Archive for October, 2007

Book Review – "The Disney Mountains: Imagineering At Its Peak"

October 27, 2007

The newest “peak” into Walt Disney Imagineering is informative, fascinating, and fun, but leaves its readers thirsty for more by the time their expedition has concluded.
By Blake
Originally posted October 27, 2007.

The Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and Expedition Everest are some of the most popular attractions to be found in Disney theme parks worldwide. They’re exhilarating, exciting, fanciful, and fun . . . and they all just so happen to be mountains.

In Disney Editions’ new book “The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak”, author Jason Surrell (a Show Writer for Walt Disney Imagineering) delves into the making of these monstrous mountains and tells each attraction’s individual story of its initial conception and journey to open. Quite a fascinating treat for Disney fans, this collection of stories provides a plethora of background information about each attraction, and includes interviews with some of the rides’ key creators.
The first mountain the book delves into is the Matterhorn, a Disneyland original that hasn’t been duplicated at any other Disney park (though, interestingly enough, was at one time scheduled to open at a never-built Switzerland pavilion in Walt Disney World’s Epcot). We learn that if not for Walt Disney’s visit to the set of the 50’s film First Man on the Mountain, the Matterhorn might not have ever been built. Additionally, the Matterhorn revolutionized the concept of a “roller coaster”. Instead of using a wooden track, which wouldn’t be very well managed inside a concrete mountain, the track was built using metal pipes, a concept that has since been used on most roller coasters of today.
Next up is Space Mountain, which was actually originally built to draw an appeal for the teenage audience at the then-four-year-old Walt Disney World. After being put on a hiatus of nearly a decade after Walt Disney’s death, Space Mountain finally opened in 1975.
After Space Mountain is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, probably the most appealing section of the book, as it provides an in-depth look into what this attraction almost became: a part roller coaster, part “Pirates of the Caribbean”-ish journey through the wild west. Originally to be called Thunder Mesa, the main attraction would be a boat ride featuring a full cast of Audio Animatronics portraying a story of cowboys and Native Americans. Surrounding the mountain would be a train roller coaster ride. Eventually, the entire boat ride concept was flushed, and the train concept was conceived into a bigger role; and Big Thunder Mountain was born.
Next is Splash Mountain, which was conceived when the Audio Animatronics show “America Sings” was closing and Disneyland and Imagineers needed a use for the 114 robots used in the show. Hence, Splash Mountain was born. Splash Mountain, though not many guests realize it, is based on the 1946 Disney film Song of the South (which is currently not available for sale in America), which in turn is based on the classic Uncle Remus stories. Originally supposed to be called “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah River Run”, Splash Mountain was also ALMOST going to incorporate mermaids from the Touchstone movie Splash, which, the Imagineers fortunately convinced Michael Eisner, was not a very wise idea.
The final mountain we delve into in “The Disney Mountains” is Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, the newest Disney “E-Ticket” attraction that recently opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2006. Probably the most research-driven Disney attraction in history, Imagineers actually went on several voyages to China to explore mountains there and ask local residents just what a mysterious legendary “yeti” figure might look like. And their research paid off, as Expedition Everest is very much the most authentic Disney attraction ever. The queue line is abundant in cultural artifacts and figures Imagineers retrieved on their journeys to China, and the overall attraction experience is stunningly spectacular. Additionally, the yeti revealed at the ride’s finale is rightfully the most complex Audio Animatronics figure to ever be built in history.
Not only are we treated to full-fledged “making-of” stories in “The Disney Mountains”, but also scattered throughout the book are several 2-8 page looks at some of Disney’s smaller, less popular mountains such as Grizzly Peak at Disney’s California Adventure, Mount Prometheus at Tokyo Disney Sea, Mount Gushmore at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach. Also included is a fascinating look at a mountain that was planned for Disneyland but never built: Candy Mountain.
Although all the components of “The Disney Mountains” add up to an exciting look at some of Disney’s most beloved attractions, it leaves readers wanting more. Surely there is more than 20 pages’ worth each of information on these massive attractions. After all, the book’s author Jason Surrell has recently written entire individual books dealing with the creation of Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as The Haunted Mansion. If those attractions were given the treatment of an entire book to themselves, why aren’t the attractions featured in Disney Mountains given the same recognition?
So, while “The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak” is a superlative journey through classic Disney adventures, its lack of full treatment for each of the attractions leaves readers thirsty for more. This is by all means fine for the time being, but hopefully sometime soon full credit will be given for the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and Expedition Everest.
How do I rank “The Disney Mountains: Imagineering At Its Peak?” (Bolded is my choice.)
  • Utterly repulsive
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

“The Disney Mountains: Imagineering At Its Peak” will most likely please: Disney Fans – Teens – Young Adults – Adults – Older Folks

By Blake; originally posted October 27, 2007. All images (C) Disney.


DVD Review – ‘The Jungle Book’ 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition

October 14, 2007

The latest Disney Platinum Edition is a jungle of fun.
By Blake
Originally posted October 14, 2007.
Well, it’s that time of year again. Last Tuesday, October 2, Disney fans across the country fled to the nearest DVD store to get Disney’s annual deluxe, royal treatment-given DVD. Yup – it was Platinum Tuesday!
Twice each year (in March and in October), Walt Disney Home Entertainment releases one of their most beloved animated features on DVD, each volume beautifully restored to original brilliance and jam packed with supplemental features. Disney dubs these titles “Platinum Editions”, and they’re quite something. Most are provided with extensive in-depth backstage looks at how these magnificent films were made, though some are clearly shoving every sort of promotional device to the film’s franchise right in our faces. Thankfully, the latest Platinum installment, 1967’s The Jungle Book, falls into the category of the former, as it delivers everything fans could ever want: wonderful digital restoration and multiple making-of featurettes, as well as a few tossed-in games.
The Jungle Book was the 19th motion picture in the Walt Disney animated feature canon, and was the last to receive personal instruction from Walt Disney, as he died in December 1966, (8 months before the movie was released). The movie is loosely based on 19th century novels in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book series, and tells the story of Mowgli, a human boy, who grows up in the care of jungle animals and is forced to choose between two worlds when he learns that he belongs in the nearby “man village”. And this choice won’t be so easy, as although Mowgli has dear friends in the jungle, including the laid back & care free bear Baloo and the protective panther Bagheera, he also has enemies who are prowling around every corner, including the sinus-infected snake Kaa, the sneaky & beat-loving monkey King Louie, a prowling band of vultures, and of course the predator tiger Shere Khan.
The Jungle Book’s animation style involves soft, vague backgrounds and dignified, sharp characters in the foreground. It sports excellent use of the Multiplane Camera, as the setting looks stunningly fantasized and come to life with the dimensions the Camera provides.
The characters in the film also have a brilliantly stunning life and realism in them, especially the way in which they move. Their weight moves with them across the screen when they dance; you can actually FEEL them moving. When Baloo scratches his back up against a tree in sync with the rhythm of “The Bare Necessities,” the audience can fully feel the bear’s relaxation. It’s so real, it’s almost impossible to think how the animators working on the film accomplished such a feat. No longer did characters carry stillness when they moved or were in action, they were capable of shifting and progressing themselves and the audience moves right along with them. If there’s anything majorly different that sets The Jungle Book apart from other Disney animated films, it’s the characters’ movement compelled onto the screen.

The songs are also on par with the Disney legacy, as to be expected from Richard & Robert Sherman, who before The Jungle Book had also worked on Mary Poppins and Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (and later went on to compose songs for The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the non-Disney Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Disney theme park attractions Carrousel of Progress, it’s a small world, and Journey Into Imagination).
The movie also sports a familiar voice cast to Disney fans. Baloo is voiced by Phil Harris (who was also Thomas O’Malley in The Aristocats), Bagheera is Sebastian Cabot (the narrator in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh), Mowgli is Bruce Reitherman (Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree); Kaa is Sterling Holloway (Pooh in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, and Mr. Stork in Dumbo); Hathi, Jr. is Clint Howard (Roo in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh). Rounding out the other characters that don’t include Disney vets include Louis Prima as King Louie, George Sanders as Shere Khan, and J. Pat O’Malley as Colonel Hathi.
Released only once before on DVD (with no bonus material whatsoever) in 1999, the 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition delivers a plethora of bonus material, much worth the wait.
Disc One opens with the usual option of whether to use Disney’s Fastplay, a VCR-like feature that allows all material on the disc to be played consecutively without touching your remote control. I personally prefer going directly to the main menu, though, where animated submenus are abundant.
Usually Disney DVD menus consist of some background music with maybe a few animated aspects onscreen, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that some of Pixar’s work has rubbed off on Disney, as the menus have a rotational loop of the film’s highlights on the main menu, with characters dancing & moving on the submenus. As you move your remote control to each selection on the main menu, the icon next to your selection is highlighted (a feature I DETEST on DVDs, due to you not being able to tell which on is highlighted and which is not, though works well in this case), and on each of the submenus, a red paw print appears next to the selection you’re making (I like this way much better).
The digital restoration of the film is fantastic, as it adds sharpness and more dignified color choices to the film, but still keeps that classic “feel” of most of the Disney 60’s and 70’s animated features.
Bonus features on disc one include “The Lost Character: Rocky the Rhino”, a fascinating look into a character that never made it into the film. A promo for Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund advises viewers to donate to Disney’s animal protection efforts. A new Jonas Brothers music video “rocks out” one of The Jungle Book’s best songs, “I Wan’na Be Like You” in an odd and bizarrely strange setting. Deleted songs offer a neat look into songs that never made it into the film, but gets a little boring after a while (as the songs are audio only – no storyboard or concept art are offered). Finally, there’s Disney Song Selection, an option offering all the songs in the movie to be played consequently with the lyrics on the bottom of the screen. The last bonus feature on Disc One is also the most worthwhile, the newly created Audio Commentary. The insight on the commentary is provided by Richard Sherman (one of the movie’s song writers), Andreas Déjà (a current Disney animator), and Bruce Reitherman (the voice of Mowgli and also the son of the movie’s director, Wolfgang Reitherman). Although this might seem like a pretty random bunch, between the three of them we’re provided with plenty inside looks into pretty much all aspects of the film. Sherman speaks of what went into creating the movie’s songs and score, Reitherman remembers the production of the film from the perspective of a voice actor, and Déjà provides a secondary source (he didn’t actually work on the film) of the animators’ jobs in the film. Thankfully, Disney pulled a slick move on this particular commentary by having all its contributors (with the exception of snippets of archival footage from the film’s ancient animators and directors) being all in the same room together while recording their commentary. It wasn’t choppy like some commentaries are (where none of its contributors are together in the same room) and provided very insightful information on the making of the movie. We even learn that the tune to the song “Trust in Me” was originally supposed to be featured for “Feed the Birds” in Mary Poppins. The Audio Commentary provides a feast of other interesting concepts about the film, and is definitely worth checking out.
As we wrap up Disc One’s bonus features, we move on to Disc One’s other menu, Sneak Peaks. Disney is known for jamming lots of previews for upcoming products on their DVDs, and The Jungle Book is no exception. We’re shown here commercials for Return to Never Land (on DVD Nov. 27), The Aristocats Special Edition DVD (release date not specified), High School Musical 2 (on DVD Dec. 11), The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (on DVD Nov. 20), the Adventures by Disney program, Enchanted (in theatres Nov. 21), Meet the Robinsons (on DVD Oct. 20), Ratatouille (on DVD Nov. 6), and the Disney Movie Rewards program. Oddly enough, we’re not shown a preview for the next Platinum Title (expected to be 101 Dalmatians), as that has been a staple on every Platinum release and it certainly is odd that we’re not shown a commercial for it here.
Disc Two

Disc Two is divided into two sections: Backstage Disney and Games & Activities. Under Backstage Disney, there is a 45-minute documentary that delves into the making of the film. It’s a nice addition, but most of its contributors are people who didn’t even work on the film, but instead are feeding us secondary stories about how the movie was made.
Also in Backstage Disney is “The Lure of the Jungle Book”, an interesting feature (and also the highlight of the disc, to me) showing how current Disney animators were influenced by The Jungle Book while animating modern Disney movies.
“Disney’s Kipling” is a look at how Walt Disney transformed the book story to the screen story.
“Frank and Ollie” is a retrospect honoring two legendary animators who basically drew 50% of The Jungle Book themselves.
Lastly, there’s an art gallery, and ever-intriguing look at concept art and early sketches of the movie.

The Games & Activities section of Disc Two could be easily discarded from the DVD, as all its contents are mediocre to say the least. “Baloo’s Swingin’ Virtual Jungle Cruise” is a set of impossible and pointless games that I couldn’t exactly figure out, so I can imagine how difficult they would be to its elementary-aged target audience.

“Fun with Language Games” is a series of games aimed at 5-6 year-olds learning to read, as they show a word on screen and the player chooses the picture that matches the word. Two of these games are DVD-ROM only, though they wouldn’t play even when I inserted the disc into my computer. Go figure.
The other addition to Games & Activities is also the most worthwhile, “Disney Pedia”, which delves into the film’s real-life animal counterparts.
Wrapping It Up
The Jungle Book 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition is certainly a welcome addition to any Disney fans’ library, and is an obvious must-buy if it isn’t already part of your collection. Its master storytelling and amazing animation highlight the film’s exceptional value, and its recent restoration makes the movie even more spectacular. The DVD’s bonus features are satisfactory, but nothing more: the audio commentary and the making-of documentary are the high points, but the cheesy games can be easily defenestrated. Otherwise, this is a no-brainer. Surely The Jungle Book, the last film to EVER be supervised personally by Walt Disney, has a spot awaiting it on your DVD shelf.
How do I rank The Jungle Book 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition? (Bolded is my choice.)
Very good movie + Very good bonus features =
  • Utterly repulsive
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

The Jungle Book 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition will most likely please: Disney Fans – Kids (ages 5-8) – Older Folks

By Blake; originally posted October 14, 2007. All images (C) Disney.

Channel Flippin’ – ‘Twitches Too’ Movie Review

October 13, 2007

‘Twitches Too’ lacks the charm of its original.

By Blake

Originally posted October 13, 2007.

Nearly everything that’s produced by the Disney Channel is successful, these days. Disney Channel pours in tons of viewers with their three main hit shows (Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and Cory in the House), and majorly promotes some young talents who go on to be way big. (Ever heard of Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake?) Even though the network attracts the attention of millions of young viewers, it seems like the shows they’re producing aren’t made with quality and effort – it seems more like they’re made with moola in mind.
So, when I sat down last week to view Twitches (a 2005 Disney Channel movie) in preparation to view the upcoming sequel and write a review of it, I was really expecting another cheesy TV production with bad acting. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when Twitches delivered a delightful fantasy suitable for the entire family (not just bee-bopping tweens) that involves strong characters, deep family relationships, and plot-turning twists.
However, the same is not to be said of its sequel, Twitches Too (which refuses to have its title grammatically correct). A choppy, low quality film, the new movie seems to be a poor attempt to further develop a franchise to a film that really didn’t need or leave room for a sequel. The original Twitches ended happily ever after with no real reason to go back to these characters. Therefore, Twitches Too is surrounded by a not-so-appealing storyline that seems choppy at times and doesn’t really get going until the last 20 minutes of the movie. Furthermore, the choppiness of the plot means that most of the movie seems like stalling (much like the episode of a TV show) until a big twist is revealed at the end. The audience feels like they’re on the wrong end of this bad-reception phone call: we get bits and pieces of what’s going on, but we don’t really know what happened until we can catch up with our caller later.
So what’s this choppy plot? Well, twin witches (“Twitches”) Alex and Carmen are living peacefully with their foster parents after recently discovering that each other existed (in the original movie), and now they discover that their magical kingdom that they happen to be princesses of isn’t so safe anymore, like we thought it was at the end of the original. The twins’ evil uncle Thantos is taking the form of a shadow and occupying unlikely suspects’ bodies to shape the personality of his victims. Another discovery has also been made: the twins’ father, who was thought-to-have died when the twins were born, may still be alive, also taking the form of a shadow. The keep their kingdom safe, the twins must say a special spell within the presence of each other during the upcoming solar eclipse. They can either choose the freeing spell, which will free their father and make him human again (if he really is alive), but will also make Thantos come back, too. Or they can choose the vanquishing spell, which will put a stop to Thantos’ evil doings once and for all, but will also banish the twins’ father forever, as well.
Although this may sound like a thorough, well-developed plot . . . it is! However, it’s not put to justice when we don’t really know all the elements of this plot until the last 20 minutes of the film. The other 70 minutes are spent with pointless diversions, such as the twins’ protectors making their wedding plans and the twins getting new boyfriends. And it certainly doesn’t help that the actress of one of the protectors is a different actress from the original (even though it’s the same character). On top of it all, we’re repeatedly shown a poorly-rendered computer-animated, “videogame-ish”-looking castle, where the twins reign as princesses.
All in all, Twitches Too had the potential to be a really great sequel. And it could have been, if it weren’t for the stalling of the plot and the delays we’re thrust along the way. Perhaps it would have worked out better as a half-hour Halloween special. If you saw the original, then by all means you’ll want to see the sequel to know what happens next. And you should, so I suggest you see the new movie. However (like several other Disney Channel productions), just because Twitches Too will attract millions of viewers; doesn’t mean it’s a quality, worth-seeing product.
How do I rank Twitches Too? (Bolded is my choice.):
  • Utterly repulsive
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

Who will Twitches Too most likely please?: Kids (ages 5-8) – Older kids (ages 9-10) – Tween (ages 11-13)

By Blake; originally posted October 13, 2007. All images (C) Disney.

Theme Park Headlines – Busy Birthday

October 2, 2007

How did Walt Disney World celebrate its very busy 36th birthday weekend? Special events, Halloween festivities, re-dedication ceremonies, and some very special announcements are among the highlights.

By Blake
Originally posted October 2, 2007.
A large patch of Florida orange groves that had been transformed into a magnificent vacation kingdom were officially unveiled to the public on October 1, 1971. In its 36 years of operation, this particular vacation kingdom has secured its place as #1 vacation destination in the world. Yeah – wow.
And this past weekend, that vacation kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort, celebrated its 36th birthday by having no official recognition of the historic date. However, there was barely enough time to squeeze in anything else to this weekend’s jam-packed agenda because even though there was no real birthday party for WDW, there were several major special events that one might have experienced if they happened to be visiting the World last Friday through Monday.

First off, last week saw the premiere of “High School Musical 2 Pep Rally: School’s Out”, the follow-up to the successful mobile stage show at Disney-MGM Studios. Now the show features music from the newest addition to the ever-popular High School Musical franchise.
Friday, the Magic Kingdom hosted its 3rd Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party of the year (its first party night was Sept. 14). This special event, which requires a pricey extra party ticket, happens about a little over a dozen nights each year and boasts a special Halloween fireworks display (“Hallowishes”), a Disney Halloween parade (“Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade”), a stage show starring the Disney villains (“Villains Mix & Mingle”), trick-or-treat candy stations, and special Disney character appearances (with almost all characters dressed in their Halloween attire). Many of the Magic Kingdom’s major attractions are open, also. This year’s party is not majorly any different than last year’s, the most significant additions being Pooh and friends earning new Halloween outfits, a new Tick Tock Crocodile float in the parade, and the first-ever Disney park appearance of Captain Barbossa, from Pirates of the Caribbean, who makes his grand debut in the parade (sorry, no meet n greets!).
Friday also was the kick-off for this year’s Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. Future World is decorated this year to a Ratatouille theme, with topiaries and photo-ops featuring characters from the newest Pixar film all throughout the area. It is currently unknown whether or not Remy and Emile will begin doing meet n greets here to highlight the festival. Over in the World Showcase area of the park, each country pavilion offers unique food and beverages to celebrate the festival and a special concert series takes place at the American Gardens Theatre in the U.S.A. pavilion.
Saturday, the place to be was Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as an after-hours special event (for WDW Annual Passholders only) took place. Although I’m not a WDW AP, and although I didn’t attend this event, it seems from reports I’ve read that it featured ultra-rare meet & greet appearances by Mowgli and Colonel Hathi from The Jungle Book, as well as the not-so-rare Baloo and King Louie.
With the arrival of Sunday came Little Ones Extra Magic Hour, an event that only takes place in the Magic Kingdom on Sundays in September and October. On these select dates, MK’s Fantasyland is open to families with children in the 5 & under range one hour before the rest of the park opens. All Fantasyland attractions are open during this time with little or no wait and MANY characters are present, but not for meet n greets or photo ops – their main purpose here is to play games with the kids.
Also on Sunday was another Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and this particular party night was no ordinary one. For the first time EVER, the party’s “Boo to You” parade music was officially put out for sale to the public. The new “Magic Kingdom Event Party Music” CD not only features the Halloween parade music, but also music from the Halloween fireworks, the Pirate & Princess Party’s parade and fireworks, the Villains Mix n Mingle Halloween stage show, and the Dream Along with Mickey daily stage show. And word is the copies are going out fast!
On Monday, the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground all celebrated their 36th birthdays; while Epcot celebrated its 25th. Although MK and the resorts were not recognized on their special day, Epcot was. Originally Disney was going to not pay any attention to the park’s silver anniversary, but (once again, as with the Halloween CD) Disney responded to its fans’ requests and on Monday a ceremony was held at Epcot’s Fountain of Nations at 10:01am, EXACTLY 25 years (to the minute!) of its original opening day ceremony. (Get it? 10:01 . . . October 1 . . . 10-01.)
Also in honor of the park’s 25th anniversary, the Mickey wand that adorned Spaceship Earth (the “giant golf ball”) was recently taken down before being abruptly smashed into a gajillion pieces in the Epcot parking lot. But the point is, it’s been removed. Many Disney fans celebrated at the announcement of its removal, but personally I liked it. 😉 Now fans are asking that the Leave a Legacy tiles in the Epcot entrance plaza, that some say look somewhat like tombstones, be taken down.
As if that weren’t enough for this busy weekend, Monday also saw the arrival of a major announcement from Disney – the Year of a Million Dreams celebration (originally planned to last through the end of 2007) has been extended through the end of 2008. So now it should really be called 2 Years of 2 Million Dreams (but it isn’t, it’s sticking to the same name). Although this has been known for quite some time, Disney didn’t officially announce the details of the extension until yesterday. And with the announcement came plans for some of this year’s really special dreams being granted.

Again, Disney is granting a night in the Cinderella Castle Suite (above) to one lucky family each day, but they’re also giving away some new prizes. Some of these include spending the night in a private yacht and having Disney’s Castaway Cay private island all to yourself (Disney Cruise Line visits this island every cruise), walking the red carpet and experiencing VIP treatment at the world premiere of High School Musical 3 in fall 2008, flying high above Epcot in a newly-created hot air balloon, having dinner onboard a private submarine at Disneyland and then enjoying a private ride on Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, being an Imagineer Apprentice by looking over the shoulders of a Disney Imagineer for an entire day, making a special appearance in Walt Disney World’s Christmas Day Parade (which is broadcast annually on ABC), or (this one’s my favorite!!!) you could even win the world’s biggest character breakfast EVER, with nearly every Disney character imaginable dining with you before the Magic Kingdom opens, on a table that extends down the length of Main Street U.S.A. Is that cool or what?!?!?!?!?!?
Additionally, a new Disneyland Dream Suite is being created at Disneyland in California, which will allow one lucky granted family each night a view of the New Orleans Square area of the theme park.

Sooooo . . . I’d say it was a pretty exciting birthday weekend for WDW this year, wouldn’t you? 😉

By Blake; originally posted October 2, 2007. All images (C) Disney.