MousePlanetWatch Disney News

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 126 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • In news that didn't make it into the Update, Walt Disney World is testing a Nintendo DS-based interactive park guide called Disney Magic Connection. No word yet on when it might be rolled out to the general public, or whether it might be rolled out in a form factor that will allow guests to get it as a cartridge to run in their own DS.
  • In conjunction with with nationally syndicated radio personality Steve Harvey, Walt Disney World hosted its first-ever Disney's Dreamers Academy this past weekend. You can check out some of the events through daily Web videos.
  • Last week, we told you about the new Toy Story ? The Musical coming this April to the Disney Wonder. Disney has provided us with some behind-the-scenes video from rehearsals. Check it out:
  • Registration is now open for the 2009 Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon and Goofy's Race-and-a-Half Challenge. If you're interested in the Goofy, though, you'd better act fast. A note on the registration page notes that the event is already 65 percent sold out. You should have plenty of time to register for the marathon and half-marathon individually, though. Meanwhile, for a look back at the 2008 Marathon, check out the recap video put out by Walt Disney World:
  • MousePad poster Mousellaneous found out about a planned renovation for the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
  • Disney has launched their Walt Disney World Moms Panel, an attempt to have "official" folks answering questions from trip planners on the Walt Disney World web site. Of course, there's also a lot of great information to be gleaned from elsewhere on the Internet, and we highly recommend the knowledgeable and helpful members of our MousePad discussion forum community.

  • This week's construction update includes more work on Mickey Avenues at Disney's Hollywood Studios, a walkway replacement project at the Contemporary's South Garden Wing and more work at the Kilimanjaro Safaris load area 3.
  • Quick Takes:
    • There have been intermittent problems with the system integration between Disney's Magical Express Resort Check-in and US Airways, preventing remote check-in.
    • The refundable deposit for locker rentals in the theme parks has increased 150 percent.
    • The cost for a round of miniature golf has also gone up.
    • Those alternative-fuel cars at the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway are apparently in cast-only testing.
    • Spaceship Earth's entry on the refurbishment calendar currently lists it as open, with a closure for refurbishment from February 9?14..
    • has now officially launched. These are the folks that put on the Celebration 25 Epcot anniversary event in October.
    • The featured speaker at the February 23 meeting of the NFFC's World Chapter will be Pat Williams.

This and other news can be found in this week's Walt Disney World Park Update.

Disneyland News

  • MouseAdventure registration opens January 29. There will be three levels of play this time around.
  • Disneyland has changed the days on which Magic Mornings (previously Early Entry) is offered.
  • A private party for the employees of search engine Google will take place inside Disneyland on February 5. In addition to the private party, Google employees will likely be at the resort February 4, 5 and 6.
  • We have a first-hand account of the new Dream Time prize in the Year of a Million Dreams.
  • The floral Mickey in front of the train station has received an extreme makeover.
  • Other stuff:
    • Several new short refurbishments recently been added to the schedule.
    • The former Sierra Tower of the Disneyland Hotel sports a new name.
    • The 2008 Annual Passholder Dining Pin series begins with the release of a Lady and the Tramp pin on January 27.

This and other news can be found in this week's Disneyland Park Update.

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Bloomberg News is reporting that Disney may increase its stake in Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Reports say that actor Kamal Haasan will direct Marma Yogi, meaning Mysterious Saint, in India for Disney.
  • Disney has signed an IPTV deal with BT Vision.
  • Disney Mobile launches March 1 in Japan.
  • Tony Scott, Disney's Chief Information Officer has left to take the same position with Microsoft.
  • Apple has premiered iTunes movie rentals with all major studios.
  • The leads from Broadway's Mary Poppins will perform at the World of Disney next Thursday.
  • The Disney Channel's upcoming "Phineas and Ferb" series appears to be a haven for old stars of the cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."
  • The Directors Guild of America has quickly reached a new tentative contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which will only put more pressure on the striking Writers Guild of America.
  • The debut of Stage 9, an online-only production unit at Disney, has been delayed indefinitely.
  • Penelope Cruz is the latest name to sign on for Jerry Bruckheimer's "G-Force."
  • Everlife will be the special guest for the final six shows on the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert tour.
  • Disney has now finally signed all six leads for High School Musical 3, to start filming in April.
  • Zac Efron had an emergency appendectomy last Tuesday.
  • has rated Ratatouille as the best-reviewed movie in wide-release in 2007. Other Disney movies were also genre winners.
  • Miramax-coproduced films did extremely well in the Oscar nominations, while Disney productions barely enjoyed mild success.
  • National Treasure dropped to number 5 at the box office this week for the four-day weekend..

Administrative stuff

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