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MouseStation 122 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Disney and CareerBuilder.com have launched another contest, this time to find a Chief Magic Official (CMO) for the domestic Disney Parks. Here's one competitor's entry video:

    See Mark's personal commentary on the subject on his new blog.
  • The Disney Cruise Line has announced that a new show, Toy Story - The Musical, will replace Hercules - A MUSE-ical Comedy in the entertainment lineup aboard the Disney Wonder in April.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom cast member Darren Scott Snyder was killed in the massive traffic accidents due to smoke and fog on Interstate 4 last week.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays (no longer the "Devil Rays") plan to hold another series of three regular-season games at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.
  • While the Walt Disney World Marathon was another runaway for Brazilian Adriano Bastos, the Half Marathon was a nail-biter, with Chad Johnson edging out teammate C. Fred Joslyn by just one second.
  • We had a small update on the installation of iHome alarm clocks at the Contemporary and Grand Floridian Resorts.
  • There's been lots of construction is going on around the resort, including exterior work at Disney's Old Key West Resort, a new DVC kiosk at the Magic Kingdom, and some work on the Courtyard Pool at the Grand Floridian Resort.
  • Monday's Orlando Sentinel ran a story as a "Sentinel Exclusive" stating that Disney is building a Disney Vacation Club resort adjacent to the Contemporary Resort. Since we've been reporting that fact since August 2006, it's uncertain what part of the story is an exclusive.
  • Quick Takes:
    • Star Wars Weekends will be held June 6-29.
    • The Tomorrowland Indy Speedway is testing two different alternative-fuel vehicles. Since recording the show, we've found out that the test vehicles have not been rolled out for guest use yet.
    • Spaceship Earth's official reopening has been moved up by four days.
    • Journey Into Imagination with Figment will close for four weeks of refurbishment.
    • The NFFC's World Chapter has announced its meeting dates for 2008.
    • WDWCelebrations.com has now officially launched. These are the folks that put on the Celebration 25 Epcot anniversary event in October.
    • Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede closed suddenly and was sold to the owner of Orlando Premium Outlets. It is unknown when or where Dixie Stampede may reopen.

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

Disneyland News

  • The Disneyland Update also talked about the new CMO contest.
  • Disneyland Senior Vice President of Operations Greg Emmer will retire effective February 8, 2008.
  • We clarified the policies surrounding the SoCal 2fer offer.
  • There's a new height requirement for sitting in the front seat at Splash Mountain.
  • Other stuff:
    • The new Pixar Play Parade will debut at Disney's California Adventure at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, March 14.
    • The Mad Tea Party and Grizzly River Run both closed for last-minute refurbishments.
    • This week's Park Update is a little brief because Update editor Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix was in Atlanta attending the America's Mart gift show. For those Disneyana collectors out there, Adrienne has detailed all the great new Disney merchandise that will be released in the coming year in her new blog.
  • The annual NFFC Strictly Disneyana show and sale will take place Sunday. More details and a discount coupon are available at the NFFC web site. Steven Ng will be attending the NFFC Show and Sale in Anaheim this Sunday for a few hours. He will have his portable recording equipment with him, so look for him if you want to record a message for the podcast. You can find him or follow his adventures on his Twitter feed.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Tokyo Disneyland cancelled parades for the first time since the park opened following an accident where a 660-pound pillar fell off of a float very near a group of guests.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland is meeting increasing resistance among Hong Kong citizens, despite the Hong Kong government's willingness to continue to provide more money to help trying to vitalize the park.
  • Disney and four financial institutions are buying into NBA China, a developmental program.
  • A dozen Disney stories will be translated into a variety of Indian dialects for multiple series of books.
  • The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway last Thursday night. Tickets for the show are already on sale for performances through May 25. While Disney's press release trumpeted the debut as wonderful, reviews did not agree. However, "Beauty and the Beast" did not get good reviews either, and it ran for 13 years.
  • The Children's Place is re-evaluating the future of the Disney Store.
  • The Walt Disney Company will be holding its annual meeting of shareholders on March 6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's likely that, for the first time in five years, MousePlanet will not provide on-site coverage of the meeting.
  • According to the proxy statement, Disney CEO Bob Iger had a pay increase of 7 percent, up to $27.7 million.
  • The first image from The Princess and the Frog appears on the last page of Disney CEO Bob Iger's letter to shareholders in the company's Annual Report. (It is not on the back page of the report, as we stated on the show.)
  • Enchanted will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 18.
  • Disney signed a video-on-demand deal with Cogeco cable, the second-largest cable provider in Ontario and Quebec.
  • Disney and Sony bought the rest of FilmFlex that they did not already own.
  • The Writers Guild of America signed interim contracts with United Artists and Weinstein. Long-term impact is uncertain.
  • Disney's Pixar and Miramax studios did well at the Golden Globe Awards, picking up 5 nods for Miramax films and one for Pixar's Ratatouille.
  • National Treasure dropped to number 4 at the box office this week.

Administrative stuff

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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).