Friday, July 01, 2016

New Pin Quest at Magic Kingdom

OK, so this came out of nowhere (at least, for me).

There is a new Pin Quest/scavenger pin hunt at the Magic Kingdom.

The game works like this: You purchase an Adventure Starter kit ($14.99) from one of six participating shops -- Fantasy Faire in Fantasyland, Big Top Souvenirs at Storybook Circus in Fantasyland, Briar Patch in Frontierland, Frontier Trading Post in Frontierland, Curtain Call Collectibles on Main Street U.S.A. and Tomorrowland Light & Power Co.

Each starter kit includes a lanyard, the decoder medal and a pouch for clue cards.

There are six total clue cards, one for each participating shop. Each card is sold separately ($9.99 each) and contains a question with the answer somewhere in the participating store.

Once solved, the ticket on the bottom of each clue card can be traded in for a limited-edition PinQuest pin.

It's good to see them back to doing something special with pins. Many years ago, they had this type of pin scavenger hunt almost once a year. We've collected at least 2 or 3 sets of such hunt, and even had a laugh because we had to go hunt for pins at the old ABC Wide World of Sport, and got us to go to where we don't normally go at the WDW property.

Whether this is the beginning of a renewed effort to revive pin trading at WDW is still in question. Pins and pin collecting are dying, no thanks to Disney's lack of effort and support.


"Wreck-It Ralph" Getting A Sequel

It's official. "Wreck-It Ralph" will be getting a sequel, to be released on March 19, 2018.

In Wreck-It Ralph 2, Reilly will once more return to voice video game villain Wreck-It Ralph, who in the first film had to reconcile his archetype of arcade boss with his real desire to become a hero. Concept art released during the announcement on Facebook Live shows Ralph going digital, standing with sidekick Vanellope over billboards parodying Google and Amazon.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Happy Birthday, Shanghai Disney Resort!

Today, Disney gives birth to Shanghai Disney Resort. So Happy Birthday!

Video of the Opening Ceremony:

Video of the evening Gala Performance:


Thursday, June 09, 2016

DVC Lounge at Epcot

The first photo from our group of friends from inside the DVC Lounge at the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot (thanks Jan and Wally!).


Opening of Shanghai Disneyland To Be Shown On TV

The grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland will be shown on TV next week.

Fans can catch the event at 8 p.m. June 16 in a simulcast on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. The half-hour program repeats at 10 p.m. June 17 on Freeform.

I wonder if they'll also show the guests trampling all over the grounds, littering, or pooping in the flower beds? :)


Friday, May 27, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sneak Peak At "Soarin' Around The World"

This is a sneak peak at "Soarin's Around the World". This is something I am very much looking forward to on my next visit, more than "Frozen Ever After".


Tokyo Disneyland Resort 2

More photos from Tokyo Disneyland Resort.

The castle, which is almost identical to Cinderella Castle at WDW's Magic Kingdom.

This is from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Tokyo Disneyland Resort 1

Thanks to Ralph for the series of photos from Tokyo as he toured the area right at this moment.

A few of these photos didn't have captions, while others only had minimal description of what they represent.

 This is the ticket into the Tokyo Disneyland Resort.

 View outside the window. My guess is that this is overlooking Tokyo DisneySea.

 Nail clipper!

 A ship. I don't know much more.

Monorail doors!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Are Mickey And Minnie Getting A Makeover?

Photos showing Mickey and Minnie for Shanghai Disneyland revealed subtle but noticeable differences between the current version of these two characters.

Over the weekend, a picture was posted to Twitter of a newly redesigned Mickey and Minnie. They’re undeniably Mickey and Minnie, yeah, but their faces are different. Their mouse skin tone is a little bit darker, their eyes are closer together, and a little bit more oval-y. The smile on their faces is also a little bit more defined, with big pinchable-cheeks, and Minnie has lost her blue eye shadow. The tweet declares that this is their “new look.”

Of course, as the article stated, this might mean a universal change in all Mickey and Minnie throughout the Disney empire.

While picture of these mice in question comes from Shanghai,  it can be assumed that these will be the new-look for the characters you can meet in the park.  Buuuuuttttt, if these characters debut in Shanghai, that means that soon ALL the Disney Parks ALL around the world — including Disneyland and Walt Disney World — are going to get these newly redesigned faces, too. Disney follows strict “character integrity” rules, so if an alteration is made to one character in Disney World, it has to be done to that same character all around the world — you know, because there’s only ONE Mickey Mouse (wink wink wink nudge wink, that’s what small children are told, obviously, but you as an adult know the real Disney Truth).

We'll see if this is another iteration in the long history of the look of the legendary Mickey Mouse and the other Disney characters.


A Bar Inside Hollywood Tower of Terror?

Yes, and no, as much as many of us would like to have it on the 13th floor, the bar is going to be located at the ride exit near where you pick up your photos.

Fans of the ride may be disheartened to learn that the bar won’t be called the Tip Top Club—a nod to the ride’s famous and frightening storyline—and it won’t be located on the 13th floor of the hotel. The venue will be located near the ride’s exit, just across from the area where you pick up your spooky souvenir photo.

I haven't seen any confirmation yet on this, and when it will open. So stay tuned.


Monday, April 04, 2016

DVC Resale Owners Will Lose All DVC Perks

It looks like it will be less attractive to buy DVC units not from Disney anymore. Disney is finally removing all DVC perks for members who bought via the resale market.

Starting today, "members who do not purchase an ownership interest directly from Disney Vacation Development Inc. will not have access to Membership Extras," the company says on its website.

The change only applies to new owners starting today. Current owners are grandfathered in.

The only drawback to this is that current DVC owners will not be able to draw higher prices if they wish to sell their DVC ownerships. It makes it less attractive to buy DVC points with anyone else other than Disney.


Tom Staggs To Leave Disney

In a development that blindsided many people, including me, COO Tom Staggs will be stepping down from the COO position at Disney on May 6, and will leave Disney completely by September.

A source said Staggs, 55, made the decision to leave after pressing for a formal commitment from the Disney board about his future ascent to the throne. When that didn’t come, the executive came to the decision that he did not want to wait another two years and that it was time to move on.

This is definitely a shocker, since Staggs was highly regarded as the apparent successor to Bob Iger when Iger steps down at CEO in 2018.


Monday, March 28, 2016

2017 D23 Expo

Disney has announced the date for 2017 D23 Expo.

Set for July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, the biennial Disney fan event brings together the media giant’s theme park, music, gaming, television and movie properties — including “Star Wars,” Pixar and Marvel — under one roof.

Supposedly, this is also around the same time that ComicCon in San Diego is normally held, although the exact date for 2017 hasn't been announced. This is a rather curious development.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Magic Kingdom after hours ticket

The Orlando Sentinel posted this article about Disney selling a special ticket for the privilege of being in select areas of Magic Kingdom for three hours after regular closing on certain dates.  This is being portrayed as a special event. 
The Disney After Hours price is $149 per person.

The park will close to regular day guests at 10 p.m. on April 28 and May 5, and it will close at 11 p.m. on April 14, April 21, May 8, May 12 and May 19. Folks who have purchased the After Hours option will be allowed to stay in select areas of the Magic Kingdom for three additional hours.

Check-in for the event takes place at Magic Kingdom's main entrance beginning at 7 p.m.  The $149 ticket allows entry into the theme park at that time.
The article states that a grand total of 5 attractions will be open during the extra 3 hours, but that might be just a partial list.  Also it appears that no regular restaurants will be open.  So it seems that the only imagineering being done at Disney these days is by the accountants.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What Remains of "River Country"

A photographer was able to snap photos of the remains of "River Country", Disney's first water park at Walt Disney World.

I too am a bit surprised that Disney decided to simply abandon this site rather than clean it up and re-purpose it into something else. There must be more to this than what we already know.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Costumes For "Rivers Of Light"

Orlando Sentinel is showing the costumes for the two main characters in the highly-anticipated Disney's Animal Kingdom's "Rivers of Light".

The two main storytellers of the show are Aseema and Aditya. Disney says the characters transcend time and location, thus their costumes reflect multiple time periods and cultures, from Native Americans to Far Eastern cultures.

Aditya is described as the "embodiment of fire and light" while Aseema is the "human embodiment of water." Their costumes reflect this, with mixes of warm and cool colors and patterns and beading representing fire and water. Each storyteller has an acolyte, or student -- Ambu and Ketu -- which wear costumes "more conducive to that of an apprentice with pants and sashes."

This will be high on our list of things to see when we finally go to WDW in October, which is our earliest trip there.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Disney thinking of charging resort fees at WDW?

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that some people have received a survey from Disney asking their opinion of being charged an extra $15 per night fee to cover Magic Bands, Magical Express and other services at WDW.  So, for a 7-night stay this amounts to an extra $105.  The article wasn't specific about who might have received the survey, or about a wider range of reaction than the two responses quoted (both negative). Of course this comes across as another attempt to nickel and dime people.  If there is any hint of adding this fee to DVC members, it's easy to predict what their reaction will be.  As usual, time will tell if this will actually materialize, but it does seem to paint Disney in a negative light. Maybe Disney thinks the airlines and banks have done this so it should be no problem for us.