To all who come to this cyberspace, Welcome! MiceChat is your land, here you can relive fond memories of the past, and here you may post about the challenges and promises of the future. With that, we have big news of Avatar being licensed for Disney; will we see a new ride come to California Adventure? We have a great discussion about it, and even Al chimes in with his thoughts. Enjoy! - CakvalaSC

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Boy oh boy do we have an exciting two months of events lined up for you. We have five different Halloween events scheduled for California and Florida. On top of that, we are also planning a free Eye Spy game at the Disneyland Resort AND a Food and Wine Festival event at DisneyWorld. Book your tickets now to avoid disappointments.

MiceChat Nights of Horror
MiceChat Nights of Horror is a series of Halloween haunt meets from September through late October. We will be going to a variety of haunts this year including Knott's Scary Farm, Universal Halloween Horror Nights, Queen Mary's Dark HarborThe Empty Grave, Sinister Pointe & Universal Orlando.
Special pricing available only through MiceChat will give you access to backstage tours and, in some cases, front of line privileges as well. Don't miss out on any of the great meets and events we have planned across the country in the next two months.
•Backstage tour
•A lights on tour of a maze
•Meet and greet with Haunt makers
•Front of the line access to all mazes
(excluding the mine train and log ride)
•VIP seating to shows
Sold out!

•Front of the line access to mazes and the Terror Tram (one time use per attraction)
•Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in CityWalk
•Meet and greet with Universal Creative Director, John Murdy.  
Price: $95
We will be offering special pricing and VIP treatment to this real life haunted ship
•Dinner at the Prom Cafe
•Front of the line access to mazes
•Meet and greet with Talent Director David Wally
•And more...
Price: $55
Join us as the day starts off with travels through Universal Orlando and a trip over to Islands of Adventure to see Harry Potter. We will then return to USO for dinner at Finnegan's Bar & Grill while the park transforms into Horror Night. We will enjoy front of the line access to all mazes.
If you are interested in attending please vote in THIS THREAD. Pricing will be available soon and communicated to those who have voted.

October 1st and 2nd
Disneyland - Anaheim, California

Gay Days Disneyland will be happening the first weekend in October, it has long been a tradition for MiceChatters of every age and persuasion to attend and hold our own meets in the middle of a sea of red shirts. 
This year, we've been asked to hold another of our famous Eye Spy visual scavenger hunts on Sunday the 2nd of October. It's an adventure which is wholesome and fun for the whole family and we invite you to join this free event. In addition, MiceChat will be holding meets on both Saturday October 1st and Sunday October 2nd at Disneyland.
For more information on the meets and Eye Spy please visit the MiceChat Eye-spy and Gay Days Meets Discussion and please vote to let us know if you'll be attending. We hope to see you there!

Saturday October 22nd - EPCOT - Orlando, Florida

And if all those wonderful events above weren't enough, we are continuing our annual Sip and Nibble event at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival this year.
We'll gather at the FESTIVAL WELCOME CENTER (located in Future World East) at 10:30 a.m. and take a leisurely stroll around World Showcase, sampling the food and wine offerings along the way. Each of us will have a lanyard with a marker attached so we can record our progress. Those who desire to partake of the adult beverages will also sport a small glass on a lanyard to conveniently share "sips" along the way.
After all, with 30 stops in this year's Food and Wine festival, there is just no way you'd be able to finish a whole drink at every stop (or could you?).
Please vote in this poll to let us know if you are able to attend.


Micechat Round up

Disney now has rights to AVATAR for Theme park attractions/area in DAK!!
In a surprise announcement, the Walt Disney Company has announced exclusive theme park rights to the Avatar franchise, to be seen first at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Is this the Potter Swatter everyone's been hoping for? Share your thoughts here.

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Micechat Round-Up

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Before we start the Q&A today, just one quick Editor's Note:

DCA's latest Blue Sky Cellar exhibit opens Friday. Nearly the entire room is devoted to one thing now; Buena Vista Street. Since Cars Land needs no extra hype, WDI and TDA both felt they should showcase what is proving to be the fan favorite of DCA's extreme makeover.

Material from D23 Expo, plus new visuals of interiors and detailing, will present a thorough look at the new entry area from Cast Member uniforms to trolley paint schemes. Three new Attraction Posters debut as well; Soarin', Tower of Terror, and the Trolley.

A corner is newly devoted to additions at the Disneyland Hotel and Aulani, which hints at what's to become of the Cellar exhibits beyond next year.

Q. Avatar! How did we not see this coming? Or were there signs that pointed to this project that were so discrete nobody could have noticed? Do you think these changes will detract from the magic of WDW and AK, or will ALL of the effects and results be completely positive? - Alec

A. I did mention via an Editor's Note before the D23 Expo that something was apparently in the works for the Orlando Resort, but then the Expo came and went without any major announcements. Iger began throwing out some hints in the last few weeks about being in the market for other properties he could acquire. I think it's fair to say most company observers knew something was happening, but there were certainly no hints as to Avatar being on the short list.

The choice of Avatar is an unusual one, in my mind at least, due to a few key factors.

First, is there enough going on creatively with the licensed property to prolong its shelf-life and build up its value over the years? Is it well managed from a business perspective (merchandising/spinoffs etc.) as well?

While James Cameron's success is pretty much gold-plated when it comes to his film's box office, I don't think he's the franchise visionary/mythbuilder/merchandiser that George Lucas has come to be or JK Rowlings has been demonstrating she is.

Avatar was a box office hit domestically as well as overseas, did some outstanding numbers on home video, but never really hit any kind of stride as far as merchandising. There has been no mass-market continuation of the action figure or vehicle toy lines since the initial shipments. (I understand this may be one of the reasons behind the recent departure of Disney's head merchandising guy too.)

Yes, there are two Avatar sequels planned, as well as a few television projects, but there has been nothing seen anywhere (movies, TV or or online) since the film left theaters. Can you remember at this date the names of any of the characters for example?

Compare that to Disney/Pixar's Cars: where the toy line has continued to sell years after the first movie, then expanded with a second (weaker!) movie, and has been kept fresh in the consumer's eye between films with Disney Channel Car-toons shorts featuring the popular Mater character. Apparently this one line is surpassing the wildly successful Star Wars and Potter franchises in merchandising revenues.

(To be sure, Cameron's Terminator attraction at Universal was state of the art for its day, but is now quite dated. The TV series it eventually spawned was moderately successful, but merchandising is low scale. The franchise hasn't been managed to grow beyond what it has been either, but it should be noted the rights have been all over the place too.)

Second, the rush to buy outside properties ignores one of the great successes of Disney's theme park business; the creation of unique characters and storylines exclusive to the parks. Pirates, the Mansion, the Jungle Cruise (as well as the entire park itself) have or will be made into movies. Why spend so much to licence something, when you can create your fully-owned properties?

There's no question the Orlando property needs a major addition of this size and scope to start the revitalization they so badly need. They are correct that Animal Kingdom is the park that needs the most attention, with the Studios next, and then hopefully the Magic Kingdom and Epcot further down the line. And certainly Bob Iger and Tom Staggs should be commended for their support and attention to the parks and resorts, especially in a tough economy like the one we have now.

But with all that said, the choice of Avatar is still an odd one. It just doesn't seem to have the depth.

Got a question for Al or any of the MiceAge columnists?
Email them to [email protected]
Your question may be featured in a future MiceChat Round-Up,
but keep in mind due to the volume of mail received he may not be
able to personally respond.

Haunted Mansion Holiday is open and hundreds of Jack o’lanterns are lined up and down Main Street, with fall colors everywhere! We have several photo reports of HalloweenTime, and news of a new popcorn container breaking ground, plus a look at the eleventh Haunted Mansion Gingerbread House! ~ Aladdin

Micechat Round up

The pumpkins are back at Disneyland Big Thunder Ranch (with pics)
Direct from Big Thunder Ranch, mre200200 is the first with a carved pumpkin report.

2011 Gingerbread House video
This is the eleventh year for the Haunted Mansion Holiday, and each fall the Haunted Mansion has a different scary Gingerbread House. See what surprises this latest ballroom table centerpiece has for you!

9-17-2011 trip report
biggsworth has a few photos of the Halloween Colors in Disneyland, and then takes us through the Haunted Mansion!

Halloween 2011 POPCORN BUCKETS
The Mickey Mouse Ghost souvenir Popcorn containers have returned this year for Halloweentime, AND a new popcorn container has also been see in Disneyland, get the details here!

Micechat Round up

Took my friend to Disneyland for her first time this summer!!!
toneloc brings his friend to Disneyland for the first time, and here are photos of some of the fun they had!

The Fire HAS RETURNED To 'Remember... Dreams Come True' Fireworks
The Disney Ninja lets us know that the fire has returned to the fireworks show!

Micechat Round up

Splash Mountain Evacuation ... A dream lived! (WARNING BACKSTAGE PHOTOS)
Many Disneyland guest wasn’t to avoid being on attractions when they go down. BUT, there are several Disneyland fans that can't wait for the opportunity to be evacuated from an attraction. Here is aftersmuppets Escape from Splash Mountain!

Walt Disney World
Welcome back!  Just have a few ideas for you trick-or-treaters this week. Don’t forget that tickets are still available for the upcoming MiceChat Halloween events! As always, please keep posting your rumors and ideas because they might just make next week’s ‘spooktacular’ Round-up! Muahahahaha! -Demigod-

Micechat Round up

Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n Rollercoaster in DCA! Check out idea and blueprint
MiceChatter WildForMrToad hops on the Imagineering bandwagon with this port of the popular WDW ride to DCA.

Silent Horror Films at DCA
MANEATINGWREATH gets into the Halloween spirit with the idea of screening classic silent horror films in Hollywoodland.

Walt Disney World
So, HalloweenTime is here at Walt Disney World and along with it comes the decorations and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. From here through January WDW is in full holiday mode - a wonderful time to visit! ~yoyoflamingo

Micechat Round up

New Test Track Redesign to Evoke World of Motion
An interesting rumor that has been gaining steam is a re-theme of EPCOT's Test Track, with show elements that will be reminiscent of the former (and superior, IMO) World of Motion. See exactly what's rumored and its timeline here, then keep your fingers crossed this comes true!

Disney Cruise or DisneyWorld first
MiceChatter Briandnae asks the ultimate choice: if doing the Disney cruise combined with a Walt Disney World vacation, which should be experienced first? Voice your opinion and reasons here!

The Old EPCOT....
It's threads like this that make me love MiceChat. What exactly made the old EPCOT so great? Share the memories of fantastic attractions past, such as Horizons, the World of Motion, the Kitchen Kabaret, etc. What made them great and what has been lost as they have been replaced? Join in the discussion here!

To WDW or not to WDW?
A simple question: is WDW worth going to on vacation?

Other Parks and Destinations
MiceChatters continue to travel about the globe and send in reports. Check out this week's offerings. ~Trekkie Dad

Busch Gardens Tampa Howl-O-Scream 2011 Lineup
aimster treats us to the this year's Halloween offerings at Tampa's Busch Gardens.

Marching Through History 2011 at Prado Dam (Chino, CA)
Here's an event coming up on the weekend of October 1. techskip has photos that give us a taste of what history buffs will find there.

Micechat Round up

2011 Oktoberfest at Delaware Saengerbund
Oktoberfest in Delaware? 'You bet!' says Hayley B. Check out these photos!

Madame Tussauds Wax Musem Hollywood
toneloc gives us a great little trip report with a running gag.

Kings Island to open new water park, doubling the size and adding new features
From Ohio, Joshrzmeup breaks the the news of a major expansion of an old waterpark.

Micechat Round up

TRIP REPORT 9/10/11 USH Pre Horror Nights
Here's a trip report we missed in last week's roundup. Check out all the pictures from toneloc. The park has already begun to transform.

Disney Business

Disney's 'Brand Builder' Resigns
Andy Mooney, the executive credited with revitalizing Walt Disney Co.'s licensing business, has resigned. With this big change and announcement for the consumer products division, what changes could be in the future?

Disney Channel President steps down after two years
On the heels of Andy Mooney resigning, Carolina Lightcap steps down as The Disney Channel president. Are we seeing a shakeup in Disney operation or is this just business as usual?


Favorite Characters
MousEars started a great thread on a simple question, post yours here!

Beetlejuice II
Would you watch it? Barbossa has posted that there is a sequel a brewing but some people are lacking.


The Seventies - Awesome or Overrated?
Do you believe the 70's were awesome or overrated? Come join in on this fun discussion!

If other movie characters had Tom Selleck's moustache...
If you need a good laugh for the day, this thread is sure to give it to you.

Disney Store Disappointment
MiceChatters here reminisce about Disney stores of the past and their current condition. Come in and share your thoughts.

The Adventures of Markey Moose!
I didn’t know Mickey had a distant relative lol. Come check out Markey the Moose!

Mice Age

Micechat Round up

Micechat Round up
9/20: Monkey See, You Do
Kevin Yee looks at the new interactive games they are testing in the parks!

Micechat Round up
9/20: Disney World’s Fantasyland Construction, Magic Kingdom Halloween, Busch Gardens Discounts and More
Orlando Parkhopper takes you to DisneyWorld and beyond to bring you the latest theme park news. This week finds the Fantasyland expansion project going full steam ahead. We can easily spy Beast's Castle, Gaston's Tavern, Eric's Castle, but no sign of the Seven Dwarfs mine. While we're at the Magic Kingdom, we'll take a look at the Halloween decorations for Mickey's Not-so-scary Halloween Party and check up on a few refurbishments around the park. We then hop over to the Studios for a trip to the 50's Prime time cafe and a ride on Rock and Roller Coaster and trim things up with information about the Halloween events at Busch Gardens, a meet-up at Universal HHN and additional Florida offerings. It's a wild update this week, so hang on tight.

Micechat Round up
9/18: Disneyland News and Construction Update – Plus Halloween Information
Halloween arrived at Disneyland on Friday and celebrations are starting to kick in at all of the major Southern California theme parks. Join In the Parks as we tour the fun fall festivities and see if there are any activities you'd like to add to your entertainment list. We also share an interesting look at at Knott's Berry Farm's "Scare School," it's where the monsters go to learn how to make you scream. Along the way, we'll introduce you to Haunt designer, Daniel Miller, as we discuss his highly anticipated new creation, Delirium. Finally, there's progress on the Manta coaster construction at SeaWorld as well as some Halloween happenings at some of the other Southern California attractions.

9/18: The Story Behind Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Key
We have a brand new column, The 626, to introduce to you today and we think you'll really enjoy this first amazing story of pirates, smuggling, and adventure on the high seas! Sounds just like a live action Disney film, doesn't it? However, you will be surprised to learn that it's actually the history behind Disney's own private island, Castaway Cay!

Micechat Round up
9/17: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
The Weekend Update has a lot of your favorite items today - Disney, news, Halloween and theme park exploration.  This weekend, you'll find beautiful photos from Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom.  Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has a unique blend of beautifully landscaped grounds with exotic animals and some rockin' roller coasters.  We'll also take you to Dreamworld in Australia to discover the insane backstory for Buzzsaw The Ride. Rounding out the Weekend Update is a tour around Fort Desoto Park in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Micechat Round up
9/15: Disneyland HalloweenTime Starts Today! Plus news and construction from DCA, Knott’s and Universal
Ready to travel through southern California's theme parks for the latest info? In the Parks covers quite a bit of ground this issue. HalloweenTime arrives at Disneyland today and is soon on the way to all of the other local parks and attractions. Disney California Adventure is in full press construction mode to meet all time tables in order to open a whole new land as well as a new entry by June of 2012. Will they make it? Sure looks like they are trying. We'll also take you to Knott's Berry farm and Universal Studios Hollywood today for the latest news and photos.  It's an update you won't want to miss.

Micechat Round up
9/16: Come Home to Marceline
...and visit Walt Disney's hometown theater via Yesterland.

Micechat Round up
9/15: Turns The Pages On Imagineering, Herb Ryman and Knott’s Preserves
SamLand takes us for a closer look at three very different books. The first is a sequel to a coffee table sized tome filled with incredible graphics from Walt Disney Imagineering. The second book is an intriguing tale of the Disney experience as seen through the life of Herb Ryman, one of Walt Disney’s favorite artists. Finally, he turns his gaze to another nearby park that is near and dear to our hearts – Knott’s Berry Farm.

Micechat Round up
9/15: Pressing Matters
Sue Kruse finds cool things and fun events you may have missed

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The MiceEars Crew and MiceChat News Club put a lot of time and effort into making these Round-Ups happen. Here are the members:

Your Editors: Dustysage, Fishbulb and CakvalaSC

The MiceEars Crew: Demigod, Aladdin, elly, pezz lightyear, Yoyoflamingo, Tinkermonkey, Pineapplewhipaddict,  KnittingKnerd, Trekkie Dad, DLandFansAZ ,RegionsBeyond, HKDLFAN and Disney Wrassler!

The MiceChat News Team: sir clinksalot, ALIASd, Disneytim, OogieBoogie.

The MiceEars Crew can be e-mailed at: [email protected]
Please keep in mind they may not be able to respond to each note personally.

2011 Dusty Sage/MiceChat