Disney Day 8/28/14
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Every day is a Disney day.  Let’s find out how we are celebrating today with The Walt Disney Company:

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College Football season begins! The recently launched SEC Network, a national sports network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN, will open its live game coverage with a doubleheader: No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 9 South Carolina at 6pm ET followed by Temple at Vanderbilt at 915pm ET.

D23 Members in Cleveland, take note. Tickets to the Member Night of the Newsies tour go on sale at 10am PT. Tickets include premium seating and a Q&A session with the cast. The member night in Cleveland takes place November 7 at 730pm.

A raid coupled with traitorous deeds threatens the safety of Everealm in two exhilarating back-to-back episodes of “The Quest,” airing from 8:00-10:00 p.m., ET/PT on the ABC. First, Castle Saenctum is in jeopardy when there is an enemy attack on the outer walls in “Under Siege.” As danger looms, will the Paladins be prepared for the assault or must Ansgar be forced to intervene? One team will fail and must face the most grueling Fates challenge yet. The threat continues in “A Traitor in Saenctum,” as a spy sent from the dark army infiltrates the castle. A demanding physical challenge tests both the focus and the diligence of the Paladins. While some succeed, others are left empty handed. Patience is tested in the challenge before the Fates ultimately leaving only six Paladins to continue the quest to be named the “One True Hero.”

As always, stay tuned to LaughingPlace.com and @Laughing_Place on Twitter for the latest Disney news all day long.

Marvel Announces Star Wars Legends Epic Collection Trade Paperback Series
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Marvel is excited to announce the release of an oversized dose of a galaxy far, far, away – Star Wars comics are coming to Marvel’s prestigious Epic Collection format - STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB.

Let the dark times begin! Marvel welcomes Star Wars to the Epic Collection program, with this first volume of a series focusing on the years that follow Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith! After the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic has fallen and Palpatine exerts his ruthless grip on his new Galactic Empire. Now, the few Jedi that remain must decide whether to hold true to their faith, or abandon it completely in the face of a brutal purge — one carried out by the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Rise, Darth Vader!

“We’re thrilled to be bringing our innovative Epic Collections to a galaxy far, far away,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “We’ll be bouncing around to different periods of Star Wars history with each Epic Collection, constructing one huge tapestry, collecting full unbroken runs of all the greatest Star Wars comics from the past 35 years.”

STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB. will offer a new way for fans to collect and read iconic Star Warsstories across the past 35 years of published titles. These oversized, self-contained color collections will bring the adventures of the Rebellion, the Galactic Empire and more to the masses with exciting new Epic Collections.

COLLECTING: STAR WARS: REPUBLIC 78-80, STAR WARS: PURGE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — SECONDS TO DIE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — THE HIDDEN BLADE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — THE TYRANT’S FIST 1-2, STAR WARS: DARTH VADER AND THE LOST COMMAND 1-5, STAR WARS: DARK TIMES 1-5

AUTHOR: JOHN OSTRANDER, RANDY STRADLEY, HADEN BLACKMAN, ALEXANDER FREED

ARTIST: LUKE ROSS , DOUGLAS WHEATLEY, JIM HALL, CHRIS SCALF, MARCO CASTIELLO, ANDREA CHELLA, RICK LEONARDI

 

Walt Disney World Highlights Holiday Offerings
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Starting November 7 and through the merriest weeks that follow, guests of Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line will find themselves in a wintry wonderland that blends yuletide traditions and holiday cheer.

Highlights of the merry celebrations include:

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: Beginning at 7 p.m. (after regular park hours) from Nov. 7 – Dec. 19, guests with special event tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can enjoy all the festive splendor with lively stage shows featuring Disney characters in their holiday best, a unique parade for the season and favorite holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. The fun continues with a holiday “Celebrate the Magic” castle projection show andHoliday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks spectacular. Tickets for this event may be purchased online at WaltDisneyWorld.com or by calling 407/WDW- 7679.

Entertainment, Fireworks and More: Santa’s elves have transformed the Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland with festive wreaths, bows, garland, sparkling lights, parades and towering Christmas trees. The fun includes Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks spectacular, plus live entertainment with Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays.

Jungle Cruise Goes ‘Jingle Cruise’: For the holiday season, the iconic Jungle Cruise will temporarily transform into “Jingle Cruise” for Magic Kingdom guests with festive decor in the attraction queue and boathouse, holiday names for the Jungle Cruise boats and a slew of seasonal jokes from the Skippers. This seasonal takeover of the attraction debuts Nov. 7 in Adventureland.

Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle: Cinderella Castle transforms into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays — thanks to a special effects spectacle bathing the castle in 200,000 shimmering white lights. Magic Kingdom guests are treated nightly to the dramatic castle celebration and stage show.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: This massive seasonal display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall. The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from November 7, 2014 – January 4, 2015.

Epcot

Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions Walt Disney World Resort, with the joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and glorious mass choir. Performances are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.*

  • Jodi Benson     11/28 – 11/29
  • Neil Patrick Harris     11/30 – 12/2
  • TBD     12/3 – 12/4
  • Whoopi Goldberg     12/5 – 12/6
  • TBD     12/7* – 12/8
  • TBD     12/9 – 12/11
  • TBD     12/12 – 12/14
  • Sharon Stone NEW!     12/15 – 12/17
  • Ana Gasteyer NEW!     12/18 – 12/20
  • Marlee Matlin     12/21 – 12/23
  • TBD     12/24 – 12/25
  • TBD     12/26 – 12/27
  • Steven Curtis Chapman     12/28 – 12/30

Please note that narrators are subject to change without notice. *Show Times on December 7 are 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only.

Guests may purchase Candlelight Dining Packages to reserve a seat at the Candlelight Processional. These packages, available on select nights, include a delicious meal, a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances and a pre-arranged location for fireworks viewing. Guests may call 407.WDW DINE for reservations or visit www.disneyworld.com. Availability is limited.

JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season blends the soulful expressiveness of Gospel and inspirational music with the sounds of jazz, R&B and urban music daily from November 28 – December 29 at the Future World Fountain Stage.

The World Showcase Promenade comes alive with IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth that incorporates a unique finale celebrating the season. The song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and a TBD narrator who offers a special message of peace and good will nightly at 9:30 p.m.

Other festive holiday offerings include the Gingerbread Village at The Land pavilion, which showcases sweet recreations of Walt Disney World Resort’s theme park icons, plenty of holiday merchandise and food and beverage offerings around World Showcase, and guests can celebrate each country’s holiday traditions with storytellers at each pavilion during Holidays Around the World:

  • Canada – The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs
  • United Kingdom – Father Christmas
  • France – Père Noël
  • Morocco – Taarji, a Moroccon drummer and the holiday of Ramadan
  • Japan – Story of the Daruma Doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year
  • American Adventure – Mr. & Mrs. Claus, Hanukkah traditions and Kwanzaa celebrations
  • Italy – La Befana, the kindhearted witch who grants gifts to good children
  • Germany – Helga and the story of the First Christmas tree and her first Nutcracker
  • China – Monkey King tells tall tales celebrating Chinese New Year
  • Norway — Sigrid and the story of Julenissen, the Christmas Gnome

Downtown Disney & Walt Disney World Resort hotels

Starting in November, Festival of the Seasons returns to Downtown Disney with joyous holiday entertainment and festive décor, as well as a meet and greet with the jolly man himself, Santa Claus. The Walt Disney World Resort hotels are all glittery for the season, as well, with merry décor, gingerbread houses and more. Guests will find a sugary showcase of holiday displays throughout the magical resort hotels. From enhancing visual feasts created from all kinds of sweets to refreshing stops offering tasty beverages and treats, each display has its own charming features.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship, beginning late November through the new year, with traditional “Turkey Day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries,” New Year’s Eve galas and Disney friends dressed for the occasion.

Special stem-to-stern holiday events include a tree lighting in the atrium lobby, visits from Santa Claus and his elves, family holiday crafts, tropical deck parties, holiday storytellers and more. When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music. Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and Hanukkah services will be held each day, Dec. 16 to Dec. 24.

During special Thanksgiving voyages, guests will enjoy a bountiful feast with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. To ring in 2015, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Adventures by Disney

Get ready for a Wild West winter journey with the entire family with Adventures by Disney. Winter in Wyoming includes dog sledding, campfires and hot springs – and that’s just the beginning. Guests will explore the wilderness like a real cowboy on a vacation to remember:

  • “Mush” through the snow-covered terrain of the Wyoming wilderness on a Yellowstone winter tour. Traverse trails of pristine powder on your way to gorgeous panoramic views, erupting geysers and, after a vigorous day, soak in a natural hot spring.
  • Evening Sleigh Ride: Savor a picturesque sunset among the Tetons as you bundle up for a cozy sleigh ride and stop for hot beverages and appetizers ’round a crackling campfire.
  • Yellowstone’s Winter Wonderland: Discover the glory of winter in Yellowstone National Park with its snow-covered mountains, steaming geysers and majestic wildlife roaming the countryside.
  • Iditarod Dog Sledding: Learn the art of “mushing” against a backdrop of powdery white snow while a team of enthusiastic sled dogs guides you through the Wyoming wilderness.

For more information, visit AdventuresByDisney.com/WinterWonderland

Marvel Introduces New Sci-Fi Spider-Man in Edge of Spider-Verse #3
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The Spider-Verse inches ever closer as every Spider-Man from every universe prepares for multiversal war against a common foe. Today, Marvel is proud to present your first look at EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #3 – the next chapter is the blockbuster 5-issue mini-series showcasing a new creative team and new spider character each issue! Rising star Dustin Weaver (INFINITYAvengers) pullstriple duty as he writes, draws and colors a brand new creation – Dr. Aaron Aikman: Spider-Man!

“Unlike Peter, he chose to be Spider-Man,” says Weaver of his new creation, in an interview with Marvel.com. “He did it himself, to become a hero for his city. I guess that says a lot about the character of my Spider-Man. He’s got a big ego and being good at being Spider-Man is a point of pride. He doesn’t struggle with responsibility. He enjoys it. Other than his origin being different, he also has a completely different cast of supporting characters and villains.”

As Aikman dons the helmet of his Spider-Man suit composed of bleeding-edge technology, he confronts the evil that plagues his New York City. As the villainous Red Eye and Naahmurah wreak havoc on his world, only Spider-Man stands capable of saving the day! But is he prepared for the onslaught of Spider-Verse and the coming of Morlun? Find out when the wildly imaginative sci-fi Spider-Man makes his debut in EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #3 this September!

Plus, don’t miss out on these exciting Edge of Spider-Verse tie-in issues of your favorite ongoing series:

  • Superior Spider-Man #32 & #33
  • Amazing Spider-Man #7 & #8
  • Spider-Man 2099 #5
Robert Downey Jr. Says Guardians of the Galaxy is Best Marvel Movie
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According to a London Report, Robert Downey Jr. has stated that Guardians of the Galaxy is the best of the 10 Marvel movies released to date:

Guardians of the Galaxy deserves to be ranked number one among the 10 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Robert Downey Jr.

Cue the gasps. Be astounded. I certainly was when Downey proclaimed his love for the mega-hit in an interview triggered by the coming world premiere of The Judge at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Galaxy in some ways is the best Marvel movie ever,” Downey says with admiration. “And it’s odd for someone with — on occasion — an ego the size of mine to actually say that!”

Robert Downey Jr. will return to the role of Tony Stark in Avengers: Age of Ultron when it is released next May.

March to AXIS Continues in Loki: Agent of Asgard #6
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The biggest comic event of the fall is just around the corner. But first, prepare yourself for Avengers & X-Men: AXIS as the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe set the stage for an epic clash between the Red Skull’s armies and the united front of Avengers & X-Men. Today, Marvel is proud to present your first look at LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD #6 as the ‘March to AXIS’ continues! The creative team of writer Al Ewing and special guest artist Jorge Coelho bring the God of Mischief into the AXIS fold as Loki returns from his adventures in the Tenth Realm to face…Doctor Doom?! With his charge Valeria Richards at his side, he’ll stop at nothing to put an end to the God of Mischief! But why? What does this have to do with the Red Skull’s plot in the pages of Avengers & X-Men: AXIS? Find out as the fan-favorite series returns this September in LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD #6!

ESPN Announces 30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection
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ESPN Films announced today that they will celebrate the five year anniversary of the award-winning 30 for 30 series with the release of the limited edition “30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection” on November 25, 2014.  Widely credited with revitalizing the sports documentary genre, ESPN Films’ “30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection” marks the first time the entire 30 for 30 series will be available together in one gift set.

In addition to the complete set of 30 for 30, the 100-title “30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection” will feature all films in the 30 for 30 Soccer Stories and Nine for IX series, as well as selections from 30 for 30 Shortsand additional acclaimed films from the creators of the 30 for 30 series, including “The Fab Five,” “Catching Hell” and “The Announcement.” In a retailer exclusive, Groupon will offer the “30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection” packaged in a unique metal sports locker container reminiscent of the classic locker room setting. This 32-disc DVD gift set will also include a 30 for 30 t-shirt, hat, limited edition book and poster, with a total running time of 114 hours.  The suggested retail price is $249.95.The locker will be available on Groupon’s site beginning November 1, 2014. The collection will also be available in a 20-disc Blu-Ray gift set, packaged in a custom 30 for 30 ticket box.  The Blu-Ray suggested retail price is $199.95.

“Since 30 for 30 launched five years ago, our hope has been to add important new voices and style to sports documentaries,” says Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films.  “Today millions of fans have viewed the series and each new title continues to attract strong ratings and discussions. On this important anniversary we aim to provide fans of sports and fans of great cultural stories with the ultimate compilation of the best sports films available anywhere with the ‘30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection.’”

Executive produced by Connor Schell, Bill Simmons and John Dahl, ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series launched in October 2009 with the premiere of Peter Berg’s “King’s Ransom.”  Since then, the series has continued to combine exceptional sports stories with exceptional filmmaking.  30 for 30 has continuously attracted strong ratings and widespread critical acclaim, winning multiple Peabody, TCA and Emmy awards.  The series’ new slate will commence in October 2014.

The films included in the “30 for 30 Fifth Anniversary Collection” are:

30 for 30
1.     Kings Ransom 26.  Tim Richmond: To The Limit
2.     The Band That Wouldn’t Die 27.  Fernando Nation
3.     Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL? 28.  Marion Jones: Press Pause
4.     Muhammad & Larry 29.  The Best That Never Was
5.     Without Bias 30.  Pony Excess
6.     The Legend of Jimmy The Greek 31.  Broke
7.     The U 32.  9.79*
8.     Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs The New York Knicks 33.  There’s No Place Like Home
9.     Guru of Go 34.  Benji
10.  No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson 35.  Ghosts of Ole Miss
11.  Silly Little Game 36.  You Don’t Know Bo
12.  Run Ricky Run 37.  Survive and Advance
13.  The 16th Man 38.  Elway to Marino
14.  Straight Outta LA 39.  Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau
15.  June 17th 1994 40.  Free Spirits
16.  The Two Escobars 41.  No Más
17.  The Birth of Big Air 42. Big Shot
18.  Jordan Rides The Bus 43. This Is What They Want
19.  Little Big Men 44. Bernie and Ernie
20.  One Night in Vegas 45. The Book of Manning
21.  Unmatched 46. Youngstown Boys
22.  The House of Steinbrenner 47. The Price of Gold
23.  Into The Wind 48. Requiem for the Big East
24.  Four Days in October 49. Bad Boys
25.  Once Brothers 50. Slaying the Badger

 

ESPN Films
1.     Fab Five 7.     Unguarded
2.     Catching Hell 8.     Roll Tide/War Eagle
3.     Renée 9.     The Marinovich Project
4.     The Dotted Line 10.  The Announcement
5.     The Real Rocky 11.  The Streak
6.     Charismatic

 

30 for 30 Soccer Stories
1.     Hillsborough 5.     Ceasefire Massacre
2.     White Blue and White 6.     The Myth of Garrincha
3.     The Opposition 7.     Mysteries of The Rimet Trophy
4.     Maradona ‘86 8.   Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry

 

Nine for IX
1.     Venus VS 6.     The Diplomat
2.     Pat XO 7.     Runner
3.     Let Them Wear Towels 8.     The 99ers
4.     No Limits 9.     Branded
5.     Swoopes 10.  Coach (Nine for IX Short)

 

SEC Storied
1. Abby Head On   2. Herschel

 

30 for 30 Shorts
1.     Here Now 11.  Schedule Makers
2.     Jake 12.  Great Imposter
3.     Arnold’s Blueprint 13.  Judging Jewell
4.     Holy Grail 14.  The Deal
5.     The Irrelevant Giant 15.  Posterized
6.     Cutthroat 16.  Think Normal
7.     Tommy and Frank 17.  Ronda Rousey
8.     Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop 18.  Mecca
9.     Arthur & Johnnie 19.  High Five
10.  Collision Course

 

More information and trailers are available at: http://espn.go.com/30for30/

ESPN2 Moves Olbermann from Late Night to Afternoons
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In a move designed to enhance the current ratings growth of the personality-focused ESPN2 lineup, Keith Olbermann’s Emmy-nominated program Olbermann will be shifting to an afternoon time slot on the network on Monday, Sept. 8. The show will continue to be produced live from ABC’s Times Square studios in New York City and will air daily at 5 p.m. ET followed by Outside the Lines, hosted by Bob Ley.

“Keith has had a fantastic return to ESPN and we’re proud of the quality content featured in the first year ofOlbermann, immediately garnering the program its first Emmy nomination,” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president of program scheduling & development. “We feel that strategically shifting the time of this show will not only provide access to a broader audience, but gives us greater flexibility for Keith to do cross-platform opportunities, including hosting key editions of SportsCenter surrounding major news or events throughout the year, while enabling us to secure a more consistent time slot to showcase his distinctive voice.”

The program will continue to feature Olbermann’s signature opening monologues that tackle the day’s most relevant sports topics, along with the popular “World’s Worst” segment. Since highlights are a fan-favorite ofOlbermann, Keith will continue with packages driven by his sports knowledge, passion for the games and awareness of pop culture touch points. The revised show format will feature a bevy of new analytical, entertaining and occasionally offbeat highlight treatments. Interviews and contributors will remain part of the content mix of Olbermann.

“Keith delivers a unique mix of humor, intelligence and gravitas while tackling complex topics such as the Washington NFL team name controversy and athlete concussions,” Williamson continued. “The back to back positioning of two powerhouse journalistic voices such as Keith and Bob within our ESPN2 programming is perfect for a network that is enjoying strong ratings growth this year.”

“As I like to say on the air, I’ve done all the damage I can do here in late night,” said Keith Olbermann. “I’m very proud that we’ve accomplished what John Skipper asked me to do more than a year ago: We’ve established a franchise, thwarted what we thought might have developed into an external challenge, and made the world safe for even more and even newer dumb catchphrases. Onwards and upwards to 5:00 PM. Excelsior!”

Olbermann and Outside the Lines complete an ESPN2 lineup that includes diverse and unique voices such as: Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless and Cari Champion on First Take; Michael Smith and Jemele Hill onNumbers Never Lie; Colin Cowherd on You Herd Me; Dan LeBatard, Bomani Jones and Gonzalo “Papi” LeBatard on Highly Questionable; and Michelle Beadle, Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on SportsNation.

Following is the new ESPN2 line-up starting September 8:

10:00 a.m.         First Take

12:00 p.m.         Numbers Never Lie

1:00 p.m.           First Take (reair)

3:00 p.m.           SportsNation

4:00 p.m.           Highly Questionable

4:30 p.m.           You Herd Me with Colin Cowherd

5:00 p.m.           Olbermann

5:30 p.m.           Outside the Lines

6:00 p.m.           Around the Horn (reair)

6:30 p.m.           Pardon the Interruption (reair)

 

ESPN Addresses Michael Sam Report
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ESPN has released a statement following controversy after reporting on SportsCenter about the showering habits of Michael Sam and his St. Louis Rams teammates showering habits: ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report. Clearly on Tuesday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.

You can view the original SportsCenter report here:


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