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Bits & pieces: Pandora, Happily Ever After, Music of Pixar-Live, deals

on May 9, 2017

Some Disney News!

Confession: I have never seen Avatar. So when Disney announced a few years ago that they would be recreating the world of Pandora: World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World, I was all, “meh.”  Now that the work is mostly completed, and they are airing TV spots, and the opening is slated for Memorial Day Weekend 2017, I’m all, “…still meh.”  However, a few things that might make me change my tune:

  • my personal Star Wars effect.  Recall that I had never seen any of the prequels, and literal decades had passed since I had viewed original trilogy.  I watched all the movies before our October 2015 trip because the Star Tours ride had been updated in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and greatly enjoyed the ride because of the fresh viewings.  Perhaps watching Avatar before our next trip will get me excited to see it in person.
  • the Disney Difference.  They don’t do anything half-assed.  So even if the subject matter is not my cup of tea, I know it will be well-done, detailed, and fun for a least one run-through.
  • the concept art.  It’s pretty spectacular.  I don’t know yet what significance the Na’vi River has to the movie, but this ride with bioluminescent effects looks amazing.

The Walt Disney Company

Now, a moment of silence please, for the end of Wishes! A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams.  This fireworks show ended wonderful days at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World for nearly 15 years.  That means it is the only fireworks show my daughter has seen in her 4 ex utero visits to the World (her 1st trip, in utero, WHICH TOTALLY COUNTS, was during the Fantasy in the Sky era).  We saw standard Wishes! several times, and of course, enjoyed the excellent, themed Happy HalloWishes! during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Short story time!  Many moons ago, my sister and I drove from NJ to Philadelphia to my friend’s house for my Bachelorette party.  My glovebox contained a “book” of my favorite CDs.  Somehow, we accidentally left the passenger door unlocked after parking the car on the street for the night.  Hijinx ensued, shots were consumed, memories were made.  The next morning, I realized that my car had been opened.  Luckily, all the thieves did was rifle through the glovebox, taking my CD book and completely missing the iPod mini that had fallen under the seat!  I was annoyed at first, but then quite pleased when I stopped to picture the disappointment on those thugs’ faces as they opened that CD book up to find the official Wishes! soundtrack, The Disney Baby Lullaby Album, and some classic cumbia CDs.


Now, it’s the dawn of a new era.  Just this month, Happily Ever After replaced Wishes!  The change was announced on the Disney Parks Blog in February.  I don’t like ride videos for rides I haven’t been on, and generally keep away from too many pictures of new Lands and Attractions, (I really have only seen that pic above, and maybe 1 or 2 others re: World of Avatar) because I want my experience to be mostly unspoiled.  This video is about as far as I will go when it comes to details on the new show.  I even watched it on mute so I wouldn’t hear the song!  I did feast my eyes on the huge advancements in castle projection.  I remember gasping out loud when I first saw this effect in 2009, at Disneyland.  This sneak peek gives me chills!  2021 is a long time to wait for my next trip, guys.

Finally, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the announcement of this limited-time concert series had me wanting to throw all my responsibilities aside to grab my daughter and fly to Florida.  The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters will feature a live orchestra and favorite Disney•Pixar characters.  One of DD’s future goals is to be part of a Disney orchestra that records soundtrack music (she plays several instruments), so this would be fabulous for her.  Right now it’s only scheduled for 3 months this summer, premiering May 26, but I hope that if the show is good, they keep it around, at least seasonally.  Even the graphic is exciting:

pixar live

The Walt Disney Company

That’s all the Disney stuff for today.  For some non-Disney deals…

The US Travel Association’s Daily Getaways deals are going on right now.  I linked to them last year, and this year’s deals are OK.  This $45 ticket offer for Busch Gardens is still available, and that’s pretty good.  Some of the Universal Studios stuff still has availability, just be sure you are ordering correctly, as some packages are for Orlando and some for Hollywood.  But go ahead a take a look at what’s still available if you’re curious 🙂

A great deal going on now is 15% cash back on select ebates retailers.  They’ve got eBags, Bloomingdale’s, all kinds of stores.  And they add some new ones daily.  This lasts all week. Let me know if you want a referral to join, just comment below.  Happy shopping!

Finally, you may remember that big airlines banned electronics on board airplanes bound for the US from certain Middle Eastern countries….now they are thinking of banning them on US-bound flights from Europe.  Sigh.  This story is developing.  More news on that as early as this week.  I’m starting to consider having completely separate travel electronics, and leaving the personal stuff at home.  My sister worried about this on her domestic flight here, and she wound up having no problem.  As far as international…

I am thinking ahead to Europe 2018…though who knows what will be going on by then.  On a positive note, I remember riding past this hotel on the tram when we lived in Sevilla.  I just realized that the Hotel Alfonso XIII is bookable with SPG points, since it’s part of the Luxury Collection.

Love the Moorish architecture married with Andalusian style.  It’s gorgeous, and within spitting distance of the epic Catedral de Sevilla and our beloved Barrio Santa Cruz. I can’t wait to go back to Spain 🙂

3 responses to “Bits & pieces: Pandora, Happily Ever After, Music of Pixar-Live, deals

  1. VivaLaDiva405 says:

    I remember being blown away by Avatar’s look (the movie itself, plot-wise, does not stand up to lot of scrutiny). The first time I saw that there was going to be a theme park/land that’s dedicated to it, I thought, “Whoever’s doing that is 10 yrs too late and will lose their shirts.” Then I saw it was Disney! Oops! So they’re going to make buckets on the visual world-building alone. Also – heh re: your CDs, I remember that! Also, also – that hotel looks AMAZING. YAY FOR POINTS! We have those, too, after Henry uses them all for Japan, we’ll build back up and definitely stay there. Bale.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gina says:

    Wow, that video is wonderful. Some day i will be there !!!!
    Love the pictures from Sevilla, let me know when you plan to come back!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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