Saturday, September 15, 2018

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day: The Floating Mountain Waterfall at Pandora: The World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Today's darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day is of the floating mountain waterfall at Pandora: The World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom. In the past, there were those who complained that Animal Kingdom was a half day park and skipped it during their Disney trips. I personally never agreed with this mindset and always made sure to plan for at least one visit to Animal Kingdom during my stay at Walt Disney World. The addition of Pandora makes Animal Kingdom an absolute "must do."

Floating Mountain Waterfall from Pandora: The World of
Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
- courtesy darthmaz314.com

For those who will respond with, "I am not a fan of Avatar" or "I haven't even seen the movie," I will assure you that you do not need to know anything about Avatar to enjoy this land. It is completely immersive, beautiful at both day and night (be sure to see it during both,) and home to what I think is the best attraction in all of Walt Disney World at the time of this writing, Flight of Passage.

Impossible to describe in words, this attraction has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. In brief, it is a motion simulator, during which you are seated in a motorcycle style seat and required to wear special glasses. A breathtaking CGI film is projected on an enormous screen in front of you and the motion of the seat you are sitting in is coordinated and synced with the point of view of the film. Additional effects such as wind, scents, and even a bit of water are also added, resulting in an experience that truly makes you feel as if you are transported into the world of Pandora, riding upon the mythical banshee creatures which inhabit the planet.


Floating Mountain Waterfall from Pandora: The World of
Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
- courtesy darthmaz314.com
For those who don't like roller coaster-type thrill rides, this should be right up your alley. Those who don't like motion simulators, this may not be for you. Aside from that, put it on your list of "must do's" and be sure to obtain a FastPass way in advance, since wait times can still exceed 90 minutes, even though it has been open over a year and a half.



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darthmaz314 Walt Disney World Video Featurette: Under the Sea: Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Today's darthmaz314 Walt Disney World Video Featurette is Under the Sea: Voyage of the Little Mermaid from Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. One the attractions added with the addition of "New" Fantasyland in 2014, this is a classic Disney dark ride that takes you through an abbreviated version of the story of Disney's The Little Mermaid. Check it out next time you are at Walt Disney World...or right now at our YouTube channel Joe Darthmaz by clicking the link.


Under the Sea: Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- courtesy darthmaz314.com

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

darthmaz314 Walt Disney World Video Featurette: March of the First Order from Disney's Hollywood Studios

Today's darthmaz314 Walt Disney World Video Featurette is The March of the First Order from Disney's Hollywood Studios. This short stage show takes place multiple times during the day in front of the park's iconic Chinese Theatre. Check it out next time you are at Walt Disney World...or right now at our YouTube channel Joe Darthmaz.


 
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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day - Mission Space Entrance

darthmaz314 returns after a long hiatus with a new Disney Snapshot of the Day. It is hard to believe that we are approaching the fifteenth anniversary (August 15, 2003)of the Mission Space attraction opening at Epcot. Due to its tendency to cause motion sickness, this attraction never quite achieved the popularity of Test Track, the park's first thrill attraction. Mission Space simulates a space launch from Earth and a journey to the planet Mars as part of the guest ride experience.

The attraction utilizes technology developed with NASA, during which huge centrifuges spin the capsule that the guests sit in, simulating G-forces astronauts would experience during actual space flight launches. The problem was that this was causing motion sickness and frequent losses of theme park lunches...and dinners...and breakfasts. The tendency for the ride to induce vomiting was made very clear by the presence of barf bags provided at each rider's astronaut control panel.

Eventually, a "Green Mission" which was much less intense was added as an option for those seeking lesser thrills (and those not wanting to revisit a meal traveling in the wrong direction through their gastrointestinal tract. Whichever mission you chose, Mission Space is still a great attraction and you should make it a part of your day at Epcot. Have an interesting Mission Space story? Leave a comment and share it with us.


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Mission Space Entrance at Epcot
- courtesy darthmaz314.com

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

May the 4th Be with You 2017

darthmaz314.com wishes you a Happy Star Wars Day!


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Official Teaser


Here it is...the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It was debuted at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando less than 30 minutes ago. Enjoy...





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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day - Giant Etch A Sketch from Toy Story Mania Queue

darthmaz314 is not dead, just in desperate need of time to create content for the site. After another long hiatus, we're back with a new Disney Snapshot of the Day. Today's snapshot highlights an overgrown favorite of darthmaz314's generation, the Etch A Sketch, a classic toy featured in the Toy Story films and seen below as part of the Toy Story Mania! queue. The Etch A Sketch toy debuted in 1960 and is still sold today, almost 60 years later! Affectionately referred to as "Etch" by Woody in the Toy Story films, the classic toy was featured in a playful duel with the cowboy in the first film and used to identify the evil toy store owner Al in the second film. Do you have an Etch A Sketch?

courtesy darthmaz314.com
Etch A Sketch from Toy Story Mania! Queue
- courtesy darthmaz314.com



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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day - The Original Angry Bird - Donald Duck

darthmaz314 returns after a long hiatus with a new Disney Snapshot of the Day. The insane popularity of Angry Birds has led to the recent release of The Angry Birds Movie, which ruled the box office on its opening weekend. But some would argue that the famous duck pictured below is the "original angry bird." Can you guess where this angry Donald Duck appears in the Magic Kingdom? Send us a comment if you know.


darthmaz314
The Original Angry Bird - Donald Duck
 courtesy darthmaz314.com
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Friday, January 29, 2016

darthmaz314 Force Awakens Snapshot of the Day - Luke Skywalker Reveals Himself

Today's darthmaz314 Force Awakens Snapshot of the Day features one of the most dramatic moments of the film. From the opening crawl, we learn that Luke Skywalker has disappeared and that his sister Leia and her Resistance fighters are all in a vain search to find him. Once again, it seems that the fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of Luke, the last Jedi, who has hidden himself away after a failed attempt to re-establish the Jedi Order and a sinister betrayal at the hands of his nephew Ben Solo. After a wild two-hour adventure, the movie concludes with a final scene in which Rey, the apparent future of the Force, finds Luke on a remote planet and presents him with his original lost lightsaber, the same one that had belonged to his father Anakin Skywalker. Luke reaction to Rey's arrival and her offering of the lightsaber, which seems to be a plea for him to once again answer the call of destiny and save the galaxy, is a dizzying mix of amazement, anguish, and conflict, as he ponders whether he should accept his latest challenge. A phenomenal end to a film that hits the mark again and again, right until the final credits.


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Luke Skywalker Reveals Himself in The Force Awakens
- courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney
   

Keep checking back for more Force Awakens posts in the coming days and weeks...


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Friday, January 15, 2016

BB-8 Gives a Thumbs-Up - darthmaz314 Force Awakens Snapshot of the Day

darthmaz314's next Force Awakens Snapshot of the Day features one of the many funny moments of the newest Star Wars film. Early on in the The Force Awakens, Finn convinces Rey that he is a member of the Resistance during their daring escape from Jakku and the relentless First Order aboard the Millenium Falcon.  Once off the planet, Rey questions Finn about the location of the Resistance base, which she will need as the pilot, if she is to help return BB-8 to his master. A very humorous scene ensues as Finn must convince BB-8, who does not know or trust him, to divulge the location of the Resistance base. After winning him over and providing Rey with the name of the star system, Finn celebrates his continued friendly deception of Rey and his newly-forged friendship with BB-8 by flashing him a thumbs- up and a huge cheesy grin. This beautifully well-acted scene of excellent comedic timing is then capped off with BB-8 delivering a thumbs-up of his own, as pictured below.


darthmaz314.com
BB-8 Gives a "Thumbs-Up" from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

Keep checking back for more Force Awakens posts in the coming days and weeks...


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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Force Awakens Snapshot of the Day - Rey's AT-AT Home on Jakku

darthmaz314's next Force Awakens Snapshot of the Day features a familiar site to fans of the original Star Wars trilogy, which has been brought back for the new film, but which evokes a whole different set of emotions this time around. The Imperial AT-AT (All-Terrain Armored Transport) walker was first seen in The Empire Strikes Back during the Battle of Hoth. These massive machines of war stomped across the frozen tundra of the ice planet during the attack on the Rebel base and with armor too strong for Rebel blasters, they appeared unstoppable and seemed to spell certain doom for our Rebel heroes. Even though Luke Skywalker and his Rogue Squadron managed to take a few of these mammoth machines down, their appearance was meant to strike fear into the hearts of the Rebels and the audience who rooted for them in theaters.

Flash forward thirty years to the events of The Force Awakens and we are presented with a very different image featuring an AT-AT walker. The walker pictured here is a fallen casualty of the Battle of Jakku, which is said to have taken place several years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The Force Awakens makes no actual mention of this battle or its victor. However, the fact that the Empire had lost a second Death Star and was left leaderless after the events of Jedi, coupled with the fact that Jakku appears to be littered with fallen Empire weaponry and ships, it is a good bet that the battle did not go the Empire's way. 

However, this AT-AT is significant not only in that it represents the fall of the once mighty Empire. In The Force Awakens, this instrument of death and destruction now serves a home for our heroine Rey, providing her safety and shelter from the harsh elements of Jakku and its many shady inhabitants. Like many, many moments in the Force Awakens, this one harks back to the original trilogy and then connects it almost seamlessly to the the events taking place in the new film. The force and the nostalgia have most definitely been awakened.

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Rey's AT-AT Home on Jakku - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

Keep checking back for more Force Awakens posts in the coming days and weeks...


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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Force Awakens Snapshot of the Day - Rey Uses the Jedi Mind Trick on Her Stormtrooper Guard

Today darthmaz314 brings you the first Force Awakens Snapshot of the Day. Here we see, the Star Wars saga's newest heroine..Rey, as she uses the Jedi mind trick to coerce the stormtrooper standing guard over her to release her while captive on Starkiller Base. A bit of Force Awakens trivia for you...the stormtrooper featured in this scene is played by none other than James Bond himself, Daniel Craig.

darthmaz314.com
"You will remove these restraints and leave this cell with the door open." - Rey Uses the Jedi Mind Trick on Her Stormtrooper Guard from The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney
  
Check back for more Force Awakens posts in the coming days and weeks...


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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Star Wars The Force Awakens: You Will See This Movie and Enjoy It - No Jedi Mind Trick Required

darthmaz314.com
Star Wars The Force Awakens Main Title - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

darthmaz314 returns from a long hiatus during the normally insane month of December and there is really only one thing to write about...The Force Awakens. The film opened fourteen days ago (which includes the December 17 evening showings) and it has already raked in over $1.1 billion worldwide and has yet to open in China, the world's second largest film market. So it has certainly made a lot of money and secured the financial futures of Disney, Lucasfilm, and a lot of product licensees. But was it worth all of the anticipation, speculation, prognostication, and the plain old hype? Absolutely, positively, undoubtedly, unequivocally YES!

If you are among those few who have not yet made it to the movies to see this seventh installment of the Star Wars saga, you must do two things right now:

1. Finish reading this post and bookmark darthmaz314.com to visit in the future.

2. Purchase tickets now for the next showing that you are physically able to attend.

darthmaz314.com
Han Solo from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

If you were a prequel hater and rolled your eyes when you heard that there would be another Star Wars film released to further destroy your once warm feelings of love for the franchise, fear not! You will not leave the theater with that post-prequel sour taste in your mouth. Check your cynicism at the theater door and you will be won over once again. This movie fires on all cylinders and hit the bullseye almost without fail in terms of meeting or exceeding expectations. 

Everything you wanted from a Star Wars film is delivered in this film. JJ Abrams has made the ultimate fanboy movie, purposefully avoiding all the traps that made the diehards cringe in the prequels. Gone are the incessant shots of completely digital sets and characters, sprinkled with a human actor or two. The lived-in "real world feel" of Star Wars is back, with scenes shot on actual sets and locations, with CGI being the exception not the rule.  

darthmaz314.com
Rey from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

There are great performances from the new cast members across the board. First and foremost, who has seen this movie and not fallen in love with everything about Daisy Ridley's Rey? I was a Natalie Portman fan before she was cast in the prequels and was very excited to see her bring her beauty and talents to the Star Wars universe but she was absolutely blown away by what Daisy Ridley brings to this new film. Ridley delivers beauty, likeability, compassion, intensity, emotional depth, and an ability to crank the dial all the way up to near ferocity for the action scenes. Hands down the best Star Wars female character ever. In fact, one of the top five characters of any gender in the Star Wars films thus far. I can't wait to see the next film for many reasons, one of which is where Lucasfilm will next take the character of Rey. Star Wars finally has a true heroine and little girls everywhere are suddenly feeling the Force. It may have all been well planned-out to tap a left behind demographic in the Star Wars universe, but who cares? It works. It isn't phony and contrived and you don't get the sense that feminism is being forced down your throat for its own sake. 

darthmaz314.com
Daisy Ridley's Fiery Rey from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

John Boyega's Finn, a stormtrooper with a crisis of conscience that defects from the evil First Order (the Empire sympathizers who have risen up to reclaim the galaxy), is instantly a character you want to root for. His humility, humor, and uncertainty about his ability to succeed are disarming and allow the character to develop as a flawed but well intentioned hero that we can all identify with. His chemistry with the rest of the cast is so fluid that it feels like he has known them all for years. Ridley and Boyega's portrayals are not unique in how they connect to the audience. Nearly all the cast's performances deliver in similar fashion to the original trilogy. You immediately care about the characters, at a level beyond the fact that they are needed to progress the plot. 

darthmaz314.com
Finn from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

There is so much more to report, so darthmaz314 will return with more posts on The Force Awakens in the coming days. Come back and visit us again and go see this film, you will not be disappointed.

dartkmaz314.com
Finn and Rey from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

darthmaz314 Comedy Disney Snapshot of the Day

Today we launch another twist on the darthmaz314 Snapshot of the Day today, the Comedy Snapshot of the Day. This first melds the worlds of Star Wars and the Godfather. Those familiar with Francis Ford Coppola's classic trilogy will most certainly get it. If you are not familiar with either Star Wars and/or the Godfather darthmaz314 recommends the following: 

1. Stop what you are doing right now. 
2. Obtain these movies somehow (buy, rent, download, steal if your conscience permits).
3. Start watching these movies.
4. Don't stop watching until you are finished.
5. Repeat.

darthmaz314.com
Star Wars/Godfather Meme
- photo courtesy darthmaz314.com

Today we are also posting TWO Snapshots of the Day. Hard to believe, but true. Considering the gaps that often occur between posts, we figured why hold one back if it was ready? We hope you agree. 



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darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day: The Force Awakens Movie Billboard at Disney Hollywood Studios

We are now less that one month away from the release of arguably, the most anticipated film in movie history...Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Today, the darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day celebrates the rapidly approaching release of the film by bringing you a photo of the Force Awakens movie billboard, as seen in Disney Hollywood Studios, on the side of the Great Movie Ride Show building on Mickey Avenue between One Man's Dream and the entrance to Pixar Place. This space, as well as an adjacent wall, normally feature promotional movie poster billboards for the upcoming/current Disney and Pixar films. darthmaz314 has made a tradition of photographing these billboards during visits to Hollywood Studios to capture that moment in time when the films are fresh, unproven, and in many cases, not yet released. 

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The Force Awakens Movie Poster at Disney Hollywood Studios
 - courtesy darthmaz314.com

In this instance, one of the billboards showcases the upcoming release of Disney's newest acquired property, Lucasfilm. It is no exaggeration to say that the creative, financial, and pop culture futures of Disney are all currently riding on the box office success and fan acceptance of the latest chapter of the Star Wars saga. The trail of breadcrumbs that JJ Abrams and Lucasfilm have sprinkled out for fans to follow over the last two years appears to lead to an epic blockbuster, destined to revive the franchise and win back legions of the Star Wars faithful disenchanted by the prequel trilogy. Only time will tell. The anticipation has reached a fever pitch. The marketing and promotion waves are cresting and appear to be poised to crash down hard, swallowing up everything in their path as the film's premier approaches. What was once a three year wait, anchored by the announcement that after purchasing Lucasfilm, Disney would revive the film franchise, has now entered its final month. Strap yourselves in. It ought to be one hell of a ride.  



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