I admit to being part of the “can’t wait” crowd after learning more about a new pizzeria coming to the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. We posted the news first on the blog this week along with several other announcements. But a favorite entry was the introduction of the newest member of the family at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — an adorable baby white rhino. The female baby is the eighth white rhino born at the park. And if you missed it, here’s an amazing photo — captured by Gene Duncan:
We also shared some unique images from around Walt Disney World and Disney’s California Adventure park. Here’s the list:
One of the most amazing experiences you can have is to be in recording sessions for a Disney Spectacular. Last week I had one of those days… and it was extra special. An orchestra of over a hundred players performed the score for World of Color. Even more exciting, we recorded it at the famous Abbey Road studio in London.
The orchestral score is a very important element to any show. In my mind, it makes up more than fifty-percent of the experience for an audience. The World of Color score has taken over a year to create due to its complexity. Mark Hammond – the show’s composer – worked countless months perfecting the harmonic nuance of each scene.
Since the show is built out of classic Disney animation moments, each scene needed its own flavor and personality. When we strung them all together, they would create the perfect environment where water, light and projections could live in harmony. The end result, as we are hearing today in this video of the recording of the ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ music from Fantasia, is glorious.
A true sense of the world of colors took shape over the Paradise Bay lagoon, the future home of “World of Color,” at Disney’s California Adventure park earlier this week following one of our many rain storms. It was captured by one of our building-mounted cameras.
Anthony, who holds 11 world records in juggling, uses simple hoops, clubs and balls during his act. What makes his act remarkable is speed and seemingly impossible accuracy with props — it’s hard to look away.
The new act will be added permanently to the 90-minute shows beginning February 5. The La Nouba performance (no intermission) plays at 6:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The show is dark on Sunday and Monday.
Tickets are $65, $81, $99 and $114 for adults (plus tax) and $52, $65, $79 and $91 for children ages 3 to 9 (plus tax). Tickets can be purchased at the box office, at the plaza level of the theater, by calling (407) 939-7600 or on cirquedusoleil.com. or disneyworld.com.
Before we get into this week’s “Quick Hits” links, there’s an update to last week’s “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon post. About 400 Walt Disney Cast Members volunteered to answer more than 15,000 calls from the Disney Reservations Center in Orlando and assisted in routing donations to disaster relief organizations. Donations are still being accepted online at www.hopeforhaitinow.org. Here are some other links worth noting that didn’t make it to the blog this week.
If you’re a mom (or dad), you’re busy wiping and feeding all the time—even at the Disneyland Resort. However, your next visit can still be fun and much easier with the following tips:
– Mark your stroller with a brightly colored scarf, ribbon or bandana, so you can spot your stroller in the sea of strollers.
– Visit the Baby Care Centers. They provide moms a place to breast feed and there are even training toilets for toddlers. (No reason to stop the training during vacation, right?) There are also supplies available for purchase.
– If you need a break from walking, take the train. It begins on Main Street, U.S.A. and stops in Mickey’s Toontown, Tomorrowland and New Orleans Square.
– Check the height requirements before you visit the park. This will prevent any surprise meltdowns because little Johnny had his heart set on riding Space Mountain but, oops, too short.
– The park sweepers dressed in white almost always have maps and show times and parade information.
Can you believe in just one year the Disney Dream will take its maiden voyage? To celebrate the beginning of the countdown we are announcing details about new experiences coming to the upper decks of the ship.
An elaborately themed interactive sports deck, whimsical water play area, and relaxing poolside oasis for adults are just some of the ways guests can have fun in the sun on the decks of the Disney Dream.
On Goofy’s Sports Deck, the magic tees off with Goofy’s Golf – a miniature golf course where “lessons” featuring Goofy and his son, Max, lead guests through nine themed holes of wacky fun. Also on Goofy’s Sports Deck, two digital sports simulators, full-court basketball and two mini-sized sports courts for little ones.
At Nemo’s Reef, little cruisers will have fun at a fanciful water-play area overflowing with pop jets, bubblers and lovable underwater friends like Nemo, Dory, Marlin and others from the Disney•Pixar film, “Finding Nemo.” Shaded for protection from the sun, the 1,500-square-foot Nemo’s Reef is a place for children to cool off and play among colorful, interactive figures that move and spray water. Take a look:
Reserved exclusively for guests 18 and older, the Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar is a retreat for adults to sunbathe and swim, indulge in a cool drink or enjoy a relaxing dip in a nearby hot tub overlooking the ocean.
The Disney sports complex will, in fact, have the most famous globetrotters of them all – the renowned Harlem Globetrotters. The zany band of basketball tricksters will help kick off the Feb. 25 relaunch of the complex, which will involve re-theming the 220-acre complex with the signature elements of ESPN, leaving athletes, coaches and fans feeling as if they’ve reached the big time.
The Globetrotters will put on a very special performance at the Milk House in the complex at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at all ticketmaster outlets and www.ticketmaster.com, and range from $30 to $50. As part of the complex relaunch festivities, everyone in attendance at the game will receive a one-of-a-kind ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex commemorative t-shirt.
The game will be more than just a game as ESPN’s popular radio duo Mike & Mike will serve as honorary coaches. And several high-profile pro athletes and other well-known ESPN on-air personalities are expected to be in attendance and available for autographs. Then, of course, there’s unique brand of basketball entertainment that only the Globetrotters can deliver.
Hey, maybe you’ll be the one who gets doused with the fake bucket of water that really turns out to be confetti.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs is no stranger to Disneyland Resort. Not many people know this, but he and his wife enjoyed their wedding rehearsal dinner at the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland in 1996, and through the years this Southern California family has enjoyed countless days of fun together at the parks. His three sons were probably expecting to hear stories about Dad riding their favorite attractions the past few days, but this was Tom’s chance to spend time with frontline cast members learning first-hand about operations of the Resort.
Earlier today, Tom toured Disney’s California Adventure park where he saw the control room for the new water extravaganza “World of Color” – a technological marvel with 1,200 programmable fountains on a one-acre grid. He also visited the construction site for Cars Land, the new 12-acre expansion inspired by the blockbuster Disney-Pixar movie, “Cars.”
I met Tom Staggs at the Napa Rose last night while I was having dinner. He’s a very friendly and approachable guy. Here’s what he had to say about his visit: “The thing that most impressed me was how passionate everyone is, and how proud they are of the Disneyland Resort. They’re working to make the future of the parks even better, but they’re also focused on honoring the history of being the original Disney theme park.”
I often hear “Only Disney.” Only Disney can create such a fun attraction…only Disney can throw such a big celebration…only Disney. Well, it all started with the man himself. When he opened an attraction, he went all out. In true Disney style he made the opening itself a show worth watching. Go back in time in this video montage of some of Walt’s “opening days,” starting with the biggest opening day of all — July 17, 1955. That’s when more than 28,000 guests showed up for the opening of Disneyland park and the American vacation changed forever. This video also includes the opening of Matterhorn Bobsleds (1959), New Orleans Square (1966) — Walt’s last official ceremonies before his death in December that year –- and Pirates of the Caribbean, the last attraction that Walt supervised. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly before Pirates’ opening day.