Ariana Grande, One Direction, Taylor Swift Among Top Nominees for Radio Disney Music Awards

Ariana Grande, One Direction, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor and Fifth Harmony are all nominees for the 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards.

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Lights, camera, blossom! Disney films inspire floral fantasy

Lights, camera … blossom! Floral and garden designers are paying homage to Disney and Pixar films at the Philadelphia Flower Show, which opens Saturday with the theme “Celebrate the Movies.”

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Planet Hollywood To Transform Orlando Flagship Into Star-Themed Planet Hollywood Observatory As Downtown Disney Evolves Into Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood, America’s preeminent restaurant destination dedicated to celebrating the entertainment industry, will look toward a new set of stars by transforming its Orlando flagship location into a four-story stargazing observatory set to debut in spring 2016. Regularly at the forefront of industry trends, the reimagined Planet Hollywood Observatory is centrally located and will overlook the heart of Downtown Disney with a newly-expanded outdoor terrace and bar. Within the sophisticated entertainment emporium, patrons of all ages are invited to “Dine Amongst the Stars” through a refreshed yet timeless menu, distinctive outdoor bar and lounge options, an imaginative new merchandise line, and a host of all-star celebrity partnerships.

Intensive renovations and artistic treatments, spearheaded by design firm Elkus Manfredi Architects, will take place early next year and will align Planet Hollywood Observatory with the transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. Disney Springs will be a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, treating guests by day and night to exceptional dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm.

The Observatory’s exterior will share the Disney Springs turn-of-the-century design aesthetic, while the interior’s refurbished upholstery, spherical planet-shaped lighting fixtures and stylish finishing will create a welcoming atmosphere for fans to celebrate a new generation of superstar entertainers. New dining and lounge options will include a new outdoor terrace and outdoor bar space called Stargazers, which will feature live entertainment while music in the main dining room will be energized by DJ performances.  Walls and glass displays throughout the massive space will be adorned with imagery and memorabilia from various movies paying homage to a long tradition of filmmaking and recognizing beloved newcomers.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of Disney Springs and transform our brand as Disney evolves its exciting new venue,” said Planet Hollywood International Founder and Chairman Robert Earl. “With Planet Hollywood Observatory, we are refreshing our dining experience as we renew our commitment to the new, rising stars of the entertainment industry — a part of our core mission since inception.”

Refreshed dining options will highlight Planet Hollywood’s timeless classics and introduce a host of updated additions. A curated beverage program will feature a variety of milkshakes, smoothies, wines, bottled and draft beers, as well as cocktails served in specialty glassware to cater to the needs of all guests, from groups with small children to young adults and seniors. Spacious dining rooms ensure comfort for family meals while various bar spaces set the mood for a perfect date.

“LEGO® Star Wars™: Droid Tales,” An All-New Series of Event Specials, Acquired by Disney XD

The LEGO Group, world renowned manufacturer of construction toys, today announced that Disney XD has acquired LEGO® Star Wars™: Droid Tales for airing later this year. The animated content series consists of five 22-minute episodes that re-tell the Star Wars saga in chronological order from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace up through Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Disney XD is also currently home to the animated hit series Star Wars Rebels.

“Since we introduced our first LEGO Star Wars set in 1999, we have seen and heard from countless Star Wars fans who have used LEGO bricks to tell their own version of this timeless story, re-enacting favorite scenes and imagining new story lines,” said Jill Wilfert, vice president of licensing and entertainment for The LEGO Group. “LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales gives us an opportunity to share highlights of the Star Wars story with a sense of humor and excitement that can only be conveyed through the LEGO brick, and will be a fun resource for families as they gear up for the next movie.”

As its title suggests, Droid Tales is a re-telling of the Star Wars universe through the eyes of C-3P0 and R2-D2. Following their victory celebration in the Ewok village on Endor, seen at the close of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, C-3PO and R2-D2 have gathered to regale Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and the other Rebels with the tales of their adventures that led to the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.  An accidental kidnapping occurs while the droids are reminiscing and suddenly viewers are taken on a new adventure that leads to encounters with familiar faces and places that prompt the re-telling of the entire saga. The series offers all of the playful humor that viewers expect from LEGO Star Wars.

Information on airdates for each episode is not yet available. Additional LEGO Star Wars activities to get the family caught up will launch throughout the year.

Norman Reedus, Karen Gillan, Caity Lotz Added to WW Fan Fest Chicago

Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) continues its 2015 schedule with the first-ever Wizard World Comic Con Fan Fest Chicago, March 7-8 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead’), Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,” Guardians of the Galaxy ), WWE® Diva Eva Marie™, Caity Lotz (“Arrow”), Eddie McClintock (“Warehouse 13,” “Bones), Kristin Bauer (“True Blood,” “Once Upon a Time”), Drea de Matteo (“Sons of Anarchy,” “The Sopranos”) headline the roster of celebrity guests scheduled to date to attend the pop culture extravaganza. The event, added as a “thank you” to loyal Wizard World fans, will be specially priced at $25 for the weekend and $15 for either day.

Additionally, fans who have purchased VIP or four-day admissions to Wizard World Comic Con Chicago (August 20-23) will receive free admission to Fan Fest Chicago. Celebrity and comics creator guests and other details about the event will be announced shortly. Visit http://wizd.me/FanFestChicagoPRAdmissions to purchase admissions.

Other well-known Wizard World Comic Con Fan Fest Chicago guests include Rick Cosnett (“The Flash”), Taryn Manning (“Orange is the New Black”), Karyn Parsons (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”), Tracey Gold (“Growing Pains,” “Roots”), Phil LaMarr (voice, “Futurama,” “Family Guy”), Lee Arenberg ( Pirates of the Caribbean, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), David Faustino (“Married With Children”),   Kathy Najimy (“King of the Hill,” Sister Act), Andrew J. West (“The Walking Dead”), and Grant Wilson (“Ghost Hunters”).

Wizard World is also the home of the most creative comics artists and writers on the planet. Artist Alley at Fan Fest Chicago will feature Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Michael Golden (“Spider-Man,” “Daredevil”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”), Greg Horn (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Avengers”), Renee Witterstaetter (“She Hulk,” “Avengers”), James O’Barr (creator, “The Crow”) and many others.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, cosplay, comics, television, sci-fi, toys, video gaming, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Comic Con Presents Fan Fest Chicago show hours are Saturday, March 7, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Wizard World Comic Con Fan Fest Chicago is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor.

Disney ‘Pushing Boundaries’ with ‘Avatar’ Land at Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Disney has pulled back the curtain on the creative process its Imagineers go through to bring theme park attractions to life, as part of an update on how its “Avatar” land is taking shape at its Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando.

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Disney Vacation Club Polynesian Villas & Bungalows by Kate Melody

Excitement is building among Disney Vacation Club Members and many soon to be Members with the upcoming opening of the latest DVC Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows!

The new Polynesian Villas & Bungalows presents an all new room design to the Disney Vacation Club family. Set out over the water of the Seven Seas Lagoon, there are 20 Bora Bora Bungalows which sleep up to eight guests with two bathrooms, a full kitchen and a living and dining area. To really guests a taste of luxury, each bungalow has a private deck complete with plunge pool where guests are treated to a nightly view of Wishes and the Electrical Water Pageant. A private sound system allows for the soundtrack to be heard right on the deck!

Unlike other DVC properties, the Polynesian Villas on the “mainland” will consist only of Deluxe Studios. In a new design however, the studios will be connecting. Each studio will have two bathrooms and a fold down bunk, allowing them to comfortably sleep up to 5 guests. When connected, two studios will sleep up to 10 guests! One bathroom will be a full bath with a tub, while the second bath will have a shower. Each room will feature a kitchenette, but since there are no 1 or 2 bedroom villas, none of the rooms will feature a full kitchen or in-room laundry. While this is a drawback for some, being able to sleep up to 10 guests will offer more flexibility for some families

Sales began for current Disney Vacation Club Members on January 12, 2015, and opened up to the general public on February 9th. The first phase of the resort will open on April 1, 2015, and Members who purchase at the Polynesian are able begin booking on February 11th. All other DVC Members may book, up to 7 months in advance, beginning February 25th. I for one, will be saving my points for a stay at the new Polynesian Villas and Bungalows!

Software behind ‘Big Hero 6′ pushes limits on computer animation

Andy Hendrickson, Disney Animation’s chief technology officer, and Roy Conli, producer of the Academy Award-winning film Big Hero 6, say that without software advancements, the lush look of Big Hero 6 wouldn’t have been possible.

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8 Pro Tips for Walt Disney World Souvenir Shopping

What’s the best way to take home a piece of the magic when you visit Walt Disney World? A souvenir, naturally. With more than 200 retail locations to browse — from brick and mortar stores to carts selling clothes, designer bags, artisan soaps, and unique knickknacks — Disney World is a shopper’s paradise.

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Latest Rendering Released as Disney Continues Design Work on the World of AVATAR

The creative, collaborative process continues on a multi-year project as Disney’s Animal Kingdom brings to life Pandora, based on the blockbuster film AVATAR. Disney recently welcomed acclaimed director James Cameron to offices in Glendale, Calif. for a status report.. Disney’s creative teams collaborating with the artists and designers at Lightstorm are focused on all the land’s iconic elements — from the magnificent floating mountains to the interactive bioluminescent forest, and even to the soaring banshees. The AVATAR-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.(Concept art, Walt Disney Imagineering)
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