We first reported that Walt Disney World was seeking circus acts for its Storybook Circus portion of the New Fantasyland Expansion a few months ago. At the time, it was noted that solo clown acts were not being sought out, which many misconstrued as meaning clowns were not going to be an element in the Magic Kingdom’s expansion, which officially opens this Thursday, December 6.
A blooming bounty of festival firsts will welcome Disney guests to the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort. First, the news:
- Epcot chefs will cook up first-time festival food and beverage fun, with special cooking stations offering exclusive-to-the-festival bites along the park’s World Showcase promenade.
- A new circus-like “Land of Oz Play Area,” based on the Disney fantastical film adventure Oz: The Great and Powerful to be released in March 2013, will debut a kaleidoscope of interactive fun.
Disney Research Pittsburgh has just released the video below which demonstrates one of its latest projects: an audio animatronic robot that can interact with people by playing catch with them. The system uses an off-the-shelf Microsoft Kinect (according to the video’s narration) along with an external camera system (ASUS Xtion PRO LIVE) to locate balls and a Kalman ?lter to predict ball destination and timing. So not only is the robot able to track a human’s position and size by the location of their head, but it can attempt to move its hand to catch the ball. If the robot misses the catch, it’s fully aware and even responds with one of several different humorous animations to elicit a response from the person interacting with it.
The brand-new ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow’ Pirates of the Caribbean experience began operating in soft opening mode this morning, allowing the first guests to visit the high-tech show and enter the world of the popular film franchise. The attraction, which will officially open on December 6, 2012, is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in Soundstage 4 (between Toy Story Mania! and the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream exhibit.
Like its predecessor, the Chronicles of Narnia experiences, the show begins in a pre-show area, in which a talking skull a la the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, introduces the show and questions the integrity of those waiting to go inside and join Jack Sparrow’s crew.
A new post on the official Disney Parks blog teases what appears to be the Flying Dragon puppet/vehicle that was spotted during testing earlier this year at Minter Field Airport in Shafter, California. Using blurry video footage, the video appears to spotlight the vehicle and in fact the post does tease that it involves a dragon of some sort, noting some of which even breathe fire, which the Disney flying vehicle reportedly does.
The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) today announced the recipients of its annual Thea Awards during the IAAPA Attractions Expo. The prestigious Thea Awards recognize and celebrate excellence in the creation of compelling experiences and places. TEA serves the global attractions industry, including theme parks, museums, world expos, heritage centers and resorts.
Among the named recipients is a triple-threat from the newly revamped Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. In addition to the Cars Land themed area itself, Radiator Springs Racers and the Carthay Circle Restaurant located on Buena Vista Street are recipients of TEA’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement.
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.
‘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.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one: When is a character not a character? When they’re an ‘experience delivery system.’ Get it? Okay, maybe it’s not that funny, or clever, but according to a patent application for a system known as ‘Managing Experience State to Personalize Destination Visits,’ it’s the future truth — and it’s a key element to the MyMagic+/My Disney Experience coming to the Walt Disney World Resort as part of its NextGen experience.
This summer, the eagerly anticipated additions of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land opened to excited Guests as part of a major expansion at Disney California Adventure Park. Now, those popular areas will undergo a spectacular holiday makeover, meaning that The Happiest Place on Earth Just Got Merrier.
Bustling and busy Buena Vista Street, which now welcomes you when you enter Disney California Adventure Park, is themed to a Los Angeles business main street from the 1930s. It re-creates the era when Walt Disney was establishing his world-famous animation studio.