Watch the Magic Kingdom’s Fourth of July Fireworks, Celebrate America, Online

Last night, the Magic Kingdom previewed its spectacular Fourth of July fireworks program known as Celebrate America and fortunately we were right there in the middle of it all to capture it for you. While there’s no humanly way possible we could replicate the magic and the spectacle of it all, we hope that you enjoy watching the video as much as we did making it.

Embedded below is the playlist which will automatically play the second half once the first half is completed. If you prefer to watch a larger version on YouTube, you can access the playlist directly.

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Inside the New Hall of Presidents (Photo Gallery)

Unfortunately, because the attraction is not yet officially open, I cannot offer any photos inside the actual theater, but I can share images of some of the artifacts you can find inside the pre-show area, including the first ladies’ exhibit featuring dresses and other items from Elizabeth Monroe, Edith Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan.

Please enjoy.

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Celebrate the American Dream – WDW Naturalization Ceremony Photo Gallery

Celebrate the American DreamI had the distinct honor of attending the naturalization ceremony which took place at the Magic Kingdom earlier this morning in which 1,000 immigrants (including 25 cast members) were sworn in as new citizens of the United States.

The ceremony, with keynote speaker actor Andy Garcia, was an incredibly moving experience as the new citizens were sworn in. The event also featured performances by Voices of Liberty and appearances by the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps and Mickey himself. After the ceremony and group photo, the citizens and their friends and family made way to experience the newly enhanced Hall of Presidents (more to follow on that later).

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Hall of Presidents Re-Opens July 4 with New President, New Exhibits, New Movie, New Music, New Storyline, Even a New Name!

Hall of Presidents/ Making of President Obama Audio-AnimatronicsLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A remarkably lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of President Barack Obama enters the spotlight in a revised and refreshed Hall of Presidents show that reopens July 4 in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

The recently installed figure of the country’s 44th chief executive – which comes to life with recognizable mannerisms and makes comments that were recorded recently at the White House – is only part of an eight-month makeover so significant that the iconic attraction in the park’s Liberty Square has been retitled Hall of Presidents: A Celebration of Liberty’s Leaders.  Other updates to the “re-Imagineered” attraction which has been entertaining Magic Kingdom guests since 1971:

* A re-programmed Abraham Lincoln delivers arguably the greatest speech in the history of the presidency – the Gettysburg Address.
* For the first time in the attraction’s history, George Washington stands and delivers a stirring speech.
* Developed with the assistance of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the show now tells a moving story of the bond between the presidents and “We, the People,” focusing on the chief executives who have guided America through trying, turbulent times.

(more…)

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Over 1000 Immigrants to be Sworn In as U.S. Citizens in Magic Kingdom July 3 (Updated)

Update:  The ceremony is titled ‘Celebrating the American Dream’ and will take place at 8:20 AM, prior to park opening. We are told the ceremony is by invitation only and that guests will not able to view the ceremony.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In a stirring celebration of citizenship, more than 1,000 immigrants will gather on Main Street, U.S.A. July 3 to be “sworn in” as American citizens.

And as the country kicks off Independence Day weekend, these brand-new Americans will attend a premiere performance of the newest Walt Disney World attraction, a re-imagined Hall of Presidents, now featuring a lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of President Barack Obama.

From more than 100 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 82, the immigrants will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during a Friday morning ceremony jointly hosted by Disney Parks and Resorts and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

USCIS’s highest-ranking official will preside over the ceremony on the forecourt of Cinderella Castle.  The event will feature a welcoming address by Walt Disney World Resort President Meg Crofton, the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Actor Andy Garcia – a naturalized citizen himself – will deliver a keynote address during the ceremony. Garcia, originally from Cuba, is an acclaimed actor known for roles in films as diverse as “The Untouchables,” “The Godfather: Part III” and “Oceans Eleven.”

(more…)

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First Look: Pirates League Makeovers at the Magic Kingdom

Disney has just released these photos showing some of the makeovers possible at the new Pirate League in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, officially opening June 29 (now in soft opening mode). Photos © Kent Phillips/Disney.

The official press release follows: (more…)

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Fireworks Schedule for Fourth (and Third) of July at Walt Disney World

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Guests celebrating the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort will have a choice of fireworks shows as Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios present special pyrotechnics and Epcot adds a patriotic “tag” to its famous “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” spectacular.  Here’s what’s in store:

Magic Kingdom“Celebrate America Fireworks” will fill the sky at 9 p.m. July 4 (guests who’d like to begin the celebratory weekend a day early can enjoy the special fireworks on July 3 at 9 p.m.).  After the fireworks, guests can enjoy a performance of Disney’s “SpectroMagic” parade of lights, music and magic at 10:30 p.m. on July 3-4.  Park hours are 9 a.m.-11 p.m. July 3-4.

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What Won’t You Celebrate? Stitch’s Supersonic Celebration to Close June 27

Attractions magazine has recently reported on its blog that the spankin’ brand new and highly ill-received Stitch’s Supersonic Celebration in the Magic Kingdom has posted its closing notice for June 27 with no intention to return as some have previously reported.

The song and dance show which features an interactive portion with Stitch a la Turtle Talk has been inducing groans, drawing few crowds and producing even fewer laughs since it debuted earlier this year. There are plenty of videos of the performances available on youtube for your viewing displeasure. It has also added fuel to those who feel that Stitch has been oversaturated within the parks (we respectfully disagree) and has become a virtual band-aid for Tomorrowland. Quality will always trump quantity.

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Walt Disney World Refurbishment Updates: Hall of Presidents, Old Key West Quiet Pools

Despite presumably being ready for an Annual Passholder and DVC preview in late June, the official re-opening date for the Hall of Presidents has been shifted from July 2 to July 4.

At Old Key West, the Miller’s Road Quiet Pool will be closed from June 15 through June 26 and the South Point Road Quiet Pool will be closed from August 3 through August 21.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch!

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Gwen Stefani and No Doubt Visit the Tragic Kingdom

"No Doubt" visits Walt Disney World in FloridaIn a photo taken June 4, 2009, members of the pop group “No Doubt” (L-R): singer Gwen Stefani, bass player Tony Kanal and guitarist Tom Dumont, pose with Goofy at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  The group was taking a break from their current concert tour to enjoy a day at the Walt Disney World Resort theme park.  (Diana Zalucky, photographer)

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