Characters In Flight Grand Opening Ceremony to Take Place April 21

Image (c) Disney

Image (c) Disney

PARIS, Apr 17, 2009 — TUESDAY, April 21st at 9:00am (EST), Aerophile will celebrate its newest venture as the Characters in Flight Operated by Aerophile balloon in Downtown Disney enjoys its grand opening!

Jerome Giacomoni, president and co-founder of Aerophile, along with the balloon’s ground crew and pilot cordially invite you to attend the official inauguration of Characters in Flight Operated by Aerophile.

Come witness, cameras in hand, this breathtaking moment at Downtown Disney’s West Side!

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Space Mountain Refurb Got You Down? Head to Frontierland or Liberty Square During Morning EMH

Beginning next week, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Haunted Mansion have been added to the attractions open during morning Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom. Hang on to your hats and glasses and please, please, please don’t forget your death certificate. After all, you can’t run from trouble, there ain’t no place that far.

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First-of-a-Kind, Handheld Device Brings Magic of Disney Theme Parks to Guests with Disabilities

Disney Close CaptionLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 16, 2009 –  Disney engineers have taken recent advances in wireless technology one step further, creating a first-of-a-kind, handheld assistive device to bring the magic of Disney theme parks to guests with visual and hearing disabilities.

Disney’s Handheld Device combines multiple functions – assistive listening, handheld captioning, and closed captioning activation – into one small, easy-to-use platform. The assistive listening system provides amplified audio, while handheld captioning enables guests to read captions while enjoying specific theme park attractions. Closed captioning is also activated by the handheld device in pre-show areas where TV displays narrate the upcoming experience.

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Five Reasons I Absolutely, Positively Won’t be Riding Characters in Flight (Maybe)

As photos and video of experiences on Downtown Disney’s newest venture emerge onto the interwebs, I started to see a sharp decline in my own personal enthusiasm for being able to experience the 400 foot flight on a tethered balloon myself. I kid you not, I was very excited at the proposition – initially. Despite the $16 price tag, I was all set to ride this thing 10x minimum: sunrise, sunset and everything in-between. What could possibly have changed my mind, you ask? Let me count the ways. (more…)

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Themed Entertainment Association and Economics Research Associates Post International Theme Park Numbers for 2008

The TEA/ERA Attraction Attendance Report identifies the top commercial theme parks and waterparks around the world and reflects their performance in 2008. Global attendance data is broken down by geographic region, by chain and by type of venue. This vital report is issued annually and jointly produced by the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) – the leading international trade alliance for the creators of compelling experiences and places – and ERA (Economics Research Associates) – a top international consulting firm providing economic analysis for the entertainment and leisure industry worldwide.

Burbank, Calif. USA — April 16, 2009 — The TEA/ERA Attraction Attendance Report for 2008 is now posted on the TEA and ERA websites. It reveals 2008 visitation totals for top theme parks and waterparks worldwide.

The report summary is included here (see below). To access the full report including attendance charts, visit:
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2008 Theme Park Attendance Report: Disney World Flat, Disneyland Down, Hong Kong and the Rest Up

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and Economics Research Associates’ report for attendance to the world’s theme parks in 2008 was released earlier today. On the whole, things look on par or slightly better for the Disney Parks over 2007.

In North America, Magic Kingdom (#1) remained steady at approximately 17,063,000 after its record breaking performance in 2007; Epcot (#3) also remained steady at 10,935,000; Disney’s Hollywood Studios (#4) saw the largest percentage increase of 1% for an attendance total of 9,608,000; and Disney’s Animal Kingdom (#5) set an attendance record of 9,540,000 (an increase of .5%)

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Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. (Arcade) to be Closed with Space Mountain for Refurbishment

I know some have wondered, so wonder no more. Disney has officially announced that the Tomorrowland Light and Power Co. (aka the Tomorrowland Arcade) will be closed for the entire duration of the Space Mountain refurbishment, beginning April 19 and ending November 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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Wall*E Still Expected to Appear at Disney Parks… Eventually

On covering the Walt Disney Living Character Initiative (LCI)’s Remy, Orlando Sentinel Theme Park Ranger

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