Via its official Facebook page, Disney PhotoPass has announced the debut of Attractions+, a service that complements its recently introduced PhotoPass+ service. With the new Attractions+ card, available at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, guests can receive unlimited downloads of attraction photos for a two week period for just $44.95.
Guests have up to 24 hours after riding a photo-enabled attraction to attach it to their Attractions+ card, at which point it can be used online at the DisneyPhotoPass.com website as if it were any other PhotoPass card.
Participating attractions — where Attractions+ can also be purchased — at this time include:
Walt Disney World: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Test Track
Disneyland Resort: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, California Screamin, Radiator Springs Racers, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Walt Disney World Resort guests will experience the thrill of designing their very own virtual vehicle – then putting their design through its paces – when the re-imagined, multi-sensory Test Track Presented by Chevrolet grand re-opens Dec. 6, 2012.
The iconic Epcot attraction, a new collaboration between Chevrolet Design and the creative team of Walt Disney Imagineering, celebrates how meticulous design not only shapes the look of Chevrolet cars and trucks, but drives their performance on the open road.
For inspiration for the project, Walt Disney Imagineers made numerous visits to Detroit, collaborating with Chevrolet designers and touring the inner sanctums of Chevrolet’s design studios.
“As storytellers, to be able tell Chevrolet’s design story was fun for our Imagineers,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president of WDI. “Chevrolet designers come from the same creative roots as Imagineers. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will become, for Epcot guests, an exciting part of their visit to Walt Disney World Resort.”
Amid upbeat music, eye-popping lighting effects and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers – and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.
“Through an enduring partnership, Chevrolet and Disney continue to inspire generations to imagine the impossible and innovate,” said Chris Perry, vice president, U.S. Marketing, General Motors. “The re-imagined Test Track reflects the personality and values of Chevrolet design and offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at a discipline that drives our business. This first-of-its-kind automotive design attraction represents the best of Chevrolet design and Disney innovation.”
Test Track guests enter an all-new, interactive pre-show area – completely retooled and re-imagined from the garage-like testing area of the former GM Test Track. The sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center” invites guests to create their own virtual custom-concept vehicle. Car design wannabes will get to shape their own virtual car, truck or crossover vehicle and learn how their design choices perform against four important attributes:
At design kiosks, rows of touch screens become canvasses for guests to try their hand at design magic. Here, they can virtual-draw – maneuver their vehicle design by shape, length, width and engine size. Once they create the design of their dreams, guests complete their creation with even more choices. They can make a design statement with an expressive front grill, order up wheels by size and style, add paint and other graphics and trick out their vehicle – top to sides, front to back – with the latest accessories. Then comes the crowning touch of their design – adding Chevrolet’s world-famous bowtie logo.
Their virtual Chevrolet vehicle complete, the adventure then shifts into high gear as guests – armed with a card encoded with their personal design that travels with them – board their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle. Ahead: a thrilling journey into a dazzling multi-sensory digital experience as guests put their personal design through a series of performance tests – the exhilarating heart of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet.
Along their route, riders experience changing terrain and extreme conditions as their designs are scored for Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power. How does their design stand up on the challenging hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit? How well does it navigate through bumpy roads, icy conditions, turn-on-a-dime curves and other surprises? Their design skills are put to the test – at speeds of up to 65 mph.
The fun and excitement continues in the post-show area.
Scoring their design. Guests get to compare their car’s results to that of a baseline SimCar – and also see how they performed against their fellow “designers.”
At a digital driving table laying out a road course, guests can race their virtual custom-concept vehicles against other guests’ designs, over changing terrain and encountering extreme conditions.
Brand-new car designers can create their own commercial – starring their virtual car.
In another experience, guests get to pose with actual Chevrolet vehicles. Through green screen technology — with a few taps on their touch screen – guests can suddenly find themselves posing with their Chevrolet on the lunar surface, arcing across the galaxies, navigating the bright-white of a polar landscape or other thrilling scenes. The images become easily sharable on social media, sending virtual postcard greetings to family, friends or co-workers back home.
New and concept Chevrolet vehicles are laid out showroom-style. Guests can get behind the wheel of Chevrolet’s latest models. Chevrolet product specialists are on hand to answer any questions.
‘May the 7th be with you,’ is probably something you won’t be hearing a lot of next year, but just a few days after The Walt Disney Company announced its intentions to acquire Lucasfilm to produce new Star Wars films, the Tokyo Disney Resort has announced it will hold its grand opening for ‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’ on May 7, 2013 — just a few days after ‘Star Wars Day’ on May the 4th.
At a price tag just north of US $87 million, the updated attraction brings the same 3D randomized experience to Tokyo Disneyland as it has already done for both Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’ is just one more reason the Tokyo Disney Resort will just get happier as it begins celebrating ‘The Happiness Year’ in April 2013, commemorating its 30th anniversary. The attraction will offer FASTPASS and will have a height restriction of 41″ (105 cm) and an age minimum of 3.
The summer 2012 edition of the Mickey Monitor, Walt Disney World’s newsletter for Annual Passholders has announced that ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow’ will be opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in summer of this year. It will be placed in Sound Stage 4 which has historically been known for sharing behind-the-scenes props and footage from films such as Haunted Mansion and films from The Chronicles of Narnia series, but ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow,’ while based on The Pirates of the Caribbean films, is not reported to continue that genre.
In fact, the newsletter describes the attraction as ‘a first-of-its kind sensory experience’ and quotes Walt Disney Imagineering Project Manager and Show Designer Jason Roberts as saying, ‘this is going to be an immersive experience. We’ll really delve into the story of Captain Jack Sparrow and put our Guests in the middle of it all in new and exciting ways.’
UPDATE #1: 5/2/12 – The Disney Parks official blog has confirmed the new attraction but has stated it will open in fall, not summer as previously reported.
Oriental Land Company, owner and operator of Tokyo Disneyland, has announced that it will be following in the footsteps of the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts and will be updating its ‘Star Tours’ attraction in Tomorrowland. With an estimated cost of 7 billion yen (approximately $91 million US), ‘Star Tours: The Adventure Continues’ is expected to open in spring 2013.
From the initial announcement, it does not appear that the attraction will differ from that of the recent makeover at the Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Just yesterday, the attraction redo was recognized by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and will receive a Thea Award for its refresh.
‘Star Tours’ opened at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort in July of 1989. It will close April 2, 2012 to receive the upgrade.
Tokyo Disneyland to Open ‘Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall’ in April 2011; Encourages Use of Flash Photography
Tokyo Disneyland® Park announced its new attraction titled Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall is scheduled to open on April 15, 2011. This will be a walkthrough-type attraction located inside Cinderella Castle in which guests can wander through gorgeous rooms that bring the world of Disney’s classic animated film Cinderella to life and view paintings, diorama, and other artworks that follow the story of the beloved princess. Cinderella, wanting to share her magical princess story, decided to open up the castle even during her absence and exhibit various artworks that show scenes from her story.
In the lobby and corridor, guests will find eight murals showing how Cinderella changed from beloved daughter, to servant girl and then to Princess. They will also find a diorama of Cinderella being magically transformed into wearing a beautiful ball gown and other works of art made from various materials such as paper, wood and glass. In the Grand Hall, guests will also find a magnificent chandelier, the renowned glass slipper, a throne and special paintings that reveal a magical message when photographed using a flash.
Toy Story Playland opened earlier this week at Disneyland Paris and the Resort has just published the following package video covering the grand opening. In addition to the ribbon cutting ceremony, the video includes time-lapse photography of the area’s construction (as well as the construction of Buzz, pictured left) and on-board videos of attractions such as RC Racer and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop.
KTLA is reporting that a male guest fell from the Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort last night. According to the article, the incident was reported at approximately 10:30 PM PT and the man was immediately transported to the UCI Medical Center but little else is known at this time including his condition or how (and from where) he fell.
UPDATE: According to KABC-TV, the victim is a 19 year old male who was intoxicated at the time he fell approximately 20-25 feet from a railing in the queue he had climbed over. Allegedly, the victim preceded the non-simulated drop with the line ‘wouldn’t it be funny if I fell?’ Answer: apparently not.
According to the report, he suffered some abrasions but is otherwise okay and has already been released from the hospital.
UPDATE #2: Disneyland has provided us with the following official statement:
“Last night a 20-year-old male guest fell in the queue line at the Tower of Terror attraction at Disney California Adventure. The guest was standing in line with friends on a second-floor platform when he climbed over a barrier to the area below and lost his balance and fell approximately 25 feet. The guest was transported by ambulance to the hospital.”
Following in the footsteps of the ‘Final Flight’ event at Disneyland, in which D23 members were invited to enter the park after hours to ride Star Tours for the final time before it closes for its refurb and transition into Star Tours 2: The Adventure Begins, D23 has announced a ‘Final Flight’ for Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World on September 7. The attraction is currently scheduled to re-open on May 17, 2011.
Guests will check in at the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning at 8:30 pm and will receive their commemorative boarding pass for their trip. According to the event’s page, the event will consist of just visiting the attraction.
D23 members may reserve tickets for themselves and one guest. Tickets for the event are required (but theme park admission is not) and are free, but there will be a $5 ticket processing charge. Tickets will become available online on a limited first come, first serve basis beginning August 26 at 1 pm ET. For more information on the event and to reserve tickets when available, click here.
On its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts shared the following video today which was also shared at the Disney Parks panel at the Star Wars Celebration V convention currently taking place in Orlando.
Although Bespin, Endor and Alderaan are mentioned in the promotional film for the Star Tours Travel Company that guests will see while in the queue for the upgraded classic attraction, the official blog makes the disclaimer that the destinations may or may not be featured in Star Tours II. It has long been expected since the initial announcement at the Disney D23 Expo in 2009 that Star Tours II will feature multiple destinations and will be in 3D. Rumors speculate that the destination will be voted on by the attraction’s riders per voyage.
Star Tours will be closing at Disney’s Hollywood Studions on September 8 and a re-opening date for the attraction is currently planned for May 17, 2011 while at Disneyland, which has already closed its clone, is scheduled to re-open on May 10, 2011 (with perhaps some speculation of a planned soft-opening for ‘May the 4th’).