New Mickey & Min­nie ride will have loads of sur­prises

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By De­wayne Bevil [email protected] or­lan­dosen­ mco­[email protected] or­lan­dosen­

Many sur­prises are in the works for pas­sen­gers aboard Mickey & Min­nie’s Run­away Rail­way, the un­der-con­struc­tion ride at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios theme park. Make that many sur­prises, ac­cord­ing to Imag­i­neer Kevin Raf­ferty, cre­ative direc­tor and writer on the project.

The story line of the at­trac­tion, which de­buts March 4, puts vis­i­tors into a new Mickey Mouse short named “Per­fect Pic­nic.”

“Once you’re in­side that short, you have to be­lieve that you’re to­tally in it, and you’re sur­rounded by it,” Raf­ferty said “So, we have ev­ery mag­i­cal trick in the book that we’ve done through the years, his­tor­i­cally, in ad­di­tion to some new tech­nolo­gies that we’ve in­vented to help you be­lieve that you ac­tu­ally are in that world.”

An early sur­prise is in the pre-show, which was pre­viewed by mem­bers of the me­dia dur­ing the lead-up to open­ing of Rise of the Re­sis­tance ride in the park’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land. Big-screen Mickey and Min­nie are hap­pily pre­par­ing for a leisurely af­ter­noon. A theme song uses perky words such as “coun­try­side” and “peachy-keen.”

“They’re so ex­cited about it. They don’t even re­al­ize they pack Pluto in the trunk, along with their pic­nic bas­ket … which gets the whole thing started,” Raf­ferty said.

sta­dium for

City Lions.

Af­ter mak­ing sev­eral of­fers that were re­jected by the fam­ily-owned church, Or­lando of­fi­cials sued to seize Faith De­liv­er­ance’s land through em­i­nent do­main.

But church of­fi­cials fought back, say­ing they didn’t want to move for the price Or­lando was of­fer­ing. Even­tu­ally the city de­cided to drop its law­suit and moved the sta­dium site about a block west us­ing land it al­ready owned.

“We knew we were in for a long bat­tle,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said at that time.

But other times, home­own­ers feel they have no choice but to sur­ren­der their prop­erty to the gov­ern­ment and take the mon­e­tary com­pen­sa­tion.

In 2009, the Florida Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion pur­chased the homes in a 41-lot neigh­bor­hood near Al­ta­monte Springs for more than $11.4 mil­lion and also paid the own­ers about $1.1 mil­lion in ad­di­tional re­lo­ca­tion costs.

The trans­porta­tion depart­ment said it needed the land, just south of State Road 436, for a re­ten­tion pond for the on­go­ing In­ter­state 4 widen­ing project. Many of the up­rooted home­own­ers had resided in the neigh­bor­hood for decades. But the state agency later dropped plans for the re­ten­tion pond — af­ter bull­doz­ing the houses.

In the Cas­sel­berry case, Chan points to an ap­praisal com­mis­sioned by her at­tor­ney that de­ter­mined the prop­erty just north Triplet Lake Drive is worth $1.45 mil­lion. Chan adds that her prop­erty is along one of Cen­tral Florida’s busiest roads with more than 56,500 ve­hi­cles pass­ing by

the Or­lando

The pre-show in­cludes Goofy in the role of a train en­gi­neer. (Pho­tog­ra­phy was not al­lowed dur­ing this pre­view.) Not to be too spoiler-y, but some­thing goes goofily wrong on screen, and then in real life there’s a puff of smoke and — poof — an en­try­way that wasn’t there a mo­ment ago. That’s what cre­ators call a “scenic il­lu­sion.” There are sev­eral such events dur­ing the course of Run­away Rail­way, which is be­ing com­pleted in­side the for­mer

ev­ery day, ac­cord­ing to trans­porta­tion depart­ment mea­sures.

Her at­tor­ney called it a “David versus Go­liath” fight and pointed out that be­cause Chan ended up turn­ing over her prop­erty to Cas­sel­berry doesn’t mean she agreed to the seizure.

“Gov­ern­ment is able to take prop­erty no mat­ter how much the owner is able to protest if the gov­ern­ment can show that there is a pub­lic pur­pose,” Lopez said. “If you’re a prop­erty owner, there’s al­ways the po­ten­tial that the gov­ern­ment can take your prop­erty…. But they have to pro­vide fair and full com­pen­sa­tion.”

Chan, a Mait­land res­i­dent, de­clined to talk to the Or­lando Sentinel about her case be­cause she is “a very pri­vate per­son,” ac­cord­ing to Lopez.

Cas­sel­berry’s ap­praisal shows her prop­erty is worth $723,000. The Semi­nole County Prop­erty Ap­praiser’s Of­fice lists it with an as­sessed value of $251,218.

City Man­ager Randy Newlon said Chan’s va­cant shop­ping cen­ter is in such dis­re­pair that it cur­rently doesn’t meet the city’s codes to ac­cept new ten­ants.

“She cur­rently can’t do any­thing with the build­ing,” Newlon said. “And our goal is to im­prove that area.”

Ac­cord­ing to a “stip­u­lated or­der of tak­ing” signed by Cir­cuit Judge Su­san Stacy on Oct. 3, the $800,000 is the min­i­mum or “floor” that Chan can re­ceive from Cas­sel­berry for her prop­erty. Noth­ing pre­vents her from seek­ing more money through a jury trial. Cas­sel­berry re­cently sub­mit­ted an of­fer of $1 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to


“Be an at­trac­tion,” Dick said. “But don’t be a dis­trac­tion.”

Some peo­ple will never find sign spin­ning very at­trac­tive.

But to an­swer this week’s ques­tion: Yes, it is le­gal in most places around Cen­tral Florida.

And since it moves prod­uct, sign spin­ning will prob­a­bly be around as long as bill­boards and pop-up ads and ra­dio jin­gles.

In other words, it’s here to stay. In fact, the last sound any­one on Earth ever hears might in­deed be a trum­pet blast.

Prob­a­bly “Here Comes the Bride.” Great Movie Ride build­ing at the theme park.

“Let me just say that’s the tip of the ice­berg,” Raf­ferty said. “You go places you don’t ex­pect; you do things you don’t ex­pect. One sur­prise af­ter an­other.”

De­spite their 91-year his­tory, Mickey and Min­nie have never had a Dis­ney theme park ride. Raf­ferty the­o­rizes that the duo’s lack of oc­cu­pa­tions or home bases have made it a sto­ry­telling chal­lenge in the past. On the other hand, they’ve been … ev­ery­where.

“Where do you start with that, right?” Raf­ferty said. “I just per­son­ally think the time has come. The tech­nol­ogy is there. Again, the look in the com­edy case of the shorts is there, the kind of edgi­ness of all that. It just all kind of came to­gether where it was. It was time, and now it’s time to do it.”


Af­ter sev­eral me­di­a­tion at­tempts be­tween Chan’s and Cas­sel­berry’s at­tor­neys failed — in­clud­ing one that was la­beled as an “im­passe” by the me­di­a­tor on Nov. 13, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments — the two sides are now headed to court. Chan’s at­tor­ney said he hasn’t de­cided how much they will seek.

Ac­cord­ing to state law, Cas­sel­berry must com­pen­sate Chan for her at­tor­ney’s fees and other rea­son­able costs in de­fend­ing the seizure of her prop­erty.

Newlon said Cas­sel­berry is us­ing funds from the city’s Com­mu­nity Re­de­vel­op­ment Agency to pay for ac­quir­ing Chan’s prop­erty.


Mickey & Min­nie’s Run­away Rail­way is un­der con­struc­tion at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios.

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