Disney Cruise Line crosses the Atlanticby MouseStation Crew, staff writer
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MousePlanetWatch 25 run time 0:48:31
In the Walt Disney World news, sponsored by Small World Vacations, MousePlanet's preferred travel provider, most of the news came from this past Monday's Walt Disney World Park Update, and links to the various information reported can be found there. Here are some quick links:
- We had breaking news as we recorded Monday night about two parents who left their three-year-old daughter in a stroller in the sun in 91-degree heat while they went to Pirates of the Caribbean. You can see the police report about these people here.
- This week's next example of stupidity was a man who got drunk at Downtown Disney and decided to try to swim back to the Saratoga Springs Resort.
- There has been a security crackdown at Downtown Disney in response to a perceived increase in a gang-like presence at the nighttime dining and entertainment district. Since we recorded, there has been a backlash, as Disney has been accused of profiling black teenagers with the crackdown.
- Room only discounts for August and September have been announced for passholders and Florida residents.
- The Disney Vacation Club has announced a procedure change for waitlists and Interval International exchanges.
In the Disneyland news, all of the news came from this past Monday's Disneyland Park Update. Here are some direct links to information from some of the stories:
- You can find more information about the 2007 NFFC Annual National Convention here.
- For more information on Mr. Irrelevant XXXII's visit to Disneyland, you can read the before and after stories from the headquarters town of Irrelevant week, plus stories from Mr. Irrelevant's potential new home of Detroit and his college town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
In The Walt Disney Company news, several stories have related links.
- The Playing for the Planet guide is available courtesy of the UK Playhouse Disney site.
- The Disney Channel will soon carry Aardman Animation's Shaun the Sheep show.
- The new Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus CD is now on sale.
- Photos of the new Hannah Montana fashion line can be seen here, with pics from the Licensing International Expo 2007 here.
- Concerts dates and venues for the Disneymania Concerts for Conservation, presented by Build-a-Bear Workshop include:
- July 10 Sacramento Zoo, Sacramento, CA
- July 11 Utah's Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City, UT
- July 15 Dallas Zoological Society, Richardson, TX
- July 22 Jackson Zoological Park, Jackson, MS
- July 29 Toronto Zoo, Scarborough, Ontario
- August 5 Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL
- August 10 Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Pittsburgh, PA
- August 18 National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD
- August 20 The Seneca Park Zoo, Rochester, NY
- The "Tale Spinners" event at Barnes & Noble will apparently be streamed live for those who can't be there for the live countdown to the release of the new Harry Potter book.
- Tarzan's run on Broadway will end on July 8, though it will continue on in the Netherlands.
- The DisneyToon Studios sequel operation will be folded into the Walt Disney Animation Studios and will concentrate on original stories.
- Andrew Adamson will produce the third movie in series, after directing the first two. Michael Apted will direct The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
- Ratatouille opens tomorrow.
MouseStation 25 run time 1:30:38
Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, MousePlanet's resident Disney Cruise Line expert, joined us for most of the show
Adrienne provided our Tip of the Week this week, giving two tips for the price of one. Adrienne gave two great ideas for maximizing the small quarters aboard the Disney ships, both with electrical power strips and over-the-door shoe holders. Mike chimed in with a recommendation that you turn on the deck camera channel on the in-room TV, especially when you're in an inside cabin, to see what it's like outside. Adrienne concurred that it helped tremendously.
Featured topic: The Disney Magic's trans-Atlantic voyage and Mediterranean itineraries
Adrienne had managed to grab a great last-minute deal on the eastbound trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise, booking it less than a week before the ship sailed. And yet, Adrienne seems to have trouble leaving the ship where she found it.
While there were five consecutive sea days, there was plenty to do aboard, so that nobody could really get bored. The adults were allowed both into the Oceaneers Lab and the ship simulator to the adults at certain times, as well. Losing one hour per day as they crossed time zones was much easier than doing it all at once after flying. (Of course, Adrienne lost three additional hours on a red-eye the night before the cruise.)
Two big-name concerts were held on nights when the ship was in port. Boyz II Men performed while the ship was at Tenerife, Canary Islands, and Jim Brickman performed when the ship was docked in Cadiz, Spain. Adrienne noted that the nature of the Boyz II Men concert took many in the audience by surprise; despite the fact that they toned their act down, it was still pushing the limits of "Disney entertainment."
Adrienne discussed the two new shipboard shows, the "When Mickey Dreams" stage show and the "Party Paradiso" deck party. Both featured many fabulous Cirque du Soleil-like moments, and the character moments seemed almost like they were from a different show, as if they were added because you can't have a Disney shipboard show without them. (Kind of like the insertion of characters around Epcot.) "When Mickey Dreams" features a version of "Chim-Chim-Cheree" that Adrienne wishes were available on CD.
Mark, Mike and Adrienne all agreed that the at-sea days are the best part of any cruise.
Some people were doing the back-to-back cruises of the trans-Atlantic crossing and the first 11-day Mediterranean cruise. Adrienne noted that the Med cruises were daunting, as the 10-day cruise had 8 consecutive days in different ports, and the 11-day cruise just had one sea day added in the middle. Apparently, Disney had someone spent the last year doing nothing but setting up all of the land excursions for the Mediterranean itineraries. And since the ports were all "destination" ports, it was unlikely that anybody would skip one to take a day off.
We then speculated about the possible itineraries for the two new ships that are due to be put into service in 2011 and 2012. Adrienne passed along some of the shipboard speculation, from the possibility of three Florida-based ships with the other based in California to Alaska or Hong Kong and Japan tothe odds of Disney using one to do unusual cruises, such as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
There are still some great deals to be had, especially on the westbound trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise. How about $1,099 for a category 12 stateroom? You might even get an "operational upgrade" to a category 11. That's less than $80 per day, including all food! (I wish I could afford to take two weeks off to sail on that cruise!) If you're interested in grabbing a spot, contact the Disney Cruise Line experts at Small World Vacations, MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel provider. They'll be happy to get you aboard.
This week's Featured Attraction is the Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland Park. Mike & Mark both enjoy the attraction, as it's a great, relaxing ride through Fantasyland. Adrienne also enjoyed loves the attraction, as well, and passed along some interesting thoughts on it, including the main attraction of the giant ducks.
This week's Review system spotlight focuses on Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Mike & Mark both recommend it. Mark recalled being one of 64 people all ordering chicken strips there during Ricky Brigante's Haunted Mansion/Harbour House meet for his Inside the Magic Podcast at MouseFest 2006. Adrienne remembers it as one of the first places that she ate on her first trip to Walt Disney World. MousePlanet readers enjoy the Harbour House, as it was rated 4 out of five planets on the strength of 12 reviews. You can also find Columbia Harbour House in our Park Guide.
In this week's Ask the Kid segment, listener Nicole Gonzales asked Mark's 8-year-old son: "If mom and dad let you buy anything at WDW what would you want to take home with you?" While Mark eventually led his son astray with suggestions of no-limit items like attractions, his son first came up with some great ideas including a spray fan and an autograph book with every autograph of single Disney character that is in the parks.
Adrienne also provided this week's Magical Moment. She talked about closing the pool on the last night of the cruise, bonding with many others with the same idea. It first turned into a discussion of how Magical Moments often center around the folks that you're traveling with before transitioning into a discussion of meeting new people or being "adopted" by a family while on a solo trip, with a reference to the MousePad discussion thread on that topic.
In Listener Feedback:
- Dan the Light Man from Colorado called in with a vote for splitting up the podcast into shorter shows, and added a Magical Moment that he and his family had experienced at Pecos Bill's in the Magic Kingdom.
- Kirsten wrote in asking if we can would consider putting out an enhanced podcast with chapter stops. At this point, we aren't prepared to create an additional podcast format and feed, since anyone who's listening with anything other than an iPod or iTunes can't access the .AAC format. (But if it's something that you'd like to see, write or call in to let us know!)
- Steve Russo wrote in to try to Stump the Hosts again, this time with a Walt Disney quote. He got Mark this week, but Mike had the answer. Mike then challenged Steve with his own Walt Disney quote.
- Jennifer wrote in to ask Mike about being a 20-something without any Disney-fan friends and being hesitant to attend events like MouseFest for fear of feeling out of place.
- Kim Barron called in with a tip (echoing our Tip of the Week in Episode 17), and answered the questions that we asked her after last week's voicemail.
- Anthony (Chicago Wookiee) called in with a final wrap-up of his trip, including some other Magical Moments that they experienced, including getting the center table at Cinderella's Royal Table, being awarded "Honorary Citizen" buttons at Disney's Animal Kingdom for their excitement during the Jammin' Jungle Parade, and getting to go backstage at many locations in Epcot - as well as walking straight onto row B1 on Soarin' and getting VIP viewing of Illuminations from the island at Italy - during an Undiscovered Future World tour.
- Nick Hidalgo wrote in with a link to a web site that sells the Botan rice candy that Greg Ehrbar mentioned last week.
- Kyle from Baton Rouge, LA, wrote in that he loves the current show length, though he would like to see the Tip of the Week moved behind the feature because it disrupts the flow. He's currently working in St. Paul, MN, so Mike offered to show him some great places to eat since it's home town.
- And we still haven't forgotten Stanton Wong's list of trivia questions from Episode 23. We'll try to read them all next week.
We're planning to cut the podcast into multiple, smaller shows each week in order to make it accessible to those who may not be able to listen to 90-minute or so shows. We're looking to break MouseStation into three 30-minute shows. (Times are approximate, of course, as we have no idea how long we're going to ramble on any given topic.) Anyway, we'd like your feedback on what you think of the idea, and whether you agree with our idea of breaking the show into a featured topic show, a mini-feature segments show and a listener feedback show, all published on different days each week. (The MousePlanetWatch news would continue as a separate show on yet another day of the week.) Our current plan is to have the mini-feature segments on Monday, the full-length feature on Wednesday, MousePlanetWatch on Thursday and listener feedback on Friday. Let us know what you think!
Send in your suggestions, comments or tips via our email form or via voicemail on our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278). You can also make suggestions by replying to this post.
If you want to contribute a story for our Magical Moment segment (and possible inclusion in the Cast Place column here on MousePlanet), you can either use our email form or the toll-free feedback line. (We like when you use the voice mail system, because then we can play it on the show.)
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Thanks to our West Coast correspondent Andrew Rich, and audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.
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