Upon hearing rumors about the Magical World of Harry Potter amusement park in Orlando Florida, my imagination immediately ran away with me. I envisioned riding on a dragon with a golden Snitch flying around my head and although I admit that it seems a little far-fetched, it was still what I was expecting.

Now, word has gotten out that more Potter theme parks are in the works. Well, this is fantastic because the news has arrived just in time for a Christmas wish list.

Now before we start, let’s just mention to the creators of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that the current park is still phenomenal. The little touches and details are frankly astounding and that’s something we hope to see in future parks! Now without further ado-

#8 Gringotts

Now, other theme parks have seen a park-wide currency system go very wrong, but Harry Potter is unique in that the currency system is integrated right into the mythos of the source material.

What were saying is that it would be amazing to convert our own money into galleons, sickles and knuts. I had a difficult time forking over fourteen hard earned dollars just for a full meal, but something tells me that if we were paying a galleon and three sickles instead, it might be a little easier on everyone’s collective psyche.

Also, the coinage would effectively function as its own souvenir. This spells more profit for the park as well as more fun for the visitor. To be honest, we just want the coins so that we can try to buy donuts with them in the real world.

#7 Nightly Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Fireworks

Yes, by suggesting Gringotts and by suggesting Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes we’re suggesting that Diagon Alley be added to the plans for the future park. Aside from expanding the size of the park (which is also very much needed, but we’ll get back to that later) it would also help Ollivander get back to his original home (which is not in Hogsmeade).

Okay, now onto the fireworks. An excellent fireworks presentation was afforded for the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but after that day, the skies of Hogwarts were never again brightened by pyrotechnics. Check out this video of the festivities below!

Now what we’re imagining is a nightly display hosted by the Weasley twins (not James and Oliver of course) in front of their joke shop (which we also want). They could gesture towards the castle as the brilliant show sparkles over Hogwarts. Do you think the giant CGI fireworks dragon from Order of the Pheonix can be reproduced? We certainly hope so!

#6 Alcoholic Butterbeer

We don’t wish to be mistaken for alcoholics or anything, and yes there is a full bar available in the Hog’s Head, but after seeing Winky get wasted on Butterbeer in Goblet of Fire, we’ve always wondered how many cups of the frothy nectar of the Gods we could handle before getting sloshed.

All we’re asking for is the option (for those who are legally allowed to drink of course) to have a traditional alcoholic mug of Butterbeer. Bailey’s Irish Cream might work perfectly in this scenario.

#5 Hidden Hallows

Now, this is a suggestion stolen straight from Disneyland. Any Disney-phile can tell you that if you search carefully, you can find the iconic mickey mouse head and ears in over hundreds of unique and secret locations in the park. Some are obvious and some are near impossible to find, but there are entire tribes of people that plan trips just to snap pictures of them all. Below is a simple example of one of the easier hidden Mickeys in the park.

See the head and ears hidden in the sign? This is just one of many, literally hundreds, and having an assortment of “Hidden Hallows” might add some additional intrigue to the park. Going on hunts for the sign of the deathly hallows could seriously amplify the repeated visitor ratio and give the visitors of the park yet another fun and exciting thing to do. Also, speaking of the park itself-

#4 A Larger Park

This is probably one of the biggest complaints so far concerning the park. It seems like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was only meant to accommodate a few thousand people which simply doesn’t seem to be enough for the Harry Potter nation.

There are plenty of locations to stretch the park into, Diagon Alley being the first and foremost, but the books are so rich with interesting locales and mysterious shops that it wouldn’t be difficult to expand the park and allow everyone a little bit more elbow room.

Anyone who has visited the park will tell you that not being able to find a place to sit at the Hog’s Head and not being able to even enter Ollivanders because of cramped conditions severely impact the enjoyment factor even if it’s the way that Harry Ron and Hermione experienced it. A few more restaurants, shops and rides might seriously alleviate the problem.

#3 A British Location

As soon as Orlando, Florida was announced as the future location of the first Harry Potter amusement park, we could have sworn that we heard a million English voices cry out in anguish at once. It was a disturbance in the Force that we had never experienced before.

Frankly, it’s not hard to understand why America was chosen ($$$), but anywhere in England seems to be a more suitable location. J.K. Rowling has insisted many times that the books are very distinctly British, so it was very much a slap to the jowel when Hogwarts suddenly showed up in America

Ideal locations for an additional park: Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo and London. Also, let’s get to work on a Harry Potter themed hotel in Vegas, shall we?

#2 The Hogwarts Express

It was a beautiful idea for the Hogwarts express to be the first thing that visitors see at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it would be extra magical to take it a step further.

What if, in order to visit the new amusement park, one had to take the Hogwarts express? Disneyland uses that fancy tram to transport people from the parking structure, so a series of Hogwarts Expresses transporting people to and from the park wouldn’t be too far-fetched.

Just imagine. The journey would really only need to be a few minutes long to get the effect and the experience would be extra magical if Hogwarts and the grounds weren’t visible to the public until a certain point on the train.

#1 Rides, Rides, Rides!

One of the things that has always made us skeptical about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the serious lack of rides. Yes, I guess the existing park is really more of a “land” than its own amusement park, but does that mean that only three rides should be enough to satisfy Harry Potter obsessed visitors from all over the globe?

Yes, children love Flight of the Hippogriff, but people above the age of fourteen  quickly run out of things to do in the park after just a few hours and the source material has plenty of opportunities to introduce truly magical rides.

Where’s Quidditch: The Ride? Where’s our Triwizard Tournament ride? Yes, Dragon Challenge is similar, but as someone who wasted his childhood on Roller Coaster Tycoon I can see the millions of unused possibilities.  Should the Gringotts bank we proposed earlier have an underground cavern roller-coaster? After watching Deathly Hallows Part-2 we think it’s pretty much inevitable!

So what do you think? What additions would you like to see to Potter parks in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

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The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

cogsworth-lumiere-live-action-beauty-and-the-beast

While it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of a couple of the characters, a big question remains unanswered: How will these objects look once they have faces on them? (Cogsworth’s face might be hinted at in the center of the clock.)

Also on the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is a shot from the the “Gaston” musical number. From left to right we see Alexis Loizon as Stanley, Josh Gad as LeFou (just over Gaston’s shoulder), and Luke Evans (with his back to the camera) as Gaston.

live-action-beauty-and-the-beast-gaston

Update: And here’s another look at the movie, courtesy of this person on Twitter — this time we get to see Dan Stevens as human Beast!

human-beast-dan-stevens

We’ll be curious to get our hands on the anniversary edition in September, because we expect we’ll see more from the new movie than the two stills above.

Disney released the first trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast in May. It was very much a teaser trailer, as it didn’t provide any looks at the characters — except Belle (Emma Watson), appearing through the glass casing protecting the film’s iconic rose.

In fact, the trailer’s first looks at the various settings (Namely the Beast’s castle) fell in line with the visual style we see in the above concept art.

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens hit theaters March 17, 2017.

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

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Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

That changes next month, when Apple is expected to announce that the iPhone 7 will be lacking a headphone jack. Instead, users will be listening to music via the Lightning port (which you currently use to charge and sync your iPhone).

And for 2017, Apple will reportedly go one step further by removing the Home button.

Ah, the Home button. It’s always been there for us — it’s our captain for navigating the iPhone. We use it to switch between apps, we use it to get to our Home screen, we use it to summon Siri, and we use it to read our finger print. Back in the “old days,” we used it to force quit apps when they froze on us.

In a new report, Bloomberg says Apple is planning to remove the Home button for the 2017 iPhone, which will presumably be called iPhone 7s. It’s billed as a “major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display.”

Previous rumor mill reports have suggested that Apple will ditch the Home button in order to decrease the size of the top top and bottom bezels, thereby making the phone not as tall, or using the freed up space to add more screen.

Here’s a mock up of what that could look like, via TapSmart:

borderlessmockup1

What remains unclear is how users will be able to unlock and navigate their iPhone without the Home button. Reports have suggested that the whole screen will serve as a TouchID surface and a Home button (using the 3D Touch feature Apple launched last year).

Interestingly, next month’s release of iOS 10 will introduce a new way to unlock your iPhone: You’ll have to press down on the Home button to activate an unlocking. Previously, all you had to do was rest your finger on the Home button while your lock screen was awake.

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Read full article

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Now, according to Deadline, Disney is developing an all-live-action remake of the film. Nick Hornby will write the script, while Joe Roth is in negotiations to sign on as a producer.

If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the last two James Bond features, both Skyfall and Spectre, as well as 1999’s American Beauty.

You can check out the trailer for the horrifying original film below:

As of late, Disney has been announcing live-action versions of its properties left and right, including The Nutcracker (which has a huge cast of well-known actors), The Little Mermaid (with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to help write the music), Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), and Cruella (starring Emma Stone), among others.

With the amount of remakes — especially in the live-action department — it’s no wonder James and the giant Peach is the latest to be announced.

Do you want to see a live-action ‘James and the Giant Peach’ movie?