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Magic Kingdom Parking Lot Goes to Disney Heroes and Villains

Ursula Magic Kingdom Parking Lot SignIt may seem “goofy” or “dopey” and make you feel “grumpy” or “happy,” but: The parking lot at Magic Kingdom has gone to the Disney Heroes and Villains.

Say “hello” to Woody, Aladdin, Simba, Hook, Scar, Zurg and a half dozen other goodies and baddies. They have replaced sections named for “classic” Disney characters and Dwarfs.

New names for sections of the lot are part of an operational change designed to make it easier for Magic Kingdom guests to navigate and remember where they parked their vehicle in the 12,000-plus vehicle, 125-acre facility. With the change, there are two loading and unloading zones at the Transportation and Ticket Center, one for trams running to the Heroes portion of the parking lot, the other for the Villains area.

With the change, guests will park either in one of six Heroes sections (Aladdin, Mulan, Peter Pan, Rapunzel, Simba, Woody) or one of six Villains sections (Cruella, Hook, Jafar, Scar, Ursula , Zurg). According to park operations, the change provides more visual cues to joggle guests’ memories.

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Disney Fantasy Moves a Step Closer to Reality with Final Building Block in Place

disney_fantasy_83555_orig-640x497The final building block for the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Fantasy, was put into place on Sept. 3, 2011, at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg. Signaling completion of a major milestone in the ship’s overall construction, the final block was a 260-ton portion of the ship’s bow, complete with the signature Disney Cruise Line golden filigree.

Once all 80 building blocks of the Disney Fantasy are in place, the focus shifts to outfitting the interior spaces that include the whimsical children’s spaces, dynamic adult venues, spectacular restaurants and elaborate theaters.

Sister ship to the Disney Dream which entered service in January 2011, the Disney Fantasy will feature new design elements and guest experiences that give the ship an identity all its own, including:

  • “Animation Magic” dinner show that celebrates the magic of Disney animation and allows families to create characters that “come alive” and interact with classic Disney characters in animated films.
  • Europa — a nighttime entertainment district exclusively for adults with sophisticated bars and trendy lounges inspired by European travel.
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique salon, where aspiring young princesses and pirates receive the full fairy tale treatment with pixie-dusted and pirate makeovers.
  • New main stage entertainment at the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre, including “Disney’s Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular” — a Broadway-style production featuring the cast from the classic animated Disney film “Aladdin.”

The 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy will sail week-long Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla., with its maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012.

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Disney Breaks Ground on Shanghai Disney Resort China

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The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, its joint venture partner in China, have broken ground on the Shanghai Disney Resort following approval from the Chinese central government in Beijing. Both companies marked the start of construction on the first Disney resort in mainland China at a groundbreaking ceremony held earlier this week.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Our Shanghai resort will be a world-class family vacation destination that combines classic Disney characters and storytelling with the uniqueness and beauty of China. Working with our Chinese partners, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

“We’re incredibly excited to build a Disney resort in Shanghai, one of the world’s most vibrant cities,” said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We are hard at work designing Shanghai Disneyland, which when complete will be a special place where guests of all ages will discover a world of imagination, creativity, adventure and thrills.”

The groundbreaking ceremony paid homage to the culture and people of China. Traditional Chinese drum music, a female soloist singing in Mandarin, a 50-voice Shanghai children’s choir and Mickey Mouse dressed in a traditional Chinese costume were on hand to mark this special occasion. Following the entertainment and remarks, Iger and Staggs were joined by Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to officially break ground on the project.

The new Shanghai Disney Resort is slated to open in approximately five years.

The Shanghai Disney Resort will be home to Shanghai Disneyland, a Magic Kingdom-style park that will blend classic Disney storytelling and characters with all-new attractions and experiences tailored specifically for the people of China. The park will feature several themed lands complete with exciting, iconic Disney attractions and experiences. At the heart of the park will be an interactive Disney castle that is truly an attraction unto itself with entertainment, dining and performance experiences that will be unique to Shanghai Disneyland. The park will also contain other large-scale entertainment venues, indoor and out, that can be used for various purposes throughout the year.

A beautiful, 11 acre (46,130 square meter) green space at the center of the theme park will differentiate Shanghai Disneyland and reinforce the themes of sustainability and nature that will be integrated throughout the park. The space will also be a place where friends and family can enjoy local cultural celebrations and customs together.

On Opening Day, the Shanghai Disney Resort will be located on a 963 acre (3.9 square kilometer) site in Pudong, Shanghai, with additional room to expand in the future. At opening, the resort will include Shanghai Disneyland, two themed hotels, a large retail, dining and entertainment venue, recreational facilities, a lake and associated parking and transportation hubs.

There will be an initial investment in the project of approximately 24.5 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) to build the theme park and an additional 4.5 billion yuan (US$0.7 billion) to build the other aspects of the resort, including the hotels and the retail, dining and entertainment area. The investment amounts will be split between Disney and the Shanghai Shendi Group with Disney holding 43% of the shares of the owner companies and the Shanghai Shendi Group holding the remaining 57%. Financing will be proportional to ownership. In addition, a joint venture management company will be formed with Disney having a 70% stake and Shanghai Shendi Group having a 30% stake. The management company will be responsible for creating, developing and operating the resort.

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