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December 30, 2006
Walt Disney Studios Global Box Office Tops $3B
Walt Disney Studios has posted worldwide box office revenue of more than $3.26 billion in 2006. The Studios "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is the top world wide grossing movie for 2006. In the home theater world, Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment had the top three selling DVDs in the domestic market in "Pirates," "Cars," and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,"
As part of the "Year of A Million Dreams" celebration at Disneyland Resort, rock fans' dreams will come true as "Rockin' Both Parks" provides new special effects and soundtracks specifically remixed to heighten every twist, turn, rise and drop of each thrilling attraction. For a limited time (from January 3 through April 26, 2007), guests will experience Space Mountain at Disneyland and California Screamin' at Disney's California Adventure like never before.
Plans have been announced for a Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. The museum will give new life to a historic building, and honor the achievements and life of the man who brought us the Mouse. Although the Walt Disney Family Museum has been a wonderful and enriching presence online for several years, the new museum location will allow people to visit and see firsthand the treasures that recall Walt's life.
A crew of over 30 technicians started in August to install the lights, and there's a crew of two that actually stays with the lights the entire year, doing all the prep work and ordering and all that sort of stuff to get ready.This year our greatest challenge was we decided to have the lights dance to some music this year. Every 12 to 15 minutes the lights launch into a choreographed movement to three high-energy songs by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The show continues nightly through January 7, 2007.
Disney Christmas Classics are flooding the air waves this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Disney Channel offers an enchanting Christmas Eve with Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. The Christmas Day Tradition returns, as ABC proudly presents the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade on Christmas Morning. The Disney Channel continues to spread cheer Christmas Day with multiple presentations of The Santa Clause and The Santa Clause 2.
Walt Disney released this photo today, the first from inside the suite being constructed inside Cinderella's Castle. The photo itself is not very revealing. There's barely an portion of the suite visible at all, likely and attempt to save the good stuff for the big unveil next month. The Magic Kingdom suite will be open in late January and a night's stay will be randomly awarded to Disney guests as part of the company's "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion.
Ahoy Me Hearties - On May 22, 2007, prepare yourselves for a three-day adventure unlike any that has been seen this side of the 7 Seas Lagoon. Set yer' compass towards uncharted territories and brace the helm as ye' journey into the unknown depths of the sea. Be on the look out for the Pirates of the Caribbean and the surprises and thrills that are lurking behind the dark and dreary coves of the Lagoon. And if it's treasure yer' heart be fancying, then venture to the mucky port of Tortuga, where ye' be sure to find the finest pirate treasures in all the land.
This year's parade will start off with a bang, courtesy of a very special opening number. With a Parade during Disney's Year of a Million Dreams, who better to open things than a group of true American dreamers? "We have a big opening number for the show, with four of the contestants from this year's 'American Idol.' We thought it would be a good fit with the Dreams theme, because these are people who have really made their dreams come true," David explains. "And then we have Michael Bolton singing 'Joy to the World' as our finale."
MEGA Brands Inc. Friday announced its global entry into the arts and crafts category with a new line featuring popular Disney properties, including Disney Princess, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hannah Montana and Little Einsteins. Products will be available in North America, Europe, Scandinavia, Africa and the Middle East in 2007. The Disney art sets will allow kids to create latch hook, picture frame and pillow art, make their own pirate boots and pirate gear, paint works of art in 3D, make their own temporary tattoos, and more.
General Mills and Disney are launching a new line of breakfast cereals at an everyday suggested retail price of $1.99. Offering whole grains and a good source of Vitamin D and Calcium, the new line meets Disney's recently announced food guidelines for ready-to-eat cereals. The new line will feature three leading Disney properties: Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Disney Princess and Disney's Little Einsteins.
Stepping up its expansion program, Hong Kong Disneyland said Thursday it plans to add three new attractions by the first half of 2008, including the classic Disney ride "It's a Small World." Hong Kong Disneyland said in a statement it will also add Animation Academy, where Disney artists will teach cartoon drawing, and "Mickey's WaterWorks" water-based parade. The announcement came after the addition this summer of the "Autopia" driving ride, "Stitch Encounter," a theater show that allows audiences to interact with the "Lilo & Stitch" characters, and the space-themed "UFO Zone."
The Devil Rays expanded their Florida market Thursday morning by officially announcing their partnership with Disney's Wide World of Sports to play a three-game set against the Texas Rangers at Disney during the 2007 season. The series, which will take place May 15-17 at the same complex which hosted the first round of the World Baseball Classic, was approved by Major League Baseball earlier this month.
Walt Disney Co. is exploring other locations beside Shanghai for a theme park in mainland China amid concern that the central government may not support its plans in Shanghai, sources familiar with the issue said on Monday. Shanghai had hoped to have the park built by 2010, when thousands of people will visit the city for the World Expo, but that schedule may become unrealistic if Beijing does not give its approval early next year, the sources said.
An exquisite fairy-tale suite is being prepared inside Cinderella Castle at the heart of the Magic Kingdom Park for winners of the Disney Dreams Giveaway. What will lucky winners of a night in the castle find inside? The Insider wanted to find out, so we went to the source, Imagineer Stephen Silvestri, who has been working night and day (quite literally!) to help create a suite that's truly the stuff dreams are made of. Stephen gave us a quick verbal tour through the suite, which has been designed as though the Guest were an honored visitor spending the night as a Guest of Cinderella.
Disney's ESPN and ABC continue to up their investment in soccer, securing the rights to soccer's 2008 European Championships. ABC will air two matches and the rest will be carried on ESPN outlets. As part of the deal, ESPN also acquires Spanish language rights for its ESPN Deportes network and pay television rights for Latin America.
November 2006 wrapped as Disney Channel's most-watched November ever in Primetime in Total Viewers (2.58 million), Kids 6-11 (1.08 million/4.5 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (978,000/4.0 rating). In Total Day, November 2006 finished as Disney Channel's most-watched November on record in Total Viewers (1.50 million), Kids 6-11 (560,000/2.3 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (489,000/2.0 rating).
Visitors to Walt Disney World in Florida will find an all-new Star Wars themed attraction waiting for them at Downtown Disney's Once Upon A Toy Store -- the Build Your Own Lightsaber experience. Both Jedi and Sith alike are invited to "choose their destiny" and construct their saber of choice from a dazzling display offering scores of different design possibilities, including an exclusive purple-colored filter for fans of the signature Windu-hued blade. The new offering, which utilizes parts from Hasbro's customizable lightsaber toys, follows two other Hasbro-sponsored attractions, the Build Your Own Potato Head and Create Your Own My Little Pony Playset.
Disney World plans to turn over at least 167 bell, valet and baggage service jobs to an outside company in January. The jobs will go to Baggage Airlines Guest Service (BAGS), the company that already runs Disney's Magical Express, the service that transports Disney's visitors to and from Orlando International Airport. Although Union officials are unhappy with the change, Disney is planning to offer the displaced Cast Members other jobs at comparable wages, tip opportunities and hours, said spokesman Jacob DiPietre. The change begins with the Grand Floridian Resort on January 7, 2007 and will gradually be instituted at other Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
Faced with a decline in the number of overseas visitors and unpopular entry requirements, the U.S. government is turning to the Walt Disney Co. and other theme park operators to brighten the country's battered image. Last January, the government promised to work with the private sector to create a more welcoming environment without compromising security.
A peice Walt Disney's Legacy and 'a whole new world' of entertainment have come to come to Disney DVD. Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures DVD collection launched December 5th, 2006. Also launched on December 5th, 2006; the brand new "Disney DVD Game World".
The True-Life Adventures -- a series of 13 groundbreaking films that captured the wonder of animals and nature and won eight Academy Awards. The True-Life Adventures -- a series of 13 groundbreaking films that captured the wonder of animals and nature and won eight Academy Awards. The films in the True-Life Adventures series are fully restored and beautifully presented in four, 2-disc volumes with collectible packaging and extensive bonus materials. Each volume includes introductions from Roy E. Disney, one of the series' original filmmakers, who also hosts six segments entitled "Backstage with Roy Disney at Disney's Animal Kingdom."
Walt Disney Home Entertainment has announced an exciting, all-new innovation in Disney DVDs: Disney DVD Game World. Combining the traditional fun of classic board games with interactive and immersive 3-D game environments. Inspired by the favorite characters from Disney's most popular films , the DVD games feature multi-level boards and thousands of mini-games, trivia questions, and activities for up to 4 players. The first two titles in the Disney DVD Game World series are: Disney Princess Edition and Disney Dogs Edition.
Walt Disney Co. agreed to buy a London-based cable television channel that has rights to sports leagues including the National Football League, Major League Baseball and National Hockey League, according to a media report Tuesday. Disney said it agreed to buy NASN Ltd., also known as North American Sports Network, from private-equity firm Benchmark Capital Europe and Setanta Sports Holdings Ltd., a sports broadcaster based in Ireland, according to the report. NASN says it has 6 million subscribers in 25 countries across Europe. ESPN plans to put its name on NASN at some point and broadcast ESPN sports news and talk shows from the U.S.
Disney Publishing Worldwide India has inked an alliance with Infomedia India to launch tweens and kids' magazine Disney Adventures in India. This launch also marks the first launch of an international magazine for Indian tweens. The first monthly issue of Disney Adventures magazine priced at Rs 40 and is targeted at Indian tweens in the 8-13 age group and features local content including a special feature on a recent Bollywood hit film.
During Walt's 105th Birthday week, the Disney Insider Newsletter takes a look back at the creation of several tasty treats created for Walt's 100th Birthday. Restaurant Akershus chef Lothar Neumaier, Chef Wendt Welcovitz of the Plaza Restaurant and Contemporary Resort pastry chef Mary Schaefer among others put their confectionary know-how to the test to create some of the most popular desserts served on Disney property.
Disney shares hit a new 52-week high in Tuesday trading, rising more than 2 percent to $34.20 on the New York Stock Exchange. "We feel very good about how our business is positioned," CFO Tom Staggs told a Credit Suisse analyst conference in New York. "I think you are going to see improvement in margins in theme parks ... and continued improvement in profitability in Walt Disney Studios.
After a hiatus of nearly 50 years, Walt Disney Studios is getting back into the business of producing short cartoons, starting with a Goofy vehicle next year. Four new shorts are in development at Disney: "The Ballad of Nessie," a stylized account of the origin of the Loch Ness monster; "Golgo's Guest," about a meeting between a Russian frontier guard and an extraterrestrial; "Prep and Landing," in which two inept elves ready a house for Santa's visit; and "How to Install Your Home Theater," the return of Goofy's popular "How to" shorts of the '40s and '50s, in which a deadpan narrator explains how to play a sport or execute a task, while Goofy attempts to demonstrate -with disastrous results. The new Goofy short is slated to go into production early next year.
For more than 20 years, families have made the "Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade" part of their Christmas Day television tradition. This year, Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts invite America to celebrate Christmas morning with Co-hosts Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest help Disney Parks commemorate "The Year of a Million Dreams". The Emmy Award-winning "Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade" airs on the ABC Television Network on Dec. 25 at 10 a.m. Eastern (9 a.m. Central, Mountain and Pacific times.)
Walt Disney World cast members at the Zawadi Marketplace at the Animal Kingdom Lodge raised more than $100,000 in donations for the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund this year. This marks a 1,200 percent increase from the $7,000 donated during the previous year. Three cast members at Zawadi are responsible for raising more than $10,000 each and will be recognized by the company. Many teams at the Animal Kingdom Lodge have been involved in supporting this effort, such as the park's animal keepers, chefs and education team.
The Walt Disney Company released in a statement that it will be reducing its animation workforce, though it didn't specify the exact number. "We are committed to do every thing we can in order to assist everyone during this transition period," said Disney in the statement. "This is not unexpected," says Alan Gould, analyst with Natexis Bleichroeder. "We knew this would happen when Disney formed its partnership with Pixar."