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January 31, 2008
"Think Green" Campaign At Epcot
Waste Management Inc.'s "Think Green" Campaign will open a new exhibit at Innoventions at Epcot in February 2008. Visitors will have the opportunity to virtually experience the operations on a single-stream recycling line, feed the boiler at a waste-to-energy facility and run the bulldozer at a landfill in a hands-on, interactive exhibit called "Don't Waste It."
For the first time in history, lucky guests will have the chance to spend an unforgettable night inside Disneyland Park during the Year of a Million Dreams, most nights starting January 31, 2008 as part of the 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway. A guest will be escorted on the same day awarded into the most extraordinary accommodations at Disneyland Resort: the Disneyland Dream Suite, an in-park apartment with special-effects surprises and vintage design elements in each room.
From Never Land to flying carpets to the forested domain of an Indian princess, stars travel to their very own Fantasylands in the third set of the Disney Dream Portrait Series from famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Whoopi Goldberg, Gisele Buendchen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tina Fey and Jessica Biel are the third set of celebrities living out their fantasies by starring in the newly released dream scenes.
Euro Disney S.C.A. , parent company of Euro Disney Associes S.C.A., operator of Disneyland Resort Paris, has reported revenues for its consolidated group for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 which ended December 31, 2007. Revenues for the First Quarter increased 20% to EUR 340.5 million, reflecting increases in theme parks, hotels and real estate revenues. The on-going 15th Anniversary Celebration and the April 2008 grand opening of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction (at the Walt Disney Studios Park) is expected to further increase revenues as the 2008 fiscal year continues.
Disney unveiled its first mobile phones in Japan bolstered by statements of being "extremely confident" in success here after learning lessons from its flop in the US market. Aimed at young working women, this new incarnation of Disney Mobile will first offer three types of mobiles made by Japan's Sharp, whose outer package is covered with silhouette patterns of Mickey Mouse. The phones also feature a special online bottom that will allow subscribers to jump to Disney websites, while Disney's iconic characters can be used on standby screens and to decorate e-mails free of charge. The Japan re-launch of Disney Mobile, a joint effort with Softbank Corp, is scheduled for March 1, 2008.
The Walt Disney World Resort's Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, located in the Downtown Disney Marketplace district, will be redesigned over the coming months. Announced changes for the location include a chocolate tower to the roof, flat-screen televisions on the building exterior, signage updates and a complete renovation of the soda fountain area. The location is planned to stay open during these renovations which are planned to be complete in March 2008.
Walt Disney Co. may increase its stake in its struggling Hong Kong Disneyland theme park as attendance figures falter. Hong Kong Disneyland's managing director, Bill Ernest, announced that the company intends to increase their ownership stake, but didn't elaborate on details or a time table for the increased investment. Currently, Disney owns a 43% stake in Hong Kong Disneyland with Hong Kong's government, which paid for land reclamation, roads and other supporting works, holding the balance.
Disney's Magic Connection is a new interactive park offering currently in a Guest Test Mode at the Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort. Guests entering the Magic Kingdom are randomly selected to test this Interactive Guide. Selected Guests are given a modified Nintendo DS that has the Disney's Magic Connection loaded on it. Disney's Magic Connection offers Guests 5 main interactive services: Park Map, Park Offerings, Characters, Wish List and Games and Trivia. The device offers a number of features such as Guest actual location shown on the park map and listing the current wait time, current FastPass Distribution period, and any height restrictions for park attractions.
Hong Kong Disneyland has launched a magical 'Year of the Mouse' Spring Dinner Package. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, the stars of the upcoming Year of the Mouse, will wish Spring Dinner guests an auspicious and magical start to the new Lunar Year in their new Chinese New Year outfits designed by fashion guru Vivienne Tam. Guests can enjoy the all-encompassing Disney themed Spring Dinner Package at the Victorian style Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel with a minimum booking of ten tables. This package is valid until March 31, 2008 and reservations must be made before February 29, 2008.
US satellite TV operator, EchoStar, and Disney and ESPN Media Networks recently launched two new interactive TV applications on EchoStar's DISH Network platform: ESPN Interactive Zone and Disney Channel Interactive TV. ESPN Interactive Zone offers viewers updated scores for all of the day's major professional and college sports games ; ESPN headline news and stories; a feature called "Interactive Bottomline," TV listings for all ESPN's channels; and interactive advertising. . Disney Channel Interactive TV allows viewers to schedule recordings of Disney Channel programs; obtain Disney Channel show information from a ticker on the main menu; and interact with show-related content.
Once again, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney combine for the family-friendly fan-fest, scheduled for four consecutive weekends, beginning June 6 and running through June 29, 2008, at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The event includes special parades, trivia games, meet-and-greet sessions with Star Wars legends and characters and special themed activities. The weekend festivities take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and are included with regular theme park admission.
One of Pleasure Island's main-stay night clubs is set to close its doors for good February 3, 2008. The Rock 'n' Roll Beach Club opened on Pleasure Island April 4, 1990, less than one year after the night time district opened to the public. The venue replaced the short-lived and likely forgotten XZFR Rockin' Rollerdrome. While the Rock 'n' Roll Beach Club pumped out similar rock 'n' roll tunes as its flash-in-the-pan predecessor, it scraped grooving to tunes on roller skates for a more conventional dancing environment often featuring live bands. At the time of the announcement, no future use for the location was announced.
With the Year of a Million Dreams continuing into 2008, the next Disney Dream Job sponsored by Careerbuilder.com is here- this time the opportunity to serve as the CMO (Chief Magic Official) at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. On select weekends throughout the year, the Chief Magic Official will be tasked with dream-making ambassador duties, including appearances at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. Applications for this Dream Job position are due by January 27th, 2008 at http://dreamcmo.com.
A 300-kilogram part of a parade float fell off in front of spectators at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, on January 9th. No injuries were reported, and the parade resumed after five minutes. This was the first time since the amusement park's opening in 1983 for a parade float to have such a malfunction. All parades at Tokyo Disneyland have been suspended until all 46 floats in its parade fleet can be checked for saftey.
Disney's Contemporary Resort has announced that it will be opening The Wave in the Spring of 2008. The new table service dining location will serve up American cooking blended with world flavors. This recent announcment brings the total of "new" dining locations opening at Walt Disney World in 2008 up-to four. Landry's T-Rex is slated to open Summer 2008 in the Downtown Disney Marketplace, a more interactive Nine Dragons Restaurant is scheduled to open Fall 2008 in Epcot's China pavilion and an expanded Tutto Italia Ristorante is slated to open Winter 2008 in Epcot's Italy pavilion.
The Walt Disney World Resort's third theme park officially re-opened as Disney's Hollywood Studios today. While the name change of the park formerly-known-as Disney-MGM Studios is now official, there is still much work to do to replace all of the former marquees and signs. As of the official change-over, the park has only added a new park entrance marquee and changed the name on park guide maps, event guides and some park information signs. Park exclusive merchandise reflecting the new name is expected to be rolled-out soon, but as of the change-over was not available. It is anticipated that all references to the former name will take several months to remove or replace.
The Disneyland Park has re-launched its early entry program under the new moniker of "Disneyland Magic Morning". In addition to the new name, the days of the week that the program is offered has been shifted for 2008. Disneyland Magic Mornings are offered to eligible Guests Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday--the former early entry program was offered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. The program still allows eligible Guests to experience select Fantasyland and Tommorowland attractions one hour prior to scheduled park opening once during their stay.
Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian Spa and Resort at the Walt Disney World resort has become the first Disney Resort Hotel dining location to institute an age restriction policy. As of January 1, 2008, children under the age of 10 are not permitted in the AAA five-diamond restaurant. While adult-only dining establishments is not new to the Disney Cruiseline, it is a first for Disney's finest dining establishment on land. Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said the move is being made because of guests' requests.
Walt Disney Co. artist Joyce Carlson, whose work ranged from coloring the lead characters of Lady and the Tramp to creating many of the doll characters for Disney's It's a Small World attractions, died at her home in Orlando. She was 84. Carlson began her career with Walt Disney Productions in 1944 as an office assistant, but moved on to ink animated movies, then to create models for Disney's 1964 World's Fair pavilions and worldwide theme park attractions. Carlson was declared a "Disney Legend," the company's equivalent of a hall-of-fame induction, and earned a commemorative, second-floor shop window along the Magic Kingdom's Main Street U.S.A. The sign there reads: "Dolls by Miss Joyce, Dollmaker for the World."
The transformation of Walt Disney World's Disney-MGM Studios theme park into Disney's Hollywood Studios already is visible at the start of the New Year. The park does not officially drop its old name until January 7th and the full transition should take months to complete, but significant changes have already been made. The sign with the old name on the park's icon arch has already been taken down and the old name on the Earful tower has already been painted over. New park maps and merchandise with the new logo should start appearing in the coming weeks.