Episode 116: D23 Expo Park News Round-up

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 116. In this episode, we are going to be discussing some incredibly exciting new developments coming to the Disney Parks. This August, thousands of Disney fans attended the 2015 D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Guests at the Expo enjoyed hearing about many amazing things, including some long circulated rumors are now becoming reality. We look forward to sharing our opinions with you as we look at some of the details that were shared with Disney’s biggest fans.

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, and David Smith.

Connect with us!

MouseQuest on Twitter: @MQPodcast

Amy Bechtol on Twitter: @uccats97

Dawn Gosdin on Twitter: @logpey Blog: Dawn’s Dorky Diary

Rich Grady on Twitter: @michigansahd

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

News From The World of Disney – August 1 – 14, 2015

Written by Sue Nowicki

Disney News

August 2 – The 2nd quarter injury report is out for the Florida theme parks. Walt Disney World had 10 injuries including spread evenly between their four theme parks and water parks. (Link)

August 3 – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for Halloween night is sold out. (Link)

August 3 – Breakfast at Be Our Guest has been extended beyond 10/4. (Link)

August 4 – The Walt Disney Company has purchased three parcels of land near Disneyland. Possibly Star Wars or Marvel expansion? Who know?! (Link)

August 4 – Disney Channel’s new original movie, The Descendants, was a huge hit. The first airing on Friday, July 31 garnered 6.6 million viewers. What’s even more impressive is that the rerun showing on Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2 boasted another 6.2 million viewers. (Link)

August 4 – The Walt Disney Company reported record profits in the 3rd quarter of its fiscal year. For the quarter ending June 27 they had earnings of $2.5 billion. (Link)

Disney NewsAugust 4 – Disneyland has released a new smartphone app called ‘Disneyland’ (unique, I know). This app allow guests to check wait times and park hours. It is currently available in the App Store and Google Play. (Link)

August 5 – High school students can now apply for the Disney Dreamers Academy. (Link)

August 6 – Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine is now open for reservations. The special dining experience will take place November 7, 2015 through January 3, 2016. At the dinner you can meet Minnie, Mickey, Donald & Daisy Duck and best of all, Santa Goofy. (Link)

August 7 – The Disney Institute has long been a great place train business executives in the ‘Disney Way’. This year the Baltimore Ravens took it a step further by having the Disney Institute train their 2,000+ gameday employees with the goal being ‘championship’ services to fans attending games at the newly renovated M&T Bank Stadium. (Link)

Disney NewsAugust 7 – Disney’s Golden Oaks is adding Four Seasons-inspired homes. Not only will the owners of these private residences get the advantages of ownership in Golden Oaks they will also enjoy the amenities of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando. Crack open your piggy bank as prices for these homes start at $5 million. (Link)

August 7 – Do you have the World’s Best Grandparents? Walt Disney World is accepting entries for the World’s Best Grandparent’s contest. The winner gets an eight-day Grand Adventure to Walt Disney World for up to six people. Entries are being accepted until August 28. (Link)

August 8 – “Disney Vacations” magazine is now available on Flipboard. This magazine features the daily stories and updates from the Disney Parks Blog. (Link)

August 11 – Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a hamster to visit Walt Disney World? Wonder no more. (Link)

August 11 – The House of Blue in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney is leaving for a bigger location in GardenWalk Mall in Anaheim. They have outgrown their current 23,000 sq. ft. venue prompting the move to the 40,000 sq. ft. location. (Link)

August 12 – The highly anticipated film (at least by huge fans of Walt Disney, the man and the myth) “Walt Before Mickey” is being premiered at the AMC Downtown Disney 24 on Friday, August 14. Cast members will greet movie-goers and sign autographs from 12:00pm – 6:00pm. (Link)

August 12 – “The Lion King” is getting a sequel which will air on the Disney Channel in November. “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar” will follow Kion, the second cub of Simba & Nala. The cast includes James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa, Rob Lowe as Simba, Gabrielle Union as Nala and Max Charles (The Amazing Spiderman 1 & 2) as Kion, the leader of the Lion Guard who protect the Pride Lands. (Link)

August 13 – Disney-a-holics are uniting in Disneyland for the annual D23 convention. (Link)

8/13 – CoverGirl makeup is introducing a new “Star Wars” make up collection which will include lipsticks, mascara and nail polishes. (Link)

Disney News

That’s all the news for now. Follow me on Twitter @JazzinDisneyMom for more Disney news.

Latest News From the World of Disney: September 25, 2015

Other posts by this author:
”The Descendants” Movie Review
Disney by Land, Disney by Sea: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3
”Tomorrowland” Movie Review
Best Walt Disney World Smartphone Apps
Restaurant Review – Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – The Way Life Should Be
A Day in the Life of Disney’s FastPass+ Service

News From the World of Disney: June 19 – July 3

Written by Sue Nowicki

Disney News

June 19 – Starbucks is now open in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Offering its staple menu of coffee and espresso beverages, this location will also donate a portion of their proceeds on the sale of each Flat White Latte to help preserve the cotton-top tamarin in Columbia. (Link)

June 21 – Any questions about Disney’s bump in the road with the release of “Tomorrowland”, were answered with a resounding ‘so what’ as their new movie “Inside Out” raked in $91.06 million in its opening weekend. Add this to the overseas take of $41 million and you get a gargantuan $132 million weekend. For those keeping count this is the biggest opening week EVER for an original, non-sequel, non-sourced movie. (Link)

June 22 – When the 2016 Walt Disney World vacation packages were released this week they included a few new changes such as four mini golf vouchers instead of two, four vouchers for ESPN Wide World of Sports and discounts at Splitsville Luxury Lanes were reduced to 10% from 20%. The terms and conditions saw some tweaks as well. (Link)

June 23 – The Candlelight Processional Dinner package prices have been released for 2015. However, booking for the dinner package is slated for later this summer. (Link)

Disney NewsJune 23 – After a world-wide search we now know the star and director of the new “Spider-Man” movie. The star will be 19-year-old Tom Holland playing the part Peter Parker/Spider-Man and the director will be Jon Watts. The estimated release date for this movie will be July 28, 2017. Holland will actually make his first appearance as the webbed-wonder in “Captain America: Civil War” set for release in 2016. (Link)

June 23 – Fans of Pocahontas can now greet her at the Discovery Island Character Landing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (Link)

June 24 – A California man is suing Disneyland because they cancelled his Club 33 membership. One of the original members of the club, Joseph Cosgrove, 84, was terminated after a friend of his allegedly auction off passes to the exclusive club. He claims he has no knowledge the auction of his passes was taking place. A spokeswoman for Disneyland said this was not Mr. Cosgrove’s first offense. (Link)

June 24 – California Screamin’ attraction at Disney’s California Adventure was closed for approximately one hour after a guest pulled out a ‘selfie stick’ while the ride was in progress. (Link)

June 25 – Captain EO will be back on the schedule at Epcot beginning July 19. (Link)

Disney NewsJune 25 – Disney has settled the copyright infringement lawsuit over the “Frozen” trailer which bore many similarities to the short film “The Snowman”. While no details of the settlement were release, this gives Disney the ability to continue with their planning of the “Frozen” sequel. (Link)

June 25 – The Walt Disney Company received a prestigious award from the Department of Defense. Disney was awarded, along with 15 other recipients, the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award given to employers who support the National Guard and Reserve employees. (Link)

June 26 – Several weeks ago it was announced that Jay Rasulo, Disney’s CFO, was stepping down. According to SEC filing, Rasulo will stay with The Walt Disney World Company as an ‘advisor’ at his current salary. (Link)

June 26 – After events at Disney’s California Adventure earlier this week, Disney Parks are now completely banning ‘selfie sticks’. Starting on June 30 Disney Parks world-wide are banning selfie sticks from their parks. I have two words for this… THANK GOODNESS! (Link)

June 29 – The Magic of Disney Animation is closing on July 12. A Disney World spokeswoman said work is underway for a new experience in that location. (Link)

June 29 – Disney’s Consumer Product division and Disney Interactive are combining into a new operation called, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. (Link)

Disney NewsJune 29 – If you weren’t wasting enough time on your phone playing Frozen Free Fall or creating pictures of yourself as Maleficient in the Disney Side app, there is a new app called Disney Gif to help fill the void. Disney Gif is a keyboard add-on which allows you to attached gifs and emojis to your messages and emails. (Link)

June 29 – Disneyland is proposing a $1 billion dollar expansion which will include new attractions, parking and infrastructure. In return for this boost to the Anaheim economy, Disneyland wants to extend their abatement of admissions tax for the next thirty years. The Anaheim City Council will vote on this abatement at their July 7 meeting. (Link)

June 29 – As quick as they came, they are now gone. The ‘Match The Species’ treats which resembled animal droppings will no longer be offered in Zuri’s Sweets Shop in Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (Link)

June 30 – Disney fans attending the D23 conference at the Anaheim Convention Center will get an extra special treat. Author of The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book, Lorraine Santoli, will host ‘Celebrating Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club—60 Magical Years’. This session will take place Sunday, August 16, at 5 p.m. in Stage 23. Original Mouseketeers Sherry Alberoni, Sharon Baird, Bobby Burgess, Tommy Cole, Darlene Gillespie, Cubby O’Brien, and Doreen Tracey are scheduled to be in attendance. (Link)

June 30 – The rash of closings around Walt Disney World continues as DisneyQuest, Disney’s indoor interactive theme park, is the next victim. It is closing to make way for the new NBA Experience. (Link)

Disney NewsJune 30 – The Walt Disney Company has named Christine McCarthy as the next Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Jay Rasulo. McCarthy was formerly Disney’s treasurer. They also promoted Kevin Mayer to the newly-created position of Chief Strategy Officer with roughly the same job duties which include identifying growth opportunities. Mayer was integral in the acquisitions of Lucasfilm and Pixar. (Link)

July 1 – Disneyland is asking their guests so dress like it’s 1955 when they come to the park on July 17th which is the actual 60th anniversary of the park. (Link)

July 2 – Beginning on July 8 Disney’s Contemporary Report will host Disney Family Culinary Adventure. During this hands on experience guests will create a five-course dinner alongside Disney chefs. The cost is $175 for adults and $125 for children ages 9-12. (Link)

July 2 – The ABC daytime talk show The Chew will tapes shows at the 20th Epcot Food & Wine Festival October 7-9. (Link)

July 2 – I want to preface this by saying this is purely RUMOR but a really good one. This blog claims that there are plans afoot to announce the rebranding of Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Disney’s Hollywood Adventure at the D23 conference in August. This plan is said to come with a $3 billion overhaul of the park. (Link)

July 3 – Rumors are rampant that One Man’s Dream, a look at Walt Disney’s life, is closing. Disney fans around the world have started to rally to keep this iconic attraction open. A Change.org petition has started and already has nearly 6,000 signatures. (Link)

Disney News

That’s all the news for now. Follow me on Twitter @JazzinDisneyMom for more Disney news.

Latest News From the World of Disney: September 25, 2015

Other posts by this author:
”The Descendants” Movie Review
Disney by Land, Disney by Sea: Part 1 & Part 2
”Tomorrowland” Movie Review
Best Walt Disney World Smartphone Apps
Restaurant Review – Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – The Way Life Should Be
A Day in the Life of Disney’s FastPass+ Service

Sue Nowicki splits her time between planning her next Walt Disney World vacation and being team mom to ten high-energy volleyball players where she fills the roles of secretary, navigator, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist. You can follow her on Twitter @JazzinDisneyMom.

News From The World of Disney: April 25 – May 8, 2015

Written by Sue Nowicki

Disney News

Disney newsApril 25 – Get your popcorn ready! Disney revealed its movie line up through the summer of 2017. No surprises really just a lot of fun movie viewing over the next 2+ years. (Link)

April 26 – Disney Cruise Line recently introduced the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. This app allows guests using the ship’s Wi-Fi network to plan their day, navigate the ship and take a look at all the menus. (Link)

April 26 – The Walt Disney World Company is being sued by a California company, InCom Corp. InCom Corp. claims the attendance tracking feature of the MagicBand is technology it developed. (Link)

April 26 – The first quarter theme park injuries report was issued. Universal led the way with seven reported injuries while Walt Disney World was close behind with six. None of the injuries were life-threatening. (Link)

April 28 – Guests using Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS) will now have their DAS information stored on their MagicBand. Guests not using MagicBands will still be able to use the program with the traditional cards. (Link)

Disney newsApril 29 – Tokyo Disney, in conjunction with Oriental Land Company, revealed design sketches of its eighth port, Scandinavia with a portion themed to Disney’s Frozen. (Link)

April 30 – Disney purchased the Carousel Inn & Suites for a $32 million. The Carousel Inn, located directly across Harbor Boulevard from Disneyland, has 131 rooms. Current management will continue to operate the hotel. (Link)

May 1 – You know a cruise line is top-notch when every single ship in their fleet makes USA Today’s Best Cruise Ships for Families Top 10 list. That is exactly what Disney Cruise Line did. Lead by the Disney Dream at #1, all four ships in the fleet, the Disney Fantasy #4, the Disney Magic #5 and the Disney Wonder #8, finished in the top 10. (Link)

May 1 – This summer Epcot will be offering a sneak peek of Disney-Pixar’s new original film “Inside Out”. Unlike other sneak peeks which just features clips from the movie, this special preview will offer special in-theatre effects and an exclusive introduction from the filmmakers. (Link)

Disney newsMay 5 – The folks at Disney Merchandising have outdone themselves. They are now featuring a Disney Tails line of merchandise just for man’s best friend. From Mickey Bar squeak toys to personalized dogs to ‘Up’-inspired scarfs, there is Disney-inspired merchandise for even the most discerning canine. Disney Tails merchandise is currently available online and will be coming to select locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World this spring. (Link)

May 3 – Would you be disappointed in a second place finish if you were only second to yourself? That’s what happened to ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ this weekend. The mega-hit raked in $191.3 million, a feat only bested by the original ‘The Avengers’ who brought in $207.4 million on its opening weekend. (Link)

May 5 – As if Star Wars Weekends are not amazing enough, now fans can enjoy some much needed rest and sustenance in the Rebel Hanger: A Star Wars Lounge Experience. The lounge will features light Star Wars-themed fare and drinks. I mean seriously, who could resist ‘The Dark Fried’ chicken and Darth Vader waffles served with maple syrup and sweet barbeque sauce. (Link)

May 5 – I don’t think it’s a highly guarded secret that The Walt Disney World Company makes some pretty good money and their second quarter earnings report supports that fact. The entertainment giant reported $2.1 billion in net income (income minus expenses) for the second quarter which ended on March 28, 2015. Their six month net income for 2015 is $4.29 billion. (Link)

May 5 – Pandora is no longer for teenagers. The music streaming site now has a channel called “Disney Aulani Sounds”. The music featured on this channel can be heard throughout Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. (Link)

May 6 – Attention Pin Trading Fans: The Disney Store Online Store just unveiled a Disney Park Pack – Trading Edition. This exclusive box of pins includes a limited edition pin that is only available in the Park Pack as well as two open edition pins which are not yet available in the parks. The new Park Packs will be released on the first Thursday of every month. (Link)

May 7 – D23: The Official Disney Fan Club announced a partial list of the presentations at the D23 EXPO 2015, August 14-16 in Disneyland. They include the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony hosted by CEO Bob Iger which will be held on August 14. This ceremony honors those individual who have made a significant contribution to the Disney legacy. Attendees will also get sneak peeks at upcoming Disney movies Zootopia, Finding Dory, Alice Through The Looking Glass and The Jungle Book. (Link)

Disney newsMay 7 – The shake-up in The Walt Disney World Company management following the naming of Tom Staggs as Chief Operating Officer continues with the newest announcement. Leslie Ferraro has been named President of Disney Consumer Product. Formerly, Ferraro served as Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Sales and Travel Operations. (That’s a mouthful. I bet her new business cards will be much easier to read now.) (Link)

May 7 – 12 guests were rescued from Kali River Rapids in the Animal Kingdom by Reedy Creek Emergency Service after one of the ride vehicles became stuck due to ‘some sort of malfunction on the ride’. (Link)

Disney News

That’s all the news for now. Follow me on Twitter @JazzinDisneyMom for more Disney news.

Latest News From the World of Disney: September 25, 2015

Other posts by this author:
”The Descendants” Movie Review
Disney by Land, Disney by Sea: Part 1 & Part 2
”Tomorrowland” Movie Review
Best Walt Disney World Smartphone Apps
Restaurant Review – Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – The Way Life Should Be
A Day in the Life of Disney’s FastPass+ Service

Sue Nowicki splits her time between planning her next Walt Disney World vacation and being team mom to ten high-energy volleyball players where she fills the roles of secretary, navigator, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist. You can follow her on Twitter @JazzinDisneyMom.