25 July 2013

World News Roundtable - 25 July 2013

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

Demolishing Pleasure

Alan Mize

The remodel of Downtown Disney appears to be actually happening this time.  Last February, I wrote about the plans to turn Downtown Disney into Disney Springs.  I mentioned at the time that this wasn't the first time that plans had been announced for a Downtown Disney enhancement.  I also mentioned that until construction really started, it was highly possible that plans could change again.  Well, it appears that Disney was for real this time.  Construction walls are in place and demolition has started.  The old Comedy Warehouse is no more and every venue in the old Pleasure Island is gone with the exception of Paradiso 37.  Four parking lots have been blocked off for the addition of a new parking structure.  Disney Springs, in some form or another, is a reality now and I'm excited to see the changes and the final product!

Part of Their World

Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com)

Straight from Comic-Con's Once Upon a Time panel comes exciting news that Ariel will be introduced during the show's upcoming third season. It's an announcement many fans have wanted for a while, and I think it's fun to see the show branching out into some of the more recent Disney endeavors beyond the fairy tales of Walt's time. Coming off the heels of introducing Captain Hook last year and the large presence that character has come to have, it will be interesting to see how big of a spotlight Ariel will be given. 

Season three of Once Upon a Time debuts Sunday, September 29, on ABC.

Muppets Most Wanted

Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog)

It's really happening! Muppets Most Wanted will be hitting the big screen in March, but I was pleasantly surprised to see some "promos" before Teen Beach Movie last week. I actually thought it was a recycled clip from something I haven't seen before (it's been a long time since I turned the Disney Channel on) but no! After Miss Piggy and Debby Ryan tried to take some selfies, the title of the new movie popped up on screen.

If you follow the above link, you'll also see the promo with Ross Lynch (of Teen Beach Movie) who actually guest starred in the new Muppet film. His video offers up some footage of his time on set. So much fun! While I wish the short clips were a bit more Muppet-centric (where's the rest of the gang?!), I can't help but think ahead to March. (Truth: the Muppet promo set a high bar for Teen Beach Movie... that was just never matched.)

Straight From the Garden

Ryan P. Wilson (Main Street Gazette)

Disney's Animal Kingdom will soon be home to what can only be assumed is a pilot program for guests with dietary concerns. The Garden Kiosk, located on Discovery Island just outside of Disney's Outfitters, will now be an information station where guests can get information about all of the restaurants in the park. Guests will be able to address not only allergies and menu options at the stand, but also gluten and other special dietary needs. In addition to providing a valuable guest service, the Garden Kiosk will also continue to serve a assortment of snacks and beverages, including hummus and a gluten-free beer.

As I stated earlier, I can only foresee this as spreading to other parks, provided the service is actually utilized by guests. Of course, what would really be terrific would be to see a property wide version of this service where you could speak to a Cast Member about dietary concerns of any restaurant on property at any given time. This could come in handy if you were leaving Disney's Animal Kingdom and headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios and you wanted to know what was available at 50s Prime Time Cafe for someone with an egg allergy.

Now I know you can pick up a phone and have this done in a second, but being face-to-face with someone always provides that human touch. The rub being, Walt Disney World had a system such as this in place once upon a time. It was in EPCOT Center and it was known as World Key. Hey, a boy can dream of the '80s, right?

No comments: