Disney Post | Official Blog of The Walt Disney Company

Disney Post | Official Blog of the Walt Disney Company

July 29, 2015

ESPN Employees Are Honored to be Among 30 Disney VoluntEARS at 2015 Special Olympics

By Sheldon Spencer, ESPN

Of the 30 Walt Disney Company VoluntEARS selected through an application process to work at Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, eight are ESPN employees.

ESPN, the official media partner for the World Games, has multi-platform coverage of the event from July 25 through August 2.
The VoluntEARS are among those assisting at competition venues and interacting with the more than 6,500 athletes representing more than 160 countries.

Front Row asked three ESPN employees, each based at the company’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters, to write about what this opportunity means to them. Read their stories here.

ESPN employees (L-R) Denise McFarlane, Ana Blanch, Scott Pentoney, Jennifer Leimbach, David Kelly, Brienne Gallagher, Mark Porter and Amie Giersdorf at the Walt Disney Studio Lot, 
Legends Plaza. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Leimbach)
Topics: ESPN
July 24, 2015

Disney News This Week: A New Trailer for ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Debuts, ‘The View’ Names the Show’s First Female Director and Broadway’s ‘Aladdin’ Welcomes Its One Millionth Guest

By Beth Deitchman, The Walt Disney Company

A new trailer for Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur was released on Tuesday, July 21. The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. The Good Dinosaur, directed by Peter Sohn, opens in theaters nationwide November 25, 2015.

When The View returns for season 19 in September, the talk show’s director will be Sarah de la O. This marks the first time that a female director has taken the helm behind-the-scenes. Sarah de la O is a seven-time Emmy® Award winner with an extensive list of credits that include live talk shows and events, including Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, Big Morning Buzz on VH1 and red carpet coverage for the TV Guide Network, in addition to serving as director for ABC’s Bachelor Pad and After the Final Rose. “We are very excited to have Sarah join the show,” said Bill Wolff, executive producer for The View. “She has an excellent eye and a keen understanding of both visual presentation and editorial content.”

Last night at New York City’s New Amsterdam Theatre, Disney’s Tony® Award-winning hit musical Aladdin welcomed its one millionth guest since beginning performances on Broadway on February 26, 2014. Stephanie Lubin, a medical student from Melville, Long Island, and her guest for the evening, Kevin Sparaco, were surprised as their tickets were scanned upon entering the theater. When ushers discovered that Lubin was the show’s one millionth guest, cast members surprised them with confetti, sashes and champagne, as well as an upgrade to premium orchestra seats. During Aladdin’s curtain call, Tony-winning actor James Monroe Iglehart (Genie) granted the final wish of a trip to Tuscany, Italy.

A new trailer for Disney•Pixar’s 'The Good Dinosaur' was released on Tuesday, July 21.
When 'The View' returns for season 19 in September, the talk show’s director will be Sarah de la O. This marks the first time that a female director has taken the helm behind-the-scenes.
'Aladdin' welcomed its one millionth guest on Thursday, July 23. Pictured, left to right are Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Stephanie Lubin (One Millionth Guest), James Monroe Iglehart (Genie), Kevin Sparaco and Courtney Reed (Jasmine).
July 23, 2015

Robin Roberts’ Special Olympics Preview: “A Labor of Love”

By Sheldon Spencer, ESPN

Between her weekday duties as an anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) and preparation to host the Opening Ceremony for the Special Olympics World Games on Saturday, July 25, Robin Roberts has been burning the candle at both ends.

Still, she made time to tell several behind-the-scenes stories for Countdown to the Special Olympics World Games with Robin Roberts (ESPN, tonight, 9 p.m. ET with re-airs Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on ABC and 8 p.m. on ESPN).

The former SportsCenter anchor was driven to produce this special for ESPN and ABC. She thanks her teammates at both networks for helping her complete this project. Roberts has been involved with the Special Olympics since she was growing up in Mississippi in the 1980s.

“I now fully understand the phrase ‘labor of love,’” Roberts tells ESPN Front Row. “It was challenging balancing my duties at GMA with the production of this show and preparing to host the Opening Ceremony. 
“I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a village. I have a fabulous team at Rock’n Robin Productions. My colleagues at GMA and ESPN are incredibly supportive. There’s no way I could do all that I’m blessed to do without the help of many talented people by my side.”

Visit ESPN Front Row to learn more about the special, which includes interviews with Tim Shriver, Brooklyn Decker and Special Olympics athletes.

Robin Roberts (bottom right) visits a Special Olympics event. (Photo courtesy Rock n Robin Productions)
July 20, 2015

‘Miles from Tomorrowland: Space Missions’

By Robert Koontz, Disney/ABC Television Group

Since its debut in February, Disney Junior’s Miles from Tomorrowland has carved out a special place in children’s entertainment, featuring storytelling that engages young minds in the wonders of space, science and technology. In just a few short months, the show has become the No. 1 series across preschool networks in Total Viewers.

To help build upon that foundation and further encourage children’s curiosity in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), Disney Junior has partnered with XPRIZE to launch “Miles from Tomorrowland: Space Missions.” The program, which is part of Disney|ABC Television Group’s “Summer of Creativity” and kicked off with a special event at the New York Hall of Science on July 16, encourages children ages 2–8 to engage in STEAM learning activities by inspiring them to make their own “out-of-this-world” creations for the chance to win prizes, including a trip to Kennedy Space Center.

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“We’re excited to be partnering with XPRIZE as we look to enthuse young children about their role in building our future,” said Nancy Kanter, executive vice president and general manager, Disney Junior Worldwide. “Since launching Miles from Tomorrowland we've heard from parents that their children are asking questions and wanting to know more about space, science and technology. We hope this initiative will build on that interest and inspire this generation to become leaders in the STEAM fields.”

Participants in “Miles from Tomorrowland: Space Missions” are invited to submit creations in three themed categories—technology, vehicles and planets. The grand-prize-winning family, to be announced in September, will receive an exclusive trip to Cape Canaveral, Fla. where they will visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, take a tour of Moon Express and have the chance to watch the launch of a SpaceX rocket. Four first runner-up winners will receive a 3D printer from 3D Systems and 100 second runner-ups will win Google Cardboard Viewers. Official rules and details are available at DisneyJunior.com/SpaceMissions.

The kickoff event featured activities that included designing, building and launching a rocket, and also gave children the opportunity to meet an astronaut and experience New York Hall of Science’s “Search for Life Beyond Earth” Mars Rover exhibit. They even got the chance to play on a planetary-themed mini golf course designed to teach the laws of motion and gravity.

Spearheaded by New York Hall of Science, Saint Louis Science Center and COSI in Columbus, Ohio, science centers nationwide will have onsite activations ranging from an immersive Miles from Tomorrowland virtual reality experience to building rockets and creating the surface of a planet.

Coinciding with the program announcement, Miles from Tomorrowland guest star and renowned scientist, author, entertainer and CEO of The Planetary Society Bill Nye spoke about the importance of encouraging kids’ interest in space, science and technology at a young age.

“Science and technology are the key to our future, so it is imperative that we get young people engaged in these fields as early as possible,” he said. “Miles from Tomorrowland is already part of that, and I think this challenge that Disney and XPRIZE are presenting will inspire kids with the message that they can do anything—create machines, spaceships, vessels to travel anywhere they want to explore.”

Disney Junior has partnered with XPRIZE to launch “Miles from Tomorrowland: Space Missions.” The program, which is part of Disney|ABC Television Group’s “Summer of Creativity,” kicked off with a special event at the New York Hall of Science on July 16.
L-R: Dr. Yvonne Cagle of NASA; Nancy Kanter, executive vice president and general manager, Disney Junior Worldwide; ‘Miles from Tomorrowland’ creator/executive producer Sascha Paladino; ‘Good Morning America’ Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee; renowned scientist, author, entertainer and CEO of The Planetary Society Bill Nye and Dr. Mike Massimino of NASA helped kick off the program at New York Hall of Science.
The kickoff event featured activities that included designing, building and launching a rocket, and also gave children the opportunity to meet an astronaut and experience New York Hall of Science’s “Search for Life Beyond Earth” Mars Rover exhibit.
Bill Nye spoke about the importance of encouraging kids’ interest in space, science and technology at a young age.
July 17, 2015

Cheers to 60 Years of Disneyland!

By Rachel Green, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

 

 

Sixty years ago today, Walt Disney’s dream came to life when he created an enchanting place that families and guests of all ages could enjoy together. Since Disneyland opened its gates, it has been as a world-class entertainment destination—providing guests with one-of-a-kind experiences and immersing them in worlds of fantasy and adventure.

In honor of its 60th anniversary, Disneyland Resort today announced “Million Dollar Dazzle,” which will award one or more local nonprofits each month of the Diamond Celebration with a surprise $60,000 gift, totaling more than $1 million. Girls Scouts of Orange County was named the first recipient today, and recognized during a special ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle honoring Disneyland’s past, present and future.

Today, guests are celebrating all day long—dressed in their ’50s best, enjoying special entertainment and Diamond Celebration cupcakes baked for the occasion. Tonight, Disneyland will light up the night as it continues the Diamond Celebration with the all-new Paint the Night parade and Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular.

Happy anniversary, Disneyland! Here’s to the next 60 years of Disney magic.

To read more about how Disneyland is celebrating today and stay up to date on the ongoing Diamond Celebration, visit the Disney Parks Blog.

In honor of its 60th anniversary, Disneyland Resort today announced “Million Dollar Dazzle,” which will award one or more local nonprofits each month of the Diamond Celebration with a surprise $60,000 gift, totaling more than $1 million.

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