MousePlanetWatch Disney News

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 205 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • As Mark noted on his blog last Thursday, Virtual Walt Disney World is now open on Google Earth.
  • Following our story last week on the effect of the airline baggage fees on the remote airline check-in portion of the Disney's Magical Express (DME) service, we checked with Walt Disney World who gave us some updated information.
  • With domestic airlines carrying 35 percent of all Walt Disney World guests to the resort, will a cutback in flights drop park attendance, room nights and ancillary sales, resulting in a drop in income for the parks? Will that result in a reduction in park hours, entertainment and available resort rooms?
  • The new hybrid car for the Tomorrowland Speedway is finally just about "track ready" after getting some more bugs worked out. Cast members are getting trained on it this week, and it may hit the track a bit later this month.
  • The list of construction permits filed with Orange County includes replacement of all speakers in the ceiling of the ride path of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, replacement of air handling units along Main Street, U.S.A., installation solar panels for domestic hot water both the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom, and plenty of other work across Walt Disney World.
  • Quick Takes:
    • The Classic Concoctions lounge at Disney's Pop Century Resort, home of the MouseStation Podcast Hustle-tini Meet at MouseFest, has closed, to be turned into an expanded package pickup area. Don't worry, though. The Bluetini portion of the meet will move to the Petals pool bar, and the meet will again be held this year.
    • Since Monday's Park Update, we've confirmed that Disney is testing automatic doors for the parking lot trams.

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

Two news stories breaking since Monday:

  • A 100-lane bowling alley will be built at the Wide World of Sports Complex, with the U.S. Bowling Congress holding tournaments there beginning in 2011.
  • When we recorded the show on Tuesday night, we had just heard that some attractions at Walt Disney World were shut down Tuesday due to electrical storms and possible tornadoes touching down in the area. Since then, we have gotten confirmation that no tornado had in fact touched down near the resort.

Disneyland News

  • Disneyland Resort annual passholders who won tickets in an online promotion got their chance to preview the new Toy Story Midway Mania attraction at Disney's California Adventure starting earlier this week.
  • Two new food service locations have opened along DCA's boardwalk near the Midway Mania attraction. Both Don Tomas and Hot Dog Hut are essentially outdoor vending locations rather than quick-serve restaurants—both sell only bottled drinks and prepackaged food that is cooked elsewhere and delivered to the stands. Both are on the boardwalk; Don Tomas is across from Midway Mania, Hot Dog Hut is near the Sun Wheel.
  • Disney's California Adventure will host the 2008 Hi Seoul Korea Performing Arts Showcase June 9 – 15, 2008 at a temporary "Festivale Internationale" stage constructed inside the Pacific Wharf area, just outside the Pacific Wharf Cafe.
  • MousePlanet's David Koenig reports that construction walls have gone up around the entrances to the Sleeping Beauty diorama and that work is underway on the attraction.
  • Koenig also reports about the problems that have occurred with the new monorails.
  • Most Downtown Disney locations are offering special discounts to customers this summer through printable coupons available from the Disney Ani-Mate Web site.
  • Three Downtown Disney restaurants operated by the Patina Group are currently offering lunch and/or dinner specials.
  • Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can save up to 50% off tickets to select Angels and Dodgers baseball home games. Passholder also receive a 50% discount and free cap at select Chivas USA home games.
  • This n That:
    • MousePlanet has just updated menu prices for all Disney's California Adventure restaurants, and we're midway through an update of Disneyland restaurants.
    • The Danskin Women's Triathlon at the Disneyland Resort will be held this Sunday, June 15 2008.
    • Designer Tarina Tarantino will release her new Collector Series Barbie® Doll on Saturday, June 28 at Vault 28 in Downtown Disney.
    • The Disneyland Resort is offering a new purchase-with-purchase promotion.
    • Annual Passholders - exclusive tours of the Innoventions Dream Home will be offered at specific dates and times from June 17-22.
  • The MousePlanet crew is planning a series of social events for readers this summer and fall, and you're invited! Our first gathering will be Saturday, June 28th to catch a matinee screening of Wall-E at the AMC theater in Downtown Disney. Stay tuned for more details once the theater releases the schedule for that weekend.
    On July 17, you are invited to come celebrate the 8th anniversary of your favorite Disney Web site (and Disneyland's 53rd birthday). Details are forthcoming, but MouseAdventure fans can look forward to a little treat.
    Finally, our second annual MousePlanet night at Mickey's Trick or Treat Party is Friday, October 3. This is one of the annual passholder discount nights, and tickets are already on sale through the AP Web site.
    Stay posted for additional details and events throughout the summer.

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

The Walt Disney Company News

  • Disney is merging its Internet and video gaming units into a single digital media organization to centralize all development under one roof.
  • Expanding on its brand, Disney is launching on July 17.
  • The national board of directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, has ratified the tentative contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
  • On Saturday, Disney announced that it expects worldwide licensing revenues of over $30 billion this fiscal year, just over a 10 percent difference from last year.
  • The Disney Channel is starting its summer promotion next week, launching its summer-long "Super Duper Summer Saturdays" program featuring new episodes of its popular Playhouse Disney series each weekend throughout the summer.
  • Disney has done a lot of promotion for next year's holiday release of The Princess and The Frog, but apparently the promotion has gone unnoticed by the Hollywood community, as Angelina Jolie complained to Britain's OK! Magazine that there are no black Disney princesses.
  • The Disney Magic paid a record fee for a ship to pass through the Panama Canal last month, following a change in the canal's fee structure.
  • There was apparently an accident on the set of the Hannah Montana movie last Tuesday when high winds blew either a projection screen or a piece of lighting equipment, depending on the report, onto a Ferris wheel, injuring several extras.
  • Meanwhile, Disney is pushing that synergy button again, having their Lyric Street Records act Rascal Flatts appear and perform in the Hannah Montana movie.
  • Disney Channel teenybopper star Selena Gomez has announced publicly that she plans to abstain from sex until she is married.
  • Rev up those engines, Camp Rock is about to take off. The soundtrack will be released on Tuesday. Here's the track list:
    • "We Rock" - Performed by the cast of Camp Rock
    • "Play My Music" - Performed by Jonas Brothers
    • "Gotta Find You" - Performed by Joe Jonas
    • "Start the Party" - Performed by Jordan Francis
    • "Who Will I Be?" - Performed by Demi Lovato
    • "This Is Me" - Performed by Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas
    • "Hasta La Vista" - Performed by Jordan Francis, Roshon Fegan
    • "Here I Am" - Performed by Renee Sandstrom
    • "Too Cool" - Performed by Meaghan Jette Martin
    • "Our Time Is Here" (Bonus Track) - Performed by Demi Lovato, Meaghan Jette Martin, Aaryn Doyle
    • "2 Stars" - Performed by Meaghan Jette Martin
    • "What It Takes" - Performed by Aaryn Doyle
  • Disney is streaming full-length movies on its web site for free for the first time in conjunction with the Wonderful World of Disney TV series on its ABC network.
  • Prince Caspian dropped to seventh at the box office this week.

Administrative stuff

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