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Woody’s Roundup 04-11-2009

Feel the flow, here we go…

What better way to clear out my bookmarks than to start out with a nearly year-old post from Passport to Dreams Old & New? When Foxx originally posted this piece about the new souvenir guidebooks at Walt Disney World, I was excited to hear about the possibility of a return to the classy park guides of old. Sure as the world, I was able to pick these up in March and they’re a vast improvement over recent guides. And, as Foxx says, the fact that they’re not hardcover or printed on high-quality paper is offset buy their shockingly reasonable price. Big applause to author Jody Revenson, designer Steven Rosen and editor Wendy Lefkon.

Disney & Siemens team up to keep us safe.

Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers maquette

Disney fans have long bemoaned the lack of merchandise for characters outside of the company’s mainstream. Thankfully, the folks at Electric Tiki have stepped up and obtained a license to produce figures, maquettes and statues of fan-favorite Disney properties. Early releases will include Darkwing Duck, Roger & Jessica Rabbit, maquettes based on Mary Blair’s Alice in Wonderland designs, the Rescue Rangers and – yay – the Rocketeer.

At last – a nice explanation of what, exactly, the deal is with the mysterious Bonnet Creek Resort.

The Financial Times has lunch with John Lasseter, featuring some interesting discussion of his 1983 firing from Disney. Why don’t I ever have lunch with John Lasseter?

Here’s a photo update from last month with some news regarding expansion at Disneyland Paris.

EPCOT Center's Test Track

Word leaked last month that, considering Detroit’s current woes, General Motors might be unable to come to suitable terms to extend their sponsorship of Test Track. Their most recent ten-year sponsorship contract was set to expire at the end of March. A spokesperson for GM admitted in March that talks were still underway, and that the company very much wanted to continue the deal, but with the company’s financial future imperiled it might be difficult to explain the roughly $5 million annual fee to Congress.

Sources from Toyota admitted to the Orlando Sentinel that they have had internal discussions on whether to enter into sponsorship talks for the attraction, but as of March further speculation would be premature. It’s assumed that if a new company took over the attraction that, much like Siemens did with Spaceship Earth, they would want to put their own stamp on the pavilion. As I’m not much of a Test Track fan, I’m pretty much of the opinion that anything they’d want to do would be an improvement. Nothing against GM, but this is one rumor that I hope has legs.

You must read this. I wish it was mandatory reading at Team Disney.

Mickey’s Philharmagic will open at Tokyo Disneyland in 2011. While this is understandable, I will mourn their loss of the Mickey Mouse Revue. That and Meet the World were two treats that I was always excited about someday seeing in Tokyo.

More from Passport to Dreams – this time about Tomorrowland. There are interesting ideas here, and this is something I’ve written about myself. WDI needs to decide what Tomorrowland is going to be.

A great resource: Theme Park Paper.

What the?!

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