D23 Expo Full Schedule Announced: Panels, Celebrities and Much, Much More!

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ANAHEIM, Calif. – August 24, 2009 – For four incredible days beginning September 10, fans of Disney entertainment will revel in new discoveries, special panels and presentations, movie screenings, celebrity appearances and autograph signings, plus new insights into movies, TV shows, theme parks, animation, Disney history and more.  It’s all part of the first-ever D23 EXPO from Sept. 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Exciting details about the activities and events planned for the four days of Disney’s inaugural D23 EXPO have just been announced, and a complete, up-to-the-minute schedule can be found online at www.D23Expo.com.  The D23 EXPO is open to the public. Tickets for individual days or the full four days of this Ultimate Disney Fan Event are available at the website.  Highlights of the D23 EXPO include:

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Stars Lend Their Vacation Planning ‘Talents’ to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 24 — Looking to plan an unforgettable Walt Disney World vacation? Stars Joey Fatone of “Dancing with the Stars,” Lisa Whelchel from “The Facts of Life” and Alfonso Ribeiro of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” have teamed up with the Walt Disney World Moms Panel to share vacation planning tips in helpful, funny and practical “How-to” videos available at www.disneyworldmoms.com — home of the Moms Panel. From keeping up with their own little princesses to sharing personal in-park memories, these family-focused celebrities step in front of the camera to offer guests their favorite Disney tips.

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2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Menus; Bangkok and Rio de Janiero to Make Debut

With the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival quickly approaching, we’d like to take a moment to remind you of the international delicacies to be found around the World Showcase. While we currently have a list of each booth’s menu items, we do not have pricing information as of yet.  The booths and menus are as follows, listed alphabetically by city/name:

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Disney World Moms Panel to Accept 2010 Applications Beginning September 10

The Walt Disney World Moms panel will begin accepting applications for its 2010 panel beginning at 9 am EST on September 10, 2009. To see the rules of eligibility and for additional information, click here.

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The Disney Gallery Set to Open this Fall in Bank of Main Street Building at Disneyland

The Disney Gallery is finally returning to Disneyland after being removed from its former location,which became the Disneyland Dream Suite.

With approximately the same amount of space as its former location, the Gallery will be divided into three main areas: two exhibit rooms and a gift shop and will incorporate the unique design elements of the Bank which will be incorporated in the story of a Bank being converted into an art gallery (how novel, we think!).

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Walt Disney World Cast Members Donate Record Number of School Supplies to Central Florida Students

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Cast Members donate record number of school supplies to area studentsLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 21, 2009 – As summer break draws to a close, Walt Disney World Cast Members are lending a helping hand to deserving Central Florida students and teachers by giving them the right supplies to confidently start the upcoming school year. Stocking up on boxes of crayons, rulers, pencils, folders and packs of notebook paper, Disney Cast Members hit an all-time high by donating a record 654,012 school supplies through the annual back-to-school supply drive at Walt Disney World Resort.

“School supplies may seem so simple but they are so very important,” says Eugene Campbell, vice president of Community Relations and Minority Business Development for Walt Disney World Resort. “I’m so proud that our kind and generous Cast Members recognize the need to give students all the tools necessary to achieve their very best during the school year. They’ve set a record for Disney’s contributions of school supplies to our community’s young students which is absolutely inspiring.”

This week, more than 200 Disney VoluntEARS sorted the supplies and distributed them to local students and teachers through partnerships with non-profits S.T.A.R.S. (Supplies to Assist Our Students) and A Gift For Teaching. S.T.A.R.S. received a total of 392,138 in Disney-donated supplies which filled nearly 6,000 backpacks given to students at 19 Orange County public elementary schools. A total of 261,874 Disney-donated back-to-school items were given to teachers through the Free Store at A Gift For Teaching’s Orlando facility.

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First Look: ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’ Doc Looks at Rebirth of Disney Animation

020 Waking Sleeping Beauty, directed by Disney film producer Don Hahn and co-produced by Hahn and Peter Schneider, is an upcoming documentary that goes behind the scenes of the rebirth of Disney Animation with films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Walt Disney Studios has provided us with these stills from the film which capture the essence of what went in to creating a series of films that defined an entire generation of new fans of Disney animation.

Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version or click on the PicLens link to start the slideshow.

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George Lucas to Present Award to John Lasseter and Pixar Directors; Pixar to Screen Footage and Teach Classes

ROME (Hollywood Reporter/Reuters) – “Star Wars” creator George Lucas will make his first trip to the Venice Film Festival to present the Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement to John Lasseter and the directors of Disney-Pixar, festival organizers said Thursday.

The presentation, which will take place September 6 in the Palazzo del Cinema’s Sala Grande, will be held in conjunction with screenings of new 3D version of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2.” Lasseter directed both films. The evening also will include the premiere of a 10-minute clip from “The Princess and the Frog,” Disney’s return to hand-drawn animation, and the screening of a new sequence from the in-production project “Toy Story 3.”

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A Sneak Peek Inside the Walt Disney Family Museum: Gallery 6, the Late ’30s – ’40s

Continuing our series into the galleries at the new Walt Disney Family Museum, we are pleased to present to you some of the artifacts that can be found in Gallery 6: TheLate ’30s – ’40s

DispatchThis difficult period in Walt’s life included the deaths of his parents, a studio strike that threatened the company’s viability, and a period when the U.S. military used part of the studio as a base.  The company released Dumbo and produced training films for the military, public service shorts, and morale- boosting films, and Walt embarked on a goodwill tour of South America to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Latin American countries. He later produced two Latin American-themed animated movies based on the trip.

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D23 Offers Initial List of Stage 23 Seminars – From Books to Animation to Weddings

The following is a list of confirmed seminars that will be taking place at Stage 23 during the D23 Expo. More information will be provided as it becomes available:

Early Bird Books Seminars
Kingdom Keepers and Peter and the Starcatchers Book Series with Ridley Pearson (in person) and Dave Barry (via Satellite)
September 11, 9 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age with author Don Hahn
September 12, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

South of the Border with author JB Kaufman
September 13, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

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