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MouseStation 142 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris was closed last Sunday afternoon and evening, February 10, after a truck engine fire stranded some guests in an animal-free zone.
  • Magic Your Way package reservations for stays most Sunday-Thursday nights between March 30 and May 21 will get free upgrades on their base Magic Your Way tickets to include Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options. Codes are available for Magic Your Way packages with no dining (APV), basic Dining Plan (APF) and Deluxe Dining Plan (APH).
  • Orlando International Airport is the eighth airport in the country to begin using 10-print scanners to digitally scan all 10 fingerprints of visitors entering the United States.
  • Walt Disney World has promoted two more officials in its Public Affairs group, continuing its retrenchment after former Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Jerry Montgomery was promoted to a global position last April.
  • Blogger (and early MousePlanet columnist) Jim Hill reported last week that Walt Disney World will soon be announcing a fifth theme park targeted at the same market as SeaWorld's Discovery Cove.
  • Quick Takes:
    • The Tampa Bay Rays (formerly the Devil Rays) will be moving regular season baseball series to Disney's Wide World of Sports complex April 22-24 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
    • The Disney Dining Plan will now be available to Annual Passholders, even without purchasing a Magic Your Way package that includes park passes. During the March 30 - May 21 discount period, room-only rates for Passholder discounts should use code FJC, while the weekend rate for the same period is FJG. To add the Dining Plan, Passholders should use ANA, and the Deluxe Dining Plan requires code ANC. For other dates that do not have an effective Passholder discount, reservations for the Dining Plan should use code ADS and for the Deluxe Dining Plan should use code ADU. Thanks to Sue Pisaturo of MousePlanet sponsor Small World Vacations for the info.

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

Disneyland News

  • In a press release issued last week, Disney announced five-year alliance with Microsoft, HP, Life|ware and home builder Taylor Morrison that will manifest as the Innoventions Dream Home attraction, scheduled to open in May.
  • Tickets for the "Signature" events of the third annual Disney's California Food and Wine Festival went on sale on February 15th.
  • Leaders and members of Local 681 of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees (HERE) union staged a rally in front of the Paradise Pier and Grand Californian hotels last Friday to protest the lack of progress in negotiations for a new contract for hotel workers.
  • Other stuff:
    • Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can register to win an opportunity to tour the new Disney Dream Suite at Disneyland.
    • Disney's California Adventure is offering Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders the opportunity to attend one of three previews of the new Playhouse Disney show on March 13, 2008 at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 3:15 p.m.
    • The New York Times published an extensive preview of the new Toy Story Midway Mania attraction last week.
    • Time is running out for first-time teams to register for the inaugural MouseAdventure 101 division, designed exclusively for new teams and players.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • It is being reported that The Walt Disney Company will increase its share of Indian studio UTV from 14.85 percent to 32 percent of the company.
  • Disney plans to increase its current 15 Disney merchandise shops in India to 150 by 2011.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian video games will be released in time for the movie's release on May 16 on several different platforms. The games, based on the new Disney/Walden release, will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and 3, Wii, Nintendo DS and Windows-based PC platforms.
  • Consumer Reports magazine noticed that Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus did not buckle their safety belts in the back seat of the Range Rover that they were riding in during a scene in the Hannah Montana concert movie, and Billy Ray Cyrus actually needed to issue a statement to address the issue.
  • The Disney.com web site broke its all-time monthly traffic and registration records in January, appearing to be benefitting from its redesign and from the various virtual worlds being created within it.
  • The Walt Disney Studios, ESPN, and AccessIT are teaming up to broadcast a college basketball game between the University of Texas and Texas A&M into 15 digital theaters around Texas.
  • Disney is cutting back on the touring productions of The Lion King, while demand still remains strong. One company will remain touring the United States, while several others perform in various European countries.
  • The Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD fight appears to be heading for the end game, as Wal-Mart and Netflix have hopped aboard the Blu-ray-only bandwagon.
  • In a big surprise, Disney's direct-to-video "Snow Buddies" topped the DVD sale charts last week.
  • Step Up 2: The Streets had a strong debut, taking in $18.9 million over the three-day weekend and $22.1 million over the four-day weekend.

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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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).