Disney Donates $500,000 to National Park Foundation Programs

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In celebration of National Park Week, the National Park Foundation – the official charity of America’s national parks – today received a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to help connect kids and families to nature through America’s national parks. Disney’s investment will go specifically to the National Park Foundation’s “Ticket to Ride” and “America’s Best Idea” programs, which will help kids explore the outdoors by providing transportation to and supporting community projects at national parks around the country.

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Disney’s ‘Heroes Work Here’ Commits to Hiring Military Veterans (Video)

Disney's 'Heroes Work Here' CampaignToday at the 2012 annual shareholder’s meeting in Kansas City, MO, Disney CEO and President Robert Iger announced a new program designed to support America’s military called ‘Heroes Work Here.’ The ‘Heroes Work Here’ initiative intends to employee and train 1,000 United States military veterans at positions across The Walt Disney Company.

Beginning soon, the company will begin promoting the new campaign in unscripted advertisements that feature veterans employed by the company which Iger hopes will inspire other companies to do the same to support the military and their families. The campaign will air on Disney owned networks such as ABC, ESPN and other media platforms.

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Disney Patent Puts New Spin on Traditional Carousel Design

Disney's Carousel PatentPictured here is a diagram taken from a recent patent application for a new breed of carousel from Disney Enterprises. At first glance, you’ll notice some interesting deviations from what we’ve come to known as a carousel, standard fare for any amusement park, even parks such as the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

What you may not notice at first, however — and it may not in fact be intentional in the drawing — is that the horses are backwards — at least for this side of the Atlantic. Traditionally speaking, American carousels travel in a counter-clockwise direction whereas European travel in a clockwise direction. So while you will generally see the horses face to the right at Disney theme parks (even at Disneyland Paris), these horses are facing the opposite direction.

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Disney Patent Application Adds New Dimension to Classic Dumbo Concept

TELESCOPING-ARM ROUND RIDE FOR AMUSEMENT PARKSAt first glance, the type of attraction proposed in Disney’s patent application #20110312428, titled ‘Telescoping-Arm Round Ride for Amusement Parks,’ should look strongly familiar to anyone who’s ever visited a Disney theme park. Demonstrating with airplane-themed vehicles instead of elephants, this invention by Edward A. Nemeth and David W. Crawford has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.

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Beats Us: Will the ‘Disney Xperience’ Include XPass? New ‘Unlock the Magic’ Fan Club?

Our ‘daily’ research has unveiled a couple of recent moves by The Walt Disney Company and while we don’t know enough about them to provide any additional information beyond the registrations themselves, we felt they were interesting enough to warrant an empty mention (i.e., this space intentionally left blank for future information).

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Disney Files Patent Application for True ‘Flight Simulator’ Vehicle

'Cable-Suspended Amusement Park Vehicle' by Disney EnterprisesArguably a theme park will need a lot of available land, or an expansion of sorts, to implement the type of attraction demonstrated in the recently published patent application titled ‘Amusement Park Ride with Cable-Suspended Vehicles’ (patent application US 20110300957).

As demonstrated here by what appears to be some sort of cable-car themed vehicle cruising through the streets of a metropolis, the vehicle, as invented by David W. Crawford and Edward A. Nemeth, uses multiple cables to control various aspects and positions of the vehicle itself.

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‘Times Square Studios’ Division Announced by Disney/ABC Television Group

The Disney/ABC Television Group today announced the formation of Times Square Studios, an integrated current entertainment programming and development division, following the announcement that Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, will depart the Company at the end of his contract in January 2012. Through that date Mr. Frons will assist in transitioning to the new structure and will be available to provide counsel to the management team.

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Disney Increases Annual Cash Dividend by 50%; 2012 Shareholder Meeting to be Held in Kansas City

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) board today declared an annual cash dividend of $0.60 per share, up 50 percent, or $0.20 per share, from the previous year. The dividend is payable on January 18, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 16, 2011. The January dividend payment represents the 56th consecutive year of dividend payments to shareholders.

“We are pleased to be able to raise our shareholder dividend by 50 percent while continuing to invest for future growth.”

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ABC Family to Donate to Student Suggested Projects with ‘Bright Student, Big Ideas!’

ABC Family is joining forces with DonorsChoose.org on the “Bright Student, Big Ideas!” campaign, www.ABCFamily.com/BrightStudents. For the first time ever, public school students in grades 9-12 will be able to work with their teachers to submit a project for funding. ABC Family will “Double Your Impact,” providing 50 percent of the project funding (up to $100,000 in total funding).

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‘Sister Act’ Inspiration Claims Disney is a Sinner in Lawsuit

As a teen, she dropped out of high school to join the convent. For decades, she has devoted her life to the Lord, taking her preaching out into the streets of Harlem, New York, reaching out to drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes and gangsters. She sparked an ‘intimate’ friendship with noted Harlem mob boss Bumpy Johnson. She was elected into the office of unofficial mayor of Harlem and sworn in by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, as well as named the community mayor. She has even been profiled in the New York Times. But perhaps the part she is most well known for, if she has it her way, is the inspiration behind Whoopi Goldberg’s character of Deloris Van Carter in the hit musical comedy, Sister Act, as well as its sequel — Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit — and, most recently, the Broadway musical of the same name. Her name is Delois Blakely and she has recently filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in New York against Walt Disney Studios (as Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Inc.), musical producer Stage Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertaiment, producer Scott Rudin and original screenwriter Paul Rudnick for stealing her story and bringing it to the silver screen and Broadway stage.

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