Five years after their last appearance, dinosaurs are returning to Brevard Zoo for a jurassic good time for the whole family. [Read more…]
Filmdom’s favorite ape is about to make his big screen comeback, and visitors to Madame Tussauds wax museums in New York Citycan prepare for the adventure with the exclusive new Kong: Skull Island Experience. [Read more…]
There will be “huge” changes inside some Orlando attractions in the wake of last night’s historic Presidential election, as figures of president-elect Donald Trump are being added to Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents, and Madame Tussauds at the I-Drive 360. [Read more…]
The debut of Islands of Adventure’s newest attraction is swiftly approaching, and Universal Orlando is making fans quake with anticipation by unveiling the first footage of Skull Island’s impressive King Kong animatronic. [Read more…]
The Walt Disney Park & Resorts exhibit at the D23 Expo is one of the must-see areas of the exhibition floor for any Disney theme park fan. Not only does it feature models, artwork, animatronics, and plenty more from upcoming new attractions but each of the areas is staffed by actual Walt Disney Imagineers who have worked on those projects, eager and ready to tell you all about them.
Here is a video tour of the exhibit followed by a photo walkthrough, revealing some new details about upcoming attractions:
Walt Disney Imagineer Kevin Rafferty was on hand yesterday to tell all about the Radiator Springs Racers attraction coming to Disney’s California Adventure. Whether you’re a fan of the Disney/Pixar film “Cars” or not, it sounds to me like you will love this ride.
The roughly 4.5 minute journey will take guests through every element of the film, including a slow drive through the mountains and past a stunning waterfall, a character-filled journey through the town, and culminating in a race against another vehicle over bridges and around tight turns.
Several models from Cars Land are at the Disney Parks & Resorts exhibit, showing the layout of the entire land as well as details from each of its attractions.
Here’s a close-up of two cars traveling through Radiator Springs Racers. The vehicles will be very similar to those found at Test Track in Epcot but with a modified chassis for a more “Cars”-like styling. The vehicles won’t travel as fast as on Test Track, but they will be paired side-by-side in a race. Until the race portion of the ride, the cars will travel individually through the first scenes of the ride. The track will then split off sending guests in opposite directions to prepare for their races.
The characters featured in Radiator Springs Racers are lovingly being referred to as “auto-animatronics.” They each feature animated eyes and a mouth that makes the cars really appear to be talking. One particularly fun moment during the ride will be when Mater, the tow truck, pulls out in front of the guests’ car. Since Mater drives always backwards, he will actually be facing guests and talking to them while driving backwards in front of them.
Audio-animatronics is prominently featured within the Disney Parks & Resorts exhibit. This decades’ old control panel features original sketches drawn directly onto its surface by one of Disney’s animators from the past.
Wall-E made his first public appearance in several months within the Disney Parks & Resorts exhibit. Guests can interact with Wall-E and also get their picture with him.
Lucky the Dinosaur also appears at the Disney Parks & Resorts exhibit when Wall-E isn’t around.
The final section of the Disney Parks & Resorts exhibit is a huge area devoted to the upcoming Hong Kong Disneyland expansion. Mystic Manor, pictured above, has a very large portion of the exhibit area, with many different models and concept art walking guests through the entire ride.
This full ride layout of Mystic Manor shows how Imagineers take their flat drawings and turn them into a 3-dimensional work to get a sense of how everything flows together.
The ride vehicles for Mystic Manor are rather unique and will “float” around the attraction on a trackless system.
We will be bringing much more video and photos from the D23 Expo later today so keep checking back! While there hasn’t been any Orlando-specific news or announcements yet, we certainly plan to hear a few at tomorrow’s Walt Disney Parks and Resorts talk.
Recent rumors that have circulated online point to a new “living” animatronic character that may be showing up soon at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Luxo Jr., the mascot of Pixar Animation Studios, is rumored to be the next installment in Disney’s ongoing Living Character Initiative, joining the company of Lucky the Dinosaur, the Muppet Mobile Lab, and Remy from Ratatouille. Luxo Jr. is the hopping lamp seen in the Pixar logo (pictured above) and in one of their early short films.
A recent construction permit (download here) filing from Disney’s Buena Vista Construction Co. lists an upcoming project as “DHS Luxo at Mania Building,” likely referring to the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction, which opened last year. The attraction is housed in the Pixar Place area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, so Luxo Jr. would certainly fit in with the theme.
Back in Orlando Attractions Magazine Volume 1, Issue 4 (which featured the opening of Toy Story Midway Mania) we offered readers a hint that something like this would be coming soon:
In talking about Pixar Place, Creative Director for Pixar’s Theme Parks Group [Roger Gould] said “And then we have another thing that’s getting added later that will be even more fun. It’s kind of a companion to Mr. Potato Head, but I really can’t say more now.” When asked it it was another Audio-Animatronic, Gould just laughed.
It now appears that Luxo Jr. is likely what Gould was referring to in our interview.
Update 6/1/2009: The Orlando Sentinel newspaper has confirmed with Disney, Luxo Jr. is coming to Hollywood Studios.
As a follow-up to our previous post about Ratatouille‘s Remy the cooking rat appearing at Epcot’s Les Chefs de France restaurant, Disney has provided us with this video of “Chef Remy” in action: