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 – 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: July 4 – 17, 2015

Written by Sue Nowicki

Disney News

Disney NewsJuly 5 – Mickey Mouse has an uncharacteristic frown on his face. Disney legend Blaine Gibson, sculptor and animator for Walt Disney Studios since 1939, passed away at the age of 97. Gibson not only animated Disney classics such as 101 Dalmatian, Fantasia, Bambi and Peter Pan, he also sculpted the ‘Partners’ statues in Walt Disney World and Disneyland as well as all of the presidents in the Hall of Presidents through George W. Bush. According to a family friend, Gibson was watching 101 Dalmatians with his grandson before he ‘took his final nap’. (Link)

July 7 – Readers of Travel & Leisure recently voted on the 2015 World’s Best Awards and Disney Cruise Line came out on top of the #1 Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line for Families and Top Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line for the second time in a row. (Link)

July 7 – Comic-Con is coming! Comic-Con is coming! You know what that means? Star Wars news. The first bit of news to hit the media is that makers of The Lego Movie are teaming up again to write and direct a new Star Wars movie which will focus on a young Han Solo. The projected release date is May 25, 2018. (Link)

July 8 – Johnny Depp, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, took a break from filming the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie to visit a children’s hospital in Brisbane, Australia. The video of the encounter will make your heart smile while you reach for a hankie. (Link)

July 7 – Who will be the next royal to grace the silver screen in a live-action Disney movie? It appears that it will be Prince Charming. A writer and producers are already attached to the project. (Link)

Disney NewsJuly 8 – A state of the art wine service machine called the WineStation is now in use at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Resort. The machine allows sommeliers to serve vintage wines by the glass which average guests might find too expensive to buy by the bottle. (Link)

July 8 – A partial listing of Candlelight Processional narrators was released featuring Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Joe Morton, Meredith Vieria, Edward James Olmos and Amy Grant. Candlelight Processional Dinner packages have also gone on sale for most dates. (Link)

July 8 – As reported in the last Disney News post, the city of Anaheim was voting to give Disneyland a 30 year tax abatement on ticket gate tax. After rather contentious debate, including the Mayor, Tom Tait, adamantly arguing against the abatement, the Council voted 3-2 to approve the deal. For their part, Disney has agreed to spend $1 billion by enhancing and adding to the park and building a new 5,000-space parking lot. Also, if Disney spends another $500 million the agreement is extended to 45 years. (Link)

July 10 – Recently filed permits indicate that the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will indeed be back for 2015. (Link)

July 10 – It appears that 300-plus cabins at the Campsite at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are getting a rehab. (Link)

July 13 – When the 20th edition of Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival begins in September it will not only take place in the World Showcase, it will expand this year into Future World. (Link)

July 14 – At the D23 Expo in August, eight Disney legends will be recognized for their contributions to the Disney legacy. These legends include George Bodenheimer (retired Executive Chairman of ESPN), Andreas Deja (Disney animator), Eyvind Earle (Disney artist), Danny Elfman (Musician), George Lucas (filmmaker), Susan Lucci (actress), Julie Reihm Casaletto (first Disneylany Ambassador) and Carson Van Osten (Disney Executive). (Link)

July 14 – Registration for the 2016 Princess Half Marathon weekend events have opened. However, if you are reading this and haven’t registered you might be out of luck. The half marathon, 10K and Glass Slipper Challenge are already sold out. If you missed out on registering for one of these events you can consider running for a charity or possible getting a registration through one of the approved travel agencies. (Link)

July 14 – Prince Harry’s Invictus Games are coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports in May, 2016. The Invictus Games is a competition for wounded servicemen and women. This is the first time the Invictus Games will take place in the United States.

July 14 – New details on Shanghai Disneyland were shared by Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger including the names of the six themed lands: Fantasyland, Treasure Cove, Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland, Mickey Avenue and Gardens of Imagination where ‘Ignite the Dream, a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light’ will take place. (Link)

July 15 – Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland is expanding in 2015. There will be 17 parties this year beginning on September 11 and culminating on October 31. (Link)

July 16 – And the future hits keep on coming. Have you ever wondered how the Genie from Aladdin got stuck in that magic lamp? Disney is going to answer that question in their latest live-action prequel, Genies. Genies does not have a release dates yet. (Link) (Manager Note: Look out for a blog post summarizing all the upcoming Disney movies in the next few weeks.)

July 16 – As part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Frozen Summer Fun, the Ice Palace Boutique is opening beginning on July 26. The boutique will transform guest ages 3-12 into their favorite Frozen character. It will be located on Commissary Lane across from ABC Commissary. (Link)

July 17 – Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday Dear Disneyland! Happy Birthday to you! (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.