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February 27, 2015

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Offers Springtime Savings

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Lake Buena Vista, Fla. - Feb. 27, 2015 - Flowers are in bloom and activities abound at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, where springtime savings offer guests up to 40 percent off for stays between March 4 - May 17. The offer runs the length of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, providing vacationers the ideal excuse to stop and smell the roses this season.

A convenient walk from Epcot, the hotel is a premier location for guests visiting the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, where the magic of spring blossoms with a vibrant display of enchanting gardens, Disney character topiaries, fresh seasonal dishes and live musical entertainment.

In addition, guests vacationing April 1-8 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel will enjoy a full schedule of Easter-themed activities, including meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny, glow-in-the-dark and traditional Easter egg hunts, bunny hop races, arts and crafts, and a poolside showing of the movie HOP.

Other featured experiences during the week include a special Easter Bunny basket delivery to the room on Easter morning and an Easter dinner buffet at Garden Grove restaurant with Disney character appearances on Sunday, April 5, at 5 p.m. Additional costs apply for both.

The hotel is also just minutes away from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, home to Atlanta Braves’ spring training, where sports fans can take part in one of baseball’s greatest traditions.

The Epcot Resort Area hotel makes it easy for guests to combine Orlando outdoor temperatures with some exciting springtime events with complimentary transportation throughout Walt Disney World Resort, FastPass+ service , where guests can reserve up to 3 select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit, and the Extra Magic hours benefit, each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions.

For more details about springtime savings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, visit www.swandolphin.com/offers. To make room reservations, call 1-800-227-1500 and mention “FLOWERS.” Rates start at $195 per night. Taxes, resort services fee and gratuities not included. Not valid with any other special offers, promotions, or for existing reservations or groups; offer is based on rate schedule availability.

February 26, 2015

Bringing Avatar to Life at Animal Kingdom

Bringing the World of AVATAR to Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

By Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Press Release from the Disney Company
Since we first broke ground last year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we’ve been looking forward to welcoming guests into Pandora, the mythical land based on the blockbuster film AVATAR. We’re having a lot of fun dreaming up ways to bring to life the land’s iconic elements from the magnificent floating mountains to the interactive bioluminescent forest, and even to the soaring banshees.

This creative process has been one of the most dynamic and collaborative ones we’ve ever undertaken. It began when our then-Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts proposed to James Cameron that together we might recreate the world of Pandora at Disney. Since that time, our creative development team, led by Joe Rohde, has been working hand-in-hand with Jim, Jon Landau and their team of artists and designers at Lightstorm on every aspect of this project—from overall design to the smallest—yet crucially important—details. And along each step of this process, Tom, as well as Disney CEO Bob Iger have been actively involved in helping guide the creative vision that is shaping the extraordinary world we’re building.

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We all recently got together at our offices in Glendale, California and walked through the fantastic progress on the whole land—including the awesome experience of seeing Pandora while riding on a banshee.

When he was with us, Jim said, “I think one of the things that people loved about the movie is that they felt as if they had visited Pandora… now, thanks to Disney’s amazing Imagineers, people are going to truly experience Pandora firsthand. From the details in the plants to the production and design, extraordinary thought and care has gone into this entire world. The teams have really created something special, and it’s not going to be like anything else."

This project is really pushing the boundaries of what is possible. But one of the things that makes Disney Parks so special is that it takes all of our Cast—across the segment—to really bring these experiences to life. We were glad to be able to share our work with the creative teams and thought you might want to see it, too.

February 25, 2015

Frozen Fever Trailer Now Available

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Frozen Fever can be seen exclusively in theatres with Disney's new live action Cinderella!

In “Frozen Fever,” it's Anna's birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but when Elsa catches a cold, her powers may put more than just the party at risk.

February 23, 2015

Neil Patrick Harris Joins Mickey Mouse As Host of New ‘World of Color – Celebrate!’

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2015) – On Sunday night, award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted The Oscars® on ABC. So, where will his next big hosting gig take place? The Disneyland Resort!

Harris will be joining Mickey Mouse as host of the all-new “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney,” opening May 22 at Disney California Adventure park as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Harris, a fan of Disney Parks, will bring his unique style of humor and charm to this special edition of the popular “World of Color” show.

“World of Color – Celebrate!” illuminates the night in a celebration of the unparalleled imagination of Walt Disney. Mickey Mouse and Harris will take guests on a fun-filled and inspirational journey, exploring Walt Disney’s decades-long legacy of memorable animated moments and his dream of Disneyland park, all culminating in a madcap musical tour of Disneyland Resort attractions as never seen before.

Since its premiere in 2010, “World of Color” has amazed millions of Disney California Adventure park guests using a groundbreaking “stage” of nearly 1 full acre of engineered superstructure, longer than a football field. Nearly 1,200 programmable fountains and a vast underwater grid with more than 20,000 points of control send water to heights of up to 200 feet; shooting higher than Mickey’s Fun Wheel. The show employs nearly 30 high-definition projectors to take the audience on a journey through some of Disney’s most beloved animated moments.

The all-new “World of Color – Celebrate!,” hosted by Mickey Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris, is just one part of the dazzling Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Also debuting on May 22 will be the new “Paint the Night” parade and the fully-immersive, new “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular.

Bob Chapek Named Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

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BURBANK, Calif.—Bob Chapek has been named Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Thomas O. Staggs, Chief Operating Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

A 22-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, Mr. Chapek has served since 2011 as President of Disney Consumer Products, driving a technology-led transformation of the Company’s consumer products, retail and publishing operations. He assumes his new role effective immediately.

“Under Bob’s leadership, Consumer Products has seen great success, focusing on brands and a franchise-driven strategy while launching new products and retail experiences that combine technological innovation and creativity,” Mr. Iger said. “He is an experienced and versatile executive well-suited to lead Parks and Resorts into the future.”

As Chairman of Parks and Resorts, Mr. Chapek succeeds Mr. Staggs, who was named Disney’s Chief Operating Officer earlier this month. Mr. Chapek will report to both Mr. Iger and Mr. Staggs.

“Bob is stepping into this role at an incredibly dynamic and exciting time for our Parks and Resorts business,” Mr. Staggs said. “The ongoing construction of Shanghai Disney Resort as well as the new Avatar-themed land at Walt Disney World continues an era of unprecedented growth and historic expansion.”

“I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had during my years at Disney, and am thrilled to join the incredible Disney Parks organization,” Mr. Chapek said. “I look forward to working with the remarkably talented team dedicated to creating magical memories for millions of guests around the world.” A successor to Mr. Chapek at Disney Consumer Products will be named at a later date.

Prior to leading Disney Consumer Products, Mr. Chapek served as President of Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios from 2009 to 2011, and was responsible for overseeing the Studios' overall content distribution strategy across multiple platforms including theatrical exhibition, home entertainment, pay TV, digital entertainment and new media. He also served as President of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, where he spearheaded the successful “vault strategy” for the company’s iconic films and transformed the primary format of home entertainment from DVD to Blu-ray.

Before joining Disney in 1993, Mr. Chapek worked in brand management at H.J. Heinz Company and in advertising at J. Walter Thompson.

Mr. Chapek earned a B.S. in Microbiology at Indiana University Bloomington and an MBA from Michigan State University.

Four Seasons Announces Special Dinner Series

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Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Announces Series of Special Dinners.

Experience interactive, delicious theme pairing dinners highlighting the culinary talent of Four Seasons Resort Orlando.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is fast becoming known as a culinary destination within Central Florida, featuring several dining options helmed by acclaimed chefs. The following special culinary events, including wine pairings and guest chef dinners, are sure to provide a memorable dining experience.


A Taste of Piedmont - February 25, 2015

Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi will present a five-course Italian dinner in the Ravello demonstration kitchen. Guests will enjoy a special culinary demonstration by Chef Fabrizio during the dinner, along with a pairing of Piedmont wines led by Four Seasons Resort Orlando Sommelier Jill Davis. Davis is a national finalist for the Chaîne des Rotisseurs Young Sommeliers competition and will be competing in Santa Barbara, Calif. this May.

Time: 6 pm
Location: Ravello
Price: USD 175.00 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity


Guest Chef Dinner with Cleveland & Heath - March 6, 2015

PB&G Chef Gerald Sombright will welcome guest chefs Jenny Cleveland and Ed Heath, a 2015 James Beard Award nominee, from Cleveland-Heath restaurant of Edwardsville, Ill. for a worldly dining experience featuring locally sourced cuisine and a Southern-foods inspiration. The team will present a cocktails and hors d’oeuvres reception followed by a six-course dinner. The menu includes such mouth-watering options as Waygu Beef Pho; Pork Belly with Watermelon, Pickled Jalapeño and Mint; Goat Chiva Cubana with Black Beans, Mint, Radish, Red Onion; Beef Tongue Green Bean Casserole; and Tart Cherry Pie a la Mode.

Time: 6pm: Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, 7pm: Dinner
Location: PB+G (the poolside restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Orlando)
Price: USD 75.00 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity; wine pairings offered for an additional USD 35.00, beer pairings offered for an additional USD 25.00. Pairings presented by Sommelier Jill Davis.

Gin-spiration - March 23, 2015

Four Seasons Resort Orlando has teamed up with local distiller St. Augustine Gin to create an evening of creative cocktails & cuisine. Enjoy a four-course dinner by Capa Chef Tim Dacey along with libations by Mixologist Anna Mitchell McElroy.

Time: 7:30pm
Location: Capa
Price: USD 95.00 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity

Farmers & Fizz - April 18, 2015

Join Chef Gerald Sombright of PB&G and Sommelier Jill Davis for a four-course farm-to-table experience featuring Lake Meadow Naturals and wines from the Champagne portfolio of Terry Theise, author of Reading Between the Vines.

Time: 6 pm
Location: PB&G
Price: USD 145.00 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity

Rajat Parr Wine Dinner - May 2015 (date to be announced shortly)

Capa is pleased to welcome Rajat Parr, world renowned sommelier, author of Secrets of the Sommeliers and winemaker of Domaine de la Cote & Sandhi Wines, for a five-course dinner by Chef Tim Dacey with wines from Parr’s own projects. Parr is a 2015 James Beard Award nominee on behalf of the Mina Group for Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional.

Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Capa
Price: USD 195.00 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity


Markham Wine Dinner - June 25, 2015

Join Brian DelBondio, President of Markham Wines, for a four-course pairing dinner led by Executive Sous Chef Sam Faggetti.

Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Plancha
Price: USD 125.00 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity


Space is limited at all of the above special dinners, and advance reservations are required. Reservations: 407-313-6161.


February 22, 2015

Walt Disney World Raises Ticket Prices

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After several weeks of rumors, it has become official that the US Disney Parks have raised prices as of February 22, 2015.

For Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, it will now cost $105 plus tax to spend one day at the Magic Kingdom. The other 3 Orlando park one day tickets are now $97 each.

The biggest change, however, is the elimination of "No-Expiration Options". Now, your multi-day ticket will expire 14 days from first use.

Florida resident and other annual pass prices are also higher.

For new prices visit our Ticket Price Charts!

Like wise at Disneyland, ticket prices also were increased. The one-day ticket to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure have gone from $96 to $99.

AllEars Recommends Maple Leaf Tickets for discounted Orlando Theme Parks and show.

MapleLeaf is offering tickets at the lower price while supplies last!

MapleLeafTickets.com is excited to offer AllEars readers an extra discount via our dedicated ticket order form. All our prices include tax with no other hidden fees or gimmicks attached! We look forward to saving you both time and money on your attraction ticket needs - You must use this special link to get the special AllEars Pricing!

February 19, 2015

Cinderella Star Lily James Talks to D23

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D23 GETS AN EXCLUSIVE BEHIND–THE–SCENES LOOK AT DISNEY’S LIVE-ACTION FAIRY TALE. PLUS, JOSS WHEDON REVEALS THE SECRETS BEHIND MARVEL’S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON AND BRITT ROBERTSON TAKES US TO TOMORROWLAND

BURBANK, Calif. – FEBRUARY 17, 2015 – With Cinderella set to grace movie theaters on March 13 in Disney’s new live-action adaptation of the beloved animated classic, Disney twenty-three, the publication of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, sat down with the creative team to get all the details—from the tiniest mouse to the biggest pumpkin coach. And star Lily James opens up about her first nerve-wracking day of filming, taking on the role of one of the most iconic princesses, and the challenges of dancing in a spectacular couture creation.

Also in Disney twenty-three’s Spring issue, available exclusively to D23 Gold Members, is an interview with Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron writer/director Joss Whedon, who reveals some surprising details about the highly anticipated spring release, including why Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were two must-have characters in the film. In addition, stars Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. put in their two cents about the helmsman.

Plus, the issue features an exclusive interview with Britt Robertson about working on the upcoming film Tomorrowland, and a celebration of 40 years of Space Mountain with a look back at some of the original designs, early photography, and opening day materials for the Walt Disney World attraction. Also, the Walt Disney Archives unveils 14 of the newest treasures added to its incredible collection, including an original Donald Duck doll circa 1935, a pair of out-of-this-world space boots from the Epcot attraction Horizons, and Sam Eagle’s CIA travel badge from Muppets Most Wanted.

Also included in the Spring issue of Disney twenty-three:
• How runDisney has turned Disney fans into marathon runners—and colorful characters
• A sneak peek at the design, menu, and costumes of the soon-to-reopen Cinderella’s Royal Table at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
• Original concept art and drawings for the 1950 animated classic Cinderella
• A look back at how Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color television series seamlessly transformed into The Wonderful World of Disney
• Regular columns including A Walk with Walt, D Society, and Ask Dave

D23 Members are invited to visit D23.com for additional features and members-only content, including a gallery of additional images of Cinderella from the Animation Research Library.

Other features coming to D23.com include:
• More exclusive interviews with the cast and filmmakers of the live-action Cinderella
• Tomorrowland’s Britt Robertson talks about filming at Disneyland and her Disney favorites
• A Turkey Pot Pie recipe from Walt Disney World’s Cinderella’s Royal Table that lets you bring a taste of Disney to your dining room table

Disney twenty-three, which is delivered directly to fans’ doorsteps, is offered exclusively to D23 Gold Members as a benefit of their membership. The latest issue will begin arriving late February.

February 18, 2015

Village Causeway and New Shops Open at Downtown Disney Marketplace

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The conversion from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs continues with the opening of the Village Causeway, linking the Marketplace from the Rainforest Cafe to the Lego Store.

New kiosks are open.....

Flour & Sugar – This kiosk offeres freshly baked cookies with Florida flavors like coconut, key lime and strawberry. You can buy them individually or in easy-to-transport canisters of six.

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Florida Bath Co. — This kiosk offers products made with home grown ingredients like organic vegetable juices and essential citrus oils. Florida Bath Co. is owned by the same folks as Basin.

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Icon Jewellery by Bico – Concepts like Love and Friendship, Protection, Strength and Luck are represented in pieces crafted from hand-polished fine grade pewter and enhanced with fine materials like Swarovski Crystals, New Guinea Rosewood and genuine leather.

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Kate & Leo – Creativity and imagination toys and games for kids including travel games, magnetic story boards, beautiful art supplies and more, no batteries required.

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2015 Norwegian Fjords Sailings New Port Adventures

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Port Adventures Immerse Disney Cruise Line Guests in Adventure and Culture on 2015 Norwegian Fjords Sailings

Characters from the Disney animated hit “Frozen” join rich family experience ashore in the land that inspired their story

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2015) – Disney Cruise Line invites families to explore culturally rich and exotic locales, with Port Adventures like only Disney can do, during its 2015 Norwegian Fjords sailings.

From June to August 2015, the Disney Magic returns to Europe, visiting the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland for the first time. Guests exploring these new ports, steeped in Viking history, will be treated to richly diverse destinations that showcase iconic locations, enchanting cultures, tantalizing cuisine and unrivaled experiences.

To elevate guests’ experiences in Norway, Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures are designed to entertain and inspire both children and adults—in true Disney fashion—with an extra dash of pixie dust.

“Frozen” Festivities and Viking Ventures in Ålesund

For the first time in forever, Anna, Elsa and Kristoff from the animated hit “Frozen” join Disney Cruise Line guests in Ålesund, marking their very first appearance in the land that inspired their story. Only Disney guests are invited to a Norwegian summer celebration at the Sunnmøre Open Air Museum where the festivities culminate with the grand arrival of the beloved sisters and their ice-loving companion, Kristoff, who join in the lively revelry. After being personally greeted by their “Frozen” friends, and surrounded by the idyllic beauty of Norway, guests dance to local musicians and sample tasty Norwegian specialties, including svele, a traditional sweet pancake from the region.

Another Ålesund adventure exclusive to Disney Cruise Line includes a quest to a Viking village on the island of Giske, where guests head back in history to meet the village chieftain and experience the Viking world. Adventurers find themselves in the middle of daily Viking life and mingle with members of the Norse families, experiencing first-hand the traditions, authentic food and games that come with being a Viking. Guests also learn traditional Viking handiwork and put it to practice by crafting their own leather bags.

Iconic Fjord Horses in Olden

Guests travel from the quaint village of Olden on a Port Adventure exclusive to Disney Cruise Line, visiting a Norwegian Fjord Horse Center to experience one of the world’s oldest breeds and one of the country’s national symbols, the Norwegian Fjord Horse. The adventure includes an up-close look at the stallions, mares and foals in a tour of the stables. Guests also have an opportunity to interact with the horses and see these magnificent animals in action. This includes watching a dynamic riding performance and taking in the picturesque scenery during a carriage ride around the grounds.

A Taste of Norway in Kristiansand

For those with a culinary passion, a Port Adventure exclusive to Disney Cruise Line in centuries-old Kristiansand provides the perfect hands-on cooking experience. Guests don their aprons and create Nordic specialties first-hand, such as succulent wild game filets and krumkaker, a heavenly waffle cookie typically served around Christmastime. The experience culminates with guests enjoying their sumptuous meal paired with a glass of wine.

The Great Outdoors of Geiranger

From the port of Geiranger, crowning jewel of the Norwegian fjords, comes an experience just for Disney Cruise Line guests – a visit to the Gjaera Mountain Farm where the local family provides an up-close look at daily life. Children join Disney Cruise Line youth counselors to create one-of-a-kind stamped pillows in the farm’s printing studio using handmade wooden stamps that have been passed down through the family’s many generations. Meanwhile, adults explore the farm and its microbrewery, sampling fresh brews. After building up an appetite, everyone reunites for a taste of traditional Norwegian foods produced at the farm including juices, breads, creams and cured meats.

Another journey brings Disney Cruise Line guests to the Herdalsetra Mountain Farm, where on the way to a nearby scenic valley they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Geirangerfjord and the Seven Sisters waterfall made famous in Norwegian folklore. Guests tour the enchanting farm brimming with 30 farmhouses and more than 450 sprightly goats scampering around the property. They also sample the farm’s fresh cheeses including Norway’s famous brown cheese – similar to sweet fudge.

Those looking for even more adventure will find it kayaking through the Geirangerfjord. Gliding over dazzling turquoise waters, guests will get an up-close look at stunning waterfalls roaring down into the fjord and the majestic mountains along the water’s edge.

Folk Dancing and Discovery in Molde

Outside of Molde, the “town of roses,” Disney Cruise Line guests arrive for an afternoon at one of the largest folk museums in Norway, the Romsdal Open Air Museum, which encompasses more than 50 buildings. Guests explore the century-old property, including lush gardens, farmhouses, smokehouses and a chapel, and experience a spirited performance of Norwegian folk dancing featuring local children in traditional regional outfits.

“The Land of Fire and Ice”—Reykjavik, Iceland

Only Disney Cruise Line families can get “fired up” during an exhilarating trip to the edge of a local lava field that gives adventurers an up-close look at volcanic craters and lava fields that make up the country of Iceland. Families take part in an art workshop on the edge of the hardened lava field, using real lava to create their very own framed lava art.

Classic “can’t miss” Icelandic landmarks take center stage on the tour of The Golden Circle. On this visit to some of Iceland’s most iconic attractions, guests will explore a national park, a glittering waterfall, popping hot springs and a high-tech geothermal energy exhibition. Over a barbecue lunch in the woods offered exclusively to Disney Cruise Line guests, troll wife Gryla and her helpers tell the legend of troll giant Bergthor of Bláfell, whose exceptionally large grave, headstone and ring from his walking stick can be found in a nearby churchyard.

Details on all Disney Cruise Line shore excursions can be found on the Port Adventures section of disneycruise.com AllEars recommends MouseFanTravel to book your Disney Vacation!

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