Photo: John Lasseter Inducted into Toy Industry Hall of Fame

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Earlier this evening, at the tenth annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, Walt Disney’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Established in 1984, the Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made a significant mark on the American toy industry.

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The Stakes Go ‘Up’ for Disney for Taking Home the Oscar in 2010

The nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards have been announced this morning and, once again, it’s up to the Disney/Pixar champion UP to bring home the gold (statuettes) for The Walt Disney Company.

For top prizes, UP is competing for both Best Animated Film as well as Best Motion Picture of the Year, in the newly expanded category. Other nominated categories include: Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) for which Michael Giacchino has already received numerous awards and accolades for;  Achievement in Sound Editing; and another top category for Original Screenplay.

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Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, ‘When in Rome’ Stars Among Grammy Presenters

Earlier today, The Recording Academy announced a first-round list of celebrities who will act as presenters during the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards taking place January 31 in Los Angeles.

Disney stars are overwhelmingly represented by way of Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. Additionally, Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel of the upcoming film When in Rome are included on the list. Even TRON (Legacy) veteran Jeff Bridges is getting in on the act. Other presenters named include Justin Bieber, Norah Jones, Ke$ha, LL Cool J, Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana and Ringo Starr.

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Academy Determines ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Ineligible for Best Original Score

Originally considered as a nominee for an Oscar in the category of Best Original Score, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has determined that The Princess and the Frog fails to meet eligibility requirements.

Citing Rule 16, Section II, Paragraph E, the Academy’s Music Branch Executive Committee decided that the film’s soundtrack satisfies the following element, making it ineligible:

‘…scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.’

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Disney/ABC Television Group Receives Three Golden Globe Award Nominations

The ABC Television Network’s “Modern Family,” the critically acclaimed comedy series that takes an honest and often hilarious look at the complexities of modern day families, received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series Comedy or Musical. The series has also been recently honored with an AFI Award as one of the Top 10 television programs of 2009, in addition to three Writers Guild Awards nominations, including Best Comedy Series and Best New Series nominations.

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Walt Disney Animation Studios Leads Nominations for 37th Annual Annie Awards

BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 1  — The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced nominations today for its 37th Annual Annie Awards recognizing the year’s best animated features, television productions, commercials, short subjects and outstanding individual achievements in the field of animation. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Princess and the Frog” received eight nominations, including Best Animated Feature and individual nominations for animated effects, character animation, production design and voice acting, while its “Prep and Landing” received nine nominations including Best Animated Television Production and individual nominations for character animation, character design, music, production design, storyboarding and writing.

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Disney’s Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant Recieves Tenth Consecutive AAA Five Diamond Award

Chef Scott Hunnel © DisneyLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 24, 2009 – For the 10th year in a row, Victoria & Albert’s restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award. As one of only 52 restaurants to receive this symbol of excellence in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, Victoria & Albert’s delivers “haute cuisine” with seven-course prix-fixed menus, wine pairings and the finest ingredients from the world market.

At the helm of this critically-acclaimed restaurant is 15-year Victoria & Albert’s veteran, Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel.

“It takes every individual on the team to achieve such a great honor consistently, from the reservationists to the wait staff and culinary team,” remarked Hunnel about reaching this prestigious milestone. “The secret to our success is realizing that it’s a continuous journey of reinvention in the restaurant and what we’re doing today has to be better tomorrow.”

Only 0.27 percent of AAA’s 60,000 Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants in North America received this honor for 2010. According to AAA’s ratings guidelines, to achieve Five Diamond status, restaurants must “consistently provide a world-class experience.”

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Walt Disney Imagineering Earns Top Award from Themed Entertainment Industry

Award winning Toy Story Mania! (photo courtesy of Disney)GLENDALE, Calif., Nov. 17, 2009 – Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was honored today with the top award within the themed entertainment industry.

TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) announced that Toy Story Mania! received the Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Attraction.  Toy Story Mania! is a high-energy, immersive, ride-through adventure that invites guests to test their skills at a variety of carnival midway games hosted by the characters from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films.  The attraction is located at both Disney’s California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

TEA announced the 16th Annual Thea Award recipients during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction’s (IAAPA) annual conference. The Thea Awards recognize achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. Recognized internationally as a symbol of excellence, the Thea Awards consider project submissions from all over the world. TEA praised Toy Story Midway Mania! as follows in their press release:

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Adventures by Disney Named ‘World’s Leading Luxury Tour Operator’ and Winner of Two Travel Weekly Magellan Awards

BURBANK, Calif., Nov. 10 — Adventures by Disney (AdventuresbyDisney.com), provider of high-end family travel experiences, was named World’s Leading Luxury Tour Operator and North America’s Best Luxury Tour Operator by the 2009 World Travel Awards. Adventures by Disney was also presented two Travel Weekly Magellan Awards for its consumer Web site and consumer collateral in fall 2009.

Hailed as the “Travel Industry’s equivalent to the Oscar’s”, the World Travel Awards acknowledges and celebrates excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry and has become one of the highest accolades a travel product can receive. Highly-recognized as the premier award for the travel industry, the Magellan Award honors the best in travel and distinguishes those representing a high standard of excellence within the travel industry.

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Disneyland Resort Wins California’s Top Environmental Leadership Award

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 20  — Disneyland Resort has won the 2009 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California’s highest and most prestigious environmental honor. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment and building public-private partnerships. Governor Schwarzenegger recognized Disneyland Resort and 14 other GEELA recipients at a reception at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 2 in Los Angeles on September 30.

“I applaud the Disneyland Resort for their wonderful commitment to our state’s commerce and environment. They are an inspiration to many and I thank them for their outstanding leadership,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

“This honor recognizes Disneyland Resort’s ongoing commitment to developing socially responsible and environmentally friendly practices that promote environmental protection and economic growth,” said Frank Dela Vara, director of environmental affairs and conservation at Disneyland Resort. “We are proud of our commitment to exploring and implementing new technologies and practices that further the environmental legacy left by Walt Disney.”

Award recipients are chosen in 10 different categories based on their strength in eight specific areas including results, transferability, environmental impact, resource conservation, economic progress, innovation and uniqueness, pollution prevention and environmental justice. Disneyland received the award for several sustainable practices implemented at the Resort, including the environmentally conscientious efforts to refill the Paradise Bay at Disney’s California Adventure; the use of the Resort’s processed cooking oil to fuel its steam train locomotives; and the water and energy conservation features incorporated in the Resort’s new central bakery.

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