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.
Via the official Disney Parks blog, Walt Disney World has released further details for its upcoming Star Wars Weekends celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for weekends between May 18 and June 19, 2012. In addition to the previous announcement regarding James Arnold Taylor acting as the Star Wars Weekends’ celebrity host and Ashley Eckstein as the host of the ‘Behind the Force’ special presentations, the following celebrities and autograph FASTPASS information has been released:
Weekend I (May 18 – 20)
- Ray Park – (Darth Maul, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Walt Disney World has issued casting calls for Princess Merida, the heroine that will be featured in Disney/Pixar’s Brave which opens in theaters nationwide on June 22, 2012. Expected to begin appearing at Soundstage 4 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (where the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian exhibit was formerly housed) in May, Merida will become the first face meet and greet character representing a Disney/Pixar property within the Disney Parks.
According to the casting notice, she will be 5’4″ – 5’6″ in height and is described as ‘impetuous, rough and tumble, strong-willed, determined and playful.’ She is also expected — at times — to be accompanied by a puppet version of the three cubs from the film.
On Thursday, March 29 and Friday, March 30, guests at the Walt Disney World Resort will have the opportunity to meet author Ridley Pearson and purchase a signed copy of his latest book, Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game’ days before its official release in stores on April 3, 2012.
Pearson will be at Once Upon a Toy in the Downtown Disney District Marketplace on March 29, 2012 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm and at the Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 30 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am. Note that park admission will be required for the Disney’s Hollywood Studios event, but not for Once Upon a Toy.
For the day, Minnie Mouse wore her special “Valentine’s Day” dress, with white hearts replacing her usual white polka dots.
Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort.
On Saturday, March 17, join Disney Design Group Artist Randy Noble and Disney Ink and Paint Artists: Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the premiere of the Mickey’s Railroad Adventure entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. The cel invites you to take a trip with Mickey, Minnie and Donald aboard the train.
As far as we’re concerned, impatience is a virtue. Yesterday we reported that we believed Walt Disney World would be offering free, pre-release screenings of Walt Disney Studios’ John Carter. Thanks to activity on the wdwscreeningtickets.com website, we are now able to confirm that the screenings will in fact be taking place and will be offered exclusively to passholders.
The screenings will take place at the Premier Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (the site notes valid theme park admission is required, but.. uh, it’s a passholder event) on the weekend of March 3 and 4. Showtimes will be at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm each day. Space is limited and registration for the event will only take place online. The film, which is rated PG-13 by the MPAA, will be shown in 3D.
The Walt Disney World official website has recently added a couple of entries to its operation calendar for early 2012.
The first of the new closures announced is that of the ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure’ which is slated to join the previously announced Backlot Studios Tour closure beginning on January 13 and re-opening on March 11.
Also re-opening on March 11, but closing on February 26, 2012 is the ‘Magic Carpets of Aladdin’ attraction in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.
House of Innoventions at Epcot’s Innoventions East is now closed, presumably due to the recent announcement that Green Builder Media will be transitioning it into what will be known as the ‘VISION House.’ No specific date has been provided for the re-opening other than an expected time frame of May, 2012.
The Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now slated to close on February 13, 2012 and re-open on March 11.
There is also a minor quiet pool refurb scheduled at the Beach Club Villas on December 14 and 15.
The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) today named its recipients of its 18th annual Thea Awards, for which Disney Parks and Resorts received a number of accolades for its contributions ot the industry over the past year. According to TEA president (and former Walt Disney Imagineer) Rick Rothschild, the award sets out to ‘recognize and honor excellence in the creation of extraordinary visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places. As this year we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of TEA, we can reflect on how much has changed: the tools and techniques our industry employs, the use of digital media and interactivity, the sophistication of themed environments and the international expansion of the business, especially into Asia. At the same time, storytelling and teamwork remain the bedrock of the Experience Design Industry and its projects.’ He adds, ‘the Thea Awards honor teamwork at its very best — the creative handshake between the visionary project owner and the multidisciplinary collective of designers, artisans and technicians who realize the vision. TEA’s Thea Awards celebrate storytelling across the globe — educational and entertaining stories of heritage, history, fiction, fantasy, magic and even hard science — delivered with artistry and the appropriate use of technology at museums, theme parks, world expos, special events and other settings. TEA looks forward to the next 20 years of leading the visitor attractions industry.’