Bill Murray to Play Baloo in Live-Action Jungle Book
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Veteran actor Bill Murray has joined the cast of Disney’s The Jungle Book as the voice of Baloo.

Disney recently announced that Academy Award winner Christopher Walken will play King Louie while Giancarlo Esposito will play Akela, and the previously confirmed cast includes Academy Award winners Ben Kingsley and Lupita Nyong’o as Bagheera and Raksha, respectively; Golden Globe winner Idris Elba as Shere Khan; Scarlett Johansson as Kaa; and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli.

The Jungle Book is a combination of live-action and animation, directed by Jon Favreau from a script by Justin Marks. The film will be released in 3D and arrives in theaters on October 9, 2015.

Does Lack of Maelstrom FastPass+ After September 27 Point To Attraction Closure?
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Guests trying to make FastPass+ reservations at Epcot starting on September 28 have noticed that Maelstrom is not listed as being an option. It is unknown if this is due to an unannounced refurbishment, system glitch, or attraction closure.

It has been rumored that Maelstrom would close to be replaced by a Frozen attraction. It is unknown if there is any truth to that rumor as the lack of FastPass+ availability may be due to a less exciting reason.

It should be noted that September 28 is the start of The Walt Disney Company’s fiscal year. Historically, many attractions begin construction at that time as funding becomes available on the new year’s budget.

ESPN Announces Coverage of MLS All-Star Game
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ESPN media platforms will combine to provide unprecedented coverage of the 2014 MLS All-Star Game between a team of Major League Soccer All-Stars and Bayern Munich — current German Bundesliga champion and club with the most players on Germany’s 2014 World Cup winning team — Wednesday, Aug. 6, live from Providence Park in Portland, Ore.  ESPN’s presentation of the match will begin with a special 30-minute ESPN FC preview show from Providence Park at 6 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS and continue on ESPN2 with a pregame at 9:30 p.m. leading into the live match at 9:55 p.m.

ESPN Deportes Radio, the only around-the-clock Spanish-language sports radio network, will broadcast the MLS All-Stars vs. Bayern Munich match live beginning at 9 p.m.

Additionally, ESPN FC, the global soccer television news, information, highlights and analysis program, will have three, 30-minute episodes focusing on Major League Soccer’s midseason soccer showcase from Portland beginning Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. on ESPNEWS and concluding with a live MLS All-Star post-game edition Wednesday, Aug. 6, at midnight (9 p.m. PT) on ESPN2. The 2014 MLS All-Star Game will markESPN FC’s first multiple remote editions from a single soccer event. ESPN’s signature soccer studio program featured a live, 90-minute special from Columbus, Ohio, on September 10, 2013, ahead of the USA-Mexico FIFA World Cup qualifying match.

Also, ESPN and MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, will present a Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Match between Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics Germany on the Providence Park game field, Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 5:00 p.m. (2 p.m. PT) with footage of the match airing during the MLS All-Star Pregame Special.

ESPN is a global presenting sponsor and official media sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports, which leverages the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance, by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities.

2014 MLS All-Star Game on ESPN FC: will cover the 2014 MLS All-Star Game with writers Doug McIntyre and Graham Parker reporting from Portland beginning Monday and continuing through Thursday, including ESPN FC Boot Room chats, video highlights, match previews, pre- and post-match reactions and player grades for the MLS All-Star match. Additionally, the site’s club blog focusing on Bayern Munich will have posts on the Bundesliga champions. Commentaries and insight by ESPN FC on TV pundits will also be featured on the site.

Highlights of ESPN’s multimedia soccer content from Portland include (subject to change):


  • ESPN2 at 10 p.m. – Adrian Healey and Julie Foudy will call the National Women’s Soccer League (NSWL) match between Houston Dash at Portland Thorns, led by strikers Alex Morgan (USA) and Christine Sinclair (Canada);


  • ESPN3 at 10 p.m. – ESPN3 will have the MLS Homegrown Game live with commentators Healey, Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman. The match will feature the Portland Timbers U-23 team vs. a team of 20 top MLS Homegrown players at Providence Park;
  • will unveil writer Jason Davis’ MLS power rankings and mid-season awards.


  • ESPNEWS at 6 p.m. – ESPN FC will review the Major League Soccer season to-date and discuss other soccer topics in the U.S. and abroad. (Host Max Bretos and pundits Twellman, Lalas, Kasey Keller and Alejandro Moreno);
  • – Writer Jeff Carlisle will deliver his mid-season report card and Graham Parkerpreviews the 2014 All-Star Game.


  • ESPNEWS at 6 p.m. – ESPN FC will preview the 2014 MLS All-Star Game;
  • ESPN Deportes Radio at 9 p.m. – The broadcast of the MLS All-Star Game will begin with a one-hour pregame show featuring interviews, analysis, opinion and more;
  • ESPN2 at 9:30 p.m. – The 2014 MLS All-Star Game Pregame show will originate live from Providence Park with Bretos, Lalas, Moreno, Keller on set;
  • ESPN2 at 9:55 p.m. – Live presentation of the MLS All-Star Game with Healey, Twellman and reporter Monica Gonzalez;
    ESPN2 at 12 a.m. (9 p.m. PT) – ESPN FC will have a 2014 MLS All-Star postgame episode live from Providence Park;
  • (daylong) – Game coverage and ESPN FC on TV embedded on the site, live Boot Room, video highlights, and post-game reactions from writers McIntyre and Parker.

Schedule (subject to change):

Date Time (ET) Program Networks
Sun, Aug 3 10 p.m. NWSL: Portland Thorns vs. Houston Dash
Adrian Healey and Julie Foudy
Mon, Aug 4 10 p.m. MLS Homegrown Game
Healey, Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas
Tues, Aug 5 6 p.m. ESPN FC 
Max Bretos, Twellman, Lalas, Alejandro Moreno and Kasey Keller
Wed, Aug 6 6 p.m. ESPN FC – 2014 MLS All-Star Game Preview
Bretos, Twellman, Lalas, Moreno and Keller
  9 p.m. MLS All-Star Game
Kenneth Garay and Elmer Polanco
ESPN Deportes Radio
  9:30 p.m. 2014 MLS All-Star Pregame Special
Bretos, Lalas, Moreno and Keller
  9:55 p.m. 2014 MLS All-Stars vs. Bayern Munich
Healey, Twellman and reporter Monica Gonzalez
  12 a.m. ESPN FC – 2014 MLS All-Star Post-Game Special
Bretos, Lalas, Moreno, Keller and Twellman
Executive Changes at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
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Philippe Gas is leaving his position as President of Euro Disney S.A.S (which effectively runs Disneyland Paris) to become the General Manager of the Shanghai Disney Resort. He will be replaced by Tom Wolber who was most recently Senior Vice President Walt Disney World Resort Operations and Transportation Operations. No replacement for Wolber has been named at this time.

Gas has headed Disneyland Paris since 2008. He started at that resort in 1991 as a Financial Analyst

Wolber started his career at Euro Disney in 1989 and since that time has been the Vice President of Disney-MGM Studios and Chief Operating Officer of the Disney Cruise Line, among other roles.

Disney and National Cable Television Cooperative Reach Distribution Agreement
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The National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) and The Walt Disney Company today announced a comprehensive multi-year distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s robust lineup of top quality sports, news and entertainment content to participating NCTC members’ customers across TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices. The cable co-op serves nearly 1,000 member companies across the United States.

“NCTC is pleased to again offer our members access to top-tier sports and family channels under our new agreement with Disney & ESPN Networks Group. The addition of the SEC Network, Longhorn Network and digital platform rights helps strengthen the long-term partnership and enhances the value the agreement brings to members,” commented Judy Meyka, Executive Vice President of Programming, NCTC.

“Customers of the NCTC member companies will benefit greatly from this latest renewal deal,” added David Preschlack, Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group. “Not only will they continue to receive the great content across our networks, but also the added value of accessing that content on digital platforms with our WATCH products, choosing when to watch them with video-on-demand services and a lineup of new channels including Fusion, the upcoming SEC Network launching on August 14, Longhorn Network, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater and ESPN Bases Loaded.”

As part of the new multi-year deal, the NCTC will introduce several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH and video-on-demand products, Fusion, the upcoming SEC Network at launch on August 14, Longhorn Network beginning with the 2014-15 college football season, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater and ESPN Bases Loaded. Services that will continue to be covered by the broad scope of this agreement include: ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN3.

Participating NCTC members’ customers will receive broad access to existing authenticated products like WATCH ABC authenticated on-demand content, WATCH ABC Family, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Junior, WATCH Disney XD and WatchESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater and ESPN Bases Loaded) through the networks’ own WATCH sites and apps. These products will give customers more opportunities to access live and video-on-demand content, both in-home and out-of-home, on their computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices.

New Muppets Series Premieres on Disney Movies Anywhere
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In celebration of the home entertainment release for Muppets Most Wanted, Disney Movie Anywhere (DMA) is debuting a six-part original series called “Disney Drive-On with The Muppets” for a limited time beginning August 1, 2014. With two new episodes releasing each Friday, “Disney Drive-On with The Muppets” brings you everything you’ve come to love and expect from The Muppets, including special celebrity cameos!  Be sure to visit the Discover Section within DMA each week to view new episodes of the series

After being left in charge of the Muppets’ office by Kermit, Pepe the King Prawn takes on the responsibility of “mentoring” Walter on the business of Hollywood. Still considered the “new guy” with the Muppets, Walter is given low-level jobs working alongside his fellow Muppets at their office in the famed Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. He quickly learns there is a lot more to making movies than he thought! Developing projects may not always be so glamorous, but Walter is still excited to tackle new challenges, and discovers life on the Disney Lot is certainly a fun and funny adventure.

Trailer for “Disney Drive-On With The Muppets”

 Clip from “Disney Drive-On With The Muppets” Episode 1:

Marvel Premieres Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic
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Today, blast off in an all-new, high stakes, high octane adventure with the rag-tag team of space scoundrels in a new GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY INFINITE COMICS ONE-SHOT available now via the Marvel Comics App and Marvel Digital Comic Store! In this brand new one-shot titled “Best Story Ever,” writer Tim Seeley along with artists Reilly Brown, Iban Coello, Jacopo Camagni and Jim Charalapidis tell the harrowing tale of the Guardians’ greatest triumph (or so they’d have you believe)!

What happens when a very important part of your ship breaks? You fix it! Not if you’re the Guardians of the Galaxy, apparently. They get thrown in jail after being busted during a hair-brained scheme to steal it! With Rocket & Star-Lord under lock and key – it’s up to Gamora, Groot & Drax to fight their way through the prison and rescue their compatriots from facing judgment!

Set in current continuity but accessible for new readers, Marvel Infinite Comics are designed specifically for mobile devices, exploring the full storytelling possibilities of a digital canvas while still staying true to the mediums greatest strength! Available right at your fingertips on the Marvel Comics App (for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod Touch® & AndroidTM devices) and online in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop, download theGUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY INFINITE COMICS ONE-SHOT today and experience the evolution of digital comics!


Maleficent Comes to Home Video November 4
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Disney’s most iconic villain “MALEFICENT” comes to life for all to own, November 4, 2014. Starring Academy Award®-winning actress Angelina Jolie (Best Supporting Actress, “Girl, Interrupted,” 2000) as Maleficent, this wickedly fun twist on the classic “Sleeping Beauty” will be made available on Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand platforms.

The movie is currently available for pre-order from Amazon.