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Disney Sets Blu-ray Disc Tour

Burbank, Calif. —The Walt Disney Studios and its sponsoring partner Panasonic today announced the launch of Disney’s Magical Blu-ray Tour, which will visit 18 malls nationwide beginning Aug. 17.

The tour will feature an interactive exhibit designed to educate consumers about the new high-definition home entertainment technology and will feature interactive kiosks, viewing stations and a special presentation theater.

“Disney’s Magical Blu-ray Tour will also focus on providing clarity for the growing consumer confusion around high-definition home entertainment and educating them on the benefits of Blu-ray Disc technology,” according to a studio statement.

The tour will kick-off in Los Angeles on Aug. 17 at the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park, Calif., and continue on to 17 additional locations across the United States through December 23.

According to a recent survey by Leichtman Research Group, consumers have already purchased more than 24 million high-definition television sets in the United States. Almost half of those households with HDTVs don’t actually watch high-definition programs because they haven’t obtained the necessary package or hardware from their cable, phone or satellite operators, or they are not yet familiar with Blu-ray Disc technology.

Disney’s Magical Blu-ray Tour will feature first-look opportunities in each market including previews of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars,” as well as Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons,” and live demonstrations where consumers will get first-hand experience playing the interactive “Liar’s Dice” game from “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”

The Mall Tour features six to 14 interactive stations (depending on the size of the mall) that will showcase all aspects of the Blu-ray Disc technology. A special mini theater will host hourly live presentations on Blu-ray high-definition technology. To date, Disney has released such hits as “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “The Guardian,” “The Prestige” and many more on Blu-ray Disc.

“Our goal with the Disney Magical Blu-ray Tour is to reach as many people as possible and to help educate the consumers across all demographics,” stated Bob Chapek, president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. “Our presentations and demo areas will hold something of interest for everyone, from kids and their parents, to older adults and teens. Even early adopters won’t be disappointed with the first looks of the bonus materials that we’re rolling out for our future titles. Since high definition is for everyone, we made sure that the tour elements reflected that as well.”

Disney’s Magical Blu-ray Tour, sponsored by Panasonic, will travel to select markets across the country beginning August 17 and continue through Dec. 23, 2007. Cities on the tour include Canoga Park, Costa Mesa, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, Long Island, Boston, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Houston, Austin and Phoenix.

Guests who visit Disney’s Magical Blu-ray Tour in each market can register to win a Blu-ray home entertainment package comprised of a Blu-ray player and a library of Disney Blu-ray Discs.

Mall stops include the following:

Aug. 17-19 – Westfield Topanga, Canoga Park, Calif.

Aug. 24-26 – South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Aug. 31-Sept. 2 – Westfield North County, Escondido, Calif.

Sept. 7-9 – Westfield San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.

Sept. 14 – 16 – Washington Square, Portland, Ore.

Sept. 21-23 – Westfield South Center, Seattle

Sept. 28 – 30 – Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn.

Oct. 5-7 – Orland Square, Orland Park, Ill.

Oct. 12-14 – Westfield West County, St. Louis, Miss.

Oct 19 – 21 – Tyson Corner Center, McLean, Va.

Oct. 26-28 – Roosevelt Field, Garden City, N.Y.

Nov. 9-11 – Burlington Mall, Burlington, Mass.

Nov. 16 – 18 – King of Prussia, King of Prussia, Pa.

Nov. 23 -25 – Circle Centre, Indianapolis

Nov. 30–Dec. 2 – Lennox Square, Atlanta

Dec. 7-9 – The Galleria, Houston

Dec. 14 -16 – Barton Creek Square, Austin, Texas

Dec. 21-23 – Chandler Fashion Center, Chandler, Ariz.