The Lion King to Celebrate 7,000 Broadway Performance
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Disney’s landmark musical event, THE LION KINGwill play its 7,000th Broadway performance at 7:00pm on Wednesday, September 3rd.  Only three shows in Broadway history have reached this milestone.

As it approaches its 17th anniversary on Broadway, THE LION KING finds itself in a position unprecedented in the history of Broadway.  Already the highest-grossing show in Broadway history, the show was the highest-grossing of 2013 and is routinely the #1 Broadway show in a given week, a feat previously unimaginable for a show at this stage in its life.

Rafiki (Nteliseng Nkhela) visited the New York Stock Exchange this morning to ring The Opening Bell in celebration of the Broadway milestone.

THE LION KING was the first show in Broadway history to pass $1 billion in cumulative gross, a threshold also crossed by the North American tour and most recently the Hamburg production.

There are ten concurrent worldwide productions of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show’s history.  Five of those productions have been running for 10 years or longer, an accomplishment shared by only one other show in history.  Two new productions have recently been announced for Mexico City’s Telcel Theatre and the new Walt Disney Grand Theatre at Shanghai Disney Resort.

Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, THE LION KING’sworldwide footprint is remarkable.  With a cumulative gross approaching $6 billion, the title has already earned more than the biggest hit films in movie history: more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy combined, more than all 23 James Bond films combined, and more than Avatar and Titanic, the two highest-grossing films in movie history, combined.

Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 22 global productions have been seen by more than 75 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 112 years.  Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour across North America, in Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London’s West End and on tour throughout the UK, and in Hamburg, Madrid, Sao Paolo, and on tour in Australia.  To date, THE LION KING has played 21 countries on every continent except Antarctica.

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor, the first woman to win a Tony Award® for Direction of a Musical, continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, THE LION KING is playing at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street). For tickets, show information and performance schedule, call Ticketmaster’s Disney on Broadway hotline at 866-870-2717 or visit online, LionKing.com.

Dog Products Coming to Disney Parks
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Disney Parks has announced that they will be reintroducing merchandise for dogs next Spring under the banner “Disney Tails.” Merchandise will include dog bowls. squeak toys and apparel. These items will be available at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort merchandise locations. LaughingPlace.com’s dog correspondent Nemo is looking forward to reviewing these items for the site.

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Trolley Car Cafe Starbucks Location Opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios February 2015
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Walt Disney World has announced that the Starbucks location at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open in February 2015 and be named Trolley Car Cafe. The location is at the end of Hollywood Blvd in the former L.A. Prop Cinema Storage merchandise location.

In addition to Starbucks beverages, There will also be Disney baked goods and Starbucks La Boulange pastry items

Disney Day 8/29/14
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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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On its final day, the Adventure Trading Company will be collecting the stories of the local Juju Traders with story packets, available for sale at Indiana Jones Outpost. Inside each story packet is a Story Tag, which adventurers can use to record their greatest Juju tales. They will then report to Aladdin’s Oasis, where Adventure Trading Company representatives and local historians will be on hand to collect their stories and thank the “head storytellers” of Adventureland with a special mystery Juju. As the day continues, all Story Tags will be collected and displayed on Story Lines inside Aladdin’s Oasis for all your fellow explorers to see.

The Disneyland Resort Half Marathon Weekend kicks off with the Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K Friday morning with a course throughout the Disneyland Resort. The runDisney Health & Fitness Expo will also be open from 9am to 8pm.

Also at the Disneyland Resort artists Jeff Granito, Liana Hee and Noah are taking over WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney with live art performances and demonstrations from 5 – 6:30 p.m. and a special artist signing opportunity following, from 7 – 9 p.m.

At Walt Disney World, Mindy Johnson, author of “Tinker Bell: An Evolution” will appear at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace from 3 – 4 p.m., alongside special guest and Disney Legend, Alice Davis. Also being released during the event is Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man.

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

Legends of Frontierland Extended at Disneyland Park
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The Legends of Frontierland interactive experience at Disneyland Park has been extended. The experience was scheduled to end September 1, but it will remain “a little while longer” with no new end date announced.

For more information on the experience, check out Kyle’s review.

Star Wars: Episode VII Resumes Production
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Reports indicate that Star Wars: Episode VII following a hiatus due to Harrison Ford’s injury that he sustained during filming. Bob Iger mentioned this production hiatus would not impact the release date during his last earning’s conference call.

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to be released December 18, 2015.

Paul Briggs, Head of Story for Frozen, Doing Meet and Greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
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On Friday, August 29, 2014, guests can meet Paul Briggs, Head of Story for Disney Frozen as well as the voice of Marshmallow at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Paul’s other recent works include Big Hero 6, Tangled and Mulan. Paul will be on hand to sign Frozen inspired merchandise from 4 – 5p.m. at Oaken’s Trading Post.

Big Hero 6 will be released November 7, 2014.

E:60 Starts Fall Season with Story on Ndamukong Suh
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The fall season of ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine program E:60 will launch on Tuesday, Sept. 2, with a feature on controversial Ndamukong Suh of the NFL’s Detroit Lions. The program airs at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

As the Lions prepare to start their NFL season on Monday Night FootballE:60 and ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff seeks answers to the question of “who is Ndamukong Suh?” Is he the player in the headlines, a talented but troubled defensive tackle for the Lions? A three-time All-Pro voted the NFL’s dirtiest player by his peers? Or is he the modest and introverted 27-year-old who after his rookie NFL season was named America’s most charitable athlete?

With the NFL season kicking off later in the week, the season premiere episode also will include updated features on Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch and New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.

E:60’s ninth season continues the program’s reputation of presenting the biggest names and the best stories in sports with innovative long-form storytelling, enterprise reporting and production technique. Some of the stories airing later this season include:

  • A special report on the Ferguson, Mo., high school football team.
  • An all-access E:60 PROFILE of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
  • E:60 PRESENTS: Morganna the Kissing Bandit.

Headlining the Fall 2014 episodes of E:60 are NFL personalities including Richard Sherman, Rob Ryan, Jason Witten, DeAngelo Hall, Gerald McCoy, Jamaal Charles and Marquise Goodwin, among others.

The E:60 brand has also expanded. In addition to the seasonal weekly newsmagazine, E:60 now producesE:60 PROFILE, a series of specials  on some of the biggest stars in sports (the first, on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, aired in 2010), and the Fall 2014 season turns the cameras on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. ESPN’s Cari Champion talks with Newton about his maturity as a NFL QB and the controversies surrounding him during his college career at Florida and Auburn.. His father, Cecil Newton Sr., speaks exclusively with E:60 in his first television interview since facing allegations of seeking payment from major college football programs in exchange for signing his son.

There also is E:60 PRESENTS, which debuted last fall with hour-long in-depth treatments of the best stories in sports.  This fall, a one-hour E:60 PRESENTS special focuses on the woman once known as “Morganna the Kissing Bandit.”  Before the internet, and before infamous moments could go viral, the voluptuous blonde became a pop culture icon in the 1970s and 80s by running onto Major League Baseball fields during games to kiss players.  In the late 90s, she suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from the spotlight, leaving people to wonder whatever happened to Morganna and why did she choose to run from the fame she craved for so long?  Now, after 15 years, Morganna breaks her silence to E:60′s Wright Thompson about her former infamy and the troubled life that led her there.

E:60 has become the ultimate destination for storytelling in sports,” said executive producer Andy Tennant. “And that’s a testament to the team of producers, editors, and correspondents on the show, who span the globe to find thought-provoking issues and important personal stories that need to be told, compelling stories that transcend the fields of play. Those stories take time to tell—and we’ve been giving them that time, and that attention, often running only three stories a week.”

Earlier this year, E:60 won the Sports Emmy Award for Journalism, for the report “Children of the Ring” by Jeremy Schaap, a hard look at the human rights issues surrounding the growing sport of children’s professional Muay Thai fighting in Thailand. E:60 has been honored with six national Sports Emmy awards, including three of the last four awarded in journalism, and nine nominations in the journalism category alone. Its report last season on human rights abuses in Qatar was among the most lauded stories ESPN has ever produced.

Other reporters who will be contributing to E:60 in the fall season are Lisa Salters, Tom Rinaldi, Chris Connelly and Jeffri Chadiha. E:60 is led by Tennant and coordinating producer Michael Baltierra.

Since 2007 E:60 has reported from Kenya, Sudan, India, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Mexico, Senegal, Philippines, Netherlands, Haiti, Costa Rica, South Africa, Ukraine, Serbia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Panama, Liberia, and the Middle East.

E:60 will air on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 for the first four episodes, then move to ESPN at 8 p.m. on ESPN beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30, and running through the fall season’s conclusion on Nov. 4. The schedule is subject to change.


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