Here’s a sampling of what’s in store at the Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays. [Read more…]
Here’s a sampling of what’s in store at the Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays. [Read more…]
The Polar Express Experience has rolled into SeaWorld this holiday season and will continuing through Jan. 4, 2009. SeaWorld’s Wild Arctic has been transformed into the fabled Santa Town taking guests on a magical trip to the North Pole.
The Polar Express Experience is based on the Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment film, inspired by the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. Classic scenes from the movie are recreated in a multi-sensory experience immersing passengers in special lighting, scent, sound and motion effects. Upon arrival guests find themselves within a winter wonderland surrounded by holiday cheer, beluga whales, polar bears and giant walruses.
Across the way, just as the evening stars appear, families can join Shamu for a magnificent holiday show: Shamu Christmas … Miracles. This special showing runs nightly through Dec. 30. Shamu Stadium will illuminate with bright lights and glowing candles as Shamu splashes to celebrate the holiday season.
Dazzling families for the holidays this year at SeaWorld’s Bayside Stadium is the Orlando Philharmonic. From Dec. 26 through Dec. 30, jovial scores from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, The Polar Express will fill the air. After the concert, an array of fireworks will paint the night sky.
While strolling around SeaWorld’s lake or through The Waterfront’s holiday-themed gift shops and restaurants, families can wander along a winter scene as snow flurries fill the air and fountains dance to the sounds of Christmas.
Also igniting the spirit of the season is the Makahiki Christmas Luau, a South Seas-style festive celebration including island cuisine keeping with the ancient holiday traditions of the Pacific Islands. Songs of the season are reinterpreted with Polynesian rhythms, music and dance. Makahiki Christmas Luau continues through Jan. 4, 2009 (except Dec. 25). Park admission is not required. Prices for the holiday Luau are $46 for adults and $29 for children (ages 3-9)
Click Here to see our holiday photos from SeaWorld last year.
The life-size gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season. The house is constructed each fall in the lobby of the Walt Disney World resort hotel and is decorated almost totally with edible materials under the direction of Executive Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek.
The house opened a couple of mornings ago to a long line of guests, and will operate daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through December.
The gingerbread house is a working bake shop with cast members selling edible treats including cookies, lollipops, gingerbread ornaments, chocolate Disney characters, miniature gingerbread houses, traditional Stollen bread and more. Items range from $2.50 for a large chocolate cookie to $75 for a signature chocolate box with truffles.
Here’s a brief idea of what goes into making the edible decor:
• 1,050 lbs. of honey
• 800 lbs. of flour
• 600 lbs. of chocolate
• 600 lbs. of powdered sugar
• 180 lbs. of apricot glaze
• 140 pints of egg whites
• 35 lbs. of spices
It takes Grand Floridian cast members more than two months and 840 hours of labor to produce, cut and bake the 5,089 “shingles” used to decorate the gingerbread house. Over the years, it has been featured on the Travel Channel, Food Network and numerous other outlets.
In true Disney fashion, the house also contains several hidden Mickeys placed there by the bakery team.
A ribbon-cutting for the 10th anniversary, along with the release of a limited-edition trading pin, will take place Friday at 1 p.m. Chef Erich will be on hand to sign the pin and Disney cookbooks.
The ABC-SOAPnet Super Soap Weekend was held today and yesterday (Nov. 15-16, 2008) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Fans got a chance to see their favorite ABC soap stars up close during many different events.
In addition to autograph signings, they also held celebrity motorcades down Hollywood Boulevard to the stage set up in front of the sorcerer’s hat, where they conducted interviews. Also a part of the weekend was a casting call game where fans could act out scenes with the stars, and a game show that pitted stars of the different shows and their fans against each other. The Soap Central area inside the ABC Commissary not only had Super Soap merchandise for sale but actual props and clothing used on the shows.
This year is the last Super Soap Weekend as ABC’s Daytime Division embarks on the 2009 Soap Nation Tour, a series of nationwide events designed for interaction with fans on a year-round basis. Many fans in attendance wore “Save Super Soap Weekend” shirts and some of the stars also expressed their disappointment and hope that it will return again sometime in the future.
Below is a quick video we shot of Susan Lucci (All My Children) coming down the street with Minnie Mouse and being introduced by Sherri Shepherd of The View. There’s also a quick clip of four stars from One Life To Live in a motorcade.
For more than 60 pictures from the weekend, visit our Photo Gallery section.
Here’s a look at the new meet and greet characters from the upcoming Disney movie Bolt. You can meet Bolt and Mittens (and get a photo and autograph) inside The Magic of Disney Animation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Rhino the hamster will also be making appearances at special events.
For more about Bolt, visit www.Disney.go.com/BOLT.
Here’s a quick video of tonight’s nighttime Space Shuttle Endeavour launch as seen over a lake near Walt Disney World.
The video, shot with a pocket still camera, is not quite up to our regular standards – but it’s good enough to get an idea of what a night launch looks like from Orlando.
For more information on shuttle launches and the best spots to see them, check out the June/July 2008 issue of Orlando Attractions Magazine.
At Islands of Adventure, The Grinch and The Whos from Whoville will sing their hearts out about the true meaning of Christmas in the park’s special holiday Grinchmas show – featuring music specially created by holiday music sensation Mannheim Steamroller.
Just one park over, guests will line the streets of Universal Studios to see the larger than life Macy’s balloons and floats that make up the Macy’s Holiday Parade along with special performances by marching bands from across the country.
It’s the holidays at Universal – and Grinchmas, the Macy’s Holiday Parade and other special events will run from Dec. 6 through Jan. 1.
Universal will kick off the holiday season this year with live performances by Christmas music mega-sensation Mannheim Steamroller, who will perform two live concerts at Universal Studios on Saturday, Dece. 6. The Grammy Award-winning, platinum-selling group will play songs created specifically for the resort’s original holiday stage show How the Grinch Stole Christmas, as well as brand-new music from their newly released album Christmasville. Founder Chip Davis will join Mannheim Steamroller in his only scheduled appearance of the holiday season.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Universal Orlando Resort for their holiday celebration,” said Chip Davis, founder of Mannheim Steamroller. “We are looking forward to performing some of our classic hits, as well as new material, for park guests.”
The concerts will take place at 6 and 8 p.m. in the New York area and are included in park admission to Universal Studios.
At Islands of Advenure, the popular Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas is brought to life in Grinchmas, a live stage show featuring an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. During the show, six songs are performed by a live cast, including The Grinch and The Whos from Whoville. As a part of the Grinchmas celebration, guests will also have the opportunity to meet The Grinch.
Next door at Universal Studios, the world-renowned balloons and floats from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade return. Guests can experience the excitement of the New York City tradition as the Macy’s Holiday Parade cruises through the streets of the park. In addition to the parade, guests can enjoy performances by marching bands from across the country, a nightly Christmas tree lighting, as well as specially themed holiday shows including The Blues Brothers, Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone and Barney.
“With the heart-warming story of Grinchmas and the excitement of the Macy’s Holiday Parade, we have brought together two of the most beloved and compelling holiday experiences in our culture,” said Jim Timon, senior vice president of entertainment for Universal Orlando Resort.
The celebration continues at Universal Orlando’s three on-site hotels – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort – all of which will glisten with holiday decorations. Hotel guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with carolers, tree-lighting ceremonies, holiday movie presentations and special holiday menus.
For more information on Universal Orlando’s holiday celebration and special theme park savings and offers, guests can visit www.UniversalOrlando.com/Holidays.
Cypress Gardens is offering $10 admission per person, per day today, Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 14-16, 2008). All Cypress Gardens logo merchandise will be 75 percent off with everything else priced at 50 percent off throughout the weekend. As previously reported, this is your last opportunity to enjoy the rides and Nature’s Way sections of the park before they are closed.
At 10 a.m. on Sunday, park guests can stroll through the Gardens’ Splash Island water park and see over a hundred corvette models ranging from 1953 to 2008. Guests will also be able to enjoy some of the biggest hits of the ’50s and ’60s in the amphitheater starting with the Coasters at 1 p.m. and the Original Drifters at 3:30 p.m.
Walking With Dinosaurs – The Live Experience is being performed at the Amway Arena in downtown Orlando through Sunday, Nov. 16. We had a chance to see the show last night and have uploaded a Photo Gallery from the first half of the show.
Click Here to see the full photo gallery.
Walking With Dinosaurs is based on the award-winning BBC Television Series. The show originated in Australia, where it came to life at Sydney’s Acer Arena in January 2007. Ten species are represented from the entire 200 million year reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the tyrannosaurus rex as well as the plateosaurus and liliensternus from the triassic period, the stegosaurus and allosaurus from the Jurassic Period and torosaurus and utahraptor from the awesome Cretaceous. The largest of them, the brachiosaurus is 36-feet-tall, and 56 feet from nose to tail. Tickets range from $27.50 to $65 and the show runs about and hour and 40 minutes with a 20-minute intermission in between.
For more information, future tour dates and places and tickets, visit www.dinosaurlive.com.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Verizon are teaming up for a multi-year relationship designed to enhance the guest experience – before, during and after guests arrive at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. This alignment allows guests to have a “personal tour guide” right in their wireless phones along with new services at the parks. Early next year guests will also use Verizon Wireless’ technology when experiencing Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, an interactive attraction coming to Epcot.
Beginning next year, guests will be able to access an array of features on their Verizon Wireless phones while at the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort. Planned services include an exclusive mobile application that will give guests with Verizon Wireless service the ability to easily locate shows, restaurants and the Disney characters anywhere inside the parks; get real-time attraction availability information; access mobile games; receive messages from characters and more.
While Verizon Wireless customers will have exclusive access to an array of enhanced features, Disney and Verizon are also working to ensure that some mobile information such as dining locations, show times and locations will be available to all parks visitors, regardless of their wireless company.
“With more than 90 percent of families bringing a mobile phone into our parks, our objective was to enhance the magical Disney experience through innovative wireless technology,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Imagine receiving up to the minute tips on special park activities with just the touch of a button or receiving a call from Buzz Lightyear welcoming you to the Magic Kingdom.”
In addition, guests visiting Epcot in early 2009 will be among the first to experience Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure. The interactive attraction invites guests of all ages to team up with members of Team Possible to save the world from various comical villains and their mad inventions. Armed with an official Verizon Wireless “Kimmunicator,” guests will use these handheld devices to help maneuver through the mission.
The agreement between Disney and Verizon is another step in a series of new initiatives that highlight the latest technologies from Disney Parks and Resorts with a continued focus on improving guest experience and providing immersive entertainment. From the time guests begin planning their vacation using Walt Disney World Resort in 3D on Google Earth or tuning into Disney Travel on Demand, the experience is designed to make their lives easier. Guests can take their vacation experience to a new level with Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure and by personalizing and sharing their Disney experiences when they return home, using DisneyLink, a desktop application.