Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Day/Night at WDW

A large collection of pictures of the Halloween festivities around Walt Disney World Resort.

Zz.

The Yeti Man Rode EE for the 1000th Times

OK, first of all, how do I get his job to be able to spend that much time at the parks?

:)

The infamous Yeti Man reached a milestone yesterday for riding Expedition Everest for the 1000th times.

Zz.

Happy Halloween!


BOO!!!

Zz.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Man Fell Off Walt DisneyWorld Tram

I was going to write a lengthy comment about how people who don't pay attention to safety warnings at WDW sometime deserves to get hurt, but John Frost already made a comment that reflected my sentiments, so I'm going to link his article directly.

Luckily, it appears that he didn't get hurt seriously, but it could have been a nasty incident just to retrive an item.

Zz.

Disney and Your Finger Scans

Another report (and concerns) regarding the biometric scan of your fingers as identification to gain entry into Disney theme parks.

Personally, I don't see this as an issue. Disney would be out of their minds if they give even a hint of an impression that our privacy will be violated due to what they're doing. This is the surest way to make people stay away. However, the lack of displayed information at the gates to what they do, and the alternative to having a biometric scan needs to change. They should at least inform their guests of their policy.

Zz.

The Man and the Mouse

Another take from the upcoming biography of Walt. This time, author Neil Gabler thinks that Walt would have been disappointed with how Epcot turns out.

I kinda agree that Epcot feels rather "strange" and inconsistent, especially with the presence of the World Showcase. However, you tend to like (or maybe tolerate) something that you have become familiar to, and that is how I feel about Epcot nowadays. It has gotten very familiar, and so I enjoy it more. Besides, Illuminations is my most favorite night time show.

So Epcot may not have been what Walt had a in mind, but I'm willing to accept what it is today.

Zz.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Excerpt from Walt's Biography

Kansas City Star has an excerpt from the upcoming Walt biography. This excerpt highlights the Missouri years.

Zz.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

An Animated American

Can Disney resurrect the live action + animation movie? They certainly broke new grounds with the huge hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Now they are going to try again with the new movie Animated American.

Zz.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sleeping Beauty Castle


A snapshot of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, CA, taken in May 2006. This was from our "Mini Grand Tour" trip, where we started at Disneyland, and then flew directly to Orlando to finish the rest of our vacation at Walt Disney World. It was a memorable trip, to say the least.

It was my first ever trip to Disneyland, and I was glad that I could do it while they still had their Golden Anniversary celebration. We hope to go back to Disneyland again in a couple of years.

Zz.

Mary Poppins Flying Again

After having force to stop on Wednesday the stage production of Mary Poppins both in London and on Broadway, both shows went off without a glitch on Thursday.

Let's hope it stays that way.

Zz.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New WDW Trivia

Take this Walt Disney World Trivia and see how well you scored (hint: if you score less than 50%, what are you doing reading this Blog?) :)

Zz.

#1 Cable Network

Guess what is the most watched cable network last week? One would think "ESPN", especially now that Monday Night Football is on that network. Well, you would be wrong. The non-commercial supported Disney Network scored a major coup as basic cable most watched network.

This is fine with the Walt Disney Company since they own both of them!

Zz.

New Disney Postage Stamps for 2007

The new Disney postage stamps as part of the Art of Disney series scheduled for 2007 have been announced.

The art of magic stamps featuring Disney characters Dumbo and Timothy Mouse, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, Mickey Mouse as "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and Aladdin and Genie.


I can't wait.

Zz.

Mary Poppins Stopped In Her Tracks!

Wow! A lot of news on Mary Poppins stage shows this week. Both stage shows - the currently-running production in London, and the previews on Broadway - had to be cancelled on Wednesday evening due to technical glitches. What a weird coincidence!

I hope they get this straigten out by the time the show opens officially on Broadway. Too many people have such high expectation and anticipation for this one.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Disney Theater Fans Stretch Too Thin?

Just after I posted that news regarding Mary Poppins on Broadway and asking how many Disney theater productions currently running on Broadway, along comes a news article from Variety that essentially asks the same question.

Zz.

Thunder Mountain Railroad


One of my most favorite attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Don't miss my videos of this attraction from the Magic Kingdom, and the one at Disneyland!

Zz.

Mary Poppins on Broadway

Disney Insider this time focuses on the Broadway version of Mary Poppins. So how many Disney musicals are on Broadway now? :)

Zz.

A Giraffe Born at Animal Kingdom

A giraffe was born at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This follows the successful birth of a baby elephant slightly more than a year ago (you would have seen the baby elephant if you have been on the Safari ride lately).

Click on the picture in the link above. That is one very cute baby giraffe, almost made-to-order for Disney, don't you think?

Zz.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Laughing Place has pictures and videos of the revamped Living Seas pavilion, now called The Seas with Nemo and Friends. The videos include the ride through of the new attraction.

Zz.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Nightmare Before Christmas

IGN and director Henry Selick looks back at 13 years and a little movie that keeps going.

Pilot Seat of the Monorail


This is the view from the very front of a monorail train as it was leaving the Magic Kingdom Station towards the Transportation Center.

Zz.

More on Louisa!

If you missed my earlier post on Louisa, our Jungle Cruise skipper, you should go read it. In any case, she has written back on the video page and even informed me that her two "loaders" have also seen the video.

This is a lot of fun, and I am glad that I got to tell her how much she's appreciated. Often, you don't get to do such a thing to someone who had somehow made your day memorable. So I am very pleased that I had this opportunity.

You can read the "comments" left between me and Louisa on the Google Video page for the Jungle Cruise ride.

Zz.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Boat Friends


Here were a few friends we met sailing along on a boat.

Zz.

Electrical Water Pageant


Guess what else is celebrating its 35 Anniversary? The Electrical Water Pageant! This "cheesy" show has become much beloved by those who are standing in line waiting to get onto the ferry from the Magic Kingdom to the Transportation Center, or those staying at one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts.

If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, or if you want to see a video of this show, there's one available online that I know of.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7715818496829823091

Zz.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Prestige Opens at No. 1

Disney scored another #1 boxoffice opening with The Prestige this weekend.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movies/10/22/boxoffice.ap/index.html

On a related note, the 3D version of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas was outstanding! As with Chicken Little, the 3D effects felt so natural, you forget that you're watching the movie in 3D. Sure, they didn't use outrageous effects to make the 3D stand out, but you can still see it. If you want in-your-face 3D effects, don't miss the 3D annoucement to wear your 3D glasses at the very beginning of the movie.

I forgot how gorgeous this movie is when viewed on a very large screen of a movie theater.

Zz.

Primeval Whirl video

I have update my uploaded video link. The newest video to be up is the Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom. You very seldom see this ride video anywhere, probably because many Disney purists do not particularly like it. Still, it is a fun ride, especially for the younger guests. We ride it everytime.

Zz.

Dumbo's 65th Anniversary



Tomorrow, Oct. 23, is the 65th anniversary of the release of the much-beloved movie Dumbo.

Disney has two commemorative pins to mark this occassion. The top one is the pin that was released at Disneyland on Oct. 20, while the bottom pin will be released tomorrow at Disney World.

Both are sooooo cute! I want them!

Zz.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

Opening Day of Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D

Laughing Place has pictures and video of the opening night of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas in Disney Digital 3D.

I'm going to see this on Sunday. I can't wait. Will write about it afterwards, I'm sure.

Zz.

Finding Nemo: The Musical

Finding Nemo: The Musical is set to open at the newly revamped Theater In The Wild at Disney's Animal Kingdom. You recall that this was where Tarzan Rocks used to play.

The Broadway styled musical will be opening for previews soon, and already there are talks that if it becomes successful, it might be another Disney musical to make it to Broadway.

Laughing Place has exclusive preview photos and videos of this musical. Check them out! They look stunning!

Zz.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rumors Surrounding Pirates 4

Oy vey. We haven't had the 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean yet, and already there are rumors swirling about Pirates 4. In particular, there's a rumor that Orlando Bloom may not make it to that sequel.

Zz.

Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D

In case you still don't know, Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas will be released in Disney Digital 3D starting tomorrow, Oct. 20, at select theaters.

Check out the Disney's Nightmare Before Christmas website to find more details and to find a theater near you.

Zz.

More on Disney's Move for Healthier Food

More positive response to Disney's recent announcement of healthier food at Disney's US theme parks.

Frankly, I am very glad Disney is making this effort. Getting rid of the disgusting trans-fat is a major and important step.

Zz.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More Healty Food News from Disney

A follow-up story on this in today's Orlando Sentinel. Looks like this would be a major overhaul of the food being served at the two Disney resort areas in the US.

Zz.

Downtown Disney at Night


A view of Downtown Disney at night from our "home" at Saratoga Springs.

Zz.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Healthier Food at Disney Theme Parks in the US?

Finally, someone with some sense realizes that they're slowly killing their customers. Disney is planning on providing healther meals at their US theme parks.

For me, I've haven't had fries in months, and certainly didn't have any while we were at WDW last time. While I'm not a health-freak nut (I still have that turkey legs and the Mickey Premium ice cream), I certainly pay attention to what I eat, and I try to avoid trans-fat at all cost if I can. So all I can say is that it is about time Disney pay some attention to what they're serving.

Zz.

Yay, Louisa!

OK, if you've ever seen my Jungle Cruise video, the one from the Magic Kingdom, you would have heard Louisa, who was our Jungle Cruise Skipper. She was terrific!

Now apparently, Louisa SAW this video and left me a comment! You can read it at the video link. If this is really her, I'm honored! She did a wonderful job at something that, I'm sure, gets very repetitious day in and day out.

In any case, it made my day knowing that she knew someone appreciated her efforts.

Zz.

The Nemo Attraction at the Old Living Seas Pavilion

John Frost has a terrific account of the new attraction at the old Living Seas pavilion at Epcot. Be warned that if you wish to discover this yourself for the first time, don't read his review.

Zz.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Picture from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge


A picture of the giraffes at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. This was shot in June 2006. One of the giraffes came quite close and proceeded to have a snack right in front of us.

Zz.

Most Memorable Disney Memories

I'm putting a link to a thread on WDWMagic on the most memorable Disney memories. To me, it is THE best thread on that forum. It is a reafirmation of the magic of Disney and Disney theme parks, and how much it can affect people. While the rest of our world can be cruel and cynical, Disney fans know that there is a place where we can still feel safe, welcomed, a child, and where we can feel the magic if we let it.

I wish that at some point, everyone gets the same memorable moment at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Zz.

2 Most Recent Video Uploads

I have updated the database of all the Disney videos that I have uploaded. The two most recent ones are the Dumbo Ride at Dineyland, and the It's A Small World, also at Disneyland. So if you haven't looked at My Disney video link lately, you might want to do that.

Zz.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

No Tiger at WDW

For the first time since turning pro, Tiger Woods won't be playing at Walt Disney World's Funai Classic golf tournament.

Report from Orlando Sentinel

So traffic around WDW should be better during the tournament this time around, no? :)

Zz.

Where in WDW


Where in Walt Disney World can you find this?

Zz.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Disney Vacation Club 15th Anniversary


Whoa! What a nice surprise!!

Arrived in the mail today, along with 2007-2008 DVC vacation planner, is a DVC 15th Anniversary Commemorative Giclee. And it's adorable! Even the box that it came in is special - you pull a tab and out comes all these candles out of the cover! Cute!

Love these freebies!

Zz.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

DVC coming to Animal Kingdom Lodge!

This is all over the news today. DVC is finally coming to the Animal Kingdom Lodge in a very big way.

AKL DVC

Zz.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Expedition Everest Collage


I did this collage a while ago, so might as well upload it on here. All the pictures were taken during the DVC members/Annual Passholder Expedition Everest preview. It was a TERRFIC time.

Zz.

High-end Disney Merchandise

So Disney is set to open Disney Vault 28 at the Downtown Disney District in the Disneyland Resort.

I'm as much of a Disney Shop-a-holic as anyone else, but I think I'd go bankrupt if I start shopping at this place. Too expensive for my taste. I'm guessing that they won't be having a sale that often. :)

Zz.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Imagination Pavilion at Epcot




We did this at the Imagination Pavilion a couple of years ago after we got out of the Figment ride (which I still don't like).

Zz.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Disney Yearbook cancelled

Received this e-mail from Disney:

Dear Yearbook Purchaser,

We'd like to inform you that your 2005 Disney Insider Yearbook, featuring Disneyland's 50th Anniversary Celebration, will be the only edition of the Yearbook produced. Because of its limited production, the Yearbook is truly a Disney collector's treasure. For those who signed up for the annual Yearbook subscription, there will be no further charges to your credit card, as the 2005 edition will be the only edition produced.

Until October 20, the 2005 Disney Insider Yearbook will be available for purchase at:

disney.go.com/inside/yearbook

This will be your last opportunity to purchase any additional copies. It makes a great holiday gift for friends and family!

For questions regarding your order, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you!

Your friends at the Disney Insider Yearbook


I wonder what happened. Did they changed their minds, or did the 2005 Yearbook didn't sell as well as they expected?

I'm glad I bought the 2005 Yearbook, with the DVD. It's nice to look through it now and then, even though it is a tedious thing to sit through in one sitting. So now, it is a bigger collectors item.

Zz.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Who is this person?


OK, a simple Disney trivia that any disney fan would know. Who is the person depicted in this sculpture sitting next to Minnie at the entrance to Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom park?

Zz.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Perfect Halloween Pin


OMG, this is such a cute pin, perfect for Halloween!

It is being released tomorrow at Disneyland.

Zz.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The first family to win the Red Carpet treatment

From the Disney press release:


4 October 2006: Magic Kingdom Opens For Only One (Very Lucky) Family As Disney Parks Kick Off 'Year of a Million Dreams'

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2006) -- For the first time in history, a family today had the Magic Kingdom all to themselves. They entered the park to a view never seen before by any Disney guest -- Main Street, U.S.A. completely empty, no other guests, no Disney cast members, just a red carpet stretching out a welcome.

The family had their pick of favorite attractions. There were no lines. Because no one else was there.

This unprecedented moment in Disney history was all part of the launch of Disney's "The Year of a Million Dreams" celebration, during which literally millions of dreams will come true at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort and California's Disneyland Resort.

"The Year of a Million Dreams" is a first-of-its-kind event celebrating the individual dreams of Disney Park guests from around the world. So Disney made the Spangler family from Randolph, Ohio -- winners of an online sweepstakes used to help kick off the celebration -- the ultimate, one-of-a-kind Magic Kingdom VIPs. Disney Parks literally rolled out the red carpet for the Spanglers on Main Street, U.S.A. at Walt Disney World Resort.

But there were more surprises in store. As the Spanglers reached the center of Main Street, U.S.A., fanfare trumpeters broke the morning silence from atop the buildings lining the street and the familiar strains of "Be Our Guest" began to play -- a signal for a whole lot of smiles. Appearing almost magically to form a receiving line fit for royalty were 1,500 Disney cast members and Disney characters, beaming and bubbly.

For the Spanglers, their morning was nothing short of incredible. In a park that hosts millions of guests each year, Magic Kingdom attendance was four as Ray and Tammy Spangler and their children, 13-year-old Derick and 11-year-old Ashley, walked toward Cinderella Castle between rows of smiles lining the red carpet. "It was amazing," said Ashley. Derick chimed in, "That was awesome!" With their Disney VIP host leading the way, they rode their favorite attractions, met their favorite Disney characters, appeared on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" and lived out a dream.

"This is beyond the dream," Ray said. "This is something that you can't even think of dreaming of, yet we have it."

As the lands of the park filled in behind them with other guests, the Spanglers dined with Disney royalty in Cinderella Castle during A Fairytale Lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table and were named grand marshals for the "Disney Dreams Come True" parade. They were to conclude the day with an "unbirthday party" inspired by the "Alice in Wonderland" story and then enjoy exclusive viewing of the Magic Kingdom fireworks spectacular "Wishes."

For Tammy Spangler, winning this most remarkable experience was a dream-come-true -- but one she figured was probably a proverbial "pipedream" when she entered the sweepstakes.

"I hardly ever enter these things," she said, "but Disney's the most fun we've ever had on vacation, so when I discovered the contest when I was [online], I entered it. But I really didn't figure we'd win, not in a million years."

But this is "The Year of a Million Dreams" and the Spanglers won't be the only ones finding their dreams come true at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

During "The Year of a Million Dreams" celebration, literally millions of dreams will come true.

"Our guests the world over have told us they believe a Disney Park is the place 'where dreams come true' and that something magical happens when they walk through our gates," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "And that's never been more true than during 'The Year of a Million Dreams' as we bring more magic to life than ever before."

Dreams to surprise and delight guests and unique experiences will be hallmarks of "The Year of a Million Dreams."

As part of the celebration, extra-special dreams will be awarded through a random process as part of the unique Disney Dreams Giveaway. With the sprinkle of a little pixie dust by day, a vacationing mom might be chosen to spend that night with her family in a new royal suite inside Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort, or at Disneyland, a lucky guest may be surrounded by All Things Mickey that night in a new Mickey Mouse Penthouse overlooking the Disney domain in California.

Disney Vacation Club memberships, traveling around the world as a parade grand marshal in each Disney theme park, sporting exclusive pins and Mouse ears -- dreams from fun to fantastic will shower down on guests during the celebration. Other amazing dreams-come-true: magical Disney Cruise Line sailings; Adventures by Disney vacations; a private shopping spree for Disney merchandise; Dream FASTPASS badges to enjoy many popular park attractions; special park after-hour events; or a visit to Walt Disney's apartment at Disneyland including a dining experience.

For the overnight stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite, a Walt Disney World guest at the parks or Downtown Disney will be selected randomly by early in the afternoon almost every day beginning in late January. The guest and up to five members of their party will begin their dream-come-true night that evening at Cinderella's Royal Table, the popular restaurant located in Cinderella Castle.

Can't be in the parks? You may still have a dream-come-true through a mail-in entry (details at www.disneyparks.com/rules). For example, mail-in winners could win prizes such as the Disney Vacation Club membership, grand marshal of a Disney parade around the world, exclusive trading pins or Mickey Ear Hat. (Some prizes, such as the Castle and Mickey Mouse Penthouse stay, require same-day use so mail-in winners will receive a prize of comparable value.)

Dreams will be awarded every day at Disney parks and Downtown Disney in Florida and California. While workers complete the Cinderella Castle Suite (opening late January 2007) and Mickey Mouse Penthouse (opening December 2006), the other fantasies begin Oct. 1 as Disney launches enough dreams to make Tinker Bell blush.

And all it takes: a tap on the shoulder by Disney cast members on special assignment as the Dream Squad during the magical year.

Meanwhile, thousands more Disney cast members -- famous for guest service every day of the year -- will be creating an unprecedented number of Magical Moments during this magical year. They're taking Disney friendliness to new heights with personal interactions marked by special surprises.

Amazed guests might find themselves leading the countdown and sprinkling pixie dust to open a Disney park in the morning. Or they might join the performers on a float in "Mickey's Jammin' Jungle" parade. Or aboard Cinderella's Golden Carrousel they might suddenly find a Disney princess sidesaddle on the next horse.

More pixie-dusted Magical Moments: being selected to be guest of honor in daily park parades; getting a Tinseltown rush doing a celebrity-style handprint ceremony; being Official Wildlife Spotter on a Disney's Animal Kingdom safari.

"Disney cast members have a rich history of making this magic, treating guests to legendary service and special moments," Rasulo said. "During 'The Year of a Million Dreams,' those moments go stratospheric as our cast members reinforce Disney parks as the place where dreams come true."

A first-of-its-kind Disney spectacular, "The Year of a Million Dreams" also includes a whole lineup of immersive entertainment that draws guests into the middle of the action.

Guests can enter into magical worlds, living the buccaneer life by being a pirate of the Caribbean, "getting royal" with a Disney prince or princess, or joining in the dancing and singing "High School Musical" pep rally. Guests at Walt Disney World Resort might be welcomed to saddle up cowboy-style with Woody and the Disney-Pixar gang.

As if thousands of dreams bestowed daily aren't enough, Disney guests will also be treated to major new attractions and shows debuting at Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts as part of "The Year of a Million Dreams."

On top of an already magical year, special entertainment and programs will be in place at the parks and resorts so guests can follow their dreams, whether it's a princess or pirate, adventurer or space explorer. Guests will be able to customize their visit to a Disney park to pursue the Dream Paths of their choice with online planning tools and technology to help them become the hero or princess they've always dreamed of being.

For more information about "The Year of a Million Dreams" celebration, guests may visit www.disneyparks.com. For more specific information about the Disney Dreams Giveaway, visit www.disneyparks.com/rules.


They even got CNN.com coverage:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/04/disney.alone.ap/index.html

Zz.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

10 Anniversary of WDW World of Disney Store


The World of Disney store in Downtown Disney at WDW is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. I read somewhere that this is THE largest Disney owned store in the world. It is certainly huge. I would not hesitate at all to say that this is the place that has swallowed most of my money. I do most of my Disney shopping at this location since I get 10% off on most of my purchases.

They're releasing this pin to mark this occassion. I don't normally collect Stitch pin (or stitch anything), but this pin is cute!

Zz.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Happy 24th Birthday, Epcot!


Must not forget that Epcot is also celebrating its birthday, so Happy 24th Birthday, Epcot! We all hope that Disney will throw you a GRAND celebration for your 25th Anniversary next year.

Zz.

Happy 35th Birthday, WDW Magic Kingdom!


The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World turns 35 today. Happy Birthday!

Zz.