Disney, ILMxLAB and The VOID Introduce ‘Ralph Breaks VR’

The 2018 CG animated movie “Ralph Breaks the Internet” raked in more than $500 million in box office revenues last year and, this year, visitors to The VOID in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas will be able to have the immersive “Ralph Breaks VR” experience. Located in the Grand Canal Shoppes, the experience — from Disney and Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB in partnership with The VOID, allows four players to enjoy features not possible in a home VR experience. “Ralph Breaks VR” is available in eight locations including Las Vegas. Continue reading Disney, ILMxLAB and The VOID Introduce ‘Ralph Breaks VR’

‘Star Wars’ VR Experience to Open at Disneyland by Holidays

This holiday season, Disneyland Resorts in Anaheim and Orlando will debut “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,” a multi-player virtual reality experience based on “Star Wars,” and produced by VR start-up The VOID, Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division. Prior to this production, ILMxLAB built “Trials on Tatooine,” which was available to consumers on VR headsets and in IMAX VR centers. The VOID calls its experiences “hyper-reality,” as the participant can explore, pick up props and open doors. Continue reading ‘Star Wars’ VR Experience to Open at Disneyland by Holidays

Google Expands Its YouTube TV Service to 10 New Markets

On Thursday, Google launched its YouTube TV service in 10 new markets, including Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Phoenix and Washington D.C. The company says it is now streaming live local programming to more than a third of the U.S. The $35-per-month Internet TV service offers live local feeds from major broadcast networks ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, in addition to cable networks such as AMC, ESPN, IFC and USA. The new service, which initially launched in April, is now available in 15 U.S. markets. Continue reading Google Expands Its YouTube TV Service to 10 New Markets

Disney Plans Immersive ‘Star Wars’ Attraction for Two Parks

At last week’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, The Walt Disney Company unveiled the first look of a 3D model for its new “Star Wars” attraction, “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” which was first announced at the same Expo two years ago. The planned exhibitions, to be housed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim, will cost $1 billion each and open in 2019. The exhibitions will be the most immersive the company has offered in a theme park, and will include a themed hotel, allowing guests to have a “Westworld”-like experience. Continue reading Disney Plans Immersive ‘Star Wars’ Attraction for Two Parks

Nintendo, Comcast Reveal Details of Universal Park Alliance

After inking a deal in May 2015 with Universal Parks & Resorts, a unit of Comcast NBCUniversal, the two companies are finally revealing details of how that partnership would play out at three Universal Studios theme parks. Configured as a park-within-a-park, Nintendo videogame characters will star at rides, restaurants and other forms of entertainment. Dubbing the setting “expansive, immersive and interactive,” Nintendo and Comcast say the new attractions will open in the coming years at Orlando, Los Angeles and Osaka, Japan. Continue reading Nintendo, Comcast Reveal Details of Universal Park Alliance

Disney COO Defends the Programming Bundle as TV Evolves

In the wake of pay TV subscriber losses and a falloff in content stocks, industry news has recently focused on the impact of the Internet, mobile apps and streaming services on traditional television. Disney chief operating officer Tom Staggs, who most analysts believe will be the successor to CEO Bob Iger, defended the future of ESPN and the programming bundle at an industry conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday. Staggs also suggested that Wall Street had overreacted to recent changes in the business and should not be so quick to dismiss the current model. Continue reading Disney COO Defends the Programming Bundle as TV Evolves

MagicBand Offers Seamless Experience for Theme Park Guests

Visitors of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando can now enter the theme park, check in at FastPass entrances, and buy food and merchandise without ever having to reach for their wallets. That is because Disney recently introduced the MagicBand, a tech enabled wristband that transmits signals to various sensors throughout the theme park so that the consumer experience can be completely hassle-free. Each wristband is personalized and designed to anticipate the needs of anyone visiting the park.  Continue reading MagicBand Offers Seamless Experience for Theme Park Guests

Google and AT&T Race to Expand U.S. Fiber Optic Networks

AT&T announced plans to bring its high-speed fiber optic network, AT&T U-verse with GigaPower, to as many as 100 cities, including some that are already part of Google Fiber’s planned expansion in the next few years. AT&T and Google have fiber optic development planned in several of the same cities, such as San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and the Raleigh-Durham region of North Carolina. Continue reading Google and AT&T Race to Expand U.S. Fiber Optic Networks

Universal Studios Hollywood to Receive a $1.6 Billion Makeover

Comcast plans to renovate 70 percent of the California theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood, with thousands of parking spaces, improved transit, two 500-room hotels, and most importantly, new attractions designed to broaden their fan base. Several “Despicable Me” inspired attractions will open for young riders on Saturday. Other updates, including the highly anticipated “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction, will be completed by 2016. Continue reading Universal Studios Hollywood to Receive a $1.6 Billion Makeover

Hulu Announces Slate of New Originals and Returning Series

Hulu plans to air 12 returning series and four new series under its Hulu Originals banner this season. The streaming video service recently announced its lineup, including renewed shows such as Seth Meyers’ animated superhero series “The Awesomes,” Chris O’Dowd’s comedy “Moone Boy,” docuseries “Behind the Mask,” western comedy “Quick Draw” and popular drama “East Los High.” Premiering this year includes “The Hotwives of Orlando,” “Deadbeat,” “The Bridge” and “The Next Step.” Continue reading Hulu Announces Slate of New Originals and Returning Series

Gartner Outlines the Top Ten Strategic Tech Trends for 2014

During the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 in Orlando, Florida, the IT leaders at Gartner identified the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends expected for 2014: mobile device diversity and management, mobile apps and applications, the Internet of Everything, hybrid cloud and IT as service broker, cloud/client architecture, the era of the personal cloud, software-defined anything (SDx), Web-scale IT, smart machines, and 3D printing. Continue reading Gartner Outlines the Top Ten Strategic Tech Trends for 2014

Waiting in Long Lines at Theme Parks Can Actually Be Fun

Our community member Lee Lanselle of the Entertainment Development Group and AsiaParks Partners Limited forwarded interesting news regarding how theme parks are ensuring that guests are not bored while waiting in long lines. Disneyland, Universal Studios and Six Flags are among those that have incorporated interactive elements, animatronic characters, and even play areas for kids so that park attendees can be entertained while they wait in line for a ride. Continue reading Waiting in Long Lines at Theme Parks Can Actually Be Fun