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Sad Tea Party, WDW Today Reunion 2012

8 Dec

From WDW Today Reunion 2012:

Earlier this year, my friend and I were waiting in line to ride the Mad Tea Party at Magic Kingdom. We watched a group of guests riding it. There was one young girl who was with there with her mother and maybe her aunt? But her family had sat in one teacup and she had chosen to sit in another. Her mother and aunt were having a blast, spinning the cup, smiling and waving to the girl… who was just sitting still, looking so indifferent, not even spinning her tea cup at all.

This inspired me to create this Reuinion 2012 event. Here’s what we do. We fill up all the tea cups on the Mad Tea Party and just sit there, looking sooooo over it. Do not spin the tea cups at all. Don’t look like you’re having any fun.

It will be the Saddest Tea Party ever.

Submitted by: Mark Diba

WDW Fantasyland Construction View from Dumbo

1 Aug

I love the updated Dumbo attraction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! The twin spires of Dumbo are a joy to behold, especially at night. And yes, I unabashedly ride Dumbo all by myself, and I am a middle-aged lady.

Right now one of the bonuses of riding Dumbo is the view of the Fantasyland construction. If you’re not already familiar with the Fantasyland expansion plans, AllEars has a great overview and recent updates.

Below are a video I captured while flying high on Dumbo on July 18, 2012, and a screen shot of perhaps the clearest view of the construction from the video:

construction view from Dumbo

Click through for larger image

Tortuga Restaurant at Walt Disney World?

2 May

MouseExtra points us to a Screamscape post about a possible Tortuga-themed restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. And I, for one, would be booking my ADRs ASAP.

If they do it right, it would be great. As MouseExtra suggests, this could be like Cinderella’s Royal Table, but for those of us who prefer swordplay and explosives to glass slippers. It wouldn’t be enough to go half-way. Think of the Blue Bayou at Disneyland (pictured at left), my absolute favorite Disney restaurant worldwide. Rough up the decor a bit around the edges. Maybe a few audio-animatronic pirates on the balconies? Borrow their menu, too — Disney’s corporate stragegy is all about leveraging synergies right? Re-purposing existing properties? Mmm, I’m hungry for that creme brulee already.

The Myth of Story: Lost and Found at Walt Disney World

1 May

Re-Imagineering had a funny piece yesterday about the number of Disney attractions based on similar “stories.”

From the late 80’s on Imagineers indeed affixed ‘story’ after ‘story’ after ‘story’ to their rides, shows and attractions. Unfortunately, however, the concept of originality eluded most of them.

While certainly WDI saw some unbridled successes under Eisner’s ‘What’s the story?’ ordinance, it seems Imagineers had little more than one ‘story’ up their sleeve. And they shamelessly told it again and again and again.

It goes something like this: a character or prop has gone missing and the guests and/or other characters are tasked with finding it/them.

At times I think they’ve overreached their point. Can you really boil down the Pirates of the Caribbean ride story to this?

Pirate Jack Sparrow, treasure in hand, has gone missing among the villagers on the Isla Tesoro and Captain Barbossa is out to find him.

But even when they over-reach, it’s an interesting read. And consider this too: How many Disney Parks attractions are based on the premise of transportation gone wrong or stretched to its limits? On my recent trips to Disney World I rode:

  • Two trains-gone-wild (Big Thunder Mountain and Expedition Everest)
  • One broken elevator (Tower of Terror)
  • One problematic mission to mars (Mission: Space)
  • One difficult trip into someone’s immune system (Body Wars)
  • One complete mishap of a space shuttle trip, with a hopeless pilot (Star Tours)

And that’s not even counting last summer at Disneyland, what with the crazy trouble with snakes and spiders when I was touring with Indiana Jones, or that wacky ride down Mullholland Drive. I don’t even want to talk about what happened when I got into the car with that Toad.

Is the message here that Imagineers are falling down on the job with creating stories for rides? Or is it that some stories are so flexible, you can make a zillion successful rides based on them?

Pirates and Princesses Party Tickets On Sale May 1

29 Apr

According to The DIS, tickets for the Pirates and Princesses Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom go on sale May 1, a month earlier than had previously been reported. Tickets also go on sale that day for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Spaceship Earth Closing for Rehab July 9, 2007

27 Apr


MouseExtra this morning reports that has posted July 9, 2007 as the start date for rehabilitation of Spaceship Earth (details of the rehab available on The end date is still unclear.

In the short term, this is sad news . . . it means that many summer visitors to Walt Disney World will not be able to ride either Haunted Mansion or Spaceship Earth. As both of these are high-capacity attractions, it may also have implications for wait times on other attractions. However, both of these attractions are badly in need of work, so I’ll gladly take the inconvenience and disappointment now, in exchange for better ride experiences next time around.

Disney Parks Music Available for Download

27 Apr

Just heard this on this week’s Inside the Magic podcast . . . Disneyland Paris has a web site where you can download various Disney Parks audio for free. They have four MP3s currently online, and apparently post new files every couple weeks. Today’s selection includes the full Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Monorail spiel. (Say, am I the only WDW Today listener who giggles every time I hear Narcoosee’s mentioned?) I’m rooting for them to post the Animagique MP3 next!

It’s a little confusing at first . . . the files download as zip files (a problem for some people’s firewalls, I realize), and you need a password to unzip them (the password is listed on the web site). But it seems that once you’ve unzipped and unlocked the files, you can import them into your local music library.

Magic Kingdom Opening Ceremony

23 Apr

I love the Magic Kingdom opening ceremony so much it’s almost embarrassing.

Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle Kiss Goodnight

5 Apr

How have I missed out on this all these years? I had no clue . . .

Every night, after the Magic Kingdom closes for the night, a music and light show on Cinderella Castle gives guests a goodnight kiss.

Times for the kiss goodnight vary, and are listed on Steve Soares WDW Live Entertainment web site.

Farewell to Carousel of Progress Audio-animatronics (April Fools’ Day Post!)

1 Apr

I was shocked this morning to read that a planned refurbishment of Carousel of Progress will eliminate audio-animatronics, relying instead on live actors to continue presenting this long-running Disney fan favorite. Disney Creative Entertainment (DCE) will take responsibility for the show, and is rumored to be planning auditions soon. The revised, live-action production will be a collaboration between DCE and They Might Be Giants, following up on their cover version of “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” on the soundtrack to Meet the Robinsons.

It’s hard to imagine anybody but Jean Shepherd walking us through the decades, musing that things just can’t get any better than this. There are some rumors that Janet Waldo might make a rare personal appearance from time to time, but for the most part these beloved characters will now be performed by a variety of Cast Members, rotating responsibilities in short shifts, given the huge number of performances made necessary by the constantly-spinning theatre.

Clearly the fan community is going to have a thing or two to say about this . . . there’s going to be an uproar bigger than when they removed Dole Whip from Adventureland, closed DisneyQuest, or extended the Monorail to serve Universal Studios. I for one will be adding my name to this online petition to keep the show audio-animatronic.

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