Come Face-to-Face with Freeform Stars at D23 Expo

D23 Expo truly is the ultimate Disney fan event, which means guests can celebrate their favorite stars, shows, songs and more from throughout the many worlds of Disney, including Freeform! Home to hit shows like the long-standing Pretty Little Liars to newer favorites like Shadowhunters, Freeform will host stars from four of its shows in “Talent Center” in Hall A. D23 Expo attendees can have the chance to meet members of The FostersStitchers and Shadowhunters, and welcome cast from a brand-new series, The Bold Type, to the Freeform family. See the appearance schedule below (subject to change, times and cast to-come) and stay tuned for more updates!

FRIDAY, JULY 14
Stitchers
The Fosters

SATURDAY, JULY 15 
Shadowhunters
The Bold Type

Disney Cruise Line Sails to Bermuda for the First Time and Visits New Ports Including Quebec City, Canada, in Fall 2018

In fall 2018, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to new ports, including first-time visits to Bermuda and Quebec City, Canada – both with multiple days to experience these captivating destinations. In addition to the new itineraries from New York to Bermuda and Canada, three special sailings from New York will take guests to Walt Disney World and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. Sailings from California, Texas and Florida round out the 2018 fall season.

Bookings open to the public on May 18, 2017. More details on 2018 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2018 page of disneycruise.com.

New sailings to Bermuda from New York

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line guests can sail to the beautiful island of Bermuda. Each of the five-night sailings includes two full days in Bermuda, while one special six-night sailing includes three days there.

An idyllic setting for outdoor enjoyment, Bermuda offers its famous pink sand beaches, lush forests and a range of water activities. Shopping and sightseeing are plentiful and, at only 21 square miles, the island is easy to navigate and explore. With its own distinctive blend of British and Caribbean culture, Bermuda boasts a rich history in sailing, a passion for cricket and a truly unique national attire – Bermuda shorts.

Disney Magic cruises to Bermuda from New York set sail in October 2018.

New cruises between New York and Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City, Canada, a new port for Disney Cruise Line, will be featured on two new itineraries sailing between New York and Quebec City. Both of these sailings include two full days in Quebec City as well as stops at other Canadian ports new to Disney Cruise Line – Saguenay and Baie-Comeau.

With towering fortresses, lavish castles, cobblestone streets and French-inspired cuisine, Quebec City offers a taste of European charm. Must-see sights include the historic and grand Chateau Frontenac hotel and the impressive Montmorency Falls, which measure 30 meters taller than Niagara Falls. Both Saguenay and Baie-Comeau offer natural beauty, picturesque ports and local cuisine featuring plentiful seafood, wild game and the indigenous and delectable cloudberries.

Two seven-night Disney Magic cruises between New York and Quebec City depart in September 2018.

More magic from New York on sailings to Walt Disney World and Castaway Cay

Fall 2018 Disney Magic sailings from New York also include three seven-night voyages to Walt Disney World. Each cruise includes a stop in Port Canaveral, Florida, located near the Walt Disney World Resort, and a day at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

Adding to the magic on these special sailings, every guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation between the ship and the theme parks. During their visit, guests can enjoy experiences like the new Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which will immerse guests in a mystical world of massive floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences.

Back by Popular Demand: Cruises from California, Texas and Florida

  • In September and October 2018, the Disney Wonder will sail from San Diego, California, to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja sailings visit Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico, both famous for stunning beaches and exciting water activities. Mexican Riviera sailings feature the snorkeling and scuba diving hot spots Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.
  • In November and December 2018, the Disney Wonder returns to Galveston, Texas, with a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries. All cruises to the Bahamas include a stop at Castaway Cay.
  • In December 2018, the Disney Magic will return to Miami with voyages to the Western Caribbean and Bahamas, including stops at Key West and Castaway Cay.
  • During late 2018, the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will continue to sail a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida, with every sailing including a day at Castaway Cay.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

 

Disney Parks LIVE Will Stream ‘Happily Ever After’ Debut May 12 at 8:55 PM ET

This Friday, May 12, “Happily Ever After” presented by Pandora Jewelry will take its place in Disney theme park history by becoming the third nighttime fireworks spectacular to ever blast off at the Magic Kingdom. And we want you to tune in to see the show’s grand debut performance!

The Disney Parks Blog will host a #DisneyParksLIVE stream of the show’s debut right here for all of you to watch this Friday, starting at 8:55 PM ET. Be sure to join a few minutes early, as we’ll kick off the broadcast with a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of “Happily Ever After.”

A fresh blog post will appear at the top of the blog on that day/time for viewing.
To follow along on Twitter, use the hashtags #DisneyParksLIVE and #HappilyEverAfter.

Tickets Now on Sale for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Heading to the Magic Kingdom this fall? Don’t miss out on our guest-favorite Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will start earlier than ever this year, with parties running on Aug. 25 & 29; Sept. 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 & 29; Oct. 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 & 31; and Nov. 1. The event will feature trick-or-treating, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show, Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and “Happy HalloWishes.” Guests of all ages are also welcome to dress up for the party (check the park costuming guidelines here).

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be held Nov. 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26 & 28; and Dec. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 & 22. The party will feature Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, “Holiday Wishes,” “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” and much more.

  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Advance ticket prices starting at $74 for adults and $69 for children (3-9).
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Advance ticket prices starting at $89 for adults and $84 for children (3-9).

For more information and to order tickets, head to Disneyworld.com, call 407-W-DISNEY or contact your travel agent. You’ll want to get these tickets early, because certain popular dates may sell out fast. Reservations for event-night dining and dessert parties will open later this summer.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ Zooms to $145M Debut

For the fifth year in a row, a superhero entry from Marvel and Disney has kicked off the summer box office in high style.

This time, the spoils belong to James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which debuted to $145 million from 4,347 theaters over the weekend  — more than 54 percent ahead of the first film — for an early global total of $427.6 million. Males fueled the movie (56 percent), while 40 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25.

In its second weekend of play overseas, the quirky superhero sequel earned another $124 million from 55 markets for an early foreign total of $282.6 million. Among new territories, China led with $48 million, followed by South Korea ($13.3 million) and Russia ($11.6 million).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has pushed the Marvel Cinematic Universe past $11 billion in combined global grosses, according to Disney.

Gunn’s follow-up sees the return of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord/Peter Quill, who brings his team back together to fight off evil forces while he seeks to unravel the mystery of his parentage. Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan star along with Vin Diesel as the voice of baby Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. Elizabeth Debicki, Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone join the cast for the new installment.

In early August 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy opened to $94.3 million, an impressive number for a lesser-known group of superheroes. The movie went on to earn $773.3 worldwide. Last summer, Warner Bros. and DC’s Suicide Squad, likewise based on lesser-known superheroes, opened to $133.7 million on its way to grossing $745.6 million worldwide.

Guardians Vol. 2 got the widest Imax opening ever, with 1,088 screens delivering $25 million worldwide.

Among holdovers, Universal’s The Fate of the Furious passed the $200 million mark domestically after grossing $8.5 million from 3,595 locations for a $1.16 billion cume globally. Universal’s Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, also scored a victory in topping the $200 million mark worldwide (the movie has earned $173.9 million domestically and $30.5 million offshore).

Pantelion Films’ How to Be a Latin Lover placed No. 5 with $5.3 million from 1,203 cinemas for a 10-day total of $20.7 million. And Indian film Baahubali: The Conclusion continued to impress, earning $3.2 million from a mere 425 theaters for a total $16.2 million.

While no other film dared open nationwide against Guardians Vol. 2, there were plenty of new offerings at the specialty box office.

Despite a high-profile ratings dust-up, The Weinstein Co.’s transgender drama 3 Generationsbombed in its debut, grossing $20,100 from six theaters for a theater average of $3,353. The movie stars Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon.

In comparison, A24’s The Lovers, starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts, opened to $70,410 from four theaters for an average $17,603.

Laura Poitras’ Julian Assange documentary, Risk, also debuted this weekend, earning $75,179 from 35 theaters for a disappointing theater average of $2,211. In 2015, Poitras won the Oscar for best documentary for Citizenfour, about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Neon is distributing Risk.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Jennifer Morrison Not Returning to Once Upon a Time

ABC’s Once Upon a Time is closing the book on one of its original stars.

In a surprising move, leading lady Jennifer Morrison (Emma) has decided to exit the fairy tale drama following the end of its current sixth season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Should there be a seventh season of the bubble drama, which sources say is highly likely, Morrison could return for one, maybe two, episodes.

“The past six years of collaborating with Jennifer as Emma Swan have been truly magical. Watching her breathe life into Emma, she accomplished more than we could have dreamed possible — she gave life to a brand-new Disney Princess, filled with strength and intelligence and an incredible closet full of red leather jackets,” series creators/showrunners Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis said in a joint statement. “We’ll miss seeing her every day, but her imprint upon Once Upon a Time is indelible. She will always be a part of the show and its heart and soul. That said, just because Jennifer won’t be back every week doesn’t mean we won’t see our savior again.”

The decision comes as a surprise for die-hard fans of Disney-infused Once Upon a Time as Morrison — along with Lana Parrilla (Regina), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold) and Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook) — were all said to be renegotiating new deals to return for a seventh season. The series, which remains on the bubble, is on the cusp of a major reboot, with a renewal leading to a big time jump in an effort to move the story forward. Other cast departures are expected to come as fellow leading lady Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Josh Dallas (Prince Charming) will likely follow Morrison out the door after this season. Goodwin and Dallas have said that they consider this season their final time with Once and neither was among those renegotiating a potential return earlier this year.

Morrison’s departure comes as the actress — who in June begins a co-starring role onstage opposite Matthew Perry in The End of Longing — had been vocal earlier this season about the potential to remain with the drama. “I have a really fierce loyalty to the show,” she said in January. “I am fiercely protective of the character.… I don’t have any interest in abandoning something that is such a special part of my life, but I also know I don’t have it in me to do it forever, so it’s more about a life decision, and I don’t even know how to make that life decision until I know what ABC even wants.”

“As I reached the end of my six-year contract on Once Upon a Time, I was faced with a significant decision. ABC, Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz very generously invited me to continue as a series regular. After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on,” Morrison said in a statement. “Emma Swan is one my favorite characters that I have ever played. My six years on Once Upon a Time has changed my life in the most beautiful ways. I am absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of the Oncer fans. I am so honored to have been a central part of such a special show. I will be forever grateful to Adam, Eddy, and ABC for giving me the gift of playing Emma Swan. As I move on to other creative endeavors, I will continue to attend the fan conventions whenever my professional schedule allows. I always look forward meeting the fans. If ABC does in fact order a season seven, I have agreed to appear in one episode, and I will most certainly continue to watch Once Upon a Time. The creativity of the showrunners has always inspired me, and I cannot wait to see the ways that they continue to develop and reinvent the show.”
Morrison’s exit comes a day after the penultimate episode of season six seemingly wrapped up Emma’s story. Sunday’s installment saw Morrison’s Emma finally walk down the aisle and marry Hook (O’Donoghue) — only to be hit by a curse and transported to places unknown.

“The way we look at it is, these are stories for these characters, and there are set endpoints to different stories,” Horowitz recently told reporters, including THR, of what’s to come in the May 14 season finale. “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t new stories for different characters. I think that by the end of the season finale, a lot of what we’ve been doing for the last six years is wrapped up — we hope in a very satisfying way — and then we move forward in a way that at the end of it, hopefully you’ll see what we’re hoping to do in season seven.”

Added Kitsis: “We understand that this could be the last year. We feel like we’ve completed this story, and the next chapter of Once Upon a Time will be completely different…. Creatively, it’s time to end a few stories.”

Once Upon a Time is averaging a 1.0 in the key adults 18-49 demographic and 3.3 total viewers during its sixth season. Those returns grow 60 and 42 percent, respectively, with seven days of DVR. The fan-favorite drama remains an important extension of the Disney brand, though its numbers have fallen off considerably this season.

Should ABC renew it, the series would heavily feature The Walking Dead alum Andrew J. West and Jane the Virgin‘s Alison Fernandez — who both make their debut in the season-six finale. West is rumored to play an older version of Jared Gilmore’s Henry.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear which other series regulars will remain for a potential seventh season. The two-hour Once Upon a Time season-six finale airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

From The Hollywood Reporter

The Guardians of the Galaxy Arrive May 27 at Disney California Adventure

Whether guests know the quirky characters from Guardians of the Galaxy through comic books, animated television series or films, they have yet to step into their story – until now! Beginning May 27, this popular gang of misfits arrives at Disney California Adventure Park in the irreverent, new attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! In addition, guests will come face to face with Groot for the first time in a Disney theme park, and they’ll discover some of his pals in live entertainment shows and heroic encounters.

Groot, Rocket, Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians are cosmic adventurers who travel the galaxy to defend it from those who wish it harm. They are a few of the characters guests will encounter during Summer of Heroes, starting May 27, only at Disney California Adventure Park.

Guardians of the Galaxy­ – Mission: BREAKOUT! is a thrilling, hilarious adventure that blasts guests into the story of these characters with all-new visual and audio effects, plus the attraction’s own “awesome mix tape” of music inspired by the films’ soundtracks. Guests will experience multiple, random ride experiences as they join Rocket, one of the galaxy’s most unusual heroes, in a daring plan to free the captive Guardians from The Collector’s Fortress.

Characters in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Rocket (aka Subject 89P13)

Distinctive trait: Among his many quirks is an uncanny ability to break out of any confined space or prison.

A unique genetic creation, the tough-talking Rocket may resemble a certain Earth rodent, but it’s unlikely one of his kind could be found anywhere else in the galaxy. Rocket’s abrasive attitude sometimes causes friction with his partners, though his unparalleled genius in mechanics and engineering usually make up for any disagreeable tendencies.

Star-Lord (aka Peter Quill)

Distinctive trait: The leader of these cosmic adventurers likes to dance and has a passion for 60s and ‘70s music.

A headstrong intergalactic adventurer, Star-Lord (aka Peter Quill) was taken from his Earthly home at a young age, growing up in outer space alongside the pirate-like Ravagers. As the intrepid Star-Lord, Quill travels the cosmos in his spaceship, the Milano, seeking his fortune. Equipped with a high-tech blaster and a mix-tape of music from home, Star-Lord leads an unlikely team of interstellar misfits–the Guardians of the Galaxy–in their attempts to do a little good, a little bad, or a little of both.

Guests may also join Star-Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” several times daily near Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!


Gamora

Distinctive trait: Highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, martial arts and stealth techniques

A daughter of the evil Thanos, Gamora sought to escape her violent past and build a new life free from her prior sins. When an unlikely twist of fate caused her to join the Guardians, the one-time Most Dangerous Woman in the Galaxy found her skills put to a better use saving countless lives.

Guests also will see Gamora during “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” several times daily near Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Drax the Destroyer

Distinctive trait: Super-human strength, stamina and durability

Drax is a headstrong warrior whose reputation as The Destroyer is both feared and respected throughout the sector. Despite his formidable outward appearance, the fierce fighter’s lust for battle conceals a compassionate heart. Though once scarred by the loss of his family, the peculiar Drax has found a new home with his equally eccentric allies in the Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

Groot (aka Flora Colossus)

Distinctive trait: Only says three words–“I am Groot!”

A tree-like creature of few words, Groot formed a bond with the creature known as Rocket. Joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot and his best friend Rocket travel through space getting into trouble wherever they go.  Extremely powerful and resilient, Groot has the power of regeneration, allowing him to re-grow limbs and even his entire form very quickly.

Groot makes an appearance near the end of the “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” show as he arrives for heroic encounters with guests.

The Collector (aka Taneleer Tivan)

Distinctive trait: Eerie obsession with collecting one-of-a-kind items, be they objects or species.

After foreseeing a vision showing the end of all life, Taneleer Tivan devoted his life to finding and preserving unique beings and artifacts from throughout the universe, which is how he became known as The Collector. He runs his large fortress like a dictator and threatens his employees if they do not comply. These employees have been “collected” from various planets throughout the galaxy. If The Collector is not pleased with their performance, they might find themselves as permanent parts of the collection.

 
Apheta

Distinctive trait: She is original to the. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!  attraction.

A Krylorian female, Apheta is the director of operations for the Tivan Collection. Although this sounds somewhat important, she remains under the thumb of the Collector with her every order and every move scrutinized.


Mantis

Distinctive trait: Ability to sense the emotions of others

A strange alien, Mantis slowly ingratiates herself with the Guardians with the help of her empathic powers. These abilities allow her to read the underlying emotions at play within the group, which make for some embarrassing, hilarious, and touching moments in the new film, “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.” Mantis forms a special bond with Drax, who teaches her about the universe, and the meaning of family from his own unique perspective.

Disneyland to Debut New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience

There’s a new way to take in the Tomorrowland skyline at Disneyland, from a unique point of view! To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Space Mountain at Disneyland Resort, a new lounge experience will debut in Tomorrowland on May 26.

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

The new Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience features retro décor and desserts—both sweet and savory, as well as both hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages. The lounge area will be open to guests from 8-10 p.m. If a fireworks spectacular is scheduled, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse right from your seat.

New Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience to Debut in Disneyland Park

Your interstellar snack box will include:

  • Mickey Cloud Cake: Cream-filled sponge cake
  • Chocolate Eclipse: Cream-filled chocolate cake drenched in chocolate
  • Coconut Comet: Coconut-strawberry iced sponge cake filled with cream
  • Planetary Pie: Mini cherry-filled pie
  • Moon Rocks: Boursin herbed cheese, cream cheese, shredded cheddar and jack cheese, chives, pimentos, bacon

Cost is $45 for ages 3 and older, tax included. Reservations are now open, and can be booked by visiting Disneyland.com/dining or by calling 714-781-DINE.

Disney to Bring Back ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ as a Facebook Show

Remember those Mouseketeers? They’re back, but for a Facebook audience.

Disney is creating a new series called “Club Mickey Mouse,” a remixed version of the classic variety show “Mickey Mouse Club” that aired on-and-off between 1955 and 1996. But instead of airing on TV like its predecessor, “Club Mickey Mouse” will be a Facebook exclusive series.

“That’s the beauty,” Josh Mattison, vice president of digital ad sales for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, told CNBC. “We’re not bound to one format. We’re not bound to one length. … You don’t have those same lines when you’re not producing 11s and 22s [referring to 11-minutes and 22-minute standard length TV series]. What makes sense for a consumer? How long would you spend looking at something?”

The announcement was made during its Digital Content NewFront presentation in New York on Tuesday, which is an annual presentation where advertisers preview upcoming online video programming. Other Facebook shows included a series focused on millennial fathers, an animated gaming-themed show called “Coin,” and an IBM-sponsored Star Wars series called “Science and Star Wars,” which is also part of the Facebook Anthology program.

“Branded content is a priority for Facebook,” Rita Ferro, president of advertising sales for Disney, told CNBC. “We’re going to be working with them on a bunch of things.”

“Club Mickey Mouse” is one of nine programs created in partnership with Facebook Anthology, advertising partnerships between the platform, media companies and brands.

“It’s really a partnership with Facebook where we come to the market together,” Ferro said.

No cast has been named for “Club Mickey Mouse,” but the company will draw from Maker Studios, its in-house multichannel network and talent company. The original “Mickey Mouse Club” was notable for launching the careers of Annette Funicello, Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Kerri Russell, among others.

Disney Wonder Becomes First Passenger Vessel To Transit New Panama Canal Locks

The Disney Wonder transited the Panama Canal as the first passenger vessel to go through the canal’s new set of locks, marking a milestone for the cruise industry. The Disney Cruise Line 2,713-passenger ship was transformed in late 2016, expanding the length of the Disney Wonder to 984 feet.

Headlining the ship’s enhancements are new imaginative spaces for children – including areas themed to the Marvel Universe and Disney’s “Frozen” – a jazzy restaurant inspired by Disney’s “Princess and the Frog,” and an authentic neighborhood English pub with subtle nods to classic Disney films.

The Disney Wonder Panama Canal crossing is part of a 14-night voyage from Port Canaveral, Fla., to San Diego, where the ship will sail cruises to Baja, Mexico, before a summer season from Vancouver to Alaska.