Dateline Disney Florida/National Edition - March 2003
Around the World
'Blizzard' Conditions Return to Walt Disney World Resort
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Disney's Blizzard Beach, one of two water adventure parks at Walt Disney World Resort, opens its gates again in March. The park closed in late December 2002 for regular refurbishment.
The 66-acre water park is a ski-themed haven offering speed slides, family rides, a 'lazy creek,' a wave pool and dedicated children's areas. It is located just north of Disney's All-Star Resorts.
As legend has it, Blizzard Beach was created by a freak winter storm which dropped snow over the western side of Walt Disney World property. Because of the blizzard, Florida's first snow-ski resort was planned immediately.
However, the plan was short-lived. Temperatures soared and the ice and snow rapidly began to melt. Dismayed ski-resort operators, ready to close, spotted a playful alligator sliding down the 'liquid ice' slopes and realized the melting snow created the tallest, fastest and most exhilarating water-filled ski and toboggan runs in the world. As a result, the ski resort/water adventure park was born.
Among the highlights: Summit Plummet, a 120-foot-high slide that sends brave guests down the slopes of Mt. Gushmore at speeds up to 60 mph; Teamboat Springs, the world's longest family white-water raft ride; Toboggan Racer, an 8-lane speed slide where guests race to the bottom of the mountain; and Melt-Away Bay, a 1-acre wave pool located at the base of Mt. Gushmore.
'Sham-rock' and roll as Downtown Disney Pleasure Island
Celebrates St. Patrick's Day
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Guests can 'sham-rock' and roll at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island March 14-17 as the nighttime entertainment district celebrates St. Patrick's Day.
The island will turn green with live music and videos by Irish artists, as well as leprechauns, green specialty beverages and access to Pleasure Island's eight clubs of fun.
The St. Patrick's Party at Pleasure Island is included in regular Pleasure Island admission. For more information, guests may call the Downtown Disney information hotline: 407/WDW-2NITE (407/939-2648).
Innoventions at Epcot Invites Guests
to See Lifestyles of the (Near) Future
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- New at Epcot, the newest exhibit at Innoventions invites guests to see some of the newest time-saving and technological wonders for the home in an updated 'House of Innoventions.'
Included in the latest edition: the Briva sink from KitchenAid, which is the world's first 'in-sink' dishwasher; the LaScala 'bathing and entertainment center' from Jacuzzi, a whirlpool bath complete with a 43-inch high-definition plasma-screen television and surround sound throughout the tub; and the new 'HAL' -- Home Automated Living -- system, which installs in homes via a personal computer and can control appliances and heating/cooling units via voice command or cellular phone. The HAL system uses the home's existing wires to create the voice-activated system.
Zen Zone Soothes Spirits at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Offering a soothing mix of relaxation and retail, Zen Zone is a new oasis of tranquility amid the high-energy atmosphere at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.
Now open adjacent to Rock 'n' Roll Beach Club, the shop offers Walt Disney World guests a variety of relaxation options, including aqua massages, chair massages, hot and cold herbal packs, and a selection of massage-related retail products.
Zen Zone is open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. After 7 p.m., admission to all of the facilities on Pleasure Island, except the movie theaters, is included in the regular ticket price of $19.95 plus tax.
The Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
Offers a Healthy Approach to Rejuvenation
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Indulge in a seaweed wrap to firm and purify your skin. Stimulate your body with a fitness program that fits your lifestyle like no one else's. Then wrap it all up with a relaxing hydromassage to soothe your aching muscles and stimulate circulation.
Not only will the staff of The Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort relax, renew and revitalize your body, they'll offer help with designing your personal treatment program and how to incorporate it into your life. Formerly known as The Spa at Disney Institute, the full-service facility has been renamed to reflect its new surroundings.
Guests of the spa can choose from a wide variety of specialty skin and body care treatments ranging from a French body polish to a facial that is designed to minimize signs of aging.
An aromatic gel body masque followed by a thermal wrap, a cool shower and a massage with firming or contouring cream are part of the aromatherapy treatments that use aromatic botanical essences to stimulate the senses and aid relaxation. Spa manicures and pedicures polish off the list of beautifying services.
The Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort coordinates its treatments with two of the leading face and body care companies based in France. Phytomer, which means 'plant of the sea,' makes use of the natural replenishing powers of the ocean in its treatments which feature seaweed masques and marine hydrotherapies. Sothys offers one of the world's leading professional beauty and skin care lines. In addition, aromatherapy treatments feature products by industry leader Aromatherapy Associates.
Treatments can be selected individually and in full-day packages. The spa features private treatment rooms and separate locker facilities for men and women. Both locker areas include a steam room, sauna and indoor whirlpool.
Guests are suggested to reserve spa treatments weeks in advance by calling 407/827-4455.
Walt Disney World Surpasses 100 Millionth FASTPASS Mark
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- FASTPASS, Disney's award-winning, computerized system that gives guests an alternative to standard 'lines' at many popular attractions at all four Walt Disney World theme parks, marked a milestone in mid-February 2003 when the 100 millionth FASTPASS ticket was issued.
The ever-expanding ticketing system offers guests the opportunity on 23 popular attractions to stand in the 'stand-by line' or insert their park ticket and receive a FASTPASS which denotes a time the guest can return to the attraction and ride with little or no wait. FASTPASS is available at no additional charge to theme park guests.
According to Disney surveys, FASTPASS 'wait loss' is freeing up an average of one and one-half to two hours for guests who use the innovative, patented system on multiple rides.
FASTPASS debuted at Walt Disney World in 1999. Since its launch, guests and industry experts have hailed the system as a breakthrough for theme parks. In 2001, FASTPASS earned a Themed Entertainment Association 'Thea Award' and in 2000 was honored by the Florida Engineering Society with a Governor's New Product Award.
Cirque du Soleil® Celebrates 2,000 Performances of La Nouba
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- On March 14 at 6 p.m., Cirque du Soleil® will celebrate a milestone at Walt Disney World Resort, as the cast of La Nouba marks its 2000th performance at the Cirque du Soleil theater at Downtown Disney West Side.
More than 70 artists from around the world -- including gymnasts, acrobats, dancers and
clowns -- take artistic energy to new heights twice daily, five nights a week in the 1,671-seat theater. Featuring mesmerizing high wire and flying trapeze, stunning acro-gymnastic performances and other dynamic displays of coordination and strength, the 90-minute show has surprised, excited and mystified audiences since its debut in 1998. La Nouba originates from the French expression 'faire la nouba,' which means 'to party, to live it up.'
Tickets for La Nouba can be purchased at the Cirque du Soleil box office, or by calling 407/WDW-7600 or a travel agent. Shows are scheduled for Tuesday through Saturday at 6 and 9 p.m. Ticket prices are $72 and $82 for adults; $44 and $49 ages 3-9, not including tax.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney's 'Aladdin' Brings Fun and Adventure
Aboard Disney Cruise Line
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Children aboard Disney Cruise Line ships can now treat their imaginations to flying carpets, magic lamps and genies in the newest children's programming themed after Disney's animated feature, 'Aladdin.'
Aladdin's Fun Adventures is designed for three and four year olds, one of the five different age sets in the most extensive children's programming operation at sea.
Highlights include: A magic carpet ride -- kids atop carpets pretend they are flying through the nights of Arabia.
A treasure hunt through the Cave of Wonders -- kids make a jewel chest out of their finds.
A marketplace outing to 'find' fruits and vegetables around Disney's Oceaneer Club.
A memory game using 'Aladdin' characters.
Sing-along songs from the soundtrack.
Disney's 'Aladdin,' one of the most beloved and popular motion pictures of all time, inspired this colorful new program. With almost an entire deck devoted to children's programming, Disney Cruise Line has interactive, hands-on activities that were specifically designed with five different age groups in mind.
Pagers are available to parents with children in the programming areas so that they're never out of reach while enjoying the ship's adults-only areas. In addition, children are provided with wristbands identifying the child's name, parent's pager number and any allergies they may have.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a Disney Cruise Line vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit www.disneycruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500.
Major League Baseball Takes the Field
at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The defending National League East champion Atlanta Braves return for their sixth full season of spring training at the newly renamed Cracker Jack Stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Many of professional baseball's best, including Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Greg Maddux and Gary Sheffield, return to the field as Atlanta prepares to defend its division crown.
The Braves' slate of 16 home games at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex begins on
Feb. 27 with an exhibition game against Georgia Tech University. The team's first spring training game against a Major League Baseball opponent will take place on Feb. 28 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Tickets for Braves home games are available in person at the Disney's Wide World of Sports box office, or by calling Ticketmaster at 407/839-3900.
Atlanta Braves 2003 Spring Training Schedule
at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex:
Thursday, Feb. 27 - Georgia Tech (Exhibition) - 1:05 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 28 - Philadelphia Phillies - 1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 1 - New York Mets (SS) - 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 2 - Montreal Expos - 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 6 - Florida Marlins - 1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 8 - Detroit Tigers - 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 11 - Los Angeles Dodgers - 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 13 - Tampa Bay Rays - 7:05 p.m.
Friday, March 14 - New York Yankees - 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 16 - St. Louis Cardinals - 1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 17 - St. Louis Cardinals - 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 20 - Montreal Expos - 7:05 p.m.
Friday, March 21 - Detroit Tigers - 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 22 - New York Mets - 1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 24 - Cleveland Indians - 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 27 - Houston Astros - 1:05 p.m.
(all game times Eastern Standard Time)
First-Ever Disney's Inline Marathon Gets Rolling in March
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For the past decade, runners have had the opportunity to 'run around the world' as part of the Walt Disney World Marathon. On March 30, the Vacation Kingdom will give inline skaters a similar thrill with the creation of Disney's Inline Marathon, a 26.2-mile inline skating event that winds through Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney resort areas. The event, created by Disney Sports Attractions in conjunction with International Inline Skating Association and National Skate Patrol, will 'get rolling' at 6:30 a.m. In addition, the event will feature a 13.1-mile half marathon.
Skaters of all abilities can register for the inaugural Disney's Inline Marathon at www.disneyworldsports.com.
Entry fees received on or before March 1 are $70 for the Inline Marathon and $45 for the Inline Half Marathon. Entries received March 2-29 are $80 (Marathon) and $55 (Half Marathon), respectively. The entry fee is non-refundable and no race day registration will be available. Skaters must be at least 13 years of age to participate in the event. The race will incorporate 'wave starts' for professionals, masters, advanced and recreational/fitness skaters. Competition between skating clubs may also be incorporated.
A series of children's races are also planned for Saturday, March 29, as part of the All Star Kids Classic. Registration for the kids races is available online or on race day between 10 a.m. and noon. The children's race entry fee is $5 and includes the 100-meter dash, 400-meter dash and 1600-meter dash.
RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator