PATENT: Disney’s Drone ‘Flixels’ System to Incorporate Video Projections

Disney Drone Payload Patent ApplicationWe have been following Disney Theme Parks’ plans to incorporate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — or drones — into its nighttime entertainment experiences for years, beginning with the initial patent application through their recent filing to actually seek FAA permission to use drones at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

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ABC’s Disneyland Anniversary Special Adds Kelsea Ballerini to Line-up; Additional Details Released

The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60ABC and the Disneyland Resort have released additional details for the upcoming Disneyland 60th Anniversary special, ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,’ with Master of Ceremonies Derek Hough, airing Sunday, February 21 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network. The new information both confirms earlier reports by Stitch Kingdom as well as new details regarding performances, which are detailed below:

  • Elton John will perform ‘The Circle of Life’ from The Lion King as well as debut his new song, ‘Wonderful Crazy Night’

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ABC’s Disneyland Anniversary Special to Detail Star Wars Lands with Harrison Ford

The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60Acclaimed actor Harrison Ford, who portrays Han Solo in the Star Wars film franchise, gives viewers an exclusive preview of Star Wars-themed lands being developed at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. New details of the ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life at both resorts will be revealed during ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,’ with Master of Ceremonies Derek Hough, airing Sunday, February 21 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, will join the celebration performing The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Walt Disney’s acclaimed animated film Fantasia.

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Tokyo DisneySea Outlines Plans for ‘The Year of Wishes’ 15th Anniversary in 2016

Tokyo DisneySea Year of WishesTokyo Disney Resort announced today that to mark the 15th anniversary of the grand opening of Tokyo DisneySea Park, a major celebration will be held at the Park from April 15, 2016, through March 17, 2017, entitled ‘Tokyo DisneySea 15th Anniversary: The Year of Wishes.’

During the anniversary celebration, crystals of various colors symbolizing individual wishes will decorate the Park. The ‘Crystals of Wishes,’ will also be worn by Mickey Mouse and the Disney Friends. For example: the crystal worn by Minnie Mouse is red which represents her wish for love; the crystal worn by Donald Duck, which symbolizes friendship, is blue; and Goofy’s wish for energy is represented by a green crystal. The various wishes represented by all the crystals form a clear crystal worn by Mickey Mouse.

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Disneyland Shanghai Resort to Open June 16, 2016

Shanghai Disneyland CastleThe Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group announced today that Shanghai Disney Resort will host a multi-day, grand opening celebration, culminating in a spectacular welcoming ceremony for the resort’s first official guests on June 16, 2016. The world-class resort, located in the Pudong District of Shanghai, will be Disney’s first destination resort in mainland China, featuring classic Disney storytelling and characters with all-new experiences tailored for the people of China.

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ABC’s ‘Disneyland 60’ Special to Feature Elton John, Pentatonix; Interactive Experience Available for At-Home Viewers

The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60ABC and the Disneyland Resort have announced that Elton John will debut his title track ‘Wonderful Crazy Night’ during the two-hour special ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,’ premiering Sunday, February 21 on the ABC television network at 8:00 pm ET/PT. Although ABC has yet to announce other appearances on the show, audience ticketing company 1iota is currently offering free tickets to those wishing to attend a taping for the special on Tuesday, January 12 at the Disneyland Resort. According to 1iota, those performing during the taping including Pentatonix, and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ professional dancers Derek Hough and Witney Carson.

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UPDATE: Disney Seeks Permission to Use Drones for Nighttime Entertainment at Theme Parks

Disney Drone ProposalsBack in summer of 2014, Stitch Kingdom broke news that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts was working on an intricate system using controlled drones to supplement its nighttime entertainment, proposing to: use drones to control massive marionettes (such as an exampled Jack Skellington) and/or use drones to carry screens that could act as what they dubbed ‘flixels,’ or ‘floating pixels.’

In late October of 2015, Disney decided to move ahead with these plans by filing an exemption from the FAA under section 333 which governs the commercial use of drones. The application was published on December 31 and has not yet been answered by the FAA.

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PHOTO: Ice Cube is Straight Outta Orlando

Hip Hop Artist and Actor Ice Cube visits Walt Disney WorldRapper, actor, and filmmaker Ice Cube kicks back with Mickey Mouse Dec. 29, 2015 while vacationing with his family at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort.

Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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SNEAK PEEK: Disney’s Haunted Mansion Novel: ‘Tales from the Haunted Mansion: Volume I: The Fearsome Foursome’

Tales from the Haunted Mansion: Volume I: The Fearsome FoursomeEarlier this year, we shared news that 2016 would be a good year for fans of Disney’s Haunted Mansion as Disney is preparing to launch a brand new novelized series based on the attraction as well as a new theme park exclusive series of book/cd inspired by classic attractions. In addition, Marvel today announced it too will be representing the Haunted Mansion as the next chapter in its Disney Kingdoms saga.

Today, Disney Publishing Worldwide released some inside pages as well as additional information about the novels, beginning with Volume I: The Fearsome Foursome (formerly sub-titled The Frightmare Fraternity), which is slated for release in July and now available for pre-order.

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Disney Announces Casting Roles for ‘Frozen’ Musical for Theme Park

FrozenEarlier this year, we shared news that Imagineering’s Disney Creative Entertainment (DCE) division had made plans to workshop the upcoming staged production of ‘Frozen,’ which is set to replace ‘Aladdin’ at Disney California Adventure’s Hyperion Theatre in spring of 2016.

Casting calls have now been published for the production itself, which will be directed by stage veteran Liesl Tommy. The roles, descriptions and requirements are as follows:

  • Elsa: Princess who becomes Queen; fearfully plagued by powers she hasn’t yet learned to control; lives a life of isolation separated from society and those she loves, including her sister. All Ethnicities. Vocal Range: Mezzo Soprano; mix/belt

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