Orlando, Florida! It's not necessarily my favorite time of year to visit, though. It will be hot, humid and crowded. It's a family reunion, so that dictated the time of year, but also guarantees that we'll have a lot of fun. Plus I'll get to visit Hogwarts for the first time!

We start out this week with a Walt Disney World update from Denise nbodyhome Preskitt. Don't forget to visit her website, mousesteps.com. That update is followed by a report on a new ride at Australia's Dreamworld. Rya86n has photos of Shockwave.

MiceChatter biggsworth took a trip to the Kennedy Space Center recently. These photos demonstrate why this is one of Central Florida's biggest attractions.

MickeyMaxx selected some cool post cards from DisneylandPostcards.net to share this week. I'm not sure if the motels that surrounded Disneyland back in the day added to or subtracted from the festive atmosphere around the Anaheim park at the time, but they sure are fun to look at decades later.

Ian Parkinson and Richard Williams continue their cruise with a stop in Bilbao. This Spanish city is famous for its spectacular Guggenheim museum.

Finally we have some bonus shots and video from MiceChatter rmckay. Its amazing what they are doing with the World of Color for the holidays.

Have a great week, everyone. I know I will!

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt's Walt Disney World update

We have not been to the parks quite as often in the last week+ due to rain (this weekend promises the same). Fortunately we've had some breaks in the weather lately, and we were able to be there for Flynn Riders last day at the Magic Kingdom, and for fireworks from the Polynesian beach.


In Fantasyland, the rock work for the Little Mermaid building is being painted:

Fantasyland Construction video:

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The Liberty Belle:

Flynn Rider was pulled from the Tangled Meet and Greet a week ago. I'm sure everyone was surprised, since he's such a hugely popular M&G character. It was a tearful time for all during the last M&G of the day.

Quite a few cast members showed up, one bringing these painted shoes:


Rapunzel and Flynn Rider:

Lifting balloons into the air:

We have two videos we made of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from that day, this is one of them:

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We watched the July 4th Magic Kingdom fireworks on July 3rd from the Polynesian Resort with friends:

Video of the fireworks:

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I forgot my camera(!) on the 4th of July when we went to Epcot for a few hours. But we do have a few nice videos, including the Liberty Voices in concert:

<iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2qbcoa7vLT0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And Ben Franklin:

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Rya86n has photos of a new ride at Australia's Dreamworld

Last week I took a look at Movieworld's latest live action show MotoMonster Xtreme.

Just down the highway, Dreamworld unveiled a new attraction...

...just in time for the school holidays.

Shockwave is a new family thrill ride.

A new Zamperla DiskO coaster

The ride debuts at the park as part of the year long 30th anniversary celebrations.

I managed to preview the ride at the first public opening.

It came down to the wire.

with temporary construction fence, still hiding more permanent features.

Some last minute, finishing touches...

...and a fresh coat of paint on opening day.

As crowds gather to test drive the new ride.

The load station and queue is quite small, with simple theming.

The ride vehicle...

...and seating prior to the first run.

A test drive

and then ready for the first ride!

Not for the faint hearted...

the ride's 9tonne, 24seat carriage locks the riders in...

...as they are propelled along a 63 metre wave like track.

All the while, spinning at 12RPM

and pulling up to 2.5G's.

It doesnt quite compare to the other Big 6 thrill rides, but certainly is a fun family ride.

Yet another great addition to the growing park.

There was no Shockwave merchandise on opening day, but it was good to see the 30th birthday souvenirs making an appearance.

A trip to the Kennedy Space Center courtesy of Biggsworth

Many thanks to MiceChat member, biggsworth, who shares photos of the Kennedy Space Center he took on his recent trip to Florida. You'll find more photos, along with his commentary at the link to his trip report, below.

More vintage post card images from DisneylandPostcards.net

This week, Ken Eslick of The Disneyland Postcard Reference Guide, provides us with some seldom seen images of the hotels and motels that popped up around Disneyland in the early years. You will find many Disney-like themes to these properties, and some outright identical themes, as in the Peter Pan Motor Lodge. Also, note some fun kinda-sorta references to attractions in Disneyland. The whale illustration for the Whaler's Inn looks suspiciously like the whale one travels through when riding the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Some of these hotels are still in business to this day.

You will also see a card showing the exterior of today's Grand Californian Hotel. An interesting contrast to the modest, but inventively themed motels of the past.

There are many more images of local hotels from back in the day, and literally hundreds of post card images of the Disneyland Park dating back even to before the park opened. You will find all that and more at the link below to Ken Eslick's site. Be prepared to spend at least a few hours wandering down memory lane.

Richard Williams and Ian Parkinson: Bilbao, Spain

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MiceChat member, rmckay sent us some beautiful shots of the World of Color's 4th of July Water and Pyro show.

Happy 4th of July!!
Got to see the preshow tonight and it was amazing!!! Love fireworks+water. It was so fun to watch and shoot. It was really a great patriotic show and got me ready to see some more fireworks later that night!!

A ripple in the wave
The genius WOC crew made an American flag with the grid fountains. Looked amazing!

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Visit these MiceChat columns each week:

Every Friday: In the Parks

And that brings us to the end of another week. Our photographers have just enough time to reload their cameras before we see you all again next weekend. Thank you to all of our wonderful readers, and as always, a huge thank you to our amazing team of global photographers, spies, and gossips:

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt (mousesteps.com)
SummerInFL (summerinfl.smugmug.com)
sir clinksalot
Ian Parkinson and Richard Williams
Jack Hollywood 1939 Wixom
Ken Eslick (DisneylandPostcards.net)

Your Editor - Rixter

Our thanks to our special contributors this week, biggsworth and rmckay.

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