Rita Ferro Named Executive VP of Disney Media Sales and Marketing

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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.”

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Couple on 1200 Mile Journey via Bicycle to Walt Disney World

Melvyn King and Debbie Clark on their recumbent tandem bicycle on thier way to Disney World (Jamie Parker/Bryan County Now)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.

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WDW Refurb Update: Star Tours II Officially Granted Re-opening Date

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.

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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Patent Watch: Disney’s World of Color, Dance Ring Video Game

Disney's fluid effects apparatusWe 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.

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Photo Gallery: Joan Cusack Signing for Disney Store Limited Edition Jessie Doll

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.

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E3: New ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned’ Screenshots, Trailer Released

Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the DamnedDisney Interactive has released the following game trailer and screenshots from its upcoming release Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned (February 1, 2011).

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.

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New Clip from ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice:’ The Coolest Scene Ever

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).

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All-Star Cast of Former ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ Contestants on ‘Bachelor Pad’ Announced

Fan-favorites, arch-rivals, villains and the sexiest participants from the hugely successful “Bachelor” franchise reunite under one roof in a competitive reality series to compete for $250,000 and perhaps a “second chance” at love, on ABC’s “Bachelor Pad,” premiering MONDAY, AUGUST 9 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET). The series begins with 19 of the most unforgettable characters from seasons past living together in the “Bachelor Pad” mansion. Each week they’ll square off in head-to-head challenges to compete for immunity and the opportunity to go on a date with contestants of their choice. The winner of the challenge will then grant immunity to one of his or her dates via the presentation of a rose. At the end of each episode, the contestants will vote amongst themselves to determine which cast members will be eliminated from the competition.

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ABC Family Launches Bus Campaign, New Health Initiative in Honor of ‘Huge’

ABC Family is launching its “Live Huge” campaign, a new health initiative in support of the network’s upcoming one-hour scripted series, “Huge.” The initiative, which runs across multiple platforms on the network, including on-air, online, and off-air, kicks off with a national bus tour beginning in Michigan on Friday, June 18. The “Live Huge” Bus will continue to make stops at festivals and fairs across the country throughout June and July 2010. “Huge,” starring Nikki Blonsky, premieres on ABC Family on Monday, June 28, at 9:00PM ET/PT.

The “Live Huge” Bus, wrapped in white, will serve as a blank canvas that will allow people to share how they “live huge” by writing messages directly on the bus that tell how they live their lives to the fullest. With each stop, photos of people signing the bus will be uploaded to abcfamily.com for use on the site’s digital mosaic – “The Live Huge Wall.” Additionally, ABC Family will be distributing recipe booklets featuring healthy recipes from two cookbooks by Jamie Oliver and published by Hyperion Books – Jamie’s Food Revolution (available now) and the soon-to-be-released Jamie’s America (coming in October).

The bus tour will kick off at Hamburg Family Fun Fest (Hamburg, MI) on Friday, June 18 and will continue on to make stops including:

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Aflac Debuts Paint Scheme for NASCAR #99, Inspired by Disney/Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 3’

Aflac NASCAR #99 featuring 'Toy Story 3' Paint SchemeAflac today announced the creation of a special Toy Story 3 paint scheme for the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion that will be driven by Carl Edwards at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA on June 20. )

The paint scheme reflects a collaboration between the Georgia-based insurance company and Disney/Pixar, following the release of a television commercial using Pixar’s unique brand of animation. This marks the second time Aflac and Disney/Pixar have worked together for cross-promotion.

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