July 2003 Walt Disney World Bits and Bites

Feature Article

This article appeared in the July 1, 2003, Issue #197 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 feature, which takes you back in history for a glimpse of Walt Disney World through the ages.

Let's see what has happened in July in years gone by:

July 1, 1975 – The WEDway PeopleMover opened as a Tomorrowland attraction in the Magic Kingdom.
July 3, 1985 – Tinker Bell made her first flight in the Magic Kingdom.
July 17, 1992 – Splash Mountain officially opened as a Magic Kingdom Frontierland attraction.
July 15, 1995 – The new Disney Wedding Pavilion officially opened. The wedding pavilion is located on a private island south of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.


July is also the time to wish Disneyland a Happy 48th Birthday — July 17! There were 20 attractions in the California park on its Opening Day: King Arthur Carousel, Peter Pan's Flight, Mad Tea Party, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Canal Boats of the World, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Autopia, Space Station X-1, Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad, Circarama, Horse-drawn Streetcars, Fire Wagon, and Surreys, Main Street Cinema, Jungle Cruise, Stage Coach, Mule Pack, Mark Twain Steamboat, Penny Arcade and Golden Horseshoe Revue!

One of my favorite sites for reminiscing over the "good ol' days" is Werner W. Weiss's Yesterland, a Theme Park on the Web, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions. Visit it at: http://www.yesterland.com/

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At the Magic Kingdom, there will be a special edition of "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks featuring patriotic music and pyrotechnics ringing the park. Fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m.

Also at the Magic Kingdom, the Disney World Resort will take part in Operation Tribute to Freedom, a program of activities that allows every American to demonstrate support for America's fighting forces. At 2 p.m. on July 4, military service personnel and 200 volunteers will participate in a ceremony on Main Street, U.S.A. that will include the Main Street Philharmonic, a Master of Ceremonies, and a number of banners that will join to create an American flag stretching along Main Street, USA from the Emporium to the Tip Board.

Downtown Disney Pleasure Island takes a flag-waving theme July 3, 4 and 5 with patriotic decorations all about, All-American theme bands on the West End Stage and in the Jazz Company, the tossing of patriotic-themed beads, and walk-around stilt-walkers decked out in red, white and blue. A special midnight fireworks salute follows the national anthem. Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block will perform on July 4 at 7:45 and 9 p.m.

At the Disney-MGM Studios, be sure to catch a special presentation of Sorcery in the Sky on July 4. Showtime is 9 p.m.

At Epcot, July 4 enhancements to the popular "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" show will conclude a day-long patriotic celebration that will include special shows and meet-and-greets with Disney characters in colonial costumes. Illuminations will be shown at 10:00pm on July 4th.

Trying to decide which park to visit for the fireworks? Let us help you! Visit: http://allears.net/tp/fojuly.htm

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by Chet McDoniel
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Editor's Note: AllEarsNet® is happy to introduce a new series, Freewheelin' Disney, written with wheelchair travelers in mind. Author Chet McDoniel is a vacation travel specialist for MouseEarVacations.com and its parent company, CruisingCo.com, and is himself a wheelchair user.

Flight Attendants, Prepare the Cabin for Takeoff!

So you want to go visit the Mouse, eh? Well, unless you are one of the lucky few who live near one of his homes, you'll need to do some traveling, most likely by air.

For years, I was unaware that the airlines would carry my electric wheelchair. I just never considered that to be a possibility. I was used to sacrificing my electric wheelchair in order to fly somewhere. I really hate having to use my manual wheelchair and being pushed around by someone else. The frustration of not being able to choose my own destination when maneuvering around Walt Disney World is maddening. Now, whenever I'm headed somewhere, I don't even consider NOT taking my electric wheelchair.

For everyone with special mobility needs, I've compiled some tips that I've learned along the way to help you make your way to Walt Disney World, or anywhere else you might want to go.

Be sure to watch for other articles in the Freewheelin' Disney series coming soon!

Chet is organizing his first group trip for travelers with special needs, their family, and all friends. He will travel with the group to Walt Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line, sharing all of his insider tips. In addition, ALL EARS Editor in Chief Deb Wills will join the group in Orlando. If you would like to be sent details when this special needs trip is arranged, just drop Chet an email or phone call. He can be reached at [email protected] or toll free at 1-866-939-4968.

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Starting today, July 1, the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in the Magic Kingdom's Frontierland opens with an all-new show geared toward guests who want a more up-close character experience. ALL EARS Senior Editor Debra Martin Koma was lucky enough to catch one of the Guest Previews for the show last Friday and she files this report:

Goofy's Country Dancin' Jamboree marks the reopening of the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon, but let me tell you, this new show bears no resemblance to the Revue previously housed here. This jamboree is all about kids and characters and photo ops!

Food service is gone, and all of the tables have been cleared out of the lower level of the saloon, since it's here that all of the character interaction takes place. Seating is available in the upper level, but aside from a brief appearance by Chip and Dale up there, the characters spend all their time downstairs. There are also benches along the wall in the rear of the saloon's first floor. This means that everyone on the floor stands, or dances, for the 20-minute show.

The show started with a musical number from the host — I saw cowgirl Sarah Jo — who then introduced the big G himself, all decked out in country western attire. After performing a song or two, Goofy and Sarah Jo introduced the rest of the cast: Chip and Dale, and Woody, Jessie, and the trust steed Bullseye from Toy Story 2. The characters mingled with guests on the floor, while Goofy and Sarah Jo led a variety of country line dances, including the Electric Slide and a variation of the Chicken Dance, to tunes such as Cotton-Eyed Joe.

To read more about this new show, as well as to see some photos, please visit: http://allears.net/tp/mk/mk_goof.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.