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Where to go & what to see over the MLK weekend if you're a Disneyana fan

Jim Hill

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Where to go & what to see over the MLK weekend if you're a Disneyana fan

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We got any "No Ordinary Family" fans out there?

The cast of "No Ordinary Family." (L to R) Romany Malco, Kay Panabaker,
Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Jimmy Bennett, Autumn Reeser and Stephen
Collins. Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright American Broadcasting
Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

I have to admit that I first began watching this new ABC Studios show because "No Ordinary Family" is shot right on the lot in Burbank. Which - when you're a big-time Disney Dweeb like I am - adds kind of a "Where's Waldo" aspect to watching this hour-long series.

Translation: If you're paying particularly close attention to "No Ordinary Family" 's exteriors, you'll realize the beautiful outdoor garden at Daphne's high school is actually the arbor which is located right outside the entrance of the Studio Store ...

Jackson Rathbone and Kay Panabaker on the Disney lot in Burbank. Photo by
Eric McCandless.  Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
All rights reserved

... or that the courtyard in front of the Frank Wells building is constantly being used as an outdoor shooting location on this sci-fi comedy / drama.

But over time, I have to admit that I stopped paying attention to this TV show's backgrounds and then began watching "No Ordinary Family" 's characters & stories. Which I have to admit - over the past 12 episodes - have kind of grown on me.

Which brings to mind a question: If you - like each of the Powells - were suddenly gifted with a super power ... Well, which ability would you want? Would it be Jim's super strength and near-invulnerability? Or JJ's Einstein-like IQ? Or Daphne's ability to read minds?

Julie Benz zooms through back-of-the-house areas in Burbank. Photo by Michael
Desmond.  Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

Well, this coming weekend, I'm wishing that I had Stephanie's super speed. So that I could zoom back & forth across the country and then take part in all the great Disney-related events that are happening in Anaheim, Orlando and Hollywood over the Martin Luther King weekend.

What sort of events? Well, for those of us who are in the deep freeze (Me personally, I spent the better part of yesterday looking for new places to throw that 18 inches of snow which fell during Wednesday's Nor'easter), having even a hint of Spring would be extremely helpful right about now.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Which is why it would be great to get to Epcot this coming weekend. Where - in the La Signature Shoppe (which is located at the World Showcase's France Pavilion) - they're doing this special promotion now through Sunday. Where if you purchase a Guerlain fragrance (which - I'm told - smell just like Spring) between 12 noon and 8 p.m., you can then have this purchase personalized with a complimentary bottle engraving.

Not really into perfume, eh? You're more of a music / animation history buff? Not a problem. The perfect event for you is happening tomorrow morning in Hollywood. At the El Capitan Theatre, to be exact. Where - starting at 10 a.m. - award-winning organist Rob Richards will be manning that movie palace's Mighty Wurlitzer Organ as some classic silent cartoons - including Mickey Mouse's first two animated shorts, "Plane Crazy" and "The Gallopin' Gaucho" - are shown on the big screen.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

This is an extremely rare opportunity to see these silent films just as movie-goers did back in the early 1920s. And given that "Disney Pipes and Pops" is a one-time-only performance ... You really don't want to dawdle here. So if you'd like to attend tomorrow two-hour-long organ & animation extravaganza, you'd best swing by the El Cap's website and purchase your tickets ASAP.

And speaking of performances ... Just two weeks ago, Marie Osmond and her brother Donny wrapped up the extended run of their "Donny & Marie - A Broadway Christmas" show at the Marriott Marquis Theatre. And how is Ms. Osmond celebrating her triumphant return to the Great White Way (i.e. Marie made her Broadway debut back in 1997 in a revival of "The King and I")? By going to Disneyland, of course.

Well, that's not entirely true. The real reason that Ms. Osmond will be on hand at the Disney Gallery tomorrow from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.  is that two of her newest Disney-inspired dolls will be making their debut at that theme park. First up is a continuation of Marie's very successful Disneyland 55th anniversary collectible porcelain doll line. With a Tiny Tot version of "The Fairest One of All," Snow White.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Also making her Disneyland debut tomorrow is Ms. Osmond's limited edition version of Tiana, the star of Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2009 release, "The Princess and The Frog" ."

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Marie will be on hand tomorrow in this Main Street, U.S.A. shop to sign both of her new Disney-inspired dolls. Mind you, the usual restrictions (i.e. two dolls per Guest. All merchandise to be signed by Ms. Osmond must be purchased at the event venue on the event day, etc.) apply.

Mind you, if you’re a Disneyana collector and are going to be headed to the Happiest Place on Earth this Saturday … Well, you may want to linger in the area ‘til 7 p.m. Which is when – just down the street in Garden Grove – the Disneyana Fan Club will be holding a pin & button trading event at the Crowne Plaza Anaheim Resort.

And Saturday night’s shindig is just a prelude to the really big show. Which is Sunday’s All-Disneyana Show and Sale. This is where Disneyana Fan Club members – as well as members of the general public – will have the chance to purchase fabulous Disney merchandise from the past & the present. We’re talking about exclusive limited edition pins from WDI’s employees-only store, Mickey’s of Glendale. Not to mention fun items from the Disney Studio Fountain Store.

Copyright 2005 - 2010 Disneyana Fan Club.
All rights reserved

Not only that, but you’ll have the chance to meet Disney-related celebrities like Margaret “Tinker Bell” Kerry and Mark Silverman (i.e. Rod Serling’s voice for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction). 

Now as to how Sunday’s All-Disneyana Show and Sale is gonna work: Disneyana Fan Club Members will be allowed to get on the show floor starting at 9 a.m. after they pay a $5 admission fee. Members of the general public will have to wait ‘til 10:30 a.m. before they’re allowed access to this Disneyana Fan Club event. Where these people will then be asked to pay a $6 admission fee.

If you’re one of those folks who enjoys the creations of George Lucas just as much as you love Disney, then you may want to consider dropping by D Street (which is located within the Disneyland Resort's Downtown Disney shopping district) from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Which is when Disney Design Group Character artist Mike Sullivan will be on hand to sign the new Star Wars Vinylmation series.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Again, the usual restrictions (i.e. each Guest can only purchase two trays of the Vinylmation figures being released at this event. More to the point, to help keep the line under control, Mr. Sullivan will only be signing three pieces per Guests, etc.) apply. And those who are looking to line up early for this sure-to-be-well-attended event should note that D Street will be opening up at 8 a.m. this Sunday morning.

After a long weekend of running around & standing on line, what better way is there to relax than curling up on the couch and catching the very last episode of "Hannah Montana" ?

Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) looks back on her career as Hannah Montana. Photo by Eric
McCandless. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Can it really be less than 5 years since this Disney Channel phenomenon first debuted as a lead-in to a rerun of "High School Musical" ? Since its March 2006 premiere, "Hannah Montana" has gone on to become a hit television series in the U.S. and 177 other countries. Not to mention making the Mouse mountains of money off of the sales of "Hannah Montana"-related merchandise.

I won't lie to you, folks. The Disney Channel originally planned on giving this still popular cable TV series (at least when it comes to HM's targeted demographic. Which is kids 6-to-14 years of age) a high profile send-off. But once that video of Cyrus smoking a bong popped up on the Web back in early December (Not to mention the news that Miley's parents - Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus - were planning on ending their 17 year marriage) ... Well, Disney executives had kind of had their fill of this 18 year-old's antics.

Rachel Roberts of "Good Morning America" chats with Stewart about leaving her Hannah
Montana persona behind. Photo by Donna Svennevik. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

(Which means the "Hannah Montana" finale (which will cap off the four year, 101 episode run of this show) isn't receiving nearly as much publicity as you might expect. In fact, earlier this week, at the Disney-ABC Television Group's Winter Press Tour, Disney Channel execs seemed downright eager to shift the focus away from some of the more troubled tweens that are currently associated with this cable channel (i.e. Ms. Cyrus, the still-in-rehab Demi Lovato) to talk up Disney Channel's future stars.

Which - based on what was being said in Pasadena this past week - would seem to be the cast of "Lemonade Mouth." Which - following in the highly successful tradition of "High School Musical" and "Camp Rock" - is a music-driven Disney Channel Original Movie due to make its broadcast debut stateside on Friday, March 25th.

(L to R) Hayley Kiyoko, Adam Hicks, Blake Michael, Nick Roux, Naomi Scott and
Bridgit Mendler. Photo by Colleen Hayes. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

As we've all come to expect by now, Walt Disney Records will release the official "Lemonade Mouth" soundtrack just a few days ahead of the premiere of this new Disney Channel Original Movie. But what's kind of unusual this time around is that one of the performers in this new TV musical (i.e. Adam Hicks of Disney XD's "Zeke and Luther" fame) actually has songwriting credit on three of the ten tracks featured on this recording.

Mind you, this is the first time that a cast member has ever written a song that's performed in a Disney Channel Original Movie. But - then again - under Gary Marsh (i.e. president of Entertainment and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide)'s direction, this family inclusive television network has really been jiggering its formula lately. Witness this division's recent decision to release "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" on Blu-ray & DVD on April 19th ...

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... ahead of this Disney Channel Original Movie's basic cable premiere in the Spring of 2011. And given that the Mouse also agreed to let Ms. Tisdale serve as the executive producer on "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" ... Well, what with Adam's song credit & Ashley's hands-on role in the production of this new TV movie, does this mean that Mouse House executives are now easing up when it comes to controlling the Company's tween stars?

That (given what's just gone on with Ms. Cyrus & Lovato) seems kind of counter intuitive. Which is why I've now changed my mind. I no longer want to have super-speed like Stephanie Powell on  ABC's "No Ordinary Family." I now want the super power that her daughter Daphne has. Which is the ability to read people's minds.

(L to R) Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Elliot Gould as Dr. McCoy,
Captain Kirk, Spock and Herb Goodman, head of programming for NBC.
Copyright NBC Universal. All rights reserved

Of course, as that classic "Saturday Night Live" skit - "The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise" - proves - attempting to read the mind of a TV executive can have its downside. As Mr. Spock (Chevy Chase) recalls what it was like to do a Vulcan mind meld on a NBC executive (Elliott Gould):

"It was all dark and empty in there. And there were mice in the corners. And I kept bumping my head on the ceiling and ..."

Image capture from the Martin Luther King portion of the "Golden Dreams"
film montage from Epcot's American Adventure attraction. Copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

So be careful what you wish for, folks. And - in the meantime -- have a safe & enjoyable Martin Luther King Day Weekend, okay?

Your thoughts?

If you're looking to do some online shopping on Amazon.com over the long Martin Luther King Day weekend, before you so, could you please click on the banner above? If you do that ... Well, JimHillMedia.com then gets a teeny, tiny chunk of whatever you spend at Amazon.com

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  • Reminds me of how the tv show Alias used to use a lot of locations about the studio lot for exterior shots, such as the Disney Legends Plaza, the Animation Building, the ABC Building, etc.

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