WDW Candlelight Processional Update: Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Amy Grant, James Denton

Walt Disney World has announced some changes to its lineup of narrators for its annual holiday event, the Candlelight Processional, held at the America Gardens Theatre, beginng November 23 of this year.

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Speculation: Disney’s Hollywood Studios Prepping for FASTPASS+ NextGen Technology

After starting the roll out of FASTPASS+ technology at the Magic Kingdom, which not only included the installation of temporary (and subsequent permanent) RFID readers at return lines at select attractions, along with limited tests, as well as pilot programs to enter the theme parks via RFID and — most recently — pay for purchases and unlock hotel rooms using embedded RFID chips in the Key to the World (KTTW) cards at the Contemporary Resort, it appears Walt Disney World (NYSE:DIS) is steadily pushing on to establish its NextGen technology at the Resort, this time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom to Open December 6; Previews Begin November 19

Magic Kingdom guests blink back in amazement at the scene: not one, but two colorful Dumbos spinning through the sky above Storybook Circus.

To the delight of fans of the beloved Dumbo, the Flying Elephant attraction, a second Dumbo flies alongside. The playful pachyderm is joined in Storybook Circus by the Barnstormer Coaster re-themed to the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station — all part of the multiyear, largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.

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Photo: Phillip Phillips Poses with American Idols Mickey and Minnie Mouse

'AMERICAN IDOL' PHILLIP PHILLIPS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD (Matt Stroshane, photographer)The reigning ‘American Idol’ champion Phillip Phillips poses August 2, 2012 with Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse at ‘The American Idol Experience’ attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Phillips, who is currently touring the U.S. as part of the ‘American Idols Live!’ concert series, surprised park guests by making an appearance on-stage during one of ‘The American Idol Experience’ shows.

Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

 

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Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz Series Continues with Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan Tributes

Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Jason Segel © Annie Leibovitz

Via its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled the first few of a new series of portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz portraying celebrities in iconic classic Disney roles.

The new images feature Russell Brand poised as Captain Hook facing his nemesis, the crocodile known as Tick-Tock with the caption ‘Where every moment leaves you hungry for more’ and Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Jason Segel as the Haunted Mansion ghosts, Phinease, Ezara and Gus with the caption ‘Where you can go on the ride of your afterlife.

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Photo: Carrie Underwood Meets Real ‘All American Girl’ — Er, Mouse

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher with Minnie Mouse (Gene Duncan/Disney)In a photo taken July 24, 2012, five-time Grammy Award-winning singer Carrie Underwood and her husband, NHL Nashville Predators star Mike Fisher, pose with Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Underwood and Fisher took a vacation with friends to Walt Disney World Resort before she continues preparation for her upcoming concert tour of North America, ‘The Blown Away Tour,’ in support of her latest number one album, ‘Blown Away.’

Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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Perry the Platybus Hits the Road; ‘Where’s Perry?’ Special Airs July 26

Disney’s Emmy Award-winning “Phineas and Ferb,” TV’s #1 animated series among Kids 2-11, Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14, will put the summer spotlight on the hugely popular character Perry the Platypus — in a two-part cliffhanger on TV and online in which the boys’ domesticated pet/secret agent really goes missing, and in a new “Where’s My Perry?” mobile game inspired by the award-winning “Where’s My Water?” game from Disney Mobile Games. The hit TV property also expands at retail with new grocery and footwear licensees, and via a grassroots initiative that invites fans to be part of the Perry the Platy-bus tour in select cities across the country.

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‘Junior Ride-Alongs’ from Richard Petty Driving Experience Now Available at Disney World

Junior Ride-Alongs at Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney WorldRichard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE), the worldwide leader in stock car drive and ride entertainment, announced today that it will now offer “Junior Ride-Alongs” at its Walt Disney World® Speedway location in Orlando, FL.

RPDE’s “Junior Ride-Alongs” program will provide children, who are at least 48 inches in height, the opportunity to experience real-life racing excitement while they ride shotgun with a professional driving instructor for three thrilling laps in a specially equipped two-seat NASCAR race car.

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Disney’s Secret Flying Dragon Caught on Camera — But Not for ‘Avatarland’

Disney's Flying Dragon PuppetWhat 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.

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Disney Water Parks Offer New Entertainment, Dining and Extra Magic Hours in Summer 2012

Summer 2012 brings a splash of fun for the whole family at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach water parks, with new entertainment and dining options at Typhoon Lagoon and Extra Magic Hours at both parks.

New Entertainment
The relaxing atmosphere at Typhoon Lagoon is enhanced with new sounds of summer. For the first time, Calypso band “Tropicals” brings Caribbean steel drums to Typhoon Lagoon from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Friday through Sunday until July 15. The band can be found near the Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster pool area. Returning this year every day through September 8, characters Lilo and Stitch can be found just outside of the High N’ Dry sundries shop at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon; at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, guests can chill out with Goofy, who can be found roaming the water park.

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