Annual Passholders’ Sneak Peek at Walt Disney World’s ‘D Street’ on April 3

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D Street at Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney West SideOn Saturday, April 3, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Passholders will have an opportunity to be among the first guests to experience the opening of D Street, the newest merchandise location where urban inspired product “intersects” with a Disney creative edge. Passholders will also be among the first to catch a glimpse of the new Create Your Own Vinylmation table, have the opportunity to participate in Vinylmation trading activities (trade your own Vinylmation or ones you purchase) and see the Disney Channel Star Celebrity Signed Vinylmation on display at D Street!

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Video: Insider’s Look Into the Costumes of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ with Colleen Atwood

Oscar-winning costume designer and Tim Burton cohort Colleen Atwood provides a personal tour and insight for some of the costumes featured in Alice in Wonderland from Walt Disney Studios in this video. The video also features sketches and lots of behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film.

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Environmentally-Friendly Paints Add Color to Blizzard Beach’s Reopening

Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach. Photo © DisneyDisney’s Blizzard Beach water park reopened for the spring and many of the bright colors – from the showcase “snow” on Summit Plummet to the smallest details at Lottawatta Lodge – are thanks to new environmentally-friendly paints.

In Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is a leader in the use of environmentally-friendly, low VOC paint.  Some of the chemicals found in paint are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.  Previously, VOCs were considered essential to the durability and performance of paint, both in how well the paint withstood outdoor weather conditions and how quickly it dried.

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Photo: Pittsburgh’s Taylor and Holmes ‘Steel’ Some PS3 Time at ESPN Wide World of Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers stars Ike Taylor (left) and Santonio Holmes (right) play a game of “Madden NFL ’10” March 23, 2010 at the PlayStation Pavilion at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The new PlayStation Pavilion features PlayStation 3 systems, including a SingStar stage and a collection of the latest video game releases. (Photo by Todd Anderson/Disney)

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‘Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow’ Author Ridley Pearson to Make Appearances April 6-7 at Walt Disney World

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadows by Ridley PearsonJoin author Ridley Pearson as he visits Walt Disney World on April 6 & 7 to sign his latest book, Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow as well as many of his other best sellers.

On Tuesday, April 6, Ridley will be signing at Once Upon a Toy in the Downtown Disney Marketplace from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

On Wednesday, April 7, Ridley will be appearing at MouseGear in Epcot (theme park admission required) from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

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Disney Channel to Offer Green-Themed Programming Starting April 17

Disney Channel celebrates Earth Day with green-themed episodes of its hit series, each conveying the importance of conservation, recycling and using sustainable natural resources, beginning SATURDAY, APRIL 17.

For the youngest viewers, Disney Channel will present a new episode of “Handy Manny,” an Environmental Media Association Award-winning series, guest starring eco-crusader “Sustainable Dave” Chameides and Lance Bass, and new eco-themed episodes of “Special Agent Oso” and “Imagination Movers.” PlayhouseDisney.com will launch a new “Special Agent Oso” game entitled “Recycling is Forever,” on THURSDAY, APRIL 1, in which kids can help Oso identify, sort and properly place recyclable items in the correct bins to earn a special recycling Digi-Medal.

For older kids and tweens, Disney Channel will feature encore eco-conscious episodes of “Phineas and Ferb,” “Hannah Montana,” “The Suite Life On Deck” and “Wizards of Waverly Place.”

New Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green on-air messages featuring multi-platinum recording artists and actors Joe Jonas (“JONAS”) and Demi Lovato (“Sonny With A Chance”), stressing the importance of protecting the planet’s oceans and waterways, will debut on Earth Day. Kids can add to the more than 1.5 million Friends for Change “pledges” that have already been made by visiting Disney.com/ProjectGreen and committing to help local habitats.

Continue reading…

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WDW Refurb Update: Star Tours Closure Earlier Than Anticipated, Toy Story Mania

We have received a tip on upcoming closures for Star Tours and Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These are not from official Disney sources but we believe they are credible enough to pass along to you. Should we find out alternate information in the future, we will update and post in the Refurbs category not to mention on ReSearch! Disclaimer aside, on with the mega-news.

Our source informs us that Star Tours will close on September 8. This is earlier than announced by former Disney Parks and Resort Chairman Jay Rasulo at last year’s D23 Expo, but not unexpected. It’s also scheduled to take place after Celebration V, which takes place in Orlando this year, ends in mid-August.

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WDW Refurb Update: Rock’n’Roller Coaster Closure in May

We have been advised that Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closed for refurbishment beginning on May 15 and re-open on May 21.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch!

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‘Hairspray’s’ Nikki Blonksy Cast as Star in New ABC Family Series ‘Huge’

Golden Globe®-nominated Nikki Blonsky (“Hairspray”) has signed to star in the new ABC Family original scripted drama series, “Huge,” which will begin production next month (April) and is set to premiere on the network in summer 2010. Funny, heartbreaking and provocative, “Huge” follows the lives of seven teens and the staff at a weight-loss camp, as they look beneath the surface to discover their true selves and the truth about each other.

In “Huge,” Blonsky will portray Willamina, a teen whose sardonic and rebellious nature make her a menace to some and revolutionary to others. Additional cast include Andrew Caldwell as Trent, Zander Eckhouse as George, Harvey Guillen as Alistair, Ari Stidham as Ian, Ashley Holliday as Chloe and Hayley Hasselhoff as Amber.

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Report: Disney Bus Collision at Epcot Injures Eight; One Seriously Hurt

WESH and the Orlando Sentinel are reporting that a Disney Bus rear-ended a Mears Transportation near the Epcot Toll Plaza earlier today at approximately 2:30 pm ET, injuring eight with the driver of the Disney Bus having been airlifted to the hospital in a ‘very  serious condition.’  There were 20 guests in all aboard the Disney Bus with only the driver aboard the Mears bus.

UPDATED at 3:35 pm

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