Cars Land, Carthay Circle, Aulani Amongst 2013 Thea Award Recipients

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) today announced the recipients of its annual Thea Awards during the IAAPA Attractions Expo. The prestigious Thea Awards recognize and celebrate excellence in the creation of compelling experiences and places. TEA serves the global attractions industry, including theme parks, museums, world expos, heritage centers and resorts.

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First Look: ‘Test Track’ New Costumes

Test Track CostumesIt should come at no large surprise that when the newly revamped ‘Test Track,’ as presented by Chevrolet, makes its official debut on December 6, that cast members will sporting a new look to go along with it. And true enough, as depicted here, not only will that be the case, but there will be little mistake to which attraction a Test Track cast member serves, provided the temperature is above 80 degrees.

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‘Monsters University’ Topiary, ‘Cars’ Playground Added for 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Walt Disney World today announced some of its plans for the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Promises Floral Fantasy and Topiary Triumphs, scheduled to take place at the theme park from March 6 – May 19, 2013.

Commemorating the milestone anniversary will be a Sensational Six birthday event display located at the front of the park. Colorful, whimsical topiaries of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck will welcome topiary Daisy to their Epcot front-entrance celebratory barbecue. The 14-foot-tall topiary Goofy will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms.

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‘Test Track’ New Attraction, Experience Details Released; Opens December 6, 2012

Test Track Concept ArtWalt Disney World Resort guests will experience the thrill of designing their very own virtual vehicle – then putting their design through its paces – when the re-imagined, multi-sensory Test Track Presented by Chevrolet grand re-opens Dec. 6, 2012.

The iconic Epcot attraction, a new collaboration between Chevrolet Design and the creative team of Walt Disney Imagineering, celebrates how meticulous design not only shapes the look of Chevrolet cars and trucks, but drives their performance on the open road.

For inspiration for the project, Walt Disney Imagineers made numerous visits to Detroit, collaborating with Chevrolet designers and touring the inner sanctums of Chevrolet’s design studios.

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‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’ at Tokyo Disneyland to Open May 2013

Concept art for 'Star Tours 2: The Adventure Continues'‘May the 7th be with you,’ is probably something you won’t be hearing a lot of next year, but just a few days after The Walt Disney Company announced its intentions to acquire Lucasfilm to produce new Star Wars films, the Tokyo Disney Resort has announced it will hold its grand opening for ‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’ on May 7, 2013 — just a few days after ‘Star Wars Day’ on May the 4th.

At a price tag just north of US $87 million, the updated attraction brings the same 3D randomized experience to Tokyo Disneyland as it has already done for both Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

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PATENT: Disney Explains How MyMagic+ NextGen Distributes Personalized Experiences

Disney's NextGen Experience State Management SystemStop us if you’ve heard this one: When is a character not a character? When they’re an ‘experience delivery system.’ Get it? Okay, maybe it’s not that funny, or clever, but according to a patent application for a system known as ‘Managing Experience State to Personalize Destination Visits,’ it’s the future truth — and it’s a key element to the MyMagic+/My Disney Experience coming to the Walt Disney World Resort as part of its NextGen experience.

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AvatarLand ‘Leaked’ Blueprints Show Attraction Possibilities, Layouts

Rumored leaked blueprints for AvatarLand attractionsIt doesn’t seem to rain much in the rainforest-like environment of Avatar’s Pandora, but we’re pretty sure that if and when it does rain there, it pours. No sooner than a forum thread pop up suggesting James Cameron gave the okay to Disney to proceed with AvatarLand at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, that purported ‘leaked’ blueprints of some sort involving the layout of the new land’s attractions.

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REPORT: Tinker Bell and Periwinkle Open Ice Skating Rink at Disneyland Resort (Video/Photos)

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In honor of the Disney 3D Blu-ray release of Secret of the Wings starring Tinker Bell and the rest of her Pixie Hollow friends, the Disneyland Resort has decided to bring some winter magic of its own to Southern California and open a temporary outdoor skating rink in the heart of its Downtown Disney District.

Last night, a grand opening ceremony was held in which Disneyland Ambassador Rene Toricco played emcee and welcomed everyone to the event. Also speaking at the event were Vice President of Resorts and Downtown Disney Daniel Delcourt and Downtown Disney’s General Manager Janet Knox and filmmakers Peggy Holmes and Michael Wigert — along with a special appearance by Tinker Bell and newly reunited twin Periwinkle, of course.

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WDW Candlelight Processional Update: Lea Salonga, Alfre Woodard Complete Schedule

Walt Disney World has finally completed its scheduled of narrators for its for its annual holiday event, the Candlelight Processional, held at the America Gardens Theatre, beginng November 23 of this year.

As we previously noted on Twitter early this month, Olivia Newton John is no longer performing from December 14-16. Instead, the time slot will be filled by Lea Salonga. In addition, Alfre Woodward fills the final open slot from December 17-19. The full narration schedule as it currently stands is as follows:

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Disneyland Details Holiday Festivities at Buena Vista Street, Cars Land

This summer, the eagerly anticipated additions of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land opened to excited Guests as part of a major expansion at Disney California Adventure Park. Now, those popular areas will undergo a spectacular holiday makeover, meaning that The Happiest Place on Earth Just Got Merrier.

Bustling and busy Buena Vista Street, which now welcomes you when you enter Disney California Adventure Park, is themed to a Los Angeles business main street from the 1930s. It re-creates the era when Walt Disney was establishing his world-famous animation studio.

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