Tragic Monorail Accident

Terrible news comes from the Walt Disney World Resort following a huge holiday night.

At about 2:00am on July 5, 2009, as the last few guests were leaving the parks after July 4th Fireworks, Monorail Purple and Monorail Pink collided head-on at the Transportation and Ticket Center, over the Magic Kingdom guest parking lot.

The driver of Monorail Purple was killed at the scene, but the 6 guests on board his train were unhurt. Disney released the following statement today:

“Today, we mourn the loss of our fellow cast member. Our hearts go out to his family and those who have lost a friend and coworker. The safety of our guests and cast members is always our top priority. The monorail is out of service and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement to determine what happened and the appropriate next steps.”

This is the first deadly accident on the monorail system in over 38 years.  OSHA and the NTSB will investigate the accident and issue statements and rulings in the coming weeks and months.

The monorail system will remain closed throughout the day.

In-Room Child Care

While Disney is often mis-labeled as a “kiddie park,” there are plenty of ways for adults to have fun on their own – even if you don’t like the theme park atmosphere that much.

After a long day in the parks, maybe mom and dad want to go to dinner alone at one of Disney’s full-service restaurants, or go shopping and catch Cirque du Soleil’s La Neuba at Downtown Disney.  But what about the kids?

No worries!  You can call for In-Room Child Care at all Disney resort hotels.  The service is available 24/7, but note that it is NOT operated by Disney.

There are a few very reputable companies that offer this service. One in particular will even tour the parks with you and watch young kids while parents enjoy some thrill rides with the older kids, or by themselves.  (This, of course, will cost you a fortune, as you must purchase park admission for the babysitter too!).

When you book with Mouse Unlimited, ask us about these services and we’ll provide you with contact information and even help you set up the services you need.

Animal Kingdom Meet-N-Greets

Animal Kingdom has seen several changes to their character meet-n-greets for the summer, at least through August 8, 2009.

For example, instead of meeting in Discovery Island, Flik, Baloo, King Louie and Terk will greet guests along the pathway between Asia and Africa.

Divine, the vine lady, will be lurking around the Oasis area.

And The Good Times Gathering Spot in Camp Minnie-Mickey will be open daily from 10:00am – 3:00pm. Entertainment will include story telling with Pocahontas, a DJ, and character greetings with Meeko, Koda, Kenai and Chip & Dale.

Tomorrowland Noodle Station

The Tomorrowland Noodle Station in the Magic Kingdom has now opened for the summer.  Their Asian noodle menu is still available for dinner, but they now server American-style fast food like burgers and chicken fingers for lunch (12:30 – 4:00pm).  Additionally, the lunch menu also includes Feijoda, a popular Brazilian dish – perhaps catering to the large Brazilian tour groups that visit in the summer.

Hall of Presidents Re-Opening

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –
A remarkably lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of President Barack Obama enters the spotlight in a revised and refreshed Hall of Presidents show that reopens July 4 in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. 

The recently installed figure of the country’s 44th chief executive – which comes to life with recognizable mannerisms and makes comments that were recorded recently at the White House – is only part of an eight-month makeover so significant that the iconic attraction in the park’s Liberty Square has been retitled Hall of Presidents: A Celebration of Liberty’s Leaders. Other updates to the “re-Imagineered” attraction which has been entertaining Magic Kingdom guests since 1971:

  • A re-programmed Abraham Lincoln delivers arguably the greatest speech in the history of the presidency – the Gettysburg Address.
  • For the first time in the attraction’s history, George Washington stands and delivers a stirring speech.
  • Developed with the assistance of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the show now tells a moving story of the bond between the presidents and “We, the People,” focusing on the chief executives who
    have guided America through trying, turbulent times.

New Wishes Dessert Party

Walt Disney World guests are invited to a new nightly celebration at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station, which will include a dessert party and an exclusive VIP viewing of Wishes, the nighttime fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom.

This experience begins Tuesday, June 23 and will be available all summer through August 28, 2009.  The Party will open nightly to guests 1-hour before the fireworks show and includes a self-service dessert buffet.

Guests are encouraged to call 407-WDW-DINE to make reservations, as space is limited.  Reservations will be accepted starting June 22. They are not required, but highly recommended due to anticipated attendance.  Seating for walk-ins will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The price for guests ages 10 and over is $17.99 (plus tax) and $9.99 for guests ages 3-9.  Park admission is required, and the Disney Dining Plan does not include this event.  Payment will be required in advance for reserved seating.