Trip Diaries Day Three: No Camera!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Our plan! Get up early and hit a park to do some rides and avoid the early Christmas crowds. We were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 8:20am, ready for the 9am opening. A big queue got formed early and they did open a little early. Straight over to Star Tours to check out what all the fuss was about. It was a walk on (as most people dashed for Toy Story Many). We could even pick our seats. With about 10 people in the attraction we started our first journey. My son was lucky enough to be the spy on this first trip. That was a great little bonus. With no queue we had to go for a second run. We got in our Star Tour cruiser but the droids messed it up and we had to leave it and board another one. Our second trip was a complete new experience. Love the new Star Tours! A great new version.

We finished our two trips on Star Tours way before 10am, and that’s with park opening at 9am. Not too bad. We even had some extra time to do the Movie Ride before we had to go over the Toy Story Mania with our fastpass. Toy Story Mania was busy and people in the queue for a fastpass already had a time slot well in the afternoon. Busy times. Once we got that out our way we went for some iced coffee and a chocolate chip cookie and wait for the first Indiana Jones Show. The show was fun, as it always is. Even if you’ve seen it multiple times before, it’s a must do.

Our game plan worked well and now the park is pretty crowded. It was time to get out for a little lunch and a midday swim. In the late afternoon we went over to visit Downtown Disney. Not a lot of time to explore it all as we had dinner reservations with Susan and Simon Veness at the Big River Grill & Brewing Works on the Boardwalk. We did get to see the new Lego Store and enjoyed the great collection of new pins before catching the bus.

We had a great meal at the Big River Grill and a great chat with Susan, Simon and their family. Great evening talking Disney and more (thanX guys). To end a perfect day we headed into Epcot, just in time for Illuminations, my all-time favourite Disney experience. Unfortunately I was forced to find a new location to view the show as they use my previous space for a dinner packet private spot.

Today I left my camera in the hotel room (for most of the day). I deliberately left it there as my son isn’t too happy when I stop every minute to take 10 pictures. I guess there will be enough other moments where I’ll have the chance to take some great shots… (Like the next day)

Number 4 in, (a) number 2 out?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Time for a double new header from Pixar …

The first one concerns a potential fourth full length feature in the Toy Story franchise. While the stars of the series recently returned in a short going on vacation in Hawaii (screened before CARS 2) no word had been out so far concerning whether another full length feature is considered. However, San Diego Entertainer reports that Tom Hanks during a recent interview with the BBC was asked whether there might be a fourth movie and replied: “I think there will be, yeah, I think they’re working on it now”. Sounds great? Well, just don’t forget: this is nothing like an official confirmation “working on it now” might also mean that Pixar is in a blue sky phase throwing around potential story ideas. There is no reason to believe that a movie is ready to go into actual production anytime soon…

The second news was reported by The Hollywood Reporter – and concerns the exit of Brad Lewis from Pixar. The 10-year veteran of Pixar who produced Ratatouille and co-directed Pixar’s current movie “CARS 2″ is leaving Emeryville to head to Florida where he is said to join Digital Domain’s newly founded Tradition Studios who are supposed to create CG features as well. The field of CG movie studios is getting more crowded by the day…

Both news today were brought to our attention through the great TAG blog of the Animation Guild 839.

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.

Construction Progress from Tokyo DisneySEA

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Right now there is no real drought of rehab and construction reports from Disney parks. Afterall there are the ongoing rehabs all over Disneyland Paris (as covered on our sister site DLP.info) in preparation for next year’s 20th anniversary celebration, Disney’s California Adventure is making progress on its CARSland expansion and also preparing Goofy’s Sky School plus the adjacent dining area for later this year and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World has Fantasyland expansion / redesign project growing behind construction walls. All these projects are well covered on the various unofficial websites dedicated to the according Disney resorts … but one resort is missing … Tokyo Disney!

With the parks re-opened after the earthquake related closure earlier this year international coverage has returned to the limited “normal” levels for non-Japanese speaking internet users … but there are ongoing construction projects at TDR as well – to be exact: at Tokyo DisneySEA which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Jasmine's Flying Carpets coming soon. Questioning the po... on TwitpicThanks to twitter user Scott Otis we now have one picture each of the two current construction projects at TDS:

The first one is the addition of the Flying Carpets to the Arabian Coast as seen on the left. The attraction already found in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland in Walt Disney World and in the Toon Studios of the Walt Disney Studios Paris park received a unique, new themeing tying it into a palace theme and got named “Jasmine’s Flying Carpets” – despite being located in front of the Sinbad ride, which is outside the “palace” area of the Arabian Coast that is originally dedicated to Aladdin. While still closed the ride was apparently already undergoing testing today.

Here's the progress of Toy Story Mania on New York Stree... on TwitpicThe second construction project at TDW is currently found at the American Waterfront: the addition of Toy Story Mania (Toy Story Midway Mania). The attraction will be housed at the far end of the American Waterfront section in the currently dead corner between the Broadway Music Theatre (home of “Big Band Beat”) and the Tower of Terror. The area is currently blocked off with construction fences. But behind the scaffolding it can be seen that the new home of the ride looks as if it has reached its final height already (assuming that the building will be similar in height to the one in DCA). The photo on the righ shows thart the construction touches right onto the building of the Tower of Terror.

Finale note: Scott Otis is live tweeting his current visit to Tokyo Disney Resort for several days already (including views from the MiraCosta) - so for a running report of the many details and highlights of both parks of the resort and many, many photos check out his twitter account - highly recommended for any fan of the Disney Resorts!

Photos by Scott Otis provided via twitpic

And the BAFTA goes to…

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Toy Story 3 has just received the British Academy of Film and Television arts award for best animation. It was up against “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Despicable Me”. Lee Unkrich came to the stage to get the award and do a small thank you speech. It was also nominated for best adapted screenplay but couldn’t win it from the movie “The Social Network”. It also failed to get the award in Special Visual Effects. Inception won it in this category.

Alice in Wonderland won the award in the category Costume Design and Make Up & Hair. It was also nominated in the Special Visual Effects category as well as the Production Design category and Original Music category.

A full list with all the winners can be found here

Producers Guild of America Toy Story 3 Nominations

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The Producers Guild of America has announced their 2011 Theatrical Motion Picture and Television Nominations. This is the 22nd annual event and will take place on January 22nd during a ceremony where the winners will be announced. One of the nominees is Disney’s Toy Story III in the categories The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures and The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures.

In the animation category Toy Story 3 is up agains the fantastic How to Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me. But even with How to Train Your Dragon being a great movie, Toy Story 3 should be the favorite here as it is a fantastic movie.

Below a full list of all nominations and categories, including some ABC shows (more…)

Put Your Hard Hat On and Visit Hong Kong Disneyland

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

No idea what they are talking about, but pictures say more than words and so is the case with this awesome Hong Kong video tour of the large construction area for the three new mini lands. There is also a good view of the models used to show of how the lands will look like once finish. One of these lands we already know and seen in Disneyland Paris. It will have some differences, but the rides are similar, it’s Toy Story Land of course. The other lands being shared in the video are Mystic Point and Grizzly Trail.

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Let’em roll in

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

The Hollywood award season has finally got underway- and Disney / Pixar are off to a good start as far as their animated releases are concerned. TOY STORY 3 garnered the Best Animated Feature award at the National Board of Review awards that traditionally kick off the award season.

The National Board of Review, established in 1909, describes itself as “group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts, academics, film professionals, and students” – and considering the award for TOY STORY 3 Disney Pixar fans are sure not to doubt it this year. (more…)

Paris or Disneyland Paris

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

That’s been the question on my mind when I was in Paris this weekend. We had a trip planned to Paris without a visit to Disneyland. Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower was big priority, also a visit on top of the Arce du Triomphe was on the list. A visit to  Montmartre, a walk next to the river Seine and a stroll down Champs-Élysées was also on the program. I could even visit a couple of comic book stores at the Latin Quarter. But I couldn’t help myself, Disneyland Paris was so close and it was on my mind. Toy Story Playland just opened and I would not go and visit it? How could I do this… Well, it looks like I couldn’t. Come Sunday I was on the RER and hopped over to visit my beloved park.

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Toy Story Playland Coverage

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Make sure to visit our Disneyland Resort Paris project DLP.Info to see what is going on behind the blue fences of the new Toy Story Playland in the Walt Disney Studios in Paris. You’re invited to see the finished work of the area and the new rides. All the info and a lot of great pictures of the area and the attractions. (Thanks to Dirk and the great work on the reports).

… And We Have a Winner

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Do you play those competitions you find in the paper or online and hope to be lucky enough to win something? Well, my son did. There was a competition related to the new Toy Story 3 movie. All he had to do was send a text message and pick the prize he wanted the mosts. Today, about 1 month later when we opened the post box there was an envelope with his name on it. What could it be? Who is it from?… Only when he opened the envelope he remembered the competition from a month ago. He had picked the new Wii Toy Story 3 game and that’s what he found in the postbox.

Thought it was fun to share! Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go and play a game of Toy Story 3.

Don’t own the game yet? How about ordering it on Amazon via this link!

Josh Whedon is an Avenger!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

OK, Avengers will not be distributed via a Disney company but via the Paramount company, but as Avenger is a part of Marvel Entertainment Company and Disney owns the Marvel Entertainment Company I have enough reason to do a little happy dance and write about it here on the blog after hearing the news that Joss Whedon confirmed his role as Director for the Avengers movie during his appearance at the San Diego Comic Con. I have always been a big fan of Buffy, love his Serenity movie and now can’t wait to see his Avengers movie.

This is not the first time Joss Whedon is involved in the comic industry. He wrote the Buffy Series 8 for Dark Horse, but also had a 24 part Astonishing X-Men series written for Marvel. For this run he was nominated for multiple Eisner Awards including Best Serialized Story, Best New Series, Best Writer and winning the Best Continuing Series award in 2006. Let’s hope this is enough to Joss Whedon bring the Avengers to the screen as they should be. We don’t want to see a repeat of Marvel’s the Fantastic Four 2, a disaster of a movie. But I have high hopes with Whedon in the director’s chair.

Did you know that Joss Whedon was one of the script writers of Toy Story. There! Another link with Disney, another reason to write about it on the Mousekingdom blog!

Disney ‘s San Diego Comic Con Exclusives list

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

It’s almost that time of the year again; The San Diego Comic Con. As usual there is a big list of exclusives that will only be sold at the convention (until they start to pop up on eBay). Here you’ll find a full list of everything exclusive Disney related.

Let’s start with Boom Studios. They are the people who bring you Pixar and Disney comics on a montly basis. Especially for the convention they added some real gems to their collection. They will have 3 blank cover comic books. These books can be used to have artist at the convention drawn something on it. Those books and the art on it makes them one of a kind. There will be a Toy Story #5 Get-A-Sketch, Cars #7 Get-A-Sketch and a The Muppet Show #7 Get-A-Sketch comic book. These three books will have a limited production run of only 500 copies each and will be sold for $20 a piece. This is without the artists drawings on it. Those that would like a drawing will need to queue with one of the artist and might have to pay another premium to get the art on the book.

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Toy Story 3 Sets Box Office Record

Monday, June 21st, 2010

It’s no big surprise for this weekends box office. As expected To Story 3 would take the lead. Not only would it take the lead but it would set some records too. This sequel can now call itself the biggest Pixar opening, surpassing The Incredibles $70.5 million opening weekend record. Toy Story 3 estimated opening weekend gross is set to $109 million. This includes the IMAX 3D theaters too where it shattered the previous record for animated feature with a total of $8.4 million. The previous record was for Monsters vs. Aliens with $5.1 million.

Toy story is also Disney’s 4th movie to enter the$100+ million domestic opening weekends of all time top 10 list. This was the third movie to open over 100 million this year. Other movies that did the same in 2010 are the amazing and wonderful Alice in Wonderland and, to proof that it’s not always good movies to enter these records, so did the terrible Iron Man II (the first one was so good).

Toy Fair, Toy Story… Toys

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

The New York Toy Fair has started and you can already find some great reports online with pictures of all the new and great toys. If you want to know how a presentation on a Toy Fair looks like visit the “Gearlog, A Guide By Geeks, For Geeks”  site and you’ll be invited to see the Disney presentation of they new Toy Story Toys in their pictures update. John Lasseter was at the event, posing with his Lego Head that was on display on the table, before talking about the new Toy Story Toys that will hit the shelves.

Their will be a Barbie toy as well as a Lots-O-Huggin Bear. This bear will be the first plush in the Toy Story Toys range and will responce to voice and hugs as well as smell of strawberries.

Picture from Gearlog, A Guide By Geeks, For Geeks.