July 2010 Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the June 29, 2010 Issue #562 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. This month we go back to July 1994 and take a look at some of the changes that took place 16 years ago.

-- Innoventions East and West pavilions opened in the former CommuniCore buildings at Epcot.

-- Walt Disney Imagineering virtual reality lab opened in Innoventions at Epcot testing "Aladdin's Magic Carpet" experience.

-- The Epcot Discovery Center information area, formerly Epcot Outreach Service and Epcot Teacher's Center, opened .

-- The movie "Captain EO" starring Michael Jackson closed at the Magic Eye Theater in Epcot .

-- The Country Address fashion shop in the Disney Village Marketplace closed, soon to be replaced with The Art of Disney shop.

-- 13th Walt Disney World Wine Festival featured wines of 75 winemakers and food prepared by Disney's top chefs at Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center on July 14-16 .

-- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror made its debut along Sunset Boulevard at the then-named Disney-MGM Studios.

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Steve Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickeys books and webmaster of www.HiddenMickeysGuide.com describes below two Hidden Mickeys from Walt Disney World and one from Disneyland, California. When you're in the parks, seek them out!

1. On the Maelstrom ride in Epcot's Norway Pavilion, don't blink when you're under this Hidden Mickey! As your boat is going backwards, just after you pass the huge polar bear on your left, stare at the rock archway that you pass under. Leaves near the end of a vine on the left middle of the arch cast a classic Mickey shadow on the rock below the vine. (Thanks to Kerri Callahan and Jamie Hindes).


2. Step into the main entrance area of the Grand Floridian Convention Center and look up to spot this Mickey balloon painted on the ceiling.


3. Anyone for a game of cards? While on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland, California, stop by a display window of the Magic Shop to find this classic Mickey on the Ace of Clubs card. The image seems purposeful to me! (Thanks to BJ Ralphs, Rosemary and Neil [FindingMickey.com], and Alan.)


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by Beci Mahnken, MEI & Mouse Fan Travel

The World of Color, a brand new spectacular water show, debuted at Disney California Adventure on June 11th. AllEars® staff were on hand and provided continous coverage of all the special events. Beci Mahnken, president of MEI and MouseFanTravel, was also in town for the Grand Opening and spent several days checking out various viewing locations and FastPass options. She has Viewing Tips & Strategies to share with AllEars.

The World of Color is a 25 minute nighttime show that is a stunning blend of lights, water, animation and music. With nearly 1200 fountains that can shoot streams as high as 200 feet in the air, jaw dropping fire effects and appearances from some of your favorite Disney characters that will entertain as well as touch your heart... this is a show that must be seen in person to truly be experienced.

The show takes place at Disney California Adventure on Paradise Bay. Originally Paradise Park, the prime viewing area, was to accommodate as many as 9000 people, however that estimate has been updated to between 4000 to 5000 for the best locations that allow for some level of view of the main projection screens.

These areas are divided into several color labels sections (blue, yellow, orange, red & green) that are divided in side-by-side sections rather than front to back. One of the sections also includes the bridge that leads to Ariel's Grotto. The view from the bridge is acceptable, and you get a view of the projections, however you miss the intensity of the more up close and personal experience some of the other sections provide. Personally I found some of the best, most centered locations in the Blue & Yellow sections located right in Paradise Park.

Tip: Some parts of the show are down at water level, but the majority of effects can be seen from several levels. Rule of thumb - If you have an unobstructed view of the bottom of Mickey's chin on the Fun Wheel from a center location, you should be able to see most of the major effects.

The General Admission FastPass

Aside from your Disney California Adventure park admission, there is no additional purchase required for this option. However, you will have to arrive early to get in queue at the Grizzly River Run FastPass machine to get your FastPass ticket. Once they are gone... they are gone.

Tip: If you are a Disneyland Resort guest staying at one of the three Disney Resorts you have the extra benefit of using the Grand Californian entrance to the park that spills you into the area right next to Grizzly River Run. You MUST show your valid room key for entry.

Tip: If you do miss the FastPass distribution for the first and second show, be sure to ask a cast member if a third show will or has been added. If not, try for a picnic meal - see below.

Read the rest of Beci's Viewing Tips and Strategies for seeing the World of Color at:

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August 14, 2010
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The PNW Mouse Meet is an unofficial Disney Fan Event that was created by Disney Fans FOR Disney Fans. This 2nd annual event will provide Disney enthusiasts the opportunity to get together in the Pacific Northwest to share and celebrate all things Disney. It will be held Saturday, August 14, 2010 at the Lynnwood Convention Center in Lynnwood, WA.

The PNW Mouse Meet comprises a variety of experiences, including: Disney celebrities and Disney community celebrities (including podcasters, authors, and travel experts), Disneyana collectibles vendors, Disney fan collection displays, pin trading, trivia, food, Hidden Mickeys. Many surprises, prizes and fantastic auction items for charity, Disney Fans meeting Disney Fans, a little magic, a little pixie dust and so much more.

All Ears® is once again a proud sponsor of the PNW Mouse Meet. Editor-in-Chief Deb Wills, who will be attending this year, says, "I'm so excited to meet lots of west coast Disney fans! After reading about last year's inaugural event I knew I wanted to attend in 2010. As a special treat, I'll be bringing our new, exclusive AllEars® Trading Cards!"

There is already SO MUCH planned to experience at the 2010 PNW Mouse Meet. Here is a quick list of all the great people, things and events:

PEOPLE: Disney Legend Bob Gurr, Historian David Lesjak, Podcaster Lou Mongello, AllEars.Net Founder Deb Wills, Tinker Bell Model & Alter Ego Margaret Kerry, Podcaster Jonathan Dichter, Mouse Fan Travel's Beci Mahnken.

EXPERIENCES: Legendary stories from Disney Legend Bob Gurr; stories & views from a Pixie-Dusted Life from Margaret Kerry; What's New and What's Coming to Walt Disney World with Deb Wills; Early Disney Studios-Hyperion by David Lesjak; Disney Pyramid "LIVE" game show hosted by Jonathan Dichter.

ATTRACTIONS: Pin Trading & Pin Sellers; attraction vehicle photo op; Disneyana vendors, celebrity meet & greets, Hidden Mickey Trivia Challenge; Disney-themed fan displays; AMAZING Disneyana items to be auctioned for charity; sharing the passion for Disney with other like-minded fans.

This is a limited ticket event so be sure to stop by the PNW Mouse Meet ticket booth to get your Passport today!

Get all the details and event tickets at: http://www.pnwmousemeet.com
Click this link for tickets: http://www.pnwmousemeet.com/Tickets.html
Click this link for Event Details: http://www.pnwmousemeet.com/Events.html

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Fourth of July will be celebrated at three of the Walt Disney World theme parks (subject to change without notice):

-- Magic Kingdom will host the "Celebrate America Fireworks" at 9 p.m. on July 4. (The special fireworks will also run on July 3 at 9 p.m.). After the fireworks, Disney's "Main Street Electrical Parade" will run at 10 p.m. and midnight on July 4 (on July 3, the parade will be at 10:30 p.m.). Park hours on July 4 are 8 a.m.-1 a.m.

-- Disney's Hollywood Studios has special fireworks set to a rock-and-roll soundtrack at 9:50 p.m. on July 4. Fantasmic! will be performed at 9 and 10:30 p.m. that evening. Park hours on July 4 are 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

-- Epcot's "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth," will be supplemented with a patriotic finale on July 4 at 10 p.m. The Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert, featuring an expanded cast of singers plus the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps and Disney characters, will be performed at 12:30, 1:45 and 3 p.m. on the America Gardens Theatre stage. In addition, Betsy Ross will be engaging guests inside The American Adventure with storytelling, while Ben Franklin will be making appearances on the promenade near the attraction. Park hours on July 4 are 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

NOTE: There are no fireworks at Disney's Animal Kingdom -- July 4 park hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Summer Nightastic! - Shimmering, shining Disney magic lights up the parks now through August 14.

Magic Kingdom: The Main Street Electrical Parade and "Summer Nightastic Fireworks Spectacular"

Disney's Hollywood Studios: Rock 'n' Glow Dance Party and Tower of Terror with Summer Nightastic Special Effects .

Epcot: Sounds Like Summer concert series on the America Gardens Theatre stage.



Captain EO reopens July 2! A 3D musical spectacular featuring the late Michael Jackson returns to Walt Disney World July 2, 2010. The 17-minute film, which originally ran in Epcot from 1986 to 1994, uses the power of dance, light and music to turn a colorless planet into a world of color and happiness. The film's return to the Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World will provide new audiences the opportunity to experience the original 3D production for the very first time, as well as a nostalgic look back for longtime fans wanting to see Jackson in a rare performance created for the big screen.

ESPN Wide World of Sports

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill has been designated an official viewing location for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The month-long global soccer tournament is being telecast live on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 from South Africa on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill's large high-definition screens. In addition, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill is offering special viewing parties through July 10, which include guaranteed seating to view the matches and an all-you-care-to-eat buffet featuring buffalo wings, hot dogs, seasonal fruit, build-your-own salads, a nacho bar, desserts and non-alcoholic drinks all for $19.99 per person, per game (plus tax). A special viewing area will be available for the championship match July 11. Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE or by visiting espnwwos.com.

The ESPN RISE Games presented by Target return for the second year to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex July 14-27. More than 13,000 student athletes will participate in the event, which features the country's premier high school basketball, football, lacrosse and soccer talent, along with competitive events in baseball, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, softball and track & field. Visit ESPNWWOS.com for more details.

Downtown Disney

"Passholder Appreciation Day" -- July 24, 2010, at Downtown Disney's World of Disney store. From 6 to 9 a.m. that morning, passholders can save up to 50 percent off select merchandise. In addition, there will be surprise markdowns and special "doorbusters." (All while supplies last.) The first 1000 guests at World of Disney that morning will receive a complimentary gift. Passholders will need their pass and a government-issued photo ID to take advantage of these early shopping offers.

D23 is hosting a sneak preview of Aulani, Disney's new Vacation Club Villas opening in Ko Olina, Hawaii on Sunday, July 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Contemporary Resort's Ballroom of America. Tickets, which are free but have a $5 processing fee, are now available on the D23 website. Enjoy Hawaiian refreshments, groove to a live DJ and grab a photo with a Disney character. You will also be able to check out D23's "Disney's Hawaiian History" exhibit, which photographically explores Disney's long connection with this tropical paradise, and will have the opportunity to chat with the D23 team. Disney Vacation Club Cast Members will be on-hand to answer questions about this new Hawaiian resort, and other properties, and if you're interested, you can sign up to attend a session that week to learn more about Aulani and Disney Vacation Club. All guests who attend will also receive a D23/Disney Vacation Club gift to commemorate the occasion! http://tinyurl.com/36qvz7p

AllEars® Meet and Greet : Join AllEars.Net's Deb Wills, Mike Bachand, and Jack Spence on July 1, 2010 at Epcot's American Adventure. Meet up at 1:30 p.m. outside the AA pavilion (if raining meet in back of Liberty Inn). We will go inside to see the next show of the Voices of Liberty (approximately 2 p.m.). They'll be giving away AllEars® merchandise to attendees while supplies last.


Don't forget to check our Events page for current updates: http://allears.net/pl/events.htm



Magic Kingdom

Construction for the Fantasyland expansion has begun, necessitating the closing of several existing Magic Kingdom areas. Pooh's Playful Spot playground, Ariel's Grotto Character meet-and-greet and Scuttle's Landing have closed. Pooh and Tigger will appear in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. Enchanted Grove will now be open in Fantasyland for Extra Magic Hour mornings offering coffee and muffins. The Fantasyland pretzel cart will be located near Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Frozen Coca-Cola products will continue to be available at The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland. During this expansion, classic Fantasyland attractions, including "it's a small world," Peter Pan's Flight, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Cinderella's Golden Carrousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Mad Tea Party, will remain open.


Via Napoli, the new 300-seat restaurant/pizzeria being constructed in the Italy pavilion in Epcot, is slated to open in September. Disney has released an artist's rendering of what the new structure will look like when it's completed. Via Napoli wil be a full-service pizzeria. The construction will create a whole new look, the area has been extended back another 50-60 feet and there will be a new piazza. In Europe there is often one building with different facades out front and that's what you will see in Via Napoli. The three pizza ovens are inspired by the three famous volcanoes in Italy: Mount Etna (Sicily), Stromboli (Aeolian Islands), and Mount Vesuvius (near Naples). The three oven "mouths" where the pizzas go in are inspired by Italy's Park of Monsters sculptures.

Cantina de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion in Epcot has closed for a significant refurbishment and expansion until September 2010. The company that operates the restaurants in the Mexico pavilion, San Angel Inn, LLC, plans to open Hacienda San Angel on the site, a new 250-seat waterside restaurant. La Hacienda will open daily for dinner ONLY at 4 p.m. (It was originally announced that the restaurant would serve both fast food at lunch and table service for dinner.) For starters, the menu will feature queso fundido (warm cheese with poblano pepper and chorizo); a taco trio with rib eye, roasted chicken and pork; and traditional black bean soup. Entrees will include a mixed grill for two with flank steak, chicken, chorizo and vegetables (a seafood version features grouper, shrimp and scallops); roasted shrimp in pepper garlic broth; flank steak with spring onions, refried beans and cactus leaves; and grilled red snapper with roasted corn and cactus leaves. Desserts will include chocolate churros, sweet tamales and fruit empanadas. The other Mexico restaurant on the promenade, La Cantina, will be open daily at 11 a.m. and will have 150 outdoor seats. The new La Cantina menu will offer chicken and beef tacos on fresh handmade corn tortillas, nachos, a cheese empanada, guacamole and chips and churros. During the refurbishment, the San Angel Inn Restaurante and La Cava de Tequila, located inside the Mexico pavilion, and the Taqueria Del Lago, located alongside the promenade, will still be open for Mexican dining.

Honey I Shrunk the Audience closed on May 9 to make way for Captain EO, which opens July 2, 2010.

Saratoga Springs

Work has begun on a new feature pool in the Paddock area of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, building on the resort's turn-of-the-20th-century, upstate New York theme. The timetable for the new pool, which will replace the Paddock area's 1,100-square-foot quiet pool with a 3,300-square-foot zero-depth-entry pool, a 146-foot water slide, a 1,600-square-foot wet-play area, and an expanded pool deck spanning more than 11,000 square feet, has been modified somewhat. The existing pool is now scheduled to close in the fall of 2010. The new pool area, which will include an on-site, quick-service-dining location, is now scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2011.


The Breathless II is unavailable until further notice due to unforeseen maintenance issues. If you have an existing reservation you will be contacted to reschedule if possible.

A complete list of rehabs can be found here: http://allears.net/tp/rehabs.htm

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Even though the program has reached its goal of recruiting 1 million volunteers and is not taking any additional applicants, we'll be sharing reports of guests who have experienced special Magic as part of the "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day" program:

Michelle Banic: I was positively tickled pink to discover our local Arthritis Society was one of the participating charities! My oldest daughter has juvenile arthritis so it is a charity very close to my heart. Husband Tim and daughters Amanda (14) and Sara (8) and I were all very happy to help out! We distributed literature for a fundraising event at which Amanda spoke. We also volunteered out at the first annual Walk to Fight Arthritis in May. This is an outstanding way to help out a charity and get a little something for your troubles! We are looking forward to using our voucher on our trip to Disneyland in July!

Kristi Johnson: For our voluntEAR program we chose the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware. I filled out the application and was told of two special projects they do. ONE being the PULL TAB project, which is collecting soda/beer can tabs and TWO being donating items off of their "WISH LIST" (e.g. paper towels, cleaning products). This past Sunday I took my two kids for our tour. What an amazing place! Thanks for the opportunity to show my children how fortunate they are and to appreciate everything they have. We definitely will be continuing to volunteer throughout the year. Thanks Disney!

Gail: My three adult children, husband and myself volunteered to make cranes for the "Cranes for Peace" program. It was a wonderful afternoon with many families making these beautiful cranes. What a wonderful way to participate knowing that we were being ambassadors from the United States to Japan. We participate in outreach often, this was also a wonderful opportunity.

Marguerite Badami: After searching the other links on Hands On Network, we were able to link up with a local agency on Martin Luther King Day. We volunteered our time and had our vouchers in hand by the following week. Wasting no time, we spent a few days at Walt Disney World the first week of February! The vouchers were processed rapidly at the On Call window and we were given Honorary VoluntEARS buttons to wear. Disney cast members and costumed characters made a special point of thanking us for volunteering! What a wonderful experience! We have now linked up with this agency and will participate in many more events they sponsor.


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.