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 – July 18-31, 2015

Written by Sue Nowicki

Disney News

July 18 – New tour beginning at Disney’s Contemporary Report will Escape to Walt’s Wilderness. The tour includes breakfast, a horse-drawn wagon ride, an archery lesson, and a tour of Tri-Circle-D Ranch. The cost for this tour is $109 plus tax. (Link)

July 20 – Several new offers were announced such as a ‘Kid-Size Package’ for $889-903 for a family of 3 (8/16-12/10) and up to 30% of select rooms (8/15-10/3). (Link)

July 21 – Glidden will be sponsoring a new exhibit, Colortopia, at Innoventions. The interactive exhibit will include hands-on activities focusing on color. (Link)

July 21 – Two of the six ‘Enchanted Windows’ are complete on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland. These windows feature the stories of Peter Pan and Cinderella while the remaining windows will focus on Frozen, The Princess & The Frog, Toy Story and Aladdin.

July 21 – What could this be? Another live action remake of a Disney animated classic? Why yes it is. This time it is The Sword & The Stone. The kicker is that is being written by ‘Game of Thrones’ writer Bryan Cogman. (As long as he includes that Jon Snow is still alive I will be happy.) (Link)

Disney newsJuly 22 – Veterinarians working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom don’t exclusive deal with the exotic animals from far off lands. Recently, these dedicated professionals nursed an injured gopher turtle back to health. The turtle had been hit, possibly by a car, and lost the use of his back legs. These out-of-the-box thinkers took a Lego block with wheels and attached it to the underside of the shell. It worked like magic. He was up and going in no time. The staff have now lovingly named him Wheels. You can see Wheels at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. (Link)

July 22 – An Oakland, CA couple snuck their wedding (and 25 guests) into the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. Not wanting to pay the exorbitant fee to have a traditional wedding at Disney they timed out the entire adventure to take place in the four minutes between when the doors to the Tiki Room opened and the show began. After the ‘I dos’ they even had time for a few pics before the show started. (Link)

July 23 – Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out has reached the $500M mark worldwide. (Link)

July 23 – Do you have what it takes to be the next Disney Channel star? Video tryout are taking place now through August 6. The monologue and guidelines for the audition video are available online along with tips from a couple of actors currently in the Disney stable, Paris Berelc and Jacob Bertrand. (Link)

Disney NewsJuly 23 – Disney researchers are working to protect the coral reef around Disney’s Castaway Cay. Some innovative ways they are doing this are adding sea urchins to the reef which increases healthy algaes as well as growing coral reef in nurseries then transplanting them to the reef around the island. (Link)

July 24 – The Orlando Business Journal created a list of the three things we can look forward to at this year’s D23 convention in Anaheim. They include: (1) a bigger presence of movie characters in the Disney parks, (2) Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars and possibly a new Star Wars trailer and (3) Disney’s Hollywood Adventure – Star Wars Land – whatever you want to call it, something big is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Link)

July 24 – The Vice Presidents for the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are switching roles. What does this mean? Maybe nothing. Or it could mean they are moving someone with experience in park expansion (New Fantasyland) to a park that is expanding. Just a thought. (Link)

July 25 – How many MagicBands do you have? Could you decorate your Christmas tree with a chain of Magic Bands? If so, Disney has just added the option to decline MagicBands on your MagicBands orders. (Link)

July 25 – While Disney Visa Cardholders got a couple of extra days, reservations for the special Epcot Food & Wine dining events are now open to the general public. (Link)

Disney NewsJuly 27 – A preview of the new merchandise exclusive to the 20th annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival is currently on the Disney Parks Blog. The line includes hats, clothes, mugs, housewares and NEW DOONEYS! (Link)

July 27 – Disney CEO Bob Iger says ESPN could be delivered direct to customers like HBO instead of being part of traditional cable packages. Relax ESPN fans, this will likely not happen within the next five years. (Link)

July 28 – The long-in-development “Bob: The Musical” now has some serious Hollywood heavyweights rumored to be close to signing on, the biggest of which is Tom Cruise in the lead role of ‘Bob’. (Link)

July 28 – Beginning on November 8, the Garden Grill Restaurant in Epcot will now be hosting Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Breakfast Harvest Feast. Menu items include biscuits & gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon and, of course, Mickey Waffles all served family style. You can begin making Advanced Dining Reservations now. (Link)

July 29 – Ticket are now on sales for Disneyland’s Mickey’s Halloween Party (Link)

July 29 – Several small constructions projects are taking place at Walt Disney World. These include minor repairs at Le Cellier, Castle Couture, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Backlot Express Restaurant and Columbia Harbor House. (Link)

July 31 – A new primetime show will be debuting tonight on the Disney Channel. The Descendants will tell the story of the children of Disney most infamous villains. (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

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.