Kingdom Magic Vacations

Call Toll-Free
866-972-6244

Tag Archives: walt disney studios

D23 Expo Revisited – Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

The 2013 D23 Expo was last weekend, and it truly a a magical event for all Disney fans who attended!  This was my first D23 Expo and I enjoyed every minute of it: I met Disney Legends, new friends, and learned what being a true Disney Fan was all about!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Once we got into the convention center, the first day’s main event was the Animation Session hosted by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer for Pixar and Walt Disney Studios as well as Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering.  We were given glimpses into the next several movies in the pipeline for Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, and Disneytoons Studios.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories
We were even treated to guest appearances from voice actors Dane Cook from Planes, Bill Hader from Monsters University, and Josh Gad and Kristen Bell from Frozen, the much anticipated new animated feature from Walt Disney Studios.  We even got a special appearance from John Ratzenberger!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Bill Hader from Monsters University and Pixar Veteran, John Ratzenberger

At the end of the session Broadway great Idina Menzel sang “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen and brought the house down!

After the main session, which ran five hours, we were all hungry and headed outside to the row of food trucks that D23 had brought in. I enjoyed a meatball sandwich that was incredible.

After lunch, it was time for walking around the Collector’s Gallery, where Disneyana collectors from all over the world were gathered to buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles from vinylmations to animation cells from classic Disney features.

Pat Carrol, the voice of Ursula from Disney’s Little Mermaid, Imagianeer and Disney Legend Bob Gurr were also there signing autographs and taking pictures, it was incredible.  There were also some amazing collector’s items that were available for sale.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Disney Legend Bob Gurr

The next day was filled with smaller sessions in the morning until it was time for the Walt Disney Studios Live Action Feature Movies panel.  We were treated to previews from Marvel’s Thor: Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and even Captain America.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Angelina Jolie for Maleficent at D23

The highlight of the day was the presentation for Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, the story of Wait Disney and P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins.  It was a great preview and concluded with an appearance from Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak who portrayed the Sherman Brothers in the movie.  Schwartzman and Novak were accompanied by Richard Sherman, one half of the legendary Sherman Brothers songwriting team.  They sang “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” from Mary Poppins as they were surrounded by kite flying dancers.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Disney Legend Richard Sherman, B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman

On the final day, we were able to sit in a session with Disney Legends, Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, and X Atencio called Working with Walt.  These are some of the very Imagineers who actually worked with Walt Disney.  It was an incredible experience to listen to their stories and learn more about some of the great Disney movies and the creation of Disneyland.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent walking around the vendor booths and some of the incredible Disney Consumer Products.  We got to experience some of the upcoming Disney products before they were released.  We even got some signed lithographs from Disney Consumer Product Artists!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

 One thing we learned was to divide and conquer.  One of us would wait in line for whatever main event we wanted to see, while the rest of us were able to walk around or sit in on other smaller sessions.  If you attend the next D23 event, don’t forget to bring tons of patience, the lines are super long, but it does give you the opportunity to make new friends and read all those emails you have been meaning to get to!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

D23 was an incredible event.  We are already looking to the next one in 2015.  We discovered that we were not alone in our love and passion for Walt Disney and all of his wonderful creations.

All the Birds Sing Words and the Flowers Croon…Coast-to-Coast at The Enchanted Tiki Room

This attraction at Disneyland park was the very first to feature Audio-Animatronics characters—over 150 of them! When Walt Disney World Resort opened its version, entitled “Tropical Serenade Featuring The Enchanted Tiki Room,” it also included the Sunshine Tree Terrace. Both were sponsored by the Florida Orange Growers, who teamed with the Walt Disney Studios for a national promotion. One of the benefits of this project was a Disneyland Storyteller record album with songs by the Oscar-winning Sherman Brothers. Both the advertising and the LP record featured the first Disney Character created especially for Walt Disney World Resort: Orange Bird.

Throngs of admirers turned out when our fine-fruited friend made his triumphant return appearance to the Sunshine Tree Terrace last year, a short time after The Enchanted Tiki Room also returned in a revised version of its original glory.

The songs in the present Magic Kingdom Park edition include the classic, ultra-catchy “Tiki-Tiki-Tiki-Tiki-Tiki Room,” also by the Shermans. Another is a pop hit from 1932 known as “Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing.” The grand finale is “Hawaiian War Chant,” written in the 1860’s by Prince Leleiohoku and became a hit on records and movies when it was revised and reintroduced in 1936. Probably its most famous version is also the silliest one, by Spike Jones and His Slickers.

If some of the voices in The Enchanted Tiki Room sound familiar, they are. Thurl Ravenscroft plays Fritz, voice of one of the singing busts in the Haunted Mansion (look for the organ with his name in the interactive queue). He voiced, among hundreds of things, Tony the Tiger and sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

Disney historian Jim Korkis recently told me that legendary Hollywood “ghost singer” Bill Lee is also in the Tiki Room cast. Bill sang off-screen for countless movie stars, from Christopher Plummer in 1965’s “The Sound of Music” to Yogi in 1964’s “Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear.”

Another Tiki Room alumnus who sang in the Yogi feature is Ernie Newton, who voices Pierre in the attraction. And playing José and Michael are two Disney Legends from the beloved Disneyland park stage musical, Golden Horseshoe Revue: Wally Boag (the master comedian who mentored Steve Martin) and Fulton Burley, the celebrated Irish tenor.

I always get a kick out of the exit song, a parody of “Heigh-Ho” that basically tells us to go away in an entertaining way! My favorite line is “Don’t stop to look / Go read a book!”

“Ratatouille’ Themed Attraction Set to Open at Disneyland Paris in 2014

When you watch the Disney●Pixar film “Ratatouille,” does it make you want to visit Paris? As early as next year, fans of this film in particular will have a whole new reason to make the trip, as it was just announced that a new attraction based on this film is in the works for Disneyland Paris.

Ratatouille’-Themed Attraction Set to Open at Disneyland Paris in 2014

This new family-focused attraction will open at the resort’s Walt Disney Studios Park in 2014. The film tells the tale of Remy, a cuisine-loving rat, who dreams of becoming a talented French chef. According to Gas, Disneyland Paris is the perfect setting for such an attraction:

“By developing this new ‘Ratatouille’ attraction, we continue to ensure our guests can experience their favorite Disney stories in memorable ways that only Disney can provide,” he said. “The theme, which is very français, is a tribute to the capital and the unforgettable characters that make ‘Ratatouille’ the ideal choice for an attraction that fits perfectly at Disneyland Paris.”

Who’s ready for a visit?

Lights…Camera…Magic Tour – Adventures by Disney

This one-day, guided adventure begins when guests meet two Adventures by Disney guides in the lobby at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

Then, it’s off to Hollywood for a walking tour that includes visits to the Dolby® Theatre℠ at the Hollywood & Highland Center (home of the Academy Awards®) – or, based on the tour date, the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, best known for its extensive collection of celebrity footprints and handprints. Both are located on vibrant Hollywood Boulevard.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

The exterior of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is impressive! The theatre faces Hollywood Boulevard – and in the promenade, guests will find the footprints, handprints and signatures of motion picture celebrities from the ’20s to present day.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

Seeing the inside of the Grauman’s Theatre is a real treat – the theatre has been home to many star-studded movie premiers since it opened in 1927 and is rich with Hollywood history.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

Many visitors to the theatre stop to take a photo of their favorite celebrity’s imprint.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

Guests will see the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame where stars honor excellence in: motion picture, radio, recording, television and live performance. There are a few Disney stars…even one for Disneyland!

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

Across from the Hollywood & Highland Center, guests will see the famous El Capitan Theatre that opened in 1927 and is now home to many of the Walt Disney Studios’ premieres.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

From Hollywood, the tour continues through Beverly Hills (that would be the famous 90210 zip code!) and on to Rodeo Drive, the ultimate designer shopping district!

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

For lunch (which is included in the tour), guests visit the original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax – take in some shopping over the break, and keep an eye out for a star or two as this is a local favorite!

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

The selection of fresh produce is fantastic!

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

After lunch, guests hop aboard a trolley and explore the shops at The Grove. Or, catch a glimpse of the television show ‘Extra’, which shoots live at the center.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

Later in the afternoon, guests depart to The Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank for a guided tour. An Adventures by Disney tour is the only way for the general public to experience the Studio Lot – this is truly an exclusive experience that’s only available to the public on the rarest of occasions. Our guests love this behind-the-scenes adventure!

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

The Walt Disney Studio Lot is filled with history and original buildings where many Disney Classics came to life – guests will get to go inside the Animation Building.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

Once inside the Animation Building, guests will find original sketches and story boards that served as the foundation for many Disney animated films.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

The intersection of Dopey Drive and Mickey Avenue. Imagine what this must have been like back in the ’40s, walking in Walt Disney’s footsteps.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

The tour wraps up with a special reception in Legends Plaza, where Disney’s many gifted animators, Imagineers, songwriters, actors and business leaders have been honored.

Backstage Magic Tour - Adventures by Disney

This one-day tour provided by Adventures by Disney is a perfect add-on to a Disneyland vacation. Guests will explore Southern California’s iconic locations and star-studded sites. Learn more by Clicking Here or call 1-866-972-6244 for pricing and details.

 

Vintage Walt Disney World: A Look Back at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror started welcoming guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios back in July 1994, dark and stormy nights became the norm around the Hollywood Tower Hotel. And all these years later, guests still get a scream out of their daily visits. Here’s a look at the lobby under construction in May 1994.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

While four Disney Parks (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney California Adventure park, Walt Disney Studios Park, and Tokyo DisneySea) have their own versions of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the original. This striking landmark at Walt Disney World Resort was constructed with 1,500 tons of steel, 145,800 cubic feet of concrete, and 27,000 roof tiles, and it stands 199 feet tall.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Still to this day inside The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, guests can’t wait to enter an episode that is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and is used with permission pursuant to a license from CBS, Inc. ©Disney/CBS, Inc.

You Could Win a Cadillac In Disney’s Cars 2 “Agents on a Mission” Sweepstakes

Click Here to Book your Disney Vacation Now!

state farm agents on a mission cars sweepstakePresented by State Farm, the “Agents on a Mission” tour hit the road with Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2” when four-time Piston Cup champion Lightning McQueen and best friend Mater joined master British spy Finn McMissile on a 30-city tour that kicked off at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., on March 22. The star cars are racing off the big screen and into a host of cities—life-size remote-controlled models will light up and rev for fans in Detroit, Toronto, Phoenix, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington, DC, and Miami, among others. The tour heats up at the film’s Los Angeles red-carpet premiere on June 18, just in time for the “Cars 2” theatrical opening on June 24.

“The ‘Agents on a Mission’ tour lets fans get face to face with ‘Cars’ favorites Lightning McQueen and Mater, plus the very cool, very savvy spy Finn McMissile, a new character on ‘Cars 2’ roster,” says MT Carney, president of marketing for The Walt Disney Studios. “This movie is filled with fun, action, heart and a lot of laughs—we want to get everyone geared up for ‘Cars 2.’”

agents on a mission sweepstakesStar racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix. But the road to the championship is filled with surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine). Directed by John Lasseter and produced by Denise Ream, the fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.

State Farm brings Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2” adventure directly to fans with the “Agents on a Mission” tour, showcasing cars modeled after their big-screen likenesses. The cars will be outfitted in Goodyear tires and transported from coast to coast (and back again) by Mack Trucks, Inc. Visitors can check out the cars and take part in a variety of “Cars 2”-themed activities, including a video kiosk, e-photo opportunities, games and giveaways. They can also enter the “Agents on a Mission” sweepstakes, which features 18,000 prizes, including a new car.

“State Farm is thrilled to present the ‘Cars 2’ ‘Agents on a Mission’ tour,” says Pam El, marketing vice president, State Farm. “Like our force of 18,000 agents across the U.S. and Canada, whose mission is to help people realize their dreams every day, families can become secret agents by participating in fun ‘Cars 2’-themed missions at the tour and online.”

The tour will run through June, hitting the U.S. red-carpet premiere in Los Angeles, and wrapping up in San Francisco and Sonoma.

Disney•Pixar’s “Cars,” originally released on June 9, 2006, grossed nearly $462 million worldwide. It was nominated for two Oscars® and one Golden Globe® Award, winning the first ever Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film.

Presented in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D in select theaters, Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2” hits the track on June 24, 2011. The film marks DisneyŸPixar’s 12th feature-length animated film and will be released as Pixar Animation Studios celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year. The Studio, founded in 1986, has earned 29 Academy Awards® and seven Golden Globes®. To date, its 11 feature films have grossed more than $6.5 billion at the worldwide box office.

Click Here to Book your Disney Vacation Now!

MENU