Disney Says Central Florida Tourism Oversight District is ‘Plagued by Chaos and Upheaval’ & More: Daily Recap (2/25/24)

Seven new Disney characters shoulder plush, Disney says the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District is “plagued by chaos and upheaval,” new Pandora charms at Walt Disney World — all this and more in today’s daily recap for Sunday, February 25, 2024.

Walt Disney World

EPCOT

Shakespeare Garden at 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

New Merchandise

Sorcerer Mickey Pandora Charm sign

Other Walt Disney World News

Central Florida Tourism Oversight District logo

Disneyland Resort

DCA side of Limited Edition Bicoastal Adventures Soarin' Pin

Tokyo Disney Resort

Mickey shoulder plush

WDW News Today

PARKSCENTER: Flower and Garden Preview, More Bad Guests, and Is Walt Disney World a Tourist Trap?

That’s it for today; we hope you enjoyed this Daily Recap. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you tomorrow!

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Disney Ambassador Hotel Launching New Breakfast Takeout Menu

The Disney Ambassador Hotel at Tokyo Disney Resort will debut a new breakfast takeout menu on May 15, 2024.

Disney Ambassador Hotel Takeout Menu

Disney Ambassador Hotel Chip 'n' Dale standard room

The takeout menu allows guests to order food on their phone, pick it up, and bring it to their hotel room. The current breakfast menu on the Tokyo Disney Resort website includes:

  • Corn chowder
  • Beef pastrami and quinoa salad
  • Milk bread
  • German potato bread
  • Ponde queijo
  • Cherry Danish
  • Herb chicken and cream cheese tortilla
  • Blueberry yogurt cream and mixed berries
  • Coffee and tea

Tokyo Disney Resort states details about the updated menu will be announced soon.

Breakfast is available for pickup from 6:30 to 8 a.m. but guests can order as early as 3 p.m. the previous day. A dinner menu is available from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Pick-up is at the Empire Grill.

Tour a Chip ‘n’ Dale standard room at the Disney Ambassador Hotel.

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Man Accused of Sexual Battery on Child for 2001-2002 Walt Disney World Incidents

A man was recently arrested for sexual battery on a child under 12 for incidents that took place more than 22 years ago on Walt Disney World vacations.

Man Arrested for Walt Disney World Incidents

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World in 2019

Michael James Geary, 68, was arrested in Arlington County, Virginia, on February 6, 2024, on a felony warrant. Geary was extradited to Orange County Jail on February 21.

His charges include two counts of sexual battery on a child under 12, which are capital felonies in Florida and hold a mandatory minimum life sentence without parole, as well as eligibility for the death penalty. It is unknown if state prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.

Geary is also charged with the felonies of lewd and lascivious molestation, lewd and lascivious exhibition, and lewd and lascivious conduct.

Eight of the alleged incidents took place in 2001 and 2002 on family trips to Walt Disney World. The relationship between Geary and the victim was not disclosed.

Geary’s attorney, Jacob Stuart, claims that because most of the crimes took place in Arlington, they are not within the jurisdiction of Florida.

Geary has pled not guilty. The judge has denied bond on all counts. Geary is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, February 27.

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New Bicoastal Adventures Soarin’ Pin Arrives at Disneyland Resort

The new Soarin’ Bicoastal Adventures pin is now available at Disneyland Resort after we first found it at Walt Disney World. This series of pins honors attractions that exist at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, with the first being inspired by Space Mountain.

Limited Edition Bicoastal Adventures Soarin’ Pin – $19.99

DCA side of Limited Edition Bicoastal Adventures Soarin' Pin

The pin has a green frame with a blue Disneyland pennant, a red Walt Disney World pennant, and a black Mickey ear hat on top. It comes on a red and blue backing card featuring the “Bicoastal Adventures” wordmark and images of Sleeping Beauty Castle and Cinderella Castle.

Inside the frame is a sliding piece reading “We are cleared for takeoff.” Attached to the right side of the slider is Mickey in a pilot’s uniform. If the slider is pushed to the right, a blue hang glider is visible flying over a green aircraft hangar in Disney California Adventure, home of the original Soarin’ Over California, which opened with the park in 2001.

WDW side of Limited Edition Bicoastal Adventures Soarin' Pin

When you slide the piece to the left, it reveals The Land Pavilion at EPCOT, with a red plane flying over it. Soarin’ opened in The Land at EPCOT in 2005.

Soarin’ Over California was replaced by Soarin’ Around the World at both parks in 2016. The original version of the ride has returned to Disney California Adventure several times since for limited-time runs. Soarin’ Over California returned to EPCOT for the first time last year. Its limited engagement ends this month.

The pin has a limited edition size of 4,000. We found it at Pin Traders in Downtown Disney District.

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Chez Alcatraz Bar at Universal Studios Florida Will Be Demolished & Remodeled

According to a permit filed by Universal Orlando Resort, Chez Alcatraz at Universal Studios Florida will be completely remodeled.

Chez Alcatraz Remodel

Chez Alcatraz and Bruce the shark at Universal Studios Florida

The permit describes a “remodel of an existing kiosk” and names Chez Alcatraz. It lists demolition, concrete work, millwork, carpentry, drywall work, painting, plumbing, electrical work, and more.

The bar is located in the San Francisco area of Universal Studios Florida, on the dock next to the hanging Bruce the shark from “Jaws,” and is named for the infamous Alcatraz Island. It currently features a blue awning, white columns, and a white tile counter, but it sounds like it may be completely torn down and re-done during this construction project.

Zombie Shark cocktail at Chez Alcatraz

The Chez Alcatraz menu includes the “Jaws”-inspired Ocean Attack and Bruce cocktails, and the Alcatraz prison-inspired Escape and The Alcatraz cocktails. It sometimes offers seasonal drinks, like the Zombie Shark cocktail (pictured above) during Halloween Horror Nights last fall.

We don’t know when construction on Chez Alcatraz will begin.

How do you feel about the remodel? Let us know in the comments.

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WATCH PARKSCENTER — Flower and Garden Preview, More Bad Guests, and Is Walt Disney World a Tourist Trap?

Join us live tonight, Sunday, February 25th, at 9:00 p.m. ET, or watch ParksCenter anytime on WDWNT.TV.

We are updating you on all of the big things happening in the Disney Parks each week! We cover the top stories in Disney Parks news and discuss the topics that are top of mind for the Disney community. All in 60 minutes! Join us live and chat along at 9 p.m. ET.

Disney is more expensive than ever, but is it a rip-off tourist attraction?

This week, we start with a survey that was just released naming Walt Disney World as the #1 Rip-Off tourist attraction in the country. This was listed above other famous destinations as The Alamo and the Statue of Liberty. Do you think it’s a rip-off or just overpriced? Our panel breaks it down.

On Friday, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers have been experiencing widespread outages across the country, and it’s affected guests’ visits to Walt Disney World. With all the emphasis put on using your mobile device, we’ll talk about how a small interruption like this can derail your Disney experience.

The EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival opens this week, and we have even more previews of the offerings you can expect to see, we’ll give our recommendations.

Soarin over California is leaving again, Space creatures are still an option for Galaxy’s Edge, There’s a new snack stand open at Hollywood Studios, and some really BAD merchandise has hit the shelves. All these stories, another edition of “It Came from the Parks” and much more!

Join us for all of this tonight on ParksCenter!

Watch PARKSCENTER Live at 9:00 P.M.

Also, our WIGS members receive an interactive post-show each week, exclusive to our Patreon program.

Check out a recent episode of the show below.

ParksCenter is broadcast live on YouTube every Sunday, now at 9:00 p.m. ET.

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Disney Says Central Florida Tourism Oversight District is ‘Plagued by Chaos and Upheaval’ in New Filing

Disney has filed a new Motion for Injunctive Relief in which they say the first year of Governor DeSantis’ Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) has been “plagued by chaos and upheaval.”

Disney Says CFTOD is ‘Plagued by Chaos and Upheaval’

Ron DeSantis in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

The motion comes amid Disney’s lawsuit against the CFTOD claiming the District has not complied with Florida’s public records laws, failing to hand over documents Disney has requested in the District’s lawsuit against them.

Disney notes over 30 employees have quit their jobs at the District and cites a recent deposition with public records administrator Erin O’Donnell to say the “rapid turnover shows no signs of slowing down.” O’Donnell admitted in her deposition that morale was low and several employees had quit due to the board’s political motivations.

There is a very, very, very politically motivated board, and I know we try not to acknowledge that, but that is a huge reason why a lot of people are leaving. Other people may have had their own issues with leadership … but a lot of people have left just due to the entire shakeup of the district.”

Erin O’Donnell

Disney is worried that the employees who are quitting are “taking public records with them” because there are no District policies regarding employees having public records on personal devices. Disney says that when a public records request is filed, “it relies exclusively on [the District’s] employees and Board members to search their own accounts and devices to identify responsive records” and that the “pitfalls of relying on untrained and self-interested custodians to select their own responsive records are obvious.”

Regarding a specific request for documents held by District Chairman Martin Garcia, Disney says the District blamed “technological hurdles” for failing to produce the documents. When Disney asked for clarification, the District admitted Garcia “could not figure out how to screenshot” text messages.

Disney says that if the court doesn’t intervene, “even more public records may be irretrievably lost with each passing day.”

Disney asks the court to require the District make a full forensic image of the personal devices of all departing employees and Board members who may have used the devices in connection with official business; require CFTOD certify, in writing, that auto-delete functions on personal devices connected to official business are disabled; and prohibit employees and Board members from using external messaging applications that automatically delete messages.

This lawsuit is in addition to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s state suit against Disney and the federal lawsuit that was dismissed, although Disney filed an intent to appeal. The public records lawsuit set a June trial date. As part of the ongoing suit, Disney filed for protection of trade secrets and other confidential information.

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