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Everything New Coming To Walt Disney World In 2022

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Everything New Coming To Walt Disney World In 2022

The last couple years have certainly not gone as planned at Walt Disney World. The events, updates, and new attractions that were planned for the four theme parks even just a couple years ago have had to undergo a massive rescheduling due to the pandemic, and much that was expected to be done by now is still under construction.  Still,  Walt Disney World in 2022  shaping up to be a lot of fun.

The year is expected to be something closer to “business as usual” than either of the last two years, and with Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary running all year long, there will be plenty of reason to plan a trip to the vacation kingdom this year. Here’s a look at what’s happening, and when it’s happening, at Walt Disney World this year.

(Image credit: Disney Parks)

 Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (March 2022)

It’s a big deal when Disney World opens a new attraction or a new resort, but with Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, we’re getting both. A two-night experience that has more in common with a Disney Cruise Lines experience than a Disney World hotel. Based on what we know,  Galactic Starcruiser promises to put guests in the middle of their own Star Wars adventure. The building will connect to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and guests will be able to explore that park as well have access to unique experiences, restaurants and more. Galactic Starcruiser opens in March.

the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

(Image credit: Marvel)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Summer 2022)

The first Marvel themed attraction at Walt Disney World will finally open this summer at Epcot with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The attraction will take the form of a traditional Epcot pavilion, but one dedicated to the planet Xander. Glenn Close will even reprise her role from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie as Nova Prime.  While the opening is billed for this summer, we’ve seen other attractions scheduled for that season open as early as May.

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Flowers at Epcot

(Image credit: Future)

Epcot Festivals (Throughout 2022) 

One of the ways that Disney World tries to get you coming back again and again is with seasonal events and at this point Epcot is basically the festival theme park. It starts with the Epcot International Festival of the Arts from January 14 to February 21. Then you have the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, which was truly spectacular last year, from March 2- July 4. These will be followed by the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. These latter two events have not yet been given dates but expect the Food & Wine Festival to start by late August and run into October, with the holiday festival starting shortly after Halloween and running into early January 2023.

Partners Statue at Magic Kingdom

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Magic Kingdom Seasonal Events (Throughout 2022) 

While the festivals at Epcot are celebrations that every guest can enjoy, Magic Kingdom tends to be the home for special ticketed events that are limited to fewer guests than you’ll see on an average day. These events cost more money but they frequently include unique entertainment, food, and character interactions. Traditionally we see Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in September and October, followed by Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in November and December. In 2021 these events were replaced by events with different names, signifying that they were smaller versions of the normal parties. Whether we’ll see the return of the larger parties this year or not is unclear, but something like them will almost certainly happen.

MagicBand+ with Disney World Partners Statue

(Image credit: Disney)

MagicBand+

There was a time in 2021 when it appeared that the Walt Disney World MagicBand was not long for this world. Much of the convenient band functionality was added to the mobile app and Disney stopped giving them away to resort guests and annual passholders. And yet, the MagicBand will see new life in 2022 as MagicBand+. The device will include all the functionality as before but with added features, including built-in LEDs that will light up along with nighttime spectaculars and other events. 

Roundup Rodeo BBQ concept art

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Roundup Rodeo BBQ/ Jessie’s Trading Post (TBD 2022)

Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is missing a couple of things you would expect to find in any theme park land, a quality dining location, and a real gift shop. The land will get both of these things later this year as the previously announced Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant has now been confirmed to be opening in 2022. In addition, Jessie’s Trading Post gift shop will be added to the exit area for the Toy Story Mania attraction, replacing the broom closet that’s currently being used to sell merchandise. 

Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire (TBD 2022) 

For years, guests arriving at the Magic Kingdom were greeted by a stage show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, where costumed characters from all over Disney’s history of animation came together to perform for guests. While much of the live entertainment that we lost when Disney World reopened has since returned, this show has not. We now know that an updated version of the show, with a slightly tweaked title, will be debuting this year, though exactly when has not yet been revealed. 

Marlin and Dory in Finding Nemo

(Image credit: Pixar)

Finding Nemo The Musical (TBD 2022)

One of the most popular stage shows in all of Walt Disney World has been Finding Nemo: The Musical, found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With music and lyrics by the powerhouse duo of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the team behind the songs from Frozen, it’s no wonder. The show is currently closed, but a brand new version of the show is set to open sometime in 2022. Exactly what will be changed isn’t entirely clear, but the story is expected to be largely the same, meaning the popular music likely isn’t going anywhere. 

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Mickey Mouse in Fantasmic

(Image credit: Disney Parks)

Return Of Fantasmic (TBD 2022)

Fantasmic isn’t new at Walt Disney World but considering we’re coming up on two years since the last time the nighttime spectacular was staged at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it might as well be. The lagoon where the show happens has been undergoing significant renovations and while we don’t know exactly when the show will return, or whether the content will see any updates, we know the show will be back in 2022. It still probably won’t be as good as the Disneyland version though.

Disney Alexa screen

(Image credit: Disney Parks)

Alexa In Disney World Hotel Rooms (TBD 2022)

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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