Netflix Exclusive Disney Movie Deal in U.S. Kicks In This Fall

Netflix’s exclusive deal with Disney for pay-TV window rights to the Mouse House’s movie titles in the U.S. will commence in September.

Under the pact — signed three and a half years ago — Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. pay-TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar, chief content officer Ted Sarandos wrote in a blog post Monday. Currently, Starz has the “pay one” output rights to Disney titles in the States.

Netflix’s U.S. rights cover Disney movies starting with 2016 theatrical releases, which means American streaming subs will not have access to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Instead, Starz will have streaming rights to the blockbuster space epic in the U.S.


Disney’s 2016 movie slate includes “Zootopia” as well as “The Jungle Book,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Finding Dory,” Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “Doctor Strange,” “Moana” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

“The 2016 (Disney) releases will start rolling on in September and we’ll share specific dates/titles closer to their premiere on the service,” a Netflix rep said.

Meanwhile, Netflix also disclosed that several older Disney titles will be leaving the service in June. Those include “Hercules” (June 1) as well as “Mulan” and “Hunchback of Notre Dame” (June 24); Disney movies that will remain include “Tarzan,” “Robin Hood,” “Lilo & Stitch” and “Emperor’s New Groove.”

Emperor's New Groove

In Canada, Netflix’s output deal with Disney began with 2015 releases after the previous agreements for the pay-TV window with Corus Entertainment and Bell Canada expired (which means subs in the Great White North will have access to “Force Awakens”).

Star Wars Force Awakens

From Variety

Preferred Parking Available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now offering preferred parking.  This makes the service available at all four theme parks at Walt Disney World.

Guests will have to pay $15 in addition to the regular $20 parking fees.  The preferred parking area is located near the front of each parking lot.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, preferred parking is located in the Stage lot.  At Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the Peacock lot, at Epcot in the Amaze lot, and at Magic Kingdom in the Jafar lot.

Preferred parking is also available for $15 for guests who current receive free parking, such as resort hotel guests or Annual Passholders.

Disney first began offering preferred parking at the Magic Kingdom in March of this year.

‘it’s a small world’ Closing for Refurbishment Late this Summer

“it’s a small world” at the Magic Kingdom will be closed for refurbishment later this summer.

The closure is scheduled to begin on August 22nd and last through September 15th.  The attraction will be reopening to guests on September 16th.

Disney Vacation Club Lounge at Epcot Opens in June

In order to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Disney Vacation Club, Disney is creating a brand new, exclusive Member Lounge at Epcot, which is slated to open on the second floor of the Imagination Pavilion on June 6. The lounge is slated to welcome DVC Members, as well as their guests daily.

The entrance for the lounge will be located through the pavilion’s merchandise shop and is included with admission to Epcot. The lounge will be the perfect place for Guests to cool off (or warm up, depending on the season) and relax.

DVC Members will be able to enjoy the benefits and comforts of a pleasant lounge they can call their own.

The Member Lounge will feature:

  • Comfortable seating
  • Complimentary soft drinks
  • Wi-Fi
  • Charging stations
  • Computers with printers
  • Member Services Advisors


Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Returns to its Original Name

The Pangani Forest Exploration Trail at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be returning to its original name, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

The walking attraction was renamed Pangani back in July 1998, to better represent the fact that the trail was not just home to gorillas.

Eighteen years later, Disney has decided to go back to the original name. Starting on Memorial Day Weekend, it will once again be known as Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

Located in Africa, the trail is home to a variety of animals, including gorillas, hippos, African birds and fish, naked mole rats, meerkats and okapi.

Disney Releases Show Time and Seating Information for The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic will begin on May 28th at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with two shows nightly.

The first show will be at 9 PM, with the second show being at 10:30 PM. Because of the timing of the show the park will be open until 11 PM.

FastPass+ guests will be seated in the theater on the Asia side.

Rivers of Light Asia Seating

Standby and dining package guests will be seated on the DinoLand side theater.

Rivers of Light Dinoland Seating

The show is approximately 20 minutes long.

Guests with strollers seated on the Asia side will park their strollers near the gibbon exhibit. Guests on the DinoLand side with strollers will park in the Finding Nemo stroller parking area.

Guests Can Experience Farewell Flights for Classic Soarin’ Beginning May 27th

Epcot guests will enjoy farewell flights when the classic Soarin’ returns to The Land pavilion in Future World starting May 27. The attraction reopens at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort before the new film, Soarin’ Around the World, debuts next month at Disney parks in Shanghai, Californiaand Florida. Disney FastPass+ service will be available starting May 21 for this limited opportunity to enjoy the classic Soarin’ experience at Epcot.

Soarin' 2

The classic Soarin’ film based on the popular Disney California Adventure park attraction, Soarin’ Over California, is a multi-sensory adventure with stunning views over California’s popular sites including the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley and Yosemite National Park to name a few. You’ll swear you feel the mist from the ocean. Don’t miss your chance to experience Soarin’ Over California at Disney California Adventure now through June 15, and at Epcot through June 16.

The new film, Soarin’ Around the World, debuts June 17 at Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort and Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort the day after its world premiere at Shanghai Disneyland and highlights landmarks from across the globe.

Disney Names New DVC Development at Wilderness Lodge and Renames Existing Villas

Disney Vacation Club has announced the name of its new development at the Wilderness Lodge resort.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will be the name of what will become the 14th Disney Vacation Club Resort.

With the new naming, the original Disney Vacation Club property at Wilderness Lodge, the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, will be renamed Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Also announced was that a new name will be coming to the redesigned Hidden Springs Pool area.

House of Blues is Leaving Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney and is Moving to Anaheim GardenWalk

For 15 years, House of Blues Anaheim has hosted big-name talent in its 1,000-capacity concert hall, which was quickly nicknamed the Mouse House by locals due to its location, right in the heart of Downtown Disney.

Throughout those years, legends such as B.B. King, James Brown, Ray Charles and Etta James all graced the stage. There were also numerous intimate evenings with rockers such as the Cramps, Joe Sturmmer, Foo Fighters and Motörhead. Mega pop stars like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears randomly dropped in. It has also been the place for fans to enjoy multiple-night runs by O.C. staples Social Distortion and L.A. punks Bad Religion.

After a handful of local rock and ska bands take the stage on May 29, House of Blues will officially end its chapter in Downtown Disney and prepare to reopen an all-new, state-of-the-art facility in early November, just down the street on Katella Avenue where the UltraLuxe Cinemas were once located inside the Anaheim GardenWalk.

“We’re excited about the future, but bittersweet about the past,” Ron Bension, president of House of Blues Entertainment, said. “We had a great run on the Disney property, but we’re really excited about having this new venue coming on board in a few months that will incorporate everything we’ve learned over the last 15 years in Orange County and everything we’ve learned as a company over the last 25 years.”

The old venue officially opened on Jan. 12, 2001 with two sold-out nights by Orange County’s own rock band Lit. It will be replaced by a much larger complex that will include a 2,000-capacity main concert hall for bigger touring acts and events, a 400-capacity smaller room (which may be called the Parish) for smaller artists, singer-songwriter evenings, release parties and corporate meetings, a 175-capacity Foundation Room and a much larger restaurant and kitchen then it was able previously to house.

“We’ve really learned so much since building the House of Blues in Anaheim,” Bension continued, noting that they’ve taken patrons’ concerns to heart, including the constant gripe about the sometimes impossible stage sight lines at the current venue. They’ve created multiple levels within the new main concert hall that include several platforms and a seated mezzanine to improve upon the view of the stage from all corners of the space. “We’re doubling the size while maintaining the intimacy,” he added.

The Downtown Disney location never had the space for a Foundation Room, which is standard at other House of Blues locations and was once pretty legendary within the now permanently closed House of Blues Los Angeles. That will be remedied with the new facility and the Foundation Room will feature a full bar, nightly entertainment of its own and a viewing platform of the stage in the main concert hall.

“The Orange County opening will celebrate the 25th year of House of Blues so that’s really exciting to be able to kick off the next generation of growth,” Bension said. “It’s been 10 years since our last (new) building, which was in Houston, so for this to be the first one in over a decade and to also have it represent the kick-off of our 25th anniversary and to serve as the model going forward, that’s kind of cool.”

Since Lit helped open the venue 15 years ago, it seems appropriate that they’d be one of the last acts to help close the current location down. Counting its final sold-out headlining gig on Friday, the Fullerton-based group will have played the Mouse House 15 times.

Bassist Kevin Baldes said one of his favorite memories was being able to open for metal gods Judas Priest. After two back-to-back sold-out headlining Lit shows, they wanted to add a third evening to their run, but Priest were scheduled to headline that particular Sunday. Somehow, the guys got Priest to agree to allow them to serve as their opener.

“We get in front of like the strict, hardcore metal people and there were quite a few that liked us and then some that you could just hear yelling ‘Booooooooo!’” he said with a laugh. “Those people hated us, but we still had a good time.”

Baldes has attended the venue as a fan and as a professional photographer who has shot acts such as Willie Nelson, Social Distortion and Foo Fighters there. Guitarist Jeremy Popoff is also a fan and has gone out to see country artists like Dustin Lynch, Kip Moore, A Thousand Horses, Blackberry Smoke and Jamey Johnson.

However bittersweet the transition, both musicians are excited about an all-new House of Blues opening in their home county.

“I think it’s going to be the premier venue in Southern California, not just in Orange County,” said Popoff, who also owns Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen in Fullerton. “It’s going to rival most spots in Los Angeles and I think it’s going to be state-of-the-art, top-notch and a killer place to see shows. They’ll probably also be able to book more shows and not have to ask Mickey Mouse for permission for every band they book.

“All bands love to play House of Blues. They have the best staff,” he added. “They know what they’re doing. They’ve created this cool kind of culture in all of the venues across the country. They’re all different, but they all have that common theme of quality about them and you’re never bummed when you find out you’re playing at a House of Blues.”

From the Orange County Register

‘Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire’ Begins June 17th at Magic Kingdom

Today Disney announced that ‘Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire’ will make its debut on June 17, 2016!

Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire

“Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” brings to life beloved Disney stories both classic and contemporary in a spectacular performance featuring an original song, memorable music, lively dancing, delightful costumes and special effects magic. Mickey and his troupe of Merry Makers have invited friends from other lands to join them in a grand celebration. So in addition to favorites like Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy, the show also brings together a wonderful cast of characters from some of Disney’s newest classics: “Frozen,” “Tangled” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

“Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” celebrates the unique stories of the citizens who make up this magical kingdom and the wonderful things that can happen when we try new things, go to new places and get to know new friends.

You’re all invited to join in the fun, starting June 17!

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