Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

All in the Details: The View From the Top of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on March 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering just shared with us some amazing images from the top of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. These photos offer up the first look at what the view will be from atop the newest Disney “mountain” – what a gorgeous sight!

This first photo overlooks Beast’s Castle and the Belle’s Village section of New Fantasyland.
The View From the Top of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

This shot was taken in the direction of the castle wall, Cinderella Castle, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and Pinocchio’s Village Haus. (You can also see a bit of the construction that’s still going on in this photo).
The View From the Top of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

In addition to these sights, the Imagineers tell us that guests will also get a great view of Prince Eric’s Castle and Storybook Circus during their ride around the mine.

Seven Dwarf Mine Train will open to guests later this spring. Be sure to keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more information.

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The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park

posted on March 3rd, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Indiana Jones Adventure: The Temple of the Forbidden Eye opened on March 3, 1995, at Disneyland park and became an instant classic. The detail and storytelling in the attraction puts it at the top of my list whenever I visit the Disneyland Resort. So let’s continue one of my favorite Disney Parks Blog series with the story behind this adventurous attraction.
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Indiana Jones Adventure takes guests back to the year 1935 with famed archeologist Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, who has uncovered the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. This mysterious temple was built long ago by a lost civilization in honor of the ancient deity, Mara. Lore says that Mara has the power to look into one’s soul and grant one of three gifts: earthly riches, eternal youth or knowledge of the future. But it was soon discovered that those who look into the eyes of Mara are doomed to suffer the deity’s vengeful wrath! But that hasn’t kept away the tourists, celebrities and fortune hunters who have flocked to the temple, lured by the promise of Mara’s gifts.

Fortunately for us, Dr. Jones has temporarily disabled the lethal booby traps along the path leading into the temple, allowing us to safely reach the boarding area, where his friend Sallah has commandeered a small fleet of transports to take us on a tour of the temple. Let’s take a look inside some of the key areas of the temple:

Chamber of Destiny: This the first stop on the tour. Here, Mara peers into our souls to see which of the three gifts we truly desire. Unfortunately, one of the passengers in our transport (never me, I swear) inevitably gazes into Mara’s eye, unleashing his fury.

Tunnel of Torment: The once-pristine architecture starts to decay and crumble as the power of Mara lifts the vehicle from its path and carries it through the air. Everything in the tunnel seems to move with us as our transport strains against the evil force that propels it forward.

Gates of Doom: “You had to look, didn’t you?” Dr. Jones exclaims as he tries to hold back the evil forces at the gates, breaking the curse just long enough for our transport to drop back down to the temple floor, allowing us to pass.
Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park

Cavern of Bubbling Death: But the way out isn’t so easy. Here we make our way through this massive subterranean chamber. As we enter the cavern, the 45-foot-tall decaying statue of Mara fires a beam at the vehicle, causing the ceiling to crumble and fall into the flaming gorge, sending us to escape through a side chamber.

Of course, from there the adventure continues … for those who have not yet journeyed into the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, I will not give away what happens next.

For the first several years the attraction was open, riders received a decoder card for the Maraglyphics found inside the temple. Thanks to my friends at the Walt Disney Imagineering Art Library, I’ve got the decoder card for you below – try to decode some messages yourself the next time you visit!
Decoder for Maraglyphics in Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park Courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering Art Library

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Walt Disney Imagineering Shares First Onboard Video of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Just minutes ago, Walt Disney Imagineering released a new video of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during our live chat with Imagineer Dave Minichiello – and we wanted to be sure you didn’t miss it.

In the video, we compare onboard footage of the attraction side-by-side with an original CGI onboard that was created early on in the attraction’s development.

Stay tuned for more updates on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

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Live Chat: Talk Seven Dwarfs Mine Train With a Walt Disney Imagineer Today at 2:30 p.m. EST

posted on February 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Imagineer Dave Minichiello will join us here on the Disney Parks Blog beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST, to answer some of your questions about Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. We’ve received many questions so far, but please keep them coming!

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This will be a text chat with a video element later on that will auto-play on most computers. You may wish to adjust your speakers now.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Live Chat to Feature New Walt Disney Imagineering Video

posted on February 21st, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


To replay our live chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Dave Minichiello, click here.

We’re continuing our series of New Fantasyland live chats next week with perhaps our most popular topic – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. On February 24 at 2:30 p.m. EST, Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Creative Director Dave Minichiello will join us here on the Disney Parks Blog to talk about the attraction and answer your questions.

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During the chat, we’ll be sharing an exclusive Walt Disney Imagineering video of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train where you’ll get a sneak peek of the experience inside the attraction. We’ll also be answering questions you may have about the attraction and talking about the completion of New Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Be sure and join us here on Monday, February 24. The live chat featuring Imagineer Dave Minichiello will begin at 2:30 p.m. See you then.

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The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park

posted on February 18th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


Come with me into the wild jungles of Disneyland park for a tour of the world-famous Jungle Cruise! First I’d like to thank you, Disney Parks Blog readers, for contributing your ideas in the comments of the Paradise Pier edition of this series. Ian thought that this classic Disneyland park attraction would be the perfect place to “beheaded” and I agree! So … hello! My name is Erin and I will be your Disney Parks Blog skipper for the next several minutes as we explore the story behind this opening-day Disneyland attraction.

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History tells that a Victorian house was built in this remote area of the jungle in 1911 to serve as the last outpost of civilization for explorers venturing into the jungle. The owner of the building saw the potential for a successful business and created the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. – a place for locals to post and receive mail, enjoy a civilized pot of tea and read the (usually three-week-old) newspaper.

Unfortunately, in the late 1920s the owner had to leave due to illness and the building remained vacant for several years. Then one day, a group of enterprising adventurers purchased the house to use as a base for their new jungle transportation company. The business did well enough that they were able to add on a second story and invest in the latest technologies, like shortwave radio.

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But the Great Depression significantly impacted their business and they were barely able to stay … afloat. While other businesses throughout the jungle packed it in, these adventurers remained, delivering mail and freight to the few remaining outposts. Their luck soon turned around when a well-known Hollywood film director found their outpost and asked them to escort him down the river while he filmed the local wildlife. After he paid generous wage for their services, the owners realized they had a profitable tourism business on their hands – or rather, their docks. New skippers were hired, and new steamers purchased, to lead well-to-do travelers who would enjoy (and hopefully survive) these tours departing daily into the jungle.

Today the Jungle Cruise still welcomes tourists who are daring enough to brave the piranha-infested waters, head-hunting natives, twelve-inch (in some cases even one-foot) butterflies and (if they’re lucky) the backside of water. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour into the story of the Jungle Cruise. If you did, my name is Erin … if you didn’t, my name is Tyler.

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All in the Details: Imagineers Include a Second Nod to ‘20,000 Leagues’ in New Fantasyland

posted on February 11th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “All in the Details” focuses on a piece of Disney history that has been included in the design of Prince Eric’s Village, the tiny fishing village that sits opposite Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid in New Fantasyland.

Remember when we shared the news that Walt Disney Imagineering included a nod to the former 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction in the queue at Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid? (If not, see it here). Well, it turns out that an outline of a Nautilus wasn’t the only 20,000 Leagues reference the Imagineers had planned for New Fantasyland.
Imagineers Include a Second Nod to ‘20,000 Leagues’ in New Fantasyland

To spot a second one, head to Prince Eric’s Village and look for a familiar figure in the cartographer shop’s weather vane.

Is this one of the coolest nods to Disney history you’ve seen hidden in a park attraction? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

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All In The Details: Imagineers Add Film-Inspired Details To Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

posted on February 6th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week we’re taking a look at some of the props you’ll find inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when the attraction opens in New Fantasyland later this year.
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The props, including lanterns, ropes, pulleys and buckets of shiny jewels were inspired by items found in the mine scenes of the film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” And about those gems? According to our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, jewels appear throughout the mine in four different sizes and in six different colors: red, green, amber, purple, blue and clear.

What do you think? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

Click on the links below for more on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train from Walt Disney Imagineering:

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Walt Disney Imagineering Announces Winners of Annual Student Design Contest

posted on February 3rd, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering concluded their 2014 Imaginations Design Competition on January 31. Started in 1991, Imaginations challenges teams of college students from around the United States to propose a concept for a Disney theme park, attraction, restaurant, hotel or entirely new experience or product. Out of 231 initial applications received this year, six teams of four students each were selected as finalists and spent a week at Imagineering headquarters in Glendale, Calif., meeting Imagineers, touring WDI facilities, and presenting their project proposals to a panel of executives for judging. Not only does the program give students a behind-the-curtain view of Imagineering, but WDI has the opportunity to discover and recruit the next generation of talented and diverse Imagineers.

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This year, contestants were asked to dream up an idea that transforms a city for the enjoyment of its residents and visitors. The team from Carnegie Mellon University took first prize for their concept that would link people from opposite ends of the world in a multicultural festival. Second place went to the team representing California Institute of the Arts, who came up with a unique way to explore Rome’s centuries of history. And the team from University of California, Los Angeles, took third place for its proposal to bring the citizens of Rio de Janiero together in a weekly Illumination Extravaganza that leads visitors and locals on a chase through the city.

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Additionally, the winning team from the recently-concluded Imaginations Hong Kong, representing Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) – Hong Kong, visited Walt Disney Imagineering at the same time and participated in many of the same activities, though they were not in competition with the American teams.

Congratulations to WDI and all the contestants for another successful Imaginations competition! To learn more, please visit DisneyImaginations.com.

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All In The Details: Sculpting A Seven Dwarfs Mine in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on January 28th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


In the months leading up to the unveiling of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park, we regularly shared bits and pieces of this new land and its amazing detail in our “All in the Details” series here on the Disney Parks Blog. Today, we’re thrilled to share more of these images with you of the final attraction that’s set to debut in this area – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

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In case you aren’t familiar, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a family coaster that will open in 2014 to tell the story of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” from the perspective of the dwarfs. Guests will enter through an interactive queue, take a seat in a mine train car and coast through the mine “where a million diamonds shine” – where plenty of surprises await.

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Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering just shared these new images with us, which showcase some of the smaller elements inside the attraction’s interactive queue area and mine scene. According to them, a lot of the detail you see here was hand-carved by Imagineers – sturdy logs, crumbling bark, rough wood planks, thick beams, smooth rocks and rusty hinges – that all appear to serve as “support structures” for the mine. After each item was carved, they were then painted to look aged and weathered through application of various colors of paint. Some parts have been aged to look older than others. Look closely and you may also notice how the composure of the walls change as the photos push you through the mine – from crumbly rocks on the exterior to more sturdily packed walls inside.

What do you think? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

Click on the links below for more on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train from Walt Disney Imagineering:

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