Sunday, July 20, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy With Their Eyes Closed

Today's Disney Snapshot of the Day today captures something that a few years ago would have been impossible to see, anywhere in the world...Disney characters with their eyes closed. The Cinderella Castle Forecourt stage show rolls out top of the line Disney characters for its daily performances. One of the unique aspects of these characters is that they have eyelids that actually close. As these characters perform throughout the show, you can hear their voices as part of the soundtrack and in an attempt to make them more true to life, they occasionally (or maybe more than occasionally) blink. That may sound great, but when when you are trying to snap photos during the show, it is nearly impossible to catch them all with their eyes open. True to form with my usual rotten luck, I snapped a shot of "the Big Four" with not one, or two, or three, but all four of their eyes closed. I probably couldn't do that again if I tried...so I just may have to on my next trip to Disney.

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"Maybe if we close our eyes, all these people watching us will go away!"


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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - A Spirit Materializes by the Haunted Hearse Outside Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Our Disney Snapshot of the Day today forces you to make a choice. Is the photo below a camera mishap or a once in a lifetime photo that captures the supernatural as it makes itself know to the world of the living? Has one of the "Happy Haunts" of the mansion been caught on camera as it whisks away from the hearse parked outside the building after a jaunt through the world of the living? Has one of the "grim grinning ghosts" actually "materialized?" darthmaz314 lets you make the choice.

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Haunted Hearse Outside Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion


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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - DiVine the Stiltwalking Embodiment of Mother Nature

Our Disney Snapshot of the Day today features one of the more unique and lesser-known characters of Walt Disney World...DiVine, the stiltwalking embodiment of Mother Nature herself. This character, covered from head to toe in foliage and flora can be seen camouflaged in areas of greenery around Animal Kingdom, silently waiting for a crowd to gather. Once a group of guests has collected around her, usually wondering if she is an animatronic or a lifeless statue, she will slowly come to life and emerge from the foliage to walk among the guests, towering above them on her wooded stilts. Be warned, though. DiVine is indeed a rare character at Animal Kingdom. I had been going to the park for over a decade before I had ever heard of or seen the mysterious DiVine.


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DiVine the Stiltwalking Embodiment of Mother Nature
 at Disney's Animal Kingdom


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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day: Mickey & Minnie Topiary from the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Our Disney Snapshot of the Day today features one of the many exquisite topiaries that are displayed during the annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, one of Disney World's popular special events. Each year from March through May, the park is sprinkled with amazing Disney characters, literally brought to life through the beauty of flora, painstakingly sculpted by Disney's master horticulturalists. The festival also features kiosks serving specialty food from across the globe, demonstrations hosted by HGTV personalities, and a concert series that showcases popular acts from the past. 


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Mickey and Minnie Topiary from Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival


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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe

Today's Disney Snapshot of the Day brings you a Magic Kingdom entertainment legend...Sonny Eclipse, artist in residence at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Of all of the audio-animatronics in the Magic Kingdom, this space-aged alien reptile is perhaps one of the most well-rounded. He sings, plays his cosmic keyboard, tells jokes, and plays host to thousands of burger munching, ketchup slurping guests each day. You don't drift pass him for a few seconds as your ride vehicle turns a corner. He is not shrouded in darkness or back-lit with blue lights. He is well-lit, front and center on his stage at Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe. He lays on the shtick pretty thickly, even by Disney standards, as he delivers a stream of bad puns and corny jokes in between his sci-fi themed songs. And if you take long enough to order your food and eat, you will be able to enjoy his act over and over, as his track loops every half-hour or so. So here's to Sonny Eclipse, at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. He may not be housed in a legendary attraction, but he is a classic nonetheless. 


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Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe



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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Disney Lego Store Snapshot of the Day - The Giant Lego Water Serpent

Today's Disney Lego Store Snapshot of the Day highlights another enormous masterpiece from the Downtown Disney Lego Store...the Giant Lego Water Serpent. Coiling not so menacingly in and out of the still water of Lake Buena Vista, this towering creation of innumerable Legos is truly impressive to behold. Yet what may be more impressive than its size is the craftsmanship (and infinite patience) that was required to assemble this massive Lego sculpture. With the ongoing and future re-imagineering of the Downtown Disney area into "Disney Springs," could the Lego Water Serpent disappear forever and become the stuff of legend, like the Loch Ness Monster...or Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? Enjoy him while you can folks!


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The Giant Lego Water Serpent that Patrols the Waters of Lake Buena Vista at Downtown Disney



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Walt Disney World Trivia: Volume V

darthmaz314.com brings you the fifth installment of Walt Disney World trivia. 

1. In the film Monsters Inc., Mike and Sully’s workday takes place on the scare floor, where they enter doors that lead to children’s bedrooms hoping to scare them silly and collect their screams to power Monstropolis. The Monsters Inc. attraction at Magic Kingdom is a variation on this plot point and a take-off on the term “scare floor.” Name the attraction.


A. The Scare Door

B. The Laugh Floor

C. The Scream Extractor

D. The Great Scare Dare



2. Throughout Walt Disney World parks (and even resorts) are Mickey Mouse head-shaped designs that have been inserted into the surroundings by Imagineers for guests to seek out and find. What are these disguised Mickey designs called?


A. Mickey’s Head Games

B. Mouse Hunt

C. Hidden Mickeys

D. Mickey Clues


3. The Haunted Mansion is an original Walt Disney World attraction, which was operating on opening day in 1971?

A. True

B. False



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4. The attraction “It’s a Small World” was originally conceived and first created to appear at which event?


A. The grand opening of Walt Disney World

B. The 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York

C. The grand opening of Disneyland

D. The Year of a Million Dreams Celebration


5.  What is the name of the statue picture below?


A. “A Man and His Mouse”

B. “It All Started With A Mouse”

C. “Partners”

D. “Friends”



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6. Which of the following was an original Walt Disney World hotel, operating on the resort’s opening day in 1971?


A. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

B. Disney’s Contemporary Resort

C. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

D. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn


7. What are the ride vehicles called in The Haunted Mansion?


A. Ghost Hosts

B. Spirit Cars

C. Doom Buggies

D. Haunted Carriages



8. What was the name of the baby elephant that was part of the since eliminated poaching back story in Kilimanjaro Safaris?


A. Dumbo

B. Heffalump

C. Little Red

D. Perla


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Dumbo?


9. What color is the “Hero Car” in the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?


A. Black

B. Red

C. White

D. Gold


10. What is the name of the runaway mine train attraction in Magic Kingdom?


A. The Matterhorn Runaway Train

B. Expedition Everest

C. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

D. The Barnstormer


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - The Giant Fly from the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure

There are those that say that everything in Walt Disney World is over sized and overdone. Well, in this case, they would be correct. Today's Disney Snapshot of the Day features the giant fly from the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure. This walk-through attraction includes stalks of grass that are dozens of feet tall, gargantuan mushrooms, a slide the exits out of a tremendous roll of film (kids probably don't even know what that is), a spiderweb that a human can actually sit on, a yes, a frighteningly large fly. Considering the fact that the attraction is pretty dated (when is the last time you used a roll of film?) and sections of Hollywood Studios may be the recipient of a re-imagineering (can anyone say CarsLand?), the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure and its enormous resident pest, may be on their way out in the near future. 


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Giant Fly from Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure


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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Full POV Video

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2014 is Here and So is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train...Almost

The long anticipated centerpiece of the New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction, has finally been assigned a grand opening date. It was announced at a press event that took place last weekend, that on May 28th, guests will officially be able to experience this attraction, which is part family-friendly coaster and part classic Disney dark ride. 

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No One Look Good in
Brass Like Gaston
The Mine Train is the crowning jewel of the Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom, bringing to a close, years of demolition, imagineering, and construction that saw Mickey's Toontown erased like an animator's stray pencil marks...back when animators used pencils that is. In its place, now stands the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, which includes a relocated Goofy's Barnstormer, a similarly re-located and doubled-in size Dumbo attraction, a water play area where circus train cars filled with animals douse sun-weary park guests with much-needed hydration called the Casey Junior Soak Station, the Journey of the Little Mermaid dark ride, the Enchanted Tales with Belle interactive story time attraction, Gaston's Tavern for those in need of some quick bites, and the majestic dining hall known as the Be Our Guest Restaurant. Yet with all this re-imagineering, relocation, and expansion, one item has yet to be revealed...the much-heralded and long awaited Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster.  

The press who attended the event have dutifully reported on their experiences riding and it seems, enjoying the new attraction as feedback has universally been positive, indicating that this addition was worth the wait. The Mine Train was designed somewhat in the spirit of Splash Mountain, in that it combines the thrills and excitement of a coaster ride with the whimsy and wonder of a Disney dark ride. Make no mistake that this is a family friendly attraction, not an intense thrill ride. The coaster portion has thus far been described by test riders as more thrilling than Goofy's Barnstormer, but less intense than Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. 

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Construction Walls

All accounts of the dark ride portion have indicated that Disney has outdone themselves with the audio animatronic dwarfs, which are said to be cutting edge, far surpassing any others Disney has created to date. The imagineering team that worked on the Mine Train collaborated with Disney Feature Animation on a new facial projection technology which recreates the dwarfs faces just as they appeared in the classic Snow White feature, perhaps even better! Add to all of this, a fun interactive queue, featuring a virtual gem sorting mini-game and a gem washing station, complete with color-illuminated streams of real H2O, and you have the makings of what some are already calling, the best attraction in New Fantasyland.

For a full POV ride-through of the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, check out the YouTube video below, courtesy of insidethe magic.com More Seven Dwarfs Mine Train posts to come as we approach the grand opening on May 28th. Keep checking back.



Video courtesy of insidethemagic.net


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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Lego - Disney (Lego Store) Snapshot of the Day

With the opening of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction drawing nearer at Walt Disney World (May 28th), today we bring you our second Lego Disney Snapshot of the Day, which features the dwarfs themselves. This Lego masterpiece depicts the diminutive laborers exiting the mine after a long day of "heigh ho-ing" and "off to work-going." More posts on Seven Dwarf's Mine Train coming soon, so check back...


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Lego, Lego, We're Made of All Lego....


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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bengal Tiger at Animal Kingdom - Disney Snapshot of the Day

Today's Disney Snapshot of the Day is the second of what will be a series of Animal Kingdom snapshots featuring some of the park's beautiful and majestic wildlife. In today's Animal Kingdom snapshot, we present one of nature's truly stunning creatures, the Bengal tiger. This magnificent animal can be found within the Maharaja Jungle Trek attraction in Asia. This photo, and those that will follow in future Animal Kingdom Snapshots, are examples of the truly awesome sights of nature you can capture in the park with patience, a good camera, and a long telephoto lens. While most of us will never be on the real savannah scouting the wild, we can get a little taste of wildlife photojournalism in central Florida at Animal Kingdom.  

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The Eyes of the Tiger at Animal Kingdom


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