Disney Announces $1.15 Per Share Dividend, Up 34%; 2015 Shareholders Meeting in San Francisco

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors today declared an annual cash dividend of $1.15 per share, up 34 percent, or $0.29 per share, from the previous year. The dividend is payable on January 8, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 15, 2014. This is Disney’s 59th consecutive dividend payment to shareholders.

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Disney Research’s ‘FeelCraft’ Brings 4D Attractions to the Home

'FeelCraft' by Disney ResearchAlthough the fourth dimension is time, it hasn’t stopped amusement parks from hijacking the term as a way of saying they’ve plussed traditional 3D movies by adding a new ‘dimension’ of effects. Usually these effects involve dropping things on the audience such as cold water to simulate breaking glass (followed by warm water to simulate the blood from all the sliced skin), fog, bubbles and — most of all — haptic feedback right from the very seat the audience member is sitting in. Whether it’s mice running past your feet or bugs crawling under your butt, tactile feedback is big in the amusement park experience, especially when virtually anyone can bring the 3D experience home.

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Disney Theatrical Announces Unprecedented Ticket Exchange Program

Most of the time, when you are planning to attend a Broadway event and have already purchased your tickets, you are out of luck if you are unable to attend the performance. Today, Disney Theatrical announced it is introducing an unprecedented ticket exchange program for those planning on attending performances of ‘Aladdin’ or ‘The Lion King.’ The new policy allows ticketholders for Disney’s Broadway shows — in advance and for any reason whatsoever — to change the date they see the show at any time up until two hours in advance of their scheduled performance. There is no limit to the number of times the tickets may be exchanged. Tickets must be exchanged at the original point of purchase via the Disney on Broadway Hotline, Ticketmaster (phone and web) or in-person at the respective show box offices (New Amsterdam and Minskoff Theatres), and a modest exchange fee of $12 per ticket applies. This service is available only to guests of Disney’s New York City productions of Aladdin and The Lion King, and the exchange may be made only for another performance of the production originally purchased. Specific terms and conditions follow.

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Tokyo Disney Resort Announces Plans to Double Size of Fantasyland, Add New Land to DisneySea

Tokyo Disney Resort ExpansionPerhaps taking a cue from its stateside sister theme parks as well as answering some previous speculation due to recent land acquisition, Oriental Land Company — the owners and operators of the Tokyo Disney Resort — today announced a ‘2016 medium-term business plan’ which will see new expansions to both theme parks through 2017. While specifics have yet to be unveiled, Tokyo Disney Resort says for Disneyland, it will double the size of the existing Fantasyland, while DisneySea will receive a new themed land (‘port’) about the same size as Arabian Coast, which will be located south of the existing Lost River Delta. OLC says the investment will come at a cost of about 500 billion yen, or about 4.6 billion dollars, with 80% of that going to the new theme park additions and the remaining going to backstage efforts to strengthen the infrastructure. Development is expected to begin in 2017, after the medium-term business plan expires.

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Bob Iger to Remain as Disney Head Through Mid-2018

Robert A. Iger (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company). (Disney/Bob D'Amico)The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors today announced that it has extended Bob Iger’s contract as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer through June 30, 2018. Previously, Iger was expected to step down from his current positions in 2016 after already having been extended from a planned leave next year, in 2015.

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Hasbro to Produce Disney Princess Dolls Beginning in 2016

Hasbro and Disney Consumer Products today announced that starting in 2016, Hasbro will be granted worldwide rights (except for Japan) to produce dolls based on the Disney Princess properties including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Frozen. This will further expand Hasbro’s existing deal which already encompasses Star Wars and Marvel properties.

The deal most likely spells trouble for Mattel, which currently has had the lock on producing dolls and other products in the Disney Princess line. We have reached out for comment to Disney Consumer Products, but have not yet heard back regarding how Mattel’s existing relationship will be affected by the new deal with Hasbro. Mattel’s Hot Wheels line has recently introduced a line of vehicles inspired by Marvel properties.

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Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm Characters Flank Walt Disney on Commemorative Shareholder Certificate

The Walt Disney Company Collectible Shareholder CertificateBeginning today, Disney shareholders are now eligible to purchase the brand new Disney Shareholder commemorative certificate, available exclusively through Disney Store — available for a limited time with an introductory price of just $35 (regularly $50). Because the Walt Disney Company no longer issues paper stock certificates as a way to streamline and secure shareholder’s holdings, the new 8″x12″ commemorative certificate is a non-negotiable form of being able to proudly display ownership in the company as with paper stocks in the past.

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Deadmau5 Responds to Disney Trademark Block with Cease and Desist

Deadmau5 Cease and Desist LetterWhat’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or rather what’s good for the mouse is good for the dead mouse. So sayeth Joel Zimmerman /aka/ Deadmau5.

Although he had no shortage of words for Disney on his Twitter account in response to Disney’s move to block his trademark registration, he and his lawyers upped the ante earlier today by serving a cease and desist letter to Disney Interactive, claiming they were engaging in both copyright and trademark infringement.

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TRADEMARK: Disney Makes Good on Deadmau5 Extermination Threat

Disney Registered Trademark SamplesIn a whopping 171-page complaint, the Walt Disney Company earlier today filed a ‘Notice of Opposition’ of trademark registration against Ronica Holdings, the corporate identity responsible for staking claim to the logo for the music artist, Deadmau5 (pronounced: Dead Mouse). First reported by Stitch Kingdom back in March, Ronica Holdings now has 40 days to respond to Disney’s claim.

Pictured left are just some of the logos cited in the notice which Disney feels demonstrates their hold on the three — sometimes ‘incomplete’ — circles that compose the silhouette of a mouse head.

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PATENT: Disney to Use Drones for Night-Time Entertainment

Drone controlled marionetteEveryone knows drones are where it’s at. Whether you’re looking to deliver packages to customers’ doorsteps, target and destroy someone from thousands of miles away or looking to entertain thousands of guests, you’ll need an army of drones.

Thanks to a series of recently published patent applications, we now have an idea of where Walt Disney Imagineering is headed with future plans for night-time entertainment to take place over lagoons (which are specifically mentioned in the applications), although the technology can be applied virtually anywhere.

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