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  • Blog Post: The post-Christmas origin of character dining at Walt Disney World

    It's one of those must-do aspects of a Walt Disney World vacation. Especially if you've got young kids. Character dining . That pricey breakfast, lunch or dinner which is periodically interrupted as Disney characters come by your table, pose for pictures and sign autographs. Copyright Disney...
  • Blog Post: Walt Disney Imagineering is very serious when it comes to play testing

    Did you hear about the play test that WDI ran at The Magic Kingdom last month? Where the Imagineers used Guests who were waiting in line for a character meet-n-greet right outside of Pooh’s Playful Spot to try out a new entertainment-based queuing system? Though the Imagineers are being pretty close...
  • Blog Post: "The Art of the Walt Disney World Resort" is worth going out of your way for

    Over the years, I have heard a lot of stories from Disney insiders that I’ve been lucky enough to interview. Like how Alice Davis once told me that she knew that Mary Blair must be dealing with some horrific personal problems. Given that – in the early 1970s – this Disney Legend’s acclaimed sense of...
  • Blog Post: Disney World postpones Fantasyland's facelift

    Do you hear that squealing noise coming out of Burbank? That's the sound of Mouse House management stomping on the brakes. Slowing down (and -- in some cases -- shutting down entirely) some of the more ambitious projects that the Walt Disney Company currently has in the works. All because of what's been...
  • Blog Post: Tune Tuesday : "Hello, WALL-E! Well, Hello, WALL-E ..."

    It's one of the main reasons that people just can't stop talking about " WALL-E ." And -- no -- I'm not talking about the opening weekend grosses for this new Andrew Stanton movie (Though -- now that we've broached this subject -- while "WALL-E" didn't earn the $70-million-plus that Mouse House officials...
  • 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: Does WDI plan on gagging our next Commander-in-Chief as part of the 2009 redo of WDW's "Hall of Presidents" ?

    While some of us are obsessing about the impact that today's primaries may have on the upcoming presidential race ... The Imagineers are already looking ahead. Nine months ahead, to be exact. To that period immediately after the U.S. has selected its next Commander-in-Chief. Which means that it will...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Disney has trouble convincing guests to come make a "Magic Connection"

    Well, the first field test of the Walt Disney World Resort 's new " Magic Connection " system was completed late last week. And -- to be honest -- things didn't go quite as well as WDI R & D had hoped they would. Don't get me wrong, folks. The problem wasn't with the technology. From what I hear...
  • Blog Post: A PC Haunted Mansion ?! Now that's scary

    Forget about "Grim Grinning Ghosts." Get ready for "Prim, we-don't-mean-to-offend-anyone Ghosts." That's the word coming out of Glendale these days. Reportedly in response to guest complaints about goofy but ghoulish lines like "Drag your wretched bodies to the dead center of the room," the Imagineers...
  • Blog Post: WDI's X-Scream Makeover of WDW's Haunted Mansion: Part 5

    Picking up where we left off ... As our Doom Buggy exits the Attic, it then descends into the Graveyard. Where diehard fans of Walt Disney World 's version of the The Haunted Mansion will notice that something 's different about this portion on the attraction. But -- that said -- they'll probably have...
  • Blog Post: WDI's X-Scream Makeover of WDW's Haunted Mansion: Part 4

    Picking up where we left off ... By now, I'm sure that you've all heard about the neat effect that's just been installed in Walt Disney World 's version of the The Haunted Mansion . Where Madam Leota's head now magically floats above the table, calling " ... in the spirits, wherever they're at." Of course...
  • Blog Post: WDI's X-Scream Makeover of WDW's Haunted Mansion: Part 3

    Picking up where we left off on Tuesday ... I know that this is going to sound a bit bizarre. Particularly given that -- back in 1955 -- Walt Disney built an entire theme park for just $17 million . But $30 million doesn't go as far as you might think these days. Which is why WDI really had to pick...
  • Blog Post: A special "How suite it is !" edition of Why For

    First up, Courtney writes in to say: Over at wdwnewstoday.com , there was a big announcement about a Little Mermaid ride in Anaheim. They also said that one would be coming soon to the World. Jim, does this announcement hold water? Dear Courtney -- Ah, yes. The billion-dollar-makeover-of-DCA story. Yeah...
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