Disney Parks Now Offers Mobile Editions of Its Theme Park Websites

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Walt Disney World mobile site homepageThe mobile version of the Walt Disney World website went live today, offering a compact version of the sort of information one might find on the official flash-required website. In addition to hours, basic entertainment schedules, attraction information, dining, shopping and other miscellaneous park-based information, the mobile site includes easy access to current weather conditions and forecasts. The site appears to be low on  graphics use as well which means there is no map of the actual parks available to the device, nor is the full entertainment schedule listed, so the paper maps and times guides will still be a required staple to Disney Parks visitors.

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Disney Digital Books Expands Its Vast Library with Enchanting New Books from ‘The Princess and the Frog’

Princess Tiana and the Royal BallWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Tiana and Naveen, the royal duo from the upcoming “Princess and the Frog” feature film, will make their debut today in a series of delightful story and picture books on the newly-launched Disney Digital Books.com. The Princess and Frog titles that will be released today include:

Princess Tiana and the Royal Ball
For as long as she can remember, Tiana has dreamed about just one thing: having her own restaurant. But after she fell in love with Prince Naveen, she not only got her restaurant, she became a princess, too. Now it’s time for her first royal ball—and her first appearance as a princess. Featuring lilting text and gorgeous illustrations by one of the film’s animators, this picture book picks up where the movie leaves off with an enchanting new princess story that little girls will love.

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ABC.com Adds Commentaries to Online Shows from Experts; Invites Viewers to Create Their Own

Dedicated to expanding its network and channel brands across multiple platforms and connecting viewers with their favorite shows anytime and anywhere, Disney/ABC Television Group will unveil ABC Social: Episode Commentary, a new feature of ABC.com’s Full Episode Player integrated with Facebook Connect, which allows online viewers to create their own commentary tracks to ABC episodes and share the experience with friends. The new Episode Commentary will be available beginning this Saturday, November 7, for the first episode of ABC’s new series “V,” and will feature expert commentary from “V” executive producers Scott Peters and Steve Pearlman. This new feature will roll out across other series on ABC.com over the coming weeks.

“ABC Social: Episode Commentary is great example of how we are continually pushing the envelope to create ‘what’s next’ and use our digital platforms to further engage the core fans of our series,” said Alexis Rapo, vice president, Digital Media, ABC Entertainment. “Now online viewers at ABC.com can not only take part in a world class viewing experience, but also engage with ‘show experts’ and share their own viewer-created commentaries seamlessly within our player – the result is a rich, social experience that can only be found on our site.”

Expert commentary featured in the Full Episode Player will vary from episode to episode and may include insights from a series’ producers, writers and directors, stars of the series, production and costume designers, music supervisors and network executives, among others.

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Over 101 More Reasons to Love the Disney Gift Card

101 Dalmations from the Classic Illustrations Series, Released October 2009DisneyGiftcard.com recently gave itself a makeover and now serves as almost-one-stop shopping for any Disney fan, no matter their favorite. Currently almost 120 different gift card designs are available for purchase, including this recently released Classic Illustration: 101 Dalmations pictured to the left that was just recently released.

Be sure to check out the Vault as well for a look at dozens of designs that have either been retired or are in limited release.

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Disneyland Helps Online Guests Visually Get in Touch with Their ‘Inner-Villain’

Using the same type of technology Disneyland debuted earlier this year in which visitors to the Disneyland.com website were able to bring a little bit of Fantasmic! into their living-rooms, site visitors with a webcam now have the ability to transform themselves into their favorite Disney villains. This video posted on the DisneyParks YouTube channel demonstrates the new interactive experience:

When you’re ready to give it a ghost — er, go — click here. You’ll find the ‘What Villain Are You?’ experience under Games.

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ESPN, Paramount, NASCAR Join Forces in the Ultimate Street Battle of Good Vs. Evil with the Transformers

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. and BRISTOL, Conn., Oct. 13  — NASCAR fans will have the chance to choose their side in the battle to control the planet when Paramount Home Entertainment and ESPN launch a unique promotional campaign in support of the October 20 debut of TRANSFORMERS: Revenge of the Fallen on DVD and Blu-ray. Paramount Home Entertainment will sponsor not one, but two of the vehicles taking part in the October 17 “NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America Race” at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina, a first for any film property.

The cars will be driven by rising star and 2008 Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman and 4-time Sprint Cup Series Jeff Gordon. Newman’s car, uniform and pit crew all will be branded with images of OPTIMUS PRIME, the heroic leader of the peace-loving AUTOBOTS. Gordon’s car, uniform and crew will sport graphics of MEGATRON, the malevolent leader of the DECEPTICONS. Michael Bay, the director of the TRANSFORMERS megahits, will be the official pace car driver for the 50th running of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday night, Oct. 17. The race will air on ABC at 7 p.m. ET.

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Disney Publishing Launches Interactive Online Library of Over 500 Disney Books; Free Trial Available

Disney Digital BooksWHITE PLAINS, N.Y., SEPTEMBER 29, 2009 — Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) unveiled today a groundbreaking online initiative with the launch of Disney Digital Books (www.disneydigitalbooks.com), a new, cutting-edge way for children to experience the joy of reading in a robust and safe interactive environment.

“Disney Digital Books is an industry-defining service that Disney Publishing is uniquely qualified to deliver,” said Russell Hampton, President, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “As one of the world’s largest publishers of children’s books, we have an extensive library of titles featuring Disney’s beloved characters, with something for every level of reader.”

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DisneyFamily.com Joins Gap in Search for New Faces of babyGap and GapKids in Casting Call Contest

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 22  — Gap’s nationwide search for babies and kids with a twinkle in their eye, charm in their smile and an expressive personality to match has officially started. Today Gap launched its fourth annual Gap Casting Call, a nationwide contest to find the next faces of babyGap and GapKids. This year, Gap is teaming up with online parenting site, Disney Family.com, offering phenomenal prizes and more chances to win with its first-ever America’s Fan Favorite and Voters’ Sweepstakes awards.

“Casting Call is one of our favorite programs and this year we want to make it bigger and better than ever,” said Pam Wallack, president of babyGap, GapKids and GapMaternity. “The contest is a unique and fun way for us to interact with our customers and their children and we are extremely excited to be partnering with Disney, a brand synonymous with not only families but also family entertainment, to enhance the program and add a little something special to this year’s Casting Call.”

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Celebrating the Start of the Third Year: Disney Expands Walt Disney World Moms Panel and Seeks New ‘Mouse’ Experts for 2010

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Sept. 10 — Is Disney your go-to family vacation? Are you a master at coordinating everything from character breakfasts to family reunions? If so, then Disney Parks would like you to apply to be on its third annual Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Disney Parks announced today its search for 10 park-savvy parents to reside on the 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panel, www.disneyworldmoms.com, where they’ll join panelists from previous years to make this the largest panel to date.

Similar to asking a friend or neighbor for advice, this online forum, led by parents sharing their ultimate park smarts, serves as a resource for families planning a Disney vacation. Beginning today, Sept. 10, the Moms Panel search begins online, www.disneyworldmoms.com/2010 and will close on Sept. 20, or when 20,000 applications are received, whichever comes first.

Parents who pride themselves on being Walt Disney World vacation experts are encouraged to visit www.disneyworldmoms.com/2010 for what will be a magical seat on Disney’s Moms Panel.

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Club Penguin Says “Bienvenidos” to Spanish Speakers around the Globe

Club Penguin in SpanishMEXICO CITY — Spanish speaking fans of Club Penguin can now waddle around, interact and play games in the popular, snow-covered virtual world in their own language.

The new Spanish version of the virtual world (www.clubpenguin.com/es) is supported by native Spanish-speaking staff that understands the unique cultural references of the audience and can provide timely and responsive moderation and player support as well as local currency payment options.

Lane Merrifield, one of Club Penguin’s co-founders and executive vice president of Disney Online, was in Mexico City to announce the launch of the virtual world in Spanish.

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