At a special ‘what’s next’ presentation held for media earlier this evening, the Walt Disney World detailed the ‘Magic, Memories and You’ show which is a fanciful slideshow of photos of guests who have used the Disney PhotoPass service that day. An intelligent computer software program selects 500 photos taken throughout the day by PhotoPass photographers and fits them into the 10 minute program that’s projected onto the facades of Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and “it’s a small world” at Disneyland. At the Magic Kingdom, a combination of sixteen projectors positioned in four different locations help create the show. Although concept photos were shown to the press earlier tonight, here is your first look of real photos from earlier tests.
Although we initially reported a start date of January 21 at the Disneyland Resort, the announced date at the press event was January 27, so we may have simply misread our source’s handwriting (or the date simply changed). At Walt Disney World, the show begins on Wednesday, January 19.
Also discussed at the press event were newly released details on the Fantasyland expansion (all of which we already provided here) and the official announcement that Star Wars Weekends will begin on May 20 (as we already suspected) and Star Tours II will open on May 20. We first reported back in June of 2010 that Star Tours II would re-open on May 17 at Magic Kingdom and May 10 at Disneyland. We still believe these dates to be correct and that May 20 was mentioned only to associate it with the Star Wars Weekends, much like Captain EO at Epcot was touted to return on July 4 when the actual date was July 2. We especially don’t believe the attraction would open fresh on the first day of SWW without being tested by real world guests first. In fact, we even announced May 20 as the re-opening date first in March of 2010 and even noted then that it would be cutting it very close to SWW.
We anticipate a soft opening for Disneyland for May 4, 2011 (a.k.a. ‘May the 4th’).
Photos by Todd Anderson, courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort
Update #1: Walt Disney World has provided us with the following footage from the ‘Magic, Memories and You’ show. Unfortunately the audio does get a little messed up briefly, but it’s a good demonstration of the effects projected onto the castle:
As we previously mentioned, Disney Parks will be holding a press event in New York City this afternoon to make some upcoming announcements regarding Disney Parks and Resorts. The event, which is scheduled to begin at 12 pm, will be streamed live on the internet beginning at approximately 12:45 pm. Tom Staggs, chair of Disney Parks and Resorts, will lead the presentation which is expected to include — amongst other things — news on the upcoming fiscal year which begins October 1. This will most certainly include mentions of the ‘Fantasy Forest’ expansion in Fantasyland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and the CARSLand expansion and overall re-do at Disney California Adventure. 2011 will also see the maiden voyage of the first of two new Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream. Lastly, and certainly not least, October 1, 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom, so we can expect some news on that as well.
But most likely the most highly anticipated announcement today will be the theme (or celebration) for the Disney Parks in 2011. As we initially reported back in July, Disney Parks and Resorts had applied for a trademark for ‘theme park and amusement park services’ titled ‘Let the Memories Begin.’ Since then, we have received numerous tips that confirm that there will be a new campaign and it will focus on memories. In fact, the press event today is titled ‘Make Some Memories.’
In anticipation of the announcement, it appears Disney Parks has also revived a domain name that the company has held since 2003, disneymemories.com which currently gets redirected to a cryptic http://memories.disneyparks.disney.go.com which right now only prompts for a password and appears to loosely hide that fact by making one scroll down for it.
Update #1: The disneymemories.com website is now live and the title confirms all Stitch Kingdom reports.