Meghan Markle Reportedly Doing Voice-Over Work for Disney


According to a report from a British newspaper, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has agreed to do some voice-over work for The Walt Disney Company, in exchange for a charitable contribution.

Prince Harry and Meghan have made the news recently after their announcement that they would be stepping back from their royal duties in an attempt to become more financially independent.



The voice-over work may have already been completed during the royal couple’s holiday trip to Canada, with the donation going to Elephants Without Borders.

Details of the Disney project have not been released.

Source: Today / The Times

Image: Unsplash @kingschurchinternational



Full Menus With Pricing for Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure


Last week, we shared a hint at some of the food items that would be available starting January 17th when the Lunar New Year celebration begins at Disney California Adventure, and now we have a look at the full menus with pricing for the four marketplaces, Paradise Garden Grill, and more.

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  • Chicken Meatballs and Lo Mein Noodles with Cabbage Salad and Apple-Ginger Sauce [$7.50]
  • Vegetable Egg Roll and Chilled Sesame Garlic Noodles with Cilantro-Cashew Sauce and Toasted Peanuts [$7.00]
  • Black Sesame Mochi Donut [$6.00]
  • Vietnamese Cold Brew with Coconut Milk [$6.50]
  • Tsingtao Lager [$10.00]

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Lucky 8 Lantern

  • Shrimp Fried Rice with Garlic Bacon Edamame [$8.00]
  • Smoked Beef Bulgogi Shortrib on Rice Cake [$8.25]
  • Manadarin Orange and Green Tea Tart [$5.50]
  • Peach Sojito [$13.00]
  • Hitachino Nest Beer [$14.25]

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Prosperity Bao & Buns

  • Char Siu Pork Bao – Chinese BBQ Pork with Pickled Red Onions and Jalapeño [$7.75]
  • Mickey Chinese Hot Dog Bun [$7.00]
  • Mango-Pineapple Pastry [$5.50]
  • Lychee-Grapefruit Gin Spritzer [$13.00]
  • Kloud Original Gravity Lager [$10.00]

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Red Dragon Spice Traders

  • Firecracker Three Cup Chicken Wings [$7.50]
  • Shrimp & Ginger Dumplings with Soy Reduction and Sriracha Mayo [$8.25]
  • Purple Yam Macaron with Crème Fraîche [$6.50]
  • Honey-Lime Green Tea [$6.00]
  • Honey-Lime Green Tea with Bourbon [$13.00]
  • Bottle Logic Hanamacahi [$11.00]

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Paradise Garden Grill

  • Korean Grilled Chicken [$12.99]
  • Plant-Based Orange Tempeh [$12.49]
  • Pork Belly Bahn Mi [$11.99]
  • Whole Deep-Fried Tilapia with Chili Lime Vinaigrette and Steamed Rice [$24.99]
  • Mango Mousse [$4.79]
  • Almond Milk Iced Tea [$4.99]
  • Orange Blossom Cocktail [$12.00]
  • Tiger Asian Lager [$9.25]
  • Kloud Original Gravity Lager [$9.25]

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In addition to the four market places and special menu at Paradise Garden Grill, look for a special Bao Bun at Lucky Fortune Cookery, Almond Cookies or Bulgogi Chicken at Paradise Gardens vending carts, and Pork Belly Egg Rolls or a Lunar Cocktail made with Japanese vodka and Yuzu at Lamplight Lounge.

The Lunar New Year celebration continues through February 9th.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Sing-Along Screenings of ‘Frozen 2’ Heading to Theaters Next Friday


Just as they did with the 2013 original, Disney is bringing a sign-along version of Frozen 2 to theaters starting Friday, January 17th.

Start warming up your vocal chords, because tickets are already on sale.

If you’re a little rusty, you can practice “Some Things Never Change” along with your favorite characters. What character will you sing-along to?? I call Kristoff!

Source: @DisneyFrozen

Disneyland Shares More Details of Upcoming Disneyland After Dark: 80s Nite


Disneyland After Dark: 80s Nite is just a few weeks away, and the resort is sharing more details about the after hours hard-ticket event, including a look at the food and merchandise.

Tickets for the January 29th event are $109 and are still available on the Disneyland Resort website. Ticketed guests can enter Disneyland Park as early as 6:00pm, but the themed fun will take place 9:00pm to 1:00am.

Look for photo backdrops theme to TRON, Mousercise, The Little Mermaid, Oliver & Company, and more. Ticketed guests receive unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital downloads of pics taking during the event.

You’ll also be able to meet several characters that were big in the 80s, including Ariel, Roger Rabbit, and friends from DuckTales.

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If you work up an appetite while posing, head to Red Rose Taverne for a Sloppy Joe Specialty Burger or Galactic Grill for the Radical Rib Sandwich. Themed snacks include a Peanut Butter Pieces Churro or The Wagon-ade.

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Guests will be able to dance the night away as the Fantasyland Theatre once again becomes the Videopolis, with a VJ playing classic music videos.

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Younger guests might enjoy Totally Minnie – You’re on DTV Video Shoot dance party at the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage featuring Minnie and her friends.

Top off the night with the Awesome After Dark – Fireworks To The Max! fireworks show, which includes iconic themes from the 1980s.

Finally, take home a memory of your night with a collection of merchandise that includes apparel, tumblers, and pins.

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Disneyland After Dark: 80s Nite is the first of four events scheduled so far this year.

Several Disneyland After Dark Events Planned for Early 2020

Tickets are still available for all four events.

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Source: Disney Parks Blog

 

 

New Disney Park Life Merchandise Collection is Now in Stores at Walt Disney World and Disneyland


The newest merchandise collection, Disney Park Life, has hit store shelves in Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort. Look for resort-specific theme park icons, plus Mickey and his friends, on apparel and accessories for the whole family.

First up is a new Loungefly mini backpack featuring a retro pattern and stylized character art.

Ladies will appreciate this heather gray pullover top featuring Minnie surrounded by several park icons.

Pair it with the compact crossbody bag that is both practical and stylish.

These icon-covered sweatshirts will keep you warm during cool Orlando or Anaheim evenings.

Ladies will find these stretchy knit leggings comfortable for a long day in the parks.

For a little bling, Alex and Ani has a collection of silver and rose gold bangles, featuring several favorite park icons.

Also be sure to pick up one of several other fun items that are part of the collection, including water bottles, glasses, autograph books, mugs, and a Rubik’s cube.

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Exclusively to Walt Disney World, pick up the Dooney and Bourke limited release MagicBand featuring the ever-popular Figment.

Look for the Disney Park Life collection throughout both resorts, but for the best selection visit:

Select items are also available at shopDisney.com.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

 

Longtime Walt Disney World Cast Member Auntie Kau’i Has Passed Away


UPDATE: Following her passing last Thursday, Walt Disney World leaders gathered at Disney’s Polynesian Village on Friday to honor the memory of Auntie Kau’i.

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Walt Disney World President Josh D’Amaro, Senior Vice President of Resorts and Transportation Thomas Mazloum, and Cast Members from the resort met at sunset to remember the former Cultural Ambassador in song.

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The group then embraced Hawaiian tradition by casting their funeral leis into the water, an illustration of the cycle of life.

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Source: Disney Parks Blog


We’ve learned that longtime Disney Cast Member Kau’ihealani Mahikoa Brandt, known to fans as Auntie Kau’i, has passed away.

Brandt was performing in Waikiki back in the 1960s when Disneyland officials took notice of her. Soon, she moved to California and began performing the hula three times a day at the Tahitian Terrace in Adventureland.

When Disney’s Polynesian Resort Villiage Resort opened at Walt Disney World in 1971, Brandt moved to Florida to help them launch the luau there. Later, “Auntie Kau’i” became the cultural representative at the resort.

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According to a post by her family on social media and a note on a Facebook fan, Brandt passed away on Thursday.

A memorial service has not yet been announced.

Source: @auntiekaui / Orlando Sentinel / Disney Parks Mom Panel

 

Disneyland Confirms Virtual Queues Will be Used for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance


The Disneyland Resort has confirmed that virtual queues will be used when Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park on January 17th.

Much like the process that has been utilized at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since the attraction opened there last month, guests will need to join a Boarding Group to access Rise of the Resistance.

The virtual queue will be available starting at published park opening hours and guests must have entered Disneyland Park in order to join a Boarding Group using the Disneyland App. Guests should look for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Access by Boarding Group on the app’s main page. Guests that don’t use the Disneyland App will be able to join a Boarding Group by scanning their admission at select locations.

Once they’ve joined a Boarding Group, guests can enjoy other areas of the park will they wait. Guests will receive a push notification when their Boarding Group is called, but can also monitor the Disneyland App or look for signage throughout the park.

Guests will need to scan their admission upon entry to the attraction.

Admission into Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be subject to capacity, and having an assigned boarding group will not guarantee entrance to the attraction.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

More Poster Art Revealed From Queue of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway


The Disney Parks Blog continues their countdown series featuring the Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts posters that will line the Chinese Theatre queue when Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 4th.

During the adventure that takes place on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, guests will step into the cartoon short “Perfect Picnic,” but that’s not the only short that may have appeared during the theatre’s long history.

Today, the Parks Blog shared the poster for the “Three-Legged Race,” featuring Mickey and Pete.

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The pair team up after Minnie partners with Daisy for the race. Mickey wants a fair win…but not everyone agrees.

Over the New Year’s holiday, the Parks Blog shared the first poster in the series for “Wish Upon a Coin.”

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More posters will be revealed as opening day approaches. In addition to opening soon at Hollywood Studios, the attraction will appear at Disneyland Park in 2022.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

 

The 2021 D23 Expo: Should You Go?


Now that the 2019 D23 Expo has wrapped, one big question remains: should you attend the next D23 Expo?

The 2019 D23 Expo sure had its ups and downs. Maybe in going over those, you’ll be able to determine if you should go in 2021.

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Cons

1. Uncertainty

The Expo organizers decided to really crack down on prohibited items this year, but it seemed to depend upon who your security guard was. Some security guards let chairs in, some let food in, and some let blow up mattresses in. Others didn’t let any of those items in. Because of this, attempting to bring in chairs this time was kind of a risk. It would be nice if all the security could be consistent with prohibited items.

2. Advance Reservation Passes

D23 decided to do something new this year. About a week before the Expo, guests could log onto a website and make reservations. Each guest could make 2 panel reservations per day, 3 talent pass reservations per day, and 1 store pass reservation per day. Demand far outstripped availability, thus creating a problem. When the reservation system opened, people were allowed into the system in a random order. Obviously, the ones who got in first were able to grab up everything that they wanted. Some people got stage passes for every big panel. If your random order came later, you were left with nothing.

The passes allowed attenders to basically have a guaranteed spot as long as they showed up on time. By my calculations (counting the pre-taped queue lines), it appeared that half of the panel capacity was set aside for stage passes. So, the lucky ones who got a stage pass for the most popular panel, Walt Disney Studios, were able to show up an hour before the panel started and were guaranteed a seat. The people who were not lucky enough to get a pass spent the night in line to guarantee their spot.

The talent signings claimed that there was standby availability, but this only happened if there was time after all the talent pass holders had come through. Oftentimes, there was not, and the entire standby line would be sent away.

As one could imagine, this caused quite a lot of controversy between the haves and the have nots.

Will the next Expo employ the same advance reservation system? It’s impossible to tell. The system was not even announced before tickets went on sale for 2019. They could use the same system, they could try to modify it into something more fair, or they could scrap it altogether. Keep in mind that they most likely will not announce what they will do until a short time before the next Expo.

3.  Organization/Volunteers

I think the organization of the 2019 D23 Expo was much improved over the 2017 D23 Expo. There were more actual Disney cast members instead of volunteers. There were a few panels that had issues, though. The Haunted Mansion 50th Anniversary panel was a good example. The Expo staff did not want people lining up before the panel preceding it had let out. This caused a lot of people to just hover in the area. Once the line opened, there was just a mad, dangerous rush.

No matter how organized the expos become, it seems that there will always be snafus and some sort of chaos.

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4.  Lines

Lines seem to be the one constant at the Expo.

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If you’re not ready to give up a few hours each day waiting in line for panels, shops, or autograph signings, the Expo might not be for you.

Pros:

1. Security

In 2017, guests might have expected to wait up to an hour or more in the hot sun outside while waiting to get inside of the Anaheim Convention Center. This year, that process was much improved. They pushed the security lines back out farther. This allowed security to let many more people within the confines of security so that terrible lines never built up.

2. Food

Going hand in hand with the improved security mentioned above, food trucks were allowed inside the security barrier for the 2019 D23 Expo. This helped the food situation immensely. The Expo still had a food court on the inside of the convention center, but there were now also approximately 20 food trucks available within the security checkpoint. Personally, I had lunch each day at a different food truck, and I thought that they were all reasonably priced and delicious.

3.  Vendor Booths

The vendor booths are always a highlight of the Expo. The booths have all sorts of Disney treasures imaginable. This year’s highlights included two vintage tiki birds from the Enchanted Tiki Room on display at a booth, Paige O’Hara (the voice of Belle) signing her own artwork, and a countless amount of Disney merchandise pieces for sale including funkos, pins, and artwork.

4.  Panels

Panels are some of the best parts about the Expo. This year’s panels ranged from the always exciting Walt Disney Studios panel which discussed and announced new live action and animated favorites, to the Hidden Gems of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library panel. Whether your passion is Disney animation, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, The Simpsons, or even National Geographic, there was plenty to fill your time.

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My absolute favorite panel was Disney Character Voices, Inc: The 30th Anniversary Celebration.

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At this panel, the audience was able to hear the voice talents of Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Pete/Winnie the Pooh/Tigger, and many others. We got to hear “Remember Me” sung by Anthony Gonzalez (the voice of Miguel) and his younger brother. We were also treated to “How Far I’ll Go” sung by Auli’i Cravalho (the voice of Moana), and a very interesting discussion featuring the voices of Belle, Jasmine, Judy Hopps, Tiana, and Ariel.

5.  Excitement

There’s nothing quite like the excitement that’s found at the D23 Expo, whether it’s spotting an excellent cosplay, watching a brand new movie trailer, or being among the first to hear about a new Disney princess movie.

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6.  Fellow Disney Fans

Fans from all over the world gather at the Expo for just one reason: a shared love of Disney. Everyone has their own story and their own favorites and it’s amazing to talk to people and discover their love for the same things that you also love.

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7.  Costumes

Some people attend the Expo only to show off their amazing costumes that they spent countless hours making. The creativity of Disney fans is endless. One of the better parts of the Expo is discovering all of the amazing cosplays.

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Of course, the Expo is so much more than the few pieces I chose to discuss. What do you think? Did you attend the 2019 D23 Expo? Do you plan on going again? What were your pros and cons?

Highlights from Anaheim Ducks Day at Disney California Adventure


Yesterday, January 8th, was Anaheim Ducks Day at Disney California Adventure. The big day featured meet and greet opportunities with the players, hockey-themed events, festive decor, photo ops and more. Anaheim Ducks players also took part in a special Ducks Cavalcade parade.

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The Anaheim Ducks and Disneyland Resort partnered this year to bring children selected from local nonprofit groups, including Cops 4 Kids, GOALS, and Pure Game to the park for the day.

Check out highlights of the special day below: