Disney-Fox Merger Approved by Shareholders
On Friday morning, both Disney and Fox held brief shareholder meetings to vote on the proposed companies’ plans to merge (or, more accurately, to have Disney purchase a majority of 21st Century Fox assets). Support for the Disney/Fox deal was strong and shareholders voted in favor by a landslide. The companies are expected to close the deal in 2019. If you’re keeping track, this means that The Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Deadpool are all coming home to Marvel, and now Titanic and Avatar will officially be part of the Disney family.
Guardians Cast, Family, and Friends Defend James Gunn
Disney announced last week that they were severing ties with director James Gunn after old insensitive tweets resurfaced. Since the decision was announced, several friends, family, and cast members responded with support for Gunn and have expressed disagreement with his firing. Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait even went so far as to ask Disney to remove his vocal recording from an unannounced show for the reason that some of his humor has been inappropriate/questionable.
Disney Announces Elimination of Plastic Straws in Parks and Resorts
As part of a new company conservation initiative, Disney has announced that they will be eliminating plastic straws from their parks and resorts. They plan to do away with single use straws and plastic stirrers by mid 2019. Additionally, Disney plans to replace disposable hotel (soap/shampoo) amenities with refillable containers. Finally. another goal is to offer guests the option to purchase a reusable bag for a nominal fee when shopping in stores and boutiques in the parks and hotels.
Disney Reaches Agreement with Disneyland Unions
After nearly a year of negotiations, Disney has come to an agreement with four of Disneyland’s largest unions. Approximately, 8,600 Cast Members will receive immediate wage increases from their current $11 an hour to $13.25 an hour. In January of 2019, wages will increase to $15 hourly followed by a planned 3% increase in June 2020.
Edgar from The Aristocats Will Make His Park Debut at Disneyland Paris
This fall, Disneyland Paris will host a first of its kind event at Walt Disney Studios Park. The Disney Loves Jazz, Soiree of Jazz program will consist of one incredible night of live music, attractions, and character meet and greets including the first ever park appearance of Edgar. The grumpy butler who proved to be troublesome for three little kittens will meet guests during the exclusive event.
Lucasfilm Confirms Cast of Star Wars: Episode IX
On Friday afternoon, Lucasfilm officially confirmed the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX. As expected, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and John Boyega are among the returning cast along with the highly anticipated appearance of Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian. Director J.J. Abrams also confirmed that the late Carrie Fisher will be featured in the film saying, “With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Other Stories of Note
Michael Strahan and Sara Haines will host Good Morning America‘s 3rd hour of programing. The new time block will be called GMA Day. Strahan and Haines shared their excitement on Twitter and Instagram.
What–if anything–is holding up the Disneyland hotel expansion? Doug theorizes about the recent lack of construction around Downtown Disney’s west end.
Ziploc to Sponsor Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain. Starting this August, the company will reportedly be the ride sponsor and will provide small bags for guests to use to keep their electronics dry during the ride.
Reedy Creek Approves $2 million budget for World Showcase Lagoon. While nothing other than the budget has been confirmed, speculation is that a new show could be replacing the nearly 20 year old Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.