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  • Blog Post: Will pirates soon be returning to Treasure ... er ... Discovery Island?

    Christy S. writes in to say: Jim When I was a little girl, my father and I flew down to Walt Disney World . This was just a year or so after the resort opened and I distinctly remember taking a boat ride with my father out to some island. Once we got there, these pirates led us on a treasure hunt which...
  • Blog Post: "High School Musical 5 & 6" ?! "Beauty & the Beast" headed back to Broadway ?!

    So -- in the weeks & months ahead -- we've got " My School Musical " on the Disney Channel , " High School Musical: Get in the Picture " on ABC as well as the theatrical release of " High School Musical 3 ." But how far exactly is the Walt Disney Company planning on stretching the "High School Musical...
  • Blog Post: Mist Direction or How DAK Operations just slipped Joe Rohde a Mickey

    Folks who visited Disney's Animal Kingdom late last month got something of a treat. In that -- for a while there, anyway -- most of " Expedition Everest " 's effects were actually working. The scenic mist that's supposed to drift off of Forbidden Mountain top actually did that. The fog bank that your...
  • Blog Post: "Is there something you want to tell me, Roy?"

    It's the story that's often been told about the creation of Disney World . How Walt -- as he was flying over the swamps of Central Florida in Disney's corporate plane -- looked out the window and saw Raz Island sitting in the middle of Bay Lake. "That's it," Walt was reported to have said, "That's where...
  • Blog Post: Hard Rock ain't your Daddy's theme park

    Disney's Hollywood Studios has its Rock 'n' Roller Coaster . SeaWorld has its Shamu Rocks show. And sometime next year, Universal Studios Florida guests will be able to experience the rush of riding on the Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit . But an entire theme park dedicated to rock 'n' roll ? Is the world...
  • Blog Post: Tween favorites draw huge crowds to the 2008 Disney Channel Games

    Did you hear a lot of high pitched squealing coming from Walt Disney World last week? Well, there was a reason for that. The Jonas Brothers and the Cheetah Girls -- not to mention the stars from " Hannah Montana ," " Cory in the House ," " The Suite Life of Zack & Cody " and " Wizards of Waverly...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : WDI complains about all those complainers

    It's as predictable as the tides. First a new attraction soft-opens at one of the Disney theme parks. And then someone online declares this new ride or show is " ... the worst thing that Imagineering has ever designed." Which is why -- on the heels of "Spaceship Earth" 's torturous test-and-adjust period...
  • Blog Post: Forget about giving a Mouse a cookie. Never feed a Gator a turkey leg

    With all the Disney / nature-related news this week (i.e. Monday's big reveal of the Studio's new production banner, " Disneynature ." Tuesday's announcement of the renaming of the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund . Plus -- of course -- yesterday's celebration of Animal Kingdom 's 10th anniversary)...
  • Blog Post: Why the Imagineers are still tinker(toy)ing with "Toy Story Mania"

    Have you seen that clip on YouTube ? The one that shows how the Mr. Potato Head AA figure that you find in the queue area of Disney's " Toy Story Mania " can actually pull off its own ear? Well, that's nothing. Wait 'til you hear about how the Imagineers are now pulling out their hair as they try &...
  • Blog Post: Disney's Wide World of Sports looks to get even wider in 2009 & beyond

    Greetings from far-too-sunny Florida ! My apologies, folks. I know that JHM hasn't followed its usual Monday-through-Friday publication schedule this past week. But there's a good reason for that. This past Tuesday, I flew down to Orlando. I'm primarily in town to attend Disney's Animal Kingdom 's 10th...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Lights out at Pleasure Island

    As you drove west on I-4 at night, they were one of the main signs that you had finally arrived at the edge of Walt Disney World property. Those spotlights that swirled in the skies over Pleasure Island . Photo by Jeff Lange Well, late last week, PI's signature light system went dark. Why For? Because...
  • Blog Post: Will the Liberty Square bridge repairs lead to an abridged version of Disney's "Dreams Come True" parade ?

    Remember those proposed Liberty Square bridge repairs that I wrote about last month? Well, Magic Kingdom management has finally decided to go ahead with this construction project. Which is why they filed the necessary permits last Tuesday. "So what happens now?," you ask. "Given the huge number of people...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : It's lights out for DAK's "Rivers of Light" parade, while Beastly Kingdomme makes a character-based comeback

    For Disney's Animal Kingdom fans ... It's one of those bad news / good news kind of day. The bad news is ... Plans for DAK's long-in-development nighttime parade -- "Rivers of Lights" -- have been tabled. Not because Animal Kingdom management lost confidence in Steve Davison's original concept. But ...
  • Blog Post: Why do Pirate & Princess Happy Meals make McDonald's managers want to walk the plank?

    Have you heard about these Disney Princess & Pirates of the Caribbean -themed Happy Meals that McDonald's is selling now through April 10th? Given that this is the first time that Mickey Mouse & Mickey Dee have joined forces since these two mega-corporations decided to end their 10-year, $100...
  • Blog Post: Small town preps big welcome for "Extreme Makeover" family

    Maynard may be the second smallest city in all of Massachusetts . But when it comes to the size of its heart, this tiny mill town is second to none. Which is why -- when Maynard residents learned about the plight of the Giunta family (The father -- Paul Giunta Jr. -- was injured back in March of 2006...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: Let the West Side Waltz begin

    An item posted this past Friday on Screamscape about how the Cheesecake Factory will soon be pulling out of DisneyQuest got tongues wagging around the Web. As Disneyana fans began wondering if this intriguing new tidbit meant that WDW's indoor interactive theme park -- long rumored to be on the ropes...
  • Blog Post: Disney testing new ways to slow down FastPass counterfeiters

    The next time you use as a FastPass at a Disney theme park, pay close attention to what the cast member does once you walk up to that FastPass Return entrance. After you hand over your ticket, do they quickly run their finger along the top of that FastPass before then allowing you to enter that ride...
  • Blog Post: Will making WDW seem more appealing to young urban professionals really be enough to turn around this resort's merch per capita problem?

    Have you heard about this advertorial that the Walt Disney Company had placed in the March issue of GQ ? This 8-page spread (Which is loaded with pictures that fashion photographer Ben Watts took of a handsome family of hipsters cavorting at Walt Disney World ) tries to sell WDW as this great place to...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Could the now-defunct Dixie Stampede soon become home to a new "High School Musical" -themed show?

    When it comes to sharing the stories that WDW cast members tell me, I always have to be a little careful. Particularly since the most unlikely sounding tales (EX: Six months ago, I had an MGM insider tell me that that theme park's long-empty Superstar Television theatre would soon become home to a new...
  • Blog Post: Night Kingdom to reimagine the Disney-theme-park-going experience

    TiggerFan452 writes in to say: Hey Jim, Just wondering if you've heard anything about these focus groups that Disney World has been recruiting people for. If you take part, you're apparently shown a preview video for something called "Disney's Night Kingdom". Any idea what this project is about and if...
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