Well, we’re back! My husband and I spent all last week at Walt Disney World, without kids! While we had an awesome time celebrating our 5th anniversary, I did feel guilty not having the boys along! At least a dozen times a day one of us would say, “JAG would love this!” or “C-man had fun with this last time.” or “Next time, we need to make sure we do this with the boys…”. The list goes on and on! We did decide we would bring the whole family back in 2014 and come back in 2017 without the kids again! 🙂
So, here is a look back at what happened here on the blog while I was away and what was going on at WDW. I’ll post daily recaps soon!
I was fortunate enough to visit WDW twice in 1999. My first trip was in May. Then my family traveled to Walt Disney World in 1999 to celebrate the Millennium. We stayed off property this trip because the resort had a three night minimum and we were only staying 2 nights- just long enough to ring in 2000. On December 31, 1999 our family went to Disney-MGM Studios. I honestly don’t remember much about the day. I remember wearing a heavy coat and a hat, so it must have been cold! I don’t actually remember riding any rides or experiencing any attractions, but I’m sure we did! 🙂 I do remember wondering all day long if the “Y2K bug” was really going to destroy the world. At one point during the day we saw a TV that was showing the New Year Celebration in Sydney, Australia. We anxiously watched to see if the computers would blow up at midnight… they didn’t. So, we were relieved and continued to enjoy our day at Disney- MGM Studios.
I wish I had pictures from these vacation, but I don’t. All I could scrounge up were the guide maps for the 4 parks from May of 1999.
A one day ticket to WDW was $44.52 for an adult. A 5 day park hopper was $200.34. An annual pass was $316.94.
One night at the Contemporary during Value Season was $214-$275.
One night at Dixie Landings during Value Season was $119-$139.
One night at the All Star Movies during Value Season was $74.
River Country was still open at Fort Wilderness and a one day adult ticket to the water park was $17.95.
Some of the interesting things that happened at Walt Disney World in 1999 were:
- Horizons at Epcot officially closed
- All Star Movies Resort opens
- Test Track opens at Epcot
- The Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster opens at MGM Studios
- Walt Disney World closes for the day for the first time in 28 years due to Hurricane Floyd- Animal Kingdom opened at 12:00 for Resort guests.
- The Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration opens at Epcot for 15 months
- The Tapestry of Nations Parade premiers at Epcot
- The IMAGINATION! Pavilion opens at Epcot 🙁
- Illuminations 2000 begins at Epcot
You can find additional information about Disney in general from the year 1999 in the Corporate Disney Fact book.
Four for a Dollar. I wish I had a picture of these guys from WDW! Do any of you remember them? They were the pre show entertainment at The Beauty and the Beast Stage Show at Disney’s MGM Studios. They came out about 15 minutes before the show started to entertain the people who got seats early. If I remember correctly, they would come on stage to do a “sound check”. One would come out on stage and start singing to himself. Then, the other 3 guys would come on and complete the a cappella quartet. They would sing while interacting with the audience. Most of their songs were from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, but songs most generations would know.
This group was called Return 2 Zero, but performed for 14 years at MGM Studios as “Four for a Dollar.” They ended their run in 2008 after cutbacks to save money. After one of their performances at WDW, I surprised my dad with a copy of their CD “Return 2 Zero.” These are the songs on that CD:
- Return 2 Zero
- Fly Like An Eagle
- How Sweet It IS To Be Loved By You
- Steppin’ Out
- Happy Together
- Georgia On My Mind
- December 1963 (Oh What A Night)
- Spinning Wheel
- Love Potion #9
- On And On
- Turn Your Love Around
- I’m Alright
- The Point of No Reutrn
Once our boat made it inside, since you board these boats outside the building, I remembered reading somewhere that Disney characters were in this attraction. This soon became a game for us! While we were enjoying the other children in each country, we really enjoyed spotting the characters! If the Magic Kingdom at WDW would make this change to their version of it’s a small world!, I might be more interested in riding each trip…
On our last trip, I had the pleasure of “meeting” Push the Talking Trashcan for the first time! I had seen him from a distance before, but had never been able to interact with him. For those of you who don’t know who “Push” is, he’s a trashcan in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom that can hold your trash, move around and have conversations with guests in real time! In the picture below, Push (with the blue push flap) had just said, “AHH!! My mom and dad!” Talking to the two “real,” stationary trashcans outside of Mickey’s Startraders!
In March of 2005, I took some of my youth from church on a Citizenship Seminar to New York City and Washington DC. In my planning for this trip I found out that the 75 InspEARations to celebrate Mickey’s 75th Birthday would be on display at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trace Center on Pennsylvania Ave! I was more than excited to learn this tid-bit! The display was free AND it was the only location in all the USA (besides WDW and DLR) where all 75 statues would be on display together!
If you missed out on this event, you can see some of the photos I took below and you can visit this web site to see all 75 Mickeys.
The Mickey statue program was made up of Disney artists, actors and legends along with athletes, actors and musicians who created their own Mickey inspirations. Some of the artists of the life size Mickey’s were Ben Affleck, Annette Funicello, Elton John, Tom Hanks, Ellen Degeneres, Chris Berman & Dick Vitale, Raven and many more. After then end of the statue tour, each statue was auctioned off with the proceeds going to the charity of choice chosen by the artists.
My favorites were: The Red Sox Mickey by Ben Affleck, the Policeman Mickey and the WDW Tourist Mickey! Did you have a chance to see the InspEARations in 2004-2005? If so, I’d love to hear about where you saw them and which were your favorites!
I’ve been reminiscing a lot lately about our past trips to Walt Disney World. My mom gave me some of her albums of our Disney photographs. These pictures have sparked so many wonderful memories!! One memory I had, but could not find any old photographs from the inside to go along with the memory, was the Millennium Village at Epcot.
I can’t remember when I visited the Millennium Village- either December 1999 to ring in 2000 or June of 2000. This was a part of the Disney Millennium Celebration. You could find the pavilion between The United Kingdom and Canada. While you were there, you could learn about 50 countries from all over the world that were not already present around the World Showcase. This was an interactive exposition where ambassadors from each country would talk about their homelands- similar to the cast members at the countries in the World Showcase. There were interactive exhibits, artisans from different countries, food samples and entertainment. I remember seeing information about how many of the countries had projects that would better the lives of the local people- growing healthy crops, women selling their artwork to raise money for health care, finding creative ways to attain safe water and finding ways to learn about weather to keep people safe. I remember in the Israel exhibit seeing a tour of the history of Jerusalem and being able to send a message to the Western Wall. This was especially exciting to me since I had been to Jerusalem in 1991!
One thing I do remember is that I didn’t spend enough time exploring this amazing pavilion. I remember “blazing through it” and not taking the time to soak it all in. I’m sure I was in a hurry to get back on Test Track or something! I wish I could go back in time and do this pavilion the right way!
When visitors left the Millennium Pavilion they were asked, “What is your gift to the World?”
What an awesome question! Each person has a gift to share with this world, but not everyone takes the time to discover what their gift is to share.
I’ll close by challenging you with the same question-