Celebrate with Us and Win Exclusive Merchandise from Disney/Pixar’s UP and Disney’s G-Force

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This month we have a lot to celebrate and we want to share it with all of you who’ve made it possible. Here’s just a few of our recent events:

* We recently had our second anniversary
* We crossed the 1,000 follower mark on Twitter (without having to follow 2,000 people ourselves)
* We just ventured into Facebook territory
* We are set to cross a huge milestone in the number of visits to the site this month, a number most sites of our size never see

And here’s how we’re doing it: we’re giving away exclusives from Disney/Pixar’s UP on Twitter and from Disney’s G-Force on Facebook. Two contests simultaneously, three great prizes.

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Disneynature’s Two Films Nominated for Eight Awards at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

Out of a record 425 submissions representing 25 countries, the judges of the Jackson Hole Film Festival have selected Disneynature’s Crimson Wing and EARTH as nominees for a total of eight awards.

Crimson Wing has been announced as a finalist for categories including Best Animal Behavior Program, best Wildlife Habitat Program and Best Theatrical Program.

EARTH has been announced as a finalist for Best Theatrical Program as well as the festival’s top prize, Outstanding Achievment. EARTH is one of only three films nominated for this award which seeks out to recognize a specific
outstanding achievement in technology, innovative storytelling, use of CGI or 3-D, in-field challenge or other extraordinary accomplishment.

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Halloween at Disneyland Combines New Additions with Old Favorites

Returning to life September 25 and continuing through November 1, Halloween Time brings fun for all ages to the Disneyland Resort with new screams at Space Mountain and a new, nightly fireworks show. Halloween Time offers families a chance to interact with some of Disney’s most beloved characters, dressed in seasonal costumes at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure parks. It also gives guests a unique opportunity to experience some spooky fun with Disney’s more sinister characters, the Disney villains.

For older kids and adults, Halloween Time offers a new attraction: Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy in Tomorrowland at Disneyland. For the first time, riders will experience not only the thrill of flying through the galaxy, but the exhilaration of ghosts and ghouls screaming through space trying to contact them. Creepy creatures lurk around every turn as the eerie attraction provides thrilling drops like never before.

New this year is a fireworks spooktacular that will haunt the nighttime sky throughout the Halloween season. Jack Skellington, the Master of Scaremonies, invites everyone to join in the celebration, including a cast of Disney villains who get into the sprit with a wicked sense of fun.

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Disney Legend Marty Sklar Retires After 54 Years; Honored with Window on Main Street

Marty Sklar, Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador holds his tribute window at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, the 54th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Marty Sklar, Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador holds his tribute window at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, the 54th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

ANAHEIM, Callif., July 17, 2009 – Marty Sklar, Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador, spent a lifetime making magic for the Walt Disney Company. After 54 years of service, he was honored with a tribute window at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, July 17. The celebration coincided with the 54th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland, the place where Sklar began his Disney career.

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‘Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana’ Smashes Ratings Records as Disney Channel Dominated with 9.3 Million Viewers

Making it the number one network from 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm last night, the Disney Channel’s crossover event between Wizards of Waverly Place, The Suite Life on Deck and Hannah Montana dominated with a whopping 9.3 million total viewers in 5.8 million households. Disney Channel defeated second-place CBS by over 4 million viewers.

The show became the number one scripted telecast in 2009 in all television in total key demographics of Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 and the number one scripted telecast on cable with total viewers. Only the Super Bowl surpassed the number of Kids 6-11 watching the event in 2009 across [i]all[/i] television. The same records were previously held by the Disney Channel Original Movie, the Princess Protection Program which debuted last month.

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Bye-bye, Spidey! There’s a New Hero in Town on the Next All New Episode of The Spectacular Spider-man

When Venom strikes and turns the town against web-slinger Spider-Man, it’s up to a new superhero to set things straight. But just what is the secret identity of the new Colonel Jupiter? Find out on the next episode of The Spectular Spider-Man premiering Monday night at 7:30 PM ET/PT only on Disney XD.

Check out a sneak preview of the episode titled ‘Growing Pains’ below. And be on the ear-out for Kelly Hu who makes her Spider-Man debut in this episode as Sha Shan Nguyen.

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At Walt Disney World, You Can Sit Back, Relax and Leave the Driving to.. Stitch!?

The power of Stitch drives the buses at Walt Disney World

The power of Stitch drives the buses at Walt Disney World

While visiting Walt Disney World, you no doubt have seen many of Disney Transportation’s buses. Most often, the marquee on the buses reads where the bus is headed, be it to a park or a resort. Sometimes you might even spot a bus whose marquee reads VIP CAST MEMBER when it is in fact porting around Disney Cast Members. In the past, you might have even seen a bus whose marquee was completely blank. And you might have also seen marquees sporting the names of Disney characters.

Stitch is the latest alumni to have the distinct honor of having his name on the Disney buses. Others have included Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Remy, Snow White, Ariel and more — even the Aristocats have been granted the honor. In fact, the character’s name designates the version of the very special software that runs on each of those Disney buses, a program called Magic-in-Motion.

The keystone to Magic-in-Motion is the use of Global Positioning System (GPS). Now virtually a household word, GPS allows Magic-in-Motion to perform most of its tasks — from the most mundane all the way to pie in the sky feats. On its very basic level, the GPS allows Disney Transportation to monitor the location of all of its buses in real-time. Although I won’t get into it too much here, this has proven to be a bit of a double-edged sword, even for guests.

Interestingly enough, the Disney’s Magical Express buses also have added GPS technology over the years and that’s what triggers playing the videos. As an aside, the videos have also been moved to a chip as opposed to the original DVD versions. But back to the Disney Transportation buses and the Magic-in-Motion program.

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The Secret Life of the Animatronic Dolphin

For five days at Epcot in 1999 and for an equally short time in Castaway Cay, guests from around the world had the chance to meet with one of the largest accomplishments in audio animatronic technology: the DRU-1 (Dolphin Robotics Unit). Created by Edge Innovations in partnership with Walt Disney Imagineering, DRU-1 wowed the crowds but was ultimately decided to not have the potential of being an every-day attraction in the theme parks.

Here’s a video of DRU-1 in action courtesy of his WDI show producer:

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Vinylmation Urban Series #2 to be Released July 24, Timeline Announced for Future Sets

Just a quick note for the Vinylmation fans out there. Word is that the next series, Urban Series 2, is set to be released on July 24. We also have a timeline and artwork for future releases.

Vinylmation Urban Series 2 - Release Date: July 24, 2009
Vinylmation Urban Series 2 – Release Date: July 24, 2009
Vinylmation Holiday Series 1 - Release Timeframe: September 2009
Vinylmation Holiday Series 1 – Release Timeframe: September 2009
Vinylmation Cutesters Series 1 - Release Timeframe: October 2009
Vinylmation Cutesters Series 1 – Release Timeframe: October 2009

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First Look: The G-Force Experience Exclusively at The El Capitan Theater

In celebration of Walt Disney Pictures’ and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ G-FORCE, The El Capitan Theatre will offer audiences over three and half hours of additional fun following the movie, with the G-FORCE EXPERIENCE from July 24 through September 7, it was announced today by Lylle Breier, senior vice president of worldwide special events, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The G-FORCE EXPERIENCE is a giant, all-new interactive attraction featuring games of skill, loads of excitement, and activities for the whole family inspired by G-FORCE, producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s first 3-D film – a high–octane comedy adventure about a covert government program – a FBI team of guinea pigs!

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