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MousePlanetWatch 31 - news feed for August 9, 2007

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In the Walt Disney World news, most of the news came from this past Monday's Walt Disney World Park Update, and links to the various information reported can be found there.

  • Reservations for special events at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival are now available. Call 407-WDW-FEST (407-939-3378) for reservations. Check out our new 2007 Food & Wine Park Guide page.
  • Walt Disney World raised theme park admission prices on Sunday. One-day, one-park admission prices are now $71 plus tax for adults, $60 plus tax for kids ages 3-9. Ten-day adult passes are up to $225 plus tax, and if you add Park Hopper, Water Park Fun & More and No Expiration options, it goes to a whopping $500 plus tax.
  • The 2008 Dining Plans have been released. Packages are roughly the same, but a new Deluxe Dining Plan has been introduced with the food allotments from the Premium and Platinum plans, but without the recreation options. There's also a Wine & Dine option. For more information, check out the 2008 standard Dining Plan, Deluxe Dining Plan, Premium Plan, Platinum Plan and Wine and Dine Plan brochures.
  • Room-only rates for 2008 have also been released.
  • A lifeguard at the Polynesian Resort was honored for saving the life of a five-year-old boy who nearly drowned while swimming in the pool there.
  • It looks like at least The Making of Me will be no more, based on construction paperwork filed with Orange County.

In the Disneyland news, some of the news came from this past Monday's Disneyland Park Update.

  • Registration for the fall MouseAdventure (October 14) is now open. The event is already over 2/3 full. If you're interested in playing, register now!
  • Disneyland has announced new ticket prices as well, though their prices do not take effect until 2008.
  • Disney has filed permits for preliminary work in the creation of a new wing at the Grand Californian for the Disney Vacation Club.
  • Disney and SunCal have concluded negotiations on the Anaheim housing issue without coming to an agreement.
  • Disney increased prices on the Panama Canal repositioning cruises next year, explaining that it's due to port fees. After the Park Update went to press, Disney announced that it was removing the fee and would pay the port charges itself.
  • Anaheim schools have gone back to a single-track school year, decreasing the school-age population at Disneyland.
  • Disneyland is conducting a "utilization survey" of services around the park.
  • An account of MousePlanet reader cstephens' final visit to the Disney Gallery is on our MousePad discussion forums.
  • River Belle Terrace closes August 19
  • Self-service kiosks have been removed from Taste Pilot's Grill.
  • Vault 28 hosted a launch party for the new BLOC 28 collection.
  • Long-time SoCal news anchor Hal Fishman has passed away from colon cancer at age 75.

In The Walt Disney Company news:

  • Disney and Lenovo are partnering to sell a limited edition Power Rangers Mystic Force-themed desktop PC in India.
  • Disney kicked off the release of Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand with a "Fairies on Fifth" parade. The book is the sequel to Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg. Author Gail Carson Levine is using the promotional tour to promote the "My Fairy Haven" environmental project. Meanwhile, the DisneyFairies.com web site has seen visitors create nearly 2.5 million personalized Fairies since the site launched in January.
  • Disney's Toontown Online held "ToonFest 2007" at Walt Disney World last Saturday..
  • The Walt Disney Company announced third-quarter results last week. You can download a transcript of the earnings call here, or download the audio here.
  • Disney also bought Club Penguin, a popular online tween hangout, last week for $350 million. Depending on performance, the final price may rise to as much as $700 million.
  • Disney will be collaborating with the Federal Department of Homeland Security on a video to welcome foreign tourists to the United States.
  • The soundtrack CD for High School Musical 2 will include a song that will not be heard until the DVD of the movie is released later this year. The name of the song, "Humuhumunukunukua'pua'a", reminds many of the Warner Brothers cartoon "Wackiki Wabbit".
  • "Home At Last," Billy Ray Cyrus' first album on Walt Disney Records has debuted at #3 on the Billboard Country album chart and #20 on the Top 200 album chart. He and daughter Miley Cyrus are both in the Top 20, as her "Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus" CD is at #5.
  • Disney Mobile rolled out two new phones from Samsung.
  • Johnny Depp's stunt double has sued Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer for negligence in using unsafe equipment.
  • Producer Scott Rudin has purchased the film rights to "The Dangerous Book for Boys," and has made a deal to produce the film for Disney.
  • Underdog finished third for the week at the box office. Meanwhile, Ratatouille nears the $200 million domestic mark. While Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End runs the risk of coming in as low as fifth at the domestic box office this summer, it is still easily the global box office champ for the same period.

Wrapping up

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