We’re all about great stories here at the Walt Disney Company and the rescue of the Chilean miners was certainly one of the most compelling of 2010. Today, their inspirational story continued right here at Magic Kingdom Park with a parade and celebration on Main Street, U.S.A. The men and their rescuers were greeted by cheers from guests, Disney characters and the “Mayor” of Main Street, U.S.A., who proclaimed their special day.
Since last week, the miners have been enjoying a Disney-sponsored vacation in their honor. They participated in a welcome party hosted by Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton at Epcot and then received VIP treatment at the theme parks along with a few other Disney surprises.
One of the highlights of their six-night vacation to Disney was serving as Grand Marshals of the Main Street, U.S.A. parade. Here’s a look at a few of the others.
When I went out to get night shots (would you believe it was 4:30 a.m.?) of King Arthur Carrousel for documentation, I brought along most of my lenses, including a great little 15mm fisheye. After about an hour taking images with my normal lenses, I thought I would have some fun with the fisheye lens. The first photo below is an example of a photo I would usually take documenting an attraction.
When I first saw this next image on the back of my camera I laughed out loud, and I knew I was seeing a funny side to the majestic and historical Carrousel horses.
Below are a few more examples of the photos through a fisheye lens.
On Sunday morning, the Disney Dream returned from her four-night maiden voyage to the Bahamas, a cruise filled with smiles and laughter from the many veterans and first-time Disney Cruise Line guests aboard our newest ship.
After stopping in Nassau on Thursday and a leisurely day at sea Friday, on Saturday the ship visited Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, for some sun-soaked fun among its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters.
Guests made the most of the sunshine, clear skies and many enhancements we’ve recently added like Pelican Plunge, a 2,400-square-foot floating platform with two corkscrew water slides.
Back on the ship, on Friday night we presented an updated version of our popular stage show “The Golden Mickeys: A Timeless Tribute” in the Walt Disney Theatre. On Saturday, we proudly debuted an all-new production, “Disney’s Believe,” which was met with boisterous applause at all three performances.
On behalf of the ship’s crew members and the many cast members who support the Disney Dream back on land, thank you to all the maiden voyage guests for sharing the fun with us! For everyone else who’ll be sailing with us soon or is maybe thinking about taking their first Disney cruise, we hope you’ve enjoyed these exclusive reports on the Disney Parks Blog and Twitter.
Here are some highlights from the sands of Castaway Cay and inside the magnificent Walt Disney Theatre:
If you’ve enjoyed our reports from the maiden voyage of the Disney Dream, add a comment below and let us know what you liked the most!
Last weekend, guests joined us for Character Fan Days at the Festival Arena in Disneyland park. This Disney character reunion featured some rarely seen characters, including King Louie and Baloo from “Jungle Book” and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s not very often that you see all these fellows together in the park.
Character Fan Days was one in a series of Family Fun Weekends. The next two weekends will be the Happy Lunar New Year Festival, featuring Lunar Mickey.
For those who couldn’t join us, here are a few shots from our photographer Paul Hiffmeyer that capture the fun.
Guests enjoyed meeting Esmeralda and others from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
Guests also got to enjoy the magic of sketch artists at work. And one very special guest got to help direct the Disneyland Band.
There are five more Family Fun Weekends, celebrating Lunar New Year and Mardi Gras. It’s a great time for Southern California residents to come join the fun. They can get 2 days of fun at the Resort for $99, with a ticket that offers admission to either Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park.
Have you ever attended a Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings? I did about 11 years ago when a dear friend was married at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. It was such a magical event – I mean, who wouldn’t want to get married in the happiest place on earth? With Valentine’s Day approaching, I figured there may be some of you ready to tie the knot (or at least ask “that” big question). If you have been reading Korri McFann’s articles, then you are aware of the many opportunities we offer to create special wedding moments. But what do you give the happy couple? I walked the hallways of Disney Theme Park Merchandise and found several items with one common theme – a bride and groom Disney Ear Hat.
Megan Kachur, developer for ear hats, said the hats have been around forever (perhaps they were married long ago). These hats served as the inspiration for an entire art program developed by David Whitaker, Product Developer for Home and Décor.
“I chose the ear hats as I wanted a wedding message that was related to our Disney Parks,” said David. “I’ve seen many honeymoon couples at Disney who love wearing those hats, so it made sense to have an assortment featuring those icons.”
For the ear-hat art program, there are a variety of items including pins (the ultra portable item to inform others you are the happy couple); photo albums and wedding frames to capture memories from the special day; and my favorite item – coffee cups. Those cups sure make it easy to identify who gets what cup in the morning (especially when one is a little sleepy).
Another common theme I discovered was Minnie and Mickey portrayed as a bride and groom. There are some new figurines that look incredible (especially Minnie’s wedding gown). David shared some additional details.
“Minnie’s wedding gown has a pearlescent finish which makes it shimmer,” explained David. “I think the ‘over the threshold’ figure is my favorite. It is not only a great gift but I’ve seen people use it as a cake topper.”
My final (possibly favorite) thing I found was sitting on Maria Clapsis’ desk at Disney Design Group. Maria is one of our artists who designs Vinylmation figures. She created a one-of-a-kind custom Vinylmation set for her friends who were tying the knot. Talk about a personalized gift – wow!
So now it is your turn. Have you given a special Disney gift to a recently married couple? I’m sure there are others out there looking for some inspiration.
This is what we’ve been working for. After years of planning and construction, the Disney Dream set sail this week on her official maiden voyage to the Bahamas. And to begin the new era for Disney Cruise Line, we shared reports from the trip and featured different aspects of the ship, including our brand-new fireworks spectacular at sea called “Buccaneer Blast!”
We’re still taking suggestions for what you’d like to see featured in slo-mo from Disney Parks. Please let us know in the comments. Now, here’s a list of some of the other stories we worked on this week.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes Guests on many different adventures – into the African savannah, to the top of Mount Everest, and back to the age of the dinosaurs. But some of the most amazing adventures are those involving the animal friends who are born and cared for at the park. Here is a look at some of our top Disney’s Animal Kingdom posts.
What has been your favorite adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments.
After visiting Nassau in the Bahamas yesterday, the Disney Dream is spending today at sea during her four-night maiden voyage.
On Thursday, Disney Cruise Line guests spent the day enjoying everything from the thrills of AquaDuck, the world’s only water coaster aboard a cruise ship…
…to the chic sophistication of exclusively adult venues like Skyline lounge, where the ever-changing penthouse view features famous metropolitan skylines that transform from day to night and showcase a variety of stunning cities.
On Thursday morning, two local marching bands met the ship upon her arrival in Nassau for a lively welcome filled with sound, color and rhythm. For guests who chose to explore the city through Port Adventures, it was a chance to soak up the rich history and culture of the Bahamas.
For those who stayed aboard the Disney Dream, it was an opportunity to enjoy all the magical innovations throughout the ship, including fun spaces for children in Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, and the grownup entertainment offerings in the five interconnected venues of The District.
After the sun went down, it was time for a ship-wide pirate party, including a special themed menu in the onboard family restaurants, Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden and Royal Palace. Up on the pool deck, the fun continued with Mickey’s Pirates IN the Caribbean, an all-ages deck party.
Afterward, a rollicking pirate ship battle broke out under the stars during a brand-new fireworks spectacular called Buccaneer Blast! DJ Randy kept guests rocking during Club Pirate, the hottest dance club at sea, which was followed by a late-night screening of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” on the ship’s giant Funnel Vision display.
Here arrrrr some highlights from another magical day aboard the Disney Dream:
During Friday’s day at sea, Captain Tom Forberg treated guests with a “drive-by” visit to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, which was hosting our flagship vessel, the Disney Magic. To guests’ delight, a mini Disney concert echoed across the island as the ships tooted their horns back and forth, including many familiar Disney melodies played by the Disney Dream.
Follow Disney Cruise Line on Twitter at twitter.com/disneycruise for real-time tweets and photos during the maiden voyage. Then come back to the Disney Parks Blog on Monday for another exclusive report from the ship – and from the sands of Castaway Cay!
Before jumping into the weekend, we have a quick update for everyone looking forward to hearing some fun live music during this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the festival, you’ll be able to enjoy music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s during the Flower Power Concert Series at the America Gardens Theatre. And today, we can share the latest lineup of performers:
3/4-6 Jose Feliciano (Light My Fire)
3/11-13 The Guess Who (American Woman)
3/18-20 Chubby Checker and the Wildcats (The Twist)
3/25-27 Melissa Manchester (Don’t Cry Out Loud)
4/1-3 Starship starring Mickey Thomas (We Built this City)
4/8-10 Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. (You Don’t Have to be a Star (to be in My Show)
4/15-17 Juice Newton (Queen of Hearts)
4/22-24 Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons (Poor Little Fool)
4/29-5/1 Paul Revere & The Raiders (Good Thing)
5/6-8 Davy Jones (I’m a Believer)
5/13-15 Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (I’m Henry VIII, I Am)
Epcot theme park admission is required for the Flower Power Concert Series. Showtimes are at 5:15, 6:30 & 7:45 p.m. And you should know that entertainment is subject to change without notice. Who are you planning to see?
I’ve noticed a curious thing about fans of the Disneyland Resort. As much as they like their favorite shows and attractions, they can’t wait to see what’s coming next to the parks. The hint of a new surprise has its own special thrill.
That’s why fans will be excited to visit the new show at Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar. It opens today with an exclusive preview of the next big attraction coming to Disney California Adventure park: The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Along with dozens of new models and concept drawings crafted by Disney Imagineers, you will see:
An artist’s rendering of the 86-foot long, hand-painted mural that will greet guests in the loading area of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.
A one-inch-to-the-foot scale model of Ursula, glowing in black-light paint, previewing her appearance in the attraction
A new video that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how Imagineers are creating The Little Mermaid attraction
A full-size glass sample from the attraction entrance marquee, sitting right there on the Imagineer’s desktop where you can touch it
One of my favorite parts of the show is the night-time painting of Disney California Adventure park, in the alcove of the screening room. It’s a birds-eye view map that comes to life with 30 moving images that are projected onto the painting. If you stand and watch for a little while, you’ll see bubbles over Little Mermaid, Grizzly Rapids geysers, strikes of lightning at Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, “World of Color” fountains dancing at Paradise Bay and many more. I wonder if you’ll find the “hidden” effect!
Imagineers have used the latest in projection technology to bring this painting to life. It’s reminiscent of the way Walt Disney introduced Disneyland Park to his television guests back in the ‘50s using the latest black-light technology of the time, with a painting by artist Peter Ellenshaw that transformed the park from day to night.
Other highlights of the new show at Blue Sky Cellar include:
A preview of Goofy’s Sky School attraction and the new Paradise Pier dining locations that will open later this year