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Update for August 27 – September 3, 2012

Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Coming Soon | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Discounts/Promotions | Comments

News and Views

Room-only discounts through end of year | Passholder room discounts through end of year | Halloween discount, events on Disncy Cruise Line | Calling all with a spirit of adventure! MouseAdventure: World Explorers comes to Magic Kingdom! | Magic, Memories and You to be replaced this fall | Epcot Segway tour to get update | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd Update

Room-only discounts through end of year


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A room-only discount is available for most dates September 30 through December 22 that anyone can book through September 29. As with all discounts, room availability at these rates is limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Campsites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts range from 15 to 30 percent and availability varies by date.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1315 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code W9G. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).


Major work is underway on the rockwork transition between the Haunted Mansion and the new West Fantasyland restroom area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


A bridge is being created over small waterway. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The restrooms will be in a courtyard area themed to "Tangled." Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Passholder room discounts through end of year

An Annual Passholder discount is available for most dates September 30 through December 24 that passholders can book through the day of arrival if rooms are still available. As with all discounts, room availability at these rates is limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Campsites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts range from 20-35 percent and availability varies by date.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7859 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code Q5M. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).


Construction workers take a break near the new castle gates. Sculpted rock work goes right up to the wall's stone work. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


How do workers know which color to paint which brick to accomplish the desired effect? "Paint by number." Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


A finished section of wall shows the results of "painting by number." The stone work is designed to complement the pavement of the current Fantasyland to seem like it has always been there. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Work continues on the Seven Dwarf Mine Train coaster. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Halloween discount, events on Disncy Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line is offering 25 percent off of prevailing rates for the Disney Magic's October 27 sailing from Galveston. The seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary features special Halloween activities, including a haunted deck party, spooky movies, and a costume contest. The special Halloween events will actually appear on all of the Disney Cruise Line ships. The sailings with the special events include October 20 and 27 on the Disney Magic, October 28 on the Disney Wonder, October 25 and 28 on the Disney Dream, and October 20 and 27 on the Disney Fantasy. The discounted price, however, is only on the one Magic sailing.


Fall decor is out in the Magic Kingdom in early preparation for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, which begins in the next couple of weeks. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Sir Mickey's is undergoing remodeling. Access to windows appears to be maintained for the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Work continues on the final circus tents and on pavers in Storybook Circus. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The yellow food service tent appears somewhat completed with the exception of banners and bunting. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Calling all with a spirit of adventure! MouseAdventure: World Explorers comes to Magic Kingdom!

Registration is now open for MouseAdventure: World Explorers IV. The fourth annual running of the scavenger hunt/puzzle quest/race through Walt Disney World's parks takes place on Saturday, November 3 at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (the game has been going on at the parks of the Disneyland Resort for more than 11 years now). Do you think that you know the Magic Kingdom? We bet you don't know it as well as you think you do! Test your wits against those of our puzzle masters. For more information, check out the MouseAdventure information page.


Construction on the new location for Boulangerie Patisserie at Epcot's France pavilion has now taken over most of the Galerie de Halles space. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Preparation is underway for this year's Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Construction of a new Disney Vacation Club kiosk is under way adjacent to the garden entrance to Le Cellier at Epcot's Canada pavilion. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Send us your menu photos

Click on the "Dining" section from our Walt Disney World Guide to see our complete list of of the park restaurant menus from Walt Disney World. Please help us keep the menus up to date! Send photos or scans of park menus to menus@mouseplanet.com to help us keep our listings updated.

Magic, Memories and You to be replaced this fall

"The Magic, the Memories and You" castle projection show appears for the last time on September 3 after nearly 20 months of running nightly on the facade of Cinderella Castle. After a couple of months of no castle projection show, "Celebrate the Magic" begin its run, some time in November. Unlike "The Magic, the Memories, and You," "Celebrate the Magic" appears only at the Magic Kingdom. Disneyland will no longer have a projection show on the facade of "it's a small world." The new show will include some elements from "MMY" in addition to new music, storyline, and special effects.


Exterior work continues on the new version of Test Track. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


At the Imagination Labs at Epcot, the vendor that once sold 3D crystal laser holograms has been removed. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


A new structure is in front of The Seas with Nemo and Friends will likely shelter infrastructure for the Next Generation experience equipment. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Epcot Segway tour to get update

Effective September 17, the Around the World Segway Tour at Epcot will be replaced by the Keep Moving Forward: See the World, Share the Dream Tour. The new tour will carry the same $99 per person price tag as the current tour, but will last three hours instead of two.

The new tour features a Segway training lesson, breakfast at Sunshine Seasons at the Land pavilion, an in-depth tour of World Showcase, and (of course) an exclusive pin. The tour will now feature longer storytelling, more heritage content in each country around World Showcase. The tour will also expand to include "whisper units" to allow guests to hear their guide without being right on top of them.

Those booked on the Around the World tour for dates after September 16 will automatically be switched to the Keep Moving Forward tour.


Wreck it Ralph artwork and other production props are on display at the Magic of Disney Animation exhibit at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


At one point Ralph will enter an arcade game called "Sugar Rush," a kart-racing game set in a world similar to the board game Candy Land. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Ralph will also enter "Hero's Duty," a "shooter" game world where he is trained by Sergeant Calhoun, voiced by Jane Lynch. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Construction update

The construction update will return next week.

Quick takes …

…Every single dinner reservation slot at Be Our Guest Restaurant has been booked from opening night on November 19 through New Year's Day. If you want to eat there and don't have a reservation, you'll need to try for lunch, when there are no reservations for the quick-service meal.

…Epcot has now joined the fold of parks with free in-park Wi-Fi. Remaining are Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, and Downtown Disney.

…We're hearing that Splash Mountain will be removed from the roster of attractions open during Evening Extra Magic Hours soon. It would be replaced on the list by Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room and the Country Bear Jamboree (once it returns from refurbishment).

…Starting September 30, the Turf Club Grill at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa will serve dinner only.

…Disney artist Dave Avanzino is appearing at Walt Disney World this Labor Day Weekend to offer his custom letter name plaques. He will be at the Magic Kingdom on Friday and the Art of Disney Store on Saturday and Sunday. There will be other artwork available for sale as well.

…Registration for the January 10–13, 2013, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is open. Registration for Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge is 90 percent full, the full Marathon is 84 percent full, the Half Marathon is 79 percent full, and the Disney Family Fun Run 5K is 54 percent full.

…Registration for the February 22–24, 2013, fifth annual Princess Half Marathon Weekend is open.

…Registration for the featured race of the September 28–29 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is full. The related runDisney Kids' Races are now 71 percent full and the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run is now 78 percent full, and the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash after-party is 68 percent full.

…Registration for the featured race of the November 9–10 Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is full. There are still some opportunities available to run the race via charity groups and travel operators. Look for details at the event website. The related Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K is 54 percent full, and runDisney Kids Races are 53 percent full.

…The MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun MouseAdventure bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, go to the MousePlanet main page and enter your email address in the top right box labeled "Join the MousePlanet Newsletter." Click Join, then fill out the fields in the registration page, including your first and last name. The Newsletter is free, but you must complete this registration to receive it, even if you may have signed up for one with us in the past.

Crowd update

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Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, to help you better plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."

Crowds fall a bit more this week at Walt Disney World! TouringPlans.com can help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls, and will help you avoid the dreaded tour groups, with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. Now more than ever, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

Date Overall
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 1 / 10
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 2 / 10
Thursday, August 30, 2012 4 / 10
Friday, August 31, 2012 3 / 10

Check out the Disney World Park Crowd Levels page on TouringPlans.com for park-specific predictions and recommendations on which days to visit and avoid particular parks!

  • Expect a spike in weekend crowds due to Labor Day.
  • If visiting Epcot, remember that Test Track is closed until Fall 2012; plan your FASTPASS strategy accordingly.
  • Magic Kingdom is our Best Park on Labor Day.
  • Following a Touring Plan is important when crowd levels spike at the park you're visiting!

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disney World wait times on your iPhone, Android or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.


 

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Coming up

  • September 7-8: Night of Joy.
  • September 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30, October 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, November 2. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
  • September 15: The Little Mermaid wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
  • September 28–29: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.
  • September 28 to November 12: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • October 2-3: D23 Sip & Scream.
  • Fall (exact date to be determined): Splitsville opens.
  • November 3: MouseAdventure World Explorers IV.
  • November 8–11: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
  • November 9–10: Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.
  • November 9–11: Festival of the Masters.
  • November 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, and 30, December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 21. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
  • November 22, 23, 25: Old Spice Classic.
  • "In time for Holidays 2012": Little Mermaid- and Beauty and the Beast-themed sections of New Fantasyland open at Magic Kingdom.
  • December 13: Disney Vacation Club Condominium Association annual meeting.
  • January 10–13, 2013: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
  • February 22-24, 2013: Disney's Princess Half Marathon.
  • May 4, 2013: Expedition Everest Challenge.

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Snow White's Scary Adventures – closed permanently for conversion to Princess Fairytale Hall.
  • Country Bear Jamboree – closed for refurbishment August 22 – October 16.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – closed for refurbishment October 9.
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant – opens by 2012 holiday season.
  • Maurice's Cottage – opens by 2012 holiday season.
  • Gaston's Tavern – opens by 2012 holiday season.
  • Bonjour Village Gifts – opens by 2012 holiday season.
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid – opens by 2012 holiday season.
  • Ariel's Grotto – opens by 2012 holiday season.
  • Princess Fairytale Hall – opens 2013.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – opens 2014.

Epcot

  • Test Track – closed through November 30 for "reimagining."
  • Bistro de Paris – closed through December 1 for refurbishment.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure – closed for refurbishment September 10-14

Animal Kingdom

  • No known current refurbishments.

Resorts

  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Grand Floridian Spa closed through mid-2013 for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Sandy Cove shop closed August 21 through December.
  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Courtyard Pool closed August 24 through November for addition of zero-entry area.
  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Gasparilla Grill & Games closed August 24 through December.
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort – California Grill closed January 6, 2013, through late summer 2013 for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort Yachtsman Steakhouse – closed for refurbishment August 27 through September 15.
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort – rooftop HVAC hot water piping replaced January 9 to September 28.
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort – villa buildings undergo exterior cleaning and painting one at a time between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through August 30.
  • Disney's Pop Century Resort – repairs of concrete deck at Hippy Dippy Pool through September 28. The pool remains open during the work, but some small sections of the pool deck are closed periodically throughout this period.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed October 28 through January 5, 2013 for annual refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach – January 6, 2013 through March 16, 2013 closed for annual refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • Oak Trail Golf Course – closed through September 28 for refurbishment.
  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays. For 2012, the show is not be performed:
    • September 18 to 22
    • November 27

Current Discounts & Promotions

Room-only discounts through end of year

A room-only discount is available for most dates September 30 through December 22. Anyone can book this discount through September 29. As with all discounts, rooms available at these rates is limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Campsites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts range from 15-30 percent and availability varies by date.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1315 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code W9G. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Passholder room discounts through end of year

A Passholder discount is available for most dates September 30 through December 24. Passholders can book this discount through the day of arrival if rooms are still available. As with all discounts, rooms available at these rates is limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Campsites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts range from 20-35 percent and availability varies by date.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7859 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code Q5M. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Free dining offers released for late September through mid-December

Walt Disney World has announced a free dining offer for Disney Visa card members and the general public. The offer is valid for stays most nights September 30 through October 4, October 19 through November 1, November 9–15, November 23–29, and December 10–20, 2012. As with the most recent offers, guests staying at Value resorts receive a free Quick Service Dining Plan, while guests staying in Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villa accommodations receive the standard Disney Dining Plan. Guests can upgrade their dining plan for the usual difference in price between each dining plan.

The offer is only available for packages including room, tickets, and dining, and all members of the party much purchase the same package and tickets. Minimum length of stay is three nights with two-day base tickets; maximum stay on the package is 14 days. Some blackout dates apply.

Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, and the Little Mermaid standard view rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included in this offer, and you must book by September 29 to get this offer.

Remember: If you're planning to play MouseAdventure: World Explorers IV on November 3, you can get free dining as long as you arrive by the preceding Thursday, November 1.

You can make your reservations through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-7631 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code F8Z (Disney Visa) or X9N (general availability) for Value resorts or D85 (Disney Visa) or I87 (general availability) for Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa Resorts.

MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Special Summer PhotoPass+ deal

Disney's PhotoPass service has announced a new summer discount on Disney PhotoPass+ pre-arrival packages. For $169.95 plus tax, Walt Disney World guests receive a voucher to exchange for a PhotoPass+ card upon arrival at the resort, a Photo Gallery CD with over 400 stock photos ($39.95 value), a unique code to create and order a photo CD upon return from their trip ($169.95 value), print packages at select dining locations ($29.95 value each), and digital photos from select attractions ($14.95 value each). Applicable taxes will be charged to all orders.

This special offer is only available from this link or by calling the Guest Support line at 407-560-4300, and only prior to arrival at Walt Disney World Resort. All sales are final, and not eligible for an exchange or refund.

The package may take as long as 14 days to arrive, and you must bring your voucher from the package to redeem it, so make sure that you order far enough in advance to allow your materials to arrive.

Attractions currently participating in the program are Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, and Dinosaur. Current participating restaurants are 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Chef Mickey's Cinderella's Royal Table, Tusker House Restaurant, Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.

Passholder room discounts for August and September

A Passholder discount is available for most dates August 17 through September 29. Passholders can book this discount through the day of arrival if rooms are still available. As with all discounts, rooms available at these rates is limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Suites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts range from 25-35 percent and availability varies by date.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7635 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code W9G. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

2011-12 Military ticket offer

From now through September 28, 2012, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with either the Park Hopper or Water Parks Fun and More option for $138 per ticket, plus tax, or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $165 per ticket, plus tax. No Base ticket is available with this offer.

The tickets expire and may not be used after September 30, 2012. July 4, 2012 is a blockout date.

Eligible service members include active or retired members of the U.S. military including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservists. Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased at Shades of Green or at a participating military base (MWR/ITT) office. There is no tax charged for these tickets but they must be activated at a theme park ticket window. Tickets may also be purchased at Walt Disney World Park Ticket Offices and Guest Relations Offices where tax will be charged. No more than twelve Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased, activated and/or used by any Eligible Service Member or spouse during the life of this promotion, and no Eligible Service Member or spouse may purchase, activate and/or use more than six Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets during any single week of the promotion. One of the Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets purchased on each occasion must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or spouse. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. Valid military identification is required. The tickets are non-transferable and may not be resold.

The tickets may be upgraded to Seasonal Passes or Florida Resident Weekday Select Passes (for Florida Residents), or Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, or Disney Premier Pass with credit toward the upgrade based on the actual price paid. The no-expiration option and other upgrades, such as additional days, are not available.

For complete information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets, military personnel may call 407-939-7830, visit the Walt Disney World website, or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.

2013 Military Salute offers

From now through September 28, 2013, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with either the Park Hopper or Water Parks Fun and More option for $156 per ticket, plus tax (up from $138 last year), or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $184 per ticket, plus tax (up from $165). No Base ticket is available with this offer.

The tickets expire and may not be used before October 1, 2012, or after September 28, 2012. Blockout dates are December 24-31, 2012 and March 24-April 4, 2013 at all ticketed locations, and July 4, 2013 at Magic Kingdom park only.

Eligible service members include active or retired members of the U.S. military including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservists. Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased at Shades of Green or at a participating military base (MWR/ITT) office. There is no tax charged for these tickets but they must be activated at a theme park ticket window. Tickets may also be purchased at Walt Disney World Park Ticket Offices and Guest Relations Offices where tax will be charged. Tickets may be purchased by active and retired military personnel for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. One of the Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets purchased on each occasion must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or spouse. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. Valid military identification is required. The tickets are non-transferable and may not be resold.

The tickets may be upgraded to Seasonal Passes or Florida Resident Weekday Select Passes (for Florida Residents), or Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, or Disney Premier Pass with credit toward the upgrade based on the actual price paid. The no-expiration option and other upgrades, such as additional days, are not available.

In addition, specially priced rooms are available to active and retired U.S. military personnel at select Walt Disney World resorts for stays most nights from October 1, 2012 through September 28, 2013, except for November 24, 2012, December 23-31, 2012, and March 25-April 4, 2013.

For complete information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets and discounted resort rates, military personnel may call 407-939-7830, visit the Walt Disney World website, or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.


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(Send an email to Mark Goldhaber)

Mark (@MPMark) is a veteran of dozens of trips to Walt Disney World starting in 1972, with a few Disneyland trips thrown in for good measure. As a Disney stockholder and a Disney Vacation Club member, Mark is always in touch with what's going on with The Mouse. Mark serves as MousePlanet's Walt Disney World content coordinator. Mark is a senior information technology manager working for the State of New York. He lives in the suburbs outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son.