Saturday, 25 September 2010

Bye for now

We will be on vacation for a week...normal service will resume on October 3rd

Friday, 24 September 2010

Halloween Treat!

What’s Halloween without at least one spooky (and nostalgic) trip through the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park?

From Halloween through the holiday season the mansion is decked out in a “The Nightmare Before Christmas” motif for Haunted Mansion Holiday. One of the coolest highlights has got to be the haunted gingerbread house in the mansion’s ballroom. It’s been a fixture since 2001. This year’s design, “Haunted Mansion Tombstone Cake,” is six feet high and four feet wide. (There’s a new design every year.)

For the first time ever the “house” will have animated projections. The projectors are such a new technology that there are only a few in the United States, and some are here at our very own Haunted Mansion! It took three chefs, a team of electricians, engineers and designers to create the tasty (and creepy) “tombstone cake.” And although the house looks decorated with candy, it’s not. All the decorations are actually created from fondant and royal icing.

And yes, it’s haunted. Really. Every year after the gingerbread house is installed and everyone goes home, a gingerbread shingle disappears. I guess one of the 999 ghosts has a hankering for gingerbread. Here are some other fun facts:

  • It took 3 ½ weeks and a total of 213 hours to build
  • It’s made of 60lbs of fondant
  • 30lbs of chocolate (used as glue)
  • 50lbs of royal icing
  • 500lbs of gingerbread
  • The scent of gingerbread is piped into the guest corridor

Enjoy this video of the making of the “Haunted Mansion Tombstone Cake.” Maybe it will give you a few ideas for your own creation.

These ARE the Droids You’re Looking For!

Since everything we do at Imagineering starts with the story, it probably comes as no surprise that one of the first things we set out to do with the new Star Tours show was to figure out when our story should take place within the Star Wars timeline.

The existing Star Tours show we internally refer to as “6.5,” since it takes place time-wise after Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Story development for the new show began “a long time ago,” back in 1998, and a story treatment from that year carries the title “Episode 7 – A Star Tours Classic” – referring to the Boonta Classic race that was to be the main feature of the show.

But by the time Episode I hit the screens, we were all anxious to know what would surface in Episode III that we might build on for the show. Naturally, we were then curious how Episode III would complete the series. In the end, after numerous discussions, we decided to place our storyline between the two sets of Star Wars trilogies, giving the project the working title “Star Tours 3.5.”

AC-38 - 'Ace' for short - is one of the latest AC series Tour Droids piloting the Starspeeder 1000

This time period gave our show team the ability to tap into the very best of the Star Wars characters and adventures. But turning the clock back also required some interesting changes for the Star Tours show. The Starspeeder 3000 would need to be an earlier model, the Starspeeder 1000, with a new pilot (especially since Rex, the original pilot, opens the original show saying it’s his first flight!)

Our design team created a new Tour Droid for the show, an AC Series pilot we dubbed “Ace,” with a personality as different from Rex as you can imagine.

We also created a new “spokesbot” for Star Tours, modeled after the WA-7 “Waitress Droid” from the Attack of the Clones. George Lucas suggested the name “Aly San San,” in reference to Allison Janney, the wonderful actress who provides the voice for this new character. We had a terrific time with Allison in the recording sessions for the show – she brought a lot of warmth and humor to the part.

'Aly San San' Star Tours 'spokesbot' will greet passengers next summer in the Star Tours terminal

These are just two of the droids you can expect to see in Star Tours “The Adventures Continue” next year. And in our next blog, I’ll tell you about a droid who really steals the show in the new attraction!

Article by Tom Fitzgerald, Executive VP & Senior Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Lets the memories I try to forget the Ustream announcement.

Just Posted on the official Disney Parks Blog......

As you just learned during our live coverage out of New York City, Disney Parks has officially launched “Let the Memories Begin” – our special celebration of family vacations and magical memories. And yes, you’re going to be the star. For the first time, your home videos and snapshots will be featured in Disney television ads and other print and online communications.
Let the Memories Begin
To kick things off, we’ve launched It’s a new destination where you can upload your Disney vacation memories captured in photos and videos and share with the world. And getting started is easy:

Simple, right? So, what should you submit? Your favorite memories – whether it was a first meeting with a Disney princess, a laugh-filled Splash Mountain ride or a magical moment around a holiday fireplace when mom and dad surprised everyone with a “We’re Going to Disney!” announcement – We’re looking for videos and photos that capture your never-to-be-forgotten experiences. Take a look:

And there’s more – beginning in January of 2011, you’ll also become the star of a nightly spectacular at Disney Parks. Photos of magical memories made in the park during the day will be projected that night on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World and “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort. Pretty cool, huh?

In both locations, Disney PhotoPass photographers will provide images of guests shot during the day to be shared on the icons. While we’re still working on the show details, producers estimate as many as 500 photos will be shown in each location every day.

So, let us know about your favorite Disney memory and share it at

What do I think...well I think this isnt all that wonderful, and the live broadcast was painful. So simply NOT IMPRESSED. But hey ya never know, that could change......maybe

Watch Disney Parks raise the curtain on exciting plans, live at 12:45 ET, 9/23!

Watch Disney Parks raise the curtain on exciting plans, live at 12:45 ET, 9/23!

Video of First Taste of La Hacienda

Here is a video of a sneak peak at La Hacienda restaurant at the Mexico Pavilion.

Disney Parks Special Annoucement in 3 Hours.

Disney will be unveiling some exciting plans for Disney Parks in New York City in less than 24 hours!! Today over at the Official Disney Parks Blog...You’ll be able to watch and interact in real time as they announce what is coming. Disney don’t want to give away any of the surprises but expect to see a few faces you’ll instantly recognize along with Disney characters and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.

The live stream begins on September 23 at 12:45 p.m. EST. Disney will also be providing updates on our@DisneyParks Twitter account and Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Facebook pages. Also Don't forget to check out our page too here at Disney Park News Blogspot!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Meet Duffy The Bear..

Duffy the Disney Bear

On October 14, 2010 at both the Epcot at Walt Disney World and Disney California Adventure park, Disney's newest character, Duffy the Disney Bear will make his much anticipated debut. But who’s Duffy you might ask? He’s Mickey’s very own teddy bear….made with love by Minnie herself.

Duffy the Disney Bear

The Story as told by Disney is "awhile ago, Mickey was about to set sail on an adventure to visit friends around the world. Minnie made a special gift to keep Mickey company and she presented it to Mickey in a duffle bag. Mickey, delighted with his gift, pulled out the gift, a very special bear, and named him Duffy. Mickey and Duffy embarked on many special voyages and Duffy got to meet all of Mickey’s friends. Each time they returned home, Mickey and Duffy would share their stories and photos with Minnie. While on their travels, Duffy and Mickey landed at Tokyo Disney Sea where they have been meeting and greeting fans for the past few years.

Duffy is not just your typical stuffed bear – he’s Mickey’s bear and he resembles his owner. Duffy’s face is shaped like Mickey’s, he has Mickey heads on his paws, and he has a very unique birthmark on his hip. There is no question who he belongs to."

Duffy the Disney Bear Costumes

Not only will guests get to meet Duffy and have their picture taken with him, but we will launch Duffy’s full line of costumes and souvenirs like key chains, magnets, zip pouches and even pre-dressed Duffys that will launch for special holidays like Christmas and Easter and occasions such as birthdays and graduations. The launch will also consist of some special treats like his crispy treat, chocolatey cake, moulded dessert cup, menu placemat with activities and coming later, Duffy’s very own moulded popcorn bucket. In addition, Epcot’s Kidcot mask program will be changing to a unique Duffy that Guests can take from country to country to color, decorate, and receive country specific Duffy stamps.

Duffy will be located at a newly created venue inside Epcot across from the Mexico boat ramp and at Paradise Park in Disney's California Adventure

A Perfect Pizza at Epcot in 2 Minutes?

Take a look at this video with Via Napoli (EPCOT) Chef Charlie Restivo, pizza man extraordinaire. He shares the restaurant’s secrets – the water; imported flour, tomatoes and cheese; and hand-stretching the dough. And his pizza is crisp in two minutes – with the ovens cranked up over 700°F, that’s still surprisingly quick.

Disney's Celebrates International Deaf Awareness Week.

This last week of September is International Deaf Awareness Week. This particular time commemorates the first World Congress of the Deaf held that week in 1951.

To celebrate, Disney have shared a video that shows some of the services they offer guests with hearing disabilities.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Disney Gift Card Design!

The Disney Gift Card team is giving us a first look at the exclusive wearable mini gift card design for the 2010 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Here it is! Looks Snazzy!!.....did I just say that?
Mini Disney Gift Card