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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > May 2008 - Edition Two


May 2008 - Edition Two

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<< Introduction >>

Schools almost out, pools are opening up, and "grill-out" is becoming synonymous with dinner--yep, summertime is here.  Down at the Walt Disney World resort summertime kicks-off with a force--the Force that is.  Star Wars Weekends are returning again this year to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and this Ewok and Jedi clad edition of the Insider will let you in on the tips, tricks, and highlights of this annual event.   Also in this edition we cover the latest dollar saving deals, catch-up on the hot topics around the boards, learn about a great summer deal, countdown top favorite activities outside of the theme parks and recap magical Disney milestones for the month of May.  It's Insider Time!

<<Disney Deals>>   

A Passholder Treat


Disneyland Annual Passholders can take advantage of a special opportunity to purchase advance tickets to Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party on select dates in October 2008.  Passholders can purchase tickets for $25, a $4 dollar savings per ticket, for the parties scheduled on October 3, 16, 22, 23, 28, 29.


>> Details

<<INTERCOT Hot Topics >>

With full steam ahead for Summer Vacation planning, the boards trucking into the Summer Season with great advice and helpful tips.  Let’s take a look  at the Hot Topics for April & May 2008!

--Tom Sawyer Island?--

Mackflava99 asked  INTERCOTees for information on the sometimes overlooked Magic Kingdom attraction, Tom Sawyer Island.  Here's some of the tips and information that was shared.

"My kids and I had a blast this past April when we went. They loved the fort and the mines. Be sure to take the first raft over and try to find a paintbrush! Its a fast pass to either Splash Mountain or Thunder mountain."-ltam16

"I went over there about 3 weeks ago. Hadn't been since I was a kid, we checked out the fort, but the mines well were a little too dark and we didn't venture in too far. Plus the person I was with is 6'3" and it might have been a little tight for him."-MauiMouse

"We went there first thing one morning about 6 years ago and my wife found a paintbrush. We got a choice of four passes to Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain. Better than fastpasses, we got to go in the exit straight to the ride. Absolutely no lines at all."-Von-Drake

" It does close at dusk and when they close off that rope they won't let anyone through. We were walking up just as they pulled it across and no way would they let us in line, even though the last raft over was no-where near full."-Flower

--Deluxe vs Moderate Resort?--

Giselle wanted to know if other INTERCOTees thought the savings between the moderate and deluxe resort categories outweighed the difference in amenities between the two types of resorts.  Here's some of the opinions that INTERCOTees shared.

"We stayed at Port Orleans-French Quarter in Nov.-Dec. My husband had a conference and Port Orleans-French Quarter's room rate was comparable for work reimbursement. We have stayed at monorail resorts for the past eight years. While Port Orleans-French Quarter was beautiful, it just wasn't the same for us. We spend a fair amount of time at our resort and enjoy dining and shopping there.  After this, we decided that we would try Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge when we want to spend a little less on future visits."-Aggie97

"I've never considered it worth the extra grand to move up from a moderate to a deluxe. The moderate resorts are very nice and well themed. The rooms are a little smaller and grounds are larger. Still, I can't see myself spending an exorbitant amount of cash to walk 100 less yards to my room that is 30 square feet bigger. Just think of all the souvenirs you could buy with the extra money."-Gator

"The reasons for going from moderate to deluxe are more than being on the monorail line. It's glasses instead of paper cups, a closet instead of a clothes rod, inside room entry, a lobby, room service, concierge floors, multiple full service restaurants, a front desk, queen beds, valet parking, Art (the guy), a thermostat, things like that. Deluxe is about the little things."-Natazu

--The New Tusker House?--

mouseaddict want to know what other INTERCOTees thought of the new character meal at the Tusker House restaurant inside the Animal Kingdom park.  Here's some of the reviews that were shared.

"We did this for breakfast on our last trip and the buffet was one of the better ones that we ate at. Each type of food has a different section, which helps keeping the area clean, and the food fresh and full."-DDuck66

"The character interaction was great, but the food was way too salty."-Magic Smiles

"The food was good and the characters where great! The server was also very entertaining. He went out of his way to make all the kids feel good"-Fryguy

"The food was good...hot, fresh and tons of choices. The character interaction was also much improved. We greatly enjoyed our meal."-ibelieveindisneymagic

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

<<May the Fun Be With You>>

Star Wars Weekends blast-off at Disney's Hollywood Studios June 6, 2008.  Here's a preview of the galaxy of fun this event will be brining this year during 4 consecutive weekends.

~ The Characters will be with You
Take a galaxy of pictures of all your favorite Star Wars™ characters and celebrities each weekend during the month-long event.

~Legends of the Force: A Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade
Our visiting celebrities, along with the most beloved Star Wars characters celebrate the entire Star Wars saga with a grand motorcade. Following the motorcade, welcome our Star Wars celebrities and capture a one-of-a-kind photo moment featuring all of the Star Wars characters and our two celebrities.

~Behind the Force: The Saga Continues
A behind-the-scenes look documenting George Lucas and his creative team as they painstakingly produce all the spectacular movie magic.

~The Padawan Mind Challenge
Use your Star Wars knowledge to pass the trials and become an official Padawan learner. 

~Star Wars Weekends Hyperspace Hoopla
Join your favorite Star Wars characters at the Star Tour's event stage as they participate in all the fun and intergalactic antics of the day's closing event.

~ Star Wars Merchandise 
Star Wars Weekends merchandise, including Disney Trading Pins and collectibles specially designed just for Star Wars Weekends 2008.

In addition to these special events, Star Wars fans will be sure to want to check out the daily attractions of Star Tours and the Jedi Training Academy to put the intergalactic icing on their cosmic cake.  The special events run Friday, Saturday and Sunday till June 29, 2008.  Access to events is included in the price of admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios park.

<<A Cool Summer Deal>>   

With The Radisson Celebration Resort

The Radisson Resort Celebration has a great deal going on for rooms booked from now until August 30, 2008.  Rates start as low as $69 and if you book by June 15, you'll receive a free Disney gift upon check-in of a Yeti backpack or Disney Pin.  The hotel is conveniently located just 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World with free shuttle service & roomy guest accommodations.

>>  Reserve Your Room Today

<< INTERCOTee Top 5 - Activities Outside of the Parks >>


When one things of Walt Disney World, one usually thinks instantly of its four great theme parks. Beleive it or not, there's a whole "world" at Disney World outside the parks.  Want to avoid crowds, take a break from rushing from attraction to attraction, spend a leisurely day with out the cost of a theme park ticket? -- all of this is possible as an interlude between days at the parks.     To help give you some ideas of ways to spend time outside the parks,  the Insider has reviewed recent discussions and has compiled the INTERCOTee Top 5 Favorite Walt Disney World Activities Outside of the Theme Parks.

Coming in at number 5 … Exploring Fort Wilderness. 
You may think of it as just a campground or a place where a bunch of cabins are, but it has many surprises to offer. Between eating lunch at Trail's End, catching the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review, having fun at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, visiting the petting zoo, or just sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of Crockett's Tavern you could quickly start to fill up a day of memorable activities.

Coming in at number 4 … Miniature Golf
The big links at Walt Disney World get a lot of talk, but don’t count out the little guys, there’s some big fun to be had on these mini-links. Walt Disney World offers 72 holes of miniature golfing goodness spread between two distinctly themed complexes. Fantasia Gardens offers a whimsical “gardens” course celebrating the classic Fantasia and a “fairways” course inspired by the big links that serves as a challenge to even the most expert putters. At Disney's Winter Summerland choose between the “winter” course themed after snowy winter fun or the “summer” course themed after all sorts of fun in the summer sun. Walt Disney World miniature golf features some of the neatest holes and best themed courses you will find anywhere in the world, so grab a putter and have your self a (golf) ball of a time.

Coming in at number 3 … Strolling the Boardwalk
When you think of the Boardwalk, you probably think of the Boardwalk Inn, Spoodles, or the ESPN Zone; but, have you ever considered just strolling around this staple of an era gone by? The atmosphere itself is electric at night and it can be exciting just to stroll along the Boardwalk. Spread along the boardwalk are also a number of stands and counters offering delicious treats to accompany your stroll like ice cream, taffy, and churros just to name a few. If strolling isn’t your thing, you can always travel in style by renting a surrey bike. The great atmosphere and multitude of activities of the Boardwalk makes just touring it an attraction in itself.

Coming in at number 2 … Riding the Monorail
You see it whizzing overhead as you go about the property and you may ride it to get to the Magic Kingdome or Epcot, but have you ever thought to ride it just for ride sake ? Believe it or not a nice activity to do during off times is to simply ride around on the monorail, riding it to enjoy the scenery is much more relaxing than taking it to get to a park. To take a scenic ride, make sure you get a nice window seat or even try to get up front and ride with the conductor. Take your time relax and soak in all the awesome views you can get from riding the monorail line. So take off an afternoon, relax and enjoy a ride on Walt Disney World’s high-speed monorail.

And coming in at number 1 … Enjoying Downtown Disney
Okay, so you’ve probably whisked in and out of The World of Disney store grabbing some souvenirs, but this store is almost an attraction in itself. Rather than going in and looking for that must have, take some time out and really explore this place, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at some of the neat touches you can find in all corners of the “world”. World of Disney isn’t the only store worth a exploring; both Once Upon a Toy and The LEGO Imagination Center are worth a wander as well. Even if shops just aren’t your thing, you can always just stroll through “downtown”. Between the Marketplace and the West Side, Downtown Disney offers a leisurely walk past fountains, landscaping and some nice resting spots along the way.  So next time you think of Downtown Disney, don’t think of it as just a place to shop, think of it as a Mousetropolis of enjoyment.

That’s it for the countdown, hope it’s given you some ideas for big time fun beyond the berms of Walt Disney World's theme parks.

<< This Month in Disney History with vizsla  >>

Magical Disney Milestones for the month of May:

1960 – On May 28th, Disneyland’s “Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland” attraction opened in Frontierland.


1966 – “It’s a Small World” attraction, sponsored by Bank of America, opened in Disneyland’s Fantasyland on May 28th. 


1986 – On May 26th, Epcot’s Spaceship Earth” reopened with a new narration by legendary newsman Walter Cronkite and a new finale song.


1992 – Frontierland’s Rivers of America blazed with fireworks, lasers, and water mist screens as a shape-shifting Maleficent took over Tom Sawyer Island as Fantasmic! premieres at Disneyland on May 13th.

1996 - Fulton’s Crab House opened at Pleasure Island in Walt Disney World on May 10th.

<< Conclusion >>

If this edition hasn't gotten you excited about a Disney Summer vacation, sit tight.  As the Summer continues to heat up your neck of the woods, the Insider will continue to turn-up even more great tips to make the best out of a summer vacation to Disneyland or the Walt Disney World resorts.  We'll be back in a little bit with out monthly columns and even more great tips and info.  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
Website: Vacation Home Details Here
Choose from the finest selection of vacation homes and condos in the closest locations to Walt Disney World.

Gaylord Palms Resort
Website: Resort Details Here
Imagine a resort experience that brings to life the best of the Sunshine State. All of the spirit. All of the excitement. All of the adventure. From the history and old-world charm of St. Augustine to the colorful and festive island spirit of Key West, to the mysterious waters and cypress of the Everglades - The Gaylord Palms has it all!

The Official Ticket Center
Website: Buy & Price Tickets Now!
The Official Ticket Center is Walt Disney World’s, Universal Studios and Sea World’s #1 guest service provider for the last 3 years. The Official Ticket Center sells tickets only, at a discount price.

Magical Journeys
Website: http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com
INTERCOT's Official Travel Agency.  An unconventional Travel Agency for the unconventional client, Magical Journeys is dedicated to finding the best pricing for your next magical journey. We work hard to save you money, and still give you the quality service you deserve.

Mandara Spa - WDW Swan & Dolphin
Website: http://www.mandaraspa.com
The spectacular Mandara Spa creates an unforgettable guest experience within a magical setting surrounded by the paradise that is the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

Quicksilver Tours & Transportation
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Our drivers are the first personal contact you have when you arrive in Orlando.  No other transportation company goes to the lengths we do to ensure that your trip is exactly how you imagined it. At Quicksilver, we truly believe there's no such thing as going "above and beyond" for our clients. Instead, it's all part of doing our jobs correctly.

Radisson Resort Orlando - Celebration
Website: R
esort Details Here
Conveniently located just 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World with free shuttle service. roomy guest accommodations and a Starbucks and Pizza Hut right on property!

Stan Kelley Photography
Website: http://www.flmemories.com
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. He will meet you at your resort hotel (or wherever) for relaxed and fun photos. Visit Stan's website now to reserve a portrait time slot or see some of his work.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Website: http://www.swandolphin.com
In the heart of the Walt Disney World® Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is your gateway to Central Florida’s greatest theme parks and attractions. Come discover our 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds®, the luxurious Mandara Spa, and many special Disney benefits.

The Timeshare Store
Website: http://www.dvc-resales.com
This Disney Vacation Club resale site offers the largest selection of DVC Resale's anywhere!  They are the number one Disney Vacation Club Reseller in the world. See how easy and affordable it is to purchase your very own piece of the "MAGIC".

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