Walt Disney World Resort Landscape Facts

otal acreage of Walt Disney World Resort: 25,000
That’s equal to 40 square miles, or twice the size of Manhattan island.

Total acreage devoted to maintained landscapes and gardens: 4,200
The gardens of Walt Disney World Resort represent everything from a dry desert to a tropicalrain forest.

Number of roses planted in the landscape: Nearly 13,000
Removing spent blooms in the rose gardens requires a good day’s work each week — More than 400 hours per year.

Number of shrubs maintained in the landscape: More than 4 million
In Le Notre garden at the France showcase, 985 shrubs were used to create a parterre de broderie, or embroidered pattern.

Number of interior plants used each year: 8,500
The largest and most diverse garden of interior plants can be found in the atrium lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Total number of plant species represented: More than 3,000
The species represent flora gathered from every continent except Antarctica.

Number of hanging baskets displayed at one time: More than 800
It takes 50 to 75 four-inch plants to create just one colorful poinsettia ball for the holiday season.

Number of hanging baskets produced each year: About 4,000
On average, each basket is in production for three months and “on stage” for three months.

Number of topiary: More than 200
As many as 20 different plants, flowers, mosses and lichens are used to create topiaries.

Total acres of maintained turf: 2,000
At three mowings a week, that adds up to 450,000 mowing miles per year or 18 trips around Earth at the equator.

Number of beneficial insects released to control plant pests per year: 10.5 million
A single adult predatory beetle (Delphastus puslius) can eat up to 500 white fly eggs a day.

Total horticultural staff: More than 600
This diverse group of professionals includes gardeners, arborists, irrigation specialists and pest management specialists.

– See more at: http://wdwnews.com/releases/2007/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-landscape-facts/#sthash.CzJj0EN4.dpuf

Disney Research develops hybrid fluid transmission enabling light and swift robotic arms

Engineers routinely face tradeoffs as they design robotic limbs – weight vs. speed, ease of control vs. fluidity. A new hybrid fluid transmission developed at Disney Research Pittsburgh promises to eliminate some of those tradeoffs, making possible robot arms that are light enough to move swiftly and gracefully, yet with precise control.

The transmission consists of antagonist pairs of rolling diaphragm cylinders – similar to traditional hydraulic cylinders, but sealed with a rubber diaphragm instead of sliding seals and valves. The result is a system that can efficiently transmit power with little friction. Yet it is also “backdriveable,” capable of absorbing energy, as well as transmitting it.

The latter characteristic allows engineers to design limbs with “give,” an important feature as designers contemplate new applications in the home, at work, or in entertainment venues that enable soft interactions between people and robots.

“We’ve combined the best elements of a hydraulic system with the best elements of an electric motor system,” said Peter Whitney, an associate research scientist at Disney Research Pittsburgh. The transmission allows robot limbs to be light, strong and graceful, he explained, while driving them with easily controlled, low-friction motors. The motors, which normally would add significant weight to the limbs, can be mounted on the robot body instead.

The system transmits force so efficiently that Whitney and a Disney Research Pittsburgh lab associate, Tianyao Chen, found they could build an entirely passive “puppet” system, moving one robot arm by manipulating a second robot arm linked to it with the transmission. The system is notably sensitive to tactile feedback from the puppet arm. One possible application of a system made of non-ferrous material would be as a surgical robot compatible with use in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device, Whitney suggested.

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Would Disney spin off Disneyland? Corporate breakup talk ‘jumps the shark’

Eventually, people go from asking “Why?” to  “Why not?” and before long some analyst is floating the idea that Walt Disney Co should cast aside the happiest places on earth – all the Magic Kingdoms – by spinning off a theme-park division that could hardly be more intrinsic to the corporate brand and strategy.

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Disney Chief Bob Iger’s Advice to Students: Don’t Make Stupid Decisions

On a day when Walt Disney’s (DIS) Marvel unit unveiled bold plans for a slate of fresh superhero movies, a group of students got a more intimate look into the company’s leadership: They had a Skype date with Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger.

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Disney Princesses With Realistic Waistlines Look Utterly Fabulous

Buzzfeed’s Loryn Brantz decided to digitally edit six famous Disney ladies — Ariel (“The Little Mermaid”), Pocahontas (“Pocahontas”), Jasmine (“Aladdin”), Belle (“Beauty and the Beast”), Aurora (“Sleeping Beauty”) and Elsa (“Frozen”) — to show what the cartoon heroines would look like if they had more realistic physical proportions.

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Disney Makes Space for Snow White With Tokyo Expansion

Oriental Land Co., the owner of Tokyo Disney Resort, is planning a $4.5 billion expansion of the project that includes doubling the size of a fantasy park currently featuring Snow White and Pinocchio rides.

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MALEFICENT Blu-ray and DVD Review

So you think you know the real story of Sleeping Beauty?  So you think Maleficent is the most evil of all Disney villains?  Disney’s MALEFICENT, now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD will challenge what think you know and will open your eyes to new possibilities.  Starring Angelina Jolie as Maleficent herself and Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora, MALEFICENT tells the story of Sleeping Beauty from a new perspective.  Angelina Jolie is absolutely stunning as the evil “villain.”  The transformation of Jolie into the iconic character is simply amazing.  She is beautiful in even her darkest of moods.  The story begins with Maleficent as a young girl flying freely through her world.  As she gets older, she becomes an enemy of the king and must do what is necessary to protect the creatures of her realm.  A betrayal leads her down the path of darkness and ultimately she curses the newborn Aurora with a sleeping spell on her 16th birthday.  This fractured fairy tale will have you cheering for characters that might surprise you.  When I watched the MALEFICENT with some 5th grade boys, one yelled out to me that “there is no way she can trust anyone anymore.”  He was appalled at the circumstances that turned Maleficent into an evil sorceress.  This fractured fairy tale is one that the whole family can enjoy together.  It might even be fun to watch the Disney animated version of Sleeping Beauty along with the modern take of MALEFICENT.  The ultimate lesson in comparing and contrasting a character.  Along with the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD, you can also take the movie anywhere with the DisneyMoviesAnywhere app.The bonus features include deleted scenes, a look at how Elle Fanning became Aurora, creating Maleficent for a new generation, the building of an epic battle scene, a fashion feature, and an exploration of the special effects.  I could watch the behind the scenes bonus features all day long.  I just love getting to see what goes into Disney movies–both animated and live action.  Disney’s MALEFICENT is an adventure that will have you smiling, laughing, booing, cheering, and even crying by the end.  Maleficent is a character that will never be looked at the same way again.  It really has me wondering about the back-story of all the classic villains: Captain Hook, Ursula, the Queen of Hearts, Cruella de Vil, and even Jafar.    Hmmm…..now those could be some interesting tales!

Disney’s Best Restaurants Around the World

A Disney vacation doesn’t have to be all about Mickey Mouse meet-and-greets and Pirates of the Caribbean-themed rides. Disney can actually be a dining destination all its own. Full-service restaurants make it easy for families to dine and relax, and you can’t beat the Disney dining plan if hitting up the quick-service restaurants and snack stands is your style.

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Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Announces $125 Million REDesign

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is getting the largest makeover in its history. The hotel has launched a multi-phase, multi-year, $125 million redesign project that will transform every guest room in the 758-room Swan Hotel and the 1,509-room Dolphin Hotel.

“As we celebrate the hotel’s 25th anniversary, it is appropriate that we mark the occasion with a renaissance of our room product,” said General Manager Fred Sawyers. “Our guests will continue to receive the level of service and hospitality that comes with a quarter century of experience while enjoying a modern new guest room.”

The transformation will occur without disruption to the guest experience as the majority of guest rooms will be available throughout the process. The hotel’s public spaces, restaurants, meeting rooms, shops, pools and recreational areas will not be impacted and remain fully operational throughout the renovation.

Noted hotel and condominium interior design and architecture firm Garcia Stromberg/GS4 Studios, designers of the Conrad Hotel Ft. Lauderdale, the Waldorf Astoria’s Boca Beach Club and One Thousand Ocean condominium in Boca Raton, Fla., created the concept for the new rooms.

The new room design is inspired by the resort’s water-themed architecture. The goal was to create a serene and sophisticated atmosphere.
The guest room features upgraded furniture and all of the latest technology including large HD TVs.  Additional power outlets provide corporate executives and family travelers more options for use of multiple personal electronics.

Blending an artistic combination of whites, blues and grays, the design creates a tasteful ambiance that appeals to adults while abstract artwork playfully delights children as well.

The centerpiece of the room is the famous Westin Heavenly Bed with its all-white custom-designed pillow-top mattress set, cozy down blanket, a trio of crisp sheets, goose down comforter and four over-stuffed pillows.

The design continues into a completely new bathroom, featuring a back-lit mirror mounted on iridescent glass tiles.

The project will start at the Swan Hotel, with approximately 500 of the 756 rooms redesigned by the end of 2014. The first phase of the Dolphin Hotel rooms will begin in 2015 with the entire rooms project currently scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.

8 Characters Who Need To Be In Marvel’s Inhumans, And Who Should Play Them

When Inhumans is released in 2018 during Marvel’s Phase 3, audiences will be exposed to a new side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Currently, powers in this universe can be attributed to science or cosmic phenomena, but thanks to the Inhumans, Marvel has a way to introduce genetic abilities.

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