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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > July 2008 Edition


June 2008 Edition

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<< Introduction >>

Summertime, and the livin' is easy! It's that time of year when many folk are heading out for a Summer vacation, and the Insider is too!  Our normal monthly articles are taking a Summer Break this month, but we've got a great Special Summer Themed edition coming your way. While a summer trip to Walt Disney World can be filled with fun times at the resorts water parks and pools, it can also be a time of year when hurricanes and high heat can add a bit of a damper onto ones vacation. In this edition we take a look at how to enjoy  those cool offerings and also prepare for those lesser fun happenings in order to make sure that a Summer trip to Walt Disney World is an awesome one.   It's Insider Time!

<< A Cell Splash >>


The Walt Disney World Resort have recently introduced a new interactive option for Guests who bring a cell phone with a data plan to their water parks. Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon have introduced a new interactive program called DSplash. Through DSplash, Guests who text “H20” to 775274 (SPLASH) gain access to descriptions of attractions, back stories, specialty wallpaper, and lingo definitions all on their cell phone.

<<Preparing for Hurricane Season with Strmchsr>>

The summer is the time when many flock to Disney World, but something else also has a fondness for Florida…hurricanes. The tropical storm season runs June 1 through November 30 with the peak season being mid-August through mid-October. We see many posts from folks planning vacations during this time period who are quite nervous about the prospects of a hurricane. The “free” dining promotion the last 3 years has raised September attendance a good bit, as have the relatively calm tropical storm seasons over the last 2 years, but still many folks cast a nervous eye towards the tropics as their vacation approaches. So, what happens if a storm does come your way?

First of all, keep in mind that Walt Disney World opened in October 1971. That means it has been open 37 years – just over 13,000 operating days - and in all that time it’s only had to shut down 5 times so your chance of having your vacation interrupted is very slight. The first time this happened was with Hurricane Floyd in 1999. That’s 18 years with no closures. It happened again on 9/11/01 due to the fear of further terrorist attacks, twice in 2004 for Hurricanes Frances and Charley, and then in 2005 for Hurricane Wilma. None of these closures lasted more than a day or two. I hope less than 10 total days out of 13,000 helps you rest a little easier. 

If a storm is heading towards Orlando it’s a monstrous operation to shut WDW down. Here’s the process: 

Phase 5 (Monitoring Storm Possible) - Review current plan, checklists and business recovery plans. Review personnel and resource availability for the ride-out crew. Verify contact numbers and emergency data. Prepare WDW Emergency Operations Center for activation.

Phase 4 (Storm likely within 24–36 hrs) - General readiness imposed. Brief personnel. Review checklists. Consider possible shut down of long lead operations and not starting extended operations. Limited activation and staffing of WDW Emergency Operations Center.

Phase 3 (Storm probable within 12–24 hrs) - Intensify clean up and tie down. Prepare for phase 2 activity. Selected ride-out crew personnel given the opportunity to secure their personal property. Turn in excess radios and vehicles. WDW Emergency Operations Center opens and is fully staffed. Note: Generally this is when the WDW Emergency Operations Center, command centers, and command posts will be fully activated. However, this is an Executive Policy Team decision.

Phase 2 (Storm impending) - Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney close. Guest campground trailers removed and secured by the guests. Scheduled hotel and campground guests notified of conditions. Complete all clean up and tie down short of shutdown. Authorized ride-out families move to pre-designated shelters. Ride-out crew fully staffed at start of phase 1 or as directed by the WDW Emergency Operations Center. Personnel not in ride-out crew released as soon as possible.

Phase 1 (Storm imminent, take shelter) - Shutdown all activities and immediately take shelter. Fulfill ride-out requirement plans.
Post Storm Phase - Command Centers submit situation reports to WDW Emergency Operations Center. Establish business resumption / recovery schedule. Notify employees through media and cast Member emergency lines of call back as directed by WDW Emergency Operations Center.

Disney takes very good care of its guests during tropical storms. You’ll be provided with constant information and good care. You can search our forums for the experiences of those who have been at WDW during a hurricane and see that it wasn’t horrible. If you have further questions or want to discuss this more, check out the weather thread in the Vacation Planning Forum. Have fun on your vacations!!!

>> Vacation Planning Forum

<<A Cool New Pool >>

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is getting a major facelift in the pool department.  The whole pool area is being rebuilt and expanded to offer even more great ways to cool off in the Florida Sun.  Expected to open in Late Summer 2008, the new pool area will feature new slides, a water play area and an expanded pool.  Let's take a look back at the progress and events of this renovation project:

1/8/08: Old Port Royale Feature Pool closes for refurbishment. The refurbishment is scheduled to last through September 15, 2008. Children's waterslides are added to the Barbados and Jamaica village pools and enhanced children's recreation activities are offered during the refurbishment.

4/15/08: Concept art of the new Old Port Royale pool appears on the construction walls surrounding the area. The art depicts a larger fort with a more elaborate water slide and what appears to be a larger pool area. First signs of digging work in the area appear.

3/30/08: The Old Port Royale Feature Pool area has begun resurfacing several areas. Much of the area still remains dirt.

3/15/08: The Old Port Royale Feature Pool area has been razed. The main fort still remains standing among a dirt construction area.

6/20/08: A new pool basin has been constructed and work on constructing what appears to be a second larger fort begins.

7/12/08: Resurfacing of the new pool area appears to be nearing completion. Work continues on building the new fort, work on refurbishing the original fort continues as well. Several mulched beds with newly planted palm trees have appeared. A new pirate ship play area has been constructed. 

>> Continuing News & Progress of the Pool Refubishment

<<From the Archives ... >>

--June 2002: How to Survive the Summer Heat with MNNHFL --

In one of the very first edition of the INTERCOT Insider, MNNHFL took a look at ways to stay cool in the Summer.  While many things at Walt Disney World have changed in the last 6 years, these tried and true ways of staying cool remain as important today as they did back then.  Let's take a look back at these timeless tips to stay cool:

Got Water? -The most important way to prevent heat-related problems is to increase your fluid intake when you're out under the hot sun. For otherwise healthy people, that means 2-4 glasses of cool water every hour. (For those with chronic health conditions, it is always best to consult your doctor about how much you should drink.) You don't have to break the bank to buy beverages at Disney World. Water is absolutely the best liquid to drink to avoid dehydration, and many people bring water bottles to the parks and just keep refilling them at drinking fountains or concessions all day. Try to avoid drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine as they can actually dehydrate your body.

Pace Yourself- If you are unaccustomed to being active in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually (easier said than done at the most Magical Place on Earth!) If exertion is causing your heart to pound and your head to ache, then slow down.

Do a Balancing Act- Alternate periods of outdoor activity with indoor (as in air-conditioned) activity. While it may be tempting to go right from waiting in line at the Indy Speedway to the playground in Toontown, it would probably be a better idea to take in the air-conditioned line at Space Mountain first.

Take a Breather- The strategy many Disney World visitors use is to visit the theme parks early and late in the day, with a trip back to the hotel room (or better yet, the hotel pool or water parks) in between. This is a very effective way to cool off and also avoid the worst of the afternoon
heat and crowds at the parks.

Made in the Shade- Disney World is pretty good about offering shaded queues for their attractions, but it doesn't hurt to keep an eye out for every opportunity to make use of shade. Not only will it keep you cooler, but it will also keep you from getting sunburned (of course, you should use plenty of sun block when out in the sun, but that's another story!) You can also carry around a small portable umbrella to make your own shade. True, some people may look at you funny (just before they start sidling closer to your man-made shade), but this can be very effective.

Chill Out- There are various other things you can do to keep cool. Splash your face with water every time you use the restroom. Make good use of Splash Mountain (need I say more?) My favorite way to keep cool is by taking a few ice cubes, rolling them up in a bandanna and tying it around my neck. As the ice melts and wets the fabric, it cools the pulse points in neck, which makes the rest of my body feel cooler. Plus you can use it over and over again all day. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in light colors, which will reflect sunlight and feel cooler (dark colors absorb sunlight, making you feel hotter.) Whatever methods you use to keep cool at Disney World, use them consistently.

One additional note-- Children younger than four years of age and adults older than 65 need to be monitored even more closely in hot environments and should avoid being outside in the hottest part of the day whenever possible. Their! bodies cannot adapt and control their internal temperatures as well as other age groups can. So stay safe, keep cool and have fun this summer at Disney World!


<< Conclusion >>

That wraps up this info packed Special Summer Edition of the INTERCOT Insider.  Hope its given you some great ideas on how to stay cool and deal with that not-so-pleasant weather that can put a damper on a summer vacation.  We'll be back soon with our monthly articles bringing you a wave of more great tips to make a Disney vacation super special.  See ya real soon!

<< Thank You To Our Sponsors! >>

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

All Star Vacation Homes
Website: Vacation Home Details Here
Choose from the finest selection of vacation homes and condos in the closest locations to Walt Disney World.

Gaylord Palms Resort
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Imagine a resort experience that brings to life the best of the Sunshine State. All of the spirit. All of the excitement. All of the adventure. From the history and old-world charm of St. Augustine to the colorful and festive island spirit of Key West, to the mysterious waters and cypress of the Everglades - The Gaylord Palms has it all!

The Official Ticket Center
Website: Buy & Price Tickets Now!
The Official Ticket Center is Walt Disney World’s, Universal Studios and Sea World’s #1 guest service provider for the last 3 years. The Official Ticket Center sells tickets only, at a discount price.

Magical Journeys
Website: http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com
INTERCOT's Official Travel Agency.  An unconventional Travel Agency for the unconventional client, Magical Journeys is dedicated to finding the best pricing for your next magical journey. We work hard to save you money, and still give you the quality service you deserve.

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Quicksilver Tours & Transportation
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Our drivers are the first personal contact you have when you arrive in Orlando.  No other transportation company goes to the lengths we do to ensure that your trip is exactly how you imagined it. At Quicksilver, we truly believe there's no such thing as going "above and beyond" for our clients. Instead, it's all part of doing our jobs correctly.

Radisson Resort Orlando - Celebration
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Conveniently located just 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World with free shuttle service. roomy guest accommodations and a Starbucks and Pizza Hut right on property!

Stan Kelley Photography
Website: http://www.flmemories.com
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The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Website: http://www.swandolphin.com
In the heart of the Walt Disney World® Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is your gateway to Central Florida’s greatest theme parks and attractions. Come discover our 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds®, the luxurious Mandara Spa, and many special Disney benefits.

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This Disney Vacation Club resale site offers the largest selection of DVC Resale's anywhere!  They are the number one Disney Vacation Club Reseller in the world. See how easy and affordable it is to purchase your very own piece of the "MAGIC".

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