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Weekend Update

Welcome to the Weekend Update for September 6, 2008!

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 09-05-2008 at 08:45 PM

Fasten your seatbelts, sit back and relax as we take a whirlwind trip around the world! Ian Parkinson invites us aboard one of the largest cruiseships in the world, Mark Gonzales takes us back to the old west, TDLFAN shows us around Cedar Point, and SummerInFL and PhotoMatt nosh around World Showcase. Add a bunch of Walt Disney World Resort photos from nbodyhome and you have another edition of the Weekend Update!

Adriatic Adventure

I'm excited to introduce the first installment of an multi-part series brought to us by MiceAge contributor Ian Parkinson. Ian cruised the Adriatic Sea for fourteen days on the brand new cruise ship MS Ventura. In the coming weeks, Ian will take us along as he documents his visits to such ports of call as Malaga, Cephalonia, Dubrovnik, Venic, Corfu and others. We can't go anywhere, however, without a tour of our ship.

MS Ventura is a cruise ship operated by P&O Cruises, which entered service in April 2008. It is a sister ship to Princess Cruises' Crown Princess. The ship is the largest cruise ship built for Britain, accommodating 3,100 passengers. It has 1,550 cabins, of which about 60% possess private balconies. It features fourteen public decks, eight restaurants, six boutiques, five pools and three show lounges, including the largest theatre on a British ship.*

The Atrium

Terrace Pool

Beachcomber Pool

The Tamarind Club


The Red Bar

Saffron Restaurant

La Ramblas

The Bay Tree Restaurant

The White Room



The Arena

Join us next week as Ian goes ashore in Malaga!


I'm pleased to introduce a new guest contributor, Mark Gonzales. Mark has a passion for photography and loves to take photos around the Disneyland Resort and the Los Angeles area in general. This week we'll take a trip with Mark through Frontierland.

Anaheim, California

We enter the Frontierland: a time of Cowboys, a Coonskin Capped Hero, and a Masked Revolutionary.

Look out! The security around the joint is tight!

Taking a ride around the river we find several different animals and abandoned transports.

You can find your Coonskin caps and leather goods at the local Pioneer Mercantile.

Take a spin on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Some say that the mountain is haunted.

You will never find this in a brochure.

That concludes our tour. Until next time, see you in another land.

Mark invites you to visit his flickr album to enjoy more of his great photography.


Cedar Point
Sandusky, Ohio

This week, TDLFAN takes you to the "Roller Coaster Capital of the World" aka CEDAR POINT in Sandusky, Ohio.

Arriving at Cedar Point's main entrance.

Beautiful Gardens welcome thrill seekers.


Main Arcade.

Gaming Arcade.

The park does feature a bit of theming.. here and there, such as this quaint corner.

Nearby, the Snake River Falls soaks guests to the bone..

I believe Disneyland CA has one of these as well.

The Raptor Coaster is a mean and green suspended coaster. FUN!!

For those not into thrills... the ferris wheel is one of the many tamer options to enjoy.

The Wicked Twister Coaster is very wicked!!!

Mantis... is one of the best stand-up coasters around. I call it the "nut-cracker" but you have to ride it to understand why... (ouch!)

The 2nd tallest and fastest coaster at Cedar Point, Millenium Force, drops riders from a very steep drop that propels riders at speeds close to 80 mph. Lots of scary air time here, FUN FUN!!!

Mean Streak is one of the best wooden coasters TDLFAN has ever ridden on.
Bumpy fun!!!

The Mine Train is a very perilous looking ride.. but fun as well.

The SkyRide... reminded TDLFAN of the old Skyway at DL/MK/TDL.

MaxAir... is a nauseating, rotating and swinging experience. Not recommended for those who are quick to hurl.

Dragster is the mother of all thrill rides. Sends rides from 0 to 120 mph in just 4 seconds... then riders go straight up to the top of a tower that is about 45 stories high... just to drop straight down and spiralling madly towards the floor. It's DA BOMB!!! and the most breathtaking 12 seconds of your life!

Maverick is the newest coaster at Cedar Point, and selected as the best new ride of 2007 by the amusement park association. Maverick is a tame looking coaster that packs a furious punch... sending riders into a small 90-degree drop and speeding around while making furiously rough turns to the left and the ride... just like riding a rodeo pony... Very intense ride folks. Make an appointment for a neck adjustment with your chiropractor afterwards. FUN FUN!!! Maverick also has the best themed queue in western theme to match that area of Cedar Point.

Guests to Cedar Point also have the option of staying at Cedar Point's on property hotel, Hotel Breakers, which has been an institution since the early 1920s... It offers a wonderful waterfront experience with lovely views of Lake Erie.

This concludes our tour of Cedar Point... but there is so much more to see and do at Cedar Point, like over 45 rides in all... 17 being coasters, a kid's area themed to the Peanuts gang, a water park called Soak City, waterfront campground, miniature gold course, a beach on the lake, many eateries and shopping venues.
TDLFAN recommends it for the thrills and the location.


Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt checks in this week with her special WDW Resort photography. More of Denise's photography can be viewed at her website.

From the Polynesian Resort beach:

At the Contemporary Resort:

Italy at Epcot's World Showcase:


Spaceship Earth:


Swan and Dolphin Hotels:

This Egyptian Goose hangs out mostly at Epcot:


International Food and Wine Festival
Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

It's time again for one of my favorite events, the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot's World Showcase.

From the Walt Disney World website:

Embark on an epicurean adventure as the 13th Annual Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival showcases the flavors of the world. Explore marketplaces featuring regional foods, wines, and beers. Learn from renowned chefs and winemakers at special programs and demonstrations, and sample the finest cuisine from around the globe. Savor the sizzling sounds of the Eat to the Beat concert series, presenting a stellar line-up of popular musical acts.

For more information, visit the hub at the Festival Welcome Center, where you'll also find the Festival Wine Shop, the Wonders Bar for champagne and wine, and the official book-signing location for celebrity chefs and authors. Venture inside the Stockpot shop and check out its marvelous merchandise, including the marketplace cookbook and a special festival edition of the Disney Gift Card, which provides a handy way to pay for so much fun at the Festival!

One of the nifty features of Food and Wine is the International Marketplace.

Take a new culinary tour around the world this year! Taste flavors from global food cities as you stroll around World Showcase. Tempt yourself at each marketplace with appetizer-sized portions averaging $3.50. Savor the flavors as you enjoy authentic dishes with recommended beverage pairings at each stop on your journey. View the complete menu here.

SummerInFL took lots of photos of the Festival last year and shares some scrumptious shots with us:


Doesn't that look delicious? What could be more fun?

How about touring around World Showcase during the International Food and Wine Festival with the MiceChatters?

Last year, a group of MiceChatters got together and took a leisurely stroll around World Showcase, sampling the food and wine offerings along the way. Each of us had a lanyard with a marker attached so we could record our progress. Many of us also sported a small glass on a lanyard to conveniently share the adult beverages that were offered in each country. (It had been previously determined that a full portion of adult beverage in each country would probably doom the effort to certain failure.) Amazingly, most of the group recorded a "sip" and a "nibble" at all 26 official stops!

PhotoMatt took the trip around the World with us that day and shares these photos of this unique event.

The group gathers at Sunshine Seasons in The Land Pavilion to distribute lanyards and cups.

Planning out a strategy.

Confidently marching on World Showcase.

First stop!

Sharing the sips takes a great deal of concentration.

MiceChatters can always find time for a ride!

Where's my next nibble?

Why aren't there any turkey dishes on this menu?

Group shot

That looks like more than just a nibble.

The littlest nibbler

I conquered escargot!

Oh, just one more sip.

Sharing notes at the finish line.

The sun sets over World Showcase and the first MiceChat Sip 'n' Nibble.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This event will again be an informal gathering, allowing participants to come and go as they please. We'll all meet up at a location and time to be determined where we will distribute the lanyards and cups. Rixter and MickeyMaxx will again provide these items at no charge to our MiceChat friends. The purchase of food and wine samples will be the responsibility of each individual with cooperation among all participants encouraged. The prize will be the same as last year: everyone who participates will be rewarded with the the opportunity to spend some quality time with other members of the best online Disney community on Earth! Sign up now to join us on this special trip around the World!

Following Sip 'n' Nibble II on Sunday night, join us for a special viewing of Illuminations. We'll have an exclusive location in World Showcase reserved for this event where we can socialize and gorge ourselves on fancy treats while waiting for Epcot's wonderful Illuminations to begin. Price is $40 per person. Click on the banner below to purchase your tickets.

These events are part of the MiceChat Orlando Invasion III. For more information, click on the banner below.


Eye Spy Answer from last week:

This can be found in Frontierland in Disneyland Paris at the entrance to La Cantina restaurant, across from BTMRR. This lovely mexican style ornament is part of the Cantina sign as you enter the restaurant.[/CENTER]

And that brings us to the end of another week. Our photographers have just enough time to reload their cameras before we see you all again next weekend. Thank you to all of our wonderful readers, and as always, a huge thank you to our amazing team of global photographers, spies, and gossips:

Jack Hollywood 1939 Wixom
Denise nbodyhome Preskitt
sir clinksalot
A very special thank you to our wonderful guest photographers Ian Parkinson and Mark Gonzales for sharing their vision with us.
Your Editor - Rixter

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*Some factual information sourced from

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Updated 09-06-2008 at 10:12 AM by Weekend Update



  1. hollywood1939's Avatar
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    Great shots everyone!
  2. dl_appurtenant's Avatar
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    Absolutely loved those night shots of World Showcase.
  3. JesterMn's Avatar
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    RE: Cedar Point... gotta disagree about Mantis being best Stand Up & Mean Streak being a good woodie. Riddler's Revenge at SFMM is a much better, smoother, and longer ride, and Mean Streak suffers from odd pacing and bumpiness. Go for The Voyage at Holiday World or, my personal favorite of all time, El Toro at SFGA.

    I do love me Maverick, though. That is way more intense than it looks. Oh, BTW, the first drop is 95 degrees, not 90. It goes beyond vertical! Also can't forget about their oldest coaster Blue Streak.

    Lovely pics, thanks!
  4. toemblem's Avatar
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    Mean Streak is one of the best wooden coasters TDLFAN has ever ridden on.
    Bumpy fun!!!
    Perhaps that is why I strongly prefer steel coasters. IMO the words bumpy and fun do not belong together.
  5. Monkey joe's Avatar
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    Mean Streak was your best wooden coaster??? I think that it is one of the worst. That thing hurts with all of the brakes. Try "The Beast" at Kings Island. It is the world's best wooden coaster.
  6. MickeyMoose's Avatar
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    Mean Streak is one of the worst wooden coasters right up their with SOB. How did you like Cedar Point TDLFAN?
  7. Melonballer's Avatar
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    Thank TDLFAN for reporting on Cedar Point, one of my favorite Amusement parks. I am not a Mantis fan, I do like Mean Streak though. For those that hate it, did you ever ride the woodies at Geugua Lake? The only way those could beat you up more is if they put a guy in the seat next to you, beating you with a lead pipe the entire ride. That's why when their 3 woodies got torn down recently I cheered.
  8. vonrollskyway1's Avatar
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    love the picture of there 1961 vonroll skyride.same thing as the skyway.brings back great memories
  9. hadesthecat's Avatar
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    Cant wait for Food & Wine, I'll be there in 20 days!!!!!!!
  10. Mac Daddy's Avatar
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    Great shots this week, everyone!
  11. rstar's Avatar
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    I do love seeing shots from around the world. Like a quick little vacation! I'll have to share some shots of DLP after I get back. I'll be there the end of this month!!

    Hey, isn't that Kevin Yee in the blue shirt in some of those shots?

    I liked our Food and Wine festival at DCA, but it looks like it just a nibble compared to WDW!
  12. TDLFAN's Avatar
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    OK boys and girls.. when I said that Mean Streak and Mantis were some of the best... it was figurative speech, meaning.. it was some of the best [B]I HAVE BEEN ON.[/B] Does not mean to imply that my photo comments are the absolute and final truth about these coasters. So I offer my apologies to those of you who felt totally distraught over my opinions. But keep in mind this: I happen to like my wooden coasters to be bumpy, rough and overall give me a feeling that we are flying off the tracks. MeanStreak accomplished that for me and I came off it without any bruises or scratches. It's right up there with Busch Gardens' Gwazi as one of my favorites.
    As for Mantis.. well, I have ridden other stand up coasters before...most memorable the one at EXPOland in Osaka JP, and somehow, I fared much better physically on this one than the other stand ups I have been on. Again.. this is MY opinion based on MY previous experiences on these types of rides. Not the final and absolute truth of the matter.

    Hey, not to undermine you all if you do not share the same interests, likes or dislikes about coasters. I respect your point of view as well.
  13. nbodyhome's Avatar
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    TDL - I love Gwazi! (I am probably the only one who likes my Space Mountain bumpy and rough too).
  14. Baccarati's Avatar
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    great shots!

    esp love the nibblin' and sippin' pics!


    BTW i jsut went to Cedar Point for the first time about a month ago... Mean Streak was a treat in the front seat - NONSTOP SPEED!

    i was however surprised by the fact that Magnum is the roughest most insane coaster i've ever been on. I honestly had no clue what was going on the entire 2nd half of the ride!
  15. disneylanddad's Avatar
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    Those Pictures of Ohio are proof that Cedar Point CAN do more with Knott's Berry Farm! That park is very beautiful.
  16. danyoung's Avatar
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    Excellent update, as always. I'm a big fan of nbodyhome's photography. Denise, that shot of the sand castle with the Contemporary in the background is just stunning!

    And TDLFAN, if you really ride all those coasters at Cedar Point, I have to say that I have even more respect for you than before!!!
  17. wdwnut4life's Avatar
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    awesome pics!!
  18. Craigroy8287's Avatar
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    Great update and pics. All that food looked so good. I wish I could have been there for that.
  19. Abominable Snowman's Avatar
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    Well, I just conquered the feeling of hunger until I started looking at these pictures!