Avatar Kingdom

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011


It’s been the biggest news since yesterday, Avatar coming to the Animal Kingdom park in Walt Disney World. Disney has closed a deal with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of Avatar to the Disney parks.

James and his producing partner Jon Landau and their team at Lightstorm Entertainment will serve as creative consultants on the project and will work side-by-side with our Walt Disney Imagineers as we dream up experiences that will take our guests deep into worlds of AVATAR like never before. (Disneyparks Blog)

Who is excited? Well, I am not. While I think that the Avatar movie is amazing I don’t like the idea of it going into a Disney park, let alone the Animal Kingdom park. I see the Animal Kingdom park as a Imagineering masterpiece and I just don’t see it fitting in here, even if it could be linked with nature. Alien nature in the Animal Kingdom park?

There are two more movies planned in the Avatar universe, but what happens after that? Will it stay as big as Star Wars? Will it stay as cool as Indiana Jones? (Even with the last movie being a disaster). Or will it be the Harry Potter impact that Universal got? I am not so sure. Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter are timeless that might need some updates over time (Like Star Wars just had), but will Avatar also become a timeless story. If you look at the secondary market (toys, collectibles, etc), Star Wars, and Harry Potter are everywhere (Indiana Jones not so much). Avatar, can’t remember when I’ve seen anything in the shops anywhere. With Avatar in the park there will be a continuous live for the franchise. But will they be able to turn it timeless?

I am a big Disney fan and love the parks. I will give it a chance and hope I am totally wrong, but for now I am very skeptic.

On the other hand, if the Imagineers get the money and resources they need we might get to see an incredible land with amazing Disney attractions. At the end of the day, that’s what people and Disney park fans like me get excited.

The web has been the place where people put up some questions about Disney’s decision and Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has added some answers to them. One of the questions was one that popped up in my head to; Why buy someone else’s idea instead of letting WDI come up with something? Find out what Tom Staggs has to say about this and read his other answers on the Disneypark blog.

D23 Shanghai Model

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Picture from the new Shanghai Disney park taken at the D23 Expo. Click the picture for big size photo!

D23 Live Tweets

Friday, August 19th, 2011

D23 has stared and you can follow our live tweets from the event on the @Mousekingdom twitter account. Become one of our followers and enjoy the tweets straight from the action. Updates and tweets will follow throughout the days of the expo.

The Shanghai Disney Storybook Castle

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Disney has released two art images from the planned Shanghai park. The images are from Disney Resorts’ Storybook Castle and shows an exterior view of the castle as well as a beautiful interior view. The interior pictures shows a fantastic looking staircase that will lead visitors to the “Once Upon a Time Adventure”, an adventure featuring the well beloved Disney princesses. On the top we can see something that looks like a big glass dome while the outside shows us some vivid colors.

Via Shanghai Daily

Pictures copyrights Disney

Our First Vinylmation

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

When the Vinylmations where announced I promised myself not to get into it, to stay away from it and to not add yet another collectible to my home. But this weekend the Vinylmation trap snapped and a very first figure was both. They just looked so nice and I wanted to get at least one to see what I would get. Got to look at some of the choices in the shop at Disneyland Paris before I picked a box. There was an Animation Series, The Park Series 6, Star Wars Series and the Toy Story Series but it was the Have a Laugh Series that caught my eye. I liked multiple once of the Have a Laugh Vinylmation figures, but one of them in particular became my favorite one of this lot. It was the Mickey’s Garden Figure, the one with the pumpkin.

The boxes are closed however, so I had to be lucky to pick just that one. But I couldn’t help myself and picked a box…

At Cafe Mickey in the Disney Village in Disneyland Paris I opened the box… and what are the odds? (Well I guess 1 in 12). It was the one I wanted, The Have a Laugh “Mickey’s Garden Vinylmation. The trap has snapped for sure as I got the figure I wanted the most in my first pick.

My son was also very happy with his first box. He got himself the Donald one from this series. He had multiple once he liked and would be happy with, Donald being one of them.

The next day we left after a day of fun in the park with 2 more figures each. We both got the Ostrich one from the same set, while I took home Clu from the Tron Series and my son one box from the Star Wars Series. Am I hooked… I hope not, but after looking on the web what is out there I already have a want list. One of the is Shan Yu from the Villains Series (to name one), but I am mostly looking forward seeing the rumored Haunted Mansion Series come to the stores.

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)…

Disneyland Paris Sand Sculptures Opening Night

Friday, June 10th, 2011

 

Last night it was special opening night for the Sand Sculpture Festival Blankenberge 2011 based on the MagicalMoments Festival of Disneyland Paris. It was going to be a magical night and a beginning of a wonderful summer at the Belgium coast side. The VIP’s, Press, friends, Disney Cast Members, Disney Ambassadors and fans where invited

to see the opening of a fantastic display made out of… sand!

The opening ceremony started with a small introduction about the project. The idea started by one of the artist while working on an ice sculpture event in Paris. This man is Alexander Deman. He contacted Disneyland Paris, met up in January and only 5 months later he and his team created a fantastic sand sculpture display of Disneyland Paris attractions and some of Disney’s most beloved characters. Alexander came to the stage and talked about the work and invited all artist on stage who where welcomed by a big applause from the public. The 2 Disney ambassadors Régis  & Osvaldo visited especially from Paris and where impressed about what they saw here in Blankenberge. They where thrilled about what they witnessed today and loved being a part of it.

After the introduction it was time to officially open the event and who better then Mickey Mouse himself would be given the honors to open the gates for the first visitors.

The sand sculptures are divided in multiple areas. The first area guest can visit once they enter the festival is the Main Marquee. In front of this big tent Mickey Mouse and Minnie are awaiting the guests next to Disneyland Railroad. These figures look amazing and are only a small treat to what is still to come. Inside the Marquee guest are invited to screens showing some scenes of Disneyland Paris before they go around the corner where a bigger screen shows them how the artist have worked on the sand creations the last couple of months. You will see how they work on the Disney Characters and how they set up the big Sleeping Beauty Castle. Worth checking out before entering the main hall of the tent where the real work is shown.

Once inside the main room guest will see Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse showing the way trough the sculptures. There are a total of 52 Sculptures or scenes in this tent alone. Some of them big, others even bigger. Just beside Walt and Mickey you’ll find Main street. The detail is amazing, including name shields, birds and decorations, as we come to know and love them by Disney. Here your trip starts around the sculptures that include Tangled, Casey Jr., Dumbo, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Aladdin, Cinderella, Beast’s Castle, Pocahontas, Mulan, Ariel, Alice in Wonderland and many more. The displays are amazing, big, beautiful and created with eye for detail. A wonderful adventure for everybody who enters. Alice’s Curious Labyrinth for example is fun and extremely creative. A fantastic job by the artists.

Once your visit in the main marquee comes to an end you’ll be welcomed to even more amazing sand sculptures. The next 19 displays are some of the most beautiful of them all. They include The Sleeping Beauty Castle, Phantom Manor and boot hill (my personal favorite), Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror. A stunning display!

But it doesn’t end there! There is more. Inside the Round Marquee you’ll find some of Disney’s favorite characters from Jungle Book, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and the Lion King. Don’t miss those amazing displays, especially Skull Rock.

The smallest tent is the Pixar Marquee. As the name already suggest, you’ll find some of Pixar most beloved characters like Buzz, Sulley, Ratatouille and Wall-E.

There are 125 sand sculptures and displays. Enough to keep you and your whole family entertained for a couple of hours.

It’s pure magic and everybody working on this project should be proud. Well worth a visit as you will be enchanted and will want to drive straight on to Disneyland Paris afterwards. I know I did.

After the tour and to end this special opening there was one more magical moment awaiting us. A fantastic Fireworks display. Especially for this event the fantastic music of Illuminations was used. This is my favorite Disney experience in Walt Disney World and it was the cherry on the cake for this wonderful and magical event.

The Sand Sculptures Festival is open until September 12 from 10 AM to 7 PM. For more information on the event visit www.zandsculptuur.be

A visit is highly recommended to anybody, even if you havn’t been to Disneyland Paris (yet). It will put a smile on the faces of both young and old…

Keep on visiting the blog for more pictures soon.

Did You Know About…

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

.. all our other projects? Mousekingdom is part of our BIG Disney family with multiple projects. Most of them are linked but in case you didn’t know about them yet I wanted to put them all on this blog so you can check them out and ad them to your favorites.

There is our other site related totally on Disneyland Paris. You’ll find all the news from in and around the park there. We have our facebook page where you can come and say hello too. You can of course follow us on twitter too and we even have our own daily paper (somehow, just have a look at it here)

We also have a youtube channel. Only a couple of video on it at this time but do become a member to get updates on new videos we will post there.

Check them all out and add them to your daily Disney fix. Thank you to all our guests following us here or any of our other platforms. And now, let’s get on with the show…

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 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)

(more…)

Shanghai Disney Resort Breaking Ground Ceremony

Friday, April 8th, 2011

The ground breaking ceremony for the new Disney park in Shanghai is a fact! You can see the official video below. The official Disney park blog has added some more artwork to the already previously shown artwork too. Still not much info on what will be in the park but Disney says it will be “authentically Disney, yet distinctly Chinese”

The resort is shedualed to open in about 5 years. A specific date is not been revealed yet. Rumors about the castle can already be found in the grapevine. Some first news indicate that the castle will not be dedicated to one fairy tale, but might be a “new” home to the different Disney princesses out there. More Shanghai news to follow in the coming 5 years…

See the pictures of the arwork below (more…)

3 Disney Parks for Shanghai

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

According the latest news Disneyland Shanghai will be getting 3 gates. Not all at once, but once the Magic Kingdom is open 2 more gates will follow. For now the plans are to add an Epcot and an Animal Kingdom park in Shanghai. Both parks will not be mirrored from Orlando but will be build around the same theme. Let’s hope it works out for Disney this time around (after all the problems in Paris and Hong Kong) and they will be able to keep these promises to Shanghai. If so, this resort will be pretty amazing.

(via the always great Disney and More blog)

New Disney’s Art of Animation Resort concept Art

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Disney has revealed 4 new images of the new Art of Animation Resort. The resort opens in 2012 and will have 1120 family suites in the Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings and another 864 themed rooms in the Little Mermaid wing.

(more…)

InspEarations TRON Mickey Statue

Monday, December 6th, 2010

If you are both a Mickey Mouse fan and a Tron fan (like me) then this is the auction for you. The original InspEarations TRON Mickey Statue is up for grabs on Ebay. Starting bid is $9500, or you can buy it now for $15000. This statue was specially designed for  Mickey’s 75th birthday and has originally been displayed in the park. This is one beautiful collectible!

To bid or buy this item or to see some more picture visit the original Ebay page. 4 days left for those that want to place a bid.

How about Australia?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

It has been floating on the web, the rumored expansion of Animal Kingdom with a new land. The new land is Australia and would give Disney the chance to expand the Animal Kingdom with a rumored marine life display. Animal Kingdom is already a big place, but there is enough room for this land. My concern however is the animals that could be housed here. Would Disney go and compete against SeaWorld when they add Dolphins or even Killer Whales? I don’t think so! Seaworld is already doing a great job and have established themselves as the one and true sea life marine park with shows that can hardly be competed with. However, after the Killer Whale issues and the dead in the SeaWorld park this year, would Disney even take the risk to explore that road? (more…)