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MousePlanet Mailbag for February 3, 2005

Compiled by Lani Teshima, Mailbag editor

We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot publish them all, the following may be of interest to our readers.

Feedback for Mark Goldhaber

Tessie Rodriguez writes:

Good afternoon, I am a recent graduate of Eckerd College and have a bachelors in Environmental Studies. I have had experience in environmental education and have worked within the Florida State park service system. I recently discovered the occupation of resort naturalist and am very interested in learning more about it. Unfortunately I am unsure as to what educational experience is needed and where I can obtain further experience. If you have any advice or direction that you could give me I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. Have a great day.

Hi Tessie – I really don't have any information on requirements for the position of Resort Naturalist, or even what openings there may be. I doubt that Christopher will be leaving Hilton Head for a while, and while I'm pretty sure that similar positions are available at Disney's Animal Kingdom, I'm not sure where other positions may exist.

You best bets may be to do some of the following:

  • Check out Disney's WDW Careers Web site (link)
  • Check out Disney's corporate-wide job listings (link)
  • Call the WDW Jobline at (407) 828-1000
  • Send a note asking for more information to:
    Resort Naturalist
    Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort
    c/o Walt Disney World Guest Communications
    PO Box 10040
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000

Good luck!


Mike Worley writes:

I came across a Web site (link) for that ship that Roy was planning on taking to Australia but never did.

This ship was American made and in still in service today in the Mediterranian.

Very interesting information, Mike! Interesting to see photos and to see how the ship changed hands over the years. Thanks for passing it along.


Jeremy Muse writes:

Hi Mark,

Fascinating article, as always. Do you have any more information on the Fantasyland rides that never were? (Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty, and Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman rides). Thanks.

Hi Jeremy – At this point, I don't have any more information on those rides, though I'm trying to track them down. If I do unearth sufficient material to write about, I'll probably turn it into a “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” column.


Michael Ricciardi writes:

Epcot had been planned and mapped out so carefully. I have now seen the complete Walt-hosted program on Epcot. What happened to that original wonderful plan? Why did it deviate so radically from walt disney's dream?

Hi Michael – I do plan to get into some of that when I get to the planning of Epcot, but first I'm going to cover the first few years after the resort opened. There were a few things that happened in the company and at the resort that are worth coverage before we get into what happened to turn Walt's E.P.C.O.T. into EPCOT Center. Don't worry, though. I'll get there.


Lisa writes:

Any word on a Heroes Salute discount for fire and law enforcement personnel this year? It looks like the deal came out in past years starting on Veteran's Day, but this year I can't find anything on it so far. Please respond. Thanks.

Hi Lisa – Sorry, I haven't heard anything about Heroes Salute discounts this year. Perhaps you might have some luck if you call Disney Reservations? If I do hear anything, I'll put it in the next Monday Update, as always. Good luck!


Pat Taylor writes:

Do you think there is any chance that “it's a small world” will be open sooner than March? My family and I are going down in the beginning of February. and I just can't imagine going to the Magic Kingdom and not riding through my favorite ride. My first time in It's a small world was in 1964 at the Worlds Fair... so you know how old I must be... Thank you for listening. Pat

Hi Pat – I wish that I could give you better news, but my understanding is that the construction schedule is ambitious as it is, and that they're pushing just to make the March 18 date. The latest rumor that I've heard on their progress is that the dismantling portion of the work is about done, and they're working on the asbestos removal in the ceiling. There's always an outside possibility that they'll finish ahead of schedule, but I think that early February is highly improbable.


Buddy from Seattle, Washington writes:

Hi Mark. I just read part 9 of “History of the World.” As I was reading it I was thinking that it would have been great to read the other chapters of the story, but I'm not the best on computers, (just enough to be dangerous), but I didn't see any links to the previous chapters of the tail. If or on the next chapter, could you please put links to the prior chapters of the story so the best and big picture can be told.

Thank you for your time.

Hi Buddy – If you click on either the “World View” logo at the top left of the page or the “Section Contents” link at the bottom of the page, you'll get to a page that lists all of the World View columns that I've written at MousePlanet. You can find all of the prior chapters there.


Patricia Spendley writes:

Mark, I just read some reviews on the Polynesian and they were not that great. My family and I will be doing the cruise in February. and staying at this hotel, which has always been my favorite. However it's been several years since I stayed there, do you thing we should pick another hotel to stay at? We are 3 adults 2 children age 9 and 3.

Hi Pat – I can't recall hearing much lately about the Poly. My best suggestion would be to visit our MousePad discussion forums and post a question in the WDW forum asking for recent experiences at the Poly. Those who have been there recently will be able to answer your question (I know that we have several people who have stayed there, but I can't recall what they said at the moment). We're friendly on the Pad, so don't be worried about posting. If you're not sure what to post, read some of the existing threads and you'll get a good feel for it. I'm sure that you'll get plenty of helpful information

PS: I was just reminded that, in case you want more of an overview of what the Poly has to offer, you might want to visit TikiMan's Polynesian Resort site (link). It's got the most comprehensive information about the Poly out there. Hope this helps.


Carol Kelley writes:

Just a side note for Kathy on Mousefest 2005. I have attended the RADP/Mousefest meets for the past 6 years. Unless things change drastically, for the most part there is no “charge” or prices for Mousefest. There are available hotel packages that have some perks and there are a few events that have fees, but most of the Mousefest attendees make their own resort reservations using annual passes, DVC memberships, public codes, etc., and don't pay anything to attend Mousefest. That is what makes Mousefest so unique. Nothing about it is formal and yet, so many folks attend!!

Hi Carol – I answered Kathy's question on the assumption that she was asking about the special deals on hotel rooms that were available for MouseFest attendees. There are indeed no fees for MouseFest as a whole, and only a few special events that carry a charge, such as the Illuminations cruises or the Fantasmic dessert party.


Stephen Fox writes:

Hi Mark, I'm new to the Mouse Planet fan club—love the site!

I'm sure you've been asked about this before—it's in reference to the proposed “Phantom Manor” in Disneyland Paris. On a recent trip to Walt Disney World last June, I came across the Haunted Mansion CD—of course, I had to get it. One of the tracks contains the amazing score to “Phantom Manor,” narrated by Vincent Price. Is there anything out there that contains concept drawings and such or a reason for abandoning this concept? I was so drawn in by this incredibly lush score based on the original theme that I would love to know more as to what it was to look like and such. Any time you could spare in answering this question would be greatly appreciated! Again, thanks for all of the great information you share with all of us. Keep up the excellent work.

Hi Stephen – Thanks for your kind words about the site.

I'm not sure why you're asking about Phantom Manor as an abandoned concept. It is built and running in Frontierland at Disneyland Paris as it has been since opening day.

Stephen replies:

LOL—no, I realize the Phantom Manor was built, but it's to my understanding that they went back to using the original concepts from both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, instead of using this new material and score. On the Haunted Mansion CD that was released, track 6 contains a score, narrated by Vincent Price that they list as being an abandoned concept and decided to stick with that of the previous Haunted Mansions. It contains a very lush and rich orchestral score and the story seems to center around a woman, much like the Haunted Mansion film that was released.

I hope that clarifies my question a bit...

Thanks for your quick response!

Stephen – In that case, I'm not sure. I haven't spent much time researching the DLP attractions. The answer might possibly be found in Jason Surrell's book on the Haunted Mansion, but I can't guarantee it, as I do not own the book.

Sorry I can't give you any better information. If I find anything out, I'll let you know.


Jeremy writes:

First time I actually read the mailbag and it was interesting. Here's a question: What's going on with Discovery Island? As a boy, that place was like Tom Sawyer Island. I'd love to go back there again, beats the Discovery Island in Animal Kingdom. I was thinking maybe putting a resort there. That would be nice.

Hi Jeremy – Our mailbag is usually very interesting. As to your question, as far as I know, nothing has been greenlighted for the island yet. There were several rumors over the years, including honeymoon cottages and a high-priced park themed to “Myst,” the computer game. The wildlife sanctuary attraction there was closed down when most of the animals were moved to the Animal Kingdom. I hope that Disney can find a way to utilize the island again, but there's nothing cooking for now.


Glenn Vines writes:

Hi Mark,

Just saw my correspondence in the mailbag feature on MousePlanet, when I pictured all the Disney ideas put on the shelf, just like the final scene in Indiana Jones when they place the Ark in a wooden crate and store it along with the other million or so other boxes of treasure. Speaking of Indiana Jones, it is my favorite Disny attraction of all, any chance of seeing it appear in Florida? The Adventureland area could sure use a shot in the arm from an exciting attraction such as that.

Hi Glenn – There are indeed very strong rumors of an Indiana Jones enhanced-motion vehicle (EMV) ride coming to Walt Disney World, though not in Adventureland. The prevailing rumor (which I don't recall as being confirmed by any reliable source) is that, after the Lights, Motors, Action! show debuts, the current Indy stunt show would be demolished and that land (plus current shops and part of the current parking lot) would be turned into an Indy ride. Again, none of this is confirmed, which leads me to believe that nothing has been greenlighted yet. We'll have to wait and see. Thanks for writing again.


B. Fountain writes:

Has Save Disney really called it quits? Is Eisner going to win and have his way? If not, the Web articles tell a different story.

Good question. Roy and Stan sent out a note that they weren't going away, and were going to watch the succession process closely. However, they're largely toothless at this point. As they said in a letter to supporters earlier this month, “With the stock price up in the short term and promises to select a new CEO on the table, we were convincingly advised—by many—that proxy support would not favor us at this time.” There's very little, aside from saber-rattling, that they can do at this time. Unless the search for a replacement CEO does not proceed in a timely fashion, I don't know how much we're going to hear from them. We'll just have to wait and see.


Robert writes:

Who and where can I send complaints about the Disney parks because I am still angry that Disney has closed horrizons

Hi Robert – While complaining about the loss of Horizons (which I miss, too) will not bring back the attraction—since the whole building was torn down to make way for Mission: Space—it will probably still help you to feel better to get it off of your chest.

You can write to WDW at:

Walt Disney World Guest Communications
PO Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

You can also e-mail them at wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com


Jeffrey Contompasis writes:

Okay, it now appears possible to buy a 1-Day Park Hopper Plus Pass and visit all 4 major theme parks and 2 minor attractions. I challenge someone to actually do this most insane thing. I nominate Shoshana!

Also, where are you getting the info on the Resort Package deals with the meal plans? I can't find this info anywhere else on the net.

Hello again, Jeffrey – A Premium Annual Pass would have allowed this already. If course, it is indeed a challenge. Of course, there are a number of intrepid warriors at MousePlanet that might be willing to take it on. Maybe if you post it on our MousePad discussion forums, someone will take you up on it!

The resort package info probably won't be released to the public until they become available. As I mentioned in yesterday's Update, Disney Reservations Center staff can't even tell you about it because they don't know themselves. I've heard that there is a tremendous amount of training going on right now for travel agents, as well. As to where Mike and I got our information, well, let's just say that we have connections.


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