Archive for November, 2007

UPDATED: Dining Changes

by on November 11, 2007

For starters, the Disney Dining Experience cards will be issued and printed at all theme park and Downtown Disney guest relations locations starting November 11, 2007. You no longer have to wait 4-6 weeks to receive a card.

The main course though, and of prime interest to most, is the new policy regarding tips/gratuity for DDE members at table service restaurants. Starting January 1, 2008, all DDE orders will have an automatic 18% gratuity added to the bill at table service locations. This applies to DDE member orders only. We had previously stated it applied to all orders from all parties, but have received clear confirmation that it applies to DDE only.

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Giant Ears are up!

by on November 10, 2007

The new store in the main concourse of the Contemporary resort is nearing completion. The large mouse ears have been installed and final work is being completed.

Those with a keen eye will notice that the elevator at the monorail station has been painted beige.

The whimsically styled shop has the mouse ears at both ends of the concourse, allowing guests to flow in from either end.

Fans of this update page will note that there’s no reason to enter both sides of the store on the 4th floor concourse unless Disney is building a 15 story DVC resort which will connected by an elevated foot bridge. Until then, the ears will seem to randomly face nothingness outside of the giant atrium windows.

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So this is Christmas..

by on November 10, 2007

We’re almost there! Starting Monday the Christmas music will begin playing in the parks and many parades and festivities will commence. Around the parks, things are looking as festive as can be. Over at MGM…

The tree is up and sparkling, the garland is hung with care, and many mini-trees are mounted on the lamp posts as seen below.

Epcot is finishing the work on the Lights of Winter, but the tree is up and already lit.

Though Epcot officially begin the holiday season after Thanksgiving, many elements are already in place, including the stunning tree with its topper.

Across the World Showcase lagoon the American Adventure tree is assembled while other countries work to break down their Food and Wine displays in order to install their Holidays Around the World stages.

We’ll bring you updates from Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom in the next few weeks.

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Lest we forget…

by on November 10, 2007

With all the hoopla over Christmas decorations and festivities lately, it would seem that we and Disney were guilty of completely forgetting Thanksgiving.

The truth is that Thanksgiving is downplayed at WDW, but there is special merchandise and many restaurants offer special menu items if you happen to be at the World. Besides, where else would you want to be to start your holiday shopping? A reminder: You’ll definitely need a reservation from 407-WDW-DINE as it tends to be pretty busy for that weekend.

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Cinderella’s Holiday Wish

by on November 10, 2007

The new nighttime castle-lighting ceremony at the Magic Kingdom will occur nightly beginning Monday (Nov 12) and running through the holiday season. The show is called Cinderella’s Holiday Wish.

The show will feature Disney characters on the castle stage as they ask guests to join them in bringing the shimmering lights of the castle to life. The show will occur at 5:45pm every night.

This show is not exclusive to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, rather it will occur every night of the holiday season. On the nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party the show will occur at 5:45pm, followed by a 6pm showing of Wishes fireworks, and the park closing to day guests at 7pm as the party begins. Guests with party tickets who want to see the show can begin entering the park before the advertised beginning of the party (7pm) as early as 4pm. A party ticket will be valid for park entry from 4pm until the end of the party – to reinterate, a regular park ticket is not needed to see the show or enter the park after 4pm, as a party ticket will suffice.

On regular park days (those without the Christmas party) the show will also occur at 5:45pm, with a showing of Dream Along with Mickey on the castle stage (which should be stunning with the lighted backdrop) at 6:40pm. Wishes will occur at varying times on those nights.

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Boardwalk Inn under tarps

by on November 8, 2007

Disney is repairing the facade of the Boardwalk Inn resort in a fairly extensive refurbishment project.


The tarps and walls should slowly make their way across the entire waterfront of the resort. Time to completion is unknown.

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Fences finally come to Epcot

by on November 8, 2007

If you follow our updates, you may recall that Disney filed permits a while back for railing/fences at Epcot’s main entrance.


The work is finally being done and the metal fences are being installed. They should replace all of the temporary expandable stantions which currently keep Epcot secure.


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Straws

by on November 8, 2007

The Animal Kingdom park now has straws for beverages.


The new straws are paper tubes with a waxy finish on the inside. Perfect for short-term sipping and they’re animal friendly.

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Is it ready Yeti?

by on November 8, 2007

The Yak and Yeti restaurant at Animal Kingdom opens Wednesday, November 14th, 2007. The restaurant will operate on a walk-up no-reservation basis through January 4th, 2008.


Starting on December 3rd, reservations can be made for Janaury 4th, 2008, and beyond. Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Lunch will be served from 10am to 3:45pm, with Dinner beginning at 4pm, with closing varying with the park hours.


In the meantime, workers are putting the final touches of paint on the building. The main entrance and dining room will be through the purplish building next to Flights of Wonder. Menu options include: Steamed Mussels, Egg Rolls, Chicken Fried Rice, Pot Stickers, Crispy Honey Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork, Kong Pau Beef, Shrimp Lo Mein, Maple Tamarind Chicken, Mandarin Chicken Salad, Baby Back Ribs, Duck, and Cream Cheese Wontons with Grilled Pineapple.


A series of of walk-up counter service locations will be grouped together with a large exterior seating courtyard on the other side of the building near Kali River Rapids.


Somewhere in the building will be a retail space. We’re not certain where that will be yet.


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Hoopla! (Nov 9th-12th, 2007)

by on November 5, 2007

Just a quick reminder, this coming weekend should be pretty busy at Walt Disney World in general.

It is the final week of Epcot’s popular Food and Wine festival and the locals should turn out for a send off. Also, the Festival of Masters should bring plenty of art-seeking foot traffic to Downtown Disney. If that’s not enough special event action for your tastes, it’s also Super Soap Weekend at Disney MGM-Studios.

Monday morning – it’s Christmastime! The Hollywood Holly Day Parade and Jingle Jungle Parade begin running in Animal Kingdom and MGM, while the Spectacle of Dancing Lights gets lit up and the first Mickey’s Very Merry Chirstmas Party of the season rings in the holiday cheer at Magic Kingdom. Epcot, not to be left out, already has many of its Christmas decorations up (including the tree), but will begin the formal celebration later in the month after it takes down the Food and Wine festival remnants.

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