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July 2007 Archives

July 3, 2007

Le Cellier Steakhouse - Canada - Epcot

Le Cellier Sign Recently, I called to make reservations at the Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion. I wanted to eat sometime between 5pm and 7pm. I didn't care what day.

The operator checked every day starting on June 25. It wasn't until October 31st that he was able to secure a table for me at 5:45pm. Along the way, he was able to offer a couple of 8:30pm and 4:00pm reservations, but the prime dining times were completely booked up.

The operator told me that the Le Cellier is the most difficult restaurant to book at Walt Disney World and guests need to be willing to make reservations 120-180 days in advance to eat here.

July 4, 2007

July 4th, 2007 Walt Disney World Naturalization Ceremony Part 1

AllEars® Team Member Jack Spence attended the special ceremony and sends these photos. His writeup will follow later.

Naturalization Ceremony Program

Complete Program

Welcome Remarks - Meg Crofton, President Walt Disney World

Meg Crofton

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I Do Solemnly Swear

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Celebratory Fireworks

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Key Note Address

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National Anthem - Gloria Estefan

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Presentation of Outstanding American by Choice Certificates

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God Bless the USA

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Parade of New Citizens

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Jack's written report filed 7/5/07

July 5, 2007

July 4th, 2007 Walt Disney World Naturalization Ceremony Part 2

July 4th, 2007 Walt Disney World Naturalization Ceremony

Yesterday, I had the honor and privilege to witness more than one thousand immigrants become United States citizens. The event took place in the Magic Kingdom in front of Cinderella Castle, where people from more than a hundred nations raised their right hand and swore allegiance to this great country.

The event started with Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney World, welcoming guests. During her comments she remarked how wonderful it was that one of these peoples' greatest dreams was coming true during Disney's "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration.

Following her welcoming speech, the 6th Air Mobility Wing Honor Guard appeared on stage and raised the Stars and Stripes with all the pomp and spender one would expect. A slight breeze caught the flag and it bellowed beautifully in the wind. With the flag flying high, Gloria Estefan sang the Star Spangled Banner.

A loud speaker announcement followed and a roll call of all the nations being represented by this group of people was read. I wasn't amazed to hear nations like Cuba, Bangladesh, and Haiti mentioned. These are poor or oppressed countries. It's easy for me to understand why someone would want to leave these places for a better life. But when I heard names like Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany mentioned, I was surprised. These countries enjoy prosperity and freedom. I realized that America still holds a strong allure to people all over the world.

Dr. Emilio Gonzales, Director of the USCIS and also a naturalized citizen gave the Oath of Allegiance. With a thousand right hands raised high in the air, strong voices pledged to support and defend the Constitution. It was at this point I became a little teary myself.

With an audience of new citizens watching, Senator Mel Martinez (Fl) took the stage. Like his onlookers, he too is a naturalized citizen. It was at this time the Florida skies could hold back no longer and it began to rain. Disney, being Disney, had thought of everything and everyone had been given a poncho in advance. Interrupting his prepared speech, Senator Martinez remarked that after all these years of work to become a U.S. citizen they weren't going to let a little rain dampen their spirits. The crowd cheered enthusiastically.

The Pledge of Allegiance was then said by all and then a pre-recorded message from President Bush was played. The Voices of Liberty appeared soon after with umbrellas in hand and sang "Golden Dream."

When Dr. Gonzales returned to the podium the rain began to let up. He was joined by Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio. The famous couple was presented with the "American By Choice" award for their contribution to others less fortunate and for the restoration work they are doing in south Florida to bring back neglected neighborhoods.

Lee Greenwood was next to take the stage and he sang "God Bless the U.S.A." while everyone waved small American flags.

With the conclusion of his song, Meg Crofton thanked everyone for participating is this historic event and then asked that the new citizens fall in behind the Walt Disney World Marching Band. A group of flag waving smiling faces then proceeded down Main Street to the cheers of onlookers along the way. The event was topped off by two F-15 jets streaking across the sky above Main Street. U.S.A.

I would like to offer my special thanks to Deb Wills. Disney had invited her to cover this event as part of the official press corps. Unable to make it, she asked me to fill in for her. I was honored that she trusted me with the responsibility and excited that an old, patriotic softy like myself would get to witness this event from such a prime viewing vantage that the press is provided. Thanks a million, Deb!

Jack's Photos of the Event

July 6, 2007

Parking Lot Trams

On my recent visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom, I noticed that the parking lot tram now has speakers mounted on the side of each passenger car, facing outward. I asked the tram driver about these speakers and he told me that this new system allows them to direct comments to guest standing along the roadside.

In the past, the only speakers cast members could use to speak to guests waiting beside the tram were the ones mounted in the roof of the tram vehicles. In most cases, the guests could not hear the important safety announcements. This tram is a prototype but these external speakers will be added to the entire fleet eventually.

The tram driver also told me that security restraints (tram doors) are also being planned and will eventually be added.

July 8, 2007

New Merchandise at the Contemporary

While at the Contemporary Resort yesterday, I came upon some new merchandise. First a Mickey Mouse Frame that features the traditional three circles (one big and two small). The price was $20. Also, a new vase ($14) and bowl ($14). These are white with small embossed Mickeys covering the surface.

Mickey Mouse Frame

Mickey Mouse Bowl

Mickey Mouse Vase

July 21, 2007

Monorail Updates

The Interior of Monorail Lime has been redesigned. Disney has taken out the large middle supports in each car and replaced it with four poles and one overhead handrail. This definately increases the capaciy of the train. Now, every car can easily accomodate a stroller. Each car could also accomodate a wheelchair, however I'm not sure if Disney would allow you to use any cars other than those designated as such and are equipped with a ramp.

I asked a cast member if all of the monorails will be redesigned like Monorail Lime and he said "Eventually." This is the prototype and has been in service now for three months with good guest feedback. From his point of view, it makes the job easier.

Monorail Lime - New Design

July 23, 2007

Studios Updates 7/23/07

A portion of Mickey Ave at the Disney/MGM Studios has been closed off while construction continues on the new "Toy Story Mania" attraction. You can still reach "One Man's Dream" and "Journey Into Narnia" at one end of the street and the "Backlot Tour" at the other end. Guide maps reflect the street closure.

Mickey Ave in Disney's MGM Studios is closed off.

July 29, 2007

Where Suenos Come True

For there Spanish speaking guests, Disney is offering a baseball cap that says:

Where suenos come true.


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About July 2007

This page contains all entries posted to The “World” According to Jack in July 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2007 is the previous archive.

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