Another D23 Expo has come and gone and over the 3 days lots of new great stuff was announced for the Disney brand. Not all of it was announced in the proper panel (still wondering how the Live Action panel got SO much stuff including the Star Wars Land announcements and the Parks panel got barely anything). But we got the news anyway.
Below we'll wrap up all of the announcements over the 3 days from the plethora of press announcements we received in our mailbox. It was A LOT.
We'll have our full D23 Expo report later this week after we catch up on everything else we've been neglecting.
SHAKIRA SHAKES UP “ZOOTOPIA” – International superstar Shakira is lending her Grammy®-winning voice to Gazelle, the biggest pop star in Zootopia, D23 EXPO fans learned via a taped message from Shakira today. Ginnifer Goodwin (ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” “Something Borrowed,” “Walk the Line”), the voice of the film’s rookie rabbit officer Judy Hopps, saluted fans alongside directors Byron Howard (“Tangled”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph”), and producer Clark Spencer (“Wreck-It Ralph”). Hilarious new scenes from the film were unveiled, plus a tease of the all-new original song, “Try Everything,” written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate, and performed by Shakira. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” opens nationwide March 4, 2016.
“GIGANTIC” TAKES ROOT – Things are looking up at Walt Disney Animation Studios – way up. “Gigantic,” Disney’s unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” will feature music from Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who greeted D23 EXPO fans in signature style—in song—alongside director Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and producer Dorothy McKim (“Get A Horse!”). Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s “Gigantic” follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality—and who knew giants were so down to earth? “Gigantic” hits theaters in 2018.
“MOANA” ROCKS D23 EXPO 2015 – Dwayne Johnson (“San Andreas,” “Furious 7,” HBO’s “Ballers”), who lends his voice to the mighty demi-god Maui in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana,” hit the stage at D23 EXPO 2015 this afternoon. Renowned directors John Musker and Ron Clements ("The Little Mermaid," "The Princess and the Frog," "Aladdin”), and producer Osnat Shurer (Oscar®-nominated Pixar shorts “One Man Band,” “Boundin’") shared dazzling early test footage and revealed plans for the film’s inspired music and the extraordinary team behind it. Tony®-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway’s hottest new hit “Hamilton,” Tony-winning “In the Heights”), Grammy®-winning composer Mark Mancina (“Speed”, “Tarzan” “The Lion King”) and Opetaia Foa’i (founder and lead singer of the world music award-winning band Te Vaka) blend their diverse and dynamic talents to help tell the tale of a spirited teenager who sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder. Foa’i capped the presentation with a show-stopping performance illustrating the magic of the movie’s music. “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.
“RILEY’S FIRST DATE?” MAKES ITS WORLD PREMIERE – Pixar Animation Studios heads back inside the mind with an all-new short. “Riley’s First Date?” made its world premiere this afternoon at D23 EXPO 2015. Director Josh Cooley, along with “Inside Out” filmmakers Pete Docter (“Up,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and Jonas Rivera (“Up”), introduced the short, which revisits Riley, now 12, who is hanging out with her parents at home when potential trouble comes knocking. Mom’s and Dad’s Emotions find themselves forced to deal with “Riley’s First Date?” The short will be included as a bonus feature in the digital HD & Blu-ray releases of Disney·Pixar’s “Inside Out,” which will be available digitally Oct. 13 and on Blu-ray Nov. 3, 2015.
T-REXES SPOTTED AT D23 EXPO 2015 – Anticipation for Disney·Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” was amplified when director Peter Sohn and producer Denise Ream shared breathtaking sequences with fans, including never-before-seen footage of a trio of T-Rexes in action. In theaters on Nov. 25, 2015, “The Good Dinosaur” features Arlo, a sheltered Apatosaurus who finds himself far from home among a host of intimidating creatures.
DORY DIVES IN -- Ellen DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”), the voice of everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, took a dip with D23 EXPO attendees this afternoon, celebrating Disney·Pixar’s upcoming film “Finding Dory.” Joining DeGeneres on stage this afternoon were Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), who lends his voice to Hank, a cantankerous octopus; Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), the voice of Bailey, a misguided beluga whale; and Kaitlin Olson (“Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), who voices Destiny, a kind-hearted whale shark. Oscar®-winning director Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”), co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”) offered new details of the all-new story, which reunites Dory with friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale? Also featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy, Disney·Pixar’s “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016.
WOODY AND BUZZ MARK TWO DECADES – Pixar Animation Studios’ John Lasseter, who’s one of Pixar’s three founders, was joined on stage by several award-winning artists and filmmakers, including Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL·E”), Lee Unkrich (“Coco,” “Toy Story 3”), Josh Cooley (“Cars 2,” “Ratatouille”) and Galyn Susman (“Toy Story 4,” ABC’s “Toy Story OF TERROR!”). Celebrating 20 years since “Toy Story” transformed the animation industry and the art of storytelling, the Pixar team welcomed iconic two-time Oscar®-winning songwriter and longtime Pixar collaborator Randy Newman, whose Pixar credits include “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars.” Also joining in the celebration were writers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (“Celeste & Jesse Forever”), who are part of the “Toy Story 4” team, though details of Buzz and Woody’s return to the big screen were mysteriously missing.
“Toy Story 4,” which will be directed by Lasseter and produced by Susman, is slated for release on June 16, 2017.
STAR WARS EPISODE IX DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED
ANAHEIM, CALIF. (August 15, 2015)—Today at D23, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn announced that writer-director Colin Trevorrow will direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set for release in 2019.
While production won’t begin for a few years, Trevorrow is heading to Lucasfilm this year to begin working with artists and his fellow Star Wars directors. “Colin is someone I’ve been interested in working with ever since I saw ‘Safety Not Guaranteed,’” says Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “The power of that film paired with the enormous success of ‘Jurassic World’ speaks volumes about his abilities both as a storyteller and skilled filmmaker. We are thrilled to have such an incredible talent as Colin join our family and step into the Star Wars universe.”
Trevorrow states, “This is not a job or an assignment. It is a seat at a campfire, surrounded by an extraordinary group of storytellers, filmmakers, artists and craftspeople. We’ve been charged with telling new stories for a younger generation because they deserve what we all had—a mythology to call their own. We will do this by channeling something George Lucas instilled in all of us: boundless creativity, pure invention and hope.”
Star Wars: Episode IX will conclude the third trilogy of Star Wars movies that begins with Star Wars: The Force Awakens onDecember 18, 2015.
Resistance Fighters Unite to Steal Plans for Death Star
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (August 15, 2015)--Lucasfilm announced today that their first film in the new standalone Star Wars stories series, “Rogue One,” has begun principal photography. Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) is directing “Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.
The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award® for her leading role in “The Theory of Everything”; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar®-winning “Milk” and the critically acclaimed “Killing Them Softly”; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy® for his leading role in “Bloodline” and co-starring in the upcoming “Mississippi Grind”; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in “Ip Man” and “Blade II”; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning “Let the Bullets Fly” and “Devils on the Doorstep”; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and winner of an Academy Award® for his leading role in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in “The Hunt” and was the memorable villain from 2006’s “Casino Royale”; Alan Tudyk, who plays a performance-capture character in “Rogue One,” stars in the soon-to-be-released “Con Man” series and “Trumbo,” which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in “Nightcrawler” and starred in the BAFTA-winning film “Four Lions.”
“‘Rogue One’ takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kathleen Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’”
Kevin Feige led off with a glimpse into the world of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” featuring a video greeting by Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars as the title character, followed by a pre-production piece that offered fans a taste of the look and feel of the upcoming film, opening in U.S. theaters on October 26, 2016.
Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” marched into D23 EXPO with an introduction by its producer, Kevin Feige. To the delight of the audience, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie showed up on stage to help Feige show never-seen-before footage from the movie. Before the footage rolled, Feige revealed that there was a special “Easter egg” for fans to find: it was aptly a nod to D23 EXPO.
Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.
The movie stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serve as executive producers and the screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in the U.S. on May 6, 2016.
Sean Bailey took the stage to introduce the first film in the Disney live-action lineup, “The Finest Hours,” which is based on the remarkable true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. Chris Pine, who plays Bernie Webber, the captain of the rescue boat, joined Bailey on stage to give fans a peak at the heroic action-thriller.
Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, the film, which is directed by Craig Gillespie and also stars Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana, transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.
“The Finest Hours” is produced by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero and Doug Merrifield is the executive producer. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and the screenplay is by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. “The Finest Hours” storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016.
After an introduction by Sean Bailey, Jon Favreau, director of Disney’s upcoming “The Jungle Book,” welcomed to the stage newcomer Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of candidates to play man-cub Mowgli; plus Oscar® winners Ben Kingsley, who helps bring panther-turned-mentor Bagheera to life, and Lupita Nyong’o, who lends her voice to the protective mother wolf Raksha. Favreau treated fans to a sneak peek of footage from the film, and each guest received a copy of the dramatic teaser poster following the presentation. The all-new, live-action epic adventure showcases Mowgli’s journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.
Based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s 1967 animated classic, the film features state-of the-art technology that immerses audiences in the lush world like never before. “The Jungle Book” also features the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor produce and the screenplay is by Justin Marks. “The Jungle Book” hits theaters in stunning 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15, 2016.
Bailey welcomed Mia Wasikowska to the stage, where she thrilled fans with a preview of the all-new spectacular adventure,“Alice Through the Looking Glass,” featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories. Director James Bobin brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” in which Alice (Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. The film, which once again features Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall, introduces several new characters as well: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father, and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.
Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd, and Tim Burton produce and John G. Scotti is the executive producer. The screenplay is by Linda Woolverton. Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.
Bryce Dallas Howard joined Bailey on stage to talk about her starring role in “Pete’s Dragon,” a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film. The heartwarming adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon, “Pete’s Dragon” is directed by David Lowery, produced by Jim Whitaker, and executive-produced by Barrie Osborne, and also stars Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford. “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
A surprise visit by Johnny Depp, who showed up on stage completely decked out as Captain Jack Sparrow, brought down the house and thrilled fans at Sean Bailey’s presentation of the next exciting film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean “ franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.
The film is directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning and stars Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush. Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer and Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor serve as executive producers. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” releases in U.S. theaters on July 7, 2017.
Parks and Resorts
Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2015) – Today at the D23 EXPO 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced to an audience of more than 7,500 fans that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., allowing Star Wars fans to step into the stories from a galaxy far, far away.
Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single themed land expansions ever at 14 acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.
"I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”
These authentic lands will have two signature attractions. Along with the thrilling battle experience, another attraction puts guests behind the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, as they take on a customized secret mission.
Iger also shared concept images of the Star Wars-themed lands, giving fans a glimpse at what is to come for Disney parks.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.
Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.
Jedi Training Academy — A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series "Star Wars Rebels."
Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.
Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida
The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will think they've been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions for any Disney park and one expanded favorite
· Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.
· Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.
· Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.
After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR
As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.
· “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. “Rivers of Light” will magically come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
· Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.
Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.
o AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.
Soarin’ Around the Worldin Florida and California
Next year, guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its U.S. debut.
Iron Man Unveiled for Hong Kong Disneyland
Iron Man landed at D23 EXPO today for a special appearance, and soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself. Set to open in 2016, Iron Man Experience will be the first Marvel attraction at any Disney park, taking guests on an epic adventure over the streets and in the sky above Hong Kong. The adventure will begin at the new Stark Expo where guests board the Iron Wing to take flight and battle Hydra alongside fan-favorite Avenger, Iron Man.
WILMINGTON, Del. – August 15, 2015 – Marking the first Star Wars brand collaboration for a credit card for The Walt Disney Company [NYSE: DIS], Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE: JPM] and Disney, are putting The Force in Cardmembers’ wallets with the introduction of three exclusive Star Wars designs to the Disney Visa Credit Card family, accompanied by exciting, new and exclusive Star Wars perks for all Disney Visa Credit Cardmembers.
Cardmembers will be able to carry the new double-sided card designs featuring Darth Vader, Yoda or R2-D2 with C-3PO.1 In addition, all Disney Visa Credit Cardmembers can have access to the exclusive Star Wars Imperial Meet ‘N’ Greet, featuring the Supreme Commander of Imperial Forces, Darth Vader, at private Cardmember locations at theDisneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort.2, 3 The Star Wars Imperial Meet ‘N’ Greet experience opens at the Disneyland® Resort in fall 2015 and at Walt Disney World® Resort in early 2016.
On November 17, fans will be able to purchase two very special limited-edition Darth Vader-inspired PlayStation®4 Star Wars bundles: Star Wars: Battlefront and Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars. The bundles include a fully customized PS4™ featuring an image of Darth Vader, a controller inspired by Darth Vader’s suit and more. For full information for the Limited-Edition PlayStation®4 Hardware Bundles visit http://blog.us.playstation.com/2015/08/16/star-wars-ps4-bundles.
John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, co-stars of Star Wars™ The Force Awakens, surprised guests on stage and gave away their character figures, Finn and Rey, for the upcoming Disney Infinity 3.0 EditionPlay Set based on the film. Photos can be found here http://smu.gs/1JacMiq.
· Other character reveals also included Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia, Spot from Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur and a limited edition set of Light FXStar Wars™ character figures that light up when placed onto the Disney Infinity Base. Exciting newDisney Infinity integrations with Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line® were also unveiled.
· Guests who attended the Hall D23 received a special Kingdom Hearts Mickey Costume Power Disc that unlocks a one-of-a-kind costume of King Mickey, Keyblade Master and King of Disney Castle forDisney Infinity’s Mickey Mouse character and a classic Mickey Mouse figure.
For full information about Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition reveals visit http://bit.ly/1Le7F4B
Coming this Fall, Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Gamma Gear – inspired by the 7-foot Hulk – lets you smash into battle using motion-sensing technology putting you in the Avengers action. Slip your hands into the Gamma Gear and use the motion-based controls to smash your way through missions and stomp through battlegrounds with different Hulk moves like Ground Slam, Thunder Clap, and other combos.
Square Enix and Disney Interactive revealed that Baymax and other beloved characters of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award®-winning film Big Hero 6 will make their debut in the ever-expanding narrative of KINGDOM HEARTS III. For full information about the Big Hero 6 world inKINGDOM HEARTS III visit http://bit.ly/1Kq0aEP.
Disney Interactive announced Disney Magic Kingdoms, a new mobile game being created with Gameloft that lets players build the Disney theme park of their dreams by recreating and placing iconic attractions such as Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, California Screamin’ and many more in a fun animated landscape. For full information about Disney Magic Kingdoms visit http://bit.ly/1hgFvwo.
Wow, that's a lot of great stuff coming your way over the next few years. So what are you most excited about? Be sure to let us know below.
So here we are, 9 days before the Disney Parks presentation at this years D23 Expo. This date has been circled on everybody's calendar for what seems, well, really, weeks because that's when Disney announced the specific day.
But the Expo, that's been circled since the day Disney announced they bought LucasFilm.
Written by Gregg Condon (Title by CoasterMatt)
Pretty much since Day One of the LucasFilm purchase, rumors have been flying about Star Wars, Star Wars Land, Star Wars Rides, on both coasts, on every continent and today, 9 days before the announcement the internet is positive it's figured it out.
For sure you have already read at least one article about this latest possible rumor, so why read another one? We have no idea, but we hope to have something a little different with ours and maybe a bit of logic.
Ok, let's first start off with what we DO know. The only thing that is 100% as of today is that Disney bought the Carousel Inn a few months ago. At the time everybody kept insisting that they would be keeping this hotel as a kind of "value" hotel. If there's one thing Disney doesn't do, at least not in CA it's value. If you look at this hotel on the map, it's strategically placed for what could possibly, someday be where a pedestrian bridge could be. We all saw it.
Other than that, there's nothing known by anybody who's saying anything. If people do know it they aren't talking, or rather, they shouldn't be talking.
That's where the speculation comes in, so why the hell not.
Below is the land that Disney has supposedly purchased (supposebly, supposebly) in red along with the Carousel and the existing Pumbaa lot.
Now, looking at this right off the top it's a pretty nice chunk of land. The Pumbaa lot itself is big enough for another parking structure that the resort has needed for years, why this hasn't happened yet is beyond us.
The rest of the red is how the rumors got started. And that rumor is that certain backstage area's/buildings at Disneyland will be moving over to this area to make room for Star Wars Land which will be placed in the area now reserved for ToonTown along with the aforementioned backstage area's.
And at first glance, this seems like it would be a great idea, until you start looking at the logistics.
We've also highlighted above (in green) the current hotel/bus/tram drop off area's. Because conceivably, if a new structure is built across the street, and a pedestrian bridge is built (the blue), the hotel drop off can also go across the street and then this area could be used to expand either DL or DCA ... but that's another story for another day. We'll just keep that as a nugget for future reference. =)
So let's move over and look at the area's where this new land could possibly go.
Let's start off with Toontown, above in Blue. Obviously too small for Star Wars Land in and of itself, which brings us to the green area.
These are some of the possible buildings that could get moved across the street in order to make room. Sure this could cause issues with certain things like maintenance, but that's not our headache.
We've also included the Festival Arena and Big Thunder Ranch just for shiggles.
So first issue we see here ... the yellow space. This is Circle D Ranch. Sure they could just bypass this and build Star Wars around it. But this is a spot that can't be moved off site. You aren't going to have horses coming across Harbor Blvd every day. So it's either gotta be worked around or moved to a different spot backstage, which is possible of course.
Second issue ... the red dot right in the middle of that, and something we mentioned on our Facebook yesterday. Fireworks. yes, this is where they are fired off from. Due to their proximity to Toontown that area of the park closes nightly in order for Disneyland to perform the fireworks show. It's a headache as it stands now, and that's just Toontown, which has one standard roller skater and a great dark ride in Roger Rabbit.
Imagine them trying to close a Star Wars Land early every night? It's simply not going to happen.
And you may be saying to yourself ... "Self ... couldn't they just move the launch point of the fireworks back". They could, but then you'd get close to Ball Road and eventually the 5 Freeway and that's a whole other issue.
At the end of the day, being Disney we're sure they'll find a way to make that work. Figuring that stuff out is above our pay grade. =)
So we've outlined a few things so far, but not once have we gotten to something Disney prides themselves on ... and that's themeing.
So let's say they did buy the land, let's say they do move the buildings across the street, let's say that everything we hope for comes true and they build a Star Wars land in this spot ... where would they even dream of putting an entrance? Small World doesn't exactly blend in with Star Wars. With Toontown it's acceptable, but not with Star Wars.
How about over by Big Thunder Ranch? Sure, it could work. But then you are getting into Firefly territory with Space Cowboys and while that would be pretty awesome, wrong park chain for that one.
That's also not even taking into consideration the other Star Wars themed ride the park has, which if it's built where Toontown is will be about 0.2 miles. While not really that far from a walking standpoint, from a themeing standpoint it sure is.
So what have we learned? Absolutely nothing, but we'll learn something in 9 days, maybe. Because who even knows if Star Wars is going to be a part of the Parks Presentation? They could say they are building one, but not where which puts us right back where we are today.
But it sure is fun to speculate ... =)
Disneyland released a new app for iOS and Android today. It wasn't really hyped too much from what we can tell, just a standard release.
Reportedly some people were having issues finding it in the iOS store, but I had absolutely no issues finding it in the Android store.
As you can see below, my Theme Parks app folder is getting more and more additions, which is awesome!!!
When you open the app you can see a few tips about the app before you use it.
You can see wait times, park hours, buy tickets and sign in to your existing account.
Park Hours and Blackout dates are also available and you can select the individual pass type to see when you can go (in green).
There are a few different ways to get wait times, the most convenient for Disneyland pro's seems to be the map view and if you zoom in it will also show what's closed. Apparently Starport 77 was having some issues earlier today.
Want to find your favorite characters? How about some dinner? Want to show somebody where the "secret" bathroom is or how about Photopass? It's all here.
Sadly, no sorting just for "bars". =)
Shows, Parades, Fireworks are a great help and of course guest services if you should need assistance.
You can also explore not only the on-site hotels but Good Neighbor hotels as well in addition to shopping, lots and lots of shopping.
You can slso sort by a "list" view by all locations, just Disneyland or DCA, the hotels or Downtown Disney. This would be very useful for those unfamiliar with the park.
Here are the attraction times for both parks combined, obviously you wouldn't want to look at both parks unless you want to do a lot of park hopping. =)
Overall it seems like a good app, which isn't surprising at all. It will be interesting to see if the wait times are accurate. If you'll be heading to the park soon and using the app, let us know if you'd like to do a review of it. We're interested to hear how accurate it is.
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