Schedule for Epcot’s 2010 Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Available

Although Walt Disney World has confirmed that the annual Sounds Like Summer concert series will be taking place in 2010, it has yet to announce any formal dates or line-up. The concert series, which takes place at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot, features tribute bands for some of music’s most legendary recording artists.

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IBM Debuts New Smarter ‘SmarterPlanet’ Exhibit at Epcot’s Innoventions (Video)

A look at IBM's New SmarterPlanet Exhibit at Epcot's Innoventions. Photo courtesy of IBM.IBM today unveiled a new experiential exhibit at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort, which invites guests to discover the possibilities of building a smarter planet.  The exhibit is powered by a new Smarter Data Center, providing a real-life demonstration of optimized computing that reduces energy costs by up to 25 percent.

SmarterPlanet presented by IBM offers visitors to the park a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse of how technology is helping solve the world’s most complex problems – from reducing road traffic and city crime to improving food safety and local water supplies.

The experience encourages guests to think about their individual role in creating a smarter planet as well as understand how smarter data centers are the heart of a more sustainable, technology-enabled world.

For example, hands-on interactive kiosks offer guests a “match” game that reveals societal and technological implications of creating a smarter planet.  Guests will discover how more than two billion people are using mobile phones to open and use bank accounts for the first time; or that only 11 percent of the United States money supply is cash; or that by unplugging household appliance while not in use homeowners can save cash, up to $286 every year; or how smarter food systems track the temperatures of foods from one location to another to prevent spoilage.  From the same kiosks, guests can take a Smarter Planet poll and compare their answers with those of other visitors.

The exhibit also features Runtime, created by Walt Disney Imagineering, which transforms guests into personalized avatars as part of the video game experience.  Players run, jump and dance through a timeline of IBM’s achievements in the history of computing, journeying from the Babbage computer, through vacuum tubes and chips and bits, to the Internet.  Guests can also email their personalized version of the game to any computer, extending the Runtime experience to their home.

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Siemens Displays Unique ‘Smart Chopper’ from Orange County Choppers at Innoventions

It may be hard to separate the rev from the motorcycle, but guests at Innoventions at Epcot recently had the opportunity to learn more about a quieter kind of bike made by Siemens.

This new environmentally friendly electric motorcycle known as the “Smart Chopper” is a one-of-a-kind, custom electric American chopper designed by renowned motorcycle manufacturer Orange County Choppers. Building on its reputation for leading-edge innovation and quality, Siemens’ team of engineers designed the bike to travel as fast as 60 mph on a single charge using new and recycled materials.

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First Look: 2010 Flower and Garden Festival Vinylmation

From the official Vinylmation blog comes this first look at the special edition Vinylmation for Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival from Disney Design Group artist Michelle St.L.

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WDW Refurb Update: Cantina de San Angel Refurb Begins Major Refurbishment and More

Cantina de San Angel, the quick service location in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, has just closed and begun its lengthy refurbishment. Expected to be replaced with a new, more convenient dining opportunity, the restaurant is slated to re-open on September 24, just a week shy of the 2010 Food and Wine Festival.

During the refurbishment, Taqueria Del Lago, the Mexican booth from the 2009 Food and Wine Festival will be operating for guests’ convenience.

We are also being advised that Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats, located near the World Famous Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, will be unavailable from January 8 through January 25.

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Dates for 2010 Epcot International Food And Wine Festival Quietly Announced by Disney

Without any kind of formal announcement or confirmation, it appears as through the Walt Disney World official site may have announced the dates for the 2010 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival as October 1 through November 14, 2010.

source

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WDW Refurb Update: Sounds Dangerous Re-Opens (Seasonally), Epcot Closures in Jan-Feb

A few updates to the refurbishment schedule at Walt Disney World.

First, Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey, which has been marked as ‘operating seasonally’ since the beginning of the year will re-open for December 20 through January 2 only and is then scheduled to close for the remainder of 2010 (barring any future changes).

Living with the Land, having just recently re-opened from an emergency refurb, is scheduled to close beginning January 18 and re-open on February 6.

Test Track will also have a closure in January, albeit a smaller one, from January 11 through January 17.

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2009 Candlelight Processional Gets Cameron Shy: Kirk Out, Chita Rivera Dances In

Although it was previously announced that Kirk Cameron would be co-replacing Vanessa Williams as narrator for Epcot’s 2009 Candlelight Processional from December 12-13, an announcement has recently been made that it will now be theatrical legend Chita Rivera.

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The Princess and the Frog’s Anika Noni Rose to Greet Guests at Epcot December 8

Anika Noni Rose Meet & GreetAnika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana in The Princess and the Frog, will be available to meet and greet guests tomorrow afternoon from 1:30 – 2:30 PM at Heritage Manor at the American Adventure in Epcot’s World Showcase in Walt Disney World. She is currently acting as official celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Processional with tomorrow being her last evening.

She will be signing merchandise purchased at the event only, limit two per guest.

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Walt Disney World Satellite Maps by Robo Updated

It’s been over a year since the incredibly popular Walt Disney World Satellite Maps by Robo section has been added to Stitch Kingdom and it was long due for an update. Thanks to Robo, many of the maps have now been updated to reflect changes in the resort over the past year as well as some additional maps added, most notably those for Downtown Disney and individual lands in the Magic Kingdom.

I also took the opportunity to address the fact that users needed to click Search in order to view all maps initially. Now all maps will be shown automatically by default while still allowing users to filter by category and optional subcategory.

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