Friday, December 31, 2010

Current rehabs and closings at WDW

Magic Kingdom
The Fantasyland Forest development in the Magic Kingdom will necessitate the closure of several existing Magic Kingdom park areas in 2011, including Toontown.

In addition, certain entertainment experiences will be relocated:
• Meet-and-greets with Mickey Mouse will take place in Town Square Exposition Hall
• Meet-and-greets with Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, and Tinker Bell and her friends will take place in Town Square Exposition Hall.
Splash Mountain will be closed for refurbishment January 3-31, 2011.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Star Tours -- is closed for rehab. The attraction will be updated and reopen around the middle of May 2011. The new experience will be in 3-D, an all-new ride that includes many of the new worlds and elements from the more recent Star Wars movies.
Pixar Pals Countdown To Fun! will debut on January 16, 2011, in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Four Pixar characters not seen in the current Studios parade -- Remy and Emile from "Ratatouille" and Carl and Russell from Disney Pixar's "Up" -- will be included in the new parade. The current parade, Block Party Bash, will have its last performance on January 1, 2011. There will be no parade at Disney's Hollywood Studios between January 2 and January 15, 2011.
Animal Kingdom
Primeval Whirl will be closed for refurbishment January 17 - April 5, 2011.
Typhoon Lagoon will be closed for its yearly refurbishment until January 8, 2011
Blizzard Beach closes on January 9, 2011, for its yearly refurbishment, until March 26.


Running Disney

Well my wife just signed up for the Disney Princess Half marathon in Feb...so here we come WDW.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hidden Mickeys

Looking for hidden Mickeys is always a favorite past-time...here's one I plan on finding next trip:
At the exit of Toy Story Midway Mania in Disney's Hollywood Studios, check out the back spine of the huge free-standing "Tin Toy" Little Golden Book for a tiny white classic Mickey in the eye of a chicken, the fourth image down from the top of the spine. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Disney Tackles Major Theme Park Problem: Lines

Nice story over on Mickey News dealing with some of Disney's fine industrial engineers.  I had an opportunity to benchmark some with them a couple of years ago and can assure you, Disney measures EVERYTHING!
Deep in the bowels of Walt Disney World, inside an underground bunker called the Disney Operational Command Center, technicians know that you are standing in line and that you are most likely annoyed about it. Their clandestine mission: to get you to the fun faster.

To handle over 30 million annual visitors — many of them during this busiest time of year for the megaresort — Disney World long ago turned the art of crowd control into a science. But the putative Happiest Place on Earth has decided it must figure out how to quicken the pace even more. A cultural shift toward impatience — fed by video games and smartphones — is demanding it, park managers say. To stay relevant to the entertain-me-right-this-second generation, Disney must evolve.
And so it has spent the last year outfitting an underground, nerve center to address that most low-tech of problems, the wait. Located under Cinderella Castle, the new center uses video cameras, computer programs, digital park maps and other whiz-bang tools to spot gridlock before it forms and deploy countermeasures in real time.
Continue reading... 

Chilean miners...going to Disney World

A New Year will mean new memories for the Chilean miners whose saga transfixed the world, as they are treated to a hero's welcome and family vacations of a lifetime at Walt Disney World Resort next month. During their complimentary six-night Disney vacation, January 27-February 2, 2011, the miners, their rescuers and immediate families will meet Disney characters, visit all four Walt Disney World theme parks and serve as honorary Grand Marshals of the Main Street, U.S.A. parade in Magic Kingdom. Trapped for 69 days in a collapsed Chilean mine, the men were pulled from the darkness in a miracle rescue. In one of the year's most touching stories, their unbending faith and endurance sustained them throughout the ordeal. The group will arrive to a welcome dinner with characters, dancing and Chilean cuisine prepared by Disney chefs. During their vacation, they also will be treated to a $500 gift card per family, a group photo in front of Cinderella Castle and personal photo albums of their visit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Disney's Photopass adds Pet Portraits

For a limited time! Now through early January, you can schedule a 10 or 20 minute session for you and your pets, posed or candid, at the Best Friends kennel in Walt Disney World. You get all your photos on a Disney's PhotoCD to print at home or use digitally. To book a session before time runs out, call (407) 934-4004. Walk-ins are welcome.

The Princess Half Marathon

Think my wife is leaning heavily into running this year:
The third Disney's Princess Half Marathon presented by Lady Foot Locker will be held on February 27, 2011. The 13.1-mile event charts a course through Magic Kingdom and Epcot as the highlight of a full weekend of women's fitness-focused fun. Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend February 25-27, 2011, includes: Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex February 25-26 (no admission charge); Disney's Royal Family 5K and Disney's Royal Family Kids' Races February 26; and Disney's Princess Half Marathon February 27. To learn more about endurance events at Disney, or to sign up for any of the runDisney events, go to www.runDisney.com.

Man Killed In WDW Bus Accident

In some very sad WDW news:

A tourist from Massachusetts was killed when he walked in front of a bus at a Walt Disney World resort.

Authorities say the 69-year-old man stepped in front of a Disney bus traveling through the parking lot at the Port Orleans resort Sunday afternoon. He died at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

The Florida Highway Patrol says there were passengers on the bus, but no one aboard was injured.

An investigation is continuing, but authorities said the man who died was not in the crosswalk and the bus had the right of way.




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gingerbread

So what would you do with 1050 pounds of honey, 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 35 pounds of spices, 600 pounds of chocolate and 180 pounds of apricot glaze?  Build a 17-foot gingerbread tree?

Nice time-lapse video over on Disney Parks.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Walter Elias Disney

Born on this date in 1901. Thanks Walt!!!! And to think...it all started with a mouse.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Noodle Station

It's official...the Noodle Station is really no more.  It's now called the Tomorrowland Terrace I actually enjoyed the Noodle Station on the rare 2 occasions I found it to be open.

Hyperion Wharf

Disney announced some new plans for Hyperion Wharf over at Downtown Disney (what is currently the gutted Pleasure Island).  According to the Disney Parks Blog, it will be "a nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier. By day, stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants will draw you in and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland."  But will there be any place to get a Kungaloosh?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, WDW!!

Happy Birthday to the Happiest Place on Earth!

From over at the Disney Parks blog:
It’s rare that we post a “This Day in History” on the blog but this is something we thought you’d enjoy. On October 1, 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort officially opened, including Magic Kingdom ParkDisney’s Contemporary ResortDisney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. And on that day in 1971, William Windsor, Jr., was our record-breaking first guest.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hasty Tasty

Disney just launched a new Muppet cooking site that appears to be aimed at me (atleast my last name)...Hasty Tasty Cooking Tips with Cat Cora & The Muppets.  Some great videos...

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2010

Great report over at Disney Every Day on this year's event.  This is the one hard ticketed event I've never been able to make but really want to go.
Have you ever wondered if it was really worth it to pay extra to get into one of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties? I am asked that quite often and my answer is always a BIG FAT YES!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Isabella Rossellini leads off Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Oh, man...would love to make this one:
Celebrity narrators vary throughout the Candlelight Processional each reading for a few days. Disney is still finalizing the schedule for 2010 Epcot Candlelight Processional narrators. However, Isabella Rossellini will lead off the 2010 holiday performances on Nov. 26 and other celebrities scheduled to appear include Whoopi Goldberg and Jodi Benson, the voice of The Little Mermaid’s Ariel. (The schedule of narrators is subject to change.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Hasty's are No Ordinary Family...

Get ready for yet another video from my Disney-geek family soon for an entry in ABC's No Ordinary Family contest.  We could easily suffer with the grand prize trip that includes:

     • Roundtrip airfare and ground transfers
     • Hotel accommodations for four nights including a one-night stay in the Cinderella Castle        Suite at the Magic Kingdom® Park
     • $1,500 Disney Gift Card
     • VIP guided tour
     • VIP viewing to select parades and shows
     • VIP Disney Character Meet and Greet opportunity with keepsake photo
     • Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper® & Water Park Fun & More options

Monday, September 13, 2010

Doh...do over?

Don't ya hate when you second guess your answers on the Disney World Mom's panel...I do it every year and this year was a record...about 5 seconds after I hit submit I did my best Homer Simpson "DOH!" and wanted to add a couple of more facts about one of the questions asked...hopefully they'll be forgiving.

Eighteen minutes and counting

At 9am ET the entries will start for the 2011 Disney World Mom's Panel...I'll be pulling up my skirt again this year in an attempt to be an official "mom"...

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Lunching Pad menu

It's designer hotdog time at the Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland.  The turkey legs are gone and now we gotz hotdogs:
three "designer hot dogs" to its menu. The taco hot dog is topped with ground beef, lettuce, salsa and sour cream. There are two versions of the reuben hot dog: one with beef, onions, peppers and melted cheese, another with more traditional corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Epic Mickey

Can't wait to play this new game...(I mean, watch my kids play this new game, of course)

Epcot Seqway Tour

Ran across this video on MousePlanet for the Epcot Segway tour...not exactly a glowing review but it's still something I'm needing to experience (and maybe the offroad Segway tour over at Fort Wilderness too:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Disney's Tangled Meme

Looks like Disney is attempting a viral video meme over on youtube for Tangled.

Meet the Moms

You can sign up to meet the current members of the Walt Disney World Mom's Panel at the Odyssey in Epcot on October 2, 2010 @ 2:30pm.  And yes, I'll be applying yet again this year to be a "mom".  You need to RSVP over here for a chance to get into the event.

Some new lunch options

Looks like there's a couple of new lunch options available.

  • Over at Trails End (one of the best bargains on property),  WDW is offering a pilot program serving an ala carte menu instead of the standard buffet.  Breakfast & Dinner will still be the bargain buffet.
  • At Chef Mickey's,  there's going to be a "limited run" character lunch buffet for 14 days in September 19- October 2. Cost is $28.75 including tax, $15.97 ages 3 to 9, under 3 free.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Disneyland's Fantasmic Nervous Breakdown

While not At the Disney Hollywood Studios, reports are that the Disneyland Fantasmic dragon will be down for a while.  Ran across this video of the breakdown:

WDW's Best Friends Pet Care Resort

Ran across this video tour of the new pet care facility at WDW:

New Space Mountain soundtrack

Sounds like Space Mountain will be getting a new soundtrack soon.
According to the "Space Mountain Project Team," the new soundtrack will include "a zippy musical track, the whoosh of passing asteroids, and the rush of interstellar traffic."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Only 145 days

Nice little story over on Disney Parks Blog on the new Disney Dream with some photos.  Only 145 days to go folks...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Disney Dream

So we're contemplating doing the unheard of around this house and not hitting WDW this Fall.  Was excited yesterday when seeing the new Disney Cruiseline "kids sail free" offer but of course the one week we can go is the blackout date in Feb 2011.  So with a little adjusting, I think instead of the 7-day with free kids we may have to try out the 3-day journey on the new Disney Dream.  We've never cruised before so got a lot of homework to do...and also preparation for the AquaDuck.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Walt Disney World Moms Panel Search 2011

Getting my fingers ready to enter this years WDW Mom's Panel Search on September 13th...yeah, yeah...I know...I'm a WDWDaddy...but still I can dream can't I (my wife is actually wdwmommy.com and my kids are, of course, wdwkids.com).  Some great details over here on ZannaLand

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pets in style at WDW

WDW's Best Friend's Pet Center is opening soon:
We have a quick update to share today about the new luxury pet resort at the Walt Disney World Resort. We’re putting the finishing touches on the Best Friends Pet Care center and its doors will still be opening soon…but not quite yet. Opening day is now scheduled for September 1. Check out our initial post below for more details about the resort

Deals...Deals...Deals

So we're in the process of trying to plan our Thanksgiving trip this year...it's a blackout date for the Free Dining but hey...there's a new Disney giftcard deal available now...Details over at Mousesavers:

You can get a FREE Disney Gift Card for up to $500 when you take advantage of an exclusive offer for stays most nights 10/3/10 - 11/23/10, 11/27/10 - 12/25/10 and 1/1/11 - 2/16/11. Purchase a full price 5-night or longer 2010 or 2011 Magic Your Way vacation package, including hotel room and theme park tickets and receive a gift card as indicated below. Disney Gift Cards are good at many locations throughout Walt Disney World, including most restaurants and shops.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Honey....can we redecorate?

There's a new line of "adult" bedding and bath accessories...I'll be Cubby....

Play the accordion, ladies?

Looks like there's a new improv act being formed for Epcot's Italy pavilion (from Mouseplanet):

This five-piece Italian style group consists of one musician with four actors and performs on the street in a highly improvisational environment. This audition is to cast one full-time position as well as substitute positions.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

PeopleMover

The Peoplemover is back...the Peoplemover is back.

As of today, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, the “super skyway” that allows guests a glimpse of a variety of attractions in Tomorrowland of Magic Kingdom, will be renamed Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.
The ride opened in 1975 as the WEDway PeopleMover. It has been called Tomorrowland Transit Authority since 1994.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Disney with Autism

Was helping out a friend with some questions about taking a child on the Autism Spectrum to Walt Disney World and ran across a great little article on AllEars.  So just linking to it here...Disney always goes above and beyond with any special needs you may have in the parks.  Biggest point is to make sure you ask.  Be it dietary or access needs, they've got it covered and have dealt with it in the past I'm sure.

New banner

Disney Geek Thanx and mad-props goes out to fellow Mouseketeer Chris for the new Haunted Mansion banner graphics...That's Swell!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Audition Calendar

Doh...just in case I come across some hidden talent I knew nothing about.  Here's a link of some open WDW Auditions:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dinner on the Great Movie Ride

There's a great story over on AllEars from someone who recently attended the Tables of Wonderland Great Movie Ride event.  Price tag was a wee bit steep but sounds like they had fun:

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to be actually
walking through this scene from one of my favorite films of all time. As we entered Munchkinland, we found small tables strewn around the path, with buffet tables covered with Munchkin-sized desserts in all the brilliant colors of the movie set surrounding us -- with a special emphasis on bright green as we were so close to the Emerald City!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Last Tour to Endor August 14th

The Last Tour is fast approaching.  Tickets ar $75 advance and $89 at the gate if any still available.  More information can be found at http://www.starwarscelebration.com/

Got your tickets? If not, better get a move on – the largest private party ever held during a Star Wars Celebration is right around the corner and you’ll want to see what’s now planned for the night. “Last Tour to Endor” will still feature a special Star Wars-themed fireworks show, a “Death Star Disco,” live entertainment and Disney Characters. But we’ve learned more about a special edition of Hyperspace Hoopla.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tower of Terror event for passholders

Anyone going?
Disney World annual passholders can start registering Friday, July 23, for a special Tower of Terror event that will be held on Friday, August 13. Yep, Friday the 13th. (Cue lightning sounds!)

The after-hours event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will showcase the new drop sequence that has been in use during Disney’s Summer Nightastic promotion, which ends Aug. 14.

Guillermo Del Toro Directing Haunted Mansion 3D

Having made it thru the first Haunted Mansion film...we can only hope:
Guillermo del Toro stopped by the Tron: Legacy panel today at Comic-Con and made the surprise announcement that he'll be directing a 3D reboot of Disney's The Haunted Mansion.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Priscillano Romanillos dies at 47

Way to young...Pres Romanillos was one of the Florida animators when the Studio was really a studio:

"I first met Pres during production on 'The Little Mermaid,' when he was an animation trainee, straight out of art school," said Disney supervising animator Ruben Aquino. "From the very beginning, I was impressed by his beautiful draftsmanship, but even more by his incredible passion for animation."
At Disney's Florida studio, Romanillos created his most memorable character, Shan-Yu, the brutal leader of the Hun army. Richard Corliss wrote in Time magazine: "The villain, a crazed, WWF-style hulkster named Shan-Yu, has no comic irony softening his brute trapezoidal lines. He's just an evil machine with vampire teeth. The Wall, the vast plains and hills, the Forbidden City itself, all cringe at his shadow."

WDW Limiting onboard computers

Over at The Daily Disney:


Over the last 18 months or so while Disney World has been getting all sorts of bad press for incidents related to the transportation system, the one constant complaint I have heard is that bus drivers don’t like the Magic In Motion computer dispatch system. They say it often doesn’t work, is distracting to drivers, and makes drivers work irregular routes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Food & Wine Event Phone Lines Open

From the Disney Parks Blog:
Update – July 20: Yes, phone lines are now open. Just call 407-WDW-FEST to book for the 15th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.


Make sure to check out http://www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine for more details on this year's event...we love it!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Current & Upcoming WDW Refurbs/Closures


Current
  • Lake Buena Vista Golf Course closed Mondays only through 7/26/10 for refurbishment.
  • Palm Golf Course closed Tuesdays only through 7/27/10 for refurbishment.
  • Magnolia Golf Course closed Wednesdays only through 7/28/10 for refurbishment.
  • Osprey Ridge Golf Course closed Thursdays only through 7/29/10 for refurbishment.
  • Cantina de San Angel (Epcot) closed through 9/23/10.
Upcoming
  • "it's a small world" (Magic Kingdom) closed 8/1/10-10/22/10 for refurbishment.
  • Palm Golf Course closed 8/2/10-8/8/10 for refurbishment.
  • Magnolia Golf Course closed 8/9/10-8/15/10 for refurbishment.
  • Flame Tree Barbeque (Animal Kingdom) closed 8/9/10-9/19/10 for refurbishment.
  • Lake Buena Vista Golf Course closed 8/16/10-8/22/10 for refurbishment.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat (Magic Kingdom) closed 8/16/10-8/25/10 for refurbishment.
  • Toy Story Midway Mania! (Hollywood Studios) closed 8/16/10-8/28/10 for refurbishment.
  • Walt Disney: One Man's Dream (Hollywood Studios) closed 8/16/10-11/2/10 for refurbishment.
  • Osprey Ridge Golf Course closed 8/23/10-8/29/10 for refurbishment.
  • Oak Trail Golf Course closed 8/30/10-9/3/10 for refurbishment.
  • Star Tours (Hollywood Studios) closed 9/8/10-5/16/11 for refurbishment.
  • Typhoon Lagoon closed 10/31/10-1/8/10 for refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach closed 1/9/11-3/19/11 for refurbishment.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The greatest bathroom and lounge on earth

Found a story over on Zannaland about a chance she had to visit VIP Lounge at the now extinct Wonders of Life at Epcot...some great pictures on her site:

I know it’s no secret that Wonders of Life has been used for festival events both during the Epcot Flower and Garden and Food & Wine Festivals, but I actually had not been inside the building since around 2003. I recently attended a preview event held in the pavilion and as sad as it was to see no Cranium Command marquee, Wonder Cycles with video screens, or Body Wars, my sadness was quelled by a trip upstairs to the VIP lounge. I wish I’d taken pictures of the elevator because it really was beautiful; dark wood, mirrors on all sides, you could watch yourself watching yourself watching yourself riding the elevator.
Once upstairs, you are greeted with an instant circus theme. I know in the past for Food & Wine Festival dinners, the reception area had a full-on red and white striped tent treatment going on. I was able to find some pictures on a Disney fan message board of how the space is used for wedding receptions:

Walt Disney World Kids Stay and Play FREE Package for General Public

Anyone can take advantage of an exclusive offer for stays most nights now through October 2, 2010. When you purchase a 4-night/5-day Magic Your Way vacation package that includes room and theme park tickets, a child (ages 3-9) can stay in the same room and get 5-day theme park tickets for FREE!
You must book this offer by 8/14/10. For more details and the necessary booking code, visithttp://www.mousesavers.com/packages.html#stayplay

Thursday, July 15, 2010

FREE Dining is Extended Through December at Walt Disney World Resorts


You can get FREE dining when you book a full price Walt Disney World vacation package for check-ins most nights 8/15/10-10/7/10, 10/22/10-10/28/10, 11/12/10-11/18/10, 11/27/10-12/2/10 and 12/10/10-12/21/10. To qualify, you must purchase a vacation package that includes at least 3 consecutive hotel nights at an official Walt Disney World resort, plus at least a 2-day theme park ticket.
With this offer:
  • Stay in a Disney Value Resort and and get the Magic Your Way Plus Quick Service Dining package for the price of a regular Magic Your Way package.
  • Stay in a Disney Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villas Resort and get the Magic Your Way Plus Dining package for the price of a regular Magic Your Way package.
Offer must be booked by 8/14/10. For full details and the necessary booking codes, visithttp://www.mousesavers.com/packages.html#freedine

Disney 1st to use twitter @earlybird

2-for-1 Sorcer's Apprentice movie tickets:

Last week, Twitter announced its first Twitter account that will promote deals from select advertisers, Earlybird. On Wednesday, the site launched its first deal with Disney.

According to the Twitter Blog:

quotemarksright.jpg Today, we're excited to launch the first @earlybird Exclusive Offer, in partnership with The Walt Disney Studios," the site said. "For a limited time, @earlybird followers in the U.S. can get a special deal on tickets for "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," a new feature film from Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films that opens in theaters today.quotesmarksleft.jpg

New digs for Donald in Mexico

Epcot, that is.
New photo backdrop for Donald Duck at Epcot’s Mexico pavilion 

All-Star Vacation Homes sweepstakes

Hey, don't forget to enter the All-Star Vacation Homes sweepstakes and mention you heard it from Gary Hasty on the form.

August 1st increase?

The rumor again this year is that Walt Disney World and Disneyland ticket prices are expected to increase August 1st.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Some new additions to Disney's Animal Kingdom

From over at the Disney parks Blog:
Baby Warthogs and Oryx Join Disney's Animal Kingdom Family
Remember Pumbaa from “The Lion King?” Three real-life Pumbaas – baby warthogs, all males – were born July 1. This is the first litter for their mom, who is doing an excellent job raising her offspring. The births are a result of a recommendation of the warthog Population Management Plan program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
In the wild, warthogs face challenges related to habitat destruction. Counting the new piglets, we now have four male and two female warthogs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney’s Animal Programs animal care experts expect the baby warthogs, which are currently in their backstage home, to be out on the Kilimanjaro Safarissavannah with their mom in several weeks.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mickey teaching english in China

Ran across this story about Disney teaching English in China...as well as gaining a new generation of Disney-geeks:
Mickey Mouse isn't the most obvious choice as a language teacher, but he and Donald Duck are being put to work in China by Walt Disney as part of an expanding program that aims to teach English to 150,000 children a year by 2015.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Food & Wine Festival Special Events

Phone Lines Open July 20 For Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Special Events – Starting July 20, you can book events for the 15th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at 4

Friday, July 9, 2010

Captain EO is back

Can't wait to catch it on my next trip.  Never got to see the original (I hadn't mutated into a Disney geek back then):
It’s here — the classic 3-D film experience “Captain EO” has officially returned to the Walt Disney World Resortand you can already hear people humming the tunes around Epcot. Jaymes Gabourel and Andrea Smith, (pictured, above) were part of a group of early risers who got to see the first shows at the park this morning.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Some amazing photos of WDW

Ran across this site with some amazing photos of Walt Disney World.  One of my favorites is below:

Disneyland popcorn & paper cup replicas

WOW! Check out these two great replicas of some old skool Disneyland memories that will soon be available at Disneyland (limited to 1955 of them...get it?)




Friday, July 2, 2010

Tink's nighttime flight at WDW turns 25 today

One of our favorite events each night at the Magic Kingdom is watching Tink fly over to Tomorrowland.  Video is over on DisneyParks.com:


After Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971, many guests asked when and where they could see Tinker Bell take flight. At the time, Tinker Bell had been flying over Disneyland Park in California since the summer of 1961, coasting through the skies from the top of the Matterhorn and over Sleeping Beauty Castle, preceding the park’s Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show. But, she had yet to make an appearance in Florida.
It wasn’t until 1985 that guests at the Walt Disney World Resort finally got their wish and it was announced that Tinker Bell would perform her first flight at Magic Kingdom Park. The guest response was immediate and a crowd of more than 60,000 showed up to watch the fairy’s inaugural flight July 3, 1985.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Adventurer's Club (virtual)

Found this over on Boing Boing:
Walt Disney World's Adventurer's Club was a nightclub in the now-shuttered Pleasure Island area, where live players and animatronic trophies voiced by actors behind the scenes (who monitored the action with hidden cameras). It was one of my absolute favorite places at the park, and it shut along with the otherwise lacklustre Pleasure Island in 2008.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WDW's retirement homes

Nice...now I just have to have enough in retirement to buy the slum home for $1.5M:
Today Disney unveiled Golden Oak, a one-of-a-kind luxury residential resort offering the unprecedented opportunity to purchase a home at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Named after Walt Disney’s “Golden Oak Ranch” in California, Golden Oak will offer single-family custom homes priced between approximately $1.5 and $8 million on the 980-acre site.

Re: Toy Story 3

Yeah, this pretty much sums it up:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3

All I can really say about it is : WOW!  We went opening night (2 adults/2 kids) and all of us thought the movie was amazing.  I'm even thinking better than 1 & 2.  The ending was a perfect way to wrap up the trilogy.  Thanks Pixar for making a Disney movie the way we all think Walt would have liked.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Disney Employee Caught Stealing From Guests

Ouch...cast member caught stealing credit card information:


A Disney employee is off the job after being charged with stealing from tourists. Investigators say the woman would help visitors check in to Disney's Saratoga Springs and Old Key West resorts, but guests had no idea she was using a device to steal their credit card information.
Investigators say the woman was found with at least 15 skimming devices and prosecutors say the Disney worker is responsible for $83,000 in losses.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

See ya later, power rangers....

Looks like the Power Rangers will be heading to another certain entertainment / theme park operator soon.  I must say, I never really got the Power Rangers being a part of the Disney family anyway.  Oh well...
The franchise came to Disney in 2001 as part of the purchase from Saban and Fox of what is now the ABC Family cable channel. At first, Disney had high hopes for the characters, exploring additional licensing and even a feature film. But focus group research soured Disney on them. Mothers, the research showed, disliked the violence — particularly the hand-to-hand combat — that is part of the franchise’s DNA. Ultimately, Disney decided not to brand the Power Rangers characters as Disney products, which made the franchise something of a black sheep at the company.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Disney's Art of Animation Resort targeted for 2012

Looks like Disney has announced the newest resort to open in 2012 at The Walt Disney World.
It’s a resort designed with families in mind. There will be amazing sights at the different themed wings of the resort, including a model of King Triton that’ll eventually be 35 feet tall and tower over guests. And Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also have themed room interiors in its nearly 2,000 new units — 1,120 family suites in The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings and 864 themed rooms in The Little Mermaid wings. Suites will have both a living room and a bedroom, offering added space.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

After dark, the dirty work at Disneyland begins

The LA Times spent the night at Disneyland with the custodial cast members; also, some interesting facts about the custodial numbers

Sometimes, the jobs require ingenuity, even for some of the more distasteful chores. For example, the Indiana Jones Adventure ride relies on nearly 1,000 black lights that shine on painted mesh screens to create floating ghost images.
But the effect is marred when guests sometimes spit at the ghosts, and the saliva ends up on the screens where it glows under black lights. Because typical cleaning products bleach the screens, David Graefen, the ride's service manager, said his crew created a special saliva-cleaning solution.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Waking Sleeping Beauty

Looks to be an interesting documentary coming out next month called Waking Sleeping Beauty
Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairytale. It is a story of clashing egos, out of control budgets, escalating tensions… and one of the most extraordinary creative periods in animation history. Director Don Hahn and producer Peter Schneider, key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid1980s, offer a behind—the—magic glimpse of the turbulent times the Animation Studio was going through and the staggering output of hits that followed over the next ten years. Artists polarized between the hungry young innovators and the old guard who refused to relinquish control, mounting tensions due to a string of box office flops, and warring studio heads create the backdrop for this fascinating story told with a unique and candid perspective from those that were there. Through interviews, internal memos, home movies, and a cast of characters featuring Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Roy Disney, alongside an amazing array of talented artists that includes Don Bluth, John Lasseter, and Tim Burton, Waking Sleeping Beauty shines a light on Disney Animation’s darkest hours, greatest joys and its improbable renaissance.

Disney goes goth for Alice

Love it.  Disney has a line of Goth mechandise coming out for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

LegoLand Florida

There's a new theme park on it's way to the Orlando area...



Central Florida will be home to the world's largest Legoland by the end of 2011, Merlin Entertainments Group said Thursday.
The park, which is planned for the former site of Cypress Gardens, is expected to include between 40 and 50 main attractions. In addition to Lego's signature attractions -- such as kid-powered rides and giant Lego brick models -- some of Cypress Gardens' top draws are expected to stick around. The historical gardens will stay intact, according to Nick Varney, Merlin's chief executive officer.

PTex as open source

Ok, in Disney technology geek news...looks like the Walt Disney Company has released it's texture mapping system as open source with promised of more to come at http://www.disneyanimation.com/

Ptex is a texture mapping system developed by Walt Disney Animation Studios for production-quality rendering:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1943 Org Chart

Over on BoingBoing there's an interesting graphic of the 1943 Walt Disney org chart or workflow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Windows on Main Street

Friend was lucky enough to get down to WDW for New Years Eve and brought me back a present this morning.  Got a copy of Windows On Main Street by Chuck Snyder.  Great little book (only 25 pages so don't pay the crazy Amazon price) that covers all the Mainstreet windows in WDW and Disneyland.  Some great photos and a handy map of both Mainstreets with index of all the names.