Disney will pivot Epcot away from its "sponsored content" model

Epcot Center (now "Epcot") is a weird stepchild among Disney themeparks; it started as a kind of ghastly parody of Walt Disney's plan to build a totally controlled domed company town on the enormous tract of central Florida land that is Walt Disney World, and became a cash-cow-oriented park whose radical break with themepark design norms was a blessing and a curse. Read the rest

Detailed guide to Disneyland line-planning for a age of lengthening queues

The core advice for minimizing wait time at Disneyland is to focus on off-peak hours (in the morning right after "rope-drop," in the evening before the park closes), but within that envelope, how should you prioritize your riding? Read the rest

Here's what a Disney Pirates ride looks like, without the sex-slave auction

Ricky from Inside the Magic writes, "The updated redhead/'wench' auction scene in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean ride has debuted (along with a killer new Captain Barbossa animatronic). The infamous redhead character now has a gun and is no longer being lusted after, instead helping to run an auction for treasure. The controversial changes have appeared first at Disneyland Paris, with the US versions to follow next year." Read the rest

Very funny transhumanist Disney comic

This genius Bizarro! comic by Dan Piraro is from a few years back.

More about Walt Disney's mythical cryonic suspension at Snopes. Read the rest

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea maintenance checklist

This document has it all: a neat quantization of the qualitative; a tale told in a single bureaucratic leaf that implies a whole hidden universe of night-scurrying morlocks who tend the magic under the harsh glare of floodlights on the third shift; a fine sheet slid in the nearly imperceptible crack between consensus hallucination and objective reality. (via JWZ) Read the rest

3D print your own Haunted Mansion sign

On Thingiverse, Gentlegiant's beautiful, faithful model of the Haunted Mansion front-gate sign to 3D print at any size or remix into your other designs. Read the rest

Disney World's Hall of Presidents Trumpbot will speak after all

Disney has denied rumors that the Trumpbot in Disney World's Hall of the Presidents would not have a speaking role due to a combination of the president's toxic reputation, Disney employees' animus for him, and Trump's own unwillingness to schedule a recording session. Read the rest

Enjoy a fiendish Disney villains medley

YouTube performers Peter Hollens and Whitney Avalon offer a catchy medley of the best songs that Disney villains have to offer. Read the rest

This man has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row

Jeff Reitz of Huntington Beach, California has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row and he has no plans to stop. Why? It makes him happy. From ABC7:

Reitz, an Air Force veteran, credits the parks with giving him something to look forward to each day, noting that he enjoys hearing the music as he enters, interacting with the friendly park cast members, and watching the park guests having a good time. He also enjoys the shows and attractions, including one of his favorites, the Matterhorn Bobsleds adventure.

(via NextDraft)

Read the rest

DuckTales reboot is on the way

If you or your kids are of a certain age, DuckTales may play a large role in your late-80s/early-90s nostalgia. Disney is bringing the show back, and the new opening sequence by Golden Wolf pays homage to some iconic shots while giving it a pretty cool update. Read the rest

Nemo and Friends SeaRider Opens at Tokyo DisneySea

Disney fans here have been much preoccupied with the retheming of “Tower of Terror” to “Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission Breakout” at Disney California Adventure, and the opening of Pandora at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World. On the other side of the planet at Tokyo DisneySea (one of the best Disney parks in the world—ask anyone who’s been there, or just look at a photo below) the latest attraction to open is “Nemo and Friends SeaRider.” The new ride, which opened on May 12, replaces one of the park’s 2001 opening day attractions, “Stormrider.” That ride was kind of like a bigger version of “Star Tours,” but not nearly as good. You could see the seams all over the large screen, thus destroying the illusion that you were supposed to be looking out a large observation window at the front of a new type of plane. Said aircraft was designed to drop a “fuse” into the center of a hurricane which immediately dissipates it. The ride was not the best thing Walt Disney Imagineering has done, and it usually had the shortest line in Tokyo DisneySea, about 20 to 40 minutes in a park where two- and three-hour lines are the norm.

They just fixed it by redoing the entire thing with an overlay from the film Finding Dory. There are many Disney park enthusiasts who bemoan the conversion of a ride with an original storyline and characters to that of an Intellectual Property (“IP”) which Disney owns. Personally, I don’t care as long as the ride is good. Read the rest

Super-rare Disney theme-park merch on auction

Haunted Mansion superfan Jeff "Chef Mayhem" Baham sent me a link to the Van Eaton Galleries Disneyland auction, which closes on June 25 -- as with other Van Eaton auctions, this one is a trove of super-rare, drool-inspiring old merch, props and handicrafts. Read the rest

Disney's Hall of Presidents show reportedly rolled back so Trumpbot won't get a speaking role

For decades, new US presidents were welcomed to Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents with a robot carved in their honor, and which would deliver a short, recorded speech voiced by the incoming POTUS himself -- but the idea of a talking Trumpbot is so repugnant that the entire show is reportedly being rolled back to an earlier version (nominally to shorten it), eliminating the speaking roles of everyone except Lincolnbot and Washingtonbot. Read the rest

Make a quick, cool crystal ball out of a smartphone and a goldfish bowl

Get your phone to loop Madame Leota (or your favorite spooky fortune teller), stick it in a goldfish bowl with strategic black cloth covering everything except the video, and plonk the whole thing on a candle-holder: viola! (via Gameraboy) Read the rest

Easter Magic at the Tokyo Disney Resort

My friend Yasuo Amano, whose themed magic I've posted here before, visited The Tokyo Disney Resort for two days and sampled their seasonal Easter events. If you've only been to a Disney park in the United States, the incredible theming they do at the two parks in Tokyo will blow you away. There are Easter decorations everywhere at Tokyo Disneyland, a full Easter parade at Tokyo Disneyland and a special show at Tokyo DisneySea, hundreds of pieces of Easter merchandise, and even special food for the event. 

Amano not only shot a great montage of the Easter festivities (which continue for three months), but he also created some special Easter-themed magic and incorporated it into his visit.

Above, an official video showing the Easter celebrations at the parks. Below is Amano's video of his personal visit and Easter-themed magic tricks.

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How Disney uses language in its music

The Sideways YouTube channel digs into the many different ways Disney has used foreign languages in its animated musical movies over the years. Read the rest

Colonel Nedley Lostmore, Doctor of Jungle Medicine

Hidden inside a bazaar, off the beaten track, in an adventurous land far from civilization, where the paths are thick with dense vegetation and an ancient temple can be seen in the distance, one can meet the self-proclaimed “Doctor of Jungle Medicine,” Colonel Nedley Lostmore.

He has, in fact, lost more than most of us since all that remains is his head … his shrunken head. Despite this seemingly insurmountable dilemma, the good doctor (known to the natives as “Shrunken Ned”) dispenses medical advice for up to 16 hours a day depending on his mood and the season.

It’s not free, though, and he’s quite up front about that—until you part with two bits he won’t even look at you.

To see the wooden contraption that is Shrunken Ned, you’d think it was built in the late 1950s or early 60s, and has been at Disneyland for most of the park’s existence. But while one group of The Walt Disney Company’s Imagineers were busy developing the most sophisticated ride in the history of the park, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye,” another group designed a retro coin-op machine that, like so many of its fortune-telling ancestors, dispenses a card of wisdom (of a sort) at the end. He’s been the sole medical practitioner in this corner of the jungle since 1995.

So, while Colonel Nedley Lostmore has only occupied his little spot in the South Sea Traders shop for 22 years, it seems like he’s always been there. Read the rest

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