Build a Better Mousetrip would like to express sincere appreciation to Walt Disney World Corporation for permission to include these press releases on our web site. Build A Better Mousetrip is not directly affiliated with Walt Disney World.
Captain Jack Sparrow Joins Crew of Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction at Walt Disney World Resort
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- First the theme park attraction inspired the movie. Now the movie has inspired the attraction.
Pirates of the Caribbean, the classic Disney theme park adventure brought to the big screen in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," reopened July 7 at Walt Disney World Resort following a three-month closure to add characters and features from the blockbuster motion picture franchise. The Florida attraction's reopening coincided with the opening of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
Both the Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida closed the attraction in March for the updates. The attraction re-opened to the public at Disneyland on June 26.
The Walt Disney World attraction features the addition of two of Hollywood's most infamous buccaneers, Captain Jack Sparrow and his nemesis Barbossa. Joining the wildest crew that ever sacked the Spanish Main, Captain Jack and Barbossa add an exciting new twist to the attraction's original storyline as they race to be the first to claim a cache of plundered treasure.
Woven into some of the attraction's most memorable scenes, the rival swashbucklers are seen interacting with some of the more familiar Audio-Animatronics buccaneers found inside the ride-thru adventure. Also making a guest appearance is the ghostly Davy Jones from the second movie in the series, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." But new characters are only the beginning. New special effects have been added to enhance the Pirates of the Caribbean theme park experience.
"Successfully adding the popular characters from the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' films with the mythology of our classic attraction is an example of Disney synergy and Walt Disney Imagineering at its finest," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "These additions will result in an exciting new chapter for the attraction and an unforgettable experience for our guests, giving them another reason to come and be a part of our continuing 50th anniversary celebration."
Created under the direct creative supervision of Walt Disney himself, Pirates of the Caribbean is the quintessential Disney theme park adventure, a swashbuckling voyage that transports guests back to the days when pirates and privateers roamed the Spanish Main.
Starring a comical cast of rascals, scoundrels, villains and knaves, the world-famous attraction sends guests of all ages on a boat ride through mysterious caverns where "Dead men tell no tales" and then into a colonial era Caribbean seaport under siege by a band of fun-loving pirates. The attraction's jaunty theme song, "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)," sets the show's light tone with its tongue-in-cheek depiction of high-seas lawlessness.
The original incarnation of Pirates of the Caribbean premiered on March 18, 1967, in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in California. Featuring more than 120 Audio-Animatronics performers, lavishly decorated sets and special effects, it's considered to be one of the most spectacular and enduring attractions ever created for a theme park.
With its setting revised slightly to fit a Caribbean Plaza location in Adventureland, the attraction opened to guests at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom on Dec. 15, 1973. More than 500 million people have experienced the rollicking fun of Pirates of the Caribbean in California and Florida over the past 39 years.
"Enhancing the classic Pirates attractions with new characters and new technology will ensure their relevance and place in Disney theme parks as timeless adventures," said Tom Fitzgerald, senior creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. "We're adding a layer of storytelling from the films to the attraction while retaining all the familiar elements that make it vibrant and exciting for every age group."
The Pirates of the Caribbean additions are one part of the "Happiest Celebration on Earth," a salute which began May 5, 2005, and continues in 2006, to 50 years of Disney park magic around the globe that started with the opening of Walt Disney's original park, Disneyland, in 1955.
11th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival a Triumph of Great Tastes Sept. 29-Nov. 12, 2006
Regional Flavors Showcased in Great Food, Wine and Beer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A world of discovery is on the menu when the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival celebrates its 11th year of great tastes Sept. 29 through Nov. 12 at Walt Disney World Resort.
Walt Disney World guests can explore the nuances of wine made from the Cabernet varietal in several countries or compare flavors of cheddar originating in the pastures of Vermont or the mountains of France. Each day during the six-week-long festival, the park's Future World and World Showcase overflow with first-rate food, wine and beer that spotlight regional experiences from New Zealand to Mexico.
More than 25 international marketplaces serve tapas-sized portions of regional specialties -- new marketplaces this year include Argentina, India, Thailand and Turkey. Daily seminars offer tastes of wine and beer from around the world. In addition, a series of special culinary programs features a lineup of renowned winemakers and guest chefs participating in elegant dinners, wine schools, cooking schools and pairings.
The Epcot festival has grown dramatically, attracting a diverse audience of more than one million each fall -- from wine connoisseurs and epicures to droves of wine neophytes eager to boost their wine IQs. Beer aficionados can raise their steins to the Biergarten in the Germany showcase and other festival venues that specialize in brews from light to dark. And tea drinkers can celebrate the leaves of their own favorite "cuppa" as Twinings Tea marks its 300th anniversary with daily festival tastings.
Top musical entertainment pairs well with culinary fun during the nightly Eat to the Beat! concert series featuring a varied lineup of classic rock, oldies, jazz and funk hitmakers.
"No other festival of this scope and caliber exists in the world," said Nora Carey, festival manager. "This is where we showcase the exceptional culinary and wine-related talent of Walt Disney World Resort along with the great celebrity chefs and wine connoisseurs in the industry."
More than 100 wineries offer complimentary tastings, and guests can sample the marketplace cuisine in tasting portions ranging from $1.50 to $4.50. Other highlights include:
The Festival Welcome Center, with a Champagne and Sparkling Wine Bar, commemorative posters and other festival keepsakes.
Some 250 Disney chefs and guest chefs conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting elegant dinners and tasting events (past guest chefs have included John Ash, Allen Susser, Paula Deen, Dominique Macquet, Melissa Kelly and many others).
Up to 1,200 wine and beer seminars providing complimentary samplings.
The weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting, featuring live entertainment.
Along with the music, dance, acrobatics and entertainment showcased at Epcot pavilions, festival guests can enjoy Eat to the Beat! concerts performed three times each evening at America Gardens Theatre. This year's scheduled lineup includes appearances by Survivor, Little Richard, Three Dog Night, Jon Seceda, David Sanborn, Chubby Checker & the Wildcats, and nine additional top-name acts.
Included with Epcot Admission:
Wine and beer seminars, cooking demonstrations, Eat to the Beat! concerts, culinary exhibits and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.
Special Programming by Reservation:
The weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting, Food and Wine Pairings at Epcot restaurants, Exquisite Evenings at Epcot dinners, The Odyssey Cooking School, half-day Wine Schools, Lunch and Learn series, and other specialty events require reservations and separate admission.
Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) for information or reservations. Starting at 7 a.m. July 31, they can make reservations for special events and programs. Festival details will be posted on the Web site: disneyworld.com.
Brighter Lights, Extra Nights and Extraordinary Delights: Walt Disney World Resort Unwraps Plans for 2006 Holiday Season
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. -- Guests to Walt Disney World Resort will find their holidays even merrier with a bigger, brighter celebration this season. New features for 2006 include:
More nights of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Holidays Around the World and Candlelight Processional
New celebrity narrators at Candlelight Processional at Epcot
New shopping options at World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace
Here's a preview of the holiday merriment in store beginning as early as mid-November:
· More Nights of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party -- Magic Kingdom has added four more nights for the park's annual celebration -- meaning there will be 18 evenings brimming with holiday magic: Nov. 13, 17, 27, 28, 30 and Dec. 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22. Beginning at 7 p.m. (after regular park hours), guests with tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party can enjoy a holiday celebration featuring festive live stage shows, the famous "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade," Disney characters in their holiday best for meet-and-greets and the nighttime spectacular "Holiday Wishes--Celebrate the Spirit of the Season," a winter wonderland of dazzling fireworks set to classic holiday tunes.
No holiday celebration would be complete without snow -- even in Florida, where the weather outside is hardly frightful. At Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party there is a 100 percent chance of flurries on Main Street, U.S.A each party night. And just in case the sight causes a chill: Complimentary hot cocoa and cookies are served. In addition to the holiday fun, guests can enjoy many of the most popular Magic Kingdom attractions.
Admission to the party requires a separate ticket. Tickets are $45.95 plus tax for ages 10/up and $37.95 plus tax for ages 3-9 (but with advance purchase, guests can save $6 per ticket for select dates). Note: Many party nights have sold out in advance. To purchase tickets, guests can call 407/W-DISNEY or visit disneyworld.com.
· Epcot Presents Holidays Around the World -- With one extra event date this year, Epcot World Showcase transforms into a splendor of international holiday traditions and storytelling beginning Nov. 24. Holiday icons who delight children around the globe -- such as France's Père Noël and Italy's La Befana -- make special appearances in their respective countries, while Santa Claus himself pays visits to the American Adventure showcase. Guests see holiday traditions and legends as they are observed around the world, with Hanukah and Kwanzaa customs on display as well.
At nightfall, Mickey Mouse and his friends host a giant tree-lighting ceremony, complete with music and storytelling, in World Showcase Plaza. A dazzling synchronized light show -- "The Lights of Winter" -- illuminates a canopy adorning the World Showcase breezeway bridge. The Epcot evening spectacular of lights, lasers and fireworks, "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth," completes the celebration with a magical holiday finale. As an added bonus, guests with a long holiday shopping list will discover one-of-a-kind gifts with international flair throughout World Showcase. The special holiday fun takes place daily, Nov. 24-Dec. 30, and is included with regular Epcot admission.
· Sparkling Candlelight Processional at Epcot -- A highlight of Holidays Around the World, the traditional Candlelight Processional at Epcot treats guests to a grand musical performance featuring a mass choir and a full orchestra accompanied by a celebrity narrator who retells the beloved story of Christmas. Celebrity narrators scheduled to appear include (subject to change):
NEW! Cuba Gooding Jr. ("Jerry Maguire" and "A Few Good Men")
NEW! Maureen McGovern (Oscar-winning Broadway singer and recording artist)
NEW! Kirk Cameron (TV's "Growing Pains")
Gary Sinise ("Forrest Gump" and TV's "CSI: NY")
Rita Moreno ("West Side Story")
Marlee Matlin (TV's "The West Wing")
Stephen Curtis Chapman (Christian music's most-decorated artist)
Presentations of Candlelight Processional are daily, Nov. 24-Dec. 30, and are included with regular Epcot admission. Candlelight Processional dinner packages, available for an additional charge, include preferred seating for a performance of Candlelight Processional as well as dinner at an Epcot restaurant. To make reservations for these packages, guests can call 407/WDW-DINE.
· Spectacle of Lights Transforms Disney-MGM Studios -- The Streets of America backlot area sparkles with millions of twinkling lights beginning Nov. 13 and continuing through Jan. 7, 2007, during the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. Amid "Florida snow" flurries, the building facades, trees and streets of the Disney-MGM Studios backlot come alive with three-dimensional and motion-based displays -- some originally created at the Osborne home in Arkansas by businessman Jennings Osborne as a holiday display for the delight of his daughter.
After the home exhibit grew larger and brighter over the years, the million-light display was transported to Disney-MGM Studios in 1995, where the spectacle continues to grow larger and brighter each year. Some of Osborne's original creations still sparkling brightly at the park today are a giant Mickey Mouse light, dozens of flying angels and Santa Claus light designs.
The "Hollywood Holly-Day Parade," a festival of favorite Disney characters dressed in their dazzling holiday best, jingles down Hollywood Boulevard this holiday season as well.
· Disney's Animal Kingdom Decked for the Holidays -- Jolly jingle will fill the jungle as Disney's Animal Kingdom is spiritedly transformed for the holiday season from Nov. 13 through Jan. 7, 2007.
A luminous 65-foot tree sparkling at the park's entrance sets the stage as the holiday season goes on safari with "Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade" daily. At Camp Minnie-Mickey, guests can meet Disney characters dressed in their holiday best while carolers fill the air with renditions of favorite seasonal classics at Santa Goofy's Holiday Village. The ornamentally decorated village features Christmas and character trees, live entertainers and holiday photo opportunities. DinoLand U.S.A. also takes on a festive flair and Donald Duck decks the halls of Donald's Breakfastosaurus, the daily character breakfast experience presented at Restaurantosaurus. For more information or reservations, guests may call 407/WDW-DINE.
· Downtown Disney Shopping Spectacular -- Downtown Disney, with unique gift opportunities of every kind, is a favorite spot for holiday shoppers who are treated to holiday-themed display windows, colorful light displays and photo opportunities with Santa Claus himself. World of Disney, located in Downtown Disney Marketplace, recently unveiled new interactive elements for young pirates and princesses as part of the store's shopping experience. Other popular Downtown Disney stores include Once Upon a Toy, Team Mickey sports shop, Virgin Megastore, LEGO Imagination Center and Disney's Days of Christmas holiday shop.
· Ring in the New Year, Disney Style -- Walt Disney World Resort offers many options for celebrating the official kickoff of 2007 -- from ringing in the New Year at a special party at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island to getting festive in the parks.
Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney features live music, street dance parties and a countdown to midnight during a New Year's Eve extravaganza that has become a Walt Disney World tradition. Partygoers for the special-ticket event must be 21 or older to participate. For more information or to order tickets, guests may call 407/W-DISNEY.
Epcot celebrates the New Year "around the world" with DJs and evening dance parties located throughout World Showcase and lasting late into the evening, as well as a special presentation of the "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth" lights, lasers and fireworks display.
Disney-MGM Studios celebrates New Year's Eve not only with multiple presentations of "Fantasmic!" a spectacular of Disney movies and music, but also with a special "Lights! Camera! Happy New Year!" fireworks spectacular, as well as a DJ dance party around the Sorcerer Hat Stage. Park guests have the opportunity to experience Disney-MGM Studios right up until the New Year officially gets underway at midnight.
Magic Kingdom features special presentations of the "SpectroMagic" parade and multiple nighttime fireworks displays. "Holiday Wishes" lights up the sky early in the evening, and guests who make it to midnight can see "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks, which begins just before the New Year kicks off.
For additional information about Walt Disney World Resort or to make reservations, guests can visit disneyworld.com. Reservations are also available by calling 407/W-DISNEY or through local travel agents.
Pirates of the Caribbean Takes Walt Disney World Guests On Swashbuckling Adventure in Sacked Seaport
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Listen up, hardies -- there be squalls ahead…
Pirates of the Caribbean has entertained millions of Walt Disney World guests on a thrilling adventure through dark, mysterious caverns where "dead men tell no tales" since it opened at Magic Kingdom on Dec. 15, 1973.
Starring a comical cast of rascals, scoundrels, villains and knaves, the eight-and-a-half minute Adventureland attraction sends guests of all ages on a rollicking boat ride to a Caribbean seaport under siege by a swashbuckling band of pirates.
Pirates of the Caribbean first opened at Disneyland in 1967 and continues to delight guests today. According to Disney archivist Dave Smith, many guests still consider it their favorite theme park attraction.
The Disneyland attraction originally was conceived by Walt Disney as a walk-through exhibit until the 1964 World's Fair presentations created by WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) paved the way for a more sophisticated kind of three-dimensional storytelling known as Audio-Animatronics.
Veteran Disney animator and Imagineer Marc Davis created hundreds of humorous pirate drawings during the attraction's development in the early 1960s, sketches that Disney sculptor Blaine Gibson helped bring to life as Audio-Animatronics figures.
The jaunty theme song by lyricist X. Atencio and composer George Bruns, "Yo Ho, Yo Ho; a Pirate's Life for Me," sets the attraction's light tone with its tongue-in-cheek depiction of high-seas lawlessness:
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We pillage, plunder, we rifle and loot
Drink up me 'earties yo ho
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot
Drink up me 'earties yo ho
Pirates of the Caribbean wasn't included in the original plans for Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort -- the Disney Imagineers thought that since Florida sits in the middle of the real Caribbean there would be little interest in a pirates-themed adventure.
Soon after opening in the fall of 1971, Walt Disney World Resort was inundated with guest comments expressing disappointment that the renowned Disneyland attraction was nowhere to be found in Magic Kingdom. By fall of 1972 Pirates of the Caribbean was under construction in Florida.
Pirates of the Caribbean opened in Florida's Magic Kingdom on Dec. 15, 1973. It was one of the first major additions to the park following its grand opening in 1971.
Due to the hit motion picture “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and the follow-up “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,” the attraction was updated in summer 2006 with the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow and his nemesis Barbossa, from the feature films.
Audio enhancements, new special effects and the addition of the ghostly Davy Jones, from “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,” also anchor the reopened attraction.
The Walt Disney World attraction features 125 Audio-Animatronics figures -- 65 pirates and villagers and 60 animals and birds.
Caribbean Plaza in Adventureland, where the attraction is located, features the Spanish and English architectural styles of the 18th century West Indies.
Paul Frees and Thurl Ravenscroft provided the voices for many of the attraction's colorful characters. The prolific voice artists also can be heard throughout The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom.
Lyricist X. Atencio supplied the voice for the talking skull and crossbones that delivers an ominous warning to passing guests: “Dead men tell no tales.”
Flat-bottomed boats that seat 15-18 passengers take guests on a gentle journey through a flume containing approximately 155,000 gallons of water, but beware -- there's a single plunge down a 14-foot chute in darkness, followed by a mild splash.
The Florida version differs from its California counterpart by featuring a shortened sequence of haunted grotto scenes, but is highlighted by an entirely different finale featuring the sacked village's Treasure Room.
Hanging above the entrance to that scene is a coat of arms -- “Marco Daviso” -- a sly tribute to Imagineer Marc Davis.
Sharp-eyed guests at the attraction will notice two chess-playing skeletons, their eerie match deadlocked in a tie.
Birnbaum's Walt Disney World - The Official Guide depicts Pirates of the Caribbean as “One of the very best of the Magic Kingdom's classic adventures” and honors the attraction with a “Birnbaum's Best” endorsement.
During 'Year of a Million Dreams' Celebration Disney Cast Members to Award a Million Magical Dreams
From an Overnight Stay inside Cinderella Castle to a Golden FASTPASS, Dreams Big and Small to Come True During a First-of-its-Kind Celebration That Also Features New Attractions and Entertainment at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts
BURBANK, Calif. -- From an overnight stay inside Cinderella Castle to a Golden FASTPASS, dreams big and small will come true at Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts during Disney's "Year of a Million Dreams," a first-of-its-kind celebration of the individual dreams of Disney Parks guests.
The year-long celebration, beginning Oct. 1, 2006, at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida , will feature the debut of an incredible lineup of new attractions and entertainment at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts, plus new technologies that allow guests to customize their Disney park experience.
And, for the first time, during the "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration, Disney cast members will award a million dreams -- both large and small, including many "money-can't-buy" experiences -- to guests selected through a random process as part of a unique "Disney Dreams Giveaway" promotion.
"Throughout this incredible celebration, special dreams and unique experiences once thought impossible will be awarded by our cast every day," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "Disney parks are always the place where dreams come true -- but even more so during the 'Year of a Million Dreams.' "
The "impossible" includes the creation of over-the-top, overnight experiences for winning guests at both East and West Coast resorts: a royal bedchamber inside Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort and a Mickey Mouse Penthouse at Disneyland Resort, both expected to be complete by January 2007.
A day of royal treatment will end with a night of enchantment inside Cinderella Castle for a different lucky guest each night. Cinderella's royal bedchamber, now under construction at Magic Kingdom , will allow Disney guests to stay overnight inside the park and enjoy a view shared only by Tinker Bell. The lavishly decorated bedroom will be located in a space originally planned as an in-park apartment for the use of the Disney family.
And for a lucky Disneyland guest, each night, the all-new Mickey Mouse Penthouse at Disneyland Hotel will pour on the Mickey charm and include magical views overlooking both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure parks. The extraordinary penthouse will be decorated in all things Mickey, with finishing touches by none other than Minnie Mouse herself.
In addition, during the year-long celebration, other Disney dreams both large and small will be awarded in the "Disney Dreams Giveaway" promotion, such as:
Traveling to each Disney resort around the world to serve as grand marshal in a Disney parade.
A variety of unique Disney vacation experiences.
Admission to special parties and other extraordinary experiences in the Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks.
Private meetings with favorite Disney characters.
Or, a Golden FASTPASS ticket with unique access entitlements to some of Disney's most popular attractions.
New Attractions and Entertainment Planned for the "Year of a Million Dreams"
Throughout the "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration, Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts will debut major new attractions:
Walt Disney World Resort in Florida
"The Seas with Nemo & Friends" -- Epcot's newest attraction picks up where Disney-Pixar's "Finding Nemo" left off. Amazing technology gives the stars of the film the appearance of swimming amid the live marine life of the 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium in The Living Seas pavilion. Guests aboard "clam-mobiles" float amid a coral reef where they meet Mr. Ray and his class on a field trip. They soon learn that Nemo has wandered off. A journey to find the playful clownfish ensues. Along the way, familiar characters such as Dory, Bruce, Crush and Marlin join in the search. In the musical finale of the attraction, Nemo is happily reunited with his class and friends. (Late 2006)
"Finding Nemo-The Musical" -- At Disney's Animal Kingdom, the undersea world that charmed audiences worldwide in the Disney-Pixar motion picture "Finding Nemo" will come to life in an all-new musical stage show. Featuring original songs by Tony Award-winning "Avenue Q" composer Robert Lopez and a cappella musical "Along the Way" composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez, "Finding Nemo-The Musical" will immerse guests in the story of Marlin and Nemo, an overprotective clownfish father and his curious son, through a dazzling production that combines puppets, dancers, acrobats and animated backdrops. The enclosed, air-conditioned Theater in the Wild will transform into an undersea world through innovative lighting, sound, special effects and the theatrical puppetry of Michael Curry who designed the richly detailed character puppets seen in the Broadway version of Disney's "The Lion King." "Finding Nemo-The Musical" will be staged several times daily. (Late 2006)
The Laugh Floor Comedy Club -- Magic Kingdom guests will laugh, joke, sing songs and match wits with the beloved animated characters from the Disney presentation of Pixar's "Monsters, Inc." in an engaging and interactive attraction being created by the Disney Imagineers. The Laugh Floor Comedy Club features the one-eyed hero, Mike Wazowski, who has opened a comedy club to collect laughs that will generate electricity for the monster world of Monstropolis. As Monster-of-Ceremonies, Mike recruits two comedian wanna-bes whose slapstick humor delights and engages audiences. The fun reigns at a 400-seat theater in Tomorrowland. (Early 2007)
Disneyland Resort in California
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage -- Inspired by Disney- Pixar's "Finding Nemo," this all-new E-ticket adventure will take guests on a real (and unbelievable) underwater excursion. (Summer 2007)
Rockin' Space Mountain -- Space Mountain is getting a new twist. Thanks to new lighting and technology, Disney's classic attraction will become a new experience in which rockets will rock it through the greatest concert in the universe. An all-new soundtrack will fit the exciting twists and turns of Disney's rocket classic. (Spring 2007)
Additionally, special entertainment and programs will be in place at the parks and resorts to accommodate the desires and wishes of would-be Disney Princesses, pirates, adventurers and space explorers. Guests will be able to customize their visit to a Disney park to pursue the "Dream Track" of their choice with on-line planning tools and in-park technology to help them become the hero or princess they've always dreamed of being.
For more information about the "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration and the "Disney Dreams Giveaway" promotion, visit www.mydisneyparks.com. Look for future announcements with the details of the "Disney Dreams Giveaway" promotion. No purchase necessary and subject to promotion official rules which will be available Oct. 1, 2006. Odds of winning any prize will depend on the number of eligible entries. Void where prohibited.
One Lucky Family Getting Magic Kingdom All to Themselves For the Launch of Disney's "Year of A Million Dreams"
A First-of-its Kind Dream Come True Makes for An Unforgettable Experience in Magic Kingdom !
BURBANK, Calif. (June 7, 2006) -- For the first time ever, to launch Disney's "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration, one lucky guest and family will receive a once-in-a-lifetime dream come true as they get the Magic Kingdom park all to themselves.
The winning family will enter Magic Kingdom on a red-carpeted Main Street, U.S.A. lined with cast members in place for their exclusive visit. They'll enjoy a VIP itinerary as they tour each land of the park, experience favorite attractions and visit favorite characters.
As the winning family leaves each land, other guests will fill the park behind them -- ensuring plenty of spectators as they make their way back down Main Street, U.S.A. as grand marshals of the daily parade. The winning family will conclude their remarkable visit by enjoying the spectacular fireworks over Cinderella Castle from a special viewing location.
The "Keys to the Magic Kingdom " promotion will lead up to the Oct. 1, 2006, launch of the "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida . The winning family will enjoy their VIP visit to Magic Kingdom in October, early in the year-long celebration. The "Year of a Million Dreams" is a first-of-its-kind event that celebrates the individual dreams of Disney Park guests from around the world. Another million dreams will be awarded to Disneyland and Walt Disney World guests through the "Disney Dreams Giveaway," a separate promotion that will run throughout the "Year of a Million Dreams."
"Our goal is to make dreams come true for every single guest who visits our Disney parks," says Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "Dreams and wishes are synonymous with Disney and what better way to make a vacation dream come true than by allowing one lucky family to enjoy the Magic Kingdom by themselves."
For more information about the "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration and the "Keys to the Magic Kingdom " promotion, visit www.mydisneyparks.com. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents 18 or older of the 50 states and D.C. Commences June 7, 2006, and ends July 31, 2006.
"Disney Dreams Giveaway": Look for future announcements with the details of the "Disney Dreams Giveaway" promotion. No purchase necessary and subject to promotion official rules which will be available on Oct. 1, 2006. Odds of winning any prize will depend on the number of eligible entries. Void where prohibited.
Expedition Everest Opens at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Bringing the Legend of the Yeti to Life in a Thrilling New Adventure
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Ancient legend holds that high in the Himalayan Mountains lives an enormous creature that fiercely guards the route to Mount Everest .
In Florida , the legend of the ferocious yeti has roared dramatically to life at Walt Disney World Resort with the official opening of Expedition Everest, a runaway train adventure that combines coaster-like thrills with the excitement of a close encounter of the hairy kind.
"Expedition Everest is a shining example of what we do best at Disney -- create unique, high-quality and innovative experiences to delight our guests from around the world," said Bob Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, who presided at the opening on April 7. "Though our mountain may be slightly smaller in scale to the one you find in Asia , it is remarkable in its authenticity.
"The same is true of our base camp's attention to detail," he continued. "These elements are all part of the magic of our storytelling so our guests feel literally and figuratively transported to another world -- a world where fantasy is real and the reality is fantastic."
Following the dedication of Expedition Everest, Disney officials provided an update on what's next for the Vacation Kingdom -- including a new attraction coming to Epcot in fall 2006 and a new stage spectacular coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom in late 2006.
But for now, the new fun involves out-of-control railcars that race forward and backward, sending Disney's Animal Kingdom guests swooping into the unknown to brave twists, turns and drops inside and outside a mighty mountain. It all leads to an unforgettable encounter with the yeti.
Expedition Everest's trains depart from the mythical village of Serka Zong -- like the mountain, a marvel of authentic detail. The village consists of several buildings, including a hotel, Internet café and trekking supply store, all reflective of today's Nepalese architecture. A canopy of prayer flags, an ornamental monastery, intricately carved totems, and a garden of stone carvings of the yeti clutching the mountain immerse guests in a far-off realm.
The yeti's role as protector of the sacred mountain is reinforced in this detail-rich environment as a result of extensive research that included an expedition to the region.
"This extraordinary expedition is another example of the lengths to which Walt Disney Imagineering will go to research subject matter in developing our story lines," said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo. "Our passion for bringing great stories to life has taken Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to amazing places over the past 50 years. Over the next 50 years, we will continue to scale new heights in our ongoing quest to create great experiences for our guests."
The opening of Expedition Everest is part of the "Happiest Celebration on Earth" honoring 50 years of Disney theme parks and commemorating the 1955 opening of Disneyland . The celebration began in 2005 with the launch of new shows and attractions at Disney parks around the world.
Towering nearly 200 feet high and occupying a 6.2-acre site, Expedition Everest is located in the Asia section of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. It is one of 18 mountain attractions created by Walt Disney Imagineering at Disney theme parks worldwide.
* * *
Later this year, more new theme park fun is in store for Walt Disney World guests:
" Finding Nemo-The Musical ," debuting late 2006 at Disney's Animal Kingdom, will bring the undersea world that charmed audiences in the Disney presentation of the Pixar Animation Studios film "Finding Nemo" to life in an all-new stage spectacular featuring original songs by Tony Award-winning "Avenue Q" composer Robert Lopez and a cappella musical "Along the Way" composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez; and
The Seas with Nemo & Friends , opening fall 2006 at Epcot, will be a whimsical and visually stunning attraction in The Living Seas pavilion featuring technology that for all appearances has the stars of "Finding Nemo" swimming amid the live marine life of the huge aquarium in an adventure that picks up where the motion picture left off.
Officials also announced that Disney's Magical Express, which offers airport shuttle and luggage delivery between Orlando International Airport and select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, will continue beyond 2006 and remain complimentary. To take advantage of the popular service, guests affix special tags to their luggage before leaving home, then skip a trip to baggage claim and board modern motor coaches for the Vacation Kingdom , and have their luggage delivered directly to their guestrooms.
Those guestrooms might actually be new value-resort family suites -- or smartly redesigned accommodation at one of the Vacation Kingdom 's deluxe resorts:
Families, friends or anyone just needing more "room to roam" will find it at Disney's All-Star Music Resort with the June launch of new family suites. Nearly 400 guestrooms are being converted to 192 value-priced family suites featuring two bathrooms and sleeping up to six people. Each suite will include a generously sized kitchenette with counter space, sink, microwave, coffee maker and under-counter refrigerator. Other amenities include a private "master" bedroom with its own flat-screen television, desk and lounge chair.
Guestrooms at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Disney's Polynesian Resort are receiving a dramatic new look including new décor, furniture, state-of-the-art entertainment technology, carpeting, lighting and bathroom fixtures. At Disney's Contemporary Resort, room décor is being changed from the current style -- taken from the bold, bright colors of contemporary art masters of the 1950s and '60s -- to a more upscale, elegant design that incorporates muted color accents such as reds, greens and yellows with basic black and white. Rooms at Disney's Polynesian Resort also are getting a new, more sophisticated look but will retain the classic South Seas style that has been the hotel's hallmark since 1971.
For more information or to make arrangements for a Walt Disney World vacation, guests may visit disneyworld.com or a local travel agent. Reservations also are available at 407/W-DISNEY.
Walt Disney World Resort Unwraps New Restaurant; Outdoor Dining Overlooking Golf, Downtown Disney
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- The new Turf Club Bar and Grill recently opened at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, one of just a handful of Walt Disney World restaurants offering year-round outdoor dining. Patio tables overlook the Lake Buena Vista golf course.
Themed with equestrian memorabilia, the casual dining room at the Disney Vacation Club resort is open to the public. The menu offers casual creations including steamed mussels, crab cake bites, spiced salmon salad and a classic Reuben. At dinner, pork ribs with apple-cinnamon barbecue sauce are a specialty.
Specialty drinks include the Preakness Cosmo, Belmont Stakes Martini and Millionaire's Margarita, and dessert drinks like the Espresso Chiller and Mudslide Martini.
For reservations, call 407/WDW-DINE.
Pretend to Be a Pirate or Be Pretty as a Princess; World of Disney Celebrates 10th Anniversary Year
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Adventure Room offer new, interactive experiences
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- To celebrate its 10th anniversary year, the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort has unveiled new and interactive experiences at the largest Disney shopping destination on earth.
The newly "re-imagined," 51,000-square-foot retail playground features a world of pirates and heroes in a new, interactive Adventure Room. Across the store, youngsters can be made up as pretty as a princess with the help of a "Fairy Godmother-in-Training" in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, part of the store's new Princess Room.
Young adventurers can pretend to sail the high seas and hoist the Jolly Roger in the Adventure Room. Young heroes and heroines can fill treasure chests and skulls with pirate plunder, create their own seafaring hat and interact with a new Audio-Animatronics pirate named Rusty Blade and his talking parrot pal, Pollyanna. The latest Disney video games also fuel the imaginations of young adventurers.
"Owned" by the Fairy Godmother and "operated" by Fairy Godmothers-in-Training, the new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique offers a menu of salon services designed to pamper princesses ages three and up. Package options and prices include:
Coach Package: Includes hair style and shimmering makeup -- $35 plus tax.
Crown Package: Includes hair style, shimmering makeup and nails -- $45 plus tax.
Castle Package: Includes the Crown Package plus an imaging package (one 6x8-inch photo and four 4x6-inch photos in a Princess-themed photo holder). Also includes a complete child-size costume with accessories -- starting at $175 plus tax.
Each package comes with a sash, and there are three different hair style options from which to choose: the Fairytale Princess, the Disney Diva and the Pop Princess.
Hours of operation for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will be 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (last appointment will be at 5:30 p.m.), seven days a week. Walk-ins are accepted; however, reservations are strongly encouraged by calling 407/WDW-STYLE (939-7895).
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is part of the store's new Princess Room. Resembling a great hall from castle lore, the room is dedicated to the classic fairy tale stories of Disney Princesses, Princes and their castles. Other features include an Audio-Animatronics princess who sings to guests, and interactive stations where little girls can create their own tiaras and wands, fill jewelry boxes and purchase princess make-up kits.
For more information, call Downtown Disney Guest Information at 407/WDW-2NITE (939-2648) or visit disneyworld.com .
New Fashionable Mickey Mouse Ears ‘All the Rage' at Walt Disney World Resort
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Trendsetters and fashion gurus get ready to strut your stuff with a new line of Mickey Mouse ears all dressed up for the summer.
The trendy new Mouse ears come in a variety of vibrant colors and styles to suit the pirate or princess in your family. Gal versions don pink veils, jeweled princess crowns, or wild cheetah prints. For the boys, pirate scarves and hoop earrings adorn the headgear, plus Stitch-themed offerings and more. There's also gold-sequined, patriotic-themed, and a bride and groom version.
While traditional black Mouse ears remain popular -- with millions sold each year -- it was time to have some fun and accessorize, said Dara Trujillo, Walt Disney World manager of merchandise franchise and synergy.
"Guests responded so well to the special golden Mickey Mouse ears created for the 'Happiest Celebration on Earth' last year," said Trujillo . "We wanted to build off that success with a new generation of ears that reflect what's hot in the marketplace."
We will always go after the trends," Trujillo said.
The new Mouse ears are available in limited quantities at select locations throughout Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort. Prices are from $8.
The Ultimate NASCAR Souvenir: Racing Fans Can Purchase Used Stock Car Tires at the Walt Disney World Speedway
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- The Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway offers guests the ultimate racing souvenir that doubles as gear-spinning home décor -- used tires.
After experiencing the ride of a lifetime in an authentic stock car at the one-mile Walt Disney World Speedway, guests can purchase the same Goodyear Racing Eagles that are used on the 630-horsepower machines.
The tires are used for approximately 100 laps around the speedway before they are changed. Once the tires are removed from the cars, they are stacked in the showroom store where guests can purchase them for $5 or less. Tires must be purchased at the speedway; no shipping is available.
“It's something interesting that our guests love to buy and everyone has their own story,” says Brett Smith of the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Smith says they sell approximately five tires a day, which are used for conversation-sparking creations like coffee tables and wall hangings.
“Some folks use them as swings in their yard, tables and even gag gifts,” Smith says. “Some hang them in their garage or basement and even take them to races to have autographed by drivers.”
According to Smith, a new, full set of Goodyear Racing Eagles with rims costs race teams between $500 and $1,200. He says that some companies use the tires as corporate event prizes during workshops or conventions held at Walt Disney World Speedway.
The Richard Petty Driving Experience offers several driving and riding experiences daily at Walt Disney World Resort. Experiences include a three-lap “Ride-Along Program,” an eight-lap “Rookie Experience” where guests ride shotgun for a mock qualifying run, and a 30-lap “Racing Experience” for advanced drivers.
Spectators are also welcome to visit Walt Disney World Speedway at no additional charge to talk with Richard Petty Driving Experience team members and to view others taking part in the programs. Spectators may also purchase tires.
For more information, guests can contact the Richard Petty Driving Experience at 800/BE-PETTY or visit www.1800BEPETTY.com.
Sunset Safari at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Offers Up-Close Encounters With Exotic Creatures
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Whispering winds sweep across the balmy, Africa-like plain, a peaceful sanctuary at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. From balconies overlooking the savannahs, hotel guests marvel as creatures large and small roam the grasses, forage for food and play in harmony.
But now Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge club-level (concierge) guests can actually enter this serene animal reserve for an up-close personal encounter -- thanks to the Wanyama Safari experience.
Just before sunset three nights a week, adventurers gather outside the 1,293-room lodge with a guide who readies the group for a traditional game-viewing safari. Up to eight persons can board a specially designed pop-top vehicle for a bird's eye view of a typical North African safari.
Safari-goers are absorbed in careful observation as the vehicle moves along the Uzima savannah, the first of three picturesque savannahs that horseshoe the majestic lodge. A pair of female reticulated giraffes from Northern Kenya pause from browsing and gracefully move within feet of the vehicle. Guests' cameras and videos are poised to capture an unforgettable encounter with the tallest of the land mammals.
Joe Kalla, the resort's animal curator, says the safari strives to recreate the essence of an African experience with free-roaming wildlife in an authentic environment.
"We wanted to give our guests a close look at our animals, understand how we manage the animals and offer a glimpse into the training of the animals," said Kalla.
The hotel's savannahs are home to more than 200 mammals and exotic birds representing a cross-section of the African palette -- bongo, greater kudu, zebra, wildebeest, spiral-horned antelope, impala, African spoonbills and pink-backed pelicans, to name a few. Even the once-endangered national bird of South Africa , the blue crane, has found a home at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
"One of the real challenges was introducing animals and choosing the right ones to live in harmony in this environment," said Kalla.
A customary South African "sundowner" rounds out the safari experience. Fresh-squeezed guava/pineapple juice, dried beef, figs and nuts are shared with guests in a ceremonial moment.
The second part of the journey leads to the resort's signature restaurant, Jiko-The Cooking Place, where a savory South African feast awaits safari-goers. Flavors of Africa fill the air in a memorable meal blending regional spices and grains.
The experience begins with a basket of warm kalamata olive flatbreads and African dips, followed by maize tamales with herb and white truffle oil, lentil pastilles and cinnamon-spiced beef rolls. Entrees such as oak-roasted filet of beef and chermoula-basted and roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, olives and roasted garlic are served family-style. Popular South African wines are paired with each course, which includes a sweet display of desserts.
The Wanyama Safari is offered to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge adult club-level guests on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4 p.m. The 3 ½-hour experience, including dinner, is $150 per person, with a maximum of eight persons. For reservations, contact 407/938-4755.
Harmony Barber Shop, A Cut Above the Rest For Walt Disney World Resort Guests
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Sit back in the good ol' barber's chair and get ready for a good old-fashioned haircut at Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom . Located near the Emporium gift shop with a signature candy-striped pole outside, Harmony Barber Shop transports Walt Disney World guests to a simpler time ... a time when barbershop quartets entertained with harmonic tunes and when getting a haircut (or two) was a real treat.
A step into Harmony Barber Shop is a step back in time. Hair tonics and talcum powders line the dark burgundy shelves. The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet strolls by daily, singing melodious tunes in perfect harmony and entertaining guests with their humorous banter.
"Guests are always surprised to find there's a real barbershop here," says Maura Gamez, who has worked at Harmony Barber Shop for seven years. "They think it's a display and take pictures, but once they see it they can't get away ... they end up wanting a haircut."
Guests may be amazed to discover that some of the antiques in Harmony Barber Shop are still in service. A turn-of-the-century Western Electric phone box is still used to make phone calls. Also of note is the cash register the barbers use to ring up their sales. It dates from 1912.
Although small and quaint, Harmony Barber Shop performs between 350 and 400 services a week. "First Haircuts" is the establishment's specialty. Young Walt Disney World guests who receive their first haircut at the Magic Kingdom barbershop are treated to many delightful surprises, from "pixie dust" and bubbles to Mickey Mouse stickers and an extra-special "My 1st Haircut" set of Mouse Ears and certificate. Haircuts for children age 12 and under are priced at just $14.
Another popular treatment for kids as well as kids-at-heart is colored hair gel, which costs five bucks a pop. Of course there are also services for grown-ups to enjoy. An adult haircut costs $17. Beard and mustache trims are $10.
Harmony Barber Shop guests are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. The barbershop does not accept appointments. Walt Disney World guests can, however, make appointments to get their "whiskers" trimmed at these other Walt Disney World locations:
Disney's Contemporary Resort -- American Beauty Shoppe and Captain's Chair: 407/824-3411
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort -- Casa de Belleza (House of Beauty): 407/939-3965
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa -- Ivy Trellis: 407/824-2581
Disney's Yacht Club Resort and Disney's Beach Club Resort -- Periwig: 407/934-3260
Character-Shaped Plants "Grow" at Walt Disney World Resort
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It's easy being green if you're a Mickey Mouse topiary in the hands of an expert Disney pruner. Disney's chlorophyll zoo of more than 200 characters is an example of creative gardening at its finest all around Walt Disney World Resort.
Examples of this gardening whimsy include a sea serpent of Japanese yew that guards the moat around Cinderella Castle and a Japanese Privet elephant “conga line” at Magic Kingdom . A creative selection of topiary materials also has produced some fun special effects -- there's Simba, the lion hero of “The Lion King,” with a furry mane of tufted mondo grass, and the film's famous warthog, Pumbaa, sporting a hairy plume of Evergreen Giant liriope atop his head.
Each spring, during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, gardeners create new twists on topiary, including leafy characters that move and turn. Traditional hedges and trees stylized geometrically complete the Vacation Kingdom 's topiary picture.
Topiary gardening first became popular more than 2,000 years ago, and it took off like a flying elephant during 17th century Europe . Today, precision pruners at Walt Disney World Resort carry on the topiary tradition with a fanciful twist, fashioning Disney's popular characters -- Dumbo included -- of shrub or sphagnum moss and vine with plenty of floral splash.
It was Walt Disney himself who first planted the seed to create topiaries in Disney parks and resorts. Combining the talents of his film animators with those of park gardeners, Disney helped grow the topiary techniques to fit the whimsical theming of his first park, Disneyland . Walt Disney World Resort followed suit, beginning its topiary nursery three years before the resort's 1971 grand opening.
A menagerie of green or blossoming hippos, panda bears and other critters joins Disney character stars such as Mickey Mouse in the backstage growing areas at Walt Disney World Nursery. Disney artists create the shapes to become blueprints for the wire framework that supports each topiary figure. Gardeners prune the plant material weekly during the growing season. Quick-growing figures are fashioned of sphagnum with creeping fig and English ivy -- even wax-leaf begonia flowers are used.
The topiary figures of Walt Disney World Resort are a major guest attraction, and Disney gardeners are kept busy year-round with the planting and pruning of these popular ornamental shrubs.
Epcot Guests at Walt Disney World Resort Can "Take a Spin" on a Segway ® Human Transporter
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Guests to Epcot, the ever-changing theme park of discovery, can experience a Segway ® Human Transporter (HT) for themselves, firsthand, as part of two different programs.
"Around the World at Epcot" is a two-hour guided tour that allows guests to operate the two-wheeled, one-person transportation device throughout World Showcase before the area opens for other park guests. The cost is $80 per person. Tours are daily at 8:30 and 9:30 a.m.
"Our guests will get the very unique experience of riding through several countries and observing the beautiful architecture from a different point of view," said John Eric Sovocool, Innoventions show manager.
The "Simply Segway" experience is a one-hour program that gives guests a product overview, training and indoor riding time at Epcot's Innoventions area. The cost is $45 per person. The "Simply Segway" ride experience is offered daily (except Tuesdays) at 12:30 and 1:45 p.m.
For both programs, class size is limited to 10 guests. Epcot admission is required and riders must be at least 16 years old to participate. Guests can call 407/WDW-TOUR for more information or reservations.
Innoventions, Epcot's technology playground, has featured the first public display of the Segway HT since 2002. The display includes interactive stations and daily demonstrations by cast members on how the product works.
The Segway HT is the world's first self-balancing human transporter that uses advanced technology, gyroscopes and tilt sensors to emulate human balance. When a person leans slightly forward, the Segway HT moves forward. When leaning back, the Segway HT moves back. Riders can travel up to 12.5 mph for a distance of up to 24 miles on a single charge.
About World Showcase
World Showcase is a world of multi-cultural enchantment, featuring marketplaces bustling with international flavor and a dazzling display of countries that transports guests through the magical worlds of 11 nations with just a few steps.
Located in the heart of Epcot, Innoventions continuously transforms itself to represent the ever-changing world of technology. Here, Disney celebrates the breakthroughs in science and technology that inspire us in the new millennium -- everything from exploratory medicine to personal global communications to the ultimate in home entertainment. At Innoventions, guests are entertained while they discover tomorrow's technology today through hands-on experiences that activate the imagination and renew our hope for a better tomorrow.
Epcot allows guests to travel to four continents, explore land and sea adventures, experience future technologies today and journey into their imagination -- all in one vacation. Epcot is the celebration of human achievement and discovery.
Segway LLC develops and manufactures alternative-power transportation devices and is well-known for its flagship product, the electric, self-balancing Segway ® Human Transporter (HT), which has garnered attention around the globe since it was first revealed in December 2001. Driven by a mission to develop and sell fun, innovative transportation solutions, Segway employs patented "dynamic stabilization" technology to create versatile, agile, short-range devices that provide an exhilarating user experience. For additional information about Segway and to find dealer locations, please visit www.segway.com or call 1-866/4SEGWAY. Press materials and digital images are available at Segway LLC's press center at www.segway.com/news.
Jennifer Norton (For Segway LLC)
'Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show' Revs Up Its Engines To Showcase Big-Budget Film Stunts at Disney-MGM Studios
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- High-octane energy explodes onstage at Walt Disney World Resort as the "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show," presented by Brawny paper towels, roars into Disney-MGM Studios.
Featuring high-flying, gravity-defying automobile, motorcycle and watercraft stunts, the turbo-powered stage show immerses park guests in the thrill-a-minute world of big-budget movie action.
"Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" is inspired by a similar edge-of-your-seat show at Disneyland Resort Paris. (There, it thrills guests under the name "Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular.") It's one of several high-profile attractions imported to Walt Disney World Resort from Disney parks around the world for the "Happiest Celebration on Earth," a salute to 50 years of magic at Disney parks.
A cast of more than 30 stunt drivers, technicians, actors and stunt managers thrills audiences with pulse-pounding chases featuring automobiles, motorcycles and high-powered watercraft. Customized and modified, these vehicles utilize almost every corner of the outdoor theater during the 30-minute show.
The arena for "Lights, Motors, Action!" -- a huge, 6.5-acre "stage" featuring a Mediterranean village set -- allows stunt drivers to perform high-speed spins, two-wheeled driving, jumps, pyrotechnic explosions, high falls and plenty of surprises created just as they are performed for the silver screen. The premise of the show is the filming of a European spy thriller, and after each scene unfolds live, the director combines shots into the completed scene that is played on a mammoth LCD video display for the audience of 5,000.
Other highlights of "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show":
Guests enter the arena through the garage -- or atelier -- as mechanics and technicians tune the show vehicles. Large windows offer guests behind-the-scenes views.
The show features more than 30 vehicles on stage and inside the garage area.
Each vehicle is highly modified to perform the many extreme stunts. For example, each car is equipped with four forward gears and four reverse gears, enabling them to travel as fast in reverse gears as they do in forward gears.
Vehicles include high-performance automobiles, motorcycles and watercraft as well as surprise vehicles, including one designed to drive backwards and another designed to split in half. "Herbie," the loveable "car star" from several Disney films, makes a special cameo appearance.
Vehicles are designated by color so the audience will always know which is the hero vehicle (the red one) and which is the chase vehicle (the one painted black).
Meticulous planning, practice and timing are dedicated to each stunt. Because of the choreography involved, crew members liken the synchronized driving to a "ballet on wheels."
"Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" is one part of the "Happiest Celebration on Earth," a salute to 50 years of Disney park magic around the globe that started with the opening of Disney's original park, Disneyland, in 1955.
Epcot Guests Take Flight With Soarin' For a Bird's-Eye View of the Golden State
exhilarating aerial adventure immerses guests in a multi-sensory experience, complete with sights and sounds plus the caress of warm breezes and the scent of pine forests, citrus groves and salty seashores. Soarin' is located at The Land pavilion presented by Nestlé •SA.
"The attraction is perfect for Epcot because of its spirit of exploration and discovery, and The Land is a natural fit since the pavilion is about the appreciation of the rich bounty and awesome beauty of the Earth," said Kathy Mangum, Walt Disney Imagineering executive producer/vice president.
Using stunning cinematic artistry and Imagineering-developed motion-based technology, Soarin' literally lifts 87 guests at a time 40 feet aloft into an 80-foot projection screen dome. The sensation, however, is that they have taken off into the skies as their entire field of vision is filled with panoramic beauty.
To further enhance the Soarin' experience, the film is projected at high definition, high speed -- 48 frames per second, twice the speed of normal motion picture film. The result is a crisp, clear image with extraordinary detail.
Among the many sights on view during the exhilarating fly-over: the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, Palm Springs, Yosemite National Park, San Diego and more. Throughout the flight, guests share the sky with a variety of other aircraft, such as hang gliders, hot air balloons, helicopters and Navy jets.
The experience is intensified as guests feel the sweeping winds and smell the fragrance of orange blossoms, pine trees and even the seashore all around them. And an orchestral musical score created by renowned film and television composer Jerry Goldsmith ("Mulan," "Air Force One," "Star Trek: First Contact") heightens the thrill.
Soarin' offers guests a first-of-its-kind experience at Walt Disney World Resort. While Epcot guests have been able to blast off like an astronaut on a rocket ride to Mars aboard Mission : SPACE, they've never before been able to soar with the eagles.
The "Happiest Celebration on Earth" pays tribute to 50 years of Disney parks and Walt Disney's dream of Disneyland , the original park that in 1955 introduced a genre of family entertainment that now spans the globe and continues to offer unrivaled attractions on three continents.
Walt Disney World Resort Unveils Creative Lineup of Attractions Featuring Familiar Faces From 'Finding Nemo,' 'Pirates of the Caribbean '
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Walt Disney World Resort has announced a wide-ranging lineup of new entertainment, reinvigorated attractions, interactive shopping experiences and stylishly redesigned hotel rooms coming soon or available now.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Guests Will Find 'Nemo' in Dazzling Musical Spectacular
The undersea world that charmed audiences around the world in the Disney presentation of the Pixar Animation Studios film "Finding Nemo" will come to life in an all-new musical stage show debuting at Disney's Animal Kingdom in late 2006.
Featuring original songs by Tony Award-winning "Avenue Q" composer Robert Lopez and a cappella musical "Along the Way" composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez, "Finding Nemo--The Musical" will immerse guests of all ages in the story of Marlin and Nemo, an overprotective clownfish father and his curious son, through a dazzling production that combines puppets, dancers, acrobats and animated backdrops.
Produced by Disney Creative Entertainment, the 30-minute show represents the first time Disney has taken a non-musical animated feature and transformed it into an original musical production.
The theme park's newly enclosed Theater in the Wild will become a magical undersea environment through innovative lighting, sound, special effects and the theatrical puppetry of Michael Curry, who designed the richly detailed character puppets seen in the Broadway version of Disney's "The Lion King."
Principal characters such as Marlin, Nemo and Dory will be represented by live performers operating larger-than-life puppets. Peripheral characters will be realized by a diverse array of puppetry styles, including rod, bunraku and shadow.
"Finding Nemo--The Musical" will be staged several times daily.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends Brings Familiar Characters to Life Inside Epcot Aquarium
The Seas with Nemo & Friends , a whimsical and visually stunning attraction for guests of all ages, is scheduled to open at Epcot in Fall 2006. Featuring technology that for all appearances has the stars of "Finding Nemo" swimming amid the live marine life of the huge aquarium in The Living Seas pavilion, the attraction is an adventure that picks up where the motion picture left off.
The undersea voyage begins aboard "clamobiles" in a colorful coral reef setting. Guests first meet Mr. Ray and his class on a field trip and soon learn that Nemo has wandered off.
The journey to find Nemo continues as familiar characters such as Dory, Bruce, Marlin, Squirt and Crush help with the search along the way. These deep sea friends inhabit a variety of vibrant vignettes, including the actual aquarium -- one of the world's largest saltwater aquariums -- which contains more than 65 species of marine life.
In the musical finale of the attraction, Nemo is happily reunited with his class and friends.
Upon exiting the attraction, guests can explore the rest of the pavilion, which is home to "Turtle Talk with Crush," the smash-hit recent addition featuring the movie's laid-back sea turtle, who interacts with guests in real-time, unscripted conversations; Bruce's Shark World, an interactive area with colorful graphics and fun facts about sharks; and live marine life in both the large aquarium and specialized exhibits.
Captain Jack Sparrow Joins Audio-Animatronics Crew of Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction
Pirates of the Caribbean , the classic Disney theme park adventure brought to the big screen in "Pirates of the Caribbean : The Curse of the Black Pearl," has added new characters and features from the blockbuster entertainment franchise.
Changes to the Magic Kingdom attraction were inspired by the opening of "Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man's Chest" on July 7.
The attraction features the addition of two of Hollywood 's most infamous buccaneers, Captain Jack Sparrow and his nemesis Barbossa. Joining the wildest crew that ever sacked the Spanish Main , the pair add an exciting new twist to the attraction's original storyline as they race to be the first to claim a cache of treasure.
Be a Princess -- or a Pirate -- with Fun New World of Disney Experiences at Downtown Disney
World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace has unveiled new interactive experiences to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the largest Disney shopping destination on Earth.
In the new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique , part of the 51,000-square-foot store's new Princess Room, youngsters can be made up pretty as a princess. And in the new Adventure Room , a world of pirates and heroes beckons.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique -- "owned" by the Fairy Godmother and "operated" by Fairy Godmothers-in-Training -- offers a menu of fancy up-do's, glitter makeup and dazzling nails designed to pamper princesses ages 3 and up. The boutique operates from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (the last appointment is at 5:30 p.m.), seven days a week. Walk-ins are accepted but reservations strongly are encouraged by calling (407) WDW-STYLE (939-7895).
Across the store, young adventurers can pretend to sail the high seas and hoist the Jolly Roger in the Adventure Room. Heroes and heroines can fill treasure chests and skulls with pirate plunder, create their own seafaring hat and interact with a new pirate figure named Rusty Blade and his talking parrot pal, Pollyanna.
Dramatic New Interiors Coming to Guest Rooms at Two Classic Disney Resort Hotels
Guestrooms at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Disney's Polynesian Resort are receiving a dramatic new look including new décor, furniture, state-of-the-art entertainment technology, carpeting, lighting and bathroom fixtures.
Both resorts will receive upgraded furniture elements such as flat-screen televisions and designer bedding. In addition to the room renovations, décor in the hallways and public areas also is being updated.
The renovation of both resorts, which began in May 2005, is scheduled to continue through the summer of 2006.
Select Guestrooms at Disney's All-Star Music Resort to be Remade into All-Star Family Suites
Families, friends or anyone just needing more "room to roam" will find it at Disney's All-Star Music Resort with the launch of new family suites. Nearly 400 guestrooms are being converted to 192 family suites at the value-priced resort.
Featuring two bathrooms and sleeping up to six people, each suite also will include a generously sized kitchenette with counter space, sink, microwave, coffee maker and under-counter refrigerator. Other amenities include a private "master" bedroom with its own flat-screen television, desk and lounge chair.
The first guests were welcomed June 4. Completion of the rooms-to-suites makeover is set for Oct. 13.
Innovative Airport Shuttle, Luggage Delivery Service to Remain Complimentary
Since May 2005, guests of most hotels at Walt Disney World Resort have enjoyed an innovative amenity that helps take the hassle out of traveling between Orlando International Airport (OIA) and the Vacation Kingdom .
Disney's Magical Express offers complimentary airport shuttle and luggage delivery and -- on participating airlines -- check-in at guests' hotel for domestic return flights.
Launched as part of the "Happiest Celebration on Earth," which will conclude later this year, Disney's Magical Express will remain operating as a complimentary service, Disney announced today. The company recently reached an agreement with OIA to continue the program.
Participating guests check their bags at their hometown airport, bypass baggage claim at OIA and board state-of-the-art motor coaches to Walt Disney World Resort -- while their bags are transferred to their room.
While guests flying any airline in or out of OIA may take advantage of the motor coach transportation between the airport and their Walt Disney World hotel, guests departing on participating airlines (currently American, Continental, Delta, United, Ted, Northwest and JetBlue) have yet another benefit through Disney's Magical Express: On domestic flights, they can avoid airport check-in lines by checking their luggage and receiving a boarding pass before departing their select Walt Disney World hotel.
Disney Cruise Line Offers First-Ever Mediterranean Cruises During Summer 2007
For the first time, Disney Cruise Line is adding a European flair to its itineraries, repositioning the Disney Magic for the summer of 2007 to the Port of Barcelona in Spain and offering 10- and 11-night Mediterranean cruise vacations to Europe .
With eight European ports of call that provide gateways to familiar cities such as Florence , Rome , Pisa and Cannes , the Mediterranean itineraries will deliver the family vacation of a lifetime with all the benefits Disney Cruise Line offers.
The four 11-night cruises will depart on Saturdays: May 26, June 16, July 7 and July 28; the four 10-night cruises will depart on Wednesdays: June 6, June 27, July 18 and Aug. 8. Both itineraries will depart from Barcelona .
In addition to the Mediterranean cruises, two 14-night trans-Atlantic sailings will bookend the 10- and 11-night adventures with the eastbound itinerary departing from Port Canaveral, Fla. , May 12, 2007, and the westbound voyage starting from the Port of Barcelona on Aug. 18, 2007.
Starting rates for the Mediterranean itineraries range from $2,399 to $3,499 and are based on double occupancy. Guests interested in booking a Mediterranean cruise with Disney Cruise Line should call (888) DCL-2500 (325-2500), visit disneycruise.comor contact their travel agent.
'Finding Nemo' to Make Splash In Musical Spectacular at Disney's Animal Kingdom
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- The undersea world that charmed audiences around the world in the Disney presentation of the Pixar Animation Studios smash-hit film “Finding Nemo” will come to life in an all-new musical stage show debuting at Disney's Animal Kingdom in late 2006.
Featuring original songs by Tony Award-winning “Avenue Q” composer Robert Lopez and a cappella musical “Along the Way” composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez, “Finding Nemo-The Musical” will immerse Walt Disney World guests in the story of Marlin and Nemo, an overprotective clownfish father and his curious son, through a dazzling production that combines puppets, dancers, acrobats and animated backdrops.
The show represents the first time Disney has taken a non-musical animated feature and transformed it into an original musical production. It will be presented in the newly enclosed Theater in the Wild.
“In ‘Finding Nemo,' directors Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and the talented team at Pixar created a film filled with unforgettable characters and a story rich with honest emotions that resonated with audiences everywhere,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “The movie was a worldwide box-office success and an Academy Award winner.
“We are truly excited to bring this beloved story to life at Disney's Animal Kingdom in this new musical spectacular.”
During “Finding Nemo-The Musical,” Theater in the Wild will become a magical undersea environment through innovative lighting, sound, special effects and the theatrical puppetry of Michael Curry, who designed the richly detailed character puppets seen in the Broadway version of Disney's “The Lion King.”
Principal characters such as Marlin, Nemo and Dory will be represented by live performers operating larger-than-life puppets. Peripheral characters will be realized by a diverse array of puppetry styles, including rod, bunraku and shadow.
“It is our goal to bring the undersea ‘Nemo' characters to Disney's Animal Kingdom in a live setting in a way that captures what is truly special about the film,” Rasulo continued. “This production will meet that challenge in a dynamic and wholly original way to bring us into the fantastical ocean world.”
The director for the new show, Peter Brosius, is artistic director of The Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis , winner of the 2003 Regional Theatre Tony Award. The Broadway “A Year With Frog and Toad,” nominated for the Best Musical Tony Award, originated at Children's Theatre Company.
“Finding Nemo-The Musical” is the first major musical produced for Walt Disney World Resort by Disney Creative Entertainment, which has received acclaim for its productions around the world, including “Disney's Aladdin” (at Disneyland Resort in California), “The Lion King” (at Hong Kong Disneyland), “Twice Charmed” (on the Disney Cruise Line), and “The Golden Mickeys” (at Hong Kong Disneyland and on the Disney Cruise Line).
“It's exciting to be involved in projects that introduce a new generation of future theatergoers to the work of internationally recognized creative talent through Broadway-caliber short-form shows that all audiences can appreciate,” said Anne Hamburger, executive vice president of Disney Creative Entertainment. “Millions of children experience live theater for the first time during a visit to a Disney park.”
“Finding Nemo-The Musical” tells the story of a father clownfish, Marlin, and his son, Nemo, each on a separate journey that ultimately teaches them how to love and understand each other. The two have been separated – and Marlin will stop at nothing to get his son back, facing undersea challenges with his new friend Dory, who he has met along the way. Meanwhile, Nemo, relocated to a fish tank in Sydney , makes new friends who teach him that he's stronger than he thinks. When news of his father's heroic journey reaches the tank, Nemo is inspired to do whatever is necessary to escape the tank and see his father again.
“Finding Nemo-The Musical” will be performed several times daily. Admission to Theater in the Wild is included with regular Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park admission. Guest information is available by calling 407-824-4321 or by visiting disneyworld.com.
Night of Joy at Walt Disney World Resort Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Gospel Music Association
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Night of Joy, which has filled Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort with contemporary Christian music annually since 1983, received the Gospel Music Association (GMA) Lifetime Achievement Award during GMA Music Week 2006 in April in Nashville , Tenn. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an entity to recognize major contributions to the gospel music community for 20 or more years.
In two-plus decades and with more than 900,000 attendees and over 110 artists, Night of Joy has mixed the fun of Disney's signature theme park with the best Christian music in the world.
In 2006, on Friday, Sept. 8, and Saturday, Sept. 9, the 24th Night of Joy event will feature MercyMe , Casting Crowns , Kirk Franklin and tobyMac heading a lineup that includes BarlowGirl , Rebecca St. James , Jeremy Camp , Todd Agnew , David Crowder Band , Smokie Norful , ZOEgirl , Building 429 , Matthew West , Hawk Nelson and Vicky Beeching . All acts will play either Friday or Saturday except for BarlowGirl, which will perform both nights.
The lineup features seven winners of 2006 Dove Awards. For the second year in a row, Casting Crowns won the Group of the Year, with their album Lifesong winning Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year. The David Crowder Band won Dove Awards for Rock/Contemporary Album ( A Collision ) and Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year ("Here is our King"). Franklin also won two awards for his new album Hero , Best Urban Album and Urban Recorded Song of the Year ("Looking For You"). MercyMe lead singer Bart Mallard's album Hymed tied with Amy Grant for Inspirational Album of the Year; and tobyMac's "The Slam" from Welcome to Diverse City won Rock Recorded Song of the Year. In addition to individual efforts, four Night of Joy artists (Camp, Crowder, St. James and tobyMac) were also honored with Dove Awards in the Special Event Album of the Year category with the soundtrack "Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe."
Night of Joy at Walt Disney World Resort runs from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (after regular Magic Kingdom closing) and requires a special ticket. Advance tickets ($39.95 plus tax for one night, $67.95 plus tax for both nights) are available by calling 407/W-DISNEY or by visiting disneyworld.com/nightofjoy online. Tickets purchased on the date of the event will be $44.95 plus tax if available (Night of Joy is frequently sold out in advance).
Have a question or comment? We want to hear from you.
Please submit your comment or question via the form below.