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MouseStation 158 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • The annual theme park attendance listing, put together by Economics Research Associates (ERA) and now published by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and InPark and Park World magazines, is now out. Once again, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom finds itself atop the heap, with 2007 attendance of over 17.06 million visitors. You can read our summary here and the full report here.
  • As we reported a couple of months ago, the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground will be receiving a major upgrade. The announcement from Disney last week confirmed all items that we reported, as well as some additional info.
  • The self-service kiosks installed at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe last June have apparently passed the test and will be made permanent.
  • Night of Joy tickets are now on sale for the first running of the event at Disney's Hollywood Studios this fall.
  • Grad Nite is moving from the Magic Kingdom to Disney's Hollywood Studios, effective next year.
  • The staff of the Disney Animal Kingdom's breeding program has been busy the last couple of weeks, with two new members of the savannah being born since February 29
  • There are only a few new permits this week, as the latest construction paperwork filed with Orange County indicates a new floor at the Boardwalk Resort ESPN Club Back Bar, rebuilding of the trellis at the Boardwalk Inn Quiet Pool, siding repairs at the Yacht & Beach Club Resort, HVAC upgrades at the Caribbean Beach Resort security kiosk at Entrance and replacement of the existing roll-up doors with canvas roll-ups at the Dinoland Games.
  • Quick Takes:
    • The Half Marathon has joined Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge in selling out. You've still got a little time on the Marathon, but that's filling fairly quickly as well, as it's already 50 percent full. You can register here. [Read our WDW Marathon Guide.]
    • This year's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K page is now live, though registration has not yet opened.
    • Disney Magic Music Days celebrated its 2 millionth student performer on Friday, as the Mount Hebron High School Band from Ellicott City, Maryland marched down Main Street, U.S.A.
    • The Quality Suites near Universal Studios closed down temporarily after two Pinellas County tourists staying there were found to have contracted Legionnaires' Disease.
    • The next NFFC World Chapter meeting for Disney Enthusiasts is Saturday, April 12. The guest speaker will be former Walt Disney World Ambassador Mary Ann (Carter) Lunde. For more information, check out the World Chapter's Web site.
    • Disney has signed a deal with Springs Global US, Inc. to supply Wamsutta products for deluxe and Disney Vacation Club resorts as part of the Disney Resort Collection, which will be available for purchase by in-room and online catalogs.

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

Disneyland News

  • After almost a week of "soft-opening" previews, the new Pixar Play Parade debuted Friday morning for a crowd of media, invited guests, and park visitors.
  • Playhouse Disney at Disney's California Adventure reopened last week after a month-long refurbishment to install the new show that premiered at Walt Disney World in January.
  • After the debut of Playhouse Disney and the Pixar Play Parade, Disney invited members of the media behind the construction walls surrounding the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction to get a peek at the queue, ride vehicles and the Mr. Potato Head Boardwalk Barker figure.
  • The March membership meeting of Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Union Local 681 was held last week, and a cast member who attended the meeting (and who asked not to be identified) said that the union is obviously gearing up for a long battle against Disney.
  • Other stuff:
    • Disneyland has posted a very nice interactive virtual tour of the Disneyland Dream Suite on the Disneyland Resort Web site.
    • MousePlanet staff member Shoshana Lewin reports that the Disneyland College Program is now offering housing to student participants.
    • MousePad member sheldonc posted a helpful hint for Disney fans who crave a Dole Whip, but can't make it to Disneyland.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Last Friday, The Walt Disney Company announced that it would be redeeming all of its 2.125% convertible senior notes with a due date of 2023 on April 15 of this year at 100% of the principal plus accrued interest to that date.
  • A Chinese business web site is reporting that The Walt Disney Company has decided to open a theme park at Pudong, Shanghai, China, and will make an official announcement some time around the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
  • Meanwhile, Disney is once again being hit with accusations of using sweat shop labor at Chinese plants to make products for sale in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger is steadfastly looking toward the Internet as the future of entertainment. At the same conference, Iger noted that Disney's revenue from online businesses are expected to hit $1 billion this fiscal year, an increase of almost 43% from the estimated $700 million for fiscal 2007.
  • New York's Lincoln Center will honor Disney CEO Bob Iger at its annual spring gala on April 9.
  • College Road Trip and Step Up 2: The Sreets both did very well at the box office this week, especially in light of the movie openings this 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).