The Euro Disney S.C.A. Group today officially announced that it will be introducing a new attraction based on Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille at its annual shareholder meeting. The new attraction is slated to open in 2014 at the Walt Disney Studios Park. According to the announcement, the attraction promises that ‘Disney storytelling and state-of-the-art technology will come together in this romantic, larger-than-life, Parisian experience.’
Also confirmed was an extension of 20th anniversary festivities until September 30, 2013 and the addition of scenes from The Lion King and Brave to its award-winning ‘Disney Dreams!’ night-time entertainment. In addition to the new scenes, Disneyland Paris will also be introducing what it is calling Light’Ears (a play on Lightyear), their counterpart to ‘Glow with the Show’ as featured primarily at the Disney California Adventure Park. The interactive ears will be available at select retail and online locations beginning this summer.
Disney Parks has updated its ‘Limited Time Magic’ schedule to include events that begin today, February 1 and run through February 11, 2013.
At the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort is the ‘Countdown to Super Sunday,’ running from February 1 through February 9. There will be a daily pre-parade including an MVP appearance on February 4. Just before the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade, Disney football ‘star’ Goofy will hit the streets of the park for a lively pigskin celebration.
Also from February 1 to February 9, 2013, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland will be dishing up Super Sunday menu items, including ‘Soup-er Bowls’ of lobster bisque and tomato basil bisque.
Meanwhile at Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure, it’s all about the Lunar New Year, from February 8 through February 11. Guests are invited to celebrate the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures for the most magical Lunar New Year Party under the moon. Festivities include Mulan’s Chinese New Year Procession, cultural performances and fun-filled activities — as well as Disney Character greetings with Mulan, Mushu, Mickey and Minnie dressed in traditional Chinese outfits. A limited-edition pin will be available while supplies last.
Disney’s ‘Avatarland’ expansion, based on the successful James Cameron film franchise, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom may in fact be in trouble as rampant rumors have speculated in recent months. Yet just as recently as December, Disney has remained adamant that everything was just fine, according to this article by the Orlando Sentinel.
But according to paperwork recently filed with the Orange County comptroller’s office, everything may not be hunky-dory in the land of the Na’vi. The document calls for the installation of FASTPASS+ for ‘Festival of the Lion King,’ a show that was expected to close and relocate elsewhere in the park to make way for the ‘Avatarland,’ which is said to replace Camp Minnie-Mickey.
While installing FASTPASS+ capability for the show is not a life-time commitment by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not insignificant either. For beginners, the show has never formally had FASTPASS which means a brand new installation, which involves underground wiring for distribution machines and the like. The Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is also one of the last to receive the FASTPASS+ treatment with the ‘My Disney Experience’ NextGen project focus being placed on Magic Kingdom, followed by Epcot. In other words, it seems like an awful lot of investment in time and resources for a location whose razing was once supposedly imminent (‘Avatarland’ is supposed to break ground in 2013).
This news couldn’t come at a stranger time for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, as in addition to the reports of challenges in working with James Cameron, there is a major reorganization of theme park leadership effective as of today. In addition, Tony Baxer, the senior vice president of creative development at Walt Disney Imagineering, is expected to formally announce his retirement today, shifting into more of a consulting role. Add to that the recent Magic Kingdom expansion of ‘New Fantasyland’ and Disney’s recent addition of proven franchises: Cars Land at Disney California Adventure (rumored to be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Lucasfilm / Star Wars and suddenly the road to ‘Avatarland’ has sprung up a lot of potential forks along the way.
For many guests at Disneyland Park, the encounter with a Disney Princess and her story is an essential part of any visit. Beginning March 12, 2013, Disney Princesses will await these guests at the new Fantasy Faire, a storybook world that extends Fantasyland and brings its timeless tales to life in fun and surprising ways.
Fantasy Faire creates an enchanting, immersive environment for guests who treasure magical fairy tales. Designed in the charming, old world style familiar to lovers of Fantasyland, this regal village fair is located on the west side of the “Hub” or Central Plaza, expanding Fantasyland beyond its current boundaries and into a location (the former Carnation Plaza Gardens) near the forecourt of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Visitors will walk a beautiful pathway leading into the corridors of the Royal Hall, where Princesses await them. Along the way, they will encounter whimsical design touches, including Geppetto’s cat Figaro dozing (and occasionally waking) on a window sill, and “Clopin’s Music Box,” a fascinating, interactive mechanical toy representing the Feast of Fools from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
Guests may also explore a charming village square highlighted by Tangled Tower, a magical sculpture inspired by the story of Rapunzel. After dark, Rapunzel’s hair, twisting around the tower sculpture, comes to life with twinkling lights.
A highlight of the Fantasy Faire experience is the Royal Theatre, where guests will be treated to two different shows: the tales of Rapunzel (“Tangled”) and Belle (“Beauty and the Beast”) as presented by Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones, a pair of vaudeville-style Renaissance storytellers. The princess heroine, Rapunzel or Belle, will join in the fun and remain with the audience to greet guests following the conclusion of the story.
Fairytale Treasures, a shop found inside Fantasy Faire, offers all kinds of Princess dresses, accessories and gifts. For guest refreshment, Maurice, Belle’s inventor father, has transformed an old gypsy wagon into a colorful food cart, Maurice’s Treats, serving bread twists – cheddar cheese garlic and strawberry almond cream flavors – along with a signature beverage, the Boysen Apple Freeze.
The addition of Fantasy Faire will be one of the highlights of the guest experience for Spring-Summer 2013 at the Disneyland Resort. Also coming to Disneyland in time for summer is “Mickey and the Magical Map,” a new, live show presented in the Fantasyland Theatre. And at Disney California Adventure Park, new characters Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins join the show “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” beginning March 22.
New ‘Mickey and the Magical Map’
“Mickey and the Magical Map” presents Mickey Mouse in his timeless role as the sorcerer’s apprentice. Sorcerer Yen Sid sets his Mapmakers to work and this ensemble cast of male and female performers paints a wondrous map – capable of taking dreamers to any place imaginable and so large it spans the entire stage of Fantasyland Theatre.
Apprentice Mickey lets his curiosity get the better of him and stumbles upon the map’s magical powers. Mickey’s youthful mischief takes him, along with the audience, on a fantastic journey of imagination in the company of the Mapmakers, who help bring his adventures to life.
The journey, presented through amazing theatrical wizardry, colorful visuals and wonderful music, includes encounters with such classic Disney characters as Pocahontas, Mulan, King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” and others. “Mickey and the Magical Map” is designed for Disneyland guests of all ages and represents Disney storytelling at its most thrilling.
Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins Join ‘Disney Junior – Live on Stage!’
Fans of the Disney Junior television hits “Sofia the First” and “Doc McStuffins” will enjoy interacting with these characters at “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” They join the gang from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” in a show that invites preschoolers to sing, dance and play with enchanting puppets, fanciful scenery and lively music.
Sofia the First, Disney’s first little girl princess, and other characters in the show share ideas with guests, encouraging them to become part of the stories. Sofia is known for showing every little princess-in-training how to sparkle – inside and out. Doc McStuffins cares for and nurtures toys in need. When the Doc is in, she really knows her stuff, consulting her Big Book of Boo Boos to help diagnose and mend her toy friends.
“Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” is presented several times a day at Disney California Adventure Park.
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Celebrates ‘Making Disney Memories Week’ with Characters, Vacation Prizes and More
It’s ‘Disney Time’ at Wheel of Fortune as the fun of America’s Favorite Game Show and the magic of Disney come together in the game show’s 30th season for a fully-integrated multiplatform collaboration including a week of shows and a sweepstakes for at-home viewers.
‘Wheel of Fortune Making Disney Memories Week’ airing January 28-Feb 1, 2013, will feature a custom set including three different scenes depicting Sleeping Beauty Castle, Cinderella Castle and the Disney Dream cruise ship. Additionally, Disney is providing iconic elements from the Disney Parks including a Disney teacup from the ‘Mad Tea Party’ attractions, Lightning McQueen from the new Cars Land at Disney California Adventure theme park, a pirate ship from ‘Peter Pan’s Flight’ and a Dumbo car from ‘Dumbo, the Flying Elephant.’ And show hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White will be greeted on set by beloved Disney characters.
During the week of shows, Wheel of Fortune contestants can win ‘Magical Vacations’ to Disney Parks or on Disney Cruise Line. The cars available through the ’1?2 Car Tag’ game element will alternate between Honda and Chevrolet models, sponsors of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, respectively.
In preparation for the broadcast, Vanna White and the Wheel of Fortune crew went on location to shoot customized segments at Disneyland theme park, Disney California Adventure theme park, Magic Kingdom theme park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Epcot and the Disney Dream cruise ship.
The ‘Wheel of Fortune Making Memories Sweepstakes’ encourages viewers to watch ‘Making Disney Memories Week’ on Wheel of Fortune and enter each night’s bonus puzzle solution at www.wheeloffortune.com. Ten winners will each enjoy a vacation for four to the winner’s choice of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California.
The sweepstakes will live on a co-branded mini-site, accessible via www.wheeloffortune.com that will feature links to various Disney websites as well as photo and video galleries from Vanna’s shoots.
Additionally, Wheel of Fortune will be able to offer its nearly 8 million members of their loyalty program, the Wheel Watchers Club, the chance to find their own ‘Happily Ever After’ with Disney vacation offers.
During True Love Week, a tapestry of romance is woven throughout the resorts — from limited- time Valentine’s merchandise and special entertainment, to romantic dinners for two and new themed photo locations offering greetings with beloved Disney sweethearts – all for a limited-time only.
The weeklong event celebrates the love of friends and family, and invites couples to rekindle the flame. Here is the lineup:
WALT DISNEY WORLD
- Romantic Setting: Guests will feel the romance at every turn, as banners proclaiming True Love, heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor adorn the Magic Kingdom.
- Blushing Castle: At dusk, hues of pink, red, lavender and blue bathe Cinderella Castle with themed lighting synced to a musical melodies adding to the ambiance.
- Dinners for Two: Candlelit dinners for two with prix fixe menus at select restaurants during the most romantic week of the year. Specially-created menus at Artist Point (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort); The Wave…of American Flavors (Disney’s Contemporary Resort); Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios); Yachtsman Steakhouse (Disney’s Yacht Club Resort) make an ideal setting for a romantic evening. To book visit Disneyworld.com or call 407/WDW-DINE.
- Valentine’s-themed Takeaways: Limited-edition pins, plushes, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations available at select merchandise locations.
- Royal Gathering: The rare opportunity to get a photo with Disney Princes as they escort their Princesses to enchanting character greeting locations.
- In Town Square Theater you may find Mickey and Minnie, Aurora with Phillip or Rapunzel and Flynn. Mary Poppins joins Bert in Fantasyland, while Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana meet guests in the Enchanted Glade in Liberty Square.
- Romantic Photo Locations in Magic Kingdom with your Sweetie:
- Carriage Awaits: New Fantasyland invites lovers to create memories alongside Cinderella’s Glass Coach situated by the new Castle wall for True Love Week.
Wishes Come True: Hearts and flowers enhance Cinderella’s Wishing Well creating the perfect backdrop for a cherished moment.
- Rose Walk: The Rose Garden in Central Plaza is all decked out with enchanting decor.
- Romantic Touches: Long stem roses, chocolate covered strawberries, the finest champagne, or scattered rose petals create a romantic scene for lovebirds, all available through the Disney florist at www.disneyflorist.com.
- Elegant Oasis for Relaxation: An aromatherapy couples’ massage is just the escape after a day with the kids in the theme park. Couples’ massages are available at the newly opened, full-service Senses, A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
- Perfectly Princess: Join your prince for the ultimate fairytale come true with a customized Disney wedding or honeymoon getaway. More than 1,000 couples get married, or renew their wedding vows in romantic settings in various locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort every year. Visit DisneyWeddings.com for more information.
- Romantic Setting: Guests will feel the romance at every turn, as banners proclaiming True Love Conquers All, heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor adorn Disneyland Park.
- Blushing Castle: At dusk, hues of red and pink will bathe Sleeping Beauty Castle, with projections of flowers and hearts.
- Floral Heart: A giant floral heart makes a sweet setting for a Valentine photo, in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland.
- Valentine Wishes: Flowers, garlands and decorative doves will create a second ideal location around Snow White Wishing Well near Sleeping Beauty Castle. At night, magical lighting adds a romantic touch to the wishing well and Snow White Grotto.
- Disneyland Sweethearts: Also near Town Square, guests will find a photo location with resident Disneyland sweethearts – Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck.
- Dinners for Two: Romantic dinners for two with prix fixe menus will be offered at select restaurants during the most romantic week of the year. Specially-created menus at Blue Bayou and Café Orleans in Disneyland, Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure Park, Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel or Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel make ideal choices for a romantic evening. To book call 714-781-DINE (714-781-3463).
- Cupcake Lovers: Chefs have prepared a specially themed Valentine’s dessert: a chocolate cupcake with raspberry mousse filling and dark chocolate mousse frosting. It will be available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café and Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure, and Disneyland Hotel Coffee House.
- Valentine’s-themed Takeaways: Limited-edition pins, plush, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations will be available at select merchandise locations.
- Ears for your Sweetheart: The classic Disneyland ear hat gets a total glitz makeover just in time for the most romantic time of the year. It will dazzle your Valentine and become the most sophisticated pair of ears in your collection.
- Royal Romance: Guests will enjoy a rare opportunity to get photos of Disney Princes as they escort their Princesses along The Royal Walk in Fantasyland. In New Orleans Square, guests will find another pair of sweethearts, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.
- In Search of True Love: Guests may also encounter the Wandering Wallflowers, in search of “true love.”
While the Walt Disney World Resort has had gaming experiences for some time such as Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom and soon A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas, the Disneyland Resort has appeared to escaped unscathed from the diversions. In truth, the resort has quietly been working on a project called Disney Kudos, which up until now has been mostly a mystery.
We have uncovered concept art that appears to unearth the project and gives us a sneak peek into Disney Kudos, a self-paced exploration game of its own. While it’s unclear from what we have whether there will be physical components installed at the resort as Walt Disney World’s games have, we have been able to ascertain that is primarily a GPS-driven scavenger hunt which will operate on one’s own mobile device (not unlike the independently developed Wishing Stars) — a feat of no easy proportions as anyone who’s attempted to use a mobile device at Disneyland can attest. We’re told that in addition to tracking various quests, the game is also intended to help entertain guests while waiting in queues.
We believe the game’s development may be being handled by Fi (formerly known as Fantasy Interactive).
In addition, another video demo showing a much more graphically-pleasing version of the game has appeared on Vimeo. This brief demo shows unlocking various achievements such as visiting Disneyland (‘Welcome to the Club’), ‘Party King’ (obtained by attending the New Orleans Bayou Bash) and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ achievements, the ‘Brave Soul’ kudo, reminding the player to view the parade and more.
The artwork follows a series of clues about Disney Kudos which began in early with several domain name registrations such as DISNEYKUDOS.COM (the only active one at this time), DISNEYKUDOSGAME.COM, KUDOGAME.COM, DISNEYLANDKUDOS.COM and DCAKUDOS.COM. Variations with the spelling of ‘cudos’ have also been registered as well as related domain names such as DISNEYACHIEVEMENTS.COM.
Speaking of achievements, we have also seen some recent movement on the Walt Disney World NextGen front with an additional trademark registration for ‘Story Maker’ (one was previously filed for ‘My Story Maker’). We believe this to be related to the ‘Story Author’ patent we described here which will use guests’ MagicBand bracelets to track which attractions a guest has visited and automatically collect video and photos and compile a ‘storybook’ akin to an achievement such as riding all of the Magic Kingdom mountains, or a birthday memory which can than be used as an upsell in merchandising, as part of the total ‘My Disney Experience.’
Note attributions in this article have explicitly been left out to protect the source. Contributed to by insidethemagic.net
It’s probably not something most of us think about often, but when rain storms occur (as anyone who has ever visited the Walt Disney World Resort can attest they very much do), the water has to go somewhere. In many places around the world, the water is simply absorbed into the ground, or added to lakes and rivers (and other bodies of water, of course), but in urban areas, where buildings and asphalt covers the natural environment, complications are introduced.
While most of us are accustomed to storm drains found on our local streets which dump water into the sewage system, often times stormwater is just funneled to a water source through an expansive network of pipes. This too has its problems, mostly that contaminants can be picked up as the stormwater runs across asphalt and subsequently pollutes natural water sources, potentially even eroding them.
A couple of years ago, the Disneyland Resort worked with the City of Anaheim to institute a new stormwater management system which earned them accolades as the resort now handles most of its captured stormwater completely on site: capturing it, treating it and recycling it.
Now it looks as though Walt Disney World will be getting into the act. Earlier today, Walt Disney Imagineering filed a notice of commencement with the Orange County comptroller’s office for a project titled ‘BVD Stormwater Preview Center.’ We were able to investigate further and unearthed plans for phase one of the project, which encompasses a large area just outside the Downtown Disney District.
While dissecting the blueprints we have received is far outside our forte, the project also appears to extend beyond Buena Vista Drive to include regions along I-4.
We look forward to learning more about this project in the upcoming months.
The Disneyland Resort has announced that it will allow its annual passholders to experience Cars Land up to two hours after the Disney California Adventure theme park closes to day guests on Thursday evenings throughout February 2013.
All participating Annual Passholders and their Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of entry for admission to the Park, for check-in and admission to the Annual Passholder Extended Hours event.
Wristbands, which will be required for the event, will begin distribution at 12:00 pm the day of the event inside the park’s main entrance, to the right of the turnstiles. All attendees over the age of three must be present to register and possess an annual pass. Passholders with wristbands may enter the event until thirty (30) minutes prior to the end of the event.
Via its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled a new Disney Parks dream portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, this one portraying Taylor Swift as Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled.
Featuring a tagline of ‘where a world of adventure awaits,’ the image will make its publication debut in upcoming issues of Vanity Fair, InStyle and People.
The images have been added to the beginning of our gallery of Disney Dream portraits below: