Jessica Chastain as Merida is Annie Leibovitz’s Newest Disney Dream Portrait Muse

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Jessica Chastain as Merida in Disney Dream Portrait by Annie LiebovitzAlthough we will have to wait until tomorrow to see the actual portrait, ETOnline has announced that actress Jessica Chastain is the next to be the subject in the ‘Disney Dream Portrait’ series by Annie Leibovitz for Disney Parks and Resorts.

In the portrait, for which ET has already shared a behind-the-scenes video look (embedded below), Chastain assumes the role as Merida from Disney Pixar’s Brave. Chastain joins a long line of celebrities who have assumed the roles of Disney heroes and heroines and even figures from theme park attractions.

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Jennifer Hudson as Tiana in Latest Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz

Jennifer Hudson as Tiana in Disney Dream Portrait by Annie LeibovitzVia its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled the first few of a new series of portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz portraying celebrities in iconic classic Disney roles.

The new image features Jennifer Hudson as Tiana from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature film, The Princess and the Frog.

The image has been added to the beginning of our gallery of Disney Dream portraits below:

The image will be included as a special inserts in upcoming issues of Vanity Fair, O – The Oprah Magazine, and People.

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Tokyo Disney Announces New Castle Projection Show, Reimagined ‘The Little Mermaid’ Show

Mermaid Lagoon Theater Concept ArtThe Oriental Land Company, owner and operator of the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Chiba, Tokyo announced entertainment additions, changes and termination of several entertainment opportunities in both its Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks.

Following in the footsteps of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle will become the focal point of a new night-time projection-mapping show titled ‘Once Upon A Time.’ With an investment of approximately 2 billion yen (US $21.1 million), the fifteen minute show will open mid-2014 and will include special effects such as on-stage pyrotechnics while using music and imagery from many of Disney’s animated classics such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland.

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Disney Increases Ticket Prices at Theme Parks; Charges More for Magic Kingdom

Effective tomorrow, June 2, 2013, your Disney Parks vacation is likely to get a bit more expensive, particularly if you haven’t yet purchased tickets. That’s because — as it should come as little surprise — the theme parks are once again raising the price of its admission.

Different this year, however, is that for a single day ticket, admission to the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort is now more expensive than at its other three parks, at $95 per adult as opposed to $90 for the latter.

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‘Monstrous Summer’ Event at Walt Disney World Details

Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan from Monsters UniversityIn addition to some of the upcoming additions to the Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic that we reported earlier today, we have some details on Walt Disney World’s ‘Monstrous Summer’ that are expected to be confirmed/announced later this week during a press event.

To confirm reports from other sources, on May 24, 2013, the Magic Kingdom will play host to a 24 hour party, which will feature appearances by Mike Wazowski and James P. ‘Sulley’ Sullivan as their Monsters University meet and greet persona, as pictured here.

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Disney Seeks to Patent Live Action Role Play for Theme Parks

ROLE-PLAY SIMULATION ENGINE With a patent application titled simply ‘Role-Play Simulation Engine,’ Disney Parks may be looking to use its NextGen technology base and cash in on the CosPlay/LARPing — that’s Live Action Role Play — crazes and bring a brand new experience to its theme parks.

The patent allows for guests to participant in ‘long-form role play’ events in which they interact with performers that are employed by the park to engage the guest in the role-playing activities. The performers don’t even need to be humans either. They can be audio animatronics, for example, or something as simple as a video screen that triggers in response to the guest’s arrival.

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‘Disney Springs’ Re-Do for Downtown Disney Officially Announced – To be Completed in 2016

Disney Springs Model (Night time)

Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.

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Fantasy Faire Preview for Disneyland Annual Passholders

The Disneyland Resort has announced that it will be offering a passholder-only preview for the new Fantasy Faire at Disneyland prior to its official opening on March 12, 2013.

The AP preview will take place between March 7 and March 9, from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Each passholder is allotted two hours within that period to experience the Fantasy Faire.

To obtain wristbands, passholders may begin registering inside the entrance to Frontierland starting at 10:30 am on the day of the event. All participating Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event and must register in person. It is recommended that all members of the party register at the same time.

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Speculation: Disney’s Avatarland Development May Be Way Off Track

Disney’s ‘Avatarland’ expansion, based on the successful James Cameron film franchise, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom may in fact be in trouble as rampant rumors have speculated in recent months. Yet just as recently as December, Disney has remained adamant that everything was just fine, according to this article by the Orlando Sentinel.

But according to paperwork recently filed with the Orange County comptroller’s office, everything may not be hunky-dory in the land of the Na’vi. The document calls for the installation of FASTPASS+ for ‘Festival of the Lion King,’ a show that was expected to close and relocate elsewhere in the park to make way for the ‘Avatarland,’ which is said to replace Camp Minnie-Mickey.

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VIDEO: ‘Disney Kudos’ Park Achievements Game Leaked; NextGen’s ‘Story Maker’ New Chapter

'Disney Kudos' Website ConceptWhile the Walt Disney World Resort has had gaming experiences for some time such as Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom and soon A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas, the Disneyland Resort has appeared to escaped unscathed from the diversions. In truth, the resort has quietly been working on a project called Disney Kudos, which up until now has been mostly a mystery.

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