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April 25, 2015

Disney launches app for Apple Watch, storybook service for AT&T U-verse

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Want all Disney all the time? Now you can have it. Disney is extending its reach digitally, making its products and services available on even more platforms, including the new Apple Watch, and in a brand new way on AT&T U-verse.

On Friday, the Disney Moment app became the first Disney app to launch on the Apple Watch. Unlike many of the apps for the new device that focus on health and fitness, social media or event planning, Disney Moment 'delivers Disney entertainment to fans throughout the day, while maximizing the innovative features of the new watch,' according to a press release.

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The new app has four main types of content, which come largely from Disney Publishing Worldwide's publishing programs and magazine series. Among them:

** Entertaining content: Trivia, inspirational quotes, mini quizzes and a character of the day.
** Magic-At-A-Glance: 'Up to 20 real-time content notifications a day using Apple Watch Glances to view highlights of unseen content throughout the day. " Tapping the Disney Moment Glance screen takes users to the newest Disney Moment.'
** Swipe and Zoom: Apple Watch's unique Digital Crown allows users to scroll through and zoom in and out of each Disney Moment.
** Spread the Smile: Users can favorite Disney Moments and then share them on social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

A save feature allows users to save their favorite Disney Moments simply by tapping "Favorites" or "Save" on the Apple Watch app and iPhone app. Once saved, users can share their favorite Disney moments with friends and family through a number of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Disney Moment costs $5.99 and requires iOS 8.0 and greater and iPhone 5 and above.

Meanwhile, AT&T U-verse customers now will have access to the popular Disney Story Central app on their television screens. Disney Story Central is a subscription service that offers a collection of narrated classic Disney stories for $8 per month.

Parents and their children can read along with beloved Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Elsa, Anna and Olaf on their TV screens. New stories will be added to the platform every few months, according to a press release. Visit www.att.com/u-verse to see if Disney Story Central is available in your area.

AT&T U-verse customers already have access to live and on-demand programming from Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD on their U-verse TVs and through the U-verse App.



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December 26, 2013

3 fun Disney apps for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

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Santa probably left a few iPhones or iPads under the Christmas trees for some good girls and boys, and the jolly old elf may have left a few iTunes gift cards, as well. If the lucky holiday gift recipients are Disney fans, there is a wealth of content available, from games to movies to storybooks and more. Here are three Disney iOS apps that are bound to be a hit with youngsters:

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Frozen: Storybook Deluxe

The popular animated feature, "Frozen," has inspired two apps. "Frozen: Storybook Deluxe" is aimed at beginning readers, though it also has some features that will appeal to "Frozen" fans who are a little bit older. Those learning to read can choose from three options: read on their own, record their voices, and listen to the narration with text. Plus, there is a new feature that allows kids to flip their devices upside-down to hear the story told by dueling sisters Anna and Elsa.

Older kids who love "Frozen" can enjoy several interactive activities on the app, too. In the Snowglobe, kids can create snowflakes. This feature is intuitive in that it copies what the user draws and makes the snowflake symmetrical, like a real snowflake. The ice-crafting tools allow kids to draw freestyle or use a castle as a guide to create a crystal palace. There also are six puzzles that reveal scenes from the movie.

Frozen: Storybook Deluxe is available for iOS devices 5.0 or later, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch for $6.99. It is optimized for iPhone 5.

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Mickey Mouse: Mash-Up

This app, which was updated in time for the holidays, allows budding artists -- typically ages 6 to 8 -- to be animators in a Mickey Mouse short. The mash-up, called "No Service," follows Donald Duck and his pals Mickey and Minnie as he tries to find a pair of pants so he can be admitted to a restaurant.

His quests takes the user through 11 activities that use drawing to accomplish different objectives, such as hiding from Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck after he borrows their clothes and playing Mickey Mouse pinball. Artists will be able to use colors and even sign their drawings before their work becomes part of the short. At the end, kids can trace or draw Mickey freehand.

Mickey Mouse: Mash-Up is available for iOS devices 5.0 or later, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch for $0.99 during the Disney Publishing sale.

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Minnie Fashion Tour

Although this app was designed with kids ages 5 and younger in mind, it really appeals to any child interested in fashion or playing dress-up. Based on Disney Junior's hit animated series "Minnie's Bow Toons," the app has Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck taking outfits from their Bow-Tique on the road, and users can help customize looks for the runway in New Your City, Milan and Paris. Kids even can upload photos of their own materials and patterns to create unique designs for the two lovely ladies.

Users are able to include Minnie and Daisy's pets on the runway, as well as create a fashion show complete with lights and music. By correctly completing challenges, kids will unlock new accessories. Finally, fashionistas can make a photo postcard of their work to share with friends and family.

Minnie Fashion Tour is available for iOS devices 6.0 or later, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch for $0.99 during the sale. It is optimized for iPhone 5 with the recent update.



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September 20, 2012

It's easy to be Finding Nemo at Walt Disney World

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If you or your children enjoy Nemo and his ocean friends, Walt Disney World offers plenty of opportunities to visit his Big Blue World. And, with the recent theatrical release of the 3D version of the film, now is the perfect time to dive right in and continue to experience the joys of the film.

We are in the middle of the limited-engagement theater release of "Finding Nemo 3D." If your children, like mine, were too young to see this Disney-Pixar classic when it first was released in theaters in 2003, now is your time to experience this colorful marvel on the big screen. The 3D effects really enhance an already wonderful movie. (This version is expected to be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 4.)

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In support of the movie, Disney Publishing Worldwide has released two apps -- Finding Nemo: Storybook Deluxe and Finding Nemo Interactive Comic. In the storybook app, young readers will experience the story with a special set of effects, including underwater sounds, the ability to create bubbles and a Whale Chat with Dory. Like other Disney storybook apps, this one has different reading levels and allows kids to record their own voices reading the story. There also are new versions of kid favorites such as finger-painting pages, games and puzzles. Finding Nemo: Storybook Deluxe is $6.99 and is available on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches.

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Finding Nemo Interactive Comic is aimed at older kids, ages 7 to 12, because it's an advanced interactive graphic novel. It includes concept drawings by Disney Pixar artists who worked on the original film, sound effects and even step-by-step drawing lessons. Finding Nemo Interactive Comic is $1.99 and is available on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, too.

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Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? There are several ways to visit with Nemo. The new Art of Animation Resort opened in May, allowing guests to feel like they have stepped into the movie. The Finding Nemo family suites are aptly themed and cleverly designed. From plastic coral chairs for the dining table to bathrooms fit for Bruce and friends to the school-of-fish artwork, every detail recalls "Finding Nemo." The Big Blue Pool, or main pool, has larger-than-life statues of many of the characters, and even offers music underwater, jellyfish figures that drip water, and a splash pad where Nemo's friends shoot water. In the restaurant and lobby, guests will find concept and landscape art from "Finding Nemo."

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At Epcot, The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion is the place to be. A ride by the same name takes guests on Marlin's journey to find his son as they travel under the sea in clam-mobiles. Much of the dark attraction projects the animated characters on the aquarium, but there also are some very cool effects, such as the moving jellyfish and riding the EAC with Crush. Outside the pavilion, guests will hear the sea gulls chirping "Mine! Mine! Mine!" and there is a great photo opportunity with statues of Nemo and friends.

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While inside The Seas pavilion, guests also can interact with the popular surfer sea turtle at Turtle Talk with Crush! This attraction uses 3D animation and allows Crush to talk back and forth with kids in the audience. During the 10-minute show, Crush tells jokes and performs some on-screen acrobatics.

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At Disney's Animal Kingdom, guests can experience a 30-minute Broadway-style show called "Finding Nemo - The Musical" at Theater in the Wild. This amazing performance showcases talented actors, singers, dancers and acrobats who use large, colorful puppets and animated backdrops to retell the story of "Finding Nemo." It also features the original song, "Big Blue World," which was written for this show and also can be heard at the end of The Sea with Nemo & Friends ride. "Finding Nemo -- The Musical" offers the only opportunity for guests to meet the Nemo characters; performers may bring their puppets back out to the stage after the performance and talk with guests.

When "Finding Nemo" was released in 2003, it was an immediate hit with filmgoers and critics alike. Its compelling storyline of parenthood resonated with family audiences, as did Nemo and Marlin's epic quest set against the timeless theme of loss and redemption. As with most all Pixar films, its visual beauty on the big screen was, and remains, unrivaled. Now, some nine years later, fans can continue to experience the film's characters and themes here in Orlando.

Just keep swimming. There's no telling what you might see.


September 8, 2012

Disney apps offer a variety of gaming experiences

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Gaming continues to be a big part of the Disney experience for many kids today, and a handful of new iOS apps offer youngsters the fun of skills competition, creating artwork and the joy of make-believe dress-up magic.

And, of these four apps below, three are free for iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, too.

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Disney Fish Hooks

Based on the Disney Channel animated show, the free Disney Fish Hooks app takes players inside Freshwater High. Users play as Milo, making and popping bubbles to navigate the treacherous waters of his nemesis, Randy Pincherson. To win, you'll need good timing to bounce off turtles, surf whirlpools, fly through tubes and free fall. In addition, puzzle-solving skills will help unlock five of Milo's best friends, and users then can use them as players in the game.

Disney Fish Hooks offers 50 levels, and at each one, players can collect apples to increase their scores. If you have Fish Hooks fans at your house, this is a fun way for them to interact with the characters. Gamers overall seem to like this app, though some online have said glitches cause a lot of hang-ups. Parents, be aware that Randy does make some mean comments, such as "You're a dork!" It's rated for ages 4 and older.

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Disney Pixel'd

Pixel'd is a free drawing and animation app that has been updated this summer. It allows users to create original pixel art or to color Disney character outlines from Mickey and friends, Disney Princeses, Cars, Bolt and Vintage Mickey. Artists will hear each pixel "pop" as the picture is created, and then an easy-to-use animation system brings the art to life. There are three drawing layers on the canvas, 20 frames for creating animations, and adjustable shape tools. Plus, users can choose the width of the marker and the color palette is almost endless.

Other features include Buddy Draw, which allows the user to connect with a friend via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to work together; and a gallery of your artwork can be maintained in the cloud. If your children really enjoy drawing and coloring -- and mine do -- you can purchase expansion packs for more character stamps and fills. This app also is for kids 4 and older.

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Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique

Disney Fairies Fashion Boutique is similar to many other popular apps that allow players to decorate their own spaces -- in this case, a fashion shop, with different themes. Then, players design stylish outfits for fairy customers, including Tinker Bell and her friends. They can choose from 500 clothing and accessory patterns and even customize the pieces with 100 different shades of dye. Attract customers for the completed outfits and earn Pixie Dust and Style Points.

This is just the kind of app my daughter enjoys, and I'm sure she's not alone. Know that this free app only works on iOS devices that are 4.0 and higher (iPhone 4/iPhone 4S; iPad2/ iPad (3rd generation); and iPod touch (4th generation). It is rated as a 4+ app, too.

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Disney Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book

This is the only app in the bunch we recently tested that wasn't free or recently updated. Still, it probably will be money well-spent for families with little girls who like to play dress-up.

My 8-year-old was excited about the Disney Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book app when she saw it in iTunes, so we decided to give it a try. As the title indicates, this app allows users to dress the Disney princesses for their royal weddings and other special occasions.

Your little princess can choose to dress Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana, Aurora, Cinderella or Snow White. Each scenario begins with a short story that leads to the player compiling an outfit -- from a selection of dresses, costumes, gloves, shoes, purses, crowns, flowers, bows, necklaces and hats. My daughter says this is especially fun because some of the clothes are ones not usually paired with each character. She also liked the feature that allowed her to take a photo of herself and use it within the app.

Disney Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book has a $3.99 price tag, and it, too, is an app for children 4 and older.

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About Disney apps

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Mom and The Magic in the Disney apps category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Discovery Cove is the previous category.

Disney Baby is the next category.

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