Arial shot of Disney Springs

WDI Reveals the Story Behind Disney Springs, A First Look at Paul Rudd in Marvel’s Ant-Man, and Much More in News Briefs for August 19, 2014

WDI Reveals the Story Behind Disney Springs

How does Walt Disney Imagineering re-imagine an area of Walt Disney World that guests have enjoyed for more than 40 years? That’s the creative challenge our Imagineering team, including Executive Creative Director Theron Skees, has been tasked with—to transform the area currently known as Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a destination that’s being expanded to include more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences.

The first “neighborhood” in Disney Springs—the opening of The Landing—is set for 2015. Construction on Disney Springs will continue into 2016.


Save the Date!

Be sure to mark these upcoming Disney events on your calendar:

D23 and Walt Disney Archives
Summer and Fall 2014
D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration
August 24
Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Celebration
September 13
From the Vaults: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
September 27
D23 Member Night at Aladdin on Broadway
November 8
Walt Disney Studios and Archives Tour
November 11
The Hunchback of Notre Dame VIP Experience
November 22-23
Destination D: Attraction Rewind at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World
Through January 4, 2015
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
August 14-16, 2015
D23 Expo 2015 returns to Anaheim, California

September 2
The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic premieres at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
August 23
Villains Unleashed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
September 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, and 28; and October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, and 31
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties at Magic Kingdom Park
September 26, 30; October 3, 6, 8, 10, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, and 31
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort
November 7, 10, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, and 30; and December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 19
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties at Magic Kingdom Park
October 10
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day opens in theaters.
November 7
Big Hero 6 opens
December 25, 2014
Into the Woods opens in theaters
March 13, 2015
Cinderella opens in theaters
June 19, 2015
Inside Out opens in theaters (along with the short Lava)

Elsa and Anna Boutique
Elsa & Anna’s Boutique Announced for Disneyland Resort

Studio Disney 365 at Downtown Disney, Disneyland Resort, will undergo a transformation starting August 25, and will re-open in mid-September as Elsa & Anna’s Boutique with new transformations, inspired by beloved characters like Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. Here’s a look at the art for the logo that will grace this “cool” new location.


Paul Rudd in Marvel's Ant-Man
Get a First Look at Paul Rudd in Marvel’s Ant-Man

Principal photography has begun on Marvel’s Ant-Man, which brings one of Marvel Comics’ original founding members of The Avengers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Marvel has released a first photo of the movie’s star, Paul Rudd, as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. Michael Douglas co-stars as Lang’s mentor, Dr. Hank Pym. Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. The cast also includes Evangeline Lilly as Pym’s daughter, Hope Van Dyne, and Peyton Reed is directing the film, which is set for release on July 17, 2015.


Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion
Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion Premieres Friday, October 3

The highly anticipated new series, Star Wars Rebels, will make its debut Friday, October 3 (9 p.m. ET/PT) on Disney Channels around the world with an animated one-hour movie, Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion. Episodes of the series will debut Monday nights beginning Monday, October 13 (9 p.m. ET/PT) on Disney XD. The movie will be available on Disney Channel SVOD and to verified users beginning Monday, September 29, on and the Watch Disney XD app. The talented voice cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Steve Blum as Zeb, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Taylor Gray as Ezra, David Oyelowo as Agent Kallus, and Jason Isaacs as the Inquisitor.


Go Behind the Scenes of Frozen on ABC
Go Behind the Scenes of Frozen on ABC This September

Walt Disney Animation Studios and ABC are giving viewers unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the making of Frozen. The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic offers a look at the origins and evolution of the Academy Award®-winning blockbuster, and tells the real story of making a modern movie based on a timeless tale that nearly overnight became a cultural touchstone for legions of fans. The special will also offer an exclusive sneak peek at Big Hero 6, which hits theaters this November. The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic premieres Tuesday, September 2 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.


Anna and Elsa Together in Storybrooke
Anna and Elsa Together in Storybrooke

This week ABC released photos showing the eagerly awaited new arrivals to Storybrooke, Anna (Elizabeth Lail) and Elsa (Georgina Haig)—and Anna is holding something that looks remarkably like a wedding gown. Season Four of Once Upon a Time premieres September 28 at 8 p.m. ET.


Big Hero 6 Spotlighted in Latest Version of Disney Animated
Big Hero 6 Spotlighted in Latest Version of Disney Animated

Disney Animated, the 2013 Apple iPad App of the year, has been updated to give viewers an inside look at Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming release, Big Hero 6. Delve into the art and inspiration behind Hiro and Baymax in futuristic San Fransokyo, and view concept art, character sketches, posters, and more. This update also offers exclusive art and behind-the-scenes details from Feast, the new short from Walt Disney Animation Studios that will debut in theaters with Big Hero 6 this fall. Throughout Disney Animated, explore pages packed with interactive images and multi-layer animated clips. Animate authentic 3D character models, control a Disney visual effects simulation, browse a rich timeline of all 53 Disney animated feature films—and more. Dozens of top animators, artists, technicians, and designers contributed to making Disney Animated an unprecedented hands-on experience.


Meet Star Wars Rebels‘ Sabine in “Art Attack”

In “Art Attack,” the latest Star Wars Rebels short to be released, Sabine sneaks into an Imperial compound, looking to create a diversion for her friends aboard the Ghost. Spotted by stormtroopers, she proves too quick to be captured—and leaves behind an explosive surprise. Star Wars Rebels premieres on Disney Channel this October.


New Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks, Disney Store, and Retailers Near You
New Merchandise Coming to Disney Parks, Disney Store, and Retailers Near You

  • Vinylmation Villain 5 is now available at Disney Store and Each blind-boxed package contains one of eight different designs in the series, which includes The Incredibles‘ Syndrome, Brave‘s Mordu, a bug’s life‘s Thumper, Up‘s Charles Muntz, Finding Nemo‘s Darla, Monsters, Inc.‘s Waternoose, and Monsters University‘s Dean Hardscrabble—plus a Mystery Figure.
  • PANDORA Jewelry and Disney have announced a new collection of hand-finished sterling silver and 14K gold charms that will feature inspirations from some of Disney’s most beloved characters. The collection will include 25 different styles, with an additional 16 styles found only at Disney Parks.
  • has launched a dedicated shop page for “Bouncing Bouquet” by Vera Bradley, a collection created especially for Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The collection includes a wristlet, backpack, zip ID case, and hipster bags featuring Vera Bradley’s signature cotton quilted exterior in a colorful print of vivid florals with a subtle Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse design.
  • Disney Consumer Products and Le Sportsac have launched a “frightfully fashionable” 14-piece collection of totes, satchels, cosmetic bags, and backpacks inspired by DisneyŸPixar’s Monsters, Inc. and featuring artwork from the film’s production designer, Harley Jessup. The line is available at Le Sportsac stores and

Re-Live Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Drop with MyMagic+

Walt Disney World Resort guests with a Magic Band and an active Memory Maker entitlement will now be able to receive a video memento of their 13-story drop. The feature utilizes new technology provided by Disney PhotoPass Service, including the ability to view and share the video with friends.


Disney Replay
WATCH Disney Channel Launches Disney Replay

Disney Replay is bringing back 10 episodes from some of your favorite long-lost Disney Channel shows: Even Stevens, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Kim Possible, That’s So Raven, and Cory in the House. Fifty episodes are available now through September 30 at or via the WATCH Disney Channel app.


Disney's Animal Kingdom's newest resident, a baby gorilla born to mother Azizi and father Gino
Meet Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Newest Resident

Say “karibuni,” or “welcome,” to Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s newest resident, a baby gorilla born to mother Azizi and father Gino. The newborn male gorilla was born August 7 and is being watched closely by members of the primate team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He’s the fourth gorilla born as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, which manages genetic diversity among species through detailed records of individual animals. Park guests who travel down the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail just might catch a glimpse of Azizi and her new arrival.