Boba Fett Hunts Down StarSpeeder 1000 in New ‘Star Tours II’ Concept Art

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Concept art for 'Star Tours 2: The Adventure Continues'In an email to annual passholders, Walt Disney World continued to spread news of the May 20th launch of ‘Star Tours — The Adventure Continues’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Associated with the news item was this image which features the StarSpeeder 1000 tour shuttle on the run from Boba Fett who’s actively firing at the ship. In the background looms what will become the impenetrable Death Star.

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Vinylmation to Release Limited Edition Mouse Ears, March 18

Limited Edition Viking and Gumball Machine Mouse Ears by VinylmationInspired by two of the figures from the upcoming Urban Series 6 Vinylmation, Disney Design Group will be releasing two unique, limited edition mouse ears at D-Street at the Downtown Disney Districts at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts on March 18, 2011.

Based on a figure designed by artist Doug Strayer, the viking mouse ears will be limited to an edition size of 1,000 pieces.

The gumball machine ears are based on a figure designed by Caley Hicks and will be limited to an edition size of 800 pieces.

Both ears were designed by artist Maria Clapsis and will retail for $49.95.

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Sanuk, BLINK Coming to Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney Area

Disneyland Resort today announced two new retail stores coming to Downtown Disney this spring – Sanuk, a footwear shop and BLINK, a denim apparel store.

“We look forward to welcoming both Sanuk and BLINK to Downtown Disney,” said Tony Bruno, vice president, Disneyland Resort hotels and Downtown Disney. “Both locations will provide our guests with distinctive product and are a great fit with our unique blend of retail, dining and entertainment offerings.”

Sanuk’s new flagship location will offer the largest selection of product available outside of the company’s online store, including flip flops, surf sandals and other beach footwear, such as their signature yoga mat flip-flops.

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Disney Unveils New Celebrity Portraits by Annie Leibovitz

Penelope Cruz and Jeff Bridges © Annie Leibovitz

Via its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled the first few of a new series of portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz portraying celebrities in iconic classic Disney roles.

The first three images, with more on the way promised, include: Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs along with Alec Baldwin as the magic mirror, titled ‘Where magic speaks, even when you’re not the fairest of them all;’ Penelope Cruz as Belle and Jeff Bridges as the prince from Beauty and the Beast, titled ‘Where a moment of beauty lasts forever;’ and Queen Latifah as Ursla from The Little Mermaid, titled ‘Where memories take hold and never let go.’

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Disneyland Dates Star Tours II, Little Mermaid and Soundsational Openings

As families prepare for their 2011 summer vacations, the Disneyland Resort announces grand opening dates for several, highly-anticipated new attractions and family experiences.

The all-new “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” will bring a new beat to the streets of Disneyland Park beginning May 27. Also at Disneyland park, guests will once again visit galaxies far, far away with the opening of Star Tours, The Adventures Continue, on June 3.

At Disney California Adventure Park, the expansion continues with the June 3 grand opening of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Guests will also find some exciting changes at the Disneyland Hotel this spring.

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Disney Parks Technology Recognized by American Foundation for the Blind

Disney's Outdoor Audio Description Technology for Guests with Disabilities © DisneyOn Friday, March 11, the American Foundation for the Blind will recognize and award Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for its innovative Assistive Technology Device which debuted in summer 2010 at its annual ceremony in Seattle. Along with Disney, CBS Television, Lexmark International and Accessible Twitter will also be recognized by the non-profit group.

“Too often, swift advances in technology bring the rewards of convenience and entertainment to an eager world while inadvertently leaving those who are visually impaired behind,” says AFB president and CEO, Carl R. Augusto. “Each of this year’s Access Award winners displayed a real commitment to making sure their products and services are equally accessible to everyone. And with the growing number of people with vision loss, focusing on accessibility is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a savvy business decision.”

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Disneyland’s ‘Walk of Magical Memories’ Program to End February 28, 2011

The Disneyland Resort has announced that its program which allows guests to sponsor personalized commemorative paving stones between the main entrances to the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks will end on February 28, 2011.

Guests who have put in an application for sponsorship prior to the end of the program can anticipate their paving stone to be installed by August 31, 2011 if it hasn’t been installed already. No waiting list for sponsorships will be offered prior to the termination of the program.

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First Look: ‘Magic, Memories and You’ Guests’ Photo Show at Walt Disney World

'Magic, Memories and You' on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. (Todd Anderson/Disney)At a special ‘what’s next’ presentation held for media earlier this evening, the Walt Disney World detailed the ‘Magic, Memories and You’ show which is a fanciful slideshow of photos of guests who have used the Disney PhotoPass service that day. An intelligent computer software program selects 500 photos taken throughout the day by PhotoPass photographers and fits them into the 10 minute program that’s projected onto the facades of 'Magic, Memories and You' on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. (Todd Anderson/Disney)Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and “it’s a small world” at Disneyland. At the Magic Kingdom, a combination of sixteen projectors positioned in four different locations help create the show. Although concept photos were shown to the press earlier tonight, here is your first look of real photos from earlier tests.

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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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Disney Vinylmation Villains Series #1 to be Released Exclusively at Disney Store January 31

As we announced yesterday via twitter, Disney Design Group today confirmed the release of its Vinylmation Villains Series #1 will be taking place on January 31, 2011. The edition is exclusive to Disney Store, so it will only be available at Disney Store locations that sell Vinylmation as well as likely to become available online. You can view all of the figures from the series as well as the chaser here.

Captain Peg-Leg Pete by Enrique Pita from Disney Vinylmation Villains Series 1In related news, D-Street at the Disneyland Resort will be releasing its 55th anniversary 9″ figure for Fantasyland on January 21, followed by the figure representing Frontierland on January 28.

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