News Briefs

Force Friday II is Almost Here—Plus More in News Briefs

By Courtney Potter

Get ready to Find the Force, and read about The Walt Disney Company’s contribution to Hurricane Harvey relief… See more, along with other news from around Disney, in this week’s news briefs!

Find the Force

Get Ready… Force Friday II is Only Days Away!

In just a few days’ time, you’ll be able to visit “a galaxy far, far away” in a whole new way! Beginning this Friday, September 1—at the stroke of midnight—the new product line for Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be unleashed… and a big part of the celebration is an insanely cool augmented-reality event called Find the Force. Read all about how to play, and what kind of fun you can expect, in our D23 Force Friday II rundown here!

Save the Date!
Be sure to mark these upcoming Disney events on your calendar:

D23 and Walt Disney Archives
August 31, 2017
Stand Out During A Goofy Movie at the El Capitan Theatre
September 8, 2017
D23 Member Mixer in Providence
September 9, 2017
The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour—Presented by D23
October 1, 2017
D23’s Fanniversary Celebrates 35 Years of Epcot
October 1, 2017
A Progressive Dinner Celebrating 35 Years of Epcot
October 3, 2017
D23’s Sip and Stroll
October 29, 2017
D23’s Spooky Screening Series: Halloweentown on The Walt Disney Studios Lot
November 18, 2017
The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour—Presented by D23
February 2 2018
D23 Member Night at Disney’s Aladdin at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre
August 25 and 29, September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, and 29; October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29, and 31; November 1
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park
August 31-November 13, 2017
Epcot Food & Wine Festival
September 15–October 31, 2017
Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort
September 20, 22, 25, 27, 29, October 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park
Star Wars-Themed Lands Opening at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

November 3, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters
November 22, 2017
Coco opens in theaters
December 15, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters
September 23, 2017
DuckTales Series debuts with two new episodes (7 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT)

Day of giving

The Walt Disney Company and Houston’s KTRK Donate to American Red Cross

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, The Walt Disney Company and its owned ABC television station KTRK in Houston have jointly announced a $1 million cash commitment to the American Red Cross in support of recovery efforts for communities affected by the hurricane.

In addition, this Thursday, August 31, Disney|ABC Television Group (DATG) will host a “Day of Giving” to benefit those impacted by the hurricane. Starting in the morning with ABC local affiliates and Good Morning America, and throughout the day on ABC, Freeform, Radio Disney, and across all DATG social platforms, look for ways you, too, can donate to the American Red Cross—with that money going to benefit those most in need.

“Our hearts go out to everyone in the devastating path of this historic storm,” said Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. “It’s hard to fully appreciate the impact, in part because it isn’t over yet. But we know thousands of people have lost everything and now face the daunting challenge of putting their lives and communities back together, and we’re using our unique resources and reach to help those in need.”

Property Brothers’ Drew Scott Joins Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars

It’s official! On Wednesday morning, ABC’s Good Morning America helped Dancing with the Stars announce the very first celebrity joining Season 25: Property Brothers star Drew Scott! He’ll be teamed with DWTS pro (and winner of Season 24) Emma Slater.

Check out the video of the big reveal, above. And stay tuned for the huge announcement of the rest of Season 25’s celebrity cast—next Wednesday, September 6, only on GMA!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark

This Halloween, #SaveGroot with Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark

Yes, it’s true: The Guardians of the Galaxy are getting in on all the Halloween fun this fall at Disney’s California Adventure! As the sun sets each evening, beginning September 15, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will transform into a spooky new adventure subtitled Monsters After Dark, which features a rockin’ new song by Guardians composer Tyler Bates. Find out more here.

Disney Junior’s Vampirina Sets Premiere Date and Special Nationwide Screenings

Halloween is just a few months away, and Disney Junior is getting ready to kick off all the spooky celebrations with a big premiere! Their new animated series Vampirina—starring Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek), and Isabella Crovetti—will debut with back-to-back episodes simulcast on Disney Junior and Disney Channel on Sunday, October 1, at 11 a.m. EDT. The episodes will also be available on Disney Junior VOD, Disney Junior YouTube, and in the new DisneyNOW app—which will also debut two additional episodes the same day. New episodes will then be presented every Monday and Friday in October on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Check out the show’s main title theme in the video, above.

But that’s not all: Special screenings of Vampirina will take place at movie theaters across the country on Saturday, October 21; Thursday, October 26; and Saturday, October 28, as part of “Disney Junior at the Movies—HalloVeen Party!,” presented by Fathom Events. The screening events will include a never-before-seen episode of Vampirina, a fantastic costume party for kids and families, and much more! Tickets go on sale Friday, September 22, at

Based on Disney Publishing’s popular children’s book series Vampirina Ballerina, the show follows the Hauntley family—friendly vampires who have recently moved from their home in Transylvania to a quaint Pennsylvania neighborhood. The stories follow Vampirina (aka Vee) as she faces the highs and lows of being the new kid in town including making friends and attending a new school in the human world. Along the way, Vee learns that it may be easier to blend in with her peers, but it’s more valuable to celebrate the qualities that make each person unique.

Marvel Day At Sea

Disney Cruise Line’s Marvel Day at Sea Finds its Super Heroes!

What could be better than sailing the beautiful open seas, on a fantastic Disney Cruise Line (DCL) ship, and having the opportunity to meet your favorite Super Hero in person? Not much, honestly. So if you want to create some vacation memories that’ll last a lifetime, look no further than DCL’s upcoming Marvel Day at Sea cruises—select 7- and 8-night Bahamian and Canada cruises from New York this fall, and select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018!

DCL recently announced the full Super Hero roster for each Marvel Day at Sea, and it reads like the next big Avengers blockbuster! Fans will be able to mingle with the likes of Black Widow, Hawkeye, Black Panther, Loki, Iron Man, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, and Doctor Strange. Is that an epic assemblage or what?

Look for more information about DCL’s Marvel Day at Sea voyages as it becomes available.

Candlelight Processional

Narrators Announced for Epcot’s 2017 Candlelight Processional

The weather is still warm and school’s only just started… but that doesn’t mean we’re not thinking about the upcoming holidays. (It’s never too early to start planning, y’know?) So color us holly-jolly with this latest announcement from our friends down at Walt Disney World Resort: A slew of amazing narrators are coming to Epcot’s annual Candlelight Processional!

Several brand-new narrators are being added to the 2017 narrator roster: White Collar and The Last Tycoon star Matt Bomer, fan-favorite Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi), Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, and Avatar star CCH Pounder. Bomer, Davis, Sajak, and Pounder will join returning narrators Chandra Wilson (ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy), newly minted Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg, multi-hyphenate (and mega Disney fan) Neil Patrick Harris, country star Trace Adkins, and Contemporary Christian recording artist Jaci Velasquez.

Several other narrators will be announced in the weeks and months to come… so stay tuned, and check out the Candlelight Processional website for info on 2017 show times and available dining packages.