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December 31, 2005
New year will cost more at Disney
Walt Disney World said Friday that ticket prices for its four parks in Orlando are going up on Sunday, the second of Central Florida's big three theme parks to announce a price increase in recent weeks. Disney spokesman Craig Dezern said prices are rising 0.8 percent to 5.8 percent depending on the length of stay per ticket. Disney's ticket prices now differ more than ever from those of its competitors, however, as it launched a menu-based ticket pricing plan called Magic Your Way in January 2005, offering a range of ticket options. A key feature is that longer stays are less expensive on a per-day basis, a strategy that Disney representatives, and industry analysts, say is designed to entice people to extend their visit.
Powered by strong investment in new rides, the 50th anniversary of Disneyland and hurricanes that spared the theme park capital of Orlando, attendance at North America's 50 most popular amusement parks rose 4.2 percent in 2005. Disney's four parks in Florida and two parks in California benefited from the celebration with new rides, stage shows and parades. The Florida parks had attendance increases of 5 percent to 6 1/2 percent, while Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif. respectively saw growth of 8 1/2 percent and 3.6 percent.
Official Walt Disney World Resort Podcast Launches
Walt Disney World Resort takes listeners inside the world's No. 1 vacation destination with "Walt Disney World Resort: Plugged In," a weekly podcast debuting as part of the "Happiest Celebration on Earth," a global commemoration of 50 years of Disney theme parks. From a Christmas Day launch, the official Walt Disney World podcast is featuring a lively mix of exclusive content -- behind-the-scenes tours of Disney's four Florida theme parks, celebrity interviews, news about upcoming events, and conversations with Disney Imagineers, the men and women responsible for the design, creation and expansion of the company's theme parks and resorts.
A collection of vintage Disney animation has been discovered in a warehouse at a Japanese university.
About 250 pieces, including animation from Disney's first colour short - 1932's Flowers and Trees - were found at Chiba University, near Tokyo. Original sketches, celluloid and background pictures from films such as Sleeping Beauty, Bambi, Fantasia and Cinderella were also discovered. Disney spokeswoman Erika Nakajim said the company was "truly surprised".
If the Walt Disney Company has its way, McDonald's Happy Meal toys could be replaced with portable media players that hold Disney movies, music, games or photos, according to a pending patent application. Users could add files to the devices by earning points with food purchases. The plan could work something like this: A customer enters a restaurant and buys a meal, receiving the portable media player and an electronic code that authorizes a partial download of a movie, video or other media file, which can be downloaded while in the restaurant, according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office application filed by Disney. Then, with each subsequent return, the customer earns more downloadable data, eventually getting an entire movie or game.
Redirecting Disney: Iger's Plan for Fewer Films and Evolving Parks
For many years, Robert Iger played the dutiful deputy to Walt Disney Co.'s larger-than-life chief executive officer, Michael Eisner. Now, having ascended to the CEO post himself, Mr. Iger has been making his own mark on the 82-year-old media giant. Sixty days into the job, the former ABC executive has made headlines with a groundbreaking deal to sell television shows including "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" on Apple Computer Inc.'s new video iPod. He also scrapped Disney's unpopular internal strategy unit and has been taking on the movie establishment with calls for a new business model.
Walt Disney World guests can get ready to don their party hats and wave their noisemakers as the Vacation Kingdom prepares to ring in 2006 with spectacular entertainment, parades, fireworks, thrills and more. Downtown Disney Pleasure Island ushers in the New Year with pizzazz and hosts its annual, island-wide street party, guests can count down to 2006 with double the parades and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot's New Year's Eve Countdown Spectacular offers exciting entertainment for those who want to bring in the New Year with a bang, it's time to party like a movie star at Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney Cruise Line rings in the New Year with ship-wide festivities for the entire family aboard Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
The Disneyland Resort in southern California has premiered the Official Disneyland Resort Podcast, an entertaining and informative monthly show featuring a "Behind-the-Magic" look at what's new and exciting at "The Happiest Place on Earth."
E. Cardon "Card" Walker, who led The Walt Disney Co. after the death of co-founder Roy O. Disney, has died at age 89, Disney officials said Wednesday.Walker died of congestive heart failure on Monday at his home in La Canada Flintridge, the company said. Walker helped lead the company through a difficult transition after the death of Walt Disney in 1966.
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Mark your calendar for April 21, 2006 when the set of four "Art of Disney: Romance" stamps will be issued at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. to kick off the theme park's annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
Yamaha Corporation of America, the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments, has announced a new phase in its long-standing relationship with The Walt Disney Company that makes it the official supplier of musical instruments to the Disneyland Resort.(R) Under the terms of the renewable five-year agreement, Yamaha will provide a full complement of musical instruments for use in entertainment productions and rehearsal halls at the Disneyland Resort. Prior to this formal relationship, Yamaha and Disney had collaborated on a number of individual projects over the last 15 years.