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MouseStation 209 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Disney is now facing a civil rights class-action lawsuit over "The Disney Look," the list of strict grooming standards that must be adhered to by all cast members who work "on-stage" or in view of park guests. Walt Disney World claims that the suit is without merit.
  • You've only got until Sunday to book your free dining package for this summer/fall.
  • Disney is making land available at the sports complex for the new 100-lane bowling center and will lease it to a third party, who will build and operate the new bowling center, according to Walt Disney World spokeswoman Andrea Finger. Disney is still working on many of the details and is currently in the process of selecting a third party to build and operate the facility. The operator will be made public once details are finalized.
  • The list of construction permits filed with Orange County includes the complete renovation of all 374 guest rooms at the Boardwalk Inn Resort and 1728 rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort (that's the entire resort except for Trinidad South), replacement of four sets of double doors and repairing 29 windows at the Yacht & Beach Club., and plenty of other work across Walt Disney World.
  • Quick Takes:
    • According to an updated story from the Associated Press, the fee that the Disney Magic paid to pass through the Panama Canal last month was $283,400, not $331,200 as previously reported, which was not a record. The record for any ship is just over $317,000, set on May 7 by the cargo vessel MSC Fabienne, while the high for a cruise ship was $313,000, set by two Norwegian Cruise Line vessels last fall.

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

Disneyland News

  • The Disneyland Resort finally got its turn to unveil the new Toy Story Midway Mania attraction at Disney's California Adventure this week, two weeks after the ride opened at Walt Disney World. Annual Passholders got the opportunity to preview the ride last week from Monday to Thursday, and the ride was open for "soft opening" previews Friday through Sunday. A media event was scheduled for Monday afternoon, and the official grand opening was at 10:00 on Tuesday morning. Unlike the opening ceremony for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage last year, there was no celebrity party or red carpet event scheduled. For details on the ride itself, see Jeff Kober's story from the opening at Walt Disney World. You can join the spoilers discussion here.
  • Disney's California Adventure hosted the Danskin Women's Triathlon this weekend, and the San Francisco Chronicle Web site reported Sunday morning that Alexis Smith of Monterey, California took first place by completing the course in just over 48 minutes. The event began at 6:00 Sunday morning when the first wave of swimmers entered the 80º water of Paradise Bay for .35-mile swim.
  • The grand opening of Anaheim Garden Walk this weekend turned out to be more of a preview of coming attractions, as fewer than a third of the shops and restaurants in the new shopping complex were actually open for business. The two-story development is divided into five themed garden neighborhoods, including the "Wonder Garden" and the "Gala Garden," each said to have a distinctive horticultural style. The walkways may eventually blossom into the lush environments shown in the project renderings, but right now the metal grids and arches that will support the eventual vines and flowers are rather stark.
  • This n That:
    • Join MousePlanet for the Wall-E matinee at AMC theater in Downtown Disney on Saturday, June 28. Catch the 10:30 a.m. matinee screening of Wall-E at the AMC theater in Downtown Disney with your fellow MousePlanet readers. Matinee tickets are just $6 per person. You can now buy tickets online ($1 service charge applies), or directly from the Downtown Disney AMC theater box office. This showing is likely to sell out, so don't wait too long. If you'll be joining us, please send an e-mail to the event coordinator (Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix), or post to our MousePad discussion board thread so we know how many to expect. The MousePlanet staff will be on hand starting at 9:45 a.m. to greet you.
    • The dates for the 11th annual unofficial Gays Days at the Disneyland Resort are Friday, Oct. 3 to Sunday, October 5. Event attendance will be higher at Disneyland on Saturday, DCA on Sunday.
    • We're hearing that the Disneyland Resort restaurants are expecting to receive new menus - with higher prices - by the end of June. Readers have already noted that the prices of Disneyland treats like churros and Dole Whips have gone up in recent weeks.
    • An expanded seating area opened last week for Award Weiners, the hot dog eatery in Disney's California Adventure.
    • The Disneyland Resort sparked some concern last week when the official Web site listed the Indiana Jones attraction as being closed for the rest of the summer.
    • Disney's California Adventure will host the 2008 Hi Seoul Korea Performing Arts Showcase June 9 to 15, 2008 at a temporary "Festivale Internationale" stage constructed inside the Pacific Wharf area, just outside the Pacific Wharf Cafe.
    • Brady McDonald from the Los Angeles Times noticed last week that the newest Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder Newsletter announced that an Audio Animatronic Wall-E robot will be coming to Disney’s California Adventure later this year.
    • Last Friday the Orange County Register's Sonya Smith published an internal memo from Walt Disney Imagineering that states that Disney will begin to outsource the manufacturing of some Audio Animatronics figures to allow Imagineers to work on the more complicated figures.
  • The MousePlanet crew is planning a series of social events for readers this summer and fall, and you're invited! On July 17, you are invited to come celebrate the 8th anniversary of your favorite Disney Web site (and Disneyland's 53rd birthday). Details are forthcoming, but MouseAdventure fans can look forward to a little treat.
    Finally, our second annual MousePlanet night at Mickey's Trick or Treat Party is Friday, October 3. This is one of the annual passholder discount nights, and tickets are already on sale through the AP Web site.
    Stay posted for additional details and events throughout the summer.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Disney has renewed its deal with the South African Broadcasting Corporation for broadcast content, including Disney Channel hits, ABC shows, and movies from Disney, Pixar, Touchstone and Miramax.
  • The Walt Disney Studios is teaming with Ying Dong Media and Castle Hero Productions to create a film about an orphaned boy and a panda cub separated from its mother.
  • Club Penguin has grown so popular in Australia that Disney is expanding its presence in the country.
  • Disney will roll out a new attempt at a parent-focused social network this summer based at Family.com, the Disney Family.com Community.
  • Disney continues to pick up smaller web sites, buying IdealBite, a green-living online media company, for $20 million, as well as fan fiction site FanLib and digital syndication site DigiSynd.
  • ESPN, which purchased SchoolSports late last year to be the basis of ESPN RISE, a service focused on high school sports, is now adding StudentSports, a rival of SchoolSports.
  • Camp Rock premieres tomorrow night on the Disney Channel, followed by airings on ABC on Saturday ABC Family on Sunday, and Disney.com on Monday.
  • Djuan Rivers, the newly-minted Disney Vacation Club vice president for the Ko Olina Resort scheduled to open in Hawaii in 2011 is a 20-year veteran of the Mouse Factory.
  • Disney has signed a video on demand agreement with ReelTime Rentals to distribute movies from the Disney, Pixar, Touchstone and Hollywood banners.
  • Unsurprisingly, based on the anemic number of nominations this year, none of the Tony awards went to a Disney show at the awards ceremony on Sunday night.
  • Prince Caspian's box office take continues to slide in the competitive market, with the Narnia sequel's weekend numbers dropping to $3.1 million and ninth place at the box office. A week from tomorrow, WALL-E enters the picture, and not a moment too soon.

Administrative stuff

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Wrapping up

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