Shanghai Disneyland to Open in 2015

In 2015, a brand new Disneyland will open its gates.  Don’t believe it?  Did you think you would have heard of something so momentous happening sooner?   At the end of 2015, Shanghai Disneyland will be open for business. It was easy to forget about the at-times controversial park, because it’s been years since we’ve heard more than a peep about it.  But now that we’re getting closer to its opening date, more details are beginning to trickle in.  The Disney Parks blog has a snapshot of the Shanghai Disneyland model, or at least a portion of the model, focusing on … Continue reading

Disney Characters in North Korea

The kind of thing Disney’s after This is a story too bizarre not to report: on Monday July 9 Mickey Mouse, along with other Disney characters, appeared on North Korean television with the country’s new leader, Kim Jong-Un (son of Kim Jong-Il). No, Disney is not sending representatives to the isolationist country. These were images of Walt Disney Company characters used without permission. The use presents some interesting questions that reflect upon Disney’s own corporate policy. The New York Times’ Media Decoder explains. You see, Disney is very strict about unauthorized use of its properties. The company complained to Mexican … Continue reading

Disney Logo Change

When I went to see “The Muppets” I was so excited for my favorite puppet troop’s long-awaited big screen revival that I didn’t notice something interesting. In fact, I didn’t even realize that this something had happened until December, when all of a sudden a ton of news stories broke about it (perhaps I wasn’t the only one who didn’t notice right away). Disney’s changed its famous pre-film logo again. This time, instead of giving it another animated overhaul, they’ve changed the name. Rather than saying “Walt Disney Pictures,” it just reads “Disney.” The funny thing is, even when I … Continue reading

Adventures by Disney: The A’s

I talk so much about the Disney parks around here, especially the domestic ones, that it might appear those are the only Disney vacations available. However, there are many other Disney vacation options out there, and today I’m starting a recurring column on one of the largest: Adventures by Disney. Adventures by Disney consists of a series of guided tours along various locations in the world. You pay a lot more than you probably would just planning a trip on your own, unless you’re going all out, but for your money you receive a one-of-a-kind experience. Adventures by Disney provides … Continue reading

Disney a Most Trusted Company

Last week I mentioned that Forbes Magazine named the Walt Disney Corporation as the world’s third most trusted company. I promised I’d elucidate the idea further. The parameters of the study, which was actually carried out by the Reputation Institute (a company which “helps corporate clients manage their images”), declared these companies the ones that “consumers like, trust, and respect the most.” Disney, following Google and Sony, earned a global reputation score of 77.97. Unfortunately the study doesn’t specify what that’s out of; I’m assuming out of 100 but list topper Google only ranked a 78.62 so it might be … Continue reading

International Disney Deals

A little while ago I gave you information on special discounts being offered at Disney World and Disneyland. Now I’ve come back with similar deals made available for two of Disney’s international parks. If you’re making a trip to Disneyland Paris anytime soon, you might want to consider some of these special packages. Depending on when you’re booking your trip, you have a chance to receive a free day and night at one of the resort’s hotels, either 6 days and 5 nights for the price of 5 and 4, or 5 days and 4 nights for the price of … Continue reading

Disney English Learning Centers in China

I know I haven’t been very supportive of Disney’s business deals in China, but recent news from The Washington Post finds me giving at least a partial thumbs up to one of Disney’s latest branding efforts there. In fact, this particular story starts in the city about which I blasted Disney’s efforts to build a new theme park: Shanghai. While there’s not much more news on Disney building its second Chinese theme park there, and whether it’s improved its dealings with the locals it would be displacing, in 2008 Disney did do something good for the city of Shanghai: open … Continue reading

Family Fun Weekends

Visit Disneyland next weekend to meet Baloo and other rarely-seen Disney characters Everyone knows that the Disney Parks don’t need much of an excuse to throw a party. Sometimes their festivities for actual holidays seem dimmed, because fireworks and parades are almost daily occurrences at the parks. Still, we can trust Disney World or Disneyland to roll out something special for even the most minor of holidays. The first few months of the year are packed with various cultural celebrations, and this year Disneyland has decided to take advantage of that and host a months-long party. The official parks blog … Continue reading

What Is Ancestor Veneration?

In some cultures, the deceased are believed to have the ability to shape the circumstances of the living. In these cultures, the descendants of those who have passed away continue to provide for the well-being of their deceased family members through the practice of ancestor veneration. Sometimes, people confuse the concept of ancestor veneration by calling it “ancestor worship”. This is incorrect because cultures that practice ancestor veneration usually separate their acts of caring for deceased ancestors from their acts of worshipping whichever deity they worship. The acts associated with ancestor veneration are generally done out of a sense of … Continue reading