Pages

Friday, March 27, 2015

Disney Snapshot of the Day Flashback Friday - Cinderella Castle Goes Pink as it is Transformed Into a Cake for WDW 25th Anniversary

darthmaz314's Disney Snapshot of the Day today brings you another installment of in "Flashback Friday" series, in which we hark back to all things of Disney World past. This week we take you back nearly 20 years as we revisit the preparation for Walt Disney World's 25th anniversary in 1996. One of the ways Disney celebrated this milestone was to completely desecrate its most enduring park icon, as they turned Cinderella Castle into a very gaudy and heavily decorated birthday cake. The first step was to...gulp...paint the entire castle pink. Here we see this first step of the transformation in process, along with what has become an all too familiar prop in the shadow of the castle in recent years...a crane, which can be seen behind it in the photo. Also pictured below is a photo of the finished "castle cake" courtesy of disneywikia.com

darthmaz314.com
Cinderella Castle Goes Pink as It is Transformed Into a Cake for WDW 25th Anniversary

darthmaz314.com
The Finished Product - Way Too Sweet!!!

darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

darthmaz314's Disney Snapshot of the Day - Hidden Disney Edition - Pirates of the Caribbean Eternal Stalemate Chess Match Scene

darthmaz314's Disney Snapshot of the Day brings you another Hidden Disney addition today. One of Walt Disney World's most popular and treasured attractions is Pirates of the Caribbean. This classic Disney dark ride has entertained guests for decades at the Disney parks and has spawned a film franchise that has grossed well over a billion dollars, with a fifth film currently in production. Yet as with many iconic items from the Disney canon, there are lesser know details hidden away that make it even more classic. 

In today's Hidden Disney Snapshot of the Day we see the "eternal stalemate chess match" scene from the Pirates attraction. The story goes that the two pirates are at a stalemate in the game, which having dragged on so long results in both of them passing away in their seats. It is said that the chess pieces are actually arranged such that it actually represents a true point in the game where no one can make another move to win. 

Don't remember seeing this scenes during the boat ride through Pirates? That is because it is not in the dark ride portion of the attraction itself. This scene actually appears along the attraction queue and is only visible if you look through those barred window-like openings in the wall that you pass as you wait in line. In fact, you would actually have to look through the opening and down, as this scene is actually many feet below the winding corridors of the attraction queue above.

A few other not so hidden (and downright disappointing) things you can pick out in this photo are the janitorial supplies behind the metal bars in the upper left and the piece of trash that someone must have thrown down there while passing through the queue. Looks to me like someone needs to unlock that broom and dustpan and clean up around those pirates.    

Want more Pirates? Click on the links below for a full POV ride-through of the attraction (using night vision since it so "bloody dark,") and another Snapshot of the Day featuring a Pirates scene.





click link below


click link below



darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Flashback Friday - Tron Epcot Monorail

darthmaz314's Disney Snapshot of the Day today introduces another new feature called "Flashback Friday." This feature will highlight moments from Disney gone by, including attractions that are no longer operating and all things of Disney World past. 

Our first post highlights Disney's fairly new advertising method of promoting their big movie release for a particular year by installing a "wrap" over one of the operating monorails. In short, one of the monorails is shrink wrapped in a billboard, basically turning it into a mobile advertisement for a major Disney release. Featured today is the Tron Legacy monorail which could be seen trolling through Disney property back in 2010. Captured here as it crosses in front of the majestically massive Spaceship Earth, the Tron monorail, much like interest in its movie namesake, did not last very long.

darthmaz314.com
Tron Epcot Monorail 


darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day: Hidden Disney - Peanut Shells in the Pavement at Dumbo

darthmaz314's Disney Snapshot of the Day today introduces a new feature called "Hidden Disney." This feature will highlight those small details scattered throughout Walt Disney World that often go unnoticed but can be some of the most endearing aspects of the Disney experience.

The Fantasyland expansion that took place over the last few years introduced new attractions and experiences such as The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle, the Be Our Guest Restaurant, relocated some others, like the Barnstormer, and revitalized a classic original attraction, Dumbo The Flying Elephant. The new Dumbo opened with many changes, not the least of which is the fact that there are actually two separate rides, meaning that the previous ride system now has a twin. This approach doubles the attraction capacity and reduces wait time for the normally slow-loading ride. An interactive queue, featuring a children's play area to utilize during excessive wait times was also added. 

Hidden beneath all of this in the queue walkway is one of the those Hidden Disney touches. Look at the ground as you walk through the queue and you will notice that peanut shells have been incorporated into the pavement. In the normally hectic hustle and bustle of a day at Disney, this type of detail can go unnoticed and unappreciated. However, these are the small touches that make something truly "Disney." These small elements of theming and subtle storytelling are what set Disney parks aside from your average amusement park. 

So the next time you are tearing through a Disney park trying to make the most of your entertainment dollar, take a moment to soak in some of these smaller details. Some are hard to find, which kind of makes them even more special. If you notice any you would like to share, post a comment below or send an e-mail to darthmaz314@gmail.com and we will share them in future posts.

darthmaz314.com
Peanut Shells in the Pavement at Dumbo


darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Test Track Full POV Video - darthmaz314 Walt Disney World Video Featurette

darthmaz314's Walt Disney World Video Featurette today brings you a full POV ride through of Epcot's powerhouse thrill ride, Test Track. This attraction, inserted into the original World of Motion building, was Epcot's first attempt at a thrill ride. The original concept sought to recreate the experience of a car manufacturer's proving ground and basically relegated riders to crash test dummies as their vehicle negotiated a series of speed, precision, and endurance tests that ran the gamut from navigating over various road surfaces to anti-lock brake spinout prevention trials. Yet none of the elements of the attraction either in its original or current incarnation can rival the acceleration test which blasts you out of the ride building and onto a banked track which circles it. As your test vehicle accelerates to over 65 mph and literally screams through the straightaway and into the final banked turn, you will swear you are about to break the sound barrier as your hair bursts into flames. A must do at Disney World and definitely not to be missed at Epcot, darthmaz314 invites you to enjoy...Test Track.  


darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Repost: George Harrison: Living in the Material World: A Review

In honor of what would have been the 72nd birthday of George Harrison, darthmaz314 brings you a re-post of the 2011 review of Martin Scorsese's documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World. 


Being a lifelong fan of both the Beatles and the films of Martin Scorsese, I was intrigued to learn that Scorsese had directed a documentary about the life of George Harrison. This doc is entitled George Harrison: Living in the Material World and it was released in theaters (limited), on Blu-Ray and DVD, and broadcast as a film in two parts on HBO back in 2011. I watched the film in two separate viewings, which given its length of nearly four hours, will be necessary for many people. 
A Beatle Aging Gracefully

The project was envisioned by George Harrison’s widow Olivia, who is credited as a producer, and she could not have but placed it in better creative hands. Scorsese and his editor David Tedeschi, have woven together a patchwork quilt of public and private photos, videos, and concert footage, along with interview segments with some of George’s closest friends and family, and intriguing journal excerpts to provide an intimate, yet respectful glance into the life of a private man whose talent and circumstances thrust him into a very public life.
Four Young Men Ready to Take 
on the World
Having spent my whole life as an avid Beatle fan, I have probably been exposed to nearly all of the Fab Four media that has been officially released or bootlegged over the last three-plus decades, most of it several times over. In light of this, I was truly impressed with Scorsese’s ability to recount George Harrison’s Beatle days without treading on very familiar ground during the first part of the film. So little of the content had been seen or heard before that the film was fresh and intriguing even for the Beatle fans that may have grown weary of the same photos, clips, and sound-bites that have been re-packaged and re-sold year after year. Particularly interesting were recited letters written by George to his parents in his early days with the Beatles. These glimpses into his private life reveal that even then, on the cusp of superstardom, a teenage Harrison was mature beyond his years and viewed life through a simple prism.
An Almost Angelic 1970's
Photo of Harrison
Scorsese delves into George Harrison “the person” in a way that few Beatles-related works have done in the past. As a member of the Beatles and a successful solo artist, George was indeed loved by millions from a distance. Yet in this documentary, Scorsese drives home the sense that George was a man truly and dearly loved by those who came to know him well. Interviews with lifelong friends Eric Clapton and Ravi Shankar, early Beatle era cohorts Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann, Monty Python collaborators Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam, Traveling Wilbury’s band member Tom Petty, and of course, Beatle band mates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, paint a portrait of a man who was a devoted friend and truly had a profoundly positive effect on those who loved him. Extensive interviews with Harrison’s widow Olivia and short segments with his son Dhani delicately examine the private side and home life of the legendary musician.

Of course, no documentary on George Harrison would be complete without addressing his well-publicized, lifelong quest for spirituality and Scorsese devotes ample time to this topic. The film touches on George’s involvement with Indian mysticism, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Hare Krishna group, and his lifelong practice of meditation through the use of mantras. 
Misplaced Trust: George and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Particularly intriguing are Olivia Harrison’s recollections of how her husband spent a great deal of his life preparing for the moment of his death. She recounts how her husband was adamant about being prepared for the moment when his spirit would leave his body and how his near death encounter during a 1999 home invasion almost wasted a lifetime of spiritual preparation.
Although Olivia’s brave intervention saved her husband’s life during that night, son Dhani Harrison remarks in the film how the trauma of that night may have been the catalyst for the recurrence of his father’s cancer. Still, when speaking of her husband’s final moments, Olivia Harrison seems at peace and almost joyous when expressing that George’s wish of being prepared for his death was fulfilled. She recalls that when Harrison finally did submit to death, it was almost as if he “lit up the room.”

In my humble opinion, the mark of any good art is its ability to move people or influence them on some level. Aside from being an enjoyable and informative documentary, Living in the Material World was significant to me in that it was able to change my decades-old perception and understanding of George Harrison, the man. Throughout my life as a Beatle fan, I came to assign a label to each of the Beatles, which in my view, encapsulated the roles they played in the band and in life on a grander scale. John was the rebel, Paul the conformist, and Ringo the good natured guy who seemed to have it all fall in his lap but knew how to handle it. George always seemed to me a malcontent, a man who was less controversial than John, less consumed about maintaining his public image than Paul, yet generally less able to enjoy life than Ringo. From a distance, George appeared to be a reluctant lottery winner, unable to appreciate the many gifts that had been bestowed upon him. He struck me as having an undercurrent of bitterness or dissatisfaction with the world or perhaps, the manner in which people conducted themselves in the world. This bitterness would at times creep into his music and is evident in his masterpiece While My Guitar Gently Weeps, as well as later compositions such as Cockamamie Business, and the Traveling Wilbury’s Handle With Care.
A Rare Smiling Photo of the
Often Stoic Harrison

Yet through Living in the Material World, Martin Scorsese allowed me to relate to George Harrison more intimately than I ever had in the past. The film enabled me to peek behind the curtain to see a simple man, who was not necessarily unappreciative of his artistic gifts, great fame, and fortune, but simply less interested in the glory than he was in the music itself and in attaining a higher plain of spirituality. Perhaps the bitterness was the result of being dragged kicking and screaming into the spotlight, chased through the streets by screaming girls and ravenous press, and having every morsel of privacy snatched away at such a young age. 
Perhaps George could never adapt to the carnivorous and sycophantic nature of the music business. As the novelty of celebrity and fame wore off, it seems that his tolerance for the seedy side of celebrity status waned to the point of resentment. Once he had attained all the wealth, success, fame, and adulation that one can on Earth, George Harrison began to seek fulfillment at a higher level. Perhaps he was not a malcontent at all. Perhaps he realized at an early age, what most of us never do. There is more to life than living in the material world.

George Harrison Through the Years

 darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...


Sunday, February 15, 2015

darthmaz314 Snapshot of the Day - A Magical Day?

darthmaz314's Snapshot of the Day offers up a bit of a paradox. Can you really have a "magical day" with an impending sky like the one in this photo? 

darthmaz314.com
A Magical Day?

darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...



Thursday, February 12, 2015

darthmaz314's WDW Video Featurette - Full POV Ride-Through of Journey Into Imagination with Figment

darthmaz314's WDW Video Featurette today brings you a full POV ride through of an Epcot classic, Journey Into Imagination with Figment. This attraction is now three plus decades old and has gone through a few major overhauls in that time. The most egregious and controversial of these was the virtual removal of the purple dragon Figment, always one of my favorite attraction characters, and the complete deletion of his human companion, the Dreamfinder, following the major refurbishment of 1998. 

Public outcry and waning interest in the attraction's newer story and theming, eventually led to the return of Figment in a more prominent role, although his pal the Dreamfinder was never again to be, well...found. Instead, the role of Figment's human foil is currently played by former Monty Python player Eric Idle, who managed to make the leap from co-starring in the 3-D film Honey I Shrunk the Audience, which at one time, played in the adjacent theatre at the pavilion, to the "main room" of Imagination's dark ride as the uptight Dr. Nigel Channing, Chairman of the Imagination Institute. 

Although it has its detractors, Journey Into Imagination will always hold a special place in my heart. As a kid who didn't do thrill rides, this attraction was always a "must do" for me. These days, although I am no reckless daredevil, I will ride Rock N' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Big Thunder Mountain, and so on. Yet, I always make time for a trip into that glass pyramid to visit an old purple friend with orange horns. 





darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day - The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at New Fantasyland

darthmaz314's Disney Snapshot of the Day takes you into New Fantasyland with a peek at the newest Walt Disney World attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Much heralded and highly anticipated, the mine train began operating in May of 2014. This family friendly coaster is a masterful blend of mild thrill ride and classic Disney dark ride. It features a rollicking coaster ride through a meticulously recreation of the Seven Dwarfs forest as well as a slower paced indoor journey through the gem mines, populated with some of the most technologically advanced and state of the art Disney animatronics ever created. So pull down on that lap bar and hold on, but be sure to keep your eyes open on this ride because it is truly a feast for the senses.


darthmaz314.com
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at New Fantasyland


darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...


Saturday, February 7, 2015

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day: The Magic Kingdom at 2:00 am

Have you ever wondered what The Magic Kingdom looks like at 2:00am? Well, wonder no more, as today's darthmaz314 Snapshot(s) of the Day bring you a taste of what it looks like in Tomorrowland and in the Magic Kingdom parking lot at the wee hour of 2:00am, at the close of Extra Magic Hours.


darthmaz314.com
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin at 2:00am

darthmaz314.com
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor at 2:00 am

darthmaz314.com
Stitch's Great Escape at 2:00 am

darthmaz314.com
Tomorrowland Speedway at 2:00 am


darthmaz314.com
Near the Astro Orbiter at 2:00 am

darthmaz314.com
Near the Tomorrowland Signpost at 2:00am


darthmaz314.com
Magic Kingdom Parking Lot at 2:00 am

darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Do You Want to Build a Snowman? darthmaz314 Says, "Yes"

Although we dodged a bullet by not having two feet or more of snow dumped on us here in New York this week, we did still receive a hefty 10 to 12 inches of the white stuff. So darthmaz314 and his little girl answered the question that has probably been asked more times than most others in the last fourteen months..."Do you want to build a snowman?" We responded with an enthusiastic and chilly "yes" and some time later, with the help of the Olaf light-up that was being sold at the parks last summer, brought a little piece of Arendelle to our backyard. Stay warm everyone!

darthmaz314.com
We Did Build Snowman and Did Come Out and Play


darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...


darthmaz314 Walt Disney World Video Featurette: "Disney Snow" Falls Following the Frozen Fireworks at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Here in New York, it is crazy cold and we are in between snowstorms, so one would think that the last thing we would be posting would be anything related to snow. However, today darthmaz314 brings you snow, Disney style. Yes, it may have been 85 degrees at 10:00 pm in Orlando when this was filmed, but in true Disney magic fashion, snow was falling following the Frozen Fireworks at Disney's Hollywood Studios. See the brief video below and share it with your friends.  


darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our facebook page...