VIDEO: Behind-the-Scenes with Haunted Mansion’s Hitchhiking Ghosts

Walt Disney Imagineering has released this new video which goes behind the scenes at the most recent additions to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion attraction: the hitchhiking ghosts.

The video goes into quite a bit of detail and goes behind-the-scenes at the changes which include new audio animatronic figures and the attraction finale which now offers digitally projected animations featuring the beloved Gus, Ezra and Phineas which dynamically detects and interacts with the guest.

Stitch Kingdom first identified and reported on the patent behind this technology over a year ago and on March 12 of this year, nearly one month prior to the unveiling of the new additions, correctly identified that the tech was being applied to the Haunted Mansion.

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Video: Imagineering Puts Finishing Touches on Disney Dream; Hi-Res Images of Exclusive Vinylmation

Disney Dream exclusive 9" and 3" vinylmation figuresAs the newest entry into the Disney Cruise Line fleet prepares to make her on-sea debut, Walt Disney Imagineering provides us this glimpse into providing the final touches on the interior of the ship. The lengthy video gives some great imagery of nearly-finished areas including the awe-inspiring atrium and its incredible LED-lit chandelier.

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Orlando Families Wanted for New HGTV ‘Magical Backyard’ Makeover Show

JayTV, in association with HGTV, is in pre-production for a brand new series which will feature Orlando-area families who are looking to transform their backyards with potential into the next great Orlando theme park attraction (or reasonable facsimile thereof).

Casting is underway right now, so the producers are inviting interested families in the area to submit an application along with a photo of their family and a wide shot of their existing backyard to be considered as part of the show.

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Former Imagineer Rick Rothschild Named President-Elect of Themed Entertainment Association

TEA President-Elect Rick Rothschild. Photo courtesy of Themed Entertainment AssociationOn August 19, the International Board of the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) selected 40-year attractions industry veteran Rick Rothschild, founder and chief creative officer of FAR OUT! Creative Direction and creative director at Global Immersion, as its next President. Rothschild, best known for his three decades as creative executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, will formally commence his term in November.

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Video: NASA Summit Provides Rare Insight into Imagineering; Little Mermaid 3D Model and Kim Possible Expansion?

NASA recently concluded its first Information Technology Summit in National Harbor, Maryland at which Jack Blitch, Vice President and General Manager of Walt Disney Imagineering Florida, delivered an amazing presentation to the attendees full of videos, photos and information rarely available to the eyes and ears of the public. Fortunately for those many of us who couldn’t attend the summit and attend the presentation, C-SPAN did and has made the summit available online, which we now present to you below:

During his twenty-plus years with Imagineering, Blitch served as Project Executive for the construction of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and worked other projects such as Star Tours, Tower of Terror, the new Tomorrowland, Blizzard Beach and Soarin’.

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Walt Disney Imagineering to Sponsor ‘Come Out & Play 2010′ Weekend in NYC

Created in 2006, ‘Come Out & Play’ is a free weekend-long street game festival inviting players from all around the world to engage in real world games and activities — often based on video games — that encourage exploration of the home city.

Walt Disney Imagineering is a partner in this year’s festival which takes place in Brooklyn, NY from June 4 – 6. WDI’s contribution to the festival comes in the form of a real world MMO titled Unwritten Storybook in which up to 50 players will compete and collaborate with each other to accomplish various tasks such as building a castle or herding unicorns. You can learn more about this particular event here.

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Disney Cruise Line Video Offers First Look at New Technology Used on Disney Dream

As a follow up to a recent press event at Walt Disney Imagineering, previewing some of the new tech-driven entertainment features to be offered on the Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line has just released the following video demonstrating some of the new and exciting items.

Included in the video demo are the interactive magic play floor, the Finding Nemo experience at the Animator’s Palate, the inside staterooms’ virtual porthole (featuring the house from UP and Peach from Finding Nemo) and the enchanted art which plays home to the detective adventure game as well as other innovative interactive experiences.

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Disney Patent Gives Insight into Possible ‘NextGen’ Character Meet & Greet Experiences

Pages of banter and speculation have arisen from the photo of the model of the new Fantasyland Fantasy Forest expansion at the Magic Kingdom ever since we first brought it to you (incidentally, you can see a close-up of the model’s Sleeping Beauty cottage in the spring 2010 issue of D23 magazine). Much of which has to do with the plans for Pixie Hollow, for which the model shows an attraction similar to a new one coming to Disney’s California Adventure, but some say said plans have since been scrapped in favor of a ‘next generation,’ interactive meet & greet with the Disney fairies.

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Report: Disney Parks Finds New Life in ‘LOST’ Attraction

No, this isn’t one of those reports talking about the online petition going around to coerce Disney Parks into transforming Tom Sawyer’s Island into a LOST attraction. This is a report on a report from Movie|Line which claims to have a source that reveals that there is in fact an attraction based on the popular ABC series in the works at Walt Disney Imagineering. Along with the disclaimer that everything is subject to change, the report goes as far as to say that Imagineering ‘insiders’ had been caught talking about the project at the International Associations of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAPPA) show in Las Vegas.

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New Limited Edition Book Pays Tribute to First Female Imagineer, Harriet Burns

Walt Disney's First Lady Imagineer, Harriet BurnsAfter Harriet Burns — the first female Walt Disney Imagineer — passed away in July 2008, daughter Pam Burns-Clair received such an outpouring of love complete with colorful stories of her mother from family and friends, both personal and professional, that she decided to create a tribute book. Together with co-author Don Peri, they solicited and received many more stories about Harriet and they all are gathered in Walt Disney’s First Lady of Imagineering, Harriet Burns along with many photos of Harriet not yet seen by the public.

Through this limited edition hard cover, coffee-table style book, you will discover the range and depth of Harriet’s impact on those lives she touched whether as a mother, grandmother, relative, mentor, co-worker or friend. The stories will bring a smile or a tear (or more likely both) and will contribute to an understanding and appreciation of this tiny woman with a heart as big as her native Texas.

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