Saturday, December 14, 2013

Disney Snapshot of the Day - The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Today's Snapshots of the Day feature The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a Christmas tradition at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Each year from mid-November to December, the Streets of America section of the park is bathed in millions of dazzling lights, which come to life as they dance, race, and flash to selected songs played by the DJs throughout the night. As a special treat, at selected times, park guests experience more Disney magic as Florida "snow" falls on the Streets of America amidst the countless Christmas lights. Like them or not, no one does things quite like Disney...

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One of the 'Streets of America" During "The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights" at Disney Hollywood Studios

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"More Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights" Magic at Disney Hollywood Studios


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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Marching Wooden Toy Soldiers at Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade in Disney World

With the Christmas season now in full swing, darthmaz314 brings you another Yuletide Snapshot of the Day. darthmaz314 is a native New Yorker and in my humble opinion, there is little doubt that there is nowhere else on Earth like New York city at Christmas time. A close second however, is Walt Disney World. From gingerbread houses that you can walk around and shop in to a nearly 200 foot castle bathed in shimmering Christmas lights, Walt Disney World is brimming with even more special memories than usual at Christmastime.

Today's Snapshot of the Day features a glimpse of the marching wooden toy soldiers from the Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. This parade is one of the special elements of the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party event that takes place at the Magic Kingdom on selected nights during the holiday season. You can check out some posts that cover Christmastime in Disney and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party by clicking on the links below.

When Should I Go to Disney World?


Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World


Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Continued & the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights



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Marching Wooden Toy Soldiers in "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade" at Walt Disney World

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Grand Floridian Life-Sized Gingerbread House

With the Christmas holiday season in full swing, darthmaz314 brings you a Yuletide Snapshot of the Day. Every year, a portion of the cavernous Grand Floridian lobby is dedicated to something that you could only find in Disney World...a life-sized gingerbread house, in which they are selling...wait for it...gingerbread houses. Yes, the structure pictured below is made of gingerbread and if you don't believe that it is life-sized, check out the second photo which shows a Disney cast member in the window working the cash register. Only in Disney...


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The Grand Floridian Life-Sized Gingerbread Christmas House


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"Yes, Virginia, there is a man selling gingerbread houses in the giant gingerbread house."


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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Main Street Confectionary Jumbo Jawbreaker

Today's Snapshot features a sampling from the Magic Kingdom's Main Street Confectionary...Mickey's Candy Company Jumbo Jawbreaker, proof that when Disney does something, they do it up big. For size reference, check out how big it is in comparison to the hand that is holding it. 

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The Jumbo Jawbreaker - A Whopping 4 Ounces in Weight!!!!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monsters University: Does It Make the Grade? - A darthmaz314 Re-post


To celebrate the Monsters University release to Blu-ray and DVD, darthmaz314 brings you a re-post of our June review of Pixar's latest offering...

It is hard to name another creative team that has repeatedly hit the mark as many times as Pixar. Each and every year, this animation studio rolls out another film that not only rivals any animated film released to compete with it, but has the cinematic credibility to stand toe to toe with most live action films as well. Disney/Pixar's latest offering is a sequel to the hugely successful Monsters Inc. Pixar proved that they could produce a successful sequel with Toy Story 2 and then proved that they could deliver on a third installment with the cinematic gem Toy Story 3, which was nominated for Best Picture. And while Cars 2 may not have had the chops to ride with its full throttle predecessor, Monsters University,more than makes the grade.


Creating great cinema is easy. Easy for me to say. Yet, there is one element that every great film has, regardless of it's budget, its box office take, or how many Oscars it wins...a great story filled with characters that the audience can connect with and embrace. Monsters University has both. Of course, the character part was already prefabricated in the original film, so it was easy for Pixar to mail this one in, right? It may have been easy, but as they have consistently proven in the past, Pixar never mails it in.

In Monsters University, the first Pixar prequel, we are introduced to the lovable Mike Wozowski and James P. Sullivan back in their college days, when they were not yet scarers and not yet even friends. In fact, when they meet, and for the first half of the movie, the two can barely stand one another. This movie shows us how the duo became friends and how they overcame all the odds to become Monsters Incorporated's best scaring team ever.


Monsters University paints the portrait of Mike Wozowski as the hardest working scare program student in the monster world, who dreamed of becoming a scarer ever since an elementary school class trip to the Monsters Inc. factory. Everyone counted little Mike out and no one ever took him seriously. But his boundless enthusiasm and hard work landed him a spot in the scare program at Monsters University, where Mike was determined to make a name for himself as the best candidate the program had ever seen.  He never fit in with the "cool kids" and may not have ever really been very scary, but he worked harder and longer than anyone at honing the craft of scaring.

Enter Jimmy Sullivan, a hulking mass of pure bred scarer, whose family name was steeped in the great tradition of scaring. With his snarling and menacing visage and his blood-curdling roar, Sully could scare a kid straight out his pajamas. But with his cocky attitude and a lack of interest in learning the theory and techniques that make a truly great scarer, Sully soon finds out that his family name and his ability to belt out a good roar may not be enough to make it through the scare program.

In this film, Mike and Sully are the furthest from friends that they could be after they meet one another. They develop a bitter rivalry that eventually escalates in their both being thrown out of the scare program by the head of the School of Scaring, Dean Hardscrabble, voiced by Helen Mirren. The boys eventually team up with a band of misfit
students and enter an MU competition called the Scare Games, the winner of which is granted entrance into the scare program. Mike and Sully must learn to work together with their team and with each other if they are to prove Dean Hardscrabble and everyone else on campus, that they are wrong about their chances of making it as scarers.

What make Monsters University a good movie is that it takes millions of little dots on a computer screen and infuses them with more humanity and emotion than many live action films can muster even in their best scenes. The story, the animation, and the vocal performances all combine to bring computer generated characters to life in a way that is hard to imagine is possible. These characters are believable because they are real. They are flawed. They make mistakes and they don't always save the day. True, the endings are usually happy, but Pixar blends human weakness and fallibility into their characters, creating a complexity and a reality that makes them transcend their computer generated limitations and brings them to life in that uniquely Pixar fashion.


The result it that we can all see a glimpse of ourselves in these characters. Whether it was Mike's inability to be accepted as the smallest guy in the room, or Sully's in-crowd disregard for the rules and refusal to put in the time to make the grade, these are characters you have met. They are the pimply-faced kid who was pushed into the urinal. They are the jerk wagon jock who thought he descended from the divine. Their flesh and blood counterparts may not have had one enormous eye or been covered in electric blue polka-dotted fur, but you know these characters. Some may even see the shadows of these characters every day when they look in the mirror.

Like nearly all the other Pixar films, we become invested in the characters. We have seen them in action at a later stage in life in Monsters Inc. Now we see how the meld into the characters that we fell in love with more than a decade ago. As usual, the message is a positive one in this film. Hard work, dedication, perseverance, and true friendship, are what eventually land Mike and Sully at the door to Monsters Inc. In fact, it is refreshing that this story does not tie everything into a neat little bow for our
heroes within five minutes of the ending credits. Mike and Sully earn their spot as the top scarers and never have anything handed to them on a silver platter. It may be cliché, but even the most cynical of us has to love a story like that.

In a world that seems to value cutthroat tactics and making your way by stepping on the backs of others to get ahead, darthmaz314 applauds Pixar for telling a story about how being a decent person (or in this case, a decent monster) pays off in the end. With competition infused into nearly every form of entertainment, overwhelming us at every turn, it is important to take a step back and question what it is that we are all competing for. Monsters University reminds us all that it is our relationships that are the true rewards in life. Mike and Sully make be the most unlikely duo at a glance, but it is who they are inside and how they grow and work together that make them an unstoppable force in the world of scaring.


Monsters University has plenty of laughs, some for the kiddies and some only the adults will be able to catch. It has stunning visuals that will make you wonder how a computer can recreate life so vividly and crisply. It has the endearing characters we love from the original, and a few new ones that make for a solid supporting cast. It delivers on the Disney/Pixar track record of good family entertainment and it has the previously referenced positive message. What more could you want for your family entertainment dollar?  

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Disney Snapshot of the Day - Rock n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Today's snapshot features another photo from darthmaz314's recent trip to Walk Disney World. When Disney decided that their Hollywood Studios  park needed an infusion of thrills for their guests, they dropped two rides that have since become two of Disney World's most popular at the far end of Sunset Boulevard...The Hollywood Tower of Terror and The Rock n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. This attraction is an indoor roller coaster in the dark featuring a slingshot launch which propels riders from zero to 60 miles an hour in seconds and takes you through inversions, corkscrews and hairpin twists and turns, all to the pulse-pounding and hard rockin' soundtrack of one of the greatest American rock bands in history...Aerosmith. In addition to featuring a sampling of some of the band greatest hits, the band members themselves are featured in a unique (especially at the time of its debut) pre-show, which creates the back story that you the rider are late for the gig and are being whisked "to the Forum" in a super stretch limo as personal guests of the boys from Boston.

Pictured below is the Rock N' Roller Coaster's iconic Fender Stratocaster, which dwarfs anyone in its presence, as it sits in the shadow of the equally impressive Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Hats off to Disney for not caving to the musically void world of rap and hip-hop and partnering with a legendary group of true musicians like Aerosmith whose music has truly stood the test of time. 


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Friday, October 4, 2013

Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid - Full HD Ride Through - WDW Video Featurette

In today's Walt Disney World Video Featurette, darthmaz314 brings you a full HD ride through video of one of the new Fantasyland attractions, Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid. Several of the new Fantasyland additions focus on classic Disney Princesses and this attraction is no exception. In Disney's first new "dark ride" in quite some time, guests board a clamshell and journey to the depths of the ocean to join Ariel and all her undersea friends in this family friendly frolic beneath the waves.

Whether it's with Ringo and the Beatles in that "little hide-away beneath the waves" or Ariel and Sebastian in the grotto, we wish we could be under the sea...


 


What's your favorite New Fantasyland attraction? Send us a comment and let us know.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom - Walt Disney World Video Featurette

Today's darthmaz314 Walt Disney World Video Featurette brings you the full Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom. 

Fun fact: A unique feature of this parade is that park guests are featured on many of the animal floats. They are selected randomly during the day to participate as part of Animal Kingdom's only parade. Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade usually kicks off one hour before park closing, which on most days is 5:00pm.




What's your favorite Disney parade? Send us a comment and let us know.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day - Postcard Disney Magical Moment - Cinderella's Castle

Today's snapshot features a photo from darthmaz314's recent trip to Walk Disney World. As a novice photographer, even I realize that there are rare moments when all the elements come together just right for a special photo opportunity. Sometimes, you take a picture and you don't realize that those elements lined up just right until you look at the picture you just snapped. Other times, you realize that the stars are all aligned for that perfect shot and you know that you just have to capture it...right now! You start digging feverishly through the camera bag, hoping you can freeze that perfect moment in time through the magic of photography. Sometimes you succeed, other times you fail. In my opinion the photo below was one of those rare successes.

So, although we already featured this Disney icon in a Snapshot of the Day, it was hard to let this photo go unshared. So if you believe in (sounds corny, I know) Disney magic, you will appreciate the beauty of this photo.




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A Magical Moment at Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day - Spaceship Earth

Today’s darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day features Epcot’s Spaceship Earth. Known the world round by many as “that huge silver golf ball,” Spaceship Earth is another of Disney World’s unmistakable landmarks. Massive in size, Spaceship Earth dwarfs any other structure in Epcot.
Although it would be impressive if it were only a hollow shell used to store plush Mickey toys, this monumental geodesic sphere is a marvel, both inside and out. It houses one of Epcot’s truly classic attractions, which debuted over three decades ago with the park’s opening in 1982. In the tradition of Epcot’s original vision of a more educational entertainment theme park experience, Spaceship Earth brings guests along on a journey through time to witness the evolution of communication, from early cave dweller storytelling to the digital age of today and beyond.
To learn more about Spaceship Earth, check out our prior posts featuring it by clicking here.
This Snapshot, like the first, features a famous Disney icon at night. Just a little something different, since so many photos featuring these structures are daytime photos.


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Monday, August 19, 2013

darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day - Cinderella Castle

Today we launch another recurring type of post, the "darthmaz314 Disney Snapshot of the Day." These posts will feature a photo, taken by yours truly at the Walt Disney World Resort. Our first photo features Disney's first Orlando park, The Magic Kingdom and its most recognizable icon, Cinderella Castle.

Standing at the far end of Main Street, USA, Cinderella Castle is one of the most photographed structures on planet Earth. In this photo, the castle acts as background for the famous "founders statue," featuring the two individuals most responsible for the existence of Walt Disney World...Walter Elias Disney, and his creation, Mickey Mouse. The photo was taken during Christmas season at Disney World, when the castle is bathed in the "Enchanted Castle Dream Lights."

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Walt Disney World Video Featurette: Hollywood Studios Catastophe Canyon from Backlot Tour

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Today, darthmaz314.com brings you our first Walt Disney World Video Featurette, a new segment in which we share video clips filmed in Disney by yours truly.

For our first WDW Video Featurette, we present the Catastrophe Canyon segment of the Disney Hollywood Studios Backlot Tour. Catastrophe Canyon is the highlight of the tram portion of the tour in which the tour vehicle "wanders onto a hot set" where an FX shot is being filmed. This staged FX shot features in-your-face intense pyrotechnics, a simulated earthquake, and deluge water effects.

darthmaz314 helpful hint: The Catastrophe Canyon segment of the Backlot Tour can be intense for small children. If you are unsure of whether your kids can handle the intense effects, it may be best to skip this portion of the tour. If you do venture on the tram, seat your small ones on the extreme right side of the tram, as this will place them the farthest from the fire and flood as the can be while on the tram.



Considering that there is great speculation regarding the possible elimination of the Backlot Tour to make room for future park projects such as the rumored Star Wars Land and/or Carsland, Catastrophe Canyon may be one day be a Disney memory that you cannot relive on future visits. 

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

John Williams to Score Episode VII

This past weekend, Star Wars Celebration Europe (Lucasfilm’s official European SW convention) was held in Essen, Germany. One of the announcements to come out of this event was that legendary composer John Williams has been confirmed to score Episode VII. Williams has scored all six Star Wars films and has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra for the recording of all of the soundtracks. For those who were concerned about Episode VII being under the control of someone other than George Lucas, this news should provide some comfort.

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It would be hard to imagine a Star Wars film without the music of John Williams. The resounding Star Wars theme that explodes with a crash of cymbals and a blast of horns and plays during the opening crawl, the unforgettably playful cantina song, and the ominous Darth Vader Imperial march are all products of Williams’ musical genius. All of them have transcended the realm of movie music and become indelible components of our pop culture soundtrack thanks to the Maestro, John Williams. While most that score films remain relatively anonymous beyond the seconds that their names appear in the credits, John Williams has cemented his status as legend in the film industry by composing some of the most memorable scores to some of the biggest blockbusters in film history. An over-exaggeration? You be the judge. 

Beyond his work on all six Star Wars films, John Williams
darthmaz314.comwrote the score for Jaws, Superman, all four Indiana Jones films, ET the Extraterrestrial, the first two Home Alone films, Jurassic Park, and the first three Harry Potter films, just to name a few. Those films combined have grossed over $12 billion dollars worldwide. John Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, and 21 Grammys. Including his five wins, he has been nominated for a total of 48 Academy Awards, second only to Walt Disney. If you are under 50, John Williams has written the music to nearly all of the landmark moments in movie history during your lifetime. A legend, case closed.


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A few months ago, we featured an Episode VII post that speculated on whether or not journeying back to he galaxy far, far, away was a smart move for the Star Wars franchise. With George Lucas gone and Disney now controlling the Force, many Star Wars fanatics are skeptical about the future of the franchise. However, in my humble opinion, many of the puzzle pieces appear to be falling in the right places. Star Wars has been left in very good hands with Kathleen Kennedy at the helm of Lucasfilm. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher have signed on to reprise their roles in Episode VII. Lawrence Kasdan (screenwriter of The Empire Strikes Back) is on board to assist with the story development. And now, John Williams has been secured to score the film. All good news those who want to see Star Wars regain its former glory.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Walt Disney World Trivia: Round IV

darthmaz314.com brings you Round IV of the Walt Disney World Trivia Challenge. Good luck!


1. What actress and former girlfriend of Martin Scorsese
    plays Aerosmith’s band manager in the pre-show for
    Rock 'n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney
    Hollywood Studios?

A. Illeana Douglas


B. Jessica Lange

C. Amy Adams

D. Jodi Benson




2. Prior to the Fantasyland expansion, Mickey’s Toontown Fair in the Magic Kingdom featured a location where Mickey Mouse character greetings took place continuously for nearly the entire time the park was open. Where did these character greetings take place?


A. The Character Spot

B. Mickey’s House

C. The Judge’s Tent

D. Mickey’s Photo Spot


3. What mythical creature makes his home in the Himalayan
     peaks of Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest?


A. The Loch Ness Monster

B. The Yeti

C. The Banshee

D. The Kraken 


 




4. Which of the following is not one of the “best kept Disney secrets” that you can do at Disney World?
 

A. Surfing Lessons

B. Parasailing

C. Scuba Diving

D. Ziplining



5. What was the park icon for Disney Hollywood Studios before the giant sorcerer’s hat at the far end of Hollywood Boulevard was built?


A. The Earful Tower

B. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

C. The Great Movie Ride

D. The Crossroads of the World Mickey Globe

 

6. Name the main character whose journey guests follow on Splash Mountain?



A. Mowgli

B. Brer Rabbit

C. Brer Fox

D. Mickey Mouse






7. Which of the following is NOT a country featured in Epcot’s World Showcase?



A. Mexico

B. Canada

C. Switzerland

D. Norway

 
 
8. What is Catastrophe Canyon?


A. The Death Star Trench that guests must navigate in

     Star Tours: The Adventure Continues

B. The line for lunch at noon in Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Caf√© in

     Magic Kingdom

C. The section of the Studio Backlot Tour in Disney

     Hollywood Studios where a gas tanker ignites in flames
     and falls toward the tour vehicle

D. The last drop of Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom





9. In what year did Walt Disney World open?


A. 1955

B. 1971

C. 1972

D. 1951
 
 

10. Which castle is the park icon of Walt Disney World?


A. Sleeping Beauty Castle


B. Cinderella Castle

C. Beast’s Castle

D. Ariel’s Castle
  




Answers:

1.   A. Illeana Douglas

 




2.   C. The Judge’s Tent


3.   B. The Yeti





4.   D. Ziplining


5.   A. The Earful Tower


6.   B. Brer Rabbit





7.   C. Switzerland


8.   C. The section of the Studio Backlot Tour in Hollywood 
         Studios where a gas tanker ignites in flames and
         slides toward the tour vehicle


9.   B. 1971



10. B. Cinderella Castle



 
 
 
Check out the other rounds of darthmaz314's Walt Disney Trivia by clicking on the links below:

Walt Disney World Trivia: Round I

Walt Disney World Trivia: Round II

Walt Disney World Trivia: Round III


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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Batman vs. Superman Movie Coming in 2015


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At this past weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con (a huge comic book [and more] convention for those who may not know), Man of Steel director Zach Snyder hit the main stage to formally announce that there will be a sequel to his summer Superman movie. Really? This is probably not an earth shattering shocker to many in this sequel-drenched world of modern movies. It is even less shocking when you consider that Man of Steel has raked in over $650 million worldwide at the box office in the last month. The part that wowed the Comic-Con crowd and sent ripples through the world of comic fandom was that this sequel would also feature another comic legend…Batman. 

Rumors have been swirling since the announcement this
darthmaz314.comweekend about how the two superheroes would be intertwined in a movie that featured them both. Many fan boys have been waiting decades to see their favorite DC Comics characters teamed up on the big screen, fighting side by side. However most likely, they will have to wait a few more decades to see this. The odds are that the Man of Steel sequel, slated to hit theaters in 2015, will pit Superman and Batman against one another. While this may sound like eating a salami and jelly sandwich to most folks, comic book devotees who are familiar with Frank Millers “Dark Knight Returns” comic book series will know that the two faced off in that storyline almost 30 years ago. Elements of Miller’s plot were tapped by the creative team of the last Batman movie, including the idea of having Bruce Wayne come out of retirement to once again don the bat suit. 

 
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Henry Cavill, who played Superman in this summer’s franchise reboot, will be reprising the role in the 2015 sequel. However, the part of the Caped Crusader has not yet been cast, which has set off a flurry of casting and plot rumors. The Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, which concluded with last year’s Dark Knight Rises (read darthmaz314.com's Dark Knight Rises post here), leaves the position of Batman vacant as Bruce Wayne retires to life in Europe with Selina Kyle, while leaving a breadcrumb trail to the Batcave and all its secrets for John (Robin) Blake. The film’s conclusion leaves the audience wondering if Blake would be the next to don the cape and cowl or whether he would create his own crime fighting alter ego based on his “real” name…Robin.

darthmaz314.com
How will Warner Brothers handle the return of Batman to the big screen? Will they reboot the Batman franchise again and start fresh with a new Batman and a different back story cleanly breaking from Christopher Nolan’s vision? If so, one challenge in a film that features both characters will be devoting adequate time to telling a new Batman back story without the film running longer than a session of Congress. A second possibility is that Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Blake steps in as the new Batman of Gotham. After all, in the seven plus decades of Batman comics, Bruce Wayne has not been the only man to wear the bat suit. Another option (although a bit hard to reconcile after Dark Knight Rises) would be for Gordon Levitt to take on the role of Bruce Wayne in a franchise reboot.
 
Still another option and probably the most popular, would be to bring Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne/Batman out of retirement (again) for the Man of Steel sequel. Frank Miller’s Dark Knight comic series brings a 55 year old Bruce Wayne out of retirement to take on the once again rising tide of crime in Gotham City. So although he would be coming out of retirement a second time, bringing Christian Bale back for a fourth film is not completely beyond the realm of possibility plot wise. A fifth option would be to start completely fresh and recast the role of Batman with an actor so far not associated with the character. Some names that have been floated are Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Channing Tatum.
 
 
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Who would come out on top in a battle between Batman and Superman? Who should play Batman in this upcoming film? Let us know what you think by posting a comment.

 
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where Will Disney Build the Future Star Wars Land?

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As indicated in our post at the end of June, (Is Star Wars Land Coming to WDW?) the timing could not be better to build the rumored Star Wars Land in Disney World. So the question becomes, where will they build it? Avatar Land is already in development at the Animal Kingdom, so we can cross that much maligned park off the list. Magic Kingdom recently unveiled the Fantasyland expansion, which will conclude with the opening of the Seven Dwarves Mine Train Ride in 2014, so we can safely assume that Star Wars Land is

darthmaz314.com
not being built in Disney's most popular park. Although Epcot could use some new additions, Star Wars Land would really not fit the theming of Disney World's second oldest park. The remaining park already hosts a Star Wars attraction and an annual Star Wars themed event, is themed toward movies, and seems like the most obvious park in which to develop it. Hollywood Studios, get ready for a Star Wars Land!



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As mentioned in our last post, Hollywood Studios was the first Disney park to feature an attraction themed after a movie not released by Disney, so the recently updated Star Tours: The Adventure Continues would provide the perfect anchor for this rumored Star Wars Land. But where in the park would Disney plan this expansion? With many citing that the Indiana Jones Stunt Show has seen its better days, it is possible that the expansion could extend to the left of the current Star Tours and include the site of this show’s theater, performance stage, and backstage areas. The Indy show was (almost) an original attraction (opening a few months after the park's official opening) and it is one the most

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entertaining of Disney's shows, so it would be sad to see it go. However, in the fourteen years since its debut, the show has remained essentially the same and there are those detractors who say it is out of date and needs to go. In addition, the fact that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did little to revitalize the franchise leads one to believe that Indy's best days may be behind him.
 

Situated between the Indy site and Star Tours is the Backlot Express counter service restaurant, which would also have to be replaced or reconfigured as a Star Wars themed restaurant if this area is to become part of the new Star Wars land. While the footprint of the Indy Stunt Show and the Backlot Express make up a significant portion of Hollywood Studios, one wonders if it is enough space on which to develop an entire “land.” Some internet rumors speculate that the

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expansion could extend in the other direction (to the right of Star Tours’s Tatooine Traders merchandise shop, where it would displace Muppet Vision 3D, which has also been accused of having seen its better days, and perhaps the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, which is certainly not a must see attraction for anyone over the age of ten.


Could a possible expansion go further than those boundaries? Would Disney expand beyond the current guest accessible areas and not replace one or both of these attractions? It's possible, and it could be a combination of replacement and expansion beyond the current boundaries. Although, if the decision is to remove one attraction, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure is the more likely choice.





There have also been numerous internet rumblings about an Orlando version of Cars Land, the expansion that has
revitalized a fizzling Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim. Where would Carsland be situated if it too is an eminent reality in the House That Walt Built? Rumors have it replacing the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show (click the link for our post on this attraction Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney Hollwood Studios ) and the Studio Backlot Tour. While the Backlot Tour may not be a can’t miss attraction at the Studios as is it is currently constituted, portions of it, do have their appeal, These attractions consume a significant amount of park space, so it easy to imagine that there is room to build Cars Land on their current footprint.



So it seems that the 2010's will be a period of growth and expansion not only for Disney's film releases (with Disney, Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel all tripping over each other at the box office in the coming years), but also at the Disney Parks, particularly Walt Disney World. There are a lot of great projects on the horizon (if the rumors are to be believed) and that is great news for WDW fans. On the flip side, for WDW veterans, it may be time to part with some attractions that they grew up loving and are as comfortable now as an old broken in shoe.


Which of the attractions that we referenced above as possibly being replaced would you be most upset to see go? Leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you. 


darthmaz314 always welcomes your comments and shamelessly asks you to share this and all our posts with your friends (or enemies) if you like what you see. Also, please visit, follow, and like our new facebook page...

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Walt Disney World Trivia: Round III


darthmaz314.com brings you Round III of Walt Disney World trivia, this time with a multiple choice format.

Answers can be found after the jump break following Question 10. Good luck!

Questions:

 
1.  Which of the following scenes is not featured in The Great
     Movie Ride? (Hint: This question does not refer to the
     clips in the movie montages.)


A.  Alien

B.  Raiders of the Lost Ark

C.  The Wizard of Oz

D.  Back to the Future




2.  Name the two cranky senior Muppets who sit in the
      balcony during Muppet Vision 3D.


A.  Waldo and Mickey

B.  Waldorf and Statler

C.  Wilson and Simpson

D.  Bert and Ernie


3.  Which of these is one of the images projected on the 

      waterfall in Pirates of the Caribbean just above the small     
      drop in  the track on which your boat travels?

A.  Jack Sparrow

B.  Davey Jones

C.  Captain Hector Barbossa

D.  Walt Disney





4.  What do riders of the Magic Carpets of Aladdin have to
      be wary of during their journey on the enchanted carpet?


A.  The water-spitting camels that surround the attraction

B.  The unseen drop that occurs just after the carpet car
      reaches the pinnacle of the track’s height
 
C.  The animatronic Jafar that appears one minute into the 
      ride

D.  The line that forms in the afternoon under the hot Florida
      sun



5.  What Disney film inspired the Splash Mountain
      attraction?

A.  Mary Poppins


B.  The Aristocats


C.  The Jungle Book


D.  Song of the South




6. What is the name of the fireworks/pyrotechnics/laser 
     show held nightly at Epcot?

A.  Wishes


B.  Illuminations: Reflections of Earth

C.  Fantasy in the Sky

D.  Fantasmic 




7.  Walt Disney was alive to see the opening of Walt Disney
     World.

A.  True


B.  False



8.  Name the annual celebration of international cuisine that
      takes place every fall in Epcot.

A.  Epcot Food and Fun Celebration


B.  Epcot International Food and Wine Festival


C.  Epcot Fill Your Face Around the World Festival


D.  Epcot International Culinary Celebration


9. Who was the character paired up with Figment as host of
     the original Journey Into Imagination attraction?

A.  Dreamcatcher


B.  The Wizard of Imagination


C.  Dreamfinder

D.  Mr. Magorium 




10. Which of the following has never voiced the narration for Spaceship Earth?


A.  Dame Judi Dench

B.  Walter Cronkite  

C.  Orson Welles

D.  Jeremy Irons