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MouseStation 74 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News


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  • Advocates for the disabled are fighting to convince Disney to allow those who use Segways to get around to use them in the theme parks.
  • The contract for the 8,000 part-timers represented by the Service Trades Council Union was settled much more quickly and quietly than that for the 21,000 full-timers represented by the union.
  • Kerri MacPherson and Tameka Chianti Newman have been selected as the 2008 Walt Disney World Ambassador team.
  • The lineup of celebrities for the Super Soap Weekend at the Disney-MGM Studios on November 10-11 has been set.
  • Five pairs of red-cockaded woodpeckers were released into the Disney Wilderness Preserve as part of an effort to help the birds recolonize Central Florida.
  • Construction Updates:
    • Demolition and reconstruction of the interior of the Main Street Cinemas seems to spell the end for the Virtual Magic Kingdom center.
    • New parade storage facilities are being built at the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom.
    • New kitchen equipment is being installed at Tamu Tamu Refreshments.
    • New pizza ovens are being installed in the second floor kitchen at Columbia Harbour House. In Monday's Park Update, we wondered what Harbour House was doing with pizza ovens when they don't serve pizza there. We subsequently received information that the pizzas were for sale at the Liberty Square Market, with further information that Mickey waffles are now available at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments.
  • Quick takes:
    • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party sold out on Halloween night. Other nights are going fast, so get your tickets soon.
    • Both Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining opened at the Japan pavilion last week. Make your reservations now.
    • The quick-service portion of Yak & Yeti Restaurant will be called Yak & Yeti Market.
    • Ground has been broken on the T-Rex Restaurant location at Downtown Disney.
    • Brian Piasecki is following Anette Grecchi Gray as executive chef at Jiko - The Cooking Place. Grecchi Gray left to take a position with Carlson Cos., owner of T.G.I. Friday's and other brands.
  • In news breaking since Monday's Update, we received answers (or, largely, non-answers) to the questions that we had posed to the Disney Vacation Club regarding the lease extension at the Old Key West Resort.
    • Can those who elect not to extend their ownership interest change their mind and repurchase their extra 15 years from DVD later on? Members are being give the option to add on to their membership or not at this time. We do not have plans at this time to extend the offer again. However, we reserved the right to do so.
    • If they don't extend, what will that do to the resale value of the points? We cannot speculate on the resale value of points.
    • Why is Old Key West the only one receiving this offer? This is our flagship resort and this offer was in celebration of our 15th anniversary.
    • What about the rest of the 2042-class resorts (Hilton Head, Vero Beach, BoardWalk, Beach Club and Wilderness Lodge)? Disney's Old Key West Resort is the only property where this offer is being extended at this time.
    • Why are they forcing this decision on DVC members (who have about five months to make up their minds, complete their financing and pay in full) 35 years in advance? It is a Member's choice to add on or elect not to do so. Members are able to finance the extension amount through Disney Vacation Development the same terms we offer for financing of new purchases.
    • Since we recorded the podcast, we received an answer to our follow-up question: While DVC can't speculate on what might happen to resale values, you should be able to speculate on the dollar level at which you'd exercise your right of first refusal, which does have an impact on resale values. Can you project what impact extending vs. not extending might have on the point at which you'd use ROFR to buy the ownership interest back? We really can't speculate on resale value or the dollar level.
    • So there you have it, for what it's worth. We'll have that information in next Monday's Park Update.

This and other news can be found in this week's Walt Disney World Park Update.

Up until now, we've been summarizing just portions of the weekly Walt Disney World Park Update on each show because we had received feedback that you didn't want to hear the same thing that you already read on Monday, so we just hit the high points for those who hadn't read it. However, recent listener feedback indicated that you wanted us to run through the whole Park Update, so starting with this show we're going to summarize pretty much every story in the Update. (We're still not going to read the complete stories, unless you tell us otherwise.) Please let us know what you think of this change.

Disneyland News

  • As the podcast was being recorded, Disneyland released plans for a massive re-imagining of Disney's California Adventure. The press release and photos are online here, and more information is available in our News forum on our MousePad discussion forums.
  • We've posted the preliminary results for the Fall 2007 MouseAdventure, which was once again our Biggest Event Ever. There is a MouseAdventure debriefing thread on our MousePad discussion forums. You can check out all of the team photos here. Full results have been posted today.
  • The CHOC/Disneyland Walk in the Park is this coming Sunday. If you'd like to participate, you can still register for the event.
  • The Anaheim Resort Transit buses have released new schedules to include the Anaheim Gardenwalk. It's available in PDF format on the ART web site.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas will be showing in Digital 3-D at the El Capitan Theater October 19–November 18.
  • The Indiana Jones Adventure and Tom Sawyer Island both endured unplanned closures over the weekend.
  • This and That:
    • Artist Jim Shore will participate in a product release and signing event at Disneyland on December 1.
    • Pamela Anderson was spotted honeymooning with husband Rick Salomon at the Disneyland Resort this weekend.
    • The Orange County registrar of voters has qualified a second Disney-backed initiative to go before Anaheim voters.
    • Space Mountain will be closed for two days in mid-January, 2008, prompting some speculation that the "Rockin' Space Mountain" overlay may return for the spring season. Last year's overlay featured music by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This and other news can be found in this week's Disneyland Park Update.

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Disney CEO Bob Iger, along with other network chiefs, came out against proposals by Microsoft and Google to use some of the broadcast spectrum for Internet service.
  • A press release was issued, then quashed, stating that Industrious Kid, Inc., creator of imbee.com, was buying out it's lead capital investor, Steamboat Ventures, which is Disney's venture capital arm. No word on what the final resolution of that situation may be.
  • Disney Garden will be releasing several different formats of produce snacks for children.
  • Disney has apparently made a deal to have the Designing Spaces TV show use home furnishing products from Disney Consumer Products to decorate a kid's room on the show.
  • Disney has closed a deal for the carriage of its programs in Latin America.
  • Digital Spy is reporting that Vanessa Hudgens is going to receive $1 million to be the face of Sketchers, despite her indecent photo problems.
  • There is a new Disney portal for cell phones (go to disney.com on your phone), which carries some minimal content now and will likely be expanded in the future.
  • .Disney Theatrical head Thomas Schumacher has written a book about the theater for children. Called How Does the Show Go On?, book explains what is involved in puting a show on. The book has its own web site, which gives some background on the book. You can pre-order it from Amazon here.
  • The Game Plan dropped from the top spot at the box office to number two last weekend.
  • The Disney Legends awards for 2007 were presented earlier this week.

Administrative stuff

You can send us feedback 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 to send in your entry for our Owner's Locker contest by Halloween!

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.

Wrapping up

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Thanks to our West Coast correspondent Andrew Rich, and audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).