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September 30, 2006
The Seas with Nemo & Friends Preview
When The Seas with Nemo & Friends opens in October in the former The Living Seas at Epcot, it will showcase three milestones for Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) innovation and creativity through a brand new attraction and a reinvented pavilion. Those milestones span character animation, set design and image projection. The reinvetion of the Epcot pavilion comes with many new enhancments beyond the new attraction including a new marquee (complete with three Audio-Animatronics seagulls chattering "mine, mine") and a brand new entry statement with Crush, Bruce, Mr. Ray, and many, many other fish.
The Little Mermaid Joins the Platinum DVD Collection
A flash of red hair, a flick of translucent fin - children and dreamers everywhere immediately recognize her as Ariel, the little mermaid. Since 1989, "The Little Mermaid" has enchanted audiences with its lovely songs and lively retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale. On October 3, "The Little Mermaid" will be available in a two-disc Platinum DVD edition.
Walt Disney World Resort Reorganizes Operations, Outsources Cleaning Work
Walt Disney World is planning to cut 125 cleaning positions and turn those jobs over to contractors, but the company is promising all the affected workers that they'll be offered other jobs at comparable pay and hours. The affected jobs include kitchen cleaning, carpet cleaning, roadway cleaning and deep cleaning work. Many are in Walt Disney World theme parks, though some are in other public areas, such as Downtown Disney.
One of the most magical ships afloat is getting an extra dose of pixie dust. Following two weeks in dry dock this October, the Disney Wonder will offer more options for adults, children and families, and further enhance the personalized vacation experience Disney Cruise Line is known for providing its guests. The changes will be hard to miss, especially on the pool decks: whimsical additions are planned for the Mickey Pool, major entertainment offerings will be unveiled at the Goofy Pool, and a splash of upscale elegance is being added to the adult-only Quiet Cove pool. Other modifications will be made to the onboard conference rooms, the Vista Spa and Salon and youth activity spaces.
Disney has made an official announcment detailing the new attractions and entertainment for the Year of A Million Dreams at the Walt Disney World Resort. The line-up include new attractions to open in October 2006, November 2006, and January 2007 across three of its world-class theme parks. Along with these new attractions, Disney has announced a calvacade of new entertainment for the Magic Kingdom park that will kick-off September 25- 30, 2006. Included in this line-up is a new interactive parade, a new Castle Forecourt show and three new "street" shows. The Year of A Million Dreams officially kicks-off October 1, 2006.
Downloading Disney movies is quickly proving to be profitable for the Burbank-based entertainment powerhouse with more than $1 million in downloads during its first week of selling movies through Appleās iTunes. Disney CEO Robert Iger, who has made new technology initiatives a top priority, said that Disney sold 125,000 digital copies of films in less than a week, quickly generating $1 million in revenue.
Following the record-breaking success of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," Walt Disney Pictures is giving high-priority status to another potential adventure franchise based on a Disneyland ride. It is developing "Jungle Cruise," inspired by the ride in which parkgoers travel the jungle river guided by a riverboat skipper, encountering such wild creatures as piranhas and gorillas during their tour. The ride was one of the 22 original attractions when the park opened in 1955.
Disney's HalloweenTime Debuts at the Disneyland Resort
This year, the Disneyland Resort is full of Halloween treats for little boys and ghouls as it has never been before, with the debut of Disney's HalloweenTime. From September 29 through October 31, Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure Park will both be full of seasonal decor and surprises. The Halloween fun starts the minute you step into Disneyland Park - the floral Mickey display has gotten a seasonal makeover. Adding to the ambiance inside the Disneyland park is the Pumpkin Festival along Main Street U.S.A. and Woody's Halloween Roundup in Frontierland. Across the way at Disney's California Adventure, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror the "Golden Screams Theater" bring guests some not-so-spooky Halloween fun.
As Disney launches the 'Year of a Million Dreams' celebration, special Dream Squads will giveaway extra special dreams - both large and small - in a first-of-its-kind, 'only at Disney' magical experience. Disney has recently revealed the exact Dreams that will be given away. The 43 different types of Dream range from Disney Vacation Club Memberships and Adventure by Disney Vacations to Limited Edition Pins and Mouse Ears. Over 1 Million individual Dreams will be given out between the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.
Apple Computer Inc. unveiled its new movie download service Tuesday, becoming the latest company trying to secure a toehold in what could be a rapidly expanding entertainment market. The company also updated its entire line of popular iPod MP3 players. Under the new movie service, consumers will be able to choose from over 75 movies from Miramax and Walt Disney Co. studios - Disney, Pixar and Touchstone - to download from the company's popular iTunes store. New releases will cost $12.99 when pre-ordered and during their first week of availability and $14.99 after that, Apple said. Older films titles will be $9.99.
Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 Joins The Billion Dollar Club
Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," added a new milestone on September 8, 2006. The swashbuckling summer blockbuster officially crossed the $1 billion mark ($1,002.6 billion) at the global box office, and became only the third film in history behind "Titanic" and "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" to achieve this extraordinary feat. The film, which continues to break records around the world*, has topped the international box office for nine consecutive weeks. Thus far, "Pirates" has grossed an astonishing $415.1 million at the domestic box office, making it the #1 film of the year. Internationally, its cumulative tally now stands at $587.5 million, also making it the number #1 film of the year.
Disney Enterprises filed an interesting patent application that is likely to be part of an upcoming attraction. The application is for a projection system that creates an interactive X-Ray vision effect. The intent for this technology is officially unknown, but there is speculation afoot about what forthcoming attraction(s) the technology may appear in.
Disney Cruise Line guests soon will be able to absorb the enriching benefits of the ocean while sailing on the high seas. Beginning in October, the cruise line is introducing H2O Plus Spa bath and shower products to all 877 guest accommodations on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. These high-end products, derived from marine botanicals, bring a piece of the ocean into every stateroom. The upgrade of every family-friendly stateroom onboard both the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder also features new Sealy Posturepedic Premium Plush Euro-top mattresses, new pillows and Frette 300 thread-count, 100 percent Egyptian cotton linens.
Those mild-mannered shopkeepers and their well-tended establishments at Epcot's United Kingdom Pavilion are now embroiled in a world of secret agents, mystery, and an evil plot to turn the whole world into one giant golf course. Young guests are on missions to help the cartoon character Kim Possible and her friends save the world. At the same time, they're helping Walt Disney Imagineering's research and development department explore possibilities for using the latest generation of interactive, hand-held technologies in theme-park environments.
Kermit the Frog Named MSU's Homecoming Grand Marshal
He is an international star and has entertained fans across the world for more than five generations. Now Kermit the Frog - of "The Muppet Show" fame - will be Grand Marshal of the Michigan State University Homecoming parade at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. "It will be both fun and fitting to have Kermit the Frog as an honored guest at our annual Homecoming celebration," says MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. "Michigan State University was 'green' before it was trendy - and so was Kermit the Frog."