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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > December 2003

Intercot.com INTERCOT Insider
 December 2003 - Edition One

Brought to you by INTERCOT's network of sites:
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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 >>

Happy holidays to everyone!  With the holiday season brings a few new events down at the Merriest Place on Earth and a few happenings on INTERCOT too!  Read on for the news with Casey, great tips on trip reports with Ray, and finally the INTERCOT updates with Tracey.  If it's snowing out, grab a cup of hot chocolate and read up.  If it's warm out, feel lucky!

<< Disney World Events with DisneyWizard >>

December is here and gone.  This doesn't mean Disney still doesn't have a few events up their sleeves though.  Check out what is still to come at the end of this year.

- Wonders of Life on seasonal operation -
The Wonders of Life attraction in Epcot will be shorting its hours to a seasonal basis.  The three attractions in the pavilion will continue to operate during peak attendance periods, while the merchandise locations and food locations will cease to operate completely.  It is still uncertain if the pavilion will get a facelift soon or if it will stay the way it currently is.

"If you are going to close it up then build something new there. Don't just let it sit." -florida919 "Closing down for refurb is one thing, or even having reduced hours, but operating seasonally is totally different." -Disneydol "This is typical Disney business that has been going on and getting worse over the last few years." -vizsla

- Disney to ring in the New Year -
Walt Disney World Resort ushers in 2004 with a dazzling display of entertainment, parades, fireworks, thrills and extended hours throughout the Vacation Kingdom.  Included in the festivities are the New Year's Eve Countdown Spectacular at Epcot, extra fireworks displays at Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, and performances by Blondie, Sugarhill Gang, and Jeff Kashiwa in Pleasure Island.  Be sure to check out INTERCOT for special event hours and firework times.
"New Years at Epcot makes me just about the happiest person ever!" -spiderkd "Epcot is great during New Year's despite the fact that you really can't ride anything because of the crowds." -remzlightyear

NOTE:  Due to the Walt Disney World Marathon & Half Marathon being held on January 11, 2004, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will switch Extra Magic Hour days on January 11 & 12. Animal Kingdom will open early on Sunday, January 11, 2004 for Extra Magic Hour. Magic Kingdom will open early on Monday, January 12th.

<<A Vacation with the Comforts of Home
with JohnY>>

As 2003 comes to a close, and thoughts turn to warmer weather dreams and planning summer vacations, I thought it would be a good time to share my experience of staying in an All-Star Vacation home this past summer.  Having never stayed off property for an extended period of time, I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but all my worries were quickly erased.  All of All Star's properties are located less than 4 miles from Walt Disney World and are next to a myriad of shopping and dining opportunities.

Upon arrival to the All Star office for key pick up, I realized, I had never asked how I was going to get the key to my vacation home.  It was after normal business hours and I was panicked.  In the window was a number to call with after hours problems.  So, I called and the phone was quickly answered.  The person on the line walked me thru what I needed to do to get my key out of the lockbox, and I was on my way!  What a relief.
Our home was only about a minute from the office near the "Splendid China" Theme Park (who even knew that was there) and a full service shopping center complete with grocery store and restaurants.  We entered our pass code to get into the gated community and quickly made our way to the house.  It was even nicer and roomier than we had imagined. 

For fun, we had invited another family to go with us and share the home.  There were a total of 10 of us, but we weren't cramped one bit with the 7 bedrooms and 6 baths of our Executive Series house.  The place was spotless and very well maintained. Of course, our home had a fully stocked huge kitchen with all the standard appliances, plates & utensils and microwave.  Everything was tastefully furnished and themed throughout.  Included were things like a Sony Widescreen Projection TV, computer with high speed internet access, game room and a multi component stereo system with built in speakers both inside and outside.  This came in handy when we were sitting outside next to our screened in pool with built in hot tub!  After unpacking, we decided we would like to have our hot tub heated (as we planned on soaking most nights after visiting the parks) so we again placed a call to All Star.  Again, the phone was answered immediately and a friendly voice on the other end of the line said someone would be by soon....  Shortly thereafter, a staff member dropped by, activated the heat and proceeded to show us how to operate our spa.  Our stay was wonderful and it was more relaxing that most of our trips to Disney World.  We even took off an afternoon to hang around a swim in the pool.

Now I am sure you are thinking, how expensive this is!  Well, I think that you will be shocked to find that All Star's Homes run about the same or in some cases less than Disney's Value & Moderate Resorts.  Prices run from $99/nite for a condo or town home, from $169/nite for Luxury and Resort homes and from $279/nite for Executive series homes depending on the season.  If you are traveling with a large family or group, staying on property at Disney simply isn't cost effective.   Why not stay in a Vacation Home instead where you can get a whole house with all the comforts of home!  It's incredibly convenient too it only took us a few minutes to get to Disney's main gate.

Bottom line is, we had a wonderful vacation experience in our All Star Vacation home and won't hesitate to use them again for future trips to Walt Disney World.  As you start planning your 2004 vacations, I urge you to check them out, compare prices and convenience, and give them a try. Then prepare yourself for one of the most relaxing Walt Disney World vacations possible.  All Star Vacation Homes can be found on the net at http://www.allstarvacationhomes.com

<< Bytes and Pieces with TiggerRPh >>

Now that everyone is back from Walt Disney World and the INTERCOT 5th Anniversary Meet, everyone is screaming the same thing, "We want trip reports!"  What are the important points in doing a good trip report?

1. Most importantly. . . tell us what you did.  What rides/attractions did you go to?  Where did you eat?
2. Did anything unusual or unplanned happen?  Very few trips go without some sort of glitch. ..what happened and how did you deal with it?
3. Make in interesting.  We want to know what you did, but almost more importantly, we want to know how you felt, what you observed.  Was the food good, what was the service like, did everyone enjoy Mission: Space or did you get sick?
4. Make each day a separate thread.  This makes it easier for everyone to follow along.
5. Keep the same title for each day, but number your days.  In other words, have "Walt Disney World Tour" as your common title for each report, but add Day 1, Day 2, etc. to the corresponding report.  This helps everyone follow along and know which reports they've read.
6. Cast of Characters. ..  who's going on the trip.  This helps the readers keep everyone straight . . . believe it or not, it can get confusing at times.

The Trip Reports Forum is the one place on INTERCOT that allows posting of links to external sites. . .provided that it's a personal photo site like Ofoto or Webshots.  So, if you have pictures you want to share and you have a place online to post them. . .share them.

So. . .now you know what it takes to make a great trip report from your WDW Vacation. . . what are you waiting for?  We want trip reports!!!

<< Off Topic with Dizneyanna >>

Wow!!  Where has THIS month gone?? Wherever it went, I'd kind of like it back!! (Okay not really, that would just make my trip to WDW farther away.)  But, you get my point..  The holiday season is upon us, and I hope that you are all preparing much better than I am!!

Let's see what happened around INTERCOT during November.  Hope that you haven't eaten *too* much turkey, and can stay awake.  ;)

Speaking of preparing, roryjulie wanted to know how many people take advantage of holiday shopping on the Internet, or by catalog, and seems that a lot of you take advantage of that.  I had planned to this year, but remember when earlier I asked where this month went??  Well, that practically applies to this year for me.  So, maybe next year!!  It seems like a great way to shop to avoid the crowds.  Then there are those who love to get up at ungodly hours in the morning and take advantage of shopping the day after Thanksgiving (commonly known as Black Friday).  You are a brave pack of warriors and I hope that all of you came home unscathed, and hope that all you retail workers did the same!!

WDWacky gave us the top 10 list of the worst toys (dangerous) to be giving this holiday season, and there were quite a few people who wondered just how we made it *this* far in life considering the things that we played with when we were kids.  Brought back some childhood (some not so pleasant) memories for me!!  :)

This month we got a chance to catch a glimpse at the lunar eclipse on November 8th.  It was a beautiful sight as it turned red and then back to white again.  On November 11th, we celebrated Veteran's Day and honored all those who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States.  We thank you all for your dedication to our Country.

Thanksgiving topped the month off for us, and I hope that you all were able to spend the holiday enjoying food and festivities with your families. 

We had quite a few posting milestones this month, so people must still be posting in between making reservations and packing.  ChipDale - 30K, Beast_fanatic - 20K, TiggerRPh - 18K, WDWacky - 15K, Melanears - 11K, DisneyWizard - 10K, pjbs35a - 8K, faline - 6K, Lizzy - 4K,Beach Club Babe - 3K, MauiMouse - 3K, harlowandthemermaid - 2K, SteelyGirl - 2K, singermom4 - 2K, TheRustyScupper - 1K, hope2survive - 1K, WDW crazy - 1K, and loadingband - Senior Cast Member.  Congratulations to all of you, and keep up the great work!!

Happy Birthday's going out this month to: marlyn, TiggTigg5, Jeremy, Figment! Goofy81, John Y, jillluvsdisney, Steve Brown, mickeefan, J9, Toughbug, Jeri Lynn, Ozarker, bradleysnana, LNACE, DisneyScarlie, singermom4, DisneyWizard, Bugslinger. Crystal, BigDisneyDad, spiderkd, walstib, *Liz*, Jeannine, Disney2002, Noah's Helper, goofysmyfav and CarrieAllie.

We can't leave out a very important birthday that happened on November 18th.  Our very own mouse, Mickey, celebrated his 75th birthday!!  Happy Birthday Mickey!!  You still look GREAT after all these years!!

That wraps (pun intended) it up for me here.  See you all next month.  I now return you to the real topic. . .

<< Conclusion >>

Everyone at INTERCOT wishes you a Happy New Year and we'll see you all in 2004.  Remember to check in at INTERCOT and let us know what you did this holiday season, especially if it happens to be a trip down to our favorite vacation destination.  Until next time, happy planning!

<< 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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