Disney World Update

Snapped a few pics this last weekend while exploring Epcot and Disney-MGM Studios.

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Work continues on Spaceship Earth. New signs have been added to the entrance. They do not appear to be fiber optic like was rumored. Or that functionality was turned off. Also inside the exit area the third game area is now walled off for installation of the third set of games.

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Holidays around the World are back at Epcot World Showcase. This year they’ve expanded the festival by adding ‘festival shopping’ and a few new food locations.

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Although I think they had this display last year in Mouse Gears, I still find it very cute. Note the well placed parrot at the top.

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Now over to Disney-MGM Studios which is due to start its transition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios sometime around the end of the Christmas holiday period. This is the new ‘Jedi Academy’ stage, but it resembles that Endor moonbase ‘back door’ from Star Wars episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The show appears unchanged from the one at Star Wars Weekend. I am impressed with how they fit the stage into such a small area without loosing anything from the old Star Wars queue. It does jut out into the parade path, however. Which might make driving some larger floats more difficult if new parades are brought in.

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Princess Giselle from Disney’s Enchanted leads off the Holiday parade at Disney-MGM Studios. While the themed cars are a cute idea, they really could do a lot better here. Also, why isn’t Giselle in the parade at the Magic Kingdom, where they have the rest of the Princesses? There isn’t even a castle at Disney-MGM, just a big old hat.

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Construction appears to be coming along nicely for the "Toy Story Mania" attraction facade and ‘Pixar Place’ as Mickey Avenue will soon be called. I would be happier if they named it "Pixar Studios" and start to work in the idea that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is composed of a bunch of smaller studios: Pixar, Disney Animation, Backlot, and (dare we even wish) Lucasfilm Land.

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In both photos, note the brick work and the pillars that will hold the ‘Pixar Studios’ sign and gate. Evoking the real thing in Emeryville, CA. It looks really good in person. They’ve even rebricked the bathrooms at that location.

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We stuck around for the first few sets of shows at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. They added some better controls for the choreography this year and it shows. Colors are more vibrant, the patterns more interesting, and the shows more frequent. It also snows the whole time in between the shows. Good stuff.

One last thing if you’re interested. I’ve put a few pics of the ‘big story’ from IAAPA this year – Dinner In The Sky!

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Make sure you’re buckled in snuggly. This dinner table is going to elevate dining to a whole new level.

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Yep. You’re strapped into your chair and then raised up by a crane to dine in the sky. It made a big splash at IAAPA, even being filmed for a Today Show cooking segment. While a great idea, there are some significant logistical problems to overcome. Not the least of which is there are no bathrooms up there in the sky. But also, what happens to the people watching below if you drop a knife or fork.

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