Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

Movies to Watch Before You Visit Disney World

by on November 20, 2013

For many children, and adults, Walt Disney World can be an overwhelming place, filled with countless new sights, sounds, smells, textures, in an endless stream of stimuli. Sure you can surprise your family with trip to Walt Disney World, but you may have a better overall vacation experience if you give your kids some time to prepare in advance. At-home preparation for you kids might take the form of meeting costumed characters, practicing table manners, or learning to sleep in a particular crib, but one of the easiest, and most effective, ways to get a child ready for a Disney vacation is to show him movies related to your upcoming trip.

Cinderella is a must see before visiting Walt Disney World.

Cinderella is a must see before visiting Walt Disney World.

You’ll have a better understanding and appreciation of what’s happening in the parks if you’re familiar with the stories depicted in what you see there.

Some of these suggestions will be obvious. Your child will no doubt have a better grasp on something like the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor if he’s, you know, actually seen Monsters, Inc. Other suggestions will be more tangentially related to specific attractions, but will give a your kids a greater comprehension of the tone and flavor of Walt Disney World.

As always, use these recommendations with the caveat that you are the best judge of what’s appropriate for your specific child and his current developmental stage. For example, while most preschoolers will adore The Little Mermaid, a child who’s in fear-of-the-ocean mode might have a full-scale meltdown at the sight of Ursula. Similarly, some kids might be ready for a Star Wars marathon at age four, while others will need to wait until eight, nine, or even older. If there’s a movie that you haven’t seen since your own childhood, it might be worth doing a quick preview on your own before subjecting your child to potential overload.

You’ll no doubt note that many Disney and Pixar films are not mentioned on my list (Bambi, Hercules, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Up, etc.). This bears no reflection on the quality of the films, nor on their place in the canon, but rather speaks to their current relative lack of representation at the Walt Disney World parks and resorts. There are also a few non-Disney films listed here because, in my opinion, they do a particularly good job of evoking an atmosphere or time period represented at the parks in a more succinct way than any actual Disney film does.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! August 2013 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on August 27, 2013

MMM_LogoWe all have our favorite stores in the Walt Disney World parks and resorts to get our fill of merchandise. Whether it’s Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney, Mouse Gear in Epcot, or the Ink & Paint Shop at the Art of Animation Resort, it’s not that hard finding a gift shop filled to the brim with the latest Disney vinylmation, t-shirts, and plushes. But did you know that there is a place where all the merchandise Disney has a hard time selling ends up? A magical store filled with discount prices and Disney-related items that even Guy Selga wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole? Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Orlando’s Disney Outlet Stores: Disney’s Character Warehouse.

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Rediscovered Transcript Reveals Original Spielberg/Disneyland Connection

by on April 16, 2013

Photos by Seth Kubersky

It's no secret that legendary film director Steven Spielberg is a life-long theme park afficiando. As a long-time consultant to Universal Studios, rides based on movies he has created or produced (including classics like ET, Back to the Future, Jaws, Men in Black, and Jurassic Park) have been hits in Orlando, California, and Japan. Spielberg is also known to be a fan of classic Disney films; he had composer John Williams include the melody “When You Wish Upon a Star” in his Close Encounters of the Third Kind score, and his film A.I. is essentially an explicit update of Pinnoccio.

But few fans realize how far back Spielberg's fascination with theme park rides — specifically Disneyland dark rides and E-tickets — goes. Thanks to a fascinating 35-year-old story conference transcript, we have a first-hand account of the lauded filmmaker's pro-Disney fanaticism.

The minutes of this momentous meeting, recorded over a week in late January 1978, document the moment when Spielberg, together with pal George Lucas and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, brainstormed the basic backstory of Indiana Jones, and solidified the script outline that would eventually become 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Originally leaked on an Internet film site in 2009 as scan of a grainy photocopy, the document has recently resurfaced as a searchable PDF. These newly accessible transcripts reveal the creative energy that birthed this iconic screen hero, and give insight into these award-winning artists' working methods.

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