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MouseStation 138 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Disney's Hollywood Studios will be getting a new attraction later this year, based on the hit reality/game show "American Idol."
  • The Treehouse Villas will be upgraded and replaced, thanks to a new design that reduces the footprint on the 100-year flood plain while expanding the upstairs square footage. You can see the application to the South Florida Water Management District here. Images of the villa profile and floor plan taken from the application are in the Park Update. A color-enhanced image of the floor plan that makes it easier to see the outlines of the individual rooms can be found at DVCNews.com.
  • The 20 finalists for the Dream CMO contest have been notified, and at least two MousePlanet readers have made the cut! Check out the videos from Justin M and DisneyDD2. And if you've also made the cut, please let us know!
  • So what's the deal with the "Walt Disney World Tickets" link in the left-hand column under the navigation bar? Now that the deal is set, we can tell you that MousePlanet has a new partnership with Orlando Fun Tickets, the premier discount ticket broker in the Orlando area. We've turned down other offers in the past because we didn't feel comfortable with the other brokers that approached us. Orlando Fun Tickets sells over 700,000 tickets each year. And right now, they're running a limited-time special offer where you can buy a three-day Park Hopper and get automatically upgraded to a five-day Park Hopper for free!
  • A new exhibit called "StormStruck: The Tale of Two Homes" is coming to Innoventions later this year that will put guests into the middle of a hurricane to see the effects of the storm on houses and what technologies now exist to minimize the damages.
  • On April 27, Mark will be walking to raise money for the March of Dimes again. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Last year, through the generosity of friends, family, co-workers and MousePlanet readers, we managed to raise $4,025. This year, let's beat that. Let's see if we can raise $5,000. For more information, or to donate, go here.
  • This week's construction update includes a major refurbishment for Cinderella's Golden Carousel, a nearly complete redo of the restrooms near Pinocchio Village Haus, upgrades to the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth laser booths and spotter locations, major work at the Pocahontas and her Forest Friends stage, installation of accessibility facilities at the Polynesian's feature pool, installation of a flue for a pottery kiln at the BoardWalk Resort, replacement of the kitchen floor at the Yachtsman Steakhouse and much, much more.
  • Quick Takes:
    • We've heard that the Contemporary Resort has discontinued the use of refillable mugs for sale to the general public. The report said that the mugs are now being restricted to those on the Deluxe, Premium and Platinum Disney Dining Plans, which include free mugs for everyone on the plan.
    • A rumor that won't go away says that Space Mountain is up for an 18-month, $30 million refurbishment starting in May. The Jungle Cruise reportedly would get a $13 million makeover. The fifth theme park rumor is gaining traction again, too.
    • Check out this New York Times article about the design and construction of Toy Story Mania. While it's focused on the version at Disney's California Adventure, it's still a good read and a lot of the information is likely still valid for the East Coast edition of the attraction. (Make sure you check out the time-lapse video of the ride construction.)

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

Disneyland News

  • Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning missed his appearance at Disneyland due to weather delays. When he finally does make good on his Super Bowl commercial, it may well be with a trip to Walt Disney World.
  • The "Year of the Mouse" photo location with Mickey and Minnie in Town Square has proved extremely popular.
  • Since the Google staff trip to Disneyland turned out to be a non-event in terms of effect on crowd levels, we offer a list of the Top 10 Signs that Google has visited the Disneyland Resort.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Mike and Sully to the Rescue reopened a week early.
  • Merchandise in the various Frontierland stores has been shifted around. Meanwhile, new "Art on Demand" kiosks have been installed in both Disneyana in Disneyland and Off the Page in DCA.
  • Tucked in a rather unflattering portrait of the current state of Disney's California Adventure in the New York Times last week was a preview of the upcoming $80 million Toy Story Mania attraction, including an under-construction photo of a brand-new Mr. Potato Head Audio-Animatronic figure (link).
  • Other stuff:
    • Senior Vice President of Operations Greg Emmer retired last Friday, February 8. To commemorate his 40-year career with Disney, Emmer will be honored with a Main Street window.
    • Anaheim GardenWalk's 14-screen cinema, to be operated by The Movie Experience, will feature a 21-and-over lounge serving alcoholic beverages, according to a principal in the project and reported by the Orange County Register (link).
    • Monday was the last chance to see the current version of the Playhouse Disney show at Disney's California Adventure.
    • There is still room for first-time teams to register for the inaugural MouseAdventure 101 division, designed exclusively for new teams and players (returning teams should not register for this division).
    • A Disneyland Dream Time event has been scheduled for today. Happy Valentine's Day!

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Disney has apparently agreed to buy 20 percent of a Spanish Internet television network, according a story in Forbes magazine.
  • Disney has launched the Touchstone label for the release of "Turok," which features lots of weapons, fights and lots of blood and gore.
  • Ratatouille won 10 Annie Awards.
  • The Writers Guild has adreed not to strike while they conduct a ratification vote on the proposed new contract that Disey CEO Bob Iger was instrumental in bringing to a close.
  • After winning the top prize with the Directors Guild, Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild, Miramax's "No Country for Old Men" won the best adapted screenplay at the Writers Guild awards.
  • The Hannah Monana movie pushed its own total while dropping from number 1 to number 3 in this week's box office totals.

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!

Wrapping up

On April 27, Mark will be walking to raise money for the March of Dimes for the third time. Please consider supporting him. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

 

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