‘Imagineering the Magic: Magic Kingdom’ DVD Now Available at Theme Parks

Imagineering the Magic: Magic KingdomA follow-up to the immensely well received Imagineering the Magic: Disneyland, Richard Skillman’s Imagineering the Magic: Magic Kingdom is now available through Disney Theme Park Merchandising.

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Walt Disney Imagineering Earns Top Award from Themed Entertainment Industry

Award winning Toy Story Mania! (photo courtesy of Disney)GLENDALE, Calif., Nov. 17, 2009 – Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was honored today with the top award within the themed entertainment industry.

TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) announced that Toy Story Mania! received the Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Attraction.  Toy Story Mania! is a high-energy, immersive, ride-through adventure that invites guests to test their skills at a variety of carnival midway games hosted by the characters from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films.  The attraction is located at both Disney’s California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

TEA announced the 16th Annual Thea Award recipients during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction’s (IAAPA) annual conference. The Thea Awards recognize achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. Recognized internationally as a symbol of excellence, the Thea Awards consider project submissions from all over the world. TEA praised Toy Story Midway Mania! as follows in their press release:

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Disney Legend Marty Sklar Retires After 54 Years; Honored with Window on Main Street

Marty Sklar, Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador holds his tribute window at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, the 54th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Marty Sklar, Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador holds his tribute window at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, the 54th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

ANAHEIM, Callif., July 17, 2009 – Marty Sklar, Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador, spent a lifetime making magic for the Walt Disney Company. After 54 years of service, he was honored with a tribute window at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, July 17. The celebration coincided with the 54th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland, the place where Sklar began his Disney career.

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The Secret Life of the Animatronic Dolphin

For five days at Epcot in 1999 and for an equally short time in Castaway Cay, guests from around the world had the chance to meet with one of the largest accomplishments in audio animatronic technology: the DRU-1 (Dolphin Robotics Unit). Created by Edge Innovations in partnership with Walt Disney Imagineering, DRU-1 wowed the crowds but was ultimately decided to not have the potential of being an every-day attraction in the theme parks.

Here’s a video of DRU-1 in action courtesy of his WDI show producer:

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Innovative Entertainment Technology Drives ‘World of Color’ – the Next Milestone in Expansion of Disney’s California Adventure

Concept Art for World of Color at Disney's California AdventureANAHEIM, Calif. (July 16, 2009) – Elaborate preparation is underway for “World of Color,” the spectacular nighttime water show that will astound guests with its magnitude and creativity when it debuts in spring 2010 as the next major milestone in the expansion of Disney’s California Adventure park. Surpassing all Disney water productions, “World of Color” will bring Disney animation to life with powerful fountains that become stars of the show as they create the world’s largest projected water screen.

For months now, guests at Disney’s California Adventure have been peering into the lagoon near Paradise Pier as Walt Disney Imagineering and Creative Entertainment have installed the massive infrastructure and innovative technology that will create the stage for this extraordinary combination of music, animation and stunning water effects. Teams of Disney workers have built nearly an acre of superstructure to support the complex “World of Color” production.

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