Thursday, September 22, 2016

iOS10 Has A Feature That Disney Pin Traders Might Like

This might be of interest to you if you have an iPhone or iPad that can be upgraded to the new iOS 10.

A new feature that has appeared in iOS 10 is something called the Magnifier. It is basically a magnifying glass! This is handy for pin traders because we often need to read the print on the back of pins, and these things appear to be getting smaller and more difficult to read, or maybe I'm just getting older and my eyesight is getting poorer.

In any case, it is easy to activate this feature.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on General
  3. Choose Magnifier
  4. Click on the Magnifier slider and voila! You have it on. You may also want to activate Auto-Brightness if you wish.
To pull up the Magnifier, press the Home button three times quickly. The Magnifier will come up. Use the sliding scale to increase or decrease the magnification. There are also other features available in the Magnifier, such as turning on the light if you need to illuminate what you are magnifying.

It is a very handy feature, and definitely handy to a pin collector/trader.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

No "Healty Gumbo"

Disney now learns that there is no such thing as a "healthy gumbo".

While the intention is noble, the execution is left to be desired. In an attempt to make gumbo more healthy, Disney foolishly make a video recipe for this iconic dish but changed it so much that it caused a brouhaha among fans of this Cajun staple.

The family-entertainment juggernaut posted a video recipe for "Tiana's Healthy Gumbo" to the official Facebook page for "The Princess and the Frog," the 2009 animated movie that featured a New Orleanian culinary princess. The nearly two-minute-long video, which has since been taken off the Facebook page and Disney's other social media accounts, was charming enough with a jazzy tune playing in the background. However, it quickly drew the ire of Louisiana foodies for its use of kale, quinoa and its lack of a roux.

Starting without a roux and not adding file as part of the recipe disqualifies it from being called a gumbo to many people. Disney would have been fine if they simply called it a New Orleans-inspired stew, or something like that, rather than a gumbo.

Moral of the story: Just don't mess around with something so iconic.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Goodbye, Sum of all Thrills

Sum of All Thrills and StormStruck have closed at Epcot's Innoventions.

The Sum of All Thrills and StormStruck, two exhibits within the Innoventions area of Epcot, closed for good on Tuesday, a Walt Disney World spokeswoman confirmed.

Their exit leaves Innoventions East with Colortopia as its one remaining occupant.

The exhibits of Innoventions West closed this spring, although some character meet-and-greets are still inside the structure. Walt Disney World has not announced future plans for the space.

Disney, of course, will remain mum on the future plans for Innoventions. Rumors swirling around the 'net indicates everything from remodeling of the interiors of both Innoventions, to outright bulldozing the area to build new attractions. Who knows. But they must be up to something, because Sum of All Thrills have been they most popular attraction in Innoventions. In fact, it was the only reason (other than to use the bathroom or to cool down from the outside heat) that I go into Innoventions East.

I'll miss Sum of all Thrills. As a physicist and a physics instructor, I thought it was a neat way to illustrates mechanics, especially the conservation of energy principles. Of course, the whole thing is done way too fast for one to pay attention to these principles, especially when one is at the design stage in front of the large touch screen.

I don't know if Disney is going to mothball the ride, or dismantle it, or worse, discard it. But wouldn't it be nice if they donate them to a science museum? Being in the Chicago area, this will be perfect for the Museum of Science and Industry here where exhibits on basic physics are still not as prominent as they should be. They don't even have to do that much modification other than extending the time it takes to design the ride and to explain a bit more of the physics involved.

I can only hope this right will resurface elsewhere.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Disney Buses From Parks To Disney Springs After 4:00 pm

For the first time in forever (see what I did?), you can now travel from a WDW Theme park to Disney Springs.

Disney just announced that after 4:00 pm, there will be Disney bus transport from the 4 WDW theme parks to Disney Springs. This will allow guests from the theme parks to go to Disney Springs for shopping, dining, etc.

Notice that I said the transportation is FROM the theme parks to Disney Springs. This is a one-way service. You still can't go to the theme parks FROM Disney Springs.


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.