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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Last month Disney unveiled their new Disney Infinity gaming system at E3, a gaming trade show where the latest platforms, games, and tools for play are unveiled to the industry. This new video game initiative stars the beloved characters from Walt Disney and Pixar Studios’ most popular franchises, including Monsters University, the Incredibles, Cars, and Pirates of the Caribbean and provides aspiring video game designers to create their own games that can be uploaded for review by Disney to be included in the platform for others to play.
Disney Infinity is being hailed as an open ended virtual world where you can play with your favorite characters to create endless possibilities. Disney Infinity incorporates real-world toy versions of favorite Disney characters onto a device called the Infinity Base to transport players into virtual game world of the characters, locations within the Disney Parks, as well as into a giant Toy Box. It takes the imagination and creativity of real world play that combines toys into the virtual space.
To begin game play, families will need to purchase the Starter Pack which is currently available via pre-order with an August 18 release date. The Starter Pack is available for all gaming platforms and consists of the video game, Infinity base for character figurines to sit on, 3 Play Sets (Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Incredibles), 3 Infinity characters (Mr. Incredible, Jack Sparrow, and Sulley), an Infinity Power Disc, and web codes to unlock unique content. Play Sets serve as the worlds that characters can play in and contain gadgets for them to use. Items from each Play Set are added to the Toy Box where characters, buildings, weapons, gadgets, and more that can be mixed up to create a game.
From previews, this highly engaging game seems to suit all ages. Younger kids will love adding new Disney figurines that are available for individual purchase beyond the Play Sets to their game play while older kids and adults can exercise their own creativity as they build fully functional games. According to Disney, logic editor tools and the tutorial will help users “build their own environments from scratch or use pre-built template. Players can let their imaginations run wild by creating adventures and mini-games within these customized environments. They can create obstacle courses, sports games or even re-create classic arcade games by using a variety of characters such as Mr. Incredible and Jack Sparrow, and vehicles including the Tron recognizer while fending off opponents with a variety of combat tools.” Games created through the editor can be saved, uploaded to Disney, and reviewed for possible inclusion on the Infinity platform for others to play.
For more information, visit the Disney Infinity website, the YouTube channel, or look for the Summer of Endless Fun Tour with remaining stops in Richmond (August 10-11), culminating with a weekend of launch activities in New York City on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Nintendo World Square and in Times Square on Sunday, Aug. 18. Activities at each tour stop include game demos, surprise guests, photo opportunities, giveaways, contests, entertainment provided by Radio Disney and more.
Images courtesy of Disney Interactive
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Friday, August 31st, 2012
Learning is always more fun when done with a favorite friend. New apps from Disney Publishing and PBS allow preschoolers to engage in early reading, math, and foreign language lessons with familiar Disney characters like Winnie the Pooh and the cast of Toy Story. PBS provides cross platform learning by reinforcing concepts in their shows, on PBSKids.org, and also through apps featuring favorite characters. These 6 new apps are easy for young learners to navigate and fun at the same time. You might never get your iPhone or iPad back again!
Pooh’s Birthday Surprise
Features he beloved characters of the Hundred-Acre Woods in an interactive storybook that focuses on early literacy and pre-math skills. Kids ages 3-5 are invited to join in Pooh’s birthday party planning where they practice activities such as identifying and extending simple patterns, problem solving, vocabulary awareness, and story comprehension. $1.99 from iTunes until September 12.
Toy Story Showtime!
Toy Story is an interactive storybook aimed at children ages 4-6. Learners explore essential early reading concepts through engaging with content. For example, “Toy Story Showtime!” features Buzz Lightyear as he sets out to impress Jessie the Cowgirl in a talent show. Readers can assist him with his comedy and juggling acts while they discover new vocabulary words through context and story-based repetition. $1.99 from iTunes until September 12.
SUPER WHY! ABC Adventures: Alphabet
Kids ages 3-6 can travel around the world on an alphabet adventure with SUPER WHY! friends. Young learners will enjoy an around-the-world alphabet adventure while playing an engaging collection of five mini-games with a literacy curriculum. $2.99 for iPhone and iPod touch or $3.99 for iPad.
All Aboard the Dinosaur Train!
Have some Jurassic Park fun on the iPad with All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! The Dinosaur Train is getting ready to leave and needs passengers! Children ages 3-6 are needed to match the passengers with the right train cars, challenging them to problem-solve by estimating dinosaur sizes and comparing them with the train cars’ capacity. $1.99 for iPad.
Portrait of a young child in a home interior engrossed in a game on a digital tablet via Shutterstock.
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Monday, March 26th, 2012
Are you packing your bags and heading to a great vacation destination? Before you go, arm your phone with some key apps to make traveling even easier. Enjoy your vacation a little more by checking in on your phone, getting inside travel tips about your surroundings from the locals who know, and navigating the area like a pro!
Check in through your phone. With airlines offering downloadable apps, there’s no need to be tied to your computer to get in the A boarding group. Southwest, United, Delta, Alaska, and more make it easy to check in. United’s app also allows you to use a mobile boarding pass at security so you can just present it on your phone with your ID to get through security.
Use Yelp to travel like a local. If you’re heading to an unfamiliar destination, Yelp can help you find almost anything quickly. Whether you are looking for the best eats, most talented barista, or recommendations for a dentist, Yelp allows you to become a local even when you’re traveling thanks to the user generated reviews.
Find your destination thanks to Google Maps with Navigation. This free Android app will let you leave your old old-school GPS at home. Google Maps Navigation provides turn-by-turn directions just like a GPS device and re-routes you around traffic. When you arrive at your final destination, the app displays a Google street view image that looks exactly as it does in real life thanks to the crisp image on the screen. Other smart features that make this app a must-have include the ability to speak your destination and also type in a business name even if you don’t know the address.
Gauge wait times for rides with Disney Attractions. Real time information makes this app a gem because it helps park visitors plan their day around rides with wait times to popular attractions at The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. It also includes times for fast past return and single rider wait times inn case there’s something that the rest of the family refuses to go on and prefers to take an ice cream break instead.
What apps do you rely on when traveling as a family? Feel free to add your favorites through the comments below!
Family going on a trip traveling by airplane via Shutterstock
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