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MouseStation 213 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Charles Hurrey, a 29-year-old PhotoPass employee responsible for issuing and troubleshooting equipment and deploying photographers at Disney's Hollywood Studios, was arrested last Tuesday by investigators after they found three videos depicting children engaging in sex acts with adults and each other on an external hard drive, according to an arrest affidavit.
  • Patrick Noze, 44, a third-shift operations manager at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, was arrested last Wednesday after allegedly stealing a credit card out of a guest's wallet and then using it to pay a $1,200 bill at an Orlando auto transmission shop.
  • Just after midnight last Thursday night, Lorraine Ott had just gotten out of a taxi and was using the ATM in the lobby of the Royal Plaza in the Downtown Disney Resort Area when she was pushed down by a man who had been on the house phone adjacent to the ATM. The man grabbed the money that she had just taken out of the machine.
  • The Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are now available for reservation at 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). The list of narrators has been released, as well. Check out Monday's Park Update for the narrator list and the dining package price list.
  • The Disney Vacation Club has modified the reservation window within which members can book their home and other resorts. Meanwhile, the day-by-day waitlisting option has also been done away with.
  • One of the two remaining Fantasy in the Sky fireworks shows is no more, as this year's Fourth of July fireworks spectacular at the Magic Kingdom will be the new "Disney's Celebrate America!-A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky," a grand tribute to the United States, its people and traditions.
  • After a successful debut this year, the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey will return to Walt Disney World in February 2009. Held this year during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday weekend, next year it will move to Presidents Day weekend, February 12-16, 2009.
  • The list of construction permits filed with Orange County includes a lot of work at the Magic Kingdom's AVAC equipment control building (the AVAC is the vacuum tube waste transportation system underneath the Magic Kingdom that moves all of the garbage from the park to a single collection location). They're also installing drink towers at the Columbia Harbour House, a topping bar at Pecos Bill's and a new fuel tank and fueling system at the Tomorrowland Speedway. There are more permits that were filed, and you can see them in Monday's Park Update.
  • Quick Takes:
    • For those wondering what kind of stuff goes on at Star Wars Weekends' day-ending Hyperspace Hoopla, check this out at your own peril.
    • The Norway pavilion plays host to Sig, Edgar and Norman Hansen (stars of the popular The Deadliest Catch reality series on The Discovery Channel) July 10-13, 2008.
    • The Expedition Everest Challenge is now 60 percent sold out, and the Walt Disney World Marathon is now 65 percent full.
    • Perhaps proving that the leisure travel market to Orlando is softening toward the end of the year, United Vacations is bringing back a promotion that will give guests a $100 Disney Gift Card with their vacation purchase to Walt Disney World from now through December 31.

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

Disneyland News

  • The Innoventions Dream Home opened for media previews last week, which were to be followed by a series of previews for annual passholders.
  • Once the opening day crowds had their fill of Toy Story Midway Mania, lines for the attraction settled down to no more than 90 minutes over the weekend. The weather was likely a factor—with temperatures soaring into the 90s, prospective riders were less likely to want to wait in the extended outdoor queue.
  • The new Summer Fun Pass promotion is causing some stress among readers who can't find a store that can sell and activate the tickets. Many Disney Stores that were supposed to have the tickets available for sale when the promotion started on June 16th did not receive the passes in time.
  • After visitors complained about some of the violence in the new Indiana Jones: Secret of the Stone Tiger show, including a fight scene in which Indy punches the female character in the face, show director Glenn Kelman told MousePlanet that the show's fight scenes are being reworked. Look for the new fight choreography to be incorporated into the show this week.
  • 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.
    • San Francisco Bay Area MousePlanet readers, don't feel left out! You are invited to join MousePlanet staff members Andrew, Jennifer and Steven for Wall-E at the AMC theater at the Mercado in Santa Clara on Sunday, June 29. Tickets for the 11:00 a.m. matinee are just $6 per person. You can now buy tickets online ($1 service charge applies, unless you are a member of the free AMC MovieWatcher club). This showing is likely to sell out, so don't wait too long. If you'll be joining us, please send email to the event coordinator (Andrew Rich) or post to our MousePad discussion board thread so we know how many to expect. The MousePlanet staff will be on hand starting at 10:00 am to greet you. We'll decamp for lunch (likely at Taxi's) after the movie.
    • The Disneyland Resort has begun a marketing campaign to promote Downtown Disney merchants. Text DTDFUN to 67463 to receive instant discounts and coupons for select Downtown Disney restaurants and shops.
    • The Disneyland Resort is offering two special merchandise releases through the Disney Gallery Web site.
    • Disney's PhotoPass service is testing out a series of new "Magic Photos" at locations around Disneyland.
  • 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 Music Group will be contracting out the marketing and distribution of its product throughout Asia, except for Japan.
  • On Monday, Pali Research boosted its earnings outlook for The Walt Disney Company for the fiscal year, citing "WALL-E" and an improved outlook for the Parks & Resorts division.
  • The Screen Actors Guild began its deadline posturing against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
  • Disney's ABC and ESPN networks have agreed on a deal to make full episodes and clips from popular shows available at Veoh.com.
  • The National Football League and ESPN are reportedly in talks that would bring more games to the Disney-affiliated sports network.
  • According to a story in the New York Times, Disney will once again be redesigning its web site over the next few months to make it appear more "fun" and less "corporate."
  • Timker Bell is getting her own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 2009.
  • Disney Consumer Products has fittingly chosen Lucky Brand Jeans to host the roll-out of T-shirts featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
  • Disney's High School Musical franchise rules the international music sales business for the second year in a row as the High School Musical 2 soundtrack was the top-selling album globally for 2007 with over 6 million units sold.
  • "Camp Rock" debuted on the Disney Channel Friday night, with encore showings on Saturday night on ABC and Sunday night on ABC Family, as well as a 24-hour streaming period on Disney.com on Monday.
  • Disney has sold Movies.com to Comcast's Fandango movie ticketing service for an undisclosed sum.
  • WALL-E opens tomorrow, and not a minute too soon. Prince Caspian continues its slide as the new blockbusters continue to open with a new number one movie every week.
  • Following Disney's work with NASA to include Buzz Lightyear as part of the Toys in Space initiative, the two have partnered to have WALL-E promote the space program, as well. Here are the "Buzz in space" videos (click the drop-down box to see all videos):

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).