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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > October 2007


October 2007 – Edition Two

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<< Introduction >>

When hinges creak, in doorless chambers. And strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. Whenever candlelight's flicker, where the air is deathly still, that is the time when ghosts are present ... and this is the time for a spooktakular edition of the INTERCOT Insider!. The Insider is wishing a Happy Halloween to all Ghouls and Boils alike with this special Halloween edition.  In this eerie edition we take a look at the hot topics around the boards, cover the creepy new additions to the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion, countdown the best spots to meet characters, recap some Disney milestones for October and welcome a new sponsor to INTERCOT - Quicksilver Tours & Transportation!   It's Insider Time!

<< INTERCOT Hot Topics >>

With the start of the Holiday Season less than 30 days away, vacation planning is in full gear.  Let’s look at the Hot Topics for October 2007.

-To Early Entry or Not?-

disneyplates asked asked the time honored question of if it was wiser to take advantage of or avoid the park offering the Morning Extra Magic Hour that day.  Here’s some of the opinions INTERCOTee’s shared:

"The morning Extra magic Hour is awesome you can usually get 1 -3 major attractions out of the way before the large crowds start arriving.  It's definitely a must do for Animal Kingdom since the lines for Everest can quickly reach 90 minutes. Also a must for Epcot with Soar'n' since the lines commonly reach the 120 minute mark."--JPL 

"In general, we try to avoid Extra Magic Hour mornings. The parks end up packed by mid-day. When we ~do~ go to Extra Magic Hour , we usually parkhop around lunch time. In that case, it works well. But I'd rather get the extra hour of sleep and avoid the park hop when possible."--illini

"We frequently attend morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, while we skip the morning Extra Magic Hour at Disney Studios and Epcot due to the limited attractions open early at these two parks.  Crowds do develop throughout the morning, but it's nice to be able to ride a few of our favorites before the masses get to be too much. We usually leave the parks after lunchtime and either hop to a different park or return to our resort for some swimming/relaxation time on a.m. Extra Magic Hour days"--KylesMom

"I've always avoided the early entry parks if I can; I find they tend to be busier on those days, conversely, the other parks can be lighter as a result."--brownie

-Quiet Caribbean?-

epceddie family wanted to know what INTERCOTees thought was a quiet section of Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort.  Here’s some of the locations INTERCOTees suggested:

"We were in Aruba building #52. It was very quite. I think anything away from the main food court and pool you will be okay. The place is so huge we hardly ever saw anyone walking the little paths throughout the resort. "--crazeedizneefinatic 

"If your priority is quiet, then make sure NOT to pay for a water view room (water view rooms are a separate category and cost more per night). If you have a view of the lake, then you'll also be near the main Promenade (paved path) ... where there are more people, there's the potential for more noise. If you have a view of your village's so-called "quiet pool," it could in fact be quite noisy at times."--CleveRocks

" We are in South Trinidad building 37. Very nice, Very quiet. Courtyard outside of our room for added ambiance, quiet pool is about 200 steps around the corner. Perfect location if you want quiet. The walk to Old Port Royale is about 6 minutes at a leisurely pace. I would request this area again!"--Tink1

"We stayed in Trinidad North Bldg. 33 last month and that also was very quiet and a short walk to Old Port Royale."--vicster

-Counter Service at Downtown Disney?-

jsdt inquired as to which Counter Service Dining Location at Downtown Disney was INTERCOTee's favorite.  Here’s a few of the recommendations INTERCOTees made:

"We like Earl of Sandwich. All the sandwiches we've tried have been really good and we really love Earl's Grey Lemonade."--Mickey 101

"Definitely Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck's...both amazing with tons of choices! You won't get bored and it's definitely not the same old counter service options. The wraps at Earl are incredible! I highly recommend those. The salads and pizzas and creme brulee at Pucks are delicious!"--TexasPrincessAurora

"Wolfgang Puck's Express can not be beat! We went there twice. The post roast is to die for, and the lasagna is awesome too. The girls had Mac n cheese, and the key lime pie is so good. The portions are huge so be prepared!"--Lucyrella

"Cooks of Dublin. Had a chicken pie and it was great. It came with chips and fried dough bar."--Crow

Thanks to our topic starters for asking such great questions, and thanks to all of those who responded for sharing their insight and experiences.

<< Re-Haunting the Haunted Mansion >>

The Haunted Mansion, in the Magic Kingdom park, has continued to offer Guests both hot and cold running chills since its opening over three and a half decades ago. In Mid-September 2007, the attraction re-opened from a multi-month refurbishment that added to the overall magic, as well as; staying frightfully faithful to the original vision.

The following are the changes as a result of the refurbishment based on reports by  Guests who have experienced it. Details of the changes have been put in white, highlight the area to read them. Note that the details may contain mild spoilers, do not highlight if you wish to be completely surprised.

  • General cosmetic refurbishment of the Mansion Facade
  • Replacement of Queue Canopy
  • Show & Operational Refurbishment of the Stretching Room.
    • New Position Based Sound Effects (ie the origin of the sound changes position)
    • New Creaking Sound Effect as the room stretches
    • New Sound Effect of Bats Flying During the Darkness
  • Show and Cosmetic Refurbishment of the Loading Area
    • "Moving Eye Portraits" moved from Portrait Gallery show scene to Loading Area
    • General Cosmetic Changes including new carpeting and refreshing of the area's "creepy" touches.
  • Operational and Maintenance Refurbishment of the Doombuggies
    • Maintenance Refurbishment of the Doombuggy Mechanical Systems
    • Operational Refurbishment of the Doombuggy On-Vehicle Audio System
  • Show Refurbishment to Portrait Gallery Scene
    • New Stormy Window Effect Added with Flashes of Lightning
    • "Moving Eye" Portraits replaced with "Transforming Portraits" (in the Style of Disneyland's Hallway to Limbo pre-show area). The Portraits transform in-sync with the Lighting Flash effect.
  • Show Refurbishment of the Séance Scene ...
    • ... in the Style of Disneyland's Current Séance Scene, featuring the Floating Leota Ball Effect.
  • Giant Spider Scene Removed and Two New Show Scenes Added
    • New Stairway Scene added reminiscent of MC Escher's Lithograph "Relativity" featuring candelabras and ghostly green footsteps.
    • New Dark Corridor Scene featuring wallpaper of blinking, white eyes peering at the passing doombuggies.
  • Show Refurbishment of the Attic Scene ...
    • ... in the Style of Disneyland's Current Attic Scene, featuring the Constance "axe-wielding" bride show piece and the "groom portrait" show pieces in place of the pop-up ghosts
  • Show and Cosmetic Refurbishment of the Graveyard Scene
    • "Pop-Up Ghouls" have been drastically reduced in number
    • Cosmetic Refreshing to the whole scene
  • Enhancement of Little Leota Show Piece

<< Quicksilver Tours & Transportation >>

A hearty welcome and thank you to the 'COTs newest sponsor - Quicksilver Tours and Transportation.  Quicksilver has been providing Orlando-area transportation for years and has a great reputation in the Central Florida market.  According to Quicksilver owner Gregory Nicolas, "Our drivers are the first personal contact you have when you arrive in Orlando.  With that in mind, they are selected not only based on their driving records, but also on friendliness, politeness, and familiarity with the area."

Good news for Disney World vacationers is that Quicksilver's service includes a complimentary 30 minute stop for groceries included with airport round-trip reservation.  What better way to stock up on snacks, water, soda and more!

Here's what folks are saying about Quicksilver...

"Just returned 7/23 from our trip to Disney. It was our first experience with Quicksilver and it was a very pleasant experience. We were greeted in Orlando by Judy and taken back to the airport by Ray. Both were extremely friendly and professional! We have used other transportation in the past and have not always had really friendly people. We would definitely recommend you and hope to use you again soon!" - Gina F., Philadelphia, PA

"Just want to let you know that we love your service. Douglas was our driver, and he was courteous and very professional. He is an asset to your business. If we ever find ourselves coming to Orlando again, we will definitely use
your service and we will recommend it to our friends and family. Thanks again." - The Benners from Canada

Quicksilver is offering a special, limited-time offer for Intercot's subscribers:

Book your transportation no later than November 30th, 2007, to receive $5.00 off every airport round-trip and $10.00 off all Land and Sea 3-way trips.  You must mention the INTERCOT Special when you make your reservation to take advantage of this offer!  Transportation must occur no later than January 31, 2008.

Call Quicksilver Toll-Free at 1-888-GO TO WDW (468-6939) to reserve transportation for you next trip or visit them at http://www.quicksilver-tours.com

<< INTERCOTee Top 5 ... Character Spots >>

The only think better than dressing as your favorite Disney character for Halloween is meeting them in person.  Guests can do just that at Character Meet & Greet spots scattered across all 4 theme parks of the Walt Disney World resort.  To help give you some good ideas of some not-to-be missed spots, the Insider has reviewed recent discussions and tabulated the INTERCOTee Top 5 Character Meet & Greet Spots.  

Coming in at number 5 … Camp Minnie-Mickey Greeting Trails

Nestled amongst the cedars of Animal Kingdom's Camp Minnie-Mickey, this community of huts has real character.  Here you can meet classic characters decked out in their Safari attire each at their own camp site. During seasonal times of the year the characters here get really festive, near Halloween all the characters don their favorite Halloween costumes and near Christmas this is the place to meet Santa Goofy and friends.

Coming in at number 4 … Epcot Character Spot

Tucked away in Innovetions West, this cluster of characters is a recent addition to Epcot's Future World.  Discover the wonders of Transportation, Space, Energy, Land, and Communication with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip & Dale, and Pluto as your guides.  This specially themed meet and greet location offers some rare photo-op's with your favorite classic character in front of a unique and specially themed backdrop.

Coming in at number 3 … Sorcerer Hat Plaza

The centerpiece of the Disney-MGM Studios is not void of character, in fact it has a whole slew of them.  At select times through-out the day whole groups of characters gather around the Sorcerer Hat to meet and mingle with Guests.  This spot is a great chance to meet some classic characters as well as some of those harder to find favorites.

Coming in at number 2 … Town Square

Main Street USA is the entryway to the Magic Kingdom and accordingly it often features a welcoming party of characters.  Intermittently through-out the morning and early afternoon, various characters appear in Town Square section (near the entrance of the park).  This spot is a great place to meet a cavalcade of not-so-common (but still popular) characters with a sprinkling of some of the character mainstays.

And coming in at number 1 … Toontown Hall of Fame / The Judge's Tent

These two adjacent spots in the Magic Kingdom's Towntown Fair are the best to mingle with royalty and hang with the Main Mouse.  The Toontown Hall of Fame offers three separately themed rooms to meet your favorite characters.  The Princess Room is the best place on Walt Disney World property to meet your favorite princesses.  Next door, the Judge's Tent features the main mouse himself--Mickey.  Throughout the day Mickey can be found here as a sure bet. Guests have the option of entering through the fun and whimsical interior of Mickey's Country House or proceeding directly to the Meet and Greet.

That's it for this countdown.  Hope its given you some good ideas of not-to-miss spots during you next Character Hunt.

<< This Month in Disney History with vizsla >>

Magical Disney Milestones for the Month of October:

1979 - The Magic Kingdom welcomed its 100-millionth Guest on October 29th.

1993 - On October 25th, The Farmers Market and Broccoli & Co. at The Land Pavilion in Epcot closed.  They would be replaced by Sunshine Season Food Fair and Green Thumb Emporium, respectively.

2001- On October 14th, Winnie the Pooh celebrated his 75th Birthday.

2003 - “The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter” attraction closed in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom on October 11th.

2006 - On October 1st, three new street shows debuted at the Magic Kingdom--Disney’s “High School Musical Pep Rally,” “Royal Court Academy,” and “Woody’s Cowboy Camp”.

<< Conclusion >>

That completes another fun and fact-filled edition of the Insider.  We'll be back soon with more great tips, tricks, suggestions and awesome info.  In the meantime have a Happy Halloween and keep on browsing around the site, you never know what new info you may find! See ya real soon!

<< Thank You To Our Sponsors! >>

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

All Star Vacation Homes
When you need a home away from home, look no further. From comfort to luxury, All Star Vacation Homes has it all in four series of homes to fit any taste and any budget just moments from the magic of Walt Disney World!
Website: http://www.allstarvacationhomes.com?ovchn=OTHER&ovcpn=Listing+Sites&ovcrn=intercot&ovtac=AD

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

Mandara Spa at the Walt Disney World Dolphin
The Mandara Spa at the Walt Disney World Dolphin blends the lovely resort architecture with its signature Balinese style to provide a fresh and original setting where you may indulge in world class pampering and beauty services.
Website: http://www.swandolphin.com/activities/spa.html

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.
Website: http://www.officialticketcenter.com/default.aspx?affid=TC21LBC

Quicksilver Tours & Transportation
Our drivers are the first personal contact you have when you arrive in Orlando. With that in mind, they are selected not only based on their driving records, but also on friendliness, politeness, and familiarity with the area.  No other transportation company goes to the lengths we do to ensure that your trip is exactly how you imagined it.
Website: http://www.quicksilver-tours.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.
Website: http://orlando.guestselectresorts.com?pid=INTERCOTN

Stan Kelley Photography
Ever wish you could be in the picture? Stan Kelley Photography takes quality family portraits of your Orlando dream vacation that you'll treasure forever.
Website: http://www.flmemories.com/

The Timeshare Store
The #1 Disney Vacation Club Reseller in the World.  See how easy and affordable it is to purchase your very own piece of the MAGIC!
Website: http://www.dvc-resales.com/

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