Disney Channel to Begin Production on ‘Camp Rock 2 The Final Jam’ with Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers

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Disney Channel will begin production later this summer on “Camp Rock 2 The Final Jam,” the sequel to the hit Disney Channel Original Movie “Camp Rock,” with Demi Lovato, Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas reprising their starring roles. Joining the cast are Matthew “Mdot” Finley and Chloe Bridges. Also returning to the sequel’s cast are Meaghan Martin, Alyson Stoner, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Roshon Fegan, Daniel Fathers and Maria Canals-Barrera. “Camp Rock 2 The Final Jam” is scheduled to premiere in 2010 on Disney Channel.

“Camp Rock has had tremendous success around the world – on television, on DVD and as a soundtrack” said Gary Marsh, President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide. “Our goal with this sequel is to raise the stakes and dig deeper into these wonderful characters and their musical journey.”

The movie will be directed by DGA Award-winning director Paul Hoen (Disney Channel’s “Jump In!” and “The Cheetah Girls One World”) and choreographed by Rosero McCoy (“Step Up”). The script was written by Dan Berendsen (Disney’s “Hannah Montana The Movie,” “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie” and “The Cheetah Girls One World”) and the writing team of Karin Gist (“One Tree Hill,” “Jump In!”) and Regina Hicks (“Girlfriends,” “Jump In!”).

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Disney Channel Presents ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ Four-Part Episode: ‘Wizards vs. Vampires’

“Wizards of Waverly Place – Wizards vs. Vampires,” a four-episode programming event, follows the Russo family and their encounters with the Van Heusens, a family of vampires who own a competing sandwich shop, beginning FRIDAY, JULY 24 (8:00- 8:45 p.m. ET/PT) on Disney Channel.

Guest Starring is Bridgit Mendler (“JONAS”) as Justin’s vampire girlfriend, Juliet Van Heusen, and Anne Ramsay (“Mad About You”) and JD Cullum (“Good Night, and Good Luck”) as vampire parents Cindy and Alucard Van Heusen.

The schedule is as follows: Continue reading…

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A Look Inside the Princess Diana Exhibit at Downtown Disney (Updated)

Please note that this review is based on the soft opening of the exhibit. All information is subject to change prior to official opening and this should be considered when reading the following article.

With the exception to a couple of hours for a Cast Member preview the day before, Diana: The People’s Princess officially soft opened its doors on July 4, with a scheduled grand opening/media event for Tuesday, July 7. Because of a computer-related issue, the doors opened approximately 20 minutes later than the scheduled opening time of 11 am.

The exhibit is located on the West Side of Downtown Disney, in the building formerly occupied by the Virgin Megastore, sandwiched between the AMC 24 theater and DisneyQuest. Reportedly due to issues with exposure to the exhibit from the sun/weather elements, the main doors are currently not being used (they are closed, but remained unlocked that day, causing confusion for several guests). Instead, the small door all the way to the left of the front is being used as the entrance.

Despite the policy posted on the building window (which prohibits flash photography), photography is not permitted at all so I have nothing from the exhibit to share with you. I was told the confusion with the policy was in error and that it will soon be corrected. The printed tickets do specify No Photography however.

The first item you encounter is a dress of Princess Diana’s and a tiara, arranged in what strikes me as a funeral parlor-esque display (grey faux granite columns topped with large bouquets of white flowers surround the display). With the tiara, you run into the first major issue with the exhibit, which will soon be corrected with any luck: lack of signage. In the extreme majority of the cases, there is absolutely no placard or any time of information associated with the objects on display that give you any indication as to what they are or what they mean to the exhibit. The best example of this is a small, bright orange chair placed directly in the middle of the Charles area with much ado. I also lost a considerable amount of time trying to read a 2 page letter hand-written by Diana trying to identify its content, finally coming to the conclusion that it was just a letter and there wasn’t much more to it than that.

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D23 to Show Never-Before-Exhibited Artifacts at Comic-Con International

D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans and the Walt Disney Archives are excited to share with San Diego Comic-Con attendees a few never-before-exhibited artifacts from their amazing collection of sci-fi, fantasy and adventure film costumes and props. The display will be open throughout the event, which runs this year from July 23 to July 26.

The costume worn by Bill Campbell as Cliff Secord in The Rocketeer.

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NTSB Releases Factual Information on its Investigation of the Monorail Collision at Walt Disney World

The National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual information from its investigation of the collision of two trains on the monorail system at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, that occurred early Sunday morning:

At about 2 a.m. on July 5th, a Walt Disney World monorail train, designated the Pink train, backed into another monorail train, designated the Purple train, near the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) monorail station. The operator of the Purple train was fatally injured; the six passengers on that train were treated at the scene. The operator of the Pink train, who was transported to the hospital, treated and released, was the only one aboard that train at the time of the collision.

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Julie Andrews and Toby Bluth Product Releases & Signings, August 29 at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel

Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and LullabiesAcademy Award® Winning Actress, Julie Andrews will be on hand for the debut of her newest book titled, Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies, which will be released in October 2009. As part of this product release and signing, Guests will have the opportunity to pre-purchase the book before its released to the public.

In addition, Artist Toby Bluth will be on hand for the release of his latest work, titled Poppins and Penguins, which was created in celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the beloved Disney film, Mary Poppins.

More details to come.

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Christian Dior Brings Escale á Pondichery Exclusively to the World Showcase, July 9 – 12

Escale á Pondichery by Christian Dior

Escale á Pondichery by Christian Dior

Be one of the first to experience Escale á Pondichery fragrance at Le Plume et Palette in Epcot®‘s France Pavilion, special to the Walt Disney World® Resort.

Les Escales de Dior is a fragrance collection that thrillingly transports you to enticing destinations.  A year after Escale á Portofino, Parfums Christian Dior sets sail again for a passage to India. A new destination, a new fragrance: Escale á Pondichery.

In Pondicherry, Dior Perfumer-Creator François Demachy discovered the true treasures of India and hand selected the ingredients for this new Fragrance Escale á Pondichery.

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At Comic-Con, Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter Lead Animation Panel While Walt Disney Studios Holds First Ever 3D Panel

BURBANK, Calif. — Animation greats Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter and directors Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton will take part in their first ever Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center July 23-24. The filmmakers will be on hand to help Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures showcase a wide-ranging roster of upcoming films, including 3D juggernauts ALICE IN WONDERLAND, TRON and DISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and animated gems THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PONYO and the TOY STORY trilogy.

Zemeckis, Burton, Miyazaki and Lasseter will take part in industry panels.

* COMIC-CON’S FIRST EVER 3D PANEL — Veteran directors Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton join TRON producers Sean Bailey and Steve Lisberger on Thurs., July 23 at 11 a.m. for an unprecedented presentation featuring behind-the-scenes filmmaker insights about the highly anticipated 3D adventures DISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and TRON. In addition to Q&A opportunities with each of the filmmakers, the 90-minute panel will feature never-before-seen concept art, trailers, actual 3D film footage and other Comic-Con-only footage debuts. In a groundbreaking technical feat, this is the first time ever that 3D footage will be shown at Comic-Con. Patton Oswalt will moderate.

* ANIMATION PANEL — Animation legends Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter join veteran animation directors Lee Unkrich, Kirk Wise, Ron Clements and John Musker on Fri., July 24 at 12:45 p.m. for an animation panel which will highlight upcoming animated films, including Disney•Pixar’s TOY STORY/TOY STORY 2 double feature, Disney•Pixar’s TOY STORY 3, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ half-hour holiday TV special PREP & LANDING, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and Miyazaki’s PONYO. John Lasseter will host the panel and Patton Oswalt will moderate a group Q&A following the presentation, which will include filmmaker insights, trailers and select film sequences. Continue reading…

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New Show Headed to the Disney Magic, Tiana Headed to the Parks

A couple of entertainment announcements:

Beginning late this year, the Disney Magic will unveil a new show for which we do not know too much about, including the title or even the synoposis. What we do know is it’s from the creators of Broadway’s [title of show], Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen and involves a whole lot of villains including the newest villain from the Princess and the Frog, Dr. Facilier. He will be joined by Genie-esque emcee Hades, Pain/Panic, Jafar, Yzma, Evil/Wicked Queen, Captain Hook, Kronk, Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, Queen of Hearts and Ursula. Obviously villain-heavy, our only real indication of the tone of the show aside from Hades’s emceeing abilities are the good Dr. Facilier’s rendition of ‘Wind Beneath My Wings.’

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Disney’s Animal Progams Leads International Effort to Manage Elephant Population

Elephant VasectomyLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 2, 2009 – Disney’s Animal Programs is leading an international coalition of veterinarians, conservation groups, zoos, universities and private industry to conduct a series of procedures to effectively sterilize male elephants to help reduce elephant overpopulation in areas of southern Africa.

The team plans to perform laparoscopic vasectomies on eight bull elephants in Swaziland’s Big Game Parks. For the past five years, the team has performed the procedure on nearly 20 male elephants in an effort to reduce the elephant birth rates in wildlife reserves, while maintaining normal hormone levels and common social behaviors for the individual elephants.

Elephant overpopulation in wildlife parks and reserves in southern Africa is a growing problem that can have devastating effects on the natural habitat as well as other animal species that live there. Wildlife officials in several countries are considering culling elephants in order to control the population growth.

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