A colorful wall blocks off a large section in Epcot’s Innoventions, promising a ‘more colorful world’ to come. While heavily rumored that the new experience will be sponsored by Glidden Paint (who already has a licensing deal with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive), today we received our largest clues to date as to what we may be able to expect when the experience opens.
SMS Audio today announced it has entered a multi-year strategic alliance with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, naming SMS Audio the official headphones of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. In addition, SMS Audio will be a sponsor of ‘Star Tours – The Adventures Continue’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and will feature their products at the park’s annual Star Wars Weekends. SMS Audio will also be a sponsor of the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend and Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, both at Disneyland Resort in California.
Walt Disney World has begun aggressively casting women for a new entertainment offering to take place at Epcot’s Japan pavilion in its World Showcase. According to the casting notices, Disney is seeking to fulfill roles that celebrate Tokyo’s Harajuku, a neighborhood known for attracting Japanese teens and young adults sporting unique fashions. Harajuku was popularized in the United States several years ago by ‘Tragic Kingdom’ alum Gwen Stefani, who popularized it in a song and accompanying music video and stage tour.
The perpetual hot button topic of Walt Disney World fans is what the next pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase will be. Will it be Australia? Brazil? Russia? Israel? One of the marvels of the existing World Showcase is just how much space is available for development on property for additional pavilions. Now thanks to filings with the South Florida Water Management District office, we have our answer: Arendelle. Of course this doesn’t mean that Norway has been saved from handing over its Maelstrom attraction to Anna and Elsa of Disney’s Frozen, rather Queen Elsa has annexed the current ‘vacant’ lot located between the Mexico and and Norway pavilions for a project titled ‘Frozen Meet and Greet Building.’
It’s not much to go on and we have admittedly jumped the gun before, but an announcement by Disney Publishing Worldwide has renewed our speculation that Duffy’s gal pal, Shellie May, may finally be coming stateside to join the original Disney bear. Since our original speculation — based on trademarks — she has in fact shown up in the United States in the form of merchandise sold at the Aulani resort in Hawaii. Oddly enough, Duffy has found an additional new friend at the Tokyo Disney Resort in the form of an art-loving cat by the name of Gelatoni.
Walt Disney Studios has announced via a teaser video (embedded below) that shortly before midnight ET on New Year’s Eve 2014, it will be sharing a brand new exclusive look at its upcoming film Cinderella (March 13, 2015), the live-action adaptation of the classic Disney animated film. The sneak peek will air during ‘Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve’ on the ABC television network.
Disney Parks is also sharing in the Cinderella celebration as part of the #Midnight campaign. Visitors to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World today are receiving a button featuring the film and we are also told displays — complete with video screens — promoting the film are flanking Cinderella castle.
Walt Disney World has announced its ambitious ‘Disney Flip Side’ Sweepstakes all month long in January 2015. Inspired by the ‘Disney Side’ campaign, ‘Disney Flip Side’ will introduce site visitors to ‘Sam,’ a self-proclaimed ‘Disney Parks Insider with all-Parks access, an arsenal of cameras, crafty disguises and a love for everything Disney. Join me during the month of January as I go behind the scenes to show you never-before-seen Disney Sides.’
Freshly baked and opened at the Walt Disney World Resort’s Contemporary Resort is their annual gingerbread display, this year dedicated to the phenom Frozen. The gingerbread ice castle stands 17 feet tall and is located on the 4th floor Grand Canyon Concourse. In addition to Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven, the display features 14 ‘hidden Olafs.’ Frozen-themed merchandise, desserts and gingerbread treats also are available for purchase at the ice castle kiosk.
Ingredient fun facts:
- 423 lbs. of chocolate
- 514 lbs. flour
- 212 eggs
- 67 lbs. spices
- 35 lbs. sugar syrup
Walt Disney World today unveiled some of its plans for the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (March 4 – May 17, 2015).
- New topiaries include Anna and Elsa re-recreating the finale scene from Frozen, while other brand-new Disney character topiaries will include Chip and Dale taking a star turn in two whimsical front-entrance ‘Goofy About Spring’ floral vignettes. Topiary Goofy and friends will be in on the fun.
- Fresh new menu items will debut at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens where, for the third festival year running, guests can taste garden- and spring-inspired tapas-sized food and beverages and have their complimentary Garden Passports stamped as they stroll the World Showcase promenade.
The official Disney Parks blog today announced that Disney’s Frozen will find a permanent home at the Norway pavilion in Walt Disney World’s Epcot in the future, replacing Maelstrom, which had been in place since the pavilion was first added in 1988. According to the news, the new attraction ‘takes our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film.’ Anna and Elsa, who currently offer a meet and greet at the Magic Kingdom after having started at the Norway pavilion, will resume meet and greets at the new attraction when it is constructed. As of now, there is no announced timeframe for Maelstrom’s closure and replacement.