The Jungle Book Digital HD Giveaway

The Jungle Book Digital HD Giveaway

© Disney

Available on Digital HD August 23rd, and on Blu-ray™ combo pack August 30th!

As I sat in the dark, an epic battle was taking place before my eyes. Mowgli, Baloo, and Bagheera, characters I’d known and loved my entire life, had come alive and were fighting for their lives, as well as, their home. Suddenly, the most fearsome tiger I’d ever seen leaped into view, startling everyone watching in the theater, myself included.

In Disney’s live-action version of The Jungle Book, the classic characters we’ve grown to love from the original animated film come to life in a spectacular way. Baloo the bear and his friend Mowgli the man-cub are even more lovable in Disney’s latest version of the film. I loved watching the humorous antics as the two gathered honey to eat. They also sang a new version of “The Bear Necessities,” one of my favorite Sherman Brothers tunes from the original Disney film.

Written by: on August 24, 2016 at 8:00 am

Secrets of Disney’s Haunted Mansions

Secrets of Disney's Haunted Mansions

Photo credit: EmilyGracey via / CC BY

Early concept drawings of Disneyland featured an eerie house filled with happy haunts. While most haunted houses were filled with terrifying ghosts and ghouls, Walt Disney wanted his haunted house to present a more comedic experience for his guests. The ghosts would sing, dance, and play jokes on each other creating an attraction fitting for guests of all ages. In 1969, Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion opened to the delight of park guests. Just a couple years later, on Walt Disney World’s opening day in 1971, a second Haunted Mansion opened in Orlando, Florida. A haunted mansion style attraction has since been built in almost all Magic Kingdom style parks throughout the world. Let’s take a look at some of the secrets of this mysterious Disney attraction.

  • While Disney imagineer Leota Toombs is known for being the face of Madame Leota, the voice of Madame Leota is one you may recognize as well. Actress Eleanor Audley, who voiced Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and Lady Tremaine from Cinderella, can be heard as the voice of Madame Leota.
  • Thurl Ravenscroft, known for the voice of Tony the Tiger and singing “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” can be heard as one of the singing busts in the Haunted Mansion
  • The Ghost Host is voiced by Paul Frees. Other characters voiced by Frees include Boris from Rocky & Bullwinkle and Ludwig von Drake.
  • The pipe organ seen in the ballroom of Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion is the same organ used in Disney’s film, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.
  • Much of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is housed underground. In order to transport guests to the lower level, the Stretching Room was actually built as an elevator.
  • Walt Disney World’s version of the attraction is housed in a ground-level show building hidden from guest view, so there is no need for an elevator in the Stretching Room. At the Haunted Mansion in Orlando, the ceiling simply rises to create the illusion of the stretching room.
  • The tombstones seen at the Haunted Mansion are tributes to many of the imagineers who helped develop this classic attraction. Master Gracey gets his name from imagineer Yale Gracey who created many special effects for the attraction. Dear departed Grandpa Marc is none other than Marc Davis, known for his work on numerous Disney attractions including the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of The Caribbean, and so many more.
  • The story of Disneyland Paris’ Phantom Manor is designed to be scarier than the other Haunted Mansion attractions. Phantom Manor’s storyline was inspired by the never built Western River Expedition attraction and is centered around Henry Ravenswood, a settler who discovered gold in Big Thunder Mountain
  • Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Manor is the first Haunted Mansion style Disney attraction to use a trackless ride system.
  • Mystic Manor features a score written by Danny Elfman, who also write the score for The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Knowing some of the stories behind the Haunted Mansion make the attraction even more fun and magical. Do you know any more Haunted Mansion trivia? Share it in the comments below!

Written by: on August 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule Update For August 2016

Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule Update For August 2016

The summer is quickly drawing to a close, and soon the Magic Kingdom will be filed with pumpkins, candy, and trick-or-treaters. While there are not currently a large number of refurbishments scheduled for the parks, refurbishments are scheduled for a couple of the most popular Disney attractions. There are also quite a few refurbishments taking place at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. As always, the Refurbishment Schedule is subject to change, so be sure to  confirm any information prior to your vacation.

Written by: on August 2, 2016 at 11:32 pm

Discover Future World: Test Track

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are taking a closer look at the fun you can find in Future World at Epcot.

Discover Future World: Test Track

Photo credit: CL Photographs via StoolsFair / CC BY-ND

Epcot’s Test Track has been delighting Future World guests since the late 1990’s and continues to do so with the 2012 overhaul of the attraction’s theme. Reaching speeds of up to 65 mph, Test Track is a must do for any thrill-seeking guest at Walt Disney World. Let’s take a look at what makes Test Track one of Epcot’s best attractions.

Written by: on July 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule Update For July 2016

Walt Disney World Refurbishment Schedule Update for July 2016

UPDATE: Looking for the most recent refurbishment schedule? Find the current Walt Disney World refurbishment schedule here.

Summer is well underway! The Florida sun is hot, the parks are crowded, and it’s my favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World! For me, nothing says 4th of July like a trip to the Most Magical Place On Earth. Cinderella Castle is decorated with red, white, and blue at night. The American Adventure helps guests get in a patriotic mood. And of course, there’s also the fireworks. Whether you celebrate the 4th at Epcot or the Magic Kingdom, you’re in for a spectacular 4th of July fireworks show! If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Walt Disney World at this wonderful time of year, you’ll want to read my 7 essential tips for visiting on the 4th and also be aware of any refurbishments scheduled during your vacation. As always, the Refurbishment Schedule is subject to change, so be sure to  confirm any information prior to your vacation.

Written by: on July 3, 2016 at 1:13 pm