Universal Studios Hollywood Backlot Devastation

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Yesterday a devastating fire has destroyed a mayor part of Universal Studios Hollywood‘s backlot area. While firefighters did a tremendous job trying to control and save some of Universal heritage, the losses are still big. The King Kong attraction is destroyed as well as most of the sets from New York and New England Streets. The cause of the fire will be investigated. So far the news speaks of an explosion, but no further information is know yet. However, the famous Clock Tower Building from the Back to the Future fame has not been burned down as earlier news reported.

You can see a full news report, including a video of the flames tearing down the buildings on ABCnews and a collection of pictures on the BBC website. If you visit Screamscape you’ll find a “before and after” picture of the backlot area.

Impact on the Mouse

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Mickey Mouse has a big impact on American history, an impact that goes far beyond American boundaries. Just look at the theme parks around the world, the movies playing in thousand theaters and the millions of toys in the shops. Even if you don’t have a Disney holiday, most likely you will still encounter some sort of Disney on your trip (or near your home). You can also ask what cartoon character is the most known in the world; I am pretty confident that Mickey Mouse will make it on the top spot as most well known cartoon character. Mickey (and his friends) are everywhere, even making an impact on our daily lives.

But what about the impact on Mickey Mouse and Disney from the outside? It’s a question that popped up in my head, more specifically the impact of today and in the (near) future! Let’s have a look at some possible theories (I think) that has have impact on the mouse and that might form the future look of Disney. Let’s do so starting with the biggest influence at the moment; PIXAR!


Fantastic Quarter!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Disney is doing very well again with a better than expected 22% rise in profit. Especially the movies National Treasure: Book of Secrets and the fairy tale “Enchanted” together with Disney theme park attendance are taking care of the big profits in their last quarter.

Even with the frightening economic situation at the moment, Disney seems unstoppable boosting their profits and making their shareholders happy.

“All of the big media companies are doing fundamentally very well and the market just refuses to acknowledge it,” (Reuters)


Disneyland: 3rd Gate and Tinker bell

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Ed Grier, Disneyland Resort president, is talking about a possible third gate for the Disneyland Resort. While many thought that with the big rehab of Disney’s California Adventure a third gate would be something not for the near future but now Disney talks about it themselves. Obviously they did not give any more information other then the location of the possible 3rd gate expansion.

A third theme park was hinted at by Grier on Wednesday. “We do see a tremendous opportunity on our 88 acres of land,” Grier said. (OC Register)


The Muppets visit the Future … at EPCOT

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Remember those stories from earlier this year, when Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker roamed Disney’s California Adventure on board of their “Muppet Mobile Lab” christened rolling rocket-ship? Remember the numerous reports on how stunning the experience was for guests who were able to interact with the two characters from the beloved Muppets? Still annoyed you might have missed them? Well, here comes your second chance to see the latest effort from Imagineering’s “Living Creature Initiative”.

As the Orlando Sentinel reports today the “Muppet Mobile Lab” has arrived at EPCOT in Walt Disney World for several weeks of testing. The two muppet characters arrive from backstage in their rocket ship style vehicle in EPCOT’s Future World where they roll into the park, along the way interacting with guests before stopping for a 12-minute “show” – partially scripted, partially improvisational – in the vincinity of Mission: Space.


Visit a Fake Disney Park (Before it is to late)

Friday, May 11th, 2007

fakedisney-japanprobe1.jpgPictures, reports and even a video have been circulating on the internet about the fake Disney park “Shijingshan” in Beijing.

A banner over the entrance said, “Disney is too far, so please come to Shijingshan.” (Biz Yahoo)

Visitors get to see a collection of Disney faces and Characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald and some of the princesses. The managers of the park have other views on this.

Take our Cinderella as an example. The face of Disney’s Cinderella face is European, but ours is a Chinese. She looks like a young Chinese country girl”

Really? They want to get away what that?


Marvel Comics going to Dubai

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

rogueatioa.jpgWhen visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando I can’t leave without a visit to another park; Islands Of Adventure! This park is appealing to me for several reasons; the awesome roller coasters, great rides, but also because of the Marvel area. I am a big comic book geek, I love them, I read them and I collect them. A good 10.000 books, if not more, are in my collection. I love X-men the most, but have many others in my collection.

Today I saw the news that Marvel has signed a contract with the people at Dubai so they can ad the well know super heroes in a park over there.


Shareholders Meeting part 2: will there ever be a third gate for DLRP?

Monday, February 26th, 2007

dlrp-model.jpgWell, I gave some little info on the shareholders meeting (without trying to be boring) in the first part, I also said there would be some “not so fun stuff a little later. So here it is… Will there ever be a third gate for Disneyland Resort Paris?

One thing in particular was something I found to be not the best news for us fans. Near the end of the meeting we got to see a slide in the presentation mentioning the land that is under control, under development or for future development by Disney. On this slide it stated that the section reserved for the theme park(s) is almost completely developed. A couple of slides later we get to see a slide with the land that will see development in the future. Disney will take this task on and then have third parties attracted to set up their businesses on the Disney property.


One Reporter with $587 Equals 1 Night at the Suite

Monday, February 19th, 2007

What do you do when you’re a reported and the AP picks up the tab of $587 to get and sleep in the Cinderella Castle suite at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World… You go and enjoy a day most people can only dream of. While the stay in the suite is the real price I must say that the fact that you can have a wander around the closed park sounds awesome…

I do literally have the park to myself, but there’s not much to do in it because the rides are closed. Everything remains lit up as if it were packed, and piped-in Disney music fills the air. (Sun-Sentinel)

Well, I guess he is no “real” Disney fanatic. I would not need anything to do when I would be given the chance to walk in the park by myself. I would enjoy the sights of the park and would feel amazing at such opportunity. Wandering the park, alone, with all the lights on and with the Disney Music keeping you company… Sounds great! Read the whole article for some other fun things that was part of this “magical moment”

John from “The Disney Blog” makes a good point when he says that this could backfire as there is no information on how this was possible or done by Disney, giving the wrong impression people are able to buy themselves into being a winner…

From DLRP’s white knight to its competitor?

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

CNN Money reports about an article of Bahrain’s al-Waqt newspaper which based on un-identified sources states that Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is supposed to be in talks with potential investors to build an $8 billion Disneyland theme park in Bahrain based on existing Disney theme park concepts and to be called tentatively “Disney Bahrain”. While the report does give no indications wether The Walt Disney Company is directly involved in the talks it names Kuwait Finance House, the Gulf’s second-largest Islamic bank by market value, and Bahraini institutions as being among the potential investors targeted in the talks. According to CNN Money Kuwait Finance House in Bahrain declined to either confirm or deny the report, while the spokeswoman for the prince could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Bahrain’s Economic Development Board and a spokesman for the state-owned Mumtalakat Holding Company said they had not heard of the deal.

According to a report of Reuters on the other hand The Walt Disney Company denied any involvment in such talks. A spokesperson is cited as explicitely stating the company “is not in talks to build a theme park in Bahrain.”


Two Penguins and the “It’s a Small World” Logo

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

hkdsmallworld1.jpgOver at Hong Kong Disneyland Michelle Kwan has revealed the new It’s a Small World logo together with two penguin dolls that will be part of a full Small World “dolls” cast. The new attraction is scheduled to open in 2008

Check out the Hong Kong Disneyland Source website for more pictures and information on the new attraction.

Tigger’s “Tail”

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

tiggerstail.jpgA couple of days ago we could all witness a video where Tigger “hit” a boy without reason. The news sites and news stations where fast enough to jump on this item and brought a version of news putting Tigger into the bad spotlight. Some titles where saying that Tigger was in Trouble again as if it wasn’t the first time he did wrong even if he was cleared of these allegations…

After having another couple of closer looks at the video I concluded that (as usual) the reaction of Tigger comes from an action of the boy. I want to stress out that I do not have access to the original video and worked with the versions online and can only point out what I see. I am sure the investigators working on the issue will be able to come up with the real proof.

This is my take on the event…


Janitor Mickey

Monday, January 8th, 2007

janitormickey-hkdlsource1.jpgMagic can be found in all corners while at Disney. Cast Members are a big part of this magic, they can bring an extra smile onto a child’s face. The picture here shows a janitor playing around in the park and building his own (not so) hidden Mickey. It’s these things that make the Disney Parks so extra special

Picture is taken in Hong Kong Disneyland and comes from the HKDL source website. Well spotted!

Back from the Magic…

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

mickeywonderlandshowcast.jpgWhat’s the most magical place to celebrate the New Year? That’s right… a Disney Theme Park. So that is what we (me and my family, together with some friends) did. Just returned from Disneyland Resort Paris where we celebrated right into 2007. So stay tuned for some trip highlights in between our regular Disney new, tidbits and rambling…

Next: Disneyland Resort Paris New Years Trip: Highlights Day 1

5th Gate: Six Months later

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

castlecolin2.jpgAbout a good 6 months ago I started to have my imagination float freely on this blog when it came to the rumored 5th gate. In the entry “5th Gate: Past” I looked at the map that had a 5th gate drawn on it, the influence of Expedition Everest and Pixar while in the article “5th Gate: Now” I looked more at all the things happening around the globe, giving Disney a good reason to jump on the bandwagon to add a new park. In the entry “5th Gate: Future” I dreamed aloud about a possible timeframe. (If you’re new to the blog and didn’t see the articles yet, check them out.) Now, a good six months after writing those I wanted to see how much has changed, how the rumors are going and how possible a 5th gate opening could be when looking at the situation today…