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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > August 2002

Intercot.com INTERCOT Insider
 August 2002 Edition

Brought to you by INTERCOT's network of sites:
INTERCOT - Walt Disney World Inside & Out
INTERCOT West - Disneyland Inside & Out
INTERCOT's WebDisney - Guide to Disney on the Internet
INTERCOT's MousehutMail - Free Web Based Email
INTERCOT's Thrillride Experience - Thrill Ride Parks & Attractions

This newsletter and other past issues can also be read online at; http://www.intercot.com/interactive/insider/archive

<< Introduction >>

Summer has nearly passed. Kids are heading back to school, there are no good movies coming out for a few months and we may be looking at a baseball strike. Worry not! INTERCOT is here to help you dream, dare and do all your Disney plans!

<< INTERCOT Happenings >>

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes at INTERCOT! We’ve added a ton of new information to Info Central (see Communicore with PolyGirl for all the latest). And we’ve got more in store for the coming weeks. Keep an eye on the Home Page for all the latest and the greatest.

Also, with the newest version of the boards, we’ve all been enjoying on another’s avatars. Don’t have one yet? Simply go to “My Profile” click on “View/Update Profile” and select an avatar image. We’ve got hundreds to choose from!

Have you noticed the latest change to the boards? INTERCOT is happy to welcome the Thrillride Experience message boards! Castmember X and his gang of adrenaline junkies have come home to roost and spread the gospel according to the Triple Inversion. Stop by and check out the latest news and rumors or ask your questions about your favorite non-Disney Central Florida theme parks. And when you see X, you’ll wonder, “Who was that masked man?”

Now, let’s jump right into the heart of this month’s Insider!

<< WDW Events with DisneyWizard >>

With so many changes, it may be hard to keep up with what’s going on at Walt Disney World. Here are some of the biggest headlines down in the World.

-Once Upon a Toy opens in Downtown Disney-
Once Upon a Toy, a mega-store featuring Disney and Hasbro toys, has opened in Downtown Disney to rave reviews. The store features Disney-styled family games such as Mr. Potato Head, Clue, Monopoly (theme-parks edition), Candyland, and others. Also on sale are Disney Bears and additions to the toy monorail sets.

“Everyone needs to visit this place on their next vacation!” –Villain13
“There are so many neat things in this store.” –m & m
“Pure Disney, gives FAO Schwarz a run for their money.” –tigger24

-Caribbean Beach Resort closed-
The Caribbean Beach Resort will close in the beginning of September to refurbish Old Port Royale and the food court. Current plans are to have the moderate resort open by this holiday season. Reservation holding guests should receive a phone call from Disney reservations about the closure.

“I'm not happy about this at all, I don't want to be hanging out there until a month before not knowing where we're staying.” -izzarelli
“I just REALLY hope they aren't displacing everyone, and ruining this resort in the process.” -D Jones

-FastPass upgraded-
FastPass has been upgraded in each theme park to allow guests more chances go receive their “spot in line”. Guests are able to get a FastPass as quick as 45 minutes since their last FastPass – an improvement from the previous time frame allotted. INTERCOTees have been giving the change mixed opinions, including:

“ It sounds like it will totally wreck the "logic" behind the FastPass and make the standby lines horrible.” -GrumpyFan
“…if the new improvements allow for a new FP within 45 minutes, then I'd call that a huge improvement.” –joho0

-Princess Storybook Breakfast announced-
Taking place in Restaurant Akershus located at Norway in Epcot, this breakfast will feature different Disney princesses (excluding Cinderella) and their character friends. The current schedule for this family-style meal is to run until the end of November.

“My daughter will love this and now I really don't have to get up before the sun to call for CRT.” -joak
“I think that this is great. I hope that it sticks around; I think that it will provide a great way to make a [priority seating] with different characters, and a different atmosphere.” -DisneyTeen
“I think this is a GREAT idea. I would love to have breakfast with the Disney royalty.” -luvindisney

-Night of Joy celebrates 20th Anniversary-
The Night of Joy is celebrating 20 years on September 6th and September 7th with 15 contemporary Christian bands. The Magic Kingdom will host the event, and tickets can be bought on sale in advance ($34.95 plus tax) or at the gate ($39.95 plus tax).

<< Communicore with PolyGirl40 >>

There have been quite a few developments around Walt Disney World since we last "Communicored". The Caribbean Beach Resort will be completely closed by September 8th and will be reopening for the Holiday Season. During this time Disney plans extensive renovations to Old Port Royale and wants the resort empty during the process. If you have previously booked reservations during the renovation period, Disney should be calling you soon to move you to another resort.

The new "Princess Storybook Breakfast" in Norway has been a great success. So much so, the trial period has been extended to the end of the year. If you have attended this new dining experience, we'd love to hear your review. Drop us a line at guestrelations@intercot.com and put “Insider” in the subject field.

Disney has released discount specials for travelers vacationing at Walt Disney World between 10/3/02-12/25/02. Rates range from $55+ per night for Value Resorts. $85+ per night for Moderate Resorts and $119+ per night for Deluxe Resorts. The closer your desired dates are to Peak Season, the fees increase. Rooms are limited and must be booked by September 23, 2002. Time is running out. Call INTERCOT's exclusive travel agency, Kingdom Magic Travel, today at 1-800-425-0306 for details on how you can save! Ask for code CKO and tell them you saw the special on INTERCOT.

Park Hours and Events are posted through October. A "Special Activities" page has been added to the "Traveling with Children" section in Info Central. Featured activities include; Grand Adventures in Cooking, Pirate Cruise, Wonderland Tea Party and the Ice Cream Social. If you are looking for a little something extra to do during your vacation, these might be of interest to you. "Where to Meet the Characters" and the "Resort & In Room Daycare/Babysitting" information has been recently updated.

Make sure your check out our new Menus and Recipes sections of Info Central! Our spies have been hard at work, brining back menus from some of your favorite eateries. Or maybe they aren’t your favorite. Maybe you’ve been afraid to try Kona Café? Check out the menu and see if it’s right for you.

Plus, our test chefs have been slaving over a hot stove for weeks, trying and testing new Disney Recipes (yes, we’re all jealous too). Take the taste of the world home with you with more than fifty recipes! Point your browser here and start experimenting!

Keep checking back. Info Central is changing constantly. Up next is an updated section on Downtown Disney!  Happy Planning!

<< Dining Review with ChipDale >>

Looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion at Walt Disney World? Want to have a dining experience far removed from the theme parks? California Grill in the Contemporary Resort may be just what you’re looking for. We (two adults, no children) had dinner there recently on a Saturday night. We took the monorail from the Polynesian Resort and arrived at the Concourse Level (4th Floor) of the Contemporary Resort in a few minutes. From the Concourse Level, we took the elevator up to the 15th Floor and found ourselves in the lobby of the California Grill. We checked in and were seated next to the windows on the southwest corner of the restaurant and had a great time watching the boats on the Seven Seas Lagoon and even saw several eagles flying by.

I was surprised to see so many people dining early (our PS was for 5:30pm). Our server greeted us and we ordered some drinks. I ordered a Kirin Ichiban beer and the other person in my party had a glass of the White Zinfandel. For our appetizer, I ordered the California Roll sushi. They gave me 6 large rolls and they were delicious. I would go back there just to have the sushi – it was that good. My dining companion had the asparagus soup and loved it. Other appetizer choices included several types of sushi and sashimi, different flatbreads, black mussels steamed in Thai curry broth, Sonoma goat cheese ravioli, field greens with Cabernet vinaigrette and parmesan toast, warm asparagus with brown butter vinaigrette and several other choices.

As far as the atmosphere is concerned, the big draw is the view. You can request certain views (Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon, etc.). They will try to accommodate when possible. Be aware that on nights when Fantasy in the Sky is showing that many people will request the Magic Kingdom view so you may not always get your preference. I found it to be fairly noisy, but it really didn’t detract from our enjoyable meal. California Grill has an open kitchen and we were seated at that end of the dining room.

Our service was excellent - very professional, yet still friendly. For our main course, I had the Tamarind Barbeque Glazed Beef Filet with Buttered Escarole and Crushed Yukon Golds. The other person in my party ordered the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Polenta. Our dinners were beautifully presented and everything was delicious. Other choices for the Main Course included Spit Roasted Range Chicken, Colorado Lamb Rack, Pan Roasted Grouper, Sesame Spiced Yellowfin Tuna and a Pan Seared Wild Salmon. For dessert, the other person in my party ordered the America’s Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Custard Sauce and I had another Kirin beer. Other dessert choices included a Lemon Meringue Pie Soufflé, Butterscotch Crème Brulee, Blueberry Swirl Angel Food Cake and California Strawberry Shortcake.

California Grill is open for dinner only, 5:00pm to 10:00pm. Priority Seating reservations are strongly recommend, especially on weekends. Price range for appetizers was $8.00 to $29.75, main courses from $19.75 to $31.00, and desserts from $6.50 to $9.50. California Grill also offers a full wine list. They do have a small bar area to enjoy a cocktail before or after dinner. We had a wonderful dining experience and wouldn’t hesitate to go back.

<< Resort Review with Narcoossee's Fan >>

Disney has so many beautiful on-site hotels that it can be hard to choose from just looking at the guidebooks. They make them all sound so wonderful. Wouldn’t you like to know the “real scoop” from some of our Disney veterans? Questions like… “Is the Grand Floridian truly all that? Or, what are the All-Star preferred rooms really like? What is the best hotel for a Disney Studios only visit? At what hotel can I see the fireworks from Epcot without being in the park? Did you know there is shortcut to the Animal Kingdom Lodge from Hwy 192? All these answers and more are coming up in our new feature, INTERCOT’s Resort Review, premiering next month with the most “valued” resort….the All-Star Movies, Music, and Sports Resort!

<< Off Topic >>

Off Topic is still on hiatus this month. Our very own Patricia has been knee deep in carpentry (and injuries related to it). She’ll be back soon with all the latest news on INTERCOTees and their strange, late night (and daylight) weirdness.

<< Conclusion >>

That’s all for this month. The summer has gone so quickly! Soon the leaves will be falling and we’ll all be preparing for the holidays.

Have your Halloween costume picked out yet? We’ll take a look at the Disney options for Halloween both at the World and at home. We’ll debut our latest regular feature, the INTERCOT Resort Review, with Narcoossee's Fan’s review of the All-Star trio of resorts. Plus, the Insider will be going global next month with a series of special articles on visiting WDW from overseas or from Canada. Have any suggestions? Drop us a line at newsletter@mousehut.com.

In the meantime, we’re out of here! Enjoy what remains of the summer weather and remember: See you real soon!

<< INTERCOT Would Like To Thank>>

The INTERCOT Insider and INTERCOT.com are supported by the following sponsors who in turn, help us bring the Magic to you!

Magical Journeys
Magical Journeys is your Disney Vacation specialist. Start planning your Vacation Discount Dreams today!
Website: http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com/

Radisson Resort Parkway
Right in the heart of action! Only 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World is an oasis of ponds, beautiful landscaping, serene waterfalls and relaxing options hiding in every corner.
Website: http://orlando.guestselectresorts.com?pid=INTERCOTN

All Star Vacation Homes
When you need a home away from home, look no further. From comfort to luxury, All Star Vacation Homes has it all in four series of homes to fit any taste and any budget just moments from the magic of Walt Disney World!
Website: http://www.allstarvacationhomes.com?ovchn=OTHER&ovcpn=Listing+Sites&ovcrn=intercot&ovtac=AD

Happy Limo
Providing ground transportation to the entire state of Florida.
Website: http://www.quicksilver-tours.com

The Official Ticket Center
Walt Disney World’s, Universal Studios and Sea World’s #1 guest service provider for the last 3 years. The Official Ticket Center has been servicing vacationers for more than 7 years now and sells tickets only, at a discount price.

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