ABC Entertainment Group Announces Reorganization of Creative, Business and Operational Functions

Completing a process begun in January, ABC Entertainment Group President Stephen McPherson today announced the Group’s final organizational structure. Effective immediately, Business Affairs, Business Development, Casting, Program Planning, Scheduling and Distribution will be managed as integrated areas, while ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios retain separate creative teams, with each combining development and current programming roles.

In making the announcement, Mr. McPherson said: “The new organization will strengthen our position as a top quality content engine and promote a healthier business model to sustain it. The structural changes we have put in place ensure a cohesive vision from a creative, production and business standpoint, and will make us a stronger, more efficient team more seamlessly focused on common goals.”

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Touchstone Pictures’ ‘The Last Song’ Kicks off Production in Georgia

SAVANNAH, Ga.  — “THE LAST SONG,” a coming-of-age drama starring multi-talented singer/songwriter/actress Miley Cyrus, Kelly Preston and Greg Kinnear, begins production in Savannah, Ga., this week.  The film is based on best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks’ forthcoming novel.

Hitting bookstores on September 8, 2009, Sparks’ “The Last Song” is the 15th book published by the novelist whose other books include “The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle” and “Nights in Rodanthe.”  Though several of his books have been adapted to film, “The Last Song” is the first to make it to the big screen within the first year of publication.

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Marie Osmond Introduces Adora Disneyland Haunted Mansion Bitty Belle Pin Trader Doll on July 1

Adora Disneyland® Haunted Mansion Bitty Belle Pin Trader Doll by Marie Osmond

Adora Disneyland® Haunted Mansion Bitty Belle Pin Trader Doll by Marie Osmond

Opening in 1969, the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland® quickly became the most popular attraction in New Orleans Square. Marie Osmond is pleased to replicate the “Haunted Mansion Hostess” costume on “Adora Bitty Belle” who is elegantly attired in the costume designed exclusively for the attraction. This elaborate costume replica consists of a bottle green skirt, lace trimmed blouse & apron, with matching jacket and is topped off with the famous “Bat Hat” which is perched jauntily atop the doll’s curls. This cute little pin trader doll comes with two tradable pins that celebrate the icons of New Orleans Square which includes the Haunted Mansion and the Haunted Mansion entrance plaque. Adora Disneyland® Haunted Mansion Bitty Belle is truly a collectible doll sculpted by Marie Osmond. She has been handcrafted with the special attention to detail that is the hallmark of all Marie Osmond dolls. Adora Disneyland® Haunted Mansion Bitty Belle is hallmarked on the back of her neck with Marie’s signature and is hand-numbered.

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Classmates.com Gives Members a Chance to Win the Ultimate Disney Vacation

SEATTLE — Classmates Online, Inc. announced today a sweepstakes where members of the social networking community can win the ultimate prize: a trip for 12 to Walt Disney World® Resort or Disneyland® Resort.

Beginning today, Classmates.com members can enter the sweepstakes by engaging in activities such as posting photos, taking quizzes, inviting friends to join Classmates.com and posting to message boards. Disney fanatics will enjoy a wide range of Disney content including games and videos.

Members participate in the promotion by entering a fun, interactive Disney “Party Room” featuring an animated DJ, music and a video wall, and completing various tasks offered through Classmates.com. Completing activities offered in the “Party Room” can also earn members Disney ringtones, avatars, printable stationery and other Disney downloads.

The Grand Prize vacation package, a five-day, four-night vacation for 12 people to the winner’s choice of either the Walt Disney World® Resort or Disneyland® Resort, includes the following: Continue reading…

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Humana’s ’2009 GRANDparent of the Year’ to Win Family Vacation to an Orlando Theme Park

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Times may be tough, but a national effort has been launched to remind Americans with at least one grandparent in their families how rich they truly are.

“For the past several years grandparents have been playing an increasingly important role in helping America’s children and families, providing full-time care to millions of children,” says Christine Crosby, founder and publisher of GRAND magazine. “Now, with a major recession upon us, grandparents are bringing critical help and wisdom from hard times in the past to hold families together and keep them healthy. Recognizing grandparents’ value is more important than ever.”

Few Americans are aware that grandparents are the primary caregivers for nearly six million U.S. children. In fact, 75 percent of all non-parental care of children in America is now provided by grandparents. Millions more help their children and children’s children on a daily basis.

To focus the nation’s attention on this growing phenomenon and provide grandparents with the recognition they deserve, GRAND Magazine, Humana (NYSE: HUM), Orlando/Orange County Visitors & Convention Bureau, and the national children’s crisis charity KidsPeace are launching the fourth annual national search for an example of extraordinary care worthy of the title of GRANDparent of the Year. Any member of the American public can nominate a GRANDparent of the Year. Nominating forms are available online at www.grandmagazine.com. All nominations include a 150-word description of why the nominee deserves this honor. The GRANDparent of the Year will be honored with a five-day, four-night vacation for four to family-friendly Orlando, including air, hotel, rental car and tickets to Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando or Universal Orlando plus admission to two of Orlando’s popular water parks and dinner at Arabian Nights. The top 10 finalists will receive a $100 gift certificate and their photos and essays of nomination will be published in the September issue of GRAND, The Online Magazine for GRANDparents, in time for National Grandparents Day on Sept. 13 and on www.grandmagazine.com. In addition, every grandparent nominated will receive a free subscription to GRAND Magazine.

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Florida Special Olympics Celebrates Summer Games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports

Florida Special Olympics at Disney's Wide World of SportsLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 17, 2009 — Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex recently hosted the 37th annual Special Olympics Florida Summer Games, marking the 23rd year that Walt Disney World Resort has supported the event.

More than 2,000 athletes from 42 Florida counties competed in track and field, soccer, tennis, cycling, bocce and volleyball. Making it possible were more than 1,200 volunteers, including many Disney Cast Members.

“When our Special Olympics athletes have the opportunity to compete at a world-class athletic facility like Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, it’s not only an unparalleled competitive experience for them, but they feel like the champions they truly are,” said Monty Castevens, president of Special Olympics Florida.

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‘DIANA–The People’s Princess’, a One-of-a-Kind Experience, is Coming to Downtown Disney Orlando (Updated)

UPDATE: According to the Foundation’s website, the exhibit is set to open July 1

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The People’s Princess Charitable Foundation, Inc. (PPCF) is bringing “DIANA–The People’s Princess” – a major new exhibit of royal artifacts – to Walt Disney World Resort. Opening in early July 2009, this limited-time experience showcases the life and story of one of the most iconic and inspirational figures in recent history, including a sampling of the royal dresses Diana chose to auction for charity and hundreds of authentic artifacts relating to her life.

“DIANA–The People’s Princess” exhibit will be held in a 17,500-square-foot setting at Downtown Disney West Side adjacent to DisneyQuest. This unique exhibition is one of the largest collections of royal dresses and rare artifacts ever assembled for an American audience which provides an in-depth historical perspective of her life. The exhibit includes five rarely seen royal dresses worn by Princess Diana.

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Thomas Kinkade’s Newest Disney Dreams Painting Pre-vealed

Here I was thinking I was being the coy and clever one when all along, it turns out that Thomas Kinkade’s newest entry into the Disney Dreams collection has already made its debut on the net. A couple (and I stress a couple) of art dealers offering Kinkade’s work have published the latest entry which you’ll find pictured below, titled Tinker Bell & Peter Pan Fly to Neverland.

Tinker Bell & Peter Pan Fly to Neverland by Thomas Kinkade

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What Won’t You Celebrate? Stitch’s Supersonic Celebration to Close June 27

Attractions magazine has recently reported on its blog that the spankin’ brand new and highly ill-received Stitch’s Supersonic Celebration in the Magic Kingdom has posted its closing notice for June 27 with no intention to return as some have previously reported.

The song and dance show which features an interactive portion with Stitch a la Turtle Talk has been inducing groans, drawing few crowds and producing even fewer laughs since it debuted earlier this year. There are plenty of videos of the performances available on youtube for your viewing displeasure. It has also added fuel to those who feel that Stitch has been oversaturated within the parks (we respectfully disagree) and has become a virtual band-aid for Tomorrowland. Quality will always trump quantity.

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Thomas Kinkade ‘Hints’ at Subject of Next Disney Dreams Collection Painting

Note: We have since published an image of the new Thomas Kinkade painting titled ‘Tinker Bell and Peter Pan Fly to Neverland.’ You can see it here.

The subject of Thomas Kinkade's next Disney paintingOn his blog, Thomas Kinkade (dubbed ‘The Painter of Light’) offered the first hint at the subject of his next entry in the Disney Dreams Collection series. The collection re-creates magic moments in Disney classic films and consists of two entries so far: Snow White Discovers the Cottage and Pinocchio Wishes Upon A Star. Kinkade has also produced paintings of the castles at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts.

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