MousePlanetWatch Disney News

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 220 - MousePlanetWatch news

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Walt Disney World News

  • Last Tuesday, a new law took effect in Florida, allowing citizens with concealed-weapons permits to keep firearms locked in their cars while they are at work. They won't be able to do that at Walt Disney World, though, as the resort—Florida's largest single-site employer—has claimed that the majority of its property is exempt from the law because of a loophole in the law that was added late in the approval process.
  • The park update includes a couple of photos from Disney of patriotic Pani projections and pyrotechnics presented as part of the new Fourth of July fireworks spectacular, "Disney's Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky."
  • The Disney Cruise Line has announced a special deal where any bookings through the Disney Cruise Web site (link) will only require payment of half of the usual deposit, with the other half due with the rest of the final payment.
  • What's your favorite Disney Parks memory? If you tell your story well enough, you could win a once in a lifetime Disney dream vacation, including a night in the Disneyland Dream Suite. It's part of the launch festivities for The Disney Parks Channel on YouTube.
  • The list of construction permits filed with Orange County includes plumbing prep work for glass wash machines in all sections of the Saratoga Springs Resort, lots of work around the main commercial building's lobby at Port Orleans French Quarter, and a bunch of bridge work at Port Orleans Riverside. There are more permits that were filed, and you can see them in Monday's Park Update.
  • Quick Takes:
    • Judging by the permits filed last week with Orange County to install glass wash machines around the Saratoga Springs Resort, it looks like glassware may be returning to the Studio units at the resort.
    • The Eat to the Beat concert series during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be taking place a little earlier this year – half an hour earlier. This year's shows will take place at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. daily, instead of 5:45, 7:00 and 8:15 p.m., as in earlier years.
    • Disney Worldwide Outreach was one of four organizations to be honored recently at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, receiving the 2008 Award for Excellence in Workplace Volunteer Programs from the Points of Light & Hands On Network.

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

Disneyland News

  • The Fourth of July weekend brought smaller-than-usual crowds to the Disneyland Resort, though the dense cluster of visitors camping out on Main Street to get the best view of the fireworks made Disneyland feel more crowded than normal for a Friday.
  • Shortly after we published last week's Park Update, we received word that the new Mark VII Monorail Red would begin passenger service Thursday, July 3. At the time, there was no word as to what, if any, changes or improvements had been made to the inefficient ventilation system believed to be the reason Red had not begun carrying passengers at the completion of the testing mandated earlier this spring by the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
  • MousePlanet's Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix wrote about the 2009 Disneyland Resort marketing campaign in her MousePlanet Blog last week
  • The new Innoventions Dream Home is now open to the public, though some of the "neighbors" are still moving in. Over the holiday weekend only one of the three pre-show "zones" currently in use was staffed, though cast members were loading guests into all three.
  • Disneyland Resort annual passholders can receive two passholder-exclusive collectible prints from the Disney archives when they purchase a PhotoPass package for $29.95.
  • This n That:
    • As we reported last month, the Disneyland Resort is offering a new purchase-with-purchase promotion. Customers can purchase a Disneyland Resort 55 duffle bag for $10 with an additional purchase of $40 at participating Disneyland Resort merchandise locations.
    • The Disney Vacation Club models for the Grand Californian Villas are now officially open to the public, though points charts and on-sale dates for the new property have not yet been released by Disney.
    • Adam Townsend from the Orange County Register reported a story about a Disneyland cast member who came to the rescue of a driver who flipped his semi truck on the freeway, using training and a fire extinguisher he had received from the Disneyland Resort (link).
  • The MousePlanet crew is planning a series of social events for readers this summer and fall, and you're invited! 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

  • On Monday, The Walt Disney Company Japan and the Japan Credit Bureau, or JCB, announced a deal that will have JCB issuing Japan' first Disney-branded credit card, as well as allowing JCB to use Disney content in marketing its payment business in Japan.
  • Early Monday morning, Lehman Brothers analyst Anthony DiClemente downgraded Disney stock from equal weight to underweight; slashed his stock price target from $40 to $29 and cut his earnings estimate for 2009 from $2.56 per share to $2.25 per share. DiClemente cut his rating of the entertainment industry as a whole from neutral to negative.
  • The 70,000 members of AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, approved their contract in a vote that closed Tuesday. This should help the ailing television industry to begin or continue filming this year's shows. However, SAG, the Screen Actors' Guild, which tried to get its 40,000 members that held dual membership with AFTRA to vote down the AFTRA contract to strengthen its own bargaining position.
  • Disney plans to launch additional television channels in Europe to help expand the brand's audience. Disney's head of European television operations, John Hardie, told Germany's Handelsblatt daily that "We are going to develop our brand's audience. Our target is to reach 100 million households within five years."
  • The Walt Disney Company's gift to a group of small cable operators was greeted with a "thanks, but it's not enough" by their representatives. Disney announced that it would not charge retransmission consent fees or any bundling requirements for the next three years to the 91 small cable operators in the markets that are served by ABC's 10 owned-and-operated local stations. While the stations comprise about 80 percent of the cable companies in those 10 markets, they only represent less than 1 percent of all cable subscribers in the country.
  • The latest Disney on Ice production will debut at the end of August as it starts a 70-city, two-year tour. A study in synergy, in addition to segments focusing on The Lion King and The Little Mermaid (whose prequel will be released on DVD August 26), the World of Fantasy show will features he Disney Fairies, in anticipation of the "Tinker Bell" movie that will be released on October 28, and (interestingly) Cars, which will debut as a new online virtual world in a couple of years. Of course, it will be interesting to see how they manage to pull off Cars without amking the characters look completely unlike they did in the movie while allowing them to skate freely. Just the thought of Cars on Ice is a little disconcerting. The first 36 stops on the tour have been announced:
    Lakeland, FL - The Lakeland Center Fri 8/29/2008 - Sat 8/30/2008
    Orlando, FL - Amway Arena Fri 9/5/2008 - Sun 9/7/2008
    Nashville, TN - Sommet Center Thu 9/11/2008 - Sun 9/14/2008
    Providence, RI - Dunkin Donuts Center Providence Wed 9/17/2008 - Sun 9/21/2008
    Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center Wed 9/24/2008 -- Sun 9/28/2008
    Hampton, VA - Hampton Coliseum Wed 10/1/2008 -- Sun 10/5/2008
    Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena Wed 10/8/2008 -- Sun 10/12/2008
    Cincinnati, OH - U.S. Bank Arena Wed 10/15/2008 -- Sun 10/19/2008
    Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena Wed 10/22/2008 -- Sun 10/26/2008
    Baltimore, MD - 1st Mariner Arena Wed 10/29/2008 -- Sun 11/2/2008
    Hershey, PA - Giant Center Wed 11/5/2008 -- Sun 11/9/2008
    Richmond, VA - Richmond Coliseum Wed 11/12/2008 -- Sun 11/16/2008
    Uniondale, NY - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Wed 11/19/2008 -- Sun 11/23/2008
    East Rutherford, NJ - IZOD Center Tue 11/25/2008 -- Sun 11/30/2008
    Newark, NJ - Prudential Center Wed 12/3/2008 -- Sun 12/7/2008
    Raleigh, NC - RBC Center Wed 12/10/2008 -- Sun 12/14/2008
    Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena Wed 12/17/2008 -- Sun 12/22/2008
    Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Center Fri 12/26/2008 -- Sun 1/4/2009
    St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center Wed 1/7/2009 -- Sun 1/11/2009
    Moline, OH - i Wireless Center Thu 1/15/2009 -- Mon 1/19/2009
    Rosemont, OH - Allstate Arena Wed 1/21/2009 -- Sun 1/25/2009
    Chicago, IL - United Center Thu 1/27/2009 -- Sun 2/8/2009
    Boston, MA - TD Banknorth Garden Fri 2/13/2009 -- Sun 2/22/2009
    Auburn Hills, MI - Palace of Auburn Hills Wed 2/25/2009 -- Sun 3/1/2009
    Minneapolis, MN - Target Center Wed 3/4/2009 -- Sun 3/8/2009
    Laredo, TX - Laredo Entertainment Center Thu 3/12/2009 -- Sun 3/15/2009
    Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center Wed 3/18/2009 -- Sun 3/22/2009
    Fort Worth, TX - Fort Worth Convention Center Wed 3/25/2009 -- Sun 3/29/2009
    Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center Wed 4/1/2009 -- Sun 4/5/2009
    San Antonio, TX -Alamodome Wed 4/8/2009 -- Sun 4/12/2009
    Houston, TX - Reliant Stadium Wed 4/15/2009 -- Sun 4/19/2009
    Llittle Rock, AR - ALLTEL Arena Wed 4/22/2009 -- Sun 4/26/2009
    New Orleans, LA - UNO Lakefront Arena Wed 4/29/2009 -- Sun 5/3/2009
    Baton Rouge, LA - Baton Rouge River Center Wed 5/6/2009 -- Sun 5/10/2009
    Hidalgo, TX - Dodge Arena Wed 5/13/2009 -- Sun 5/17/2009
    Corpus Christi, TX - AmericanBank Center Wed 5/20/2009 -- Sun 5/24/2009
  • Disney is teaming up with the Ad Council and U.S. Conservation Agencies to promote "ocean awareness." Working with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of Interior, Disney has announced the launch of a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to raise awareness among all Americans about the health of the oceans.

  • The "global first look" at High School Musical 3: Senior Year will take place this Sunday night on the Disney Channel worldwide. In the U.S., it will debut Sunday night at 7:55 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, just before a rerun of Camp Rock, which Disney hopes will be their next franchise.
  • WALL-E took in $32.5 million in its second weekend, bringing its total to $127.2 million. Prince Caspian's take dropped down to just a little over a half a million dollars, bringing its 8-week total to $138.7 million. College Road Trip and Miramax's Reprise are also headed for the showers soon, as College Road Trip took in just $58,000 in 103 theaters for an 18-week total of $45.3 million, and Reprise gathered nearly $26,000 in 15 theaters for an 8-week total of just over half a million dollars.

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