Friday, December 18, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This concept art shows the expanded area from the POV of above Cinderella Castle. In the front left you see the ‘castle walls’ from which you will travel through into the various Princess Realms. Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel all have their own castles (aka meet and greet areas). The Beauty and the Beast realm will also have a new dinner show.
Ariel’s castle will contain the Little Mermaid attraction that’s also being installed at California Adventure.
At this point the Fantasyland Expansion concept art differs a bit from the blue prints we saw. Tinker Bell and the fairies still get their Pixie Hollow (which will be phase two of the expansion), but the Dumbo attraction is moved to the other side where Goofy’s Barstormer and Donald’s boat is now. There is also a coaster in the back that is not on the blue prints. I’ll be curious to see how this all turns out in the final version.
The new Dumbo attraction will have two spinners and, apparently, more of a circus theme. The blue prints specify an ‘interactive queue’ which, based on this art, would appear to be more living character initiative animatronics. Think Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story Midway Mania queue.
All this, Jay says, will be open in 2012. A year late for the 40th Anniversay of the MK. But not too shabby a schedule. I would like to have seen another solid ‘ride’ type attraction, something aimed at the whole family instead of another meet and greet/mini-show. But the dinner show and the themeing look pretty outstanding.
Follow below the jump for the full press release related to all of Jay’s park announcements:
Re-Imagined “Star Tours” Coming to California and Florida in 2011 and Major Fantasyland Expansion at Walt Disney World Scheduled for 2013
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo detailed plans for future lands, attractions and adventures that will be delighting Disney guests for years to come, at the first D23 Expo. Most notable among the announcements were the confirmation of an all-new Star Tours attraction and the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
“Storytelling is the DNA of Disney dreams and we’re always exploring new ways to tell new stories in new places,” Rasulo told a crowd at the Anaheim Convention Center in California before taking them on a “behind-the-magic” tour of their favorite Disney destinations.
Rasulo announced that a new 3-D version of the tremendously-popular “Star Tours” attraction will debut at the Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2011. Based on the iconic Lucasfilm “Star Wars” films, the attraction will include immersive new elements that will take guests to many familiar places in the Star Wars galaxy.
For Walt Disney World in Florida, Rasulo outlined plans for the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom, vastly increasing the size of Fantasyland by 2013. Guests will soon be able to:
* Visit their favorite Disney Princess in her castle, cottage, or chateau to share a dance with Cinderella; celebrate Sleeping Beauty’s birthday with the Good Fairies; or join Belle in an enchanting story performance in the Beast’s castle library.
* Be Our Guest and dine in one of three enchanted rooms inside the Beast’s castle.
* Fly with Dumbo high above brand new circus grounds, twice the size of the existing attraction with a new interactive, three-ring circus tent.
* Journey under the sea with Ariel, The Little Mermaid, in her very own attraction – also opening at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim in 2011.
* Meet Tinker Bell and her friends in the magical world of Pixie Hollow.
Rasulo provided updates on the multi-year expansion of Disney’s California Adventure including the new “World of Color” attraction slated to open in the spring of 2010 and the addition of the 12-acre Cars Land scheduled to open in 2012 where guests will literally step into the town of Radiator Springs and its six acres of hand-carved rockwork.
Rasulo noted the progress of several other recently-announced projects including the three new lands coming to Hong Kong Disneyland by 2014; the Disney Dream, the new ship being built by Disney Cruise Line; the many diverse itineraries being offered by Adventures by Disney that take guests on 19 unique, once-in-a-lifetime guided vacation experiences; and Disney’s first family destination resort on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Rasulo’s keynote presentation was only part of the D23 EXPO experience. Guests were able to discover:
* Never-before-seen models of upcoming Disney attractions.
* Up close and personal visits with Lucky the Dinosaur and Wall-E.
* A preview of the most advanced Audio-Animatronics figures ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering.
* Displays showcasing cutting-edge effects technologies that are being developed for Disney attractions, shows and venues.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The Walt Disney Co. is punching its way into the universe of superheroes and their male fans with a deal announced Monday to acquire . for $4 billion, bringing characters such as Iron Man and Spider-Man into the family of Mickey Mouse and "Toy Story."
The surprise cash-and-stock deal sent Spidey senses tingling in the comic book world. It could lead to new rides, movies, action figures and other outlets for Marvel's 5,000 characters, although Marvel already was aggressively licensing its properties for such uses.
The deal won't have benefits right away, and Disney stock sank on the news. Disney expects a short-term profit hit, and Marvel characters from X-Men to Daredevil are locked up in deals with other movie studios and . But Disney's CEO, Robert Iger, promised an action-packed future.
"`Sparks will fly' is the expression that comes to mind," Iger told analysts.
, the 86-year-old co-creator of "Spider-Man" and many more of Marvel's most famous characters, said he was thrilled to be informed of the marriage Monday morning.
"I love both companies," he said. "From every point of view, this is a great match."
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year and marks Disney's biggest acquisition since it purchased Pixar Animation Studios Inc., the maker of "Up" and "Cars," for $7.4 billion in stock in 2006.
Marvel would follow another storied comic book publisher into the arms of a media conglomerate. DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, was bought by Warner Bros. — now part of Time Warner Inc. — in 1969.
Buying Marvel is meant to improve Disney's following among men and boys. Disney acknowledges it lost some of its footing with guys as it poured resources into female favorites such as "Hannah Montana" and the Jonas Brothers.
"Disney will have something guys grew up with and can experience with their kids, especially their sons," said Gareb Shamus, whose company Wizard Entertainment Group runs several of the Comic-Con conventions around the nation.
Marvel TV shows already account for 20 hours per week of programming on Disney's recently rebranded, boy-focused cable network, Disney XD, and that looks likely to increase, Iger said. The shows are "right in the wheelhouse for boys," he said.
There will be some lag before Marvel's trove of characters are fully developed at Disney, because of licensing deals Marvel has with other studios.
For example, Sony Corp.'s Columbia Pictures is developing the next three "Spider-Man" sequels, starting with "Spider-Man 4" set for a May 2011 release. News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox has the long-term movie rights to the "X-Men," "Fantastic Four," "Silver Surfer" and "Daredevil" franchises.
Both studios maintain those rights in perpetuity unless they fail to make more movies.
Separately, Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures has a five-picture for Marvel-made movies, the first of which will be " ," set for release next May. Paramount said it expects to continue working with Marvel and Disney.
General Electric Co.'s Universal Studios has an attraction called Marvel Super Hero Island in Orlando, Fla., that will stay in existence as long as Universal wants to keep it there and follows the contract terms, Universal said.
Disney said it will honor and re-examine Marvel's licensing deals upon expiration and may extend the profitable ones. Iger noted that when it bought Pixar, that company also had third-party licensing agreements that eventually expired, allowing the companies to move forward together.
Despite beginning to make its own movies, starting with "" last year, licensing remained a key driver of Marvel's $206 million in profit and $676 million in revenue last year. Iger said Disney could give Marvel broader global distribution and better relationships with retailers to sell Marvel products.
However, analyst David Joyce of Miller Tabak & Co. noted that the $4 billion offer was at "full price."
Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash, plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share they own. That values each Marvel share at $50, a 29 percent premium over Friday's closing stock price. The final ratio of cash and stock will be adjusted to ensure Disney stock makes up at least 40 percent of the final offer.
Marvel shares shot up $9.72, or 25 percent, to close at $48.37 on Monday. Disney shares fell 80 cents, or 3 percent, to $26.04.
Disney investors were probably unhappy that the deal will reduce earnings per share in the short term and might not turn positive until the company's 2012 fiscal year. Disney's earnings per share will drop partly because the company will issue 59 million new shares, and partly because Marvel plans to release two costly blockbusters, "Thor" and "The First Avenger: Captain America" in 2011. DVD sales of those films likely won't roll in until fiscal 2012.
Disney said the boards of both companies have approved the transaction, but it will require an antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders.
If it works out, Marvel's chief executive, Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, 66, will pocket a hefty payday. He snatched Marvel assets out of bankruptcy in 1998, in a deal that valued the company at around $450 million including debt, outmaneuvering investors Carl Icahn and Ronald Perelman. His 37 percent stake in Marvel is now worth about $1.5 billion.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
On the way the Skyway passed over the striped tented Cinderella's Golden Carousel, and also over the Grand Prix Speedway.
Due to the nature of the ride, it was difficult at times to acommodate guests with some disabilities, particularly from the Fantasyland boarding platform, however, providing it was possible for wheel-chair bound guests to leave their wheelchairs for a time, they could take a round trip from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland and back.
In Feb 1999 the Skyway was in the news when a part-time Disney employee who had been working in the loading area of the ride fell to his death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration later fined Walt Disney World $4,500 for what it termed a "serious" violation of safety standards. OSHA said the employee lacked protective equipment, such as a safety harness. Two days later, Disney installed safety signs and enhanced safety procedures around the Skyway, a Disney spokesman said at the time. The ride's closing is not a result of any concerns about its safety.
However in keeping with a general wish to remove older attractions, and replace them with updated ones the Skyway was finally closed on 10th November 1999, joining it's Californian cousin at Disneyland in Anaheim, which closed in 1994, and the Disneyland Tokyo Skyway which was closed in November 1998.
The ride was known as Skyway to Tomorrowland from the Fantasyland terminus, and as the Skyway to Fantasyland from the Tomorrowland terminus.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Also, you will notice that they still have a big space available for a future expansion on the left of the new Frontierland/Grizzly Trail.
Here are all the details with the official press release and click on each picture to see them in full size.
With the addition of more than 30 new attractions, play and entertainment experiences, Hong Kong Disneyland’s total number of rides and attractions will increase by almost 50 percent and top one hundred. When completed, the expansion will increase HKDL’s physical footprint by approximately 23 percent; broaden the park’s appeal by adding more experiences for young adults; and place increased focus on universally-understood stories. Using Guest feedback as a guide, these three new themed areas will create memorable guest experiences, drive strong word of mouth and repeat visitation, and offer many unique only-available-in-Hong-Kong attractions that feature Disney’s immersive storytelling and innovative technology.
Grizzly Gulch, Frontier Gold-Mining Town
The path along Grizzly Trail offers high-spirited frontier fun in an abandoned mining town called Grizzly Gulch, set amidst mountains and woods. The town was founded August 8, 1888 – the luckiest day of the luckiest month of the luckiest year – by prospectors looking to discover gold. Bears have now started causing havoc at the Big Grizzly Mountain Mining Company.
Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Guests visiting Grizzly Gulch are part of the action, experiencing hands-on water features, massive geysers and various leaking structures in the abandoned town.
• Life-size Audio-Animatronic® bears set the story in motion on Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster, an adventure aboard a runaway mine train through town. Guests careen backward down an incline that propels them through twists and turns, before a launch sequence “blasts” the mine train out of the mountain.
• A Wild West stagecoach, an old time Jail House, and the world’s largest nugget of gold provide fun photo opportunities.
• Guests can relax with a Wild West refreshment at the old Saloon or shop for mining supplies and souvenirs at the Bear Necessities merchandise stand.
Mystic Point is the site of mysterious forces and supernatural events in the heart of a dense, uncharted rain forest.
In Mystic Manor, home to an eccentric world traveler and adventurer and his collection of exotic international artifacts, strange things are afoot as an enchanted music box releases its magical powers, thanks to a mischievous monkey.
Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Inside Mystic Manor, a trackless ride system enables vehicles to move “freely” about the attraction as the story unfolds. Audio-Animatronic® figures and special visual and audio effects help tell the story of mystical phenomena.
• Within Mystic Point lies a beautiful garden full of relics and mythological figures, where guests discover a hidden world of illusions and mysteries that trick the eye.
• Guests can dine at the Adventurer’s Club amid a vast collection of unusual artifacts from around the world or purchase exclusive curiosities and collectibles at the Archive Shop.
Toy Story Land
Disney·Pixar-themed Play Area for Kids of All Ages
Andy, the young boy from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films, has left his toys unattended in this immersive and highly themed environment, based on one of Disney·Pixar’s most popular film series. While Andy is away, the toys come to life and play...and Guests are invited to join!
Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Oversized outdoor rides and photo opportunities allow Guests to experience the different perceptions of scale, and shrink to the size of a toy.
• One attraction includes a shuttle coaster which propels Guests along a U-shaped style track.
• A drop-style parachute attraction lets Guests join a “training mission,” plunging from a 25m tall tower.
• Guests will enjoy fun, immersive and interactive environments with life-size toys.
• A themed food kiosk provides a barrel of fun snacks and refreshments and Guests can shop for Toy Story inspired collectibles at the merchandise location.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
So how's everyone been doing? I just got back from seeing Up today, finally. We saw in it 3D of course and I must say that Pixar has done it again. It reminded me a lot Ratouille in the way it tried to tug at the heart strings. I found that there was plenty of good old Pixar comedy in the movie as well. I have always been a fan of the color in amination and this film delivers. The color of the balloons really seemed to stand out and contrast against everything. All of the characters in the movie I thought were well done. I would definitely suggest this movie to any Disney/Pixar fan or pretty much anyone. It's a great movie for any age. Kudos Pixar.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The Tapestry of Nations was a parade at the Epcot theme park in Walt Disney World, Florida, USA, that ran around the World Showcase Lagoon from 1999 to 2001, after which it was rethemed as Tapestry of Dreams. The parade had a unity and world peace theme and featured a variety of large puppets and massive rotating drum units. The puppets were designed by Michael Curry who also designed the puppets for The Lion King on Broadway and a variety of Disney theme park shows. The leader of the parade was the Sage of Time, who was represented as a stilt walker in an elaborate costume featuring alchemy symbols, gold trim on a white robe, a staff, and a headpiece resembling a sun with a face.
The Puppets included:
• Reverse Marionette, a large multicolored puppet with a little marionette being held in its arms.
• Disc Man, a large character with discs within the body and dreadlocks. This was the heaviest and tallest of all the puppets.
• Hammer Man, a humanoid character made of pieces of sheet metal.
• The Sprite, a winged character with a three tiered tail.
• Angel Girl, a feminine figure with a massive wingspan and human face.
• Wiggle Girl, similar to Angel Girl, but had a smaller wingspan and lacked a face, also had movement in the hips.
• Bird Man, with a large wingspan and a crane-like face. This puppet was the hardest to control.
• Aztec Man, with an Aztec-style head, small wingspan and several flaps at its end, similar to kite tails.
The parade (or a variant of this) was also the theme for the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. Both the parade and the halftime show were directed by Gary Paben.
Tapestry of Dreams
In 2001, the parade became Tapestry of Dreams. Wishes from children around the world were heard throughout the parade's soundtrack. The middle of the parade had a tribute to Walt Disney, "...the greatest and most wonderful dreamer of all!". In this version, the Sage of Time was replaced with the Dreamseekers, a trio of elf like characters that would open and close the parade and collect Dreamtale coins that children would receive at the Epcot Kidcot stations. These three included:
• Leonardo Columbus, who represented discovery, invention and genius
• Elfin, who represented nature, magic and emotion
• Cosmo, who represented space and the unknown
It ran nightly, although in a reduced fashion compared to Tapestry of Nations and was canceled in March 2003 as a result of its waning popularity.
Besides the Tapestry of Dreams version, there were three versions of Tapestry of Nations, each having differences in audio. The original version, with a much more serious sounding Sage of Time, ran from the parade's debut in October 1999 to the middle of December 1999.
The narration was changed as to give the Sage a more gentle tone in his voice, this version running to the Millennium Celebration's conclusion in the spring of 2001.
After this, changes to the script brought in the theme of human dreams, which would carry on to the Tapestry of Dreams version, though still retaining the character of the Sage of Time. This version ran to the middle of the summer of 2001 when the Tapestry of Dreams version finally debuted.
Outside of Epcot, Tapestry of Nations served as the theme of the Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show and featured a massive sized Sage of Time as a backdrop in addition to an appearance by the parade's walkaround version.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
In the spring of 1994, Tomorrowland underwent a massive refurbishment to re-theme the area as a working city of the future. The WEDway PeopleMover received new physical theming as the track was updated from smooth Googie-esque white forms to boldly colored metallic structures. It was during this refurbishment that the attraction's name changed to "Tomorrowland Transit Authority". The current spiel (with only minor alteration since) was also added at this time, your tour now lead by Pete Renaday broadcasting from TTA Central. The two-way track section at entrance of Space Mountain. An induction motor is visible in front of the oncoming train.
The line is a one-way loop, with a brief stretch at the entrance to Space Mountain operating with two-way traffic. At this point, the trains pass so close to one another that it is possible to reach out and touch hands with people in the oncoming train, though a tongue-in-cheek safety spiel warns guests (specifically those from Galaxy M-31) from doing so. The only switches are at Space Mountain, where the main track passes through the attraction and storage tracks run around the perimeter. The design of the station platform has guests boarding and disembarking the cars onto a moving walkway. This allows the vehicles to remain in motion at all times.
Blue, Red, and Green Lines - The TTA's backstory makes reference to the Transit Authority's three different "lines": the Blue Line, the Red Line, and the Green Line. The Blue Line, which constitutes the actual ride, is Tomorrowland's intra-city elevated train system. The Red Line takes riders 'off-planet' to other destinations in the galaxy, while the Green Line provides local transportation to Tomorrowland's "Hover-Burbs." There is a diorama of a hub station where all three lines intersect located on the second floor of the Convention Center. Other services provided by the Transit Authority (interstate highway maintenance and long distance space travel) are alluded to in the ride's narration. 1970s Attraction Poster for the WEDway Peoplemover.
Blue Line Stations - Though only one actually exists, other destinations are announced while riding:
* Rockettower Plaza (the only real station)
* Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center
* Mickey's Star Traders & Red Line/Green Line Transfer Station
* Space Mountain
* Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
* Star Command Headquarters
* Metropolis Science Centre
Other locations mentioned in passing, but not as stations on the line include:
* The Metro-Retro Historical Society Display
* The Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
* The League of Planets Astro Orbiter
* Perfect Park Acres
* The Interstellar Hair Salon
Onride Viewing Windows & Dioramas - After entering the Convention Center building, the Metroliners pass a large diorama containing a portion of the architectural model of EPCOT as envisioned by Walt Disney. Originally intended to be a working city instead of a theme park, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow never came to fruition. The model in its complete form was created by WED Enterprises as the city was being planned and displayed on the second floor of the Carousel of Progress when it was in Disneyland. Both the Carousel and the model moved to Walt Disney World in 1975. According to the ride narration, the display is sponsored by the Tomorrowland Metro-Retro Historical Society.
Space Mountain - Since the roller coaster's addition in 1975, the TTA track has offered riders a restricted look down into the two largest of Space Mountain's post-show dioramas. Currently these feature the vignettes of an alien dig site, and radio beaming of packages back to the "home planet".
CircleVision Building Windows - Originally the tunnel through the south show building (now home to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin) had three windows; one and two on the trains' right, three to the trains' left. This building first housed If You Had Wings, and the windows were carefully placed to look down into the Mexico, Jamaica and Trinidad show scenes in such a way as to hide all projectors, lights and other show support equipment.
When If You Had Wings (renamed If You Could Fly) was closed in January 1989 and remodeled into Delta Dreamflight, the windows no longer lined up correctly with show scenes. The first window was replaced with backlit panels depicting the ride's barnstormer scene. Window two looked into the Parisian Excursion scene, from a viewpoint which heavily distorted the tableau's forced perspective. The third window would have had riders looking directly into an extremely bright light and so was completely obscured with plywood and black fabric.
When the ride transitioned yet again into Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin in 1998, the first window was fitted with the diorama of the hair salon, and the second left open to look into the new attraction, though concern was expressed over the fact that this view allows TTA riders to look directly into banks of high-powered blacklights.
* Rockettower Plaza Station
* Rockettower Plaza
* Avenue of the Planets
* EPCOT model
* Transfer Station/Star Traders
* Indy Speedway Overpass
* Space Mountain
* Around the Arcade
* Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
* Buzz Lightyear's SRS show building
* Interstellar Salon
* Avenue of the Planets (again)
* Return to Rockettower Plaza
2009 Refurbishment - The Tomorrowland Transit Authority closed on Sunday, April 19, 2009, in line with the refurbishment of Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom), and is scheduled to re-open on Monday, August 24, 2009. The closure is necessary due to the large portion of the attraction that travels through Space Mountain. There have been no official announcements regarding changes that the TTA may undergo, if any, during this time.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
History - Located in central Florida, Disney World receives too much annual rainfall to justify outdoor roller coasters. Thus, the Florida needed a rollercoaster which would have to be indoors and away from the weather, so designers melded the idea of Disneyland's Matterhorn with the "Spaceport" concept described below.
The Space Mountain concept actually dates back to Walt's time; in the mid 1960's the plan was to create a new corner of Tomorrowland at Disneyland, with a "SpacePort" theme. However, the plans never took hold at Disneyland, and the Space Mountain ride would first see its application in Florida (who needed an indoor ride). The Spaceport idea involved part of the ride outdoors atop the mountain, then diving into the blackness within. However, possibly due to the weather conditions in Orlando, this idea never materialized.
There are two sides to Space Mountain, of course. They are identical to each other, mirror images really, except that one side is 10 feet longer to allow it to cross over the other side.
Originally, Space Mountain was sponsored by RCA. When exiting, you walked past dioramas of "homes of tomorrow" in which people were using "advanced technology" such as videodisc players and videophones. It was a classic 70's version of "the future." Over time, RCA replaced the videodisc player with whatever they were trying to sell at the time. (Remember, when Disney World first opened, almost every ride had a commercial sponsor, with some type of advertising segment of the ride). Their show was called the Home of Future Living.
After Orlando's success, Disney obviously didn't want to tinker with a working concept so all other Space Mountains remained largely indoors. After 1995, Federal Express became the sponsor to Space Mountain, and they installed a lobby for use by Fed-Ex employees who were visitors to WDW -- you can come in here, relax, and jump to the head of the line if you work for Fed-Ex.
The Orlando Space Mountain was the world's first completely dark indoors coaster.
Walk Through the Queue - You enter the queue in a airy, roomy chamber that has spires in the middle, around which the line doubles back near the entrance to the room. On one side is a large wall art of space-type artwork, and on the floor are odd, futuristic-looking dark glass spheres. You pass from that room into the first passage, which is a long straight tunnel inclined downward and lit by red lights. After hitting the low point, the tunnel angles back upward, this time illuminated by blue lights. Finally, you turn a corner - after noticing the warning signs that this is a roller-coaster and thus not for everyone - and enter the zigzag section, where the corridor widens and zigs back and forth, amid colorful holograms inset into the walls of such things as stars and planets. As this sections ends, you can view an Omega-side rocket ready for launch on your right side, while on your left is the safety video. Finally, then, you enter the main ride building.
As you enter the building, the lights are dimmer because this is the actual giant room that also houses the ride overhead, and you can hear it. You head toward the control tower, which is directly in front of you and in the middle of the line so to speak, and then you choose which side of the ride you wish to ride on. To the left is the Alpha side, to the right is the Omega side, and they split right at the control tower, currently labeled "FX-1 Control Station." As you choose your side, you enter into the "outer space" area itself - the loading area is part of the black, starry region that cars pass. The queue in this area is fairly boring - the PeopleMover (Tomorrowland Transportation Authority) passes through overhead, and you can view the dreadful preshow video via several monitors.
This preshow, called the Space Mountain TV (SMTV), is an ostensible broadcast from the future, mainly a news program interspersed with comical commercials. Some of these commercials are for actual products, such as the space-themed Fed-Ex ones - they are the sponsor after all. Three notable things about the video: Charles Fleischer - the voice of Roger Rabbitt - is a used satellite dealer in one commercial (Crazy Larry); there is a hidden Mickey-shape in a different satellite commercial (mouse ears on satellite provide for communication with earth); and the liftoff sequence on one video is pulled directly from the liftoff video seen in the former Disney attraction "Mission to Mars." Watch also for the video scenes lifted from Disney's movie "The Black Hole" and from the movie "Tron."
Finally you reach the boarding zone, and you climb into rockets with 1-1-1 seating, with two rockets attached for a total of six riders at a time. It is no accident that the seating resembles Anaheim's Matterhorn bobsleds - remember this was to be Orlando's version of the Matterhorn!
Mock Ride-Through - As you know, there are two sides to Space Mountain. If you choose to go left at the fork in the queue, you'll ride the "Alpha" side. The "Omega" side - obviously the other one - is an identical but mirror image of the alpha side, with ten extra straight feet added at one point to make the layout work. You proceed to a couple of waiting areas once seated so they can check seatbelts, then you launch downward and into a long straight tunnel, where you accelerate. The tunnel pulses with strobe lights and rotating blue lights, simulating a launch into space, then you emerge and begin to climb the lifthill. You go up the same time as another rocket, and as you climb you pass underneath the giant rocket ship that is a sister to the one at the Anaheim loading dock. This one, however, was previously named XL-2000 and has been renamed FX-2000 to honor the sponsor FedEx. There are a couple of (nonmoving) astronauts in spacesuits walking along the underside of the ship, so they are upside down!
At the top of the lifthill, the rockets from either side make a sharp turn away from each other as the ride begins. The ride building here has more "Space Cookies" than the Anaheim version, simulating meteor showers, and there is no giant orange globe or orb at the top. In contrast with the Anaheim version, which is many turns and most of them right-hand turns, the Orlando version mixes up the direction of travel frequently. There are fewer turns, but they are sharp ones, and there are four or five drops of twenty feet, many of them rather steep. There are only a few sharp turns at the base of the ride, unlike Anaheim's.
The end of the ride is a letdown in my book. You go through a brief "explosion" tunnel, where you travel through a rotating barrel lit by pulsing red lights, and then inexplicably return out to the darkness of "space!" to slow down. You then enter the unload room, and after disembarking you return to the park via a moving sidewalk. During this standup "ride" you travel past several scenes. You go past scenes of robots delivering fanciful cargoes to other robots on exotic planets, all courtesy of the FedEx sponsor of course. The moving sidewalk ends after an uphill section, during which you can see yourself captured by wall-mounted cameras. Smile!
- first roller-coaster ride to occur in perpetual darkness
- originally called SpacePort, going to be the anchor of 1967 Tomorrowland at Disneyland
- John Hench and resident Disney sculptor Mitsu came up with dramatic styling for SpacePort
- in June of 1966 became known as Space Mounntain, put on indefinite hold
- constructed 15 feet under ground
- 2 tracks of WDW reduced to one to conserve space in 200-foot wide building at Anaheim
- 31 Rocket Trains that run in Orlando 1-16 (no Train 13) that run on A side (That's to the left as you pass the tower) and 17-31 on B side. The drop on both sides is a 35 ft drop.
Monday, March 2, 2009
So what do you guys think? I would like to get peoples' opinion on this refurb since there was so much fuss about it. Personally from looking at these pictures I can't wait to get to Disneyland and ride this attraction (never thought I'd say that about Small World).
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Hey there everyone. Just popping in with quick movie review. I literally just got done watching the Tinkerbell movie. All I can say is wow. I just have the regular dvd and I was blown away by the animation. I really can't wait to get a Blu-Ray player now so I can buy this movie on Blu-Ray. This to me is Disney animation making a leap back to that classic storytellers world. I thought the story was pretty good but was made excellent with the superb animation and color in this movie. If you are at all a Disney animation fan you will love this film. I never once questioned Tinkerbell voice either, which surprised me. I didn't really think I could get used to hearing Tinkerbell talk, but the gave her the perfect voice and personality. It took me a while to make myself watch this and now I am regretting that I did wait so long. If anyone hasn't seen, watch it. Then let me know what you think. Also, if you have seen it, join in and let all of us know what you thouught of it. I also found this neat Tinkbell wallpaper on Google that I thought I would share with you guys. Enjoy and talk to you all soon.