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MousePlanetWatch 33 - news feed for August 23, 2007

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Walt Disney World News


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Most of the news came from this past Monday's Walt Disney World Park Update.

  • Passholder and Florida resident rate discounts have been released for most nights from September 30 through December 23. A bonus Disney Dining Card of $20 to $100 in value is available for some check-in dates. Contact Small World Vacations to make your reservation.
  • Magic Your Way package discounts are also available for those same nights, with slightly different blackout dates.
  • Disney Vacation Club resorts will now be known as Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts for communications with non-DVC members in order to help in renting those rooms when inventory is available.
  • Passholders will have exclusive access to the Haunted Mansion for three hours on three days after it returns from refurbishment.
  • This year's Art of Disney stamps were released in a ceremony at Epcot's America Gardens Theater last week.
  • This week's construction news includes installation of a "Facility Package" at the Great Movie Ride, roof repair and new overhead signage at the Transportation and Ticket Center, changes to the trees around Spaceship Earth, Conversion of the FountainView Bakery and Expresso Bar to an ice cream location and installation of launch tube barriers around the Illuminations launch points on the World Showcase Lagoon.

Disneyland News

Much of the news came from this past Monday's Disneyland Park Update.

  • High School Musical 2 held its world premiere at the AMC theater at Disneyland's Downtown Disney. MousePlanet reader Shannon was selected to interview some of the celebrities for the official Disneyland podcast. She wrote up her experiences in a trip report on our MousePad discussion forums. The new High School Musical 2: School's Out! show also debuted at Disney's California Adventure last week.
  • A permit has been issued to add to the Grand Californian's shell in preparation for adding a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort. Disneyland is holding a contest for Annual Passholders where the winner gets a short-term DVC membership. You can enter the contest and read the rules online.
  • The Anaheim GardenWalk has released an updated leasing plan. The Orange County Register has more information on the prospective tenants.
  • The fun continues in the Anaheim development battle.
  • While the River Belle Terrace is closed for renovations, breakfast will still be served at Cafe Orleans. You can see what MousePlanet readers think of the restaurant in our Review System.
  • Tortilla Jo's is offering a new lunch special and twilight menu. Tortilla Jo's is also listed in our Review System.
  • While it's still not official, it looks like this year's Disneyland Candlelight Processional will be December 1 and 2.
  • Tickets for the October 26 Mickey's Halloween Treat have sold out, though all other dates are still available.
  • A Newsweek article notes the increasing popularity of half marathons for people who are not up to running a full 26.2 miles. Proving the point, the Disneyland Half Marathon is now sold out.
  • Bats Day at the Fun Park was held last weekend. For more information on the event, you can check out a trip report on our MousePad discussion forums, an event recap at Idolator.com or an event photo gallery at the same site.

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released its list of 2008 Blu-ray releases. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; National Treasure; Finding Nemo and Sleeping Beauty will be the big-name titles.
  • The first album by Jonas Brothers on Disney's Hollywood Records label debuted last week at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
  • Two weeks ago, the University of Washington issued a press release stating that videos like Baby Einstein hinder the development of young children. Disney CEO Bob Iger sent an open letter to university president Mark Emmert, asking that the press release be retracted because there was no specific research done on the Baby Einstein series. Last week, Emmert issued his refusal to Iger in an open letter. No telling whether or not we've seen the end of this one.
  • It's no huge surprise that High School Musical 2 broke several viewership records, including most-watched basic cable show ever. High School Musical 3 is in development, with several different plot lines being floated.
  • Arguably the happiest viewer of the movie was Anthony Israel of Greenville, New Jersey, who won a Radio Disney contest to have two of the movie's stars host a premiere party for him and 30 of his closest friends and relations.
  • You can get your child a High School Musical 2 back-to-school wake-up call from either Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay) or Corbin Bleu (Chad).
  • Disney movies are moving down the charts in the weekly box office, with no new titles due until late September. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will likely drop to number 4 in the domestic box office this week, though it's still far and away the worldwide box office leader for the year.

Wrapping up

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