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My next Disney to-do list

Disney for Five+

As our next WDW trip approaches, I’ve started thinking about the things I’d like to do while there. This time, we will be touring as a group of nine. With so many people along for the fun, I realize the chances are slim that I’ll get to experience everything on my list. But I’ll give it my best try!

DSC00312-Cindarella's castle back

So, here we go! These are some things that I’ve either never done before, or did so long ago that I barely remember them:

Magic Kingdom

–       Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

–       Festival of Fantasy parade

–       Cinderella’s Royal Table

Epcot

–       American Adventure

–       Voices of Liberty

DHS

–       Butterfinger cupcake at Starring Rolls

–       Animation Academy

Animal Kingdom

–       spiked Dole Whip at Tamu Tamu

–       Pangani Forest Trail

–       Festival of the Lion King

–       Finding Nemo

–       Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Well, there you have it! How many…

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Anxiously Awaiting Food & Wine Menus?

It's "All in WDW"

Are you anxiously awaiting 2014’s Food & Wine menus?  As you wait, check out this Disney Parks Blog post by Pam Brandon.

Complete with the recipe for Patagonia’s Verlasso Salmon, Pam tells us that this year’s Epcot cookbook will be a “Triple Threat” of tasty delights!

Then, keep stopping back to visit All in WDW today!  Maybe today will be the lucky day!  You want to see the full marketplace menus?  We’ll post ’em as soon as we can!

Now, onto that salmon …

Verlasso Salmon

Grilled Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri
Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Salmon
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 (5- to 6-ounce) Verlasso salmon fillets, skin removed

For the rest of the recipe, visit Pam’s post at this link!

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Disney Rolling Out Wider Testing of MagicBands

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Jason Garcia discusses Disney’s MyMagic+ program

By Jason Garcia
Orlando Sentinel

Walt Disney World, which has been slowly rolling out elements in its billion-dollar MyMagic+ technology project in recent months, is about to launch one of its broadest tests yet.

Beginning Wednesday, Disney will have all visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park — including day-trippers and guests staying at off-property hotels — use its new “FastPass+” ride-reservation system, which will allow them to book times for up to three attractions.

At the same time, Disney will for the first time turn off its existing FastPass system in Animal Kingdom, the paper-ticket-based reservation system that Disney World visitors have been using for more than a decade. Under the paper system, guests can generally get only FastPasses for one ride at a time, though they can also ultimately obtain more than three per day.

There will be several restrictions. Offsite visitors will only be permitted to make their ride reservations once they arrive at the theme park at various in-park kiosks, unlike travelers staying in Disney-owned hotels who can book ride times weeks in advance through a Disney website. And offsite visitors will not be issued “MagicBands,” the rubber bracelets equipped with microchips that are another key component of MyMagic+.

Disney says it intends to eventually allow offsite guests to book ride times before their visits, though it is unclear when that will begin. Company executives once hoped to have MyMagic+ fully launched by this fall, but it is now aiming for some time in 2014.

News of the Animal Kingdom test was first reported earlier this week by the Disney-focused website, WDWMagic.com.

Disney is trying out the new systems with a bigger audience at a challenging time. The next two weeks — encompassing the Christmas and New Year holidays — are among the most intensely busy periods of the year for the giant resort, although Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios draw far smaller crowds than the Magic Kingdom or Epcot.

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Disney Parks Podcast – Jim Korkis interview Part 2

Last week I posted a link to a fellow podcaster’s site that featured part 1 of an interview with Jim Korkis. Jim is one if my very favorite Disney historians, and in this podcast he never fails to entertain. Here’s the link below so you don’t miss Part 2:
http://disneyparkspodcast.com/disney-parks-podcast-show-86-an-interview-with-jim-korkis-part-2/

90 Years of Wishing on a Star: Disney’s Animation Turns 90 this Week

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At 90, Disney Animation Nowhere Near Drawing To A Close
by NPR STAFF

This year marks a milestone in the world of make believe.

Walt Disney Animation Studios is celebrating its 90th anniversary, a history spanning scores of classic films and a menagerie of beloved characters.

Walt Disney’s world has grown a bit larger since it acquired Pixar — the company behind hits like Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc.

John Lasseter was instrumental in shaping Pixar’s success, directing films like Toy Story and Cars. He was a Southern California kid who grew up on Disney, and is now at the creative helm of both Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

He spoke with NPR’s Renee Montagne about both the history and the future of Disney animation.

“There was a period of time when they estimated the two biggest stars in Hollywood were Charlie Chaplin and Mickey Mouse,” he says.

Interview Highlights

On Walt Disney’s creation of Mickey Mouse

[Walt Disney] came up with an all animated series called Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, and that was a big hit. But the one problem is he did not own the copyright to that, and that character was stolen from him. And he was determined after that never to create anything that he did not own. And the next character was Mickey Mouse.

On why Disney’s first animated feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, was so special when it premiered

Everybody thought that cartoons were these funny little shorts that came before the main feature. Walt had a vision that animation could entertain an audience for a feature-length film, and everyone thought he was crazy.

And in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, there’s a scene, after Snow White has bitten the poison apple, and the dwarves have her on the bed, and she’s laying there, and all they are is crying. And when that happened … everyone was weeping in the theater. And they could not believe they were weeping and crying at a cartoon. And when Snow White came out it was the No. 1 movie of that year. And it was a real revolution you know, in Hollywood.

On his first interactions with Disney, writing letters as a young teenager

I loved cartoons. Even when it was uncool to like cartoons, when you’re supposed to be getting into kind of, girls and sports and stuff in high school, I still ran home to watch the cartoons after school.

And when I was a freshman in high school I read a book called The Art of Animation and it talked about how Walt Disney made animated films, and it dawned on me that people actually make cartoons for a living. You got paid to make cartoons. I thought, “That’s what I want to do!” And then I started writing to the Disney studio as a freshman in high school. And they wrote back and they invited me over and I remember going through — 16 years old — driving the family car over to Burbank and getting a tour through the Disney studio.

On what made him leave Disney to work for the company that would become Pixar

One of the things that I was so excited about [at] Disney, and what Walt Disney did, was he always was pushing the technology. And when I was a young animator here at Disney in the late ’70s, early ’80s, I saw the beginnings of computers making pictures. And I thought, this is what Walt had been waiting for. A way to get more dimensionality.

But at Disney at that time, they were not interested in it. And so I actually ended up getting fired because I kept pushing so hard they didn’t want to hear it anymore. And I always looked at it as, that these computers, these programs, are the tools, no different than the pencil and paper I was trained to animate with.

On the feeling that Disney has been revitalized in the last few years at the expense of Pixar

That’s people writing that don’t know what they’re talking about. We have a tremendous group of talented people at both studios. Pete Docter, one of my partners who made Toy Story with me, he did Monsters, Inc. and Up, and his new movie called Inside Out, it’s the next Pixar film, is one of the most original films we’ve ever made. It’s set inside the head of a 13-year-old girl and the characters are her emotions. That studio is so on fire right now.

On the chance that there might be a female lead that isn’t a princess

We have a lot of great ideas on the boards. Yes, we really love female characters, but we want them to be strong. You know, even though they’re quote-on-quote “princesses,” since 2006 we’ve made The Princess and the Frog, which is Tiana, [she] doesn’t start out as a princess, she starts out wanting to own a restaurant to follow her father’s dream in New Orleans. Then we made Tangled which is Rapunzel. You know she’s not waiting around for some guy to come save her. Up at Pixar we did Brave and that is about as strong of a female character.

More On Animation Movies
For Top-Flight Animators, The Gag Is An Art All Its Own
Even though they may have a “princess” in the title or [be] put under that category, they’re far, far from it. Even though I may have five sons, I have a very strong wife. I have been making these movies with her in mind, my two nieces in mind. Gone are the days when we’re going to have a princess waiting around for a guy to show up and save her.

On whether he worries that the animation technology will start to overshadow the characters

Daily. There will always be technical advances but it’s really how the filmmakers and the artists use that technology to entertain audiences in new ways. You know, it’s really the story and the characters that really inspire people. And you just want people to sort of get swept away in these stories and not think about anything until the credits start rolling.

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