A sparkling 25′ tall Cinderella Castle Ice sculpture, weighing in at an impressive 22 and a half tons, played centerpiece to the latest announcement from Disney Parks early this morning in Times Square.
Along with several other ice sculptures portraying Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, a balloon seller (accented with real Mickey Mouse balloons) and various park guests, Disney Parks is announcing its 2013 campaign, ‘Limited Time Magic.’
The big to-do, which included visits from Disney Parks dignitaries such as Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Cinderella, was all about the new ‘Limited Time Magic’ campaign which brings 52 weeks of both small and large celebrations to both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts in 2013.
Below are some exclusive photos and video from the event. All photos and video © copyright Stitch Kingdom. All rights reserved.
Sample celebrations schedule to occur in 2013 include:
- True Love: Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout Valentine’s Week with special moments and entertainment geared to lovebirds. Guests can celebrate their Valentine as Magic Kingdom and Disneyland turn up the romance, complete with their iconic castles bathed in hues of red and pink. Disney Princes join their Princesses to meet park guests in special settings, prix fixe menus turn up at select restaurants and Valentine collectibles will be offered for the week.
- Independence Week: It’s red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party — for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.
- ‘Long Lost Friends Week:‘ lesser-known Disney characters will move from the shadows to the spotlight with meet-and-greets on both coasts. Photo opportunities with characters that could include Flik, Clarabelle Cow, Remy, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will surprise and delight guests. And Disney guests will even have the chance to vote online for which characters they want to see.
- Pirate Week: Why talk like a pirate one day when you could celebrate these scalawags all week long? The adventures of Jack Sparrow come to life like never before during a bicoastal buccaneer bash in which Disneyland and Walt Disney World become pirate-palooza: pirate bands,
pirate meet-and-greets and more.
- Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands: Dapper Dans, the iconic quartet from Main Street, U.S.A., will add a special finale to their show, claiming the title of the ‘Original Boy Band’ and delivering a medley of hits from One Direction, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.
- Unleash the Villains: A Friday the 13th in 2013 is a special day, so Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios are staying open until the 13th Hour (1 am). Maleficent, Capt. Hook, Jafar and other Disney villains host a dance party, complete with limited-edition collectibles and nighttime mischief on Sept. 13.
- Golden Horseshoe Revue: The fabled Frontierland show returns to Disneyland for one month only, bringing back the corny jokes and enduring songs that were often enjoyed by Walt Disney himself.
Disney dream makers are crafting more surprises and magical offers that will be rolled out weekly during the magical year. The experience of the week will be announced in a variety of ways including in-park, Disneyworld.com, Disneyland.com, Facebook, Twitter, the Disney Parks Blog – adding to the element of surprise.
Additionally, Disney Parks has created websites for ‘Limited Time Magic’ which will are accessible at http://limitedtimemagic.com and http://magiaportiempolimitado.com (Spanish)
Photos and video from this morning’s festivities are set to come shortly.
Walt Disney World has released a list of opportunities for ringing in the new year at the resort this year from the theme parks to opportunities at Downtown Disney and Disney hotels.
At Epcot, guests can dance away 2012 to the beat of the DJs stationed at select pavilions throughout the evening and watch ‘IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth’ salute the new year at 7 p.m. and 11:42 p.m. A buffet dining experience inspired by Disney’s classic animated films Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 will take place at World ShowPlace facility, with reservations available from 4:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Priced at $68.67 for adults and $44.37 for children. Park admission is required.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios rock in the New Year with resident family of landscapers/rock and roll musicians, Mulch, Sweat, and Shears! ‘The Mulch, Sweat, and Shears New Years Eve Spectacular’ blasts off on a specially built stage in front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios signature Sorcerer Hat icon and includes contemporary rock, funk, and classic rock and roll favorites. The four concert sets will feature pyrotechnics and special effects and lead up to ringing in the New Year with Mulch, Sweat, and Shears playing live accompaniment to a full scale fireworks spectacular in order to welcome the start of 2013 properly!
At DisneyQuest, located at Downtown Disney, there is a family-friendly cyber celebration from 8 p.m. -1 a.m. Guests are entertained with a DJ Dance Party, character meet and greets, plus unlimited access to games and DisneyQuest attractions including Pirates of the Caribbean, Virtual Jungle Cruise and CyberSpace Mountain. There’s a confetti drop and festive party favors as the clock strikes midnight. Partygoers also get a coupon for a quick service entrée, side and drink. Tickets go on sale soon at 407-934-7639.
At Cirque du Soleil, located at Downtown Disney, all guests attending the Dec. 31 performances will receive a limited-edition Walt Disney World/Cirque trading pin. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. For pricing contact 407-WDW-SEAT.
Disney Cruise Line offers a New Year’s Party complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown to guests sailing on select cruises departing in late December. For booking, call 888-325-2500.
Narcoosee’s restaurant (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) will offer a four-course dining experience for $161.85 for adults and $77.19 for children, plus DJ, balloon artist and special fireworks viewing.
Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort offers a special-ticket New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with a video DJ and limited viewing of Epcot’s Fireworks.
For specific information about other holiday dining offerings at Disney resort hotels on Dec. 31, call 407-WDW-DINE.
Walt Disney Animation Studios has provided us with several new hi-res stills and concept art from its upcoming film, Wreck-It Ralph. The new images have been added to the beginning of their respective galleries below. Some of these images may have been seen elsewhere before but as we have just received them, we’ve added them to complete our libraries.
Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore take moviegoers on a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey in Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer), the ‘good guy’ star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he’s tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.
On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty. But it’s the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late?
Disney D23, the official fan club for The Walt Disney Company, has announced that it will be offering its members the opportunity to see Wreck-It Ralph from Walt Disney Animation Studios during the week of October 22 for free, ahead of the film’s official opening on November 2, 2012
Metro areas included in the opportunity include: Albany, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fresno, Ft. Worth, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Louisville, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk (VA), Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Tucson, Washington, D.C. and West Palm Beach.
Tickets are free and will be available from Disney D23 on a first come, first serve basis beginning Wednesday, October 17 at 1 pm ET/10 am PT. Members will be allowed to secure one additional ticket for a guest. Times and dates of screenings vary between cities and are not yet known. Admission to the actual screening is also first come, first serve and is not guaranteed.
Although the event page does not mention it, it’s worth noting that when Disney D23 made the same offers earlier this year for pre-release screenings, it required an account on seeitfirst.net, so you may want to ensure you have an account on it and can access it in advance just in case.
For more information and to obtain tickets when available, see the official event page.
Earlier today, the official Disney Parks blog held an internet chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty who is overseeing the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Featured in the chat was the reveal of the ‘forbidden’ West Wing inside the Beast’s castle which is represented in the New Fantasyland Fantasy Forest area as the ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant.
The chat opened up with this video featuring Imagineers Tim Warzecha, Ted Robledo and Chris Kelly as they toured the restaurant, including the West Wing section, and gave an overview into the design and thought process behind the new dining location.
Inside the West Wing, diners will find both the enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast as well as the portrait of the Beast hanging over the fireplace. Guests who are able to dine in the room will be able to witness petals magically appearing to fall from the rose — when the last petal falls, a ‘lightning storm’ occurs, causing the windows by the rose to flash colors and the painting of the Beast will transition into the Prince before the guests’ eyes. While Beatty stopped short of explaining the frequency of this magical moment, he noted that the timing was balanced so that each guest dining would be able to experience it, but it wouldn’t occur often enough as to become repetitive, or not special.
Beatty also spoke on the music box centerpiece of Belle and the Beast dancing, located in the Rose Gallery section of the restaurant. The music box serves as a gift to the couple from Belle’s father, Maurice. Inside Maurice’s workshop at Enchanted Tales with Belle, just before guests enter the magic mirror to visit Belle in the castle, they can find the maquette of the statue as well as plans, hidden amongst Maurice’s work (SPOILER: the maquette can actually be found looming in the dark in the top left corner of the wall that contains the magic mirror). Inside the restaurant, the music box will play the same music found throughout the restaurant; as guests move from the ballroom, where the music is played as full orchestration, it will turn into a music box form inside the Rose Gallery.
While it’s set to open on December 6, New Fantasyland is currently undergoing a ‘dress rehearsal’ — or soft opening — on most days. Not all of the new expansion’s features can be found today, however, as Beatty hints there is an object currently missing from beside Gaston’s portrait inside the tavern.
During the chat, the Disney Parks blog also announced it will soon be offering a special Disney Parks blog meetup on November 17, allowing guests to visit Be Our Guest along with the Imagineers. Details have yet to be announced.
The story of an arcade-game bad guy who embarks on a quest to prove he’s really a good guy, Wreck-It Ralph journeys through wildly diverse arcade-game worlds, including the ’80s-era, 8-bit video-game world of Fix-It Felix, Jr., the ultra-modern first-person shooter game Hero’s Duty and the candy-coated cart-racing game Sugar Rush. Helping to differentiate these worlds from one another are unique cinematography, animation, effects and music. ‘Music is another way to set the stage and make these worlds completely different,’ said producer Clark Spencer.
But not just any music. Filmmakers tapped diverse and unexpected artists to help tell the story. Composer Henry Jackman created the film’s score, which is complemented by original songs and music from Skrillex, AKB48, Owl City and Buckner & Garcia. Directed by Rich Moore, produced by Spencer and featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch, Wreck-It Ralph crashes into theatres on Nov. 2, 2012. The film’s soundtrack from Walt Disney Records will be available Oct. 30, 2012 and is now available for pre-order from Amazon.
‘When it came to the music of Wreck-It Ralph,’ said Moore, ‘we wanted to work with some really talented artists and I love that they aren’t necessarily the people audiences expect to hear in a Disney animated movie. But when they hear the music and how it supports the story and drives the emotion, they’ll say, “This is perfect.”‘
Moore said he took his lead from the original director of animated movies. ‘Walt Disney was a pioneer when it came to music. What sounds like classics to us now — Ukulele Ike in Pinocchio, Peggy Lee in Lady and the Tramp — were very unexpected choices.’
Classically trained composer Henry Jackman (Winnie the Pooh, X-Men: First Class) was called on to write the score for Wreck-It Ralph, helping to shape the diverse worlds with music. Jackman researched arcade games and incorporated their classic sounds into the score, bringing the arcade and its individual games to life. ‘The music transports you,’ said Moore. ‘It channels each era perfectly. [Henry Jackman] is fantastic.’
According to Jackman, the score was driven by the story, which allowed him to tap his classical roots, too. ‘When something emotional is developing, it actually opens the door to the orchestral score without it feeling imposed,’ he said.
Ralph’s quest leads him to the intense, cy-bug-infested world of Hero’s Duty, where he hopes to land a medal. Underscoring the chaos and excitement of the first-person shooter game, GRAMMY®-winning artist Skrillex wrote the game-play music, ‘Bug Hunt,’ hand-picking Netherlands’ producers/DJs/videogame soundtrack composers Noisia to remix the track for the album. “The mood of that game world is high-energy and futuristic. I make music with many different colors of the emotional spectrum–this reflects a more aggressive side of my music.”
Japan’s pop phenomenon AKB48 accompanies Ralph to the land of sweets with the aptly named theme song ‘Sugar Rush.’ ‘We’ve always thought of Sugar Rush — with its nod to anime — as a game that may have originated in Japan,’ said Spencer. ‘So we went to Japan and got the hottest J-pop group to perform the song that really sets the tone for this ’90s-era cart-racing game: young and hip.’
Owl City (‘Fireflies,’ ‘Good Time’) provides an upbeat and story-driven cap to the film with ‘When Can I See You Again?’ According to singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Adam Young, the song offers a bit of an emotional tug-of-war. ‘It’s a very bouncy, happy, uplifting song, but there’s a bittersweet part of it, leaving a key relationship in the film open-ended.’
Also contributing to the end credits are Buckner & Garcia, the team behind the 1982 Top-10 hit ‘Pac-Man Fever.’ Jerry Buckner of Buckner & Garcia co-produced the song ‘Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph’ with hit songwriter/producer Jamie Houston (Steven Tyler, Macy Gray). ‘It was great to be invited to contribute a song to the movie and soundtrack,’ said Buckner. ‘The song has an ’80s pop flavor with a contemporary twist — we’re really happy with how it turned out.’
In some of the biggest toy news this year, Basic Fun is breathing new life into the original Koosh and, for the first time ever, has united the iconic toy with some of your favorite Disney, Pixar, Muppets and Marvel Super Hero Squad friends.
As a Toy Story 3 licensee, Basic Fun is expanding its already established Games on the Go key chain editions of popular board games with a whole suite of new Toy Story 3 key chains and portable games including some new games inspired by the film. Games like Buzz Buzz are even electronic, allowing you to test your (or your surgeon’s) dexterity.
Not quite as small, but just as portable, are Disney Fairies and Mickey and Friends editions of the popular party game Twister. The innovative design boasts a full size 54″ x 72″ themed mat with the spinner integrated directly into the carrying case.
You can check out more photos of the upcoming releases in the gallery below. Note that artwork and products displayed may be conceptual and/or prototypes and may differ from the final products.
Adventures by Disney and HarperCollins Children’s Books today announced three winners from “The Search for Flat Stanley’s Next BIG Adventure” contest. Children, ages 7 to 12, had the opportunity to win an Adventures by Disney vacation by creating a specially-themed Flat Stanley and a 150-word story describing his “Next BIG Adventure.”
Following hundreds of creative entries crafted from all sorts of material, including glitter, sand, yarn, construction paper and even jeweled stickers, three winners have been chosen from the following age groups:
- 7-8 yr-old winner Lauren Shepard from Tennessee sent Flat Stanley to Australia for a great adventure “Down Under”
- 9-10 yr-old winner Adia Chaney of Maryland designed a European-style Flat Stanley; her story highlighted the Queen of England
- 11-12 yr-old winner Destiny White from Texas captured her win with an Asian-inspired Flat Stanley and an unforgettable adventure to the Great Wall of China
Bloomberg reports that Disney and Starz are in negotiations concerning future exclusivity the network has to upcoming releases from Walt Disney Studios. Currently, the Starz cable network has first rights to live action films from Disney and wishes to continue the option for as long as five years, but at dispute is the digital rights to the films which Starz would would be able to farm out to online services such as Netflix, whereas Disney is reportedly looking to prevent Starz from having such capabilities.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise, however, as Disney has been generating news lately with Iger constantly promoting Disney’s own subscription-based services, not to mention the forthcoming Keychest technology.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) announced today it will contribute $100,000 in humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The donation will be provided to the Red Cross International Fund to support Haiti’s relief efforts.
“We at the Walt Disney Company are deeply saddened by this tragedy and send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti and their loved ones, which include our Cast Members and employees,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.
“We hope this donation will help the Red Cross to provide immediate aid and relief to the thousands of people affected by this terrible tragedy,” Mr. Iger added.