Friday, April 29, 2011

Cars 2 Celebrates the Royal Wedding!

Royal wedding fever is sweeping the nation and even the talented magicians at Disney/Pixar are in on the act, injecting a bit of the British monarchy into their upcoming animated sequel Cars 2.
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Online exclusive poster of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) all dressed up and cruising through the streets of London on the royal wedding day.

The movie opens in the US on June 24 and debuts July 22 in the UK.

Review: Naveen on Balcony

The first of the Spring 2011 Releases, Naveen on Balcony from The Princess and The Frog, began to arrive at retailers earlier this week!

A quite simple piece, the expression on Naveen's face is what gives this piece so much charm. His confident, suave attitude was captured so perfectly.  You can almost hear him saying, "Kissing Would be Nice, Yes?" to the lovely Tiana as she gazes upon the Evening Star. 

What also impressed me was intricate detail of the railing on the balcony.  From photos, expected something quite flat but was surprised in the texture and detail of the railing and the color palette used for it.  In pictures, it appears black but in person, has a verde patina effect to it.

"Kissing Would be Nice, Yes?" Limited to Production Year 2011 is plussed with ornate pewter replicating the animated classic’s New Orleans style architectural grace, this charming resin balcony detail complete with porcelain frog elegantly compliments dreamy Tiana ("Wishing on the Evening Star"), an Open Edition release that was released in September, 2009.

Below are photos I took of Naveen and Tiana from various angles and different setup possibilities.  Please click on each image for a larger view.  2011 is truly off to a great start! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

D23 Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Disney's THE ROCKETEER!

JUNE 21, 2011

Anniversary Screening will Feature Cast and Crew Reunion
Hosted by Noted Film Director and Producer Kevin Smith;
Event Features Iconic “Rocketeer” Props and Costumes
from the Walt Disney Archives

BURBANK, CA., April 28, 2011 - For Disney fans and movie buffs alike it’s time to grab the helmets and prepare to take flight once again! On June 21, 2011, come relive the action and fun of Disney’s 1991 adventure-fantasy The Rocketeer at the legendary El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood as D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the 20th anniversary of this Disney film favorite.

Film director and writer Kevin Smith will host a panel discussion and reunion of original cast and crew from the film. Fans will then delight in the viewing of this out-of-this-world adventure on the big screen. Following the movie, guests are invited to tour the Hollywood Museum — located in the nearby historic Max Factor building — and explore the museum’s four floors of exhibits as well as a special exhibition of props and costumes from The Rocketeer, curated exclusively for this event by the Walt Disney Archives.

On June 19, 1991, Hollywood’s landmark art deco El Capitan Theatre, restored to its original grandeur, re-opened its gilded doors for the premiere of The Rocketeer, transporting audiences to a golden age of thrills, glamour and, of course, sleek jet packs.

The Rocketeer follows the adventures of stunt pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) who discovers a stolen rocket pack and sets off on a series of heroic (and sometimes hilarious) adventures that attract the attention of Howard Hughes, the FBI, gangsters, a band of Nazis and one aspiring actress, namely Cliff’s girlfriend Jenny (Oscar® winner Jennifer Connolly). Directed by Joe Johnston
, the film also stars Terry O’ Quinn, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton and Paul Sorvino. 

Click above image to check out Trailer

D23 Members may purchase tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime event Monday, May 2, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. PST and will have the advantage of being able to reserve their own seats. The general public will be able to purchase remaining General Admission tickets on May 23. Event ticket cost is $50 per person.

D23 Members and their guests will receive a special commemorative Rocketeer gift. All attendees are invited to attend the special Rocketeer exhibit following the film, where there will also be exclusive, limited-edition Rocketeer collectibles available for purchase from D23 and event co-sponsor, Creature Features.

Event check-in begins at 6:45 p.m. at the El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd; panel and screening begins at 7:30 p.m. The Walt Disney Archives exhibit will follow the screening from 9:45 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Hollywood Museum located at 1660 N. Highland Ave.

Check Out Latest Episode of 'D23's Disney Geek'!

Episode Thirty-Eight of "D23's Disney Geek" is now online!

This week check out the following:

- Johnny Depp stars in the newest Disney Dream Portraits

- An exclusive interview with… Goofy!

- Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii celebrates a major milestone

- Some royal cars roll out for "Cars 2"

- Disneynature's "African Cats" success and the lovable "Chimpanzee"

- An opening date for Goofy's Sky School… and more!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: WDCC Nephews & Tree

I think since the blog started, this might be the first time one topic has been the topic of discussion in new blog entries three days in a row :)

I personally have been anticipating this release since seeing the production sample while at Gallery of the Lakes this past November. It finally arrived today and the final sculpt did not disappoint!

So much attention to detail was put into this sculpture.  Notice each Toy Soldier and Gingerbread Man is painted painstakingly perfect, you can see the detail in each and every one.  Love the 'hand off' in the image above!

Click on each image for a larger view to truly appreciate all the detail in this amazing sculpture!  Now if WDCC would only add Mr. Toad as Fezziwig.  Sorry, can't miss an opportunity to campaign :)

A different angle than the two we've previously seen.

The partitioned ornament boxes on the floor bring back memories of decorating the tree growing up, as all the ornaments were packaged in this type of box.

 Like the detailing of the floor, how the hardwood effect was accomplished and hard to tell from the photo but the way in which the stool was painted, has an aged/worn wood tone to it.

 Close up of the floor and stool.

Back view of the 'hand off'.

"Holiday Helpers" sculpted by Ruben Procopio is Limited to Production Year 2010. The Christmas Tree is plussed with pewter and miniature ornaments.

Dancing Mushrooms from 'Fantasia'

A selection of pieces from the Nutcracker Suite ballet depicts the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn to winter, with no plot.

A variety of dances are presented with fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms, and leaves, including "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", "Chinese Dance", "Dance of the Flutes", "Arabian Dance", "Russian Dance" and "Waltz of the Flowers".

In September, 1994 the Walt Disney Classics Collection released the Three Mushroom Dancers (Large, Medium and Hop Low) sculpted by Kent Melton. 

In the film six red-topped mushrooms shake off the dew, then become wide, coolie-hatted Chinese men with round heads, long robes and pigtails that are choreographed into a dance. Hop Low, smaller than the rest of the mushrooms, cannot keep up with the steps and routines of the larger mushrooms. He hops back into place just in time to take a final bow.

While working on completing the Pastoral Symphony sequence I talked about in my recent article, the Mushrooms were earlier pieces I also passed up on.  On the heels of completing my article, was able to find a Large Mushroom (locating the Medium Mushroom and Hop Low last year) which arrived today and create the grouping above.  Wouldn't it be nice to have the space to actually create the scene as its depicted in the movie with seven mushrooms?

Special Note: The dewdrops on each mushroom are genuine Austrian crystals.  During 1994, the green background logo was replaced with a revised boxed in logo for both the Medium and Large Mushroom. Hop Low was not produced with the teal green logo.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Additional Angle of WDCC Nephews and Tree Added!

Yesterday I announced retailers were starting to see the arrival of the much anticipated Nephews and Tree (featuring Huey, Dewey and Louie) from Mickey's Christmas Carol.  Today, I received an additional angle (pictured at left) of this amazing sculpture!

Please Note: The pieces are starting to arrive and will continue shipping and arriving at retailers from now and through out the month of May.

"Holiday Helpers" sculpted by Ruben Procopio is Limited to Production Year 2010. The Christmas Tree is plussed with pewter and miniature ornaments.

Love 'Cars'? Don't Miss Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend!.

Attention all “Cars” fans – I’ve got a great announcement for you tonight from the Disney Parks Blog! They just got word that the gang from Radiator Springs will head this way next month for a brand new event – Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend – which will take place May 13-15.

Four-time Piston Cup Champion, Lightning McQueen, Mater and British super-spy, Finn McMissile will hit the road to celebrate the release of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 2.” At Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend, families can hang out with Lightning, Mater and Finn McMissile, plus take part in all sorts of fun “Cars” activities, including a video kiosk, e-photo opportunities and games.

Along with meeting some their favorite characters from “Cars,” families can “test drive” and purchase new “Cars 2” RIDEMAKERZ models. Always wanted to see what Mater would look like as a 4×4? Mix, match and design your very own unique “Cars 2” vehicle.

Families can also throw their love for cars in “reverse” and go back in time to check out dozens of classic cars on display that helped shape the vehicles we drive today. Or check out the original “Cars” film, which will play on the big screen all weekend at the AMC Pleasure Island 24 Theatres Complex.

Monday, April 25, 2011

New WDCC Arrivals Arriving at Retailers This Week!

The much anticipated Nephews & Tree featuring Huey, Dewey & Louie with the Christmas Tree has started to arrive at retailers!

"Holiday Helpers" sculpted by Ruben Procopio is Limited to Production Year 2010. The Christmas Tree is plussed with pewter and miniature ornaments.

When we saw this sculpture this past November, we were all amazed by the attention paid to detail on this sculpture from the ornaments (gingerbread men and toy soldiers) to the box holding the ornaments. It was a real nostalgic touch for many!

Also arriving is the first of the Spring 2011 releases .. Naveen on Balcony.  

"Kissing Would be Nice, Yes?",  Limited to Production Year 2011 is plussed with ornate pewter replicating the animated classic’s New Orleans style architectural grace, this charming resin balcony detail complete with porcelain frog elegantly compliments dreamy Tiana.

For those keeping track of the production marks, both Nephews & Tree and Naveen on Balcony bear the 2010 production mark, the sword & anvil from The Sword in the Stone.

Walt Disney Classics Collection Artist Signing Announced!

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The Walt Disney Classics Collection sent out the following email blast (pictured at right) this morning regarding the upcoming Figment Event to be held at World Disney World in Orlando, FL on Saturday, May 7th at the Art of Disney, Epcot®.

This new Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture presents Figment as a Knight, just as in the attraction!

Based on original attraction reference, Figment is hand-crafted of fine porcelain, hand-painted and kiln-fired. Sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales with creative direction from Disney Master Artist David Pacheco, Figment stands approximately 6 ¼” high and retails for $140.00.

Please visit The Art of Disney Parks web site for information about the event and how to order: htp://

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter to all who visit either the Blog and/or Website today and all my friends on Twitter & Facebook! Try not to eat too many chocolate bunnies and jelly beans :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Confirmed: Celebration of Pixar May 13-15!

Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida wraps up the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival May 13 – 15 with a celebration of Pixar’s 25th anniversary. It’s a great opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in the world of Pixar films and their characters.


Special Pixar Meet and Greets

And the Pixar fun will continue throughout World Showcase, where characters from Toy Story, Ratatouille and A Bug’s Life wait to greet guests in three areas of Epcot:


Future World

  • Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story at Mission: SPACE
  • Mater from Cars and Cars 2 at Test Track
  • Living Coral Stiltwalkers at The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Crush at Turtle Talk with Crush

World Showcase

  • Woody, Jessie and Bullseye from Toy Story at the American Adventure
  • Flick, Atta, Gypsy Moth and stilt walking Slim from A Bug’s Life at the Art of Living Garden
  • Remy and Emile from Ratatouille at France

World Showplace

  • Mr. & Mrs. Incredible and FroZone from The Incredibles
  • Lotso from Toy Story 3
  • Mike, Sully, Boo and Smitty from Monster’s Inc.
  • Carl, Russell and Dug from Up

Pixar Celebration Headquarters

World Showplace (located between the Canada and United Kingdom pavilion), will serve as the celebration headquarters. Inside, families can enjoy meet and greets with characters from The Incredibles, Toy Story 3, Monsters, Inc. and Up, and browse a photo gallery that calls out some of Pixar’s best Easter Eggs from past films. There also will be an art gallery that displays the creative work that went in to Pixar films.


Speaker Series

A special speaker series featuring talks by Oscar®-nominated Pixar producer Jonas Rivera, Oscar®-winning composer composer Michael Giacchino and Cars Franchise Guardian Jay Ward will also take place at World Showplace.


Daily Speaker Series Schedule

  • Noon: Jay Ward
  • 2:00 PM: Jonas Rivera
  • 4:00 PM: Michael Giacchino
  • 6:00 PM: Special Presentation by Jay Ward, Jonas Rivera and Michael Giacchino


Kids also can play the  Cars 2 Race Around World Showcase game, by picking up a booklet with clues that send them on a journey to specific World Showcase pavilions, where they’ll receive more clues, and receive a reward at the end.

The special experiences are included with Epcot admission.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Check Out Latest Episode of 'D23's Disney Geek'!

Episode Thirty-Seven of "D23's Disney Geek" is now online!

This week check out the following:

- Beast's castle rises over Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

- "Pirates of the Caribbean" newcomer Angelica makes her Disney park debut 

- A quartet of sleek new "Cars 2" characters off the streets of Tokyo 

- A sneak peek at the Summer issue of "Disney twenty-three" featuring "Pirates," George Lucas, Stan Lee and more!

- The debut of exclusive collectibles celebrating D23's "Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th" event

- Viewer Questions ... and more!

The Summer Issue of Disney Twenty-Three Magazine Hits Stands May 3rd!

Behind the Scenes on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with Scoop from Director Rob Marshall, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane and Richard Griffiths; Exclusive Interview with George Lucas on Reimagining Star Tours And a Sit Down with Stan Lee on Marvel’s Move to Disney

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BURBANK, Calif. – April 20, 2011 – The summer issue of Disney twenty-three magazine hits stands May 3, filled with features that will take readers from the depths of the sea to the edges of outer space. 

In the swashbuckling cover story on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, director Rob Marshall and actors Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane and Richard Griffiths take D23: The Official Disney Fan Club into the action-packed world of the highly anticipated film.

The piece gives readers the inside scoop on Captain Jack Sparrow’s latest adventure with an eight-page spread of gorgeous images from the film and fascinating nuggets from the set. Readers will discover what select cast and crew have to say about Johnny Depp returning to his iconic role; learn what inspired the screenwriting team behind the earlier Pirates films as they reunited to lace together legends of the fearsome Blackbeard, the Fountain of Youth and sirens of the sea; and uncover why director Rob Marshall says of the 106 days of shooting: “You’re undergoing your own adventure as you’re filming one.” 

Disney twenty-three’s summer issue also includes an exclusive interview with George Lucas, the force behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones, discussing his participation in the various park attractions inspired by his films. Readers can expect to be immersed in the creative process as Disney twenty-three reveals multiple concepts for rides that were never made. More specifically, readers will be privy to the unique brainstorm that brewed the new Star Tours ride and learn about a distinctive new twist in the experience.

In “What a MARVELous World!,” Stan Lee talks about his excitement to be working with Disney Imagineers. “It’s great for Marvel to have access to Disney’s brains, because they’re pretty smart, and it’s great for Disney to have all these characters, with their built-in audience. It’s one of the wisest things that either company could have done.” Readers will also find a comprehensive look at Stan’s history that might well serve as a Marvel 101 class. The article’s glimpse into future plans for this historic team-up shows why Disney, Marvel and fans alike are looking forward to super hero-sized results.

Just in time for summer road trips, John Lasseter introduces readers to Cars 2, in which Lightning McQueen, Mater, and a whole fleet of new characters race across the country on an international adventure. In true Pixar fashion, Cars 2 will zoom to the big screen alongside the brand new animated short Hawaiian Vacation featuring characters from the Toy Story films. This issue also celebrates Walt Disney’s own motor mania with a look back at some of Walt’s personal cars as well as a few favorites that have played special roles in Disney history.

There’s much more in the summer issue of Disney twenty-three, including:

·        THAT WILLY NILLY SILLY NEW BEAR: Voice actor extraordinaire Jim Cummings is a natural when it comes to voicing Winnie the Pooh. He’s been doing it ever since he was a kid and is adding to his resume with the upcoming Winnie the Pooh movie.
·        JUSTICE FOR ALL: Disney Legend Bill Justice, who passed away in February, left a big imprint at Disney working on projects ranging from Bambi and Mary Poppins to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
·        ARIEL’S TRIUMPHANT RETURN: Legendary Disney animators Glen Keane, Mark Henn and Andreas Deja see their characters come to life in 3D at The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, coming soon to Disney California Adventure.
·        PASSING THE TIKI TORCH: From the Enchanted Tiki Room to the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean films, the work of two laid-back Southern California craftsmen is carved into Disney lore.
·        A WALK WITH WALT 1940: WISHING UPON A STAR: The first year of the new decade saw creative and celebrated breakthroughs, including the release of Fantasia. But there were storm clouds on the horizon.
·        D SOCIETY: Disney President and CEO Bob Iger takes to the skies to photograph the Disney Dream, John Stamos and the Massey brothers get onboard, and Super Bowl champ Aaron Rodgers visits Walt Disney World.
·        PHOTOfiles: Disney twenty-three’s 10th installment of rare pictures from the Disney Photo Library shows Walt embracing Audio-Animatronics® at the Enchanted Tiki Room, Sean Connery “bonding” with Autopia, and Daryl Hannah making a big splash!
·        GOOD MOUSEKEEPING: Now in each issue of Disney twenty-three, this new column features classic Disney comics originally published in the 1930s and early 1940s in Good Housekeeping magazine. This month’s featured cartoon is from July 1937 and portrays the trio that sailed off in a wooden shoe: Wynken, Blynken and Nod.
And there’s even more for Disney fans to explore. As with every issue of Disney twenty-three, Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club receive an added bonus. This issue comes with one of two scented Cars 2 air fresheners featuring either racing star Lightning McQueen or his devoted best pal Mater. These limited-edition gifts will be sent only to members. To become a D23 Member, and learn more about membership and the spring issue of Disney twenty-three, visit

Beginning May 3, Disney twenty-three is available at select retail locations for $15.95.

Disneyland Announces Soundsational Summer Debuts!

Disneyland Resort Celebrates Soundsational Summer 
with Premieres of ‘Mickey’s Soundsational Parade’ May 27, 
Star Tours and ‘Little Mermaid’ Attractions June 3

Click Image for Larger View

(April 2011) – Disney excitement of all kinds – from under the sea, to down Main Street, U.S.A., and to a galaxy far, far away – arrives at Disneyland Resort in summer 2011. Several highly anticipated attractions and entertainment experiences will make their debuts, enhancing all the fun and adventure that create memories for guests throughout the year at the Disneyland Resort. Highlights of this Soundsational Summer include the latest milestone in the expansion of Disney California Adventure park, The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, plus the sensational new 3D excursions of Star Tours and the exciting new “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” in Disneyland park.
  • The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – The adventures of Ariel will unfold in colorful scenes filled with Audio-Animatronics characters and memorable music from the Disney animated motion picture hit “The Little Mermaid” when this modern version of the classic Disney “dark ride” premieres in Disney California Adventure on Friday, June 3. The attraction brings the popular motion picture to life in magnificent scenes where guests will sing along with Sebastian and friends, keep an eye out for the evil Ursula, and experience the romance of Ariel and Eric. Special effects will transport guests “under the sea,” taking them into Ariel’s world in ways never before seen.
  • Star Tours - The Adventures Continue – Guests will never know where the Force might take them as they embark on thrilling new Star Tours journeys, now enhanced with the breathtaking immersion of 3D. Premiering Friday, June 3, in Disneyland Tomorrowland, the new journeys will feature more than 50 different story combinations, bridging that “long, long time ago” between the two “Star Wars” trilogies. At the bustling new Spaceport where droids run the show and excursions to the stars are advertised overhead, eager travelers will board fully reimagined Starspeeders for interstellar treks to Coruscant, Hoth, Naboo and many more destinations in the “Star Wars” galaxy. In the course of their adventures, voyagers will encounter characters from the “Star Wars” movies, some of them making their first appearances in the refreshed attraction.
  • “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” – Explosions of dynamic rhythm and bold percussion will accompany beloved Disney characters as they stomp and strut along Main Street, U.S.A., in the new “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade,” premiering Friday, May 27. The parade brings characters and melodies from Disney films to life with a syncopated drum line, flashing cymbals and more than 90 performers, as Mickey Mouse and his pals get the Disneyland crowd into the beat of this giant jam session. “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” features nine parade floats, each designed in the style of a children’s “pop-up” storybook with eye-catching visuals and whimsical details.
Also at Disneyland:
  • “Magical” Fireworks Spectacular – Tinker Bell and Dumbo will take to the air over Sleeping Beauty Castle as the “Magical” fireworks spectacular returns for its third consecutive summer. Tink waves her wand to awaken a pyrotechnic spectacular inspired by Disney’s most magical characters, including Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, and the Three Good Fairies from “Sleeping Beauty.” Dumbo makes a “Magical” summer appearance, too, as the enchanting storytelling of a fireworks show creates memories for guests of the Disneyland Resort.
Also at Disney California Adventure:
  • Goofy’s Sky School – Joining the fun along Paradise Pier beginning June 3, this coaster attraction is inspired by the classic Goofy “How-to” shorts of the 1940s and 1950s as well as the cartoon short “Goofy’s Glider.” The theme is a flying academy with your pal Goofy as the wacky instructor. Guests will enjoy all the dips, twists and thrills as Goofy tries to teach a group of novice pilots how to soar through the sky.
  • “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” – “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” are now appearing at Disney California Adventure as part of "Disney Junior - Live on Stage!" – a theme park show that is a favorite of young guests. Co-starring in the production are characters from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Handy Manny” and “Little Einsteins” - other shows that are part of the Disney Junior schedule on Disney Channel. Children and families are invited to dance and sing along as "Disney Junior--Live on Stage!" is presented several times daily.
  • Paradise Pier - New restaurants, shops and attractions will open this summer as Paradise Pier completes its transformation into a vintage beachside playland. New dining locations will include Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. The popular Corn Dog Castle returns, along with Seaside Souvenirs (formerly Souvenir 66), a restyled merchandise location. These additions will be adjacent to the new Goofy’s Sky School and Little Mermaid attractions.
  • “World of Color” – The award-winning “World of Color” water spectacular continues for a second summer of nightly performances on Paradise Bay. The show combines nearly 1,200 versatile, performing fountains, popular Disney music and a kaleidoscope of audio and visual effects, including both classic and new animation projected on giant screens of water. “World of Color” floods the senses and takes the audience on an imaginative, emotional journey into the colorful worlds of Disney classics such as “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid” along with Disney?Pixar films including “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo.”
  • “ElecTRONica” – The party on “The Grid,” inspired by the Disney movie, “TRON: Legacy,” will continue nightly throughout the summer. “ElecTRONica” features music, live performances and interactive experiences, and it has become the place to dance the night away. Inspired by the computer-world environment of “TRON: Legacy,” ElecTRONica comes to life in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. DJs keep the energy going with electronic party music while dancers costumed as “Sirens” and “Programs” from the movie rock out at locations throughout the party.
At the Disneyland Hotel:
  • Disneyland Hotel Enhancements - As part of an exciting renovation, the Disneyland Hotel gets a retro theme with a contemporary twist. Along with beautiful new décor in the rooms and a new pool, guests will enjoy historic and nostalgic elements of Disneyland park reminiscent of the 1950s. In keeping with that spirit, the new Tangaroa Terrace restaurant will open this spring, along with the new bar, Trader Sam’s. Their tiki-inspired design and storyline tie in thematically with the mid-century modern architecture of the Disneyland Hotel and the adjacent Dream Tower, soon to be renamed Adventure Tower.
Thanks Greg for passing along this info. An exciting summer ahead for sure!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Enter the Zone!

Check out my latest article at WDW Fan Zone ... Doing Your Research.

WDW Fan Zone is your open invitation to join others in sharing their passion, knowledge, and memories of Walt Disney World. It’s a meeting place for longtime fans, those who are new to the community, or people looking to plan their first trip to the “Most Magical Place On Earth.”

Each day you’ll find fresh insights and information on all aspects of Walt Disney World from a diverse group of columnists. The writers are eager to share their perspective on vacation planning, Disney history, bringing Disney into everyday life, and more.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Trailers!

Ahoy, matey!

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game is an upcoming video game in the LEGO video game franchise, developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Disney Interactive Studios.  Due for release in May 2011 to coincide with the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the game is based on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and its storyline covers all four films.

The trailers include:

· Teaser Trailer - a fun and humorous introduction to LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game,

· The Curse of the Black Pearl - Trailer highlighting the game play from the first movie in the blockbuster franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

· Dead Man's Chest - Trailer highlighting game play from the second movie in the blockbuster franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Below are all links released to date for this title:

Teaser Trailer

The Curse of the Black Pearl Trailer

Dead Man's Chest Trailer

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game will set sail on May 10, 2011 across Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, 3DS and MAC/PC, just days before the release of the new Walt Disney Pictures movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger’s Tides!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Check Out Latest Episode of 'D23's Disney Geek'!

Episode Thirty-Six of "D23's Disney Geek" is now online!

This week check out the following:

- Breaking ground on the spectacular Shanghai Disney Resort

- Exclusive interview with "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" star Ashley Tisdale 

- Disney Legend Bill Farmer talks about the importance of "Mickey Mouse Club House"

- "Ugly Betty" star Alec Mapa recalls his favorite Disney moment—it's Gurr-iffic!

- Grad Nite celebrates its 50th year at Disneyland

- Incredible video of Ariel as she prepares to move into her Undersea Adventure

- New images from Disneyland's SoundSational parade

- Viewer questions... and more!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th Event Speakers Announced!

Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th presents the largest gathering of Walt Disney World Resort pioneers ever assembled for a public anniversary.

If you consider yourself a die-hard Walt Disney World Resort fan there is no better place to be May 14-15, 2011, than at Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th! Come join your fellow D23 members for a truly unforgettable celebration of four decades of Walt Disney World — a fun-filled event for fans of all ages filled with fond memories, laughs, surprises, and heart-touching moments. It's the biggest official event retrospective on the history and development of Walt Disney World Resort ever mounted by The Walt Disney Company. D23 is proud to present the largest gathering of Walt Disney World Resort pioneers ever assembled for a public WDW anniversary, including these notable Disney Legends who helped make the "Vacation Kingdom of the World" a reality:

Debby Dane Browne
1971 Walt Disney World Ambassador Debby Dane Browne was originally cast as a hostess at the Walt Disney World Preview Center, which opened in 1970 at Lake Buena Vista (the very first facility to open to Guests on the property). Along with her peers, Debby was the "face" of Walt Disney World to more than one million curious guests who came to see the "World" before it opened. As the inaugural resort Ambassador Debby participated in the official grand opening of the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort Hotel and many other areas. Today she joins us as an ambassador of the incredible heritage of Walt Disney World Resort.

Orlando Ferrante
Disney Legend and Imagineer Orlando Ferrante started with WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) in 1962. His Walt Disney World connection began in the late 1960s when he coordinated the installation of all attractions for the opening of Walt Disney World Resort. In the early 70s Orlando was named vice president of Administration and Production, overseeing all of WDI. He moved on to serve as vice president of Manufacturing and Production in 1979 in anticipation of the opening of EPCOT Center in 1982. He also oversaw show/ride engineering, production and installation at Disneyland Paris and Tokyo DisneySea, plus helped launch the Disney Wonder before retiring in 2002.

Bob Foster
Under the pseudonym of "Robert Price" (his real name is Robert Price Foster), Bob was the Disney lawyer who headed to Florida in 1964 to begin acquiring the land necessary to build "A Whole New Disney World." After he finished dealings in Florida (buying land for the future Lake Buena Vista/Bay Lake area) he would often fly to Kansas City before returning to California. Roy Disney (aka Roy Davis) and others on the land-buying mission used this tactic in order to throw-off the media and other land speculators.

Bob Gurr
Disney Legend and Imagineer Bob Gurr helped to create and design a "Disney World" on the move with such conveyances as the world-famous Walt Disney World Express Monorail System, WEDWAY PeopleMover, OmniMover System, Main Street Vehicles, double-decker busses for EPCOT Center, plus Audio-Animatronics® figures.

Jack Lindquist
Disney Legend Jack Lindquist was hired by Walt Disney as Disneyland's first advertising manager in 1955 and eventually played a key role in the marketing of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. During his 38 years with the company he spearheaded a myriad of Disney projects including Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom Club, Disney Dollars, the Ambassador Program, Grad Nites, and WDW's "Tencennial" celebration. Now retired, Jack is the author of the new book In Service to the Mouse, which will be available at the event for purchase and signature.

Ron Logan
During his 23-year career Disney Legend Ron Logan led the evolution of entertainment for Disney Parks and resorts from simple marching bands and costumed characters to spectacles, fireworks, music spectaculars, and Broadway-style stage musicals. In 1978, Ron moved to Florida as Walt Disney World music director and in 1987 he was promoted to vice president of Creative Show Development for all of Walt Disney Attractions. He was responsible for creating, casting, and producing all live entertainment products for The Walt Disney Company. He produced dozens of shows for the parks, including Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage! , Fantasmic! , Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and Tapestry of Nations.

Bob Matheison
In 1966, following many roles at Disneyland, Disney Legend Bob Matheison became the head of the research and development team for Walt Disney World, presenting facts and recommendations to Walt about sizing, facilities, and more. He also helped develop a 13-week executive training program for Walt Disney World, a forerunner of Disney's current corporate training program. In 1970, Bob was named director of Operations at Walt Disney World Resort where he outlined an operating plan for the new Magic Kingdom park. He was promoted to vice president of Operations in 1972, and bumped up to vice president of the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT in 1984. Three years later, Bob was promoted to executive vice president of Parks, Walt Disney World before retiring in 1994.

Tom Nabbe
The last time Disney Legend Tom Nabbe paid to get into a Disney Park, it was July 18, 1955 — the first day Walt Disney opened Disneyland to the public. Tom was a rusty-haired 12-year-old, enjoying his day at Disneyland. The very next day he landed a job as a "newsie," hawking The Disneyland News to Main Street Guests. In 1956, Walt Disney personally cast him to portray Tom Sawyer in the park. After outgrowing the role, Tom went on to manage attractions. In 1971, Tom was transferred to the newly opened Walt Disney World in Orlando, where he started as manager of the monorail. He also helped in the opening of Disneyland Paris. Forty-eight years later, in June 2003, 60-year-old Tom retired from his job as manager of Distribution Services at Walt Disney World. He was the last working member of Club 55, a group of original Disneyland cast members named for Disneyland's inaugural year and for their chief qualification of membership — a paycheck from Walt Disney dated 1955.

Charlie Ridgway
Journalist-turned-publicist-turned Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway joined Disneyland's publicity office in 1963. Even before he was hired as a cast member, Charlie promoted Disneyland as a news reporter. In 1966, Charlie was promoted to Disneyland's publicity supervisor, until 1969, when he was bumped up to publicity manager (and later, director of press and publicity) for Walt Disney World, which was then under construction. He helped launch the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971 and EPCOT Center in 1982. He also helped launch Disneyland Paris in 1992, as well as special projects for celebrations such as Donald Duck's 50th birthday. After more than 30 years with Disney (and over 150 media events), Charlie retired in 1994. Since then, he has consulted on special projects, including the launch of Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney Cruise Line. Charlie is the author of the book Spinning Disney's World, which will be available at the event for purchase and signature.

Richard M. Sherman
Disney Legend and Academy® Award winner Richard M. Sherman will make a rare Florida appearance in concert at Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th. Highlighting the incredible film scores he and his brother Robert B. Sherman composed for such classic Disney movies as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and The Parent Trap, Richard will also showcase their major contributions to the musical legacy of Walt Disney World Resort such as "The Tiki Room Song," "The Best Time of Your Life," "It's a Small World (After All)," "One Little Spark," "Magic Journeys" and many, many others.

Marty Sklar
Retired vice chairman and principal creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) Martin A. ("Marty") Sklar stood as a dedicated torchbearer of Walt Disney's philosophy since first joining the Company a month before Disneyland opened in 1955. Among his many accomplishments is a 20-minute movie devoted to communicating Walt's vision of EPCOT, his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow originally intended to help resolve the urban challenges found in American cities. Marty first became an Imagineering officer in 1974 when appointed vice president, Concepts/Planning, a role in which he guided creative development of EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. In 1979, he was named vice president of Creative Development, followed by executive vice president in 1982. He served as president and vice chairman from 1987 to 1996. In 2001, the Company honored Marty with a special award for 45 years of service and leadership.

Bill Sullivan
Beginning in 1955 Disney Legend Bill "Sully" Sullivan progressed from ticket-taker to ride operator to operations supervisor at Disneyland, learning all aspects of the operation on the way. Sully participated in the operations management of a number of lavish Disney film premieres, including Mary Poppins at Grauman's Chinese Theatre and The Happiest Millionaire at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. He relocated to Florida for the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971. While in Florida, Sully served a stint as director of PICO (Project Installation and Coordination Office), coordinating operational design input and installation of owner-furnished equipment at Epcot, after which he was the director of Epcot Center operations. In 1987, he was named vice president of the Magic Kingdom, and was responsible for operation of the Park including attractions, merchandising, transportation, entertainment, ticket sales, Guest relations, costuming, foods, custodial, maintenance, planned work, and horticulture. Sully retired in 1993 after 38 years with Disney.  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

D23's Great Disney Scavenger Hunt - Grand Prize Announced!

D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt
Announces Spectacular New Fantasy Prize!

Winning Team Gets Free Trip on
Disney Cruise Line’s Majestic New Ship

BURBANK, Calif. – April 7, 2011 – On May 12 and 13, when hundreds of teams compete across the Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks in D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt — the largest scavenger hunt ever to hit Walt Disney World — they’ll be vying for the ultimate Disney prize for the ultimate Disney hunters: a special preview cruise on the Disney Fantasy, the fourth regal vessel in the expanding Disney Cruise Line fleet. The special prize was announced today on D23’s Disney Geek, the weekly Disney news video podcast from Disney’s Official Fan Club.

The 4,000-passenger cruise liner, set to launch in Spring 2012, boasts 14 towering decks, 1,250 staterooms and more than 1,450 cast and crew members. Specially designed with families in mind, the Disney Fantasy provides entertainment for all ages, and is equipped with pools, youth clubs and restaurants. The special preview cruise, leaving from Port Canaveral, FL, will take place in March 2012, and the prize includes accommodations for four, plus air travel, courtesy of Disney Cruise Line.

D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt is part of a full weekend of The Official Disney Fan Club’s events, including Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th. While Destination D is exclusive to D23 Members, the Scavenger Hunt is open to D23 Members and non-members alike. Registration information, as well as additional information on both events, can be found on the D23 website.

D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt will consist of teams of two to four people who will race against the clock as they scour the grounds for answers to challenging but fun questions. The top 10 placing teams will also receive prizes and collectibles courtesy of D23, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Disney Publishing, Walt Disney Records, Walt Disney Collector’s Society, Walt Disney World and Adventures by Disney.


Check Out Latest Episode of 'D23's Disney Geek'!

Episode Thirty-Five of "D23's Disney Geek" is now online!

This week check out the following:

- Breaking news! A "Fantasy" prize for the winners of D23's Great Disney Scavenger Hunt at Walt Disney World

- Directors Joseph Kosinski and Steven Lisberger reveal "TRON: Legacy" and "TRON" favorites

- Star Tours destinations revealed

- "Monsters Inc." prequel named—and exciting new plot details!

- Who's who in "Winnie the Pooh"—plus, Zooey Deschanel lends her voice to the soundtrack

- "Mary Poppins" live CD recording hit shelves—plus "TRON: Legacy RECONFIGURED" will keep you moving

- The new Mickey meet and greet at Walt Disney World has some magical details

- What would "Kingdom Keepers" author Ridley Pearson do if he could spend a night at a Disney park?
- Penelope Cruz gets her star—and Johnny Depp was there

- Viewer questions… and more!