Working in a Theme Park series: Walt Disney World

The famous lumberjack costume

As I’ve mentioned before, I have worked in a few theme parks over the years. I’ve decided to showcase each of these experiences in a new series called Working In A Theme Park. I’m starting with this article on Walt Disney World, with Cedar Point and Canada’s Wonderland coming soon. Let me know what you think 🙂

This is going to be a long one… Grab yourself that XL Double-Double and bowl of Cheerios, it’s time to take a trip with me as I detail my journey to working for the Mouse. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am the ultimate Disney fan. Ever since I was a kid, Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney were idols of mine. I decided at a young age that I wanted to work at Walt Disney World, and I made it happen. Here is my story: Continue reading

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure replaces Kim Possible

After six years of operation, it’s time to say goodbye to the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure. Disney announced it will be re-themed and updated this summer to the super popular (and awesome) Phineas & Ferb. While we’re sad to see Kim Possible go (we got to Play Test it back when we worked there), it’s nice seeing them update the attraction for another generation to keep it relevant.

Here’s what Charles Stovall posted on the Disney Parks Blog today:

Greetings from Epcot!
All the would-be secret agents out there will find a great new interactive experience at Epcot this year.
Coming this summer, Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is based on the wily secret-agent alter-ego of Perry the Platypus – faithful pet to the title characters from Disney’s animated series “Phineas & Ferb.” Although just a simple pet to Phineas and Ferb, Perry turns into Agent P in each episode to help stop the misguided plans of his nemesis, Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
Epcot guests will transform into secret agents to help Agent P thwart some of Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s most daring plots. Agents will use a “high-tech secret agent device” to receive clues for each case. Solving the clues will take agents to different places throughout seven World Showcase countries at Epcot – Mexico Pavilion, France Pavilion, Germany Pavilion, Norway Pavilion, Japan Pavilion, China Pavilion and the United Kingdom Pavilion. Agents will scour each country for clues, evil “Inators,” and – with a little bit of luck – help Agent P defeat Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
Everyone ready to don their fedoras and help Agent P? I can’t wait!
Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure will arrive at Epcot and the current Disney Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure will close in summer.

Disney and GM to re-imagine Test Track at EPCOT

Disney and General Motors have renewed their long-term business relationship with a new multi-year corporate alliance. As part of the new alliance, GM will be actively involved with Walt Disney Imagineering in the development of a re-imagined, design-centric Test Track experience. The refurbished Test Track will be presented by one of GM’s most famous brands, Chevrolet. As Chevrolet marks its 100th anniversary, the new alliance agreement enables General Motors to tell its story in new and exciting ways to millions of Guests from around the world and continue as the official vehicle sponsor of Walt Disney World Resort.

“We are excited to renew our long-term alliance with General Motors,” said George Aguel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Alliances for the Walt Disney Company. “This unique agreement extends collaboration between two of the most recognized brands in the world, a relationship that spans over 30 years. The re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will continue our shared goal of providing unique and innovative experiences that engage Disney guests in exciting and interactive ways.” ”
“As a global brand, Chevrolet is looking forward to welcoming Guests from around the world to the re-imagined Test Track,” said Joel Ewanick, Global Chief Marketing Officer for General Motors. “The best of Disney and the best of Chevrolet will come together to bring Guests an immersive experience in the design process of the vehicles they see on the road today and will see in the future.”
Plans call for closing the current GM Test Track in April 2012, with an anticipated opening of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet scheduled for fall 2012.
As part of the re-imagining, the Future World attraction will feature a sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot” immersing Guests in the fascinating world of automotive design. Amid upbeat music, engaging media, dramatic lighting and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers – and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.
At interactive design and styling workstations, Guests will be able to create their own custom concept vehicles. The adventure will then shift into high gear as Guests buckle into their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle and put their design through its paces on the exhilarating hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit.
Their performance testing complete, Guests will move into a post-show area filled with special effects and be scored on how well their custom concept vehicle did. And of course, Guests will be able see the very latest Chevrolet vehicles in an all-new state-of-the-art showroom.

The Magic of Food and Wine at WDW

As the leaves change colour and the temperature dips slowly, nothing makes me happier than a sip or two of wine and a plate of great food. If you’ve ever wanted to hop into a culinary mecca that spans all timezones and borders, the Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is just what the sommelier ordered. Now in it’s 16th year, the festival spans 45 days of culinary delight. While you could drop a small fortune on food and drink, many of the festivals events are free and will excite even the most discerning critic. Don’t think it’s just for adults, this is Disney after all. The little ones will be delighted with the fantastic topiaries and play structures placed around the entire park.
Here are some fun facts from Disney about the festival:

  • More than 300 national and international wines
  • 45 fabulous days long
  • More than 76 kinds of international foods, each appetizer-sized portion priced $3-$8
  • 160 of America’s most celebrated chefs and Walt Disney World chefs
  • Over 300 wine and beer seminars
  • More than 1,200 fireworks rockets exploding each night over World Showcase Lagoon in Reflections of Earth” grand finale to the festival
  • 135 Eat to the Beat! concerts performed 33,000 bottles of wine and champagne 289,000 servings of beer 900,000 sumptuous samplings 338,000 wine glasses
  • 100,000 desserts including freshly baked waffles with berry compote and whipped cream (Belgium marketplace), white chocolate macadamia mousse with dark chocolate pearls (Desserts & Champagne marketplace) and chocolate cannoli (Italy marketplace).
  • 4,000 pounds of lobster for Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Rolls and Linda Bean’s Lobster Claw Cuddlers at the Hops & Barley marketplace plus Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie at the Ireland marketplace.

For all the details and more visit the Epcot Food & Wine Festival website.