Imagineering’s Dr. Ben Schwegler Talks About the Future of Engineering with the ASCE

Vice President and Chief Scientist of Walt Disney Imagineering, Dr. Ben Schwegler, appears on the latest podcast from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to discuss the future of engineering. Dr. Schwegler talks about using innovation the engineering profession can use to overcome challenges as well as his own experiences. You cancheck it out here.

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Beloved Disney Characters Get Ready for New Roles at Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children

Prepping Disney characters for the Florida HospitalORLANDO, Fla., June 3, 2009 – Walt Disney Imagineers are putting the finishing touches on a collection of beloved Disney characters that will lend their magic to the three-story lobby of the Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children.

Known for the support and protection they provided their dearest friends, characters including Timon and Pumba from “The Lion King,” Baloo from “The Jungle Book” and Sebastian and Flounder from “The Little Mermaid will have leading roles in the hospital’s interactive lobby.

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‘U Rock 2’ on Disney.com Invites Fans to Channel Their Inner Music Video Rock Star (Contest)

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Disney.com announced today the launch of U Rock 2, a unique promotion that gives fans the opportunity to create their own music videos set to songs from popular Disney artists and post their original videos on the U Rock site (www.Disney.com/URock). The most popular U Rock video finalists, voted on by fans, will win the ultimate rock star experience including a trip to Los Angeles, an in-studio “take over” at Radio Disney, a visit to the set of a Disney Channel show, and more.

This is the second annual U Rock event on Disney.com. In 2008 thousands of fan videos were uploaded and millions of fans rated and commented on their favorite videos. New this year, fans will be able to watch and vote for their favorite videos via mobile phone by texting UROCK to DISNEY (347639).*

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Humana Launches New Game to Get Kids Active, Contest to Win Trip to G-Force Premiere

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), a leading health-benefits company, announced today a unique collaboration with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures that will impact children’s health in a fun and innovative way. “Operation Planet Savers” is a game developed and sponsored by Humana’s Innovation Center “Games for Health” team that combines real-world and online game play. The game offers kids a cool way to participate in physical, mental and social challenges this summer while getting excited about Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ G-Force, arriving in theaters July 24.

G-Force is about a team of secret agent guinea pigs on a mission to save the planet. Players of Operation Planet Savers, OPS for short, complete weekly training missions that require real-world activity and train the young game-players to become G-Force agents. Players can earn virtual prizes, like new G-Force holograms – unique to Humana and Disney – and sneak peeks at G-Force movie clips. OPS players also compete each week for prizes like an iPod nano and the grand prize – walking the red carpet at the G-Force movie premiere in Los Angeles.

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Disney Consumer Products Unleashes All New Intiatives, from Mickey Mouse to Rapunzel and Everyone Inbetween

Disney unveils a line of fashion inspired by Mickey Mouse at the Licensing International ExpoLas Vegas, NV – June 2, 2009 – Disney Consumer Products(DCP) today announced new content and product line extensions behind its renowned portfolio of character franchises starting with the return of the classic Toy Story franchise, the addition of two Disney Princess characters, new Mickey Mouse initiatives, a new Winnie the Pooh theatrical movie and the expansion of the Disney Fairies film series. Disney Channel also announced major milestones for the global sensational hit Hannah Montana as the series is renewed for a fourth season and the award-winning Handy Manny preschool series adds two primetime specials and a new 20 episode short-form series.

“Everything we do is inspired by the magic and creativity that only Disney can deliver,” said Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products Consumer Products. “Each product tells a story and this year sets off an unprecedented slate of entertainment offering many storylines that will translate into global merchandise programs uniquely positioning DCP for breakout growth.”

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ESPN and Ad Council Team Up with Fatherhood.gov to Encourage Fathers to ‘Take Time to be a Dad’ (Video)

The Advertising Council and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse join ESPN today to launch a new series of national public service advertisements designed to show dads the critical role they play in their children’s lives. The ads will debut this week on ESPN media in advance of Father’s Day.

According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), an estimated 25 million children live without their biological fathers and are on average at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health and emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior and avoid high-risk behaviors.

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Star Wars Weekends Event: Book Signing with Author Ryder Windham June 6

Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual GuideCome meet author Ryder Windham as he signs copies of his book, Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide, on Saturday, June 6 at Wicket’s Warehouse (at Soundstage 1 near the Backlot Tour entrance). Windham has authored over fifty titles including junior novelized versions of Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies and will be signing his book from 11 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 6 pm.

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Details on Star Wars Weekends’ The Clone Wars: Behind the Force

Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold TaylorHosted by Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), the show will consist of the celebrity guest and even a participant from the audience performing a live reading of the script as the sequence plays out on screen.

The first week’s celebrity guest will be James Arnold Taylor (Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi).

Source: StarWars.com

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Wayne Allwine, the Voice of Mickey Mouse, Dies at 62 (Updated)

Wayne Allwine, only the third person to have ever voiced the American icon (following in the big yellow footsteps of Jimmy MacDonald and Walt Disney himself), passed away at the age of 62 on Monday, May 18 due to complications tied to diabetes. Allwine was married to Russi Taylor whom he met on the job as she is (fittingly enough) the voice of Mickey’s long time romantic partner, Minnie.

Disney has updated Allwine’s Legends page to reflect the unfortunate news. Both he and Taylor were named legends last year.

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Walt Disney World’s Spoodles to Close August 1

Spoodles © DisneyTo make way for the new Cat Cora restaurant, Kouzzina, Spoodles at the BoardWalk will be serving its last meal on August 1.

This information is derived from the new online booking system which shows zero availability for the restaurant beyond this date.

No opening date for its replacement is known at this time other than it’s expected to open this fall.

Photo © Disney

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