Agents of SHIELD S2-E1 Preview: Shadows

When we left our team last Spring, S.H.I.E.L.D. was all but destroyed. Coulson and his team were the remnant and charged with building the organization back up from the ground. They were also still reeling from the discovery that one of their own, Ward, was a traitor and another, Fitz, had been badly injured. We, the audience, also got our first glimpse of Skye’s mysterious father and Coulson’s mysterious wall writings.

Season Two will be about rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. and Director Coulson will need all the help he can get, including new agents like Isabelle Hartley (played by Lucy Lawless) and old agents like Peggy Carter. Coulson, being the fan of history that he is, wants to learn all that he can. I think this is a great way to bring Haley Atwell into the show as a guest star. It’s like they’re setting up for a spin off show or something….

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Marvel has released a clip from the first episode. In it, we get to see both Agent Hartley as well as “Crusher” Creel, known as the Absorbing Man in the comics. Creel has the ability to absorb the properties of anything he touches and the clip hints at what a formidable foe he will

Will you be tuning in Tuesday night to see the return of Coulson and his team?

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Disney’s Big Hero 6 Partners With XPrize to Change the World

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Young innovators are wanted to enter the Big Hero 6 xPrize by answering the question “What one problem would you tackle to change the world, and how would you do it?”

Use S.T.E.A.M. (Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) to solve a problem, big or small, that affects your school, community, or even the world. Put it on a video entry and enter the xPrize Challenge. Winners get this amazing trip to California for the movie premiere and a tour of Walt Disney Imagineering, among other awesome experiences.

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Disney recently promoted the xPrize Challenge at their booth at World Maker Faire, where they were producing these really cute BayMax figures out of 3D Printers. I’d enter if I knew I was going to get one of those. So cute.

The Xprize is a foundation organized around incentives for innovators to ‘race’ toward a goal by providing a larger reward to the first to demonstrate a successful mission. I love to see Disney involved in exciting kids about S.T.E.A.M. through projects like this.

Will your kids enter?

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New Disney Springs Food Truck Park Concept Art

Disney Springs

Disney has released new concept art showing a park like setting for the new Food Truck Park coming to the West Side section of Disney Springs. In the background you can make out the “highline” area, that will look like a former elevated train track, that’s been re-purposed as a park or elevated dining area.

Water view of Food Truck Park construction from Sept 15.

Water view of Food Truck Park construction from Sept 15.

Disney Springs will be the largest expansion in Downtown Disney history, and will provide even more opportunities for guests to relax and enjoy themselves. When completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, with an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four interconnected neighborhoods: The Landing (opening in early 2015), Marketplace, West Side and Town Center (opening in 2016).

Previously: Downtown Disney September Construction Update.

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New Festival of the Lion King Location Welcomes 1 Millionth Guest

We just covered the opening of the new location for the Festival of the Lion King back in June. But already the show has just marked a major milestone – 1 million guests have witnessed the fantastic show inside the new Harambe Theatre.

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The LePage Family from Colororado Springs, CO (pictured above) were celebrated as the official 1-millionth guests and were treated to front row seats and a special meet-and-greet opportunity with the show’s cast.

What is your favorite part of the Festival of The Lion King? Have you seen it since it moved to it’s new location?

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Photopass automatic with Memory Maker

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Just before the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially opened to the public, these odd boxes were added to the track. They looked like on-ride video or photo cameras, but since there is no ‘gift store’ attached to the exit of the ride, there was no way buy those photos even if you wanted too. But thanks to Disney’s new MyMagic+ system, you can not get your hands on those magical memories with just a little planning ahead.

When a guest with a MagicBand and a linked Memory Maker entitlement rides the attraction, their photo and video will be automatically associated to their My Disney Experience account. Said guest will also be able to view, download and share the photo and video of their family & friends connections and managed guests who also experienced Seven Dwarfs Mine Train while wearing a MagicBand. This means only one person in your family really needs the Memory Maker add-on. So that’s nice.

The cameras are actually set up in two locations along the ride to make sure they have a decent video and/or picture of you. Presumably, although Disney hasn’t said anything official, there is some Disney ‘magic’ going on behind the scenes here. First, there would have to be a device that scans all the passengers in a car and tracks their magic bands. This is a feature of the XBR “long range” chip inside each magic band (which is in addition to the RFID chip which only works at close range). Secondly, there has to be some facial recognition going on behind the scenes here to identify which row and seat you’re in. Thirdly, there is likely a human matching up images taken of that Magic Band holder on other Memory Maker devices to add a final verification that the person on the roller coaster is the right person as well as to eliminate any obscene gestures or other unwanted images that could slip through. Or, of course, I could be wrong and it could be really cool hardware and software working without humans.

The next attraction rumored to get this upgrade is Haunted Mansion and I’ve heard that It’s A Small World also had similar technology added to it recently.

To me this is the real magic of MyMagic+. Imagine if a meet and greet Mickey Mouse knew you by name because your Magic Band told him it as you walked in the room, or a restaurant knows your food allergies before the waiter even arrives to take your order, or a Disney bus knows you’ve boarded the wrong bus for your hotel at the end of the night and alerts the driver. There’s a fantastic future out there and this is just the start of it.

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