Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Donald Duck Arrested For Marijuana, DUI

Thanks to Wally for pointing out the video.

This is just way too hysterical not to be shared.


Captain EO Back At Epcot

It took a while to retrofit (literally) the old Imagination Pavilion, but it appears that they now have rethemed it for the opening of Captain EO on July 2 at Epcot.

Disney World guests will start seeing EO a little more than a year after Jackson's unexpected death. The building did not require major modifications, mostly cosmetic painting and redecorating to get away from the Imagination Institute theming in the pre-show area.

"We had to take down all the wall graphics and re-do the wall graphics with EO," says Debbie Petersen, art director.

I haven't seen Captain EO. My next trip to WDW will be in late August. I suppose if it is still playing then, I might go see it just out of curiosity.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Tough To Be A Bug Posters

Here are a few of the amusing posters that one can see at the queue line for "It's Tough To Be A Bug" at Animal Kingdom.

I'll add to this as I find and snap more on my upcoming visits.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Random WDW Picture

This is the view of the main building of Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but viewed from one of the rooms at Jambo House.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Lotso In Block Party Bash

Lotso makes his appearance in DHS's Block Party Bash.

Don't be fooled by his cuddly, charming demeanor. He is very sinister!


I wonder if he comes with strawberry aroma?


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

40 Years of Preserving the Magic

Jim Hill Media has a wonderful article on Disney archivist Dave Smith's 40th anniversary at Disney. It'll culminate in the special D23 event this Friday.

I'm hoping to read up on what went on. This would have been fun to attend.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Random WDW Picture

The replica of the Chinese Theater for the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios.


"Tron Legacy" Merchandise

While these are cool "toys", I'm not sure that I want any of them. Still, you might want to check out the merchandise from "Tron Legacy".

Maybe after I see the movie, I might change my mind.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Random WDW Picture

From the queue line for It's Tough to be a Bug at Animal Kingdom.


The Groundbreaking Tech of 'Toy Story 3'

If you are interested in the technical aspects of "Toy Story 3", this is an article for you.

With the fantastic "Toy Story 3," Pixar has yet again set out to use its expertise to solve a huge computing problem, one that by necessity takes the place of what otherwise would be an impossible animation task. In the case of the new film, the challenge was to figure out how to craft a very complex scene in which the movie's heroes--Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Hamm, Rex, and so on--have to navigate their way down a conveyor belt inside a trash processing facility, on which thousands and thousands of small pieces of ground-up garbage are moving toward a giant blast furnace.

To watch the scene is to believe it's live action. The garbage glints in what little light there is. You can see detail on many of the pieces, and there are thousands and thousands of them. It's a little gross, but it's an incredibly intricate and complex sequence.

It also includes a brief description of the technical aspect of other Pixar movies such as "Up". A wonderful article to read, even if you don't care or understand about the technology behind all this, just to appreciate the amazing effort that was put into these movies.


"Toy Story 3" Review

It looks like "Toy Story 3" made $109 million in the US during its opening weekend, making it the last opening ever for an animated movie, and the largest opening ever for a Pixar movie. Not too bad, eh?

We saw the movie last Saturday in 3D (of course). I would strongly advise, especially to guys who will be seeing this movie, that you should go see it in 3D, not just for the 3D effects, but for the fact that the 3D glasses will temporarily hide the tears in your eyes. This movie is rambunctious, clever, hysterical (the tortilla scene), emotional, scary, and downright creepy at times (Well hello there, Lotso!), all the ingredients to make it a spectacular movie.

The premise is well-known by now. Andy is leaving for college, so what are to become of all his beloved toys? I won't say anymore so that you can enjoy the story. Does it help if one has seen the first two? Sure! You'll have a more emotional attachment to the characters and understand their behavior and patterns, which will make you weep at the ending.

I'm guessing, based on several reports, that this could possibly be the end of the Toy Story franchise, even though Tom Hanks in his interview with Disney Radio, talked about making more of this. If this is the end, then it is a satisfying conclusion. If not, they certainly left room to continue with this wildly fun bunch.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tom Hanks at "Toy Story 3 Premier"

Radio Disney got a short interview with Tom Hanks at the premier of "Toy Story 3".

I saw it today. It is SPECTACULAR and emotional.

Review coming soon.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Random WDW Picture

Another glorious evening at the Magic Kingdom.


Disney Stock Riding on "Toy Story 3"

Some time analysts (who have been wrong plenty of times) make too much of something just for a quick buck. This is one such example. It appears that if "Toy Story 3", which opens TODAY, makes more than $100 million on the opening weekend, then ".... Disney shares will rise...". If not, it will fall.

Can you believe this crock? These people have no clue on the long-term health of a company, but instead, care more about short-term, instant gratification. It is no wonder the stock market is the mess it is now with ridiculous fluctuation. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that our stock market is run by a bunch of attention-deficit juvenile.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Random WDW Picture

Downtown Disney during the holidays.


Vol. 7 (Mr. Potato Head): John Lasseter of Disney*Pixar Talks Toys

I love this series of videos. I just wish that they are a bit longer.

Here's Vol. 7 where John Lasseter talks about Mr. Potato head from "Toy Story".


The Man Behind Pixar's 3D Films

Here's an interesting interview with Bob Whitehill, Pixar Studios 3D supervisor. He explains a little bit on the process of making Pixar's 3D movies.

Explain how you have to make the film for the left eye and then make it again for the right eye.
Whitehill: We have a rendering group and we have this huge render farm, and creating these huge images of over 2 million pixels each is really expensive. They're just crunching math and all this brilliant programming goes into creating these images, and then we have to do it for the other eye. We basically have to do the entire movie twice. We also have to worry about those two eye views matching exactly. And there's this thing we call bit rot, where when you render a frame for the 2D version and show it to the director, and then he approves, it, and then you render the version for the other eye four days later, it can look different than the first version. Like, someone might have changed a shade, or improved Lotso's fur, so the fur looks a little better, and he checked it in on Wednesday, and then they rendered the left on Tuesday, and you rendered the right on Thursday, and now Lotso's fur doesn't match. And you can get this odd shimmering effect because your left and right eye views aren't the same. So there's a lot of care and expertise and finessing that goes into creating both eye views as swiftly and accurately and expertly as possible.

It's a fun and informative article.


Disney Employees Dress Code Relaxed

I suppose this news falls in between "Whoa!" and "Big Deal", but it still affects thousands of Disney employees. Disney has relaxed a number of dress codes for both men and women working for the company. Among them are:

In the biggest change to the company's appearance code in a decade, the Walt Disney Co. has decided to let most female employees at Disney theme parks worldwide, including the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, forgo pantyhose when wearing skirts.
The decision to permit female employees to forgo pantyhose applies to most Disney employees, except where the leg wear is part of a particular costume, such as the outfit for characters such as Tinker Bell or Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
Among other changes to the code, women will for the first time be permitted to wear sleeveless tops — though in typically restrictive Disney fashion, only if the shoulder straps are at least 3 inches wide. Female employees also will be allowed to wear Capri pants and sling-back shoes that also have open toes.

Men, meanwhile, will now be allowed to wear untucked, casual shirts.

I think most of us outside of the company don't realize the strict rules that Disney employees, especially those who come in contact with the guests, have to follow. This is also what makes it very different than working at other theme parks.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Wishes from Top of the World Lounge

This is the video we took this past May of Wishes as viewed from the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower. It's an interesting angle, not that different than viewing it from the top of the Contemporary. You just lose the symmetry of the show from this angle.

If you wish to look at Wishes from straight on, look at my earlier video.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"World of Color" Opens

Promotional video for "World of Color" which opens today at Disney California Adventure.


"World of Color" Official Debut Today

"World of Color" will make its premier tonight at Disney California Adventure.

On Thursday, Disney will unveil World of Color, an elaborate water show that is estimated to have cost about $75 million. It is part of a $1 billion overhaul at the struggling park that Disney built nearly a decade ago in what used to be Disneyland’s main parking lot. Constructed in a three-acre lagoon, the 26-minute show combines music, lighting, fire, lasers and 1,200 programmable jets of water to bring classic Disney characters to life.

While I think that the success of this show is vital to DCA, I don't think it is the crucial anchor for the its success. It certainly is the crucial piece to get people to stay into the evening, or hang around in the evening, at DCA, but I think the more central part in reviving DCA will be Cars Land. If that can't draw them in to DCA, then it would be a disaster. Still, I think it will be a hit, and with Cars 2 on the horizon, this is almost a no-brainer.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Jim Hanson's Fantastic World

Since the Muppets are loosely connected to Disney, this might be of interest to Disney fans in the Chicago area.

The exhibit on Jim Henson's creativity will be coming to the Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry on Sept. 24, 2010 - Jan. 23, 2011. Might be a good reason to go visit MSI at this time.


Electrical Parade at MK

Disney's Electrical Parade returns to Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom.


Enchanted 2?

OK, I may be the last person in the world to have heard of this. I was reading this article on the team that was so successful with "The Proposal" has now gotten the backing of Universal to go ahead with "Most Wanted". Too bad Disney didn't want this type of movies anymore.

Anyway, I was reading along with the news report casually when, all of the sudden, my eyes caught something at the very end.

Fletcher, who is developing "Enchanted 2" for Disney, is repped by UTA.


This is the first time that I've heard that Disney is developing the sequel to "Enchanted"! Anyone else have any info on this? Did I miss this whole announcement?


Saturday, June 05, 2010

Random WDW Picture

This is from Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom.


Trading USPS Disney Pins

During our last trip to WDW, we attended a Pin Trading night at the Contemporary. During the event, we bumped into Steven Miller, the Project Manager for pin trading, and what most of us consider at THE Disney pin trading representative for Disney.

Now, a bit of a background before I proceed any further. A few weeks before we were there, during our monthly Windy City Pin Trading meet, a friend mentioned that he just got back from WDW, and a couple of cast members refused to trade with him when he wanted to use one of the US Post Office Disney pins. These are the pins created and sold at the US Post Offices during the release of the various series of the Art of Disney stamps. These cast members did not consider them to be valid Disney pins and would not trade for them.

So when we bumped into Steven Miller, we jumped on the opportunity to ask him to clarify if these are valid Disney pins, and thus, can be used for pin trading. This is what he had to say:

So yes, these CAN be used in pin trading. So if any of you encounter cast members who refused to accept these pins, you're welcome to point to this video. So there!


Friday, June 04, 2010

Changes To Toy Story Mania

Toy Story Mania will undergo some changes this summer to reflect the release of "Toy Story 3". News from Disney's Backstage Landing has indicated that the balloon part of the game will have a new theme and characters. Sue Bryan, Senior show producer at WDI, has reported this:

"We created a new version of the balloon game," she told us. "It's hosted by Rex, the nervous Tyrannosaurus Rex, and his new friend Trixie, the Triceratops who's as crazy over games as he is.

"The game is now called 'Rex and Trixie's Dino Darts' with a great new primeval setting filled with volcanoes and lava balloons. Look for Rex and Trixie to get very excited when you score points–and find some hidden surprises!"

Looks like I will have to check this out next time I'm at DHS!


Thursday, June 03, 2010

World of Color Could Be A Crowd Control Nightmare?

That's the question being asked in this LA Times theme park blog. And I don't think that is too far off either especially if I remember how small DCA is, especially the area around the lagoon at the old Paradise Pier.

I anticipate that the first month or so will be a zoo. Still, the park needs something to keep people there well into the evening without relying solely on the World of Color.

And oh, don't miss the last line in the report. It seems that Disney has slightly renamed "Disney's California Adventure" into "Disney California Adventure". I guess it does give it a slightly different meaning. I wonder if this will permeated into all of the other "Disney's" name.


Disney Counting On "Toys" Merchandise

Disney is expecting that the Toy Story merchandise to surpass Cars merchandise this year with the release of "Toy Story 3".

Since "Cars" raced into theaters in 2006, the toon has proved to be Disney's biggest mover of merchandise, hauling in more $2 billion a year. But "Toy Story 3" could easily surpass that tally with $2.4 billion in sales when Pixar's toys return to the megaplex this month.

The Mouse House is already touting the toon as its "biggest event property ever," according to Andy Mooney, chairman of the Walt Disney Co.'s consumer products division during a press call Wednesday, a week before the licensing industry raises the curtain on its annual confab in Las Vegas. "We're more than halfway through the year (Disney's fiscal year ends in September) so we feel pretty comfortable with that number," he said.

This certainly would be big, considering how amazingly hot Cars merchandise are. Still, there could be a rebound with Cars merchandise next year when "Cars 2" gets to the theater.

Luckily for me and my wallet, I'm not into these merchandise at all! I'll stick with the Disney pins craze, than you!


Where In Walt Disney World - Answer

OK, I posted a "Where in Walt Disney World" picture a few days ago, and no one posted an answer. I will admit, though, that this is a little bit "obscure", and even people who walk past it might not notice it.

The picture is a decorative wall in the lobby of Bay Lake Tower. Here is another picture of the lobby, and you can see the wall on the far right of the picture.

I thought the lighting and the basket weave-look was gorgeous, so that's why I snapped a picture (actually, several pictures).


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

2010 Star Wars Weekend at DHS

Sights and sound from this years Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Check out the Mickey Ears hat on that R2 unit!


Disney Band Aids

OK, these are way too cute that I might get them myself!

Disney band aids are now on sale, supposedly initially at Target, and then be rolled out at other stores.

I might just get it for the Donald band aid. I wonder how Donald himself will feel about it. At least we will now know what we will use when he has a cut.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Disney Dream Nears Completion

Latest report on Disney Dream as it nears completion and its first maiden voyage.

The 260-ton block -- the ship's bow, complete with the signature Disney Cruise Line golden filigree -- is the last of 80 massive pieces to be welded onto the vessel over the past year at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

With all 80 building blocks for the Disney Dream now in place, the focus of construction can shift to outfitting interior spaces of the ship.

This could be the ship for my first ever Disney cruise!