Frozen Summer Fun – LIVE at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Extended

Anna & Elsa

The insanely popular ‘Frozen Summer Fun – LIVE! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ has been extended into the fall.

Originally planned to end on September 1, 2014, the Frozen event will now run until September 28, 2014.

Most of the entertainment will be running daily during the extended period, with the exception of the Frozen fireworks, which will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only September 5 – 28, 2014.

Advertisements

Tickets For D23 Expo 2015: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Go On Sale Thursday, August 14th

D23 Expo 2015

On Thursday, August 14, at 10 a.m. PT, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will begin selling tickets for the next D23 Expo, which will take place August 14–16, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The largest Disney fan event in the world, the D23 Expo celebrates all the wonderful worlds of Disney entertainment, uniting all parts of The Walt Disney Company under one roof, including The Walt Disney Studios (including Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm); Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; Disney Consumer Products; Media Networks (including ABC, Disney Channel, and Radio Disney) and Disney Interactive. D23 Expo 2015 marks the fourth bi-annual event held in Anaheim.

More than 65,000 Disney fans from around the world gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2013 for the third D23 Expo. Once again, the Expo will celebrate the past, present, and future of Disney with live events, celebrity appearances, panels, presentations, sneak peeks, and immersive experiences.

D23 Expo 2015 marks the return of fan favorites including the Disney Legends Awards, honoring the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy; andTreasures of the Walt Disney Archives, which spotlights costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney’s rich history.

As in previous Expos, D23 Expo 2015 will showcase all of the latest stars in the Disney universe. In 2013, celebrity appearances included Angelina Jolie, Chris Evans, Billy Crystal, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston, with performances by Idina Menzel, R5 featuring Ross Lynch, and a once-in-a-lifetime concert with Disney Legends Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken. Additionally, Disney executives and creative talent came together to deliver special presentations, announcements, and experiences to Disney fans throughout the three-day extravaganza.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. From August 14–December 31, 2014, tickets are $61 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $52 for a one-day adult admission and $37 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $268 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate.

Early Bird (August 14 – December 31, 2014)

D23 Members:           1-Day        3-Day

Adult                              $52            $149

Child                              $37             $104

General:

Adult                              $61             $176

Child                              $42             $122

Advanced Tickets (January 1 – June 30, 2015)

D23 Members:

Adult                              $58              $169

Child                               $42              $139

General:

Adult                                $67             $196

Child                                $48             $139

Expo Admission (July 1 – August 16, 2015)

D23 Members:

Adult                                 $65            $188

Child                                 $48             $139

General:

Adult                                 $74            $216

Child                                  $54            $156

In addition to these special advance-purchase savings, an extremely limited number of D23 VIP Sorcerer Packages will once again be available. Based on fan feedback, even more benefits have been added this year including exclusive opportunities in the Walt Disney Imagineering pavilion and Mickey’s of Glendale.

The SORCERER PACKAGE includes:

  • Three-day admission ticket and commemorative Sorcerer credential
  • Reserved seating at all presentations in the main hall, Stage 23, and Stage 28 (must sign up for presentations in advance)
  • Commemorative Sorcerer level access credential
  • Exclusive D23 Expo 2015 Samsonite luggage piece
  • Pre-Expo tour of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit
  • Special tour of the Walt Disney Imagineering Pavilion
  • Exclusive shopping time in the D23 Expo Dream Store, Disney Store, and Mickey’s of Glendale
  • Tour of the D23 Expo show floor the day before the Expo opens to the public
  • Welcome Reception on Thursday evening
  • Exclusive entrance to the Expo each morning
  • First opportunity to pre-purchase D23 Expo Dream Store select themed merchandise
  • Exclusive D23 Expo gift pack including gifts from D23 and the rest of The Walt Disney Company
  • Saturday morning Meet and Greet Coffee with a special Disney guest
  • “Fond Farewell” reception on final day of Expo
  • Plus, daily access to the Sorcerer Member Lounge

Sorcerer member lounge: Open from (9 a.m. – 7 p.m.)

  • Complimentary snacks throughout day (11a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Cash Bar (noon – 6 p.m.)
  • Access to purchase food in Lounge
  • Archives exhibit
  • Dedicated Sorcerer Concierge desk
  • Baggage Check area
  • Masseur on site (for pay) (10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.)
  • One voucher for 20­-minute free massage

Sorcerer Package tickets are available exclusively to both Gold and Silver D23 Members at $2,000 per ticket. Members have the option to purchase up to two Sorcerer tickets.

D23 Gold and Silver Members are entitled to early admission to the Expo show floor and D23 will once again give a special thanks to D23 Charter Members, providing them special access to the Expo’s Charter Member Lounge.

2014 Orlando Classic Bracket Announced

orlando-classic-2014

The bracket for the 2014 Orlando Classic – to be played Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 27, 28 & 30 at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World resort near Orlando, Fla. – has been set. The eight competing teams include Georgia Tech, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Rhode Island, Rider, Santa Clara and Tennessee.

The multi-day, destination event will feature 12 games over three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracketed-tournament format. Eight of the 12 matchups, including the championship game, will be showcased on ESPN or ESPN2. ESPNU will carry three games and one will be exclusive to ESPN3.

The tournament tips off Thanksgiving Day with all four games airing on ESPN2, starting with Santa Clara (West Coast) versus Tennessee (SEC) at noon ET, immediately followed by Kansas (Big 12) versus Rhode Island (Atlantic 10) at 2 p.m. Thursday’s evening session will showcase Michigan State (Big Ten) against Rider (MAAC) at 6:30 p.m. and wrap with a battle between Marquette (BIG EAST) and Georgia Tech (ACC) at 8:30 p.m.

The Orlando Classic will feature three teams that earned berths in the 2014 NCAA Championship: Michigan State lost to eventual NCAA champion Connecticut in the Elite Eight; Tennessee advanced to the Sweet 16 and Kansas played in the third round.

For more information, please visit http://www.OrlandoClassic.com

Orlando Classic (Schedule subject to change)

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Mon, Nov 24

TBD

Santa Clara at Michigan State^

TBD

 

8 p.m.

Rider at Kansas^

TBD

Thu, Nov 27

Noon

Santa Clara vs. Tennessee

ESPN2

2 p.m.

Kansas vs. Rhode Island

ESPN2

6:30 p.m.

Michigan State vs. Rider

ESPN2

8:30 p.m.

Marquette vs. Georgia Tech

ESPN2

Fri, Nov 28

Noon or 2:30 p.m.

Consolation #1

ESPN or ESPNU

Noon or 2:30 p.m.

Semifinal #1

ESPN or ESPNU

6:30 p.m.

Consolation #2

ESPNU

9 p.m.

Semifinal #2

ESPN2

Sun, Nov 30

10:30 a.m.

7th-place Game

ESPN3

1 or 4 p.m.

3rd-place Game

ESPN or ESPN2

6:30 p.m.

5th-place Game

ESPNU

1 or 4 p.m.

Championship Game

ESPN or ESPN2

^ – Non-bracketed game

‘Big Hero 6’ Characters Coming to Disney Parks

Big Hero 6

With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who’s catapulted into the midst of a dangerous plot and must transform his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—and a diverse group of friends into a band of high-tech heroes.

Disney announced today that Hiro and his huggable buddy Baymax will be flying to Disney Parks this fall, visiting both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort to greet fans. Look for more details in the coming weeks on where and when you’ll be able to meet these new Disney heroes! And look for “Big Hero 6” to hit theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

Significant ‘Star Wars’ Presence Planned for Disney Theme Parks

Star Wars Logo

From Variety – 

The Walt Disney Company plans for “a far greater ‘Star Wars’ presence” in its theme parks, company chief Bob Iger said Tuesday.

The first look at new attractions based on the sci-fi franchise, beyond “Star Tours” that currently operates at several of its parks, will be revealed next year, Iger said during a conference call with analysts to discuss Disney’s record third quarter results.

The move comes as Disney is readying to release a new “Star Wars” film in theaters starting Dec. 18, 2015, that J.J. Abrams is currently directing.

Lucasfilm and Disney also will host Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim on April 16-19, while “Star Wars” is expected to have a major presence at the D23 Expo, Aug. 14-16, again from the Anaheim Convention Center.

Disney opted not to inject more “Star Wars” into its parks until its $4 billion acquisition of the company was complete. Deal also gives it the Indiana Jones franchise, already represented by a ride and stunt show at Disney’s resorts.

During the call, Iger said when Disney now decides to build new attractions, “the likelihood of their success is greater” when they’re branded. “When we grow ‘Star Wars” presence, which we will do significantly, you will see better bets being made that will pay off for us than were made in the past,” adding that leveraging the collection of popular franchises and properties that the company owns for rides and experiences will deliver “better returns than we saw in the past.”

Disney has enjoyed a considerable uptick in attendance after the introduction of new rides and themed lands designed around its popular film properties. The “Cars”-themed land at California Adventure, which was part of a $1 billion overhaul of that park, has been a major draw to that park since it opened; an expansion of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom is now complete and has guests lining up for hours to ride the “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” ride in Orlando.

“Toy Story” themed lands are now also attracting guests at Disney resorts in Hong Kong and Paris, while “Avatar” rides are being built inside Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, also in Orlando.

“These are attractions that pull people from I’m going to go to a Disney park someday to I want to go this year,” said Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo, during the call.

Although ESPN is a major moneymaker for Disney overall, the company has a limited presence inside the company’s parks. It does operate several ESPN Zone restaurants at its Downtown Disney entertainment complexes.

“In general, the experience people want is more of a storytelling experience, not necessarily a sports experience,” Iger said. “The presence (of ESPN at the parks) doesn’t seem to be that obvious.”

When asked if Disney was looking to broker new licensing deals with other franchise owners for attractions the way it did with James Cameron’s “Avatar,” Iger dismissed the notion, citing properties owned by Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm,

“We don’t have to license from third parties,” he said. “We own them all.”

Disney 3rd Quarter Profits Jump Thanks to Movies, Parks, and Products

The main gate of entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank

Media company Walt Disney Company’s quarterly profit blew past Wall Street expectations, with a muscular performance from its “Captain America” movie, higher attendance at U.S. theme parks and brisk sales of merchandise tied to mega-hit “Frozen.”

Net income rose to $2.2 billion in the quarter ended on June 28, up 22 percent from the year-ago period, the company said on Tuesday. Diluted earnings per share reached a record $1.28, beating analysts’ average forecast of $1.17 in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S survey.

Revenue rose to 8 percent $12.47 billion.

Shares of Disney rose 15 cents in after-hours trading to $86.90 after closing at $86.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said the company’s earnings per share for the first three quarters of fiscal 2014 were greater than any previous full fiscal year.

“Our strategy of building strong brands and franchises continues to create great value across our company,” Iger said in a statement.

Operating income at Disney’s media networks division was flat at $2.3 billion and declined 7 percent for the unit’s cable networks segment, due to a decrease at sports juggernaut ESPN. ESPN fell in part from higher programming and production costs for Major League Baseball and the FIFA World Cup, and the absence of ESPN UK, which had been sold, Disney said.

At the movie studio, operating income more than doubled to $411 million, thanks to the success of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Maleficent” in theaters and home entertainment sales for “Frozen.”

The theme parks unit reported operating income of $848 million, up 23 percent from the prior year and driven by the company’s U.S. operations. Both attendance and guest spending rose at domestic parks.

The company is drawing up plans to add a “far greater ‘Star Wars’ presence” at its theme parks, Iger said, and hopes to announce details next year. He assured analysts the next “Star Wars” movie, “Episode VII,” remains set for release on December 18, 2015, despite an injury to star Harrison Ford.

Operating income for consumer products rose 25 percent to $273 million thanks to increases at Disney retail stores and in its licensing business for products related to “Frozen,” the Disney Channel, “Spider-Man” and “Planes.”

Disney’s interactive gaming unit reported its fourth consecutive quarterly profit with help from sales of its Disney Infinity toy-and-game combo. Operating income for the unit totaled $29 million.

Analysts asked Iger if he felt the need to acquire new companies to increase Disney’s scale as other media companies plan mergers.

Iger said the company felt confident Disney can “continue to mine growth from the channel properties that we own.”

“We like the hand that we have,” he said.

Disney Announces 2015 Dining Plan Details

Disney-Dining-Plan

According to AJ at The Disney Food Blog –

Details for the 2015 Disney Dining Plans are starting to emerge!

There doesn’t seem to be many changes so far in the 2015 plans, but let’s take a look at a few updates.

2015 Quick-Service Disney Dining Plan Changes

Disney has added the new Starbucks at Downtown Disney West Side to the plan for 2015. Only breakfast can be redeemed as a quick service meal.

2015 Table-Service Disney Dining Plan Changes

  • Las Ventanas at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has been added to the line-up. Breakfast and lunch can be redeemed for a table-service credit.
  • Photos are no longer included at Cinderella’s Royal Table and will now have an extra charge.

2015 Premium and Platinum Disney Dining Plan Changes

Here’s an update:

  • Two tours — Wild by Design and Backstage Safari — are no longer offered.
  • The cost has increased; figure an additional $5-$10 per person per night.
  • No longer include preferred viewing locations for Illuminations and Wishes.

2015 Disney Dining Plan Restaurants

See an in-progress list of the 2015 Disney Dining Plan Restaurants here. Remember, many Disney World restaurants do not re-register with the Dining Plan until the end of the year.

Package Extras

Look for new benefits such as food and merchandise discounts and a 15% discount on some Walt Disney World tours.

Olaf MagicBand Now Available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Olaf Magic Band

As the “Frozen” Summer Fun celebration continues at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a new, limited edition retail MagicBand, featuring Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen”  is now available at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The shop is located between Toy Story Midway Mania and Studio Backlot Tour. I spoke with Kevin-Michael Lezotte, merchandiser for retail MagicBands, about this latest addition.

“We saw a great response from guests when we released two limited edition MagicBands during Star WarsWeekends earlier this year,” explained Kevin-Michael. “This new MagicBand is pre-printed with an image of Olaf ‘chillin’ in summer, and will be presented in a specially designed packaging. These pre-printed MagicBands are another great way guests can show off their Disney Side while visiting Walt Disney World Resort this summer.”

This limited edition retail MagicBand will have an edition size of 5,000, and will have a retail of $29.95 (plus tax).

This new MagicBand will join three open edition MagicBands inspired by Disney’s “Frozen,” which are currently offered in Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.

As with all retail MagicBand purchases, guests must present one of the following for the MagicBand to be linked to at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or another MagicBand.

These specific “Frozen” MagicBands will not be offered on the Disney Parks online store or via Merchandise Guest Services team.

Guests, however, can find other select MagicBand accessories, like MagicBandits and MagicSliders, online at DisneyParks.com/Store.

‘Club Villain’ Character Dance Party Added to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

MNSSHP

This year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will feature an all-new nightly character dance party experience.

Club Villain will take place in the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland and  will give guests the chance to dance with the villains throughout the night.

HalloWishes fireworks will return this year along with the twice-nightly Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, and the Villains Mix and Mingle castle stage show. Trick and treating will take place throughout the park, with appearances from the Disney characters.

Party dates for 2014 are: September 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26 & 28 and October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30 & 31.

Fantasia Gardens Mini-Golf Opens Ahead of Schedule

fantasia_gardens

Last month I reported that the Fantasia Gardens mini-golf course was undergoing a staggered closing for rehabilitation.  WDWMagic is now reporting that the gardens side of the Fantasia Gardens mini-golf is back open ahead of schedule following its refurbishment.

Originally scheduled to be closed until August 8th, the course is now back open daily. Some paint work remains to be completed, but will be completed with the course open.