Saturday, February 23, 2019

Walt Disney's 1947 Testimony Before the House Committee on Un-American Activities

This was certainly not one of Walt Disney most glorious moment, one you wish it never happened, and that you never learned about it. In 1947 the HUAC - the House Un-American Activities Committee - created to investigate subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and organizations suspected of having Fascist or Communist ties - called on Hollywood with a series of hearings between 1947 and 1958 and found many “friendly” witnesses, those who were willing to identify others in the motion-picture industry as confirmed or suspected Communists. This has been one of the darkest era in U.S history, some people saw their career destroyed by testimonies from people they knew or worked with. And on October 24, 1947 Walt Disney entered the room of the HUAC to bring his testimony and became one of those infamous “friendly” witnesses.

From Explore The Archive website: "On October 20, 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) started to interviewed fimportant people of Hollywood film industry in an attempt to ferret out communists working in the film industry. Many big stars were named as potential communists or communist sympathizers—and even more refused to speak to the panel. Humphrey Bogart, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and others abstained from the hearing and created the Committee for the First Amendment in protest of the investigation.

But others, like Ronald Reagan ( at that time the president of the Screen Actors Guild) and Walt Disney chose to testify. On October 24, Disney began his testimony, naming many of his former employees whom he believed were communists. Most of these men were simply trying to unionize.

The men Disney discussed were cleared of formal communist charges, but many were unofficially blacklisted from the industry. A group of 10 men, called the Hollywood Ten, were not cleared and were called to HUAC to either give names or declare their Communist Party membership. They refused to speak, citing their Fifth Amendment rights. Eventually, the Hollywood Ten would each be sentenced to jail for contempt of the proceedings and were not allowed to work in Hollywood for a number of years afterwards. Some never did again.

Each of the Ten was, in fact, at one point or another, a member of the Communist Party. Nevertheless, HUAC’s actions are now viewed as an ignoble chapter in American history, one fueled by the redbaiting scare tactics and misinformation campaigns made famous by Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy."

Note that these committee's anti-communist investigations are often associated with those of Joseph McCarthy who, as a U.S. Senator, had no direct involvement with this House committee. McCarthy was the chairman of the Government Operations Committee and its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate, not the House.

Here is the video of Walt Disney Testimony Before House Committee, and right after the video below you have the full transcript of it, posted previously by the Disney Dreamer website from Peary & Peary's anthology, "The American Animated Cartoon," 1980.

Walt looks particularly nervous on the video during his 6.48 min long testimony ( watch his hands ) just like someone who knows that he's doing something bad that he may regret later. The kind of moment you wish no one is filming. Bad luck for Walt, all was filmed. To be fair with Walt, six years before, in May1941, he had to face a major strike by Disney Animators at the Walt Disney Studios which lasted five weeks. And Walt had really, really, bad memories of the strike and of the people who were behind it. And Walt has always been very conservative so i suppose that asking him to don't testify was too much to ask him.

Full Transcript: The Testimony of Walter E. Disney Before the House Committee on Un-American Activities - 24 October, 1947

[ROBERT E.] STRIPLING [CHIEF INVESTIGATOR]: Mr. Disney, will you state your full name and present address, please?

WALTER DISNEY: Walter E. Disney, Los Angeles, California.

RES: When and where were you born, Mr. Disney?

WD: Chicago, Illinois, December 5, 1901.

RES: December 5, 1901?

WD: Yes, sir.

RES: What is your occupation?

WD: Well, I am a producer of motion-picture cartoons.

RES: Mr. Chairman, the interrogation of Mr. Disney will be done by Mr. Smith.


[H. A.] SMITH: Mr. Disney, how long have you been in that business?

WD: Since 1920.

HAS: You have been in Hollywood during this time?

WD: I have been in Hollywood since 1923.

HAS: At the present time you own and operate the Walt Disney Studio at Burbank, California?

WD: Well, I am one of the owners. Part owner.

HAS: How many people are employed there, approximately?

WD: At the present time about 600.

HAS: And what is the approximate largest number of employees you have had in the studio?

WD: Well, close to 1,400 at times.

HAS: Will you tell us a little about the nature of this particular studio, the type of pictures you make, and approximately how many per year?

WD: Well, mainly cartoon films. We make about twenty short subjects, and about two features a year.

HAS: Will you talk just a little louder, Mr. Disney?

WD: Yes, sir.

HAS: How many, did you say?

WD: About twenty short subject cartoons and about two features per year.

HAS: And some of the characters in the films consist of

WD: You mean such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs [1938], and things of that sort.

HAS: Where are these films distributed?

WD: All over the world.

HAS: In all countries of the world?

WD: Well, except the Russian countries.

HAS: Why aren't they distributed in Russia, Mr. Disney?

WD: Well, we can't do business with them.

HAS: What do you mean by that?

WD: Oh, well, we have sold them some films a good many years ago. They bought the Three Little Pigs [1933] and used it through Russia. And they looked at a lot of our pictures, and I think they ran a lot of them in Russia, but then turned them back to us and said they didn't want them, they didn't suit their purposes.

HAS: Is the dialogue in these films translated into the various foreign languages?

WD: Yes. On one film we did ten foreign versions. That was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. 

HAS: Have you ever made any pictures in your studio that contained propaganda and that were propaganda films?

WD: Well, during the war we did. We made quite a few-working with different government agencies. We did one for the Treasury on taxes and I did four anti-Hitler films. And I did one on my own for air power.

HAS: From those pictures that you made, have you any opinion as to whether or not the films can be used effectively to disseminate propaganda?

WD: Yes, I think they proved that.

HAS: How do you arrive at that conclusion?

WD: Well, on the one for the Treasury on taxes, it was to let the people know that taxes were important in the war effort. As they explained to me, they had 13,000,000 new taxpayers, people who had never paid taxes, and they explained that it would be impossible to prosecute all those that were delinquent and they wanted to put this story before those people so they would get their taxes in early. I made the film, and after the film had its run the Gallup poll organization polled the public and the findings were that twenty-nine percent of the people admitted that had influenced them in getting their taxes in early and giving them a picture of what taxes will do.

HAS: Aside from those pictures you made during the war, have you made any other pictures, or do you permit pictures to be made at your studio containing propaganda?

WD: No; we never have. During the war we thought it was a different thing. It was the first time we ever allowed anything like that to go in the films. We watch so that nothing gets into the films that would be harmful in any way to any group or any country. We have large audiences of children and different groups, and we try to keep them as free from anything that would offend anybody as possible. We work hard to see that nothing of that sort creeps in.

HAS: Do you have any people in your studio at the present time that you believe are Communist or Fascist, employed there? 

WD: No; at the present time I feel that everybody in my studio is one-hundred-percent American. 

HAS: Have you had at any time, in your opinion, in the past, have you at any time in the past had any Communists employed at your studio?

WD: Yes; in the past I had some people that I definitely feel were Communists.

HAS: As a matter of fact, Mr. Disney, you experienced a strike at your studio, did you not? 

WD: Yes.

HAS: And is it your opinion that that strike was instituted by members of the Communist Party to serve their purposes?

WD: Well, it proved itself so with time, and I definitely feel it was a Communist group trying to take over my artists and they did take them over.

CHAIRMAN: Do you say they did take them over?

WD: They did take them over.

HAS: Will you explain that to the committee, please?

WD: It came to my attention when a delegation of my boys, my artists, came to me and told me that Mr. Herbert Sorrell

HAS: Is that Herbert K. Sorrell?

WD: Herbert K. Sorrell, was trying to take them over. I explained to them that it was none of my concern, that I had been cautioned to not even talk with any of my boys on labor. They said it was not a matter of labor, it was just a matter of them not wanting to go with Sorrell, and they had heard that I was going to sign with Sorrell, and they said that they wanted an election to prove that Sorrell didn't have the majority, and I said that I had a right to demand an election. So when Sorrell came, I demanded an election. Sorrell wanted me to sign on a bunch of cards that he had there that he claimed were the majority, but the other side had claimed the same thing. I told Mr. Sorrell that there is only one way for me to go and that was an election and that is what the law had set up, the National Labor Relations Board was for that purpose. He laughed at me and he said that he would use the Labor Board as it suited his purposes and that he had been sucker enough to go for that Labor Board ballot and he had lost some election-I can't remember the name of the place-by one vote. He said it took him two years to get it back. He said he would strike, that that was his weapon. He said, "I have all of the tools of the trade sharpened," that I couldn't stand the ridicule or the smear of a strike. I told him that it was a matter of principle with me, that I couldn't go on working with my boys feeling that I had sold them down the river to him on his say-so, and he laughed at me and told me I was naive and foolish. He said, you can't stand this strike, I will smear you, and I will make a dust bowl out of your plant.

CHAIRMAN: What was that?

WD: He said he would make a dust bowl out of my plant if he chose to. I told him I would have to go that way, sorry, that he might be able to do all that, but I would have to stand on that. The result was that he struck. I believed at that time that Mr. Sorrell was a Communist because of all the things that I had heard and having seen his name appearing on a number of Commie front things. When he pulled the strike, the first people to smear me and put me on the unfair list were all of the Commie front organizations. I can't remember them all, they change so often, but one that is clear in my mind is the League of Women Shoppers, The People's World, The Daily Worker, and the PM magazine in New York. They smeared me. Nobody came near to find out what the true facts of the thing were. And I even went through the same smear in South America, through some Commie periodicals in South America, and generally throughout the world all of the Commie groups began smear campaigns against me and my pictures.

JOHN MCDOWELL: In what fashion was that smear, Mr. Disney, what type of smear?

WD: Well, they distorted everything, they lied; there was no way you could ever counteract anything that they did; they formed picket lines in front of the theaters, and, well, they called my plant a sweatshop, and that is not true, and anybody in Hollywood would prove it otherwise. They claimed things that were not true at all and there was no way you could fight it back. It was not a labor problem at all because-I mean, I have never had labor trouble, and I think that would be backed up by anybody in Hollywood.

HAS: As a matter of fact, you have how many unions operating in your plant?

CHAIRMAN: Excuse me just a minute. I would like to ask a question. 

HAS: Pardon me.

CHAIRMAN: In other words, Mr. Disney, Communists out there smeared you because you wouldn't knuckle under?

WD: I wouldn't go along with their way of operating. I insisted on it going through the National Labor Relations Board. And he told me outright that he used them as it suited his purposes. 

CHAIRMAN: Supposing you had given in to him, then what would have been the outcome?

WD: Well, I would never have given in to him, because it was a matter of principle with me, and I fight for principles. My boys have been there, have grown up in the business with me, and I didn't feel like I could sign them over to anybody. They were vulnerable at that time. They were not organized. It is a new industry.

CHAIRMAN: Go ahead, Mr. Smith.

HAS: How many labor unions, approximately, do you have operating in your studios at the present time?

WD: Well, we operate with around thirty-five-I think we have contacts with thirty.

HAS: At the time of this strike you didn't have any grievances or labor troubles whatsoever in your plant?

WD: No. The only real grievance was between Sorrell and the boys within my plant, they demanding an election, and they never got it.

HAS: Do you recall having had any conversations with Mr. Sorrell relative to Communism?

WD: Yes, I do.

HAS: Will you relate that conversation?

WD: Well, I didn't pull my punches on how I felt. He evidently heard that I had called them all a bunch of Communists-and I believe they are. At the meeting he leaned over and he said, "You think I am a Communist, don't you," and I told him that all I knew was what I heard and what I had seen, and he laughed and said, "Well, I used their money to finance my strike of 1937," and he said that he had gotten the money through the personal check of some actor, but he didn't name the actor. I didn't go into it any further. I just listened.

HAS: Can you name any other individuals that were active at the time of the strike that you believe in your opinion are Communists?

WD: Well, I feel that there is one artist in my plant, that came in there, he came in about 1938, and he sort of stayed in the background, he wasn't too active, but he was the real brains of this, and I believe he is a Communist. His name is David Hilberman.

HAS: How is it spelled?

WD: H-i-l-b-e-r-m-a-n, I believe. I looked into his record and I found that, number 1, that he had no religion and, number 2, that he had spent considerable time at the Moscow Art Theatre studying art direction, or something.

HAS: Any others, Mr. Disney?

WD: Well, I think Sorrell is sure tied up with them. If he isn't a Communist, he sure should be one. 

HAS: Do you remember the name of William Pomerance, did he have anything to do with it?

WD: Yes, sir. He came in later. Sorrell put him in charge as business manager of cartoonists and later he went to the Screen Actors as their business agent, and in turn he put in another man by the name of Maurice Howard, the present business agent. And they are all tied up with the same outfit.

HAS: What is your opinion of Mr. Pomerance and Mr. Howard as to whether or not they are or are not Communists?

WD: In my opinion they are Communists. No one has any way of proving those things.

HAS: Were you able to produce during the strike?

WD: Yes, I did, because there was a very few, very small majority that was on the outside, and all the other unions ignored all the lines because of the setup of the thing.

HAS: What is your personal opinion of the Communist Party, Mr. Disney, as to whether or not it is a political party?

WD: Well, I don't believe it is a political party. I believe it is an un-American thing. The thing that I resent the most is that they are able to get into these unions, take them over, and represent to the world that a group of people that are in my plant, that I know are good, one-hundred-percent Americans, are trapped by this group, and they are represented to the world as supporting all of those ideologies, and it is not so, and I feel that they really ought to be smoked out and shown up for what they are, so that all of the good, free causes in this country, all the liberalisms that really are American, can go out without the taint of communism. That is my sincere feeling on it.

HAS: Do you feel that there is a threat of Communism in the motion-picture industry?

WD: Yes, there is, and there are many reasons why they would like to take it over or get in and control it, or disrupt it, but I don't think they have gotten very far, and I think the industry is made up of good Americans, just like in my plant, good, solid Americans. My boys have been fighting it longer than I have. They are trying to get out from under it and they will in time if we can just show them up.

HAS: There are presently pending before this committee two bills relative to outlawing the Communist Party. What thoughts have you as to whether or not those bills should be passed?

WD: Well, I don't know as I qualify to speak on that. I feel if the thing can be proven un-American that it ought to be outlawed. I think in some way it should be done without interfering with the rights of the people. I think that will be done. I have that faith. Without interfering, I mean, with the good, American rights that we all have now, and we want to preserve.

HAS: Have you any suggestions to offer as to how the industry can be helped in fighting this menace?

WD: Well, I think there is a good start toward it. I know that I have been handicapped out there in fighting it, because they have been hiding behind this labor setup, they get themselves closely tied up in the labor thing, so that if you try to get rid of them they make a labor case out of it. We must keep the American labor unions clean. We have got to fight for them.

HAS: That is all of the questions I have, Mr. Chairman.


R. B. VAIL: No questions.

CHAIRMAN: Mr. McDowell.

J. MCDOWELL: No questions.

WD: Sir?

JM: I have no questions. You have been a good witness.

WD: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN: Mr. Disney, you are the fourth producer we have had as a witness, and each one of those four producers said, generally speaking, the same thing, and that is that the Communists have made inroads, have attempted inroads. I just want to point that out because there seems to be a very strong unanimity among the producers that have testified before us. In addition to producers, we have had actors and writers testify to the same. There is no doubt but what the movies are probably the greatest medium for entertainment in the United States and in the world. I think you, as a creator of entertainment, probably are one of the greatest examples in the profession. I want to congratulate you on the form of entertainment which you have given the American people and given the world and congratulate you for taking time out to come here and testify before this committee. He has been very helpful. Do you have any more questions, Mr. Stripling?

HAS: I am sure he does not have any more, Mr. Chairman. 

RES: No; I have no more questions.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Disney.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World : "Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure" Roller Coaster Will Open on June 13 !

It's official, at Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure Wizarding World "Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure" - the official name of the new Harry Potter roller coaster will open on June 13, and here is the official visual unveiling for the first time the design of the coaster train which, as rumored, has Hagrid motorbike and sidecar for each "car"!

 "For the first time ever, join Hagrid as you fly far beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle on a thrilling roller coaster ride that plunges into the paths of some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal’s most highly themed coaster opens June 13, 2019 only at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, in Universal Orlando."

Pictures : copyright Universal Studios

BREAKING: Epcot’s Historic Transformation With First-of-its-Kind Play Pavilion at Wonders of Life and New Park Entrance

Disney Parks just made a surprise announcement about WDW Epcot’s with a historic transformation including a first-of-its-kind Play Pavilion in the former Wonders of Life as well as a new park entrance! Below, the Disney Parks press release and make sure to read right after it D&M take about this announcement.

"The ongoing evolution of Epcot includes plans for a play pavilion that’ll be unlike anything you’ve ever seen at the park. This new space will be devoted to playful fun and feature an innovative city that’ll come to life under the dome of the un-named pavilion previously known as Wonders of Life. The pavilion’s city will be bursting with interactive experiences, your favorite Disney characters, hands-on activities and engaging entertainment when it opens just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort!

“This innovative, new pavilion is beyond anything we’ve ever created and is completely unique to Epcot,” said Zach Riddley, portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “Built on the power of play, it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create, and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.”

There will also be exciting changes to the way you come and go at Epcot! Changes are coming to the Epcot main entrance, where the plaza will welcome guests with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a newly reimagined fountain. This new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements.

As part of the new entry experience, Leave A Legacy photos will be moving into a beautiful setting just outside the park’s gateway. Additional significant redevelopment will begin between Spaceship Earth attraction and the World Showcase Promenade. More details about the transformation of this area will be announced at a later date.

And if you’re as excited as we are about these upcoming projects, you’ll soon be able to look into the future with us at a new Experience Center coming to Epcot later this year. The Experience Center will be located in the Odyssey Events Pavilion and feature interactive exhibits to help visualize park projects throughout this unprecedented period of transformation."

All-right. All this sounds exciting and this announcement of a "play pavilion" also put a stop to the rumor saying that the former Wonders of Life pavilion will be transformed for a Black Panther attraction. But there in interesting details in the rendering, First, if you look well we can see the Vanellope character from Wreck-it-Ralph in the background under the "Let's Play" sign. There is little doubt that the theming inside this Play pavilion could fit perfectly to put in it a  Wreck-it-Ralph ride that could be added in the future, and i put some bets on it.

Two, we can also see at the bottom right of the artwork Nick Wilde, the Zootopia character:

Could it be a hint that the Zootopia ride they will build at Shanghaî DIsneyland in the announced Zootopia land could come later in this Play pavilion? Not 100% sure, but not 100% not sure either.  The look of the buildings in this Play pavilion doesn't match those of the Zootopia city in the upcoming SDL land but there is more hints. If you look again you'll see on the center right the letters "WEDWAY" in the neons and right below you can see a Zootopia looking train. Could it be for a transportation ride to Zootopia?

For this one may be i wouldn't put all my bets on it, but let's say that it's worth to keep an eye on it to see what additions will come in the future to this "Play pavilion".

Pictures: copyright Disney

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

There is Still Disney Parks Where the Entrance Ticket Will Cost You $59 Only !

Sick of the never ending increase of the ticket prices at Disneyland and Walt Disney World? If you find that now the price to pay to enter Disney's U.S magic kingdoms is just insane i have good news for you: there is still Disney parks on the planet where the entrance will cost you not more than $59 / 52€ - and for a regular entrance ticket! Sure, the parks are not in the U.S and the plane ticket will cost you more but as you will see at the end it might cost you less for one week than a week at WDW.

Here we go: The entrance ticket for Shanghaî Disneyland starts at 399 CNY which equals $59 only. No kidding. All you have to do is to visit the park during the week and avoid the three weeks of Chinese New Year in February. As you'll be in Asia why not enjoying a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland at the same time? Entrance ticket for HKDL starts at 619 HKD which equals $78 only.

If you live in the U.S, chances are that you know already almost all attractions of DL and WDW and that you've never visited HKDL and SDL and both of them have plenty of attractions that you'll find nowhere else ( Tron Light Cycles, Jet Packs, Raging Rapids, Adventure Isle Challenge Trails, Pirates stunt show, Alice in Wonderland Maze, Voyage to the Crystal Grotto,  at SDL, Mystic Manor, Grizzly Gulch, Iron Man Experience, Ant-Man and the Wasp : Nano Battle, at HKDL and more ) or awesome new versions of your favourite attractions ( Pirates of Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure, Peter Pan's Flight, Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue at Shanghaî Disneyland ) and some of the best themed lands you've seen!

And here comes the good news: by chosing to visit both parks it will allows you to get insanely cheap plane tickets round trip prices! First let's see what cost normally a round trip ticket from New York or L.A or Toronto to Orlando International Airport, thanks to a search with the great website ( below prices from NY La Guardia or Los Angeles LAX or Toronto YYZ ):

Now, let's see how what it would cost to go from the same cities in the U.S or Canada to Shanghaî, then Hong Kong then back to the U.S or Canada, with dates chosen in March. The search was done again on and you must choose the "multi-city" option on the top to get the right prices. And i remind you that we're not talking now about a two hours flight but about 12 or 14 hours flights which are of course generally more expensive.

New York JFK - Hong Kong - Shanghaî - New York JFK, from $644 for the THREE flights:

Los Angeles - Shanghaî - Hong Kong - Los Angeles, from $632 for the THREE flights:


Toronto - Hong Kong - Shanghaî - Toronto, from $688 for the THREE flights:

Don't want to go to HKDL but only visit Shanghaî Disneyland? Here is what will cost you the round trip flight to Shanghaî from New York JFK, and it starts at $408 only:

Editing: For our friends in England who like usually to go to WDW and here is what would cost a round trip London Heathrow - Hong Kong - Shanghaî - London in July. Star Wars land won't yet be open at WDW this summer, neither the awaited new Harry Potter roller coaster at Universal Orlando, so why not going this year to visit Disney parks in Asia instead? It'll cost you for the THREE flights £655 when the cheapest round trip flight at the same dates in July from London to Orlando cost £610!

And for our friends in France, here it is and it will cost you 624€ only for the three flights, and on Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific, two legendary airlines!

Now, although these flight prices are surprisingly cheap,, the idea to fly to Disney parks in Asia and save money will probably work better for a couple than a family of four. There is no doubt that it cost more than flying to Orlando, meaning that you need to save money somewhere else so the trip will remain competitive with a week spent at WDW. 

The first important thing you need to know to save money is this one: normally everyone needs to pay for a visa to enter China main land ( Shanghaî ), and the visa for U.S citizens is quite costly ( around $120 or so ). The trick to avoid to pay this insane price - and so to save money - is to use the 72 hours tourist free visa which allows you to stay 72 hours / 3 days in Shanghaî from the moment your next destination when you will leave Shanghaî is NOT the same one you were coming from, which will be the case if you go to Hong Kong next and not back to the U.S to the city you came from. Got it? Thanks to this you'll save $250 if you're two people, $500 if you're a family of four.

Now, even if the park entrance tickets will cost you half ( or almost ) than at WDW you still will need hotel rooms. This is where you can save a lot of money. If you stay in Disney resorts at HKDL or SDL - which are wonderful, no doubt about that, but expensive - you have to be ready to spend a lot of money for the hotel room only. BUT if instead you stay in hotels at Hong Kong itself or Shanghaî you'll find great hotels for a third or half of the price. And Shanghaî and Hong Kong are fantastic cities, you don't want to miss the view of Hong Kong harbour at night or the one of the stunning Shanghaî Bund when the sun goes down, believe me! And for those of you Americans afraid of security your really don't have to worry, both cities are more safe than where you live in the U.S!

Use to find rooms in Hong Kong or Shanghaî - for Hong Kong my favourite area to stay is Hong Kong "Central" and for Shanghaî as close as possible to the Shanghaî Bund. Two hotels in Shanghaî that i recommend at reasonable price: the Jinjiang Metropolo Hotel Classiq Shanghai Bund Circle and the Bund Riverside Hotel, both art-deco style, with prices starting from $50 or $70 only on Agoda. In Hong Kong room prices might be slightly more expensive but you even have on Lantau Island, same island where HKDL is, next door to it, the Silvermine Beach Resort with rooms, if you're lucky, starting at $50 only on Agoda ( HKDL Hotels will cost you at least $170 even on Agoda ). On Hong Kong Island itself it will be harder to find a decent room under $100 but you'll still save money.

So, here it is, you can enjoy two great Disney parks which will be "new" for most of you - and two parks with some of the best "entrance" i've seen - in exotic and safe locations for a price equivalent or probably less than what will cost you a week at WDW but you have to forget about staying in Disney hotels to keep the price competitive with a week at WDW. Which might be a bit annoying i agree but Shanghaî and Hong Kong are so great that in exhange you'll discover two fantastic cities, and access to both parks are easy and direct with the subway. Who will be the first to book his flights?

Monday, February 18, 2019

First Pictures of HKDL Ant-Man and the Wasp : Nano Battle Ride Opening March 31st !

Hong Kong Disneyland released totay their 2018 fiscal year earnings and the park achieved record revenue and EBITDA in 2018 and International guest attendance hits record high for second consecutive year with an overall attendance growing 8% to 6.7 million. Below, the official press release of HKDL AND the first pictures showing the inside of Ant-Man and the Wasp : Nano Battle, opening at HKDL Tomorrowland on March 31!

February 18, 2019, HONG KONG – Today, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) reported record high revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (“EBITDA”) for fiscal year 2018. Revenue rose 18% to HK$6.0 billion for the year ending September 29, 2018. EBITDA jumped 48% to HK$1.4 billion. The robust growth in revenue and EBITDA was attributed to increases in occupied room nights at the resort hotels, park attendance and guest spending.

Annual attendance reached 6.7 million, up 8% from prior year. Across-the-board growth was seen in local, mainland China and international markets, which accounted for 40%, 34% and 26% of total attendance, respectively.

International attendance hit a record high for the second year in a row, mainly fuelled by strong visitation from Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. The continued growth in international guests underscores HKDL’s contribution to bolstering Hong Kong as a top tourist destination in the region, both in the family and young adult segments. Since park opening in 2005, total cumulative attendance has reached more than 77 million.

During the year, per capita spending increased 6%, representing nine years of continuous growth. Hotel occupancy was up six percentage points to 75%. Disney Explorers Lodge, which opened in April 2017, contributed to 44% growth in occupied room nights.

Record revenue and EBITDA reduced net loss by HK$291 million to HK$54 million, an 84% improvement from fiscal 2017.

“This past year HKDL continued to strengthen its appeal as the ideal vacation destination. Our strong entertainment lineup throughout the year, coupled with the launch of ‘Moana: A Homecoming Celebration’ and the global debut of Cookie as a new character in the highly popular Duffy the Bear family, have enticed guests from all markets,” said Stephanie Young, managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. “Additionally, innovative initiatives to capture new opportunities were launched, including the first-ever, large-scale outdoor concerts, and the signature 10K Weekend running events, which have broadened our guest base for the park and hotels.”

“The launch of a new Marvel-themed attraction as part of a multiyear expansion and the addition of year-round entertainment offerings and products, along with the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the High Speed Rail (Hong Kong Section), will allow us to continue our positive momentum,” said Young.

On March 31, 2019, HKDL will open “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!” to the enjoyment of Marvel fans from around the world. This all-new interactive experience is the second instalment in the expansion project that will continue to build HKDL’s Marvel-themed area into an ultimate hub in Asia of thrilling Marvel experiences. This new ride will extend the success of “Iron Man Experience” as guests fight alongside Ant-Man and The Wasp (played by Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, respectively, from the popular blockbuster film). Guests enter the world of Marvel in Tomorrowland at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science and Technology Pavilion in the Stark Expo. After boarding a state-of-the-art vehicle at S.H.I.E.L.D.’s research and design facility, guests will join Ant-Man and The Wasp in an epic battle against Arnim Zola and his army of evil Hydra Swarm-bots.

Below the first pictures showing the inside o yje ride - don't forget that all this will be lighted in "black light" so the colors will be more bright than on the pictures below.

Some of the merchandise that will be avaible at the ride exit shop.

Pictures: copyright Disney