Eight New Disney Legends to Be Honored During D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim

Eight New Disney Legends to Be Honored During D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim

Eight New Disney Legends to Be Honored During D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim

Star Wars creator George Lucas, composer Danny Elfman, All My Children star Susan Lucci, Disney Animator Andreas Deja and other beloved contributors to the Disney legacy will be named and honored as official Disney Legends during D23 EXPO 2015 at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 14, in Hall D23 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The ceremony will be hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, and will include special musical performances.

The Disney Legends Awards program is a 28-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company, and the first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987. The three-day EXPO provides the opportunity for Disney fans to be a part of the memorable and prestigious event.

“The Disney Legend Award is our highest honor, and we are incredibly proud to recognize these eight talented individuals who have contributed so much to the world of entertainment and the Disney legacy,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “Their vision and dedication to their work have brought joy to audiences around the globe and earned them a place in Disney history.”

The 2015 Disney Legend Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

GEORGE BODENHEIMER, who retired from his role as Executive Chairman of ESPN in May 2014, enjoyed a remarkable 33-year career that began in the company’s mailroom in 1981. Working his way through the ranks, he became executive vice president of sales and marketing in 1996, before being named the network’s fifth president in 1998. He held that role until 2012, when he stepped down from day-to-day operations.

ANDREAS DEJA is a link to Disney’s past and one of the greatest animators of its modern era. Deja is known for his rich portraits of villainy, having animated Gaston for Beauty and the Beast, Jafar for Aladdin, and Scar for The Lion King. He has also brought life to heroes such as mighty Hercules, the precocious Lilo (Lilo & Stitch), regal King Triton (The Little Mermaid), wise Mama Odie (The Princess and the Frog), and loveable Tigger (Winnie the Pooh). In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Winsor McCay Award for his contributions to the art of animation.

EYVIND EARLE, one of the greatest of Disney artists, brought his unique style to a number of memorable projects but perhaps the purest realization of his vision remains the visual styling and backgrounds for the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. Earle’s career with Disney began in 1951, working on background artwork for Peter Pan. He created the look of the 1953 animated short Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which won an Academy Award® for Best Short Subject, Cartoons in 1954. His most noticeable contribution, however, remains his work on Sleeping Beauty. The film’s eye-catching look, in its design and backgrounds, is the perfect representation of his unique style.

DANNY ELFMAN

DANNY ELFMAN

DANNY ELFMAN provided the songs and score for The Nightmare Before Christmas, for which he also provided the singing voice of Jack Skellington. He also scored several Disney films including Alice in Wonderland, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Dick Tracy, Dead PresidentsFlubberGood Will Hunting (Oscar® Nomination: Best Score), A Civil Action, InstinctFrankenweenie, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Elfman also wrote the theme for ABC’s Desperate Housewives and penned the music for the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland. His music is featured in Disneyland’s annual Haunted Mansion Holiday. His upcoming Disney projects include Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.

George Lucas

GEORGE LUCAS

GEORGE LUCAS, whose Star Wars films made him one of the most successful filmmakers of all time, is also a longtime Disney fan who has left an indelible impression on Disney parks. His first project with Disney was Captain EO, the 1986 3-D spectacular starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Star Tours and Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, as well as Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril in Disneyland Paris, and two blockbuster Indiana Jones Adventure attractions at Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea round out Lucas’ timeless work in conjunction with Disney.

SUSAN LUCCI portrayed Erica Kane on ABC’s fabled soap opera All My Children for 41 years, a role that TV Guide deemed unequivocally the most famous character in the history of daytime television, earning Lucci 21 Daytime Emmy® nominations to which she won the prestigious Emmy for Best Actress to an industry-wide standing ovation on her 19th nomination. Shortly thereafter, she received her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, presented to her by Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. The iconic actress has also appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and Hope & Faith, as well as Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven. Lucci currently stars in the international hit Lifetime series, Devious Maids, produced by ABC Studios, as the wealthy and effervescent socialite, Genevieve Delatour.

JULIE REIHM CASALETTO

JULIE REIHM CASALETTO

JULIE REIHM CASALETTO, who began her Disney career as a tour guide, became Disneyland’s first Ambassador in 1965—a role created to help Walt, who found it increasingly difficult to attend all the events to which he was invited. As Disneyland’s first Ambassador, she was chosen “as a personification of Disneyland’s world-famous spirit of friendliness and happiness.” She became the template upon which decades of Ambassadors would pattern themselves.

CARSON VAN OSTEN helped bring Disney characters to life in a variety of media, all around the world, for three decades. During Van Osten’s tenure, he oversaw creative content for motion picture tie-in advertising, many Disney publications, and also established some of the first licensing style guides for Disney Consumer Products. The talented artist designed logos for Mickey Mouse’s 50th and 60th birthdays, the Walt Disney Studios logo and water tower design, and the Disneyland Hotel clock tower “Mickey” logo in Paris.

Each honoree receives a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to the Company. Disney Legends Award recipients will also participate in a handprint ceremony at the end of the event, and their bronzed prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Company’s Burbank headquarters.

Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to D23 EXPO 2015.

Including this year’s honorees, a total of 257 Disney Legends have been named. Past Disney Legends include Tim Allen, Robin Williams, Julie Andrews, Howard Ashman, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, Peter Jennings, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Sir Tim Rice, Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Walters. With the inaugural D23 EXPO in 2009, thousands of Disney fans were able to enjoy the Legends Awards ceremony for the first time. Honorees that year included Robin Williams, Beatrice Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Betty White, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Harry Archinal, Don Iwerks, and Leota Toombs Thomas.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

Marvel Contest of Champions Unveils New Game Update in Anticipation of Marvel’s Ant-Man Feature Film

 Marvel Contest of Champions Unveils New Game Update in Anticipation of Marvel’s Ant-Man Feature Film

Marvel Contest of Champions Unveils New Game Update in Anticipation of Marvel’s Ant-Man Feature Film

Kabam, a world leader in developing AAA high quality mobile games, announced today the release of new game content for its global hit Marvel Contest of Champions, inspired by the highly anticipated Marvel’s Ant-Man film hitting theatres on July 17. The Marvel Contest of Champions Ant-Man update feature includes new summoner masteries, new alliance quest game modes, special in-game Ant-Man story quest, events and more. New characters including Ant-Man, Yellowjacket, Elektra, War Machine and more will make their debut in-game throughout the upcoming weeks.

“Kabam continues to update Marvel Contest of Champions to new and exciting places,” said Cuz Parry, Creative Director for Kabam’s Vancouver Studio. “The Ant-Man update was created for our loyal fans who love the Marvel Cinematic Universe and in anticipation of Marvel’s Ant-Man feature film coming later this month.”

As part of the update, Kabam has added a brand new Alliance feature called Alliance Quests, where Summoners can strategize and quest through an all-new map in real time with their Alliance.

Marvel Contest of Champions

Marvel Contest of Champions

In the Marvel Contest of Champions Ant-Man update, Ant-Man has discovered something odd happening in the ant-sized world of the Battlerealm. While he was ant-sized, Ant-Man notices a battalion of tiny Adaptoids carrying tiny fragments of ISO-8 to a mysterious location. Unravel the mystery of what’s going on in the Battlerealm in the brand new Ant-Man Event Quests.

More on the latest update for Marvel Contest of Champions:

Alliance Quests:

  • Brand new game mode providing a new challenge for competitive alliances
  • Alliance Quests will pit your alliance against a map of challenging champions and bosses
  • Summoners will be able to play alongside their teammates on the quest-board synchronously completing objectives
  • Alliance members work together to defeat the quest’s boss
  • The first Alliance Quest will have an upgraded Ultron Prime as the main boss, urging Summoners to get Ant-Man to help defeat him
  • Quests will be driven by Live Operations, with new challenges for alliances coming out regularly

Event Quests:

  • Expect to see a new Ant-Man quest every four to five days, expanding the storyline and introducing new content
  • Ant-Man joins the contest, alerting the Summoner to shrunken Adaptoids mining ISO-8 in the Battlerealm
  • Summoners progress through the quest to learn that Yellowjacket is heading up the mysterious Adaptoid worker army

Arenas:

  • Summoners can compete on their own in the Player vs. Player Arenas or team up with their alliance in the Alliance Arenas for both Ant-Man and Yellowjacket
  • To participate in the Alliance Arenas, alliance members must acquire Pym Canisters through the event quests and redeem them to access the arenas

Marvel Contest of Champions is the only arcade-style fighting mobile game that goes beyond the films and dives deep into the Marvel Universe. Heroes and villains from Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers, Thunderbolts, X-Men, Inhumans, Guardians of the Galaxy and more battle it out in iconic Marvel locations, in an epic storyline that stays true to classic Marvel storytelling. Marvel Contest of Champions was immediately awarded Editors’ Choice on the App Store following launch in December 2014.

For more information and the latest updates, visit www.playcontestofchampions.com or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marvelcontestofchampions. Also, follow Marvel Contest of Champions on Twitter at @MarvelChampions

The Walt Disney Company’s Startup Accelerator Program Announces 2015 Participants

The Walt Disney Company’s Startup Accelerator Program Announces 2015 Participants

The Walt Disney Company’s Startup Accelerator Program Announces 2015 Participants

Today The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced the 2015 class of the Disney Accelerator program powered by Techstars. The second Disney Accelerator program features ten startup companies that will participate in a three-month mentorship and investment program beginning today and concluding with a Demo Day on October 6, 2015.

The companies selected for the 2015 Disney Accelerator program include:

  • Decisive: Decisive is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that uses real time data to enable advertisers to optimize mobile ad creative and targeting based on user engagement.
  • EMOTIV: EMOTIV is a bioinformatics company that uses electroencephalography (EEG) to track mental performance, monitor emotions, and control virtual and physical objects with thoughts.
  • FEM Inc.: FEM Inc. has developed a personalized video engagement platform based on neuroscience and psychology that maps the emotional dimensions of how and why content resonates.
  • HYP3R: HYP3R enables businesses and brands to identify influential customers at their locations and engage them in real time, when it matters most.
  • imperson: imperson provides an artificial intelligence platform enabling fans to have conversations with their favorite movie and TV characters.
  • Littlstar: Littlstar aggregates industry leading virtual reality content with its device agnostic discovery and distribution platform.
  • MakieLab: MakieLab lets kids bring toys to life by building their own customizable 3D-printed toys through creative games and apps.
  • Open Bionics: Open Bionics is a robotics company creating affordable 3D-printed bionic hands for amputees, researchers and makers.
  • Pundit: Pundit lets creators host audio Ask Me Anything (AMA’s) with their Twitter network, transforming the talk radio experience for the social media age.
  • StatMuse: StatMuse is developing an artificial intelligence platform to help sports fans explore data using simple, natural language.

“Last year’s Disney Accelerator exceeded our expectations on many fronts,” said Kevin Mayer, Chief Strategy Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “We are excited to roll up our sleeves again this year and help these cutting-edge startups achieve their goals.”

Participants receive up to $120,000 in investment capital to develop their ideas, along with mentor support from top Disney executives, including Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger, and leaders from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, among others. Mentors will also include other entertainment industry leaders, venture capitalists, and Techstars’ extensive network of entrepreneurs, investors and executives.

The startups from the 2014 Disney Accelerator have reached many milestones since completing the program. All of the startups have either raised capital, been acquired or become profitable since the end of the Accelerator and many of the participating companies have launched products and programs in conjunction with The Walt Disney Company:

  • ChoreMonster launched a Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out takeover of their app that unlocks characters from the film with completed chores.
  • Naritiv’s Snapchat campaign for ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars has amassed more than 1.3 million followers on Snapchat.
  • Robotics company Sphero is currently building an official toy based on the BB-8 droid used in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens that will be available later this year.
  • App creator TYFFON released the Show Your Disney Side app for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, which was downloaded more than 1.25 million times in the first two weeks.

For more information on both the 2014 and 2015 Accelerator programs, please visit: http://DisneyAccelerator.com

20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Announces Future World Marketplace Expansion

20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Announces Future World Marketplace Expansion

20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Announces Future World Marketplace Expansion

Walt Disney World Resort announced today that four new food and beverage marketplaces will open in Future World during the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase Sept. 25-Nov. 16, 2015. It’s the first time in the festival’s 20-year-history that global marketplace experiences, now numbering more than 30, have expanded from the park’s World Showcase into Future World.

During the 53-day festival, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese area featuring the Cheese Studio and Wine Studio marketplaces will evoke the ambiance of Napa Valley with grape vines and welcoming pergolas along the walkway to Future World West.

  • At the Cheese Studio, a cheese sample platter will be served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines.
  • The Wine Studio will serve premium wines on tap and showcase palate-pleasing wine varietals organized by color in artful displays.

At the new Next Eats area near the Epcot Character Spot, Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces will be inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. “The Chew” announced July 2 that the show will broadcast from Epcot during the festival.

  • At Sustainable Chew Marketplace, guests can taste delicious dishes inspired by “The Chew” co-hosts.
  • At Chew Lab, food science meets the hottest culinary tech trends to present innovative dishes like the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.

“The Future World festival marketplace expansion gives our guests more reasons than ever to help us celebrate 20 delicious festival years,” says Jens Dahlmann, general manager of Epcot Food & Beverage. “Adding even more sizzle, our collaboration with ABC’s ‘The Chew’ brings the cachet of a major daytime network television series and its celebrity hosts.”

More news to celebrate:

  • One of a series of popular Party for the Senses premium events will be the first-time Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses Oct. 31, an elegant, dance-the-night-away, gourmet tasting party with Champagne, wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails paired with food. Guests will be encouraged to masquerade in chic yellow and black. Reservations will open July 30, 2015, for festival premium events also to include the Mexican Tequila Lunch, Japanese Craft Beer Tasting, French Family Meal Traditions and dozens of events including Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining.
  • “The Chew” cast will host a new premium event: the Rockin’ Burger Block Party Oct. 8, with specialty burgers and sliders inspired by top names in the music industry such as Dave Matthews and his Dreaming Tree Wines and Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble Tequila. Two additional Burger Block Parties are set for Sept. 25 and Nov. 6.
  • The Dominican Republic Marketplace will return with fresh flair, serving new dishes including Pescado con Coco – seared grouper, pigeon peas with rice and coconut sauce. And at the Festival Center, the new Monday-through-Thursday “Spotlight on Dominican Republic” will showcase the country’s culture, crafts and culinary delights with artists and chefs at the Festival Center.
  • Two 20th-year celebratory wines were created just for this fall’s festival: a Napa Valley Festival Chardonnay and a Paso Robles Festival Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests will be able to purchase tastes of both wines at the Sustainable Chew marketplace, and the Festival Center Wine Shop will carry bottles.

At the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese, each keg of premium wine on tap will hold the equivalent of 26 wine bottles, eliminating bottle, cork, cardboard and paper waste from labels.  Recycling and repurposing of glass bottles and corks from other marketplace locations will be part of the 20th-year festival story.

Included with Epcot Admission:

Back to Basics series, Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.

Special Programming by Reservation:

The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, and other special beverage and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Reservations will open July 30, 2015, for all premium events including the new Rockin’ Burger Block Party.  Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) and get details at epcotfoodfestival.com beginning July 15.

Comic-Con International Subscription Video-On-Demand Service Announces FIRST Original Series Based on ASHLEY ECKSTEIN’S Popular “Her Universe Fashion Show”

Comic-Con International Subscription Video-On-Demand Service Announces FIRST Original Series Based on ASHLEY ECKSTEIN’S Popular “Her Universe Fashion Show”

Comic-Con International Subscription Video-On-Demand Service Announces FIRST Original Series Based on ASHLEY ECKSTEIN’S Popular “Her Universe Fashion Show”

 

The Comic-Con International subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, the new platform from Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Comic-Con International launching early next year, will feature an original, unscripted series with Her Universe, the wildly popular fangirl fashion company, it was announced tonight to a packed crowd during the “Her Universe Fashion Show” at this year’s Comic-Con International. The reality series, the first original content announced for the new SVOD service, will follow the contestants as they design their geek couture concepts from scratch and make plans to model them at next year’s “Her Universe Fashion Show.”

Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Founder of Her Universe), Ashley Tisdale (Clipped, Young and Hungry) and Jennifer Tisdale (Inner Circle) will executive produce the series, which will be produced by Her Universe, Blondie Girl Productions and Lionsgate.

“The Comic-Con SVOD service is about creating and delivering content specifically for and about this amazing and passionate fan base,” said Seth Laderman, Executive Vice President & General Manager of the new channel. “With Ashley Eckstein and Ashley and Jennifer Tisdale, we have an incredibly dynamic, creative, and talented team with a broad range of experience in franchises that our Comic-Con audience loves. We believe that they will deliver a program that speaks directly to our core fans.”

“We are beyond excited to be partnering with Lionsgate and Comic-Con for this new platform,” said Ashley Eckstein. “Five years ago, when we launched Her Universe, fangirls were an afterthought and “Geek Fashion” was nothing more than a men’s boxy t-shirt. Together, with my partner, The Araca Group, we set out to build an empowering community and merchandise line for fangirls to step into the spotlight and feel celebrated and stylish! Five years later Geek Fashion is a trending topic and we cannot wait to show the world that it’s here to stay.”

“One of the things we love about Ashley’s “Her Universe” reality show is that it captures the incredible diversity of our fan culture,” said Comic-Con’s Director of Marketing & Public Relations David Glanzer. “Not a competition show in the traditional sense, this series will immerse viewers in the preparations, excitement and suspense leading into next year’s geek fashion competition. It’s a perfect kick-off to a programming slate designed to bring the magic of Comic-Con to online audiences 365 days a year.”

The unscripted series will follow the designers as they are chosen for the fashion show, the joy and stress of creating their geek couture, and the pressure of the fashion show itself as they wait to learn the winning designs selected by judges and the audience. In addition to delivering the excitement of the competition itself, the show will also give audiences an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how designers hone and practice their craft. Further announcements are expected soon for a slate that will be comprised of original content, films and television series from Lionsgate and other studios aligned to Comic-Con fans’ diverse interests and archived footage from the Comic-Con International Convention’s 45-year history.

Lionsgate

Lionsgate

Last year, 17 of the top 20 North American box office blockbusters had a presence at the Comic-Con International Convention along with ground-breaking television series such as The Walking Dead and American Horror Story. Comic-Con International has grown from 300 attendees in the basement of San Diego’s U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970 to well over 130,000 fans from around the world in 2014, marking its evolution into a staple of popular culture and the longest-running comics and popular arts convention in America. Badges for this year’s Comic-Con sold out in 60 minutes.

Fans may visit Comic-Con.com to become the first to learn details about the new service.

Autographed Star Wars Cast Photo To Be Given Away By PSA At ComicCon

Autographed Star Wars Cast Photo To Be Given Away By PSA At ComicCon

Autographed Star Wars Cast Photo To Be Given Away By PSA At ComicCon

Visitors to the PSA booth (#5617) at the ComicCon® International: San Diego, July 9 – 12, 2015, will have the exciting opportunity to win a free photo autographed by four of the stars of the 1977 Star Wars© cast.

The photo showing the actors in costume was personally signed by Harrison Ford (“Han Solo”), Mark Hamill (“Luke Skywalker”), Carrie Fisher (“Princess Leia Organa”) and Peter Mayhew (“Chewbacca”). The signatures have been certified authentic by PSA/DNA, the autograph authentication division of PSA.

While supplies last, visitors to the PSA booth can receive free samples of PSA-certified Star Wars trading cards and complimentary copies of a special ComicCon edition of SMR magazine with feature stories about Star Wars collectibles. SMR is a monthly magazine filled with useful information about trading cards, autographs and other entertainment, sports and historical memorabilia and collectibles.

PSA (http://www.PSAcard.com) is the world’s largest trading card, autograph and memorabilia authentication, grading and certification service. Since 1991, PSA experts have examined and certified over 20 million collectibles with a combined value of over $1 billion.

“Star Wars trading cards and cast members’ autographs are popular collectibles, and some items bring very high prices at auction. We’re seeing a resurgence in market activity now because of the tremendous anticipation about the seventh Star Wars movie that is scheduled for release in December,” said PSA President Joe Orlando.

The estimated value of the autographed Star Wars cast photo is $1,000. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing, and the winner does not need to be present for the drawing. Complete rules and an entry form are online at http://www.PSAcard.com/comiccon.

Experts from PSA/DNA Authentication Services will be at the show daily to provide autograph certification services. PSA/DNA will offer a special $10 authentication rate for any autographs obtained at the show and submitted for certification at the PSA booth. Proof of autograph purchase must accompany the signature when submitting it for certification. PSA Customer Service representatives will be at the booth to provide submissions information.

The July 2015 ComicCon International: San Diego (http://www.comic-con.org/cci) will be held in the San Diego Convention Center 111 W. Harbor Dr., San Diego, California.

For additional information about PSA and PSA/DNA services, visit online at http://www.PSAcard.com, call (800) 325-1121, or email info(at)PSAcard.com.

Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Now Available for Pre-Order

Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Now Available for Pre-Order

Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Now Available for Pre-Order

Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), along with Hasbro, Inc., announced the pre-sale of Playmation Marvel’s Avengers – the groundbreaking new system of toys and wearables that uses smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the hero or heroine of stories from Marvel’s Avengers. The Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Starter Pack, Smart Figures and Prowler Bot are available to pre-order online at Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, GameStop.com, Target.com, ToysRUs.com and Walmart.com, as well as DisneyStore.com and at select Disney Store locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Kids playing with Playmation Marvel's Avengers at Disney Store on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 in Glendale, Calif. Playmation is a new system of toys and wearables that uses smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the hero or heroin of stories from Marvel's Avengers. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision for Disney/AP Images)

Kids playing with Playmation Marvel’s Avengers at Disney Store on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 in Glendale, Calif. Playmation is a new system of toys and wearables that uses smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the hero or heroin of stories from Marvel’s Avengers. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision for Disney/AP Images)

Kids and parents can experience Playmation Marvel’s Avengers for the first time only at participating Disney Store locations beginning July 7, where two- and five-minute training sessions will be available daily. For those who want to take part in an expanded experience, 30-minute Avengers Gear Orientations will be available on Saturdays and Sundays by reservation only. During the 30-minute Avenger Gear Orientation, kids and parents will learn more about the Avenger Gear, follow instructions from JARVIS and interact with other participants to complete missions and adventures. In-store training experiences will be available through October; parents can visit www.disneystore.com/playmation for a list of participating Disney Stores and to reserve a spot for the Avenger Gear Orientation.

“Playmation Marvel’s Avengers puts kids at the center of stories from the Marvel Universe, taking them on active adventures right alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” said Paul Gainer, executive vice president, Disney Retail. “Kids can team up with the Avengers by trying on Repulsor Gear and going on a mission with the help of JARVIS as they take part in exclusive demonstrations at Disney Store.”

The Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Starter Pack includes five connected toys: one piece of Avenger Gear (Repulsor), two Power Activators and two Smart Figures – a Super Hero (Captain America) and a Super Villain (Iron Skull). Additional Smart Figures – such as Iron Man, Black Widow, M.O.D.O.K., Hulkbuster and more – help players unlock new characters and content when placed on the Power Activator and synced with Avenger Gear. The Prowler Bot – a robotic villain – can find and hunt your Avenger Gear with 360 degree movement, while taking on dozens of enemy personas and abilities making game play more challenging.

Kids playing with Playmation Marvel's Avengers at Disney Store on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 in Glendale, Calif. Playmation is a new system of toys and wearables that uses smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the hero or heroin of stories from Marvel's Avengers. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision for Disney/AP Images)

Kids playing with Playmation Marvel’s Avengers at Disney Store on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 in Glendale, Calif. Playmation is a new system of toys and wearables that uses smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the hero or heroin of stories from Marvel’s Avengers. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision for Disney/AP Images)

Playmation Marvel’s Avengers, developed in collaboration with Hasbro, uses familiar technologies including wearables, wireless technology, motion sensors and more, but applies them in ways that are completely new to create a play experience that’s never been possible before. The Repulsor Gear connects with the Power Activators and Smart Figures to take you on a variety of adventures through locations around the Marvel Universe, from the Avengers Lab in New York to the jungles of Wakanda. Playmation is purposely not tethered to an Internet connection so players can run around and explore each adventure from anywhere they want – a bedroom, living room or yard. With multiplayer modes, players can sync their Avenger Gear to tackle missions and combat arenas together, or face-off in competitive play.

Playmation marks a new chapter in the long-term relationship between Disney Consumer Products and Hasbro, and their record of innovation and consumer insights make them the perfect partner to ensure that Playmation is a truly ground-breaking play experience.

Those who pre-order can expect to receive their purchase when Playmation Marvel’s Avengers becomes available at Disney Stores, disneystore.com and mass retailers in the U.S. and Canada beginning October 4. The suggested retail price of the Start Pack is $119.99, Smart Figures are $14.99, and the Prowler Bot is $39.99. The Disney Store and other retailers will be offering special pre-sale promotions beginning July 7; visit retailer websites for more details. The Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Starter Pack, additional Smart Figures, and Prowler Bot are each sold separately. Batteries are not included.

For more information on Playmation Marvel’s Avengers, visit http://www.playmation.com/avengers.

Verve Records & Walt Disney Records Team Up To Release Compilation Album We Love Disney, Due October 2015

Verve Records & Walt Disney Records Team Up To Release Compilation Album We Love Disney, Due October 2015

Verve Records & Walt Disney Records Team Up To Release Compilation Album We Love Disney, Due October 2015

In a unique collaboration between Verve Records and Walt Disney Records, the two esteemed labels have teamed up to present the compilation album We Love Disney, which will be released in October 2015. The compilation features the hottest artists from across the pop, rock, R&B, and country worlds delivering their own unique interpretations of classic Disney songs. The album was produced by multi-platinum, Grammy® Award-winning producer and Verve Music Group Chairman David Foster.

“When the opportunity arose to partner with Walt Disney Records, I jumped on it,” says Foster. “The Disney franchise is something that brings out the kid in all of us. No matter how old you are, 3 or 103, when you hear the word ‘Disney’ you light up from within. And there isn’t a person on the planet who doesn’t have a favorite Disney song. We tapped into that passion with all of the artists on the album. I tried to make the songs timeless so you couldn’t tell whether they were recorded 30 years ago or 30 years from now. The Disney catalog is so amazing. You have so many songs to pick from, going back almost 80 years now. So it’s an endless treasure and one of the most rewarding projects that I’ve ever done — and I’ve done a lot of stuff.”

The artists and songs that will be featured on We Love Disney will be announced in the coming weeks.

Verve and Disney Team Up

Verve and Disney Team Up

60th Anniversary of Mickey Mouse Club to Be Celebrated at D23 EXPO 2015 with Reunion of Original Mouseketeers

60th Anniversary of Mickey Mouse Club to Be Celebrated at D23 EXPO 2015 with Reunion of Original Mouseketeers

60th Anniversary of Mickey Mouse Club to Be Celebrated at D23 EXPO 2015 with Reunion of Original Mouseketeers

Members of the original Mickey Mouse Club will join the fun at D23 EXPO 2015 during a special presentation to commemorate the show’s 60th anniversary. Celebrating Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club — 60 Magical yEARS, hosted by author Lorraine Santoli (The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book), will take place Sunday, August 16 at 5 p.m. in Stage 23. The panel, featuring original Mouseketeers Sherry Alberoni, Sharon Baird, Bobby Burgess, Tommy Cole, Darlene Gillespie, Cubby O’Brien, and Doreen Tracey, along with actors Tim Considine (Spin Evans) and David Stollery (Marty Markham), will include a one-of-a-kind performance filled with memories, music, and magic. D23 EXPO 2015, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, will take place August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

In addition to the panel, the Disney Dream Store will offer a small collection of 60th anniversary Mickey Mouse Club items to mark the occasion. Also, several of the Mouseketeers will be available for a signing opportunity at D23 Autograph Central on the EXPO show floor on Sunday from 2:30–3:30 p.m. Plus, guests will be able to see Mouseketeer Annette Funicello’s original Disney Legend handprints on display for the first time outside the Walt Disney Studios lot. The handprints, taken on October 21, 1992, when Funicello was inducted as a Disney Legend, will be presented in one of the show floor’s “photo spots.” There will also be a collection of props and costumes from Mickey Mouse Club Circus in Walt Disney Archives Presents—Disneyland: The Exhibit.

D23 will also present several other engaging presentations for guests throughout the weekend including:

Charles Phoenix: Big Retro Disneyland Slide Show!
Friday, August 14, 10 a.m., Stage 28
Be prepared for your Disneyland-loving spirit to soar when the Ambassador of Americana takes you to the granddaddy of all theme parks when it opened. With his spectacular collection of “found” mid-century-era Kodachrome images, unbridled enthusiasm, and keen eye for detail, Charles shares the early days of Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland. See long-gone attractions, including the Phantom Boats, Flying Saucers, the Indian Village, PeopleMover, House of the Future, Carousel of Progress, and the original Tomorrowland—promoted as “The World of 1986”—and the all-new Tomorrowland in 1967. Your imagination will be inspired!

Disneyland Home Movies
Friday, August 14, 4:30 p.m., Stage 28
While Disneyland is one of the most photographed places on earth, this collection of one-of-a-kind footage and photography offers a unique viewpoint from another time. From the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Randy Haberkamp, Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs; Lynne Kirste, Special Collections Curator; and surprise special guests will take guests on a journey from Walt’s inspirations for Disneyland to the park’s opening and evolution, as captured on film. Suzanne Lloyd joins the presentation to showcase her grandfather Harold Lloyd’s stunning photography of Disneyland taken the week before the opening and on opening day.

A Goofy Movie 20th Anniversary Reunion!
Friday, August 14, 6 p.m., Stage 28
Fans of A Goofy Movie won’t want to miss this special commemoration of the beloved Disney animated feature, which turns 20 in 2015. Film producer Don Hahn hosts a panel of A Goofy Movie talent––including Disney Legend Bill Farmer (Goofy), Jason Marsden (Max), Jim Cummings (Pete), Rob Paulsen (P.J.), and writer Jymn Magon––who will share behind-the-scenes stories and surprising anecdotes from the fan-favorite musical.

The Making of American Experience: Walt Disney
Saturday, August 15, 4:30 p.m., Stage 28
This fall, PBS will premiere a new two-part, four-hour film exploring the life and legacy of Walt Disney as part of the American Experience series. Go behind-the-scenes with the team who brought the project together for a special sneak peek of the film: moderator Don Hahn (film producer, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King), Sarah Colt (director/producer, American Experience: Walt Disney), Neal Gabler (biographer, Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination), and Becky Cline, the Director of the Walt Disney Archives.

Best of Destination D
Sunday, August 16, 4:30 p.m., Stage 28
Since 2010, D23 Destination D events have offered D23 Members the chance to celebrate their favorite Disney subjects with unique and in-depth presentations from Disney Legends, Imagineers, animators, and others who have made magic on film, at Disney theme parks, and beyond. At D23 EXPO 2015, D23 is bringing two popular presentations from prior Destination D events together for a celebration of Walt Disney World® Resort—including a look back to its construction, early development, and favorite attractions of the past with Disney Legend and Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith. Then, Imagineer Jason Grandt will provide a modern look at Disney Parks and offer a designer’s point of view of details and “Easter Eggs” found throughout different attractions.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

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