Changes Coming to FastPass+ Next Week

FastPass+

A few weeks ago Disney shared the latest plans for MyMagic+, and gave a look at more changes to come.  Many guests expressed excitement about the evolution of FastPass+ and the fact that Disney was working on ways to provide guests with the ability add more FastPass+ entitlements in addition to the three they can plan in advance and a feature that enabled the ability to make those additional selections while park hopping.

So starting Monday, after guests have used their first three FastPass+ selections, they will be able to select another one at one of the kiosks located in each of our WDW parks. When they’ve used that one, they’ll be able to select another, and so on, ultimately providing guests with even more ways to customize their Walt Disney WorldVacation. Guests will also be able to select and use their additional FastPass+ entitlements when they hop from park to park.

MyMagic+ will continue to evolve over time with the aim of continuing to improve the guest experience according to Disney.

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Main Street Bakery and Fountain View to add ‘La Boulange’ Baked Goods to Menus

Main-Street-Bakery

The Main Street Bakery at the Magic Kingdom and Fountain View at Epcot will soon be adding ‘La Boulange’ baked goods to their menus.

La Boulange is a San Francisco bakery and café serving artisanal pastries, and has partnered with Starbucks to offer them in locations across the country. Many of the items are served warm, and include goodies such as Criossants, Sticky Buns, Brownies, and Cookies.

Many guests are a fans of the Starbucks coffees being served in the parks, but the lack of baked goods that used to be served in the Main Street Bakery is viewed as a loss by quite a few guests. The addition of ‘La Boulange’ products may go some way to giving those guests better quality baked goods.

Frozen Soundtrack Maintains The No. 1 Position On Charts For Eleven Non-Consecutive Weeks

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The double Platinum-certified Frozen soundtrack maintains the No. 1 slot on the Billboard Top 200 album chart spending eleven non-consecutive weeks in the top position according to Nielsen SoundScan. Selling 259,000 copies in the week ending April 20, the soundtrack has sold over 2.3 million copies and over 6 million combined digital tracks in its 21st week of release.  Frozen remains the top-selling album of 2014 and is expected to cross 3M in shipments imminently.  The Frozen soundtrack has surpassed The Lion King’s 10-week reign at No. 1 in 1994 and has spent the most weeks at No. 1 for an animated film soundtrack in the 58-year history of the chart.

The triple Platinum, Oscar-winning song “Let It Go” performed by Idina Menzel, is in the Top 15 (#12*) at Mainstream AC radio and is #22* and climbing at Adult Top 40 radio.  The film video version of Idina’s “Let It Go” has been viewed more than 190M times on YouTube and Demi Lovato’s  “Let It Go” music video has surpassed 133M views.

The album has sold over 4.5 million worldwide and has been certified 15x Platinum in Korea; Platinum in CanadaUnited KingdomFranceArgentina and Taiwan; and Gold in PolandAustraliaNew ZealandJapanHong KongIndonesia and Singapore.

The soundtrack features eight original songs from Oscar-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and songwriter Robert Lopez plus score by the composer of last year’s Oscar-winning short “Paperman,” Christophe Beck.

This Is The Event You’re Looking For

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Rocket your Star Wars experience into hyperspace when you buy tickets for the Feel the Force Premium Package. Enjoy a reserved premium viewing area for 2 popular Star Wars Weekends spectaculars—the Legends of the Force:Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade and the Symphony in the Stars fireworks. During the day, the motorcade viewing area includes beverages and snacks; when the stars come out, the fireworks viewing area features a Star Wars-themed dessert party.

The Feel the Force Premium Package will be with you, always: to remember this very special day in a galaxy far, far away, you’ll receive a special souvenir Disney PhotoPass card that can be used to link your photos to your Disney account—and includes a series of complimentary Star Wars photos.

Tentative Talent Lineup Announced for Star Wars Weekends

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Today,  Disney announced the full talent lineup for this year’s event. Celebrities scheduled to attend includeStar Wars actors and actresses from the past (from the Star Wars film saga), present (from the popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and even the future (from the eagerly anticipated Disney XD animated series Star Wars Rebels).

Previously Disney announced that acclaimed voice actor James Arnold Taylor is the official celebrity host of this year’s event. We’re pleased to announce today that Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars, a former Walt Disney World Resort parade performer and now a successful fangirl fashion designer, will be the host of a special “Behind The Force” show each weekend. This year, “Behind The Force” will showcase some of the main cast members from Star Wars Rebels.

Also of note: Weekend V will feature the most Star Wars celebrities to appear at one time in the event’s history.

Here’s the lineup (*subject to change):

Weekend I: May 16-18 

Ahmed Best: Jar Jar Binks (Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom MenaceStar Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the SithStar Wars: The Clone Wars)

Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the SithStar Wars: Episode IV A New HopeStar Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes BackStar Wars: Episode VI Return of the JediStar Wars: The Clone Wars)

Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend II: May 23-25

Warwick Davis: Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi); Wald (Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett (Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes BackStar Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi); Capt. Jeremoch Colton (Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith)

Tiya Sircar: Sabine Wren (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend III: May 30-June 1

Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

John Ratzenberger: Major Bren Derlin (Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back)

Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend IV: June 6-8

Mark Hamill: Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: Episode IV A New HopeStar Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes BackStar Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi); Darth Bane (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

Billy Dee Williams: Lando Calrissian (Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes BackStar Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)

Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend V: June 13-15

Dee Bradley Baker: Captain Rex/the Clones, Bossk and several additional characters (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Cat Taber: Padmé Amidala and several additional characters (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Tom Kane: Yoda, the series’ narrator and several additional characters (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Matt Lanter: Anakin Skywalker and several additional characters (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)

 

Disney to Make It’s a Small World Movie

DISNEY PARKS SMALL WORLD

According to the Orlando Sentinel

According to several published reports, Jon Turtletaub, the producer and director behind the “National Treasure” film franchise, will helm the project.

Reportedly, writer Jared Stern, who has been associated with the movies “Bolt,” “Wreck-It Ralph” and “The Lego Movie 2” will be working up the script and helping Turtletaub produce the movie.

There has been no word on who would be involved in working on the film’s musical score that would play atop the famous Sherman brothers’ famous tune.

The iconic ride is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year after debuting at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.  Disney park guests can find the attraction at five Disney parks.

Walt Disney World to Test Mobile Phone Charging Lockers at the Magic Kingdom

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From our friends at WDWMAGIC.com –

Beginning April 25th the Magic Kingdom will begin testing mobile phone charging lockers for use by guests.

The secure lockers will be located inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe and the Tomorrowland Light and Power Company.  These lockers will be available to guests free of charge.

In order to use the charger, guests will need to swipe a credit credit card.  This will act as an ID for the locker.  The locker door will open and inside there will be a number of charger cables.  The phone gets hooked up to the appropriate cable and the guest closes the door.  When the charge is completed the door will glow green.  In order to open the locker the same credit card will need to be used.

With the increased use of My Disney Experience and the reliance of guests using their smartphones for part of the park experience seems to be driving Disney to help guests keep “powered up”.

Sleeping Beauty Heading to Blu-Ray

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Sleeping Beauty, the enchanting Disney masterpiece, is going to be re-issued on Disney Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital Download on June 2, 2014.

The breathtakingly beautiful and timeless fantasy, which took nearly a decade to produce, was initially released in 1959.  Sleeping Beauty was the studio’s final animated film that was lovingly and attentively handcrafted using ink.  The wonderful stereophonic musical score, based on Tchaikovsky’s titular ballet, earned the film a prestigious Academy Award®.
With Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, hitting cinemas on 28th May, this is a timely release to revisit one of Disney’s must-own classics.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to Embark on International Tour

Beauty & the Beast - Stage

In celebration of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast‘s 20th anniversary on stage, Disney Theatrical Productions, NETworks and Broadway Entertainment Group will present the first international tour of the title, which will open at Istanbul’s Zorlu Center in October 2014.

The English-language tour — which will play diverse international markets including Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, marking the first time the musical will have been seen in these territories—will reunite the musical’s original Broadway creative team.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with NETWorks and Broadway Entertainment Group, to launch this first-ever international tour,” said Ron Kollen, senior vice president, international, for Disney Theatrical Productions, in a statement. “To premiere Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in these cities throughout the Middle East and Asia, is a perfect way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our beloved stage musical.”

Beauty and the Beast is directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West, with Tony Award-winning costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Natasha Katz, scenic design by Stanley A. Meyer, sound design by John Petrafesa Jr. and music supervision by Michael Kosarin.

Auditions are currently underway in the U.S., and casting will be announced in the coming months.

Liz Koops, producer for Broadway Entertainment Group, added, “The world of touring entertainment is constantly evolving and we wanted to begin an international circuit to bring top quality entertainment into emerging markets. What better way to start than with one of the world’s most beloved and successful musicals, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

Based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature film of the same name, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast premiered on Broadway in 1994, where it was nominated for nine Tony Awards and ran for 13 years.

Since its debut, the title’s visibility and success has expanded globally with subsequent productions produced around the world. Since licensing of the title began in 2004, there have been productions in 22 countries, seen by more than 35 million people, translated into 8 different languages with over 28,000 performances — equivalent to a run of 67 years, generating over $1.7 billion in revenue.

In the U.S., Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has been licensed to over 6,000 individual theatres including professional, community and school productions. It was the first Disney Theatrical Productions title in countries across Scandinavia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Russia, among others.

Currently, there are four productions of Disney’s Beauty and the Beastplaying around the world, including Paris and tours in North America, Japan and Germany.

Beauty and the Beast, according to Disney, “is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.”

The musical boasts music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs with music by Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is written by Linda Woolverton.

Disney Infinity Correction

Disney Infinity 2.0

Disney has issued a statement on the D23 website correcting the information that appeared on their site on April 15th and then was removed….

From D23 –

“In D23′s News Briefs published April 15, 2014, we erroneously reported about the launch of the next chapter of Disney Infinity. This information was incorrect. More news about Disney Infinity will be shared on April 30, and we hope you will check back for that update. “