First Look: ‘The Sum of All Thrills’ RoboSim 4-D Simulator

Please Note: Although the RoboSim robotic arm has been designed by KUKA Robotics, ‘The Sum of All Thrills’ exhibit itself, located in Innoventions East, is fully designed and sponsored by Raytheon. The exhibit is expected to open within the month of October.

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Kidcot Program in Epcot’s Future World Ends

Although they had slowly been dwindling away over the past year or so, this past weekend saw the closure of the last two remaining Kidcot stations in Epcot’s Future World. Saturday was the final day of the program, with the Kidcot station displays in both the Land and Seas pavilions left standing and unstaffed beginning Sunday, October 4.

The Kidcot stations in the World Showcase are unaffected by this change and will continue to operate as normal.

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First Look: Thumper and Miss Bunny at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Miss Bunny and Thumper at Animal Kingdom's Camp Minnie-Mickey © Stitch Kingdom. All Rights Reserved.As of today, Thumper and Miss Bunny have begun making daily meet & greet appearances at Camp Minnie-Mickey in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, replacing Koda and Kenai.

While character changes are always occurring and usually at the drop of a dime, they’re never quite as prevelent as in October as the new fiscal year for the Walt Disney Company begins. Other notable changes coming soon are Terence the fairy appearing at Magic Kingdom’s Pixie Hollow (as well as Disneyland), expecting to replace Iridessa, and characters from the new Disney animated classic, The Princess and the Frog: Tiana, Naveen and Dr. Facilier.

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Walt Disney World Honors Buzz Lightyear with Hero’s Welcome (Photos, Video)

Buzz Lightyear parades down Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom in a ticker-tape parade (Kent Phillips, photographer)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2009) – Disney Parks and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) today celebrated Buzz Lightyear’s cosmic achievement as the longest tenured crew member in space with a ticker-tape parade down Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.  Some of Buzz’s new friends, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin and International Space Station Expedition 18 astronaut Michael Fincke, attended.

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Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings Engages Couples-to-be with Brand New Website

If you’ve visited the Disney Weddings website before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Although it still maintains an element of simplicity along with elegance, the Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings site has been re-launched and is better than ever.

The new site seamlessly integrates tons of information, planning tools and shopping for both weddings and honeymoons at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts as well as the Disney Cruise Line. There’s even a unique honeymoon registry system available. Instead of a Contact section, there’s  Connect which provides all sorts of options for keeping tabs with the DFTW team of experts, including a blog in the near future.

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NASA Launches New Education Initiatives, Contests with Disney’s Buzz Lightyear

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 — NASA and Disney Parks, which collaborated to carry toy space ranger Buzz Lightyear into orbit, are launching new efforts to encourage students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The 12-inch-tall action figure spent more than 15 months aboard the International Space Station and returned to Earth on Sept. 11. On Friday, Oct. 2, a ticker-tape parade at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fla., will officially welcome Lightyear home.

“Buzz’s historic spaceflight is a great example of spreading the excitement of space exploration with students around the world,” said Joyce Winterton, NASA’s assistant administrator for Education at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We hope our space station crews and Buzz will continue to spark student interest in the space station and its scientific potential.”

NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, the station commander from October 2008 to April 2009, is spending the day at the Magic Kingdom to tell students about two new educational design challenges and a new online game.

(more…)

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Time-Lapse Video of Installing Autumn and Halloween Decor at the Magic Kingdom

Check out this neat time-lapse video as a crew of 40 install autumn and Halloween decorations throughout the Magic Kingdom over several nights, just in time for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween parties to begin!

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Disney Legend Tim Allen Among First to Welcome Buzz Lightyear Back to Earth

(L-R) Buzz Lightyear, Tim Allen. Photo by Eric Charbonneau ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. Comedy superstar Tim Allen, who provides the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2” and the upcoming “Toy Story 3,” offered an official thumbs up to the space ranger this week for spending more than 15 months in space onboard the International Space Station as part of a NASA-Disney educational outreach collaboration. Buzz returned home aboard Space Shuttle Discovery STS-128 on September 11. He’ll be treated to a ticker-tape parade down Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Oct. 2, which coincides with the big-screen return of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2”—this time in a Disney Digital 3D double-feature. The Toy Story celebration culminates in a brand new adventure starring Buzz and Woody: “Toy Story 3”— in theaters June 18, 2010. Photo by Eric Charbonneau ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

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Disney Parks and the Muppets Announce ‘Give a Day, Get a Day’ Tour and Vacation Contest

Along with the new ‘Give a Day, Get a Day’ program announced earlier today by Disney Parks, there will also be a national tour launched to promote the program and volunteerism.

Beginning September 29, visitors to the official website can learn more about the campaign as well as enter to win a vacation package to either the Walt Disney World or Disneyland resorts.

Five winners will be selected at random on or about April 2, 2010 and will each receive a 5 day/4 night vacation package for four to either the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort which includes round-trip air fare, hotel accommodations, park tickets and a Disney Gift Card.

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