Listen to Episode 66 of the Wakefield Report
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Story 1: Rumble in the Jungle: This weekend saw the new Disney live action, Jungle Book hit theaters. With rave reviews from critics and fans alike, and a general lack of family oriented competition at the box office, the Jungle Book is like to reach over $100 million dollars this weekend. And, as always, when a Disney film does well at the box office, rumors instantly begin to swell as to if the film will see a presence in the theme park. Rumors from adding a Jungle Book layover to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse in WDW, to some sort of elements being added to Adventureland in Anaheim. Only time will tell if these rumors will flesh out, or if Disney is content to let this film go the way of past Disney live action movies who saw very little theme park presence after major box office success (i.e. Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland, Into the Woods, etc.).
Story 2: Rumor Has It: Rumors are abound that Disney is looking to add a bar in the basement of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With construction on Star Wars land beginning (more on that later), Disney is searching for ways to keep fans in DHS engaged. While things are still very foggy as to the nature of these rumors, it is safe to say that a highly themed, well done bar right inside ToT would stand to do extremely well.
Story 3: Around the World: The Disney Parks blog is reporting that Disney super fan Christopher Wing recently visited every Disney park across the world in a span of 75 hours. After his harrowing trip Christopher said he is already, “Looking forward to Shanghai Disneyland.” While this may seem like a very fun thing to do, I would turn the opportunity down. Exactly how much can you truly enjoy a park if you are worried about catching your next flight, having to check out of the hotel in an hour, etc.. If I am going to make a trip across the world to see Tokyo Disney, I am going to make sure I give myself plenty of time to take it all in and enjoy the amazing details in each park.
Story 4: Fool to Think: The Motley Fool is reporting on the absolute disastrous debut of Disney’s $149 after hours package. In what is yet another premium upcharge event, Disney recently allowed paying guests to stay in the Magic Kingdom at WDW for an extra 3 hours, after the park closed. There were reports of as few as 1,000 guests in attendance. And not all of those were paying guests, either. Comps were handed out to travel agents, and DVC members, It is believed that Disney was expecting upwards of 3,000 guests for the event. Have WDW fans finally started pushing back against Disney and all of these premium upcharge events?
Story 5: Cruisin’ in the Arctic: As we learned on Mice Chat yesterday, the Disney Cruise Line has added some new ports and destinations to it’s lineup for the summer of 2017.From Alaska to more stops in the Bahamas, Disney is definitely showing that it is doubling down on the cruising industry. Add all of this to the rumors that Disney is having two new ships being built…
Story 6: Keep Trying: Sea World has named two new members for nomination to it’s Board of Directors. Ron Bension is the current president of House of Blues Entertainment at Live Nation and Donald Robinson is a former executive vice president of Hong Kong Disneyland. This shows us that Sea World is seeking talent from in and around the themed entertainment industry to help revive the ailing theme park brand’s image.
Story 7: Sounds Like Summer: Disney has announced the full list of acts for Epcot’s upcoming Sounds Like Summer concert series. From a Bruce Springsteen cover band, to an Eagles cover band, there seems to be something for all between the ages of 45-80 this summer at Epcot. The park of the future continues to innovate with cutting edge and relevant attractions…..
Story 8: Take a Look: I simply can not put this into words. Take a look at a 360 degree view of Shanghai Disneyland. This is as close to a view you will get of the park until someone decides to Periscope their visit when the park opens in June.
Story 9: Dirt Wars: Disney recently released a very cool 360 degree photo of the construction zone of Star Wars land at Disneyland. With recent groundbreaking ceremonies at both the Florida and California parks, work is starting to ramp up on these massive construction projects.
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