MickeyBlog Disney News for May 7, 2018
The Infinity War looks aptly named, as the infinity part seems to describe how much money it’s going to make. We’ll talk about that and a bunch of exciting park updates in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News!
So Much Avenging!
I’ve written about movie box office for 20 years now, and what I can say with certainty is that nobody has ever seen anything like Avengers: Infinity War before. Sure, we all expected a blockbuster, but the scale of the latest comic book movie is almost incomprehensible.
This past weekend, Infinity War earned another $112.5 million, the second-largest second weekend in movie box office history. It trailed only Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Avengers film’s global box office performance is even more impressive. It reached $1 billion in revenue after only 11 days in theaters! Even The Force Awakens needed 12 days, and that was with Christmas holiday inflation.
For those unfamiliar with box office, here’s the easiest way to comprehend this achievement. Only 33 movies ever made have earned $1 billion in box office. One of them is Toy Story 3, easily the most successful Pixar movie ever made. That film grossed a massive $1.05 billion during its ENTIRE theatrical run. Infinity War will have matched that amount by the time that you read this.
Another way to look at it is that I spent a few MickeyBlog News articles describing the awesome box office run of Black Panther. That film should break $700 million domestically, something that only two titles have ever done before. Amusingly, those productions, Avatar and The Force Awakens, are also under the Disney umbrella now.
At this moment, Infinity War looks all but certain to become the fourth film to gross $700 million domestically, meaning that Marvel will have as many $700+ million performers this year as had happened in cinematic history prior to 2018.
Even more impressively, Infinity War should surpass Black Panther’s $1.338 billion total over the next week to 10 days. Only three movies have ever earned $2 billion in global box office. At this point, Infinity War seems likely to become the fourth. By the time its theatrical run is finished, this film might be the second most successful title ever after Avatar. It’s that huge.
Mmm, Italian Food
It’s not your imagination. Disney Springs just keeps getting better. We’ve got a couple of updates this week that prove it. The first of them involves another new restaurant. What else is new?
Last year, Disney confirmed that Portobello wouldn’t be coming back. In its place, they planned to open Terralina Crafted Italian. It was kind of an odd decision if I’m being honest, as the same chef has programmed both restaurants. He’s a really good one, though.
Former Top Chef Master and James Beard winner Tony Mantuano is one of the most respected chefs in the industry. The partner and executive chef at the world-famous Spiaggia Restaurant in Chicago is a living legend. One of his protégés, Joe Flamm, just won the most recent season of Top Chef. He’s so good that the people who work under him are becoming celebrity chefs in their own right.
Disney went into business with Mantuano when they asked him to craft the menu for Portobello. Then, they doubled down by asking him to do the same for Terralina Crafted Italian, where Chef Justin Plank will act as executive chef.
Disney wanted to tighten the restaurant’s theme a bit, and so they’ve added a more distinctive Italian Lake District sensibility to the premise. It’s a multi-million dollar overhaul that’s almost complete. It’s so close to ready that Disney’s started taking reservations!
The current indication is that it will open on July 30th. At least, that’s the first date that you can book a reservation on the official site. Fans of Italian food are going to love this place.
Explore the Bourbon Trail
Do you think of yourself as a pioneer? Well, intrepid explorer, Disney has blazed a trail just for you. At Disney Springs, several venues will participate in a limited time offering known as the Bourbon Trail.
Yes, 18 different restaurants and bars will host specialty offerings for this event that runs from May 1st to June 17th. Establishments as diverse as Art Smith’s Homecoming, Splitsville Dining Room, and The Edison want to get you good and drunk. They’ll all highlight bourbon with various menu items like burgers, cocktails, and even milkshakes! Anyone visiting Walt Disney World over the next six weeks owes it to themselves to take a trip down the Bourbon Trail at least once. You can read the full menu here.
And Now, a Bit of Sadness
Remember how you felt the day that you found out that The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was closing for good? Alas, you may be about to feel that way again.
The long-running Night of Joy festival has had its final performance, at least for now. Disney officials confirmed that it won’t return in 2018. Their quote to the Orlando Sentinel didn’t exactly inspire optimism about its future, either. A spokesperson told the reporter, “Last year was our last event.” So, uh, that seems quite final. It wouldn’t be the first time that Disney changed its mind on a popular event, though.
The Night of Joy debuted at Magic Kingdom all the way back in 1983. Starting in 2008, the event began to bounce from location to location. Disney hosted it at Hollywood Studios for two years, went back to Magic Kingdom for a bit, and then wound up at ESPN Wide World of Sports the last couple of years.
With one of last year’s days canceled due to hurricane weather, Night of Joy has kind of gone out with a whimper instead of a bang. The news isn’t all bad here, though. A couple of the standard performers, MercyMe and Tauren Wells, will play as part of the Eat to the Beat series during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. At least for a time, Disney’s going to stop distinguishing between Christian artists and other musical styles, which is a pleasant change, even if it caused the demise of Night of Joy.
We Heard You Like the Redhead
When Pirates of the Caribbean closed for refurbishment, Disney faced an outcry from critics that they were changing a beloved set piece. When the newly plussed version of Pirates of the Caribbean opened to the public, most of those criticisms disappeared, presumably because the updates at Walt Disney World are terrific.
Disney did learn something from this ordeal. People love the Redhead. In order to foster some goodwill and add a new wrinkle to their current offerings, Disney’s done something clever. They’ve chosen to add a character meeting with the Redhead this summer. It’s only available at Disneyland Park, though. Park planners intend to time it with the grand re-opening of Pirates of the Caribbean at New Orleans Square.
This leads to an obvious statement. The character meeting will take place at New Orleans Square. Yes, beginning early in June, Redd the Pirate will display her fiery personality to Mickey Travelers at the Happiest Place on Earth. I wouldn’t be surprised if she became a part of the movie franchise at some point, also, but perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.
Disney After Hours Is Back!
Earlier this year, MickeyBlog explains why you should attend Disney After Hours. It was once a seemingly doomed idea for an upcharge event at Magic Kingdom. Its first year wasn’t just shaky; it was disastrous. Over time, reports of great guest experiences changed the perception of this paid event.
Now, Disney After Hours is very much in demand, so much so that Disney’s added more dates this year! On certain nights from June through September, guests can pay $119 plus tax to purchase an advanced ticket for Disney After Hours. And you should do that. While tickets the night of the event are five dollars more, it doesn’t matter. Disney After Hours sells out now, meaning that you must buy in advance. Feel free to reach out to our friends at MickeyTravels…they’d love to help you!
The Parks Blog lists these nights for Disney After Hours:
- Thursday, June 28, from 10 p.m.- 1 a.m.
- Saturday, June 30, from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Saturday, July 7, from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Monday, July 9, from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Saturday, July 14, from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Saturday, July 21, from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Saturday, July 28, from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Saturday, August 4, from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Saturday, August 11, from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Thursday, August 30, from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.
- Thursday, September 20, from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.
You have 11 new opportunities to have the run of Magic Kingdom, the most popular theme park in the world! Talk to a Mickey Travels agent to find the best rates for your hotel room. By finding a great price on the rest of your vacation, you may feel like the Disney After Hours ticket is basically free!
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