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Cheetah Hunt Pics; Car Masters Car Show; Pixar Weekend: Part 2 and Screamin Gator!

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 05-29-2011 at 06:26 PM

New This Week:

  • Feature of the Week: Canada Pavilion
  • Dining In a Minute: Aloha Isle
  • Car Masters Car Show at Downtown Disney
  • Pixar Weekend: Part 2
  • Gatorland's Screamin Gator - Arriving Summer 2011
  • Eat to the Beat Concert Series Line Up
  • Star Wars: Inside the Saga
  • DHS New Meet and Greet Locations/Construction


Cinderella Castle: Through The Eyes Of A Child
by Tom Bricker (WDWFigment)

As an adult, one of the the reasons seeing Cinderella Castle is such an emotive experience for me is because of its scope and scale. It is just so domineering and grand off in the distance when viewed from the opposite end of Main Street, and even more magnificent, in all of its ornateness, up close. While Sleeping Beauty Castle has its own quaint charm (yes, it is growing on me), it simply cannot touch Cinderella Castle. For this photo, I wanted to capture how it might look through the eyes of a child: I got down low and used my ultra wide angle lens to exaggerate the scale. I don't recall the first time I saw Cinderella Castle as a child, but I can only imagine it looked something like this, a royal castle towering high into the sky. Even as I view it today, it still retains this jaw-dropping scale.

To achieve this domineering look, I used my Sigma 8-16mm ultra-wide angle lens. I got low to the ground, and aimed up, creating the distortion seen here.


The Hall of Champions on Main Street was recently renamed Main Street Fashion and Apparel.

However the store appears to be having a bit of an identity crisis as all the old sports theming inside still remains.


Aloha Isle Refreshments

Arguably the most popular treat in the Magic Kingdom, and all of Walt Disney World, is the Dole Whip. Nothing could be more refreshing on a hot summer day in the heat of Adventureland than this frozen pineapple treat. Conveniently located at the entrance to Adventureland is Aloha Isle, your one stop shop for all things Dole Pineapple.

Here you can get a variety of Dole Pineapple treats to help beat the hot Florida heat. Items include a variety of drinks, soft serve ice cream treats, and even Pineapple spears.

But back to the tasty Dole Whip.

What’s not to love? It’s cool, refreshing, and hits that fruity spot with its Pineapple flavor. Nothing could top this summer treat! Well, almost nothing…

Meet the Dole Float, all that tasty Dole Whip goodness but floating on Dole Pineapple Juice. Now, not only can this frozen treat cool you down but it can also quench your thirst. Plus this flavorful float is perfect for on the go snacking. You can take it with you and enjoy it while waiting to explore the Amazon River, shopping in the Agrabah Marketplace or perhaps waiting for the Enchanted Tiki Room to reopen.

Want to try these wonderful treats but afraid your taste buds won’t like all that Pineapple flavor? Have no fear! Dole Whips come in a variety of flavors. You can tone down that Pineapple flavor with a Vanilla Pineapple swirl or you can tang it up by adding in a swirl of Orange ice cream.

No matter your taste, it’s worth your time to stop by Aloha Isle for a delectable Dole Treat.

MiceTip!!: Many people are not aware that Captain Cook's, the quick service location at the Polynesian Resort, has its own self serve Dole Whip station. So, if you can't bear the line or are disappointed with the amount served, hop on the monorail to the Polynesian, ask for a bowl, and the sky's the limit for your own Dole Whip!


Eat To the Beat Concert Series LineUp
The concerts, which are included with Epcot admission, will be at the America Gardens Theatre stage beginning September 30th. This year’s schedule (subject to change) includes:

  • 9/30 - 10/2 - Taylor Dayne
  • 10/3 - 10/5 - 38 Special
  • 10/6 - 10/7 - Jon Secada
  • 10/8 - 10/9 - Roger Hodgson formerly of Supertramp
  • 10/10 - 10/12 - Billy Ocean
  • 10/13 - 10/16 - Starship starring Mickey Thomas
  • 10/17 - 10/19 - Sugar Ray
  • 10/20 - 10/21 - The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
  • 10/22 - 10/23 - Howard Jones
  • 10/24 - 10/26 - Boyz II Men
  • 10/27 - 10/28 - Gin Blossoms
  • 10/29 - 10/30 - Sister Hazel
  • 10/31 - 11/1 - Hanson
  • 11/2 - 11/3 - The Pointer Sisters
  • 11/4 - 11/6 - Night Ranger
  • 11/7 - 11/8 - Air Supply
  • 11/9 - 11/10 - Richard Marx
  • 11/11 - 11/13 - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy


Canada Pavilion

The Canada Pavilion is one of the original World Showcase attractions from EPCOT's opening all the way back in 1982. Not only does it house an attraction, the Circlevision 360 film, O'Canada, but it also has some of the best scenery in EPCOT. You wouldn't know it from the front of the pavilion, but if you've never been before, take a walk into the pavilion itself and you'll find winding walkways through gorgeous flowers and waterfalls, it's truly a magical place. Add to that one of the most entertaining acts in Walt Disney World, Off Kilter, and one of the best restaurants on property, Le Cellier, and you have truly one of the most remarkable and exquisite pavilions in World Showcase.

Fun Fact!! That light blue building in the background houses the Soarin attraction. It's painted the color of the sky so most guests won't notice its there.


Jonas Rivera and the history of Pixar.
By Miles Bresin

The second guest speaker was Jonas Rivera.

Currently a producer at Pixar, he's been with the company since Toy Story and his presentation covered the history of the company.

He began his career working with Ed Catmull which later lead him to be hired by none other than George Lucas for the Star Wars movies, where he created all the wonderful effects Star Tours fans adore today.

He went on to talk about John Lasseter and when he came on board at Pixar, known then as Lucasfilm Computer Division, in 1984.

Here you can see Johns card and other accessories.

Jonas then spoke of the various obligations that John was responsible for, he accomplished the first CGI picture in blur motion, for example.

As a result, this lead to the revolution of Pixar to what we know today and where it all started.

Which is of course, highly inspired by Walt.

1985-1986. Steve Jobs buys Lucasfilm Computer Division, and christens it ‘Pixar’.

Did you know that the Luxo Ball appears in almost every Pixar film in one way or another?

1988. "Tin Toy", an inspiration for Toy Story, also know as the “little cousin”.

The original "Pixar Studios", the rental space location where they created the first feature film, "Toy Story".

The original board of Pixar.

As stated, Toy Story was the first feature film produced by the company, as well as the the first film that Jonas was a part of. He then showed us photos and voice animation of the original prototype's used for Woody and Buzz (known then as Lunar Larry).

Then finally, some behind the scenes footage of the creation of Toy Story.


Star Wars Weekends
  • June 3 to June 5:
    • Ray Park (Darth Maul)
    • Jeremy Bullock (Boba Fett)
    • Voice Talent Guest: Matt Lanter (Anakin, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

  • June 10 to June 12:
    • Ray Park (Darth Maul)
    • Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca)
    • Voice Talent Guest: Tom Kane (Yoda, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Starring Anthony Daniels (C-3PO)
by Lisa Mills

Anthony Daniels takes us through his Star Wars journey of over 30 years. It begin's with a call from his agent about a young film maker named George Lucas, who is doing a Sci-Fi film and wants to talk to him about playing a robot. This in turn, led to six Star Wars films, commercial segments, Star Tours, concert narrator, Clone Wars, and most recently, our fearless pilot on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

Anthony Daniels greeting his life-long friend R2-D2. He is ready for Star Tours with his 3-D glasses!

Even C-3PO's fuzzy friends the Ewoks were there.

Anthony Daniels talks to C-3PO and how both of their lives intertwine.

A life long partnership.

Very well done Anthony Daniels.

Starring James Arnold Taylor
voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi
by Lisa Mills

James Arnold Taylor takes us on his journey of being a voice actor. He is the voice of over 150 characters and his range is absolutely amazing. He can switch from one voice to another, in the middle of a sentence, and his talent is unsurpassed, truly one of a kind. He started out doing voices as a child and he would entertain friends and family with voices from various TV shows and cartoons.

Showcasing his talent by doing radio voices from the past, like "Who's on First..."

He explained how being a voice actor is like being in a straight jacket and having to portray every emotion without moving at all.

Hosted by James Arnold Taylor
Guests: Daniel Logan & Anthony Daniels
by Lisa Mills

James Arnold Taylor talks with Daniel Logan (Boba Fett - Attack of The Clones) and Anthony Daniels, who we love as C-3PO.

We have all heard of Inside The Actor's Studio, so for Star Wars Weekends, James Arnold Taylor has "Inside The Ackbar's Studio".

Anthony Daniels talking about his counterpart R2-D2.

Wrapping it up in Disney style with The Mickey Mouse March.


The new Pooh Meet and Greet location.
by Disnyfan89

The new signage.

A complete overview.

The queue itself:

Televisions have been added to the queue that cycle through various backgrounds with close up details and another shows a character being drawn from sketch to finish:

Then of course the actual meet and greet area is all new and different. It's amazing how themed and more detailed these these sets have become over the years. I'd say this is the best one yet!

Luigi's Tires on Streets of America and Phineas and Ferb construction.
by Disnyfan89

Meanwhile over in the Streets of America Luigi's Tires has been completely stripped:

and right next door work is progressing nicely on the new Phineas and Ferb Experience. Lots of different patterns and colors conveying the feel of the artistic style from the show's intro sequence can be seen in person. The blue tarp pictured was providing shade for workers who where very busy and hard at work:

What does a snowman and a rocket have to do with each other?


Conservation Events
Disney's Animal Kingdom works hard to teach the message of conservation and show us that our planet is something that we can't take for granted. Over the following month's there will be specific events taking place within the park that will help educate the guests while they enjoy all it has to offer.

  • July 27: International Year of the Forest Celebration
  • August: Cotton-top Tamarin Month Celebration
  • September 1:International Vulture Awareness Day
  • October 26:: Year of the Bat Celebration


Celebrating the upcoming release of Cars 2.
By RooBear

Ah, date day. The only thing bad about date day is I have to wait all week, all week!, to spend some quality time with the cutie. I suppose absence does make the heart growfonder, that may be true, but I don’t have to go gently into that good night. This week’s quest was his choosing, and I thought he’d expand his repertoire, you know, surprise me with a bunch of flowers and plane tickets to Fiji.

Instead, we returned to Downtown Disney to see the CarMasters Car Show. See, my husOtter has this thing with cars. Makes sense that I would end up with him, My father sells cars; Ma was the accountant for the store they owned. My older brother is still a mechanic and demanded that, if we go, we send him images (some of which follow) every few minutes. Me? I was the black sheep, I went into education.

What was I thinking?
So with all this machinery around me for so long it isn’t a total shock that I would fall for someone who wanted our honeymoon to be in Daytona. THAT, my dear readers, will be another trip report down the road.

As the clouds rolled in, the shade a welcome respite from this prolonged heat wave…did I say heat wave? I forgot, in Florida now, heat wave should have read, “daily weather.”

Considering how many of these kinds of events I’ve been subjected to over the years, there’s not that much new, as you can tell by the photos.

Cars over there. I think it’s a Ford GT, it also doubles as a great midlife crisis vehicle.

Cars over here.

Some of those over there.

What makes this a bit different from the myriad of car shows my family subjected me to prior? First, I didn’t have to sit in an uncomfortable camp chair and hand out flyers (oh, what a terrible flashback, am I twitching? I’m TWITCHING!), but there was not a single flat soda pop or stale popcorn to be had! Also, there were a few celebs as well.

I think we all know Herbie. I looked—no Lohan trying to find her career in the backseat.

And with Test Track only a theme park away, GM’s gotta have their displays as well. No argument—the Volt is there in the distance, and with today’s gas prices? It’s looking like an option.

Now it makes sense that Disney would pull this kind of synergy with the movie Cars 2 opening in June. They have invested in AN ENTIRE LAND for Disney’s California Adventure, but there is a poopload of time before that venture opens. They have to, they MUST keep this commodity in the minds of potential audience. There has been some wonder as to why they’d even make a sequel to the one Pixar movie that wasn’t stellar at the box office(but was in the critics’ hearts, including my own…). Here’s the reason.

See? Gotta keep it all in front of you…

Ramone? (I hear it is a Sixty-Six Lemans) played by Cheech Marin.

A red VeeDub Van! This was the Fillmore character, played by the late George Carlin in the movie.

My baby blue Beetle (this is a 69, I had a 71) from college. Best car I ever had. Wait, that’s not a celeb…and I should be.

Doc Hudson, what a great role for the famed Paul Newman to go out on. Here’s a bit of trivia-from the movie.
The Hudson ruled racing when it was still out on the sands in Daytona, it’s a personal favorite.

Lightening’ McQueen you may already know..

...and ‘Mater.

And the new guy, Finn McMissile voiced by Michael Caine

RideMakerz, which I like to call Build-A-Bear-for-Boys, even got into the act with new chassis choices with Mater!

SIDENOTE: Check out these foot pumped handwashing stations for the booths to use by their employees, Disney creativity on the move!

SIDENOTE: You have to try Yucca (as in the cactus, not ‘yucky’) fries over at PolloCampero! THEY ARE CRAZYAWESOMENESS.

Progress on the "Dine with Shamu" construction and some One Ocean pics.
By Eric M. Davis

If you are going to see One Ocean, get there early! it fills up FAST!

They are upgrading, and making improvements to the "Dine with Shamu" experience. Replacing the rock with a glass wall, and other changes.

The 2nd viewing of One Ocean had me liking it even more!

"I can fly... oh wait.." lol

This totally made my day. The darling baby that was born in October this past year, all throughout the show he would come and stare at the audience through the glass. Made me laugh really hard, it was like "you are going to watch me? fine, I am going to watch you"

People are loving One Ocean.

If you sit in the Soak Zone you WILL get WET!

I love SeaWorld!

See One Ocean at SeaWorld today!

Summer Night's Concert Series
June 10 through August 14th
Although nothing has been updated on the BGT website, annual passholders received a newsletter in the mail stating that the Summer Night Concert Series will run from June 10th - August 14th. We will post more details once they become available.

The grand opening of the new roller coaster/animal exhibit.
By Aimster

Cheetah Hunt
The ride was initially experiencing technical difficulties in the morning, but was up and running by 2:00pm. Once open, the wait time quickly swelled to 160 minutes.

Inside, the queue is HUGE and takes up the entire space of the former monorail building. While waiting, they had lots of fans blowing to keep guests cool and some big TVs marketing the on-ride photos and showcasing some cheetah trivia.

Going into the 2nd launch (this one really packs a punch)

Taken from the Skyride station

Going OVER the Skyride.

Even the benches in the area are the same colors as the coaster!

Upon exiting the ride, you're dumped into... a gift shop, Cheetah Gifts. This is your one-stop shop for all things cheetah and Cheetah Hunt.

They have a section of artwork that was done by one of the actual cheetahs over at Cheetah Run, Steelman. He's the largest male cheetah in the habitat and he LOVES interacting with people and his trainers.

There's also a small display about the construction of Cheetah Hunt and how the ride system works.

In the new Crossroads of Culture (what this refreshed area of the park is now called), they have street entertainment throughout the day with performers in elaborate costumes, a magician and a great troupe of African drummers (these are the same guys who were the Construction Percussion).

Cheetah Run

They have a few electronic "books" there you can read about cheetahs and see photos.

Over all, Busch Gardens has a winner on their hands. Cheetah Hunt is a great addition to the park and it a LOT of fun.


Island Nights - Adventure Island
June 9th through August 13th - 5PM to 9PM
This summer at Adventure Island, (BGT's water park) when the sun goes down, the fun heats up during Island Nights. From June 9th to August 13th, it's a vacation from the everyday as Busch Garden's water park transforms into a celebration of island life with live music, authentic entertainment and inspiring cuisine.

Gatorland - Screamin Gator
Opening Summer 2011
Clip in and “zip” off on an exciting outdoor adventure with the all-new Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland. Your journey will take you along 1,200 feet of high flying, heart pounding adventure from some of the finest zip line towers in the world. Standing over seven stories tall, these amazing towers feature multilevel launch pads and breathtaking views from high above the treetops.

Don't forget to check out the other areas of MiceChat that offer news, updates and photos about the other Disney Parks around the World!

  • Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
  • Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks as well as other sights and landmarks!
  • In The Parks offers news, updates and tips from Disneyland and other Southern California offerings.
  • SAMLAND - Your weekly look at some interesting tales from Disney history.
  • And you'll always find something of interest on the forums or MiceAge!

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Updated 05-31-2011 at 10:45 AM by Dustysage



  1. BassBone's Avatar
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    Cars was hardly a disappointment at the box office. It made $244,082,982 in the U.S. alone, more than twice its budget, which qualifies it as a success. Worldwide it made $461,981,604 which got it to number six of 2006 films. Further, the merchandise for the film has made it the second largest franchise in the world, after Star Wars. Finally, the spy car's name is Finn McMissile. Seriously, I found this out in about 30 seconds using Google. It's not that hard to do a little research.
  2. Kidgenie's Avatar
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    ^ easy there. Pixar was building a lot of momentum with each release doing better then the prior one in world wide gross.... but Cars was not a part of that trent. I did not interpret the statement as it was a dud in the box office.

    See in worldwide gross, TS was outperformed by Bugs. Then Bugs was beating by TS2, the next release Monsters managed to continue the upward trend followed by Nemo which surged ahead again. Incredibles tappered off a bit, and for the first time, did not out pace its predecessor Nemo, but did come in a very respectible 2nd place over all. Cars came in slightly flat with a ranking of 5place out of seven by the time its box office run was over.

    was it successful? absolutely. But, it did definately didn't threaten to outpace the previous Pixar releases.
  3. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Love the Epcot Canada photos. This is both one of my favorite pavilions and one of the saddest. For all its thematic strength, the World Showcase Canada suffers from Disney neglect. Stores have been shuttered and it lacks any sort of excitement or energy once you climb those big stairs. Why? If Disney opened the shops, put something interesting up there, had a bit of entertainment (other than what is presented out on the main loop around the lagoon), this would be a pavilion worth visiting. Unfortunately, it all feels sort of dead. And many folks don't even realize that there is also an attraction hiding up the stairs, then down the stairs and hidden in a cave.

    SOOOOOO much more could be done with this and other pavilions at Epcot. Oh how I'd love to see this version of Canada live again.
  4. Coheteboy's Avatar
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    Great update! Correction on CARS 2 section. It's Finn McMissile voiced by Michael Caine.
  5. KingEric's Avatar
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    once again Orlando is the place to be!
  6. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy
    Great update! Correction on CARS 2 section. It's Finn McMissile voiced by Michael Caine.
    Thank you Coheteboy! I've just updated that section. Appreciate the help.
  7. TikiRoomLiz's Avatar
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    Never knew all that was going on in the Canada area. When I went to Epcot I just passed by there since it looked like nobody was around, I'll have to check it out next time I go.
  8. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    The Canadian Pavilion,
    The food is great, only the attraction is ruined, (and I think that is because of TDO closing The Wonders Of Life Pavilion.) Also, wasn't there going be a water-ride like GRR to cover the off-color Soarin' Building? (the building in the photo really needs to be covered ether by a new mountain or a much better paint job.)

  9. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    Hey JohnL and Doc, I can do a mean Cobra voice with dual throat carbs sucking through Stellings air cleaners, and blowing out Belanger headers...........
  10. MissLisa's Avatar
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    Love The Cheetah Hunt coaster pictures. Some of the pics look like you are on the track coming right at you! Very Cool!
    And I love your animal pictures, the cheetah's are really beautiful and the cubs are really really cute
  11. Not My Real Name's Avatar
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    I've actually been to Canada; Victoria, British Columbia on the enormous Vancouver Island. Butchart Gardens should be on everyone's "bucket list." The history museum in the middle of Victoria is also a must-see. As for the pavilion, I loved the CircleVision movie, and loved the restaurant.
  12. RooBear's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what happened there with the captioning with Finn McMissle, I do apologize. Nothing but a typo, thanks for fixing. There were more pictures than represented, sometimes captions are accidently confused. No malice intended.

  13. CodeNameMLS's Avatar
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    Every Pixar, so far, has been a success. As Kidgenie said it's just that it didn't do marginally as well as the OTHER Pixar Films. Merch defiantly sent it soaring, thus why Disney probably pushed for Cars 2, as they receive more compensation for the Licensed Merch percentage wise then for the movies. One this thats isn't going to be in the Pixar weekend section is the final Q & A. Pixar and Disney Merged, but Pixar owns all the rights to the movies, Disney is currently Owner and just the distributer. They make the distribution fee of 15% of all gross of the movies. This was different early on in Pixar's history. Let's just say Pixar didn't like it, so the agreement started the whole Disney*Pixar Branding.