Disney to Honor U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Unit with Concert in Magic Kingdom on Aug. 10

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Walt Disney World Resort will honor the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Unit on the occasion of their centennial of service with a special flag retreat ceremony and musical performances in Magic Kingdom Park on Thursday, August 10.

Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy special musical performances by the 82nd Airborne 16-member chorus and brass quintet band throughout the afternoon. The 82nd Airborne’s 16-member Chorus will perform in Liberty Square at 1:45 p.m. The Division’s brass quintet will perform a medley of patriotic music during a 15-minute concert in Town Square at 4:00 p.m. The Flag Retreat ceremony will take place in Town Square at 5:00 p.m.

The U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army is in Orlando for a Convention to commemorate their Centennial year in August 2017 providing Disney with a perfect opportunity to recognize the service and sacrifice of the U.S. Army’s elite 82nd Airborne soldiers who have served bravely since World War I.

Source: Disney

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The Bus Stop at Disney’s Grand Floridian Closes for Refurbishment

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Starting today, the bus stop located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will undergo a refurbishment. The bus stop is being relocated to the outer lane near the porte chochere at the main building where Disney’s Magical Express will pick up and drop off guests.

The bus schedules will not be affected by the changes and will remain the same. It is not yet known when the refurbishment will be completed.

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Changes Coming to Star Wars Tour at Hollywood Studios

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Beginning October 1st, there will be some changes to the Star Wars Guided Tour that takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The tour will now take place in the morning and early afternoon. Guests wishing to catch Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular can return to a reserved viewing area later in the day, but the dessert party will no longer included in the tour.

As a result of the change in the tour, the price will be lowered to $99 per person for tours after October 1st.

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Disney’s Upcoming Live Action Remake of ‘Aladdin’ Finds Its Jafar

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Marwan Kenzari is reportedly in negotiation with Disney to assume the role of Jafar in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin.

Kenzari appeared in MGM’s Ben-Hur, Universal’s The Mummy, and stars opposite Noomi Rapace and Glenn Close in Netflix’s action thriller What Happened to Monday.

Kenzari also plays the conductor of a train filled with duplicitous characters played by Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, and Josh Gad in Fox’s all-star remake of Orient Express.

Former Saturday Night Live comedienne Nasim Pedrad is also said to be joining the Aladdin cast in a role that was created specifically for the new film.

A release date for Aladdin has not been announced.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Disney Facing Lawsuit Over Collecting and Selling Children’s Personal Information

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–UPDATE (8/5/17): The Walt Disney Company has released a response to the pending lawsuit. Their official statement reads:

“Disney has a robust COPPA compliance program, and we maintain strict data collection and use policies for Disney apps created for children and families. The complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles, and we look forward to defending this action in Court.”

Most of us realize that when we go online and click those “allow” tabs without reading, companies might be collecting or selling personal data on us for advertising purposes. Many of us make the assumption, though, that when we let our children use “kid-friendly” apps from trusted creators like Disney, that at least our kids are safe from privacy violations. According to a class-action lawsuit filed against The Walt Disney Company, this is not the case.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday, April 3rd in the US District Court for the Northern District of California; it was filed by the law firms of Lieff Cabraser and Carney Bates & Pulliam and names Amanda Rushing and her child as plaintiffs, as well as other parents and children with the same grievance.

There are certain federal laws in place to protect children’s rights, one of which being the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). It is this law, which places special restrictions and requirements on websites and online services marketed to those 13-years-old and younger, that Disney is accused of violating.

The suit claims that Disney identified and stored data of children playing Disney mobile games, such as “Disney Princess Palace Pets”, to later use for “commercial exploitation”. It did so with software embedded in the apps.

The ad companies named as responsible for embedding the software were Upsight, Unity, and Kochava. The purpose of the software is to track, collect, and export children’s personal information. This lawsuit states that the information collected is then sold to third-party companies to track a child’s behavior “across multiple apps and devices”.

The suit alleges that the embedded technology, known as “software development kits”, were collecting data on children in secret to “facilitate behavioral advertising or marketing analysis”. Children’s browsing history, app usage, and even their locations were collected for use in marketing and advertising.

While most adults unconsciously click those “allow” tabs without paying too much attention to where our info is going, we might expect that an adult authorization is required for our children’s information to be tracked. Rushing says Disney provided no such requirements, and so she was unaware Disney “collected, disclosed, or used her child’s personal information”. The suit faults Disney for not providing “any of the required disclosures”, saying that the company “never sought verifiable parental consent”. Disney did not provided a means for parents or even children to give consent.

One of the attorneys filing on behalf of the plaintiffs, Michael Sobol, provided a statement, saying,

“As a company long-engaged in the practice of engaging—and profiting from—children, Disney needs to make sure its games and apps comply with the law. They and the companies they work with always have to obtain verifiable parental consent before extracting kids’ data from their mobile devices when kids play Disney’s mobile apps.”

This is not the first time Disney has been on the wrong side of COPPA. In 2011, Disney subsidiary Playdom Inc. faced a similar problem when they were accused of collecting and disclosing hundreds of thousands of children’s personal information, and were required to pay a penalty.

Disney has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Source: Gizmodo

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UPDATE: Walt Disney World Expands Mobile Order Service

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UPDATE 8/4/17: Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be adding three restaurants to the ever-increasing Mobile Order lineup. Backlot Express will offer the service starting on August 8th, with ABC Commissary following suit on August 14th, and PizzeRizzo joining them on August 15th.

UPDATE 8/2/17: Electric Umbrella in Future World at Epcot has been added to the ongoing list of Mobile Order. Also, beginning August 7, Liberty Inn in World Showcase at Epcot will be participating as well.

UPDATE 7/27/17: Beginning July 31, Columbia Harbour House will be added as another option for Mobile Order through the My Disney Experience app.

UPDATE 7/20/17: Mobile order will come to Pinocchio Village Haus on July 24th and Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe on July 25th; Restaurantosaurus, D-Luxe Burger, and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe are currently supporting mobile order.

UPDATE 6/16/17: Flame Tree Barbeque has just been added to Mobile Order!

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Disney’s Mobile Order service first launched last month at Satu’li Canteen inside Animal Kingdom and it looks like it will soon be extended to more restaurants throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, Pizzafari has already been added!

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Under “My Plans” in your My Disney Experience app, you’ll see “Order Food” and when you tap there, you’ll be taken to the screen above that will list the restaurants you’re able to order from. There are filters you can use as well.

Although we have not seen anything officially announced by Disney, Orlando Parks News along with many other sites are reporting that five Magic Kingdom Quick Service restaurants will also begin to offer Mobile Order this summer. The restaurants include Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Pinocchio Village Haus, Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café, and Columbia Harbour House.

When you use the app to order, you can select menu items, customize your order, and pre-pay for your meal by using a credit card. From the screenshot above, it looks like they may soon accept the Disney Dining Plan to pay as well. Once you arrive at the restaurant, you’ll tap the “I’m here” button within the app to notify the dining location to prepare your food. When it’s ready, you’ll be signaled to pick up your meal(s) at an assigned window.

Source: Orlando Parks News

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Fantasmic! Dining Package Will Be Changing in 2018

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Walt Disney World recently announced that the Fantasmic! Dining Package’s pricing and offerings will change starting January 1, 2018. Guests that book after this date will still receive guaranteed seating at the popular fireworks show in addition to a meal at either the Hollywood Brown Derby, Mama Melrose, or Hollywood & Vine.

The package will no longer include an appetizer, however, as the set price will only cover an entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. Consequently, the prices at each restaurant in the package have been adjusted accordingly.

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Disneyland’s Cafe Orleans to Add Fantasmic! Dining Package

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With a refurbishment scheduled soon for River Belle Terrace, Disneyland Park has made plans to add Fantasmic! Dining Packages to Cafe Orleans.

Beginning September 5th and continuing through November 16th, Cafe Orleans will serve a three-course meal that includes access to a reserved viewing area for Fantasmic!. The regular menu will still be available for guests that don’t want the package.

There is no change to the Fantasmic! Dining Packages at Blue Bayou Restaurant and Hungry Bear Restaurant.

Guests will be able to make reservations for the Cafe Orleans Fantasmic! Dining Package beginning August 15th, with same day reservations available based on availability. The dining package will be available for reservations beginning between 11:30am and 7:30pm.

The cost for the Cafe Orleans Fantasmic! Dining Package is $45 for adults and $25 for children 3 to 9.

Fantasmic! just recently returned to Disneyland Park with updated technology, new music and more characters.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

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Special Main Street Electrical Parade-Themed Offers for Disneyland Passholders

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With the end of the Main Street Electrical Parade in sight, Disneyland Park has come up with some special offers for its Annual Passholders.

Deluxe or Southern California Annual Passholders who have blockout dates between now and when the parade ends its run on August 20th can purchase special one-day one-park blockout date tickets for $79 by visiting any ticket booth and showing their Annual Pass.

All Passholders can benefit from some special discounts starting tomorrow and continuing through August 20th:

  • Receive an additional 10% discount on top of the regular Passholder discount on Main Street Electrical Parade t-shirts, ears, and other merchandise at Disneyana in Town Square
  • Receive an additional 10% discount on top of the regular Passholder discount on the Aladdin’s Oasis dining package with parade viewing
  • Buy TWO Main Street Electrical Parade-themed treats for the price of ONE at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe and Market House on Main Street USA

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All savings require a valid Disneyland Resort Annual Pass and quantities may be limited on some items. Other restrictions may apply and offers are subject to change without notice.

Source: Disneyland

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Disney Parks Blog to Live Stream Disneyland’s Fantasmic! on August 9th

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The Disney Parks Blog has announced that they will live stream Disneyland’s updated Fantasmic! nighttime spectacular next Wednesday, August 9th.

Fantasmic! recently returned to Disneyland Park after being dark for more than a year. The updated show features new state-of-the art technology, new water screens, updated music, and some new Disney characters.

Head to the Disney Parks Blog at 8:55pm Pacific on August 9th to check out the live stream, or if you can’t wait, enjoy our look at Fantasmic! from its soft opening a few weeks ago.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

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