In this episode of “Guest Room” on ENN, the Ears News Network, we discuss the potential real reason for this being the last year for “The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights”. We also talk about rumors of Watto’s Grotto returning and One Man’s Dream closing. Finally we discuss the streaming of the “Night of Joy” concerts and some new animals at the Animal Kingdom.
Parker Byrd – Chris Laning
“The Whip” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
Disney to pull the plug! Watto we talking about? A dream ended? And a joyous stream of animals.
Hello and welcome to the September 21st edition of “Guest Room” on ENN, the Ears News Network, bringing you Disney news you won’t believe…..and probably shouldn’t. I’m your host, Parker Byrd.
Two weeks ago Disney quietly released on their Parks blog an announcement that saddened many fans. The post confirmed that this years “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights”, the annual holiday light show held at Disney’s Hollywood Studio would indeed, as expected, be the last. This is the 20th year that Disney has run the show.
Jennings Osborne, as businessman in Arkansas, originally assembled the display and made it a tradition at his family home for many years until the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1995 ruled in favor of his neighbors who complained of the crowds and subsequent noise generated by his display.
Disney stepped in and moved the lights to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and began a beloved holiday tradition among Disney Park fans.
The reason given for ending the event is that the area that currently houses the light show will be needed for the announced expansion of the park to include Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, though fans are wondering why Disney simply doesn’t move it to another area of the park or even another park.
ENN has learned that there might be another reason why the light show is being forced to end. Inside sources tell us that Disney received an official request from the Brotherhood Of Park Engaging Entertainment Providers, Local 5678, sheepishly stating that each of the lights making up the display should be treated as an individual employee subject to rights, salary and benefits. The B.O.P.E.E.P. was seeking permission to represent said employees. With millions of lights making up the display, combined with ever increasing minimum wage and benefit costs, the financial impact to Disney would be staggering. Rather than fight the union, Disney elected to end the show.
We reached out to the union’s local president, Andy Potts, to find out the reasoning behind thinking that decorative electrical lights would be covered by the union. Mr Potts simply responded “Hey! Their dancin’ lights ain’t they?”
In other Disney’s Hollywood Studios news, WDWMagic.com is reporting that Watto’s Grotto, a Star Wars merchandise store, may soon be reopening. The store is named after Watto, the junk dealer in Mos Espa on Tatooine who was first introduced to the Star Wars universe in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Watto, you will remember owned both Anakin Skywalker and his mother Shmi as slaves.
The store was was opened earlier this year as part of the Darth Mall at Star Wars Weekends. But was shuttered when the Star Wars Weekends ended. It occupied the space formerly occupied by the American Film Institute Showcase.
There are no specific details yet, but it is expected that the store will accept cash, most major credit and debit cards as well as magic bands with charging privileges. However, Jedi mind tricks will not work there.
Another big change coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the rumored closing of the Disney aficionado’s sentimental favorite…One Man’s Dream. The interactive exhibit contains numerous items from the Disney archives representing various aspects of Walt Disney’s life as well as the history of the company he created. Items included models for Main Street, USA, various Oscars he received over the years, various plans used to build parks over the years, and even items from his actual office at the Walt Disney Studios.
Last month the office was removed and the remainder of the exhibit is rumored to be closing at the end of this month reportedly to make way for the new Toy Story Land.
As one Disney blog headline prophetically put it, “Toy Story Land Ends One Man’s Dream”.
No doubt many will find a lot of truth in those few words.
Back after this.
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Welcome back to ENN, the Ears News Network.
On September 11th and 12th, Walt Disney World held its annual Night of Joy event. It’s a two-night, hard-ticketed event, featuring concerts by top Christian Contemporary artists performed on three different stages in the Magic Kingdom. Among this year’s performers were MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Toby Mac, Colton Dixon, Big Daddy Weave, Jamie Grace, and Matt Maher.
This year’s event was particularly popular and tickets for both nights were completely sold out. As a result, Disney allowed the performances to be live streamed on the Internet through a website called StageHop. The streams were free if you watched them live, however StageHop did charge for a “pass” if you wanted to be able to watch the streams again after the event.
The streams were so popular and in such demand, that Disney took notice and already has plans in the works to stream the event next year…but with a few minor changes.
They plan to tape the event about a month earlier and add promotional videos for various resorts and parks, concerts by Disney affiliated pop singers and idle chatter between Tim Tebow and Robin Roberts. to serve as a buffer between 30 second snippets of each “Night of Joy” artist’s concert. The event will air on ABC and may even end with a special appearance by Santa Claus….just out of habit.
And finally, over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, some new animals have made their way into the park. The Maharajah Jungle Trek area of the park has welcomed a new male Sumatran tiger named Malosi. And on the savannah of the Kilimanjaro Safari, not one, not two, but count them, three baby giraffe calves can now be seen. Their names are Mere, Milo, and Lincoln. Hmm…one of these things is not like the other.
In addition to these…um…additions, there is also an unconfirmed report of another creature being introduced to the park. So far Disney seems to have not named this creature as they are still referring to it as just an “animal”. But this one has apparently been trained to shout out phrases repeatedly and loudly and also plays a mean set of drums.
And that’s all for this edition of ENN’s “Guest Room”. If you would like to comment on this episode or would like to send along a news story for us to look into drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can listen to this and future episodes by finding us in the iTunes store, just search on Ears News Network. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed. Details can be found on the “How to Listen” page at EarsNews.net. There you can find links to our Facebook page and Twitter account as well.
Until next time, I’m your host, Parker Byrd, saying thanks for listening to the Ears News Network, the mistrusted name in Disney news. Goodbye everybody.