Disney Consumer Products Welcomes Tiana to the Disney Princess Family in Unprecedented Ceremony

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Disney's Hollywood Studios Disney Consumer Products offered an unprecedented event earlier today that had even the skies opening up and pouring tears of joy on the otherwise gloomy streets of New York City. The event, which had celebrities from television, film and theatre mingling with Disney royalty, had Princesses Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan officially welcome Tiana from The Princess and the Frog to the Disney Princess family.

Held quite appropriately at the New York Palace luxury hotel, celebrities and their families such as Tina Fey (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live), Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Nine Dead, Melissa & Joey), Kelly Bensimon, Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl), Audra McDonald (Private Practice), Nigel Barker (America’s Next Top Model), Matt Walton (One Life to Live), Amy Landecker, Miss Teen USA Stormi Bree Henley with Miss USA Kristen Dalton and more strolled down the purple carpet for the event. Also in attendance from the film, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday were directors John Musker and Ron Clements along with voice talents Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Jennifer Cody (Charlotte), Michael-Leon Wooley (Louis) and Jennifer Lewis (Mama Odie).

Day Dreamer Long Sleeve Top with Lace Gloves Manufacturer: Jaya MSRP: $16.99 After the purple carpet was cleared and the honored guests had made their way indoors to the ballroom, a horse-drawn carriage rolled down Madison Avenue, stopped directly in front of the Palace and Princess Tiana took to the purple carpet herself, escorted by a live jazz band and dozens of her adoring fans.

The event itself began with Anika Noni Rose who addressed the gathered group of families consisting mostly of little girls dressed as Disney princesses. Rose said that the first dream she ever recalls having as a child was that she would grow up to be the voice of a Disney character and how her dream came true. She spoke of Tiana and offered her own advice to the princess’ fans: meeting Prince Charming is a great thing, but they should never lose sight of their dreams and who they are.

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Photo: Former ‘Bachelor’ Jake Pavelka and ‘Dancing With the Stars” Chelsie Hightower at Magic Kingdom

Jake Pavelka (second from left), star of ABC's "The Bachelor," strikes a dance pose March 13, 2010 with his fiancee, Vienna Girardi (left) while Mickey Mouse poses with professional dancer Chelsie Hightower (right), star of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," at the Magic Kingdom (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Jake Pavelka (second from left), star of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” strikes a dance pose March 13, 2010 with his fiancee, Vienna Girardi (left) while Mickey Mouse poses with professional dancer Chelsie Hightower (right), star of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Pavelka and Hightower are partners on the new season of “Dancing with the Stars” which premieres March 22, 2010. Pavelka, Girardi and Hightower were vacationing this weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

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Pixar Announces Details on Animated Short for ‘Toy Story 3′

Day & Night by Disney/PixarOn its official Facebook page, Disney/Pixar has announced the details for its animated short that will play before the theatrical release of Toy Story 3. Titled Day & Night, the synopsis for the short is as follows:

When Day, a sunny fellow, encounters Night, a stranger of distinctly darker moods, sparks fly! Day and Night are frightened and suspicious of each other at first, and quickly get off on the wrong foot. But as they discover each other’s unique qualities–and come to realize that each of them offers a different window onto the same world — the friendship helps both to gain a new perspective.

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Justin Bieber to Guest Two Days in a Row on ABC’s ‘The View’

For the first time in the 13-year history of ABC’s Emmy® award-winning talk and entertainment program, “The View,” a featured musical guest will make two consecutive appearances this March, Bill Geddie, executive producer, announced today.

Canadian Pop/R&B sensation Justin Bieber is familiar with screaming girls and mayhem. Bieber is one of the hottest young stars on the music scene today and is set to make history on “The View” as the first artist to make back-to-back appearances/performances on the show, live, MONDAY, MARCH 22 and TUESDAY, MARCH 23 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET). He will perform an acoustic version of “Never Let You Go” and then, with his band, perform his new single, “Baby,” off his forthcoming second album, “My World 2.0″ (set to drop of March 23). Bieber will also be interviewed by the show’s five hosts.

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U.S. Army Recognizes Walt Disney World Resort for Support of Military Families

Major General Reuben D. Jones presents the commendation to Walt Disney World President Meg CroftonWalt Disney World Resort received the Army Freedom Team Salute Commendation for Disney Parks’ “Armed Forces Salute Program” for military families and for Walt Disney World’s ongoing collaboration with Shades of Green, the Armed Forces Recreation Center resort that is on-site at Walt Disney World.

The commendation was presented to Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton by Major General Reuben D. Jones, commanding general of the United State Army’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.

MG Jones said Walt Disney World provides “a tremendous boost in morale for service members and their families, by offering wonderful family entertainment in safe and pleasant surroundings.”

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ABC to Debut ‘ESPN Sports Saturday’ Programming Block Beginning April 3

ESPN Sports Saturday on ABCESPN Sports Saturday, a new block of sports programming on ABC, will launch Saturday, April 3, from 4-6 p.m. ET, it was announced by John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. The two-hour window will consist of a new 60-minute, highlight-driven series titled Winners Bracket and a mix of some of ESPN’s most distinctive offerings, including films from the acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series, episodes of ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine E:60 and installments of the interview-focused Homecoming with Rick Reilly.

ESPN Sports Saturday will generally be featured Saturdays from 4-6 p.m., from April through mid-August, and will return for another round of shows December through August 2011. For certain weeks, as the schedule dictates, ESPN Sports Saturday may be less than two hours.

ESPN Sports Saturday is a creative way to mix more high quality sports product with ABC’s strong live event lineup,” Skipper said. “Winners Bracket will review the sports week using a fresh and fun approach, while some of the very best ESPN series will provide an extremely compelling companion.”

Bill Hoffman, vice president, general manager, WSB-TV in Atlanta and the chair of the sports committee for the ABC Affiliate Board of Governors commented, “We are excited about this brand new sports offering from such a trusted brand. This program comes as a result of great creative thinking and collaboration between the ABC Board and ESPN.”

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Disney Legends The Sherman Brothers Receive Window Dedication on Disneyland’s Main Street USA

They’ve written some of the most memorable songs in Disney theme park – and motion picture – history, and on March 11, 2010, the Academy Award-winning composers of the music from “It’s a Small World” and The Enchanted Tiki Room, as well as “Mary Poppins,” will receive the highest honor that the Disneyland Resort bestows. The Sherman brothers, Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, will receive a tribute window on Main Street, U.S.A.

Among the Shermans’ more than 150 Disney songs are such familiar Disney theme park compositions as “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room” (theme of The Enchanted Tiki Room), “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” (theme of Carousel of Progress) and “It’s a Small World,” one of the most translated and performed songs on Earth. All three are still performed in their attractions at Disney theme parks around the world, making the music as contemporary today as when it was composed.

“Richard and Robert Sherman’s contribution to Disney spans 50 years and has touched virtually every aspect of our company,” said Robert A. Iger, president and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “By dedicating a window on Main Street, U.S.A. inside Disneyland we are pleased to recognize them with one of the highest honors our company bestows.”

“The music of the Sherman brothers has left an indelible mark on the Walt Disney Company and still resonates in Disney parks around the world,” said Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman. “Their songs – particularly ‘It’s a Small World’ and the score of ‘Mary Poppins’ – are not just touchstones of Disney, but of American culture as a whole. The whole world sang these songs when they were new and they still sing them today almost five decades later. Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman are honored members of the Disney family.”

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Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa, ESPN Wide World of Sports Rank Amongst Nation’s Top Uniforms

Announced during the 2010 North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Walt Disney World took home top prizes for its uniforms (costumes) during the Image of the Year Awards.

“From the officer who arrests criminals to the doorman who greets you when you arrive at a hotel, uniforms are an integral part of any customer-facing business,” said Richard Lerman, President and CEO of the NAUMD. “This year’s winners are a dynamic group of companies who have created a competitive edge in their businesses by placing a strong focus on the image of their staff.”

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Showtime Networks to Get Exclusive Cable Rights to DreamWorks Films Thru 2015

Disney-ABC Domestic Television, a division of The Walt Disney Company, and Showtime Networks Inc. have entered into an exclusive output agreement under which up to 35 of DreamWorks Studios’ films, to be theatrically released between 2010 and 2015, will air on the network.  The announcement was made today by Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. and Janice Marinelli, President, Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

“We are very pleased to be in business with The Walt Disney Company in bringing us theatrical films from DreamWorks,” said Blank.   “We expect a great supply of high-profile commercially successful films from Steven Spielberg, Stacey Snider and their wonderful team. Combined with our current supply of theatrical titles, our subscribers will enjoy a diverse slate of films for years to come.”

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Walt Disney Studios Extends Cable First Rights Agreement with Starz Thru 2015

Starz Entertainment, LLC, and Disney-ABC Domestic Television, a division of The Walt Disney Company, announced today the signing of a new, exclusive long-term licensing agreement for theatrical releases from The Walt Disney Studios through 2015. The previous output agreement was set to run through 2012. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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