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First Mickey-Themed Ride-Through Attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

First Mickey-Themed Ride-Through Attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A new attraction featuring international icon Mickey Mouse is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort! Details for our first Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, unveiled during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at D23 Expo 2017 – and we think you’re going to love it.

On Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you’ll step through the movie screen and join Mickey and his friends like never before. The attraction will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen. This zany out-of-control adventure features surprising twists and turns, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that happen before your very eyes.

First Mickey-Themed Ride-Through Attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The attraction is inspired by the Mickey Shorts that you can see on the Disney Channel. And the people who bring you the shorts at Disney Television Animation are partnering with us to help bring the attraction to life.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will feature a new story and a new singable attraction theme song as well as a new experience we’re calling “2 1/2 D.” No glasses required. Walt Disney Imagineer Kevin Rafferty said teams are inventing new technologies that turn the flat world of a colorful cartoon short into a “dimensional display of amazingness.”

“This is one of the boldest…most impossible things I’ve ever worked on in almost 40 years of being an Imagineer. And you know what? That’s what I love about it. Well, that, and Mickey,” Kevin said. “This is not going to be a small attraction, it’s going to be game-changing.”

As you plan ahead, we also wanted to let you know that in order to begin to prepare the new home of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at the Chinese Theatre in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, August 13, 2017 will be the final day of operation for The Great Movie Ride presented by Turner Classic Movies. Until August 13, you can still relive some of the greatest movie moments in history on the Great Movie Ride attraction.

Toy Story Land to Open at Walt Disney World Resort in Summer 2018

Toy Story Land to Open at Walt Disney World Resort in Summer 2018

Many of you know that Toy Story Land is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – we’ve shared several updates on this exciting project. Today, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts announced that the land will open next summer!

In 2018, you’ll find yourself shrunk to the size of a toy to explore the world of Andy’s backyard with your favorite Toy Story characters, including Woody and Buzz. And Toy Story Land will feature two new themed attractions.

Slinky Dog Dash will be a family coaster attraction where you’ll zip, dodge and dash around many turns and drops that Andy has created to really make Slinky and his coils stretch to his limits.

Alien Swirling Saucers will also be a new attraction at Toy Story Land. It’s designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”

Which Toy Story themed attraction are you excited to experience for yourself?

Disney Cruise Line Planning Not Two, But Three New Ships

Disney Cruise Line Planning Not Two, But Three New Ships

Disney fans attending D23 in Anaheim got a huge surprise today. They were the first to hear that Disney Cruise Line is planning not two, but three new ships in the next phase of expansion. By the time these three ships are sailing, we’ll have nearly doubled the size of our fleet! That means more families than ever before will be visiting spectacular destinations around the globe and creating magical memories at sea!

Last year, we told you that two new ships were going to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany with scheduled completion dates of 2021 and 2023. This additional ship will be built at the same shipyard and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

“We decided two ships wouldn’t be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney,” Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said.

All ship names, design plans and itineraries are still in development, with each of the ships expected to have their own unique experiences. The three new ships will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas and be the same size – approximately 135,000 gross tons with about 1,250 guest staterooms planned – which is slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

With a legacy of revolutionary design, Disney Cruise Line’s new ships will usher in the next generation of innovative cruise experiences designed especially for families that will transform the art-of-cruising and take guests on adventures in a way never dreamed of before.

What’s your favorite thing about cruising with Disney?

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Reveals Epic, Detailed Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Reveals Epic, Detailed Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands

During a special preview of D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled a first look at the epic, richly detailed model of the Star Wars-themed lands under development at Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif. and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla. This stunning exhibition, on display in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ “A Galaxy of Stories” pavilion at D23 Expo, is yet another example of the breathtaking new worlds, immersive storytelling and transformational guest experiences that set Disney apart.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Reveals Epic, Detailed Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands

“To say we are excited for the Star Wars-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement,” Chapek said. “All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be.”

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Reveals Epic, Detailed Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands

Chapek plans to share exciting new details about the project during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Hall D23 Presentation on Saturday. The model will remain on display at the pavilion throughout the weekend to give visitors an up-close look at what’s to come on this never-before seen planet. In addition, the pavilion will display models, artwork and media that provide a first-ever look at some of the locations, starships, creatures, and droids that guests will encounter when they visit this new planet.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Reveals Epic, Detailed Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands

At D23 Expo 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced the Star Wars project to the delight of thousands of fans in attendance. The jaw-dropping new lands will open with two anchor attractions – one that gives guests the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Representing the largest single-themed land expansion at 14 acres each, the Star Wars-themed lands will open in 2019.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Reveals Epic, Detailed Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Reveals Epic, Detailed Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands

However, guests don’t need to wait until 2019 to be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy. From special character encounters to fan-favorite attractions like Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, and interactive entertainment like Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, guests of all ages can experience Star Wars stories at Disney parks and resorts around the world.

Pandora – The World of Avatar Opening 2017 at Animal Kingdom

At the recent D23’s Destination D: Amazing Adventures presentation, additional details were shared about the opening of Pandora – The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in summer 2017 at Walt Disney World® Resort.

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When you travel to this new land you will be immersed in adventure and wonder with the following experiences:

  • Satu’li Canteen – The main restaurant in Pandora – The World of AVATAR that will feature Na’vi art and cultural items
  • Windtraders –  The merchandise location where travelers can find Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more
  • Pongu Pongu – A special drink location with a design that is a eclectic as its Expat owner
  • AVATAR Flight of Passage – Excursions that offer the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora
  • Na’vi River Journey – A family-friendly experience that will send your Clients down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest

Get excited for this new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and stay tuned for more exciting details!

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Announces New Lands, Entertainment and Experiences

Disney announced a line-up of new attractions and entertainment coming to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort during the D23 EXPO 2015.

Star Wars Enhancements & New Experiences at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

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Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.

Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park.

Jedi Training Academy – A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”

Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park, you can explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which Guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios,

Guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

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Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida

The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. You will think you’ve been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions and one expanded favorite.

Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.

Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.

Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.

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After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR

As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

“Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.

Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.

AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

Soarin’ Around the World in Florida and California

Next year, guests at Epcot and Disney California Adventure Park will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its U.S. debut.

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Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

Jungle Cruise fans can look forward to the brand-new Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen restaurant opening in Magic Kingdom Park late 2015. At the Jungle Skipper Canteen, guests will be able to experience “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” in one of several unique dining rooms – including a crew mess hall and a once-hidden secret meeting room of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers. The restaurant will also be staffed by Jungle Cruise Skippers.

Stay tuned for more information about these new enhancements and attractions!


Disney to Announce ‘Star Wars’ Theme Park Plans Soon

Back in June 2013, Disney revealed that its then newly-acquired Star Wars franchise would be integrated into the company’s theme parks around the world. CEO Bob Iger teased in December that the theme park rides will be based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and its subsequent sequels and spinoffs.

Bob Iger recently told Wall Street analysts that the company is deep into development with their Star Wars theme park plans, with a formal announcement coming “later in 2015.”

“Fairly soon, I’m sure we’ll be ready to go public with some specifics. But it’s safe to say that you’ll see a lot more Star Wars at Disney and at Disney parks in the near future.” – Bob Iger

While the plans will be announced later this year, Bob Iger added that this ambitious endeavor will take a long time to get off the ground.

“(There is) a fair amount of design and development (taking place by the company’s Imagineers) to greatly increase Star Wars presence in multiple locations around the world. The plans are ambitious, so it’s going to take some time for them to be built and opened.” – Bob Iger

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While the Disney CEO didn’t say exactly when these Star Wars theme park plans will be unveiled, it’s possible that the announcement may be made during Star Wars Celebration in April, or Disney’s annual D23 Convention in August, both of which will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center. It’s possible the announcement could also be made on Star Wars Day, May 4, but we should learn more specific details about Disney’s Star Wars theme park plans well before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.

What ideas do you have about a Star Wars themed park at Disney?

Source: MovieWeb.com

Animating the Disney Parks: Marc Davis

Marc Davis

So far, we’ve covered how Claude Coats and Herb Ryman brought their skills as artists to the creation of the Disneyland Resort; this week, we finish the “Animating the Disney Parks” series with a look at the contributions of Disney Legend and animator Marc Davis. At D23’s Destination D event last month, Imagineer Tom Morris shared insights and remembrances about this remarkable artist.

One of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men, Marc Davis started with Disney in 1935 as an animator on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” He went on to create iconic Disney characters like Bambi, Cinderella and Tinker Bell. When the time came to develop Disneyland, Davis brought his skills in story and character development to bring attractions to life within the park.

 Pirates of the Caribbean through the eyes of an animator and storyteller

“If the parks didn’t have great animators from the Walt Disney Studio,” Morris said, “I don’t think Disneyland would be what it is today.” Davis, he said, approached an attraction like Pirates of the Caribbean through the eyes of an animator and storyteller.

“I drew every scene you see there as an animator would,” Davis once said regarding the attraction – whose characters were brought to life with the help of his wife and fellow Disney Legend, Alice Davis.

Disneyland's  Jungle Cruise

Davis also brought his animator’s eye to attractions like “it’s a small world,” Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise. Two scenes personally added by Davis to the Jungle Cruise – the elephant pool and the trapped safari – have become guest favorites throughout the attraction’s 57-year history.

Animating the Disney Parks: Herb Ryman

Disney Legend Herb Ryman

Last week, I told you about a presentation I attended during the recent D23’s Destination D – “Animating the Disney Parks.” We’ve already learned about Claude Coats and how he brought his talents as a Disney artist to designing Disneyland. Today we’ll take a look at Disney Legend Herb Ryman, as remembered by former Imagineer Eddie Sotto at D23’s Destination D event.

original concept drawings for Disneyland

An art director and designer, Ryman was hired by Walt Disney in 1954 to create the original concept drawings for Disneyland. Walt needed something for his brother, Roy Disney, to show to investors during his initial pitches for the new park.

“Herb was a place master,” remembered Sotto. He understood production design and used historical context to bring real meaning to the places he created at Disneyland. When designing Sleeping Beauty Castle, he visited the famous Neuschwanstein castle in Germany; his visits to New Orleans during the development of New Orleans Square brought a realism to the area.

New Orleans Square

Ryman’s work was “placemaking of the highest order,” according to Sotto, who went on to say that it was his understanding of soul and emotion that made the places he created believable. Ryman knew that life is what informs action – “It’s not just places; it’s what we do in the places” that matters, Sotto said.

Sotto remembered that Ryman was known for this piece of advice: “Be specifically vague.” He meant that designers should create something that anyone could relate to. “He allowed us to see ourselves there,” recalled Sotto.

You’re Invited to an Exclusive Private Party at Disney Grand Californian Resort and Spa

Grand Californian

Are you going to the 2011 D23 Expo in Anaheim this August?

Kingdom Magic’s Rick Howard (TravelwithRick.com) and Amanda Tinney (DisneyEveryDay.com) will be hosting an exclusive private event at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa during the 2011 D23 Expo.

rick and amandaJoin your hosts Rick and Amanda for a private soiree in a Grand Villa at Disney’s Grand Californian in Anaheim the evening of August 18th, 2011.

That’s right! Book your room or package for Disney’s  D23 Expo  with Kingdom Magic Vacations and receive an exclusive invite to our ‘Meet and Greet Mixer’ at Disney’s Grand California Resort Villas.  For details call Denise –  866-972-6244  Ext:  729 or E-Mail Denise@kingdommagic.com and be sure to mention the D23 ‘Meet and Greet Mixer’.  Disneyland Resorts and Good Neighbor Resorts are available.

We can’t wait to party with you!!!

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