Review: Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie

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The cast of Wizards of Waverly Place the MovieFor the most part, the movie takes place during a family vacation at the Caribbean resort where Jerry Russo (David DeLuise) and Theresa (Maria Canals-Barrera) first met years before. With the absence of a studio audience (and their fits of timely laughter), the movie can take additional liberties including a slew of special effects, which it does spectacularly well particularly in the beginning of the movie when Alex (Selena Gomez) selfishly and comically puts herself first, openly defying her parents’ wishes (i.e., par for the course).

Things go horribly wrong for the Russo children, however, when a heated argument between Alex and her mother causes Alex to say things she doesn’t mean including the wish that her parents had never met. Enter the first lesson: be careful what you wish for.

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D23 Expo Celebrity, Artist and Guest Presenter Signing Schedule Announced

The following autograph signing events have been announced so far for the Disney D23 Expo:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9:
Hallmark Artist Signing - Travel back through time and marvel at the history of Hallmark and Keepsake Ornaments with Disney in Hallmark’s Keepsake Ornament Museum featuring over 50 Disney Keepsake Ornaments dating back to the beginning of it all: A Mickey ball ornament from 1977. Hallmark Senior Sculptor Robert Chad and Master Artist Ken Crow will also appear. 12:30 pm, Hall C

Artist Jim Shore – 1:30 pm , Hall C

ABC Cast Signing – 4:00 pm, Hall A

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J.M. Smucker Company Offers Chance to Turn Family Recipe into Walt Disney World Trip

ORRVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 26  — For more than 100 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has helped create mealtime memories and traditions for families nationwide with Smucker’s jams, jellies and preserves. This summer, families across the country are invited to enter the second annual “Spreading Smucker’s Traditions Recipe and Essay” contest and share their family recipes and memories for a chance to win a five day, four night family trip for eight to the Walt Disney World Resort.

To enter, consumers are asked to share an original family recipe that incorporates at least 1/4 cup of Smucker’s jams, jellies, preserves or fruit butter and the story behind how their recipe makes family celebrations special. The recipe must have been passed down for at least two generations and needs to include names of all family members involved in the sharing of the recipe. Entries will be accepted between August 26 and October 12, 2009. Recipes will be selected and scored on taste, creativity, ease of preparation, appearance and nutritional balance, while the essays will be scored on relevance to theme, creative expression and clarity. The top five finalists will be posted to www.smuckers.com on or about November 5, 2009 for a national online vote. Visitors to the site, 18 or older, will be given the chance to vote for the best recipe to help determine one grand prize winner, which will be announced in December 2009.

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Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream Celebrates Building Milestone

(L-R): Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz, Captain Tom Forberg, Donald Duck and Meyer Werft Shipyard Managing Partner Bernard MeyerPAPENBURG, GERMANY (August 26, 2009) – Today, Disney Cruise Line celebrated the keel laying of the Disney Dream, the first of two newly-designed ships destined to expand family cruise options to more people in more places around the world.

“Since our inception, families have come to know and love Disney Cruise Line, and they are looking for additional ways to enjoy all that we have to offer,” Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz said during the ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.  “Our fleet expansion will allow us to satisfy demand on both the East and West coasts of the United States while also giving us the flexibility to explore additional global destinations for our Guests.”

The coin placed in the keel of the Disney DreamThe keel laying ceremony is the first time the Disney Dream will begin to take shape after many years of design work.  In the maritime industry, the ceremony marks a momentous occasion when the first block – or section – of the ship is lowered into the building dock and a coin is placed under the keel for good fortune.

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ESPN to Test Broadcasting Football Games Live in 3D in September

According to the Associated Press, ESPN will be using seven 3D cameras developed by Vince Pace and James Cameron to broadcast the September 12 game between USC and Ohio State in 3D. While the game will be simulcast on ESPN/ESPNHD, the 3D version will be beamed to three theaters located in Los Angeles, Dallas and Columbus with free tickets to be distributed via the local ESPN radio affiliate.

This is the third 3D broadcast of a football game in the US, but the first for ESPN.

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Jayne Parker Named Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for The Walt Disney Company

Jayne Parker (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Company)BURBANK, Calif., August 24, 2009 – Jayne Parker has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. Ms. Parker will report to Mr. Iger and be responsible for areas that include leading Disney’s overall human resources strategy including global talent attraction, staffing and retention, leadership development, diversity, organizational design and cultural development, employee education and development, compensation and benefits and employee relations. The heads of human resources in Disney’s business units will report to Ms. Parker as well as to the leaders of their respective business units.

“Jayne demonstrated clear leadership and innovation while overseeing human resources, diversity and inclusion for Disney Parks and Resorts’ nearly 100,000 employees worldwide,” said. Mr. Iger. “I’m delighted that she will now apply her results-oriented practices to our entire organization in order to attract, motivate and retain experienced, knowledgeable and creative employees.”

“Disney is successful because of its people – their commitment, their creativity and their passion. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Parks and Resorts division and am honored to now work on behalf of all Disney cast members and employees to continue to attract diverse talent and develop future leaders for all of our businesses,” said Ms. Parker.

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‘Dancing with the Stars” Donny Osmond to Appear (and Dance!) at D23 Expo on September 10

Donny Osmond — singer, entertainer, longtime Disney collaborator and Season Nine cast member of the ABC hit show, “Dancing with the Stars” — will join the all-star lineup at “The ABCs of Disney,” a special presentation at the D23 EXPO, September 10, at 3:00 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center arena.

In a first for “Dancing with the Stars” fans, Osmond will be joined by his professional ballroom partner, Kym Johnson, and preview his dance abilities for D23 EXPO goers long before his televised premiere on September 21 on the ABC Television Network.

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WDW Refurb Update: Donald’s Boat Pushed Back Until September 8

Minor update: Donald’s Boat in Toontown, which was initially set to be closed for refurbishment between September 7 and 13 is now scheduled to be closed from September 8 – 13.

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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Cast a Spell This Summer with Disney Interactive Studios’ Release of Wizards of Waverly Place for Nintendo DS™

Wizards of Waverly Place for Nintendo DSBURBANK, Calif. — Teen wizards in training are creating magic and mayhem on Waverly Place. Wizards of Waverly Place the video game for Nintendo DS™, inspired by the popular Disney Channel television series, is available now at all major retailers. The video game allows fans to experience familiar faces and places in the world of wizards with five fun and new adventures. Mysterious mishaps start when Alex Russo buys a bracelet off the World Wide Wizard Web to impress a boy. True to Alex’s style, her plan goes awry and her brothers Justin and Max join in on the fun. Alex’s best friend Harper, along with Theresa and Jerry Russo are also featured in the game, taking part in adventures on Waverly Place.

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Future Candace Busts Phineas and Ferb as They Time Travel in 2-Part Episode on September 21

In “Phineas and Ferb’s Quantum Boogaloo,” Phineas and Ferb travel to the future to find a tool that hasn’t been invented yet, and run into future Candace.  Seeing an opportunity to finally bust her brothers, she follows them back through time to catch them building their rollercoaster, and exposes their antics to her mom.  In the process, she accidentally foils Agent P’s defeat of Dr. Doofenshmirtz, starting a chain reaction that turns the future into a dystopian society.

Guest starring is Jennifer Stone (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) as Amanda, Moises Arias (“Hannah Montana”) as Fred and Jennifer Grey (“Dirty Dancing”) as the Librarian.This episode of “Phineas and Ferb” airs MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 (8:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney XD.

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