It’s rare that we do publish a ‘human interest’ story here, but we couldn’t resist being one of the first to bring the story of Alex and Donna Voutsinas to the Disney community and weren’t surprised when the story took off like wildfire shortly after.
While sifting through photos for their upcoming wedding, the couple had discovered a childhood photo of Donna’s with her and her brothers meeting Mr. Smee and — to the surprise of both — Alex recognized his father in the background, placing the couple together in the very same photo decades before they actually met.
Guests celebrating the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort will have a choice of fireworks shows as Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios present special pyrotechnics, and Epcot adds a patriotic “tag” to its famous “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” spectacular. Here’s what’s in store (entertainment and park hours are subject to change without notice):
- Magic Kingdom – “Celebrate America Fireworks” will fill the sky at 9 p.m. July 4 (guests who’d like to begin the celebratory weekend a day early can enjoy the special fireworks on July 3 at 9 p.m.). After the fireworks, guests can enjoy Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” of lights, music and magic at 10 p.m. and midnight on July 4 (on July 3, the parade will be at 10:30 p.m.). Park hours on July 4 are 8 a.m.-1 a.m.
Rita Ferro, an executive with a strong track record in advertising sales and promotions, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Disney Media Sales and Marketing, effective June 28. Ms. Ferro will relocate to New York from Miami, where she’s been an integral part of Disney and ESPN’s Latin America business since 1997. She succeeds Tricia Wilber who was recently named Chief Marketing Officer, The Walt Disney Company, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
In her new role, Ferro will lead the integrated sales team that represents and maximizes advertising sales, marketing and promotions across The Walt Disney Company’s media platforms serving kids, moms and families, including its kid-driven, family inclusive TV channels, its wide-range of online offerings, its mom-focused publishing business, and its kid- and mom-focused radio platform. The portfolio, consists of Disney Channel, Disney XD, Playhouse Disney (soon to re-brand to Disney Junior), plus over 20 Disney Online properties serving kids, families and/or women including Disney.com, DisneyFamily.com, DisneyChannel.com, RadioDisney.com, Kaboose.com and FamilyFun.com, among others.
Ferro will report to three business unit leaders – Carolina Lightcap, president, Disney Channels Worldwide; Paul Yanover, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Disney Online, and Russell Hampton, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide.
Ms. Lightcap said, “Rita has a great reputation in the advertising community and a strong background in generating strategic opportunities for diverse clients in a dynamic multichannel, multi-brand business.” She continued, “I am excited to be working closely with her again, and know our integrated ad sales team stands to benefit enormously from her keen insights, strong relationships and leadership skills.”
Since May 19, Melvyn King and Debbie Clark have been riding their Ryan Duplex recumbent tandem bike from their home in Cortland, NY on a trek ending at Walt Disney World, which they expect to arrive at by June 18, ahead of their initial hopes of June 21.
Along the way, they’ve been keeping a fairly extensive blog, chronicling their experiences and photos along the way. You can view the blog at http://melanddebbie.blogspot.com and also check out a recent report from Georgia where the couple recently passed through.
Star Tours II has been cleared for take-off.
On the official web site, Walt Disney World has announced a scheduled re-opening date for Star Tours of May 17, 2011, which reflects a minor change in dates we originally announced back in March. The attraction is still expected to close on September 8.
At the Disneyland Resort, Star Tours, which closes on July 27 for its refurb, is expected to re-open exactly one week prior, on May 10, 2011.
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We have a couple of interesting patent applications from Disney Enterprises to share with you today, although the first one up, arguably the more interesting of the two, is not the lightest read imagineable.
Probably the most difficult aspect of digesting this patent application is that all the talk of water constantly makes us need to visit the bathroom, but out of jest, it appears that this could be some of the technology behind the new World of Color show at Disney California Adventure.
In honor of the theatrical release of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, The Disney Store created a limited edition talking Jessie doll which will be sold at select locations nationwide. For the product’s unveiling at the Michigan Avenue store in Chicago, IL, D23 invited a limited number of members to have the first opportunity to purchase the doll as well as meet and greet with Toy Story 3 co-star and voice of Jessie, Joan Cusack.
Armada of the Damned is an entirely new experience within the Pirates of the Caribbean universe. The game takes place before the events of the blockbuster films. Players will take on the role of a pirate and embark on epic land and sea adventures. Numerous moral and character choices will need to be made that affect their character and the original story within the world. Players will explore a massive open world while fighting enemies, mystical creatures and Mother Nature, both to gain experience and stay alive. Supernatural elements familiar to the Pirates of the Caribbean world will also affect their character’s story and influence their choices.
The movie with the tagline The Coolest Job Ever introduces to us what it calls The Coolest Scene Ever in this new peek at the upcoming release from Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Back in 1940, Mickey Mouse thrilled audiences as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a student of the great wizard Yensid (that’s Disney backwards), when an attempted work shortcut using magic ran afoul. Just 70 years later, the film based on that single sequence from Disney’s Fantasia pays its homage when apprentice Dave (Jay Baruchel) ignores the advice of his master Balthazar (Nicolas Cage).