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Snow, ice, and weather
not-so-nice. As blustery winter weather has arrived in your neck of
the woods, another edition of the INTERCOT Insider has arrived in
your mail box. In this edition, we re-cap the latest news from Walt
Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, check-out the latest deals,
learn about a great Disney book to cure your winter blues, take a
peak beyond the Disney berms, and check out the latest Disney
calendars. Hang on to them hats and glasses, cause this here's the
most informative ride on the internet!
with Magical Journeys Travel
-- Spring into
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Minimum stay requirements may
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non-discounted price of the same room. Additional per adult charges
may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate
and Deluxe Resorts The discounted nights are VERY date specific and
range from 15% off to 30% off depending on resort and date.
<<Book Nook with
-- Walt and the Promise of
Progress City --
Walt and the Promise of Progress
City is a well-written book by Sam Gennawey on the conceptual
evolution of EPCOT. Gennawey is an urban planner and this book is
written through that lens.
Gennawey takes us through the evolution of Walt’s ideas and projects
that eventually led to EPCOT and the Florida Project. It is a
different look on things like the World’s Fairs, Disneyland, and
other projects that influenced Walt’s thinking on EPCOT. There are
some editing errors and sometimes information you’d want is left
out. For example, Gennawey says that the Industrial Parks USA
exhibit at the 1958 Brussels World Fair influenced Walt’s thinking
on EPCOT but he doesn’t say anything about the exhibit to explain
The finale of the book takes us through a look at EPCOT as if it had
been built per Walt’s vision. Gennawey largely relies on the
Progress City model for this look. It’s interesting look at the
model, but the question of whether EPCOT could have been as Walt
envisioned is never really tackled or answered.
This is worthwhile addition to any Disney fan’s, especially fans of
EPCOT, library. It adds more to the story of Walt Disney World and
EPCOT. In fact, it was interesting to read that Walt had wanted to
build a Chinese restaurant at Disneyland that would feature an
audio animatronic like Confucius that would pass on words of wisdom
to guests. Sounds similar to the Great Destini that was previewed at
the 2011 D23 Expo in Anaheim. It does lack an index, so trying to
find information in the book itself can be a challenge.
Get the book through INTERCOT affiliate Amazon.com
Newsreel with Figment!>>
From land to sea, the new year
has brought several exciting announcements in the Disney realm.
Disneyland park and the Magic Kingdom park have announced that they
are celebrating Leap Day, by staying open for 24 hours straight on
February 29, 2012. This Spring, Guests to Epcot's Italy pavilion
will find new ways to dine. Tutto Italia Ristorante will re-open in
late April with a new look, new menu and new wine bar. This Fall,
Guests to Epcot will experience some changes to Test Track. The
attraction's queue will now put Guests in the car designer's seat
and a new post-show will take a look into automotive future. The
Disney Cruise Line is making waves with new itineraries and new ports
of call. This year the Disney Cruise Line will be embarking for the
first time on a 14-night Panama Canal cruise. Starting next year,
the Disney Cruise Line will add Venice, Italy, and the Greek Isles as
new ports of call.
<<Beyond the Berms
My family has made a tradition of
going to Walt Disney World (WDW) for Christmas week. This year, due
to time constraints and family commitments, we were unable to make
our annual trek to the happiest place on earth. Fortunately, we were
able to make a 10 hour drive to our second favorite vacation place,
Pigeon Forge Tennessee, home of the Smokey Mountains and, of course,
We figured a visit to Dollywood would ease the disappointment of no
Disney at Christmas. After all, Dollywood has Christmas decorations,
Christmas music, Christmas lights, Christmas food, and Christmas
treats, as well as special Christmas shows and entertainment; all in
a very family friendly atmosphere. Just like WDW! To "compare"
Dollywood to WDW would not be fair, as no one park can really
compare to all that is available at WDW. Nevertheless, Dollywood is
a great park at Christmas time, with much to offer.
The park is exceptionally decorated at this time of year. There are
many, many lights in beautiful displays. Park literature claims
there are 4 million lights but we didn't count so, we will trust the
literature on that. Wonderful wreaths, garland, and Christmas trees
are everywhere throughout the Park. Several decorated and lit
picture spot areas make for good holiday photos and memories! There
is an evening light show set to Christmas music over a pond in the
center of the park. No, it doesn't compare to Illuminations. It
is around a pond, not a lake as in Epcot, so is much smaller in
scale. Nevertheless, it is a charming light show!
We also were able to see "Dollywood's Christmas on Ice", featuring
The Ice Theater of New York. This was a very well done Christmas
show with talented singers and amazing ice skaters. We also enjoyed
the show, "Smokey Mountain Christmas", a stage production of acting,
dancing and singing. Neither were as moving as the Candle Light
Processional, but they were not meant to be. Each was a 45 minute
show that featured talented performers and Christmas music, and my
family enjoyed both. Besides these headline shows, there are several
other Christmas themed shows at this time of year. The "Appalachian
Christmas" show with traditional mountain music features some
fantastic musicians and is not to be missed by any music lover. Now
let me turn to a topic that is dear to me - food! Again, there are
not nearly as many options as WDW for eating, but believe me, there
is good food to be found at Dollywood. We had lunch at "Aunt
Granny's Buffet" and the food was wonderful "comfort" food. Pulled
ham, fried chicken, turkey, baked chicken, sweet potato casserole,
mac and cheese, biscuits, and much much more. I'm still confused by
name of this restaurant "Aunt Granny's"! Is she an Aunt or is she a
Granny?...... Also available are several "counter style" restaurants
featuring a variety of good stuff! The two Bake Shop options beat
anything WDW has to offer in the baked goods category, this coming
from a guy who never misses a chance to eat at the Main Street
Bakery. The 25 pound apple pie at The Sweet Shoppe is a must see,
and has been featured on the Food Network.
Thrill ride wise, Dollywood has taken a lesson from WDW imagineers.
The Mine Ride is especially well themed and a very good ride.
Thunder Head is a fantastic wooden coaster. Dollywood is opening a
new coaster in March of 2012, a "winged roller coaster" that looks
like it will be awesome for those of the "death defying, stomach
churning" crowd. There are also many rides for the less brave and
the little ones, including a whole section of "Country fair"
options. Those who think Dollywood is just about Dolly Parton are as
misinformed as those who think WDW is just about Mickey Mouse. The
theme of Dollywood is Smokey Mountain culture and traditions. The
entire park is extremely well themed, a lot of fun, and all
employees seemed genuinely happy to spend their day with us.
We greatly enjoyed watching traditional Mountain craftsmen such as
glass blowers, leather makers, and wood carvers. Also not to be
missed is the Eagle Sanctuary where injured Bald Eagles are brought
to receive care. Additionally, the park offers a Sunday worship
service set in a authentic rural mountain church. Just the thing for
the traveler away from their home church.
How does Dollywood compare to WDW? It doesn't! It is a completely
different experience. Did my family miss our traditional "picture in
front of the castle early on Christmas morning wearing our Mickey
and Minnie Santa ears"? You know we did. Just as we missed walking
up Main Street with all of the decorations, and Epcot with the
Holliday version of Illuminations. However, Dollywood helped fill
the Christmas park tradition. We survived a non-Disney Christmas and
had a great time. After all, as they say, Christmas is found where
the heart is and for my family, this year it was in Dollywood!
Jeff's Dollywood photo album on INTERCOT
-- June 2012 --
Extra Magic Hours, Operating, and
Event schedules have been released for June 2012. For guests
visiting during this time, you will want to visit the Park Hours and
Events pages to aid in planning your trip. Remember, all times and
schedules are subject to change, so check back often.
Hours Schedule and Info
Parades, & Event Schedules
<< Conclusion >>
has snowballed to a conclusion. We hope its helped keep you warm
with anticipation of that next great vacation. We'll be back in a
few weeks with more great tips, news and deals. See ya real soon!
<< Thank You To Our
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