Walt Disney World’s Spectromagic retired

Walt Disney World has retired its Spectromagic nighttime parade. It was originally introduced to the Magic Kingdom in 1991 as a replacement for the Main Street Electrical Parade. The colorful floats featured characters from Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Cinderella and Fantasia, as well as the Mickey Mouse and the other Fab 5. The Spectro-Men were characters created just for this parade and features light-up faces.

Spectromagic was “temporarily” replaced in 2010 by Main Street Electrical Parade again, but never returned. It was confirmed earlier this week that the parade has been officially discontinued with many floats already retired.

As a tribute, check out this photos we took during our 2005 trip to Walt Disney World. Can you see any similarities to our retired Disney’s Fantillusion?

Welcome to the Splendor, the spectacle, the sparkling sensation, where the romance, the comedy and the thrill of Disney fantasies come to electric life… And now the Magic Kingdom proudly presents in a million points of musical light, the magical worlds of Disney in SpectroMagic!

Happy 15th Anniversary Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is youngest theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida that opened on 22 April 1998. It is the largest Disney theme park in the world, although it doesn’t feature that many attractions. Most of the park is made of themed landscaping and animal enclosures.

One of the most popular attractions in Walt Disney World can be found at Animal Kingdom. Expedition Everest, which opened in 2006, dominates the park’s skyline, along with the park’s icon The Tree of Life. The park is made of 7 areas:

  • Oasis: the entrance of the park
  • Discovery Island: which houses the Tree of Life
  • Camp Minnie-Mickey: with its Disney character meet ‘n’ greet locations
  • Africa: where the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction is located
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch: a zone dedicated to the conservation of animals
  • Asia: with its towering Expedition Everest
  • DinoLand U.S.A.: one of the least popular areas, due to the poorly themed Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama fun fair.

A new area based on the world of Avatar is currently being developed and will replace Camp Minnie-Mickey. A land based on mythical creatures like dragons was quickly abandoned after the park opened, although some references still exist throughout the park.

Welcome to a kingdom of animals… real, ancient and imagined: a kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons; a kingdom of balance, harmony and survival; a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder, gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama, and learn. — Michael D. Eisner, April 22, 1998

In honor of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Anniversary, browse through these photos from the Photos Magiques archives.

Journey into your Imagination turns 30

Journey into your Imagination is an attraction at Walt Disney World’s Epcot. Guests are carried in Omnimover ride vehicles through various scenes that evoke imagination.

Since it’s opening in 1983, there have been 3 different versions of the attraction. It’s the original version, once created by Tony Baxter himself, that’s the most popular. Disney purists are lobbying for years to bring this attraction back to its original state. In 2002 they kinda succeeded; only 2 years after its second make-over, which omitted the popular Figment character from the first version, fan out-cry was so loud that the character was re-introduced.

The classic song “One Little Spark” written by the Sherman Brothers is still part of the attraction since 1983.

Journey into your Imagination in 2012

Photos by Photos Magiques – August 2012

Happy 30th Anniversary, Epcot!

Today 30 years ago Epcot Center opened its gates for the first time. Epcot was originally conceived by Walt Disney as a futuristic city in Florida where people would actually live and work. After his death, these plans fell through and Walt Disney Productions at that time moved ahead with Magic Kingdom and a few Disney resorts first. A few years later it was decided that Walt’s experimental prototype community of tomorrow would be build as a theme park, but without Disney characters and stories. Instead, it was designed as a permanent World Fair with different pavilions depicting countries from all over the world. In Future World, the pavilions bare a (retro) futuristic look and highlight modern technology through exhibitions and attractions.

In honor of Epcot’s 30th Anniversary, browse through these photos we took during previous trips to Walt Disney World.

To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship — welcome. EPCOT is inspired by Walt Disney’s creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all. May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere in the world. — E. Cardon Walker, March 1, 1982

Spaceship Earth

Happy 57th Birthday, Disneyland!

Disneyland, Walt Disney’s first and original Magic Kingdom, opened exactly 57 years ago. With only a handful of attractions and restaurants, Walt set on an adventure that went way beyond his imagination. Today, Disneyland counts 58 attractions and top of the line entertainment, as well as Disney California Adventure Park, Downtown Disney and two Disney hotels.

In honor of its birthday, let’s have a look at a selection of photos from our trip to Disneylandt Resort a few years back…

To all who come to this happy place. Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past. And here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. – Walt Disney

Disney Fantasy photo tour: part 3

In the third part of our Disney Fantasy tour we’ll have a look at the ship’s restaurants. There are quite a few, making sure guests aren’t left with an empty stomach any time of the day.

Let’s start with Cabanas, a buffet service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and casual dining. It features a Finding Nemo theme with a huge tile mural and sculptures from the Seagulls and Nigel the pelican.

Flo’s V8 Cafe is an outdoor counter service restaurant on Deck 11 (where the swimming pools are located) that serves pizza’s, burgers, paninis, wraps and fresh fruit. Located nearby is Frozone Treats, a pay-for smoothy bar and Eye Scream, a self-service ice cream station.

There are three rotational dining restaurants. This system, invented by Disney, places guests every evening if their cruise in a different restaurant, each time with the same guests around their table and the same waiters.

The first restaurant is located in the Atrium and is called Royal Court. It’s themed after the Disney Princesses and features lavish tile murals. Located one deck down is Enchanted Garden, which is inspired by the gardens of Versailles and changes from day to night using clever lighting technics.

Animator’s Palate shares the same name as a restaurant on the Disney Magic and Wonder, though its theme is entirely different. It’s based on the workshops where animators design feature films. There are lots of references to Disney movies and the screens found around the ship display tons of artwork and stills from Disney productions. A special animation made with drawings made by the guests brings an evening at Animators Palate to an ending.

Then there are 2 adult-only restaurants that are not part of the rotational dining system and require an extra fee. Palo, also found on the older ships, is an Italian-inspired restaurant, while Remy’s serves French cuisine. Meridian is a lounge that’s located in between both restaurants and serves as a waiting area for guests with a reservation at either restaurant.

Animator’s Palate show time:

Next Disney Fantasy blogpost: Pools & kids’ spaces

Disney Fantasy photo tour: part 2

In part 2 of our Disney Fantasy tour, we have a video of the wonderful Enchanted Art that can be found on board the ship. These picture frames that seemingly “just” hold a piece of Disney art come to life when standing in front of it. For example, the Disney Fantasy exclusive Dumbo art, features Casey Jr the Circus Train travel from one painting to the other! Another one has Pirates of the Caribbean’s Wicked Wench attacking the Fort. Take a look at a selection of Disney Fantasy’s Enchanted Art.

The Muppet Adventure Game is unique to the Disney Fantasy as well. While the Disney Dream focusses on Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, on the Disney Fantasy this interactive game is all about The Muppets! Using a special flashcard guests have to solve a mystery by using a map and finding the right Enchanted Art photo frames that will reveal clues and hints by holding the card in front of it. Through mini-games more and more clues are revealed, which will lead to solving the case!

Next blog post: Disney Fantasy restaurants

Disney Fantasy photo tour: part 1

In this first blog post about Disney Cruise Line’s latest ship the Disney Fantasy, we’ll take a photo tour around the ship and its general areas.

But first, let’s start with a short introduction. Disney Fantasy was, just like its sister ship Disney Dream, constructed by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. On 16 February 2012 the ship left the port of Bremerhaven for a transatlantic crossing to New York City where it would be christened. It would then continue its voyage to its permanent home in Port Canaveral, Florida.

The design of the ship is similar to that of the Disney Dream, with some distinct differences. A major difference is Disney Fantasy’s theme, which is Art Nouveau, while the Disney Dream is inspired by Art Deco. Especially the ship’s atrium brings this art direction really to life.

The staterooms are spacious and well equipped. There’s plenty of room underneath the bed for suitcases and the bathroom features a small round tub. Most Disney Fantasy staterooms feature a verandah with ocean view, while the inside staterooms are equipped with a “Magical Porthole” that will show a live feed of the ocean and features Disney characters coming by once in a while.

Disney Fantasy atrium 360°


Next blog post: Enchanted Art