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Orlando Parkhopper

Special 4th of July Edition!!, SHAG (Artist Meet N Greet), Processional List!!

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 06-26-2011 at 08:35 PM






All of us at the Orlando Parkhopper are proud of our great nation and for those that fight for its freedom. In celebration of that freedom, we thought we'd showcase the two great attractions at Walt Disney World that really capture the patriotic spirit of our great nation.

Happy 4th of July from all of us here at the OPH, we hope your celebrated day of freedom is a safe and joyous occasion.

  • Feature of the Week: Special Edition!! Hall of Presidents & American Adventure!!
  • SHAG: A Disney artist meet and greet.
  • Fantasyland Construction photos.
  • Candlelight Processional celebrity list released.
  • Free Dining Package available again this year.
  • Special Event Reservations open for Epcot's Food and Wine Festival August 16th!
  • Photopass is back in the waterparks!
  • Archived video footage of the Magic Kingdom circa 1992!
  • Universal Studios raise the price of their one day tickets.
  • Busch Gardens Tampa: Edge of Africa




Al Weiss Announces Retirement
Al Weiss, the current President of Worldwide Operations for all of Disney Parks and Resorts and former head of the entire Walt Disney World Resort will retire after 39 years with the company on November 1st, 2011.

Free Dining Plan Again Available
For a limited time, get a free dining plan when you buy the new Walt Disney Travel Co. Memories Vacation Package for 5 nights/6 days at select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels for arrivals most nights between Aug. 28 and Sept. 24, 2011. This package includes room, theme park tickets and a 20-page Disney’s PhotoPass Photo Book to preserve and share your family memories.
This offer applies to vacations booked now through Aug. 27, 2011, on trips that take place Aug. 28-Sept. 24, 2011.

Disney's Magic Kingdom - Fireworks in the Sky Celebration
July 3rd : 9 p.m.
July 4th : 9 p.m.


FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
Hall of Presidents/American Adventure

"It's called a salute to all nations, but mostly America." While the quote is of course from Sam the Eagle in Muppetvision, it seems appropriate to begin our two Features of the Week, this week. While Disney has a way of tugging at our heartstrings in so many ways, The Hall of Presidents and the American Adventure strike a chord with our patriotism and love of the USA. No matter how many times you head to Space Mountain or Test Track for a thrill, there's still room to sit in awe in these immersive theater shows and be drawn into the story of the country. Are there flaws? Absolutely. But, I can't think of a theme park (or theme parks, in this case) that has tried to bring the American story to life in such a convincing way. While TDO has been hit or miss with its refurbs lately, one can agree that the Hall of Presidents, when it was redone to add President Obama, was one of the most successful refurbs yet. And the American Adventure continues to wow crowds since opening day at EPCOT. So, this week prior to July 4th, we share two of Disney's best Audio Animatronic theater shows; this is what Disney does best, and what better way to celebrate American independence than with Disney and these two great attractions.

American Adventure

Queue:










Attraction:




































Exit:


Hall of Presidents




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Attraction:





























Voices of Liberty singing "Golden Dream" (Video courtesy of Jeff Lange)


Voices of Liberty singing "Star Spangled Banner" with Mickey/Donald/Goofy (Video courtesy of Jeff Lange)

MAGIC KINGDOM:

MAIN STREET

SHAG MEET AND GREET
A meet and greet with artist Shag on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom.
By Nbodyhome/Jeff Lange

SHAG (Josh Agle) signed his artwork at the Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney this past weekend. He has a line of 40th anniversary merchandise that includes a lithograph, glasses, and postcards. SHAG has always been tremendously nice when we've met him, and I'm hoping he'll find a great following at Walt Disney World as he already has at Disneyland (and elsewhere).

We arrived an hour into the Magic Kingdom signing, since we figured the line would be shorter (it was). The Downtown Disney signing was a lot busier, since guests didn't have to pay admission to see him.

A queue was set up outside (we waited about 15 minutes when we arrived).




His artwork:


SHAG


His Tiki necklace.


Magic Kingdom pillow.


Merchandise.


And signing autographs at Downtown Disney, where there was always at least a 10-15 minute wait. (he has a different necklace on, which he bought at Disneyland a long time ago)


One of our autographs, on the tag of a shirt. I also had him sign a postcard from his tin for my sister, and he wrote a nice "Wish You Were Here" note on it.


I took some video that includes Streetmosphere.

Other observations.....


New awnings on the Main Street Confectionery.


And there are signs added.


Video

FANTASYLAND:

Fantasyland is different each time we visit!







Video.

TOMORROWLAND:


Jeff Lange's been searching his archives for video, this is of a model at the Magic Kingdom back in 1992 that shows the upcoming attractions, like Alien Encounter.

EPCOT


Reservations Open on August 16th for Food and Wine Festival Special Events
Set your alarm for 7 a.m. on Aug. 16, if you have a special event you want to be sure not to miss at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 30 - Nov. 13 at Walt Disney World Resort. That’s when reservations open for ticketed culinary and beverage programs during the 16th annual food, wine, beer and cocktail extravaganza.

Candlelight Processional Narrators announced for Walt Disney World:
The current schedule (subject to change without notice) is:
  • Nov 25 - 27: Mira Sorvino
  • Nov 28 - Dec 1: Michael W. Smith
  • Dec 2 - 3: Whoopi Goldberg
  • Nov 4 - 6: TBD Nov. 4-6
  • Dec 7 - 9: Isabella Rossellini
  • Dec 10 - 12: Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec 13 - 14: TBD
  • Dec 16 - 18: TBD
  • Dec 19 -21: Trace Adkins
  • Dec 22 - 24: Susan Lucci
  • Dec 25 - 27: Blair Underwood
  • Dec 28 - 30: Marlee Matlin


TYPHOON LAGOON/BLIZZARD BEACH

Photopass Back In the Waterparks
Photopass has now returned to both water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.



Downtown Disney's AMC movie theater received an upgrade earlier this year, converting 12 of its theaters into restaurants (more or less), with full menus and even alcoholic drinks. The seats are plush and comfy, and I just plain adore how much space you have. No one can kick your seat from behind. It costs $13 for the ticket, plus whatever food you buy. Sodas have free refills, though, which is nice, and the food is not only tasty, it's cheaper than most dinners in Downtown Disney by far (most dishes are $10-$13).



I've been to this experience four times now, and it so impressed me after the first visit that I did, after all, pay the money to join Stubs, their reward card program at AMC. I had resisted because I liked the free MovieWatcher program that preceded it -- I always had the attitude of "who would pay for a rewards card?" But I knew I'd be using this style of service again, and the $100 mark (when the card benefits start to outstrip its costs) was going to be easy to top. In the ensuing three visits, I've paid almost $200, so the card has more than paid for itself.



All of this is prologue, however, for my actual comment today, which is: After three great experiences, I've had a pretty dismal one. It was probably just our server, so I'm not giving up hope yet. But the experience is not the always-perfect evening I've enjoyed so far. We sat early in the theater, but were among the last to have our orders taken. Our drinks did not come for 30 minutes. Our food was then forgotten, and 30 minutes later a different server asked if we had everything. They then brought the appetizer, but no food, and 15 minutes later yet another server asked if we had it all. I grabbed scratch paper and wrote out our order again, from memory. Most (but not all) of the items arrived not long after, and when the check came, the missing item was still on the bill. Sigh.

Part of the problem was undoubtedly that our server was using paper and pencil, rather than the fancy electronic "order immediately" pads that talk to the kitchen wirelessly. I shall be extra vigilant about using the "call" button next time if I see paper and pencil - I avoided the button this time since I do not like to pester. Apparently they were out of the e-Pads, so now you know: if you have your order taken the old way, you may want to start following up more quickly if your food doesn't materialize.



Universal Raises Ticket Prices.
In the wake of Walt Disney World raising prices, Universal matched them by raising the price of their one park ticket from $82 to $85. The popularity of Harry Potter not withstanding, most are wondering if the increase is really worth it across the board.



Summer Night's
Now through August 14th
Returning this year is Kinetix, a 30 minute show that features acrobatics, dancers, singers and pyrotechnics. The show is included with admission and is performed nightly at 9:00pm at Gwazi Park (located behind the Gwazi roller coaster).

Also performing during Summer Nights is magician Christopher Cool, who will be performing nightly in the Marrakesh Theatre. Showtimes are 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm & 8:00pm (except Mondays).

Also on July 2, 3 & 4 after Kinetix, there will be fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.

Island Nights - Adventure Island
Now through August 13th - 5PM to 9PM
This summer at Adventure Island, (BGT's water park) when the sun goes down, the fun heats up during Island Nights. It's a vacation from the everyday as Busch Garden's water park transforms into a celebration of island life with live music, authentic entertainment and inspiring cuisine.

EDGE OF AFRICA
A closer look at the animal exhibits within the Edge of Africa.
By Aimster












































4th of July Events in the Tampa/Orlando Area!

Avalon Park - 4th of July Celebration
July 4th : 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Experience the 4th of July Celebration in Avalon Park. The event will include fireworks, music, a home run derby, bike parade and an apple pie bake-off.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens - Red, White & Zoo!
July 2nd : 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
July 3rd : 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
July 4th : 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sanford, FL
Celebrate the 4th and the Central Florida Zoo's 36th Birthday with live music, games, food, children's crafts, face painting, magic, a waterslide and zoo animal encounters. Adults can also take a test drive in the new Ford Focus.

Celebrate 4th of July on Gulfport Beach!
July 4th: Starting at 10:30 a.m. - Gulfport Beach, FL
The City of Gulfport invites everyone to celebrate this 4th of July centennial celebration with an extraordinary line-up of fun and exciting activities in the City's downtown waterfront district on Sunday, July 4, 2011!
5,000 attendees expected.

Florida Aquarium - 4th of July Fireworks Celebration
July 4th : 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - Tampa, FL
Special $10 Admission price after 3:00 p.m. with extended hours until 9:30pm. It’s the ideal family friendly environment to view Channelside’s spectacular fireworks. Relax at the Cantina, soak up the fun at Explore-A-Shore and see all the colorful fireworks over the channel at 9:00pm.

St. Pete Pier 4th of July Extravaganza!
July 4th: 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. - St. Petersburg, FL
The 4th of July is on a Monday this year, but that won't stop The Pier from celebrating Independence Day for our country!

Subway Jalapeno 250 & Coke Zero 400
July 1st & July 2nd - Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, FL
Subway Jalapeno 250: The rising stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series face off against NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers in a 250-mile race.
Coke Zero 400: Enjoy the fireworks on and off the track as the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series head to Daytona to celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend.


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Gatorland - Screamin Gator
Opening Summer 2011
Clip in and “zip” off on an exciting outdoor adventure with the all-new Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland. Your journey will take you along 1,200 feet of high flying, heart pounding adventure from some of the finest zip line towers in the world. Standing over seven stories tall, these amazing towers feature multilevel launch pads and breathtaking views from high above the treetops.

Kennedy Space Center - Star Trek Exhibit
Now through September 5th
Appearing for the first time in Florida, STAR TREK: THE EXHIBITION, presented by EMS Exhibits, Inc., is an interactive exhibit of authentic Star Trek artifacts from the past 45 years, featuring one-of-a-kind costumes, props and filming models from Star Trek television series and feature films. Together these elements offer, Star Trek fans and novices alike, an opportunity to experience first-hand the imagination, artistry, technology and meticulous craftsmanship that have made Star Trek the most enduring science fiction franchise in history.

Orlando Science Center - Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World
Now through September 11th
The National GUITAR Museum announced that its touring exhibition, GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World will launch worldwide at the Orlando Science Center. The 5,000 square foot will explore the history and evolution of the guitar-from lutes and lyres to modern high-tech instruments-and show how the instrument became the cultural symbol it is today.

Don't forget to check out the other areas of MiceChat that offer news, updates and photos about the other Disney Parks around the World!

  • Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
  • Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks as well as other sights and landmarks!
  • In The Parks offers news, updates and tips from Disneyland and other Southern California offerings.
  • SAMLAND - Your weekly look at some interesting tales from Disney history.
  • And you'll always find something of interest on the forums or MiceAge!




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Updated 06-28-2011 at 04:55 AM by SummerInFL

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Comments

  1. Ian P's Avatar
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    I can't think of anything more un pleasant and disturbing that having people eating a meal while watching a movie. It is bad enough when seeing a movie or a show in the USA to suffer people talking to each other, using cell phones or generally not being sensitive to the other paying guests, but having people eating with servers waltzing up and down is the limit!!!

    I want to see a movie, not share a meal with all and sundry!
  2. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Nice update to say the least. The Video of the coming attractions to the Magic Kingdom was interesting (They still keep the original entrance, sort of; and From Time To Time became the Timekeeper Show that we used to have in WDW, (well, more like where I used to live. )


    Timekeeper
    Updated 06-27-2011 at 09:56 AM by Timekeeper
  3. AliKzam's Avatar
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    I have a thought on the restaurant experience you had. Having worked as a server, the problem may not have been how your order was taken, since the missing item was on the bill. It sounds like your initial server forgot to put your order in. It then sounds like there were just too many servers helping you and not enough communication in the kitchen. I would suggest that either the kitchen lost your ticket (which unfortunately can happen) and didn't know about your order, or the expiditor (the person on the line who makes sure every plate is perfect and goes where it is supposed to) put your food on a tray for another table.
    In any case, it wasn't cool for you, but sometimes those things just happen. No restaurant can be perfect 100% of the time. I hope they discounted your bill considerably (since it sounds like they didn't comp you) and I'm sure your server (whoever it officially was) expected no tip from you.
  4. JiminyCricketFan's Avatar
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    Loved the update! The American Adventure is a great WDW treasure! Too few experience the wonderful singing of the Liberty Voices and the fantastic animatronic show. What a great place for Independence day! Thanks for the pictures!
  5. LuckyJack65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKzam
    I have a thought on the restaurant experience you had. Having worked as a server, the problem may not have been how your order was taken, since the missing item was on the bill. It sounds like your initial server forgot to put your order in. It then sounds like there were just too many servers helping you and not enough communication in the kitchen. I would suggest that either the kitchen lost your ticket (which unfortunately can happen) and didn't know about your order, or the expiditor (the person on the line who makes sure every plate is perfect and goes where it is supposed to) put your food on a tray for another table.
    In any case, it wasn't cool for you, but sometimes those things just happen. No restaurant can be perfect 100% of the time. I hope they discounted your bill considerably (since it sounds like they didn't comp you) and I'm sure your server (whoever it officially was) expected no tip from you.
    I completely agree here. As a former server myself, I also think that your order was never put in to the kitchen. Regardless of what happened, the manager should step up to the plate and apologize for the lack of service, etc., offer to discount your meal, and then ask you to come again for another dining experience on his tab.
    Sorry about your experience, but sounds like overall you've enjoyed the format and have convinced me to try it on my next visit to Orlando.
  6. Maverick's Avatar
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    Fabulous update as always, I laughed I cried, two thumbs up
  7. ttintagel's Avatar
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    Two things struck me during my last visit to the Hall of Presidents: Washington looks awfully young, and Obama's face is the least lifelike of the bunch.
  8. lazyboy97O's Avatar
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    That video from Jeff Lange is amazing! Jim Hill has shown images of that model, mostly The Astronomers Club, but to see that the Discoveryland project was actually on public display is something completely new to me.
  9. Marko50's Avatar
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    Great update, but I had to laugh at Adventure Island having "authentic entertainment". As opposed to fake entertainment?
  10. zipadee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian P
    I can't think of anything more un pleasant and disturbing that having people eating a meal while watching a movie. It is bad enough when seeing a movie or a show in the USA to suffer people talking to each other, using cell phones or generally not being sensitive to the other paying guests, but having people eating with servers waltzing up and down is the limit!!!

    I want to see a movie, not share a meal with all and sundry!
    The people who originated the concept of the dine and watch movie theater is Alamo Drafthouse based out of Austin, Texas. And I can guarantee you that - at least at the Drafthouse - you will get the absolute best movie going experiences of your life. Then again it might just be their incredibly awesome policy on cell phone users: (Strong language, if you care about that sort of thing.)