/daytime/supersoap/index.html, or call the Super Soap Hotline at (407) 397-6808.

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999 HAPPY HAUNTS BALL
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ALL EARS® Editor Deb Wills and Feature Writer the Czarina attended the special 999 Happy Haunts Ball on October 30! First, I have to thank the Czarina for being "right there" when the tickets went on sale. Tickets for only 999 "Happy Haunts" were available and the event sold out quickly.

The evening began with a presentation by Disney Imagineer Jason Surrell (author of an upcoming book on the Haunted Mansion)! Jason took us back to the early 1950's when the first concept drawings took form and finished with a sneak preview of the trailer for the new Haunted Mansion movie which debuts in November 2003.

The Liberty Square and Frontierland areas were open to party-goers. We had unlimited use of the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain. In addition to food and beverage, we spent time looking for the answers to the Scavenger Hunt questions. There were fortune tellers, special limited edition merchandise, a ghoulishly delightful dessert, a darkened castle with white ghosts and the headless horseman!

Except for the long lines and a 2 hour registration process in the morning (I hear there was no wait in the afternoon) I deemed the event great fun and a huge success. Look for a full report from the Czarina who was last seen picking up a hitch hiking ghost in the Haunted Mansion!!


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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.