Month: September 2015

New “Animals” appear at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom. ©Disney

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.

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. (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.

This article originally appeared on Episode 10 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.

“Night of Joy” Streaming to be “Improved” Next Year

Night of Joy

Night of Joy. ©Disney

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.

This article originally appeared on Episode 10 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.

Additional Details on Watto’s Grotto

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.

This article originally appeared on Episode 10 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.

Union Demands Are Real Reason for Osborne Lights Going Dark

Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. ©Disney

Two weeks ago Disney quietly released on their Parks blog an announcement that saddened many fans. The post confirmed that this year’s “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! They’re dancin’ lights ain’t they?”

Point taken.

This article originally appeared on Episode 10 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.

“Guest Room” Episode10: Disney to pull the plug! Watto we talking about? A dream ended? And a joyous stream of animals

 

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.

Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/earsnewsnet/gr-episode_10.mp3

Cast:

Parker Byrd – Chris Laning

Intro Music:

“The Whip” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Transcript:
PARKER:
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?”

Point taken.
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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PARKER:
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 guestroom@earsnews.net.

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.

New “Rope Drop” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at BUST!

The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. © Disney

Disney recently made changes to the morning “rope drop” procedures at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando.  Starting a half hour before opening guests are allowed through the “touch points” to get into the park and to go as far as the location of ropes which are  placed by 50’s Prime Time Café, Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner, and across the entrance to Hollywood Boulevard.  

While this has been successful in helping move crowds into the park, the actual drop of the rope has been a bust. Nothing happens! Because it turns out that the shops and restaurants contained between the ropes and the “touch points” , are about the only things still open in that park anyway.

This article originally appeared on Episode 9 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.

Disney in Texas? Convicted scammer just had wrong location.

disneytexasWhen Walt Disney started work on the “Florida Project” as he called it, his brother Roy, along with several other executives began quietly buying pieces of property in the Orlando area under several different corporation names, so as to avoid spikes in land prices. Such spikes did occur once first the Orlando Sentinel and then Florida Governor Haydon Burns confirmed it was Disney buying the land.

In the intervening years, hopeful speculators have been eagerly awaiting a time when Disney would begin quitely buying up land somewhere else in these United States. Unfortunately, that can lead to fraud.

In Texas, one enterprising individual, Thomas Lucas Jr, allegedly convinced people to buy land and options on land in the mid-2000’s on the premise that Disney had plans on the books to open a third U.S. resort called Frontier Disneyland, DFW, just north and northwest of Dallas in the areas of Frisco and Denton, TX. He reportedly bilked investors out of over $28 million in overvalued land and options. Though he himself was only reported to have made a little over $375,000 in commissions.

Lucas was convicted earlier this year and sentenced just last week to 17 ½ years in prison, which was the maximum. He will also have to pay back the money he scammed….although no word on how he will be able to do so while he is behind bars.

This is yet another reminder why it is imperative for investors to thoroughly vet tips like this and not let greed cloud your business judgement. Disney putting their third U.S theme park resort in the Dallas/Fort Worth area just simply made no logical sense.

Because those in the know have known for a while that Disney’s planning to build Frontier Disneyland in the quiet little town of Kosse, Tx, which is practically equidistant between the Austin, Houston, and Dallas / Fort Worth Areas. Of course we cannot confirm that the current Kosse Cafe will be renamed and reimagined as the Kosse Cone Cafe….but its a good idea.

What we can confirm is that we just happen to have several prime pieces of land which you can option and ultimately sell to Disney for 10 times what you pay for it…just give us a call and we will tell you how!

This article originally appeared on Episode 9 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.

Disney’s “Force Friday” Foul-Up

Though most of the buzz surrounding Disney and Star Wars is positive, many fans of both were questioning if Disney had turned to the dark side after they announced a special event for Friday, September 4th. That day, which was known as “Force Friday” ,was the day that merchandise related to the upcoming film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens was debuted around the world.

Disney for its part had Force Friday merchandise events scheduled for both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts. However, when the announcements were made, it was made known that these would be ticketed events, with tickets costing $50!

Outrage over being charged to…well…spend money, quickly spread through the online Disney communities, podcasts, blogosphere…etc. Fans were irate that they would have to shell out $50 above and beyond what they would spend on the coveted merchandise!

Apparently Disney was paying attention and a day or two prior to the event announced that they would no longer require tickets and that those guests who had purchased tickets would have their money refunded.

So basically Disney got Greedo, but the fans shot first!

This article originally appeared on Episode 9 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.

Disney Lifeguard Details Dangers of Swimming in the Middle of Seven Seas Lagoon

Lifeguard Stand

A new lifeguard stand made with a rustic look stands over “Mickey’s Magical Seashore”.

In Part 1 of her three part report on a recent private invitation test party conducted by Disney, ENN Field Reporter Erin Dole covered the announcement by Disney reversing their policy on swimming in the Seven Seas Lagoon and even firing up the long shuttered wave machine to bring a new feature to the Polynesian Village Resort, “Mickey’s Magical Seashore”.  In Part 2 of her report, she covered the guest reaction to the new event.  Now, in the third and final part of her report, which also was originally heard in Episode 9 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network, Erin interviews a Disney lifeguard for his reaction and instead learns of dangers lurking in the lagoon.

Here is a transcript of that report:

PARKER BYRD (ENN Host): Let’s check in one more time with our field reporter Erin Dole who is at the special Mickey’s Magical Seashore event at the Polynesian where they have reopened the Seven Seas Lagoon to swimming for the first time in forever and cranked up the wave machine there for the first time since the 70’s. How is it out there Erin?

ERIN: Its awesome, Parker! People swimming. Hanging out. Riding and jumping the waves! It is one HUGE party out here!

PARKER: Sounds so nice Erin.

ERIN: It is! But I thought I would talk to one of the lifeguards and see how Day 1 of swimming in Seven Seas Lagoon is going. I am speaking with Lifeguard Avom. That’s how you pronounce it…right?

LIFEGUARD: Avom. Yes, ma’am. That’s how you pronounce my last name. But you can call me Deweys.

ERIN: Thanks Deweys. So what has the first day of swimming in the lagoon been like.

LIFEGUARD: I think its great! When I came onboard as a cast member, I hoped I would get to work the great spots like the Luna Park pool at Boardwalk, or the Nanea Volcano Pool right over there at the Poly and of course Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club. Closest thing to a real beach at a resort…well until today.

ERIN: So any problems today.

LIFEGUARD: Just two. Both times someone who thought they could go past the roped off area so that they could try to be the first to swim from here to the Magic Kingdom and back. I had to grab them and redirect their creativity as it were.

ERIN: So swimming outside the rope is definitely prohibited?

LIFEGUARD: Absolutely! And you wouldn’t want to anyway. It’s very dangerous and could be deadly.

ERIN: Deadly? How come?

LIFEGUARD: Because in the center of the lagoon powerful fairies grab and shove you down into the depths of Davy Jones Locker!

ERIN: Holy Cow! I never knew! What are the magical fairies names?

LIFEGUARD: The Admiral Joe Fowler, General Joe Potter and the Richard F. Irivne. And there is nothing magical about getting run over by a ferry boat.

ERIN: Right! Well, there is your safety tip from lifeguard cast member Deweys Avom. As you can tell Parker, it is a hit. And sink or swim, this event is part of the growing tide of activity that is shore to make a splash with returning guests and certainly make waves in the Magic Kingdom resort area…in this case…quite literally. Back to you Parker.

This is part three of a three-part report.  Visit Ears News Network to see the other reports. Or listen to them in their entirety in  Episode 9 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.

Guest Reaction to Disney’s New “Mickey’s Magical Seashore”

People lying under umbrellas on the beach.

Guests recline at Mickey’s Magical Seashore near the Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World.

In Part 1 of her three part report on a recent private invitation test party conducted by Disney, ENN Field Reporter Erin Dole covered the announcement by Disney reversing their policy on swimming in the Seven Seas Lagoon and even firing up the long shuttered wave machine to bring a new feature to the Polynesian Village Resort, “Mickey’s Magical Seashore”.  In Part 2 of her report, which also was originally heard in Episode 9 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network, Erin gets guest reaction to the new event.

Here is a transcript of that report:

PARKER: Welcome back to ENN, the Ears News Network. So lets check back in with Erin at the special Mickey’s Magical Seashore event at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Erin?

ERIN: Thanks Parker. We are still having great time and soaking up the ambience. Disney has worked their magic because you can actually smell the salt air. Not sure how they are doing that. But let’s see if I can get some guest reaction. Hey you! Little buddy come here. Can I ask you a question?

BOY: Sure.

ERIN: Are you having a great time?

BOY: Oh yeah. Jumping the waves is fun!

ERIN: I see you have been playing in the sand too.

BOY: Yep.

ERIN: And you have a bucket and a piece of wood to dig it with.

BOY: Mommy bought it at the store over there.

ERIN: Oh…let me see. The label on it says “Chip and Pail”…nice. Well you have a good time, let me talk to Mommy now.

BOY: Ok.

ERIN: So Mom….What do you think of Mickey’s Magical Seashore?

WOMAN: Amazing! Absolutely amazing! The sand, the lifeguard stands, umbrellas, even the seagulls. Not the animatronic ones that say “Mine, mine, Mine” but the real ones who take everything from you…sky rats. This place is so authentic! We are chillaxing on the beach and swimming in Seven Seas Lagoon! What could be better? I’m a Jersey girl and this place totally reminds me of the Jersey shore….except way less crowded.

ERIN: Less crowded? We are packed in like sardines here!

WOMAN: Exactly! Way less crowded than Jersey! Except in Jersey, we put our boardwalks on the beach and don’t have to take a 5 mile bus ride to another resort to get there. Pretty lame Disney! Get your act together!

ERIN: Ma’am. They JUST opened this tonight, and not even officially yet. Maybe they will move it eventually but it takes time. Have you no patience?

WOMAN: You did catch the part when I said I was Jersey girl right?

ERIN: Right. Well that’s all for now. Back to you Parker.

This is part two of a three-part report.  Visit Ears News Network to see other reports as they are released. Or listen to them in their entirety in  Episode 9 of the Disney news satire podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network.