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The Disney Scoop, Issue #008-- Disney Discounts, Holiday Info, and Disney World in 3D...
July 01, 2008


Hello Everyone!

Well it’s been a very planning-filled month for my family and our upcoming Disney trip! I managed to get all of our desired Dining Reservations as well as a seating for the Candlelight Processional. In case any of you are skeptical of the advice to make your ADRs right at the 180 point, just know that I was lucky to snag one of only two tables left for our Hoop Dee Doo show (now we do have a party of six and I’m pretty sure there were some smaller tables left – but still…).

Anyway, hopefully all of you traveling to Disney World in December, have successfully made your dining reservations and a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package if desired.

Here's a heads up for anyone going in January 2009, your 180 day window will open soon! Get ready to make all of your dining reservations. Make sure to set your alarm and start dialing at 7 am eastern time on your reservation day! If you need help figuring out your 180 day point, check out the countdown calculator.

If you are going before then, hopefully you have already made all of your desired reservations, especially if you will be there during the more popular times this year.

Lastly, here is a quick monthly update on the planning spreadsheet files. Since posting the files in a new location on an external web host, they have now been downloaded 1500 times!

As always, if you have any feedback or questions, please send me a note.



Okay, on with the news!





Disney World News


2008 Candlelight Processional Narrators Announced

Candlelight Processional at Epcot 2005

The ever popular Candlelight Processional dates and narrators for 2008 have been announced. They are:

  • 11/28 – 11/30: John O'Hurley
  • 12/01 – 12/03: Pattie LaBelle
  • 12/04 - 12/06: Brian Stokes Mitchell
  • 12/07 - 12/09: Virginia Madsen
  • 12/10 - 12/12: Monique Coleman
  • 12/13 - 12/15: *To Be Announced*
  • 12/16 - 12/18: Chita Rivera
  • 12/19 - 12/21: Abigail Breslin
  • 12/22 - 12/24: Steven Curtis Chapman
  • 12/25 - 12/27: Edward James Olmos
  • 12/28 - 12/30: Marlee Matlin

As usual, Disney offers a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package that guarantees you a reservation at an Epcot restaurant and reserved seating at one of the three daily shows. The packages are now available for booking (started on June 23rd, 2008).

Read complete details about the Candlelight Processional and Dinner Package.




2008 Osborne Family Lights Dates Announced

Osborne Family Lights at Disney Studios 2005

The Osborne Family Lights is a spectacular display of Christmas lights shown each year at Disney Hollywood Studios theme park. This year the lights will be displayed from November 28th, 2008 to January 4th, 2009.

The lights truly are spectacular and well worth a trip over to the Studios! You will be treated to hot chocolate, falling snow and millions of lights that sparkle and dance along to the Holiday music.

See photos and read complete details about the Osborne Family Lights.




2008 Holiday Dining Surcharge

During Holiday seasons, Disney raises the prices at many of the fixed price restaurants. You can expect to pay about $4.00 more per person for ages 10 and up, and $2.00 more per person for ages 3 to 9.

The price increases really only matter if you are paying out of pocket for your meal – the Disney Dining Plan price remains the same during these periods.

Of course, your tip calculation will be based on the higher prices whether you are on the Dining Plan or not – so be prepared.

The dates may surprise you - they are not just during the Holidays!!

To find out which dates and restaurants are affected by these surcharges, read the full Disney Holiday Dining article.




Google Earth and Disney in 3D!

Cinderella Castle in 3D using Google Earth

In May 2008, Google Earth and Disney 3D became available. When I say Disney, I mean Disney World – and all of it! Now, I am huge fan of Google Earth to begin with, and I have always found myself flying over Disney World to get that bird's eye view. But let me tell you, having an interactive aerial map of Disney World in 3D right at my finger tips is an absolute joy – not to mention a great way to pass the time between trips to the World!

So how did they create this 3D world? Well, eight photographers spent ten days….

Read entire article about Google Earth and Disney in 3D.




Please visit the Plan a Magical Vacation Amazon Store

Be sure to check out the Gifts and Shopping section of the website for all of your Disney guide books, music, and more. You can now use all of the Amazon.com features like Search, Checkout, and read product and customer reviews right from within the Plan a Magical Vacation website. In case you are wondering, yes the website does earn a commission when you shop through the links on our site. Thanks to all of you who show support in this way!



Find the Cheapest Airfare

Well, Southwest finally released their schedule and rates for travel through January, 2009 and let me tell you – I was not impressed! Glad we decided to drive this time! I guess the days of cheap airfare are quickly coming to an end.

Anyway, if you are looking to find the best price you have got to check out Kayak.com. If you have ever booked your own airfare, you know what a pain it is to manually check all the different airlines for the best deal. Kayak is a travel tool that searches 140+ travel sites all at once and finds the cheapest fares for you – for flights, hotels, and even rental cars. After you get all of the results for your desired travel dates, you can then compare the results from all of the sites together – and there are many ways to filter and sort the results – all done instantly! Hotels searches are also offered, so check it out if you are planning to stay offsite in an Orlando area hotel. You can even buy direct from the airlines or agencies - Kayak is not a travel agent. And of course, Kayak is free!




Disney World Specials


Check the Discounts page for up-to-date Disney specials and discount codes.

Disney World Room Only Discount

  • Good for travel dates 8/3/08 to 9/27/08
  • Use code DDH when booking.
  • Must book by July 27, 2008.
  • Rates start at $69 for Disney Value Resorts; $109 for Disney Moderate Resorts; $179 for a studio at Disney's Old Key West or Saratoga Springs Resorts for Sunday through Thursday. Higher rates apply for Friday through Saturday and a minimum stay may be required.
  • As always, certain restrictions apply and availability is limited.

  • More Info:

MYW Disney World Package Discount

  • Good for travel dates 8/3/08 to 9/27/08.
  • Must book by July 27, 2008.
  • Certain restrictions apply and availability is limited.

  • To book, call 1-407-WDISNEY and use one of the following codes:

    Basic Magic Your Way Package – DBO
    Magic Your Way Package plus Dining - DDK
    Magic Your Way Package plus Deluxe Dining - DDN

  • More Info:




Tip of the Month

Make a Disney Vacation Countdown Chain!

A Vacation Countdown Chain is a great way to get the whole family excited about your upcoming trip. The countdown chain offered here is customizable, totally reusable and easy to update and change for any kind of countdown.
Check out the Disney Vacation Countdown Chain.






What’s New

I hope you enjoy the most recent additions at the Plan a Magical Vacation website:


To stay up-to-date with the recent additions, please visit our What’s New page. If you have a Disney or vacation-related idea that you wish to share with all of us, or if there is some topic you would like more info about, please contact me!




Until Next Time…
Well, that’s all for this month. Be sure to bookmark or add us to your favorites so you can stay informed of all of the changes at www.plan-a-magical-vacation.com.
Enjoy planning your magical Disney World Vacation!
Best regards,


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