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Monday July 28, 2014
Super Villains Attack In Disney Infinity 2.0
Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo Esposito
Disney XD Renews Marvel’s ‘Avengers Assemble,’ ‘Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.’

Super Villains Attack In Disney Infinity 2.0

Kotaku - Because you can't have good without evil, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes makes sure all three of its heroic playsets get an appropriate villain. Enter Loki, Ronan the Accuser and the Green Goblin.

Well then, now we know who goes in the last space in that PlayStation exclusive collector's edition diorama. Actually, pictures of Loki taking his rightful position were all over Comic-Con last weekend, semi-spoiling today's official announcement.


At least Guardians of the Galaxy foe Ronan is a semi-suprise, and what looks to be the Ultimate Spider-Man version of the Green Goblin should confuse Spider-Man purists.

The villains will be waiting for the heroes when all of this toy business releases September 23.


Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo Esposito

Deadline Hollywood - Christopher Walken will voice King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, and Giancarlo Esposito will play Akela, leader of the wolf pack, in Disney‘s Jungle Book. It’s the latest edition to the live-action/animation hybrid pic, which Jon Favreau is directing from a script by Justin Marks. The duo join Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli – the only actor to physically appear on screen. The 3D pic has an October 9, 2015 release date.


Disney XD Renews Marvel’s ‘Avengers Assemble,’ ‘Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.’

Variety - Disney XD has renewed its animated hits “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” and “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” for a second season. 

The shows, which are part of the network’s Marvel Universe programming block, are currently in production on their sophomore season and slated to premiere this fall. “Avengers Assemble” is Disney XD’s top animated series in total viewers and boys 6-14.

While season two of “Avengers Assemble” follows the titular superheros as they face off against the infamous cosmic warlord Thanos, the new season of “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” sets the course for a looming cosmic catastrophe in the Marvel universe.


Sunday July 27, 2014
No News Updates Today

Saturday July 26, 2014
No News Updates Today

Friday July 25, 2014
No News Updates Today

Thursday July 24, 2014
Santa’s Summer Vacation with Disney Cruise Line
Menus for the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Marketplace Kiosks
Disney Infinity 2.0 hits North America on September 23
Be Prepared for ‘Villains Unleashed’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Big Hero 6 Will Premiere At Tokyo Film Festival
Why Disney Sends Its Animators To Life Drawing Classes

Santa’s Summer Vacation with Disney Cruise Line

DisneyParks Blog - Ho, ho, ho! If you’re following @DisneyCruise on Twitter, you probably saw Santa Claus was spotted onboard this summer. What may have surprised you is what he was doing…

But even this jolly man needs time away to recharge! His visit brought a smile to lots of faces, including some of your favorite Disney pals. We managed to capture a little of his fun on video, so sit back and enjoy this exclusive look at Santa’s summer vacation on a Disney cruise…

Even if you missed Santa this summer, you have plenty of chances to hang out with him onboard this winter. Starting in early November, he’s visiting each of our ships for our Very Merrytime Cruises through the end of December. We’ll be sharing more details on these cruises soon, but in the meantime, you can learn about them on our website at this link and on Twitter with #DCLHolidays.


Menus for the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Marketplace Kiosks

Disney News - Disney has released the full menu for the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Marketplace Kiosks.

The festival will run from Sept. 19th to Nov. 10th 2014. Check out the full menus below in Alphabetical Order.


  • Beef tenderloin tips berbere style with okra, jalapeños, tomato and pap
  • South African bobotie with turkey and mushrooms (gluten free)
  • MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc
  • Fairview Pinotage
  • The Wolftrap Red: Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier


  • Garlic shrimp with roasted tomatoes, lemon myrtle and rapini (gluten free)
  • Grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies (gluten free)
  • Pavlova: Crispy meringue shell with fresh berries and vanilla custard
  • Coopers Brewery, Original Pale Ale
  • Chateau Tanuda Grand Barossa Dry Riesling
  • St. Kilda Chardonnay
  • Nine Stones Shiraz


  • Potato and leek waffle with beer-braised beef
  • Belgium waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream
  • Belgium waffle with berry compote and whipped cream
  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Leffe Blonde
  • Stella Artois Cidre
  • Chilled coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Beer flight (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde and Stella Artois Cidre


  • Mocequa de pescado: Regal Springs premium tilapia with coconut lime sauce and steamed rice (gluten free)
  • Crispy pork belly with black beans, tomato and cilantro (gluten free)
  • Pao de queijo: Brazilian cheese bread
  • Cocada: Brazilian coconut candy
  • Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
  • Carnaval Moscato Sparkling White Wine
  • Tannat Reserve
  • Frozen Caipirinha

Brewer's Collection

  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • BraufactuM Colonia
  • BraufactuM Palor
  • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Roog
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • BraufactuM Progusta IPA
  • Beer flight 1 (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Radeberger Pilsner, BraufactuM Colonia, BraufactuM Palor and Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Beer flight 2 (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Altenmünster Oktoberfest, BraufactuM Roog, BraufactuM Darkon and BraufactuM Progusta IPA


  • Canadian cheddar cheese soup
  • Seared rainbow trout with bacon, frisee and maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette (gluten free)
  • “Le Cellier” wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce (gluten free)
  • Moosehead Lager
  • La Face Neige Apple Ice Wine
  • La Face Neige Sparkling
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah


  • Beijing roasted duck in steamed bun with hoisin sauce
  • Mongolian beef in a steamed bun with chili mayo
  • Black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles
  • Chicken potstickers
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Riesling
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Syrah
  • Kung Fu Punch with vodka and triple sec
  • Happy Lychee with tequila and vodka
  • Mango green tea with popping bubbles

Craft Beers

  • Sierra Nevada, Kellerweis – Chico, CA
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Punkin Ale – Milton, DE
  • Shiner Brewery, Wild Hare Pale Ale – Shiner, TX
  • Abita Brewing Company, Purple Haze – Abita Springs, LA
  • Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale – Chicago, IL
  • Florida Beer Company, Sunshine State Pils – Cape Canaveral, FL
  • Magic Hat Brewery, Dream Machine IPL – South Burlington, VT
  • Terrapin Beer Company, Rye Pale Ale – Athens, GA
  • Beer Flight 1 (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Sierra Nevada, Kellerweis; Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Punkin Ale; Shiner Brewery, Wild
  • Hare Pale Ale; and Abita Brewing Company, Purple Haze
  • Beer Flight 2 (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale; Florida Beer Company, Sunshine State Pils; Magic Hat
  • Brewery, Dream Machine IPL; and Terrapin Beer Company, Rye Pale Ale

Desserts and Champagne

  • Dessert Trio: Passion fruit coconut creamsicle, blueberry lime cheesecake roll and chocolate espresso opera cake
  • Guylian Belgian chocolate seashell truffles
  • Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé*
  • Möet & Chandon Nectar Impérial
  • Ruinart Blanc de Blanc
  • Dom Pérignon
  • Frozen S’mores featuring Monin Toasted Marshmallow Syrup

Farm Fresh

  • Nueske’s Pepper Bacon hash with sweet corn, potatoes, hollandaise and pickled jalapeños (gluten free)*
  • Griddled “yard bird” with braised greens (gluten free)
  • Orlando Brewing Company, I-4 IPA – Orlando, FL
  • Ba Ba Black Lager, Uinta Brewing Company – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale, Bold City Brewery – Jacksonville, FL
  • Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale, Cigar City Brewery – Tampa, FL
  • Florida Orange Groves, Key Limen-Key Lime Wine
  • Chateau St. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling
  • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel
  • Beer Flight (4 4-ounce servings): I-4 IPA, Ba Ba Black Lager, Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale and Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale


  • Tartelette aux escargots: Escargot tart with garlic, spinach, bacon and parmesan
  • Gratin de crozet de savoie: Wheat pasta gratin with mushrooms and Gruyere cheese
  • Boeuf bourguignon: Braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes
  • Crème brûlée caramel fleur de sel: Sea salt caramel crème brûlée topped with caramelized sugar
  • Beer Kronenbourg Blanc 1664
  • Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Château Bonnet
  • Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
  • La Passion Martini Slush: vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, cranberry and passion fruit juice


  • Schinkennudeln: Pasta gratin with ham and cheese
  • Roast bratwurst in a pretzel roll
  • Berliner: Yeast doughnut filled with apricot jam
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Kabinett
  • Selbach-Oster Mosel Riesling Spätlese
  • J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Auslese
  • Kallstadter Kobnert Spaetburgunder Spätlese Dry Barrique Style


  • Vegetarian moussaka
  • Griddled Greek cheese with pistachios and honey (gluten free)
  • Chicken gyro with tzatziki Sauce
  • Spanakopita
  • Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
  • Domaine Siglas Assyrtiko/Athiri
  • Alpha Estate Axia Syrah-Xinomavro
  • Tzatziki martini featuring Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka and BOLS Natural Yoghurt Liqueur


  • Kalua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole® Pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise
  • Tuna poke with seaweed salad and lotus root chips
  • Kona Brewing Company, Big Wave Golden Ale
  • Kona Brewing Company, Castaway IPA
  • Maui Splash Sweet Pineapple Wine
  • Aulani Sunrise featuring Sammy's Beach Bar Rum

Hops and Barley

  • Artisan cheese plate featuring Cabot Cloth wrapped cheddar, Purple Haze chèvre goat cheese and Cave Man blue cheese
  • Baked lobster alfredo
  • Florida grass fed beef slider with pimento cheese
  • Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing
  • Samuel Adams Octoberfest
  • New Belgium Brewing Company Snapshot
  • Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat®
  • Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy
  • La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
  • Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, Cambria Estate Winery
  • Beer flight (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Samuel Adams Octoberfest, New Belgium Snapshot, Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat and
  • Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy


  • Lobster and seafood fisherman’s pie
  • Kerrygold cheese selection: Reserve cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout and Skellig
  • Warm chocolate pudding with Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur Custard (gluten free)
  • Guinness DraughtBunratty Meade Honey Wine
  • Chilled Irish Coffee featuring Bunratty Potcheen
  • Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur


  • Ravioli alla caprese: Cheese ravioli, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and basil
  • Filetto di pollo, con funghi al marsala: Chicken tenderloin, cremini mushrooms, marsala sauce and ciabatta bread
  • Cannoli al cioccolato: Chocolate-covered cannoli filled with sweet ricotta, chocolate and candied fruit
  • Moretti Lager Beer
  • Moretti La Rossa Beer
  • Procecco, Bosco del Merlo
  • Pinot Grigio, Placido
  • Chianti Classico, Placido
  • Frozen Primavera with limoncello and tequila


  • Spicy hand roll: Tuna and salmon with Kazan Volcano sauce
  • Teriyaki gyoza bun: Steamed bun filled with chicken, vegetables and sweet teriyaki sauce
  • Chirashizushi: Salmon, shrimp, crab and egg served over seaweed salad and ginger rice
  • Kirin Draft Beer
  • Sake: Kikusui Ginjo
  • Sake Sunrise
  • Sparkling Peach Sake Gell


  • Shrimp taco: Fried shrimp, pickled habanero pepper and onions on a flour tortilla
  • Rib eye taco: Marinated rib eye, roasted chipotle salsa and grilled scallions on a corn tortilla (gluten free)
  • Sweet corn cheese cake
  • Dos Equis Beer
  • Sangria
  • Tequila Flight
  • Mango-strawberry margarita


  • Kefta pocket: Ground seasoned beef in a pita pocket
  • Spicy shrimp roll with cilantro and mint sauce
  • Baklava
  • Casa Beer
  • Guerouane White*Sangria
  • Mimosa Royale: Sparkling wine and orange juice topped with orange liquer

New Zealand

  • Steamed green lip mussels with garlic butter and toasted bread crumbs
  • Venison sausage with pickled mushrooms, baby arugula and black currant reduction (gluten free)
  • Lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney
  • Kim Crawford Pinot Gris
  • Mohua Sauvignon Blanc
  • Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Kim Crawford Pinot Noir


  • Beef empanada
  • Grilled beef skewer with chimichurri sauce and boniato purée (gluten free)
  • Roasted Verlasso salmon with quinoa salad and arugula chimichurri (gluten free)
  • Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut
  • Terrazas Reserva Malbec
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé


  • Kielbasa and potato pierogi with caramelized onions and sour cream
  • Sauerkraut pierogi with pork goulash
  • Okocim Brewery, Okocim O.K. Beer
  • Blaufraenkische Donausonne, Hungarian Wine
  • Frozen Szarlotka (apple pie) featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

Puerto Rico

  • Ensalada de carrucho: Caribbean conch salad with onion, tomato and cilantro (gluten free)
  • Carne guisada con arroz blanco: Slow-braised beef with Puerto Rican-grown rice (gluten free)
  • Friturias: Sorullitos (sweet polenta fries) and bolitas de queso (cheese fritter with mayo ketchup)
  • FlanCocho: Vanilla caramel custard with chocolate coffee cake
  • Gasolina Sangriiia
  • Medalla Light Beer
  • Frozen San Juan Breeze
  • Frozen San Juan Breeze with Don Q Limón Floater
  • Chilled Club Caribe Mango Rum (neat)


  • Vegetarian haggis with neeps and tatties: Griddled vegetable cake with rutabaga and mashed potatoes
  • Fresh potato pancake with smoked Scottish salmon and herb sour cream (gluten free)
  • Seared sea scallop with spinach-cheddar gratin and crispy bacon (gluten free)
  • Crannachan: A traditional Scottish dessert trifle
  • Innis & Gunn® Original
  • Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich® 12 year
  • Glenfiddich Scotch Selection (12, 15 and 18 year)


  • Lemongrass chicken curry with coconut and jasmine rice (gluten free)
  • Seared mahi mahi with jasmine rice and “Singa” sauce
  • Tiger Beer
  • Marqués de Caceres Satinela
  • Singapore Sling featuring Hendrick’s Gin and Cherry Herring

South Korea

  • Kimchi dog with spicy mustard sauce
  • Roasted pork lettuce wrap with kimchi slaw
  • Bokbunjajoo: Bohae black raspberry wine
  • iCing Grapefruit Sparkling Rice Brew
  • Soju Fruit Slushy featuring Jinro Chamisul Soju


  • Blackened Chick’n Breast, farro wheat and spicy gumbo sauce featuring Gardein™ Chick'n Breast
  • CraB’less CraB Cake with pepper slaw and Cajun remoulade featuring Gardein™
  • Chocolate-blood orange cupcake with tofu icing
  • Red Bridge Ale
  • The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
  • Paperboy Red
  • Fresh Watermelon Juice


Disney Infinity 2.0 hits North America on September 23

Joystiq - The Marvel-stuffed Disney Infinity 2.0 is officially hitting North America's store shelves on September 23, a date that's been rumored for a while. We've confirmed with Disney the release date applies to the PS4, Xbox One. Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the sequel.

Disney also confirmed the pre-order program GameStop's been advertising, which bundles in an extra $14-value Disney Infinity 2.0 figure, is available at "top retailers nationwide." We reached out to Disney to find out the figures are available in the promo - UK retailer GAME says players can choose between Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Iron Fist.

As detailed on Disney's store, the $75 starter packs come with three Marvel figures, namely Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow. Also included is the game (kinda important), the base that portals figures and other things into the game (also important), two Toy Box game discs, a Marvel's The Avengers Play Set piece, and a web code to unlock extra content.


Be Prepared for ‘Villains Unleashed’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

DisneyParks Blog - We’re just one month out from August 23, the night a record number of Disney villains – more than 50 in all – will invade Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the park’s new, separately ticketed event, “Villains Unleashed.” While some of the surprises being planned for this one-night-only party remain hidden under a cloak of mystery, other tantalizing details are beginning to emerge, and it’s shaping up to be one fiendishly fun evening!

  • Hades Hangout - The party kicks off at 8 p.m. at the main event stage, where hosts Hades, Megara, Pain and Panic are killing ‘em with comedy. They’re joined throughout the night by the Underworld Dancers, DJ Igg Nite, live music from Bernie Briquette and Brimstone, and a rogues gallery of roaming rottens, from the Queen of Hearts and Sheriff of Nottingham to the Big Bad Wolf and Captain Hook.


  • Villains Dominion – For this one special night, the Streets of America area of the park will be swarming with baddies. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to meet favorites like Cruella De Vil, Jafar, Dr. Facilier and Gaston, along with more rarely seen baddies such as Shan Yu from “Mulan,” Bowler Hat Guy from “Meet the Robinsons,” or Captain Gantu and Dr. Hämsterviel from “Lilo & Stitch: The Series.” In addition to these dedicated villain encounters, you may spot even more wandering evildoers in the area. Look for Judge Claude Frollo, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, and more!


  • The Dark Side – During “Villains Unleashed,” the area around Star Tours – The Adventures Continue becomes a wretched hive of scum and villainy, the place to find nefarious bounty hunter Boba Fett, Sith apprentice Darth Maul, and the ultimate villain – Darth Vader! And that’s not all! Wandering the area, you’ll stumble upon more malcontents from that galaxy far, far away: Zam Wessel, Aurra Sing, Asajj Ventress, Jango Fett, Greedo, Jawas, and others.


  • Villainous Encounters – Visit Stage 4 (where The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction is seen during the day), and you can “Parlay” with the one and only Hector Barbossa. And just around the corner in the Animation Courtyard is where you’ll discover a bit of the Moors, where you can have an audience with the mistress of all evil, Maleficent!


  • Oogie Boogie’s Freaky Funhouse Show – Over on Sunset Boulevard, Theater of the Stars presents a production of extreme performances, hosted by the original master of scare-monies, Oogie Boogie. It’s an all-new show that’s sure to thrill!


  • Fantasmic! – Strolling up Sunset Boulevard, a gang of villainous henchmen, known as the Night Crawlers, tempt you to join them for a special pre-show to the evening’s performance of Fantasmic!, itself a celebration of the power and intrigue of some of the greatest Disney villains.


  • “Villainy in the Sky” Fireworks – Ultimately, Hades summons Maleficent to the main event stage to close things out with a devilishly dazzling display of pyrotechnics!

And there’s more! You can get a Villains ExScream Makeover with complimentary face painting at stations around Echo Lake, join in on one of the dance parties taking place in the park, and enjoy a wicked cabaret atmosphere – not to mention some delectable, small-plate menu items – at Club Evil in the Hollywood Brown Derby.

For fans of Disney’s darker characters, “Villains Unleashed” promises to be a nightmare come true! It’s all happening one night only, August 23, 2014, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You won’t want to miss it, so get your tickets now, before they all disappear!


Big Hero 6 Will Premiere At Tokyo Film Festival

Yahoo Movies - Disney have announced that their upcoming Marvel adaptation 'Big Hero 6' will have its world premiere at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival.

Don Hall and Chris Williams' animated extravaganza will open up the event, and the directorial duo have also discussed how proud they are to be doing so.

"We are thrilled to premiere 'Big Hero 6' at the Tokyo International Film Festival. It is truly an honour to be selected as the opening film," a statement from the pair read.

They then explained why they feel that this is the perfect location for 'Big Hero 6's' first screening, and it's down to the fictionalised city where the film is set: "The setting of our film, San Fransokyo, is a fictional futuristic mash-up of two of our favourite cities in the world - San Francisco and Tokyo - and the research we did in Tokyo informs every detail of the film."

Disney have actually had quite a stellar year in Japan. Not only will it be the first country to see their impending adaptation of the cult comic, but 'Frozen' and 'Maleficent' have both proven to be hugely popular in the country too.

'Big Hero 6' won't actually make it to cinemas in the United Kingdom until January 2015 though.


Why Disney Sends Its Animators To Life Drawing Classes

Co-Creator - Since 1932, Disney has been the only entertainment studio to continue an unbroken tradition of offering free life drawing classes for its artists within its studios. The idea is that understanding and capturing the anatomy and sense of motion from a live model improves animated drawings and gestures.

In the ensuing decades--while other animation and visual effects studios in the U.S. and Europe intermittently followed suit, pending budgets--Disney’s classes have not only continued unabated, but expanded beyond features to its TV animation, theme park, consumer products, and straight-to-DVD divisions.

Continuing that tradition today are master teachers Karl Gnass, Mark MacDonnell, and Bob Kato. Collectively, they teach daily life drawing of both nude and costumed models to help animators better understand the fundamentals of the human form, how clothing and gesture inform character and intent, and how to infuse spirit and intent into their figures.

However, increased reliance on computer modeling and algorithmic rendering, along with the explosion of web-accessible photo references, stand to undermine that “study the source” attitude. These teachers, along with Disney visual development artist Dan Cooper, have teamed--at WonderCon in May, and next at San Diego Comic-Con on July 27 (in panels moderated by yours truly)--to drive home the importance of ongoing classical drawing among aspiring and professional animators.

“You can draw animation and gesture without life drawing, but life drawing skills give you proportion, structure, perspective, and a certain vitality through rhythmic gestures,” says Gnass, a former Disney TV storyboard artist who has taught at Disney since 1995, as well as DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Nickelodeon, among others. “You can’t achieve dynamics without bones and structure, and in order to have structure you need to study it. From there one can extend out in any direction towards any style.”

Cooper, who’s worked on Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, and the upcoming Zootopia, has studied with Gnass for nearly two decades. “Many young artists are looking for an easier way out and study styles of existing animators, as opposed developing their own,” he says. “Doing something that involves the figure, you want to have it based on a little reality as opposed to a stylization or distortion of someone else’s truth. That’s like getting information secondhand. You need to do the same thing they did, which is to work from live models and find your style.”

How They Teach

Unlike traditional three- and six-hour public classes, which they do teach--Gnass and McDonnell at the Animation Guild in Burbank, McDonnell at the California Art Institute in Pasadena, and Kato at The Drawing Club in Glendale and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena--Disney sessions run up to 2.5 hours with 5 to 10 minute model poses, enabling artists to drop in during limited breaks to work on their own projects, flesh out characters for current and upcoming Disney projects, and practice or get help with figures.

“It’s kind of like being an athletic trainer for a pro team. They have the ability; I have to keep track of their ultimate fitness,” says Kato, a former editorial illustrator who has taught at Disney since the mid-'90s. “Sometimes people are trying to figure out something, sometimes it’s what they want to do, not what they’re being paid to do. All day, they’re seeing the director’s vision come to life. Now, they take an hour during the week to do whatever they want--practice gestures or movement or test new ideas. Some guys are in the blue-sky phase--working on the concept level of a still developing film. They’ll come up with ideas in the workshop and bring them into a meeting.”

“I try to teach fundamental ideas that help people understand the whole enterprise of drawing better in a more inclusive way--not learn my way, but learn,” says Gnass. “I have to approach each person at their specific level, otherwise I’d be railroading them with the teaching. Animators feel like these classes stimulate their creativity, because of what it takes to refine those skills. They’re creating more neurological pathways for better imagination.”

Cooper leverages those skills to other aspects of his art. “Drawing from life keeps me loose, fresh, and accurate. I find that when I’m not doing it, I draw more stiffly and tend to compartmentalize,” he says. “My work for Disney is more environment-based. But it still involves construction, rhythm, shape design, and how shapes are related to one another. It’s the same, whether you’re designing an environment or piece of a body."

McDonnell has taught costumed character and gesture drawing at Disney for the past six years. “Lots of times, I’ll tweak it to the production going on. If I know what costume is being worn by a certain character, I’ll talk about the history behind the costume,” he says. “The symbols and shapes can be just as important as the design of the pose. The idea is to convey something about the culture and character without the narration.” If the projects are varied, “I’ll sit with them, one by one, and talk about what their want to improve or figure out. A lot want to do graphic novels to turn into a movie or TV show. I’m training them using the model, but then they go home and work on their own projects using the principles I’m talking about.”

Grounding a figure in reality makes for a more believable caricature or exaggeration. But what might be an obvious concept today wasn’t regarded in animation’s infancy. “All you have to do is look at the 1930s cartoons and early stages of animation, with their rubber hoselike legs, as examples of not having life drawing,” says Gnass. “While they’re very kinetic, if the artists were going to get more serious about it, they had to start learning skills.”

How the tradition began

The Disney life-drawing classes began in 1932 with an artist named Art Babbitt, who developed Goofy, the Queen in Snow White, Pinocchio’s Geppetto, and the dancing mushrooms in Fantasia, before leading a movement to make Disney a union shop. Babbitt, who often studied live action footage to better illustrate motion in his animated characters, began hosting uninstructed life drawing sessions with nude models at his home. Word of mouth spread until Disney got wind.

“When Disney found out, he brought it to the studio. He didn’t want it to get out that there were naked ladies at his house,” laughs Babbitt’s widow, Barbara, who demurely offers her age as “flirting with 90.”

Over time, Disney hired Don Graham, who taught at an art school that became the California Art Institute as its first master teacher of the Disney animators. The classes multiplied and included trips to the zoo.

Graham, who passed away in 1976, is credited with inspiring the craft of the Disney animators, like the fabled Nine Old Men, during animation’s golden age during the early 1930s to the early 1940s in ways never thought possible,” says Jake Friedman an art and animation professor at Mercy College in New York and former Nickelodeon and Disney Channel animator, who is writing a book about Art Babbitt. “Walt credited their in-studio art sessions as the secret ingredient to strengthening their art skills.”

Creating more believable characters

What live models bring to the table that photo reference doesn't, is an energy and life force that artists access in order to elevate a drawing that’s technically accurate to one that seems to interact with the viewer.

“Character comes from within, not just point of view and intent, but through the physicality and exploring what the characters are feeling,” says Gnass, who has also worked on character breakdowns and expressions for Stuart Little and Harry Potter. “It’s easy to rely on motion-capture and images synthesized from external moving points in a computer. But copying the outside image is not creating from the inside out. Life drawing connects you to the real physics of movement, instead of fantasy physics, so you have something tangible and reliable as your source material.”

That underlying intent especially comes into play in commercial animation. “With Disney, design really matters,” says McDonnell. “It’s very character specific, because you’re selling that character in merchandise, which has to immediately project a look or brand. Animation requires poses that convey at a distance, so the soul of the character needs to come from the interior.

“You study anatomy structure and muscle tissue to understand how the machine works, but then filter it through a storytelling form by exaggerating the poses and projecting intent,” he adds. “That’s what visual entertainment is really--heightened reality.”

The deception of computers

The increasing reliance on computers and digital modeling tools in animation can insidiously deteriorate such skills if artists aren’t careful, because the technology encourages more of a surface rendering than getting at the soul of a character.

“3-D art often suffers from a lack of those skills by the practitioners,” says Gnass. “They’ve become accustomed to manipulating a virtual reality puppet without the skills of a puppeteer, attention to natural movement. I’m finding that many of these digital artists attend my classes to see if they can get at some of the secrets behind the sense of movement and authenticity through studying the human structure.”

Digital artists have to remember that the creative process is more than just mastering the technical elements of software manipulation. “Understanding when a figure is correct also helps you understand why a drawing isn’t working,” says Kato. “You don’t draw to become an animator, you draw to become an artist, and see the world and its stories through that lens.”

Approaching all types of animation as an artist, rather than a master of technical requirements offers a versatility. “I see a lot of people who might be really good at a specific job, but when they have to move to a different production and change styles, they have trouble,” says McDonnell. “No matter what the end product is--TV, features, video games, storyboards, visual development, or digital animation--the ideas and thoughts behind it are the same.”

Check out the slide show for samples of everyone's artwork and their recent WonderCon panel:



Wednesday July 23, 2014
New Renderings Offer A Glimpse at the Future Access to Disney Springs
Guardians of the Galaxy Coming to Disney Infinity
Disney Dates ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean 5′ For July 2017
My Disney Experience App Updated
Japan Box Office: Disney Continues Record Run With 'Maleficent'
Walt Disney Biopic to Air on on PBS
Steve Carell to Star in Disney's 'Brooklyn Family Robinson'

New Renderings Offer A Glimpse at the Future Access to Disney Springs

DisneyParks Blog - If you’ve visited Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort lately, you’ve most likely noticed the many changes underway as the area transforms into Disney Springs – it’s the largest expansion in Downtown Disney history and, when completed, will double the area’s number of dining and retail options. Through this expansion, guests can continue to enjoy more than 70 themed and immersive shopping, dining and entertainment venues day and night. One of my personal favorites is the new Marketplace Co-Op, which has unique Disney boutique shops and has been featured several times here.

The surrounding roadways and parking areas at Downtown Disney are growing too and will eventually offer easier access to the area. Today we have two new renderings to share with you that showcase the work that is already underway, which includes widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to 10 lanes and constructing two multilevel garages (the first of which, pictured above, is set to open by late 2014 to offer 4,000 parking spaces). Two pedestrian bridges are also planned that will help lead guests into Disney Springs near the current Marketplace side, while the other will offer access in through the West Side.

As you can see above, the changes will also include a new I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.

All of this work is part of the area’s transformation into Disney Springs, which will continue into 2016. The first phase of the expansion, an area called The Landing, will open in 2015 to offer lakefront shopping and dining. In the meantime, if you are planning to visit Downtown Disney for activities with set times, such as Cirque du Soleil performances, concerts or movies, early arrival is suggested.


Guardians of the Galaxy Coming to Disney Infinity

IGN - The Play Set will contain five playable characters: Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord), Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Drax, and Groot. It will also support two crossover characters (new to Disney Infinity: Marvel Superheroes): Iron Man (from The Avengers Play Set) and Nova (from The Spider-Man Play Set). These characters can easily be unlocked by collecting 10 tokens during the campaign. Each crossover characters has their own unique missions. You can check out all the character models below:

Drawing on the movie but also taking many cues from the recent comic series, the Play Set is all based around Knowhere – a giant head belonging to an ancient celestial creature floating in space. In fact, it all takes place in the eye socket, such is the scale of the place.

In terms of story, the Guardians themselves have just stolen a powerful cosmic artefact belonging to Ronan The Accuser, who is now in pursuit. It's up to the team of outlaws and 'losers' to defeat Ronan, fend off his Sakaaran fleet, and protect Knowhere during the course of the campaign. Although the characters definitely resemble their onscreen counterparts, it's not a direct adaptation of what happens in the movie.

Expect many characters from the series to crop up during the course of the set. Yondu and The Collector – both of whom appear in the film – crop up as mission givers, as does Cosmo, the irradiated Russian space dog with the ability to talk.


Of course, all characters carry over into Toy Box mode, where they can interact with all previously-released Disney Infinity characters. New

  • Space Armor – unlock Gamora's space armour for added protection against enemies
  • Marvel Team-Up: Yondu – fight alongside Star-Lord's mentor, who has the ability to shoot arrows
  • Groot's Roots – theme your Toy Box with, err, Groot's Roots
  • Groot's View and The Rip – change the Toy Box's sky in dramatic ways
  • Star-Lord's Galaxy – transform your Toy Box into Knowhere, Star-Lord's base out in the Galaxy

The Guardians will also figure into one of Toy Box's new structured games called Attack on Asgard, in which Loki opens a series of portals that allow an army of Frost Giants to invade Odin's Palace.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Play Set will be available this autumn, with additional characters set to be announced in the months ahead.


Disney Dates ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean 5′ For July 2017

Deadline Hollywood - Disney has slotted Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 for July 7, 2017. Right now the pic has the date to itself but will have some competition from Fantastic Four 2, which bows on July 14 that year, and Despicable Me 3, which opens June 30. Disney initially was eyeing summer 2016 to release the latest installment of the franchise, being directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, but the decision was made that it wasn’t worth rushing until the script was right. Jeff Nathanson is the scribe. The first four Pirates films grossed $3.7 billion, and the last one, On Stranger Tides, crossed the $1 billion mark.


My Disney Experience App Updated

Disney News - The iOS edition of My Disney Experience has just been updated to version 2.2 and is now available via the Apple App Store. The update is available for both iPhone, iPod and iPad.

Improvements include:

  • Significantly improved the app's launch time and overall performance
  • Included refresh capabilities to auto-update restaurants, shows, attractions and FastPass+ experiences
  • Fixed bugs affecting Character Dining search results
  • Corrected the camera orientation and font sizes for iPad
  • Enabled scrolling on the FastPass+ landing screen for devices with 3.5" display


Japan Box Office: Disney Continues Record Run With 'Maleficent'

THR - Disney spent its19th straight week atop the Japanese box office, with Maleficent holding on to first place ahead of the latest Pokemon movie after a three-day weekend with a crowded release schedule. When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie), the latest Studio Ghibli production, opened in a disappointing third despite being released at the start of school summer vacations, news that does not bode well for the anime powerhouse post- Hayao Miyazaki.

Maleficent took another $4.7 million (¥480 million) on Saturday and Sunday, with another $2.4 million on Monday raising its total in Japan to $32 million (¥3.28 billion) after three weekends in theaters. The combined 19 weeks for Frozen and Maleficent is a record for Disney. Historical data is not available for Titanic's run that began in December 1997 for Twentieth Century Fox, following its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Titanic grossed ¥26.2 billion in Japan, $258 million at today's exchange rates, second only to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, with ¥30.4 billion ($300 million). 

Disney stable-mate Frozen, which Maleficent unseated from the top of the rankings, dropped to eighth spot from fourth, but remains in theaters despite its record-breaking home entertainment release on July 16. Frozen added another $1.5 million over the long weekend to take its box office total to $248 million (¥25.1 billion) after 19 weeks of release.

Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, is the 17th theatrical release from the franchise, and pulled in $3.88 million (¥393 million) from 357 screens on Saturday and Sunday. Pokemon actually beat Maleficent in admissions 360,000 to 350,000, leading local rankings to place it top, but lost on takings due to the lower number of more expensive adult tickets sold.

When Marnie Was There, written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, took $3.74 million (¥379 million) in third place from 461 screens, close behind the Pocket Monsters. It was the first project announced by Studio Ghibli since co-founder Miyazaki confirmed his retirement last year, and will inevitably raise questions about the ongoing success of the studio without its Oscar-winning maestro.

The latest installment of the Masked Rider (Kamen Rider), a live-action kids' hero franchise, bowed in fourth with $1.67 million (¥170 million) from 309 screens. Tom Cruise-starrer Edge of Tomorrow, released in Japan as All You Need is Kill – the title of the Japanese novel it's based on - fell to fifth on its third weekend in cinemas.

Planes: Fire & Rescue, another Disney release in what is becoming a bumper year for the studio in Japan, opened on 313 screens with $762,000 (¥77 million).


Walt Disney Biopic to Air on on PBS

Variety - PBS and American Experience are taking a look at the man behind the mouse and will air “Walt Disney,” a four-hour, two-night film that aims to explore the life and legacy of the iconic film producer and business magnate.

The film is spearheaded by biopic veterans director-producer Sarah Colt (“RFK,” “Henry Ford”) and writer Mark Zwonitzer (“JFK,” “Triangle Fire”) and promises to showcase archival footage and interviews with artists who worked with him on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and Imagineers who helped design Disneyland.

“For many Americans — and for me — the twinkle and swish of the Sunday night Disney logo was pure magic. It was an invitation to a special event,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming officer and general manager, general audience programming for PBS. “For my kids, introducing them to animated Disney movies from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to ‘The Lion King’ brought us great joy and taught them life lessons. Now viewers of all ages can learn about the life and legacy of the man behind the magic and his continuing impact on our lives and culture.”

“Walt Disney is an entrepreneurial and cultural icon,” said American Experience executive producer Mark Samels. “No single figure shaped American culture in the 20th century more than he.”

The TV movie will air in fall 2015 on PBS.


Steve Carell to Star in Disney's 'Brooklyn Family Robinson'

THR - Disney is going on a trip with Brooklyn Family Robinson.

The studio has picked up the family adventure comedy with heart as a starring vehicle for Steve Carell.

Carell will produce the project with his partners at Carousel Productions, Charlie Hartsock and Vance DeGeneres. The trio are partnering with Disney-based David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films.

David Reynolds, who was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing Pixar's 2003 classic Finding Nemo, is penning the script. The project is based on an original idea by Reynolds, Hartsock and Degeneres.

Plot details are vague in order to protect the project's secrets, but it is known that Brooklyn Family Robinson centers on the patriarch of a family, to be played by Carell, who relocates his family from city life to island life.  

Kristin Burr is overseeing for the studio.

Reynolds, who also worked on animated fare such as Atlantis: The Lost Empire and The Emperor's New Groove, is repped by Gersh and Ziffren Brittenham.

Hoberman and Lieberman just set up the untitled Tupperware movie at Sony, which has Sandra Bullock attached as 1950s marketing exec Brownie Wise. The last produced Muppets Most Wanted for Disney.

Brooklyn Family Robinson reteams Carell with Disney, as he stars in the studio's family movie Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, which is due to open Oct. 10.  His drama Foxcatcher, meanwhile, will have its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Carousel just set up the comedy International Incident at Summit with Ken Jeong attached to star.

Carell and the company are repped by WME and Steve Sauer at Media 4.


Tuesday July 22, 2014
20 Facts For The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s 20th Anniversary
Merchandise Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World Resort
Ming-Na Wen is Back at Mulan — This Time on Sofia the First

20 Facts For The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s 20th Anniversary

DisneyParks Blog - Today we’re celebrating a special milestone – it’s the 20th anniversary of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!

In honor of today’s milestone, here are 20 fun facts about the attraction.

  1. Our Walt Disney Imagineers viewed 156 episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for inspiration when creating The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.


  2. The ride vehicle is an elevator car.


  3. The storyline of the attraction sets the date as Halloween night – October 31, 1939.

  1. The architecture of the tower was inspired by multiple Southern California landmarks, such as the Biltmore Hotel and the Mission Inn.


  2. The building features 27,000 roof tiles.


  3. The outdoor queue area features the songs “Inside” by Fats Waller and “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington.

  1. The grounds of the Hollywood Tower Hotel were inspired by the look of California’s Griffith Park and Elysian Park.

  1. The lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel was outfitted with antiques and furniture purchased at Los Angeles-area auction houses.

  1. Some of the sculptures featured in the lobby are the work of 19th century sculptor Auguste Moreau.


  2. A copy of “Four Pages of Hilarious Star Caricatures by Walt Disney” is featured in Photoplay Magazine on the lobby’s concierge desk.

  1. The Library room features a hidden nod to Mickey Mouse in this sheet music, which is for the song “What! No Mickey Mouse?”


  2. The clip of film in which Rod Serling introduces the attraction was taken from a “Twilight Zone” episode called “It’s a Good Life.”


  3. While actor Rod Serling appears in the film in the Library room, the voice you hear is actually voice actor Mark Silverman.


  4. The young girl who disappears in the elevator carries a Mickey Mouse doll.


  5. The attraction’s “Fifth Dimension” scene was inspired in part by the “Little Girl Lost” episode of “The Twilight Zone.”


  6. The attraction offers a 13-story drop.


  7. The drop sequence for each elevator car is selected at random by the attraction’s computer system.


  8. Measuring 199 feet tall, Tower of Terror is one of the tallest attractions at Walt Disney World Resort.

  1. There are now four Tower of Terror attractions at Disney Parks: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World Resort), Disney California Adventure park (Disneyland Resort), Walt Disney Studios Park (Paris), and Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo – pictured above) each have their own version.


  2. The attraction will take center stage during runDisney’s Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend this fall, which will feature a The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler, a 5K fun and kids races.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.


Merchandise Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World Resort

DisneyParks Blog - On July 22, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror celebrates 20 years at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This attraction has quickly become my son’s favorite thing to do in all of Walt Disney World. We’ve watched nearly every episode of the television show together, and love finding the little nods to the series hidden throughout the attraction every time we “drop in.” To commemorate this year’s anniversary, we are releasing a T-shirt on our Disney Parks online store from July 22-27, 2014.

The shirt will be printed on a Hanes Beefy tee and will be available for both adults and youth. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery (no express shipping is available). You can place an order for the shirt starting July 22 at

I have, however, some even more exciting news to share for this anniversary. David Soliman, Franchise and Brand assistant for Disney Theme Park Merchandise, gave me a first look at a new art program called “Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic.” David said that the recent Haunted Mansion art program served as its inspiration.

“In early 2015, new merchandise will be coming to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attractions in both Florida and California,” explained David. “We loved what was done with the ‘Haunted Mansion Authentic’ art program, and thought we could apply similar merchandise design philosophies to another classic Disney attraction. The Disney Design Group team did an amazing job creating the artwork which will be used on a variety of apparel items, souvenirs, home goods and more.”

Graphic designer Tyler Dumas from Disney Design Group was one of the lead artists on this program which was started about a year ago. When creating the art, the Disney artists imagined what kind of merchandise the Hollywood Tower Hotel would have produced during its heyday. The results left me speechless!

There were a few artists who contributed designs including Randy Noble, Richard Terpstra, Caley Hicks and Fabiola Garza Villalobos. My favorite design (shown above) is from Casey Jones and features a nod to the first episode I ever showed my son.

In the coming months, I will share some additional looks at the actual merchandise that Guests will find at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort beginning next year.

The Twilight Zone® is a registered trademark of CBS, Inc. and used with permission pursuant to a license with CBS, Inc.


Ming-Na Wen is Back at Mulan — This Time on Sofia the First

Yahoo TV - Years before she was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ming-Na Wen voiced the title role in the 1998 Disney hit Mulan. Now she's bringing back the beloved character in Disney Channel's Sofia the First and TV Guide Magazine has the exclusive first look. The episode, airing Aug. 15, finds the feisty Chinese heroine giving strategic advice to little Sofia whose stepdad, the king, is trapped in a jaguar's den. We spoke with Wen about how it feels to be a part of Disney Princess history — even though the Mouse House had to fudge a bit!

TV Guide Magazine: Sofia the First has had several guest appearances by Disney princesses, including Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty's Aurora, who show up to help when Sofia is in a jam. Were you wondering if they'd ever get around to Mulan?

Wen: I was really hoping they'd bring her on some day and so thrilled they did! Mulan holds a very special place in my heart. It's been 16 years since the film, but hordes of fans still come up and tell me how much she means to them. And I love how Sofia the First is bringing back so many great characters. It's fantastic that Disney has taken these fragile princesses from decades ago and evolved them into really strong role models and mentors. And Sofia is a huge hit so the message is getting through to millions of little kids: Princesses can kick butt!

TV Guide Magazine: Though, technically, Mulan isn't royalty. Her father was a great military hero, right?

Wen: She does sit on the fence but Disney always considers her a princess in an honorary way. I'm so glad they cheated a little and let me in the club!

TV Guide Magazine: She was also the first princess at Disney to be based on legend, rather than a fairytale.

Wen: And I was apprehensive about that at first. Mulan is so important in Chinese folklore — a fearless girl who cared about her family and country so much that she was willing to join the fight and sacrifice herself. That's quite a statement. I was concerned about how the studio would Disney-fy her. Would she retain her cultural significance?

TV Guide Magazine: Especially with a little wisecracking dragon played by Eddie Murphy?

Wen: Right. But I needn't have worried. A great story transcends time and adaptation, and I was so happy with everything. Men love Mulan, women love her, so do kids, of course, and grandparents. She crosses all generations with her bravery and her humor. In fact, Disney took a legendary figure known pretty much only in Asia and made her international.

TV Guide Magazine: Any regrets that you had to share the role with Lea Salonga? You did the dialogue, she did the songs.

Wen: Gosh, no. [Laughs] I know my limits! Lea and I are friends and she has the superior voice — by far. It's like on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I do about 80 percent of my Agent May stunts but for the rest I'm totally fine with my stunt double taking over. I'm, like, "You handle this one. I'll just sit over here in the corner and watch!" Fans have actually suggested that Melinda May could be a descendant of Mulan.

TV Guide Magazine: Hey, Disney owns both properties. Why not?

Wen: Wouldn't that be fantastic?

TV Guide Magazine: Your daughter, Michaela Zee, is a regular on Sofia. Are you starting your own acting dynasty?

Wen: She's been doing the voice of Princess Jun for two years now, so I'm kind of riding on her coattails. Michaela also did the voice of Ginger, the Fireside Girl, on Phineas and Ferb, and I got to play her mother on that show. [Laughs] My child gets me work!


Monday July 21, 2014
Disney Parks Salutes U.S. Military with Special Ticket, Room Rates
J.J. Abrams Reveals X-Wing in New Star Wars: Force for Change Video
Teens molested at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, according to deputies
Disney Sets Mystery Marvel Movie Dates For 2017, 2018, 2019
Announcing the New Disney Castaway Cay Challenge
Disney and Kohl’s Get D-Signed in Time for Back to School

Disney Parks Salutes U.S. Military with Special Ticket, Room Rates

DisneyParks Blog - Today, we’re announcing new special pricing on theme park tickets and accommodations for active duty U.S. military personnel at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Here’s a look at the details:

At Walt Disney World Resort – from August 25, 2014, through September 30, 2015, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $177 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $177 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $207 each, plus tax.

Walt Disney World Resort tickets may be used September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except that the tickets may not be used December 22, 2014 – January 2, 2015 and March 29 – April 9, 2015.

For information on Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to Walt Disney World Resort, or to make room reservations at Walt Disney World Resort, military personnel may call 407-939-7830 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.

At the Disneyland Resort – from August 25, 2014, through October 1, 2015, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

  • Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $132 each

Disneyland tickets may be used September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except that the tickets may not be used December 25, 2014 – January 4, 2015 and March 29 – April 9, 2015.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by October 3, 2015.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also take advantage of specially priced rooms at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels.* This offer is valid for stays most nights from September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except for:

  • November 27 – November 29, 2014
  • December 24 – December 31, 2014
  • March 30 – April 4, 2015

For information regarding Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort, or to make room reservations at the Disneyland Resort, military personnel may call 714-520-7088 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices. Information is also available at

Here are some other details you should know about:

  • Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets ONLY by Eligible Service Members (defined below) or their spouses (but not both), for use by themselves and other family members and friends, as provided herein. These Tickets may not be otherwise transferred, distributed or resold.
  • “Eligible Service Members” are active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • The actual prices charged at the individual U.S. military base ticket offices for Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be less than the prices set forth above.
  • Participating military sales outlets must require that Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) present valid military identification to purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets.
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort are not valid until activated by the Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) at Walt Disney World theme park ticket windows. Tickets and options expire and may not be used after October 3, 2015. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.
  • Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort expire and may not be used after October 3, 2015. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.
  • No more than six (6) Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased and (if applicable) activated by any Eligible Service Member or spouse (regardless of the place of purchase and whether purchased by that person or that person’s spouse). In addition, one of the six (6) Tickets purchased must be used by the Eligible Service Member or his/her spouse.
  • Each Disney Military Promotional Ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply. Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in, and military member (or spouse) must stay in the room. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Additional per-adult charges apply at the Walt Disney World Resort if there are more than two adults per room. Other restrictions apply.


J.J. Abrams Reveals X-Wing in New Star Wars: Force for Change Video 

ComingSoon - On the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, director J.J. Abrams was interrupted by an X-Wing pilot and rogue robot as he announced the chance for fans to win an advance private screening of Star Wars: Episode VII.

"We are so grateful for the support that the fans from over 119 countries have shown for Force for Change," said Abrams. "As we close this final week, we've added an additional prize that allows the fans the opportunity to see the movie early as a thank you for supporting such a great cause as UNICEF's innovative, lifesaving work for children." By contributing at any level by July 25th, participants will be eligible for all prizes including a chance to be in the movie.

"Star Wars: Force for Change" impressively raised over one million dollars within the first 24 hours of its launch - a record for Omaze, the fundraising platform. So far contributors from 119 countries around the world have backed "Force for Change," in support of the United Nations Children's Fund�s (UNICEF) Innovation Labs and programs. UNICEF's network of 14 Innovation Labs help create sustainable solutions to critical issues facing children around the world in the areas of nutrition, water, health, and education. The funds raised through "Star Wars: Force for Change" will impact the lives of children around the world, through projects like MobiStation, a portable, solar-powered educational kit to ensure children have access to quality learning anywhere, and Rapid FTR (Family Tracing and Reunification), a mobile phone application that helps reunite separated and unaccompanied children with their families in natural disasters. Fans can continue to pledge support and enter for a chance win until 11:59pm on July 25.

The "Star Wars: Force for Change" Grand Prize includes:
� Airfare and accommodations to London for one winner and a guest
� Behind-the-scenes access on the closed set of Star Wars: Episode VII as VIP guests of J.J. Abrams
� Winner will have the opportunity to meet members of the cast
� Winner and their guest will then be transformed by makeup and costume teams into a Star Wars character and filmed for a scene in Star Wars: Episode VII

Disney committed US $1 million to support the launch of "Star Wars: Force for Change." Star Wars continues to inspire generations of dreamers and doers to use their creativity to accomplish great things. Star Wars and Lucasfilm were built on the belief that in uniting creativity with innovation, you can make the impossible possible.

Visit to learn more about this new charitable initiative and the work of UNICEF's Innovation Labs and programs, and be sure to enter through contribution or free entry for your chance to win at May the Force be with you!



Teens molested at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, according to deputies

Orlando Sentinel - A man swimming at Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon was charged Sunday with molesting four teenage girls at the water park, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The first of the children notified Disney employees of being fondled by a man as they and others played in the wave pool, records state.

One of the girls said she was "doggie paddling" when the man later identified as Perry Stiles stood close to her and rubbed her leg. The girls said they noticed him doing the same to two other girls in the water and reported what happened to a deputy working off-duty security, records state.

The deputy then saw Stiles, 54, in an argument with an unidentified person and the other two girls, records state.

Little could be learned about Stiles, who claimed to be living in Kissimmee at 5300 W. U.S. Highway 192 which turned out to be a CVS pharmacy. A telephone number he provided turned out to be a Philadelphia area code where a young man answered the phone and said he did not know Stiles.

His arrest on charges of battery and lewd and lascivious molestation of victims under 18 years old was the first time Stiles had been arrested in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Stiles remains held without bail in the Orange County Jail.


Disney Sets Mystery Marvel Movie Dates For 2017, 2018, 2019

Deadline Hollywood - Just in time for Comic-Con, Disney has press-dumped a quintet of release dates for untitled Marvel films that fanboys and girls can spend the weekend agonizing over before the Con. They’ll open two films in 2017, on July 28, 2017 and November 3, 2017, followed by two more in 2018 on July 6, 2018 and November 2, 2018. The summer/fall double hitter strategy stops (as far as we know) in 2019, when Marvel will release one new to-be-identified pic on May 3, 2019.

We’ll know next week if Disney/Marvel reveal any of this extended line-up in San Diego, although the studio might as well use it as more ammo to drive fans to its own D23 fan confab. Brand synergy between the comics line and the Mouse House is already in full force on TV and the first Disney animation featuring Marvel characters, Big Hero 6, is building early anticipation ahead of its November 7 debut.


Announcing the New Disney Castaway Cay Challenge

DisneyParks Blog - Once again we’re teaming up with runDisney for another Castaway Cay Challenge. This time, we’re calling all princesses!

Runners who complete the Castaway Cay 5K during the February 23-27 Disney Dream voyage, in addition to one 5K event or longer during the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, will earn the Castaway Cay Challenge finisher medal. This is only the second opportunity ever for Disney cruisers to take on this challenge.

If you’ve never joined us for the 5K on Castaway Cay, you’re in for a treat! You’ll be one of the first off the ship once we dock at our private island for amazing views of the pristine lagoons and beaches. And of course, like any Disney race, you’ll be thrilled with surprise magical moments and entertainment throughout the race.

Registration opens tomorrow at noon ET. Head over to for all of the details, and then grab your running shoes and swim suit for what’s sure to be an incredible week of fun!

If you missed our announcement of the inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge in January 2015, take a look back at all the details here. We’re so excited to be partnering with runDisney on these two exclusive events for Disney cruisers!


Disney and Kohl’s Get D-Signed in Time for Back to School

Yahoo Finance - Disney Consumer Products (DCP) and Kohl’s today announced they’re bringing the newest iteration of the tween lifestyle brand “D-Signed” exclusively to Kohl’s. Offering a “mix & match” assortment of apparel that gives girls the opportunity to create their own styles, the “D-Signed” brand continues to be inspired by the fun fashions featured on Disney Channel shows. The hit tween brand will launch with the popular “Girl Meets World” collection and is available at Kohl’s stores nationwide and online at this summer.

Debuting recently on the Disney Channel, the highly-anticipated premiere of the comedy series “Girl Meets World” (9:45 p.m.) delivered 5.2 million Total Viewers and ranked as the #1 series launch of 2014 among major youth demographics: Kids 2-11, Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14.

“Disney Channel sets the pace with what tweens are watching and wanting to wear,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president of global licensing at Disney Consumer Products. “Through creative collaborations with Disney Channel and Kohl’s, our ‘D-Signed’ brand continues to give girls the ability to express their individual style that’s trend right and mom approved.”

“D-Signed” is a true fashion brand and leverages the latest trends in the market. The first two “D-Signed” collections at Kohl’s will debut this summer, featuring free-spirited silhouettes mixed with a touch of rocker chic that draw inspiration from “Girl Meets World” characters Riley and Maya. Items such as leggings, fashion tops, sweatshirts and dresses round out the collection with prices starting at $28.

“Only ‘D-Signed’ offers tween girls the opportunity to wear the looks inspired by their favorite stars on the Disney Channel,” said Amy Kocourek, Kohl’s executive vice president of juniors and kids. “We couldn’t be more excited about working with Disney as it allows us to leverage the power of their exciting, ever-changing lineup of television shows to bring new, amazing and unexpected product to our tween shoppers.”

New collections inspired by other popular Disney Channel shows will flow seasonally over the course of the next year. Items will be tagged and labeled with ‘D-Signed’ branding and character images. For more information, visit


Sunday July 20, 2014
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