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November 2012 Archives

November 10, 2012

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – 2012

Jack Masthead


This will be the fourth year I have covered Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP). However, I skipped last year because I needed a break from all the yuletide festivities. LOL. If you've read my previous blogs on the subject, you'll notice that the event doesn't change much from year to year. But that doesn't stop MVMCP from being a favorite of many people. This seasonal event is a "must do" for many families. They wouldn't dream of missing it.

MVMCP is held at the Magic Kingdom on selected nights between November and December. During these evenings, the park offers special theming and shows intended to entertain the entire family. But before I start with a detailed description of MVMCP, let's take care of some logistics and answer the inevitable questions.

MVMCP is a "hard ticketed" event. This means you must purchase a separate admission ticket to attend. Your super-duper, all inclusive, park-hopper, Magic Your Way Ticket is NOT good for MVMCP. You MUST buy a separate admission ticket. Tickets can be purchased online, at any guest relations window, or at the TTC ticket booths.

Here are this year's dates and prices:



Friday, November 9, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $58.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $53.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax



Friday, November 16, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax



Friday, December 21, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $67.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $62.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $67.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $62.95 + tax



Disney limits attendance at these parties so in theory, the Magic Kingdom should be less crowded than usual. However, I have heard from readers who claim that sell-out nights are busy and many attractions have significant lines. I experienced this myself on opening night as it was a sold-out party. To give you an example, people were lining up for the parade on Main Street two hours before the event. Note, the closer you get to Christmas, the busier the party will be. The above prices should give you a clue. The more expensive the ticket, the busier the night. The parties are identical every night so it really doesn't matter what day you attend. You might want to keep this in mind when scheduling.

This next piece of information is very important.

MVMCP and all of the special events, shows, and parades run from 7pm till midnight. However, you may enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm with your MVMCP ticket. If you call Disney and try to verify this, they will be evasive. All they will tell you is the "official" hours are 7pm till midnight. But trust me; you can enter as early as 4pm. I've entered at 4pm every year and I did it again this year on opening night.

Disney allows early entrance for a reason. Since the party is only five hours in length, they know that if they didn't stagger the opening, they would be inundated with everyone arriving at the same time. They could not handle this onslaught of people in an efficient manner. By allowing guest admission starting at 4pm, it balances out the arriving crowd.

When you pass through the turnstiles, you will be given a wristband. This will distinguish you from the "daytime" guests. The Magic Kingdom will cease its normal operating hours at 7pm. At that time, the cast members will restrict access to the various lands. Only those with wristbands will be allowed on rides, in shops, and in restaurants. Those without wristbands will be asked to leave the park. Note, the wristbands change color from party to party to discourage gate crashers.


Wrist Band

Wrist Band


In past years, I have received a number of letters from readers complaining that Disney does not remove all of the "day" guests from the park -- and I'm at a loss on how to respond to your comments. All I can tell you is that Disney does the best they can. As far as I'm concerned, the cast members get a great big "A" in my grade book. At this year's event, I saw several cast members checking for wristbands on those waiting for the parade and shows. Guests without were asked to leave.

Is it fair that the couple waiting next to you for the Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade didn't pay to see it? Of course not. But you have a choice. You can either let these cheaters irritate you and allow them to ruin your night, or you can forget about it and have a good time. However, if you're not able to release on this, then complain at City Hall. I cannot help you with this situation. Please note, if you send me a comment that contains references to this situation, I will either delete the reference or not publish your comment at all.

Some people want to spend the entire day at the Magic Kingdom, including MVMCP in the evening - and that's fantastic. Of course, you will need two tickets to do this - your general admission ticket and your MVMCP ticket. Sometime after 4pm, you will need to get a wristband. To do this, you can either return to the main entrance or visit the FastPass area at Stitch's Great Escape in Tomorrowland. The cast members here will process your party ticket and give you a wristband.


Wrist Band

Wrist Band

Wrist Band


If you find you're in the park on a party night and don't have a MVMCP ticket, but want to honestly partake in the events, you can purchase a ticket at City Hall if the party is not sold out.


City Hall


Most, but not all of the rides and restaurants will be up and running during MVMCP. Be sure to pick up a guide map when you arrive. It will contain all sorts of needed information. Here is a list of what will be available:

Adventureland

Swiss Family Treehouse
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Splash Mountain

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café
Westward Ho
Frontierland Turkey Leg Cart
Frontierland Churro Wagon

Liberty Square

Haunted Mansion

Sleepy Hollow

Tomorrowland

Astro Orbiter
Buzz Lightyear's Ranger Spin
Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor
Space Mountain
Stitch's Great Escape
Tomorrowland Speedway
Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
The Lunching Pad

Fantasyland

"it's a small world"
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Mad Tea Party
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Peter Pan's Flight
Prince Charming Royal Carousel
The Barnstormer
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Storybook Treats Ice Cream
Pinocchio Village Haus (open until 8pm)

New Fantasyland

It is Disney's intention to have portions of the New Fantasyland open to guests during MVMCP. HOWEVER, this area is still in "Dress Rehearsal" mode and there are no guarantees it will be open on the night you visit. In addition, the "Be Our Guest" restaurant MAY be open for dinner. Online reservations are NOT available. Guest wishing to eat here must check in at the counter located in front of the restaurant to see if tables are available.


Dress Rehersal Sign

Be Our Guest Podium


Okay. Now that we have the logistics out of the way, let's have some fun.

The merriment begins at the TTC where signs welcome us to the event (or not).


TTC Signs

TTC Signs

TTC Signs


Upon arriving at the Magic Kingdom, more signs and poinsettia trees greet us as we approach Bag Check.


Poinsettia Trees


Disney has come up with a special cast member costume just for this party. Here we have two of Santa's helpers sporting the latest in Christmas fashion.


Cast Member Holiday Costume


Main Street is where you find the bulk of the holiday decorations. Its Victorian architecture lends itself perfectly to this time of year. And don't forget to check out the windows. Many of them have been made over for the holidays. You might even discover snow falling from the sky as you walk this famous thoroughfare.


Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations


Note, the Christmas tree is not placed in Town Square until after the Christmas Parade has been filmed sometime in early December.

Although Christmas merchandise is available at WDW year round, you'll find even more holiday decorations than normal in many of the shops.


Christmas Merchandise

Christmas Merchandise

Christmas Merchandise

Christmas Merchandise


On The Hub you'll discover a number of poinsettias trees and in Adventureland, lights add a snowflake design to the pavement.


Poinsettias Trees

Sidewalk Snowflakes


At 6:15 each night, the Castle Lighting Ceremony takes place. On the castle stage, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy argue how to best decorate this imposing structure. When an impasse seems certain, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother appears and leaves the decision up to Cinderella who wishes it to be covered in ice. The Fairy Godmother then waves her magic wand and the castle comes to life in thousands of sparkling lights.

Since this show takes place before MVMCP officially begins, it is available for all guests to enjoy.


Castle Lighting Ceremony

Castle Lighting Ceremony

Castle Lighting Ceremony


At 7pm, a park-wide announcement is made informing everyone that the party has begun. At this time, the regular background music is discontinued and Christmas music is played throughout the park. Of course, it's all themed accordingly. The holiday tunes in Frontierland have a western tone while the music in Adventureland is tropical in nature.

MVMCP features two Character Dance Parties. The first takes place at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café in Tomorrowland and is called "Club Tinsel." At precisely 7pm, Sonny Eclipse ascends to the heavens and an energized DJ and a sparkling stage appear from the depths below. The DJ is quite animated and leads Goofy, Pluto, kids, and their parents in an easy to follow line-dance.


Club Tinsel

Club Tinsel

Club Tinsel

Club Tinsel


The other Character Dance Party takes place at the Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square. At "Woody's Hootin' Holiday Open House," Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye kick up their heels as a western DJ keeps things moving.


Woody's Hootin' Holiday Open House

Woody's Hootin' Holiday Open House

Woody's Hootin' Holiday Open House

Woody's Hootin' Holiday Open House

Woody's Hootin' Holiday Open House


Throughout the park, a number of character meet-&-greet areas can be found.


Character Meet-&-Greet

Character Meet-&-Greet

Character Meet-&-Greet


Of course, the most popular meet-&-greet spot is located next to City Hall. At Candy Cane Garden you can meet ol' Saint Nick and let him know exactly what you want for Christmas.


Candy Cane Garden

Santa Clause


Throughout the park, cookies and cocoa are handed out by Santa's helpers. These locations are marked by large, lit balloons. This is an all-you-can-eat proposition and there is no additional charge. Note, the hours vary from spot to spot. This information is available on your guide map, but I'll repeat it here.

The Crystal Palace: 9pm - 11pm
Sunshine Tree Terrace - 7pm - midnight
Columbia Harbour House: 7pm - midnight
Pinocchio Village Haus: 7pm - 10:30pm
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café: 8pm - midnight
Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant: 7pm - 12:30am


Cookies & Cocoa

Cookies & Cocoa

Cookies & Cocoa


MVMCP features two stage shows. "Celebrate the Season" takes place on the Castle Stage and features Mickey and the gang along with a few high-steppin' dancers performing to some of your favorite Christmas tunes. This show is presented at 7:45pm, 10:05pm, and 11:20pm. Arrive early as this is a popular production.


Celebrate the Season

Celebrate the Season

Celebrate the Season

Celebrate the Season

Celebrate the Season

Celebrate the Season


Over on the Tomorrowland Stage, "A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show" is presented at 7:45pm, 8:45pm, 9:55pm, 10:50pm, and 11:45pm. This cosmic encounter stars Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski, and Stitch. Once again, an energetic group of singers and dancers help out with the festivities.


A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show


The highlight for most folks attending MVMCP is "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade" and "Holiday Wishes - Celebrate the Spirit of the Season" fireworks display. The parade is presented twice nightly at 8:15pm and 10:30pm and is 20 minutes in length. I can't stress enough, attend the second showing. During the first parade, the attraction lines are significantly shorter. In addition, you can usually snag a good spot to view the parade in Liberty Square or Frontierland just minutes before the second parade begins.


Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade


The fireworks show is presented at 9:30pm. Holiday music and pyrotechnics are synchronized into a dazzling holiday treat that always coaxes a few ooos and aaaws from the audience. This show is best viewed from The Hub or on Main Street.


Holiday Wishes - Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

Holiday Wishes - Celebrate the Spirit of the Season


I have filmed the parade and the fireworks display for you and they can be viewed below.

Parade



Fireworks



To view this year's guide map, click here.

That's it for my overview of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. This is a holiday tradition for many and party nights often sell out. If attending is something you're thinking about, plan accordingly.

Check out the AllEars Holidays Around the World pages for all that is happening this holiday season!


November 12, 2012

Cast Member Service Anniversary Event

Jack Spence Masthead


Today's blog is going to be a little different. Instead of highlighting some attraction, shop, or restaurant, I'm going to take a look at a "backstage" cast member event. Back in July, I wrote an article about getting a job at Walt Disney World and what to expect. In that article I described both the good and bad aspects of working at WDW and some of the perks received. This article will highlight one of the perks.

Once a year (usually in November), Disney honors all of their WDW cast members who have achieved 10, 15, 20, 25, etc. years of service with the company. It's their way of thanking their employees for the outstanding job they have done over the years. This last February, my friend Donald reached 20 years of service and invited me to be his guest at this year's event to be held on November 8th. After experiencing this gala night, I thought all of you might enjoy reliving it through my eyes. So here goes.

Several months before the event, all honorees received an invitation in the mail. Inside the trifold card were instructions, dress codes, driving directions, and more.


Cast Member Invitation

Cast Member Invitation


This year's event was held at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The park was closed that day to regular guests at 4pm. This would give the Special Events team two and half hours to transform the park from its normal appearance into a grand banquet and entertainment venue.

This year, those celebrating 20 years or more were to park at the Studio. Those celebrating 10 and 15 years were to park at Epcot where they would be bussed to the event. To make sure no one had misunderstood where to park, Disney placed electronic signboards on all the major roadways leading to the Studio with instructions. As Donald was celebrating 20 years of service, we parked at the Studio.

As guests approached the ticket booths, huge balloons welcomed everyone to the event. Large tables contained special nametags and illuminated lanyards for the honorees. After we picked up Donald's we proceeded to the turnstiles and waited for 6:30 to arrive.


Balloon

Table

Name Tag

Lanyard

Lanyard

Lanyard


Once the gates opened, everyone proceeded into the park. In the forecourt, searchlights were scanning the sky in true Hollywood fashion. A red carpet lined the entire length of Hollywood Boulevard. Cast members lined both sides of the street, applauding, cheering, and congratulating the honorees as they took the "walk of fame."


Walk of Fame


Other cast members were on hand passing out glasses of champagne. And if you couldn't find a cast member, there was a table full just waiting for the thirsty party-goers.


Champagne

Champagne


Almost every walkway and thoroughfare in the park had been lined with tables and chairs for guests to enjoy food and drink. It was truly magical to sit and relax at a table beneath the Osborne Christmas lights and not worry about fighting the throngs of guests that normally occupy this space. Here are pictures of Animation Courtyard, Sorcerer's Hat area, Pixar Place, Streets of America, and Sunset Boulevard.


Animation Courtyard

Sorcerer's Hat area

Pixar Place

Streets of America

Sunset Boulevard


Food and drink tables were everywhere. And lines were practically nonexistent as Disney had set up so many opportunities for indulging. Let me give you a rundown of the menu.

Shrimp & Dip with Cocktail Sauce and Key Lime Dip (These were the largest shrimp I have ever seen in my life - they were huge.)

Raw Vegetables with Avocado Dip

Roasted Ruskin Tomato Soup

Artisan Cheeses

Fisherman's Pie with Maine Lobster, Crab, and Calamari

Roasted Sustainable Mahi

Sea Salt Grilled Flatbread

Asian BBQ Chicken Breast

Chimichurri Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Seared Lamb Chops

Sushi

Lobster on a Stick (20 year service honorees and above)

Various pastas and cooked vegetables as side dishes

Dessert tables


Table of Food

Table of Food

Table of Food

Table of Food

Table of Food

Table of Food

Plate of Food


There was an abundance of food, even in the late hours of the event. Disney wasn't going to run out so you didn't need to stuff yourself at the beginning of the night. You could pace yourself. In addition, the food was delicious and top rate. As you can tell by the menu, they weren't serving chicken nuggets and mac-&-cheese. This was decent fare.

Beverages were also available throughout the park. A nice selection of beer and wine were served along with a special blue martini served in an illuminated glass. Soft drinks were also on hand.


Beverage Table

Illuminated Glasses

Martini Glass


A number of bands could be found around the park. Everything from Big Band to Rock 'N' Roll was on hand to entertain the honorees.


Bands

Bands

Bands


Photographers were everywhere as were characters. And downloading pictures was free once back home.


Characters

Characters


All of the marquees along Sunset Boulevard had been modified to recognize the honorees.


Marquee

Marquee


Disney also opened Star Tours, Tower of Terror, Rock 'N' Roller Coaster, and Toy Story Mania. We could literally walk onto all of these attractions. To give you an example, when Donald and I rode Tower of Terror, there were only four other people in the elevator with us.

At 9:30, Disney presented a special fireworks display. The show's narration was specifically recorded for the honorees and thanked them for their contributions and efforts. The display was first class. Disney did not skimp on this presentation.


Fireworks


The event ended at 11:30. From my point of view, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and felt Disney had done an outstanding job of recognizing their cast members.

Disney spent big bucks on this event - as they do every year to honor their cast members. In my opinion, it is money well spent. The cast members do an outstanding job, often under less than ideal conditions. It's nice to see Disney honor their valued, long-term employees in this way. I was grateful to be allowed to see this event first hand and thank my friend Donald for inviting me as his guest.



November 19, 2012

Festival of the Lion King - Disney's Animal Kingdom

Jack Spence Masthead


As many of you know, it was announced last year that a new land, based on the movie Avatar, would be coming to the Animal Kingdom. This new themed area will replace Camp Minnie-Mickey. Disney cautiously said that construction would begin sometime in early 2013 with the land to open three to five years later. Although Disney is very tight-lipped about the progress of this project, I feel it stands to reason that "Festival of the Lion King" will be discontinued sometime in the near future to make room for Avatar Land. So I thought I would take this opportunity to thoroughly videotape the production and give you a little history of this show before this perennial favorite leaves us - perhaps forever.

Camp Minnie-Mickey was not in the original plans of the Animal Kingdom. It was an afterthought. Initial designs called for this area to be the home of Beastly Kingdom, a land devoted to mythical creatures and legends. Included in the plans were a number of elaborately themed attractions, including a rollercoaster based on dragons.


Beastly Kingdom Dragon Coaster


Building Beastly Kingdom was going to be expensive so it was decided to table this land for a couple of years before starting construction. This would allow the Animal Kingdom to open and start generating revenue before moving forward with this project. In addition, this would allow Disney to concentrate its efforts on completing Asia which was not slated to be an opening day land. However, opening the Animal Kingdom without Beastly Kingdom and Asia would leave guests wanting more to do, so it was decided to throw together an inexpensive land to give audiences something else to see when visiting Disney World's newest park.

It was reasoned that a "summer camp" theme could be designed quickly, built cheaply, and utilize structures that could easily be dismantled once Beastly Kingdom was given the green light. To demonstrate how cheaply Camp Minnie-Mickey was built, let's take a look at the various attractions and facilities that grace this land. Keep in mind; I'm not trying to put Camp Minnie-Mickey down. I'm simply trying to illustrate how inexpensively it was built. We'll begin with the Meet-&-Greet Trails.

Character encounters are a big hit with guests so it was a no-brainer to include a Meet-&-Greet area in Camp Minnie-Mickey. All this attraction would require was a few paved walkways lined with shrubbery and some natural-looking pavilions.


Meet-&-Greet Trails

Meet-&-Greet Trails


Of course, Camp Minnie-Mickey would need someplace for guests to grab a bite to eat. But rather than construct a full-fledged restaurant, a couple of simple structures were built. Instead of providing full meals, these "huts" would offer a limited selection of snacks.


Food Stand

Food Stand


Disney also threw in a few inexpensive "statues" to add atmosphere to the area.


Disney Statues

Disney Statues


Even the restrooms where built for less money than their counterparts in other lands. Take a look at the sinks. These are off-the-shelf basins that were slapped onto the wall. There is absolutely no counter space to place your belongings while you wash your hands.


Restroom Sink


In the scheme of things, shows are a lot less expensive to create and produce than a full blown ride and the Imagineers knew this when planning Camp Minnie-Mickey. The first show we'll look at is "Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends." This ecologically friendly production taught youngsters about North American critters and the importance they play in the environment. During the presentation, a number of animals were brought onstage and Pocahontas would describe them to the audience and provide some interesting facts. She was assisted by two Audio-Animatronics figures, Grandmother Willow and Sprig.


Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends


The stage was modest, containing many simple props. Grandmother Willow and Sprig were acceptable AA figures, but they were certainly not sophisticated or elaborate. And the 400 audience members sat on hard wooden benches and were not protected from the elements. All-in-all, this was a relatively inexpensive show to stage.

Unfortunately, "Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends" closed on September 27, 2008. Disney gave no explanation for ending this show. However the show's closing did spark speculation among fans that perhaps Beastly Kingdome would be coming soon. As we know now, this was not the case.

"Festival of the Lion King" was to be the big draw at Camp Minnie-Mickey. Unlike "Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends" which was a small and simple show, "Festival of the Lion King" was to be a grand extravaganza with a large cast and a large audience. However, Disney still planned on staging this show as inexpensively as they possibly could. After all, this was going to be a temporary show. Let's take a look at how they cut costs.

Disney knew this show needed protection from the sun and rain. However, they decided to build a pavilion rather than a fully enclosed structure to save money. In the early years, two of the eight walls were missing, creating an open air theater-in-the-round. Not only did this save on construction costs, it saved a fortune in air-conditioning bills. In the summer months, guests sweltered in the theater as air movement was practically nonexistent. The overhead fans offered little relief. In the winter, the theater could be as cold as an icebox. In addition, the bright sunlight streaming in made lighting the show difficult. It wasn't until 2003 that the theater was finally enclosed and air-conditioning added. This was also a sign that Disney would not be converting Camp Minnie-Mickey into Beastly Kingdom anytime soon.


Open-air Theater


Another cost-cutting measure came in the form of seating. Simple, metal bleachers were installed - with no back support. Compare this to the Theater in the Wild located in Dinoland. In this theater, beautiful wooden benches (with backs) were constructed. These seats aren't particularly comfortable, but it's obvious they were intended to be permanent.

Over at Disneyland, their "Lion King Celebration" parade was ending its three year run. It was decided that four of these floats and puppets could be repurposed and used in the "Festival of the Lion King" show. So they were dismantled and shipped to Orlando.

Even though Disney cut costs where they could, they staged a quality production that pleased audiences. "Festival of the Lion King" went on to become one of the most popular shows in all of Walt Disney World.

So what happened to Beastly Kingdom?

If you follow official Disney press announcements, you'll notice that you never hear anything negative about the company. Disney rarely, if ever, admits that they made a mistake or changed their minds about something. They either put a positive spin on a negative aspect or they simply ignore the topic altogether when dealing with the general public. Such is the case with Beastly Kingdom. Disney has never given an "official" explanation for abandoning this project. However, many believe the reason lives about ten miles away from Walt Disney World at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

The "Lost Continent" was one of the "islands" that opened at this new park in May, 1999. It was themed to showcase ancient myths, legends, and mythical creatures (sound somewhat familiar). It also featured a roller coaster called Dueling Dragons.

Although Disney's plans for Beastly Kingdom were entirely different than the Lost Continent, a "dragon" coaster was to be the land's centerpiece. Not to mention, the overall themes were very similar. Many outsiders reason that Disney simply did not want to be accused of copying ideas from Universal and decided to abandon the project until another idea could be found - which ended up being Avatar Land.

So what will happen to "Festival of the Lion King" when construction begins on Avatar Land? Disney hasn't said. However, rumors suggest that the show might be relocated to the Africa section of the park - a much better fit thematically. However, this is a RUMOR. I know NOTHING official.

Now that you know the history of Camp Minnie-Mickey and "Festival of the Lion King," let's take a look at the show.

The Imagineers were faced with a challenge with their new production - a story. Using the old Disneyland floats had tied them into a Lion King theme; however, another attraction was already capitalizing on this movie over at the Magic Kingdom. In Fantasyland, "Legend of the Lion King" was retelling the story of Simba and the gang with the use of life-sized puppets. The Animal Kingdom show needed to be different. So instead of recounting Simba's life, it was decided to celebrate him instead.

"Festival of the Lion King" tells the story of a group of African tribal performers who follow Simba and his pals from one location to the next, sharing the power and majesty of the great "circle of life." The performance begins with the arrival of the show's four hosts. The formidable leader of the group is Kiume (which means masculine in Swahili). Nakawa (which means good-looking) is a handsome young man and the love interest for the beautiful Kibibi (which means princess). And finally we have the striking Zawadi (which means the gift).


Kiume

Nakawa

Kibibi

Zawadi


Once introductions are out of the way, the group tells us that Simba and his friends will be arriving soon. In order to greet them properly, we must first learn a few animal sounds to herald their arrival. To accomplish this, the audience is divided into four sections and each is assigned an animal. Kiume presides over the elephant section. Nakawa takes the lion section. Kibibi selects the giraffe section. And Zawadi hosts the warthog section. From each group, a volunteer is selected to help lead the training session. After a trial run, the warthog section of the audience snorts, the lion section roars, the elephants trumpet, and giraffes" Well, you'll have to see the show to find out what sound a giraffe makes.


Warthog Section

Lion Section


At the completion of the training, all four groups make their animal sound together. Then the lights begin to dim and Kiume tells the audience to listen. As the wind howls in the background, we can make out ghostly figures as performers dance into the room. Slowly the lights come up and we witness a tribal ballet and the "Circle of Life" begins to play.


African Ballet


An unseen Simba then welcomes the audience to the presentation. At the completion of his greeting, the mood changes from serious to fun-loving and the tune "I Just Can't Wait to be King" begins to play. More performers enter the room along with four floats, one for each section of the audience.


Giraffe Float

Warthog Float

Elephant Float

Lion Float


As the merriment begins to die down, Timon takes center stage and sings "Hakuna Matata" with the help of Pumba who can be found on one of the floats.


Timon

Pumba


However, during Timon's number, the Tumble Monkeys continually distract and harass him. Eventually, Timon submits to their antics and gives his flea-bitten friends center stage where they proceed to amaze and impress the audience with their acrobatic skills. Interwoven into the song "Hakuna Matata" are the tunes "Playmates," "Snake Charmer," "Yes, We Have No Bananas," "Hawaiian War Chant" and a few other numbers.


Tumble Monkies

Tumble Monkies


As the Tumble Monkeys leave the stage, Kiume enters and sings "Be Prepared." As his deep voice resonates around the room, a fire-eater enters and performs a foreboding number featuring blazing batons.


Kiume

Fire Eater

Fire Eater


Following "Be Prepared," Nakawa and Kibibi sing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." As they do, two "birds" dance and fly above the stage.


Kibibi

Nakawa

Bird Ballet

Bird Ballet


The next act features Zawadi singing "Circle of Life." As she does, all of the other performers circle the stage in dance and merriment.


Zawadi


For the celebration finale, Simba tells the audience that it's time for everyone to join in the fun. The cast breaks into "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and the audience is encouraged to sing along in competition. The giraffe and the elephant sections are assigned to sing the "wing-a-way" and the lion and warthog sections are given the "high part." Of course both groups perform admirably and no winning section can be determined.


Simba


As the number continues, children (and adults) are pulled from the audience and paraded around the room with much pageantry.


Parading Around the Room


The show concludes when Timon tells the cast to "take it home." A medley of Lion King numbers is reprised as well as snippets of the acts previously seen. The presentation ends with all of the performers taking a bow to the roar Simba.


Show Finale


Fun Facts:

"Festival of the Lion King" has four complete casts plus understudies. On the day I videotaped this show, there were nine performances. This meant that three casts were on hand and each would perform three shows.

With the exception of Timon, all of the performers belong to Actor's Equity, a labor union representing the world of live theatrical performances.

All performers must audition every year to retain their part in the show.

The theater can seat 1,375 guests.

The show features 136 unique costumes.

The Simba puppet atop Pride Rock is 12 feet tall.

Ernie Sabella is the voice of Pumbaa and Quinton Flynn is the voice of Timon.

The first showing of "Festival of the Lion King" usually takes place at 10:30am. This show is rarely filled to capacity and you can usually arrive a couple of minutes before the show and still get a seat. For all other shows, it's best to arrive at least 15-20 minutes before the stated time.

Disney uses the giraffe section for late comers. If seats are still available in this section after the show begins, cast members will bring guests in a back door for seating here. Note, these people have missed the beginning of the show because they didn't arrive early enough.

Since the fate of "Festival of the Lion King" is unknown to the general public, I decided I should film it for posterity. Although I know there are many clips of this show already on YouTube, most of these were shot from one vantage point and offer less than stellar views. So for my video I arranged to see the show four times in a row and to have a different vantage point for each performance. Once back home, I edited the footage to offer the best angles and variety when being viewed.

Below is a video containing the complete show of "Festival of the Lion King." It is approximately 33 minutes long.



For those of you who wish to comment on this article, I have a favor to ask. Please do not chime in on the merits of Avatar Land coming to the Animal Kingdom. This is a hot topic that I'd rather not address here. This blog is about "Festival of the Lion King" and I would like to restrict the comments to that topic alone. Thank you.



November 26, 2012

WABAC Machine – A Walt Disney World Quiz in Time -- Questions

Jack Spence Masthead


For today's quiz I'm going to borrow Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine* and take a trip backwards in time to see how much you recollect about the "good ol' days" of Walt Disney World. As we all know, rides, restaurants, and shops are continually evolving and changing into newer and hopefully better facilities to entertain and delight us. So now is the time to put on your thinking caps and remember your earlier trips to this vacation mecca.

Like all of my quizzes, no winners will be announced and no prizes awarded. This quiz is simply another way of bringing you Disney trivia. The answers will appear in tomorrow's column.

* Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine is NOT a Disney reference. In order to know what I'm talking about, you need to be nearly as old as me and familiar with Jay Ward cartoons. For more information, see the end of this column.

Let's get started.



1. Which was NOT an opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom?

a. Tom Sawyer Island
b. Haunted Mansion
c. "it's a small world"
d. The Jungle Cruise
e. None - all were opening day attractions



2. Which was NOT an opening day pavilion at Epcot Center?

a. Spaceship Earth
b. Universe of Energy
c. World of Motion
d. Horizons
e. None - all were opening day attractions



3. Which was NOT an opening day attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios?

a. Studio Backlot Tour
b. The Great Movie Ride
c. Superstar Television
d. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
e. None - all were opening day attractions



4. Which was NOT an opening day attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom?

a. Countdown to Extinction
b. Kilimanjaro Safaris
c. Maharaja Jungle Trek
d. It's Tough to be a Bug
e. None - all were opening day attractions



5. What attraction originally inhabited the space now occupied by "Stitche's Great Escape" in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom?

a. Flight to the Moon
b. Mission to Mars
c. If You Had Wings
d. America the Beautiful (CircleVision 360 movie)
e. None of the above



6. What company sponsored "The Living Seas" attraction at Epcot?

a. General Dynamics
b. United Technologies
c. ExxonMobil
d. Westinghouse
e. None of the above



7. During the Monster Sound Show at the Disney-MGM Studios, a short film clip was shown to demonstrate the importance of sound effects in movies. Martin Short was one of the stars of this clip. Who was his co-star?

a. Billy Crystal
b. Chevy Chase
c. Dana Carvey
d. Dan Aykroyd
e. None of the above



8. When the Animal Kingdom opened, Disney offered a boat ride along Discovery River. What was the name of this attraction?

a. Animal Discovery Excursion
b. Safari Boats
c. Discovery River Boats
d. Radio Disney River Cruise
e. None of the above



9. In the early years of the Magic Kingdom, two keel boats plied the Rivers of America. One was named Bertha Mae. What was the name of the second boat?

a. Davey Crockett
b. Daniel Boone
c. Don Diego
d. George Russell
e. None of the above



10. In Epcot's Communicore East there was an attraction that showcased the marvels of computers. During the show, a British song-and-dance man explained how virtually everything in Epcot could be controlled from one room using this fantastic new tool. What was the name of this attraction?

a. Computer Central Cabaret
b. Sperry Computer Spectacular
c. Electronic Epcot Exhibit
d. Astuter Computer Revue
e. None of the above



11. Through the magic of "blue screen," guests visiting Superstar Television at the Disney-MGM Studios were magically transported into their favorite TV show and could electronically perform opposite real actors. Which of the following shows was NOT one of the television shows presented?

a. Frasier
b. Gilligan's Island
c. Golden Girls
d. The Tonight Show
e. All of the above were performed



12. What was the original name of Discovery Island at the Animal Kingdom?

a. Safari Village
b. Safari Outpost
c. Discovery Outpost
d. The Oasis
e. None of the above



13. Which is NOT a current Disney golf course?

a. Osprey Ridge
b. Eagle Pines
c. Magnolia
d. Palm
e. All are current Disney golf courses



14. What was the name of the restaurant found on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort before it was called California Grill?

a. Pueblo Room
b. Top of the World
c. Gulf Coast Room
d. Coconino Cove
e. None of the above



15. What was the original name of Kona Café located at the Polynesian Resort?

a. Tangaroa Terrace
b. Papeete Bay Verandah
c. Coral Isle Café
d. South Seas Dining Room
e. None of the above



16. What was the original name of the Shades of Green Resort?

a. Shades of Green
b. Disney Inn
c. Golf Resort
d. Snow White Inn
e. None of the above



17. What was the original company to sponsor Space Mountain?

a. FedEx
b. Monsanto
c. McDonald-Douglas
d. RCA
e. None of the above



18. What was the mission of Bravo 229, the vehicle that was miniaturized and sent into the human body on the attraction Body Wars found at Epcot's Wonders of Life Pavilion?

a. Repair a broken blood vessel
b. Investigate a splinter imbedded into the patient's skin
c. Study brain activity within a human
d. Map the lung passageways
e. None of the above



19. Currently, the show "Disney Junior - Live on Stage" is being presented in a soundstage found in Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios. What was originally housed in this structure when the Disney-MGM Studios first opened?

a. Soundstage Restaurant
b. Doug Live (before it replaced Superstar Television)
c. Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage
d. Art of Animation Tour
e. None of the above



20. "Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends" was a show presented at Camp Minnie-Mickey at the Animal Kingdom. In this presentation, Pocahontas introduced the audience to a variety of animals found in nature. Who helped here with this task?

a. John Smith
b. Chief Powhatan (Pocahontas' father)
c. Nakoma (Pocahontas' best friend)
d. Kocoum (the warrior who desires to marry Pocahontas)
e. None of the above



* You'll have to check back tomorrow for the rest of the WABAC story.



November 27, 2012

WABAC Machine – A Walt Disney World Quiz in Time -- Answers

Jack Spence Masthead


Yesterday I used Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine* and took a trip backwards in time to see how much you recollect about the "good ol' days" of Walt Disney World. Today I'll provide you with the answers and a little trivia.

* As I mentioned yesterday, Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine is NOT a Disney reference. In order to know what I'm talking about, you need to be nearly as old as me and familiar with Jay Ward cartoons. For more information, see the end of this column.

Like all of my quizzes, no winners will be announced and no prizes awarded. This quiz is simply another way of bringing you Disney trivia.

Let's get started.



1. Which was NOT an opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom?

a. Tom Sawyer Island
b. Haunted Mansion
c. "it's a small world"
d. The Jungle Cruise
e. None - all were opening day attractions

a. Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island did not open until May 20, 1973. In the early years the island was just a tree-studded piece of land in the middle of the Rivers of America. In the following picture taken in January 1972 you can see the south tip of the island. Notice Harper's Mill is missing.


Tom Sawyer Island



2. Which was NOT an opening day pavilion at Epcot Center?

a. Spaceship Earth
b. Universe of Energy
c. World of Motion
d. Horizons
e. None - all were opening day attractions

d. Horizons

Horizons officially premiered one year to the day after the opening of Epcot Center, October 1, 1983. This attraction was intended to be a continuation of the story presented in "Carousel of Progress." To see my blog about Horizons, click here. To see my blog about the Carousel of Progress, click here.


Horizons



3. Which was NOT an opening day attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios?

a. Studio Backlot Tour
b. The Great Movie Ride
c. Superstar Television
d. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
e. None - all were opening day attractions

d. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

The Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) opened on May 1, 1989. The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular did not open for three more months, debuting on August 25, 1989.


Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular



4. Which was NOT an opening day attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom?

a. Countdown to Extinction
b. Kilimanjaro Safaris
c. Maharaja Jungle Trek
d. It's Tough to be a Bug
e. None - all were opening day attractions

c. Maharaja Jungle Trek

Disney's Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. The Asia section of the park did not open until 1999.


Maharaja Jungle Trek



5. What attraction originally inhabited the space now occupied by "Stitche's Great Escape" in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom?

a. Flight to the Moon
b. Mission to Mars
c. If You Had Wings
d. America the Beautiful (CircleVision 360 movie)
e. None of the above

a. Flight to the Moon

Flight to the Moon and the rest of Tomorrowland wasn't quite ready when the Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971. However, this attraction did make it in time for the busy Christmas season.

Like many Disney attractions of today, Flight to the Moon had a preshow before the main event. Here we were introduced to the Head of Operations, Tom Morrow (tomorrow). Before our flight, Tom described the various happenings at Mission Control and prepared us for our mission. Before venturing to our space craft, and overhead announcement requested that we bring along all of our personal belongings, including our imaginations.

Rocket to the Moon was replaced by Mission to Mars, then ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, and finally, Stitch's Great Escape.


Rocket to the Moon



6. What company sponsored "The Living Seas" attraction at Epcot?

a. General Dynamics
b. United Technologies
c. ExxonMobil
d. Westinghouse
e. None of the above

b. United Technologies

When designing the Living Seas Pavilion, the Imagineers wanted to include a full-service restaurant. However, United Technologies insisted that this eatery have its own, separate entrance as it would be illogical to have the Coral Reef Restaurant part of Sea Base Alpha, an underwater research facility.


The Living Seas



7. During the Monster Sound Show at the Disney-MGM Studios, a short film clip was shown to demonstrate the importance of sound effects in movies. Martin Short was one of the stars of this clip. Who was his co-star?

a. Billy Crystal
b. Chevy Chase
c. Dana Carvey
d. Dan Aykroyd
e. None of the above

b. Chevy Chase

During the show, the audience was shown a film clip where door-to-door salesman Chevy Chase visits the home of insane Martin Short. During the showing, selected members of the audience provided sound effects such as doorbells, creaky doors, and explosions. The film was then reshown with the newly created sound track - and a surprise ending.


Monster Sound Show

Monster Sound Show



8. When the Animal Kingdom opened, Disney offered a boat ride along Discovery River. What was the name of this attraction?

a. Animal Discovery Excursion
b. Safari Boats
c. Discovery River Boats
d. Radio Disney River Cruise
e. None of the above

c. Discovery River Boats

The Imagineers originally intended the Discovery River Boats to provide guests with an orientation of the Animal Kingdom as it skirted each land of the park. In addition, it would provide transportation from one side of the park to another. Along the way guests would encounter an AudioAnimatronics dinosaur, a geyser, and a few animal sightings. In addition, cast members on board would showcase small critters such as tarantulas, geckos, and scorpions. Guests could board Discovery River Boats at one of two stations. One station was located near the entrance to Dinoland and the other in Asia. Since this was considered a "transportation" attraction, guests were forced to exit at the other station.

When the Animal Kingdom first opened, there were very few attractions. An hour wait for Discovery River Boats was common as there was little else to do. With precious few sights along the river banks and a forced exit at the other station, people inundated Guest Relations with complaints.

In an effort to spruce up this failure of an attraction, Disney retooled the ride and renamed it Radio Disney River Cruise." The boats were repainted in bright colors and a round-trip to your original station was now provided. In addition, an onboard radio show was presented with music, trivia questions, and animal facts. It was still a dismal failure and guests continued to complain. The ride closed for good in August, 1999, just a year and a half after the park opened.


Discovery River Boats


9. In the early years of the Magic Kingdom, two keel boats plied the Rivers of America. One was named Bertha Mae. What was the name of the second boat?

a. Davey Crockett
b. Daniel Boone
c. Don Diego
d. George Russell
e. None of the above

e. None of the above

The other boat name was the Gullywhumper. The boat names came from the Davey Crockett mini-series Walt produced in the 1950s. The attraction operated in the Magic Kingdom from opening day until April 29, 2001. Although the originals are long gone, a scaled-down replica can be seen from the Liberty Belle as you circle the Rivers of America.


Keel Boat Replica



10. In Epcot's Communicore East there was an attraction that showcased the marvels of computers. During the show, a British song-and-dance man explained how virtually everything in Epcot could be controlled from one room using this fantastic new tool. What was the name of this attraction?

a. Computer Central Cabaret
b. Sperry Computer Spectacular
c. Electronic Epcot Exhibit
d. Astuter Computer Revue
e. None of the above

d. Astuter Computer Review

From an elevated walkway, guests looked down on a vast array of computers and main frames. Using a theatrical technique called "pepper's ghost" the host of the show danced around the room and on top of the machines while singing "The Computer Song," a ditty written by the Sherman Brothers. The Astuter Computer Revue has the distinction of being the shortest-lived attraction at Epcot. The tour was updated and re-opened as Backstage Magic, however this show was also short lived.


Astuter Computer Revue

Backstage Magic



11. Through the magic of "blue screen," guests visiting Superstar Television at the Disney-MGM Studios were magically transported into their favorite TV show and could electronically perform opposite real actors. Which of the following shows was NOT one of the television shows presented?

a. Frasier
b. Gilligan's Island
c. Golden Girls
d. The Tonight Show
e. All of the above were performed

a. Frasier

Superstar Television was presented by Sony and ran until September 1998. Guests visiting this attraction would wait in a holding area outside the theater until the next show began. While waiting, many would scream and wave in an effort to secure an acting part in the upcoming show. Those selected were taken backstage where they were fitted for costumes, had makeup applied (if needed for the part) and given their script. The rest of the audience was escorted into the 1,000 seat theater. Once the show began, guests could watch the actual production taking place onstage or see the magic of "blue screen" by watching overhead monitors. The show was replaced by Doug Live beginning on March 15, 1999.

Here is a complete list of the shows presented:

The Today Show with Dave Garroway
Howdy Doody (later replaced by Home Improvement)
I Love Lucy
General Hospital
The Ed Sullivan Show
Bonanza
Gilligan's Island
CBS News - Live From the Moon
The Three Stooges
Cheers
Golden Girls
Sports Break
The Tonight Show
Late Night with David Letterman


Super Star Television

r Star Television



12. What was the original name of Discovery Island at the Animal Kingdom?

a. Safari Village
b. Safari Outpost
c. Discovery Outpost
d. The Oasis
e. None of the above

a. Safari Village

The original Discovery Island was located in the middle of Bay Lake and featured a small zoological park. After the Animal Kingdom opened, there was little need for this attraction. Why visit this small island with a limited selection of animals when the Animal Kingdom offered so much more? Discovery Island was closed to the public on April 8, 1999.

With the name "Discovery Island" now freed up, this allowed the Imagineers to rename Safari Village. Discovery Island was a better match as the island is surrounded by Discovery River. In addition, the name Safari Village was confusing to guests as the word "safari" was also used in conjunction with another attraction, Kilimanjaro Safaris located in Africa. Notice on the map excerpts below that Safari Village Trails were also renamed to Discovery Village Trails.


Safari Village

Safari Village



13. Which is NOT a current Disney golf course?

a. Osprey Ridge
b. Eagle Pines
c. Magnolia
d. Palm
e. All are current Disney golf courses

b. Eagle Pines

Although Eagle Pines WAS a Disney golf course, it was closed to make room for the Golden Oak development and the Four Seasons Hotel. Plans call for a revised course to reopen under Four Seasons management sometime in late 2014.


Eagle Pines Logo

Four Seasons Concept Drawing



14. What was the name of the restaurant found on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort before it was called California Grill?

a. Pueblo Room
b. Top of the World
c. Gulf Coast Room
d. Coconino Cove
e. None of the above

b. Top of the World

Although all of the above names were once used to designate restaurants or bars at the Contemporary, Top of the World was the name of the 15th floor restaurant. In the early years, named entertainers performed here in a "night club" type environment. Later, a nightly show called "Broadway at the Top" featured three women and two men in a salute to Broadway. Currently, the lounge atop Bay Lake Tower is named Top of the World in honor of this early Disney World establishment.


Top of the World

Broadway at the Top



15. What was the original name of Kona Café located at the Polynesian Resort?

a. Tangaroa Terrace
b. Papeete Bay Verandah
c. Coral Isle Café
d. South Seas Dining Room
e. None of the above

c. Coral Isle Café

Like the question above, all of these names were once used at the Polynesian Resort. In the early years, Coral Isle Café served "coffee shop" fare and simple, no-fuss meals.


Kona Cafe



16. What was the original name of the Shades of Green Resort?

a. Shades of Green
b. Disney Inn
c. Golf Resort
d. Snow White Inn
e. None of the above

c. Golf Resort

The Golf Resort premiered in December 1973 and was the third Disney owned hotel to open at Walt Disney World. It was located between the Palm and Magnolia courses and featured 151 rooms as well as a pro shop and other golf related facilities. However, because of its location (off of the monorail loop) and the fact that most non-golfers were turned off by the name, the Golf Resort only saw a 60%-75% occupancy rate while the Contemporary and Polynesian were running at near capacity. The resort was expanded and renamed The Disney Inn in February 1986 in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. In addition, The Disney Inn was provided with a minimal Snow White theme to give the resort a Disney touch. Despite the fact that this was a lovely resort with some of the largest rooms available (480 square feet), many still considered this a second-class property and the resort continued to underperform.

On February 1, 1994, the US Department of Defense entered into a 100 year contract with Disney to lease the resort and the land it sits on. At this time, the resort was renamed Shades of Green. In 1996, the government purchased the resort outright for $43 million.

Today, this facility is a retreat for military personnel and pricing is based on rank. The resort is completely self-sufficient and has an occupancy rate of nearly 100%. The motto of Shades of Green is "Serving Those Who Serve.


Shade of Green

Shade of Green



17. What was the original company to sponsor Space Mountain?

a. FedEx
b. Monsanto
c. McDonald-Douglas
d. RCA
e. None of the above

d. RCA

The idea for a space-themed roller coaster had been on the drawing board for a number of years. When it came time to build Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom, Disney President Card Walker convinced RCA Chairman Robert Sarnoff to sponsor the new attraction. Space Mountain officially opened on January 15, 1975.

When RCA's interest in the attraction waned, FedEx picked up sponsorship and the attraction donned this second company's logo from 1994 to 2004. Today, no corporation sponsors Space Mountain.


RCA Space Mountain Poster



18. What was the mission of Bravo 229, the vehicle that was miniaturized and sent into the human body on the attraction Body Wars found at Epcot's Wonders of Life Pavilion?

a. Repair a broken blood vessel
b. Investigate a splinter imbedded into the patient's skin
c. Study brain activity within a human
d. Map the lung passageways
e. None of the above

b. Investigate a splinter imbedded into the patient's skin.

While on the Body Wars attraction, we encounter Dr. Cynthia Lair. She is investigating a splinter imbedded into a patient's skin. While taking a blood count, Dr. Lair is accidentally pulled into a capillary. In an effort to save her, Captain Braddock takes chase in the Bravo craft he is piloting. While in pursuit, the craft passes the heart and enters the lung. Here we discover Dr. Lair being attacked by a white blood cell. With the Bravo running low on fuel, Captain Braddock steers the craft into the brain and uses the organ's electric charges to repower the vehicle.

Although the motion simulators used on Body Wars were almost identical to that of Star Wars, this attraction never achieved any real popularity. Many people left this ride nauseated.


Body Wars

Body Wars



19. Currently, the show "Disney Junior - Live on Stage" is being presented in a soundstage found in Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios. What was originally housed in this structure when the Disney-MGM Studios first opened?

a. Soundstage Restaurant
b. Doug Live (before it replaced Superstar Television)
c. Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage
d. Art of Animation Tour
e. None of the above

a. Soundstage Restaurant

When the Disney-MGM Studios opened, this building contained a counter-service eatery known as Soundstage Restaurant. The restaurant was designed to resemble the hotel set from the recent Touchstone movie "Big Business." The backstory suggested that the film had just completed shooting and a "wrap party" was in progress. Three distinct areas were available for ordering food: a Pizza & Pasta window, a Sandwich shop, and a Soup & Salad counter. The Catwalk Bar was located above the dining area on an overhead walkway and was filled with a collection of movie props and film making equipment.

I'm sorry, but I do not have a picture of this long gone eatery.



20. "Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends" was a show presented at Camp Minnie-Mickey at the Animal Kingdom. In this presentation, Pocahontas introduced the audience to a variety of animals found in nature. Who helped here with this task?

a. John Smith
b. Chief Powhatan (Pocahontas' father)
c. Nakoma (Pocahontas' best friend)
d. Kocoum (the warrior who desires to marry Pocahontas)
e. None of the above

e. None of the above

Grandmother Willow was Pocahontas' costar and helped her describe the animals and the importance of protecting our environment.


Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends



* Jay Ward created a plethora of cartoon characters, but perhaps his most famous was Rocky and Bullwinkle. Another of his creations was Mister Peabody, a highly intelligent talking dog who had adopted a young boy named Sherman. Mister Peabody had invented a WABAC ( pronounced "way back") machine, or in other words, a time machine. In each episode, Mister Peabody would take Sherman back in time and they would witness history unfold a little differently than we were taught in school.


Peabody and Sherman


There is a connection between Jay Ward and the Walt Disney Company. In 1997, Disney released a live action movie entitled "George of the Jungle" starring Brendan Fraser. George was another of the many characters created by Jay Ward.


George of the Jungle



Return to Blog Central

About November 2012

This page contains all entries posted to The “World” According to Jack in November 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2012 is the previous archive.

December 2012 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.