First Look: Merida Meet and Greet Character at Disney Parks (Photos)

Princess Merida Disney Parks Meet and Greet Character

Several photos have begun to surface on the interwebs within the past few hours featuring what appears to be the official meet & greet character for Princess Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave. While we have found multiple sources of photos for Merida, none of them explain where the photos originated, but it’s likely they came out of the CinemaCon tradeshow currently taking place in Las Vegas, where movie theater exhibitors were treated to the first 30 minutes of Brave last night in addition to a teaser for the Monsters Inc. prequel, Monsters University, and the other news regarding The Good Dinosaur and Lee Unkrich’s project set around the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.

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CONFIRMED: Starbucks Coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts

Starbucks and The Walt Disney Company have confirmed a report we made earlier in the month in which Starbucks will be opening locations within the theme parks at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

‘Starbucks and Disney have many things in common,’ said Arthur Rubinfeld, president, Global Development, for Starbucks. ‘We share a passion for providing excellent customer service, delivering high quality in everything we do, and ensuring that every experience with our brand exceeds our customers’ expectations. This is something our customers and partners (employees) have asked for through MyStarbucksIdea.com since the site launched more than four years ago, so we are pleased to bring this idea to life.’

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VISION House at Epcot’s Innoventions to Open April 22, 2012

Imagine a home that takes care of you, giving you the time, energy and money to take care of life. That home is no longer a pipe dream. It’s a reality that has come to life, featuring everything from smartphone-controlled security and climate control to smog-eating roof tiles. Opening on Earth Day, April 22, visitors can see and experience this home firsthand at the VISION House® in Innoventions at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

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Disney (Almost) Confirms Starbucks Coming to Disney Parks

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUR OUR EXCLUSIVE ‘CARS LAND’ VIRTUAL REALITY DEMO BY WALT DISNEY IMAGINEERING!

Search for Starbucks along with Disney on Google and immediately, multiple results come up via the Walt Disney World Moms Panel with guests asking where is it? Even before the Moms Panel was created, the elusive Starbucks-Disney connection has been on the tips of guests’ tongues for years. Although Disneyland Paris has a Starbucks Cafe in its Disney Village, the Disneyland Resort is dotted with them just outside the property borders and even Universal Studios Orlando has gotten a taste of it inside the theme park, the North American Disney Parks have not been very Starbucks friendly. But all that is surely about to change.

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Disney Channel Stars to Participate in Disney Friends for Change Youth Summit at Disney World Resort

Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan (“Jessie”), Bella Thorne and Zendaya (“Shake It Up”), Ross Lynch and Laura Marano (“Austin & Ally”) will join more than 100 youth leaders from around the world for the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration April 13 – 14 at the Walt Disney World Resort. The two-day celebration recognizes youth efforts to help protect the planet and organizations that work to connect kids to nature.

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‘Star Wars Weekends’ Celebrity Guests, Details Announced for May 18 – June 10, 2012

Star Wars Weekends 2012Via the official Disney Parks blog, Walt Disney World has released further details for its upcoming Star Wars Weekends celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for weekends between May 18 and June 19, 2012. In addition to the previous announcement regarding James Arnold Taylor acting as the Star Wars Weekends’ celebrity host and Ashley Eckstein as the host of the ‘Behind the Force’ special presentations, the following celebrities and autograph FASTPASS information has been released:

Weekend I (May 18 – 20)

  • Ray Park – (Darth Maul, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

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Walt Disney World Debuts All-Inclusive PhotoPass+; Dining and Attraction Photos Included

Disney's PhotoPass+In an effort to provide better service to guests at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Photo Imaging (DPI) has announced that it will begin offering a new service known as PhotoPass+ beginning April 4, 2012.

For one, all-inclusive price ($199.95), the PhotoPass+ (which includes a lanyard) offers families the standard PhotoCD (currently $169.95 at the regular price) plus photo print packages at select dining locations and digital downloads on participating attractions, whereas each would have to be purchased individually for an additional fee otherwise. As an added bonus, the PhotoPass+ also includes a stock photo CD consisting of hundreds of images from around the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Dooney & Bourke Retro (Disneyland Exclusive) and Buttons Collections to Debut in May

Dooney & Bourke 'Retro' Collection Exclusively at Disneyland ResortDooney & Bourke Creative Director Ian Ray will be on hand at Disney Vault 28 in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort to unveil the company’s newest collections on Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 2 pm – 5 pm PT.

The Retro collection will be exclusive to the Disneyland Resort and will be available in a variety of popular silhouettes including a wristlet, mini barrel, tassel tote, satchel, letter carrier as well as an iPad case. Prices range from $78 – $268.

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Disney Parks ‘NextGen’ Patent Application Invites Big Brother for the Ride (Literally)

When Disney’s Art of Animation Resort opens this summer, its guests will be one of the first to experience the driving force behind Walt Disney World’s NextGen project — the room key. Instead of the traditional card key readers that most hotels use, guests at Art of Animation will access their room via RFID. Although some vacation destinations (notably Great Wolf Lodge) have already embraced the magic of RFID for years and have even taken it far beyond the hotel room, this gesture is particularly noteworthy because it signals the start of what we’ve already known to be coming and it’s just the tiniest tip of the largest iceberg this universe has ever seen.

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‘Art of Animation’ Sections to Open Sooner Than Anticipated; Photo of Lobby Released

Disney's 'Art of Animation' Resort LobbyThe wings dedicated to the popular films featured at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will now be opening than sooner than expected after the resort hotel’s grand opening May 31

“We are excited that the Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid wings at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will all open earlier than we originally planned, bringing more permanent resort jobs to Central Florida sooner,” said Kevin Myers, vice president of resort operations for Walt Disney World Resort. “Demand for family suites exists in the marketplace today and the new opening dates reflect how optimistic we are about tourism in Central Florida.”

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