Production on Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Avalon High’ Has Begun in New Zealand

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Production has begun in New Zealand on “Avalon High,” a fantasy-filled Disney Channel Original Movie starring Britt Robertson (“Life Unexpected”) and Gregg Sulkin (“Wizards of Waverly Place,” Disney Channel UK’s “As the Bell Rings”). Based on the award-winning novel by best-selling author Meg Cabot (“The Princess Diaries”), the movie follows Allie Pennington, a new student to Avalon High who is shocked to discover that her new classmates are reincarnations of King Arthur and his Court. “Avalon High” is slated to premiere in fall 2010.

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ABC Family Acquires Basic Cable Rights to NBC’s ‘Friday Night Lights’

ABC Family has acquired the basic cable television rights to the Emmy® Award-winning television series “Friday Night Lights,” in a deal with NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, it was announced today by Tom Zappala, Executive Vice President, Program Acquisitions & Scheduling, ABC Cable Networks Group, and Frances Manfredi, Executive Vice President/General Sales Manager, Cable and Non-Theatrical Sales for NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.

The deal gives ABC Family the rights to five seasons of the critically acclaimed series. ABC Family is tentatively set to begin airing the series’ first season in September 2010. The fourth season of “Friday Night Lights” is currently airing on NBC (Fridays, 8 p.m. ET/PT.)

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Epcot’s 15th Annual International Food & Wine Festival’s Offerings Announced

Like a fine wine that improves with age, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival celebrates 15 years Oct. 1-Nov. 14 with an unrivaled global tasting experience.

Where on the planet can foodies sample the cuisine, culture and entertainment of more than two dozen countries during a 1.3-mile stroll around a picturesque 40-acre lagoon?  Only at Walt Disney World Resort, where more than 25 international marketplaces around the World Showcase promenade at Epcot invite guests to taste tapas-sized portions and sip wines, beers and spirits from six continents.

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Disney Store Offering Exclusive ‘Toy Story 3′ Collector Cards Free with Purchase

Mr. Pricklepants Toy Story 3 Collector Card from Disney StoreBeginning this week, Disney Stores in North America will be offering free Toy Story 3 collectible trading cards with any Toy Story 3 product purchase (while supplies last).

The set is broken up into five series which will be available to customers on the following schedule:

Series 1: May 24 – 30
Series 2: May 31 – June 6
Series 3: June 7 – 13
Series 4: June 14 – 20
Series 5: June 21 – 27

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Disney’s Toontown Online Ups the Silly Ante When Street Objects Come to Life

Ian McShane being interviewed by MTV For the first time ever, Disney’s Toontown Online fun-filled virtual world is getting even sillier!  Due to high amounts of Toon-generated mayhem, the rising silly levels are making objects on the street come alive. Juggling trash cans, pie-delivering mailboxes and cheering fire hydrants are helping those zany Toons play sillier-than-ever gags on the evil robot Cogs. It’s history in the making!

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Personalized Disney Gift Cards Now Available Online and at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Sample personalized Disney Gift CardGuests are now able to picture themselves (or other loved ones) on their very own refillable Disney Gift Card. The cards are available both online at the Disney Store and in person at Exposition Hall at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

There appears to be no additional charge for the customization.

Be aware that there are a few supplemental terms and conditions which are viewable online after uploading the photo (but prior to purchasing). They appear to be fairly non-restrictive, but do include the warning that DisneyStore.com can replace the personalized Disney Gift Card with a more generic one if they find the image to be in violation of the terms.

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United States Postal Service Kicks off ‘Toy Story 3′ Priority Mail Campaign

Toy Story greeting cards and padded envelopes from the USPSIn one of the more interesting joint promotions for the new Disney/Pixar film, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has enlisted Sheriff Woody and the gang to help promote its priority mail service. The Priority Mail website was the first element in the campaign, receiving a visit from the popular toons.

Kicking off last week, Post Office retail locations across the country have begun displaying posters as well as other Toy Story-themed promotional materials. The Post Offices are also selling several birthday cards from Sunrise Greetings featuring many of the characters from the trilogy as well as padded envelopes in multiple sizes.

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Sixty Second Television Ad for ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’

With quite a bit of new footage including an extremely irritated Wall Street Bull, Walt Disney Studios has just released this 60 second television spot for its upcoming F/X driven thriller, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice opens nationwide on July 16

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Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ Arrives on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D November 16

Although the insert contained in the Alice in Wonderland Blu-ray/DVD announces A Christmas Carol from director Robert Zemeckis will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack on November 16, it lacks any mention of the Blu-ray 3D version that Disney had promised earlier this year.

Today, however, High-Def Digest reports that the Blu-ray 3D version will in fact be incorporated into a BD 3D/BD/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack (MSRP $49.99) while a stand-alone Blu-ray version will also be available (MSRP $39.99). Both editions will be available on November 16, 2010.

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Tokyo DisneySea Announces Tenth Anniversary Will ‘Be Magical!’

Tokyo DisneySea Be Magical!Beginning April 23, 2011, Tokyo DisneySea at the Tokyo Disney Resort will kick off its tenth anniversary celebration, Be Magical!, which will run for almost a year (ending March 19, 2012) and be broken up into five segments, each offering new attractions and events, expanding on the already popular destination.

The initial segment will include the introduction of the world-famous Fantasmic! to the park. Each night, Mickey’s dream will come to life on the waters of Mediterranean Harbor. The Harbor will also play host to special events during the day including meet & greets with the fab five: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, all in brand new outfits for the occasion, inspired by the ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ segment from Fantasia.

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