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This is INTERCOT's WebDisney, The Definitive Guide To Disney Information & Disney Web Sites. WebDisney currently has 219 sites in our online directory for your surfing pleasure!

March 31, 2006

Disneyland 50th Anniversary Celebration Takes To The Skies With Mickey Mouse

The Disneyland Resort 50th anniversary celebration is taking to the skies with a 100-foot tall, Mickey Mouse-shaped hot air balloon dubbed The Happiest Balloon On Earth. With golden ears high atop its head, the Mickey balloon will travel throughout the western United States and Canada during its 11-week tour. The Happiest Balloon On Earth will also become the first hot air balloon to ever rise over the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 5:12 PM | permalink

The Sparrow Has Landed

The current edition of the Walt Disney World Resort: Plugged In podcast is centered around the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and its upcomming changes. Imagineer Kathy Rogers gives the inside scoop on how Jack Sparrow and others will be added to the attraction. Also, Imagineer Jason Surrell, author of "Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies" weaves tales of Pirate lore.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 4:23 PM | permalink

March 30, 2006

The Contemporary and Polynesian Resorts Get Room Makeovers

Renovations under way at two of Walt Disney World's original resorts demonstrate the theme park's obsession with perpetual self-renewal. The Contemporary and Polynesian hotels will soon emerge from a major face-lift aimed at putting rooms on par with those in the region's newest resorts. Every five or six years, Disney gives its rooms a makeover, changing furniture, revamping bathrooms and installing the latest technology. "What we are doing is really a complete redesign of the rooms," said Kevin Myers, Disney World's vice president for resort operations and transportation. "We generally stay on a certain cycle." The two hotels opened in 1971, the same year that Disney World was born. They've both undergone substantial changes since, but theme park officials say the current revamping is particularly ambitious.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 8:51 PM | permalink

Charities Given $700,000 in Disney Grants

Walt Disney World announced 38 donations Tuesday totaling more than $700,000 for children's groups and other community charities throughout Central Florida, including a foster-grandparents program and the Orlando Science Center. The Disney's Helping Kids Shine grants were awarded Tuesday at ceremonies at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Spokeswoman Bonnie McGuire said this year's amount is a record for the 35-year-old program. Awards went to organizations in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole counties.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 8:48 PM | permalink

March 29, 2006

Disney Designer Retires After Decades of Creating Magic

Turned out, it wasn't such a small world after all. At least not for Joyce Carlson, who took an office job with Walt Disney during World War II then spent 62 years helping make animated movies and attractions from California to New York City, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo. Carlson, who just turned 83, is now easing into retirement from Walt Disney Imagineering, the company's theme park attraction design division. Mentored by the first generation of legendary Disney designers such as Grace Bailey, Mary Blair and John Hench, Carlson may have left her most enduring mark on the classic children's ride that she helped create for the 1964 World's Fair in New York, It's a Small World.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 6:58 PM | permalink

Anaheim OKs Walk of Stars

With the blessings of the City Council, which on Tuesday unanimously selected a preliminary list of 149 honorees, the first star on the Anaheim/Orange County Walk of Stars could appear by June. The first star will be dedicated to someone with wide recognition, such as Walt Disney or Gene Autry, said Robert Alexander, president of the Motion Picture Hall of Foundation, a Palm Springs-based nonprofit group that will build and maintain the stars. The stars will be placed in front of Disneyland along Harbor Boulevard and extend toward the Convention Center. The Walk of Stars eventually could stretch as far out as the Platinum Triangle along Katella Avenue, Alexander said.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 12:48 PM | permalink

March 28, 2006

Walt Disney World Resort Sells Off Land That Doesn't Fit Into Its Long-Term Plans

Walt Disney World is selling off chunks of excess land on the fringes of its empire, allowing developers to pursue their own real-estate magic. Disney recently sold 53 acres on Sherberth Road south of Disney's Animal Kingdom to a developer who wants to build hundreds of vacation town homes and condominium units, and another 47 acres on Reams Road, north of the Magic Kingdom, to a home builder. Another 30 acres is for sale on U.S. Highway 192. And more may be put on the market as soon as the company re-evaluates its vast land holdings in Central Florida, particularly parcels on the far edges. Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said the company is evaluating its Central Florida land holdings to see what fits into its long-term plans and what doesn't.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 6:51 PM | permalink

March 21, 2006

Disney Cruise Line Announces First-Ever Mediterranean Cruises

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line is adding European flair to its itinerary offerings, repositioning the Disney Magic for the summer of 2007 to the Port of Barcelona in Spain and offering alternating 10-night and 11-night Mediterranean cruise vacations to Europe. With eight European ports of call, which provide gateways to familiar cities such as Florence, Rome, Pisa and Cannes, these new Mediterranean itineraries present the family vacation of a lifetime.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 1:34 PM | permalink

Disney Closes Unit Devoted to Pixar Sequels

The first casualty of Walt Disney Co.'s acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios came Monday when the Burbank entertainment giant shuttered a computer animation unit created to make sequels to such Pixar hits as "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo." Thirty-two employees, or nearly 20% of the 168 artists, production managers and support staff, were told they would lose their jobs effective May 26. The remaining 136 will be absorbed into Disney's feature animation division and redeployed to work on such productions as "Meet the Robinsons," "Rapunzel" and "American Dog."

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 1:31 PM | permalink

Disney is Cool Again

It's more than just a game. Next week, the Kingdom Hearts II video game hits stores, and it's going to sell briskly. More than a million copies were sold in its first three days in Japan back in December. The title combines original characters with more than 100 Disney animated classics in an ambitious action-adventure game. It may be the one time that you can approach a diehard gaming teen to talk about Goofy, Donald Duck -- or new additions in this second installment, like Stitch and Chicken Little -- and not get laughed at.

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Posted By: Figment! @ 1:00 PM | permalink

March 20, 2006

A Wonderful World for Disney Stock

The magic is back for shareholders of Walt Disney. Disney's stock is up nearly 20 percent so far this year, making it the second-best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. What's more, Disney has vastly outpaced its big media rivals in 2006: shares of News Corp. are up 7 percent while CBS, Viacom and Time Warner are all in the red. How has Disney done it? In a word: Pixar. Disney agreed to buy its long-time partner in January for $7.4 billion.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 11:05 PM | permalink

Pixar's Creative Force Gives a Glimpse of His Future With Disney

In the wake of its $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar, the Walt Disney Company has been mum about what role John Lasseter , Pixar's chief creative officer, will play in reviving Disney's storied animation division, except to say that it is a big one.

After the premiere of the latest Pixar film, "Cars" (which Mr. Lasseter directed), at the movie theater industry's annual conference in Las Vegas last week, Mr. Lasseter gave some hint about what he planned to do in a postmerger Disney.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Patricia @ 12:13 PM | permalink

March 15, 2006

Looking Ahead, Looking Back: 2005 Through the Eyes of Disney

It's not easy to put a year in the palm of your hand, but the Disney Insider Yearbook: 2005 Year in Review aims to do just that. Or at least to put the year on your coffeetable –- this is a large and lavish book. The Yearbook is an effort to put all the excitement and events of last year in one place, packed with the people, events, and pictures that we'll want to remember in years to come. The yearbook is a treat –- a deluxe, richly illustrated volume covering the events and memorable moments of the past year, as well as some retrospective treats and a few teasers for works in progress.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 11:45 PM | permalink

March 13, 2006

Comcast in talks to Buy Disney's Stake in E!

Comcast Corp. is in talks to buy Walt Disney Co's stake in E! Entertainment Television, giving it complete ownership of the cable network it manages, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday. The talks are part of a larger ongoing discussion over carriage agreement by Comcast of Disney channels, the source added. A deal on E! could take some time to reach or might not happen at all, the source said. Comcast is the managing partner in E!, which is 40 percent-owned by Disney. Disney also has the right to trigger a sale if it wants to exit, although the theme park and media company has not done so.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 10:33 PM | permalink

Pixar a big show at Disney shareholder meeting

Chief Executive Bob Iger may have had top billing at Walt Disney Co.'s shareholder meeting Friday in Anaheim, but it was Pixar's John Lasseter who stole the show. Lasseter, who will become Disney's chief creative officer with the Burbank entertainment company's $7.4-billion acquisition of the computer-animation pioneer, regaled the Arrowhead Pond crowd with unscreened snippets of "Cars" and "Ratatouille," the company's next two releases. The free-spirited Lasseter, who said he "wore black tennis shoes" because his wife told him to dress up for the meeting, also pledged to maintain Pixar's unparalleled standard of quality on Disney's future animated releases. Lasseter, who directed such groundbreaking films as "Toy Story," is Pixar's creative guru.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 10:31 PM | permalink

March 10, 2006

Buena Vista International Expands into Russia

The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is to invest in the production of cartoon films in Russia, the newspaper Kommersant reported Friday, citing Paul Zonderland, Buena Vista International's managing director for Italy and Russia. The company is setting up a new Russian unit to oversee business development in the country, Kommersant said.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 8:53 PM | permalink

Motorcycle Club Sues Disney

The Hell's Angels Motorcycle Corp. is suing a division of Walt Disney, Buena Vista Motion Pictures and a film production company for infringing on its trademark in the development and production of "Wild Hogs," a comedy about middle-aged bikers. The motorcycle club says in the suit that it never approved Walt Disney Motion Picture Group's use of its trademark, and that the film studio has repeatedly exploited the Hell's Angels name as well as its trademark design featuring a helmeted, horned and feathered skull while publicizing the "Wild Hogs" movie.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 8:50 PM | permalink

March 09, 2006

Animal Kingdom Lodge Gets State Environmental Certification

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has certified Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge as a certified Green Lodge. The certification, presented to Disney officials March 6 by DEP Secretary Colleen Castille, makes the Animal Kingdom property the sixth at Disney to be certified.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 9:18 PM | permalink

John Lasseter :The Whimsical Whiz Behind Pixar

John Lasseter is a hugger, not a handshaker. The whimsical whiz behind Pixar, the premier maker of computer-animated family films, greets his guest with outstretched arms and a grin that recalls Toy Story's intrepid space ranger Buzz Lightyear. Animation fans are counting on John Lasseter, 49, writer and director of the upcoming film Cars, to revive the Mouse House. Animation fans are counting on John Lasseter, 49, writer and director of the upcoming film Cars, to revive the Mouse House.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 9:03 PM | permalink

March 07, 2006

Two New Steakhouses Coming to Disneyland Resort Area

Two high-end steakhouses will be opening in the Disneyland resort area, paving the way for a more diverse restaurant scene in one of the most popular convention and tourist destinations in the country. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, which received city approval for its design this week, is set to open near the new Courtyard by Marriott hotel in October with construction beginning in June. Morton's Steakhouse, located on the new Sheraton Park Hotel property, is scheduled to debut this winter.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 8:34 PM | permalink

Biometrics at the Disney Gates

When visitors step up to the gates of the four Disney World theme parks, the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, or the MGM Studios, they will encounter something unexpected and largely foreign to them. Disney has embarked on a program to use an established biometric technology – finger geometry – to secure its valuable passes. Ostensibly, this new security is for the benefit of the pass owner. However, it is also being implemented to secure Disney’s pricing structure and marketing strategy. It has not come without controversy – and at least a bit of confusion.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 8:29 PM | permalink

March 02, 2006

Disney Parks in India & Mainland China's Future

Robert Iger thinks the Walt Disney Co. will build theme parks in India and mainland China during his lifetime though maybe not during his tenure as the company's chief executive officer. At a conference sponsored by the Bear Stearns brokerage house earlier this week in Palm Beach, Iger said big challenges with local infrastructure such as transportation and waste disposal need to be overcome before such widely speculated developments can occur. Disney sees a tremendous amount of worldwide growth opportunity in the family-vacation market. But Iger said it is unlikely the Walt Disney Co. would invest huge amounts of theme-park money anytime soon if there are other ways to go after more family vacationers.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 8:52 PM | permalink

March 01, 2006

Soundtrack to Disney Channel Musical leads U.S. Album Charts

After seven weeks on the chart, the soundtrack to Disney Channel's "High School Musical" jumped five places to No. 1 on the U.S. albums chart Wednesday, becoming the first set from a TV show to lead the list since "Miami Vice" spent 11 weeks there in late 1985/early 1986. The Walt Disney Records set sold 101,000 copies in the week ended February 26, according to Nielsen SoundScan data issued Wednesday. With a sales increase of 4%, it was the only title in the top 20 that saw a gain. Tracks from the collection have been making news recently as well. In early February, there were no fewer than nine cuts from the soundtrack on the Hot 100 singles chart, five of which ranked in the top 40.

Details & Discussion Here
Posted By: Figment! @ 8:38 PM | permalink


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