California Adventure Reveals Two of Pixar Pier’s Themed Billboards

PixarPierBillboards01

As before, when guests walk the down Disney California Adventure’s seaside boardwalk into Pixar Pier, large billboards will greet them. Now, however, the billboards will feature some of their favorite Pixar characters!

The billboards that decorate the wall between Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats and the Incredicoaster will now celebrate Up, Wall-E and more.

PixarPierBillboards02

Find the other two billboards when Pixar Pier opens on June 23rd!

Source: Disney Parks Blog



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Fox Board to Consider Comcast Offer During Wednesday Meeting

comcast-fox

21st Century Fox board members will discuss the recent $65 billion Comcast bid for their assets at a regularly scheduled meeting next week, according to Bloomberg sources.

Comcast put forth the bid on June 13th, one day after a federal judge approved AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. Fox owner Rupert Murdoch had chosen the $52.4 billion Disney deal over Comcast due to concerns of regulatory complications. Comcast has taken the June 12th decision as a good sign that a deal with them would be more likely to pass federal regulatory inspections than previously thought.

The Fox board will weigh the benefits of this new all-cash offer this coming Wednesday; if they decide that it is better than the current Disney all-stock deal, The Walt Disney Company will have five days to come back with a new bid.

This information comes from Bloomberg’s “sources close to the matter” who did not want to be identified.

Source: Bloomberg



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‘Disney Musicals in Schools’ Helps Build Theatrical Education Programs in Public Schools

Disney Musicals in Schools

For years, mini versions of classic Disney films such as Aladdin and The Lion King have been licensed to school groups and professional theaters by Disney Theatrical Productions. In parts of the country, some schools don’t have the resources necessary to stage a musical or to provide theatrical instruction to their students. Back in 2010, Disney Theatrical Group decided to do something about that.

“Here we were in New York City, in the heart of Times Square, and schools in our own backyard in Brooklyn, in Queens, in the Bronx, Staten Island, and Manhattan just weren’t producing these shows,” said Lisa Mitchell, Education Director for Disney Theatrical Group.

Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS) is a free program that was developed by Disney Theatrical Group and launched with the goal of bringing theatrical programs to under-resourced public elementary schools where there previously were none. Participating schools receive the performance rights to one of Disney’s half-hour musicals for kids, along with the corresponding show kit materials. But what really sets DMIS apart, Mitchell explained, is the support that the schools and their educators receive when they become involved with the program.

“We send in a pair of what we call ‘teaching artists’ who are professional musical theater artists and also professional educators,” Mitchell says.

The teaching artists work with the students but, more importantly, they’re mentoring the school educators and teachers.



“So over the course of the six-month process, the teachers learn how to become music directors, directors, choreographers, producers, stage managers, and designers, so that when we’re not there in the future they’ve got the training necessary to sustain this kind of work in the school for year after year after year,” says Mitchell.

In the past eight years, DMIS has extended to 18 cities, including the first international program, which launched in London earlier this year. Roughly 30,000 kids have now performed in their first school musical through the program. The participants come together annually in each city with a Student Share Celebration. During the event, hundreds of children take the stage for a night of song, dance, and Disney magic, beginning with a song written expressly for the Disney Musicals in Schools program by the legendary composer Alan Menken, “It Starts with a Dream,” performed together by all of the budding actors.

Mitchell says, “One of the things that surprises me most is how you can have two dozen versions of The Lion King take place on school stages around the country, and every single one of them—despite having the same script and the same score and the same plot—is completely unique to that school and that community.”

Gabby Mendoza, an educator who participated in Centre Theatre Group’s inaugural year with DMIS alongside her students at Humphreys Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, emphasizes that the program has had a transformative impact on students. “The students have discovered so much about the arts and themselves. It’s been a true journey, finding confidence week after week,” she says, and she notes that the teachers have reaped limitless benefits from the program, as well. “We’ve all been able to learn from each other, lean on each other, and discover strengths and passions in ourselves as educators. When we put our vision together, [we’ve seen] the powerful impact that the arts can have.”

Source: The Walt Disney Company



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Theaters to Warn ‘Incredibles 2’ Audiences of Strobe Light Risks

Incredibles 2 poster

Due to a string of Twitter references to the strong presence of rapidly flashing strobe lights throughout Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2, Disney has asked theaters to issue a warning before the film begins.

The credit for the notification’s addition goes primarily to blogger Veronica Lewis (@Veron4ica), whose Twitter thread and blog post went viral. In the thread she warns of the dangers to viewers with epilepsy, migraines, or chronic illness, as this film could have potentially triggering effects. Lewis wrote that while she wasn’t suggesting a boycott or alterations to the film, Incredibles 2 should operate under the same principles as other entertainment and electronics by stating a clear warning prior to the film.

HEALTH ALERT I haven’t seen this mentioned in a lot of places, but the new Incredibles 2 movie (#incredibles2) is filled with tons of strobe/flashing lights that can cause issues for people with epilepsy, migraines, and chronic illness. This thread is spoiler free

— Veronica Lewis (@veron4ica) June 15, 2018



So, the villain’s weapon of choice in the movie is bright white lights that are at a rapidly flashing/strobing frequency, with the intent to disorient people. One of these scenes lasts over 90 seconds with continuous strobe light, other scenes last anywhere from 5-30 seconds

— Veronica Lewis (@veron4ica) June 15, 2018

These scenes are also spread out across the movie and often come without warning. My descriptive audio device warned me about the larger scenes, but other times it was light strobe lights came out of nowhere for no reason.

— Veronica Lewis (@veron4ica) June 15, 2018



I am not calling for a boycott of Incredibles 2, or to change the movie. It is very well done, and the strobe lights are an important point in the plot. I just wish Disney/Pixar and theaters alike would issue a warning that the movie contains several scenes with strobe lights

— Veronica Lewis (@veron4ica) June 15, 2018

Video games, some music videos, live concerts, theme park attractions, and even consumer electronics provide warnings about strobe lighting effects and the potential for seizures and other adverse effects. Why not have the same thing be done for a movie targeted at kids?

— Veronica Lewis (@veron4ica) June 15, 2018



Parents have the right to make an informed decision about something that could impact their child’s safety and people with chronic illness have the right to learn about potential triggers/make steps to avoid them. Incredibles 2 needs a safety warning at the ticket window for this

— Veronica Lewis (@veron4ica) June 15, 2018

Please share this thread, as well as my blog post on the topic below, and help to protect people from dangerous health effects that can come from watching Incredibles 2.https://t.co/DuVG5H6yKo

/thread

— Veronica Lewis (@veron4ica) June 15, 2018



Source: Variety, @Veron4ica

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Record-Breaking Debut Sets ‘Incredibles 2’ Up for Possible $180 Million Opening Weekend

Incredibles 2 Trailer Scene

Disney·Pixar’s sequel about everyone’s favorite suburban superheroes is now predicted by industry insiders to reach upwards of $180 million in opening weekend box office ticket sales.

Incredibles 2 brought in record-breaking preview numbers on Thursday to the total of $18.5 million; combined with Friday’s opening day numbers, the film has grossed $71.5 million.

Disney’s projections put the film at a solid $120 to $140 million opening weekend, while industry professionals estimated approximately $150 million. Thanks to the impressive preview and first day, that estimate has now been raised to $180 million or more.

Incredibles 2 continues the adventures of the Parr family, as Elasti-Girl helps bring superheroes back into the public eye and Mr. Incredible must learn how to maintain domestic stability for the family. The voice cast includes returning actors Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sarah Vowell, with Huck Milner joining as the voice of Dash for this installment.

The feature currently has a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.



Source: Fortune

Image: Disney·Pixar

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Richard Gerth, greeter at Disney’s Grand Floridian, has died

Richard Gerth, longtime Walt Disney World cast member who was well-known for greeting guests at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort, has died, according to a Facebook page devoted to him.

He was reportedly 92 years old.

Gerth frequently was seen at the entrance to the hotel, dressed in a cream-colored three-piece suit and hat. He was known among Disney fans for his smile and friendly demeanor. His blue Disney name tag was indication that he was a recipient of the Disney Legacy Award, an honor given to Disney employees for exemplary customer service.

“With his trademark smile, a twinkle in his eye, and a tip of his straw boater hat to everyone he met, Richard Gerth was an indelible part of millions of Walt Disney World memories, and we will all miss him greatly,” George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World, said Thursday.

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Universal expands Halloween Horror Nights to record 10th haunted house

And then there were 10. Universal Orlando’s 2018 edition of Halloween Horror Nights will have a record number of haunted houses as the event breaks into double digits for the first time.

Universal has revealed the themes of only two of its houses for the upcoming season, including mazes based on the first season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and the 1986 film “Trick ‘r Treat.”

On Thursday, three of the five scare zones set for HHN were identified. Look for Vamp 85: New Year’s Eve featuring “metal head vampires,” rotted pumpkins and human sacrifice in the Twisted Tradition area and “decrepit creatures” in The Harvest.

In addition, the Academy of Villains will be producing a stage show performance for the third consecutive HHN.

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SeaWorld hires UCF and Rollins alumnus Walter Bogumil as chief strategy officer

SeaWorld Entertainment has hired a new chief strategy officer to help the company with its financial turnaround.

Walter Bogumil, who got his bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Central Florida and his Master’s in business administration at Rollins College, was previously the interim CEO at Affinity Gaming, a Nevada-based casino operator, according to a SeaWorld news release. Before being named interim leader of Affinity in April, he was the company’s chief financial officer and treasurer since March 2015.

“He has extensive experience setting effective strategic plans and a strong track record of driving substantial operating improvements,” said John T. Reilly, the Orlando-based company’s interim CEO, in a statement.

Archive: SeaWorld’s interim CEO isn’t your typical executive »

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Toy Story Land: Disney passholders get exclusive access in September at Hollywood Studios

Good news for some Disney passholders.

You can get free exclusive access to Toy Story Land on select dates in September.

The timing makes sense because September is typically known as one of the slower months at the theme parks.

It is not for all passholders, it is worth noting. Just for those with Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier passes.

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Old paper hearts turn into new Pulse tribute at Orlando Science Center

An artistic tribute to Pulse victims and survivors is now installed at the entrance to a new gallery at Orlando Science Center. “Facets of Love,” a five-piece collage by Orlando artist Christy McCutchen, incorporates the colorful paper hearts folded by visitors then hung in the bridge between the museum and its parking garage after the 2016 nightclub shooting.

“To make it into something permanent, I wanted to put them together into a collage with different designs, kind of reflecting the multifaceted aspects of our community,” McCutchen said. “I like the symbolism of the collage because I think with tragedy and trauma, you have so many fractures … so many things you’re not even aware of.”

The rounded, back-lit pieces incorporate maps created by Orlando artist Nathan Selikoff. The final effect is reminiscent of stained glass or kaleidoscopes.

“The central piece has a silhouette of the I-4/408 interchange, the center heart of Orlando,” McCutchen said. Up and to the left is a circle representing the area around Camping World Stadium, then down and the right is the SoDo neighborhood, home of Pulse.

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