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.
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.
An institution at the Disneyland Resort, the lowering of the U.S. flag takes place each evening in the Town Square of Disneyland. Unlike its sister ceremony at the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom, however, the ceremony rarely honors individuals who have performed service in the country’s military.
Yesterday evening, that rare and distinct honor went to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta who was recently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest service award possible to a member of the United States military, by President Barack Obama.
While construction continues at Disney California Adventure, the park will be offering alternative entertainment to the ‘Pixar Play!’ parade which went on hiatus late last year. Using elements from the parade, parkgoers will have the opportunity instead to watch mini-shows. Initially titled ‘Pixar Pop-Ups,’ the Disneyland Resort has announced that the first mini-show will be titled ‘The Incredibles: Heroes in Training’ and will begin performances on January 14.
A week later, on January 21, the Disneyland park will begin its in-park celebration of the 2011 campaign, ‘Let the Memories Begin,’ by projecting Disney PhotoPass photos of the day’s guests on the ‘it’s a small world’ facade on a nightly basis in an entertainment offering titled ‘Magic, Memories and You.’
Disney Design Group’s Vinylmation Animation Series 1 went on sale today at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. Two of the 9″ figures previously revealed by the official blog also went on sale on DisneyStore.com – the 9″/3″ combo set of Elliott the Dragon and Pete from Pete’s Dragon and Beast from Beauty and the Beast, both designed by by Monty Maldovan. The combo set is a limited edition of 1200 pieces while Beast is limited to 1000 pieces.
Also revealed via the packaging for the figures are the remaining five figures in the 9″ collection for the series. In addition to Hyacinth Hippo from Fantasia (LE 1200, also previewed on the blog) are: Genie from Aladdin (LE 1200), Bolt (LE 1000), Merlin from The Sword in the Stone (LE 1000) and Willie the Operatic Whale from Make Mine Music’s ‘The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met’ (LE 1000).
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) today announced that up-and-coming Disney stars Bridgit Mendler and Adam Hicks will participate in the second annual SchoolJam USA, where the nation’s top 10 teen bands will perform for the title of the nation’s best teen band on Saturday, January 15. SchoolJam USA is a national program that rewards aspiring teen music makers, between the ages of 13 and 19, and their respective school music programs with music funding and prizes, as well as the opportunity to perform live before the public and a panel of music industry professionals. This year’s event will take place at the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., during the weekend of the popular NAMM Show, the largest musical instruments and products trade show in the world.
The Polk State College Alumni Association honored Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis with a Distinguished Alumnus award during the Florida school’s commencement ceremony on December 16. Kalogridis, pictured with Dr. Eileen Holden, president of Polk State College, received his associate of arts degree in 1973 from what was then Polk Junior College, prior to earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. Kalogridis, a 39-year Disney veteran who started as a busboy at the Contemporary Resort, also was part of the original team that opened Walt Disney World in 1971. Since that time, he has held key roles including vice president of Epcot, senior vice president of operations at Disneyland Resort and chief operating officer at Disneyland Paris.
Disney Design Group has announced that its widely anticipated Dreamfinder 9″ figure with a Figment 3″ accompaniment from Park Series #5 will be released on December 17 at D-Street in the Downtown Disney Districts of both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The collectible, designed by Vinylmation artist Maria Clapsis, is limited to an edition size of 1500 and will retail for $74.95.
Also scheduled to be released on December 17 at both locations is the Park Series #5 limited edition 9″ Retro-Magic Kingdom figure by Rachel Sur which has an edition size of 800 and will retail for $44.95. The 9″ Attraction Poster figures by Alex Maher will be released at the Disneyland Resort only and will also retail for $44.95.
Fans will be the first to get an exclusive look at the brand-new trailer for Walt Disney Pictures’ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 3D on December 13, 2010, at AMC Downtown Disney Theatre 12 in Anaheim, California, as part of an exclusive “Pirates Fans First!” event. “Fans First!” winners will also have the chance on that day to be the first to experience the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction that started it all. Fans can enter to win a vacation for four to the event by “Liking” Yahoo! Movies on Facebook or entering the sweepstakes via Disney Movie Rewards. Fans can also gain access to this exclusive event by listening to 102.7 KIIS-FM starting December 6th.