This week has been breathtaking, news-wise. Amazing videos from China and heartbreaking news from the world of Disney Interactive, and further developments ever on the horizon. Let’s jump right in!
Oh – and don’t forget – if you have any suggestions for stops on the Pink Monorail Podcast, now is the time to let me know. The first stops will re-visit the China Series, which was pretty popular on Pink Monorail in its first run. I’m hoping to have a dashing co-pilot on board at least some of the time!
Disney Infinity Comes to an End
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Inigo Montoya
Yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere (at least for me), the news came that Disney Infinity was coming to an abrupt end. Maybe I should have seen it coming when there was no 4.0 announced. But Infinity was HUGE! I’ve pretty much kept silent and listened to my friends’ discussions about it, but Noe and I have talked – mostly that no one can afford to follow in gaming – you must lead. You can’t be Rock Star to Guitar Hero…but I don’t think that was Infinity’s problem. The common theme I heard over and over was: in 2.0 and 3.0 there wasn’t any core Disney, just Disney peripherals, and there were too many at too high a price point for the average gamer to be able to collect them at the rate they were being released. I know that was the problem for me. There’s a flood of figures, which is great, but I can afford to buy one at a time, and boom, there’s another flood of them, and they’re wondering why they’re not selling like hotcakes. I am going to buy the light-up Kylo Ren before he disappears, though, even though I don’t have a 3.0 yet (we didn’t have a system that would support it until last Christmas, when we got a WiiU and named it Buddy Holly).
What do you think of the ending of Disney Infinity? Am I missing something important?
Here’s the official announcement from John Blackburn, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Disney Infinity:
By now you may have heard the news that we have made the difficult decision to discontinue production of Disney Infinity. From the beginning, Disney Infinity was built for you—our fans—and I wanted to take a moment to thank you not just for your support over the years, but for creating a community that made Disney Infinity more than just a game.
Our goal for Disney Infinity was to bring the best of Disney storytelling to life in homes around the world, and with your support we accomplished that. We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it.
So what’s next for Disney Infinity? We have two final retail releases coming, including three new characters from Alice Through the Looking Glass later this month, and the Finding Dory Play Set launching in June.
And as we turn to the next chapter in our story, I want to thank everyone who helped bring Disney Infinity to life, particularly Disney’s Glendale-based production and publishing teams, our external development partners, and of course the incredible Avalanche team for their tireless dedication to this project.
But most of all, I want to again thank you for making Disney Infinity a part of your lives—and for adding to the Disney legacy by being a part of this community.
That’s what was coolest about Disney Infinity – it brought together gamers into a really fab little community and harbored creativity in the Toy Box; they actually hired fans based on their creations. Disney Infinity may not have been entirely original at its nascent phase, but with the community participation, the beautifully stylized figures and the creativity of the Toy Box, it’s going to be one of those things that executives see now as a failure that game designers of the future will call upon as one of the great games of their childhoods, and they’ll use what they learned from it to create games that pay homage to the work that was done there. Wait and see.
That’s probably little comfort to the 300 or so people who are out of work because of this. I really hope you folks land on your feet. Thank you so much for all the joy you’ve given me and my family through your work on Disney Infinity. I certainly hope this isn’t the last we hear from you and your great teams.
Fab News is sponsored by my Patreon Patrons and by DVCResaleMarket.com
Or rather, xiexie to the early visitors who have been kind enough to take videos and put them online so that we can make some armchair visits. Matthew Finnemore has a ride-through of Shanghai’s Movie-based Pirates of the Caribbean attraction that is a whole lot of fun, just for the reactions in the boat!
One of the Chinese news magazine shows took a look during the preview days, before Pirates was open; a few other marquee attractions are also not yet running, like the boat ride through the Enchanted Storybook Castle.
Last, but not least, here is a 90 minute look at the park. Yes. 90 minutes. It spoils everything, including the new Soarin’ that we’re getting. You have been warned!
But if watching videos isn’t your thing, don’t worry:
Disney Twenty-Three Brings Shanghai Disneyland to You!
…and Pete’s Dragon‘s Bryce Dallas Howard, and The BFG‘s Steven Spielberg, and Ellen DeGeneres from Finding Dory!
There are over thirty pages of exclusive interviews and photos, available ONLY to gold and gold family D23 members. Believe me, it’s worth it. Along with the above-mentioned stories, there’s also a fond look at one of my very favorite Disney films, The Reluctant Dragon, which married documentary with animation and got hundreds of kids bitten by the animation bug back in the day…and even now!
10TH Anniversary Gumball Rally THIS WEEKEND!!!
This is it folks, your last chance to join in the fun of the legendary… MiceChat Gumball Rally. It is a full day adventure through Disneyland to see how many attractions you can ride in a single day. Sound easy? It isn’t. However, we are told over and over again that this is the most fun our attendees have ever had in the parks.
- Compete in teams of 2, 3, or 4 people.
- You don’t have to be a trivia buff, ride warrior, or theme park nerd to play. The game is designed to put everyone on a level playing field.
- You can play at the speed that you like. Take it easy or tear through the park. It’s up to you.
- For one low price you get the game and Awards Party, complete with entertainment and prizes. (admission into the parks is NOT included)
- Prizes will be awarded for 1st – 10th place, Best Team Logo, Best Team Name, and Spirit of MiceChat Award. There are plenty of chances to win!
- Plus, while you are waiting for the results, we’ll present you with great entertainment and prizes!
- An all day race through Disneyland to see who can ride the most attractions in a single day . . . There is simply no better way to challenge yourself, what you think you know about Disneyland, and have a fantastic time with your family and friends (whether you win or not).
For more information or to register for the event, CLICK HERE!
Mako Mania Benefit VIP Ride
Hurry and join the bidding to be among the first to ride SeaWorld Orlando’s new Mako roller coaster, the most anticipated addition to Central Florida’s theme parks this year!
Choose your seat and your adventure now through June 3 at 32auctions.com/
In addition, an exclusive VIP package is available for auction that includes lunch with Brian Morrow, Vice President of Theme Park Experience for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, two front seats to ride with him and GKTW President & CEO Pamela Landwirth, as well as hotel accommodations for two nights.
Winning bidders will take their seats during a preview event on June 8, before the new coaster is open to the general public.
Don’t wait! Bid now to take your seat on “the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando” and to be a part of “hypercoaster history!”
From the Mailbox:
World Premiere Musical When You Wish: The Story of Walt Disney Debuts at Phoenix Theatre
Explore the life and times of Walt Disney in the world premiere musical When You Wish: The Story of Walt Disney!
Writer, composer and lyricist Dean McClure portrays Walt (Joey Sorge) as a dreamer who suffers setbacks but perseveres with the support of his business partner and brother, Roy (Andy Umberger), his friend Ub Iwerks (Matthew Malecki) and his adoring wife, Lillian (Sydney Marie Hawes).
The journey begins in 1908 with six-year-old Walt drawing cartoons at home and concludes with his biggest dream of all, the opening of Disneyland in 1955. Roy serves as the story’s narrator, taking us on a journey of struggle, heartache, and enormous triumph — these moments including the opening and bankrupt closing of Laugh-0-Gram Studios in Kansas City; the formation of Disney Brothers Studios in Hollywood; the marriage of Walt and Lillian Disney; the departure of his best and closest animator Ub Iwerks; and the creation of a mouse named Mickey, which ignited his career and the legacy that would forever be Walt Disney.
Be a part of the magic of seeing this new production come to life and celebrate the icon who brought us the most famous set of ears on earth. When You Wish: The Story of Walt Disney opens May 18 and runs through June 12. Tickets start at $30 and are available for purchase by phone at 602.254.2151 or by visiting phoenixtheatre.com.
Floyd and Fishies at the Federal will be Fun!
SVA Student Thesis by Kurt Rauffer is Beautiful
Sometimes it’s not news, but you just have to stop what you’re doing and go “Wow.” Last weekend, School of Visual Arts student Kurt Rauffer put his thesis on Vimeo.com. It’s a reimagining of the opening of The Empire Strikes Back, done in James Bond Style. Fortunately, EW.com picked up on it, and now I’m telling you. This thing is a marvel. Look:
Queen of Katwe Trailer is Out!
Five seconds after I wrote about the one-sheet, Disney released the Queen of Katwe trailer on its Disney Trailers official YouTube Channel, which is actually A Thing!
Alice Through the Looking Glass European Premiere Photos
The cast and crew were out in London for the premiere of Alice Through the Looking Glass a few days after their tea party photo call, looking glamorous and posing for selfies with fans, some of whom were in costume.
One Last Video
Disneyland watchers might want to see this one:
If you haven’t had enough videos today, hele on over to DVCResaleMarket.com and check out all the educational videos about Disney Vacation Club – you’ll learn all about them from Nick Cotton and his expert team from the informational videos, blog posts and FAQs over there…and if you have a question that you don’t see answered there, they’ll be happy to answer it for you.
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