MousePlanetWatch Disney News

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 178 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Run time 0:33:10

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Walt Disney World News

  • Congratulations to MousePlanet reader and MousePad member Justin Muchoney, who was named Disney's first Chief Magic Official on Tuesday morning in a ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom! The ceremony was brief, including an interruption from Donald Duck, who tried to steal the competition, but once Donald's banner covering the real winner's name was removed, Justin was revealed to be the winner of the competition where over a quarter-million votes were cast online. You can see the announcement here. According to numbers released by Disney, Justin got nearly 200,000 votes, crushing other finalists David Hawley (almost 50,000) and Tripp West (over 30,000). If all goes well, Justin will join us on next Wednesday's feature podcast episode.
  • Also on Tuesday, on Earth Day, Disney's Animal Kingdom turned 10 years old, with a special "Party for the Planet" event at the park. There will be a special rededication ceremony in front of the Tree of Life, as well as trivia games, crafts, and educational opportunities throughout the day. In addition, is running their second event, entitled "A Wild Decade," featuring a special event with Joe Rohde, the Imagineering force behind the park. Ricky Brigante of Inside the Magic and Orlando Attractions Magazine has video of both main events.
  • The celebrity guests for Star Wars Weekends have been announced.
  • The first month of acts for the Sounds Like Summer concert series have also been announced.
  • Disney has named the controversial Spira footwear company as the official footwear sponsor of the Disney Endurance Series events at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
  • Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba has announced a discount for Florida residents.
  • Disney has taken on the presenting sponsorship for the MEAC-SWAC Challenge football game, not too long after jettisoning sponsorship of the Florida Classic.
  • The list of construction permits filed with Orange County includes work on a store front window at the Polynesian Resort's Great Ceremonial House, installation work at the American Idol and Toy Story Mania sites, another possible piece of the Kim Possible puzzle, and plenty of other work across Walt Disney World.
  • Quick Takes:
    • Registration has reached capacity for the 2008 Disney's Go Red for Women 5K. There are still a few spots left for the Women Run the World 15K, but they're going fast.
    • The Tampa Bay Rays host the Toronto Blue Jays for a regular-season Major League Baseball series this week, with games on Tuesday, yesterday and today.
    • The daily charge for wired high-speed Internet access for Disney Vacation Club members staying at DVC resort on points will be discontinued, effective May 4.
    • Following the "A Wild Decade" event honoring the 10th anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom tomorrow, the crew over at is already hard at work on their "World-Wide Weekend" event for September 26-28.
    • The new on-site Health and Wellness Center for cast members will open this fall, ahead of the original 2009 date announced last December.

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

Disneyland News

  • The Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel has announced the construction of a new water park, to be called Castaway Cove, which will open this summer.


    Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel announces a new water park. Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel promotional photo.

    The new Castaway Cove will feature a 30-foot mast, and will be visible from the Disneyland Monorail. Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel promotional photo.

  • This and That:
    • The Disneyland Resort released last week a report entitled "Connecting with Our Community" detailing over $12 million in donations made to resort area charities in 2007.
    • In case you missed it, the full event recap and results from our latest MouseAdventure on April 13 has been posted.
    • Artist Dave Avanzino has provided his collectors with some informatino about what he'll have on hand at this May 3 and 4 appearance at the DCA.
    • The Orlando Sentinel reported last week that the Disney Cruise Line will open an office in London, headed by Tom Wolber, Senior Vice President Disney Cruise Line.
    • MousePlanet's Shoshana Lewin reports that the Disney College Program is currently conducting interviews for the Fall 2008 session, which runs May 19 or May 22, 2008 through January 3, 2009.
    • David Koenig posted an update about the rumored Sleeping Beauty exhibit to his MousePlanet Blog last week.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Last week, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts created a new position of President and Managing Director, Asia, to address Disney's commitment to international growth, and named Bill Ernest to the position.
  • Disney is once again on BusinessWeek's list of the 25 most innovative companies in the world.
  • Disney and Stremicks Heritage Foods have released a new line of milk beverages featuring the Little Einsteins characters.
  • Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is one of the founding members of the 3D@Home Consortium.
  • Miley Cyrus is writing her memoirs for Disney-Hyperion Books.
  • In the first of what is expected to be many mobile Web sites built around key Disney franchises and content offerings, Radio Disney and mDisney have announced a new Radio Disney Mobile Web site and texting program that will allow users web-enabled mobile phones to interact with Radio Disney using their mobile handset.
  • The Screen Actors Guild is meeting with the studios, hoping to avoid a strike when the current contract ends on June 30.
  • Disney is launching a new film label to be called Disneynature.
  • Miramax's Smart People suffered a 60.9 percent drop-off in box office in its second week. We're going to look at cutting down on the box office report in future weeks.

Administrative stuff

You can send us feedback via email or by calling our toll-free feedback line at 1-866-939-2278. Don't forget that we love voicemails because then we can put your voice on the show!

Wrapping up

On April 27, Mark will be walking to raise money for the March of Dimes for the third time. Please consider supporting him. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.



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