Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Vehicle of Imaginaton

The recent departure of Kodak has inspired me to come up with another new idea for the Journey into Imagination attraction. This isn't a new story idea, but rather a cutting edge ride vehicle for the well deserving attraction.

What if there was a ride vehicle that was able to transform as the story progressed along? What if there was real animation taking place on the vehicle itself? This would be a ride vehicle never seen before, but would be based on the current one.

The basic shape of the cars could remain the same. The only change would be in the chassis of the vehicle. It would be modified to allow greater rotation and movement. Changes would be evident, however, in the colors of the vehicle. In the beginning of the ride, the vehicle would appear to be simply a solid white. Nothing special about it, and lacking any imagination. Once the ride would begin, colors would start to splash the sides of the vehicle.

This would be made possible by projectors and other special effects placed inside the body of the vehicle. The body would a little bit larger to accommodate this changes, but maintain the same general shape. These new effects could include splashes of color, vibrant animations, and even Figment causing chaos on the ride vehicle.

What do you think? How would you react to seeing this new technology used in an attraction?


On this day 46 years ago, Mary Poppins was released by Walt Disney Studios. What does this have to do with the parks, you ask? Well almost one year later, WED Enterprises would benefit from this film's success. That is because the profits from the film would be used to create the manufacturing arm of WED Enterprises. The division was know as MAPO not only because it was an acronym for manufacturing and production, but because it was a play on the Mary Poppins film. MAPO even created the first ever audio-animatronic for the movie. It was a bird with which Mary Poppins sings during the film. Who know Mary Poppins is still responsible for all the magic we enjoy today?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kodak Out

Kodak is officially no longer the sponsor of the Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World. Almost the entire ImageWorks post show area of Journey into Imagination with Figment is walled off. The new park maps also no longer feature Kodak as a sponsor of the pavilion. It is believed that all Kodak signs around the area will be taken down shortly.

My first impression is that this is a good thing for Epcot. It's Kodak's fault that this ride became such a mess in the first place. Hopefully a new and generous sponsor will come in and revamp the pavilion. Any company would surely make a name for themselves in the Disney community if they were know as "the saviors of Figment". So hopefully this is the future that plays out for this beloved opinion.

Or....we could have another Wonders of Life on our hands. A sponsor-less attraction that is allowed to sit and deteriorate until it finally reaches extinction. Time will tell..

What do you think will happen to the Imagination pavilion with Kodak gone?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why Harry Potter Matters

Image Copyright Universal
Times are changing for the Central Florida theme parks and resorts. It's no Armageddon, but slowly and surely the tides are rippling. Universal Creative is no longer a poor man's Walt Disney Imagineering. Universal has hit a grand slam with their new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Not only has it been a merchandising machine for the Universal Orlando Resort, but the crowds are eating it up. Lines for gift shops exceed 2 hours, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey rarely has a wait under 90 minutes, and extra staff members are on hand to direct the insane crowd flow. This landmark success has people talking and while this doesn't put Disney World to shame, it should put the park on red alert.

When most guests think of Universal Orlando, it's as a second choice in comparison to Walt Disney World. Rides and shows were always seen as inferior to those offered at WDW. Universal Creative was seen as being frugal and not afraid to cut as many corners as possible. That was until Universal's Islands of Adventure opened up next to the Studios. The park was a huge breakthrough for the resort. Quality and innovation unseen in all of Universal's previous work was prominent throughout the park. The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman was a gamechanger in the theme park industry and was honored as being the greatest ride in the world. This began the sudden realization that Universal Creative could be just as competent as WDI.

Since Islands of Adventure opened, Universal also opened the Revenge of the Mummy coaster at the Studios. More than just a rollercoster, its audio-animatronic figures and backstory are comparable to what you are used to seeing in WDW. So slowly but surely, Universal is changing its image from cheap and tacky to ground breaking and awe inspiring.

What does this mean for WDI? It means settling is no longer an option. Resting on past accomplishments can no longer be accepted. Superiority isn't a definite anymore. If they do not produce quality attractions, Universal could very well continue to catch up to WDW. Competition is always good. WDI should not be afraid of Universal Creative. WDI has some of the most creative minds in the world and certainly all the money they need to let their imaginations run wild. Now if only the suits would let them run free so Universal Creative could eat Imagineers pixie dust.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Imagineers Help an Eagle Scout

The Imagineers recently helped an young Boy Scout give back to his community by helping with his Eagle Project. Alex Skilling of Orlando Troop 498 organized his Eagle Project to help Give Kids the World Village. Since many kids at GKTWV need to use a wheelchair, Alex recognized the necessity of a walkway to the basketball courts. He was able to complete this project with VoluntEAR assistance from the Imagineers.

It is always great to see the Imagineers serving the local community. This shows that they are more than just creative geniuses, they are caring people that love to give back. And from one Eagle Scout to another, congratulations Alex.

World of Color Road Show Re-Mix

Wow. This video is pretty trippy. Disneyland Resort brought the magic of World of Color to famous landmarks across California. This video is a re-mix of all of that footage along with a re-mix of the World of Color soundtrack. The result of this crazy combination is one awesome video.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mainstreet Magic

Black top hat filled with money and wand
Last time I checked, an idealized version of any Mainstreet in America didn't include long, connected gift shops that sold generic merchandise. So, why should that be the case in the Magic Kingdom. Mainstreet USA is probably the area of WDW affected most by the profit driven merchandising that is running rampant in the resort. Most of the originality has been taken out of Mainstreet and replaced with things you can find almost anywhere else in the resort. I think its time Mainstreet got its magic back.

Everyone loves a good magic trick. Its a fun way to spend a couple minutes on any day. And at one time or another, almost any kid wishes they could be a magician. This is why a magic shop would be a great addition to Mainstreet. Admittedly, it might not make as much money as the current generic gift shop. But even if you just sacrifice a small chunk of the shop, a fun little shop could be built. Along with an in house magician performing small shows for guests, small tricks could also be sold to still maintain a profit.

What do you think? Does Mainstreet need a magic shop?

TTA Peoplemover

Image Copyright Disney
In a bit of news probably not noticed by most guests, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority was renamed to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. The move was made to help connect to the ride's past. Back when Imagineering was know as WED Enterprises, the ride was called the WEDway Peoplemover. The ride opened as such in 1975 and was renamed in 1994. Most Disney fanatics never really took to the change. They mostly called it the peoplemover of simply the WEDway. This change represents a recent commitment to nostalgia and guest taste in Imagineering.

While the new name is a bit of a mouthful, I really like the change. To me, anytime Imagineering makes a nod to its past its a very good thing. It's always important to remember where you came from. Maybe if the current Imagineers continue to look to the past, they can learn a thing or two.

What do you think? Do you like the change?

Disney Water Parks

This is a commercial being run by Disney this summer featuring their Water Parks. While I know its just a commercial, it's great to see Mickey and the gang in the media again. I think his stature and symbol are extremely underused. His silhouette is using to make millions on merchandise, but not enough cartoons or movies feature the silly mouse anymore. What are your thoughts?

The Liberty Square Storyteller Theater

This is an idea for a new show to take place in Liberty Square. The Liberty Square Storyteller Theater would celebrate the great American tradition of sharing stories. It would be unique in the fact that it would combine and audio-animatronic figure with an on-screen film. The queue would be a typical colonial style theater and the show would take place in an average size auditorium. On the right front of the stage would be an audio-animatronic figure in a rocking chair. This old man would serve as both your narrator and host. Several famous American folk tales would comprise the show. It would be narrated by the figure and there would be live action representations of the tales played on the screen. This is just an attraction about a great American experience that everyone remembers from their childhood.

This attraction could really become special during the Holidays. Specifically, during Halloween and Christmas. In the Halloween season, guests would gather around to hear the tale of the headless horsemen. And of course during the Christmas season, guests would hear the story of the classic Christmas Carole. I believe this would help keep the show fresh and give guests a reason to go back throughout the year.

What do you think? Would this help Liberty Square become a more prominent section of the park?

Complete Preview of Cars Land

The LA Times has posted an article with a complete scene by scene preview of Cars Land coming to DCA in 2012. Warning: This article has major spoilers for the entire ride. so don't read if you want to be surprised.

While I usually don't like too much Pixar being put into the parks, I believe this is the absolute right way to do it. This ride sounds like a game changer. Sure the ride vehicle is old, but its being used in a brand new way. And this ride has such incredible detail behind it that it makes up for the semi-weak story.

What do you think? Are you excited for Cars Land?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

World of Color Control Room

Here's another video from the Disney Parks Youtube Channel about the World of Color. This one gives you a behind the scenes look at the control room for the show. Turns out it's looked in one of the parade buildings at DCA so they can't actually see the show. Over 1200 fountains, lighting effects, fire effects, and mist screens results in one of the most complex control systems of its kind. I think it's pretty cool that 3 people can run such an amazing show like World of Color.

Into the Dragon's Lair

When Disney's Animal Kingdom opened in 1998, it was missing one of the key original concepts. The park was supposed to focus on the animals that exist today, those that are extinct, and those that are mythical and legendary. Those mythical and legendary animals were designed to have a home in the Beastly Kingdom area of the park. Unfortunately, when the budget grew too large, the land was cut and Camp Minnie Mickey was built in its place. However, you can still see evidence of the plans throughout the park as seen here:

Mythical animals in the park were to include unicorns, dragons, and sea monsters. These animals would be divided into two realms: good and evil. The main attraction on the evil side would be the Dragon Tower. This rollercoaster thrill ride that would put guests in the middle of a battle for treasure with an evil fire breathing dragon. There would be two attractions in the good section of the land. One would be called Quest of the Unicorn. This was a maze of mythical creatures that sent guests on an adventure to find the hidden grotto where the unicorn lives. Fantasia Gardens would be the other ride in the land. It would be a musical boat ride through many animal scenes from the Disney animated classic Fantasia. Unfortunately, none of these attractions have been realized in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

I believe this land would be the boast that Animal Kingdom needs to be considered in the same light as the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. However, I realize that adding a new land to an already existing theme park would be a quite expensive venture. So, I present you with my own idea for a new ride in the spirit of Beastly Kingdom.
Into the Dragon's Lair would take you on a fantastic journey through a village haunted by two fire breathing dragons that happen to be brothers. Temero Draco (Latin for to darken/to defile/dishonor and drgaon) would be the evil dragon and Amplus Draco (Latin for great/important/honorable and dragon) would be the honorable dragon. Early in their lives, their family suffered a great tragedy when the dragon's father killed their mother in a fit of rage. This particularly bothered Temero Draco and he blamed his brother for their mother's death. Thus, he vowed to make his brother suffer from a fate worse than their mother's. So, as the years passed and the brothers grew up, their rivalry continued to escalate. Eventually a village was built up between the brother's respective lairs. This is where guests will enter the story.

Guests would approach the attraction through the village of Acies Agellus (Latin for a little battlefield). The village would be designed in medieval style architecture and be home to the peasants caught in the middle of the dragon's battle. All throughout the village the shops and restrooms would have subtle artifacts of the mythical battle. This would be similar to the Yeti's presence in the Expedition Everest queue. As you wander through the village, you will approach a dead end. At this corner of the road, all the buildings have been leveled. There would be a path of burnt and dried up grass leading out of the village and into a massive cave that would serve as the queue for the ride.

This cave is actually the home of Amplus Draco. As guests traveled farther into the cave, they would see the reminants of past battles with his brother. All along the walls there would be also be warning signs posted by the villagers. They would warn those who dare to enter the cave not to travel into its final room or risk being caught up in the fierce rivalry. However, being so bold and brave, the guests decide to venture into the dangerous territory. This is when they discover that they are in the lair of Amplus Draco. Instead of running from the dragon, guests are encouraged to join him in taking on his brother. At this point, guests would board their ride vehicles.

The attraction would have a specially designed ride vehicle. It would be a hybrid of a enhanced motion vehicle with a rollercoaster car. This would allow guests to feel like they really are really flying on the dragon's back. The car would look like a giant wooden box with seats on it. While in the station, the car would be on a moving conveyor belt. This would allow a big skin to rolled in front of the car to make it seem the guests are actually climbing into seats of the back of Amplus Draco.

After pulling away from the station, guests would be shot out of the cave. From there, they would fly over a recreation of the village in search of Temero Draco. Guests would see a flash of flame by there car. Temero would be flying up from behind the car. This would be followed by an intense chase sequence with tons of daring maneuvers and sharp turns. Eventually, Amplus would lose Temero and would begin to take guests back to his lair. However, as the guests were about to enter the cave, Temero would attack Amplus. This would cause Amplus and the guests to crash into the cave. From here, another chase would begin.

Soon after, the cave would begin to collapse. Temero would be caught in the destruction, but Amplus and the guests would narrowly escape to safety. Amplus would then take guests to the unload station close to his now destroyed lair.

What do you guys think? Does Animal Kingdom need Beastly Kingdom?

New Unrapped: Disney Delights

The Food Network has finally come out with a new Unwrapped episode concerning the Disney parks.

Part 2

Part 3

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I would like to extend a special welcome to all of my new readers. I can't thank you enough for giving my site a try. I hope you enjoy your time here. Don't be afraid to follow the blog either, I could always use more Park Guests. And a special thank you to Hoot from the Mesa Verde Times Blog. You are a hero to me for your work and I thank you so much for deciding to follow my blog. So welcome to you all and thank you for reading! =)


SAN DIEGO - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere inside the TRON MySpace Party At Comic-Con 2010 San Diego on July 23, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for MySpace)
Later this year, Disney will be turning the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of Disney California Adventure into ElecTRONica. This is in preparation for the release of the new movie Tron Legacy in December. Rumors for the new nighttime experience include a replication of Flynn's Arcade being built in the old Who Wants to be a Millionaire building. There is also a rumor that the End of the Line club from the movie will be put into the old Hollywood and Dine/Stage 12 building. Disney will more than likely convert the blacklighting they put in for GlowFest to the new Tron experience.

An excerpt from Disney's Official casting sheet reads as follows:
"strong contemporary/hip hop dancers for a new nighttime celebration at the Disneyland Resort in support of the opening of the new Disney feature Tron: Legacy. Dancers will perform on stages outside in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot and main entrance areas at Disney California Adventure park"

Now as a fan of Tron, I have to like this. I think Tron is a great franchise that needs to be explored more in the parks. However, I don't like that this is going to be in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. DCA already has enough trouble with theme and adding this at night won't help. The only land Tron should be in at any Disney park is Tomorrowland. It screams future and technology. Nothing about being inside a computer relates to Hollywood. So as much as I love Tron, I don't like this move on Disney's part. What do you guys think of this new nighttime entertainment?

Cars Land Testing

DCA is one step closer to 2012. I found a video online posted by Disney Parks showing testing of the Radiator Springs Racers ride vehicle. This will be the E-Ticket of the new land and it looks like it will be an awesome experience. The new car looks great. It is red with a smiling face on the front end. I can't wait to see the progress as Ornament Valley is built up around the track.


Sounds Dangerous is one of the more notable failed attractions designed by WDI. However, I must admit that I get sort a guilty pleasure out of it. It is a fun show and I love Drew Carey. But that does not change that fact that I can experience this attraction at home if I put on headphones and turn out the lights.

When the attraction first debuted, the use of Binural Audio was cutting edge. But in 2010, many podcasts created by park guests use the same technology. This means one of the major draws of the attraction is now worthless. Guests can have the same experience at home as in the park. Drew Carey has also taken a major hit in the publicity department. When the attraction was built, he had his own show on ABC. Now his show is gone, and he has gotten a poor reception on the Price is Right.

So all in all, Sounds Dangerous is a an example of a good idea gone bad. This is why the attraction is now reduced to seasonal status. We can only hope that WDI can come up with something new and exciting for this theater. After all, sound is a huge park of movies and television and deserves to have an attraction showcasing its importance.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Adventures of Mr. Fredricksen and Russell

HOLLYWOOD - MAY 16: A general view of the premiere of Disney Pixar's ''Up'' at the El Capitan Theatre on May 16, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Up is one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful films in Pixar history. But for whatever reason, it never had a strong presence in the theme parks. I think it can be a huge draw for the parks and provide lots of merchandise sales. This is why I believe The Adventures of Mr. Fredricksen and Russell should be added to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom.

The Adventures of Mr. Fredricksen and Russell would be a new E-Ticket for the Magic Kingdom in the style of the classic dark ride. The queue would take you from Mr. Carl Fredricksen's yard through his house. All along the way you would see pictures and memories of his wife Ellie and their planned trip to Paradise Falls. At the end of the line, you would end up in Carl's backyard. There would be empty air tanks all around and tons of filled balloons.

The ride vehicles would be the same type as Peter Pan's Flight, but instead of pirate ships you would ride in baskets connected to many balloons over your head. As the ride began, you would be circling Carl's neighborhood and as you approached his house it would rise in the air with thousands of balloons. The house would pass over your head and you would get your first glimpse of poor Russell trapped on the porch. In the next scene, you would see Carl arguing with Russell about staying, and Carl reluctantly letting him into his home.

The next scene would be a great action sequence. It would be the thunderstorm that the house gets flown through. Not only would you see Carl piloting the house, but you would also be caught up in the storm. Spinning and swinging from side to side, you would feel the wind and get sprayed by bits of mist and rain. After you survive the storm, you would see the house land near the large ravine facing Paradise Falls. From there you would follow Mr. Fredricksen and Russell as they find Kevin and take the house to the falls.

You would see them get corned by Charles Muntz's dogs. After they are captured, you will see the dinner scene where Muntz snaps. From there Muntz would set Carl's house on fire and he gets away with Kevin. Carl and Russell would finally reach the falls, but you would see Russell get angry with Carl because he left Kevin. Carl would then decide to go after Russell once he reads Ellie's letter. He would find Russell floating on some extra balloons.

Finally, you would see the confrontation between Mr. Fredricksen and Muntz. The scene would end with you seeing Muntz plummeting from the top of the ship and Carl's housing falling below the clouds. The ride would end with you seeing Mr. Fredricksen and Russell flying off into the distance in the dirigible. As you exit the ride, you would see a giant mural of Carl at Russell's Senior Explorer Promotion Ceremony.

This would be a new breakthrough for dark rides. Not only for its length and depth of story, but because it would be one of the most advanced dark rides ever built for Fantasyland. What do you think of this ride? Would you like to see more of Up in the parks?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Fantastical World of Figment

Journey into Imagination with Figment is a small band aid placed on a giant scar in Future World. What was once a legendary attraction became a boring, lifeless ride. Most tragically, the attraction lost it's loveable icon, Figment. However, instead of fixing it, Figment was simply shoe horned back into the ride as a quick fix.

Here is the classic attraction:

Here is the terrible Journey into YOUR Imagination:

And finally, here is the current attraction:

So as another part of my Revitalizing Future World series, I present the Fantastically World of Figment.

I believe the glass pyramids of the Imagination pavilion are some of the most amazing feats of architecture in Disney World. Thus I believe they deserve to house an attraction equally grand in scale. My idea is an all encompassing one. It will tie in not only the Journey into Imagination with Figment Attraction, but the Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3D show. This will create a one of a kind experience that will entertain guests in an all new way.

The attraction will begin with an extended queue in the Honey I Shrunk the Audience building. This will be a recreation of Dreamfinder's home. Guests will walk through various rooms full of crazy contraptions and weird artifacts collected by the Dreamfinder. Once reaching the theater, they will witness a presentation of Dreamfinder's latest discovery, the figment of imagination.

Think about how amazing a digital 3D show staring Figment could be. His character provides endless possibilities in a 3D universe. Dreamfinder would welcome you to his personal dream lab. He would take you through his creative process and explain how he discovered Figment. Then Figment would take over the show and the real fun would begin. Eventually things would get out of hand and a new character, the Critic, would show up. He represents all things against dreamers and new ideas. The Critic kidnaps Figment in order to crush the Dreamfinder's passion. This will lead into the next part of the attraction. Dreamfinder needs the guests help to get Figment back. He instructs you to exit the lab and go to the Dreamcatchers.

Guests would be lead out of the theater and into a newly built queue area between the theater and the ride. It would be a continuation of the Dreamfinders house and eventually end at the garage where guests would encounter the Dreamcatchers. The ride vehicle would be the same type, but covered in flashing lights and weird contraptions. It would also have several big thrusters at the back and a giant vacuum mounted on the front.

At the beginning of the ride,  guests would pass by the Dreamfinder on his own Dreamcatcher as he explains to you how you'll have to journey through the different worlds of imagination to find Figment. Worlds would  include the Arts, Science, Fun, Fear, and Memories. Throughout all of the different worlds you would see traces of Figment in everything you see. These are the clues that the Dreamfinder will use to track down Figment.

In the Arts section, you will see how imagination has been used to create all the famous works of art in history. As you pass these great creations, you see them transform with twists of color and footprints and images of Figment. The Science section will show you how imagination is the driving force behind breakthroughs in science. However, instead of the famous inventors and innovators, Figment will be the one doing all of the experimenting. The fun section will be, of course, fun. It will have Figment showing how we use our imagination to have fun in our everyday lives. Surprisingly, the Fear world of imagination will not be scary. Figment will show you how our imaginations sometimes create fear when there is no real danger. Finally, Figment will demonstrate how we use imaginations to relive memories. This is the final clue that lets the Dreamfinder finally catch up with Figment.

In the climax of the story, guests will find Figment trying to get away from the Critic. The Dreamfinder will instruct guests to use their Imagination to free Figment. At this point there will be a big explosion of colors and light. The Critic will disappear in a ball of colorfull fog and the Dreamfinder will be reunited with Figment. Figment will fly around the room and is sparkles and is covered in projection of all the worlds of imagination. The Dreamcatchers will take the guests to the unload station as One Little Spark is sung by the Dreamfinder and Figment.

I think this could be a great new addition to Future World. It would be fun for the whole family and possibly inspire a new generation of dreamers. What do you think? How would you like to see the Imagination Pavilion redone?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Raiders of the Lost Jedi Temple of Doom

This is so awesome, I think my brain might explode. As a part of Star Wars Celebration V, Disney held a special event called The Last Tour to Endor at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This event celebrated the closing of the original Star Tours attraction in preparation for the new Star Tours II. The event was held on Saturday, August 14th. It included themed party zones, special Star Wars shows, a Death Star Disco, and a fireworks extravaganza.

One of the biggest events of the night was a special show called the Raiders of the Lost Jedi Temple of Doom. Yes, you read that right. A mash up of two of the most amazing movie franchises of all time. I can't begin to relate the awesomeness of this in words, so I will let you see for yourself.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Hollywood Studios Live

This is an idea for a new nighttime show at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It would be like an epic variety show that would be held a few times a week as an alternative to Fantasmic. The show would take place on a stage in front of the giant Sorcerer Mickey Hat.

Your host, Marty Sherman, would come out to start the show. His energy and wit would set the tone for the rest of the night. Entertainment would consist of different acts from around the WDW Resort. Comedy groups and musical acts would be rotated on a schedule to create a new show every night. In between the performances, skits would take place. These could include Disney characters, cast members, and even park guests. One of the key concepts that would set this show apart would be its commitment to making you laugh. Not only would there be plenty of hidden jokes for adults, but it wouldn't be afraid to make fun of other things at the resort.

And of course the only fitting end to any Disney nightime show is a fireworks spectacular. The fireworks and lasers would be set to classic film scores and great Disney movie soundtracks. This would definitly be a night of fun for the whole family.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Expendables

The Expendables is one awesome movie. In honor of its explosive greatness, I present a list of what is expendable at the Walt Disney World Resort.

-Stitch's Great Escape
I must admit, I was a fan of the original Stitch movie. Was it perfect? Far from it. But it was a fun, hand drawn movie and I liked it. Then the suits at Disney got a hold of him and turned them into their next cash cow. That's when Stitch joined the dark side for me. Instead of coming up with a brilliant new attraction (Which Tomorrowland desperately needs), the Imagineers simply placed Stitch into the old Alien Encounter show. And the results are as disappointing as you would suspect. This is definitly expendable for new life in Tomorrowland.

-The Current Tiki Room
I refuse to call this attraction by its given name. I despise everything about it. Its everything that Disney used to stand against. This is far from a Disney attraction and millions of miles away from the original attraction. It must be fixed...or eliminated.

-Studio Backlot Tour
This is one you just have to experience for yourself. A perfect example of a good concept with poor execution.

-"Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"Movie Set Adventure
It's time to welcome Disney's Hollywood Studios to the 21st century. This franchise was fun while it lasted, but its time passed a long time ago. The Studios is in need of more actual attractions, and less outdated boneyards like this.  

-Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama
The Disney geek inside me is torn on this one. One on hand, I love the in depth theme of the battle between the Dino Institute and Chester and Hester's. But on the other hand, I hate the cartoonish appearance and lame carnival rides. So in the end, it's expendable.

-Ellen's Energy Adventure
It's 2010. The Universe of Energy Pavilion needs to realize this. This ride has been screaming for an update for years. Maybe we will be lucky and this Universe will be the one that ends in 2012...or hopefully sooner.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Revised Fantasyland Expansion

According to this article, Disney is currently rethinking the current expansion of Fantasyland. They have realized that the appeal for this project would be too small. Boys would not want to go see and land full of princesses and fairies. Little boys want fun, excitement, and action. There are plenty of  other franchises in the Disney world that don't have to do with princesses that can be added to Fantasyland.

Star Tours 2

Here is a video teaser for the new Star Tours 2 attraction at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios. It talks about 3 possible destinations for the ride: Bespin, Endor, and Alderaan.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Wow. A simply amazing lecture. Anyone who has ever had a dream, or ever wished for something in their life should watch this video. Regardless of whether or not you're even a Disney fan, this is one of the most important videos you will ever watch. Listen to his wise lessons and learn from them. His enthusiasm and heart are enviable for the position he was in. He truly has made the world a better place for those who have seen this lecture.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dr. Strangehat or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sorcerer's Hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios, or at the time, Disney's MGM Studios was changed forever on September 28, 2001 when it's new park icon was unveiled. It was a 100 ft tall Sorcerer Mickey hat in celebration of Disney's 100 Years of Magic Promotion. The hat size is 605 7/8 and Mickey would need to be 350 ft tall to wear the hat. While the hat was made famous by Mickey in Fantasia, it was made infamous by the guest uproar to this new addition to the studios.

People hated the fact that it covered up one of the studio's other landmarks, the Grauman's Chinese Theater. The beautiful view down the boulevard was now blocked by a giant blue hat. Well, that's because the Imagineers simply wanted it that way.

When the park opened in 1989, it needed the MGM brand to survive as a studio and a park in general. The Disney Company didn't have the vast collection it does now and didn't have enough films to support an entire theme park. So, it brought on MGM as a partner in order to acquire it's collection of great classic movies. By the early 2000s, however, the Disney Company had established it's own place in Hollywood and was able to stand on it's own as an entertainment powerhouse. Because of that, the Imagineers decided it was time to change the park's direction. It was time to move away from MGM, and make it a true Disney park.

The hat symbolizes the first step in the "Disneyfication" of the studios that ended with the changing of the park's name to Disney's Hollywood Studios. It embodies the magic of the music, films, and tv that the park represents.

At first, I was like every other Disney fan. I hated the hat. But the more I thought, the more I realized that it really was a good symbol for the park. Unlike the Chinese Theater, it itself was already a Disney icon. While the Earful tower at the studios also could have been chosen, it doesn't have the same grand scale as the hat. So over time, it has grown on me. I don't hate the hat anymore. I have come to accept it for what it is. It is not tarnishing a classic attraction, much like the wand did to Spaceship Earth. It is also much more attractive at night. With the fancy lights on the ears, it really makes a difference in the park at night.

So that's pretty much the whole story. What are your thoughts on the hat? Love it or hate it? Or even just don't care? Share your opinions in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Brand new design for the blog.  More sleek and seems easier to read. Comments?

The World's Most Expensive Mannequin

13th December 1951:  The footprint of the Abominable Snowman, taken near Mount Everest.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
A technological marvel. The most complex audio-animatronic ever built by WDI. And since March, 2009, the world's most expensive mannequin.

Expedition Everest was a truly immersive guest experience at the Animal Kingdom. The yeti was truly a never before seen figure. It's incredible size and smooth movement was awe inspiring. But unfortunately this treasure has been dormant for over a year.

Now I understand that this figure has mannyyyy moving parts. And in order to work on the yeti, the ride would be shut down for a short period of time. And sure, some guests don't know any better. A strobe light behind the figure is good enough for them. But that is not what WDI is all about. It's about exceeding guest expectations and holding yourself to a higher standard. The figure is embarrassing, and should be fixed ASAP.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Teenage boy in suit listening to MP3 player and shouting in megaphone

First of all, thank you for reading my blog. It means alot to me. But while you're here. Feel free to make yourself at home. That means making comments. Please make comments. Share your opinion on the issue or idea. Let me know what I'm doing right or wrong. This can be your blog. I want to make this blog the absolute best it can be for my readers. So let your voice be heard.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Captain EO

American pop singer Michael Jackson attends the opening of the stage musical 'Dream Girls,' In Los Angeles, 1983. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Michael Jackson. The man was a world renowned performer and easily one of the most popular and controversial figures in American history. In his time, he was a media and entertainment giant. Anything attached to his name made money and was deemed successful.  So in the 1980s, the Disney Company sought out this megastar for a new 3D adventure. Directed by the great Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Jackson stared in the Kodak 3D epic Captain EO.

 Here is a description taken from the Captain EO IMDb page:

-"The movie tells the story of Captain EO and the ragtag crew of his spaceship on a mission to deliver a gift to a wicked alien queen, the Supreme Leader, on her home world of rotting, twisted metal and steaming vents. Captain EO's alien crew consists of his small flying sidekick Fuzzbucket, the double-headed navigator and pilot Idee and Odee, robotic security officer Major Domo, a small robot Minor Domo (who fits like a module into Major Domo), and the clumsy elephant-like shipmate Hooter who always manages to blunder the crew's missions. Upon arriving on the planet, the crew is captured and sentenced to be tortured. Before being sent away, EO tells the Queen that he sees the beauty hidden within her, and that he brings her the key to unlock it: his song."

Due to decreased attendance, the attraction closed at EPCOT in 1994. In the aftermath of Jackson's recent death, the public clamored for the fabled show to be brought back into the parks. Surprisingly, the company responded and the show reopened on July 2, 2010. While I was on my recent family vacation to WDW, I got a chance to see the show for the first time.

Since I am the only Disney fanatic in the family, I was the only one who understood what the show was. Everyone else took it on my word that it would be entertaining. This proved to be unfortunate once i realized Captain EO was really only the world's most expensive music video.

Going into the theater, i was really excited. I was about to experience a piece of vintage Disney history. However, when I looked around and only saw 10 other people in the theater. I started to become worried. Then the cliche behind the scenes pre-show played, and the fear grew inside me. After the preshow we moved into the almost vacant theater and the show began.

I have never been so disappointed by a Disney show in my entire life. It was horrible. Sure, in it's time it was ground breaking and cool. But it's 2010. Times have changed. Tastes have changes. Technology has vastly improved. Regardless of how popular Michael Jackson is, this show did not need to be brought back. Instead of spending money on a new, entertaining attraction, Epcot's Future World just took one giant leap into the past.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Start Speeder 1000

Lucasfilm will be holding Star Wars Celebration V at the Orange County Convention center from August 12th to the 15th. The event celebrates all things Star Wars. Disney will have a booth set up to showcase new merchandise available at the parks. One of the items is a limited edition Star Speeder 1000. This will be the new ride vehicle for the updated Star Tours attraction opening at Disneyland and Disney World in 2011. It is limited to 10,000 pieces and will sell for $24.95.