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MouseStation 194 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Following a weekend of previews for annual passholders and Disney Vacation Club members, a press event on Wednesday, and the start of sneak previews over the weekend, Toy Story Mania is getting positive reviews from all who come off of it. MousePlanet has continuing coverage of the attraction this week. Jeff Kober had an article Tuesday about the attraction itself, and yesterday's MouseStation podcast featured an interview with Imagineer Kevin Rafferty.
  • Walt Disney World achieved its goal of having all of its Florida resorts certified as Green Lodging resorts in April, with the certification of the Yacht & Beach Clubs. All 23 resorts at Walt Disney World, plus Disney's Vero Beach Resort, have now received the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Green Lodging Program designation.
  • A number of readers wrote last week that I had neglected to post the passholder rates announced a week and a half ago. I did miss adding them to the Park Update, though I will note that—as with previous special rates—they were posted on my blog the morning that they were released.
  • A bunch of interesting rumors surfaced during Mark's research trip over the weekend on such topics as a visit from George Lucas, the long-term fate of the Hunchback Theater and the possibility of a Cars-themed attraction by 2012.
  • Robert Olszewski will hold a special signing event at Walt Disney World Resort on June 28 and 29. Details will be posted on the Disney Gallery web site.
  • Quick Takes:
    • The Prince Caspian meet-and-greet location opened at the Studios on Thursday.
    • The Disney Magic cruise ship has now passed through the Panama Canal after making its first-ever stop at Aruba.
    • The celebration of Norway's Constitution Day on Saturday evening saw all off-duty Norwegian cast members start their party in Norway, head to Italy for drinks and end up with an Illuminations party on the island between the France pavilion and the International Gateway.

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

Disneyland News

West Coast correspondent Andrew Rich and the rest of the writers of the Disneyland Park Update are at sea aboard the Disney Magic. They (and the Disneyland Resort Park Update) should return next week.

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Pali Research downgraded their rating on Disney stock from Buy to Neutral in a wave of uncertainty over the company's prospects until there's better information about how Disney's summer films will do at the box office and how the fall and winter bookings at its resort hotels do over the summer.
  • A couple of Disney insiders sold some stock, it was announced last week, with general counsel Alan Braverman unloading 115,000 shares for about $3.9 million and Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs exercising options on 75,000 shares for about $2 million, then selling them all off for $2.6 million.
  • Guenther Hake was named senior Vice President and managing director of Disney Consumer Products and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment for Greater China last week.
  • The British edition of Disney's High School Musical stage show opens in London on July 5.
  • Disney signed an agreement with French pay TV company Canal Plus last week.
  • Disney also announced a content agreement with Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom.
  • The Disney Travel On Demand channel, which launched last May on Time Warner and Cablevision systems, expanded last week to Comcast, more than doubling its distribution.
  • Disney is being sued by Glamour Shots Licensing Inc. of Oklahoma City over the name of Hannah Montana Disney Glamour Shots Candy.
  • Following her role in Camp Rock and a couple of Disney Channel movies for this season, Disney has taken the next step in making Demi Lovato its next teen queen star.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal has been named as the lead in Jerry Bruckheimer's "Prince of Persia" film.
  • As we've reported earlier, Disney last week released DGamer, an interactive community built around the Nintendo DS, with the release of the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian game.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian opened last weekend, ruling the weekend's domestic box office with $55 million.

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).