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Morning Round Up – July 9th

  • Ratatouille brought in a very tasty $29 million at the box office this weekend placing it second behind that 80’s toy film. That puts the latest film from Pixar over the $115 million mark with hardly any worldwide box office included. The real competition opens this week with Harry Potter returning to his wizardly ways on Wednesday.
  • A reliable source on has posted some interesting details about the upcoming upgrade for Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Tours attraction. Star Tours 2.0 will apparently include 3-D effects (requiring glasses), interactive AAs, and more. Sounds good. I can’t believe we’ve waited this long for a new destination when the attraction was originally designed to have the film changed out every couple of years. I’m also hearing rumblings of improved relations between George Lucas and the Walt Disney Company. This could mean good things for Disney-MGM Studios in general… like a whole Star Wars land (keep your fingers crossed).
  • New interactive games have appeared in the queue for Soarin’ at Epcot this week. I was so there yesterday to say goodbye to the wand and the current incarnation of Spaceship Earth. I can’t believe I forgot to check out the queue improvements. Oh well, I’ll go there for sure this weekend. From the article, sounds like a hit… perhaps too big of a hit as it is keeping people standing in place instead of moving along in the queue.
  • The Hilton at Walt Disney World is the latest hotel on the Disney property to join the Florida Green Lodging Program. This is a crucial trend as more and more travelers are attracted to hotels that consider their impact on the environment. No, none of these hotels are Carbon Neutral yet. But it’s a start.
  • The bus drivers in Orange County, CA are on strike. This is causing OCTA to run a reduced schedule that is causing a lot of people, Disneyland cast members included, to have problems getting to work. Keep that in mind if your Disneyland vacation plans rely on public transportation. Disneyland spokesman says "We’re working closely with our cast members to deploy various resources to make sure they can travel to and from work in a safe and efficient manner…. We’re working with our cast members on a case-by-case level but we expect a minimal impact."
  • A Conway hyperlocal blogger is trying to find out more about that giant hidden mickey located near Walt Disney World. If you have any clues drop please let us know in the comments. I posted about this earlier here.
  • The Children’s Place reported lower than expected sales at both The Children’s Place and The Disney Stores last quarter. Having just renegotiated with the Walt Disney Company, it’s important for The Disney Stores to both meet their numbers and to remodel to the new format. Failure to do so might invalidate the lease and put the rights to run The Disney Stores back in Disney’s hands. Something I’m sure the new regime of Bob Iger would like to see. Me too.

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