Outbreak of Coronavirus forces closure of Shanghai Disneyland Resort.

In response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have suspended transport services and have cancelled many public events.

Theaters, cinemas and major tourist attractions have been temporally closed including the Forbidden City palace complex in Beijing and the Disneyland Resort in Shanghai.

The lockdown comes on the eve of Lunar New Year – one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, when millions of people travel home.

The Shanghai Disney Resort has released the following statement:

Temporary Closure of Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown including Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park – January 24, 2020

In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown including Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park, starting January 25, 2020.

We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government, and we will announce the reopening date upon confirmation.

Shanghai Disney Resort will assist in the refund for guests who have purchased tickets for admission to Shanghai Disneyland, have booked a resort hotel, or have booked tickets for Beauty and the Beast Mandarin Production through the original ticket purchase channel, and we will introduce the detailed procedure and guidelines via the resort’s official platforms as soon as possible.

We wish our guests a healthy and happy Spring Festival!

Shanghai Disney Resort
January 24, 2020

Disney rebrands 20th Century Fox to 20th Century Studios.

Disney rebrands 20th Century Fox

The Walt Disney Company has removed the word “Fox” from their 20th Century Fox film studios to distance themselves from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation – Variety magazine is reporting.

US media suggests Disney does not want to be associated with the media mogua’s right-wing Fox News network.

Disney has also renamed Fox Searchlight Pictures, the arthouse studio to Searchlight Pictures.

Variety magazine, which broke the story said it had spoken to an unnamed Disney source, who said: “I think the Fox name means Murdoch, and that is toxic.”

Variety says 20th Century Studios will retain the historic 20th Century Fox fanfare theme and searchlight logo.

Staff emails were changed on Friday, from @fox.com to @20thcenturystudios.com and @searchlight.com respectively.

The Walt Disney Corporation bought the 20th Century Fox film studio with other media operations from Murdoch in March 2019 in a $71 billion deal.

Shareholders Club to be renamed Euro Disney Club

Disneyland Paris is to re-brand the former Euro Disney S.C.A. Shareholder’s Club with a new name and logo.

From 2020 ‘The Club‘ will become the “Euro Disney ClubHistorical Shareholders of Disneyland Paris“.

Existing club members are being sent new membership cards that will be valid until the end of 2027.

Membership to the shareholders club closed in March 2017 with existing shareholders being promised a 10 year extension of their club memberships and benefits following the 2017 recapitalisation operation and takeover of Euro Disney S.C.A. by The Walt Disney Company.

Members of the Shareholders Club receive invitations to special events including movie screenings and grand openings of new attractions.

Members also receive discounts and special offers on products and services at Disneyland Paris and exclusive access to the Salon Mickey shareholders lounge.

Members receive the following discounts:

  • 25% discount on guided tours of Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios
  • 25% discount on guided tour of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • 15% discount on One Day/One Park Tickets and 2-Park Hopper Tickets
  • 15% discount on Annual Passports
  • 10% discount on resort packages at Disneyland Paris Hotels
  • 15% discount on table service and buffet restaurants
  • 10% discount at Earl of Sandwich
  • 20% discount on the 2nd category seating at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show
  • 15% discount at Disneyland® Paris boutiques
  • 15% discount on green fees at Disneyland Golf
  • 10% discount at the Celestia Spa
  • 10% discount on tickets for flights on PanoraMagique
  • 10% discount for Shareholders Club members at Disney Stores Europe
  • 10% reduction at La Vallée Village

The Shareholders Club was founded in 1995 to strengthen the relationship between Euro Disney S.C.A. and it’s shareholders.

Catherine Powell’s parting thoughts as she leaves Disney.

Catherine Powell, Former President, Disney Parks Western Region (Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris) and former President of Euro Disney S.C.A. published her final thoughts on leaving The Walt Disney Company on her LinkedIn account yesterday.

Parting thoughts as I leave Disney…

Today is my last day at Disney after 15 and a half years, during which time I have had the amazing opportunity to work across multiple businesses, in all corners of the world and with incredible people.

I leave with several beliefs I think make a good leader and, intuitively, a great team;

  1. View your career path as a series of stepping stones rather than a ladder to climb. Career moves seen as stepping stones teach versatility and can lead to new and often greater opportunities which may not have been immediately visible. Curiosity will help you choose different paths.
  2. Have courage. A courageous leader will foster loyalty, leading teams through changes with optimism and inspiration. You cant disrupt or transform without courage. Courage to believe in yourself to make the right decisions, even if there is a risk of failure.
  3. Be authentic. Authenticity creates trust. Teams will believe in and trust a leader they think is being true to themselves.
  4. Embrace vulnerability. Vulnerability is like a super power; it gives you incredible strength and confidence to face, own and eventually conquer adversity. I believe courage and authenticity can only truly exist in someone who is able to be vulnerable.
  5. Enjoy and encourage the success of others. A confident leader shares success. And if you can extend this to your colleagues also, then all boats will rise.
  6. Seek change. Disrupting the status quo is about looking for ways to embrace or finesse future opportunities for growth or even to survive. A useful step to change is to start asking “why?” And keep on asking why until the answer is immutable.
  7. Believe that ideas can, and should, come from everyone and anyone. Create a truly diverse environment in which everyone can contribute and so be their best self. Diversity will thrive under leaders who seek new thoughts and perspectives everywhere they look.

Apparently Walt Disney himself said “You may not realise it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in world for you”! I cant say gratitude was front of mind when it happened. But some weeks after learning I was leaving Disney, I can reflect with immense appreciation on the opportunities and experiences afforded to me and my family. And most importantly on the chance to meet and work with so many incredible people who have lifted me up over the past 15 years to make me a much better version of myself.

As I make my jump to yet another stepping stone, I am excited and curious about what this next chapter might have in store. Maybe Walt was right, and this will be the best thing in world for me!

Catherine Powell to leave Disney

Former Disneyland Paris President Catherine Powell is leaving Disney.

It’s understood from sources within Disney that Powell’s post as President of Disney Parks West, and was in charge of Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World and Disneyland has been eliminated, and she will help in the transition as her staff reports to Disney Parks, Experiences & Products, chairman Bob Chapek.

Powell was President of Euro Disney SCA, the owners and operators of Disneyland Paris during the controversial takeover of the resort by The Walt Disney Company and most recently in charge of the recent openings for the two new Star Wars lands — Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in Orlando and another at the California Disneyland park — that suffered extremely poor attendance.

Powell, who has been with Disney for 15 years, joined the company in 2004 following senior management roles at BBC Worldwide covering TV sales for Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Her departure stands in contrast to CEO Bob Iger promising to put more women in top executive positions within The Walt Disney Company, with an eye to greater gender parity.

Aladdin not the Car Wreck I was Expecting it to be.

Aladdin or Will “The Fresh Prince” Smith does panto is not the car wreck I was expecting it to be.

Directed by Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) it includes the majority of the iconic Howard Ashman and Alan Menken musical numbers from Disney’s animated 1992 classic, plus a few new ones thrown in for good measure.

Smith’s performance as the Genie is entertaining, but you just can’t help comparing him to Robin Williams all the way through the film.

“Arabian Nights,” has had its lyrics updated once again for cultural sensibilities by song writing duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman) and there are some spectacular musical numbers.

In the titular role is relative newcomer Mena Massoud and British actress Naomi Scott stars as Jasmine who is best known for her performance as Kimberly the Pink Ranger in 2017’s Power Rangers.

Unfortunately I left the cinema thinking I had watched a rough cut of Ritchie’s Aladdin, and thought the movie needed more time in the editing suite to tighten it up a bit as some scenes and songs went on for far too long.

Overall Aladdin is slightly better than Disney’s last animation re-make Dumbo, but it’s no Cinderella. Which unfortunately for Disney set the live action / animation re-make bar extremely high.

Aladdin is released in cinemas tomorrow (24 May 2019) just in time for half term.