Viewers of the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, which recently aired on ABC, may have caught notice that co-host Maria Menounos mentioned she would be making a special Disney Parks announcement during ABC’s broadcast of ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest’ this upcoming Monday evening.
We are just under a week from the New Year and — with it — the 124th annual Rose Parade held on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California. This year’s theme is taken from the Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and Disneyland Resort hopes to transport the parade’s millions of viewers to Cars Land, it’s newest addition at the Disney California Adventure theme park.
Via its official Facebook page, Disney PhotoPass has announced the debut of Attractions+, a service that complements its recently introduced PhotoPass+ service. With the new Attractions+ card, available at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, guests can receive unlimited downloads of attraction photos for a two week period for just $44.95.
Guests have up to 24 hours after riding a photo-enabled attraction to attach it to their Attractions+ card, at which point it can be used online at the DisneyPhotoPass.com website as if it were any other PhotoPass card.
Participating attractions — where Attractions+ can also be purchased — at this time include:
Pictured here left-to-right are “Once Upon a Time” star Ginnifer Goodwin, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs, singer Jordin Sparks and Mickey Mouse pose December 6, 2012 at the grand opening of New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
New Fantasyland is a new area in the Magic Kingdom and is the largest expansion in the 41-year history of the theme park.
Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort
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.