Disney Parks Announces Casting Sessions for ‘Big Hero 6′ Hiro Hamada Role

Hiro Hamada from 'Big Hero 6'Just a few hours after officially confirming meet and greet character appearances by Hiro and Baymax from Disney’s upcoming animated feature Big Hero 6 (November 7, 2014), Disney Parks and Resorts has issued casting call notices to fill the role of Hiro.

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‘Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!’ Event Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in July

OLAF. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has announced that it will be offering a special event at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios in honor of Frozen, titled ‘Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!’  and will feature the following events, included with park admission:

  • Olaf on Summer Vacation – Olaf the snowman is having the time of his life on his very first summer vacation! He chimes in throughout the day to keep everyone updated on all his adventures. Plus, you can pick up your very own Take-Along Olaf from locations in the park, so he can join you on your summer vacation. And when you share your photos with Olaf on social media, be sure to tag them with #OlafSummerVacation. They may just get selected to appear in that day’s grand finale!

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PHOTO/VIDEO: Ariana Grande Celebrates ‘Problem’ Free Birthday with Mickey Mouse

Ariana Grande wih Mickey Mouse (Chloe Rice/Disney)Actress/singer Ariana Grande celebrated her 21st birthday with family and friends yesterday at the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., as seen here posing with Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle.

Grande also met with Cinderella and Prince Charming in between enjoying a private ride down Main Street USA in the fire truck and celebrating with her Cinderella-themed birthday cake, all of which can be seen in the video embedded below.

Photo by Chloe Rice. Photo and video courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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SPECULATION: ‘Stories in the Sky’ to Replace ‘Wishes’ Fireworks at Magic Kingdom

Although the Walt Disney World Resort differs in its philosophy for entertaining guests than its west coast counterpart, Disneyland — as the latter relies far more heavily on locals and keeping them amused — the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime fireworks program remained mostly unchanged for over a decade. Conversely, within that same time period, Disneyland has had three different shows debut. In other words, it may just be time for ‘Wishes’ to be retired.

While rumors have circulated for about a year regarding a replacement for ‘Wishes’ in either 2015 or 2016, one of the strongest pieces of evidence may in fact be one of the least reliable: domain names.

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PHOTO: ‘Snooki’ vs Wookiee at ‘Star Wars Weekends’

Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi (David Roark/Disney)Reality television star and former ‘Dancing with the Stars’ contestant Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi posed earlier today with Chewbacca, the famous Wookiee from the Star Wars series, during the final ‘Star Wars Weekends’ event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort.Photo by David Roark, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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‘The Lion King’ to Open Productions at Shanghai Disney Resort, Mexico City

Disney Theatrical Productions has announced that it will be bringing two brand-new productions of its long-running Broadway smash musical, ‘The Lion King’ to both the Shanghai Disney Resort and Mexico City, in partnership with Disney Parks and Resorts and OCESA respectively. The announcement was made today by Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. The two productions will be the 23rd and 24th mounted around the world since the show’s Broadway debut in 1997.

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REPORT: WDW ‘Villains Unleashed’ Party in August, Potentially with Star Wars and Marvel Villains

As a follow-up to last year’s Friday the 13th ‘Limited Time Magic’ ‘Unleash the Villains’ promotion, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida will play host to ‘Villains Unleashed,’ a hard-ticketed event. According to WDWMAGIC, the event will take place on Saturday, August 23. An accompanying thread notes that tickets are expected to go on sale tomorrow for Annual Passholders and DVC members for $67 (A)/$62 (C)  in advance or $71 (A) / $66 (C) day of — though it’s quite expected the one time event will sell out far in advance. Remaining tickets will be made available for purchase by the general public on June 9.

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‘Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’ Attraction Details: Interactive Queue and ‘Scary Adventures’ Tributes

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Walt Disney World Resort has just released additional details surrounding its newest attraction at the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which will have an official opening ceremony ceremony on May 2. A springtime opening is planned for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a rollicking family-style coaster and the crown jewel of New Fantasyland. Walt Disney World Resort guests will be treated to an exciting, musical ride into the mine ‘where a million diamonds shine’ as the lovable world of Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy and Dopey comes to life. One feature will be first-of-its-kind ride vehicles mounted in cradle-like pivots that allow the vehicles to swing back and forth during the ride. Adding to the fun, the journey will be accompanied by beloved music from the Disney film classic. On their adventure, riders pass by animated figures of Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs and playful forest critters.

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PATENT: Walking and Talking Characters for Theme Parks (Spoilers)

Chin Strap Sensor for Triggering Control of Walk-Around CharactersIt should be painfully obvious what the image to the left is demonstrating, but do indulge us and allow us to explain just the same. Pictured here is the primary drawing from a recently published patent application titled ‘Chin Strap Sensor for Triggering Control of Walk-Around Characters’ (20140106642) by Walt Disney Imagineering’s Holger Irmler.

The design, which centers around a chest strap, aims to resolve current obstacles in producing a walking, talking, interacting meet and greet character for theme parks, presumably by making the operator even less comfortable in the process. While significant achievements have been made in bringing interactive and animated characters to life, there are still some ongoing challenges.

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VIDEO: ‘Ratatouille’ Attraction Opens at Disneyland Paris on July 10

Via its YouTube channel, Disneyland Paris has announced that its widely anticipated attraction for Disney/Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’ will make its official debut on July 10, 2014. The official description of the attraction, is as follows:

A totally immersive experience awaits guests in a brand new rat-traction, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy. Once shrunk to the size of a rat, families will be whisked off for a culinary adventure in the company of Remy and his friends. After scurrying across Parisian rooftops, guests will tumble down into the busy kitchens and dining room of Chef Gusteau’s prestigious eatery. Keeping out of Skinner’s reach has never been so much fun.

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