Category Archives: D23

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.

#ICYMI: The DisWorld’s News Round-up for November 26-30, 2018

This week, reservations are now open for Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney Parks will live stream Neil Patrick Harris narrating the Candlelight Processional on December 4, and The Lion King teaser trailer breaks the internet .  Take a look!

 

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WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

Walt Disney World Resort Refurbishments for December 2018

Medals Revealed for 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Railroad at Magic Kingdom Closure Dates Announced

Tomorrowland Speedway at Magic Kingdom Refurbishment Dates Confirmed

Update: Friendship Boat Service Will be Available Until 9:30pm Daily

#DisneyParksLIVE to Stream ‘Candlelight Processional’ on December 4

New Details on Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Attraction Line-up Revealed for Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios & Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at The Edison at Disney Springs

Reservations Now Open for Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

 

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DISNEYLAND RESORT

Disneyland Resort Refurbishments for December 2018

 

OTHER NEWS

The Walt Disney Company Announces Semi-Annual Cash Dividend of $0.88 Per Share

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Airs December 6 on ABC

‘Disney Prep & Landing’ Airs December 13, as Part of the ’25 Days of Christmas’ Event

‘Disney Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice’ Airs December 13 on ABC

Rodgers & Hammertein’s ‘The Sound of Music’ Airs December 16 on ABC

ABC Announces Premiere Date for ‘Schooled,’ ‘The Goldbergs’ Spinoff

Disney and the National Football League Join Forces to Expand Coverage of the NFL Draft

December 2018 Programming Highlights for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior

Disney Junior Orders New India-Inspired Animated Series

Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures to Debut on New “Star Wars Kids” Website and YouTube Channel

New Teaser Trailer and Poster for ‘Artemis Fowl’

VIDEO: ‘The Lion King’ Teaser Trailer

VIDEO: Disney’s Artemis Fowl Teaser Trailer

 


Two NEW Nighttime Spectaculars & ‘Beauty & The Beast’ Sing-Along Announced for Epcot

Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek is announcing some exciting news this morning from D23 Destination D: Celebrating Mickey Mouse event at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Bob just shared an exciting update on a new spectacular planned to open at Epcot in 2020 as part of the multi-year transformation of the park!

The new nighttime spectacular will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world, and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers.

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Before that new show debuts, there will be a limited-time experience Epcot fans will love, called “Epcot Forever,” which will debut in fall 2019 and will feature classic Epcot tunes.

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Also at Epcot, Bob just revealed that the Ratatouille experience coming to the France pavilion will be called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

And coming soon to the France pavilion at World Showcase: In addition to “Impressions de France,” : a brand new “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, is set to debut.

Stay tuned for more details!


Names Revealed for Two Signature Attractions at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek is announcing some exciting news this morning from D23 Destination D: Celebrating Mickey Mouse event at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Bob just revealed the names of the two signature attractions set for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens at the Disneyland Resort next summer and at the Walt Disney World Resort in fall 2019.

Guests can take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. And on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests can join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren himself!

Check out one of the amazing videos shared with Destination D fans:

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He also shared a new look at the Star Wars resort that’s currently in development for the Walt Disney World Resort.

Stay tuned for more details!

New D23 Expo 2019 Details Announced!

On Thursday, August 23, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will begin selling tickets for the next D23 Expo, which will take place August 23–25, 2019, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The largest Disney fan event in the world, D23 Expo celebrates all the wonderful worlds of The Walt Disney Company under one roof, including the best of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars across film, television, theme parks, products, online, music, live entertainment, and more. D23 Expo 2019 marks the sixth biennial Expo held in Anaheim.

Everything You Need to Know About Tickets

Tickets for D23 Expo 2019 go on sale on August 23. This year, discounted single-day and multi-day tickets for D23 Expo 2019 will be available exclusively to D23 Gold Members, and Gold Members who purchase their tickets from August 23–November 20, 2018 will enjoy an additional special “Early Bird” discount.

D23 Gold Family Members can save as much as $288 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Gold Member “Early Bird” rate.

General admission tickets are $89 for a one-day adult admission and $69 for children. Three-day money-saving tickets are also available.

Discounted hotel and Disneyland Resort park tickets are available to all Expo ticket purchasers. For more information on tickets and the ticket prices for Gold Members and general admission, visit D23expo.com.

A limited number of VIP Sorcerer Packages for D23 Expo 2019 will be available exclusively to both D23 Gold and Gold Family Members at $2,500 per ticket. The full list of Sorcerer benefits can be found here.

Members can purchase up to two Sorcerer tickets. Additional details and a complete list of Sorcerer Package benefits are highlighted at D23expo.com.

D23 Gold and Gold Family Members will also be entitled to special benefits throughout the weekend including exclusive discounts and offers at select Disney retail and partner locations; a commemorative gift; and limited priority queueing for Hall D23 and the Expo Arena. Stay tuned for announcements about these magical opportunities in the coming months—but if you’re looking for more Disney magic right now, visit D23.com/join to join D23 and enjoy these future benefits.

Every year, D23 Expo brings more and more Disney magic to the fans who come from all around the world to celebrate. This year promises to be just as magical as 2017’s D23 Expo. Here are some of the exciting things you can look forward to, just announced today:

All the Magic of Disney on One Show Floor:

Once again, the Expo will celebrate the past, present, and future of Disney with signature entertainment, celebrity appearances, panels, presentations, sneak peeks, and immersive experiences. A massive show floor will feature exhibits, shopping, and photo opportunities from all across Disney and its partners.

The Disney magic extends from the show floor to the stage, as D23 Expo 2019 will showcase all of the latest stars in the Disney universe in a variety of panels and experiences that fans can’t miss. In 2017, celebrity appearances included Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Whoopi Goldberg, Jordan Fisher, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Hamill, Kristen Bell, Chris Hemsworth, Mandy Moore, and the stars of Disney’s Descendants. Additionally, Disney executives and creative talent came together to deliver special presentations, announcements, and experiences to Disney fans throughout the three-day extravaganza.

New Disney Legends, Archives Exhibit, and More

One of the essential traditions of D23 Expo is the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony, honoring the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy. Last year, we honored Mark Hamill, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Carrie Fisher, and more of the magic makers who have helped shaped Disney through the years. Who will be announced as Disney Legends next? Stay tuned for future announcements on D23 Expo 2019’s honorees.

Additionally, one of D23 Expo’s can’t-miss experiences is an extraordinary exhibit presented by the Walt Disney Archives. D23 Expo 2017 featured a swashbuckling look at the history of Disney and pirates and our friends at the Walt Disney Archives are hard at work right now putting together an exhibit for D23 Expo 2019 that is sure to be packed full of stunning Disney history and memories.

Also returning to D23 Expo 2019 is Talent Central, where fans can meet their favorite Disney stars, and a daily parade on the show floor, which debuted at D23 Expo 2017 to rousing celebration.

Ashley Eckstein and Yvette Nicole Brown Return to Judge Mousequerade

One of the most stunning parts of every D23 Expo is seeing the talented Disney fans in their amazing costumes, celebrating their favorite characters from Disney’s broad history. For D23 Expo 2019, the Mousequerade costume contest is back with actress Yvette Nicole Brown and fashion designer Ashley Eckstein returning as judges for the popular event, which includes dozens of eye-popping creations from fans around the world.

A Ghoulishly Delightful Design Challenge

The D23 Expo 2019 Design Challenge will be themed to the fan-favorite attraction Haunted Mansion, which first opened at Disneyland in 1969 and will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. Fans are encouraged to create ghoulishly delightful designs—from paintings and drawings to sculptures and models—inspired by the beloved attraction and its 999 happy haunts. Twenty-three pieces of finalist artwork will be on display throughout the D23 Expo weekend at a gallery on the show floor. The winning artist will be chosen prior to the start of the D23 Expo and will receive a cash prize of $2,300. Details for Mousequerade and the Design Challenge will be revealed this fall, so make sure to check back and find out more about this frighteningly exciting opportunity.

Stay tuned for more updates on D23 Expo 2019. Until then, for the latest news and updates, visit D23expo.com.