This is the week, for a decade or so, that me and my family would pack up and make the long, long flight from Honolulu to (usually) Chicago and then to Florida for ten days or so in Orlando. The Contemporary Resort tower, Magic Kingdom view was a wallet-draining 212.00 per night, but we’d spend two nights there and then split up until the end of the vacation. EPCOT Center was five years old or so, and it was a very different place. At this time of year, I still feel the urge to pack my suitcases.

Incredibly Good News for WDI – and US!

A friend had me to the point of having to be talked down, telling me about the 20% plus 20% plus 20% cuts that Bob Chapek is apparently asking for, depressing me to no end at the thought of the Peoplemover from the new parking garage (YES!!!) getting cut for a moving walkway (still okay), which then got cut for making people walk from all the way over there, except adding a couple buses for disabled folk to the Harbor Blvd. traffic. I have to tell you, your usually cheerful Fab was practically curled up in a fetal position. Cut the river, but don’t raise and then dash my hopes for a Peoplemover, man!

So then Friday, I open my social media, and I find my smile. And my grin. And my happy dance. I haven’t stopped since. Bob Weis (Andy took our pic together at the D23 EXPO 2015), the guy who managed to get Shanghai up against impossible odds (you don’t even KNOW, man.), the fella who changed Disney’s California Adventure into the place with Buena Vista Street and Cars Land, worked on Tokyo DisneySea and the WDW version of Tower of Terror, AN ACTUAL! WORKING! IMAGINEER!, has been named the head of WDI. IMO, this is the best thing to happen to Imagineering since before Black Tuesday, and possibly even in fifty years. No kidding. No hyperbole.  He’s a creative guy, a quality guy not a political player. Has vast experience inside and outside of theme parks (museums, film etc.) even the Imagineers I know who are in separate camps that hate each other (a lot more rare now, thank goodness) all praise him. It’s a heck of a thing, and the man has his work cut out for him with a budget-cutter in charge of Parks. If anyone can do it, Bob Weis can. Godspeed  or should I say WEDspeed?  Bob!

I found the photo Andy took!

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Official Company Bio:

Bob Weis is the president of Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative design and delivery arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  He is responsible for furthering Imagineering’s vision and developing and delivering extraordinary products and experiences that enhance the guests’ emotional connection to the brand.  In addition, he leads all creative and design aspects of the state-of-the-art Shanghai Disney Resort (opening June 2016).

Weis has decades of experience designing Disney theme parks and attractions around the world and is a proven leader of international and multicultural teams. Prior to his work on Shanghai Disney Resort, Weis completed a five-year expansion of Disney California Adventure Park. This undertaking completely transformed the park, included The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction and the World of Color nighttime spectacular, and culminated in the highly successful openings of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land in summer 2012.

Weis’ previous projects include creative leadership over Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Tower of Terror attraction, as well as conceptual design for Tokyo DisneySea.

Weis has been a creative force on three non-Disney projects honored with Themed Entertainment Association’s Thea Awards: the BattleStations21 Training Simulation project for the United States Navy, and two traveling exhibitions — Adventures In Movie Making and CSI: The Experience.

Weis’ additional work outside the Disney parks includes museum exhibits such as his collaboration with renowned architect Ricardo Legoretta on the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. His feature film and documentary projects have been shown on Lifetime and American public television.

Hot Topic Will Be a Ghost Town

Darth Vader is being replaced at Star Wars Launch Bay in a few weeks – possibly sooner, by his grandson, Kylo Ren. Our favorite tortured soul from the Dark Side will be greeting fans on the bridge of his First Order Star Destroyer.  No, he’s not taking off his helmet. I asked. If you want a better chance at getting a photo without a long wait, go in the morning on a weekday. I have a feeling that on afternoons and weekends, the lines will be packed with teenage girls Who Can Fix Him (Because “No one else understands him like I do!”) Okay, all right, I make fun, but I like him too. Kylo puts the “hot” in psychotic. I just hope at the next D23 EXPO I see at least ONE Matt:

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Beautiful News from Epcot

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival has been expanded! It will now run from March 2 to May 31! It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen it in person, but the photos I see every year seem to get more and more beautiful each time. And for the last few year the festival has been beefed up with food and wine offerings as well. Like a mini Food and Wine festival with more flowers and fewer crowds. Sign me up!

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The Fairest of Them All and So Much More – TODAY!!!

The Walt Disney Signature Collection | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is out TODAY. Not only do you get a beautiful copy of the film, but rare recordings of Walt Disney himself and so much more:

 

MiceChat’s 11th Anniversary!

MiceChat Anniversary Special Events

January 29, 30, 31

Secure your spot now!

MiceChat Anniversary is January 29th through 30th. We are offering three days worth of events, most of them free. However, there are two ticketed events. On Friday night, we will offer an amazing evening at MEDIEVAL TIMES dinner show. It will be a rousing way to launch the weekend. Saturday morning brings an EPIC lineup of stars (DICK VAN DYKE, MARTY SKLAR, MUPPETEERS, MIKE PERAZA, TERRI HARDIN, DAVID KOENIG, and more):

Bring the whole family and join us on the evening of Friday, January 29th as we celebrate MiceChat’s 11th anniversary with a joyous feast and spectacular tournament. We’ll enjoy a private lounge before the dinner show, deeply discounted ticket prices, and we’ll get to meet the knights in person following the show, plus some special surprises. (PLUS it’s my brother-in-law Bruce’s birthday!)

Buy your MiceChat Medieval Times tickets directly through Medieval Times group sales department by calling: 714-521-2342 and mention that you are with the Mice Chat group! Don’t miss out, space is limited.

(Cocktails begin at 7:30pm, showtime 8:45 pm – Pricing is just $38.72 adults/ $28.72 children and INCLUDES tax, processing fees and gratuity.  No charge for parking.)

 
January 30th – 8:30am – Noon,  ESPN Zone Downtown Disney Anaheim
For our 11th year, we’d like to kick things up a bit and do something REALLY special for you. Our annual breakfast at the ESPN Zone will offer much more than just the Maple Pepper Bacon that you love so much. This time around we bring you Disney super-legend Dick Van Dyke!!! But that’s not all, we also have Disney Imagineering legend Marty Sklar!!! Both gentlemen will have books available for purchase and signing at the event. The panel will be hosted by beloved Disney author David Koenig. But that’s just a first act, we also have a little Muppet mayhem for you as Disney animation superstar, Mike Peraza, hosts a panel featuring the Muppeteers behind the wonderful new Muppet Show on ABC. The event will conclude with book sales and signings, including the introduction of Terri Hardin‘s steampunk pocket watch set from Starling Watches.

The event was sold out as this article went to press, but Dusty said that small groups of tickets may be added today. Keep an eye on the link below and get your tickets as soon as they become available!!!
GET YOUR TICKETS HERE NOW!

A full schedule of events for Saturday the 30th at DCA and Sunday the 31st at Disneyland will be released shortly. Please plan to join us for three full days of friendship and fun. Don’t forget to tell your friends about the ticketed events above before they sell out!  Add your name to the MiceChat Anniversary Event info list to be notified of the full schedule as soon as it is released!

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Speaking of MiceChat…

I’m a new moderator over at the MiceChat Forum. My username is PinkMonorail. I will try my best to not break anything. Wish me luck. Also, I want to congratulate my longtime pal Jon on his first MiceChat article this past Sunday, “Ode to the River”. It’s getting a lot of comments, take a look and add your voice to the conversation.

Thanks to Nick and Cletus and Everyone Else at DVCResaleMarket.com

Thanks for sponsoring Fab News this month. Also, thanks for making buying and selling Disney Vacation Club points easy, understandable and more affordable for so many happy people!

Cletus is the guy with the keys.
Cletus is the guy with the keys.

Thanks to All of YOU too!

If you want to reach me I’m on Twitter, on Facebook, and also available at Fab@MiceChat.com . If you’d like to support Fab News, I’d appreciate it. You can pledge a dollar or more a month through Patreon or you can make a one-time donation of a dollar or more through Square. Just click on the banners below. Even commenting here or on Facebook, just letting me know that you read this, really means a lot to me. Thanks!

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