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Update for July 30 – August 5, 2007

Go directly to: News & Views | Coming Soon | Trivia of the Week | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Park Events | Discounts/Promotions | Park Hours/Events/Entertainment Schedule

News and Views

Food & Wine reservations open next Monday | Last days to cash in on free backpack offer | Running events heading toward capacity | Bell Services hero | Disney signs PGA tourney sponsor | I-4 construction causes traffic snarls | Construction update | Quick Takes …

Food & Wine reservations open next Monday

Get those dialing fingers ready! Reservations for special events during the 12th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival open at 7 a.m. next Monday morning, August 6. Special dinners, wine schools and the extremely popular Party for the Senses grand tasting will all go fast, so set your speed-dial to 407-WDW-FEST (407-939-3378).

More detailed information about the events is expected to be released this Friday, August 3, on the Walt Disney World Web site.

Last days to cash in on free backpack offer

Time is running out to cash in on a special promotion from MousePlanet sponsor Small World Vacations.


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Book a new Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise vacation July 1 through August 1, 2007, with Small World Vacations and get one free collapsible sturdy backpack. Backpack will be mailed with final documents. If the reservation is canceled, this offer is null and void. Travel must be complete by December 31, 2008.

This offer is not valid on previously booked reservations or room only reservations.

Let them know that you found Small World Vacations on MousePlanet and include the word "Backpack" in the special request section of the price quote form.

Offer good while supplies last. Substitution may be necessary if supplies are exhausted.

Running events heading toward capacity

Next January's Walt Disney World Marathon continues to sell well, and is currently at 85 percent of its registration capacity. The Family Run Run 5K during Marathon Weekend is at 50 percent of capacity. The Half Marathon and Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge sold out long ago.

Meanwhile, October's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror races are selling well, with the 13K at 50 percent of capacity and the 6.5K race at 70 percent of capacity.

If you're considering signing up for any of these races, you might want to do it soon. While you're at it, check out our Disney running guide.

Bell Services hero

This is one of the kind of stories that never seems to get enough recognition. Disney College Program cast member Paul Sherrer, a former U.S. soldier, was working in Bell Services at the Port Orleans Riverside resort when he performed another heroic act.

Sherrer was returning to the resort's main building after delivering some luggage when he heard some commotion at the resort's marina. He hopped onto his Pargo (luggage) golf cart and raced to the marina to find an upset young girl who said that her 4-year-old brother had slipped and fallen into the river.

"I jumped off the Pargo at full speed [into the water] and felt around on the bottom," said Sherrer. "I found him and pulled him up to safety."

Sherrer's actions were celebrated by Disney on July 10. Vice President of Resort Operations and Transportation Kevin Myers presented Paul with a letter from Meg Crofton, president of the Walt Disney World Resort, commending him for his bravery.

Kudos to Sherrer for his quick thinking, quicker action and bravery in rescuing the boy. Here's to the cast members that truly give their all for guest safety!

Get your MousePlanet gear!

The MousePlanet.com store is now open for business (link)! You can get shirts, mugs, hats and even a Teddy Bear! Check it out and show your MousePlanet pride!

Disney signs PGA tourney sponsor

As expected, Disney has signed a six-year deal with the Children's Miracle Network for a new sponsorship for the PGA Tour stop at Walt Disney World. The tournament, most recently called the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World through last year, will now be known as the Children?s Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart. The agreement, which extends through 2012, begins with this year's tournament. The tournament runs from October 29 – November 4, with the first three days being practice rounds and the tournament running November 1–4.

The cost of sponsoring the tournament will be underwritten by Children's Miracle Network corporate partners. The fundraising done in conjunction with the tournament will benefit the network's 170 children's hospitals.

The tournament has previously been known as the Walt Disney World Classic, the Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Golf Classic, the National Car Rental Golf Classic, and the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World.

Joe Durant will defend his title in the event this fall.

I-4 construction causes traffic snarls

As we first reported on last week's MousePlanetWatch podcast, last Tuesday a roadway-sign crisis caused major headaches for visitors trying to get to Walt Disney World on Interstate 4.

I-4 near Walt Disney World was closed to all traffic for most of the day on Tuesday due to difficulty in removing a stubborn 40-ton sign and truss at the Osceola Parkway overpass. Crews working on the new interchange between I-4 and U.S. Highway 192 overnight Monday night tried to remove the sign using a single crane, but it would not release its connection to the support posts properly. They tried to put it back in place for removal Tuesday night, but it would not go back and remain steady. They tried to remove it again, but it still would not release from the supports. Then the crane became unstable and they shut the road down just after 4 a.m.

Two more cranes were brought in to hold the truss up while they repositioned the first crane, but the median couldn't safely support the cranes due to excessive water, so plywood had to be brought in to stabilize the additional cranes. Originally, the truss was going to be laid across all six lanes of the highway, but due to the traffic backup that developed throughout the day, they decided to put the sign and truss down in the median.

Meanwhile, traffic in both directions was backed up for miles and miles, and all of the traffic that was diverted off of the highway found itself in bumper-to-bumper traffic along the alternate roadways, with no marked detour routes. Some were stuck in traffic for many hours.

The truss finally came down just after 1 p.m., then the equipment had to be removed from the roadway. Westbound lanes opened by 2 p.m., with the eastbound lanes joining them within an hour.

Menus wanted!

Want to help MousePlanet upgrade our park guides? We're looking to add menu information for all restaurants to our Walt Disney World Park Guide (link). Send photos or scans of menus (no fair copying from other web sites) to menus@mouseplanet.com (link). Please note that there is a 5MB limit on total attachments in a single email.

Construction update

This week's listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last two weeks:

  • Installation of ramp extension on the egress walkway on Spaceship Earth's attraction exit to close a gap between the walkway and the ride vehicles.
  • Installation of a new bridge to island in front of the Italy pavilion.
  • Relocation of two security shade canopies at Epcot's main entrance.
  • Replacement of the 12 exterior columns at the Tangierine Cafe at the Morocco pavilion with stainless steel columns, and then re-covered with fiberglass shrouds and theme paint.
  • Installation of redundant backup hydraulic system at Mission: Space.
  • Installation of "research kiosks" at the theme parks.
  • Removal, repair, and reinstallation of of existing neon signs at Sid Cahuenga's and Mouse about Town at the Disney-MGM Studios. Expect temporary signs during the repair.
  • Repair and repainting of the archways at the Downtown Disney Marketplace, involving removal for the work and replacement of existing neon lighting LEDs. New plastic faces will be created and installed for the letters.
  • Removal and replacement of the existing 28 frames and awning covers at World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
  • Replacement of existing video boards at Cirque du Soleil and DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney's West Side to provide clearer and more visible show information to guests.
  • Upgrade of temporary firing sites for the Wishes fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom to allow them to become permanent firing sites.
  • Relocation and/or modification of six handrails at the unload stations at "it's a small world".
  • Changing out of seven light poles in Tomorrowland.
  • Installation of the electrical infrastructure to support Cinderella Castle's Christmas lights.
  • Installation of electrical outlets throughout the Utilidor system underneath the Magic Kingdom for recharging the "pargo" carts.

Quick takes …

…A bunch of limited-edition and open-edition pins will be released on October 1 in honor of Epcot's 25th anniversary. The pins can be seen at the DizPins web site.

…One new attraction refurbishment was added this week, one was extended and one was moved. The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacres Farm will now close for refurbishment August 20-24. The refurbishment of O Canada for installation of the new film was extended to August 6–31 (from August 20–24). Astro Orbiter had its refurbishment pushed back to September 9–22 (from August 12–25).

Big River Grille and Brewing Works closes for refurbishment August 18 – September 1. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue will not be performed on Tuesday or Wednesday between September 4 and October 24.

…The Official All-Star Cafe at Disney's Wide World of Sports will close September 23. It is expected to reopen on November 20 as a quick-service restaurant offering fresh soups, salads and sandwiches. It seems that guests were looking for something to be eaten quickly between events, rather than a leisurely meal that might run beyond their available time.

…The Surfboard Bay pool at the All-Star Sports Resort closes for refurbishment from August 27 – October 4. Guests can still use the Grand Slam pool or they can use any of the feature pools at the other All-Star Resorts. Since all value resorts are pretty much booked solid due to the summer free dining promotion, you may experience much difficulty if you want to move your room to another resort with an open feature pool, but it doesn't hurt to ask.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.
Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.

Coming soon

  • June 11-Aug 12 – Sounds Like Summer concert series at Epcot.
    • July 30-August 5 – Captain Fantastic (Elton John)
    • August 6-12 – Transit Authority (Chicago)
  • July 27 – Aug 16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp.
  • Aug. 11, 15, 18, 21, 24, 28, 31 and Sept. 3 – Disney's Pirate & Princess Party.
  • Aug. 31-Sept. 3 – Tom Joyner Family Reunion.
  • Aug. 31-Sept. 3 and Nov. 19-25, 2007; and Dec. 16, 2007-Jan. 2, 2008 – DVC members may not pool-hop on these dates.

Walt Disney World trivia question of the week

This week's question: This week's question was submitted by MousePlanet reader Jonathan Heigl What area is the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad modeled after? Stay tuned to next week's park update for the answer.

The answer to last week's question: "Why is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror painted in that "off pink" color?", which was submitted by MousePlanet reader Nicholas Steinhoff, is:

While WDW does a good job of keeping park guests from seeing things outside the parks, the Tower of Terror is easily visible from one area of Epcot: the World Showcase Plaza, between the two gift shops at the northern end of the lagoon. From this area, the Tower rises up directly behind the Morocco pavilion. In order not to be too distracting, the Tower was painted in a color very close to the color of Morocco. [Mark's note: This also drove the Moorish architecture style of the building.]

This week's question drew a number of email from folks anxious to prove their knowledge, including Mike Andrews, who provided a photo, taken from the small bridge between Mexico and the old Odyssey restaurant.


The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is themed to fit in behind Epcot's Morocco pavilion. Photo by Mike Andrews.

Do you have a trivia question that you'd like to share? If we choose to use your question, we'll give you credit in the Update. Email us here.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

Epcot

  • Spaceship Earth – closed for refurbishment July 9 – November 13. Removal of the wand is expected to be completed by late September.
  • Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki – closed for refurbishment through August 20. It will reopen on August 21 with a new name: Teppan Edo.
  • Tempura Kiku and Matsunoma Lounge – are being reconfigured into a new dining experience to be called Tokyo Dining, to open fall 2007.
  • L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante – closes on August 31 and reopens under new management on September 1 under the name "Tutto Italia." Tutto Italia closes in the Spring 2008, will be completely remodeled, and reopen in Fall 2008 under yet another new name.
  • O Canada – closed for refurbishment August 6–31.
  • The American Adventure Pavilion – the American Heritage Gallery closed through September 26 for installation of a new exhibit.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – has again closed, perhaps forever and perhaps just until next Thanksgiving weekend. New rumors indicate a clearing of the central area for use as part of events for the 2007 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • Nine Dragons – closes in early 2008 for renovations that include the creation of an exhibition kitchen.

Disney-MGM Studios

  • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster – closed for refurbishment September 2-30 (dates unconfirmed).
  • Mickey Avenue – closed through at least next spring for installation of the Toy Story Mania attraction and related theming.

Animal Kingdom

  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant – the new combined full-service and quick-service restaurant opens November 2007.
  • Tusker House – closed August 20 – November 17 for conversion to a buffet restaurant with a character breakfast.
  • Restaurantosaurus – Donald's Breakfastosaurus ends November 5. The McDonald's-based restaurant remains open for lunch and dinner.

Resorts

Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach – closed for annual refurbishment January 6 – late winter.
  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed for annual refurbishment October 28 – January 5

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs Tuesdays – Saturdays. No performances July 29–31, September 23–October 1, November 25–27.
  • Official All-Star Cafe at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex – closes on September 23, and is expected to reopen on November 20 as a quick-service eatery.

Park Events

July 2007

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp (link). July 27 – Aug 16. The Bucs return to Disney for another year's training camp.

August 2007

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp (link). Late July – Mid-Aug. The Bucs return to Disney for another year's training camp.
  • Disney's Pirate & Princess Party (link). Aug. 11, 15, 18, 21, 24, 28, 31 and Sept. 3. A rerun of this past winter's new hard-ticketed event celebrates the pirates and princesses in all of us.
  • Tom Joyner Family Reunion (link). Aug. 31 ? Sept. 3. The radio host's annual gathering returns for another year.

September 2007

  • Disney's Pirate & Princess Party (link). Aug. 11, 15, 18, 21, 24, 28, 31 and Sept. 3. A rerun of this past winter's new hard-ticketed event celebrates the pirates and princesses in all of us.
  • Tom Joyner Family Reunion (link). Aug. 31 ? Sept. 3. The radio host's annual gathering returns for another year.
  • Night of Joy (link). Sept. 7?8. Disney's annual Christian music festival.
  • Disney's Pin Celebration (link). Sept. 7?9. This year, the event's theme is "Where Dreams HapPin". Registration opens May 9.
  • Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K (link). Sept. 9. The annual fund-raising event to fight breast cancer will be run at Disney's Wide World of Sports this year.
  • Walt Disney World Triathlon (link). Sept. 23. Athletes compete in a 1.5K swim, a 58K bike ride, and a 10K run. Registration opens soon (link).
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link). Sep. 14, 21, 28, 30, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, Nov. 2. Get your costumes ready. The Disney characters will certainly be wearing theirs.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (link). Sep.28 ?Nov. 11. The 12th annual celebration of things gustatory, plus the Eat to the Beat concert series.

October 2007

  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link). Sep. 14, 21, 28, 30, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, Nov. 2. Get your costumes ready. The Disney characters will certainly be wearing theirs.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (link). Sep.28 ?Nov. 11. The 12th annual celebration of things gustatory, plus the Eat to the Beat concert series.
  • Race for the Taste 10K (link). Oct. 7. The annual October classic steers runners through the Disney-MGM Studios and Epcot. Registration is now open (link).
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K and 6.5K (link). Oct. 27. Disney's first night-time endurance event is Halloween-themed, and concludes witha big after-party. Registration is now open (link).

November 2007

  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (link). Sep.28 ?Nov. 11. The 12th annual celebration of things gustatory, plus the Eat to the Beat concert series.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link). Sep. 14, 21, 28, 30, Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, Nov. 2. Get your costumes ready. The Disney characters will certainly be wearing theirs.
  • Disney Golf Classic (link). Nov. 1–4. Joe Durant returns to defend his 2006 title.
  • Festival of the Masters (link). Nov. 9–11. Disney's annual arts festival at Downtown Disney's West Side.
  • ABC Super Soap Weekend (link). Nov. 10?11. Your favorite ABC soap opera stars converge on the Disney-MGM Studios.
  • Pirates of Castaway Cay pin cruise (link). Nov. 11-15. Pirates, pins and a Disney cruise, all rolled into one.
  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (link). Nov. 12 ? Jan. 6, 2008. Jennings Osborne's amazing display returns to the Studios.
  • Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (link).Nov. 12 ? Jan. 6, 2008.The Animal Kingdom Parade trades its Jammin' for Jingle in this holiday makeover.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (link). Nov. 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21. Snow on Main Street, free hot cocoa and cookies. What's not to like?
  • Old Spice Classic (link). Nov. 22, 23, 25. ESPN Regional presents the second annual 8-team, 12-game tournament, featuring George Mason, Kansas State, North Carolina State, Penn State, Rider, South Carolina and Villanova.
  • Holidays Around the World (link). Nov. 23 ? Dec. 30. Epcot's World Showcase gets storytellers, special entertainment and crafts for kids, the Lights of Winter and a spectacular Christmas tree.
  • Festival of the Seasons (link). Dates TBA. Downtown Disney gets a holiday makeover.

December 2007

  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (link). Nov. 12 ? Jan. 6, 2008. Jennings Osborne's amazing display returns to the Studios.
  • Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (link).Nov. 12 ? Jan. 6, 2008.The Animal Kingdom Parade trades its Jammin' for Jingle in this holiday makeover.
  • Holidays Around the World (link). Nov. 23 ? Dec. 30. Epcot's World Showcase gets storytellers, special entertainment and crafts for kids, the Lights of Winter and a spectacular Christmas tree.
  • Festival of the Seasons (link). Dates TBA. Downtown Disney gets a holiday makeover.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (link). Nov. 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21. Snow on Main Street, free hot cocoa and cookies. What's not to like?
  • Pop Warner Super Bowl (link). Dec. 2?8. Football players and cheerleaders invade the resort for the pigskin championships.
  • MouseFest 2007 (link). Dec. 2?10. The annual gathering of the Disney Internet community takes place at sea from Dec. 2?6 and on land from Dec. 6?10.
  • Pleasure Island New Year's Eve (link). Dec. 31. Pleasure Island celebrates the actual New Year.
  • New Year's Eve at Cirque du Soleil. Dec. 31. Cirque puts on special New Year's performances.
  • Atlantic Dance Hall New Year's Eve (link). Dec. 31. Ring in the New Year at the BoardWalk's own dance club.

January 2008

  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (link). Nov. 12 ? Jan. 6, 2008. Jennings Osborne's amazing display returns to the Studios.
  • Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (link).Nov. 12 ? Jan. 6, 2008.The Animal Kingdom Parade trades its Jammin' for Jingle in this holiday makeover.
  • Walt Disney World Half-Marathon (link). Jan. 12. Registration is now open (link).
  • Walt Disney World Marathon (link). Jan. 13. Registration is now open (link). [Read our WDW Marathon Guide.]

June 2008

  • Gay Days 2008 (link1 | link 2). June 6 - 9. The 18th annual gathering of the GLBT community at Walt Disney World.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Hotel Royal Plaza offers discounts to MousePlanet readers

MousePlanet sponsor Hotel Royal Plaza, in the Downtown Disney resort area, has enhanced its deal for MousePlanet readers. From now through the end of the year, anyone booking their stay through the MousePlanet web site has been able to receive discounted rates up to 20 percent off on all room types. Now, for a limited time, you can get even more! The discounted rates now include free breakfast for two in the Giraffe Caf!. Plus children 10 and under always eat breakfast for free! (Two children 10 and under eat free from the kids menu when accompanied by an adult dining from the regular menu.)

The completely-remodeled 394-room resort is located on Hotel Plaza Boulevard, just a few minutes' walk from Downtown Disney. Bus service to all Walt Disney World theme parks is included with your stay. Their Giraffe Caf restaurant, Giraffe Tavern sports bar, Marketessen deli-style caf and Sips Pool Bar are ready to serve you.

We'd like to invite you to try their hospitality!

Passholder, Florida Resident discounts available for summer

Disney has released discounted room rates for passholders and Florida residents through most of the summer. Discounts are available for select Disney Vacation Club and deluxe resorts from June 3 through August 4, and for select moderate resorts between July 1 and August 4.

For passholders, the DVC rates start at $164 per night plus tax in a studio at the Old Key West or Saratoga Springs Resorts. Prices go up from there depending on the resort and accommodations. In addition to those two DVC resorts, discounts are also available at the Yacht Club, Beach Club and BoardWalk Resorts. Rates at the moderates start at $139 per night. For Florida residents, the DVC rates start at $169 per night and the moderates start at $145 per night. Minimum stay requirements apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals.

All rates can be booked up until the date of arrival. Passholders and Florida residents can book via your respective web sites, by calling your travel agent (Small World Vacations is MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel provider) or by calling 407-560-7277 for passholders or 407-560-7722 for Florida residents.

Passholder discount codes are FDL (DVC/Deluxe) and FDJ (Moderates). Florida resident discount codes are FDP (DVC/Deluxe) and FDN (Moderates).

August/September passholder, Florida resident discounts announced

Disney has released discounted room rates for passholders and Florida residents for August and September. Discounts are available for select Disney Vacation Club and deluxe resorts for most nights from August 5 to September 29, and at moderate and value resorts for most nights August 5–9, August 12–29 and September 2–29.

For passholders and Florida residents, the DVC rates start at $164 per night plus tax in a studio at the Old Key West or Saratoga Springs Resorts. Prices go up from there depending on the resort and accommodations.

In addition to those two DVC resorts, discounts are also available at all deluxe resorts, with passholder rates $5 per night less than Florida resident rates. Some sample rates are garden view rooms at the Polynesian ($249 passholder/$254 resident), Contemporary ($225/$230) and Grand Floridian ($295/$300).

Rates at the moderates start at $94 per night for passholders and $99 per night for Florida residents. Value resorts start at $64 for both passholders and Florida residents.

Minimum stay requirements apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. All rates can be booked up until the date of arrival. Passholders and Florida residents can book via your respective web sites, by calling your travel agent (Small World Vacations is MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel provider) or by calling 407-560-7277 for passholders or 407-560-7722 for Florida residents.

Discount codes are FDR (passholder) and FDT (Florida residents).

Disney's Price Slice golf rates are back

Disney's popular summer golf discount program, Disney's Price Slice, will return from May 14 through September 27. During that time, a round of golf at any of the Walt Disney World courses will be less expensive after 10 a.m. daily, due to the heat of the summer season. The Magnolia, Palm, Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge courses will carry a fee of $55, while the Lake Buena Vista course will cost $45. Rates include the use of an electric cart, and are $34-$44 cheaper than regular rates.

The rates include the use of an electric cart and are discounted from the before-10 a.m. prices of $99 for resort guests/$109 for day visitors (Magnolia and Osprey Ridge), $89 for resort guests/$99 for day visitors (Palm and Eagle Pines) and $79 for resort guests/$89 for day visitors (Lake Buena Vista). To reserve a tee time, call 407-WDW-GOLF (407-939-4653) or go to the Disney Golf Web site (link). Note that the site's front page still appears to have difficulty with browsers other than Internet Explorer. Once you get past the front page, you should be all right.

For ticket prices, park hours, and entertainment schedules, please go here.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.



Talk about this article and more, on the MousePad community forums.


(Send an email to Mark Goldhaber)

Mark (@MPMark) is a veteran of dozens of trips to Walt Disney World starting in 1972, with a few Disneyland trips thrown in for good measure. As a Disney stockholder and a Disney Vacation Club member, Mark is always in touch with what's going on with The Mouse. Mark serves as MousePlanet's Walt Disney World content coordinator. Mark is a senior information technology manager working for the State of New York. He lives in the suburbs outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son.