Disney U.S. Parks to Consolidate Some Operations

LOS ANGELES, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday it will streamline some behind-the-scenes operations, including menu planning and ride design, at its two U.S. theme parks to try to offset the effects of the global economic downturn. (more…)

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Deacon Puts $14 Million Price on TOT Lawsuit

The Leicester Mercury reports that Leanne and June Deacons’ lawyer, Robert Melton, told them that his clients deserve at least 14 million dollars as a result of permanent injuries Deacon sustained allegedly as a result of riding Tower of Terror in 2005.

The article quotes Leanne’s mother as saying ,’The amount we get has got to be enough to support Leanne for the rest of her life. That is important’ and also denying that Leanne had ridden the attraction multiple times throughout the trip despite reports at the time that even quoted her to the contrary.

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TomKat at Walt Disney World

It’s all the talk and I was trying to avoid pandering to the celebrity fiends (or I was at least hoping WDW would release some real photos – although Tom got the best ones from the looks of it), but I can’t resist this one. Extra has some great shots of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Suri and Connor frolicking in the rose garden at the Magic Kingdom on Valentine’s Day – they even have Dumbo shots.

Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Suri and Connor with Mickey, Minnie and Cinderella

Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Suri and Connor with Mickey, Minnie and Cinderella

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American Idol Experience February 12 Media Event Videos

The American Idol Family Reunion for Disneys American Idol Experience Event (c) Copyright Disney

The American Idol Family Reunion for Disney's American Idol Experience Event (c) Copyright Disney

If you missed the simulcast of the blue carpet event here on Stitch Kingdom, please do not fret. (Okay, you can fret just a little bit). Coming soon is most of the raw footage from the event so you can catch all of your favorite American Idol (and Disney) stars as they graced the blue carpet prior to the main event.

Videos after the jump. (more…)

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Largest-Ever Gathering of ‘American Idol’ Winners Joins in Premiere of Attraction at Walt Disney World

American Idol Host Ryan Seacrest Appears with Goofy, Mickey and Minnie

American Idol Host Ryan Seacrest Appears with Goofy, Mickey and Minnie (c) Copyright Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2009) – With the largest-ever gathering of “American Idol” winners joining in the celebration, Walt Disney World Resort Thursday night raised the curtain on “The American Idol Experience,” a new attraction capturing the energy and excitement of the hit TV show.

Thursday’s grand premiere, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, was attended by all seven winners of the series, from season-one winner Kelly Clarkson to season-seven champion David Cook. Joining Cook and Clarkson were Jordin Sparks (season six), Taylor Hicks (five), Carrie Underwood (four), Fantasia Barrino (three) and Ruben Studdard (two). (more…)

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Deacon Follows Suit (and Files Suit) on Tower of Terror

It’s just not a good week for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that UK residents Leanne Deacon and her mother have filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney World following a 2005 incident in which Deacon suffered from eventual cardiac arrest and a brain hemorrhage which required emergency surgery. The suit, which is claiming unspecified damages exceeding $15,000, claims that Walt Disney World was behaving as a ‘common carrier’ and thus was subjected to specific regulations guaranteeing guests’ safety. The suit also cites that Disney failed to present ample warnings and safety restraints. For it’s part, Walt Disney World conducted a full inspection of the attraction that same evening, even inviting oversight from the Florida Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection and found the attraction to be operating successfully. In Florida, amusement parks of a certain size (which includes Walt Disney World) are not regulated by the state. (more…)

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Universal Studios plans Beijing theme park

SHANGHAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) – U.S. film giant Universal Studios is awaiting regulatory approval to build a theme park costing more than 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in Beijing, a Chinese government official said on Thursday. (more…)

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David Cook’s GMA Performance … Almost

A scheduled live performance by David Cook to air on Good Morning America this morning didn’t go quite as planned when problems causing the audio to intermittently cut out forced the aired performance to end prematurely.

With any luck, I will soon have video from GMA available featuring what little of the performance there was as well as an additional tour of the new American Idol Experience through the eyes of ABC weatherman Sam Champion and Cook’s colleague, David Archuletta.

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Mooty Sues Disney For Breach of Contract Over Tower of Terror

As an update to a widely reported incident several months ago, Denise Mooty of Florida has gone ahead and petitioned the circuit court of Osceola County to bring forth a trial against Walt Disney World and several of its cast members for breach of contract, false arrest and emotional distress. According to the complaint, she is seeking undefined damages in excess of $15,000.

In the complaint, which you can read (more…)

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