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Tag Archives: milestone

Test Track’s New Look Will Be Unveiled at Epcot This Week

Now that all you Epcot fans have had a few weeks to recover from celebrating Epcot history at the park’s 30th anniversary festivities, let’s take a look forward at what’s next for the park. We have an update to share on Test Track – Presented by Chevrolet, which will celebrate a milestone in its construction this week as it unveils its new exterior to guests.

Artist Rendering of the Test Track's New Exterior at Epcot

As you can see from this image, the attraction’s color scheme has been changed from a yellow-and-black checkerboard pattern to a sleek, bold blue design that incorporates smaller icon designs that guests will encounter within the attraction. (And I think I spy at least one nod to Epcot history here. Anyone else?). The attraction’s new marquee, which Walt Disney Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick unveiled also reflects a sleek automotive-inspired design.

Artist Rendering of the Sleek Automotive-Inspired Marquee at Epcot

As a reminder, the reimaged Test Track will officially open this Dec. 6. For more on the attraction’s new storyline, technology and more, don’t miss these previous blog posts:

 

Heading to the 30th Anniversary of Epcot on October 1? Here’s the Schedule of Events

We know that many of you are as excited as we are to celebrate Epcot’s 30th anniversary here at Walt Disney World Resort on October 1.

In honor of the milestone, the park has lined up a few special offerings for guests who wish to mark this special occasion.

30th Anniversary of Epcot

Throughout the day on October 1, guests can attend Epcot history presentations in World Showplace courtesy of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. These presentations are included in park admission and are limited in seating.

1-2 p.m. – Designing the Future – Past and Present: A panel of Disney Imagineers remembers 30 years of building tomorrow!
4:30–6 p.m. – Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar
6:30–8 p.m. – Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar
Guests can also attend an anniversary moment at the America Gardens Theatre at 3 p.m., which will feature appearances by Disney leaders and include performances by Mariachi Cobre and Voices of Liberty. (Seating for this presentation is also limited.)

That evening, the October 1 presentation of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will feature a special 30th anniversary tag.

 

VIDEO: How a Horse Becomes a Disneyland Horse: Owen Makes His Main Street, U.S.A., Debut at Disneyland Park

As we learned last time, Disneyland horse-in-training Owen has earned an A+ as he has been getting ready this year to join his fellow cast members on Main Street, U.S.A. Today we get to see a very important milestone in his training, “graduation” – his first time transporting Disneyland park guests in the Main Street streetcar!

Next time you’re on Main Street, U.S.A., keep an eye out for Owen and be sure to congratulate him on successfully completing his training!

A New Fantasyland Milestone: Gaston Arrives in Belle’s Village at Magic Kingdom Park

Gaston has arrived in Belle’s Village – well, a statue of him has, anyway.

Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering are excited to share this latest milestone as Gaston arrived on site earlier this week, and they even snapped this pic for us to share exclusively with our Disney Parks Blog readers.

Gaston Arrives in Belle’s Village at Magic Kingdom Park

This bronze work of art will be a focal point in Belle’s Village, appearing as part of a larger fountain that also features Gaston’s sidekick Lefou right outside of Gaston’s Tavern.

Belle’s Village

Here’s what we can expect Belle’s Village to look like when it’s complete. (For reference, Gaston’s Tavern is on the left and Bonjour Gifts is on the right).

We’ll be back Tuesday morning with another update on New Fantasyland. In the meantime, what part of New Fantasyland do you want to see next?

Construction Crews at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Celebrate “Topping Out”

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Disney Art of Animation Resort Topping Off

The hundreds of people who are building Disney’s Art of Animation Resort from the ground up gathered to mark the project’s “topping out.”

The “topping out” is a special moment that typically occurs in the construction and engineering industry when the highest piece of structure, either steel or concrete, is placed on the building’s frame. The tradition dates back to the Vikings, who would place an evergreen tree on the top of a building to celebrate and bring good luck.

At the construction site for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a crane helped lift the traditional evergreen to the roof of a building that will soon be part of the Lion King wing of the resort hotel.

“The hundreds of people we have working on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are doing an amazing job helping us build a resort hotel that will really delight our guests,” said Gary Hoffmann, senior project manager for Walt Disney Imagineering. “The traditional topping out is an important milestone on a project that continues to run on schedule for an opening just ten months from now.”

In size and scope the construction of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a major project at Walt Disney World Resort, creating upwards of 800 construction jobs. Once open in 2012, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also create 750 permanent resort hotel jobs.

Walt Disney World Resort features 25 uniquely themed, Disney owned-and-operated resort hotels with more than 26,000 guest rooms – something for every taste and budget. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will likewise be unique, with themed building exteriors and room interiors that bring to life The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King buildings will be entirely family suites, with 1,120 suites between them. The Little Mermaid buildings will feature 864 rooms in the “value” room category.

The construction of family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is an innovative approach to a changing marketplace. Today more and more multi-generational families are traveling together for various celebrations, including family reunions. These families not only want to play together, they want to stay together, which has created tremendous demand for family suites.

The first wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Finding Nemo, is scheduled to open in May 2012.

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Universal Orlando Resort Celebrates One Year Anniversary of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Universal Orlando Resort celebrates the one-year anniversary of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Saturday, Universal Orlando Resort celebrated the one-year anniversary of the most spectacularly themed entertainment environment – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where the wonder, excitement and adventures of the Harry Potter books and films come to life.

Universal Orlando commemorated the anniversary at 9:23 a.m. – the exact time The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened on June 18, 2010.  After taking part in a countdown led by the Hogwarts Express conductor, guests and team members celebrated in the streets of Hogsmeade while “snow” confetti and gold streamers fell from the sky.  Guests also enjoyed complimentary Butterbeer, cauldron cakes and Chocolate Frogs.

“We’re so excited to celebrate this milestone with our guests,” said Bill Davis, president of Universal Orlando Resort.  “It’s been an incredible year for us and our guests, and we look forward to creating more exciting memories with them in the years to come.”

Universal Orlando is also creating a virtual celebration by launching today a new “Share Your Story” tab on its official Facebook page.  The all-new tab gives fans the opportunity to interact with one another and share favorite memories and photos from their visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – whether it’s tasting Butterbeer for the first time, watching their daughter as she’s selected by the perfect wand or soaring above Hogwarts with their family.

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