Monday, January 23, 2017

Josh Strickland and Ashley Brown pose with Mickey Mouse at Epcot

Broadway stars Josh Strickland and Ashley Brown pose with Mickey Mouse at Epcot during the new Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

Brown made her Broadway debut as Belle in "Beauty and the Beast." In 2007, she originated the role of Mary Poppins in the Broadway production of "Mary Poppins," and then took the role on the road in the musical's first national tour.

Strickland, a singer and actor, created the leading role of Tarzan in Disney's 'Tarzan' the Broadway Musical. In 2002, he was a national finalist in season 2 of "American Idol" and was later on the "Star Search 2004."

The two took a photo with Mickey on Jan. 20, 2017. The duo performed songs from Disney on Broadway musicals including "Beauty and the Beast," "Frozen," "Mary Poppins," "Tarzan" and "The Little Mermaid" as part of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series.

Disney publicity photo by Chloe Rice

Marvel Day at Sea returns to Disney Cruise Line in 2018

The Marvel Day at Sea will return to the Disney Cruise Line in 2018.

The Disney Magic will feature the Marvel Day on eight voyages from Miami departing January through April.

Disney publicity photo
The event will include character interactions, including the debut of Black Panther and Loki and the first official appearance of Iron Man on a Disney Cruise Line ship.

Other highlights are:
  • Scheduled interactions and photos with Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Black Panther, Loki and other Super Heroes and Villains.
  • The Walt Disney Theatre will have a show featuring Doctor Strange, who will demonstrates the power of the mystic arts.
  • A deck party with music, dancing and games.
  • Marvel trivia.
  • Marvel-themed games, activities and arts and crafts.

The  2018 sailings depart from Miami on Jan. 7, 21; Feb. 4, 18; March 18; April 1, 15 and 29. The five-night cruises include a stop at Disney’s private island Castaway Cay and either Cozumel, Mexico, or Grand Cayman.

More information can be obtained at

Disney unveils 2 new totem poles at Canda Pavilion Epcot

The Canada Pavilion at Epcot at Disney World has two new totem poles carved by Tsimshian artisan David Boxley.

Each totem tells unique stories.

Disney publicity photo
According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Eagle Totem Pole tells the story of a boy finding an eagle caught in a net on a beach and frees it. "Years later, when hunger strikes the boy’s tribe, he walks on the same beach, only to find the eagle there waiting for him with food – paying him back for his kindness years ago. The bottom of this totem pole also tells the story of how a family of beaver taught a human family the importance of treating all creatures – human and animal – with respect."

The Whale Totem Pole depicts "the tale of the first potlatch, a ceremonial feast celebrated by the Nagunaks and creatures of the undersea world," according to the blog.

Disney announces name for latest Star Wars movie and 3 big questions about the film

Disney has announced the title in the next chapter of he Star Wars saga. "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" will be released Dec. 15, 2017.
The Last Jedi is written and directed by  Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski.

The movie is supposed to pickup where "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ends, where Rey (Daisy Ridley) returns to  Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) his lightsaber. After that, not much is known what will happen.

Also appearing in the movie are:

Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa,  Adam Driver as Kylo Ren,  John Boyega as Finn,  Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux,, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke.

There are lots of questions left in the plot,  including, these big three:

1. Who is the Last Jedi?

Are we talking about Luke? Does that mean he will die in this movie? Does Luke teach Rey the ways of the Jedi, so she will be the last Jedi. Is Jedi singular or plural? Could this be a Jedi army? Let the speculation begin. 

2. Do we find out Rey's origin?

Is she related to Luke? Are we going to see a big reveal as we did in "Empire Strikes Back;" remember, "No, I am your father." 

3. What is the future of Leia Organa?

Carrie Fisher finished filming for this Star Wars movie before she died in December. She was originally to appear in all three movies. We do know that Lucasfilm will not use a CGI version of Fisher in future movies. But what happens to Leia probably will have to be rewritten.