- Special Edition
Happiest Celebration on Earth
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<< Introduction >>
We have a
jam-packed, special edition Insider for you today! Today’s edition is
specifically geared to get you revved up for, the Happiest Celebration on Earth, the new celebration
beginning May 5 at the Happiest Place on
Earth. We'll fill you in on the newest attractions, Ron covers the history
of Walt opening his first park, Ed gives us a sneak peek at Soarin’, and Jason lets us in on all the new
merchandise to drool over when you are visiting the parks. Hold on tight!
<< History & Trivia with WDWdriver >>
The banners are up, decorations are in place and new attractions are
opening. Disney parks around the world are ready to launch The Happiest
Celebration on Earth, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the debut of
Disneyland. The unique park opened on July 17th, 1955, and fulfilled Walt
Disney’s dream of an amusement park that adults and children could enjoy
together. The park was constructed in just one year, and its opening was a
national news event. It was also something of a disaster.
Today, of course, the opening of a new park or attraction is a well thought
out and controlled event. There are cast previews and soft openings. That
wasn’t the case when Disneyland opened. Walt had sent out 11 thousand
printed press preview invitations. Unfortunately, the invitations were
easily counterfeited and more than 28 thousand people streamed through the
gates. There were long lines everywhere, rides broke down and refreshment
stands ran out of food. It was an extremely hot day, and the asphalt on Main
Street USA was newly poured. Shoe heels got stuck. The water fountains did
not work and Walt was accused of shutting them off in order to sell more
beverages. The truth was that a recent plumbers strike had left Walt with
the choice of having bathrooms or water fountains. He chose bathrooms.
Despite all the troubles, Walt was able to present his new park to the
world. The event was watched live by 60 million television viewers across
the nation. There were 28 television cameras stationed around the park, and
viewers were given a tour narrated by Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings and Walt
himself. The Governor of California was there, as was Ronald Reagan who
would later become a Governor and President.
Walt soon knew that he had created a successful and popular park. Disneyland
Park recorded its one millionth guest after only seven weeks of operation.
<< What's New
Action! Extreme Stunt Show"
Tearing up the streets of the Disney MGM-Studios backlot area, "Lights,
Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" will make it's grand opening on May 4,
2005. Inspired by the popular " Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular"
at Disneyland Paris, a cast of more than 50 will thrill audiences with
pulse-pounding chases featuring automobiles, motorcycles and watercraft.
Customized and modified, these vehicles will be piloted by a group of
trained drivers throughout the show.
"Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" centers around the filming of a
spy thriller, with production crew members, stunt managers and a director
and assistant director on the "live" set. Disney officials say: "the
high-octane stunt show features specially designed cars, motorcycles and jet
skis, plus special effects -- with audience members pulled into the fun.
Insiders will reveal show secrets, detailing how stunts are created,
designed and filmed for the movies. Filmed images are revealed on an
oversized screen, illustrating how the use of different camera angles can
add drama to filmed scenes." A few of INTERCOT's lucky members have seen the
show, during soft openings, cast previews, and even the original in Paris:
"We did really enjoy the LMA stunt show. As I said, it was a "dress
rehearsal" so it was not as smooth as I expect it will be when it is
actually up and running. It is similar to Indy in that we are supposed to be
watching a "film shoot". The stunts themselves are VERY cool! It is
DEFINATELY worth seeing!
I would say it matches up with the best that Disney has to offer - very well
put together. I expected it to be lame. I'm not a stunt show guy and I hate
racing cars.. It rocked - I was thoroughly impressed.
– Jeremy Wilcox
The show lasts 45 minutes and it is well worth it. I believe that it will be
a great addition to MGM Studios in Florida. - MauiMouse
Photos & Details
The newest addition to the Magic Kingdom as part of the Happiest Celebration
on Earth is "Cinderellabration"!! It is inspired by a popular stage show
created for the 20th anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland in 2003 and will be
staged several times daily at Magic Kingdom's Castle Forecourt Stage.
The glittering stage show takes center stage in front of the towering spires
of Cinderella Castle, the majestic icon of Walt Disney World Resort, and
continues the rags-to-riches story of Cinderella after the events of Walt
Disney's classic 1950 animated feature film. "Cinderellabration" welcomes a
who's-who of Disney princesses to join in the gala coronation ceremony in
which Cinderella is at last crowned a princess, including Snow White,
Aurora, Belle and Jasmine.
"Cinderellabration was great! I mean how can you go wrong with a Princess
and a wedding!"
"Lots of singing and dancing, the costumes are *fantastic*."
– Main Street Jim
Photos & Details
Lucky the Dinosaur
At Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney Imagineering will introduce Lucky
the dinosaur, the first-ever free-roaming Audio-Animatronics creation.
Our very own WDWdriver has had the opportunity to see Lucky already and
reported in last week;
"A soft opening started today for Lucky the dinosaur at AK. He is doing 30
minute sets with Chester and Hester characters. Although he is able to walk
around the park, the sets are being done in a fixed location. Lucky can draw
pictures, sign autographs, make facial expressions, sneeze and even get the
hiccups. He is very cute and will be very popular. You can find him in
Dinoland at Disney's Animal Kingdom."
The celebration will last for 18 months. And joining the lineup of new
attractions in 2006 will be
Expedition: EVEREST at Animal Kingdom. Also
don't forget to check out the special
Castle makeover and the revamped "it's
a small world". You can view photos of both via the
Theme Parks tab at INTERCOT.
We were fortunate enough to get a special Cast Member preview from TiggTigg5 on Soarin'.
Take it away Ed ....
<< Soarin' Cast
Preview with TiggTigg5 >>
On Friday, April 8th, my wife (a WDW Cast Member) and I had the good fortune
to participate in Cast Previews of the new Soarin’ attraction at Epcot.
Soarin’ is located in The Land building, with the entrance being located
where the former Food Rocks show was located. The Land has been closed for
the last few weeks for renovation and to allow construction of the final
stages of the new ride.
The queue area is fairly long and wide, which should allow potential riders
to be indoors throughout their entire wait. Seven FastPass machines have
been established for the attraction.
As you near the end of the queue area, there are two boarding areas, one to
the right and one to the left. Both boarding areas are identical. Riders are
then divided into three groups, A, B and C, then are subdivided into three
groups of eleven riders each, numbered 1, 2 and 3, which correspond to the
row numbers in your ride vehicle. Overhead monitors come alive with the
image of your host, comedic actor Patrick Warburton, who most Disney
aficionados will remember as the voice of Kronk in “The Emperor’s New
Groove”. Patrick gives you a brief pre-boarding spiel regarding storing your
carry-ons in the bin underneath your seat, fastening your seatbelts and
such. The doors then open and you proceed into the boarding area.
In each of the two rooms there are three ride vehicles, situated
side-by-side across the width of the room; each one consists of three rows
of eleven seats. The vehicles are suspended from overhead machinery. Once
seated and buckled in, an overhead panel tilts down slightly and you are
cleared for takeoff.
The ride vehicles rise and move forward smoothly and quietly to a point
about twenty feet above the floor, and you are facing a huge almost-circular
projection screen on which you are viewing the tops of cloud banks. Although
the vehicle at this point is almost motionless, there is a definite illusion
of movement thanks to the images on the screen. You then swoop down through
the clouds and find yourself gliding toward the skyline of San Francisco
above the Golden Gate Bridge. This is accompanied by very slight movement of
your vehicle, but the effect is that you are swooping at high speed over the
I won’t spoil the surprises by listing every scenario that you will
experience, but I will tell you that several scenes are accompanied by
gentle aromas that are appropriate to the scenery.
I didn’t time it, but the ride lasts about three minutes before your vehicle
gently returns to floor level for your departure. And surprisingly enough,
the exit route does NOT guide you through a gift shop!
We rode twice, one time in each room; the experiences were identical. Both
times we were in the front row of the vehicle, and I was so busy watching
the scenery that I failed to notice whether rows two and three rose above us
or dropped below us, but I did hear other riders comment that they had no
The height minimum for Soarin’ is 40 inches. As far as “ride intensity”
goes, my own opinion is that if you can handle elevators or escalators,
Soarin’ will not present any problems for you. And Disney seems confident
that riders will not experience any kind of spatial discomfort; there are no
“barf bags” like the ones on Mission: Space.
Soarin’ opens to the public on May 5, 2005. The Land will officially reopen
the same date.
here for more information on the Land
<< Merchandise Review with Figment! >>
What would a trip be without some great souvenirs to remember the trip by?
Well maybe a little easier on the pocket book, but probably a lot less
memorable. For The Happiest Celebration on Earth, Walt Disney World is
rolling out all sorts of ways for you to take a piece of the celebration
A New Twist on a Classic
Quite possibly one of the most appropriate items coming out this celebration
is the Golden Mickey Ears Caps. These caps are just like the typical all
black caps, except they are made from a shiny gold felt and have translucent
gold ears. On the front of the cap is an embroidery of Mickey in a tux with
a baton, a golden Cinderella castle icon and “Walt Disney World” underneath
the castle on a blue banner. Just like the classic ones you can get a simple
embroidery of your name on the back for free or pay a little extra to get a
more complex one at shops like Disney Days of Christmas. This may be the
quintessential icon for this celebration and definitely a must have for any
true musketeer at heart.
What would a celebration be with out pins to commemorate it? One that would
make Disney pin collectors very unhappy, but there are no worries here as
Disney is releasing a bounty of pins to commemorate the Happiest Celebration
on Earth. The first basic format of the pins consists of a glimmering gold
Mickey icon as background to a character/icon; below this a blue ribbon with
the text “Walt Disney World” and below that a white bubble with the text
“The Happiest Celebration on Earth”. The pins following this format feature
as the character/icon: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Stitch, Tinker Bell and the
golden Cinderella castle icon. The other basic format of the pins consists
of a jewel-encrusted mirror showing the castle in its celebration décor as a
back drop for the character. The pins following this format feature as the
character: Ariel (human form), Aurora, Bell and Jasmine all in their formal
gowns. Similar in style to this format is a Cinderellabration pin which
features the same backdrop, but the foreground contains Belle, Cinderella,
Aurora and Snow White on a golden double staircase, below them is a white
ribbon with the text “The Happiest Celebration on Earth.”
If that selection seems bland to you, don’t worry; Disney is also releasing
two snazzy pins for the celebration as well. First, they will be releasing a
light up pin for the celebration. This pin features a blue background with a
blue Cinderella Castle icon with light up stars in the sky as the
background. For the foreground it features Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and
Pluto in their formal wear, plus Tinker Bell. With them is a Cinderella
castle/Mickey icon logo with the text “Walt Disney World”. At the bottom of
the pin is the “The Happiest Celebration on Earth” in white text with gold
border. Disney is also releasing a “slider” pin for the celebration. The pin
is a Mickey icon shape that features a star night sky background with a
golden Cinderella castle. At the bottom is a red ribbon with the text “Walt
Disney World: The Happiest Celebration on Earth.” A “slide-able” Tinker Bell
piece is featured on the right ear pointing here wand at the castle.
With all these pins being introduced you just might need a new lanyard to
hold all them, and just for that occasion Disney is releasing a new
“Happiest Celebration on Earth Light-Up Lanyard.” The lanyard is blue with a
pixie dust print and a series of yellow LED lights are imbedded in the
lanyard. Hanging from the end of the lanyard is a Cinderella Castle portrait
attachment that also contains a switch for the LED lights.
Interested in pins, but haven’t started collecting yet? During the
celebration just might be a good time to start as Disney is releasing a
Happiest Celebration on Earth Deluxe Starter Set. The set includes a blue
lanyard with gold Mickey Icon trinket and Happiest Celebration on Earth logo
card attachment, and 8 pins. These pins are Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse,
Donald Duck, Stitch, Chip, Dale, Goofy, and Tinker Bell.
Want people to know where you have been by what you wear? If so you’ll love
the fact that Disney (not all that surprisingly) does have an official
T-shirt for the celebration. The shirt is blue with a large printed picture
on the front of it. This picture has Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Chip &
Dale all in the foreground, a trail of Prince and Princess duos lead back to
the decorated castle in the background with Peter and Tinker Bell flying
above. Below the characters is the text “The Happiest Celebration on Earth”
and below that a blue ribbon with the text “Walt Disney World.” If that
doesn’t feed your fancy, Disney has more in its celebration closet. Just for
the ladies they are releasing a Cinderella Castle Ladies Sleeveless Shirt.
The shirt has a pastel painted print of the decorated castle in the center.
The shirt has a v-neck and dark purple material around the collar and down
the shoulder areas. Additionally there is Cinderella Castle T-Shirt. The
T-shirt is black and has a print of the decorated castle in the middle with
the words “Golden Celebration” printed underneath and below that the words
“Walt Disney World” are printed.
Need something to keep you entertained during the celebration? How about
"Happiest Celebration on Earth" Bingo cards? These cards are just like
travel Bingo cards, where they have a matrix of icons and see through
sliding doors you can slide across the icons. Some of the icons are things
you may find inside a park like popcorn or figment; or the icons may be
things you find while going in between parks like a parking attendant or an
out of state license plate on a car. You play like normal Bingo trying to
get 5 icons marked off in a row, you mark them off by sliding the door over
onto of the icon once you spot it. This is a neat idea to keep those with
shorter attention spans entertained and something to do on those sometimes
rather long travels in between the parks. Another nice smaller item is the
Happiest Celebration on Earth playing cards deck. This edition of playing
cards has blue backs featuring Mickey in his formal attire and the words
“Happiest Celebration on Earth.”
In a blast from the past, Disney has re-released the classic board game “The
Disneyland Monorail Game.” No you don’t have to go to the West coast to get
it, they have it at the Emporium on Main Street ready for some nostalgic
family fun. This is the original board game from 1960. The idea of the game
is that the players are the monorail and they race the railroad around
Disneyland; the goal is to beat the train. It’s a nice simple game for some
family fun and also a nice keepsake in memory of the 50th anniversary of the
park that started it all.
Happiest Home Furnishings on Earth
If you want to make your home feel like part of the celebration, Disney has
you covered as well. Disney is releasing two items with a Mickey and Minnie
logo for the celebration. This logo features Mickey and Minnie with the
Castle/Mickey icon between them, with Tinker Bell flying above and the words
‘Happiest Celebration on Earth” below. The items that feature this logo are
a jar candle and a ceramic mug. In a similar design there is a blue pillow
for the celebration that features Mickey and Minnie with a blue ribbon below
them reading “Walt Disney World” and the text above them “The Happiest
Celebration on Earth.”
No matter what you collect, Disney is bound to have an item for the
celebration to add to your collection. Disney is releasing several items
that feature Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto in their “formal wear”
with Cinderella castle in its celebration décor and the Castle/Mickey icon.
Items featuring this style are a collector bowl, a Lucite sculpture and a
snow globe. The bowl has the castle in the background with the characters
and the icon as reliefs.
The Lucite figure features the icon in the
foreground and relief characters against the background of a very detailed
castle encased in the Lucite with pixie dust and Tinker Bell flying above.
The figures are placed on a blue stand with the text ‘The Happiest
Celebration on Earth”. The snow globe features Mickey inside the globe at
the stop of a double staircase with the castle behind it. The other
characters line the staircases with the icon on a wall in-between the
staircases. There is also a second Lucite sculpture featuring Tinker bell.
The sculpture features a Tinker Bell relief flying above a golden castle
icon with swirls of pixie dust forming a Mickey icon around the castle. The
Lucite sculpture sits on a navy base with the text “The Happiest Celebration
For all the spoon collectors, Disney is releasing a “Happiest
Celebration on Earth” edition collector spoon. The spoon is of a gold color,
with an ornate handle featuring the image of Cinderella Castle and a
dangling Tinker Bell figure. Finally there is a collector plate which
features a pastel portrait of the decorate castle.
Sometimes something small can be the best remembrance of a vacation, and
along those lines there are all sorts of celebration trinkets. If you are
looking for an ornament from the celebration you’ll have several options.
Disney is releasing a character ornament, a princess ornament and a castle
ornament all for the celebration. The character ornament is a ceramic
circular ornament with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Chip & Dale all in the
foreground, a trail of Prince and Princess duos lead back to the decorated
castle in the background with Peter and Tinker Bell flying above.
princess ornament is a ceramic circular ornament with Belle, Cinderella,
Aurora and Snow White on a golden double staircase in front of
jewel-encrusted mirror showing the castle in its celebration décor. The
castle ornament is a multi-dimensional ornament featuring a golden
Cinderella castle icon with a blue banner reading “Walt Disney World.” For
your fridge, Disney is has an official magnet for the celebration featuring
Mickey, Donald, Goofy and the castle/Mickey icon along with the text
“Happiest Celebration on Earth.” The magnet is of decent size and made out
of a rubbery material with the characters embossed out of a blue backdrop.
To make your keys a keepsake, Disney has an official key chain for the
celebration featuring the same face as the magnet but on a golden chain
connecting it to a golden key ring. Finally, Disney is releasing name badges
for the celebration in two different designs: the first features Mickey, the
second features Tinker Bell; both feature the text “The Happiest Celebration
Want something to really remember your trip by? Well, you’re in luck as
Disney is rolling out several ways to help you do just that. If you take a
bunch of great pictures and would like an appropriate way to show them off,
Disney has you covered. For the celebration a 4x6 and 7x5 golden decorated
Cinderella castle relief picture frames will be available. Also becoming
available is a 4x6 painted mural frame of Cinderella castle in its golden
décor. With this frame the castle part of the mural folds out as a neat
There is also a “Happiest Celebration on Earth” 4x 6 Character
Frame. This is a blue frame with Tinker Bell, Donald, Mickey, Pluto, the
Castle/Mickey icon, Chip&Dale, Minnie and Goofy around the perimeter of the
picture area. On the top of the frame are the words “The Happiest
Celebration on Earth”. If you want an appropriate way to show off a number
of pictures, there is the Happiest Celebration on Earth Photo Album. The
album is an iridescent purple/blue hue with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald,
Chip & Dale all in the foreground, a trail of Prince and Princess duos lead
back to the decorated castle in the background with Peter and Tinker Bell
flying above. Below the characters is the text “The Happiest Celebration on
Earth” and below that a blue ribbon with the text “Walt Disney World.”
If you are a coin collector, than you will probably be excited to hear that
Disney is releasing a pressed coin collection book. The book is blue and
features Mickey and Minnie on the front with the Happiest Celebration on
Earth Castle/Mickey icon. At the top of the cover is the text “Pressed Coin
Collection” at the bottom of the cover is the text “The Happiest Celebration
If you’d prefer to scrapbook your memories rather than photograph
or press coins of them, Disney still has something yet for you. Disney is
releasing a “Happiest Celebration on Earth” Scrapbook Starter Kit. This kit
includes 15 page protectors. 5 scrapbook pages. 10 assorted color sheets, 1
page folder, 1 refillable memory album, Photo safe, Acid free, PVC free. The
scrapbook itself comes in two different designs. The first design features a
large painting of Cinderella castle with a large image of Tinker Bell posing
in front of it in mid-air. The second design features a golden mirror frame
showing the castle in its celebration décor in the center of Belle,
Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White on a golden double staircase, below them
is a gold ribbon with the text “The Happiest Celebration on Earth.”
Astounding Auto Accessories
Want something from the celebration for your car? Well, you’re in luck as
Disney has a few options to make your car a keepsake from the celebration.
Disney is releasing a window cling featuring Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald,
Chip & Dale all in the foreground, a trail of Prince and Princess duos lead
back to the decorated castle in the background with Peter and Tinker Bell
flying above. Below the characters is the text “The Happiest Celebration on
Earth” and below that a blue ribbon with the text “Walt Disney World.” Also
being released is a “Tinker Bell Logo” Celebration License Plate. This plate
features Tinker Bell flying above a golden castle icon with swirls of pixie
dust forming a Mickey icon around the castle and the words “Walt Disney
World: The Happiest Celebration on Earth.”
For Kids of All Ages
Looking for not quite as common of a souvenir as a T-shirt? Well, Disney is
rolling out quite a few unique keepsake options as well. In honor of the
celebration Disney is releasing a new “Happiest Celebration on Earth”
Edition Pal Mickey. This Pal Mickey comes with a removable tuxedo jacket,
more than 30 trivia questions, seven sing-a-longs and six games, as well as
a brand-new carrying lanyard and a louder speaking voice.
A very unique find
is the “50 Years Golden Castle Play set” for ages 4 and up. This play set
features Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle with celebration golden leafing
and features a lightshow where the castle lights up in a multitude of
colors. Despite being Disneyland’s castle this set will be on shelves in
Walt Disney World and it will be a nice keepsake to remember the park that
started it all. For the Semi-Truck fans there is even a “Happiest
Celebration on Earth” Hot Wheels Semi for ages 8 and up. The royal blue toy
truck features: on the cab the Castle/Mickey Ears icon along with the words
“Happiest Celebration on Earth” and on the trailer a mural depicting Mickey,
Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Tinker Bell, Chip & Dale and Cinderella Castle in its
For the Mini-Bean Bag plush lover Disney is releasing a
set of “Happiest Celebration on Earth” character editions. The plushes are
of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto all in their
Celebration formal attire. For those fans of Tinker Bell, they will be happy
to know Disney is releasing a “Golden Edition” Tinker Bell doll. This
signature doll features Tinker Bell in her classic green dress and her wings
that even light up. Finally, for all those who can’t get enough train sets,
Disney is sending a new one down the tracks for the celebration. Disney is
releasing a Walt Disney World Railroad “Golden Edition” for ages 6 and up.
The train set features an Engine, Coal Car and two passenger cars all with
golden leafing. Along with this set comes, Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Minnie
figures all decked out in their train attire.
Believe it or not, this was all just a sample of the mountain of
merchandising coming out for the celebration, so if you are down there
during the Happiest Celebration on Earth make sure to leave a lot of time
<< Conclusion >>
Just a reminder;
For guests helping to kick off the celebration remember MGM is closing at 4PM on
May 4th and Epcot will close at 3PM on May 5th for private events.
Keep checking out
the discussion boards for more information regarding the event, or check out
our special Info Central page devoted to the Happiest Celebration on Earth.
Happy planning and see you at the boards!
<< INTERCOT Would Like To Thank>>
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