Posted by: Bill MacBride | July 14, 2007

Walt Disney World News & Notes

Here are some of the latest happenings from Walt Disney World.

The Mickey arm, wand and Epcot sign that has been next to Spaceship Earth since 1999 is coming down.  Removal began July 9th and should be completed by mid September.  This coincides with the closing of Spaceship Earth for refurbishment.  The attraction will reopen November 13 th, the wand is gone forever.

In other demolition news, the north wing of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is completely demolished.  As is the Racquet Club, playground and north wing parking lot.  Disney will be building a new 15 story tower in its place.  Rumors are rampant that the tower will be Disney Vacation Club units.

As of  June 1, 2007 all Disney Resort rooms are non-smoking.  There are designated smoking areas at all the resorts.

If you want to bring your laptop with you, internet access is available at Disney Resort hotels for $9.95 per 24 hour period. 

If you have a Disney Visa card you can get a discount on backstage tours of up to 20% and a 10% discount on most purchases over $25 at the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney.

In The Magic Kingdom Park the Haunted Mansion is closed for refurbishment and scheduled to reopen September 13th

In dining news Alfredo Di Roma Ristorante is changing hands and getting a new name.  When Alfredo’s closes on August 31st that will be the last day under that operator with that name.  When it reopens September 1 st the name will be Tutto Italia, operated by The Patina Group.  The restaurant will close for a complete refurbishment in Spring 2008 and reopen in the fall with another new name.

Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is closed until November 17th and 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian is closed until September 29 th.  Disney is building a new restaurant in Animal Kingdom called The Yak & Yeti.  It’s scheduled to open October 9thIf you’re going in September and there is a special restaurant you want to dine at you should try to make reservations as soon as possible if you haven’t already.  The free dining plan is causing many of the more popular restaurants to reach their limit for reservations.

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