Raytheon Announces MathMovesU Sweepstakes for Student to Attend ‘Sum of All Thrills’ Opening and More

WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 3, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) is providing one lucky middle school student with the opportunity to attend the opening of a new interactive, math-based experience called “Sum of all Thrills.”

Set to open in October 2009, the “Sum of all Thrills” exhibit is located at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. It will engage children through a fun and educational experience and will help instill in them a lifelong passion for math, science, and technology.

The sweepstakes, which will run through Sept. 15, 2009 on MathMovesU.com, is open to children ages 10 to 16. One grand prize is available consisting of a 4-day, 3-night trip for four to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for the “Sum of all Thrills” ribbon cutting ceremony.

The grand prize will include:

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WDW Refurb Update: Tomorrowland Transit Authority Re-Opening Pushed Back Again

Although we haven’t gotten confirmation directly from Disney as of yet, a reputable source has indicated that the re-opening date of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in the Magic Kingdom has been pushed back yet again, for a third time. The current expected re-opening date is September 12.

ReSearch! will be updated with the new date, but it will be marked as an unofficial source pending official confirmation.

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Tomorrowland Transit Authority Lighting Test (Video)

With a current expected re-opening date of September 1st, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom closed for refurbishment earlier this year along with Space Mountain (currently scheduled to re-open on November 22). Along with some fine-tuning of the attraction’s auto system, the external lighting has gone the way of LED with some interesting color-changing effects.

Stitch Kingdom reader and contributor @prd3000 managed to catch some of the recent lighting tests of the TTA on HD video and has made the video available online. You can view a lower quality version here:
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WDW Refurb Update: Donald’s Boat Pushed Back Until September 8

Minor update: Donald’s Boat in Toontown, which was initially set to be closed for refurbishment between September 7 and 13 is now scheduled to be closed from September 8 – 13.

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The Game of (After) Life: Haunted Mansion Edition Launches at Once Upon a Toy August 21

The Game of Life: Haunted Mansion EditionIt is the classic game of LIFE with a chilling spin. Welcome to the After-LIFE incorporates the stories, mythology, history and the scary fun of the Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris  Haunted Mansion attraction (known as Phantom Manor in Paris) to create an otherworldly game play experience.

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WDW Refurb Update: Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show Closed Sept 11-12

There will be no performances of Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on September 11 and 12

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WDW Refurb Update: Tomorrowland Transit Authority Refurb Extended

We  have just received word that the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in the Magic Kingdom, initially scheduled to re-open on August 25th has now been re-scheduled to open on September 1.

ReSearch! will be updated at my earliest convenience.

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How I Went Backstage at the American Idol Experience (and How You Can Too!)

The American Idol ExperienceSince its debut in February, the American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been wowing guests with its faithful re-creation of one of television’s most popular shows. On-stage, audience members get to sit in on several shows a day where other park guests perform live on the set patterned after the American Idol season seven finale stage. The show’s daily finale always fills to capacity as hundreds who couldn’t get in grab a nearby seat outside and watch the performances on the giant Diamond Vision screen.

For guests who opt to perform, the grueling audition process begins ‘backstage,’ in Studio 2B (essentially the on-stage and ‘backstage’ portions are treated as separate attractions, 2A and 2B on the park’s map respectively). At stake is a ‘golden ticket’ which grants the holder the ability to ‘FASTPASS’ their way through real-live auditions for the actual show (for those ineligible to use the ticket, it can be transferred once).

So one way to go ‘backstage’ at the American Idol Experience is to audition — and to make it all the way through. And as you’re about to find out, it’s easier said than done. Fortunately, there’s another way to see everything the performer gets to see and more and it’s called The Ultimate Backstage Experience.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Testing New Centralized FASTPASS Distribution

It’s being reported that from opening until 3 pm for the rest of the week, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is attempting a new FASTPASS distribution system where guests can obtain a FASTPASS for any attraction from one location in particular, the machines at It’s Tough to Be A Bug.

Guests who are unaware of the testing will not be affected as other FASTPASS machines will be operating at this time as normal.

source / source

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Inside the New Hall of Presidents (Photo Gallery)

Unfortunately, because the attraction is not yet officially open, I cannot offer any photos inside the actual theater, but I can share images of some of the artifacts you can find inside the pre-show area, including the first ladies’ exhibit featuring dresses and other items from Elizabeth Monroe, Edith Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan.

Please enjoy.

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