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Mission: SPACE ‘Relaunches’ Aug. 13 With Brand New Experiences

Mission: SPACE ‘Relaunches’ Aug. 13 With Brand New Experiences

One of the “must-dos” at Epcot is Mission: SPACE.


So, now there’s even MORE to love.

Starting Aug. 13, Disney will relaunch the attraction with a brand new experience and an enhanced version of the “classic” Mission: SPACE.

  • If you think you’ve got “the right stuff,” take on the Orange Mission for a truly intense experience that lets you feel the force of an actual space launch en route to Mars. On this mission, you’ll dodge meteoroids, slingshot around the moon and attempt a precision landing on the Red Planet’s alien surface. This “mission” has been enhanced with new, HD video to make it even clearer!
  • Or, embark on the more family-friendly Green Mission – a new mission that takes you on an exciting orbit around Earth. On this amazing new adventure, you’ll take in sites like the Hawaiian Islands, Italy’s “boot” and the Northern Lights—as seen from space, of course—before finally landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. No matter which mission you choose, it’ll be a journey that’s totally out of this world.

In addition to all the “mission” updates, our partners at Walt Disney Imagineering have also made this attraction MORE family-friendly. Younger astronauts can now ride – the height restriction will be changed for the Green Mission side with the addition of new X-2 booster seats allowing children 40-44” to ride.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train To Open May 28 at Walt Disney World Resort

At a special dedication ceremony at Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs announced that the “crowning jewel” of New Fantasyland, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, will officially open on May 28.


During the dedication ceremony, Tom was joined by Disney Princess Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as he invited everyone to celebrate the addition of the final component to New Fantasyland.

“Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is both literally and figuratively the centerpiece of New Fantasyland, so we knew it had to be something special,” Tom said. “The attraction appeals to everyone in the family and provides just the right blend of heart, humor, and thrill while keeping with the charm of this special land.”


The family-style coaster features an innovative new ride system that allows cars to swing back and forth as they travel down the track. The cars are even designed to reflect similar vehicles that appear in the film, handmade of wood by the Dwarfs, shaped by an axe, and used to haul rocks and jewels.


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train also uses the latest in technology featuring some of the most advanced and charming Audio-Animatronics figures Disney Imagineers ever created. Adding to the fun, the journey will be accompanied by music from the film classic and scenes filled with Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs and playful forest critters.

This new attraction is an amazing addition to New Fantasyland – keep your eyes out for more information to come!

The New Princess Fairytale Hall Opens Its Doors September 18 at Magic Kingdom

While Walt Disney Imagineers are busy putting the finishing touches on Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom Park, they shared some news and a video with us. This exquisitely detailed Disney Princess character greeting location is the next to debut as a part of the New Fantasyland expansion – and Disney Parks Blog was happy to share that the Hall will officially open its doors on Sept. 18.

The New Princess Fairytale Hall Opens Its Doors September 18 at Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney Imagineering also shared a new sneak peek video with us in honor of today’s announcement. In it, Imagineers Pam Rawlins and Jason Grandt explain just how detailed this new character greeting area will be. In addition to a castle-like entrance, high ceilings and elegant wood-paneled rooms, the space will feature beautiful princess portraits, themed wallpaper, glittering stained glass windows and accessories that have been inspired by props seen in films like “Cinderella” and “Tangled.”

As a reminder, Princess Fairytale Hall will offer two separate character greeting experiences, which means there are two queues to choose from. You can choose to meet either Cinderella or Rapunzel, each of whom will be joined by one fellow Disney princess.

And yes, Princess Fairytale Hall will offer both traditional Disney FASTPASS and the new Disney FastPass+ options.

Source – Disney Parks Blog

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New Fantasylant Project Team Members Receive Key Piece of a New Attraction

According to the Disney Parks Blog, Walt Disney Imagineering just shared a photo of a very special delivery they received here the Walt Disney World Resort earlier this week.

New Fantasylant Project Team Members Receive Key Piece of a New Attraction

The very first mine train car was delivered at Walt Disney World this week for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction. The car, which can be seen above, will now be taken to a backstage area where it will receive a themed paint job and get ready for the 2014 debut in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

Does this get you excited for the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Attraction?

Getting Wetter Has Never Been Better Aboard Disney Magic with New Thrills, Pools and Playgrounds

Family fun in the sun has never been better aboard the Disney Magic with completely reimagined recreation and relaxation areas on the ship’s pool decks.

From free-falling water slides to laughter-filled splash zones there are plenty of new outdoor places and spaces, whether guests want to wade or just relax in the shade.

The upper decks of the Disney Magic have been redesigned for plenty of splashtacular fun, with waterful adventures that include a three-story, near-vertical water slide for thrill-seekers and a Huey, Dewey and Louie-themed toddler splash zone for smaller ducklings.

Having areas for all age groups to play and for families to create new memories was the driving goal for Walt Disney Imagineering when it designed the new pool deck areas.  Another goal was to add more covered outdoor areas so guests could escape the rays of the seafaring sun.

“From small children to teens to adults, everyone will have a space to have fun in the sun and water,” says Joe Lanzisero, senior creative vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering.  “We added more water play areas, dynamic slides, interactive elements for the kids and more shade.”

Here’s just some of the H20 fun on deck for Disney Magic guests:

Get Wet (Quickly!) on the AquaDunk

Water thrills (and spills!) are found on the AquaDunk, a 37-foot-tall body slide that begins with a surprise launch.  Riders step inside a translucent tube and await the near-vertical launch that takes place when the floor beneath them – surprise! – opens like a trap door. The drop sends guests on an exhilarating, swift and splashy ride, starting high atop the forward funnel on deck 13 and ending on deck 10.

Another thrilling feature of the slide that some might say that will send guests “over the edge” is the AquaDunk design – the translucent tube extends 20 feet over the side of the ship — allowing sharp-eyed riders a straight-line look at the ocean more than 112 feet under them.

Guests who choose to spectate rather than participate will be able to see the free-falling fun from many vantage points on the top decks.  Guests taller than 48 inches can enjoy the AquaDunk.

A Whimsical Water Playground — and One Angry Bird

Splashtacular fun is in store with wonderful, waterful adventures for the younger set.  The new AquaLab on the Disney Magic provides fun for everyone. Guests can soak in the sun and the water fun in the interactive water playground. The area is open to children ages 3 and up.

In the AquaLab, families can frolic among pop jets, geysers and bubblers in this fun and fanciful 1,800-square-foot space, while the Twist n’ Spout water slides gets them delightfully drenched.  Pop jets scattered around the deck spray randomly while “water boilers” provide a cooling splash with spray churning from their extra-leaky rivets.

One especially ducky water feature is an onboard homage to the “original angry bird” himself, Donald Duck.  The Donald Boiler is a duck-shaped figure whose hotheaded temper triggers periodic bursts of high-pressure mist, accompanied by a temper-tantrum water gusher. Interactive buttons on The Donald Boiler help guests get into the frenetic fun.

Another (and more tame) water slide — the Twist n’ Spout — takes riders through a series of spirals and turns, with three large loops turning them in opposite directions. Twist n’ Spout can be enjoyed by guests taller than 38 inches and smaller than 64 inches.

Tots up to age 3 are invited to play in the new Nephews’ Splash Zone, a splash-a-second space dedicated to interactive fun and starring Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. The area features all sorts of water play with pop jets, squirting figures of Donald Duck’s nephews and plenty of high seas hijinks they’ve created for “Unca Donald.”

More Poolside Fun for Everyone

Because many guests enjoy a classic swimming pool experience, the Disney Magic also offers Goofy’s Pool for families and Quiet Cove Pool – a pool exclusively for adults on deck nine for a refreshing dip, or a tranquil day lounging poolside in a deck chair.

Sneak Peek Inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Princess Fairytale Hall at New Fantasyland With Disney Imagineers

Walt Disney Imagineering just shared a new video with us that offers up a look inside the two attractions in New Fantasyland that are still yet to debut: Princess Fairytale Hall and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Princess Fairytale Hall, which will open later this year, will be the ultimate destination in which to greet Disney royalty. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a family coaster that is set to open in 2014

Princess Fairytale Hall, which will open later this year, will be the ultimate destination in which to greet Disney royalty. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a family coaster that is set to open in 2014, will take Magic Kingdom Park guests on a musical journey through the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The attraction will offer an innovative ride system with a train of vehicles that respond to every twist and turn, plus appearances by animated figures from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and music from this classic Disney film.

Walt Disney Imagineering just shared a new video with us that offers up a look inside the two attractions in New Fantasyland that are still yet to debut: Princess Fairytale Hall and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

In this video, Imagineers Jason Grandt, Pam Rawlins, and Dave Minichiello take you behind the scenes for an update.

Which of these attractions are you most excited to see for yourself? Let us know in the “Comments” section below.

The Story Behind Windows on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Park Honoring Roger Broggie

When we visit a Disney Park, did you know that there are clues all over as to the people who helped Walt Disney create all that magic?

One great example of this are all the windows on Main Street USA.  Those clever and comical windows often make reference to a creative influence behind the park’s creation.

Such is the case with Disneyland’s Main Street USA and this window honoring Roger Broggie, without whom much of Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts would look drastically different.

Here is Roger’s window in Disneyland…

Broggie was honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. , at Disneyland park on March 30, 2007. His window is above the Magic Shop and fittingly refers to him as “Roger Broggie, Shopmaster” and “Advisor to the Magic Makers.”

The Disneyland Railroad was inspired by Walt Disney’s love of trains. Since he first conceived the idea of Disneyland  Park, every concept design had one thing in common: “… it will be surrounded by a train,” said Walt. Roger Broggie, the first Walt Disney Studio employee to be recruited for the hand-picked team at WED Enterprises (now called Walt Disney Imagineering), was instrumental in helping Walt fulfill this dream.

Hired in 1939 as a master machinist, one of Broggie’s first assignments was the installation of the multiplane camera at the Burbank studio. Because he was familiar with fabricating small camera parts with great precision, Walt approached him to create a one-eighth scale live steam locomotive. Broggie helped create the Lilly Belle , a miniature live steam engine named for Walt’s wife, Lillian. A replica of the Lilly Belle is currently on display in the Disneyland Main Street Train Station. In 1949, Broggie helped Walt build his miniature trains in the Studio Machine Shop and later installed the Carolwood Pacific Railroad in the backyard of Walt’s Holmby Hills home.

In 1950, Broggie was promoted to head of the Studio Machine Shop and he became the transportation specialist. As plans for Disneyland progressed, he oversaw the development of the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad, the Monorail system  and Matterhorn Bobsleds . He also worked on new processes and techniques such as Circle-Vision 360, a motion picture format with screens that completely surround the audience, and “Project Little Man” which became the prototype for Audio-Animatronics technology.

While working on “Project Little Man,” Broggie and fellow Imagineer Wathel Rogers constructed a 9-inch-tall figure of a moving, talking man that mimicked vaudevillian tap-dancing using cams, cables and tubes. The original figure is on display as part of the D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum through April 30, 2013.

Broggie was honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. , at Disneyland park on March 30, 2007 fittingly refers to him as “Roger Broggie, Shopmaster” and “Advisor to the Magic Makers.”Broggie is known for epitomizing the essence of Walt Disney Imagineering – the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how. His legacy lives on at Disney as his grandson Garry (son of Imagineer Roger Broggie, Jr.) carries on the tradition as a third-generation machinist and supervisor at the Disney Studio machine shop.

Broggie was honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. , at Disneyland park on March 30, 2007. His window is above the Magic Shop and fittingly refers to him as “Roger Broggie, Shopmaster” and “Advisor to the Magic Makers.”

Additionally, he has a window dedicated to him at Magic Kingdom Park  in the Walt Disney World Resort , and on October 21, 2003, Walt Disney World Railroad Steam Engine #3, was re-dedicated as the Roger E. Broggie in his honor. In 1990, Broggie was named a Disney Legend .




Vintage Epcot: A Look Back at Horizons at Walt Disney World Resort

Let’s all take one big breath in and let it out slowly, because it’s time for a look back at…Horizons.

Although it’s now a thing of the past, Horizons, the attraction that took guests on “an exciting exploration of options for living and working in the 21st century,” continues to be an Epcot fan favorite today.

A Look Back at Horizons at Walt Disney World Resort

Called a “mind-boggling 15-minute journey” aboard a suspended vehicle, the first scene in Horizons was titled “Looking Back at Tomorrow” and offered a glimpse at past visionaries and views of yesterday’s future. Included in this area is one of the most iconic figures in Horizons, the Robot Butler.

A Look Back at Horizons at Walt Disney World Resort

Horizons also took guests to Nova Cite a community of the future where the use of a “holographic telephone” helped families keep in touch.

A Look Back at Horizons at Walt Disney World Resort

Designed over a three-year period at Walt Disney Imagineering in California, one memorable part about Horizons was the choose-your-own ending to the journey via personal spacecraft, desert hovercraft or mini-submarine.

A Look Back at Horizons at Walt Disney World Resort

It doesn’t matter where I am at; the smell of citrus will always evoke fond memories of Horizons.

Ahoy! Changes Are Afoot at Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom Park

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I’m excited to have a bit of news to share on one of my all-time favorite attractions, Pirates of the Caribbean here at Magic Kingdom Park.

This classic Disney attraction, which inspired a four-part film franchise, has undergone a few changes in recent years due to the success of these movies. First, Captain Jack Sparrow made his debut at the attraction, then Captain Barbossa (pictured above) appeared aboard a pirate ship. More recently, the ghostly apparitions of knaves Davy Jones and Blackbeard have materialized.

Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering dropped us a line today to let us know that something from the most recent film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” is about to be added to the attraction here at Walt Disney World Resort. Can you guess what it is?

Updates to the attraction will be made overnight, so Pirates of the Caribbean will remain open to guests during park hours.

Keep a weather eye on the Kingdom Magic Vacations Blog for more details!

All in the Details: The First Photos from Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

Today we’re thrilled to share the very first photos from inside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction, which will open at Magic Kingdom Park this December.

Housed in the grottos below Prince Eric’s Castle, this New Fantasyland attraction invites guests to follow Ariel on her remarkable journey as she meets Prince Eric, falls in love, and makes a deal with Ursula, the evil Sea Witch.

All in the Details: The First Photos from Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

These photos, supplied by Walt Disney Imagineering, are some of my favorite that we’ve shared in our “All in the Details” series so far. I love this shot, which is obviously inspired by the “Kiss the Girl” scene from the film.

some of Sebastian’s friendssome of Sebastian’s friends

And check out some of Sebastian’s friends above – sure looks like they’re having fun “Under the Sea.”

Many of you have asked about the differences between this attraction and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure park. For that answer, you can’t miss our previous posts and photos of the attraction’s impressive exterior, which includes Prince Eric’s Castle, and its queue, which leads through shipwrecks and rocky cliffs below.

All in the Details: Hidden History at Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station at Magic Kingdom Park

We previously took a look at the opening of Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station at Magic Kingdom Park when it opened back in June, but there are actually some hidden details here that are worthy of another Disney Parks Blog post.

Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station at Magic Kingdom Park


If you know anything about Disney Parks, you probably know that Walt Disney Imagineering often includes nods to Disney history in their projects. (The names on the windows on Main Street, U.S.A., are a great example).

specific set of numbers on the back: 71, 82, 89

Horse hoofs and other signs of circus life have made their way into the concrete’s designs

When you’re walking through this area, be sure to check out the little details on the ground beneath your feet. Horse hoofs and other signs of circus life have made their way into the concrete’s designs. (Be sure to look for the elephant tracks and false peanut shells in the concrete that leads into Dumbo the Flying Elephant!).



Finding the Perfect Prop for Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure Park: Part Two

Recently I posted part one of this video series with Brandon Kleyla, set decorator for Walt Disney Imagineering, revealing some of the ways he created the window displays on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park. In part two we go inside the shops to learn more about the backstories of the shop owners. Brandon told me he and his team spent a year shopping, wheeling and dealing to find just the right items to bring these stories to life. He also told me to keep coming back because guests often discover new treasures with each visit to Buena Vista Street.


Disney Parks Blog Exclusive: Pixar Presenters on California Coastal Disney Cruises

You’ve probably heard by now that guests aboard Disney Cruise Line’s special Pixar-inspired California Coast cruises will get to enjoy behind-the-scenes presentations from Pixar Animation Studios filmmakers.

John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios; Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering

Excitement has been brewing and fan sites are abuzz about this added bonus to an already spectacular voyage. And today, Disney Parks Blog fans, you’ll be the first to find out which brilliant and creative minds from Pixar will be presenting on these cruises. Drum roll, please…

September 16

John LasseterChief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios; Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering

Jay WardCARS Franchise Guardian, Pixar Animation Studios – Ward contributes his enthusiasm for cars and his artistic passions to the creation of anything and everything within the “Cars” Franchise, including the production of “Cars” as character team manager and consultant to the film’s director and co-director, John Lasseter and Joe Ranft.

September 23

Roger GouldCreative Director, Theme Parks, Pixar Animation Studios – Gould collaborates with Walt Disney Imagineering in the creation of theme park attractions and lands inspired by Pixar’s films, most recently the creation and opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park.

Tia KratterShading Art Director, Pixar Animation Studios – Kratter served as the shading art director on “Brave,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars,” where she was responsible for specifying the color and texture of every object modeled for a film.

September 30

Harley JessupProduction Designer, Pixar Animation Studios – Jessup leads teams of artists who create and design the sets and characters for films, including “Monster’s Inc.,” and “Ratatouille.” He recently finished working as production designer for “Cars 2.”

Jeremy LaskyDirector of Photography/ Camera, Pixar Animation Studios – Lasky served as director of photography/camera on “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E” and “Toy Story 3.” His most recent project was as director of photography/camera on “Cars 2.”

October 7

Rob GibbsDirector, Pixar Animation Studios – Gibbs has contributed his story talents to a number of Disney•Pixar films, including “Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E,” “Up” and “Cars.” He has also directed and co-directed several of the studio’s “Cars Toons.”

Sharon CalahanDirector of Photography/Lighting, Pixar Animation Studios – Calahan served as director of photography/lighting on “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille” and “Cars 2.” She previously served as lighting supervisor on the studio’s first feature film, “Toy Story.”

The schedule and presenters are subject to change, but from this list, it’s clear these sailings are going to be jam-packed with fun, creativity and imagination!

Lastly, in case you missed it, earlier this week John Lasseter gave Disney Cruise Line Facebook fans a special video message about these cruises. Check it out…


Animating the Disney Parks: Claude Coats

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend D23’s Destination D at the Disneyland Hotel. I listened to a fascinating presentation, “Animating the Disney Parks,” featuring Eddie Sotto and Imagineers Tony Baxter and Tom Morris. Each Imagineer shared the story of how legendary Disney animators and artists became the first Imagineers during the early development of Disneyland and then the Walt Disney World Resort.

Animating the Disney Parks: Claude Coats

Tony Baxter, Walt Disney Imagineering senior vice president of creative development, got the discussion started with the story of his mentor, Claude Coats. Originally in 1935 as a background painter, Coats created the worlds of “Pinocchio,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Lady and the Tramp.” His backgrounds created a sense of place, Baxter said, much like WED Enterprises (later Walt Disney Imagineering) would do in theme parks.

When Walt Disney was creating Disneyland, the talents of his animators were needed for this new medium. As Baxter recalled, Coats’ experience working on “Lady and the Tramp,” especially, gave him the inspiration to look at the world from an altered perspective – inspiration that would later lead to real-life experiences like Storybook Land Canal Boats and Adventure Thru Inner Space.

“Disneyland defined the ability to take you out of the world you live in,” Baxter said.

scenes for Pirates of the Caribbean

Coats was trained in architecture, Baxter said, which gave credibility to the environments he created. When the scenes for Pirates of the Caribbean were being developed, it was Coats who had the idea to paint the ceiling black, creating the illusion of a night sky and making the ceiling disappear – giving guests the sense of being outside at night.

Grand Canyon Diorama and Primeval World along the Disneyland Railroad

You can see Coats’ background painting talents for yourself today in the Grand Canyon Diorama and Primeval World along the Disneyland Railroad.

Check back for more from “Animating the Disney Parks” – next time, we’ll focus on another master of creating a sense of place, Herb Ryman.

Finding the Perfect Prop for Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure Park: Part One

What would it be like to shop for a living? Just ask Brandon Kleyla, set decorator for Walt Disney Imagineering! Each shop on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park has a story, and it was Brandon’s task to help tell it. It all starts with what Brandon refers to as Phase One, researching at the Walt Disney Imagineering Information Resource Center to understand the time period. Phase Two is setting out to purchase those items online that you know you’re looking for, with Phase Three being endless hours at flea markets and antique malls to find one-of-a-kind, vintage treasures for each shop owner.

In part one of this Disney Parks Blog mini-series, we take a look at the window displays on Buena Vista Street, which include merchandise provided by the Resort Enhancement team at Disneyland Resort as well as props found by Brandon and his team at Walt Disney Imagineering. Stay tuned for part two to find out about the props inside the shops.


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