Singer/songwriter Darius Rucker (front, left) takes flight April 6, 2010 on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. with daughter Dani, 9, (front, center), son Jack, 5, (front, right), daughter Cary, 14, (back, right) and family friend Rachel Herman, 15, (back, left). Rucker, former lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning band Hootie & The Blowfish, won “New Artist of the Year” at the 2009 Country Music Association Awards. Rucker is vacationing with his family at the Walt Disney World Resort. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
The pool slide at Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club will close on May 2 for refurbishment. At this time we do not have an exact re-opening date other than ‘late May’ so we are assuming May 31 for the time being.
Although the pool and play areas other than the slide will remain open during this time, guests are invited to use the pool and slide at the Boardwalk Inn if desired.
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Disney today announced Mrs. Julie Schnedler’s sixth grade Mediapolis Community School class as the national grand prize winner of the inaugural Disney’s Planet Challenge, a project-based learning environmental competition for 4th – 6th grade classrooms.
“It was such a tough decision for our judging committee to make. So many of the projects submitted exhibited environmental solutions grounded in science and teamwork”
Thousands of classrooms in all 50 states enrolled in Disney’s Planet Challenge, which is just in its first year as a national program. Since fall 2009, classes across the nation have been hard at work on environmental projects of their choosing. They spent months collecting data, conducting field research, coming up with solutions for problems, promoting community involvement and documenting their efforts along the way.
Eddie Carroll, the actor best known to Disney fans as the voice of Jiminy Cricket since 1973, has reportedly passed away at the age of 76.
The news comes from the International Jack Benny Fan Club which has no current additional information other than his death, although additional news is promised soon.
Carroll was also known for his impression of Jack Benny, which he performed on stage in his show Laughter in Bloom. The site currently lists all upcoming shows as postponed due to an injury Mr. Carroll sustained earlier in the year, but reports in the Jack Benny Fan Club forum have reported that he had recovered well so there is no indication as to what the injury was and whether his death is related to it.
Five teenagers – the Kingdom Keepers – have been transformed into Disney Holographic Images (DHIs) that thrill guests as they guide them through each of the Disney parks. In truth, the Disney Imagineers created the DHIs to protect Disney’s theme parks from the Overtakers, classic Disney villains, who are trying to seize the parks and use them for their own evil agendas. Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers book series follows these heroes on behind-the-scenes adventures in the magical world of the Disney parks – and in Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow, the action happens in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. (Disney-Hyperion Books, ages 10 and up, $17.99)
License! Global, the premier publication for brand extensions and retail intelligence, and the official publication for Licensing International Expo, the World’s Brand and Property Marketplace, today announced the Top 125 Global Licensors. This exclusive list ranks and analyzes the world’s largest brands and licensing companies by total revenue of licensed products at retail.
The reveal of the fourteen new characters debuting in Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 is now complete with the addition of Big Baby and Bookworm this morning.
From Upcoming Pixar comes the introduction of Big Baby:
Your little one will love this lifelike baby doll with his soft, cuddly fabric body and vinyl arms, legs and face. With dazzling blue eyes that open and close, this realistic baby encourages nurturing play. Eighteen inches tall, he comes dressed in an adorable yellow onesie with matching bonnet, and has his own magical bottle of milk that disappears while he drinks! A perfect first doll for your special child. Machine washable on gentle cycle. Flame retardant.
It will be a magical trip down memory lane this month as the Hollywood Show hosts a reunion of beloved members of the original Mickey Mouse Club. Tommy Kirk, Tommy Cole, Cubby O’Brien, Doreen Tracy, Karen Pendleton, Bobby Burgess, Sharon Baird, David Stollery and Tim Considine will all be appearing at the event, which runs April 24 and 25 at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel & Convention Center (2500 North Hollywood Way Burbank, Calif.). James MacArthur (Swiss Family Robinson) and Steven R. Stevens (Walt Disney Presents: Annette) will also be in attendance!
In honor of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, Disney Store unveiled a new line of eco-friendly merchandise today. Featuring the tag line ‘Save Planet Earth’ and featuring Alien from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, the new line of merchandise will be available at Disney Store locations nationwide only from April 12 though Earth Day, April 22.
Earlier today, Disney/Pixar presented a panel on Toy Story 3 during WonderCon 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Panelists included director Lee Unkrich, producer Darla Anderson and cast members John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Kristen Schaal (Trixie) and Jeff Garlin (Buttercup).
As part of the panel, Unkrich, Schaal and Garlin performed a live reading from the film.
The gallery below contains photos from the panel by Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio/Wireimage courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.