Over 1000 Immigrants to be Sworn In as U.S. Citizens in Magic Kingdom July 3 (Updated)

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Update:  The ceremony is titled ‘Celebrating the American Dream’ and will take place at 8:20 AM, prior to park opening. We are told the ceremony is by invitation only and that guests will not able to view the ceremony.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In a stirring celebration of citizenship, more than 1,000 immigrants will gather on Main Street, U.S.A. July 3 to be “sworn in” as American citizens.

And as the country kicks off Independence Day weekend, these brand-new Americans will attend a premiere performance of the newest Walt Disney World attraction, a re-imagined Hall of Presidents, now featuring a lifelike Audio-Animatronics figure of President Barack Obama.

From more than 100 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 82, the immigrants will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during a Friday morning ceremony jointly hosted by Disney Parks and Resorts and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

USCIS’s highest-ranking official will preside over the ceremony on the forecourt of Cinderella Castle.  The event will feature a welcoming address by Walt Disney World Resort President Meg Crofton, the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Actor Andy Garcia – a naturalized citizen himself – will deliver a keynote address during the ceremony. Garcia, originally from Cuba, is an acclaimed actor known for roles in films as diverse as “The Untouchables,” “The Godfather: Part III” and “Oceans Eleven.”

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Macy’s Moms Contest Winners Celebrate at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts

Winners of the Macy's Moms contest in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland © Disney

Winners of the Macy's Moms contest in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland © Disney

Moms from every state took part in the biggest Celebration of Moms in the history of Disney Parks. Winners of the Macy’s “Celebrate Mom” Sweepstakes traveled coast-to-coast on this magical adventure which began Monday June 22, 2009 with a sunrise breakfast on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Resort in California and ended Thursday June 25, 2009 with a sunset dinner at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Winners of the Macy's Moms contest in front of Spaceship Earth in Epcot © Disney

Winners of the Macy's Moms contest in front of Spaceship Earth in Epcot © Disney

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Tickets for the 2009 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney on Sale July 1, Game to Air in HD

2009 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by DisneyBRISTOL, Ct., June 26, 2009 — Tickets for the 2009 MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney will go on sale Wednesday, July 1, through Ticketmaster and Anthony Travel.

This year, the event owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT) will pit MEAC defending champion South Carolina State University against 2008 SWAC title winner Grambling State University for the first time since 1994.  The game will return to Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla., and will air on ESPN2/ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 2 p.m. ET.  This will mark the first time this event will be televised in high definition.

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ABC Family to Air First Four Harry Potter Films Plus Exclusive Footage from The Half-Blood Prince

Burbank, CA (June 26, 2009) – To help all Potter-philes gear up for the July 15th opening of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” fans can catch up on all of the magical mischief at Hogwarts when ABC Family airs the first four films of the franchise during its summer “Harry Potter Weekend,” airing Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12.

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First Look: Pirates League Makeovers at the Magic Kingdom

Disney has just released these photos showing some of the makeovers possible at the new Pirate League in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, officially opening June 29 (now in soft opening mode). Photos © Kent Phillips/Disney.

The official press release follows: Continue reading…

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Innovention’s StormStruck Adds Lightning to Its Repertoire

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 25  — The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes–FLASH(R) and the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) are joining forces to promote public awareness about lightning safety and lightning protection. In recognition of National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 21-27, 2009, FLASH and LPI signed a partnership agreement on June 22, 2009 at StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes(R) at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot(R) at the Walt Disney World(R) Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL.

NOAA launched an annual Lightning Safety Awareness campaign in 2001 to increase awareness of the dangers of lightning and provide the public with safety information to help protect families and their property. Matt Bragaw, forecaster and lightning specialist with NOAA’s National Weather Service joined FLASH and LPI representatives for the partnership signing and tour of the StormStruck exhibit.

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Report: Disney’s D23 Mary Poppins on Broadway Event

Mary Poppins on BroadwayLast night, Disney’s D23 simultaneously held events for members in New York and Chicago during a presentation of the Disney Theatrical version of Mary Poppins. For the price of a regular ticket, D23 members were offered preferred seating for the actual performance, offered merchandise discounts, complimentary merchandise (in New York, this was a copy of the DVD) and a backstage experience complete with a meet & greet.

This also happened to be my first time seeing the show. Since it opened, the show has received a lukewarm reception at best and I had heard it all – the house was a star, the show’s plot takes a sharp departure from the film and there are scenes that get downright creepy (although scary is usually the adjective I hear).

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Hi-Res Images from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland Including Previously Unreleased Images

Disney has sent us hi-res versions of all of the images from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland that were just published by USA Today, including a couple of others that weren’t. We had to scale them down a little, but we couldn’t wait to be able to share them with you. So please enjoy this new gallery of images from the film.

If you want to see the images in the full size, click the individual thumbnails below, then click on the resize arrows in the lower right-hand corner.

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Jonas Brothers’ Lines, Vines and Trying Times Debuts at # 1; Second # 1 Debut in Ten Months

BURBANK, Calif., June 24 — Jonas Brothers’ Lines, Vines and Trying Times debuts at # 1 on the Billboard Top 200 today, selling nearly 250,000 units, a mere ten months after their third studio album A Little Bit Longer debuted at the top of the charts. Jonas Brothers are the only act to have two # 1 debuts within a ten month period; only Jay-Z came close with two # 1 debuts twelve months apart in December 2006 and December 2007. Their triumphant return to the # 1 slot is one of 2009’s top debuts, and follows the kick off of their Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009 this weekend at the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in front of nearly 50,000 fans. The tour opened to rave reviews and decibel busting cheers for Jonas Brothers’ “in the round” concert.

In addition to the Jonas Brothers’ # 1 debut in the US, Lines, Vines and Trying Times debuted # 1 in Canada, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Central America. Jonas Brothers hosted and performed their hit singles “Paranoid” and “Burning Up” this weekend on the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto. Lines, Vines and Trying Times also debuted top ten in the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand and Ireland.

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Learning Tree Partners with the Disney Institute to Offer Classes in Key Business Markets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 24  — Disney Institute professional development programs will soon be offered at Learning Tree Education Centers in select cities throughout the U.S. The programs are part of a new relationship between Disney Institute — the professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company — and Learning Tree, the world’s leading vendor-independent management, business skills and IT training company.

Beginning August 2009, the relationship will bring a broad range of Disney Institute content to Learning Tree Education Centers in Atlanta; Reston, Va.; Rockville, Md.; Alexandria, Va.; Chicago; and New York City. A variety of course topics and formats will be offered, enabling individuals and intact work teams to select content that is ideally suited to meet their organizations’ needs.

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