Disney Parks Unveils the Star Wars Land Model

As we know two Star Wars-inspired lands are currently under construction at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Tonight, Disney Parks showed off the first detailed look at the model of this new land, which will be on display this weekend at the 2017 D23 Expo.

Star Wars Land Model Video

Both Star Wars-inspired lands will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before Wild Space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

Here, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action at two signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

 

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Scales $117M in Heroic U.S. Bow

Spidey has returned home in style.

Over the weekend, Spider-Man: Homecoming opened to $117 million from 4,348 theaters at the North American box office in a major victory for Sony Pictures, which made the unorthodox decision to partner with Disney’s Marvel Studios in rebooting the marquee superhero franchise.

The critically acclaimed tentpole exceeded expectations, passing up Wonder Woman ($103.3 million) to boast the third-best North American opening of the year so far behind Beauty and the Beast ($174.8 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146.5 million). It becomes only the eleventh superhero pic to open to $100 million or more, and narrowly marks the second-biggest three-day launch of the franchise behind Spider-Man 3, not adjusting for inflation.

In a summer season when many tentpoles have been clobbered by critics, Homecoming boasts a 94 percent certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as nabbing a franchise-best A CinemaScore from audiences. (Wonder Woman and Guardians Vol. 2 were likewise embraced by reviewers and ticket buyers.) The Spider-Man pic skewed male (60 percent), while 50 percent of the audience was under the age of 25, an impressive stat.

Starring Tom Holland as the whimsical teenage web slinger, Homecoming, costing $175 million to produce, launches a new series of Spider-Man films and spinoffs that will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Historically, Hollywood studios holding the film rights to Marvel comic book characters — such as Sony with Spider-Man, or 20th Century Fox with its X-Men franchise — have maintained creative ownership of their superhero properties. Sony made the unorthodox decision to team with Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios after the two Amazing Spider-Man pics lagged well behind the original Spider-Man film trilogy. (Ergo, that’s why Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., and other members of the Avengers crew show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and why Holland first appeared as Spider-Man in Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.)

“This is a great result, and a gigantic win for Sony and for Marvel,” says Sony president of worldwide marketing and distribution Josh Greenstein. “Spider-Man is one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe, and Homecoming is a fresh take.”

Former Sony Pictures vice chairman Amy Pascal, who helped orchestrate the unique partnership with Marvel before exiting the studio, is a lead producer on Homecoming. The pic, directed by Jon Watts, also stars Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover and Tyne Daly also star.

Homecoming‘s ranking in the Spider-Man pantheon changes when adjusting for inflation. In May 2002, Spider-Man made history when opening to a then-record $114.8 million — or $174 million by today’s terms — becoming the poster child for the modern-day superhero pic.

Comparisons to Spider-Man 2 (2004) are complicated by the fact that the sequel debuted over the long July Fourth corridor in 2004, amassing $180.1 million in its first five days, or $256.3 million when adjusted for inflation. That included an official four-day weekend of $115.8 million, or $165 million when adjusted. (Spider-Man 3‘s adjusted opening is $174.7 million.)

The Amazing Spider-Man likewise opened over the July Fourth holiday, opening on July 3, 2012 (a Tuesday) and earning $137 million in its first six days, or $155.7 million when adjusted for inflation. The three-day weekend portion was $62 million, or $70.5 million when adjusted. Amazing Spider-Man opened to $91.6 million in early May 2014, or $97.2 million when adjusted.

From The Hollywood Reporter

D23 Expo App Now Available to Download

D23 Expo is  now only a few days away, and between planning out your panel schedule and creating the perfect cosplays, you’ve done the most you can to prepare for three days of Disney fan-demonium. If you’re still looking for a way to be the Disney pro, make sure you download the D23 Expo 2017 Official Mobile App. Now you have access to all the entertainment, presentations, shopping, photo opportunities, and magic that Disney has in store. You can find it now on the App Store and the Google Play Store.

Here’s what you can find on the D23 Expo 2017 Official Mobile App:

A Guide to Getting Around
The D23 Expo 2017 Official Mobile App includes maps to help you find everything you need, from stages and stores to photo spots; the full schedule of presentations and special entertainment; and up-to-the-minute info on StagePass availability. Want to make sure you see every presentation involving cartoon shows possible? You’ll be able to create a schedule that’s personalized just for you.

A Map to Makin’ Memories
Are you ready to pose for commemorative photos at photo spots all over the convention? Featuring figures and scenes from your favorite Disney films, TV series, and attractions, the photo spots help you create picture-perfect memories. You can find everything you need to locate your favorite photo spots, all inside the app!

Shop Till You Drop
We all have heart eyes for the Disney Dream Store, and we can’t wait to see all the new collections available on the show floor. Now, with the D23 Expo 2017 Official Mobile App, we can find out everything we need to know about the latest products. Want to stay up-to-date on when and where you can get all the best goodies? The app will make sure all your shopping dreams come true.

Stay Socialized
Want to tweet your amazing cosplay? Missed a panel and need to catch up on the news? The D23 Expo 2017 Official Mobile App keeps you up-to-date on all of D23’s official social media and the official hashtags of the Expo. Put the fan in fantastic and share your fun with D23 fans all over the world!

Changes Coming to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Dining Options

The Market at Ale & Compass is the first step in a major re-imagining of dining at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, including a re-imagined lobby lounge and new concept for the former Captain’s Grille.

The airy, new market offers a small merchandise area (which is set to open later this month) and 28 seats for casual dining. With both made-to-order and grab ‘n go, you can start the day with an egg white wrap, spinach and feta pastry, or sticky bun. Lunch and dinner include specialties such as grilled paninis, ham and Cheddar on a pretzel roll and a veggie sandwich with roasted broccoli and garlic, kale, almond, golden raisins and cheese on a whole-grain baguette.

A grab ‘n go selection offers sandwiches, salads and other eats, including kid-friendly items. For sips, there’s a Coca-Cola® Freestyle, beer and wine, and a specialty drinking station that offers both specialty coffees and smoothies.

A whole new Ale & Compass concept debuts at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in October, when the lobby lounge is transformed with a new interior and expands to 58 seats, offering a new menu of classic cocktails and light bites. But the biggest change is the adjacent Captain’s Grille, which becomes Ale & Compass Restaurant.

The Ale & Compass Restaurant menu is still in the works, but the re-imagined restaurant will have a gastropub ambience with New England-inspired comfort food, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. An on-stage hearth oven is the focal point. Décor is inspired by the cozy warmth of a lighthouse, as a comforting respite from the outside world. The casual, table-service restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan.

DisneyParksLIVE To Live Stream Walt Disney World Fourth of July Fireworks

Every year, many, many families gather at the Magic Kingdom to celebrate the Fourth of July by watching one of the best fireworks shows anywhere – “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” Today, Walt Disney World will be sharing this magnificent display with guests around the country (and around the world!), through their next #DisneyParksLIVE stream.

The live stream of the park’s special “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” fireworks will be held July 4 at 8:55 p.m. ET.

How can you catch the live stream? Visit the Disney Parks Blog on July 4 and a fresh blog post containing the live stream feed will be ready and waiting at the top.

Club Penguin Island Event Coming to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

On July 29th, Club Penguin is bringing some special fun to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. And just like in the game, this event lets guests make friends and embark on adventures together.

Guests visiting Disney’s Blizzard Beach on July 29 will have the chance to participate in lots of Club Penguin Island-themed activities such as a penguin splash competition in the Ski Patrol area, coloring contests, a ‘snowball’ toss with water balloons, and much more!

And if you aren’t already playing Club Penguin Island, you can get started by clicking here to download on a mobile device. Club Penguin Island is available for a $4.99 monthly membership subscription on the App Store or on Google Play.

Chef Mickey’s Relocating to Contemporary Resort Convention Center During Maintenance

If you have a reservation at Chef Mickey’s in late July or early August please be advised that the character meal will be temporarily relocating to the Contemporary Resort’s Convention Center.

The unplanned maintenance is expected to begin on July 28 through to August 13 2017. During this time, the character dining buffet will relocate to the convention center at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Guests with reservations are being contacted to made aware of the relocation.

Rey Joins ‘Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away’ with Return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you’re a Star Wars fan and have visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios you know that the Force is strong there.

This week marks the return of “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” after a brief hiatus. This show, presented several times daily in the park’s Center Stage area, brings to life iconic moments from the Star Wars saga with compelling film clips and appearances by favorite Star Wars characters from Darth Vader to Chewbacca.

Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” celebrates our love of all things Star Wars with unforgettable memories from the entire galactic saga. Now, Rey has officially joined the lineup, appearing on stage alongside lovable Resistance droid BB-8 and clenching a lightsaber in her outstretched arm, just as she did at the conclusion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The incomparable nighttime show “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” was also recently updated, incorporating sequences from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that put you right in the middle of thrilling moments from the movie.

It’s clear that more than ever, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the place where Star Wars lives!

2017 Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages Go On Sale, Some Narrators Announced

On the Disney Parks Blog Disney announced today that Dinner Packages for this year’s Candlelight Processional have gone on sale today.  Disney also announced an initial list of narrators

As a part of Holidays Around the World at Epcot, the Candlelight Processional presents the traditional story of Christmas in truly spectacular fashion – with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Newcomers to the celebrity narrator spotlight this year include Daytime Television Legend Pat Sajak and TV star CCH Pounder, who was recently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the Grand Opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Returning favorites include television, film and stage superstar Neil Patrick Harris, country megastar Trace Adkins and Contemporary Christian music artist Jaci Velasquez.

Here are the narrators confirmed so far:*

  • Nov. 24- Dec. 3 – To Be Announced
  • Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak
  • Dec. 6-14 – To Be Announced
  • Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez
  • Dec. 28-30 – To Be Announced

The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at the America Gardens Theatre. These packages, available on select nights, include a delicious meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited.

As with last year, in addition to lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are available at some favorite restaurants in and near Epcot again this year like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and The Garden Grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $35 plus tax per person for adults and $21 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $44 plus tax per person for adults and $15.50 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

Holidays Around the World is an extravaganza of holiday entertainment, merchandise, food, beverages and festivities where guests can celebrate at Epcot throughout the holiday season. Time-honored traditions come alive through the sights and sounds of the countries of World Showcase, and live performances enliven the park throughout the day.

Click here to book Candlelight Processional dining packages or to find out more information, call 407/ WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).

Holidays Around the World, including the Candlelight Processional, runs November 24 – December 30, 2017 at Epcot. Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for updates.

*Narrators and entertainment are subject to change without notice. Epcot admission is required and not included in the dining package price.

Disney Making Changes to Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland Paris, Changes to Follow at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom

When Pirates of the Caribbean re-opens at Disneyland Paris on July 24, guests will discover new surprises as well as a band of new buccaneers. The blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” films provided the inspiration for Disney’s Imagineering team to come up with new twists and turns in our story, and a chance to introduce new characters and magic to this classic attraction.

Captain Barbossa, from the blockbuster films, will appear in the attraction for the first time, joining a skeletal crew in a scene unique to Disneyland Paris. Also, ghostly visages of Davy Jones and Blackbeard will warn that “dead men DO tell tales!”

Throughout the attraction, Disney has enhanced the show with new Audio-Animatronics figures, costumes, special effects, lighting and sound, including some of the now-classic musical themes from the films. Of course, the classic “A Pirates Life for Me!” song will continue to underscore the attraction.

Guest will even discover that a familiar character is playing a new role joining the pirates ranks and helping the local townspeople “unload” their valuables at the Mercado auction.

On this side of the pond, at Magic Kingdom park and Disneyland park, it’s a pirate’s life for a favorite redhead—beginning in 2018, after an already-planned refurbishment, the redhead is trading her fashionable bonnet for a pirate’s hat. Guests will now see her joining the pirates’ ranks and helping the locals “unload” their valuables at the Mercado auction.

Here is a view an artist’s rendering of the new Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort scenes:


Kathy Mangum, senior vice president, Atlantic Region Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, said, “Our team thought long and hard about how best to update this scene. Given the redhead has long been a fan favorite, we wanted to keep her as a pivotal part of the story, so we made her a plundering pirate! We think this keeps to the original vision of the attraction as envisioned by Marc Davis, X Atencio, and the other Disney Legends who first brought this classic to life.”

Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar said of this new story twist, “Pirates of the Caribbean has always represented great Disney Park storytelling; it has set the standard for the theme park industry for half a century! But it’s a story you can continue to add fun to, with great characters in new ‘performances.’ That’s what the Imagineers have done with this new auction scene—it’s like a theatre show with a new act.”

The Disney Legend continued, “To me, the Imagineers are simply reflecting what Walt started the day Disneyland opened—making changes that create exciting new experiences for our guests. I can’t think of a single attraction that has not been enhanced and improved, some over and over again. Change is a ‘tradition’ at Disneyland that today’s Imagineers practice—they learned it from their mentors, many of them Walt’s original team of storytellers and designers—the Disney Legends.”

Disneyland Paris guests will also discover some changes to the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, re-opening as Captain Jack’s. It seems that Captain Jack won the restaurant in a wager and is now welcoming pirates of all ages to relax over a drink and hot meal. The interior of the restaurant has been re-themed and the establishment has been staffed with a fun-loving band of pirates.

The adventures set sail on July 24 in Adventureland at Disneyland Paris.

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