Photo: American Idol Winner Lee DeWyze Visits Walt Disney World

American Idol Winner Lee DeWyze at Walt Disney World (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Newly crowned “American Idol” Lee DeWyze takes a celebratory ride May 31, 2010 with Mickey Mouse through Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Following his win on the “American Idol” season finale last week in Los Angeles, DeWyze looked into TV cameras and shouted “I’m Going to Disney World!” as part of Disney’s famous television commercial.  (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

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WDW Refurb Update: Toy Story Mania Date Change, One Man’s Dream to Take a Nap

A couple of brief refurbishment updates for Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World.

First, we realize we caused some shockwaves when we first announced way back in March that Toy Story Mania would be closing for a refurb in mid-August. Many confused this with the recent TS3 additions that have already taken place, but the refurb is something completely different (reportedly something to do with unloading gates). And while Disney Parks has yet to confirm it, a recent tweet from DHS cast member @PaulChadkin confirms our announcement with a minor date change. According to Paul, the new dates for the refurb are August 16 through August 28 (opening on the 29th). Given this new announcement from another source we consider to be extremely credible, we will be updating ReSearch with these new dates.

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Commercial: ‘American Idol’ Winner Lee DeWyze is Going to Disney World

Following in the footsteps of former American Idol winners Kris Allen and David Cook, newly crowned Idol Lee DeWyze muttered the famous phrase just moments after the announcement: ‘I’m going to Disney World!’

The commercial is a tradition that dates back to 1987 and has featured mostly athletes from professional sports (as well as the Olympics) but began featuring American Idol winners in 2008 in honor of the opening of the ‘American Idol Experience’ at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

Below is the commercial provided courtesy of Disney Parks:

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Schedule and Map for 2010 Star Wars Weekends Weekend #1 Now Available

The guidemap for the first weekend of the 2010 Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort has now been made available online.

Half the park is split between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire as usual with the Star Wars Weekends merchandise shops finding themselves amongst the Siths. At Boba’s Bounty, one will find merchandise exclusive to the event while Darkside Depot will offer more traditional fare.

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Video: Star Wars Weekends Television Commercial

Disney Parks has just released this tv ad that’s running in the Orlando market to promote Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which commences at Walt Disney World this Friday, May 21.

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Disney Parks Gives Power Rangers the Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Pink Slips

Green RPM Power Ranger at Disney's Hollywood Studios. © Stitch KingdomA brief update on the fate of the Power Rangers meet & greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As we reported yesterday, Disney has sold the Power Rangers property back to Haim Saban, the creator of the franchise.

As a result, word has widely spread earlier today that the Power Rangers meet & greet opportunity at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort will see its last day on August 7, 2010.

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Disney Parks Confirms Closure Dates for Star Tours

Jedi Mickey appears alongside R2-MK. © DisneyWith Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios rapidly approaching, Star Wars news on all fronts is pouring in.

In addition to announcing the personal appearance of R2-MK at Star Wars Weekends this year, Disney Parks has also confirmed closure dates for the Star Tours attraction at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

As we already advised back in March, the attraction is scheduled to close on September 8 with an expected re-opening date of May 20, 2011 in Orlando while the Anaheim version will close much earlier than originally anticipated on July 27 with an expected re-opening  date of May 10, 2011.

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Disney Shuts Off ‘Power Rangers,’ Selling Them Back to Creator; New Season Goes to Nick

Originally acquired by Disney when it acquired then Fox Family Worldwide (the network channel now known as ABC Family) back in 2001, the Power Rangers have received mixed messages from its master. Despite its immense popularity and several seasons (‘generations’) being produced by Disney, the series struggled to find its way in the Disney family, mostly for its perceived portrayal of violence in fantasy fighting.

The show, which would seem most at home on Disney XD, ultimately found itself restricted to Saturday morning programming on ABC. RPM was the last original season produced by Disney in 2009 with Disney opting to following it by re-running the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (MMPR) series instead of producing new shows.

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First Look: Star Wars Weekends 2010 Logo Merchandise

Captain Jack Sparrow transforming figure from JAKKS Pacific Walt Disney World has just released photos and pricing information for select Star Wars Weekends merchandise featuring the 2010 SWW logo, which we have shared with you below.

This year, the SWW merchandise shop (Boba’s Bounty and Dark Side Depot) can be located near the Studio Backlot Tour, across from the Studio Catering Company.

[source]

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‘Toy Story Mania’ Ink and Paint Cel to be Released June 19 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

'Toy Story Mania' Ink & Paint CelJoin Disney Design Group artist Costa Alavezos and Ink and Paint artists James Bonserio, Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger, Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the release of the newest member of the Ink and Paint Cel collection, Toy Story Mania. The event will take place June 19 at the Studios Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney Resort, from 10 am – 1 pm and from 2 pm – 5 pm.

The piece is limited to an edition of 1500 with an exclusive pin accompanying the first 750 framed pieces ordered. Click here for more information on the piece and learn how to pre-order.

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