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I’m back in the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the evening and I’ve got a few goals in mind. Hit my favorite Tomorrowland rides, watch the “Wishes” fireworks show one last time, and take advantage of the hordes who depart right afterward. Click the play button above and see how those plans pan out!
Ten years ago, things were different. Audiences were very excited to see the sequel to the surprise hit, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Johnny Depp’s eccentricities were viewed as fresh and exciting. And Orlando Bloom was a star on the rise having recently completed the Lord of the Rings trilogy as the Pirates series was kicking off. A decade later, we don’t see much of Bloom. He reprised his role as Legolas in the Hobbit movies, dated Katy Perry and is set to make an appearance in the fifth not-so-anticipated Pirates movie.
In the December 2006 issue of Starlog Magazine, Bloom discussed the then-hot Pirates series.
Every year, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom hosts a series of Halloween parties that feature trick or treating, special fireworks, parade, and unique merchandise. This is the one time in the year when adults are allowed to wear costumes into any of the parks (with some specific rules). The party is ticketed separately from your regular park tickets. In order to facilitate these events, the Magic Kingdom closes to non-party guests at 7pm and Halloween partiers are allowed to enter the park at about 4pm, which creates what is approximately an 8 hour park day–just starting on the late side and lasting past midnight if you have the endurance.
The first time I went to the Halloween party I found that the crowds were low and so were wait times for the attractions. Since then, the parties have become gradually more popular, resulting in heavier crowds and an increase in the number of party nights. This second step was necessary, but it can be argued that these parties reduce the value of a regular park ticket during September and October.
After our very full day at the Food & Wine festival in Epcot which was capped by a quick park hop over to the Magic Kingdom so we could say we were there on the day of its 45th anniversary and maybe pick over whatever celebratory merchandise was left, Sunday morning was a time to sleep in and relax. Any initial thoughts of touring the monorail resorts or going to Disney Springs that day before our late afternoon party start fell away for me when I began to experience some data storage issues connected with all of the video I was shooting. So I spent most of that day in the cabin chatting convivially with my bunkmates and working out a solution in order to be able to continue shooting material for these videos. It was valuable down time though, and the cabin was well suited to the task.
Join us about a half hour before the start of the party and let’s see where the night took us!
What a difference a decade makes! Ten years ago, audiences were eagerly anticipating the second installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. Three years earlier, the first movie was a pleasant surprise and Johnny Depp was a revelation. Audiences couldn’t get enough of his eccentric performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. Three disappointing sequels later, the Pirates series has carried on longer than it should have and Depp has squandered his box office appeal. The July 2006 issue of Starlog devoted a cover story to the second Pirates movie back when people really cared about such things.
Recently, a co-worker of mine told me he and his wife are taking their kids on their very first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida this summer. Apparently he’d heard I’m something of an enthusiast on the topic. After a quick rundown of where they’re staying and eating, he expressed some concerns over the quickly approaching date for reserving the family’s Fastpasses and worried that his young kids might be scared of some of the rides (he has a 4-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son). I told him they probably would be a little tentative and suggested that he sit down with them on YouTube to get a preview of some of the attractions he thought they were targeting. I’ve heard from some parents that this has helped to demystify some of the gentle dark rides and can act as a stepping stone for the overall experience. He seemed pretty pleased with this suggestion and I came out of the conversation feeling rather happy with myself. It was a win-win.
Unfortunately, he came back a couple of days later with a completely different problem. He had watched several ride videos with his kids like I’d said, and he hadn’t gotten much feeling that they were frightened by what they saw. But maybe that was because they had spent the entire time asking him who all of the characters were! This came as quite a shock to both him and his wife. After all, they were pretty sure all kinds of cartoons were on in the house on a rather regular basis. But there he was, trying to explain the seven dwarfs, Peter Pan, and even the Little Mermaid to his kids. A cursory investigation of the family’s available Disney movies revealed part of the problem: they weren’t the ones with rides based on them. Frozen had been played past one family member’s tolerance, but that ride isn’t open yet. His son had practically worn out a copy of Pixar’s Cars, but there is next to nothing at Disney World featuring those characters. There was a lot of Disney Jr stuff like Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates available, which really just covers one stage show and maybe a character meal. He snatched out a copy of Beauty and the Beast and insisted to his kids that they had all watched it together a couple of times. Maybe they had, but at that moment all he was getting were blank stares. “For crying out loud,” he said to me (or something less printable here), “What the heck do they need to see before we leave in nine weeks?!” Clearly, the stress of trip planning was getting to him.
I smiled and told him I’d have a list for him in a day or two, but that a refresher on Beauty and the Beast couldn’t hurt in the meantime. Join me as we look at a big part of that promised list.
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After spending most of our first full day in Anaheim in Disney’s California Adventure, day 2 was earmarked for a full-out assault on Walt’s original park, Disneyland! Having seen the crazy crowds from the night before, I was braced for extraordinarily long lines and some mildly claustrophobic conditions, but I was definitely excited about spending significant time in Disneyland for the first time since I was in preschool.
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While readers here at Le Blog have seen me report extensively on visits to the Universal, Busch Gardens, and Walt Disney World theme parks, the first theme park I can remember attending is Walt’s original in Anaheim, California. When I was a kid living in San Diego with my family, the above sign was our cue for excitement because we were finally at Disneyland!
While the sign was changed back in 1989, I am happy to report with similar excitement that after about a 40 year gap, I will be returning to Disneyland with family in June of 2015! There have been a multitude of changes over that time span, in fact, including a whole second park to anticipate.
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Orlando Bloom starred in one of the biggest movie trilogies of all time, and followed it up by starring in another one of the biggest trilogies of all time. He’s worked with Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, and Cameron Crowe. He was supposed to be the next big thing.
What the hell happened?
To celebrate the release of The Hobbit, I’m counting down the top 10 movie trilogies.
As always, there are a few rules to review. In this case, what constitutes a trilogy. Obviously, a series of three films is technically a trilogy. However, while three is a minimum requirement, I won’t disqualify a film series that extended beyond three films. Ideally the series should contain three films that tell a tightly connected story.