After formally shutting down its Insidears website earlier this year, Walt Disney World has been quietly testing a new open community/ratings website, we have learned. The website, which can be found quiet easily at http://disneyworld.com/reviews (or http://reviews.disneyworld.disney.go.com) uses the Bazaarvoice platform to allow anyone with a Disney.com account to connect and share their own personal reviews of Walt Disney World attractions, dining and lodging as well as ask and respond to questions in the community.
In its current incarnation, when you first enter a review, question or response, you will be prompted to choose a community screenname as well as fill out a brief form which helps provide additional information to other readers: family size, number of children, last vacation date and length, etc. You can also choose to identify yourself as a Disney Vacation Club member, an Annual Passholder and even a Disney Cast Member (an additional badge is provided for members of the Disney Parks Moms Panel). With exception to the screenname, this information can be modified with each post to help keep things current. The platform even allows the ability for contributors to upload associated photos with each of the reviews, as demonstrated in the screen shot here. At this time, reviews and responses are moderated, with a warning that it may take up to 48 hours for them to appear online.
Currently the Walt Disney World web site makes use of the independent TripAdvisor review system to provide reviews for items such as dining, but that may very well be replaced by this or another platform when the website is ready for launch.
Via anonymous source
As part of the Golden Oak community, Marceline residents will enjoy a lifestyle surrounded by the Walt Disney World Resort. This quiet, luxurious enclave is located in close proximity to Disney theme parks and recreation. Taking advantage of its natural setting, more than half of the Marceline homesites will offer water views and others will border on a nature preserve. Each homesite is approximately one-quarter acre in size and is within easy walking distance of Summerhouse, the private clubhouse for Golden Oak residents and their guests.
Marceline will showcase the same quality custom home building found throughout Golden Oak today, with residences drawing design and architectural inspiration from European and Caribbean influences. Buyers can select from three prestigious homebuilders to create custom homes ranging in size from approximately 3,800 to 4,500 square feet.
Golden Oak homes start at $1.6 million. Prices, inclusive of homesite, in the Marceline neighborhood will start at $1.7 million.
“We’ve been delighted by the positive response over the past 24 months,” said Page Pierce, vice president of Disney Resort Real Estate Development. “Our first four Golden Oak neighborhoods are nearly sold out, so Marceline quite literally builds on that success.”
Marceline is named after the Missouri town where Walt Disney grew up in the early part of the 20(th) century. Memories from those formative years profoundly influenced creative directions he took throughout his life.
Walt’s animation legacy has roots in Marceline, where he first picked up a pencil and sketchpad to try his hand at drawing. The new Golden Oak neighborhood pays homage to that history with a planned sculpture park that will feature enchanting life-size sculptures of characters from Walt’s animated masterpiece Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The sculptures are part of the exclusive Golden Oak “Disney Friends in Nature” sculpture series. Sophisticated interpretations of classic Disney animation will be found in parks and other common areas throughout the community.
“The sculpture series is just one example of subtle Disney touches artfully woven into the luxurious character of Golden Oak,” Pierce said. “Our Disney Imagineers poured their talents into creating a community that’s thoughtful in design, rich with details and home to a lifestyle like no other.”
Marceline is just one of many new additions to Golden Oak. The recently opened Summerhouse, the private residential club facility, is the centerpiece of community activities and events. Reminiscent of a large Tuscan farmhouse, it offers delightful spaces for indoor and outdoor gatherings, a pool, fitness facilities with locker rooms, and a family game room. The Summerhouse restaurant and private lounge will debut later this year, offering dining in a casual, yet sophisticated environment.
Summerhouse is also home to Golden Oak Resident Services, the team that brings Disney’s guest-service culture directly to residents. Resident Services can arrange personal, residential and resort requests. Services include assistance with travel and private transportation arrangements, tickets for Disney theme parks and special events, private VIP tours, golf tee-times, dinner reservations, and planning parties. It’s like having a Fairy Godmother to handle every detail.
Golden Oak residents can also take advantage of “Disney Connection” amenities. These special services include door-to-park transportation to select locations at Walt Disney World Resort, Extra Magic Hours (at one Walt Disney World Resort theme park each day to enjoy select attractions), merchandise delivery from most Walt Disney World retail locations and discounts at all Walt Disney World golf courses.
For more information about Golden Oak, visit www.disneygoldenoak.com or call (407) 939-5593.
Disney guests can sip and savor fresh flavors from six continents during the 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 27-Nov. 11, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney chefs will debut the authentic tastes of Scotland at the celebrated 46-day festival known for innovative food, wine, beer, cocktails, music and entertainment. The sizzling aromas of more than 25 ethnic and specialized marketplaces including Africa, Brazil and Florida Local will tempt guests strolling the World Showcase Promenade. Celebrity chefs like Warren Brown and Jamie Deen will bring culinary cachet to special festival events and demonstrations.
Festival planners will present a delectable menu of premium programming, plus daily wine tastings and mixology seminars. Nightly Eat to the Beat concerts will keep the party rockin’, and five bands will make their festival debut this year. In Future World, the iconic Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog will return for a third year to introduce families to the cranberry’s rich agricultural heritage.
- New marketplace debuts; favorites return -Traditional flavors with a twist will pair with beers, meads and Scotch at the new Scotland Marketplace designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Scottish officials were so impressed with the hit Disney film, “Brave,” that they contacted festival planners about participating in this year’s festival. The Brazil Marketplace returns by popular demand with an exciting new menu following a one-year hiatus. Hawai’i is back with its flavorful Kalua Pork Slider, and Terra, which debuted last year, returns with vegan favorite Trick’n Chicken Curry.
- Fan favorites rock the house at Eat to the Beat! Concerts – “We Got the Beat” with the Go-Go’s (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) and four other musical acts are set to make first appearances at Eat to the Beat nightly concerts. Also new to the festival stage: Edwin McCain (Oct. 10-11), The Manhattan Transfer (Oct. 12-13), Spin Doctors (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), and Christopher Cross (Nov. 2-3) Nineteen bands are slated, with STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas kicking off the concert series Sept. 27-29. Returning fan favorites include The Pointer Sisters, Smash Mouth, Boyz II Men, Sister Hazel, Air Supply, Hanson and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
- Celebrity chefs cook and dish – Renowned chefs like Warren Brown, Paula DaSilva, Gale Gand, Jamie Deen, Robert Irvine, Dean Max, Rock Harper, Jeff Henderson, Art Smith, Buddy Valastro, Allen Susser, “Cake Boy” Eric Lanlard, Duskie Estes and John Stewart, Donald Link, Bryan Voltaggio and Emily Ellyn share their talents during culinary demos and premium events.
- Festival Welcome Center buzzes with activities – Guests can make the most of complimentary Authentic Taste seminars. Culinary demonstrations and wine seminars feature new tastes and sips for a nominal fee.
- Reserved culinary events draw foodies — Special culinary programs showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers like Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson as they participate in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.
Other festival highlights include:
- More than 270 chefs including Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country
- A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited for the perfect scrapbook souvenir.
- Party for the Senses grand tasting events Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, and Nov. 2 featuring tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.
- Premium events including “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery on select Fridays, Cheese Seminars on Saturdays and Sweet Sundays on Sundays.
Hundreds of fans gathered early this morning at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World to celebrate the induction of Princess Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave into the Disney Princess Royal Court. An honor bestowed to just ten before her, Merida arrived at Cinderella Castle in style atop her faithful steed Angus before receiving the crown from none other than her own mother, Queen Elinor, who made an exceptionally rare appearance. The pair were joined by the other members of the Disney Princess Royal Court along with emcee U.S. Gymnastics 2-time Olympic champion, Gabby Douglas, who was joined on stage by her own mother, Natalie Hawkins.
Other VIPs spotted included ‘Jessie’ star Debby Ryan, who was filming a segment for Disney Channel’s Disney365 news segments. Child entertainers/reporters Sophia Grace and Rosie, of the Ellen Degeneres show, were also at the event, warming up the crowd with a special rap performance created especially for the event.
Below you will find some of our photos from the event as well as some video (with more coming). Be sure to click on any of the thumbnails to see a larger version.
Here’s a quick video we uploaded on site of the royal procession featuring Merida and Angus. Sorry that it was flipped.
After officially inducting Tiana into the royal Disney Princess family in New York City in 2010 and Rapunzel at London’s Kensington Palace in 2011, Disney Consumer Products is preparing to shine the spotlight on its first official Pixar princess, Merida, from Disney/Pixar’s Brave. This time around, the ceremony will be held at 9:30 am on May 11, 2013 at Cinderella Castle located in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. The occasion will mark the first time that the ceremony itself is open to anyone visiting the theme park that day.
At the event, Merida will become the 11th princess to receive the Disney Princess title and join the popular franchise, standing alongside Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel, all of whom are anticipated to be in attendance.
There is no word yet on who else may be in attendance of the event, but Disney star Debby Ryan has announced via her Facebook page that she plans on witnessing the ceremony of Disney’s ‘new ginger princess.’
In addition to some of the upcoming additions to the Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic that we reported earlier today, we have some details on Walt Disney World’s ‘Monstrous Summer’ that are expected to be confirmed/announced later this week during a press event.
To confirm reports from other sources, on May 24, 2013, the Magic Kingdom will play host to a 24 hour party, which will feature appearances by Mike Wazowski and James P. ‘Sulley’ Sullivan as their Monsters University meet and greet persona, as pictured here.
The Magic Kingdom will also be ‘updating’ its Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor attraction so that jokes and the material presented will honor the performers’ alma mater.
Also being updated is the duo’s permanent meet and greet location at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which will be transformed from the current Monsters Inc. work environment to the MU student union.
And perhaps quite unsurprisingly, a monorail wrap which is Disney is already promoting as the ‘Monsterail’ will make its resort debut in support of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, in theaters June 21, 2013.
UPDATE #1: 04/24/13 – The official Disney Parks blog has confirmed the ‘monsterail’ monorail wrap and has provided the concept art in which the students of Monsters University appear to be riding the monorail:
Yesterday, the official Disney Parks blog offered some new details on the Disneyland location of Starbucks, as the Market House is slated to close next month to begin the conversion for the parks’ Starbucks location, opening this fall — an exact closure date has not yet been announced. This will finalize plans for the Disneyland Resort where the first location has already been thriving at Disney California Adventure at the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café.
On the east coast, we’ve been keeping tabs on the development as plans for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot have already been announced and — in the case of the former — are well underway.
The most recent date we have for a scheduled opening for Starbucks at the Magic Kingdom is June 19, 2013.
Today we also received additional information for the Epcot location which will be at the current Fountainview Ice Cream Shop. While preliminary reports had the location closing this month for the conversion with a re-opening for summer, we have learned that the current plans have the location closing on April 8, 2013 with a re-opening slated for fall. A new ice cream shop in France, where the bakery previously was, will open in June.
Locations for Disney’s Hollywood studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have yet to be confirmed.
Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.
Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.
“Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they’ll instantly feel at home,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.”
Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. In addition, Staggs noted, Central Florida stands to benefit from the expansion with more jobs, tax revenues and business opportunities.
Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. In addition to a new gateway with a signature water tower and grand entry, the destination will feature:
The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
A West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.
Collectively, these efforts will not only have an impact within Walt Disney World, but will also have an economic ripple effect on Central Florida. The project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles.
Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.
Walt Disney World’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group has created a brand new viral website at FreeTheDisneyGoat.com which is designed to make Florida residents aware of new attractions and changes at the Walt Disney World Resort along with the special 3-Day Discover Disney ticket offer.
The site uses Billy the goat from the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction as its
spokesman spokesgoat. Billy is aware of all the new and exciting things going on around the resort as well as some favorite classics, but he’s stuck atop Big Thunder and he’s counting the seconds he can break free and explore what the rest of Magic Kingdom and the Resort have to offer — he’s even taking suggestions.
In order to set Billy free, however, he needs not just the suggestions but word of mouth. Every tweet, Facebook mention or Pinterest post brings him one step closer to checking out the new Rapunzel restrooms in Fantasyland. He’s even joined Twitter under the @DisneyGoat account and has shown a preference for the hashtag #FreeTheGoat
Other website domains registered (but all go to the same place) include UnboltTheGoat.com, UnboltDisneyGoat.com, DisneyGoat.com, FreeTheGoat.com and FreeDisneyGoat.com.