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The thing about falling behind on something is that it becomes nearly impossible to catch back up with all the new things throwing themselves at you. But I have finally scoured the best Bits over the last six months to help you catch up on what your company has been doing. I have tried to be more selective but I can't help it - I love the creativity of this company and enjoy sharing it with you. When anyone asks how Disney makes money, it's not just about breaking down the revenue categories. It's all about the magic they bring to their guests.

Respect The Classics, Man, Respect The Classics!
Who doesn’t love the Country Bear Jamboree, the toe-tapping country music show that stars the Five Bear Rugs band and friends, that has entertained guests since the opening of Magic Kingdom Park in 1971. Country Bear Jamboree recently underwent a refresh that included some behind-the-scenes reengineering, changes to the theater, and more. In this video, shared by Walt Disney Imagineering, Imagineers Lauren Murphy, Pete Carsillo and Kareem Patterson, walk you through what you can expect next time you head for a growling good time at Grizzly Hall.

Be Our Guest Revealed
Check out an exclusive look at Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland.

Mickey Check Debuts
It’s going to become a recognized symbol on quick-service menus at various locations across Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort – the Mickey Check. The Mickey Check debuted on kids’ menus at Be Our Guest Restaurant earlier this month, and will appear on Disney table-service menus in January 2013.

It's Not Elliot But...
You may remember a year or so ago there was a dragon spotted flying over the coast of California. This secret test flight was rumored to be by Imagineering but never acknowledged by Disney. It's just possible that the source of the new Enchanted Forrest at the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland has been identified.

Here's another video:

Here's another view with a close-up picture that shows how they did it:

New Fantasyland Dedication
New Fantasyland is now officially open, which means the adventures and dreams of Belle, Beast, Ariel, Prince Eric, Dumbo and more are now officially ours to explore. Check out this video clip from the official dedication ceremony back in December, featuring Snow White herself, Ginnifer Goodwin.

Here is the full dedication ceremony, complete with Jordan Sparks performing with Dumbo, a rarity in the theme parks, Sebastian and of course, Belle and her Beast.

I'm not sure if the finale song, Once Upon A Time, is an original song written for this dedication, but I've not heard it before.

Re-Imagined Test Track Officially Opens
On December 6th, Epcot officially opened the new Test Track presented by Chevrolet. Before everyone jumped in their vehicles, Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France, and Alan Batey, CMO and Head of U.S. Sales & Services at GM, led an “Accelebration!” on stage. Mickey Mouse and a group of high-energy performers also got things rolling at Epcot before the band OneRepublic performed for guests.

Check out the this gallery of photographs and concept art featuring a closer look at the design aspect of the attraction.

Duffy Does DisneySea
We have a lot of things to look forward to in 2013 at Disney Parks, including the upcoming 30th anniversary of Tokyo Disney Resort. Earlier this week, the resort unveiled plans for a new show, “Mickey & Duffy’s Spring Voyage,” that will help spread the celebration throughout Tokyo DisneySea. The show will tell the story of Duffy the Disney Bear traveling with Mickey Mouse to enjoy springtime at Tokyo DisneySea. They embark on their cruise from Cape Cod and visit the ports of Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront, and Arabian Coast.

Ahoy Mateys, It Be Adventure We're After
A new interactive quest called A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas will debut in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park this spring. In A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas, guests will use a pirate map and magic talisman to help them complete five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland. The goal is to help locate different Treasures of the Seven Seas and fight off pirate enemies like the Royal Navy and Captain Barbossa, among others. If guests help Captain Jack succeed in all the missions, they’ll be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they’ll face the wrath of the cruel sea – alone.

This immersive adventure lets guests become part of Captain Jack's pirate crew by passing a series of tests and then fighting in a battle against none other than Davy Jones himself. It's a short bit of fantasy that puts you inside the movies.

Sofia The First
Last november, Disney Junior debuted the newest Disney Princess, the pint-sized Sofia The First. Chack out this D23 introduction to see why Sofia has quickly become a favorite amount the junior jet set!

Limited Time Magic
While 2013 is already a momentous year for Disney Parks—with New Fantasyland as the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history at Walt Disney World Resort and the first full year of a reimagined Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort—Disney recently unveiled Limited Time Magic: 52 weeks of magical experiences big and small that appear, then disappear as the next special surprise debuts.

Rickey Brigante of Inside The Magic included a Limited Time video on the design and consturction of the ice castle built in Times Square to present this 2013 promotion to the world audience.

Imagineering Turns 60
Walt Disney believed if he could dream it, WED Enterprises could do it. And more often then not, they did. As Imagineering celebrates its 60th anniversary on December 16, Walt’s “backyard laboratory” is still dedicated to the creative design and development of Disney family entertainment experiences around the globe, from the debut of Cars Land earlier this year to last week’s opening of New Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World Resort to the upcoming Shanghai Disney Resort and other exciting projects in the works.

See You At The Movies!
There have been a lot of announcements coming out of The Walt Disney Studios recently. From Marvel and Pixar to Disney Animation, DisneyToon Studios, Disneynature, and Touchstone (which releases films from DreamWorks Studios), the list grows and grows! And with some movies getting new U.S. release dates, D23 thought it a good time to check in with the team over at The Walt Disney Studios and get the latest and greatest calendar of releases.

It was mind boggling to find out that, over the next three years, 24 films have been announced so far! And that’s not including Star Wars: Episode VII, which was recently revealed through Disney’s newest studio, Lucasfilm. As the production teams get underway on these future films, we’ve broken them down for you by year. Enjoy this preview, and we’ll see you at the movies!

Here is ITM's look at upcoming releases, including the new Pirates, Muppets, Captain America, and the much anticipated Maleficent (pushed back from March 2014 to July).

There's A Snake In My Boot
2013 is the Year of the Snake in China. Do you know how many Disney snakes there have been? The answer might surprise you! From films, television shows, and theme parks to trees and in hair—eek!—D23 is celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year and the Year of the Snake with a winding look back at the slithering serpents in Disney history.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort Makes A Splash
Last September, the final wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort opened. Check out this look at whole resort now that it's complete and drawing (pun intended) guests to Walt Disney World!

Swampy Makes The Jump From The Bathtub To The Internet
Swamp the Gator has transcended the boundaries of the highly successful “Where’s My Water?” mobile game to now star in his own series called “Swampy’s Underground Adventures,” on and Disney’s YouTube channel at, with plans to also premiere the series on television via Disney Channel.

The series marks the first production from Disney Interactive’s collaboration with YouTube to bring original family-friendly video series to the web.

Coming To Your Senses At WDW's Grand Floridian
Borrowing a name from the popular offerings of Disney Cruise Line, the new Senses spa at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort begins Disney’s own ownership of all their spas. A complete renovation from its previous incarnation, the new spa takes visitors on a sensory journey that offers rest and relaxation through far more than just a massaging touch, reaching out to sight, smell, sounds, and sweet tastes.

When the new Senses spa opened in December, visitors received a new approach to pampering, inviting guests to choose one of three paths to accompany them through the experience: relax, renew, or imagine. These three words guide the lighting color scheme as well as signature food and drink flavors that enhance the retreat. But at the core of it all is room after room of blissful peace, whether it’s via a gentle massage, a heated seat, or a dip in a hot tub.

Get your tour of the Senses here:

As Magic Kingdom was opening New Fantasyland and Epcot was debuting Test Track, Downtown Disney's West Side was premiering a new feature, the new Splittsville. Check out this tour of the new lanes, the Mickey & Minnie bowling balls, and the Champion Bowler of the World. Well, Walt Disney World, that is.

Frankly, it looks like a bowling alley/pool hall, but with higher class food. I don't get the great attraction.

When The Force Meets The Magic
Just watch this. That's all the setup it needs. You will regret it if you don't. No, that's not a threat, that's a promise.

Limited Time Magic
Last December, the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World kicked off their Limited Time Magic campaign for 2013 with a special performance at WDW by the original boy band, the Dapper Dans, performing some not-so-original songs. All this week, they have been singing boy band songs, just one of 52 surprises Disney plans to roll out each week during the year.

These special experiences have now been delighting guests for a couple months now, with some special standouts:

Couples visiting Walt Disney World and Disneyland during the week of Valentine’s Day found that love is in the air as both resorts celebrated the romantic holiday in “True Love” week from February 11-17, 2013:

Check out this video of Valentine's Renewal:

Out at Disneyland, the Golden Horseshoe Review came alive for one week only. The roughly 20-minute salute featureed the same style of entertainment of the original, which first debuted in the park on opening day, July 17, 1955, famously starring Wally Boag and a talented cast, combining live music with rousing stage antics that carry out into the audience to add some nostalgia to the theme park. Check out this post and full length video of the show:

January also saw Lost Friends Week come to Walt Disney World, courtesy of Limited Time Magic. Characters that appeared in the park included Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Sheriff of Nottingham, Prince John, The Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf, Scrooge McDuck, Ludwig Von Drake, and Pinocchio, Geppetto, and Jiminy Cricket. No word on the cast of Fraggle Rock. I don't think I've ever seen Jiminy Cricket in the parks, have you? Characters appeared in Town Square at the front of the park, offering guests to snap a photo with familiar faces they don't regularly see. The characters carried flags with their names for those who weren't familiar with them.

Kudos To Disneyland
While Walt Disney World rolls out a variety of interactive experiences across its many theme parks, Disneyland appears to be developing its own in-park activity, a mobile game letting guests unlock achievements by completing location-driven quests. The app is called “Disney Kudos.”

Disney On Ice
Donning an outfit straight off the Grid, figure skater Max Aaron took home his gold medal win in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships this weekend after nailing a short program routine featuring music from Daft Punk’s score to Disney’s “Tron: Legacy” film.

His second routine was set to music of “West Side Story,” clenching his victory.

Big Improvements To Big Thunder
The Disney Parks Blog has offered a first look at the new interactive features being added to the queue of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Magic Kingdom, placing guests inside the ride’s new back story of a mining company, taking them through the Mining Office, Explosives Magazine Room, Performance Post, Ventilation Room. Some of the things they are plannign are really cool.

DisneyToon Studios Takes Flight In August
For 2 decades, Pixar has learned the art of storytelling from Walt Disney. Now, Pixar is the master and DisneyToon Studios is the learner. A new trailer for Disney’s upcoming “Cars” spin-off “Planes” has finally emerged online, nearly two years after the first was unveiled. Though the film has a distinctly Pixar look, Pixar is not involved in its production. Instead, DisneyToon Studios is responsible for its creation, best known for its direct-to-video sequels of Disney classics.

Interactive In-Park Experience Comes To WDW's Animal Kingdom
Magic Kingdom has it's Sorcerer's game and Epcot has Phinneas & Ferb. And now, Walt Disney World has announced a new park-wide interactive experience to debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Spring 2013 based on the Pixar film “Up.” What possibly could it be?

We’re happy to announce that the Wilderness Explorers adventure organization is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with a planned opening this spring. Soon, guests can become Wilderness Explorers and experience the entire park using their field guides, completing challenges and earning badges as they go. With more than 30 badges available, Wilderness Explorers is fun for the whole family and helps guests experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom and its themes in a new and exciting way.

Winterizing Carsland at DCA
It’s been roughly seven months since the grand opening of the highly successful Cars Land expansion of the Disney California Adventure theme park and since its debut it has remained immensely popular with daily crowds pouring into Radiator Springs Racers and taking in its many intricate detailed touches. However, with the onset of Winter, ther have been some changes, as ITM's Ricky BRigante discovered during a recent trip out west. Lots of updates and lots of photos, as would befit any road trip down Route 66.

You Be Seeking Adventure, Aye?
Avast ye land lubbers, there be new adventures ahead at Walt Disney World. The Disney Parks Blog has confirmed long-standing rumors of an elaborate game being installed into Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom. The “interactive quest” is called “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas” and will debut in Spring 2013. A single piece of concept art has been shared, offering a glimpse at park guests happily firing cannons near the Swiss Family Treehouse while others are interacting with skulls in the background.

Unlimited Magic At Disneyland
Not every Disneyland visit has to be about rushing to see a brand new ride. Whether visiting as a California local or traveler from across the country or around the world, it pays to take a step back, even look at the map, and notice a few classic experiences that perhaps have been bypassed over the years in favor of focusing on only what’s new. Disneyland is a part of American history and the oldest traditions have stuck around because for a reason: They’re timeless. On a recent trip to Disneyland, Inside The Magic's Ricky Brigante decided to stop chasing what's new and instead sought out what's tried and true. Check out his report and relive some of your favorite moments as well:

Who doesn't really like the idea of Limited Time Magic because he doesn't like the message that Magic has limits...
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