ESPN and Ad Council Team Up with Fatherhood.gov to Encourage Fathers to ‘Take Time to be a Dad’ (Video)

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The Advertising Council and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse join ESPN today to launch a new series of national public service advertisements designed to show dads the critical role they play in their children’s lives. The ads will debut this week on ESPN media in advance of Father’s Day.

According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), an estimated 25 million children live without their biological fathers and are on average at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health and emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior and avoid high-risk behaviors.

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Vinylmation Park Series 2 Release and Artist Party at Walt Disney World June 12

Come join Disney artists Randy Noble, Dan Howard, Susan Foy and Thomas Scott as they celebrate the releasr of the  Vinylmation Park Series 2 at the Art of Disney store in the Downtown Disney Marketplace on Friday, June 12 from 5-7 PM.

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WDW Refurbishment Update: Liberty Square Riverboat Closure in September

The Liberty Square Riverboat / Liberty Belle at the Magic Kingdom will be closed from September 13 through September 19 for refurbishment.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch!

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Disneyland Resort Announces 3-Day Summer Fan Pass for Southern California Residents for $99

ANAHEIM, Calif., June 1  — Just in time for summer, Disneyland Resort delivers a valuable ticket offer – the 3-Day Summer Fun Pass, available exclusively for residents of Southern California and Northern Baja.

With this special ticket, local residents can play at the Disneyland Resort for three days within a 45-day period, for just $99. Guests who live in zip codes 90000 through 93599, and 21000-22999, will be able to enter both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, enjoying three days of fun for only $33 per day.

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Hanes Invites You to ‘Celebrate in Comfort’ and Enter to Win a Walt Disney World Reunion Vacation

Beginning June 1, 2009, Hanes, the official apparel of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, invites you to enter to win the reunion vacation of a lifetime at the Walt Disney World resort.

One vacation per week will be awarded for a total of sixteen vacations. Each 5 day/4 night celebration-themed vacation for four persons includes:

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Disney Channel Orders Second Season of ‘Sonny With a Chance,’ Fourth Season of ‘Hannah Montana’

Disney Channel has ordered a second season of “Sonny With A Chance,” TV’s #1 program for Kids 6-11 and#1 scripted program for Tweens 9-14, it was announced today by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide. The series, which premiered in February, stars Demi Lovato, Tiffany Thornton, Sterling Knight, Brandon Mychal Smith, Doug Brochu and Allisyn Ashley Arm. It was created by Steve Marmel, who executive-produces along with Michael Feldman, Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett.

Marsh said: “’Sonny’ was a hit right out of the gate, thanks in no small part to the stratospheric trajectory of our newest star, Demi Lovato. She and the entire talented cast, along with our gifted writing and producing teams, have turned ‘Sonny With A Chance’ into ‘destination television’ for kids everywhere. We thrilled with the direction this first season has taken, and look forward to tapping further into its comedic potential, adding music and more, in Season Two.”

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Jeffrey Hornaday to Direct and Choreograph ‘High School Musical 4: East Meets West’

Jeffrey Hornaday, a renowned choreographer (“Flashdance,” “A Chorus Line”) and director (“Shout”), will helm “High School Musical East Meets West,” the fourth movie in the franchise that is a cultural sensation around the world. The announcement was made today by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide. The Disney Channel Original Movie, written by Peter Barsocchini, is scheduled to debut in 2010.

Casting is underway for the fourth story of the celebrated “High School Musical” franchise, a classic story set against the cross-town school rivalry between the East High Wildcats and West High Knights.

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D23 Announces Lion King Las Vegas Getaway for Two Sweepstakes

As we mentioned last month, D23 is offering its members a chance to win a 3 day/2 night stay at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for two which includes attending a performance of the Lion King musical, admission to the resort’s Shark Reef aquarium and a $100 discount on a resort cabana rental. The vacation must take place by September 30, 2009.

To enter, all you need to do is write a 300 word or less essay on why you love the Lion King. Entries must be received by 11:59 pm on June 15, 2009 and the winner will be notified by July 1.

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D23 Gift Membership Cards Now Available at Theme Parks, the Disney Store and NYC World of Disney

D23 Membership Gift CardBeginning June 1, membership gift cards for D23 are available for purchase at Disney Stores in the United States, the New York City World of Disney location on Fifth Avenue as well as select locations at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts.

At the Disneyland resort, membership gift cards can be purchased at the Disneyana Shop at Disneyland, Off the Page at Disney’s California Adventure and the World of Disney at Downtown Disney.

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‘Handy Manny’ Measures Up with New Season, Shortform Series, Specials and New Friends

In addition to 29 brand new episodes for its third season, today Disney Channel announced a new short-form series and two primetime specials. “Handy Manny’s School for Tools,” 20 animated shorts, will begin production this year for a 2010 premiere. In Fall 2009, Disney Channel will present the first of two primetime specials, “Handy Manny’s Motorcycle Adventure,” which takes viewers along on Manny’s exciting and unexpected road trip to his family reunion. The special features four new songs including “Rolling” performed by renowned East Los Angeles rockers Los Lobos. The second primetime special will debut in 2010. The daily series will also introduce 10 new tools: a jackhammer, a power screwdriver, a power socket wrench, a shop vac, a pair of needle nose pliers, a deluxe tool box, a laser level and a trio of crescent wrenches.

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