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Orlando Theme Parks

Disney World Icons

The Four Major Disney World Icons and their Background

Nothing says Disney World greater than the images from the park’s well-known Disney World icons, and with nearly everything with Disney World Parks there is something of importance behind everything. On this page I will go into some details with anecdotes behind the most familiar four Disney iconic images, and perhaps the next time you see photos of these Disney World icons or see them face to face you will have a new appreciation of them.

The Four Major Disney World Icons

1. Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom. This will be only at the Orlando Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland, whereas at Disneyland, California and also Hong Kong Disneyland it’s the Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Orlando castle was inaugurated in 1971 and got its inspiration from a number of existing castles such as Fontainebleau, Versailles along with Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, Alcazar of Segovia, Spain and also three chateaus located in France. It looks taller than it actually is because as you look higher, its dimensions become smaller. Its exterior is created to look as if it is created from brick, nonetheless it is actually metal in its interior structure, and 10 inch thick durable concrete walls surround the structure. And not true, it can’t be taken apart and relocated just in case of a hurricane.

2. Spaceship Earth found in Epcot. One of the most familiar structures within the entire Disney World complex, it was inaugurated in 1982, and inside is a slow-moving trip throughout human history. Though a lot of people call it the “golf ball”, it is a geodesic sphere that took in excess of two years to complete. The well-known science fiction author Ray Bradbury aided in designing it, and it is exceptional for the reason that it hasn’t a flat bottom; on the contrary is entirely rounded and rests on posts placed on the foundation.

3. The Sorcerer’s Hat at Hollywood Studios. Influenced by the Sorcerer’s Apprentice from the 1940 Disney motion picture Fantasia, it made its debut in 2001 and at present serves as a setting for shows.  It’s become the center as well as focal point of Hollywood Studios ever since that time, and utilizing its height of 122 feet it can be seen from almost anywhere. It’s the newest of the four iconic structures dominating the four foremost parks, and marks one of Disney’s many movie-making achievements.

4. The Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom. Opening at Animal Kingdom Park in 1998, it is really a sculpted 14 story artificial tree that’s the centerpiece of the largest single Disney theme park in the world. Though the tree features a lofty specter over the entire park, when you get up near to it is the time it becomes especially amazing. Engraved all over the place on the tree are 325 animals which took ten artists and three Imagineers 18 months employed full-time to fashion.

All four of the main parks had been given these focal points which are central to each individual park, and each in their own manner represents what that park has to offer. This whole complex is truly one of the best things to see in Orlando as far as quality of enjoyment and an area to get a wonderful, relaxing vacation.

Top theme park talent shares insight and helpful advice in Entertainment ... - Inside the Magic
nnnnnTop theme park talent shares insight and helpful advice in Entertainment ...Inside the MagicTwo panel discussions included theme park designers from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, along with some Hollywood talent. Together the group has worked on a wide array of projects ranging from .... Mike ...nnn
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Disneys Food and Wine Festival

Make Disneys Food and Wine Festival a Florida Experience

Of all the truly fun things to do in Florida, on the uppermost of our to-do list yearly will be the Disney Food and Wine Festival, usually running in late September to early November.  In 2013 it will begin on Sept. 27, and it will continue through Nov. 10.  Approximately 30 kiosks situated at the Epcot world showcase make up the event, and particular countries are represented offering their distinctive foods.  Weekends can get especially crowded, but the lines ordinarily move quite quickly.

It is probably best to plan on making it a multi-day event.  Your biggest dilemma will be where you are going to eat, because even if you overeat, which you almost certainly will, you will not be able to taste even close to everything.  Portion sizes are small, but still bigger than bite-size.

Some Examples of the Cuisine that You Can Choose From

An example from Ireland of a food possibility are a lobster and seafood fisherman’s pie (in addition is Guinness, the popular Irish dry stout), New Zealand’s lamb meatball along with spicy tomato chutney, and from South Africa has a seared filet of beef with mashed sweet potatoes and braai sauce.  What you’ll pay for these items are within the $4 to $6 range, with a few of the beverage items usually running somewhat greater, depending on quality and size.  You will have enough to get a good culinary experience, even though they are mini-portions.  For a more comprehensive look at what there was to put forward in 2012, visit the disneyfoodblog2012-epcot-food-and-wine-festival and click on the World Showcase Marketplace tasting booths.  It provides you with a total rundown on food, prices and countries represented.

The kiosks at Epcot are the most popular part in the wine and food festival, although not all.  You will find signature dining experiences with some celebrated chefs, wine seminars and cooking demonstrations, and what they call “Eat to the Beat” live performance series, which includes nightly performances with pop celebrities.  We’ve attended the Party of the Senses, that  is only offered on Saturdays, and it is absolutely a food extravaganza.  But be advised that it gets quite costly.  There are several more to select from, but they will sell out rather rapidly, consequently don’t wait until the last minute.

Tip Number 1: Pace Yourself

A couple of bits of advice that I would provide: first, pace yourself.  Once you have been in attendance a few times you will have an idea of where you want to go to find your old favorites.  But if you stop at every booth that you are drawn to , you will not make it half-way around.  The second is to purchase a prepaid card at Guest Services, and you are able to always get it refilled at the booths.  You will be making a lot of little purchases, and you certainly don’t choose to get bogged down managing cash or personal credit cards.  Just one swipe of the card and you are able to get back to happily drinking and eating around the world.

Wine, seafood, arts and craft create recipe for three-day festival - Orlando Sentinel
nnnnnWine, seafood, arts and craft create recipe for three-day festivalOrlando SentinelLakeridge Winery & Vineyards will have its sixth annual Wine and Seafood Festival this weekend at the winery, 19239 U.S. Highway 27 north of Clermont. The three-day outdoor ... Wine, beer, a variety of seafood and food will be available for purchase ...nnn
More at Wine, seafood, arts and craft create recipe for three-day festival - Orlando Sentinel

Facts About Orlando that Gives the Vacationer Some Background

Interesting Facts about Orlando, Florida’s History

Orlando, Florida has become synonymous with theme parks, vacations and fun. It also has an ever-rowing convention trade, as people can travel to this area and find a temperate climate year-round. But other than its nice weather and never-ending things to do, the whole area has a nice feel to it, with gently rolling terrain and lakes in abundance. It is no wonder it has become a place for people all over the United States and the world to make Orlando their permanent retirement home.  Here are a few facts about Orlando that will give you a back-story on this very interesting area that so many people come back to time after time.

Where Did the Name “Orlando” Come From?

No one can say for certain where the name “Orlando” originated from. Perhaps the best explanation is one of a transplanted South Carolinian named Orlando Savage Rees, who owned a large estate in the area and died in 1835. At the time the small town was named Jernigan, a local military commander. But after he had a fall from grace they decided to change the name to Orlando, supposedly after the landowner. But nobody seems to know for sure.

The Reconstruction Era after the Civil War brought about a population explosion, and it became incorporated as a city in 1885. From 1875 to 1895 Orlando became the center of Florida’s citrus trade, and things boomed until the great freeze of 1894-95 forced out many independent grove owners, and were taken over by citrus barons who moved their operations south.

The Florida land boom of the 1920s was the next golden era, which quickly ended in Orlando and all over Florida with the Great Depression in the 1930s. During World War II Orlando Army Air Base housed a number of Army personnel, and with the establishment of the United States Air Force in 1947 it became an air base, in 1958 taking on the name of McCoy Air Force Base, finally closing for good in 1975.

Walt Disney (and Air Conditioning) Changed the Course of Orlando’s History

So in 1960 Orlando was a military town with some industry such as Lockheed Martin and a rather small, with the entire metropolitan area at much less than half a million. That is far less than a quarter of its 2010 metro population, and one man it can be said was the catalyst for a good part of that growth. That man of course was Walt Disney, who in 1965 announced plans to build Walt Disney World. This was the start of one of the areas of greatest growth with that announcement.

Today it is certainly tourism but much more, as Metro Orlando has 71 skyscrapers and is now a major industrial and hi-tech center. With Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios and other entertainment companies and schools, it has become a player in the film and television, and as of July 1, 2011 filmmakers will now be eligible for transferable tax credits for films shot in Florida. That is a very big deal for the industry. Healthcare is also taking on a greater presence in the area, with more retirees now residing in the area.

These are all very good reasons why the Orlando area in central Florida is the place to be in the coming years. Add in the fact that there is no state income tax for Florida residents, and it becomes not just a great place to vacation but also to live. The area will have its work cut out for it keeping up with the necessary infrastructure with the ever-increasing numbers of people.

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What really goes into a Disney parade costume? - Fox News
nnnnnWhat really goes into a Disney parade costume?Fox News... the most extravagant and elaborate costume designs in Disney Park history. The parade debuted at Walt Disney World in Orlando on March 9. ... "Everything here in the Magic Kingdom is done on a grand scale," says Randy Wojcik, senior show director ...nnn
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Holiday Season at Walt Disney World

Get into the Christmas Spirit at Walt Disney World

I’m always surprised when we speak with any person who is not acquainted with Disney World, they immediately think that it is a children’s theme park.  This never varies until they go there and become totally surprised.  There’s a lot of places in Disney World that you will see the older people having more fun than the kids.  Without doubt that will be true at the fall wine and food festival, but I also believe it will hold during Christmas.  For any grownup that really likes the Christmas, the holiday season at Walt Disney World should not be overlooked.

At Hollywood Studios

One thing that some youngsters may not appreciate as much as adults is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios.  This gets larger yearly, and it is an incredible collection of multi-colored Christmas lights wrapped around architectural structures designed to look like a sight in downtown New York.  Their synchronized holiday song plus gently falling manufactured snow make you believe that you are in a winter wonderland.  It first started as a family home exhibit of lights around the Jennings Osborne home in Arkansas, and was brought to Walt Disney World in 1995.  You truly need to check this out at night to appreciate it.

Other Reasons to Enjoy the Holiday Season at Walt Disney World

1.    Holidays around the World at Epcot.  The various countries depicted at Epcot each have time-honored customs from their nation’s holiday heritage.  It’s a fast and fun way to realize how the holiday season is celebrated in other parts of the world.

2.    Candlelight Processional at Epcot.  Each night in December a celebrity storyteller does a reading of the biblical telling of Christmas.  Beautiful choral pieces are actually weaved into the narration.  Bear in mind this fills up rapidly, but you might get a guaranteed spot by purchasing a Candlelight Dinner Package, which will provide a lot of your food and amusement for your evening.

3.    Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Staged at the Magic Kingdom on certain nights from 7 PM to midnight, this starts in mid-November and finishes right before Christmas.  This is one event that will require an additional ticket, since the park will be cleared of regular attendees for these special events.  This is something the kids will really appreciate, as the Mickey Christmas Parade, Cinderella Castle plus fireworks are actually geared to children.  We still had a great time doing it.

4.    Festival of the Seasons.  Held at Downtown Disney, this is more about shopping with a Disney flare.  There will be a lot of distinctive gifts to shop for inside their specialty outlets, but there are wide ranging street performers, holiday carolers and other entertainment that will get you thinking about the holiday season.

Filming the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade – Day 3 from WDWNTube on Vimeo.

Nashville Hurricane targets Vancouver audiences - The Province (blog)
nnnnnNashville Hurricane targets Vancouver audiencesThe Province (blog)He even built himself a couple of guitars. He moved to Orlando for college and applied to the local Disney and Universal theme parks, playing roles like the Grinch. When an audition notice was sent out for a guy who ... “I have been improvising hours a ...nnn
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