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Disney to remember boy killed by alligator with sculpture

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Walt Disney World plans to honor a 2-year-old Nebraska boy who was killed by an alligator last year at one of its resorts near Orlando with a sculpture of a lighthouse. A year ago Wednesday, an alligator grabbed little Lane Graves, who was playing along the Seven Seas Lagoon beach outside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The child’s father, Matt Graves of Omaha, jumped into the water to try to free his son, whose body was found 16 hours…

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Technology elevates new theme park experiences

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For more than a moment, you feel the way “Avatar” hero Jake Sully felt plunging down the side of a floating mountain and coming just close enough to a giant wave to feel the mist on your face – all while on the back of a flying banshee that then swoons and soars high above the land of Pandora. Flight of Passage, the new signature ride of Disney World’s $500 million Pandora-World of Avatar experience, has been designed to make…

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Spring Hill mother uses daughter to steal stroller at Disney World

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A Spring Hill mother is facing grand theft charges after being accused of stealing an $1,800 stroller at Hollywood Studios, then selling it online. Michelle Craig turned herself into Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday after Orange County detectives issued an arrest warrant. A Disney surveillance picture showed the alleged thief placing her young daughter in the fancy Bugaboo stroller before pushing it out of the park. Police also found multiple high-end strollers, diaper bags and designer purses for sale on…

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Gondolas could be Disney’s next new ride

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A construction notice has given more fuel to the rumor that Walt Disney World is planning to build a gondola system connecting Epcot, three Disney resorts and Hollywood Studios. An official notice of commencement filed in Orange County for the construction of “foundation and building infrastructure” at six different locations could be the gondola’s route, according to WDW News Today. Walt Disney World remains mum on the rumor. The proposed gondola would connect Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Caribbean Beach, Art…

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Disney moves Magic Kingdom metal detectors to ticket center

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Walt Disney World is moving its metal detectors to an earlier entry point at its most popular park, Magic Kingdom. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the detectors will now by located at the Transportation and Ticket Center starting next Monday. Visitors staying at three resorts along the monorail route, meanwhile, will go through security at the monorail stations there. The metal detectors currently are located at the entrance to Magic Kingdom. Visitors typically park at the Transportation and Ticket Center…

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Where’s the line? Theme parks aiming to eliminate them

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At Universal Orlando Resort’s new “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” ride, waiting in line has been replaced by lounging on couches and listening to a racy barbershop quartet sing until it’s time to enter the ride. Universal is leading the theme-park charge into “virtual lines” that give visitors options for exploring a park or watching live entertainment instead of the tedium of looking at someone’s back as you inch forward step by step to the thrill ride. “It’s…

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Disney refuses to cut ‘gay moment’ from Beauty and the Beast

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Walt Disney World Company has refused to remove a scene involving a “gay moment” from its “Beauty and the Beast” release in Malaysia, a country that has laws against homosexuality. Instead, Disney has decided to withdraw the film from the Malaysian market, rather than censor the scene. Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board approved “Beauty and the Beast” for a “P13” rating after requesting cuts of about 4 1/2 minutes from the subplot with a “gay moment,” according to Film Board Chairman…

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