VOTD: Darth Vader Goes To Disneyland

Earlier today, Peter posted on Twitter that rumors had been circulating about the Disney acquisition of LucasFilm for about a year. Something of this magnitude obviously takes time. But it seems like both sides were confident it would happen, as they took the time to film a new commerical for Disneyland asking the question, “Darth Vader, now that you’re part of the Disney family, what will you do next?” And in a very “Super Bowl Champion” kind of way, I bet you can guess the answer.

EDIT: My mistake. This is just a repurpose of a previously released commercial. It’s still pretty relevant though, considering recent events.

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I’m a huge Disneyland fanatic, with the top of the line Premier Annual Pass to prove it. I’ve always loved hearing the behind the scenes stories about the famous attractions in Walt Disney‘s incredible creation. We’ve all seen the video footage of Disneyland’s Space Mountain with the lights on. I’ve seen dozens of behind the scenes photos from the Anaheim-based theme park over the years, but I’ve never seen a collection like this one.

A Disney castmemeber recently posted a collection of 82 photos, which appear to have been taken sometime in the 1980′s/1990′s. The collection of photos give an unprecedented look behind the curtain of popular attractions like the Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise and much more.

Have you ever wondered what the ride operation equipment looks like?

Have you ever wanted to see what the animatronics look like from behind the scenes?

Have you ever wondered what Jungle Cruise would look like without the water?

Have you ever wanted to see what the Haunted Mansion looks like with the lights on?

Have you ever wondered what the view looks like from on the very top of Matterhorn?

Its all here. You also get some photos of cast-member hijinks, a view of the animatronic repair shop, and much much more.
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Forget Disney princesses and boy wizards — the most intriguing theme park plans right now all have to do with costumed heroes. After the jump:

  • The Justice League is heading to Australia in the form of a theme-park ride
  • Walt Disney Imagineers are brainstorming a Marvel theme park for Anaheim…
  • … while Dubai’s IMG Group breaks ground on its Marvel Adventure park

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As many of you know, I’m a big theme park fanatic. I’m not a huge fan of Pixar’s Cars, but yet I’ve been eagerly awaiting (for the last few years) the addition of Cars Land to Disneyland’s offerings. And while Cars Land is gearing up to open on June 15th, I’m equally as excited to see the launch of Buena Vista Street, Disney’s new opening to California Adventure. Many people are looking at this combination as a complete relaunch of the theme park, California Adventure 2.0. There were a lot of problems with the initial offering, and Disney has spent $1.1 billion re-construction to right almost all the wrongs, and actually make the park feel like a Disney experience.

And what the Imagineers have done with Buena Vista Street is create a new story, an origin story for Walt Disney. They have created a street full of shops and restaurants (like Disneyland’s Main Street) which tells the story of a man from Kansas who arrives in 1920′s Los Angeles to become an animator. Who would have thought a street of stores could tell such a story?

Guests to Disneyland Resort this Summer probably won’t leave DCA talking about Buena Vista Street. They’ll more likely to be talking about Cars Land. But the experience will be felt. Remember, Walt Disney designed Main Street to serve as the opening credits to Disneyland (in face, the credits are on the windows of the stores you walk by as you head towards the castle). A movie’s opening credit sequence can set the tone and make an otherwise good film great, and the Imagineers have created an incredible gateway experience for DCA theme park guests.

Disney has released a fact sheet which explains in detail all of the new offerings. But my favorite part is the many details that make up the storytelling of the new theming on Buena Vista Street.

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They already have the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral and now they might get their very own Mos Eisley Cantina. A rumor has begun to circle that Disney Imagineers are looking to convert a section of Disneyland Paris into a Star Wars themed land complete with updated Star Tours, new stores and Mos Eisley Cantina restaurant. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The two Cars films may be Pixar’s worst-reviewed films to date, but the scorn of critics certainly doesn’t stop kids from loving the hell out of Lightning McQueen, Mater, and company. There are Cars-themed lunchboxes, t-shirts, games, even beds — and starting in June, there’ll be a Cars Land as well. Disney has just announced the opening date for the 12-acre attraction, an expansion of Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. Hit the jump for details on the grand opening, as well as pictures and video offering glimpses of the new Cars Land.

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If you’re looking forward to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and planning on taking a trip to Disneyland in California over the next two months, you are going to want to keep reading. Beginning March 25 and continuing through May, Disneyland is hosting a 3D sneak preview and stage show centered on the characters in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Captain Jack Sparrow will train you as a pirate, lead you onto Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, and then treat to an exclusive, extended 3D segment from the film along with live performances from the characters (not played by Johnny Depp and Ian McShane, of course). Get more info about the event after the jump. Read More »

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 29 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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