New Minnie Vehicle Service Begins In July at Walt Disney World Resort


Original article by Thomas Smith, Disney Parks Blog

As we shared during our LIVE coverage at D23 Expo 2017, a new transportation service featuring vehicles themed to the one-and-only Minnie Mouse will soon be taking you everywhere you want to go at the Walt Disney World Resort. Today, we’re thrilled to share a look at some of the vehicles from the Minnie fleet as well as more details about this new point-to-point service.

Starting later this month, guests at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts will be able to arrange their own private Disney vehicle right from their smartphone. It’ll be simple to do. Just arrange a Minnie vehicle and a Disney cast member will arrive and drive you anywhere you wish at the Resort in a magical way that only Disney can do.

First Look: Disney Parks Unveils the Star Wars-Inspired Land Model

Article by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

As we’ve previously shared, two Star Wars-inspired lands are currently under construction at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

Tonight, we’re happy to pull back the curtain and give you the first detailed look at the model of this new land, which will be on display this weekend at the 2017 D23 Expo.

Both Star Wars-inspired lands will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before Wild Space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

First Look: Sneak a Peek at Disney Park's Star Wars Land-Inspired Model

Here, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action at two signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

First Look: Sneak a Peek at Disney Park's Star Wars Land-Inspired Model

Follow the Disney Parks Blog over the next few days for full coverage of all Walt Disney Parks & Resorts news and announcements coming out of the 2017 D23 Expo.

The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors Extends Robert A. Iger’s Contract


The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors announced today that it has extended Robert A. Iger’s contract as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer to July 2, 2019.

“Given Bob Iger’s outstanding leadership, his record of success in a changing media landscape, and his clear strategic vision for Disney’s future, it is obvious that the Company and its shareholders will be best served by his continued leadership as the Board conducts the robust process of identifying a successor and ensuring a smooth transition,” said Orin C. Smith, Independent Lead Director of the Disney Board.

Mr. Smith continued: “Mr. Iger has led The Walt Disney Company to unprecedented success during his 11 years as CEO, driving Disney to new creative heights, expanding the Company’s global reach, fostering technological innovation, and delivering year-after-year of record financial results. During his tenure, Mr. Iger has created enormous value for shareholders, with total shareholder return of 448%, compared to 144% for the S&P 500, and a dramatic increase in the Company’s market capitalization to $177 billion from $46 billion.”

“Leading this great company is a tremendous privilege, and I am honored to have been asked to continue serving as CEO through July 2, 2019,” Mr. Iger said. “Even with the incredible success the Company has achieved, I am confident that Disney’s best days are still ahead, and I look forward to continuing to build on our proven strategy for growth while working with the Board to identify a successor as CEO and ensure a successful transition.”

Details of the agreement will be included in a Form 8-K filed today.

Since Mr. Iger, 66, became CEO, The Walt Disney Company has been recognized as one of the “Most Reputable Companies” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2006-2017); one of “America’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine (2009-2017); one of the “World’s Most Respected Companies” by Barron’s (2009-2016); one of the “Best Places to Launch a Career” byBusinessWeek magazine (2006-2010); and as “Company of the Year” by Yahoo Finance (2013).

How Pandora – The World of Avatar Will Continue the Values of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Original article by Jennifer Fickley-Baker

Pandora -­ The World of Avatar, which is set to open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in summer 2017, will transport guests to a visually stunning world complete with floating mountains, bioluminescent plants and all kinds of immersive adventure.

Walt Disney Imagineering just shared the first in a series of videos in which Portfolio Creative Executive Joe Rohde (who played a major part in the original development for Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the 1990s) explains the overall design philosophy of Pandora – The World of Avatar and how that fits into the theming of the rest of the park.

According to Joe, the themes in both the film AVATAR and the values the designers of Disney’s Animal Kingdom had in mind when planning the park are the same: Emphasizing the intrinsic value of nature; Exploring the idea that guests can be transformed through adventure; And inspiring guests to understand and respect the nature that exists in our world.

Check out the video to learn more about what to expect when Pandora – The World of Avatar comes to life in just a few months.

New Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ Story Begins Production

Take a Behind-The-Scenes Look at Pandora – The World of Avatar

article by Jennifer Fickley-Baker

If you caught the “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration” on ABC earlier this week, you may have seen this amazing sneak peek into one of Walt Disney World’s most exciting expansions: the construction of Pandora – The World of Avatar, which will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer.

As you can see, Pandora – The World of Avatar will transport guests to a visually stunning world complete with floating mountains and bioluminescent plants. Here, guests will be able to experience two expeditions that will truly push adventure to the next level. The family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest. Their journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And second, the Avatar Flight of Passage excursion will offer the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora.

Check out the video above, in which the project team shares how this new land has already exceeded even their own imaginations.

VIDEO – The Disney Castle by LEGO

VIDEO - The Disney Castle by LEGO Now Available At Disney Parks

VIDEO – The Disney Castle by LEGO Now Available At Disney Parks

Article by Steven Miller, Blog

The Disney Castle by the LEGO Group is now available in select merchandise locations at Disney Parks. This highly detailed model contains over 4,000 pieces and comes with an array of exciting Disney-themed features and functions. We recently used some Disney magic to see how quickly we could build this incredible new model.

Elements from this new model were inspired by the iconic Cinderella Castle, including an intricately detailed facade and towers.

VIDEO - The Disney Castle by LEGO Now Available At Disney Parks

The Disney Castle includes five Minifigures: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Tinker Bell. You may recall we released other LEGO Minifigures featuring Disney characters earlier this year. These Minifigures can now be combined with the new Minifigures from The Disney Castle.

VIDEO - The Disney Castle by LEGO Now Available At Disney Parks

Each accessible castle room includes special features inspired by some of Disney’s greatest animated feature films. You can remove part of the roof section to discover the glass slipper element and fairy-tale book element with printed cover. Another room in the Castle features a nod to Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” with a chest containing a book of spells, and a mop and bucket elements.

VIDEO - The Disney Castle by LEGO Now Available At Disney Parks

The Disney Castle measures over 29” (74cm) high, 17” (44cm) wide and 12” (31cm) deep.


Disney’s Bob Iger named to Donald Trump’s new President’s Strategic and Policy Forum

article by Daniel Miller, LA Times

Image result for bob iger

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger has been named to a new policy forum created by President-elect Donald Trump.

The President’s Strategic and Policy Forum includes several business heavyweights, among them JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra and IBM Chief Executive Virginia Rometty.

The nonpartisan, 16-person forum will be chaired by Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone. The group will frequently meet with Trump to directly offer its knowledge and perspective to the president, according to a news release issued by Trump’s transition team on Friday.

“My administration is committed to drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating, and expanding right here in America,” Trump said in a statement.

The forum’s first meeting will be held in February at the White House.

“The forum provides a nonpartisan approach to key economic policy issues, reflecting an array of individual perspectives from a cross-section of industries,” Iger said in a statement. “I welcome the chance to be part of the important discussions about the most effective ways to grow jobs and expand economic opportunity in America.”

Iger, a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, won’t be the only Hollywood player offering counsel to Trump. His incoming administration will include executives with deep ties to the entertainment industry.

On Nov. 13, Trump picked Stephen K. Bannon as his chief strategist. Bannon worked in Hollywood in the 1990s, helping to finance films including Sean Penn’s “The Indian Runner.” Bannon also was previously the executive chairman of Breitbart News, and both he and that news organization have been vociferously criticized by groups such as the Anti-Defamation League for promoting white nationalism.

And on Wednesday, Trump selected Hollywood financier and Wall Street executive Steven Mnuchin to be the next Treasury secretary. Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs before starting a hedge fund that invests in films. He has cut large financing deals with 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., leading to his executive producing credits on movies such as the summer hit “Suicide Squad.”

Iger was asked how the Trump administration might affect Burbank-based Disney during a conference call with analysts held two days after the Nov. 8 election.

“I think it’s really too early to speculate about what the changes in Washington are going to mean for our business or for businesses,” he said on the call held to discuss the company’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings.

Iger, however, noted that Disney has made an effort to encourage the federal government to look at tax policy — and has sought the closing of loopholes and also the lowering of the corporate tax rate.

“We are no longer competitive with the rest of the world in that regard and that must be addressed,” he said. “It’s possible that given what’s going on this week that that’s likely to be addressed sooner rather than later.”

He added that it was a “good thing” that the transition of power was off to a “fairly smooth start.”

Iger also said that a bust of Trump was being prepared for the Hall of Presidents attraction at Walt Disney World.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2


Today fans were given a sneak peek of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in this teaser. The film is coming to theaters May 5, 2017.