There’s a huge amount of Disney and Theme Park news and information for you this week.  We begin with round two of the Blackfish controversy as yet another orca trainer comes forward. We then enjoy the last fleeting memories of Disneyland during the Holidays and look towards Captain America landing at Innoventions in the spring.  Did you hear that ground has finally broken on the Avatar project at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom? Let’s look at what’s new and blue.  We have some wildly entertaining podcasts to share, ranging from the world-famous Seasonpass podcast to the haunted Doombuggies Spook Show . . . and YES, there’s a NEW MiceChat Podcast too!


Get Mouseaddict for free HERE

Top Stories


More Blackfish Backlash – Tilikum’s Trainer Dives In
Last week, we brought you the story of Bridgette Pirtle, a former SeaWorld trainer who regrets her involvement with the film Blackfish. We follow up on Bridgette’s story with Mark Simmons, a noted orca expert and former SeaWorld trainer, who also regret his association with Blackfish and condemns the factual errors found in the film.

Blackfish Exposed by Former SeaWorld Trainer
We recently sat down with former SeaWorld Trainer Bridgette M. Pirtle to talk about her involvement with the production of the film BlackFish. We were amazed by what we learned, and we think you will be too.



Amazing MiceChat Anniversary Weekend – February 7-9th, 2014 – Disneyland Resort

Hurry, hurry, step right up ladies and gentlemen. The greatest show on the Internet is about to set up for a weekend of fun, frivolity and friendship at the happiest place on earth. Don’t miss out on this epic extravaganza of entertaining excitements!!!


It’s time to get ready for the next BIG MiceChat Trip!  Join Bob Gurr and the MiceChat Crew as we set sail for the Mediterranean for points exotic.  Stay long enough and you can also join us for a trip though Disneyland Paris!  Ask us for more details by emailing us at [email protected]

MiceChat Podcast

MiceChat Podcast #14- Looking Into Disney’s Crystal Ball

January is a great time to reflect on the year past and the year ahead. On this episode, we share our favorite and biggest theme park moments of 2013 and our predictions for 2014 and beyond. What will be our biggest story of 2013? Will it be Disney’s MyMagic+, SeaWorld’s Blackfish problem, Tony Baxter’s retirement from Disney . . .?  Listen on to find out. Then we turn our attention to 2014 and what is already shaping up to be a magical year for Universal as Harry Potter 2.0 – Diagon Alley – prepares to open at the Orlando park. Plus, Disneyland to sink the Subs, Tomorrowland Star Wars projects, major project issues and much, much more. We even have a cameo by Robert Coker about the project to save Walt Disney’s birthplace in Chicago.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

Disney Parks News and Reports

This week we take a trip back in time, and stop in 1956, the 1960’s and 1986.  Another Marvel Superhero will appearing in Tomorrowland, and we also find some character meet and greets in Big Thunder Ranch! ~ Aladdin

MiceChat Newsletter

Anyone… what to share their great pics of Disneyland Christmas decorating?
Gwen Rowan didn’t bring their camera to Disneyland during the Christmas season, but would like to see some of your pictures from this most recent holiday season!

Captain America to arrive this spring!
Another Marvel character will be appearing in Disneyland this spring, as Innoventions appears to be transmogrifying in to a Marvel Superhero hangout.

Disneyland home movie from the 1960s
EndorExpress shares some old family home movies from visiting Disneyland during the 1960’s! Mermaids and Matterhorn Mountaineers can also be seen!

DL press kit 1986
Drugas takes us back to Disneyland circa 1986, with this Video Press Kit. Here you can experience Keel Boats, Country Bears, the Swiss Family Treehouse, and a continuation of Disneyland’s 30th Birthday!

Rare Characters At Big Thunder Ranch
Big Thunder Ranch is a lot less fun, now that Disneyland fired Billy Hill and the Hillbillies (be sure to go to Knott’s, to see Kirk Wall, now). Disneyland is attempting to fill the void with some character meet and greets and a lonely piano player.

1950s Disneyland & Disneyland Hotel Footage
oldhotelguy has some more treats from his vault and this time brings us some movies from around 1956, of Disneyland and the Disneyland Hotel!


Our armchair imagineers are back, and they have some interesting and original ideas for the Disneyland Resort. ~ Trekkie Dad

An ORIGINAL Tomorrowland Ride!!
DisneylandMaster has an idea for a new Tomorrowland attraction that no connection to a movie franchise.

Get Rid of Magic Eye Theater?
bkroz thinks the Magic Eye Theater is outdated and hides what might have been an impressive view of Space Mountain.

A different take on World Showcase as a Disneyland 3rd gate?
While many MiceChatters have voiced ideas about a third gate for Anaheim, lasttuesday proposes creating Epcot-like World Showcase cityscapes that incorporate the intimacy found in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square.


This week brings some welcome glimpses into the new parade debuting at the Magic Kingdom later this year (looks awesome!), a question about what’s going on with the Disney’s Hollywood Studios rumors, and a BIG step forward in the slowest moving project ever. Some big news to check out in this week’s roundup! ~yoyoflamingo

MiceChat Newsletter

Construction begins for AVATAR-inspired Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
In the slowest moving project ever, the Land That Nobody Wants has finally broken ground. Share your enthusiasm to see this land built here.

Hollywood Studios Expansion
Remember the rumors we were going to get some big changes at the Studios? Well…what happened to them? Read the (rumored) plans and what happened to them here.

New Float for the new Festival of Fantasy Parade revealed: Maleficent
With nary a glass castle float in sight, a new parade float has been revealed, with a pretty bold design aesthetic for the Magic Kingdom: a steampunk inspired Maleficent dragon. Take a look and share your thoughts here!

AV Room

Welcome to the Season Two Finale of Communicore Weekly, where we talk about Submarine Voyage, Magic Kingdom Storybook, and the Musical! DISNEY HISTORY! — George and Jeff dive dive dive as they look at the Submarine Voyage in this weeks Disney History! BOOK OF THE WEEK! — George reads at a 3rd grade level with the Magic Kingdom Storybook for the Book of the Week! 60 SECOND REVIEW! — George and Jeff review Communicore Weekly the Musical in the 60 Second Review! FIVE LEGGED GOAT! — And finally, find out where the seawater supply comes from in this week’s Five Legged Goat!

The Haunted Mansion Show Episode 4: The Hatbox Ghost’s Magic and Mischief!
In this episode of “The Haunted Mansion Show,” the infamous Hatbox Ghost will be summoned from his resting place. Watch in amazement as he pulls a few tricks up his sleeve….if he had any. This seems rather innocent; just another webshow on MiceChat. But there’s a twist: This webshow is Haunted! Based on Walt Disney’s classic attraction, “The Haunted Mansion,” join the Ghost Host as he brings you a show that will make your neck hairs rise…or not.

Knott’s Berry Farm Calico Mine Ride Presentation held a special, private event to celebrate the Calico Mine Ride on its last day of operation. In this video, historian, Eric Lynxwiler interviews several key people about the attraction’s past and its near future refurbishment.


DoomBuggies Spook Show #4: In this episode, we discuss a listener’s “Top Ten Questions About the Haunted Mansion,” since they echo many questions regularly asked about this seminal haunted attraction. What exactly is inside of that big Haunted Mansion building facade? Will Guillermo de Toro ever come through with his proposed movie treatment of the Haunted Mansion?

Direct Link

Wakefield Report, covers the latest in theme park news! Find out what the nine news nuggets you need to know are!

Direct Link | iTunes Link

Disafterdark Disney Podcast: Appearing in the Mouse’s Head this week Are Jonathan Lewis-Jones from salonmickey, his wife, and our social media expert Craig Lucas. The Lewis-Jones are enjoying a cocktail live from the Manhattan bar in the Hotel New York in Disneyland Paris, Craig is on Guinness and the rest of us are mopping up after Christmas and new year

Direct Link

Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast: Welcome to our first show of 2014 and our first weekly show. On this news episode we discuss some interesting Universal Orlando Holiday surveys and go in depth on the Harry Potter Celebration, among other things. Get comfy and enjoy.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast, Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.  We are back with episode 15 of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast and  we’re thrilled to bring you part 2 of our SeaWorld Christmas special, with lots of treats.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

Window to the Magic introduces a new game. Jeremiah takes you on a sound-seeing tour at Walt Disney World, to Animal Kingdom and to the now extinct Camp Minnie Mickey Theatre… to enjoy the temporarily gone “Legend of the Lion King” Show. Can YOU follow along using ONLY the audio clues in the park??

Direct Link

The Seasonpass Podcast
This Week- Nick Sim joins TSPP to discuss his new book based on the UK’s Alton Towers Theme Park called Tales from the Towers.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

Mousetalgia: Robbie Sherman talks very candidly about his father Robert Sherman in terms of both Saving Mr. Banks and Meryl Streep’s recent comments about Walt Disney. He also talks at length about Robert’s career and life, and the story behind “It’s a Small World.” We also tackle Meryl Streep’s comments in a Mousetalgia round table.

Direct Link

V24 Disney Radio

Friday afternoons on V24 Radio are all yours! We’ll be taking your requests from noon till 5pm Eastern every Friday – an entire afternoon of what YOU want!

Send us your requests here and we’ll get them on Friday afternoon for Your Favorite Fridays, brought to you by Fairy Godmother Travel!


Other Theme Parks

Why was HKDL built small?
Mondo Mouse started an interesting conversation on why the size of Hong Kong Disneyland was built the way it was.


Other Theme Parks

Save the dates of Feburary 7th, 8th and 9th, 2014 for special Disney presentations, cocktail parties, Lunches, breakfasts, meets in the park, giveaways, friendship and more. Make sure you don’t miss out, add your name to the Anniversary Weekend Email List HERE!

The world famous MiceChat Gumball Rally will be rolling your way the first Saturday in May. Lots of fun and surprises are in store. Join the info list now so you won’t miss out on early discounted registration (just after the first of the year).  Last year’s event sold out in record time with over 100 names on the waiting list. Don’t end out shut out of the best fan event of the year, add your name to the list HERE and we’ll notify you when tickets go on sale.



Featured Columns
MiceChat Newsletter

Billy Hill and the Hillbillies say good bye as Disneyland dives into refurbishment season
With the busy holiday season over Disneyland has now jumped into the winter off-season by taking care of refurbishment and construction projects around the parks.

Universal Orlando Update – Antojitos Preview and Park Updates
We’ve survived the “Orlando blizzard” of 2014.  Even with record lows, strong winds and rain, construction at Universal continues forward on projects inside and outside the parks.

Busch Gardens Tampa Falcons Fury Construction
We’re back with a new update from Busch Gardens Tampa! There’s plenty of news and photos to share today, including the news that the popular Critter Castaways show is closing.

ImagiNERDing: Tangled Restrooms
The fact that people write about any addition to a Disney park should speak volumes. Granted, there are times when the bloggers are paid to write positively about the parks.

Universal Studios Hollywood Gearing Up For Harry Potter And Springfield
Hooray for Hollywood folks! While Disneyland has no major attraction projects under construction down in Anaheim, Universal Studios is wasting no time lining up projects for the next few years.

Cast Blast: Nature Calls of the Wild
Nature Calls of the Wild – Sometimes you just have to go. This week we have three great new stories to share from the jungles of Disneyland to old frontiers at Walt Disney World.

MiceChat Newsletter

It’s a Yo Ho Ho Christmas Party
What could be more fun than a pirate-themed Christmas party with a group of Disney celebs? Scarlett Stahl reports from the home of Mark McKim, Disney Imagineer and consummate party host.

Walt’s People Volume 13
George: Didier Ghez is an author and Disney historian who has been researching and writing about Walt Disney and the company for many years.

Disneyland Can Breathe Again
Disneyland resort has moved into the off-season between New Years and Spring Break.

Refurb Season at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom
Hello, and welcome to this week’s Dateline Disney World! We are into the new year now, and that means it’s refurb season.

Catch a Flave – Gone to Yesterland
Take a look at the colorful edges on the neon ice cream cone swirls. The colors tell you that this place sells vanilla soft-serve ice cream with your choice of a colorful flavor swirled in.

Three Geeky Things That Make Your Disney Trip More Fun
I admit it.  Not only am I a Disney geek, but I’m kind of a real life geek, too.  So, it should come as no surprise that I have done all of the things mentioned.


The MiceEars Crew and MiceChat Disney News Club put a lot of time and effort into making these Round-Ups happen. Here are the members:Your Editor: CakvalaSC and the
MiceEars Crew: Demigod, Aladdin, Yoyoflamingo, Trekkie Dad, DLandFansAZ, RegionsBeyond,  Fishbulb & Dustysage.

We hope to see you online again soon, Dusty and the amazing MiceChat crew!
FacebookTwitterYoutubeRSS Feed

The MiceEars Crew can be e-mailed at: [email protected] if you have questions for Anthony our Editor he can be e-mailed at: [email protected]