Rise of the Resistance attraction merchandise is available now. DuckTales is coming to Epcot. Mickey Mouse will have his own theater at Disney World. And more!
This week is a very exciting one for Disney theme-park fans, because it heralds the arrival of Rise of the Resistance, the second E-Ticket attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the W Disney World Resort. All of us Disneyland fans will have to wait until January 17 of 2020 for the attraction to open there. And here’s some good news: unlike the furor surrounding Baby Yoda and a lack of merchandise, have no fear about a dearth darth? of merch for the new attraction. It’s available starting today. Everything from shirts to hats, cups, and pins will be yours for the taking. My preference, from the photos here, is the mini version of your ride vehicle.
With media in Orlando to cover the opening of Rise of the Resistance, there have been a few other pieces of news trickling out of Disney World. One breaking story is also focused on Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but not Star Wars-related. Disney’s just announced the arrival of a Mickey Shorts Theater coming in March of 2020. That theater will tie into the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and looks like a much more comfortable and snazzy way to experience Mickey Mouse short films than at Disneyland, where you have to stand at either Main Street Cinema or Mickey’s House to watch them.
Over in Epcot, there’s a few web-footed friends who will make their arrival soon, at least digitally. I’m talking about the characters from Disney XD’s very charming revival of DuckTales. Woo-oo! Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie, and the rest of the gang can be found soon on the Play Disney Parks mobile app as part of Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure. This is the latest iteration of something that’s been around World Showcase for a while, originally with characters from Kim Possible. Remember Kim Possible? The scavenger hunt will let kids have fun exploring World Showcase, learning about different countries, and virtually hanging out with the McDuck clan.
December is a busy time at the W Disney World Resort, and not just because of the holidays and the opening of Rise of the Resistance. They’re also opening up a new hotel, Disney’s Riviera Resort. Over at the Disney Parks Blog, they’ve shared a first look at a new mosaic mural themed to Tangled, specifically the floating lantern sequence. The mural looks quite beautiful, and is of a piece with the Peter Pan-themed mural that was unveiled recently as well. Hard to believe, but the Riviera Resort opens very soon, on December 16. Certainly looks like it’s all coming together quickly.
By now, it should be clear to a regular reader of Theme Park Bits that I’m fascinated by the history of the Disney theme parks. So that means anytime Jeff Kurtti publishes something at the Disney Parks Blog, I’m happy to dive into the topic du jour. His latest is all about Christmas cards that were designed to celebrate major events in the Disney theme-park timeline, from Christmas 1954, just months before the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, to Christmas 2000, merely weeks before the opening of Disney California Adventure. Read on there to see more about how Disney designers have pushed the limits of paper printing really! to make more and more exciting holiday cards.
Jesse Eisenberg, best known for his roles in movies such as Zombieland and The Social Network, is staying quite busy these days. Much of the time, in recent years, that is spent on slightly smaller indie movies, which vary greatly in scope and genre. Case in point, Eisenberg is starring in not one, but two movies that are coming out on the same day this week in Resistance and Vivarium.
In the case of Resistance, directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, Jesse Eisenberg portrays real-life mime Marcel Marceau who went on to become something of an unlikely hero during World War II, becoming a member of the French Resistance, which helped to save the lives of thousands of children. On the other side of the fence, we have Vivarium. Directed by Lorcan Finnegan, this contained sci-fi flick reteams him with his Art of Self-Defense co-star Imogen Poots and sees them as a couple looking to buy a house and they become trapped in the labyrinth of a development, forcing them to live in a suburban nightmare.
I recently had the good fortune of speaking with Jesse Eisenberg on behalf of both movies. It's actually the third time in a year I've spoken with the actor, a tradition I hope to see continue. We discussed their commonalities, what sets them apart, how the current coronavirus pandemic is influencing the way in which they will be viewed and much more.
Hey man, are you doing alright?
Jesse Eisenberg: Yeah! We're about to drive cross country in an RV.
Oh man. That's wild.
Jesse Eisenberg: It's pretty weird, yeah. So unbelievably surreal.
I don't know if you remember but I got to interview you twice in the last year. I got to talk to you for The Art of Self-Defense and Zombieland 2, so I guess we're making this something of a tradition when you have a new movie coming out.
Jesse Eisenberg: [laughs] That would be great! And hopefully this won't end, given the current pandemic.
Touching on that a little bit, we're here to talk about Resistance and Vivarium. You have two movies coming out on the same day at a time when people could really use a break from life. How does that feel for you? You mentioned the word surreal.
Jesse Eisenberg: Yeah. Also, you make these movies with a certain kind of intention and they end up coming out at a time that will necessarily affect the way they are viewed. Vivarium is this kind of claustrophobic fever dream of a movie about characters that are totally isolated who literally have no interaction with anybody besides themselves and their increasingly stir-crazy child. I think it will be filtered through the gaze of being stuck at home and quarantined now. And Resistance is this really beautiful, uplifting movie about a guy who is keeping these children entertained and distracted through a war. Again, I think it will be filtered through the lens of parents keeping their children occupied when they are not allowed to go outside or play with other...