Jennie Garth and Family to Celebrate ‘School Year’s Eve’ August 30 at Disneyland

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ANAHEIM, Calif., Aug. 28 — Actress Jennie Garth and her family will celebrate School Year’s Eve(TM) — a new national holiday developed by Cookie magazine and National PTA to mark the new school year — on Sunday, August 30th at Mickey’s Toontown at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California. Festivities to ring in the true “New Year” for families will kick off Sunday morning when Garth and her three school-age daughters will commemorate back-to-school alongside local students from Palm Lane Elementary.

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Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey Begins Looking for 2010 Class

The Disney’s Dreamers Academy Class of 2009 (Garth Vaughan/Disney)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2009) – Do you know a high school student that could use some encouragement in their lives or a push of excitement toward their goals?

Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey, an event created to inspire and enrich high school students, has started accepting nominations for the Class of 2010.  From now until Oct. 2, 2009, parents, teachers, family and friends can nominate the high school students for the highly successful event, which will return to Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 11-14, 2010.  Students can even nominate themselves.

One hundred teens from across the country with big dreams and aspirations will be selected to pack their bags – and their dreams – and head to Walt Disney World Resort, where they will learn about careers in everything from culinary arts to animation, set design and show production to the business of sports and more.

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Kidani Village’s Pembe Savanna Opens September 1 with New Animals and New Challenges

Red River Hogs on the Pembe Savanna at Kidani VillageThis debut marks the opening of the last phase of this Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort. The final wing of Kidani Village will offer an additional 160 two-bedroom, savanna-view villas, plus windowed hallways to offer Guests clear views of the animals. Because of Pembe savanna’s unique location, it will not connect to the main savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, making it exclusive to Kidani Village Guests.

Animals that can be found in this new area may include okapi, yellow-backed duiker, Red River hogs, nyala, impala, waterbuck, spur-winged geese and blue crane.

According to Animal Curator Greg Peccie, creating this new savanna required contributions from many different teams – including Animal Programs, Horticulture, Operations and Walt Disney Imagineering – that worked together to design, build and launch this new area into operation.

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Tomorrowland Transit Authority Lighting Test (Video)

With a current expected re-opening date of September 1st, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom closed for refurbishment earlier this year along with Space Mountain (currently scheduled to re-open on November 22). Along with some fine-tuning of the attraction’s auto system, the external lighting has gone the way of LED with some interesting color-changing effects.

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A Sneak Peek Inside the Walt Disney Family Museum: Gallery 7, Post-War Rebuilding: Mid-‘40s to the early 1950s

Continuing in our series of exploring the Walt Disney Family Museum, set to open on October 1, we are pleased to bring you a look at Gallery 7: Post-War Rebuilding: Mid-‘40s to the early 1950s

Look MagazineWith the end of the war, Walt and Roy found inventive new outlets for animation and ventured into live-action production. They developed new package films for theaters that combined shorts and feature-length animated films, as well as movies that combined live action and animation. In addition, the Studio produced the enormously successful Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Lady and the Tramp, the studio’s first wide-screen animated feature. Disney also produced his first live-action features, including Treasure Island and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

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First Look: Disney’s Race for the Taste 10K Medal (Photo) (Updated)

Race for the Taste 10K MedalWe have just obtained this photo of the medal for Disney’s Race for the Taste 10K taking place October 11, 2009. This race takes runners through Disney’s Hollywood Studios and around the 11 pavilions of Epcot World Showcase.  Guests have access to a post-race picnic that includes food samples from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, live Disney entertainment, music, games and face painters.

Runners that record an official time in this event as well as either the Expedition Everest Challenge presented by Champion or The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K will also receive the one-of-a-kind special medal we previewed here.

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DATG, Hearst Corp and NBC Universal Announce Joining of A&E Networks and Lifetime Entertainment

New York/Burbank, August 27, 2009 – The Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal today announced an agreement for A&E Television Networks to acquire Lifetime Entertainment Services. The parent company will retain the name A&E Television Networks, LLC (AETN), and its subsidiary will retain the name Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Abbe Raven, president and chief executive officer of AETN, will serve as head of the combined company following the closing. Raven has been recognized with numerous industry awards for building some of the most prominent brands in media including A&E Network, History and The Biography Channel, and for spinning them off into successful global franchises. Andrea Wong, president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, will continue to head the Lifetime Networks and will report to Raven following the closing. Robert DeBitetto, president and general manager, A&E Network and The Biography Channel, and Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager, History and History International, will both continue to report to Raven and run their respective networks.

The new agreement will, upon closing, consolidate three of the nation’s top cable networks under single management while preserving the distinct brand identities of each network. In addition, the combined company will be a global media content company reaching over 250 million homes worldwide in more than 140 countries around the globe. AETN will now include: A&E Network, History, Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Bio, History International, Lifetime Real Women, History en Español, Military History and Crime & Investigation Network. Combining the resources, libraries and multiple platforms of 10 brands, including more than 20 Web sites, the new company will be well positioned to create new opportunities for expansion and cross-promotion, as well as build upon the record of success and strengths across a broad variety of audiences, platforms and programming. The combination of these businesses is also expected to yield substantial cost efficiencies.

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John Lasseter and Thinkway Toys Introduce the Toy Story Definitive Line of Collectibles

The Toy Story Definitive Line of Toys from Thinkway Toys and Disney Consumer ProductsDisney Consumer Products has teamed up with Thinkway Toys and Disney Chief Creative Officer and Toy Story director John Lasseter to introduce you to the new line of Toy Story Definitive collectibles. These highly detailed replicas are movie-accurate in almost every single way from their stitching to the boxes they come in. The Toy Story Definitive collectibles are fully articulated, include features such as sound effects and even come with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA).

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Review: Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie

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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