Learn to Draw: The Genie from Disney’s Aladdin

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The Genie from Disney’s Aladdin is the best friend a street urchin could ever wish for. Brought to life from the talents of Disney Animators and the unparalleled Robin Williams, The Genie has become one of Disney’s most iconic characters.

If your wish is to learn how to draw The Genie, you’re in luck. Character Artist Heather Worley from the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is here to help fulfill your wish. Follow along here:

Definitely one of the more challenging characters in the Learn to Draw series. Share your attempt with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Posted in Animation, Art | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bands, Brew, & BBQ Festival Kicks off at SeaWorld Orlando tomorrow

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One of the best theme park festivals in Orlando is SeaWorld’s Bands, Brew & BBQ. Three things that go remarkably well together. The event brings big talent to the stage, and accomplished BBQ joints to the food pavilion. Plus you’ll get to sample a wide selection of beers from our nation’s best brewers.

The festival is scheduled weekends throughout March (7-8, 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29), and Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with regular park admission. I look forward to this event every year.

A few years ago, protestors mis-informed by the one-sided documentary Blackfish, caused some of the music acts to cancel their appearances. Since then SeaWorld has only been releasing the names of each act a few weeks ahead of the weekend. So far we know who will be performing the first two weekends. It’s an amazing lineup.

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Scheduled performances now include:

Saturday, March 7: Toby Keith
Sunday, March 8: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Saturday, March 14: Rodney Atkins
Sunday, March 15: Kool & the Gang

Event festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. each weekend, with concerts at 4 p.m. Continue reading

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Posted in Florida Attractions, seaworld | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smithsonian teams up with Stan Lee to offer free online course

EdX Smithsonian Institution

Our nation’s largest and most important cultural museum is teaming up with one of the world’s greatest pop-culture creators for a free online course. Comic book icon Stan Lee and the Smithsonian are teaming together as part of the new EdX nonprofit online learning initiative.

Lee’s course will be called “Rise of the Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture” and registration is currently open. The course is part of a trio of courses focused on American history. The courses are designed to be appropriate for students and educators of all ages, so sign up your whole household.

“It’s a great honor being invited to share my views on the evolution of superheroes and the genre’s overall impact across all generations of people,” said Stan Lee. “Throughout my career, characters have evolved so much – from drawings on a page to other-worldly special effects only animation could produce, to live-action and so much more. I can’t wait to dive into these discussions thanks to Smithsonian and edX.”

“The launch of SmithsonianX on edX is one way that the Smithsonian is sharing its collections and scholarship with a global audience,” said Jacqueline Moen, Vice President of SmithsonianX. “This initial portfolio of courses with Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will offer new perspectives on understanding the American experience.”

Will you get your geek on and tune in to professor Stan Lee?

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S2-E11 recap: Aftershocks

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The back half of this season starts shortly after the front half ended. Skye is in quarantine until they can confirm that she’s OK. Simmons is back down in the temple getting it prepped to be destroyed, Coulson is ready to take out Hydra once and for all and everyone is mourning Tripp’s death in their own way. We then cut to the heads of Hydra who have come together to decide who will replace Whitehall. The original idea was to have Bakshi take over because he was being groomed for the role, but he’s missing (actually he’s in SHIELD custody). They decide that whoever can take down SHIELD will take Whitehall’s place.

Back at SHIELD, cracks are beginning to form in our team as Mack and Coulson butt heads which leads to a team wide argument that reminded me of a similar scene in The Avengers. The only thing missing was Loki’s glow stick of destiny. Eventually, the team calms down and Coulson begins to enact his plan to take down Hydra.

Meanwhile, Raina has escaped from the temple, but not before killing a few agents and being shot at by Simmons. She finds Cal and confronts him about her transformation. She doesn’t like her thorny new look but Cal has little sympathy, especially after discovering that Skye has been transformed as well and gone back to Coulson. He leaves Raina, telling her that he’s thinking about reconnecting with some of his friends that SHIELD has on their index in order to get revenge on Coulson and get his daughter back.

Coulson and his team have agreed to a prisoner exchange, offering Bakshi up to General Talbot and the U.S. Government, but on their way to drop him off, they are attacked. May and Coulson are both shot and a getaway car rides up to take Bakshi away. However, the whole thing is a set up. May and Coulson aren’t dead and the person driving the getaway car is Hunter. Hunter ends up taking Bakshi to the house where the Hydra leaders met. The real plan is then revealed causing all of the heads of Hydra to kill each other leaving no one left in charge. Of course, Hydra will rise again (Baron Von Strucker will show up on May 1, for example) but in one fell swoop, the writers of the show essentially said, “We’re not focusing on Hydra for the rest of the season. Now we’re focusing on the Inhumans.” Continue reading

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Posted in marvel, Television | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Toy Story Midway Mania will get third track to increase capacity

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In addition to today’s announcement that Soarin’ at EPCOT would be getting a third theater, Disney announced that a third track will be coming to Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Toy Story Midway Mania opened in 2008 and like Soarin’, TSMM is a family attraction and the waits for can grow quite long. Fastpass+ is very much in demand.

Late last year, Disney began prepping to add a third track to SoundStage One (most recently held the ice rink for the Frozen exhibit). It is believed that after some testing last year, Disney will keep two of the tracks dedicated to Fastpass+ users and send all standby guests to the new third track.

According to Disney the expansion will open sometime in late 2016. It’s not known how many closure days will be required to make this transition, but some are expected.

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Posted in Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments