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MouseStation 316 - The New Disney Vacation Club Resorts

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In today's show, Mark and Mike talk about the three new DVC resorts opening at Walt Disney World this year, and a new restaurant at one of them.

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Thanks to our sponsors

Today's show is sponsored by:

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. A luxury hotel one mile from Walt Disney World, where special MousePlanet rates ALWAYS get you at least 15% off the normal rates available for the property, and right now you can get rates as low as $129 per night – that's about what you'd pay for a Disney moderate resort!

Advantage Vacation Homes. A great vacation home rental company that gives you a place to stay with lots more space than a regular hotel room for a lot less money.

Feature: New DVC Resorts

Mark and Mike talk about the three new DVC resorts opening at Walt Disney World this year, and a new restaurant at one of them.

Last Wednesday, Mark had the opportunity to tour the Treehouse Villas, Bay Lake Tower and Kidani Village, and to have a sampling lunch at Sanaa, the new restaurant at Kidani Village.

The first stop on Mark's tour was the Treehouse Villas, which opened to the public this past Monday, June 1. The Treehouses were built on the exact same spots as the previous Treehouse Villas. Mark had an opportunity to chat briefly with Imagineer Todd Thomasson about the new villas.


The exteriors of the Treehouse Villas look quite similar to what they used to look like. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The dining room and living room areas are quite comfortable, and feature pull-out beds. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The kitchens of the Treehouse Villas have lovely new surfaces, and the island houses the living area's flat screen television. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The bunk beds are a feature of one of the three bedrooms in the villa. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Next up was Bay Lake Tower, which opens in August. This is now the closest that you can stay to the Magic Kingdom. While there, Mark was able to grab a few minutes with Imagineering Senior Project Director Brian McFarland.


Looking out the living room window of the showplace Grand Villa at Bay Lake Tower presents a fabulous view of the Magic Kingdom. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


From the balcony of a Bay Lake view room, you can see the Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts in the distance, with the Contemporary Resort and monorail track in the foreground. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The view from the second-floor balcony in the room is also quite impressive. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The Bay Lake Tower grand villas perhaps have the largest laundry room of any accommodations on property. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


Imagineer Brian McFarland is also featured in the official promotional video for the resort, featuring "Deevy See."

Finally, it was off to the Kidani Village annex of the Animal Kingdom Villas, which opened to the public on May 1.


This proverb at the entrance to the Kidani Village annex foreshadows the large number of proverbs (with nearby butterfly decor) that will be found throughout the resort. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The lobby of Kidani Village, while still large and impressive, is much smaller and more welcoming than that of the Jambo House "main building" of the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The master bedroom is quite nice, with a comfortable bed. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The linens in the bedrooms at Kidani Village feature African-inspired prints in bright colors. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The view from savanna view rooms gets you up close with the animals. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The tour concluded with a sampling lunch at Sanaa, with a sampling of breads, salads and desserts wrapped around an entree of choice. The food was absolutely wonderful. The restaurant is certain to be a big hit.


Not only is the food at Sanaa delicious, the decor is lovely as well. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.


The windows at Sanaa look right out onto the savanna. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

What do you think? Let us know by sending us an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278)!

Thanks to Charles Stovall, Diego Parras, Diane Hancock and the Media Relations teams for Walt Disney World, Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Vacation Club for making the tours, the lunch and the interviews possible.

Twitter/Facebook poll questions

Here are the responses to some questions that Mark was asking on Twitter and Facebook in the last week. If you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

If you had to be stuck on a theme park attraction for 30 minutes, which would it be and why?

Haunted Mansion 8
Kilimanjaro Safaris 8
Toy Story Mania 6
Pirates of the Caribbean 5
Spaceship Earth 4
Soarin' 3
Space Mountain 2
Peter Pan 2
Tomorrowland Transit Authority 2
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters 2
Splash Mountain 2
Living with the Land 1
American Adventure 1
Mad Tea Party 1
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride 1
Mission Tortilla Factory 1
Expedition Everest 1
Indiana Jones Adventure 1
Horizons 1
  • Soarin!
  • It would have to be Pirates of the Caribbean or Spaceship Earth!!!! There's a ton to look at and I wouldn't get bored!!!
  • Kilimanjaro safari as long as animals are around to watch
  • space mountain - they turn on the lights or spaceship earth-they let you jump the carts and walk through the attraction
  • peter pan or pirates would be my choices
  • Kilimanjaro Safari - that would provide more time to capture pictures of the animals - watch, I would get stuck next to Little Red!
  • I can tell you which attraction I wouldn't want to be stuck on for 30 mins.... Small World! I wouldn't mind being stuck in Haunted Mansion for 30 mins. It's dark in there - -might get to catch a quick nap! :)
  • I've been stuck on Pirates already for over 30 minutes - pretty cool when they turned the lights on. Plus we got evacuated behind the scenes in the town section. So next I want to try Haunted Mansion - I want to be in the attic.
  • Kilimanjaro Safari, Spaceship Earth, or the TTA. It would be fun to get stuck on Toy Story Mania too, if you could keep playing the games!
  • Horizons
  • haunted mansion
  • Haunted Mansion--so many details to see, if you're stuck in a good spot and not going backwards toward the graveyard.
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. No contest. I'd finally be able to get Galactic Hero!
  • Spaceship Earth. It would be so cool to be in the Space Room at the top with the lights on!
  • Buzz Lightyear's astro blasters, at some point where I could get 1 million points. Now, I was on Ellen's Energy Adventure for more than half an hour, but that's just the ride. It just seems like you're stuck.....
  • Pirates!!!
  • Mr. Toad's Wild RIde at Disneyland -- great to walk through Hell -- and be able to keep going out! LOL 8=o)
  • TTA or Kilimanjaro Safari - those are my favorites! I can ride them endlessly and discover something new every time.
  • Pirates #1, Kilimanjaro Safari #2 (last time I was on it in May 2009, saw the most animals I'd ever seen).
  • Soarin or Peter Pan. Just "feels" Disney to me!
  • Oh I forgto to mention Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Space Mountain!
  • Splash Mountain! Great queue theming and music, great views of the magic kingdom (Cinderella castle - especially at night!), great sets and the great drop into the briar patch! My family's favorite ride!
  • Well, I've been stuck on several rides over the years...some much longer than 30 minutes! The WORST: strapped into a "Rocket Rods" vehicle for over an hour. The BEST: Haunted Mansion...DL had closed while we were stuck in the elevator, but we still got to ride thru, free passes, water and CM's escorting us afterwards through an empty park and down Main Street to exit! Got some great pictures!
  • Living With The Land -- hopefully in the greenhouse.
  • Kilimanjaro if the animals were out and about!
  • I would love to be on the Kilimanjaro Safari's with a seat in a row to myself so that I can slide back and and forth and watch the animals on both sides easily. Hopefully stuck in a spot with animals to watch.
  • The American Adventure...hey the music is great!
  • Haunted Mansion at the Dining Room scene, the Duel,the dancing.Just a great scene. I've gotten stuck at different scenes on both Coasts but never that one.
  • Toy Story Mania. I know you can't score points, but I need all the practice I can get.
  • Mad Tea Party, just so I'd have a war story to tell forever
  • Mission Tortilla Factory
  • I would definitely love to be stuck on TSM in front of one of the game screens. That way I have something to do.
  • Great question - I would have to say Haunted Mansion for a half hour - so much to look at and awesome music :)
  • it would have to be splash mountain right at the top of the big drop or on Everest right in front of the Yeti. Splash because you could get a ton of awesome photos and Everest for the same reason plus it would be kind of scary.
  • Soarin or Toy Story Midway Mania; I can't decide!
  • midway madness! of course, if it was functional.....
  • It would have to be the Haunted Mansion. There is so much going on that you can ride it over and over and see new things each time.
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Toy Story Mania because when the ride has a delay they let you keep playing (although the score doesn't count).
  • Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean, in either the bayou or the caves with the waterfalls: the smell and it evokes great memories.

What do you think?

If you were turned into an Animatronic character, which attraction would it be part of?

Pirates of the Caribbean 12
Carousel of Progress 7
Haunted Mansion 3
"it's a small world" 1
Great Movie Ride 1
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin 1
Innoventions 1
Spaceship Earth 1
Mickey Mouse Revue 1
Alice in Wonderland 1
Toy Story Mania 1
Imagination 1
Hall of Presidents 1
MuppetVision 3-D 1
The Adventures of Mary Poppins (oh wait...) 1
  • Small World
  • Great Movie Ride
  • The Adventures of Mary Poppins -- oh wait....
  • PotC!
  • Carousel of Progress. "It's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day!"
  • I would love to take Uncle Orville's spot in CoP
  • Madam Leota in the Haunted Mansion.
  • Pirates, you jucst can get enough of Jack Sparrow or "the Redhead"!
  • Pirates! That would be so great.
  • Roger Rabbit's CarToon Spin... close to Jessica! 8=o)
  • I'd be the example of what not to do in that new EPCOT Innoventions thing w/ the bank/finances.
  • I would love to be the ghost holding the candlabra in the long hallway. Does that Count? Or maybe in Carousel of Progress!
  • Pirates of the Caribean singing the theme song in the village.
  • Partying with the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion
  • Partying with the Pirates!
  • Pirates at the Auction as a buyer, so very wrong.
  • dream finder,imagination if he was still their
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Carousel of Progress. I considered it's a small world, but I think I'd go nuts singing that song over and over again...
  • pirates
  • I'd be the video-game-playing kid in the last scene of CoP!!!
  • I'd be chilling up in the box seats w/ Statler and Waldorf at Muppet Vision 3D
  • they just gotta need a new redhead one of these days!!!
  • Spaceship Earth. Preferably the AA rockin' the yellow tights and thigh-high boots.
  • mickey from the mickey mouse review
  • I'm sure I'd turn into the Cheshire Cat at Alice in Wonderland. `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves; Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
  • Carousel of Progess. A nice slow lifestyle.
  • Pirates! The guy that's auctioning off the bride.
  • name makes it obvious (kennypirate)
  • If I were an animatronic character I'd want it to be part of Toy Story Mania.
  • I would be an AA that is part of Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Good question. I pick Carousel of Progress.
  • definitely Pirates of the Caribbean. I can pretty much act out the ride for you at the drop of a hat.
  • Heh - my first thought was I'd become the the mom in the last scene of CoP - Rockin' early 90's style, doncha know.. :^)
  • Does that mean I have to burn diner (again)?

Again, if you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

March of Dimes

Mark's walk for the March of Dimes went well, though he did not make his goal. MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners made up more than half of the non-Mark-contributed money - thanks so much! The donations page should remain active through the end of the month, so you there's still time to donate, if you'd like. Just go to Mark's fundraising page and help to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely.

MouseAdventure at Walt Disney World, November 14

Don't forget that registration is now open for MouseAdventure Walt Disney World! Get your team ready and register now!

Also, don't forget to sign up for the MouseAdventure Newsletter, which will keep you informed as more details about MouseAdventure and the MouseAdventure on the High Seas cruise are announced!

Wrapping up

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