The Party’s “Summer Vacation,” a nostalgic music video


Summer vacation is just around the corner and it’s time to enjoy some lighter forms of entertainment. If you’re a twenty- or thirty-something, you may remember Disney‘s Mickey Mouse Club’s attempt to become cool as the MMC. Before future stars Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake joined the cast, there was the pop ensemble The Party and their summer anthem “Summer Vacation.” The song did respectably on the charts in 1990 and the video has all of the hallmarks of an early nineties music video: white dudes rapping, boardwalk skateboards, and lots of lycra. Enjoy this nostalgic trip to the beach: Tune in, groove on, and bust out!

Chilean miners are going to Walt Disney World

Chilean miners are going to Disney World

“Esteban Rojas, you’ve just survived 69 days trapped 2,300 feet underground. What are you going to do next?”

“I’m going to Disney Worldl!

OK, so maybe that’s not quite the way it happened, but the 33 Chilean miners who survived underground after a mine collapse this year are being treated to a Walt Disney World vacation in 2011.

Disney has confirmed that the miners and their immediate families will be traveling to Orlando Jan. 27 through Feb. 2, 2011. In a nice added touch, rescue workers who helped save the men will get a vacation, too.

“The amazing story of these miners captured the attention of the world for demonstrating the true power and resilience of the human spirit,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. “We are proud to welcome these courageous men and their families to the Walt Disney World Resort.”

A welcome dinner that includes Disney characters, dancing and Chilean cuisine prepared by Disney chefs will greet the Chilean families.

Over the course of their six-night vacation, the miners, rescuers and their families will visit all four Disney theme parks in Florida and serve as grand marshals of a parade at the Magic Kingdom.

Mickey Mouse is picking up the tab for the trip, and giving each family a $500 Disney gift card.

[Image credit: Flickr user Rescate Mineros]

Mickey’s Toontown Fair to close at Disney World

When you travel to visit Mickey this spring, you won’t find him in his house. Walt Disney World has announced that the Mickey’s Toontown Fair area of the park will close after Feb. 11, 2011.

mickey toontown fair to close at Walt Disney WorldThe area features the side-by-side houses of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Goofy’s Barnstormer – a kiddie coaster, Donald’s Boat – a playground for toddlers, and a large character greeting area where guests can meet Mickey and Minnie, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends, and several Disney princesses.

Mickey’s Toontown Fair is being closed as part of Disney’s grand plans for the largest Walt Disney World expansion ever. Princess castles, restaurants, and a new ride based on The Little Mermaid are being added to Fantasyland.

The construction is set to be completed in 2013.

Mickey’s Toontown Fair opened as a new “land” at Walt Disney World in 1988, when it was called Mickey’s Birthdayland in celebration of the Mouse’s 60th birthday.

Many Disney enthusiasts dislike the cartoon theming of the area and say that it doesn’t fit in with the rest of Walt Disney World. But the land in the northeast corner of the Magic Kingdom has proven popular with families.

The Disney Parks Blog says that Disney World guests will still be able to meet their favorite characters after Toontown Fair closes. Mickey, Minnie and the Disney Princesses will greet guests in a building in the Magic Kingdom’s Town Square. Tinker Bell will move to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and her fairy friends will flutter over to Epcot.

Disney gets keys, takes new ship for a spin

new disney shipIt’s been a while since Disney Cruise Line launched a new ship. 1999 to be exact was when the line so closely linked with a magical and enchanting cruise experience for children of all ages drove off the lot with a new build.

Under construction for nearly two years, new Disney Dream officially became the property of Disney Cruise Line as the ship was handed off at Meyer-Werft shipyard in Germany. Next week the new ship will be Port Canaveral bound where her first revenue cruise will begin on January 26.

“The Disney Dream is an extraordinary ship, in part because of the collaboration of the superb shipbuilders at Meyer Werft and the innovative technology and storytelling that our Disney team has developed and implemented aboard,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “I cannot wait for our guests to experience this newest addition to our fleet, a ship that will delight and surprise all ages.”

Making space for Disney Dream at a newly-updated cruise terminal at Florida’s Port Canaveral moves Disney Wonder to the West Coast where sailings will include voyages to Alaska, a first for the line and a move applauded by fans of cruise vacations.

Disney Dream is scheduled to sail three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas. Sister ship Disney Fantasy, one of several new ships due out from an assortment of cruise lines, is currently in production at the Meyer Werft shipyard. Disney Fantasy is scheduled to set sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries in 2012, also from Port Canaveral.

Disney Parks testing new, talking Mickey Mouse for character greetings

Meeting Mickey Mouse has been a pivotal part of a visit to Disneyland for generations. Park visitors wait in line for up to 90 minutes to meet Mickey, get his autograph and pose for a snapshot with the Disney icon. But all of this interaction took place in silence, until now.

Some Disneyland guests are reporting that they have participated in tests with a new Mickey Mouse character – a walking, talking Mickey. The Disney Blog has posted videos of one of the interactive character greeting sessions.

When I first heard about this, I expected to see Mickey saying some generic phrases to each guest, but that’s not at all what the video shows. Mickey Mouse greets a group of guests and invites them to take scrapbook photos with him. But then, he interacts privately with each group of guests, speaking their names and reacting to what they do.

Now, this was a test. It is likely not going to happen to you at Disneyland tomorrow, and it may never happen on a large scale. But it seems to work very well in the short videos below: