August 16, 2011 is a day that will live in infamy for that is the day the Walt Disney World currently has slated for the re-opening of the ‘Enchanted Tiki Room,’ following a fire that caused some significant damage to some of the animatronics. Closed since January, sources have confirmed to us that the rumored return to the original Tropical Serenade will indeed happen and Iago and Zazu will be forced to find another line of work. Perhaps as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the change, Disney Pin Trading released the retro pin displayed here last month, in honor of Walt Disney World’s 40th anniversary.
InsidetheMagic.net has posted video of the new interactive hitchhiking ghosts at Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion at the Walt Disney World Resort.
As was confirmed earlier this week, Haunted Mansion is now using a technology we first reported more than a year ago in which cameras trained on the guests and recognition software work to dynamically generate images that appear to interact with the guests. From swapping hats (or beards) to experimenting with guests’ heads to just going for a ride, the video provides many of the sample animations which also highlights the virtual limitlessness of the technology in that it’s fully capable of determining how many guests are in the omnimover doom buggy vehicle as well as their physical locations inside the vehicle.
Last night, Walt Disney Imagineering did some preliminary tests with willing
victims cast members at Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom. The results had the victims cast members losing their heads laughing their heads off as the hitchhiking ghosts interacted with them in ways that have not yet been experienced in a theme park attraction.
Although it’s slated to open officially to the adoring public on Friday, April 1, the new meet and greet location for Mickey Mouse and the Disney Princesses experienced a soft opening today and a few lucky guests at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom had the opportunity to experience a little one on one time with Mickey, Minnie and the Disney Princesses in their new digs.
Fortunately for us, Josh Siegel (@Crushinat0r) was on hand to capture some of the newly installed magic (literally speaking) and share it with us.
Scheduled to open beginning April 1, we have your first look inside the room for the FASTPASS-enabled Magician Mickey Mouse meet and greet at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Tucked away inside Exposition Hall, Magician Mickey invites fans to meet him ‘backstage’ where he’ll have a few tricks of his own including interactive posters, more than likely in the same vein as the enchanted art found aboard the Disney Dream.
Early last year, we shared with you news of a patent from Disney Enterprises which, in part, calls for being able to use cameras combined with software to detect a guest and identify certain features while also being able to combine dynamically generated images with projected or reflected images of the guests themselves.
Then, we were led to believe that this technology would first be seen as part of a new meet and greet experience at Pixie Hollow in the New Fantasyland. With those plans seemingly out the window, we now focus our attention to the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom which has very openly been making some unknown changes to the hitchhiking ghosts scene at the end.
Magic Kingdom officials have a hunch a really “hot ticket” in their realm this summer is going to be something other than a ride, a snack or a show. Rather, it’s a first-ever opportunity to nail down a time to meet with Mickey Mouse.
When meet-and-greets with Mickey move into a permanent new location in Town Square later this spring, Magic Kingdom guests will be able obtain a Disney’s FASTPASS ticket specifying a one-hour window when they can return to see the popular character for hugs, photos and autographs — without waiting in the standby queue. It will mark the first time the complimentary, computerized service has been available for a character meet-and-greet at any Disney Park.
Fresh off a recent small refurbishment, the Liberty Bell Riverboat in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square is scheduled to undergo yet another (and longer) refurbishment beginning May 5.
Although there could be very good reasons for the temporary closure pertaining to the attraction itself, it’s no secret that the Haunted Mansion queue has been walled off to curious eyes waiting to enter the retirement home for ghosts with room for a thousand. For those who see the construction walls as merely an obstacle, the Liberty Belle has become a vehicle of choice for peering in from the other side to check in on how things are moving along.
Super Bowl XLV Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers takes a celebratory ride with Mickey Mouse Feb. 7, 2011 at the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. following the Green Bay Packers’ 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers Feb. 6, 2011. Rodgers was 24 for 39 for 304 yards and threw three touchdowns in the Packers’ Super Bowl win. Immediately after Super Bowl XLV was over, Rodgers shouted “I’m Going to Disney World!” and “I’m Going to Disneyland!” for TV cameras as the star of the latest Disney Parks advertisement.
Emmy Award-winning TV host and Grammy Award-winning comedian Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ takes a ride February 4, 2011 on the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida with his children Nate (left, age 6) and Maggie (center, age 5). The visit took place on Maggie’s 5th birthday, and Stewart and his family celebrated with friends at the Walt Disney World theme park.
Photo by David Roark, courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort.