December 31, 2009

The Year 2010 in Review in Advance

The debut of a new year and another chance for fresh beginnings- It's here and right around the corner!

I just love New Years and New Year's Eve! Maybe I'm a bit foolish and sentimental, but the idea that things start with a clean slate and old things are left behind, well, it always excites me. Imagining what lies ahead can be great fun as well.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider; God has made the one as well as the other. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes has that to say about how we are to view the days. And they go so quickly, especially the older I get! He also says that God has set eternity in the hearts of men, so I shouldn't be surprised when something important seems like it was yesterday when it was really years ago.

So, let's see- what does lie ahead for 2010? Hmm, here is the news as we know it- and some predictions... Let me say in advance, I'm not all that hopeful with projects coming from the House of Mouse.

On that Disney front: At California Adventure, the nighttime show World of Color will make a big splash come Spring. This means the maze of walls around Paradise Pier will begin to disappear as others, hopefully, go up for the beginning of the planned Buena Vista Street. Let's watch if the crowds appear bringing money to spend and with it an impetus for the Walt Disney Company and its Imagineers to execute Phase Two of the park's expansion. Even if a revised version makes the cut in its place, let's hope it includes saying adios to the Maliboomer as well as a forest friendly revamping of Condor Flats. As much as I like this section of the park as it now stands, it does not make sense to have two desert themed areas. The park is getting prettier, so kudos to the Imagineers who work so hard to do things right when given the money and encouragement.

Unfortunately, things will be quiet on the Disneyland front while Star Tours 2 ramps up and Michael Jackson reappears in Captain Eo. Neither project thrills me. In fact, Disneyland looks great but attractions post the Indiana Jones Adventure have left me cold. Tomorrowland '98 was unfulfilling as was the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The smaller rehabs were fine- great really, but it is time to be wowed once more at the original Disney park. Tomorrowland aside, at least if Tony Baxter does retire in the new year, he will leave the park in a better condition than it was in the Paul Pressler days.

Walt Disney World's Fantasyland remodel will begin, helping the Magic Kingdom eventually compete with Harry Potter over at Universal's Islands of Adventure, but nothing else will come its way next year.

At least Epcot isn't getting ToyStory Playland from Disneyland Paris! You never know these days as theme seems to mean less and less and the Disney suits continue to let the greatest park in Florida dilute in theme and execution. (And by the way, why are the French getting this mess without Toy Story Midway Mania? Lack of Euros no doubt!)

The gorgeous looking Animal Kingdom will stay as it is until numbers drop once more. This pattern will probably continue until the current powers that be retire. Speaking of this park, watch for Part 5 of the "Disney's Animal Kingdom: A True-Life Adventure" series coming January 8.

Disney's Hollywood Studios will prep for Star Tours 2 while they continue to shove High School Musical garbage down own throats. Ugh. Maybe the much talked about Monsters Inc. coaster will be announced at 2010's D23 expo.

Over in Asia, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea will continue pleasing guests, while Hong Kong Disneyland continues to struggle. At least Mystic Manor is coming after Hong Kong's disastrous choice of adding ToyStoryland as well. Will Shanghai Disneyland finally break ground? Or will there be more red tape and delays? Hard to say. One thing seems certain- it looks like we'll all need a trip overseas to be dazzled by the Disney Company. Enough about the parks.

Honestly, those of you who read this blog know I am not the biggest fan of the Company's television or movie offerings. I take each film by any company on an individual case basis- including Pixar releases (gasp!)- and Grey's Anatomy and American Idol aside, find most of television a waste of time and not too interesting at that. After the creative success of Princess and the Frog, I will go see Rapunzel. At least her locks will be visible as I have a feeling Jack Sparrow's won't be on display as scheduled. My hunch is Pirates of the Caribbean 4 will be delayed once more.

The music industry continues its downward slide as the wasteland of rap dominates, most of country music sounds the same, and song lyrics in all genres get dirtier and dirtier. I am sure Lady Gaga will keep turning out catchy numbers with videos that shock, Michael Jackson compilations will keep selling, and old bands from the 70s and 80s will continue to tour one more time. i-tunes will keep adding to the destruction of the concept of album, while favorite old artists will repackage songs from decades past. New "artists" will be built and destroyed by the Disney Channel machine. In other words, same old, same old. Let's hope I'm wrong, and we get some pleasant surprises this year!

On the political front, it will be more of the same as well. Promises from people of both parties, nothing delivered. That is all I will say on the subject.

It will be much of the same in the world of sports, (I do watch on occasion), as overpaid athletes will continue to commit crimes and disappoint with tales discovered of infidelity and the like. (The NFL seems to really be the National Felony League these days.) No matter, as these men will still be seen as heroes by folks desperate for real ones.

Wish I could say I see big changes in the area of religion and spirituality as well, but I don't. It is difficult enough for me to stay on solid Biblical ground without falling prey to television charlatans who peddle God's name for profit promising wealth and fortune instead of personal sacrifice, devotion to holy living, and serving others. Would we even recognize Jesus as the only true savior if He came today?

Lest I sound a bit crusty, hear me out. I am very thankful for my family, my friends, my health- and to you who read this blog. It's been my combination diary, travel journal, and devotional writing.

My upcoming year looks to be an exciting one for many reasons I'll share in the future. All said, I thank God that in a world delivering the best and worst of what man can offer, The Almighty God Eternal does not change. In Him and in Him alone do I place my trust and hope. Consider Him as you ponder what lies ahead. Only He knows your future...


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great inspirational post Mark - Happy New Year's and god bless you and your family. Tim

Mark Taft said...

And you and yours as well, Tim!