Those lamenting the presence of McDonald's at Walt Disney World have been enjoying the departure of the in-park fry carts and other locations. There's a bigger move coming, though. On April 30, the full McDonald's restaurant at Downtown Disney shuts its doors permanently, with Latin chicken quick-service restaurant chain Pollo Campero replacing its location at the western edge of the Downtown Disney Marketplace and opening in late 2010.
Pollo Campero (link), an international chain, has partnered with franchisee Levy Campero (a subsidiary of Levy Restaurants, which already operates Fulton's Crab House, Portobello and Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe at Downtown Disney, to introduce Disney tourists to the chain's Latin chicken, yuca fries, and plantains. The menu will also include salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Congratulations to the Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Drew Brees! After the game, Brees recorded the 42nd in the series of "I'm Going to Disney World!" commercials. He will be at the Magic Kingdom today for a celebratory ticker-tape parade at 11:55 a.m.
There's a new sheriff in town at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Kevin Lansberry, who took the park's Vice President job just last August, is moving over from running Downtown Disney. Two months later, Lansberry also gave up his responsibility for the resorts Transportation Department. The new boss is Michael Colglazier, who most recently was Vice President of Disney Photo Imaging, helping to create and build Disney's PhotoPass service. Lansberry will be moving up to a new position as senior vice president of Worldwide Travel Operations.
Colglazier first started with Disney in 1990 as an analyst in the Corporate Strategic Planning department, moving to a project management position at Disneyland with Walt Disney Imagineering in 1993 before leaving the Walt Disney Company for a stint at management consulting company Bain & Company. He returned to Disney in 2000 as General Manager at both Epcot and Disneyland, overseeing the installation of Innoventions at both parks. In 2003, he became vice president of Operations Strategy & Technology before moving to Photo Imaging in 2007.
We wish both luck in their new positions.
Guests aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship will have a few less hours to spend in Nassau starting next month. Effective March 4, the ship departs 30 minutes earlier, and guests guests must re-embark at 5:00 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m. Nassau is not a scheduled port of call on the Disney Magic's scheduled 7-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.
A stunt show performer was injured last Wednesday at the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show. The injury occurred during a stunt where the stuntman was supposed to jump off of a motorcycle, swing on a crane and jump onto a jet ski. Instead, the performer landed awkwardly and injured his lower leg. The stuntman was taken to Celebration Hospital, but the injury is not believed to be serious. The performer has been with the show since it opened.
Since stunt shows are inherently dangerous to perform, despite all precautions taken, do you consider minor injuries newsworthy? Obviously, serious injuries in stunt shows—such as the death of a stunt performer at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular last summer—are worthy of coverage, but it's likely that most news outlets would not have covered the incident had it not taken place at Walt Disney World. What do you think? Do you want these incidents to be reported even if it's a minor injury?
In noting last week that there are now green-screened images on TV monitors along the speedramp at Space Mountain's exit, we said that the wall permitting the green-screen effect was "go-away" green. The color used is actually called "chromakey" green. "Go-away" green is actually used to make building exteriors less noticeable.
In the story (last week) about the mother of Austin Wuennenberg suing Disney Parks & Resorts alleging the wrongful death of her son in last summer's monorail accident, the story noted that "The suit seeks an excess of $15,000." The story should have said "in excess of $15,000." In response to reader questions, that does not mean that she was seeking $15,000. Seeking damages in excess of $15,000 is a legal indication that the amount sought exceeds that threshold.
On April 25, I will once again be walking 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. Over the last four years, largely through the generosity of MousePlanet readers, we have managed to raise over $15,000. This year, let's do something special. My personal goal is to raise $5,000 this year. But you can help in ways other than donating to my walk. This year, for the first time, you can walk with me. Even if you aren't in the Albany, NY area, you can virtually walk with me by joining Team MousePlanet and walking at the March for Babies in your own area. For more information about why I'm walking, or to donate to my walk, please go to my fundraising page (link). To sign up to join Team MousePlanet, please go to the team page (link). Join me and help be a part of saving babies! Let's show how big a heart MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners have!
Here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
…Dinner at Cinderella Castle is a bit different as of last night. Cinderella will welcome diners in the downstairs lobby before they enter the restaurant, posing for photos and signing autographs. Other princesses will join you upstairs in the dining room. All meals will now go by the name of Fairy Tale Dining at Cinderella's Royal Table. There's been no word of changes at Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort, and no word on how they'll explain that Cinderella is in two places at once.
…If you're looking for a place to find all of the ways to connect with official Disney Parks social media channels, they've put together a Web page with links to all of those channels (link).
…The D23 "Flowers and Fireworks" event at Walt Disney World has been moved up a couple of weeks. Originally scheduled for May 29-30, the event will now take place May 15-16.
…In honor of the 25th anniversary of Disney Magic Music Days at Walt Disney World, Disney artists have painted five one-of-a-kind stand-up basses that will be auctioned off on June 25 to benefit the music education programs of the Grammy Foundation. The basses were donated by Conn-Selmer, Inc., the leading bass manufacturer. For more information, go to the Disney Art for Music Web site (link).
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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.
Walt Disney World has announced an offer that will give you a free Disney Gift Card select vacation packages. The offer is good on vacation packages of five days or longer, and the size of the gift card varies depending on the resort category at which you are staying.
Stays at at Value resorts get you a free $300 gift card per room (essentially $60 per night), Moderate resorts qualify for a $500 gift card per room ($100 per night) and Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts qualify for $750 per room ($150 per night). Obviously, the per-night average decreases for longer stays.
The deal is good for stays through June 3, 2010, with blackout periods depending on resort category, and can be booked from now through March 27, 2010. The eligible nights are:
The gift cards can be used for merchandise, recreation, dining, special event tickets, sports, recreation, tours and more at participating locations throughout Walt Disney World.
The number of rooms available at these rates are limited. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World web site (link) or by using code QGX if booking via the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-7607) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).
Now is a great time for families to book a Disney cruise, as the Disney Cruise Line has announced a "Kids Sail Free" promotion for most 3- and 4-night Bahamian sailings from through April 15, 2010 and 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings from April 24 through May 26, 2010.
Children age 17 and under can sail free when traveling with two full-fare guests in the same stateroom, though government taxes and fees must still be paid for the kids. The offer applies to stateroom categories 4 through 12 and the number of stateroom categories are limited. Other special offers, discounts or onboard credits to not apply, though additional terms and conditions may apply.
Reservations may be booked through the Disney Cruise Line Web site (link), via the Disney Cruise Line Reservations phone line (800-951-3532) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link). You must use booking code KFO to receive this deal.
(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.