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February 17, 2018

Review: "Black Panther"

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"Don't freeze."
"I never freeze."
--Okoye and T'Challa

"Black Panther," the latest brick in the Marvel Cinematic Universe monolith, follows T'Challa shortly after the events of "Captain America: Civil War," as he struggles to adapt to his new role as King of Wakanda. The already-complicated political dilemmas of ruling a nation are compounded by his additional role of Black Panther; his slow-burning relationship with War Dog/Wakandan spy Nakia; a world that hungers for vibranium--the source of Wakanda's wealth and technology; and a man with an axe to grind who intends to use Wakanda as a whetstone.

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While Coogler delivers plenty of action in the film--there are so many fight scenes, Wakanda's second major resource must be Bactine--the characters are where the movie shines. All the people in the world of "Black Panther" feel real and dimensional and capable of having opposing views while still treating each other with respect. It's a bizarre thing to say about a superhero movie, but I wish the action had been cut back a little so we could have spent more time building up the various interpersonal relationships.

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Ironically, the supporting characters are so strong, Black Panther himself ends up being the least interesting one in the film. While Chadwick Boseman does a nice job of portraying the smart and decent T'Challa, he comes off a little bland compared to the dynamic Women of Wakanda.

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From the coolly intimidating Okoye (Danai Gurira,) head of the Dora Milaje all-female fighting force, to the brave and empathetic Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), to the brilliant scientist Shuri (Letitia Wright who is pitch-perfect as the sister to whom T'Challa is both King and dorky older brother,) to the regal Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett,) it is in many ways the strong, independent women who drive the movie and embody the best of Wakanda.

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Wakanda itself is a main character in the movie--beautiful and multifaceted, it is built up as a utopia of sorts, with equal parts environmental harmony and supernaturally advanced technology. Founded on the vibranium that landed there in a meteorite long ago, Wakanda enjoys a lifestyle rich with culture and tradition, supported by all the advanced science and medicine an enlightened society freed from the shackles of colonization or the paranoia of war might develop.

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It is Wakanda's good fortune that brings about one of the main conflicts of the film: Does Wakanda have a right to keep all of its resources to itself, knowing how many suffer throughout the world they might help? Or does Wakanda's responsibility to keep its own people safe and preserve the purity of their lifestyle take precedent? The three main men of the film, T'Challa, W'Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya,) and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) all have different visions of where the future of Wakanda lies. Poignantly, all three have suffered similar tragedies, pointing out again that heroism or villainy lies not so much in what life hands you, but in your response to it.

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Ultimately, Coogler has managed to make "Black Panther" a fun ride with a meaningful core. It's the superhero movie that feels the least like a superhero movie, which is a breath of fresh air in a genre that's in danger of getting a little played out recently. The characters seem more realized and the issues more topically relevant than most movies out there, which is a big accomplishment in a film where drinking a flower gives you superpowers.

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Because of the rarity of a superhero film written and cast with a predominately black viewpoint, it is difficult to discuss "Black Panther" without mentioning the significance of race in film. I am not a black person, and consequently it seems presumptuous to think that I could adequately express what it might signify for one to see a movie like "Black Panther." I am Japanese-American however, and I can tell you definitively what it would mean to me to see a tentpole blockbuster like this with a largely Japanese cast including even one empowered woman who doesn't either die in the first ten minutes of the film or spend the whole storyline helping/pining over a hero who never thinks of her as more than a swell kid: Quite a bit.

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"Black Panther" is presented by Marvel Studios. Rated PG-13, it stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.

*Always stay to the end of the credits.

Directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige. The Executive Producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov, and Stan Lee. Screenplay by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole.

The film enters general release on February 16, 2017.

** With Infinity War coming down the pike, Shuri probably hasn't healed her last broken white boy.





February 13, 2018

Disneyland Resort Updates from February 9, 2018

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 9, 2018.

Starting off with a video overview of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

A wide picture of the site this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

More steel is visible as a structure takes shape in front of the Battle Escape building on the park side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

A closer look at some of the new steel on the roof.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

The fences have shifted at the Mickey and Friends tram stop. The planters and load ramp have been removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

The Pinocchio Parking lot is not in use today. It will soon be blocked off for construction to start.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Concrete work at the Mickey and Friends Tram Stop in Downtown Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Walls for the Naples renovation leave just a narrow walkway right now to reach Downtown Disney from the end of the tram stop.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

First stop Disney California Adventure. Work continues on the Sonoma Terrace

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Grizzly River Run has returned from annual renovation, the walkways and attraction are reopened.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Next stop Disneyland. More signs up on the construction walls that fill Main Street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Checking out Town Square from the Main Street Train Station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

The new track is in and looks ready for concrete and bricks in this section.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Walls now span all of Main Street. There are three crossings set up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

From ground level, looking up Main Street. There is a narrow walkway on the street (plus the regular sidewalk)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Posters for Main Street shops/attractions are on the walls.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Looking back toward Town Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

There are three crossings set up. This is the second one at Center Street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

The CK Holliday steaming by with Star Wars construction towering behind.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Casey Jr. & Storybook Land Canal Boats have joined the list of attractions closed for renovation since my last trip.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

A look at the concept art on the wall for Casey Jr.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

"it's a small world" has returned to operation since my last visit. Due to the queue and parade route work the current queue snakes around the wall and mall area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

The queue becomes single file to reach the bridge.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

A reverse view from the Monorail, it appears the new parade gate will be shifted back quite a ways. It used to be up where the small world facade ended, assuming it will be in line with these two new pillars.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

At Disney California Adventure the transformation of Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier is moving along. Disney announced earlier this week that the first phase will open on June 23. The Paradise Pier sign is gone and the loop is back.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

The former entrance and signage for Ariel's is removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

The Silver Dollar Six performing in several sets inside the Golden Horseshoe now.

A LEGO BB-8 has replaced the other figures in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Splitsville is in a soft opening phase. The Patio and Lower level were open this evening. The upstairs was not.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

A sneak peek of A Wrinkle in Time is now playing in Sunset Showcase Theater

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Three costumes from a Wrinkle in Time are on display in the lobby.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 9, 2018

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.









February 12, 2018

"Black Panther" Press Junket

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This week the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to theaters: "Black Panther."

[All non-attributed photos and video courtesy of Disney.]

At a recent press conference the cast and creatives for "Black Panther" met to help introduce the world to Wakanda. In attendance: Chadwick Boseman “T’Challa / Black Panther,” Michael B. Jordan “Killmonger,” Letitia Wright “Shuri,” Lupita Nyong’o “Nakia,” Danai Gurira “Okoye,” Martin Freeman “Everett K Ross,” Daniel Kaluuya “W’Kabi,” Winston Duke “M’Baku,” Angela Bassett “Ramonda,” Forest Whitaker “Zuri,” Andy Serkis “Ulysses Klaue,” Director Ryan Coogler, and Producer Kevin Feige.

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Select moments from the press conference video above:

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Jordan on the film's effectiveness: "I call Ryan...the night before, or the day before, or the day of, and I was like, ‘Man, I’m anxious; I’m nervous, man. I don’t know...what to expect.’ And he says, ‘Look, man, just look at it and try to be a fan. Just watch it, you know what I’m saying, and try to enjoy it.’ And in the back of my head I’m like, yeah, that’s never gonna happen, but I’m gonna try. And when I sat down with my family and the audience...I had that same type of reaction. It was like, man, this is what it feels like. There’s nothing that I could have--I couldn’t describe that feeling before actually sitting down and watching that film...people who looked like you...empowered, and having those...socially relevant themes, but in a movie that you want to sit down and watch, and you can enjoy, that Marvel does so well. So I think it was a really good balance, and everybody won; everybody did amazing, amazing jobs in performances.."

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Bassett on portraying a powerful woman on screen: "In African culture, you know, they feel as if there is no king without a queen...and I think in this story, it highlights the queen...the warrior...the general...the young sister, you know. So I was so proud to have my daughter, and my son there last night, because in their faces, and in their spirit, they were feeling themselves. And they stood taller after last night."

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Gurira on having her head shaved for her character: "This pride around it, and this sort of embracing of this--this sort of symbol of power in these women. And then the beauty of how he wrote that moment; I loved that moment where she like, doesn’t want a wig. She doesn’t want to cover up. This is her joy, and her pride, is in walking in with that...with that bald head with that tattoo on it. And I was like...it was so subversive, you know, and it’s so subversive in the right way, to say what’s not necessarily beauty. You don’t have to have hair to be beautiful."

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Wright on whether Shuri is smarter than T'Challa: "I think what I love about it...with how it was written, is that the men are always behind the women, as well. So no one’s like undermined--the men are not, you know, ‘you shouldn’t be in technology, and you shouldn’t be in math,’ they’re like, ‘no, go ahead.’ So T’Challa is like, ‘go ahead, Sis. This is your department. This is your domain. Like--kill it.’
"But she's cooler than him, but not smarter than him."

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Coogler on making a blockbuster film that also has meaning: "...I grew up loving comic books. I love not just comic books, but I love pop culture. I love toys, actions figures, you know, video games, all of that stuff. When I got older and...realized that I wanted to make movies, that’s how I fell in love with internationalism, and, you know, cinema that...left you with something to chew on, with something to think about. But I never fell out of love with those types of films, you know, and those types of stories. And I think the best versions of those stories, you know, do both things."

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Feige on having the courage to address societal issues: "Well I think it’s happened for the comics, so it’s happened with the movie. Ryan wrote this for the most part, you know, a year and a half ago, two years ago, so things have happened in the world which makes the film seem more relevant. There are other things in the film that have been relevant for centuries, but the truth of the matter is Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and the whole Marvel bullpen created Wakanda and created T’Challa and created Black Panther and made him a smarter, more accomplished character than any of the other white characters in the mid 1960s. So they had the guts to do that in the mid 1960s. The least we can do is live up to that and allow this story to be told the way it needed to be told and not shy away from things that the Marvel founders didn’t shy away from in the height of the civil rights era."

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Serkis and Freeman on being in a movie with a predominantly Black cast:

Serkis: "Actually we were just talking about that earlier on and it was very funny ‘cause you reminded me of a story of Ryan saying to us before we were about to do our scene. Ryan came up to us and said, you know, I’ve never actually directed two white actors before.
"No, it was just an incredible experience, you know, and to be part of it was...I just think this film is so important and to be able to be part of something that is so groundbreaking and yes, should have been made many years ago, you know...But now is the time and now is a brilliant time because things are changing rapidly in every single aspect of filmmaking and so it should and the needle should swing right the other way because we need to really change things."

Freeman: "...That was lovely and I have spoken to Ryan a bit about that sort of in the process before filming. And we both agreed that we didn’t want (Agent Ross) just to be a schmuck, you know, and we didn’t want him just to be a comic foil; that it needs to be a little bit more 3D than that and I was very pleased when I was reading...bits of the script and then new bits of the script that were coming in. They were making it more emphatic, more sympathetic, and a bit more can do...because clearly it’s not Agent Ross’s film by a long way, but he plays his part. There is sort of an ambivalence about Ross I think...‘cause you’re not quite sure if he’s gonna be down with T’Challa or not, but he ends up having his eyes opened by this country that he knew nothing about and a civilization that he knew nothing about and realizing that it had something to offer and he went away learning a bit from it, you know. So I was very pleased that Ross had his kind of moment of heroism at the end...He gets in his plane and he gets to help out. He has his little Hans Solo moment. So I was really pleased and I thought that was generous on the film’s part...‘cause like Andy says, you know, we’re not short of white heroes in movies, so I thought to make one of the two white characters...a bit of a hero, I thought spoke very well of them actually."

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Boseman on having T'Challa speak with an African accent: "You know I think as actors this is separate from the movie, but...when you’re trained you’re trained very often from a European perspective. What is considered great or classical is very often British and its certain writers and I happen to come from a background that does not believe that, you know. I went to Oxford to study, but I went to Howard and we were taught to respect our writers and our classics just as much and believe that it takes the same skill level and same technique and sometimes techniques that are a little bit different to pull that off. And so I think you have to be, you have to tell the stories and be true to yourself as an artist. And, you know...there was a time period where people were asking me questions about whether or not an audience could sit through a movie with a lead character who spoke with that accent. (And it was not Kevin by the way, so just making sure you know that.) And so I became adamant about the fact that that is not true. That the intonations and melodies inside an African accent are just as classical as a British one or a European one and that all of the emotions and aspects of a character can be shown and expressions can be shown through that accent and we have to take this opportunity to show that and he just wouldn’t, if he had never been conquered, if his ancestors had never been conquered and he’s never been conquered and Wakanda is what it is, he doesn’t have to go to Oxford to study. He doesn’t have to go to Cambridge or Yale or any place to study. He actually got his education at home and he would not then assimilate a language that is the colonizer’s language in order to speak to his people. So he had to speak with an African accent."

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Kaluuya on how a country balances self-preservation vs. altruism.: "I don’t think there is a right and wrong. I just think is the cause just and if the cause is just you just do what you need to do...and then sometimes there’s sacrifices, but there’s also sacrifices if you don’t do it, and that’s the battle that we’re in. We’re putting it out there and everyone makes their own decisions."

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Nyong’o on the film's takeaway message: "Well I would say what I love about the way this film represents women is that each and every one of us is an individual, unique and we all have our own sense of power and our own agency and we hold our own space without being pitted against each other. And I think that’s a very, very powerful message to send to children, both male and female this idea. I think often times in movies we fall into that trap where women, there’s very few of us and then we are against each other. There’s a competitive spirit and stuff like that and this film freezes all that. And we see women going about their business and supporting each other, even arguing with each other, you know; having different points of view, but still not being against each other. And I think that’s extremely important and...the fact that in this film there’s so many of us, we really get a sense of the fabric of Wakanda as a nation and we see women alongside men and we see how much more effective a society can be if they allow women to explore their full potential, yeah."

A variety of merchandise for all ages is available in conjunction with the movie's release:

"Black Panther" will open in theaters February 16, 2018.






February 7, 2018

Anime Los Angeles 2018

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For those interested in getting an early start on convention season this year, Anime Los Angeles headed things off last month, oddly enough in Ontario.

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While kind of a drive from the LA/OC locations major conventions are usually held, the relative remoteness made it a breeze to find and access parking which was pretty cheap for convention center standards--$7 versus the $25 LA Convention Center usually charges. The bulk of the programming took place at the Ontario Convention Center, however there were also some satellite locations at nearby hotels as well where people could indulge in manga or karaoke or any number of related activities.

Over in the convention center, there was the usual extensive Exhibitor's Hall with merchandise representing a myriad of anime/manga/visual novel franchises.

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(A side note: Am I the last person to have heard of the ita bag concept? In case I'm not, the ita bag is a backpack or tote that features a windowed area where people can display pins and keychains and stuffed animal "straps" on their bag but have them protected by a clear plastic outer covering. I thought this was genius, because I can't tell you how many cute pins and buttons I own that I'd never think of wearing to the parks for fear of losing them or getting them damaged.)

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While there were a number of interactive activities such as fashion shows, idol competitions, and dance competitions, the bulk of the guest panels seemed to revolve around voice acting and cosplay. The highlight of the weekend was the 20th Anniversary panel for "Cowboy Bebop," widely regarded as one of the most influential anime titles of all time.

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Virtually all the voice cast from the English dubbed version was there, including series star Steve Blum, who can currently be heard as Zeb Orrelios on "Star Wars Rebels," Attila on "Tangled: The Series," and Makucha on "Lion Guard;" Mary Elizabeth McGlynn who also plays Governer Pryce on "Star Wars Rebels" and has been Dialogue Director on "Penn Zero" and "Tangled: The Series;" and writer Marc Handler, presently Executive Producer at The Walt Disney Company-China. The panelists each told how they got involved with the project, and marked on how grateful they were to have been a part of something that's ultimately become important to such a large audience.

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The other major panel I attended was "Forging Epicness!" with Grant Imahara (Robot Builder/Engineer for Lucasfilm, "Mythbusters," Walt Disney Imagineering;) Fon Davis (Model Maker for Industrial Light and Magic;) Tony Swatton (Blacksmith/Swordsmith for Euro Disney, Walt Disney Studios;) Steve Winsett (Special Effects Makeup/Specialty Costuming for Walt Disney Studios;) and Bryan Forrest (Actor/Blacksmith for "Black Sails" and "Man at Arms.")

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This was a pretty fascinating discussion on the often-hazardous process involved in creating much of the special effects we enjoy in movies, TV, theme parks, etc. By the end of it, you had to admire the level of proficiency apparently required in these fields just to keep all your fingers attached.

Outside of the panels the four days were otherwise filled with almost non-stop live performances, anime video, manga lounges, Japanese cultural presentations, and workshops on anything from stuntfighting to cosplay technique.

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So if you have an interest in anime and are looking for a convention experience less stressful than the usual suspects happening later this year, I'd encourage a look at Anime Los Angeles which has an impressive amount of content but a small con feel. You can find more information at their website: http://www.animelosangeles.org/

[While most anime shares the Disney "big-head-big-eyes" standards of cuteness, unlike in the US, Japanese animation is not primarily considered the province for children, and many of them revolve around adult topics and imagery. Viewers of all ages sensitive to such subjects may be forewarned.]

While on your way out to the Ontario Convention Center, you might also want to stop by one of the two Disney Store outlets left around the LA area at the Ontario Mills Mall. They only had a couple of racks of things from the parks when I visited, but I was told that the volume they stock from there fluctuates, so you might get lucky.

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January 29, 2018

Lunar New Year Food Offerings at Disney California Adventure

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One of the highlights of any holiday event at the Disneyland Resort is trying some of the special foods and beverages that are available. For Lunar New Year, these offerings celebrate the cuisines of China, Korea, and Vietnam at three festive marketplaces and the Paradise Garden Grill.

Each marketplace features appetizer-sized portions of traditional dishes, as well as a dessert item and beverage. At the Media event I attended I had the opportunity to try several of the dishes, including a couple that are new this year.

Lunar New Year 2018 food

Korea Marketplace

* Kimchi Bokkeumbap - Kimchi-vegetable fried rice. $6.00 * Yachae Mandu - Steamed vegetable dumplings with sesame-garlic soy sauce. $6.50 * Yang Gaeng - Sweet red bean and raspberry jelly. $4.50 * Banana Milk (non-alcoholic). $5.00 * Mae Shil Ju - Plum wine cocktail with a rose petal garnish. $12.00 * Hite Pale Lager - $9.00

The Kimchi Bokkeumbap did not have a very strong kimchi flavor - pretty mild. A good selection of vegetables, though unfortunately it contained small pieces of red bell pepper. Yuck. I was able to mostly eat around it.

Lunar New Year 2018 kimchi bokkeumbap

I really did not like the new Yang Gaeng at all. It was like eating sweet gritty jello. Not a pleasant texture, and much too sweet.

Lunar New Year 2018 Red Bean and Raspberry Jelly

China Marketplace

* Pork Soup Dumplings with black vinegar and ginger. $7.00 * Three Cup Chicken. $6.75 * Egg tart. $4.25 * Five-Spiced Peanut Brittle. $4.50 * Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea with lychee popping pearls (non-alcoholic). $5.50.
-- Add a glowing lotus flower $5.00 * Tsingtao Lager. $9.00

The Three Cup Chicken is new this year. Chef John State, whose culinary team is responsible for the food and beverage offerings, told us that it's a traditional recipe, made with 1 cup each of rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil. It was served over rice, and I thought it was very good.

Lunar New Year 2018 Three Cup Chicken

The Pork Soup Dumplings returned this year - they were a guest favorite last year. They weren't as soupy as I expected, and they cooled off before I had a chance to eat them. Tasty but not amazing. I wish the bowl had included some of the broth and been more of a soup.

Lunar New Year 2018 Pork Soup Dumplings

Another returning item is the Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea. I had also tried this last year and thought it was too sweet. It seemed less sweet to me this year, though I'm not sure I could've told you it was passion fruit-flavored without knowing that. The light-up lotus flower is a $5 add-on.

Lunar New Year 2018 Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea

Vietnam Marketplace

* Sticky Rice Cake - with pork. $6.50 * Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer - with sweet and sour sauce. $7.00 * Purple Sweet Potato Macaron. $5.25 * Vietnamese Iced Coffee. $5.00

There were no changes to this marketplace menu. I sampled one of the Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewers. I was expecting a whole shrimp, but it was a mixture of chopped shrimp that had been lightly breaded and fried. It was very good, probably my favorite of all of the items that I tried. I would've chosen a different sauce for it, though.

Lunar New Year 2018 sugar cane shrimp skewer

According to Chef State, the Sticky Rice Cake is very labor intensive to prepare. It's also not something you can be in a hurry to eat, since it has to be untied and unwrapped!

Lunar New Year 2018 Sticky Rice Cake with pork

I was a little concerned about it at first - the wrapping (banana leaf?) had an unpleasant aroma, but fortunately that didn't affect the contents. I found that it was very filling - there was a good amount of tender pork in the middle of the rice. The carrot "slaw" that came with it was quite good: vinegary with a little bit of heat from the jalapeno.

Lunar New Year 2018 Sticky Rice Cake with Pork

The Purple Sweet Potato Macaron is beautiful to look at. Purple buttercream in the middle, and some gold leaf on top. I don't get the appeal of macarons in general, so while this was probably a fine macaron (and it was larger than most macarons I've seen) it seemed typical to me. Which is to say chewy and overly sweet.

Lunar New Year 2018 purple sweet potato macaron

There's a small food cart in Paradise Gardens that sells pork bao ($5.50) and almond cookies ($4.00). I tried the pork bao. It was very small for the price and the filling was dry. It was served with a sweet chili dipping sauce, which was sticky and too thick - almost gelatinous. I've had much better (and cheaper) bao from my local 99 Ranch Market.

Lunar New Year 2018 pork bao

The Lunar New Year menu at the Paradise Garden Grill restaurant offers complete meals inspired by several Asian countries. It's the same menu as last year with one new item added - a banh mi with grilled marinated pork belly. I would've liked to try this, but I was too full from everything else.

Lunar New Year 2018 pork banh mi

Though Paradise Garden Grill is a quick service location, in this incarnation it's serving food that is prepared to order like a table service restaurant. So there's been a change in the way the food is served this year. After placing their order guests receive their beverages at the window, along with a number card to place on a table in the seating area. Once the food is ready, cast members will deliver it to the table.

Paradise Garden Grill

* Whole Crispy Tilapia - tilapia lightly dusted with rice flour and deep fried, with citrus-chili vinaigrette. Served family style with soup, vegetables, and rice. Meal for two $24.99

* Kalbi Beef Short Ribs - marinated and grilled Korean-style beef short ribs with green onions, served with steamed rice and kimchi. $14.99

* Vegetable Japchae - sweet potato noodles, onions, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, spinach, snow peas, broccolini and lightly sauteed tofu, tossed with sesame oil and a sweet and spicy sauce topped with toasted sesame seeds. $10.99

* Beef Noodle Soup - rich seasoned beef stock, thinly sliced tri-tip, rice noodles, with classic accompaniments of onion, jalapeno, basil-lime and hot sauce. $11.99

* Banh mi with Grilled Pork - marinated pork belly, pickled carrots and daikon, with cucumber, cilantro, seasoned mayonnaise and jalapeno on a crisp baquette. $11.99

* Mango Pudding - $3.99

* Almond Milk Tea with Pudding - $4.99 Add a glowing lotus flower $4.59

* Black Beer Stout - $7.50

The booth prices are typical for a food festival at DCA - which is to say that they are high. Two samples will run $12-$14, which is about what you'll pay for a counter service meal - but it's not nearly as much food. Still, the quality is good, and some of the items are also very attractively presented. If you view it as an experience, and an opportunity to try something different, it's easier to justify the expense.

In contrast, the prices at Paradise Garden Grill are on par with what you'll pay for a counter service meal around the Disneyland Resort, for a food selection that you won't find at any other resort restaurants. I know where I'm eating if I return to DCA during Lunar New Year.

* I was an invited guest to a Lunar New Year Celebration Media event. My opinions are my own.






January 27, 2018

Disney California Adventure Lunar New Year Celebration - the Year of the Dog

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Since moving from Disneyland to Disney California Adventure in 2013, the Lunar New Year Celebration has expanded every year. In 2018, in addition to new entertainment and food offerings, the event will take place over the course of 24 days, from January 26 through February 18.

This short interview with Mirna Hughes provides an overview of what's happening this year.

The celebration takes place in the Paradise Park and Paradise Gardens areas. A large gateway near the entrance to Ariel's Undersea Adventure marks the beginning of the event area.

Lunar New Year 2018

This is the Year of the Dog, so Pluto gets his moment in the spotlight. His image is featured on the decorative banners in the park, as well as on some of the merchandise.

Lunar New Year 2018

Lunar New Year 2018

Lunar New Year 2018

Some of the merchandise, such as the Minnie flowered hat ears and the Mickey plush, came from Shanghai Disneyland. Mickey's foot has the Shanghai logo.

Lunar New Year 2018 Shanghai Minnie Ears

Lunar New Year 2018 Shanghai Mickey plush

Lunar New Year 2018 Shanghai Mickey

It's not a festival without food, of course! There are three food marketplaces in the Paradise Park corridor, offering representative dishes from Korea, China, and Vietnam. I'll have another blog on the items that I tried.

Lunar New Year 2018 Korea Booth

Only a few of the items are new this year, including "Three Cup Chicken". Never fear: the popular Pork Soup Dumplings are back. (I have it on good authority that these are Mushu's favorite! :-) )

Lunar New Year 2018 pork soup dumplings

The Paradise Garden Grill restaurant also offers a special Lunar New Year menu. The Crispy Fish Dinner - a whole tilapia served family style - returns this year, along with the Galbi (Korean style pork ribs). The Pork Belly Banh Mi sandwich is new this year. Also new this year: food is delivered to guests at their table. After ordering guests will receive a number along with their beverages and accompaniments, but the dishes will be brought to the table.

Lunar New Year 2018 Crispy Tilapia

There are a lot of activities for guests. Near Ariel's Undersea Adventure is a free face painting kiosk. A number of designs are available.

Lunar New Year 2018 face painting

Most activities are in Paradise Gardens. Kids (and adults) can color and make a paper lantern featuring Pluto. There are also calligraphy artists who will write a New Year wish or your name - it's a nice free souvenir.

Lunar New Year 2018

Lunar New Year 2018

At the Lucky Wishing Wall guests can write their new year wish on a Mickey-head-shaped card and tie it on. The Mickey cards are new this year. My wish for last year came true, so I hope for the same result for this year's wish.

Lunar New Year 2018 Lucky Wishing Wall

There are some static displays with information on how Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese families celebrate. This is the Year of the Dog, but another sign tells about the other animals, and you can find what year you were born in.

Lunar New Year 2018

The character meet and greet is at the gazebo in Paradise Gardens. Pluto, Mickey and Minnie, and Mulan and Mushu, all in New Year attire, alternate in that location. Interestingly, there is no PhotoPass photographer there. There is a cast member who will take photos for guests with their own camera.

Lunar New Year 2018 Mickey and Minnie

Lunar New Year 2018 Mulan and Mushu

Chip and Dale, also in New Year attire, roam around the area, creating their usual playful chaos.

The AP Corner for annual passholders is located between Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta. There's a special photo backdrop (with a PhotoPass photographer), and AP holders get their own Wishing Wall.

Lunar New Year 2018 AP Photo backdrop

There's also a special Lunar New Year button available to Annual Passholders.

Lunar New Year 2018 AP button

There are several exclusive pieces of merchandise available to Annual Passholders at Elias & Co. or the festival merchandise kiosk in front of Ariel's Undersea Adventure.

Lunar New Year 2018

There's even more entertainment offered this year, with performers from around the world.

Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession returns with a few changes. Goofy, as the God of Good Fortune, joins the procession, along with a dance group from Taiwan. The show is performed four times a day. It's a beautifully colored and energetic show and I think it's worth seeing, but unfortunately the prime viewing is pretty small. I'd recommend arriving 30 minutes early to get a front row spot.

Lunar New Year 2018 God of Good Fortune Goofy

Lunar New Year 2018 Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession

Full video - one of my favorite parts is when Goofy gets his groove on at the end.

New this year is GuGu Drum Group from Shanghai. They are a group of drummers who tell traditional stories with percussion. There are six shows a day in Paradise Park - the shows are about 30 minutes long. Visually I found them very interesting, but since I don't understand the stories or traditions, I thought the show was too long.

Lunar New Year 2018 GuGu  Drum Group Shanghai
Dat Nguyen returns to the Paradise Garden stage for the third year. He sings and plays several different instruments: guitar, lute, and melodica.

Lunar New Year 2018 Dat Nguyen

Also appearing on the Paradise Garden stage is Korean musician Luna Lee. She plays a Korean stringed instrument called a gayageum. She was not performing the day I visited.

This video is an entertainment overview, including a short interview with Mulan and Mushu on their favorite thing about Lunar New Year.

Each night preceding the first World of Color show, the Hurry Home - Lunar New Year Celebration is presented on Paradise Bay. It's the story of a little lantern making his way home so he can celebrate with his family. It features animation, lights, and fountains, and ends with a fireworks display. It's a cute show.

Lunar New Year 2018 Hurry Home

Lunar New Year 2018 Hurry Home

This is last year's video - the show is the same except that now it's the Year of the Dog.

Just to give you a general idea of the schedule, here's a copy of the opening weekend's Times Guide. (Click on the image for a full-size version.)

lunar-new-year-schedule.jpeg

Like last year, I was impressed by all of the different offerings available during the Lunar New Year celebration - Mulan's Procession in particular is a "don't miss". It's easy to spend a good portion of a park visit enjoying all of the different entertainment and some of the food. Right now with so many construction walls in Disney California Adventure because of the Pixar Pier project and other seasonal refurbishments, the festival provides some needed additional entertainment alternatives to guests.

Lunar New Year 2018

* I was an invited guest to a Lunar New Year Celebration Media event. My opinions are my own.






January 17, 2018

Disneyland Resort Updates from January 12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 12, 2018.

In this picture set I take a look at the many projects going on around the Disneyland Resort this winter. For a more in depth look at these as well as other random pictures be sure to visit my full update.

Preparation work for the new parking structure and tram stop at the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure is underway. Planters are being removed so they can re-route the trams. The new structure will be built on the Pinocchio Parking lot.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

New billboards at the tram stop featuring the new marketing slogan on them.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Now onto the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge check. Here is a video overview from the roof of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.



A long shot of the side facing Disneyland Drive. Notice the exterior siding is now all installed on both buildings.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The peaks in the distance and to the left more support steel for rock work taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Panning right to the shorter of the peaks visible over the Battle Escape Building. The scaffolding is up and it looks ready for concrete.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Further right the taller of the shorter peaks has most of its wire mesh installed so you can see the shape and scaffolding is going up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Continuing to the right toward Critter Country. They are sealing the roof of the concrete structure that was recently created. Dirt will most likely be brought in all the way to the top of the black.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Most of the Chip and Dale level of the parking structure is blocked off as they prepare for tram stop changes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Here you can see the current route to the left and a fenced in walkway from the stairs to the crossing on the right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

In Downtown Disney, Ride Makerz has closed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The Build-a-Bear is closed too, but The Dress Shop remains open for now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Finishing touches continue on the exterior of Splitsville. No opening date has been announced.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Furniture is now visible inside.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

New winter plantings throughout Downtown Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Arriving at Disneyland. Most signs of Christmas are gone from the parks now. Only a few random decorations and Small World Holiday remain. A large project has taken over Main Street. The horse-drawn streetcar tracks are being completely replaced for the first time in the park's history. Several of the rails and tracks are original from 1955. So as you enter the park you are greeted by construction walls that block off Town Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The view from the train station. They are working on the perimeter of Town Square, the center portion is untouched.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Plastic and boards are down to protect the concrete and areas that are not being worked on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The straight portion of the street is not behind walls yet. They are working on the two ends first.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The hub is also encircled with construction walls.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

One piece of equipment was visible working over the wall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Christmas decorations, lights and icicles are all gone. Snow remains.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Walls up along the grass opposite Small World.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

A check of the Star Wars peaks from the Miss Daisy.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

A winter Annual Passholder popcorn special has started.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The AP bucket.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

In Fantasyland Dumbo is behind walls. In addition to a regular renovation they are moving the queue and adding a new shade structure to it.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Walls ring northern edge of Fantasyland around Dumbo.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Haunted Mansion is closed for a couple weeks for removal of the holiday overlay. It looks like they may be working on the queue for Haunted Mansion. A lot of plastic covers up in the area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

A check of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge from the Mark Twain. More wire mesh and scaffolding being added.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Over at Disney California Adventure, the Festival of Holidays marketplaces and signs are all gone.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

A different AP popcorn bucket is for sale at DCA, the one on the left.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Grizzly River Run is closed for its annual renovation work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

A Fastpass cart out in the Bay Area being used for Toy Story FastPass distribution since the regular area is behind walls. This saves a lot of steps. No indication of return times though, so you have to ask, check the app, or look at someone's ticket.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Walls are also up around the Sonoma Terrace area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Christmas decorations are removed from the Pier entrance sign but not the Paradise Pier sign yet. Beyond the sign notice the canopy is gone and Treasures in Paradise sign is removed too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Ariel's Grotto is closed and the signs on the left side are gone.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

All the gondolas on the Fun Wheel are removed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Walls are up around Screamin' as it is being transformed into the Incredicoaster.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Walking toward Toy Story Mania, which remains open.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The walkway narrows a bit as you go further along.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Walls up at Toy Story blocking the rest of the pier. The line on the right is for Stand-by. FastPass return uses the regular handicap access path adjacent to the store.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Scaffolding is going up around the launch hill of Screamin.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

King Triton's is also still open.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The top of the loop has been removed from the coaster for renovation and guessing access.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The queue cover for the Fun Wheel has been removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

No visible change to the stores yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Walls are up from Boardwalk Pizza to the swings forming a dead end.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The Bakery Tour is closed until February, the cafe is still open though.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Route 66, Cars Land. Christmas is removed but the poles on the right have not been removed yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The current park maps feature the same images as the banners and billboards with the new marketing campaign. I prefer the attraction or entertainment covers to some random kid.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Returned to Disneyland. This gives an idea of how narrow the entry is now with the construction.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Small World holiday runs January 21.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The flags in Town Square stay up all night due to the construction. There is a spot light on them.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

The back portion of the Chip and Dale level was in use today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 12, 2018

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.









January 9, 2018

Disneyland Resort Updates from January 5

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 5, 2018. In this post there's a look at the Three Kings Day Celebration in Disney California Adventure, as well as some new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Merchandise & Trading Cards in the Star Wars Launch Bay. For my full picture set visit disneygeek.com For Dia de Reyes (Three Kings Day) a small cart/sign has been added to the left of the entrance to Paradise Gardens.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

A sign up for Dia De Reyes at the Bandstand but no mention of the Storytellers or show times for them (they were in the printed times guide)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

The area right next to Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta had a photo op and arts/crafts for Three Kings Day.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018
The Three Kings Photo Op

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018
Coloring and stickers at the tables.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018
A sign talking about the holiday.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

There were also crowns available to decorate.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Caught the 2:30pm Three Kings Day Storytellers performance.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018
Video of the Three Kings Day Storytellers. I missed some of the beginning because I was waiting for a seat to become available.


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Merchandise is now available inside the Star Wars Launch Bay as well as Star Traderes. Here are some pictures from the Launch Bay.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

A couple new Lego statues have been added from the Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the Launch Bay.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018


Trading cards for Star Wars Galaxy's Edge are being passed out inside the Star Wars Launch Bay. Here is a look at the pack I received.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018
The reverse side of the cards forms a map of Batuu.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 5, 2018

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.









January 7, 2018

“Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" Now Open at Downtown Disney

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Recently "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" opened up at a new VOID Experience Center in Downtown Disney at the Anaheim Disneyland Resort. It is a hyper-reality, multi-sensory experience created in tandem by Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB and The VOID to immerse you in the Star Wars universe.

In the interests of not being responsible for any perceived spoilers, here's the official story overview for the experience:

"A galaxy far, far away needs your help. In groups of four, be transported with family and friends into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.

Under the orders of the budding rebellion, you and your friends will travel to the molten planet of Mustafar. Your mission is to recover Imperial intelligence vital to the rebellion’s survival. Alongside the pragmatic droid K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility walking into danger at every turn. Disguised as Stormtroopers, grab your blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to complete your mission."

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The story takes place between Star Wars Episodes III and IV, and features "Rogue One" characters K-2S0 (Alan Tudyk,) Cassian Andor (Diego Luna,) and Sam Witwer as Athex.

SWSOTE_Still_3_preview.jpg

Prior to opening, we were given the opportunity to go through the experience. It takes approximately 30 minutes from start to finish, with about 10 minutes spent filling out waivers and getting suited up. Participants buckle themselves into a vest and helmet and choose colored accents for their Stormtrooper appearance to distinguish each other within the group.

THE-VOID-Group-Shot_preview.jpg

After watching a short film in which Cassian entrusts you with a mission vital to the Rebellion, you enter a small loading area where your visors go down and your group is magically transformed into stormtroopers. On entering the ship with K-2S0 and Athex, they begin filling you in on the plan, and you are off on your adventure. On the conclusion (hopefully successful) of the campaign, you return your gear and exit out into the lobby where souvenir apparel and in-attraction photos can be purchased.

IMG_1901a.JPG

I thought the whole thing was remarkably impressive and a lot of fun. The first minute or so is basically taken up by everyone marveling that they can look down at themselves and see nothing but stormtrooper. It seems amazing that you can look at your own armored hands moving around and grabbing things without having to hold anything or wear sensor gloves. While there are some moments where you might appear to be in peril, such as crossing a bridge over lava or feeling vibration when someone shoots you, there is no jumping, running, or climbing permitted throughout the experience. The main people who might have difficulty with this are those who suffer from claustrophobia, as the quarters are pretty close at some times, both virtually and physically, with the helmet covering the top half of your face.

SWSOTE_Still_2_preview.jpg

One thing that surprised me was how almost everything you see actually exists in some physical form. From doorframes to guns to control panels, you actually manipulate and interact with objects with your own stormtrooper hands in a pretty convincing manner. Even more impressive was the thought which only occurred to me in retrospect, that your whole journey which takes you onto ships and space stations, out onto balconies and into elevators--it all occurs in the space of what used to be about two Downtown Disney shops. The manipulation and distortion of your sense of space is really amazing, considering there are more than one group going through at the same time and you never run into each other in that small space.

SWSOTE_Still_1_preview.jpg

[For those five of you that read my blog on SIGGRAPH 2016, you may reflect on my moment of prescience when I went on about how amazed I was at the display of the rudimentary beginnings of this sort of technology, and how great I thought the potential was for theme park attractions.]

Afterwards, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Cliff Plumer, CEO, The VOID; Curtis Hickman, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, The VOID; Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in Charge, ILMxLAB; Mark Miller, Executive Creative Producer, ILMxLAB; and Disneyland Ambassador Mikey Trujillo.

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Of course, it's not a Disney celebration without confetti cannons.

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And after a group photo of all the people involved with the creation of "Secrets of the Empire," the attraction opened and the Mustafar tourism department just got a lot happier.

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[Sharp-eyed readers may be able to pick out Sam Witwer in the photo who was also present.]

"Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" opened at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA January 5, 2018, having previously opened at both Disney Springs at WDW in Orlando, FL and Westfield in London (Shepard's Bush) on December 16, 2017. Tickets may be purchased from The VOID website (www.thevoid.com) for $29.95. Guests must be at least 10 years old and those requiring mobility assistance may be accommodated depending on their ability to transfer/size of their wheelchair.






December 28, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates from December 21

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Thursday, December 21, 2017.

In this picture set I pay a visit to the Disneyland Hotel to check out the Christmas decorations and then since it was the first day of winter thought I would share some of the Disney snow events around the park.

Let's start off at the Fantasy Tower (the main lobby) of the Disneyland Hotel. There are two Christmas trees across from the front desk.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Right inside the main door (in front of the large Disneyland map) is the gingerbread castle.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Fantasia Gift Shop is flanked by Christmas trees

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mickey and Minnie plus some Christmas lights in the planters outside.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Inside as you walk to the convention center.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

A group of carolers wrapping up a performance near the restaurants.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

The tree outside Goofy's Kitchen
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Looking inside. They were preparing to open for dinner.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Frontier Tower lobby has a couple of Christmas trees.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Moving on to the Adventure Tower lobby and their trees.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

During the holiday season, Disneyland has several "snow moments" in various areas of the park each night. The first snow opportunity of the evening is at the 6:00pm Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Snow starting to fall on Main Street USA.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Projections accompany the snow.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Rivers of America hosts a holiday celebration featuring the Royal Street Bachelors this evening since there is no Fantasmic! scheduled. They played three sets and each ended with snowfall along the Rivers of America.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

For the finale of their set snow falls along the Rivers of America.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

A video clip from the finale of the Royal Street Bachelors set.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

For the 7:30pm Wintertime Enchantment moment I was in the "small world" mall area. Here is a video and some pictures.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

The final snow fall event of the evening is the finale to Believe in Holiday Magic. On nights like Thursday when the fireworks are cancelled due to high winds the snowfall is the main event.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, December 21, 2017

Here is a video clip of the substitute for Believe in Holiday Magic this year.

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.









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