‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Smashes the Box Office Its Opening Weekend Bringing In $121 Million

Thor Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok hit the box office like a sledgehammer this weekend bringing in an estimated $121 million gross domestically.

Thor: Ragnarok is Marvel’s third Thor movie, but that didn’t stop the film that was produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios from being a welcome addition this weekend to Hollywood and theater owners who had a rough October at the box office. Thor: Ragnarok also countered the trend of sequels not doing as well as the first in the box office. In 2011, Thor debuted with $65.7 million and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World grossed $85.7 million on its opening weekend.

“In this business, it’s not often you see the second and third installments in the franchise outpacing the previous issue,” said David Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief. “You don’t expect never-ending returns when it comes to sequels, but it definitely speaks to the quality of the talent at the Marvel Studios team and the way they’re thinking about each film out of the gate.”

The Walt Disney Studios are not the only ones who are able to release such blockbuster hits, but “three of the year’s five $100 million-plus releases are theirs.” Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are the other two and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Disney Pixar’s Coco will both hit theaters before the end of the year.

Source: Associated Press

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Runner Dies After Participating in the Disney Wine&Dine Half Marathon

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According to the Orlando Sentinel, a runner collapsed near the finish line of the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Sunday, November 5, 2017, and passed away later that same day. The runner’s identity and the details of their death have not been disclosed.

Walt Disney World spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said, “We offer our sincerest sympathies to the family and loved ones of the runner during this difficult time.”

At this time there are limited details on this story, but if there is more information released we will report on them immediately.

Credit: Orlando Sentinel

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New Details on Universal’s Two New Hotels

Universal will be adding two new hotels to their roster, bringing their total up to eight. The two new hotels are set to open in the summer of 2019 and will start at less than $100 dollars a night making them even more affordable than Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel.

In total their will be 2,800 new guest rooms, including 1,450 two-bedroom suites designed to accommodate families of all sizes. One of the new hotels will have 750 rooms and the other will offer 2,050 rooms. The hotels will be built on the old Wet ‘n Wild spot at the intersection of Universal Blvd. and International Drive, but there will be complimentary transportation to the theme parks and CityWalk along with other amenities such as Early Park Admission.

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Loews Hotels will be operating the hotel, but Universal Creative will be putting their own spin on the hotels, which will allow guests to enjoy the sun, surf and sand with a laid-back coastal feel. Concept art shows large exterior murals complete with relaxing colors, palm trees and water. Between the two hotels there will be three pools, two food courts offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and nearby coffee bars, plus poolside bars, fitness rooms, car rental facilities, and more.

Reservations for the two new hotels will be accepted in early 2018, but you can book Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort at this time. Reservations are also being taken for Universal’s Aventura Hotel, which should be opening in Fall 2018.

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Sheraton Vistana Resort – 1-Bedroom Villa from $119!

Hotel Information | Rooms | Amenities | Transportation

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Disney Parks Presents Their Newest Sweet Treats for November

Nov Sweet Treats Cover

Let’s face it – when you’re on a Disney vacation, dessert is important and Disney has got you covered.

Over at Disneyland Resort, they’re serving up Rocky Road candy apples and marshmallows wands. Guests can find these tasty goodies at any candy location throughout Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure Park like Trolley Treats, Pooh Corner, or Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen.

Caramel Apple Milkshake

The Caramel Apple Milkshake at The Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park is next on the list of delicious treats. The vanilla milkshake comes with streusel, apple pie filling, and is topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Guests will be delighted to know that this one is a ‘bottomless’ treat!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

If you’re looking for Thanksgiving-inspired desserts, there are various choices available around the Walt Disney World Resort including a Seasonal Pumpkin Bread Pudding at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in Disney Springs that will be on the menu through December.

Satu'li Pumpkin Cheesecake

In Pandora – The World of Avatar, only on Thanksgiving day, guests can enjoy a pumpkin cheesecake mousse at Satu’li Canteen.

Let us know which one you’re looking forward to trying!

Source: Disney Parks Blog

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Disney’s Deployable Shade Patent Could Lead to Better Weather Protection for Guests

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If a new patent is put into use, guests at Disney parks may soon get a reprieve from the harsh weather conditions they are accustomed to.

A patent under the title “Deployable Shading Structure” outlines the use of canopies that could be deployed and retracted dependent on when Disney feels they are needed, allowing unobstructed views when not in use, and able to be themed as the parks see fit.

“The inventors recognized that none of the existing weather protection devices meet all the needs and demands of operators of larger facilities, including theme and amusement parks, where visitors spend large amounts of their time outdoors. The inventors determined that in contrast to existing devices it would be desirable for a new weather protection device to provide shade when shading is needed or desired, for the device to be hidden or blend in with surrounding architectural features when no shading (or weather protection) is needed or desired, and for the weather protection device to be designed to enhance a show and/or to have a theme-based appearance or characteristics.”

Basically, a canopy is housed in a pole-like structure and could be deployed with either a manual trigger or by using automated sensors that would factor in the number of guests in an area and current weather conditions (amount of sunlight/rain). Here is the patent’s description of the canopy itself:

“The canopy, in some embodiments, is formed of a material with pores or mesh-like openings sized and shaped so that the canopy is at least partially air and water permeable so that the canopy does not behave like a sail or kite. The canopy may be circular, square, or some other shape, and, when deployed, may generally be shaped as an upward facing cup or saucer (or upward facing flower) with each of its web segments (e.g., portions of the canopy extending between support ribs or arms) having an arched or arcuate shape when viewed from the side from the center of the canopy to the outer edges.”

The structures would also have the option of full or partial deployment, depending on need.

As must be mentioned any time a patent is reported on, not all patents end up seeing use. Given the oftentimes chaotic weather that guests experience in Disney parks, specifically the frequent periods of intense sun and rain at Walt Disney World, it would not be surprising to see this technology makes its way onto Disney property. At the very least, we know the problem is being worked on.

Below are more images from the patent that give an idea on what it would look like during implementation.

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Source: Orlando Business Journal

Source/Images: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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Permit Shows a New Thor ‘Encounter’ Coming to California Adventure

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With last weekend’s box office success of Thor: Ragnarok, it’s no surprise that the Disneyland Resort wants to increase the character’s presence in the Parks.

During the last month or so, Thor has randomly appeared in California Adventure as a walk-around character, but a new permit filed with the City of Anaheim indicates that both Thor and Loki will be involved in a new “Heroic Encounter” to take place on the Hollywood Backlot Stage beginning sometime later this month.

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The Hollywood Backlot Stage was last used for the interactive Avengers Training Initiative show during the Summer of Heroes. It’s not known yet if the “Loki and Thor Heroic Encounter” will be a show or a just a character meet & greet.

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The permit was requested late last week and is in the approval process. Installation is set for November 17th, with a removal set for February 17th.

Source: City of Anaheim

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Final ‘Coco’ Trailer Released as Tickets Go On Sale

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In honor of the first day of ticket sales for the upcoming film, Disney-Pixar has released the final trailer for Coco.

Coco, features an all Latino cast (plus John Ratzenberger) and is centered around the culture’s Dia De Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, celebration.

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Young Miguel dreams of becoming a musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, and desperate to prove his talent he finds himself magically transported to the Land of the Day. There he sets off on a mission to unlock the real story behind his family history.

Coco doesn’t open in theaters until November 22, but check out the final trailer now:

Source: Disney-Pixar

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BREAKING: 21st Century Fox in Talks to Sell Studio and Other Assets to Disney

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UPDATE: 11/7/17; 9:00 a.m. According to Bloomberg, Disney and Fox are no longer in talks and when asked for comment, both companies declined.

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21st Century Fox’s stocks just spiked today after CNBC reported that talks have been held recently regarding them selling a majority of the media conglomerate to Disney.

CNBC’s David Faber reported that “the sale talks have centered around the 20th Century Fox movie and TV production operations, the FX Networks, and National Geographic TV cable groups as well as Fox’s enormous portfolio of international channels.”

The deal, as originally reported by CNBC, would allow Fox to keep the Fox Broadcasting Co. network and the Fox Sports and Fox News operations. FCC regulations prohibit one company from owning more than one of the Big Four broadcast networks and Disney already owns ABC. The combination of Fox Sports with Disney’s ESPN and Fox News with ABC News could also cause an issue.

Fox’s price per share skyrocketed more than 6% within half an hour of the release of CNBC’s report, which hit around 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. “Fox shares were up over $26 while Disney shares inched up 1% to just under the $100 mark.”

Disney and 21st Century Fox have declined to comment on the matter.

Sources: CNBC and Variety

Image Source: Wiki

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Terralina Chef Tony Mantuano Shares Details on the Upcoming Disney Springs Restaurant

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We’ve known for some time now that Portabello Country Italian Trattoria would be getting a name change and full redesign, but thanks to some words from one of the chefs behind the rebooted restaurant, we now have a glimpse of what Disney Springs‘ Terralina Crafted Italian will look like.

The Landing location’s upcoming eatery is being developed by Chicago-based Levy Restaurants Inc. and headed by James Beard Award-winner Chef Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef Justin Plank. Mantuano used a culinary demonstration at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival to share some insight regarding Terralina.

Guests at the restaurant can expect a unique start to their meal. Mantuano explained their slant on traditional bread service, which involves a dipping side made from pickled vegetables like peppers, carrots, and cauliflower preserved in oil.

“Everyone is used to having a plate of olive oil served with their bread. We want to serve Giardiniera. You can utilize vegetables that are in season, it’s super easy to make, and by doing it yourself, you can control what goes in.”

Mantuano stressed the importance of stellar service to a dining experience, quoting James Beard in the process.

“To me, the most important thing in a restaurant is the service. James Beard said, ‘The best restaurant is the one that knows who I am when I sit down.’ “

Lastly, Mantuano talked about how sustainability will factor into Terralina’s operations. Table scraps can be repurposed as feed for local farmers, and they have a unique idea on how to put their abundance of bread waste to good use.

“We go through so much bread, it all can’t be consumed. So, instead of just throwing it away, we’re working with a local brewer to make a beer, just for us, from that bread.”

One thing Mantuano didn’t do was give a set date for the restaurant’s opening, although we know it will be sometime next year. Until then, the chef said they were, “taking the time to develop new dishes and create a memorable experience.”

Source: Orlando Business Journal

Image: Terralina Crafted Italian concept art courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

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