I’d like to remind everyone about our upcoming fan meets at the Disneyland Resort on Saturday August 1st and Sunday August 2nd. First up on Saturday:
Come enjoy an evening of fun on Saturday, August 1st, with the WDWNT Network and Disneyland News Today staff at Disney’s California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort. Among the fun and surprises, here is a schedule of group gatherings that will be a part of the unofficial fan meet:
4:00 PM – Meet outside the Blue Sky Cellar for distribution of “free gift” Group walk through the Blue Sky Cellar
4:30 PM – Meet directly in front of the Blue Sky Cellar to watch the Pixar Play Parade
5:30 PM – Group meet n’ mingle (and possibly some eating) at Bountiful Valley Farmer’s Market
6:30 PM – Meet for group photo and showing of MuppetVision 3-D in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot
7:15 PM – Meet for group ride on Mickey’s Fun Wheel in Paradise Pier
8:00 PM – Meet in front the former Orange Stinger attraction (Silly Symphony Swings construction walls) to watch Disney’s Electrical Parade
Then on Sunday:
Come enjoy an afternoon of fun on Sunday, 8/2/09 with the WDWNT Network and Disneyland News Today staff at Disneyland Park. Among the fun and surprises, here is a schedule of group gatherings that will be a part of the fan meet:
3:00 PM – Meet n’ mingle and group photo at Carnation Gardens on Main Street U.S.A.
3:30 PM – Meet for group showing of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland
4:15 PM – Meet for group ride on the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland
5:00 PM – Meet for group ride on Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square
5:45 PM – Meet for group ride through the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square
6:30 PM – Group meet n’ mingle (and possibly some eating) at the Hungry Bear Restaurant
7:30 PM – Meet for group ride on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country
8:00 PM – Meet in the hub on Main Street U.S.A. to view “Magical – Disney’s New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical Celebrations In the Stars”
You can R.S.V.P. (although not necessary to attend) and get more information on Facebook about the Saturday meet at this link or our forums at this link and the Sunday meet at this link or our forums at this link. These will be the first fan meets the WDWNT Network has done at the Disneyland Resort, and we hope you come by and enjoy the fun with us!
I’m back from a wonderful evening trip yesterday to the Disneyland Resort. Even though I visited both parks, this photo report only covers Mickey and Friends and Disney’s California Adventure. So let’s get to this photo report:
Some work going on at the Mickey and Friends Tram Station. The tram only loads on the right side at the moment
As I got into DCA, the Pixar Play Parade started, so here are some photos
The Ratatouile unit has finally returned to the parade
To prepare everyone visiting the Disneyland Resort during this holiday weekend, I wanted to go over the entertainment schedule for July 4th, as well as the park hours, to make sure everyone can successfully see what they want to see:
- Disneyland will be open from 8:00am to 12:00am all weekend.
- “Celebrate! A Street Party” will be performed every day at 3:30pm and 6:30pm.
- The special fourth of July holiday fireworks show, “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky”, will be performed at 9:25pm starting tonight and running through Sunday night. According to D23, the shows on July 2nd, 3rd, and 5th will be a condensed version, only 8 minutes long, compared to the full show on July 4th which is 13 minutes long and will have much more pyro. The regular fireworks show, Magical, will return on Monday.
- Fantasmic will have three performances on July 4th, at 9:00pm, 10:30pm, and 11:30pm.
- Suburban Legends will be performing through-out the night on July 4th at the TLT Dance Club, beginning at 7:00pm.
- Disney’s California Adventure will be open from 10:00am to 10:00pm on July 4th.
- The Pixar Play Parade will be performed as usual at 5:15pm.
- Disney’s Electrical Parade will also be performed at its usual time of 8:45pm.
If you are planning to visit the Disneyland Resort this weekend, be aware crowds will be massive. Disneyland may even be closed in the afternoon due to the park reaching capacity, and you’ll be re-directed to DCA. Parking may also be an isssue, as I explained in this recent post. For the full entertainment schedule on July 4th, which includes smaller entertainment venues around the parks, click HERE.
The OC Register’s Around Disney blog also has a report from last night’s media preview of Summer Nightastic:
Disney Channel stars Selena Gomez and Jennifer Stone were like any other kids at Disneyland Thursday night, standing in giddy excitement next to Mickey Mouse.
That is, until the “Wizards of Waverly Place” actresses were presented with magic wands by the mouse himself.
With a flick of the wrist, fireworks burst over Sleeping Beauty Castle — the quintessential kickoff to Disney’s Summer Nightastic, the summertime run of shows at the Resort that include the fireworks display, the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic!, which plays out on Disneyland’s Rivers of America.
Disney’s Electrical Parade (California Adventure)
When a sparkling mass of lights emerged onto the street of California Adventure, the crowd stood in awe.
Tinker Bell, the latest addition to the classic Disney parade, first trotted out in 1972, led the way waving her magic wand from a hot air balloon.
“It was bright, and very green,” said Grad Night guest Prince Jones, from the School of Arts and Enterprise said.
“It was pretty cool.”
“We thought it was the right place to put Tinker Bell – leading the parade,” Director of Entertainment Doug McIntyre said of the new float, which features 25,000 lights.
“She has a sort of pixie dust-effect coming from her float, and we added it to all the floats. We knew we wanted to do some enhancements to the rest of the parade, so we thought by adding Tinker Bell to the front, we could add this pixie dust swirl that goes throughout the parade.”
The Electrical Parade has been a part of Disney since its premiere in 1972. The parade has undergone numerous changes, adding new floats, more lights. It has showed up in locations around the world.
This phase of the parade combines a bit of the old with a bit of the new; for example, the diamond mine float from Snow White and the Pleasure Island scene from Pinocchio return after a long hiatus.
“They had been sitting there in a warehouse, so we had them shipped over. When they shipped that parade (back to the United States in 2001), they left that unit behind, so we called them up and had them ship it out and refurbished,” McIntyre said. “It’s the way I remember the Electrical Parade from its old days at Disneyland. It’s nice to have it back.”
Meanwhile, a new control system allows for intricate control of the lighting and 11,000 LED lights used on the dancers’ costumes make the parade more energy efficient.
Then there is the music.
“Music is a big part of any of our entertainment experiences, and we knew we wanted to update the soundtrack,” said McIntyre, a 27-year Disney veteran. “The music was written in 1967, and with the technology of synthesizers, we’ve come a long way. We wanted to maintain the classic-ness of what the guests expect using ‘Baroque Hoedown,’ which is the piece of music used. We were excited to do it with all of today’s modern technology.”
When the parade premiered on June 17, 1972, it was called The Main Street Electrical Parade, but since then it has moved to California Adventure.
“Part of the dynamic of the business here is balancing the guest flow and the experience between both parks, so it was a perfect fit to bring the parade here,” McIntyre said.
TLT Dance Club at the Tomorrowland Terrace (Disneyland)
The Tomorrowland Terrace is not the place you want when looking for a quiet dinner to wind down after a hectic day of spinning teacups and meeting giant mice. On the other hand, if you are looking for a serious energy boost, then the TLT Dance Club is the place to be.
“Hannah Montana” star Mitchel Musso opened the night on a high note while appearing with his band for a surprise performance.
For 11-year-old Elizabeth Burkemper of Missouri, standing so close to one of her favorite “Hannah Montana” stars was a dream come true.
“It was, like, the most amazing experience of my life,” she said.
The rest of the summer is filled with a lineup of appearances by popular radio stations and Top-40 bands, including KIIS-FM, Tomasina, 104.3 MYfm and Instant Replay. The club has already been compared to the now-defunct Videopolis, but this one will have a 2009 spin, such as the ability to vote on what song should be played via text message.
Fantasmic! has been a staple of Disney nighttime entertainment since it began performances in May of 1992. It is set on the Rivers of America in Disneyland.
Just like the Electrical Parade, this nighttime show underwent changes in preparation for the summer, with Fantasmic! now including new digital projectors, a 12-foot-tall crocodile and giant eels slithering through the water.
Although the highlight of the show was slated to be a 40-foot-tall dragon from the movie “Sleeping Beauty,” technical difficulties forced last night’s premiere to debut sans dragon. Stay tuned to Around Disney for a peek at the dragon later this summer.
Here are a few of their photos from the media preview of Summer Nightastic:
Selena Gomez and Jennifer Stone were at Disneyland to launch Summer Nightastic
D23 have put up 2 articles for the debut of Summer Nightastic today. The first covers last night’s media launch:
On Thursday, June 11, Disneyland was packed with summer guests, and D23 was invited for a peek at all the new happenings as Nightastic! takes over the park this summer.
First stop was the new TLT Dance Club in Tomorrowland. Also known at the Tomorrowland Terrace, the TLT Dance Club is packing in the crowds with the new lights, videos screens and sound system playing today’s hottest tunes. The place burst into wild screams when guest performer Mitchel Musso of Hannah Montana fame took to the stage and rocked the house with a seven song set that included his hit “The In Crowd.” Look for other surprise guests to drop in on the Dance Club all summer long.
Following Mitchel’s mini concert, guests were escorted to Main Street, U.S.A. to watch the premiere of the summer fireworks spectacular, Magical. To start things off Disneyland’s Russ Marchand came out to talk all about the excitement of Nightastic! before introducing the voice of the new Magical show, Broadway star (and Disneyland veteran performer!) Eden Espinosa. Eden wasn’t the only celebrity on hand; next Russ brought Wizards of Waverly Place stars Selena Gomez and Jennifer Stone on stage — what better way to kick off something “magical” that with some wizards? When Russ asked if they were having a good time at Disneyland that night, Selena replied, “How can you not?” before revealing they had blasted off on Space Mountain four times. Sorcerer Mickey came up on stage with a pair of sorcerer hats. “Oh my God!” exclaimed Selena, before donning the hat — and picking up a special Nightastic! magic wand which they used to kick off the festivities.
At that moment, the magic of Magical took flight. Using new launches and fireworks, some classic Disney music (sung by Eden) not often heard in the parks like “Baby Mine” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and a brand new Dumbo puppet that soars through the air, Magical indeed lived up to its name. And while the show will only run though August 23, Disneyland’s Director of Entertainment, Doug McIntyre, says it may return in 2010. “There’s a chance it will come back as our summer offering,” Doug revealed. “It will go back to Remember… Dreams Come True after the summer. We’re looking at some yet-to-be-announced possibilities for Halloween. Then we’ll have our Christmas show, and then back to Remember. And Magical could possibly become a summer offering.”
Following the fireworks, guests hit the Rivers of America to witness the enhancements to the already spectacular Fantasmic!. Thanks to HD technology, the projections now virtually leap off the screen — and they’re not the only things leaping! A new crocodile lurches and snaps at Captain Hook as he swims behind the pirate ship looking for a snack. Plus, Ursula’s “hench-eels” Flotsam and Jetsam now menacingly sweep through the waters. All these wonderful new characters posed exciting challenges to Disneyland’s creative team. “Obviously, any time you create new show elements — and Flotsam and Jetsem and the crocodile are examples of that — you go through some teething problems in testing and adjustments,” Doug explained. “Certainly we went through those but they worked out really great.” And Doug and his team aren’t done playing yet! “We talked tonight about making a new adjustment to Flotsam and Jetsam.” Currently the two slither out together from the same side of the river. “We’re talking about doing a version where they come from different sides of the river. We’re still learning as we see it.”
One thing guests didn’t see was the new Maleficent dragon, who wasn’t quite ready for her close up. “As one of the very few people who have seen the dragon in its functioning mode, I’m thrilled by the dragon,” Doug noted. “In our test-and-adjust period, we had a situation where we had a mechanical issue we knew we had to fix and we knew we weren’t going to be ready. So we’re working on that and will get it into the show as soon as we can.” And Doug says, when she makes her debut, guests won’t believe their eyes. “I think is going to be one of the most spectacular additions to a Disney show that’s ever been done. It’s certainly the largest Disney character that’s ever been created in animated mode. And it’s a huge leap from what the dragon used to be. This is full, three-dimensional, fully articulated, 45-foot-tall, 32-foot wingspan, with 18 axis of motion, it takes five computers to run the thing — it’s what you’d expect from Disney with all of the technology we have at our hands!”
Last, but certainly not least, it was over to Disney’s California Adventure to get a look at Disney’s Electrical Parade, which features a brand-new Tinker Bell float and the return of three other floats: the diamond mine from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and two from Pinocchio. All the floats glitter and gleam like new, with the help of LED technology (Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat now disappears!), and an enhanced soundtrack gives to depth to the musical elements of the parade. But the returning floats are sure to bring a smile to the face of any fan of the Electrical Parade. “The parade has almost been around the world,” Doug explained, when asked how the Snow White and Pinocchio floats found their way back into the show. “Here at Disneyland, then it went to Disney World for a while, then it went to Paris, and finally it ended up in Hong Kong. When we brought it back here, the diamond mine and the Pinocchio units were left behind in Hong Kong. They were sitting in a storage facility in Hong Kong.” When Nightastic! was in the planning stages, Doug and his team thought it was the perfect time to bring them back from overseas. “So we called Hong Kong, shipped them out, refurbished them, and put them back in the parade.” Combining the perfect blend of exciting new offerings and emotional nostalgia, Summer Nightastic! is sure to be a crowd pleaser for any Disney fan.
And the second article is an interview with vocalist for Magical, Eden Espinosa:
The Broadway star returns to her Disneyland roots to sing the theme for the new fireworks spectacle Magical.
“I’m such a Disney girl, and I have been since I was growing up here in Orange County,” Eden says. “I’d always come to Disneyland as a kid. It was always a dream of mine to work here and be in entertainment here.”
If you’ve been a regular Disneyland visitor for a while, chances are good you have seen Eden Espinosa in a show — she did more than a half a dozen during her career in entertainment at Disneyland, before moving to New York City where she starred in such musicals as Wicked, Rent and Brooklyn. This summer, park guests will be able to hear Eden’s rich vocals nightly; the incredible talent recorded the music for the new fireworks show Magical. D23 sat down with Eden for an exclusive interview and learned about her favorite attraction, her best Disneyland job and why she needs to reach for a box of tissues any time she hears a Disney song.
How did they approach you about singing the theme from Magical?
One of the talent bookers, Dana White, contacted me and said, “Bruce Healey [Disneyland's Senior Music Producer] wanted to get your number, and I wasn’t sure if I should give it to him.” And I said, “Dana, it’s Bruce Healey! He cast me in Dickens Carolers when I was 18. You can give him my number! It’s fine!” [Laughs] And he called me and wanted me to send a couple of clips of things that he could show the director, because the director wasn’t too familiar with me. And that was it. Then he called me back and said, “We’d love you to be a part of it, if you want to do it.” I was like, “Are you kidding me?!”
Was Dickens Carolers your first Disneyland job?
Actually my first job was A Christmas Fantasy parade, the first year they did it with the live carolers. I was in it. And then I started doing the stage shows.
Do you have a favorite memory from working here?
My first solo, I think. I did the Carolers and then I was in the Hunchback of Notre Dame stage show.
Were you Esmerelda?
No, I was just Gypsy No. 4! [laughs] But then I was cast as Pocahontas in Animazement the Musical, and it was my first solo in the park. That moment, being able to do the montage [with songs from Pocahontas, Hercules and Hunchback of Notre Dame], which Bruce Healy actually arranged, was pretty cool.
Didn’t you do [the Disney music revue] Steps in Time at Disney’s California Adventure, too?
I did Steps in Time too — both versions! I did Route 66 in the park too, that was the last thing I did before I left the park. I did a lot!
Do you have a favorite attraction?
I love Tower of Terror. But my favorite Fantasyland ride is Peter Pan. I love Peter Pan. I think the concept is well executed. I love how you fly above the city with all the little lights.
And you now open Magical singing “The Second Star to the Right”!
I know! It’s great.
Was there a favorite song you got to sing for Magical?
Honestly, all of them are on a favorites list. But I think getting to do “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from Mary Poppins was awesome. And also “Baby Mine” [from Dumbo]. You don’t get to hear that very often. And I love the original song Greg Smith wrote as well. I love all of it!
What was it like watching Magical for the first time?
I had heard it before I saw it. Bruce sent me a CD earlier in the week, and I’ve been intentionally listening to it nonstop because I’m such a Disney girl, and I have been since I was growing up here in Orange County. I’d always come to Disneyland as a kid. It was always a dream of mine to work here and be in entertainment here. I always cry at Disney music in the fireworks shows, in Fantasmic, in the parades — so I was like, “I’m gonna bawl like a little baby!” So I listened to it a lot so I could get all the tears out. But hearing it on Main Street and seeing it happen was pretty cool! It was breathtaking.
After all that time in New York City, are you living back in Southern California now?
I’ve been back in L.A. since Wicked opened at the Pantages, so I’ve been back a couple years now. And I’m enjoying being back in Southern California. I have a solo concert coming up at the Ford Amphitheatre on July 24. I started doing shows at the Upright Cabaret when Wicked was ending and I went back to the show to close it. Then we took it to New York and did it at Joe’s Pub in March. Now we’re bringing to the Ford. It keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s going to be a great show! I’m very excited.
Stay tuned to Disneyland News Today this weekend for continuing coverage from the debut of Summer Nightastic.
Summer Nightastic begins tonight at the Disneyland Resort, and in honor of that, here’s a new Disney press video with footage from all three main offerings, as well as interviews with Carla Carlile (show director for Fantasmic), Denny Newell (senior show director for Disney’s Electrical Parade), and John Addis (senior show director for Magical):
Summer Nightastic launches tomorrow at the Disneyland Resort, and Disney has released a press release for Fantasmic, as well as more pictures of the updated version of Disney’s Electrical Parade:
More powerful projection technology and some awe-inspiring new creatures – including 37-foot-long eels Flotsam and Jetsam – make “Fantasmic!” an exciting part of Summer Nightastic! at Disneyland. The long-running nighttime special-effects spectacular, presented on the Rivers of America in New Orleans Square and Frontierland, jumps off the screen like never before with stunning video and lighting effects that bring brilliant life to Mickey Mouse’s encounters with classic characters and menacing Disney villains.
Disney has released a short video and fact sheet about the return of Disney’s Electrical Parade tomorrow night as part of the already flailing Summer Nightastic promotion. The updates to the parade were much needed and the parade appears sparkling and new thanks to LED light technology and a recreated soundtrack:
Tinker Bell leads the procession on an all-new float and her trail of pixie dust enchants all the parade floats with new beauty along the way. The popular pixie waves from the basket of a balloon floating gracefully above a magical garden shimmering with fairy light.
In addition, enhanced versions of two classic favorites will return to the lineup after a 13-year hiatus – the shimmering diamond mine of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Pleasure Island haunts of Pinocchio.
WHAT: The parade twinkles with approximately half a million lights. Of those, nearly 10,000 are new “pixie dust” lights spread over the 17 floats. The new LED lights use one-quarter of the power of incandescent lights. The “Tinker Bell” float alone has more than 25,000 points of light and 75 percent are powered by an LED source.
WHEN: Nightly at 8:45 p.m., beginning Friday, June 12, and continuing through Sunday, Aug. 23, at Disney’s California Adventure.
LIGHTS ON DEMAND: A new control system makes it possible, for the first time, for each light to be programmed individually. One example is the new Tinker Bell float, which has 160 dimmers, by far the most of any parade float, to control the lighting. Programming for this parade took approximately two months.
AN EVEN BETTER HOEDOWN: The unforgettable musical theme of the “Electrical Parade,” which has inspired several generations of Disneyland Resort guests to clap along, was adapted from a synthesizer piece known as “Baroque Hoedown,” written in 1967 by Gershon Kingsley and Jean-Jaques Perrey. Disney themes are superimposed over the original piece. For Summer Nightastic!, the distinctive “electro-sytho-magnetic” “Baroque Hoedown” has new audio technology that gives it a richer, fuller sound.
- More than 80 performers appear in each presentation of “Disney’s Electrical Parade.”
- There are 11,000 lights on the dancers’ costumes alone. Thanks to the energy-efficient LED lights, some of the dancers’ costumes now carry only one battery pack instead of two.
- All the floats are battery-powered. More than 500 batteries supply power for lighting, propulsion, audio and special effects.
- Approximately five miles of wire is used throughout the floats.
- The tallest float in the parade is the Cinderella clock tower, at 18.5 feet tall.
- The “Fireworks Finale” float, the longest in the parade, has seven cars that span 118 feet.
- Summer Nightastic! 2009 will mark the 30th summer of the “Electrical Parade” performances at Disneyland Resort.
- The original “Main Street Electrical Parade” premiered at Disneyland on June 17, 1972.
- The parade has been performed more than 5,000 times at Disneyland Resort.
- It has been presented nearly every summer, with the following exceptions: a 1975-76 hiatus for the Bicentennial “America on Parade”; the 1983-84 break for “Flights of Fantasy” parade; and the “Electrical Parade” retirement from Disneyland following the summer of 1996. Renamed “Disney’s Electrical Parade,” it premiered at Disney’s California Adventure in July 2001.
- The original “Main Street Electrical Parade” floats were “flatter” and less three-dimensional than the current floats. New floats have been added through the years and some – “it’s a small world” float, “Briny Deep” float, and special anniversary floats for Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary (1980) and Mickey Mouse’s 60th Birthday (1988) – have been retired.
- One of the original floats, the “Title Drum Unit” near the beginning of the parade, was created using an actual bass drum, one of the world’s largest in 1972. This drum had been used in Disneyland parades in the 1960s, when Mickey Mouse used to beat it using large drumsticks.
- Versions of the parade have been presented at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (premiering 1977), Tokyo Disneyland (premiering 1985) and Disneyland Paris (premiering 1992).
According to the LA Times Travel Blog:
The Electrical Parade marks its return engagement at Disney’s California Adventure on Friday night with Tinker Bell taking over the lead float position from the Blue Fairy.
The new Tink float features a magic wand-wielding face-character waving from the basket of a hot-air balloon amid a sea of shimmering emerald green lights.
The Electrical Parade reboot also includes a return of the mothballed Snow White and Pinocchio floats, upgraded audio of the classic theme song and a sprinkling of “pixie dust” lighting on all the old floats.
Disney has wrapped a series of nighttime shows into a Summer Nightastic promotion that includes the Electrical Parade, a new Magical fireworks show featuring a flying Dumbo and an upgraded Fantasmic featuring Flotsam and Jetsam eels (and eventually a 40-foot-tall Maleficent dragon).
Disney put up a new website today promoting “Summer Nightastic!”. This new website offers an overview of the new entertainment experiences coming this summer (the new fireworks show Magical, changes to Disney’s Electrical Parade and Fantasmic, nighttime lighting of Pixie Hollow, and the TLT Dance Club at the Tomorrowland Terrace), 2 commercials (one an overview of “Summer Nightastic!” and the other on the changes to Fantasmic), and lots more. There’s also a downloadable 3D Fantasmic dragon, as well as a pdf of the entire schedule for the summer over at the TLT Dance Club.
Bellow are a few screen-shots from the website:
The new Cheshire Cat in Disney’s Electrical Parade is featured on this page
The Disneyland by Day and Night page has the familiar concept art of the new Tinker Bell float in Disney’s Electrical Parade
To view this amazing website, click HERE.
Tag Cloud of Doom
Blue Sky Cellar Buena Vista Street Cars Land Carthay Cirlce Theater D23 D23 Expo Disney's Electrical Parade Disney California Adventure Disneyland Disneyland Hotel Disneyland Monorail Disneyland News Today Disneyland Resort Downtown Disney El Capitan Theatre ElecTRONica Fantasmic Halloween Time Haunted Mansion Holiday Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Hollywood Pictures Backlot Innoventions It's a Small World Limited Time Magic Main Street USA Matterhorn Bobsleds Mickey's Fun Wheel Paradise Pier Pirates of the Caribbean PIXAR Play Parade Pixie Hollow Princess Fantasy Faire Radiator Springs Racers Star Tours Star Tours: The Adventures Continue Summer Nightastic! The Disney Gallery The Haunted Mansion The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure Tomorrowland Toy Story Mania Toy Story Midway Mania Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams WDW News Today World of Color