Category Archives: Disney

#FaveFive – Our Favorite Disney Happenings This Week

Welcome to our #FaveFive where we bring you our top 5 favorite Disney happenings this week!

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1. The TRON attraction reaches a milestone at Magic Kingdom!

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2. Takumi-Tei is opening this summer at Epcot!

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3. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge menus are here!

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4. Forky merchandise has arrived in the Disney Parks!

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5. Take a look at the 2019 Disney Legends

See you next week!

#ICYMI: The DisWorld’s News Round-up for May 13 – May 17, 2019

This week Disney names 11 new Disney Legends to be honored at this year’s D23 Expo, full menus are released for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and we have a bunch of Freeform news from Disney’s Upfront event. Take a look at this week’s headlines below!

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WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

Limited-Release Designer Mouse Ears Coming to Disney Parks & shopDisney

Disney Shares TRON Construction Milestone

Magic Kingdom Park Hours Extended on Select Dates in June & July 2019

NEW Japan Pavilion Restaurant Takumi-Tei Opening This Summer

Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Closing For Refurbishment This Week

NEW ‘Toy Story 4’ Merchandise Debuts at Disneyland & Walt Disney World Resorts

Sneak Peek of ‘Toy Story 4’ Coming Soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Full Menus Released for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Disney Shares 360 VIDEO Sneak Peek Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Hours Extended on Select Dates in June & July

Limited Time Cannonballs Meatball Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich at Disney Springs and Downtown Disney

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DISNEYLAND RESORT

Limited-Release Designer Mouse Ears Coming to Disney Parks & shopDisney

Full Menus Released for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Disney Shares 360 VIDEO Sneak Peek Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

NEW ‘Toy Story 4’ Merchandise Debuts at Disneyland & Walt Disney World Resorts

Sneak Peek of ‘Toy Story 4’ Coming Soon to Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line

Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind Opening This Summer at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure Park

Limited Time Cannonballs Meatball Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich at Disney Springs and Downtown Disney

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OTHER NEWS

Eleven New Disney Legends to Be Honored During D23 Expo 2019

Disney to Take Full Control Over Hulu

How DisneyResearch|Studios’ Technology and Industrial Light & Magic Artistry Helped Reinvent Hulk in Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Teaser Trailer Debuts for ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’

‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Working on Next ‘Star Wars’ Movie

Special Guests Announced for ‘American Idol’ Season Finale

Kerry Washington Joins the Cast of ‘Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’

ABC Unveils 2019-2020 Prime-Time Schedule

ABC Extends Contract With Jimmy Kimmel Through a Historic 20th Season

Disney Channel Orders Second Season of ‘Amphibia’ Ahead of the Series Premiere on June 17

Freeform Renews ‘Siren’ for Third Season

‘The Bold Type’ Renewed For Season 4 By Freeform

‘The Simpsons’ Heads to Freeform Beginning in September

Freeform Releases First Trailer for ‘Party of Five’

Freeform Releases First Trailer For ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’

Freeform Releases First Trailer For ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Okay’

Freeform Expands 31 Nights of Halloween With New Special and Returning Favorites

Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas Returns With New Holiday Classics

Details About the New Animated Shorts Coming to Disney+ in Spring 2020

Details About the New Animated Shorts Coming to Disney+ in Spring 2020

Today Walt Disney Animation Studios shared some details about the brand new animated shorts which will be coming to Disney+ in the spring of 2020.

The shorts are part of Short Circuit, the program where anyone at the Walt Disney Animation Studios can pitch an idea and potentially be selected to create an original short film with the support of the Studio and their fellow artists. Here’s a sneak peek of three of the shorts which will launch in spring 2020 on Disney+ and who directed them:

Jing Hua (Flower in the Mirror)

The first short comes from director Jerry Huynh, a technical director at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He’s worked on films like Moana and Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Just a Thought

Just a Thought is a short inspired by those awkward pre-teen years, and the newspaper comics that director Brian Menz grew up loving. His credits include Disney favorites like Bolt, Big Hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Zootopia, Moana, and Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Exchange Student

Natalie Nourigat also worked on Ralph Breaks the Internet most recently, but launched her professional career drawing comics. Natalie’s love of comics is sure to come through her short Exchange Student.

These Short Circuit shorts will be available to watch on Disney+ in the spring of 2020.

Special Guests Announced for ‘American Idol’ Season Finale

Following a cross-country search for the next singing sensation, “American Idol” rounds out its second season on ABC with an epic grand finale event, featuring “Idol”‘s Top 3 contestants: Alejandro Aranda, Laine Hardy and Madison VanDenburg. For the first time in “Idol” history, America’s live coast-to-coast vote will determine the winner of the iconic singing competition series, with all voting taking place during the show. The crowning moment will be preceded by special performances from music legends, including “Idol”‘s very own superstar judges, the return of fan-favorite contestants from the current season and a special visit by last season’s winner, Maddie Poppe. Poppe’s debut album, “Whirlwind,” drops on Friday, May 17. The jam-packed music event airs SUNDAY, MAY 19 (8:00–11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.

Grand finale performances include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adam Lambert to perform his new single, “New Eyes,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Dimitrius Graham
  • Carrie Underwood to make a special appearance during her Cry Pretty Tour 360 to perform her new hit single, “Southbound,” live on the “Idol” stage
  • Daddy Yankee and Katy Perry to perform “Con Calma”
  • Dan + Shay to perform “All To Myself” and “Speechless” with Madison VanDenburg
  • Jon Pardi to perform a medley of “Night Shift” and “Dirt On My Boots” with Laine Hardy
  • Kane Brown to perform “Good As You” and “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” with Alyssa Raghu
  • Katy Perry to perform “Unconditionally” with Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
  • Kool & The Gang to perform a medley of “Hollywood Swinging,” “Ladies Night” and “Celebrate” with the Top 10
  • Luke Bryan to perform “Knockin’ Boots” and “Every Breath You Take” with Laci Kaye Booth
  • Lionel Richie to perform “Dancing on the Ceiling” with the Top 10
  • Montell Jordan to perform “This Is How We Do It” with Margie Mays and Austin Michael
  • Viral sensation Shayy returns to perform “Rise Up”
  • Weezer to perform a medley of “Africa,” “Take On Me” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” with Wade Cota and Walker Burroughs

Helping to determine who America will ultimately vote to become the next singing sensation are music industry legends and all-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Emmy® Award-winning producer Ryan Seacrest hosts the beloved series, and famed multimedia personality Bobby Bones acts as in-house mentor.

“American Idol” is produced by Fremantle and Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment. Executive producers include Fremantle’s Trish Kinane, also serving as showrunner, Jennifer Mullin, Megan Wolflick and Industrial Media’s Chris Anokute. Fremantle distributes the series worldwide.

Eleven New Disney Legends to Be Honored During D23 Expo 2019

The Walt Disney Company will honor 11 new Disney Legends during the upcoming D23 Expo 2019 in a special awards ceremony hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. Wing Chao, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Kenny Ortega, Barnette Ricci, Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer, Ming-Na Wen and Hans Zimmer will be celebrated for their significant and lasting contributions to the Disney Legacy.

“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor we can bestow; it’s a recognition of talent, a celebration of achievement, and an expression of profound gratitude to the remarkable men and women who have made an indelible mark on our company and our creative legacy,” said Iger. “This year’s honorees have earned a place in our hearts and our history for their significant contributions in film, television and our theme parks around the world.”

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The Disney Legends Awards program begin in 1987, when actor Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire) became the first Disney Legend. Since then, 289 talented individuals have been honored, including Tim Allen, Julie Andrews, Beatrice Arthur, Howard Ashman, Annette Funicello, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Jennings, Sir Elton John, Angela Lansbury, George Lucas, Steve Martin, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Regis Philbin, Marty Sklar, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters, Betty White and Robin Williams.

The 2019 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

WING CHAO For 37 years at Disney, Wing T. Chao played a vital role in designing and developing exceptional and inspirational projects, worth more than $12 billion, at Disney parks and resorts worldwide. Wing served as vice chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for Asia Pacific Development as well as executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering, where he oversaw master planning, architecture and design. Wing directed development teams consisting of Disney Imagineers and many of the world’s most renowned architects and designers. He also developed and built projects, including resort hotels, parks, cruise ships, entertainment venues, water attractions, convention and exhibition centers, sports stadiums, restaurants, retail spaces, recreational complexes, office spaces and two new-town communities, at The Walt Disney Company’s properties in California, Florida, Hawai‘i, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai and other locations worldwide.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. is a two-time Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe® winner who has appeared in more than 80 films. Considered one of the industry’s most talented and respected actors, Robert has embraced both dramatic and comedic roles, including his Disney debut in the 2006 remake of The Shaggy Dog. After numerous standout performances, Robert then went on to help launch Marvel Studios with his celebrated performance as Tony Stark as Iron Man. His role has spearheaded the iconic blockbuster franchises Iron Man and Avengers, for which he’s starred in three Iron Man films, The Incredible Hulk (2008), Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017); and four Avengers films, including the most recent, Avengers: Endgame (2019), which shattered box office records and became the largest-ever film debut, bringing in $1.2 billion worldwide in its opening weekend. Robert will next star in the title role in 2020’s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle and is in pre-production on the third installment of the successful Sherlock Holmes franchise.

JON FAVREAU started his career with appearances in film and television and has since become one of Hollywood’s most successful producers and directors. Jon’s first roles included appearances on TV shows such as Seinfeld and Friends, but his big break came with the Miramax indie film Swingers (1996), for which he wrote the screenplay, starred, and co-produced. His directing credits include Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), the live-action remake of The Jungle Book (2016) and this year’s reimagining of The Lion King. Jon also made appearances in several Marvel Cinematic Universe films as Tony Stark’s loyal bodyguard, Happy Hogan. As an executive producer for Marvel Studios, John holds credits on such films as Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He has also voiced characters for Disney television shows and feature films, including Hercules (TV, 1999), Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (TV, 2000), G-Force (2009), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV, 2010–13) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). Jon is writing and executive producing the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian for Disney+, which will premiere this November.

JAMES EARL JONES started his acting career with television and film roles, including appearances in As the World Turns (1966) and Dr. Strangelove (1964). But the Oscar®, Emmy® and Tony® Award-winning actor is well known for his iconic voice acting, beginning with the role of Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). This villainous vocal performance was reprised in subsequent Star Wars films, including most recently in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and TV shows like Star Wars Rebels (2014–18). His voice can also be heard in Disney Parks around the globe, including recurring vocal performances as Darth Vader for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Other Disney credits include ABC’s Recess in 1998 as the voice of Santa Claus, narrator for the Disneynature film Earth (2009), segment host for Fantasia/2000 (2000) and as the celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Ceremony at Disneyland. Audiences also recognize the actor’s basso profundo as that of Mufasa in The Lion King (1994), a role James Earl would return to in The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998), The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015) and this summer’s reimagining of The Lion King.

BETTE MIDLER When the Disney studio set out to expand the breadth of its film production with Touchstone Pictures, it was Emmy, Grammy®, Golden Globe and Tony winner Bette Midler who helped lead the way to box office success for the new division. She appeared in a string of hit comedies, including Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987) and Big Business (1988). Touchstone’s 1988 drama Beaches not only proved to be a smash with audiences, but it also included Bette’s platinum-selling rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Other Disney films followed, including Stella (1990) and Scenes from a Mall (1991), as well as a memorable vocal performance as the spoiled poodle Georgette in Oliver & Company (1988). Bette is well known to Disney audiences for her role as the witchy Winifred in the perennial Halloween classic Hocus Pocus (1993). She also starred in The Lottery (1989), a short film produced for the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in Florida for guests of the park’s Backstage Studio Tour.

KENNY ORTEGA is a multi-award-winning director, choreographer and producer. His first work with Disney was choreographing the TV special Disney’s Totally Minnie (1988), followed by Mickey’s 60th Birthday the same year, and he would go on to direct three episodes of Touchstone Television’s Hull High in 1990. In 1992, Kenny directed his first feature film, the beloved Disney musical Newsies, which was followed, in 1993, by the Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus. In 2006, he helmed the Disney Channel smash hit High School Musical, and the success of the first film would bring him back to direct—and choreograph—the sequels High School Musical 2 (2007) and High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008). Kenny also produced and staged the High School Musical: The Concert tour, as well asthe Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers Best of Both Worlds Tour. His other Disney credits include directing the 2014 short The Making of FrozenThe Cheetah Girls 2 (2006) and, most recently, the international phenomenon Descendants (2015), Descendants 2 (2017) and Descendants 3, which will be released this summer.

BARNETTE RICCI started her career with The Walt Disney Company as a choreographer at Disneyland. In the late 1960s, Barnette created and directed Kids of the Kingdom before going on to choreograph and direct many parades, including Christmas parades, America on Parade, and the Main Street Electrical Parade. She worked on the grand openings of Walt Disney World, EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland and directed popular stage shows such as Golden Horseshoe Revue at Disneyland and the Diamond Horseshoe Revue in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. Perhaps her biggest project to date is the creation of Fantasmic! Debuting at Disneyland in 1992, the production combines state-of-the-art special effects with live performers along the Rivers of America. The show continues a successful run at Disneyland, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World and now Tokyo DisneySea. Following Fantasmic!, Barnette moved to The Walt Disney Studios as the vice president/show director of Special Events. After more than 40 years with The Walt Disney Company, Barnette retired in 2013.

ROBIN ROBERTS In 1990, Robin joined ESPN and would quickly become a frequent contributor to the network’s programming. In her 15 years at ESPN, she contributed to NFL Primetime and hosted SportsCenter and In the Game with Robin Roberts. Robin began making appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) in 1995, and in 2005 left ESPN to join the show full-time as co-anchor. Since joining GMA, the show has won four Emmys for Outstanding Morning Program. For ABC, Robin has hosted In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: All Access Nashville, as well as ABC’s red carpet coverage of the Academy Awards, and has created original broadcast and digital programming for the network through her production company, Rock’n Robin Productions. In 2007, Hyperion publishing released Robin’s first book, From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By. Among Robin’s many awards are the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, membership in the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and being named one of Glamour‘s Women of the Year.

DIANE SAWYER is an ABC News anchor, tackling some of the biggest issues of our time with original reporting, primetime specials, long-form interviews and in-depth investigations. One of the most respected journalists in the world, she has traveled the globe delivering breaking news reports, and has conducted interviews with almost every major newsmaker of our time. Her primetime documentaries have won critical acclaim for shedding light on difficult and previously under-reported topics, including her reporting on the realities of poverty in America. Diane’s reporting has been recognized with numerous awards, including duPonts; Emmys; Peabodys; the grand prize of the premier Investigative Reporters and Editors Association; an IRTS Lifetime Achievement Award and the USC Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award. In 1997 she was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. After more than a decade in television news, Sawyer joined ABC News in February 1989 as co-anchor of Primetime. She was named co-anchor of Good Morning America in January 1999, and held the post until taking over the World News anchor chair in December 2009.

MING-NA WEN can currently be found saving the day as Agent Melinda May, aka “The Cavalry,” on the ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ming-Na is also known for her seven years playing Jing-Mei Chen on ER. She found success on the big screen when she appeared in the acclaimed Hollywood Pictures adaptation of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. Five years later, she would find animation immortality as the title star of the Disney classic Mulan, a role for which she would receive an Annie Award. Ming-Na returned to the role of heroic Fa Mulan in a slew of projects, including an animated sequel, video games Kingdom Hearts II and Disney Infinity, on television’s House of Mouse and Sofia the First, and in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018). Ming-Na has been well known to audiences for her television projects, including her voice work in Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb, Disney XD’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Milo Murphy’s Law, the six-part digital short Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors and a recurring role in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat.

HANS ZIMMER has scored more than 160 projects which, combined, have grossed more than $28 billion worldwide. Hans has been honored with an Academy Award®, two Golden Globes, three Grammys, an American Music Award and a Tony Award. In addition to his long list of credits, including notable projects such as Gladiator and The Dark Knight trilogy, Hans has had a great history with The Walt Disney Company. His early work for them includes additional music for White Fang (1991) and co-writing music for Cool Runnings (1993). His groundbreaking, Academy Award-winning instrumental score for The Lion King (1994) was followed by many memorable projects, including Crimson Tide (1995), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), The Rock (1996), Pearl Harbor (2001), King Arthur (2004) and Iron Man (2008). Hans is the guiding force behind the music of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, serving in various composing, editing, and producing capacities for The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Dead Man’s Chest (2006), At World’s End (2007) and On Stranger Tides (2011). Hans composed the music for this summer’s reimagining of The Lion King.

Honorees receive 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.

The Disney Legends Awards Ceremony will be held at 10.a.m. on Friday, August 23, in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center. To learn more about D23 Expo 2019, visit D23Expo.com.