Disney announces 24-hour Memorial Day weekend event in ‘140 character’ tweet

tweetLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — On Friday, Walt Disney World and Disneyland used 140 characters to announce another 24-hour Memorial Day weekend event.

Exactly 140 Disney characters gathered at Walt Disney World Resort to create the “Ultimate Tweet” to announce the bi-coastal, 24-hour all-night party. The announcement was made on Friday.

The all-night event will be held in Florida at Magic Kingdom Park and in California at Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park.

The parks will stay open from 6 a.m. on Friday, May 23 until 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 24.

“Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and 135 of their friends came together to trumpet the countdown to “Rock Your Disney Side: 24-Hours” this Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of the family travel season, when guests of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California can enjoy select parks for 24 hours nonstop,” Disney said in a news release.

The celebration will feature events showcasing the good-vs.-evil of classic Disney stories including character meet-and-greets throughout the parks, special entertainment, event merchandise, and food and beverage offerings.

The event is part of the “Disney Side” promotion at Disney Parks this year. A similar event was held in 2013. 

Kudos to StitchKingdom for reporting this on Thursday, a day before Disney made the official announcement.

Walt Disney World unveils big changes to the MK Hub

renderingIn a post on the Disney Parks Blog, Walt Disney World announced big changes coming to the Central Plaza area between the end of Main Street and Cinderella Castle. 

Circular pathways, gardens, restaurant seating, new fireworks and parade viewing areas will be included in the project. 

“To make it easier to move around, two additional pathways will be built around the plaza. “Also, seating outside of Casey’s Corner and The Plaza restaurant will nearly double in size,” Thomas Smith posted on the Disney Parks Blog. “The sculpted gardens planned for the location are inspired by the lush grounds seen around European castles and chateaus.”

The multi-phase project is already underway and should be completed in 2015.

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Disney launches ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ app for iOS

screen568x568On Tuesday, The Walt Disney Studios launched a new iOS app called Disney Movies Anywhere that lets users watch and search for Disney, Pixar and Marvel films.

The application allows users to view their iTunes Store content within the app and without visiting the store or viewing in Apple’s Videos app.

When a user downloads the app, they are asked to sign in with their iTunes account and their Disney account. The app then creates a collection of movies the user has purchased on iTunes. The app is a “digital locker” of Disney content.

If you have a Disney Movie Rewards account, the movies that you have purchased and entered on DisneyMovieRewards.com will show in your collection if your purchase included access to a digital copy.

For example, I purchased 9 movies over the last several years that included a digital copy. All of those movies now show in my collection.

Disney Movie Rewards users will also be able to earn points for their digital purchases.

Everyone who installs the app will receive a free copy of The Incredibles. View the app in the iTunes store.

In a statement, Alan Bergman, president of Walt Disney Studios, described Disney Movies Anywhere as an “exceptional consumer experience.” Jamie Voris, the studio’s chief technology officer, added that “the intuitive layout of the website and app creates an easy and enjoyable browsing environment.”

screen568x568 (1)Parents can use MPAA ratings to control movies that are accessible on a device and allows movies to be either streamed or downloaded. So, if you’re on your iPad at home, you can stream movies on your home network as opposed to having the movies downloaded on the device.

The app was released on the same day Frozen was made available as a digital download.

Disney shares new onboard video of ‘Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’ during live blog

MTB976544-613x615LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — On Monday, Walt Disney Imagineering released a new video of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction during a live blog on the Disney Parks Blog.

The video includes new onboard footage of the attraction and an original CGI onboard video that was created early on during the development of the attraction

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will mark the completion of the New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom.

The ride is described as a combination of a family roller coaster and a “dark ride.” It will feature several interactive elements, including the dwarfs from Snow White and several other characters.

Walt Disney Imagineer Dave Minichiello announced several project updates during the live blog.

“What’s interesting about the video is that there’s a CGI model, which was the first concept model that we developed for this show. What’s amazing is seeing how accurate it was to our initial concept and vision,” Minichiello said.

“It has proven to be pretty amazing and a very smooth attraction,” Minichiello said.

phpvap1stwdi_train“It’s a completely new experience – not only having the sensation of pivoting back and forth and it varies throughout the attraction. You feel differences in the various terrain around the mountain,” Minichiello said.

The attraction is expected to open this spring.

“Each mine train is very unique and we wanted to make them look like they were used in different times,” Minichiello said. “When you see the vehicles themselves, there’s a lot of layering to them. While you go to the mine and there’s a lot of rustic wood and wood graining throughout the attraction, some of the wood carving is something you seen in the film and we’ve picked that up. The scale and the character of everything around you starts to go into the dwarfs’ world.”

“It’s that final gem in the overall New Fantasyland project and we are excited to share it with our guests. For myself and all of our team members, it has been really special to bring all these stories into Magic Kingdom for our guests to experience,” Minichiello said.

Read more: Disney Parks Blog