Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

1) Thank you Philip Holt for your $500 donation to Give Kids The World – enjoy your free airfare courtesy of Southwest Airlines and James Goodman (@SWABikeDude)! Thanks to all of the bidders on our first round item for getting this charity auction started off right.

2) Are you looking for a fun podcast to listen to? If you’re not already listening to the The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill (iTunes link), you should be. Len Testa of TouringPlans.com and the Unofficial Guide Disney guidebooks strolls Walt Disney World with Jim Hill, talking Disney history and rumors. Jim’s got a wealth of historical information to share, and his rumors are often thought-provoking. Just remember, Jim is almost always talking about one of many possible futures when he shares rumors.

3) Our Give Kids the World auction is continuing this week, with the high bid for a Diamond Edition Cinderella DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Copy combo pack currently at $36. You have until 10 p.m. Sunday night to beat Ryan Treichler’s bid.

4) Disney Cruise Line has announced a new offering at Remy on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream cruise ships. Disney Parks Blog reported on a champagne brunch, being offered on sea days during cruises of 4 nights or longer. For $50 (with one free glass of champagne, or $75 for three additional champagne pairings), guests will enjoy a gourmet table service brunch. The food looks amazing, and table service + champagne makes this offering appear a bit more elegant than the gourmet buffet across the way at Palo.

5) Several sources, including allears.net and Touringplans.com, are reporting changes to Walt Disney World policies regarding 3rd party wheelchair and ECV rental companies. Citing a concern for managing risk involving third-party rentals, Walt Disney World is only allowing vendors from a preferred vendor list to deliver wheelchairs and ECVs to Walt Disney World resorts to be held for guests on arrival and/or left at bell services by guests to be picked up by vendors. This follows mixed reports regarding the ability of outside vendors to delivery golf carts to guests at The Cabins at Fort Wilderness (apparently, current official policy is that they aren’t allowed on property, but some are still delivering on property anyway). Given the huge price differential (and MUCH higher-quality) of strollers offered for rental by third-party vendors like Orlando Stroller Rentals and (my personal favorite) Kingdom Strollers, you have to wonder how long it will be before Walt Disney World imposes a similar policy on stroller rentals.

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