Beginning in May, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for another summer season exploring the grandeur of America’s 49th state.
Don’t you just love this shot of the ship sailing through the Tracy Arm fjord? We’re wrapping up all the final details on the Port Adventures in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, and I’m looking forward to telling you about my favorites. Like always, Disney Cruise Line worked closely with local tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures in Alaska.
Until then, I leave you with this fun time lapse video showing some of the breathtaking vistas and exciting excursions that await Disney cruisers this summer.
If you’ve visited Disneyland park recently, you may have noticed that Fantasy Faire is quickly taking shape next to Sleeping Beauty Castle. Opening this spring, Fantasy Faire will not only be a home for Disney princesses, but it will also be a natural extension of Fantasyland. To find out how the look and architecture of this new area will be designed to flow with Sleeping Beauty Castle and Fantasyland, I went to the creative lead for the project: Michel Den Dulk, Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering.
“My goal,” he said, “was that the new Fantasy Faire would meld over into the existing Fantasyland naturally.” He said that his intention would be for first-time visitors to never suspect that this addition came later than the rest of Fantasyland.
“I took a lot of inspiration from the classic Disney movies like ‘Pinocchio.’ There’s some reference that’s in the architecture to the way the backgrounds of ‘Pinocchio’ are drawn. I took inspiration from the castle – you’ll see that there’s a lot of gold finials and beautiful banners and turrets that are similar to Sleeping Beauty Castle … So it really looks like it’s all part of the existing Fantasyland.”
Another key piece of architecture in Fantasy Faire will be the Royal Theatre, which was the former Carnation Plaza Gardens Stage. “My main inspiration there,” Michel explained, “was a Gothic kind of fair. King Arthur Carrousel and all the structures surrounding Dumbo – those were the main inspiration for the theatre structure.”
We’ll have more updates on Fantasy Faire – including the opening date – here on the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks, so keep checking back!
As you know, Epcot recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Thirty years of making extraordinary memories for our guests. But, we’re not the only ones celebrating a 30-year milestone. So are our friends at “Wheel of Fortune”!
Well, as you all know, we’re all about the celebrating! And what better way to join in than to bring a BIG dose of Disney magic to “Wheel of Fortune”? So, starting Monday night, it’s “Making Disney Memories Week” on “Wheel”! Coming your way, five fantastic episodes that are loaded with Disney puzzles, prizes, and magic!
Now, you know I always like to give you a little behind-the-scenes glimpse of the productions we’re a part of. When you see the shows on the air, a little pixie dust brings Cinderella Castle, Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Disney Dream magically to life. But, the real Disney magic came courtesy of our friends at Disneyland Resort Ride/Show Maintenance, who made actual attraction vehicles from Dumbo The Flying Elephant, the Mad Tea Party and Peter Pan’s Flight available to be part of the show’s set! I can only imagine the sight of them on the back of a truck, cruising up the Santa Ana Freeway from Anaheim to LA! While I don’t have that picture, I’m really excited to share this photo of their arrival at the Sony Studios!
Some of your favorite Disney friends are part of the week, too. Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy all take part in the fun… and, after they were done filming, even sat in the audience to watch! Lightning McQueen even stopped by to get in on the action! (I was really jealous – that guy gets great parking spaces!!)
It was such a fantastic experience being a part of “Wheel’s” 30th, and we’re so excited to share it with you beginning tomorrow night, Monday, January 28, through Friday, February 1st! Please tune in – there will be so many fantastic surprises. Check your local listings. Enjoy the shows… and don’t forget to buy a vowel!
The portrait, created by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz, is captioned, “Where adventure awaits,” and it features six-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift as Rapunzel. Don’t miss our behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot featured in George’s follow-up blog post.
We also announced that a new interactive quest called A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas will debut in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park in spring.
When it opens, you’ll use a pirate map and magic talisman to complete five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland. The goal is to help locate different Treasures of the Seven Seas and fight off pirate enemies like the Royal Navy and Captain Barbossa, among others. Check Jenn’s story for more details.
Here are some of the other stories we worked on this week.
Not only does Astin love runDisney events but also loves the runners that participate. He was very generous with his time at the races and at the expo for photos, autographs and entertaining the crowd. Much to my surprise he even showed up in “character” for the 5K wearing Tinker Bell wings and a sparkle skirt. Now, he may deny that fact in public, but the video below has the evidence.
As runners we run for different reasons. Astin runs for what he calls #Run3rd. What that means is he runs first for himself, second for his family and third for anyone that tweets him and asks for a special run dedication.
I think anyone having the chance to meet him last weekend will agree, Sean Astin is a great guy, loves running and loves runDisney. But judge for yourself, let him tell you in his own words.
And speaking of Magic Kingdom Park, check out this amazing sunrise shot that was taken by Tom Bricker. Be sure to click through the gallery, too, to see some of the best shots shared on our social media channels this week.