Haunted Mansion ‘Room for 1 More’ Merchandise Event at Disney World Announced

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Haunted Mansion 'Room for 1 More' EventOn September 30, 2011, the Walt Disney World Resort will honor the Haunted Mansion with a special merchandise event, titled ‘Room for 1 More,’ at the Contemporary Resort, according to the official Disney Parks blog.

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CONFIRMED: Disney World Actively Restricting Use of Refillable Mugs

It literally sent shockwaves across the internet last year when we first reported that it appeared Walt Disney World was looking into closing current loopholes regarding the refillable mug system currently in place in which any cup could be used indefinitely at the soda fountain dispensers located in the food courts of the Walt Disney World resorts.

Most reactions seemed to side with disbelief or flat-out denial. Others were angered by the notion of what effectively amounts to nickel-and-diming guests with beverages Disney Parks gets for free (Coca-Cola does supply free syrup as part of an agreement with Disney, but there are obviously water, CO2 and electricity overheads). Some applauded the news while others argued as to whether using a refillable mug way past its expected end date amounted to theft or was truly unethical.

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‘Downtown Disney Bridal Stroll’ to Take Place November 6 at Walt Disney World Resort

Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels will host the Downtown Disney Bridal Stroll on Sunday, November 6 from 11 am to 3 pm, featuring consultations with wedding specialists, bridal vendors, sample appetizers, and prizes.

Brides-to-be will have an opportunity to consult with experienced wedding specialists at each of the seven Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels as well as sample cuisine and meet the chefs from each hotel. They also can do some one-stop-shopping at wedding vendors who will present distinctive possibilities for wedding cakes, linens, floral arrangements and other bridal-related products and services.

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WDW Refurb Update: Dining Closures, Port Orleans Quiet Pool

In an effort to be the first to bring the news to you, we’ve been clubbing you over the head with refurbishment updates at the Walt Disney World Resort lately and, unfortunately, we’re not quite done. In addition to what we’ve announced recently, we now have the following announced temporary closures for dining experiences:

At the Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland’s The Lunching Pad will be closing on August 29, 2011 with an expected re-opening date of September 17, 2011. Casey’s Corner on Main Street USA is scheduled to close on August 30, 2011 with a re-opening date of September 15, 2011.

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WDW Refurb Update: Studio Backlot Tour, HISTK Playground Closures in September

The official Walt Disney World website has begun listing closures for both the ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure’ and the ‘Studio Backlot Tour’ beginning on September 4, 2011 and re-opening on September 25.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch! The only Disney Parks refurbishment schedule that covers attractions, dining and resorts, lets you drill down to your own specific dates and even emails you when your dates are affected — and it’s completely free!

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Victoria & Albert’s Receives Twelfth Consecutive AAA Five-Diamond Award

Chef Scott Hunnel from Victoria & Albert'sFor the 12th consecutive year, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’ Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been awarded the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award. Victoria & Albert’s is the only restaurant in Orlando and one of only three in Florida to be honored with the highest accolade a restaurant can achieve.

Victoria & Albert’s Chef Scott Hunnel has drawn national and international applause for his preparation and delivery of American regional cuisine with classical influences at the elegant, 50-seat restaurant.

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Special Events for Epcot’s 2011 Food and Wine Festival Start Booking August 16

Dreaming of a festive autumn evening at the grand-scale Party for the Senses food and wine event at Epcot? Or maybe a more intimate artisanal Cheese Seminar with New York City fromager Max McCalman is on your radar.

Foodies who want to lock in their favorite events at the 16th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 30-Nov. 13 should save the date of Aug. 16, 2011, and set their alarms for 7 am. That’s when reservations open for all special culinary and beverage programs offered during this year’s 45-day food, wine, beer and cocktail extravaganza. These special events have proven to be extremely popular and availability is limited.

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Baby Mandrill Welcomed into World at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Baby mandrill and mother

After six and a half months of waiting, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is welcoming a “colorful” addition to its animal family. A male baby mandrill was born May 30 to first-time mother, Kelley, and is the third one born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Mom and baby are doing very well.

Native to Africa, mandrills are among the largest species of monkey in the world and are considered endangered. They’re known for their bright coloration, furry head crests, manes and beards. Adults also have thick purple and blue ridges along their noses, big red lips and golden beards. Fans of Disney’s animated movie “The Lion King” might recall Rafiki, who was not only a colorful character, but a mandrill as well.

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Photo: Super Bowl Champ Kurt Warner Helps Dreams Come True at Walt Disney World

Kurt Warner and family at Walt Disney World (Gene Duncan/Disney)Former NFL and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner (right), his wife, Brenda (left), and Mickey Mouse pose June 13, 2011 with Kenny Bender (center), age 6, and Landon Smith (far right), 4, at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Representing the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation, the Warners, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visited Walt Disney World Resort with a group of families from St. Louis, Arizona and Iowa. This marked the 10th annual visit by the First Things First Foundation to Walt Disney World.

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Walt Disney World and Disneyland Ticket Prices Increase June 12

Disney Parks has announced that its ticket prices will be increased effective June 12, 2011. At Walt Disney World, a one day base ticket will increase $3 for adults (10+) to $85 while a child’s ticket (3-9) will increase $4 to $79. Both the park hopping and water park fun & more options increase $1 to a flat-rate of $55 per ticket. The no-expiration option will also increase accordingly for applicable Magic Your Way tickets.

Annual passes also increase to $519 for adults and $478 for children and premium annual pass rates rise to $649 for adults and $598 for children.

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