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Weekend Update

Aussie Dreamworld's Shockwave; Kennedy Space Center; Vintage Postcards; Bilbao, Spain

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by , 07-08-2011 at 07:14 PM



Hey everyone, welcome to a new Weekend Update. I'm writing from my favorite "home away from home" – Orlando, Florida! It's not necessarily my favorite time of year to visit, though. It will be hot, humid and crowded. It's a family reunion, so that dictated the time of year, but also guarantees that we'll have a lot of fun. Plus I'll get to visit Hogwarts for the first time!

We start out this week with a Walt Disney World update from Denise nbodyhome Preskitt. Don't forget to visit her website, mousesteps.com. That update is followed by a report on a new ride at Australia's Dreamworld. Rya86n has photos of Shockwave.

MiceChatter biggsworth took a trip to the Kennedy Space Center recently. These photos demonstrate why this is one of Central Florida's biggest attractions.

MickeyMaxx selected some cool post cards from DisneylandPostcards.net to share this week. I'm not sure if the motels that surrounded Disneyland back in the day added to or subtracted from the festive atmosphere around the Anaheim park at the time, but they sure are fun to look at decades later.

Ian Parkinson and Richard Williams continue their cruise with a stop in Bilbao. This Spanish city is famous for its spectacular Guggenheim museum.

Finally we have some bonus shots and video from MiceChatter rmckay. Its amazing what they are doing with the World of Color for the holidays.

Have a great week, everyone. I know I will!




Denise nbodyhome Preskitt's Walt Disney World update


We have not been to the parks quite as often in the last week+ due to rain (this weekend promises the same). Fortunately we've had some breaks in the weather lately, and we were able to be there for Flynn Riders last day at the Magic Kingdom, and for fireworks from the Polynesian beach.

Stitch:


In Fantasyland, the rock work for the Little Mermaid building is being painted:










Fantasyland Construction video:


The Liberty Belle:



Flynn Rider was pulled from the Tangled Meet and Greet a week ago. I'm sure everyone was surprised, since he's such a hugely popular M&G character. It was a tearful time for all during the last M&G of the day.


Quite a few cast members showed up, one bringing these painted shoes:


Rapunzel:


Rapunzel and Flynn Rider:


Lifting balloons into the air:


We have two videos we made of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from that day, this is one of them:


We watched the July 4th Magic Kingdom fireworks on July 3rd from the Polynesian Resort with friends:






Video of the fireworks:


I forgot my camera(!) on the 4th of July when we went to Epcot for a few hours. But we do have a few nice videos, including the Liberty Voices in concert:


And Ben Franklin:






Rya86n has photos of a new ride at Australia's Dreamworld

Last week I took a look at Movieworld's latest live action show MotoMonster Xtreme.

Just down the highway, Dreamworld unveiled a new attraction...

...just in time for the school holidays.

Shockwave is a new family thrill ride.

A new Zamperla DiskO coaster

The ride debuts at the park as part of the year long 30th anniversary celebrations.

I managed to preview the ride at the first public opening.

It came down to the wire.

with temporary construction fence, still hiding more permanent features.

Some last minute, finishing touches...

...and a fresh coat of paint on opening day.

As crowds gather to test drive the new ride.

The load station and queue is quite small, with simple theming.






The ride vehicle...

...and seating prior to the first run.

A test drive

and then ready for the first ride!

Not for the faint hearted...

the ride's 9tonne, 24seat carriage locks the riders in...

...as they are propelled along a 63 metre wave like track.

All the while, spinning at 12RPM

and pulling up to 2.5G's.

It doesnt quite compare to the other Big 6 thrill rides, but certainly is a fun family ride.

Yet another great addition to the growing park.

There was no Shockwave merchandise on opening day, but it was good to see the 30th birthday souvenirs making an appearance.







A trip to the Kennedy Space Center courtesy of Biggsworth


Many thanks to MiceChat member, biggsworth, who shares photos of the Kennedy Space Center he took on his recent trip to Florida. You'll find more photos, along with his commentary at the link to his trip report, below.


More vintage post card images from DisneylandPostcards.net


This week, Ken Eslick of The Disneyland Postcard Reference Guide, provides us with some seldom seen images of the hotels and motels that popped up around Disneyland in the early years. You will find many Disney-like themes to these properties, and some outright identical themes, as in the Peter Pan Motor Lodge. Also, note some fun kinda-sorta references to attractions in Disneyland. The whale illustration for the Whaler's Inn looks suspiciously like the whale one travels through when riding the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Some of these hotels are still in business to this day.

You will also see a card showing the exterior of today's Grand Californian Hotel. An interesting contrast to the modest, but inventively themed motels of the past.

There are many more images of local hotels from back in the day, and literally hundreds of post card images of the Disneyland Park dating back even to before the park opened. You will find all that and more at the link below to Ken Eslick's site. Be prepared to spend at least a few hours wandering down memory lane.

















































Richard Williams and Ian Parkinson: Bilbao, Spain


Few cities in the world have undergone as radical a transformation as Bilbao has in recent years. Almost overnight, it has gone from grimy, filthy industrial hub to super chic, slick modern metropolis.

Once famous for its shipyards and chimneystacks, Bilbao is now best known as a tourist destination, offering lots of pleasant surprises to the visitor. Yes, yes there is the museum and while it is true to say that the brave decision to locate The Guggenheim here was the beginning of Bilbao’s renaissance and yes it is worth visiting Bilbao just to see this incredible building, the fact is, the city has a lot more to offer than just this amazing piece of modern architecture.

From the wonderful character of the old city (Casco Viejo) to the wide boulevards of the new part, from the historic university of Deusto to the teeming suburbs of Santxu, Bilbao is a delight of vibrant life, remarkable buildings, stunning bridges, lovely parks, quaint museums and much more. Ringed by glorious green hills, it’s in a stunning setting with the river Nervion running through it and makes an ideal location for a short break.



















































































































MiceChat member, rmckay sent us some beautiful shots of the World of Color's 4th of July Water and Pyro show.


Happy 4th of July!!
Got to see the preshow tonight and it was amazing!!! Love fireworks+water. It was so fun to watch and shoot. It was really a great patriotic show and got me ready to see some more fireworks later that night!!


A ripple in the wave
The genius WOC crew made an American flag with the grid fountains. Looked amazing!





















Visit these MiceChat columns each week:


Every Friday: In the Parks





And that brings us to the end of another week. Our photographers have just enough time to reload their cameras before we see you all again next weekend. Thank you to all of our wonderful readers, and as always, a huge thank you to our amazing team of global photographers, spies, and gossips:

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt (mousesteps.com)
SummerInFL (summerinfl.smugmug.com)
RegionsBeyond
Rya86n
KingEric
sir clinksalot
MickeyMaxx
CaptPhoebus
Ian Parkinson and Richard Williams
Jack Hollywood 1939 Wixom
Ken Eslick (DisneylandPostcards.net)
Roger55

Your Editor - Rixter

Our thanks to our special contributors this week, biggsworth and rmckay.




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Updated 07-09-2011 at 05:02 AM by Weekend Update

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Comments

  1. rya86n's Avatar
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    World of Color looks incredible and I simply cannot wait to visit in December!
  2. lighttragic's Avatar
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    Great Update!
  3. Mr Doodle's Avatar
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    Great update!

    My family and I are driving to Florida (from Tucson) to do Disney World and Universal. We weren't sure whether to visit the Kennedy Space Center or not. After looking at the pictures it does look pretty neat. Anyone who's been there think it's worth it?
  4. Seahorse's Avatar
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    Thanks for the world wide update. It's always fun to see theme park life on the other side of the planet in Australia. It's Winter there and people are still wearing t-shirts and shorts. Living my whole life in So. Cal. I think I'd feel right at home visiting Dreamworld. And for a change, I could be the one in the group with the charming accent. ;-)
  5. Fairy Godmother Travel's Avatar
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    Great update as usual! I loved seeing the older hotel postcards.

    The World of Color preshow seems very nicely done.

    Ian and Richard, I love following your adventures. You make me want to explore Europe even more.

    KSC is a great day trip from WDW. A must for any space enthusiast.

    Shockwave looks fun!
  6. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    I remember my family staying at the Peter Pan Motel on one of our visits to Disneyland in the day. We went to a New Years all night party, and I remember being on board the Mark Twain at midnight when the fireworks started. Wasn't there also a Pinnochio Inn? We never did see Tinkerbell come in our window, but maybe she just let us sleep after a Great night in the park. PD
  7. BC_DisneyGeek's Avatar
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    Wonderful stuff as always. Thanks to all who contributed!
  8. jpg391's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Doodle
    Great update!

    My family and I are driving to Florida (from Tucson) to do Disney World and Universal. We weren't sure whether to visit the Kennedy Space Center or not. After looking at the pictures it does look pretty neat. Anyone who's been there think it's worth it?
    I have been to the Kennedy Space Center abuot 20 years ago and it was deffently worth seeing then and I bet the displays are even better now then back when I visted. So I would urge you, if you have the time, to go and see it.
  9. MonteJ's Avatar
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    Great to watch the Voices of Liberty video. I seldom make it to Florida but have always made it a point to hear them sing when I have been at Epcot. They are so great! Does anyone know how often they change members? I'm thinking that some of them look familiar from past visits. I also wouldn't be surprised if many of them were music teachers or directors.
  10. Ian P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy Godmother Travel
    Great update as usual! I loved seeing the older hotel postcards.

    The World of Color preshow seems very nicely done.

    Ian and Richard, I love following your adventures. You make me want to explore Europe even more.

    KSC is a great day trip from WDW. A must for any space enthusiast.

    Shockwave looks fun!
    You are very welcome, Europe has SO much to offer!!!
  11. bayouguy's Avatar
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    I was always envious of families that could stay at a hotel or motel next to Disneyland. We lived a short 20 minute drive when I was young. It made me wish that we lived elsewhere so we could reserve a room.
  12. KENfromOC's Avatar
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    Love the motel postcards! I have to admit I miss the kitchiness of them all. Coming down from the Bay Area, we use to stay at the Saga and the Tropicana when we couldn't afford the Disneyland Hotel (stayed back in the bungalow days!)

    I was always strange to me to have the pool in the middle of a burning black-topped parking lot! But I guess that's the definition of a motor lodge. Saga had probably the best pool - very tropical with lot's of shady areas, and it was huge!

    Good memories - thanks!
  13. Country Bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Doodle
    Great update!

    My family and I are driving to Florida (from Tucson) to do Disney World and Universal. We weren't sure whether to visit the Kennedy Space Center or not. After looking at the pictures it does look pretty neat. Anyone who's been there think it's worth it?
    We have been to Kennedy Space center twice in the last five years and it is a mind opening experience. You cannot appreciate the vast scale of these crafts until you're standing beside them. The technology used (or not used in the case of earlier missions) is stunning. It is its own version of tomorrowland except everything here is REAL! We had been warned that it was boring and skipped it on our first trip to Florida. But we were stupid that first time, because once we saw it, it has staying strong in our memories as a mind blowing experience. I highly recommend you do it, and pre-book a guided tour if you can (the shuttle tour is amazing!) as this is a "behind the scenes" tour of how it was done. Highly recommend this experience to everyone at least once.
  14. Marko50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bayouguy
    I was always envious of families that could stay at a hotel or motel next to Disneyland. We lived a short 20 minute drive when I was young. It made me wish that we lived elsewhere so we could reserve a room.
    We used to pool our money to stay at one of the motels back in da day. Four of us who weren't going to be in the room much so we didn't really care about the quality. Stayed in many of the motels - off season, it depended on who had a room (mostly all) with the cheapest rate. That much more to spend at D'land!

    Eh, walking distance to the park mattered a little.