Ok, lots of new news reveiled (<did I spell that right?) on the sports happenings in WDW to come up. Let's see...

Disney's Price Slice savings on greens fees at Disney's golf courses

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Seldom does "slice" mean something positive in golf. Usually, it means a player wishes he could have his swing back -- to stroke the ball again ... straighter this time. But this summer, Walt Disney World Resort is offering a slice every golfer will like -- a price slice to play the award-winning Disney courses.

Beginning May 22 and continuing through Sept. 30, Disney's Price Slice means big savings on greens fees after 10 a.m. daily. Here's what is offered:

  • Magnolia course, which has tested some of the world's top golfers annually since 1971 in a PGA TOUR event, for $55;
  • Eagle Pines course, a challenging Pete Dye layout, for $55;
    Palm course, which will join the Magnolia in hosting the PGA TOUR Funai Classic in October, for $49;
  • Lake Buena Vista course, which has hosted both LPGA and PGA TOUR events, for $45.
    The rates include use of an electric cart and reflect savings of $34-$44 compared to regular rates in effect for May-September.
Meanwhile, the fifth Disney course, Osprey Ridge, is scheduled to be closed May 15 through Sept. 23 as part of a multi-year course improvement program. Greens will be resurfaced with an improved variety of bermudagrass called TifEagle, replacing the Tifdwarf previously on the greens. Tee areas will also be laser leveled during the refurbishment.

Osprey Ridge is the third Disney championship course to undergo a makeover. Previously, the Palm course was improved in 2004, and the Magnolia course in 2005.

Walt Disney World Resort is a Golf Magazine Gold Medal Resort -- among 25 facilities in the continental U.S. and Hawaii distinguished with the honor. Guests can call 407/WDW-GOLF or visit disneygolf.com for tee times. Magic Your Way vacation packages including accommodations, theme park tickets, dining and recreation -- including golf and golf instruction -- are available by calling 407/W-DISNEY, through a local travel agent, or at disneyworld.com.

Upcoming Wide World of Sports events
AAU basketball national championships begin in June

As the summer heats up, so does amateur basketball around the country. And nowhere is the competition hotter than at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. The nation's top high school basketball players will compete in The Milk House at the country's No. 1 venue for amateur and professional sporting events for the right to call themselves national champions during the Amateur Athletic Union Boys' and Girls' Basketball National Championships, June 23-Aug. 13.

The AAU, one of the largest non-profit, volunteer organizations in the country, annually showcases the top prep basketball talent from coast to coast at its national championship events. Among the NBA stars to compete at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex as AAU stars are Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire and New Jersey Nets forward Richard Jefferson. In all, more than 30 current NBA players have battled for championship titles at The Milk House during their AAU heydays.

The AAU Basketball National Championships have also established themselves as the most popular basketball events for scouting top high school talent. Hundreds of NCAA Division I college basketball coaches crowd the baselines of each of the six Milk House courts, previewing future NCAA standouts.

This summer's marquee boys events include the 17-under AAU Boys Super Showcase (July 22-26), 16U AAU Boys Super Showcase (July 19-22) and both the AAU Boys Junior and Senior National Championships (July 27-Aug. 1). The girls take the floor July 6-12 for the U17, U18 and U19 AAU Girls National Championships.

In 1996, upon completion of the new sports complex, Walt Disney World Resort partnered with the AAU to host the organization's amateur events. Later that year, AAU headquarters were relocated to the Orlando area -- just a few miles from Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.

For more information on the AAU Basketball National Championships at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, call 407/934-7200 or visit disneyworldsports.com and aausports.org.

Bucs stop here for NFL preseason training

The defending NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers return to the Hess Sports Fields at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex this summer for the team's fifth year of training camp at the No. 1 venue for amateur and professional sporting events in the country. While practice dates and times for the 2006 training camp have not been released, previous camps have been in late July-early August.

Fans will have a chance to get closer than ever to the Bucs' marquee players, including Pro Bowlers Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber, as well as rookie sensation Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, this season's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Once again, training camp is free for the public. More than 23,000 fans cycled through the turnstiles at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in 2005 to watch summer workouts.

The Buccaneers have trained at the 220-acre sports complex since 2002 -- the team's Super Bowl championship season -- and are the first NFL team to conduct training camp at Walt Disney World Resort.

Practice sessions generally last two hours, although afternoon practices involving special teams tend to last an hour. For more information, please call 407/939-GAME (4263) and visit disneyworldsports.com or buccaneers.com.