February 2004
Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the February 3, 2004, Issue #228 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

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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.

This month we go back to 1975 and take a look at the publication entitled "Your Role in the Walt Disney World Show." This booklet introduced new Cast Members to the Disney Traditions. Here are some quotes from that booklet:

"You are now part of the world's most spectacular show."

"The Walt Disney World show is so large and complex that it sometimes calls for more than 13,000 Cast Members in over 500 individually different roles."

"We must be walking, talking, smiling 'information booths.' It is estimated that on a busy day, more than 500,000 questions are individually handled by Disney hosts and hostesses."

"The average guest 'day visitor' to the Magic Kingdom will come into direct personal contact with 15 Disney Hosts and Hostesses before even setting foot inside the park. By the end of a single day's visit, each guest will have had personal contact with approximately 75 Cast Members."

"We work while others play."

"It was Walt Disney's strongest belief that an informal, friendly organization is the best way to produce the finest in family entertainment... he insisted that everyone, down to the newest employee, call him Walt. He applied this first name philosophy to everyone.... the only Mr.'s here are Mr. Toad and Mr. Smee."

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Move over Water Mice, and make room for Sea Raycers, new two-person watercraft that are sleeker, stronger and environmentally friendlier than their predecessors. The new Sea Raycers can be rented at the Magic Kingdom resorts, Coronado Springs, the Yacht and Beach Club, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans and Downtown Disney. The same company that produced the Grand Floridian's "Grand One" yacht, Sea Ray, designed the new boats. Youngsters 12 and older can pilot Sea Raycers.

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ALL EARS® Senior Editor Debra Martin Koma made a quick trip to WDW recently and shares two lunchtime reviews:

Hollywood Brown Derby -- January 2004

It's widely believed that most restaurants in the Walt Disney World theme parks are not the best choices for fine dining or a relaxed meal. The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney-MGM Studios proves that to be a misconception, particularly when dining there at lunchtime during the off-season.

Stopping in to the Brown Derby around 1 p.m. recently, without Priority Seating arrangements, we were assured by the cheery host that we'd be seated right away, since he "knows the guy at the front desk." True to his word, we were being shown to our seats within five minutes.

For the full review visit: http://allears.net/din/rev_bdlunch.htm

Le Cellier -- January 2004

Whenever I hear that one of my favorite Walt Disney World restaurants has slipped, I feel compelled to go and check it out for myself. I'd heard from some friends that their recent dining experiences at Le Cellier in Epcot's Canada pavilion were disappointing at best, so I decided to stop in there for lunch recently when I had the chance.

At 12:30 p.m. on a Friday in mid-January there was really no need for a Priority Seating, but I had made one anyway -- as much as I love Le Cellier, I must admit that they are notoriously slow to seat guests. Luckily, though, this visit was an exception, and my two guests and I were ushered to a table promptly.

For the full review visit: http://allears.net/din/rev_cellunch.htm

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Don't forget the AllEarsNet® Mini-Meet this Saturday, February 7, 2004, at 3:30 p.m. We'll be at the Magic Kingdom's Plaza Pavilion counter service restaurant near Tomorrowland. No RSVP necessary -- just walk up Main Street USA, hang a right at the ice cream parlor, walk past the Plaza Restaurant, past the rest rooms, and voil You're sure to find us -- we'll all be wearing our logo buttons and shirts. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Atlanta Braves make Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex their home from March 3 - April 1, 2004. Season tickets, mini plans and group tickets are available now by calling (407) 939-GAME.

Lights, Camera, Pins! 80 Years of Entertainment - March 27 - Disney-MGM Studios Pin Event

75 "InspEARations" of Mickey Mouse - In honor of Mickey Mouse's 75th anniversary, 75 of his friends have created "Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations," a tribute on display at the Magic Kingdom through April 2004. http://allears.net/tp/mk/mick75.htm

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage will not be performed now through Friday, February 6, 2004. http://allears.net/tp/mgm/m_beauty.htm

Backlot Tour remains closed for refurbishment through April 1, 2004. http://allears.net/tp/mgm/m_backlot.htm

Typhoon Lagoon remains closed through February 28, 2004. http://allears.net/btp/faq_tl.htm

The Behind the Seeds Tours at Epcot's Land pavilion have been temporarily suspended while construction on the new Soarin' over Epcot attraction is under way. The tours are not expected to resume for some time. http://allears.net/tp/ep/e_land.htm

Stay up-to-date with ALL EARS® listings of Rehabs, Closings and Special Events:


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Deb Wills writes: In 2001, during our annual WDW meet, I had the pleasure of meeting two ladies who traveled to WDW from Japan. It was wonderful to spend time with them and share the magic of Disney! Masayo recently emailed me, saying, "Recently my friend told me of her Magical Moment at the All-Star Movies Resort. When I heard this I was really impressed, so I thought I should share this with you. I hope to have a magical moment like them next time. So I want to share this with you. My friend Takayo does not understand English well so I translated her story into English."

"My friend Takayo visited WDW from December 27, 2003, to January 3, 2004. This time she was with her husband, daughter Miho (8 years old), and a female friend (this was her first WDW trip). When they were at the check-in counter, there was a Japanese Cast Member named Eri. She took care of them very kindly. They needed two rooms. At first they did not have connecting rooms in the Dalmatian Building (it was her daughter's wish to stay at Dalmatian). I guess that was because they did not request connecting rooms in advance. Eri suggested that they stay in the Love Bug Building to have connecting rooms and arranged it for them, but her daughter insisted to stay at Dalmatian. Eri had to rearrange to stay at Dalmatian again. It was really nice to have Eri at the counter so that they could tell her their request without problems.

"This is not the only thing Eri did for them. When Takayo asked Eri to print out their dining reservations, Eri invited Miho behind the counter. Eri taught Miho how to use the mouse, double clicking, etc., so Miho did the job perfectly. Eri introduced Miho as a NEW CAST MEMBER to her colleagues. How nice to see other Cast Members give Miho a big nice welcome. They were really nice too. When Miho's first job was done, Eri awarded Miho with a certification and Minnie pin. It is always nice to see how Disney Cast Members treat their guests, especially this time when they treated Miho very politely and warmly. It was a precious moment for them, and they'll never forget this wonderful time at All-Star Movies Resort."


Maggie writes: For Thanksgiving weekend we always stay at the Yacht Club and have been fortunate enough to have a room overlooking the gardens and lake or the wedding gazebo and lake. And every year we are pleasantly surprised with a Disney wedding! This past year, the day after T-day, I woke up to the strains of violin music -- playing Disney songs of course! We always keep our balcony door open and, as it was 8:30 a.m., couldn't understand what was going on. I meandered out onto the balcony to see. And there she was -- the bride, walking down the aisle towards the gazebo! She was gorgeous! We watched the ceremony and listened to the wonderful magic of Disney tunes, and then came Mickey and Minnie! They cut the cake, had a champagne toast, and Mickey and Minnie took pictures with the wedding party and danced with the bride and groom! Can anything be more *magical* than this? Maybe that's one reason we've decided to renew our wedding vows, Disney-style on our Disney cruise in January 2005, to celebrate 20 years of a wonderful, happy, Disney marriage!


Shelly shares: We visited Disney the first week of December. We had heard that the Christmas parade is filmed sometime around this time of the year. My husband Scott, myself and our three kids hoped we would be able to see some of the taping. On the last day of our trip, we were all set to get out to Magic Kingdom when my 5-year-old son, Tyler, managed to spill his cereal in his lap. After taking him back to the room to change and get cleaned up we were finally ready, although later than we wanted.

When we arrived at Magic Kingdom, we were pleasantly surprised to see all the cameras and lights set up for some of the taping! As we headed towards Main Street we were stopped by some Cast Members and asked to hold on and not go any further. All of a sudden my 13-year-old daughter went nuts. Not 10 feet away was Christy Romano (Ren from Even Stevens)! And she was heading for right in front of us. We waved and she came over for an autograph and a picture. She even stayed to chat for a minute. My daughter Emily was in heaven. She cried of happiness for the rest of the day. A Cast Member even stopped her later in the day to ask if she was OK because she was still shaking and crying. I can not imagine what it must have felt like to a 13-year-old to actually meet a "star!" It was a good thing that my son spilled his cereal! We could not have timed it better if we tried.


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


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.