Friday Five: Random References and Reflections

1. Thank you everyone for your patience as we work toward a new logo design. We’ve received several entries, but we have at least two more people who have promised us that they have entries coming. Since we didn’t announce an entry cutoff at the beginning of the contest, we’re holding off on the selection of finalists until those last couple of promised entries are in. That means there’s still time to enter if you haven’t yet (and you’re welcome to enter more than one design if you wish). But we do need to make a decision soon, so please get your entries in as soon as possible. Remember, the designer of the winning logo gets a free Premium Subscription to TouringPlans.com, courtesy of Mark Pratt of Fairytale Journeys by DisDads.

2. One week from Sunday, Marvel will make it’s first public presentation as part of the Disney community, with a one-and-one-half hour presentation at the D23 Expo. IMHO, those who insist that Marvel characters have no place in Disney Parks are in for a major dissapointment. From the opening of Disneyland in 1955, part of the role of the theme parks has been to promote Disney media properties. For better or worse, Marvel characters, cartoons, and movies are now Disney media properties. The cartoons are already all over DisneyXD on television, and five or more Marvel superhero movies are slated for release over the next three years under the Walt Disney Pictures imprint.

The intellectual property agreement between Marvel and Universal Studios that Disney has to deal with gives Universal exclusive theme park use of characters that Universal is already using at Islands of Adventure, but that exclusive use only applies east of the Mississippi River. It’s possible that Marvel characters could be used at Disneyland (and around the world) before they debut at Walt Disney World (and Disney CEO Bob Iger even hinted at such a possibility when the Marvel acquisition was first announced back in 2009). So where and how in Disney Parks do you see Marvel characters fitting in? My favorite possibility that I’ve heard so far have been a re-theme of Innoventions in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland to Stark Expo (from Iron Man 2). And while some purists decry the inclusion of any characters at Epcot, the Marvel universe is replete with scientific (or at least pseudo-scientific) geniuses that I think could both bring back more of the edutainment model to Epcot. Ellen’s Universe of Energy could certainly be enlivened with a Marvel-centered reboot. And it may be a stretch, but a somewhat more kid-friendly version of Doctor Strange seems to me to be a natural for a role in a revamped Imagination Pavillion (there’s no reason Figment couldn’t be retained as well in that scenario). How would you like to see Marvel characters integrated into Disney Parks?

3. Thanks to this week’s participating Dis Dads – James Mathieson, Paul Hajjar, Matt Birchfield, Justin West, Christian Hill on the podcast; Mark Harbeson for his thoughtful piece about family roadtrips; Brian Newell, for his Top 5 Tuesday list; and Randall (a/k/a Cinderella’s Fella) for the Wordless Wednesday photo from Disneyland Paris.

4. The design may be vintage 1998, but I’m not sure that there’s a more uniquely useful Disney information site than Steve Soares’ Walt Disney World Live Entertainment site. It’s almost like having a WDW Times Guide on the web. He does a great job of staying on top of constantly changing live entertainment times, from the major shows and parades to “little” gems, like the Dapper Dans and the Fantasyland Woodwind Society – even Character Meet and Greets.

5. Now that kids are heading back to school (my daughter starts on Wednesday), this is a great time to think ahead about a Winter and Spring Disney vacations (as we mentioned on the podcast – if your child is going to miss school for a family vacation, it’s best to let the school know as early as possible). Free Dining offers are still avaiable on select dates through March of 2012, and if you’re traveling in early February, you can already be making your Advanced Dining Reservations! Consider booking your next Disney vacation with a Fairytale Journeys by DisDads agent – Email one of us for a free, no obligation quote and learn about booking incentives.

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