MousePlanetWatch 36 - news feed for September 13, 2007
Run time 0:35:34
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We're trying something new again this week, with Mark and Mike discussing the news instead of Mark just reading it. Let us know what you think of it!
Walt Disney World News
- The Walt Disney Company filed a patent application on August 30 to expand and enhance their existing patents on Fastpass. For more information, check out Monday's Park Update or yesterday's MouseStation Podcast, where we spent the entire show talking about possible implications.
- Walt Disney World is looking for "Moms" for a new online panel that will answer questions on new forums that will be launched at the Walt Disney World web site in January. Applications must be received by October 5, and the twelve finalists will be notified by November 2. Since they have already raised the cap on applications, you may want to get your entry in earlier, since they may reach their maximum number of applications early. You can see the full announcement and join the ongoing discussion about the panel on our MousePad discussion forums.
- The Contemporary, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs Resorts were named the 34th, 35th and 36th hotels in the Florida Green Lodging Program, run by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
- A mystery machine started dispensing pins last Thursday at Epcot.
- To see what happened to the wand after it was removed from Epcot, check out this YouTube video.
- Disney has announced the dates and registration information for the 2008 Minnie Marathon.
- We don't have dates yet, but the Pirate & Princess Party will return again this winter.
This and other news can be found in this week's Walt Disney World Park Update.
- The Orange Country Register is reporting that AMF will open a high-end bowling center at GardenWalk.
- Disneyland Resort Horticulturist Karen Hedges is interviewed in the Los Angeles Times, giving interesting background information on foliage at Disneyland and how you can give your own garden that "Disney Touch."
- Disney cancelled an appearance by heavy metal band Machine Head at Downtown Disney's House of Blues just two days before the performance was to take place.
- Last week, we reported incorrectly that the start of the Christmas parade would be delayed. It seems that it's always started a week later than the changeover of "it's a small world".
This and other news can be found in this week's Disneyland Park Update.
The Walt Disney Company News
- Disney's ABC has made a new, groundbreaking deal with Warner Brothers over digital distribution rights to shows produced by Warner but run on ABC.
- While the Machine Head concert at the House of Blues in Anaheim's Downtown Disney was cancelled (as mentioned in the Disneyland Update above), their show at the House of Blues at the Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World was not cancelled, probably due to the greater distance between the venue in Florida and the theme parks and resort hotels.
- Bloomberg News is reporting that ESPN's profit growth is expected to fall in the next few years due to new, high-priced contracts with various sports leagues.
- High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens found herself at the center of a maelstrom as a nude photo of her, purportedly taken by her and sent to boyfriend/co-star Zac Efron, surfaced on the Internet. After Hudgens acknowledged that the photo was indeed of her and apologized to her fans, Disney then came out in support of her, stating that "Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson." Then word surfaced of another set of nude photos, apparently taken two years ago and sent to Nickelodeon star Drake Bell as a fan, before she became a star in her own right. There has been no word from Disney since then. There is also no word on how this is affecting the ongoing negotiations with the six lead actors over a contract for the High School Musical 3 theatrical film.
- The Disney Cruise Line ranked #4 in the Large-Ship Cruise category of Travel + Leisure Magazine's World's Best awards.
- There are apparently framing problems with the Blu-ray release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Maybe more attention needs to be paid to quality control.
- In addition to Disney's deal with Yash Raj Films for the animated "Road Side Romeo," it continues its move into films produced in India, as the company has struck a deal with Shankar Ehsaan Loy to create a Bollywood version of High School Musical. It's also being said that the third Cheetah Girls movie will be produced in India.
- Disney's Hollywood Records has been caught at astroturfing YouTube. They apparently had a singer that they had already signed to a contract put out videos on YouTube using video equipment that they provided, and had her portray herself as an amateur to build a grass roots buzz about her music. Of course, there's no telling whether they would have ever released Marie Digby's album if she hadn't created a buzz about herself in the first place.
- The Little Mermaid sold out all shows during its Denver tryout and will begin previews at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway on November 3, with an official opening on December 6.
- Films released by Disney have continued their slide at the weekly box-office. Their next new release will be "The Game Plan" on September 28. Meanwhile, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has clearly dropped to fourth at the domestic box office, falling behind Transformers. The movie remains in first place at the worldwide box office.
We've gotten a lot of positive feedback on the new format of shorter, more frequent MouseStation shows. Currently, MouseStation is published three times a week, with short subjects on Mondays, featured topics on Wednesdays and listener feedback on Fridays; the MousePlanetWatch news is published on Thursday. We're still currently maintaining the series of three feeds, one for MouseStation only, one for MousePlanetWatch only and one for both shows.
Based on listener feedback, we will be deciding whether to merge the feeds, and return to a single feed with all shows, folding MousePlanetWatch into the main MouseStation feed. That would still leave us with four shows per week, but there would be only one feed. With the current listener numbers being fairly even between MouseStation and MousePlanetWatch, it seems as if there's a great deal of overlap between the shows.
Please weigh in on the idea of returning to a single feed via email or by calling our toll-free feedback line at 1-866-939-2278. Don't forget that we love voicemails because then we can put your voice on the show!
Don't forget that you've only got two weeks from tomorrow to get your entry in for our Owner's Locker contest!
We also wanted to remind you that we have now scheduled our MouseFest meet for the podcasts. The MouseStation Hustle-tini Meet will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Classic Concoctions in the Everything Pop food court at Disney's Pop Century Resort for Bluetinis to get our nerve up to get up and boogie. We'll make sure that we're in the lobby before 6 p.m. so that we can do The Hustle, then return to Classic Concoctions or elsewhere to record some more for the podcast. For more information on the Hustle-tini or any other MousePlanet-sponsored meet at MouseFest, check out our MouseFest information page.
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Thanks to our West Coast correspondent Andrew Rich, and audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.
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