MONEY Leisure

Disney World, Universal Break Ticket-Price Barrier

Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando one-day admission tickets are in a whole new world.

TIME Television

Uncle Scrooge and His Nephews of DuckTales Will Return in 2017

Disney A scene from "DuckTales"

Disney will reboot the 'DuckTales' cartoon from the '80s on Disney XD in 2017

It’s time to head back to Duckburg.

Disney has announced that a reboot of the late-’80s DuckTales cartoon, which will launch on Disney XD in 2017. The show will follow Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewy, and Louie, as the original did, and will also include appearances by Donald Duck.

A host of other familiar faces from the original series are also expected to return, including Launchpad McQuack, Flintheart Glomgold, and the Beagle Boys.

The original DuckTales series ran from 1987 to 1990 and followed the exploits of Uncle Scrooge and his nephews who lived a hurricane of a life in Duckburg. The rich uncle and his family the toured the world on plenty of exciting adventures, occasionally taking a break to swim in piles of money, which could not have been anything other than painful.

The show also spawned a beloved video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which was rereleased in a remastered format in 2013 and renewed interest in the series despite a middling critical reception to the new version.

Let’s hope Disney keeps the show’s original theme song intact.

This article originally appeared on

TIME movies

Watch the Frozen Gang Return in Trailer for Frozen Fever

The seven-minute short will play in theaters before Cinderella

Just before spring arrives, the Frozen gang is sneaking back into theaters.

Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) will return to the big screen in Frozen Fever, a seven-minute short whose trailer just premiered on Good Morning America on Wednesday.

The short takes place after the events of Disney’s billion-dollar movie and will focus on a birthday party for Anna that doesn’t go smoothly after the princess falls ill. Catch it in theaters March 13, when Frozen Fever will screen before Disney’s live-action Cinderella movie, starring Cate Blanchett and Lily James.

TIME Companies

Going to Disney World Just Got More Expensive

A statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse stands in front of
Bloomberg/Getty Images

Tickets pass the hundred-dollar mark

Entrance into the happiest place on Earth just got pricier.

The Walt Disney Co. on Sunday upped the ticket prices to all of its U.S. theme parks by $3 to $6 a ticket. While a single-day ticket at the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orland, Fla., used to cost $99, this week the price broke the hundred-dollar barrier to $105. One day tickets to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., now costs $99 for the 10-and-over crowd, up from $96. Prices also increased for children.

The parks’ prices usually increase annually, Disney spokesperson Suzi Brown told the Associated Press: “We continually add new experiences, and many of our guests select multiday tickets or annual passes, which provide a great value and additional savings.”

In the final quarter of 2015, Disney parks saw a record attendance bump of 7%.

MONEY Tourism

Disney Theme Park Admission Is About to Cross the $100 Threshold

Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Orlando, Florida
Alamy Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Orlando, Florida

Word is out that Disney is about to jack up theme park admission prices, like it does every year. This time, a single day at the Magic Kingdom will hit three figures.

Five years ago, the price of a one-day adult ticket to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was $79. Toward the end of the summer of 2010, prices were raised, to $82. From there, prices went on a tear. Sometime in the first half of the years listed below—before the peak summer season was under way—Disney raised prices as follows:

$85 in 2011

$89 in 2012

$95 in 2013

$99 in 2014

Here we are in early 2015, and, like clockwork, another theme park admission price hike appears to be in the works. The ThemeParkInsider blog and the Orlando Sentinel have both cited inside sources that indicate price increases will be announced as soon as Sunday, February 22. This time, the price of a one-day adult admission to the Magic Kingdom is expected to cross the $100 mark—it’ll hit $105, to be exact, taxes not included.

As has become custom, single-day prices at EPCOT and Disney’s other theme parks will likely be a few dollars cheaper, and prices for children (ages 3 to 9) will be a few bucks cheaper than those for adults. The prices mentioned are all for entrance at one park on one specific day; “Park Hopper” passes that allow visitors to hit multiple theme parks on the same day cost extra—and this option is all but guaranteed to cost extra as regular admission prices rise. Likewise, theme park giant Universal Studios will likely raise prices hand in hand with Disney.

As of Friday afternoon, Disney had issued no official comment on the subject of price increases, but given its recent history, at this point it would be more of a shocker if the company decided to forgo a price hike than leap over the $100 watermark. If the one-day Magic Kingdom price hits $105 as fully expected, admissions will have risen $26 (or about 33%) in a quick five years.

It must be noted that consistently strong visitor numbers give Disney and other theme parks good reason to keep jacking up prices. Year after year of price hikes haven’t scared the crowds away; in fact, on Christmas Day 2014, Disney parks were temporarily closed to new visitors on both coasts because there were simply too many people. There’s even a certain subset of fanatical theme park goers who wish that Disney and Universal would usher in price increases so severe and sudden that they would result in a sharp dropoff in visitors, at least on peak weekends and holidays if not year-round.

Overall, what the steady climb of one-day admissions and the general pricing structures of Disney and Universal do is destroy the spontaneity of a theme park vacation. A single day’s admission costs are so extraordinarily high that they basically force families into booking discounted multiple-day tickets in advance to get some semblance of decent value. Countless websites and guidebooks lecture visitors on the necessity of making dinner and “character breakfast” reservations, among other steps, months before heading to Florida. The idea of winging a trip to Orlando’s theme parks is widely viewed as foolish, perhaps somewhat by design.

For obvious reasons, this formula works out nicely for the theme park companies. Tourists are steered away from one-day, spur-of-the-moment visits in favor of multi-day vacations, dramatically increasing opportunities that they’ll also pay up for pricey lodging, meals, “after hours” cocktail parties and other extras.

It’s easy to see how, once you open the door into a theme park vacation, costs can quickly snowball. Sorta like what’s happened to theme park admissions prices over the past few years.

TIME Media

This 1 Chart Shows Why Sony Spun a Spider-Man Deal

Columbia Pictures Spider-Man

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, now a part, of the Marvel plan

Spider-Man is slinging into the Marvel movie universe, Sony and Marvel announced late Monday night.

That’s a big deal: Spidey is one of Marvel’s most iconic superheroes, but the film rights over the webslinger wound up in Sony’s hands in 1999 after years of protracted legal battles. That meant Marvel couldn’t include Spider-Man in its grand plan to bring its cadre of superheroes into the same cinematic universe, an effort that began with 2008’s Iron Man and will continue in this year’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

While exact details remain slim, the new deal should mean that Marvel fans will get to see Spider-Man fighting baddies right alongside Captain America and Thor, just like in the comics. Marvel and Sony will co-produce upcoming individual Spider-Man films, but Sony will maintain ultimate creative rights over them.

Rumors that Sony and the Disney-owned Marvel were working on a deal like this have floated around the Internet before, only to be squashed like The Hulk smashing tanks. What changed?

First, Marvel’s upcoming films are said to be based heavily on Civil War, a comic book crossover series that heavily featured Spider-Man. Doing Civil War in theaters without Spidey would have required some pretty heavy rewriting.

But the ball here was very much in Sony’s court, not Marvel’s. And looking at the performance of Sony’s recent Spider-Man films, it’s easy to see why it was willing to make a deal:

Sony’s Spider-Man films started off as commercial blockbusters, but they’ve each been pulling in less cash at the box office ever since 2002’s Spider-Man. The series’ most recent film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, was particularly lackluster, making a bit over $202 million and getting generally poor reviews. Meanwhile, Marvel’s The Avengers, its first film to really include the whole swath of its superhero spread, made upwards of $623 million. Sony, then, is clearly hoping that by including Spidey in Marvel’s next big Avengers-style crossover event after Ultron, it’ll boost ticket sales for the Spider-Man follow-ups, too.

The only question now is: Who will be our third Spider-Man?

TIME Earnings

Frozen Sales Drive Revenue for Disney

The entertainment giant reported strong gains in revenue as its hit animated film continued to lift merchandise sales

Revenue for the first quarter of the Walt Disney Company’s 2015 fiscal year jumped 9% as sales of merchandise from the hit animated film Frozen dominated the holiday season. Here are the key points from Tuesday’s earnings report.

What you need to know: Frozen remains one of Disney’s hottest properties more than a year after it became the highest-grossing animated film of all time. The film’s merchandise lifted last year’s U.S. retail toy sales and contributed to a strong quarter for Disney, which also saw steady growth from its television and cable networks including ABC and ESPN.

Disney’s first-quarter revenue improved 9% from the same period last year, to $13.4 billion, blowing past analysts’ prediction of $12.9 billion. The company’s profits of $2.2 billion, or $1.28 per share, represented a 19% increase.

In a statement, Disney CEO Bob Iger bragged that the results “once again reflect the strength of our brands and high quality content and demonstrate that our proven franchise strategy creates long-term value across all of our businesses.” Last year, Disney’s board handed Iger, who Fortune recently profiled, a contract extension through 2018. In 2014, Disney extended its streak of record-breaking annual revenue to four straight years.

Disney’s stock jumped more than 3% in after-hours trading after the company released its latest earnings.

The big number: The “Mouse House” reported a 22% bump in consumer product sales for the quarter, to $1.4 billion. Frozen merchandise sales drove the increase once again. Toys and other products related to the film, which was actually released in November 2013, sold well throughout 2014 and drove a 7% increase in full-year consumer product sales last year for Disney.

Disney’s largest and most profitable segment, its television and cable networks, posted first-quarter revenue of nearly $5.9 billion. That marked an 11% increase over the same period last year despite rising programming costs and a decline in advertising revenue at ESPN. Disney’s $15 billion media rights contract with the NFL kicked in last year, leading to higher costs for ESPN. In October, the company also signed a new, $24 billion deal to air NBA games on ESPN and ABC that will drive up rights costs again in a couple of years.

What you might have missed: Revenue for Disney’s studio entertainment segment dipped 2% in the quarter, to $1.9 billion, because of lower box-office numbers in what was a down year overall for movie-ticket sales. Disney’s quarterly decline came despite a strong performance from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was the second-best grossing film released in 2014. The company said in its earnings release that the segment suffered from a difficult comparison to last year’s first quarter, when Frozen performed well at the box office.

Disney did manage to increase quarterly revenue at its theme parks and resorts by 9%, to $3.9 billion. That’s despite California’s Disneyland making unflattering headlines last month due to a measles outbreak that likely occurred at the end of the first quarter. Iger told CNBC on Tuesday that Disney has “not been able to discern any impact” from the outbreak. Disney is also reportedly delaying the opening of the $5.5 billion Disneyland Shanghai — the company’s first theme park in China — until next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Iger is expected to shed more light on the timetable for opening the attraction during the company’s earnings call Tuesday evening.

This article originally appeared on

TIME movies

Take a Sneak Peek at the New Frozen Animated Short

The cast is back for a birthday bash

The cast of Disney’s billion-dollar hit Frozen is back together and ready to party in a brand new animated short film called Frozen Fever.

Original cast members Idina Menzel (Elsa), Kristen Bell (Anna), Jonathan Groff (Kristoff) and Josh Gad (Olaf) will reprise their roles. The seven-minute animated short will show how the kingdom of Arendelle has changed since the events of Frozen and will also feature a birthday party for Princess Anna that goes awry when Elsa gets a cold.

Frozen Fever will play in theaters before Disney’s live-action Cinderella, which premieres on March 13.

TIME movies

Watch the Exciting New Trailer for Disney’s Tomorrowland

A world "where nothing is impossible"

Disney fans were treated to a new trailer for its upcoming movie Tomorrowland, during Sunday’s Super Bowl, and it looks awesome.

The sci-fi fantasy film brings together director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and writer Damon Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus) and is set to hit theaters May 22, 2015.

But Disney is still not giving much away with the new trailer. The clip shows George Clooney, who plays a former child genius, alongside Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie as they enter a world filled with huge skyscrapers, flying trains and strange machines “where nothing is impossible.”

“You wanna go?” asks Clooney. Yes, we can’t wait.

TIME Television

Meet Disney’s First Latina Princess

Disney Junior Princess Elena of Avalor

Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in 2016

There’s a new Disney princess in town – and for the first time, she’s Latina.

On Thursday, Disney Junior announced that Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in 2016 on a special episode of Sofia the First, the network’s hit show for preschoolers.

Princess Elena is “a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairy tale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore,” the network said in a statement.

After her introduction on Sofia, 16-year-old Elena will star in her own spin-off series, Elena of Avalor, also set to debut on Disney Junior in 2016.

Dominican Republic-born Aimee Carrero of ABC Family’s Young & Hungry, 26, will voice Elena, whose backstory is connected to the magical amulet Sofia wears on the show.

The story goes that Elena was imprisoned in the amulet by an evil sorceress, Shuriki, decades ago while Elena was trying to protect her little sister, Princess Isabel. Decades later, Sofia “discovers the truth . . . and sets out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor.”

In 2012, Disney executives responded to questions about Sofia’s heritage after early hints that she had Hispanic roots.

“Sofia is a fairytale girl who lives in a fairytale world,” said Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide. “All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities.”

This article originally appeared on

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