CNN - Disney shares fell nearly 9% on Wednesday amid deep concerns about the
company's most profitable enterprise, ESPN.
Fears about subscriber declines seemed to trigger a broader sell-off of
media stocks. Time Warner shares were down 9% in mid-afternoon trading; 21st
Century Fox shares were down 7%; Comcast shares were down 5%.
Before the drop, Disney had been the best performer in the Dow this year.
And the stock is still up 20% in 2015.
But when the company posted mixed second quarter results on Tuesday, the
focus was on ESPN, which is being pinched by changes in consumer habits.
Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that there have been "some subscriber
losses" at ESPN because some households have opted for smaller cable
packages that don't include the pricey cable channel.
But he said that Nielsen's estimate of the decline -- 3.2 million
subscribers in a little more than 12 months -- was overstated. The flagship
channel has more than 90 million subscribers overall.
On a conference call with investors on Tuesday, Iger forcefully expressed
confidence in ESPN's future, and he reiterated that view in interviews on
Wednesday morning. On CNBC, he said "we are very bullish" about the cable
But investors appear spooked about the possible impact from
"cord-cutting" (a term for households dropping cable TV altogether) and
"cord-shaving" (households choosing smaller bundles of cable).
ESPN continues to make huge amounts of money through its $6-a-month
subscriber fee, but Disney said Tuesday that its year-over-year profits
won't be quite as high as it had forecast earlier.
The expectation was for high-single-digit operating profit growth from
Disney's cable channels (led by ESPN) and now the forecast is for
Analysts at Jefferies and BMO CapitaL then downgraded Disney stock.
Despite worries over ESPN, Disney had a strong quarter, with mostly
positive results in its movie studio.
Disney and Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" led the way, grossing over
$1.3 billion globally. The studio also has three films in the year's top 10
highest-grossing films with "Ultron," Pixar's "Inside Out," and its
live-action reboot of "Cinderella." Only Universal Pictures has more films
ranked in this year's top 10.
But television, not film, is what's front and center in calculations
about Disney's future.
Iger started Tuesday's investor conference call by acknowledging the
"pressure" on the traditional cable TV bundle.
"We are realists about the business and about the impact technology has
had on how product is distributed, marketed and consumed," he said. "We are
also quite mindful of potential trends among younger audiences."
But that said, Iger believes most homes will continue to pay for a cable
package that includes ESPN.
Orlando Sentinel - Looking at costs when planning a Disney trip? A
travel-booking site called Hipmunk says Disney World appears slightly less
expensive than Disneyland.
Hipmunk estimated the cost of a four-day
vacation for a family of four. In Orlando, the average price would be $3,227
at a non-Disney hotel and $4,052 on the theme-park resort property. In
California, Hipmunk estimated the cost as $3,471 for a family staying at a
non-Disney property and $4,954 in a Disney-branded hotel.
Hipmunk analyzed 2015 data for average flight prices to Anaheim and
Orlando from the 30 most popular airports in the U.S. It also looked at
average prices for hotel stays in Anaheim and Lake Buena Vista.
Hipmunk acknowledged that its analysis was tough to do because "there’s
just somany available options."
One aspect of a Disneyland is cheaper than a Disney World vacation,
Hipmunk reports: "the cult-status Pineapple Dole Whip. Along with other Tiki
Juice Bar classics, the foodie favorite is surprisingly cheaper in
Soft-serve Dole Whip costs $3.79 in Disneyland, the site reports, but
$4.19 at Disney World.
DisneyParks Blog - “The era we are living in today is a dream coming true.”
This is one of my favorite quotes said by Walt Disney, a man whom I consider
an expert dream-maker because I truly believe that our era is changing the
world. With a universe of possibilities, any dreamer can make a difference,
which is why Disney Dreamers Academy is selecting 100 high school students
to participate in an innovative, outside-the-classroom, educational
High school students nationwide can apply now thru October 30 at
DisneyDreamersAcademy.com to be among 100 selected to participate in this
year’s 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE.
Applicants must answer essay questions relating to their personal stories
and their dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a
combination of attributes, including a strong character, positive attitude,
and determination to achieve their dreams.
Entering the search for its ninth class of Dreamers, Disney Dreamers
Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams
of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare
for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, full-immersion
workshops related to a variety of career paths, ranging from animation to
zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication
techniques, leadership values and networking strategies.
Select Disney Dreamers, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an
all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they
will participate in life-changing sessions while surrounded by the
creativity and innovation represented in Disney theme parks around the
world. Disney Dreamers Academy will take place March 3-6, 2016.
Register - The Walt Disney Co. has purchased three parcels of land near its
Anaheim resort, sparking speculation that the property would free up land
for a future park expansion involving Disney's Star Wars or Marvel's
"People have put two and two together and they know that something cool
could be coming down the line,"
Disney acquired the Marvel and Star Wars characters through purchases of
Marvel Entertainment Inc. in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012.
But resort officials are not commenting on a future park expansion,
except to say that any expansion will remain within the resort's current
Property records show that an arm of the Walt Disney Co. bought in March
the Carousel Inn and Suites at 1530 S. Harbor Blvd. in Anaheim. Last year,
the company purchased two large office buildings at 1515 S. Manchester Ave.
and 1585 S. Manchester Ave. in Anaheim.
"With the resort’s continued growth resulting in additional cast members
and a record number of guests, this property will help to support additional
infrastructure needs, including warehouse and office space and parking,"
said Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown.
All three parcels, a total of about 14.7 acres, are connected and sit across
Harbor Boulevard from Disney California Adventure. Disney would not disclose
how much it paid for the three parcels but property records say the total
value of the land is about $60 million.
All the expansion speculation is not just wishful thinking. Disney
officials have committed to the city of Anaheim that they will invest at
least $1 billion in the park by 2024 under an agreement that ensures the
city will not impose an entertainment tax on the resort for the next 30
Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger told shareholders in
March that the company has plans for a park expansion but has not divulged
any more details.
Todd Regan, founder of a Disney blog site, said he believes the land
purchase means Disney can move some behind-the-scene operations at
Disneyland to the Manchester property, freeing up space for an expansion
within the boundaries of the park's property.
He said Disney's so-called Imagineers have likely already designed the
rides and attractions for a Star Wars expansion and a Marvel heroes addition
at the park.
"It's really a no-brainer that Star Wars will take over at Disneyland and
Marvel will probably go into Disney California Adventure," he said.
10 News - Two
employees at Disney World in Orlando, one of whom is also a retired U.S.
Postal Worker, were arrested in an undercover sting at Polk County parks
Undercover detectives targeted the five areas where they had received
complaints about indecent activity. They included Gator Creek Preserve,
Saddle Creek, Mosaic Peace River, and the Lake Fannie Boat Ramp.
The sheriff's office says Ronald Osborne, 67, exposed himself to an
undercover detective at the Lake Fannie Boat Ramp. He told detectives he is
a retired U.S. Postal worker and works part-time driving a riverboat at Walt
Disney World. He was arrested and charged with committing a lewd act.
Walt Disney World attraction operator, 41-year-old Christopher
Cox, reportedly touched an undercover detective against his will by rubbing
his leg and attempting to reach into his shorts at the Lake Fannie Boat
Ramp. He was arrested and charged with battery.
The two other men arrested were Bernard Menist, 71, and Jimmy Lee Burge,
62, for reportedly committing a lewd act in front of a detective.
Menist was arrested at Gator Creek Preserve and charged with committing a
lewd act and indecent exposure.
Burge was arrested at Gator Creek Park and charged with committing a lewd
The Street - Blockbusters and TV networks ESPN and ABC may gobble up the
spotlight at Walt Disney Co. (DIS), but the
company's theme parks and consumer products are poised to propel its stock
to greater heights in the months prior to the next installment of Star
While investors wait on the Burbank, Calif.-based company's
quarterly results after Tuesday's market close, it's clear that the billions
of dollars invested in its soon-to-open Shanghai theme park and Star
Wars franchise will help it stave off some of the pressure bearing down
on its TV business.
"We expect the Star Wars re-launch this December and spring 2016
opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort to support sustainable growth over the
next few years and likely continue to drive upward earnings estimate
revisions," RBC Capital Markets analyst David Bank wrote in a research
Disney was adding 0.5% on Tuesday to $121.64. Bank revised upwards a
price target to $130 for Disney, estimating it will earn $1.39 per share on
$13.2 billion revenue for the quarter ended June 30.
Disney has gained 29% so far this year on the back of summer blockbusters
Avengers: Age of Ultron and Inside-Out, but it's the
opening of its Shanghai theme park next spring that has investors swooning.
Topeka Capital upgraded Disney from hold to buy "not because of Star
Wars, which is the most near-term and obvious catalyst, but due solely
to the opening of Shanghai Disneyland," analyst David Miller said in a July
24 note. Miller set a price target of $138 for Disney primarily based on the
China theme park, and estimates quarterly earnings of $1.43 per share and
$13.2 billion revenue.
The $5.5 billion theme park and resort is a crucial opening for Disney
whose traditional profit center of TV networks, led by cable sports network
ESPN and broadcaster ABC, battles against higher content costs and fewer
young people who advertisers covet watching linear television.
The media networks segment revenue grew 13% last quarter to $5.8 billion
-- bigger than the 6% increase in parks and resorts -- but operating income
declined 2% to $2.1 billion while parks and resorts grew 24%.
For the 2014 fiscal year, parks and resorts revenue totaled $15.1
billion, a 7% increase, and operating income grew 20% to $687 million.
The "creation of the Shanghai Disney Resort is incurring costs today, but
we think it will pay off once the park opens spring 2016," Bank wrote in his
report. Disney will own 43% of the park and the remainder by Chinese
China and its growing middle-class thirst for American goods and
entertainment also serves a key link between Disney's parks, film and
consumer products segments.
In particular, the Dec. 18 premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens,
the seventh installment in George Lucas' saga that Disney bought for more
than $4 billion in 2012, is expected to ripple into merchandising,
especially with the release tied to the Christmas holiday. The film could
easily give the company its second $1 billion box office haul of the year
after Avengers. Bank estimates Star Wars will sell $1.9
billion in tickets worldwide during its theatrical run, and Disney could
reap more than $1 billion in profits from the film over the next few years.
Last quarter's consumer products revenue is a prime example of how a hit
film can pump up other segments. Consumer products grew 10% to $971 million
last quarter in large part due to the strong performance of merchandise tied
to the hit animated film Frozen more than a year after its release.
Operating income was up 32% to $362 million.
Although one of Disney's smallest segments, consumer products is working
hard on the profit front due to the company's strong slate of franchises,
which include Marvel superheroes, Pixar animated films and Star Wars.
Disney has enough franchises in its arsenal to where consumer products
can withstand a box office bust like May's Tomorrowland -- Bank
estimates Disney could report a $130 million write-down on the film -- and
have little noticeable effect on the segment's bottom line.
9TO5Google - Not quite in time for the influx of visitors that surely
happened earlier this summer, Disney has now released an official Disneyland
app for Android. As you might expect, the app is intended to basically be
your companion during your visit, allowing you to do everything from buy
your tickets in advance to browse detailed maps of the park…
The app is not all too different than the My Disney Experience app, which
serves as a companion to your Disney World visit. Some of the most useful
features of the app include the aforementioned ticket purchasing and maps,
but you can also check ride wait times, view calendars, find characters that
you might want to see, as well as view vital information like park hours,
attraction descriptions, and other details.
This app comes at the perfect time for me, as I’ll be traveling to Los
Angeles in just a couple of weeks to do some sight-seeing and visit
Disneyland. It always seemed odd to me that Disney World had an awesome
companion app, but visitors were just out of luck if visiting the original
park. I feel bad for anyone that visited earlier this summer and had to use
one of the unofficial third party apps to view wait times.
You can grab the app for free on the Google Play Store right now.
Here’s the full list of features:
Check Wait Times: See attraction wait times for Disneyland Park and
Disney California Adventure Park at a glance.
Skip the Ticket Lines: Buy park tickets* with the app and show your
barcode at the gate for admission when you first get to the park! No
ticket booth lines to stand in or e-tickets to print out.
Exploring Made Easy: Find what you’re looking for quickly with
GPS-enabled maps that show your location and the attractions,
restaurants, shops and more near you.
A Must-Have for Passholders: Link your passes to view blockout
calendars and expiration dates. Show your digital pass barcode at the
gate for admission when you arrive!
Locate Favorite Characters: Get those autograph books ready! You’ll
magically know when and where Disney Characters are appearing in the
The Details You Need: See park hours, schedules, accessibility
information and descriptions for attractions, dining, entertainment and
DisneyParks Blog - At the beginning of June, I announced a summer of new
souvenirs at Disney Parks with a preview of decorative hand sanitizers. Now
that the hand sanitizers are available in a variety of merchandise locations
at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, here is a look at other new and
The D-Tech on Demand boutique inside the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown
Disney Marketplace recently made available two designs for fans of ABC’s hit
television show “Once Upon a Time.” Guests can create and customize a case
for the following mobile phones: iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPhone 6/6+,
Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4/S5/S6.
We are also offering a few pre-printed cases for the Samsung Galaxy S6 in
select locations at Disney Parks.
One of my favorite things being released this month is a Vinylmation, Jr.
set inspired by Adventureland. This limited release mystery set contains 12
figures featuring characters such as birds from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki
Room and, my all-time favorite, the Orange Bird. The set will be released at
the D-Street locations in Florida and California starting August 7.
In the coming months, we will be releasing a variety of new key chains.
The first three feature mini-handbags that double as coin pouches.
I thought you’d enjoy seeing this sneak preview of Disney character
inspired key chains arriving later this fall.
Orlando Business Journal - Rumor has it there's something happening to
Disney's Hollywood Studios, but there have been very few hints from The Walt
Disney Co. However, that all may change after this year's D23 Expo.
The future of Hollywood Studios in Orlando has
been a topic of discussion among fans for some time. Disney CEO Bob Iger
hinted in March at big plans for the theme park, including a potential name
change. Meanwhile, reports for a major investment at the parks have been
circulating, but nothing has been confirmed.
The annual show, hosted Aug. 14-16 at the
Anaheim Convention Center, is Disney's place to share its future plans for
several of its divisions such as TV and film, multimedia and, of course,
theme parks. In previous years, Disney has used the expo to tease new
experiences coming soon based on the Star Wars franchise.
Disney likely won't reveal all of its plans for the park, but it may share a
few details about new experiences, along with possibly a rendering or two.
Whatever the case, Orlando would be the prime
beneficiary for any new addition by Disney. Any new theme park ride,
experience or show creates a new buzz that draws visitors to the region and
helps drive Central Florida's $60 billion tourism industry.
CNBC - The first film in a new Star Wars trilogy could give shares of Disney
a significant boost, Wall Street investment bank Stifel Nicolaus said on
The movie will highlight two big forces in the movie industry right now,
said Stifel analyst Benjamin E. Mogil, who raised his price target on Disney
to $130 a share, an upside of more than 7 percent on the stock.
Disney News - This Year's Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party AT Walt
Disney World's Magic Kingdom has Sols Out for the Night of October 31st
2015. This night seems to sell out faster and faster every Year and no
surprise this year Halloween falls on a Saturday Night.
DisneyParks Blog - Summer is an exciting time for Disney Cruise Line,
with brand-new “Frozen” fun and itineraries all over the world. But
autumn will be here again before we know it, so we’re already gearing up
for another season of ghoulishly good times aboard our Halloween on the
High Seas cruises!
Beginning early September through October, Disney cruisers are sure to
get their fill of thrills, tons of treats and even a few tricks during
this extra-spooky celebration. And the best part? In addition to the
wickedly fun fall festivities, you also get tons of tropical fun in the
Check out my top five favorite Halloween on the High Seas experiences,
and let me know in the comments which one you’re most excited to see for
1. The Pumpkin Tree
Looming eerily over the atrium lobby, the Pumpkin Tree magically blooms
with Jack-O-Lanterns during the cruise. And on the final evening, the
pumpkins let their bright personalities shine—literally!—during a spooky
2. Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party
Who doesn’t love a family costume party with Disney characters? Plus,
our “super” Cruise Staff get in on the fun with enough treats to satisfy
everyone’s sweet tooth.
3. A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream
Guests aboard our Halloween cruises get to experience this classic
holiday film like never before with 3-D and 4-D effects, followed by an
exclusive meet-and-greet with Jack and Sally.
4. Halloween Isn’t Just for Kids
The adult nightlife district aboard each Disney ship becomes the
frightfully fun setting for an adult-only costume contest and
electrifying dance party, proving once and for all that Halloween isn’t
just for kids!
5. Haunted Stories of the Sea
Only the bravest cruisers dare to gather under the stars to hear haunted
tales of the sea told by a mysterious sea captain. Is it just me, or are
ghost stories scarier in the middle of the ocean?
DisneyParks Blog - It is a little-known fact that my first role
with Disney Parks was as a hostess at Be Our Guest Restaurant in
Magic Kingdom Park. Last week, I had a chance to put their
service to the test by going to breakfast at Be Our Guest
Restaurant with some of my fellow cast members and friends.
Originally introduced as a test, breakfast is now a permanent
offering. Reservations can be made starting on August 5 for
dates October 4 and beyond.
We shared a selection of delicious
pastries as we ate our entrees. My friend Nancy ordered the
newest addition to the menu, the Croque Madame. This open-faced
ham sandwich is topped with a fried egg, Gruyere cheese and
creamy béchamel, served with fresh fruit. Vivi loved the Eggs
Florentine, a puff pastry shell filled with scrambled eggs,
cheese and fresh spinach served with country ham and roasted
plum tomatoes. And me? I couldn’t resist the Open-Faced Bacon
and Egg Sandwich, with poached eggs, thick-cut applewood bacon,
Brie cheese, arugula and tomatoes on a toasted baguette.
While dining there, I received exciting news that the testing
phase is over, and breakfast is now a permanent offering. I also
got a sneak peek of the artwork that will be on new kid’s
souvenir cups, debuting in October. The cups will be available
for an additional cost. Check out the artwork below!
For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/DINE or call
Market Realist - On June 29, 2015, The Walt Disney Company (DIS) announced
it will merge two of its stand-alone segments into one. Disney Consumer
Products and Disney Interactive will become Disney Consumer Products and
Interactive Media. Disney will report financial results for the newly
combined segment in fiscal 2016, which begins in late September.
Disney Consumer Products generates
revenue through licensing deals with third parties for its popular
characters. Third parties are allowed to use the characters for merchandise,
children’s books, magazines, and comic books. The products are sold as
retail merchandise through stores and online shopping sites.
Disney Interactive develops and
sells multi-platform games, subscriptions to online and mobile games,
licensing content for Disney-branded mobile phones in Japan (EWJ), and
online advertising and sponsorships.
As you can see in the above graph,
Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive together made up ~11% of
Disney’s total revenues of $25.8 billion in 1H15. The two segments together
had revenues of ~$2.9 billion in the first half of fiscal 2015.
There’s a growing overlap between
Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive. Disney Consumer Products is
increasingly developing toys that embrace digital technology. This includes
application-based storybooks such as Star Wars Journeys and mobile
learning apps (applications) like Imagicademy and Playmation that
use wireless systems and motion sensors. They will be unveiled later this
Disney Interactive, which had been
battling losses, turned profitable in the last fiscal year due to a good
response to its console game Disney Infinity, a game that leverages
the company’s intellectual property. For example, when the movie Frozen
was released in theaters, Disney Interactive released a Disney Infinity
collectible figure of the Frozen princess. When the figure was
plugged into the Disney Infinity
base, it unlocked video game adventures.
The Disney Interactive segment is
facing tough competition from Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI) popular
Skylanders game, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Amiibo game, and
Electronic Arts’ (EA) console games.
You can get a diversified exposure
to Disney by investing in the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF
(XLY), which holds 7.63% of the stock.
In the previous part of this series, we looked at The Walt Disney
Company’s (DIS) merger of two segments: Disney Consumer Products and Disney
Interactive. Now we’ll take a closer look at Disney Consumer Products.
As you can see in the above graph, ~61% of Disney Consumer Products’ 1H15
revenue came from licensing and publishing. The remaining 39% came from
retail and other sources. The total revenue for Disney Consumer Products was
~$2.4 billion in 1H15.
Disney licenses its popular characters to third parties for use in
consumer merchandise. The Disney Consumer Products segment had licensing and
publishing revenues of $1.4 billion in 1H15, an 18% increase over 1H14. This
was due to an increase in merchandise licensing to third parties driven by
the success of the movies Frozen and The Avengers.
Licensing is driven by Disney’s IP (intellectual property) such as
evergreen characters Mickey and Minnie. Disney has 11 franchises that did $1
billion in retail sales last year.
Disney’s publishing business includes Marvel Worldwide, which publishes
comic books, learning products in print and digital format, children’s
books, and magazines. It competes with other comic book publishers such as
DC Comics (TWX), which owns the IP of Batman and Superman.
Disney Consumer Products’ retail business had revenues of $922 million in
1H15. The segment markets Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm–themed products
under the Disney Store name and through online websites like DisneyStore.com
and MarvelStore.com. Disney’s merchandise also retails through online
retailers like Amazon (AMZN).
At the end of fiscal 2014, Disney had 210 stores in North America, 73
stores in Europe (EFA), and 45 stores in Japan (EWJ).
You can get a diversified exposure to Disney by investing in the SPDR S&P
500 ETF (SPY), which holds ~1% of the stock.
DisneyParks Blog - As Downtown Disney
continues to transform into Disney Springs, shopping, dining and
entertainment are still at the forefront of all we do here. Lately, the
latter is stealing the spotlight in a big way!
In a typical week, up to twenty different acts take the stage, performing
roughly 300 sets. Whether you fancy freestyle rap, delight to the notes of
the didgeridoo, or prefer to sway to the sounds of a sultry saxophone,
chances are, you can find it at Downtown Disney.
I spend most of my time here during the daylight hours, and although I
know we have an incredibly full talent lineup, even I was surprised by how
much live music I encountered throughout the West Side during my latest
nighttime visit to the property. On most evenings, the West Side comes alive
with musical flair by 6:30 p.m.
Visiting earlier? At the Marketplace, performances start at 12:30 p.m.
daily near Dockside Margaritas. I recently saw one of my favorites, Pat
Frost, a master who mixes steel drums, the ukulele and conch shells (yes,
conch shells!) to create a unique sound that you won’t find anywhere else at
Walt Disney World Resort.
If carefree island music isn’t for you, fear not … at this locale, you
can also hear everything from pop hits to new age world music. Entertainment
Manager Jenni Kloote Quick shared, “we look for musicians with a fun, laid
back vibe. We want them to have an inviting attitude and welcome guests to
stay and enjoy the great combination of world-class music and gorgeous water
No matter what your style – classical, Latin rock, or Top 40 tunes – it’s
MarketWatch - Fans
of Disney-Pixar’s Cars are invited to start their engines as Disney
Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) announces “Cars
Daredevil Garage,” an all-new, action-packed mobile app that allows fans to
collect and scan Mattel diecast cars into a stunt-filled virtual world. This
fall DCPI is also set to introduce Precision Series, a new line of detailed
and movie accurate collector diecast cars that feature articulated elements
unique to each Cars character.
“Cars Daredevil Garage” is a mobile app experience that allows
fans to collect and scan any of Mattel’s 2015 mainline diecast cars into the
app and use them to perform extreme stunts in real-world environments
inspired by the way kids play with their diecast cars. This app is
free-to-download and allows players to race with Lightning McQueen and earn
more racing friends through gameplay. In addition to scanning the diecast
cars, players can also purchase 80+ cars within the app. Featuring more than
160 cars, thrill-seeking fans of all ages can collect their favorite
Cars characters, and enjoy an exciting blend of high-octane stunting,
both on and off the screen. Racers have several tracks available to race on
at launch, with additional tracks available for purchase and even more
tracks scheduled for release through the summer.
“Cars is one of the most popular animated film franchises of all
time, and we are excited to provide fans with another way to celebrate their
love for Cars in both the physical and digital worlds,” said Andrew
Sugerman, executive vice president, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “In the
app, children and adult fans alike will love stunting towards the finish
line in true Lightning McQueen style.”
Precision Series will launch at retail this fall and includes high-end
diecast cars and playsets with unique features including detailed
undercarriages, PVC tires, suspension and other distinct elements tailored
to each character such as light features, specialized engines and hoods that
open and close. The playsets are modeled after the landmarks in the Cars
movies and will connect together so fans can build out the main road in
Radiator Springs. All playsets light up, come with a special diecast and
will have the ability to connect to other Cars story sets from
“Working with Disney from the ground up on these two
exciting Cars initiatives has been an exciting journey,” said Doug Wadleigh,
SVP and Global Brand GM, Toybox, Mattel. “They are terrific examples of
Mattel and Disney collaborating to creatively engage and delight fans with
fun new ways to play.”
“Cars Daredevil Garage” is available now on the App Store for
iPhone and iPad, and Cars diecast are available now at mass
retailers nationwide. Fans can get a sneak peek of Precision Series at D23
Expo – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – hosted at the Anaheim Convention
Center August 14-16, 2015. The first playset in the series, Flo’s Café
Playset, will be available at retail this fall with subsequent playsets and
diecast cars launching in 2016.
“This is truly an exciting year for the Cars franchise,” said
Josh Silverman, executive vice president global licensing, Disney Consumer
Products. “With a range of new products and digital entertainment
experiences that reflect the storytelling, humor and racing from the movies,
there is something for fans of all ages to enjoy.”
About Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media
Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) is the business
segment of The Walt Disney Company
DIS, +0.25% that brings our
Company's stories and characters to life through innovative and engaging
physical products and digital experiences across more than 100 categories,
from toys and t-shirts, to apps, books and console games. DCPI comprises two
main lines of business: Disney Consumer Products (DCP), and Disney
Interactive (DI). The combined segment is home to world class teams of app
and game developers, licensing and retail experts, a leading retail business
(Disney Store), artists and storytellers, and technologists who inspire
imaginations around the world.
DisneyParks Blog - Disney’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
celebrates another anniversary this week. This super fast attraction
originally opened in 1999 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I still recall my
first ride with my father during that summer many years ago. Recently, I
stopped by Rock Around the Shop, the merchandise location found at the
attraction, to check out the latest rockin’ products.
Periodically, our location planning and merchandise presentation teams
make adjustments to merchandise shops. There are a variety of reasons for
these changes including testing new products or improving visual statements.
The last time I wrote about this location was in April 2013. For this latest
incarnation, gone are the giant “Rockin’ Gear” graphics which were replaced
with images of audio speakers and other vibrant graphic patterns.
The shop also has a few new items not previously offered including an art
gallery featuring the works of Jerrod Maruyama (I’m a big fan of his hipster
Mickey art). There is also an expanded line of women’s apparel and
The shop still offers various Aerosmith and attraction T-shirts and
accessories for women and men.
Finally, the location now carries headphones by SMS Audio, the official
headphones of Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
Happy anniversary to my favorite super stretch limousine!
Orlando Sentinel - One
joy of being a Central Floridian armed with a Walt Disney World annual pass
is that you can watch a fireworks show any night — or every night.
Recently, I decided after dinner to head out to Disney's Hollywood
Studios to check out the limited-time "Frozen" Fireworks Spectacular, part
of the theme park's Frozen Summer Fun promotion. Although some Disney fans
find the content to be a bit thin at DHS — three closed attractions in the
past year bolster that impression — I returned with several notes and
•First and foremost, I enjoyed the fireworks. There are a lot of elements
seen elsewhere at Disney: the big smiley face; the loud-popping white ones;
the crackling sizzlers; the bright red, solid-smoke effect denoting evil;
and an array of staggered pyrotechnics across the horizon of Hollywood
Studios with a darkened Great Movie Ride in the foreground. That last part
is almost as exciting as the Magic Kingdom's occasional perimeter fireworks.
But I was impatient during the live, on-stage portion at the beginning of
the presentation, which includes Olaf the snowman playing hide and seek and
Anna asking the crowd if they've had a good day. I mean, light the fireworks
already. Craftily, Disney has installed another chance for little guest
princesses to see the "real-life" Anna and Elsa in action.
The show itself is relatively short, in the 15-minute family. That
probably suits the attention span of the target audience just fine.
•Speaking of target audience, I've been pretty sure I wasn't part of the
"Frozen" one. I don't wear fashions from Arendelle or have a
sweet-yet-opaque daughter to put on my shoulders during parades or other
overpopulated theme-park functions.
But maybe I'm wrong. At the past two Hollywood Studios visits, I've heard
grown men burst into song — that tricky two-part one, "Love Is an Open
•I know she's not real, but, boy, Elsa is on my nerves. She always has to
make a grand entrance, and then she makes a big show of fixing things. She's
the Fonzie of "Frozen."
•I wanted to see the new Ice Palace Boutique across from the ABC
Commissary, but it was closed for the day. I wandered to the nearly
abandoned Streets of America. There, a woman was excitedly describing the
Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights to her family. It's easy to get
blasé about annual events, but this was a good reminder for me that most
people don't have access to Disney-level spectacles in everyday life.
•Around the corner, a man asked "Isn't there a backstage ride or a
backstage tour?" Oops, too late, sir. This was a good reminder that not
everyone lives and breathes the latest WDW development.
•The back half of the park is roped off early for the fireworks, so all
guests were milling about Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards. There was barely
a place to sit until the standing-room-only "Fantasmic" started. But this
enhances the great people-watching opportunities.
•Have you ever wondered who sells masking tape to Disney World? The parks
sure go through a lot, laying down the boundaries where guests may and may
not stand for parades and such. Then cast members rip it up the moment the
event has passed. (Also, is there not a market for a contraption that puts
tape on the ground, akin to lining a football field? We can put a man on the
moon but not find a masking-tape work-around?)
•The Villains in Vogue store on Sunset Boulevard has been restocked and
renamed. It's now Reel Vogue. Let's just say the theme isn't as evil or as
•Favorite random line from the fireworks, especially when standing in the
Central Florida heat, from Olaf: "Some things are worth melting for."
Frozen Summer Fun
What: A slew of "Frozen"-oriented activities, including
a royal processional, sing-along, "Olaf's Summer Cool Down" stage show and
Where: Disney's Hollywood Studios, off Interstate 4,
southwest of Orlando
When: Daily through Sept. 7
Cost: Included in park admission. A one-day ticket
Hollywood Studios is $97 ($91 for ages 3-9)
Disney News -
Planning on heading to this Years Epcot
International Food & Wine Festival? Then perhaps you might be interested in
one of these Premium Events offered by Walt Disney World.
Rockin' Burger Block Party
Nosh Pit Seating – Block Party VIP style!
Party for the Senses Category #1: Wine View Lounge
Party for the Senses Category #2: Reserved Seating
Party for the Senses Category #3: General Admission
What's Cookin' With... (Special Guest Chef on Different Dates)
IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party
Eat to the Beat Concert Series Dining Packages
Food and Beverage Pairings at World Showcase Restaurants
Culinary Adventure in Signature Dining at a WDW Resort or DTD Restaurant
Reservations Open Tomorrow for Premium Events at the 2015 Epcot
International Food & Wine Festival Reservations for all the premium
events can be made by calling Disney at (407) 939-3378 starting July 30,
2015. For all events taking place inside Epcot, park admission is required
and is not included in the event pricing.
Variety - Largely threading the needle
between Disney Channel’s tween audience and family members who will relish
its ties to the broader Disney fairy-tale universe, “Descendants” is a
playful and tuneful TV movie, exhibiting much higher ambitions than, say,
the “Teen Beach” franchise. Granted, one might wish the focus tilted a bit
more heavily toward the adults — Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent steals
every scene she’s in — or that the second half wasn’t as heavily padded.
Still, the songs are clever, the look is sumptuous, and the idea is so good
it goes down easy even if the broth’s a trifle undercooked.
More earnest than something like “Once Upon a Time” but plucked from the
same set of ribs, “Descendants” begins with the premise that the defeated
Disney villains have been relegated to a sort-of exile in a place called the
Isle of the Lost, where they have been confined but are free to raise
families. (Never mind that they all seem to be single parents or had one kid
at exactly the same time; nitpickers, begone!)
Growing up without magic, the kids kick off the festivities by singing an
energetic number in which they embrace their family lineage, “Rotten to the
Core.” But then four of them are chosen to attend school alongside the good
kids, who live in the glittering kingdom of Auradon, where Ben (Mitchell
Hope), the son of Belle and the Beast, is about to be crowned king.
So into this strange environment come the children of Maleficent, the
Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil and Jafar — in sequence, Mal (“Liv and Maddie’s”
Dove Cameron), Evie (Sofia Carson), Carlos (Cameron Boyce) and Jay (Booboo
Stewart). Alas, Maleficent dispatches them with plans of stealing the wand
of Fairy Godmother (Melanie Paxson, also a hoot), thus paving the way to
unleash the sorceress back on the world.
“Descendants” thus engages in a somewhat predictable nature/nurture
argument, with the four transplants starting to like their new home, while
Mal — initially the most committed to the notion of DNA determining destiny
— gradually beginning to fall for Ben. And while there are obviously thick
strands from Disney’s animated classics woven into the story, the borrowing
goes beyond that, including a bit of Harry Potter, including a game that
looks like a hybrid of Lacrosse and Quidditch.
Written by Josie McGibbon and Sara Parriott, and directed and
co-choreographed by Kenny Ortega, the movie boasts a stronger, more assured
story than most of the recent youth-oriented live-action musicals Disney has
offered, with plenty of brightly colored bells and whistles as well as songs
that range from Broadway to rap. About the only cautionary note is a
climactic sequence that might be scary for some young kids, given the
difference between CGI creations and full-blown animation.
Fortunately, parents who might have been tempted to seek shelter
elsewhere from these exercises in the past will be compensated, principally,
by Chenoweth, who clearly embraces the opportunity to cut loose with her
While such brand extensions always require care, Disney has been adept at
wringing additional mileage from its old fairly tales and movies, including
preschool titles like “Sofia the First” and “Jake and the Never Land
Pirates.” And while there’s always the risk of sullying storied franchises
with such offshoots, in the case of “Descendants,” at least, the studio
proves they can do some good without being bad.
AFP - Disneyland
Paris on Wednesday denied allegations that it overcharges customers from
certain countries a day after the European Commission said it had launched a
"Our prices are strictly the same
everywhere in the European Union, apart from exchange rates," Disneyland
Paris vice president Julien Kauffmann told AFP, adding the only other
variations concern special offers.
"The only difference at any given
time is linked to the fact we make special offers that are not necessarily
the same, and not available at the same time in all European countries,"
"Needs are not fundamentally the
same in all countries. In Italy or Spain, we'll more likely offer packages
including meals or free transport, while in France -- where people often
arrive in their own cars -- we will offer the same discount applicable to a
hotel room," he said.
Kauffmann said the timing of the offers varied by country because "an
English (visitor) will reserve a holiday six months to a year in advance,
while with the French it's four to six months ahead."
- 'Scrutinising complaints' -
"The European Commission and
European Consumer Centres frequently receive consumer complaints involving
unjustified differences in treatment on the grounds of nationality or
residence," a European Commission spokeswoman said in a statement to AFP.
"We are currently scrutinising a
number of complaints, including several against Disneyland Paris," she said.
The announcement of the probe came
amid reports that Europe's biggest amusement park was being investigated for
overcharging British and German customers.
The Financial Times reported that Disney charged French visitors 1,346
euros ($1,487) for a premium package, while Britons were charged 1,870 euros
and Germans a whopping 2,447 euros.
Customers from France generate 50 percent of the park's income, followed
by visitors from Britain, Spain and Italy.
Kauffmann noted, however, that Disneyland Paris's website does not engage
in geo-blocking, meaning visitors are free to consult prices on offer in
other countries. Should they prefer to take advantage of deals available in
other countries, he added, they may do so by reserving them through their
local call centre.
Kauffmann said the company had not
yet received notification of the probe from either the European Commission
or French authorities, who have the responsibility of ensuring that
Disneyland Paris is complying with EU fair trade laws, according to an EU
The case comes just days after
Disney was among several Hollywood studios targeted in a separate
investigation as part of a wider Commission crackdown on unfair treatment of
US firms have borne the brunt of the
crackdown, with high-profile cases launched against Google, Apple and
Last week, the Commission accused
Sky TV and six top Hollywood studios including Disney of breaching antitrust
laws by using movie licenses to block access to pay TV content in other
DisneyParks Blog - Tucked into the back of the Land pavilion at Epcot,
Garden Grill Restaurant is known for family-style food, unique views of the
“Living with the Land” attraction, and fun antics and interactions with our
favorite chipmunks — Chip ‘n’ Dale.
Beginning November 8, Garden Grill Restaurant will begin serving up
breakfast and lunch in addition to dinner. The new Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Breakfast
Harvest Feast will have all the fixin’s served in an all-you-care-to-enjoy
family style. What’s on the menu? Look for breakfast favorites like biscuits
and gravy, scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, Mickey waffles, and their signature
item, Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake.
At lunch, look for your all-you-care-to-enjoy favorites from the dinner
menu, like “Living with the Land” Harvest-inspired Farmer’s Salad (which
utilizes greens from the attraction), char-grilled sliced filet of beef,
roasted all-natural sliced turkey breast with freshly-harvested vegetables
and scrumptious side dishes.
For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.
Disney News - Chase Announced Today that as in previous years, Chase card
holders will again have exclusive access to complimentary, non-alcoholic
refreshments, charging stations and a interactive section at the Chase
Lounge at the 2015 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
The lounge which is located on the third floor of the American Adventure in
World Showcase, will be open daily during the 2015 Epcot International Food
and Wine Festival from 11am until park close.
New this year are three special dining events exclusively for Disney Visa
Cardmembers during the festival:
Brews, Breakfast and More, September 28, 2015. Over
a three-course breakfast that uses beer as an ingredient and pairing,
learn about innovative beer styles and brewing processes dating back to
ancient Babylon and Egypt.
The Making of the Party for the Senses, October 27,
2015. Discover how the culinary team makes this popular tasting event
come alive. Over lunch in the Wine View Lounge, event creators offer a
glimpse at the behind-the-scenes magic.
The Creation of the Food and Wine Festival Marketplaces,
November 9, 2015. Enjoy breakfast on the promenade before the Festival
opens with a Walt Disney World Chef, Beverage Professional and Imagineer
for a sneak peek at Marketplace creations and their menu delights.
Tickets for these dining events are subject to availability and are on
sale for Disney Visa Cardmembers. Disney Visa Cardmembers also have an
advanced booking opportunity on July 28 and July 29 for all special events
offered at this year’s Festival before sales open to the general public on
July 30. For more information visit DisneyRewards.com.
“We are thrilled to offer exclusive dining experiences to our Disney Visa
Cardmembers to make their experience at the Festival even more memorable,”
said B.J. Mahoney, general manager, Chase Card Services. “In addition, the
Chase Lounge has become a welcome destination for all Chase cardmembers
attending the Festival, which is why we have exciting activities for
everyone to enjoy.”
Orlando Sentinel - The government agency providing fire-rescue service to
Walt Disney World has proposed disbanding its
special-operations-and-response team, whose members get specialized training
on complicated jobs such as rescues from collapsed buildings and detection
of chemical agents.
The proposal is a point of contention in contract
negotiations between Reedy Creek and the union representing its
firefighters. Fire-rescue personnel have worked without a contract since
January, when the last one expired.
"They're going to take away that training from these people and not have
them certified anymore," said Tim Stromsnes, president of the Reedy Creek
Fire Fighters Association Local 2117. "I think it's a disservice to the
guest … for us not to have that team."
Reedy Creek is a public agency similar to a county government. It is
controlled by Walt Disney World, which owns most of the land within the
district and is by far its largest taxpayer.
District Administrator Bill Warren said there has been "minimal need for
the program to respond, and so we're taking a hard look at it." Disney had
Reedy Creek created its special-operations team — known as SOAR — after
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. On its website, Reedy Creek said it
created the team "to establish a timely response for detection and
mitigation of hazardous situations without relying on, or depleting our
neighbor's resources." Incidents the group has responded to include a
chemical reaction in a hotel kitchen, fuel spills and the rescue of a worker
from a hotel under construction.
The 45 members of the special-operations team would perform regular
fire-rescue duties just as they do now. They would no longer be paid an
extra dollar an hour, and the higher-level continuing education would no
longer be provided.
The department said it would save hundreds of thousands of dollars
annually by disbanding the team. Those savings would be poured into more
advanced training for its general-emergency force — though not at the
in-depth "tech" level of the special-operations team.
"The cost of the program is not the driving force here," Warren said.
"It's the delivery of the highest qualified team, and the county clearly has
Disbanding Reedy Creek's team would mean relying more heavily on Orange
County firefighters for unusual situations. Reedy Creek already has a
mutual-aid agreement with Orange County.
Orange County's fire-rescue department has had a special-operations team
since 1989 that provides services to local cities as well as unincorporated
areas. "If we're needed, we'll be there" for Reedy Creek, spokeswoman Kat
Stromsnes argues that because Disney World is so high-profile and
attracts so many visitors, it warrants having its own specialized force that
could quickly respond to a catastrophe.
Reedy Creek's team would no longer be able to lead a rescue operation if
a building were to collapse. It also would not be able to handle hazardous
Though the special-operations team gets advanced training for rescues
from high buildings, Reedy Creek says its firefighters can still handle many
of those calls.
The union and Reedy Creek are also in disagreement over pay and insurance
benefits. Reedy Creek has proposed an average 3 percent pay increase and
paying 3 percent more in insurance costs.
The union also wants access to body scans as part of its annual
physicals. Reedy Creek says it is investigating that cost.
DisneyParks Blog - When “Tangled:
The Musical” debuts on stage aboard the Disney Magic this November,
audiences can expect to be immersed in a vibrant, Bavarian world featuring
the storybook locales we know and love from the film.
The show’s set designer, Brad Kaye, is no stranger to the challenge of
re-imagining an animated world for the stage; he also developed the scenery
for “Disney’s Aladdin—A Musical Spectacular” aboard the Disney Fantasy. In
the video below, Brad tells us all about the scenic elements he is designing
for this new show . . . including a first look at the forest and Snuggly
THR - Pulitzer
Prize-winning author Michael Chabon is in talks to work on Disney’s
long-in-the-works comedy, Bob the Musical.
At the same time, Bret McKenzie, one
half of musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords who wrote many songs for
The Muppets and won an Oscar for best original song with "Man or Muppet,"
has been brought on board to compose ditties for the feature.
The project had been in development
since at least 2004 but now has a renewed voice with director Michel
Hazanavicius, who helmed the Oscar-winning 2011 film The Artist.
Additionally, Tom Cruise is circling the lead, a regular guy who, after a
blow to the head, suddenly can hear the inner songs of everyone’s heart as
his reality is instantly turned into a musical, much to his dismay.
Tripp Vinson, Chris Bender, JC Spink and Beau Flynn are producing.
Mike Bender (Not Another Teen Movie), John August (Frankenweenie) and
Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (City Slickers) are among those who
previously worked on the script over the years.
Chabon, the writer behind such as
acclaimed novels as The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish
Policeman’s Union, has done movie work before. He wrote on 2004’s Spider-Man
2 and on several projects for Disney. He worked on 2012’s John Carter, as
well as the still-in-development remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and
Magic Kingdom, which has Jon Favreau attached.
Chabon is repped by UTA, publishing
agent Mary Evans, and attorney David Colden.
FOX News - Walt Disney World may not always be the
happiest place on earth.
On Saturday, three women waiting in line for Epcot’s Test Track ride were
captured on video as a verbal disagreement quickly escalated into physical
In the video footage obtained by WFTV, a woman wearing a Goofy character
hat starts arguing with another woman. Soon a third woman, joins the fray
and starts hitting guest multiple times with what appears to be an umbrella.
(Video Has Been Removed)
A Disney employee is seen trying to restrain the woman in the Goofy hat
but eventually gets pushed away by the fighting women.
“There’s kids here!” an angry park goer is heard shouting as people
distance themselves from the scene of the fight.
The unidentified man who recorded the fight said the women were
eventually all escorted away from the attraction by Disney personnel.
"Probably, they were tired and it was a little hot and probably in that
heat, the people got angry for some reason," tourist Mariela Ugaz told WFTV.
A Disney spokesperson said no injuries resulted from the incident and no
one was asked to leave the park.
Local Orange County authorities were called to the scene but no arrests
were made. WFTV contacted the sheriff’s department but a spokesperson said
further details will not be released since the incident involved a minor.
Fox - "Ant-Man" crept past new opener "Pixels" to claim the top spot at the
box office this weekend by an ant-sized margin. The Disney and Marvel
superhero pic brought in $24.8 million over the weekend, bringing its
domestic total to $106.1 million according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.
"Pixels," meanwhile, just barely missed first place with a $24 million
debut. While studios always hope for the bragging rights of a No. 1 debut,
the real issue here is whether or not the Adam Sandler end of the world
comedy will make up its $88 million production budget.
"It's been a little competitive in the marketplace when you consider the
extent of the performance of 'Jurassic' and 'Inside Out,'" said Sony's
President of Worldwide Distribution Rory Bruer. "To get to where we opened
to was quite good."
Critics were not fond of "Pixels," which shows 1980s video arcade game
characters attacking Earth, but younger audiences still turned out to
theaters — an estimated 62 percent were under the age of 25.
Paul Dergarabedian, Rentrak's senior media analyst, said Sandler can
still attract an audience, but the expensive film has a lot of ground to
"They're really going to have to count on the international component.
That's going to be key," he said.
Overall, the box office is down 3 percent from the same weekend last
year, when "Lucy" opened particularly strong. Dergarabedian said that though
some are attempting to link last week's theater shootings to any dip in the
box office this weekend, "the numbers just don't bear it out."
Holdovers "Minions" and "Trainwreck" took the third and fourth spots with
$22.1 million and $17.3 million, respectively.
Meanwhile, the R-rated boxing drama "Southpaw" surpassed expectations and
landed a place in the top five with its $16.5 million opening.
Dergarabedian said that its performance is likely due to star Jake
Gyllenhaal's enthusiastic promotion of the film and also the fact that it
provides an alternative to the standard summer blockbuster fare.
"'Southpaw' felt like a really good fall movie," he said.
"Paper Towns," an adaptation of John Green's coming-of-age novel, opened
in sixth place with $12.5 million. The Fox film only cost $12 million to
produce, but considering Green's fan base and last year's massive $48
million debut of "The Fault in Our Stars," which Green also wrote, it's a
A straight comparison isn't entirely fair, though. "The Fault in Our
Stars" had a much bigger following and transcended age and gender groups
with its story of two teens dying of cancer and falling in love. "Paper
Towns" is a more narrow and lighthearted high school tale.
According to exit polls, 71 percent of the "Paper Towns" audience was
female and 78 percent were under age 25.
Also, Shailene Woodley was a much bigger name when "The Fault in Our
Stars" came out, whereas Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff are somewhat lesser
Woodley's "Divergent" association took the modest film "to another
level," Dergarabedian said.
"I think we have a job ahead of us in the coming weeks to find more of
our potential audience who we weren't able to reach this weekend. But I
think we can do that," said Chris Aronson, Fox's domestic distribution
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian
theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international
numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures
will be released Monday.
1. "Ant-Man," $24.8 million ($35.4 million international).
2. "Pixels," $24 million ($21.4 million international).
3. "Minions," $22.1 million ($44 million international).
4. "Trainwreck," $17.3 million ($220,000 international).
5. "Southpaw," $16.5 million ($3.5 million international).
6. "Paper Towns," $12.5 million ($8 million international).
7. "Inside Out," $7.4 million ($28.3 million international).
8. "Jurassic World," $6.9 million (47.6 million international).
9. "Mr. Holmes," $2.8 million.
10. "Terminator Genisys," $2.4 million ($10.7 million international).
DisneyParks Blog - The countdown is on to the start of my favorite event
at Walt Disney World Resort – the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
The festival opens September 25 and runs through November 16, and will
feature more than 30 global marketplaces (including some new experiences in
Future World.) This year also marks the 20th time this event has been held
at Epcot. Here is a first look at some of the merchandise commemorating this
There are three distinct art programs for this year’s merchandise. The
World Showcase logo program includes icons from each of the 11 pavilions.
The Disney character program will feature Mickey Mouse and, my favorite,
Figment dressed as chefs. We will also offer a “Brews Around the World”
assortment, a returning favorite from previous years.
Other returning favorite items include Vinylmation of the Swedish Chef
from The Muppets, collectible pins on recipe cards, and three new Dooney &
Bourke handbags. Guests will also find drinkware, four different appetizer
plates, and some holiday ornaments.
I love the coffee mug that uses Figment’s tail as the handle. I also
thought the bottle opener on the “Brews Around the World” baseball cap was
creative. Finally, I was happy to see salt and pepper shaker trash cans
which were inspired by items released last year in Disney Centerpiece at the
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for details about a new activity called
“Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak” that includes limited release pins.
The best place to find many of these items starting September 25 will be
in the Festival Center. This location will be found in Future World between
Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE pavilions. Additional merchandise
locations throughout World Showcase will also carry select items. There are
no plans at this time to carry these items on our Disney Parks online store.
Do you have a favorite item? Please share in the comments below.
DisneyParks Blog - As we first told you back
in February, Luigi – the most famous tire salesman in Cars Land – has
temporarily closed his Casa della Tires to visit family in Italy. Today, I’m
excited to tell you that he is returning with some special guests!
Luigi has invited all of his cugini (cousins) from his hometown of
Carsoli, Italy, to visit his Casa della Tires. To help celebrate Race Day in
Radiator Springs, they will demonstrate the dances of their village with
Cars Land guests when the all-new Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters opens early
Keep an eye here for more updates as our special guests continue to
settle in at Disney California Adventure park!
CNBC - Walt Disney
chief Bob Iger said Monday he sees ESPN as a media property that could be
eventually sold directly to consumers like Time Warner's HBO, but not in the
next five years.
"If we end up seeing more erosion in the so-called multichannel [cable
and satellite TV] bundle, quality will win out," he told CNBC's "Squawk
"While the business model may face challenges over the next few years,
long term for ESPN ... they'll be fine. They have pricing leverage, too,"
Iger said. "Disney [Channel] is another ... brand and product that could be
sold directly to the customer."
Disney owns ABC television and ESPN, theme parks and resorts, and movie
studios under the Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar and Marvel banners.
"Technology is the most disruptive force that so-called traditional media
... is facing," he said.
"[But] we decided to view technology as a friend, not a foe," he
continued, to bring better customer experiences across all of our businesses
from making media look crisper on HD televisions to mobile and online
viewing apps to enhanced attractions at theme parks.
Hollywood - Disney Pixar’s Inside Out has just crossed $500M
worldwide in box office reciepts on Tuesday, making it the eighth
consecutive Pixar film to reach the milestone and the third Disney release
to do so this year. The animated family film, which was released in June,
now stands at $510.1M through July 22. This is Pixar’s 11th
film overall to pass that mark.
With $311.5M domestically, Inside Out has become the third
highest grossing Pixar film ever. Internationally, it is open in 61% of the
marketplace and has earned $198.6M. It has made roughly 62% of its money
domestically. Major markets still to come include the UK, opening this
weekend, as well as Germany and Italy.
The film debuted domestically on June 19 with $90.4M, the biggest opening
ever for an original property.
CBS News - The European Union has opened an antitrust case against six major
U.S. movie studios for preventing British satellite broadcaster Sky from
showing their products outside the U.K. and Ireland.
The EU Commission,
which assesses antitrust matters for the 28-country EU, said Thursday it has
sent a statement of objections to Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures,
Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros regarding "contractual
restrictions" that prevent Sky offering their full services to consumers in
other EU nations.
EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that "European consumers want to
watch the pay-TV channels of their choice regardless of where they live or
travel in the EU."
DisneyParks Blog - This week is National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week, and
we are celebrating our keepers and aquarists with special activities to
recognize their hard work and dedication. If you are visiting this week, be
sure to tell them hello and thank you!
I could not be prouder of our
tremendously talented team of cast members, who continue to impress with
their expertise and compassion. They have dedicated their lives to caring
for animals, and everything they do and learn here helps contribute to
saving animals in the wild. The difference they are making is immeasurable.
Below are just a few of our dedicated cast members. We asked them to tell
us about their favorite moments and why they enjoy their roles.
“‘In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what
we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.’ (by
Baba Dioum) This quote is the definition of why I’m an animal keeper. My job
is awesome because of the animals I get to work with, but my job also makes
it possible for guests to learn about these animals and love them as much as
– Katie Lusnia
“I am very lucky that my favorite moment as an animal keeper happens
every day. I love when my animals are excited to see me, even though they
are more likely excited to see the food in my hands. I also love their quiet
munching once they have all been fed and are happily in the barn.”
– Chelsea Lynn
“My favorite moments usually involve us being able to help out an animal
that, in the wild, would not have survived. Most recently, we had a sand
gazelle calf born with multiple issues. After a pretty rough few days and
24-hour care, this calf started to gain strength. After a couple weeks, she
was basically fully recovered. Seeing your hard work result in the survival
of animal, especially a young animal, is pretty awesome.“
– Matthew McHarness
“We are involved in daily training, enrichment programs, assisting the
veterinarians during procedures, sharing our knowledge with the guests as
well as making memories for them during their visit.”
– Kelly Savage
“I enjoy the interaction and observation of the many different species …
I also find it very interesting working with the veterinary staff performing
health assessments on many different species of animals.”
– Chad Spicer
“I feel like we make a difference in the lives of the animals that we
take care of. We form a relationship with every single animal that we take
care of and that is very rewarding. Also, baby animals are super cute.”
– Danielle Boggs
“After having helped with the endocrine research and care of the mother
for more than two years, witnessing the birth of a giraffe calf was
incredibly rewarding to me.”
– Gretchen Mueller
“[I have] access to the best and most-advanced facilities for the care
and development of the animals who roam our savannas. The animals … are
truly the driving inspiration in what makes Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge a
premiere resort… Being able to work with the Disney Conservation Fund is
also a reward that may go unnoticed by some, but the keepers at Disney know
that we are both igniting a passion in future generations and doing our best
to preserve the natural wonders and animals better than anyone else.”
– Ashley Roth
I enjoy being an aquarist because I have always been captivated by the
ocean and everything that can be found in it … I also strive to provide
educational moments for our guests so that they can learn about and respect
our oceans, and hopefully help make changes that can benefit all of our
– Eric Grunthaner
“When I first started, it was so cool to see the amazing relationships
keepers have with their animals … The animals recognize me now and come over
to say ‘Hi.’ That’s a favorite moment every day.”
– Erin O’Neill
DisneyParks Blog - Did
you know there is a multi-year project to restore the coral reef in the
Bahamian waters near Castaway Cay? Disney’s Animal Programs and Disney
Cruise Line are working ensure these “rainforests of the sea” will thrive
for generations to come. Watch this video to learn more about how Disney is
doing research to protect the reef:
At Disney Cruise Line, efforts to share our environmental programs have
become an integral part of our goal to inspire others to take environmental
action in their everyday lives. For more information about coral reefs and
the role they play in our underwater ecosystems, visit Disney Animals.
Moviefone - Just a heads up
-- in case you can't get to Walt Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA from
August 14-16 -- heaps of new Lucasfilm, Pixar, Marvel and Disney movie intel
will be coming out of the event, so put yourself on standby for cool
Disney just shared a press release with the 2015 schedule. You'll see it's
noted that "a bevy of special guests will be on hand to offer a look at an
unparalleled slate that includes Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle
Book, Marvel's Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens—and
much, much more." Also, "Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage
from Pixar's upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory and Disney
Animation's Zootopia and Moana." So if those movies, and all Disney/Pixar
projects, are of interest to you, just know some good teases should be
coming out of this.
Here's the full schedule breakdown:
HALL D23 PRESENTATIONS:
Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films, Hosted
by John Lasseter
Friday, August 14, 3:00 pm - Hall D23
After meeting the Emotions inside the mind of an 11-year-old, taking a trip
to San Fransokyo, where a boy genius and his robot save the world, and
falling in love with a queen with icy powers who wants to "let it go," come
see where Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios plan to take you next. In
what has become a D23 EXPO must-see, host John Lasseter, chief creative
officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, presents this in-depth
look at the animation studios' slate. Filmmakers will unveil
never-before-seen footage from Pixar's upcoming The Good Dinosaur and
Finding Dory and Disney Animation's Zootopia and Moana. The event will
include surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by the
films' star voice talent.
Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney
Saturday, August 15, 10:30 am - Hall D23
Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm are home to some of the planet's best
storytellers, immersing audiences fully in the world of each film from
beginning to end and beyond. In this exclusive Hall D23 presentation, join
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn for a tour of upcoming live-action
projects from these legendary film studios. A bevy of special guests will be
on hand to offer a look at an unparalleled slate that includes Alice Through
the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Marvel's Captain America: Civil War,
Star Wars: The Force Awakens—and much, much more.
Frozen FANdemonium: A Musical Celebration!
Sunday, August 16, 3:00 pm - Hall D23
Join host Chris Montan, president, Walt Disney Music, and the Oscar®-winning
songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez as they take you
on a once-in-a-lifetime musical journey through the world of Frozen. This
one-day-only performance features your favorite friends from the Walt Disney
Animation Studios film—including Anna and Elsa––with sing-along experiences
and fascinating stories behind some of your favorite Frozen songs.
CALENDAR OF KEY EVENTS:
In Conversation with the Filmmakers and the Emotions Behind Inside
Friday, August 14, 11:30 am – Stage 28
Get the inside story on the making of Pixar's latest summer release, Inside
Out. Hear from Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (Up, Monsters,
Inc.) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up) as they reminisce and share their
personal stories of creating a world that everyone knows, but no one has
Welcome to Zootopia!
Saturday, August 15, 1:30 pm - Stage 28
Welcome to Zootopia, a magnificent mammal metropolis, and home to Walt
Disney Animation Studios' next feature, the comedy-adventure Zootopia. Join
directors Byron Howard (Tangled, Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph),
producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph, Bolt), and artists from the
incredible production team as they introduce rookie rabbit-officer Judy
Hopps, con-artist fox Nick Wilde and a host of dynamic animal characters,
sharing footage and behind-the-scenes stories with D23 EXPO-goers.
Pixar Secrets Revealed! Hear the Stories They Didn't Want You to
Saturday, August 15, 3:00 pm – Stage 28
Ever wonder where your favorite Pixar stories began? Hear the stories you
don't know about the classic films that you love. Pixar senior development
executive Mary Coleman hosts this experience, welcoming the storytellers
behind some of Pixar's most successful films, including Darla K. Anderson (A
Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (The
Incredibles, Ratatouille, Brave), Ronnie del Carmen (Up, Inside Out) and Dan
Scanlon (Cars, Toy Story 3, Monsters University), as they talk about the
twists and turns of crafting a narrative and share some of the crazy story
ideas that didn't make the final cut.
Toy Story: 20 Years Later, the Original Crew Looks Back
Saturday, August 15, 4:30 pm – Stage 23
From flipbooks to feature films, animation has taken audiences to
fantastical new worlds, far beyond the limits of any real-world setting.
Pixar Animation Studios has been at the forefront of this evolution,
blurring the line between art and technology and bringing beloved characters
to life with heart and humor. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1995's
Toy Story, the first computer-animated feature film, join members of the
original crew, including filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew
Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Galyn Susman, Ralph Eggleston, Sharon Calahan, Eben
Ostby, Bob Pauley and Bill Reeves as they share their stories and the
challenges they faced along the way.
Aladdin – The Making of a Classic
Saturday, August 15, 6:00 pm - Stage 28
Join Walt Disney Animation Studios filmmakers, including legendary directors
John Musker and Ron Clements, animators Eric Goldberg (Genie) and Mark Henn
(Jasmine), as well as Jasmine herself, Linda Larkin, and the two actors who
gave life to the character Aladdin: Scott Weinger and Brad Kane, as they
unveil the stories behind one of the great Disney classics, Aladdin, a film
that led to a "whole new world" for animation.
The Shorts of Walt Disney Animation Studios: from Paperman to Prep &
Landing, Feast to Frozen Fever
Sunday, August 16, 11:30 am - Stage 28
When Walt Disney and his brother Roy founded the Disney Brothers Studio in
1923, their first medium for storytelling was the animated short. More than
90 years later, Walt Disney Animation Studios continues this tradition,
making groundbreaking and award-winning shorts including Feast, Paperman and
this year's hit Frozen Fever. Join the filmmakers behind these shorts and so
many others, including Get A Horse!, John Henry, Lorenzo and The Ballad of
Nessie for a conversation about this truly animated art form.
The Tunes Behind the Toons: Screening/Q&A
Sunday, August 16, 6:00 pm, Stage 28
D23 EXPO invites you to a special screening and Q&A panel for The Tunes
Behind the Toons, a short form documentary that celebrates the power of
music in animation. From the silent film days when organists played live
accompaniments, to the music within today's animated features, this
documentary traces the origins of cartoon music and its pioneers. Featuring
interviews with Alan Menken, Randy Newman, Patrick Doyle, Mark Watters,
Bruce Broughton, Richard Sherman and many others. Producer/director Dave
Bossert will lead a star-studded Q&A following the presentation.
ON THE EXPO SHOW FLOOR:
The Walt Disney Studios – Show Floor Exhibition
Step into the worlds of The Walt Disney Studios in this wide-ranging
showcase of exciting projects from Disney Live Action, Walt Disney Animation
Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm.
Among the many highlights:
· For the first time at D23 EXPO, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios
have created a joint experience no Disney fan should miss. With live
demonstrations, presentations, and autograph signings with top filmmakers
from each studio, plus free giveaways and interactive displays featuring the
films Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Zootopia, Finding Dory and Moana, this
is a can't-miss attraction for animation fans.
· Explore costumes, props and photo ops from the Studios' live-action films,
including Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm.
Disney Movies Anywhere Tweet Suite
Take pics and share them in the Disney Movies Anywhere Tweet Suite. It's
also the perfect opportunity to learn more about Disney Movies Anywhere,
Disney's digital movie app that lets you watch your Disney, Pixar, Marvel,
and Star Wars movie collection across your favorite devices, anywhere you
Say Aloha to John Lasseter's Film-Themed Hawaiian Shirts
Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John
Lasseter takes Disney and Pixar animation to heart—literally. For nearly
every film—from Finding Nemo and Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen and Inside Out,
Lasseter has commissioned an exclusive movie-themed Hawaiian shirt. And
those who know the Oscar®-winning storyteller know that he loves his
Hawaiian shirts—and dons one for almost every occasion. Animation fans will
see their favorite film characters "materialize" before their eyes in this
colorful collection, which will be exhibited on the show floor.
An Animator's Gallery: Eric Goldberg
D23 hosts the first public exhibition anywhere of "An Animator's Gallery:
Eric Goldberg." Celebrate Goldberg, whose artistry at Walt Disney Animation
Studios began with his groundbreaking work on Genie in Aladdin, and
continues to this day on projects such as the upcoming Moana and the 2014
Oscar®-nominated Mickey Mouse short Get A Horse! The exhibition features a
collection of more than 100 of Goldberg's caricatured creations of Disney
characters, drawn in a style reminiscent of art seen on the famed walls of
Sardi's Restaurant and The Brown Derby. This incredible collection of art is
from the newly released book An Animator's Gallery: Eric Goldberg Draws the
Disney Characters, and will be available for purchase in the Walt Disney
Publishing pop-up shop on the EXPO show floor.
Frozen Album Signing
With the purchase of Frozen: The Songs or Frozen Picture Disc at the Disney
Music Emporium, guests will be issued a wristband to secure a space for an
album signing with Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez and Tom MacDougall
(Co-Producer, Frozen Soundtrack) on Saturday, August 15 at 10:30 am.
DisneyParks Blog - On July 22, 2015, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at
Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrates another anniversary. To mark the
occasion, I recently stopped by Tower Hotel Gifts to check out the latest
arrivals from the Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic collection. You may recall
that in February we released several new products inspired by this thrilling
Disney Parks attraction. Here is a quick recap of some items I found.
One of my favorite items now available is a luxurious bathrobe. This
black robe contains an embroidered Hollywood Tower Hotel logo, and is an
update to the previously offered white robe seen in this article from 2013.
I love the feel of this robe so much that I’ve been known to wear it around
Other new items include a women’s shirt, a sweatshirt with an iconic
front desk bell, and a Raglan T-shirt with a bellhop silhouette.
You can also find a notepad and a nice packaged pen both of which are
perfect for sending greetings from the beyond fifth dimension.
pin team gave me a first look at a new open edition pin coming later
this year to Disney Parks. The pin includes an image that slides to reveal
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.
Finally, I couldn’t resist sharing this image of my son for this
anniversary. He loves riding this attraction every time we visit Disney’s
Hollywood Studios. While exiting one time, he spotted this nod to an
original television show episode and proceeded to try walking through it.
Luckily, I pulled him back before he became lost in another dimension.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating a possible rape in
According to an incident report, an officer was called to investigate a
sexual battery that happened sometime after 2 a.m. last Thursday.
The victim was found naked and disoriented by a Disney security officer
in some bushes along the walkway leading to a parking lot behind the House
of Blues and Circque Du Soleil around 5 a.m., the report said.
The victim told the responding deputy that after drinking two Redd's
Apple ales and several shots of vodka while at her apartment, she and her
roommate arranged transportation to the House of Blues Music Hall.
The victim said she remembers being at the House of Blues dancing, but
"At this point, the victim has no recollection of the events that
occurred to her until she was located along the walkway," the report said.
According to the report, the victim did not know whether she'd been
involved in any sexual activity, but said she was certain any activity of
the sort was not consensual. She said she has no memory of who might have
taken advantage of her and left her naked and helpless in the shrubbery.
The victim also said she doesn't know the condition or whereabouts of her
Authorities were called to the area to set up crime tape to preserve the
The Orange County Sheriff's Office has released surveillance images of a
man being sought as a person of interest in connection with the case. Anyone
with information should contact Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.
OC Register - There was a time when kids ran around outside, pointed their
fingers like a gun and pretended to shoot down a nearby G.I. Joe figure or
plastic dinosaur stationed under a tree.
The advent and popularity of
video games quashed that kind of play in recent years.
But the Walt Disney Co. is bringing back those adventures – with a modern
Later this fall, Disney will unveil Playmation, a new system of wearable
technology and smart toys it hopes will “inspire kids to run around and use
their imaginations” – and help boost its newly created consumer and
Think laser tag with interactive Disney smart toys. The first series of
Playmation, Marvel’s Avengers ($120), is slated to come out in October.
“Playmation Marvel’s Avengers puts kids at the center of stories from the
Marvel Universe, taking them on active adventures right alongside Earth’s
Mightiest Heroes,” Paul Gainer, executive vice president of Disney Retail,
saidin a statement.
Disney on Tuesday previewed its upcoming holiday consumer products,
including a new “Frozen” ice castle, Princess Animator dolls, and Disney
Junior’s “Miles from Tomorrowland” toys.
But the highlight of the event was the preview of the company’s
video game franchise, and its newest tech toy, Playmation.
TheDisney Infinity 3.0 edition “Star Wars” (set to be released in
August) and Playmation are among the first consumer offerings from the
company since itmerged its Consumer Products and Disney Interactive
divisions last month into the newly created Disney Consumer Products and
Interactive Media division.
As a standalone division, Disney’s Interactive group bled money, losing
more than $1 billion in the past five years. In 2014, the company laid off
more than 700 employees in that division.
That same year, however, the interactive division also posted its first
profit thanks to the success of Disney Infinity, a hybrid toy and video game
that allows players to play their favorite Disney toy characters and place
them in a virtual world.
Between the first edition, which made its debut in 2013, and the second
edition released last year,Disney Infinityhas generated more
than $1 billion in sales.
The third edition is expected to surpass that with the introduction of
the popular “Star Wars” franchise, Disney’s “Inside Out,” and new Marvel
“For a long time, Disney had this endless cycle of creating one-off video
games from their newly released movies, and players would buy it, get bored
and throw it in a junk pile,” said Roy Choi, managing editor at
TechnoBuffalo, an online technology news site.
“But Disney Infinity allows them to create characters from the movies and
bring them to life in a virtual world. In a sense, it brings more value to
Playmation, Choi said, plays off that same idea except the kids are the
With Playmation Marvel, kids wear a repulsor – or electronic brace – on
their arm. Like Iron Man, Jarvis – his artificially intelligent butler
assigns kids a mission on the repulsor.
Other missions can be obtained via a smartphone application. While
wearing the repulsor, kids can place a power activator or base station with
a smart character on top nearby (15 to 20 feet maximum range), and from
there they can shoot it down and make the character eject.
Choi said that with its newest toy, Disney is trying to capitalize on the
wearable tech craze and make it kid-friendly.
“It really plays off the kid’s imagination,” Choi said. “You can be Iron
Man, or Elsa. Disney is already selling the costume pieces and now they are
just adding technology to it.”
DisneyParks Blog - Tomorrow is National Hot Dog Day, but at Disney Parks we
celebrate year-round! Did you know Walt Disney Parks and Resorts guests
enjoy more than 6.4 million hot dogs annually? In honor of National Hot Dog
Day, I’m sharing my Top 5 hot dogs from coast to coast:
Macaroni & Cheese Hot Dog (Restaurantosaurus,
Disney’s Animal Kingdom): This dog is topped with creamy macaroni and
cheese and bacon bits, sure to satisfy your prehistoric hunger.
Vegetarian Portobello-Mushroom Philly (Award
Wieners, Disney California Adventure park): Even carnivores will love
this dish with grilled Portobello, onions and bell peppers sautéed in
Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale and topped with pepper jack cheese.
Frankfurter in a Pretzel Roll (Min and Bill’s
Dockside Diner, Disney’s Hollywood Studios): This dog is perfect when
you’re on the go, the Dijon mustard inside the roll will help keep you
mess-free for your silver screen debut.
Chili-Cheese Dog (Refreshment Corner, Disneyland
park): Combining Walt Disney’s love for chili with an all-American hot
dog, this classic might be the perfect Disneyland tribute.
Barbecued Pork and Coleslaw Gourmet Hot Dog
(Casey’s Corner, Magic Kingdom Park): Topped with barbecued pulled pork
and refreshing coleslaw, this hearty dog begs to be enjoyed picnic-style
in the new Hub grass area.
Out of the top three highest grossing shows on Broadway this past week,
Disney Theatrical Productions Limited, a subsidiary of Disney, has two of
them. As a highly successful multi-faceted company, Disney tends to dominate
any market it gets into and theater has been no exception.
The two shows taking over Broadway currently are the long-running The
Lion King, which grossed just over $2.6 million last week alone, and
newer production Aladdin, which grossed just over $1.8 million last
week. Both are among price leaders for Broadway tickets on the secondary
1994, there has rarely been a week when a Disney show was not at least in
the top ten highest grossing list. When Newsies The Musical was on
Broadway, it killed at the box office, making on average between the
mid-$800,000 mark to mid-$900,000 a week according to Broadwayworld.com.
Also when Beauty and the Beast, one of the most iconic Disney
films, was on the stage it grossed on average $621,000 per week from 1994 to
Disney Theatrical Productions Limited, also known as Disney on Broadway,
was founded in 1993 by Ron Logan as Walt Disney Theatrical. The company
began putting on Broadway musicals and plays in 1994 when it produced
Beauty and the Beast. Other notable Disney productions include King
David (1997), The Lion King (1997-present), Aida
(2000-2004), Tarzan (2006-2007), Mary Poppins (2006-2013),
The Little Mermaid (2008-2009), Arcadia (Revival) (2011),
Sister Act (2011-2012), and Peter and the Starcatcher
Face prices for Disney shows tend to be expensive, too, but currently not
as expensive as other top Broadway productions, such as The Book of
Mormon which costs around $129 at its cheapest. The lowest price for
The Lion King is currently $92 and Aladdin tickets begin
at $49.50. On the secondary market, The Lion King tickets average
$243 and Aladdin averages $191 per ticket, according to TiqIQ. Even
with those relatively steep prices, fans are getting what they pay for: an
amazingly produced Disney production that brings audiences back to their
Many Disney shows have made the Longest Running Broadway List. The
Lion King is currently at No. 4, Beauty and the Beast is No.
9, Mary Poppins is No. 22, Aida is No. 35, and Newsies
is No. 101. Aida grossed just over $700,000 on average per week
during its run, and Mary Poppins grossed on average $882,000 per
week during its run, which is quite impressive overall.
So what's next for Disney on Broadway? In January 2014, CEO Bob Iger
announced that the hit animated film Frozen was in early
development stages for a theatrical adaptation. A musical adaptation of the
iconic film Pinocchio is set to premiere at the National Royal
Theatre in December 2016. Also the Hunchback of Notre Dame was
performed at the Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey this past year, and some
say that may come to Broadway in the near future.
Fans can see the current Disney productions of The Lion King at
the Minskoff Theatre or Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre, the
oldest theatre on Broadway.
DisneyParks Blog - It’s common for runners to
experience the “Post-Race Blues” during the weeks after a race. You’ve had
so many emotions the past few months and your race is now over. You’ve
experienced FEAR, DISGUST, ANGER and JOY, but now another emotion pops up
that you probably weren’t expecting.
If you feel SADNESS come over you, don’t be discouraged because it is
normal to feel this way. It’s important to realize that every emotion is
essential – and sometimes you’ll find that more than one is in control of
This cute shirt from the Disney Store can help cheer you up! Also, check
out other items from Champion and New Balance to show your Inside Out #DisneySide.
One of the best ways to overcome Sadness is to have another finish line
in your future! Sign up for e-mail updates from runDisney to know
when registration opens for upcoming races. You can also follow us on
Twitter @runDisney, Instagram/runDisney and Facebook.com/rundisney
for up-to-date information!
The Disney•Pixar film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind of Riley
and introduces us to the Emotions that guide her – Joy, Sadness, Fear,
Disgust and Anger. Based in Headquarters, the five Emotions are hard at
work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy, whose mission is to make sure Riley
stays happy. “Inside Out” is directed by Academy Award winner Pete Docter
('Monsters Inc.”, “Up”) and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Up”) with an original
score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”). “Inside
Out” is in theatres now in 3D and is rated PG.
DisneyParks Blog - On July 18, 1965, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
officially opened at the Main Street Opera House in Disneyland park. Walt
Disney first debuted the attraction honoring our 16th president in 1964 at
the New York World’s Fair, and after earning international acclaim, made
Main Street, U.S.A., its permanent home the following year.
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln not only pays tribute to history, but it
marks a milestone in Audio-Animatronics technology. Debuting one
year after Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room introduced
Audio-Animatronics figures, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was the very
first attraction to use the breakthrough technology to create a lifelike
In 2009, the classic attraction was refined to incorporate advanced
Audio-Animatronics technology. Before the opening of The Disneyland
Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, we gave you an in-depth
look at the Lincoln figure’s extraordinarily realistic expressions and took
you behind the programming board to see how Walt Disney Imagineering
integrated modern enhancements with elements of the original show.
Now, fifty years after its original opening, Great Moments with Mr.
Lincoln continues to bring history to life and dazzle guests at Disneyland
US Weekly - Disney is not happy with Amy Schumer's
sexy Star Wars-inspired GQ cover
The force may not be so strong with Amy Schumer. The
hilarious comedian, 34, covered the latest issue of GQ magazine
with a sexy Star Wars-themed photo shoot, but the companies
behind the sci-fi franchise are hardly pleased with the images.
The official Star Wars Twitter account responded to multiple
tweets from outraged fans who took issue with the steamy cover. Schumer,
34, is captured on the front of the August issue with C-3PO, and is
shown sucking the Star Wars droid's finger while wearing a
Princess Leia-inspired getup.
Inside the issue, Schumer puts a lightsaber in her mouth while
wearing the braids and bikini. She also poses topless in bed with C-3PO
and R2-D2, a cigarette hanging from her mouth as she suggestively cozies
up to the two famed characters.
Responding to a Tweet reading, "I can't believe @Disney signed off on
the use of @starwars characters/props in the fashion depicted in @GQMagazine,"
the Star Wars account wrote, "Lucasfilm & Disney did not
authorize, participate in or condone the inappropriate use of our
characters in this manner."
The reps for Star Wars continued to send the same message
over and over again to fans who called the pictures "distasteful." The
movies' veteran lead star Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker),
however, had a different take on the shots, tweeting this past weekend,
"Got excited when I saw @amyschumer @GQMagazine pics & thought she was
just cast in Ep 8! We should be so lucky."
While Schumer may not be in the upcoming Star Wars trilogy,
she is seeing her own big-screen success with the weekend release of her
Bill Hader-assisted comedy, Trainwreck.
Written by Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, the
flick hit theaters on Friday, July 17, and made an impressive $30
million on its opening weekend.
Orlando Business Journal - Anyone waiting for
Disney Springs' second parking garage won't have to wait long, as work
is now underway.
Walt Disney World each week files permits
with Orange County on new projects underway, which this week includes
starting work on the future multi-story parking garage at Disney
Springs. According to the permits, DPR Construction in Orlando is the
contractor building the garage located on the eastern side of Disney
Springs. DPR built the already-existing, similarly designed garage that
opened in November near Disney Springs' Westside.
Other projects Disney filed over the past
week include some rehabilitation work at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Animation Tour, Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom and work around
Disney's Animal Kingdom. Typically, Disney's projects include anything
from mechanical upgrades and renovations to smaller projects such as
installing antennas, updating paint jobs and more.
These projects, albeit sometimes small, all
play key roles in Disney's ability to maintain its standards that help
lure millions of tourists to the region and keep the $60 billion travel
and tourism industry busy.
IGN - Marvel's unique size-changing hero
Ant-Man may very well join the rest of the Avengers in Disney Infinity
An image on the Disney Infinity Twitter account has shown off an
image of several Marvel heroes crowded around a tiny figure in Hulk's
outstretched hand. Above it is the message "Something big is coming to
Though it has not been made official, Ant-Man's inclusion in Disney
Infinity 3.0 would make sense. His solo movie debuts in theaters this
weekend, and it's already been confirmed that he'll be joining the
Avengers in future films. What remains unknown is how big or small his
figure will be.
Disney Infinity 3.0 will also feature characters from the Star Wars
universe. Look for it on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox
360, PC, iOS, Android, and Wii U on August 30.
You can also read IGN's Ant-Man review to learn more about the
scientific wonders of Pym Particles.
DisneyParks Blog - I’m excited to announce the Ice Palace Boutique will join
Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting July 26. This
wintry salon is where guests ages 3-12 can undergo a magical transformation
as they prepare for Coronation day revel in a flurry of “Frozen” fun.
The Ice Palace Boutique will be located on Commissary Lane across from ABC
Commissary in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Unique to this location, guests can purchase select packages where
families can also join in the “Frozen” fun. Additional party members can
enjoy the exclusive Ice Palace Café, an immersive “Frozen”-themed café with
included snacks while they wait for their Anna or Elsa.
The party will also get reserved seating at one show of “For the First
Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” at Hyperion Theater.
The “Frozen”-inspired packages include:
Frozen Summer Fun Boutique Package – This package
includes Anna or Elsa-inspired shimmering makeup palette, face gems,
nail polish, a braided hair piece with sparkling snowflake accessory and
an exclusive photo opportunity. Package retail: $75, includes tax.
Ice Palace Boutique Package – This package includes
the items offered in the Frozen Summer Fun Boutique Package. It also
includes access to the Ice Palace Café and reserved seating at one of
the “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration”
shows. Package retail: $175, includes tax.
Ice Palace Boutique Deluxe Package – This package
includes an Anna or Elsa costume plus the items offered in the Ice
Palace Boutique Package. Package retail: $240, includes tax.
The Ice Palace Boutique Package and the Ice Palace Boutique Deluxe
Package is for up to 6 guests, including the child getting the magical
Reservations can be made in advance and are highly recommended. To book
your appointment starting July 17, please call 407-827-7400. Guests under 18
years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call. The location
may be able to accommodate guests without reservations on a limited,
first-come, first-serve basis each day.
Ice Palace Boutique will only be offered during Frozen Summer Fun at
Disney’s Hollywood Studios which continues through September 7, 2015.
Disney News - Get your appetites ready for this Year's
Epcot International Food
and Wine Festival Celebrating it's 20th Anniversary.
–Berbere-style beef tenderloin tips with onions, jalapeños, tomato and pap
–Buttered chicken with micro cilantro and naan bread
–Indaba Chenin Blanc
–DeMorgenzon DMZ Cabernet Róse
–Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz
American Adventure Coffee Cart
–Frozen Strawberry-Lemon Sunset: Frozen Strawberry and lemon, topped with
Grey Goose Vodka
–Grilled sweet and spicy bush berry shrimp with pineapple, peppers, onions,
and snap peas
–Grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies
–Lamington: Yellow cake dipped in chocolate and shredded coconut
–Coopers Brewery Extra Strong Vintage Ale
–Château Tanunda Grand Barossa Dry Riesling
–Bulletin Place Unoaked Chardonnay
–Yangarra Estate Vineyard Shiraz
–Potato and leek waffle with beer-braised beef and smoked gouda cream
–Belgium waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream
–Belgium waffle with berry compote and whipped cream
Block & Hans
–Champagne Enchantée Brut, Champagne
–Festival Chardonnay, Napa Valley
–GoGi Goldie Chardonnay, Sta Rita Hills
–Lasseter Family Winery Enjoué Rosé, Sonoma Valley
–Fess Parker Frontier Red, Santa Barbara County
–Festival Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
–Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
–Escondidinho de carne, “Little Hidden One”: layered meat pie with mashed
–Crispy pork belly with black beans and tomato
–Pão de queijo: Brazilian cheese bread
–Cocada: Brazilian coconut candy
–Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
–Carnaval Moscato Sparkling White Wine
–Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça
–Canadian cheddar cheese soup
–Chicken sausage with creamy polenta and Minus 8 onion jam
–“Le Cellier” wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce
–Neige Premiere Apple Ice Wine
–Inniskillin Vidal Icewine
–Tawse Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Cheese Studio — NEW!
–Trio of artisan cheese
–Karst cave-aged cheese served with honey
–La Bonne Vie goat cheese served with Craisin® bread
–Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue Cheese with berry port compote
–Sweet goat cheese panna cotta with guava gellé
–Cheese fondue with sourdough bread
–Robert Mondavi FuméBlanc
–Still River Winery Apfel Eis (apple ice wine)
–Sterling Vintner’s Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
Chew Lab — NEW!
–Olive oil poached salmon with fresh corn, bacon and pepper jam
–New York strip, parsnip silk, balsamic glaze and arugula foam
–Liquid nitro chocolate almond truffle with warm whiskey caramel
–Beijing roasted duck in steamed bun with hoisin sauce
–Gaoli beef slider
–Black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles
–Chicken pot stickers
–Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Riesling
–Ritzy Lychee with cognac and vodka
–Happy Peach with peach liqueur and dark rum
–Kung Fu Punch with vodka and triple sec
–Mango jasmine tea with popping bubbles
–Brew Hub Keybilly Island Ale, Lakeland, FL
–Two Henrys Blueberry Vanilla American Wheat Ale, Plant City, FL
–Orlando Brewing Grateful Pumpkin, Orlando, FL
–Swamp Head Wild Night® Honey Cream Ale, Gainsville, FL
–3 Daughters St. Pete Beach Blonde Ale, St. Petersburg, FL
–Florida Beer Company Passport 20 Belgian-Style Tripel Ale, Cape Canaveral,
–Funky Buddha Vanilla Espresso Porter, Oakland Park, FL
–Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Clearwater, FL
Flight #1: Florida Harvest
–Brew Hub Keybilly Island Ale, Lakeland, FL
–Two Henrys Blueberry Vanilla American Wheat Ale, Plant City, FL
–Orlando Brewing Grateful Pumpkin, Orlando, FL
–Swamp Head Wild Night® Honey Cream Ale, Gainsville, FL
Flight #2: Craft Beer Lovers
–3 Daughters St. Pete Beach Blonde Ale, St. Petersburg, FL
–Florida Beer Company Passport 20 Belgian-Style Tripel Ale, Cape Canaveral,
–Funky Buddha Vanilla Espresso Porter, Oakland Park, FL
–Shipyard Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Clearwater, FL
–Craft beer snack mix: sweet and savory blend of nuts, fruits, and crackers
–Charcuterie plate: Country pâté, cured meats, and crostini
–Pimento cheese dip with pretzel crisps
–Bloody Mary shrimp cocktail
–Nicholas Feuillatte Blanc de Blancs
–Möet & Chandon Impérial
–Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin “Yellow Label”
–Möet & Chandon Nectar Impérial
–Orange Blossom Brewery Toasted Coconut Porter float with caramel ice cream
–Cream soda float with caramel ice cream
–Frozen S’mores featuring Monin Toasted Marshmallow Syrup
Dominican Republic — Back from 2007
–Lechón asado: Roasted pork with mangú, pickled red onion and avocado
–Soufflé de yuca: Yuca soufflé topped with griddled cheese
–Pescado con coco: Seared grouper, pigeon peas and rice with coconut sauce
–Caramel flan with rum-roasted pineapple
–Presidente Pilsner Beer
–Frozen Dominican piña colada featuring Ron Barceló Blanco Rum
–Frozen sugar cane cocktail featuring Ron Barceló Blanco Rum
–Loaded mac n’ cheese with Nueske’s pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, peppers
and green onions
–Griddled “yard bird” with braised greens
–Woodchuck Raspberry Hard Cider
–Wyder’s Dry Pear Hard Cider
–Two Henrys Elderberry Hard Cider
–ACE Hard Pumpkin Cider
–Florida Orange Groves, Key Limen Wine
–Tom Gore Chardonnay
–Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon
Hard cider flight:
–Woodchuck Raspberry Hard Cider
–Wyder’s Dry Pear Hard Cider
–Two Henrys Elderberry Hard Cider
–ACE Hard Pumpkin Cider
Fife & Drum Tavern
–Ghirardelli Ice Cream Sundae
–Mmmmhops Pale Ale
–Croissant aux escargots with garlic and parsley
–Boeuf bourguignon: Braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes
–Crème brûlée vanille chocolat: Vanilla & chocolate crème brûlée topped with
–Beer, Kronenbourg Blanc 1664
–Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, Vielles Vignes Mommessin
–Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Château Bonnet
–Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
–Ice Pop Pomme: Apple juice, vodka, and St. Germain liqueur
–La Passion Martini Slush: vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, cranberry and
passion fruit juice
–Schinkennudeln: Pasta gratin with ham and cheese
–Roast bratwurst in a pretzel roll
–Apple strudel with vanilla sauce
–Kālua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole® Pineapple chutney and spicy
–Tuna poke with seaweed salad and lotus root chips
–Kona Brewing Company, Big Wave Golden Ale
–Kona Brewing Company, Pipeline Porter
–Maui Splash Sweet Pineapple Wine
–Mai Tai featuring Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum
Hops & Barley
–New England Lobster Roll
–Florida grass fed beef slider with pimento cheese
–Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing
–SweetWater Take Two Pils
–Goose Island Honkers Ale
–Samuel Adams Rebel IPA
–Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA
–La Crema® Chardonnay
–Cambria Estate Winery Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir
–Beer Flight (Includes 4, 4 oz. servings)
–SweetWater Take Two Pils
–Goose Island Honkers Ale
–Samuel Adams Rebel IPA
–Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA
–Asian Tuna Salad with Noodles
–Southwest Chicken Wrap
–Tuna Salad with Pita
–Cucumber and Tomato Salad
–Crudité of Carrots, Celery and Broccoli with Creamy Pepper Relish
–Fruit & Cheese Plate
–Key Lime Pie
–Festival Chardonnay, Napa Valley
–Festival Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
–Caposaldo Peach Moscato Sweet Sparkling Wine
–Iron Horse Vineyards “Fairy Tale Cuvée” Sparkling Wine
–Presidente Pilsner Beer
–Two Henrys Elderberry Hard Cider
–Assorted soft drinks
–Lobster and seafood fisherman’s pie
–Kerrygold® cheese selection: Reserve cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout and
–Warm chocolate pudding with Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur Custard
–Ravioli alla caprese: Cheese ravioli, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan
–Filetto di pollo, con funghi al marsala: Chicken tenderloin, cremini
mushrooms, marsala sauce and ciabatta bread
–Cannoli al cioccolato: Chocolate-covered cannoli filled with sweet ricotta,
chocolate and candied fruit
–Moretti Lager Beer
–Moretti La Rossa Beer
–Pinot Grigio, Placido
–Chianti Classico, Placido
–Moscato Fior d’Arancio, Montegrande
–Prosecco, Bosco del Merlo
–Frozen margarita with limoncello and tequila
–Spicy hand roll: Tuna and salmon with Kazan Volcano sauce
–Teriyaki gyoza bun: Steamed bun filled with chicken, vegetables and sweet
–Miso Udon: steamed shrimp, vegetables, and noodles in a spicy broth
–Tacos de camarón: Battered shrimp, pico de gallo, pickled onions, and
–Chilaquiles de pollo: Corn chips layered with seasoned chicken, queso
fresco, sour cream and cilantro
–Pastel de elote con queso: sweet corn cheesecake
–Kefta pocket: Ground seasoned beef in a pita pocket
–Harissa chicken roll
–Steamed green lip mussels with garlic butter and toasted bread crumbs
–Seared venison loin with wild mushroom marsala sauce and kumara dumpling
–Lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney
–Kielbasa and potato pierogi with caramelized onions and sour cream
–Sauerkraut pierogi with pork goulash
–Okocim Brewery, Okocim O.K. Beer
–Donausonne® Blaufränkisch Hungarian Wine
–Frozen Szarlotka Apple Pie featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
–Croissant doughnut with cinnamon and sugar
–Dole fruit bowl: choice of pineapple tidbits or mandarin slices
–Fried chicken chunks with Dole pineapple sweet and sour sauce
–Pineapple Dole® Whip soft-serve ice cream
–Pineapple Dole Whip soft-serve ice cream with Bacardí® Coconut Rum
–Dragon Berry Refresher featuring Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum
Refreshment Cool Post
–spicy hot dogs with kimchi slaw and korean mustard
–Mango Star featuring African Starr Rum t
–frozen “Brown Elephant.”
–Haggis with neeps and tatties: Traditional Haggis with rutabaga and mashed
–Fresh potato pancake with Scottish smoked salmon and herb sour cream
–Seared sea scallop with spinach-cheddar gratin and crispy bacon
–The Tipsy Laird: Whiskey-soaked cake with lemon cream and toasted oats
–Innis & Gunn CASK OAK Aged Beer*
–Brew Dog Punk Ale
–Citrus Thistle featuring Hendrick’s Gin
–Glenfiddich Single Malt 12-Year Scotch
–Glenfiddich Single Malt 15-Year Scotch
–Glenfiddich Single Malt 18-Year Scotch
–Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch flight (12-, 15- and 18-year)
Showcase Coffee Cart Drink:
–Hot, Iced, or Frozen Chai Latte with Grey Goose Vodka or Bailey’s topped
with cinnamon and whipped cream
–Korean Barbecue Short Rib with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi
–Roasted pork lettuce wrap with kimchi slaw
Sustainable Chew — NEW!
–Pork Spareribs with red wine, fennel, and cheesy mascarpone grits
–Ricotta & zucchini ravioli with tomato sauce
–Vanilla panna cotta with fresh figs and pistachio brittle
–Founders Spectra Trifecta (Chamomile Kolsch)
–Beso Del Sol White Sangria
Test Track Coffee Cart
–Iced Coffee Dream: bold roast coffee, chilled and iced, with light cream,
topped with Bailey’s Irish Crème and whipped cream. Also available hot.
Wine Studio — NEW!
–Trio of artisan cheese
–Karst cave-aged cheese served with honey
–La Bonne Vie goat cheese served with Craisin bread
–Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue Cheese with berry port compote
–Avviato Pinot Grigio, Oregon
–14 Hands Chardonnay, Washington
–Franciscan Equilibrium White Wine, California
–Acacia Pinot Noir, California
–Dry Creek Zinfandel, California
–Spellbound Petite Sirah, California
–Clayhouse Malbec, California
–Line 39 Cabernet Sauvignon, California
TIME - With Disneyland marking its 60th anniversary this week and news that
Disney plans to open a park in Shanghai, it’s worth remembering that the
theme park that started it all almost wasn’t ready in time for its planned
July 17, 1955, opening day.
As shown in this exclusive clip from the PBS American Experience
special Walt Disney, which premieres Sept. 14 and 15, Disney took a
hands-on approach to the park that bore his name. He was personally involved
in the planning, design and the last ditch effort to open the gates on
time–which required thousands of extra workers and tripled the estimated
cost of the project.
Disney so committed to opening on time that he even made the tough
decision between working bathrooms and working drinking fountains–only one
would be ready.
Orlando Sentinel -
Folks fueling up on Walt Disney World property this week may notice a change
in the gas station's signage. Locations that were Hess stores will now be
The transition is happening nationwide as a result of Speedway LLC's 2014
purchase of Hess Retail Holdings, which came with a $2.82 billion billion
price tag. Speedway was given three years to make the changeover.
The change affects 1,200 stations in the U.S. -- including nearly 250
stations in Florida, dozens in Central Florida and the three on Walt Disney
The outlet near Disney's BoardWalk was altered Wednesday, followed by the
Downtown Disney stop on Thursday. The Hess at the Car Care Center near the
Ticket & Transportation Center and Magic Kingdom will convert into Speedway
The three Disney World stations became Hess outlets in 2004.
Zacks - The
Walt Disney Company latest offering Ant-Man hits the theaters on
Jul 17. Given the runaway success of Marvel these days, this relatively
unknown caped crusader is likely to win at the box office.
Ant-Man has created a lot of buzz, thanks to Disney’s
unparalleled marketing abilities. Analysts estimate Ant-Man to rake
in $60-$65 million in its opening weekend domestically and another $60
million across international territories, taking the total weekend count to
$115-$125 million. The estimates are almost in line with the collections of
Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor in their debut
Moreover, analysts have been drawing parallels with last summer’s smash hit
Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a high risk venture for Disney
being based on a relatively obscure comic book series set entirely in outer
However, Guardians of the Galaxy defied all odds, and nabbed a
powerful $160.4 million in its opening weekend worldwide. At domestic box
office, it opened at the no. 1 slot with $94.3 million in collections. The
movie made $774.2 million in its entire theatrical run globally and became
the year’s third highest grossing movie. Guardians benefitted from its witty
and humor laced script, brilliant SFI and an impressive cast.
As per the Ant-Man trailers, it looks like director Peyton Reed has
done a good job at combining humor and action, plus Disney has been
branding it as a family film, which we believe will work in its favor.
Critics have given favorable reviews to the movie as reflected in an 8 out
of 10 score on IMDb and a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ant-Man has an impressive cast with Paul Rudd in the titular role
while Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Corey Stroll, and Michael Pena play
some prominent characters. The plot is pretty simple. Scott Lang (Rudd), a
thief is given a chance at redemption by Dr Hank Pym (Douglas) to take on
the Ant-Man suit and carry out a heist that would ensure the survival of
All the above mentioned factors will work in Ant-Man’s favour,
giving Disney the scope to boast of yet another success in 2015 after
Cinderella, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Pixar’s Inside Out.
However, the movie might face some serious competition from Minions
that has literally gone ‘bananas’ at the box office. After a fantastic $115
million opening weekend, this Despicable Me spin-off continues to
have a strong hold at the box office.
Going into the second weekend, collections of this Comcast Corporation (CMCSA
) animated flick is estimated to hover as high as $60 million and above. In
such a scenario, analysts believe that Ant-Man might not open at
the no. 1 slot.
In addition, Trainwreck, another offering from Comcast owned
Universal studios, might snatch a share of business from Ant-Man.
This R rated comedy, starring Amy Schumer has garnered strong and favourable
response from the critics. It has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Trainwreck is expected to earn an impressive $18 million to $20 million
in its opening weekend.
Ant-Man will open in about 3,800 screens including 361 IMAX and
388 premium large format screens across North America. It will release
simultaneously in 50 international territories.
DisneyParks Blog - Become part of “Fantasmic!” and “World of Color –
Celebrate!” in a whole new way. Made with Magic sippers will be sold at
select Food and Beverage locations in Disneyland and Disney California
Adventure parks beginning July 17.
“Fantasmic!” Chernabog sipper locations include:
Glow Carts throughout Disneyland park
The Golden Horseshoe
Stage Door Café
Ship to Shore Marketplace
River Belle Terrace
French Market Restaurant
Mint Julep Bar
Blue Bayou Restaurant
Hungry Bear Restaurant
“World of Color” sipper locations include:
Glow Carts throughout Disney California Adventure park
Mad T Party
Studio Catering Co.
Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
Pacific Wharf Café
Lucky Fortune Cookery
Paradise Garden Grill
The sipper without a beverage is $25.00 (tax included) or $28.00 with a
beverage (including fountain soda, frozen carbonated beverages and frozen
Relax News - "Genies",
a live-action comedy adventure, is currently being written by Damian Shannon
and Mark Swift according to an exclusive by the Hollywood Reporter.
The much-loved 1992 Disney movie
"Aladdin" is set to be revisited, with a prequel entitled "Genies". The
story will explore how it was that Genie, played by the late Robin Williams,
ended up in the lamp. The original Disney movie was inspired by an old
Although plans are only at an early
stage, Disney already have Tripp Vinson lined up as producer. Vinson is
currently producing "Bob the Musical" and "Prince Charming" for the same
studio. Writers Shannon and Swift are mainly known for their early work in
the horror genre, but have more recently segued into comedy scripts.
DisneyParks Blog - Just a few minutes ago in China, Disney chairman and CEO,
Bob Iger unveiled new, exciting details on Shanghai Disney Resort, the
area’s first Disney destination, and the six themed lands planned for the
Shanghai Disneyland theme park.
Shanghai Disney Resort will be a world-class family entertainment
destination that blends the magic of Disney and the cultural spirit and
beauty of China. And during a special event that included Disney COO Tom
Staggs and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, Bob Iger
shared a peek at what the Resort will look like with the unveiling of a
spectacular scale model showcasing its two hotels, Disneytown – its
international shopping, dining and entertainment district, Wishing Star
Park’s beautiful gardens and six themed lands of mainland China’s first
Disney theme park – Shanghai Disneyland.
“We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only
showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and
incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind
destination that will delight and entertain the people of China for
generations to come,” said Iger speaking to media during today’s
presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre. “We are taking everything we’ve
learned from our six decades of exceeding expectations – along with our
relentless innovation and famous creativity to create a truly magical place
that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”
At Shanghai Disneyland, Disney stories will come to life at the tallest,
largest and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park. The themed
lands will offer something for everyone with live stage productions, world
premieres and thrilling attractions – many never seen before – that will
appeal to guests of all generations. Guests also will be able to experience
Disney characters in each land, including Mickey and his pals on Mickey
Avenue and in Gardens of Imagination.
In Tomorrowland, one
of the six themed lands, guests will be able to experience the TRON
Lightcycle Power Run, a new coaster-style attraction where riders board
a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles for one of the most thrilling
adventures at any Disney park.
Along with Tomorrowland, we have a more detailed look at the lands coming
to Shanghai Disneyland:
Fantasyland will be the largest land and home to the
majestic Enchanted Storybook Castle that we’ve already featured here on the
In this fairy-tale paradise, guests will float through familiar Disney
stories on Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, hitch a rollicking ride on the
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and take flight over the skies of London on Peter
Pan’s Flight. They may also explore the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the
Pooh or follow Alice through a dazzling Wonderland maze.
Treasure Cove – will be the first pirate-themed land in
a Disney park. As guests explore this pirate world, they will enter
Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, an
attraction that transforms a boat ride into a thrilling journey with
cutting-edge innovations in robotics, animation, set design and multimedia.
Adventurous spirits will be tempted to board a pirate ship, paddle through
the scenic cove on Explorer Canoes and dine at Barbossa’s Bounty.
Adventure Isle will immerse guests in a newly discovered
lost world, filled with hidden treasures and a chance to explore its
mysteries. The mighty Roaring Mountain will tower over guests and beckon
them on their journey. Guests can blaze their own trails at Camp Discovery,
travel around the world on Soaring over the Horizon, or embark on the
thrilling rafting adventure Roaring Rapids, straight through the heart of
Adventure Isle. There they discover the underworld realm of a mysterious,
Tomorrowland will not only include the TRON Lightcycle
Power Run but also offer the chance for guests to go to infinity and beyond
on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, a new space ranger adventure, or break the
bonds of gravity on Jet Packs. The land will feature a massive,
color-shifting canopy near the TRON Lightcycle Power Run.
Mickey Avenue will be the first main entry at a Disney
park inspired by the colorful personalities of Mickey Mouse and his pals. In
the neighborhoods of this welcoming, whimsical avenue, guests will share a
hug and get a photo with some all-time favorite Disney characters.
Avenue M Arcade, one of the many shops along the avenue, will
feature the largest selection of gifts and collectibles inside the theme
Gardens of Imagination will celebrate the wonders of
nature and the joy of imagination, as guests leave everyday life behind to
enjoy the seven whimsical gardens. Guests will take a spin on the Fantasia
Carousel, soar on the back of Dumbo the Flying Elephant and enjoy the area’s
iconic Disney entertainment, including Castle stage shows and “Ignite the
Dream, a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.” From several places in
this land, guests will enjoy “Mickey’s Storybook Express,” an exciting
parade with its own musical soundtrack and colorful performers on the
longest parade route in a Disney park.
Since breaking ground in 2011, Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group announced
that they were expanding the park by adding additional attractions and
entertainment to allow more guests to have a spectacular Disney experience
at Grand Opening in spring of 2016. Stay tuned for more updates on Shanghai
Finance - Walt Disney
(NYSE: DIS) Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger , told CNBC he was
"extremely bullish" about China's long-term prospects, as he unveiled
details of its first theme park in the country.
Shanghai Disneyland, due to open
next spring, will include six "themed lands"-Fantasyland, Treasure Cove,
Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland, Mickey Avenue and Gardens of Imagination. The
project is expected to cost Disney, along with partners the Shanghai Shendi
Group, $5.5 billion.
The grand unveiling of the park in
Shanghai comes at a difficult time for businesses in China, following weeks
of market volatility - but Iger said he was not concerned.
"We build things to last many years.
Disneyland was built 60 years ago and has been through the ups and downs of
the U.S. economy for six decades," he told CNBC Wednesday.
"So we're not concerned with the
Chinese economy and we're extremely bullish about the long-term prospects of
A recent meltdown in Chinese stocks
has seen the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fall over 25 percent over
the last 30 days. However, on the year it is up around 17 percent,
reflecting the rock-and-roll ride in Chinese markets of late.
Despite this volatility, China is
becoming an increasingly important market for global companies. Although the
rate of growth has slowed, its economy still expanded by 7 percent
year-on-year in the second quarter. Beijing is also pushing for more
consumer-led growth and the middle class is booming - all appealing factors
to big business.
As such, Iger said the Chinese theme
park was one of the company's "most important projects."
"China represents a great
opportunity for the Walt Disney Company," he added. "Growing in China is a
huge priority for us and our primary approach in terms of growth is this
park, so obviously it's extremely important and very exciting."
The Street - Shares of
The Walt Disney Company(DIS )
were gaining 0.4% to $118.35 Wednesday morning after the company announced
it will open a new park in Shanghai.
Disney CEO Bob Iger unveiled plans for the new $5.5 billion park at a
press conference in Shanghai, according to Bloomberg.
The new Disney Shanghai Resort will include six themed lands including
Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, and an area that will feature Star Wars and
Marvel movie characters. The Tomorrowland park will include Jet Packs, a
Tron-theme Lightcycle, and the largest parade of any Disney theme park.
The project is Disney's largest foreign investment to date. Iger
said the park "celebrates and embraces China's incredibly rich
heritage," and is meant to "delight and entertain the people of
China for generations to come," according to Bloomberg.
TheStreet Ratings team rates DISNEY (WALT) CO as a Buy with a ratings
score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their
"We rate DISNEY (WALT) CO (DIS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence
of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the
majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in
multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share,
increase in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from
operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows
low profit margins."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
DIS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of
3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased
by 7.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost
the earnings per share.
DISNEY (WALT) CO has improved earnings per share by 13.9% in the
most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company
has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over
the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the
past fiscal year, DISNEY (WALT) CO increased its bottom line by earning
$4.25 versus $3.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an
improvement in earnings ($5.08 versus $4.25).
The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter
one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and
exceeded that of the Media industry average. The net income increased by
10.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from
$1,917.00 million to $2,108.00 million.
The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same
quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in
the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Media
industry and the overall market, DISNEY (WALT) CO's return on equity
significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of
the S&P 500.
Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,918.00 million or 15.47%
when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, DISNEY (WALT)
CO has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth
rate of 14.53%.
LA Times - Napa Valley Chardonnay and a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon will
make their debut at the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in
Walt Disney World Resort starting Sept. 25. The wines were specially created
to celebrate the annual event's two decades.
Each wine, which includes "festival" in its name, will be served from a
keg that holds 26 bottles, according to a Disney World statement. The
point? To cut down on waste such as bottle, cork, cardboard and paper
However, bottles of the wines will be on sale too.
The Epcot festival will feature ethnic and specialty cuisines. New
marketplaces include Napa Valley-inspired Artistry of Wine & Cheese, which
will serve tastings of each, and a New Eats area based on the ABC-TV
show "The Chew" with chefs Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall and
The show will broadcast from Epcot during the festival and spin off two
marketplaces: Sustainable Chew, which will serve dishes inspired by the
"Chew" hosts, and Chew Lab, which toys with the molecular side of cooking.
Highlights of the festival include a masquerade party with gourmet
tastings and cocktails on Oct. 31 and Burger Block Parties thrown by "The
Chew" cast on Sept. 25, Oct. 8 and Nov. 6.
Entry to the festival, which runs until Nov. 16, is included in the cost
of admission to Epcot. A single-day ticket costs $97 for adults and $91 for
children 3 to 9 years old, excluding tax.
Tickets for special events such as the Yelloween Masquerade Party for the
Senses and Burger Block Parties go on sale July 30.
DisneyParks Blog - The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues into
Halloween Time when the season begins again September 11, with the addition
of the new “Paint the Night” parade during the expanded 17 nights of
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park!
In addition to the popular Halloween Time seasonal attractions, Haunted
Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, famous Disney Villains,
Mickey Mouse and his friends in Halloween costumes, the Dia de los Muertos
celebration and the special after-hours Mickey’s Halloween Party (a
separate, ticketed event), guests will also be able to enjoy the new
nighttime spectaculars that are the signature of our 60th anniversary
celebration – “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Paint the Night” parade and
“World of Color – Celebrate!” as well as special sparkling Halloween decor
in honor of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.
Please note: This year, Mickey’s Halloween Party will include “Paint the
Night” parade and “Halloween Screams” fireworks. Mickey’s Costume Party
cavalcade will not be featured this year; “Disneyland Forever” fireworks
will be presented on non-party nights.
You can purchase your Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets early – and on
your mobile device – Be sure to mark your calendars for the following dates:
July 22: Tickets on sale to Disneyland Resort
Annual Passholders, Disney Rewards Visa card holders and Disney Vacation
Keep an eye on here and Disneyland.com/Halloween for more updates on
Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort and Mickey’s Halloween Party, and join
the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #HalloweenTime.
Cinema Blend - While there has
been talk of a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph ever since the first one
smashed box office records, it’s been a little while since we’ve heard
anything about it. That has now changed. We’ve received some confirmation
about Wreck-It Ralph 2 from the best possible source, Ralph himself,
John C. Reilly.
Penny Hart is a producer on the Irish radio program RTE Arena, on which John
C. Reiley was recently a guest. On the show he confirmed that he has
officially signed on to voice the video game villain turned hero for a
sequel. While we had heard a year ago that the Wreck-It Ralph 2 was
being written we’ve heard essentially nothing since then, so it’s good to
know that the follow up is moving forward. It looks like composer Henry
Jackman and director Rich Moore will also be back for another game.
A new movie will give the filmmakers new opportunities to fill the screen
with even more cameos from famous video game characters. Moore previously
stated he would like to include characters as diverse as the Angry Birds and
Mario, who he tried to get into the first movie but wasn’t able to for a
number of reasons. The first film saw guest spots from everybody from Q-Bert
to Street Fighter to Root Beer Tapper, so really anything is possible in a
sequel as long as they can make the deal.
While we don’t know yet what Wreck-It 2 will be about the director
has mentioned one idea, which has Ralph confront multiple versions of
himself, since one would assume Ralph’s game has been popular through the
decades and has been ported, spun-off, and rebooted through the years,
potentially creating multiple Ralphs. Its certainly a fitting idea for a
The next task will be to see if the co-stars from the first movie will also
return. As great as Riley was in the film his supporting cast of Jane Lynch,
Sarah Silverman, and Jack McBrayer were a big part of what made the original
so good. We hope to get all the old characters back along with a whole bunch
of new ones. We have no idea how long the wait will be before Wreck-It
Ralph 2 hits theaters, but we can't wait to drop another quarter in
Fix-It Felix Jr.
DisneyParks Blog - Aspiring young princesses and knights are in for a treat
when Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique debuts on the Disney Magic this fall! This
whimsical salon for children ages three to 12 is coming to Deck 10 in the
forward part of the ship.
Our fairy godmothers-in-training are storing up fairy dust for the very
special makeovers they’ll be granting at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Kids can
choose from several looks, including a Disney Princess, royal knight and
more. On pirate party night, this boutique becomes The Pirates League, and
pirates of all ages can be transformed here from landlubber to buccaneer.
Tweens are also in store for new adventures when Edge moves to Deck 9
midship. This super cool space will feature a dance floor and high-tech
gaming stations. What won’t change is the fact that this area is reserved
just for 11- to 14-year-olds, giving tweens the chance for a little
independence from their parents (under the supervision of our fun youth
counselors, of course!)
Cruisers on our transatlantic voyage from Spain to Miami, departing
September 19, will be the first to enjoy these enhancements. The Disney
Magic will then sail 4- and 5-night voyages from Miami to the Bahamas and
Caribbean throughout the fall.
Is your little one most excited about becoming a princess in a paradise
or a pirate IN the Caribbean when you visit Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the
Orlando Sentinel - The
man who brought us "Star Wars" and the woman who was Erica Kane are among
the eight people that will join the ranks of official Disney Legends this
year. George Lucas, Susan Lucci and the rest will be honored in a ceremony
next month during the D23 Expo.
Lucas' first Disney project was "Captain EO," a theme-park film featuring
Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. He's also been
involved with Star Tours and various "Indiana Jones" attractions.
Lucci starred in daytime drama "All My Children" throughout its 41-year
run on ABC. She currently stars on "Devious Maids," an ABC Studios
production that airs on Lifetime.
Other honorees this year include:
+ Composer Danny Elfman, who provided the score and songs for "The
Nightmare Before Christmas" plus the scores for Disney films such as "Good
Will Hunting," "Dick Tracy," "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Flubber." His
music is heard in the Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction at Disneyland.
+ Animator Andreas Deja, who created bad guys Gaston ("Beauty and the
Beast"), Jafar ("Aladdin") and Scar ("The Lion King.") plus other animated
+ Artist Eyvind Earle, who began working with Disney in 1951, doing
background work for "Peter Pan." He's best known for the styling and
backgrounds for "Sleeping Beauty."
+ George Bodenheimer, who worked at ESPN for 33 years before retiring as
its executive chairman in 2014.
+ Julie Reihm Casaletto, who was named Disneyland's first ambassador in
+ Artist Carson Van Osten, who oversaw creative content for motion
picture tie-in advertising, Disney publications and established some of the
first licensing style guides for Disney Consumer Products. He designed logos
for Mickey Mouse’s 50th and 60th birthdays, the Walt Disney Studios logo and
the Disneyland Hotel clock tower “Mickey” logo in Paris.
Each of the incoming Legends receives a 2-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends
sculpture and will participate in a handprint ceremony at the Aug. 14 event.
Those prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at company
headquarters in Burbank, Calif.
This group brings the number of Disney Legends to 257. Among the honorees
have been Julie Andrews, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, Angela Lansbury,
Steve Martin, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters,
Betty White, Robin Williams, Leota Toombs Thomas and Don Iwerks.
DisneyParks Blog - We have a truly royal announcement to share today. Prince
Harry is bringing his Invictus Games to Walt Disney World Resort next year.
The event celebrates our wounded servicemen and women from around the
world competing in a variety of sports events at ESPN Wide World of Sports
Complex, May 8-12, 2016.
The Invictus Games drew more than 400 athletes from 13 countries – plus
some 65,000 spectators – in its inaugural year in London in 2014, which was
seen by more than 10 million more fans on TV.
The Invictus Games at Disney next year will be the first time the event
takes place in the U.S. and is expected to involve a similar number of
athletes from up to 14 nations competing in 10 sports – archery, cycling,
indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, triathlon,
wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
The idea behind the Invictus Games is that the event uses the power of
sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider
understanding and respect for all those who serve their country as well as
their families and caregivers.
In case you’re wondering, the word Invictus means “unconquered” and
became famous after William Ernest Henley’s 1878 poem “Invictus” which is
about strength during times of adversity. The word embodies the fighting
spirit of the wounded service personnel who are on the journey to recovery.
We will have more details on this inspirational event in the coming
months, so follow this blog for all of the latest developments.
DisneyParks Blog - For the first time ever, the Epcot International Food
& Wine Festival is stretching into the park’s Future World with four new
food and beverage marketplaces.
The festival opens September 25 and runs through November 16, and will
feature more than 30 global marketplaces for sipping and noshing
throughout the park.
Along the walkway toward Future World West, the new Artistry of Wine &
Cheese festival area will feature the Cheese Studio (offering a cheese
sampler served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines) and the Wine
Studio with premium wines on tap – each keg keeps the wine super fresh
and holds the equivalent of 26 bottles, eliminating bottle, cork,
cardboard and paper waste. Bottles, corks and materials from other
marketplaces are recycled.
Then, near the Epcot Character Spot, the new Next Eats area will debut
with Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s
Emmy-Award® winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario
Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz.
Sustainable Chew will feature three dishes, and Chew Lab will show off
hot culinary tech trends like a Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle
with Warm Whiskey Caramel.
Beginning July 15, you can call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) or go to
epcotfoodfestival.com for more details. Booking for premium events like
the new Rockin’ Burger Block Party (details soon!), Party for the Senses
and Signature Dining Experiences will begin July 30.
Disney News - Now that Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios has closed
yet another attraction, in this case 'The Magic of Disney Animation'
so what's next for this part of the park? Well if rumors are right it
looks as if the former 'Magic of Disney Animation' building will soon
become a Star Wars Land Preview Center much like the Blue Sky Cellar
preview center at California Adventure in Disneyland Resort.
Now this makes a whole lot of sense since another rumor has 'One Man's
Dream' also closing but with smaller rumors indicating that 'One Man's
Dream will simply be moving.
So at this point we are led to believe that 'The Magic of Disney
Animation' building will hold the current 'One Man's Dream' along with a
Star Wars Land preview Center.
As always this is just a Rumor and should be taken as so until
confirmation is made through Walt Disney World.
Orlando Sentinel - Disney World is fighting two discrimination
lawsuits from security workers, and several other employees in that
division have made similar complaints during the last few years.
Disney World has more than 1,000 security workers who watch over
guests throughout the resort. Six former and current workers filed
lawsuits in Orange Circuit Court from 2011 to 2014 saying they were
harassed and unfairly targeted based on race, religion and national
origin. A jury ruled against one plaintiff and three lawsuits were
voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs.
Disney has denied the workers' claims. "We have a rigorous process
in place to thoroughly and independently review any and all
workplace issues," spokeswoman Kim Prunty said in an emailed
statement. "These lawsuits are baseless and without merit."
Camelia Joseph has a trial set for this summer. A black Haitian
woman who works at Disney as a security guard, Joseph says in her
lawsuit she applied for a job in 2010 as an emergency coordinator
but the position went to a white man with less experience and
education. Her lawsuit alleges that after she complained to the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she was reprimanded and
"subjected to intense scrutiny on the job."
"After I filed against the company with the EEOC, everything
turned upside down," said Joseph, who has started an online
fundraiser for her legal bills.
Another suit is pending from Nabil Boromi, a plain clothes
operative who was fired in 2013 for "using electronic devices" while
monitoring security cameras. Boromi, who is Moroccan and Muslim,
alleges in his lawsuit he was subjected to a higher standard than
other workers, who were not fired even though they engaged in
Boromi says in his lawsuit he "complained about Arabic patrons
being treated with greater suspicion whenever they entered the park"
and that officers were instructed to watch black customers "because
they 'committed a lot of retail thefts.'" Disney has denied those
accusations in court documents.
Boromi filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human
Relations, which last year issued a letter saying it determined that
"no reasonable cause exists to believe that an unlawful employment
According to a deposition in another lawsuit, a group of plain
clothes operatives was fired after managers found them on
surveillance tapes sleeping or using electronics in a room where
they were working monitoring cameras.
Boromi said he was using a cellphone to call his wife to check on
a sick baby.
"We never knew there was surveillance," he said.
Both Boromi and Joseph are represented by Orlando attorney Jerry
Girley. The other four were represented by Jacksonville attorney
The case that Disney won went to trial last year. Two lawsuits
were dismissed by the plaintiffs in 2013 and one was dismissed by
the plaintiff last month.
"It sounds to me like a relatively large number" of lawsuits from
one department, said Joseph W. Little, emeritus professor at the
University of Florida's Levin College of Law, whose specialties
include employment law.
Some of the employees are mentioned in paperwork in each others'
Many department employees are represented by the Security, Police
and Fire Professionals of America. Union representatives could not
be reached for comment.
Several of the complaints have been made by longtime Disney
Xonia Book, a plain clothes operative who lost her case last year,
has worked at Disney since 1995 and is married to a security manager
there. According to a deposition in the case, she has been involved
in uncovering illegal ticket brokers and detected "a possible
terrorist issue" that involved a subject who was later killed in a
drone attack in Pakistan.
Book, who still works at Disney, said in
her lawsuit she faced discrimination and that a fellow employee was
instructed to place her under surveillance. A judge dismissed Book's
claims of retaliation and disparate treatment. A jury ruled in
Disney's favor on the claims of a hostile work environment.
According to the lawsuits from the plaintiffs who dismissed their
own suits dating back to 2011:
Security manager Sharon Cardinez, a foreign-born black woman,
said she endured "racially insensitive" remarks. She also said she
was harassed in ways that included having to provide her brother's
death certificate when she requested bereavement leave, which white
employees didn't have to do. Cardinez said she dropped her lawsuit
recently because it was becoming too expensive and difficult to
pursue while dealing with deaths in the family.
Marissa Rivera, who was terminated, said a co-worker repeatedly
used racial slurs toward her. Rivera could not be reached for
comment and Sacks said he could not comment without her permission.
Elaina Evans, who worked at Disney about 30 years, claimed racial
discrimination. Evans, who is black, said she was moved without
explanation from resorts to parks in 2009. She was given heavier
workloads than other security managers and then given menial tasks
compared with her white male counterparts, she said. She withdrew
her case in 2013; she and her attorney cited issues linked to a
personal bankruptcy. Evans also mentions in the lawsuit other
workers she said suffered similar treatment.
DisneyParks Blog - With the distinction of being the only AAA Five Diamond
restaurant in Central Florida (and one of only three in the state), Victoria
& Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa continues to raise the
The award-winning dining room is adding a new Chef’s Degustation Menu, a
series of 10 small courses featuring some of Chef Scott Hunnel’s favorite
dishes inspired by the seasons and by his world travels to Asia, Spain,
Italy and France. The seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu will remain, and the
kitchen will continue to meld tradition with innovative cuisine “for an
avant-garde culinary journey,” says Israel Perez, maître d’hôtel.
Other big changes include a focus on food-and-wine pairings in the
adjacent Queen Victoria Room. With just eight seats, diners will be offered
Chef Hunnel’s 10-course menu paired with exclusive wines from Victoria &
Albert’s impressive wine cellar. “The wine pairings will be exclusive to the
private room, and we want to enlighten our guests about how the chef and
sommelier work together to perfectly pair food and drink,” says Perez.
Adding the 10-course menu in the main dining room creates a more
leisurely dining experience, and other special tableside touches have been
added, such as a cheese trolley, tableside butter carving and a custom
chocolate box for selecting post-prandial sweets.
The popular Chef’s Table, tucked in a cozy kitchen alcove with a
front-row seat for watching the action in the kitchen, continues to offer 10
to 13 courses, small tastes of everything from caviar to Japanese Wagyu
beef, paired with wine and spirits. The dinner lasts nearly four hours, the
time filled with delectable tastes and conversations with the chef and his
“Diners now have a choice of three distinct dining experiences with
food-and-wine pairings in Queen Victoria Room, two menus in the main dining
room and the Chef’s Table in the kitchen,” says Perez. “Whichever they
choose, they will enjoy the finest quality ingredients and impeccable
The seven-course menu is $185 ($250 with wine pairings); the 10-course
menu is $235 ($340 with wine pairings). Dinner in the Queen Victoria Room is
$340, and includes 10 courses paired with wine. The Chef’s Table in the
kitchen is $250. The restaurant is open daily for dinner. For reservations,
Orlando Sentinel - Walt Disney World has joined the list of businesses
and governments distancing themselves from the Confederate flag.
The resort has removed a version of the Confederate banner from a flag
display in Epcot's American Adventure. Disney acknowledged it took down the
flag recently but would not comment further.
The banner, which was among more than 40 displayed from throughout
America's history, was the third flag of the Confederacy. The familiar
"Southern Cross" symbol does not take up the entire banner as it does in the
Confederate battle flag. Instead the blue cross with white stars on a red
background is displayed in the upper-left-hand corner, bordered by a field
of white with a thick, red stripe at the other end.
Sheri Labowski, a Connecticut tourist relaxing outside the American
Adventure on Wednesday, said she agreed with the flag's removal.
"I think in this day and age we shouldn't be promoting a part of our
history we're not proud of," she said.
The American Adventure includes an animatronics show taking the audience
through American history. It makes references to the Civil War, slavery and
abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass.
In the wake of last month's slaying of nine parishioners at a black
church in Charleston, S.C., the flag of the South in the Civil War is
undergoing new scrutiny.
It is viewed by many as a symbol of racism, though others argue it is a
part of history that represents their Southern heritage.
Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man charged in the Charleston church
shootings, was captured after a motorist spotted his Confederate license
plate. Images on a website created in his name months before the attacks
show him posing with the Confederate flag.
A bill is passing through South Carolina's Legislature that would remove
the flag from above a memorial on the State House grounds. Wal-Mart and
Amazon.com announced they would stop selling merchandise displaying the
"Stars and Bars." Alabama's governor has ordered Confederate flags removed
from a war memorial at the Capitol.
The banner is the second controversial object Disney World has removed
recently. On Tuesday, Disney said it is taking down a statue of disgraced
comedian Bill Cosby from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of
Fame Plaza at its Hollywood Studios theme park. Disney's decision came a day
after unsealed court documents revealed Cosby testified in 2005 he had
obtained quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women with whom he
wanted to have sex. More than two dozen women have alleged that Cosby
drugged and sexually assaulted them during four decades.
USA Today - It’s been a while since we’ve seen good ol’
Captain Jack, and it looks like the rascally pirate has been up to some good
for a change!
While in Australia filming the fifth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean,
Johnny Depp took some time to surprise patients at a children’s
hospital in Brisbane.
Dressed as his beloved character, Depp snapped selfies with some of his
Australian fans and even starred in Juiced TV, a show made by and for the
children in the hospital.
The hospital also posted an appreciative Facebook message full of
patient-and-pirate filled photos. Apparently, Depp and his co-star spent
more than three hours visiting, “making a real difference to sick kids and
their families in hospital!”
Forbes - Disney Infinity 3.0 will be released in the US on 30th
August and UK on 28th August 2015. Families eager to take advantage of
pre-order incentives should check the following facts to ensure they get the
right version for them:
Rise Against the Empire
Empire Play Set Availability
Starter Pack Owners Digital Download Option
Toy Free PC Version
Disney Infinity 1.0 and 2.0 Price Cut Value
1. Rise Against the Empire Availability
At launch you can only play the classic Episodes IV-VI (Rise Against the
Empire Play Set) adventures if you purchase the $114.99 Star Wars Saga
Bundle exclusively on PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. Also this is the only
route to access the Boba Fett figurine and character.
These will be available outside the Saga pack one month later — sometime
towards the end of September. While this favors PlayStation owners
initially, Xbox and
Nintendo players don’t have too long to
wait until they can catch up. Of course, theoretically, other platform
owners could buy the Star Wars Saga pack and then obtain the disc for their
system via another retail pack, but this would be costly.
The Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack features the Star Wars Twilight
of the Republic Play Set, the Disney Infinity 3.0 Video Game Software
and Base, Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker character figures, and a web
code card that unlocks content for PC and mobile devices
The Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Special Edition (exclusively for
PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3) features all of the above plus an
additional Boba Fett figure and get the Rise Against the Empire Play
If your family is eager to play the classic Star Wars episodes at launch
then the Saga pack is for you. The overall cost is higher, but this is
actually less than it would cost to purchase the different items separately
when they are available in September.
2. Disney Infinity 3.0 Game Only Upgrade
In the UK players with a
Disney Infinity 1.0 or 2.0 Starter Pack can purchase just the Disney
Infinity 3.0 Video Game disc, and then add either the Twilight of the
Republic Play Set or Inside Out Play Set separately and use the base they
In the US there is a Digital
Download version of the game that will be available at launch, as confirmed
by VP of Production on Disney Infinity John Vignocchi on
Twitter. It’s worth noting this because currently it is not listed on
Console online stores. Also, as there is no physical version in the US it’s
not visible at retail.
The official Disney Infinity page for the UK makes sure that
families are aware of the game-only option, stating “Do you already own a
previous Disney Infinity Starter Pack? Then the 3.0 Video Game
Software Disc with Twilight of the Republic Play set Bundle might be an
option for you.” However the page in the US has no mention of a game-only
This game-only route is also good for those who focus mainly on the Toy
Box world as it enables you to use any of the 3.0 figurines you own in the
game creation mode without the need to buy more expensive Play Sets.
It’s great to see the launch day digital download option, but it would be
good to see this better highlighted online (as it is for the UK) to ensure
families can make an informed pre-ordering choice.
3. Toy Free PC Version
If your family is mainly concerned with the on
screen action rather than the collectable figurines, the PC version of the
game offers a cheaper route to purchase. Better still you can download the
basic Toy Box experience for free to try things out. You can then purchase
different character and Play Set packs at a price that is far less than the
equivalent content on consoles.
Although we’ve not got a firm
date for the 3.0 version of Disney Infinity on PC, it’s likely to
follow not too long after the console release. In the meantime there is
plenty of 1.0 and 2.0 content to enjoy this really isn’t a problem. Another
limitation worth noting with the PC version is that it is only a single
4. Disney Infinity 1.0 and 2.0
As is generally true with shiny consumer products, last year’s versions
are usually cheaper having lost their shine. If you have not played Disney
Infinity 1.0 or 2.0 already there is still considerable value there at a low
entry price. In particular the original Disney Infinity 1.0 comes with three
Play Set adventures in the box.
At the time of writing you could get the original Disney Infinity
Starter Pack on PS3 for $27.99 on Amazon. Add a couple of matching figurines
on this, again available at a discount price, and you have a great package
at a fraction of the cost.
The strong upgrade routes Disney Infinity offers means that you
can jump on with the 3.0 experience at any point via the digital download,
re-using your existing Infinity Base USB peripheral
Disney Infinity 3.0 offers great value for families this year,
not least with a lower overall price point, no more blind packs and better
cross-over features on the Star Wars characters. With competitor products
like Lego Dimensions and Skylanders SuperChargers also
working the value angle, some research around the points I outline here is
important to identify the right route to purchase
Fortune - Disney officially released its Star Wars app on Android and iOS
Wednesday, full of information on the blockbuster franchise ahead of its
next installment set to debut this December.
Users are able to pull up interesting history and trivia facts as well as
a handful of silly features that will delight fans of all stripes–from a
selfie with Pricess Leia to exclusive interviews and lightsaber training.
But, clearly, the most useful feature of the app is to keep fans updated
on what’s going on with the media maelstrom around the release of “The Force
Awakens” and potentially other titles. Depending on your level of fandom,
you can set the app to either push you major alerts or read updates directly
in the app via a news ticker.
0.46%says the app will continue to grow and evolve with the
franchise. For now, you can check out the app’s features in the video below.
DisneyParks Blog - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! (Deck the Halls with Boughs of …)
Wait! It’s not holiday time yet, is it?
While it may not be time to unwrap presents quite yet, it’s time to let
you, our guests, start booking dinner packages for the 2015 Candlelight
Processional at Epcot.
Right now, in fact!
Regular readers know that I am a HUGE fan of the Candlelight
Processional, one of the most beloved holiday traditions part of Holidays
Around the World celebrations at Epcot.
The dramatic re-telling of the Christmas story with celebrity narrators
like Neil Patrick Harris and Whoopi Goldberg; the spectacular mass choir
singing traditional and contemporary Christmas songs; the swelling sounds of
the Walt Disney World orchestra — I love it all.
This year’s event runs nightly at The America Gardens Theater at Epcot
from November 27 to December 30.
We also have a sneak peek at some of our narrators from this year. Here’s
the list so far: (Entertainment and times subject to change)
11/27 – 11/29 — TBA
11/30 – 12/3 — Neil Patrick Harris
12/4 – 12/5 — Whoopi Goldberg
12/6 – 12/8 — Joe Morton
12/9 – 12/11 — TBA
12/12 – 12/14 — Meredith Vieira
12/15 – 12/16 — TBA
12/17 – 12/18 — TBA
12/19 – 12/20 — TBA
12/21 – 12/23 — TBA
12/24 – 12/26 — Edward James Olmos
12/27 – 12/28 — TBA
12/29 – 12/30 — Amy Grant
The Candlelight Processional is presented three times per night at the
American Gardens Theater at Epcot. Show times are 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15
Dining packages include appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic
beverage at select Epcot full-service restaurants (or one full buffet where
applicable), and guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional. Dining
packages do not include park admission.
For Dining Reservations that include preferred Candlelight Processional
Seating, please call Disney Dining at 407-WDW-DINE.
For more information on Holidays Around the World at Epcot and the
Candlelight Processional or to make reservations for a Candlelight
Processional dinner package, check out disneyworld.com/holidays. And check
back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on who fills those last coveted
slots in our narrator lineup.
*Dining packages are not available on Sunday, December 6, at 5:00 pm.
- Today Disney announced an August 30 release date for the Star Wars-themed
Infinity 3.0 starter pack, but anyone who has invested in one of
the annual toys-meet-games titles knows that the starter pack is just the
Were it only
the $64.99 price tag for the starter, which includes the “Twilight of the
Republic Play Set” with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano figures.
PlayStation 4 owners can also opt for the Star Wars Saga bundle, which
includes the chance to play the “Rise Against the Empire” playset earlier
than most with Anakin, Ahsoka, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Boba Fett
for $114 or so.
So that’s the
base game. It’ll also be available for digital download for folks that
already have Infinity portals platforms, which explains why Anakin, Ahsoka
and the “Twilight of the Republic” playset are also available in a
(not to be confused with capital “S” Solo) available on launch day include
the fab four from Star Wars: Rebels, Sabine the
Mandalorian graffiti artist and those other three less important guys.
Disney proper will represent with Mickey, Minnie, Mulan,
Olaf, and the physical release of Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tr0n
Probably Should Have Stayed Dead.
From Disney-Pixar’s Inside-Out, a movie that
made me cry for 30 minutes straight until the cat bit, we get a special
playset pack featuring Joy and Anger, with Sadness, Disgust and Fear sold
Finally there’ll be a four-pack of Power Discs featuring
a Tomorrowland theme.
So let’s see,
using Target prices as an example, getting everything at launch (not
counting the special PS4 set) is $64.99 for the starter plus one adventure
pack at $34.99, 13 figures at $13.99 apiece and $9.99 for the Power Discs.
That’s $291.84. Mind you many major retailers hold special launch day sales
(buy one, get one 50 percent off happens a lot), so plan your shopping
Reuters - The
Walt Disney Co has won a 30-year renewal of a special tax exemption for
visitors to its attractions in Anaheim, California, as part of a planned $1
billion-plus expansion of the famed theme park complex there.
The five-member City Council voted
3-2 early Wednesday to approve the company's proposal to go ahead with its
Disneyland Resort makeover in exchange for a continued waiver of any future
admissions tax the city might impose on entertainment venues.
The resort's current exemption was
granted by the city in 1996 and was due to expire on June 30, 2016.
No entertainment gate tax has ever
been levied by the city of Anaheim, but an extension of Disney's special
waiver would reimburse the company for any such taxes imposed during the
next three decades.
Disney and its supporters said the exemption is merited because of the
huge economic benefit Anaheim derives from the resort, which is the largest
employer in the city and Orange County as a whole, accounting for 28,000
The three hotels Disney operates
within its resort and surrounding hotels that cater to theme park visitors
also generate roughly $110 million a year in "transient occupancy" tax
revenues paid to Anaheim, according to the city.
Mayor Tom Tait, a City Council member who backed the original tax
exemption, had opposed extending it, citing an estimated $500 million in
unfunded pension obligations now faced by the city.
"Chaining the hands of future residents on their ability to impose taxes
will jeopardize the city's financial health," he was quoted as saying in the
Orange County Register.
Both supporters and opponents packed the Tuesday hearing, which stretched
into the early hours of Wednesday.
Disney's plan calls for breaking ground by the end of 2017 and finishing
construction by 2024. A study commissioned by Disney projected the project
would support an average of 2,600 local jobs a year and lead to creation of
2,100 permanent jobs.
The company has not specified
whether Disneyland itself or the adjacent Disney California Adventure park,
or both, would be enlarged, or what new attractions might be added. The
project is to include a new 5,000-space parking structure.
Disneyland's original theme park
opened to the public in 1955. No admission tax is currently collected at any
Disney park in the world, company spokeswoman Suzi Brown said.
TIME - The
first film in the new Star Wars franchise isn’t even out yet, and already
details are emerging about more of them.
On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter
wrote that Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, the duo that directed The
Lego Movie, are working on a Han Solo origin film set to be released in
2018 as part of the Star Wars anthology series.
Disney, which bought LucasFilm in 2012 for $4
billion, confirmed the movie, in a statement with comments from the
directors: “We pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters
who mean so much to us,” said Miller and Lord.
The Han Solo movie will be part of a standalone anthology series, the
first of which, Rogue One, comes out in 2016. Separately, the first
film in the new trilogy, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, comes out
in December of this year.
As THR notes, the Han Solo news should be candy to big Star Wars
fans for a number of personal details about who is involved. Miller, who
will-co-direct, interned at LucasFilm when he was younger and, at one point,
even put on a Stormtrooper costume at George Lucas’s request. Meanwhile, the
screenplay is being written by father-son team Jon and Lawrence Kasdan—the
latter, 66, co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the
Jedi, as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, which starred
Harrison Ford, who played the original Han Solo.
The Washington Post - A major Disney theme park is removing a likeness of
Bill Cosby after this week’s revelation that the comedian provided drugs to
women with whom he wished to have sex.
Hollywood Studios is a Disney theme park near Orlando — the eighth most
popular park in the world, by one industry measure. Formerly Disney-MGM
Studios, it opened in 1989.
“The World you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is
dedicated to Hollywood — not a place on a map, but a state of mind that
exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion
and reality are fused by technological magic,” reads an inscription signed
by Disney chief executive Michael Eisner in 1989. “We welcome you to a
Hollywood that never was — and always will be.”
In pursuit of that dream, the park began erecting busts of popular
entertainers inducted into the East Coast Hall of Fame of the Academy of
Television Arts and Sciences. Cosby was inducted in 1992, and his visage
joined the likes of Carol Burnett, Sid Caesar, Mary
Tyler Moore, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, Milton Berle and Walt Disney.
“I’ve never had a statue before,” Cosby said at the time. “And what I
want to make sure is that the face on the statue I feel is really my face.
And then I want to make sure that they don’t make my stomach too big.”
But now — in the wake of Cosby’s recent legal catastrophe — the
comedian’s bust will come down. Disney announced the statue would be removed
after the park closed Tuesday night, offering no explanation, as the Orlando
The statue, however, was the target of a family member of one of Cosby’s
alleged victims: Linda Traitz, who said Cosby offered her a briefcase full
of drugs before assaulting her in 1969. (Cosby has denied the charge.)
“It had assorted sections in it, with pills and tablets in it, different
colors arranged and assorted into compartments,” Traitz told The Washington
Post in an interview last year. “He offered me pills and said it would help
me to relax, and I kept refusing but he kept offering.”
Months ago, Brittany Gavrilova, Traitz’s niece, started a Change.org
petition denouncing the statue.
“In light of recent circumstances it is prudent that the bust of actor
Bill Cosby be removed from Disney’s Florida theme park,” the petition read.
“The Disney name is synonymous with family-friendly entertainment and with
Mr. Cosby in the media daily facing accusations of sexual assault with the
number of victims ever-climbing, it is inappropriate for Disney Parks to
have a replica of Mr. Cosby’s likeness on display.”
Though the petition garnered fewer than 300 signatures, Gavrilova looked
forward to a win as the park prepared to bring the statue down.
“I just got word that the Disney company has heard our petiton [sic] and
due to recent developments in the Cosby saga a decision regarding the bust
is pending!” she added. “Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed for a
In a television interview, Gavrilova elaborated further on why she wanted
the statue gone.
“He has no place in Disney,” she told WKMG 6 in Orlando. “It’s not a
place for a predator. To see the bust of Bill Cosby as a hero on a pedestal
in Disney after the family history, and we know of what had happened to my
aunt all those years ago, it’s hurtful.”
Cosby’s bust is not the first — nor will it be the last — likeness to be
attacked by those it offends. Recent examples: A statue of Penn State head
coach Joe Paterno came down in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia
scandal in 2012; a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes came down at
the University of Cape Town in South Africa in 2015, and Confederate statues
have been vandalized in the wake of the shooting at a black church in
Charleston, S.C., last month.
As a student who called for removal of a statue of Jefferson Davis at the
University of Texas at Austin told the Huffington Post: “Statues are [a]
means to memorialize and glorify the ideals and values of whomever they
LA Times - It seems appropriate that the new Avatar Land coming to
Disney's Animal Kingdom will be located in an area of the Florida theme park
originally set aside for a never-built land devoted to mythical and
Instead of a Beastly Kingdom dedicated to dragons, unicorns and sea
creatures, the otherworldly Avatar Land debuting in 2017 at the Walt Disney
World park will be populated by blue-skinned Na'vi people, bioluminescent
trees and flying banshees from the 2009 "Avatar" movie.
The new themed land will be tied to a trio of sequels continuing the
story set forth in the highest-grossing film of all time. James Cameron, who
directed, wrote and produced the original science fiction epic, promises
Avatar Land will let visitors "live, eat, breathe and smell Pandora."
During a recent visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I found most of Avatar
Land hidden behind construction walls in the former Camp Minnie-Mickey area
between the Africa and Oasis sections of the park. The framework of a large
show building surrounded by towering cranes can be seen rising from nearby
Avatar Land will take over a location once occupied by the Disney
character meet-and-greet area and the "Festival of the Lion King" show,
which has been relocated to a new theater.
The alien land's marquee attraction will be an E-Ticket banshee flight
simulator similar to Soarin' at Epcot and Soarin' Over California at Disney
California Adventure. Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who is spearheading the
project, says the new ride system will be "considerably more thrilling" than
the original Soarin'.
A D-Ticket indoor boat ride similar to Pirates of the Caribbean will take
riders on a river journey through the illuminated forest of Pandora.
DisneyParks Blog - The votes are in and Travel + Leisure readers
have spoken. We’re excited to share that for the seventh consecutive year,
readers have recognized Disney Cruise Line as the #1 Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise
Line for Families in the 2015 World’s Best Awards. We’re also overjoyed that
they ranked Disney Cruise Line as the Top Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line
overall for the second time in a row!
Readers who participated in this year’s survey rated cruise ships on the
quality of cabins, food, itineraries and excursions — in addition to value.
It’s always an honor to be named the best of the best by our guests and
DisneyParks Blog - As a southerner who was born and raised
outside of Atlanta, GA, there’s nothing I love more than a perfectly brewed
glass of iced tea—sweet, of course! Soon, I’ll be expanding my tea palate
and exploring a variety of loose leaf teas from The Tea Traders Café by
Joffrey’s, a brand-new tea café joining other new venues in The Landing, the
first of four planned neighborhoods coming to Downtown Disney as it
transitions into Disney Springs.
Whether you enjoy your tea stepped hot, iced, blended, spirited or even
edible (yes, they’ll be serving delicious tea-based cookies and treats),
there’s a tea for you.
If you’re like me and have a lot to learn about tea, be
sure to engage with the onsite Tea Smith who hand-blends loose leaf and
herbal teas and can discuss tea selections if you’re unsure what to order.
Modeled after a 1940s warehouse setting, this
modern-meets-Old World tea café will feature teas from the finest tea
gardens around the globe. Joffrey’s CEO Ted Abrams promises “complex flavor
profiles” and hopes to “introduce guests to the vast world of tea that
cannot be found in local grocers.” Based on all I’ve heard, I’m ready for my
The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s is now open in the heart of Downtown
Disney. For the latest real-time updates on openings and new offerings,
follow Downtown Disney on Twitter at @WDWDowntown.
LA Times - Walt Disney Co. is preparing to launch a new line of smart toys,
called Playmation, that relies on a system of interconnected devices to put
users in the middle of the action.
It's a marriage of digital and traditional playthings, and one that
requires a bit of explanation to understand.
So before it debuts in October, the company will give consumers a chance
to demo Playmation in an experience that will introduce the complex toy to
children - and more importantly, retail experts say - to their parents.
Disney will offer immersive demos of Playmation at 90 of its namesake
stores in North America starting Saturday. Participants will be able to try
out the system for up to 30 minutes, playing against Disney Store workers
and other consumers.
"Disney's strategy is genius on two fronts," said Jason Moser, an analyst
at the Motley Fool.
"It actually gives them a chance to educate parents and kids about the
toys in real time," he said. "In the process, they are in the Disney Store;
what's to stop you from buying more stuff on the way out?"
The free demos are to be held on Saturday and Sunday mornings before the
Playmation will launch with a line of "Avengers"-themed toys that
includes a plastic Iron Man "repulsor" glove worn by players. A starter
pack, which will retail for $119.99, also comes with four other smart toys,
including two action figures.
Users who wear the glove will be guided on missions that allow them to
jump, duck, dive and run around. A free app will allow their progress to be
Playmation is aimed squarely at a new generation of children who have
been weaned on digital devices and are fluent in all things tech-centric.
Their parents, however, may not be so savvy.
Toy makers know that there is no better way to illustrate a product's
features - and win over befuddled moms or dads - than by letting them watch
their children play with it, analysts said.
"If you see your kid having a lot of fun with a toy like that, our first
inclination is to make our kids happy," Moser said. "It shuts down all
rational decision-making, and they just buy it."
Other companies have utilized in-store demos to help educate consumers
about their smart toys. When Activision launched Skylanders, a line of video
games that also incorporates action figures, it put on events "everywhere,"
said Laurie Schacht, co-publisher of the Toy Insider, a toy reviews website.
"They did numerous demos to get kids into stores," she said. "The first
time kids saw the toys come to life was a big deal."
Disney's demos are especially important because the Playmation toys are
pricey, Schacht said.
"It could be one of the hot toys for the holidays; the one downside is
the high price point," she said.
Elissa Margolis, senior vice president of Disney Store North America,
said putting Playmation in the hands of would-be customers would "really
help to show the power of what can be experienced."
"It is different from anything out there that is in the market," she
Margolis said that Disney did not believe that consumers were required to
use Playmation in order to understand it. To that end, Disney Stores will
feature two shorter demos that allow a user to do things such as try on the
"repulsor" glove, but not actually play a full mission. Those stripped-down
demos will be offered at Disney Stores during normal operating hours and do
not require advance registration.
By October, the full-fledged demos - which require participants to sign
up ahead of time on a Disney website - will be made available in 100 of the
company's roughly 210 stores.
That retail infrastructure allows Burbank-based Disney to offer a service
that few competitors can match, experts said.
"Retailers typically don't educate parents; it really falls on the toy
manufacturers," Schacht said. "But because it's Disney they can take
advantage of the stores they own."
In the Los Angeles area, Disney Stores in Glendale, Sherman Oaks, Santa
Monica, Brea and Montebello will offer the demo program. Online sign-ups
The 30-minute demo will allow participants to play a special mission
tailored for Disney Stores that allows them to roam around the shuttered
retail outlets. The demo will also take advantage of the theaters that most
of the participating stores include. Disney Store employees dressed in
special "Avengers" lab coats will get in on the action.
Playmation was developed over a roughly three-year period. Disney
declined to disclose the costs associated with creating it.
Since 2013, Margolis said that the company had discussed ways to offer an
engaging demo of Playmation in its stores, which are part of the
company's Consumer Products and Interactive Media business unit.
The demo plan has "evolved over time as the product has evolved," she
Playmation, which was developed in collaboration with Hasbro, isn't
Disney's first foray into a product that merges digital and more traditional
The company has found success in recent years with "Disney Infinity," a
video game that incorporates physical toys into the on-screen action. The
game, which is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and other platforms, was
released in 2013 after a development process that cost Disney about $100
Margolis said Disney Stores had previously been used to offer demos of
"Disney Infinity," allowing consumers to get a better feel for the video
The stores are also regularly home to other events, among them gatherings
for special releases of new products and get-togethers centered on holidays
Parents bringing their children to the Playmation demo events will be
able to preorder the system in the stores. They'll also be able to peruse
other Disney merchandise. But Margolis said that generating sales of other
products is not a goal of the demo program.
"This is really about getting them to understand the Playmation product,"
Still, Disney could very well see a sales bump from the extra traffic,
"Once parents are in the store, maybe they'll get a T-shirt or get a
watch too," Moser said. "Disney will realize some incremental sales."
The demo events are scheduled to run through October.
ComingSoon - Following the just-announced news that directors Phil Lord
and Chirs Miller will direct a Han Solo spin-off movie, Birth.Movies.Death
reports that none other than Darth Vader will appear in the first solo
“Star Wars” movie, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. The site reveals that
Vader will not be the primary antagonist of the film but will be “behind
the scenes, pulling strings” and will literally appear onscreen via a viewscreen
or holo projection.
The first in the “Star Wars Anthology” series of spin-off films,
Rogue One will follow a rogue band of resistance fighters united to
steal the Death Star plans and bring new hope to the galaxy. “It’s the
reality of war. Good guys are bad. Bad guys are good,” director Gareth
Edwards said at Star Wars Celebration.
John Knoll, the Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor who
currently serves as chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic,
is executive producing the film along with Simon Emanuel (The Dark
Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the
Worlds). Kathleen Kennedy and Tony To (“Band of Brothers,” “The
Pacific”) are on board to produce with John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force
Awakens) attached to co-produce. It was also recently confirmed that
Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The King’s Speech) will be
providing the score.
Starring Felicity Jones as a rebel soldier along with Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler),
Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman), Diego Luna and Ben Mendelsohn (The
Dark Knight Rises), Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is set for release on
December 16, 2016.
Disney News - Chef Arts Florida Fish Camp is coming to Disney Springs in
2016 according to restauranteur Charles Arthur Smith.
Noted on Smith's Facebook page, "very excited about the planning of Chef
Arts Florida Fish Camp at the new Disney Springs opening next Spring at Walt
Disney World. I've dreamed since I was a kid working there in 1980 that I
return to the most magical place on Earth. I am very excited to welcome you
ComingSoon - Disney has been having a lot of success lately with live-action
adaptations of some classic fairy tales, many of which the studio famously
and previously adapted in animated form. Some, like Kenneth Branagh’s recent
Cinderella, have offered direct adaptations while others, like Tim Burton’s
Alice in Wonderland, have served as quasi-sequels. Then there’s cases like
Robert Stromberg’s Maleficent where the story is retold from a new
perspective. It sounds like it’s that latter approach that Walt Disney
Pictures is after today as The Hollywood Reporter brings word that a Prince
Charming movie is in the works at the studio.
Originally scripted by Matt Fogel (who previously served as assistant to
Phil Lord and Chris Miller on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), the Prince
Charming movie script was picked up by Disney today with the trade only
going so far as to say that Fogel’s script offers a “revisionist take.”
Prince Charming, the archetypal fairytale hero, has actually been brought
to the big screen by Disney a few times in recent months. Richard Madden
played the Prince in the Branagh film while Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen
played dueling iterations of the role (one Rapunzel’s Prince and one
Cinderella’s Prince) in Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods.
The Prince Charming movie joins a number of live-action Disney fairy tale
films heading to the big screen. Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book hits theaters
April 15, 2016 with the aforementioned Beauty and the Beast following on
March 17, 2017. After that, plans call for a Tim Burton-directed Dumbo and
new live-action versions of Winnie the Pooh, Mulan, Pinnochio and more. There’s
also a sequel to Alice in Wonderland on
the way with Alice Through the Looking Glass (arriving
May 27, 2016), reports of one for Maleficent in development as well
and a live-action Peter Pan spinoff, Tink, set to star Reese Witherspoon as
the iconic fairy.
DisneyParks Blog - Today is Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival in
Japanese culture. This holiday celebrates the one day of the year that two
loves, Altair the Cowherd and Vega the Weaver, were allowed by the king to
be together. The rest of the year they are separated by the Milky Way. In
Japan, many festivals take place to celebrate Tanabata—in fact, Tokyo
Disneyland celebrates the festival with a parade lead by Mickey and Minnie.
Today at Walt Disney World Resort. Tanabata is being celebrated in the
Japan pavilion at Epcot. Cast members wear traditional Kimono, and in the
afternoon guests are invited to write their wishes on slips of colorful
paper and place them on a bamboo tree in the Mitsukoshi department store.
Continue the celebration at Tokyo Dining, where you can share a meal—and
some drinks from the new beverage menu—with a loved one.
Recently, I had the chance to catch up with Garin Williamson, beverage
manager for Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo, who walked me through the new
beverage menu. With a focus on natural, fresh ingredients, these drinks have
a distinct Japanese flair.
For a “hands-on” experience, try the Shochu Squeeze: choose grapefruit,
lemon or orange to hand-squeeze into a glass of clean, crisp shochu for the
There are many ways to sample sake—choose from a new carafe or masu
box—purposely overflowed to show generosity—or try the Junmai Sake Flight, a
sampling of three premium sake: Junmai, Junmai Ginjyo, and Junmai Daiginjyo.
On a hot day, cool down with the Sake Mojito with sake, shochu, Japanese
shiso herb and fresh mint, or go for something tropical like the Okinawa
Beach with gold tequila, blue curacao, pineapple juice, sour mix and calpico.
Tea lovers will enjoy the Green Tea Martini with honey-infused matcha tea
Celebrate Tanabata today with your loved ones or next time you visit the
Japan pavilion at Epcot. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or
Deadline Hollywood - In what is becoming a year of record speed to box
office mile-markers for many of the majors, Disney has crossed $3B
worldwide. The studio actually hit $3B earlier this week on June 30,
significantly outpacing last year’s record which was set on August 5.
The total worldwide box office as of today is $3.086B
The June 30 milestone came five days after Disney crossed $1B domestic —
that one achieved in a record 174 days on June 25, beating the 188-day
previous record set on July 8, 2012.
This is the 6th consecutive year
Disney has reached $3B global and the 9th time ever for the studio. Box
office for Disney has been notably led in 2015 by Avengers: Age Of
Ultron, Cinderella and Inside Out.
Those films breakdown thusly: Ultron – $1,383.5M ($454.2M
domestic, $929.3M intl.); Cinderella – $540M ($200M domestic,
$340M intl.); Inside Out – $363.46M ($246.16M domestic, $117.3M
intl.). Ultron notably added $6.5M in its Japanese bow this
frame — a two-day score that bested the start of 2012’s Avengers
by 60% in the market. Inside Out for its part, had an estimated
Still to come, Disney unleashes Marvel’s Ant-Man into the
world beginning July 14 and still has Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur
and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens among key releases
over the next several months. The lauded Inside Out is
currently playing in only 45% of the international marketplace, meaning
it has many more hearts and minds to conquer.
Orlando Sentinel - Fast Fire'd Pizza is planning a larger concept
restaurant at the Walt Disney World Resort property, with 5,000 square
feet and seating for 200 diners.
Downtown Disney is getting a fast casual pie joint when Blaze Fast
Fire'd Pizza opens at the shopping district in May 2016.
The restaurant, which already has a location near the University of
Central Florida, is planning a larger concept restaurant at the Walt
Disney World Resort property, with 5,000 square feet and seating for 200
The new restaurant comes as Disney prepares to convert the property
from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs and add several new restaurants,
such as the recently opened the Boathouse, and renovations to others
such as Planet Hollywood.
"True to Disney's high standards, we are building an amazing flagship
restaurant that will include interesting architectural elements, great
service and fantastic meals," said Rick Wetzel, co-founder of Blaze
Pizza in a statement.
DisneyParks Blog - Disney
fans, do I have an exciting tip for you! On July 16, look for a special
commemorative birthday collection to debut at select locations as part
of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. The collection will
include adult tees, a mug, magnet, keychain, button set with zipper
pouch, toothpick holder as well as a pin. Most items will feature the
July 17, 1955, and July 17, 2015, dates. As you can see the navy blue
tee, has a gothic ‘D’ screened on the front with the birthday collection
logo on the back. Tip: This particular t-shirt will come in the
commemorative cinch bag seen here. Take a look!
Also debuting as part of the
collection will be a teal, foil embellished ladies logo tee and grey
‘D60’ tee for men.
Disneyland Resort Annual
Passholders, keep an eye out for a t-shirt designed just for you! This
light-blue birthday collection logo tee features a silver-screened ‘60’
and an Annual Passholder name drop. Tip: This tee also comes in a
commemorative cinch bag.
If you’re wondering about the
pins, keep watching here; I’ll be covering all of the details on pins
releasing this July very soon.
The birthday collection will
be available to purchase at the following locations, while supplies
last: Emporium and Star Trader in Disneyland park; Elias & Co. in Disney
California Adventure park; and World of Disney in the Downtown Disney
District, Shopping Tip: The magnet, keychain and button set will only be
available at Disneyland park locations (Emporium and Star Trader).
Not able to make it to the
Disneyland Resort? Look for a special online opportunity to purchase the
birthday collection logo tee with cinch bag and Annual Passholder tee
with cinch bag, available for a limited time only, July 17-23 at
Orange County Register - Blaine Gibson, who as a Disney imagineer
sculpted pirates to presidents, has died, the Walt Disney Family Museum
said in a statment. He was 97.
Gibson started his career with Disney
as an in-betweener, an artist who draws the frames between the key ones
illustrarted by the head artist, and an assistant animator.
He worked on such classic films as “Fantasia,” “Bambi” and “Peter
Pan.” While working at the Disney Studios, he took evening classes in
sculpture at Pasadena City College.
At one point, Walt Disney saw some of his sculptures and assigned him
to the Disneyland project.
Eventually, he became the head of the sculpture department for WED
Enterprises, the precursor to Walt Disney Imagineering.
He sculpted figures such as Abraham Lincoln for the 1964 New York
World’s Fair, which ended up as the centerpiece for Disneyland’s Great
Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction, and dozens of audio-animatronic
pirates for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Other Disneyland attractions he worked on included the Haunted
Mansion and the Enchanted Tiki Room.
“Blaine Gibson was one of the most important storytellers among all
the great talents on Walt Disney’s team of imagineers,” said Marty Sklar,
former vice chairman of Walt Disney Imagineering. “He showed all of us
how to make our Disney park show characters so realistic you never had
to guess the role of any three-dimensional figure in our attractions.”
After his 1983 retirement, he continued to consult and sculpt for
Disney, including continuing his tradition of sculpting U.S. presidents.
He sculpted every one of the audio-animatronics for Walt Disney World’s
Hall of Presidents up to George W. Bush.
Gibson was also commissioned to sculpt “Partners,” the iconic statue
of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse that went up in 1993 at the north end of
Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland. The bronze statue has become a
popular backdrop for photos by the park’s guests.
Others sculptures he did included Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain and
Will Rogers for the American Adventure Pavilion at EPCOT.
In 1993, Gibson was named a Disney Legend, the company’s highest
Gibson, who lived in Montecito, is survived by his son, Wes, who
lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and son. Gibson was preceded in
death by his wife, Coral.
DisneyParks Blog - With the start of a new month, I’m excited to
highlight a few new shirts coming to the Disney Parks online store.
Guests can order these limited release shirts by visiting
DisneyStore.com/ParksEvents during the following dates in July. Please
allow 3-5 weeks for delivery.
This month marks the start of a new series of companion T-shirts
featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. For July, Mickey and Minnie are
covered in sparkling lights for a salute to the Main Street Electrical
Parade. Look for new companion tees each month with nods to other
classic Disney attractions, shows and experiences (the EPCOT Center ones
Celebrate 60 years of Disneyland Resort with this commemorative “Day Of”
T-shirt for this milestone anniversary on July 17. We will also release
the second shirt – Dumbo the Flying Elephant – in our original
Disneyland park attraction series that day. Please note that the images
above contain concept artwork for these two shirts.
Fox 13 - The Disney actor who won hearts as “Gaston” has died in
a fireworks incident over the weekend.
According to the state Department of Public Safety, 22-year-old
Devon Staples placed a fireworks mortar tube on his head and set
He died instantly after the firework exploded.
WCSH reported Staples and his friends were drinking at the time
of the incident.
It reportedly happened in the backyard of one of Staples’
friend’s homes in Calais, Maine.
The NY Daily News said Staples’ brother Cody told officers Devon
was joking around with the firework and lighter when it
“There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon
left when I got there,” Cody told the Daily News. “It was a
freak accident … But Devon was not the kind of person who would
do something stupid. He was the kind of person who would pretend
to do something stupid to make people laugh.”
Devon was living in Orlando, Florida, where he worked at Disney
Officials say this is the first fireworks-attributed death in
Maine since they were legalized two years ago.
It was revealed on Monday that Staples, who lived in
Orlando, used to work as Beauty and the Beast character “Gaston”
at Walt Disney World.
He was most recently working as a dog walker.
One of Devon’s friends, who identified herself as Kara, posted a
video of Staples performing as “Gaston.”
DisneyParks Blog - We all have a favorite host from ABC’s “The Chew” –
superstars Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Daphne
Oz each have a special way of sharing their culinary know-how on the
Emmy-Award-winning lifestyle series. And for the first time in the show’s
history, these dynamic hosts are leaving the Manhattan studio to tape shows
October 7, 8, and 9 from the 20th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine
Festival at Epcot. The five festival episodes will air October 12-16.
Shows will be taped before a live audience (visit thechew.com for
information on how to obtain tickets), and we’re sure the hosts will be all
over Walt Disney World Resort discovering remarkable dining finds, getting a
taste of innovative, fun and healthful eats – the best the vacation kingdom
has to offer.
Along with the taping of the show, “The Chew” will be featured in two
marketplaces throughout the festival’s 53-day celebration from September
25-November 16, helping celebrate 20 delicious years. For the first time in
the festival’s history, marketplaces will expand into Future World in the
new Next Eats festival area with three delicious dishes
from “The Chew” in their Sustainable Chew Marketplace:
Savory Pork Spareribs with Cheesy Mascarpone Grits; Ricotta & Zucchini
Ravioli with Tomato Sauce, and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Figs and
Pistachio Brittle. (Herbs and veggies from The Land pavilion will flavor the
marketplace dishes when harvested.) The eco-home-inspired marketplace will
offer a chance for guests to learn more about how food is grown and the
importance of sustainability.
Also in Next Eats, Disney chefs are collaborating with “The Chew” for the
Chew Lab, a cutting-edge marketplace inspired by
food-science labs and the hottest culinary tech trends.
“The Chew” airs on ABC Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. EST, noon CST. For
updates on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, visit
epcotfoodfestival.com throughout the summer.
DisneyParks Blog - So you’re not
able to be at Walt Disney World Resort for the Fourth of July but you want
to celebrate the holiday in Disney style? Well, the Disney Parks Blog has
you covered. We are excited to announce that the Magic Kingdom Park July 4th
fireworks show will stream ‘live’ at 9 p.m. EDT right here on the Disney
Join us as “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert In The
Sky” paints the sky red, white and blue and fills the air with patriotic
music. This special show features perimeter fireworks launched from around
Magic Kingdom Park and an island in Seven Seas Lagoon.
To make sure you have the best view in the house we are providing two
live cameras for you to choose from. One camera in front of Cinderella
Castle and the other near Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to take in the
entire perimeter spectacular. Guests viewing from their desktop will be able
to switch between the two cameras during the show. Those ‘on the go’ and
joining us on mobile devices, will be able to take in the live view from the
The live feed starts at 8:50 p.m. on the Disney Parks Blog, with the
fireworks show beginning at 9 p.m.
We are excited to offer this unique opportunity and hope you join us as
we celebrate this great nation Disney style.
DisneyParks Blog - The final phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas &
Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at the Walt Disney World
Resort opened today, marking the completion of all 360 Deluxe Villas at the
I recently had the opportunity to stay in one of the resort’s Deluxe
Studios and it was truly a fantastic experience. During my stay, I zipped
over to Epcot via the monorail and made it back in time to watch the Magic
Kingdom Park fireworks from the resort. I strolled along the resort’s beach
area and tested out room service (late-night pizza was fantastic, but not as
yummy as eating Tonga Toast in bed the next morning). At Disney’s Polynesian
Village Resort I took my son on his first pontoon boat ride on Seven Seas
Lagoon, spoiled his lunch by getting him a Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai
and sampled drinks on the outdoor patio of the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.
In addition to the resort’s unbeatable location and fun amenities, the
features within our Villa make this my favorite Disney Vacation Club Deluxe
Studio to date. We especially enjoyed the spacious split bath design, the
hidden pull-down bunk-size bed and the kitchenette (the fridge would have
been perfect for our leftover take-out pizza, had we not polished the whole
thing off right away).
Want to see more? Take a tour of this unique accommodation in this video.
Jalopnik - If you’ve ever been on Space Mountain at Disney, you
just know deep down that if you stuck your arm out, your limbs would get
chopped off by one of those rafters flying by. Except it doesn’t. No one’s
limbs ever get chopped off. This weird looking device is how Disney makes
sure it doesn’t happen.
In a post about
the banning of selfie sticks on reddit’s r/offbeat, a user claiming
to be a Disney employee under the nom-de-plume
EnglishMobster noted that this is the only real way companies have to be
sure that you and your unusually long-necked family won’t get your heads
We have a thing called the “Envelope of Protection.”
Basically, all attractions made since 1965 are designed in such a way that
the human body cannot reach out and touch anything — here’s a vehicle they
use to test this (that’s from Walt Disney World in Florida, but California
uses the same concepts). This means that when a rollercoaster is going 45
MPH, you can have your hands out and you won’t get hit (it’s not a good idea
to test that, however — we do tell you to keep your hands and arms
inside the vehicle at all times).
As you can see from the video, it’s basically a big
spindly disc that simulates the furthest possible reach even the most
orangutan-shaped human could muster. If it can make it through the ride, you
can (most likely) make it through the ride.
Not all “envelopes of protection” look like this,
though. Some look like this, though they’re generally all built
around the same concept.
EnglishMobster went on to talk more about why selfie sticks are now banned
at theme parks, which mostly boils down to the fact you are all idiots who
can’t be trusted not to bring them onto the ride no matter how many times
people tell you not to do it.
there’s huge matters of good taste here, since selfie sticks are the new
Crocs and Socks combo.
But that last
part is actually just my personal opinion.