UPDATED: New Disneyland Luxury Hotel
Disneyland has filed a proposal to build a new 700-room 4-diamond luxury hotel on its property adjoining Downtown Disney:
Mark Eades, you are THE BEST. Thank you! Also, I think they should call the rooftop restaurant The Florida Grill, just to make me laugh.
Previously on Fab News…
Today’s Fab News is a little bit hairy. Or furry. Yes, both. After a full night of writing, I had some, er, technical issues which wiped out hours of work. But onward we must press. . . just keep typing, just keep typing. What do we do? We type!
There is so much for you Disney nerds to enjoy in today’s update: Zootopia interviews in honor of the Blu-Ray release, Adventures in Babysitting, Disney Cruise Line enchantments, and even a look at Tokyo Disneyland in the rain! Let’s start with a BILLION dollar baby you can finally take home today . . .
Zootopia Comes Home Today!
Last week, I got to go to DisneyToon Studios and interview some of the people behind the animals, stories and habitat neighborhoods that make up Zootopia. Last night, I sat down to transcribe those interviews for you. At 4:30 this morning, Fab News was almost finished, and, yes, I saved and saved often. My Internet went down for about two minutes. When it came back up, Everything was fine, except the entire Zootopia story was gone, save the last two paragraphs of the studio press release. All of the photos were still on the server, but everything else – poof!
So, I’m paraphrasing, except for Jorge Ruiz, because I was smart enough to save some of his on notepad.Jorge greeted me in Spanish, but as soon as he heard my accent when I greeted him back, he switched to English, probably because my accent is atrocious. He’s from Venezuela, wanted to be a Disney animator all of his life. He graduated school at fifteen and moved to the USA to learn English and art. He went to school in Florida and San Francisco instead of the CalArts to Disney pipeline that there used to be, but now, he teaches at CalArts instead. His first Disney film was Frozen and he’s on Moana now.
On the process of animating: The story comes, we get this little model, this little character, then we come and put that little spark in eyes, the way they move, the way they walk, the way they talk, the illusion of life, the studio adds life to every frame, and that’s what makes that awesome, what makes that super-magical.
On the different types of animating differences mentioned in one of the Blu-Ray bonuses: “We did a lotta lotta homework…A bunch of our team went to Africa, they brought a bunch of material for us to study here, animals, because we really wanted to be legit. Not a hyper-realistic, but a really stylized reality, so we could see the scale, and the fur is pretty different, every animal is a different animal – literally.
Raymond S. Persi didn’t set out to be an international superstar and love interest to Kristen Bell. It just happened. He did the scratch (test) voice for Flash, and he was so perfect, they used him. I can’t imagine anyone else. Can you? And if you didn’t know, the reason why Kristen Bell voiced Priscilla:
He’s boarding Gigantic now. He says it’s gonna be good!
Directors Byron Howard & Rich Moore
In the Blu-Ray’s rather fantastic bonus features, one of the things they talk about it axed characters:
I asked about areas that had been removed. They talked about three: a Nocturnal area with nightclubs where they’d pour the drinks upside-down, an Outback area, and a meadowlands/moors/grassland area with a bar called The Cloven Hoof.
They also praised Milt Kahl and Marc Davis for their work on classics like Bedknobs and Broomsticks as inspiration for making a leopard walk and play soccer on the Island of Naboombu like a leopard on two legs, and not a man in a leopard suit. Personally, I think Bedknobs and Broomsticks is one of Disney’s most underrated films.
Finally, my unabashed favorite: Maurice LaMarche, Mr. Big.
Or The Brain or Lrrrr or Egon Spengler or The Voice of Lexus for The Other Guys, but for Disney he’s been This guy
and this guy
and Mr. Big, and that’s about it, but that’s changing. He’s got some new things he’s working on for The Mouse in the future. Hooray!
The actual room, the actual microphone, the actual legend.
I’m grateful for the opportunity and their hospitality, but honestly, it’s a really, really good film. Check out the rotten tomatoes 98% rating. Ask your friends. And the extras on the Blu-Ray are excellent, especially the Easter Eggs and the Director talks. I talked about these at length in my preview. I got an academy screener in the mail two days ago to preview for the event, and it had all of the extras. They were AMAZING. The film is so clear and wonderful, of course, and it’s such a good movie, see the top of the paragraph about asking your friends. Ask your friend that hates everything. Even they liked this movie. Great writing, solid story, humor and angst all in the right places. Teaches without getting all Poca-preachy at you.
The Bonus Features were some of the best I’ve ever seen. My very, very favorites were the Easter Eggs, especially the Oswald. It was a little weird, I admit, to see who was up there talking about diversity, but hey, at least they were talking about it. My daughter’s an animation student and she learned actual things; it wasn’t just PR talk for the casual fan, but it’s accessible to the casual fan. Way to go, Disney.
Zootopia: Billion With A B!
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia crossed the $1 billion dollar mark yesterday, becoming Disney’s second billion-dollar release of 2016 and its 11th ever. Worldwide, it’s the No. 1 animated film of the year and just the fourth animated film ever to cross the $1 billion threshold. It’s also one of the biggest original films of all time. Among Disney Animation releases, it ranks No. 2 globally behind only Frozen.
As of June 5, Zootopia has grossed $337.2M domestically and $663.5M internationally for a global total of $1,000.7M. That’s a billion bucks in the bank. BAM!
With a resounding 98 percent Fresh RottenTomatoes score, Zootopia has been universally embraced by audiences. It earned an A CinemaScore from domestic audiences and spent three weeks at No. 1 following its $75 million debut – the highest ever three-day opening for Disney Animation and the biggest animated opening ever in the month of March. It remained in the top 10 domestically for 13 weeks. In China, Zootopia is the highest grossing animated film of all time and Disney’s biggest release ever there, while in Russia it is the second biggest industry release ever behind onlyAvatar.
Zootopia is the latest in a string of major critical and commercial successes from Walt Disney Animation Studios, beginning in 2010 with Tangled ($594M) and including Wreck-It Ralph ($478M), Big Hero 6 ($658M), and of course 2013’s Frozen ($1.277B). These five films boast average RottenTomatoes scores of 91 percent and have brought in $4 billion in combined global box office.
Zootopia was released theatrically in the US/Canada on March 4 and is due out on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on June 7.
Adventures in Babysitting 10 Minute SNEAK PEEK
Below is a SNEAK PEEK at the first 10 minutes of the 100th Disney Channel Original Movie “Adventures in Babysitting,” which is now available on the Disney Channel and Freeform apps and on the Disney Channel YouTube page. The upcoming movie premieres on Friday, June 24 (8:00 pm ET/PT) on Disney Channel.
PLUS, on Friday, June 17, The hit show Walk the Prank has a special episode: “Walk the Prank: Adventures in Babysitting”. (9:00 – 9:30 P.M. EDT)
The team enlists Disney Channel Original Movie’s “Adventures in Babysitting” stars, Sofia Carson and Sabrina Carpenter, to help prank a few babysitters.
Guest starring Sofia Carson (“Descendants”) and Sabrina Carpenter (“Girl Meets World”) as themselves.
“Adventures in Babysitting,” inspired by the hugely popular 1980s film of the same name, is an upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie starring Sabrina Carpenter (“Girl Meets World”) and Sofia Carson (“Descendants”). In “Adventures in Babysitting,” a dull evening for two competing babysitters, Jenny (Sabrina Carpenter) and Lola (Sofia Carson), turns into an adventure in the big city as they hunt for one of the kids who somehow snuck away.
Disney Cruise Line Brings New Experiences and Enhancements to the Disney Wonder This Fall
Exciting new entertainment and experiences are in store for Disney Wonder guests after the Disney Cruise Line vessel is transformed this fall. Headlining the enhancements are imaginative spaces for children, a jazzy restaurant and an English pub.
Following are highlights of the fun for guests of all ages, debuting on the Disney Wonder this fall.
Marvel Super Hero Academy
The Marvel universe comes to life in Marvel Super Hero Academy. Here, young guests can train to develop the brave and adventurous heroes inside themselves. It’s an exciting addition to Disney’s Oceaneer Club, the engaging and interactive space just for children.
Exclusively on the Disney Wonder, Marvel Super Hero Academy will offer extraordinary adventures in which each young guest plays an integral role. With the mentorship of some of Marvel’s greatest Super Heroes, young trainees will learn the value of teamwork, bravery and problem solving through hands-on play and programs.
In one mission, Spider-Man will appear in person to help children hone their spider senses by perfecting their skills of reflex, speed and sharp minds. Children will work on their web-slinging and then get to see themselves in the headlines of the Daily Bugle.
The high-tech command post is also where other Marvel Super Heroes will interact with children via a large digital display, helping them unleash their inner heroes. In one program, kids can control the movement of a character on screen to practice super skills like repulsor blasting.
Throughout the academy, displays will feature equipment that helps make Marvel Super Heroes the mightiest in the universe. Captain America’s World War II shield, Iron Man’s helmet, Spider-Man’s web shooters and Black Widow’s gauntlets will inspire young Super Hero recruits.
More Fun for Young Guests
Elsewhere in Disney’s Oceaneer Club, open to children ages three to 12 years old, kid-sized fun continues with new play spaces and more character interactions than ever before.
- Frozen Adventures is where fun takes the form of imaginative play and hands-on activities. On the digital screen, Olaf leads summery games with a wintery twist and a sing-a-long of “In Summer.” In another festive activity, young guests prepare for a coronation and receive a truly royal and in-person visit by Anna and Elsa.
- Club Disney Junior features favorite Disney Junior characters, storytelling and games. During one activity, Doc McStuffins pays a visit to the club to help children diagnose and treat the stuffed animals.
- Andy’s Room is where kids feel toy-sized in the multi-level play space themed to the Disney-Pixar “Toy Story” trilogy. As a special treat, Woody appears in person to join youngsters in a hoedown and Jessie stops by to join in a scavenger hunt.
These and other spaces provide the perfect settings for children to meet their favorite characters, dance, play and just have fun with them.
A new It’s a Small World Nursery will delight the youngest cruisers with a whimsical world inspired by the style of the legendary theme park attraction.
Tiana’s Place Restaurant
Exclusive to the Disney Wonder, Tiana’s Place restaurant will transport guests to an era of southern charm, spirited jazz and street party celebrations. With a menu influenced by southern-style cuisine, Tiana’s Place will provide food for the body and soul, showing that dreams and dishes come true.
Guests of Tiana’s Place, the restaurant inspired by Princess Tiana in the Disney animated feature, “The Princess and the Frog,” will be treated to a celebration of New Orleans dining and entertainment. Live music will be performed on the main stage, with rhythmic, toe-tapping notes of jazz, swing and blues setting the tone for the French Quarter supper club atmosphere.
Chefs will cook up Tiana’s recipes, drawing inspiration from the flavors and ingredients of the Louisiana bayou. Tiana’s personal touch will be evident in the menu, the entertainment and throughout every detail in the restaurant. From Tiana’s family photos to water lily-shaped candleholders to her framed culinary awards – all will help tell the timeless tale of Tiana’s journey from waitress to frog to princess to proud restaurant owner.
Cheers, to an English Pub
The adult district includes a brand-new pub that invites guests to take a jaunt to an authentic English tavern. Dark woods, plush leather furniture and brass accents are reminiscent of a friendly neighborhood pub. Of course, a selection of British and specialty beers create the perfect pub atmosphere, where adult guests can sip a pint or cocktail, or sample a brew made especially for the pub.
Observant guests may discover this is no ordinary pub. Subtle nods to classic Disney films set in London can be found in artwork, props and other bits ‘n bobs throughout the space. Brilliant stories of all sorts will be celebrated at the pub, whether those tales be true, tall or flat-out mad.
Enhancements from Stem to Stern
Throughout the Disney Wonder, other new and enhanced areas include:
- After Hours – a new adult district featuring an English pub, an all-new night club and a shiny new model of the popular Cadillac Lounge
- A reimagined and relaxing Senses Spa & Salon and a new Chill Teen Spa
- Animator’s Palate main dining restaurant updated to introduce the popular “Drawn to Magic” and “Animation Magic” dinner shows
- D Lounge for family games and entertainment
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique providing magical makeovers for children
- Edge club for tweens
- Cabanas casual dining location
- Palo specialty restaurant makeover with Venetian-inspired décor
The ship’s upper decks also will be redesigned for waterful enjoyment:
- Twist ‘n’ Spout water slide provides splashtacular fun
- Dory’s Reef is a splash zone that offers fanciful water play for toddlers
- AquaLab is a pool and interactive water play area for kids and families
After the Disney Wonder undergoes dry dock Sept. 9 to Oct. 23, 2016, in Cadiz, Spain, the wave of new enhancements debut on sailings starting Nov. 10, from Galveston, Texas.
The Disney Wonder will continue to sail from Galveston to the Bahamas and Caribbean, until the ship sails to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Jan. 20, 2017. On Jan. 26, 2017, a three-night cruise aboard the Disney Wonder takes guests from San Juan to Port Canaveral, Fla., where the ship will homeport for the spring.
Oh, good. They’re not going to mess with the Cadillac Lounge. I think that one Caribbean restaurant is the one that’s being switched out for Tiana’s, right? The nondescript one that has the buffet when you come on board?
Sailings from popular home ports return for limited-time engagements
In the fall of 2017, Disney Cruise Line will return to New York with sailings to the Bahamas and the Canadian coast – including a new seven-night Canada cruise. San Diego will serve as a home port with cruises to Mexico, and Galveston will again be a homeport with sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas.
New Canada coast itinerary and new ports from New York
Disney Cruise Line returns to New York City in the fall of 2017, for a mix of voyages that include Canada coast and Bahamas itineraries. On Oct. 21, the Disney Magic will sail from New York on a seven-night Canada sailing – the line’s longest-ever voyage to the Atlantic Canada coast. This sailing includes a new port of call for Disney Cruise Line – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Bar Harbor, Maine, is another new port of call for Disney Cruise Line and part of a five-night sailing that departs New York on Sept. 27. This cruise also will stop at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. A total of six seven- and eight-night sailings to the Bahamas, all including a visit to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, will be a part of the 2017 New York season.
Adding to the magic on each of the Bahamian cruises will be the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World Resort when the ship stops at Port Canaveral, Fla. Each guest on these sailings will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation for the short drive between the ship and the resort.
Return to San Diego, California
In September and October of 2017, Disney Cruise Line will return to San Diego with a variety of Disney Wonder cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. (YES!!!)
On most Baja sailings, guests can visit Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico, to enjoy world-famous beaches and snorkeling. Two-night cruises depart San Diego on Sept. 15, Sept. 22 and Oct. 13, and a three-night cruise departs Oct. 5 and includes a day at sea.
Mexican Riviera itineraries feature snorkeling and scuba diving hot spots, while Puerto Vallerta and Mazatlan are where cliff divers, culture and ziplining through the jungle canopy take center stage. Seven-night itineraries departing on Sept. 24 and Oct. 15, call on Puerto Vallerta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Four additional four- and five-night Mexican Riviera cruises set sail during the season in San Diego.
I loved the seven-night Mexico cruise! The two-night is good if money is tight or if you are not sure you’ll like cruising.
Return to Galveston, Texas
Disney Cruise Line returns to Galveston in 2017, with a line up of eight seven-night cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. All Bahamian itineraries include a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. On Nov. 10 and Dec. 1, the Disney Wonder will sail a western Caribbean itinerary from Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica. On Nov. 17, Nov. 24, Dec, 8, Dec. 15, Dec. 22 and Dec. 29, the Disney Wonder will sail from Galveston to Key West, Nassau and Castaway Cay.
2017 Pro Bowl to be Played in Orlando
Week-Long Festivities at Walt Disney World Resort and Throughout Orlando Shine Spotlight on Game’s Brightest Stars & Youth Players
Dolphins to Host Falcons August 25 in Orlando
The NFL will celebrate its brightest stars of today and tomorrow with new PRO BOWL WEEK festivities in 2017 in Orlando. The announcement was made today at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, site of the AFC-NFC team practices and host to unprecedented new youth-focused football activities.
Culminating with the 2017 Pro Bowl game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Sunday, January 29 and televised live at 8 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, Pro Bowl Week will celebrate all levels of football – from youth to high school to the NFL’s best.
“We are excited to re-imagine the Pro Bowl experience for both fans and players and to celebrate the game of football at all levels,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “Collaborating with Disney and ESPN brings us closer to the best in youth and family-focused entertainment. We look forward to working with the city of Orlando and Florida Citrus Sports to create a week-long celebration for football and our fans.”
Among the highlights of Pro Bowl Week:
- Pro Bowl AFC and NFC practices will be held alongside youth football competitions, activities and fan events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, which annually hosts more than 100 youth sports events, such as the Pop Warner Super Bowl.
- The 2017 Pro Bowl players will also be able to invite their former youth or high school coach to be a part of the celebrations during the week. Players on the winning Pro Bowl team will receive a grant from the NFL Foundation to support their youth or high school football program.
- The annual USA Football National Conference will take place during the week leading up to the Pro Bowl. USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, leads the largest annual conference of high school and youth football administrators and high school coaches in the United States. More than 650 participants from all 50 states attended USA Football’s 2016 National Conference in Indianapolis, addressing coach education, player safety and key trends through inspiring speakers representing youth, high school, collegiate and pro levels.
- The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award winner will be announced during the Pro Bowl as part of a year-long recognition of high school coaches on ESPN. The award honors high school football coaches that display the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by Pro Football Hall of Famer DON SHULA, the winningest coach in NFL history.
- Pro Bowl festivities for youth and their families will take place throughout the week across Orlando, including a Pro Bowl-themed 5k run and a parade of Pro Bowl players in the Magic Kingdom.
The 2017 Pro Bowl will feature a return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC game format following three years using a revised, “unconferenced” format. The NFL’s best will once again be in the spotlight as 88 players – 44 from the AFC and 44 from the NFC – are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches.
“Hosting the NFL Pro Bowl is exactly the type of opportunity we had in mind when our community pulled together to invest in the reconstruction of Camping World Stadium. Orlando is the top tourist destination in the country and we look forward to providing players, staff, families, and fans from all levels of football an unforgettable week,” said CEO of Florida Citrus Sports Steve Hogan.
Beginning in the fall of 2016, first priority access to Pro Bowl game tickets will go to Season Ticket Members of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the other 29 NFL clubs and Florida Citrus Sports.
Remaining inventory of Pro Bowl game tickets will be available for purchase by the public in November. Fans may register on ProBowl.com for exclusive presale opportunities and additional information on Pro Bowl Week fan events in Orlando.
Football fans will also be able to see NFL action at Camping World Stadium when the Miami Dolphins host the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, August 25 at 8 PM ET in Week 3 of the preseason to celebrate Play Football Month. Youth football teams from across Florida will be honored as part of the gameday activities.
The game will also provide NFL officials the opportunity to observe the gameday experience and stadium operations. Miami Dolphins Season Ticket Members & Florida Citrus Sports Members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets during an exclusive pre-sale on Monday, June 6, at 10 AM ET. The public on-sale will be on Thursday, June 9 at 10 AM ET. Fans can visit Dolphins.com for more information.
The Pro Bowl comes at a time of year when Hawaii’s tourism is booming, so it won’t hurt tourism all that badly. I’m sure it’s a blow, but Hawaii always lacked the infrastructure and resources to handle a major bowl game. It was a pity deal, giving us the Pro Bowl. It will be a more robust event in Orlando.
Tokyo Disney Resort Blog: Fun on a Rainy Day
Fresh from the Tokyo Disney Resort Blog: Tokyo Disneyland in the rain: (I’m only including about half of the photos,
“It’s sad,” the blog says, “that you can’t see Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights in rainy weather, but there is a special mini-parade, ‘Night Fall Glow’ that you can only see when it is raining!”
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