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I made my first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida in 1988. It was a unique experience in that I went by myself - sans parents - at age 12, the winner of a contest held by the Star Newspapers here in Chicagoland. I was a paperboy - a "newspaper carrier" - and as part of a yearly push for great customer service and increased subscriptions, the top carriers were rewarded with a trip to Disney World. I was one of them, and the experience marked my first ride in a limousine, and my first big adventure away from home (under the guidance of two chaperones). The Magic Kingdom is, indeed, a magical place, and in 2016 I returned for the first time as a parent, my wife and I taking our girls on a Florida adventure. On the west coast, I'd never been to Disneyland until December of 2015, when I attended as a guest as part of the Global Media Event for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Five hours in the park and I was hooked. I did return this week (more on that later), but at the recent D23 Expo in Anaheim, I was on the show floor, live-tweeting announcements about what the future holds for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. There's a whole lot of Marvel... a whole lot of Star Wars... a whole lot of Pixar... some new ships... new hotels... and a ton of magic to be experienced. Here's the full rundown...

Published in Movies, TV and More

The 2017 D23 Expo was absolutely massive, and while I live-tweeted the festivities direct from the show floor, I'm still trying to collect my thoughts on everything that I've seen and heard, even now that I've been back in Illinois for a full day. At the live-action film presentation, Alan Horn, Chairman, Walt Disney Studios, introduced Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production to give an overview of what moviegoers can expect to see across Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm over the next few years. For a few projects, development is still fairly early on, but ALADDIN was confirmed to be directed by Guy Ritchie, with Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie, with original music by Alan Menken with Pasek & Paul (La La Land) handling lyrics. MULAN will be helmed by Niki Caro (McFarland, USA, Whale Rider), and JUNGLE CRUISE marks the latest Disneyland ride to get a big screen nod, with Dwayne Johnson set to star. Those announcements simply scratch the surface, as the lineup is huge, and I've got all the details below...

Published in Movies, TV and More

#D23ExpoThis special feature is brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

Good morning from sunny Anaheim, California! I hit the ground here yesterday, refreshed and now ready to rock the first day of the 2017 D23 Expo and Disneyland Summer of HeroesBe sure to be following my on the socials - particularly on Twitter - for real-time updates from the show floor and panels as news breaks from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, Disney Channel, Disney Parks and more. There's a lot to come from "The Ultimate Disney Fan Event," and I'll be here for all of it, with news and features rolling out here on the site in the days and weeks ahead (some things I just can't reveal yet). There's also plenty of toys to be seen, so stay tuned for a look at new offerings from Mattel, JAKKS Pacific, Jada Toys, Disney Store and more.

Published in Movies, TV and More

#D23ExpoThis special feature is brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

This week is a unique one in that I'm gearing up for a full seven days of travel - the longest stretch that I've ever been away from home since becoming "The Rock Father." That means it's the longest I've been away from my wife and our girls, but it will be worth it since what I'm doing is part of the greater good - a mix of work and play that directly relates to having fun as a family, and spreading that goodness throughout the virtual pages of The Rock Father™ Magazine. While the entire week will be massive, the end will be epic as I wrap one gig in New York City, then head straight to Los Angeles to meet up with the Disney crew for the D23 Expo and Disneyland Summer of Heroes. One big focus for me will be the launch of Disney XD's DuckTales, but my group will also be taking part in activities and events from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC Network and more, and I'll be bringing you the latest news and features direct from the show floor of "The Ultimate Disney Fan Event" - July 13-16, 2017!

Published in Movies, TV and More

Last year at Blogger Bash in New York City, I got an early look at Sentiments' first Disney Pets Collection - a series of dog beds and bowls based around the iconic look of Mickey Mouse. Now comes word that the line was a success, and with that they're expanding line - and with Spider-Man: Homecoming hitting theaters this month, it's appropriate that their first foray into the Marvel realm is a collection aimed solely at canine fans of a certain NYC-based web-slinger. Can your dog (or cat) be a Disney or Marvel fan? I don't see why not...

Published in Home and Garden

With the news that Gwendoline Christie would be returning as Captain Phasma for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a big mystery was created in the galaxy: How did she survive the destruction of Starkiller Base in the final moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens? The answer to that question will be revealed a few months prior to the latest Star Wars film, when writer Kelly Thompson (Hawkeye, Star Wars Annual) teams with artist Marco Checchetto (Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Star Wars: Screaming Citadel) for JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – CAPTAIN PHASMA, a four-part miniseries bridging the events between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

Published in Books, Mags, Comics
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