Guardians of the Galaxy Director to host Facebook Q&A

Director James Gunn on set

Director James Gunn on set

Guardians of the Galaxy was the breakout hit of 2014. It’s grown a legion of fans and anticipation for the sequel is already developing.

This Thursday, January 22, at 7 pm PST, 10 pm EST, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn will host an Interactive Commentary/Live Q&A on his Facebook page.

Tune into his page at that time and join a synchronized start of your Guardians Blu-Rays, DVDs, or digital copies at the same time. As the film plays, James will talk about the inside story of the various scenes, and answer as many questions as possible from the fans.

And PERHAPS a few specials guests will be stopping by…

We can’t promise he’ll dish on Guardians of the Galaxy II, but we can hope.

See you Thursday night!

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

Something is devouring the Sorcerer’s Hat

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Like nearly everyone in town, I took a trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this weekend to see how much of the infamous Sorcerer’s Hat has been devoured. Turns out, they’re just getting started.

While we’re waiting for Hollywood Blvd’s classic vista to be restored, we can track the removal of the Sorcerer Hat. It’s fun for everyone.

Everyone wants to know if they’re going to save the hat and rebuild it somewhere else. I think there’s evidence that they’re saving at least part of it. The very top of the hat is sitting very nicely preserved right to the side of the hat. Keep in mind the hat was built to withstand 150 MPH winds, so there’s some serious infrastructure involved. If they were going to rebuild it somewhere, they’ll have to rebuild that too.

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If they were to rebuild the Sorcerer’s Hat somewhere, where would you put it? Doesn’t even have to be in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Posted in Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Retro Monorail Limited Edition Tee

retro-monorail

Good news, Disney is continuing it’s series of retro-inspired limited edition Disney Parks Authentic t-shirts. They’ve moved on from attraction posters to special designs meant to evoke that sense of longing and nostalgia we all have for the parks when we are away.

Available today through January 25th, is a design sure to transport you away based on the Highway in the Sky – Walt Disney World monorail. The Walt Disney World monorail system opened with the resort on October 1, 1971 and the shirt evokes the beautiful bright orange and reds of that bygone era.

retro-monorail-poster

By two of the shirts for $40 or a child for $21.95 or adult for $24.95. If you just want it as a poster, you can get that too, or even printed on a canvas. These are only available now, once the window closes Disney places the order for only the amount purchased.

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Posted in Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disney CEO’s Huge 2014 Pay Package

bobigerfDisney CEO Bob Iger had an impressive compensation package for 2014. His total take rose 35% over 2013 to $46.6 million. Now that pales in comparison to some of Michael Eisner’s massive compensation packages (back in 1997 Eisner received over $575 million when you include stock options he exercised, another year was over $200 million) but it’s also just as obscene when compared to what the average front-line cast member makes.

Matthew over on the Etckt blog does the math and discovers that the average yearly pay for a cast member is $16,664.16 based on an average hourly wage of $9.32 and working 1788 hours a year. (That’s not quite full time of 40 hours a week, which would be 2080 hours or $19385. We’ll use that number on this post). Either number is still under the poverty level for a family of four ($23,850 a year as set by the US Govt). That means that in order to make a living wage, these cast members need to take on extra hours or work multiple jobs to make basic minimums in the USA.

In comparison, Iger earned $23,335 an hour. That’s a disparity of 2500 to 1. As Matthew says,

“I understand that rich boards like to reward rich CEOs for their hard work and Disney’s stock has been performing well as of late, but to have that disparity between executives and their lowest paid employees is shameful. The damage it does to the morale of the cast members is incalculable and should be stopped across corporate America. I understand that people should be able to attain a level of success in this life, but to have a CEO making almost 2800 times that of their lowest paid employee should be a crime.”

I urge you to read Matthew’s whole article where he takes Disney’s executives to task over the obscene disparity in pay. Is there really any other word to describe it than obscene?

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Even if Disney raised the base pay for front-line cast members to $10 an hour and average pay to $11.50 that would just barely meet the standards for poverty level. The contract just signed by Walt Disney World’s largest union will eventually raise base hourly wage to $10 in 2016. Disney should do more and sooner, not just because it’s good for cast member moral and helping them take care of their families, but because it will also help the parks attract a more professional workforce, something that becomes more difficult every year as Central Florida’s other parks also increase their wages and hire more workers.

An interesting aside to this news: Iger actually holds both the CEO and Board Chair at Disney, although he is originally was going to transition out of the CEO role by 2016, he just extended his rule until at least 2018. Which led to another detail that started floating around this weekend, Jay Rasulo, current CFO and one of the top two candidates to succeed Iger, has reportedly not signed his contract extension. This could be a sign that current parks chair Tom Staggs is now the lead candidate and that Rasulo doesn’t plan on sticking around if he doesn’t get the CEO position. Something to keep an eye on at least.

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Posted in Corporate, Disneyland, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Cinderella Sneak Preview at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

cinderella-marquee

As we announced last week, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is currently hosting a special sneak preview of Walt Disney Studios “Cinderella.” Now through March 21st visit the ABC Sound Studio for shows that begin every 30 minutes. Also, beginning Feb 1 and running through April 11th, the actual golden coach from the movie will be available for photos on the Streets of America.

cinderella-signThat golden coach features prominently in the approximately 10 minute selection from the movie. You’ll see assorted clips, rather than one long sequence, but the longest segment focuses largely on Cinderella’s desire to go to the ball, including the evil stepmother and stepsister’s destruction of her gown to the appearance of Ella’s Fairy Godmother and the transformation of both coach and dress.

The movie will have to strike an interesting balance. Since this isn’t a retelling a la “Maleficent,” the audience knows the story. Because of that it will be the details and the performances that make this movie work. The preview seems to indicate the movie is on the right path in that regard.

The set design, costumes and props are all so beautifully done they eat up all your attention. My biggest complaint with the preview is unfair, for how could real life ever compare to Marc Davis’ beautiful animation in the transformation scene from Walt Disney’s classic animated feature.

That said, even the naysayer in our group left the preview excited to see the full movie when it hits theaters on March 13, 2015.

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Posted in Film, Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment