Monday, August 27, 2012

Summary of Live Test Track Chat with Disney Imagineer

Earlier this afternoon the Disney Parks Blog hosted a live chat with Imagineer Melissa Jeseinick to discuss the new Test Track that will open in the late Fall of this year (no exact date yet).

Below is a summary of her comments - much of it is direct from her, word for word, and we have linked together a few conversations that go together for the ease of reading.

The first item that was shown was a piece of new concept art showing the new marquee:

Then Melissa went on to explain various questions, here is the summary:

In the “studio”, an interactive design kiosk in the queue, you will have a chance to design your own concept vehicle. That design follows you into the ride, which is still the same physical ride that you know and love (the same track). You'll ride in a sim car. As you move through the space, your custom design will be scored in areas such as Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Speed.  Capability is where your car is tested for rough road and weather conditions. Efficiency tests your car design's environmental footprint. The Responsiveness phase tests maneuverability, and finally, Speed is tested.  You start from a line, shape your vehicle and add attributes-pick colors, the tires, “make it your dream vehicle.”

Single Riders and FastPass lines allow for an expedited queue experience-you select a custom vehicle to take with you instead.

Everybody in the vehicle will have their ride design, whether they designed individually or as a group. As you move through the four groups, you'll see how the design stacked up against the sim car design.

Inside the attraction building there will be a lot of new technology used to tell the story.  All new custom software, the guest will be at the center of the experience.  

The pre-show and post-show are also integrated.  Your vehicle travels through the entire experience with you, and you can keep interacting with your ride vehicle after the attraction.

The post-show will start with a scoring opportunity, not just with the guests in your car, but guests throughout the day. From there, you move into other opportunities to play with your design with multiple interactive elements. The show room space will still be there with the Chevrolet cars, and there will be photo ops with different concept cars.  Some of the things that will be displayed have never been shown outside of Chevrolet.  

We are a bit baffled by what kind of technology will allow for a custom sim car for EVERY person in the ride vehicle regardless if you designed as a group or individually.  Perhaps some sort of project technology similar to World of Color or the Magic, Memories and You!?  Or perhaps something ala old school virtual technology head-gear?  What do you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reservations for Be Our Guest Restaurant open on August 20th!

It’s almost time! You can make reservations for Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom® Park beginning at noon on Aug. 20 by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

You can make reservations up to 180 days out – the very first seating will be for dinner on Nov. 19 – by calling 407-WDW-DINE (3463), or visiting any Walt Disney World® Guest Relations Theme Park location or Guest Services desk at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Online reservations will be available beginning on Aug. 22. at

On the Disney Dining Plan, Be Our Guest is one quick-service entitlement for lunch, and one table-service restaurant entitlement for dinner. When booking a reservation, you will be required to provide a credit card number in advance and they will be charged $10.00 per person if a cancellation isn’t made at least one day in advance. This helps ensure that more Guests can enjoy the dining experiences available at Walt Disney World Resort restaurants.

Located at the base of the mountain below Beast’s castle, this themed venue transports diners to the magical world of “Beauty and the Beast.” Lunch is quick and casual (no reservations required), with Guest-activated terminals that make ordering a snap (there also will be traditional cashiers for cash orders and special dietary requests). Once you have ordered, simply take a seat and lunch will be delivered to your table – on china, not paper. Dinner is table service.

Cuisine is French inspired to match the hit animated film’s theme. Dinner selections include the usual favorites like steak, poultry and fish; but with a French flair befitting of the environment. Grilled strip steak with pommes frites (French fries), French onion soup and thyme-scented pork chop are just a few of the things found on the dinner menu. For lunch, you will be able to enjoy salads like the tuna Nicoise and sandwiches such as the Croque Monsieur (ham and cheese) and grilled steak sandwich with garlic butter spread. There will also be heartier fare, like braised pork and vegetable quiche.

The restaurant features three themed dining rooms: the mysterious West Wing with the “enchanted rose;” the Rose Gallery with twirling, larger-than-life figures of Belle and Beast; and The Ballroom with elegant details, such as a domed ceiling, twinkling chandeliers and glimpses of softly falling snow outside.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Preview & Grand Opening Dates Set for the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Late afternoon some very exciting news broke - a date that you will want to add to your calendar!

As we have reported here, Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World is nearly doubling in size with several new attractions. The date everyone has been looking for was announced yesterday...the Grand Opening will be December 6, 2012 with previews beginning November 19.

Attractions slated to make their debuts:
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major attraction where guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the film. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney “dark ride” with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean’s surface. Once “under the sea,” guests will find themselves immersed in the story of “The Little Mermaid,” sharing Ariel’s adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along. The fun continues at “Ariel’s Grotto,” a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.
  • The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill across an old stone bridge from Ariel’s new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle’s Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
  • Just outside the village is Belle’s cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice’s workshop, where a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: guests will be transported to the Beast’s library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”

Beyond 2012, there’s more in store for Fantasyland guests:
  • Located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home for visiting royalty in the Magic Kingdom. The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows, opening up into a large gallery – an airy space with a high ceiling, where portraits of the Disney princesses adorn the walls. When it’s time for their audience with a princess, guests will proceed to elegantly finished rooms to meet Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel (2013).
  • The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs (2014).

If you'd like to visit Walt Disney World for this exciting occasion, be sure to contact us today! There is a Free Dining discount out near these dates that just might make your trip even more sweet!