Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Wuennenberg Family in Response to Monorail Tragedy

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According to the Courthouse News Service, Christine P. Wuennenberg, mother of the cast member killed in an accident involving two of Walt Disney World’s monorail trains in July, has filed a wrongful death claim in Orange County Court.

The claim asserts that Disney was aware of the dangers of the functions being performed at the time and deliberately ignored safety procedures enacted by Disney itself as well as disobeyed explicit warnings included in the operations manual provided by the manufacturer.

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How Disney Plans to Revolutionize the Theme Park Experience

You may recall a couple of years ago, the Magic Kingdom was ‘testing’ a very popular device called the Disney Magic Connection: a special cartridge locked into an otherwise-ordinary Nintendo DS that provided guests beta-testing the device the ability to know where the nearest facilities were based on location, estimated standby times for attractions and more. Many have since wondered what became of the project and we now have an idea.

Last week, a patent application from Disney Enterprises was published and although it describes the Disney Magic Connection system to a tee, what the application covers is ready to propel the entire theme park experience to a whole other level, integrating technology into virtually every aspect of even the most traditional element.

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‘Captain EO’ Mea Culpa on Disneyland Debut Date; Will Closing Date Work?

After a question arose earlier today on Twitter in regards to our initial report that Honey, I Shrunk the Audience was scheduled to be closed until January 29, making the assumption it would re-open as Captain Eo, we went back and confirmed with the original source which has since been updated and currently reads as closed until January 29, 2011.

So someone made an unfortunate, honest mistake, either us for initially mis-reading it, or they for publishing the wrong year, but it looks like all we currently can surmise is that Captain Eo should be running at least through the remainder of the year before closing to switch back to HISTA which will re-open on January 29, 2011. In either case, we apologize for the mis-information.

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Pixar Director Auctions ‘Toy Story 3′ Memorabilia for Haiti Efforts

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is auctioning off his own personal memorabilia from the upcoming Disney/Pixar film for charitable efforts in Haiti. Unkrich has pledged 100% of the proceeds from the auctions to go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

The first item up for auction is a Toy Story 3 teaser poster featuring Sheriff Woody Pride and signed by actor Tom Hanks.

The poster, which is listed as including free shipping, can be found on eBay.

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First Look: Hand-painted Disney Instruments to Benefit Music Education

Last month,the official blog of Disney Parks introduced us to the first of five custom hand-painted Disney-themed instruments that will be auctioned off to benefit music education in honor of the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World’s Magic Music Days program.

There, the blog showed off the Genie by animator Brian Kesinger. Today we get our first look at the remaining basses in this unique collection. Pictured above, from left to right, are: Dumbo by Supervising Animator Michael Surrey and his daughter Ellen; Rapunzel by Claire Keane, Visual Development Artist for Rapunzel; The Princess and the Frog by animation designer Lorelay Bove; Genie; and Cheshire Cat by animation designer Douglas Rogers.

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New ‘Yellow Light Cycle’ Billboard Ad for Tron Legacy (Hi-Res Image)

Released a few days ago, exclusively through MTV, Walt Disney Studios has now offered us the following hi-res image of a sleek new Tron Legacy billboard ad featuring a yellow light cycle. This ad compliments the original blue version we first introduced you to last month.

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First Look: 3D Sculpture of Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland (Update)

Note: Updates in bold.

Months before the official announcement, we were one of the first to share the blueprints for the new Magic Kingdom Fantasyland with you. Today we are thrilled to be able to show you this image we acquired of an actual sculpted model of the Fantasyland redo.

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Name for Disney’s Walt Disney World Private Community Unofficially Confirmed

If your internet was slow yesterday, we think we know why. It seems the Disney elves fairies were hard at work, registering a slew of domain names for the new ‘on property’ five star resort and reported multi-million dollar community being developed by Four Seasons.

Although we can’t confirm the name of the actual resort itself, it appears that the custom family (vacation homes) community will in fact be dubbed Golden Oak as first reported by Screamscape. Disney fanatics already know that the Walt Disney Company is famous for using key geographic location names for other purposes such as Buena Vista and Hyperion. As innocuous as those examples are, however, Golden Oak just makes us think of a retirement home (its location doesn’t hurt) in spite of being well aware it’s an homage to the legendary Disney production ranch for which Disney recently announced an expansion.

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First Look: Cover Box Art for Toy Story on Blu-ray

Ever since we were the first to bring the good news that Toy Story and Toy Story 2 would individually be heading to blu-ray on March 23 (with Toy Story 3 coming to 3D blu-ray later this year), we’ve seen a countless number of folks questioning what the cover art for Toy Story would look like since it was obvious that the artwork released was simply a place-holder.

We are now pleased to present to you the artwork that Amazon.com has just replaced the original with. As of this update, the artwork for Toy Story 2 remains as the original, temporary cover art.

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Disney Enacts Limits on Purchase of Limited Edition Vinylmations; Wall-E Release Details

Via the official blog, Disney Theme Park Merchandising has announced that going forward, guests will be limited to purchasing two (2) of any particular Vinylmation designated as a limited edition. This affects only limited edition releases, not limited release or other editions.

In addition, the blog also brings details and a look at the boxed set for the Wall*E/Eve limited edition Vinylmations which are set to be released at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts tomorrow. The blog advises that those seeking to purchase the set can do so at the following locations:

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