Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bob Iger Extends His Contract as CEO of the Walt Disney Company Until 2019


Bob Iger extends his contract as CEO of the Walt Disney Company Until 2019 as search for his successor continues. Excerpts from the L.A Times article and Deadline article:

Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger has extended his contract by one year, underscoring the challenges the company’s board of directors has faced in finding a successor to lead Hollywood’s iconic entertainment giant. Iger, 66, previously was expected to leave the company at the end of June 2018. His new deal ends July 2, 2019. The extension, Iger’s third since he became CEO in 2005, had been widely expected. It gives Disney’s board more time to search for a successor — a process that has been closely watched by investors who’ve expressed concern over the apparent lack of progress on the issue.

With few obvious internal candidates, the board seems increasingly likely to look outside Disney for its next CEO. Replacing Iger will not be a simple task: the company has enjoyed an extended run of success under Iger, and seen its stock price more than quadruple on his watch.

Iger, 66, says he plans to “build on our proven strategy for growth while working with the Board to identify a successor as CEO and ensure a successful transition.” Iger is one of the nation’s highest paid CEOs; he made $43.9 million in the fiscal year that ended in September. His new deal will extend the current terms, and give him an additional $5 million bonus if he stays to mid-2019, according to an SEC filing.

In addition, the board changed the standards it will use to determine his bonus. It says that Disney’s stake in Hulu is “projected to continue to have a net adverse impact” on the company’s operating profits — one of the benchmarks to determine Iger’s success.

As a result, the board will “make such adjustments as it deems appropriate” to make sure the losses don’t hurt Iger’s pay. That’s to ensure that the Iger doesn’t feel “an unintended incentive or disincentive” when making decisions.

The CEO agreed to serve as a consultant for three years after the term expires. He’ll be paid $2 million a year for two years, and $1 million for the third year.

Disney will continue his security services when he becomes a consultant, but won’t let him continue to use the corporate jet for personal trips.

If the company decides to end his tenure before the end of the new contract — except for cause — then Iger would still be able to collect the bonus, and begun the consulting term immediately.

In an appearance just hours after the contract news was announced Thursday, Iger said he was “serious this time around” about this being his last extension, and acknowledged the complexities of finding his successor.

“Succession is a complicated thing and we felt, meaning the board and I, [that] we could use more time to not only to spend on succession but to create a better transition so we mutually agreed to add another year,” Iger said at the SCALE technology and entertainment conference.

Read the full L.A Times article HERE and Deadline article HERE.

“The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters” Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios



This summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will present “The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters.” This limited-time concert event will showcase memorable music from Pixar Animation Studios films, complete with a live orchestra and appearances by beloved Disney-Pixar characters.

Starting May 26, “The Music of Pixar LIVE!” will be presented three times nightly at Theater of the Stars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (following the regular daily performances of “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage”). The show will also feature highlights from some of Pixar’s greatest scores, from films like “Toy Story” to “Cars 3.” Guests can also expect appearances by Woody, Jessie, Mike and Sulley, the Incredibles and more.

Picture: copyright Disney

Queen Mary Island, a $250M Entertainment Destination Coming on Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach, California



Los Angeles-based real estate investment and development firm Urban Commons today revealed the project of a $250 million, all-inclusive entertainment destination coming to life on the 65 acres of waterfront land surrounding the iconic Queen Mary ship docked in Long Beach, California. Set along the Long Beach bay front, “Queen Mary Island” will pay homage to the Golden Age of the luxury liner while bringing to life a curated collection of music, entertainment, dining, retail and adventure offerings that take full advantage of the coastal setting. Queen Mary Island will be designed as a self-contained destination with landscapes, amenities and recreational experiences to provide something for everyone.



Visitors arriving at Queen Mary Island will be greeted with an extraordinary welcome designed to capture the sensations of a mainland to island transition. The team envisions several creative entry points by land, water and air, with a main lobby plaza off the freeway that will be reminiscent of a bygone era through distinct architectural and design details. From there, guests will stroll down the 2,400-foot long enchanting boardwalk past the marina, cafes and bars, eclectic retail shops and a 200-room hotel, all-encompassing nearly 700,000 square feet of retail space in total, until they reach the grand outdoor amphitheater.




“Queen Mary Island will hold something for everyone, whether that is adrenaline-inducing activities or simply enjoying live entertainment and dining near the waterfront,” said Taylor Woods, Principal of Urban Commons. “We are genuinely excited about creating a place for people to connect, interact and make memories and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the City as we bring this highly-anticipated destination to life.



Debuting for the first time in North America, Urban Commons is collaborating with London-based Urban Legacies to bring to life Urban Adventure, a multi-activity concept boasting wildly popular and exhilarating experiences under one roof in a 150,000-square-foot facility on Queen Mary Island. Visitors will delight in approximately 20 interactive and experiential activities ranging from California’s first indoor ice climbing wall to surfing, canyoning, skydiving, zip lining, a trampoline park and much more.





Working with world-renowned architecture firm Gensler, Urban Commons’ vision is to meld the unique Great Britain sensibility with Southern California culture throughout the project to create an atmosphere that celebrates the best of both cultures and transports guests back to the golden days of the Queen Mary. Similar to the pockets and boroughs of the world’s most celebrated cities, it is the urban architecture that will define Queen Mary Island, embracing a distinctive shipyard/industrial aesthetic and a fresh color palette, complementary to the past.

An inviting outdoor setting of several small retail boutiques, dining concepts and interactive kiosks providing insightful glimpses of the Queen Mary’s history will line the pedestrian and bike friendly passageways accentuated by shady green spaces, art-inspired settings and lush gardens. Live music experiences will establish Queen Mary Island as the new year-round social epicenter of Long Beach.


“We’re proud to have partnered with Urban Commons and thank the Queen Mary Land Development Taskforce for their guidance with an innovative project that represents the spirit of Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Queen Mary Island will invigorate our downtown core with its reimagined, urban dining and entertainment experience.”



"Queen Mary Island embodies everything that is great about Long Beach," stated Second District Councilmember Jeannine Pearce. "It brings the great history of Long Beach's most iconic landmark to life while stimulating our thriving local economy. We encourage our residents to learn more about this excellent addition that is coming to our Long Beach."


Since assuming the master lease of the ship in April 2016, Urban Commons continues to increase its investment in the ship, solidifying it as a premier attraction for event goers in Southern California and driving traffic to the ship and the City of Long Beach. The team has launched a wide-ranging renovation program onboard the ship that will result in more structural and cosmetic upgrades than at any point in the past 30 years. The repairs to restore and preserve the ship , identified and prioritized in collaboration with the City of Long Beach, will ensure the Queen Mary remains a safe and beautiful destination for generations to come. The forthcoming master plan development adjacent to the ship will also create a self-sustaining source of revenue to fund continued renovations on the Queen Mary over the long-term.


Large-scale events back by popular demand in 2017 include Dark Harbor, a Halloween-themed event presenting spooky experiences from haunted mazes to monsters and a 4D theater experience, as well as Chill, a winter wonderland-themed event featuring ice tubing, ice skating and more.  Urban Commons introduced a monthly “Local Band Hangout” program in 2017 spotlighting local artists and bands performing onboard the ship. The team also plans to host a rock music concert and the second annual WET Carnival in 2017.

A video has been released to show the whole project, here it is!




Let's have a closer look at the Queen Mary history, would we, with this next video.





Here is a picture of Walt Disney on the Queen Mary!




This next video is an up-close look at the Queen Mary’s Captain’s Quarters, Bridge and scenic Sun Deck with Commodore Everette.




For those of you who've never been on the Queen Mary here is a tour of the ship, filmed in 4K!





Pictures: copyright Urban Commons - Queen Mary

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Creating Pandora – The World of Avatar as a Real Place - Edit: WDW AP Will Have Preview of Pandora on April 8 or 9 !


When Pandora – The World of Avatar opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this May, guests will be able to explore a brand-new world unlike they’ve ever experienced before.

Editing: According to WDWNT HERE "Walt Disney World annual passholders will be getting a first-look at Pandora: The World of AVATAR with exclusive previews of the land scheduled to happen in just-a-little-over two weeks time. Online registration should open very soon for annual passholders to sign up for one of two preview dates for Pandora: The World of AVATAR, April 8th or 9th, 2017. Rumor has it that there will be some restriction on “technology use” for guests who partake in the preview, perhaps a ban on photography and video recording."



In the film AVATAR, the planet of Pandora featured an ecosystem all its own, with lush bioluminescent flora, precious fauna, and a culture of people who saw and respected the value of their precious planet. In order to create this new land for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the project team approached bringing Pandora to life as if they were building a real world – unlike one anyone had experienced before – based on the world in the film.



Walt Disney Imagineering just shared this video, in which we learn how Imagineers and Animal Programs worked together to create a uniquely interactive ecosystem exclusively for Pandora – The World of Avatar. The park’s Animal Programs department, which includes conservation biologists and scientists, lent their expertise in order to help the land seem as authentically real as possible.

“We’ve had this group sit down and try to understand what would Pandora really look like? How would it feel? What sounds would you hear if you were taking a nature trail along Pandora,” said Dr. Mark Penning Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks.

Learn more in the new WDI video below!





Pictures and video : copyright Disney

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Disneyland Hotel TRADER SAM'S Enchanted Tiki Bar Menu


An auction for a "Disneyland Hotel TRADER SAM'S Enchanted Tiki Bar Menu" is currently happening on eBay and ends in 4 hours at 2pm Paris time, 8am EST. So, if you're a Tiki bar or cocktails fan jump HERE on eBay, if not enjoy the pictures below showing this cool menu and its illustrations for each cocktail!



























Pictures: copyright Disney

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Disneyland Paris Update : Star Tours : The Adventure Continues Open at Disneyland Paris - Full Pictorial Report With Pictures and Video !



Disneyland Paris "new" Star Tours is now in soft-opening mode and will open officially on March 26. Thanks to Max, D&M contributor and DLPWelcome webmaster D&M has a full report for you with dozens of pictures and video! I also add to this article others great pictures from our friends of ED92 and i thanks both a lot for their pictorial materials! Here weeee go!

After Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort in 2011, then Tokyo Disney Resort in 2013, in 2017 Disneyland Paris open this legendary attraction in its new version. All the area has been redesigned with a new entrance inspired from the logo of the attraction. The X-Wing has landed on a platform above the new SW meet and greet area with Darth Vader , Chewbacca and others SW characters ( the location was previously the one of "Star Traders" shop), access to the new FastPass terminals has been revised, the area has a new floor too and the Star Trader shop has been moved at the exit of the ride, where was before the post-show area.



Yesterday, too, Discoveryland Station reopened and guests can now take the train again in this station ...also a great place too to shoot pictures of the new Star Tours area!











































Okay, let's get inside, would we? ...as the pre-show decor has been changed and enhanced with new effects, screens, droids robots and lights with a new style given to the ride storyline.




























Visible in the queue pre-show decor, "REX" the driver who did more than 3 250 000 flights from Disneyland Paris during 24 years is also present with others droids.



























The experience : after the queue and taking the glasses 3D, when boarding, it’s time to seat in one of the 1000 StarSpeeders seats with a new driver, C-3PO. Let's say it, to see -3PO appearing in front of our eyes makes each time the same effect: a big smile and the feeling that the attraction is already a success. With more than 70 possible different travels, this attraction became a real "must" . With Kashyyyk, Jakku, Naboo, Hoth, Tatooine, and others, each trip has its random twists and provide a unique experience at each take-off.

The simulator : this is THE big change ! Between an interior with new colors and lighting, a HD 3D projection, and also more smooth movements, the simulators have been updated for our biggest pleasure!

Time to embark, and on the video below filmed by Max, not only you'll see all this great new queue decor but also one of the ride movies! Warning: spoilers ahead!





After the landing of the StarSpeeder 1000, guests are invited to discover the new "Star Traders" shop ( previously "SpacePort" with the Arcade Games ) where is parked a StarSpeeder, and is visible some passage of droids and a Jedi Training droid as a hologram on the big screen. Guests can buy Star Wars products as well as exclusive merchandise of the attraction.



















It's at night that the new Star Tours area becomes even more magical thanks to the lighting of WDI wizards!












Editing: I'm adding a new video filmed by Curious Axel who was the first guest to enter the soft-openings of Star Tours: the Adventure Continues, and he filmed his long walkthrough inside the new decor. Video from our friends of ED92.




With this redesigned Star Tours area, the new version of the ride, the upcoming Hyperspace Mountain opening early May, and the Jedi Academy at Videopolis Disneyland Paris has now a mini-Star Wars land which, with the addition of the seasonal Star Wars projection show at the Walt Disney Studios , will be for sure helpful to bring back guests in the parks. All what is missing now is that DLP organize Star Wars week-ends to bring at DLP the dozens of thousands of European Star Wars fans. It's even surprising that they didn't thought about it yet...

Don't go away as we're not done yet with DLP Discoveryland as there is more to see with the Discoveryland fountains located at the entrance which are back working again with gorgeous lighting! This is more important than it may seem as it means that visually, and especially at night, Discoveryland will "start" right from Central Plaza instead than when you arrive up to the Constellations shop.









And... that's it for today's Disneyland Paris update! I want to thanks again Max from DLP Welcome and our friends from ED92 for their precious help and their great pictures! Make sure to visit their site and Facebook page for more DLP pictures and videos! A new DlP update will come soon and in the meantime, i remind you that the gorgeous Disneyland Paris book is still available and it's the last copies of a book that will not be reprinted so make sure to order your copy now!


The DLP book is at 78€ for the English regular edition and 100€ for the last copies of the French Collector's edition. Additional shipping worldwide for both editions is 19€, except for Belgium or Italy for which it is 29€.

For all orders send me an email with your shipping address at: neverlandeditions@gmail.com

Payment can be done with Paypal, credit card or bank transfer. Paypal payment of the amount - including shipping - can be sent directly to: neverlandeditions@gmail.com OR by using the Paypal buttons below. For others payment by credit card or bank transfer, please send me an email first at: neverlandeditions@gmail.com

The book is still available but we are really entering the final copies - especially for the French edition - so order your copy while it is available as, again, the book will NOT be reprinted!


Paypal button for DLP Book ENGLISH Edition
Paypal button for DLP Book FRENCH Collector Edition:


If you've never seen the book definitely watch the video below showing each of the 320 pages of this fantastic book!




Pictures and video: copyright DLP Welcome, ED92