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Florida Ride Guide 2008- Walt Disney World

What's New for the 2008 Season at Florida Theme Parks and Amusement Parks


Toy Story Mania! is coming to Walt Disney World.

Toy Story Mania! is coming to Walt Disney World.

Disney 2007. Used with permission.
Updated August 20, 2008
There'll be plenty of attractions debuting and fun to be had at Florida theme parks in 2008. Let's take a park-by-park look at what's in store, starting with Walt Disney World:

Walt Disney World
Lake Buena Vista, FL

  • (The second) Year of a Million Dreams throughout the resort
  • Toy Story Mania, American Idol!, and Block Party Bash at Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Spaceship Earth renovation at Epcot

One good year deserves another I suppose. After the highly successful Year of a Million Dreams at both Walt Disney World and California's Disneyland, Disney decided to keep the dreams alive at both resorts into 2008 as well. Newly added prizes for the YOAMD, Part II include an exclusive day at Disney's Bahamian island, Castaway Cay, a private breakfast along Main Street U.S.A. with virtually all of the Disney characters, and a ride in a hot air balloon decked out like Epcot's Spaceship Earth. Returning prizes include overnight stays at the Cinderella Castle Suite inside the Magic Kingdom, a trip around the world to visit four Disney resorts, Dream Fastpasses, and, oh, about a million other giveaways. So how can enterprising enthusiasts wrangle their way into the castle suite or score some of the other swag, er dreams, that Disney is giving away? It's a completely arbitrary process, and no amount of cajoling will land you in the royal hot tub. The Dream Squad, Disney employees who roam the resort and hand out the prizes, follow a strict set of guidelines. A computer program randomly chooses the prescribed days, times, and places to pick winners. If a person is in the right spot at the right time (and meets eligibility requirements), he or she wins a prize. If nobody is there, the prize defaults to the next randomly chosen winner.

Disney's Hollywood Studios (the park that up until 2008 had been known as Disney-MGM Studios) will be sprinkling Pixar dust on the new Toy Story Mania!, based on the Disney-Pixar Toy Story films. The interactive 3-D ride will offer video game-style fun. It will use a carnival midway theme and will move guests through a series of 3-D-enhanced "game booths" where they will rack up points by using onboard toy cannon controllers. For example, guests will throw virtual darts at balloons in one scene; in another, they will toss softballs into milk cans. Characters from the films, such as Woody and the Little Green Men, will coach the players. According to Tom Fitzgerald, executive vice president and senior creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, the sophisticated ride will be able to gauge riders' game play abilities and tailor the difficulty levels. "Unlike typical carnival midways, you'll actually be able to win these games," he promises. And video game-challenged adults will be able to have a fighting chance against their game warrior kids. Also debuting at the Studios park will be Block Party Bash, a high-energy interactive parade that will feature characters from Disney-Pixar films such as Monsters, Inc. and A Bug's Life.

Late in 2008, two cultural juggernauts will join forces when Walt Disney World introduces a new attraction based on the hit show, "American Idol." To be housed in the now-vacant ABC Theater (which is ironic, considering Disney owns ABC, and "Idol" is on the rival FOX network) at Disney's Hollywood Studios, park guests will have the opportunity to audition for the chance to strut their stuff before a live audience on a mockup of the "Idol" set. Judges will winnow the contestants, and the park will stage a finale at the end of each day to crown a winner. According to info released by Disney and "Idol's" producers, the park's daily winners who want to pursue the real "American Idol" will receive a guaranteed reservation to bypass the lines at a regional competition.

At Epcot, the iconic Spaceship Earth gets a makeover with a new story, new interactivity, new narrator, and a new musical score.

Walt Disney World's 2008 Ticket Prices. Get the lowdown on the Magic Your Way ticket program and discover how to get the most value for your vaction dollars.

The next page continues the Florida Ride Guide 2008 with Busch Gardens Africa, SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal Orlando.

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