A quick note: today Disney filed paperwork to install property-wide WiFi at the Walt Disney World resort. The contractor is Crown Castle, whose website touts their large scale shared multi-user WiFi installations.
On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World we stumbled onto a painter working on the forthcoming Art of Animation Resort across the lake from the Pop Century Resort. We were lucky to see the process of applying the massive page/sketch/cell designs to the building. We were able to get some pictures to share with you and a glimpse into understanding the process. It’s rather fascinating how they accomplish the look.
First they paint the building out in general – for example this below is a Lion King themed building. Notice the animation panels themselves are left plain white.
It’s not just a single image on that drop though – no, it’s actually three. This drop has Pumba printed three times in three different colors. That way they can reuse the same drop for different panels and just make sure they’re tracing the proper color lines.
If you look very closely you can see the different color outlines of Pumba and also the outlines of the various windows on the building. Different art cells on the building have different patterns of windows behind them, hence different marks on the same drop to help them line it up when they reposition it. The letter and numbers in the top left of the drop also denote which art cell is which color lines on the drop.
Working this way they can quickly and easily slide the drop over and begin work on a new panel – rather than taking the whole rig down and putting it up all over again for each and every art cell panel. The final look, from the nearby Finding Nemo building:
It is worth noting that this is the look that will be applied to the sections of the resort that have suites. The building designed for the single rooms have exterior balcony walkways and so they cant have the same treatment. Here’s a shot of the Little Mermaid section for comparison:
The Magic Kingdom park at the Walt Disney World resort will be testing FASTPASS reserved viewing areas for evening parades and fireworks shows throughout the month of March 2012. The locations along the parade route, primarily in the hub, will be roped off in advance of the showtimes with a Cast Members permitting only guests with the requisite FASTPASS into the area.
Distribution of FASTPASS for the reserved viewing locations will be done by hand, at random, by Cast Members in the park during afternoons. Few details are available as Disney is trying to avoid attracting too much attention to this test until they work out the logistics. Currently there are no plans to test a FASTPASS viewing area for the daytime parade during this round of tests, but this may change at a later date.
My friendly part-time employers and fabulous writers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World are hosting a Midnight Meet at the Magic Kingdom overnight on February 29th, 2012. As part of the One More Disney Day festivities TouringPlans.com is having Babycakes NYC host a little shindig at the Tomorrowland Terrace at midnight while the park is open until 6 a.m. RVSP via Plancast so they know how many cupcakes to bring.
Afterward, from 1 a.m until park close they’ll also be hosting a series of “challenges” in the Great All Nighter to win a resort stay at Walt Disney World. By partnering with the WDW Today podcast they are going to award a three-night stay in a Value Resort to one lucky participant in the overnight event. Let them know here if you will be joining. There are two separate event RSVPs for the Great All Nighter and Midnight Meet.
I’m probably going to be there eating too many cupcakes and being plenty-sleep-deprived. You should be there too! As always, remember a copy of The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia makes a great emergency pillow if you’re planning to spend 24-hours straight in the park. You can easily tear the pages out, wad them up, and stuff them into a Disney shopping bag to create a pillow of unparalleled (and informative) comfort.
Oh, and if you don’t want to starve before the meet (or ever really), be sure to check out the Disney Food Blog’s Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. Though, if you’re sticking to just the Magic Kingdom for the One More Disney Day events you might want to just grab their Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks. (Yes Epcot lovers, there’s an Epcot Snack Guide too!) It’ll be a fun day from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. Even if you don’t make it to the meet, say hello if you see us in the parks! If you’re stuck at home, be sure to check out this blog throughout the day as we’ll do our best to keep you updated with all the events and news as it happens.
UPDATE: Disney has closed the attraction as of 2/25 “until further notice.” Rumors suggest the attraction will be reworked, but at this time there is no scheduled reopening date.
When we wrote our write-up about the new Habit Heroes mini-attraction in Epcot’s Innoventions we had a feeling something wasn’t quite right in it’s message. Now health care professionals are calling for it to be closed.
“It’s so dumbfounding it’s unreal,” says Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa. “I just can’t believe somebody out there thought it was a good idea to pick up where the school bullies left off and shame kids on their vacation.
“Rebecca Scritchfield, an adjunct professor at George Washington University, said she was “disgusted” by the exhibit’s implication that weight is indicative of health, writing: “I would love to know what sickos thought this up.” Read more: Calgary Herald
Disney filed paperwork today that confirms the rumored France bakery expansion at Epcot. The permit mentions the building having two floors, 3000 sq ft of kitchen space and space for CM break rooms and restrooms.
With Whiting Turner as the contractor it’s possible this could be a whole new building in the pavilion. If anything it’s a major addition.
Though we reported the rumor after hearing it from Cast Members a few days ago, we want to thank Stitch Kingdom for bringing the paperwork that confirms it to our attention today.
We just wanted to make sure everyone knew where to find the schedule of events and park hours for the One More Disney Day / Leap Day events on February 20th at the Magic Kingdom park. We typed it all out until our fingers bled over at TouringPlans.com for their blog so you might as well go read it!
As for the event itself, we’re still on the fence about attending. The overnight activities might be fun, but it really just seems to be an extended version of the Extra Magic Hours in the parks. What about you? Are you going? What are your plans?
We don’t have much information, but we’ve been informed that there are plans moving forward to expand the bakery in the France pavilion at Epcot. The Boulangerie et Patisserie, as it is known, has always had trouble meeting the demand thrust upon it by being ostensibly the most popular pavilion, in culinary terms, of the World Showcase. In fact, the France pavilion has previously expanded its dining offerings to meet the unanticipated guest demand – the full history of those changes can be found in our book about the history of the park: The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia.
For now we don’t have a timeline or a new location – we’ve just been told it is expanding in the near future.We look forward to shorter lines for croissants and maybe actually being able to score a table to sit down after purchase in the future.
UPDATE 2/24/2012: Confirmed!
A new addition to the lineup at this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden festival will be Haiti: Garden of Many Colors. In the World Showcase next to the Germany showcase it will be the first illuminated garden in the festival’s history. Guests will be able to explore the rich heritage of Haitian art, culture and refreshments in this produce garden and marketplace presented by Haiti Originale, LLC, an organization formed to support sustainable Haitian economic and social development.
Imagineering recently filed paperwork to load in elements of the new garden to the site, so it should prove to be a notable addition to the lineup this year.
From the company’s own website:
Grown on Haitian lands, crafted with Haitian hands, Haiti Originale shows the best of Haiti to all the world. It shows we are committed to consistency, determined to deliver, focused on first. It is our chance to do things the right way, the quality way, the responsible way, the sustaining way, from the ground up. Haiti Originale is the ultimate product demonstration, because that product is us.
Like you and me, Haitians want their labors to mean something. They want their livelihood to bear fruit, shaping their future in a positive way. They want to build their neighborhoods, their businesses, their cities, their schools and hospitals, they want to turn Haiti into a healthy, prosperous nation. They want to show the world how they too can sustain themselves, with products of the people, by the people, for the people.
Through their Par Haiti / Pour Haiti product line the company offers typical Haiti export products listed below. I suspect we’ll see some of them for sale at the festival location – also note that music/entertainment performance is considered a product, very Epcot-y.
- Gourmet coffee
- Products made with Haitian cocoa
- Apparel and accessory items
- Delicious tropical fruits such as mangoes
- Unique, hand-made artisan craft items
- World-renowned rum
- Fruit-based beverages
- Music and entertainment events and productions featuring the cultural riches of Haiti
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. This isn’t the first sort of philanthropic installation in Epcot’s World Showcase. The BeadforLife kiosk in the Outpost section helps support Ugandan women and has proven so popular that is has expanded over the years to become a permanent installation.
In discussing theme park history, and in particular the history of the Disney theme parks, sometimes the source material behind a given attraction or land is almost entirely forgotten. Attractions exist for long enough on their own merits that they become a sort of establishment. Such is the case of the “Disney Mountains” – Space, Big Thunder, and Splash. While both Space and Big Thunder are essentially their own freestanding intellectual properties, Splash is not.
No, Splash Mountain is based one of the most maligned and misunderstood movies that Disney has ever produced: Song of the South.
Under normal circumstances a ride being based on a film wouldn’t be so remarkable – that’s essentially all of Fantasyland – but in the case of Splash Mountain and Song of the South, Disney wants so desperately for the film to be forgotten that it’s a small wonder the ride still exists. The attempts at historical circumvention by Disney have resulted in there being relatively little out there to really discuss when considering the background of the attraction as it relates to the film.
Well, we can’t be having that now can we? So without much further ado, we present the Nostalgia Chick herself, Lindsay Ellis, and her analysis of Song of the South.