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.
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.
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
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.
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
Richard 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.
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.
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.
Pet lovers visiting Walt Disney World Resort can now plan to board the family pet in fun, luxurious new accommodations. Reservations are being accepted for pet boarding stays beginning August 27, 2010 for the new Best Friends Pet Care Resort.
The one-of-a-kind resort comprises more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space, 10,000 square feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas, and an expansive private dog park exclusively for the use of pet resort clients and their dogs.
If you can’t wait for the Main Street Electrical Parade and the rest of Summer Nightastic at Walt Disney World this year, or if you can’t go, here’s a little taste to help bring the magic home to you.
The theme is titled I Want to Go and it pretty much explains it all, although I must confess it ends up sounding more like a commercial for Coney Island to me, if not Dave & Buster’s.
[wpaudio url="/music/iwant2go.mp3" text="I Want to Go (Summer Nightastic) - Click to Play" dl="0"]
And just for kicks, I’ve opted to transcribe the lyrics (as I hear them):
The 10,000,000th guest, Lori Ogurkis and her family from Hazelton, PA, received a special reception at the airport, complete with a surprise visit and a gift basket from Mickey Mouse. The Ogurkis family then rode in their own private motor coach to Disney’s Polynesian Resort to begin their magical vacation.
Disney’s Magical Express provides complimentary motor coach transportation and luggage transfer services from Orlando International Airport to and from select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for passengers of all Orlando air carriers.