20 June 2013

World News Roundtable - 20 June 2013

Roundtable Contributors: Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog), Alan Mize, Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com), Andrew (Disney Hipsters Blog), and yours truly.

Here is another instance of Disney jumping on a bandwagon a few years past its peak... at least in this case it is far less offensive than say, a movie or theme park stage show. The company launched a new free-ish app last week, which essentially adds up to a Disney Channel version of Instagram. The big difference here, is that in addition to filters, you also have the ability to impose Disney Channel images on top of your photo, which is decidedly fun/annoying/addictive. While some filters and show themes come with the app upon installation, there are plenty of 99 cent add-ons that kids will surely require. (thus, the subtle genius of these things...) Ultimately this app is a tie in to the new Disney Channel Original Movie Beach Party, and heck... why not.

Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog)

After years of a hiatus from the Disney Channel, I'm glad to hear that I'm going to have a reason to return in 2014. Girl Meets World, the series about Cory and Topanga's daughter, got the go-ahead this week. For Boy Meets World nostalgia sake, I'm so excited but I'm also interested to see how a family comedy will fare in this crowded reality TV world. That's not the only challenge. There's also making the new cast just as beloved as the originals so people aren't just tuning in for cameos.

Will it work? We'll just have to wait and see!

Early Enrollment

Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com)

I was thrilled when I visited Movies.com to check where the nearest midnight June 21 screening of Monsters University would be, only to find that in quite a few places the film will release a couple hours early! In select (but many) theaters, MU will begin showing at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, June 20 and continuing with showtimes throughout the night. This might be a regular thing that I've never caught on to, but the last time I remember Disney doing this was for the third Pirates of the Caribbean in 2007. Or maybe I just haven't noticed others opening early.

I know I'm not alone in being excited for this release. There's a lot to look forward to: The movie itself, the new Pixar short The Blue Umbrella, and maybe (just maybe) the first trailer for Disney Animation's Thanksgiving feature, Frozen.

Alan Mize

The day that some were eagerly anticipating, while others were dreading, has finally arrived. The Main Street Bakery has reopened. And of course, along with the grand re-opening comes the Starbucks partnership in the Magic Kingdom. I know that I don’t have to rehash the pros vs. cons of this makeover. That’s been blogged about countless times already. Instead, I just want to take the opportunity to say that my first reaction to the pictures and reviews is a positive one. This is not your average drive through Starbucks that you hit on your way to work each morning. I know it’s not the original bakery, and part of me will miss the small and intimate atmosphere that I felt from the original. But from the pictures I’ve seen, they have kept the same turn of the century look to the theming of the building. The cast members are still wearing appropriate costumes. The bakery just has Starbucks coffee machines now. And as a person who likes a good cup of coffee now and again, that’s a good thing. Obviously there are some things that will be missed from the new bakery, mainly the seating area and the cinnamon rolls, but that doesn’t mean that the new Main Street Bakery can’t still be a destination for your visit to the Magic Kingdom. For me, I plan on giving the new Main Street Bakery a chance this October. I’m certain that I’ll be able to find something to my liking.

Ryan P. Wilson (Main Street Gazette)

I don’t drink coffee, which positions me perfectly to lament the loss of charm that the Main Street Bakery has incurred due to the addition of the Starbucks brand. Guess what? I’m completely okay with Starbucks coming to Main Street.

There is a long history of sponsorships and endorsements being very publically displayed in the Magic Kingdom and the larger Walt Disney World. McDonald’s had its fry stand, Edy’s has taken up residence down at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, and let’s not even talk about Kodak and Coca-Cola. Even Disneyland has always had big name food producers out in front of their eateries, from Frito and Pepsi right on down to Chicken of the Sea.

Coffee has long been a point of contention amongst guests of Walt Disney World, or rather quality coffee. I don’t know if Starbucks is quality coffee, but a lot of people seem to like it, which is generally the hallmark of a decent product. As for how Starbucks will affect my trips, well, I won’t have to stop by Kona Island for the missus almost every morning now!

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