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MouseStation 146 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • The lawsuit filed last November by three individuals from the Midwest claiming discrimination by Walt Disney World under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because Disney would not allow them to use their personal Segway vehicles in the theme parks has been dismissed.
  • The extended run of the Pirate & Princess Parties (now called "Mickey's Pirate & Princess Party") have now finally appeared on the Walt Disney World Web site. For dates, pricing and more, see Monday's Park Update..
  • Hannah Montana-themed makeovers are now available at the Downtown Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • The Disney's Magical Express bus service (DME) is growing so quickly that it's going to start causing Disney some financial headaches very soon, according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel last Thursday.
  • Disney's Magical Express will seem like even more of a bargain in the near future, as the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority's board voted last Wednesday to pass along more costs to visitor through a "customer facility charge."
  • There's lots of work afoot as the latest construction paperwork filed with Orange County indicates.
  • Quick Takes:
    • With the departure of former Studios VP Michael O'Grattan for the post of VP of Operations for the Disneyland Resort, Rilous Carter has been appointed as the new Vice President for Disney's Hollywood Studios.
    • Walt Disney World is testing the use of room keys as verification for Evening Extra Magic Hours rather than wristbands, as some enterprising souls were finding ways to cheat the system.
    • For the sixth year in a row, Aquascape, Inc. will create water gardens of the future as part of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
    • The numbers are in, and the various organizations running the 2008 Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon for charity raised an estimated combined total of more than $7.6 million, a new record.
    • Hoping to avoid additional attention regarding the steroid use charges lodged against him (as well as probing questions from guests in attendance), Roger Clemens has stepped down as co-host of this weekend's ESPN The Weekend festivities at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
    • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hold their training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex for seventh year in a row.
    • The Velcro & Waste Management exhiibits at Innoventions are both now open.
    • While Spaceship Earth is now officially reopened, don't be surprised to see Imagineers continuing to tweak and fine-tune the attraction now that it's under a regular, heavy load.
    • The Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station is once again open, and is expected to continue operation through August before closing down again after the seasonal rush.
    • One side of the Jaguar slide at the Coronado Springs Resort's main feature pool will be closed for rehab March 31 ? April 30.
  • The next phase of MousePlanet's partnership with the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotel Association has gone live.
  • The Orlando Sentinel has found a filing indicating that Disney has received approval to start selling units at the new building next to the Contemporary Resort, indicating that it is indeed a DVC resort and that it will be called Kingdom Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort.

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

Disneyland News

  • The Disneyland Resort has released additional details about the upcoming book release and signing event with actress Julie Andrews.
  • ESPN Zone is hosting an "Anthem Idol" competition on March 6, 2008 at the Downtown Disney location.
  • Be sure to check the weekly Park Events calendar for the latest updates on events that may mean additional crowds at the Disneyland Resort.
  • Other stuff:
    • Several sources and Web sites have reported a problem with Disneyland's new Mark VII monorails.
    • Brady MacDonald of The Los Angeles Times travel blog has posted profiles of many of the 20 finalists of the Disney Dream CEO competition.
    • MousePlanet reader miss bianca reports that the "AP6" Annual Passholder discount at the Disneyland Resort Hotels is extended through May 31, 2008.
    • Several MousePlanet readers have already received notice that they were selected for an opportunity to tour the new Disney Dream Suite at Disneyland.
    • 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

  • The Disney Channel has made some major appointments in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region to support its latest European push.
  • Meanwhile, to backfill the position that Michael Cairns leave behind in Australia and New Zealand, that area has appointed Melissa Dixon as Vice President and General Manager.
  • While The Walt Disney Company continues to deny it, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Friday that a new Disney theme park has received necessary government approvals to begin construction in the southern edge of Shanghai's Pudong district.
  • As the Disneyland Resort Paris version of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror prepares to open on April 5, a new Web site has been launched to boost the anticipation.
  • The Disney Channel has launched a subscription video on demand service on the NOW TV IPTV service from PCCW, a Hong Kong service provider.
  • Playhouse Disney Concert Series regulars, the Information Movers are getting a new show on the Disney Channel.
  • An electric ride-on Cinderella car has been recalled. More information is available the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Web site. For additional information, you can contact Dumar International at 866-424-0500 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site.
  • At the International Toy Fair last week, Disney announced the latest angle on Internet-based toys, with the Disney Fairies Clickables toys, where girls can link their social networking in the soon-to-open Pixie Hollow virtual world with their social networking in the playgrounds.
  • Pixie Hollow itself was officially unveiled at the toy fair, and it's scheduled to launch later this year with a continuous rollout of in-game enhancements and features.
  • Meanwhile, Disney Online announced the formation of Disney Online Studios, a group focused on creating games, virtual worlds and online social communities.
  • While we were busy reporting the imposing demise of HD-DVD last week, Toshiba was busy folding its hand and closing down production of HD-DVD players, leaving Sony's Blu-ray as the victorious high-definition DVD format.
  • Wave Eight of the Walt Disney Treasures collection has been announced, and the headliner here is Destino, the collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali.
  • Now that the writer's strike is over, it's time for Disney to shuffle around the release dates of movies on the calendar for their upcoming movie slate.
  • The big winner on Oscar night was Miramax's No Country For Old Men, coproduced with Paramount Vantage.
  • Step Up 2: The Streets had another strong week at the 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!

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).