What are your opinions on Disney's latest decisions in the parks? Good, bad, meh?
WARNING: I READ/RESPONDED TO THIS WHILE DRINKING COFFEE…
Good: Dumping lots and lots of money into the parks. In the
late 90s/early 00s, the way the company tried to make stocks/shares go up was to close attractions, thereby lowering operating costs. Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter reminded Disney that adding great stuff to your theme parks is an EVEN BETTER way to make money, and now look at the number of ‘coming soon’ announcements coming out of Florida and CA.
Good: They are actively listening to the fans, incorporating some of their loves/ideas/weird collecting fetishes into the Parks’ merch and special events. Granted, the ‘fans’ that they are listening to are actually Disney employees who have risen up the ranks enough to have a voice in the boardrooms and backrooms, but hey – at least they are listening!
Good: The folks in charge now really LOVE Disney and the basic Disneyland tenets. Going back to those dreaded late 90s/early 00s, back then, most of the decisions were being made by a group of presidents and vice-presidents who REPEATEDLY said they were trying to make Disney feel “less Disney”…you know, “for adults.” Right now, the opposite is true. So even if I don’t love a lot of what they are coming up with, it at least feels like *they* think they’re doing it for right reasons.
Good: Star Wars Land…in Disney Hollywood Studios. GREAT IDEA! WONDERFUL FIT!
Bad: Star Wars Land…wedged awkwardly in the back of the otherwise perfectly-themed Disneyland. Why not over in California Adventure where it could be tied into the whole ‘Hollywood/making movies’ part? Oh, well. Too late.
Bad/Good: Changing Tower of Terror to Guardians of the Galaxy. The re-do is UGLY on the outside. Hopefully the inside will be better. That said, I’m glad they’re creating their Marvel Land (or whatever they are planning to call it) in DCA instead of trying to shove it into a back alley on Main Street.
Bad: Adding more movie characters to EPCOT. Yes, Epcot has some super boring stuff in it, but why not rework those things to make them interesting? People love learning/knowledge/fun facts. EPCOT used to be all about providing that. Now Disney seems scared that people won’t visit that park unless it features Finding Nemo, Frozen and Guardians of the Galaxy. What makes this all the more crazy is that EPCOT is the 3rd most visited theme park in the U.S. Folks clearly DON’T hate it!
Bad: Avatar. Who really cares about those characters or that world???
Meh: The not-so-secret services for the uber wealthy (the $1000 Tomorrowland ‘cabanas’, the $15,000 dinner, etc.). I mean, Disneyland has always had a few expensive perks – Club 33, getting a private tour guide, etc. – but now it seems like they’re announcing a new one every month, and they are never really all that ‘special.’ None of them come close to the magic of, say, a Club 33…even/especially Disney’s recently announced plan to put a Club 33 in EVERY park around the globe! All of that said, I’d gladly see a bunch more cheap-looking cabanas than have management begin closing classic rides with low people-counts.
Miley Cyrus Cover Story May 2017 - Billboard Magazine
Well above California’s Pacific Coast Highway, just off a canyon road,
sits a small house with a wooden porch painted in the colors of the
Pride flag. The outside is decorated with frog planters, butterfly
chairs, a hot-pink pig-shaped grill, sunflowers and daisies. This is
Rainbow Land, the boho recording studio whose owner, Miley Cyrus,
is on this sunny April afternoon sitting cross-legged in a swivel chair
before a sound board, dressed way down with unruly long hair, cutoffs
and a vintage tee that reads “Malibu” on the front.
Cyrus – who’s about to play me 10 songs off a new album that promises
to (yet again) transform one of the most inimitable, unpredictable
careers in recent pop history – is somehow animated and serene at the
same time. It’s clear from the way her words tumble forth that she’s
breaking a months long self-imposed “media blackout” and eager to
unpack her latest thinking on everything from her alienation from
hip-hop to engaging with Donald Trump’s supporters.
“This is crazy,” she says with her signature raspy-voiced charm, “but I
haven’t smoked weed in three weeks!” Cyrus – who’s sitting across from
a lighted wall plaque that reads “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” – elaborates on
why she decided to quit “for a second”:“I like to surround myself with
people that make me want to get better, more evolved, open. And I was
noticing, it’s not the people that are stoned. I want to be super clear
and sharp, because I know exactly where I want to be.”
(…) when she’s not making music or doing two hours of Ashtanga yoga daily,
Cyrus says she likes nothing better than walking her dogs or grocery
shopping, where she’s generally unbothered. “I love talking to people,
and I approach them in a normal, ‘Don’t treat me different, ’cause I’m
not’ way. That’s what started this evolution for me, getting out of my Dead Petz phase,”
she says, referring to her 2015 album, the tour for which featured her
in a unicorn outfit with a strap-on phallus. “People stare at me anyway,
but people stare at me a lot when I’m dressed as a fucking cat.”
While Bangerz and Petz bore the unmistakable stamps of their respective collaborators, Mike Will Made-Itand Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips,
the new album will be Cyrus’ most DIY to date. She wrote the lyrics and
melodies herself, and producer-writer Oren Yoel (who co-wrote the Bangerz track “Adore You,”)
plays all the instruments. Cyrus wrote one song for Hillary Clinton
and another for women in the workplace, but overall, the album’s less
explicitly political than it is personal. That extends to the music,
which adds an unprecedented dose of twang to a mix that includes quiet
acoustic turns and epic pop. “This is Miley leaning into her roots more
than I’ve ever heard,” says her father, country singer and actor Billy Ray Cyrus, who tells a story of Waylon Jennings
teaching a young Miley guitar chords at the kitchen table.“For her,
this is honest.” It’s also a showcase for her voice, one of the most
expressive in music. “My main concern isn’t radio,” says Cyrus,“I truly don’t even
listen to it.”
(…) “This record is a reflection of the fact that yes, I don’t give a fuck,
but right now is not a time to not give a fuck about people,” she says. “I’m giving the world a hug and saying, ‘Hey, look. We’re good – I
love you.’ And I hope you can say you love me back.”
“I don’t do red carpets, and I just don’t put myself in positions where I feel uncomfortable anymore. I don’t have to.”
MC: She did, and I grew up with her. But I also love that new Kendrick [Lamar]
song [“Humble”]: “Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch
marks.” I love that because it’s not “Come sit on my dick, suck on my
cock.” I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the
hip-hop scene a little. It was too much “Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a
girl on my cock” – I am so not that.
I was torn on whether I was going to work with certain producers that I
really like. But I feel if we’re not on the same page politically …
My record is political, but the sound bite doesn’t stop there. Because
you can write something beautiful and you know E! News will ruin our lives and say, “This is a political record.” Because then I’m the Dixie Chicks
and I’m getting my album smashed in the streets, and that’s not what I
want. I want to talk to people in a compassionate, understanding way
– which people aren’t doing.
BBM: Is it hard to not smoke?
MC: It’s easy, dude. When I want something, it’s fucking easy for me. But if
anyone told me not to smoke, I would have not done it. It’s because it
was on my time. I know exactly where I am right now. I know what I want
this record to be. And not in the sense of manipulation – wanting
something from my fans or the audience, like some slimy thing – “How do
I get attention?” I never thought about that. Dude, I was shocked that
people gave a fuck about the twerking, the teddy bear. It’s a totally different time, and I don’t think that would freak people out anymore.