Global Superstar Lineup to Bring the Cheer in The Disney Holiday Singalong Airing Monday, November 30, on ABC

By the D23 Team

Need some holiday cheer? Never fear, ABC is here with the third (and most festive) iteration of its Disney Family Singalong series! Today, ABC announced its star-studded lineup for The Disney Holiday Singalong, with Ryan Seacrest returning to host the night of merry music and magic on Monday, November 30 (8–9 p.m. EST). Celebrity performances and appearances for the festive special include Andrea Bocelli, BTS, Michael Bublé, Ciara, Chloe x Halle, Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert, Julianne Hough, Adam Lambert, Leslie Odom Jr., Katy Perry, P!NK, and Kerry Washington. Additional appearances will be announced at a later date.

Plus, grab a box of tissues as Disney on Broadway makes its heartwarming return to the New Amsterdam Theatre for the first time since March, with a sensational performance by members of the Broadway casts of The Lion King and Aladdin, and North American touring companies of Frozen. Disney Music Group’s acclaimed seven-member a cappella group DCappella also joins in for some seasonal sounds; they’ll carol throughout the show and encourage viewers at home to sing along.

The jolly one-hour musical event will once again include animated on-screen lyrics to allow viewers at home to sing along to the beloved Disney melodies and classic holiday carols.

Disney sing-a-long

The Disney Holiday Singalong performances include the following:

Andrea Bocelli—“Silent Night”

BTS—“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Michael Bublé—“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

Ciara—“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

Chloe x Halle—“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”

Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert—“Hey Santa” and “Jingle Bells”

Julianne Hough—“Whistle While You Work” and “Let It Snow”

Adam Lambert—“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Leslie Odom Jr.—“What’s This?”

Katy Perry—“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Cozy Little Christmas”

P!NK—“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”

Kerry Washington—“Joy to the World”

For the first time since Broadway’s shutdown, Disney Theatrical Production’s Broadway casts of The Lion King and Aladdin, and North American touring companies of Frozen return to the New Amsterdam Theatre to sing a special performance of “Let It Go.” Led by Caroline Bowman and Aisha Jackson, the number also features Tracee Beazer, Austin Colby, Lindiwe Dlamini, Olivia Donaldson, Bongi Duma, Nicholas Edwards, April Holloway, Ben Jeffrey, Nina LaFarga, Telly Leung, Isabelle McCalla, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kyle Mitchel, Nteliseng Nkhela, Amber Owens, Adam Perry, John Riddle, Ann Sanders, Dennis Stowe, L. Steven Taylor, and Nicholas Ward.

The special also raises awareness about Disney’s Feed the Love campaign, driving to Feeding America, Toys for Tots, and One Simple Wish to inspire hope when it’s needed the most in our communities. Viewers can visit Disney.com/FeedTheLove to learn how they can give back to kids and families in need this holiday season and elevate resources for those who need them.

The Disney Holiday Singalong is sponsored by T-Mobile, Walmart, and Clorox.

Stay tuned to D23.com for future announcements about this festive night!

5 Fantastic Things to Watch This Weekend

By Zach Johnson

Start your weekend off by streaming the premiere of the new short form documentary series Inside Pixar, followed by the finale of Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, both available on Disney+ Friday. That same day, Hulu debuts the original documentary film I Am Greta, from Swedish director Nathan Grossman. Freeform’s “Kickoff to Christmas” continues all weekend long and includes the classic Home Alone 2: Lost in New York on Saturday, and on Sunday, enjoy a new episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on ABC.

Inside Pixar

Inside Pixar—Friday, November 13, on Disney+
Ever dreamed of getting an exclusive inside look into the artistry, culture, and people of Pixar Animation Studios? Now’s your chance via this documentary series from directors Tony Kaplan and Erica Milsom. Each of the four collections includes five short stories, all grouped by a central theme. The first collection, “Inspired,” features inspirational stories from Jessica Heidt, Steven Hunter, Deanna Marsigliese, Kemp Powers, and Dan Scanlon.

Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom—Friday, November 13, on Disney+
The ferocious finale is here! Watch what happens when Flash, a mature, whitespotted bamboo shark, bites off more than she can chew… and winds up in the emergency room after swallowing an item that’s not on the menu! Meanwhile, baby Grace, a western lowland gorilla, reaches new heights as an animal keeper works with child-development experts to test her motor coordination. At Kilimanjaro Safaris, Gus the hippo makes a frenemy out of an older hippo at the river playground. And on the savanna, Dugan, a southern white rhino, learns love hurts when the female rhinos greet him a bit too eagerly.

I Am Greta

I Am Greta—Friday, November 13, on Hulu
Not all heroes wear capes. This intimate documentary film tells the remarkable story of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg through compelling, never-before-seen footage. Starting with her one-person school strike for climate action outside the Swedish Parliament, the film follows Thunberg, a shy student with Asperger’s, as her growing fame galvanizes people, sparking school strikes around the world. The film culminates with her wind-powered voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to talk at the UN Climate Action Summit.

Home Alone

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York—Saturday, November 14, at 9:15 p.m. ET on Freeform
Believe it or not, even more hijinks ensue for Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) in this hilarious holiday sequel. After a mix-up at the airport, Kevin inadvertently winds up in New York City… with enough cash and credit cards to turn the city into his own playground! He checks himself into the Plaza Hotel and lives like a king, watching gangster movies and racking up quite a room service bill. But Kevin isn’t alone for long. Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), still reeling from their last encounter with Kevin, are also in the Big Apple… and they’re planning another holiday heist! To stop them from robbing a toy store just before Christmas, Kevin sets up a battery of booby traps to stop the bumbling bandits.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire—Sunday, November 15, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC
You’ll want to phone a friend and tell them to tune in for this brand-new episode, as chef David Chang is competing for the Southern Smoke Foundation. Then, watch as American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter Rorri Burton tries his hand at winning the $1 million prize.

Filling The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse with Music

By Beth Deitchman

He was whistling a happy tune when we met him and now, more than 90 years later, Mickey is still the most musical mouse we know. The new animated shorts series The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse continues a rich musical legacy with its Disney+ debut on Wednesday, November 18—which, not coincidentally, happens to be Mickey’s birthday. These new shorts find Mickey and his best pals embarking on their greatest adventures yet and all feature a spectacular musical soundtrack from Emmy® Award-nominated composer Christopher Willis, the maestro whose score and songs accompany the “Sensational Six” on a musical journey that ranges from ragtime to roller disco… and everything in between.

Mickey Mouse

Over the past few years, Willis has enjoyed his own immersive foray into Mickey Mouse’s world, having also composed the music for Disney Channel’s Emmy-winning Mickey Mouse shorts as well as the Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction at Walt Disney World Resort. “Lots of homework” goes into the job, shares Willis, who enthusiastically delves into both music history and Disney history to inform his approach for every short. “Mickey has this existence all across the landscape of the 20th century, ever since the 1920s,” he says, and some of the musical milestones that have influenced his compositions include the vaudeville and jazz of the late 1920s and ’30s, when Mickey first came on the scene; and Disneyland’s early days in the 1950s and ’60s. He adds, “One of the major aspects of [the research process] is looking at the history of Disney and winking and nodding at all sorts of things: Disney rides, Disney attractions—lots of ones, perhaps, that don’t even exist anymore, but which people have a vague memory of or they heard about somewhere—and classic Disney movies and characters that you don’t see so much anymore.”

Mickey Mouse

The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse will feature numerous nods—both musical and visual—to iconic attractions and lands. One of the two shorts debuting on November 18, “Cheese Wranglers,” is set within the Big Thunder Valley (with a certain Disneyland mountain vista making an appearance), and the following week, on November 27, Disney fans will join Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in the Tomorrowland-inspired “House of Tomorrow” short. “We know that there’s a lot of love for the Disney Parks out there and we feel that, too,” Willis says.

Mickey Mouse

For Willis, that love is a delightful but relatively recent discovery. The composer grew up in England and while he’s always had a deep knowledge and appreciation for the music of Disney films, he’d never been to a Disney park until about 10 years ago when he and his wife, Elyse, had just begun dating. “When we were getting to know each other, we went to the Disney parks quite a bit,” he shares. “She had that typical Californian thing of having come to the parks a lot and having friends who worked there, so we would go [to Disneyland] and meet her friends who were working there behind the scenes and might take us on rides. I really started to fall in love with it and talk to them about the history and the mythology. Then I started working on Mickey Mouse and discovered that was actually something that was going to be useful. So over the course of this past decade, I’ve now really, really sort of fallen in love with the parks and all of the lore and history they have.”

Mickey Mouse

In addition to musical cues that will transport fans to favorite Disney Parks locales, Willis has also hidden Easter eggs intended to remind Disney fans of beloved films. He hints, “You might hear ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ turning up here and there. You might hear an old Pluto theme that you really don’t hear very often. You might hear ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?’ Lots and lots of those kind of things.”

Minnie Mouse

The characters themselves also guide Willis’ compositions, he points out. “You very often have a slightly more sort of countrified, twangy music for Goofy. I’ll often have a banjo, a kind of old time-y clarinet, some things like that,” he explains. “Mickey gets a lot of jazz—a lot of New Orleans jazz. And with Minnie, things tend to be much sweeter—stylistically similar, but it’s more orchestral, more woodwinds, more sort of flourishes. The characters very much have their own slant, depending on what we’re doing.”

“Chris is really good about thinking about story and how music tells a story,” Paul Rudish, executive producer and supervising director of The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse, says. The score usually follows animation in the production process, but Willis notes, “Sometimes if the story and the music are completely intertwined, I might get involved even before there’s an animatic, when it’s just an idea.” Rudish and the animators also bring in Willis early when the characters will be performing a song, as was the case for “Cheese Wranglers,” in which Mickey, Donald, and Goofy bring a cowboy spin to the ballad “The Wranglers’ Code.” “In that case they already had an idea that Mickey might yodel,” recalls Willis, who co-writes many of the songs with Elyse, who serves as lyricist. “We knew that they were going to keep talking about ‘the code’ in the episode—it was going to be this mysterious thing that was talked about a lot. But the exact shaping of that and the rhyme scheme and the way that the song ended up was then up to us.”

Mickey Mouse

Over the course of the season, the music featured in The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse will take inspiration from bluegrass, from classic Disney films, from storybooks, and even the classic disco sound of the 1970s. Storyboard artist Kristen Morrison believes that fans will find themselves drawn to the tunes again and again, describing them as “ear worms” in the best possible way. “I can be boarding to one of those songs, listening to it nonstop for over a month, and still never get tired of it,” she says. “I think that speaks to Chris Willis’ immense talent.”

Hear more about The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse from Willis, Rudish, and Morrison in the Winter 2020 issue of Disney twenty-three.

Every Epic Moment from the First Year of Disney+

By Jocelyn Buhlman

Today, we’re celebrating the year anniversary of a moment streams are made of: The launch of Disney+! Disney’s first-ever direct-to-consumer streaming service is celebrating its inaugural year—and what a year it has been! From the can’t-miss original series to epic movie debuts, every moment has had something special for Disney fans of all varieties. To ring in today’s celebration, we’re rounding up some of the most epic moments and magical memories from the streaming service’s first year.

November 12, 2019

The Mandalorian

Meet the Mandalorian—and the Child!

Do you remember which movie or series you watched first on Disney+? For many, it was the highly anticipated first episode of The Mandalorian. Already noteworthy for being the first-ever live action series set in the Star Wars universe, the show immediately cemented its place in the hearts of fans with the end-of-episode reveal of character who instantly became a fan favorite: The Child!

High School Musical

Return to East High

For those who have their heads in the game and their hearts in the song, the first thing to watch on Disney+ was obvious: High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The weekly show continued the legacy of High School Musical with a loveable cast of new characters attempting to follow in the footsteps of the DCOM that had the whole world dancing. From the music we can’t get out of our heads to the dramatic moments we’ll never forget, the first season of this Disney+ original series bopped to the top of many a fans’ watchlist. While we wait for season 2, we will soon make merry with our favorite East High students in the all new High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Holiday Special, which debuts on the platform November 20.

Lady and the Tramp

A Darling New Movie Debut

One of the new films that debuted on launch day of Disney+ had us wagging our tails in delight: the live-action reimagining of Lady and The Tramp. The film featured the voices of Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux as Lady and the Tramp respectively, plus original music by Janelle Monáe, who also lent her legendary voice to the role of Peg. The human cast included Kiersey Clemons (Darling), Thomas Mann (Jim Dear), and one of our favorite Mousequerade judges, Yvette Nicole Brown (Aunt Sarah)! We were so excited for this original film that we were barking about it on the cover of our fall 2019 issue of Disney twenty-three magazine.

The Imagineering Story

If you can stream it, you can do it

If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite Disney Parks attractions came to life, then you probably streamed the Disney+ original docuseries The Imagineering Story first! Narrated by Angela Bassett and directed and executive produced by Leslie Iwerks, the series pulled back the curtain on Walt Disney Imagineering to show fans how each Disney theme park from around the world was created.

The Simpsons

Time to binge watch all of The Simpsons

While some fans tuned in first to a galaxy far, far away and others returned to East High, the first thing many viewers streamed on Disney+ was one of the newest additions to the Disney family: The Simpsons! Every season of the series was available for streaming at launch of Disney+, meaning lifelong fans could spend the day marathoning series and newcomers would discover Springfield’s most famous family for the first time. Fans had even more reason to rejoice in 2020, as now the series is available to stream in both its original 4:3 aspect ratio and in the remastered 16:9 aspect ratio.

February 21, 2020

The Clone Wars

Finished, the Clone Wars has

The fan-favorite Star Wars animated series detailing the events of the oft-mythologized Clone Wars made its triumphant return for a final season, debuting exclusively on Disney+. The series had a more than ten-year-long legacy, originally debuting in 2008 prior to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. Fans had long-awaited a proper ending to the beloved series, and the final season on Disney+ was highly anticipated since it’s announcement at San Diego Comic-Con in 2018. D23 celebrated the series finale with a special virtual cast reunion, which you can watch here.

March 6, March 15, and May 4 2020

Every epic moment from Disney Plus

Surprise! Your favorite movies are streaming early

In light of cinemas impacted by closures due to the global health crisis, three theatrically-released Disney films arrived on Disney+ months early, so fans could enjoy new adventures from the safety of their homes. In March, both Onward and Frozen II made their streaming debuts on Disney+, while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker made the lightspeed jump to Disney+ on May the Fourth.

April 8, 2020

Disney+

A milestone moment

Only five months after its initial launch, Disney+ achieved an epic milestone: 50 million subscribers! That meant since Disney+ had in the previous weeks rolled out in eight Western European countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland, plus becoming available in India in conjunction with the Hotstar streaming service, that all around the world fans were taking part in the joy and optimism of Disney+!

July 3, 2020

Hamilton

No more waiting for it

Just in time for at-home fourth of July celebrations, the Tony Award®- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Hamilton made its debut on Disney+ in a filmed version of the original Broadway production that combined the best elements of live theater and film to bring the cultural phenomenon to a streaming service for the very first time. The production was filmed in June 2016 featured the entire original cast. Originally intended to have a theatrical run, Hamilton was fast-tracked to Disney+, as most theaters were closed due to the pandemic. You can read more about how this musical sensation made its Disney+ debut here.

July 31, 2020

The Muppets

It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights…

One of the most anticipated (and surely the most Muppet-ational) debuts in Disney+’s first year was the launch of an all-new Muppets series! Muppets Now brought fans the weekly zaniness we’ve come to expect from Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, and all the other weirdos we love—but with an emphasis on the new, digital world that none of us really know how to navigate (expect for Scooter, maybe). Featuring lots of celebrity guests and exactly one legal weasel, the series brought much-needed silliness to the lives of Muppet fans everywhere.

August 7, 2020

Every Epic moment on Disney Plus

He gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his heart—and now his story was being shared

The original Disney+ documentary Howard chronicled the life of Howard Ashman, the musical visionary behind beloved Disney songs from movies like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. D23 celebrated the launch of this heartfelt documentary with a special video episode of the D23 Inside Disney podcast, which you can watch here.

August 28, 2020

Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe

Ferb, I know what we’re gonna stream today

Both the young and young-at-heart fans of this beloved animated series had been waiting to find out what was next for everyone’s favorite inventive stepbrothers (and their high-strung sister). The Disney+ original film answered that question—and it involves going to space! Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe features not just a dash across space with our favorite characters, but the original voice cast and all-new songs. Read more about how the movie was made here.

September 4, 2020

Mulan

Loyal. Brave. True.

Disney+ had become the debut home for both Artemis Fowl and The One and Only Ivan, two films originally intended for theatrical release but brought to Disney+ early due to the global health crisis, Mulan marked the debut of Disney+ Premier Access—and Disney fans were able to enjoy the live action reimagining of the 1998 animated film Mulan from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

September 20, 2020

Every Epic Moment from Disney Plus

And the Emmy goes to…

This is the way… to winning awards! The Mandalorian and Forky Asks a Question both brought home Disney+’s first-ever Emmys during the 2nd Emmy® Awards, with The Mandalorian smuggling home 7 Emmy awards, while Pixar won its first-ever award for the animated short Forky Asks a Question: What is Love?

You can learn more about Disney+ here 

Deck the Halls with This Disney+ Holiday Movie Quiz

By Courtney Potter

Kris Kringle. Sinterklaas. Père Noël. Babbo Natale. Belsnickel. It’s true—Santa Claus goes by many names… but there’s one name that surprised everyone back in the early ’90s: Scott Calvin. Walt Disney Pictures’ The Santa Clause premiered on November 11, 1994, and introduced fans around the world to Disney Legend Tim Allen’s harried, skeptical toy-company-executive divorcé who—during one fateful Christmas Eve—suddenly finds himself in the life-altering position of actually becoming Santa Claus, thanks to a little-known North Pole provision.

In the two-plus decades since its release, The Santa Clause has become a seasonal staple for holiday fans everywhere. And guess what? The film is currently available for streaming on Disney+! Speaking of which, that got us to thinking about all the other great holiday films available for perusal right now on the streaming service. (Yes, we know it’s not yet Thanksgiving, but is it ever too early for feel-good, jingle-jangle fun? We think not.)

And so, we here at D23 have devised a quiz to suss out which holiday movie on Disney+ you should watch to kick off the season. Will it be Scott Calvin and company’s (mis)adventures in The Santa Clause, or maybe something a little more animated? Take the quiz and find out! And don’t forget to check Disney+ for even more options! These films are just the tip of the festive iceberg…

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
You’re decorating an imaginary Christmas tree… what kind of lights do you use?

A) Multi-colored, blinking LEDs.
B) Candles.
C) Those old-fashioned “bubbler” lights.
D) A simple string of white lights.
E) Would vintage car headlights work?
F) Magical starlight.

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
What’s the best holiday gift you ever received?

A) The coolest job in the world.
B) The gift of an open heart.
C) A beautiful piece of jewelry.
D) Belief in magic.
E) A special heirloom.
F) True love.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Favorite style of holiday music:

A) Just great tunes—the kind you could drive a sleigh to…
B) Simple yet sincere.
C) Upbeat and peppy, no matter the genre!
D) Swing versions of Christmas standards.
E) For some reason, I lean towards Bavarian polkas.
F) Musical-theater-style production numbers.

Miracle on 34th Street
What’s your gift-wrapping style?

A) Chaotic, but it gets the job done.
B) Beautiful bespoke fabric with hand-sewn bows.
C) Colorful boxes to stack under the tree.
D) Sometimes, the best gifts don’t need wrapping…
E) I’m not above using whatever’s handy—like airline tickets.
F) A delightful repurposed cookie tin.

The Santa Clause
Favorite holiday beverage:

A) Ice-cold eggnog. Or if you’re out, a glass of milk would be OK.
B) Some Christmas punch—enough for the whole clan.
C) Whatever I can share easiest with all my friends.
D) A plain “cup of joe” would suit me fine.
E) Cranberry juice, preferably in a box with a small straw.
F) A warming spot of tea, of course!

The Muppet Christmas Carol

RESULTS

Mostly As
The Santa Clause

Hot off the heels of his hit ABC series Home Improvement, Allen starred in this funny, feel-good comedy opposite Eric Lloyd as adorable son, Charlie; Wendy Crewson as patient ex-wife, Laura; Judge Reinhold as Laura’s well-meaning new husband, Neal; and David Krumholtz as everyone’s favorite curmudgeonly but kind elf Bernard. If you like hilarious one-liners (who doesn’t?), then The Santa Clause is for you.

Mostly Bs
The Muppet Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens’ iconic story mixed with Jim Henson’s Muppets is an unexpected but marvelous match. Directed by Brian Henson, 1992’s The Muppet Christmas Carol stars Michael Caine as miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who learns the error of his ways courtesy of Kermit the Frog (as Bob Cratchit), Statler and Waldorf (as Jacob and Robert Marley), and more.

Mostly Cs
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

This 1999 release features three individual stories starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse; Goofy and Max; and Donald Duck with his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, all reflecting on the true meaning of the holidays. Tied together by narration from actor Kelsey Grammer, Once Upon a Christmas is the perfect way to incorporate some of your all-time Disney faves into your celebrations.

Mostly Ds
Miracle on 34th Street

Yes, one of the most iconic holiday movies of all time is available to stream on Disney+! Havoc ensues when a man named Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn)—who claims to be the real Santa Claus—starts working inside Macy’s flagship store in 1947 New York City. Will he prove his pedigree to his doubtful boss (Maureen O’Hara) and her precocious daughter (Natalie Wood) before it’s too late?

Mostly Es
I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas stars in this 1998 romp as Jake Wilkinson, a self-absorbed prep school student who’s tasked with hitchhiking his way from California to New York (just days before Christmas) whilst dressed as Santa Claus. Notable not only for its fabulous late-’90s-pop-culture appeal, but also as one of Jessica Biel’s earliest screen roles.

Mostly Fs
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Framed as a flashback, with its main story taking place not long after Beast had saved Belle from the wolves, this snowy 1997 sequel to Disney’s animated hit finds Belle (once again voiced by Paige O’Hara) trying to plan an elaborate Christmas celebration for the castle’s amiable inhabitants—all while the vengeful pipe organ Forte (voice of Tim Curry) plots to prevent Belle and Beast from falling in love.

Send Some Joy this Holiday Season with shopDisney and Toys for Tots

By the D23 Team

For more than 60 years, Disney has supported the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation as a way to connect with children and families in need during the holiday season. Disney’s relationship with Toys for Tots began in 1948, when Walt Disney and his animators personally designed the original Toys for Tots train logo, which is still in use.

This year, actor and self-proclaimed Disney super fan Neil Patrick Harris helped kick off the holidays by announcing that shopDisney.com | Disney store has teamed up with Toys for Tots (toysfortots.org) to help bring joy to underserved children this holiday season for the third year in a row.

Donate – From now through December 13, 2020, Disney will donate $1 to Toys for Tots for every new unwrapped toy donated at a Disney store or a World of Disney store in the U.S. or online through shopDisney.com. For guests who want to participate online, visit shopdisney.com/ToysForTots to purchase from a selection of 10 toys, accessories, and items eligible for donation.

“This year more than ever, we are hoping to bring some holiday magic to fans and families and help get more toys to children who need them most,” said Edward Park, senior vice president, shopDisney & Disney store. “While this year is different than years past, we have made every effort to shift donations online to shopDisney.com to ensure anyone who wants to participate can do so from home.”

In addition to donating a new unwrapped toy, guests can support Toys for Tots by purchasing a Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse gingerbread pin. Disney will donate $1 to Toys for Tots (toysfortots.org) for every Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse gingerbread pin purchased at a U.S. Disney store or on shopDisney.com from November 1 – December 24, 2020.

Early Hour In-Store Shopping – Beat the crowds and reserve a visit at select local Disney store locations before they open to the general public to shop early and have more time to enjoy the holiday season!* Purchase a $1 ticket to Disney store’s holiday early hours at select U.S. Disney store locations, and Disney will donate $1 to Toys for Tots (toysfortots.org) now through December 14, 2020. Each store will offer tickets per its current capacity restrictions, enabling your group, along with a limited number of other groups, to enjoy a socially distanced experience.

shopDisney.com|Disney store continues to offer a broad selection of toys, collectibles, and uniquely designed gifts across Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel for fans of all ages across fashion, accessories, toys, tech, home, and more.

*Select stores only, while supplies last. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All ticket sales are final. Tickets are non-refundable except in the event of cancellation. Event subject to change or cancellation without notice. Limited-edition, limited release, and special-edition products that are due to release on the day of the reservation WILL NOT be available during Early Hour In-Store Shopping events. If you are interested in purchasing one of these items, please plan to visit the store during regular opening hours.

Game On! 7 Disney Titles to Play on PlayStation® 5

By Zach Johnson

The wait is almost over! On Thursday, PlayStation® 5 will become available in North America, a week ahead of its European launch on November 19. In addition to exclusive PS5 games—like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, available November 12—more than 99 percent of the 4,000+ PS4 games can be played on either the PS5 console or the PS5 digital edition console. Games will need to be downloaded from PlayStation Store for the latter, and while most games are playable on PS5, some features available on PS4 may be absent.

Our Spidey senses haven’t stopped tingling since the PS5 reveal event in June, when we learned Insomniac Games was developing a game centering on Miles Morales, who was a nonplayable character in the 2018 video game Marvel’s Spider-Man. So, whether you’re adding new titles to your collection or replaying favorites, we’re highlighting seven games featuring Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters that you’ll want to play again and again!

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020)
What a tangled web he weaves! Experience the rise of Miles Morales as he masters new powers to become his own Spider-Man. After training under Peter Parker, Miles is ready to protect the people of New York City… or so he thinks. While his mentor is out of town, a dangerous power struggle worsens between Roxxon Energy Corporation and the Underground. Ready or not, Miles is about to discover what it truly means to be a hero.

Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King

Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King (2019)
This treasured package of two ’90s classics offers new display options, enhancements, features, and game modes, plus multiple versions of the games. In Disney’s Aladdin, join Aladdin and his sidekick, Abu, as they race through the marketplace toward their date with destiny. Travel through Agrabah, the Cave of Wonders, and more exotic locales to defeat Jafar and rescue Princess Jasmine. The Lion King, meanwhile, brings to life the story of Simba, a lion cub tricked into exile by his uncle Scar. Aided by his new friends, Timon and Pumbaa, Simba fights his way through 10 thrilling levels to claim his rightful place as king.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (2019)
Set after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, meet Cal Kestis, a Padawan who managed to escape the Empire and is now living a quiet life as a scrapper. It isn’t long before he’s pulled back into the never-ending battle between the light and dark sides, and the Imperial Inquisitors continue to hunt him down even after Cal teams up with Resistance members Cere Junda and Greez Dritus. With Cal’s help, they attempt to do the impossible: uncover a hidden list of Force-sensitive children and rebuild the Jedi Order.

LEGO The Incredibles

LEGO® The Incredibles (2018)
You don’t need to put on your super suit to play as your favorite characters from Disney and Pixar’s The Incredibles and Incredibles 2. Reimagined in LEGO form, the game recreates hilarious scenes and explosive action sequences from both movies as you battle villains including Syndrome, The Underminer, and more. Unsure which character best suits your playing style? Take our fun quiz, What’s Your Incredibles Super Power?, to get a better idea.

Marvel’s Avengers

 Marvel’s Avengers (2020)
The Avengers assemble on A-Day, with Black Widow, Captain America, the Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor unveiling a new headquarters in San Francisco. A mysterious enemy emerges, resulting in death and destruction, and exposing the public to a Terrigen Mist that activates special abilities in Inhumans. Blamed for the tragedy, the Avengers disband, and the scientific A.I.M. organization takes their place as purported protectors of the peace. Five years later, things have only gotten worse. Fed up, a New Jersey teen named Kamala Khan—an Avengers superfan who gained embiggening powers on A-Day—sets out to reassemble and rebuild the Avengers so they can take down A.I.M.’s megalomaniac leader. Before new characters including Kate Bishop and Hawkeye become playable at a later date, take our quiz to find out which Marvel’s Avengers character suits your playing style.

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III (2019)
Set in multiple Disney and Pixar worlds, the game serves as the final chapter of the Dark Seeker Saga and chronicles the events leading up to the final showdown between Sora and Master Xehanort. After losing most of his powers, Sora travels to Olympus with Donald Duck and Goofy to see if Hercules can help… only to come face-to-face with Hades! Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse and Riku continue to search for Aqua in the Realm of Darkness, while Kairi and Lea train to become Keyblade Masters. Along the way, Sora meets characters from Disney and Pixar films such as Big Hero 6; Frozen; Hercules; Monsters, Inc.; Pirates of the Caribbean; Tangled; Toy Story; and Winnie the Pooh. Can these new friends help Sora finally stop Xehanort from forging the X-blade and summoning Kingdom Hearts?

Star Wars: Squadrons

Star Wars: Squadrons (2020)
Embark on missions that take place between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, told from alternating perspectives of two factions. The story swaps between two customizable pilots from the New Republic’s Vanguard Squadron, who fight for freedom, and the Empire’s Titan Squadron, who demand order. Which side are you on?

The Special Tribute to Disney Legends who Served in Uniform at Magic Kingdom

By: Cappy Surette
Senior Manager, Executive Communications, Walt Disney World Resort, and Co-Chair, SALUTE Veteran Business Employee Resource Group (Florida-site)

Military Ferry Boats
The General Joe Potter ferryboat on Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Walt Disney Company has a long and proud tradition of supporting military personnel, their families, and Veterans that dates all the way back to our founders, Walt and Roy O. Disney, who both served the United States during World War I. Roy was a Navy Petty Officer from 1917-1919, and Walt was an ambulance chauffeur for the Red Cross Ambulance Corps in France very shortly after the war ended.

Walt Disney World Resort has several enduring ways we recognize those who serve in the military as well as their family members, including special discounts, hosting the Shades of Green Armed Forces morale, welfare, and recreation hotel at Walt Disney World, and more. But there is another tribute to two special military Veterans on display every single day near Magic Kingdom Park that often goes unnoticed.

One of the highest honors the U.S. military can bestow is naming a U.S. Navy ship after our nation’s heroes. In similar fashion in 1997, Walt Disney World honored U.S. Army Major General William “Joe” Potter and Navy Rear Admiral Joseph “Joe” Fowler by re-christening two of our ferryboats that transport guests to and from Magic Kingdom across Seven Seas Lagoon.

Both men not only served their nation proudly in uniform, but also went on to have incredible careers with The Walt Disney Company—in fact, they are both Disney Legends.

Military Ferry Boats
The Admiral Joe Fowler ferryboat was named after Disney Legend Navy Rear Admiral Joe Fowler.

Navy Rear Admiral Joe Fowler
Navy Rear Admiral Joe Fowler served during both World Wars, specializing in naval architecture. Among his numerous accomplishments, he supervised the design and building of the largest aircraft carriers that operated during World War II. After he retired from the Navy, Walt Disney personally hired Joe in 1954 to help oversee the construction of Disneyland. He not only led construction work of the park but was chosen to manage operations after the iconic park opened.

Joe went on to lead the planning and building efforts for Walt Disney World. “Can do” was his signature reply when Roy assigned him the formidable mission of managing and planning for the building of Walt Disney World. At one point, he held three posts simultaneously: senior vice president, engineering and construction, for Walt Disney Productions; chairman of the board of WED Enterprises, now known as Walt Disney Imagineering; and director of construction for Disney’s Buena Vista Construction Company.

He retired from Disney in 1978 and was named a Disney Legend in 1990.

The Magic Kingdom I ferryboat was re-launched as the Admiral Joe Fowler on May 28, 1997.

Military Ferry Boats
The General Joe Potter ferryboat was named after Disney Legend Army Major General Joe Potter.

Major General Joe Potter
Major General William “Joe” Potter served in the United States Army for 38 years before Walt hired him in 1965. He was an engineering and logistical planning genius who made significant contributions during World War II and also served as governor of the Panama Canal Zone.

As vice president of Florida Planning, Joe oversaw construction of Walt Disney World’s entire infrastructure. This involved the layout for all underground utilities and sewer, power, and water treatment plants that were a marvel of modern engineering for the time period. He also responsibly developed drainage canals across the entire property. He worked to preserve the area’s ecology and beauty, giving the waterways a natural appearance. Eagle-eyed guests can still see many of these canals today.

Following the opening of Walt Disney World, he served as senior vice president until he retired in 1974. He was named a Disney Legend in 1997 and another Walt Disney World ferry boat, the Kingdom Queen, became General Joe Potter on June 18, 1997, in his honor.

During National Veteran and Military Family Month, we’re proud to honor the contributions these two Disney Legends made to both our nation and our company. We proudly salute our many cast members and employees who have served, or continue to serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces. We also offer a sincere “thank you” to all our military heroes who are selflessly standing the watch today across the world in support of freedom.

Disney Channel Announces Holiday DCOM Christmas Again

By Beth Deitchman

Ready for an early holiday gift of the DCOM variety? Our friends at Disney Channel have just announced that production has begun on the Disney Channel Original Movie Christmas Again, a heartwarming comedy that’s chock-full of Christmas magic. The movie comes from the successful team behind Disney Channel’s fan-favorite series Liv and Maddie, director Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain) and his long-time producing partner, Betsy Sullenger. They serve as executive producers on Christmas Again, which is filming now in Chicago with Fickman at the helm.

Christmas Again boasts a multi-talented cast led by Disney Channel fan-favorite Scarlett Estevez of BUNK’D, along with Daniel Sunjata (Manifest, Rescue Me), Alexis Carra (Fosse/Verdon), newcomer Ashlyn Jade Lopez, Tony Award® winner Priscilla Lopez (A Chorus Line), Beth Lacke (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series), Tony Amendola (Annabelle), and veteran comedic actor Gary Anthony Williams (Star Wars Resistance).

 

Christmas Again
(L-R) Scarlett Estevez, Daniel Sunjata, Alexis Carra, Ashlyn Jade Lopez
Christmas Again
(L-R) Priscilla Lopez, Tony Amendola, Beth Lacke, Gary Anthony Williams

Written by Doan La (Black Friday), Christmas Again centers on Rowena “Ro” (Estevez), a high-spirited 11-year-old girl having a hard time getting in the holiday spirit. She wishes that her divorced parents (Sunjata and Carra) were still together; that her dad’s new girlfriend (Lacke) and son were completely out of the picture; and that her family traditions could remain the same as always. After a disappointing celebration with her family—including sister Gabriela “Gabby” (Ashlyn Lopez), Abuela Sofia (Priscilla Lopez), and Abuelo Hector (Amendola)—Ro tells a mall Santa (Williams) that what she wants most for Christmas this year is a “do-over.” Her wish comes true, and Ro unexpectedly finds herself reliving Christmas day over and over… and over again. Can Ro learn to love her modern blended family as it is and discover the true meaning of Christmas—and in doing so, break the strange magical loop? We’ll find out when Christmas Again airs in 2021. Stay tuned to D23 for all of the details.

5 Fantastic Things to Watch This Week

By Zach Johnson

Ready for something new? This week, Hulu will debut two new original series, starting with The Mighty Ones on Monday and followed by Eater’s Guide to the World on Wednesday. ABC will broadcast The 54th Annual CMA Awards live Wednesday, while the network’s top-rated drama series Grey’s Anatomy will return Thursday. And on Thursday, tune in for the network premiere of Marc Forster’s Christopher Robin, airing on Freeform.

The Mighty Ones

The Mighty Ones—Monday, November 9, on Hulu
In every backyard, a secret world exists filled with tiny creatures. Hulu’s new original series follows the adventures of a twig, a pebble, a leaf, and a strawberry—four best friends who live in an unkempt backyard belonging to a trio of equally unkempt humans whom they mistake for gods. But in spite of their diminutive statures, The Mighty Ones are determined to live large! The cast includes Jessica McKenna as the voice of Rocksy, Alex Cazeres as the voice of Berry. Josh Brenner as the voice of Twig, Jimmy Tatro as the voice of Leaf, and Fred Tatasciore as the voice of Mr. Ladybug. All 10 episodes will be available November 9.

The CMAs

The 54th Annual CMA Awards—Wednesday, November 11, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC
Yeehaw! Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker will host Country Music’s Biggest Night™ live from Nashville. Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Jenee Fleenor, and Ashley McBryde will open the show with a tribute to Charlie Daniels. The hosts will also take the stage together for an emotional, groundbreaking tribute performance, and Rucker will also perform “Beers and Sunshine” with Lady A. Additional performers will include Jimmie Allen (“Best Shot”); Ingrid Andress (“More Heart Than Brains”); Gabby Barrett with Charlie Puth (“I Hope”); Eric Church (“Hell of a View”); Luke Combs (“Cold as You”); Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber (“10,000 Hours); Florida Georgia Line (“Long Live”); Little Big Town (Kenny Rogers tribute); Miranda Lambert (“Settling Down”); Maren Morris (“The Bones”); Old Dominion (“Lookin’ for Love”); Jon Pardi (Joe Diffie tribute); Carly Pearce with Lee Brice (“I Hope You’re Happy Now”); Rascal Flatts (“Bless the Broken Road”); Thomas Rhett with McEntire, Hillary Scott, and Chris Tomlin (“Be a Light”); Keith Urban (“God Whispered Your Name”); and Morgan Wallen (“More Than My Hometown”). Lambert leads the nominees with seven, breaking the record for most nominations by a female artist, and Charley Pride will receive the 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Eater’s Guide to the World

Eater’s Guide to the World—Wednesday, November 11, on Hulu
Discover the most surprising culinary destinations in Hulu’s new original series. Join narrator Maya Rudolph on a quest to find the most unexpected places to score an epic meal while drinking and dining with the locals along the way. The seven episodes, all streaming November 11, will showcase the best eats in Casablanca, New York City, Tijuana, and beyond. We don’t recommend watching this delicious new show on an empty stomach!

Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin—Thursday, November 12, at 8:30 p.m. ET on Freeform
Oh, bother. In Walt Disney Pictures’ heartwarming live-action film, making its Freeform debut, the once adventurous Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) has strayed too far from the Hundred Acre Wood of his youth. Now, it’s up to Winnie the Pooh (voice of Jim Cummings) to bring him home and help him rediscover his imagination. Aided by Eeyore (voice of Brad Garrett), Kanga (voice of Sophie Okonedo), Owl (voice of Toby Jones), Piglet (voice of Nick Mohammed), Rabbit (voice of Peter Capaldi), Roo (voice of Sara Sheen), and Tigger (voice of Cummings), Pooh sets off for London to find their grown-up friend. Their timing couldn’t be better, as Christopher is in desperate need of a wakeup call.

Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy—Thursday, November 12, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC
The two-part season 17 premiere event begins with the episode “All Tomorrow’s Parties.” Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Grey Sloan Memorial and its surgeons’ lives have been turned upside down. Now it’s all-hands-on-deck as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Bailey (Chandra Wilson), and the rest of the doctors find themselves on the frontlines of a new era. Meanwhile, an unintentionally started fire has first responders from Station 19 bringing patients in for treatment. Then, in “The Center Won’t Hold,” Bailey finds herself in the center of an argument with patients’ families as they await news about their children who were injured in the fire. Meanwhile, Winston (Anthony Hill) surprises Maggie (Kelly McCreary); Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Link (Chris Carmack) try to have some fun as new parents; Teddy (Kim Raver) discovers her relationship issues aren’t a secret in the workplace; and Richard (James Pickens Jr.) and Koracick (Greg Germann) get into a fight.