Disney Annual Cash Dividend Up 15%; Next Shareholders Meeting March 18 in Portland

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors today declared an annual cash dividend of $0.86 per share, up 15 percent, or $0.11 per share, from the previous year. The dividend is payable on January 16, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 16, 2013. The January payment represents the 58th consecutive dividend payment to shareholders.

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For ‘Talking Mickey,’ Speech is Just the Tip of Technological Iceberg (Magic Spoilers)

'Simulated Conversation by Pre-Recorded Audio Navigator'The official Disney Parks blog today announced that commencing today — and barring any technical issues — Mickey Mouse will not only be meeting and greeting with guests at the Magic Kingdom, but conversing them as well, marking a new major milestone in a very lengthy history of attempting to bring characters to life in all new ways ahead of full NextGen technology implementation.

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Warner Bros Conjures Claim Against ‘Great and Powerful’ Disney

'Great and Powerful Oz' Slot Machine by WMSOne might imagine it should not be too difficult for one describe the infamous Wicked Witch of the West from L. Frank Baum’s iconic Oz series, beginning with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In fact, one could probably close one’s eyes and simultaneously click one’s heels three times whilst describing her to a T. Whether it’s Theodora from Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful or Elphaba from Gregory Maguire’s Wicked series/Broadway musical, one would instantly recognize the Wicked Witch by her green flesh, pointy black hat and broomstick upon which she travels. Her green complexion is so identifiable with her, that it’s even a significant plot device in Maguire’s books.

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Disney Research’s Method for Electricity from Paper

Disney Research: Paper as Electrical SourceDisney Research and Carnegie Mellon University today published its findings on how its team was able to produce and harvest electrical energy through by rubbing and even tapping specially formulated paper and a method so simple, even a child can reproduce it — as demonstrated by the sample video.

The only special requirement for the electrical generator is a thin, flexible sheet of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. That sheet is then placed between two conductive layers, such as sheets of metallized polyester, that serve as electrodes.

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Ghiradelli to Open at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre and Disney Studio Store in November

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, America’s oldest operating chocolate manufacturer, is pleased to announce the grand opening of its newest soda fountain and chocolate shop on Friday, November 15th, joining The Walt Disney Studio’s El Capitan Theatre and Disney Studio Store on Hollywood Boulevard. The shop—the first in Los Angeles—will give moviegoers, visitors and locals a chance to experience Ghirardelli’s world-famous hot fudge sundaes, shakes, floats, and delicious assortment ofchocolates and beautifully wrapped gifts. Each guest will also enjoy a complimentary sample of the signature Ghirardelli SQUARES® chocolate. The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop and Disney Studio Store will be located next to the legendary El Capitan Theatre (6838 Hollywood Boulevard) and open seven days a week.

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Applebee’s Launches ESPN Fan Zones in Restaurants Nationwide

ESPN Commentator Chris Berman, Apple American Group President & CEO Greg Flynn, and Applebee's President Mike Archer (Photo via Business Wire)Applebee’s restaurants and ESPN have teamed up to offer the ESPN Fan Zone at Applebee’s, a new venture between the worldwide leader in sports and the world’s largest casual dining restaurant chain. The new environment gives fans across the country a unique destination, created by brands they love, to watch the game with friends.

To commemorate, ESPN commentator Chris Berman and Applebee’s president, Mike Archer ceremonially cut a five-foot ‘Boo Yah! Brew Pretzel’ during an event at the new Fisherman’s Wharf Applebee’s in San Francisco yesterday.

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Disney’s Infrared Projection Stops Ride Photo ‘Theft,’ Adds Haunted Mansion ‘Ghostbusting’

Infrared Imaging Projection by DisneyMore than three years ago, Stitch Kingdom broke the news that Disney was looking into a way to control what it considered a viable threat: abuse of refillable mugs. The news caused an uproar across the internet sparking further debate over a topic that had already been debated immeasurable times before. While some recognized it was a long day coming, many argued that it really wasn’t worth Disney’s time and effort to implement such a system, while others plotted on how to get around it just based on the patent application. Three years later, the Walt Disney World Resort has introduced its ‘Rapid Fill’ program which, in effect, does exactly what the company set out to do.

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‘Show Your Disney Side’ Disneybounding is Disney Parks 2014 Campaign (Speculation)

'Find Your Disney Side' Disney Parks CampaignJust earlier today, we shared news of several domain registrations and awareness that Disney Parks and Resorts was potentially introducing a new campaign called ‘Disney Side’ thanks to domain registrations such as disneyside.com (which currently links to the Disney Parks website), mydisneyside.net, showmydisneyside.com, showyourdisneyside.com and miladodisney.com.

While we initially had some speculation (just for fun) that this may have been tied to a Star Was promotion, further investigation has linked it to an upcoming campaign fully titled ‘Share Your Disney Side.’

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AT&T Named Official Wireless Provider for Disney Parks North America

AT&T* and Disney Parks today announced an agreement that makes AT&T the official wireless provider for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

Through the agreement, AT&T will have various marketing and branding opportunities, including sponsoring Disney-created soccer and runDisney events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In addition, Disney will join AT&T to educate Cast Members and guests about “It Can Wait®,” AT&T’s groundbreaking initiative to educate consumers about the dangers of texting while driving. AT&T and Disney will also collaborate to enhance the experience for the growing number of Disney guests using smartphones and tablets during their visit. Furthermore, Cast Members will use new mobile devices on AT&T’s network to help deliver Disney’s legendary guest service.

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‘AIREAL’ by Disney Research Brings 4D Haptic Experience to Gaming

AIREAL by Disney ResearchDisney Research today unveiled AIREAL, a low-cost, highly scalable solution that aims to fill an increasing void in gaming by bring tactile feedback to motion-responsive controllers, such as the Microsoft Kinect.

While traditional gaming controllers often use vibration to provide haptic feedback to gamers, those using controllers that respond to physical movement haven’t been afforded that luxury until now.

The AIREAL uses a (mostly) 3D printed vortex generator that uses speakers whose diaphragms are activated, pushing air out of the device. By alternating patterns and lengths, the tactile feedback can vary depending on the player’s situation and expectations. Furthermore, the AIREAL system is scalable, allowing an array of them to be used in situations to provide feedback in true three dimensional space.

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