May 2009
Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the April 28, 2009 Issue #501 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 monthly feature, which takes you back in history for a glimpse of Walt Disney World through the ages.

Happy 20th Birthday to Disney's Hollywood Studios! Time to step into the Golden Era of Hollywood! Here's a brief glimpse at how the park looked on its Opening Day:

The attractions included: The Great Movie Ride, SuperStar Television, The Monster Sound Show, Indiana Jones Epic Spectacular, and the Backstage Studio Tour (which included Catastrophe Canyon, Costuming, Residential Street, and Soundstages), and the Magic of Disney Animation. (Star Tours opened in Walt Disney World on December 15, 1989.)

Dining included: The Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood and Vine, Starring Rolls, the 50's Prime Time Cafe, Tune-in Lounge, Min and Bill's Dockside Diner, Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction, the Soundstage Restaurant, the Catwalk Bar and the Studio Catering Company.

Over time, attractions have come like Sunset Boulevard's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith, and the amazing Osborne Spectacle of Lights.

Some attractions have bid farewell: The live TV studio tapings, SuperStar Television, Monster Sound Show, the Spirit of Pocahontas and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Some never made it to real life, like the Dick Tracy attraction. And some, like the Backstage Studio Tour, have changed quite a bit in the last 20 years.

How about the parades? Today's Block Party Bash is a favorite, but so were the Toy Story and Mulan parades.

When the Studios opened a One-Day, One-Park ticket costs just $29 for adults and $23 for children under 10!

For more about the Studios:

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Steve Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickeys books and webmaster of, brings you the following hard-to-spot Hidden Mickeys in the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy!

1. In Mickey's PhilharMagic show, study the jewels that Ariel tosses out in the water in front of her. On the right side of the screen, a black classic Mickey is inside a rotating finger ring. The Mickey image is visible as the ring is partially sideways to the viewer, but it disappears as the ring turns fully open. In the photo, images are duplicated because of the 3-D screen effects. It took me a long time and many visits to spot this great Hidden Mickey. (Thanks to Christine H. and Donna McMurrey)

2. In the last scene of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, a small classic Mickey wire loop hangs from the bottom of the lantern on a post closest to the boat on the left side. Watch as you approach the lantern, and the Mickey image will be visible for a short time as the background lighting changes. (Thanks to Christy, and Tim Devine)

3. In Minnie's Country House, tiny classic Mickeys are along the bottom right of a portrait of Clarabelle Cow on the right wall of the second room. (Thanks to Bill Iadonisi)

Read Steve's blog at AllEars® Blog Central:

And catch up with past Hidden Mickey Alerts here:

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This is the next segment in our series dedicated to Disney Scrapbooking written by Disney scrapbook expert Barbara Bennett and her husband Brian (who are also the owners of This month's topic is Papers and Stickers 101.

Anyone that has been involved with scrapbooking over the past few years may find that this article is a bit "basic." However, new scrapbookers and anyone that is considering giving it a try should find the information in this piece helpful.

You might think that paper is paper and stickers are stickers. Period. Actually, though, there is a lot that can be said about both paper and stickers. One very important thing to point out is that any products that you purchase for a scrapbooking project (including paper and stickers) should be purchased with the main purpose of scrapbooking in mind... that is, archiving and protecting your memories that have been captured in photographs, newspaper clippings, and other mementos. Anything that comes into contact with those precious items should be purchased with the product's archival qualities in mind.

Paper can be purchased for scrapbooking projects in many different sizes and styles. By far the most popular scrapbook album size is 12'' x 12'' so it's not surprising that the most popular paper size is also 12'' x 12''. However, paper can also be purchased in 8 1/2'' x 11'' size, which is the most commonly used paper size for office work, of course, but is also used for some scrapbook album projects. 8'' x 8'' and 6'' x 6'' are more common scrapbooking sizes, however.

When most people think about stickers, they usually think of a sheet of flat stickers that you peel off and stick down. Stickers are much more diverse than that in the modern scrapbooking world! The term ''sticker'' of course, implies that the product is self-adhering. However, the variety and style of stickers is even more broad than papers.


Read the rest of this month's article at

For an index of all the Scrapooking Magic articles visit:

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Disney's Hollywood Studios

20th Birthday Celebration on May 1! Three representatives from Walt Disney Imagineering will speak at Premiere Theater at 9 & 10:45 a.m. about the history of Disney's Hollywood Studios. The event is open to all guests. Tom Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President, Senior Creative Executive; Eric Jacobson, Senior Vice President, Creative Development; Bob Weis, Executive Vice President, Creative.

2009 Star Wars Weekends will be held May 22 - June 14. 2009 guests have been announced. The celebrity host for each weekend will be Jay Laga'aia (Captain Typho). Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka) will host Clone Wars: Behind the Force.

May 22-24 -- Ray Park, Warwick Davis, and James Arnold Taylor. Ray Park was Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, and will be joined by Warwick Davis, who played Wicket in Return of the Jedi, as well as Anakin's young friend Wald in The Phantom Menace. James Arnold Taylor, who voices Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Clone Wars, will appear as a guest in Behind the Force.

May 29-31 -- Peter Mayhew & Matthew Wood. Peter Mayhew has appeared in four of the six Star Wars movies as Chewbacca. Also appearing will be Matthew Wood, Supervising Sound Editor for the Star Wars prequels and The Clone Wars, as well as the voice of General Grievous and the battle droids.

Disney's Hollywood Studios:
Star Wars Weekends:


Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival -- Celebrate Floral Fun and 'Go Green', now through May 31, 2009. New in 2009 is the 'Cinderellabration' Topiary, Pirates Adventure Zone, and Pixie Hollow Playground. Flower Power concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival. Concerts are included with regular Epcot admission (entertainment and show times subject to change without notice):

5/1 - 5/3 -- Chubby Checker & The Wildcats "The Twist"
5/8 - 5/10 -- Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons ("(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection")
5/15 - 5/17 -- Jose Feliciano ("Light My Fire")
5/22 - 5/24 -- The 5th Dimension ("Up, Up and Away")
5/29 - 5/31 -- Tony Orlando ("Tie a Yellow Ribbon")

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Kidani Village officially opens on May 1, 2009. The Kidani Village Fact Sheet is at:

Sanaa (pronounced Sah-NAH) also debuts May 1 in the resort's Kidani Village expansion. With interiors inspired by African art, diners experience "the art of African cooking with Indian flavors" in the 150-seat, family-oriented restaurant located on the ground floor just below the lobby. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and from 5-9 p.m. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE.

Please submit your reviews of Sanaa and Kidani to the AllEars Rate and Review Area:

Disney's Wide World of Sports

May 9 -- The Muddy Buddy Ride and Run returns to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex for its 10th Anniversary. The event includes two-person teams that alternate running (a total of three miles, one mile at a time) and mountain biking (also three miles, a mile at a time) through five separate obstacles. The "partners in grime" meet at the last obstacle, the infamous mud pit, and crawl to the finish together. The event is expected to draw 3,500 participants (1,750 teams) after recording the largest field in Muddy Buddy history last year (2,800 participants/1,400 teams). Registration is now open at

May 15-16 -- The 37th annual Special Olympics Florida Summer Games will take place at Wide World of Sports. The Summer Games is the largest Special Olympics Florida event each year. More than 2,000 athletes from 41 Florida counties will compete during the two-day event. To learn more about Special Olympics Florida and the Summer Games, visit

May 15-17 -- Ironman 70.3 Florida -- Since its inception in 2006, the Ironman 70.3 series has become the fastest growing triathlon series in the world. Now there are 31 events around the world that qualify athletes for the Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater every November. Ironman 70.3 races consist of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1 mile run, which adds up to 70.3 miles of total racing. This event will be held at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.


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



Magic Kingdom

Space Mountain is closed until November 21, 2009 for refurbishment.

Tomorrowland Transit Authority will be closed through August 24, 2009.

The Hall of Presidents is closed for rehab through July 1, 2009.

The Heritage House Shop is closed until July 1, 2009.


San Angel Inn in Epcot's Mexico pavilion will close for renovation beginning May 10, 2009.


A complete list of rehabs can be found here:

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Each month we share reports of guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland experiencing special Magic, and also special celebrations as part of the "What Will You Celebrate?" program.

Heather Corbett: My most recent magical moment actually occurred today, more than three months after my return from a mid-December 2008 trip to WDW with my mom. On the next-to-last day of our wonderful vacation, I lost my wallet. Needless to say I was distraught -- not so much for the $20 I lost or the hassle of having to cancel my two credit cards, but the thought of someone else having my personal info really freaked me out. (Not to mention having to get on a flight back to Massachusetts with no ID, which was an adventure along the lines of Expedition Everest.) The folks at the Polynesian, Raglan Road, and WDW Theme Parks lost and found were really kind and helpful, but my wallet seemed lost forever....until today (April 1) when I received a package at work from WDW, opened it up, and there was my lost wallet with all of its contents intact! I was (and still am) amazed, and so grateful for the good people at Theme Parks Lost and Found for returning my wallet to me. As my mom said, "Only at Walt Disney World!"

Christie Lamphier: My family recently made a trip to the World, and we were determined to see the Lights! Motors! Action! stunt show at the Studios because we missed it on our last trip, plus my 6-year-old son seemed to be at the perfect age to get a real kick out of the action and explosions. I remembered from past experience that it was a Fastpass attraction, so early in the morning we headed down to the entrance to the stadium. I was disappointed to see that the Fastpass machines had been removed. I asked a nearby cast member, and was told that the passes were no longer available for the show. He then asked us if we were celebrating anything. My husband smiled and said that we were celebrating just being a family. I guess the cast member must have liked that answer, because he invited us to be the LMA celebration family for the day! We got to sit in specially reserved seats right in front, were interviewed and shown on the huge TV screen, and my kids got to start the show by yelling "Action!" at the top of their lungs! It really made our trip, and they're still talking about it weeks later!

Cathy Pasciotty: You never know when the magic will happen! We were at Epcot Monday, April 6 -- the most crowded, full of spring-breakers time we could have picked! We were heading to Norway for the Princess Storybook lunch. Two hot sweaty toddlers, wanting to be carried. Two anxious moms, trying to keep strollers out of the way of the crowds. Two dads, juggling coffee, water, tiaras and cameras. Just as we approached China, the crowd suddenly opened up, leaving lots of space around us. Out of the pavilion came Mulan. She took our girls by the hand and led them inside to a small garden area with a Photopass photographer. The girls had their own mini photo session (nearly three dozen photos!) and left with a big Mulan lipstick-kiss on each cheek. They were so thrilled and we couldn't believe that something so fabulous could happen in the "crowded" time of year! Big, big thanks to Mulan, she really made some magic for us!

Trey Winder: My wife and I recently traveled to the World with another family of five. As we were exiting the Magic Kingdom on the last day of our trip, my wife stopped in the bakery on Main Street to purchase some milk for our 1-year-old. We had just passed through the line when our 2-year-old overheard that we were leaving, and our trip was over. When she began to cry, a cast member came over and said, "You shouldn't be sad here. Would a chocolate chip cookie make you feel better?" My daughter said yes. The cast member stepped away, much to our entire family's surprise, she returned with a chocolate chip cookie the size of a dinner plate! Only a Disney cast member can make leaving a magical experience!


Some readers share their Magical Moments in the latest Wandering the World here, spotlighting the Harmony Barber Shop:

Send your Magical Moments to:


500th Issue of AllEars® Winners

To mark the occasion of our 500th issue, AllEars® gave some fantastic prizes to give away to its readers!

We had a total of 7,283 entries!

1 GRAND PRIZE: 2 Adult 1-Day tickets to Sea World Orlando:

Scott M. of North Carolina

1 FIRST PRIZE: 2 Adult 1-Day tickets to a Disney Water Park:

Jean C. of Iowa

Congratulations to our winners!

And once again, thank you to all our wonderful, devoted AllEars® Readers!


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.