Additional Narrators Announced for Epcot’s Candlelight Processional

Candlelight Processional takes place at Epcot November 24 – December 30 and presents the traditional story of Christmas  with a celebrity narrator accompanied by a  50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.  Today Disney announced Matt Bomer, Warwick Davis, Chandra Wilson, and Whoopi Goldberg would join the line-up of previously announced narrators Pat Sajak, Trace Adkins, Neil Patrick Harris, CCH Pounder, and Jaci Velasquez.

© Disney

New to this year’s lineup include Matt Bomer (“White Collar,” “The Last Tycoon,”) and Star Wars fan favorite Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.”

And returning this year are everyone’s favorite hard-driving Dr. Bailey from “Grey’s Anatomy,” Chandra Wilson – and newly-named Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of ABC’s “The View.”

Here’s the complete line-up so far:*

  • Nov. 24- 26 – To Be Announced
  • Nov. 27-28 – Matt Bomer
  • Nov. 29 – 30 – To Be Announced
  • Dec. 1-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak
  • Dec. 6-11 – To Be Announced
  • Dec. 12-14 – Warwick Davis
  • Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez
  • Dec. 28-30 – Chandra Wilson

The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre.

Dining packages are available on select nights which include a meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited.

In addition to lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are available at some favorite restaurants in and near Epcot again this year like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and The Garden Grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $35 plus tax per person for adults and $21 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $44 plus tax per person for adults and $15.50 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

Click here to book Candlelight Processional dining packages or to find out more information, call
407/ WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).


Guardians of the Galaxy Monsters After Dark Coming to Disneyland Resort for Halloween Time

Guardians of the Galaxy at Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort will have a new mission for Halloween Time this year.  You can help Rocket save Groot in the transformed Guardians of the Galaxy Monsters After Dark attraction!

According to Disney, in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, Rocket finds his Guardians of the Galaxy pals trapped in the Fortress of The Collector, Taneleer Tivan, and guests assist him with a daring escape plan. The Monsters After Dark transformation picks up moments afterward, as Rocket discovers that in the hurry to free his friends, they have inadvertently left Groot behind. Now Rocket needs to distract all the monsters he has unleashed inside the Fortress, and he enlists the guests to help while he rescues his little friend.

“The Monsters After Dark story hinges on irreverence, on top of the irreverence that’s already in the attraction,” said Joe Rohde, creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. “It’s creepy, chaotic and very funny.”

The attraction transforms from Mission: BREAKOUT! to Monsters After Dark each evening. The Collector’s Fortress goes dark, alarms sound and all-new lighting on the exterior of the Fortress alerts guests that something inside has gone awry.

As guests enter the Lobby of the Fortress, they may be startled by flashing alarms and creepy sounds – warning signs that creatures have escaped their vitrine cages and all kinds of chaos is erupting. The Collector’s ever-resourceful assistant Apheta tries to keep calm by reassuring guests that all is in order, and this is just a momentary setback.

In keeping with the dark humor of the experience, all-new 1970s-style punk rock song, “Monsters After Dark,” enhances the thrill of the experience. The song was written especially for this attraction by Tyler Bates, composer for the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Monsters After Dark transformation will take place September 15 – October 31, 2017.


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Mary T. Barra, General Motors Co. Chairman & CEO, Elected to The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors has elected Mary T. Barra, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors Co., as a director, effective immediately. Ms. Barra’s election brings Disney’s total board membership to 12.

“Beyond being an incredibly respected leader of a major US company, Mary is recognized as an agent of change with a relentless focus on quality, safety and, most importantly, consumers,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Her ability to adapt to a changing technological and consumer-focused landscape makes her uniquely suited for the Disney Board.”

“I am honored to be associated with such an iconic organization as The Walt Disney Company,” Ms. Barra said. “Under Bob’s visionary leadership, the Disney team has continued to set the benchmark for innovation, branding and the highest levels of customer service. GM has worked together with Disney on a number of projects over the years, and I look forward to helping contribute to the company’s ongoing success as the world’s premier entertainment and media enterprise.”

Ms. Barra was elected Chairman of the GM Board of Directors in January 2016, and has served as CEO of GM since January 2014. Under her leadership, GM is focused on strengthening its core business of building great cars, trucks and crossovers, while also working to lead the transformation of personal mobility through advanced technologies like connectivity, electrification, autonomous vehicles and car sharing. Ms. Barra has also established a strategic direction based on putting the customer at the center of everything the company does.

Prior to becoming CEO, Ms. Barra served as GM’s Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain from August 2013, and as Senior Vice President, Global Product Development from February 2011.  In these roles, Ms. Barra and her teams were responsible for the design, engineering and quality of GM vehicle launches worldwide. She also served as Vice President, Global Human Resources; Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly; and in several other executive engineering and staff positions.

Ms. Barra began her career with GM in 1980 as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1985. She earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1990.

Ms. Barra is a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees and the Stanford GSB Advisory Council. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Economic Club; the Board of Trustees for Detroit Country Day School; and as a member of The Business Council. Ms. Barra is also co-chair of the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation.


‘Find the Force’ Augmented Reality Event Announced for ‘Force Friday II’

Following the global phenomenon of Force Friday in 2015, Disney and Lucasfilm today announced Find the Force, a global augmented reality (AR) event rolling out on Force Friday II (September 1) to commemorate the worldwide launch of new products inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The pop-up AR treasure hunt aims to unite fans around the world in the battle against the dark side in a unique three-day event at over 20,000 retail locations across 30 countries. As fans turn up to take home new Star Wars: The Last Jedi products, they will have the opportunity to activate a unique augmented reality experience featuring Star Wars characters, including fan-favorites and new surprise additions from the film.

“Force Friday II is a major milestone in the countdown to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Star Wars has always championed new technology, and we are excited that augmented reality will allow fans to experience the universe in a whole new way,” says Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm.

From September 1-3, retailers around the world will invite fans to Find the Force by taking part in an AR treasure hunt. Here’s how it works: first, download the Star Wars App, which is your one-stop-shop for all things Star Wars (those who already have the app will need to download the latest version). Then, visit any one of 20,000 participating retail locations to find a graphic that contains the Find the Force logo. When you scan the graphic using the Star Wars App, you’ll reveal a character, who through augmented reality, will appear in the room with you. You can then take photos, record videos, and share the experience on social media. Come back each day to reveal new characters (15 in total across the program’s three-day run). Click here for more information: www.starwars.com/findtheforce.

“Force Friday II puts fans right at the center of the action using augmented reality to bring our characters to life like never before. The technology theme continues in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi product line, which is our most innovative yet – we can’t wait for fans to see what’s in store.” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.

Fans can download the latest version of the Star Wars App (v. 2.3 or higher) beginning Aug. 24 for an early look at the new Porg characters in AR before the AR treasure hunt goes live at retail on Sept. 1.

By sharing photos or videos featuring the in-store AR characters on Twitter or Instagram using #FindtheForce and #Sweepstakes throughout Force Friday II weekend, fans in select global markets can participate in a sweepstakes for the chance to win the ultimate fan experience: tickets to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere in December.

No Purchase Necessary. Enter sweepstakes between August 31, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”)/3:00 p.m. British Summer Time (“BST”) and September 4, 2017 at 2:59 a.m. PT/10:59 a.m. BST. Open to legal residents in 50 U.S. + D.C., Canada (excluding Quebec), Australia, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, France, South Korea and Chile who are 18+ or the age of majority in their place of residence, whichever is older. Limit 15 entries per person. There is 1 Grand Prize available to be won (ARV: US $4,500). Grand Prize winner must travel to Los Angeles, California USA on or about December 12, 2017. Visit starwars.com/findtheforce. for Official Rules including details on how to enter, additional eligibility requirements, prize descriptions and limitations. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: The Walt Disney Company (Australia) Pty. Limited, Level 5, Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria 3141, Australia.

More information about Find the Force and a how-to video is available at www.starwars.com/findtheforce.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in U.S. theaters on December 15, 2017.


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