Friday, October 19, 2012

Ears the News with Richard


As I am sure many of you already know, the New Fantasyland expansion soft opened at the end of last week. The links below will take you to videos highlighting the area.

Videos from WDWMagic

Video from the Disney Parks blog

In a ceremony held at Epcot's American Gardens Theater on October 12, 2012, cast members Tye Arnold and Rich Tamayo were selected as the 2013-2014 Walt Disney World Ambassadors.

In a tradition started by Walt Disney in 1965, the Ambassadors represent the cast members of the Walt Disney World Resort, and will take part in over 3500 events during their term. The Ambassadors will be responsible for duties such as hosting Disney VoluntEAR events, making appearances with Disney characters at community presentations, serving as master of ceremonies at park events, and recognizing cast member milestones and achievements.

After interning with the Disney College Program in Magic Kingdom, Tye Arnold worked in various host, tour and cast leader roles at several of the parks. Chosen as a Dream Squad Specialist during “The Year of a Million Dreams,” Tye has helped create magical moments for Guests as part of the Guest Relations team, and as year-end leader for Magic Kingdom’s Dream Squad.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Rich Tamayo has transformed his passion for sports into a successful Disney career. After starting out as an event service assistant at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, he’s held a variety of roles in the company’s sports and recreation sphere – from working with the Atlanta Braves during spring training to ensuring guest satisfaction at various Disney resorts in Central Florida and Hilton Head, S.C. Most recently, Rich continued building his hospitality skills by joining the front office team at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. 

The Orlando Dragon Boat Festival returns to Downtown Disney from 10/19 to 10/20/2012. Guest viewing is available from the promenade along the Village Lake throughout the West Side.  Events take place between 6:00 PM and 10:30 PM on Friday, and 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM on Saturday. Due to the races, there will be no guest boat transportation on Friday between 3pm to 7:30pm, and Saturday 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

Epcot's main character meet and greet location is expected to be closing soon to begin work on a major refurbishment. The Character Spot will be completely re-Imagined, with a possible reopening in February 2013. During the downtime, characters will be located to other areas of the park, including some use of space at the front of the park, and in unused areas within Innoventions. 

Photo from Disney Parks Blog
Disney has today announced the theme of the 2013 celebration at both the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. The theme for this year is titled “Limited Time Magic”. Unlike in years past where a single theme would span between 12-18 months, Limited Time Magic will feature a variety of special events that will change throughout the year.

True Love: Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout Valentine’s Week with special moments and entertainment geared to lovebirds. Disney Princes join their Princesses to meet park guests in special settings, prix fixe menus turn up at select restaurants, and Valentine’s collectibles will be offered for the week.

Independence Week: It’s red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party — for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.

Long Lost Friends Week: Lesser-known Disney characters will move from the shadows to the spotlight meet-and-greets on both coasts. Photo ops with characters that could include Flik, Clarabelle Cow, Remy, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will surprise and delight guests. And Disney guests even have the chance to vote online for which characters they want to see!

Pirate Week: Why talk like a pirate one day when you could celebrate these scalawags all week long? The adventures of Jack Sparrow come to life like never before during a bicoastal buccaneer bash in which Disneyland and Walt Disney World become pirate-palooza: pirate bands, pirate meet-and-greets and more.

Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands: The Dapper Dans, the iconic quartet from Main Street, U.S.A., will add a special finale to their show, claiming the title of the “Original Boy Band” and delivering a medley of hits from One Direction, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.

Unleash the Villains: Friday the 13th in September 2013 is a special day, so Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are staying open until the 13th hour (1 a.m.). Maleficent, Captain Hook, Jafar and other Disney Villains will host a dance party, complete with limited-edition collectibles and other nighttime mischief.

Golden Horseshoe Revue: The fabled Frontierland show returns to Disneyland park for one month only, bringing back the corny jokes and enduring songs that were often enjoyed by Walt Disney himself.



The new Country Bear Jamboree emerged from a lengthy refurb on October 17, 2012. The results of this refurb are a little bittersweet. While there have been improvements in the audio, lighting, costuming and animatronics, the original 15 minute long show has been drastically cut down to around 10 minutes. The 2 videos below show the original and new, much shorter, new show.


Videos courtesy of WDWMagic.

The operating hours at the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom have been extended for many dates in November and December. Along with the extended hours, additional performances of the Main Street Electrical Parade and Fantasmic! have been added to the schedules.


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