Hundreds of fans gathered early this morning at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World to celebrate the induction of Princess Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave into the Disney Princess Royal Court. An honor bestowed to just ten before her, Merida arrived at Cinderella Castle in style atop her faithful steed Angus before receiving the crown from none other than her own mother, Queen Elinor, who made an exceptionally rare appearance. The pair were joined by the other members of the Disney Princess Royal Court along with emcee U.S. Gymnastics 2-time Olympic champion, Gabby Douglas, who was joined on stage by her own mother, Natalie Hawkins.
Other VIPs spotted included ‘Jessie’ star Debby Ryan, who was filming a segment for Disney Channel’s Disney365 news segments. Child entertainers/reporters Sophia Grace and Rosie, of the Ellen Degeneres show, were also at the event, warming up the crowd with a special rap performance created especially for the event.
Below you will find some of our photos from the event as well as some video (with more coming). Be sure to click on any of the thumbnails to see a larger version.
Here’s a quick video we uploaded on site of the royal procession featuring Merida and Angus. Sorry that it was flipped.
Advertised as one of its Limited Time Magic events exclusively for Passholders, the Disneyland Resort has announced that it will be offering annual passholders to attend a special presentation of the Animation Academy, located at the Animation Building at Disney California Adventure, hosted by animator Eric Goldberg, best known for characters such as Genie, Phil, Louis and Rabbit.
Goldberg will offer four presentations to passholders for free on May 17, each lasting approximately 45 minutes. Registration is required to receive a wristband for admission and can be obtained on May 17 at the Animation Building beginning at official park opening.
For additional information, visit the official event page.
After officially inducting Tiana into the royal Disney Princess family in New York City in 2010 and Rapunzel at London’s Kensington Palace in 2011, Disney Consumer Products is preparing to shine the spotlight on its first official Pixar princess, Merida, from Disney/Pixar’s Brave. This time around, the ceremony will be held at 9:30 am on May 11, 2013 at Cinderella Castle located in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. The occasion will mark the first time that the ceremony itself is open to anyone visiting the theme park that day.
At the event, Merida will become the 11th princess to receive the Disney Princess title and join the popular franchise, standing alongside Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel, all of whom are anticipated to be in attendance.
There is no word yet on who else may be in attendance of the event, but Disney star Debby Ryan has announced via her Facebook page that she plans on witnessing the ceremony of Disney’s ‘new ginger princess.’
The Disneyland Resort has announced that Disney Legend and Chief Archivist Emeritus, Walt Disney Archives, Dave Smith will offer two special sessions for annual passholders at the the Disneyland theme park on March 22, 2013, titled ‘Disneyland: The Way We Were.”
The event promises to take guests on a ‘photographic journey through the attractions, shops, restaurants and other pieces of Disneyland history.’
The events will take place at 5 and 7 pm at the Main Street USA Opera House. Wristband distribution will begin at 11:30 am on March 22 at the Opera House.
For more information, visit the official event page.
Disney D23, the official Disney fan club has announced it will be letting its members be amongst the first to experience Disney’s new ‘Second Screen Live’ experience at a special screening of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV on April 15, 2013.
Although the event is free to members and their guests, each attendee must bring a personal iPad will be required to partake in the ‘Second Screen Live’ experience. Using the iPad, there will be special challenges, speed trivia, sing-alongs and more for the chance to win prizes and play against other fans in the audience. The required app will be emailed to participants who successfully sign up when tickets become available March 20 at 1 pm PT. As is the custom, guests will also receive a special gift for attending the event.
For more information or to reserve tickets when they become available, visit the official event page.
The Disneyland Resort has announced it will be offering its annual passholders the opportunity to attend a free behind-the-scenes look at the creation of its newest attraction, the Fantasy Faire. The event will include a presentation and Q&A session with Show Director Christopher Utley and Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Director Michel den Dulk.
The event will take place on Thursday, March 14 at 6:00 pm in the Main Street USA Opera House. Required wristbands will be distributed at the Opera House beginning at 11:30 am that day. All attendees must be a current passholder at the time of the event.
For the event itself, the Opera House will open 15 minutes prior to the start time (5:45 pm). Seating is not guaranteed. The theater will remain open until the event time or until the theater has reached capacity, whichever occurs first. Late arrivals will not be accommodated.
For more information, visit the official event page.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a new digital restoration of Who Framed Roger Rabbit in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary on Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 pm at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening will feature a post-screening onstage discussion with director Robert Zemeckis and members of the cast and crew, including actress Joanna Cassidy, voice actor Charles Fleischer, supervising animator Andreas Deja, screenwriter Peter S. Seaman and associate producers Don Hahn and Steve Starkey. The panel will be moderated by director Rich Moore, who received an Oscar® nomination for Animated Feature Film for Wreck-It Ralph this past year.
A masterful blend of live-action filmmaking and classic animation, Who Framed Roger Rabbit boldly announced the rebirth of the Disney animation studio. The film endures as an inventive tribute to animation’s golden age that also set a new standard for what the medium could achieve.
“Roger Rabbit brought together the greatest animators, the most skilled technicians, and the finest talent of the day,” said Zemeckis. “It’s good to have this chance to show our work to both those who remember the film as well as to a new audience.”
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) received Oscars® for Film Editing, Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects, and a Special Achievement Award for Richard Williams’s animation direction. It also was nominated for Art Direction, Cinematography and Sound.
This digital restoration is provided courtesy of the Walt Disney Studios. The Disney restoration team used the original 35mm picture, VistaVision optical work and original sound elements to create this pristine digital version.
Tickets for Who Framed Roger Rabbit are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open at 6:30 pm. All seating is unreserved. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit oscars.org.
The Who Framed Roger Rabbit 25th anniversary edition Blu-ray will be released on March 12, 2013.
The Walt Disney Company Japan announced today that it will stage the first-ever D23 Expo Japan, a special event for Disney fans created by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. D23 Expo Japan, the first Expo to be held outside the U.S., will feature an array of engaging presentations, hosted by senior Disney creative executives, showcasing what’s on the horizon from across The Walt Disney Company, including theme parks, movies, television, music, and interactive gaming. Fans will enjoy unique experiences; have the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind merchandise and collectibles; meet many of their favorite Disney characters; and delight in countless other surprises. D23 Expo Japan will take place October 12–14, 2013, at the Tokyo Disney Resort® in the Maihama area. Expo ticketing and program information will be announced in March.
D23 Expo Japan will also feature two special exhibitions celebrating landmark Disney milestones. First, to pay homage to The Walt Disney Company’s 90th Anniversary, D23 and the Walt Disney Archives will present Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, featuring nine decades of treasures from the Archives’ vast collection. Plus, the Tokyo Disney Resort will celebrate its 30th year with a special retrospective exhibit.?This special exhibition, presented by OrientalLand, operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, celebrates this milestone year by making D23 Expo Japan possible. Further details will be posted at http://disney.jp/D23 as they become available.
“We are thrilled to host this extraordinary, three-day event where all the wonderful worlds of Disney come together,” said Paul Candland, president, The Walt Disney Company Japan. “2013 marks The Walt Disney Company’s 90th anniversary, Disney Channel’s 10th, Disney Mobile’s fifth, the Disney–JCB Card’s fifth, Dlife’s first, and Tokyo Disney Resort’s 30th! The D23 Expo Japan allows us to show Disney’s tremendous appreciation to its fans.”
This event is supported by JCB Co., Ltd, and The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited as official sponsors.
Disney fans from around the globe flocked to Anaheim, Calif., for the first D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, in September 2009, followed by a second in August 2011. The next D23 Expo will take place August 9–11, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center and will feature: the 2013 Disney Legends Ceremony; a special exhibit from the Walt Disney Archives; the Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia, and merchandise; an all-new Fan Art Contest themed to the upcoming 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins, and a massive show floor full of special opportunities to see what’s on the horizon for Disney around the world.
For those that will be in the Hollywood, California area on the evening of Friday, January 11, Living Social and the El Capitan Theatre are now making tickets available to attend a special screening of Disney’s Peter Pan along with a special panel for just $11 per ticket.
Take flight for wonder and excitement with this offer: Pay $11 for one ticket to see Peter Pan playing at the El Capitan Theatre on January 11. Prior to the start of the movie, guests will be treated to a special panel discussion. This special panel discussion will be moderated by Leonard Maltin and will include conversations with Kathryn Beaumont (voice of Wendy), Ted Thomas (son of legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas and director/writer of the acclaimed documentaries Frank and Ollie and Walt & El Grupo), and Margaret Kerry (live-action reference model for Tinker Bell). This classic tale taught us all ‘to believe,’ introducing us to the Darling children — Wendy, John and Michael — as they flew with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell past the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning to the enchanted world of Never Land.
Audiences will also be entertained with a never-before-seen episode of Disney Jr’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates, plus an appearance by Jake, live on stage!
For more information and to purchase tickets for this rare opportunity, visit the Living Social deal page.
On November 13, 1997, Disney brought the staged, musical adaptation of its animated smash, The Lion King, to Broadway. Fifteen years later, it is now the the fifth longest-running musical in Broadway history, contains to sell out nightly and consistently has one of the top box-office intakes out of the dozens of theatrical offerings on Broadway alone.
As a thank you to the tens of millions of theater-goers who have seen the show as well as the millions more who will, Disney Theatrical has produced a free, time-limited exhibit appropriately titled ‘Inside The Lion King.’ Located at the corner of 42nd St and Sixth Ave in Manhattan, the exhibit gives visitors unprecedented access to not only ‘The Lion King,’ but the entire theatrical process. From concept design to modeling and mock-ups to fully realized costumes, the exhibit virtually makes the visitor part of the backstage experience itself. Here, photography is not only allowed, but encouraged, as is the ability to touch the costumes themselves and explore how they are constructed.
The individual displays are arranged around the exhibition by logical groupings as evidenced by the free exhibition ‘guide map’ handed out. Although the map has sections laid out in a circle, life appears to be more of a square. The map also encourages photos in particular with the Rafiki and Scar wax figures (on loan from Madam Tussauds) along with the adult Simba costume, but the truth is every step along the way is a virtual photo-op here, in particular with Zazu and Bertha, the elephant.
As guests travel around the exhibition, they’ll encounter several exhibition staff members willing to share information and enthusiasm about the musical. One of the several facts I personally heard over and over was that it takes four performers to operate Bertha [the elephant] — that’s one in each leg. In addition to the staff, there are two interactive touch-screen operated kiosks located towards the exit which offer up a wealth of information about the show across several categories.
While costumes and other artifacts make up the perimeter of the exhibit, the center portion of the room is dedicated to show merchandise — it is Disney after all. Virtually every item that can be purchased while attending the show is available to purchase here, though to be honest, the items are available through limited online channels as well. In either case, it’s a far broader offering than the limited theatrical merchandise one would find at the Disney Store in Times Square, making this a great place for a last-minute holiday gift or Christmas tree ornament. There is, however, one exclusive tshirt for the exhibit itself, offered only here. On a confusing side note, purchases seem to show up on statements as ‘Sister Act merchandise.’ From what I am told there are no discounts beyond Disney Cast Member, but there is a purchase with purchase offer: a reusable ‘The Lion King’ tote for $5 with any purchase. That said, it might be worth checking in towards the close of the exhibition just to be sure on any of the 2012. Another reason to stop by the exhibition is that tickets to the shows’ performances are being sold at the exhibit’s exit.
The exhibition will also play host to several workshops geared towards children aged six and up. For more information and for the current schedule, you can visit the official exhibition page.
‘Inside the Lion King’ is open daily from now through December 16 from 10 am – 8 pm, with limited hours on December 3 for private events. Admission is free.
Below is our gallery of images from the exhibit which represent a sample of what’s available to see hands-on, along with a video showing some of the highlights.