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MouseStation 130 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • As we reported last week, Walt Disney World is testing a Nintendo DS-based interactive park guide called Disney Magic Connection. MouseStation listener Mary Tesch and her family got to try out the device, and their experiences (which we read on the show) can also be seen in the Park Update. According to a story at JimHillMedia.com on Monday, this month's testing is done and the next round of testing may occur in March.
  • The next set of Annie Leibovitz photos of celebrities posing as Disney characters has been released, featuring Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony as Jasmine and Aladdin, with Whoopi Goldberg as the Genie; Jennifer Biel as Pocahontas; and Gisele Bundchen, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Tina Fey as Wendy Darling, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. You can see the photos in the Park Update, and you can watch Disney-provided videos about the portraits below.


  • Disney has announced the Expedition Everest Challenge, a new after-hours endurance series race.
  • A woman has sued the Disney Cruise Line over the death of her husband from an injury after tripping over the bathroom threshold in his cabin.
  • Changing over all of the signage referring to the Disney-MGM Studios has been taking a bit of time. We ran photos from Steve Russo in the Park Update. The ironic thing, of course, is that at the time the Update was published, we had plenty of reference to the Disney-MGM Studios and barely an to Disney's Hollywood Studios throughout the park guide.

  • This week's construction update includes more elevator work at Grand Floridian building 8 and tile work in the main building; pool work at the Port Orleans French Quarter and Animal Kingdom Lodge resorts; curb and concrete work in Fantasyland; preparing Studios restrooms for reopening and much, much more.
  • Quick Takes:
    • The AMC 24 multiplex at Pleasure Island has added more theaters to accommodate those shut out of specific Hannah Montana concert film showtimes.
    • The Steve Harvey Radio Show honored Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis as an "Influential African American" earlier this month.
    • Playhouse Disney ? Live on Stage reopened Monday after a monthlong renovation that saw the addition of character from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Little Einsteins, among others.
    • The Animal Kingdom Villas construction work at Jambo House (the main Animal Kingdom Lodge building) was finished earlier this week. Work will continue on the Kidani Village annex. [See our Jambo House villa photo tour.]
    • Rix Lounge at the Coronado Springs resort has announced three different events.

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

Disneyland News

  • MousePlanet reader Terry attended the first Dream Time event at Disney's California Adventure, and their experience is in the Park Update.
  • There is apparently a lot of inconsistency in the answers that people receive from the Disney Dine Line when trying to make reservations for large groups. See the Park Update for more information.
  • The winner of the 2006 contest held in conjunction with the release of the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie on DVD.was at Disneyland on Tuesday for the unveiling of her portrait in the queue area for the attraction.
  • MouseAdventure registration opened on Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning the MouseAdventure Classic event sold out for both the Basic and Advanced versions. Some spots remain for the MouseAdventure 101 event, targeted at first-timers.
  • Other stuff:
    • There have been several late changes to the refurbishment schedule, so check it out before heading to the park.
    • The display cases and graphic panels for the "Behind the Magic: 50 Years of Disneyland" exhibit were damaged in transit to Kansas City for a showing at Union Station. None of the artifacts was damaged. See the photo tour of the exhibit done by MousePlanet's Frank Anzalone while it was at the Oakland Museum in California in 2006 here.
    • Fanstasmic premium seating will return when the show starts back up again.
    • You can buy tickets online to see the Hannah Montana 3-D movie at the El Capitan Theater this week.
    • DisneyFamily.com is sponsoring the "Great American Family Vacation Sweepstakes" with a grand prize of a five-day trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, complete with air or ground transportation and hotel.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Euro Disney S.C.A.reported a 20 pecent increase in revenues fof the first fiscal quarter.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland is changing its approach to marketing the park to locals.
  • Disney board chairman John Pepper will be inducted into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame on April 9 along with five others.
  • Merrill Lynch dropped Disney's rating from "buy" to "neutral" in light of the economic slowdown. Since recording the show, other brokerages have dropped their ratings on Disney, though Disney disputes some of the factors cited in the reports.
  • The Walt Disney Signature line of home furnishings has got another line coming as The Rug Market will be debuting a line of adult rugs inspired by Disney Classic Films.
  • Disney Theatrical Group, in partnership with Music Theatre International, is has announced that the performance rights to High School Musical 2 will be made available for performances starting in October of 2008. Meanwhile, the third installment now apparently has the official name of High School Musical 3: Senior Year.
  • The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3-D concert movie's one week run opens tomorrow, and shows are selling out at theaters across the country. Many multiplexes are scheduling additional theaters for the movie, and the pre-sales for the film are among the highest of all time.
  • The Jonas Brothers have a new album coming out on July 8, they've got a TV movie called "Camp Rock" debuting on the Disney Channel in September, and they're hoping to starat work on a new Disney Channel Series called J.O.N.A.S.! ("Junior Operative Networking As Spies") that is planned to debut in the fall.
  • Playing for the Planet guides have been distributed throughout the U.K.
  • ABC will fight an FCC indecency ruling again for 52 stations in the Central and Mountain time zones showing an episode of NYPD Blue where a woman's bare buttocks is seen.
  • Disney has extended its deal with Starz.
  • The Directors Guild of America ratified their contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Theatrical Producers, putting more pressure on the Writers Guild to come to terms on their own contract.
  • Joel and Ethan Coen received the top prize at the Directors Guild Awards Saturday night for their work on No Country for Old Men, setting the stage for the Miramax film at the Oscars. The film got a similar boost at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.
  • Toy Story 3 will be released in Disney Digital 3-D following the 3-D releases of the earlier generations of movies.
  • National Treasure finished the week in 8th place at the box office this week.

Administrative stuff

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