Best Western and the Disney Channel Launch a Rockin’ Vacation Sweepstakes to Meet Stars of Hit ‘JONAS’ Series

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PHOENIX, June 8  — Have you dreamed of hanging out on the set of a Disney Channel original series? One lucky fan and his or her family will have the exclusive opportunity to visit the set of the Disney original series JONAS and rock out with the cast as part of the Best Western International Rockin’ Vacation Sweepstakes, which begins today.

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Playhouse Disney Adds Ludorum’s Chuggington to its Lineup, Spring 2010

LONDON, June 8  — Ludorum plc, a leading specialist in the creation of global pre-school childrens’ IP, announced today that it has licensed Chuggington, its successful train based pre-school series, to Disney Channel for its Playhouse Disney programming block in the United States.

Disney Channel will launch the series, consisting of 52 episodes, on Playhouse Disney block in the U.S. in the Spring of 2010.

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Celebrate Father’s Day with a Free Breakfast Event from Disney XD and ESPN Zone

Kids and families are invited to celebrate Father’s Day at special events hosted by Disney XD at ESPN Zone® locations in Anaheim, Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver, Washington DC, Baltimore, Atlanta and New York on SUNDAY, JUNE 21 from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. (doors open at 9:15 a.m.). Reservations are required and guests should RSVP at www.disneyxdfathersday.com, between June 1 and June 15. Kids must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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Disney Channel Orders Second Season of ‘Sonny With a Chance,’ Fourth Season of ‘Hannah Montana’

Disney Channel has ordered a second season of “Sonny With A Chance,” TV’s #1 program for Kids 6-11 and#1 scripted program for Tweens 9-14, it was announced today by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide. The series, which premiered in February, stars Demi Lovato, Tiffany Thornton, Sterling Knight, Brandon Mychal Smith, Doug Brochu and Allisyn Ashley Arm. It was created by Steve Marmel, who executive-produces along with Michael Feldman, Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett.

Marsh said: “’Sonny’ was a hit right out of the gate, thanks in no small part to the stratospheric trajectory of our newest star, Demi Lovato. She and the entire talented cast, along with our gifted writing and producing teams, have turned ‘Sonny With A Chance’ into ‘destination television’ for kids everywhere. We thrilled with the direction this first season has taken, and look forward to tapping further into its comedic potential, adding music and more, in Season Two.”

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Jeffrey Hornaday to Direct and Choreograph ‘High School Musical 4: East Meets West’

Jeffrey Hornaday, a renowned choreographer (“Flashdance,” “A Chorus Line”) and director (“Shout”), will helm “High School Musical East Meets West,” the fourth movie in the franchise that is a cultural sensation around the world. The announcement was made today by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide. The Disney Channel Original Movie, written by Peter Barsocchini, is scheduled to debut in 2010.

Casting is underway for the fourth story of the celebrated “High School Musical” franchise, a classic story set against the cross-town school rivalry between the East High Wildcats and West High Knights.

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‘Handy Manny’ Measures Up with New Season, Shortform Series, Specials and New Friends

In addition to 29 brand new episodes for its third season, today Disney Channel announced a new short-form series and two primetime specials. “Handy Manny’s School for Tools,” 20 animated shorts, will begin production this year for a 2010 premiere. In Fall 2009, Disney Channel will present the first of two primetime specials, “Handy Manny’s Motorcycle Adventure,” which takes viewers along on Manny’s exciting and unexpected road trip to his family reunion. The special features four new songs including “Rolling” performed by renowned East Los Angeles rockers Los Lobos. The second primetime special will debut in 2010. The daily series will also introduce 10 new tools: a jackhammer, a power screwdriver, a power socket wrench, a shop vac, a pair of needle nose pliers, a deluxe tool box, a laser level and a trio of crescent wrenches.

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Jungle Book on Britain’s Got Talent, Simon Cowell Proves to be a Disney Fan

Note to future American Idol prospects: notoriously harsh and brutally honest judge Simon Cowell is unabashedly a Disney fan. Although he has spoken on his affinity for the classic animated films before, such as in this article on DeanPiper.com, he held nothing back after this performance by 12 year old Callum Francis on the 4th semi-final of Britan’s Got Talent (yes, that Susan Boyle show).

Barely dressed as Mowgli, Francis performed a medley of the Bare Necessities  and I Wan’na Be Like You. What caught my attention, however, was the appearance of the songs’ actual performers, which appears to have been courtesy of Disneyland Paris (or so I’m assuming).

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‘Phineas and Ferb’s Memorial Day Marathon’ on May 25 – Plus Learn How to Draw Them

104 days of summer vacation begins with a marathon of the Emmy-nominated hit series “Phineas and Ferb,” MONDAY, MAY 25 (2:00 –10:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. During programming breaks, series co-creator and executive producer Dan Povenmire will take viewers behind the scenes during production and provide step-by-step instructions on how to draw the popular characters Phineas, Ferb, Candace, Agent P and Perry the Platypus. Printable instructions are also available for download at DisneyChannel.com.

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Walt Disney Animation Studios Announces First ABC Television Special this Holiday Season

The first television special for ABC produced by the Walt Disney Animation Studios,  “Prep & Landing” reveals the never-before-told tale of an elite unit of Elves known as Prep & Landing. Every Christmas Eve this high-tech organization ensures that homes around the world are properly prepared for the yearly visit from The Big Guy, their code name for Santa Claus. The animated special will air during the 2009-10 television season.

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Disney Channel’s Summer of Stars Debuts Friday, May 29

Disney Channel’s special summertime lineup, Summer of Stars, kicks off FRIDAY MAY 29, with a cavalcade of special event episodes, new double-feature movies and marathons of kids’ favorite series. Highlighting Disney Channel superstars Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, Summer of Stars celebrates the strong connection that kids age 6-14 have with the entire lineup of Disney Channel talent. Disney Channel.com, the #1 entertainment website for Kids 6-14, will also launch a new supersite, game or activity every Saturday to coincide with Summer of Stars.

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