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.

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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

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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Waking Pop Century: Walt Disney World Announces New Art of Animation Resort, Opening 2012

Imagineer Joni Van Buren sculpts a model of King Triton from the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. In its final form, the sculpture will be 35 feet tall and tower over guests at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a new Disney World hotel that will open in 2012. Photo courtesy Disney via Orlando SentinelFor those wondering whatever will become of Disney’s Pop Century: The Legendary Years — the proposed second phase of the popular value resort —  wonder no more. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the site is now the future home of a brand new resort, Disney’s Art of Animation.

Construction on the second half of the Pop Century resort halted after 9/11 as the travel industry took a huge hit and appeared to keep the resort in limbo since. Some rumors of the structures’ integrity being violated by weather (as well as YouTube videos showing the buildings in disarray) had the buildings eventually being torn-down and re-built should the development go forward while others said construction was simply on hold. One speculation that proved to be true is that the resort will be composed mostly of family suites, following up their roll-out at All Star Music.

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Limited Edition Disney-Star Wars Kooky Pen Set Release and Artist Signing at Walt Disney World May 21 & 22

Limited Edition Disney-Star Wars Kooky PensOn May 21 and 22 from 10 am – 11 am and 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Kooky pen creator Brent Reese and Disney Design Group Senior Character Artist Cody Reynolds will be on hand to meet guests and sign the newest Kooky pen releases at The Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Each set is limited to a production run of just 5,000 pieces. Kooky Kollection #7 features the heroes of the Disney-Star Wars universe: Mickey as Luke Skywalker, Minnie as Princess Leia & Stitch as Yoda while Kollection #8’s ink goes a tad darker with Goofy as Darth Vader, Donald as Darth Maul & Stitch as the Emperor.

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Over 13,000 Students Expected to Compete in ESPN RISE Games at Walt Disney World Resort

ESPN RISE and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the nation’s leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports, announced today that they have grown the ESPN RISE Games’ elite and competitive event offering and expect to host more than 13,000 student athletes during its 2010 event at the sports complex in suburban Orlando, Fla. Target has returned as the title sponsor for the second year of the ESPN RISE Games.  The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target will take place over a two week period, July 14-27. Events will air on both ESPNU and ESPN3.com.

The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target, a two-week long elite and competitive level student athlete focused event, will be anchored by four elite high school sports events. New for the 2010 event is the Champion High School Showcase, a US Lacrosse boys and girls event. Returning for the second year are the AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion®, the Under Armour High School Softball All-America game and the elite 7 on 7 high school football event Champion® Gridiron Kings.

The ESPN RISE Games has also increased its competitive channel youth sports; it has added boys and girls lacrosse: US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, softball: USSSA Fast Pitch World Series (U16 and U18) and football: the Florida Premier 7s, an invite only, 7-on-7 event to feature 64 Florida high school teams – the inaugural event will include Dr. Phillips, Miramar, Manatee and DeLand high schools. Returning to the schedule from the 2009 event are baseball: USSSA Global Baseball World Series, basketball: AAU Super Showcases (14U 15U and 16U) and AAU 14U National Championship, field hockey: Disney Summer 7s & 11s National Championships a USA Field Hockey event (U12, U14, U16 and U19) and track & field: AAU National Club Championships (13-18). The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target has grown from hosting 4,000 student athletes to more than 13,000 expected student athletes for the 2010 event.

ESPN RISE GAMES ELITE EVENT DETAILS:

  • Champion® High School Showcase a US Lacrosse Event is the “National All-Star Game” of high school lacrosse featuring the top high school players from across the country. The event is set-up in a final four format, with two semifinal games, a third place game and a championship game. All of the teams are guaranteed practice and scrimmage time. Girls: July 17-19 Boys: July 20-22
  • Under Armour High School Softball All-American game will feature 30 of the top high school players in the nation divided into two squads.  Players are selected by a committee of high school softball experts from ESPN RISE.  July 19-20
  • AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion® is part of the AAU National Championships held at the ESPN sports complex and features marquee 17-under club teams from across the country.  The event includes two days of pool play and a single-elimination tournament. The tournament is a breeding ground for future NBA stars including Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, as well as collegiate phenoms such as Tyler Hansbrough and JJ Redick. July 24-27
  • Champion® Gridiron Kings is an elite high school football event that features 64 of the best players in the game’s seven skill positions – quarterback, running back, tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback and safety.  The event includes performance training, position specific training, skills challenges and a 7-on-7 competition. July 24-25
  • Under Armour High School Softball All-American, Champion Gridiron Kings, AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion® and Champion® High School Senior Showcase a US Lacrosse Event (boys event) events will be presented on ESPNU live and as pre-recorded shows; ESPN3.com will air live competitive events.

(more…)

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First Look: Lotso Joins Disney’s ‘Block Party Bash’

In addition to beginning his meet and greet opportunity, Lotso from Disney/Pixar’s <em>Toy Story 3</em> has joined the Disney’s Hollywood Studios parade, ‘Block Party Bash.’

Below is our gallery of photos from Lotso’s parade debut in which he replaced Little Bo Peep. Please excuse some of the duplicates as we had some issues uploading the photos and some are still missing. Otherwise, please sit back, relax and enjoy!

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Photo Gallery: Lotso Meet & Greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Lotso from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 began greeting guests at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park this morning and we were pleased to be amongst the first to welcome him to the World. Although we were warned that he would make his first appearance at 10:30, several guests showed up as close to the park’s 9 am opening as possible to stake their place in line. In fact, it wouldn’t be until around 9:45, when the queue already began wrapping around the corner that it would even see its first guest under the age of 15 (or so).

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