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by Derek Burgan
on October 22, 2016
This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six MORE Theme Park Related Comic Books. Last year the SATURDAY SIX had an in-depth investigative report on the Six BEST Theme Park Related Comic Books. This is an issue – pardon the pun – that is near and dear to our hearts as it combines two of our favorite hobbies: theme parks and comic books. The Walt Disney characters we know and love have been in comic books going back all the way to 1940, and currently there are three different publishers putting out Disney comic books. The first is Disney itself, through the the Marvel Comics brand. With the Disney Kingdoms imprint, Marvel is releasing stories inspired by Disney Parks and Resorts characters and attractions such as Figment and Seekers of the Weird. The second is Joe Books, who have the license for movie adaptations such as Zootopia, along with new books featuring the characters of Frozen, Finding Dory, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The third is IDW Publishing, who have the license for the Disney comic book titles – like Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney’s Comics – that have gone back for decades.
Grizzly River Run themed covers.
In the past year IDW has released variant covers that have put a spotlight on several of our favorite theme park attractions such as The Haunted Mansion, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Dumbo. These covers are absolutely amazing and done by artists such as Andrea Freccero, Derek Charm, John Loter, and James Silvani. We are going to spotlight these variant covers throughout the article because we love them so much, but the SATURDAY SIX itself is going to look at comic books – some over twenty years old, some not even twenty days old – whose stories have dealt with theme parks directly. So sit back, relax, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…
# 6 – The Enchanted Tiki Room
Disney announced the Enchanted Tiki Room comic book earlier this summer during the San Diego Comic Con. This came as a shocker to me personally, but I couldn’t have been happier hearing the news. A comic book based on one of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kingdom, and I only could have been more surprised if it was a series about the Peoplemover.
The first issue just hit the stands in early October, and it shows that the world famous macaws and other birds that make up the Enchanted Tiki Room are just one part of a large story. Set on a mysterious island in the Pacific, we are told that each week a group of humans are flown to the island and end up having their lives changed forever by what they experience. If that sounds like the plot to a certain ’80s TV show, you’re not wrong (the issue even has a reference to it.)
For theme park fans, the star of the show is of course the Enchanted Tiki Room itself along with the talkative macaws José, Fritz, Pierre, and Michael. We do get to see the Tiki Room in all its glory, and some fun interactions with the birds, but for the most part the issue is centered around the characters visiting the island (including a mysterious one at the very end.) There are several “Easter Eggs” throughout the issue for Tiki Room fanatics like myself, and even an appearance by a certain Little Orange Bird from the nearby Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland.
Our favorite macaws backstage. Note the reference to Fantasy Island.
# 5 – Captain EO
Next we are going to step into the Way Back machine and head on over to 1987, when the comic book adaptation of Captain EO was released. Readers of this fine blog know that Captain EO is another one of all our time favorite attractions, however despite the STUNNING art by Tom Yeates, this is not one of our favorite theme park related comic books? Why, because – like the attraction itself – it’s in 3-D. The comic book industry has been trying to do 3-D comic books for who knows how long and, with rare exceptions, it just doesn’t work. Or maybe a better description is that it just doesn’t work as well as you’d want it to. You have to read the comics with those goofy cardboard glasses with each eye looking at a slightly different picture through either the red or blue lens. Because of the constraints the artists have to work in, you’re generally not getting a true comic book experience with detailed backgrounds, etc.
Outside of the 3-D, the Captain EO comic book is great. A lot of the times comic book adaptations of live action films can fall flat because the artist can’t nail down the likenesses of the actors or actresses, but Yeates kills it here. His Michael Jackson is perfect and is just as good with every other character. It is a straight up adaptation of the film, but of course you are missing one of the actual biggest strengths of the movie, the songs. Turns out there’s a big difference between hearing the king of pop Michael Jackson singing We Are Here To Save The World or It’s Just Another Part of Me and just seeing the words printed on a page. Who knew?
If you thought 3-D in movies was insufferable, it ain’t got nothing on the comics version.
Read the rest of this entry »
by Rikki Niblett
on October 21, 2016
Club Villain has been extended! The dining event that celebrates your favorite Disney villains is now slated to take place on Fridays and Saturdays Disney’s Hollywood Studios at throughout November and December, as well as on Friday evenings in January. There are two times that Guests can choose from, either 5:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Club Villain, which takes place in the Sunset Showcase (located near Rock n’ Roller Coaster), is hosted by Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog. During the event, Guests will be able to mix and mingle with Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, the Evil Queen and Cruella De Vil. Guests can also dance the night away courtesy of the tunes from a wicked good DJ!
The event will feature a delightful menu inspired after The Princess and The Frog‘s New Orleans location. Dishes will include beef striploin rubbed with herbes de Provence, Voodoo sticky “pig wings” with citrus gremolata and spicy shrimp sautéed with Andouille sausage, tomato, okra and onions over creamy polenta. There will also be great chilling cocktail concoctions, plus beer and wine at the Potions Bar. Keep in mind that seating for this event will be banquet style, so you may be seated with other guests, depending on your party’s size.
Tickets to Club Villain can be purchased for $129 per person, tax and gratuity included. Do keep in mind that separate admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required, and is not included in the price of this package. Guests can make reservations by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
by Rikki Niblett
on October 21, 2016
I’m starting to get the fall spirit. This past weekend, I decorated my house with some new fall decor, I need to go buy some Halloween candy, and I’ve been enjoying pumpkin everything. What about you?
This week, learn about the status of Disney and Twitter, see what new book you’re going to want to read, and more.
In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors
Disney has a new marketing campaign for this upcoming year. It’s called The Magic is Endless. What do you think of this new campaign?
A number of Disney Resorts earned accolades from the 9th annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. They include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, Disney Cruise Line, and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. Curious about all the winners? They can be found here. Read the rest of this entry »
by Rikki Niblett
on October 21, 2016
One of my time honored traditions is sitting down on Christmas morning with a cup of coffee and a warm blanket and watching the Christmas Parade on ABC each year.
However, the parade taping doesn’t take place on Christmas. Instead, the taping for this year’s festivities will take place from November 9-13 at Walt Disney World. Stage show elements and musical performances will be filmed at this time. This year there will be a bit of a change, as the actual parade itself will be filmed exclusively at Disneyland. (On a separate date that has not been announced.)
Guests are able to observe the filming during standard park hours, if they choose to do so.
In addition to the annual parade TV special, it appears that there will actually be a series of television specials that will be airing throughout November and December on both ABC and Disney Channel that will be filmed during this time period, as well.
For those who will be in the Magic Kingdom, Main Street, nearest Cinderella Castle will be the most affected; the rest of the park traditionally is not extremely impacted. In addition, be aware that a few of the entertainment offerings that occur normally will also be impacted.
by Brian McNichols
on October 21, 2016
As many of you know, we will be soon branching out into our very first non-theme park location: Washington, D.C. It is an exciting time for us as we bring our capabilities and tools to America’s capital. With this expansion, we are looking at new designs for the Touring Plans that will be available for D.C. and–since we have the most intelligent users of anyone–we would like your feedback.
The below is *very early* example of what we’re thinking about doing. This is actually part of Phase 2 of our Washington, D.C. rollout, so don’t expect to see it until 2017. Also, please (please!) keep in mind that this is not the final product and we know that it’s not perfect.
Naturally, we would love your opinion on any part of it, but here is what we would specifically like to hear about:
- Do you feel like the layout displays the right amount of information in an easy to read manner? Is there anything displayed that you find unimportant?
- Do you like the idea of expandable information via popup box (like the “Recommended Tour” box in the example)?
- Which of the following method of optimization would you prefer:
- Minimize Walking: If you want to see several exhibits in one room, the optimizer would always tell you to see everything in one room before moving on to another one.
- Full Optimization: The optimizer would always pick the most time-efficient plan, even if that means re-visiting one room multiple times. This one would not likely happen often, but in museums were there are very popular displays it is possible.
Thank you in advance for your input. This is the best way for us to mold our products to you and we appreciate your involvement.
by Rikki Niblett
on October 20, 2016
Another attraction is closing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame is being removed.
While many didn’t know that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame even existed, it was something unique to come across and browse through as you walked near the Hyperion Theater. The plaza area features rows of bronze sculpted heads of famous actors, television personalities, and more. Personalities featured in the exhibit included Oprah Winfrey, Betty White, Bob Newhart, Lucille Ball, Andy Griffith, and of course, Walt Disney. Most of the time, people just stopped here to take photos with their favorite celebrities.
The Orlando Sentinel shares that the busts will be returned to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
This section of the park will soon feature a food and beverage marketplace, which should be available for Guests to enjoy by Thanksgiving.
by Tammy Whiting
on October 20, 2016
I don’t want to brag, buuuut – on the last three cruises I’ve been on, I’ve actually gotten off the cruise and still had free data left. Lots of free data! And I’ve sent pictures and emails! How crazy is that? So it’s possible I’ve cracked the code on keeping usage down. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but it’s possible. So let me share what I’ve learned and what is working for me. Some of these steps may not be necessary, but better safe than sorry, right? Wi-Fi onboard is expensive, people. You start with 50 megabytes free (150 megabytes in concierge), then the price goes up fast. 100 MB is $19, 300 MB is $39, and 1000 MB is $89. We want those megabytes to stretch as far as they can! My disclaimer is that I am an iPhone user. So some of my directions are iPhone specific. The broad principles should still apply though!
1. Use Airplane Mode – Once you leave Port Canaveral, you will definitely want to be in airplane mode. Not being in airplane mode means you are risking using unwanted cell service—like Cellular at Sea. If you have an international plan and want to turn off airplane mode in ports, then go for it. But while you are at sea, I highly recommend airplane mode to avoid any unwanted charges. Once in airplane mode, you can still turn on Wi-Fi and use the Disney Cruise Line app and data as desired.
2. Get Disney’s Helpful Internet Sheet – Sometime during the first afternoon, stop by the internet help desk and pick up their sheet describing how to minimize data usage. They have a sheet for iPhones, Galaxy, Droid, etc. There may not be anyone at the desk the first day, but that’s okay. There’s usually a brochure holder on the desk full of them. Look towards the back of the pile if you don’t see them. Follow the steps. Some are listed below.
3. Turn off Location Services – Location services are a data sucker! Turn that baby off! No one needs to find you while you’re sailing! Not apps, not friends that are stalking your phone, no one! Turn it off. On iPhones, you turn it off in “Settings” and then “Privacy”. Read the rest of this entry »
by Julia Mascardo
on October 20, 2016
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case, which blogger came up with the idea of trying to find really bad ideas at Disney, Derek and his Value Resorts Bar Crawl or the concept for this week’s Best Week Ever? The world may never know. (That is, if the world is lucky, we’ll never know.) Somewhere along weekly discussions with my family and flipping through the 2017 edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, I discovered what I assumed was a glaring error. The Mad Tea Party, one of my favorite rides of all time, is one of the lowest-rated attractions in the Magic Kingdom. In between Kermit-like arm flailing as I tried to explain to my husband just how much of an injustice this is, the idea came up: Could a day doing the worst that Walt Disney World has to offer still be not only good, but the Best Week Ever? Challenge accepted.
Looking at the rankings for attractions, we knew we could get our fill with a day split between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. After parking our car at Epcot, we hopped on the monorail and made our way towards the Transportation and Ticket Center and then on to Magic Kingdom.
On the way over, I booked FastPass+ times for the attractions we planned to hit. The benefit of going for “the worst” means that it’s pretty easy to get FastPass+ times. It was still fairly early as we took our walk down Main Street USA, but the blue skies and pops of fall color easily brings a smile to your face. Read the rest of this entry »
by Derek Burgan
on October 19, 2016
We here at TouringPlans strive to constantly give our readers everything you need to know in order to save time and money on your Disney vacation. This past week alone, the Grand Poohbah of TouringPlans, Len Testa, had a fascinating look at The Best Walt Disney World Ticket and Hotel Prices, Liz Mangen explored the oft overlooked Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour, and Daisy Lauren had an incredible look at the Disneyland’s in California and Tokyo. Not to be outdone, the think tank over at the SATURDAY SIX headquarters have decided to finally take on the conundrum that faces all vacation planners: how exactly does one achieve the very best Disney vacation? Now, many inside-the-box thinkers go with the obvious answer, “Do The Things That Are Great.” Ride the best attractions, see the best shows, and eat at the most unique dining experiences. But to that we say Nay, Nay. Instead we are going to reverse engineer the problem by looking at all the truly awful ideas and explain to you Dear Reader, why you should not do them.
That, in a nutshell, is the raison d’être behind the Worst Theme Park Idea Ever series. Read the rest of this entry »