Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Inside The Mouse Castle 06-29-2015 - Selfie Sticks, Disneyland Expansion and Club 33 Lawsuit

By Tim Callaway

Paint the Night
Last week, Anthony visited Disneyland, rode the Lilly Belle, previewed Ant-Man, and finally saw Paint the Night, but who cares? Because all we want to do is talk about selfie sticks.

The sometimes useful, mostly annoying camera accessories will be banned from all Disney theme parks--including DisneyQuest and the water parks at Walt Disney World--effective June 30th.

And while Anthony and I ponder how to take pictures of ourselves with our short arms, we also focus on these fascinating stories:
  • Disneyland could be investing $1 billion in the Anaheim resort in return for the City of Anaheim extending an existing tax exemption on park ticket sales. This seems kind of a purposeless trade since Disney will probably spend that much on expected expansion projects in Tomorrowland and Hollywood Land anyway.
The nursery in Peter Pan's Flight has some new sparkle to it.
  • Annual passholders have gotten a sneak preview already, but the general public will finally get a look at the newly refurbed Peter Pan's Flight at Disneyland starting July 1st. 
  • We know for certain Captain EO is making another nostalgic return to Epcot on July 19th, but could Michael Jackson's space hero also be coming to Disney Infinity 3.0? We're hearing rumors.
  • Like a little Disney magic with you text messaging? You've got to get the new Disney GIF app for iOS. It's a super fun keyboard extension and it's free. Get it here.
  • Is there a creative partnership pending on the horizon between Disney and gaming giant Nintendo? Once again, we're hearing rumors.
  • In August, Pixar will have a bigger presence than in the past at the D23 Expo. For the first time, the animation studio will have an exhibit on the show floor. We're especially looking forward to the display of John Lasseter's custom Hawaiian shirts based on most of the Pixar films. Order your Expo tickets now before prices go up.
  • It's been a busy week for Disney in the land of lawsuits. They settled out of court with filmmaker Kelly Wilson over similarities between her animated film The Snowman and the first teaser trailer for Frozen. Then, a disgruntled former member of Club 33 filed suit saying he was wrongly ousted from the club. Disney is claiming he repeatedly violated membership rules. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Mouse Castle Lounge 06-25-2015 - Doug Lipp Talks About Disney University and Disney Legend Van France

By Tim Callaway

Author Doug Lipp
The Summer 1967 issue of Disney News magazine contained an article entitled, “University of Disneyland: An Institution of Smiles.” The story told of the park’s in-house training of more than 5,000 cast members each year, cast members who were taught to “welcome each guest with a smile that’s sincere” and ensure every new employee became a “people specialist” before he or she actually set foot on the job. This progressive, people-centric approach to training was the brainchild of Van Arsdale France, who joined Disney in March 1955, just months before Disneyland’s grand opening. 

With the support and encouragement of Walt Disney, Van France created the University of Disneyland, which would soon become the gold standard of employee training programs. Over the decades, the program would evolve into what is now called Disney University and to this day it takes its cues from the principles and standards France developed 60 years ago.

Doug Lipp was hired by Disney in the late 1970s and would later work with and be mentored by Van France. Fluent in Japanese, Doug was part of the start-up team at Tokyo Disneyland in preparation of the resort’s grand opening in 1983. Since leaving Disney, Doug has gone on to become a renowned speaker and training consultant with Fortune 100 companies. He’s written eight books, including his most recent, Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric EmployeesHe has a lot of stories to tell about Walt Disney, about Van France and about the guest experience at Disney Parks worldwide. Doug Lipp is my guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Inside The Mouse Castle 06-23-2015 - The New Spider-Man, 'Inside Out' Review, Deadmau5 Settlement

By Tim Callaway

Inside Out
After weeks of wild speculation, Marvel and Sony finally announced Tom Holland will be the new Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Jon Watts will direct the next standalone film for the web slinger. We expect that Holland will also appear as Spidey in next year's Captain America: Civil War.

In other movie news, Inside Out couldn't beat Jurassic World at the box office over the weekend, but that didn't stop it from scoring the second biggest opening in Pixar history. I give my review of the Pete Docter-directed film while Anthony and I get in touch with our emotions in this week's episode of Inside The Mouse Castle.
  • Maleficent made over $750 million worldwide last year. So, umm, yeah, there's going to be a sequel. Linda Woolverton is currently penning the script. No confirmation yet whether Angelina Jolie is on board, but come on, why wouldn't she be?
  • Zuri's Sweet Shop has opened at Disney's Animal Kingdom and it's serving poop candy. That's really all you need to know.
Zuri's Sweets Shop at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
  • Also at Animal Kingdom, Starbucks has opened up shop. Meanwhile, down the road at the soon-to-be demolished Walt Disney World Speedway, we've learned that the space is destined to become a parking lot. 
  • Our condolences to the family and friends of JoAnn Dean Killingsworth, who passed away Saturday at the age of 91. The long-time actress and ice skater was an original Disneyland employee in 1955 and the park's first Snow White.
  • Historian Didier Ghez is a good friend of The Mouse Castle and we're very excited about his upcoming book, They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney's Golden Age. It's the first in a series of books Didier is writing about the great concept artists of the Walt Disney Studios. It will be out on September 8th.
  • Disney and musical artist Deadmau5 have settled their legal differences over Deadmau5's performance headgear, which bears a striking resemblance to a certain cartoon mouse. The terms of the settlement have not been released (and probably won't be), but the two sides are now playing nice.