There’s not a lot of details, but Imagineering has filed the first paperwork for what’s going to be an interactive experience in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom theme park themed to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
The paperwork refers to the project simply as “PIRIM” (Pirates Interactive something something… Media?) and refers to the Audio-visual and Show Control component installation locations.
The new items will be installed at and around the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction itself as well as other locations dotted around Adventureland. The paperwork covers 5 major install sites.
Kevin Kee recently posted rumors that the game would include the following elements:
Touching a skull activates the movement of the mouth of a talking tiki idol, which will reveal a jewel in his mouth.
Touching a blunderbuss activates the movement of sails that cover a bird cage, the sails will open to reveal an animated parrot.
Touching the fuse of a cannon activates an air cannon in the water as well as a light and smoke effect.
Touching a piece of parchment activates a skeleton captain emerging from the water.
Touching a snake charmers basket activates a spitting snake.
Touching a vase activates an image on a nearby tapestry.
Touching a shark tooth activates circling shark fins in the water
Touching a sand dollar activates a mechanical giant clam
Touching the carvings on a shelf will activate cannon blasts on ships in a bottle causing one ship to sink
Universal Orlando finally, though inadvertently, revealed they’re going to link their two Central Florida theme parks with a new transit attraction. Their filings with the water management district show locations within both Islands of Adventure and Universal Orlando which are part of a larger overall project to construct what is rumored to be a simulation of the famed Hogwarts Express.
The filings are for the dewatering of retention ponds amid the track of the Dragon Challenge coasters at Islands of Adventure and the service road just south of the old Jaws attraction in Universal Studios Orlando. The Dragon Challenge site plans were originally thought to be explicit enough to include a blatant outline for a train station, but those lines in the drawing are actually for the pump heads to remove the water from the pond and the surrounding silt fence.
Here’s the Dragon Challenge area portion of the project and aerial photos:
And below the old Jaws Area portion of the project with its aerial photos as well for comparison. The Jaws attraction is in the process of being converted into a Diagon Alley themed area with a Gringotts Wizarding Bank thrill ride that has not been formally announced yet. The phased project to connect the two areas is to begin construction on/around July 15, 2012. We’ll keep you updated if more information becomes available.
As we were scanning the twitterverse today, we stumbled across an interesting image from @brkgnews that perked our eyebrows a bit in regards to the forthcoming Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground DVC at the Walt Disney World Resort. Perhaps Disney is trying to float some ideas, so to speak, if only we look close enough…
OK, so admittedly it’s not that interesting of a photo… just a bunch of trees on an island in the middle of Seven Seas Lagoon. But there’s something there in that picture. Let’s zoom in a bit and see what we can find.
Zoom on in to the full size picture to see it better. It’s a balloon… a shiny white beautiful balloon floating there in mid-air. But we’re not talking about a wayward Mouse-eared balloon that slipped the surly bonds of earth. Nope, this is a big one. Not necessarily like a hot air balloon (though we do see our fair share of those around Orlando), but more like, well, an architectural height test balloon.
You see, when large, tall projects are being planned, sometimes the planners will send one of these balloons skyward and tether it at the approximate height of the new building that they’re planning. This lets them test sight lines and easily determine whether the new building will be visible from other areas. Maybe you’ve seen one floating above your neighborhood in the area where a new cell phone tower is being constructed. Now granted, normally these balloons are some obnoxiously bright safety orange color so it’s easier to see them on the horizon. But maybe we’re not supposed to notice this one so easily.
The reason we think that maybe this one is such a “look-away” color is because of its location. According to the original tweets…
The ballon [sic] is generally in the direction of fort wilderness and wilderness lodge but I cannot accurately judge distance
Now we certainly don’t have any concrete proof that this balloon is related to that long-rumored and now in-progress Fort Wilderness DVC property… but this new development certainly does let the imagination soar, doesn’t it?
If you wanted to know how Disney was going to cope with the new Grand Floridian DVC blocking the views from the wedding pavilion then this photo update will answer many questions.
It will also introduce new questions like “What were they thinking making a giant tarp wall that looks like the Grand Floridian in-the-distance and placing it right against the wedding pavilion’s walkway bridge?”
And in our case – why on earth did Disney leave the wedding pavilion wide open, unlocked and ungated for us to get into and run a muck? We refrained from trying on other people’s wedding dresses, but we did poke around and take photos and have a faux-ceremony just for ourselves. Seriously kids – skip the expensive Disney Weddings package and hoof it over there from the Polynesian midday and take some photos. Then tell everyone you had a Disney wedding. Ok, we don’t seriously advocate that but we’re still surprised we were able to wander around there for a good hour by ourselves unattended and not encounter any locked doors. Side note: lovely restrooms and great vantage points of the construction of the Grand Floridian DVC.
This month the company behind the Great Orlando Wheel sent a request to the local water management district to have its permits for construction of the attraction extended until 2016.
The story as we know it: the Great Orlando Wheel – a giant Ferris wheel with scenic views – was supposed to originally open in 2010. The project stalled and was re-hyped again later as opening in 2011. That didn’t happen either. To date, no one we’ve talked to knows of any actual work on the site for the planned attraction.
Regardless, the lawyers for the company behind the Wheel are pushing to get approval to keep the project alive until at least 2016. Perhaps it’ll happen by then. In the meantime, here’s a fun promotional video from back when the Wheel was first announced:
Remember Flamingo Crossing? That sort-of-off-property development that Disney was planning to have up and running around the same time they opened the Four Seasons elsewhere on property?
It was supposed to have mid-range chain hotels along with shopping and dining. A sort of “Downtown Disney 2.0″ that Disney themselves didn’t have to staff or attend to. Earlier this year we were all told it essentially abandoned as a concept as disney couldn’t find any tennants.
Today, that changes. Disney found a tennant.
The project includes the development of 1.53 acres site to construct a Walgreens store and the associated parking lot. The existing site is a mass graded site as part of the overall development called Flamingo Crossing within the Reedy Creek Improvment District (Orange County).
You can find the appropriate paperwork filed with the county here.
Oh, and if you really want to see what the siteplan for a Walgreens looks like, here’s the PDF. Oo… aahh… marvel at the adequate parking, the ability to get prescription refills quickly, and the general ability to buy bandaids.
A few months back Disney began a project to convert the old Skyway Station in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom into a restroom area and bypass walkway. The restrooms retrofit add much needed guest pathways to the area – even looping down behind Yankee Trader to Haunted Mansion – in an attempt to undo the massive amounts of congestion that plague the area.
Specifically the traffic for the area is all routed underneath the 2nd floor dining area of the Columbia Harbor House that connects via overhead walkway to the Yankee Trader. It makes a tiny tunnel that all traffic going between Liberty Square and Fantasyland have to jam themselves into.
The new scenic walk is supposed to look something like this rendering we mocked-up from a groundplan of the redesigned area. Restroom buildings, lots of scenic walkways, and even a waterfall for good measure.
Work began in earnest on the site itself with demolition several months ago but has seemingly skidded to a halt in recent weeks. No active site work has been spotted and the Magic Kingdom operations has taken back the courtyard area in front of what was the Skyway to park strollers for the holiday season.
This will soon change however, as Disney has filed new work permits for the project. Apparently the old permits specifically were for the demolition of the higher vertical structures on the site. Now the new permits say “Restrooms” so it is restrooms they shall build.
In the meantime, many people have thought that since Disney took down the upper portions of the Skyway Station that is was essentially gone. Not so much – we took a creative approach to finding vantage points. First, from the ground level, then up above form the offended eatery tunnel. We even threw in some photos from that room of the dining area shaped like a ship since very few people ever go up there to see it. Enjoy!
A tell-tale bit of paperwork popped up today signifying that the “expansion” at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World is soon going to begin vertical construction. Disney has filed to install scaffolding and screening at the site.
If you followed the story of this “expansion” in the early days you’ll recall that renderings presented to the staff of the nearby Wedding Pavilion depicted this scaffolding and screening popping up over the tree-line in late October. For some reason this portion of the work was delayed and there’s been no outwardly visible signs of vertical construction as of yet. This should soon change though as Disney builds their scaffolds and screens to hide the forthcoming building. Ya know, that thing which if you ask Disney doesn’t exist and really really isn’t a new DVC resort.
If you’re curious about what they’re building, you can always check out the detailed plans that Disney had to file – begrudgingly – with the local water management district which we explored in this previous update: Grand Floridian Expansion Details Revealed.
New permits were filed this morning by Walt Disney Imagineering for the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom. In particular, today’s permits seem to focus on the Circusland area coming to what was once Toontown Fair.
The first three filings are all for show set installations (link) by the contracted company ThemeWorks Inc. They cover the Dumbo and Barnstormer attractions (yes, the paperwork still calls it Barnstormer) as well as the new train station.If you’re familiar with the various contractors that Imagineering and other companies like Universal Creative frequently hire-out to, you’ll recognize ThemeWorks as the people who have done some notable projects:
Fossil wall panels of the Visitors Center at the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure.
Artificial thatched roofs of the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure
Treasures of Poseidon building at Islands of Adventure
Journey to Atlantis attraction buildings at Sea World Orlando and Sea World San Diego
Numerous museum and aquarium projects
Additionally, some paperwork was filed for the Casey Jr. water-play area (link) with the contractor being Adirondack Studios. Adirondack is best known for projects like:
Jungala at Busch Gardens Tampa
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster at Universal Studios Florida.
Dueling Dragons at Islands of Adventure
The Simpson, The Ride, at Universal Studios Florida
Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida
Show sets for Journey of the Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom
Today we’ve got a real treat! A time-lapse video of the New Fantasyland construction at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World! It shows the construction from the first wall installation up until present day. We hope you enjoy it, and feel free to share it on your social networks using the spiffy buttons down below!