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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > November 2003

Intercot.com INTERCOT Insider
 November 2003 - Edition Two

Brought to you by INTERCOT's network of sites:
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This newsletter and other past issues can also be read online at; http://www.intercot.com/interactive/insider/archive

<< Introduction >>

Note:  Sorry for the lateness of this issue.  There were some "technical" issues at the mailing station that caused some minor headaches for at least one of us.  But we're all fine now, thank you!  How are you?

We hope everyone had a pleasant and happy Thanksgiving. Can you believe it is almost time to start checking those naughty and nice lists? Let's all hope Gary was "nice" and finally receives a churro cart from Santa. It's been on his wish list forever.

Check your storage space because we have a jam-packed Insider edition for you! Ron reports on the rededication of the steam engine number 3 in the Magic Kingdom, INTERCOTee Cher gives us a snippet of her Epcot Seas Aqua Tour experience, Casey shares the rave reviews of the new PhilharMagic, Rhonda informs us of all the exciting happenings in Disney's West Side, and Ian wraps it up with a not-to-be-missed dining review. Grab a snack and read away!

Correction from last issue:  Ray would like us to point out that there is no such thing as "Daylight Saving's Time".  The correct term is "Daylight Saving Time."  This error is rather common and probably stems from a life of hearing the term incorrectly spoken.  Though Ray holds no ill-will towards our grammatical error, he refuses to give us anything more than a B+ in grammar for the year.  We hope our final exam won't be as hard as this!  Thanks for keeping us on our toes Ray, and everyone else who sends in corrections.  After all, this is a community newsletter.  Without input from our readers, we wouldn't get anywhere, would we?

<< Walt Disney World Trivia with WDWdriver >>

There was a significant event held at the Magic Kingdom last month. Railroad fans, Broggie family members, and Disney executives gathered in a ceremony to rededicate the Roger E. Broggie steam engine number 3. The engine had undergone a complete mechanical and exterior renovation, the last of the four WDW steam engines to be renovated.

Early in Walt Disney's career Roger Broggie worked for Walt as a precision machinist in the Disney Studios machine shop. He went on to become Walt's close friend and one of the first Imagineers. Roger's mechanical skills and his quick grasp of Walt's creative ideas helped to bring about ride technologies, first at Disneyland in California and later at Walt Disney World. He helped build the two locomotives of the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad. Later he found and purchased the four Disney World locomotives. They were being used at the time to haul sugar cane through the jungles of the Yucutan peninsula in Mexico.

Like Walt, Roger was a railroad fan. In the early 1950's Walt asked him to help with a new project. This was not a theme park ride. Rather, it was a one eighth scale railroad in Walt's own backyard. In the next months and years Walt and Roger built the Carolwood Pacific backyard railroad. They would spend countless hours building the miniature locomotive and passenger cars. And Walt would later spend weekends giving train rides to neighborhood children and visitors.

Roger died in 1991 at age 83 after working for Disney for 42 years. He is honored today with a window on the Magic Kingdom's Main Street and, of course, with his name on locomotive number three.

<< Members Memoirs >>

I bet you've often wondered what it would be like to "swim with the fishes." Thanks to Cher, (aka TheSorcererofFantasia), we're all going to experience the Aqua Seas Tour at Epcot via her "Fairytale Safari Adventure" trip report.

"AJand I met Jairo, our instructor, for our Aqua Seas Tour. Alan was off to enter the park and would look for us from the observation deck in the Living Seas when we entered the tank around 1:30pm. What a fantastic tour. Today there would only be four of us. Jairo looked us over for our suit, booties and tee shirt size. Entered backstage and to see the filtration system. The tank size is so large that Space Ship Earth can fit inside the tank and still have room all around it and they can actually filter the entire tank in 3 = hours. We headed towards the Living Seas observation tank from a backstage area. Had a nice look into the area we'd soon be in. Thankfully the fish feeding was taking place right before we entered the tank. Next we headed upstairs to a lounge area and drinks were offered to us.

The strict rules are explained to all of us, the fish can touch us but we can't touch the fish, turtles or coral. Then we were given instructions and shown the equipment we'd be using and watched a short video regarding the equipment and what we'd see in the tank. We are directed to the locker rooms to put on our swimsuits and wet suits. I must say that the three of us girls had quite the chuckle attempting to get into the short wet suits. We assisted each other getting zipped up and presentable, little did we know how important that would be. We met Jairo outside the locker room with young man in our group. He took us down a hallway then we entered back onstage. We had to walk through the Living Seas Pavilion with our suits and booties, up the stairs and around the entire observation deck before entering a backstage door in the middle of the observation deck.

We climbed the stairs to the top deck of the tank. The divers were finishing up with the feeding so we were taken over and introduced to the two new dolphins. They came out of their 'homes' and followed us around as we walked around their area of the tank. Once the divers came up we went down to the deck were our masks, vest with tank and fins were all lined up for us. Each of us took a turn getting suited up in all of our gear then had our picture taken before leaving the water ledge of the tank. Now no laughing, suited Up I had to learn how to breathe all over again, as did the other three. I'm a true nose breather and exhale trough my mouth. Jairo suggested we all stayed on the ledge around the tank practicing until we got the hang of total mouth breathing.

Once we mastered that we were free to explore the entire tank, other than the Dolphin area. We were required to stay at least 8 feet away from their gate so as to not upset them and have them ram the gate and get hurt. What an experience!!!! Everything is so amazing from that view. The rays seemed to enjoy sneaking up on me then brushing against my arms. We were told that if you have issues with the fish touching you to fold your arms, I rather enjoyed it. My mouthpiece tended to be a little too big for my mouth so occasionally I'd roll over like a seal to blow out the water and roll back over. It was very interesting and you could see all the people dining at Coral Reef and those at all the windows on the Observation deck. I Spot Alan so I gave him the thumbs up so he's know it was me while he was taking pictures. All the people were waving and we all waved back. We were in the tank for about 30 - 40 minutes. We left our tanks, masks and fins on the ledge and were given towels. It seemed chilly when we got out of the tank. Had to walk back through the Observation area and Living Seas area to get back to the locker rooms. After changing (showers, dispenser shampoo, conditioner and soap are provided) I just took a quick one and would take a regular shower at the hotel to get ready for dinner. Once back in the lounge we were presented with a tee shirt, our photo and literature and we were released."

For additional details on the Epcot Seas Aqua Tour visit Info Central's "Behind the Scenes Tour" page below.

<< Attraction Reviews with DisneyWizard >>

--Mickey's PhilharMagic opens to rave reviews!-- Disney's newest show, Mickey's PhilharMagic, has opened to positive appraise. Read below for quotes from other INTERCOTees and a more detailed description of the new 3D show.

--What is Mickey's PhilharMagic?--
Starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other beloved Disney favorites, this new 3D experience within the Magic Kingdom is sure to get you engaged. Featuring the largest seamless projection screen in the world, mayhem breaks loose within the Disney characters that will keep the entire family laughing.

--Fun facts--
-The entire production of Mickey's PhilharMagic was created totally on computer, representing the first time the starring characters were completely modeled and animated by computer.
-The main screen measures 150 feet long and 28 feet high.
-The show features the largest cast of classic Disney animated stars who have ever performed together in a single 3-D show.

--Hidden Mickey--
-Be sure to check the mural around the screen, featuring various instruments, for a few hidden surprises!

--Member reviews--
"I absolutely loved it. We never did have a wait of more than 10 minutes but would definitely wait for this attraction." -Pongo "I was sad that they closed the Lion King, but PhilharMagic is awesome." -rafgomez "Mickey's PhilharMagic is absolutely the best attraction that has occupied that space." -GoofyWill "PhilharMagic...Best 3D show in WDW." -marauderaf "We saw PhilharMagic last week and its the best 3D I have ever seen." -DaveR

<< Beyond Disney with Beast_fanatic >>

Disney's West Side offers many entertainment, dining, and shopping opportunities.

Entertainment-wise, the West Side houses two popular destinations that are vastly different from one another: Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba and DisneyQuest. Another entertainment option is the bands that frequent the House of Blues, and the Sunday Gospel brunch that is offered there.

La Nouba is a circus that features no animals, only performers; however, it may well be one of the most entertaining circuses ever seen. Keep in mind that this is not a dinner show, there is no photography or recording allowed, and is dark every Sunday and Monday.

Here are some comments from INTERCOT members:

"The show is incredible. We went about 4-5 years ago, and still remember almost everything. There were a lot of younger children there... They seemed to be mesmerized the entire time." - SurferStitch "I highly recommend La Nouba. Cirque du Soleil's shows are unlike anything you've ever seen - amazing, fun, uplifting, funny, exciting, beautiful. And La Nouba is one of their best." - Mary M

DisneyQuest is often described as the first ever, indoor interactive park. It features attractions such as create your own roller coaster where you design a roller coaster and can actually ride it in a simulator! There's an interactive attraction for Pirates of the Caribbean and a Jungle Cruise. You can design your own toy, write your own song or learn to draw a character. There are also many "classic" video games available from the 80's that feature unlimited play. There's also a small cafi area, the Cheesecake Factory, where you can obtain limited Internet access. Keep in mind that a Plus option off a Park Hopper Plus ticket does not qualify as admission to DisneyQuest although admission is included on an Ultimate Park Hopper. Also, strollers aren't allowed inside and there are motion sickness warnings on several of the attractions so if you are prone to motion sickness this might not be your cup of tea.

Here are a few comments:

"DQ is one of my family's favorite places to go in WDW." - AdventurerKim "My boys (16 & 18) love the place, and want to spend every evening there." - Fangorn "This is a great place to spend an evening away from the parks but still have a connection with the Disney Magic!" - dizneegirl "It's a blast! Something for just about any age I think. It's a combination of games, virtual reality activities and video games . . . very interactive There's also some less active stuff that would appeal to smaller children who might be overwhelmed by the virtual reality stuff." - Munch

Food-wise there are many options available at the West Side: Wolfgang Puck Cafi, Bongo's Cuban Cafi, the House of Blues and Planet Hollywood.

Here are some comments on these:

"We also love Wolfgang Pucks Cafe at DtD Westside. We tried it out in September, and it's a new favorite." - MaryburkeS "Last time I was there I ate at Bongos Cuban Cafe. It wasn't too expensive and the food was excellent." - Dronator "Every time we go to WDW we always make it a point to eat at House of Blues. The food is very good and the portions are generous. My kids also like the food and they do have a kid's menu. The kid's portions are generous as well. The prices are very reasonable for what you get.." - Disneycrazed "I eat there every time we go to Disney. I would say it is worth it if there is no wait. The food is pretty good and it is fun to look at all of the movie props." - dixiepixie

And then, there's the West Side for shopping. You've got the Virgin Megastore, Magnetron for all your decorative magnet needs, Magic Masters, and many other specialty stores. You can check out the other shopping options, as well as more information on all of Downtown Disney's West Side here.


<< A WDWacky Dining Review >>

Hello again, fellow Disney addicts and welcome to another installment of the Wacky Dining Review. During a recent trip to Epcot, my party was fortunate to have lunch at Le Cellier in Canada and I'd like to share the experience here with you.

If you've never been to Le Cellier, let me first start by saying the atmosphere is wonderful. The entire restaurant has the feel of an old castle and yet still manages to convey an innate warmth that makes you feel right at home.

Two members of our party are frequent patrons of the lunch offerings here, so we took them up on their advice that we HAD to try the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup as an appetizer. Let me just say they were right on the money! This soup was out of this world. It's a warm blend of melted cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and a small dollop of that all time Canadian favorite  beer! It was just the thing to start the meal off right.

To add to the appeal of the appetizers, piping hot breadsticks were served to the table in three different varieties; regular, honey wheat, and pretzel. The pretzel bread got the best reviews and the flavored butter that came with them was also a favorite.

For our entrees, the majority of us went with the waitress's recommendation of the prime rib French dip sandwich. The remaining members opted for either the grilled steak burger or the Toronto chicken sandwich, which is a marinated chicken breast topped with Canadian bacon, cheddar cheese and chipotle aioli (fancy mayo!).

All the entrees got big thumbs up from everyone, with the exception of the Toronto chicken, which was labeled too dry and a little bland. I had the French dip sandwich and I have to say it was one of the best I've ever had. Sadly, the size of the portions left us too stuffed for dessert, but that just gives us another reason to come back and visit again!

So next time you're in Epcot, stop by Le Cellier and indulge yourself in their cozy atmosphere, good food, and friendly staff. Trust me  you won't regret it!

Until next time, this is Wacky signing off!

<< Conclusion >>

Hopefully you'll have a few new ideas for your next Walt Disney World vacation! Whether it'd be a new tour or attraction idea, what to do in Downtown Disney, a new restaurant, or maybe just to stop by the train station to say "hi," have a great time. Until the next issue, happy planning!

<< INTERCOT Would Like To Thank>>

The INTERCOT Insider and INTERCOT.com are supported by the following sponsors who in turn, help us bring the Magic to you!

Magical Journeys
Magical Journeys is your Disney Vacation specialist. Start planning your Vacation Discount Dreams today!
Website: http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com/

Radisson Resort Parkway
Right in the heart of action! Only 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World is an oasis of ponds, beautiful landscaping, serene waterfalls and relaxing options hiding in every corner.
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Happy Limo
Providing ground transportation to the entire state of Florida.
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The Official Ticket Center
Walt Disney World’s, Universal Studios and Sea World’s #1 guest service provider for the last 3 years. The Official Ticket Center has been servicing vacationers for more than 7 years now and sells tickets only, at a discount price.

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