A great article written by Jason Garcia at The Daily Disney talking about the events that occurred the night of the fatal crash at Walt Disney World involving 21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg of Kissimmee . Here is just a small portion of this tragic piece:
At about 2 a.m. July 5, as the last of Walt Disney World’s theme parks was closing after one of the busiest days of the year, there was still much to do inside the resort’s monorail-maintenance shop.An electrician there was juggling multiple tasks as he operated the track switches linking the monorail system’s Magic Kingdom and Epcot loops. Three of Disney’s 12 trains were waiting to transfer between tracks, and a fourth was approaching the bay where it was to be parked for the night.
So when the electrician received the radio call instructing him to activate the switch that would allow one of the trains to transfer off the Epcot loop, he logged in to do so. But then, apparently distracted by a call about a door alert from the train approaching the maintenance bay, he did not activate the Epcot switch.
The electrician radioed that he had, though. As a result, the waiting train, driving in reverse to traverse the switch, wound up returning down the Epcot line and crashing into another train, killing that train’s pilot, 21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg of Kissimmee.
Click here to keep reading.
A great Q & A for Reuters UK talking to Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios head John Lasseter. They talk about his successes and even go into some of his future projects.
Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios head into the next week’s Oscars with the only movie ever nominated for both best film and best animated film, “Up,” about an old man and boy on an adventure in a faraway land.
Since its release last spring, “Up” has sold more than $725 million worth of tickets worldwide. It follows a string of successes that include “The Incredibles” and “Cars.”
Disney/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter, a major star in the world of animation, spoke to Reuters about “Up” and the company’s moviemaking philosophy, including another Disney Oscar hopeful, “The Princess and the Frog.”
Here are some the questions Reuters Asked:
Any film with the Pixar stamp seems to spell success. Do you ever worry that a film may stumble?
Four years ago, Disney bought Pixar and made you chief creative officer of the animation unit. What’s changed?
Pixar’s 11th film is “Toy Story 3,” due out June 18th. What can you say about this third installment?
Click here for the Full Q & A With John Lasseter.
Photo REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
A great post from Disney Park Blog showing off some of the new St Patrick’s Day merchandise including a new Vinylmation Series. :
This time of year it seems like there is a reason to celebrate every time you turn around. Whether it’s a traditional holiday, a religious holiday, a pseudo holiday or just a holiday from holidays… it seems there’s something around every corner. Here are a few helpful hints on seasonal gifts for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, in case you want to get started shopping early.
A Little Luck Can Go A Long Way…
Ever wish just once you could find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? I know I do. In March we celebrate the Irish, with traditions of corn beef and cabbage, wearing green, picking four-leaf clovers and even kissing the blarney stone. Here are a few things that might bring you a little luck this St. Patrick’s Day.
It will certainly take a “lucky” pick to find this Irish-looking leprechaun from our Vinylmation Holiday Series #1, since you don’t know what you get until you un-wrap it. But with a little luck you can add it to your very own collection.
Click here to keep reading and for more photos. Including a nice set of Mickey Mouse Ears for St Patty’s Day.
Photo from disneyparkblog.com
Vanessa Hudgens receives a major honor. She just earned a top honor, being named the Female Star of Tomorrow.
This award win, as determined by the ShoWest cinema owners, will officially be announced at the annual Las Vegas ceremony in March.
The 2010 choice is being linked to Vanessa’s popularity from the High School Musical series as well as her more recent roles in movies like Bandslam and Beastly. In fact, her Beastly co-star Alex Pettyfer reportedly got named as this year’s Male Star of Tomorrow, with a ShoWest rep saying they’re both outstanding young talents.
Some other standouts to receive the Star of Tomorrow honor in years-past include Abigail Breslin, Jennifer Hudson, Shia LeBeouf and Chris Pine.
Ever dream that Disney’s biggest fans could take over Fantasyland for one night? We do, too! To grant that wish, D23 is taking over all of Fantasyland for a once-in-a-lifetime bash to celebrate our first anniversary.
The magic begins in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle — after the park has closed to the general public — as D23 Members and their guests are led into the most magical realm of all, Fantasyland! Enjoy your favorite Fantasyland attractions alongside your fellow D23 Members — from Peter Pan’s Flight to it’s a small world — open to enjoy over and over again! And at our members’ request, guests will mix and mingle with beloved, classic Disney characters, as well as a few friends you may not have seen strolling through the park in a while! We know our members love Disneyland nostalgia, so guests will have the chance to get an up-close look at the “Electric Runaround” (designed by Disney Legend Bob Gurr after a turn-of-the-century Oldsmobile) Walt used to escort VIPs throughout Disneyland — and grab a bibbidy bobbidy beauty shot with Cinderella’s Crystal Coach!
And, speaking of VIPs, In addition to D23 Members — major stars in their own right! — the D23 First Anniversary Party at Disneyland will play host to a number of VIPs who have contributed significantly to Disney’s legacy, including:
Bob Gurr. Named a Disney Legend in 2004 for his decades of innovative work at Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob specialized in vehicle design and worked on the designs of the Autopia automobiles and the antique cars and double-decker buses used on Main Street, U.S.A. He also played a lead role in the design of the Monorail, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Flying Saucers attractions and more.
Tony Baxter. A legendary Imagineer, Tony has played a key role in the design and creation of many Disney attractions and theme parks of the last 40 years, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, the Indiana Jones Adventure and the overall creative role for Disneyland Paris.
Kevin Corcoran. Named a Disney Legend in 2006, Kevin has enjoyed a long and distinguished acting career with Disney, starring in such classic films as Old Yeller, The Shaggy Dog, Swiss Family Robinson and more.
Bill Farmer. Named a Disney Legend at the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, Bill’s voice is familiar to cartoon fans around the world as the voice of Goofy and Pluto. He has also lent his talents to a long list of Disney favorites, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Beauty and the Beast and such Disney·Pixar films as a bug’s life, Toy Story and Toy Story 2.
Margaret Kerry. Margaret was the original voice and live-action model for Tinker Bell.
Dave Smith. Named a Disney Legend in 2007, Dave Smith, chief archivist, the Walt Disney Archives, founded the Disney Archives in 1970.
Dan Roebuck. For more than two decades Dan has enjoyed a successful acting career. He currently shines in the role of Dr. Leslie Arzt on the hit ABC series LOST.
David Stollery. Named a Disney Legend in 2006, David Stollery enjoyed a solid acting career before he came to the Walt Disney Studios but it was there that he made his biggest mark. He played Marty Markham, the spoiled rich boy in The Adventures of Spin and Marty, and Dan Thompson in Westward Ho The Wagons!
Denny Newell. A senior show director at Disneyland, Denny is a 24-year Disneyland Cast Member who has played a directorial role for Celebrate! A Street Party, Disney’s Electrical Parade, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Drawn to the Magic and Pixie Hollow.
D23 Members and their guests will savor specialty coffee and an array of tantalizing Disney-inspired desserts including pastries, cookies, cupcakes, and of course, Mickey-shaped krispies! A “no host” beverage bar will also be available to toast this memorable affair.
And, naturally, there will be a few D23 surprises, including a special, limited-edition commemorative pin in honor of D23′s first anniversary, the perfect gift to remember this enchanting event.
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Location: Disneyland, Anaheim, California
Check In: Begins at 4 p.m. at a registration table to the west side of the park entrance. Check In will end promptly at 9:30 p.m. Disneyland closes to the public that night at 8 p.m.
Party Begins: 9 p.m.; Check in information for the party will be provided at registration
Event Ends: Midnight
Cost: $65 per person
Tickets: Click for tickets.
Included with the cost of your ticket:
- Private dessert party in Fantasyland after park closing
- The chance to ride many Fantasyland attractions including Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Storybook Land Canal Boats, it’s a small world, Mad Tea Party, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White’s Scary Adventures and Casey Jr. Circus Train
- Photo opportunities with beloved Disney characters
- Commemorative, limited-edition pin (one per guest)
Click here for more info.