This month on Dispodopolis, we discuss the year that was Disney, 2019. We decided that 2019 garnered reflection. We are not your typical podcast; we won’t be making a list of favorites or a top ten. Instead, we will thoroughly review this year by dividing it into four categories: the Disney parks in the states, Disney movies, Disney+, and Disney merchandise.
We start with the Disney parks in the states and all the new amazing experiences that were created this year for guests. Fiona wants to start in Epcot and all the demolition that is taking place there. She says a fond farewell to her beloved Club Cool and is comforted by the fact that Coca-Cola opened a new tasting station in Disney Springs. Also, in Epcot, we briefly mention the newly released movies; the new inspiring firework show, Epcot Forever; and the summer release, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
We move on to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and all that it has to offer. We will have a more involved review in March after our trip. This time we run through some of the comments that we have heard through various outlets. We figure out which ones seem to be off the mark and which ones are right on the money. The talk continues to discuss the lack of music and comparing it to other parts of the park that don’t offer music in the background. The new rides, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, are definitely not to be missed on our next trip. There is a lot of anxiety in our household, building up about being able to experience Rise of the Resistance.
Right next door in Hollywood Studios is the new show Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, and it is a show created with families in mind. Another ride for the whole family is the new ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. It looks impressive and will be opening the day before we arrive for our trip. It is opening with no height restriction. This gives another great option for all the families out there. You may want to preview this ride via YouTube before you take a child under seven on this ride. We have no idea what the visual intensity will be for this runaway train.
We end our discussion about the parks focused on a beloved return of the Animation Academy at Animal Kingdom’s Rafiki Planet Watch. Also, we touch on the quick turnaround and addition of the Avenger’s Campus that replaces Bug’s Land. The opening in the summer of 2020 will include Worldwide Engineering Brigade (WEB), which will house the Spider-Man experience, and Pym Test Kitchen based on the technology of Ant-Man and the Wasp. In the future, we will see an addition of a transportation system that takes you on an adventure to Wakanda. This last ride will be inspired by the movie Black Panther.
The next subject we touch on is the blockbuster year that Disney Studios has had. Bringing in 40% of the revenue from cinema releases and accounting for 80% of the blockbusters that were released in 2019. The two movies at the top are Avengers: Endgame and Lion King. Who knew that the most popular animation feature of Disney’s vast history would be the Lion King.
After the review of the blockbuster year, we discuss Disney’s recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox and the fourth-quarter release of Disney+. Disney quickly put it’s mark on the acquired studio and has already starting to rebrand its many parts. Disney+ has secured a runaway hit with the Mandalorian and the meme darling, The Child or Baby Yoda. I think Disney has really made it work with a slow release of this original series. It has built a following that we aren't seeing with the other competing streaming services.
Lastly, as requested by Fiona, we review the serial merchandise release of 2019 at the Disney Store and Parks, known as the Wisdom Series. Disney did a slow release of 12 characters from various Disney Animated Features. The characters featured in this series are the Fairy Godmother, Simba, Genie, Merlin, Bambi, Jiminy Cricket, Lumiere, Meeko, Piglet, Baloo, Mushu, and Dumbo. Each character has a saying of wisdom stitched on the plush and includes a matching mug, journal, t-shirt, and pin set. Some of these items are still available.
Looking at 2020, we discuss this year’s series, Minnie Mouse: The Main Attraction. The theme is Minnie Mouse dressed in a fashion matching some of her favorite attractions at the parks. The attractions include Space Mountain, Pirates of Caribbean, Mad Tea Party, It’s a Small World, Enchanted Tiki Room, Peter Pan’s Flight, the Carousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise and the Castle. Each month they release a plush Minnie Mouse, Minnie Mouse ear headband, mug, pin set, mini backpack or hip pack, and a Walt Disney World Resort MagicBand.
Before we have our discussion about the 2019 year of Disney, we ask ourselves what collection we would like to bring back? Fiona heads us in this discussion and steps back in time to request the old Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games to be re-released. Ryan talks about the 25th anniversary of Indian Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye and how he would like to see a merchandise release. Lastly, I talk about a return of the 1979 Mickey Mouse Club dresses, jumpers, and simple Mickey Mouse Ear Hats. I