This Week's Links

Walt Disney World

A Virtual Guide

Hidden Mickeys

Swan and
Dolphin Hotel

Robert Brown

Raymond Family's

Friends of
Disney Alliance

Disney Web Ring

A Pansophist's
Disney World

Who Really Built WDW

Disney Collectors

Disney Guide


It's Web World, After All          back to TTN home page
By Joe Harkins - Aug 05, 98

    Walt Disney World, while beloved and favored by many visitors, also ino - it's not a hairpiece, just a bad haircuts noted for television programs that actually are little more than blatant commercials. So, it's no big surprise to discover that the home page of the official WDW web site contains a highly annoying problem. When you use the back button to return to where you came from, and depending on how your browser stores pages in memory, you may be recycled back to the page you are trying to leave. Sometimes you can override it with a well-timed series of "back" clicks but if that fails, be prepared to close your browser in order to get off the site.

    Fortunately, other web sites that focus on Walt Disney World and its affiliates know how to treat a (computer) mouse better than Mickey does. Thousands of web pages have grown up around the Magic Kingdom. Some are as entertaining as they are informative and rich in links to related resources.

    There's Intercot: A Virtual Guide which offers free videos, sound tracks and snap shots of Disney World's attractions. One of those videos displays the spectacular Spectromagic nighttime parade of marchers in brilliantly flashing costumes. Intercot is admirably well laid out and easy to navigate.

    Then there's the delightfully wacky Hidden Mickeys site. As the intro explains, "Hidden Mickeys started out as inside jokes among the Walt Disney Imagineers (the park's engineers). A Hidden Mickey is an image of Mickey Mouse concealed in the design of a Disney attraction (ride, resort, etc...)" Add your sightings to the list.

    Some web pages that represent Disney properties are not linked through the official home page, but once found, they make enticing offers. Disney's Swan and Dolphin Hotel has reopened after a $15 million renovation. The What's New page announces an optional Disney pass that allows guests extra hours of rides after "regular" park visitors have been shooed out for the night.

    Mining Company's Robert Brown has found a rich vein of info about The Magic Kingdom. In addition to sound advice on saving money while getting the best out of your WDW experience, Brown also has unearthed an impressive gold mine of details about non-Disney attractions in the Orlando area.

    But not every site that claims it's about Disney World actually is. One that bills itself under various web addresses as "Disney Nation" and "Walt Disney World 4 Adults" is mostly one screen after another about a guidebook it wants to sell you. Aside from the site's lack of coherent design, it's banners and boxes constantly nag you to buy the book. Fortunately, the democracy of the Internet delivers more free information than this book promises. I'm not even bothering to list the web address.

    The Raymond Family's enthusiasm for Disney World expresses itself in an affectionate and wide-ranging web site. This one's packed to the roof with useful links but would be easier to use if sections were presented as separate pages accessed by a menu instead of long, one-page scrolls.

    If you encounter the problem I had in clicking on some of Raymond's enticing icon-links, here's a tip. Place your cursor over a non-functioning icon. When it changes to a pointing finger, click the right button of your Windows mouse. From the pop-up menu select "copy shortcut". The menu will close. Highlight the current address in the box at the top of your browser. Click right button and select "paste." This will replace the highlighted address with the one you just copied. Finally, touch Enter on your keyboard.

    That's how I got to the Friends of Disney Alliance where one fan is building a growing database of Disney-related web sites. That same "copy shortcut" trick also got me into the delights of the Disney Web Ring.


(note: The material that appears below may or may not have been published in your local newspaper depending on the  available space in this week's edition.)

Walt Would Have Loved These Sites:

A Pansophist's Disney World
These folks love WDW and want you to, as well. The curmudgeon in me wants to quibble over the home-made graphics, but the child in me says, "Shut up old man, relax and enjoy yourself for a change." That's good advice because this site is the next best thing to having an in-law in Orlando. You put up with a few inconveniences, sleep on the fold-out and hope they don't believe in the old Irish expression, "After three days, guests from out-of-town and fish begin to stink."

Who Really Built WDW?
Here's a rare peek behind the scenes at the source of the magic in the Magic Kingdom.

Disney Collectors
On this site "information" becomes "Earformation" and "miscellaneous" is "mouselaneous."  Buy, sell, swap and discuss everything from that Mickey Mouse watch to an original set of ears.

Expedia's Disney Guide
This online travel division of MicroSoft has a web section devoted to all things Walt Disney.

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