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MouseStation 150 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • We went into much greater depth on the new Kingdom Tower DVC resort than we did last year.
  • The finalists for the Chief Magic Official have been announced. Check out the videos from MousePlanet reader Justin Muchoney and Window to the Magic Podcast co-host Patrick Hurd, then vote for your favorite!
  • There's only a few new permits this week, as the latest construction paperwork filed with Orange County indicates.
  • Quick Takes:
    • A power outage that affected millions across Florida had a relatively minimal impact on Walt Disney World.
    • The Contemporary and Polynesian Resorts have just received the exclusive AAA four-diamond rating for 2008.
    • We're hearing that the bridge between Liberty Square and the Hub is going to need somewhat extensive repairs to strengthen it, and that the parade route may be altered to run in a fashion similar to Disneyland Park's parade route
    • The 2009 Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge has sold out, and the Half Marathon is now 85 percent full.
    • This is your last week to catch the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade at Disney's Hollywood Studios, as its last performance will be on Sunday. The Block Party Bash Parade will begin its run next Friday.
    • Blizzard Beach will return from its annual refurbishment on Sunday.
    • The Reedy Creek Fire Department has replaced its original fire station with a brand-new Station #3.
    • SeaWorld has announced that it is going to open a complex in Dubai that will feature a Busch Gardens park, a SeaWorld park, an Aquatica water park and a Discovery Cove luxury animal-encounter park.
    • Walt Disney World has stepped down from its lead sponsor position on the Florida Classic, the annual football game between Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman University each November.

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

Disneyland News

  • Jim Ames, the Event Producer for Disney's California Food and Wine Festival scheduled for April 11 through May 5 at Disney's California Adventure park, shared some additional details with MousePlanet.
  • The patio of Disneyland's Plaza Pavillion is currently surrounded by construction walls, leading many to speculate that the location is being remodeled to serve as the new home of the Disney Gallery, but other sources suggest that the kitchen of the former restaurant location is actually being remodeled in preparation to return to service - just not in the way you may expect.
  • To promote the March 4, 2008 DVD release of 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment sent a formation of 101 spotted black-and-white cars down the Hollywood 101 Freeway Sunday morning on a mission to deliver food, treats, and pet supplies to the spcaLA?s Animal Village in Long Beach.
  • Other stuff:
    • Dave Welty from DVCNews.com sent us this tidbit: "While looking for permit information relating to Disney Vacation Club in Anaheim, I came across several permits filed within the last 3 weeks related to Electrical and Internet for the Bank of Mainstreet.
    • Two newly rrenovated trams have been brought into service at the Disneyland Resort.
    • During this weekend's tours of the new Disney Dream Suite offered to DVC members, a DVC saleswoman stated that the event was the first of many such special events planned for DVC members at the Disneyland Resort.
    • Just a reminder, A "special Annual Passholder preview" of the Pixar Play Parade is scheduled for March 13 at 5:15 p.m. at Disney's California Adventure.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • The Walt Disney Company is holding its annual shareholder meeting today at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, noon Eastern, at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, NM. The meeting is being webcast via streaming audio here, with replays available for two weeks. We'll have full coverage next week.
  • The Free Enterprise Action Fund may make things interesting at the shareholder meeting, as the fund has released a YouTube video entitled "Disney for Hillary or Shareholders?", calling on shareholders to demand answers from Disney CEO Bob Iger at the shareholder meeting as to why Disney is not selling the DVD of the ABC TV miniseries "The Path to 9/11." The fund accuses Iger of letting his personal politics dictate Disney's actions.
  • Iger will also speak at the Bear Stearns 21st Annual Media Conference on Monday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:30 p.m. Pacific. That speech will also be webcast via an audio stream here, with replays for two weeks. We'll also cover that, with audio, next week.
  • Fitch Ratings has assigned an "AA-" rating to approximately $59.1 million of bonds issued on behalf of The Walt Disney Family Museum.
  • Walt Disney Parks & Resorts signed a Premier Partnership agreement with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (or PATA) last Wednesday, making Disney a member of a select group of Premier Partners that is restricted to global or regional brands that are clear leaders in their domain and have a strong vested interest in Asia Pacific travel and tourism.
  • Attempting to cash in on the audience that wants to play Guitar Hero or Rock Band but doesn't want to buy the costly peripherals, Disney Interactive Studios announced last Wednesday that it was planning to release Ultimate Band for the Nintendo Wii and DS in time for the Holiday 2008 season.
  • Meanwhile, Disney Interactive Studios has also shipped Disney Friends for the Nintendo DS, where you can befriend your favorite Disney characters amid various environments. Aimed at children, the game features Stitch, Dory, Simba and Winnie the Pooh, and players receive guidance from Tinker Bell.
  • ABC is going to release TV shows to U.S. viewers for free over video-on-demand cable services, but viewers will not be able to fast-forward through commercials.
  • Disney has launched an experimental new media content studio under the auspices of its Disney-ABC Television Group. Stage 9 Media will start with a slate of short-form content for distribution strictly over the Internet, starting with the series "Squeegees," sponsored by Toyota, which will premiere on ABC.com and YouTube.
  • Disney's ESPN network is expanding into its own movie studio, launching ESPN Films to create films for TV and theatrical release.
  • Miramax's No Country for Old Men almost doubled its theater count following its Best Picture Oscar win, and jumped four places back into the Top 10 movies of the week.

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).