Disney’s self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District under threat.

Reedy Creek Improvement District founded in 1967.

Florida legislators have today passed a bill that revokes The Walt Disney Company’s self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District in a move widely seen as tit-for-tat for the company’s opposition to the new state law limiting discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in schools, AKA the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The bill now heads to the desk of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is all but guaranteed to sign it.

The 70-to-38 vote by the Republican-led state House to do away with the special tax district that allows Disney to self-govern the 40 square miles on the outskirts of Orange and Osceola counties Orlando where the Walt Disney World theme park complex is located.

Walt Disney

The Florida legislature established the Reedy Creek Improvement District in 1967 as a private government controlled by Walt Disney World.

The special district granted Disney the authority to provide government services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities and infrastructure.

The district’s long-term bonded debt totaled more than $977 million as of September, according to tReedy Creek’s annual financial report. State Sen. Stewart tweeted that removing the district “could transfer $2 Billion debt from Disney to taxpayers” and could have “an enormous impact on Orange & Osceola residents.”

Reedy Creek Improvement District Resort Area Map.

The Ready Creek Improvement Act was signed into law in May 1967 by Governor Claude Kirk in response to lobbying efforts by Disney. The entertainment giant proposed building a recreation-oriented development on 25,000 acres of property in a remote area of Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties, which consisted of 38.5 square miles of largely uninhabited pasture and swamp land.

Orange and Osceola County did not have the services or resources needed to bring the project to life, so the state legislature worked with Disney to establish the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special taxing district that allows the company to act with the same authority and responsibility as a county government. 

The district covers Disney’s four Florida theme parks, two water parks and one sports complex, 175 lane miles of roadway, 67 miles of waterway, the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, an environmental science laboratory, an electric power-generating and distribution facility, a natural gas distribution system, water and wastewater collection and treatment facilities, a solid waste and recyclables collection & transfer system and over 40,000 hotel rooms and hundreds of restaurants and retail stores.

Avengers Deployment Vehicle arrives at Disneyland Paris.

Stark Industries has always sought to make the impossible possible. The company’s mission statement is to bring to life innovations that only exist in our wildest dreams, in order to identify, recruit and train the next generation of Super Heroes. Today, CEO Tony Stark takes a new leap forward and introduces a new high-tech revolution.

Only months after the Quinjet landed at Disneyland Paris, Stark Industries unveils today the first exclusive images of the Avengers Deployment Vehicle or “ADV”. Designed by Tony Stark in collaboration with Shuri from Wakanda Design Group, the Avengers Deployment Vehicle will deploy Super Heroes to various key locations throughout the Avengers Campus, in the Walt Disney Studios part for them to meet new recruits and jump swiftly into action.

Avengers Deployment Vehicle

Stark Industries once again pushed back the boundaries of creativity. The vehicle was designed following a futurist aesthetic and equipped with cutting-edge technology. The sleek look and feel reflects Tony Stark’s sophisticated definition of style and the ambition that defines the Avengers. The Avengers logo is a strong identity marker. As for the oversized wheels and the angular-shaped bodywork, they symbolize strength and power – just what users look for in a vehicle that is powered by Wakandan Vibranium. This ultra-resilient energy source flows through all elements of the ADV and protects the driver and cargo alike.

Side doors allow for swift access into the vehicle – and will quench recruits’ curiosity as they peek into the interior and greet Super Heroes aboard. A great way to inspire new recruits as they cross paths with the vehicle amidst training!

The Avengers Deployment Vehicle has newly been delivered to Avengers Campus. It only awaits Super Heroes to power it up, for the greatest joy of future recruits. Come and hear its motors hum this summer at Avengers Campus!

The Avengers Campus, in the Walt Disney Studios Park is scheduled to open this summer at Disneyland Paris.

Ocado launches Disney inspired recipes.

Disney inspired recipes from Ocado.

British online supermarket ‘Ocado’ has launched a new range of healthy and easy recipes inspired by Disney.

The range features food inspired by much-loved characters including Moana, 101 Dalmatians, Lion King and Cars.

The recipes range from £7 to £8 per meal, which serves four people working out at less than £2 per serving.

Giovanna Fletcher, who is working with Ocado to launch the meals, said: “As a Mum of three I know how challenging it can be to cook with the kids, and especially encouraging them to try new, healthy foods – whether it’s fighting fussy eating habits, or simply finding the time.

EPCOT’s Russian Pavilion to Permanently Close.

Russian Pavilion at EPCOT

The Walt Disney Company has taken the decision to permanently close ‘The Russian Pavilion’ at EPCOT’s World Showcase in Walt Disney World, Florida.

Russian Pavilion, EPCOT.

The five acre site located in the north west corner of World Showcase, next to the German Pavilion, has been temporarily closed since the beginning of March 2022, following the Russian Military invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian Pavilion opened in the early 1990s, following the thoring of the Cold War, and the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Russian Pavilion was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, working in co-cooperation with a team of Russian artists and historical advisers.

Russian Pavilion

Rumours are circulating that WDI Imagineers are planning to redevelop the site, and turn it into a Ukrainian Pavilion that would give the EPCOT audience a journey into pre-war Ukraine.

The ‘Mother Russia’ Theatre

The main attraction of the Russian Pavilion is the 800 seater theatre presenting the show entitled “Mother Russia”.

The ‘Mother Russia’ Theatre

To create the attraction Walt Disney Imagineering combined forces with Europes premier theatre designers to produce an innovative state-of-the-art theatre to tell the story of Russia’s epic folk stories, which featured peasants and Tsars, poets and revolutionaries, common men and extraordinary heroes that fill the tale of Russia’s never ending quest for herself.

The ‘Mother Russia’ show.

In a further show of support to the people of Ukrainian, Walt Disney Company CIS, Disney’s Russian subsidiary has closed its Moscow Disney Store..

The store located in the Detsky Mir shopping complex, in the center of Moscow, closed its doors following the launch of trade sanctions against Russia imposed by the EU and USA.

It is rumoured that the merchandise of the Moscow Disney Store was transported to Poland by Disney, and then donated to the International Red Cross for distribution to Ukrainian refugees.

The London Resort withdrawals Planning Application.

Artist impression of The London Resort

London Resort Company Holdings, the company behind the proposed £2.5bn “The London Resort” theme park project will be withdrawing its current Planning Application according to sources close to the matter.

First announced in 2012, the ambitious project earmarked for the Swanscombe Peninsula in North Kent, has been hit with numerous planning issues, spiralling start-up costs.

The discovery of a very rare jumping spider species, which resulted in the proposed location being designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Environmental campaigners have since raised more than £50,000 to protect the Swanscombe Peninsula from development, and cover legal bills to fight against the theme parks proposals.

Ten years on from the projects launch, which the ‘tabloid press’ dubbed – “London Disneyland” even though the proposed project has no connection whatsoever with The Walt Disney Company, and with key partners including ITV Studios, BBC Enterprises, and Paramount Pictures pulling out, the question remains – will ‘The London Resort’ ever be built?

A spokesman for London Resort recently said: “Nobody ever said major infrastructure projects were easy or quick.”

30 Years of Disneyland Paris with the Walt Disney Imagineers.

To celebrate Disneyland Paris’ 30th anniversary, the resort in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering, have announced the hosting of an exceptional panel that will reunite many Disney Imagineers, including several who will gather on stage for the first time since the 1990s!

Being held on 12 April 2022, at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel Convention Center, several generations of Imagineers will gather at this special event to discuss on stage, the creation and development of Disneyland Paris in front of an audience of enthusiasts, Annual Pass members and Cast Members.

In order to allow as many people as possible to view the panel, a live streaming broadcast will also take place on the Disneyland Paris YouTube channel.

The presentation will be in English only, and simultaneous translation headsets will be provided on site for attendees needing a French translation.

From the first creative inspirations to the lasting legacy, and current transformation of the resort, including the transmission of know-how and experiences between the Imagineers over the years, the panel promises to be an exciting opportunity for Disneyland Paris fans.

The guests include:

• Tony Baxter, Former Executive Producer, Disneyland Paris

• Beth Clapperton, Art Director

• Tim Delaney, Former Show Producer, Discoveryland

• Tracy Eck, Art Director, Disneyland Park

• Björn Heerwagen, Director – Show Design & Production

• Sylvie Massara, Art Director, Portfolio Hotels

• Tom Morris, Former Show Producer, Fantasyland

Panel moderated will be by David Wilson, Vice President & Site Portfolio Executive, Disneyland Paris and Tom Fitzgerald, Portfolio Creative Executive, Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris will release registration details soon.

Fire rips through Snow White set at Pinewood Studios.

A fire broke out at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire on Monday during the filming of the Walt Disney Pictures live action Snow White movie.

Witnesses reported hearing explosions and cast members on the set of the Snow White live action movie had to rush for safety as the blaze took hold.

Photographs show the fire spreading through the set, which appears to include a thatched cottage, as well as lights and other equipment.

A source told the press: ‘A set made up of a lot of wood, and trees etc was currently being built in the Richard Attenborough sound stage.

‘Rumour is a piece of set has caught alight and spread across the rest of the set. Some crew in the studio were shaken but evacuated without injury apparently.’

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said 12 appliances and crews are on the scene, as well as five officers, and a Control Unit from Maidenhead.

The firefighters are using four sets of breathing apparatus, a hose reel and a hose reel jet.

A spokesperson added: “Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service are also in attendance, supporting the multi-agency response to the incident.”

Directed by Marc Webb, from a screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson. Snow White is a live-action adaptation of the 1937 Disney film, which is based on the fairy tale Snow White, by the Grimm Brothers.

It will star Rachel Zegler in as Snow and Gal Gadot as the Queen.

Turning Red: Boy bands, puberty and embarrassing parents.

I had the pleasure of attending the U.K. premier of Pixar’s latest animated movie ’Turning Red’ on 21st February in London and watched it again yesterday afternoon on Disney+.

Well what can I say – Pixar does it again with another fantastic fury animation feature aimed at adolescent audiences, that really does belong on the big screen.

‘Turning Red’ is a light-hearted coming-of-age story of Mei’s, a Chinese-Canadian 13 year-old-girl dealing with the challenges of puberty.

Set in the Toronto Chinese community in the early 2000s, it is the first Pixar film to be directed by a woman, and the second to feature an Asian lead character since Up (2009).

The movie has a great voice cast lead by 16-year-old Rosalie Chiang, who didn’t think anything would come of her audition made using her mom’s iPhone 6 at 1:00 am in the morning. “the audio was really crappy,” she said.

Pixar’s base in northern California provided plenty of inspiration for the film. The Pixar animators made repeated visits to the SF Zoo to study the red pandas, with San Francisco’s Chinatown being used as a key reference point, with the Bok Kai Chinese Temple in Marysville providing the model for Mei’s family’s business.

Unfortunately it does feel that ‘Turning Red’ is a bit of a personal vanity project by first time Director Domee Shi, and that does come across in the storyline a bit. Maybe her all female production crew should have reeled her in a bit, but putting that aside, the film ticks lots of boxes that the more adult orientated Soul (2020) didn’t.

Unfortunately in its wisdom The Walt Disney Company has relegated ‘Turning Red’ to the second division by sending it straight to Disney+ for a ‘streaming only’ release, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic. Strange how ‘Encanto’ (2021) produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios received all the razzmatazz of a full blown worldwide cinematic release just a few months ago. Weren’t we in a global pandemic then too Disney….?

Maybe the subject matter of feminism, puberty and boy bands frightend the white, middle-aged male executives at TWDC?

So mums and dads – knock on that bedroom door of your tween / pre-teen / teen daughter and drag them and a few of her besties to the cinema to see ‘Turning Red’ you won’t regret it. But you might have to make a few TickTock videos along the way.

‘Turning Red’ is being screened in selected Showcase Cinemas de Lux around the U.K. and is available to stream on Disney+.

Turning Red 8/10

Disneyland Paris commits crimes against culinary excellence, as iconic American park favourite launches at French Disney park.

Photo Credit: Kathryn Wirsing

The iconic Disney Turkey Leg has finally launched at Disneyland Paris today, following days of anticipation by excited food loving French Disney Park fanatics, and the culinary reviews are flooding DLP influencers social media accounts, and on DLP Facebook fan groups.

Not unlike the Pineapple Whip controversy of 2016, disappointment is once again in the air following the French attempt of duplicating yet another of Disney’s iconic American food items the Giant Turkey Leg.

Photo Credit: DLP Rescue Rangers.

First reviews appear to indicate that French Turkeys are a bit on the wimpy side compared to their American cousins. More of a sparrow leg than an actual turkey leg, but unsurprisingly it tastes quite average, but not unlike barbecue smoked turkey.

The 9€ DLP Turkey Leg is a quarter of the size of it’s American counterpart and according to some reviews not as delicious tasting.

We will bring you more on Turkey Gate as the story develops.