Disney Infinity Community Builds Disneyland Toy Box in Honor of Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

Want to explore the Disneyland Resort in a whole new way? Leap into the world of Disney Infinity and play with the new Disneyland Toy Box! Just launched along with the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the Disneyland Toy Box was created by the Disney Infinity community. Players have been designing attractions for the game over the past few months, and many even teamed up to create the best attractions possible. Now the winning designs are available to download!

Disney Infinity - Disneyland Project

The complete Disneyland Toy Box includes:

  • Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Fantasyland: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, “it’s a small world,” Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Adventureland: Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain,Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Tomorrowland: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Star Tours, Space Mountain, Autopia, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

The Disneyland Toy Box has given fans a chance to show their love for the Disneyland Resort across the globe, and it gives you a chance to extend your Disneyland experience into your home. You can download the complete toy box here.

Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Disappoints With ‘John Carter’-Like $32M Weekend

Tomorrowland Movie

From Forbes.com

The power of positive thinking could not save Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland.  $190 million sci-fi adventure earned $32.159 million on its opening Fri-Sun weekend and an estimated $41m over the long holiday. Long-story short, that’s not a great number, just a bit above the $25m-$30m debuts of mega-budget whiffs like John CarterPrince of PersiaJack the Giant Slayer, and Battleship. The film stars Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Raffey Cassidy, and Hugh Laurie in a story about a young girl who stumbles upon a secret alternate world which resembles the would-be futuristic utopias dreamed about back in the 1950′s and 1960′s. The film is the biggest wholly original live-action entry in the summer season.

The somewhat cryptic marketing campaign has struggled to sell the film to kids and parents based mostly on George Clooney’s star power and the promise of unrevealed treasures to be revealed. More importantly, the film was hit by surprisingly negative reviews, with few raves and even the mixed-positive reviews (like mine) bending over backwards to praise the intent if not the execution, while all-but-admitting that the so-called mystery box wasn’t hiding anything beyond merely unspoiled story beats.

The Mouse House did something interesting a couple weeks ago, whereby they invited a select group of “Mommy Bloggers” to the world premiere in Anaheim’s Disneyland park and had them participate in the junket interview process. I don’t pretend to be an expert in said blogging sub-genre, but the end result is that the film got some comparatively in-depth coverage in outlets that reach audiences beyond the film nerds and general talk show/magazine crowd. I will be curious to what extent that affects the demographics this weekend. I am pointing this out because it is an interesting new gimmick and I like to point out when studios try something a little different.

Reviews, and the cryptic marketing campaign that basically amounted to “ Trust us, what we aren’t showing you will totally be worth it,” were the primary culprit. The reviews revealed that what was behind the curtain wasn’t as wonderful as promised. The one bit of good news is that the film’s 4.26x four-day weekend multiplier was among the higher such multipliers for a Memorial Day weekend blockbuster, in line with Bruce Almighty but behind the 4.5x multiplier for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ($15.6m/$70m) in 2009. The film also opened with $26.1m overseas giving it a $58.859m worldwide total as of today.

The weekend-to-domestic final multipliers for recent Fri-Mon Memorial Day weekend openers is grim. We’re talking around 2.0x for the frontloaded films (Fast & Furious 6X-Men: Days of Future Past) and over/under 2.5x for the leggier ones (Bruce AlmightyMen in Black 3Night at the Museum 2). So if Tomorrowland ends up with $41 million by Monday, we’re looking at a final domestic gross of between $82m and $105m. Barring some strong legs and/or overseas might, neither of which I am ruling out, this isn’t promising for the ambitious original in a sea of sequels and reboots.

Guest Speakers Announced for 2015 Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet

PNW Mouse Meet

The special guest speakers that will be appearing at the 2015 Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet have been announced.  The event will be held at the Lynnwood Convention Center in Lynnwood, Washington on Saturday July 11th.

Pete Renaday

PETE RENADAY
Actor/Voice Actor

Pete Renaday is an American actor and voice actor who has done many voice-over and acting roles for Disney films, TV shows, attractions and record albums. His most well-known voice roles in the parks are those of Henry and Max in Country Bear Jamboree.

Other attractions that he has lent his voice to over the years include Walt Disney World’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (as Captain Nemo), The Hall of Presidents (as Abraham Lincoln from 1994-2008), the Disneyland version of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (as the narrator), The Walt Disney Story (as the narrator), the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Adventure Thru Inner Space and Disneyland’s Mark Twain Riverboat.

His Disney film credits include The Aristocats (as the Milkman and Le Petit Cafe Chef) and The Rescuers (as the American delegate). He also portrayed Eddie Valiant in early screen tests for Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Renaday is also famous for providing the voice of the Ghost Host on the Disneyland Records album Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion (Renaday was also an early choice for that role in the attraction, which eventually went to Paul Frees). He also voiced Mickey Mouse on several albums in the 1980s, such as Splash dance and Yankee Doodle Mickey.

Outside Disney, he has done acting and voice roles in numerous TV shows, films and video games, such as the 1987 incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (as Master Splinter) and Defenders of the Earth (as Mandrake the Magician).

Margaret Kerry

MARGARET KERRY
Actor, Author, Reference Model

Author, Keynote Speaker, Live action reference model and alter ego of Walt Disney’s Tinker Bell.

Margaret started work in show business at the age of 4. Appeared in dozens of TV shows including Little Rascals, Let There Be Stars and The Charlie Ruggles Show where America watched her grow up over the years.

Walt Disney was searching for a nimble mime/dancer/actor to be filmed performing live-action work for the tiny Tinker Bell. Margaret won the role and became the alter ego of the three-inch sprite. The great designer/animator/director, Marc Davis, drew Tinker Bell’s antics based on her acting.

Margaret is now an accomplished speaker, storyteller and humorist. Her new book, Tinker Bell Talks: Tales of a Pixie Dusted Life will be released soon.

You can learn more about Margaret by visiting her website at:
www.tinkerbelltalks.com.

Mark Silverman

MARK SILVERMAN
Voice Actor

Growing up in Southern California Mark Silverman soon became fascinated with Disneyland.  As a teenager Mark would bring a small tape recorder into Disneyland just to record all the voices and sounds from the many rides and attractions.  Mark would practice all the voices from his favorite rides.  Years later Mark would become a professional voice actor and in 1994 his dream came true as he landed the job narrating an actual Disney ride called The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror which is now considered a Disney Classic!

Since then Mark has used his voice for many other Disney projects including being the voice of Friend Owl for many Bambi DVD’s and toys.  His voice can also be heard in Disney parks around the world including Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom where he can be heard as several pirates in the interactive game “Treasure of the Seven Seas.”  One of Mark’s favorite Disney jobs was getting to do the voice of Fred MacMurray for the restoration of “The Happiest Millionaire” which was the last movie personally supervised by Walt Disney.

Mark is also very proud to voice the role of the King in the Disney dub of the Academy Award nominated Miyazaki film, “Howl’s Moving Castle.”  Mark still loves going to Disneyland and looks forward to using his voice for many upcoming Disney projects.

Kevin Kern-Kristin Rodack

D23 Presents: “On The Road to the EXPO”

Walt Disney Archivist Kevin Kern and D23’s Director of Marketing, Kristin Rodack, present a sneak peek at: “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit”.

This collection of more than 300 pieces will be the largest exhibit the Walt Disney Archives has ever presented at the D23 EXPO, and guests at the Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet will be among the very first to get a glance inside the exhibit.

Kevin and Kristin will be on hand with artifacts from Disneyland’s rich 60-year history, along with a preview of the creation of the exhibit and revealing stories about several of the pieces that will be on display. In addition, the duo will give you a look inside Disney’s official fan club and what to expect from this year’s D23 EXPO, coming August 14-16 to the Anaheim Convention Center.

As the director of marketing for D23, Kristin oversees the day-to-day operations of Disney’s official fan club, developing engaging ways to create a two-way dialogue with Disney fans around the world. From marketing initiatives such as D23’s “When Did It Start For You?” campaign—which encourages celebrities, Disney cast members, and fans to share their stories, to the development of advertising, brand, and event strategies—including D23 EXPO 2015, the largest Disney fan event in the world.

Before joining the D23 Team, Kristin, a lifelong Disney fan, worked at Disney Interactive overseeing all digital campaigns for Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior. Prior to her time at Disney, Kristin was the Vice President of Business Development with the brand marketing and digital agency Fanscape, where she worked with such clients as GameStop, Frito Lay, and Toyota. Originally from Connecticut, Kristin attended Emerson College in Boston, and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Shane, and son Eli (whose favorite character is Figment).

Kevin Martin Kern is an Archivist with the Walt Disney Archives at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

He is a member of the Archives’ research team, and predominantly works with the department’s collection of historical documents, artwork and books. Additionally, he helps to conduct historical interviews for the group’s oral history program and often assists with the development and installation of the Archives’ historical and museum exhibitions. Along with acknowledgements in several recent Disney history books, Kevin’s writing has been featured in Disney twenty-three magazine, Disney Newsreel, Club 33’s Royal Street Review, and on D23.com.

Proudly from Oswego, New York, Kevin is a graduate of Syracuse University and will forever be a student of all things Disney.

Claire Keane

CLAIRE KEANE
Artist

Claire Keane is known for her work as a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where she made significant contributions to recent hits Tangled and Frozen. She studied graphic design at the Ecole Superieure D’Arts Graphiques in Paris, France. Claire now lives in Venice Beach, California, with her husband and kids.

Joe Herrington

Joe Herrington
Principal Media Designer
Disney Imagineering (WDI)

Joe Herrington has been with The Walt Disney Company for 28 years after joining in 1981 as a Sound Designer creating soundtracks for numerous EPCOT attractions. For the past 15 years, he has created the soundtracks for Disney’s theme parks and attractions nationally and internationally.

Most recently Joe worked on Radiator Racers in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure where he rode the attractions over 800 times through construction, hot sun, rain storms and more to ensure all the sounds guests hear are just right. He is also known as one of the top Cowboy Poets in the country!

Joe will be giving a presentation called, “The Sound of Magic!”

For more information and to purchase tickets, please go here.

Walt Disney World Offering new Epcot Tour – World Showcase DestiNations Discovered

Epcot - Canada

World Showcase DestiNations Discovered is a new walking tour now available at Epcot’s World Showcase.

The tour costs $109+tax per person.  The five hour walking tour takes guests through the creation of the World Showcase pavilions. The tour takes place both onstage and backstage, giving a glimpse at some of the behind-the-scenes magic.

Also part of the experience is an inclusive lunch at a World Showcase restaurant, and a cultural demonstration at one of the pavilions.

The tour takes place daily, with tours departing at 9:30 AM and 10 AM. Park admission is required, and guests must be aged 16 and over.

Reservations can be made now on 407-939-5277.

New Pressed Coins Debut for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

As part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, Disneyland is introducing sixty new pressed coins themed to favorite attractions, icons and characters!

DL Pressed Penny 2

How can you tell which designs are being introduced for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration? Here are a few tips to help you out!

  • Look for the special 60-D symbol which appears on the art for each new die.
  • Each coin will bear a special back-stamp that says Est. July 17 1955 – Disneyland Resort 60-D!

DL Pressed Penny 1

One possible favorite thing is the new Pressed Coin Location Guide that features all of the presses throughout the Disneyland Resort. All of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration pressed coins can be found by simply locating the diamond icon next to the coin image. Where can you find the pressed coin location guides? Great question — the new guides are available here on the Disney Parks Blog! Take a look at the images below or download the PDF here. You can also find printed brochures at City Hall in Disneyland park, Chamber of Commerce at Disney California Adventure park and select merchandise locations throughout the Disneyland Resort.

Tip: There is a specially designed Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration collector’s book to help you keep track of your collection.

Link to Live Video Feed for Walt Disney World ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ 24-Hour Event

WDW Coolest Summer Ever

You can follow the activities even if you’re miles from the Happiest Place on Earth. Watch the live stream of Main Street at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom here or below. The Disney Parks blog recommends tuning in to see parades at 3 p.m., 8:45 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. EDT. The fireworks show is scheduled for 9 p.m. EDT.

Coolest Summer Ever Video Feed

Link to Live Video Feed for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event

Disneyland Diamond Celebration

Disney is kicking off the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration with a 24-hour party! Watch every minute of the fun LIVE with our six cameras positioned throughout Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks.

Live Video Feed

Disney to Bring Mobile Technology to More Parks

Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts speaks during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the New Fantasyland in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

The mobile technology that helps Walt Disney Co theme park guests beat lines and pay for Mickey Mouse ears at the company’s flagship resort in Florida will expand in some form to other Disney resorts, Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs said.

The $1 billion MyMagic+ program features wristbands and a mobile app that let Walt Disney World visitors unlock hotel room doors, pay for food and merchandise, and book dinner reservations or ride times.

The technology aims to help people plan trips in advance, move more quickly through the park and personalize visits. More than 11 million wristbands, called MagicBands, have been used.

“The folks who are saying the MyMagic+ experience is excellent is the vast, vast majority of folks who are using it, and that, we know, is good for our business,” Staggs said on Thursday.

Staggs spoke in an interview on the patio of an apartment once occupied by Walt Disney at the Disneyland Resort, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

The executive ran the Disney parks and resorts division from 2010 until his promotion in February to chief operating officer, which put him in the lead to succeed Chief Executive Bob Iger in 2018.

The parks unit’s earnings have climbed over the past few years as Disney invested billions to add Cars Land at the Anaheim resort, expanded Fantasyland at Walt Disney World, built a new cruise ship and made other improvements.

For the six months that ended March 28, operating income rose 22 percent to $1.4 billion. It is Disney’s second-largest division.

Adding new technology is one way Disney aims to keep the business growing.

“We will bring variations on MyMagic+ to our parks and other businesses around the world,” Staggs said.

He said it was “possible” the use of the MagicBands will be enabled at parks outside of Walt Disney World. The company also is exploring if other wearable technology could offer some of the same functions as consumers adopt new products such as the Apple Watch.

“We are really open to doing that,” Staggs said, though he said there were no plans specifically for the Apple Watch.

As part of its 60th anniversary, Disneyland is unveiling new night-time entertainment including a fireworks show that adds projections inside the park. Classic characters such as Mickey will appear along with new ones such as Anna and Elsa from blockbuster movie “Frozen,” part of Disney’s strategy of bringing its hit franchises into the parks.

Disneyland’s New Abominable Snowman Bulks Up to Stalk Guests

DL Matterhorn Yeti

From The Orange County Register

The scare factor of the Abominable Snowman on Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds has clicked up a couple of notches.

Since 1978, he had stood at the top of the mountain, with riders getting a glimpse of him before they scooted down the roller coaster.

“It used to be you just rode by him and that was it,” said Jim Hill, a Disney historian and blogger.

Friday, as the attraction re-opens after several months, riders will see a more-ferocious Abominable Snowman (who Disney employees affectionately call Harold).

As visitors get pulled up to near the top of the mountain in their bobsleds, a projected image of Harold’s face is seen, peeking through an ice sheet. At the top, Harold is now an animatronic.

And as visitors head down the hill, the more-limber Harold seems to chase them – with sound effects creating the idea that he is in pursuit.

The old animatronic Harold, by the way, isn’t retired – he will be on display in the next D23, Disney’s periodic convention.

Downtown Disney District Extends Hours for Disneyland Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event

DLR Downtown Disney

If you’re still mapping out your plan for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24-hour event this week, I’ve got more information for you. In addition to Downtown Disney District locations that will operate during their normal business hours on May 22-23, the locations below have extended their hours to serve our guests who will be here to celebrate with us.

  • Starbucks: 4 a.m. (5/22) to 5 a.m. (5/23)
  • Haagen Dazs: 6 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels: 6 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)
  • La Brea Bakery Express: 4 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)
  • Earl of Sandwich: 6 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)
  • Jamba Juice: 6 a.m. (5/22) to 2 a.m. (5/23)