Effective February 1, 2013, George A. Kalogridis will become the president of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, it was announced today. Kalogridis, a 41-year veteran of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was named president of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. George will oversee a workforce of more than 66,000 Cast Members at the world’s premier vacation destination.
While Walt Disney World’s billion-dollar NextGen project has been no secret for quite some time, along with many of its aspects such as extensive use of RFID, the company itself has remained famously mum about the extent of the project, something we have been discussing for well over a year.
WE HAVE THE ANNOUNCEMENT. FOR FULL DETAILS ABOUT THE DISNEY TIME SWEEPSTAKES, PLEASE VISIT
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It’s time to let the memories end — or at least subside for a while. While Disney Parks has made no secret that 2013 will be the year of ‘Limited Time Magic,’ a series of celebrations throughout the year, such as those announced this morning, they’re mostly being mum about just plain ol’ ‘Disney Time’ — mostly.
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.
A similar announcement was made last year regarding the ‘One More Disney Day’ campaign in which the Disney Parks on both coasts honored the leap year by remaining open all night long for the parks fans that managed to brave it. That announcement, however, was a poorly guarded secret and the campaign had been known about in some form or another for months prior to the actual announcement (we reported on it as early as August of 2012).
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.