The Latest MickeyBlog News to Get You Excited
Welcome to the December holiday season, everyone! Now is the time when you break out the yuletide decorations, play your favorite holiday music, and enjoy some hard-earned downtime after a hectic year. For The Walt Disney Company, however, there’s no such thing as a slow season. The latest MickeyBlog News proves this. Let’s get started!
The Swan, the Dolphin, and the…
We usually start with Disney news since this is, you know, a Disney news blog. However, a couple of Marriott International news items merit discussion. The first involves everyone’s favorite third-party properties.
During the early days of Walt Disney World construction, The Walt Disney Company was cash-strapped. Building an entire theme park campus is expensive. By the 1980s, they desired to expand their hotel properties, but they’d signed an unusual contract with a builder during the Epcot construction. That builder, The Tishman Group, interpreted a contract as saying that they had exclusive rights to hotels in the area.
than settling the matter in court, Disney worked with this group to build a third-party Epcot Resort Area property. They even agreed to give the guests of this resort full privileges as if they were staying at an official Disney resort. Since 1990, The Walt Disney World Swan and Walt Disney World Dolphin have been one of the quirkiest trivia subjects in Orlando. Whenever you ride a boat from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Epcot or vice versa, you’re likely to hear someone explaining why a Marriott hotel is part of the Disney boat course.
In 2020, Marriott International plans to add a third wing to the hotel complex. They recently broke ground on the project and also unveiled the name. Apparently, The Dolphin and The Swan will hang out at The Cove. Marriott officials describe The Cove as “group oriented”, suggesting it will give guests a reason to return to their Disney resorts.
For those of you who have stayed at The Swan, The Dolphin, or any other Marriott resort over the past few years, I do have a bit of bad but important news. Marriott recently announced that they got hacked. As many as 500 million customers are impacted. If you’re one of them, I feel your pain, as we have a Marriott Rewards credit card. So, if you’re like me and wondering how to proceed in the wake of the hack, here’s a Wired article with some advice.
Brightline Almost Official
In this month’s Disney Rumors article, I discussed the admittedly dry subject of logistics, noting that Hyperloop and high-speed rail services have plans for Walt Disney World. Some of these plans are closer to fruition than you might expect.
During a public investor statement, Brightline aka Virgin Trains USA accidentally revealed too much. One of their station maps showed a route from Tampa, Florida, that included a stop at Walt Disney World. Orlando International Airport (MCO) has already begun work on a Brightline station.
As I mentioned in the rumors article, a stop at Walt Disney World is a foregone conclusion at some point. The surprise is that it’s apparently at the forefront of Brightline’s plans. By all accounts, the company only came up with the plan in June, less than six months ago, and they have yet to purchase any land for their high-speed rail service.
For Mickey Travelers, the big news is how this impacts your vacation plans. You could feasibly extend your plans beyond Walt Disney World, as trips to Miami, West Palm Beach, and Tampa are all easily affordable. Also, a pair of stations connecting Walt Disney World to MCO would provide the quickest transfer possible from the airport to your Disney resort. This is a big deal, folks.
Do You Love the Candlelight Processional?
As much as we all regret it, we can’t be at Disney theme parks all the time. Sometimes, we miss the best stuff. Fortunately, the Parks Blog has picked up the slack in recent years, providing live broadcasts of some of your favorite events.
On December 4th, one of the best ones is available to watch. Neil Patrick Harris, a self-proclaimed Disney super-fan, will host the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. He will retell the story of Christmas while accompanied by a 50-person orchestra. Everyone knows that the show is wonderful, and Harris is one of the best narrators in the annual rotation. Should you want to watch the broadcast, the Parks Blog will livestream it beginning at 8:05 p.m. EST. It’s great and will make you happy, I promise.
Your Favorite Rides Are Coming Back!
A couple of Disney theme parks have temporarily closed popular attractions. These rides are getting the famous Disney plussing right now. Actually, one of them isn’t even closed yet. We just know it’s happening soon.
On January 2, 2019, Tomorrowland Speedway at Magic Kingdom will close in order to alter it significantly for the first time ever. Imagineers will change the path of the tracks in order to give more space to the upcoming Tron Lightcycle ride at Tomorrowland. Apparently, the process won’t take long, as Disney has since announced that Tomorrowland Speedway will return on May 18, 2019. That’s only 136 days of downtime to construct a new track layout! Imagineers are incredible.
At Disneyland Paris, one of the best attractions is almost ready to return. Phantom Manor closed back in January and was rumored to return this month. Then, the deadline got pushed back to February of 2019. Now, we have an updated date yet again, although this one will apparently hold. The Haunted Mansion equivalent at Disneyland Paris will return in April. Will it be the same? I’m not sure, but I would hate for Disney to change the ride too much from its prior greatness.
Planning for 2019 Movies
Last week, Disney released a trailer for arguably its most anticipated 2019 release, The Lion King. At a minimum, it’s 1A to the next Avengers movie, the conclusion to the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Demand for The Lion King has exceeded any reasonable expectation, too.
Disney officials announced that the teaser for the live-action version of The Lion King garnered 224.6 million global views within 24 hours. That’s the second-best total ever, surpassed by only – you guessed it – Avengers: Infinity War. The Marvel film claimed 238 million total views.
You may think that with those two films on the horizon for 2019, the rest of Disney’s schedule is modest. Ha! I haven’t even mentioned Star Wars IX yet! And then there’s the other major blockbuster Disney will release next August.
Artemis Fowl, a film that actually tells the story of Artemis Fowl II, is poised to become Disney’s next big franchise. You can evaluate its potential greatness by looking at this brand new teaser. Elf fairies are real!
PS: Since 2018 isn’t over yet, I feel obligated to point out that tickets for Mary Poppins Returns are now on sale. Don’t risk sellouts during its opening week, everyone! Christmas week is THE most crowded time of the year in movie theaters. And Mary Poppins Returns is tracking to become the most successful Christmas week musical ever. Buy now!