TMZ is reporting that designer Arman Mkrtchyan has filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court against The Walt Disney Company on the grounds that his work was used in Walt Disney Studios’ Alice in Wonderland without any compensation. Claiming that the Red Queen’s throne is a virtual clone of his own piece (and that he in fact had designed a matching set, representing each suit), Mkrtchyan is suing Disney for a ‘designer’s fee’ in the amount of $50,000.
Harrison “Buzz” Price, the research economist who recommended Anaheim to Walt Disney as the location for Disneyland, then later recommended Orlando to Roy O. Disney as the location for Disney World, passed away Sunday, August 15, at the age of 89.
“Despite his failing health, he continued to demonstrate his trademark humor, cutting edge wit and enduring love for family and friends,” his son David Price said on behalf of his mother, Anne Shaw Price, and the Price family. “His legacy of laughter, wit, love, passion and commitment leaves its mark on each of us – family, friends and colleagues in the leisure and recreation industry he loved.”
Funeral arrangements will be conducted privately by the family.
“Buzz” Price was recognized as the pioneer in the field of theme parks, resort and leisure-recreation project feasibility almost from the day in 1953 that Walt and Roy O. Disney chose him “to determine the economic feasibility of the best location for a new project – Disneyland.” Price, an engineering graduate of California Institute of Technology, had joined Stanford Research Institute after receiving his Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University.
“I asked Walt if he had a bias about the location for his Magic Kingdom,” Price recalled years later. “‘Absolutely not!’ he said. ‘You tell me where the best location is.'” Price analyzed the potential sites in the Southern California area, ultimately focusing on Orange County after considering population trends, accessibility and climate factors.
They selected 160 acres of orange groves in Anaheim, just off the Santa Ana Freeway at Harbor Boulevard.
“We hit it right on the nose,” Price later recalled, “dead center. That was the perfect place for it.”
CNET News is reporting on a class action lawsuit recently filed on behalf on a group of minors and their parents which claims that Disney Internet Media Group (named as Walt Disney Internet Group) and Disney-owned Soapnet LLC along with co-defendants Warner Bros. Records, Ustream, Inc., Clearspring Technologies, Inc., Demand Media, Inc., Project Playlist, Inc., and SodaHead, Inc. were involved in tracking users’ internet activity even while accessing websites not owned by them.
Throughout August, The Walt Disney Company is donating $627,050 to the Central Florida community in recognition of the 251,000 hours given by Walt Disney World Resort VoluntEARS in 2009. From schools to shelters, Cast Members selected approximately 250 local non-profit agencies and community service groups to receive Disney’s EARS to You grants. Top recipients include Orange County Public Schools, A Better Life Pet Rescue and local chapters of the American Cancer Society.
“Disney VoluntEARS enjoy sharing their time and talents and have a vested interest in making Central Florida an even better place for all who live in our community,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations, Walt Disney World Resort. “The collective contributions of these Cast Members are impressive and impactful; they are truly making a difference during a time when it’s needed most.”
The Walt Disney Company, through the Disney VoluntEARS program, provides opportunities for Cast Members to give their time and expertise toward positively impacting their communities. Each year, the Company recognizes VoluntEARS who donate at least 10 hours of service with EARS to You grants, which are financial contributions of up to $1,000 to the non-profit organization of their choice.
This year, Walt Disney World Resort awarded more than 800 EARS to You grants. Disney dollars will go toward a wide array of worthy causes including local youth development groups, health and social services programs, environmental causes, community theatres and pet rescue organizations.
Disney VoluntEAR Maria Kirkland received an EARS to You grant of $500 for her active support of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “I feel very fortunate to be able to provide not only my time but a financial contribution to such a worthy organization,” said Kirkland. “It makes me feel so wonderful to know that I was able to help a family or individual to have one less stress in their life.”
Earlier today, The Smoking Gun published a claim filed by April Magolon of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania which claims that while visiting Donald Duck at Epcot Center [sic] in 2008, Donald had deliberately grabbed her ‘breast and molest[ed] her and then made gestures making a joke he had done something wrong.’ Magolon, who reportedly had her children with her, is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for negligence and seeking in excess of $50,000, claiming to have suffered ‘severe physical injury, emotional anguish and distress including, but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder.’
The official Disney Parks blog has confirmed that ticket prices will increase for both resorts as of Thursday, August 5.
At Walt Disney World, the price for a 1 day Magic Your Way base ticket will increase $3 to $82 for an adult (ages 10+) and $6 to $74 for children (3-9). Increases continue through the 10 day MYW pass which will now be $262 and $239 respectively. In addition, flat rate fees for park hopping and the water park fun and more options will also each increase to $54 per ticket.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today the sale of Miramax Films to Filmyard Holdings LLC for over $660 million subject to certain adjustments. Partners in Filmyard include Los Angeles businessmen Ron Tutor, Tom Barrack, Colony Capital LLC and other individuals. The transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals and is expected to close between September 10, 2010 and the end of the calendar year.
The sale of Miramax Films includes rights in over 700 film titles, including Academy Award winners like Chicago, Shakespeare in Love and No Country for Old Men. Also included are non-film assets, such as certain books, development projects and the “Miramax” name.
Walt Disney World Resort today announced an expansion to its long-term business relationship with HP, which now includes naming rights for the 165,000-square-foot fieldhouse at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Beginning today, the fieldhouse will be renamed with the HP brand and will feature several new high-tech elements designed to enhance the sports experience for the nearly 1.5 million athletes, coaches and fans who visit the complex each year. HP also becomes the official imaging, printing and PC partner for ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the leading multi-sports venue in the nation.
According to the Disney/ABC Television Group:
Steve McPherson today submitted his resignation as President, ABC Entertainment Group, and the Company accepted. Mr. McPherson said, “I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best.” A replacement for McPherson will be announced shortly.
According to his studio bio, which has been removed from the official DATG website, McPherson joined ABC Entertainment in 2004 and has been the driving force behind the network’s primetime comeback, developing quality content and then supporting it with more strategically directed marketing. The ABC Entertainment Group has delivered some of the most successful, talked-about and evolutionary series on television today, including “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Modern Family.”
Advancing on its goal of bringing consumers its well-known stories, characters and brands in ever more engaging ways, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Playdom Inc., one of the leading companies in the fast-growing business of online social gaming.
Playdom shareholders will receive total consideration of $563.2 million, subject to certain conditions, and a performance-linked earn-out of up to $200 million.
In just two and a half years of operation, Playdom has established itself as a pacesetter in building popular games for social networks enjoyed by consumers around the globe. Through well-known titles like Social City, Sorority Life, Market Street and Bola, Playdom engages an estimated 42 million active players each month.