Thursday, September 30, 2010

What's New In Orlando?

Disney's Art of Animation Resort is scheduled to open by the end of 2012 featuring nearly 2000 family suites.  The new hotel complex, located near the Pop Century Resort, will feature interiors and exteriors themed to The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Cars, and Finding Nemo.  A 35-foot tall King Triton will tower over guests at the resort.

In Downtown Disney, a hip new store called D Street has opened on the West Side.  The store will sell trendy and retro clothing and accessories, and it will be the headquarters for buying and trading Vinylmation figures, the hottest new Disney collectible.  Fans of the Adventurers Club will enjoy a visit to the store just to reminisce over the props on display from the former club. The former McDonald's will be the new home of Pollo Campero, but you won't recognize the building by the time the redo is complete.  It's been totally gutted to make room for the new restuarant, which will feature Latin-style chicken dishes.  At the old Virgin Megastore site, Ridemakerz is  opening for a limited time.  Customers will be able to design their own toy and remote control cars.  There's no word how long this store will be open.

Over at Hollywood Studios, there are lots of changes.  Disney has sold the rights to Power Rangers back to the original owner, so that show disappeared August 7.  Toy Story Mania has already gotten an addition to promote the Toy Story 3 movie, and Lots-O-Huggin' Bear (aka Lotso) is meeting guests in the Magic of Disney Animation.  Though he's not so nice in the movie, he's giving out hugs at the park, and appearing in the Block Party Bash.

In the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, visitors will see lots of construction walls while Ariel's Grotto and Pooh's Playful Place are closed.  Toontown will be closing as well.  Cinderella's Golden Carousel has a new name.  It's now the Prince Charming Regal Carousel. Disney says the name change is to "further develop the rich storylines in Fantasyland and help tell the rest of the Cinderella story."

Captain EO, the 3D Michael Jackson movie that played in Epcot 1986-1994, returned in July to the same theater it where it originally played, replacing Honey, I Shrunk The Audience.  We hear some new effects have been added.  Word is that Captain EO is a limited engagement, so HISTA or something new will return in the future.

Stay tuned for info about Disney's new luxury pet resort!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Name" that Disney Fact

Most Disney fans know that Mickey Mouse was originally called Mortimer. He was renamed Mickey at the suggestion of Walt Disney's wife, Lillian. But see how many of these more obscure Disney names you know:

Disneyland's It's A Small World was originally named Children of the World.

Timon has a last name - Berkowitz - as revealed in Disney's Timon & Pumba series.

In Disney's The Incredibles, the family's last name is Parr.

In Disney's The Emperor's New School, Kronk's last name is Pepikrankenitz.

In Disney's The Little Mermaid, Sebastian's full name is Horatio Felonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian.

In Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the prince had no actual name.

In Disney's Lilo & Stitch, Lilo and Nani's last name is Pelekai.

Sleeping Beauty Castle in the California and Hong Kong Disneyland parks is inspired by Germany's Neuschwanstein Castle.

Italians call Mickey Mouse Topolino.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Lion King Makes Broadway History

Pumbaa and Timon, from The Broadway production of The Lion King
Now in its 13th year, THE LION KING continues to reign as one of the most popular shows on Broadway and around the world. It is the eighth longest-running musical in Broadway history and placed second on the Top 10 lists for both the highest-grossing and best-attended shows of the 2009-10 season, an indicator of its unprecedented success.

THE LION KING is one of only five musical productions in theatre history to play for ten years or more on both Broadway and the West End. THE LION KING has been seen by more than 50 million people in 13 different countries and translated into five different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch). In addition to Broadway and a North American tour, THE LION KING can also currently be seen on stage in London, Hamburg, Paris, Tokyo and Las Vegas.

THE LION KING made history in September 2009 when two of its signature costumes were inducted into the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.  It is the winner of more than 70 major awards worldwide, including the 1998 Tony Award and NY Drama Critics Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice's music from THE LION KING animated film, along with three new songs by John and Rice.

THE LION KING officially opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre and later moved to its current home at the Minskoff Theatre on June 13, 2006.

Cindy's personal note: THE LION KING is a definite not-to-be-missed activity if you're ever in New York City.  Although there are or have been several other Disney shows to make it to the Broadway stage, THE LION KING outshines them all.  If you have children in your party, it's a great way to introduce them to the theater, as there is more than enough to mesmerize them, but plenty to entertain and impress the adults, as well.  THE LION KING alone is worth the trip to NYC!

Click here to visit Disney's official site about the show. There are videos, photos, games and activities for the kids!

About The Divas

Welcome to the Disney Divas blog! The Divas are a mother (Cindy) and daughter (Taryn) team who love Disney and sharing everything they know about it.

Cindy visited Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida the first summer it was open in 1972 (it opened October 1, 1971). She visited nearly every year during her childhood, and when she got married, she couldn't wait to introduce her new husband to the wonderful world of Disney. She got her wish in 1984 when she took him for his first visit, and he was hooked! Cindy and Mark took their two children, Taryn and Ryan, on many, many trips to WDW over the next 20 years, but they found time for "Mom and Dad only" trips, as well, including a 2008 trip to Euro Disney in Paris!

Taryn's first trip to WDW was in October 1988 when she was just 2 years old. In the next 20 years, she visited Disney over a dozen times, including 2 trips to Tokyo Disney when she visited Japan as an exchange student. In November 2009, Taryn married Andy, who had never been to a Disney park. Like her mother, she couldn't wait to introduce her new husband to Disney. They honeymooned at WDW, and Taryn plans to continue the tradition of family Disney trips!

We hope you'll become a follower and join us here on our little blog as we share Disney trip reports, news, and information about all things Disney.

Have a Disney day every day!