Mark Hamill (who?) Star Wars Event

Mark hamill pew pew pewPlease forgive me for this one.
One of the legends of my childhood will be appearing at Hollywood Studios over the weekend of June 6th to 8th.
As part of the Star Wars weekends event, Hamill will appear in a motorcade of sorts, but will not be signing autographs!

……and there was silence………………………….

As perhaps the ultimate star wars hero, Luke Skywalker was the stuff of legends.
Every boy that dreamed of space combat, had an image of Hamill’s youthful face in his mind.

Mark_Hamill_2010Amazingly my disappointment grew to a feverish anger as I discovered that Hamill ‘would not be signing autographs’.
Ok, now you’ve blown it you intergalactic coward!
How on earth could a once legendary actor shun the opportunity to repay his loyal fans with a simple signature?
While we are on the subject, ‘once legendary’ could be the operative phrase!   When did you see Hamill on screen for anything else at all?

So, in terms of making a HUGE mistake, I dedicate the ‘golden space poop award‘ to ‘Mark no Signature Hamill‘.

Mark_Hamill_signature Mark Hamill’s signature (not coming to a planet near you!)






Latest Hogwarts Express ‘Press Release’ is a Joke!

Some time last evening (it’s a complicated story), Universal started to leak out their ‘News’ about the highly anticipated new Hogwarts Express attraction in the Diagon Alley.

While Universal clearly had an opportunity to use London’s GMT Time zone to ‘make their announcement on the 14th of March’, it instead blurted out clumsily through a select bunch of social media and website owners in the UK and South America long before their domestic market caught up.
Interestingly, Orlando Informer, as the biggest independent website, was not on that list, which no doubt will infuriate its owner Dan Hatfield, who had previously even shut down his site completely in outrage at not being included in the media launch of Transformers The Ride 3D.

The upshot is?

Not much really!  We are no further forward with an opening date and merely got fed with what we already know through hefty and almost certainly deliberate leaks by Universal over the last 6 months.
One blog that I follow even claimed that this was all part of Universal’s cunning plan to keep some surprises back for the guest’s first ride.

I suspect however that this is just the signs of an organisation that has mastered how to use social media to great effect, leaving the job to the public rather than blowing billions on marketing that in the end, is swept under the carpet once the ride fully opens.
If you think of Disney’s massive budget for New Fantasyland marketing, where is the benefit once the construction boards come down?

10 out of 10 to Universal for efficiency, but 0 out of 10 for not including me lol

Carrying on the lighter note, as the news broke, I loved watching tweets from one satirical observer as the news dripped from Universal’s rather leaky cauldron’ :

  • ‘You’ll Board it and go places’
  • You board the train by walking through doors.  It stops at a station.  It’s red.  Choo choo.
  • It’ll have seats
  • It’s a big red train that goes on rails
  • Harry Potter

Disney’s Annual Passholder & Magicbands

Annual Passholder RFID

Sometimes, even good folk need to let off steam and the collective scream from annual passholders must sound something like “WTF?”.
Forgive me, for swearing a little, it’s rare and it probably won’t happen again!

Right now, my status as an annual passholder is probably akin to ‘illegal immigrant’.
Yep I’m contributing, but I’m ever so nervous that I really don’t fit into the system very nicely.  In fact, I was beginning to question whether was wanted at all!

But then, without warning, and not from the sweet lips of Disney, I read in the Sentinel that a trial was already rolling out for AP holders.   Hoorah!  At long last I sighed.
But then, and I promised not to do this, I cried WTF? for the second time in one blog post worth of space!

The murderous non Disney people in Disney’s IT Dept had somehow chopped our ‘booking window’ for FP+ from the resort guests’ 60 days to a mind crushing 30.
This, for me, is the end of the world.  I know that the difference is meaningless, I mean to say, why on earth, or more to the point, how on earth would I book a precise ride time some 60 days out?

That of course isn’t the point.  I just feel aggrieved that Disney, left me to last and then on top of it all, clip my wings!

Feeling very……..

Grumpy Passholders at WDW

Epcot – The Slow Moving Park That Has the Magic!

Spaceship Earth Flower & Garden Festival

When the parks put up prices, I moan.  I know that you do too!
We, after all, only have so much cash to squirt Disney’s way with our Magicbands!
Sometimes the monotony of regular admission price increases, parking lot fees and even a bottle of filtered tap water (Dasani), make us a little Grumpy when we should be Happy!

Sometimes, when it comes to amazing events like the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, I kind of feel a little Dopey for moaning about a few extra bucks.
It’s the ‘free’ stuff that really makes a difference with Disney.  It really does.

The sheer scale of the annual springtime food and gardening festival is overwhelming.  At each and every turn of Epcot’s 300 acre site is adorned with glorious floral and topiary arrangements.  If that sounds dull, then think again, as the character themed creations truly dazzle the eye with their brightly colored designs.

I’m not sure how many plants make up the colorful event, but unofficially, I can reliably say that is probably bazillions!  Check out the WDW News today Pictures.

I care less about the HGTV celebs twittering about the best time to plant a turnip, but the sheer beauty of an already stunning theme park is lifted to a whole new level for this event.

The Flower Power Concert series is something else though.  Some excellent artists are here in Orlando in 2014 and whatever your tastes, there is definitely something for you, even if you’ve never heard of these one time celebrity acts!  The upbeat music of yesteryear is well worth making a special place in your diary!

Starting today (March 7th), the lineup includes:

The 5 members of the band known as The Guess Who posing together

The Guess Who

March 7 to March 9, 2014
Known for their song “American Woman”

The band known as Gary Lewis and the Playboys exhuberantly posing together

Gary Lewis and The Playboys – NEW!

March 14 to March 16, 2014
Known for their song “This Diamond Ring”

Six members of The Orchestra Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO II performing on stage

The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO

March 21 to March 23, 2014
Known for their song “Evil Woman”

The five members of the band known as Loving Spoonful smile while posing together

The Lovin’ Spoonful

March 28 to March 30, 2014
Known for their song “Summer in the City”

The 6 members of Paul Revere and the Raiders band dressed in vintage military-style uniforms

Paul Revere & The Raiders

April 4 to April 6, 2014
Known for their song “Good Thing”

The 6 members of the Village People disco group dressed in various costumes

Village People

April 11 to April 13, 2014
Known for their song “YMCA”

The 4 members of the band known as The Grass Roots posing together in suits

The Grass Roots

April 18 to April 20, 2014
Known for their song “Midnight Confessions”

Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits holding a microphone while performing on stage

Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone

April 25 to April 27, 2014
Known for their song “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

The 6 members of STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas posing together

STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas

May 2 to May 4, 2014
Known for their song “We Built This City”

Chubby Checker of the musical act known as Chubby Checker & The Wildcats

Chubby Checker & The Wildcats

May 9 to May 11, 2014
Known for their song “The Twist”

Alan Parsons of the musical act known as the Alan Parsons Live Project

Alan Parsons Live Project – NEW!

May 16 to May 18, 2014
Known for their song “Eye in the Sky”

Even the Disney Mouse Boats are Scaled Back!

Disney continue to send out some very confusing messages to their loyal theme park guests these days!
While they turn in dazzling financials, they appear to display the behavour of a company in deep financial difficulty as they scale back some very popular park and resort features.

A raft of performers have recently left WDW, perhaps the starting point being the Boardwalk magician Brian Staron.  This highly popular guy, just couldn’t conjure up a a new contract last year and sadly no longer performs for WDW guests.
Of course, stuff like that just happens.  It’s business.

Disney however, really do seem to be focussed on nickel and diming their way about town these days as more and more important acts, most notably ‘PUSH’ the talking trash can, vanish into the history books at WDW, despite howls of protests from adoring guests.

Now, Disney really cause some waves, by cutting back on their iconic water rental craft in a number of WDW locations.
Apparently, some of their contractor’s locations in WDW are ‘under-performing!’
Really?  Is this a real problem to Disney?  A few bits of fibre glass and a lawnmower engine are hurting the Disney Corp balance sheet?

Carry on Disney if you want, but somewhere along the line, you are going to prove those tiresome whiners right that ‘Walt really wouldn’t be happy about this!’