ack in fall 1999, Spaceship Earth, the most famous landmark at Epcot Center, was fitted with a 2000 icon held in the hand of an unidentified Disney character to help underscore Walt Disney World's 15-month Millennium Celebration.

A view of Spaceship Earth during the Millennium Celebration that concluded Jan. 1.;An artist's rendering of the new Epcot icon, to be affixed to Spaceship Earth by late May. The event concluded Jan. 1, and by the end of May, the 2000 will have been replaced with the word Epcot displayed in script. The word will be embroidered with 250,000 sequin-like eye-catchers.

What Insider feels your clients really need to know about Spaceship Earth is that it can be seen for miles -- day and night -- and for that reason, regardless of what icon is affixed to it, agents should tell clients that this is the place to meet should individuals get separated from their party, or if the party splits up to see different attractions within the Future World sector.

Spaceship Earth is not only a great lost-and-found locale, but it can shield them from the hot sun or rain.

Inside the structure is an updated ride depicting the history of communication.

S'no go

Although snow is never a factor during a Puerto Rico winter, 300 tons of the sparkling white stuff attracted record crowds to Old San Juan during the holiday season.

No, it wasn't the El Nino weather phenomenon but rather the brainchild of two entertainment firms that staged a three-week holiday spectacle, complete with snowmen and snowballs.

Snow is not what visitors to Puerto Rico expect to see. However, a recent holiday event in San Juan featured 300 tons of snowflakes shipped from Canada. The snow was shipped in refrigerated cargo ships from Labrador, Canada, and stored in refrigerated vans near Luis Munoz Marin Park in San Juan.

Organizer Luis Guzman said the flakes were free, but the transport cost $200,000.

Apparently, news of the unusual shipment was carried on many Canadian television stations and in major newspapers.

One of the papers had a front page story about Canada's new export product.

While the event attracted lots of locals, Insider would bet that visitors from the Northeast, who had fled the Blizzard of 2001 for sun and sand, were not overly impressed.

Chad fallout

Although the election was over by mid-December, Palm Beach County has not been forgotten -- for better or for worse, according to Warren (Mac) McLaughlin, president of the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

During a bureau press luncheon in New York, McLaughlin told those at his table that all over the world -- even in the real Chad in Africa (made famous by the wayward ballot), everybody finally knows that Palm Beach is in Florida.

As a result of the worldwide election coverage, they no longer confuse it with Palm Springs in California, he said.

That's the good news.

"But they think we're dumb," he observed -- that's the bad news.

McLaughlin also disclosed that the bureau's famous $500 Worth of the Palm Beaches for Free coupon booklet -- with two-for-one deals -- which circulated spring through fall for many years, has doubled in value.

Thanks to inflation, the 2001 version will be headlined $1,000 Worth of the Palm Beaches for Free.

You can believe it. The savings were not tallied by poll workers.

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