ABC Takes Replica ‘Wipeout’ Course on the Road – Details and Full Schedule

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From May 10 through June 14, Those Daring Enough Will Get to Participate in the “Wipeout” Road Trip, Featuring the Spinning Log Roller and Sucker Punch Wall, for a Chance to Win Fun Prizes!

Just like the popular “Wipeout” obstacle course that delivers laughs, moans and groans to your living room, daring participants will get a chance to partake in the “Wipeout” Road Trip with a modified replica of the course. The replicated course will be set up outdoors and will feature the ever popular Spinning Log Roller and Sucker Punch Wall that will offer participants a chance to win ABC and “Wipeout” branded prizes which may include water bottles, rally towels and t-shirts.

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All Aboard for “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” Train Tour and Contests (Full Details, Photos)

From Sneak Peeks of Exclusive 3D Film Footage to Summertime Snow – Disney Pulls out All the Whistle Stops for 40-City Traveling Experience

Map of Christmas Train Tour

Disney's A Christmas Carol LogoBURBANK, Calif. — Disney is pulling out all the whistle stops and taking its show on the road with a spectacular immersive and interactive 40-city train tour including a 3D sneak peek of film footage from the upcoming movie “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” it was announced today (05/08/09) by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. Set amidst a snowy backdrop—complete with all of the sights and sounds of Christmas including carolers, decorations, giveaways and many more surprises in each of the 40 cities—the Train Tour is being launched with HP on board as the title and technology sponsor and driven by Amtrak. This family event is for guests of all ages and is free to the public.

A Christmas Carol Train

Starring Jim Carrey and directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” opens in theatres November 6 in Disney Digital 3D™ and in IMAX 3D®.

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Pixar to Open Second Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Woody and Buzz are heading north.

To accommodate a growing slate of nonfeature projects, Disney and Pixar will launch an animation studio in the fall in Vancouver.

The focus will be on Pixar’s established characters, including Buzz and Woody from the “Toy Story” films and Lightning McQueen and Mater from “Cars.”

“The operation will be small in size and dedicated to producing short-form quality computer animation for theme parks, DVDs, television and theatrical exhibition … for several different divisions of the Walt Disney Co.,” Disney/Pixar president Ed Catmull said.

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Report: Disney Close to Investing More Capital into Hong Kong Disneyland

HONG KONG/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Walt Disney Co is close to agreeing to invest more capital in Hong Kong Disneyland and allow the island’s government to convert its loans to equity to maintain its majority share of the theme park, a source involved in the talks said.

If Disney and Hong Kong’s government, which now owns 57 percent of the underperforming and much-maligned resort, can close a deal, it could pave the way for an expansion that is estimated will cost HK$3 billion ($387 million) and boost flagging attendance.

(Reporting by James Pomfret and Gina Keating in Los Angeles; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Catherine Ralston, 12, of Ohio Takes the Cake at Hasbro’s Easy-Bake 2009 ‘Baker of the Year’ Contest

Catherine Ralston, right, 12, from New Albany, Ohio, reacts as she is announced as the winner as the other finalists look on at the Easy Bake 2009 "Baker of the Year" Contest at the Walt Disney World Resort, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Thursday, May 7, 2009. (Ray Stubblebine/Hasbro)

Catherine Ralston, right, 12, from New Albany, Ohio, reacts as she is announced as the winner as the other finalists look on at the Easy Bake 2009 "Baker of the Year" Contest at the Walt Disney World Resort, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Thursday, May 7, 2009. (Ray Stubblebine/Hasbro)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Catherine Ralston, a 12 year-old from New Albany, Ohio was named the EASY-BAKE 2009 “Baker of the Year” today after baking her delicious “Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart” for a panel of toy, parenting, and culinary experts at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This announcement concludes a search, started last summer, by Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and the EASY-BAKE brand, that combed America’s kitchens looking for the next “Baker of the Year.”

Assisted by her “sous chef” mom, Teresa, Catherine set the hearts of the judges aflutter with her “Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart,” a mouth watering marriage of fresh strawberries and EASY-BAKE sugar cookie mix.

“Wow, I can’t believe I’m the 2009 EASY-BAKE ‘Baker of Year!’ I love to cook and had so much fun baking with and spending time with the other kids,” said Catherine. “I especially love that I got to share this experience with my mom, the person who taught me to cook!”

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World Showcase Packs Culinary Punch Sept. 25-Nov. 8 at 14th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Epcot kitchens turn up the heat for a global tasting experience worthy of every palate Sept. 25-Nov. 8 at the 14th annual Epcot International Food &Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort. During the six-week, entertainment-packed event, park guests can taste fine cuisine and wines from the top “foodie” cities of the world.

Whether sampling bites of Camarões com Palmito (shrimp with palms) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or sipping the trendiest wine from Buenos Aires, Argentina, festival guests can enjoy the flavors of more than 25 international marketplaces dotting the World Showcase promenade. The festival will spotlight tastes from cities on six continents, including Bologna, Italy; Bangkok, Thailand; Wellington, New Zealand; Santiago, Chile; Marrakesh, Morocco; Shanghai, China; and, from the United States – New Orleans.

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Celebrating Mother’s Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Video)

Several new mothers are celebrating Mother’s Day at Walt Disney World a bit differently than the typical vacationing guest. For starters, they aren’t on vacation. They live at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. And they won’t be having Sunday dinner in any of the popular Disney restaurants. But despite the things these mothers do differently, because they are an elephant, a monkey, and a vulture, one thing is the same: the strong mother/baby bond as the new babies learn about their environment. Animal Operations Director, Matt Hohne, introduces the babies including Tsavo the African elephant, Zahra the Colobus monkey, and two Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture chicks.

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Vinylmation Park Series #2 – Mr. Incredible, Classic Epcot, Nemo and More! to be Released May 22

Vinylmation

The next series of Vinylmation figures are set to be released May 22. Please Enjoy this selection of photos of the 3″ Vinylmation Park Series #2 collection and artwork of the 9″ collectibles.

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Star Wars Weekends 2009 Merchandise and Pin Preview (Photos) (Updated 5/7)

Star Wars Weekends 2009

Star Wars Weekends 2009

Note: this article was updated to include additional merchandise as well as some pricing and sizing information.

In addition to those displayed, there will be four other spinner pins: Senator Amidala & Senator Palpatine with Republic Symbol, Obi-Wan Kenobi & Anakin Skywalker with Jedi Order Symbol, General Grievous & Ventress with General Grievous Symbol and Darth Maul & Court Dooku with Sith Symbol

Images courtesy of StarWars.com

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Imagineering’s Dr. Ben Schwegler to Present at 2009 World Science Festival in New York City

The second annual World Science Festival in New York City (June 10 – 14, 2009) has just posted its schedule of presentations and opened up for ticket sales. Unfortunately it looks like Disney’s participation is limited this year, but for the adults, WDI Chief Scientist Dr. Ben Schwegler will be part of a panel entitled WALL-E’s World: Designs for an Invisible Footprint.

The description for the panel is as follows:

Beneath WALL-E’s whimsical surface lies a grown up, cautionary tale about humanity’s relationship with the environment. In this program scientists reveal ingenious strategies for creating a sustainable future — from ‘carborexic’ cities made entirely from recycled trash to how the pursuit of “green” space exploration may one day help to revolutionize waste management here on Earth.

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