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MouseStation 90 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Send in your suggestions, comments or tips via our email feedback form or via voicemail on our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278). You can also make suggestions by replying to this post.

If you want to contribute a story for our Monday Magical Moment segment (and possible inclusion in the Cast Place column here on MousePlanet), you can either use our email Magical Moment story form or the toll-free feedback line. (We love it when you use the voice mail system, because then we can play your call on the show!)

Walt Disney World News

  • The Disney Dining Experience Team sent out an email last week that raised a great deal of concern unnecessarily.
  • A new lighting ceremony triggers the new lighting package for Cinderella Castle.
  • Three disabled individuals from two states sued Disney over the policy of not allowing personal Segways into the park.
  • SeaWorld Orlando raised prices, but still charges less than Disney or Universal.
  • The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund named 9 new "conservation heroes," awarding each $1,000 to split with their cause.
  • MousePlanet's Stephanie Wien is running the Walt Disney World to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Please consider giving to support her efforts.
  • Construction Updates:
    • Damaged concrete and caulking in the sidewalks around all of the Pop Century and Caribbean Beach Resorts will be repaired or replaced.
    • Storm drains and sanitary lines at the lodge and pool buildings at the Caribbean Beach Resort will get a video inspection as part of the major refurbishment.
    • Walt Disney Imagineering has filed a permit for the Siemens Spaceship Earth Post Show Globe, likely for the special post-ride imaging that we've been hearing about.
    • Imagineering has also filed a permit for the ceiling grid system portion of the ABC Theater refresh over at the Studios.
    • The third and final Imagineering permit application this week is for the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show sign.
  • Quick takes:
    • The Yak and Yeti restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom is now open, though there will be no Advance Dining Reservations for a while.
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom has a surprise new feature: straws for drinks.
    • Spectrum Brands Inc., maker of Rayovac batteries, has signed a three-year agreement with Disney making it the exclusive supplier of batteries at all Disney parks.
    • MousePlanet contributing writer Maggie Parr has a new series of six original oil paintings and limited-edition giclees being released at Walt Disney World on December 15.
    • The Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground have both been designated as members of the Florida Green Lodging Program.
    • Great Irish Pubs Ltd. announced last week that it would open a second Raglan Road Irish Pub next spring in Kansas City.
    • Former chairman of Walt Disney Attractions (now Walt Disney Parks & Resorts) Dick Nunis will be inducted into the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame on March 29.
    • The "Backstage Pass" section of the Walt Disney World Web site features a story about the refurbishment of Spaceship Earth.
    • The giant mouse ears for the new shop at the Contemporary Resort are finally up, and work seems to be just about finished.

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

Disneyland News

  • The Disneyland Resort is offering Southern California firefighters, law enforcement and rescue workers a complimentary three-day Park Hopper ticket valid as part of the Disney's Wildfire Heroes Salute. Complete program details, including residency requirements and purchasing limits, are available at the Disneyland Web site.
  • As we mentioned in a quick drop-in at the end of the news, former Disney Imagineer Bruce Gordon passed away suddenly last weekend. MousePlanet will have more coverage of Gordon soon.
  • We ran a lot of great photos of the holiday decorations in Disney's California Adventure and Disneyland, as well as some night-time shots, in this week's Park Update.
  • This and That

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • The Walt Disney Company reported strong earnings for the fiscal year ended September 1.
  • The writers' strike will affect Disney fairly soon, as some shows do not have enough episodes in the can to go beyond the end of the November sweeps.
  • Former Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner weighed in on the writers' strike, placing blame for everything at the door of Steve Jobs. Big surprise there.
  • Current Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that he regards videogames as "another promising creative engine" for the company.
  • Euro Disney S.C.A. reported annual results for fiscal year 2007 (not 2008 Q1, as reported on the podcast). They have also initiated a 1:100 reverse split of stock.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland is continuing to have financial issues. Last week, lenders removed covenants from loans and Disney suspended royalty payments from the park until it gets onto sounder financial footing.
  • Disney has sent in auditors and investigators in to check on the allegations of unfair labor practices at Chinese factories making Disney-licensed merchandise.
  • Disney is starting a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) operation in Japan, despite the failure of MVNO Disney Mobile here in the U.S.
  • The 10th anniversary celebration for the Broadway production of The Lion King was disrupted by the stagehand strike which shut down just about every production on Broadway. Mary Poppins was unaffected due to an independent labor agreement, but the previews of The Little Mermaid are also affected.
  • Over 2 million units of video games inspired by High School Musical have now been shipped.
  • StubHub.com and ESPN have made a deal to integrate StubHub links throughout the ESPN site, allowing visitors to buy tickets for games as they read about them.
  • The Disney Cruise Line has introduced a series of podcasts to help guests plan their Disney cruise.
  • Disney and Miramax have two movies in the top 10, four in the top 15 and five in the top 20 in this week's box office.

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!

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).