Adventureland Veranda Restaurant at Magic Kingdom to Reopen with New Theme

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The rumors of a new restaurant opening in the old Adventureland Veranda have been going on for half a decade (if not longer). It hosted the occasional quick service test, was remodeled to host character meet and greets, including most recently Tinker Bell and her fairy friends, and the occasional party. But what if it was going to be returned to service as a restaurant? That would help answer the demand for more dining in the Magic Kingdom.

The key fact to know is that it shares a wall with Liberty Tree Tavern and therefore, with some creative remodeling, a kitchen. This will allow it to improve its capacity and upgrade its offerings. It’s believed the new restaurant will serve quick service lunch and sit-down dinner, much like Be Our Guest does in New Fantasyland.

There have been growing signs that Disney was serious about reopening the location. Lots of exterior remodeling has been going on lately and a recent swap of Sunshine Tree Terrance and Aloha Isle will move the long lines for Dole Whip away from the new restaurant entrance.

The final piece of the puzzle appears to have fallen into place over on the WDWNT blog. The location will have a jungle cruise name and theme. If the rumor is to be believed, “Skipper’s Cantina” will have a backstory related to the Jungle Cruise’s skippers looking to open a restaurant to make a little money on the side.

There’s no official announcement from Disney on a theme, or even that they’re reopening the location. But it’s believed the location will open in time for the Christmas crowds later this year.

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Posted in Dining, Food and Drink, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Help restore the Walt Disney Birthplace

Walt's birthplace circa 1920.

Walt’s birthplace circa 1920.

The birthplace of Walt Disney is a small and unassuming home on the corner of Tripp Avenue. It was designed and built by Elias and Flora Disney in 1893 just outside downtown Chicago, and was home to the Disney family in 1901 when Walt was born. The Disney family moved to Marceline, MO in 1906, but this small home was the place where dreams were born.

Walt and his sister Ruth on the porch of their Chicago birthplace

Walt and his sister Ruth on the porch of their Chicago birthplace

Amazingly, the home still stands more than 120 years later. It’s been purchased with the goal of preserving the history of the Disney family for future fans. Now, it’s up to Disney’s legions of fans to make sure the origin point for the legacy of Walt (and his brother Roy) is restored to a facility worthy of his gifts to us.

There is a crowdfunding campaign that you can contribute to with some pretty awesome rewards based on the level of support you decide.

walt-disney-birthplace-thevisionPhase one helped weatherprooft the property and started the restoration. Right now they’re raising funds for phase 2 of the project and in less than two weeks they’re 41% of the way to their goal of $40,000. Your contribution of any amount will help them complete exterior work that restores the home to its original state, plus provide a little beautification (Walt was all about the show, so I’m sure he’d appreciate the effort).

This is a great project with some big names in Disney history behind it. But it is not an official project of The Walt Disney Company. So it’s going to take your support to make this dream a reality.

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Posted in History, Uncle Walt | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Joss Whedon may have directed his last Avengers movie for Marvel

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So, True Believers, which do you want first? The bad news or the good news?

The bad news? Ok. Joss Whedon will not be directing any Avengers movies after Age of Ultron. But we’ve already known that Whedon has been wanting to step away from the MCU.

Joe-and-Anthony-RussoNow for the good news. Anthony and Joe Russo have been announced as directors for Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and 2.

The Russo brothers directed Captain America: Winter Soldier (which, in my opinion, is the best Avengers Phase 2 movie so far) and they’ll at the helm of Captain America: Civil War as well.

Captain America: Civil War is beginning production in the next few weeks as they shoot for a May 6, 2016 release. Right now, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 will release on May 4, 2018, and Part 2 will release one year later on May 3, 2019.

Of course, Kevin Feige is still in charge over at Marvel making sure all the MCU films are operating out of the same set of guidelines. So that’s not going to change.

Are you going to miss Joss being in charge or are you excited about the Russo brothers stepping up?

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

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War production to start in Atlanta

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We’re just about a month away from the theatrical premiere of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and already rumors are beginning to leak about the following movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Captain America: Civil War.

I won’t go into the rumors here, but I will share the official synopsis that Marvel released as part of casting notices:

Following the events of Age of Ultron, the collective governments of the world pass an act designed to regulate all superhuman activity. This polarizes opinion amongst the Avengers, causing two factions to side with Iron Man or Captain America, which causes an epic battle between former allies.

I assume they’re referring to the Superhuman Registration Act, which was put in place to regular all superhuman activity and to expose superhuman’s secret identities. This is a big issue for some superheroes is probably how Marvel will introduce Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The world knows who Iron Man is (Tony Stark) and that Captain America is Steve Rogers, but Peter Parker probably isn’t too keen to have his co-workers know who is really is.

We know from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that SHIELD already registers and tracks known superhumans. In fact, the TV show is concerning itself with Inhumans quite a bit this season. There could be quite a bit of overlap between the big and small screens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.

Filming is said to start April 1st and with casting calls going out in Atlanta. That’s the rumored location too.

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Posted in marvel, Movies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrate Walt Disney Animated Shorts in Concert

"GET A HORSE!" ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is celebrating Walt Disney Animation Studios with a special concert focused on the joy of Disney’s animated shorts. Live orchestral music will play as the shorts are projected on the big screen at The Theatre at Ace Hotel.

They’ve really made an effort to find some gems from Disney’s library, including some that have not been seen in over 50 years.

  • Two previously “lost” Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts, Poor Papa (1927) and Africa Before Dark (1928), newly restored, and screened for first time in over 50 years, premiering orchestral scores written by Mark Watters
  • Celebrating its 80th anniversary, Silly Symphony Music Land (1935), screened for the first time with live orchestra
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1940) with the world premiere of a new adaptation of the score by Mark Watters in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Disney’s timeless classic Fantasia
  • Get A Horse (2013) screened for the very first time with live orchestra
  • Plane Crazy (1929), the first Mickey Mouse cartoon created by Walt Disney
  • Plus, additional animated shorts featuring everyone’s favorite Disney character, Mickey Mouse, in The Band Concert (1935), Lonesome Ghosts (1937) and Mickey’s Trailer (1938)

You’re encouraged to bring the whole family (at least if they’re at least 6 years old) for a fun and engaging evening of music and film. The event takes place at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, a gorgeously restored 1927 Spanish Gothic movie palace at the heart of downtown’s revitalized Broadway Theatre district.

Mickey’s Trailer was my favorite Disney short growing up. I wish I could make it. If you go, please send me a report.

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Posted in Animation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments