Disney Dishes Details on New Carthay Circle, Cars Land Dining and Entertainment

FRIED BANAN SPLIT MONTE CRISTO SUNDAE – The Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park is one of the premier dining destinations at the Disneyland Resort, serving casual lunch or signature dinners. Executive Chef Andrew Sutton has created a market-inspired menu of modern cuisine that pays tribute to the bold and diverse flavors of Southern California.

Yesterday, the Disneyland Resort offered up new details on its offerings in the new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas which will make their public debut on June 15.

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Photo: White Rhino Calf Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

White Rino with Calf at Disney's Animal KingdomMother’s Day may be a little more memorable this year for a Disney “mom” that recently gave birth to a white rhino calf at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

After a 16-month gestation period, Kendi delivered her fourth calf Friday, May 4. The healthy male, which has not yet been named, is the ninth white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; his mother, 13-year-old, Kendi, was the first.

“The birth of a white rhino calf is certainly something to celebrate since the population of this species is endangered in the wild,” said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president of Animals, Science and Environment for Disney Parks. “It’s encouraging that with protection and careful management, the global population of white rhinos continues to grow.”

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Climbers Wanted: Classic Matterhorn Show to Return to Disneyland

Mickey Mouse climbs the Matterhorn for Disneyland's 50th AnniversaryUnless they’re rising to the Grizzly Peak challenge, it appears that when the Matterhorn at Disneyland returns from its lengthy refurb/overhaul on June 14, the alpine climbers won’t be far behind. The on-again, off-again crowd favorite in which cast members scale the mountain throughout the day, along with occasional fab five favorites, are reportedly returning according to a casting call recently placed by the Disneyland Resort.

The notice is calling for males and females, with a minimum of three years experience in ‘mountaineering, rock climbing, and rappelling. Able to comfortably lead climb traditional 5.8/5.9 routes. Good understanding of hanging belays and strong rope management skills. Good upper body strength and ability to work at substantial heights. SPRAT Certification a plus. Especially seeking Climbers with daytime availability Monday through Friday.’

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Cars Land Attractions Get Web Pages, New Details

Cars Land at Disney California AdventureThe official Disneyland web site is being updated with new information and photos on the new areas opening on June 15, 2012 at Disney California Adventure, including Cars Land. Sampled here are just a few of the photos featured on the website, plus the official descriptions for the new attractions and dining options coming to the area. Each section is linked to its respective page on the official site.

RADIATOR SPRING RACERS (Height requirement 40″; Child Swap, FASTPASS and Single Rider enabled)
Start your engines! The ride of your life is about to begin! Rocket through the desert landscape of Ornament Valley in a thrilling auto racing competition that includes some of your favorite locations and characters from the Disney/Pixar movie Cars.

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Disney Parks Patent to Automate Character Meet & Greets Personalized Photos, Video

Disney's Automated Personalized Imaging SystemImagine walking into a room, running up to and hugging Donald Duck, turning to face an unmanned camera and walking out with a unique QR code stamped in your autograph book next to the ‘Donald Duck #1′ signature, referencing it later to not only access hi-res photos on your phone, but a fully edited video package of your character experience — and not a single Cast Member had a hand in the process.

With motion capture (MoCap) technology setups and video analytic software becoming more and more commonplace and more cost effective, it’s only a matter of time before their applications go beyond the norm of filmmaking and security.

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Carbonite Experience to be Offered at Star Wars Weekends 2012

Custom Carbonites by Paul PapeWhat do you get the Star Wars fan that has everything? Studios Central is reporting that Star Wars Weekends (weekends May 18 through June 10, 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) will be offering a ‘Carbon Freeze Me’ opportunity in which guests can be digitally scanned to produce a likeness of themselves frozen in carbonite.

The site reports the experience will be offered inside ‘Sounds Dangerous’ and will cost $99.95. The final product will be delivered via mail within 3 – 4 weeks.

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Photos/Videos: Merida Character Begins Testing at Epcot in Walt Disney World

Princess Merida at Epcot in Walt Disney World. Photo by abelle2 / FlickrPrincess Merida, the heroine of Disney/Pixar’s Brave, made a surprise appearance in Future World at Epcot yesterday. Although she will officially begin meeting guests in a play and greet environment at the Magic Kingdom starting later this month, she is apparently making random appearances as she gets acclimated to the harsh Orlando weather.

A batch of photos have appeared on Flickr from abelle2, although it appears more photos can be seen currently on this tumblr post (via @DisneyProjects).

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Disney California Adventure Preview Announced for Annual Passholders

The Disneyland Resort has announced that it will allow a select number of Annual Passholders to attend a preview at Disney California Adventure on June 11, four days before the new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas debut to the public on June 15, 2012.

To enter for the opportunity to be one of the lucky previewers, Annual Passes must be valid as of May 1, 2012 (it does not have to be valid at time of preview). Entries must be entered by May 24, 2012 and winners will be notified on or around June 4. Each winner may bring up to five guests to the preview (which promises nothing but long lines) and will receive a blockout pass for those it applies to as well as complimentary 1 day tickets for each of their guests.

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‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow’ Experience to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Fall

The summer 2012 edition of the Mickey Monitor, Walt Disney World’s newsletter for Annual Passholders has announced that ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow’ will be opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in summer of this year. It will be placed in Sound Stage 4 which has historically been known for sharing behind-the-scenes props and footage from films such as Haunted Mansion and films from The Chronicles of Narnia series, but ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow,’ while based on The Pirates of the Caribbean films, is not reported to continue that genre.

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Disney World to Test FASTPASS+ NextGen Technology at Magic Kingdom in May

RFID-based FASTPASS+ reader at Peter Pan's FlightThe Magic Kingdom theme park will begin testing FASTPASS+, part of it’s NextGen technology, during the first half of May, according to reports.

In its final incarnation, FASTPASS+ –  a subset of the MAGIC+ framework and sometimes referred to as XPASS — will allow eligible guests to reserve ride times in advance, using their MAGIC BAND to access the attraction’s queue. The customizable MAGIC BAND wristband will double as what’s currently known as the Key to the World, allowing guests to use the same magnetic stip card for their resort room key as well as park tickets and more.

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