Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Zz.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Treasures of Walt Disney Archives at the Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

We attended this D23 traveling exhibit this past weekend at Chicago's MSI. Here is a brief report.

The main lobby area of the museum have signs and decorations of the exhibition, even having a Mickey Mouse clock. Strangely enough, the museum store carries no t-shirt, no souvenirs other than the event pins.

 

Once inside, you see this huge banner in the center of the museum.


When we entered the exhibit, we were greeted by this:


The following are the various exhibit items.






And example of the multiplane camera that Walt and his animators pioneered.


A few of the awards.



Continuing on with the exhibition.





The two most-famous book covers.





Replica of the Nautilus.





You can listen to a few of your favorite Disney tunes.





Mary Poppins carpet bag.


Disneyland's cast member ID badge #1, given to Walt.





The hitchhiking ghosts made the trip.





Several costumes were on display.





At the end, you can learn how to draw a Disney character at the Disney Animation academy, very much like at DHS.


They have a cart selling Disney items near the entrance/exit of the exhibits. This is where you can find pins for this event. Here are some of the pins that we bought. I think most of them are almost identical to the ones that were sold at the previous location of this exhibition (the Reagan Library), except that they do have the name of the Museum of Science and Industry on these pins. So in some sense, these are unique to this exhibition.





This pin is a D23 pin that you can find elsewhere (i.e. not related to the exhibition), and we found it at the museum gift store, not at the cart.


It was a good exhibition. According to someone who had seen the same exhibition at the Reagan Library, there were a few things missing (Tron bike), including items that were part of the Reagan Library collection.

Zz.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

JC Penney Brings Back Disney Snowglobes On Black Friday

It is about time. We did not shop much at Penney's last year because they didn't have these snowglobes, which we had been collecting every year. It seems that the new management is bringing back what used to draw their customers before, such as these snowglobes.

Zz.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Reviews of the film Escape from Tomorrow

The movie Escape from Tomorrow is the controversial film that was shot without Disney's permission at WDW.  The film had its first showing at the 2013 Sundance festival and DisNews has these reviews of the film along with a trailer.  The threat of legal action by Disney hangs over the film but it isn't clear at this point what will happen.  The movie is ultimately a bizarre parody of WDW, and some fans, predictably, are not amused.  Others, based on the reviews, may feel that the film could have been better made.  If the film makes it to general release, it will no doubt be worth seeing.


After Escape From Tomorrow premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, many critics were calling it “the film Disney doesn’t want you to see.” I watch a lot of crazy movies and this is definitely high up on my list as one of the strangest - See more at: http://blog.wdwinfo.com/2013/10/11/review-escape-from-tomorrow/#sthash.5AOGSc6D.dpuf
After Escape From Tomorrow premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, many critics were calling it “the film Disney doesn’t want you to see.” I watch a lot of crazy movies and this is definitely high up on my list as one of the strangest - See more at: http://blog.wdwinfo.com/2013/10/11/review-escape-from-tomorrow/#sthash.5AOGSc6D.dpuf

Famous rat chef will no longer greet patrons of Le Chefs De France

DisNews reports in this post that Remy will no longer mingle with the patrons of the Le Chefs De France restaurant at EPCOT as of October 24th.   The famous rodent, who seemed to fluently speak 3 languages: French, English and Rat, was a big attraction among the guests at the restaurant.  Reasons for his departure are unclear, but he will be missed. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review of the MyMagic+ system

Disney spent a reported cool billion to implement the MyMagic+ system, which includes the Magic Band.  Having just spent 9 days at WDW here are my comments on the new system.

On the plus side, the lines to get into the parks seem shorter.  Disney has effectively doubled the number of places to scan your ticket or pass, and the process is quicker when it works right.  There is still a finger scan which measures the length of a portion of your finger, and is apparently not a fingerprint reader.  Sometimes the finger scan is thrown off by less than perfect placement or even hand lotion.

Many people had the Magic Band, and used it for park entry, Fastpass return, and even at the Sorcerers portals.  You can get accessories for your magic band and even a t-shirt. The band makes it easy to spend money.   Disney seems to be trying to make the band into something cool to have.  However, using a room card kept in a protected wallet can be just as fast. When people go home from their trip they will be carrying the band in their luggage, or possibly still wearing it.  The band can be scanned very easily, so people will have to rely on Disney knowing how to secure the database with account information. 

When checking into a Disney resort, you assign yourself a pin number to authorize charges to your account.  All well and good except that entering the pin on the pin pads in the stores, and at the resorts,  is very visible.  Anyone can see what you are entering because the pads are just sitting on the counter.

Another part of the new system lets people plan details of their trip months in advance.  People can get Fastpasses for attractions long before arriving at the parks. This is probably good for people who like to plan out every detail in advance but, for others who like more spontaneity, it does not appeal at all.  So, it would be like having an appointment at Haunted Mansion at 2:00 on the 10th.  Probably not factored into the precise planning is the effect of bad weather, transportation delays, and big crowds.  For first time visitors these are all unfamiliar situations. 

The bigger picture is whether the $billion investment is going to pay off if essentially no new attractions are added.  Right now, there is a feeling an watching an old plot with some new special effects.  One would assume that Disney knows this and is hoping the MyMagic+ system will buy some time to create some different attractions before the novelty wears off.  The wild card in all this is the potential for trouble with millions of scannable wrist bands floating around the world.  Some have called this system a hackers delight, and Disney needs to be very careful to protect the personal information linked to these bands.

For now, the parks are very crowded and people are eager to spend money.  There don't seem to be any slow periods anymore, thanks to Disney offering  various deals and discounts. 

Avatar Land getting closer

Disney Parks Blog reports that Avatar Land is getting closer to reality.  The plans were revealed at the D23 Expo in Japan.
As these concept renderings show in epic scale, in the world of AVATAR guests will encounter awe-inspiring floating mountains and wander through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants that are alive with light and sound. Guests will also discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a Banshee.
There are ambitious plans to make Avatar Land spectacular.  If successful, Animal Kingdom will be even more popular.