First Look: Inside the New ‘Timeless Beauty’ Exhibit at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

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A few months ago, the Tin Toy Exhibition at Epcot’s Japan pavilion gallery closed after several years without much notice to make way for a new exhibition. Expected to have opened in mid-October, reported delays in having the pieces shipped to Walt Disney World from Japan kept the gallery closed until very recently.

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ABC to Present ‘Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special’ on December 13

Oprah Winfrey will usher in the holidays at the White House, visiting President Obama and the First Lady as they prepare for their family’s first Christmas there, on “Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special,” airing SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

The intimate, informative and entertaining hour-long special will include a one-on-one conversation with the President, marking the first time Oprah has interviewed him since he took office, as well as an exclusive sit-down interview with the First Couple. The special will showcase behind-the-scenes preparations as the White House gets ready for the holiday season.

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WDW Refurb Updates: Golf Closure in December; Indy Goes Dark in January

The Magnolia Gold Course will be closed between December 2 and December 11.

Additionally, there will be no performances of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios between January 11-15.

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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Carolina Lightcap Named President of Disney Channels Worldwide; Gary Marsh Becomes CCO

BURBANK, Calif. (November 24, 2009) — Carolina Lightcap has been promoted to President, Disney Channels Worldwide, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, Co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, to whom she will report. A highly-regarded executive with more than 20 years in the media/entertainment industry, Ms. Lightcap joined The Walt Disney Company in 2000 and most recently served in the dual roles of senior Vice President, Programming and Creative Affairs, Disney Channels Latin America, and Chief Marketing Officer, The Walt Disney Company, Latin America. She will assume her new position within the Disney/ABC Television Group effective immediately and will relocate from Buenos Aires to Burbank.

A versatile and well-regarded executive who, during her career, has been based in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, Ms. Lightcap will be charged with shepherding Disney Channels Worldwide, the global leader in kid-focused, family-inclusive entertainment, through its next period of growth. The Disney Channel global executive team representing Programming and Production, Business Affairs, Business Planning and Development, Marketing, Brand Management, Advertising Sales and Radio Disney, will report to her.

And in recognition of his extraordinary and continuing contribution, Gary Marsh will assume the new title of Chief Creative Officer in addition to his current title of President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, remaining in charge of all program development, creative and production, reporting to Ms. Lightcap.

In making the announcement, Ms. Sweeney stated: “Carolina has made enormous contributions to Disney over the past decade, especially in launching and building Disney Channel Latin America into the #1 cable channel in the region. She’s a highly respected member of our global team and her wealth of experience, leadership acumen and programming, marketing and franchise building skills make her the ideal executive to lead Disney Channels Worldwide into the future.”

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Disney’s Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant Recieves Tenth Consecutive AAA Five Diamond Award

Chef Scott Hunnel © DisneyLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 24, 2009 – For the 10th year in a row, Victoria & Albert’s restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award. As one of only 52 restaurants to receive this symbol of excellence in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, Victoria & Albert’s delivers “haute cuisine” with seven-course prix-fixed menus, wine pairings and the finest ingredients from the world market.

At the helm of this critically-acclaimed restaurant is 15-year Victoria & Albert’s veteran, Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel.

“It takes every individual on the team to achieve such a great honor consistently, from the reservationists to the wait staff and culinary team,” remarked Hunnel about reaching this prestigious milestone. “The secret to our success is realizing that it’s a continuous journey of reinvention in the restaurant and what we’re doing today has to be better tomorrow.”

Only 0.27 percent of AAA’s 60,000 Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants in North America received this honor for 2010. According to AAA’s ratings guidelines, to achieve Five Diamond status, restaurants must “consistently provide a world-class experience.”

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Disney Cruise Line Excursion Group Robbed at Gunpoint; Excursion Canceled as Result

This past weekend, the Tribune reported that on Friday, November 20 two groups (one of which was from of the Disney Wonder) were tied up and robbed of all personal affects at gunpoint while on an excursion through Earth Village in the Bahamas. According to the report, one non-life-threatening injury occurred during the ordeal.

As a result, Disney has actively canceled all upcoming bookings for the excursion called ‘Segway Off Road Back to Nature’ and has removed all mentions of the excursion from the Disney Cruise Line site. Google still currently maintains a cached version of the excursion’s page here.

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Review: The Princess and the Frog Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Just in time for the exclusive engagement of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog in Los Angeles and New York City beginning this week, the soundtrack for the film has been unleashed. With a series of hits and misses over the past 15+ years and Disney taking breaking from its Menken safety net, how does ‘newcomer’ Randy Newman fare for the first Disney Princess in a decade?

Click here for our review.

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Hallmark’s Disney E-cards Debut on Hallmark.com

Disney fans can now send Hallmark e-cards that feature original scenes from their favorite Disney movies. Hallmark.com is introducing eight new Disney premium e-cards featuring scenes and characters from popular Disney films such as Bambi, Camp Rock, Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, Hannah Montana, Lady and the Tramp and The Lion King. The Disney premium e-cards were developed in collaboration with Disney Consumer Products.

“The e-cards featuring new and classic Disney movies are something our consumers have been asking for and we know they’ll love,” said Shelley Mathews, Hallmark e-card manager. “We think the Disney e-cards will resonate with people because they enable the sender to connect with loved ones through some of most memorable scenes from the Disney library.”

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Jenny McCarthy, Dean McDermott Seek ‘Elves’ to Help Set Guiness Record in NYC December 7

Burbank, CA (November 23, 2009) – In support of its new original holiday movie, “Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe,” and the network’s annual 25 Days of Christmas event – the biggest programming event on cable – ABC Family will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record™ for the largest gathering of Santa’s “elves” together in one place! ABC Family’s World Record Elf Party will take place in New York’s The Pond at Bryant Park (Midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues) on Monday, December 7 from 12:00 Noon-2:00PM ET. “Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe” stars Jenny McCarthy and Dean McDermott will be on hand to help gather over 250 “elves” to set the new world record.

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Radio Disney to Premiere Tiffany Thornton and Kermit the Frog Christmas Duet Nov 27; Video Debuts Dec 4

Tiffany Thornton and Kermit the Frog. © DisneyDisney Channel will premiere the music video for Tiffany Thornton (“Sonny With A Chance”) and world renowned star Kermit the Frog’s Christmas duet, “I Believe,” on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4. Prior to the premiere on Disney Channel, Radio Disney will debut the song on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27. Thornton and Kermit the Frog will perform the song during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Thursday, November 26.

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