Archive for the 'Disney Imagineering' Category

Walt Disney Imagineering changed the voice of Mara in the “Indiana Jones Adventure” at Disneyland


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UPDATE: Be sure to read the great news in this article’s comments!
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Return the ominous voice of Mara at Disneyland to its former glory! Let your “true” voice be heard, as Mara’s once was! Sign the online petition here.

Why I signed it: I was so fortunate as to have my first experience riding the Indiana Jones attraction at Disneyland way back when it was one of the highlights of the official Disneyana Convention one of the few times that convention was held by The Walt Disney Company at Disneyland rather than Walt Disney World. It was so long ago that all the effects in the attraction were still working as designed! Each time since then that I’ve returned, I’ve always enjoyed being warned by the ominous voice of Mara in that booming way of his. Imagine my surprise to hearing a recording of it this week and how I unimpressive it now sounds after being changed! I implore you, give back to us Disney fans the original voice of Mara! With any luck, you will restore it before my next vacation to my favorite place on earth, the Disneyland Resort. Whatever team changed Mara’s voice are certainly acting like “foolish mortals”!

See the new effects, which are great, and hear the not-great new voice on YouTube.

Again, please sign the online petition here.

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UPDATE: And, again, be sure to read the great news in this article’s comments!
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Do you look forward to more of Disney’s next generation advances like “MyMagic+”?

Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, wrote about MyMagic+ today on the Disney Parks blog:

“A major component of MyMagic+ is the new My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which gives guests planning their trip the latest information on all Walt Disney World Resort has to offer. We know that some people like to plan every aspect of their Disney vacation in advance while others like to plan very little, letting their day unfold spontaneously.”

“No matter where guests fall in that spectrum, My Disney Experience gives them the flexibility to plan as much or as little as they’d like to create the exact Disney experience they want. They can book dining and other experiences and reserve times for their favorite attractions, shows and more through an enhanced FastPass system, FastPass+. Once they arrive, they can use their smart phones to spontaneously change their plans in the moment, exploring our parks at their own pace and getting the most out of their visit.”


“Disney unveils ‘MyMagic+,’ the centerpiece of its sweeping NextGen technology project” – Orlando Sentinel

“At Disney Parks, a Bracelet Meant to Build Loyalty (and Sales)” – New York Times

One bracelet to rule them all! ^_^ My preciousssss…

If you’ve ever read “Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom”, it seems we’re on our way to what Cory Doctorow wrote as science fiction years ago.


Here’s a thought: Guys! Guys! MyMagic+ can be abbreviated to MM+! (MickeyMouse) (MinnieMouse)

What are your thoughts on NextGen and MyMagic+ — leave a reply below or follow me (DisneyEcho) on Twitter and leave a comment there!

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Tripping over both bells and whistles

Tripping over both bells and whistles.

I recommend this article. Thumbs up!

A TRON E-Ticket Attraction at Disneyland

TRON Legacy

It is in the “Blue Sky” phase, meaning that WDI is thinking up concepts for a TRON attraction for Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.

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Disney Parks And Apple Products Are Designed With Similar User Experiences In Mind


Andy Ihnatko, personal tech writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, gave the keynote address Wednesday at the MacTech conference in Los Angeles. He spoke about various features of the upcoming new version of Mac OS X, Lion, including how Apple is making it to be similar to Walt Disney’s philosophy of the experiences Guests have at Disney theme parks.

“Disney wanted to make sure park visitors didn’t have a bad time when they showed up to the parks, so instead, he went over the line and didn’t give them permission to have a bad time. In the same way, Apple is locking away and removing any parts of the computer that might cause problems in any way. Traditional users might be disappointed to lose that control, but users in general appreciate just not having to worry about settings that seem to only harm them when wrong.”

That’s an interesting insight and explains why I enjoy being at Disney parks as well as using Apple devices like the MacBook, IPhone and iPad.

You can read the full article I’ve quoted from here.

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Disneyland PeopleMover, Innoventions replacement, Tomorrowland revamp, Frontierland expansion approved? Here’s why

The Astro Orbiter in its current location, seen here from inside the Plaza Inn restaurant, doesn't blend well with that area's turn-of-the-century theming and also clogs the entrance to Tomorrowland from the Hub (Disneyland's Central Plaza).

The buzz from Disneyland insiders is that the Suits in charge there know they need to increase the number of attractions in order to deal with that park’s crowded conditions.

It’s a great, big, beautiful Tomorrowland!

Because of that, rumor has it that Disney Imagineering projects have been approved to revamp Tomorrowland — including moving the Astro Orbiter out of that land’s crowded Central Plaza walkway and returning them back to the old Rocket Jets location, flying high over the heart of Tomorrowland with, get this, a new PeopleMover below it as well as a replacement for Innoventions in the old Carousel Theater/America Sings building.

I’d love to see all of that happen as well as a new attraction in that interesting building (hopefully utilizing its unique rotating ring section). It is way past time to evict the Elias family out of their Innoventions Dream Home on 360 Tomorrowland Way. They can continue celebrating their son’s “amazing” soccer goal elsewhere… or move with your lives on as you move out, Elias family. You’ve been hosting a party celebrating Robbie’s soccer goal since 1998. Is he even still living at home after all that time?

Add to the expansion project mix that Disneyland Resort president George Kalogridis at D23’s Destination D mini-expo admitted they “hear us” about bringing the PeopleMover back, so plans have been created to make that possible. He went on to explain what Disney has to do to make the attraction comply with today’s safety standards (adding a walkway alongside the track with railings and emergency exit staircases, etc.). Changes made to the park’s Alice in Wonderland attraction immediately come to mind.

The PeopleMover was a very high-capacity, short line, efficient attraction that in and of itself would help to alleviate Disneyland’s Guest overcrowding problem. Plus, they could bring back the TRON SuperSpeed Tunnel section to the PeopleMover — synergy with TRON Legacy! Having the 3,000 Guest per hour capacity of the PeopleMover back will be a great start to lessen Disneyland’s overcrowding.

Frontierland Expansion

But that’s not all. Word is that Frontierland will be expanded with at least one new attraction, an E-Ticket (i.e., a super attraction).

Before Frontierland can be expanded, though, room needs to be created for that behind the berm. That’s why Disney is looking into where offsite — but nearby — they can move the backstage Circle D Ranch horse stables (then uses trailers to transport the park’s horses to/from the park) to open up room behind the Festival Arena to expand Frontierland with a new E-Ticket attraction which might be themed to Johnny Depp’s upcoming “Lone Ranger” movie.

Good! Big Thunder Ranch can certainly use something more exciting than a log cabin and a petting zoo. Big Thunder Trail can be much more than a backdoor path to Fantasyland behind Big Tbunder Mountain.

I hope all of these rumored changes are officially announced soon and come to pass. With these additions to Disneyland — along with the improvements at Disney California Adventure — my opinion is that the Disneyland Resort will be better than ever. Reply with your thoughts about this!

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Unless otherwise noted, Rich Koster did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in these articles. He pays for his own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

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