Archive for the ‘Disney Company’ Category

The Return of the Lone Ranger

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

It was all over the web, the Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp project, “The Lone Ranger” was cancelled by Disney because of the high production cost of $250 million. Work was put on hold and some of the sets being build where going to be torn down again. But it looks like the budget is being brought down. While Disney wanted to bring it down to $210 million, a person close to the movie director said that the budget has been lowered to $230 million so far. According to the source the three big names agreed to cut down on their own piece of the cake. Another saving measures will be made on some of the heavy special effects that involves the supernatural that where planned for the movie. No agreement has been closed yet but it looks like Johnny Depp has high hopes that the project will continue.

Reached by email on Tuesday, Depp was cryptic about the “Lone Ranger” project. “I think everything will work out as it should,” the Oscar-nominated actor said from London, where he was at Pinewood Studios outside London working on the Warner Bros. film “Dark Shadows.” (LA Times Blog)

Looks like a little bit of a power play by Disney to show who’s boss (always the one with the money). Personally I didn’t think Disney would shut it down as the team of  Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp are way to important for the mouse.

TEA Theme Park Attendance Report

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Every year the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) releases their Theme Park Attendance Report. A report that shows the growth or losses in attendance of all major theme parks in the world. This time they do so with a big delay and a report full of errors. After looking at the report I wonder if this can be taken serious as some of the numbers don’t add up when looking at and comparing previous report. The main error is in some of the % related to growth and funnily enough the biggest mistake is related to the Disneyland Paris numbers. More on that can be found on DLP.Info where you’ll see the numbers of 2010 compared to the numbers of 2009.

For the rest of the report we can see some big chances when it comes to winners and losers. Unfortunately Disney is loosing some ground in the USA. While they still have the top spots on the lists, they have been surpassed by Asian parks and must be a little scared of a wizard that is giving a big boost to one of their competitors.

The Magic Kingdom is still number one on the list with 16.97 million visitors. This is down 1,5% from 2009. Disneyland is up 0,5% with 15.98 visitors and remains in second place. Tokyo Disneyland keeps its third place with 14.45 million visitors. This is 5,9% up from previous years. This is good news for Tokyo but we can expect a big decrease in next years report because of the tsunami disaster and the park being closed for an extended period of time because of this. Forth place goes to another growing park, Tokyo DisneySea. It had a growth of 5,5% with a total of 12.66 million visitors. Epcot is fifth with 10.83 Million visitors, a drop of 1,5%.

Next on the list is Disneyland Paris. However the placing ant visitors total should be correct, the percentages are way of. The same can be said for the Walt Disney Studios in Paris (19th in the ranking). (More on DLP.Info)

The biggest winner in the US is Island of Adventure. This will be no surprise to anybody as everybody expected this park to catapult big into a major attendance boosts once the Wizard Harry Potter opened his section of the park. The park gained 30,2% in attendance, boosting a visitors total to 5.95 million. It is important to know that the new section only opened during the last 2/3 of the years so it will be really interesting to see what a full year will do for the park.

Below the full list, including all other Disneyparks around the globe,  as published by TEA (including the errors) (more…)

Avengers Assembly… at Disneyland

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

It looks like it is less and less a question of if, but one of when will we see a marvel theme attraction in a Disney park. The rumors so far have been a third gate at Disneyland Paris, Marvel attractions in the Asian Market and Iron Man getting his first attraction in Disneyland Anaheim. Next in the line of rumors for Marvel orientated attractions in the Disneyland resort Anaheim is an Avengers attractions. According to the rumors their might already be some early concept art related to the Avengers.

Disney purist might hate this idea but it makes sense that Disney is looking at adding these characters in their park. Not only because they paid enough for them, but they will bring in new guests that love either the super heroes or the movies. The Avengers, or any other Marvel group or character, could be the new thrill for the Disney parks and the future to bring in those guests that visited other parks for thrills instead of Disney.

The Avengers movie is produced by Marvel Studios and will be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The talented Joss Whedon will be directing the movie and some of the actors are Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Cobie Smulders. If this movie is successful an attraction would be an instant winner.

Release date for the movie expected May 4, 2012, opening Avengers Attractions… still a rumor for now.

Source Screamscape

Pictures copyrights Marvel

Virtual Disneyland for Kinect

Monday, June 13th, 2011

People love virtual realities. Disney fans already had some great virtual Disney world, just look at the success of Virtual Magic Kingdom. This game was launched back on May 23th 2005 and was a fan favorite until its closure on April 7th 2008. Guest could walk around the park, play mini games, collect pins or badges and buy clothing among other fun things.

Now Disney is bringing it to a whole new level. On the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3, the biggest annual show for computer and video games, Disney announced their new game for the fantastic Xbox 360 Kinect platform. Disney will release Disneyland Adventures, a new game set in a virtual Disneyland where guests can walk around and discover the park, meet characters and enjoy mini games hidden behind the attraction entrances.

Have a look below at the first trailer of this new game.

Looks like fun and another reason to get the Kinect (if like me, you didn’t own one yet)…

New Show or New Location for Cirque du Soleil (Update)

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Sometimes a single sign can get you to start thinking. What would you think if you pass a room while walking through Disney’s Grand Californian hotel and notice that at the door of the room is a sign saying “WDI / Cirque du Soleil Meeting”. Lance from Screamscape saw this while visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, took a picture and placed it on twitpic. Let the rumors begin! Could it be that Cirque will get another theater in Disneyland, or is it a meeting to change the show in Walt Disney World? Both of these option have been rumors in the past, but we will not know as Walt Disney Imagineering will not let us find out. Not long after the picture of the sign got live on the web, the sign was removed and replaced with a generic one.

Good find from Screamscape. I can only hope they will not replace the La Nouba show as we still want to go and see it.

UPDATE: According to the latest update on Screamscape the meeting was for a new show in Hong Kong.

Disney Store branching out … with signature scent & song … and possible return to Germany!

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The Disney Stores are on an upswing again. Since buying the chain back The Walt Disney Company is in the process of rolling out a new concept aiming to make the Disney Stores once again true shopping experiences, thereby turning them into miniature Disney destinations themselves functioning as ambassadors of the Disney magic to guests -and aiming to become destinations in their own right for locals and tourists in town.

Similar to the rope drop celebrated each morning in the Disney theme parks the Disney Stores featuring the new concept are “opened” with a small ceremony each morning starring one lucky kid from among the guests. Also the shops are equipped with numerous interactive features and show elements that transform the store for certain occassions (hint: if a member of your party celebrates his or her birthday you may want to let the cast members know). Andy only recently reported here on the Mousekingdom Blog about the opening of the chains new store in Antwerp which certainly features the new concept as well.

With the positive reactions to the new concept the Disney Stores also is moving into new areas regarding exlusive products available only from the Disney Stores. Certainly, there have always been selected “Disney Store exclusive” items, such as apparel, plush and collectibles (currently in particular Vinylmation figurines) – but last week with the opening of the new Disney Store on Oxford Street, London (UK) the store also premiered two brand new products, unheared of before from the chain:

Firstly, “Imagination” the signature fragrance of the Disney Store. Yes, you read that correctly. The Disney Store now has a “signature fragrance” to help you make your home smell just as magical as a Disney Store. The “Imagination” product line includes scented candles, room fragrance spray, hand and body lotion as well as hand wash. The new line premiered in the Oxford Street store but should in the meantime be also available in the recently reopened Times Square Disney Store – and can also be ordered from the online shop of the Disney Store UK.

The second new product that premiered with the grand opening of the Oxford Street Disney Store: the debut single of the Disney Store! Titled “The World is Something You Imagine” the song “has been exclusively written and composed for Disney Stores as part of their new concept stores“. Written by James Brett (composer), Bobby and Kristen Lopez (music & lyrics), performed by Daniel Boys and Tori Beaumont (vocals) it is supposed to embody the core of the concept of the new Disney Stores.

The song is available as physical single at the Oxford Street Disney Store or online as download from HMV.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk and iTunes – in the case of iTunes not only from the Uk store but also from selected international iTunes stores outside the UK such as Germany (even though Germany currently has no Disney Stores at all). The single release is part of the charity push of The Walt Disney Company and the Disney Store supporting the Great Ormond Street Hospital charity – to learn more about that and the single visit the charity’s dedicated website.

After a first listen the song seems to be a typical, very pleasing Disney song celebrating the power and the magic of imagination – well crafted and performed but not the immediate hit song on first listen (despite having debuted on #48 of the UK single charts according to the Disney Store president’s recent tweet). Even without having heard the song in the store it is easy enough to imagine how a little “show element” (e.g. some projections and light effects) is underscored by it in the Disney Store. Let us know what you think of the song or if you experienced the song in the Disney Store what that was like in the comments!

Speaking of the tweet by the Disney Store president earlier: if you want to stay up-to-date about the future of the Disney Store including the addition of new stores and the transformations of current locations to the new concept you may want to follow Jim Fielding on twitter. The president of the Disney Stores maintains an official twitter account in his function as the chain’s president and not only tweets about the latests developments and happenings but also answers questions from other twitter users. For example (and that would be worth a separate post here on the Mousekingdom Blog if you ask me) he recently stated that the management is looking at possible locations in Germany for a return of the chain to Germany  in the future (where all stores were closed in the 90s). The twitter account in question: DisneyStorePrez.

Disneyland from the Past

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

We Disney fans are not only interested in the Disney of today but also love to find information and stuff from the companies past. Some of us Disney geeks start to collect Disney items from the past because we love it so much. While we want to see the company and especially the parks grow, it’s still fun to see how it looked like in the old days.

With the internet and the easy access to the rest of the world it provides, it’s almost a rarity to send out postcards now a days. The E-Mail is so much faster, can have a lot more info and is cheap. In the past postcards where one of the most common ways to communicate when on holiday. Today they are a gateway to the past. It’s not only fun to collect but also fun to see how the Disney parks looked like so many years ago. Just have a look at the example above. Isn’t it fun! The three little Pigs in front of the castle in Disneyland.

This card was published by H. S. Crocker Co. of San Bruno, California in the late 1970. A correct date was not printed on the card. I paid about $0,60 for the card. Proof that collecting Disney doesn’t always have to be expensive.

Working For the Mouse in Hawaii

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Looking for a job and want to work for the mouse? How about applying for a position at their newest Disney Vacation Club location in Hawaii! Disney will be filling in about 800 positions for their Disney’s Aulani Resort. For those interested in a position at the new resort can apply via the Disney career website. Disney will also be present at the WorkForce 2011 job fair on May 18. Disney will provide information about the resort and the job opportunities during the event. They will not accept applications during the WorkForce event as those are only accepted via their website for Aulani Jobs.

It is expected that Disney will fill a lot of the positions in May and June, but new jobs could be added to the site all the way up to December.

WorkForce will be held on May 18 in Neal S. Blaisdell Center

Disney handwritten letter to Mickey creator and More Disney Auctions

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Live Auctioneers has a big auction coming up this weekend where Disney fans’ hearts will beat either a little harder or might even skip a couple of beats when they see the fantastic collection of items that will go under the hammer. There are to many lots to name but I picked a couple of my favorites to give you an idea on what to expect.

How about a “Complete Gladiator Costume from Tron” for those fans of the 1982 Tron movie. I know there are plenty and there is plenty in the auction from Tron for them. Other Tron items include “Tron Light Cycles print signed by Syd Mead” and a “Tron crew jacket and original press kit” among many other Tron stuff.

Want something special straight from the Disney Parks history. You could own a Lincoln bust prototype estimated $4000 to $6000. There are also some first day Disneyland opening tickets set to go for $1.500 or more. There are even some ride vehicles in the auction lot from Snow White and Mr Toad ride and an original 1962 Haunted Mansion door comings from the attraction.

With the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie coming up it’s a great moment to have some Pirates items in your auction too. This includes some amazing stuff like “Pirates of the Caribbean Keira Knightly costume”, “Johnny Depp “Capt. Jack Sparrow” stunt flintlock from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”, “Johnny Depp “Capt. Jack Sparrow” stunt flintlock from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and lots of other cool pirates items.

Tim Burton items are also being sold during the auction. There will be a whole lot of Original Tim Burton hand-drawn ink sketches for Vincent, but also items from Nightmare on Chistmas like a “Collection of 12 color storyboards from The Nightmare Before Christmas” and other artwork. But that’s just the beginning as there is some amazing Nightmare stuff to choose from, including original puppets and items used on the set and in the movie.

But the one and most important items will be a letter written and signed by Walt Disney himself. It’s the “Disney handwritten letter to Mickey creator” written by Disney to Ub Iwerk. This historical document is estimated $60.000 to $80.000 and has been in the hands of the Iwerks family up to now.

This letter documents a major turning point for Disney, urging Iwerks to leave Kansas City, move to Los Angeles and accept his offer to become Disney’s chief animator, marking the moment in time in which history was secured and the Master of Fantasy and the Hand Behind the Mouse came to an agreement that would ultimately change popular culture as we know it today. (Live Auctioneers)

A true gem for a real (and wealthy) Walt Disney collector

Other Disney items include animation production cells, concept art, drawings, Theme Park attraction posters, Club 33 chair, maquettes, and a lot more. There is also a big collection of other movie and TV items not related to Disney.

Auction starts on May 14 and will be divided over 2 days. Early bids can be placed via the site.

Disney Store Opens In Antwerp

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Today the Disney Store opened their first store in the Benelux in Antwerp, Belgium. The grand opening took place at 11am with a special opening ceremony where Mickey and Minnie came out of the store to welcome the public and Disney fans to enter the shop for the very first time. A little girl was picked you was handed a key from Mickey. With this key she could open the store to the general public.

The store is a shop on two floors filled with Disney merchandise. Classic Disney figures, princesses, Disney movies, Pixar and, yes, Marvel related merchandise. The store is a fun place with some special surprises like light up threes that show some Disney Magic, A big interactive movie screen and a mirror showing some magical moments that involve the Disney princesses.

The interactive part of the shop is real fun, especially if you are going there during your birthday. Let on of the Cast Members now it’s your birthday and see what happens in the whole of the shop.

Unfortunately the Disney geeks and collectors will not find what they love so much as the Pins, Vynilmations, Walt Disney Classic Collection, Snow Globes and such are missing from the store.

The store can be found on “De Meir”, the biggest shopping street in the heart of Antwerp, Belgium.

Well worth a visit as you will see on the rest of the pictures.

A Pirate’s Ship, a Mousekedances Album and Walt’s Signature

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Are you a Disney collector looking for something special that can’t be found in the Disney stores and Theme Parks. How about visiting auctions? You can always find something special there. In about 3 days Julien’s Live will action of some amazing stuff in their “Hollywood Legends Auction”. Some of this stuff is truly awesome. From the TV hit “Heroes” to the fantastic movie Serenity, from Star Wars to Marlene Dietrich and a lot more. There are 602 different lots starting from $50 to well over $10000.

For the Disney fanatics and specialist collectors there are three lots to look out for. All three of them pretty amazing. The three lots are…

“DISNEYLAND ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING FANTASYLAND PIRATE SHIP”
An architectural drawing for the Disneyland Inc. Fantasyland Pirate Ship. Drawing is dated “5-7-55,” showing the side and end elevations of the ship, marked “Sheet No. A3.” Designed by WED Enterprises. Designed to resemble Captain Hook’s pirate ship, it served as a restaurant at Disneyland from 1955 to 1982. (lot 357)

This lot is estimated $500 to $700.

The second item is…

“WALT DISNEY AND MICKEY MOUSE CLUB SIGNED ALBUM”
A 10″ 78 rpm copy of “Mousekedances” signed on record label by Walt Disney and on the reverse label by members of The Mickey Mouse Club including: Annette, Doreen, Karen, Tommy, Cheryl, Roy, Cubby, Jimmie Dodd and Bobby. (lot 358)

An amazing item signed by 9 people. This is an absolute rare find and is estimated to bring $800 to $1000.

And item number three…

“WALT DISNEY SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH”
An original vintage photograph inscribed and signed by Walt Disney. (lot 359)

A gem for sure and something many Walt Disney fans would love to own. Estimated at $600 to $800, but I see this item selling for more beating the higher end estimate. Beautiful Disney collectible. For those that want to place a bit; happy bidding and good luck and if you win it let us know…

Picture copyrights Julien’s Auctions. Click picture to see full size on their page

Disney Imagineers / Marvel Imagineers

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Will the first Marvel attraction find its way into a Disney park? With Disney owning Marvel this question wasn’t about “if”, but “when”. Now it looks like the Disney Imagineers are working on an idea to bring a first Marvel attraction into the parks. This rumored possibility comes from the mouse itself in the form of an interview in the next issue of D23, the Disney magazine.

In an interview with Kevin Feige, president of the Marvel Studios, some ideas are put forward regarding bringing Marvel to the Disney parks.

“It’s the biggest dream of all. We get to tap into this spectacular team that is better than anyone else on the planet at bringing fantasy to life, not only on the big screen but in the real world,” said Feige.  (via Movies.IGN)

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Plan everything… EVERYTHING

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Disney has released some of their future ideas regarding guests planning their stay at Walt Disney World. New technology will allow travelers to plans almost everything in advance from their home computer. This new project is known as “Next Generation Experience” or “NextGen”. Disney has been working on this project for a good year with a budget said to be $1 billion.

And once this new “tool” is in place, what will guest be able to do and plan in advance. Pretty much everything there is to do in WDW. Guest will be able to make and create their own “FastPass” ticket for the whole of their stay. Plan and book show seats in advance, plan your attraction tickets in advance and pre-book other Disney experiences for your trip. It will all be possible from your home computer. There is no date set yet when this will start, but Disney is very serious about these new planning experience and has applied for patents related to the NextGen tool and has signed a confidentiality agreement with a company that makes radio-frequency identification, or RFID, microchips that can be used in tickets or wristbands. (more…)

The Dream has arrived!

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Here a first video from the arrival of the Disney Dream Cruise ship to Port Canaveral this morning.

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It Only Takes 30 Seconds to Build A Ship

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Have a look at the video below to see the new Disney Cruise Dream being build in this just over 30 seconds video. Great fun, Enjoy!