- Edition Two
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Inside & Out
INTERCOT West - Disneyland Inside
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INTERCOT's MousehutMail - Free Web
Experience - Thrill Ride Parks & Attractions
This newsletter and other past issues can also be read online at;
<< Introduction >>
Heidy Ho INTERCOTees.
The warmth of summer is in full swing, but there are cool things inside this
months insider... where we'll introduce you to INTERCOT's newest sponsor and
announce more accommodation specials. Linda (faline) continues our vacation
savings theme and offers up planning input to help reduce stress for the first
time Disney traveler - as well as tips a repeat visitor can utilize. Speaking of
cooling off, we'll also visit the Disney Water Parks with Jeanne and Beth takes
us on a journey to some Florida beaches, while Ron returns for our latest
History lesson. Grab a glass of coke, print the insider out, go sit next to the
largest air conditioning vent you can find and pretend you are in Ice Station
Cool sampling flavors from around the world!
<< INTERCOT Partners with
Official Ticket Center >>
INTERCOT is proud to
announce a new affiliation with the Official Ticket Center. This
partnership allows INTERCOT guests to buy their Theme Park, Dinner Show and
Attraction tickets in advance of their arrival in the Central Florida area at a
discounted price. The Official Ticket Center has been in business for 7 years
and is Walt Disney World’s, Universal Studios and Sea World’s #1 guest service
provider for the last 3 years. Read member feedback below;
purchased thru them before and had great experiences!! I'm so glad they are a
sponsor of INTERCOT now, so we can help keep INTERCOT free and running!"
-Dreamin' of Disney
"We've bought our tickets from them this year and were glad we did. We saved a
lot of money on those tickets !!"
- alittle figment of your imagination
"Wow! This place does have some great prices. Particularly on the dinner shows."
"OOOOOOO COOOL! We were debating doing a day at Disney Quest in October but the
cost seemed kind of high, $10 less for each ticket will certainly help! That's
$50 savings for us!"
"I just wanted to post that I have been purchasing tickets thru the Official
ticket center for at least 4 Years. They do a great job and have good prices.
Nothing but positive experience thru them."
Buy & Price Tickets Now!
<< Disney Vacation
Planning with faline >>
Planning Your First
Walt Disney World Vacation:
You’ve decided to take the family to Disney World this year and you’ve never
been before. It needs to be a special and magical vacation. How do you make sure
of that? Which parks do you visit? Where do you stay? How do you put all the
details together? You begin to think it’s hopelessly complicated and feel
overwhelmed by all the details......Aaarghhh!!!!!!!!!!!
If you take it step by step, you can plan a wonderful vacation and it really
won’t be very hard to do at all. So, first, take a deep breath. Good! Now, let’s
Step 1: Decide when you’ll go to Disney World and for how long.
For some of you, this will be very easy as the timing of your visit will be
dictated by other circumstances in your life. If you have children and you don’t
want them to miss school, you’ll need to visit during a period of school
vacation. If you have only specified vacation times, you’ll need to go at that
time. Others may be more flexible in when they can go.
Regardless of the time of year you go, you can have a good time if you know what
January and early February - Variable weather. It can even be cold enough to
require winter jackets but can be warm enough to go swimming. Pack for all types
of weather. Lines are short and you’ll feel like you have the parks to yourself.
Presidents’ Day week - Easter - The weather is still variable at the beginning
of this period. By the time Easter arrives, the weather is starting to heat up.
You can expect to wear shorts during the day, though you might still need a
sweatshirt for the evening. This is spring break period. Crowds are extremely
high during Presidents’ Day week and Easter week. Crowds for the rest of this
period can range from moderate to high.
The week after Easter - mid-June - Heat and humidity begin to rise. By mid-June,
it’s really hot and humid and there can be daily thundershowers. Crowds are
relatively low and wait times are usually manageable.
Mid-June - mid-August - Very hot and humid. Daily, and sometimes intense,
thunderstorms can be expected. There are significant crowds throughout this
period and lengthy wait times for popular rides are the norm.
Mid-August - mid-November - Though this period begins very hot and humid; things
have cooled down considerably by November. Daytime temperatures are still
moderate but you may, again, need that sweatshirt for evening activities. This
is also prime hurricane season. While it will be rare to experience such a
storm, it (or a tropical storm) is possible. Crowds have dropped again and wait
times are short.
Thanksgiving Week - The humidity has dissipated. Temperatures can range from
chilly to moderate. The parks are extremely busy and long lines can be expected.
The week after Thanksgiving - The week before Christmas - Weather is generally
nice. You can usually expect moderate daytime temperatures that allow you to
wear those summer shorts. However, it is also possible to experience a cold snap
when gloves and coats might be needed. Crowds again are low and you can
experience many attractions in a short amount of time.
The week before Christmas - New Year’s Day - Weather can be variable and can
range from cold to mild. The parks are packed. Long lines dominate.
Okay. Have you picked the time of year when you’ll visit Disney World? As part
of this step, you need to choose the number of days you will visit the World and
the exact dates of your travel.
Step 2: Buy a guidebook or two. (You can also borrow from a friend or
visit your local library.)
Favorites among INTERCOTees are: Passporter (which also serves as a planning
guide); Bob Sehlinger’s Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World; and/or Birnbaum’s
Official Guide to Walt Disney World. Personally, I prefer the Official Guide
which provides basic information and doesn’t appear intimidating.
If you have children, I’d also suggest you consider Disney World For Kids By
You can order any of these books at
Amazon.com, an INTERCOT sponsor. After all, you’ll want your kids to help
plan this trip as well! Once you have your guide(s), spend some times going
through them as you may need some of this information to complete the next
Step 3: On-site or off-site?
The next decision you need to make is:
Should we stay on Disney World property at a Disney resort or should we stay
outside Disney World?
Personally, I prefer staying at a Disney resort. I’ve only taken one vacation to
the Orlando area where I stayed totally off-site and would probably not do this
again. That’s not to say that there aren’t good reasons to stay off-site. Some
folks decide to stay off-site because they are traveling with a very large group
and they are able to rent an off-site house that accommodates all of them for an
extremely reasonable rate. Then, again, you might have use of your aunt’s condo
so your accommodations won’t cost you anything if you stay off-site. Whatever
your reasons, this is totally a subjective decision. If you decide to stay
off-site, you will probably need a rental vehicle so you should figure the cost
of this into your budget.
There are a number of resorts in the area surrounding Disney World which might
accommodate you if you decide to stay off-site. Here are a couple you might
consider; the Radisson
Resort Parkway or
All Star Vacation Homes.
If you decide to stay in a Disney resort, you have some additional decisions to
Step 4: Decide which Disney resort is best for you
(Skip this step if you’ve decided on off-site accommodations.)
Disney Resorts fall into
Campground - Disney World has a wonderful campground. If you have a tent;
pop-up; or an RV (from Class C through Class A), you can camp under towering
pine trees. The accommodations for my first three trips to Disney World were a
tent pitched in Disney’s campground. It was a wonderful and quite inexpensive
way, to stay on Disney property. If you’re a camper, throw the tent in the car
(or van) and head over to
It’s the best campground I’ve ever been in.
Value Resorts - Value resorts offer you and your family basic accommodations.
The rooms generally feature two double beds and will accommodate a family of
Resorts in this category are:
Moderate Resorts - Moderates offer rooms that are a little larger. One of these
resorts will accommodate a family of five though most still only accommodate a
family of four. Moderate resorts have a bit more landscaping, the pools are a
little more upscale and they may have a sit-down, full-service restaurant.
These resorts include:
- Caribbean Beach
- Coronado Springs
- Port Orleans - Riverside
- Port Orleans - French Quarter
Home Away From Home Resorts - These resorts provide more space than most other
accommodations within Disney World. They also have kitchen areas. Some may
include multiple bedrooms and amenities such as washers and dryers. Some will
even accommodate a party of up to twelve, though at a price (of course). The
only one I have any experience with is the cabins at Fort Wilderness (same
campground, very different place to stay). These cabins include a pull-down
Murphy bed in the living area, a full kitchen, a full bath, and a separate
bedroom in the back.
These resorts include:
- Beach Club Villas
- BoardWalk Villas
- Fort Wilderness Cabins & Wilderness Homes
- Old Key West Resort
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Villas at Wilderness Lodge
Deluxe Resorts - The Deluxe resorts provide the highest level of service within
Disney World along with richly themed surroundings. Some of these rooms will
accommodate families of five.
These resorts include:
- BoardWalk Inn
- Contemporary Resort
- Grand Floridian
- Wilderness Lodge
- Yacht Club
- Beach Club
You need to determine which resort your wallet will tolerate. Additionally, you
need to determine the general area in which you want to stay as well as the
resort theme that appeals to you. This is where the INTERCOT discussion boards
and your guidebook(s) comes in. After familiarizing yourself with the various
resorts, what they look like, and where they’re located, you should be ready to
make your decision. Have you picked a resort?
Step 5: Should I book an all-inclusive package?
(If you’ve decided to stay off-site, skip this step).
Disney offers many all-inclusive packages. You can book a package that includes
your room and unlimited park hoppers (Tickets that allow you entry into all the
theme parks as well as the water parks and Disney Quest). You can also book
packages that provide you with additional dining and recreational features. You
may decide you want to know that the whole thing (regardless of where you eat or
where you play) is paid for before you arrive. In that case, a package might
work for you.
Step 6: Book your resort or resort/package combination.
You can do this yourself by contacting Disney directly. I’d recommend you save
yourself some hassle by using
to handle this for you. They’re experts at getting the best rate possible for
you. Additionally, if a discount comes along later for which you qualify,
they’ll make the change for you and you don’t have to do anything else. As easy
I'll be back next month with the remainder of your planning needs. We'll discuss
transportation, tickets and itineraries. See you in August!
<< ALL STAR Vacation Homes
ALL STAR Vacation Homes
is extending a Special for INTERCOT Readers. If you mention intercot.com when
making a reservation you will receive a savings of $175 off Estate Homes or $125
off any other private pool home reservation. To redeem online, please enter this
promotional code, when prompted by our secure online booking engine: INTERCOT
(Valid only with a 7 night or longer reservation; not valid during
peak/holiday seasons or with any other discount or special; may not be applied
to condos/town homes)
More Details &
<< Visiting Florida
Beaches with MNNHFL >>
Disney World vacations
are always jam-packed with activities and adventures, but some folks still
manage to fit in a day at the beach while they are in Orlando. Here is a brief
synopsis of local (east coast) beaches and an update of what hazards to be on
the lookout for while enjoying your day in the sun.
Beaches--North to South:
Daytona Beach—World famous because of the hard-packed sand that allows
cars to drive right on the beach (subject to a fee). Other attractions—a
Boardwalk with arcade, pier, band shell, restaurants and concessions. Restrooms
at the Boardwalk and crossover parking areas. Lifeguards on duty where posted.
Can get very crowded on weekends and holidays. A touristy area.
New Smyrna Beach—Sand and surf conditions similar to Daytona Beach, but
more scenic and less crowded. Cars allowed to drive on the beach (subject to a
fee). Lifeguards on the main beach in town, not on outlying stretches. Restrooms
at major parking lot and crossover areas. Restaurants nearby, but no other
concessions, so you might want to bring food and beverages.
Playalinda Beach (Cape Canaveral National Seashore)—A very long and
beautiful beach with large sand dunes and many parking lots and crossovers to
beach. There is a National Park Service fee to enter the area. Never crowded.
Restrooms at parking areas. Please note—The beach at crossover #13B has an
unofficial designation as a clothing optional area. There is a county law
against this, but it is not enforced consistently here, so you might want to
take that into consideration when visiting this particular beach. No lifeguards.
No concessions or restaurants, so make sure and bring food and beverages
Cocoa Beach—Nice sand and surf, especially at Jetty Park, next to Port
Canaveral (fee). Lifeguards on duty where posted. The main beach area can get
very crowded on weekends and holidays. Not many parking lots (fee), so most
folks park on a side-street (using parking meters) and use a crossover to access
the beach. Bathroom facilities only near parking lots. A touristy area.
Restaurants and concessions close by.
Patrick Air Force Base Beach—Long stretch of beautiful sand and wave
conditions that attract a lot of surfers. More crowded near crossovers and
parking lots, but you can walk to areas that are not crowded at all. Restrooms
only near certain parking lots, but not all. No lifeguards on duty. No
restaurants or concessions.
The beaches south of this area become rockier and are usually not as good for
swimming, although there are certainly some exceptions to this.
Hazards to be aware of at the beach:
1. Rip Currents-- Rip currents (also called rip tides) are the number one
hazard on this part of the coast. Troughs in the ocean floor that allow receding
water to flow out faster than water in the surrounding area cause them. If
caught in a rip current, a swimmer will suddenly find himself being pulled
quickly out to sea. Before entering the water, keep an eye out for any
inconsistencies in the surf---unusually turbulent water or unusually calm water.
It is always wise to swim near a lifeguard stand so that help is nearby if
needed. If in doubt about your swimming abilities, DO NOT enter the water. The
primary thing to remember if you are ever caught in a rip current is not to
panic and not to try and swim straight to shore, which will only exhaust you and
put you at further risk. Swim parallel to shore until you feel the current
release you and then swim to shore.
2. Sharks—Not uncommon to see, but shark bites themselves are a rarity.
Early morning and late evening are the main times that sharks are actively
feeding, so you may want to avoid swimming at those times. Keep an eye out for
increased numbers of seabirds (pelicans, gulls, etc.) feeding offshore. Wherever
there are schools of fish for the birds, there are potentially sharks feeding
there too. Do not wear jewelry or anything else shiny that sharks might mistake
for fish scales, and do not enter the water with any open or bleeding wounds
that might attract sharks.
3. Other Marine Hazards—When the wind blows from the southeast at certain
times of the year, small Man-O-War jellyfish wash into shore. If you see these
strange, gelatinous-looking creatures in the water or on sand, DO NOT touch
them, as they have tentacles that can cause a painful sting. Also recent years
have seen an increased number of “red tides”. These are algae blooms in the
water that release toxins into the air that can irritate the respiratory system.
If you find yourself inexplicably coughing at the beach or your eyes start to
itch and burn, it may signal one of these red tides, and the only way to
alleviate the symptoms is to leave the beach and drive inland.
As you can see, a day at the beach is fun, but people should always be aware of
the potential hazards. Florida recently adopted a standardized flag warning
system for beach-goers swimming near lifeguard stands:
GREEN—Low hazards, calm conditions
YELLOW—Medium hazard, moderate surf and/or currents
RED—High hazard, rough conditions, strong surf and/or currents
RED over RED—Water closed to the public
PURPLE—Marine pests present
So stay safe and have a great day at the beach!
<< Off to the Water Parks
with Piglet822 >>
My son and I had the
opportunity to both Typhoon Lagoon (TL) and Blizzard Beach (BB) this past month.
We had a great time at both parks and it’s hard to decide which is our favorite.
The feel at
Lagoon is more tropical and I felt, relaxing. We went with two of my
girlfriends and their kids. My son and the two girls took off as soon as we hit
the park. They hit the slides and then came back to the wave pool, a favorite of
my son. We actually didn’t see them for several hours.
The wave pool at TL is 400 feet long, 600 feet at widest and holds 2.75 million
gallons of water. Guests can body surf in waves up to 6 feet tall. The wave pool
at Blizzard Beach is much smaller in comparison and the waves are more for
bobbing. Tubes are available at BB for use in the wave pool on a first come –
first serve basis.
Another big draw at both water parks are the two lazy rivers. Known as Castaway
Creek in TL, and Cross Country Creek in BB. The only difference between the two
is the theming and the length. Cross Country Creek is about 900 feet longer than
Castaway Creek. You grab a tube, available at the many entrances, sit back and
relax. You can get tubes for singles, doubles, or small children.
Before writing this, I spoke to my son about what he liked best about the parks.
Being the quiet kid he is, (quite unlike his mother) I didn’t get much of a
response but he did say that he liked
Beach for the slides. BB has more slides and if you’re looking for thrills,
this is the place. The home of Summit Plummet, which my son did do. It took him
all day to work up his nerve but he said it was “good”. Told you, he’s quiet.
Summit Plummet is 120 feet high which makes it the worlds tallest, fastest free
fall speed slide. You will reach 60 mph and I’ve been told, quite the wedgie.
There is a minimum height requirement on this ride of 4 feet.
Both parks offer a variety of foods or you can bring your own cooler, which is
what we did. The only restrictions are alcohol and glass containers. Neither
will be allowed in the park. Upon entry to both parks I was politely asked by a
CM if they could look in my cooler which of course I had no objection to.
You’ll also find an area at the parks devoted to those little swimmers, up to
48” please. I don’t have little ones so I’m unable to tell you exactly what each
area offered but after reading descriptions to both, I would have to say that
the area at BB offers a bit more.
Certain swimming devices are permitted are both parks. Plastic goggles that do
not cover the nose, swimmers aid devices attached to the body, Coast Guard
personal flotation devices (PFD), water wings and flotation sewn into the
bathing suit are permitted in shallow water. Items not allowed at the water
parks include rafts, snorkels, masks, fins, swim attire with rivets, buckles or
exposed metal, and fun noodles. The only exception to this would be at Shark
Reef at Typhoon Lagoon. If you have your own mask and snorkel you are welcome to
use it, however the mask must have tempered glass. Fins are not allowed.
The water at both parks is heated and the water temperature is around 75 – 80
degrees. There are two exceptions. The Shark Reef at TL, and the melting snow in
the ice cave of Cross Country Creek at Blizzard Beach.
One suggestion I'd like to make for those planning on visiting the water parks,
especially Blizzard Beach, water shoes are a must. Or some type of shoe that can
be worn comfortably all day and get wet. Typhoon Lagoon is not too much of a
problem when it comes to shade but BB is. The pavement is sprayed in places by
small sprinklers but on a hot Florida day, does not do enough to keep your feet
cool. On our recent visit to BB during one wait period, my son had to wait in a
shady area while I held our place in line. Simply because the pavement was too
hot for his bare feet. Inexpensive pairs of shoes can be picked up at Wal-Mart
or K-Mart for as little as $5 or $6. It's a wise investment.
If you arrive at the park and realize you’ve forgotten your towel, no problem.
You can rent towels for the day, a wheelchair if needed, or life jackets.
Lockers are also available. Parking at both water parks is free of charge, and
Disney resort guests can take advantage of the free Disney Transport shuttle
More information on either park can be found in INTERCOT’s
Theme Park section, just click
on water parks and there are two separate links to take you to Blizzard Beach
and Typhoon Lagoon. I think you’ll have a hard time deciding which water park is
your favorite, too.
<< History & Trivia with
When Magic Kingdom
guests are riding the
Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA) attraction they often wonder about the
futuristic model city that they see along the way. What is it? Where did it come
It is called Progress City, and it was part of the "Progressland" attraction
that Disney and General Electric created for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.
Progressland later became the Carousel of Progress attraction at both Disneyland
and Walt Disney World. Progress City became part of the scenery on the TTA
attraction. Progress City was Walt Disney's model for his planned city of the
future, Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow (EPCOT later renamed
Built at 1/8 inch scale to the foot, The model city covers 6,900 square feet.
The model includes 22,000 scale trees and shrubs, and has 4,500 structures that
are lit from within. There are 1,400 working streetlights about one inch tall
Try to get a good look at the model city the next time you ride the Tomorrowland
<< Conclusion >>
That concludes another Edition of the Insider. We'll be back next month with
more news, topics and tips. Until then, stay cool, keep your feet on the ground
and keep reaching for those stars. Oh, and... Happy INTERCOTing!
<< 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
Magical Journeys is your Disney Vacation specialist. Start planning your
Vacation Discount Dreams today!
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options hiding in every corner.
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!
Providing ground transportation to the entire state of Florida.
The Official Ticket
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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