Thursday, December 14, 2017

Disney Agrees to Buy Key Parts of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 Billion Deal - And What it Could Mean For The Future of Disney Theme Parks

It’s official: Disney agrees to buy key parts of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 Billion Deal: The Walt Disney Company has finalized a $52.4-billion deal to buy much of Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment empire, a blockbuster union that would radically transform Hollywood into a land of fewer giants. Read more about this in the L.A Times article HERE.

It's a colossal deal that gives Disney control over the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Simpsons, the upcoming Avatar movies, a number of TV channels including FX and National Geographic, several powerhouse international satellite channels such as Star India and Sky Italia, a host of U.S. regional sports outlets and a majority stake in Hulu. For Brits, the acquisition has another implication: Disney could soon own Sky. That's because 21st Century Fox is trying to buy the TV provider for roughly £18.5 billion at the moment. Read more about this on Engadget HERE

The deal makes Disney a behemoth of the type entertainment has never seen before and sets the stage for a battle with Silicon Valley titans like Netflix, Apple and Google. The conglomerate is building up scale in the hope of fending off those firms’ forays into the content market; it is also stockpiling content for a new streaming service that it hopes will stem a tide of cord-cutting that has afflicted properties like ESPN. Read more about this in The Washington Post article HERE.

So is it a done deal? Yes and no. Yes, because Iger and Murdoch have signed, and "no" because U.S regulators and shareholders must still approve the Disney-Fox deal, though analysts do not expect it to face problems. In a very different scenario, the DOJ is currently suing AT&T to stop its acquisition of Time Warner, noting concerns about the marriage of a distributor and content provider, but the AT&T - Time Warner deal include CNN that Trump hate. Murdock being a friend of Trump, the deal with Disney should be seen more favorably by the Trump administration. That said, U.S regulators still must give their approval and it can take up to one YEAR.

For more articles about this story, look at the Google search HERE, including the Variety article HERE talking about the Disney-Fox aftermath and why it could force rivals to get bigger.

And now, let's talk about what effect the deal could have on Disney theme parks, would we? The last time Disney spent a big amount of money was of course on buying Marvel, Lucasfilm and then the construction of Shanghaî Disneyland. And we all know what happened for Disney Parks, don't we? For years U.S fans had to wait for the announcement of new rides and lands because, hey, there's always a point where you have to stop spending money, even Disney. Shanghaî Disneyland opened in 2016 and since many announcements were done, Avatar land opened and two Star Wars lands are currently being built and will open in 2019. The last D23 was also a great time for Disney parks fans with multiple announcements. But here the $52.4 deal represents at least ten times the cost of Shanghaî Disneyland, and it will be surprising if it wouldn't have any effect on the future of Disney parks. So, let's see for each park if this Disney - Fox deal put some of the announced projects in jeopardy.

Disneyland: no effect at all for Star Wars land which will open in 2019 as scheduled.

Disney California Adventure: All what was announced already - including the new Pixar Pier ( see article below ) will be done. But i'm not sure that what is in the plans for DCA including the rumored Marvel land won't be delayed.

WDW Magic Kingdom: All what has been announced will be done, including the TRON ride and the huge theatre near Main Street.

Epcot: Same, all what is announced will be done, let's see if others rumored projects will be delayed or not.

Animal Kingdom: With the opening on Avatar land and its huge cost, Disney has spent a huge amount of money on this park, so i wouldn't bet that there will be any new "major" attraction anytime soon.

Disney's Hollywood Studios: With the opening next year of Toy Story land and Star Wars land in 2019  then the Mickey ride in the former Chinese Theatre DHS has plenty of rides already announced and in construction, so it's safe to say that the future looks bright for the DHS. And not to forget the previously announced Star Wars hotel rumored to be built near the park.

Hong Kong Disneyland: Here, too, plenty of new attractions and lands have been announced and are currently in construction and there shouldn't be anything cancelled, as all these have been also approved, including financially, by the Hong Kong Government who will pay for a big part of the new rides, lands and even a new castle.

Shanghaî Disneyland: Toy Story land will open next Spring, and nothing else so far has been announced. My guess is that SDL fans might have to wait some years before getting additional rides, but may be a new hotel or an expansion of the Shanghaî Disneyland Hotel could be announced.

Tokyo Disney Resort: Here every project is even more safe as it is not the WDC which pays for them but Oriental Land. All projects previously announced will go on and we're waiting for the BIG expansion announcement next June.

And, as usual, the one still waiting for a bright future is Disneyland Paris Resort. DLP Imagineering is currently working on plenty of different projects - mainly for an expansion of the Walt Disney Studios, but not only - and the question is: will the Disney - Fox deal have an effect on what they're working on, or not? Let's say that i wouldn't be surprised if some of what they have in plans would be cancelled, or at least delayed. Part of the expansion projects have already been approved by the Disney Board but it doesn't mean that some of the rides or land couldn't been cancelled.

The good point here is that Disney now owns the parks and resort and Iger is fully aware of the DLP problem, meaning that there won't be any better financial results for DLP without a massive expansion plan, especially for the WDS. In two words, the Marvel land and the rides and shows which goes with it are most probably safe and shouldn't be cancelled. And you can count probably too on a Star Wars land, because it's pure logic to build a Star Wars land in Europe more than anywhere else out of the U.S, as the continent have legions of fans since 40 years.

But others projects that i've been told may be put on hold, and for quite a while. We'll know for sure when the long awaited announcement about DLP future will happen. It was rumored for this fall, then this December but from what i've been told it will not happen before next Spring, hopefully for DLP next anniversary? In the meantime DLP fans still have to do what they're now doing since 15 years: crossing their fingers that, finally, the awaited announcement will be at the height of their expectations.

12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas: Working Model of Pixar Pier Shows Newly Themed Areas Coming Summer 2018 to Disney California Adventure

Today 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas brings us the first pictures of the working model of Pixar Pier shows newly themed areas coming Summer 2018 at Disney California Adventure.
From the Disney Parks Blog: "Coming summer 2018, Pixar Pier will transform the southern shore of Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure park with whimsical neighborhoods filled with characters from some of your favorite Pixar stories. Today, we are bringing you a first look at this transformation through photos of a working model now in use at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Featuring newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise, this area will introduce new neighborhoods representing beloved Pixar stories. The neighborhood inspired by “The Incredibles” will be anchored by the Incredicoaster, which will feature a new mid-century-modern-style loading area inspired by the Parr family home as seen in the upcoming “Incredibles 2.”

Another of the neighborhoods will be a celebration of many of your favorite Pixar stories. In this neighborhood, each of the 24 gondolas on what is now Mickey’s Fun Wheel will feature different pairs of Pixar pals, and at the Games of the Boardwalk, all of the midway games will be inspired by characters from films such as “a bug’s life,” “WALL·E” and the Pixar short “La Luna.”

Pixar Pier will open summer 2018, during the first-ever Pixar Fest celebration, which begins April 13. The celebration will include the new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks spectacular as well as the return of Pixar Play Parade and “Paint the Night” parade, and much more throughout the entire Disneyland Resort."

Pictures: copyright Disney

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Awesome Trailer for Steven Spielberg Ready Player One, in Theaters Next March !

READY PLAYER ONE is Steven Spielberg new film and it will be released March 2018. The first trailer has been released two days ago and, boy, visually does it look great! I have the feeling that READY PLAYER ONE could be the best futuristic film of Spielberg since ...Minority Report?

Here is the synopsis released: "When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg."

After seeing the trailer you'll guess that the movie is talking about a world where people are living in an alternate "virtual reality" and Spielberg already revealed that the movie will include plenty of pop culture figures, including the great Iron Giant who plays a huge role in the movie" according to Steven. You'll see him just a second at the end of the trailer.

Video: copyright Warner Bros

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Now You Can Go Visit Hong Kong Disneyland AND Shanghaî Disneyland Thanks to Incredible Flight Ticket Prices!

Today's article brings you an interesting info - believe me, you'll thank me for this one! - for those of you living in Paris, London, New York or Los Angeles wishing to go visit Hong Kong Disneyland AND Shanghaî Disneyland. Which i agree can seem quite far destinations, for some even "at the other end of the world", with pricy plane tickets, etc… far enough to make you think that you'll never be able to visit HKDL or SDL.

Now, do you know how much would cost plane tickets to go from Paris or London or Los Angeles to Hong Kong then Hong Kong to Shanghaî and then a return from Shanghaî to Paris, London or Los Angeles, which normally makes three plane tickets? 510€ from Paris, 432£ from London and $490 from Los Angeles! Yep, you can have the three flights for these prices to go visit Hong Kong Disneyland AND Shanghaî Disneyland and come back to your home country! They have usually at least one stop on one of the three flights but there is even the same without stop from Paris for just 120€ more at 633€ - and on Air France! -  and also without stop from London for 685£ on British Airways, always for the three tickets!

And these prices came with a search done for the end of April. So, where is the trick? Actually there is no trick and the plane tickets are even on regular flights! The search was done on the great website ( the best so far ) BUT what you must do - here is the trick - is to choose to do a search for “multi city” and not a search for one destination/ticket, than another, etc… as when you do a search for multi destinations the price is almost always incredibly much cheaper when you book a reservation for multi destinations right from the start, in one time.

I add that you can find perfectly good hotel rooms for 80$ per night in Hong Kong or Shanghaî and entrance tickets in both parks are almost half the price than a one day ticket for Disneyland! And one more thing: by flying from Hong Kong to Shanghaî and then going back to your home - or another country but not back to Hong Kong - you can take advantage of the 144-h-transit-visa in Shanghai if you are going through a 3rd country. It avoid to lose time to get a visa for China - if you meet the requirements of this 144h transit visa.

Below, the screen captures of the Skyscanner page ( price is display in euros but i did the conversion ). If you live in New York or the East coast, price is just $60 more ( see the other screen capture below ). Now, for a family of four living in the U.S it certainly will be more expensive than going to WDW, but for a single or couple, make the count of how much will cost you a week in Florida at WDW or in California to Disneyland and compare with one week to Hong Kong and Shanghaî, to see which one is the better deal, as you might have some surprise!

Price for Paris - Hong Kong - Shanghaî - Paris with a stop. Prices below are indicated in Euros, i did the conversion in US$ or GBP for the prices indicated above:

Price for Paris - Hong Kong - Shanghaî - Paris with NO stop ( direct flights ):

Price for London - Hong Kong - Shanghaî - London with a stop:

Price for London - Hong Kong - Shanghaî - London with NO stop ( direct flights ):

Price for Los Angeles - Hong Kong - Shanghaî - Los Angeles with a stop:

Price for New York- Hong Kong - Shanghaî - New York with a stop:

Not living in Paris, London, Los Angles or New York? Go ahead and do a search right now on and see you at Hong Kong or Shanghaî Disneyland!

Pictures: copyright

Monday, December 11, 2017

12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas: First Details About All-New Show Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Spring 2018 Featuring Russell and Dug from Disney-Pixar’s “UP

Disney Parks continues their "12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas" announcements with first details about an all-new show coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Spring 2018 featuring Russell and Dug from Disney-Pixar’s “UP”:

 "Beginning just in time for the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom next year, this new experience will offer guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur village. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures!

 As you plan ahead, we also wanted to let you know that in order to begin to prepare for the new show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, December 31, 2017 will be the final showing of Flights of Wonder. Until the end of this month, you can still experience Flights of Wonder at the park."

Picture: copyright Disney

All the Cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the World Premiere in Los Angeles - Full Video of the "LIVE" from the Red Carpet

The Cast of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" were all there for the World Premiere in Los Angeles and here is the full video of the "LIVE" from the Red carpet of the Star Wars Premiere!

Video: copyright Star Wars

Marvel Legend Stan Lee at Hong Kong Disneyland to Discover Iron Man Experience ride

Marvel Legend Stan Lee was at Hong Kong Disneyland Tomorrowland a few days ago to discover the Iron Man Experience ride, as you can check out the pictures below!


Stan Lee was even honored as the Grand Marshall in HKDL parade and Disney Magical Kingdom Blog has the video of it!