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Update for January 3 – 8, 2012

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

News and Views

One More Disney Day provides 24 hours of parks, as well as sweepstakes and discount | Stay-three-get-one-free offer for two weeks in February/March | Passholder discounts available through March | Cruise Line releases info on Port Canaveral port adventures | Tables in Wonderland hosts another exclusive Discovery Dinner in January | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd update

One More Disney Day provides 24 hours of parks, as well as sweepstakes and discount

In celebration of 2012 being a leap year, Disney has created the "One More Disney Day" promotion, based on the supposition that—if there's an extra day in the year—why not spend the extra day at a Disney theme park?


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One aspect of the promotion will be keeping the Magic Kingdom park (and Disneyland Park) open for 24 hours straight starting at 6:00 a.m. local time on February 29 (though, as of last night, the calendar on the resort's website still had Magic Kingdom open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.). The Magic Kingdom will likely do a "hard close" at 6:00 a.m. on March 1 (all guests will be pushed out through the gates with no opportunity for dawdling or shopping) and then reopen at 8:00 a.m. for Extra Magic Hours, unless that portion of the calendar is changed, as well.

In addition, the Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes is giving away a four-night Disney Parks vacation for four people everyday from January 1 through February 29. Adults in the U.S. and Canada can enter online . You can also enter once a day by sending a text message with the key word DISNEYDAY to 347639 (Disney) to enter.

"We're honored that so many guests have shared their Disney memories with us as part of 'Let the Memories Begin', and I'm pleased to announce that the campaign will continue throughout 2012," said Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs said. "To celebrate, for the first time ever, the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Parks will remain open for 24 hours on leap day, so that our guests can take advantage of every minute of their extra day to make memories with friends and family."

Stay-three-get-one-free offer for two weeks in February/March

In connection with the "One More Disney Day" promotion for leap day, Disney has released a "One More Disney Day and Night – Free" discount for stays from February 26 through March 10. If you book a non-discounted Magic Your Way package of at least three nights with an arrival date most nights February 26 through March 10, you receive an additional night for free. The offer can only be applied once per package or reservation, and excludes suites.

You must book this discount by January 31. The rooms available at these rates are limited, and no other group rates or discounts apply.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1920 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code J6R. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Passholder discounts available through March

Disney has released a Passholder discount for most nights from January 2 through March 8. Discounts are 35 percent for select Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa accommodations, and 30 percent for Value resorts from Sunday through Thursday nights.

As with most Passholder discounts, you can book this discount up through your arrival date, if discounted rooms are not yet sold out by then. The rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas are not included.

You can make your reservation through the Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7731 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code H5L. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Send us your menu photos

Click on the "Dining" section from our Walt Disney World Guide to see our complete list of of the park restaurant menus from Walt Disney World. Please help us keep the menus up to date! Send photos or scans of park menus to menus@mouseplanet.com to help us keep our listings updated.

Cruise Line releases info on Port Canaveral port adventures

Disney Cruise Line has released some preliminary information about how day transfers to Walt Disney World will work during the 8-night Bahamian cruises aboard the Disney Magic when it sails from New York this summer. A one-day Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation to the parks are included in the price of the cruise. Your Key to the World card will actually function as your park pass. However, the pass is only valid on the day that the Magic is docked in Port Canaveral. You can't use it any other day before or after your cruise.

Tranportation options to and from Walt Disney World will be available as a Port Adventure selection when you reserve your cruise activities online in the "My Cruise Activities" section of the Disney Cruise Line website. You will be able to select your departure time and theme park to which you want to be transported. The departure schedule is still finalized. Once at the resort, you'll be able to park hop as much as you like, and return transportation to the ship will begin at 3:30 p.m. from all four theme parks. The last buses depart to Port Canaveral at 8:00 p.m. from Disney's Animal Kingdom, 10:00 p.m. from Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, and 11:00 p.m. from Magic Kingdom.

In addition to "at your leisure" park touring, several enhanced park port adventures are available for additional charge, including VIP tours aimed at young families and thrill seekers; a customizable option is also available. Also available are the Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom and an Illuminations Dessert Party. Non-Walt Disney World port adventures from Port Canaveral include a shuttle to Cocoa Beach, a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and an airboat adventure on the St. Johns River and into the Tosohatchee Wildlife Area.

Information on all of the Port Canaveral port adventures is now available at the Disney Cruise Line website. The first date to reserve activities for the 8-day Bahamian cruises from New York is January 26.

Tables in Wonderland hosts another exclusive Discovery Dinner in January

Tables in Wonderland, the discount dining program available to Annual Passholders and Florida residents, is hosting another in its series of Discovery Dinners next week:

A program announced for Thursday, January 19 is another Discovery Dinner at The Wave … of American Flavors at the Contemporary Resort, with a 6:30 p.m. reception and 7:00 p.m. dinner. The $92 price includes tax and gratuity. Appetizers are paired with wine during the reception, and dinner features an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert, with a wine pairing for each course. This month's dinner celebrates Central Florida's strawberry season and features Lott Farms, located just west of Plant City, Florida. The event is limited to 40 attendees.

Dishes during the reception include Thompson Farm Pulled Pork Slider with Plant City Barbeque Sauce and Cypress Grove Sheep’s Milk Cheese; Strawberry Tea Poached Beef Short Rib with Sweet Shiraz Puree and Truffle Oil; and Strawberry Champagne with Wild Caught Shrimp and Mint Syrup, paired with MOMO Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand. Dinner starts with an appetizer of Myakka Heirloom Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, Aged Balsamic Strawberries and Odessa, Florida Tiny Opal Basil, paired with La Craie Vouvray, Chenin Blanc, from France. It will be followed by a salad of Felsmere, Florida Bordeaux Spinach, Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, Marcona Almonds and Aged Feta, accompanied by Bethel Heights, Pinot Gris, from Oregon

The evening's entree will be Lightly Smoked Duck Breast, Strawberry Gastrique, Risotto with Braised Rhubarb and Celery, Roasted Winter Vegetables. It will be served with Torbreck “Woodcutter” Shiraz, from Australia. A dessert trio features Strawberry-Champagne Sorbet; No Sugar Added Strawberry Panna Cotta; and Brown Sugar Glazed Pound Cake with Strawberry Tuile, all paired with Trinitas Moscoto, from California.

Dress is casual evening attire.

To request a reservation to either event, send an e-mail to Tables in Wonderland (link) with your interest, name, daytime phone number, home address, and the number of people in your party. Reservations are first-come, first-served. You will need to provide your credit card number over the phone at the time of confirmation.

Construction update

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

  • Magic Kingdom Madame Leota Cart – construction.
  • Epcot Italy pavilion – construction.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom cast parking – construction.

Quick takes …

…Registration for the Expedition Everest Challenge on May 5 is now open.

…Registration for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler opens February 14.

…Registration is open for events for the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon (scheduled for the weekend of February 24 to 26). The Princess Half Marathon is 82 percent full, the Royal Famly 5K is 56 percent full, and the Royal Family Kids' Races are 73 percent full.

…The sold-out 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend takes place this coming weekend. While it's too late to sign up for this year (there are very few spots remaining for the Pasta in the Park Party on Thursday night), we expect the first information about signing up for 2013 will be released early next week, if not over the weekend.

Crowd update

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Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, to help you better plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."

Expect a much lighter week this week than the last two weeks, but crowds might still be moderately heavy given the short holiday week and the Marathon over the weekend. TouringPlans.com can help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls, and will help you avoid the dreaded tour groups, with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. Now more than ever, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

Date Overall
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 8 / 10
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 7 / 10
Thursday, January 5, 2012 6 / 10
Friday, January 6, 2012 6 / 10

Crowds will be moderate this entire week. Check out the Disney World Park Crowd Levels page on TouringPlans.com for park-specific predictions and recommendations on which days to visit and avoid particular parks!

  • This is your last week to enjoy the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
  • If you're going to visit Animal Kingdom, visit Friday or Sunday.
  • Following a Touring Plan is important when crowd levels spike at the park you're visiting!

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disney World wait times on your iPhone, Android or smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

 

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Coming up


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Mickey's Toontown Fair – closed permanently to make way for Fantasyland expansion.
  • Main Street Fire House – closed; reopens as headquarters for the new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom interactive game early this year.
  • Plaza Ice Cream Parlor – closed for refurbishment January 4 to March 27.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – closed for refurbishment January 9 to May 27.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – closed for refurbishment and moving to Storybook Circus January 9 to February 17.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment January 28 to February 3.
  • Main Street Electrical Parade – is not performed January 20 to February 10.
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin – closed for refurbishment February 26 to March 10.

Epcot

  • House of Innoventions – closed through May for conversion to "green home."
  • Tutto Italia – closed January 7 to April 30.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Fantasmic – is not performed January 9 to February 12.
  • Studio Backlot Tour – closed for refurbishment February 13 to March 10.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure – closed for refurbishment February 13 to March 10.

Animal Kingdom

  • Kali River Rapids – closed for refurbishment January 23 to February 9.

Resorts

  • Grand Floridian Spa – closed through mid-2013 for refurbishment.
  • Grand Floridian Spa – the canal near Disney's Wedding Pavilion will undergo cleaning January 3-6.
  • Grand Floridian Spa – Basin White shop windows will be replaced from January 23-27.
  • Contemporary Resort – main tower corridor lighting enhancements take place through January 13.
  • Contemporary Resort – repainting and carpet replacement on the Fantasia level of the Convention Center will take place through January 4.
  • Contemporary Resort – main tower balcony wall panel refinishing will take place from January 16 to March 30.
  • Polynesian Resort – Portions of the beach will be worked on one at a time for sand renourishment January 4-16.
  • Polynesian Resort – rockwork clear coat will be applied at Nanea Volcano Pool from January 9 to February 21.
  • Polynesian Resort – Great Ceremonial House atrium ceiling steel refinishing and skylight fabric replacement February 27 to March 23.
  • Wilderness Lodge – Teton Boat and Bike Rental marina dock deck boards will be replaced January 30 to February 17.
  • Wilderness Lodge – metal roof seams will be recoated from January 30 to June 29.
  • Wilderness Lodge – exterior decorative timbers will be repaired and replaced from February 13 to March 12.
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – repaving of the Jambo House Bus Stop lane will take place from February 22 to March 21.
  • Animal Kingdom Villas – the Kidani Village Pool Slide at the Samawati Springs Pool will be closed from January 9 to February 3. The pool will remain open. Guests may use the pool slide at Jambo House.
  • Yacht Club Resort – building exterior will be repaired and refinished through August 3.
  • Yacht Club Convention Center – lobby refurbishment will take place through March 2.
  • Yacht Club Resort – stamped concrete walkways will be restained January 9-31.
  • Yacht Club Resort – rooftop HVAC hot water piping will be replaced January 9 to September 28.
  • Yacht & Beach Club Resorts – rockwork at Stormalong Bay Pool will receive touchup painting January 9 to February 21.
  • Beach Club Villas – guest room door locks will be replaced January 3-11. Letters will be placed in the rooms advising Guests the door locks will be replaced. Guests will not need to get new keys as their existing Key to the World cards will work with the new lock.
  • Beach Club Resort – guest room door locks will be replaced January 12 to February 1. Letters will be placed in the rooms advising Guests the door locks will be replaced. Guests will not need to get new keys as their existing Key to the World cards will work with the new lock.
  • Yacht Club Resort – guest room door locks will be replaced February 2-22. Letters will be placed in the rooms advising Guests the door locks will be replaced. Guests will not need to get new keys as their existing Key to the World cards will work with the new lock.
  • BoardWalk Resort – exterior staircase slate replacement (from the Lobby level back porch area to the BoardWalk shopping/dining level) will take place from December 5, 2011, to January 27.
  • BoardWalk Resort – roadway rejuvenation will take place from the main entrance road to the bus stop area and through the Conference Center exit area from February 22 to March 21.
  • Old Key West Resort – lobby and Olivia's buildings will undergo metal roof repairs February 23 to May 16.
  • Old Key West Resort – bus and picnic shelters will undergo wood truss repair and repainting Februay 9 to March 30.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort – villa buildings will undergo exterior cleaning and painting one at a time between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through August 30.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort – the Performance Center building will undergo shingle roof replacement through January 27.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort – rockwork painting will occur at High Rock Springs Pool from February 9 to April 24.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort – the Carriage House lobby will be repainted from February 21 to April 16.
  • Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – the main commercial building will have its flat roof replaced through March 30.
  • Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – the perimeter roadway will undergo rejuvenation from January 3-6.
  • Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – the entry fence will be replaced January 9 to February 6.
  • Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – stamped concrete near the commercial building will be replaced January 9 to February 2.
  • Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – buildings 6 & 7 parking lots will undergo roadway rejuvenation from January 13 to March 13.
  • Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – building 3 parking lot will undergo rejuvenation February 27 to April 27.
  • Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Alligator Bayou buildings will receive exterior repainting two at a time through March 30.
  • Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – roadway rejuventation will take place in various sections throughout resort from January 3-6.
  • Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Alligator Bayou buildings 14 & 15 parking lots will undergo resurfacing January 3-9.
  • Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Magnolia Bend building 90 will undergo building and room refurbishment from January 15 to February 17, for conversion to Royal Princess Rooms.
  • Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Magnolia Bend building 80 will undergo exterior repair and repainting from February 16 to April 19.
  • Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Magnolia Bend building 95 will undergo building and room refurbishment from February 19 to March 23.
  • Coronado Springs Resort – Casitas 1 plaza fountain wall and coping repairs will take place January 10 to February 7.
  • Coronado Springs Resort – roadway rejuvenation will take place from the entrance road to the porte cochere from January 3-6.
  • Coronado Springs Resort – Ranchos buildings will experience tile roof repair and replacement from January 9 to July 27.
  • Fort Wilderness Cabins – concrete pad repairs will take place January 17 to February 13.
  • Fort Wilderness Campsites – concrete pad repairs will take place January 17 to March 12.
  • Fort Wilderness Campsites – repaving will take place on Loop 2100 from January 24 to February 21.
  • Pop Century Resort – 80s lodge building will have themed walls refinished near the Roger Rabbit icon from January 2 to February 17.
  • Pop Century Resort – 60s lodge building will have themed walls refinished near the Mowgli & Baloo icons from February 20 to March 30.
  • Pop Century Resort – repairs of concrete deck at Hippy Dippy Pool through September 28. The pool will remain open during the work, but some small sections of the pool deck will be closed periodically throughout this period.
  • All-Star Music Resort – sections of the roadway near Melody Hall will be closed for rejuvenation at the porte cochere, the check-in parking lot and through the bus stop area from January 12 to February 10.
  • All-Star Movies Resort – Beverage coolers will be installed in Guest rooms from January 23 to March 16. The installation will take place one floor at a time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Guests will be notified via an in-room flier the day before the work is scheduled to take place.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed through March 17, 2012 for annual refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays. The show will not be performed:
    • January 17 to 21, 2012
    • March 20, 2012
    • May 15 to 26, 2012
    • July 24, 2012
    • September 18 to 22, 2012
    • November 27, 2012

Current Discounts & Promotions

Stay-three-get-one-free offer for two weeks in February/March

In connection with the "One More Disney Day" promotion for leap day, Disney has released a "One More Disney Day and Night – Free" discount for stays from February 26 through March 10. If you book a non-discounted Magic Your Way package of at least three nights with an arrival date most nights February 26 through March 10, you receive an additional night for free. the offer can only be applied once per package or reservation, and excludes suites.

You must book this discount by January 31. The rooms available at these rates are limited, and no other group rates or discounts apply.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1920 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code J6R. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Passholder discounts available through March

Disney has released a Passholder discount for most nights from January 2 through March 8. Discounts are 35 percent for select Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa accommodations, and 30 percent for Value resorts from Sunday through Thursday nights.

As with most Passholder discounts, you can book this discount up through your arrival date, if discounted rooms are not yet sold out by then. The rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas are not included.

You can make your reservation through the Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7731 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code H5L. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Room-only discounts for February through June

Disney has released a room-only discount for all nights from February 21 through June 14, with the exception of the Easter peak from April 1 to 12. Discounts vary based on date. However, many resorts are excluded from the discount, including All-Star Movies Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, Contemporary Resort, Beach Club Villas, Wilderness Lodge Villas, and premium views at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

For stays on the nights of March 9 to 31 and May 25 to 27, guests receive discount rates of:

  • 15 percent at Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, standard view rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Fort Wilderness Cabins, Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Pop Century Resort, All-Star Music Resort, and All-Star Sports Resort
  • 20 percent at Animal Kingdom Villas, Boardwalk Villas, Caribbean Beach Resort and Coronado Springs Resort
  • 25 percent at Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Boardwalk Inn, and Wilderness Lodge
  • 30 percent at Saratoga Springs Resort and Old Key West Resort.

For all other nights during the discount period, the discounts are:

  • 20 percent at Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, standard view rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Fort Wilderness Cabins, Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Pop Century Resort, All-Star Music Resort, and All-Star Sports Resort
  • 25 percent at Animal Kingdom Villas, Boardwalk Villas, Caribbean Beach Resort and Coronado Springs Resort
  • 30 percent at Saratoga Springs Resort, Old Key West Resort, Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Boardwalk Inn, and Wilderness Lodge.

You must book this discount by January 22 for arrival dates through March 31 and February 28 for dates through June 14. The rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1917 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code N6P. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Military ticket offer

From now through September 28, 2012, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with either the Park Hopper or Water Parks Fun and More option for $138 per ticket, plus tax, or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $165 per ticket, plus tax. No Base ticket is available with this offer.

The tickets expire and may not be used after September 30, 2012. Blackout dates are December 26 to 31, 2011; April 1 to 12, 2012; and July 4, 2012.

Eligible service members include active or retired members of the U.S. military including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservists. Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased at Shades of Green or at a participating military base (MWR/ITT) office. There is no tax charged for these tickets but they must be activated at a theme park ticket window. Tickets may also be purchased at Walt Disney World Park Ticket Offices and Guest Relations Offices where tax will be charged. No more than twelve Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased, activated and/or used by any Eligible Service Member or spouse during the life of this promotion, and no Eligible Service Member or spouse may purchase, activate and/or use more than six Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets during any single week of the promotion. One of the Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets purchased on each occasion must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or spouse. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. Valid military identification is required. The tickets are non-transferable and may not be resold.

The tickets may be upgraded to Seasonal Passes or Florida Resident Weekday Select Passes (for Florida Residents), or Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, or Disney Premier Pass with credit toward the upgrade based on the actual price paid. The no-expiration option and other upgrades, such as additional days, are not available.

For complete information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets, military personnel may call 407-939-7830, visit the Walt Disney World website, or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.


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


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(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.