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DizTech #9–TeslaTouch

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The ninth volume of DizTech is now up and ready for viewing at DizFanatic.com!  Head on over to read about TeslaTouch – a new technology being developed by Disney that will bring a new feel to your multitouch device! 

Click here to check it out!

Photos of Disney Aulani Resort

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Aulani - Beach Sunset VI

Mike of TimeStream Software (the people responsible for the Disney Notescasts for the iPod and iPhone) sent me these pictures a few weeks ago.  I thought you would enjoy taking a look.  This first picture (above) was taken around sunset, and you get to see some of the construction happening.  The picture below shows the east side of the resort.

Aulani - East Side I Mike also sent me over some facts about the resort that he found in a recent press release.  Here you go:

It will have 359 hotel rooms, 481 time-share units, restaurants, a convention center, a 15,000 square-foot spa and a massive water play area overlooking the lagoon, which will feature a volcano tube slide and snorkel lagoon.  It’s located on 21 acres on Oahu’s Leeward coast in the Ko Olina development, located about 1/2 hour from Honolulu.  It’s currently scheduled to open August 29, 2010, with hotel reservations to begin next month.

Mike also notes that time share sales started three weeks ago (I got the email on July 29, so I guess that means sales started six weeks ago).  He also mentioned that he saw Disney reps on the beach side of the construction site answering questions for any curious passerby.

Thanks to Mike from TimeStream Software for the pictures!

An Announcement and Some Housecleaning!

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Wow, it’s been a long time.  I hope there’s someone still out there who’ll read this!  I have to apologize yet again for my little sabbatical I had to take.  Life just caught up with me, I was flooded with work, and my wife and I just finished moving into our first house together.  So, after we bought the house we had the chance to discover just how much stuff we have accumulated in less than a year.   It’s been somewhat crazy over the last two months here.

But I finally have the chance to sit down at a keyboard again.  I left so many ideas sitting in the hopper that I still have to bring to life – I hope they haven’t gotten stale!  So, my announcement is this: I’m back and ready to get DisTECH going again.  But, as you may have read, I also have some housecleaning to do around here. 

I’ve decided I’m changing up the format here a little bit.  I’m not going to try and cover breaking news anymore.  You all get the same news from a dozen different sources, and I know this because I get the news from the same sources!  So, here’s my plan: I’m going to do more commentary and special sections.  Things like the Disney Classic Console will be happening more often.  I’m also planning on posting once or twice a week.  I want to focus more on each post I write, and perhaps make them a little longer.

Hopefully I can get this up and running again.  DisTECH was making a lot of progress before my life went haywire, and I hated having to set it aside for a while.  I want to thank everyone who is still reading this – you guys and girls are the best!

Apologies!

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tiredmickey

Just wanted to write a quick post to apologize for my lack of posts recently.  My personal life has just completely taken over, and I haven’t had time to sit at my computer and produce anything worthwhile.  However, I hope I’m coming to a point where I’ll be able to get back to the keyboard and get back to writing about the Wonderful World of Disney Tech!

Thank you all for your patience and for reading DisTECH. 

Snow White does it again.

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Over 70 years ago, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became the first animated feature-length picture in America, the first cel-animated feature film, the first animated film in full color, Walt Disney’s first film, and the first Walt Disney Animated Classic.  The film is now stunning again with a brand new release on Disney Blu-Ray and Disney DVD (a double pack, as a matter of fact).

Stay tuned for my review of the DVD, though I’m hearing it’s a stellar release.  For now, feast your eyes on some other reviews of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Behind the Scenes of “World of Color”

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World of Color promotional image.

You may have heard that Disney’s California Adventure in the Disneyland Resort is receiving a major facelift.  Imagineers are hard at work updating many parts of the park and many attractions.  The Sun Wheel has already reopened as Mickey’s Fun Wheel.  You’ll see Buena Vista Street, the brand new entrance to DCA that’s going to have a replica of the Carthay Theatre.  Plus, the characters from Cars will make their home on a 12-acre lot to be named Cars Land.  Mickey and his Imagineers also have much more planned for the DCA rebranding.

But the most exciting addition has to be the new night-time spectacular show, World of Color.  The show gets its namesake from the Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, the 1960s television series that aired on NBC.  World of Color will feature a dazzling array of lasers, lights, and fountains, and beautiful animation and music.  It will also be a technical marvel, and that’s what we’re going to find out about in this article.

Read the rest of this entry

I’m back! (Finally…)

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Well, it certainly feels like it’s been forever.  I’m finally back on my end of the screen, so hopefully you all can find your way back to your end of the screen!

We had a wonderful wedding and an awesome honeymoon, and we’re still working diligently at getting our new place ready to go.  In fact, the Internet guy left not too long ago, and this is the first day we’ve had the Internet!

Just wanted to post this quick update so you all know that I’m back to work.  Hopefully before the weekend is over I’ll have a brand-new article ready for your perusal. 

I’ll be back!

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Wow!  It’s been busy around here.  Who knew that getting married was so much work!  Wish me luck today, because this is the big day!

wedding-mickey-minnie-mouse-bride-groom

Anyway, that would be the reason I haven’t updated DisTECH in a little while.  That’s also part of the reason why I won’t be able to update for another week and a half or so.  I also have a honeymoon coming up!  We’re leaving for Orlando tomorrow evening, and we’ll be spending four nights at Walt Disney World and three nights on a Caribbean cruise.  Woo hoo! 

I will see you all in a little over a week.  I’ll be looking for some great new topics while I’m in the parks, and I have a few on tap that I’m already working on.  So be ready for some great new DisTECH articles and features when I get back.

And now, DisTECH is officially on vacation!

mickeymousesummer

New updates from the NTSB on the monorail crash.

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According to an article published by the Orlando Sentinel today, it appears that monorail pilot Austin Wuennenberg tried to avoid the collision by stopping his train and throwing it reverse.  This action could definitely have prevented further injuries to the family of six that was aboard the monorail at the time of the accident.

The NTSB also said in a 400-word report that they found no technological or mechanical problems with the monorail system.  This means that the accident was probably due to human error or communication breakdown. 

Finally, it appears we have the first official explanation as to what caused the crash.  From the Orlando Sentinel:

“With workers preparing to shut down for the night after the end of the busy Fourth of July holiday, Disney’s "pink" train — each train is identified by a colored stripe along its side — was instructed to drop all of its remaining passengers off at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Its pilot was then told to advance along the Epcot line until just beyond a switch for the spur leading to a Magic Kingdom loop; there the train was to wait until the track was realigned and it could take the spur to return to the system’s maintenance bay for the night.

The train was then instructed to begin traveling in reverse — even though the track’s switch had not changed position.

At the same time, Wuennenberg, who was piloting the "purple" train farther back on the Epcot line, was instructed to advance into the Transportation and Ticket Center so he could drop off his six passengers.

Before he reached the station, Wuennenberg apparently realized the pink train was backing toward him. That is where the NTSB said it appears he stopped his train and attempted to shift into reverse — and where the pink train smashed into him.”

Thanks to the Orlando Sentinel for the article.  I’ll publish more as it becomes available.

Monorails running at WDW again.

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The Disney Blog reported today that the monorails at Walt Disney World are running once again.  They were cleared by OSHA to return to normal operation.  Furthermore, the National Transportation and Safety Board said they will be investigating the accident.

John Frost, author of the post, noted that this is probably a good thing.  “Despite what Disney thinks about classifying the Monorails as an Amusement Attraction they really are a form of railway and that is the arena of the NTSB.”

As Frost points out, the fact that OSHA allowed the monorail to resume operation so soon probably means that this was not a technological failure.  Disney has added extra safety precautions to the monorail system, and will possibly add a Cast Member who will make sure the switches are always locked in place before another train is allowed to move.

Finally, no riders will be allowed in the cone of the trains at this time.  Disney said this change was out of respect to the monorail operators.  Even through this accident, I don’t think that riding in the cone poses a serious safety concern, so I would expect this to return to normal after some time.

Thanks to John Frost for the update.

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