Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The Rat Pack

It took several months before Ratatouille was released over here in Blighty - and it's entered with a bang! According to the BBC website, it is currently number one in the film chart, taking around £3million over the weekend - that's a lot of dough (excuse the pun!).

I haven't had a chance to see it here yet, due to my having to stay indoors and get better, but I was lucky enough to see it when I was over in the States in June - and I loved it. I thought it was such a touching film - with heart-warming characters, and a story that is totally unbelievable yet believable at the same time. It really has the ingredients of a long-time family classic. I thought it was far too long a period for Disney to hold off releasing their big summer movie (we usually aren't that far behind the States), but I guess it paid off for them. Why release it when Harry Potter is doing so well - they were right to wait until the October holidays to release it, when there are little or no child friendly flicks around.

And so, the fact that it's starting to do well over here is great - the worldwide gross for the film is almost at $500 million - that's a LOT of money!! For a film that hasn't quite had the press that previous films, such as 'Cars', has had, I am keeping my fingers crossed it does even better here over the next couple of weeks. Actually, with the strong storyline and the adorable-ness of Remy, I think it's safe to say that I won't need to keep those fingers crossed for too long...

Friday, 19 October 2007

Bags From The Past

I apologise for not updating this blog for so long - work and illness got in the way. But I am back now, and I will try to update this as much as possible...

Anyway, I wanted to look at some of the things that I have collected over the years from the parks. My favourite thing to collect was always pins/badges - long before pin trading, this was my collection of choice. Not just Disney related pins, but anywhere I went that sold them. I tried to collect keyrings, but that never took off - I stuck to my pins.

Of course, I can't get to the parks as much as I would like to, and when people ask me what I want (if I would like anything, that is) I tend to reply enthusiastically 'bags and maps!' There is almost nothing better from Disney theme parks, than the 'free' items. I'm going to show you some of these that I have collected in this little series...

First up, is the most recent bag from the current Year of a Million Dreams campaign, happening at Walt Disney World. I love this bag - blue is my favourite colour, and I love the castle in the clouds motif that is going on. I think it's a welcome change from the last bags that were around during the Happiest Celebration on Earth - not only were they a little bit depressing, but the black tended to rub off on your hands on a hot day...or, in other words, most days in WDW!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Disney and Glasgow?

I came across this very interesting news article today featuring Scrooge McDuck. It turns out he's from Glasgow! My own home town!

It so happens that Scrooge McDuck was a shoe-shine boy, here in Glasgow, before departing our fair shores and heading over to the States to make it rich! Well, I never thought I read an article like this on a cold morning in October...but it definitely made me smile!

It's on the BBC website, so it must be true... Read the full article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7022173.stm

Monday, 1 October 2007

Happy Birthday EPCOT!

Today is Epcot's 25th birthday - as I was also born in 1982, I feel a real closeness to the magic of Epcot, but I'll explain more about that in a minute.

Although, there has been so much debate around the Disney blogs and forums as to what to call the 25 year old theme park... It was originally EPCOT Centre, and that is really how I remember it. My family and I first visited Walt Disney World when I was 8, in 1990, and it was EPCOT Centre then - I still have the memorabilia from then. So part of me wants to call it EPCOT Centre - capitals and all. But the most memorable 12 months of my life were spent working in the UK Pavilion in Epcot, 2004. So, for purposes of this article, I'm going to call it Epcot.

As I was saying earlier, I share some very magical moments with Epcot. After my first trip to Disney, I had a dream of working there. Whenever anyone asked me what I would do when I leave school, my answer would be 'Work at Walt Disney World', no hesitation or anything. Then, after finishing University, I was lucky enough to be selected for the International Program. So, September 2004 (just over 3 years ago) I made my way out to Florida to spend a glorious 12 months working for the mouse in the UK Pavilion. This was where I noticed how special Epcot was.

Unlike a lot of Disney Fans, Epcot was one of my least favourite parks growing up - it didn't have very many things for 'kids' and 'teens' to do, and I found it a little boring. I didn't want to walk around shops all day - I wanted to go and see characters, or go on roller coasters, or proper rides. But then I grew up, and - especially when I worked there - I appreciated the aesthetics of the park. The layout is beautiful, the details in the World Showcase a marvel, and the educational aspect interests me now (what left of that aspect there is, nowadays). It's sad that I didn't appreciate it more when I was younger, when there was Horizons and Wonders of Life (a pavilion I remember walking around but never actually doing anything in!) and World of Motion.

Now, I'm not a 'purist' in the way that I wish everything was how it was - how Walt envisioned it. I like Epcot as it is - I love Mission: Space and I really enjoy Test Track. But what truly excites me is, that now Epcot is a quarter of a century old, the changes that are happening in the park now. For a long time, and even while I worked there, I felt like they had forgotten about Epcot. They made such a big deal about bringing in Soarin', but I felt like that was it. The changes they did with The Living Seas was good, but I also felt they'd thrown it all together 'just because' Nemo was so popular...my perception was that changes were being made just so people would come to the park; so they could change the guidemap front cover.
Maybe it's because I'm older - and maybe it's because Epcot's older - but I am so happy that they are making such major changes with Spaceship Earth and the 'golf ball' (yes, I know we're never supposed to call it that, but I've called it that since I was 8...). Whilst I enjoyed the wand, it was time for it to come down. Get back to the Retro EPCOT, so to speak. And the changes that are being made inside the attraction - that I definitely can't wait to experience! I just hope that these are the first of changes that are being made...next on the agenda has to be Imagination - surely?!

Anyway, to cut a long 'waffle' short, Epcot is growing up. It took me 12 years to fully appreciate the wonder that is Epcot, I just hope it doesn't take that long for the Disney Company to fully realise the amazing potential of this wonderful park.

Happy Birthday Epcot - here's to another 25!