Actors From ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ Film Join State Officials, School Kids to Announce Disney-MGM Studios….

‘Journey Into Narnia’ Attraction

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ — The four young stars from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media’s highly anticipated release of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” joined Florida Department of Education Commissioner John L. Winn and a contingent of third, fourth and fifth graders from the Orlando-area Highlands Elementary School Thursday to help unveil details about “Journey Into Narnia: Creating The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” a spectacular new attraction in development at Disney-MGM Studios.

William Moseley, 18 (Peter); Anna Popplewell, 16 (Susan); Skandar Keynes, 14 (Edmund); and Georgie Henley, 10 (Lucy) joined Florida Commissioner Winn and the local children for a glimpse into the new attraction and to celebrate the choice of C.S. Lewis’ masterpiece “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” for a statewide literacy program. As a part of their Just Read, Florida! statewide reading initiative, Florida Governor and First Lady Jeb and Columba Bush recently announced “Florida’s Journey into the Land of Narnia,” a reading in the arts contest open to all students in grades 3 through 12 in public, private and home schools. The actors read excerpts from the book and gave the children first-hand stories of their adventures during the making of the movie.

Commissioner Winn also announced today that Walt Disney World Resort will host the award ceremony of the Just Read, Florida! reading in the arts contest on Dec. 9. Winners from schools around the state will come to Disney-MGM Studios, be among the first to enjoy the “Journey Into Narnia: Creating The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” attraction as well as a special screening of the film.

About the Attraction

In the great tradition of Disney attractions which immerse guests in their favorite movies and stories, Disney-MGM Studios will host an exciting walk-through experience based on the Disney Pictures and Walden Media motion picture release, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” opening on Dec. 9 worldwide.

For fans of C.S. Lewis’ timeless adventure, and for the worldwide audience who will be entranced by the new movie, Disney-MGM Studios transforms a soundstage into the frozen world of Narnia, taking guests behind the scenes of the movie-making magic of the epic film.

Guests will enter the frozen world of Narnia through a giant wardrobe and be surrounded by a wintry landscape, enormous trees, and a replica of the lamppost as seen in the movie. In the distance, they will see the house of Mr. Tumnus, one of the central characters, beneath a rock bluff outcropping and the White Witch’s Castle. All in all, guests will feel as though they have entered the magical world of C.S. Lewis’ story.

Guests will exit through a gallery that showcases elaborate creatures, costumes, armor, maquettes, storyboards, props and set pieces used in the making of the film.

The attraction, “Journey Into Narnia: Creating The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” is scheduled to open Dec. 9, day and date with the film’s debut worldwide.

About Just Read Florida!

Just Read, Florida! is Governor Jeb Bush’s statewide reading initiative to achieve the goal of every child reading at or above grade level by the year 2012. The initiative is designed to guide changes at every level of education that have an impact on reading outcomes in Florida schools. Florida continues to experience improvements in achievement levels in reading. In 2005, 71 percent of all fourth graders are reading at or above grade level, up from 51 percent in 1999. Twice as many African-American and Hispanic fourth graders are reading at or above grade level. According to the results of the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress, Florida’s fourth grade students continue to improve in reading and exceed national performance levels.

Walt Disney World Resort and Highlands Elementary

Walt Disney World Resort participated in a three-year partnership with Osceola County’s Highlands Elementary School through Walt Disney World President Al Weiss’ involvement in the Florida Council of 100. The partnership included a $100,000, three-year monetary commitment from Disney and additional in-kind services. As part of the Partners to Achieve School Success (PASS) program, Weiss has mentored Principal Linda Harwood. Cast members from many areas, including Community Relations, Horticulture, Facilities Asset Management and Finance, contributed their time with the school’s administrative team. More than 100 cast members also visited the school weekly to tutor the children. The four primary partnership goals were: increasing parent involvement, increasing academic success, improving the physical plant and encouraging a learning environment between the school and Walt Disney World Co. This project represents our most comprehensive effort to integrate our resources in the Central Florida school system.

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