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April 26, 2005
Other Ports Courting Disney
The Disney Magic will depart from Port Canaveral on May 14 for a Panama Canal cruise and will dock at the Port of Los Angeles on May 28. From Los Angeles, it will offer seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises for about three months. It then will cruise back through the Panama Canal and is expected to return to Port Canaveral on Sept. 3. Disney Cruise Line will introduce its special brand of cruising to a new market and new customers when the Disney Magic sets sail for California on May 14 as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of Disneyland. "The debut of the Magic to the California market does a couple of things for us," said Tom McAlpin, president of Disney Cruise Line. "It allows a whole new set of guests to experience what Disney Cruise Line is all about. In addition to that, it gives our guests who have sailed with us the ability to come back and see new ports of call."
The Walt Disney Co. is building on the success of one of its biggest movie hits and theme-park attractions by developing a new massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on "Pirates of the Caribbean." The Walt Disney Internet Group division plans to go live with the broadband activity to coordinate with the theatrical premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" in summer 2006.
Disney Turns up Summer Fun with New Personal DVD Players
With summer just around the corner, Disney Consumer Products is expanding its popular line of electronics for kids, with new portable DVD/CD players ideal for summer fun and family outings. Available in a variety of styles and character-themed designs for kids of all ages, including Mickey, Disney Princess and Power Rangers, the new Disney Personal DVD Players are format-friendly and can play DVDs, CDs, mini-discs and more. The new players will be available this month at retail outlets nationwide.
A baby elephant died late Sunday afternoon during birth at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom, a company spokeswoman said. The African elephant died in its mother's womb, said spokeswoman Jacquee Polak. The mother elephant, Ibala, 26, went into labor early Saturday night after a 22-month gestation period. During the following hours, her contractions lessened, and a veterinarian had to induce labor. By late Sunday, veterinarians determined through an ultrasound that the baby elephant had died, Polak said. "This is a time of profound loss for the dedicated team of people who have been working tirelessly during the two-year gestation, and particularly since the elephant first began to show signs that the birth was imminent last week," Beth Stevens, vice president of Disney's Animal Kingdom, said in a written statement.
Disney World's lakes will offer competitive anglers treasures like they've never seen before. When a small cadre of bass-fishing fanatics descend on two tiny lakes here next week, they'll think they've landed in another world. Strictly speaking, they have. Disney World's manicured lakes and its pampered largemouth bass likely are unlike anything these fishers -- representing 46 states and six foreign countries -- have ever seen. The BASS National Federation Championship, split between two days on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and two days at Disney, will consist of state and national champion anglers. They've fished lakes all over the United States, and some have fished from Italy to Japan to Zimbabwe. Each has emerged as the best of the best from their particular state or country among the network of amateur clubs in the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. They'll be trying for one of five slots in the World Series of Fishing: the Bassmasters Classic.
Kroger Introduces 'Disney's Old Yeller' Chunk Style Dog Food
Inspired by one of the most beloved movie classics of all time, The Kroger Co. today introduced Disney's Old Yeller, a chunk style dog food now available at more than 2,500 stores around the country. Disney's Old Yeller is a 100% complete and balanced product for dogs of all sizes. It is available in 50 lb. bags priced at $9.99-$11.99, depending on the geographic market. Two additional bag sizes will be introduced in June. Kroger plans to support the brand with an aggressive advertising and marketing campaign.
A French children's book author who claimed Disney's blockbuster film Finding Nemo copied a fish of his creation was convicted of fraud yesterday and ordered to pay $102,000 in damages and legal fees. Franck Le Calvez had argued Disney's fish Nemo was based on his smiling clown fish named Pierrot. He lost his first case last March, before his latest legal battle. In rejecting that bid yesterday, the court ruled Nemo had existed before Pierrot and ruled Le Calvez was aware of the Disney character when he created his own.
Now, high profile media barons have an India visit in their itinerary. Four months after the launch of two Disney channels in India, Walt Disney's CEO Michael D Eisner plans to visit India next week along with his successor, Robert A Iger. Earlier, News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch had come calling to India. The visit to India is part of their Asian tour. Eisner starts his visit from Delhi next week, according to Indiantelevison.com. Accompanied by Robert A Iger, who will take over as Disney's new CEO from 30 September 2005, the visit is significant as Disney aims to capture a wider share of the kids' entertainment space in India.
Combine premier high school concert bands, orchestras and choral ensembles with some Disney magic and you get The Disney Honors. Over 20 ensembles have traveled from across the country to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to take part in the inaugural, non-competitive, non-ranked event. The students get a chance to work with a distinguished panel of adjudicators, take part in special workshops and seminars and celebrate their accomplishments in style.
What is the proper measure of a Hollywood mogul? For entertainment reporters, it's often a mogul's personal behavior. The more incidents of arrogance and insensitivity they uncover, the more they assume that a mogul is an ineffective leader. Consider the recent frenzy of items about Michael Eisner, which ended in his announced resignation from Disney. It will be recalled that Eisner alienated a host of would-be moguls--including Jeffrey Katzenberg (whom he called a "midget"), Michael Ovitz (whom he called a "psychopath"), Roy Disney (whom he kicked off the board), and Harvey Weinstein (whom he forced out of Miramax).
Downtown Disney is sweeter than ever with this ultimate destination for anyone with a sweet tooth. The expanded Goofy's Candy Co. features creative and entertaining candy concoctions. Fun Disney sweets include a centerpiece show kitchen and dipping station where guests create scrumptious confections, Goofy's Glaciers where frozen drinks are made to order, and bulk candy assortments served up with a fun, interactive twist. Traditional favorites such as taffy, rock candy, cotton candy, lollipops and chocolate are also available at Goofy's Candy Company.
Hungry Walt Disney World guests at the new Soarin' attraction have a brand-new venue for dining in The Land pavilion at Epcot. Sunshine Seasons, in the giant atrium of the pavilion, has a new look and a new "fast casual" menu. Four shops offer a diverse selection of fresh eats, explained Chef Michael LaDuke, executive chef for Epcot. "We're taking fast-casual cuisine to the next level," he said. "There is no fried food or pizza, no burgers -- everything is prepared as you watch. It's designed to excite the senses."
Disney confirmed Tuesday that it was shutting down its long-running "Disney Magazine" at the end of the month, with the last issue hitting newsstands this summer. Apparently the last issue will cover the 50th anniversary of California's Disneyland. The magazine is a quarterly publication with features on the theme parks, movies and anything else that would drive sales for the Mouse. The circulation is in excess of 1 million, though a chunk of that was freebies for season pass holders. The magazine has been around in one form or another for more than 40 years.
The numbers are in - the magic of Mickey and Friends has transformed daily correspondence into an enchanted experience with one of the most successful postage stamps in nearly 10 years! Launched less than a year ago, "The Art of Disney: Friendship" stamps have quickly become one of the most popular U.S. postage stamp series delivering smiles to more than 250 million friends to date. As a result, the United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.) honored Disney Consumer Products (DCP) at the National Postal Forum in March with its Industry Star Award recognizing companies that have worked in partnership with the U.S.P.S. to enhance the value of its products and services.
Disney Heiress Devotes Life To Helping Low-Income Women, Girls
Abigail Disney, whose grandfather co-founded the Walt Disney Co., used to be uncomfortable with her last name. "All I could see was that I had so much and other people had so little," Disney said. "My last name was like a great big blinking neon sign on my forehead that advertised that." Disney dealt with this unease by becoming a philanthropic activist, throwing her energy into causes benefiting low-income women and girls in the New York City area. She will visit Syracuse April 19 to speak at the fifth anniversary celebration of the Women's Fund of Central New York. That event, which begins with a reception at 5 p.m., will take place at the Everson Museum.