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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Celebrities for Star Wars Weekends 2009 Announced – Jay Laga’aia (Captain Typho) to Host

SWW 2009 PosterTime to start planning for Star Wars Weekends! Starting in May, fans get to meet an impressive lineup of special guests attending four weekends of Star Wars fun at the Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida. From May 22 to June 14, 2009, fans of all ages will converge to celebrate the heroes, villains, creatures and droids of the saga. In addition to Star Wars costumed characters, fun activities, and the Star Tours theme park ride, celebrity guests will be in attendance for meet-and-greet sessions, star conversations, and a classic Hollywood-style motorcade.

Here’s a look at the celebrity guests which include Star Wars cast members from the entire saga. Please check back here for future updates to the guest list as it may be subject to change.

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Downtown Disney’s ‘Characters in Flight’ Scheduled for Soft Opening Friday, April 10

Characters In FlightThe fun soars to new heights at Downtown Disney West Side with an iconic new tethered balloon that takes guests on ascents of up to 400 feet above the waterfront.

Characters In Flight operated by Aerophile is a 72-foot-diameter balloon with a whimsical design featuring silhouettes of a dozen of Disney’s “flying characters” – such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Dumbo. The vibrantly colored balloon can lift up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute trip – thanks to its enclosed volume of 210,000 cubic feet of lighter-than-air gas. The ascents, by day or night, provide guests with an unparalleled, 360-degree view of up to 10 miles.

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Walt Disney World Resort Continues to Stand StormReady®

StormReady

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Apr. 9, 2009 – With picture-perfect skies outside his window most days, Walt Disney World Emergency Operations Coordinator Eric Alberts dedicates his time to preparing for inclement weather. “Safety for everybody that works or stays here is our top priority,” Alberts says as he checks the latest forecasts.

By expertly planning for severe weather in advance, Walt Disney World Resort made history in 2006 as the first theme park and resort area to be recognized by the National Weather Service as a StormReady® Community. Committed to maintaining its leadership in emergency management, Walt Disney World Resort just renewed its StormReady status through 2012 and remains the only recognized commercial site in Florida. Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca. has also earned recognition as StormReady.

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