Actress/singer Ariana Grande celebrated her 21st birthday with family and friends yesterday at the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., as seen here posing with Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle.
Although the Walt Disney World Resort differs in its philosophy for entertaining guests than its west coast counterpart, Disneyland — as the latter relies far more heavily on locals and keeping them amused — the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime fireworks program remained mostly unchanged for over a decade. Conversely, within that same time period, Disneyland has had three different shows debut. In other words, it may just be time for ‘Wishes’ to be retired.
While rumors have circulated for about a year regarding a replacement for ‘Wishes’ in either 2015 or 2016, one of the strongest pieces of evidence may in fact be one of the least reliable: domain names.
Reality television star and former ‘Dancing with the Stars’ contestant Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi posed earlier today with Chewbacca, the famous Wookiee from the Star Wars series, during the final ‘Star Wars Weekends’ event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort.Photo by David Roark, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort
Disney Theatrical Productions has announced that it will be bringing two brand-new productions of its long-running Broadway smash musical, ‘The Lion King’ to both the Shanghai Disney Resort and Mexico City, in partnership with Disney Parks and Resorts and OCESA respectively. The announcement was made today by Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. The two productions will be the 23rd and 24th mounted around the world since the show’s Broadway debut in 1997.
As a follow-up to last year’s Friday the 13th ‘Limited Time Magic’ ‘Unleash the Villains’ promotion, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida will play host to ‘Villains Unleashed,’ a hard-ticketed event. According to WDWMAGIC, the event will take place on Saturday, August 23. An accompanying thread notes that tickets are expected to go on sale tomorrow for Annual Passholders and DVC members for $67 (A)/$62 (C) in advance or $71 (A) / $66 (C) day of — though it’s quite expected the one time event will sell out far in advance. Remaining tickets will be made available for purchase by the general public on June 9.
Walt Disney World Resort has just released additional details surrounding its newest attraction at the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which will have an official opening ceremony ceremony on May 2. A springtime opening is planned for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a rollicking family-style coaster and the crown jewel of New Fantasyland. Walt Disney World Resort guests will be treated to an exciting, musical ride into the mine ‘where a million diamonds shine’ as the lovable world of Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy and Dopey comes to life. One feature will be first-of-its-kind ride vehicles mounted in cradle-like pivots that allow the vehicles to swing back and forth during the ride. Adding to the fun, the journey will be accompanied by beloved music from the Disney film classic. On their adventure, riders pass by animated figures of Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs and playful forest critters.
It should be painfully obvious what the image to the left is demonstrating, but do indulge us and allow us to explain just the same. Pictured here is the primary drawing from a recently published patent application titled ‘Chin Strap Sensor for Triggering Control of Walk-Around Characters’ (20140106642) by Walt Disney Imagineering’s Holger Irmler.
The design, which centers around a chest strap, aims to resolve current obstacles in producing a walking, talking, interacting meet and greet character for theme parks, presumably by making the operator even less comfortable in the process. While significant achievements have been made in bringing interactive and animated characters to life, there are still some ongoing challenges.
Via its YouTube channel, Disneyland Paris has announced that its widely anticipated attraction for Disney/Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’ will make its official debut on July 10, 2014. The official description of the attraction, is as follows:
A totally immersive experience awaits guests in a brand new rat-traction, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy. Once shrunk to the size of a rat, families will be whisked off for a culinary adventure in the company of Remy and his friends. After scurrying across Parisian rooftops, guests will tumble down into the busy kitchens and dining room of Chef Gusteau’s prestigious eatery. Keeping out of Skinner’s reach has never been so much fun.
To support her upcoming film, Maleficent (May 30, 2014), in which she takes on the role of Aurora, Elle Fanning recently visited the Disneyland Resort, where she posed in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Maleficent explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic Sleeping Beauty and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.
Walt Disney once said, ‘We keep moving forward — opening up new doors and doing new things — because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.’ It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit — or revisit — some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus will take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like ‘it’s a small world’ and Carousel of Progress (Progressland).