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Walt Disney World news update: Mickey's got something to say to you

October 21, 2013, 2:54 PM · The Talking Mickey has been appearing over the past week at the Town Square Theater meet-and-greet at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. First seen a while back at Disneyland's Toontown and then at various media events, the "talking" Mickey moves his mouth and carries on personal conversations with the guests he's meeting, thanks to a touch of stage and tech trickery. No more potentially awkward miming, just the much more awkward stunned silence of trying to reconcile that the real, live Mickey Mouse actually is talking with you.

Disney's bringing another west coast import to the Walt Disney World Resort: Valet parking. Long offered at Disneyland's Downtown Disney, valet parking started today at the West Side at WDW's Downtown Disney. Valet parking is available from 4pm to 2am and costs $15, plus tip. But it allows you to avoid the hassle of finding a space in Downtown Disney's lots, which have lost hundreds of spaces as Disney closes sections of those surface lots to start construction on the shopping center's new parking garages.

Saving Mr. Banks
Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers. Photo courtesy Disney

The first reviews of Disney's Saving Mr. Banks are in, and it looks like the studio's movie about the making of Mary Poppins might represent its best chance at an elusive Best Picture Oscar. (No movie released under the Disney studio banner ever has won the Academy Award for Best Picture.) At the very least, the movie that was filmed at Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank appears to be a strong contender for multiple nominations, so we'll be hearing a lot about it during the movie awards season. The film is playing the festival circuit now and opens in the United States in mid-December.

Finally, if you like watching construction crews at work, Disney's just released a time-lapse video of the building of the new DVC wing at the Grand Floridian, which should be opening within the next few weeks.

Replies (6)

October 21, 2013 at 4:17 PM · WDW builds DVC expansion wings as fast as Universal builds quality E-ticket attractions. I don't know if I should be impressed or annoyed.
October 21, 2013 at 5:20 PM · Actually this is a return of valet parking to Downtown Disney. For years there was valet parking for Pleasure Island. Essentially it was the large lot that stretched from what is now the Lego store all the way over to the Planet Hollywood bus stop.
October 21, 2013 at 8:57 PM · I love this new format for the updates. So great to get the little news blurbs like this, told to us in a positive way, with just the news and the highlighting of cool and interesting items. Keep 'em coming!!! :)
October 22, 2013 at 9:35 AM · Tom Hanks as Walt Disney is a little tough for me to see. I just don't picture it.

Another DVC project. Wonderful(sarcastic). I'm happy to say that I reserved a stay at Disney's Old Key West Resort by swapping my HGVC (Hilton) points. Did you know that the Disney resorts are extremely popular? For every Disney timeshare property that shows up to be rented, it is instantly gone. No other property has that reaction. But perhaps there is one thing missing in the comparison, the Marriott properties are never listed and sometimes I want to go there.

October 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM · I don't know how I feel about the "interactive" Mickey. Creeps me out just a little bit...actually a lot.
Excited about Saving Mr. Banks, and although the new DVC property does not even apply to me, I love a good time lapse video!!
October 22, 2013 at 7:25 PM · FYI, performing as "talking Mickey" is FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR more demanding than performing as silent Mickey.

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