Actress/singer Ariana Grande celebrated her 21st birthday with family and friends yesterday at the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., as seen here posing with Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle.
Although the Walt Disney World Resort differs in its philosophy for entertaining guests than its west coast counterpart, Disneyland — as the latter relies far more heavily on locals and keeping them amused — the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime fireworks program remained mostly unchanged for over a decade. Conversely, within that same time period, Disneyland has had three different shows debut. In other words, it may just be time for ‘Wishes’ to be retired.
While rumors have circulated for about a year regarding a replacement for ‘Wishes’ in either 2015 or 2016, one of the strongest pieces of evidence may in fact be one of the least reliable: domain names.
As a follow-up to last year’s Friday the 13th ‘Limited Time Magic’ ‘Unleash the Villains’ promotion, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida will play host to ‘Villains Unleashed,’ a hard-ticketed event. According to WDWMAGIC, the event will take place on Saturday, August 23. An accompanying thread notes that tickets are expected to go on sale tomorrow for Annual Passholders and DVC members for $67 (A)/$62 (C) in advance or $71 (A) / $66 (C) day of — though it’s quite expected the one time event will sell out far in advance. Remaining tickets will be made available for purchase by the general public on June 9.
Walt Disney World Resort has just released additional details surrounding its newest attraction at the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which will have an official opening ceremony ceremony on May 2. A springtime opening is planned for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a rollicking family-style coaster and the crown jewel of New Fantasyland. Walt Disney World Resort guests will be treated to an exciting, musical ride into the mine ‘where a million diamonds shine’ as the lovable world of Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy and Dopey comes to life. One feature will be first-of-its-kind ride vehicles mounted in cradle-like pivots that allow the vehicles to swing back and forth during the ride. Adding to the fun, the journey will be accompanied by beloved music from the Disney film classic. On their adventure, riders pass by animated figures of Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs and playful forest critters.
Walt Disney once said, ‘We keep moving forward — opening up new doors and doing new things — because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.’ It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit — or revisit — some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus will take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like ‘it’s a small world’ and Carousel of Progress (Progressland).
A recently activated domain name, ROCKYOURDISNEYSIDE.COM currently redirects to
an inactive page with the URL of http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/24-hour-event which appears to suggest that Disney Parks and Resorts North America will once more host a 24 hour party event themed to the ‘Disney Side’ campaign. Obviously with no details officially announced, it’s all assumptions at this point but rumors have been circulating that Disney Parks was considering a 24 hour party to tie in with Memorial day weekend once again.
Debuting in March 2014 (with a rumored date of March 16, 2014 to be precise), the ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy,’ will be the new daytime parade at the Magic Kingdom. To celebrate the new entertainment, Walt Disney World has provided us with full details on the floats and costumes that will be featured in the parade.
Earlier this month and under cover of darkness, Walt Disney World cast members and crew escorted several of the floats down the road in the middle of the night. The floats in this magical caravan include a 53-foot-long steampunk-inspired Maleficent Dragon from the 1959 Disney animated classic, Sleeping Beauty, a Fantasia-themed balloon and gondola for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, a giant Brave bagpipe, and a Peter Pan float featuring Skull Rock and Captain Hook’s The Jolly Roger pirate ship.
Making its premiere during this morning’s edition of ‘Good Morning America’ and ESPN’s ‘SportCenter,’ Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith of the Seattle Seahawks is the newest in a long line of victors to proclaim he’s ‘going to Disney World!’ As a linebacker, Smith becomes the first defensive player ever to star in the Disney World / Disneyland commercial.
Smith, named the Most Valuable Player, was a game standout, intercepting Denver quarterback Peyton Manning for a 69-yard touchdown and recovering a fumble among several huge plays. Smith also added nine tackles as Seattle’s stifling defense dominated the game. For the Seahawks, the decisive win was their first Lombardi Trophy in two Super Bowl appearances.
In what has to be one of the largest single Walt Disney World giveaways to date, ESPN Wide World of Sports is launching its ‘Play in the Magic’ sweepstakes at 12 pm on January 24, 2014 and the payoff will be huge. In addition to the opportunity to win instant prizes, the grand prize winner will receive airfare, lodging, park admission and even $50 gift cards for each of the winner and their guests, up to fourteen of them (for a total of fifteen guests).
Where your destiny awaits. That’s the tag line used in the newest ‘Disney Dream Portrait’ series entry by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. As we previously shared, the image features actress Jessica Chastain tackling the role of Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave. Chastain is the next in a long list of celebrities who have posed as popular Disney characters for Liebovitz.
Embedded below is a behind-the-scenes video courtesy of ‘Entertainment Tonight’ which shares some of the ‘Disney Dream Portrait’ photo session:
According to the official Disney Parks blog, the new image will appear in the February issue of O – The Oprah Magazine.