Alma Mater Recognizes Disneyland President George Kalogridis for Achievements

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Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis with Dr. Eileen Holden, president of Polk State CollegeThe 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.

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Disney Vinylmation Dreamfinder and Figment Combo to be Released December 17

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.

Dreamfinder Vinylmation by Maria Clapsis

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.

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‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ Trailer to Debut at Exclusive Disneyland Resort Event

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.

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Disney Parks to Debut Exclusive ‘Timex for Disney’ Watch Collection in December

Disney Parks has announced that it has partnered with Timex to introduce a line of watches exclusive to the Disney Theme Parks. The collection will debut at the Walt Disney World Resort on Saturday, December 4 from 10 am – 12 pm at the World of Disney store in the Marketplace district of Downtown Disney. The collection will then debut one week later at the Fortuosity Shop from 9 am – 11 am in the Disneyland park (theme park admission required). Guests who purchase one of the new ‘Timex for Disney’ watches during these events will receive a free Timex digital alarm clock as a gift.

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Disney Parks Joins Forces with Social Network Gowalla

Disney Parks Gowalla StampsIn its first foray into location services, Disney Parks has teamed up with Gowalla – the social network that inspires people to keep up with friends and share the places they go – to provide park-goers a new way to explore the magic of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.  Starting today, visitors to these parks can engage with family and friends around the world through the custom Disney Gowalla pages and Passport Stamps, and track their experiences at Disney like never before.

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Disney Honors Teen Who Gifted Half Marathon Medal to Injured Runner

Sarah White, a 16 year old from Seattle, WA, was recognized earlier this week by the Disneyland Resort for selflessly gifting her medal from the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon to a fellow runner who was injured during the event. At just about a half mile from the finish line, 76 year old Shirley Rackner of Portland, OR fell and was injured, ultimately preventing her from finishing the race and earning the medal herself. At a pep rally held at White’s school, Disney (and Mickey Mouse) recognized White for her generosity and replaced her medal in a ceremony. Rackner, who had to have surgery to have a metal plate attached to her wrist, was also in attendance.

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Themed Entertainment Assocation Recognizes Imagineer Kim Irvine, ‘World of Color,’ TRON ARG and More

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) today announced the fifteen recipients of its 17th Annual Thea Awards with nearly a quarter of the coveted awards going to The Walt Disney Company and the Disney family.

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Walt Disney Studios VP, John J. Nicoletti, Named VP of Communications for Disneyland Resort

John J. Nicoletti has been appointed vice president of communications for the Disneyland Resort effective Nov. 1, 2010.

In this new role, Nicoletti will lead the Resort’s communication functions, including media relations, external and internal communications, guest and executive communications. He will serve as a top spokesperson for the Resort, and will be responsible for growing relationships with news media and other external stakeholders. Nicoletti will report to Lisa Haines, vice president of public affairs.

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Disneyland Resort to be Recognized for Stormwater Treatment Program

The California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) will present an award to the Disneyland Resort at the sixth annual CASQA Stormwater Conference awards luncheon on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.

Disneyland Resort will receive the award for Outstanding Stormwater BMP Implementation Program for its holistic approach in developing and implementing a master water quality management plan in partnership with the City of Anaheim. This master plan supports the environmental legacy of Walt Disney and the long term vision for sustainable programs throughout the resort. The Resort began implementing best practices based on its master plan this past year through state-of-the-art development at the resort. With new equipment and development in place, stormwater can be treated, captured and detained on the property, and stormwater discharge will be reduced.

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Mickey Mouse Loses His Head Over New Stage Show at Disneyland Resort (Magic Spoiler)

Although I tend to stray from the topic of not preserving the magic as much as possible, a recent article by the Orange County Register has gotten the wheels in my head turning and I believe it’s time one seriously begins to ponder just where The Walt Disney Company is planning on taking its technology and just how far it’ll go to turn heads — articulated heads even.

The OC Register article takes a look at the new stage show at Disney California Adventure, Disney Dance Crew, in which Mickey Mouse performs on stage lip-syncing to track and blinking his eyes. While this is new technology for the Disneyland Resort, it’s not all that new for the company. What is new however is just how the articulated head is being used.

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