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Update for July 26, 2010 - August 2, 2010

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

News and Views

Grape Getaway offers high-end Food & Wine Festival experience | Ticket price hike coming this weekend?| Last Tour to Endor details released | Winter Holiday Event schedule released | Via Napoli to soft-open next Wednesday | Room reservations for Aulani open Sunday | Construction update | Quick takes

Grape Getaway offers high-end Food & Wine Festival experience

For those looking for the ultimate high-end experience during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Walt Disney World has created the Grape Getaway, a four-day vacation package that runs from October 24–27 and includes unique experiences and optional lodging. The package—which costs $2,203 (double occupancy), $2,504 (single occupancy), or $1,900 (no lodging included)—includes 3 nights lodging at the BoardWalk Inn (except for packages without lodging), a 4-day meeting/convention park pass with Park Hopper option, admission to all events, a signed festival cookbook, an exclusive Festival tote, wine glass, and much more.


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Events include a welcome dinner at the Atlantic Dance Hall, three meals for the second and third day, and a farewell champagne breakfast on the last day. Also included are a special truffle and winemaker dinner inside the Great Movie Ride, book signings, demonstrations, seminars, a cooking school at the California Grill, wine school with a master sommelier at the Festival Showcase, a special Tuesday night Party for the Senses, a dessert discovery viewing of Illuminations, and much more.

Full payment is due at the time of booking, and is fully refundable until 5 p.m. ET on September 24. After that time, no refunds will be given. For more information go to the special Grape Getway website (link), and to register go to the event registration website (link).

(Mouse)Adventure is Out There! Join us October 9!

Are you ready to earn more merit badges for your sash? We've released more information about our next MouseAdventure: World Explorers event, which takes place Saturday, October 9, 2010, at Disney's Animal Kingdom park.

The day begins with a breakfast before park opening at Restaurantosaurus, and concludes with a resort meet later that night to announce the results, with results posted on MousePlanet.com in the following week.

Registration is now open! Cost is $175 for a two-player team, plus $35 per additional player up to a total of four players per team. That registration fee gets you an early morning escort through the not-yet-opened park to breakfast, the breakfast itself, and the fantastic, fun-filled game. It does not include admission to Disney's Animal Kingdom park, which is your responsibility.

For more information about MouseAdventure and this event in particular, check out our MouseAdventure site and subscribe to our MouseAdventure newsletter.

Ticket price hike coming this weekend?

It's that time of year again that we expect the annual Walt Disney World ticket prices hike. Previously, price hikes took place in January, but in 2006 (the year of two price hikes) the price hikes were moved to the first Sunday in August to coincide with the release of vacation packages and hotel reservations for the following calendar year. If you're looking to buy a Walt Disney World theme park pass, now would be the time to do it. Price hikes have been traditionally released late on Friday, with the hikes taking place on Sunday.

The August price hikes usually affect Magic Your Way passes, annual, premium, and seasonal passes, but not water park passes (which usually go up around February).

If Disney stays true to form, the 2010 Dining Plans will be released over the weekend (with an incomplete list of participating locations, since operating participants have to sign onto the plans individually, requiring more time), as well as 2011 hotel rates and room-only discounts for passholders and the general public for the rest of 2010.

We expect to have the details of all of the news in next week's Update.

Last Tour to Endor party details released

More details have been released for the Last Tour to Endor party on August 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While not actually the last rides on Star Tours before the major reworking of the attraction( to replace the Endor itinerary with Digital 3-D itineraries to a pod race on Tatooine and to the Galactic seat of government on Coruscant), it does coincide with Star Wars Celebration V, which will take place in Orlando next month.

Entertainment at the event includes "Symphony in the Stars," a special Star Wars-themed fireworks spectacular; a "Death Star Disco;" live entertainment; Disney characters; a never-before-seen show, created just for the event; and a special edition of Hyperspace Hoopla, the traditional day-ending entertainment at Star Wars Weekends.

The Last Tour to Endor edition of Hyperspace Hoopla is expected to include:

  • Chewbacca (with his fur in a '50s pompadour), Han Solo and the Jawas performing a tune from the movie Grease
  • Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia dancing to a tune from Dirty Dancing
  • Queen Amidala, Ahsoka Tano, Zam Wessel, Aurra Sing, and other Star Wars ladies performing to Madonna's song "Vogue"
  • Darth Vader and his dancing stormtroopers dancing to a medley of Michael Jackson tunes

In addition to the entertainment, attendees (who can enter the Studios as early as 4 p.m. on their event ticket) will also be able to take advantage of after-hours visits to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, “The American Idol Experience,” Toy Story Mania, the Great Movie Ride and other attractions.

Tickets are currently still available (but going fast), and are $75 in advance and $89 at the gate (if available). For more information and to buy tickets (if there are any left), go to the Star Wars Celebration Web site (link).

Winter Holiday Event schedule released

Disney has announced this winter's Holiday events, and it looks very much like last year.

Castle Dreamlights will begin its nightly glow on November 8, the first night of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (link). The Party this year runs November 8, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 28, 30 and December 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 19. The special holiday events from the Party become standard daily entertainment in the Magic Kingdom beginning December 20.

Disney's Hollywood Studios gets into the act with the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, which runs from November 8 through January 3, 2011.

The rest of the theme parks begin their celebration on November 26, the day after Thanksgiving. Epcot again presents Holidays Around the World, featuring international storytellers, the Candlelight Processional and the special holiday tag to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Holidays Around the World runs through December 30. Isabella Rossellini is scheduled to narrate the opening nights of the Candlelight Processional. Other scheduled narrators include Whoopi Goldberg and Jodi Benson. The full lineup of narrators is expected to be released in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Disney's Animal Kingdom turns Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade into Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade from November 26 through January 3, 2011. There'll also be special holiday entertainment and meet-and-greets.

Downtown Disney won't be left out, either, as the Festival of the Seasons runs from November 19 through December 24, with Santa available for meet-and-greets daily November 19 through December 24.

The resorts will also be putting on their Christmas finery, including the famed gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian Resort and the gingerbread carousel at the Beach Club Resort.

Via Napoli to soft-open next Wednesday

Via Napoli, the new pizzeria/restaurant at Epcot's Italy pavilion, will be opening earlier than originally expected. Originally thought to be opening in September just before the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the restaurant will open next Wednesday, August 5, with a mid-day press event, and then will be in soft-open phase with walk-in dining only from then through September 9. Reservations will open on August 6 for dining from September 10 through the current maximum of advance reservations 180 days out (February 2 on August 5).

Despite the pizzeria aspect of the location, there will be no quick-service dining, only table service. The Disney Dining Plan will be accepted, though the number of credits required for a large (8-slice) and "mezzo metro" (12-slice) pizzas is still under discussion. The menu will not change between lunch and dinner, and the average check per person is expected to be $23.

Several varieties of classical Neopolitan pizzas will be available, including pizza bianca, quattro stagioni, piccante, ortolano and margherita.

Via Napoli is owned and operated by the Patina Restaurant Group, which also owns and operates Tutto Italia, adjacent to Via Napoli in the Italy pavilion, as well as three restaurants at California's Downtown Disney district: Tortilla Jo's, Catal Restaurant and Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria. The group also owns and operates a number of other restaurants in New York City and nationally.

Room reservations for Aulani open Sunday

Don't forget that non-members can start booking hotel rooms at the Disney Vacation Club-focused Aulani resort in Hawai'i on Sunday. Booking opens August 2, 2010 and the resort opens August 29, 2011, just over 13 months from today. Room rates start at $399 per night. Guests can choose from a variety of options, including ocean and garden views.

The resort will features age-specific programs for ages 3-10, pre-teens, teens, adults, and the entire family. Extensive water activities include a feature pool, a 900-foot "lazy river," a wading pool, body slides, hot tubs, a quiet adult pool, a snorkeling lagoon, and more. A kids' club and two restaurants are also available.

DVC members with home-resort ownership at Aulani can book their opening-night accommodations starting September 29, while all other DVC members can make reservations starting January 29, 2011.

To make a room reservation, visit the Disney Aulani website (link) or call 866-44-DISNEY (866-443-4763). Disney Vacation Club members will be able to use the DVC member phone number to make their reservations.

Construction update

Here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:

  • Magic Kingdom Fantasyland Expansion – relocation of tank.
  • Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland Stage – completion of construction.
  • Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – concrete work.
  • Magic Kingdom Space Mountain heat exchanger – mechanical work.
  • Magic Kingdom – repairs on Bridge #15.
  • Magic Kingdom Main Street buildings MO-3 and MO-5 – completion of construction.
  • Epcot planter beds at Main Entrance, Fountain Plaza, World Showcase Plaza, International Gateway, MouseGear and Wonders berm – installation of decorative set pieces for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
  • Epcot The Land pavilion Circle of Life – electrical work.
  • Epcot The Land pavilion – electrical work.
  • Epcot Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion manatee tank – electrical work.
  • Epcot Seas with Nemo and Friends manatee skylights – construction work.
  • Epcot Wonders of Life Dome – roof repairs.
  • Epcot Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros – electrical work.
  • Epcot United Kingdom Rose & Crown Pub & Restaurant – electrical work.
  • Epcot backstage marina maintenance building – electrical work.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Rock 'n 'Roller Coaster unload platform – construction work.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Soundstage 1 – completion of construction.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Flame Tree Barbeque – mechanical work.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Tusker House – mechanical work.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Mandrill building chiller – mechanical work.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Gorilla building #20 chiller – mechanical work.
  • Downtown Disney MarketPlace Team Mickey – completion of construction.
  • Downtown Disney MarketPlace – Bridge 1 improvements.
  • Contemporary Resort South Garden Wing – mechanical work.
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – electrical work.
  • Old Key West Resort room rehab laydown area – painting.
  • Port Orleans Riverside Resort Magnolia Bend building 95 (Parterre Place) arch – roof repairs.
  • Port Orleans French Quarter Resort buildings 1-6 – guestroom renovation.
  • Coronado Springs Resort Dig Site themed pool area – electrical work.
  • Caribbean Beach Resort Old Port Royale pool slide structure – plumbing work.

Quick takes …

…The official event website for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is now online (link).

…The Disney Vacation Connection desktop widget, which had a somewhat abortive launch back in May (link), was relaunched (more successfully) this week. The free widget, which runs on both PCs and Macs, allows you to see news, videos, weather, park hours, events and vacation planning tips. There appears to be some difficulty yet with the park hours functionality, but you can expect that to be corrected soon.. You can also set up a vacation countdown clock. The app includes content for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Vacation Club, and the DVC resorts located away from theme park resorts. To check it out, go to www.DisneyVacationConnection.com (link).

…If you're not a native English speaker or you just want to learn other languages, you can now get your wake-up calls in multiple languages at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, as well as Disney's Vero Beach and Hilton Head Island DVC resorts. After you dial for a wake-up call, you'll be prompted to choose between English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese. If you like, you can even try out different languages during your stay to find out what Disney characters sound like in another language.

…The Orlando Sentinel's Jason Garcia reported last week (link) that Walt Disney World has modified the software behind the "Magic in Motion" system employed by Disney bus drivers to prevent drivers from entering information while the bus is in motion. The changes were made in response to complaints from bus drivers that the computers were distracting them from paying attention to their driving. In addition to the software changes, Disney issued written guidelines as to appropriate locations to both radio dispatchers and enter information into the computers. Disney is still working to completely automate the system to avoid the need for radioing dispatchers and entering location codes.

…Adventures by Disney has announced 25 itineraries for its 2011 season, including two new trips to Egypt. The Egyptian trips are for 8 days/7 nights and 10 days/9 nights. Several of the returning itineraries have already sold out and are accepting names for a wait-list. For more information on 2011 season itineraries, including pricing, dates and availability, go to the Adventures by Disney website (link).

…Walt Disney World is now promoting a new "meatball-beer" bar at Portobello in Downtown Disney, where you can select your choice of four gourmet meatball sliders and accompany them with locally brewed and organic beers. The slider choices, served on a soft mini-roll and topped with tomato-basil sauce and freshly-grated Parmesan, are beef and veal with parsley, spicy pork, chicken with sage and salmon with tarragon. All are $1.95 each, except for the salmon which runs $2.95. The seven microbrews from Orlando Brewing are all $5.95.

…West Coasters will have an additional option for their visits to Walt Disney World starting this fall. Virgin America will start non-stop service to Orlando International Airport from Los Angeles and San Francisco on October 6. Los Angeles travelers can choose from four daily flights, while San Francisco will feature two flights each day. The service was originally scheduled to start in August.

…The new backdrop for character meet-and-greets at Epcot's Mexico pavilion has been completed. The location, off to the right of the Mexico pavilion itself, is themed to an ancient temple.

…There's an interesting Captain EO-themed promotion going on at the new Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek resort this summer. Guests who wear a white sequin glove during check-in during the months of July and August get a complimentary "Disney-view" upgrade. Rates start at $139 per night.

…The 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon is 50 percent full, the Half Marathon is 70 percent full, and the Goofy Race–and–a–Half Challenge is 55 percent full. If you’re interested in participating in these races, now’s the time to sign up! You can register at the official Walt Disney World Marathon Web site (link).

…The Inaugural Disney Wine & Half Marathon and the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Relay have both reached capacity. The Kids Races are 55 percent full, and you can also still register for the Mickey's Halloween Family Fun Run 5K. Both adult events will take place at the Walt Disney World Resort on October 2 at 10:00 p.m. on a brand new marathon course. For more information, go the ESPN Wide World of Sports Web site (link).

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Coming up

  • June 6 to August 14: Summer Nightastic! (link).
  • July 14-27: ESPN RISE Games (link).
  • August 27-29: Disney's Pin Celebration: Trade City, U.S.A. (link).
  • September 14, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, and 30, October 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, and 31, and November 1. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (link).
  • September 5: Trek Women's Triathlon (link).
  • September 10-11: Night of Joy (link).
  • October 1-2: Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon (link).
  • October 1 to November 14: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • October 9. MouseAdventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom (link).
  • November 8, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 28, and 30, December 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 19. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (link).
  • November 11-14: Children's Miracle Network Classic (link).
  • November 12-14: Festival of the Masters (link).
  • November 25-28: Old Spice Classic (link).
  • December 4-11: Pop Warner Football Championships (link).
  • January 6-9, 2011: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (link).
  • February 25-27, 2011: Disney's Princess Half Marathon

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Ariel's Grotto – closed permanently to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • Pooh's Playful Spot – closed permanently to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • Scuttle's Landing – closed permanently to make way for the Fantasyland Forest makeover.
  • it's a small world – closed for refurbishment August 1 through October 22.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment August 16 through August 25.

Epcot

  • Cantina de San Angel – closed for major renovation, tentatively set to re-open September 24 as Hacienda de San Angel. Taqueria Del Lago remains open.
  • Via Napoli – new pizzeria under construction, soft-opens August 5.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Star Tours – closed for refurbishment September 8, 2010 through May 16, 2011.
  • Toy Story Mania – closed for refurbishment August 16 through August 28.
  • One Man's Dream – closed for refurbishment August 16 through November 2.

Animal Kingdom

  • Flame Tree Barbeque – closed August 9 through September 19.

Resorts

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed October 31, 2010 through January 8, 2011 for refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach – closed starting January 9, 2011 through March 19, 2011 for refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • Lake Buena Vista Golf Course – closed Mondays only June 21 through July 26 for refurbishment. Closed August 16 through August 22.
  • Magnolia Golf Course – closed Wednesdays only June 23 through July 28 for refurbishment. Closed August 9 through August 15.
  • Palm Golf Course – closed Tuesdays only June 22 through July 27 for refurbishment. Closed August 2 through August 8.
  • Osprey Ridge Golf Course – closed Thursdays only June 24 through July 29 for refurbishment. Closed August 23 through August 29.
  • Oak Trail Golf Course – Closed August 30 through September 3.
  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays.
  • McDonald's at Downtown Disney – closed permanently; the location is being converted to Pollo Campero, opening this fall.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Room-only discount rates available for Passholders and the general public through mid-August

Everyone can save 15 to 30 percent off your room rates for stays from May through mid-August. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.

For any stay from May 2 through August 14, you get some great discounts:

  • Value resorts: 15 percent off
  • Moderate resorts: 20 percent off
  • Deluxe Resorts: 25 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 30 percent off.

The deal can be booked from now through the day of your arrival. The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World web site (link) or by using code ID6 if booking via the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-7515) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

If you're a Passholder, you can get even deeper discounts. Passholders can save 30 to 40 percent off their room rates for stays at Walt Disney World this summer. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.

For any stay from June 3 through August 14, you get some great discounts:

  • Value resorts: 30 percent off
  • Moderate resorts: 35 percent off
  • Deluxe Resorts: 40 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 40 percent off.

The deal can be booked from now through your day of arrival. The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World Passholder web site (link) or by using code KD5 if booking via the special reservations phone line for this offer (407-939-5684) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Room-only discount rates available for Passholders and the general public through October 2

Everyone can save 15 to 30 percent off your room rates for stays from August 15 through October 2. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.

For any stay from August 15 through October 2, you get some great discounts:

  • Value resorts: 30 percent off
  • Moderate resorts: 30 percent off
  • Deluxe Resorts: 40 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 40 percent off.

The deal can be booked from now through the day of your arrival. The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World web site (link) or by using code ID6 if booking via the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-7515) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

If you're a Passholder, you can get even deeper discounts. Passholders can save 35 to 42 percent off their room rates for stays at Walt Disney World this fall. Rates vary depending on your dates of travel and the resort category at which you are staying.

For any stay from August 15 through October 2, you get some great discounts:

  • Value resorts: 35 percent off
  • Moderate resorts: 35 percent off
  • Deluxe Resorts: 42 percent off
  • Deluxe Villa Resorts: 42 percent off.

The deal can be booked from now through your day of arrival. The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World Passholder web site (link) or by using code SIA if booking via the special reservations phone line for this offer (407-939-7617) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Kids Stay and Play Free offer for the general public extended

The "Kids Stay, Dine and Play Free" offer that has been available to Disney Rewards Visa cardholders has now been extended to the general public, but without the "Dine" part of the offer. Additionally, the "stay" portion of the deal really doesn't have much value, since the cost of the room doesn't change whether there are kids in the room or not but the free park passes may provide some needed relief in your travel budget.

The general public offer is good from May 2 through October 2 (you must book by August 14).

In the new offer, kids ages 3 to 9 staying in the same room as an adult (limit four guests per room) can get free standard Magic Your Way passes for the length of the vacation package. Reservations may be made by using code BF4.

The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. To reserve a package, you can book online (link), call the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line for this offer (407-939-7905) or contact a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Military discount

Active and retired U.S. Military personnel can save up to 40 percent on rooms at select Disney resorts for most nights through September 30. This discount must be booked by July 31. Reservations may be made by using code OUQ (room only), OUR (with Quick Service Dining Plan), OUS/OUT (with regular Dining Plan), or OUU (with Deluxe Dining Plan).

The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. To reserve a room with the Military discount, call the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-7607) or contact a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Free dining extended for selected dates through late December

Walt Disney World extended its free dining offer for “select arrival dates,” originally available through October 2, to run through late December, and although Disney's Web page only lists Value and Moderate resorts for the discount, it is also available at Deluxe and Deluxe Villas resorts. The offer has a number of "blockout dates," so you may need to shift your arrival date one direction or another to qualify for the promotion. According to Mouse Ear Vacations travel agent Mary Kraemer, the offer is valid for arrivals from August 15 to October 7, October 22–28, November 12–18, November 27 to December 2, and December 10–21.

To qualify, you must purchase a non-discounted Magic Your Way package (hotel room and length-of-stay admission ticket) for each member of your party. If you book at:

  • A Deluxe or Standard Resort – Receive the Disney Dining Plan: One table-service meal, one quick-service meal, and one snack per day for each member of your party (ages 3 and up)
  • A Value Resort – Receive the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan: Two quick-service meals and two snacks per day for each member of your party (ages 3 and up), plus a refillable mug to use at your hotel.

The booking deadline remains August 14. The deal can be booked from now through the day of your arrival. The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World web site (link) or by using code TF5 if booking via the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-7918) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (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.