Disney Headlines for August 3rd, 2022
Disney prepares to show you the new you. Meanwhile, annual pass discussions take a predictable turn, and a $15 million Disney dream home hits the market.
I’ll say hi to your new avatar in the latest edition of Disney Headlines.
The Metaverse Arrives in September
Earlier this year, Disney hired a former Apple executive. This individual’s new job requirement rivals one Kevin Mayer once held in terms of significance.
Mayer led the charge on Disney’s entry into streaming, particularly Disney+ but also ESPN+ and Hulu+.
The former Apple exec, Mark Bozon, will lead Disney into the multiverse, the so-called Web 3.0 that nobody quite understands yet.
People don’t realize it’s really been around since Second Life came out in 2003. What’s the crucial part of Second Life, The Sims, or anything like them?
You create an avatar that lives within a fully formed but artificial world.
Disney recognizes the appeal of this system to its fans. You could spend your free time at Cars Land, Metroville, Earth-616, or even Disneyland.
Of course, you must walk before you run. First, you’ll need an avatar, an augmented reality representation of you as an individual.
While Play Disney Parks already includes plenty of in-park functionality, it lacks individuality thus far. However, that’s about to change.
When the 2022 D23 Expo starts in September, Disney will introduce a new ability. Fans can use DisneyMe to create their own custom avatars.
Basically, we’re talking about the same thing you got with PlayStation Home on the PlayStation 3 in 2015…but in a theme park app!
No, DisneyMe isn’t a revolutionary or new product by any stretch. However, it is a welcome one that will enhance your Disney experience.
You can reveal a bit of who you are by putting a pirate hat on your avatar or maybe mouse ears. Your avatar could also wield a light saber or wear Chewbacca’s fur suit.
Previous Disney games have offered avatars with customization.
The one in DisneyMe is different, though. It’ll become the baseline for your future Play Disney Parks experiences.
The Annual Pass Debate Arises Again
A former reporter at the Orlando Sentinel has since shifted to FloridaPolitics.com.
This respected journalist has interviewed two Disney analysts, asking for opinions requiring the current annual pass mess.
I wrote about this subject about six weeks ago, and you could probably recognize my frustration. But unfortunately, Disney remains decidedly tight-lipped about annual passes.
You likely know the details by now. Disneyland’s new Magic Key program included language that park guests misinterpreted.
Well, that’s what Disney would say. The annual passholders argue that Disney’s contract language included promises Disneyland didn’t honor.
Your interpretation depends on how you evaluate the Park Pass requirement for admission.
Once Disneyland “sold out” its annual pass program for out-of-state guests, Walt Disney World fans waited for the other shoe to drop…which it did.
Annual passes for out-of-state guests also “sold out” at the Orlando theme parks. So we’ve been stuck ever since then, and Disney’s silence on the subject is deafening.
In the interview, The Motley Fool’s Rick Munarriz, someone I’ve cited here many times, states something similar to what I’ve discussed.
The analyst describes the current admission ticket-only option for park attendance as a “cover charge.” He adds that nothing will change in the short term.
In fact, Munarriz believes that Disney won’t sell annual passes again until the economy drops to the point that the company must incentivize guests.
Annual passes function as discount tickets that do provide that incentive. So, I agree with his logic.
Podcaster and author Len Testa also provides some quotes for the article. He states the following:
“That means that Disney needs to settle that lawsuit and clear up their AP terms and conditions to not make the same mistake, before they start selling them again.”
That’s the same belief I espoused six weeks ago. So, that’s where we stand.
Miscellaneous Disney Headlines
Let’s start with some silliness. Do you have a spare $15 million sitting around?
Well, your choices are a small island, an active volcano (if you’re a supervillain), or this Golden Oak listing.
A few years ago, the reporting on the Golden Oak neighborhood at Walt Disney World proved so scattershot that I had to email real estate agents for intel.
Now, every time a house comes on the market, the listing turns into an instant headline.
Honestly, this particular home justifies the attention, though. It’s arguably the gaudiest property across Golden Oak.
Construction on this house occurred before the pandemic, with it selling in 2019. Since then, it has *ahem* somewhat appreciated.
The list price is $14,995,000, and that’s not even an absurd ask. The Zestimate is $13.9 million. And you should look at the pictures.
This place is decadent! There’s even a Star Wars theater room and bar!
I also have some good news for fans of Universal Studios and Disney. Both Comcast and Disney signed an open letter in support of codifying all forms of marriage rights.
Variety shares the full story here, but it’s significant from Disney’s perspective.
This move demonstrates that Disney has learned from recent mistakes and wants to get ahead of various news cycles.
Simultaneously, Disney shows support for all its workers and leads by example.
Frankly, the surprise here is Comcast, as they whistled and snuck out the back door during the Don’t Say Gay bill furor.
Now, NBCUniversal’s owner is standing up for its workers, too.
Finally, have you watched this video? If not, stop what you’re doing and press play!
— Disney Clips Guy (@disneytipsguy) July 28, 2022
That’s so spooky and beautiful that it almost looks fake!
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Feature Photo: Disney