Friday, April 12, 2013
About a year ago I posted some pictures from the set for Thunder in Paradise located at the Grand Floridian. It has been by far the most visited post that I have written so far. This was a great time to be in Walt Disney World. Back when The MGM Studios actually had filming taking place, and all the tours were really detailed and incredibly interesting. As well as being able to see things that were completely relevant and you might see on television or in the theater one day. That being, I think all of you who enjoyed my picture will thoroughly enjoy this as well. This is a quick companion post with some video that was taken when we visited the set while staying at the Polynesian. Enjoy!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
programmable search lights that are able to make swift precise movements, which could easily be timed to music.
Illuminations was originally sponsored by General Electric, which resulted in many lighting upgrades to the pavilions around world showcase Lagoon. New dual level edge lighting which provided a flashing effect, upgraded laser installations at the pavilions, as well as animated lighting imagery on top of the pavilions. These animated images were moved into place after darkness fell onto the park. Some of these animated scenes included a dragon on top of the China Pavilion, a windmill and the Moulin Rouge sign on top of the France pavilion, and a cuckoo clock on top of Germany.
projection mapping techniques that were utilized to change the appearance of the pavilion buildings themselves. This technology just recently has been utilized in the pre-shows to Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. As well as a show that takes place on the It's a Small World's facade at Disneyland.
It is pretty amazing that this technology existed over 20 years ago, even though somewhat crude compared to today's standards. It is now just being realized again for its entertainment value. Some examples of this in Illuminations include the changing of the American Adventure façade into the capital building as well as Germany's façade being enhanced by lighted additional trim and color combinations.
Thanks for taking the time to look at my pictures and hopefully enjoying my brief history on the original Illuminations show. I am always appreciative that people take the time out of their busy schedule to read and enjoy my blog. I hope that you learn something that you didn't previously know, and leads to enjoying this show more as well as enjoying the current iteration even more. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!
|Germany projection mapping|
Monday, February 4, 2013
This parade was pretty much just sitting unused in California. So in typical Disney fashion, why not haul the parade over to Walt Disney World to be used during the 20th anniversary celebration. The only problem with this was that the themes of Mardi Gras and Carnival did not entirely gel with the theme of the "surprise" celebration on the east coast. But they went along with it anyway being that this was the most economically feasible option.
The parade featured massive character balloons that stood around 40 feet tall. These balloons featured the Fab 5 as well as Roger Rabbit. The floats did receive some aesthetic upgrades and an entirely new Mickey balloon for the stint at WDW. The Disneyland version portrayed Mickey in his sorcerer garb.
|Cinderella and Snow White Graced this float|
Although the parade did not have all the fantastic elements that made the Disneyland parade so popular, it did have enough staying power to last for almost 3 years. This parade ran throughout the celebration and for a couple years after, until the ever popular Mickey Mania parade replaced it in 1994.
Friday, December 21, 2012
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights has been a mainstay of MGM Studios since 1995, when Disney acquired the display from Jennings Osborne. Jennings began his display when his daughter wanted their house decorated in lights for Christmas in 1986. Initially the display consisted of 1000 lights, and every year after it got bigger and bigger. Until his display got so big, that he purchased the properties on both sides of his own property to expand the display even farther. Eventually the neighbors around him started filing lawsuits claiming that the traffic around the neighborhood made even the simplest errand take up to two hours or more. After much legal turmoil, in 1995 the state Supreme Court shut the display at his own residence down completely.
John Phelan, project director at Walt Disney World, thought that the display would benefit Disney and also bring a pleasant addition to MGM Studios at the time. So he made an offer to Osborne, who was a fan of Walt Disney World and gladly accepted to move most of the display to Residential Street, which was located on the back lot at the time. By 1996 Disney had added many lights to the display bringing the total up to 4.5 million.
Residential Street was experienced as a ride through portion on the original Back Lot tram tour. It contained a "neighborhood" of many various houses that consisted of no more than the Street side façades. If you got a good look behind these façades you'll see that it is pretty much bare steel and wood with no completed back structure of the house. When Residential Street hosted the Osborne light display, the streets were opened up to guests to walk about the neighborhoods and admire the enormous display of lights draped about the facades. There were many other elements besides the lights on the houses. Which included Santa, reindeer, toy soldiers, nativity scene, as well as many lights on real and fake trees and even lights on cars.
|Golden Girls house|
Residential street was closed to the public on July 2, 2003. The street was scheduled for demolition to make way for the new stunt show: Lights, Motors, Action. Which resulted into an even more abbreviated Back Lot tour. The Osborne lights were moved to an area of the park known as New York Street. Which was eventually renamed to streets of America. The show has undergone many changes through the years, including a dancing portion of the light display. Which warrants the most recent name change to the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
This show really adds a nice holiday element to Hollywood studios which doesn't have the amount of offerings that the other parks do. I think some of the charm is missing compared to when the display was on Residential Street. But the wow moments and overall feelings are definitely there nowadays. I hope Disney continues to utilize technological advances that are available, and invent new ways to plus this show to keep it relevant and exciting to park guests for years to come. While keeping the charm and history of the display in tact. Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Caribbean Plaza was added to Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom in 1973. This was brought on by the Pirates of The Caribbean attraction being built in Florida; as well as extending the existing Adventureland, which pretty much ended right at the Tiki Room building and included a pathway running straight into Frontierland on the west side of The Country Bear Jamboree. The addition of Caribbean Plaza allowed a better transition into Frontierland, as well as added a dynamic thematic element to that side of the park.
The well themed atmosphere was plussed by the performances of JP and The Silver Stars, a steel drum band that performed around the area. The locations that they performed changed throughout the years, and ultimately ended in 1999 to make way for various meet and greet areas and character interaction elements that are less atmosphere based, and more product based.
I have always had an affinity towards this area of Magic Kingdom. I know as a child I absolutely loved the shop at the end of Pirates. Back when the rifles sold actually looked like guns that would have been used by pirates, as well as many other treasures to plunder there. My grandfather loved to stop and listen to the music that emanated harmoniously from their various instruments. We always took the time to enjoy their performances, so in turn we spent a lot of time around here. A taco salad was rarely missed at El Pirata y Perico, when it used to be open more frequently in the past. It is now called Tortuga Tavern, and is only open during the most busy times of the year at the park.
Caribbean Plaza was a great addition to the park and is and always has been a fantastic area to spend time. I do hope that experiences like this, that are strictly for the enjoyment of the guests, play a more prominent part in the expansion of the parks. Entertainment options like this can span many generations, like JP and The Silver Stars, who brought so much more to our Walt Disney World vacation experiences throughout the years.