VIDEO: Behind-the-Scenes with Haunted Mansion’s Hitchhiking Ghosts

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Walt Disney Imagineering has released this new video which goes behind the scenes at the most recent additions to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion attraction: the hitchhiking ghosts.

The video goes into quite a bit of detail and goes behind-the-scenes at the changes which include new audio animatronic figures and the attraction finale which now offers digitally projected animations featuring the beloved Gus, Ezra and Phineas which dynamically detects and interacts with the guest.

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Aulani Resort Celebrates Construction Milestone

Aulani Resort (David Roark/Disney)Today, in a ceremony on the lagoon fronting the site of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai’i, local crew members from Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Inc., joined with Disney cast members (employees) to celebrate the completion of major structural work on the Disney resort and the beginning of Disney’s “time to add the magic.”

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PHOTO: Ke$ha Keeps Important Date at Magic Kingdom

Ke$ha with White Rabbit at Magic Kingdom (Gene Duncan/Disney)Pop singer “Ke$ha” poses April 21, 2011 with The White Rabbit from Disney’s animated film “Alice in Wonderland,” at the Magic Kingdom park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Ke$ha’s debut single, entitled “Tik Tok,” was a number one hit around the world. The Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World.

Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World

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CONFIRMED: Disney/Pixar Weekend Event at Epcot, May 13-15

Disney/Pixar Weekend at EpcotVia the official Disney Parks blog, Walt Disney World has confirmed Stitch Kingdom’s original report on the gala celebration in honor of Pixar’s 25th Anniversary and the release of Cars 2 during the final weekend of Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival.

The official announcement does make note of a few differences, however, namely that many character greetings will take place inside the World Showplace and around the World Showcase, but not in the Future World area.

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‘Star Tours’ Custom Official Galactic Passport for Disney’s Hollywood Studios Now Available; In-Park Bonus Offered

Star Tours Official Galactic PassportWhether you’re a pod racer, a pilot for the Rebel Alliance, royalty or just a vanilla Jedi Knight, one thing is for certain: if you plan on departing from the Star Tours terminal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning May 20, 2011, you are going to need proper documentation and that means your very own Official Galactic Passport.

By visiting StarToursPassport.com, you can apply for — and instantly download — your very own custom Official Galactic Passport (* some assembly required). Connecting to your FaceBook account, simply select your role in the Star Wars universe, select a FB photo (or upload your own), fill out the form with your vitals and you’re ready to travel to Hoth, Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant, Kashyyyk and even the Death Star.

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‘Star Tours’ Flight #1401 Details Revealed – Could it be a Trap?

The power of the Force and the magic of Disney have combined to create “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park on May 20, 2011. The attraction also will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., on June 3, 2011.
Based on the Star Wars films, Star Tours will take Walt Disney World Resort guests to multiple Star Wars destinations where they will interact with characters from throughout the Saga. And it will all be in 3-D.

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Johnny Depp, Patti Smith Appear in Latest Disney Parks Campaign by Annie Leibovitz

Johnny Depp in Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz

The official Disney Parks blog has debuted the newest entry in the ‘Disney Dream’ celebrity portrait series by Annie Leibovitz, Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The advertisement, which will run as a special spread in the May 2011 issues of Oprah, Real Simple, InStyle and People, features the first time a Disney character is portrayed by the actual actor.

Inside the spread, titled ‘Where magic sets sail and adventures become legendary,’ Captain Jack Sparrow is joined by another pirate, portrayed by performer, writer and artist, Patti Smith.

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Photo: Lady Gaga Turns Fairy Tale Monster at Magic Kingdom (Hi-Res)

Lady Gaga (right) poses April 16, 2011 with the Evil Queen (left) (Todd Anderson/Disney)Grammy Award-winning singer Lady Gaga (right) poses April 16, 2011 with the Evil Queen (left) from Disney’s animated film Snow White at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Gaga was in town as part of her ‘Monster Ball Tour,’ a self-described ‘pop-electro opera,’ in support of her sophomore album, The Fame Monster.

Photo by Todd Anderson, courtesy of the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Ink & Paint Cel Release for ‘Ka-chow’ Featuring ‘Cars’ in ‘Lights, Motors, Action!’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios June 18

'Ka-chow!' Ink & Paint CelOn Saturday, June 18, join Disney Design Group Artist Costa Alavezos and Disney Ink and Paint Artists: James Bonserio, Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the premiere of the Ka-chow! entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. In the cel, Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and pals make their on-stage debut in the popular stunt show attraction, ‘Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.’ Ka-chow! is also the first entry in the Ink & Paint Cel Series to feature the characters of Disney/Pixar’s Cars.

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Walt Disney World Teases New ‘Senior Class Trips’ Program

Walt Disney World's 'Senior Class Trips' ProgramOn the Disney Grad Nite official Facebook page, Disney offered up an informal poll to see which of two ‘Disney Senior Class Trips’ logos (pictured) were favored by the page’s fans.

The new program will offer specially priced theme park tickets and exclusive experiences year-round for high school seniors who visit the Walt Disney World Resort on a class trip. More information on the new offering is promised after May 7.

In March, Walt Disney World announced it would be ending the Disney Grad Nite program after 2011.

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