Weekend Update – AVATAR Land, Polynesian Village, Cool Linkage, Etc.

Now it’s time for another Weekend Update. We know these updates are sporadic and inconsistent, but that’s what keeps them interesting…right? Like Nicolas Cage perched on a dark hill spider monkey style, you never know when one will pounce on you! 😉 It seems like the big thing this weekend was the AVATAR Land concept art and additional details being released. You’ve probably seen it by now, so we won’t regurgitate those details.

With this news, I noticed something “interesting” on social media. Allow me a brief rant. I’m a bit of a night owl on the weekends (when we’re at home, I generally stay up until about 4 a.m. editing photos and working on blog posts for the upcoming week–I can get things done efficiently because no one else is up to distract me), so I was awake for the AVATAR Land concept art release early on Saturday morning. On social media, I noticed that just as many people were commenting on the timing of the release as they were the substance of the release. This weekend was the Japan D23 Expo, and the concept art was released there during the Parks presentation, which occurred at a normal hour in Japan on Saturday. Due to time zones, that meant the art was released during the night here in the United States. Many people seemed irritated that this art was released in the “middle of the night” and in Japan, rather than at a press conference in the US.

I saw phrases like “goes against PR 101” and the like thrown around (I never realized I followed so many PR experts on Twitter!), and the general attitude seemed to be one viewing America as the center of the universe. (I could go on a long rant about this worldview, but I’ll spare you that.) To me, it’s no big deal that some concept art was released first in Japan (and that’s exactly what it was–concept art, not a new attraction announcement). It’s not as if the art won’t be disseminated just the same, as the “news” will be copied and pasted on 13,893 Disney fan blogs in the US regardless of when it’s released, so I see it as no harm, no foul. Beyond that, Japanese tourists are a lucrative market for the US parks (they are far more likely to visit Aulani, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World than Americans are to visit the parks in Asia), and getting them excited about something coming to the US parks is a savvy move if this was done by design. Especially when Disney fans in the US are just as likely to find out about it either way, and Japanese fans are probably less likely to find out about it if it’s not announced to them directly. I don’t recall reading any complaints from Americans that Shanghai Disneyland details were first announced in the US instead of China where that park will be located (of course, double standards are fine when they benefit Americans). I understand the frustration that it wasn’t unveiled at the US D23 Expo a couple months ago; my guess as to why it was not is because it had not received a final greenlight or board approval for funding in time and had to instead settle for a cryptic/odd office setup. The concept art seems to match blueprints that leaked nearly a year ago, so I don’t know what other reason there would for releasing the art now as opposed to then. At the end of the day, it’s just a release of a few pieces of concept art and vague details…does it really matter where and when it was released? Anyway, sorry about the rant, but one of the hazards in reading this blog is that you’re occasionally subjected to my personal opinions.

In a much more cool little tidbit of news, we’ve learned that Disney’s Polynesian Resort is in the process of returning to its original name of the Polynesian Village Resort. Hopefully this is a sign of bigger changes (than just adding Disney Vacation Club) to come at the Poly, and not just cashing in on “retro-mania.”
DSC_7055 as Smart Object-1 copy

Upcoming Posts

The benefit of being home for the weekend is that I have the chance to get posts ready over the weekend rather than scrambling to write them at night when I get home from work. We have some good stuff (I think) coming this week…let me tease the slate:

Monday – A minute by minute post of my photos from a recent night of shooting fireworks with an explanation of my thinking in getting the shots. (The photo at the top of the post is from that article.)

Tuesday – Tokyo Disney Resort trip report, starting with sunrise in Tokyo Disneyland. (I know I’ve been promising this for a while, but I actually have the photos edited and everything ready to go this time. If you haven’t read it yet, click here to read our current installments of the Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Report!)

Wednesday – Wild Card Wednesday! Disneyland Hotel Review, Kona Cafe Breakfast Review, or Harbor Galley Review. This is your call–vote in the comments. Majority wins, even if that’s only one voter!

Thursday – “Is The Walt Disney Studios Park a Disney Theme Park?”

Friday – Sony QX100 Review for “Photo Friday.” Sarah has had this groundbreaking new phone system for a couple of weeks now, and is really impressed. I think the Sony QX100 “lens” is bit gimmicky, but great for people primarily interested in sharing photos on social media. We’ll share both of our perspectives in that review. (If you want a lens that is actually revolutionary, check out our Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Review.)

DSC_5689 as Smart Object-1 copy

Cool Linkage

We harp on getting out and seeing other Disney parks besides your “home” one a lot on this site, but we feel that way about travel in general. A lot of our nosy (;)) readers ask how we travel so much. It’s because travel is our #1 priority in life right now, and we make every sacrifice necessary (I can’t remember the last time we went out to dinner when home) to enable us to travel. This article titled “Travel While You’re Young,” completely captures our philosophy, and we highly recommend it to any other young people without kids.

Speaking of traveling, you might remember that we launched a companion site to this one earlier this year called TravelCaffeine. I’ve had a tough time keeping up on that blog, but I’m now planning regular updates. Last week we had a popular post detailing our “Trespassing” in Acadia National Park. Add this site to your bookmarks if you want travel inspiration and ideas!

If you missed our post on Disneyland Secrets last week, check that out. Our Unique Family Photo Ideas at Walt Disney World article was also pretty popular. Other than that, it was just dining reviews on the blog last week. Now, on with posts from other blogs…

A new blog called “Disneyland Paris Treasures” launched. The first post is well-written and detailed…this is being added to our bookmarks!

Gorillas Don’t Blog featured a couple beautiful photographs from the Disneyland Skyway shot in 1960(!!!). I’ve never been a big Skyway fan, but the thought of taking photos from it makes me salivate. Just think of all the unique angles!

WDWMagic shared news of a Main Street USA bypass to be added to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. If this is half as nice as the Arcades in Disneyland Paris, we will be stoked. Those are so awesome–every Main Street should have them!

We have mixed feelings on skipping Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival this year, but this article from Disney Food Blog on the Parisian Breakfast makes us wish we did attend. (There are other reasons it would have been nice to attend, but we’re growing a bit tired of the “drunken frat party” atmosphere to Epcot on fall weekends.)

Our friend Yoshi shares some photos of the Japan D23 Expo venue!

Leading up to their Photo Magic 2013 event, Disney Photography Blog had a couple of cool posts offering differing perspectives on photography. I really liked this one with thoughts on photographing the (very challenging) Boo To You Parade!

The Hong Kong Disneyland Gazette posts an interesting look at a “Halloween Challenge” at HKDL. Everything we’ve read makes it sound like that park does Halloween best!

Inside the Magic shares a look at Halloween on the Disney Cruise Line. Looks nice!

Finally, we recognize that a lot of you have your own Disney blogs where you share your thoughts, etc. We love the sense of community among Disney fans (we’re not so big on some of the in-fighting, but that’s an understandable byproduct of the passion), and we’re not an isolationist blog that views other sites as “competitors.” I love reading other Disney blogs, but I don’t get a chance to read every Disney blog every week. To help me out, if you’ve written or read an especially good blog post recently, please share a link to it in the comments of this article. Hopefully this will help me find great new blogs to read and feature in future “Cool Linkage” sections, and also send a bit of traffic your way!

That’s it for this update! To follow our adventures, find us on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Flickr!

Your Thoughts…

Have any comments about this update? Thoughts on the AVATAR Land? Vote for our Wild Card Wednesday blog post? Have any of your own blog posts to share? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

64 Responses to “Weekend Update – AVATAR Land, Polynesian Village, Cool Linkage, Etc.”
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