Florida Residents, Disney hasn’t forgotten about you. Yes, they’ve been expanding the Magic Kingdom, reshaping parts of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and preparing for amazing festivals at EPCOT, but they still want, no need, you to come and enjoy the parks. You tend to come during… Read More »Florida Resident Walt Disney World Special Value in new Discover Disney Ticket
Even from the very beginning of The Disney Blog, we’ve always included news from other theme parks and entertainment companies in our coverage; particularly when they’re doing something that encroaches on Disney’s domain. However, there is much more to these topics than just what relates… Read More »Outside the Berm – News from Beyond Disney via THRLLD
Unless you are living under a rock (which would be incredibly uncomfortable), you realize the affect that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has had on the Orlando tourism community. Everyone is filled to the brim with new projects that, they hope can match and/or topple Harry Potter in the themed and immersive environment category… or the bring in millions of people and billions of dollars category too! I thought, you can never look too far into the future… so here is a preview to what will, supposedly, make you travel to the Orlando area in the coming years!
Positive Coming Attractions:
- This December 6th, the east coast’s Carsland equivalent will finally be unveiled in the Magic Kingdom. New Fantasyland containing: Enchanted Tales with Belle, Gaston’s Tavern, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, and officially, Storybook Circus, will FINALLY open after years of “looking-over-the-wall” photo updates. In 2013, the Princess Fairytale Hall will open, in the former Snow White’s Scary Adventures building. And the expansion will finally be ending (unless they announce a phase 2 with Pixie Hollow…I wish!) with the opening of the Seven Dwarves Mine Coaster. Can you believe that this was all announced back at the first D23 Expo in 2009?! If feels like so long ago!
- Test Track will re-open at the end of this year after a rather extensive rehab and rethemeing. The concept of being inside of a computer seems like a great fit for an aging Future World attraction that needed a lift (and a nip…and a tuck…). We will see how Tron-y this new Test Track looks this December.
- Although not at a theme park, I am super excited for Spiltsville to be coming to Downtown Disney. We have one in Tampa and it is an awesome place. This incarnation will be a two story, 36-lane bowling alley version of the usual 1 story, 12-lane concept. The uniqueness of Splitsville comes from two factors, first being that while you bowl, a waiter comes to your table…as it is a sit-down (or play-up?) restaurant as well as a bowling alley (BTW, best chicken tenders anywhere!). The second factor comes from the design of the place, the lanes aren’t set up in the normal long, side-by-side fashion of the old-fashioned alleys, they are scattered throughout the building giving it a much more personal experience. Get ready to bowl your brains out in late fall of this year.
- Seaworld has also jumped on the immersive environment bandwagon by announcing Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. This will take the place of the former penguin exhibit at the park. Not a lot of details have been announced about the project as of now, but the concept art is astounding. A publicity photo was recently released and has led to speculation that the ride in the land will be using a trackless ride system similar to the one used on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland. I am really excited to check it out in the spring of 2013.
John Frost wrote up a nice article a little while ago about the failed WDAS project “My Peoples” and how it was set to be animated in the Orlando animation department…until they closed the Orlando animation department. It never transferred over to CA, many Orlando animators left Disney all together, and after a ton of other set backs…the project was canned.
For those of you unfamiliar, the story was very short, it was about how three small kids and a ghost brought together a couple in the Appalachia area of the USA in the 1940’s. The thought process was taken from Walt’s head, for every big and grandiose film, you include a low-budget and simply sweet film to even things out (Bambi is to Tarzan and Dumbo is to My Peoples). After much deliberation and “fighting” between Barry Cook (the creator of the story and idea), Michael Eisner (the then CEO), and Thomas Schumacher (the then president of WDAS) over budget issues and such, the plan would be this: the couple would be done in hand-drawn animation while the rest of the characters were done, in the style of folk art, in CGI. It saved money and gave the film a distinct look. Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Charles Durning, and more had already signed on to voice for the film and they had also already begun to write the bluegrass music for the film (which was supposed to evoke that sense of classic Appalachia).
We’re getting our first glimpse inside the new bowling slash nightclub location that is coming to Downtown Disney. Splitsville, located in Downtown Disney West Side, will contain 50,000 square feet of fun and 30 lanes on two floors. This newly released concept art is of… Read More »Our first Glimpse inside Splitsville – Bowling is coming to Downtown Disney
Before a film can enter production at Disney animation, it first has to be pitched. A small number of those films make it into pre-production, and then an even smaller number actually make it into full production. At that point, the film is most likely… Read More »Un-seen Disney Animation: My Peoples, plus the saga of Disney’s Florida Animation Studio
Where we last left the SeaWorld Killer Whale OSHA case was that a judge had declined to hear SeaWorld’s appeal and that trainers would not be allowed to be in the water with the animals without a barrier. SeaWorld pointed out in their appeal that… Read More »SeaWorld Takes First Steps Toward Returning Trainers Into Water With Killer Whales
SeaWorld is appealing an administrative judge’s opinion on whether the company is violating workplace safety rules when allowing trainers to swim with killer whales at its theme parks. The conservation minded theme park ran into a roadblock when the first stop on the appeals course,… Read More »SeaWorld Faces Setback in Quest to Return Trainers to Water with Shamu