Fan-Favorite Events to Take Center Stage at D23 EXPO 2015’s “Hall D23”

d23expo_2015

Where do all the worlds of Disney come together under one roof, taking you behind the scenes with The Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts?

The answer, of course, is D23 EXPO 2015—taking place August 14–16—and today D23 is happy to announce the lineup of the Expo’s most highly anticipated presentations. The Disney Legends Awards Ceremony, hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, will kick off the Expo on Friday, August 14. Later that same day, The Walt Disney Studios will give fans a sneak peek at all the latest from Disney Animation and Pixar. On Saturday morning, The Walt Disney Studios will preview the coming slate of live-action films from Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Then, on Saturday afternoon, fans will get a preview of what’s in store at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts during a presentation hosted by Parks Chairman Bob Chapek.

To showcase these Expo favorites, Disney is creating “Hall D23,” a new 7,500-seat venue located in Hall D of the Anaheim Convention Center, so that more guests than ever can see the presentations live and in person.

The Schedule of Hall D23 Events and Presentations includes the following (times and additional announcements forthcoming; all events subject to change):

The Disney Legends Awards Ceremony will take place Friday, August 14. The ceremony, hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, will once again honor those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy. The creativity and innovation of these visionaries and artists have earned them a place among such names as Dame Julie Andrews, Howard Ashman, Annette Funicello, Sir Elton John, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters, and Robin Williams. At D23 EXPO 2013, Tony Baxter, Collin Campbell, Dick Clark, Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Jobs, Glen Keane, and Ed Wynn were inducted.

In two separate Hall D23 sessions, The Walt Disney Studios will unveil an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at its upcoming film slate. At Friday’s session, fans will go in-depth with the talented filmmakers at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios to get a sneak peek at films such as Zootopia and Finding Dory. On Saturday, live-action titles such as Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Jungle Book and films from Marvel and Lucasfilm, along with some very special guests, take center stage.

On the afternoon of Saturday, August 15, join Bob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, for a behind-the-scenes peek at the magical experiences and entertainment coming to Disney parks and resorts around the world.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Until June 30, 2015, tickets are $67 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children 3–12. Tickets for D23 Members are $58 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $188 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

Disney’s Phineas and Ferb to End in June With 73-Hour Marathon

Phineas and Ferb

From USA Today – 

Phineas and Ferb, the angular brothers who found plenty of adventures in their backyard on Disney XD, will wrap it up June 12 after 126 episodes and well over 104 days of summer vacation.

But fear not, fans of their helpful spy Perry the Platypus or bumbling evildoer Dr. Hans Doofenschmirtz: Creators Dan Povenmire, the voice of Hans, and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh are creating a new series for the network to debut in 2017.

First, Phineas will get a proper sendoff with a 73-hour marathon of every episode, starting June 9 (8 p.m. ET/PT), that culminates June 12 with series finale “Last Day of Summer.” (A special about Perry and his fellow animal agents, “The O.W.C.A. Files,” is due this fall).

The new series, Mikey Murphy’s Law, centers on Mikey, the “fictional great-great-great-great-grandson” of the namesake for Murphy’s Law, which promises that anything that can go wrong, will.

Phineas premiered in 2007, won three Emmy Awards and for a time, says Disney, citing Nielsen data, was the top-rated animated series among tweens, thanks to multiple cable reruns, which will live on.

Rebel Hanger – A Star Wars Lounge Experience Coming to Star Wars Weekends

Rebel Hanger Food

Guests attending Star Wars Weekends will be able to find shelter and sustenance in the Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience. Reports have been made that this location was once a known hangout of Rebel pilots, aliens and smugglers; with the immersive environment and stellar bites.

Reservations can be made now online. The Rebel Hangar will be located in an area of Backlot Express.

Here is a look at the menu.

Galactic Garlic/Parmesan Fries – these are tossed with parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley with a garlic aioli for dipping.

Padmé Amidala Naboo Salad – seared chicken breast, bibb lettuce, grape tomatoes, watermelon radish, almond frica, and a parmesan-peppercorn ranch dressing.

Lightsaber Bites – hand-dipped corn-battered knockwurst sausages with house-made chips and mustard dipping sauce.

Chicken and Darth Vader waffles served with maple syrup and sweet barbecue sauce.

Trio of Thermal Detonators – spicy pork wings topped with spicy piquillo-pepper sauce and slaw.

Slider Sampler featuring “The Sith” barbecue-braised brisket with cole slaw and “The Jedi” with barbecued pulled chicken with arugula.

Fruit and Cheese “Sabers” featuring Tillamook cheddar, Brie, goat cheese, pickled vegetables, crostini, cheddar crackers, blueberries, raspberries, honeydew melon, strawberry, olives and gherkins.

Darth Maul hummus with red pepper coulis, black sesame dust, and corn tortilla chips.

Yoda Key Lime Cake.

Trio of Star Wars mini cupcakes, including Darth Vader (chocolate-peanut butter), Yoda
(chocolate-hazelnut), and Jabba the Hutt (salted caramel latte) served in the Han Solo Carbonite
Souvenir Box.

A new drink menu will also be available:

  • Imperial Blue – Maker’s Mark Whisky, Cointreau, Blue Curacao, sweet and sour, topped with Sprite
  • Tatooine Sunset – Stoli vanilla, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, pineapple juice with grenadine
  • Rebel Red – Grey Goose vodka, Chambord, sour mix and a splash of grenadine
  • Dagobah Swamp Juice – Midori, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, sweet and sour, topped with lemon-lime foam
  • The Dark Side – Stoli vanilla vodka, Bailey’s liqueur, crème de cocoa and brownie garnish
  • Alderaan Ale

New Main Street Enchanted Windows Debut for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

DL Frozen Enchanted Window

If you’ve wandered down Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park recently, you may have noticed some of the windows along the front of the Emporium are covered. What is going on behind those blue curtains, you ask?

The beloved Main Street animated windows will come to life once again for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration as Main Street Enchanted Windows. Since the early 1960s, scenes from Disney animated classics have been featured in the windows of the Emporium at Disneyland park. This year, for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, these classic windows will be updated with new, exciting technology and effects.

There will be a total of six Main Street Enchanted Windows. The first two, featuring the stories of “Peter Pan” and “Cinderella,” will be unveiled in May, followed by “Frozen” and “The Princess and the Frog” in July, and “Toy Story” and “Aladdin” in August.

The Main Street Enchanted Windows are just another way the Disneyland Resort continues to delight guests in ways both big and small … from our new nighttime spectaculars and the addition of new magic to classic attractions, to special details that catch your eye as you stroll down Main Street, U.S.A. See it all for yourself when the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration begins May 22!

Bob Iger Says ‘Star Wars’ Rollout Plan “Extremely Deliberate”

star_wars_characters

From the Hollywood Reporter

Star Wars fans seeking clues as to what Disney has in store for the lead-up to the next film installment were treated to a slew of them Tuesday courtesy of Disney CEO Bob Iger, though details remain intentionally murky.

“We’ve already got some increased product in the marketplace, but the real ramp-up from the consumer-products perspective won’t come until just a few months prior to the release,” Iger said during a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is due out Dec. 18, and Disney says that, at midnight on Sept. 4 — dubbed “Force Friday” — stores worldwide will begin selling products related to the film, including lightsabers, action figures and Lego sets. Disney also confirmed Tuesday that the next iteration of its Infinity video game-toy hybrid will feature Star Wars characters.

Electronic Arts also has Star Wars Battlefront due in November.

“You can expect that there will be more game-related activity between now and the release,” said Iger.

Those hoping for an all-out blitz of merchandise, online trailers and various forms of manufactured hype between now and the release date, though, will be disappointed, as Iger says he worries about oversaturation.

“Generally speaking, you’re going to see us release, in a very careful way, certain elements of the film as part of a carefully designed marketing plan as we get much closer to the film,” said the CEO.

“This is already a very strong franchise, but a film has not been released in 10 years,” said Iger. “We’re not treating this as something that is brand new. We’re mindful of the fact that there’s a whole generation of people out there that were not as steeped in the Star Wars lore and not as in love with the franchise as an older generation.”

Star Wars definitely will play a bigger role at theme parks, too, though much of what’s being bandied about likely will appear after the movie opens, according to insiders.

“We have a huge opportunity there,” said Iger. “We’ve had single attractions, Star Tours, in multiple places around the world … and some Jedi training-academy related shows here and there, but the opportunity here in the U.S. and around the world is tremendous, and we’re doing some development work on it.”

Iger even acknowledged thinking about a Disney streaming service, perhaps something akin to the recently launched CBS All Access product, and he said Star Wars could play a role there, too.

“With these channels and these brands — ESPN, ABC, Disney, maybe even down the road something related to Star Wars and Marvel — we do have the ability as a company to take product, specifically filmed entertainment, telvision, movies, directly to consumers, and we got some development underway to do just that,” he said.

Iger boasted that the second Force Awakens teaser trailer released online garnered 80 million views in the first 24 hours and “hundreds of millions since. Quite amazing.”

Not that he needed confirmation, but research firm Amobee Brand Intelligence said Tuesday that there was 197 percent more digital consumption around the franchise on May 4 — “Star Wars Day” (May the fourth be with you.) — than there was for Avengers: Age of Ultron the day it opened, May 1.

Star Wars is part of the national cultural identity in a way where online interest far exceeds other popular movie franchises,” concluded Amobee.

The research firm said 54 brands engaged in Star Wars Day, including Amazon, Miller Lite, Subway and Volkswagen.

“Considering Age of Ultron has already made [$643.5] million globally, when the new Star Warsmovie is released in December, it will probably make enough money to fund a third Death Star,” said Amobee.

“There are markets around the world that weren’t as developed back 10 years ago,” noted Iger. “China is probably the best example. It’s now the No. 2 movie market in the world. Obviously, when the last Star Wars film released, it was barely a market from a movie perspective.”

“We are managing all this with great care,” continued Iger. “We are mindful of the fact that we need to market this and go after this new generation and new territories. We also want to be careful that the demand does not create almost too much in the marketplace too soon.

“And so, everything we have done to date has been extremely deliberate, and we have a carefully constructed and deliberate plan going forward in terms of what we roll out in the marketplace in terms of product and marketing.”

Iger concluded with: “We’ve got something here that is very, very special.”

Star Wars Is Coming to Disney Infinity

Disney Infinity 3.0

Toy-game wonks, listen up: Disney’s Infinity video game series will, as rumored, mark its third outing by packing Luke, Han, Leia, Darth Vader and many more into all new Star Wars-themed play sets when version 3.0 arrives for all the current and last-gen consoles, PC and mobile (iOS, Android) platforms this fall. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuting this December, I’m sure you’re totally surprised!

Disney, which harbors some of the world’s most iconic entertainment franchises (Star Wars, The Muppets, Marvel, and of course all the core Disney IP), announced Tuesday that Disney Infinity 3.0 will hit this fall. The Star Wars: The Clone Wars-focused starter pack, which includes a “Twilight of the Republic” play set, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, will set you back $64.99. That’s a little lower than its typical asking price, says Disney, and all of the 1.0 and 2.0 figures and power discs will be compatible with 3.0.

Disney says it plans to release three Star Wars play sets, the first (above) set during Episodes I-III, the second during the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) and the third, available a bit later this winter, based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In addition to those, expect new 3.0 play sets that tie into Infinity‘s previous Pixar- and Marvel-angled installments, a few tweaks to Toy Box mode (new gameplay types, including racing, platforming and farming) and new characters, including Ultron (The Avengers: Age of Ultron), Sam Flynn and Quorra (Tron: Legacy), Mulan (Mulan) and Olaf (Frozen).

Back to Star Wars, because that’s why you’re here, Disney says that in addition to the Clone Wars-themed “Twilight of the Republic” play set, another dubbed “Rise of the Empire” will check various original trilogy boxes, letting you play as Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and Vader, pilot X-Wings or the Millennium Falcon in space battles, or poke around planets like Tatooine, Hoth and–wait, sorry, not a planet–Endor.

And that’s just for starters. Disney says to expect more figure and play set announcements in the lead up to the game’s release.

Disney Parks Release Commemorative Star Wars Merchandise for May the 4th

From the Disney Parks Blog –

Being a long-time fan of Star Wars, I love visiting Disney Parks on May 4. This annual, fan-proclaimed “Star WarsDay” is a great day to ride Star Tours – The Adventures Continue with other fans who grew up in the Star Warsuniverse like I did. Here is a quick look at some commemorative items we’ve created to celebrate this day-long celebration at Disney Parks on May 4.

Star Wars Merch 1

This year, fans will find two T-shirts – one with Jedi Mickey for “May the 4th” and one with Goofy dressed as Darth Vader for “Revenge of the 5th.” The same artwork was used on two limited edition pins. A matching water bottle will be released in Florida only.

Star Wars Merch 2

A new 9-inch plush of an Ewok named Teebo will be released in both California and Florida that day.

Star Wars Merch 3

Guests in Florida will find two open edition MagicBands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with stylized images of Luke Skywalker and a Stormtrooper. Each will have a retail of $19.95; they both can be “linked later” making them great gifts.

Star Wars Merch 4

I’m also excited to share that we will release the Second Edition Star Wars headphones by SMS Audio, the official headphones of Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. This second series depicts fan favorite themes such as Tie Fighter, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Darth Vader. These headphones will only be found at Tatooine Traders in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Star Wars Merch 5

Finally, we will release an “I Am Your Father’s Day” shirt on the Disney Parks online store from May 4-10 at DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents. Please allow 3-5 weeks for delivery.

At Disneyland Resort, guests should look for the T-shirts and plush at The Star Trader in Disneyland park. The pins will be carried at Little Green Men Store Command in Disneyland park and at Disney’s Pin Traders in Downtown Disney District.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort, guests should visit the following locations to find select items: Tatooine Traders, Mickey’s of Hollywood, Beverly Sunset and Studio Prop Shop.

May the 4th Be With You!

 

Coming to the Walt Disney Family Museum – Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination

Disney and Dali

From an intangible dream to a phantasmagorical reality, The Walt Disney Family Museum is excited to announce Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination, on view from July 10, 2015 through January 3, 2016.

Guest-curated by filmmaker Ted Nicolaou, this extraordinary, immersive, and enriching experience tells the story of the unlikely alliance between two of the most renowned artists of the twentieth century: brilliantly eccentric Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí and American entertainment innovator Walt Disney. Presented through an interactive experience of original paintings, story sketches, conceptual artwork, objects, correspondences, archival film, photographs, and audio—many of which highlight work from Disney studio artists Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, John Hench, Kay Nielsen, and more—this comprehensive exhibition showcases two vastly different icons who were drawn to each other through their unique personalities, their mutual admiration, and their collaboration on the animated short Destino. Although the film was not completed during their lifetimes, the friendship between these two great men nevertheless endured.

The excitement for this exhibition is mounting, with great coverage seen already in The Huffington Post and NBC Bay Area.

Be among the very first to see this exhibition—Walt’s Circle donors and members at the Friend level and above will be invited to the Thursday, July 9 VIP preview. On Friday, July 10, all members will have a special opportunity to hear from guest curator and filmmaker, Ted Nicolaou. Members and their guests will enjoy a behind-the-scenes presentation from Nicolaou in the theater before touring the exhibition. To attend the preview and the exclusive curator talk, you can join today by visiting the membership page or by calling 415.345.6810. Note that members at the Friend level and above only are invited to the July 9 preview.