Posts Tagged ‘film’

American Ninja Warrior Invades Universal Studios Florida

by on May 6, 2015

American Ninja Warrior USF

American Ninja Warrior films at USF on May 10-12, 2015. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

American Ninja Warrior, an NBC and Esquire Network (originally G4) competition show based on the long-running Japanese hit Sasuke, has taken over the New York section of Universal Studios Florida for episode tapings that will take place after park hours on May 10th through 12th.

Tickets to attend the tapings, which will be held at 10:30pm, 12:30am, and 2:30am on Sunday night/Monday morning and Monday night/Tuesday morning, are almost completely sold out at this point, but you may still be able to join the wait list.

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Observations from Epcot: July 30, 2014

by on August 2, 2014

observations from Epcot

Take a stroll around Epcot with us without having to leave your air-conditioning! (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Following my Frozen-filled visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week, I found myself back at Walt Disney World a few days later for some observations from Epcot. As a child, EPCOT (as it will always be capitalized in my heart) was my favorite WDW park, and the massive Beard/Abrams coffee table book on the park’s creation remains among my most prized possessions. As everyone knows, Epcot’s attractions (especially in Future World) have been radically overhauled over the past 2 decades, and now I rarely visit the park except during the fantastic Food & Wine or Flower & Garden festivals.

My first mid-summer Epcot experience in several seasons started on a sweet note, as I snagged a parking spot along the center aisle; there is nothing worse than having to walk a football field’s length just to get to the tram.

Spending a lot of time at Universal Orlando lately, I’ve been frustrated by how slow their entry procedures are, even after new ticket scanners were recently installed. In contrast, the turnstile-free entry at Disney’s parks has become my favorite element of MyMagic+. Scanning a MagicBand usually seems swifter than swiping a barcode, and the finger scanners at Disney are still far faster and more reliable than Universal’s new biometric readers.

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Escape From Tomorrow DVD and Bluray Released

by on May 5, 2014

Escape from Tomorrow DVD

A scene from Escape from Tomorrow, now available on DVD and Bluray

When Escape From Tomorrow — the creepy monochromatic movie director Randy Moore surreptitiously shot inside Disney resorts –debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, it was widely speculated that Mickey’s lawyers would never allow the unauthorized flick to be widely released. As it turned out, the movie was released online last year through online services like iTunes, and (as a counter on their official website attests) the creators have not yet been sued. In fact, the cult film is now set to reach an even wider audience, as Escape From Tomorrow DVDs and Blurays are now available from retailers, and for rental through Netflix’s mail service (sadly, it is not yet offered through Netflix Streaming).

If you are uncertain whether to take the plunge on this surreal stroll through the Disney parks, you can find plenty of professional reviews online. There’s also an interesting article explaining how the movie was shot inside Disney’s parks without Mouse managment’s knowledge or permission.

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Disney’s PLANES Invade Soarin’ Over California Preshow in Disney California Adventure

by on September 17, 2013

Image copyright Disney

Some people saw the recent Disney Pictures’ release PLANES as a cynical cash grab that merely made margins modifications to Pixar’s charming CARS franchise…and some other people enjoy Dane Cook. Whichever camp you fall in, you must admit it was inevitable that the anthropomorphized aircraft would eventually arrive in at least one of Mickey’s theme parks.

It looks like at least one PLANES tie-in came in for a landing recently in Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort, though thankfully in a relatively subtle way.

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Trailer for Unauthorized Disney Parks film “Escape From Tomorrow” Released

by on September 11, 2013

We’ve written once or twice about Escape From Tomorrow, the Sundance-screened surreal thriller filmed without permission inside Disney’s Orlando and Anaheim theme parks. Somehow the feature has managed to secure an October 11 release date (in select theaters and video-on-demand) without a paratrooping platoon of Mouse-ear-wearing lawyers descending from the skies…at least so far.

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Unauthorized Disney Parks movie “Escape From Tomorrow” Finally Coming to Theatres

by on August 21, 2013

We here at Touring Plans are obviously enamored of most things Disney, but even the most ardent Mickey admirer must admit that an extended on-property stay at one of the Mouse’s resorts can start to feel like a surreal David Lynch-like nightmare. That experience is apparently universal enough to inspire Escape From Tomorrow, a black & white independent sci-fi/horror film that was shot inside Walt Disney World and Disneyland attractions without Disney’s participation or permission.

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Free Cars Screening with Planes Preview for Disneyland Annual Passholders

by on July 29, 2013

If you are a Disneyland Annual Passholder who just can’t get enough of Radiator Springs Racers over at Disney California Adventure, head across the Esplanade this Wednesday night (7/31/2013) for a free screening of Pixar’s original Cars film. In addition to a full-length presentation of the original film, attendees at Disneyland’s Main Street Opera House will also enjoy a short preview of the upcoming Planes spinoff.

Screenings are at 5pm and 8pm, and wristbands for the limited seats will be distributed on a first-come/first-served basis beginning at noon. A valid annual pass is required; read here for more details.

If you will be at Disneyland and aren’t interested in the screening, be aware that Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln will close early on Wednesday for the event.

First Look at Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks” Trailer

by on July 12, 2013

Photo copyright Disney

Until now, no actor (or animatronic, for that matter) has ever attempted to impersonate Walt Disney in a feature film. That’s all changed, as Disneyland fans can now glimpse the company’s faux founder (in the form of Oscar-winner Tom Hanks) as featured in the newly-released trailer for Saving Mr. Banks.

The Disney-produced film tells the lightly-fictionalization of Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers (played by Emma Thompson) and her early-60s visit to Los Angeles, when Walt convinced her to grant the movie rights to her “practically perfect” nanny. In the film (as in reality) Travers is demanding enough about the use of her creations to give J.K. Rowling a run for her money, which proves stressful for Walt and his creative crew (including the songwriting Sherman Brothers, played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak).

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Red Carpet Premiere for “The Lone Ranger” Scheduled at Disney California Adventure

by on May 29, 2013

Image copyright Disney

The Lone Ranger, Disney’s latest big-screen collaboration between Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp, rides into American cinemas on July 3, 2013, but the masked hero will be making an early appearance at Disney California Adventure for an exclusive audience. On June 22 the film will have its red carpet premiere inside the second Anaheim theme park in a charity event benefiting the American Indian College Fund.

In past years, premieres for the Pirates of the Caribbean films have been held along Disneyland’s Rivers of America, necessitating the closure of parts of Frontierland and New Orleans Square to regular guests. The Lone Ranger premier will be held inside DCA’s Hyperion Theater and should have minimal impact on guests outside of the Hollywood Land area. A limited number of tickets to the premiere are available online for $1000 each. Regular guests will not be able to attend the private screening, but will be able to see celebrities (including the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver) parade down Hollywood Boulevard, and a life-sized train engine from the film will be on display.

We’ll bring more details of the event, and any anticipated effect on visitors, as they become available. In the meantime, here is the complete press release about the premiere:

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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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