Sunday, January 13, 2013

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom is the fourth of four theme parks built at the Walt Disney World Resort  and opened on April 22, 1998. It is the largest single Disney theme park in the world, covering more than 500 acres (200 ha), and is also the first Disney theme park to be themed entirely around animal conservation, a philosophy once pioneered by Walt Disney himself.

The park is represented by The Tree of Life, a sculpted 145 feet (44 m), 50-foot-wide (15 m) artificial tree.

A swirling tapestry of 325 animals is carved into the bark of this massive attraction.

Camp Minnie-Mickey is themed as a rustic summer camp and serves as a meet-and-greet for Disney characters, including Minnie Mouse, and Chip ‘n’ Dale.

Camp Minnie-Mickey's main theater is home to the Festival of the Lion King, a live stage show featuring acrobatics and musical performances inspired by The Lion King.

DinoLand’s TriceraTop Spin, a dinosaur-themed version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant at the Magic Kingdom.

Kilimanjaro Safaris features numerous African animals freely roaming through acres of savanna, rivers and rocky hills.

Looming in the distance is the Forbidden Mountain, the home of Expedition Everest, a roller coaster ride through the Himalayas where passengers will encounter a Yeti.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios, originally Disney-MGM Studios, is the third of four theme parks built at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. The theme park opened on May 1, 1989.

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Set in the fictional Star Wars universe, The Adventures Continue ride is set between the events of the movies Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The attraction opened on May 20, 2011 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

At the beginning of the ride, the Rebel spy's identity is chosen by the cast member operating the ride vehicle from among the guests on the attraction, and their picture is presented during the ride. Our very own “Princess Léah” was chosen from the 40 guests in our ride vehicle! (I believe they felt The Force is strong in our Léah.)

As you exit Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, there is a “Build Your Own Lightsaber” kiosk. Our young Padawan, Gabriel, was ready to design and build his dream Jedi weapon.

The American Idol Experience

The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios Theme Park offers you the chance to watch, perform, and vote for favorite singers.

The Avengers monorail

We took the “Avengerail” to Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the glossy black wrap is quite stunning in person, contrasted by the colorful Avengers characters: the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Thor, with lightning bolts extending toward the back with “The Avengers” logo.

Disney is promoting The Avengers because they have owned Marvel since 2009. Disney and Marvel’s highly-anticipated “The Avengers” hit theaters on May 4, 2012 and became the third highest grossing film of all time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Disney’s Art of Animation

Disney’s Art of Animation resort is designed "with families in mind." It features four of Disney's popular character themes: Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. Much like the other Disney Value Resorts, giant versions of various items are built around the hotel on each of the ten wings, such as a 35-foot (11 m) model of King Triton.

Finding Nemo

The Finding Nemo section of the resort is themed with the ocean setting featured in the film, with underwater plant and animal decorations throughout the buildings. In “The Big Blue Pool”, guests can splash alongside Nemo, Crush, the jellyfish, and other ocean friends. Walt Disney Imagineering really thought of everything in planning this under-the-sea adventure – they even have audio piped into the pool that guests can hear when they are under the water.


The Cars section of the resort is themed like the Cozy Cone Motel that was featured in the film. Resort buildings are themed with the movie's characters, including Lightning McQueen, Sally, Mater, and Luigi and Guido.

The Lion King

The Lion King section of the resort features a "natural" setting, such as that found in the wild.

The Little Mermaid

"Under the Sea" decorations are incorporated throughout this section of the resort.

The Art of Animation 

Disney's Art of Animation Resort doesn't just celebrate four great animated movies, it also highlights the act of animation itself. This is reflected in the sketchbook motif and simple line drawings on the building exteriors.

The resort’s lobby boasts decor that reflects animation in various stages, from pencil sketch to final product.

In the lobby, there is a light fixture which includes pencil sketches of “The Little Mermaid”, “The Lion King”, and more. A fine eye will notice a John Lasseter signature on one of the “Cars” sketches.