||PassPorter's Walt Disney World 2008 Update Description||7||Stuck-at-home Walt Disney World fans can now stroll the streets of the "World" in 3D thanks to Google Earth. You must download and install the free Google Earth software, but once you have it, you can also explore the wider world and a good part of the cosmos as well (it can be pretty addictive). You can obtain the software and learn more about Walt Disney World in 3D from Professor Ludwig Von Drake at the Walt Disney World web site. (If you already have Google Earth, you have to upgrade the software to version 4.3 to use this new feature.)| - 2008-06-20 14:07:29 [update] |10||Disney Dining Experience Update: Effective January 1, 2008, guests using the Disney Dining Experience discount program when dining at Walt Disney World table service restaurants and lounges will be assessed an 18 percent gratuity on top of their original bill total, regardless of the number in their party. Gratuity will not be added to any counter service, food cart, or quick service locations. Previously only parties of eight or more guests had the gratuity automatically added to their bill. Also, guests can now pick up their permanent membership cards at Guest Relations desks located in the theme parks and Downtown Disney. | - 2007-11-13 00:48:31 [update] |19||US Airways is now a participating airline with Disney's Magical Express. The participating airlines are AirTran, Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, JetBlue. Northwest, United, and US Airways. |Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-13 23:32:54 [update] |19||American Airlines decision to begin charging a fee for each checked bag has created some issues with Disney's Magical Express (DME) airline resort check-in. Right now DME is a free service and not equipped to handle financial transactions. Disney is working on a solution but in the meantime, guests checking a bag for American need to call DME's baggage-handling supplier, Bags Inc., to make payment arrangements. Bags, Inc. can be reached at 407-285-1231 between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm (Eastern time.)
| - 2008-06-20 14:08:59 [update] |28||The toll-free Walt Disney Travel Company phone number listed in the Walt Disney World guidebook stopped working in late 2007. In fact, all known toll-free numbers for Disney Travel have been deactivated. Instead use 407-WDW-MAGIC, 407-828-8101, or 407-939-7806 to reach the Walt Disney Travel Company.|Jennifer Marx - 2008-01-18 15:41:20 [update] |30||[Reader Report] The 2008 Deluxe Dining package brochure, as available on Feb 10 2008, lists Tokyo Dining and Big River Grille as Deluxe Dining Plan locations. The Deluxe plan also includes an appetizer for each meal.|Donald - 2008-02-14 07:13:34 [update] |34||Refillable mugs at Walt Disney World Resorts now cost $12.49 plus tax.| - 2007-11-10 20:33:25 [update] |51||The Wave, located in the space formerly occupied by the Food 'n' Fun Center at the Contemporary Resort, opened its doors on June 7, 2008 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.| - 2008-06-20 14:12:00 [update] |56||Rix Lounge, at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, is open for business. A 300-seat lounge that will feature music, appetizers, and specialty drinks, Rix is the first lounge of it's kind to be located outside of Downtown Disney / Pleasure Island. Rix was created to give the conventioneers that Coronado Springs attracts a nightlife option within the resort. | - 2008-01-01 13:07:07 [update] |59||Wanna play Robin Hood? Fort Wilderness now offers an archery range where an instructor will give would-be archers 90 minutes of training and practice. The cost is $25 and includes equipment usage. Book in advance by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
| - 2008-11-12 11:47:01 [update] |59||Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground now offers a new category of camp site: Premium. The site can accommodate larger RVs and offers larger concrete pads, upgraded picnic tables and grills, and preferred locations. Theses sites are priced from $66 to $111 per night depending on season and include water, sewer, and electrical hook-up. High-speed Internet access is available for an additional fee.| - 2008-06-20 14:39:35 [update] |61||[Reader Report] The petting zoo is no longer located at Fort Wilderness Resort. When I visited in December 2007, a cast member at the stables told me that the petting zoo animals have all been permanently moved to Disney's Animal Kingdom's Affection Section in Rafiki's Planet Watch. |Diahan K - 2008-01-08 14:19:52 [update] |85||The Treehouses are back! The Treehouse Villas near Downtown Disney are going to become part of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort according to MousePlanet.com. Plans filed by Disney indicate that the existing Treehouses will be torn down and replaced with new units. The Villas have been used as housing for College Program cast members but were vacated at the end of 2007.| - 2008-02-22 19:26:48 [update] |102||Disney Vacation Club members staying at DVC resorts on points will get free Internet access in 2008. Members will also have access to Member Services on Saturday and Sundays, World Passport Collection will allow exchanges of less than seven days with fewer points, and members can purchase Magic Your Way passes via Member Services. Note: Exact start date of the free Internet access has not been announced, but some members have been told spring 2008.|Jennifer Marx - 2008-01-01 13:01:42 [update] |115||The cost of ECV and stroller rentals at Walt Disney World has increased. An ECV is now $45 per day. A single stroller is now $15 per day, $13 per day for a multi-day "Length of Stay" rental. (An increase of 50% over the previous price.) A double stroller is now $31 per day, $27 per day for a "Length of Stay" rental (an increase of 72%!).| - 2008-06-20 14:38:29 [update] |143||A new attraction opening this fall at Innoventions in Epcot will allow guests to experience a simulation of Hurricane Charley, one of the strongest storms to ever hit the continental United States. StormStruck: The Tale of Two Homes, will allow guests to experience the leading edge of the storm in a virtual "safe" house then give them a chance to make improvements to the house during the "eye" of the storm and see how it holds up when the second half of the storm comes. The attraction is part of a partnership with the non-profit organization, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. | - 2008-06-20 14:13:24 [update] |151||Disney's Hollywood Studios new logo has been revealed. Mickey holding the clapboard is still featured inside of black lettering with gold trim. To see the logo, check out the Behind the Scenes forum on the PassPorter message boards.|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-10 19:26:47 [update] |151||Plans to open a new attraction based on the ultra-popular TV show American Idol by "late 2008" were revealed on February 7, 2008. The show, held six to eight times daily, will allow superstar wannabes to audition for a Disney producer, and if they make the cut they'll get vocal coaching, hair styling and makeup before performing in front of a live theme park audience. The winners of each day's shows will compete at the end of the day for a "guaranteed reservation" for a spot in the regional stadium auditions for the real TV show. While the press release was silent on the location of the show, illustrations reveal it'll be in the ABC Theatre, the long-unused space next to the park's hub, formerly home to Doug Live. For more information, check out the official press release at http://www.wdwnews.com/ViewPressRelease.aspx?PressReleaseID=109130| - 2008-02-12 18:28:10 [update] |153||The week of November 18, 2007 marks the start of Playhouse Disney character Handy Manny's appearance at Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios). Handy Manny is now available for character greetings with guests on a regular basis in the Animation Courtyard next to "Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!" Handy Manny also appears in the updated "Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage" show which opened in early February 2008. The official Disney announcement is located at http://www.wdwnews.com/ViewImage.aspx?ImageID=108171|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-18 11:31:11 [update] |158||Toy Story Mania officially opened on May 31, 2008 at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Learn more about this great new ride at http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/disneyparks/en_US/minisites/toystorymania/index| - 2008-06-20 14:15:51 [update] |158||"Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian" at Disney's Hollywood Studios opened on Friday, May 9, 2008. The walk-through attraction will feature a meet & greet with "Prince Caspian" (the theme park version, not the actor who portrays him in the movie), a reproduction of one of the sets from the movie and various actual props and costumes. | - 2008-06-20 14:16:56 [update] |165||Straws are now available for drinks at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The new straws are actually made of wax-lined paper which will break down in an animal's digestive tract if swallowed. Previously straws were not available at the park because of the danger posed to the animals if they swallowed a plastic straw.|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-13 23:27:09 [update] |181||Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Downtown Disney is now offering a "Secret Star" makeover for girls age 8-14. Guests can now look like Hannah Montana with a package that includes wig, t-shirt, headset, make-up kit, guitar purse, and photo shoot with commemorative photo keepsake. The package will cost $109.95 plus tax. | - 2008-02-22 17:11:15 [update] |182||Effective October 2, 2007, ticket prices for Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba at Downtown Disney's West Side have increased. The new prices are:
Front and Center: Adult (Ages 10+) $121.41; Child (Ages 3-9) $96.92
Category 1: Adult (Ages 10+) $105.44; Child (Ages 3-9) $84.14
Category 2: Adult (Ages 10+) $86.27; Child (Ages 3-9) $69.23
Category 3: Adult (Ages 10+) $69.23; Child (Ages 3-9) $55.38|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-13 23:37:53 [update] |191||The new "Year of a Million Dreams" prizes for 2008 have been announced. The new prizes include:
- A chance for guests to spend the night inside Disneyland in Walt's Dream Suite. Using architectural renderings that Walt Disney himself commissioned for an in-park, family retreat that was never completed, Disneyland Resort is creating a lavish new guest suite in the park's New Orleans Square. Beginning Jan. 31, 2008 -- and continuing most nights throughout the year - a different winner will be chosen through a random process to bring up to five guests to live Walt's dream and spend that night in the Disneyland Dream Suite inside Disneyland Park.
- A private day at Disney's tropical island paradise, Castaway Cay.
- A New Year's Eve night stay inside Cinderella Castle Suite at Walt Disney World Resort.
- A trip to the "High School Musical 3" film premiere for two winners and up to three guests each. One prize includes a VIP vacation to Disneyland Resort in California and the other features a VIP vacation to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida where the music and excitement of "High School Musical" comes to life in high-energy shows.
- Become Disney's Grand Marshal Around the Globe. One winner and up to three guests will be sent on a 15-day whirlwind tour of four Disney destinations: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Resort Paris. At each stop on the magical journey, the winner will serve as Honorary Grand Marshal of Disney's daily parade.|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-13 23:46:50 [update] |194||The stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex will now be known as Champion Stadium (Champion is a division of Hanesbrands Inc.), thanks to a 10-year deal between The Walt Disney Company and Hanesbrands Inc.|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-10 17:43:16 [update] |194||Sea Raycer rental has increased to $25 per half hour.| - 2007-11-13 01:13:19 [update] |194||A new 100-lane bowling alley will open at Disney's Wide World of Sports in 2010. The location will be host to seven USBC (United States Bowling Congress) U.S. Opens and six Women's Championships between 2011 and 2029. | - 2008-06-20 14:00:23 [update] |201||Advanced Dining Reservations are now available through March 22, 2009 by calling 407-WDW-DINE. | - 2008-11-12 12:04:42 [update] |201||[Reader Report] Many of the buffets in Walt Disney World have higher prices around the holidays. Prices are usually a few dollars higher than usual. Restaurants included are Boma, Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, Tusker House, and others. |Chloe - 2007-12-22 08:50:36 [update] |206||As of January 4, 2009, the Liberty Tree Tavern at the Magic Kingdom no longer offers character dining.|Christine T. - 2009-01-21 13:45:22 [update] |220||Restaurantosaurus in Disney's Animal Kingdom is no longer serving McDonald's Chicken McNuggets and French fries. They have switched to the Disney standard nuggets and fries. There have also been additions to the children's and dessert menus.| - 2008-06-20 14:20:06 [update] |221||Yak & Yeti, the new Asian-themed restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom opened on November 14, 2007 on a walk-up basis only. Advanced Dining Reservations can be made starting on December 3, 2007 for meals January 4, 2008 and later. |Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-13 23:25:21 [update] |223||T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, the new restaurant opening in 2008 in Downtown Disney, began construction in October 2007. The construction site straddles the area between Pleasure Island and McDonalds and extends into the parking lot in front of Pleasure Island.| - 2007-11-10 20:32:05 [update] |225||The Cheesecake Factory Express located inside DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney closed in May 2008 when its lease expired. The eatery was replaced with FoodQuest, a counter-service location owned and operated by Disney.| - 2008-06-20 14:30:24 [update] |230||The AAA five-diamond Victoria & Albert's restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort no longer allows diners under the age of 10. While this is a new policy, Victoria & Albert's has never had a kids menu or other accommodations for children. At this time, this is the only restaurant on Disney property with an age restriction.|Jennifer Marx - 2008-01-05 11:16:55 [update] |233||As of January 1, 2008, the Yacht Club Galley eatery at the Yacht Club Resort has a new name: Captain's Grille.|Jennifer Marx - 2008-01-01 19:48:33 [update] |245||The Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway Tour is now a permanent offering at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The cost has increased to $85 per person. 15% discounts are available to annual passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, and Disney Visa cardholders.|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-13 23:41:29 [update] |258||The 2008 Night of Joy concerts is moving from Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom to Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly the Disney-MGM Studios). Scheduled for September 5 and 6, 2008, acts already scheduled to perform include Mercy Me, tobyMac, Chris Tomlin, and Rush of Fools.|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-13 23:35:51 [update] |258||The dates for the 2008 Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios have been announced. The Star Wars-themed events will take place June 6-8, June 13-15, June 20-22, and June 27-29. No celebrity attendees have been announced yet. | - 2008-02-22 19:27:48 [update] |261||Disney in Hawaii: A New Disney Resort in Hawaii has been announced by Disney Parks and Resorts. To be located at the Ko Olina Resort and Marina west of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The new, 21-acre facility will offer a total of 800 hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas, and is set to open in 2011. Ko Olina is a beachfront resort development currently offering vacation homes, hotel acommodations, golf, and other recreation. Marriott operates a conventional hotel and a timeshare resort on the property.
|Jennifer Marx - 2007-11-13 23:43:14 [update]