Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Behind the Scenes: Stunt Driving at Lights, Motors, Action! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on July 23rd, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The stunt driving in Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show is simply amazing, with drivers executing a show full of choreographed 180- and 360-degree spins, two wheels and jumps – often in the midst of controlled explosions that guests can feel in their seats.

We love taking you behind-the-scenes at our attractions and this video was an absolute blast to create. In it, stunt drivers Eduardo Marques, Jr., Mike Sawyer and Kial Butler tell us what they love about performing in the show and even take us for a spin inside the car. Check it out!

Is the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show a must-see for you? Tell us what you love about the show in the “Comments” section below.

*Note: There is no ride-along experience offered at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Behind the Scenes: Designing a Disney Fireworks Show

posted on July 1st, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Designing a fireworks show for a Disney Park involves selecting music, playing with color, and choosing individual fireworks as carefully as if you’re choosing actors for a play – all to create one amazing story in the sky.

A Disney Parks Fireworks Show

Many of those “stories” will play out at Disney Parks this week, with Fourth of July fireworks spectaculars happening at both the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort.

Check out this video, in which Steven Davison, vice president of Parades & Spectaculars, gives us a behind-the-scenes look.

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By the Numbers: ‘Mickey and the Magical Map’ at Disneyland Park

posted on June 18th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


By the Numbers: ‘Mickey and the Magical Map’ at Disneyland Park

Mickey and the Magical Map” is now open in the Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland park, and thousands of guests have already fallen under its spell. The new show features live performers, beloved Disney characters and a huge magical map – all interacting with each other to bring to life the story of Mickey Mouse’s journey to become one of Yen Sid’s mapmakers. Almost as magical are the stories of what has happened behind the scenes to create this amazing show. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

  • More than 900 hopefuls auditioned for the show, and the final company includes more than 50 dancers and singers.
  • The magical map is created by nearly 1 million pixels and more than 35,000 square inches of LED screen surface.
  • The six sections of the map are moved on wagons that weigh more than 9,000 pounds each.
  • The total weight of the scenery for the show is approximately 71,000 pounds.
  • Tiana’s showboat in the finale scene reaches 18 feet tall, stretches 11 feet wide and weighs nearly 1,200 pounds.
  • More than six miles of cable run between the lighting, show control, audio and video systems.
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Composing the Theme Song for ‘Mickey and the Magical Map’ at Disneyland Park

posted on June 11th, 2013 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


“Mickey and the Magical Map” features several great songs from classic Disney animated films, along with a completely original song, “Journey to Imagination,” written just for this show. We recently caught up with composers Adam Watts and Andy Dodd, who shared a little of what it was like to create a new song for Disneyland park.



Check out these past posts about “Mickey and the Magical Map”:

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The Technology Behind ‘Mickey and the Magical Map’ at Disneyland Park

posted on June 5th, 2013 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Yen Sid isn’t the only sorcerer at work during “Mickey and the Magical Map”! Our Creative Entertainment team has employed plenty of technical wizardry to help bring the new, musical spectacular to life on stage.

Front and center, of course, is the map itself, created with an enormous, multi-tiered LED screen. It’s an incredible example of technology used as a tool to help tell our story, and there’s even more tech employed backstage.

Today, Technical Director Mike Layman gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the role technology plays in staging a production on the scale of “Mickey and the Magical Map.”



Check out these past posts about “Mickey and the Magical Map”:

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‘The Little Mermaid’ Actress Jodi Benson Leaves Her Mark on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

posted on May 31st, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which marks its first anniversary today, celebrates the making of some favorite Disney and Pixar films, including “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid.”
Ariel, from 'The Little Mermaid' outside of Disney's Art of Animation Resort
As a part of the resort’s design, the lobby features a fun chandelier that’s made up of sketches from each of these films. Recently, actress Jodi Benson – who voiced Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” – stopped by to autograph one of the panels that makes up the chandelier.

Check out this behind-the-scenes video of this moment. And to view more of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, check out the gallery below.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Behind The Scenes: Exploring the New Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland

posted on May 23rd, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


When we shared a first peek at Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland, I know many Disney Parks Blog readers immediately added it to their “must do” list – me too. Today, there’s even more to share. Walt Disney Imagineering’s creative executive Joe Lanzisero is taking us on a behind-the-scenes tour of Lord Henry’s stately Victorian mansion.

One of the critical elements for making Mystic Manor a great attraction was the music and the addition of legendary composer Danny Elfman, according to Joe. “Danny has the ability to create tension and excitement but there is always a grin underlying it,” he said. “He has a sense of scary fun, so Danny was perfect.”

Along with an amazing soundtrack, the attraction features a trackless ride system and combines innovative special effects, state-of-the-art technology and Disney storytelling to create an immersive experience.

Mystic Manor opened on May 17 so you can now tour Lord Henry’s home yourself by boarding his latest invention – the “Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage.” But be sure to keep an eye open for Albert, Lord Henry’s pet monkey, because when he opens a peculiar music box in the museum, all of Mystic Manor’s contents magically come to life.

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Behind the Scenes: Recording the Soundtrack for Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot

posted on May 22nd, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


What are some of the sounds that make Epcot, well, Epcot for you? The laughter of Figment? The uplifting music of Soarin’? The narrator’s dim of the torches before IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth?
“Test

In this video, which we just received from our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, our Imagineers offer a look at how they designed a new soundtrack for one of the park’s attractions: Test Track Presented by Chevrolet. Check it out – there are definitely some things you’ll want to listen for next time you stop by.

Which Epcot attraction has your favorite soundtrack? Let us know in the “Comments” section below.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

‘Once Upon A Time’s’ Lana Parrilla Visits New Fantasyland At Magic Kingdom Park

posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you a fan of ABC’s “Once Upon A Time”?
'Once Upon A Time's' Lana Parrilla Poses with Beast
Actress Lana Parrilla, who plays Regina Mills/The Evil Queen on the show, recently visited Magic Kingdom Park to participate in a taping of a New Fantasyland promo.

Check out this behind-the-scenes video to hear from Lana, as well as cast and crew on what it was like the day the Evil Queen made her appearance in the Happiest Place on Earth. And don’t forget to watch ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” this Sunday, May 5, at 8 p.m. to see the final promo.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Celebrity Visits, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

King Louie Joins Rehearsal for ‘Mickey and the Magical Map’ at Disneyland Park

posted on May 1st, 2013 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


It’s May, and that means “Mickey and the Magical Map” opens later this month at Disneyland park! Our Entertainment cast and crew are working hard behind the scenes to create a dazzling musical spectacular for the newly refurbished Fantasyland Theatre. Here’s a sneak peek from a recent rehearsal, when King Louie joined the ensemble for a run-through of the “I Wanna be Like You” number from “The Jungle Book.”

I really like this new arrangement of the classic song and can’t wait to see it onstage when “Mickey and the Magical Map” debuts May 25!


Learn more about “Mickey and the Magical Map” in the posts below:

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