As part of the The Congressional Privacy Caucus, Representative Markey (D- Mass.) has sent a letter to Bob Iger, CEO of the Disney corporation to ask several pointed questions about privacy concerns relating to the new MagicBand and MyMagic+ systems. Disney had intended to begin rolling out these systems in the coming months – rumors say as early as February for select resort locations – and was gaining publicity for the innovative data collection and park experience customization systems in the media, in particular the New York Times.
The New York Times articles is cited several times in the letter from Markey to Iger as a basis for the questions the caucus is asking. Technically the caucus is not a formal committee and has no subpoena power, but Disney is expected to respond with at least minimal answers to quell public worry over their systems.
The full letter, in PDF form, can be found here: http://markey.house.gov/sites/markey.house.gov/files/documents/Letter%20–%20Disney%20–%201-24-13.pdf
Each new Cars Land attraction offers a transfer option for guests in wheelchairs or electric convenience vehicles. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree includes two, specially designed ride vehicles with side doors that open for transfers, and Luigi’s Flying Tires features an alternate loading area with an accessible ramp.
The flagship attraction in Cars Land, Radiator Springs Racers, has an alternate, accessible loading area separate from the main track, and a second, accessible location for viewing attraction photos. Guests with mobility disabilities now have access to more than 30 attractions in Disney California Adventure park. To view a complete listing of accessible attractions at the Disneyland Resort click here for a PDF listing.
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.
Just stumbled on this permits today, and while it’s not exactly Disney World related being part of Celebration, the land was originally part of the EPCOT landmass. Not to mention, we’ve always felt there needed to be a closer Publix. If you haven’t guessed from the title, they’re building a full-size Publix Supermarket in Celebration at the Water Tower Shoppes area. Here’s a link to a giant PDF (right click and save.) Yay for Publix at Disney World!
What…? Shopping is a pleasure there! Not to mention it’ll help us gear up for research expeditions in the parks for the next edition of The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia.
Disney filed with the water management district for the Four Seasons resort scheduled to tentatively open in 2014 and that means we’ve now got the basic plans for the site in PDF.
Here’s a couple of quick screen grabs of the most interesting bits to save you form having to sort through the technical documents contained within the PDF linked to above. First off, a general overview of the are and how it integrates into the existing Osprey Ridge golf course and Golden Oak luxury home community:
The lower right side of the image has the current Golden Oak Club House. The parcel to the left is the driving range and golf course club house. The other parcels to the right and above the main hotel site are Golden Oak residential area.Now a slightly zoomed-in look at the hotel site itself:
The main hotel is the rectangular block in the middle of the parcel. Parking is to the right, and a large man-made lake is the left. The top left of the image is a large recreational complex separated from the main hotel by what looks to be some impressive design elements like waterfalls and other water features. Here’s a closer look at the recreational complex:
There appears to be a pair of twisting water-slides on the left, as well as a “Teen Club” toward the top. Most interesting to us though is the “Ruinous Mansion” that is toward the bottom of the layout. Just below the Ruinous Mansion in another section of the plans:
It’s a large water feature dotted with small structures, likely cabanas, and a “Lakeside Restaurant.” How charming! This whole northwestern complex of the side is separated from the main hotel by a walkway over a waterfall:
The main Four Seasons hotel itself is going to be a fairly standard high-rise hotel structure. While it may have some evocative thematic elements once constructed, the basic plans for the ground level don’t suggest any particularly interesting architectural details at this point. It seems the surrounding of the main building will be the featured design rather then the tower of lodging itself.
That should just about do it for this update for now.. and a quick reminder since this update is going to cause a big influx of page views: We wrote a book, you should buy it and support us so we can keep posting and keep this website up and running. Link.
Late last week Disney filed paperwork with the local water management district to run utilities along Wilderness Way at the Walt Disney World Resort. At first this struck as a non-event, until we mulled it over in our minds a bit
The descriptive text submitted by Disney merely states they are running utilities and working on the drainage around the road. The map shows the work running along Wilderness Way and ending at the horse stables at the Ft. Wilderness Resort and Campground. Horse stables.. horse stables… why are those important?
Those stables are part of the “East Parcel Development Project.” Essentially the plan is to build new stables to replace the existing ones. Here’s the link (big PDF) to the plans for the stables.
Perhaps that’d be too mundane.. if not for the fact that Disney originally included files with that project that depicted the area directly to the north showing large buildings extending out over the lake near the Ft. Wilderness marina. MiceChat, Disboards, and DVCNews members got screen grabs of the plans before they were pulled off the website.
So there you have it, the mysterious project that seemed to fade into obscurity as Disney began working on the site at the Grand Floridian is back and still apparently being worked on. And let’s not kid ourselves, they would not run new utilities that far along a major road to just a horse barn.
Disney has put up the PDF version of the 2011 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Guide online. It has booth locations and menus for each location.
Click here for the PDF.
Happy “Permit Day!” *confetti toss*
That’s sort of what we feel like shouting every time the Buena Vista Construction Company vomits out a group of vague permits and notices like the ones filed with Orange county today. Today’s group all have the same exact description of the work to be done: “Provide labor, materials and/or equipment for construction.”
Here’s the locations they cover:
- Magic Kingdom Riverboat Landing
- Downtown Disney Rainforest Cafe
- Downtown Disney Pollo Camparo
- Downtown Disney Days of Christmas
- Magic Kingdom Diamond Horseshoe
- Magic Kingdom Frontierland Mercantile Feed
- Disney Hollywood Studios Disney Junior Catwalk
- Epcot Cast Services
- Disney Hollywood Studios Rock N Roller Coaster
- Epcot Innoventions West
- Magic Kingdom Fairytale Gardens
- Disney Hollywood Studios Idol
- North Service Area Central Shops
- Magic Kingdom Buzz Cart
- Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain
- Magic Kingdom Enchanted Tiki Room
- North Service Area Disc Building
- Downtown Disney Planter Walls
- Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion
- Epcot Living Seas
- Downtown Disney 1494 E. Buena Vista Drive
Seriously – what’s up with that? Is it even legal to file paperwork with the county that is so blatantly vague? We had a theory these were to replace light bulbs, but we couldn’t justify it for the Downtown Disney Planter Wall notice. Regardless, as always you can see the vagueness in its full PDF glory… or perhaps you just want to call contract manager Dave Myrabo at (407) 828-3582 and ask “what up with that?!?”
Disney showed off a new gizmo it hopes to soon be using for theme park attractions – it’s akin to the in-theater effects used in the 3D/4D films seen at Epcot and Hollywood Studios – called the Tactile Brush.
Ok, so maybe it’s not the most impressive looking thing.. kind of like a cheap IKEA chair with an old PC tower and a back-massager, but it’s actually a nice bit of technology. It was created by Ali Israr and Ivan Poupyrev at Disney Research, Pittsburgh (now all those job postings for science/tech research for Disney around the globe make sense!) Here’s a PDF from them explaining exactly what the thing is. The device was formally unveiled at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Vancouver recently.
The long-story-short is that our bodies react to multiple pieces of sensory input, combine and decode the various inputs, and thus perceive motion.. and subsequently can be fooled by being given the right stimulus sequences. In terms of this chair and the Tactile Brush, it’s a series of motors that can be activated in complex patterns to simulate various movements and atmospheric events. Like these:
We’re kind of looking forward to being scanned.. and possibly shot.. how about you?
Did you know in 2003 there were plans for Epcot’s Norway pavilion to get a renovated post-show film? And not just a simple update to the 5 minute film – it was to be a full 3D digital film to showcase the country. We recently ran across an article from the fall of 2012 from AmCham in Norway about the struggles the pavilion has endured in recent years that describes the film and how it was lost due to budget concerns.
The full article Norway in Epcot – The Struggle for Renewal can be read in PDF format. The American Chamber of Commerce Norway works with Disney in their recruitment and procurement for the pavilion and is privy to the business processes. The article provides a fascinating read from a business perspective as the pavilion flounders to pay for updates. It also provides some background for the more recent articles posted here on our blog and in The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia.