SeaWorld is moving away from captive killer whales. It’s a big change in the way they do business and admission that public sentiment has shifted. There are changes coming to Disneyland too. Since the Superheroes are moving across the Esplanade (except for Thor, who is taking a breather), there was a short window of speculation time before the information got out: the upstairs portion of Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland will be, apparently, a preview area for the new Star Wars Experience. Expect dweebs like me with microscopes shortly after opening and never, never leaving until they pry us off with crowbars. Like the Discovery Bay model at the Preview of Coming Attractions on Main Street, U.S.A., but 10,000 times worse.
Meanwhile, SXSW is winding up, and packing up that gorgeous GORGEOUS First Order TIE Fighter, which would look so beautiful in that space, or in any space near us, don’t you think? I mean, LOOK:
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Why Did the Mouse Crossy the Road?
Today at GDC, (Game Developers’ Conference) Disney and Hipster Whale announced that Disney Crossy Road is coming soon to mobile devices. The new game, which is based on the original Crossy Road game from Hipster Whale that has been downloaded more than 120 million times to date, will take players on an 8-bit endless adventure with more than 100 of their favorite Disney and Pixar characters. Disney Crossy Road lets players hop through nine different Disney and Pixar-themed worlds, each with their own unique 8-bit music.
The following video was released at GDC, with more information coming soon.
Jerrod Maruyama’s Bringing Cutie Back to Disney Springs!
Jerrod will be making appearances and doing signings at WonderGround Gallery, Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs Marketplace with his Hipster Mickey and some other really adorbs works. You know you can stand the cute, because it’s smart cute. I love this man and his art. You will too. Go buy something.
Everything’s Coming Up Berries!
Today was my second day out of bed rest, so I decided to go to a theme park. What? They make me happy! Happiness helps with recovery. Ask any doctor. Knott’s Berry Farm has a few days to go before the official start of their annual Boysenberry Festival, but most of the decor is up, and the Fun Bun is already for sale in at least one location, for $8.99. The stores are stocked with all sorts of boysenberry treats as well, and I spied some new sauces that I’m going to be experimenting with in my new kitchen in the coming weeks.
If you have a Knott’s Season Pass (why don’t you?) you can start Saturday’s festivities an hour early, at 9AM. Everybody else gets to start the official celebration at 10AM. Don’t forget to buy a card! Those short ribs and panna cotta are calling my name, and given how difficult it is to pronounce, I must answer!
Two names that are easier to pronounce are those of our winners! They have each won two tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm to celebrate the Boysenberry Festival with whomever is nicest to them!
Jacqueline La Riccia and Debbie Ishida
It’s getting warmer, and by May 14th, everyone is going to want to cool down – never fear, Knott’s Soak City will open its gates that day for the Summer Season to help everyone keep their cool in the long, hot summer.
Come Join MiceChat a Knott’s THIS weekend (March 20th)
MiceChat meets every Sunday at Noon (usually at Disneyland). But this week, we are meeting at Knott's Boysenberry Festival (March 20th). We'll meet in the beer garden of Ghost Town's Wilderness Dance Hall at noon. At 12:30, we'll take a group photo and then purchase Boysenberry Bites Tasting Cards (if you aren't that hungry, split a card with someone). The tasting card is $25 and includes small portions of six delectable treats: 1. Boysenberry BBQ Short Ribs at Spurs Chophouse! 2. Spicy Boysenberry BBQ Wings! 3. Fried Alligator Bites with Fries & Boysenberry Aioli at Sutter's 4. Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs near Churro Factory! 5. Boysenberry Panna Cotta with Almond Crumble at Ghost Town Bakery! 6. Boysenberry Dessert Flautas at Ghost Town Grub Following a traveling lunch, we'll ride the mine train and then adjourn to the Dance Hall for wine tasting. Let us know if you'll be joining us - HERE!
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Downtown Disney
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day, American-style at Downtown Disney, with green beer at ESPN Zone, specialty corned beef and angus burgers with mustard aioli and drinks like the Irish Trash Can at Uva Bar and a Lucky Margarita at Tortilla Jo's, along with more authentic treats like Bangers and Mash and Corned Beef and Cabbage at Crossroads at the House of Blues and downright offbeat, like Kiss Me...green smoothies at Jamba Juice!
Stop By and Say Hi to Dave March 19th & 20th
And finally, we just heard from our good friend and artist, Dave Avanzino, that he'll be in the Disney Gallery at Disneyland all weekend. He'd love to see you and have some amazing items for sale and signing!
SeaWorld has finally come around to public opinion and will end its captive breeding program. The current Orca in its tanks will be the final generation held in captivity at the parks. How does this news make you feel about the once beloved sea life parks?
Here's the message they sent us:
You're one of the first to learn about several historic announcements that SeaWorld is making. When we opened our doors more than 50 years ago, killer whales were feared and even hunted. Now, they are among the most beloved marine mammals on the planet thanks, in part, to SeaWorld.
Today's announcements reflect changes in society and SeaWorld's evolution with those changes:
- Last generation of killer whales: The killer whales in our care will be the last at SeaWorld. We haven't taken a whale from the wild in nearly 40 years. Now, we're going further and will end our orca breeding programs as of today. With the skills and dedication of our entire SeaWorld team, we will protect and care for these whales -- here at our parks -- for the rest of their lives where guests will continue to view and be inspired by them.
- Introducing new, inspiring, natural orca encounters rather than theatrical shows: We will introduce new, inspiring, natural orca encounters rather than theatrical shows, as a part of our ongoing commitment to education, marine science research and the rescue of marine animals. Everything will reflect the natural world and will focus on the research, education, care and respect that align with our mission to advance the well-being and conservation of these beautiful creatures. These programs will focus on orca enrichment, exercise and overall health, and the change will start in our San Diego park next year, followed by San Antonio and then Orlando in 2019.
- New partnership to protect oceans and marine mammals: We are pleased that The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) supports the changes we announced today. These two leading organizations are coming together for an agreement that will further both groups' missions. SeaWorld and the HSUS are joining together in a partnership focused on the health of our oceans and the animals that call them home. HSUS and SeaWorld have common ground, in that both of our organizations love animals and want to protect them. The partnership helps each group extend its own mission and is based on their joint interest in preserving and protecting wild animals and the places they live. The issues around animal conservation and protection are much bigger than any one organization, and we can be much stronger together.
While these decisions were not easy to make and represent a shift in our business, they do not change our core values and purpose: to protect animals in the wild and inspire our guests to join us in this critical mission.
Thank you for your continued support and we invite you to learn more about the new SeaWorld at SeaWorldCares.com/Future
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This article was updated to add breaking news from SeaWorld