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

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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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PHOTO: Elle Fanning Visits Disneyland

Elle Fanning © DisneyTo support her upcoming film, Maleficent (May 30, 2014), in which she takes on the role of Aurora, Elle Fanning recently visited the Disneyland Resort, where she posed in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Maleficent explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic Sleeping Beauty and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

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Disney D23 ‘Destination D: Attraction Rewind’ Preliminary Details

D23 Destination D 2014: Attraction RewindWalt Disney once said, ‘We keep moving forward — opening up new doors and doing new things — because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.’ It’s in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit — or revisit — some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus will take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like ‘it’s a small world’ and Carousel of Progress (Progressland).

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‘it’s a small world’ 50th Anniversary ‘Global Sing-Along’ to Be Announced

Later today on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America,’ plans are expected to be announced on how Disney Parks and Resorts plans on celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘the happiest cruise that ever sailed,’ ‘it’s a small world.’ The attraction made its public debut at the New York World’s Fair in April 1964, alongside other Disney-created attractions such as Progressland /aka/ Carousel of Progress.

The attraction is arguably most famous for its anthem, written by the Sherman Brothers. Originally the attraction was intended to have children from each of its respective countries perform their respective national anthems in their native tongues, but it resulted in what Richard Sherman would describe as a ‘cacophony,’ resulting in Walt Disney’s request the brothers compose a common theme song to unite the attraction.

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Disney Parks to Host ‘Rock Your Disney Side’ 24 Hour Parties

140-Disney Character 'Ultimate Tweet' Announces All-Night PartyA recently activated domain name, ROCKYOURDISNEYSIDE.COM currently redirects to an inactive page with the URL of http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/24-hour-event which appears to suggest that Disney Parks and Resorts North America will once more host a 24 hour party event themed to the ‘Disney Side’ campaign. Obviously with no details officially announced, it’s all assumptions at this point but rumors have been circulating that Disney Parks was considering a 24 hour party to tie in with Memorial day weekend once again.

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