The Latest Disney Theme Park Updates
Comic Con happened in San Diego over the past few days. Since there isn’t a D-23 in North America this year, Disney actually attended this time. We learned a few tidbits about upcoming Disney projects during the event. And we also have a LOT of Disney theme park updates this week! You will definitely want to read the latest edition of MickeyBlog News!
Back, The Clone Wars Are
Star Wars fanatics are divided on topics like the eighth official entry, The Last Jedi, and the Han Solo standalone movie. One thing that has nearly universal agreement is that Star Wars: The Clone Wars was a wonderful television series that ended after 121 episodes in 2014.
For four years, fans have clamored for more episodes. After all, the finale was open-ended and left many potential story arcs available. At Comic Con, these fans finally got the news that they had desperately sought. When Disney’s new streaming service debuts next year, it will have new episodes of The Clone Wars…at some point.
No one from Lucasfilm confirmed an exact date, but it’s entirely possible that the season six premiere will be an anchor part of the new service. That would certainly entice Star Wars fans to subscribe, right? Anyway, Disney was kind enough to post a trailer for the new season. Until then, anyone who needs a Clone Wars fix can watch the entire run of the series on Netflix.
Other Disney Media Tidbits
There was some other, less fortunate news coming from Comic Con. Due to a series of regrettable tweets from several years ago, Disney cut ties with director James Gunn. Best known as the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Gunn was currently working on the third installment in that series when the story broke. Since Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the plum gigs in all of Hollywood right now, you should expect a superstar director to replace Gunn.
The other huuuuuge media news this week is that Comcast dropped out of bidding for Fox’s assets. Last December, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Disney would own these media entities. Comcast appreciated the danger of Disney gaining such a huge foothold in the realm of movie and television intellectual properties. So, they jumped into the negotiations, even though Fox’s leadership didn’t really want them to do it. Ultimately, Disney upped their bid, and they are all but certain to acquire most major Fox assets in the coming weeks.
A Bug’s Land No More
The changes at Disney California Adventure (DCA) have had lasting repercussions for other attractions at the park. A while ago, DCA officials revealed that an entire themed land must close. Fans of A Bug’s Life have known this announcement was coming for a while.
Based on the 1998 Pixar title, A Bug’s Land debuted in October of 2002. It was an odd decision since Disney wouldn’t purchase Pixar until several years later. It was a necessary action since DCA had a disappointing start in 2001. Park planners needed a land that could satisfy the critics, and everyone loves A Bug’s Life, right?
A Bug’s Land was always a kind of stopgap measure. DCA had featured It’s Tough to Be a Bug since opening day. They could add a series of cheap, family-friendly attractions in a short period to create this themed land.
Well, guests expect more today than they did 15 years ago, and nobody was doing cartwheels about A Bug’s Land back then. So, it’s going to get repurposed into a Marvel themed area soon. To get started with construction, Disney must shut down A Bug’s Land. Its final day in operation is September 4th. So, schedule a Disneyland Resort vacation ASAP if you want to see it one last time before Tony Stark and his superhero crew takes over.
Another Week, Another Wall!
The Instagram walls have become one of the hottest trends at Disney theme parks over the past year. Disneyland was already the subject of the most posts on Instagram before these inventions, and Walt Disney World wasn’t too far behind. Since the addition of the walls, the theme parks have absolutely dominated social media.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Disney has added yet another wall! This is going to keep happening as long as they’re popular. The latest one is at DCA. It features an Up! theme. You know those balloons that once lifted Carl Fredricksen’s home into the air? Well, you can now reach out your hand and pretend like you’re clinging to the balloons as they carry you into the sky. This is my favorite Disney Wall thus far. If you want to grab a picture here, it’s at Stage 12 close to the Buzz Lightyear wall.
Speaking of Pixar…
One of the underrated highlights of Pixar Fest is the Pixar Shorts Film Festival. Hosted at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land, this attraction exhibits several classic Pixar short films, some of which have been nominated for or won Academy Awards.
The second set of shorts just started at Pixar Fest, and this batch includes a noteworthy entry. Bao, which is currently playing in front of The Incredibles 2, is one of the three Pixar shorts on display. If you haven’t watched The Incredibles 2 yet, the Pixar Shorts Film Festival represents your first opportunity to see Bao.
You can also watch Sanjay’s Super Team and La Luna, too. La Luna is one of my favorite things that Pixar has ever done, so I highly recommend that you check out this film festival. You’ll watch three wonderful shorts in 3-D in an air-conditioned theater, the perfect escape during a sunny California day at DCA.
And Speaking of Pictures…
Disney PhotoPass Day is returning! This event is exactly what it sounds like. Photographers at Disneyland and Walt Disney World are set up at several unique locations for the day. They’ll take memorable pictures of you, some of which will be interactions with your favorite Disney characters.
You may think that this sounds like a regular Disney day. Well, PhotoPass Day takes the concept to its logical extreme. You’ll discover tons of opportunities to take photographs, and some of them are only available on this day. Disney has promised the return of unique Magic Shots for Disney PhotoPass Day, meaning that you can only get them if you visit one of the parks on that day. And the day in 2018 is August 19th. You’ll want to drop what you’re doing and head to Disney on that day. The images that you upload are likely to go viral on Instagram and other social sites since Disney retweets and shares some of the best ones.
And Speaking of August Events…
Rivers of Light is unquestionably the shiniest thing at Walt Disney World. The flotilla of vessels glows from within thanks to special Imagineering magic. It’s a treat for one of your senses, your sight, but Disney wants it to be a treat for your tummy, too.
The company is introducing a new upsell event called the Rivers of Light Dessert Party. Before I tell you the price, let me provide Disney’s sales pitch:
“With this new dining experience, you can add a sweet ending to your day by enjoying a beautiful buffet of Disney’s Animal Kingdom-themed desserts, snacks, and drinks before enjoying VIP views of “Rivers of Light.” You’ll start by checking in 60 minutes prior to the main show (8:15 p.m. for a 9:15 p.m. show) at the Rivers of Light Asia Viewing Area Terrace located across from Expedition Everest. Here you’ll enjoy house-made desserts, snacks, specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, iced tea, lemonade, and water. When the show is about to start, head down to the VIP Seating Area, where you’ll enjoy exceptional views of Rivers of Light.”
Are you interested in sweet treats you can eat at special seats? If so, you’ll want to book your dessert party starting with the Monday, August 6th performance of Rivers of Light. Disney states that this event will not be held for each production. You’ll want to check the schedule when you’re ready to book. As for the price, it’s $79 plus tax for adults and $47 plus tax for children. Yes, those are some pricey snacks, but you receive the VIP seating for the show, too.