Yesterday we revealed the newest Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz for Disney Parks featuring the amazing Jennifer Hudson as Tiana. Today we’re going behind the scenes to the town of Patterson, NY, where last May, Annie Leibovitz and her skilled team of artists and technical wizards created a photo set in the middle of an actual swamp. This beautiful location, known as the Great Swamp, was just perfect for a shoot featuring characters from “The Princess and the Frog.”
This video really captures the fun atmosphere on the set and Jennifer’s deep connection to Disney Parks. You’ll hear her discuss what this “full circle moment” means to her as a mother and as a former cast member aboard the Disney Wonder. Pay particular attention to her skill at giving directions. Once a Disney girl, always a Disney girl!
Having her son, David, on the set for this special shoot was very meaningful to Jennifer and I don’t think either of them will soon forget it.
Jennifer, who is also the Godmother of the Disney Dream, loves to visit our parks with her family and she told me that her favorite place to visit at any Disney park is the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She also mentioned that her favorite song happens to be a Disney song. Can you guess which one?
Go behind the scenes of other recent Disney Dream Portraits in the stories below:
Last month, we gave you the first glimpse inside the major refurbishment of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park. Today, I’m excited to show you our first video from behind the walls that surround the attraction. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopens this fall with a new track – which you can see being installed in the video below.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment here on the Disney Parks Blog!
It’s a jungle out there, so why not explore it? In the video below, Jungle Cruise Skipper Kelly Small guides us on a very special tour highlighting the horticulture of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland park. I hope you enjoy this video of the Jungle Cruise. If you don’t, Kelly will send you a refund and my name is Erin.
For more information on the horticulture of the Disneyland Resort, see these related stories:
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.
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.
“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.
“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”:
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”:
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.