November 2003
WDW Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the November 4, 2003, Issue #215 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 feature, which takes you back in history for a glimpse of Walt Disney World through the ages.

Who remembers Mickey Mania Hits Main Street USA, the afternoon parade in the Magic Kingdom in 1995? I do! I do! Wasn't it fun?! More than 100 performers dressed in Mickey-ized costumes, along with floats, balloons and 28 Disney characters, all rocked the streets of the Magic Kingdom. There were six major themes to the parade, designed to showcase Mickey as seen in merchandise, movies and theme parks from all over the world -- Mickey in Music, Time, Motion, Toys, Balloons, and Images over the Years.

Do you have any photos of the Mickey Mania Parade? We'd love to see them! Email to: photos@allears.net .

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CZARINA'S ROYAL TABLE
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The Czarina's recently been to WDW and has written several dining reviews. Here we offer just a "taste," but you can click on the link below for the full review.

Restaurant Akershus in Epcot's Norway recently had an update to its format, and those of you who have not been there recently may like to know about the changes. Akershus, at lunch and dinner, is a buffet with a twist. (The Princess breakfasts are different, but that's another fairy tale.) Briefly, the koldtbord (cold foods and breads) are still set out buffet style, but the hot foods are now ordered by you, from the menu, and are brought to your table by your server. And here's the beauty part -it's still all ONE price! Some of the koldtbord items will be familiar. Sliced cheese, deli meats and shrimp salad will be easy to identify. Others, like the five varieties of pickled herring, may be a new taste thrill. You can, of course, ignore things altogether or try a tiny taste, decide you hate it, let the server collect your plate and go back again.

For the complete review visit: http://allears.net/din/rev_akh.htm

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Plantation Room - Celebration Hotel -- It is not often that your Czarina ventures beyond the confines of Walt Disney World to review an eatery, but Celebration, Florida, is very close to WDW and is, of course, a Disney-designed community. It may be the closest thing to Walt's original Epcot idea; also, it is a charming little village and deserves a look, especially if you have any ideas of moving to or retiring in the vicinity of Disney World.

The Plantation Room menu is Floridian with a few twists -for example, you'll find a Strawberry Grouper with a Thai Lemongrass Sauce. Appetizers range from a Fried Green Tomato Stack ($8.50) to a Foie Gras Finger Sandwich ($14.95). Several salads and a Bisque of the Day are also included. Skipping appetizers to leave room for dessert, Sandy and I ordered our entrees Tandoori Spiced Lamb Loin ($27.95) for her and Crawfish Ravioli ($26.95) for me. I was pleased to hear that the alligator sausage in my dish had been replaced by pork sausage. Your Czarina has never eaten an alligator, and does not intend to begin now.

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FREEWHEELIN' DISNEY!
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by Chet McDoniel

Editor's Note: AllEarsNet® presents another in its series, Freewheelin' Disney, written with wheelchair travelers in mind. Author Chet McDoniel is a vacation travel specialist for MouseEarVacations.com and its parent company, CruisingCo.com, and is himself a wheelchair user. The following is an excerpt of Chet's May WDW Trip Report, which included sailing on the Disney Cruise Line:

DAY FIVE -- Our shuttle left Port Orleans Riverside at 12:15 p.m., and had only one stop at Animal Kingdom before heading toward Port Canaveral. There was a pretty big line just to get through security at the port, so I knew we would probably have to wait quite a while to board the ship. After waiting in line to check in, I learned a very important tip. Many passengers were turned away after waiting 30 minutes or more because they did not have their paperwork filled out. It is very important to have all the paperwork, documents, and contracts signed before even getting in line to check in. The whole boarding process took about an hour and 15 minutes... The safety drill was at 4. As we were heading back to our stateroom to get our life jackets, two crew members met us and told us they were assigned to helping me get to my safety station. They explained that in case of an emergency, the two of them would be there to help me get to where I needed to be. Once we got to our safety station, the crew members positioned me near the door, so that I could get back without being in the middle of the crowd... The Sail Away Party was nice, however, it was extraordinarily hot. The handicapped viewing area for all Sail Away Parties is on deck 10 overlooking the pool. Now, this is nice because we have the ability to see everything that is going on, however, there is no shade on deck 10. Mom and I decided a few minutes after sailing away from Port Canaveral that the heat just wasn't worth it. We headed down to our stateroom to check it out, since we had barely been in it before the safety drill. We were in stateroom 6000, which is an outside view/handicap accessible cabin. It was very spacious, and it accommodated my chair nicely.

Be sure to watch for more of Chet's Disney Cruise Line experiences coming soon!

Chet is organizing his first group trip for travelers with special needs, their families and friends, starting with four nights at the Walt Disney World Resort on May 12, 2004. On May 16, the group sets sail for four nights to the Bahamas aboard the Disney Wonder. In addition, ALL EARS® Editor-in-Chief Deb Wills will join the group in Orlando. If you would like to learn more, email Chet at chetm@cruisingco.com or call him toll-free at 1-866-939-4968.

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MONTHLY REMIND-EARS
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The Food and Wine Festival continues through November 16 and is definitely worth visiting if you are at WDW! Be sure to also check the Times Guide for the concerts at the America Gardens Theatre! And don't miss our comprehensive guide to the festival before you leave: http://allears.net/tp/ep/foodwine.htm

Super Soap Weekend returns to the Disney-MGM Studios on November 8 and 9. Soap fans: if you visit, we'd love to hear about your experiences, so drop us a line! If you are not a soap opera fan, ALL EARS® suggests you visit another park that weekend to avoid the crowds. http://allears.net/tp/mgm/m_supersoap.htm

During that same weekend, you can stroll Downtown Disney and enjoy the Festival of the Masters! More than 150 award-winning artists from across the country showcase their wares, and window-shopping is free. http://allears.net/btp/festmast.htm

Throughout the month of November, you can watch Walt Disney World slowly transform into a winter wonderland! Holidays Around the World officially begins November 28 with the Candlelight Processional! http://allears.net/tp/holiday.htm

Last, but not least, MouseFest 2003 begins November 30 with the 4-Day Disney Wonder Cruise and continues on land December 4!

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ISLAND OF THE MONTH
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Each month, Spoodles Restaurant at the Boardwalk features a different Mediterranean island on the menu. The culinary team then creates several menu items influenced by that part of the world. For October, Spoodles highlighted Cyprus by offering Salata Horiatiki (Village Salad), Moussaka (Eggplant), and Poulatha Kapama (Braised Cornish Hen). Be sure and ask about the Island of the Month when you dine next at Spoodles for dinner!

http://allears.net/menu/menu_spd.htm

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MAGICAL MOMENTS
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Jancie H. of Duluth, Georgia, writes: My family and I were fortunate enough to see Mickey's PhilharMagic twice during the soft opening in the last week of September. My 18-month-old was afraid of the loud noises from the instruments at the beginning, but my 4-year-old loved it and tried to grab all the items coming out of the screen. This attraction also provided a magical moment for us. On our last day, my 4-year-old daughter and husband were chatting with the cast member at the entrance to Mickey's PhilharMagic. My daughter told her that we had lost her Ariel sunglasses earlier in the week, and had not been able to locate them through Lost and Found. When we exited PhilharMagic, the same cast member stopped us and presented my daughter with a brand new pair of Ariel sunglasses!

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Alea Shaw shares: Our last trip to WDW was in December and was very, very rainy! We ran in out of the rain at the Hall of Presidents, and I sat my 6-month-old daughter on the floor to remove our ponchos. I was feeling like I couldn't do this anymore, as we had been in the rain at the Christmas party the night before, and I was miserable! This was our last day though, and we didn't want to miss anything, so here we were again, in the pouring rain. Anyway, I sat my baby down, and all at once Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Donald surrounded her, got down on the floor with her and gave her their undivided attention! She loved it; the characters were her favorite part of our trip! They let her bite their noses and I was able to capture some adorable pictures! We even were able to have family pics taken with all the characters, which is rare. As we went away, full of the Disney Magic, the rain stopped, and the sun came out!

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Deana Gordon writes: Our magical moment happened one night at the Studios. I was with my daughters, Carrie and Christie, having dinner at Toy Story Pizza Planet. After we finished eating, Carrie wanted to play Dance Dance Revolution, so the three of us went downstairs, and Christie and I watched Carrie play. To our surprise, we turned around and Woody, Jessie, and Buzz were all standing behind us watching, too. What made it the most fun was Woody started playing, too! The photographer took a picture of Carrie and Woody playing DDR, with all of us laughing in the background. We bought the picture and it hangs in our living room, in a frame that says, "Capture the Magic!" The picture did just that; it captured a moment we'll always remember!

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Each month in our WDW Bits and Bites issue we share ALL EARS® subscribers' Magical Moments stories. Send your Magical Moment story to allearsnet@yahoo.com

 


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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.