After weeks of technical rehearsals and a celebrity-studded ribbon cutting at the attraction this morning, the new Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is now open at Universal Studios Florida. [Read more…]
Give Kids The World Village cut the ribbon on their new 24-unit Banyan Park Villas earlier this month, and the expansion is allowing even more families to stay at the nonprofit resort for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Banyan Park Villas, the latest expansion of the 79-acre property, joins Give Kids The World Village’s existing 144 units, allowing the facility to accommodate about 1,300 more families each year during their cost-free, weeklong vacations. The project features the Village’s first three-story building and also includes GKTW’s first three-bedroom units, designed to more comfortably house larger families.
In recent years, Give Kids The World Village has experienced a steady increase in demand to fulfill wishes to visit Central Florida’s theme parks and other attractions. Working with about 240 wish granting organizations around the world, GKTW hosts nearly 8,000 wish children and their families annually. More than 27,000 children each year are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses the United States.
“At the Village, we try to give our precious families experiences they’ll never forget, whether that’s ice cream for breakfast or a special tuck-in after a long day at the theme parks,” said Pamela Landwirth, president and CEO of Give Kids The World Village. “We are thrilled we’ll be able to help even more families create those memories and deeply grateful to the partners and friends who made this exciting expansion possible.”
This first phase of Banyan Park – two other phases are planned — was built through donations from corporate partners and individuals, including Orlando hotelier Harris Rosen, Brighton Hotel Management and GKTW board member Cathy Nash and Macauley Nash.
The building was designed by Benjamin Butera of Butera Designs, and construction took place over a year under general contractor Welbro Building Corporation. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts was instrumental in designing the units and securing furniture. Central Moving & Storage delivered and installed the furniture. And Lisa Schott of Quietly Making Noise designed the building’s soundproofing. In addition, New York City-based artist group Splashes of Hope created a mural that spans the building’s three stories, depicting iconic venues found throughout the Village.
For more information on Give Kids The World Village visit GiveKidsTheWorld.org, and watch this video from earlier in 2016 celebrating the Village’s 30th anniversary:
The largest expansion in Magic Kingdom’s history, New Fantasyland, is officially open. After five years of development and construction, the expansion adds a new dark ride, restaurant, tavern and unique meet and greet experiences. [Read more…]
After Storck, the makers of Werther’s Original Caramels, shot a commercial in the Germany Pavilion at Epcot in which they made-over one of the storefronts to look like their original shop, they decided “why not make a real store here?” And so they did. Storck held the grand opening of Karamell-Kuche on Oct. 26, 2010. It’s their first and only freestanding retail location in the world. [Read more…]
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure had its grand opening this morning in Innoventions West at Epcot. The attraction is presented by T. Rowe Price.
Pictured above with Mickey Mouse are, from left, Epcot Vice President Dan Cockerell, T. Rowe Price Chairman and CIO Brian Rogers, T. Rowe vice chairman Price Edward Bernard, and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Vice President and CFO Jim Hunt.
Here’s a video of the grand opening ceremony, including interviews with Cockerell and Bernard and a look at the different interactive stations featured throughout The Great Piggy Bank adventure:
After choosing a dream goal, players go through three different interactive stations where they direct coins into savings and away from spending buckets via a touch screen, move levers to ride the currents and capture falling coins before they’ve been reduced in value by the evil wolf and his sinister inflation machine, and spread their coins around hiding places as they try to avoid the wolf and learn the value of diversification. Along the way, players are guided by a talking piggy bank who offers guidance and education to reinforce the lessons and help them collect enough coins to reach their goal.
The thorough decorations featured within the new exhibit makes it clear that small and simple are words that will no longer be used to describe attractions inside Innoventions. The Great Piggy Bank adventure is packed with plenty of cute pink piggy banks integrated into its design. It’s unfortunate that, in the end, the piggy bank that guests carry between game stations must be surrendered. I’m sure there will be plenty of children (and maybe a few adults) that will want to take the piggy banks home.
For more information about The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, check our previous post.