Written by Russell Meyer
Published: April 13, 2005 at 8:25 PM
The Cirque de Soleil has finalized plans to build a permanent 2,000 seat theater at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort in Japan. The $140 million project is slated to hold its first performance sometime in August 2008, with the Oriental Land Company, the majority owners of the park, providing $115 million of the total cost. The show will be a unique show, much like the other permanent Cirque shows, and will take advantage of a city that has purchased more Cirque tickets than any other city in the world. The Cirque phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, with elements of Cirque shows popping up in just about every theme park in the world, and tickets for authentic Cirque de Soleil shows about as hard to come by as a non-stop ride on Spaceship Earth. Cirque’s popularity is almost unmatched, and another permanent theater should prove to be very popular, with another one about to open in Las Vegas, Nevada later this year. There’s no word yet as to what types of elements will comprise this new show, but guests can expect a show like nothing else with stunning acrobatics and mesmerizing visuals and music.
Disneyland Report 4/13/05
All of you Coca Cola drinkers, it’s time to cash in your frequent flier miles, and get moving. Coke and Disney have teamed up to offer a “Gold Cap” promotion in China that will offer 10,000 lucky winners a 3-day trip to experience Hong Kong Disneyland before it is even opened to the public on September 12, 2005. Coke and Disney have been partners for 50 years, and their relationship is still as strong as Disneyland’s opening day when Coca Cola became the official beverage of the park. What I find interesting is the combination of two of the biggest symbols of capitalism teaming up to cross-promote in the world’s largest socialist country. It was one thing when Disney announced the construction of Hong Kong Disneyland, in a city that is probably as close as you can get to capitalism in China, but with the weight of Coke behind Disney on this promotion that will run all across mainland China, the mighty powers of capitalism have the Goliath of socialism in their sights. Let the conversion begin!
Magical Mountain.com 4/13/05
Kendi, the first of 4 white rhinos born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom nearly 6 years ago, recently had a baby of her own. Kayla, who was born in February, has just weighed in at a healthy 233 pounds, and can be viewed on the Savannah with her mom. We all know that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Nahtazoo, but animal stories like this one are always nice to see, especially when they involve endangered animals. It’s wonderful to see that the DAK staff is doing a great job with their animals, and hopefully this success story will bring many more throughout the lifetime of the park. In contrast, my home zoo, the National Zoo in Washington, DC, has had nothing but bad news, and seems to be doing more to harm their animals than help them. They did attempt a Giant Panda artificial insemination recently with as yet unknown results. To me it’s pretty sad when theme parks like Animal Kingdom, Sea World, Busch Gardens, and even Six Flags can take better care of animals than a zoo.
Power Ranger Invasion
The Power Rangers have arrived at Disney/MGM studios as part of the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade. The amazingly popular live action and animated series has begun to be capitalized upon by its new parent Disney. Not only have the Power Rangers begun popping up at Disney parks, but they can also be found at Disney retail stores in all of their varying forms. I personally cannot stand this obvious rip-off of Voltron, one of my favorite childhood cartoons, but one cannot deny their longstanding popularity with kids just about everywhere. There have been several incarnations of the Power Rangers series, and they seem to show no signs of slowing down, especially with a semi-permanent place in Disney parks. While families are not going to hop off their couch to catch the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade and the Power Rangers, they will probably snatch up Power Rangers merchandise after seeing them in the parade. If Disney plays their cards correctly, Japanese animation acquisitions could bring huge financial gains, and a breath of fresh air to a stagnant United States animation industry.