Our own Chris Lastrapes was lucky enough to attend the first-ever Disneyland Resort Meet-Up and has some photos from the event to share with us:
From the Disney Parks Blog:
Kevin Rafferty, Walt Disney Imagineer, Senior Concept Writer, will meet with the group to give an insider’s look at the new changes in Toy Story Mania. Kevin will even share original concept sketches and sketches of the ideas that didn’t make it into the attraction. Fans will have a chance to ask Kevin questions about the making-of the attraction and what it’s like to work on this project.
There will also be a few surprises you might not want to miss. The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 27, and check-in will close at 5:45 p.m.
To attend, please RSVP to email@example.com. This event is subject to capacity of 150 people, so we recommend that you RSVP quickly.
Here are a few things you should know:
- Valid RSVPs must include your name and the name of your guest if you are bringing one. RSVPs that include the names of more than two people or are missing information (e.g. incomplete names) will not be accepted.
- Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
- All guests must be 18 years or older.
- The event is subject to change or cancellation.
Note that the event is already full
From the Disney Parks Blog:
More big news to share today…a new game with new faces is being added to Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the celebration of the soon-to-be-released Disney*Pixar film, “Toy Story 3.” We’re also introducing a new character that you’ll have a chance to see and greet at both locations –- and it’s all happening in May.
The new Toy Story Mania! game, called “Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts,” will involve shooting virtual darts at all new balloon targets in a primeval world filled with volcanoes and lava balloons. You’ll be cheered on by Rex (the nervous Tyrannosaurus rex) and his new friend Trixie (a blue Triceratops, one of the toy characters from the new film) beginning in late May. Walt Disney Imagineering has also added some hidden surprises to the game that will be replacing “Bo Peep’s Baaa-loon Pop.”
And starting May 9, you’ll also get a chance to see “Lotso” (short for Lots-O’-Huggin Bear) at both parks. He’ll be greeting Guests in the meet-and-greet area inside The Magic of Disney Animation and be part of the “Block Party Bash” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new character will also join “Disney’s Pixar Play Parade” at Disney’s California Adventure and guests will be able to pose alongside the “Toy Story” gang inside a life-sized “blister pack” as if they themselves are toys.
The OC Register’s Around Disney blog has more information on the new Wii version of Toy Story Mania! being released this fall:
Disney Interactive Studios has announced plans to release “Toy Story Mania!” this fall for the Nintendo Wii console.
Although many aspects of the game are still in the works, a demo version of the Wii game was premiered recently and will be showcased in June’s E3 Expo, an annual gathering for computer and video gamers.
“From the success of the ride, Disney felt that the Wii was a good fit to bring the ride home,” Senior Show Producer Richard Robledo said.
The game was produced by the Irvine-based company Papaya Studios. Because of the company’s close proximity to the theme park, game designers got to spend time understanding the game.
The toss in space game is show producer Robledo’s favorite. “Especially when you’re playing with a friend, it’s a good competitive one. You can kind of steal each others points,” he admits.
“We’ve been working a lot with the WDI group, learning what they went through and how they built their story. In this game, we’re hoping to expand that story so you get a little more insight into Andy’s room and the toys and how they’re setting up the different games,” Senior Show Producer Linda Jo said.
Toy Story Mania! for Wii is very similar to the Toy Story Mania attraction, which opened last summer in Disney’s California Adventure and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.
The game version includes the five carnival galleries found in the ride, such as balloon pops, plate tosses and darts. In addition, game developers came up with new and original galleries along with a series of mini games, for a total of 30 different games.
“Half of this game is pretty much shooting galleries, which is similar to the ride,” Jo said. ”We don’t exactly copy it, because we want to make sure that the toys are constantly changing things, and then we expand on that – that’s where we get, like, the block hit, a hammer game, and all sorts of games that you’d find at a carnival.”
Other new elements of the Wii version include a fishing game and a butterfly-catching game hosted by Bo Peep.
“We just kind of imagined when Andy’s away, what type of games would the toys build that would be fun to play,” Jo explained. “The audience is the toy now.”
Because the characters from the movie are a focal point of the game, the original voice actors from the movie are used in the game as well (Although the voice of Woody, originally played by Tom Hanks, is instead played by Hanks’ brother James).
In developing the game, designers wanted to make use of the variety of functions that the Wiimote can perform.
“It’s not always pointing and shooting. We want to expand off of that. You’re skeeball-ing, you’re throwing, you’re fishing,” Robledo said.
Robledo challenges some experienced gamers to a game of Toy Story Mania.
While working with Imagineers, Papaya game designers noticed the emphasis on the attraction’s use of layered targets.
“It’s great, because sometimes when you’re playing by yourself you might not see all the good things that are in one level,” Roledo said. ”When you’re playing together — even though you’re trying to outscore each other – you’re going to see new things that you couldn’t score with by yourself. They helped us understand the teamwork.”
The only aspect of the attraction noticeably missing in the Wii version of the game is one of those pesky spring-action shooters, notable for their ability to build the riders’ arm muscles — or to just make them really tired.
While some games use the Toy Story Mania attractions concept of point and shoot, other games make use of the Wiimote features, such as this skeeball game.
Jo: “Just keep testing out the different targets in there. The targets aren’t just, well, the targets. There’s a progression to them; you keep finding things to unlock and find out what leads to another surprise or bonus.”
Robledo: “On block hit, you’ll notice in the background the parachutes. At one point, a crate is going to be falling. If you hit that crate, you get more balls, which in turn will give you more points, because you have more blocks to hit.”
Toy Story Mania! will be released in stores this fall and will retail for $49.99.
D23 also has some information on the Toy Story Mania! Wii game at this link.
Anyone who owns a Nintendo Wii video game console and loves the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction at Disney’s California Adventure or at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is sure to be excited by this news today:
BURBANK, Calif. – (March 24, 2009) – Disney Interactive Studios today announced Toy Story Mania!, inspired by the Disney/Pixar animated feature “Toy Story,” will be released exclusively for the Wii™ home video game console this fall. Toy Story Mania! showcases an array of entertaining games based on the new Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort attractions, while featuring the iconic characters and humor from the popular Disney/Pixar “Toy Story” franchise.
“The ‘Toy Story’ franchise is a fun, dynamic and heart-warming series containing characters and themes that connect with every age group,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Toy Story Mania! combines those popular elements with the unique antics of the new theme park attraction for the ultimate in family entertainment.”
In Toy Story Mania!, players experience the fast-paced, zany fun of the Toy Story Mania! theme park attraction, which is an interactive experience requiring 3D glasses and involving rapid or quick-firing shooting galleries. In addition to galleries adapted from the attraction, the game includes new and original galleries and a series of mini games, all hosted by beloved characters from the movies. The thematically-connected levels are designed for up to four players of all ages with competitive and co-operative multiplayer options. Toy Story Mania! also includes bonus 3D features, transforming the game experience with eye-popping visuals.
The Pixar-created “Toy Story” and ”Toy Story 2” have both had successful box office and DVD sales. The Disney Digital 3D™ theatrical re-release of “Toy Story” is in the works and will open in theatres on October 2, 2009, followed by the 3D re-release of “Toy Story 2” opening on February 12, 2010, leading up to the premiere of “Toy Story 3” in 3D summer 2010. Toy Story Mania! is the first video game to place characters from these films into a carnival game setting and is expected to resonate with fans of the films and the attraction, as well as gamers who like pick-up-and-play party games
Developed by Papaya Studio, Toy Story Mania! will be available this fall exclusively for Wii.
There are a lot of very interesting upcoming pin releases at the Disneyland Resort, showcasing attractions opened in the past year, and attractions yet to open. Let’s take a look at some of these pins:
This pin commemorating the grand opening of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will be released on March 29th and will retail for $12.95.
April’s Piece of Disney History pin looks to be the best Disneyland one yet, commemorating the still around Rainforest scene in It’s a Small World. It will be released on April 5th and will retail for $14.95.
Another It’s a Small World character pin (with an odd facade) will be released on April 10th and will retail for $10.95.
I believe this is the first Pixie Hollow pin (based on the meet ‘n greet itself, not the movie). It will be released on April 24th and will retail for $10.95.
The first pin featuring Mickey’s Fun Wheel, coming out on April 24th. It will retail for $10.95.
Also comes the first pins featuring the new Games of the Boardwalk (Goofy About Fishin’, Casey at the Bat, Bullseye Stallion Stampede, and Dumbo Bucket Brigade). This pin set will be release also on April 24th, and will retail for $22.95.
“Just a Dream Away”, the motto of the Blue Sky Cellar, also featuring a possible new logo for Disney’s California Adventure. It will be released on April 24th and will retail for $8.95.
The final pin I wanted to mention here is the 1 year anniversary pin for Toy Story Midway Mania, being released almost 3 months before the actual anniversary (June 17th) on April 24th. It will retail for $10.95.
To keep up with all the latest Disneyland Resort pin releases, check out the only podcast dedicated to Disney Pin Trading, WDWNT’s The Disney Pincast.
Well, we’ve know about this refurbishment for a while, but now we finally have solid dates. King Triton’s Carousel will be closed from March 9th to May 20th. While there are no official details on what will be done to this attraction, models in the Blue Sky Cellar show that a covered structure will be added, as well as similar architecture to Toy Story Midway Mania and the Games of the Boardwalk.
Stay tuned to Disneyland News Today for more information on this upcoming refurbishment.
WDWNT’s very own Chris Lastrapes was at the Disneyland Resort celebrating his birthday this past Thursday, and shares with us a few photos of the latest happenings around the Resort:
Workers were working outside the gates of The Haunted Mansion up to it’s soft re-opening Thursday afternoon.
The attraction was closed early in the day.
The painting of Mickey’s Fun Wheel is pretty much done. Just a little bit left to do on the stars.
Lots of work going on in the Paradise Pier lagoon.
We’ll end this short photo report with the new covering for Mr. Potato Head.
As we head in to this holiday week, here are a few interesting happenings going on around the Disneyland Resort:
- The Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-through is currently planned to open this Wednesday, November 26th. While this date could definitely change at any time, this is the most concrete date we’ve seen thus far.
- Air conditioning has finally been installed in the indoor portion of the queue for Toy Story Midway Mania. This will really improve the circulation in there during the hot summer months. Too bad they installed it as it starts getting cold!
- Quite interestingly, Disneyland is currently running 2 different pre-parades to A Christmas Fantasy. The Narnia pre-parade from back in May is running in front of the 3:30 parade, & the new Bolt pre-parade is running in front of the 6:30 parade.
Days before heading to Bejing for the Olympic Games, members of the USA volleyball team tested their competitive skills at Toy Story Mania! — a new attraction at Disney’s California Adventure, in Anaheim.
Teammates Ryan Millar, a BYU graduate from Palmdale, CA., and Scott Touzinsky, from Long Beach State and St. Louis, Mo., rode the attraction on July 29, racking up points with their spring action shooters. They each surpassed 135,000 points, but Touzinsky outscored Millar in a close contest.
Team USA, which trains at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, CA., aims to score many more points as they shoot for a medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, which begin Aug. 8. The U.S. men won their first FIVB World League title this summer, defeating Serbia in the gold-medal match in Rio de Janeiro.
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