Disney, SeaWorld to reopen theme parks in July

Disney and Seaworld say they will re-open Florida theme parks in June and July, hoping to reverse a months-long tide of lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. (May 27)

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A Day in the World’s Only Open Disneyland Park

Disney opened its Shanghai Disneyland Resort touting new measures to ensure the safety of its visitors. But not all of its guests are following the guidelines.

“There wasn’t a lot of caution on the part of park-goers, in my opinion,” said Michelle Lee, a Shanghai Disneyland annual pass holder who visited the park after its re-opening. “I was on rides with people who had taken their masks off.”

The Shanghai park now requires visitors to reserve a ticket in advance, practice social distancing, and wear masks while not eating. The park also only allows visitors who have a green health code, meaning they are in good health and haven’t come into contact with an infected person.

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You Can Fence With Lightsabers in France

About a year ago, the French Fencing Federation (FFF) was facing an existential challenge: the number of young people interested in traditional fencing was declining, and French kids were more interested in staring at their screens than showing up to like parry a la 16th century dukes.

That’s why the FFF made a very controversial decision: to elevate lightsaber fencing — up to that point a cosplay-esque pursuit of Star Wars enthusiasts — to the same status as Olympic-level fencing.

“We already do artistic fencing,” FFF President Isabelle Lamour told VICE News. “It’s historic. So if we can have ancient fencing, why not have futuristic fencing?”

The rule change seemed innocent enough, but considering the three weapons used in traditional fencing haven’t changed in about 200 years, it’s no surprise that adding lightsabers to the mix really ruffled a lot of feathers.

“Disney is not really welcome, I’m sorry,” traditional fencer Alban Garrouste told VICE News, referring to Lucasfilms’ parent company. “Fencing is a huge part of the French identity, so I think we should stick to [its] values and historical origins.”

For now, France is going it alone, with no other countries inquiring if they can import the rules to their own national fencing organizations, according to Lamour. But she noted that youth participation in the sport has definitely gone up.

“We’ve got everything to gain,” she said. “It doesn’t take anything away from participants in traditional fencing. It puts our discipline in the spotlight.”

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Iconic ‘Be Like Mike’ song created after failed Disney negotiations

Bernie Pitzel, a former advertising executive who created the iconic “Be Like Mike” song and commercial, said his original idea was to use the “I Wanna Be Like You” song from Disney’s “The Jungle Book.,” but it didn’t work out. (May 12)

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Shanghai Disneyland reopens after three-month coronavirus closure | AFP

Shanghai Disneyland reopens after shutting its gates for more than three months, as life in China returns to normality and Disney seeks to stem losses caused by the coronavirus. The park’s reopening comes on the same day that China reported a number of new virus infections in Wuhan, the original epicentre of the pandemic.

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Coronavirus: Paris’s latest balcony hit? Disney music quiz | AFP

After applauding France’s healthcare workers in the national 8pm ritual, the residents of rue de Tahiti in Paris’ 12th district stay on their balconies for a musical quiz. Today’s theme? Disney.

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What It’s Like to Be A Golden State Warriors Dancer

Every summer, hundreds of jazz and hip-hop dancers audition for one of 21 coveted spots on the ultra-talented all-female dance division of the Golden State Warriors. Known for their energetic in-game performances, the Warriors Dancers are the most recognizable women on the court. Showing us what it’s really like to be a Warriors Dancer is 5-year veteran and team captain Hannie, who knows all about what goes in to the role. Like her fellow dancers, she juggles her day job with late-night rehearsals, community appearances, costume fittings, physical therapy, hair and makeup sessions, and memorizing almost 40 dance routines per season. Though it appears glamorous, the job is an enormous commitment and a labor of love, set against the backdrop of sweeping, sport-wide changes to increase inclusivity and diversity. Today’s Warriors Dance Team, previously known as the “Warriors Girls”, have done away with swimsuit calendars and pom-poms in favor of greater representation from all genders and ages. Find out what it’s like to be Hannie, how she got here, and what it’s been like for her during the unexpected end of the 2019-2020 basketball season.

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What It’s Like to Be A Golden State Warriors Dancer

Coronavirus: Disneyland Paris welcomes last visitors before park closure | AFP

Visitors enjoy Disneyland Paris one last time before it closes. The Disney group has decided to close its park this weekend until the end of March “as a precautionary principle” against the coronavirus epidemic. IMAGES

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Disney partially reopens Shanghai resort after virus shutdown | AFP

Shanghai Disney Resort reopens more than a month after shutting down due to the coronavirus outbreak in late January.

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ShowBiz Minute: Duffy, Disney, Harry

Singer Duffy says rape, captivity, led to her public retreat; Disney CEO Bob Iger steps down in surprise announcement; The Duke of Sussex has asked that people refer to him simply as “Harry.” (Feb. 26)

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First Celebrity Crush: Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne couldn’t help but crush on Disney cartoon characters in her youth. (Feb. 4)

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“Frozen 2” actresses Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel get Hollywood stars | AFP

“Frozen” actresses Kristen Bell, who plays Anna, and Idina Menzel, who plays Elsa, unveil their stars on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame, several days before “Frozen 2”, the sequel to Disney’s animated smash hit, is released.

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On This Day: 18 November 1928

In 1928, Mickey Mouse made his Disney debut in “Steamboat Willie.” (Nov. 18)

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Today in History for November 18th

Highlights of this day in history: Cult leader Jim Jones and hundreds of followers die in mass murder-suicide in South America; Massachusetts high court rules gay couples can marry; Disney’s ‘Steamboat Willie’ premieres in New York. (Nov. 18)

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ShowBiz Minute: Cherry, Glamour, Disney

Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry fired for rant over immigrants; Charlize Theron, Margaret Atwood and Ava DuVernay among honorees at Glamour’s annual Women of the Year Awards; Disney throws its hat into streaming with the debut of its Disney Plus service. (Nov. 12)

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Ballet Philippines battles Disney, typhoons and poverty to endure | AFP

From fierce typhoons and tight budgets to losing its dancers to cruise ships and theme parks, Ballet Philippines has weathered almost every type of storm, but as it celebrates its 50th anniversary the renowned arts organisation is determined the show will go on.

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Streaming services challenge network TV this fall

Breanne Heldman, Senior Editor for PEOPLE, previews fall TV shows. Heldman says while network TV “is not in trouble,” most of the buzz surrounds streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as well as new ones such as Apple TV+ and Disney+. (Sept. 4)

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Angelina Jolie is ‘so proud’ of son Maddox

Angelina Jolie expressed her pride in son Maddox at Disney’s D23 Expo after he started university in South Korea. (Aug. 26)

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The Rock takes honeymoon to D23

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attends Disney’s D23 Expo a week after getting married — but says new wife Lauren Hashian didn’t mind. (Aug. 25)

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‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ to hit Disney’s new streaming service alongside sitcom ‘WandaVis

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan joke about their bromance as they tease upcoming TV show ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ on Disney+ (Aug 25).

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Stars talk ‘WandaVision,’ Marvel’s first sitcom

‘WandaVision’ is Marvel’s first sitcom featuring superheroes, hitting Disney’s new streaming service alongside ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ (Aug 25).

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Favreau ‘holding out hope’ for Spider-Man’s return to Marvel

As director Jon Favreau is honored as a Disney legend at D23 convention, he discusses Spider-Man’s split from Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Aug. 24)

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ShowBiz Minute: Boyce, R. Kelly, Prince Harry

Disney star Cameron Boyce died of epilepsy, coroner says; R. Kelly judge to decide on order protecting evidence; Prince Harry says he and Meghan will have 2 kids “maximum.” (July 31)

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Rogen, Eichner call for more openly gay characters in family films

Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen aren’t sure whether their characters in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ are gay, but say that more family films should include openly gay characters. (July 15)

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