Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is the Original Tiki Room set to return?

Rumors are on the swirl all over that there is a possibility that the original Tropical Serenade by the Enchanted Tiki Room maybe on the horizon for a return this summer. Since the fire that has apparently damaged the Iago Audio Animatronic the attraction has been closed and it has been said that replacing this particular AA is extremely expensive. It has been heard on WDWNT that at least one of the birds from the pre-show has been removed, and Disney has no word on the attraction. The attraction was originally set to return soon, but that date has since been pushed back all the way to July. Pretty long closure for a quick facelift.

It is apparent that it may cost less to return the lovable original Tiki Room then try to reopen the Under New Management updated show. It is also convenient that this marks the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World, and what better way to usher in the celebration then to bring back an attraction that Walt Disney had a big hand in creating (in Disneyland however) It would not be surprising to see this attraction reopen as Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. It does have a bit of a ring to it.

thanks to for some of the rumor.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

History of WDW: Horizons

Opened on the one year anniversary of the Epcot opening day, October 1, 1983, Horizons was the attraction that seemingly made Epcot a relevant park in the Walt Disney World Resort. This attraction used the famed omnimover technology still found in attractions like the Haunted Mansion and contemporary versions like the Seas with Nemo and Friends. Horizons was supposedly known as the unofficial sequel to The Carousel of Progress, and went as far as to have similar narrator's voice. The attraction was an attempt to show guests the future and what it may look like in the coming years. Horizons introduced fans to terms like Brava Centauri, Mesa Verde, and Sea Castle (three separate endings the attraction supported, a first of its kind)

Occupying three acres of land after construction, Horizons was also a technological marvel at its opening, having two large OMNIMAX screens that were state-of-the-art in 1983. Horizons I, the name of your omnimover vehicle took guests on a trip first into a revisit of the past titled "Looking back at tomorrow" in which we saw how technology took us to our present stae, and then the attraction sped us to Century III, or what was later called the futureprobe. During the OMNIMAX loop, guests were shown the DNA chain, the microprocessor, and "crystals" on the enormous screen just to name a few.  Then the Audio Animatronics are presented to show the "present" (it is actually Epcot's version of the future. Guests are introduced to the future of farming and agriculture, and everyday living. Scenes presented included the zero gravity sports, and a birthday cake presentation. This was the way the Disney believed the future could be. Guests were then given a choice for the first time ever in an attraction. We were given the choice of endings (sound familiar Spaceship Earth fans) Guests were given the option to return to the "futureport" by ways of space, (Brava Centauri) land, (Mesa Verde) or sea (Sea Castle) These choices led to a 31 second video presented in from of your omnimover vehicle.

Horizons lost corporate sponsoring from General Electric in late 1993, and by 1994 the attraction was closed. Fortunately for guests the closing of World of Motion, and the refurbishment of Universe of Energy prompted Disney to re-open Horizons to guests. The attraction remained open on more of a seasonal basis until 1999, when it shuttered for good. The reasons for the closure are well documented, however it is unknown if they are true, and if they contributed to its closure. The most obvious one was the loss of GE as a sponsor. As what happens many times with Epcot pavilions, the sponsor can be the reason for closure. (yes we are talking about you Wonders of Life) There is also a belief that a large sink-hole was found underneath the attraction building which made the attraction unstable. It has been also leaked that there was an issue with the roof of the show building, and that the attraction was close to crumbling under its own weight. It is not known which of these factors led to the closure of the attraction but many people were sad to see it go, and though Mission:Space replaced it, Horizons is not gone from many hearts and minds of Disney enthusiasts and fans.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pixar pals: Countdown to extinction...?

Apparently the new Hollywood Studios parade "Pixar Pals: Countdown to Fun" is in fact no fun at all. Rumor has it that it is nothing more than it's predecessor "Block Party Bash" without the stops. Disney has gone so far as to recycle the floats from BPB. Part of the reason for this is the length of time it is taking to ship the floats from DCA. Hopefully the reviews of this parade will get better when the floats arrive, but it seems that Disney painted themselves into a corner and were forced to reuse the older floats. Pixar Pals also seems to be quite quick. The whole parade lasts about six minutes. So if you blink your eyes you might miss it. Chances are you will want to miss it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lap Bars added to Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain recently re-opened to the public after a recent refurbishment. One new feature that might jump out at tourists are the new lap bar restraints that were added to the ride vehicles. This seems like a necessary addition considering I have spoken to people in the past, and they were surprised that the attraction lacked these in the first place. Lets see how these restraints work out in the coming weeks. What thoughts do we have about this change? Is it a loss of comfort? Maybe thrill seekers will feel as though the "thrill" has been lost. Lets wait and find out. More to come on this recent change.

Also just to note. This will add to the wait times of the attraction as loading and unloading will certainly be affected. It seems that the ride will now force only 2 guests per row on the attraction, not like the past when a young child could sit in between adults and fit 3 across.

We are now on Facebook!

Look up the blog on Facebook. Just search the title of the blog and it should be there. I am in the process of making this blog more user friendly, maybe adding a twitter account (if there is time) and hopefully this site can really take off. Come along for the ride the next update is not to far away.

Here is a link to the Facebook page The Tomorrowland Interplanetary Gazette