Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Photos of 59 celebs who visited Disneyland and Disney World from 2006 to 2009

The Disney Parks have always been magnets for celebrities, whether attending for work or bringing their family for a day out.

Over the years, thousands of celebrities and politicians have visited Disney Parks around the world.
Here is a look at 59 celebrities who visited Disney Parks from 2006-2009.


Here is a look at 40 celebrities visiting Disney Parks from 2000 to 2005.

Don't forget to see photos of celebs who visited Disney Parks in the 1950s and 1960s, and 1980s and 1990s.  and from 2000 to 2005.  (We're working on the 1970s.)


Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Mickey Mouse wave at fans during a parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on Feb.  6, 2006. The Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL.



Tony Gonzalez of the Kansas City Chiefs takes a ride with Donald Duck in a parade March 4, 2006 at the Disney-MGM Studios  The Pro Bowl tight end is among more than 70 sports celebrities and ESPN personalities at this weekend's 'ESPN The Weekend."

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, the 2006 Defensive Player of the Year, takes a ride with Cheerleader Minnie Mouse.

Former University of Texas running back Priest Holmes, now playing with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, gives the 'Hook 'Em Horns' hand signal to fans along the motorcade route March 4, 2006 at the Disney-MGM Studios.

Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan experiences Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom with Lindsey Mauro, age 10, from Osprey, Florida on March 4, 2006  Kwan is at the theme park for "ESPN the Weekend.

Susan Lucci waves with Minnie Mouse during the motorcade during Super Soap Weekend at Walt Disney World's MGM Studios on Nov. 11, 2006.

 Julie Berman waves to fans during a motorcade during the Super Soap Weekend at Walt Disney World's MGM Studios on  Nov. 11, 2006.

 Scott Clifton waves to fans during a motorcade during the Super Soap Weekend at Walt Disney World's MGM Studios on Nov. 11, 2006.

ndianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy (R) and running back Dominic Rhodes pose for a picture with Disney characters Feb. 7, 2007 before a parade at Walt Disney World.

Celine Dion and son Rene-Charles, 6, outside Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

Andie MacDowell during Disneyland Paris's 15th Anniversary Celebrations on March 31, 2007

Laeticia Hallyday and Jade during Disneyland Paris's 15th Anniversary Celebrations in 2007.

High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale poses with Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse before the Disney Channel Games in April 2007.

Nick (Nicholas) Jonas (L), Joe (Joseph) (C) Jonas and Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers pose with Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse before the Disney Channel Games in 2007.

 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody stars Dylan Sprouse (R) and Cole Sprouse (L) for the Disney Channel pose with Disney characters Mickey and Minnie before the Disney.Channel Games in 2007.

Grammy Award-winning artist Christina Aguilera poses with Mickey Mouse at the Disney-MGM Studios on May 3, 2007.

Actress Uma Thurman poses with Minnie Mouse during a visit to Magic Kingdom on June 7, 2007 in Orlando.

Actress Leah Remini and family attend the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Actor Craig Ferguson attends the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Director John Lasseter attends the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Holly Robinson and Rodney Peete and family attend the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Actress Dayanara Torres attends the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Actor Sean Austin and family attend the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and friends attend the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at  Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Actress Mariska Hargitay attends the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Actresses Courteney Cox (L) and Lisa Kudrow (R) attends the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Actress Melissa Joan Hart and son Mason Wilkerson attends the sneak preview of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland on June 10, 2007.

Eva Longoria, Verlobter Tony Parker (Basketball-Star), Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Disneyland Resort in Paris.

Actor Zac Efron (center) with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse arrive at the premiere of 'High School Musical 2' at the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort on August 14, 2007.

Actress Vanessa Williams (center) and family arrive at the premiere of "High School Musical 2" at the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort on August 14, 2007.

Miley Cyrus arrives to the world premiere of Disney Channel's "High School Musical 2" held at the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort on August 14, 2007.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens arrives at the premiere of 'High School Musical 2' at the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort on August 14, 2007.

NASA space shuttle mission STS-118 Endeavour astronaut Barbara Morgan laughs during a plaque dedication ceremony in her honor at Epcot Center Sept. 10, 2007.

Actor John Stamos poses with Nurse Minnie Mouse in the Magic Kingdom Oct. 9, 2007.

Miley Cyrus and Minnie Mouse arrive at Miley Cyrus` 'Sweet 16' Celebration' at Disneyland on Oct. 5, 2008.

Steve Carell arrives at the Miley Cyrus's 'Sweet 16' Celebration at Disneyland on Oct. 5, 2008.

Actor Ross McCall, fiance actress Jennifer Love Hewitt  and  Minnie Mouse arrive at Miley Cyrus` 'Sweet 16' Celebration' at Disneyland.

Cindy Crawford and Children arrives at the Miley Cyrus's 'Sweet 16' Celebration at Disneyland.

Actress/Singer Demi Lovato appears on the red carpet for the 2008 Disney Channel Games at Epcot  on May 2, 2008.

Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps waves at fans during a parade at Walt Disney World on Aug. 29, 2008.

Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes of the Pittsburgh Steelers waves to fans during the Super Bowl Victory Parade down Main Street at he Magic Kingdom on Jan. 31, 2009.


Carrie Underwood, winner of American Idol season 4, arrives for the grand opening of the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Feb. 11, 2009.

David Cook, winner of American Idol Season 7, arrives for the grand opening of the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Feb. 11, 2009.

Jordin Sparks, winner of American Idol season 6, arrives for the grand opening of the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Feb. 11, 2009.

American Idol judge Paula Abdul arrives for the grand opening of the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios on  Feb. 11, 2009.

Taylor Hicks, season 5 winner, walks on the red carpet for the grand opening of the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Feb. 11, 2009.

Host Ryan Seacrest talks with former winners Carrie Underwood and David Cook before posing for a photo after the grand opening show of the American Idol Experience.

Fantasia Barrino season 3 winner, walks on the red carpet for the grand opening of the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Katy Perry poses with Minnie Mouse on April 25, 2009 at Hollywood Studios.

Actress Hayden Panettiere poses with Minnie Mouse on April 25, 2009.

Singer/actor Mitchel Musso ('Hannah Montana,' 'Phineas & Ferb') poses with Goofy at Hollywood Studios on Sept. 18, 2009.


The R&B group 'Boys II Men' (L-R) Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman and Nathan Morris, poses with Disney's Princess Tiana character on Oct.  26, 2009 at the Magic Kingdom.

Actor Nick Cannon takes a break from taping a segment for the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade'" at Magic Kingdom.

Whoopi Goldberg poses with Minnie Mouse at Epcot on Dec. 19, 2009.

Phil Collins visits Disneyland Resort in Paris on March 28, 2009.

Hugh Jackman poses with Mickey Mouse outside Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

"Dancing with the Stars" duo Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy celebrate their engagement at Disneyland on May 8, 2009.

Holly Hunter, the voice of Elastigirl in the hit Disney-Pixar film "The Incredibles," meets her alter ego along with Mr. Incredible and Frozone during the "Pixar Play Parade" at Disney's California Adventure on Oct.  27, 2009.

Shannen Doherty attends the Disneyland Magic Christmas Season Launch at Disneyland Resort Paris on Nov. 7, 2009.

Disney Facts: 10 fast facts about The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney World

Disney publicity photo
Cast of the Hoop-Dee-Do Musical  Revue 
The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is celebrating its 40th year of operation at Disney World as one of the country's longest running dinner theater shows.

The show was created with a college intern cast and  opened June 30, 1974. By the end of the summer, guests wanted more so a professional cast was created and the show opened permanently on Sept. 5, 1974. Since then, the show has had more than 37,000 performances and more than 10.5 million guests have seen the show, according to Disney.

Here are 10 fast facts about the show from Disney:

1. The show, held at Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, is built from 1,283 pine logs from Montana and 70 tons of stones from North Carolina.

2. One member of the original cast from the college program still works for Disney. Marilyn Kay Magness, who played Dolly Drew, is executive creative director of Disney Parks, Creative Entertainment.

3. The show was originally called The Whoop-Dee-Doo-Revue and later changed to Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.

4. The song “Apple Pie Hoedown” was replaced in 1979 with “Strawberry Short Cake Walk” when shortcake replaced apple pie on the menu.

5. It takes 15 gallons of strawberries and 12 gallons of whipped cream to make dessert.

6. The show's principal songwriter Tom Adair, also wrote words for the score for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and the “Mickey Mouse Club.”

7. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was part of the opening entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983 and played until 1995.

8. The cooks spend six hours each day breading the chicken to make the 900 pounds of fried chicken served every night.

9. The cooks slow cook 400 pounds of pork ribs which are placed in a slow cooker at 11 a.m.
10. The cooks daily make 120 pounds of corn, 400 pounds of potatoes to be mashed and 30 gallons of baked beans for sides.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Disney announces a premium dessert party at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Just when you thought Disney World couldn't get any more exclusive, it is now offering a premium ticket to a premium ticketed event.

Disney publicity photo
Lady Tremaine will host a special dessert party, for $99.
Yes, that's right. In addition to paying the $62, $67 or $71 to get into the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom this fall (depending on the night), you can pay another $99 for a special dessert party.

The extra premium event offers the following, according to Disney:
  • Preferred viewing for the 8:15 p.m. Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade.
  • Preferred Viewing for HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular.
  • A special dessert party at Cinderella’s Royal Table with Lady Tremaine, t hemed desserts, entertainment and visits from some other Disney villains. Each guest will also receive an autograph card and souvenir Maleficent dragon cup.
Disney has been doing these special dessert parties during normal fireworks, but this seems to be the first for a premium ticket during a premium event. Too much? What do you think?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: Villains Unleashed at Disney needs some work if they plan to make it an annual event

Villains took over Hollywood Studios Saturday night, but many thought the true evil was in the form of Disney decision-making.

© Steven Liebman
The Evil Queen at Villains Unleashed.
In an attempt to put their villains in the spotlight, Disney created a ticketed event called Villains Unleashed. It was a second try at this theme in this park, after last year's Unleash The Villains Limited Time Magic on Friday the 13th.

Last year, according to cast members an those in attendance, the event was a disaster. The park filled to capacity in a matter of hours, there were crowd-control issues and the lines for the meet and greets were out of control. Had Disney underestimate the popularity of the villains?

So this year, Disney created a ticketed event to bring a night of partying and meet-and-greets. That means the evening's entertainment would cost you about $70. Once again, there were long lines everywhere -- including a very long line of disgruntled guests at the Guest Service area, according to numerous bloggers who attended.  The reason for the problem? Just like last year: Too many people.

There were lines everywhere -- to meet the villains, to buy merchandise, to buy specialty foods and drinks, for all of the entertainment and even for the few rides that were open. The wait for Toy Story Mania was about 40 minutes all night.
By early in the evening, much of the merchandise was gone and people said they waited for two to three hours just to meet one villain, and in some cases still didn't get a photo with them. 

There were supposed to be 50 villains in attendance. If you're paying $70 to get in, you should at least have the opportunity of spotting them, if not getting up close. In some cases the access to even see the villains was difficult. The best location was the Star Wars area of the park, maybe because it's just routine for them with Star Wars Weekends? Grabbing a selfie with a Stormtrooper is exactly what this night should be about, and you could do that here. 

Why not a parade? There was an attempt with a Villains kick-off roll call by Hades at the start of the night, but some of the biggest names -- Captain Barbosa, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Maleficent -- weren't on stage. Why not find a way to let you get at least a little closer?

Here's a recap of some of the good and bad from the night: 

Bad: The lines and the overcrowding. But we already touched on that, and that was the major problem with the evening.  

Good and Bad: The Villains introduction. Hades kicked off the evening with an introduction of all 50 villains in attendance. While this is great, if you did not get close enough to the mosh pit feel of the big stage by the hat, your glimpse of these villains was left to the giant screens. If I wanted to watch the villains from a TV screen, I would have put in a DVD. They need to let everyone feel like they are closer to the characters.

Good: Club Evil. The Hollywood Brown Derby was transformed into a lounge complete with a torch singer belting out Disney tunes. We took a quick look and would have liked to spend a lot more time, but like everything else, it was packed.

Good: Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show. There has been a lot of talk about this cross between Steampunk and old-fashioned carnival sideshow. Some people thought this show was a little odd, risqué and un-Disney. A few families left the showing we were at, however, we found it enjoyable and different. This is something we would like to see again. 

Bad: Pre-show to Fantasmic. If you are going to announce there is a special Villain pre-show to Fantasmic, have some villains show up. Don't just take your normal pre-show with jokes, audience participation and trivia, change the name of the presenters and call it a "Villains edition." Have some villains show up. It was a complete waste of pre-show time. 

Good and Bad: Villainy in the Sky Fireworks Spectacular. The idea of the night is that all of Disney's villains were unleashed. Well, so were the fireworks. The grand finale seemed like more fireworks than we've ever seen thrown into the sky at one time. The music accompanying the fireworks was also good. The bad is that Disney has always gone to great lengths to make sure everything they do has a story, whether it is a store or an attraction, or fireworks. While the music was meant to guide you through the various villains it would have been nicer with a little bit of a narrative to tell a story of the unleashing of this evil. Otherwise, it's fireworks set to music and we can see that anywhere.

Review of Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show at Disney World

Disney took on a little edge during this weekend's Villains Unleashed event at Hollywood Studios Saturday.

The Oogie Boogie Freaky Funhouse Show featured sword swallowing, crossbow tricks and a very sensuous acrobatic fire routine that was steamier than then 86 degree evening.

Oogie Boogie was the master of ceremonies for what was a cross between Steampunk and old-fashioned carnival sideshow.

The routine started off with G-rated fun with a pre-show by a magician who got the audience involved with jokes and fun illusions. Then Oogie Boogie took the stage singing a rendition of his theme song from "Nightmare Before Christmas."

He introduced the three acts, the first consisting of an "insanely" high-energy sword swallowing display. This was followed by a male and female crossbow team taking turns target-shooting items, with one partner holding a small target across the stage for the other partner to hit. They proved you can give love a bad name (by shooting each other through the heart.)

The last act of the evening was a phenomenal fire routine by another couple of acrobats, who were, in a word, hot -- as they manipulated not only the fire, but their bodies around each other.

Here are some photos from the event:

Oogie Boogie at Oggie Boogies Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Oogie Boogie during the Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse.
Oogie Boogie at Oggie Boogies Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Oogie Boogie during the Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse.
Sword swallowing at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Sword swallowing at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Sharpshooting at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Sharpshooting at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Flame eating at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Flame eating at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Flame eating at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Flame eating at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman
Flame eating at Oogie Boogie's Freaky Funhouse Show
© Steven Liebman

Photos from Villains Roll Call at Villains Unleashed

The Villains Unleashed event at Hollywood Studios featured 50 villains from the Disney and Star Wars universe.

The preliminary reviews are in and the event was not a rousing success by any means, people waited hours in line for meet and greets with villains. The park itself is not constructed very well for a ticket event like this (more later in a complete review).

But for those who started the evening out at the center stage, Hades did introduce many of the 50 characters who would be around the park. Here is a glimpse of the Villains Roll Call:


Villains Roll Call - Pain and Panic
Villains Roll Call - Hades
Villains Roll Call -- Oogie Boogie
Villains Roll Call - Meg
Villains Roll Call - Hades gets crowd stirred up

Villains Roll Call - Meg and Pain
Villains Roll Call - Hades, Meg and Pain
Villains Roll Call -  J Worthington Foulfellow Fox
Villains Roll Call - Mr. Snee, Capt. Hook  and Panic
Villains Roll Call - Capt. Hook
Villains Roll Call - Meg, Banzai and Ed
Villains Roll Call - Cruella de Vil
Villains Roll Call - Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear
Villains Roll Call - Lady  Tremaine
Villains Roll Call - Gov. Ratcliffe
Villains Roll Call - Queen of Hearts
Villains Roll Call - Shan Yu
Villains Roll Call - Prince John