August 2008
Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the July 29, 2008 Issue #462 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

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Ever wonder what Walt Disney World was like way back when? Each month we visit times gone by in Disney history. This month we step back to milestones that occurred in August for the Disney Cruise Line!

August 1, 1998 The Bahamas Post Office issues the first official Disney Cruise Line stamp

August 2, 1999 The new Disney Wonder Cruise Ship arrives at Port Canaveral

August 15, 1999 The Disney Wonder sets sail on its Maiden Voyage

August 17, 1999 The Disney Wonder makes it's first call on Castaway Cay

August 12, 2000 Disney Magic sets sail on the first 7-night voyage to the Eastern Caribbean

August 30, 2001 The Disney Cruise Line welcomes its one-millionth guest

August 28, 2003 The night time show, "The Golden Mickeys" premieres on the Disney Wonder

August 10, 2004 "Pirates IN the Caribbean Deck Party" begins for cruisers onboard the Disney Magic.

August 5, 2005 The Disney Cruise Line announces its first-ever 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean itineraries for the Disney Wonder.

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Steve Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickeys books and webmaster of, points out a few cool Hidden Mickeys for you to find during your next visit to Walt Disney World:

1. In the Test Track queue, close to the ride cars, look for a car with a yellow and black classic Mickey on the front right. It's car number S23. (Thanks to Michelle, Greg, Stephen Brookwell, Ryan Gutzat, and Steve Petty).

2. In the Haunted Mansion, look to your left when your doom buggy enters the attic. A classic Mickey is formed by plates on the floor under a chair (a large plate and two smaller ones as "ears"). (Thanks to Erik Hubbard; Angel, Andy and Jay Robey; and Constance Katsafanas).

3. Behind a pillar in the middle of ImageWorks, Imagination Pavilion, spot a classic Mickey on the floor. (Thanks to Kimberly, and Jake).

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by All Ears® Staff Writer Michelle Scribner-MacLean

When it comes to magazines, the rule of thumb in our family is to stick to the Three Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle. We've tried to reduce the number of magazine subscriptions we receive each month. When we're through with an issue we try to hand it off to a neighbor who might be interested in the topic, and when our pile of magazines starts to resemble a skyscraper and is in danger of crushing a small pet should it topple, then we haul it off to recycling.

I'm sharing background info so you can understand my reaction when I asked a friend to borrow some copies of Tales from the Laughing Place so that I could do a review. I was not a subscriber, so I thought this would be a great way to look at several issues at once.

Her response? "Sure, but please send them back when you're doneā€¦.because I save them."

"What?" Thought I. "Why would someone want to hang on to a magazine?"

As soon as the envelope arrived, I could quickly understand why these magazines were treasured. Tales From the Laughing Place isn't so much a magazine as it is a collector's item for anyone who loves Disney.

Read Michelle's full review at:

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Disney Mom's Panel Expert
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by All Ears® Senior Editor Debra Martin Koma

Sometimes you meet someone and just KNOW they are the right person for the job. That's the feeling you get when you meet Kim LaPaglia, chosen last year to sit on the newly created Walt Disney World Moms Panel.

Kim, of Pennsylvania, was one of only 12 moms (well, 11 moms and one dad) selected from among 10,000 entrants to be a part of the new panel, which is charged with answering questions from people planning their Disney World vacations.

AllEars® Senior Editor Debra Martin Koma had the opportunity to sit and chat with Kim at the recent MagicMeets Disney Fans Gathering in Camp Hill, Pa., within driving distance of where Kim calls home.

Let's eavesdrop on their conversation:

DMK: Tell me a little bit about how you were chosen for the panel.

KIM: I was on the WDW website, planning my own vacation one day, and I saw the little announcement about the Moms Panel. I submitted my essays very quickly and then forgot about it. About a month later, I found out I'd been chosen, so I had to submit another three essays. After that, one phone interview later -- here I am!

DMK: So it sounds like you're a major Disney fan.

KIM: Oh yes, I've been going to WDW since I was about 11 -- I've been more than 30 times, I'd guess.

DMK: Is it the kind of thing where everyone in your family, all your friends, always come to you for Disney advice?

KIM: Sure, everybody knows, "If you've got a Disney question, go to Kim!" Family, friends, teachers...

Read the entire conversation at:

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Sounds Like Summer concert series: The shows, performed by tribute or "sound-alike" bands, take place daily at America Gardens Theatre at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m., and are included with regular Epcot admission.

July 28 - August 3: Captain Fantastic -- A Tribute to Elton John
August 4 - 10: The Sounds of the Supremes

"Royal Quinceanera Weekend", for Hispanic girls celebrating their 15th birthdays. (In Latin America, a girl's 15th birthday, or quinceanera, marks the transition to becoming a young woman.) Several special events will be held at Epcot August 29-September 5, including a quinceanera ball on August 30, along with a private viewing of IllumiNations. Disney began offering quinceanera party packages last year, ranging in price from $1,800 to $20,000. With this formal, themed weekend Disney will compete with similar quinceanera-themed cruises and other specific-timed events offered by some cruise lines and other vacation resorts. Packages for the weekend will include stays at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. For more package details, visit

NFFC, The Club For Disneyana Enthusiasts Orlando Chapter meeting August 9. Each meeting has a special speaker, live auction and more. Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Quality Inn and Suites, Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando. For more information, call the Club Phone Line: 407-ASK ARLO (407-275-2756).

Disney's Wide World of Sports

July 26-August 14: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will come back for their seventh NFL training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. The team's daily practices are free and open to the public, with the schedule often incorporating two-a-day sessions in the morning and afternoon.

Don't forget to check our Events page for current updates:




Nine Dragons Restaurant in China is closed until November 27, 2008 for rehab. Look for major renovations, including an exhibition kitchen where diners will be able to interact with the chefs.

Morocco's Gallery of Arts and History in Epcot's World Showcase will be closed for refurbishment from July 14 to September 24, 2008.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Sounds Dangerous and nearby merchandise shop Golden Age Souvenirs will be closed for refurbishment July 7 - August 5, 2008.

Magic Kingdom

Liberty Square Bridge will be closed for refurbishment from August 15-29, 2008.

SpectroMagic - the SpectroMagic nighttime parade will not be performed while the Liberty Square Bridge is closed for refurbishment (August 15-29, 2008). However, additional entertainment will be offered, including additional Castle shows, extended Town Square Meet and Greets and a second performance of the Disney Dreams Come True Parade.

Downtown Disney

MarketPlace Stage is closed for rehab July 7 - November 30, 2008.

Pleasure Island - Clubs close for good September 27!

Typhoon Lagoon

Surfing School Changes at Typhoon Lagoon: Surfing classes and private surfing events at Typhoon Lagoon are not available until sometime in 2009. Maintenance needs to be performed on the wave mechanisms during the regularly scheduled winter rehab. The wave pool will continue to operate for guests. It's only the surfing waves that will be offline until 2009.

Animal Kingdom Villas and Lodge

Disney Vacation Club has announced that Phase I of the Kidani Village will open on May 1, 2009. Members who call Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas "home" may make reservations starting August 10, 2008.

"As the development of Kidani Village continues at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, crews are preparing to complete the new savanna and acclimate the animals to their new habitat. To accommodate this important process, animals are not scheduled to be on Sunset Savanna from January 15-April 15, 2009.

As development work continues on Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, Disney's Animal Care team has reached a key milestone, welcoming okapi to the resort's animal population. The new animals are becoming acclimated to their new surroundings and will be visible to Members and Guests when the new Pembe Savanna opens as part of the second phase of Kidani Village (currently scheduled for September 2009).

Caribbean Beach Resort

The themed pool, Old Port Royale Caribbean Beach is closed for refurbishment until September 15, 2008. Small, child-size, pool slides have been temporarily added to the pools at Villages of Jamaica and Barbados.

Contemporary Resort

Construction Update: Although there has been no OFFICIAL announcement, the Orlando Sentinel continues to report that the new construction at the resort will be a DVC site and has been renamed Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort. The Wave restaurant is now open on the first floor. The Outer Rim lounge will close and become a storage area. A new quick service area will take the place of the now closed Contemporary Steakhouse while a new entrance and seating area is being building for Chef Mickeys. Tempo Grab and Go and Chef Mickeys will remain open during this time.

Be sure to check our Rehabs and Closings page for periodic updates:

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The Year of a Million Dreams, which began Sunday, October 1, 2006, has been extended through 2008, and as part of that celebration Disney cast members are not just dispensing "dream" prizes, but are also creating an unprecedented number of "Magical Moments." These include guests being tapped to help with the pixie-dusted opening of Magic Kingdom, getting the star treatment at a celebrity-style handprint ceremony at Disney's Hollywood Studios, or being named Official Wildlife Spotters at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We have some reports of guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland receiving "dreams" from the Dream Squad and some of these Magical Moments:

Teresa Norman: The day after we arrived at WDW we received two magical moments. First, we were in Epcot. We just got off the Nemo ride and we were looking at the aquarium. My son asked the cast member a question. He answered it and we continued on. As I looked back, I noticed the cast member following us. He asked us if we had a few minutes. I said yes. He proceeded to take us to the top of the aquarium through a cast member door. We got to see where and how they feed the dolphins and turtles. We also got to see baby stingrays! What an experience!!! I said to the cast member, "this is a magical moment right?" He smiled and said," This is the year of a Million Dreams!"


CMB in Lynn: My husband, son-in-law, and 2 grandsons were in WDW the last week of June. My youngest grandson, age 11, was in a wheelchair as he had an accident the week before we came to The World. He is well, but we didn't want him to get overtired in the huge parks with the hot summer Florida sun. The first day we were there, another guest just gave us fast passes for the Toy Story Mania ride....the next day, as we were getting on the tram for the back lot tour, we all got Dream fast passes for The Studios.....and believe it or not, the very next day, we received Dream FASTPASSES for MK as we exited a ride there........Let me tell you.....all of this made for quite a memorable trip!!!


Brad Ward: My family and I were in line for Soarin' (after my wife and kids got lost on their way to meet me there) and with their delay it caused the standby line wait to increase by 30 minutes. We were finally about to ride Soarin' when we were chosen to get the Year of Million Dreams Mickey Ears. My wife and kids were so surprised (myself included). We wore them along with big smiles the rest of the time to show everyone we had won. I even had to thank my wife for getting lost because it caused us to get chosen.


J.D. Nolter: Our family was enjoying Blizzard Beach when I stopped to get a drink from a water fountain. Surprisingly, the "Dream Team" approached me, and proceeded to congratulated me on winning a "Dream Cabana" for the day! This nice shady cabana came with beach towels, drinks, ice cream, and to my wife's delight...a cabana boy! Keith saw to our every need! At one point he asked our daughter to accompany him to get a "surprise". They returned with a large pail full of ice cream, whipped cream, every topping imaginable, and three spoons! Throughout the day Cabana Boy Keith made sure we had plenty of ice cream, and drinks. The shade, breeze, lounge chairs, and towels made for the perfect day! The PhotoPass crew snapped many pictures to remind us of our wonderful "Dream Cabana" at Blizzard Beach.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If the Dream Squad bestows a "dream" upon you, or if you receive an official "Magical Moment," please let us know! We'd love to hear what you won, how you were chosen, and don't forget to send any photos if you have them! Email us at

For more Magical Moments:

For Dreams:


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.