Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Inside The Mouse Castle 03-30-2015 - Springtime at Disneyland, Trader Sam's at Walt Disney World, 'Rogue One' vs. 'Rogue Nation'

By Tim Callaway

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Sleeping Beauty Castle at 60.
Spring has sprung all over the Disney parks, especially at Disneyland where they're ramping up for the Happiest Place on Earth's 60th birthday. Silver and blue Diamond Celebration decorations are showing up all over Disneyland, most notably on Sleeping Beauty Castle, which may look sharper now than it did during the 50th anniversary. And yet, with all this hoopla ready to commence, Anthony and I are more fascinated with the soft opening of Trader Sam's Grog Grotto at Walt Disney World's Polynesian Village Resort. It must be the tropical ambiance or the high-tech Tiki effects that hooked us.

Naah....it's the booze. I want a Nautilus cocktail badly.

Here's what else we've got going on in this edition of Inside The Mouse Castle:
  • Innoventions West at Epcot is closing down for a spring refurb and will eventually welcome new sponsors to replace departing T. Rowe Price and Liberty Mutual. At least it will be back. Innoventions at Disneyland is done today.
  • Have you ever wondered how you'd look as a Star Wars action figure? You can find out next month during Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios where they're bringing back D-Tech Me. Get a 3D scan of your face done and it will be rendered on a 7-inch or 16-inch Star Wars figure. You can be a Stormtrooper, a Jedi Knight, or even a hapless prisoner frozen in carbonite. Prices start at a hundred bucks. Find out more on the Disney Parks Blog.
  • runDisney posted their upcoming schedule of events at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Time to start training.
runDisney 2015-2016 Calendar
runDisney 2015-2016 Calendar.
  • Broadway star Audra McDonald will play the Wardrobe in Disney's upcoming Beauty and the Beast, which I have to spell out because Anthony has no idea what "BatB" means.
  • Cinderella continues to perform strongly at the box office, especially overseas. The reboot of Disney's animated classic just passed the $300 million mark at the worldwide box office. Want to know why Disney keeps remaking their animated films in live action? Because they make obscene amounts of money, hello!
  • Are you getting Star Wars: Rogue One confused with Mission: Impossible, Rogue Nation? Me neither, but Disney/Lucasfilm and Paramount have cut a deal to keep Rogue One away from mainstream advertising until Rogue Nation has run its course. Rogue Nation, starring Tom Cruise, will hit theaters on July 31st. Rogue One will get a solid mention at Star Wars Celebration in a couple of weeks, but don't expect to hear anything else significant about it until December when Star Wars: The Force Awakens makes its debut.
Bambi concept art by Tyrus Wong
Bambi concept art by Tyrus Wong.
  • Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong was a remarkable exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum in 2013. You can now catch it on the East Coast at New York's Museum of Chinese in America through September 13, 2015. It's a wonderful celebration of the Disney Legend who gave life to Bambi and, at age 104, is still producing art. 
  • Fancy Nancy, the title character of a successful series of children's books, will see her adventures turned into a movie on Disney Junior. My granddaughter is giddy.
  • Does your child have a unique vision of the future? Hopefully, everyone's child does, but the right idea could get your kid $3,000 and some other cool prizes in Disney's Create Tomorrowland--XPRIZE Challenge. Find out more at www.xprizechallenge.org

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