BREAKING: First Permits Filed for Replacement of the Universe of Energy at Epcot

We first brought you the rumor that something was planned for the Universe of Energy pavilion almost a year ago. Although the plans seem to have been delayed, we now are seeing the first concrete indication that something is about to happen at the northeast corner of Epcot. Disney has filed paperwork with the South Florida Water Management District indicating plans to reroute a drainage canal behind Universe of Energy and create two new retention ponds to hold additional runoff from “onsite improvements that will add impervious area.”

It is clear from the filings that this canal drainage modification is just the beginning of a much larger construction project in the works. You can see from the above image that the construction area incorporates not only the canals and a large area of land, but also the Universe of Energy attraction itself.

The western half of the canal area highlighted in red is scheduled to be filled in. This would likely be where the additional “impervious area” is being added. And what exactly will this impervious area be? Likely an additional show building to be used for a future attraction coming to the Universe of Energy pavilion.
 In the above image you can see an area labeled “Back of House” directly behind the Universe of Energy and Wonders of Life, where the canal will be filled. The fact that the project boundary outlined includes all of the Universe of Energy show building plus much of the walkways and entrance areas in front of the pavilion, while specifically excluding the Wonders of Life pavilion, likely means that a fairly significant construction project is planned – significantly more than simply an overlay. Expect a complete gutting of the existing building and a whole new entrance area where the existing mirrored fountain now stands
The above hydrologic evaluation plans show a huge rectangular area behind Wonders of Life and directly on top of the filled canal area that could be the new show building.

Free admission, more discounts for Orlando Theme Parks available to Florida Teachers

Teachers, put away your grade books and lesson plans, because it’s time to get out your sun block and walking shoes as you take advantage of exclusive deals this summer for public educators.

Starting this Memorial Day, teachers are able to get free entry to several popular theme parks and attractions in the Orlando area. This also includes discounted rates on stays at Walt Disney World as well.

Beginning May 22, all U.S. teachers are able to take advantage of discounted rates at seven resorts near the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment center. The reduced rates will be available at the Wyndham Garden Resort, the Best Western, B Resort & Spa, Holiday Inn Orlando, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace and the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton. Stays at all of these resorts will also offer complimentary shuttle rides to and from the Disney theme parks. Just make sure to show your school ID when you check in. Make sure to check out the Disney Springs Hotels website for more information.

SeaWorld Orlando is offering unlimited free entry into the park with a Florida Teacher card. This applies to all active and certified K-12 Florida teachers who register with ID.me. Private school teachers can also take advantage of this offer by bringing a pay stub and a letter from the principal of their institution to the front gate. You can find more information about the discount on their website.

With an Educational Study Pass, teachers check out the Kennedy Space Center Launch Control Center Tour and experience the Astronaut Encounter at the Kennedy Space Center. Just be sure to bring your teacher ID or a principal letter on school letterhead to be presented at the will call window upon entry. Make sure to see review the restrictions for this special deal.

When teachers present a valid Florida photo ID, a pay stub and professional Florida Department of Education teaching certificate to the front gate of LEGOLAND Florida, they will receive a free one-year pass to the park. This pass also includes entry to their water park, the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Aquarium. To get more information about this deal, be sure to check out the official website.

ABC to stage live TV musical production of The Little Mermaid

ABC is dipping it’s toes in the live musical waters this year with The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live.

Billed as a two-hour special event, ABC will take viewers inside the iconic 1989 animated feature film, which tells the story of Ariel, a mermaid who trades her voice for a chance to walk among the humans, while intertwining live musical performances of the movie’s hit songs.

The special — which will be produced by Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, David Jammy, Katy Mullan, and Richard Kraft — will soon cast a slew of celebrity artists whose performance will be weaved into the original animated film.

While this is the first time Disney is doing a hybrid live-action/animation experience of The Little Mermaid on-screen, the concept of weaving live performances with the film is not new. This past summer, a cadre of big names performed The Little Mermaid songs at the Hollywood Bowl, including Sara Bareilles as Ariel, Rebel Wilson as Ursula, Darren Criss as Eric, Tituss Burgess as Sebastian, John Stamos as Chef Louis, Norm Lewis as Triton, and Joshua Colley as Flounder.

The news comes on the heels of Fox announcing live productions of Rent and A Christmas Story, while NBC will tackle Jesus Christ Superstar.

The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live will debut Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Watch “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 – Official International Trailer #2 (2017) Keira Knightley Movie HD”

We’ve known for a while that Orlando Bloom would be returning for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” but it wasn’t clear if Kiera Knightley would be making an appearance. Audiences last saw Bloom and Knightley playing Will and Elizabeth Turner at the end of the third film, “At World’s End,” when Will was cursed to become the captain of the Flying Dutchman.

It’s not surprising that both characters are making a return in the new film, as the story features their son. You can catch a brief glimpse of Knightley in the trailer below, and all will be revealed about her character’s appearance when the film hits theaters on May 26.

Avatar’ Sequels Get Official Release Dates, Beginning in December 2020

The news was announced on the movie’s official Facebook, along with a picture of director James Cameron and crew.

James Cameron and 20th Century Fox’s four Avatarsequels finally have official release dates.

They are: December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024 and December 19, 2025. So far, Avatar has those dates to itself, although Star Wars saga films are becoming a staple at Christmas every other year.

The Avatar news was announced on the movie’s official Facebook page Saturday morning, along with a picture of Cameron and crew.

“Great to be working with the best team in the business! Avatar takes flight as we begin concurrent production on four sequels,” Cameron said in the post.

A year ago, Cameron first revealed there would be four Avatar sequels, instead of the previously planned three, at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of theaters. At the time, his goal was to release Avatar 2 over Christmas 2018, and then a new film in 2020, 2022 and 2023. 

Cameron said each of the four sequels will be able to stand alone, but will together create a saga. 

It became clear, however, that the schedule wouldn’t be met when Fox never officially dated the films.

The original 2009 film earned $2.8 billion worldwide and remains the top-grossing film of all time at the global box office.