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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was previewed for the press and travel agents earlier in May. The official opening was announced for May 28, but additional opportunities to preview the roller coaster are expected between now and then. If you won’t have a chance to ride or just want a bit more insight into what to expect, I’ve written my take on this journey into the story of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, sharing moments from the movie that have never been possible before today.

No matter which direction you approach Snow White’s Mountain from, you are greeted by a Fairytale Forest. As you approach, you notice a small mountain rising out of the forest. It appears to be the home to a gem mine, and if listen close, faint sounds of happy work emanate from within. Near one end of the forest you spot the work of talented craftsmen and a sign inviting you in to tour the mine.

Moving down the wide trail, you can just see a small carefully cared for cottage through through the woods. Ahead of you are small wooden shelters that appear to be part of the mining operation. Inside the largest of the two shelters is a slough used to wash and sort gems from the mine. You can even stop and help for a while if you like. There is also a gem washing station that plays a musical tune as you help clean the gems. It’s quite clever and you scratch your head wondering how it’s done.

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: