Monday Attraction Spotlight: Storybook Land Canal Boats

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If you look at some of the concept drawings for Disneyland, one of Walt Disney’s original ideas included a land called “Lilliputian land” that would be based on a mythical miniature city somewhere in Europe. That idea didn’t make it into the park when it opened, but the gem of the idea was there in the “Canal Boats of the World” attraction. Unfortunately, the park opened before the ride could be finished and it opened with little more than bare ground and minimal landscaping earning in the nickname “The Mud Bank Ride.”

Disneyland Original Prospectus 1953

That changed in 1956 when it reopened as Storybook Land Canal Boats with Monstro the Whale and scenes from some of Disney’s most famous animated films. It also contained one of Walt Disney’s own Bonzai trees.

The attraction is part of Disneyland’s famed “dark water system.” It connects multiple bodies of water around the park (including Sleeping Beauty Castle, Rivers of America, and the Jungle Cruise) via a series of pipes hidden water ways. The water is kept dyed dark so you can’t see the bottom of the canals.

Here’s a somewhat condensed version of the attraction, including the newest addition, highlights from Arendelle in the animated movie Frozen

Arendelle replaced the windmills from The Old Mill section, which we hope will come back some day. A similar version of the Storybook Canal Boats of the World exists in Disneyland Paris, and I wish they’d bring it to Orlando. The storybook element would be a perfect addition to the Magic Kingdom and the boat ride a refreshing break from the otherwise crazy hustle and bustle of the park.

What do you think? Do you like Storybook Land Canal Boats and would you like to see a version of it in Orlando?

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Posted in Disneyland | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

“American Crime” Review

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American Crime, the new drama toted to be created by John Ridley, the Oscar winning screenwriter of 12 Years A Slave, is a bold and highly rewarding step for ABC original programming. Filmed in a breathtakingly new and provocative style for the network, the show revolves around the murder of Matt Skokie, the son of Barb (Felicity Huffman) and Russ (Timothy Hutton).

The show takes a deep dive into race in America, a topic the has becomes more timely by the minute. Matt is white, and after the police make some quick judgments, all of their suspects are minorities (two Latino men and an African-American man, the latter having an interesting subplot of his own). This “couldn’t have come at a better time show” does not shy away from taking hot-button issues and laying them out (pay attention to a scene of one of the suspects in a hospital bed).

The acting, across the board, is exceptional, with Felicity Huffman’s complete 180 from her previous ABC work, Desperate Housewives, being rather striking and excellent. Benito Martinez is wonderful as one of the suspect’s father and Timothy Hutton has a quick and heartbreaking scene in a bathroom within the first five minutes of the show. Having just seen the pilot, I’m excited to see Regina King, who reoccurs as the newly Muslim sister to one of the suspects.

The show fills the Thursday at 10pm slot, taking over for How To Get Away With Murder, and receiving the Scandal lead-in, aka the best time slot on ABC right now, so the network shows that it is incredibly confident in the show and what it has to say.

The show is dark. This is no Shonda Rhimes program, adding in bits of humor throughout and juicy love triangles (even though AC does have a blatant Coach product placement and the hilariousness that while a gang leader is bagging up weed, he plays Revenge in the background), this show is pure drama with no breaks. You are in it for the hour and you are NOT allowed to leave.

I’m interested to see what reaction it gets by the public. Will this become the new Empire, even though the FOX juggernaut is much more soapy? I truly hope so, because American Crime is bringing up conversations that not only have never been discussed on network television, but ones that need to be discussed immediately.

I have only seen the pilot, but in those 45 minutes, I have a multitude of questions (especially after that cliffhanger) and am excited to see where the show takes me.

American Crime premieres March 5th at 10pm EST, only on ABC.

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See Meryl Streep’s cut song from Disney’s “Into The Woods”

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One of the big worries about translating Stephen Sondheim’s play from stage to screen was what, if any, songs would be cut. It didn’t make it through unscathed, but there was one song that was cut that wasn’t even in the original musical. There was a beautiful song that Stephen Sondheim wrote for Meryl Streep, unfortunately it slowed the film down just at the moment things were picking up. So it had to go.

The good news is they filmed it and you’ll get to see it on the “Into the Woods” Blu-Ray or, as it turns out, you can get a preview right here.

For a new song, it definitely fits into the overall tone of the movie. Pre-order your Blu-ray combo pack here and it will arrive on March 24.

Plot synopsis below the jump:

Continue reading

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Posted in Musicals | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Posts of the week on The Disney Blog

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Believe it or not, we’re already at the end of February and spring Break is almost upon us. But before we break out the swimsuits and sunglasses, here are the top 5 posts from last week.

  1. We looked at seven attractions that Disney wouldn’t build today.
  2. Disneyland and Walt Disney World raised ticket prices with the Magic Kingdom breaking the $100 barrier.
  3. Planet Hollywood shared concept art for its Disney Springs look and new name Planet Hollywood Observatory.
  4. Seven new stores recently opened in Downtown Disney in the area that will become “The Landing” in Disney Springs.
  5. A trailer for the new Disney animated short “Frozen Fever” was shared. It will open for Cinderella on March 13.

Although they didn’t make the top five list, many people also enjoyed reading about:

Thank you for being a part of The Disney Blog community. You can always support us by following us on Facebook and liking, commenting, and sharing one at least one post every day. This helps us continue to be able to share our best content with you every day.

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Posted in Animation, Corporate, Disneyland, Round Up, Television, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Secrets and Lies” Review

Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies, or “Juliette Lewis Stares,” as I call it, is a new ABC limited series premiering this Sunday. Starring Ryan Phillippe as Ben Crawford, it follows as he goes on a morning run to find a local boy dead in the woods. What follows is a whirlwind or questioning, and the titular secrets and lies.

Juliette Lewis plays Detective Andrea Cornell, who is on the case, and the woman LOVES to stare. Creepily, eerily, and oddly…she stares. A lot. Through windows, at Ben, in his home…she stares. Ben talks monotone the entire time, so you don’t really care for him, and then Andrea is just so creepy, so you don’t care for her. It is weird to come out of a pilot without someone to root for.

The show dragged on for me, without any real movement. Andrea was weird, Ben was angry he was seen as the main suspect for the child’s murder, especially when the child was so beloved in his family, and Ben and his wife, played by KaDee Strickland, fight over the case at hand, and other turmoil that occurred before the pilot. Also featured is Ben’s friend who lives with them/in a house in the backyard. His purpose is to seem like a schlub, and he does and it makes no sense. Why is he there? Should I care? Because I don’t.

An underlying moral of the story is how the media is awful, which is weird for a network series as…um…they are part of the media with their news (as opposed to someone like HBO having a “media is awful” undertone, since they don’t have a dog in the fight). They tackle Ben and is family over and over again, ad it makes you never want to watch the news again.

The thing that has me hooked and ready to watch for more, however, is the cliffhanger, which comes out of nowhere, makes complete sense, and hits you with a steel bat. I’m interested to see where it takes the show, and if it can exit monotone land into quality ABC programming. I’ll be watching more to see if that journey is possible.

Secrets and Lies premieres March 1st at 9pm EST, only on ABC.

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Posted in Television | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment