Hey there, Hi there, Ho there, Micekateers! Lots of news for you today!
Can’t Get Enough Disney Princesses in Your Life?
After we all recover from the amazing Broadway to Hollywood Event May 29 and meet Paige O’Hara from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, will you be dying for more? Fret not, there’s a fantastically fun event coming up later this year with another Disney princess, Ariel – or rather, Jodi Benson, who voiced her for the groundbreaking animated film. (She’s also Barbie in the Toy Story movies!) Make Jodi “Part of Your World” with Legends Events on July 19th in sunny Florida. Or rainy Florida. Whatever the weather, it’s going to be a clamshell full of fun: 25 people get to have lunch with Jodi at Be Our Guest, and five VIP ticket holders will sit with her at her table and share a clammobile with her for a ride through Journey of the Little Mermaid. The day’s events include a $25 lunch voucher for Be Our Guest. After you’ve recovered from the day’s excitement, you’ll then dress up and go to The Artisan Club in Celebration, Florida for a sumptuous dinner and live concert with Jodi and her piano-playing accompanist. The evening wouldn’t be complete without a silent auction, many signed and one-of-a-kind items included, to benefit Legend’s charity of choice, The Walt Disney Birthplace restoration project. The evening’s attendance is limited to 60 people, so get to partofyourworld.eventzilla.net to make reservations. Legendary princesses times two, plus an alligator!
Will Shanghai be the Most Popular Theme Park Ever?
The Motley Fool, my second favorite Motley group, has a story by Bradley Seth McNew about hopes for the Shanghai park, looking at the size and scope of the park, attractions, the Toy Story Hotel and questions about leadership, costs and opening date. Yes, it costs more. Yes, the date was set back. This is a company accustomed to doing business in the US, Europe and Japan. Even Hong Kong’s culture is a mix of Chinese and British. Mainland China is very, very different and varies from province to province. For example, in Hong Kong, which is pretty small, “biggest and best” means “the most”. Therefore, when additions needed to be made to Hong Kong Disneyland, it was several lands and several attractions, things that you can count that add up: Mystic Point PLUS Toy Story PLUS Grizzly, and so forth. On Mainland China, “biggest and best” means “vast size”. Therefore, they have the biggest castle. Huge hotels. A grandparents’ garden. (More on that later). There is also the matter of cultural tribute that must be paid. They’ve been doing this for thousands of years and if you’re going to do business in China, it’s simply a matter of course. So when WDI asks for $800K for “park improvements”, they’re just playing ball. Them’s the rules – but don’t worry, Disney stockholders, they’re ready for the crowds that are sure to come at opening…and there certainly will be. “First” is important, too.
In 2010, Shanghai hosted the World Expo, which McNew says welcomed over 75 million people in six months. If there’s one thing China knows how to do, it’s move huge crowds of people efficiently. Technology, he says, also comes into play, as the more densely populated areas of China are quite tech-savvy. To me, it looks like Magic Bands in Florida might have been a dry run for Shanghai. I’m sure they’ll have all the bugs worked out by spring of 2016. If independent watchers are correct, Shanghai Disneyland will outsell any of the other parks by a country mile.
Chenowith and Najimy lead Disney’s Descendants
Disney’s Descendants is a TV movie about four teenage offspring of famous Disney villains making their way through a fairytale world, of sorts. The premise is this: Ben, the princely son of Belle and… well, you know… takes the throne and proclaims that the children of the villains exiled from the kingdom can come back and live like nice, normal people. Kathy Najimy is the Evil Queen from Snow White, so her daughter is Evvie (Sofia Carson). Get it? Kristin Chenowith, most famous for playing Glinda in Wicked, is a deliciously fun Maleficent. Her daughter, Mal, natch, is played by Dove Cameron. Maz Jobrani’s Jafar would of course name his son Jaden (Booboo Stewart), and Wendy Raquel Robinson plays mom Cruella to her son, Cameron Boyce’s Carlos.
On the side of good is Audrey (Sarah Jeffery), daughter of Princess Aurora and Prince Philip. It has not been revealed at this time whether or not she suffers from narcolepsy. Joining her are Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad Charming (do the math), Dianne Doan’s Lonnie (Fa Mulan and Shang Li ‘s daughter), a descendant of Dopey (yes, Dopey) named Doug (Zachary Gibson), Aziz, son of Aladdin and Jasmine, and Jane (Brenna D’amico), daughter of The Fairy Godmother, whose first name, we now can deduce, starts with a J.
Purists may howl, but I’ll be there on the couch with a big basket of chicharrones to catch this fun take on Once Upon a Time for the tween set. Kenny Ortega knows how to make the most of his teen stars, so I expect great things – and lots and lots of merchandise – from this franchise.
J. Audubon Woodlore says: “Get them while they’re young!”
Disney want our kids out. Of doors. And into National Parks. They just announced a three-year partnership with the NPF (National Park Foundation) to target at least half a million kids to go and play and learn in America’s National Parks. If you have one near you, you should go. They’re really cool. No rides, no churro stands, but still very cool.
- Sea World’s earnings are back up after they were able to disprove many of the claims made against them in the movie Blackfish.
- The Wall Street Journal informed us that Tokyo Disneyland is now the least-expensive Disney resort on earth due to a dwindling yen. Hey FAIRY GODMOTHER, do you hear that? Road trip!
- Testing started last night inside Disneyland for the upcoming Disneyland Forever fireworks as APs were kept busy with a night at DCA.
- Whale Park will open this May in Ulsan, Korea. The once-famous whaling town will now be known as a place for whale preservation and celebration instead. I like it.
- Wrestler CM Punk, who is hilarious, will be co-writing the new Drax spinoff comic book from Guardians of the Galaxy. More Aquabats, please!
That’s it til next week, unless something huge happens. See you this weekend at the MiceChat Gumball Rally!
Don’t forget, tickets are still available for the Walt Disney Birthplace’s Broadway to Hollywood event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 29th. Enjoy an amazing evening of entertainment and help a charity that is very near and dear to the hearts of Disney lovers everywhere.