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August 2, 2013

Celebrate Weekdays at SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa with $50 Weekday Ticket

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ORLANDO, Fla. (July 31, 2013) " Everyone loves weekends, but SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa now have a reason to celebrate the weekdays, too. Guests can explore Antarctica: Empire of the PenguinTM and the wonders of the sea at SeaWorld Orlando, or experience thrilling attractions and amazing land animals at Busch Gardens Tampa with the all-new $50 Weekday Ticket, on sale August 1 through December 20, 2013, for $50 for a single-day admission, Mondays through Fridays.

At SeaWorld Orlando's new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, families are transported into an icy world like they've never seen before where they can explore the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the penguins' eyes on a first-of-its-kind family ride. Then, guests step off and explore a massive penguin colony of nearly 250 feathered friends -- gentoo, rockhopper, Adélie and king penguins -- in an expanse that envelops them in cool extremes, both above and below the penguins' icy world. It's a must-see, one-of-a-kind experience only at SeaWorld Orlando.

Busch Gardens Tampa offers an unparalleled mix of animal encounters, captivating shows and thrilling rides. Dive like a bird of prey aboard the thrilling coaster SheiKra. Soar like an eagle, roar like a tiger, and discover shared family fun playing with your littlest ones at Sesame Street's Safari of Fun. And, nowhere is the spirit of discovery more alive than on Cheetah Hunt, the breathtaking, multilaunch coaster sprinting across the Serengeti.

The $50 Weekday Ticket is available online to U.S. residents at SeaWorldOrlando.com or BuschGardensTampa.com or by calling (888) 800-5447. The $50 Weekday Ticket is valid for one weekday's admission to either SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa and must be used by Friday, December 20, 2013.

For an additional $25, guests may add a day's visit to Aquatica Orlando with the purchase of the SeaWorld Orlando Weekday ticket, or add a day's visit to Adventure Island Tampa with the purchase of the Busch Gardens Tampa Weekday Ticket. Guests may only purchase the additional visit to a waterpark with the purchase of the $50 Weekday Ticket.
To learn more about the new $50 Weekday Ticket, and to purchase, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com or BuschGardensTampa.com.

‘Great Irish Hooley’ August 30-Sept. 2 at Downtown Disney

Raglan Road Dancers
Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant Hosts Central Florida's Only 'Great Irish Hooley'
August 30-Sept. 2 at Downtown Disney


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Great Irish Hooley returns for an encore with the electric energy of live music, dancing, great food and fun at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney August 30-Sept. 2.

Labor Day weekend guests can celebrate Central Florida's only boutique Irish festival with authentic Irish cuisine and a memorable long weekend of top Irish band and dance performances.

This year's Hooley lineup includes Scythian, fresh from the Irish festival circuit, with its rock-infused Celtic and world music; Lisa Canny and her contemporary twist on traditional and folk tunes; and Elevation, the world's leading U2 tribute band.

Scythian

Lisa Canny

A traditional Irish social celebration, the "Hooley" combines music ranging from traditional to rock tunes with entertainment and interactive fun for the whole family. Raglan Road's Great Irish Hooley includes Irish dance workshops for all in the family -- "From Our Roots to Riverdance" -- led by renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast. Guests also can kick up their heels during structured set dancing known as the Ceili (pronounced kay-lee) - a precursor to today's popular line dances. Irish music workshops - "Between the Jigs and the Reels" -- by Dublin-born multi-instrumentalist and Riverdance musical director Declan Masterson round out the long weekend of entertainment. Monday night's grand finale Electric Ceili will be a high-voltage mash-up of every Hooley performer on one rockin' stage.

The Hooley also will feature Celtic face-painting Saturday through Monday and favorite pub fare.

"Orlando's own boutique Irish festival is back by popular demand, and we've invited the best of Irish bands and entertainers," says John Cooke, a Raglan Road founding partner and Emerald Isle native. The entertainment schedule, featuring seven bands and the acclaimed troupe of Raglan Road Irish Dancers, is at www.raglanroad.com.

The four-day party kicks off Friday, August 30 at 5 p.m. and continues through midnight Monday, Sept 2. In addition to Scythian, Lisa Canny and Elevation, performers include:

Creel, Raglan Road's popular house band with its repertoire of traditional Irish ballads, jigs and reels, as well as modern Irish and country music

The Raglan Rebels, Ireland's best up-and-coming young band with traditional and modern songs and ballads

• The Farrell Brothers, a multi-talented Irish duo putting their own spin on traditional Irish and modern music

Johnny Norton & Justin Murphy, an accomplished pair of musicians bringing foot-stomping jigs and reels and Irish ballads. Johnny is a world-renowned bodhran player and has performed with the Chieftains and the original production of Riverdance. Justin has mastered the tin whistle, flute, bodhran and guitar.

Members of all seven Hooley bands will take the stage for the Electric Ceili as the festival wraps up a long musical weekend.

"Take several ultra-talented traditional Irish bands, bring to a boil over the festival weekend, mix all together on one stage and plug them in . . . it's electric!" says Raglan Road founding partner Paul Nolan, also an Ireland native. "This is an incomparable display of talent and collaboration among a group of musicians who understand and respect one another's musical flair."

Throughout the Hooley, guests can belly up to one of Raglan Road's 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. A Diners' Choice 2012 award winner, the restaurant is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, Shepherd's pie with a contemporary twist, delectable seafood and gluten-free entrees.

Related Link:
Report on the 2012 Great Irish Hooley

August 9, 2013

The Walt Disney Studios Shares Details about Upcoming Animation Titles at D23 Expo

Three Animation Studios Come Together to Showcase Extraordinary New Music, Voice Cast Announcements, Behind-the-Scenes Stories and Sneak Peeks of Future Big- and Small-Screen Adventures

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(Scene from 'Frozen')


BURBANK, Calif. (Aug. 9, 2013) - The Walt Disney Studios unveiled new details about its upcoming animation slate this morning at the D23 Expo, showcasing new imagery, signature music and behind-the-scenes stories surrounding the roster of upcoming animated adventures. The presentation included information about the just-announced feature film "Zootopia" (working title) from Walt Disney Animation Studios, and the newest film in Disneytoon Studios' Disney Fairies franchise, plus never-before-shared voice cast announcements for upcoming Disney-Pixar titles that include Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris and Diane Keaton, among a host of others.

"It's a fantastic, exciting time for animation at Disney and Pixar," said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. "The filmmakers at our three studios are so talented-their films are all so touching and beautiful, but so different. I am truly excited to share these films with everyone."

· Lasseter surprised fans with a screening of the first 10 minutes of Disney-Pixar's "Toy Story OF TERROR!" The D23 Expo audience was the first ever to see footage from the spooky new 30-minute special that features favorite characters from the "Toy Story" films. What starts out as a fun road trip for the "Toy Story" gang takes an unexpected turn for the worse when the trip detours to a roadside motel. After one of the toys goes missing, the others find themselves caught up in a mysterious sequence of events that must be solved before they all suffer the same fate in this "Toy Story OF TERROR!" From director Angus MacLane and producer Galyn Susman, "Toy Story OF TERROR!" premieres on ABC Oct. 16, 2013.

· Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Frozen," directed by Chris Buck ("Tarzan") and Jennifer Lee ("Wreck-It Ralph"- screenplay by), and produced by Peter Del Vecho ("Winnie the Pooh," "The Princess and the Frog"), shared never-before-seen film footage, introduced by "Frozen" stars Kristen Bell, voice of Anna, and Josh Gad, voice of Olaf. Fans were also treated to a show-stopping live performance of the film's powerful new song "Let It Go," sung by Broadway's Tony® Award-winner Idina Menzel, who provides the voice of Elsa in the film.

In "Frozen," fearless optimist Anna (voice of Bell) teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Gad) in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa (voice of Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. In theaters Nov. 27, 2013.

· "Get A Horse!" made its U.S. premiere at the D23 Expo. Featuring Walt Disney himself as the voice of Mickey Mouse, this black-and-white, hand-drawn theatrical short follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they delight in a musical haywagon ride-until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road. This groundbreaking short from Walt Disney Animation Studios is directed by Lauren MacMullan (TV's "The Simpsons") and produced by Dorothy McKim ("Prep & Landing" trilogy, "Meet the Robinsons"), "Get A Horse!" opens in front of "Frozen" on Nov. 27, 2013.

· Disneytoon Studios' "The Pirate Fairy" brought pixie dust to the festivities, unveiling the newest and most exciting adventure in the Disney Fairies franchise. Director Peggy Holmes ("Secret of the Wings") introduced Christina Hendricks, who gives voice to Zarina, and Tom Hiddleston, tapped to voice a young James aka Captain Hook.

When a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina steals Pixie Hollow's all-important Blue Pixie Dust, and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must embark on the adventure of a lifetime to return it to its rightful place. However, in the midst of their pursuit of Zarina, Tink's world is turned upside down. She and her friends find that their respective talents have been switched and they have to race against time to retrieve the Blue Pixie Dust and return home to save Pixie Hollow. With comedy, heart and epic thrills for the whole family, "The Pirate Fairy" sets sail Spring 2014.

· Disney-Pixar's heartfelt and hilarious "The Good Dinosaur" roamed the convention center this morning. Co-director Peter Sohn and producer Denise Ream ( "Cars 2," "Up"- associate producer) were on hand to announce key members of the voice cast, including Lucas Neff, voice of Arlo; Bill Hader, voice of Forrest; Judy Greer, voice of Ivy; Neil Patrick Harris, voice of Cliff; John Lithgow, voice of Poppa; and Frances McDormand, voice of Momma.

Neff and Greer appeared on stage, alongside Hader, whose voice was also heard in Disney-Pixar's "Monsters University."

"The Good Dinosaur" asks the generations-old question: What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In theaters May 30, 2014, the film is a humorous and exciting original story about Arlo, a lively 70-foot-tall teenage Apatosaurus with a big heart. After a traumatic event rattles Arlo's tranquil community, he sets out on a quest to restore peace, gaining an unlikely companion along the way-a young human boy named Spot.

· The crowd roared when their favorite monsters returned to the big screen as Disney-Pixar's short "Party Central" scared up six minutes of fun at the D23 Expo. In the short, Mike and Sulley are back at Monsters University for a fun-filled weekend with their Oozma Kappa fraternity brothers. The gang is throwing their first party, but no one's showing up. Luckily for them, Mike and Sulley have come up with a plan to make sure "Party Central" is the most epic party the school has ever seen. In theaters May 30, 2014, with "The Good Dinosaur."

· Disneytoon Studios' "Planes: Fire & Rescue" landed on stage at the D23 Expo, welcoming Dane Cook, the voice of Dusty in "Disney's Planes," the action comedy adventure that landed in theaters today. Cook, who returns to voice the character in the follow-up, joined director Bobs Gannaway ("Secret of the Wings") on stage. Julie Bowen was announced as the voice of Lil' Dipper, and fans were treated to story details for "Planes: Fire & Rescue," plus character images, concept art and footage from the film.

"Planes: Fire & Rescue" features a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from a raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of wildfire air attack. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous air attack team, including spirited super scooper Lil' Dipper (voice of Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. "Planes: Fire & Rescue" ignites July 18, 2014.

· Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Big Hero 6" hit the D23 Expo in style, welcoming director Don Hall ("Winnie the Pooh") to the stage with a story presentation, including concept art and a sizzle piece designed to build excitement for the action comedy adventure.

"Big Hero 6" features brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion-a robot named Baymax-Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated "Big Hero 6" hits theaters in 3D on Nov. 7, 2014.

· Disneytoon Studios director Steve Loter revealed plans for "Legend of the NeverBeast," which takes the Disney Fairies on an epic action adventure that's full of heart and edge-of-your-seat suspense. Fun and talented animal fairy Fawn believes you can't judge a book by its cover-or an animal by its fangs-so she befriends a huge and mysterious creature known as the NeverBeast. While Tink and her friends aren't so sure about this scary addition to Pixie Hollow, the elite Scout Fairies set out to capture the monster before he destroys their home. Fawn must trust her heart and take a leap of faith if she hopes to rally the girls to save the NeverBeast. Directed by Steve Loter, "Legend of the NeverBeast" roars to life in Spring 2015.

· Disney-Pixar's "Inside Out" brought Joy to fans-literally-revealing members of the voice cast, including Amy Poehler as the voice of Joy, Lewis Black as the voice of Anger, Mindy Kaling as the voice of Disgust, Phyllis Smith as the voice of Sadness, and Bill Hader as the voice of Fear. The audience met two of the film's five starring emotions, Sadness and Fear, when Smith and Hader appeared on stage to greet fans and fuel excitement for the 2015 film.

From director Pete Docter ("Up," "Monsters, Inc.") and producer Jonas Rivera ("Up"), Disney-Pixar's "Inside Out" takes you to a place that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen: the world inside the human mind. Riley, an 11-year-old girl who recently moved with her family to San Francisco, is not the main character but the setting for the film. Moviegoers will go inside her mind to explore how memories are formed and how a mixture of five emotions-Joy, Disgust, Anger, Fear and Sadness-defines life experiences. In theaters June 19, 2015.

· Director Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo," "WALL'E") and producer Lindsey Collins (co-producer "WALL'E") shared exciting voice cast announcements for Disney-Pixar's "Finding Dory." Joining Ellen DeGeneres, who provides the voice of Dory, are Albert Brooks as the voice of Marlin, Diane Keaton as the voice of Dory's mom Jenny, Eugene Levy as the voice of Dory's dad Charlie, and Ty Burrell as the voice of Bailey.

The all-new big-screen adventure dives into theaters Nov. 25, 2015, taking moviegoers back to the extraordinary underwater world from the original film. "Finding Dory" reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way.

Pixar fans also delighted in a surprise appearance by the studio's "lucky charm" John Ratzenberger, who was ceremoniously paraded on stage by the Disneyland marching band. Ratzenberger joined Hader in a hilarious duel of one-upmanship over the multiple Pixar characters each has voiced.

· Walt Disney Animation Studios' director Byron Howard ("Tangled") and writer Jared Bush shared plans for the upcoming comedy adventure "Zootopia" (working title). In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who's trying to make it big goes on the run when he's framed for a crime he didn't commit. Zootopia's top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they're forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends. In theaters in 2016.

Veteran Disney Filmmaker Celebrates 60 Years with Walt Disney Animation Studios

Burny Mattinson counts 60 years with Walt Disney Animation Studios this year, and the milestone was marked with a surprise celebration at the D23 Expo. Mattinson is one of the few remaining Disney artists who worked with Walt Disney and is still on staff at Walt Disney Animation Studios. His career is highlighted by helming the Academy Award®-nominated 1983 animated featurette "Mickey's Christmas Carol," which returned Mickey Mouse to the big screen for the first time in 30 years. In 1984, wrote, produced and directed "The Great Mouse Detective." Mattinson's credits include "Sleeping Beauty," "101 Dalmatians," "The Sword in the Stone," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats" and "The Rescuers." He served as a key member of the story team on Disney's contemporary classics including "Aladdin," "Beauty & the Beast," "The Lion King", "Pocahontas," "Mulan," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Tarzan," and was senior story artist on 2011's big-screen adventure "Winnie the Pooh." Mattinson joined Disney in 1953 at age 18 with no formal art training; within six months, he was working as an in-betweener on "Lady and the Tramp."

August 10, 2013

Disney Showcases Upcoming Live Action Films

DISNEY SHOWCASES ITS LIVE ACTION SLATE WITH EXCLUSIVE DETAILS ESPECIALLY FOR FANS AT D23 EXPO
STARS AND FILMMAKERS OF UPCOMING DISNEY AND MARVEL STUDIOS FILMS FEATURED AT TODAY'S LIVE ACTION EVENT

BURBANK, Calif. (Aug. 10, 2013) - Disney and Marvel Studios revealed exclusive details about their upcoming live action film slates this morning at the D23 Expo, aided by live and video appearances from talent and filmmakers and hosted by The Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.

"Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm are some of the most powerful and beloved brands in entertainment," said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. "We have so many incredible cinematic adventures ahead of us, and it is especially exciting to be able to share the exclusive details with our biggest fans first at the D23 Expo."

Horn welcomed the crowd to the D23 Expo and introduced the live action slate by talking about the addition of Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Studios and the excitement and anticipation surrounding Disney's first "Star Wars" film, "Star Wars: Episode VII," slated for release in 2015.

Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, and Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, presented overviews of the Marvel Studios and Disney live action slates.

A recap of the presentation follows:

· Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" thundered into D23 with an introduction by its producer, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who then introduced stars Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins to the excited crowd.

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Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel's "Thor" and "Marvel's The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano and Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" is directed by Alan Taylor, produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., from a story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat and screenplay by Christopher L. Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and is based on Marvel's classic Super Hero Thor, who first appeared in the comic book "Journey into Mystery " #83 in August, 1962. The film releases November 8, 2013.

· Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" stars Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie were on hand to greet the audience, which was then treated to a glimpse of Captain America in action via clips chosen especially for D23. Kevin Feige riveted the audience with details of the action-packed story's highlights.

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy-the Winter Soldier.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. In theaters April 4, 2014.

· Kevin Feige then introduced the epic space adventure Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" and thrilled the crowd with a clip from the film, which went into production in London in June.

Based on the Marvel comic book that first appeared in 1969, Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by James Gunn from a story by Nicole Perlman and Gunn and screenplay by James Gunn, and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly and Glenn Close. The film is slated for an August 1, 2014 release.

· Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn hit the stage to share exciting news for Disneynature's newest big-screen adventure "Bears." Horn announced plans to support our National Parks through opening-week ticket sales. See "Bears," Protect Our National Parks invites moviegoers to see the film during opening week (April 18-24, 2014) and Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation to protect wildlife and wild places across the National Park system. D23 Expo fans were among the first to see the film's new trailer, which is slated to premiere online next week.

In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature's upcoming True Life Adventure "Bears" showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life's most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting-but risky-as the cubs' playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food-ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run-while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. "Bears" captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet's last great wildernesses-Alaska!

Directed by Alastair Fothergill ("Earth," "African Cats" and "Chimpanzee") and Keith Scholey ("African Cats"), "Bears" arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.

· President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey came on and stirred up Muppet mayhem with details about Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted," welcoming Ty Burrell to the stage-via Le Maxium, a tiny European car that aptly underscored the actor's portrayal of French Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon. The film also stars Ricky Gervais, plus Tina Fey, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, who greeted guests of the D23 Expo "live" from the film's international set-somewhere far, far away.

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Directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Gervais. Fey is featured as Nadya, a feisty prison guard. Bobin co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award®-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, "Muppets Most Wanted" hits the big screen March 21, 2014.

· Disney's "Into the Woods" celebrated its first public introduction as Sean Bailey shared some details with the audience about the highly anticipated musical. Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical "Chicago" and Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is set to helm "Into the Woods," which stars Academy Award®-winning actress Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt. Marc Platt, who produced the multiple Tony Award®-winning musical "Wicked" on Broadway, will produce "Into the Woods," along with producers Marshall, John DeLuca and Callum McDougall.

"Into the Woods," based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, surrounds a baker and his wife's quest to break a witch's curse in order to start a family. Along the way, they encounter several well-known fairy tale characters and together they learn what happens after "happily ever after."

The film is slated for a December 2014 holiday release.

· Sean Bailey thrilled the D23 audience with an exclusive, very early, sneak peek at the vision of Disney's "Cinderella," courtesy of director Sir Kenneth Branagh. Though many of the elements are still in development and pre-production, like Cinderella's gown, the audience enjoyed getting a taste of what they could expect when Disney's live-action version of the classic fairy tale opens in theaters on March 13, 2015.

Although Disney's magical and amazing "Cinderella" promises to be faithful to the original fairy tale, the filmmakers will elevate the story, the characters and the visuals to take audiences on a sweeping dramatic journey never seen before.

· Academy Award®-winning actress Angelina Jolie joined Sean Bailey on stage after the audience had an exclusive first look at Disney's "Maleficent." Starring as the title character in the highly anticipated live action film, Jolie chatted with Bailey about the film before exiting to wild applause.

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"Maleficent" is the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the 1959 classic "Sleeping Beauty." A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal-an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom-and perhaps to Maleficent's true happiness as well.

The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville and is produced by Joe Roth and directed by Robert Stromberg. Linda Woolverton, the screenwriter of "Alice in Wonderland," "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast," wrote the screenplay. "Maleficent" opens in theaters on July 2, 2014.

· The D23 audience was treated to a glimpse into the mysteries surrounding Disney's "Tomorrowland" as Sean Bailey and filmmakers Brad Bird (director, co-writer, producer) and Damon Lindelof (co-writer, producer) talked about the inspiration of the secrets of the black box, which was featured in a short behind-the-scenes piece screened for the audience about the visionary Walt Disney. Although the audience was buzzing with questions, Bailey remained coy, but then announced a special, surprise "Tomorrowland" exhibit opening in the afternoon on the D23 floor that would reveal the contents of the box and more. Starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and Thomas Robinson, the action-packed adventure hits theaters December 12, 2014.

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· Sean Bailey set up the story and talented cast of Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks," the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney's classic "Mary Poppins" made it to the screen, and reminded everyone that "Mary Poppins" is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. After showing two clips from the movie to the D23 audience, Bailey introduced Jason Schwartzman and B. J. Novak, who portray the famous composing team of Richard and Robert Sherman, respectively, in the film. In a big surprise moment, Schwartzman and Novak welcomed "Mary Poppins" composer Richard Sherman on stage to greet the excited audience. The two talented actors then engaged the crowd in a rousing, confetti-filled, grand finale sing-along performance of "Let's Go Fly a Kite," the classic song from "Mary Poppins."

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Two-time Academy Award®-winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks," which is directed by John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side," "The Rookie") and produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer. Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith wrote the screenplay.

When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' "Mary Poppins," he made them a promise-one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn't budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

"Saving Mr. Banks" releases in theaters December 13, 2013, limited, December 20, 2013, wide.

August 15, 2013

Disneynature's BEARS - New Clip

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In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature's new True Life Adventure "Bears" showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life's most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting-but risky-as the cubs' playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches.

Directed by Alastair Fothergill ("Earth," "African Cats" and "Chimpanzee") and Keith Scholey ("African Cats"), "Bears" arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.

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"Bears" is the fifth theatrical release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years. The label was launched in April 2008 to bring the world's top nature filmmakers together to capture a variety of wildlife subjects and stories.

RELATED LINK:
A First Look at Disneynature's BEARS

August 27, 2013

All Star Vacation Homes Named to Inc. Magazine List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

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All Star Vacation Homes Named to Inc. Magazine List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies-the Inc.500|5000

CELEBRATION, FLA. (August 26, 2013) - As All Star Vacation Homes continues to celebrate its year-long 15th Anniversary, the vacation home management and hospitality company has another milestone to add to its list of achievements. All Star Vacation Homes has been included in the Inc. magazine seventh annual 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America and also placed in the top 100 Travel and Hospitality Companies.

"This has been an exciting and historic year for the company," said Steve Trover, CEO of All Star Vacation Homes. "We started 2013 by marking All Star's 15th Anniversary, then three of our homes were featured on "House Hunters" on HGTV in June and now we have been named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. Our entire Team is proud to be considered for such an honor and we remain committed to our vision to provide a vacation home experience like no other."

In a stagnant economic environment, median growth rate of 2013 Inc. 500|5000 companies is an impressive 142 percent. The companies on this year's list report having created more than 520,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $241 billion.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000/.

The 2013 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2009 to 2012. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit and independent-not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies-as of December 31, 2012. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2009 is $100,000; the minimum for 2012 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.'s September issue.

About All Star Vacation Homes

All Star Vacation Homes brings its passion for high standards and hospitality to elevate the vacation home industry to new levels. Since it was established in 1998, All Star has set a solid foundation in the competitive Orlando landscape and has emerged as a market leader. As the company expands this success into other high demand travel destinations, All Star implements its unique formula of Personalized Service, Quality Home Care, Proven Marketing, Strategic Location and Guest-Influenced™ Experience to fulfill its vision of creating a vacation home experience like no other.

Currently, All Star represents more than 250 homes, town homes and condos in Kissimmee/Orlando, Fla. near Walt Disney World® Resort, and an expanding collection in Sanibel and Captiva Island, Fla. For more information, visit www.AllStarVacationHomes.com or call 1-800-396-1173.

August 30, 2013

Villains Take Over Celebrate the Magic Show

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The Disney Parks Blog has announced that the Celebrate the Magic show at the Magic Kingdom will debut a new show on September 1st.

"This new segment of "Celebrate the Magic" places the Disney villains center stage. From the sea witch Ursula, to the demon Chernabog it promises to be a particularly dark and foreboding chapter."

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"Things heat up as Maleficent casts a forest of thorns around the base of the castle, and then transforms into a wicked, fire-breathing dragon who threatens to destroy the very magic we've come to celebrate. Fear not, though. As with all great Disney stories, this one is sure to have a happy ending."

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The new Disney villains sequence begins September 1, during performances of "Celebrate the Magic," and will be part of the show for a limited time, through November 1, 2013.

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About August 2013

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in August 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2013 is the previous archive.

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Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.