Archive | Pirates RSS feed for this section

Be Prepared – Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19

9 Sep

September 19 is the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day. There’s still time to prepare! Check their site for pirate tunes, embroidery stitching patterns, Frequently Asked Questions (what’s chum, anyway?), and a schedule of events, both regional and online.

No word yet on the plans for International Talk Like a Ninja Day.

Congratulations to Lou Mongello and The WDW Radio Show!

16 Aug

The 2007 People’s Choice podcast awards were announced today, and The WDW Radio Show has taken top honors in the Travel category. (Hat tip to 2719 Hyperion.)

If you love Disney trivia and history, and have a few spare hours each week (sorry Lou, I couldn’t resist!), you really owe it to yourself to check out The WDW Radio Show. This week’s show is a great example of the high-quality, in-depth content.

I am also going to introduce the first in a recurring series entitled, Legends of Disney Imagineering. My first guest certainly qualifies to bear that title and introduction. He is George McGinnis, who played a large part in the creation of the Mark VI monorail, Space Mountain, Horizons, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and countless other attractions and vehicles in Walt Disney World. In this exclusive, one-on-one interview, Mr. McGinnis shares stories of being personally hired by Walt Disney, the triumphs and challenges in creating such attractions as the WEDWay PeopleMover, Space Mountain, Communicore and countless others. He reminisces about working with not only Walt Disney, but a who’s who of Disney legends, including Dick Nunis, Marty Sklar, John Hench, Bob Gurr, Roger Broggie, Claude Coates, and so many others. It is truly something special that I think you’re going to enjoy and was a personal privilege for me to do. And listen very carefully, as he also shares a secret about a change that is likely coming soon to one of his Walt Disney World attractions.

If you have any time left after listening to WDW Radio, there’s a wealth of other great podcasts on the list, in categories ranging from Business to Gaming to Education. Or if you simply can’t get enough Mongello, he’s a frequent co-host on WDW Today. (And no, I’m not just sending you there because they plugged my blog this week . . . I’m also sending you there because yesterday’s episode was wonderfully weird. Hey Matt Hochberg, you might want to drag yourself out of your sickbed soon, those guys are going off the deep end without you!)

Trip Report from Holy Land Experience, Circa 2002

13 Aug

News broke last week that the Trinity Broadcasting Network has stepped in to save the Holy Land Experience, a Jerusalem-themed attraction not far from Disney World.

Mr Broke Hoedown (aka Collateral Damage) has just published a trip report from his April 2002 visit to the Holy Land Experience. Here’s a snippet from his report:

After getting my ticket, I then passed through the Jerusalem Gate, sans Ass or Palms, and wandered straight into a recreation of a Jerusalem street market which might easily be confused with a souvenir shop. The tchotchkes offered here and at various carts around the park are all Old Testament: a variety of shofars, several types of menorahs and jet black yarmulkes (suffice to say this selection of keepsakes has done nothing to soothe Jewish feelings about the park). The day I was there there was only one depiction of Jesus to be seen: a standard-issue, saccharine painting of an Anglicized Him meeting the woman at the well. All other paintings feature either Moses or Abraham. Indeed this lack of Christian imagery is ubiquitous throughout the park and on its customers. I didn’t see a single cross on anyone inside of the park. The only cross I did see was a small and relatively discrete one in The Land’s logo: It takes the place of a star in the sky over a silhouette of the old Jerusalem skyline. Admittedly that logo is on everything from key chains to tote bags to t-shirts but compared to the trifurcated circles of Mickey Mouse which are incorporated into buildings, landscaping and food at Disney World, The Holy Land is a model of restraint. (Indeed after visiting The Land, I was keenly aware of what it meant to have Disney’s corporate logo offered to me in cookies, ice cream and cakes of butter. Body of Mickey, anyone?)

I suppose you won’t be surprised to know that Broke Hoedown Jr and I spent the day in Fantasyland instead.

Pirates of the Caribbean meets the Muppets

13 Jun

Kudos to Leprechaun Productions!

Spoiler! Post-credits Scene from POTC:AWE

28 May

Did you leave the theater before the credits were over, at Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End? Quick, go here and watch the scene that played at the very end, when a bunch of us were already in the lobby.

In case the video disappears (quite likely, given copyright issues), here’s a summary from Wikipedia:

In a post-credits scene set ten years later, Will reunites with Elizabeth and their son. As the Dutchman appears, it is accompanied by a green flash.

Opening Night of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds’ End

25 May

Do I deserve a rap on the knuckles with a wooden ruler? Or the Parent of the Year Award? I dunno which, but I can tell you it was worth it to keep my ten-year-old son up waaaaay past his bedtime for last night’s 8:00 p.m. showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds’ End.

AWE first show in BostonHad we not seen the first show, we might not have seen so many pirates decked out in their finest regalia! Curse my poor camera phone . . . lots of pirates kindly let me take their pictures, but only one picture came out even vaguely viewable. Thank you, anonymous young pirates! We certainly couldn’t have hoped for a better audience to watch the film with.

[MAJOR spoilers from this point on, proceed at your own risk.] I’d been keeping my expectations low, as I was disappointed in Dead Man’s Chest. And I was pleasantly surprised. The movie doesn’t quite rise to the level of Curse of the Black Pearl, but it takes full advantage of the depth of key characters, and take them to the next level. In many ways this is Keira Knightley’s movie, as she not only ascends to Pirate King, but also marries her longtime sweetheart in the funniest, most romantic sequence in the film. And of course Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is always brilliant. But this time Orlando Bloom finally becomes the gritty, ruthless pirate Elizabeth has longed for, and Geoffrey Rush plays a surprisingly key role as the pivot for many of the complicated relationships in the film. Sadly, Chow Yun Fat dies far too soon. But Keith Richards’ brief cameo is spot-on, and exactly the right dose.

There’s a very nice little nod to the POTC ride, just as you’re entering Worlds’ End. I’m sure there were plenty more ride references in there, but not as readily apparent as those in the earlier films. Anybody spot any Hidden Mickeys?

I was surprised and delighted by the open (some might say heavy-handed) political commentary in the film. The chilling opening sequence reads like a membership solicitation from the American Civil Liberties Union. And when the pirates begin to sing their song of unity and protest, I could almost imagine them breaking into The Internationale. Really quite heartwarming for a leftie like myself.

And of course, the movie resolves the major themes of the POTC trilogy, while setting the stage quite effectively for POTC 4 (Jim Hill mentioned on this week’s Magical Definition Podcast that this is slated for release in 2010 or 2011, pending Johnny Depp’s availability, and if you’re a POTC fan you really wanna listen to that podcast for Hill’s indepth comments on POTC).

But I’ll confess, I’m not too eager yet for the next POTC. The franchise has declined a bit in coherence of narrative structure, and I’d like to see the producers have a little breathing room before conceptualizing Jack’s next adventure. And even with the excellent special effects in POTC: AWE, who knows what technical advances might mean for the next time around? Let’s give these characters a rest, and come back to them fresh a good while down the road.

Chow Yun Fat Visits Hong Kong Disneyland for Pirate Takeover

7 May

PRN Newswire just sent out a press release about Chow Yun Fat’s recent trip to Hong Kong Disneyland (all pictures and quoted text here copyright PRN Newswire).

small-prnphotos061847.jpg

Chow Yun Fat, who plays the pirate Sao Feng in the upcoming movie Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End, visited Hong Kong Disneyland to experience the totally new Pirate Takeover. Chow and his wife took photos with Pirate Mickey, Goofy and Pluto. From May 4 to June 30, 2007, Adventureland will be transformed into Pirateland and guests will have a totally immersive and interactive fresh new experience at Pirate Takeover!

Oh. My. God. Pirate Takeover! And, um, is it just me or does that sound just a tad more adult than they might have intended?

How badly do I want replicas of the flags they’re flying over the bridge? (Come to think of it, how badly do I want to visit Hong Kong Disneyland? Well, apparently not badly enough to have booked flights or anything, but give a girl a break, there’s only so many frequent flier miles in my account!)

small-prnphotos061848.jpg

In Adventureland, now Pirateland, flanked by two rowdy pirates, Chow Yun Fat and his wife prepared to hop on board the Jungle River Cruise, Pirate Takeover! to discover the traces left by pirates along the exciting journey. From May 4 to June 30, 2007, Adventureland will be transformed into Pirateland and guests will have a totally immersive and interactive fresh new experience at Pirate Takeover!

Okay, I’m not much of a Jungle Cruise fan to begin with. Racist stereotypes, anyone? Poorly updated animatronics? But a good Skipper can make the ride more than worthwhile. Dress that skipper up in pirate garb and you might just get me to ride again.

small-prnphotos061853.jpg

Chow Yun Fat smiled delightfully as he discovered the movie props he had used from the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End, which Captain Jack Sparrow had nicely agreed to showcase at Professor Porter’s Trading Post. From May 4 to June 30, 2007, Adventureland will be transformed into Pirateland and guests will have a totally immersive and interactive fresh new experience at Pirate Takeover!

Captain Jack Sparrow nicely agreeing to anything? Hold your tongue, mister. Nobody talks about Captain Jack that way.

small-prnphotos061854.jpg

Since filming Pirates of the Caribbean 3 : At World’s End, it was the first time that Chow Yun Fat met up again with Captain Jack Sparrow at Pirateland, Hong Kong Disneyland! From May 4 to June 30, 2007, Adventureland will be transformed into Pirateland and guests will have a totally immersive and interactive fresh new experience at Pirate Takeover!.

%d bloggers like this: