MousePlanet Mailbag

by Stephanie Wien, contributing writer

Happy Thanksgiving to all our mailbag readers! We have a cornucopia of letters for you this week. Starting it off is a letter to the mailbag editor.

Suzanne S. writes:

Disneyland, Then, Now and Forever is the book that I have wanted since my first visit to Disneyland (in the late 1950's)! Can I order this? If so at what cost? I may need as many as five of them. My family are all Disneyland addicts! We were there this week, Tuesday and Wednesday. I looked in many of the shops for the book. Without exception the clerks said... everyone asks for that book. Sometimes we have them but we run out right away. Is it me, or is this a no-brainer?

There are several online sellers linked through the Amazon website. That might be your best bet to find it. Good luck!

Next, columnist David Koenig answers a letter in response to his column, "Monorail Investigation Deepens" (October 13, 2009).

An anonymous reader writes:

What the hell? Right?! I mean, I always thought Village Haus was underwhelming but after it opens with those marvels of the mega grocer the level of tasteless will be jumping from the plate to the setting.

Did you find out whether or not there was going to be that nice green circled arrow sticker with a sign that says automatic door stuck up on the glass?

And what is George going to do about this? Is he actually going to stand for this level of legal hedging? Doesn't the resort have any price anymore?

And thank you for being the protector of WDW's monorail riders. I get that the CM's might feel scared of retaliation from Disney if they were to open up, and I don't presume to know their individual life circumstances, but I'd hope that those drivers would take a good look at their take home pay and realize that another fatality on their watch is not worth the pittance. As always, great work!

Thanks. Great, yet discouraging, analogy.

Staff writer Adrienne Krock's article "Breastfeeding at Disneyland" (November 19, 2009) generated the following response.

Jim P. writes:

Personally I have no problems with moms breast feeding their children in public, it's natural and a part of life, but I do believe there should be a level of decorum involved, especially within the park(s). I certainly feel it is ok to breast feed within general seating or dining areas, especially in a nice shady people-watching spot which are usually in populated areas and moms shouldn't have to hide or be hidden from public view. I do appreciate when moms wear the appropriate clothing for such a "task", let's face it, it doesn't always go as planned.

That being said, I don't agree with the practice of breast feeding while on a ride. In open public areas where people are able to come and go as they please is one thing, but on a ride you're pretty much stuck for that amount of time and anyone feeling uncomfortable has no choice but to endure it. I can understand people feeling strained in that situation, and if they waited their turn they should be afforded the same guarantee of comfort to enjoy the ride we all expect. No eating, drinking, smoking or flash photography is for the comfort of all guests while on a ride and should be the responsibility of us all, even the little guys. Thanks for the article, it was a thought provoking piece.

Thanks for your comments. To clarify, when I've nursed on rides, the only people with me were members of my own party. For example, on Pirates of the Caribbean, you're usually not seated in the same row with a group of strangers. On the Haunted Mansion, my family and friends would be the only other people in the doom buggy with me. Guests in other rows or vehicles would not be able to see or be exposed to the baby nursing.

Next, Walt Disney World Park Update author Mark Goldhaber answers a reader question about an upcoming Disney promotion.

Donald writes:

Can you tell me what this comment is all about?

"If you're an annual passholder, don't forget the second annual holiday passholder sale from 6:30-9:30 a.m. at the World of Disney, with possible savings of over 50 percent!"

Do they sell annual passes at a reduced rate at this time and place?

It's a merchandise sale at World of Disney with deep discounts, and it's open to annual passholders only. There's also a small blurb about it in the Mickey Monitor, the quarterly passholder publication.

Jim Korkis writes to share the following news about Disney Legend Bill Justice:

Bill Justice is getting ready to celebrate his 96th Birthday February 9th, but he’s been in a rehabilitation home for the last few years and visitation has been tightly restricted. A good friend of mine who is a talented Disney artist recently visited him and said Bill had difficulty remembering recent events but if the artist mentioned a name from the "Golden Age" of Disney, Bill perked up and his memories were clear as a bell.

Bill hasn't been in the best of spirits so it has been requested that it would be nice for him to get some holidays cards and of course, some birthday cards, to let him know that he hasn't been forgotten.

My interview with Bill appears in Walt's People Vol. 3

For those unfamiliar with Bill's many accomplishments, he is probably best known for his animation on the characters Chip'n'Dale and for his early work programming audio-animatronics on such attractions as "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Haunted Mansion". He was the one who designed the recently closed attraction, the "Mickey Mouse Revue" and painted the huge mural of characters in Exposition Hall at Walt Disney World. Basically, his accomplishments were enough to fill a book...and they did in the limited edition self-published "Justice for Disney" book he authored.

Bill has been a long time friend of the Disney fan community and has attended many conventions, cruise ship excursions, and other events often drawing Disney characters on paper plates and then tossing them like frisbees into the crowd.

It is being requested that Disney fans show their love by sending him a card or letter (remember that he won't be able to respond or fill a request for artwork) and perhaps include a photo that may have been taken with him. Something to remind him of his impact and how he is still very much loved and appreciated.

Bill is one of the few remaining connections to people who actually worked with Walt and Bill's contributions include not just animation but work at the Disney theme parks.

The address is:
Bill Justice
Arbor View Wellness & Rehabilitation Center
1338 20th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Finally, staff writer Steve Russo answers a reader question about dining plans at Walt Disney World.

Leah writes:

We have a reservation at Hoop Dee Doo at 5:00 and plan to be at Animal Kingdom that day. We don't have Park Hopper passes, so I thought it was good timing since the park closes early anyway and we wouldn't have to rush back to catch any evening events. However, we have reservations at Tusker House at 1:30 which comes with guaranteed seating at the Finding Nemo show at 3:15. I believe it ends at 3:45. Do you think taking a cab is the only way to make it on time to Fort Wilderness to arrive by 4:30-4:45? I called the cab company and they said I would still need to get on an internal shuttle after they drop us off; I assume it's the Crockett bus that takes you to Settlement Camp.

You're cutting it close. After Nemo, it will take a few minutes to exit the theater, then a few more to make your way out of the park. Getting into a waiting taxi may be the best bet. You will have to take the internal bus to the Settlement but it's no longer called Boone or Crockett. Good luck.

Leah replies:

I guess a cab is the only way, then.

One more question--even by taking a cab, I'm anticipating that we still will need about an hour minimum after Nemo's over, which would bring the estimated time of arrival to somewhere around 4:45 (crossing my fingers). If for some reason, we arrive at 5:00 or later, will they give our table away to any standbys? Is there a phone number at Hoop Dee Doo to call in case we're late?

Thanks again for any helpful insights you might have on this.

As I said, I think you're cutting this very close from the transportation end. I also think a buffet lunch at 1:30 followed by the feeding frenzy of Hoop-Dee-Doo at 5:00 is a little too close together. My advice would be to move the Tusker House reservation to a different day. You could also choose to see Finding Nemo earlier in the day, without the "reserved seating." You haven't said when you're visiting but, even during the peak times, you should be able to get into the Nemo show without too much difficulty.

If you keep the reservations you had, I would suggest sitting nearest the exit (right side) at Nemo. When the show ends, hustle out of the park and into a taxi as quickly as you can. I don't think they'll give away your table but they could if you're a "no show." It's very unlikely they'll seat you once the show starts but, after the opening numbers, the performers take a short break to allow the guests to eat - you could be seated then.

Sorry, I have no numbers for the Hoop-Dee-Doo but you could contact 407-WDW-DINE and ask these questions there. My fear is you will only get the stock answers. Good luck.