PHOTO: Disney Previews Na’vi Character at Avatarland Groundbreaking (Hi-Res)

Avatarland Groundbreaking at Walt Disney World (David Roark/Disney) Using Na’vi-inspired shovels and assisted by a Na’vi, (left to right) George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort; Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France; Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; a Na’vi; Jon Landau, Avatar Producer; Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering; and Joe Rohde, creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, pose Jan. 8, 2014 during the ceremonial groundbreaking of an Avatar-inspired land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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PHOTO: Jessica Chastain as Merida in Annie Leibovitz Disney Dream Portrait

Jessica Chastain as Merida in Disney Dream Portrait by Annie LiebovitzWhere your destiny awaits. That’s the tag line used in the newest ‘Disney Dream Portrait’ series entry by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. As we previously shared, the image features actress Jessica Chastain tackling the role of Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave. Chastain is the next in a long list of celebrities who have posed as popular Disney characters for Liebovitz.

Embedded below is a behind-the-scenes video courtesy of ‘Entertainment Tonight’ which shares some of the ‘Disney Dream Portrait’ photo session:

According to the official Disney Parks blog, the new image will appear in the February issue of O – The Oprah Magazine.

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Jessica Chastain as Merida is Annie Leibovitz’s Newest Disney Dream Portrait Muse

Jessica Chastain as Merida in Disney Dream Portrait by Annie LiebovitzAlthough we will have to wait until tomorrow to see the actual portrait, ETOnline has announced that actress Jessica Chastain is the next to be the subject in the ‘Disney Dream Portrait’ series by Annie Leibovitz for Disney Parks and Resorts.

In the portrait, for which ET has already shared a behind-the-scenes video look (embedded below), Chastain assumes the role as Merida from Disney Pixar’s Brave. Chastain joins a long line of celebrities who have assumed the roles of Disney heroes and heroines and even figures from theme park attractions.

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Four Seasons at Disney World Gives Sneak Peek Before Opening

Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando, which is slated to begin taking guests on August 3, 2014, has released additional details, room photos and concept art of what its guests can expect during their stay. In addition, the Resort has announced an introductory deal offering a third night free as well as a group value rate (minimum 10 rooms per night).

The Resort boasts the following features and amenities:

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PHOTO: Nolan Gould of ‘Modern Family’ Spends Time with Goofy at Walt Disney World

Nolan Gould (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Actor Nolan Gould, 15, who portrays Luke Dunphy on the hit ABC comedy series ‘Modern Family,’ poses yesterday, December 30 with Goofy (dressed as ‘Father Time’ to celebrate the New Year) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

‘Modern Family’ returns with new episodes on January 8, 2014.

Photo by Matt Stroshane, Courtesy Walt Disney World

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PHOTO: ‘Bachelor’ Juan Pablo Galavis Kickin’ It with Mickey at Epcot

Juan Pablo Galavis (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Juan Pablo Galavis, star of the upcoming edition of ABC’s ‘The Bachelor,’ poses yesterday, December 29, 2013 with a soccer-clad Mickey Mouse at the Epcot theme park located in the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Galavis, a former professional soccer player, will star on the 18th season of the reality series when it debuts on January 5, 2014.

Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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Disney’s ‘Flamingo Crossings’ Names New Mystery Occupant

With the big to-do that is the Downtown Disney-to-Disney Springs makeover, it’s probably easy to forget DTD’s sparser little sibling, Flamingo Crossings. Announced in 2007, with a small website erected in 2009 to hopefully garner interest from businesses, the promised ‘fun-filled, value-oriented, themed tourist district being developed directly outside the western gateway to Walt Disney World Resort’ has done little since to fulfill those promises. The last big news came in October of 2011, when Disney laid down some of the legal groundwork for tenancy as well as announced its agreement with Walgreens.

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Tokyo Disney to Acquire Additional Land for Possible Expansion

With the intent of its use to be determined at a later date, the Oriental Land Company (OLC)  announced its plans to acquire approximately 5.8 acres of neighboring land from the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company at an approximate cost of $89 million US. The land is the former site of the Tokyo Bay NK Hall and contains ‘ancillary facilities’ according to the notice. Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company is a major shareholder of OLC and corporate sponsor of the Tokyo Disney Resort.

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‘Stitch Encounter’ to Replace ‘Captain EO’ at Tokyo Disney Resort

'Sttitch Encounter' at Hong Kong DisneylandWith the actual attraction name yet to be announced/confirmed, the Oriental Land Company (OLC) today announced that it will be closing ‘Captain EO’ on June 30, 2014 to make way for a new attraction to debut at Tokyo Disneyland. The new attraction will be akin to ‘Stitch Encounter’ at Hong Kong Disneyland and ‘Stitch Live!’ at Walt Disney Studios Paris in that it will allow up to 160 guests to ‘communicate with Stitch, who is in outer space, in real time over the theater’s large screen. The entire family will enjoy the fun-filled conversations with the mischievous Stitch.’

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