May 2008 - Edition Two
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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
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.
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
"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.
the Fun Be With You>>
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
~ 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.
With The Radisson Celebration Resort
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
INTERCOTee Top 5 - Activities Outside of the Parks >>
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.
Month in Disney History with vizsla >>
Magical Disney Milestones for the month of
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.
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.
Fulton’s Crab House opened at Pleasure Island in Walt Disney World on May 10th.
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.
be back in a little bit with out monthly columns and even more great tips and
info. See ya real soon!
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