Moms from every state took part in the biggest Celebration of Moms in the history of Disney Parks. Winners of the Macy’s “Celebrate Mom” Sweepstakes traveled coast-to-coast on this magical adventure which began Monday June 22, 2009 with a sunrise breakfast on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Resort in California and ended Thursday June 25, 2009 with a sunset dinner at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
This year, the event owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT) will pit MEAC defending champion South Carolina State University against 2008 SWAC title winner Grambling State University for the first time since 1994. The game will return to Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla., and will air on ESPN2/ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 2 p.m. ET. This will mark the first time this event will be televised in high definition.
Individual tickets for the game are $20 (plus tax and fees) and will be available through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or by logging on to www.ticketmaster.com. Fans who want to attend this event can also purchase travel packages through Anthony Travel’s Web site or by calling 888-632-6951.
Each year, the game is played at a neutral site within the footprint of one of the conferences. The inaugural MEAC/SWAC Challenge in 2005 showcased the MEAC’s South Carolina State vs. Alabama State of the SWAC, with South Carolina State prevailing, 27-14. In 2006, the contest went into overtime with the MEAC’s Hampton University defeating the SWAC’s Grambling State, 27-26. The SWAC earned its first MEAC/SWAC Challenge trophy in 2007 as Southern defeated Florida A&M, 33-27. Last year, the event moved from Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., to Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, where the MEAC reclaimed the MEAC/SWAC Challenge crown, as Hampton defeated Jackson State 17-13. The MEAC leads the series 3-1. Teams for future games are determined on an annual basis.
For more information about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge and for access to the event’s Facebook page, please visit www.meacswacchallenge.com.
Burbank, CA (June 26, 2009) – To help all Potter-philes gear up for the July 15th opening of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” fans can catch up on all of the magical mischief at Hogwarts when ABC Family airs the first four films of the franchise during its summer “Harry Potter Weekend,” airing Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12.
On top of reliving their favorite wizard moments, ABC Family will also be airing exclusive featurettes, with never-before-seen footage and cast interviews, from “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” throughout the weekend’s 3-day event. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Tom Felton take viewers deeper into the world of “The Half-Blood Prince” by discussing what Malfoy is really up to in the film, Ron’s new sports adventure, and how Hermione is dealing with Ron’s new main squeeze. So be sure to grab your chocolate frogs and pumpkin juice, because this event is a must see for Muggles and Wizards alike!
The “Harry Potter” weekend schedule is as follows:
Friday, July 10th
(7:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
Saturday, July 11th
(12:30 – 4:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
(4:00 – 8:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
(8:00 PM – 11:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
Sunday, July 12th
(12:30 – 4:30 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
(4:30 – 7:30 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
(7:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
Disney has just released these photos showing some of the makeovers possible at the new Pirate League in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, officially opening June 29 (now in soft opening mode). Photos © Kent Phillips/Disney.
The official press release follows: Continue reading…
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 25 — The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes–FLASH(R) and the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) are joining forces to promote public awareness about lightning safety and lightning protection. In recognition of National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 21-27, 2009, FLASH and LPI signed a partnership agreement on June 22, 2009 at StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes(R) at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot(R) at the Walt Disney World(R) Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL.
NOAA launched an annual Lightning Safety Awareness campaign in 2001 to increase awareness of the dangers of lightning and provide the public with safety information to help protect families and their property. Matt Bragaw, forecaster and lightning specialist with NOAA’s National Weather Service joined FLASH and LPI representatives for the partnership signing and tour of the StormStruck exhibit.
Last night, Disney’s D23 simultaneously held events for members in New York and Chicago during a presentation of the Disney Theatrical version of Mary Poppins. For the price of a regular ticket, D23 members were offered preferred seating for the actual performance, offered merchandise discounts, complimentary merchandise (in New York, this was a copy of the DVD) and a backstage experience complete with a meet & greet.
This also happened to be my first time seeing the show. Since it opened, the show has received a lukewarm reception at best and I had heard it all – the house was a star, the show’s plot takes a sharp departure from the film and there are scenes that get downright creepy (although scary is usually the adjective I hear).
Overall, I can’t say I loved the show. When it was hot, it was hot. When it wasn’t, it wasn’t. That said, I never once had to look at my watch – the show maintained a decent pace and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it had the Sherman Brothers songs to constantly look forward to and, of course, Mary Poppins herself. Truth is, this show could have been the worst (and it’s absolutely not), but nobody would have been able to pull it off besides Disney.
I won’t review the show, but I do want to say three things: Jane Carr as Mrs. Brill is Mrs. Brilliant; some of the visuals were amazing, such as the Let’s Go Fly a Kite scene and Bert walking around the stage (quite literally) during the Step in Time performance (the whole performance itself really); and the creepy/scary scene is highly understated – a part of me died during that scene.
But I digress, on to the event itself.
After the show, we were led through a door off to the side which led us right to on stage where D23 took a couple of the obligatory group photos with the members plus Scarlett Strallen (Mary) and Adam Fiorentino (Bert) in costume, followed by a quick meet & greet in which the two primarily signed the showbills.
We were then briefly filled in on the historic New Amsterdam theatre, which the Walt Disney company had faithfully restored (see the show’s official site for the theatre history). The guide then pointed out the house which was positioned in its spot at the back of the stage and started going over some of its features as well as how a few things were done. He wouldn’t reveal how a few tricks were done in the show, most notably the one in which Mary continues to pull things out of her seemingly bottomless carpetbag, but the truth is, it’s one of stage magic’s most basic principles (in fact, Michael Banks even exposed it a bit as he went to move his hands under the table to show there was ‘nothing’ there). I don’t feel like spoiling how it or the dog on the cart is done, but if you have a real basic understanding of illusions, it’s as good as explained.
We were then led towards the exit, where a few other things were pointed out such as a wall where celebrity attendees could leave a message for the cast and some other odds and ends decorating the backstage area including some left overs from the theatre’s previous occupant, the Lion King.
I apologize for the lack of quality with the images, I might as well not post anything at all, but I was so sure that they wouldn’t allow photography that I didn’t bother lugging around my dSLR for the day. Invaluable lesson learned.
In fact, a public plea: If anyone from D23 or Disney Theatrical manages to come across this, I implore you to allow me to come back for the experience (minus the meet & greet if not possible) so I can better the photo library. Otherwise, please try to enjoy:
Disney has sent us hi-res versions of all of the images from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland that were just published by USA Today, including a couple of others that weren’t. We had to scale them down a little, but we couldn’t wait to be able to share them with you. So please enjoy this new gallery of images from the film.
If you want to see the images in the full size, click the individual thumbnails below, then click on the resize arrows in the lower right-hand corner.
BURBANK, Calif., June 24 — Jonas Brothers’ Lines, Vines and Trying Times debuts at # 1 on the Billboard Top 200 today, selling nearly 250,000 units, a mere ten months after their third studio album A Little Bit Longer debuted at the top of the charts. Jonas Brothers are the only act to have two # 1 debuts within a ten month period; only Jay-Z came close with two # 1 debuts twelve months apart in December 2006 and December 2007. Their triumphant return to the # 1 slot is one of 2009′s top debuts, and follows the kick off of their Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009 this weekend at the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in front of nearly 50,000 fans. The tour opened to rave reviews and decibel busting cheers for Jonas Brothers’ “in the round” concert.
In addition to the Jonas Brothers’ # 1 debut in the US, Lines, Vines and Trying Times debuted # 1 in Canada, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Central America. Jonas Brothers hosted and performed their hit singles “Paranoid” and “Burning Up” this weekend on the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto. Lines, Vines and Trying Times also debuted top ten in the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand and Ireland.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 24 — Disney Institute professional development programs will soon be offered at Learning Tree Education Centers in select cities throughout the U.S. The programs are part of a new relationship between Disney Institute — the professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company — and Learning Tree, the world’s leading vendor-independent management, business skills and IT training company.
Beginning August 2009, the relationship will bring a broad range of Disney Institute content to Learning Tree Education Centers in Atlanta; Reston, Va.; Rockville, Md.; Alexandria, Va.; Chicago; and New York City. A variety of course topics and formats will be offered, enabling individuals and intact work teams to select content that is ideally suited to meet their organizations’ needs.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – 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:
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 a performance of Disney’s “SpectroMagic” parade of lights, music and magic at 10:30 p.m. on July 3-4. Park hours are 9 a.m.-11 p.m. July 3-4.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Special fireworks will be presented at 10 p.m. on July 4, providing guests with a bonus nighttime entertainment extravaganza to complement “Fantasmic!” (which will be at 9 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.). Park hours July 4 are 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Epcot – “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” which features dazzling special effects, colorful lasers, brilliant fireworks, and fiery torches all choreographed to a musical score, becomes even more dynamic on July 4 as the normal show is supplemented with a patriotic finale. The performance begins at 10 p.m. Park hours July 4 are 9 a.m.-10 p.m.