MouseStation 197 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Last Thursday, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a report on its inquiry into the accident at Primeval Whirl last November 24 that caused the death of Walt Disney World cast member Karen Price. The report, made public last Friday, cited Disney for five violations and fined them $21,500.
  • After last week's victory on American Idol by rocker David Cook against his 17-year-old opponent, David Archuleta, Disney quickly released its newest edition of the famous "I'm going to Disney World" TV commercial featuring the 25-year-old singer.
  • Adventures By Disney has a deep discount available for some itineraries, but you need to book by Saturday, May 31. You can save up to $650 per adult and $600 per child on any of six varied itineraries. For more information, go to the Adventures By Disney web site, call Adventures By Disney at 877-728-7282, or contact your Disney specialist travel agent. Small World Vacations is MousePlanet's preferred travel provider.
  • The Concourse Steakhouse at the Contemporary Resort closes Saturday night, making way for an expanded Chef Mickey's and a new quick-service eatery for salads and sandwiches on the Grand Canyon Concourse, both scheduled to open this fall (Chef Mickey's remains open while the expansion is readied). Joining the mix at the resort is the new full-service dining location called The Wave, scheduled to open next Saturday, June 7, for dinner. Starting the next day, the 220-seat restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Walt Disney World presented $700,000 in Helping Kids Shine Grant Awards to 44 Central Florida non-profit organizations last Friday. Two special named awards were given in honor of Walt Disney World executives who have made significant contributions to the community.
  • The list of construction permits filed with Orange County includes demolishing the kitchen at Nine Dragons Restaurant, replacing sidewalks at both Port Orleans Resorts, Yacht & Beach Club and Boardwalk Resorts, installing cameras in queue areas at Pecos Bill's, and plenty of other work across Walt Disney World.
  • Quick Takes:
    • The Beach Club Villas will no longer allow members to check in in the lobby of the Villas building as of Sunday, June 1.
    • Registration for the Expedition Everest Challenge is now 50 percent full. The 2009 Walt Disney World Marathon is now 65 percent full.

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

Disneyland News

  • Disneyland's Indiana Jones Summer of Hidden Mysteries promotion officially kicked off last week to commemorate the opening of the newest film in the Indy franchise.
  • The Disney Magic cruise ship (with several MousePlanet staff members on board) returned to the Port of Los Angeles Sunday morning for an encore season of seven-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera.
  • At least for annual passholders, tickets are now on sale for this October's Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party (a new name for the same Mickey's Halloween Treat that has been held for the last several years).
  • Annual Passholder previews of the new Dream House exhibit, opening in June, have been announced.
  • The Disney Vacation Club hosted Getaway Days Travel Expo for members this weekend at the Paradise Pier Hotel, giving members the opportunity to get the first look at the models for the new DVC units being constructed at the Grand Californian hotel.
  • PanFan, a member of our MousePad message board as well as a Disneyland cast member has now experienced Toy Story Midway Mania more than a dozen times during cast member previews and her response is strongly positive.
  • Adventures By Disney has a deep discount available for some itineraries, but you need to book by Saturday, May 31. You can save up to $650 per adult and $600 per child on any of six varied itineraries. For more information, go to the Adventures By Disney web site, call Adventures By Disney at 877-728-7282, or contact your Disney specialist travel agent. Small World Vacations is MousePlanet's preferred travel provider.
  • This n That:
    • Virtual Magic Kingdom, the massively multi-player online Disneyland game that kicked off as part of the park's 50th Anniversary celebration, closed its virtual doors last week.
    • An exhibit for Pixar's 2009 title, Up, has been added to the Character Close-Up area in DCA's Animation Building.
    • A story in LA Magazine might be of interest to some readers for a bit of insight into what is was like, for at least one person anyway, to be Jack Sparrow at Disneyland.
    • The "Create-Your-Own Ear Hat" program first introduced in Walt Disney World has arrived at the Disneyland Resort.
    • Disneyland is releasing an updated attraction poster to commemorate the new Monorail Mark VII.
    • Last week the Disneyland Resort presented scholarships totaling $55,000 to 11 Orange County high school students as part of the third annual Disneyland Resort Scholarship Program.
    • MousePlanet reader Sierranevada shared details of a "100 rooms for $100" promotion at the Sheraton Anaheim, but reader C Hayward wrote to clarify that the offer is valid only at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort, not the Sheraton Anaheim.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • In the wake of the devastation caused by the earthquake in China, The Walt Disney Company announced last week that it will contribute $1 million in humanitarian aid to the victims of the quake. In accordance with the company's child-focused aid policy, the donation will be put toward acquiring materials for immediate relief efforts, helping and supporting displaced and distressed children and rebuilding damaged schools.
  • Shortly after taking control of The Disney Stores back from The Children's Place, The Walt Disney Company was hit with a double-whammy last week as two products sold exclusively at The Disney Store last year were recalled due to lead paint standards violations.

    This Pirates of the Caribbean sleeping bag and Tinker Bell wand have been recalled due to lead paint standard violations.
  • Last week, Disney Interactive Studios announced that Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell will be released for the Nintendo DS in time for the holiday season. It will be the first game on the DS platform what will let players visit Pixie Hollow and play as Tinker Bell. It will be out in support of the October 28 direct-to-DVD release of the first Disney Fairies movie, called Tinker Bell.
  • Following the lead of High School Musical 3, which began filming last month for an October 24 release, Hannah Montana: The Movie has started production for its May 1, 2009 release.
  • While Hannah Montana may still be a hot Disney property, the Jonas Brothers appear to be streaking past her, as their Disney Channel movie "Camp Rock" will premiere on not only the Disney Channel, but ABC, ABC Family and Disney.com on four consecutive nights June 20-23.
  • Walt Disney Parks & Resorts is teaming up with Google Earth to let you take a virtual trip to Walt Disney World's four theme parks and 22 hotels and resorts.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian did well at the box office, good enough for second place over both the three-day and four-day weekend periods, but is still well off of both the pace set by the original film and the expected pace for the film.

Administrative stuff

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