Iger to Remain Disney CEO and Chairman through June 30, 2016

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The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Board of Directors announced today that it has extended Robert A. Iger’s tenure as CEO and Chairman through the expiration of his contract on June 30, 2016 under his existing contractual terms as CEO.

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PHOTOS: Annette Funicello Memorialized at Walt Disney Studios

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On Monday afternoon, original Mouseketeer and Disney Legend Annette Funicello, who passed away earlier this year, was memorialized during a private ceremony held at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. As part of the occasion, which brought together Annette’s surviving family members as well as many of her previous co-workers, Soundstage One — where ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ was filmed — was dedicated to her memory.

In attendance were fellow: Mouseketeers Bobby Burgess, Doreen Tracey, Tommy Cole, Lonnie Burr, Sherry Alberoni, Cubby O’Brien, Sharon Baird and Darlene Gillespie; ‘Spin & Marty’ co-stars Tim Considine and David Stollery; theatrical co-star Frankie Avalon; and songwriter Richard Sherman of The Sherman Brothers who referred to Annette as their ‘lucky star,’ crediting her for bringing them to the attention of Walt Disney.

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Disney Consumer Products Talks Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Others in 2014 and Beyond

Disney Consumer Products Executive Vice President Josh Silverman is interrupted by 'The Imperial March' led by Darth Vader and 20 Stormtroopers as they take over the stage during a private Disney event at the Licensing ExpoDisney Consumer Products (DCP) is poised to widen the gap even further as the world’s largest licensor with another year of strong growth tied to robust sales of licensed Disney merchandise and the acquisition of top entertainment company Lucasfilm Ltd. During an exclusive presentation at the annual Licensing Expo 2013 trade show, Bob Chapek, president of Disney Consumer Products, announced the formal inclusion of Lucasfilm licensing into DCP’s extensive franchise portfolio. Chapek also outlined the division’s strategy of bringing a more consumer-centric focus to DCP by aligning Disney’s expansive library of content with each consumer segment, focusing on technology and product innovation and on long-term franchise development.

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Disney Increases Ticket Prices at Theme Parks; Charges More for Magic Kingdom

Effective tomorrow, June 2, 2013, your Disney Parks vacation is likely to get a bit more expensive, particularly if you haven’t yet purchased tickets. That’s because — as it should come as little surprise — the theme parks are once again raising the price of its admission.

Different this year, however, is that for a single day ticket, admission to the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort is now more expensive than at its other three parks, at $95 per adult as opposed to $90 for the latter.

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Disney Patent Seeks to Ease Airport Security Checkpoint Woes

Disney's Airport Security Screening SystemSometimes it just takes a mouse to build a better mousetrap.

They may never be described as being happy or magical, but if Disney has any say about it, airport security screening areas may become a lot more traveler friendly by addressing checkpoint congestion issues by moving much of the process outside of it.

The existing problem, according to the patent application, is that complying with existing TSA policies is time consuming, with travelers needing to spend most of their time in lines by removing and isolating certain objects from their carry-ons, cleaning out pockets, removing shoes, etc. The process gets exponentially more difficult when families have small children who need additional assistance, slowing down the process and creating a chain-reaction, directly affecting other passengers.

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Stan Lee Subpoenaed in Lawsuit Against Disney Over Marvel Properties

A subpoena was issued earlier this week by the United States District Court in California against Stan Lee in the lawsuit by Stan Lee Media, Inc. (SLMI) against The Walt Disney Company (USDC Colorado, case 12-cv-02663). The multi-billion dollar lawsuit claims that it is SLMI, not Disney/Marvel, that owns the rights to characters that Lee owned, but then transferred to Marvel in the late ’90s. It was prior to this that Lee founded SLMI (which would later fail), the shareholders of which are claiming Lee signed the rights over to them and therefore never had the rights to transfer to Marvel, which would then go own to be owned by Disney, including iconic properties such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, X-Men, Thor and the Incredible Hulk, amongst others.

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George A. Kalogridis Named President of Walt Disney World

Effective February 1, 2013, George A. Kalogridis will become the president of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, it was announced today. Kalogridis, a 41-year veteran of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was named president of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. George will oversee a workforce of more than 66,000 Cast Members at the world’s premier vacation destination.

Since 2009, George has served as president of the Disneyland Resort, where he leads more than 25,000 Cast Members at the over 500-acre resort, which comprises the world-famous Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Paradise Pier Hotel and Downtown Disney.

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$15 Million Tower of Terror Lawsuit Against Walt Disney World Dropped

Paperwork was filed earlier today with the comptroller’s office in Orange County, Florida earlier today, which announces that a lawsuit against Walt Disney World by Leanne Deacon, on behalf of her daughter, was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice. This likely indicates that an out-of-court settlement between the parties has been reached.

The lawsuit, which was filed in early 2009, alleges that Deacon’s then-teenage daughter suffered permanent brain damage after collapsing as a result of riding Disney’s Tower of Terror attraction in 2005. Deacon claimed Disney Parks and Resorts was negligent in providing ample warnings about the potential dangers of the attraction and was reportedly seeking in excess of $15 million, an amount Deacon claimed would be necessary to support her daughter for the remainder of her life.

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Disney Completes Acquisition of Lucasfilm, Star Wars

Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) announced today that Disney has completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Lucasfilm to the Disney family,” said Iger. “Star Wars is one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time and this transaction combines that world class content with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets, which we believe will generate growth as well as significant long-term value.”

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