Disney D23, the official fan club of fans of The Walt Disney Company, has announced that in honor of the 60th anniversary of Walt Disney Imagineering and the origins of Disney Parks and Resorts, Walt Disney Imagineering will be hosting an ‘open house’ at its pavilion at the D23 Expo, taking place August 9 – 11. The pavilion will be opening the doors of WDI’s unique facilities and offering an unprecedented look at its creative processes — all on the floor of the Anaheim Convention Center. In addition, Imagineers past and present will host an entire day of panel discussions on Sunday, August 11, celebrating their 60 magical years of ‘dreaming and doing.’
Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development will soon launch phase one of its new ‘Living Worlds’ program in which it seeks to engage ‘innovative storytellers willing to push the limits to create fully immersive worlds where guests can explore, play and discover deep narratives.’
Beginning October 22, WDI R&D will begin accepting high level proposals for potential transmedia stories supported under the program. Proposals received by December 1, 2012, will be considered for round two in which chosen proposals will be engaged to further develop their concepts and submit a more detailed and developed proposal. From this second round of proposals, Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development hopes to select one or more teams to collaborate with to create and build the proposed experiences.
Ever since its refurbishment was announced back in May, speculations have run rampant about changes being made to ‘Country Bear Jamboree,’ located in Frontierland of the Magic Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World. Initial rumors had the show being cut in length and have since grown to include cutting out peripheral characters out completely to the return of the holiday overlay and more. The only certain element regarding the rumors was that for every rumor proposed, there was at least another that contradicted it and proposed something else.
Earlier today, the official Disney Parks blog held a webchat with Walt Disney Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick, who is one of the lead Imagineers in transitioning Epcot’s Test Track to the Test Track 2.0 phase.
Essentially, the story of the attraction is switching from testing to design, according to Jeselnick. The interior queue is being completely changed to align itself with the new focus. ‘We’ll have actual items, sketches, cars, models from GM that have never been seen before by anyone outside the Chevrolet family,’ she added.
What you see here is one of Walt Disney Imagineering’s newest inventions being tested earlier this year at Minter Field Airport in Shafter, California — a flying dragon puppet that even — get this — breathes fire.
The flying fantasy object was recently spotted as reported by the Bakersfield Californian, but this picture here, amongst others, has actually been online since May. It comes via the Facebook page of Tammy Jackson-Zaninovich who reports the sighting as ‘just another day’ at the airport.
Arguably one of the most anticipated titles this year amongst Disney theme park enthusiasts, Poster Art of the Disney Parks by Danny Handke and Vanessa Hunt takes a look at more than five decades of attraction posters and concept art from Disney parks around the globe. Featuring a foreword by the Senior Vice President, Creative Development of Walt Disney Imagineering, Tony Baxter, the 144 page, oversized compendium of attraction posters was written by Danny Handke, who serves as an Associate Show Producer for the Tokyo and Hong Kong Parks as well as Disney Cruise Line where he’s worked on projects such as Tokyo’s Goofy’s Paint ‘n’ Play House and the AquaLab aboard the Disney Fantasy. Also contributing to the book is Imagineer Vanessa Hunt who serves at the Art Library at Walt Disney Imagineering.
‘You must get great reception with those,’ said Mickey Mouse to a Mouse Ears-sporting attendee at the 2011 D23 Expo which took place last weekend. Gradually he stepped further away from the guest, asking the inevitable ‘can you hear me now?’ question over and over.
This is just one of the many interactions that took place at the D23 Expo in which guests got their first public, announced opportunity to speak with Mickey Mouse for the first time since Disneyland introduced the meet and greet character, decades ago.
Disney Parks has released this video from Walt Disney Imagineering which takes a look at how Imagineers are employing current and newly-developed technology to help realize the fruition of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
In essence, it’s a slightly more dumbed down version of what was presented last year at the NASA Summit by WDI Florida Vice-President and General Manager Jack Blitch, giving an overview of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) and pre-visualization (pre-viz) processes and how it even averted a real-world problem at the construction at the attraction for The Little Mermaid which could have cost the company considerably more money had it not been spotted beforehand.
Earlier this month, we shared the plans Disney Parks and Resorts has for its presentations at the 2011 D23 Expo taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 19 – 21. D23 has now released the full schedule for the Disney Parks panels, which are in addition to the keynote arena presentation by Parks Chair Tom Staggs on Friday, August 19 at 3:30 pm. The individual panels and schedule are as follows:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19
- The Making of The Little Mermaid — Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Stage 23) – Imagineers Lisa Girolami, Larry Nikolai, and Chris Crump take you behind the scenes.
Fans attending Disney’s D23 Expo August 19-21 at the Anaheim Convention Center will have the chance to experience “a great big beautiful tomorrow” as they immerse themselves in the future of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, which is currently in the biggest period of global expansion in its history.
Drawing inspiration from a classic attraction that debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and has made stops at Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts invites attendees to hop aboard the “Carousel of Projects” for a sneak peek at concepts, designs, models, storytelling tools, and technologies currently being developed at Walt Disney Imagineering for Disney parks around the world.