Disney has a Times Square Problem

When you think of Disney in Times Square, NYC. the company wants you to think of this

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and this

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and this

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But what a large portion of the 1.4 million tourists that pass through Times Square see every week is this

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and this

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It’s not a good situation. A half-decade or so ago in New York, there was just an occasional Mickey Mouse hanging out near the ABC studios trying not to look bored, a few years ago Elmo joined in the fun, but now there’s dozens of these costumed characters (often many duplicates of the same characters) just hanging out hoping that someone will give them a tip after posing for a picture with them.

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Posted in Anti-Disney | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“Black-ish” Premieres tonight on ABC

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It’s premiere week, so I’m here to give you “speedy reviews” of all the new ABC shows premiering this week. Next up, Black-ish.

Starring: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne

Plot: Andre (Anderson) thinks his middle class African-American family is ignoring their culture and background a little too much for his liking. Starting with his son going to try out for field hockey over basketball, then his want for a bar mitzvah and his childrens’ apparent lack of knowledge that Obama is our first black president, it befuddles him. This starts discussions of race perceptions, all in a humorous tone.

My Thoughts: This has the best chemistry of any ABC pilot this year. Anthony, Tracee (LOVE seeing her in a new show), Laurence, and the kids all so comfortable and so believable in the show. Now, I know the content may scare some away as the “Is this offense?” question may arise for some, but I thought it was good. Not great, but good. It has lots of potential, especially more than some of the other pilots (you’ll get THOSE thoughts later). I will be sticking around, but I’m not sure how long.

Overall: 3.5 Tracee Ellis Ross quips out of 5

Blackish premieres tonight at 930 pm (after Modern Family) on ABC.

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

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns for fifth year

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If you want to experience culinary magic during the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, but don’t want to pay an admission fee to only later spend big bucks sampling wine and small bites around the World Showcase, then you should know about the EPCOT Resort Area’s best kept culinary secret.

The secret is officially out. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin has its own Food & Wine Classic. It is returning for the fifth year on October 31st and November 1st and will feature more than 40 food and wine stations, 10 food and wine seminars, and the opportunity to meet the chefs behind the culinary magic. That’s something you can’t say for Disney’s more famous festival.

Add to that a backdrop of live entertainment, celebratory surprises, and even some spooky Halloween night fun, and you’ll find yourself enjoying a very memorable evening. I haven’t even mentioned the best part yet, all you can enjoy food & beverage sampler tickets start at $95 a person. Less than the cost to get into EPCOT.

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“We’re excited about the fifth annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic,” said the hotel’s Director of Food & Beverage, Tony Porcellini. “This year, we’ll present even more intriguing wine selections from around the globe; showcase our culinary creativity with exciting new dishes; expand on our seminar offerings, and introduce a beer garden! Our goal is to make this event bigger and better each year and have fun doing it!”

The Food & Wine Classic is one of my favorite events of the year and worth spending an evening enjoying the best dishes Orlando’s top chef’s have to offer. Every year I find new wines I plan to enjoy all year long. You won’t be disappointed.

For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500 and tell them you read about it on TheDisneyBlog.com

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Posted in Food and Drink, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Danny Elfman performs Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas

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In a rare live performance, Danny Elfman will perform music from the films of Tim Burton. Tickets are available for the nights of October 31th & November 1st at the Nokia theatre in Hollywood, CA. To help promote the festivities, Elfman stopped by Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion to record a special preview; reading of the introduction to Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Elfman and Burton’s first collaboration was on Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. He went on to compose for many films, but has always had a special tie to the somewhat creepy worlds of Tim Burton. Elfman even provided the singing voice for Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and the voices of both Barrel and the “Clown with the Tear-Away Face.”

2014 marks the second year for this concert series titled Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton. The concert features the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and Choir conducted by John Mauceri. Music and visuals from Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Alice in Wonderland and more! Get your tickets today as this show did sell out last year.

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Posted in Disneyland, Music, Tim Burton | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Idris Elba from Thor and The Jungle Book answers fan questions

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Idris Elba took to reddit for an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session where he fielded fan questions about his role including his role as Shere Khan in the upcoming The Jungle Book and his role as Heimdall in the Marvel “Thor” movies. Included among the questions was his favorite Disney film, Mary Poppins.

Asked as to whether he prefers to play the villain or the hero, he said:

“I find villains way more compellin’ to unearth their psyche. Writers love writing for villains because they can get a lot more off their chest, and it just means a lot more stuff for the actor to do. But good guys are also a challenge, because if you don’t get the balance between being real and being, you know, a stereotypically good guy, your character can come across as corny. So each has its challenges, but I think being a bad guy has more.”

When asked about working as a voice actor in The Jungle Book, Elba responded:

“Yeah, I love voice actin.’ I think it’s a really interestin’ way to use an actor. I do a lot of voice-overs, whether it’s acting or commercials, stuff like that, and I really enjoy it. ”

Not clear if that’s just for Disney or for all voice acting. But I think he’ll be fantastic as Shere Khan.

In addition to his work for Marvel and Disney, Elba is reportedly up for consideration as James Bond when the current 007 steps down. That would be a terrific choice if you ask me. There isn’t any more Disney, but if you’re a fan of Elba’s work (and you should be), the rest of the AMA is a good read.

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