Starz Entertainment, LLC, and Disney-ABC Domestic Television, a division of The Walt Disney Company, announced today the signing of a new, exclusive long-term licensing agreement for theatrical releases from The Walt Disney Studios through 2015. The previous output agreement was set to run through 2012. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
With help from a world-famous mouse, dozens of eager children and a shower of confetti, officials opened the doors to the welcoming, new lobby of the Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children and unveiled the first physical milestone of the hospital’s innovative model of pediatric health. The entrance serves as a gateway to the remainder of the children’s hospital where the smallest patients from around the world will receive superior treatment and care from renowned physicians.
On his official blog, Ridley Pearson, popular author of young adult novels, has made the first several pages of his upcoming title Kingdom Keepers 3: Disney in Shadow (April 6, 2010; Disney Hyperion) available for download (Adobe Acrobat Reader required). The newest book in the series has our heroes back in the theme parks of Walt Disney World with a new challenge, obstacles and enemies to overcome.
As Ridley has promised us, Stitch has a prominent role in the book, appearing first on page one, but his badness level appears to be questionable at best. Only time (and the rest of the book) will tell if Stitch counts Maleficent and the Overtakes or Finn and the rest of the DHIs amongst his ‘ohana.
It’s a milestone year for the Disneyland® Resort, and D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans is celebrating with the premiere of DESTINATION D, a brand-new, two-day event exclusively for D23 Members that illuminates Disney’s fascinating history.
D23 announced its latest members-only event on its first anniversary – capping a year in which Disney’s first-ever fan community grew to encompass tens of thousands of members from all 50 U.S. states and more than 30 countries worldwide.
The inaugural DESTINATION D, whose theme is “Disneyland ’55,” will be held this Sept. 24-25. DESTINATION D: Disneyland ’55 will take D23 Members on a journey through the design, creation, debut and magical history of the world’s first Disney theme park. The first DESTINATION D will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel.
DESTINATION D: Disneyland ’55 will offer two full days of special presentations, panels, screenings and guest speakers that let fans meet and talk with key figures in Disneyland’s history. Future DESTINATION D events will explore other important aspects of Disney’s creative legacy. Following its premiere in September, DESTINATION D will alternate annually with the enormously popular D23 EXPO.
The next D23 EXPO is set for Aug. 19-21, 2011, returning to the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets for the 2011 D23 EXPO will go on sale Aug. 19 (one year in advance), with specially priced tickets available exclusively to D23 Members. In addition, D23 Charter Members will have access to a special Charter Member Lounge at the 2011 D23 EXPO, at no additional cost.
Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro is attached to play legendary coach Vince Lombardi in the theatrical motion picture LOMBARDI being developed by ESPN Films, Andell Entertainment and the NFL. Additionally, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Good Shepherd) has come on board the project which will chronicle Lombardi during the years he transformed the Green Bay Packers from the worst team in the National Football League into five-time NFL champions.
Another day, another series of domain names being registered by Disney.
The domain name that stands out the most is BILLIONDOLLARFRESHMAN.COM which sounds like it could be an upcoming film either for Walt Disney Studios, DreamWorks or Disney Channel. Replace the B with an M and you have what sounds like could have been a Kurt Russell live action comedy from Disney in the 70s.
For its Keychest technology, Disney has also registered KEYCHESTLAB.COM and KEYCHESTLABS.COM. It is speculated that Disney will be licensing the technology, so this will probably be an opportunity to showcase or sell the technology moreso than a consumer destination.
Last night, Disney’s D23 held a private after-hours event for members who attended its (slightly early) first anniversary party in which most of the existing Fantasyland was turned into a bounty of attractions, unique character meet and greet experiences and dessert party.
Aside from the party, there were two key events. The first of which was a buffet style dinner inside the Diamond Horseshoe in which D23 head Steven Clark offered a presentation concerning the first anniversary of the first official community for Disney fans.
Introduced by Walt Disney World ambassador Clay Shoemaker, Clark talked about his own personal experience as a fan prior to joining the company, attending an event in the early 90s in which many Disney legends (past, present and future) were in attendance and presented upcoming projects from The Walt Disney Company. He spoke of meeting Walt Disney Studios archivist Dave Smith whom he had recognized from Dave’s column in Disney Channel magazine. He spoke fondly of Smith’s warmth and how Smith had offered him a private tour of the Studios in Burbank. Clark recalled how he had encountered a custodian with a fanny pack at the Studios and watched as a squirrel ran up the custodian’s leg, took food out of the fanny pack and ran off, appearing to gesture a thank you along the way. It was then, Clark notes, he knew he ‘was at Disney.’ Clark then led the room in a toast saluting D23 and its members and both of their successes. He introduced several key members of the D23 group that were in attendance (and a couple that were not) and spoke of their contributions to the success of the club and the expo.
You might want to sit down for this one. This week has been busy on the Disney domain registration front. First we brought some very widely received news about several domains registered by Walt Disney Studios for potential upcoming projects, DreamWorks titles in the works and a possible name-change for Secretariat.
Then it’s reported that Disney Theatrical is working on a staged musical production of Dumbo. Today, we catch a glimpse of another project Disney Theatrical is apparently working on: Newsies. The 1992 Christian Bale vehicle was a major flop for the Disney Studios but eventually became somewhat of a cult hit on video.
As we reported last November, the UO Duck (then potentially in some hot water) was operating under license by The Walt Disney Company for his one-time likeness to Donald Duck (and initially enacted by Walt Disney himself). As the UO Duck’s look has changed over the years, it’s fair to say that short of being pantless (which has been enough for Disney alone, just ask Marvel’s Howard the Duck), there is little resemblance to Mickey’s #2.
The Walt Disney World resort has provided us with the (almost) full line-up of the annual Sounds Like Summer concert series at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre. Admission to the concert series which features established cover bands is free with paid admission to the park. This year’s series runs from June 12 through July 31 and includes the following acts:
- June 12 – June 19: Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees)
- June 20 – June 26: Hotel California (Eagles)
- June 27 – July 3: Karin Lawson (Janet Jackson)
- July 4 – July 10: Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)