This week Disney’s biggest news wasn’t as front and center as one would expect, but that doesn’t mean things will have less of an impact. While fans are excited about Park expansions and new rides, the company as a whole continues to grow or shift in all areas of business. Here are just some of the changes coming in the next few years.
Toy Story Land Opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World officially has the largest Toy Story Land of all Disney Parks. The 11 acre expansion joins Toy Story Mania, taking things from Andy’s bedroom to his backyard. Disney held a dedication ceremony on Friday, June 29th one day prior to the Grand Opening. The imaginative new land was welcomed by Bob Chapek and special guest, Tim Allen. Check out our photo tour of the attractions, queues, and more.
Department of Justices Grants Conditional Approval for Fox Acquisition
When Disney revised their initial offer to acquire 21st Century Fox, we all expected Comcast to respond quickly with a revision of their own. That hasn’t happened yet and it’s unclear if it will. In the meantime, the Department of Justice has granted Disney conditional approval to proceed with their plans to obtain the media company, although they will need to sell off the 22 regional sports networks they’re gaining in the deal. This doesn’t guarantee anything, it just means that Disney legally can continue to pursue the acquisition. Both Disney and 21st Century Fox will have rescheduled special shareholder meetings to be held on July 27th so stockholders can vote on the deal.
Port Canaveral to Explore Upgrading Disney Cruise Line Terminal
With Disney Cruise Line preparing to introduce three new ships in the years ahead, Port Canaveral is taking steps to hopefully accommodate an influx of guests coming through Disney’s terminal. In fact, port commissioners approved plans to conduct a study on how Terminal 8 could be upgraded as well as how Terminal 10 could also be prepared for DCL usage. Disney’s current terminal is the oldest and smallest at Port Canaveral, with the last major update happening in 1998.
Stuntronics Project Produces Aerobatic Stunt Performer
You may recall awhile back, Disney introduced a robot dubbed “Stickman” who would perform precision aerial movements and acrobatics. While Stickman may not seem to be of much significance, it actually points to something even more impressive. In a short video released earlier this week, Stickman has evolved into an Stuntronics robot. Utilizing an accelerometer, gyroscope arrays, and more, the stunt robot can be flung through the air while maintaining a pose and aiming for a target. Imagineers are hoping to use the technology to introduce characters into theme parks that can perform actions seen on film.
DisneyToon Studios Shuts Down
In a surprising announcement this week, Disney shut down their DisneyToon Studios after 28 years of operation. The studio produced cartoon movies, direct to home release sequels, and spinoff series. DisneyToon Studios has produced over 45 feature films beginning with DuckTales: Treasure of the Lost Lamp all the way through Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast. They are best known for their Planes and Fairies series. At last year’s D23 Expo they had announced an untitled film would be released from the studio in the upcoming years, that has now been canceled.
Other Stories of Note
WALL•E Turns 10! The anniversary is the perfect excuse to pick up this adorable merchandise.
ESPN Radio hosts sign multi-year agreements to remain with the network: Dan Le Batard and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner will continue to entertain fans.
Asad Ayaz and Ricky Strauss Take on New Roles at Disney: Ayaz has been named President Of Marketing taking over for Strauss, and Strauss has been named President, content & marketing, for the upcoming Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD) service that will debut next year.
Legend of the Three Caballeros Debuts in the Philippines: Disney fans lost their minds upon the discovery of this new animated series that is currently only being offered in the Asian market.