Last Year for Grad Nite in Orlando

The high school graduating class of 2011 sure is lucky; they are the last students able to celebrate their graduation at Disney World. The official Disney Parks blog just announced that after this year Disney World has no intention to continue the Grad Nite tradition. For decades the resort has hosted Grad Nites in the spring, offering seniors an exclusive party in honor of their achievement. On several nights in late April, May, and early June, both Disney World and Disneyland open their gates for high school seniors to throw a massive party. It’s like an uber prom; celebrity DJ’s … Continue reading

Disney’s Recent Racial Controversies

Disney might be considered a family-friendly company, but that doesn’t mean it’s free from all controversy.  When it comes to its own properties, Disney is far from perfect, and there have been some big examples in the past year. The first has to do with “Princess Sofia,” and it’s not over whether or not she’s teaching princess obsession to toddlers.  I didn’t comment on the story for a while because the details kept changing, but things have seemed to settle down.  In the fall, promotional images of the film were released.  They revealed that Sofia’s mother had darker skin, eyes, … Continue reading

What Are Disney Alliances?

Note the outside corporate sponsorship listed on the sign Browsing through my Facebook one day I saw an advertisement on the side, for the official Disney Alliance Facebook page. I’ll let the Facebook page speak for itself, pulling its description from under the “About” heading: “Welcome to the official Facebook Page of Disney Corporate Alliances! Learn about the latest news, promotions, and experiences our Alliance Partners help create across Disney Parks and The Walt Disney Company.” Basically, Disney Alliances, and all of its related websites (though so far that just seems to be Facebook and Twitter), are just there to … Continue reading

The NFL Goes to the Disney Institute

It’s not been a good year for the National Football League. I don’t follow the sport at all, but even I know they faced a players’ strike just before the 2011 season was supposed to launch, and that anything to do with the Super Bowl, besides the football itself, has been under fire recently. Who do you call when you want to revamp your image and better organize events for giant crowds? Disney, apparently. USA Today reports that the NFL has signed up for some training with the Disney Institute. If you don’t remember, the Disney Institute is part of … Continue reading

Disney Receives Jane Goodall Leadership Award

In late September the Walt Disney Company received what I would consider one of the highest possible honors: the Jane Goodall Institute Global Leadership Award. This might not be a trophy for anything related to movies, and I’ve always said I wish that the company’s main focus was movies, but like it or not Disney’s a global conglomerate now. If they must be so, then at least they’re the type getting one of the top tributes a big company can get. The Jane Goodall Institute Global Leadership Awards are given out to people and companies whom the Institute, including its … Continue reading

Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children

Disney has a history of helping in hospitals Going to the hospital can be a scary time for anyone, but especially for children. If it’s the child being taken for a hospital visit, and not just accompanying others to visit someone else, the experience becomes even more frightening. Kids can sense how upset the parents must be at the situation, which might only double their own fears. Anything that might help lessen those fears and distract children from their upsetting time at a hospital, then, is fantastic. Kudos to Walt Disney Imagineering and Florida Hospital for Children for their recent … Continue reading

Turner Classic Movies Film Festival

Fans of Disney and classic films alike should consider attending this year’s Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival. Stitch Kingdom reports that for 2011 TCM joined up with D23, the official Disney fan group, to dedicate a portion of the festival to the works of Walt Disney. The Disney films and shorts presented all fit into this year’s theme of Music and the Movies. Thus the only feature length Disney movie shown at the festival will be a recently restored copy of 1940’s “Fantasia.” The four-day event will also include a screening of select Silly Symphonies shorts introduced/curated by film … Continue reading

Walt Disney and NASA

Walt Disney visiting Wernher von Braun at the Marshall Space Flight Center When preparing my article on the Walt Disney Family Museum’s video contest, I searched a stock photography website for historic images of Walt Disney. I was baffled to find a NASA-owned picture of him alongside scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun. My husband didn’t understand my incredulity. He said that’s what top executives do: rub shoulders with other powerful people. Walt Disney was a great mover and shaker in his day and it makes sense that he’d hang around NASA or any other large company or government institution. I … Continue reading

Walt Disney Family Museum Video Contest

Pictures like this, of Walt Disney with Dr. Wernher von Braun of NASA, are the sort of non-Disney-company photo you’ll see at the Walt Disney Family Museum If you’re a real fan of Disney history, particularly as it relates to famous founder Walt Disney, then you’re in luck, because there’s a new museum out there tailored for you: The Walt Disney Family Museum. Just a year old, the museum was founded with the goal of preserving Walt’s history. Its mission is to separate the story of Walt Disney the man from information about the brand his name has become. The … Continue reading

Mickey’s Magic Show

I’ve written about one of Disney’s most popular live shows, Disney on Ice, but now I’m going to put a spotlight on their newest production, Mickey’s Magic Show. The live performance, currently on tour, takes all the talk about Disney’s magic literally. While Mickey is obviously the master of ceremonies and grand magician for the show, several other Disney characters and their friends participate as well. First guests fall down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. The Mad Hatter uses his own silly type of magic to play with the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts brings out her cards … Continue reading