Tuesday, July 28, 2009

News From Around The World

A number of discounts have been announced for Walt Disney World in the past week. All Ears Net is reporting that the free dining plan offer has been extended from September 27 to December 17. This deal is available only for guests who book a Magic Your Way package. Tink1 at the INTERCOT Discussion Boards is reporting that a special tiered dining plan offer is available for Disney Visa Card members, offering free quick service for value resort guests and free basic dining for everyone else. Codes are required. Tink1 from INTERCOT is also reporting that Annual Passholder rates are also out for the period October 4 to December 24. Rates vary and codes are required. I have every intention of visiting Walt Disney World for the holidays but I just can't seem to get myself up for making Christmas plans when its July and 90 degrees, I don't know about you guys.

The Orlando Sentinel has the preliminary list of narrators for the Candlelight Processional. It includes newcomers Whoopi Goldberg, Vanessa Williams, and Isabella Rossellini as well as most of the usuals including Edwards James Olmos for Christmas.

John Frost at the Disney Blog is reporting that Chef Robert Irvine from the Food Network's Dinner Impossible is going to be appearing at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like he's actually doing an episode of the show, only appearing in one of the sessions.

Dewayne Bevil at the Orlando Sentinel is reporting on a new Fastpass distribution system being tested at Animal Kingdom. It is a centralized location distributing all of the Fastpasses for the park. This is a GREAT idea and a LONG time coming. Trekking all the way to the back of the park to get Everest and Safari Fastpasses is a huge pain. Unfortunately it does raise a few concerns. The first of which being that the fundamental argument behind the entire Fastpass system is that the pass "holds" a guest's place in line...something that is technically no longer true if the guest never has to venture to the line in the first place. Oh well...I'm not going to nitpick because I love this idea. I'm looking forward to its installation at Epcot when the line for Soarin Fastpasses ends up being as long as the line for the ride itself. Meanwhile, Screamscape is reporting that there have been some irregularities with the machines (you could get a Dinosaur pass and a Safari pass within about 30 seconds of one another) that will probably be worked out for when the machines return for Christmas.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Orlando and Walt Disney World are at the top of an apparent government endorsed "black list" of cities for agency meetings and conferences. The list is designed to avoid the appearance of "extravagance" by encouraging government organizations to hold conferences in more "buttoned down" locations such as St. Louis or Denver instead of "resort" towns like Orlando and Las Vegas. Sigh. The things people choose to care about.

Reuters is reporting that the odd smell that grounded an Orlando bound Southwest jet over the weekend was due to a malfunctioning coffee pot in the back of the plane. So yes, if your vacation was cut short you have nothing but coffee to blame.

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