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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The following facts and photos were supplied by Walt Disney World press and publicity in the official press kit for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned:

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, in the Enchanted Forest of New Fantasyland (Magic Kingdom), is a family coaster inspired by the film classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” that takes Walt Disney World Resort guests into the famous mine, glittering with diamonds, rubies, and other precious gems, where the Seven Dwarfs sing happily as they work.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is almost completely “on stage.” With its location in the middle of New Fantasyland, guests aboard the rockin’ coaster are afforded amazing views from all angles.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Princess Fairytale Hall: Anna & Elsa

Arendelle’s Royal Family has made the move from Norway to Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland. That’s not all that moved, so did the extremely long wait times. On Easter Sunday, the first day the sisters were appearing in the Magic Kingdom, the wait time was 2.5 hours immediately after opening and climbed up to 4 hours wait time mid-day. Times not dissimilar from their location in EPCOT.

anna-elsa-1

The good news is that there is now Fastpass+, which means lucky guests can reserve a short waiting time for Disney’s most popular princesses. Resort guests will have first crack at times 60 days in advanced with off-site guests and annual passholders window opening at 30 days.

I’d had heard rumors that Anna and Elsa were all booked up through June 30th, but I was just able to find two weekend days in April with reservations available. That may be because Disney has been holding some slots in reserve or because others have canceled their Fastpass+ times making them available for me. The lesson is to not give up if every day of your vacation is reserved right now, keep checking and a time may become available.

ios-story-app

The old photographer’s saying goes “the best camera for the shot is the one you have with you.” With more than half of the US now possessing a mobile phone with digital camera built in, the phone has become the camera fo choice for many. This is evidenced by the plethora of apps out there that allow you to take, modify, and share your photos in all sorts of ways.

Disney Interactive may be a little slow out of the gate, but they have announced their own photo based sharing app. It has an emphasis that’s core to the Disney experience – Story. In fact, that’s the apps name.

ios-story-app-2

Story allows you to quickly assemble storybooks of your daily experiences. You choose a theme, add a few narrative bits of text, and select the photos or video you want to include, then Story makes it available to share and view via mobile or web device.

“When we become moms, our iPhone instantly becomes the go-to device to capture the spontaneous moments of family life. Before we know it, we have thousands of photos and videos on it,” said Brooke Chaffin, senior vice president, Disney Interactive Family. “With Story, we’ve created a easy-to-use app that takes this content and creates meaningful narratives and stories that can be shared with friends and family with just a few taps.”

You are allowed up to 20 photos and two short videos in each story. It reminds me a bit of the digital scrapbooking software that was popular a few years ago, but really stripped down to the essentials.

Story features:

  • Effortless Storytelling: The Story App automatically finds the moments in the Photo Library on your iPhone or iPod touch, based on when and where your photos and videos were captured.
  • Creative Freedom: Users can simply select a moment to share immediately, or personalize it with their own captions, pages of text, themes and layouts.
  • Quick, Selective Sharing: With just a couple of taps, stories can be shared via e-mail or Facebook. They are visible in any browser to invited friends and family on Story.us. Stories can also be embedded on your website or blog.
  • Preservation: All stories created are saved in the app and backed up by iCloud for future viewing and editing.

Alas Story by Disney is only available for iOS devices (iPhone or iPad) at the moment. I hope Disney Interactive realizes its ignoring more than 54% of the mobile phone market (myself included) by not having an Android version too.

I’ve embedded a sample Story to explore below the jump:

Wreck-It RalphAs part of a blogger/press event for Disney’s next animated feature I was invited to tour the Disney Animation Building (the one with the hat) and learn about the making of Wreck-It Ralph. And then we made a mess.

This post is a quick overview of our day and a hint of posts to come. It’s like the Jacob Marley of Wreck-It Ralph posts.

First, the mess that I mentioned. One of the video games that plays a prominent role in Wreck-It Ralph is called Sugar Rush, in which cute, little racers with cute, little names make their own cute, little race carts and, you can probably see where this is going, race them. We were invited to create our own, and when they put us in front of a long table full of goodies it was every sweet tooth for itself. Please note, no cute, little racers were hurt in the process.

My friend Jim won the contest (and took the picture):

make sugar rush car

Frankenweenie 3D

I wore new shoes down the white carpet layered like so much cotton upon Hollywood Boulevard because I refused to be the one responsible for soiling Tim Burton’s night. Everybody knows that new shoes don’t scuff. Look it up. Besides, there were plenty of dogs sniffing around (mostly alive from what I could tell), and I figured one of them would take the honors. It never happened. Not a single stain. That, my friends, is Disney magic.

It was the premiere of Tim Burton’s latest Disney feature, Frankenweenie, held at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre, and the night was spotless (although I did get some cupcake leavings on my freshly pressed pantsuit).

The premiere was a black and white affair, followed by a private party that was partially in color. Both were filled with the stars from the film, including Tim Burton: