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Update for March 9 – March 15, 2009

Go directly to: News & Views | Coming Soon | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Discounts/Promotions

News and Views

Disney Cruise Line | GM/Test Track | Fall endurance series | Olszewski | Gaylord Palms discount | Quick Takes …

Disney Cruise Line begins construction of third ship, looks West, offers "Kids Half Off"

Construction finally began on the Disney Cruise Line's two new ships last Monday with the cutting of the first piece of decorative steelwork. A ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany marked the start of the work. "When we launched our business in 1998, we recognized a need in the marketplace for a cruise experience created just for families," said Karl Holz, who replaced Disney Cruise Line President Tom McAlpin just over two weeks ago, "With these new ships, we are continuing to build upon that vision of providing more families with an unforgettable cruise vacation and the chance to explore new destinations with Disney." No official announcement has been made on the new ships' names, but we've heard that the first one looks like a real Dream.


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The new ships are scheduled to come online in 2011 and 2012, and terms of Disney's contract renewal with Port Canaveral requires them to make the Florida port their home through at least 2014. Speculation then turns to what will happen to the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder with the arrival of the new ships. One of them appears will be heading west in 2011 when the first ship arrives; the San Diego Union-Tribune (link) reports that San Diego and San Pedro (in the Los Angeles area) are competing to attract Disney's business starting in February 2011. Since the Magic has already headed to California twice, that ship is expected to be stationed there in two years. If the Magic goes west, then what about the Wonder? Some scenarios have it going to Europe or Asia, while others speculate it will remain in Florida, giving Disney three ships sailing the Caribbean.

If you're looking to sail a little sooner, there's a special "kids sail at half off" deal going on right now. Children 12 and under get 50 percent off of the prevailing cruise fare on when traveling with two full-fare guests in the same stateroom on sail dates from April 11 through May 17. For more details, check the Disney Cruise Line Web site (link). To book your "Kids Half Off" cruise, visit the Disney Cruise Line Web site (link), call 800-951-3532, or contact one of MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers, MouseEarVacations.com (link) or Small World Vacations (link) and make sure to use booking code "KHO." For more information on other discounted cruises from MouseEarVacations.com, check out their list of cruise discounts for MousePlanet readers here on the MousePlanet site.


Topiaries behind Spaceship Earth for this year's Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival are themed to Fantasia. The display on the back slope of Spaceship Earth is inspired by the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


The garden area near Innoventions West is features Hyacinth Hippo, Ben Ali Gator and friends from the Dance of the Hours segment. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


These ostriches are also from the Dance of the Hours segment. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

GM's financial woes endanger Test Track sponsorship

The real world troubles of General Motors are pushing their way into Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park. General Motors has sponsored a transportation-themed pavilion in Epcot's Future World since the park opened in 1982, first with World of Motion, then with Test Track. As Test Track approaches its 10th anniversary next Monday, GM's latest sponsorship contract is also approaching its end. With news reports that GM may not be able to continue as a going concern, the pavilion's sponsorship is obviously in trouble.

While Disney and GM have been negotiating new terms for the sponsorship deal, they have been unable to come to terms on a successor to the $5 million-per-year agreement. With GM staying in business only through loans from the Federal government, even if they do strike a deal there will be many who will criticize them for spending money on a theme park pavilion while they are fighting to stay in business, despite the marketing advantages of the highly trafficked pavilion. In addition, the sponsorship deal includes the purchase of many GM vehicles by Disney for its corporate fleet.

GM is the only remaining opening-day pavilion sponsor left in Future World. While Kodak has sponsored the Imagination pavilion since its first day, the pavilion did not open until five months after the theme park's first day. AT&T, Exxon and Kraft have all since bowed out. General Electric, original sponsor of Horizons (opened in 1983) and United Technologies, original sponsor of the Living Seas (opened in 1986) and Metropolitan Life, sponsor of the Wonders of Life pavilion (opened in 1989) have all dropped out, as well.

While Disney would need to continue operating the attraction even if GM pulls out, due to capacity concerns, the decreased revenue will put further pressure on the park's already-weakened finances. Other auto makers in better financial shape, such as Toyota, have been rumored to be considering taking over the sponsorship. However, due to the way that the attraction goes through tires, perhaps Michelin would be a better sponsor.


The parterre near Minnie's Magnificent Butterfly Garden features a Mickey-ears design. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Floating mini-gardens are now out on the ponds between Future World and World Showcase. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Workers assemble play equipment in the Let's Get Moving Garden. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


The Future World Stage behind Innoventions West has sprouted a roof. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Fall Endurance Series dates announced

Disney's troika of fall endurance events now have official dates and have appeared on the Disney Sports Web site. Registration is not yet open for the Expedition Everest Challenge, the Race for the Taste, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K, but information is now starting to become available.

The Expedition Everest Challenge (link) starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 26. Teams of two will take part in a competitive 5-kilometer (3.1-mile)  run, obstacle course, and scavenger hunt through Disney's Animal Kingdom. The race will be followed by an exclusive after-hours party inside the park. There will also be a division for solo competitors.

The obstacle course, which follows the 5K race, will have participants climb, crawl and balance their way to the finish. During their race, teams will need to solve clues in their "Expedition Passport" to complete the event. In addition to the party, participants get a finishers' medal, a Champion tech T-shirt, a personalized race bib number, a 1-day 1-park ticket (that is not good at the Magic Kingdom), and a goody bag.

The Race for the Taste 10K and 3K (link) take place on Sunday, October 11 at Epcot. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K & 5K (link) take place on Saturday evening, October 24. Details on both of these events are still pending.

Registration for all three events is expected to open soon.


Party hats with streamers decorate alternate lampposts on Main Street, U.S.A. to go with the Celebrate Today banners. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


To help celebrate Pinocchio's 70th anniversary (and the release of the new DVD tomorrow), there is a Pinocchio-themed meet-and-greet in Town Square adjacent to City Hall. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Olszewski signing, Pin Celebration and other Gallery events

Popular artist and miniaturist Robert Olszewski will be at Walt Disney World for a signing event to celebrate the release (link) of the two newest additions to the Walt Disney World Main Street, U.S.A Collection on March 21 and 22. Olszewski (interviewed on MouseStation podcast Episode 127 and as a Thanksgiving bonus feature), will appear on Saturday, March 21 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 3 – 5 p.m. at the Main Street Gallery and on Sunday, March 22 from 3 – 5 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. In addition, select retail outlets at Walt Disney World will be selling the Olszewski PokitPals collection that weekend (listen to the Thanksgiving show for more information about Pokit Pals).

Pieces being released on those days are the Emporium with Car Barn and Main Street Cinema – Uptown Jewelers. The buildings in the collection are in "Z" scale (1:220), while characters and vehicles are in "N" scale (1:160). If you can't make it to the event but would like to purchase the sculptures, you can call Walt Disney Event Services at 407-827-7600 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EDT, Monday – Friday to have your name added to the Wish List. The waiting list closes at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 19. Requests will be fulfilled in order of receipt after the on-site sales are concluded. There is a limit of two of each item per guest.

But there are other Disney Gallery events coming up at Walt Disney World, as well. This coming Saturday, there will be a release of the Prime Time Donald Ink and Paint Cel (link) from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m. in the Animation Gallery at Disney's Hollywood Studios. If you order your cel through Disney Event Services (at the phone number above), you will be able to get the artists' signatures on your artwork. An exclusively designed pin is available with the first 750 orders placed for a framed cel only.

Friday, March 20 will mark the release of Vinylmation Urban Series 1 (link). The Vinylmations, available in 3- and 9-inch sizes, come in "blind" packages, with two complete sets of 12 and one "mystery chaser" in each display tray.

Saturday, April 25 marks the release of the highly-anticipated Space Suit Figment: Journey Into Imagination "big fig" sculpture (link). The edition, limited to 750 pieces, features a 6.5-inch-tall sculpture of the beloved purple dragon wearing his space suit and striking a hitchhiking pose, as in the original attraction. The release event will be held at Art of Disney in Epcot's Future World. A limited number of figures will be available for pre-order through Walt Disney Event services (again, same number as before). Limit is two figures per guest. Orders will be processed and charged on Friday, April 24, the day before the release event.

This year's Disney Pin Celebration, themed as The Museum of Pin-tiquities (link), takes place earlier than usual this year on June 26-28 at Epcot's World Showplace. The event, normally held in September, will celebrate the legendary "10,000" year history of Disney Pin Trading. The Disney Gallery Web site notes: "Presented in conjunction with the Epcot Committee For Celebrating Disney Pins, The Department of Tradeology and Fellowship of Happy Traders, this event will feature unique Disney pins created for the Museum's opening, Disney pin trading activities, a silent and live auction of artifacts direct from the Museum's vault and much more." Registration is now open for the event. The cost of admission is $115 per guest, not including theme park admission. If you register by March 25, you will receive a limited edition early registration pin. If you book by April 25, you will get an early booking discount price of $100.


The stage for Stitch's Supersonic Celebration is getting an overhanging roof. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


It's starting to look like the space in front of the Stitch stage will be a little claustrophobic. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


The construction in the restrooms and surrounding area near Star Traders and Auntie Gravity's has been completed. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Last days for Gaylord Palms special deep discounts!

Hurry! You've only got until tomorrow to book the special deep discounts that the Gaylord Palms Resort is offering to MousePlanet readers (link)! Most nights through the end of September, the resort has rooms at a low, low rate of $119 per night. That's even lower than Disney moderate resorts! Why stay off property? Because you can get luxury accommodations at moderate prices! These special low rates are available on the following nights:

  • February 23-28
  • March 4-6, 8-11, 15-17, 21-29
  • April 1-14, 17-19, 24-27
  • May 10-11, 15-16, 20-27
  • June 2-6, 9-17, 20-23, 28-30
  • July 1-19, 23-31
  • August 1-9, 13-15, 18-19, 22-27, 30-31
  • September 1-2, 7-8, 12-14, 17-20, 25-27

But remember, you've got to book these rates by tomorrow!


Barriers surround the rockwork between the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station and the entrance to Tomorrowland. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Meanwhile, over in Frontierland, the Diamond Horseshoe is getting some TLC. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Help us keep our menu listings up to date!

Did you know that MousePlanet now has menu listings (link) for all theme park restaurants at Walt Disney World and many resort restaurants? You can help us keep them up to date! Send your photos, scans or other copies of restaurant menus (no fair copying from other Web sites) to menus@mouseplanet.com (link).

A personal appeal to help babies through the March of Dimes, for the fourth year

I was informed recently that I was the top walker for the March of Dimes Northeastern New York region for 2008, and the #2 walker for all of Upstate New York (everything above Westchester and Rockland counties)! I couldn't have done it without the help of all of the wonderful MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners. Thank you so much! Now, the big challenge is to raise the bar in these tough economic times.

On April 26, I'll be walking for the fourth time to raise money for the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. I'm raising money for the cause because new parents should be able to bring their children home from the hospital, not bury them. Last year's total, raised through the generosity of friends, family, co-workers and MousePlanet readers, was $5,043.42. This year, our new target is $6,000. I think we can do that. I know that the economy is tough right now, but charitable causes are also hurting and in need of money.

For more information about why I'm walking, or to donate, please go to my fundraising page (link). Thanks for your consideration!


Work continues at Chef Mickey's. Photo by Bruce Danderline.


Aside from paving, landscaping and recreation space, the exterior of Bay Lake Tower appears complete. Photo by Bruce Danderline.

Quick takes …

…Three new additions to Downtown Disney debut this spring. TrenD, a boutique featuring urban-inspired fashions, opens late next week in the Marketplace, near Disney Pin Traders. Paradiso 37, the new restaurant originally to be known as "La Dolbe," opens this spring across from the former 8TRAX, featuring a menu representing the 37 countries of the Americas. Aerophile, the Florida version of Disneyland Paris' PanoraMagique balloon, also launches this spring, near the information booth at Downtown Disney West Side.

…Meanwhile, across from Aerophile's location, the Virgin Megastore will close May 31, a victim of falling CD and movie sales as more and more customers download their entertainment from the Internet or buy their disks from Internet retailers. Reports have Disney in talks with other retailers about filling the space, though other rumors have Disney turning the location into an larger ESPN Club and repurposing the current ESPN location along the Boardwalk.

…Liza Galvan ran away with the inaugural Disney's Princess Half Marathon, winning the race in 1 hour, 18 minutes and 18 seconds, over a minute ahead of second-place finisher Nadezhda Tuptova, who finished in 1:19:24. Firaya Sultanova finished third in 1:20:26. Masters Division winner Lilian Kroner finished in 1:22:25, nearly four minutes ahead of her nearest competition. The wheelchair division was won by Jacqui Kapinowski in 1:22:26. Nearly 11,000 women competed in races that included the Royal Family 5K and Princess Kids' Races.

…Disney's Animal Kingdom recently welcomed the birth of a colobus monkey, the first one to be born at the park. The baby, as yet unnamed, was born on February 17, and is already in the park with five other colobus monkeys (including its mother, Kabibi) along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in the Africa region.

…A manatee named Bock that was rescued as an orphan in the St. John's River in 2001 and helped to survive by specialists at the Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion at Epcot was returned to the wild back into the St. John's River on February 24. Bock is expected to reintegrate with other manatees.

…Longtime Walt Disney World spokesman Bill Warren has left the company after his position was eliminated on Friday. Warren, who worked at the resort for 14 years, had served in multiple positions and was vice president of government relations when he was let go. Warren is highly respected in the community, and has stated that he plans to stay in the area. We wish him well in his future endeavors.

…2010 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend events continue to fill up. Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge is now 90 percent full, while the Half Marathon is now 65 percent full. If you want to run these races, sign up now (link)!

…Not only can you join the MousePlanet and MouseStation Podcast groups on Facebook, or become a fan of MousePlanet or the MouseStation, you can also follow us on Twitter! You can follow WDW Resort Update editor Mark Goldhaber, the general MousePlanet feed and the MouseAdventure feed! If there's something special that you'd like to see us do on Facebook or Twitter, let us know!


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.
Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.

Coming soon

  • Feb. 15 – Mar. 30. Atlanta Braves Training Camp.
  • Mar. 14 – 15. UCA National All Star Cheerleading Championship (link).
  • Mar. 18 – May 31. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
  • Apr. 24 – 27. USASF/IASF Dance and Cheerleading World Championships (link).
  • May 17. Florida Half Ironman Triathlon (link).
  • May 22 – Jun. 14. Star Wars Weekends.
  • Sep. 20. Athletes for a Cure Triathlon (link).
  • Dec. 7 – 12. Pop Warner Super Bowl (link).
  • Jan. 7 – 10, 2010. WDW Marathon Weekend (link).

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • The Hall of Presidents – closed November 1 through July 4, 2009, major infrastructure upgrades, as well as for addition of President Barack Obama.

Epcot

  • Tutto Italia Ristorante – is now open, but will close at a date to be determined to be completely remodeled.
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure – closed for refurbishment January 5 – March 22.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – has again closed as such, and most likely will only be used as a Festival Center until a new sponsor is found.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • No currently scheduled refurbishments.

Animal Kingdom

  • No currently scheduled refurbishments.

Resorts

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – Phase 1 of the Kidani Village annex building for the Disney Vacation Club's Animal Kingdom Villas is expected to open in May 2009, with Phase 2 opening in September 2009. Jambo House construction is complete.
  • Yacht and Beach Club Resorts – Stormalong Bay pool area under refurbishment January 5 – late March. The pool will remain open, but sections will close one at a time for work. The three quiet pools will remain open during that time, and the Luna Park pool at the BoardWalk Resort, with its Keister Coaster water slide, will also be available during the work on the Flying Jib slide.
  • Bay Lake Tower at Contemporary Resort – Construction continues. The resort opens August 2009.
  • Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Construction continues. The resort opens June 2009.
  • Fort Wilderness Campground – Meadows pool area closed for refurbishment January 12 – March 13.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – Closed for its annual refurbishment October 26 through March 21. Major work is required on the wave generation machine.

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – performs Tuesdays – Saturdays.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Walt Disney World Buy 4, Get 3 Free deal!

From now until March 29, if you book a four-night, four-day non-discounted Magic Your Way package, you'll get three additional nights (including tickets) for free.

The offer is good for stays on most nights now-April 4 and April 19-August 15, 2009.

As a bonus, if you travel by March 29, you'll get a $200 Disney Gift Card that you can use to pay some of the costs during your stay. It's also valid at Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Store and disneyshopping.com.

Packages start at net prices of $53 per person per day for a family of four in a standard room at a Value Resort from February 13-April 4 (total package price $1,466). That price is based on families of two adults, one junior and one child.

Packages for other resorts and lengths of stay are also available.

Here's Disney's rundown on pricing and savings:

Disney Value Resorts Disney Moderate Resorts Select Disney Deluxe Resorts Select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts
$1,466 ($484 savings)
Feb. 13-April 4, 2009
$1,778 ($718 savings)
Feb. 13-April 4, 2009
$2,498 ($1,281 savings)
Feb. 13-April 4, 2009
$2,611 ($1,320 savings)
Feb. 16- April 4, 2009
$1,375 ($416 savings)
April 19-May 21, 2009
$1,666 ($634 savings)
April 19-May 21, 2009
$2,206 ($1,017 savings)
April 19-May 21, 2009
$2,363 ($1,135 savings)
April 19- May 21, 2009
$1,421 ($450 savings)
May 22 –June 27, 2009
$1,733 ($685 savings)
May 22-June 27, 2009
$2,206 ($1,017 savings)
May 22-May 25, 2009
June 2-June 27, 2009
$2,363 ($1,135 savings)
May 22 –June 27, 2009

Prices are based on two adults, one junior (ages 10 to 17) and one child (ages 3 to 9) in a standard room at a Value Resort, Moderate Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Deluxe Resort) or a studio at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (Deluxe Villa Resort). Savings are based on the non-discounted price of a 7-night/7-day Magic Your Way package. The discount code for this offer is IUZ.

To book these packages, go to the Walt Disney World Web site (link), call 407-939-7928 or contact one of MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers, Small World Vacations (link) and MouseEarVacations.com (link). Just remember to book by March 29!

Walt Disney World room-only deal for everyone!

From now until February 28, everyone can book a deep-discounted rate for reservations most Sunday through Thursday nights through April 2. Room rates start at prices of $74 per night for a standard room at a Value Resort from February 16-April 4. Rates at other resorts are also available.

Here's Disney's rundown on pricing:

Disney Value Resorts Disney Moderate Resorts Select Disney Deluxe Resorts Select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts
$74
Feb. 16-April 2, 2009
$124
Feb. 16-April 2, 2009
$229
Feb. 16-April 2, 2009
$244
Feb. 16- April 2, 2009

Prices do not include tax and are based on a standard room at a Value Resort, Moderate Resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (Deluxe Resort) or a studio at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa or Disney's Old Key West Resort (Deluxe Villa Resort). The discount code for this offer is OZ.

To book these packages, go to the Walt Disney World Web site (link), call 407-939-7545 or contact one of MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers, Small World Vacations (link) and MouseEarVacations.com (link). Just remember to book by February 28!

Disney Cruise Line offers "Kids at Half Off" deal

Disney Cruise Line now offering a "Kids at Half Off" promotion. The deal offers 50 percent off passage (plus government taxes and fees) for children ages 12 and under on three-night voyages when traveling with two full-fare paying passengers in the same cabin. The offer is valid on most sailings from April 11 through May 17 in a variety of stateroom cabins.

To book your "Kids Half Off" cruise, visit the Disney Cruise Line Web site (link), call 800-951-3532, or contact one of MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers, MouseEarVacations.com (link) or Small World Vacations (link) and make sure to use booking code "KHO." For more information on other discounted cruises from MouseEarVacations.com, check out their list of cruise discounts for MousePlanet readers here on the MousePlanet site.

Gaylord Palms drops prices again, now less than Disney moderates – last week!

The Gaylord Palms Resort has announced even deeper discounts for MousePlanet readers (link)! Most nights through the end of September, the resort has rooms at a low, low rate of $119 per night. That's even lower than Disney moderate resorts! Why stay off property? Because you can get luxury accommodations at moderate prices! These special low rates are available on the following nights:

  • February 23-28
  • March 4-6, 8-11, 15-17, 21-29
  • April 1-14, 17-19, 24-27
  • May 10-11, 15-16, 20-27
  • June 2-6, 9-17, 20-23, 28-30
  • July 1-19, 23-31
  • August 1-9, 13-15, 18-19, 22-27, 30-31
  • September 1-2, 7-8, 12-14, 17-20, 25-27

Discounted ECV rentals for MousePlanet readers through Scooter Vacations

Scooter Vacations, MousePlanet's mobility scooter rental partner, is offering MousePlanet readers a 10 percent discount on their scooter rentals by using code MP10 when making your reservation for any of their five scooter models.

Orlando Fun Tickets offering 5 days for the price of 3

For a limited time, MousePlanet discount ticket partner Orlando Fun Tickets is currently offering a free upgrade to a 5-day Park Hopper pass when you purchase a 3-day Park Hopper. Check out the special offer or any of the other great prices on tickets at OrlandoFunTickets.com!

Passholder rates for 2009 released

Passholder rates for February 15 – April 2, 2009 have been released, with value resorts starting at just $69 per night, moderate resorts starting at $114 per night. Select deluxe resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge) starting at $214 per night and studio accommodations at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa starting at $229 per night. The rates are valid most Sunday – Thursday nights during that period.

The number of rooms available is limited and minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. Reservations may be booked through the Passholder web site or by using code PYS if booking via the Passholder phone line (407-939-7722) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

Disney Cruise Line half-price deposits for online reservations, for a limited time

The Disney Cruise Line has announced a special deal where any bookings through the Disney Cruise web site (link) will only require payment of half of the usual deposit, with the other half due with the rest of the final payment. The offer is only good on new bookings, and for category 4-12 cabins only. The offer is available to those booking online or through their travel agents (though the travel agent would have to book the cruise through disneycruise.com for the offer). Bookings are also eligible for the standard $25 onboard credit offer for all online bookings. The deal is available "for a limited time," but there's no word on when the limited time expires. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.


Talk about this article and more, on the MousePad community forums.


(Send an email to Mark Goldhaber)

Mark (@MPMark) is a veteran of dozens of trips to Walt Disney World starting in 1972, with a few Disneyland trips thrown in for good measure. As a Disney stockholder and a Disney Vacation Club member, Mark is always in touch with what's going on with The Mouse. Mark serves as MousePlanet's Walt Disney World content coordinator. Mark is a senior information technology manager working for the State of New York. He lives in the suburbs outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son.