President Trump’s team has reportedly been battling Walt Disney World over the president’s speech for The Hall of Presidents exhibit in Magic Kingdom. A source described to Vice the back-and-forth between Disney and Trump’s aides, who have insisted that they will write the speech Trump’s robot will give during the attraction.
Disney is denying the claims, and an official told The Hill that the company is working with Trump team just as it did with prior administrations. "When Disney tried to get this process started earlier this year," the source explained to Vice, "Trump's people said, 'We'll be writing the speech that the -president's audio-animatronic figure will be saying.'"
In a statement emailed to The Hill, a Disney representative denied the report, saying the company has "been working closely with the White House and the president’s recording session" has already been scheduled. "The Vice report is inaccurate. As we have stated, President Trump will have a speaking role in the Hall of Presidents like every president since 1993," the statement read.
Summer may just be getting started, but I’m already looking forward to fall and the return of my favorite event at Magic Kingdom Park, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. And this year’s party will be extra fun with the introduction of an all-new show on the Castle Forecourt Stage.
In “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular,” the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” return to the mortal world for one night during the Halloween season. With only a few hours to run amuck, the three sisters decide to use their magic to throw the best, evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard!
Anyone who watched Avatar knows that one of its signature elements is the beasts that were created to populate the world of Pandora. People have speculated as to what elements of Pandora would be featured when the new Avatar land will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Recently we’ve learned that one of the coolest creatures, the high flying Banshee will be prominently featured in the new area’s biggest ride. According to Variety, Walt Disney Exec Bob Iger was given the chance to board and ride a prototype of the ride vehicle that will be featured on the unnamed Banshee ride. After riding he commented, “It felt so real, so lifelike...There’s never been anything like it.”
The prototype gave a glimpse at what the final ride vehicle will be able to do. Guests will board and ride a life size Banshee throughout the ride. It is also said that the ride vehicle will move and even “breath” like the real creature would, giving guests a truly unique and authentic experience. Large video screen will provide the main portion of the ride’s experience and 3D elements will be also be added to the large theater.
Construction of the new Avatar land is still on schedule for the first opening to happen in December of 2016. Vertical construction at Animal Kingdom just started last week.
After months of speculation, Disney has finally confirmed that a Frozen ride is indeed on its way to the park. Over the summer many have pointed to the classic Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion at EPCOT as a possible spot for this new attraction. Today Tom Staggs on the Disney Parks blog stated, “I’m pleased to say that we’re starting construction at Walt Disney World Resort on a brand new ‘Frozen’ attraction at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot. The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film.” The park has also announced that the last day to ride Maelstrom will be October 5th. The Frozen ride is currently scheduled for a 2016 opening date. No word has been given on ride specifics or how much of the old water portion of Maelstrom if any will be used.
Despite many being very excited about this news, there are a few questioning this decision. Earlier in the summer, the country of Norway raised objections because they did not feel the movie portrayed the country accurately. Also others are concerned that a Frozen ride would feel out of place in the World Showcase. Despite these concerns, Disney is moving forward and capitalizing on the hit movie quicker than most other classic films.
One of the hottest animated movies to come out of Disney since the Lion King has caused an international controversy in Orlando which is not something that you typically see in everyday theme park happenings. According todailyfinance.com, Norway is upset with how Disney’s Epcot center is handling the Frozen phenomenon that has swept the nation by storm over the past year. The back of the Epcot is where the World Showcase is located. This is where international countries host and help finance pavilions that feature merchandise, restaurants, and attractions. Norway is one of only two countries that have an actual ride as a part of their pavilion. The country has said that the days of the Maelstrom boat ride may be coming to an end.
According to the article, there has been wide speculation that the ride could be closing soon to make way for a new ride that will relate to the film Frozen. News agencies in Norway say that the country is going to stop funding the pavilion and the ride could close as early as October to make way for the new Frozen ride. Disney claims that they have offered a deal where Norway would pay $9 million in order to update the pavilion as a platform for the country.
Disney also states that they were taken off guard of the success of the movie and the Norway area of the park began seeing an influx of visitors. The stores began removing merchandise off the shelves of stores to put in Frozen merchandise and added a meet and greet area so that children could meet the two princesses from the movie. The movie takes place in a fictional land called Arendelle, but the movie animators went to Norway to bring a Scandinavian sense to the movie. The country is upset because it seems that the platform is promoting more of a fictional land than the culture and lifestyle of Norway.
The latest Disney movie “Frozen”- about two princess sisters, one of which froze her kingdom, has sparked some ideas for an all new themed attraction rumored to first be placed in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT.
Disney historian- Jim Hill, commented in an appearance on the Disney Dish Podcast that Disney has something planned for “Frozen” in the theme park world. According to Moviefone, the Norway pavilion at EPCOT would be an ideal place for the “Frozen” themed ride because they had exclusive movie merchandise and character meet and greets before the movie even premiered.
"That's really filtering out. They're already looking at 2014/2015 and where does that fit into our holiday plans," said Hill. "Those of you who love the Maelstrom might want to go visit it." Since Maelstrom- Norway’s boat ride attraction, opened in 1988 it has been one of the World Showcase’s brightest spots, but it seems to be coming to an end explained Hill.
Hill also went on to explain that Disney will not be making the same mistake they made with “The Little Mermaid” attraction at Disneyland and Fantasyland. Ariel’s Underwater Adventure opened nearly 20 years after the movie was in theaters, opening May 26, 2011 at Disney California Adventure and on October 12, 2012 at Fantasyland. "There will be something in the next 18 months. Supposedly there's something larger in the works for Disneyland but that's in line behind the Marvel and the 'Star Wars' stuff" added Hill.
Disney recently rolled out their plans to begin using MyMagic+ system, under the NextGen technology company, in their parks. The MyMagic+ system will allow guests to experience the park in a whole new way, while it also allows Disney to get to know their guests a little bit better. According to an article bynytimes.com, the park plans to begin using this new system over the next few years and it is estimated that it will be an investment between $800 million to $1 billion.
The new MyMagic+ system will allow guests to to pre-select 3 FastPasses for rides and attractions or V.I.P seating for parades, fireworks, or a character meet-and-greet before they even leave their home with an app called My Disney Experience. This website will allow guests to customize a variety of personal details that the MagicBands will use. The MagicBand will be able to be used as a room key, park ticket, FastPass, and even as a credit card.
The MagicBand will also be used to make kids waiting areas, such as the “Under The Sea” attraction, more appealing to children. For instance, instead of going through and pointing out the talking sea gull, Scuttlle from “The Little Mermaid," guests with the MagicBand will be able to talk directly to the robot. A system on the robot will have a special sensor that will be able to pick up the guests names who are wearing the Magic Band. “We want to take experiences that are more passive and make them as interactive as possible — moving from, ‘Cool, look at that talking bird,’ to ‘Wow, amazing, that bird is talking directly to me,’ ” said Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Not only will the MyMagic+ system change the way guests experience the park, but it will also grant Disney more information about its visitors and allow Disney parks to “refine its offerings and customize its marketing messages." If used properly, the MagicBand will be able to pick up on what the guest wearing the band is doing in a matter of minutes. It will allow the park to see what rides you rode, what attractions you visited, if you bought a balloon, etc.. Did you shake Goofy’s hand? The park will also be able to see if you have done so.
The MagicBand system is, however, an option to guests. Visitors who choose to use the system will be able to control how much they want the park to know about them through My Disney Experience website/app. Do you want Disney employees to know your name? Do you want Cinderella to know it’s your birthday? Guests with the MagicBand will be able to control all of these options plus more through the website. But what happens if the guests loses their wristband? Park employees will be trained with the new system, which will include deactivating lost MagicBands. Guests will also be able to deactivate their own MagicBand through the app.
The MyMagic+ system is expected to turn into big business. “When Disney makes a move, it moves the culture,” said Steve Brown, chief operating officer for Lo-Q, a British company that provides line management and ticketing systems for theme parks and zoos. "The company must aggressively weave new technology into its parks — without damaging the sense of nostalgia on which the experience depends — or risk becoming irrelevant to future generations," Thomas O. Staggs, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts said. From a business perspective, he added, MyMagic+ could be “transformational.” As the systems grows, plans to add collectible accessories for the MagicBands are being considered. Advance planning will also help lock visitors into Disney once they arrive in Orlando, discouraging people from visiting Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, for instance.
Changes to the parks are included in the initiative’s cost. Eventually guests will no longer enter the parks through turnstiles. Instead they will tap their MagicBand on a post. Mr. Staggs explained that research indicated that guests, particularly mothers with strollers, viewed the turnstiles as an unpleasant barrier. “Small, subtle things can make a big difference,” Mr. Staggs said.
You know the economy is bad when even Princesses are getting evicted. Yes, after 40 years of operation the “Snow Whites Scary Adventure” dark ride found in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida will be giving its final “adventure” on May 31st 2012. Disney says the attractions replacement will be “Princess Fairytale Hall”, a location where guests will be able to meet their favorite Princesses.
The new meet and greet location will finally give the Princesses a proper meet and greet location in Fantasyland. For years the Princesses had been conducting meet and greets in the Mickey's Toontown area of the park. When that area was demolished last year to make room for the New Fantasyland expansion the Princesses moved to a temporary location on Main Street USA, they can be seen there currently.
“Snow White's Adventures” opened on October 1st 1971 with Disney World. The attraction orginally put guests in the shoes of Snow White as they were chased through the attraction by the evil wicked witch. The original version of the attraction did not feature any figures of Snow White as guests were supposed to be playing her. The attraction was famous for frightening children and confusing guests in general.
The attraction was re-imagineered in 1994. In an attempt to make the attraction more family friendly more scenes with Snow White as well as scenes with the Seven Dwarfs were added. The word scary was also added to the name of the attraction to try to deter guests that may be easily frightened from riding.
Snow White's Scary Adventure while still somewhat popular, often has low wait times compared to the other dark ride attractions in the area. It is expected that Princesses Fairytale Hall will be a more enjoyable experience for children than “Snow White's Scary Adventures”.
Snow White will not be attraction-less for long though. Disney announced last year plans to build a “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coaster” in New Fantasyland. The Rollercoaster type attraction will allow guests to step into the world of Snow White and board Swinging Ore cars for a fun filled trip through the Dwarfs diamond mines. The attraction will be a first of its kind ride in which the coaster cars will sway side to side during parts of the ride. Disney Imagineers say the attraction will be more intense than the “Barnstormer” kiddie coaster but less intense than “Big Thunder Mountain” (a mine train coaster). The new attraction is slated to open sometime in 2013 (Do you think the construction workers “Whistle While they work?”
Make sure to get your last rides in on the classic attraction before it closes!
Disney has finally released details about its updated Star Tours attraction, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. The updated attraction will feature an all new storyline, taking place between the two Star Wars Trilogies (between Episodes III and IV), and will feature at least 54 different possible experiences to guests, creating a huge re-ride value.
An introductory video released online shows what looks to be an pre-show feature of the ride, where you are told about a “getaway package” to three different planets, including the sky city of Vespan, the Ewok forest village on Endor, and Alderaan, the “safest planet in the galaxy”…we’ll see about that.
Along with the new journey is an entirely new cast of characters and droids. These droids include Ace, you “Tour Droid” for the journey, and Aly San San, “spokesbot” for Star Tours. The Disney team felt a new pilot was required, as Rex, pilot of the original Star Tours, announces that it is his “first flight,” and the new storyline takes place earlier. Of course because of the earlier storyline, guests will be flying in the older model Starship 1000, rather than the 3000 model.
From videos released in the past, it is already known that there is a speedy pod-racing sequence on at least one of the journeys, as well as scenes taking place in Coruscant, located at the physical center of the “Star Wars” galaxy. The planet also acts as the capital of both the Galactic Empire and the New Republic at different times in the Star Wars storyline.
The new Star Tours attraction is set to open at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in May 2011. No plans about utilizing the attraction at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, or Tokyo Disney have yet been announced.
Nearly a month after it's return to Disneyland Paris and four and a half months after it's reopening at Disneyland's Tomorrowland, Captain EO made its re-debut in Florida at EPCOT on July 2nd.
The show, made up of a 3-D sci-fi movie, returned after a sixteen year absence. It last operated in 1994, when it was replaced by Honey I Shrunk the Audience. The EPCOT attraction is unique from the other EO shows in the fact that it has its original marquees from 1994. The entire show has been retained in such a way that it is exactly how it was in 1986, the year it originally opened. The show even retains its 4-D effects that include wind, water, and even lightning, which made it one of the first 4-D films.
Like the Disneyland Paris version, Captain EO will have a limited run. Disney has not made it clear how long the run will be, although the Disneyland Paris version is expected to last about two years. Captain EO actually opened a day earlier at Tomorrowland in Tokyo Disneyland, having re-debuted on July 1st. The Epcot version even had a soft opening on June 30th, two days prior to its official opening.