Made With Magic's Foot Print Shrinks at the Parks
Any way you look at it, 2016 was a tough year at the parks for fans of Made With Magic. By the time I made it to Paris to record their Dreams! show, I discovered that all shows there no longer include Made With Magic support and indications are that it may be all over for Made With Magic at the Paris park. That was a startling discovery. It's always unsettling when the plug is pulled on a favorite technology. And it's a not-so-subtle reminder that the folks at Disney won't hesitate to discontinue anything if it doesn't live up to their expectations. Kind of frightening to think about.
After the first of the year, Osborne Lights was shut down for good at Hollywood Studios in Florida and neither of the Star Wars themed shows I've attended since then have included any MWM codes. Didn't catch the Jingle Bam show, but also didn't hear anything about it including Made With Magic. That wasn't encouraging.
The Once Upon a Time show replaced Celebrate over at the Magic Kingdom. Celebrate included Made With Magic support, Once Upon a Time lacked any detectable codes sent when I happened to catch that show over there. Maybe they've added it since I was there or maybe they'll add support in the future. I have noticed that it can take a while for MWM to be added to the newer shows.
I saw MWM Ear Hats and Wands for sale over at Animal Kingdom. Ordinarily, Disney doesn't sell the MWM merchandise in parks without supporting shows, but I couldn't find any show currently supporting MWM at that park. The twilight showing at the Tree of Life seemed like a possibility, but nothing was recorded when I was there. Maybe Rivers of Light will offer something when it finally starts up.
Construction at Disneyland has shutdown the Fantasmic show. Consequently, the kiosks usually selling the Chernabog Sipper and other MWM items over in New Orleans Square weren't offering ANY MWM merchandise. Spooky. As if that wasn't enough, the Paint the Night parade also was discontinued in 2016, rounding out a bad year for Made With Magic.
I have no idea how things are going over in Asia. If you happen to know, please register and leave a comment. We'd love to know what's going on over there. Hopefully the news is better from over there.
New MWM Merchandise hits the scene
Not all the MWM developments were grim. They DID release some refreshed items in 2016. Just after the New Year, a new Ear Hat was released. Then, around September, the Headband got a substantial update which was reviewed here. It seems unlikely they'd continue to release new items if they intended to pull the plug on Made With Magic.
And they do continue to load their filmed audiences with people sporting MWM merchandise in the videos of their outdoor nighttime shows. For example, check out the video below of the One Republic performance during The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Christmas Celebration. So maybe they aren't ready to pull the plug just yet. Let's hope so.
Articles Posted to bringmagichome.com in 2016
2016 marked the first full year in existence for bringmagichome.com! There should have been some sort of birthday party or something. Missed that opportunity. Maybe this year. While the site continues to struggle to find it's 'sea legs', a number of articles did manage to find their way onto the site in 2016:
- Holiday hacks - adding a pedestal and dome to a WOC base
- Rose buds powered by Made With Magic
- Headband v2.2
- Au revoir Paris - Made With Magic gone from Disneyland Paris
- Unlocking the potential of the Glove board
- Powering Made With Magic devices
- Add a Little 'Magic' to Paper Lanterns: part 1 - Magic Wand and Paintbrush
- Add a Little 'Magic' to Paper Lanterns: part 2 - MWM's Halibuts
- Add a Little 'Magic' to Paper Lanterns: part 3 - MWM Yogis
- Add a Little 'Magic' to Paper Lanterns: part 4 - MWM Octopus
- Ear Hat - Glow Ears v2.2
- BringMagicHome.com News for March
- News from Orlando, part 2 - Hollywood Studios
- MWM featured in Disneyland 60th Anniversary Special
- Reimagining MWM devices for Christmas, part 2: Paintbrush
- Reimagining MWM devices for Christmas, part 3: Ear Headband
- Reimagining MWM devices for Christmas, part 4: Ear Hat
That's a meager list, true, but I hope it will be substantially augmented in 2017. At least, that's the plan.
Looking forward into 2017
The idea for this website came to mind the first time I arrived home with a new MWM Ear Hat and quickly realized two things:
- Ear Hats don't fit in well with the existing living room decor
- The built-in light effects displayed by the MWM item often don't work all that well in the living room, either.
At that point, there were two paths I could see that could be taken:
- Park the MWM goodies in the closet until lucky enough to return to one of the Parks
- Figure out how to alter the appearance of the MWM merchandise and find out how to control their output
When I realized that I may only get 10 days/year in the parks and 355 days/year outside the parks, the math clearly tipped the balance in favor of going with option #2. It didn't take too much extra thought to imagine there are many other proud owners of MWM merchandise out there that are in the same boat as me and are looking to do something about it. And so, here we are.
2016 focused on re-imagining the MWM items to make them integrate a bit more smoothly with existing home decor. Those efforts won't be completely abandoned as we go forward. There are quite a few holiday hacks that were done this season that still need to be written up and even more in the back of my mind that need to be tried out. But now it's finally time to focus on how to control your goodies. That requires some review of the controllers that folks have devised for the task and also some discussion of the codes that provide the actual instructions that the devices respond to. We'll get to all that this year.
The plan is to start by creating a gallery of existing controller solutions and then augment those options with some additional possibilities. Different people have very different goals when it comes to defining what a controller should be and needs to do. I'll take a stab at reviewing what's been done and hopefully you'll get an idea of which one(s) might work best for what it is you want to do.
Subscribe to the Twitter feed to get updates
I'll be posting notices to the Twitter feed, @bringmagichome, as new material is added to the site. By subscribing to that feed, you shouldn't miss anything and won't have to waste your time checking the site to see if anything new has been posted. That way you'll have more time to spend hacking away. Let's make the most of the New Year!