ABC Teams with CafePress.com to Allow Fans to Create Unique Authorized Merchandise

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ABC Entertainment Group and CafePress, the online epicenter for user-designed apparel and gifts, today announced a licensing agreement that allows TV fans to design and sell authorized show merchandise. Fans of the hit ABC shows – Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs and Schoolhouse Rock along with Legend of the Seeker (from ABC Studios) – can unleash their creativity to design custom apparel and gifts by following the official guidelines. Fans can visit CafePress.com to create products and purchase merchandise designed by other fans fully encompassing fan engagement within this merchandise platform. In addition, CafePress will be launching a shop featuring official Schoolhouse Rock merchandise.

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Disney Pushes Back ‘Beauty and the Beast 3D’ to 2011

We have received an update from Walt Disney Studios confirming some reports that Beauty and the Beast won’t be making its 3D debut for Valentine’s Day this year as  initially announced during last year’s company shareholder meeting.

Although we do not have a new release date, it looks like the film is still expected to be released, but not until some point in 2011.

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ESPN Acquires Vistas Unlimited, Developer of Live Digital Advertisement Insertion

ESPN has acquired technology development company Vistas Unlimited, Inc., located in Plano, Texas.  The acquisition will augment ESPN’s innovative use of virtual technology across its multiple platforms.  Under this agreement, ESPN will continue to employ a majority of Vistas’ employees.

“This acquisition represents ESPN’s dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation and technology development,” said Chuck Pagano, executive vice president, ESPN technology.  “The team that is joining ESPN brings a wealth of knowledge on developing cutting-edge virtual components that enhance the fan’s enjoyment of a game telecast.”

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New Star Wars Theme Park Merchandise: R2-MK Astromech Droid Figure

Coming to a theme park galaxy near you in April is this Disney theme park exclusive merchandise featuring a two-pack of Jedi Mickey alongside his R2-MK astromech droid pal.

From Hasbro, the R2-MK action figure features red and yellow accents and — of course — his own pair of Mickey ears. Packaged with Jedi Mickey, the set will retail for $18.95.

For more photos and information, see StarWars.com

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First Look: Buzz Lightyear Disney Label Transformer from Takara-Tomy

Big Bad Toy Store has now featured an image of the upcoming Disney Label release of the Buzz Lightyear transformer figure from Takara-Tomy.

Expected to ship in June, the figure is available for pre-order from the site for $45.

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Pirates of the Caribbean 4 to Begin Shooting in Hawaii This Summer

Linda Lingle today announced that Hawai‘i will be the location for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth installment of the highly successful Walt Disney Pictures’ action adventure film series from Jerry Bruckheimer Films. The Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger met with Governor Lingle on Friday to share the news that the islands of Kauai and Oahu will be sites for the production of the feature film, which will begin shooting this summer and is slated to be released in summer 2011. The production is expected to generate an estimated $85 million in direct and indirect spending in Hawaii, providing a needed economic boost for the state’s economy as well as creating hundreds of jobs for local residents.

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New D23 ‘Mickey Through the Years’ Pin Collection Available for Members

Now available in the DisneyStore.com Boutique 23 is this 8 pin ‘Mickey Through the Years’ pin collection available exclusively to D23 members.

Presented in a deluxe black wooden display box with hinged lid and velour lining, measuring 5 1/4″ x 11″ x 2″, the eight 2″ tall/wide enamel cloisonné pins feature Mickey in a variety of roles and costumes he’s donned throughout the year including: Plane Crazy, Thru the Mirror, Mickey’s Fire Brigade, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Simple Things, as a train conductor, with a film slate and in sportswear.

The D23 member exclusive pin set sells for $139.95.

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Report: Whoopi Goldberg Performs One Night Only in The Lion King on Broadway

This past Thursday, actress, comedienne and co-host of ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg took the stage at the Minkskoff Theatre to perform in Disney’s The Liong Kingfor one night only.

The night’s special performance was introduced by Disney Theatrical president and producer Thomas Schumacher who first talked about how there have been over 10,000 shows produced in Broadway’s history and that out of those, only eight have gone on to host more than 5,000 performances and that The Lion King had just become number nine (which it did back in November). After noting that director Julie Taymor was also in the audience for the evening’s performance, Schumacher then went on to explain that the performance was being taped for The View and outlined the three cameos Goldberg would be appearing in throughout the show.

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Win a Four Night Disney Cruise for Four from MyCokeRewards.com

From now through March 15, 2000, MyCokeRewards.com account holders can enter to win a four night cruise for four above the Disney Wonder in a category 9 room including airfare, ground transfers, taxes and gratuities. Items specifically not included in the package include:  shore excursions; incidental expenses; laundry service; alcoholic beverages; spa treatments; Palo surcharge and gratuities; telephone charges; merchandise and souvenirs; airport charges; ship-to-shore communications including internet; travel insurance; additional tips and gratuities; income and other taxes; transportation between winner’s residence and departure airport; and all other costs and expenses not otherwise mentioned herein.

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Win a Disney World Trip from Radio Disney to Attend ‘Celebration of Volunteerism’ Event

From now through January 12 at 12 PM ET, children aged 16 and under can enter to win a 4 day/3 night Walt Disney World vacation for four to attend the special ‘Celebration of Volunteerism’ event to be held at Epcot on February 11 and includes performances by Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato.

Entrants may enter the contest by either: entering the Radio Disney code word of the day at http://radio.disney.go.com/win/listen_to_win.html, texting the code word of the day to 347639 (DISNEY – standard messaging rates may apply), or winning a contest on air. You may only enter once per day using any of the methods and each method is limited to 13 entries per person.

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