April 2008 Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the March 25, 2008 Issue #444 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 a time gone by in Walt Disney World history. This month, Deb Wills takes us back to Mickey's 50th Birthday Celebration. "Recently I came across a few photographs of the 1978 parade in the Magic Kingdom," she says. "I did a little reasearch and found out there was a year-long celebration of Mickey's 50th Birthday (November 18)." The parade was also held in Disneyland at the same time.

Read a bit more about the parade and see photos at: http://allears.net/tp/mk/mickey50parade.htm

If you have photos from this parade, please send them to us to include: allearsnet at yahoo dot com.

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Steve Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickeys books and webmaster of HiddenMickeysGuide.com, suggests that you marvel at some cool Hidden Mickeys the next time you're at Walt Disney World:

1. Along the Streets of America at Disney's Hollywood Studios, search for two full-body images of Mickey himself. Inside the left of two windows of the Venture Travel Service, a photo of Walt Disney is hanging on the left upper wall. Walt is holding a Mickey doll in his right hand. Look for a small window for Sal's Pawn Shop toward the walkway to Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show. A watch with an image of Mickey is hanging inside the window. This one's tough to spot! (Thanks to Cara Di Cicco and Dom Fiandra for both of these Hidden Mickeys.)

2. While in the Studios, seek out the side arches over the entrance area to the Animation Courtyard, next to the Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant. Donald Duck and Goofy are subtly etched into the lower part. http://allears.net/btp/hm206.jpg

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by All Ears® Staff Writer
Michelle Scribner-MacLean

I remember the fateful day back in 2005… I received my monthly Disney Magazine and, just as I had every other month, I devoured its contents, wanting more and more Disney information… only to receive a notice a few weeks later that this issue would be the last: the magazine was abruptly closing its doors and would no longer be available.

For the Disney fans who can't get enough (and if you're reading this, that probably includes you), it doesn't matter what the medium: We want our Disney! Books, Travel Channel specials, podcasts, blogs, and websites — it doesn't matter. If it's Disney-related, bring it on! That's why I was so excited to see a new, Orlando-based publication spring up. Orlando Attractions magazine, published by Ricky Brigante (of the Inside the Magic podcast) and edited by Matt Roseboom, hit the stands with its premier issue in December 2007 and, in many ways, is filling a void for fans who need more Disney… and who are also interested in learning more about the happenings in the Orlando area.

Read Michelle's full review at: http://land.allears.net/blogs/allearsteam

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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 MouseMemories.com). This month they provide a step-by-step process of organizing your photographs for the scrapbook:

We all take pictures. In this digital age we all take tons of pictures. Why? Because we want to remember a snapshot in time that was important to us. Yet for many people, those pictures that were developed or printed end up in a box where they are rarely seen. The digital pictures end up on a CD or published on the web somewhere. Scrapbooking is about telling a story, both for us to remember, and for future generations to enjoy.

So you've warily decided to give scrapbooking a try. But if you have boxes and boxes of pictures from the pre-digital age, not to mention all the digital pictures that are on your computer in various stages of organization, where do you start? It really can be an overwhelming question…

Read: "Sorting Your Photos": http://allears.net/btp/scrapbook/part2/part2.htm

If you missed the previous articles:

"What in the World IS All of This Stuff?": http://allears.net/btp/scrapbook/part1/part1.htm The Introduction: http://allears.net/btp/scrapbook/intro.html

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Getting Ready for my Close-Up!
by Guest Columnist Josh Olive

Every so often, I'm reminded that one of the joys of Walt Disney World is that the World really comes close to being One Size Fits All. What brought that on? Well, a friend here at work just got a snazzy new car. A BMW, no less. It's beautifully styled, with a luxurious looking interior. But here's the rub: I don't fit in the car (at least not in anything resembling comfort). I'm too tall and too wide — it just isn't going to happen.

If you're wondering how that reminded me of Walt Disney World, I'll be happy to explain. Attempting to get into that car reminded me of the last trip I took to Six Flags over Georgia, several years ago. With some WD-40, I might have been able to squeeze into a handful of the good rides at that park (emphasis on might), but I didn't have any WD-40 on me, and so I was left with a miserably long day of watching other people have fun. I did manage, just barely, to squeeze into The Mind Bender, one of my favorite roller coasters as a child, and it was painfully uncomfortable from the get-go.

At any rate, this lovely yet small new BMW, coupled with a post-traumatic flashback to the Mind Bender, reminded me that I rarely feel like I don't fit in at Walt Disney World. Sure, there are exceptions — like the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway — that are just not built on a scale large enough to accommodate my frame, but those are few and far between at the World, where they are the norm at most amusement parks…

Read the rest of Josh's article at: http://allears.net/tp/rd_josh.htm

Visit the All Ears "At Large Pages": http://allears.net/tp/ridsiz.htm

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Mickey's Pirate and Princess Party continues in the Magic Kingdom on select nights! The April dates are: April 1, 4, 6, 11, 16, 23. http://allears.net/tp/mk/pirateprincess.htm

The 2008 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival will run through June 1. Upcoming artists performing at the festival's Flower Power Concerts (subject to change):

March 25 – 29 Paul Revere and the Raiders
March 30 – 31 The Fifth Dimension
April 1 – 3 The Nelsons
April 4 – 5 Jay Black
April 6 – 9 Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone
April 10 – 13 The Grass Roots Starring Rob Grill
April 14 – 16 The Happenings
April 17 – 18 Peter & Gordon
April 19 – 23 Starship Starring Mickey Thomas
April 24 – 26 The Ventures
April 27 – 30 B.J. Thomas

Flower and Garden Festival information: http://allears.net/tp/ep/flogar.htm

Disney Grad Nites 2008 will be held in the Magic Kingdom on April 18, 19, 25, and 26. The Magic Kingdom will close early on these evenings for these special events for high school senior classes, which gather for an exclusive, all-night party. http://allears.net/tp/mk/grad.htm

Animal Kingdom 10th Anniversary! A Wild Decade Celebration – April 22, 2008 (This is NOT an official Disney Event. Similar to MouseFest, this is an event put on by Disney fans.) This is a commemorative event by WDWCelebrations.com in honor of Animal Kingdom's 10th Anniversary. Visit www.WDWCelebrations.com for more details, a preliminary schedule and registration.

16th Annual Chef's Gala benefiting Heart of Florida United Way will be on Saturday, April 5, 2008, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Epcot's World Showplace at Walt Disney World. More than 20 of Central Florida's top chefs from the finest dining establishments will prepare unique dishes paired with best in class wines. The event also includes live jazz music and an elegant silent auction, all to benefit local health and human service programs supported by Heart of Florida United Way. Each entree and dessert item are carefully paired with wines — sommeliers will be on hand to provide information about each wine and discuss pairings. The Chef's Gala helps provide critical assistance to the nearly 200 programs operated by nearly 100 local social service agencies supported by Heart of Florida United Way. Funds raised at the Chef's Gala will help serve more than 375,000 Central Floridians in need in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Tickets are $175 per individual. To purchase tickets, call 407-835-0900 ext. 377 or email chefsgala at hfuw dot org.


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



Disney's Hollywood Studios

Journey into Narnia is closed until May 23, 2008.

American Film Institute Showcase and AFI Showcase Shop will be closed April 1 – May 1, 2008. The Backlot Tour will continue to operate; guests will exit around the side of the building instead of through it.


Nine Dragons Restaurant in China will be closed April 6 – November 30, 2008 for rehab. Look for major renovations, including an exhibition kitchen where diners will be able to interact with the chefs.

Magic Kingdom

Minnie's Country House will be closed for refurbishment April 1 – 23, 2008.

All Star Sports

The Grand Slam Pool will be closed for rehab April 21 – May 15, 2008.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Phase I construction is now completed. This was the renovation of existing rooms in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, called the Jambo House. Outside construction of a new animal barn and Disney Vacation Club Building, Kidani Village, continues and is expected to last until the spring of 2009.

Beach Club

The Tidal Pool (Quiet Pool) will be closed March 31 – April 11.

Boardwalk Inn and Villas

The Boardwalk Inn quiet/leisure pool will be closed April 15 – May 15, 2008.

Caribbean Beach Resort

The themed pool, Old Port Royale, closed for refurbishment January 7, 2008, and is set to reopen September 15, 2008. A small, child-sized pool slide has been temporarily added to the pool in the village of Barbados.

Contemporary Resort

The North Garden wing has been demolished. The tennis courts and playground are also gone. Although there has been no OFFICIAL announcement, the Orlando Sentinel has reported that the new construction at the resort will be a DVC site called Kingdom Tower.

Coronado Springs

The Jaguar Pool Slide will be closed March 31 – April 18, 2008. The Lost City of Cibola Pool will remain open during this time.

Yacht Club

The Admiral (Quiet) Pool and Spa will be closed April 14-21, 2008.


Be sure to check our Rehabs and Closings page for periodic updates: http://allears.net/tp/rehabs.htm

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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:


John and Crystal: Our family decided to finally have a family reunion in Disney World as part of a grand gathering party of 15. On February 4th some of us went to Animal Kingdom, and as we were leaving the Primeval Whirl we received dream fast passes! Of course we immediately began to use these and had a marvelous time doing so. That afternoon I received a call from one of my sisters to inform me that the rest of our group who had been in Magic Kingdom also received dream fast passes while visiting Tom Sawyer Island. Imagine our surprise- all of us received a visit from the dream squad- on the same day- in different parks!!! It was a terrific day for all of us, and we ended it by celebrating at 'Ohana, which the children really loved.


Chris Cook-Leitz: Our first day in the parks, as we were getting off the steam engine at Main Street Station, we were met by two members of the Dream Squad. They were passing out lanyards that were good for an extra hour in the park that evening. When the gentleman offered one to our four year old son, he very politely said, �No thank you.� The Dream Squad got quite a kick out of that. I gladly accepted his lanyard and that evening, when the park closed at 8:00, we made our way to Tomorrowland, as instructed. Everyone was given a piece of paper with the list of attractions that were open for the extra hour. We didn�t leave Fantasyland, and were able to walk onto all the rides. It was a wonderful evening! The only problem was that my son didn�t understand why we had to wait in line for Peter Pan and Dumbo the rest of the week. Not only do we have wonderful memories of that special hour in the park, but we have really cool lanyards to put in our scrapbook and show off to our friends.


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 allearsnet@yahoo.com

For more Magical Moments: http://allears.net/tp/yomdmm.htm
For Dreams: http://allears.net/tp/yomd.htm


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.