MickeyBlog News for July 28, 2019
A couple of your favorite Disney attractions are celebrating anniversaries this week. Also, your favorite holiday events have updated information for 2019. And a Disney Legend died. We’ll cover all of this plus Disney’s box office domination in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News.
A Lion Isn’t Disney’s Only King
The Lion King once again dominated the film industry this past weekend. Disney’s latest live-action remake earned $75 million in North America. That total nearly doubled the second-place finisher, Once Upon a Time in America, which opened to $40 million.
Talking about The Lion King’s domestic performance misses most of the story, though. Worldwide, the movie has grossed $962 million. It’s a mortal lock to become Disney’s latest billion-dollar release. And that’s not even the remarkable part.
During calendar 2019, only eight films have earned at least $500 million worldwide. Out of that group, just six have grossed $720 million or more. All of those titles are either Disney or Disney properties…and each one has earned at least $917 million!
Yes, Disney’s dominance is historic. To wit, the company has already broken its own record for yearly box office total. In 2016, Disney films accumulated $7.61 billion. During 2019, they’re already at $7.67 billion.
This seems like a good time to mention that Disney still has sequels to Frozen, Maleficent, and Star Wars coming out this year. The company’s going to earn $10 billion in box office during calendar 2019. It’s the equivalent of scoring 15 TDs in one game, homering seven times, or hitting 35 three-pointers. It should be impossible, but Disney’s somehow done it.
RIP Russi Taylor
Despite the historic box office weekend, Disney officials are somber today. They learned that Russi Taylor died on July 26th, 2019. You may not know Ms. Taylor’s name, but you certainly know her voice.
Since 1996, Russi Taylor has voiced Minnie Mouse in Disney cartoons. An industry icon in voice animation, Taylor also played (*deep breath) Pebbles Flintstone, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby, Strawberry Shortcake, Baby Gonzo, Baby Camilla, Baby Robin, Clara Cluck, Fairy Godmother, Fauna, and Young Donald Duck.
I actually didn’t include most of her work, just hitting on some of the highlights. Pop culture fans don’t just know Russi Taylor as the voice of Minnie Mouse, though. She has also worked on The Simpsons since the beginning.
Taylor provided the voices of tertiary characters like Sherri, Terri, Lewis, Wendell, Uder, and Dr. Hibbert’s daughter. Her crucial role on the show is as Martin Prince, which means that she has profoundly impacted The Simpsons almost as much as she did for Disney fans.
At the same time as her husband, Wayne Allwine, Taylor was honored as a Disney Legend in 2008. Allwine provided the voice for Mickey Mouse from 1991 until his death of 2009. Yes, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were a real-life couple for 28 years. Now, they’re reunited in The Good Place.
Disney is left with a gaping hole in replacing one of the most iconic voice actors of all time. From Taylor’s perspective, she lived the life that she’d once dreamt of having.
The woman recounted meeting Walt Disney while at Disneyland. The man and the young girl sat on a park bench and shared some popcorn. She told him that she wanted to work for him. Many children probably told Uncle Walt the same thing, but none of them had the impact on the company that Russi Taylor did.
A Big Week on Sunset Boulevard
On July 22nd, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror celebrated its 25th anniversary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On July 29th, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Yes, it’s a memorable week on Sunset Boulevard, the street that leads to both attractions.
As part of the festivities, Disney’s introduced an exclusive animated Magic Shot for Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. You’ll need Memory Maker activated on your account to keep it, but everyone can preview the Magic Shot.
At Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Disney’s added limited-edition merchandise to commemorate its anniversary. You’ll find t-shirts, pins, and even some guitar picks as part of this event. Obviously, supplies are limited. So, you’ll want to act fast.
Halloween Walt Disney World News
Disney plans to mix things up this holiday season. They’re adding new features and events to make Disney theme parks the place to be over the holidays.
This week, we learned that the legendary Boo to You Halloween Parade will have new features. Already one of the signature events of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the 2019 iteration will be unique.
Disney had previously promised the first “Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular.” It’s a treat trail hosted at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Now, Disney’s added the tidbit that the parade will include a Tomorrowland section.
Yes, the next Boo to You Halloween Parade that you watch will co-star Edna Mode and The Incredibles! Buzz Lightyear and the Alien explorers will have a float, too. And Disney’s indicated that Wreck-It Ralph, Vanellope von Schweetz, and the other female racers from Sugar Rush will participate, also. Of course, the Sugar Rush crew was already in it, so nobody’s quite sure what Disney has in store for them now.
Holiday Disney Park News
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we have a starting date for the holiday projection show, too! The Sunset Seasons Greetings Projection Show will make its triumphant return on November 8th. On this date, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will turn into a digital projection screen for all sorts of splendid Christmas decorations. It’s one of my favorite parts of the holidays at Walt Disney World.
The other big December news is at Magic Kingdom. Disney just revealed that they’ll do attraction overlays as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Tomorrowland Speedway will become a race through a “festive freeway” of lights and decorations.
That’s not the only significant change, either. Space Mountain will play a bunch of holiday music. Mad Tea Party will turn into a Christmas tea party with four different ride variations. And Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor will host a special yuletide show, too.
At Disneyland Monorail, the most significant news update is that the monorail will have limited hours from now through September 8th. Disney’s currently closing the monorail from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. nightly for reasons that they’ve yet to announce. You’ll want to allow for this change during your visit.
On the place side, starting on November 8th, Disneyland will transform into The Merriest Place on Earth once again. Park officials have confirmed the return of Believe…in Holiday Magic, the fireworks show, and A Christmas Fantasy, the holiday parade.
2019 will also mark the return of the popular ride overlays for It’s a Small World and the combined Halloween/Christmas version of Haunted Mansion. Yes, it’s the Oogie Boogie one that’s so entertaining.
At Disney California Adventure, both of its staples will return as well. World of Color – Season of Light and Festival of Holidays are both confirmed. Disney will once again transform Cars Land into a winter wonderland, too.
The holidays are always the best time to be a Disney fan. You’ll want to visit the parks to ensure yourself of a happy Halloween and Merry Christmas.