Photo: Main Street Electrical Parade Passes Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

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The Main Street Electrical Parade passes by Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (Gene Duncan/Disney)Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade marches through the Magic Kingdom this summer, twinkling with approximately half a million lights. One of the original floats, the “Title Drum Unit” near the beginning of the parade, was created using an actual bass drum, one of the world’s largest in 1972. This drum had been used in Disneyland parades in the 1960s, when Mickey Mouse used to beat it using large drumsticks. The beloved parade returns to Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. to headline “Summer Nightastic!” June 6 through Aug. 14, 2010. Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy of Disney.

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WDW Character Updates: Maidens and Fairies and Bears, Oh My!

Disney Bear in a rare appearance at Walt Disney World © Stitch KingdomOkay, just one of each really.

According to the very reliable character resource WDW Character Hunt, we already have a couple of confirmed additions to the meet & greet character line-up at the Walt Disney World Resort. The site reports that Vidia, who has a much stronger role in the upcoming home video release Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue will begin greeting guests in Pixie Hollow at some point in August.

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Disney Store Celebrates ‘Toy Story 3′ with Family Activities All Month Long

Throughout the month of June, be sure to visit your local Disney Store for fun family activities in honor of the release of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

Some of the events taking place this month include:

  • Toy Story 3 Craft Activity (June 5): Now kids can create their very own adventure for Buzz, Woody, Jessie and the whole Toy Story 3 gang with a 2-D playset they will put together in the store (while supplies last). Parents don’t forget to bring your camera because there will be plenty of great photo opportunities you won’t want to miss. This event will be from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

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D23 and Walt Disney Archives to Honor Dave Smith in 40th Anniversary Event June 25

Dave Smith © DisneyFor four decades, The Walt Disney Archives has been home to the most treasured items from Disney’s fabled history, and on Friday, June 25, the Archives will mark its 40th anniversary with a special celebration at the Walt Disney Studios.

During the event, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, noted film historian Leonard Maltin and other surprise guests will honor Dave Smith, the founder of The Walt Disney Archives and Disney’s chief archivist, for his achievements in preserving the Disney legacy.

The special celebration is open exclusively to members of D23, Disney’s official fan club, and tickets to the once-in-a-lifetime Walt Disney Archives 40th Anniversary Celebration are currently on sale exclusively at http://www.disney.com/D23.

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Borders Named Exclusive Merchandise Retailer for Disney Channel’s ’16 Wishes’

Debby Ryan stars as Abbey Jensen on Disney Channel's "16 Wishes." (MAR VISTA ENTERTAINMENT/SERGEI BACHLAKOV)MarVista Entertainment is teaming up with Borders to launch an exclusive line of consumer products that support the world premiere of 16 Wishes, which debuts on Disney Channel on June 25.

Borders is to serve as the exclusive retailer for all 16 Wishes merchandise, available in store starting June 25. A variety of products will be available in all Borders and Waldenbooks retail locations and online at Borders.com. Borders will dedicate features space to merchandise the 13-item collection. Furthermore, some 200 stores will feature video monitors running the movie trailer and music video through the end of July.

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New Astrology Book Matches Birthdays with Disney Personalities

Disneystrology by Lisa FinanderIn definitely one of the more interesting Disney-related products we spotted coming down the pipeline, renaissance woman / astrologer Lisa Finander has managed to identify 366 distinct Disney characters and personalities and match them up with specific birthdays (sorry, no choice for the leap year babies).

Disneystrology is the title of the Finander’s compilation and it definitely appears to be an intriguing one at that. According to the book’s description, for example, those born on November 9 identify with Pinocchio: exuberant, friendly and youthful. Meanwhile, Mufasa is the role model for those born on February 22 who are often powerful, principled and determined.

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Toys For Tots Offers Unprecedented Summer Toy Drive in Conjunction with ‘Toy Story 3′

Woody and Buzz are back and they are asking for your help. Toys for Tots, in collaboration with the release of Toy Story 3, is kicking off an unprecedented summer toy drive. Throughout the month of June in 24 cities throughout the United States, the public will be asked to honor their cherished memories of childhood play by donating a new unwrapped toy during Toy Story 3 promotional events. The mission is to surpass the 16.3 million toys, books and other gifts raised in 2009 that fulfilled the holiday dreams of 7.4 million children in more than 690 communities nationwide.

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Giraffe From Disney’s Animal Kingdom Euthanized at Springfield, MO Zoo

Ten year old Asante, a male giraffe, left Disney’s Animal Kingdom earlier this week, headed for Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri. Owned by the San Diego Zoo and loaned out to other zoological parks for breeding purposes, Asante reportedly suffered a broken neck most likely in transit. Upon arrival at the Dickerson Park Zoo, the giraffe had difficulty exiting the trailer and maintaining his balance.

KYTV, Channel 3 in Springfield, MO, has more information on the unfortunate incident including a press release from the Zoo detailing the events that took place.

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Photo Gallery: 20 New Hi-Res Images from Disney/Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 3′

Piglet ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Courtesy of Disney/Pixar comes this brand new set of 20 new stills from Toy Story 3. The series of images features Andy as he’s forced to make a decision as to the fate of his beloved toys and their introduction to Sunnyside Daycare (with a little additional chaos thrown in for fun).

The images are presented here in the order they were uploaded so any chronological order that may or may not appear is purely coincidental. To view any image, click on its thumbnail. If the resize arrows appear in the lower right-hand corner, you may click it to view the image in its original size (you can further click and drag to pan the image). Otherwise click on the PicLens link to start a slideshow of the images.

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Hallmark Introduces New Disney Augmented Reality Greeting Cards for Father’s Day, Birthdays

Hallmark Disney-themed Augmented Reality Greeting CardsSince they were first introduced for Valentine’s day, Hallmark has been steadily growing its offering of augmented reality greeting cards. By purchasing the cards in-store, the recipient can download special software specific to the card (Windows only) and use their webcam to produce an interactive augmented reality visual featuring their favorite characters.

Pictured on the top are new Father’s Day cards featuring Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King and are available at most Hallmark stores. The cards on the bottom feature characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and the Disney Princesses and are available exclusively at Walmart. To see pictures of all of the available cards, visit the Hallmark augmented reality card website.

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