Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tinker Bell Brings New Magic to Disney's ‘Main Street Electrical Parade’ for ‘Summer Nightastic!’ Beginning June 6

When the “Main Street Electrical Parade” returns to Magic Kingdom for a limited engagement this summer, the cherished Disney nighttime spectacle will have a new glow.  Tinker Bell will sprinkle her pixie dust to illuminate the classic parade.  The parade’s highly recognizable musical theme will be brightened by new technology.
The parade, which normally is featured at Disneyland Resort in California, was last at Walt Disney World Resort from 1999 into 2001.  But as it returns to Magic Kingdom to headline “Summer Nightastic!” June 6 through Aug. 14, 2010, “Main Street Electrical Parade” will be showcasing lots of features never before seen – or heard – in Florida.
Tinker Bell leads the procession on an all-new float, and her trail of pixie dust enchants all the parade floats with new beauty along the way.  The popular pixie waves from the basket of a balloon floating gracefully above a magical garden shimmering with fairy light.
In addition, enhanced versions of two classic favorites will return to the lineup after a 13-year hiatus – the shimmering diamond mine of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Pleasure Island haunts of Pinocchio.
WHAT: The parade twinkles with approximately half a million lights.  Of those, nearly 10,000 are new “pixie dust” lights spread over the 23 parade floats.  The new LED lights use one-quarter of the power of incandescent lights.  The Tinker Bell float alone has more than 25,000 points of light and 75 percent are powered by an LED source.
WHEN: Nightly beginning Sunday, June 6, and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 14, in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.
LIGHTS ON DEMAND: A new control system makes it possible, for the first time, for each light to be programmed individually.  One example is the new Tinker Bell float, which has 160 dimmers, by far the most of any parade float, to control the lighting.  Programming for this parade took approximately two months.
AN EVEN BETTER HOEDOWN: The unforgettable musical theme of the “Main Street Electrical Parade,” which has inspired several generations of Disneyland Resort guests to clap along, was adapted from a synthesizer piece known as “Baroque Hoedown,” written in 1967 by Gershon Kingsley and Jean-Jaques Perrey.  Disney themes are superimposed over the original piece.  For “Summer Nightastic!,” the distinctive “electro-sytho-magnetic” “Baroque Hoedown” has new audio technology that gives it a richer, fuller sound.
  • More than 80 performers appear in each presentation of Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade.”
  • There are 11,000 lights on the dancers’ costumes alone.  Thanks to the energy-efficient LED lights, some of the dancers’ costumes now carry only one battery pack instead of two.
  • All the floats are battery-powered.  More than 500 batteries supply power for lighting, propulsion, audio and special effects.
  • Approximately five miles of wire is used throughout the floats.
  • The tallest float in the parade is the Cinderella clock tower, at 18.5 feet tall.
  • The Fireworks Finale float, the longest in the parade, has seven cars that span 118 feet.
  • “Summer Nightastic!” 2010 will mark the return of the original Disneyland “Main Street Electrical Parade” to Walt Disney World Resort.  Previously the parade had a limited engagement in Florida from 1999 through 2001.
  • The original “Main Street Electrical Parade” premiered at Disneyland on June 17, 1972.
  • The parade was presented at Disneyland nearly every summer until it was “retired” in 1996.
  • A version of the “Main Street Electrical Parade” was created for Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in 1977.
  •  The Magic Kingdom version was presented until 1991 when it was replaced by “SpectroMagic” (“Main Street Electrical Parade” was refurbished for the opening of Disneyland Resort Paris).
  • The original Disneyland “Main Street Electrical Parade” was brought out of retirement and extensively refurbished for a limited engagement at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom from 1999 into 2001.
  • Following the conclusion of the parade’s limited engagement at Walt Disney World Resort, it premiered at Disney’s California Adventure in July 2001 as “Disney’s Electrical Parade.”
  • The parade has been performed more than 5,000 times at Disneyland Resort.
  • The original “Main Street Electrical Parade” floats were “flatter” and less three-dimensional than the current floats.  While new floats have been added through the years, some have been retired: “it’s a small world” float, Briny Deep float, and special anniversary floats for Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary (1980) and Mickey Mouse’s 60th Birthday (1988).
  • One of the original floats, the Title Drum Unit near the beginning of the parade, was created using an actual bass drum, one of the world’s largest in 1972.  This drum had been used in Disneyland parades in the 1960s, when Mickey Mouse used to beat it using large drumsticks.
  • A third version of the parade has been presented at Tokyo Disney Resort (premiering 1985).
From June 6 through Aug. 14, 2010, Walt Disney World guests will be able to see Disney's “Main Street Electrical Parade,” experience new special effects at The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror, thrill to the new “Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular,” and groove to a dance party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and to the “Sounds Like Summer” concert series at Epcot.
Guests can Learn more about “Summer Nightastic!” and check out deals for summer travel by visiting or by calling 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or a local travel agent.  All special summer events are included in regular theme-park admission.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beauty and the Beast Fantasyland Expansion Dining

Our friends from 'Cooking with Mickey!' wrote a great article. It's the Beauty and the Beast Area unveiled!

It seems that 2 quick services and 1 full table restaurant will come along with a new dark ride!

Disney Princess - Digital Audio

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Magic Kingdom At-a-Glance Audio

Before my new adventure with Online Radio and Podcast I'm starting with playlists!

Just testing now!

10 songs from the Magic Kingdom! All lands are covered!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Discover Facts and Flowers at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in Walt Disney WorldSpring is here at last, and there's no better way to stop and smell the roses (and the orchids, and the herbs, and the salvia ...) than a visit to the 2010 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – in progress now until May 16. This year the Festival is brimming over with treats old and new. Whether you're a devoted gardener yourself or just love to stroll among blooms and butterflies while leaving the spadework to the professionals, the Festival makes spring come alive with scent and color.

Want to know just how big a deal this Festival really is, and why it draws thousands of visitors every year? Check out a few amazing facts about this year's Festival:

  • The Festival boasts more than 75 Character topiaries representing 15 different Disney films – that's 65 tons of topiaries in all!

  • This year the Festival has the tallest Character topiary ever created, Goofy – a whopping 14 feet tall.

  • More than 500,000 plants, trees, and shrubs are planted for the Festival – including 60 different types of trees, 47 types of palms, and 48 types of bedding plants.

  • The Festival runs 75 days, making it the longest flower and garden festival in the United States.

  • 198 hands-on demonstrations and seminars will be presented at the 2010 Festival.

  • Every artist or group performing at the Flower Power Concert Series has had hits in the Billboard top 10 list – and among them they have more than 250 weeks of number-one hits from the '60s, '70s, and '80s.

  • This year 600 native butterflies flutter in Bambi's Butterfly House – the most ever at the Festival.

  • The waters of Epcot will truly be in bloom with 120 floating gardens.

  • The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is the biggest and longest Disney event anywhere on the planet.

  • The Festival encompasses more than 300 acres and more than a mile and a half of stunning gardens.

  • 24,000 man-hours go into the creation of the Festival, from initial brainstorming to painstakingly transplanting and maintaining every one of those plants.

  • You'll discover plants and gardens authentic to all 11 World Showcase countries, from Norway to Morocco.

  • More people have visited the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival than live in the entire state of Texas!

  • This year's Festival includes an enchanting Fairy House inspired by the winning entry in the Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow "Design a Fairy House Contest," by 15-year-old Zoe P.

  • The Festival is a feast for the nose as well as the eyes with a scent garden sponsored by the legendary French perfume house Guerlain.

And here's one more fun fact – admission to the Festival, and to many of its demonstrations and workshops, is free with Epcot admission! It's just one more sweet spring surprise for Guests.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dateline Disney - May / Jun

Still Twisting after 50 Years, Chubby Checker Brings down Curtain on Flower Power Concert Series at Epcot

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – “The Twist,” the song that defined Chubby Checker’s recording career, turns 50 in 2010, and Walt Disney World guests will have a chance to hear that classic performed live by the original artist May 14-16 at Epcot in the final Flower Power Concert Series shows of the year.

Chubby Checker’s recording of “The Twist” is the only song in rock and roll annals to enter the Billboard charts on two separate occasions and climb to No. 1 both times (in fall 1960 and early 1962).  Chubby Checker’s Web site ( also cites “The Twist” for introducing the concept of “dancing apart to the beat” – which later included the Monkey, Jerk, Frug, Fly, Pony, Hully Gully, Boogaloo, Swim, and Shake among others.

Chubby Checker’s shows will take place at America Gardens Theatre at 5:15, 6:30 & 7:45 p.m. each day and are included with Epcot admission.  Here’s the full Flower Power Concert Series schedule for May (subject to change without notice):

April 30-May 2: Fran Cosmo, former singer of Boston

May 7-9: Davy Jones

May 14-16: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats

It is held each Friday-Sunday in conjunction with the Flower & Garden Festival.  More information about the festival is available at

DIY Network’s Ahmed Hassan to ‘Crash’ Epcot Flower Festival as Season’s Final Great American Gardener

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Television viewers may recognize Ahmed Hassan as the host of the DIY Network show “Yard Crashers,” on which he hangs out at garden centers looking for unsuspecting weekend warriors who look like they could definitely use the help of his landscaping team to completely transform their yards.

But those kinds of yard-changing projects aren’t just the stuff of a reality TV show for Hassan; they are his life as a professional landscape designer and owner of a landscape design, installation and maintenance company.  And May 14-16, he is bringing his wit and expertise to Walt Disney World Resort as the final presenter of the Great American Gardeners seminar series held in conjunction with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Hassan’s presentation, entitled “For the Love of Landscaping,” will take place at 12 noon and 3 p.m. on May 14-16 at the festival’s Garden Town, located adjacent to Mission Space at Epcot.  On the same days, the final Disney Gardening at Home seminar of the festival – “Stars of the Show: Must-Have Plants with Unique Characteristics” – will be presented at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Garden Town.
Here’s the weekend-by-weekend lineup of Great American Gardeners and Disney Gardening at Home presentations for May:

April 30-May 2 Disney Gardening at Home: Tough Plants for Extreme Gardeners
Great American Gardeners: Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden/Weedless Gardening (Lee Reich)   
May 7-9 Disney Gardening at Home: Growing It Yourself
Great American Gardeners: A Fragrant Love Story (Matt Henderson)   
April 30-May 2 Disney Gardening at Home: Stars of the Show – Must-Have Plants with Unique Characteristics
Great American Gardeners: For the Love of Landscaping (Ahmed Hassan)  

All sessions are at Garden Town (Disney Gardening at Home at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Great American Gardeners at 12 noon and 3 p.m.).  The opportunity to attend sessions is included with Epcot admission.  For more information about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, visit
Tickets Go on Sale May 1 for 28th Night of Joy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Past Christian music “Artists of the Year” Third Day, mercyme and Chris Tomlin and 2010 “Artist of the Year” nominees Casting Crowns and Francesca Battistelli head a star-powered 15-act lineup set for Disney’s Night of Joy 2010 Sept. 10-11 when the long-running Christian music event makes its return to Magic Kingdom.

Also part of the two-night event (when specific acts play one evening each): David Crowder Band, Family Force 5, Red, BarlowGirl, Group 1 Crew, Day of Fire, Smokie Norful, Lecrae, 10th Avenue North and Sidewalk Prophets.

Tickets for Night of Joy 2010 will go on sale May 1.  For more information about the event, visit online at 

Wishes Dessert Party Returns to Magic Kingdom

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Wishes Dessert Party has returned to the Tomorrowland Terrace in Magic Kingdom, providing treats and sweets to eat along with a prime viewing location for the popular “Wishes” fireworks spectacular.

For $25.99 ages 10 and older, $13.99 ages 3 to 9, guests can settle in an hour before “Wishes” and enjoy a wide range of sweets with coffee, tea and other beverages. Magic Kingdom admission is required. Advance reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling 407/WDW-DINE.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park Marks
15 Spash-tastic Years of Cool Fun

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney’s Blizzard Beach – the slushy, slippery and splash-tastic water park that opened at Walt Disney World Resort in time for swimming season in 1995 – celebrates its 15th anniversary this year with new premium spaces aimed at letting guests luxuriate on their water parks day.

Six Polar Patios are available for rental and take relaxation to a new level. Each space includes upgraded furniture, towels, waiter service, private locker, all-day drink mugs, a cooler with ice and bottled water.  (Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park also offers six new Beachcomber Shacks for rental.)

Pricing depends on date and time of visit.  Callers to 407/WDW-PLAY can get pricing, reservations and more information.

Star Wars  Weekends Brings Sci-Fi Saga to Life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Jedis, Wookiees and Ewoks, Oh My!

Once again, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney combine in May and June for Star Wars Weekends, a sci-fi fan-fest inspired by the popular film saga. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 21-June 13, 2010, Disney’s Hollywood Studios becomes the galaxy’s home for out-of-this-world characters including Sith, Bith, droids, bounty hunters, Twi’leks and Rodians.

Dates are May 21-23, May 28-30, June 4-6 and June 11-13. This year’s event will celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back,” which first appeared in theaters May 21, 1980.

More than 50 Star Wars characters will roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for meet-and-greets and photo opportunities. Also featured: the chance to purchase special- and limited-edition Star Wars memorabilia, Star Wars trivia contests, Jedi Training Academy, Star Wars parades, rides aboard Star Tours and the popular “Hyperspace Hoopla” dance party.

Celebrities from the Star Wars films and creative geniuses who helped create the saga will be on hand each weekend for star conversations and autograph sessions.

The celebrity hosts for each weekend are Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett in “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi”)and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”).

 Special guests making weekend appearances include:

·         May 21-23: Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett in “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones”), Daniel Logan (Boba Fett in “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones”), and Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Captain Rex in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”)

·         May 28-30: Matthew Wood (voice of General Grevious in “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), Lorne Peterson (model-maker who worked on all six Star Wars live-action films) and Tom Kane (voice of Yoda in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”)

·         June 4-6: Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian in “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi”), Ray Park (Darth Maul in “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace”) and Dave Filoni (director of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”)

·         June 11-13: Ray Park (Darth Maul in “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace”), Peter Mayhew (who played everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca, in four of the live-action films) and James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”).

Event activities are included in theme park admission. For more information, guests may go online to, or

Songs of Summers Gone By to Fill the Air at Epcot during ‘Sounds Like Summer Concert Series’ Beginning June 12

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Some of the world's best tribute bands will be recreating the chart-topping hits of legendary musical icons at Epcot each evening from June 12 through July 31, beginning with Stayin’ Alive - A Tribute to The Bee Gees.

The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series will treat Walt Disney World guests to performances of songs from summers gone by at America Gardens Theatre, lagoon-side adjacent to the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot World Showcase.  Shows are at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. daily and are included with Epcot admission.

Here’s the schedule for June (subject to change):

June 12-June 19: Stayin' Alive - A Tribute to The Bee Gees

June 20-June 26: Hotel California - A Salute to the Eagles

June 27-July 3: TBD

Monday, April 12, 2010

Young dancer who was model for Snow White

Known as "Disney's Folly" when it was in production, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) was so successful that it made possible the animated features of Disney's golden age ("Pinocchio," "Fantasia") and provided the inspiration for countless parodies and updates ("Enchanted"). The template: beautiful princess flees jealous queen, finds sanctuary with crusty but harmless bachelor miners, bites apple and dust.

Audio-Animatronics Timeline [Pics and Video Added]

Audio-Animatronics Timeline

Early 1950s

Walt Disney purchases a
mechanical bird while vacationing in Europe. The souvenir becomes the
inspiration for Audio-Animatronics technology.


Work begins on “Project
Little Man.”  Roger Broggie and Wathel Rogers, pioneers in
Audio-Animatronicstechnology, create a miniature figure that is
programmed with cams, cables and tubes to mimic tap-dancing routines
performed by the late Buddy Ebsen.


Walt Disney’s EnchantedTiki Room opens at Disneyland.  It’s the first show to featureAudio-Animatronics technology.


The world’s first fully animated human figure, Abraham Lincoln, debuts at the New York World’s Fair in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.  The figure causes a sensation, not just with the audience, but with Disney Imagineers, who were able to complete the figure in half the time they anticipated.

Audio-Animatronics figures
are also in three other World’s Fair shows designed and produced by
Disney: Carousel of Progress (featuring figures animated using a
programming harness, a precursor of today’s motion capture systems),
Magic Skyway and it’s a small world.


Two Audio-Animatronics
birds, Robin and Umbrella, appear in “Mary Poppins.”  Walt Disney
reinvests profits from the film to create MAPO, an organization within
Walt Disney Imagineering dedicated to creating and innovating
Audio-Animatronics figures.


Great Moments with Mr.
Lincoln – featuring the Audio-Animatronics figure of Abraham Lincoln
(actually, a duplicate since the original was still performing at the
World’s Fair) – opens at Disneyland.


technology enters the computer age with the use of DACS (Digital
Animation Control System), a computer-controlled playback system for
Disney shows and attractions.  Imagineers also begin using the
Anicon-Animation Console – for animating and programming figures.


The first A-100 Audio-Animatronics figure, the Wicked Witch of the West, debuts as part of The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then known as Disney-MGM Studios) in Walt Disney World Resort.  A-100 figures incorporate compliance technology that gives the characters more fluid and realistic movements.


Pirates of the Caribbean opens at Disneyland Paris.  Attraction features sword-fighting pirates figures.


Hopper, the grasshopper from the Disney•Pixar film “A Bug’s Life,” is the most sophisticated Audio-Animatronics figure produced to date.  Featuring 74 functions, the character appears in “It’s Tough to be a Bug!”


The first portable, all-electric Audio-Animatronics figure, Meeko, the raccoon from the Disney animated film “Pocahontas,” appears.  He’s in a basket carried by Pocahontas.


The first totally autonomous Audio-Animatronics figure, Lucky the Dinosaur, makes his debut, at Disney’s California Adventure.


The yeti, a major element of Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is the largest and most powerful Audio-Animatronics figure ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering. Standing more than 18 feet tall, the thrust of the yeti’s arm has the equivalent amount of force as a 747 jumbo jet.


The Muppet Mobile Lab, featuring Muppets Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker, marks the first time that free-roaming Audio-Animatronics characters can interact and converse with each other, as well as with guests they encounter along their way.



Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story Mania! at both Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios marks the first time that anAudio-Animatronics figure features lips with such a wide range of lifelike movements, can remove and re-attach a body part (his ear) and has digitally animated eyes that can look directly at the particular guest with whom he is conversing. Also, since Mr. Potato Head has more lines of dialogue than any Audio-Animatronics figure ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering, it has required more programming hours than any other figure.

Chef Remy, the lovable star of the Disney/Pixar film "Ratatouille," who
is the smallest Audio-Animatronics in the world, is appearing six days a week, four times a day at Les Chefs de France in the France pavilion at Epcot.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Walt E. Disney Biography

During a 43-year Hollywood career, which spanned
the development of the motion picture medium as a modern American art, Walter
Elias Disney, a modern Aesop, established himself and his product as a genuine
part of Americana. David Low, the late British political cartoonist, called
Disney "the most significant figure in graphic arts since Leonardo."
A pioneer and innovator, and the possessor of one of the most fertile
imaginations the world has ever known, Walt Disney, along with members of his staff,
received more than 950 honors and citations from throughout the world,
including 48 Academy Awards and seven Emmys in his lifetime. Walt Disney's
personal awards included honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, the University of
Southern California and UCLA; the Presidential Medal of Freedom; France's
Legion of Honor and Officer d'Academie decorations; Thailand's Order of the
Crown; Brazil's Order of the Southern Cross; Mexico's Order of the Aztec Eagle;
and the Showman of the World Award from the National Association of Theatre

The creator of Mickey Mouse and founder of
Disneyland and Walt Disney World was born in Chicago, Ill., on Dec. 5, 1901.
His father, Elias Disney, was an Irish-Canadian. His mother, Flora Call Disney,
was of German-American descent. Walt was one of five children, four boys and a

Raised on a farm near Marceline, Mo., Walt early
became interested in drawing, selling his first sketches to neighbors when he
was only seven years old. At McKinley High School in Chicago, he divided his
attention between drawing and photography, contributing both to the school
paper. At night he attended the Academy of Fine Arts.

During the fall of 1918, he attempted to enlist
for military service. Rejected because he was only 16 years of age, he joined the
Red Cross and was sent overseas, where he spent a year driving an ambulance and
chauffeuring Red Cross officials. His ambulance was covered from stem to stern,
not with stock camouflage, but with drawings and cartoons.

After the war, Walt returned to Kansas City,
where he began his career as an advertising cartoonist. Here, in 1920, he
created and marketed his first original animated cartoons, and later perfected
a new method for combining live-action and animation.

In August of 1923, Walt left Kansas City for
Hollywood with nothing but a few drawing materials, $40 in his pocket and a
completed animated and live-action film. Walt's brother, Roy O. Disney, was
already in California, with an immense amount of sympathy and encouragement,
and $250. Pooling their resources, they borrowed an additional $500 and
constructed a camera stand in their uncle's garage. Soon, they received an
order from New York for the first "Alice Comedy" short, and the
brothers began their production operation in the rear of a Hollywood real
estate office two blocks away.

On July 13, 1925, Walt married one of his first
employees, Lillian Bounds, in Lewiston, Idaho. They were blessed with two
daughters -- Diane, married to Ron Miller, former president and chief executive
officer of Walt Disney Productions; and Sharon Disney Lund, formerly a member
of Disney's Board of Directors. The Millers have seven children and Mrs. Lund
had three. Mrs. Lund passed away in 1993.

Mickey Mouse was created in 1928, and his talents
were first used in a silent cartoon entitled "Plane Crazy." However,
before the cartoon could be released, sound burst upon the motion picture
screen. Thus, Mickey made his screen debut in "Steamboat Willie," the
world's first fully synchronized sound cartoon, which premiered at the Colony
Theatre in New York on Nov. 18, 1928.

Walt's drive to perfect the art of animation was
endless. Technicolor was introduced to animation during the production of his
"Silly Symphonies." In 1932, the film entitled "Flowers and
Trees" won Walt the first of his 32 personal Academy Awards. In 1937, he
released "The Old Mill," the first short subject to utilize the
multiplane camera technique.

On Dec. 21 of that same year, "Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs," the first full-length animated musical feature,
premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles. Produced at the unheard
of cost of $1,499,000 during the depths of the Depression, the film is still
accounted as one of the great feats and imperishable monuments of the motion
picture industry. During the next five years, Walt completed such other
full-length animated classics as "Pinocchio," "Fantasia,"
"Dumbo" and "Bambi."

In 1940, construction was completed on Disney's
Burbank studio, and the staff swelled to more than 1,000 artists, animators,
story men and technicians. During World War II, 94 percent of the Disney
facilities were engaged in special government work including the production of
training and propaganda films for the armed services, as well as health films,
which are still shown throughout the world by the U.S. State Department. The
remainder of his efforts were devoted to the production of comedy short
subjects, deemed highly essential to civilian and military morale.

Disney's 1945 feature, the musical "The
Three Caballeros," combined live action with the cartoon medium, a process
he used successfully in such other features as "Song of the South"
and the highly acclaimed "Mary Poppins." In all, 81 features were
released by the studio during his lifetime.

Walt's inquisitive mind and keen sense for
education through entertainment resulted in the award-winning "True-Life
Adventure" series. Through such films as "The Living Desert,"
"The Vanishing Prairie," "The African Lion" and "White
Wilderness," Disney brought fascinating insights into the world of wild
animals and taught the importance of conserving our nation's outdoor heritage.

Disneyland, launched in 1955 as a fabulous $17
million Magic Kingdom, soon increased its investment tenfold and entertained,
by its fourth decade, more than 400 million people, including presidents, kings
and queens, and royalty from all over the globe.

A pioneer in the field of television programming,
Walt began production in 1954, and was among the first to present full-color
programming with his "Wonderful World of Color" in 1961. "The
Mickey Mouse Club" and "Zorro" were popular favorites in the

But that was only the beginning. In 1965, Walt
Disney turned his attention toward the problem of improving the quality of
urban life in America. He personally directed the design on an Experimental
Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT, planned as a living showcase for the
creativity of American industry.

Said Walt, "I don't believe there is a
challenge anywhere in the world that is more important to people everywhere
than finding the solution to the problems of our cities. But where do we begin?
Well, we're convinced we must start with the public need. And the need is not
just for curing the old ills of old cities. We think the need is for starting from
scratch on virgin land and building a community that will become a prototype
for the future."

Thus, Walt directed the purchase of 43 square
miles of virgin land -- twice the size of Manhattan Island -- in the center of
the state of Florida. Here, he master planned a whole new Disney world of
entertainment to include a new amusement theme park, motel-hotel resort
vacation center and his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. After
more than seven years of master planning and preparation, including 52 months
of actual construction, Walt Disney World opened to the public as scheduled on
Oct. 1, 1971. Epcot Center opened on Oct. 1, 1982.

Prior to his death on Dec. 15, 1966, Walt Disney
took a deep interest in the establishment of California Institute of the Arts,
a college level, professional school of all the creative and performing arts.
Of Cal Arts, Walt once said, "It's the principal thing I hope to leave
when I move on to greener pastures. If I can help provide a place to develop
the talent of the future, I think I will have accomplished something."

California Institute of the Arts was founded in
1961 with the amalgamation of two schools, the Los Angeles Conservatory of
Music and Chouinard Art Institute. The campus is located in the city of
Valencia, 32 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Walt Disney conceived the
new school as a place where all the performing and creative arts would be
taught under one roof in a "community of the arts" as a completely
new approach to professional arts training.

Walt Disney is a legend, a folk hero of the 20th
century. His worldwide popularity was based upon the ideas which his name
represents: imagination, optimism and self-made success in the American
tradition. Walt Disney did more to touch the hearts, minds and emotions of
millions of Americans than any other man in the past century. Through his work,
he brought joy, happiness and a universal means of communication to the people
of every nation. Certainly, our world shall know but one Walt Disney. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Night of Joy 2010

Christian ‘Artists of the Year’ Third Day, mercyme, Chris Tomlin plus Nominees Casting Crowns, Francesca Battistelli Top Star-Powered 15-Act Lineup

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Past Christian music
“Artists of the Year” Third Day, mercyme and Chris Tomlin and 2010 “Artist of
the Year” nominees Casting Crowns and Francesca Battistelli head a star-powered
15-act lineup set for Disney’s Night of Joy 2010 Sept. 10-11 when the
long-running Christian music event makes its return to Magic Kingdom.

Also part of the two-night event (when specific
acts play one evening each): David Crowder*Band, Family Force 5, Red,
BarlowGirl, Group 1 Crew, Day of Fire, Smokie Norful, Lecrae, 10th Avenue North
and Sidewalk Prophets.

From 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. each night – after
regular Magic Kingdom hours – the special-ticket event will feature live
performances on several stages throughout the park.  In addition, guests can experience some of
the park’s most popular attractions during Night of Joy hours.

Musically, the acts add up to a lineup that
runs the spectrum from Rock, Hip Hop and R&B … to Pop, Adult Contemporary
and Gospel – continuing a tradition that has been a hallmark of Night of Joy
since 1983 when the event began.

It’s also a lineup laden with accolades.  Ten of the artists have amassed a combined 81
Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and six The Recording Academy Grammy
Awards.  Twelve of the artists are
nominated for a total of 33 Dove Awards this year.  Winners will be announced April 21 at
Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry House.

Five artists are new to Night of Joy, bringing the event’s all-time talent list to 144 Christian music acts. The newbies:

  •      10th Avenue North, the 2009 New Artist of the Year
  •      Group 1 Crew, which has carried home Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year honors the past two years
  •      Day of Fire, which earned the Rock Album of the Year accolade in 2005
  •      Sidewalk Prophets, a pop/rock group nominated for two Doves in 2010, including New Artist of the Year
  •      Lecrae, a Hip Hop/R&B artist who has garnered nominations in previous years.

Friday, September 10

Be there when these highly acclaimed headliners take the stage:

  • Chris Tomlin
  • David Crowder*Band
  • Casting Crowns

  • BarlowGirl
  • Francesca Battistelli
  • Group 1 Crew
  • Tenth Avenue North
  • Sidewalk Prophets

Saturday, September 11

Rock the night away with these top Christian bands:

  • mercyme
  • Third Day
  • Family Force 5

  • Smokie Norful
  • Red
  • LeCrae
  • Day of Fire


Between shows, take a break from the festival to visit each of the 7
imaginative and whimsical lands in
Magic Kindom theme park and experience these
spectacular attractions:

Night of Joy tickets go on sale May 1. For more information about the event, visit

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Eddie Carrol [Jiminy Cricket] Died - April 06, 2010

Eddie Carroll have been playing the role of Jiminy Cricket since 1973 after the death of original voice Cliff Edwards in 1971. 

Eddie Carroll entertained in dinner theatres as a Jack Benny impersonator and provided the voice of Jiminy Cricket until his death in 2010.

Our friends from Voice Actors in the News received the following message from Laura Leff, president of The International Jack Benny Fan Club, on the morning of Tuesday, April 6th:

Eddie Carroll passed away about an hour ago. Today is also his and Carolyn’s wedding anniversary–47 years. And I read Eddie all the well-wishes that I had received up to about 10PM Pacific Time last night, so he knew that you were thinking of him.
There is a story told by one of the help at Jack’s house that shortly before he passed away, he woke up and said that he had been talking with Lyman Woods (his second vaudeville partner). Jack said that Lyman had shown him the afterlife, and that it was “beautiful”.
I’m sure many of us will want to envision Jack helping Eddie to make his exit to our standing ovation.
–Laura Leff
President, IJBFC

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, Off to Work They Go … To More Than 3,000 Different Disney Jobs

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It takes a village -- more than 58,000 cast members to be exact -- to keep the show going at Walt Disney World Resort. With more than 3,000 different job roles available, it's hard, if not impossible, to find a more diverse group anywhere.
Whether an individual's expertise is in exploring the big blue world at The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion at Epcot or designing topiary Disney characters, there's a place for a staggering array of skill sets within the 40-square-mile Vacation Kingdom. Here are some of the more unique roles:
  • Life is a song at Harmony Barbershop in Magic Kingdom, where licensed cosmetologists perform basic haircuts with a sprinkle of pixie dust. The shop specialty is the first haircut -- a ceremony commemorated with special "First Haircut" Mickey ears and a certificate with a placeholder for a lock of hair -- which barbers perform about 300 times a month. Basic cuts are standard for the older set, but with giant-sized neon scissors and combs on-hand, the barbers guarantee that even a basic 'do is far from ordinary.
  • Seven days a week at 4 p.m., two cast members from the animal programs team at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge transform into safari guides, leading club level resort guests on the Wanyama Safari, a three-hour tour and dinner experience that recreates a true African afternoon game drive. Guides receive in-depth training on the 200 animals housed at the lodge before leading the hour-and-a-half experience through the resort's three savannas. While leading the tour, they dispense insider knowledge about the natural history and management of the animal collection, pointing out as many of the resort's species as possible.
  • Blooms and blossoms abound for topiary artists and designers at Walt Disney World Resort. The creative process begins with a "maquette" -- a wire and clay sculpture of a Disney character -- which is used as a reference for a full-size steel frame created by the team's welders. Designers then stuff the frame with moss, choose the plant material (common choices are Ficus pumila, Moneywart and Alternanthera), and decorate with small individual plants called plugs. Completed topiaries are irrigated, manicured, trimmed, fertilized and transported to locations throughout Walt Disney World property where they grow over time before guests' eyes.
  • It's better down where it's wetter -- or so say the Walt Disney World animal care aquarists, a team of marine scientists who monitor the day-to-day care of the resort's many species of fish, turtles and sea life. The main marine environment, found in the heart of The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion at Epcot, contains 5.7 million gallons of seawater and is home to sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and small fish such as neon gobies and peppermint shrimp. The aquarium team rotates between systems, also working with the leopard sharks, bonnethead sharks, parrotfish and southern stingrays who call Typhoon Lagoon Shark Reef home.
  • At the fingertips of 180 Walt Disney World seamstresses are no less than 1,000 fabrics, 75 shades of thread and more than 800 kinds of buttons. Each day, these materials combine to create and maintain the 15,000 unique entertainment costumes and 15,000 operational garment pieces worn by members of the Walt Disney World cast. And every piece is built from scratch -- one of the most impressive being the "parfait" hat worn in "Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage," which took more than 58 hours of handiwork to create.
  • The Fairy Godmothers-in-Training at Downtown Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique have one goal in mind: turn as many little girls as possible into princesses. The process involves providing head-to-toe makeovers for guests, including Disney-inspired up-do hairstyles, makeup, nails, and for some, full imperial regalia including princess dresses, crowns, wands and shoes. Fairy Godmothers-in-Training must also coach guests in the art of royal behavior, instructing proper technique in the princess wave, curtsy and walk.
  • Adrenaline rushes, pounding heartbeats and full-throttle action are part of a normal workday for the precision drivers at "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" at Disney's Hollywood Studios. More than 20 drivers rotate through a schedule where they perform up to three shows and two tracks per day in one of five European chase cars or three hero cars, all outfitted with a special motorcycle engine for stunt-precision driving. Among the maneuvers the drivers perform are spectacular 180s, 360s, sliding 90s, two-wheel driving and fly-through-the-sky jumps.
The Walt Disney World Resort has a variety of guest service roles available in the theme parks, water parks and resorts throughout the year.

For more information on administrative, professional or technical roles, visit
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