Latest Disney News, Info and Announcements – July 30, 2018
What’s new at Disney this week? If I said chicken, plastic, and Christmas trees, would that clarify anything? Maybe you should read the latest edition of MickeyBlog News to figure out what all this means. Here’s the latest Disney news, info, and announcements for July 30, 2018!
Guy Fieri Is the New Colonel Sanders
Counter service restaurants are all the rage at Disney Springs right now. The folks in charge of this entertainment district want to boost the number of grab-and-go eateries here. The latest offering is a bit more specific than most.
When you hear the name Chicken Guy!, you can guess what’s on the menu. It’s a Quick Service restaurant that will open in August at Disney Springs. The novelty part of this new establishment is its creator. Guy Fieri, the celebrity chef that food critics love to despise, has built the menu at Chicken Guy!
The Parks Blog promises “one-of-a-kind all-natural fresh chicken tenders.” The restaurant will also offer a topping called SMC. It stands for – I kid you not – SUPER MELTY CHEESE, and yes, it’s all in caps. You know the cheese is good when someone has to scream it.
Look, Guy Fieri is a big target in the culinary world since he’s proven so successful with peasant food. He recently had a hand in the menu of Planet Hollywood, and so it’s no surprise that Disney asked him to cook up something new. That something is chicken. It’s not original, but it’ll make for a great compromise choice the next time that you and your friends are hanging out at Disney Springs.
Sorry, Straw Lovers
Remember when you were a kid and your parents bought you a Happy Meal? You’d feel ten feet tall when you were handed that cup. You’d sip out of your straw as you excitedly tore open the packaging on the meal toy. It was an unforgettable rite of childhood.
As you’ve gotten older and wiser, you’ve learned a few things. One of them is that plastic straws are just HORRIBLE for the environment. The things that you’ve loved since childhood are wasting away in landfills and ruining oceans for fish. Straw bans are growing in popularity as businesses find other solutions for beverage drinking.
Disney announced this week that they will eliminate straws and stirrers by the middle of 2019. By their estimates, they’ll reduce the number of stirrers by 13 million and straws by an almost incomprehensible 175 million. And I mean annually.
Yes, Disney buys and distributes almost 190 plastic consumables each year. As the latest example of their stewardship of the environment, the company will change some of its hotel room practices. Disney forecasts that it will reduce the number of plastics used in rooms by 80 percent. You can and should read the full details in the Parks Blog link in the paragraph above. You’ll feel better about your love of all things Disney.
More Christmas Trees Is a Good Thing
In 2016, Disney Springs introduced a new feature. For the holiday season, they added the Christmas Tree Trail, which proved instantly, immensely popular. Last year, Disney expanded the trail from 15 to 20 trees. Coincidentally or not, the number of guests spiked from 400,000 to 950,000.
When almost one million people do something, park officials take notice. And they made an obvious determination for 2018. The Christmas Tree Trail will return. It will feature more trees, too. Disney will add five more of them, bringing the grand total of trees on the trail to 25.
Two of the new trees will have themes you’ll surely want to see in person. One is a Haunted Mansion tree complete with Bride on top. Another is a Star Wars tree featuring light saber garlands. Disney’s also promised that one of the other three trees will have a monorail involved.
Yeah, we’re all going to need to visit Disney Springs this holiday season. The 2018 version of the Christmas Tree Trail sounds like it’ll be the best one to date.
Speaking of Disney Springs…
WDW News Today posted an interesting rumor last week. They suggested that the current Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire VR experience at Disney Springs will receive a companion. According to their intel, The Void will switch half of its VR rigs to another Disney intellectual property, and it’s one that makes perfect sense.
On November 21st, 2018, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 debuts in theaters. Disney will reportedly schedule a companion VR experience in tandem with the movie. According to WDWNT, The Void will premiere the VR simulation on the same day that the movie gets released. If true, November 21st is a huge day for the Wreck-It Ralph franchise and for fans of VR.
And Speaking of Disney Holiday Events…
Great news, Disneyland fans! The Happiest Place on Earth will once again convert to the Merriest Place on Earth later this year. Starting on November 9th, Holidays at the Disneyland Resort returns!
All of your favorite events are scheduled to return. Disney California Adventure will host Festival of the Holidays, including Disney ¡Viva Navidad! street party. The Festive Foods Marketplace will once again offer some of the tastiest holiday dishes you’ve ever eaten. Several attractions will receive holiday overlays, too. Plus, the “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular and “A Christmas Fantasy” parade are back!
And Speaking of Disney California Adventure…
It seems like all of this week’s news updates are connected. For example, Disney California Adventure has stuff going on other than its holiday celebration. With Pixar Pier now open, they’ve rolled out several heavily anticipated features and amenities.
The newest offering opened to the public last week. It’s Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff, a combination merchandise store and confectionary outlet. Whether you’re in the mood to shop for Disney apparel or want to satisfy your sweet tooth, this IS the place. You can read additional details about it from this recent Parks Blog post.
Let’s Close with Some Business Notes
The Walt Disney Company just completed one of its most important business weeks in recent memory. They achieved two very different but equally important milestones. One of them isn’t quite final, though. So, let’s start with the one that is.
Representatives from several different Disneyland employee unions agreed to a new three-year contract with the corporation. This complicated negotiation had stretched out for several months and led to several acrimonious media discussions. Thankfully, everyone has kissed and made up now, with Disney agreeing to take care of its workers by offering everyone a solid pay raise.
Roughly 9,700 cast members out of 23,000 at Disneyland will receive these wage increases. Their base salaries will increase to $15 by January of 2019. Workers who already earn at least that much will get three percent annual increases during the life of the contract. It’s a fair deal for all involved.
The news that isn’t quite final yet is Disney’s acquisition of Fox media assets. After months of difficulties caused by an ill-fated Comcast attempt to steal the deal out from under Disney, the cable carrier recently dropped out of the bidding. They did so once Disney upped its bid for Fox and caused most major Fox shareholders to favor the Mouse House bid.
In a move that surprised absolutely no one, The Walt Disney Company and Twenty-First Century Fox held shareholder votes on July 27th. Both parties overwhelmingly voted to approve the deal. So, why isn’t it finished, you may wonder? Well, the deal requires regulatory approval from the American government. We may not see completion of the transaction until 2019. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for Disney to own The Simpsons, my friends.