Disney Post | Official Blog of The Walt Disney Company

Disney Post | Official Blog of the Walt Disney Company

May 22, 2015

Disney News This Week: Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Begins, Disney Store Opens its First and Largest Store in Shanghai and Marvel’s 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Crosses the $1 Billion Mark

By Beth Deitchman, The Walt Disney Company

Today Disneyland Resort officially kicked off the “Disneyland Diamond Celebration,” marking 60 years of magic at the Happiest Place on Earth. The event officially opened to guests at 6 a.m. PT, the start of a 24-hour party at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks that serves as a kick-off to the Diamond Celebration and the summer family travel season. “Few companies have both a legendary past as well as a limitless future,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “But we had the great fortune to be founded with a spirit of creativity and innovation—one that continues to define this phenomenal company, allowing us to keep moving forward to meet the future without ever losing sight of who we are and where it all started.  We’re thrilled to usher in Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary and celebrate the triumph of imagination in a place where dreams really do come true.”

Disney Store opened its flagship store in the Lujiazui area of Pudong, Shanghai, China on Wednesday. This landmark store marks Disney Store’s largest retail space in the world, with 9,257 square feet of immersive shopping experiences and innovative product, and also features an outdoor plaza. “We couldn’t be more delighted to open our first Disney Store in China, in Shanghai,” said Paul Candland, president, The Walt Disney Company, Asia-Pacific region. “Disney Store plays a critical role in how millions around the world experience our brand and allows kids, young adults and families to have a uniquely fun and immersive experience while shopping for their favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars products,” he added. The group of Chinese characters representing the specific date and time chosen for the store’s opening—May 20 at 1:14 p.m.—represents a highly popular social media code among young people as a time to openly express love and long-term commitment to each other. “We want to thank the people of Shanghai for welcoming us to the city and could think of no better way than to open the store on May 20 at 1314 hours,” Candland said.

On May 15, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron crossed the $1 billion mark in its 24th day of global release and has become the eighth-highest-grossing film of all time. It is Marvel Studios’ third billion-dollar film, alongside Marvel’s The Avengers and Iron Man 3, and the eighth Disney release to surpass this threshold. Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron is the highest-grossing film of 2015 domestically and the second-biggest movie of the year globally. The film began opening internationally on April 22 and debuted in the No. 1 spot in every market, marking the biggest opening weekend ever in Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Philippines, Ecuador and Bolivia, as well as the biggest Western debut ever in South Korea and Peru. Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron will open in Japan on July 4. On May 12, Disney surpassed the $2 billion mark at the global box office for the 14th consecutive year. In addition to Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Studios’ results have been driven by Disney’s Cinderella, Into the Woods and Big Hero 6.

Today Disneyland Resort officially kicked off the “Disneyland Diamond Celebration,” marking 60 years of magic at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Disney Store opened its flagship store in the Lujiazui area of Pudong, Shanghai, China on Wednesday.
On May 15, Marvel’s 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' crossed the $1 billion mark in its 24th day of global release and has become the eighth-highest-grossing film of all time.
May 21, 2015

Young Innovators Share Their Vision of the Future with Disney’s Create Tomorrowland—XPRIZE Challenge

By Cynthia Momdjian, The Walt Disney Company

Last month, The Walt Disney Studios and Disney Citizenship, in collaboration with XPRIZE, announced Disney’s Create Tomorrowland—XPRIZE Challenge. Kids and teens between the ages of 8 and 17, across the country, were invited to dream up the world-changing technology of the future. 

Hundreds of young innovators rose to the challenge by imagining themselves in the future and reporting back about one new technology that is positively affecting humanity. Today, we’re pleased to announce the six winners and their ideas—just in time for the theatrical debut of Disney’s Tomorrowland on May 22:

  • Gabrielle Nafie, age 9, of New York, New York, envisioned a robotic origami bee called a bee origamibot. When activated by sunlight, these tiny robots function like real bees by pollinating plants vital to our survival and offset the global decline of the actual insect.
  • Maxwell Fung, age 11, of North Syracuse, New York, imagined a world with no pain thanks to the invention of the pain-blocking nanobot. These teeny metal bots are administered orally prior to surgery to inhibit nerve endings from transferring chemicals that induce pain. The nanobots are removed through the kidneys, result in little to no side effects and are non-addictive.
  • Jason Jackrel, age 12, of North Bellmore, New York, invented the hydrogen-powered scooter, the preferred transportation of the future. By utilizing hydrogen, which emits water, instead of fossil fuels, the hydrogen-powered scooter eliminates C02 emissions.
  • Clarissa Katko, age 15, of Dansville, Michigan, developed a cure for cancer through genetic therapy. By harnessing the genetic makeup of mole rats, whose genes have a high resistance to runaway cell growth, humanity will be able to eradicate cancer and extend life expectancy.
  • Adrianne Camero, age 15, of Miami, Florida, devised the Magnēs Lithos Chair, a more efficient and adaptable alternative to the wheelchair. The Magnēs Lithos Chair utilizes the Earth’s electromagnetic field to levitate and is maneuvered by the user’s mind.
  • Natalie Cummings, age 16, of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, tapped into the science of Mother Nature to create artificial trees with leaves that cleanse the air of C02 at exponential rates while also capturing solar energy to power neighboring homes.

“We are thrilled to be able to recognize the talents and imagination of these extraordinary young people,” said Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production. “The submissions showed an incredible and imaginative vision of the future, and through them, they have brought to life the same spirit and optimism that inspired us to make the film Tomorrowland.”

Beginning in June, the six winners will have a once-in-a-lifetime mentorship experience with a leader in their area of interest. In addition, each winner will receive a $3,000 check, a 3-D Printer from 3D Systems, an annual subscription to Tales2Go® and registration for FIRST® LEGO® League for the competition season 2015–2016 in the U.S.

From all of us here at Disney, congratulations to all of the winners!

Hundreds of young innovators rose to the challenge by imagining themselves in the future and reporting back about one new technology that is positively affecting humanity.
May 20, 2015

Coding Tomorrow

By Robert Koontz, Disney/ABC Television Group

Disney Junior’s Miles from Tomorrowland recently teamed up with Google to host a symposium focused on inspiring girls to learn computer science. Held at the Google offices in Washington, D.C., “Coding Tomorrow” featured Congresswomen Suzan DelBene and Susan Brooks; Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Nancy Kanter; Dr. Yvonne Cagle of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Space and Life Sciences Directorate and series consultant; and series Creator/Executive Producer Sascha Paladino.

Computer science has become a gateway to innovation in many fields, from medicine to the movie industry. While the number of girls studying math and science is on the rise, fewer girls are studying computer science. Research shows that one of the reasons girls are choosing not to pursue this field is the absence of positive role models, which Disney and Google have challenged head on.

Creators of Miles from Tomorrowland developed the character of Loretta, a cool big sister and an expert coder, and tapped female software engineers at Google to act as consultants for the show. The hope is that by showcasing females in these roles, more young girls will develop an interest in the field of computer science and help influence the next generation of technological innovations.

Google and Disney Junior’s ‘Miles from Tomorrowland’ hosted a symposium on inspiring girls to learn computer science, at the Google offices in Washington D.C., on Monday, May 18. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN) presented special remarks at the event, entitled “Coding Tomorrow.”
L—R: Dr. Yvonne Cagle (Nasa’s Johnson Space Center, Space and Life Sciences Directorate and Series Consultant), Julie Ann Crommett (CS Education in Media Program Manager, Google), Nancy Kanter (Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior), Angela Navarro (Software Engineer, Google) and Sascha Paladino (Creator/Executive Producer, ‘Miles from Tomorrowland’)
May 19, 2015

Disney Cruise Line Returning to New York, Miami and Galveston in 2016

By Rachel Green, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

On Monday, Disney Cruise Line announced limited-time sailings aboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder from popular home ports in the fall of 2016.

Returning to New York, the Disney Magic will sail on Bahamian cruises that include stops at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, the Bahamas and Port Canaveral, Florida—located just one hour from the Walt Disney World Resort. Each guest on these sailings will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation for the short trip between Port Canaveral and the resort.

Additionally, the Disney Magic will sail from New York to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick in Canada. In these charming Canadian ports, guests can soak in splendid natural vistas, explore historic sites, visit quaint cafes and shops, and browse Canada’s oldest farmer’s market.

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line guests will be able to enjoy voyages from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean, including Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay. Ships also visit the Western Caribbean, including Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway Cay.

In late 2016, Disney Cruise Line returns to Texas with itineraries sailing from Galveston to the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, Key West, Cozumel and Costa Maya. Select cruises will also feature Halloween or winter holiday events that bring special entertainment, activities and décor to the ships.

To learn more about these new voyages as well as other exciting itineraries, visit disneycruise.com.

Returning to New York, the Disney Magic will sail on Bahamian cruises that include stops at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, the Bahamas and Port Canaveral, Florida.
May 15, 2015

Disney News This Week: Disney Springs Update from Walt Disney World Resort, ABC Unveils its 2015–16 Schedule, and the Walt Disney Archives Announces 'Disneyland: The Exhibit'

By Beth Deitchman, The Walt Disney Company

Today, Walt Disney World Resort shared exciting news about 13 high-profile tenants coming to Disney Springs. When work is completed in 2016, Disney Springs will have expanded to more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues. The area will include four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods with a high-quality, diverse mix of retailers—including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options—and sophisticated restaurants.

On Tuesday, ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee unveiled the network’s 2015–16 slate of programming at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. Continuing its commitment to great storytelling, ABC’s 2015–16 lineup includes the addition of 10 new series: The Catch, Dr. Ken, The Family, The Muppets, Of Kings and Prophets, OIL, Quantico, The Real O’Neals, Uncle Buck and Wicked City. “Our new slate of shows continues the momentum from last year. ABC was the most buzzed-about network, and the only major network to hold on to its audience and to grow in the target demo. Our 2015–16 schedule, with new shows and returning favorites that reflect our commitment to world-class storytelling, will solidify ABC’s place as the network that raises the bar for what viewers expect from broadcast television,” Lee said. During the 2014–15 season, ABC delivered seven of the Top 20 entertainment series on broadcast TV in Adults 18–49, placing four of the Top 10 and claiming three of the Top 5 dramas: Modern Family and Scandal tie at No. 4, How to Get Away with Murder at No. 9, Grey’s Anatomy at No. 10, and Once Upon a Time at No. 12, while black-ish and The Bachelor tie at No. 18.

The Walt Disney Archives announced that it will present “Disneyland: The Exhibit” at D23 EXPO 2015, in celebration of the park’s 60th anniversary. More than 300 pieces from Disneyland’s incredible history will be on display, including Ticket No. 1, purchased by Roy O. Disney on July 18, 1955, the first day the park was open to the general public. “Walt Disney Archives Presents—Disneyland: The Exhibit” will include themed areas that honor the park’s history, attractions, parades, and entertainment over the past six decades, including the construction of Disneyland, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mickey Mouse Club at Disneyland, Club 33, and collectible merchandise, as well as the park’s iconic lands: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Frontierland, New Orleans Square, Tomorrowland, and Critter Country/Bear Country. The 12,000-square-foot exhibit will be located on the show floor for the first time and is the largest display the Disney Archives has ever showcased at D23 EXPO.

When work is completed in 2016, Disney Springs will have expanded to more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues.
Continuing its commitment to great storytelling, ABC’s 2015–16 lineup includes the addition of 10 new series, including 'The Muppets.'
The Walt Disney Archives announced that it will present “Disneyland: The Exhibit” at D23 EXPO 2015, in celebration of the park’s 60th anniversary.

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