...Additional information has been published about the surprising deal for Disney to put an "Avatar Land" in the Animal Kingdom park. The Los Angeles Times says Disney is also looking at installing AVATAR attractions in their Paris and Hong Kong parks. Fortunately there's no mention of Anaheim. The article also mentions that Disney is interested in licensing HARRY POTTER attractions outside Florida, where Universal has a Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
...Al Lutz weighs in on AVATAR at MiceChat. He finds the deal curious as he doesn't see AVATAR having a long "shelf life" and, unlike the Lucas or Henson properties, it hasn't developed much in the way of merchandise.
...WELCOME ABOARD! THE CREATION OF THE DISNEY DREAM is a beautiful new hardcover book by Disney historian Jeff Kurtti. It's just under 90 pages and retails for $14.95. I've never been interested in cruising -- although if I ever did take a cruise, it would be on a Disney ship -- but this little book is so visually sumptuous that I couldn't resist picking it up at the D23 Expo last month.
...In August there was a tribute to the late Wally Boag and Betty Taylor at Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Review, where Boag and Taylor starred for decades. They passed away within a day of each other last summer.
...Disney is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World by reprinting the 1971 "Preview Edition" of a souvenir booklet on Walt Disney World. The most interesting thing about the book is the discussion of resort plans which never came to be, including Asian and Venetian resorts. You can read more about the original booklet at All Ears Net.
...The Blue Sky Cellar at Disney's California Adventure will reopen tomorrow with an update featuring the Carthay Circle Theatre.
...Over the past few months the Disney Movie Club has put a couple long-sought, hard-to-find Disney live action films out on DVD, including THE SWORD AND THE ROSE (1953), starring Glynis Johns and Richard Todd, and WESTWARD HO, THE WAGONS! (1956) with Fess Parker. Since the Movie Club DVDs aren't accessible to the general public, some enterprising Amazon vendors have obtained copies to sell (here and here). Hopefully these films will come to the Disney Movie Rewards Club or have a general release before too long. In the meantime, both films can be seen for $1.99 via Amazon Instant video, here and here. These titles can also be rented via Classic Flix, along with THE LITTLEST OUTLAW (1955) and JOHNNY SHILOH (1963). As a side note, DVD reviewer Mike Clark recently noted that the release of WESTWARD HO, THE WAGONS! is unfortunately a pan-and-scan print.
...Pixar has announced that it will release a dinosaur-themed film for the holidays in 2013.
...Did you get your Pixar postage stamps last month? Get them before they're gone!
...Disney's Aulani resort on Oahu has now opened, and it looks spectacular. It also looks unaffordable...
...Sue Kruse of Mice Chat posted info last month on the wonderful new book on the Disneyland Hotel, which I wrote about previously here.
...Jim Fanning posted a 60th anniversary tribute to ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951) at the D23 website.
...I have a ticket to see BABES IN TOYLAND (1961) at D23's "50 and Fabulous" screening on the Disney Studios lot in November. I've never seen this movie before, which stars Annette Funicello, so I'm looking forward to it. There isn't a better place to see a movie than the plush state-of-the-art Disney Studio Theatre.
...This Sunday our family's team, Skippers in De Nile, will be participating in the MouseAdventure Zone game at Disneyland. Since our team, Practically Perfect, won the Family Division last April, the pressure is on!
...Disney employees recently participated in their own annual game in the park, Minnie's Moonlight Madness.
For additional Disney news, see this summer's posts dated July 30, 2011 and June 26, 2011.