My point, if I have one, is that I’ve not attended Disneyland without a sense of irony since I was twelve. It was a little surprising, then, that I found myself so excited the prospect of the park expanding (as announced at D23 over this past weekend).
What’s D23, you ask? (Follow that link for a full answer.) Succinctly, though, D23 is “the first official community for Disney fans.” This translates as: official membership (with certificate “suitable for framing,” natch) and a subscription to an “oversized” magazine filled with “behind-the-scenes stories you can’t find anywhere else.”
The major component of D23 (aside from its merchandise) is this (presumably) annual expo, which recently concluded. Among the highlights, as reported elsewhere and collected here:
A new Muppets movie has been announced. “The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made” will be written by Jason Segel (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) and is rumored to develop an unused story idea by Jim Henson.
Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) will develop “animated films full of chills and thrills for audiences of all ages” with new producation label: Double Dare You.
“Toy Story 3″(!) is set for release on June 18, 2010. It concerns (grown-up) Andy donating Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gange before he moves away to begin college (and binge drinking).
“Tron: Legacy,” sequel to the cult hit “Tron,” comes out in December of next year. It continues the story of Kevin Flynn, creator of the game. “Tron” is remembered for being the first feature-length film to use computer generated images (I think. I was distracted by that lightcycle sequence).
A fourth(!) “Pirates of the Caribbean” film has been confirmed. “On Stranger Tides” will debut in the summer of 2011. Johnny Depp will star.
By 2013 Disneyland will have doubled its size. First, the addition of themed worlds suited to each of the company’s princesses is planned for completion by 2012. This sounds very similar to the Mickey’s Toontown attraction, which opened in 1993.
Next, an enlargement of the Dumbo ride and the creation of Pixie Hollow (featuring Tinkerbell). The biggest news (brace yourself, nerd) was the announcement of improvements to Star Tours. Says Jay Rasulo, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, “We’re going to do things with Star Tours that have never been done in any park attractions before at any theme park anywhere.” Translation: 3D. And I’m sure that Anthony Daniels will be included.