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MouseStation 166 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Last Friday, a circuit breaker tripped at Epcot, shutting down power to the park's main entrance and part of Future World.
  • New spring discounts were announced last week, with a room-only discount among the options this time. There are also new discounts including free dining from the hotels at Universal Orlando. Thanks to Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations, MousePlanet's preferred travel provider, for info on both of those deals. Keep an eye out for a special free dining deal from Disney in the next week.
  • Tickets go on sale May 1 for this fall's Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party hard-ticketed events at the Magic Kingdom. We've got the complete list of expected dates.
  • Adventures by Disney announced its spring booking deal last week, which offers a savings of up to $650 per adult and $600 per child when they book select adventures now through May 31.
  • Walt Disney World is celebrating the upcoming tenth anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom by touting the top 10 accomplishments of the behind-the-scenes Disney's Animal Programs team. Also see today's article by Jeff Kober with a special look at Disney's Animal Programs.
  • Quick Takes:
    • The Cheesecake Factory Express location inside DisneyQuest will close up shop when its 10-year lease expires in next month. It will be replaced by FoodQuest, a Disney-owned and -operated counter service location with a similar menu to the current offerings.
    • As we reported here last week, the Disney Cruise Line is considering the imposition of a fuel surcharge on future cruises.
    • The Atlanta Braves wrapped up their spring training residence at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex with the third-highest attendance total in the 11 years that they've been there.
    • The first 2,500 kids 14 and under attending each of the Tampa Bay Rays three games against the Toronto Blue Jays at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, April 22-24, will receive limited edition Rays mini baseball bobbleheads of Disney characters.
    • The Orange County Health Department said last week that tests of the Quality Suites near Universal Studios believed to be linked to the outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease have shown that the hotel was not the source of the outbreak.
    • We have added listings for the Walt Disney World Resort guided tours to our MousePlanet Reader Review system.
    • Share your Princess moment by entering MousePlanet's Enchanted Photo Contest. You can find all of the details on our contest Web page. The deadline to enter is Thursday, April 11.

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

Disneyland News

  • Disney has released additional information about the 2008 Disney's California Food and Wine Festival, including a much-requested daily schedule for the complimentary culinary demonstrations; wine, beer and spirits education and tasting seminars and the celebrity chef culinary demonstrations. The daily schedules are available on the official event Web site.
  • The Disneyland Resort is now accepting reservations for the 2008 Mother's Day Brunch. Cinderella & Princess Friends present Disney's Royal Mother's Day Buffet will be held Sunday, May 11, 2008 in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel.
  • Last week a Disneyland cast member told us that the construction on the front of the Bank of Main Street was for a new ATM, to replace the unit on the side of the bank. When the construction walls came down, we discovered that the new structure was actually a kiosk for both the Disney Visa and the PhotoPass service.
  • The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles debuted a new exhibit titled "The Art of Cars" this weekend. Life-size replicas of Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, and an authentic Hudson Hornet are sure to engage even the smallest fans; the exhibit also features a large variety of paper art and sculpture used as reference in the creation of the Pixar film.
  • Other stuff:
    • The Pixar Play Parade returned to Disney's California Adventure last Wednesday, though the entire Bug's Life unit is missing from the parade.
    • Brady McDonald of the Los Angeles Times reported last week that Disneyland is conducting after-hours test of the new Mark VII Monorail Red, and will begin State of California inspections and operator training.
    • MousePlanet reader Bill Stevens was visiting Disneyland with his family last week when they won a major prize in the 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway—an overnight stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite.
    • We've heard that the Snow White exhibit in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's California Adventure is closing at the end of April. A similar Sleeping Beauty exhibit is scheduled for the fall.
    • Tickets are now on sale for Prince Caspian at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, for May 16 through June 25, 2008.
    • We have added listings for the Disneyland Resort guided tours to our MousePlanet Reader Review system.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • More details are emerging in the deal for Disney to buy back the Disney Store chain from The Children's Place that we first reported last week.
  • Disney Publishing Worldwide, which has been publishing the award-winning Percy Jackson and the Olympians series of children's books by Rick Riordan, has signed the author to a new multi-book deal, which includes a new, original fantasy series.
  • Continuing the push into ever more media delivery methods, the Disney-ABC Television Group has partnered with MobiTV to offer the Disney Channel over mobile TV services. Smaller screens, more places. Disney is now going wherever the audience wants it.
  • Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull has been chosen as a featured speaker at SIGGRAPH 2008, the 35th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques.
  • The National Cable and Telecommunications Association has announced that Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks and President of the Disney-ABC Television Group, is one of this year's two recipients of the cable industry’s top honor, the Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership.
  • The Hallmark Channel has stocked up on Disney fare, signing two separate deals last week that will land the network the rights to the entire seven-season run of "The Golden Girls" as well as 99 classic family Disney movies.
  • In a possible attempt to prolong the life of the franchise, three teen actors have been cast as sophomore Wildcats in High School Musical 3: Senior Year.
  • The two-disc Best of Both Worlds Concert Live CD/DVD set entered the Billboard top 10 list at number 10, while the Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus double disc set returned to the top 10 at number 6 last week, making Miley Cyrus the first artist to have two albums in the top 10 at the same time since Ray Charles did it in 2004.
  • When the Jonas Brothers' first movie, "Camp Rock," premieres on the Disney Channel on June 20, that's just the start of the marketing. The movie will then appear on ABC, ABC Family, and then online at Disney.com, and of course the soundtrack will be out there, as well.
  • The deal between Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee and Disney is finally showing some direction.
  • Can screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio do the same thing for the Western that they did for the pirate movie?
  • College Road Trip and Step Up 2: The Streets are both fading at the box office this week, with the next help on the horizon being Prince Caspian on May 16 and WALL-E on June 27.

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).