We used to do these updates every weekend (hence the name!), focusing on Disney topics too short for blog posts, sharing some interesting (to me) articles I’ve found around the internet, and cool deals. With yesterday’s sorta-announcement about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson helping to reimagine Jungle Cruise, I thought it’d be an interesting day to revive the topic.
In addition to tackling a potential Jungle Cruise reimagining, we’ll share some updates on the blog, things we’ve been working on, and that potential group booking for Wilderness Lodge that we mentioned a while back. For starters, I love the The Rock. He has this natural charisma and inarticulable x-factor that just draws you to him.
The Rock can turn a garbage movie (and, unfortunately, many of his movies falls into this category) into something that’s fun solely by his affable presence. Heck, The Rock even has me looking forward to a movie based on the cheesy television show Baywatch!
So far, the only thing that has been said about a re-imagining of the Jungle Cruise is this Instagram post by The Rock:
Grateful SOB to have Walt and Mickey watching over my shoulder as @danygarciaco and I embark on this amazing project. For our big #JungleCruise creative meeting at DISNEY’s highly secure R&D facilities, me and @danygarciaco were escorted into THE VAULT. A legitimate vault where all of Disney’s biggest secrets and plans are kept. Curtains were pulled back for us to reveal the actual drawn up plans that Walt Disney had his brother, Roy Disney take to New York to present to the bankers in 1950 for the potential loan to build what’s now known as Disney Land. Cant imagine what that meeting with bankers was like. Roy: Alright gentlemen, so me and my brother Walt, want to build the greatest multiple theme park attraction in the world. Banker: Oh that seems fun, Mr. Disney. Roy: *smiles in a playful mischievous manner, Oh yes my good man, it will have a few things that are in fact, fun. Well, clearly I don’t know how the hell men were actually talking in the 50’s, but what I do know is being able to star in and produce #JungleCruise is a dream come true. BUT what takes this to the next level, is that we’ll partner with Disney’s brilliant Imagineers to help re-engineer and re-design the #JungleCruise ride in all the Disney theme parks around the world. A very special opportunity for us and our @sevenbucksprod to create an unforgettable and fun EXPERIENCE for families around the world. And as Walt Disney himself would say… it’s magical. Next step is finding our visionary director. Exciting times. #JungleCruise #TheExperience #DisneyStudios #Imagineers #SevenBucksProds #WaltAndRockWouldveBeenBesties #AndWorkoutBuddies #WaltWouldveLovedMyJackedUpPickUpTruck
That’s quite the caption and indicates some bold plans. In the comments, The Rock further clarified, indicating that the movie would inform the attraction. That sounds a lot like the original marketing for Captain Jack Sparrow being added to Pirates of the Caribbean: “first the attraction inspired the movie…now, the movie inspires the attraction!”
The difference there is that Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl was a smash hit before any changes to the attractions were greenlit. Moreover, it took multiple films and worldwide box office success before all versions of the attraction around the world had Jack Sparrow added.
The Rock is a master showman, and part of creating buzz for a film he’s producing and starring in, is posts like this. His fans are now talking about the impact his film will have beyond the box office, and even people who are against the idea (as I am) are talking about the movie. A movie, as he notes, which doesn’t even have a director yet!
This is not to say that whatever The Rock is cooking (sorry) with regard to the Jungle Cruise attraction won’t come to fruition. What it is to say is that the likely scenario is that Walt Disney Imagineering (and other divisions) had a blue sky meeting with The Rock to go over what possible synergy options could be available should the film perform well.
Perhaps the plan isn’t even to add new effects and Audio Animatronics to Jungle Cruise. Maybe the plan is to have The Rock fly around the world, standing in show scenes surprising guests. (Maybe Johnny Depp’s appearance at Disneyland was a test for this!) I mean, The Rock does literally everything else, so why not add “live action theme park attraction entertainment” to the list?!
Disney is pretty cautious and conservative when it comes to incorporating films into the theme parks. This is understandable and, in my opinion, appropriate. After all, who wants a repeat of the Countdown to Extinction/Dinosaur tie-in that was made to coincide with that film’s release? (And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re not alone–which helps makes my point.)
Over the last couple of weeks, you might’ve noticed that a lot of blog posts have been updated. Now that we’re done traveling for a bit, I’ve been trying to focus on refreshing older posts.
I’ve updated about two dozen posts thus far, and have added “last updated on ____” dates to all of them. I fell down the rabbit hole of looking at old posts, and have highlighted about 40 more that need updates. Keep an eye on the first couple pages of the home page, as I bump many/most to there once I update them.
I’ll have even more posts to update once Wishes is retired and Pandora opens. It’s a never-ending battle!
Per your requests on last December’s “Odds & Ends” update, I’ve been writing more trip reports (4 so far this year!) and also making other tweaks based upon your suggestions. Hopefully you’ve noticed!
On that same note, I still have no idea what’s going on with the Wilderness Lodge group booking mentioned there. We’ve already updated you on this once before, indicating that Disney’s Group Getaways department wasn’t offering us anything worthwhile.
It’s not much of an update, but that’s still the case. Although they won’t say as much, I think it’s because occupancy projections are up for Christmas, and they don’t plan on offering any exceptional deals. Maybe once a room-only discount is released, they will be able to do more? I really don’t know, and would strongly suggest you make alternative arrangements if you haven’t already.
Over on TravelCaffeine.com, I’m still plugging away on new non-Disney travel posts, with most of my focus being on posts about California, Japan, France, and Hawaii. These are the locations that have gotten the biggest response from readers, and I think it makes the most sense to focus on these locations since they are where Disney Parks (or a resort, in the case of Hawaii) are also located.
Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on an eBook about visiting California over there, which will be given away early this summer to newsletter subscribers. This eBook, plus updates on this blog, and new posts on both blogs are brought to you by coffee, and my excessive consumption of it. 😉
The Walt Disney Film Archives: The Animated Movies 1921-1968 – I’ve shared this a couple of times on Facebook now, and am astonished that the price on this is so low. This is a beautiful, oversized coffee table book produced with incredible quality. It’s a collectible TASCHEN book, almost all of which increase in value when they (inevitably) go out of print. At 69% off, it’s a no-brainer for any Disney library.
4-Port USB 3.0 Hub w/ Power Switches – This is on sale for $9.49 – $4.01 with promotional code 4SDUM43 – That makes it only $5.48 after coupon! This is great for charging devices in Walt Disney World hotel rooms, which are notoriously short on power outlets.
Figment & Dreamfinder “Imaginary Friends” Statue – Along with my Figment Big Fig, this is one of the highlights of my Figment collection (above) and since selling out in 2007, it’s now pretty rare. Happened upon this in my saved searches the other day.
Figment MagicBand – Speaking of Figment, can we all agree that this is the best MagicBand?! Some of the seasonal/limited edition ones are cool, but I love the classic Figment-in-yellow-sweater look.
Frozen LED Light Up Canvas Wall Art – I don’t know what this even is, but I got a deal alert about it and thought it might help out those with kids.
Olaf Pancake Maker – I think this would make a hilarious gag gift for some of our friends, but if you have kids, it might be something they’d actually love. And the price is right…
Around the Disneysphere…
We’ve had a lot of recent posts on TravelCaffeine including an awesome place to learn about dinosaurs, some really cool castles in France, an awesome studio tour near Disneyland, and more!
The Los Angeles Times reports on driverless shuttles Disney might soon deploy.
easyWDW offers a slew of interesting photos from around Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival.
BlogMickey reports on a rumor that Walt Disney World could have to cancel or modify its fireworks shows during Central Florida’s drought.
Disney Parks Blog shares the first on-ride footage of Na’vi River Journey in Pandora – World of Avatar. (I haven’t watched–be prepared for spoilers if you do!)
Passport to Dreams discusses what makes a design distinctly “Disney” and what is shallow branding.
DVC Resale Market has an interesting look at how pricing impacts how quickly different Disney Vacation Club properties sell.
That’s it for this update! To follow our adventures, find us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
What do you think of the possibility that The Rock will help reimagine the Jungle Cruise in Disney Parks around the world? Think it’ll actually happen, or is just a blue sky idea that depends upon the box office success of the film? Thoughts about anything else in this weekend update? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share in the comments below!