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

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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:

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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.

Continue reading…

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Sea Turtles Get a Boost from Guests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort (Video)

Sea TurtleLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 2, 2009 — With sea turtle nesting season in full swing, Disney’s Animal Program’s experts are keeping busy at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort where hundreds of female sea turtles will come ashore through September to complete a pilgrimage they do every few years – lay eggs. Approximately 50,000 sea turtles come ashore in Florida each year, making it one of the most fertile nesting areas in the United States.

While not easy, the process of establishing a nest starts with the female dragging her heavy body out of the water to the sand dunes. Using her back flippers, she digs a hole to deposit approximately one hundred rubbery eggs, each the size of a golf ball. The turtle hides the nest by covering the hole with sand and heads back to the ocean.

Continue reading…

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Reese Witherspoon Presents ‘Legally Blondes’ on ABC Family August 2

ABC Family will present the television premiere of the third installment of the “Legally Blonde” franchise, “Legally Blondes,” on Sunday, August 2 (8:00PM – 10:00PM ET/PT). In this newest chapter of the popular franchise, Reese Witherspoon, as producer, passes the blonde-baton to British twin sisters Becky and Milly Rosso, who expertly carry on the “Legally Blonde” legacy as Elle’s cousins, Izzy and Annie Woods. The Rosso twins are most recognizable as Disney Channel stars from “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” Leading into the premiere of “Legally Blondes” will be the first two installments with “Legally Blonde” airing at 4:00PM ET/PT, and “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde” airing at 6:00PM ET/PT.

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Robert Englund Returns and the World is in Peril on the Next Episode of The Spectacular Spider-man

As the world celebrates the new year, The Master Planner celebrates his diabolical plans to take it over. Only the highly motivated Spider-man can break into the Planner’s secret lair and stop the Planner and his evil henchmen. But will saving the world cost Spidey his life?

Horror film legend Robert Englund returns as the voice of Vulture in this all new episode, premiering on Disney XD Monday night at 7:30 PM ET/PT.

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Report: Fourth of July Monorail Collision Kills Driver, No Epcot Monorail Service 7/5

Monorail Collision / CNNWKMG, Channel 6 in Orlando, is reporting that at around 2 am Sunday morning, a monorail (reported as Pink) collided into Monorail Purple which was not moving at the time at the Ticket and Transportation Center, killing the driver on impact. No other injuries have been reported and no further details are currently available.

Update: The incident happened on the Epcot track according to reports; monorail service to Epcot has been suspended on July 5 pending an investigation. Presumably bus service will be offered in lieu of  monorail service to Epcot where applicable.

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