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Stepping behind the walls: Nine new things we learned about Toy Story Land

The countdown to the opening of Toy Story Land on June 30th is well under way, and I had the opportunity to step behind the themed walls at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see the land’s progress.

If you aren’t familiar with Toy Story Land, it is an 11 acre addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios that ‘shrinks’ guests down to the size of a Green Army Man toy so they can step into the whimsical and beloved world of PIXAR Animation Studios' blockbuster franchise set in Andy’s backyard. 

The environment is highly intricate and themed, and as you are walking through the land guests will notice that all of the buildings are built from other toys and boxes with familiar faces from the Toy Story Franchise.

Inside of Toy Story Land guests will find that there are two new attractions, a reimagined entrance to Toy Story Mania, a quick-service dining location, character interactions, shopping locations, and more. 

The visit to the Toy Story Land construction site and presentations from creative directors gave our group a good idea of how the land would all come together with new insights into the project.

>> Read more trending news 

Nine new things we learned about Toy Story Land:

1. Mr. Potato Head returns to Toy Story Mania

In addition to the all new facade and queue set-up, guests will once again be able to interact with the fantastic Mr. Potato Head animatronic in the Toy Story Mania queue. 

The Mr. Potato Head animatronic, who entertained waiting guests with real-time conversations and tricks such as removing his ear, was removed in 2015 as the third track of the attraction was installed.

2. Slinky Dog Dash is a thrilling family coaster even for the younger visitors

Per Kenny Person, a General Manager at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Slinky Dog Dash attration will accommodate the average four year old with a height requirement of 38 inches.

Slinky Dog Dash is a family coaster themed as if Andy built it in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit and some of his other favorite toys. The attraction’s ride vehicles, inspired by the character of Slinky in the film, will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops Andy has created to stretch Slinky’s coils to the max.

3. Taking a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers

During his presentation, Kenny also let us know that the Alien Swirling Saucer will accommodate the average two year old with a height requirement of 32 inches.

Once on-board Alien Swirling Saucer guests will find that they are inside a play set that Andy won at Pizza Planet. The Aliens have powered up their flying saucers for a wild ride under the lights set to an out-of-this-world intergalactic soundtrack. And if you’re really lucky, you might just get “chosen” by the claw.

4. Everywhere you look there is a detail you won’t want to miss

When you are in the land it is hard to overlook the amazing amount of detail that was put into this expansion from the fences made of toys, to the Tinker-Toy light posts, to the scale of the plantings and Andy’s large footprints in the pathways.

The high level of detail created by the Walt Disney Imagineering is fantastic and transportive. 

5. A Welcoming Howdy

The entrance to the new Toy Story Land area is on the right just before you reach the PIXAR Place gates, Walt Disney World still hasn’t announced what will happen to this area of the park when the land officially opens, and you will be greeted by none other than Woody himself.

Standing nearly 20 feet tall, Woody is tipping his hat (which measures 7’ feet, brim to brim) and standing next to the marquee which is made out of blocks and a 4-foot-tall yo-yo – just a few of the many toys that make up Toy Story Land.

6. Woody’s Lunch Box

Last month we got a sneak peek at what guests will find on the menu at Woody’s Lunch Box, and one of the chef’s creating the menu gave us a better look at what the location will be offering throughout the day and the creative process.

The menu draws inspiration from lunches you wish you has a child prepared at a nostalgic location that will be able to smoke meats and vegetable on-site as well as scratch make a variety of soups, sides, and entrees.

7. Food Allergies and Modified Diets inside Toy Story Land

Since the Woody’s Lunch Box quick-service dining location does have a larger kitchen, they will be able to accommodate food allergies and modified diets.

One thing that they chef mentioned was that they would be offering a vegan chili with vegan cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches.

8. Merchandise

Earlier this month Good Morning America shared a special behind the scenes look at the merchandise you will find once Toy Story Land opens, and we had the opportunity to see some of these new pieces that are going to fly off of the shelves!

The merchandise is split into two categories with one that focuses on commemorating the opening season of Toy Story Land and another with merchandise based on the attractions found in the land.

The biggest sellers will absolutely be the Slinky Dog and Alien headbands, the light-up Slinky dog, and commemorative opening t-shirts in a variety of styles.

9. There is still a lot to be done!

While the construction site is filled with activity, Disney Imagineers are confident that they will have Toy Story Land ready for guests on June 30th!

We will continue to share more about the opening of Toy Story Land on icFlorida’s websiteInstagramTwitter, and Facebook as information becomes available. 

Shaquille O’Neal pays for funeral of woman killed outside high school graduation, sheriff says

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office said former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal has stepped up to pay for the funeral of a woman who was shot and killed outside a high school graduation last week. 

Investigators said a fight broke out May 18 in a parking lot of Mt. Zion High School as a graduation ceremony ended at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center across the street in Jonesboro, Georgia.

The parking lot where the shooting happened was an overflow lot for the graduation ceremony. 

>> Read more trending news 

The argument led to two women being shot, one of them fatally. 

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill said that not long after hearing about the shooting, O’Neal reached out to him to see if the victim’s family needed help. 

“The length of his heart far exceeds his height,” Hill said in a Thursday news release. “We never ask him for anything, but when he sees a need, he is Johnny on the spot!”

Investigators said a third woman, who was pregnant, was thrown to the ground during the incident, but she was expected to be OK. 

Two people were arrested the next day for the shooting incident.

O’Neal has a special connection with the Clayton County Sheriff's Office. In December 2016, he was named an honorary deputy by Hill. Hill said the two of them have been friends ever since. 

Police cite driver for driving with sun shade over windshield

Braintree police are stressing the importance of keeping your windshield clear while driving. 

Normally police have to remind drivers to remove all of the snow from their cars in the winter. But this time police officers say a driver was using a sunshade over the windshield and left it on the car when they headed out onto the road.

>> Read more trending news 

Police said the driver was peering over the top when they were pulled over.

Once homeless and bullied, teen gets full ride to Harvard

An 18-year-old who was once bullied for his smarts is going to Harvard University on a full scholarship.

The Associated Press reported that Richard Jenkins is the valedictorian at Girard College, a Philadelphia boarding school. The teen was in Paris for a school trip when he found out about the scholarship, which pays tuition.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

According to WHYY, Jenkins endured a number of challenges before getting accepted into the Ivy League school. ABC News reported that he and his family were homeless from fourth grade to sixth grade and Jenkins was suffering from migraines from the stress. He was also bullied in school for participating in class.

>> Read more trending news 

“In the sixth grade, one time I was walking from school with my friend, and he was asking me where I lived because his house was right around the corner from where we were. The shelter looked like a big house — it could have been a mansion. So I told him, ‘Yeah, that’s my house right there,’ because I was so embarrassed to say I lived in a shelter.”

Although he had severe migraines that left him hospitalized for weeks at a time, he maintained an “A” average. Around the same time, his father had a heart attack.

“My migraines started in the eighth grade because of all of the stress I was dealing with at the time. There was a lot of pressure to get into high school and succeed,” Jenkins told WHYY. “And then my dad had a heart attack. In the summer of the eighth grade, it got really bad. I got hospitalized; they put me on every medicine they had. But I was eventually able to fight through it and get my work done because, at the end of the day, that was what was the most important to me.”

Jenkins plans to study computer science at Harvard. CNN reported that his godfather, Donald Kinsey Jr., created a GoFundMe to help with expenses outside of the Harvard scholarship. More than $11,000 has been raised of its $25,000 goal.

SeaWorld, Busch Gardens: Free admission available for veterans now through July 4

From now through July 4, U.S. veterans and up to three guests can get free admission to SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as well as other SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment properties across the U.S.

>> Read more trending news

SeaWorld said in a news release that this new offer joins the ongoing Waves of Honor program that offers complimentary admission to any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman once per year, for the military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.

Veterans must redeem their complimentary single-day ticket(s) online at www.WavesofHonor.com. The free tickets are available online only, not available at the front gate for each park.

In addition to SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the free admission offer is available at SeaWorld San Antonio, SeaWorld San Diego, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Active military and veterans can always receive discounted admission tickets through MWR and ITT offices on U.S. military bases as well as www.WavesofHonor.com. These offers are available year-round. Each park may have various discounted admission products throughout the year that are also available online at www.WavesofHonor.com

Nearly 30 cars broken into at Atlanta apartment complex in one night

Residents at Aspire Lenox Park Apartments in Atlanta are wondering what it will take to stop the recent spike in car break-ins at their complex.

Nearly 30 cars were broken into overnight Saturday. In many cases, the doors were locked and nothing of value was visible. Victims still ended up with shattered windows. 

“It’s not like they’re breaking into unlocked cars. They’re all locked cars, and it’s just -- there’s no rhyme or reason,” resident Bailey Beckham said. 

>> Read more trending news 

Atlanta police told WSB 28 cars were targeted, mostly in the parking deck.

“I hadn’t heard that number. I know there were eight the other weekend, but 28 is a lot,” resident Alex King said.

"It's kind of scary because we don’t know why or what's going on or how we're going to stop it. It’s just nerve-racking,” Beckham said.

The break-ins have been especially frustrating for victims like Ryan Colley, who had nothing visible in his car and nothing taken. 

“It’s devastating and it hurts because we had to pay out of pocket. Our deductible, of course, and the insurance is $500, and anything below that you have to pay out of pocket,” Colley said. 

Residents said they received emails about increased patrols and security, but there are mixed opinions on the results so far.

“They say they’re going to hire some security. I haven’t seen anything yet,” Colley said.

“I guess that's helpful, but I just don’t know how we’re going to stop it if we don't know how many people or where or when,” Beckham said.

“Maybe setting up cameras in the area, so if they don’t catch the people and this continues to happen, at least they have cameras and can find them a little easier,” King said. 

Residents told WSB they are clearing out their cars but are still on edge because it has not stopped the break-ins.

Parents remember son killed in car accident on the way to take his final exam

The family of a high school senior from Floyd County, Georgia, is planning his funeral just days before they were planning to see him graduate.

>> Read more trending news

His family told WSB-TV they're overwhelmed by the support they've received.

Blue ribbons are everywhere near Model High School, even on the school itself, to honor Caleb Keller, 18.

"He was a very special kid," said his mother, April Helton. "He said, 'I'm going to make it, I'm going to walk across that stage,' and we are all just so excited."

But four days before graduation, the high school senior died in a two-car crash on the way to take his finals.

Floyd County authorities said Keller crashed his car into another truck at Mango Road and Wayside Road at around 10:30 a.m.

He died Tuesday morning.

His family said he was on his way to school to take his finals, but the road was wet.

"The road right there is a gravel road, and it had washed, and he just lost control," said his father, Clint Helton.

His family said the community has placed hundreds of blue ribbons for Keller all across the county, including some at his high school.

They are thankful and hopeful that Caleb's friends can still enjoy the graduation ceremony.

"We want this to be bright and happy for them because that's what Caleb would want," April said.

His parents want everyone to know through their pain and their heartbreak, they feel incredibly proud of their beloved son.

"Even though Caleb's not going to be there to walk with them, he's just as much a part, and he's there," April said.

The other driver involved was released from a hospital after the crash with minor injuries.

Rottweiler dies in hot car at county jail, woman visitor arrested on the spot 

A Georgia woman left her Rottweiler in her car for five hours while she was in court at the Gwinnett County Jail, causing the dog’s death, sheriff officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

Connie Wright Gomez, 46, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Gomez went to the jail as a “court visitor” around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, leaving her dog, Rambo, in her car, she told deputies. She left the windows open about an inch.

Around 6:30 p.m., deputies heard Gomez mention she had left her dog in the car. One of the deputies went with Gomez to the car to check on the dog because the weather had been warm all day, with a high temperature of 82 degrees. When they arrived at the car, Rambo was dead.

Related: Dog dies after being left in Animal Control officer’s truck

When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172 degrees, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gomez was arrested and booked into jail. She is being held on a $16,700 bond.

Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway expressed dismay at the case.

Conway started the Operation Second Chance “jail dogs” program, which matches jail inmates with adoptable dogs and cats. The inmates train and socialize the animals. 

“I hope this poor dog’s horrific death reminds pet owners to make responsible choices for their pets,” Conway said. 

N. Korea says it’s still willing to meet with Trump after sudden cancellation of summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is still willing to meet with President Donald Trump, after Trump abruptly canceled a summit Thursday, which was scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

>> Read more trending news

"We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format," North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said in the statement, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

He also said the North was frustrated with the cancellation because they had been preparing for the meeting with Trump.

"Despite all of this, the U.S.' unilateral decision to scrap the talks causes us to reconsider whether all of the efforts and the path we have taken is really the right one or not," he said in the statement.

Yonhap also reported that Kim said the sudden cancellation of the summit next month underscores the urgent need for a meeting between Trump and Kim

In canceling the summit, Trump also left open the possibility that the meeting could be rescheduled

(Previous story)

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he remains open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, hours after he canceled their planned summit in Singapore in a letter released by White House officials. 

“I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world,” Trump said Thursday at a news conference. “I hope that Kim Jong Un will ultimately do what is right not only for himself, but perhaps most importantly what is right for his people, who are suffering greatly and needlessly.”

He added that “our military ... is ready,” should North Korean officials respond to Thursday’s cancellation with a show of force. Japanese and South Korean officials have also vowed to respond if “foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea,” Trump said.

Still, the president didn’t rule out the possibility of meeting with Kim.

“A lot of things can happen, including the fact that, perhaps, it’s possible the existing summit could take place or a summit at some later date,” Trump said. “Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right.”

The president wrote in his letter to Kim that his decision to cancel the planned June 12 meeting came “based on the tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed in a recent statement from North Korea.

>> From Jamie Dupree: President Trump scraps summit meeting with Kim Jong Un

In the statement, the North Korean government referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" and said it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote. “Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

Senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui told North Korea’s state-run news agency on Thursday that, “Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” The Associated Press reported.

>> Reports: North Korea demolishes nuclear test site

Trump responded to the comment in his letter Thursday, telling Kim that, “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”

The letter was released just hours after reports surfaced that North Korea had demolished a nuclear test site in the country's northeast region. The closing of the testing site had been announced as a step leading up to the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, the Associated Press reported.

Trump earlier this month announced that a historic meeting between him and Kim would take place in Singapore in June.

Read the full letter released Thursday by White House officials:

Check back for updates to this developing story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

TSA travel tip: Throwing stars, Freddy Krueger glove should go in checked bag, not carry-on

The Transportation Security Administration recently shared some of the prohibited items it discovered in passengers’ carry-on bags at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

>> Read more trending news

Here’s some of what they found:

In this video, a TSA supervisor talks about the variety of tools and weapons on display from passengers’ carry-on bags, including some that are cleverly disguised:

The TSA also posted on Instagram about the Freddy Krueger glove it found in a passenger’s carry-on.

By the way, there is also an entry on TSA’s website dedicated to throwing stars.

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