Tom Corless' 6/24-7/1 WDW Photo Report | WDW News Today

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Tom Corless' 6/24-7/1 WDW Photo Report

Posted on July 4, 2009

I have returned from my latest trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, and there were plenty of things going on in the last week. So let’s not waste any time, on to my photo report:

There is a large balloon promoting “UP” outside the AMC Theater in Downtown Disney West Side

I think the “UP” balloon was fly ing higher than this one…

We managed to grab dinner at the new Paradiso 37 restaurant on Pleasure Island with no wait

A really nice chandelier in the lobby area

You may recognize some parts of the chandelier…

Corks from the bottle

Most drinks come in large glasses

Some specialty drinks come in a “crushed” cup

The food was very good

So was the Paradiso 37 sundae

Characters in Flight and Paradiso 37 have now been added to the Downtown Disney map

The back of the Downtown Disney map and some billboards around WDW feature a new marketing campaign for the area, stating that you can have the night or daytime of your life, a play on some of the lyrics from the “Celebrate You!” theme song

A poster for the upcoming Disney film “G-Force” near the Magic Kingdom entrance

And a poster for “The Princess and the Frog”

The new signage outside the Hall of Presidents makes it much more noticeable

As of July 4th, The Hall of Presidents is officially open

I managed to see the show 3 times while I was there, and It has been vastly improved

This sign was also changed. The new attraction tag-line “A Celebration of Liberty’s Leaders” was added

There was a long line to see the show during the Annual Passholder previews

The lobby has experienced some minor changes

The new tag-line again

A new exhibit featuring some artifacts from the first ladies has been added

It was a packed house

The show now focuses on the Presidents more than American history, featuring a new speech by Abraham Lincoln (who actually appears alone in the middle of the show), a high-definition projection system, a surreal sound system, and much more. Even if you are not a big fan of this attraction, it’s worth a another look.

Stitch enjoyed the “Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It! Street Party”

Some of the facades in Liberty Square are still under tarps

The Diamond Horseshoe is open for the holiday weekend, with a fake sign up for some reason

The location serves a few interesting items as an extra option for guests during the busy weeks

There were actually quite a few people eating at The Horseshoe

Where’s the Diamond?

A new stage was built for Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial, but it isn’t yet in use

The Rum’s not gone!!!

The Pirates League is now open inside Caribbean Plaza

The shop is beautifully themed to the film series

Faded away above the entrance is the insignia of the East India Trading Company

There are also two “damaged”" icons

The map from “Dead Man’s Chest” makes an appearance

A damaged flag from “the company”

You can find all of the Brethren Court flags throughout the location

The shop blends beautifully into the 36 year old

The prices and details are explained in this pamphlet

The characters usually in the “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party” boxes were out of the boxes as the parade was rolling out, presumably due to the extreme heat

Many of the facades on Main Street U.S.A. are still under tarps

Main Street U.S.A. is decorated for the holiday weekend

Donald and Goofy were at the beginning of the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” parade, and there was no Lilo, Stitch, Woody, Jessie, Baloo, or King Louie appearing that day

Due to the weather, the Princess floats were not in the parade, so the Princesses were on the Castle unit instead

I managed to get a perfect score on “Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin” pretty early on…

So I decided to take some on-ride photos, since I had never taken any

Can you find the hidden Mickey?

Something was wrong with this banner outside of Stitch’s Great Escape, rust or something more?

As usual, 5 minute wait…

I tried to be artsy with some of these pictures….

The Magic Kingdom map now features Splash Mountain

Stitch’s Supersonic Celebration, the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party, The Pirates League, and the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade are all on the map

Stitch’s Supersonic Celebration is on the Times Guide, it’s just not performing

The exterior’s of many of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa buildings are being worked on

Moving over to Epcot, the pavement in the Innoventions breezeway is being changed

Definitely more futuristic….

But I am really going to miss this!!!

As many of you know, my main reason for going to WDW was to attend this year’s pin event

Bobby Pinback welcomed everyone to…

A giant T-Rex greeted traders

With Pluto at the guard

While you can’t see it here, the top of the building had a Rebel Alliance logo from Star Wars on top of it

The Haunted Mansion

Donald was making a Chernabog statue

A large Sphinx stood in the background

Some of those icons look familiar…

R2-D2, C-3PO, and an icon I’ll leave for you to solve

The stage area had plenty of seating

The art area had some interesting artifacts

Statues of Pain and Panic from Hercules

A sculpture of Sorcerer Mickey’s hat

Some props from the classic shorts “Plane Crazy” and “Steamboat Willie”

A large Figment stood over the preview area

A very cool auction piece

One of the grand prizes

One lot contained a Hollywood Studios 20th Anniversary jumbo pin that was never produced

Notice the Alien Encounter/Stitch’s Great Escape pin that was never made

Another prize package

Another auction lot

A White Glove pin auction lot

A lot full of surfboard pins

On to some pin previews!!! Here are some pins coming to the Disneyland Resort

A boxed set featuring the World of Color construction walls at California Adventure

There is also a load of pins coming out at the D23 Expo in September

A limited Release pin that will be member exclusive

Some of the public merchandise

The “One Man’s Dream” collection covers company milestones

The Magical Destinations collection looks really cool

As well, Alex Maher and Tyler Dumas designed 4 artist choice pins that will be released each day of the Expo

There is also a Legends Ceremony limited edition pin

Some merchandise being released at both DL and WDW to commemorate ten years of Disney Pin Trading

The EPCOT Center set we previewed a few weeks ago will be released on October 13th

A new Figment set also coming in October

Some new Marquee collection pins

A Big Al White Glove pin is on the way

The pins from this year’s “Not So Scary Halloween Party”

I love the Spaceship Earth apple pin for Food and Wine 2009

More Vinylmation pins are on the way

The 2010 logo pins

Some new lanyards on the way

A look at some pins coming to the Soda Fountain & Studio Store in California

Haunted Mansion action figures are coming

As well as the game of “After-LIFE”

Moving on to some Vinylmation previews, you can see the NYC exclusive piece coming soon

The Carnotaurus from Dinosaur

A preview of some upcoming 3 inch figures

The Vinylmation plush are coming later this year

There are also 3 exclusive pieces for the holiday offerings this year

On Saturday, I attended Scoop Sanderson’s One O’clock Pin Chat

Scoop’s guest for the chat was Steven Miller, project manager for Disney Pin Trading

They discussed the tenth anniversary of pin trading

10th anniversary open edition pins

10th anniversary limited edition pins

The tribute collections featuring some classic Disney pins

Some special limited edition of 100 pins will be released on the tenth of every month in 2010 at WDW

Disneyland will have a Limited Edition of 10 framed set

There will also be a purchase with purchase promotion for WDW

and for the Disneyland Resort

Next year’s WDW Pin Celebration will be titled Trade City U.S.A.

The event will take place in August 2010

Some retro-style WDW pins are coming soon

Notice the Carousel of Progress 35th anniversary pin

As well as pins of the Little Orange Bird from Adventureland

The summer pin festival at Disneyland next year will be titled “Dateline Disneyland 1955″

As noted earlier, there is a plethora of pins being released at the D23 Expo

8 special hidden mickey pins were created just for this year’s Pin Celebration

A new viral marketing campaign interrupted the pin chat multiple times

Start searching!!!

This appears to be the DeeBees language, looks familiar…

For more coverage of the 2009 Pin Celebration, tune in to The Disney Pincast and go to the WDWNTube for video from the events

On Monday, I was able to take part in a tour of the new Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The tour began with a presentation in the Contemporary’s Ballroom of the Americas

A character called the “Wish-Meister” made appearances throughout the show, granting wishes

We were then transported to Hawaii

Some new concept art for the Hawaii Disney Vacation Club property

We were then taken on an Adventures by Disney trip to Italy

A quick look at the Treehouse Villas

All of the attendees were given a few small gifts

We then saw a short presentation about Bay Lake Tower

The wall behind the presentation room opened at the end, revealing a dance and dessert party!!!

After some dancing and dessert, it was on to Bay Lake Tower

A sign welcomes guests home

This glass is actually temporary and will be removed before the tower officially opens

I really wanted to buy a lot of the artwork

The pool area looks phenomenal

The water slide will actually feature special lighting effects at night

We were then taken into a Grand Villa

The Grand Villa has two floors

The kitchen

Even though you couldn’t see the Magic kingdom, the view was phenomenal

A hidden Mickey in the carpet

A look down into the living room

It was then on to the “Top of the World” lounge

Guest will need to use their key to access the lounge and viewing platform

The terrace is HUGE

I love the speakers that will pump in the fireworks soundtrack

The view from inside the lounge

The chandelier in the lounge

The Monorail mural behind the bar is phenomenal

The view from out on the terrace is astonishing

Some benches have large speakers under them

Can you spot the Magic Kingdom skyline?

Bay Lake Tower may be the nicest Disney Resort ever built

Moving over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, “The Good Times Gathering Spot” has replaced the “Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends” show

It appears to be similar to the Belle’s Storytime show at the Magic Kingdom, with appearances from other characters such as Koda and Kenai from Brother Bear

What’s this?

Not only does Restaurantosaurus in Dinoland offer 10 different soft drinks, but they are a t a self-serve station

I thoroughly enjoyed free refills of Sprite Zero….

I then went to see Festival of the Lion King, believe it or not, for the first time

It was a very good show, not as good as Finding Nemo: The Musical, but very good

In another personal first, I got to ride Expedition: Everest at night, an experience I highly reccomend

A look at Primeval Whirl at night

Finally over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the San Francisco facade has been replaced

“The Incredibles” Blockbuster Weekend has been replaced by “UP”

Sounds Dangerous (thankfully) remains closed

Luxo Jr. has been experiencing problems and has not come back out in quite a while.

The line for Toy Story Mania! got pretty bad

Soundstage One is now a “Hot Set”

The popularity of Toy Story Midway Mania seems to be helping the line for the Backlot Tour

The Backlot Catering Coke bottles have returned from refurbishment

Nothing going on at the Premiere Theater at the moment

A new area designed for kids has opened outside Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster

It’s called Walt Disney Records: On The Road

Kids get to make their own cardboard “album” while the more adventurous go on the ride

A new lighting effect is in use in the Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster queue

Lights now “dance” around the G-force Records album on the ceiling

Mickey was caught off-guard by the rain

While I didn’t have it in mind when I took this photo, notice the new signage on Playhouse Disney Live on Stage!

I had to take time this trip to visit the characters from “UP” at the Magic of Disney Animation

There are now posters up from “Rapunzel”,

“Toy Story 3″,

and “The Princess and the Frog”

Over at the Animation Gallery, you can pick up the latest Gallery of Light piece, Splash Mountain

The DHS maps have been changed to urge guests to ask about American Idol Experience auditions

The map also has a 2A and 2B, separating and promoting both the show and the audition area

That concludes my report, I hope you enjoyed it!!!

Topics: D23, Dining, Disney\'s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, General Resort News, Photo Reports, Resorts, Shopping, The Magic Kingdom, \"What Will You Celebrate?\" | 1 Comment »