October 2010 Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the September 28, 2010 Issue #575 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 October 2000 and look at what was happening!

-- The WDW Millennium Balloon, an 80-foot-tall hot air balloon of Spaceship Earth with the 2000 Logo, concluded its trip around the country.

-- E-Ride Nights were still being held in the Magic Kingdom.

-- Pleasure Island featured the band Men at Work at the West End stage.

-- Epcot's 5th Annual International Food and Wine Festival began October 21 and continued through November 19, 2000. Marketplace booth samples were $1 - $4!

-- Conservation Station became Rafiki's Planet Watch and the Wildlife Express became the Railway Transportation to Rafiki's Planet Watch in Animal Kingdom.

-- The National Car Rental Golf Classic was held at the Walt Disney World Resort and the winner was Duffy Waldorf.

-- Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom ran only 3 nights: October 27, 29 and 31.

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Fans of food and wine have even more to taste during the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort first Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic on October 8 and 9, 2010.

-- 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. both evenings, beverage seminars are being offered (these are special ticket events). Seminar topics are titled: Wine Blending Seminar, Riesling Rendezvous, Modern Mixology, All Things Sake, Beer Please, and Bubbles!

-- 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. each evening, food and wine tasting stations will line the causeway between the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Tickets are $2 each or 24 for $45; or $50 for unlimited samples.

-- Entertainment will include Pieces of a Dream, The Latin Jazz All Stars and The Groovemasters.

The resort is located between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios and can be reached on foot or by boat. For room reservations and Classic tickets visit: http://swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com/ears.html

For more information:



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compiled by AllEars® Team Member Cathy Bock

In this new monthly featurette, we'll take a look at recent comments made in the AllEars.Net Rate & Review section about a particular restaurant, resort, event, etc. To start things off, what are AllEars® readers saying about lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom?

Liberty Tree Tavern is a colonial-themed table service restaurant located in Liberty Square. Lunch is offered a la carte, while dinner is served family style. Lunch is recommended by 97% of the reviewers, with an average rating of 8.8. Recent food reviews have included:
-- vegetarian pot pie: "very good, but the portion size was huge"
-- chicken pot pie: "did not care much for it"
-- Pilgrim's Feast (turkey): "it was great"; "it was excellent"; "gravy wasn't that good"
-- pot roast: "it was delicious"; "good pot roast with real mashed potatoes and a nice gravy/juice"

And let's not forget dessert! The sorbet "was a delicious and perfect ending"; the toffee cake "was really good".

Service gets high marks: "gave very good descriptions of the menu items and kept our glasses full"; "server was very good"; "hostess gave us the little speech about George and Martha Washington".

The restaurant decor is often mentioned: "decorated beautifully in the colonial-American style"; "very well detailed and just lovely". While most reviewers would return ("will definitely eat here again", "would happily eat here again"), some would not ("not good enough to have high on the list to do again", "probably will try something else next time").

Liberty Tree Tavern Lunch Menu: http://allears.net/dining/menu/liberty-tree-tavern/lunch

If you have recently dined at the Liberty Tree Tavern, or any Disney restaurant, we'd love to have your reviews, too! You can find Rate & Review here: http://land.allears.net/reviewpost/

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Steven Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickeys books and webmaster of www.HiddenMickeysGuide.com hopes you can enjoy these unique Hidden Character images (two Hidden Mickeys and one Hidden Donald). Stay alert; they can be hard to spot!

1. In the Captain EO film at Epcot (and at Disneyland, California), the three lower thrusters on the back of Captain EO's spaceship form a classic (three-circle) Hidden Mickey. Since the film is in 3-D, a photo of the image is a bit blurred. (Thanks to Ben G and Bobby Naus.)


2. Pay attention to the natives toward the end of Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise boat ride. On the left side of the boat, the last isolated native ambushing your hapless tour group is wearing a mask that resembles Donald Duck. This mask is similar to the Donald-shaped bow on the middle Pygmy canoe that you pass by earlier in the ride to the right of your boat. (Thanks to Jason Gall.) It took me a while to get a somewhat decent photo.


3. Another difficult photo to capture is the red Mickey balloon that floats on the right side of the screen toward the end of the movie in Epcot's Norway pavilion. The single balloon is visible above the trees for a few seconds as the movie camera pans down a street filled with parade celebrants. (Thanks to Nick D and Sara Lodgen.)


You can find more Hidden Mickeys Alerts here:


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Magic Kingdom

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party allows guests to trick-or-treat while immersed in the fantasy of the Magic Kingdom. The evening includes Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade; trick-or-treating throughout the Magic Kingdom at numerous locations; and the special Happy HalloWishes fireworks. Lots of characters are out in the park, wearing their favorite costumes -- you're encouraged to wear yours too. 2010 party dates and times are: September 30; October 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, and 31; November 1. NOTE: October 31 is SOLD OUT! The party runs from 7 p.m. to midnight; Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade is at 8:15 and 10:30 p.m. with the Happy HalloWishes fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Prices for the party are as follows (all prices listed include tax):

Advance Purchase: $57.46 for adults 10 and older / $51.07 for ages 3-9 (Not available all dates)
Passholder and DVC Member Discounts: $53.20 / $46.81 (Not be available all dates)
Day of Event (if still available): $63.85 /$57.46


Jack Spence's comprehensive party report, with photos and videos:


15th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival -- This year's festival, dubbed Delicious Discoveries, runs October 1 through November 14. There will be a dozen categories of special wine and culinary events scheduled during the festival's six weeks. New programming this year includes the First Bites Opening Reception festival preview to be held on September 30; the 3-D Disney's Dessert Discovery and the Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French Grand Marnier tasting experience. Returning events include Celebrating Family and Friends in the Kitchen, Epcot Wine Schools, Mexico Tequila Tastings and Food and Wine Pairings. Throughout the festival, the park will present more than 25 international marketplaces where food, wine, beer and spirits lovers can sample cuisine, culture and entertainment from six continents. The new Belgium marketplace will serve Steamed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Cream, and the new South Korea marketplace will offer BBQ Short Ribs with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi. At least 250 Disney and celebrity chefs will conduct culinary demonstrations and host tasting events. In addition, the Festival Welcome Center will feature Authentic Taste Seminars and Authors without Borders weekend conversations that are included with Epcot admission. To make reservations for these special events and programs, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Festival details are available at http://allears.net/tp/ep/foodwine.htm or at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Senior Editor Deb Koma will be attending the festival's opening weekend. Watch for her reports starting this Friday in the AllEars® Team Blog and on the AllEars.Net website.

The Eat to the Beat Concert Series returns this year to the 2010 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The concerts, which are included with Epcot admission, will be at the America Gardens Theatre nightly at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. This year's schedule (subject to change) includes:

10/1-10/3: Taylor Dayne, "Tell It to My Heart"
10/4-10/5: Kool & The Gang, "Celebration"
10/6-10/8: Sugar Ray, "Fly"
10/9-10/10: Taylor Hicks, "Do I Make You Proud "
10/11-10/12: Air Supply, "Lost in Love"
10/13-10/15: Sister Hazel, "All For You"
10/16-10/17: Howard Jones, "No One Is To Blame"
10/18-10/19: Expose, "Seasons Change"
10/20-10/21: 38 Special, "Hold on Loosely "
10/22-10/24: Night Ranger, "Sister Christian"
10/25-10/27: Billy Ocean, "Caribbean Queen"
10/28-10/31: Starship starring Mickey Thomas, "We Built This City"
11/1-11/3: Boyz II Men, "End of the Road"
11/4-11/5: Roger Hodgson formerly of Supertramp, "Give A Little Bit"
11/6-11/7: Jon Secada, "Just Another Day"
11/8-11/9: Hanson, "MMMBop"
11/10-11/11: Rick Springfield, "Jessie's Girl"
11/12-11/14: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Go Daddy-O"


Disney's Endurance Series

The inaugural Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is set for this weekend, October 1-2, 2010, culminating with a 13.1-mile nighttime race and after-hours party inside the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Participants will run a never-before-trekked course through multiple Disney theme parks. Spectators can also purchase tickets to the party and help kick off the 15th annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Events are planned for the entire weekend, starting with a Health and Fitness Expo hosted at Jostens Center at the Wide World of Sports Complex. The weekend ends with the half marathon on the evening of October 2. The half marathon will be open to ages 14 and older, and offers a relay option for two-person teams.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Good luck to Team AllEars® Co-captains Mike Scopa and Michelle Scribner-MacLean, and all the other Team AllEars® Members running in this event this weekend!

Downtown Disney

The 2010 Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival will be held Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. at Downtown Disney. The sport entails teams of 20 paddlers who move in unison, combining camaraderie, strength, and teamwork in a boat whose ornate decorations originate in ancient China, as well as a steersperson (cox) and a drummer. No experience is necessary to participate in this sport. Registration includes two practice sessions with a certified coach, a team tent during the event, use of paddles, lifejackets and the boats. Registration is now open. For more information visit www.gwndragonboat.com.

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



Magic Kingdom

"it's a small world" will be closed for refurbishment from August 1 through October 22.

Mad Tea Party will be closed for refurbishment September 26 to November 10.

"Storytime with Belle" at the Fairytale Garden was performed for the last time on September 12. A new "play and greet" interactive experience with characters from the upcoming animated film "Tangled" will be introduced in the Magic Kingdom's Fairytale Garden beginning Friday, October 15. The new experience will allow you to play and dance with Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder in a village garden setting.

Construction for the Fantasyland expansion is under way, 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 now appear in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. Enchanted Grove is now open in Fantasyland for Extra Magic Hour mornings offering coffee and muffins. The Fantasyland pretzel cart is 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, except during any rehabs that may be scheduled.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney: One Man's Dream will be closed for refurbishment August 16 - November 2, 2010.

Star Tours is closed for rehab. The attraction will be updated and reopen around the middle of May 2011. The new experience will be in 3-D, an all-new ride that includes many of the new worlds and elements from the more recent Star Wars movies.

Disney Channel Rocks! will be the name of the recently announced live, rock-concert style show making its debut at Disney's Hollywood Studios on October 22. (The show will also run at Disneyland.) Featuring music from such Disney Channel staples as High School Musical, Camp Rock and StarStruck, the show replaces High School Musical 3: Senior Year ? Right Here! Right Now!, which ends its DHS run on October 2.

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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Each month we share reports of guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland experiencing special Magic, which we call "Magical Moments":

Lesa: My husband and I just returned from our second trip to WDW without kids. Each time we've been there, whether just the two of us or with kids, there have been those magical moments that you know you will never forget. I think the most memorable of all those moments happened on this trip. It was about 9:30 p.m. on our first full day in the parks. We went to the Magic Kingdom. Neither of us have ever before been on the Astro Orbiter, so we decided to put this on our list of things "to do" for this trip. We got in line at the bottom, got to the front of the line and were given one "chip" to ride the elevator to the top. When it was our turn, I handed the chip to a cast member and we went to get in our orbiter. We quickly realized that both of us would not fit in the same one. I looked around and there were no empty ones. My husband refused to ride without me riding at the same time, so we went to the elevator to await our return trip to the ground. A cast member came and asked us what was wrong. We told him we wouldn't both fit in the orbiter, so neither of us were riding. He explained that the cast member giving out the chips should have given us two chips and if we wanted to wait, he would get us on the ride the next time. About that time, the fireworks over Magic Kingdom started. We were entranced! They looked so close with us standing there staring out over the Kingdom. The cast member asked if we would like to step over to the rail to watch them and we immediately said an enthusiastic "YES!" We got to watch the whole fireworks show from the platform of the Astro Orbiter! When the fireworks were over, the cast member came back to us and put us on the ride. I'll never forget the wonderful surprise we were given nor the best cast member at the Magic Kingdom!


Joan Kmiecik: Just read the "Character Greeting Tips" section and the memorable moments. I'm in tears because the stories were so adorable. We took our kids to Disney World twice in 2007. The first trip our 5 year-old son wasn't feeling well. He was tired and crabby and had to constantly use the bathroom. We figured he was just tired from traveling and walking the parks all day long. On our return to Chicago and a trip to the pediatrician he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. After wrapping our heads around this diagnosis and learning how to care for him we decided we sort of owed him one. So, on our second trip he was feeling much better and able to enjoy the trip. I had even made a special case for his insulin pump that I embroidered with Mickey. After waiting to see characters in Epcot we met with Mickey. Our son showed him the case for his insulin pump and told Mickey what it was. Mickey put his hands over his heart and then gave our son a big hug. This melted my heart! This simple gesture erased the bad memories of the first trip. We felt terrible that we had not recognized the signs of our son's illness. Mickey made our whole family feel happy that day.


We just bet you have a story to tell about an unforgettable moment during your Disney vacation -- we all do! Please send your favorite memory for inclusion in a future AllEars® to: allearsnet@yahoo.com Thank you all for sharing!

Some readers share their Magical Moments in the latest Wandering the World here:


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.