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October 4, 2015

Annual/Seasonal Pass and Tables in Wonderland Price Increases


Walt Disney World has announced a number of price increases that go into effect today, October 4, 2015.

1. Annual and Seasonal passes have been renamed and given a new price structure.

OLD NAME: Premium Annual Pass
NEW NAME: Platinum Plus Pass
PRICE: $729 for Florida Resident/DVC Member / $829 Otherwise

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), Disney’s Oak Trail golf course, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

OLD NAME: Annual Pass
NEW NAME: Platinum Pass
PRICE: $649 for Florida Resident/DVC Member / $749 Otherwise

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

NEW TIER: Gold Pass
PRICE: $549 for Florida Resident/DVC Member

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's and Easter/spring break
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

OLD NAME: Seasonal Pass
NEW NAME: Florida Resident Silver Pass
PRICE: $389 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission from the activation date to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's, Easter/spring break, and peak summer vacation period
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

NEW TIER: Florida Resident Weekday Select Pass
PRICE: $259 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- admission on weekdays only to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's, Easter/spring break, and peak summer vacation period
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

TIER: Epcot After 4 P.M. Pass
PRICE: $249 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- admission to Epcot, after 4 p.m.
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand

The above prices DO NOT include tax. For a table with the complete listing of all Walt Disney World admission prices, including tax, as well as renewal prices, visit our Ticket Price Comparison Chart.

2. Tables in Wonderland prices have increased.

-- NEW PRICE: $175 for Florida Residents (was $125)

-- NEW PRICE: $150 for Annual / Seasonal Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members (was $100)

Add a second membership for your spouse or partner for $50 more.

Tables in Wonderland memberships are good for one year.

October 3, 2015

Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line


CELEBRATION, Fla. – This holiday season, give a gift that’s both nautical and nice: a cruise on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, all decked out with holiday cheer. Starting early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship during Very Merrytime Cruises, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas. But the best part might just be relaxing on deck instead of shoveling snow.

During these voyages through the new year, special stem-to-stern holiday events include:

** “Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.

** “Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball” in the atrium lobby, where Disney cruisers welcome the guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus, with a grand celebration featuring Broadway-style entertainment, favorite Disney characters and classic holiday tunes. This evening of enchantment is made complete when a special pair of royal sisters joins the party and causes a flurry of “frozen” fun as a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.

** Holiday story time beneath the giant tree, where children gather to hear classic tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza, including a cozy and intimate storytelling with Mrs. Claus as she shares some of her favorite Christmas stories.

** Dickens-inspired carolers carrying the spirit of the holidays throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends. At the end of the cruise, children will have the opportunity to join the carolers onstage for a special farewell show.

** Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses and meeting Santa Claus.

** Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.

** “Deck the Deck Holiday Party,” a tropical celebration with Disney friends leading games such as hula hooping and limbo under oversized candy canes, along with dances for the whole family like the “Yuletide Slide” and a conga line around the pool.

** A special holiday edition of the cheerful farewell celebration on the final night of each cruise, with beloved Disney characters and the ship’s crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.

On Thanksgiving Day, guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, visits from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, NFL football games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screens – Funnel Vision – located near the family pool.

Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree Santa Claus and his helpers will have a surprise for all the kids, and guests will delight in a special musical performance from the children. A traditional Christmas Dinner will be served that night in the dining rooms.

Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, Dec. 6 to Dec. 14.

When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.

For an extra sprinkle of holiday joy, special amenities are available for stateroom delivery. Purchased in advance of sailing, these include holiday-themed gift packages and treat baskets and even mini Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, red berries, mini carnations and a bow topper. Plus, during the holiday cruises, the Disney Cruise Line holiday merchandise collection and ever-popular Disney Cruise Line ornaments will be available in the gift shops.

To ring in 2016, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown.

To celebrate the holidays, the Disney Magic sails four- and five-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 11 to Dec. 23; the Disney Wonder sails four-, six- and seven-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 6 to Dec. 24; the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing Nov. 9 to Dec. 24; and the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 14 to Dec. 19.

The Good Dinosaur Preview Scenes at Disney Parks October 16

Preview Scenes from Disney•Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’ at Disney Parks Starting October 16

Imagine if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct. That’s the premise behind Disney•ŸPixar’s epic adventure, “The Good Dinosaur,” coming to theaters this Thanksgiving.

Beginning October 16, guests visiting Disney Parks will be able to catch a preview of scenes from “The Good Dinosaur” in sneak peeks planned for Disney California Adventure park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

At Disney California Adventure park, “The Good Dinosaur” preview will be presented at the Bug’s Life Theater with special in-theater effects. Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get to see this advance look at clips from the film, as part of the One Man’s Dream attraction on Mickey Avenue.

In “The Good Dinosaur,” Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

Directed by Peter Sohn (“Partly Cloudy”) and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”), DisneyŸ•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters on November 25, 2015.

October 1, 2015

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Completes Swan Guest Room Redesign


Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Sept. 30, 2015 – The largest makeover in the history of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is one step closer to completion. The hotel has completed redesigning every guest room in the 758-room Swan Hotel. The work is part of a multi-phase, multi-year, $125 million redesign project that will transform every guest room in both the Swan and Dolphin buildings. The first phase of the 1,509-room Dolphin starts later this year.

The new room is inspired by the resort’s water-themed architecture and offers guests a serene and sophisticated atmosphere.

The guest room features all-new upgraded furniture and all of the latest technology including large HD TVs. Additional power outlets provide corporate executives and family travelers more options for use of multiple personal electronics. A glass-topped desk on wheels provides guests with a flexible tabletop space for wherever and whatever the need.

Noted interior design and architecture firm Garcia Stromberg/GS4 Studios along with award-winning interior design firm KBCO Design created the concepts for the new rooms.

Blending an artistic combination of whites, blues and grays, the design creates a tasteful ambiance that appeals to adults while abstract artwork playfully delights children as well.

The centerpiece of the room is the famous Westin Heavenly Bed with its all-white custom-designed pillow-top mattress set, cozy down blanket, a trio of crisp sheets, goose down comforter and four over-stuffed pillows.

The design continues into a completely new bathroom, featuring residential style vanities and a back lit mirror on iridescent glass tiles.

“This new room product provides our guests with their own personal oasis,” said General Manager Fred Sawyers. “Whether visiting for business or leisure, it’s the ideal space to relax and reenergize.”

The hotel’s public spaces, restaurants, meeting rooms, shops, pools and recreational areas will not be impacted and remain fully operational throughout the renovation.

The entire rooms project is currently scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.

September 30, 2015

Downtown Disney Officially Becomes Disney Springs with Enticing New Dining and Exciting Retail Experiences

VIDEO: Downtown Disney Renaming Ceremony (9/29/15)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Sept. 29, 2015) – Walt Disney World Resort today officially changed the name of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, an important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the shopping, dining and entertainment district at the world’s No. 1 family vacation destination.

Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs treats guests to a one-of-a-kind Disney experience amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will include four interconnected neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center. When Disney Springs is fully completed in 2016, the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues will increase from the current 75 to more than 150.

New to Disney Springs is The Landing, home to unique shopping locations and memorable dining experiences, including the recently opened Morimoto Asia and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

Coming soon to Disney Springs, Town Center will be a diverse mix of retailers – including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options – and unique restaurants.

With more exciting venues to come, new dining and shopping open now at Disney Springs includes:

-- Morimoto Asia – Morimoto Asia is a one-of-a-kind dining experience from Chef Masaharu Morimoto. This Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian restaurant provides flavors from across Asia with unique exhibition kitchens showcasing the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Designed by STUDIO V Architecture and located at The Landing, Morimoto Asia’s extraordinary, 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes open terraces, grand halls, private rooms, a cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more.

-- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – An aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at The Landing at Disney Springs is tucked between Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE restaurant, this new venue features unique cocktails and small plates. Ardent fans of the “Indiana Jones” films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy’s frequent pilot. In the main room, guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display.

-- The BOATHOUSE – An incredible culinary experience is showcased in the expansive restaurant with nautical-themed rooms, two private dining rooms for special events, and three distinctive bars. Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu with steaks, chops, seafood and a raw bar, served until 2 a.m. daily. This upscale, waterfront-dining experience immerses guests both on land and on water. There’s live music, plus guided tours aboard a 40-foot Italian Water Taxi and Amiphicar rides that launch from land, enter the water and take guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.

-- Paradiso 37: Paradiso 37 recently expanded its outdoor dining to take advantage of its beautiful waterfront setting. As part of its renovation, the restaurant is doubling its seating, adding more terrace dining and building a new outdoor performance stage.

-- Apex by Sunglass Hut- A first-of-its-kind sunglass store that was built with the athlete in mind. This retail location showcases the industry’s best selection of sport performance and lifestyle eyewear including Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Under Armour. In order for guests to choose a lens to best suit their needs, Apex has developed environmental simulators so guests can test out how a specific lens will perform under a variety of light conditions.

-- The Art of Shaving– A boutique retail offering that sells high-end shaving supplies and related grooming products for the modern man. Founded by a husband and wife in a Manhattan apartment, The Art of Shaving has grown to a worldwide organization that is still nurtured by the founders’ talents and passion. Guests can receive expert shaving advice on products and techniques, or make an appointment for a luxurious grooming experience at the Barber Spa.

-- Chapel Hats – A fashion forward shop that specializes in an assortment of hats for guests of all ages. The location carries stylish hats including fedoras, cowboy hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more. Every Chapel Hats location is themed to a different time period and is built by using old pieces of shops, factories, schools, pubs and churches from a bygone era.

-- Dockside Margaritas – Dockside Margaritas treats guests to thirst-quenching margaritas made with fresh, all-natural products. Using authentic Florida ingredients whenever possible, the location (at the Marketplace) features unique theming reminiscent of a 1960s Florida roadside fruit stand. In addition to margaritas, the menu includes select frozen beverages, wine, bottled and draft beer. There is ample seating for guests and a built-in entertainment area.

-- Erin McKenna Bakery NYC – A unique bakery with savory offerings and an all-vegan and gluten-free menu. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels with vegan butter, and other delicious items daily. Some of their fan-favorite cupcakes from their flagship bakery in New York and sister bakery in Los Angeles include vanilla cupcakes with zesty lemon frosting, red velvet cupcakes with creamy vanilla frosting and brownie cupcakes with rich chocolate frosting.

-- Erwin Pearl – Specializing in fashion jewelry and accessories, Erwin Pearl features hand-painted French enamels, 22k gold plating, sterling silver and freshwater pearls. The New York City-based company manufactures more than 80 percent of their products in U.S. factories, including earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins, watches and scarves. Erwin Pearl began his career as a diamond cutter and is recognized as one of the country’s foremost fine jewelry designers.

-- Havaianas – A Brazilian-based shoe store that offers fashionable flip flops made with the highest quality rubber — with hundreds of styles to choose from. This store features a large assortment of colorful Havaianas for women, men and children, plus kids’ rain boots. There’s also the “Make Your Own Havaianas” and “Embellish Your Own Havaianas,” option, where guests can customize this casual footwear.

-- Sanuk – Innovative, fun and comfortable footwear with more than 175 designs is available at this 1,000-square-foot venue. Taking its name from the Thai word for “fun,” Sanuk strives to make more innovative products that are as much about funk as they are about function. Favorite styles including Yoga Mat Sandal Collection and its patented “Not-A-Shoe” Sidewalk Surfers will be showcased.

-- Sound Lion – A new retail concept that offers the latest technology in headphones, docking stations, wireless music players and other products. Before purchasing a product, guests can hang out at their Listening Barand find which product works best for them.

-- Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s — Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café.

-- Vivoli Gelateria – A family-run gelato shop, Vivoli Gelateria serves up gelato that is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop in Italy. (The storefront at Disney Springs is the second for Vivoli, the first outside of Italy.) The artisans use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria also serves traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts.

While Disney Springs continues to grow at Walt Disney World Resort in the space once occupied by Downtown Disney, Disneyland still remains home to a vibrant and popular Downtown Disney in California.

September 29, 2015

Aladdin Diamond Edition Now Available on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere; on Blu-Ray Oct. 13


Discover How Three Wishes Can Change Everything in Disney’s Timeless Adventure
for the Whole Family Available for the First Time on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD!

Enjoy This Magic Carpet Ride of Non-Stop Comedy on
Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) – Sept. 29
and on Blu-ray Combo Pack – Oct. 13

Synopsis: Disney’s beloved masterpiece will make your heart race and your spirit soar. Experience the laughter, adventure and Academy Award®-winning music (1992: Best Music, Original Song, “A Whole New World,” Original Score) for the first time on Blu-ray and Digital HD. And now Aladdin shines even brighter with never-before-seen tributes to the enchanting talent of Robin Williams, the “Genius behind the Genie.”

Voice Cast: Robin Williams (Jumanji, Night at the Museum) as The Genie, Scott Weinger (TV’s “Full House”) as Aladdin, Linda Larkin as Jasmine, Gilbert Gottfried (TV’s “Saturday Night Live”) as Iago, Jonathan Freeman (Aladdin: the Musical on Broadway) as Jafar, Douglas Seale (The Rescuers Down Under, For Love or Money) as Sultan and Frank Welker (Mulan, The Smurfs 2) as Abu.

Producers/Directors: John Musker and Ron Clements (Moana, The Little Mermaid, Hercules)

Writers: Ron Clements and John Musker (Moana, The Little Mermaid, Hercules); Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean 1-4)

Music & Lyrics: Alan Menken - Music (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Howard Ashman - Lyrics (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), Tim Rice - Lyrics (The Lion King, Evita)

Release Dates: September 29, 2015 (Digital) & October 13, 2015 (Physical)


Blu-ray & Digital Bonus Features:

The Genie Outtakes - Robin Williams' Genie outtakes are magically brought to life

Genie 101 - Our host, Scott Weinger (the voice of Aladdin), takes us through the various transformations of the famous (and formerly famous) celebrity references of the Genie

Ron & John: You Ain't Never Had a Friend Like Me - Directors John Musker & Ron Clements sit down and discuss the experiences of their long-running partnership together at Disney

Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic - Join host Darren Criss as we take "a new fantastic point of view" at the story of how Aladdin went from a classic Disney animated film to become Broadway's smash hit with composer Alan Menken and others

Unboxing Aladdin - Our host, Joey Bragg from Disney Channel's Liv & Maddy, explore the Easter eggs and hidden secrets of Aladdin in this unboxing video

Classic Bonus - ALL classic bonus from the original DVD release

DMA Exclusive: Deleted Song - "My Finest Hour" - Jafar takes the stage in this never-before-seen deleted song. Includes intro from Ron & John.

DVD Bonus Features: Select Classic Bonus, including:
• Deleted Song / "Proud Of Your Boy" (Original Demo Recording)
• Deleted Song / "You Can Count On Me"
• Deleted Song / "Humiliate The Boy"
• Deleted Song / "Why Me"
• Deleted Scene / "Aladdin & Jasmine's First Meeting"
• Deleted Scene / "Aladdin in the Lap of Luxury"

September 28, 2015

Season of the Force Comes to Disneyland November 16


A variety of Star Wars-themed exhibits and events will debut at Disneyland Resort starting November 16 as part of Season of the Force.

Star Wars Launch Bay


This new area will offer opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters, special exhibits, peeks at the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens and much more:

-- Choose Your Destiny with Special Character Experiences
Dark Side – Encounter one of the most iconic villains from Star Wars, Darth Vader.
Light Side – Fly casual at this makeshift Rebel base, and meet the most famous co-pilot in the galaxy, Chewbacca.

-- Explore the Dark and the Light in Themed Galleries
Dark Side Gallery – Get a look at authentic pieces of stormtrooper armor as well as famous Sith lightsabers once wielded by masters of the dark side.
Light Side Gallery – Explore a gallery filled with Rebel flight helmets and lightsabers once wielded by Jedi Knights.
Preview Gallery – See props from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Starship Gallery – Discover models of famous starships and their pilots from throughout the Star Wars saga.

-- Join the Battle in the Star Wars Game Center – Play the latest games from the Star Wars galaxy, including Disney Infinity 3.0 – featuring park-exclusive Toy Box levels.

Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

Coming in December, the Jedi Training experience will include new characters and a new villain from the popular Disney XD series, Star Wars Rebels.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

This popular attraction will feature a new scene inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Limited-Time Experiences


-- Hyperspace Mountain – a reimagined Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing starfighter battle.

-- Favorite scenes from classic Star Wars films will be showcased at Tomorrowland Theater.

-- New themed food will be available

Dates for similar new Star Wars experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida will be announced soon.


Groundbreaking is scheduled to take place in 2016 for the expansion that will include the new 14-acre Star Wars-themed land at Disneyland park. Work to make room for this new land will require the Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad to close temporarily. The following will suspend operations at the end of the operating day on January 10:

-- The Disneyland Railroad, including all stations

-- Attractions along the Rivers of America, including:
Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes

These attractions will reopen in the future.

Elsewhere in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch – including Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree – will close permanently at the end of the operating day on January 10.

September 8, 2015

Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise Debuts October 4


A new nighttime fireworks cruise will debut at Walt Disney World on October 4. Called Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise, the cruise is the perfect way to take in a breathtaking view of the Magic Kingdom Park night time spectacular fireworks from an exclusive spot on Seven Seas Lagoon with dazzling desserts and drinks.

The cruise on the double-stack ferryboat departs from the Ticket & Transportation Ferryboat Dock one hour prior to “Wishes” Nighttime Spectacular, which is offered select nights weekly. The boat's decks are laden with sweets such as “The Grand” key lime tart; pineapple upside down cake from the chefs at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort; spiced flourless chocolate cake from the pastry kitchen at Disney’s Contemporary Resort; “Main Street” Mickey Balloon Tarts; mini “fireworks” cupcakes with a pop; Cinderella’s Sugar Slipper with Orange Financier; no-sugar-added Florida mango panna cotta; and a fabulous fruit and cheese spread. You can toast the evening with specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in souvenir glow glasses.

While you sample the sweets, “Wishes” will light the sky overhead. The medley of famous Disney songs and the voices of Disney characters will be piped through the boat’s sound system. And you can bet there will be some special “magical moments” Disney style (REMEMBER: On Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very-Merry-Christmas Party nights, the fireworks display will be Happy HalloWishes or Holiday Wishes- Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, not the usual “Wishes” Nighttime Spectacular.)

Space is limited for each sailing. Price is $99 for adults, $69 ages 3 to 9, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, visit or call 407-WDW-DINE.

(source: Disney Parks Blog)

Southern California Man Moves From Cheering Section to Winners Circle Sunday at the Disneyland Half Marathon


Japanese woman becomes first international winner; Commemorative 10th Annual Medal awarded to all finishers; Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Annual party kicked off celebratory weekend events

ANAHEIM, Calif. (September 6, 2015 ) - James Lander from Fullerton, Calif. ran and won his first runDisney race this morning at the 10th annual Disneyland Half Marathon presented by Cigna. He led the field of nearly 15,000 runners and crossed the finish line more than six minutes ahead of the second place winner from Sao Paulo, Brazil, 35-year-old Valdir Aparecido Bueno.

Lander, 36, used to stand on the sidelines and watch his wife run multiple runDisney races but decided this time, he wanted to get in on the action. So he did. And won, finishing in 1:08:56

“I’ve loved this race, even though I had never done it before, because everyone has an amazing time,” said Lander. “I see people laughing and smiling the entire way versus most races where everyone looks like they are killing themselves. It’s a special thing! It’s really great!”

Lander has run competitively for years. He’s a local chiropractor and claims that running “is just part of what chiropractors do.” He used to be on a professional marathon team, winning many times, but now runs a couple of half marathons and local races a year to support the community.

Momoko Tanaka, 29, from Urayasu-shi, Japan, wrote her own chapter in the race’s annals today coming in first place for the women, finishing in 1:21:30. This is the first time in the race’s 10 year history that an international runner has won. Tanaka finished just ahead of last year’s female champion, Jennifer Berry, 34, from Denver, Colo. Berry crossed the finish line in 1:23:21, beating her prior year’s time by 12 seconds.

All half marathon finishers take home unique 10th annual medals to commemorate the occasion. More than 400 “legacy’’ runners ran this weekend, completing all 10 Disneyland Half Marathons since the inaugural race in 2006. The half marathon traveled through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, the streets of Anaheim and Angel Stadium.

Runners celebrated Thursday night with a Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Annual party. Guests experienced select attractions, Disney entertainment and character meet & greets in Disneyland Park West Side. As the event coincides with Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, the party gave runners exclusive viewing of Disneyland’s “Paint the Night” Parade which is part of the 60th anniversary celebration.

More than 29,000 runners from across the nation and 28 countries gathered in Southern California to celebrate the 10th annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. The weekend of events also included the Disneyland 5K, runDisney Kids Races and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo.

September 2, 2015

The Force Awakens Around the World: Star Wars Fans Invited to Join Epic Global Event on YouTube


GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE) -- Star Wars: The Force Awakens products are set to be unveiled in the world’s first-ever global live toy unboxing event. Unfolding over 18 hours in 15 cities and 12 countries, the event will see highlights from the range of epic merchandise revealed in a rolling New Year’s Eve style celebration featuring top digital stars from the Maker Studios network.

“The unboxing world continues to expand rapidly as audiences around the world connect with digital creators who share their passions. This shared fandom helps attract billions of monthly views and consistently puts the genre at the top of the YouTube charts.”

“Star Wars toys have always played an important role in how our fans interact with the Saga,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “They’ve inspired multiple generations to relive the experience of the movies and to create new adventures all their own. These spectacular Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will continue that tradition.”

Kicking off in Sydney, Australia on the morning of September 3, and continuing through Asia, Europe, Canada, and North & South America, selections from the new toy line will debut to global fanfare leading up to retailers around the globe opening their doors at midnight.

“Over the course of 18 hours, some of Maker Studios’ biggest stars will each be unboxing a new toy from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens product line in a different city around the world and sharing the experience live on YouTube,” said Leslie Ferraro, President, Disney Consumer Products. “We’ve seen tremendous excitement for these new products and can’t wait to see the global reaction from the Star Wars fan community.”

The Star Wars YouTube channel will host the live stream, which kicks off with the first unboxing in Sydney, Australia at 7:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, Sept. 3 (5:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 2), with the grand finale at Lucasfilm in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Thursday, Sept. 3. Each of the 15 locations will reveal a new product inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

These “unboxing” videos will feature online personalities sharing the excitement of opening the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys. Unboxing videos overall have captivated millions of Internet viewers and continue to grow in popularity. Eighteen of the top 100 most viewed YouTube Channels worldwide are dedicated to toys and toy unboxings. These 18 channels accounted for 8.1 billion views in Q1 2015.1

“We’re excited to be part of this first-of-its-kind initiative,” said Chris M. Williams, Chief Audience Officer, Maker Studios. “The unboxing world continues to expand rapidly as audiences around the world connect with digital creators who share their passions. This shared fandom helps attract billions of monthly views and consistently puts the genre at the top of the YouTube charts.”

The global unboxing event will incorporate traditional toy unboxers such as the popular EvanTubeHD, channels featuring families such as Bratayley, lifehack specialists such as ExpCaseros, gamers such as AlexBy11 and Star Wars fans from around the world, including Chris Pirillo, bringing with them a broad audience and appeal. The full schedule is available at

Several countries will join the live stream from YouTube Spaces (Berlin, Tokyo, London), with Star Wars commentators Anthony Carboni and Andi Gutierrez hosting the event from the YouTube Space, Los Angeles.

Fans can tune in to watch live unboxings at home or on mobile devices, and also enjoy the latest trailers on the upcoming movie, commentary from special guests, fun product videos and demos, and footage from recent Star Wars events.

The global celebration culminates at midnight local time, when many retailers around the world will open their doors to fans to purchase Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, collectibles, books, apparel and more. Visit for more details on participating locations. Additionally, select Disney Store locations around the world will take part. More details are available at

Fans are encouraged to document their experiences around the event on social media using the hashtag #ForceFriday.

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