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Orlando Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Opens!

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There's a new Disney attraction in Orlando...but it's not at a theme park!

The Walt Disney Theater, part of the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts had it's official opening ceremony today in Orlando! When we moved to Orlando three years ago, we were surprised that with the amount of focus on entertainment in the area, the current theater for Broadway productions, Bob Carr, was not really up to the standard I would expect for the area. Well, all that is about to change because the new Dr. Phillips Center is one of the most amazing theater complexes I've seen!


With shows like Book of Mormon, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, and Beauty & The Beast as part of their inaugural season, it's going to be an incredible year of theater here in Orlando at a fantastic new venue!


For shows and ticket information, visit: http://www.drphillipscenter.org/


Let's take a look around the complex, shall we?


Today we were invited to come out for the ribbon cutting and preview of the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando!


Upon arriving, this was one of the first things I saw! I knew I was going to love this place! =)


Singing the National Anthem for the opening ceremony is Orlando's Sisaundra Lewis from The Voice.


Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony.


VP of Disney Parks & Resorts Jim MacPhee talks about The Walt Disney theater and the importance it is to the company and community.


Let's take a look inside, shall we?


This is a FANTASTIC line-up for their first season! We already have our tickets for Phantom, Book of Mormon, and Newsies!


The Walt Disney theater is one of three theater venues that will be part of the center. This one and the intimate Alexis & Jim Pugh venue are open now, and the third theater will open as part of phase 2.


The new theater is absolutely gorgeous!


WOW! Stunning!


The designers have focused heavily on sight lines so that there would not be a bad seat in the house.


This is the view from the nearly 6,000 square foot stage. Just fantastic!


The Walt Disney Theater seats 2,700 people and has the ability to house just about any touring production of a Broadway show.


The fly system at The Walt Disney was super impressive!


Theater geeks, check this out! There are 91 flys in this system.


The rigging was just impressive.


I've been backstage to quite a few theaters in my life but I've never seen one with a fly system this insane.


Have I mentioned how impressed I am with the architecture and design of this theater?


This is not something I've seen at other theaters, cup holders down by the sides of the seats! Simple, but VERY clever!


Fun Fact! There are 123 restroom stalls and 34 urinals in the center! That will make those intermission bathroom lines much shorter! =)


The lobby area reminded me of a modern, luxury cruise ship! This is not a bad thing. I thought it look amazing.


The DeVos Family Room is another venue for banquets, parties, galas, etc, and the retractable glass windows give you a fantastic view of Downtown Orlando.


Take a look at the view of the plaza!


Going to be great seeing all these Disney theatrical production in the Walt Disney Theater!


Another look at the lobby areas of the complex.


This is a smaller, intimate theater perfect for smaller stage productions, cabarets, etc.


This venue also has removable seats so you can re-configure this space for a wedding, party, etc.


Again, just beautiful design in this theater as well.


There are three levels of seats in this theater, all with amazing sight lines to the stage.


A look at the exterior of the complex at night. I love the modern look to it! Can't wait to see a show here!


Here is a look at the smaller, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh theater which is next door to the Walt Disney.


And with that...the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is now... OPEN!!! Check out show schedules and book your tickets online!

Edited by robbalvey
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Thanks for sharing - finally nice to see some photos of the finished product as it feels like it has been under construction forever! Seems to have both a classic and modern vibe at the same time. Plus the location is great - unlike Bob Carr you can actually grab a drink or food at some really nice places all within walking distance.

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WOW!!! I'm really impressed with the whole place. I've only been to stuffy old places on Broadway or The Kennedy Center, National Theatre in DC, etc. The architecture of this new center is incredible and I love how the main room is set up differently from the smaller one. Usually I don't like "modern" things because it feels cold and dull, lifeless, colorless. But this takes modern and really twists it into something amazing that looks and functions beautifully and is inviting. Thanks for posting about it, Robb! And be sure to let us know how awesome it is when you see your upcoming shows there


I've never been backstage before (sadface) so am not sure... What is a fly system used for?

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Nice to see some pics of the opening ceremony.

I've been on site with my company the last few months getting the motorized rigging and pit lift systems commissioned.


Fun(?) facts about the rigging in the Disney theater...

Each of the battens are 66 feet long.

The proscenium opening is 50 feet wide by 32 feet high and the stage is 50 feet deep.

The distance from the stage floor to the bottom of the grid iron is 81 feet.

The main curtain is a motorized winch assist that can travel up to 360 feet per minute.

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^ Go and see it!!!


Come to think of it, this theatre is almost definitely larger than the one housing the London run of Book of Mormon, Ha!


Yeah, go see Book of Mormon if you have a chance, it's incredible. I just bought tickets for the tour stop in Jacksonville yesterday, and might try to pick up lottery seats for a second performance when it's in town.

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  • 2 months later...

Orlando locals! Want to take a tour of the new Dr. Phillips Center? Now you can! Check this out:


February 2, 2014 – Orlando, Fla. – The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts launches Curiosity Tours presented by Fifth Third Bank, “The Curious Bank” that explore the stories and spaces of the arts center. The 45-minute tour, with time following for questions and answers, are docent-led tours available Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. The tours are free to the public and began on Saturday, January 31 with the first spots filled from a waiting list of guests who previously contacted the arts center. Registration is available online at www.drphillipscenter.org for designated Saturdays. Each tour hosts a maximum of 20 people. Groups and individuals may sign up beginning January 30.


Two volunteer docents lead each tour concurrently guiding guests to explore the lobby, tiers and event spaces like the DeVos Family Room, with stops backstage. Time is spent in both the Walt Disney Theater and the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. Curiosity Tour guests have the opportunity to visit exclusive spaces like the Donors’ Room and the Corporate Hospitality & Sponsor Suite all while hearing the stories of the design, purpose and mission of the arts center.


“The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a great place to come see a show and it’s also destination and community-gathering place. Guests want to be here and they want to explore,” said Kathy Ramsberger, CEO and president of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. “We’re grateful for Fifth Third Bank’s generosity in making the Curiosity Tours possible.”


“At Fifth Third Bank, we embrace curiosity. We use the concept to illustrate our desire to actively listen to our customers and community,” said Chip Smallwood, Central Florida Market President, Fifth Third Bank. “People also want to find out about the arts center, so this is a perfect partnership. The Curiosity Tours enable the community to see behind-the-scenes.”

Edited by robbalvey
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I went to see Newsies last night and loved the show AND the center. I'll have to take a look at one of these tours because I'd love to know more about the technical aspects of the facility. I wish they would charge for the tours though, since they need money really bad. I want this place to succeed and see the whole project complete. But, at this rate, phase 2 isn't going to happen.

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