Monday, March 26, 2012

Horn Battle Between Disney Fantasy And Disney Dream

The two Goliaths of the Disney Cruise line were "showing off" yesterday during the preview cruise of the Disney Fantasy.

On March 25, 2012, as the sun began to set, the new Disney Fantasy cruise ship was on her Inaugural preview cruise and caught up to the Disney Dream at sea, sailing side-by-side. The two sister ships then delighted passengers with a horn battle, sounding a variety of Disney tunes including When You Wish Upon a Star, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, and even It's a Small World. Then the Fantasy sailed by, leaving the Dream to pass behind.

Yes, it would have been quite a delight for the guests on either ship.


"Guest" Rode ToT Without Seatbelt

...and proud of it too since it got posted on YouTube.

This moron decided to do Tower of Terror WITHOUT seatbelts.

I posted a comment to the video awarding this guy the Darwin Award, and that he is the reason why the gene pool needs some chlorine.

This is the type of Disney park guest that ruins it for the rest of us. They stand up on rides, and do other stupid things such as this. I know kids are going to be kids, but at some point, they also need to learn about responsibilities and consequences for their actions.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Art Of Animation Resort To Open Ahead Of Schedule

Looks like there will be more available rooms at WDW sooner than expected.

The first phase of the nearly 2,000-room Disney's Art of Animation Resort is still expected to open May 31, as originally scheduled.

But Disney now says the hotel's second and third phases will open June 18 and Aug. 10, respectively, each about a month and a half ahead of schedule.

And the hotel's fourth and final phase is now expected to open Sept. 15 instead of at the end of the year.
We might just drive over and visit the resort to see what it looks like when we make our next trip, which won't be until the Pin event in September. Oy!


All 70 Sorcerers Spell Cards

Attractions Magazine has a video showing all the 70 Sorcerers Spell cards currently in play at the Magic Kingdom.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Disney Taking A Loss On "John Carter"

This time, I don't think any grassroot movement from the fans can save the sequel to this movie.

Disney has already announced that it is planning to take a massive loss in profit for this quarter due to the poorly-performing "John Carter".

Disney said the loss on “John Carter” will cause its studio to lose $80 million to $120 million for the quarter. Profits from other movies and home video disc sales will be more than wiped out.

Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce said the studio’s projected loss is more than double what he had expected, and that will cause him to trim his estimate of earnings. The hefty spending on production and marketing is causing the Burbank, Calif., company to book the loss sooner than might be the case for a smaller-budget film.
OK, so I know it won't be a hit. But the movie has yet to open in many major markets, and considering how well it is doing elsewhere in the world, I'm guessing that the loss might not be as big as this. But then, what do I know about such a thing anyway?

I think there's plenty of blame to go around for this flop, not the least of which is the confusing marketing of this movie.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fans Calling For "John Carter" Sequel

Some already calling it a flop. But with a huge overseas opening of "John Carter", is it really a flop? It has yet to open in Japan and China, two of the biggest markets around.

Still, the fans of this movie is not taking it lying down. There's already a facebook page (isn't there usually one for everything under the sun?) calling on Disney to continue with the John Carter series, including the writer of this article on Forbes.

Fans of the new John Carter film take heart — there is a new Facebook group calling on Disney to have faith in the franchise and move forward with a sequel. The group is spreading their message on Twitter, encouraging fans of the film to retweet the message and to join the Facebook group.

As a fan of the film myself, I’ve of course spread the message on Twitter and just joined the Facebook group supporting the film and calling for a sequel. The Facebook page is called Take me back to Barsoom! I want ‘John Carter’ to have a sequel!
I have no problem with that. In my review of "John Carter", I said that I didn't think this was a great movie, but it certainly is an entertaining popcorn movie. Having not read the books, I would be curious to see how he does on Mars after leaving earth. So, it will be just like going to the 2nd and 3rd and 4th Pirates movie. The "John Carter" movie did not have the unexpected delight as the first Pirates movie, but I see it being on par in quality of entertainment as the Pirates sequel. I mean, let's face it. All the Pirates sequels weren't as good as the first, but they were still a heck of a fun time!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Review of "John Carter"

We went to see "John Carter" yesterday at MUVICO, with D-Box seating and in 3D. The seats moved and vibrate according to the various scenes in the movie, which added to the experience.

But anyway, back to the movie. It was a very entertaining pop-corn movie. But will it be a blockbuster franchise that Disney is hoping for? I would guess not. There isn't anything in here that would make it stand out above all the other similar movies in this genre.

The one thing that movies like this suffer from for those who have not read the corresponding books, is the confusing plot, locations, and casts of characters. I had that when I saw Dune, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter, etc. This movie is not an exception. Halfway through, I lost track of who was the bad guy, what was that structure in the middle of the river was for, what the heck is the purpose of the "9 rays", etc.. etc. And why do these people still fight with swords when they have guns and aircrafts that can shoots stuff? However, if one just stop worrying about who is doing what to whom and why, one can still enjoy the movie as it progressed along.

I did enjoy the movie, in a "fluffy" kind of way. Certainly there's a certain amount of predictability in the plot. And those creatures in the desert looked too much like those in "Avatar" (which I enjoyed a lot more except for the silly ending). I certainly would recommend it if you don't have that high of an expectation.

Still, I don't think my recommendation will help Disney with what has been termed as a "disastrous" opening for "John Carter". While I think the movie might do well in other parts of the world (it had a record opening weekend in Russia), I don't think it will do well in the US, judging from the many empty seats I saw in the movie theater.


Friday, March 09, 2012

Sleeping Beauty Castle At Sunrise

I love it when they release videos like this.

I hope they do this for all the Disney castles at all the Magic Kingdoms.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

First Look At Johnny Depp's "Tonto"

Jerry Bruckheimer apparently posted the first picture from the upcoming "The Lone Ranger", showing both the Lone Ranger and his side kick, Tonto, played by Johnny Depp.

Frankly, Tonto looks scary (is he wearing a bat on his head?).

Certainly a movie to look forward to next year.


Disney To Enforce Fast Pass Return Time

Disney has announced that they will start enforcing the FastPass return times at its attractions in WDW and Disneyland. Before this, they were lenient in letting guests onto rides any time AFTER the FastPass time. Now, no more.
Introduced in 1999 as a way to minimize wait times at popular attractions, Disney's free FastPass reservation system has proven to be a savvy park-goer's salvation. Though FastPass tickets for Walt Disney World and Disneyland have always specified a return time within a one-hour window, many visitors realized they could come back any time after that window and still be admitted to the FastPass line with little or no wait.

 But as of this week, Disney watchers say, that wiggle room is evaporating.
It doesn't affect me, since we always return during the designated 1-hour window. But hopefully, this new policy might also reduce the wait times on various attractions. Often, the standby time gets slowed down to allow for the FastPass lines to move. Now, with people being spread out over each of the designated time slot for FastPass returns, we won't see too many coming in over a particular time period than others. But we shall see if this will really make a difference.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Parents Guide To "John Carter"

This is a very informative guide for parents who might be thinking of bringing their kids to see Disney's "John Carter".

It's interesting because it describes a bit more of the nature of the movie beyond a normal review. For a parent, the suggestion on when to have a bathroom break for the young ones might be quite useful.

Anyway, I definitely want to go see this movie, and see it in 3D. I hope the Muvico theater near here will show this one in the theater that has moving seats. That would be awesome!


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Disney Fantasy Leave new York And Arrives At Port Canaveral

Disney Fantasy Leave New York City after its christening, and arrives at Port Canaveral early this morning.

Funny that it leaves NYC a lot faster than when it arrives at Port Canaveral! :)

In any case, welcome, Disney Fantasy!


Robert Sherman Dies at 86

{Thanks to Gene for the link}

Robert Sherman, who wrote many popular Disney tunes including "It's A Small World", dies at the age of 86. More news to the story can be found here.


Most Common Mistakes

My friend Brad over at WDWForGrownUps forum posed an interesting question last week. He asked for the common mistakes that guests make at WDW theme parks, or any Disney theme parks, for that matter. I think this is a rather good topic for a discussion.

I can think off several off the top of my head.

The first one that comes to mind is not realizing that both sides of the cashier is opened at most counter service eating establishments. I lost count how many times I've seen long lines on one side of the cashier, while the other side often has nobody. Of course, I then walk right up to the cashier and those people in the long line either looked at me in puzzlement, or gave me a dirty look as if I'm cutting in line. I wasn't, because if I were doing that, the CM would not have taken my order! So the moral of the story in this one here is to PAY ATTENTION to what is going on. Look at other lines. If you see that lines forms on both side of other cashiers, chances are, your cashier also should have two lines. You could save yourself some unnecessary waiting.

Related to that one, the next item on the list is not paying attention to multiple queue lines in an attraction. Pirates of the Caribbean has two separate lines. If you see a large group of people going in on the left, then you should go in on the right entrance! Don't follow the crowd! Same thing with the inside queue for ToT. At some point, the queue splits into two lines. Don't follow where most the crowd went. Go in to the one that's less traveled!

And also related to the "lemmings mentality" of guests, try looking around at the lines when you get to the park's entrance. Most people tend to just go to the one that they encounter first, which is what almost everyone else is doing because people just got off the tram, bus, monorail, etc. and went through bag check. Look to the far left and far right of all the turnstiles. Chances are, there might be shorter lines (sometime non-existent lines) at other open turnstiles. Again, one can avoid unnecessary waiting in line here if one just pay a bit more attention.

So, what other common mistakes that you see guests make at the parks?


Friday, March 02, 2012

The Muppet Sequel

Latest news that we have is that Disney will make a sequel to the Muppet movie.

I suppose the movie they released last year was successful enough to warrant a sequel, which is fine with me since I love the Muppets. However, this news article from the Telegraph also pointed to the possibility of the BBC producing the weekly TV shows on Saturday evenings. If they managed to so that, I damn hope that we in the US will get to see it.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Disney Debuts Storybook Apps

If you have an iPad, here's something that will keep the kids (or even the adults) entertained on those long car or airplane rides. Disney has released apps for the iPads that are storybooks for the Lion King and Tangled.

And not just static reproductions of kids' classics, but animated, interactive titles both new and original. Case in point: Disney Digital Books just introduced The Lion King: Timon's Tale and Tangled: Storybook Deluxe for iOS. They're priced at $4.99 and $6.99, respectively.
Could be fun. But at this point, I'm waiting for the iPad3 which, hopefully, will be announced next week.


One More Disney Day

Neat video from Disney on the first-ever 24-hour openings of Disneyland and Magic Kingdom yesterday during leap day.

Here's a video from Laughing Place of the kick-off to the day at MK.

Not to be left out, here are videos from Disneyland.

Hum... maybe we should plan on being there 4 years from now. :)