Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Crush Lives! Giant Sea Turtle from The Living Seas With Nemo and Friends at Epcot

Crush lives! Those familiar with the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo will remember the surfer dude sea turtle Crush who steals the film with his funny and sentimental wit and wisdom. Well, if you ever wonder what happened to the "hero on a half shell" with no martial arts training, you can find him in Epcot's The Living Seas With Nemo and Friends. Amidst the millions of gallons of water and aquatic wildlife in the vast aquarium tanks, one can find the giant sea turtle below, the star of today's Disney Snapshot of the Day. This big guy appeared to be relaxing big time, as he snoozed (at least I hope he was snoozing) by one of the observation windows, drawing big crowds of all ages. With the Nemo sequel Finding Dory in the works, somebody better wake this guy up if he plans to make a return to the big screen.

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Crush Lives! Giant Sea Turtle from The Living Seas With Nemo and Friends at Epcot - courtesy darthmaz314
    


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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - The Haunted Mansion's Ballroom Dancing Spirits as Seen in Mickey's Boo To You Halloween Parade

One of the highlights of Mickey's No So Scary Halloween Party, currently taking place on selected nights from  September 1st through October 31st at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, is Mickey's Boo To You! Halloween Parade. The Halloween parade, which can only be seen by those who purchase the separate party admission ticket, takes place twice nightly, normally at 8:15pm and 10:30pm. The Boo To You parade is kicked-off by an eerie gallop down the parade route by none other than the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hallow lore. Filled with Disney characters, costumed performers, and Halloween inspired floats decked out as only Disney can, the parade has a tinge of fiendish creepiness, but is suitable for all ages. 

Fans of Disney's Haunted Mansion will love the portion of the parade dedicated to the classic attraction, which celebrated its 45th anniversary at Disneyland earlier this summer. Today's Disney Snapshot of the Day features one element of the Mansion section of the parade...the mansion's ballroom dancing spirits. Anyone who has experienced the Haunted Mansion will surely remember the scene where the Doom Buggy vehicle you are seated in passes above a scene depicting spirits dining at a banquet table and dancing in eerie translucent silhouetted pairs. The Boo To You parade brings those ballroom dancing spirits to life as they saunter down the parade route, stopping to give one another a whirl in what can only be described as a rare night outside of the Mansion walls. "Foolish mortal" judges Len, Bruno, and Carrie Ann better give these ballroom dancers a 10...or else.

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The Haunted Mansion's Ballroom Dancing Spirits as Seen in Mickey's Boo To You Halloween Parade - courtesy darthmaz314.com


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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Confirmed: Frozen Attraction to Replace Maelstrom, Which Closes on October 5th

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Yesterday darthmaz314 reported about continued speculation and rumor regarding the imminent closure of the Norway pavilion's Maelstrom ride to make way for a Frozen themed attraction at Epcot. Hours later, on the official Disney Parks Blog, Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, confirmed that Maelstrom is closing and will be replaced by a Frozen attraction slated to open in 2016. Maelstrom's last day of operation will be October 5. 

Staggs hearkened back to the words of Walt Disney himself, who when speaking about Disneyland once commented that the park would never be truly finished as long as there was imagination left in the world. Walt's words prove prophetic once again as the imagination that inspired Frozen continues to infiltrate all aspects of the Disney brand. 


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Frozen's initial introduction to the parks came with Elsa and Anna character greetings and the guest response was voracious and insatiable. With Stand-by wait times at Walt Disney World during the peak summer days reaching four-plus hours, it was clear that more Frozen was desperately needed in the Disney Parks. Disney responded with the Frozen Summer Fun Live campaign at Hollywood Studios, which darthmaz314 will cover in upcoming posts. Guest response was again overwhelming, causing Disney to extend the "Frozen Fun" beyond "Summer" and through the month of September. 

In his blog post yesterday, Tom Staggs also announced the indefinite extension of certain elements of Frozen Summer Fun Live. Also announced was the introduction of Elsa, Anna, and the Frozen gang into the parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. In addition, starting in early November, guests of the Magic Kingdom will be able to witness the Queen of Arendelle "letting it go" to transform Cinderella castle into an icy palace each night. 


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Frozen Summer Fun Live Stage Disney's Hollywood Studios

Maelstrom was a great Epcot attraction for over a quarter century and will be sorely missed. Like other Disney attractions that have been retired, after October 5th, it will have to live on in our memories and in any photos or video that we may have taken while it was in operation. Time to dust off those photo albums and videotapes!
  
Click the link below to read the full Disney Parks Blog post. 

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/09/frozen-attraction-coming-to-epcot/    



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Friday, September 12, 2014

Will Maelstrom Be Replaced By a Frozen Attraction? - Update

Back in April, darthmaz314.com reported that rumors were circulating about the possible re-imagining of the Maelstrom ride in Epcot's Norway's pavilion into a Frozen-themed attraction (click to read Will Disney Turn Maelstrom Into a Frozen-Themed Attraction? ) Although Disney was able to bring Frozen into the parks with this summer's Frozen Summer Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios, capitalizing on the blockbuster movie in the parks with a permanent attraction is something Disney absolutely must do.

Will the Maelstrom Soon Be Sucked Into the Frozen Vortex?
Rumors continue to swirl about which further support the departure of Maelstrom to make way for a Frozen attraction. Specifically, Disney internet chat boards have been reporting that cast members at the Norway pavilion have been given notice that they will soon be relocated as the pavilion is nearing a shutdown. Could it be that there is merely a major refurbishment pending for Maelstrom and not a Frozen revamp? While that is possible since Maelstrom is over a quarter century old and rehabs are needed for many Future World and World Showcase Attractions, it more likely that Disney is about to say "let it go" to Maelstrom, to make way for the kingdom of Arendelle. 

So if you are a Maelstrom fan you may want to put the attraction on your list of "must dos" if you plan to be at Epcot in the very near future. To borrow a line from the attraction, you may not have been "the first to pass this way," but you may soon be the last.

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Will "Frozen Fractals" Soon Be "All Around" Norway?


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Disney Snapshot of the Day - The Haunted Mansion at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Summer is over and Walt Disney World now moves into its Halloween holiday season. darthmaz314 recently returned from a Disney trip and attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party for the first time (in forever). With plenty of content to share, darthmaz314 kicks off the Disney World Halloween coverage with today's Disney Snapshot of the Day featuring the Haunted Mansion at night as it appears during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, bathed in eerie lighting and beckoning to all the "foolish mortals" wandering by.

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Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion at the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Mickey Mouse's House in Toontown Fair

Today the Disney Snapshot of the Day remembers a Walt Disney World attraction that is no more. Before the New Fantasyland expansion, an entire section of Magic Kingdom was devoted to Mickey's Toontown Fair. Within this section of the park were the Donald's Boat water attraction, a family-friendly coaster known as The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farms, character meet and greet locations, shopping, and the most unique part of the land...Mickey and Minnie's houses. These walk-through attractions were full scale recreations of Mickey and Minnie's fictional homes, both of which were crammed full of intricate whimsical details. Of course Mickey and Minnie were never "home," yet strangely they left their doors wide open for guests to visit...that is, until Imagineers leveled the houses to make room for New Fantasyland attractions. It is hard to imagine a billionaire mouse and his girlfriend, both homeless in Orlando. Someone should organize a telethon. 

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The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney With Care at Mickey's House


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Rock N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Happy Birthday the Rock N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, which opened fifteen years ago today on July 30, 1999! The Rock N' Roller Coaster is an indoor dark coaster which rips across its track to the thunderous rhythms of one of the most successful American rock bands in history............ Aerosmith. One of the most notable features of the coaster is the high speed no-lift launch that takes you from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. I am by no means a roller-coaster enthusiast and refuse to ride any coaster with inversions. Well this one has two and I ride it nearly every time I visit Walt Disney World. How's that for a Disney attraction testimonial?

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Happy 15th Birthday to the Rock N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney Hollywood Studios


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Disney Snapshot of the Day - The Explosive Finale of the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

With rumors swirling that the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show may be on its out of Walt Disney World to make room for Star Wars Land and/or Cars Land, today's Disney Snapshot of the Day brings you the finale of the show captured in all its explosive glory. The show was brought to the Orlando Disney park as part of Disney's Happiest Celebration on Earth, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of Disneyland. 

The "celebration" honoring the opening of Disney's first park involved bringing one attraction from each Disney park around the world to one of its sister parks as a "gift." Walt Disney World's gift was the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show from Disneyland Paris. Bringing the show to Disney World meant decimating the park's Studio Backlot Tour, which was once the crown jewel of the then-named Disney MGM Studios. But with both the Backlot Tour and the Stunt Show waning in popularity, rumors continue to abound that both attractions could soon be just memories with new attractions themed to the Star Wars and/or Cars properties built on their respective footprints.

The Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show is a 40 minute exhibition of car, motorcycle, and jet ski stunts, peppered with chases, jumps, pyrotechnics, and a look behind the scenes of making action scenes for film. Throw in some humor, audience participation, and appearances by Mater and Lightning McQueen, and you have a very entertaining show that allows you to wind down for almost an hour of your Studios park touring day. Although I am entirely in favor of brining Cars Land to Orlando and am salivating for a Star Wars Land, I would hate to see the Stunt Show go. Catch it while you can...


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The Explosive Finale of the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show


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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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