World-renowned Juggler Anthony Gotto Joins Cast of ‘La Nouba’ at Downtown Disney

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil announced today that an incredible new act featuring world-renowned juggler Anthony Gatto will be added permanently to the 90-minute spectacle at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort beginning Feb. 5, 2010.

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Tyler Perry Joins Mickey Mouse and Friends at DisneyQuest in Welcoming Creative Steps Children from Philly

Tyler Perry at DisneyQuest with the children he sent to Walt Disney World Tyler Perry poses with Disney characters and more than 70 campers from Creative Steps in Philadelphia July 31, 2009 at DisneyQuest, an indoor, interactive theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.   Earlier this month, the campers were the subject of a story that they were turned away from a local Philadelphia pool. Perry sent each child who was turned away, along with a legal guardian, to Walt Disney World to enjoy the theme parks and other recreational activities at the resort. Perry said he wanted to do something kind for the children to let them know that for every person out there who treated them poorly, there was someone else waiting with an act of kindness.  During a surprise appearance July 31 at DisneyQuest, Perry addressed the children and spoke of racism and challenged each child to live their life to the betterment of the community.  (Quantrell D. Colbert, photographer)

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A Look Inside the Princess Diana Exhibit at Downtown Disney (Updated)

Please note that this review is based on the soft opening of the exhibit. All information is subject to change prior to official opening and this should be considered when reading the following article.

With the exception to a couple of hours for a Cast Member preview the day before, Diana: The People’s Princess officially soft opened its doors on July 4, with a scheduled grand opening/media event for Tuesday, July 7. Because of a computer-related issue, the doors opened approximately 20 minutes later than the scheduled opening time of 11 am.

The exhibit is located on the West Side of Downtown Disney, in the building formerly occupied by the Virgin Megastore, sandwiched between the AMC 24 theater and DisneyQuest. Reportedly due to issues with exposure to the exhibit from the sun/weather elements, the main doors are currently not being used (they are closed, but remained unlocked that day, causing confusion for several guests). Instead, the small door all the way to the left of the front is being used as the entrance.

Despite the policy posted on the building window (which prohibits flash photography), photography is not permitted at all so I have nothing from the exhibit to share with you. I was told the confusion with the policy was in error and that it will soon be corrected. The printed tickets do specify No Photography however.

The first item you encounter is a dress of Princess Diana’s and a tiara, arranged in what strikes me as a funeral parlor-esque display (grey faux granite columns topped with large bouquets of white flowers surround the display). With the tiara, you run into the first major issue with the exhibit, which will soon be corrected with any luck: lack of signage. In the extreme majority of the cases, there is absolutely no placard or any time of information associated with the objects on display that give you any indication as to what they are or what they mean to the exhibit. The best example of this is a small, bright orange chair placed directly in the middle of the Charles area with much ado. I also lost a considerable amount of time trying to read a 2 page letter hand-written by Diana trying to identify its content, finally coming to the conclusion that it was just a letter and there wasn’t much more to it than that.

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‘DIANA–The People’s Princess’, a One-of-a-Kind Experience, is Coming to Downtown Disney Orlando (Updated)

UPDATE: According to the Foundation’s website, the exhibit is set to open July 1

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The People’s Princess Charitable Foundation, Inc. (PPCF) is bringing “DIANA–The People’s Princess” – a major new exhibit of royal artifacts – to Walt Disney World Resort. Opening in early July 2009, this limited-time experience showcases the life and story of one of the most iconic and inspirational figures in recent history, including a sampling of the royal dresses Diana chose to auction for charity and hundreds of authentic artifacts relating to her life.

“DIANA–The People’s Princess” exhibit will be held in a 17,500-square-foot setting at Downtown Disney West Side adjacent to DisneyQuest. This unique exhibition is one of the largest collections of royal dresses and rare artifacts ever assembled for an American audience which provides an in-depth historical perspective of her life. The exhibit includes five rarely seen royal dresses worn by Princess Diana.

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ABC’s ‘Wipeout’ to Kicks Off its ‘Road Trip’ at Walt Disney World May 10-11

ABC’s wild and wacky obstacle-filled game show Wipeout is set to begin its second season on television May 27 and it’s not coming quietly.

The show will be taking its act on the road and its first stop is Walt Disney World. On both May 10 & 11 between 1pm – 8pm, guests will be invited to join the show at Downtown Disney’s West Side between DisneyQuest, Cirque du Soleil and the House of Blues where they will be able to participate in two different stunts taken directly from the hit show.

If you happen to see Skunk Boy, tell him we said hi.

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Characters in Flight at Downtown Disney Balloon Inflation (Video)

In honor of the grand opening of Aerophile’s Characters in Flight at Downtown Disney today, we are pleased to take you ‘backstage’ for a glimpse of the setup and inflation of the balloon through time-lapse photography. Please enjoy. Thanks to Disney for the footage.

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Characters In Flight Grand Opening Ceremony to Take Place April 21

Image (c) Disney

Image (c) Disney

PARIS, Apr 17, 2009 — TUESDAY, April 21st at 9:00am (EST), Aerophile will celebrate its newest venture as the Characters in Flight Operated by Aerophile balloon in Downtown Disney enjoys its grand opening!

Jerome Giacomoni, president and co-founder of Aerophile, along with the balloon’s ground crew and pilot cordially invite you to attend the official inauguration of Characters in Flight Operated by Aerophile.

Come witness, cameras in hand, this breathtaking moment at Downtown Disney’s West Side!

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Five Reasons I Absolutely, Positively Won’t be Riding Characters in Flight (Maybe)

As photos and video of experiences on Downtown Disney’s newest venture emerge onto the interwebs, I started to see a sharp decline in my own personal enthusiasm for being able to experience the 400 foot flight on a tethered balloon myself. I kid you not, I was very excited at the proposition – initially. Despite the $16 price tag, I was all set to ride this thing 10x minimum: sunrise, sunset and everything in-between. What could possibly have changed my mind, you ask? Let me count the ways. (more…)

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