Disney Theatrical’s ‘The Lion King’ Items Become Part of Smithsonian Collection (Updated)

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Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American HistoryWASHINGTON, Sept. 24 — In a special ceremony today, Disney Theatrical Productions donated objects from the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical “The Lion King” to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Costume elements from the show’s protagonist Simba and the tribal shaman Rafiki will join objects from the musicals “Cats,” “Rent” and the “King and I” in the museum’s permanent entertainment collections.

Designed by Julie Taymor, the costume components include Simba’s stylized lion mask and headdress — co-designed by Michael Curry — and the costume, custom shoes and hat designed for Rafiki. The donated items were conceived for the original Broadway production of “The Lion King,” which opened Nov. 13, 1997.

“Taymor’s designs bring the story of Simba the lion cub, fulfilling his destiny to become king in the African Pride Lands, to life,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “This donation is a significant addition to the museum’s entertainment collection and joins materials representative of Broadway hits.”

The Simba mask-headdress is made of carbon graphite, a lightweight but durable material cast from a silicone mold, paint and polyester fibers. The Rafiki costume is made of cotton fabric, decorated with metal amulets and a horsehair collar. The hat is made of textured kente cloth, and the custom shoes are made of rubber.

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Thinkway Toys’ Toy Story Definitive Collection Vol 6: Lasseter Offers the Buzz on the Toy Story Collection

The sixth and final installment of the very popular video series from Disney Consumer Products has been released in which John Lasseter talks about the design of both the Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story Definitive collectibles line from Thinkway Toys as well as the character himself!

Check it out!

Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story Definitive Collection by Thinkway ToysHere’s some of the features you’ll find with the Toy Story Definitive Collection Buzz Lightyear:

* The most movie-accurate Buzz Lightyear produced to date

* Fully poseable including fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, ankles, knees and legs!

* Push red oval chest button for classic “Buzz Toy” phrases.

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Tour and Signed Pre-Orders for Eoin Colfer’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Book Announced

In support for the release of the sixth installment of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, author Eoin Colfer (most widely known for his Artemis Fowl series) will be embarking on a tour of appearances and book signings.

For the full list of appearances as well as information on how to pre-order your own personalized (and non-personalized) copy of And Another Thing…, see here.

Synopsis:
An Englishman’s continuing search through space and time for a decent cup of tea…

Arthur Dent’s accidental association with that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, has not been entirely without incident.

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New Poster for Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ Featuring Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey in Disney's A Christmas CarolAlthough it’s been making the rounds, we finally got our grubby paws on the new theatrical poster for A Christmas Carol, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Jim Carrey, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, et al.

Click on the thumbnail to the left to see the larger version.

You can also click here to see all of our coverage (future and past) for this film.

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Disney’s Key Largo Woodrat Recovery Program Receives Prestigious Award

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Sept. 23, 2009 – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) recently recognized Disney’s Animal Programs for conservation efforts to help protect the endangered Key Largo woodrat. During the AZA’s annual conference, the team received the Edward H. Bean Significant Achievement Award, which recognizes programs that contribute to the reproductive success of a species.

Since 2005, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in developing and implementing a recovery plan for the Key Largo woodrat, which is threatened by habitat loss along with an invasion of non-native animal species, such as the Burmese python.

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Disney Vacation Club Premieres First West Coast Disney Venture at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Photo © DisneyANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2009) – Disneyland Resort today unveiled a stunning new addition to its Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, including 203 new guest rooms and 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas, the first Disney Vacation Club property on the West Coast.  Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa immerses guests in the magic of the Disneyland Resort by capturing the spirit of early California through design and architecture.  Many of the new vacation villas offer guests spectacular views into Disney’s California Adventure Park.

“This expansion reinforces Disney’s long-term commitment to investing in Anaheim’s Resort District,” said Ed Grier, president of Disneyland Resort.  “Since opening in 2001, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa continues to impress our guests with its timeless sophistication and exquisite service.  The new villas and hotel rooms will give more guests the opportunity to enjoy the immersive vacation experience Disney is known for.”

The 2.5-acre addition to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which increases accommodations by more than 30 percent, is part of ongoing resort expansion work.  Currently underway is a multiyear expansion of Disney’s California Adventure Park, which will add new attractions, entertainment experiences and an entirely new 12-acre Cars Land.  In addition, the resort’s historic Disneyland Hotel also began a major three-year renovation last month.

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Walt Disney World Offers Guests Movie Ticket Discount for ‘The Princess and the Frog’

Beginning October 5 and through November 22, guests with a valid adult theme park  admission can visit one of several retail locations within the parks and obtain a coupon good for up to $8 off the price of a child’s movie ticket when purchased with an adult movie ticket to view Disney’s The Princess and the Frog through December 31.

The participating retail locations are as follows:

Magic Kingdom: The Emporium, Main Street Confectionery, Main Street Cinema, Town Square Exposition Hall, Uptown Jewelers, Cornelius Coot’s County Bounty

Epcot: Mouse Gear, Gateway Gifts, Epcot Camera Center, World Traveler, Port of Entry, Disney Traders

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Buzz Aldrin to Boldly Sign Books at Magic Kingdom on October 2; Ticker-tape Parade Information

To commemorate his return to Earth after record-breaking service in space, the Magic Kingdom will hold a ticker-tape parade for Buzz Lightyear on October 2 at 2:45 pm, just prior to the afternoon parade. Accompanying Mr. Lightyear will be his namesake, NASA legend and visionary Dr. Buzz Aldrin, as well as other astronauts that served with Lightyear on his mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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Tower of Terror Hosts Book Signing Oct 2 for ‘Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone’

Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone by Douglas Brode with Carol SerlingJourney, if you will, to the Tower of Terror gift shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on October 2 from 1 pm – 2 pm and 5 pm – 6 pm where you will cross over to another dimension to meet Douglas Brode, author of Rod Serling and  the Twilight Zone.

The Twilight Zone has always been considered the greatest science fiction/imaginative fantasy series in the history of television. The series featured an intelligent subtext on the time period during which it was made. Now, with the publication of the book Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone, comes a fresh analysis of the Twilight Zone also serving as an autobiographical look into the life of its creator, Rod Serling.

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WDW Refurb Updates: Early Openings, Water Park Closures, Resort Pools, Golf Courses and More

I’ve got a HUGE refurb update here, so bear with me.

At the Magic Kingdom, Crystal Palace will be closed from January 3 through February 13.

At Epcot, Living with the Land is now scheduled to re-open on October 4, which is several weeks earlier than the original date of November 1. Also, the new exhibit in the Japan pavilion (which was the tin toy museum) is now slated to open on October 16.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Boneyard is now scheduled to be closed October 5 through October 18

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