Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ears the News with Richard



The massively popular 'PUSH - The Talking Trash Can' character is no longer appearing at the Magic Kingdom. PUSH, who would follow and chat with guests in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland, made his final performance on 2/8/2014.

Image courtesy WDWMagic
The Villas at Disney's Polynesian Resort are now beginning to rise from the former beach area around Sunset Pointe.
Disney has released very little information on the new development, other than an expected opening in 2015. Following a similar pattern to the other Disney Vacation Club additions, the Polynesian Resort will receive upgrades to existing restaurants, pool areas and lobby to accommodate the additional volume of guests.





The Magic Kingdom's new parade is just over a month away, and Disney is sharing more and more about what we can expect. Here is the latest press release in full, giving all the details on the parades larger than life floats.
A fire-breathing dragon… a pirate ship with smoking cannons… a music box that’s a seashell… sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy hair… a mega-sized bagpipe.
Classic Disney fantasies soar to new heights with the all-new Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade set to hit the streets of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort this March. The tribute to Fantasyland will highlight several new classic Disney and Pixar stories on a grand scale with nearly 100 performers and larger-than-life floats.
Disney Festival of Fantasy parade is the first of a new generation of parades for Disney Parks featuring never-before-used technology on eye-popping floats adorned with Disney characters from more than a dozen fairytales. Set to an all-new musical score, the dazzling parade floats will soar up to three stories tall with spirited performers donning dramatic costumes crafted at ten different design houses across the country.
“The parade celebrates and pays homage to what the Magic Kingdom is all about,” said Randy Wojcik, senior show director Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Creative Entertainment. “It has the most beautiful floats, enchanting characters, vibrant costumes that come to life; and the choreography is just glorious. Yet, it is also very kinetic, relevant and powerful on a scale never seen before at Walt Disney World.”

Seven unique units comprised of nine spectacular floats will march down Main Street, U.S.A to the beat of an original soundtrack inspired by favorite Disney films, composed by Mark Hammond, known for his work on World of Color at Disney California Adventure and the Flights of Fantasy parade at Hong Kong Disneyland. The parade has its own voice with a theme song customized for each float followed by a medley of songs woven throughout the cavalcade.
“It’s visually stunning, like mini Broadway shows rolling down the street,” said Wojcik.

Here’s the float-by-float lineup:
The Princess Garden – This pageantry of princesses celebrates Disney royalty. Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes, ride in a garden of topiaries with woodland creatures, birds and more. Cinderella’s dress playfully twirls like a turntable, while Swan Court couples lead the 50-foot-long majestic float, capped off with a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from Disney’s hit animated feature, “Frozen.”

Tangled – A massive long ship on the high seas showcases Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure and another Best. Day. Ever! Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout this 36-foot-long float decked out with swaying pendulums carrying dastardly thugs.

Little Mermaid – Ariel and her friends sit atop a colorfully kinetic seashell music box that boasts an enchanting musical jubilee. There’s no shortage of whimsy on this Under the Sea float with conga dancing fish kicking up their fins and bubbles galore. Shimmering fabrics and intricately designed costumes for the Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell and Sea Horse performers are runway-inspired.

Peter Pan – Straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high aboard the famous Jolly Roger pirate ship complete with smoke effects and special surprises. A rainbow arch shines over Skull Rock and Tinker Bell nestled among giant flowers, while Captain Hook takes center stage on a swinging anchor. “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys kick up their heels to high-energy choreography.

Brave – Celtic couples and a vessel shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida perched high on her majestic crown. Scottish dancers step to melodies of the Great Highlands in celebration of the popular Disney*Pixar film, “Brave.”

Sleeping Beauty – The heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall with a prickly spinning wheel dead center of the float. With fiery eyes and glowing effects the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades. This float was designed in a partnership with Tony Award-winner Michael Curry. There’s Prince Phillip, thorn-inspired stilt performers, dramatic raven dancers, plus the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather glide along the parade route.

Finale and Mickey’s Airship – The parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters featuring Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, Pluto and more in a splashy carnival of color. There’s Pegasus horses, dancing hippos and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy-like hair celebrating Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. Sporting zany new costumes Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky high in Mickey’s Airship — a giant hot air balloon that rounds out Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.


The media also got a preview of the floats and costumes which can be seen in the video below.



Image courtesy WDWMagic.
Good news for Frozen fans - Disney has today confirmed that the Frozen meet and greet with Anna and Elsa will continue to operate for "the foreseeable future." The meet and greet currently operates from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily at the Norway Pavilion, and was previously only scheduled to operate through until mid-February 2014.







A significant update to the My Disney Experience app is now available for Apple's iOS users.

The new version 2.0 of 'My Disney Experience' has a new look and feel, with a new homepage showing your day's plans, improved navigation, and is overall much quicker to use. The update is available in the App Store.
'My Disney Experience' powers nearly all aspects of a Disney trip, including reservations, and FastPass+. During the last year of use, the app has not been well received by most users on discussion forums due to poor performance.
In brief testing, the performance improvement is very noticeable. Moving between wait times at all four parks is much quicker than before.
An Android update is planned for later in the year.


The Transportation and Ticket Center is undergoing a significant upgrade with the addition of a second ferry boat dock.
Remember the much talked about structure that could be seen from the monorail near to the Grand Floridian? This is that structure, and it is now clear that this is a new dock which will serve as a second loading dock for the Magic Kingdom's Ferry boat service.
The new dock will allow simultaneous load and unload of two ferry boats at the same time, which should dramatically improve the efficiency of the service.

The first of the new restaurants, 'The Boat House,' at Disney Springs 'The Landing' is now under construction with markers indicating its footprint in the water.
Piling construction in the water will be underway soon. The 22,000 sq ft restaurant attraction is on the land that was cleared originally for Hyperion Wharf on the waterside between Raglan Road and Paradiso 37.


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