It's been a little over a month since the last round of Disney news, and there's lots to catch up on!
...The Fall issue of the Disney Twenty-Three magazine will be out next week, dedicated entirely to celebrating the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World.
...The schedule for next month's D23 Expo is beginning to take shape. I do think Disney made a poor tactical move by rolling out their extensive Disney Channel events early on, as those programs may be the most limited in their appeal to Expo guests. It might have been better to borrow a page from Comic-Con and release the schedule announcements one complete day at a time. I found the other main announcement to date, from Parks and Resorts, of far greater interest.
...The next MouseAdventure game, MouseAdventure Zone, will take place at Disneyland on September 25th. The Basic Division sold out within a few hours. We'll be there! Since our team won the Family Division in April, my children decided to retire our Practically Perfect team name after three events and swap the MARY POPPINS theme for a Jungle Cruise team name, Skippers in De Nile. We'll be in the Family Division one more time, as we learned signing up we still qualify for it this fall. (Inquiring minds want to know: No special "Zone" logo for the fall event?)
...For those who missed my post at the end of June, Disney has very quietly launched a "manufactured on demand" (MOD) DVD-R program, the Disney Generations Collection. I've ordered AMY (1981), a film I have fond memories of seeing during its original theatrical release. Unfortunately a detailed review at Home Theater Forum makes clear it's a less-than-optimum print. Nonetheless, I'm glad to have the opportunity to at least see the film again. Here's hoping the program is a success and Disney follows in the footsteps of Warner Archive and later begins remastering many of its MOD releases.
...Dear Old Hollywood has a couple interesting photo posts on a former Walt Disney home in the Los Feliz area which is for sale. It can be yours for $3,650,000.
...Susan King of the L.A. Times has interesting background on Disney's recent WINNIE THE POOH (2011) film. I'd like to catch up with it at some point.
...The new Jasmine's Flying Carpets ride at Tokyo DisneySea is beautiful!
...Let's hope a rumor that Disney might turn Tomorrowland in their theme parks over to the Marvel Comics characters they now own is just that: a rumor. I can't think of a worse idea, guaranteed to upset thousands (millions?) of loyal Disney guests.
...Getting the other bad news out of the way, the announcement that Meg Crofton has been appointed head of all Disney U.S. and Paris theme parks was not greeted with joy by many Disney fans. There is a perception in some quarters that under her leadership Walt Disney World has declined, including poor maintenance, much as Disneyland did under the terrible Paul Pressler/Cynthia Harris era of the late '90s to early 2000's. We'll see what happens.
...The new Art Deco entrance to Disney's California Adventure is beautiful! And the Golden Gate Bridge is now gone. I'm looking forward to seeing all the changes in the near future! This photo, seen at the right, is by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, posted at MousePlanet. Be sure to check the site out for lots more news and photos.
...MiceChat has lots of great photos of the new Paradise Garden area of California Adventure, including restaurant interiors and menu items. There are also "ride-through" videos of the remodeled Goofy's Sky School, formerly Mulholland Madness.
...Here's a quick peek at how one of my favorite Disneyland rides, the Casey Jr. Circus Train, looked on its first day of operation, July 31, 1955.
...This coming Thursday I'll be seeing the touring stage production of Disney's MARY POPPINS. I'm really curious to see how the musical will translate to stage.
...Speaking of MARY POPPINS, it was just announced that Dick Van Dyke will be performing on the first evening of the D23 Expo. Van Dyke will be backed by a trio called the Vantastix: "Songs from Van Dyke’s varied entertainment career in addition to many well-known Disney hits and timeless pop standards will be performed by Van Dyke and The Vantastix in a show rich in humor, pure entertainment and sing-along favorites." Given the importance of MARY POPPINS in my life -- it was the first film I ever saw in a theater -- as well as my love for THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, I'm very excited about this opportunity to see him perform in person!