Disney Post | Official Blog of The Walt Disney Company

Disney Post | Official Blog of the Walt Disney Company

March 2, 2015

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Celebrates Compassion Month

By Rachel Green, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

In February, we shared the story behind Compassion Month—an initiative by The Walt Disney Company to find creative yet meaningful ways to spread love and compassion to kids, families and organizations in the communities in which we work and live. Here’s a look at some of the ways Walt Disney Parks and Resorts celebrated Compassion Month around the world:

Walt Disney World Resort Disney VoluntEARS participated in the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s 21st annual Paws in the Park event in downtown Orlando. More than 300 VoluntEARS staffed the Disney Kids and Family Together Zone and walked in the Disney Dogs Pack, raising more than $20,000 for the cause. At the end of the event, Disney VoluntEARS, families and their dogs all gathered close together with Mickey’s best pal Pluto for a commemorative photo to celebrate another successful event.

From February onward, Hong Kong Disneyland guests hosting banquets at the resort can specify local non-profit organizations to benefit from the donation of the event’s surplus food. The non-profits then distribute the safe-to-eat leftover food to community centers in various districts around the city to feed those in need.

In honor of Compassion Month, crew members from the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy participated in a Hospital Greeting Card Project that will benefit children and families at hospitals in Disney Cruise Line ports of call. Crew members colored greeting cards and wrote messages of encouragement to help bring joy and comfort to children in their time of need.

Shanghai Disney Resort VoluntEARS paid visits to children at the Half the Sky Family Village Orphanage in East China’s Nanjing City and patients at the CereCare Wellness Center for Children in Shanghai.  VoluntEARS created Chinese New Year decorations with the children to celebrate and ring in the Year of the Sheep.  Additionally, the resort’s VoluntEARS participated in the “Share the Joy” Adopt-A-Student program by collecting and donating new winter coats to local students—creating lasting relationships between Shanghai Disney Resort cast members and the local community.

In Japan, the annual “Hina Matsuri” Doll Festival was held at “Aiji-no-ie” orphanage. VoluntEARS from Tokyo Disney Resort played with children from the orphanage, and the group enjoyed Japanese games, food and celebratory activities.

In February, Disneyland Paris VoluntEARS invited 300 children from different French charities for a day of fun and magical memories with their families. Children and their families also participated in a culinary workshop led by one of the Disneyland Paris pastry chefs, who shared his secrets for making the perfect crêpe.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is proud to be a part of a much larger initiative that strives to make dreams come true for kids and families around the world.

February 27, 2015

Disney News This Week: Bob Chapek Named Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, AVATAR Concept Art Revealed, New DuckTales Announced

By Beth Deitchman, The Walt Disney Company

On Monday, Bob Chapek was named Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. A 22-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, Mr. Chapek has served since 2011 as President of Disney Consumer Products, driving a technology-led transformation of the Company’s consumer products, retail and publishing operations. He assumes his new role effective immediately, succeeding Thomas O. Staggs, now Chief Operating Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had during my years at Disney, and am thrilled to join the incredible Disney Parks organization,” Mr. Chapek said. “I look forward to working with the remarkably talented team dedicated to creating magical memories for millions of guests around the world.” A successor to Mr. Chapek at Disney Consumer Products will be named at a later date.

Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) shared concept art of Pandora, the mythical land based on the blockbuster film AVATAR, coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. On the Disney Parks Blog, WDI Chief Creative Executive Bruce Vaughn said, “This creative process has been one of the most dynamic and collaborative ones we’ve ever undertaken. It began when our then-Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts proposed to James Cameron that together we might recreate the world of Pandora at Disney. Since that time, our creative development team, led by Joe Rohde, has been working hand-in-hand with Jim, Jon Landau and their team of artists and designers at Lightstorm on every aspect of this project—from overall design to the smallest—yet crucially important—details. And along each step of this process, Tom, as well as Disney CEO Bob Iger, have been actively involved in helping guide the creative vision that is shaping the extraordinary world we’re building.” Vaughn also provided a glimpse at some of the iconic elements inside the world of Pandora:

  

An all-new DuckTales, an animated comedy series based on the Emmy® Award-winning series treasured by a generation of viewers, has been ordered for launch in 2017 on Disney XD channels around the world. Set to be produced by Disney Television Animation, the new series will again star Disney’s enduringly popular characters: Scrooge McDuck, his grandnephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, and Donald Duck. The announcement was made Wednesday by Marc Buhaj, Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD. Buhaj said, “DuckTales has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history, it drew its inspiration from Disney Legend Carl Barks’ comic books and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.”

February 26, 2015

Bringing the World of AVATAR to Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

By Rachel Green, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Today, we shared some exciting news about the progress of the AVATAR-inspired land coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. Here is Imagineer and Chief Creative Executive Bruce Vaughn with a sneak peek at some of the iconic elements inside the world of Pandora:

“Since we first broke ground last year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we’ve been looking forward to welcoming guests into Pandora, the mythical land based on the blockbuster film AVATAR. We’re having a lot of fun dreaming up ways to bring to life the land’s iconic elements from the magnificent floating mountains to the interactive bioluminescent forest, and even to the soaring banshees.

"This creative process has been one of the most dynamic and collaborative ones we’ve ever undertaken. It began when our then-Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts proposed to James Cameron that together we might recreate the world of Pandora at Disney. Since that time, our creative development team, led by Joe Rohde, has been working hand-in-hand with Jim, Jon Landau and their team of artists and designers at Lightstorm on every aspect of this project—from overall design to the smallest—yet crucially important—details. And along each step of this process, Tom, as well as Disney CEO Bob Iger have been actively involved in helping guide the creative vision that is shaping the extraordinary world we’re building.

"We all recently got together at our offices in Glendale, California and walked through the fantastic progress on the whole land—including the awesome experience of seeing Pandora while riding on a banshee.

"When he was with us, Jim said, 'I think one of the things that people loved about the movie is that they felt as if they had visited Pandora… now, thanks to Disney’s amazing Imagineers, people are going to truly experience Pandora firsthand. From the details in the plants to the production and design, extraordinary thought and care has gone into this entire world. The teams have really created something special, and it’s not going to be like anything else.'

"This project is really pushing the boundaries of what is possible. But one of the things that makes Disney Parks so special is that it takes all of our Cast—across the segment—to really bring these experiences to life. We were glad to be able to share our work with the creative teams and thought you might want to see it, too. Here’s a sneak peek of what we showed them”:

To stay up-to-date as the world of Pandora comes to life, visit the Disney Parks Blog.

February 25, 2015

Disney Cruise Line Honored with 12 First-Place Cruisers’ Choice Awards

By Rachel Green, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

We already know guests who sail on Disney Cruise Line love their experience, and we’re proud to continue to be recognized by industry leaders and guests alike. On Monday, Cruise Critic announced that Disney Cruise Line has been acknowledged once again in the Cruisers’ Choice Awards. All four ships were awarded with top honors—12 first-place awards in all.

 Disney Cruise Line garnered first place in the following categories:

  • Disney Dream (Large Category)—Best Overall; Best Entertainment; Best Public Rooms; Best Cruises to the Bahamas
  • Disney Fantasy (Large Category)—Best Cabins; Best Embarkation; Best Service; Best for Families
  • Disney Wonder (Mid-Size Category)—Best Overall; Best Service
  • Disney Magic (Mid-Size Category)—Best Embarkation; Best Entertainment

Disney Cruise Line continues to be recognized as a cruise industry leader by travel professionals, hospitality trade groups and, most importantly, guests like you, garnering over 50 awards in the last year.

 

 

February 25, 2015

Disney Movie Moments Celebrates Compassion Month with February Film Festival

By Janelle Tipton, The Walt Disney Studios

Another way Disney is celebrating this Compassion Month is through the first-ever February Film Festival via Disney Movie Moments, a flagship program that brings first-run movies to more than 40 children’s hospitals across the U.S.

Every week this month, participating hospitals received different beloved Disney titles—which started with Cinderella and The Muppets during the first week of the festival—that are made available through a special Roku streaming device.

In fact, this February marks the one-year anniversary of Disney Movie Moments. Disney is the first studio to create a program of this kind, which is aimed at providing a sense of comfort and normalcy for children during their stay.

Walt Disney himself started a tradition of compassion and care that the Company is proud to continue and uphold to this day. Alongside providing millions of dollars in grants and in-kind support to hundreds of children’s hospitals across the country, Disney helps to brighten patient’s lives through hosting one-of-a-kind events, such as a special virtual red-carpet experience for patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

As we wrap up our Compassion Month celebrations, the festival is another exciting example of Disney’s legacy of supporting kids and families when they need it most.

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