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Sunday
Jun142009

Episode #18 - RetroMagic: Alien Encounter

In this episode we continue our RetroMagic series and revisit Tomorrowland 1994 by looking at one of the most memorable Tomorrowland attractions, The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter.

The attraction was a collaboration between Disney and George Lucas.

Alien Encounter first opened in December of 1994, but closed after a few days and the preshow was re-imagined and opened in June of 1995. Most notable changes were to the S.I.R. robot that was first voiced by Phil Hartman and later by Tim Curry.

The preshow starred a young Tyra Banks, however her voice was dubbed by another actress. The preshow also set the stage and presented guests with the fictional back story of the XS Tech company.

The second preshow area was a presentation by S.I.R. which stood for Simulated Intelligence Robotics. He the robot presented the Hyperpatial Transport machine; the XS series 1000, which could be used to transport people or things to another space entirely. The demonstration showed a lovable Skippy character who was transported with noticeable defects.

From there the audience is moved into the actual demonstration of an audience member to XS Tech. Guests moved into a round theater that surrounded a large teleportation tube where. Long Story Short: Things went horribly wrong and an alien monster is let loose in a dark theater where guests are locked into their seats.

Probably the best part of the attraction was dynamic back story that guests were presented with. Another great component about this attraction was the fact that it was a sensory thrill attraction.

Happy Birthday Mom!
Thursday
Jun112009

Episode #17 - One day at Walt Disney World

In this episode Matt and Nate plan a single day at a Walt Disney World theme park.

Knock out some Fantasyland attractions first 8:00-9:20
1. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
2. Peter Pan's Flight
3. Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Head over the Frontierland 9:30-10:30
4. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
5. Splash Mountain

Head to Adventureland 10:30-12:30
6. Get a Fastpass to Jungle Cruise (Probably for 11:30)
7. Pirates of the Caribbean
8. Eat Lunch at Peco's Bill's in Frontierland
9. Back to Jungle Cruise

Head back towards Liberty Square 12:30-3:00
10. Country Bear Jamboree
11. Magic Carpets of Aladdin
12. The Hall of President's (enjoy the newly refurbishment or take a nap)

13. Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade 3:15

Make our way back across the park 3:45 - 6:00
14. Its a Small World
15. Snow White's Scary Adventure
16. Cinderella's Golden Carousel
17. Mad Tea Party(maybe)

Eat 6:00
18. Dinner at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe

Go through Mickey's Toontown Fair 7:00-8:00
19. Goofy's Barnstormer
20. Walt Disney World Railroad

Move into Tomorrowland 8:00-10:00
21. Tomorrowland Speedway
22. Buzz Lightwar Space Ranger Spin
23. Monsters Inc. Laugh Ffloor or Stich's Great Escape

24. Wishes 10:00

25. Haunted Mansion (Ride as many times you can before they kick you out)

Good Luck Matt!
Thursday
Jun112009

Episode # 16 - The Great Movie Ride

When The Disney MGM Studios opened in May of 1989 the marquee attraction some might say was The Great Movie Ride. Ever since, it has been the


The contemporary idea for Disney Studio theme park began with a Great Movie Ride began with an idea for Future World at Epcot.


The building is modeled after Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

The interior queue has both movie artifacts room and a film room with previews of films featured in the attraction.


When you board the attraction vehicle in the Magical Sound stage the left side is a rendering of the Hollywood Hills, the right side is a sound stage from of a movie and you face a marquee of a Hollywood film house.


- Ride Sequence -
The first area of the attraction is themed to the great movie musicals of the 1930's produced by Busby Berkley. From there the attraction moves into a room featuring Singin' in the Rain and Mary Poppins. Then it moves into the Underworld, an area where you get the first interactive portion of the attraction. The ride vehicle then moves in the The Old West with Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. It is also where you the next part of the interactive portion of the attraction, where your ride vehicle is taken over. "This is Alien!" is spoken when you enter the next area, which of course features the Alien. From there you enter the India Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc and the point the interactivity element is revisited. Then it moves into the Tarzan Scene and then Casablanca (Yess!). The ride vehicle then moves past Mickey Mouse starring in Fantasia, and then finally into The Wizard of Oz, and then the salute to movies.


Things that were considered included:
- The tornado scene in the Wizard of Oz is believed to be where the Fantasia part is.
- The audio animatronics from the attraction may have been rumored to be in the final scene.
- The tribute to movies film was rumored to have began with the Wizard from The Wizard of Oz begin the film surrounded the film.
Monday
May252009

Episode #15 - Disneyland's Rivers of America

The Rivers of America at Disneyland has been a part of the park since its opening in 1955. There have been five different type of watercraft over the years. This segment is the debut of The Park Rangers.

The Mark Twain Riverboat opened on July 17, 1955. It was very appropriately named as it was named for one of Walt Disney's heroes, and Twain was the first frontier writer. The boat was used for the Disney's 30th wedding anniversary a few days before the park opened. the boiat is framed perfectly for a guest to see it from the hub in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. It was the first riverboat built in America in fifty years.
The Sailing Ship Columbia opened on June 14, 1958. It is patterned after the actual SS Columbia which was the first US ship to circumnavigate the globe. It may not fit the theme of the pioneering west, but the fact that it was a pioneer in American history. The hidden gem on the Rivers of America is probably the below deck region of the ship. It is kind of a museum that shows what conditions on a such a ship were like for the crewmen.

Both the Mark Twain and the S.S. Columbia are used in Fantasmic!

The Davy Crocket Explorer Canoes are the only self propelled craft on the River. Originally they were known as the Indian War Canoes.

The Mike Fink Keel Boats were actual movie props, in use at the parks when they began operation. Both the Mike Fink an the Gullywhomper were used until 1997. The Gullywhomper is the only one that can be seen today; as a prop along the river.

The Tom Sawyer Island rafts have been used since the opening of Tom Sawyer island. The original names; Becky Thatcher, Huck Finn, Injun Joe and were changed to meet the Pirate theme of the redesign in 2005.
Monday
May182009

Episode #14 - Spirit of Aloha Luau and the Electric Water Pageant

The Polynesian Village Resort is an original Walt Disney World Resort. In this episode Matt and Nate discuss two great elements that are often overlooked at the Poly. The first is the Spirit of Aloha Polynesian Luau and the other being the great view of the Electric Water Pageant on Seven Seas Lagoon.

News: Space Mountain shut down this week for a seven month refurbishment. It is the first lengthy refurbishment of Space Mountain since 1999. Track will be replaced and so will some of the elements of the queue line, however the ride will essentially remain the same. No word on whether the floating cookie will be seen again. Tomorrowland Transit Authority will also be closed until August. Dang!

The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, formerly known as the Polynesian Luau, opened the same year as the Poly, 1971. In 1973 the Luau Cove opened as the permanent home of the show.

There are 3 Tiers of Seating and are priced differently, but the show and food are the same for the entire audience. It is a dinner show and so everyone is served at once.

The first Polynesian show was at Disneyland called the Tahitian Terrace. It as open from 1967 to 1993.

Matt enjoyed the show but thought it was lengthy.

The Electric Water Pageant premiered at Walt Disney World in 1971 and has been held on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake ever since. It is made up of two strings of seven barges that make the cruise. There have been a few changes over the years but still ends with the patriotic finale. The Pageant was the predecessor for the Main Street Electrical Parade.

To learn more about Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and the Spirit of Aloha Luau; check out Steve "Tiki Man" Siefert's site on the Polynesian.