Tag Archives: Lucasfilm
It’s been a big news year for the Disney parks. While we have seen some big changes like the addition of New Fantasyland, some news like our number 12 item has fostered very little attention. Here’s a quick look back on the top 12 news stories and events of 2012!
12. Senses – The spa at the Grand Floridian went through a massive overhaul, opening in December with a new name, Senses. (In other Grand Floridian news, the resort is in the process of adding a Disney Vacation Club wing.)
11. Splitsville Luxury Lanes – A two-story, 30 lane bowling alley opened at Downtown Disney in December.
10. Wi-Fi – Disney began expanding its free Wi-Fi throughout its resorts and parks. That officially makes ONE free thing at Walt Disney World.
9. XPass/FastPass+ – Disney’s new Fastpass system that will allow guests to reserve times for attractions began testing.
8. Test Track – After being closed for most of 2012, Test Track reopened at Epcot with a new design and rave reviews.
7. Disney Fantasy – The Disney Cruise line’s newest ship, Disney Fantasy, set sail on its maiden voyage in January.
6. Starbucks – After successful openings at Disneyland, the Disney fan world went crazy when Disney announced that the Main Street Bakery would be replaced by Starbucks. Some fans rejoices and others… freaked out.
5. Disney buys LucasFilm – Disney purchased LucasFilm in October, granted Princess Leia instant Disney princess status.
4. Storybook Circus – Mickey’s Toontown, which closed in 2011, was replaced by Storybook Circus, the first new area in New Fantasyland. It had its soft opening in March.
3. Art of Animation – Disney’s newest resort, the Value, suites resort Art of Animation, welcomed its first guest to rave reviews in May.
2. Cars Land – Cars Land opened to crazy lines and excited fans at Disneyland in June.
And, of course, the biggest news at Walt Disney World in 2012….
1. New Fantasyland – It officially opened on December 6 with previews beginning in October. This is the largest expansion in the Magic Kingdom’s history and caused a flurry of excitement with Disney fans.
- “Limited Time Magic” Begins at Disney Parks (chipandco.com)
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Spa to Reopen Soon Under New Ownership…Disney Ownership That Is! (chipandco.com)
- Coming to Disney Parks this January/February 2013 (chipandco.com)
Gear up fanboys and fangirls for the triumphant return of Star Wars Weekends! Disney Parks just released the dates for set for every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17 – June 9 2013!
The celebrity guests who make appearances in parades, special programs and autograph signings have not been announced at press time however Disney has named two stars who will be there during the event’s duration. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” voice actors James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano) are scheduled to return as celebrity hosts. Taylor will be the official emcee while Eckstein will reprise her role as host of “Behind the Force,” a live show that takes fans behind-the-scenes in the Star Wars universe.
2013′s Star Wars Weekends may be the biggest one yet with Disney’s recent acquisition of Lucasfilm and the announcement of new Star Wars Episode VII. Be sure to check back for more announcements regarding the various stars and special events taking place at this year’s Star Wars Weekends! May the Force be with you!
- Star Wars Weekends 2013 Dates Announced (chipandco.com)
- Star Wars’ Weekends 2013 Dates Announced (jedimouseketeer.com)
In a real-life Indiana Jones adventure a lawsuit has been filed in the state of Illinois by Dr. James Awe, director of the Institute of Archeology of Belize. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the nation of Belize over the Crystal Skull artifact that you will recognize from the film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.
Who is Dr. James Awe and why does he have anything to do with Indiana Jones and the crystal skull? Well, Awe is a real-life” Indiana Jones and he is demanding the return of the real Crystal Skull that is in the hands of a treasure-hunting family that allegedly stole it over 80 years ago from Belize. If that is not enough to make this story entertaining, Awe is also implicating Lucasfilms, the Walt Disney Co. (new owner of Lucasfims) and Paramount Pictures (distributor of the Indiana Jones movie) for allegedly using a replica of the Crystal Skull in the movie.
Awe claims that an adventurer named F.A. Mitchell-Hedges and his adopted daughter traveled to Belize in the 1920s and found the skull and took it back to England and has profited from it by exhibiting the skull. Anna Mitchell-Hedges, the adopted daughter reportedly disclosed how she found the skill under a collapsed altar while exploring temple ruins. She disclosed this info to the Sci Fi Channel for a documentary that aired in 2008.
According to Awe’s lawsuit the Crystal Skull comes from the Mayan culture and is made of clear or milky quartz and is shaped like a human skull. The skull is supposed to have magical powers are there are four known Crystal Skulls that have these valuable properties in the world. The other three Crystal skulls are on display in museums in London, Paris and the Smithsonian in Washington.
Among the damages Awe is asking for the “illegal profits” of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” which grossed about $786 million worldwide.
“Lucasfilm never sought, nor was given permission to utilize the Mitchell-Hedges Skull or its likeness in the Film,” says the complaint. “To date, Belize has not participated in any of the profits derived from the sale of the Film or the rights thereto.”
The lawsuit filed by attorney Adam Tracy attempts to make this claim by saying that Belize has a “right, title and interest in and to the Mitchell-Hedges Skull and its likeness” and that the film companies have participated in a civil conspiracy and tortiously interfered with its prospective economic advantage.
Dr. Awe is suing the Mitchell-Hedges family for removing the Crystal Skull from Belize and never returning it. The claim against Lucasfilms, Walt Disney Co, and Paramount Pictures is that the exhibition of the skull in the film is unlawful.
This lawsuit is an adventure in proportion to the Indiana Jones movie, but thinking about the big picture, what do you think Indiana Jones would have done in real life? Do you think he would file a lawsuit or would he find a way to take back what he thinks he owns?
During the Grand Opening Press Event for Walt Disney World’s New Fantasyland, Parks and Resort Chairman Tom Staggs confirmed that another one of the WDW projects is still on track – that being the Avatar Land to be built in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
News on the “Avatar” land front has been quiet for some time since it was announced more than a year ago. This has caused the rumor mill to be filled with stories that the land was either being re-evaluated or even cancelled. Fuel was poured on the rumor mill fire recently when Disney announced the acquisition of Lucasfilms and the rights to the “Star Wars” franchise.
But Staggs reaffirms that the development plans are continuing. ”We’ve gotten more excited about Avatar as we’ve gone through development. Because we are finding that really playing around with this notion of allowing guests to visit Pandora can be very magical. We’re not in construction yet. We’re still in development. And we’re still honing exactly what we’re going to do. But it’s going to be big.”
Staggs compares the Avatar development to that of the newly opened “Cars” Land in DCA and the New Fantasyland at MK. “We love that as a direction,” Staggs said. “We’re going to go for that in Avatar. Cars Land has been a tremendous hit in Anaheim. It’s such a hit with our guests that it clearly factors into our thinking about the long-range plans for our other properties,” he said. “We haven’t made any final decisions about if or when that might happen. But we’re excited to see how much the guests are really loving that land.”
Staggs also confirmed that the presence of “Star Wars” in its theme parks will expand, ”You’ll see more Star Wars in the parks,” Staggs said.
Prior to any Avatar or Star Wars development however, Disney must complete the roll out of it’s “NextGen” project which has been in development for years. ”NextGen” pieces include a reservations system which allows visitors to book rides from home, keyless hotel-room doors and interactive ride queues.
- Disney Confidential – Avatarland is BACK ON…Maybe! (chipandco.com)
- Top Disney exec says Avatar Land remains on track (orlandosentinel.com)
BioWare™, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. and LucasArts has taken their critically-acclaimed, massively multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic is now Free-to-Play! Now players can experience the complete storylines of all eight, iconic Star Wars™ classes, all the way to level 50 without paying a monthly fee.
“There has never been a better time to start playing with us. We want to give our players the freedom to enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic when and how they want,” said Matthew Bromberg, General Manager of BioWare Austin.
Along with the Free-to-Play launch team BioWare released Game Update 1.5: HK-51 Activated, which adds new areas to explore, a new Companion character and more, including:
- Action-packed adventure to earn control of one of the galaxy’s most deadly Assassins, HK-51. Submerged beneath the icy surface of Belsavis lies a derelict ship and if you are brave enough to venture through the wreckage, you will embark on a mission that ultimately rewards you with a powerful new, yet familiar, ally: the ruthless Assassin Droid, HK-51.
- Explore Section X, a previously untouched area of the prison world of Belsavis. The Dread Masters’ servants are searching for a powerful and ancient weapon. Fly to Section X and secure the target of their search to be richly rewarded.
- Travel to Denova to take on Operation: Explosive Conflict – now with a Nightmare Mode! Teams who complete in this new mode can earn the final pieces of the Dread Guard gear set and a brand new mount that will be sure to cause tank envy!