Breaking Disney Info, News and Announcements for July 9, 2018
(Photo by Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images)
Hey, look! Another Disney movie dominated the box office this weekend. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. We’ll talk about it, several park tidbits, and other Disney info in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News.
Are you suffering 90-degree temperature where you are? Did your July 4th barbecue not require a fire, just the heat of the sun? Yeah, we’re entering the dog days of summer, and it’s not great. In Orlando, Florida, the average high temperature is 92 degrees thus far this month.
At Disney Springs, they’re taking steps to improve the situation, at least over the next month. When you head over to the splashing pad at the Marketplace on Fridays, you’ll see a party going on. Disney has introduced the Beat the Heat DJ Dance Party.
According to a Disney Springs Tweet – and you should follow their official account – they’ll host this party every Friday through Sunday from now until August 12th. The party will feature live music, free refreshments and frozen treats, and lots of splashing. As is the case with most Disney special events, I’m sure that they’ll extend it a few weeks if it proves popular. If you’re in Florida over the next few weeks, you’ll definitely want to check it out.
While You Are at Disney Springs…
Pop-up Instawalls are all the rage at Disney right now. The company’s appreciated the joy that guests feel when they take that perfect picture during a Disney visit. So, Disney’s added several beautiful backdrops to aid the social media-conscious in their endeavors.
The newest one celebrates the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp. The AMC Disney Springs 24 Dine-In Theatres, the beloved Disney Springs Cineplex, has gotten into the mix. They’ve introduced a temporary photo wall. Guests who pose in front of it will look like they have rainbow-colored wings. You can see the exact photo op backdrop here. Alternately, you can take a look at this 36-second video to appreciate how Disney created the setting as well as what it looks like in action.
The Parks Blog notes that another movie tie-in is currently taking place at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. The pal of Indiana Jones must be a cinema buff. He’s taking the ideas of Ant-Man and the Wasp to heart by shrinking or enlarging certain menu items. You’ll definitely want to try the Shrunken Empanada, which packs a massive amount of flavor into a smaller bite. You’ll need a friend or two to help you with the Goliath Slider, though. It’s about the size of your face!
Speaking of Ant-Man and the Wasp…
The Walt Disney Company has dominated the last calendar year at the box office like nothing we have ever seen before. This weekend was just another triumph for the studio, as they claimed the top two North American releases.
Let’s (counter-intuitively) talk about second place first. The Incredibles 2 just pulled off a couple of historic feats. First, it became the top Pixar domestic performer ever, surpassing Finding Dory’s $486.3 million. Then, it did something no animated movie has ever done before. It earned $500 million in North America! The latest Pixar sequel has grossed $504.3 million…after less than one month in theaters! It’s officially the most massive animated blockbuster ever.
The new title this weekend is the latest flick from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Ant-Man and the Wasp is more than just a promotional opportunity at Disney Springs! It’s also a hugely important MCU release. It’s the first film released after the dramatic events at the conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War.
While Disney has been coy about the timeframe of this film relative to those climactic events, any information about the short-term future of Marvel’s various superheroes is welcomed. For that reason, most box office analysts, myself included, anticipated the Ant-Man sequel to perform much better than the original.
That’s generally what transpired, as Ant-Man and the Wasp debuted to $76 million, quite a bit better than Ant-Man’s $57.2 million in 2015. It’s also toward the low end of Disney’s expectations for the sequel. They had hoped for a larger opening due to the post-Infinity War hype.
My suspicion is that some viewers were a bit Marvel-ed out after the release of Black Panther and Infinity War earlier this year. The latter film was still in the box office top ten as recently as June 28th, so it’s been a LOT of Marvel in a short period of time. Disney won’t release another new MCU title until Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019. Any concern about product saturation is short term, unlike with the Star Wars universe, where Disney has openly acknowledged that they’ve released too many films in too short a timeframe.
The metrics for Ant-Man and the Wasp were generally good, although a bit lower than the other 2018 MCU films. It earned an A- Cinemascore, which is solid. Due to the odd nature of this scoring system, anything under a B+ is bad, which means that the Ant-Man sequel isn’t a dazzler like Black Panther, which earned an A+. Only a handful of films manage that grade each year.
This reflects the odd problem Ant-Man and the Wasp faced. It’s competing against other MCU titles, almost all of which are classics. It’s a similar “problem” to new Pixar films. Two of Disney’s three most important movie brands are so great that they’ve raised the bar (and thereby expectations) for later releases. Still, with an 86 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, the Ant-Man sequel should receive great word-of-mouth and become another Disney blockbuster. $200 million in domestic revenue is a possibility, with $175 million all but certain.
Candlelight Processional News!
Epcot’s holiday Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved annual events at Walt Disney World. The 2018 iteration starts on November 22, 2018, and the Parks Blog recently revealed (most of) the lineup of celebrity narrators for this year. Here are the ones we know thus far:
- 11/22 – 11/23 – Chita Rivera
- 11/24 – 12/2 – TBD
- 12/3 – 12/6 – Neil Patrick Harris
- 12/7 – 12/9 – Whoopi Goldberg
- 12/10 – 12/12 – TBD
- 12/13 – 12/14 – Blair Underwood
- 12/15 – 12/17 – Gary Sinise
- 12/18 – 12/20 – Pat Sajak
- 12/21 – 12/23 – TBD
- 12/24 – 12/25 – Edward James Olmos
- 12/26 – 12/27 – Jodi Benson
- 12/28 – 12/30 – TBD
Disney also confirmed that Candlelight Processional Dining Packages will return for 2018. In a way, they’re almost here already! Ticket packages go on sale on July 11th. You’ll want to contact your MickeyTravels agent immediately to book the best possible deal for your holiday trip to Walt Disney World!
Speaking of Walt Disney World…
Let’s finish this week’s update with more magical Disney info and some great news for Florida residents. Many of the locals purchase an annual pass that has summer blackout dates. In anticipation of potential passholder frustration during this season, Disney’s come up with an inventive solution. They’ve introduced the summer add-on package.
With this option, guests who don’t have valid park admission from July 9th through August 9th can purchase it. The cost is $89 plus tax. For that money, you receive admission to three out of the four Walt Disney World gates. Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t eligible for this package due to the arrival of Toy Story Land. Still, $89 is less than the cost of a single day of admission to one park. It’s a great deal to get to spend more time at the Most Magical Place on Earth. For only $89, you buy a summer month worth of theme park visits!
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