Disney News for March 13th 2018
Welcome to MickeyBlog News March Madness! No, we’re not doing brackets or anything, but it’s still the greatest time of the year, right sports fans? Anyway, there are many interesting goings on at Disney this week. Let’s get started.
Dominating the Box Office
Anyone who wanted to go see a movie this weekend had two choices. They could watch a Disney flick or they could stay home. That’s only barely an exaggeration. Disney claimed the top two movies this weekend, with A Wrinkle in Time opening to $33.3 million. Meanwhile, Black Panther held on to the top spot at the box office for its fourth straight weekend.
Let’s talk about the new film first. Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time is an adaptation of the beloved children’s book by Madeleine L’Engle. Since the book series has five entries, Disney had hoped to build a franchise with this story. They spent $100 million on the production, but the early box office results are only okay. With $33.3 million over its first weekend, A Wrinkle in Time needs strong legs (a movie term for holdover appeal after opening weekend) to justify a sequel.
The reviews of the film don’t hint at that fate. Only 42 percent of critics at Rotten Tomatoes like the movie, and its Cinemascore is a B. While that sounds good, it’s actually one of Disney’s lowest scores in recent memory. For whatever reason, A Wrinkle in Time isn’t resonating with fans. It may wind up as one of Disney’s weaker performers this year.
Black Panther on the other hand, is resonating with fans as much as is physically possible. After four weekends in theaters, it has earned $562 million in North America. Along the way, it surpassed The Dark Knight to become the second most successful comic book movie ever made. The Avengers is the current record holder, meaning that Disney made the top two comic book movies ever.
Also, now is the time to accept that The Avengers is about to fall out of the top spot. At its current scalding pace, the question with Black Panther is no longer whether it will become the most popular Marvel movie to date. Instead, the question is when that happens. We’re probably only two weeks away. The other huge news for Black Panther this week is that it crossed the coveted $1 billion box office mark. It has a strong chance to become only the seven films ever to earn $1.5 billion in worldwide revenue.
A couple of changes are happening at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. At Epcot, the United Kingdom Pavilion has made a long overdue change. They’ve removed the smoking area from the pavilion. This move lowers the number of smoking options at Epcot to five. Disney’s trying to phase these out gradually, shrinking the options one at a time.
At Disneyland, the change is at Disney Springs. The Dream Boutique will close for good on March 18th. This store is fully stocked with Disney Princess regalia, encouraging parents to buy adorable outfits for their children. Disney’s doing some consolidating by relocating the Disney Dress Shop to the same space. You’ll still find some Disney Princess merchandise at the Disney Dress Shop, but the two best places for such gear are Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Fairy Tale Treasures. Both of them do require admission to Disneyland, though.
Earth Day 2018 Is Special
For those of you who don’t know, April 22nd is a huge day for Disney. On Earth Day 2018, Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates its 20th anniversary. In anticipation of this event, the company’s made some announcements about upcoming festivities.
First, the park will hold a special commemorative event at the Tree of Life, the iconic landmark near the front of Animal Kingdom. The easiest way to see this unforgettable celebration is to join D-23, the Disney membership club. Program participants may purchase a 20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass that will entitle the holder to special anniversary events. One of them is a special viewing of the Tree of Life 20th anniversary celebration. The catch is that the event costs $280. You can read the full details on the official D-23 site.
One upcoming change that everyone will notice at Animal Kingdom is a new look for cast members. Starting April 22nd, they’ll unveil new outfits for several park attractions. Cast members who work in the Discovery Island and Oasis areas will have a rare ability to show what the movie Office Space calls “flair”.
Workers now have the opportunity to mix and match accessories, giving themselves a chance to display a unique look. It’s a thoughtful way to allow cast members to be more expressive. Should this move prove popular, it could feasibly spread to other parks. Either way, remember to compliment Animal Kingdom cast members on their sense of style this summer!
Extra Magic, Extra Food
Do you ever get the munchies during Extra Magic Hours at Epcot? Sure, the food here is the best at Walt Disney World, but that’s during normal operating hours. When the only people in the park are Disney resort guests, however, the food options dwindle in number. Well, Disney’s got a great plan to change that.
Starting this week, Sunshine Seasons at Epcot will stay open during Extra Magic Hours. Guests will have several counter options, albeit not the full menu of the restaurant. The idea is to provide better food options to the company’s most loyal guests. The fact that Sunshine Seasons is the best Quick Service restaurant at the front of the park is merely a happy bonus for Mickey Travelers.
Let’s end today’s news update with some wonderful information about Disney Cruise Line. Cruise Critic, one of the most respected sites for cruise reviews and analysis, recently posted their 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Awards. You can read the full results here.
The TL:DR recap is that the Disney Wonder earned eight top-10 selections while the Disney Dream also managed seven. That’s fifteen total selections between the two deluxe cruise ships. The Disney Wonder actually won the award for Best Midsize Cruise Entertainment, too. These two vessels along with the Disney Fantasy all finished in the top nine in the category of Best Cruise for Families. In other words, all the voters at Cruise Critic agree that Disney Cruise Line is wonderful.
Soon, another trio of cruise ships will join their fleet, too. Disney recently released photos of the upcoming new cruisers, which are scheduled to debut in 2021, 2022, and 2023, respectively. These ships are all 140,000 gross tons, making them even larger than the already massive Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
Finally, Disney released their itineraries for 2019. Several new locations and travel plans are on the docket for next year. You can see some of the options on the official site. It’s a little confusing, though. Your best bet is to speak with an expert from MickeyTravels. They’ll give you exceptional advice about the finest cruise itineraries. Best of all, the service is free!
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