Disney’s Kraken or Seaworld’s Kraken

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

KrakenRCDB1.jpgWhen going to Orlando for holiday you’ll have a lot of choice when it comes to theme parks. Obviously there is Walt Disney World, for the most of us the reason to go to Orlando, but some of us might also be tempted to visit some other parks like Universal Studios (including Islands of Adventure, a place I love) or Seaworld.

There is nothing wrong with some healthy and good competition. It will keep the owners of the parks busy, looking for improvements and new rides that will convince the visitors to come to their park. Animal Kingdom (a theme park misunderstood by many, but in my opinion an Imagineering masterpiece) is a very good example of this. Expedition Everest has put it on the map of the Thrill Ride fans that might have stayed away otherwise.

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Boy Dies after riding Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Yesterday, another tragedy took place at Walt Disney world when a 12 year old boy died after riding the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

A boy from Kentucky riding Walt Disney World’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster slumped over during the ride and later died though his Army Green Beret father attempted to resuscitate him.

Disney closed the ride and asked the Florida Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection to assist in an inquiry. There was no indication Thursday that any equipment on the ride malfunctioned.

The death is the seventh in 18 months involving people stricken at Walt Disney World attractions, compared with two such deaths in the previous 18 months, according to state records. (Source: Orlando Sentinel)

No words will be able to take away the grief of the family but Our thoughts are with them.

Around The World (Cup)

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Many people (like myself) are probably glued to the World Cup, following every game live on TV (unless they are fortunate enough to be in Germany for a game or two). Being in Orlando for much of the tournament so far has been a fun experience, as much for all the different places (some of them, perhaps, unexpected) we have found to watch games. Being around Walt Disney World (and other Orlando venues!) has meant a real variety of fun options, with many bars and restaurants opening early (because of the time difference), and creating a lively atmosphere.

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Playing with Cars

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

CarsRC1.jpgWhat boy doesn’t like to play with cars? There will not be many. So with Cars out in the cinema, and merchandise being sold out at many location (so it seems when people talk about it) it proofs that cars is a real “toys for boys” hit. I must admit, I did check on those Cars toys myself and I’ll be getting something related to it on my next planned Disney visit. I hope I can choose from all the goodies (if not sold out)

If you like remote controlled Cars check out RadioShack Corporation. They just released a collection of Limited edition 1:16 scale RCs and 1:64 scale ZipZaps micro Radio Controlled Cars from the Disney/Pixar production. I am sure many boys’ hearts would beat a little faster when seeing those toys. And I am not talking about those children’s hearts only, I am sure some dad’s might be skipping a heartbeat to…

Disney Vacation Club: First Steps

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

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A couple of days ago I placed my request for a small DVC contract with the Timeshare Store. I wanted a small contract for several reasons. First of all a 150 minimum contract is not something I need now or want to do at this time. If I wanted to go for a 150 point contract I would have to go and have a talk to my bank. Instead of taking out a big loan I will start with a small contract I can afford for now. Once I am a member I can add on when I want or when I am ready. The first year (or even two years) the 50 points will do for me and my family.

I also decided Saratoga Springs is the right place for me. Although I love the BoardWalk Villas as a location I just can’t convince myself spending the same amount of money for a location that has 12 years less on its contract. With my plan to buy add on points during several years I feel this is the best option for me.

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Disneyland Shanghai

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

ShanghaiCNNmap.jpgDisneyland Shanghai,… or something like that might be the name of the next Disney park. This news for a second park in China has been floating around the web for a time now, but according to this article at modbee.com Disney chairman George Mitchell has been quoted saying in a Chinese state-run newspaper that Shanghai city officials are now in talks with the central government about a Disney theme park in the Chinese financial center.

This would be a second park in China, but there is no concern the Hong Kong Park would suffer from a park in Shanghai

Mitchell was also quoted as saying in the report Saturday he doesn’t think a Shanghai park will hurt Hong Kong Disneyland, which opened in September.

“There has been very careful analysis from us and Chinese government officials,” he said.

“There are a very large number of people in the Shanghai area and we don’t think that this will have any more of a negative effect on Hong Kong than say having a park both in California and Orlando, Florida,” Mitchell reportedly said.

Disney’s Pirate and Princess event at the Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

SnowPP1.jpgWalt Disney World newest evening event could be the rumored Disney’s Pirate & Princess evenings at the Magic Kingdom. The event would start in January and might go on into the month of March. Tickets might even start to go on sale starting as soon as from July 10th. Looks like Disney, if the rumor is indeed correct, wants to fill up the park on more nights and earn some extra by doing so.

Not sure if this event will be popular as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party event (I LOVE this event), but it will be hard for parents to say “NO” to all the future “little Pirates” and “little princesses”. To be honest, if I would be there during the time, it would be hard to keep me out of the “pirates” fun too.

Adventures planned for the special event include a search through the park for Treasure, pit stops at Pirate Adventure Coves or Princess Royal Courts spread out throughout the park for specialized training sessions like character meet and greets, scimitar training, dance parties, princess image consulting, learn to speak like a pirate, make up make over and more. (Screamscape)

Backstage Tour Secrets

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

EPCOTtourWashingtonPost1.jpgIf you’re one of the Disney fans that would like to know everything about the Walt Disney World parks you might be one of the guests that either has done some of the backstage tour, plans to take a backstage tour or would like to take the tour some day.

The Washington Post has a 4 page article revealing (some) of the backstage tour secrets.

The tours in this article are “Keys to the Kingdom, Magic Kingdom ($58, 4 hours)”, the “Backstage Safari, Animal Kingdom ($65, 4 hours)” and the “Epcot Seas Aqua Tour, Epcot ($100, 2 1/2 hours)”. The tour was taken by Steve Hendrix, the writer of the article, during a 4 day trip.

When we step over a bright yellow “sight line” on the road, Matthew (the tour guide) declares us out of any possible view of guests in the park. “Now, what do you really want to know?”

Gothic Fairy Tales: EPICA

Friday, June 16th, 2006

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Disney is my passion and there is not a lot that can take my thoughts away from this passion. But about 1 year ago I discovered EPICA, and although music has always played a big role in my life, it is the first time ever that I am so passionate about a group. After seeing them live for about 20 times I got to sit down with Mark Jansen (founder, guitars, grunts & screams) and the beautiful talented Simone Simons (Mezzo Soprano) and talked about those two passions.

Bare with us and see how much similarity there could be in what look like two different worlds as we talk about their music, including a concert in Disneyland Resort Paris, about Disney movies like “The Little Mermaid” and “A Nightmare Before Christmas”, about “The Lion King” and the composer Hans Zimmer and read how we compare Disney with Gothic to find out that both are all about fairy tales…

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Choices!

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort? The question has been on my mind since a couple of weeks while starting my (early – very early) planning on a next Disney Park visit. But the decision had been made. Next visit; Walt Disney World (again).

EpcotMickeyHand1.jpgWhy was this such a big topic in my head? Well I wanted to see the park that started it all in Anaheim and was thinking this would be the one to go to on my next trip. I still need to see this park and I have been to Disney World a couple of times now. It would have been the perfect reason to make my way to California on my next Disney trip.

But then it happened; I started thinking about this, looking around the many forums and news sites on the internet and by doing so I found something that made up my mind. Now; the 50th celebration will be over soon and a new celebration will start. EPCOT! On October 1st 2007 EPCOT will turn 25 years young, so celebrations will be on for this park. Although no way as big as the Disneyland’s big 5-O “party” some changes might take place.

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Disney History: EPCOT Land – Africa

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

JM-Epcot-JeffLange.jpgIf you head over to JimmHillmedia.com you can see some interesting artwork of EPCOT and a land that could have been, but never was. Equatorial Africa: The World Showcase pavilion that we almost got.

You’ll see some early maps of Epcot and drawings of the African pavilion, including attraction description (the Tree House sounds really like it could have been fun) and the reason why this land was not included.

As for the pavilion itself … Well, the Imagineers wanted Equatorial Africa to really stand out from the crowd. And what better way was there for this proposed pavilion to literally rise above all of its World Showcase neighbors than to have the centerpiece of this Epcot addition be a massive treehouse?

The Royal Chamber

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

Castle-OS1.jpgYou don’t need to be too excited about the sleep over in the Cinderella Castle room in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

At least not yet as Disney is hashing out details of castle stay. (Orlando Sentinel)

Like the article says, the chance to win this opportunity will not be possible before January next year, even if the “Year of a Million Dreams” promotion begins on the 1st October.

…the apartment is only a shell right now, with planners discussing how to turn it into a royal chamber.

Some say Walt Disney ordered it as a family suite, but he died in 1966 and castle construction didn’t begin until 1969. Some say Walt’s brother, Roy Disney, planned it, but he died in 1971, weeks after the Magic Kingdom opened. The room was never finished.

More Dreams

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

CastleWDWcm1.jpgWith the press event in New York behind us related to the new Campaign “Year of a Million Dreams” we can find some extra information on the web. Including some more info on the “dreams” Disney fans and visitors could get. Sleeping in the Cinderella Castle might be the top price for many Disney fans but other prices like traveling to each Disney resort around the world to serve as grand marshal in a Disney parade, a variety of unique Disney vacation experiences, admission to special parties and other extraordinary experiences in the Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks or private meetings with favorite Disney characters, are all great too.

You can read more about the press event on Mousesavers.com

Other articles can be found on Orlando Sentinel; Disney set for ‘Year of Million Dreams’ and Florida Today; Disney unveils Dreams effort

The Year of a Million Dreams

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

CastleClickM1.jpgThe Year of a Million Dreams will be the new campaign Disney will launch so people will keep on visiting the Disney Parks after the 50th celebration has ended. So what to do to convince the Disney fans around the globe? Sweepstakes!… Do you like the sound of that? Just wait to see what you could win. What about a golden fastpass ticket or a night in the Cinderella Castle. Sounds like magic doesn’t it?

Excited? I sure am! But I get excited about any Disney news :-)

Tonight more might get revealed in New York when Disney will present the new campaign to the public.

Jay Rasulo, chairman of Disney’s parks-and-resorts segment, is to announce the new promotional campaign tonight in New York City. Disney staff were mum on the announcement, but speculation is centering on the prospect that Rasulo will roll out details of the company’s new promotional campaign. (Orlando Sentinel)

I don’t know what it did to you, but it sure got my attention. Or maybe I am the Disney Geek everybody says I am :-)

You can read more about it on JimHill.com and on Orlando Sentinel or visit the new The Year of a Million Dreams website where you can register to win one of the dream prices or just to keep informed about the campaign.

Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland and Disney World artwork

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

TellNoTalesDisneyland.jpgTell no Tales has put up some artwork of the new Pirates of the Caribbean enhancement for the rides at Disneyland and Disneyworld. You will see the ghostly Davy Jones from the second movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest appear in a waterfall, while Jack Sparrow will show himself in several scenes.

Including in this artwork collection are two drawings of Jack Sparrow in the Treasure scene; one time at the Disneyland version and the second one in the Walt Disney World attraction. The artwork looks very promising and gives us fans yet another reason to visit the parks.

(As if we need another reason :-))