Disney Baddies Take Over in WDW’s “After Hours” Special Event Nights at Magic Kingdom this Summer

Disney has long held in consideration that there are guests who would like to avoid the usual crowds. For them they developed the “After Hours” program, offering tickets allowing guests into Magic Kingdom in Disney World after 7 PM. Not only does it cut down on waiting lines, Disney After Hours also offers special events on nights when they’re held.

One such special occasion has been announced for Magic Kingdom. It’ll fall on selected After Hours evenings between June 6 and August 8. “Villains Unite the Night” will see several famous antagonists from Disney animated films performing a grand stage show on the chosen nights.

  1. Hades from “Hercules” (with Meg)
  2. Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” (dragon form will also roam the theme park)
  3. Evil Queen from “Snow White”
  4. Jafar from “Aladdin” (celebrating the live-action film premiere no doubt)
  5. Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog”

Aside from the baddie-dominated stage show, which will be held near Cinderella Castle, some attractions will also be “villainized” for the duration of these villain-centered After Hours evenings. Prominent examples are the fabled (for long lines) Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean as well.

Lastly, villain-themed food and beverages, plus merchandising will be brought out at all stalls and shops during these nights. About the only thing Villains Unite the Night won’t certainly have are meet and greet moments with the Disney bad guys.

Here’s a list of dates where the Disney After Hours will be designated Villain Nights:

  • June – 6, 13, 20, 27
  • July – 1, 11, 18, 26
  • August – 1, 8

Magic Kingdom tickets for Disney After Hours Villain Nights will be $139 if booked ahead of the date, $144 when bought on the day itself, and discounted to $109 for AP/DVC members.

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“Early” Screening of “Avengers: Endgame” by AMC, Part of 60-Hour and 22-Film MCU Marathon

April 26. On that day, over three weeks from now, “Avengers: Endgame” will premiere. Fans of Marvel superheroes, particularly as portrayed in the MCU, are looking forward to this film. It will after all conclude the saga of Thanos and the Infinity Stones. For some, the wait is almost unbearable.

AMC Theaters is offering something for the impatient. They will be screening “Avengers: Endgame” on April 23, three days before its official premiere. Cool? You’ll probably change your mind if you learn the rest. AMC will be hosting another film marathon that day. It’ll be a Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon.

Just to drive home just how long AMC audiences must wait, consider this figure. There are 21 MCU films already premiered. On average they clock at over one and a half hours per film. At the end of movie 21, “Captain Marvel,” the marathon would end with “Avengers: Endgame” which runs for about three hours.

avengers-infinity-war

All told, this 22-installment MCU marathon by AMC Theaters will come close to 60 hours. There will be half-hour breaks every few films. In hindsight, that means the audience will arrive at “Avengers: Endgame” one hour before the conventional premiere.

But are there any dedicated moviegoers around who can stand non-stop viewing for over two days straight? There are. As soon as AMC began selling tickets to the marathon their online booking site went down. It’ll be up to you, if you have an AMC nearby, if you want to take them up on this.

AMC Marvel Marathon Movie List

That said we have a superfluous marathon film catalog here:

  1. Iron Man
  2. The Incredible Hulk
  3. Iron Man 2
  4. Thor
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger
  6. Avengers
  7. Iron Man 3
  8. Thor: The Dark World
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  12. Ant-Man
  13. Captain America: Civil War
  14. Doctor Strange
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  17. Thor: Ragnarok
  18. Black Panther
  19. Avengers: Infinity War
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  21. Captain Marvel
  22. Avengers: Endgame

New Attractions Opening April on Disney California Adventure

For years, the system of having two Disney theme parks on opposite coasts of the country meant that there are certain attractions that one had first, before the other got them. This meant that solid Disney fans with spending money would have to visit both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World to any exclusive attractions both may have to offer.

But eventually, what one had before the other might eventually be featured in both. That’s the rationale behind a WDW Magic Kingdom attraction soon coming west to Disneyland, particularly the Disney California Adventure theme park.

This new addition to DCA will be housed in the Sunset Showcase Theatre. At the same time, the “Toy Story”-themed Pixar Pier area will add a new ride based on the show-within-the-film “Woody’s Roundup” as seen in “Toy Story 2.” Both of these attractions will become officially open before the month of April is out.

  1. Mickey’s PhilharMagic – first featured on the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, Disneyland will get its own counterpart over at Disney California Adventure. It’s a 3D audiovisual experience featuring famous Disney Animated Canon songs, as well as Donald Duck taking a prominent role in the presentation.
  2. Jessie’s Critter Carousel – opening soon in DCA’s Pixar Pier, it’s a merry-go-round ride with the ridden animals based on “Woody’s Roundup” from the second “Toy Story” film, with Jessie as the central character. Even before the official launch, DCA is allowing the Critter Carousel to be taken on test rides.

These attractions ought to tide over Disneyland guests and maintain interest before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the long-awaited theme park expansion area, opens at last in Disneyland, then Disney World.

“Disney on Ice” New Zealand Tour will have “Moana” Segment Performed in Maori Language

The Disney on Ice shows by Feld Entertainment (via Ice Follies and Holidays on Ice, Inc.) and Disney have been entertaining audiences around the world for close to 40 years now. What’s great about the productions is that they’re renewed annually, so repeat attendees are sure to see something new when they get to see it regularly, year to year.

This year’s Disney on Ice presentation, “Dare to Dream,” features new ice-choreographed interpretations particularly of 2016’s animated film “Moana.” What’s more amazing perhaps is, as the tour goes worldwide and performs in New Zealand, they’re planning to do the “Moana” segment in the Maori language.

New Zealand is the primary home of the Maori, a Polynesian people who also contribute in the islander depiction seen in Disney’s “Moana.” In fact, the film even got an official version dubbed in te reo Maori, with Maori New Zealander actress Rachel House reprising her role as Moana’s Gramma Tala from the original English.

Nicole Field, producer of Disney on Ice “Dare to Dream,” said the decision to use the Maori language for the “Moana” segment in the country is a salute to the movie’s cultural significance in the Pacific island nations, and to the people of New Zealand who flocked to watch “Moana” during its premiere in 2016.

The show will be held in three cities during its New Zealand stop. The “Moana” in te reo Maori will be done in one performance of the whole “Dare to Dream” production for every city it’s in. Tickets for the show will go for as low as NZ$33 starting April 1, not an April Fools.

Anyway, here are the stops of the Disney on Ice 2019 tour in that country.

  1. Auckland – August 2-4, Spark Arena
  2. Hamilton – August 8-11, Claudelands Arena
  3. Christchurch – August 17-18, Horncastle Arena

Episode List for “Marvel Rising: Ultimate Comics” Videos on YouTube’s Marvel HQ

Last year, Marvel Animation launched a media franchise to introduce young viewers to their stable of young superheroes. “Marvel Rising” would see the creation of tie-in Marvel Comics series, animated shorts, specials, and the “Secret Warriors” TV movie that aired in Disney Channel and XD.

Regarding the “Marvel Rising” animated shorts, following the “Initiation” miniseries that introduced the Marvel characters in the lead-up to “Secret Warriors,” Marvel Animation released a new series on the Marvel HQ YouTube channel. These videos are called “Ultimate Comics,” each showcasing team-up adventures between established Marvel heroes and the young members of the Secret Warriors.

The “Marvel Rising: Ultimate Comics” short series are like a contemporary take on the 1966 “Marvel Super Heroes” cartoons produced by Gantry-Lawrence Animation. Take the limited animation frames that make scenes reminiscent of a comic-book scene then add special effects and you get Ultimate Comics.

Here’s a list of all videos on the videos that have been released thus far:

  1. Ms. Marvel Faces Off Against Loki (February 20) – Ms. Marvel and Thor vs. Loki
  2. Patriot Trains with Hawkeye! (February 27) – Patriot, Hawkeye and Blur vs. The Wrecking Crew
  3. Squirrel Girl Teams Up with Doctor Strange! (March 6) – Squirrel Girl and Doctor Strange vs. Ulth-Lah-Throth
  4. Cap and America Chavez! (March 13) – Ms. America Chavez and Captain America vs. Attuma
  5. Hulk and Inferno Confront Monstrosity! (March 20) – Inferno and Hulk vs. Abomination
  6. Quake and Iron Man Team Up! (March 27) – Quake and Iron Man vs. Taskmaster

There’s likely only Gwen Stacy/Ghost Spider’s team-up left for next week. We’ll find out soon enough.

“Avenge the Fallen”: New “Avengers: Endgame” Posters Confirm Character Survivors and Erasures

With only one month left before Marvel Studios ends its MCU Phase 3, fans are now spurred like their surviving film superheroes to “Avenge the Fallen.” This is the tagline being assigned to a new wave of promotional posters for “Avengers: Endgame.” These images also serve to confirm “painful” partings.

As has been stated repeated about the upcoming film’s predecessor, “Avengers: Infinity” ended with the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) using the Infinity Stones to erase 50% of all living creatures in the existing universe. Many of these losses include big names from the MCU roster of heroes, as driven home by these new posters.

There are two poster “lineups,” one in color and the other in black and white (for the photos at least). The former represents the survivors while the latter either got killed in the course of “Infinity War” or were “snapped” by Thanos in the climax.

SURVIVORS:

  1. Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)
  2. Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans)
  3. Natasha Romanov / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
  4. Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
  5. Bruce Banner / Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)
  6. Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)
  7. Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)
  8. Scott Lang / Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)
  9. Nebula (Karen Gillan)
  10. Okoye (Danai Gurira)
  11. James Rhodes / War Machine (Don Cheadle)
  12. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow)
  13. Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)
  14. Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper)
  15. Wong (Benedict Wong)
  16. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau)

FALLEN:

 

  1. T’Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
  2. Peter Quill / Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)
  3. Gamora (Zoe Saldana)
  4. Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
  5. Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
  6. Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)
  7. Vision (Paul Bettany)
  8. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)
  9. Loki (Tom Hiddleston)
  10. Shuri (Letitia Wright)
  11. Groot (Vin Diesel)
  12. Hope Van Dyne / Wasp (Evangeline Lilly)
  13. Sam Wilson / Falcon (Anthony Mackie)
  14. Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)
  15. Mantis (Pom Klementieff)
  16. Drax the Destroyer (David Bautista)

In our opinion, the posters have at least one shocking surprise on both the Survivor and Fallen lists. What their survival (and death) entails in the upcoming movie hasn’t been discerned yet.

“Avengers: Endgame” premieres April 26.

Episode List for Season 2 of Marvel’s “Runaways” on Hulu

In a corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) setting, super-powered teenagers are fighting “in secret” against their super-villain parents. This has been the plot of “Runaways,” a Marvel series on Hulu that’s run through two seasons since December 2018. That season finale ended with a darkest-hour cliffhanger, despite no word of a follow-up announced.

Fans need worry no more, with “Runaways” season 3 green-lighted by Hulu very recently. Granted, this one’s shorter than its predecessor at just 10 episodes, but it continues the story so there’re no complaints. The fact that Marvel’s parent company Disney now has 60% stake in Hulu seems a factor.

What a season 3 being promised, too! The show-runners hint that the show will finally interact more with the MCU the way ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD” have, and the Marvel Netflix series once did. “Season three will be a magical time on Runaways, as we deepen our connection to the Marvel universe,” stated executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

To celebrate more “Runaways” in the future, here’s a short list of episode titles from season 2, the entirety of which was released on Hulu on December 21, 2018:

  1. Gimmie Shelter
  2. Radio On
  3. Double Zeroes
  4. Old School
  5. Rock Bottom
  6. Bury Another
  7. Last Rites
  8. Past Life
  9. Big Shot
  10. Hostile Takeover
  11. Last Waltz
  12. Earth Angel
  13. Split Up

Choice List of Major Fox Film Premieres Now Under Disney Distribution for 2019

With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, its affiliated studio labels, and various other media networks by Disney finally completed, the House of Mouse now has control over a significant number of movie releases before the year 2019 is out. This multi-studio blitz of numerous films has been described, both in awe and derision, as the “Disney Death Star” phenomenon.

While Disney may have shuttered the Fox 2000 label as part of its ongoing reorganization, and layoffs are expected as divisions considered “frivolous” to the post-merge are removed, it has now taken over distribution of a number of Fox film releases for this year under Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Here’s a selection of 2019 Fox movies now releasing under Disney. Compare with the release schedule for Disney’s own films, and you’ll see that the year’s practically covered by both:

  1. Breakthrough – April 7, a book adaptation based on a real-life story
  2. Ad Astra – May 24, sci-fi film starring Brad Pitt
  3. X-Men: Dark Phoenix – June 7, Marvel film featuring X-Men
  4. Stuber – July 12, action-comedy
  5. New Mutants – August 2, Marvel film featuring X-Men related characters
  6. Spies in Disguise – September 13, animated film starring Will Smith aka Genie for 2019’s “Aladdin”
  7. The Art of Racing in the Rain – September 27, comedy film adapted from novel
  8. The Woman in the Window – October 4, mystery thriller adapted from novel
  9. Call of the Wild – December 25, adaptation of classic book by Jack London

That would now cover the blank month of September where Disney’s existing studios don’t have a film premiering. That’s the Disney Death Star in action, and it’s only going to become very obvious in the years to come.

List of Major Production Locations for Disney’s “Frozen” Musical

There’s no doubt that Disney hit a massive jackpot with their 2013 animated film “Frozen.” From its awesome casting, endearing characters and unforgettable (borderline annoying) soundtrack, this adaptation of the “Snow Queen” story just hit all the right notes. No wonder that Disney developed two animated shorts, included the leads in a “crossover” with another animated movie, and produced a sequel coming out this November.

And let’s not forget that “Frozen” got adapted into a musical as well. With the main creative minds of the film (Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus Jennifer Lee) working on music, lyrics and book, the theatrical version has begun crossing the US and started appearing in overseas productions as well.

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What we have here is a list of major productions that have either staged or will be staging the “Frozen” musical since its 2017 debut:

  1. Pre-Broadway (2017) – Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado
  2. Broadway (2018) – St. James Theatre
  3. US National Tour: first stop (November 2019) – Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, New York
  4. Australian Production (July 2020) – Capitol Theatre in Sydney, New South Wales
  5. UK West End Production (late 2020) – Theatre Royale, Drury Lane

“Toy Story 4” Trailer: Points to Discuss

When Disney and Pixar released “Toy Story 3” in 2010, critics and audiences felt it concluded an awesome animated trilogy. The departure of a key character after entrusting the rest of the cast to another seemed a definitive end to the story. Nobody expected a “Toy Story 4,” but here it is coming this year.

Any doubts regarding a fourth “Toy Story” disappeared November last year with the first teaser. A follow-up preview showcased two new toy characters. But it was a full trailer released this week that finally shed light to the cast and the plot. Here’s a quick rundown of what we learned:

  1. Woody (Tom Hanks) true to form has become a leadership figure among his friends and the toys of their new person, Bonnie. He specializes himself in helping toys be the best children’s companions they can be.
  2. Bonnie turns a spork into a doll she calls Forky (Tony Hale) for a class project. Bringing her home, she becomes her favorite toy. But the act of turning a non-toy into a toy is traumatizing for Forky, who doesn’t like his new “alive” state and wants nothing to do with being a toy despite Woody’s encouragement.
  3. In his obsession to escape his toy-hood, Forky escapes from the Anderson Family’s camper while Bonnie and her parents are on a road trip. Woody follows him without hesitation to bring him back.
  4. Forced to go on foot, Woody and Forky arrive at the town of Grand Basin, where in an antique shop they run afoul of an old talking doll named Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and her army of non-talking “Benson” ventriloquist dummies.
  5. Woody and Forky are rescued by a figure from Woody’s past: Bo Peep (Annie Potts), former “toy” of Andy’s sister Molly that was sold in a yard sale before “Toy Story 3.” Having spent years passing hands without real owners has made her an independent spirit who thinks toys can exist outside of being children’s playthings, a notion that Woody is conflicted with.
  6. Bo tries to sway Woody from returning to Bonnie with Forky by showing him her current hangout: the Grand Basin fairgrounds. Woody seems affected, to Forky’s concern.
  7. With Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the rest of the toys wondering what to do about the missing Woody and Bonnie, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) decides to copy his old buddy and jump from the camper, finding his way to the fair (where he gets picked up as a stall prize)
  8. Bonnie wasn’t going to not notice her toys disappearing. Her emotional hurt is something everybody with a favored toy – past and present – feels.
  9. Bo Peep introduces Woody to the fairground toys (including a cameo from Pixar’s “Tin Toy” from 1988). She tries to argue that children frequently lose toys anyway, to further dissuade Woody from going back “home.”
  10. During his time as a carnival prize, Buzz antagonizes fellow prizes Ducky and Bunny (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele).
  11. On the road of life, there are old friends, new friends and stories that change you.”
  12. Woody starts feeling an existential crisis towards the end when he muses, amid memories of Andy and Bonnie, “I was made to help a child. I don’t remember it being this hard.”

Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” premieres on June 21.