Disney’s building a new timeshare in Anaheim. The TRON Lightcycle Run ride is closer to completion at the Magic Kingdom. And more!
Let’s start off today with some urgent news for any of you who may be visiting W Disney World in December. Urgent here does not mean troubling, though: the news is that Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar is debuting the Friday after Thanksgiving at Disney Springs. Jock, as you may know, is the pilot who saves Indiana Jones in the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and his bar is now decked out to the holidays with decor and themed food like a Holiday Caprese Wreath and Ugly “Sweeter” Bread. So if you’re in the Happiest Place on Earth during December, stop on by.
You may recall that, only a couple short years ago, Disney announced that it was going to be building a new hotel near the Disneyland Hotel only for those plans to be tossed due to internecine city politics. Really. Disney is back at it, though with a twist: they’re now applying to build a 12-story timeshare project next to their original hotel. Really, what this means is that there will be yet another Disney Vacation Club property for DVC members and hopefuls to take advantage of, apparently themed to the old-school designs of the Disneyland Hotel itself. So, if you have a chunk of change just ready to drop, prepare to apply for that DVC membership soon.
Let’s jump back to the W Disney World Resort, and specifically the Magic Kingdom. One of the big new expansions in the park is in Tomorrowland, with the eventual introduction of the TRON Lightcycle / Run attraction, being brought over from Shanghai Disneyland. Just recently, Cast Members celebrated a major milestone, as the final piece of ride track was laid down. Now, don’t get too excited – the attraction is still slated to open in time for the 50th anniversary of the resort in 2021. But they’re getting closer!
Think about the last time you took a Disney vacation. It’s possible that, while you were there, you saw a high-school band performing on Main Street, U.S.A. Though this can happen at both Disneyland I’ve seen it happen, and my wife, an arts teacher, has brought her high-school choir to Disneyland to perform, too and W Disney World, you can see what it’s like at the Orlando resort right now. Just take a look at this behind-the-scenes video of the experience for a couple of high-school groups.
We’ll stick with Orlando for our last story, but we’re not exactly going to be staying on property for this one. If you fly into Orlando International Airport for your W Disney World travels, you’ve likely spotted the Disney store in the waiting areas. Well, good news if you just can’t wait to shop before you step on property: the store on the east side of the airport that would be one of the two Disney stores they operate here has been reopened after a refurbishment. And this store has an all-new name, Magic of Disney. It may seem weird to stop by one of these stores before or after you’re on property, but if you can’t get enough of the magic, this is the place for you.
Disney+ has been in American homes since last fall, but the House of Mouse’s streaming service is only just now starting to expand to international territories.
It’s been one week since Disney+ arrived in Europe, turning The Mandalorian into quite the sensation among viewers in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spin, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland. Now even more international markets are getting a taste of the live-action Star Wars series, with Disney+ launch in India, which was previously delayed from debuting on March 29, starting today.
Deadline has word on the India launch of Disney+ happening today. The debut of the streaming service was pushed back due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but the delay ended up not being extensive at all, which is good news for viewers in India who are anxious to start streaming.
In India, Disney’s streaming service will actually be called Disney+ Hotstar. That’s because Disney acquired Hotstar, India’s biggest streaming service, when they picked up Fox’s entertainment assets in their big merger. This will make India’s version of Disney+ significantly different from others.
Disney+ Hotstar will have three different subscription tiers for viewers to sign up for: Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium, and an ad-supported basic version of Disney+ Hotstar. Depending on your subscription tier, viewers will get access to not only Disney+ original programming and the movies of Marvel Studios, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation, but also Bollywood movies and even US shows from HBO, Fox and Showtime.
The Mandalorian Launches Big on Disney+ in Europe
While Disney+ is just launching in India, it’s already comfortable across Europe after launching a week and a half ago. The service is now available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spin, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland, and The Mandalorian is already a huge hit, based on what TV research company Parrot Analytics calls “demand expressions.”
Deadline has word from Parrot Analytics that the premiere of the first two episodes of The Mandalorian resulted in 33 million demand expressions, which comes from looking at data across social media, video streaming, photo sharing, blogging and research platforms. And that was just on March 24 when Disney+ launched in those territories. That’s not bad considering they’ve had months to pirate the series following its debut in the United States.
However, it should be noted that some demand expressions are not as valuable in measuring the impact of a television series. That’s because social media engagements aren’t indicative of engagement with a series, as in actually watching the show in question. But even so, the fact that so many people are talking about the series...