Skip to content

guest author

Effect of the Disney Dining Plan on Disney Restaurants

Editor: I am very pleased to welcome guest author AJ Wolfe from the Disney Food Blog. Since the Disney Dining Plan came into effect in 2005 — and “free dining” was introduced in 2006 — there have been both cheers and groans from Disney-goers. Cheers… Read More »Effect of the Disney Dining Plan on Disney Restaurants

ElecTRONica takes on the night at California Adventure

Welcome guest author “Neuron’s user Zoe55” with a report from California Adventure’s ElecTRONica dance party:

I enjoyed ElecTRONica. It’s something I think you should check out if you liked the movie Tron, or maybe if you even didn’t. If you strip it down to its core I find it to be Glowfest done right (as it is one large neon and black light rave dance party).

Compared to Glowfest, the costumes are more tasteful and they’re really cool as they look like the Program circuit suits. The performers have yet to nail their choreography (as they appear to be looking to other dancers for cues), however when ElecTRONica has been around for a while I do believe the dancing will get better. The performers not only have cool costumes they also have some pretty awesome props (a light up cane and a large number of Identity Discs (otherwise known as Data Discs)). Performers on the stage that used to house Drawn to the Magic, encourage the crowd to join in as one of them actually instructs the guests in a line dance fashion.

The lighting effect for ElecTRONica is amazing in some aspects, and lacking in others. During the preshow to ElecTRONica the Hollywood Pictures Backlot is empty, and its pitch black except for blue lighting effect that gives it the illusion of the “Portal” as your host for the evening puts it. The “portal” refers to when (in the original movie) Kevin Flynn is zapped into the computer by the Master Control Program (aka the MCP) who uses a laser the ENCOM Company has been working on to transfer matter. When Flynn is zapped into the computer, he falls through numerous circuit boards and programs before finally landing, and this is what the portal is reminiscent of – the laser pointing to the preshow’s crowd and all.

When you enter the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, projections are seen on the top half of all the buildings, at the end of the street is a large screen. An electronic voice will periodically announce that you must keep your identity discs on you at all times (which you can buy at the ElecTRONica booth next to the ElecTRONica face paint booth) and Programs (the humanoid programs inhabiting the computer world dubbed Space paranoids by the game Kingdom Hearts) will appear on the screen and throw Data Discs toward you, which will cause a chain reaction of projections on the top of the buildings. Sometimes Lightcycles zip along the buildings as well.

Navigation of the backlot can be trickey. To get to Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue, Flynn’s Arcade, (Studio 12, formally California Adventure’s short lived eatery, Hollywood and Dine that was one of the first of DCA’s opening year cost cuts) the former Drawn to the Magic Stage, the ten minute 4D Tron Legacy Preview in the Muppet’s Theater, as well as the “End of Line” Club (what the MCP in the original movie would say after he had finished speaking, it’s term or even use in Tron Legacy is currently unknown) which used to be the Coca Cola truck seating area (which was pretty much pointless, is now a Tron City themed bar to get drinks during ElecTRONica) you need to go underneath the Recognizer (the large, Security Gate looking enemies) that has been souped up for it’s Tron Legacy appearance along with the rest of the original Tron content with the exception of a few 1982 style Tron Data Discs zipping around in the hands of a few performers.

The Recognizer will, from time to time, shoot off lights and say something similar to the voice in the street talking about keeping your Identity Disc with you at all times, lest you wish to be derezzed (A term in Tron meaning to be deresolutioned, a way of erasing a program). Where the Sorcerer Mickey fountain once stood is now a large mini-stage for the host of the evening as well as the DJ, with stands for dancers everywhere that will call out for everyone to dance with them, whether it is by instructed dance moves, free styles, or a light up hula hoop. The lighting effect in this area are heavy black lights, that are diluted by some cheesy spinning flower lights coming from the Drawn to the Magic stage (which will from now on be referred to as the Laserman stage) and other lamps high on towers. Random spot lights spin around the area, while projections that are barely visible due to the vibrant, detailed, and colorful background of Monsters Inc. are spinning in time to the music, reminiscent of the World of Color Road show abstract projections, if you so happened to watch that.

The Tron Legacy 4D show in the Muppet Theater is surrealistic, as anyone who watched the 1982 Tron would be freaking out at all the references, and anyone who has yet to see the original Tron would like it for it’s use of 4D, and it’s amazing graphics (if not plotline that is surprisingly there in a 10 minute preview.) Now as a super nerd for Tron, I personally was hyper ventilating the entire time and freaking out as Recognizers, Identity Discs, Lightcycles and the Game Grid (as well as Kevin Flynn) all made appearances. What was rather cool however before I get to the 4D aspects, was the opening Walt Disney logo that was in a digital, almost blue print-esque form, unfortunately there were no cameras, video devices, or phones allowed.

Read More »ElecTRONica takes on the night at California Adventure

V: The Arrival – Episode Recap

I’d like to welcome back our newest guest author S. Divnich, who will be covering “V” here on The Disney Blog. – Ed.

It seems like we’ve been waiting forever, but the Visitors finally showed up last night with the premiere of V, ABC’s newest sci-fi offering.

The episode opened with an attempt to make it personal – captions reading “Where were you when JFK was assassinated? Where were you on 9/11?” led into “Where were you this morning?” So right off the bat, anyone who has not seen any advance info about this show is going to know – something big’s about to happen.

Tuesday, 6:30 a.m. Having asked “Where were you?” the first block shows us where (and who) our main players are. FBI Agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) awakens to her house shaking. She finds her son Tyler (Logan Huffman) is not in his bed and gets him on the cell, to find he’s in the ER, and barely feeling bad about it. This theme is going to play strong on this show – Erica wants to protect her son, but he’s not going to make it easy for her.

Newsman Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) is showering and heading into work. Ryan Nicholls (Morris Chestnut) is buying an engagement ring. Father Jack is opening the church doors. Val, Ryan’s girlfriend, is at home. It’s difficult to show simultaneous action on a TV show, and the pace felt a little off. We get a shaking water glass next to Erica right off the bat, but it’s several minutes before we see Val’s shaking coffee cup, FJ’s shaking light fixture, Ryan’s ring jumping around on the counter. Regardless, things start to shake, rattle and roll, and you can tell they’re not earthquake-savvy Californians – rather than run to the nearest doorway, Val seems to try to stop her bookshelves from falling over first.

In the street, Ryan does what so many of us have done since 9/11, what must be second-nature to New Yorkers by now – he looks to the sky to see what’s falling. The writers don’t disappoint – the fighter jet falling out of the sky gave me a lurch of déjà vu that was most unpleasant. Eight years later, and not even American, and I can recall the footage from 9/11 in a heartbeat. It brings a tear to my eye every time.

The giant Mother Ships darken the sky and all hell breaks loose. They could have saved some money by inserting footage from movies past – as one onscreen citizen put it, “This IS Independence Day.” And Deep Impact, and The Day After Tomorrow, and so many other running-from-the-end-of-the-world scenes. Conveniently placed TVs show newscasters reporting similar Mother Ships hovering over 29 major cities around the world.

The introduction of Visitors is very cool compared to the 1983 version (more on the comparison later). The bottom of the Mother Ships morphs into a giant movie-screen type thing. On the ground, we see Erica’s maternal “get behind my arm kid, I’ll protect you” gesture with Tyler. Erica’s a mother bear, through and through. And then, like a benevolent supreme being from on high, Anna’s smiling face gazes down on the planet.

Read More »V: The Arrival – Episode Recap

ABC Fall Shows begin tonight

Hey, It’s premiere week for primetime shows on ABC. Here’s how to set your DVR. Monday – 21st 8 – 10 – Dancing With The Stars – Season Premiere 10 – 11 – Castle – Season Premiere Tuesday – 22nd 8 – 10 – Dancing… Read More »ABC Fall Shows begin tonight

Modern Family – Pilot

I’d like to welcome back Sharla to The Disney Blog. She’s doing a great job with Modern Family, but I’m still looking for more people to review ABC shows like Defying Gravity, Flash Forward, and V. I was given the opportunity to watch a sneak… Read More »Modern Family – Pilot

The Unusual(s) Recap: Boorland Day

Editor: I’m pleased to welcome Joe Omundson to The Disney Blog as a guest author.

The Second Squad continues their unorthodox patrol of New York City in the second episode of ABC’s “The Unusuals.” If you missed John’s post from last week about the pilot, check it out!

The episode opens with a bank robbery ending with Det. Walsh (Jeremy Renner) tackling a robber holding a huge bag of money. The robber turns out to be a 17-year old honors student that just happens to belong to the wrong family. A string of robberies pop up and at one hold up the robbers left an onion. Yes, a big yellow onion in the big apple. This onion is the trademark of the Boorland family, hence the episode’s title, “Boorland Days”

Read More »The Unusual(s) Recap: Boorland Day