D23 Expo ‘Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament’ to Award Disney Fantasy Cruise, Presented by Hasbro ‘Trivial Pursuit: Disney For All Edition’

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D23’s ‘Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament Presented by Hasbro® TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Disney For All Edition’ kicks off the weekend’s activities at this year’s D23 Expo with a full day of mind probing on August 18. Participants will demonstrate their Disney knowledge before hundreds of onlookers in hopes to win the ultimate prize, a coveted cruise vacation on the Disney Fantasy, the newest vessel in the expanding Disney Cruise Line fleet. The nail-biting semifinal and final rounds, held on Stage 23 during the D23 Expo on Friday, August 19, will feature questions directly from the new Hasbro® ‘TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Disney For All Edition’ which releases this fall just in time for the holiday season.

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D23 Announces ‘Rocketeer’ Anniversary Event Talent Line-up

In 1991 when The Rocketeer hit theaters, actor Bill Campbell effortlessly won fans over with his sincere portrayal of the heroic Cliff Secord. In honor of the 20th anniversary of this Disney film favorite, Campbell will participate in a panel discussion hosted by writer/producer/director — and self-proclaimed Rocketeer fan — Kevin Smith. The panel will occur immediately before an exclusive screening of the film on June 21, 2011 at the legendary El Capitan Theatre, where the film premiered two decades ago, transporting audiences to a golden age of thrills, glamour and, of course, sleek jet packs. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club have an opportunity to secure tickets for themselves before seats are sold to the general public. In addition to the rocket man himself, the panel will also feature Academy Award®-winning makeup artist Rick Baker (whose other work for Disney includes Enchanted and Captain EO) the two screenwriters responsible for the acclaimed film, Danny Bilson (GoldenEye: Rogue Agent) and Paul De Meo (James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing), and as a special treat, renowned illustrator William Stout (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Muppet Wizard of Oz) will be on hand, representing his friend Dave Stevens, creator of The Rocketeer comics.* Other talent will be announced in the coming weeks.

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D23 to Host ‘Rocketeer’ 20th Anniversary Celebration with Kevin Smith; Tickets Available May 2

Disney D23, the official Disney Fan Club, has formally announced a 20th Anniversary Event in honor of Disney’s The Rocketeer. The event, which will be held on June 21, 2011 at the El Captain Theatre in Hollywood, will be hosted by Kevin Smith and will feature a reunion panel of stars from the film as well as a screening of the movie.

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Disney D23 Announces ‘Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament’ at D23 Expo

With full details to come, along with study aids, Disney D23 has announced the addition of the ‘Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament’ at the 2011 D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center.

According to the announcement, ‘no corner of the magical empire will be left unexplored in this quest to find that uniquely talented individual who knows more about Disney than anyone else.’

The competition will begin on August 18, when the playing field will be whittled down to the select few that have risen to the challenge. The semi-final and final rounds will take place during the D23 Expo in the Arena, where all D23 Expo attendees will be invited to watch.

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Disney D23’s ‘Destination D: Walt Disney World’ Tickets On Sale February 24

Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is marking this milestone May 14 and May 15 with their highly anticipated member event Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, another unforgettable experience available exclusively to D23 Members. The event will take D23 Members on a journey from the moment when the first parcels of land in Central Florida were purchased in 1964 through the opening of EPCOTCenter in 1982 and beyond.

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Peek Inside Spring 2011 Issue of ‘Disney twenty-three’ Magazine, Available February 1

Disney twenty-three magazine, spring 2011The spring issue of Disney twenty-three magazine hits stands February 1, loaded with articles to delight both Disney fans and the general public.

The cover story gives readers a stem-to-stern tour of Disney Cruise Line’s awe-inspiring new ship, Disney Dream, a mighty 4,000 passenger vessel equipped with cutting-edge technology and activities and entertainment for ultimate family fun on the high seas. Featuring an exclusive guided exploration of this third and largest ship in the Disney fleet, the spring issue of Disney twenty-three lets readers learn exciting details from the Imagineers who helped transform their creative vision into one of the world’s most spectacular floating vacation spots.

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The Walt Disney Company to Celebrate 45 Years of “it’s a small world” in 2011

For the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York, Walt Disney was commissioned by the Pepsi-Cola Company to produce an attraction to benefit the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). With less than a year to create it — and with the vision of former Disney Imagineer Mary Blair and catchy tune by the Sherman Brothers —  Disney introduced “It’s A Small World” to the public. In 1966, the attraction re-opened at Disneyland, albeit in a modified form, and ‘the happiest cruise ever to have sailed’ has been a perennial favorite for millions at Disney Parks around the world since.

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D23 Members Can Save Over 40% off ‘Mary Poppins’ on Broadway Thru April 17, 2011

Now through April 17, 2011, D23 Members can enjoy significant savings when seeing the Disney Theatrical production of Mary Poppins on Broadway. Now in its fifth phenomenal year at the beautiful New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street, Mary Poppins has astonished over 6 million people with its own brand of pure Broadway magic.

Featuring the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand-new breathtaking dance numbers and spectacular stagecraft, Mary Poppins is everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show! So get swept up in the fun of this high-flying musical the New York Post gives four out of four stars and calls “a perfect piece of musical theater.”

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Disney D23 Announces Slate of Member Exclusive Events in 2011; Disney Legends Ceremony Returns

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is pleased to announce the coming year’s slate of special events, designed especially for its diverse and growing membership base.

Among the exciting offerings for 2011 are exclusive D23 Studio Tours throughout the year, four free 50 and Fabulous film screenings on the Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank, D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World, the highly anticipated Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, the perennial favorite Sip & Stroll event during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a D23/Disney Junior ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ event on the Burbank Studio Lot for the budding Disney fan, the festive Magic and Merriment event at the Walt Disney World Resort to kick off the holiday season and, of course, D23 Expo 2011.

D23 Members receive advance notification of all special events through D23’s biweekly FanFare email, and all events are offered on a space-available basis. More details on events, and on becoming a D23 Member, can be found at www.D23.com.

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Report: Disney Store Times Square (NYC) Soft Opening and Merchandise; D23 Event with Jodi Benson

DISNEY STORE TIMES SQUARE HAS NOW OPENED! CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE GRAND OPENING AND LEARN HOW TO WIN A FREE DISNEYSTORE SINGING ARIEL DOLL SIGNED BY JODI BENSON!

Early yesterday morning, a small group of Disney D23 members were invited to visit the all new Disney Store Times Square before it opened its doors to the public for a private shopping experience and in-store continental breakfast. With the store operating in soft mode since last Thursday, Disney Store President Jim Fielding was on-hand to celebrate with the Disney D23 members as was Jodi Benson, the voice of The Little Mermaid’s Ariel and Toy Story 3‘s Barbie.

With check-in for the event commencing at 7:30 am sharp, guests were ushered into the lower level of the store which features a combination of New York City-themed merchandise, exclusive to the Disney Store Times Square location, as well as seasonal Disney Store merchandise and that aimed towards an older demographic, but more on that later. At the event’s official start time of 8 am, guests were invited to journey upstairs to the more ‘traditional’ ‘Imagination Park’ concept store which is where Fielding addressed the crowd from the store’s gazebo which serves as the 350 square foot Disney Store Theater.

Disney Store President Jim Fielding

Fielding talked about the store’s genesis in August of 2008 and how when he first saw the location at 1540 Broadway, former home to the world’s largest Virgin Megastore, he knew he had to have the space. According to Fielding, it took nearly a year for Disney Store to obtain the lease for the store because the space was in such high demand. He spoke of the nearly 250 cast members, some of which had returned to the company, it took to conduct interviews, hire and train new staff for the store which maintains 24 hour shifts to keep the store in tip-top shape. Although the store is open until Midnight most days, Fielding noted that they have had to keep running the store to 1 am due to large groups of guests still remaining inside. He mentioned that by year-end, they will have opened 19 of the new concept stores with an expected 30 – 40 in 2011, including two in Canada (but declined to identify where specifically). Surprisingly, the most profitable store worldwide is the Paris on the Champs-Élysées store according to Fielding, but he joked that the Times Square store calls Paris daily to make sure they’re beating them.

Of course Fielding spoke to the store itself, which consists of two floors, although the Virgin Megastore it partially replaced was four. He explained that the mezzanine from the former store was removed, resulting in a longer escalator ride and that half of the fourth floor, which houses the store’s internal offices, was also removed, allowing the store to have its high ceilings. About 80% of the merchandise found on the lower floor, according to Fielding, is unique to Disney Store Times Square while the upstairs is what he referred to as ‘”Imagination Park” on steroids.’ The ‘Imagination Park’ portion at Disney Store Times Square is roughly twice the size of the norm so far, all told easily making it the largest Disney Store in North America. The store is so large in fact that its Disney Princess castle is 20 feet tall and features not one, but two of the magic mirrors.

After tackling a brief Q&A session in which Fielding responded to questions along the lines of  the current location of the Mickey and Minnie Mouse figures that once hung over the entrance to the former World of Disney store (they’re in storage at Walt Disney Imagineeering as the World of Disney was operated by Disney Parks and Resorts, not Disney Consumer Products as Disney Store is), he introduced Jodi Benson to the attending crowd.

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