Robert Downey Jr. Tweets Photos from Avengers 2: Age of Ultron

Robert Downey Jr. has posted two photos from Avengers 2: Age of Ultron via his twitter account.  Love his chair!!

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With  Executive Producer:

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Disney XD Launches Popular “Gravity Falls” App on Android and Kindle Fire Devices

Disney XD is launching its “Gravity Falls Mystery Shack Attack” tower defense strategy game app today on select Android devices in Google Play and Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore for $2.99.

In the game, Li’l Gideon has called upon his minions from the great beyond to scare Dipper, Mabel and Grunkle Stan out of Gravity Falls. Players can help the trio by strategically placing an array of revamped gadgets and odd knickknacks from the Mystery Shack in the path of the creatures and other supernatural baddies.

Core features of the game include:

Help Dipper and Mabel defend key “Gravity Falls” locations: the Mystery Shack, Dusk 2 Dawn, Arcade, Summerween Superstore and the Tent of Telepathy.

Access to more than 20 defensive items, including the Manotaur War Horn, Gnome Launcher, Sneezing Powder and more.

Summon the Giant Gnome Monster, Rumble McSkirmish and other Gravity Falls characters to help defend and block the minions.

All versions of the app, including iPad and iPhone, now also include the following updates:

Challenges Gameplay Mode: Players test their building skills in 15 hand-crafted challenges, including Drats Bats!, Sneeze Attack, the Brain Train, Defend a Lot, With the Li’l and Yeti or Not, Here I Come!, among others.

Endless Gameplay Mode: Defeat endless waves of enemies in an attempt to earn the highest score. Each wave will get progressively harder until the enemy’s forces become overwhelming.

Enhanced World Map: The new Gravity Falls world map makes it easier to select locations and challenges.

Upgrade Shop: Grunkle Stan has opened up a new shop, serving up upgrades that permanently enhance gameplay.

Currency: Stars: By completing areas in Story Mode and completing challenges, players can earn Stars that can be used to buy item upgrades.

“Gravity Falls” is an animated adventure comedy riddled with mystery. In it twin brother and sister, Dipper and Mabel, are sent to spend their summer vacation with their great uncle, Grunkle Stan, who enlists the siblings’ help in running the Mystery Shack, a fun tourist trap he owns that overcharges unsuspecting customers. While Dipper has a hard time getting used to his new surroundings, Mabel’s upbeat optimism comes in handy in her quest to find true love. When Dipper stumbles upon an elusive book, he discovers it is the key to unlocking the town’s mysterious secrets, and the brother and sister duo soon realize they must rely on one another to navigate the unfamiliar place. Meanwhile, when he isn’t busy trying to make a quick buck from his unsuspecting customers, Grunkle Stan guards his own secret that might hold the key to unlocking the mystery of Gravity Falls.

Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Filming Gets Under Way in Abu Dhabi

The first “Star Wars” movie to be made under Walt Disney Co. (DIS) has begun shooting in Abu Dhabi, according to Alan Horn, chairman of the company’s film division, who said the casting will be announced soon.

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All New Medals for Runners at 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Who couldn’t use some more bling? All new medals await runners who complete races in the 2015 Walt Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, January 7-11. Registration starts today at runDisney.com.

Among the slew of new Disney Marathon Weekend medals will be a commemorative 10th anniversary Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal. The 39.3-mile challenge involves completing Saturday’s half marathon and Sunday’s full marathon.

The Walt Disney World 10K will feature a new Minnie Mouse-inspired medal. Disney Half Marathon runners will earn an all new Donald Duck themed medal. And a Mickey Mouse-inspired medal goes to finishers of the 26.2-mile Walt Disney World Marathon.

Also, the popular Dopey Challenge is back for a second year for athletes completing all four timed events in successive days (the Family Fun Run 5K, the Walt Disney World 10K, the Disney Half Marathon and the Disney Marathon) for the chance to earn six medals for completing all 48.6 miles.

In addition to the four races, the Disney Marathon Weekend will feature Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo, where runners pick up race packets, shop for the latest running apparel and technology, and meet industry experts such as runDisney official training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus. The expo is free and open to the public at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is also the site of the runDisney Kids Races and the Mickey Mile for the littler ones to experience.

There are also additional features for the entire family to enjoy, including breakfasts with Disney characters, Pasta in the Park parties at Epcot to “carb up” for the next morning’s races and celebrate Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge’s 10th anniversary, ChEAR Squad amenities to help fans cheer on the runners, a Race Retreat for a VIP running experience and a Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney to celebrate each runner’s victories.

New research from Disney reveals games and apps will reduce travel stress for families

New research released by Disney UK suggests that the much dreaded question ‘are we nearly there yet?’ could soon be a thing of the past. A nationwide UK study reveals that more than half of parents are able to enjoy a respite of least an hour before their children get bored, and start to complain during journeys, thanks to games and apps played on smartphones and tablets proving to be a welcome distraction. In comparison, only a fifth of parents travelling without games and apps will enjoy the same amount of respite.

The report, conducted by Disney UK to celebrate the launch of its new iOS app Disney Junior Play, polled 5,000 British parents with children under the age of 10, to reveal the techniques typically employed to keep the family happy during journeys. The research demonstrated just how much mobile technology is increasingly relied upon, with more than four out of five (83%) parents agreeing that tablets and smartphones can help to relieve car boredom. Only 14% consider traditional travel games such as ‘I Spy’ essential to their journey.

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Photos – Mater’s Tow Yard at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival

Take a look at some photos around Mater’s Tow Yard.  This area is part of Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival.

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Photos – Construction around Hub & Central Plaza Area by Cinderella Castle – Part 2

Take a look at the construction going on around the Hub and Central Plaza area in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.  This is Part Two of our photo gallery.

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Photos: Part One

My Personal Experience with My Disney Experience: When Traditional Planning Meets MyMagic+ by Sarah Graffam

I didn’t think I would be going to Disney World again until 2015. My family has a trip planned to a different destination this year, and I reasoned that waiting until all the changes at the World revolving around MyMagic+ settled down might be a good thing. But last week, my husband says to me, my birthday is coming up and what I’d most like to do on that day is go to Star Wars weekends at Hollywood Studios.
Let the planning begin! But how would MyMagic+ change the way I would plan this trip versus trips in the past?

Where to Stay: Going to Star Wars weekends means crowds at Disney Hollywood Studios. I knew that staying at an Epcot resort, which would mean being within walking distance or a short boat ride to the park, could make our trip much more relaxed. We were able to easily book one of these wonderful resorts online and are looking forward to enjoying the entertainment on the Boardwalk, gazing out at Crescent Lake, and swimming in the pool.

So how did MyMagic+ change my planning of hotel reservations?
It didn’t. Okay, that part was easy.

Dining Reservations: Over the course of several days, I succeeded in getting the dining reservations I wanted—even this close to a trip! It was not altogether easy, though. For example, the always-busy Liberty Tree Tavern took some doing. In the course of one day, available dinner times at Liberty Tree Tavern for our night at the Magic Kingdom appeared and disappeared over a fairly widespread range of times. I would make one reservation, and an hour or so later a better time would be available. After three tries, I was able to make a reservation for what I think will be the perfect time. But we’ll see. Who knows what timing issues FastPass+ reservations will bring.
So how did MyMagic+ change my planning of dining reservations?

Just a little. Although the My Disney Experience website and app are a change (particularly the ability to make dining reservations on the My Disney Experience app), the current challenges with planning dining reservations are similar to those that have existed for years on the Disney World website—mostly hoping the app and website will work and, better yet, work well plus successfully finding the best times to fit with the rest of our vacation. I did, however, appreciate the fact that I didn’t need to be at home on my computer to make dining reservations, so that is a good change from the My Disney Experience app.

Tickets and Magic Bands: Tickets! Anyone need tickets? Yes, my family of four does. Tickets for DisneyWorld are not just plastic cards anymore—they have been transformed into Magic Bands (insert oohs and aahs)! Here’s when my questions about MyMagic+ increased exponentially.
We decided to get annual passes because they make the most financial sense for this visit and our planned 2015 visit. Here is what I learned about purchasing annual passes under the MyMagic+ system by cobbling together answers from a Disney chat room, various Disney websites, and a call to a cast member:
• Purchasing on the Disney website. When purchasing annual passes on the website, a confirmation number is given right away and a voucher is mailed. This has implications for FastPass+ and Magic Bands, as outlined below.
• Linking passes to My Disney Experience. We will be able to link our passes to our My Disney Experience accounts with the confirmation number. This linking will be the key to opening up our access to FastPass+ reservations.
• How Magic Bands work with a My Disney Experience account. According to the Disney cast member, you don’t link your annual pass (or any ticket) to a band but instead link it to your My Disney Experience account. That way, any active bands on your account are able to be associated with any pass or ticket.
• When you get your Magic Bands. Without existing Magic Bands, you are out of luck in terms of having a band for your first visit with an annual pass. The order for the Magic Bands appears on your account only after the annual pass voucher is redeemed at the park. Lucky for us, we will be able to associate the passes with bands from one of our previous trips.
• Redeeming the voucher. On the first day you are ready to use your annual pass, the voucher must be redeemed at the park. At that time, you will receive an annual pass card that, like the Magic Band, can be used for admission and FastPass+ stations. Plus, at this time, only the card, not the band, will allow you to receive any annual pass discounts.
So how did MyMagic+ change the purchasing of our admission/annual passes?

A lot!! Stay tuned to hear about my experiences with FastPass+ reservations. Because we are staying off-site, we can’t make these reservations until 30 days out. Also, I am really looking forward to seeing the new Festival of Fantasy Parade (and may consider a FastPass+ for it), and it is rumored that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will be open and available for FastPass+ before we go. Let’s see what happens …