WDW News Today

California Grill Closes Tomorrow For a New Look and a New Menu

Posted on January 31, 2013

The California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is shuttering for refurbishment on February 1st and will be closed until late Summer 2013. The interior of the restaurant is being remodeled with a design by the Puccini Group in San Francisco and will feature a wall of wines at the entrance and spectacular views from every table. Here are some renderings:

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Chef Brian Piasecki recently previewed some of the new menu options. The pork and polenta dish will become “Pork Two Ways” with wood-fired tenderloin with goat cheese polenta, and braised lacquered pork belly with country applesauce.

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Creative new sushi tastes include the Spicy Kaza roll with tuna, shrimp and scallops with tempura crunch and fireball sauce; Japanese-style bone marrow with crunchy panko, sweet onion jam and beef tartare; and Sea Urchin Nigiri with mamanori (soybean paper), salmon roe and freshly grated wasabi root.

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Also, there is the new 24-hour braised beef short rib with truffle whipped potatoes, vol-au-vent (puff pastry) with roasted vegetables and natural jus.

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Stay tuned for more details on the California Grill refurbishment as they become available.


Topics: Dining, Resorts |

Comments: 2 Comments »

Goodbye Paper Tickets! RFID Tickets Now Rolling Out at Walt Disney World

Posted on January 31, 2013

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Disney has issued a formal statement to cast members about the roll-out of new RFID tickets this week as they prepare for the launch of MyMagic+:

As we convert our theme park entrances to touch points, single or multi-day tickets purchased at Vacation Planning and Guest Relations locations beginning Jan. 30 will be enabled with radio frequency (RF) technology. Guests with these tickets will be able to utilize the main entrance touch points to enter the parks as well as turnstiles.

The rollout of the new tickets will happen over several days, one park at a time. The tentative schedule is Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Jan. 30, Magic Kingdom on Jan. 31, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Feb. 1 and Downtown Disney on Feb. 4. The remaining locations will follow.

These new single or multi-day tickets will be available onsite at Guest Relations and Vacation Planning locations. Guests who have the new tickets will be able to use the main entrance touch points as well as turnstiles. The tickets function just like the current tickets and Guests can still get FASTPASS tickets from the FASTPASS machines in our theme parks. The new tickets will be plastic and more durable than the current paper tickets. The tickets will have a green background to further help Cast Members and Guests differentiate between the ticket media types.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I use this ticket at the turnstiles?
A. Yes, this ticket works in the turnstiles and at the main entrance touch points.
Q. Will I still be able to get FASTPASS tickets from the FASTPASS machines?
A. Yes, this will work in the FASTPASS machines.
Q. I have an Annual Pass. Can I convert it to a ticket that works at the touch points?
A. You will be able to do this in the future. We value our Annual Passholders and want you to be among the first Guests to be able to experience MyMagic+. All Passholders will receive communication soon on how to convert their pass to become part of the MyMagic+ experience. When this exciting opportunity to convert your pass arrives, you’ll be able to enter our theme parks through the main entrance touch points.
Q. Why can’t I use my ticket at the new main entrance touch points?
A. Not all tickets are enabled to work at the main entrance touch points. We are in the process of converting our park entrances and also changing our tickets to be compatible with the main entrance touch points. Currently only Key to the World cards and single or multi-day tickets purchased onsite are compatible with the new touch points. All Guests can still utilize the turnstiles to enter our theme parks.


Topics: General Resort News |

Comments: 8 Comments »

Work Continues on “Explosive” Interactive Queue at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Posted on January 30, 2013

As work continues on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad interactive queue at the Magic Kingdom, we can see more and more of what exactly we can expect while we wait in line. Let’s take a look at the latest progress:

These signs were installed recently

The signs are pretty funny

Signs saying “Explosives” have been added to the large cabinets in the queue

Props that guests can blow-up are being installed on the mountain

I somehow managed to get a closer shot while in a moving train…

I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited to blow things up while I wait to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!


Topics: Photo Reports, The Magic Kingdom |

Comments: 4 Comments »

New “Next-Gen” Finale Scene Debuts at “it’s a small world”

Posted on January 29, 2013

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Just last week, we showed you that Imagineers were working on a new finale scene inside “it’s a small world” at the Magic Kingdom. Well, for the most part, their work is done:

As you can see, the scene has been freshened up a bit. All 22 goodbye phrases are still there, but new accents and a few large postcard shaped signs have been added. However, just because the scene is now visible, does not mean that they are done working on it. The eventual plan is to have the large postcards replaced with screens that will say goodbye to guests personally after gathering their names off of their MagicBands. It is even possible that the long-rumored “create-your-own-doll” feature will be integrated to this scene whenever that may eventually come to fruition with the roll-out of MyMagic+.

Stay tuned to WDW News Today as more becomes available on this story.


Topics: The Magic Kingdom |

Comments: 10 Comments »

Details Announced for Limited Time Magic’s True Love Week at Walt Disney World, 2/11-2/17

Posted on January 28, 2013

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Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — Love is in the air at Walt Disney World Resort as fairytale princesses find true love with their princes, and “happily ever after” becomes reality. It all happens during True Love Week February 11-17, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.

The weeklong love fest is all part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks, where each week in 2013 guests will be treated to a sprinkling of Disney magic where unexpected surprises and delights enhance vacation memories.

During True Love Week, a tapestry of romance is woven throughout the resort — from limited- time Valentine’s merchandise and special entertainment, to romantic dinners for two and new themed photo locations offering greetings with beloved Disney sweethearts – all for a limited-time only.

The weeklong event celebrates the love of friends and family, and invites couples to rekindle the flame. Here is the lineup:

In Town Square Theater you may find Mickey and Minnie, Aurora with Phillip or Rapunzel and Flynn. Mary Poppins joins Bert in Fantasyland, while Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana meet guests in the Enchanted Glade in Liberty Square.

Romantic Photo Locations in Magic Kingdom with your Sweetie:


Topics: The Magic Kingdom |

Comments: 3 Comments »

Dirk Wallen’s 1/23/13 Magic Kingdom Photo Report

Posted on January 28, 2013

WDWNT Reporter Dirk Wallen visited the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday and has some newsworthy photos to share with us, so let’s take a look:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Long Lost Friends Week was the first big hit from Limited Time Magic in Florida

Scrooge McDuck and Ludwig Von Drake

The Pinocchio gang

Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Prince John, and the Sheriff of Nottingham

Clarabelle & Horace

BIG BAD WOLF!

Instead of sining autographs, guests were given autograph cards

The Cinderella Castle Dreamlights are coming down

Crane up behind the castle

Another crane up and working on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The queue was fixed up while the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was closed last week

Marie was out in Storybook Circus… this is not a normal occurrence

Sleepy Hollow Refreshments is open while the exterior is being refurbished

Columbia Harbor House is still behind tarps as well

Some strange work going on at the Tomorrowland Speedway

Work continues on The Villas at the Grand Floridian

Looking good!


Topics: Photo Reports, The Magic Kingdom |

Comments: 1 Comment »

WDWNT: The Magazine – “Marc Davis: Imagineering Master”

Posted on January 27, 2013

Marc Davis: Imagineering Master

By
Daniel Butcher

 

Everyday guests of the Walt Disney World Resort enjoy the efforts of largely unknown and unnamed Imagineers.  Imagineer Marc Davis began to impact theme parks years before Walt Disney dreamed of Disneyland.  Davis was a late comer to attraction design, working in animation when Disneyland opened.  From animation to attraction design, Davis has left a mark on the Disney experience and his legacy continues today where it started, in film.

Marc Fraser Davis was born March 30, 1913, in Bakersfield California.  But California is not where the Davis family stayed.  Davis’ father, Harry A. Davis, was a wandering jeweler and magician who attempted to strike it rich in the boomtowns of the United States with his wife Mildred and son in tow.  The nomadic life of the Davis family meant that young Marc was always the new kid in town, attending 23 different schools before he graduated.  From Florida to Oregon the Davis family was vagabonds.  Alone and generally friendless, Davis turned to drawing to fill his spare time.  He became a self-taught artist sketching at local zoos and copying illustrations from anatomy books he found in libraries.  After high school, Davis sought formal instruction at the Kansas City Institute of Arts and European art schools.  Realizing he desired to be a professional artist, Davis attempted to get hired by the Walt Disney Studio and submitted an application under the name M. Fraser Davis.  The studio rejected the inquiry, noting they were “not hiring women artists.”  Davis used his full first name in future inquiries to overcome the prejudices of the day and on December 2, 1935, started as a Disney artist.


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Animator

            Davis’ first major assignment at Disney was to serve as an assistant animator to Grim Natwick on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  Natwick had helped develop Betty Boop.  Natwick further Davis’ skills as an artist.  Being noticed for his talent, Davis was moved into the Character Model Department after concluding his work on Disney’s first feature film.  In his new role, Davis’ understanding of animal form shined with him developing the models for characters such as young Bambi and Thumper.  Walt Disney was especially impressed with the David designed skunk, Flower.  Bambi encompassed six years of Davis’ career as he was moved into an animator position.  Davis finished the 1940s at the studio animating more animals including Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox in Song of the South for which he was the directing animator.  He also began a 17 year teaching position at Chouinard Art Institute, where he met a young female student named Alice Estes who would later become his wife years later.

With 1950’s Cinderella, Davis began over a decade of designing and animating female characters as he continued in feature films.  He was the directing animator for the title character Cinderella.  Additionally he animated one of Walt Disney’s favorite animation sequences ever, Cinderella descending the staircase in the mouse-made dress.  He also animated the Cinderella transformation scene as the fairy godmother dressed Cinderella for the ball.  Cinderella was followed by Davis overseeing the animation of Alice for 1951’s Alice in Wonderland.  For 1952’s Peter Pan Davis was charged with creating and animating Tinker Bell.  In Peter Pan, Davis had to draw a fairy that both communicated and emoted purely through motion being a character without a voice.  For Sleeping Beauty in 1959, Davis oversaw the development and animation of both Maleficent and Princess Aurora.  And finally Davis contributed the character of Cruella De Vil to 1961’s 101 Dalmatians, a character that he alone animated for the film.  Davis’ animation creations alone are sufficient to label him a Disney legend.

Davis’ female characters were known for having strong personalities.  A onetime avowed bachelor, Davis was known in the Disney studios for courting strong-willed women, and it was natural that the personality traits that he found attractive would emerge in his creations.  He designed characters with large hands so they could be more expressive when animated.  Many observed that Davis was able to create characters that audiences were attracted to.  However, Davis himself did not enjoy these years of designing female characters.  He found rotoscoping, tracing over live action film, uninteresting and desired to animate animals, not heroines and villainesses.

The legacy of Davis’ animation years can be seen throughout Walt Disney World, especially the Magic Kingdom.  Be it character development or animation, Davis helped construct the images and personalities of the characters guests love today.  At the heart of the Magic Kingdom Park guests find Cinderella’s Castle where one can meet Davis’ creation in flesh and blood at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Aurora and Snow White may also be found in the dining room as well as through the park.  Tinker Bell also can be found throughout the Magic Kingdom from the magic of waking her up at Tinker Bell’s Treasures, flying high in Peter Pan’s Flight or seeing her star in the nightly fireworks streaking across the sky in Wishes.  Tinker Bell has been featured in the Magic Kingdom nightly fireworks since she took flight for the first time on July 4, 1985.   Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios features Maleficent as the villain ringleader invading Mickey’s dreams including co-conspirator Cruella De Vil.  And Snow White and Tinker Bell both make appearances in this nighttime spectacle.  From Snow White to Cruella De Vil, everyday Walt Disney World guests enjoy the fruit of Davis’ animation career.

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Imagineer

Davis had remained with animation for the early years of Disneyland’s existence.  In 1962, Walt Disney invited Davis to visit Disneyland and provide notes on the troubled Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland attraction.  Davis suggested that the mine cars be reorientated to allow guests to better observe the story and provided suggestions on gags to make the ride more playful.  Pleased with his feedback, Disney asked Davis to provide direction on reimagining The Jungle Cruise.  Davis’ suggestions included the Indian elephant pool and the trapped African Safari, gags which were included in the Walt Disney World version of the attraction. Additionally, Davis supported the development of the Enchanted Tiki Room, in which Davis designed the talking Tiki poles and artwork adorning the attraction walls.   The Walt Disney World version of the attraction was available to guests on opening day titled Tropic Serenade and was re-imagined as The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) including Davis’ Tiki poles and art.  In summer 2011, Imagineers returned the attraction to its classic beginnings as the Enchanted Tiki Room.  With these attractions under his belt, the veteran animator would not return to feature animation, he would now animate in three dimensions.

Davis was assigned to all of Disney’s projects for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair, including those that would influence Walt Disney World attractions.  He was asked to animate the Audio-Animatronic’s movements including standing for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln a precursor to the Hall of Presidents.  He added story elements to The Carousel of Progress which was moved from the fair to Disneyland.  On January 15, 1975, it reopened in its new home in the Florida Tomorrowland and is currently Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.  Finally for it’s a small world, Davis provided story ideas, including gags that adorned Imagineer Mary Blair’s backgrounds.  For this attraction he worked with his wife Alice who created costumes for the Audio-Animatronics.

Among the original projects Disney gave Davis was a pirate wax museum that had been in development since 1958.  Davis made some initial sketches, but put his work aside for the World’s Fair projects.  Past dark rides, enclosed in a show building, retold established Disney stories such as Peter Pan.  The pirate ride would lack a story that provided guests a pre-established context.  Instead of a story, Davis immersed guests into an experience.  He was teamed with former background painter Claude Coates who created the ride’s sets for Davis’ characters and humorous gags.  Davis and Coats lead the team which brought the Pirates of the Caribbeanride to completion on March 18, 1967, at Disneyland.   “Pirates of the Caribbean” was absent at the opening of Walt Disney World.  Davis had plans for an even more elaborate boat dark ride named Western River Expedition which would have taken guests through old west scenes.  But due to guest complaints about its absence, executives called for a version of the Disneyland ride.  Davis’ river ride was shelved for a new version of Pirates of the Caribbean.  Dissatisfied Davis did use the new ride as an opportunity to update the story, ending the ride in a treasure room instead of the arsenal.  The pirates of Florida would get their ill-gotten loot opening on December 15, 1973.  Meanwhile Audio-Animatronics planned for the Western River Expedition such as buffalos and chickens would make their way to Living with the Land at Epcot.  And concepts from Davis’ plans would help inspire Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain.

A haunted house attraction had been planned for Disneyland as early in 1951 before the park opened.  The exterior had been completed during 1963 in New Orleans Square, but the attraction did not yet materialize despite promises of coming soon due to other commitments such as the World’s Fair.  A number of Imagineers including Ken Anderson, Rolly Crump, and Yale Gracey had worked on the attraction but progress was slow.  In 1964, Davis completed his first recommendations for the attraction, which included the introduction of the narrating Ghost Host.  But it was not until 1966 after the death of Walt Disney that Dick Irvine reunited Davis with Claude Coats to oversee the completion of the haunted house attraction.  The relationship was tense, with the designers divided between a Davis preferred funny attraction or a Coates preferred scary attraction.  Both got some of what they desired, delivering an attraction that included both scary and comedic moments.  Davis’s fingerprints are all over the design of the current Haunted Mansion.  He painted the stretching room paintings introducing visitors to the special humor of the ride and provided the climax in the graveyard filled with visual gags.  On August 9, 1969, the long awaited Disneyland “Haunted Mansion” opened to record crowds of 82,516.  While the Disneyland version was being produced, a second version with a Colonial façade was being built in Florida.  In April 1971 the attraction was complete and The Haunted Mansion was among the opening day attractions of Walt Disney World on October 1, 1971.

In November 1966, Walt Disney had visited Davis and discussed his future project, The Country Bear Jamboree for Disney’s Mineral King Ski Resort.  Disney told Davis his musical bears were a winner.  As he left, Disney did something he never did.  He said, “Good-by Marc.”  Three weeks later Disney died.  This had been Davis’ last meeting with Walt Disney.  Plans for the Mineral King resort fell through, but the musical bears made an appearance at Disneyland and still perform daily in Florida’s Frontierland.  Davis continued working as an Imagineer, developing his favorite attraction, America Sings, a musical Audio-Animatronics show featuring 114 characters which replaced Carousel of Progress at Disneyland.

           

The Artist’s Mark

In 1978, Davis retired after 43 years with Disney.  Even in retirement he still contributed creatively to Imagineering.  He consulted on Epcot’s World of Motion attraction and Tokyo Disneyland.  Davis’ humor was evident throughout this extinct attraction.  Included among the scenes was a train robbery originally intended for the Western River Expedition.  He continued to draw on a daily basis, spoke at Disney fan events, and enjoyed his retirement.  On January 12, 2000, Davis suffered a stroke.  Later in the day with Alice at his side, he passed away.

There are a number of tributes to Marc Davis throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.  The most obvious tribute is the window on the west side of Main Street U.S.A that bears his name.   The window lists, “Big Top Theatrical Productions” which has been “Famous Since 55.”  Also listed on the window are three other Imagineers including Davis’ Pirates and Haunted Mansion partner Claude Coats.  Another tribute can be found in Disney’s Hollywood Studio in the Magic of Disney Animation courtyard.  There four of Walt’s Nine Old Men including Davis set their handprints in concrete slabs.  Additionally there are hidden tributes to Davis throughout the Magic Kingdom Park.  In the final scene of Pirates of the Caribbean a family crest with the name “Marco Daviso” can be found hanging from the wall as Jack Sparrow delights in his treasure.  In the Haunted Mansion queue a tombstone tribute can be found.  The stone reads, “In Memory of Our Patriarch Dear Departed Grandpa Marc.  Finally, near Country Bear Jamboree a crate is labeled Davis Tobacco.  The subtle and not so subtle nods pay tribute to a true Imagineering legend.

Walt Disney Studios has honored Davis for the entirety of his Disney career.  In Disneyland he is honored with another Main Street window, “Far East Imports – Exotic Art” with Davis as proprietor.  The window celebrates his love of Papua New Guinea.  The neighboring window was revealed May 10, 2012.  The window announces Small World Costuming Co., with Seamstress to the Stars Alice Davis.  In 1989, Davis was named a Disney Legend.  Additionally the company awarded him the Mousecar, a highly exclusive honor, for service to company.

 

Back to the Movies

Davis’ career began in movies with Snow White so it is only fitting that his work as Imagineer has influenced recent movies.  In 2002, The Country Bears was released and though a box office disappointment started a line of Davis’ influenced movies.  In 2003, The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl became a blockbuster and featured gags designed by Davis that were adapted from the ride.  The original film was followed by three financially successful sequels.  Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was followed months later by the financially successful The Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy which included Davis gags familiar to park goers including several from the graveyard.  Future Disney film projects continue to be influenced by Davis story work with a planned Jungle Cruise movie, sure to have an elephant bathing pool, and a second darker Haunted Mansion film to be directed by Guillermo del Toro.  It was just not his story work that has influenced movies but also his life story!  The story team for Disney Pixar’s 2009 Up interviewed former Imagineers to determine “What are the most important things in life?”  Alice Davis was interviewed and the Davis marriage including their shared love of adventure helped influence the development of the characters Carl and Ellie Frederickson.   

Marc Davis has left a long-lasting legacy on the Walt Disney World Resort.  The characters he both animated and designed are honored in the rides guests visit today.  Additionally, he helped design many of the attractions that today we label as classic.  Davis was a renowned story man, using character to move story forward in film and attractions, so it should be no surprise that his work continues to inspire Imagineers, movie makers and guests today.

Daniel Butcher is a husband and father who looks forward to spending time with
his family in Disney Parks. Daniel can be reached at
dbutcher23@betweendisney.com.


Topics: WDWNT: The Magazine |

Comments: No Comments »

VIDEO: A Look Back at Long Lost Friends Week at the Magic Kingdom

Posted on January 27, 2013

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Today marks the last appearance of the Long Lost Friends characters at the Magic Kingdom as part of Limited Time Magic. Take a look back at a week full of fun character appearances in our video coverage:


Topics: The Magic Kingdom |

Comments: 3 Comments »

WDWNT: The Magazine – The LucasFilm Acquisition’s Impact to the Parks

Posted on January 25, 2013

LucasFilm Acquisition– The Impact to the Parks

by Nathan Bradley

Hello Humans! Wow have we hit the jackpot…It’s a match made in heaven: Disney and Star Wars…errr I mean LucasFilm (but mostly Star Wars).  Bob Iger, who is responsible for the acquisitions of Pixar, The Muppets, Marvel, and now Lucasfilm, is going to go down as one of the greatest company leaders.  Looking back at what WDI has done with Pixar in the parks and The Muppets to an extent, having Star Wars in WDI’s lineup almost becomes too much to imagine…but I’m going to try.

The Star Wars franchise right now is a bit of a mixed bag.  On one hand, fans have a sour taste in their mouth because the prequels simply didn’t meet expectations.  On the other hand is money, which is where Disney comes in.  They rightly consider Star Wars to be an “evergreen” franchise, a clever play on words meaning that the franchise never looses its luster like an evergreen tree and also that it is always green in terms of money.  The toy, video game, television, and movie (Episodes 7,8, and 9!) markets are all very successful for Star Wars; always have been, always will be.  This was clearly one of the main selling points to the Disney board of executives.  We already know that Disney believes in the franchise though.  As we all know Star Wars Weekends, Star Tours (both versions), Tatooine Traders, and The Jedi Training Academy are all favorites of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  While we’re in the Studios, I’d like to mention that the Lucasfilm acquisition does not include the rights to Indiana Jones.  So although Disney has the theme park rights to Indy, they will likely not be adding as many new theme park experiences as they will with Star Wars because they won’t benefit from the perpetual success of the brand as a whole.

Many Star Wars fanboys have called for Disney to base an entire park around the franchise.  As theme park aficionados, we know that basing an entire park around a single franchise, even Star Wars, is ludicrous because the success of the park hangs on the popularity of a single property.  Nonetheless, tantalizing fan artwork has surfaced, such as the Magic Kingdom-style rendering pictured.  Do I wish this would become a reality?  Absolutely.  Do I think this will become a reality? Absolutely not.  The best we can hope for is a Star Wars land at DHS in my opinion.

If such a land were to come to fruition under the WDI roof, at least we know it wouldn’t be placed out west first.  Their Star Tours is located in Tomorrowland; if they want a Star Wars land, they will need to either devote an entire section of Disneyland to one franchise (not happening) or move the attraction between parks (unheard of).  Resting on that, let’s consider the realistic best-case scenario in Florida.  Will there be another Star Wars E-Ticket?  Doubt it.  I would wager on some type of interactive experience since that seems to be a growing trend at WDI.  As fans of the parks we should rejoice if we get an interactive Star Wars experience.  The prospect of a Yoda AA is exciting to say the least.  What if during the show he used the force and things flew around the room?  Turtle Talk, Laugh Floor, and recently Enchanted Tales have been universally well liked.  Also included in this best-case scenario is the conversion of The Backlot Express into the famed Mos Eisley Cantina from Episode IV.  What better way to immerse guests in the universe of the films?  I have always wondered why WDI doesn’t theme more restaurants around specific franchises.  With the general praise of Be Our Guest, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be ready to try their luck again.  Another interesting component could be meet-and-greets with the characters from the films.  Who doesn’t want a hug from Chewbacca or an Ewok?  I think an opportunity for kids to be outfitted like their favorite Star Wars character, along the lines of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, would also be a solid addition.  Finally, an improved merchandise location is in order if Star Wars land is built.  The carbon-freezing experience from the last Star Wars Weekend would make a fantastic addition.

All sounds pretty reasonable, right? Let’s look at a more adventurous possibility…

 

           Star Wars takes over Tomorrowland.  Please, don’t shoot!  I know I just said that it wouldn’t be okay in Disneyland, but that’s because they don’t have enough space to be devoting a whole land to a single franchise.  In Florida, however, we have plenty.  Let’s look at current Tomorrowland.  Stitch’s Great Escape: “What a piece of junk!” Laugh Floor is a quality attraction but it isn’t so beloved that Star Wars couldn’t easily take its place.  Space Mountain is about as iconic as any ride on the planet, but the façade wouldn’t necessarily clash with a Star Wars land.  As for the content of the ride, you really wouldn’t have to change anything except for some queue elements to make it a Star Wars attraction; that is an awful queue anyway.  Then there’s The Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.  Never has any attraction had such a low ratio of quality to square footage.  I don’t think there is a person on this Earth who would object to a Star Wars themed attraction on that plot of land.  Two main problems now arise (besides the fact of it never happening of course).  #1: The current Star Wars elements at DHS are too well beloved to be simply discarded.  They would have to be moved to the Magic Kingdom by some miraculous act.  #2: The Carousel of Progress isn’t going anywhere.  Nonetheless, I think this option is plausible at best.  “I find your lack of faith disturbing…”

Could Star Wars go in Future World?  I say no way.  No science-fiction franchise should be the basis of an attraction in Epcot.  We may have strayed from the original Epcot creed, but not enough to include a film series, albeit a great one, that isn’t rooted in reality.  The aesthetics might coincide and the possibility of replacing Mission: Space with Star Wars is pretty appealing, but the message just wouldn’t be right.

Even thinking without limits of practicality, I can’t imagine even one decent way of incorporating Star Wars characters into DAK. So that’s that.

I would say that in general, as self-proclaimed scrutinizers of WDW, we should expect Star Wars additions to DHS in the near future.  I don’t think it’s really too much to hope for.  A cohesive land would be significantly more exciting than just new experiences because the locations of Star Wars are so rich.  A Star Wars land as a unit would lend itself to being filled with all kinds of hidden Star Wars references too.  There are almost too many possibilities for us as fans to speculate about.  One thing is for sure: Disney acquiring Lucasfilm can only be good for Walt Disney World.

 

Nathan Bradley is a high school student from the Philadelphia suburbs. He enjoys physics, mechanics, storytelling, and WDW (biannual trips and an avid disney geek). He plans on becoming an Imagineer when he’s older.

 

Topics: WDWNT: The Magazine |

Comments: 7 Comments »

“A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas” Attraction Announced

Posted on January 23, 2013

From the Disney Parks Blog:

We’re happy to share here on the Disney Parks Blog today that a new interactive quest called A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas will debut in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park this spring. (And check out this great artist rendering that our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering just shared with us!)

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In A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas, guests will use a pirate map and magic talisman to help them complete five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland. The goal is to help locate different Treasures of the Seven Seas and fight off pirate enemies like the Royal Navy and Captain Barbossa, among others. If guests help Captain Jack succeed in all the missions, they’ll be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they’ll face the wrath of the cruel sea – alone.


Topics: The Magic Kingdom |

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