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October 2007 Archives

October 4, 2007

Epcot's 25th Rededication Ceremony - Part 1

It really was a beautiful morning which was good since we spent a lot of time waiting. Even though Spaceship Earth remained closed for renovations, it made the perfect backdrop for the festivities against the blue sky.

I purchased a limited edition T-shirt and a Figment for myself which took quite a bit of time. So much time that I could not wait in any of the Limited Edition pin lines. (If anyone has any extra of the limited edition 25th Anniversary pins, please let me know.) From the shop I headed over to the rope drop area. My souvenir shopping put me much further back from the rope than I had hoped. Nonetheless, I was there in person and very excited!!!

Rope drop in Epcot on October 1, 2007

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We waited at the rededication location for well over an hour. It provided a wonderful opportunity to talk to those around and listen to the stories of what brought people to Epcot on this special day. Many knew the significance, some, "just followed the crowd."

Here is a photo from my spot, about 5 rows from the front, looking back toward World Showcase. It'll give you an idea of how many folks attended the ceremony.

Crowd waiting for Rededication to Begin

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AllEars® Senior Editor, Debra Martin Koma, with AllEars® Guest Columnist, Brian Martsolf.

Debra Martin Koma and Brian Martsolf

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Adam Roth (co-founder Celebration 25 one of the unofficial fan gatherings) is being interviewed for a podcast. Adam is holding an original Figment from the early 80's which belongs to Celebration 25 co-founder Jenn Waitt.

Adam Roth and Figment

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The fanfare began with Ambassador Michael taking the stage. He welcomed everyone to Epcot's 25th Rededication Ceremony...

Ambassador Michael

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... and introduced Tracy Wui, Rededication Ceremony Hostess.

Tracy Wui, Rededication Ceremony Hostess


Tracy explained that in the original dedication ceremony, one of the speakers said of Epcot, "This represents a dream come true". The original musical score played 25 years ago, We've Just Begun to Dream, was played again on this special day. And, as Tracy said, "After 25 years we can still say "we've just begun"!

As the music played, Tracy introduced Epcot Cast Members representing Future World. The processional included 2 Cast Members from each attraction, one holding a sign representing that attraction. Spaceship Earth's sign was the original icon for the attraction, followed by Innoventions, Energy, Mission Space, Test Track, Seas with Nemo and Friends, the Land and Imagination. The crowd cheered and applauded as each attraction was announced.

Parade of Future World Attraction Representatives

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Next on stage came Erin Wallace, Senior Vice President Operations Walt Disney World Resorts and Jim MacPhee, Vice President Epcot.

Erin Wallace and Jim MacPhee walk on stage.

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Jim asked for applause from everyone who was here 25 years ago when Epcot opened. He then recounted his opening day story, of being an Epcot Cast Member and working in the Parking Lot! Standing center stage at the 25th Celebration for a Cast Member who began as a parking lot cast member, certainly had to have been "A Dream Come True" for Jim as well.

Jim MacPhee

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Erin spoke of the significance of Epcot's opening in 1982, "When Epcot was built and opened, it really signaled an era of growth on this property."

Erin Wallace

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Jim: "We recognize that the heritage and tradition of our founder is woven through the fabric of everything we do here, every moment of every day.

Jim: "You can dream, create, imagine and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it requires people to make that dream a reality." He went on to say, "We have one special person, who was right next to Walt."

Jim MacPhee

Erin continued: "He began his career in 1955 working with Walt on Disneyland. He is the only Disney Cast member to participate in every opening of our 11 theme parks worldwide; named a Disney Legend in 2001, Executive Vice President and Imagineering Ambassador, Marty Sklar." The crowd broke out in a loud applause.

Mickey and Minnie escorted Marty on stage to a huge applause from the audience.

Marty Sklar escorted by Mickey and Minnie

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Marty: "Walt's vision for Epcot really set the course for everything that has happened here at Walt Disney World in the 41 years since he announced his vision."

Marty Sklar


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"The passion for excellence that Walt Disney inspired, motivated all of us, Disney Cast Members as well as the designers, engineers, architects, and film makers who joined us to dream big dreams, invent new experiences and tell new stories about the lessons of yesterday, the challenges of today, and the promise of tomorrow."

Marty Sklar


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Marty then read Card Walker's dedication of Epcot 25 years ago and added his own remarks:
"25 years ago we said, the 21st century began on October 1, 1982. Today, on October 1, 2007 we rededicate Epcot, and ourselves, to a new future that begins now. "

Marty Sklar

PART TWO

October 6, 2007

Epcot's 25th Rededication Ceremony - Part 2

Part 1 Epcot's 25th Rededication Ceremony

Marty continued to reminisce about the early days of speaking with Walt about Epcot.

Marty Sklar

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He went on to say: "I'll never forget that opening day of Epcot"

Marty Sklar

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Marty: -�One of the things I remember the most was a water pouring ceremony to start the Comunicore fountain behind us. Don't you think it would be wonderful if we could do something like that today?"


Marty Sklar

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Tracy: "Today we have the incredible privilege of having our own cultural representatives right here at Epcot. It's time to meet the representatives of the countries of World Showcase."


World Showcase Cast Members

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 World Showcase Cast Members

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Tracy: "The cultural representatives are carrying colorful banners representing the countries of World Showcase: Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada, America, Italy, Germany, China, Norway and Mexico.


 World Showcase Countries

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 World Showcase Countries


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Tracy: The cultural representatives are "carrying many different types of water containers, representing famous rivers or bodies of water."

For each country, the name of the container and the body of water was announced as the processional continued.

Cultural Representative

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Morocco
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Italy

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Norway

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"The Pouring of the Water"

Mickey, Tracy, Marty, Minnie

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Music, fireworks and fountains filled the air.


World Showcase Countries

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 Music, fireworks and fountains filled the air
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 Music, fireworks and fountains filled the air
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All too soon, the rededication came to an end"�.

 Rededication winds down
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Marty Sklar and Minnie

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Mickey
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Marty and Minnie

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Jim MacPhee publicly thanked his team that created Epcot's 25th Anniversary events.

Jim MacPhee and Team

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The Celebration 25 fan group then gathered for a photo in front of the fountains and Spaceship Earth.

Celebration 25 Group Photo

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Jim MacPhee and Walt Disney World Ambassadors Michael and Lowell joined the photo op!

 Jim MacPhee and Walt Disney World Ambassadors

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October 8, 2007

Epcot's Eat to the Beat Concert Series

Eat to the Beat Sign


One of the major Epcot Food and Wine Festival events that's free to all with park admission is the Eat to the Beat concert series. 16 different artists will appear this year ranging in musical genre from the Beach Boys to Chubby Checker to Starship to Jon Secada.

Three concerts are held each evening during the festival in the American Gardens outdoor theatre.

If you are a big Al Stewart fan, I suggest you read no further and just enjoy the photos.

On Friday night, September 28th, this year's Eat to the Beat concert series opened with a very indifferent British singer-songwriter Al Stewart. Quite frankly, he seemed bothered to be there.

Al Stewart

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Al sang familiar songs like Year of the Cat, Time Passages, and On the Border. Most of his "hits" that were popular in the US, he introduced by saying things like, I never cared for this song or I'm only playing this because it was a hit, or You are expecting me to play this so I am. Gee, didn't that make the audience "get into it!" Not.

Al Stewart

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Several times during the evening his remarks entered into the "political" zone. I've been attending concerts for decades and know that many concerts include the artist stating their particular political views but it is not something I expect at a Disney venue. I come to Disney to be entertained and escape "the real world", not listen to a political vent (whether I happen to agree or not).


Al Stewart


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Drummer


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The one very redeeming factor of the entire concert was the incredible flute/saxaphone player. He stole the show and deservedly so! I have searched online and can't find his name. If anyone reading this knows, please let me know.

Al Stewart concert

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Al Stewart concert

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Al Stewart concert

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Al Stewart concert

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Al Stewart concert

October 14, 2007

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Souvenirs

Every year the Food and Wine Festival sports new logos and merchandise for you to purchase, this year is no exception.

There is plenty of merchandise to choose from, both with and without Food and Wine logos. Here are just a few of the items I found in the Festival Marketplace in the Wonders of Life pavilion.

Epcot Food and Wine Merchandise

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Epcot Food and Wine Merchandise
Chef Mickey Plushes cost $9.95 plus tax.
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Epcot Food and Wine Merchandise
Festival Aprons

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Epcot Food and Wine Merchandise
Mugs cost $12.00 plus tax.

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Epcot Food and Wine Festival Trivets
Trivets cost $12.00 plus tax.

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Epcot Food and Wine Merchandise
Wine Store - if you see something you like, get it! They do sell out of popular wines as the Festival goes on.

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Epcot Food and Wine store
Wine Store
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Epcot Food and Wine Limited Edition Pins
Limited Edition pins

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Epcot Food and Wine Festival Poster
Festival poster is $16 unframed. Artist does signings off and on during the festival.

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October 23, 2007

Step Back in Time

I was going through some old photos recently and thought I would share some with you.

25th Birthday Magic Kingdom Castle

25th Birthday Magic Kingdom Castle

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Test Track Pre-Opening Sign

Test Track Pre-Opening Sign


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The "Original" Wand on Spaceship Earth

The Original Wand on Spaceship Earth


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Tower of Terror Construction Photo #1

Tower of Terror Construction Photo


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Tower of Terror Construction Photo #2


Tower of Terror Construction Photo #2

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Tower of Terror Construction Photo #3


Tower of Terror Construction Photo #3

October 25, 2007

Heading to Walt Disney World

Later today I'll be catching a flight to Orlando for a trip to Walt Disney World. As I look over my itinerary, I remind myself that I never seem to accomplish all I set out to do each trip. Guess that's why I keep returning :)

Some have affectionately called me the queen of lists! I keep a Word Document itinerary for every trip I take, Disney or otherwise. It makes it easy to share with friends/relatives and also gives me a sense of focus during the trip. Each row is separated by breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning, afternoon, evening. For Disney trips there is also a top row that has Park Hours and Extra Magic Hours. The columns include each day of the trip. I now have a handy one page reference sheet to keep with me while I'm out and about.

Sample Itinerary


Every trip to Walt Disney World involves research of one kind or another. It may be to track down that elusive menu that has become outdated, or check construction status, get particular information about an attraction (or resort or restaurant), get photos, or just wander around the park and see what I notice.

No matter how many times I am at Walt Disney World (and I really have lost count) there is always something new for me to see or experience. This trip I plan to see the rehabbed Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom, do the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway tour at Ft. Wilderness, and attend the Tower of Terror Party on Saturday night. Of course, many other things are on the agenda :)

segway1.jpg


And, no visit to Orlando is complete without seeing old friends and meeting new ones. One special friend, Masayo, is visiting from Japan. In fact she and her travel companion will be doing the Segway tour with me.

I hope to provide daily updates....which sometimes is easier said than done.. but I'll do my best.

If you see me in the parks, please do stop by and say hello. I come with gifts (while supplies last) and always enjoy meeting readers. Who knows, perhaps you'll see your photo in this blog once you return home.

October 26, 2007

Magic Kingdom Friday Part 1

I awoke bright and early this morning, ready to head over to the Magic Kingdom! I was very excited about seeing the newly rehabbed Haunted Mansion.

The early morning is always pretty, even if it is very cloudy! This is the pool in the Arcadian Section of Port Orleans Riverside.


Port Orleans Riverside Pool

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And as I made my way to the food court, I had to stop and take this photo....


Riverside Mill

After a ham and cheese omelet at the Riverside Mill I made my way to the Magic Kingdom via the Dolphin.


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You'll find the entrance to the Dolphin (street side) under construction and walled off. You must head left past the regular entrance to get to the temporary entrance in the convention center. The actual doors are being totally removed and new sliding doors installed in their place. One Cast member told me it would be finished in December, the other said it would be 3-4 months.


Dolphin Entrance

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As I walked into the Magic Kingdom, I saw Chicken Little and Pinocchio in front of City Hall posing for photographs. Walking down Main Street, several Cast Members were welcoming guests with Mickey Gloves.

Cast member on Main Street

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I barely walked a few steps and there was the Mayor of Main Street greeting guests as they began their day. He was kind enough to stop and catch a photo with me.

Mayor of Main Street

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The Magic Kingdom really was decked out in fall / Halloween decorations.

Castle and Halloween Decorations

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The lands weren't yet opened and instead of standing at the rope drop, I hung back on Main Street to enjoy the atmosphere. I was quite surprised when I found an empty Frontierland about 9:15 this morning

Frontierland

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First stop was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which reopened yesterday after a month long rehab. While there are no "new" effects or scenes (according to the Cast Members) there were some general enhancements to the scenery as well as upgraded audio! It was as Wild a Ride as always!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Train


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Soon it was time to meet my friends Tod and Sue from Michigan. I've known them over 9 years and have spent many a great vacation with them. We rode the Haunted Mansion together, not once but twice. We were all excited about the changes to the Mansion. Kudos to the Imagineers and all who were involved in this upgrade! The changes are numerous, so you may want to ride a couple times, as we did. Definitely back on the must see each trip list!

Tod and Sue at the Haunted Mansion

To be continued...Friday Part 2

October 27, 2007

Magic Kingdom Friday Part 2

Friday continued.....

Tod and Sue accompanied me around the Magic Kingdom as I took photos and got menus. I ran into David, the Cast Member I had met earlier at Peter Pan. He was very nice and made me smile in Neverland, so I made a point to stop and chat with him as his duties changed to trash pickup.

Cast member David

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When we reached Tomorrowland we decide to ride the TTA. As we exited I saw PUSH the talking trash can for the first time ever. I know the photo isn't the greatest, but when was the last time you tried to photograph a moving trash can LOL.


PUSH the Talking Trash Can

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We then went into the Laugh Floor Comedy Club. Tod and Sue had not seen it before and my only time was during the soft opening. It certainly has gotten better since my first visit back in January. Tod and Sue both enjoyed it; Sue said it was a strong "C" ticket attraction and Tod felt it was between a "C" and "D" ticket.

Monsters Inc Comedy Club

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All too soon it was time for me to head off and say goodbye to Tod and Sue. As I arrived at the Polynesian, I hit the "trifecta" by seeing all 4 hosts of WDW Today podcast, Mike, Matt, Len and Mike. We, along with Beci from MEI and MouseFanTravel enjoyed lunch at the Kona Cafe.


WDW Today Podcast Hosts

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After lunch I went over to Pleasure Island to get my ticket for Saturday night's Tower of Terror Race Party. It was like a homecoming seeing so many familiar faces and friends! One of the first people I saw was Masayo, my friend from Japan. She introduced me to her friend Nozomi.


Masayo and Nozomi

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The inside of Motions was quite crowded with folks not only getting the TOT party tickets, but also their race packets! It was here I met up with All Ears team member, Linda Mac.


Tower of Terror Race Logo

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Outside, I found some of my friends from Tagrel.com. Many of them are participating in the race Saturday evening!

Tagrel.com friends

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Linda Mac and I wandering into the Marketplace area with Masayo and Nozomi and did a little shopping. We walked right past the new construction site of TRex, the themed restaurant opening next year at Downtown Disney.

TRex construction

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I headed back to Port Orleans to get some rest before heading out to Epcot for the evening. Unfortunately, I was much more tired that I thought and had to cancel my plans to nosh around the world with AllEars team member Laura Gilbreath and her husband, Lee. :(

I grabbed some dinner at the food court and called it a night.

Coming on Saturday - Ft. Wilderness Segway Tour and Tower of Terror Race Party.


October 28, 2007

Segway Saturday Part 1

What a great day! I was a bit concerned by the early morning weather report. It basically said rain off and on all day in Orlando. Fortunately, I was barely drizzled upon.

Bright and early I was off to POP Century to have breakfast with Masayo and Nozomi. We each enjoyed the croissant sandwich (egg, bacon and cheese). Soon it was time to drive to Ft. Wilderness and begin our Ft. Wilderness Back Trail Segway Adventure.

After parking in the main lot at Ft. Wilderness, we walked to the bus depot to catch an internal bus to the area where Mickey's Backyard BBQ pavilion resides. We not only met up with LindaMac here, but also 3 ladies I had cruised with a couple years ago on the Mexican Riviera. Rose told me they had just gotten back from the Disney Vacation Club Member cruise. They thought it was excellent and enjoyed all the Disney legend guest speakers. It really did sound wonderful.

We arrived at the Backyard BQQ location and were joined by our other friend, Mike Newell of MouseWorldRadio.com. Our tour guides, Ron and Frank, were great instructors - very patient and information. We went thru a series of moves on the segway, one at a time...slowly gaining confidence.

Soon we were traveling along the paths of Ft. Wilderness. Not only did we go on paved areas but also dirt and mulched areas of the resort as well. These special "all terrain" segways are quite amazing. We probably spent a good hour touring around. After exploring much of Ft. Wilderness, we took the nature trail to the Wilderness Lodge and then returned to the Fort.

It was an amazing time and one we all highly recommend!

Next for me, was lunch at the Dolphin's FRESH. It was wonderful as always. I really like the fact that the food sizes are small, allowing you to sample many different things. The chefs were all very helpful and accommodating. Javier, our server, was very pleasant and attentive. Plus, another perk of dining at the Dolphin is they serve Starbucks coffee...yummm!

I returned to the room to check email and do some work. I took a nap and then got ready for dinner and to attend the Tower of Terror 13k race as a cheerer

More to follow including photos.....

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About October 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in October 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2007 is the previous archive.

November 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.