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April 18, 2014

MALEFICENT - Contest and Behind the Scenes Interview with Angelina Jolie

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"Maleficent" explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty" and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

Enter for a chance to win a trip to the world premiere of the film in the Maleficent “Embrace Your Inner Evil” Sweepstakes. Fans can enter by recreating Maleficent’s laugh and posting the video to Instagram using #MaleficentLaughSweeps. Official Rules: http://di.sn/MaleficentLaugh


April 15, 2014

VIVA LA MÚSICA SIZZLES AT SEAWORLD ORLANDO

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Saturday, April 26 Kicks off this Fiery Festival

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 11, 2014) – Saturdays are heating up at SeaWorld Orlando during Viva la Música, Central Florida’s can’t-miss Latin food and concert festival taking place Saturdays, April 26 through May 17.

Celebrate the food, fun, sights and sounds of Latin culture at this annual festival, featuring live concerts by internationally renowned Latin musical artists, included with park admission.

Enjoy savory Latin cuisine prepared by SeaWorld Orlando’s Executive Chef, Héctor Colón. With more than 20 years experience – and a lifetime enjoying countless Caribbean and Latin dishes – Chef Colόn has added his touch to the traditional Latin favorites such as empanadas, arroz con pollo, carne frita and bacalaítos.

As with all SeaWorld special events, performances are included with admission, Fun Card or annual pass. Viva la Música festival activities begin at 12 p.m. each Saturday, with concerts starting at 3 p.m. at Bayside Stadium:

· Saturday, April 26 – Chino y Nacho (reggaeton)

Chino & Nacho is a Venezuelan pop duo, consisting of Jesús Alberto Miranda Perez (Chino) and Miguel Ignacio Mendoza (Nacho). In 2010, the group won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Album for “Mi Niña Bonita.” Formerly, the two men were part of the Venezuelan group, Calle Ciega.

· Saturday, May 3 – La India (salsa)

India, also known as the new “Queen of Latin Soul,” made her debut in the music business in the ’80s, with the popular dance group TKA, one of the first Latin free style groups to take over the streets of New York. She is a multi- Grammy Nominee, and has collaborated with renowned vocalists such as Oscar De León, Gloria Estefan and Michael Stuart.

· Saturday, May 10 – Victor Manuelle (salsa)

Originally from Puerto Rico, Victor Manuelle is an international star who has sold out concerts at Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall. “Si Tú Me Besas” reached number one on Billboard’s “Hot Latin Songs” chart.

· Saturday, May 17 – Olga Tañón (merengue)

Olga Tañón is a Puerto Rican recording artist whose singing career began when she joined a group called "Las Nenas de Ringo y Jossie" (Ringo and Jossie's Girls) in the ‘80s. A short time later a very popular group in Puerto Rico called "Chantelle" noticed her mezzo soprano voice and recruited her. Over the course of her career, she has earned two Grammy Awards, three Latin Grammy Awards, and 29 Premio Lo Nuestro Awards.

The amazing shows are general seating; however, reserved seating for your favorite concerts is available with the following packages:

Front Row VIP seating –Front Row seats can be purchased starting at $39.

Viva la Música VIP Package -- Starting at $29, this special package includes a meal (entrée and any one item from a selection of side salads, side dishes or desserts, plus a regular-sized non-alcoholic beverage) at any Viva la Música food sampling area or SeaWorld cafeteria-style restaurant, plus reserved seating -- Center Stage!

VIP seating – Want to make sure you get a good seat to your favorite show? Purchase this package to buy your reserved seats for $19.

All packages are available at SeaWorldOrlando.com.

The best way to experience Viva la Música is with a 2014 Annual Pass, starting at only $13 per month with EZpay, for Florida residents. Plus, with an Annual Pass, you can experience SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration featuring new interactive experiences and shows, even more up-close animal encounters at the all-new SEA Garden and the SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” treating park guests with prizes and special experiences every day.

For more information, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com. Viva la Música event dates, times and artists are subject to change.

April 14, 2014

DISNEY’S MILLION DOLLAR ARM PITCHING CONTEST OFFERS A CHANCE TO WIN $1 MILLION

A HOT ARM COULD LEAD TO A COOL MILLION!

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Contestants Can Test Their Fastball Skills at Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif., ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida or the Tribeca Family Festival in New York

Nine Finalists Will Advance to the Final Contest Held at Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” World Premiere in Hollywood, California

Burbank, Calif. (April 11, 2014) –Disney is giving amateur baseball pitchers in the nation a chance to compete for a $1 million prize in the Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest. The Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest is being held to celebrate the opening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm,” an incredible true story about two young men who went from never throwing a baseball to getting a Major League tryout.

Amateur baseball pitchers—male or female, who are legal United States residents at least 18 years of age or older—are invited to qualify to compete in the preliminary rounds of the Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest at either Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida, Disneyland® Resort in California or at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day at the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City. The three contestants from each location who throw the fastest pitches will advance to the finals and have a chance to compete for a $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood, California. Official rules are available on Disney.com’s “Million Dollar Arm” homepage at http://disney.com/PitchingContest.

Presented by SUBWAY® restaurants, the three qualifying events will take place on April 25 and 26, from 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at both Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif. and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World® and on April 26 only, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day during the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City. Contestants will throw three pitches, each tracked by a radar gun, in an attempt to throw the fastest pitch. All participants will receive tickets for themselves and a guest to see an advance screening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” at an AMC Theatres location later that evening.

Nine finalists chosen during these qualifying events will have a chance to compete for the $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm.” The top three eligible pitchers with the fastest pitches from each qualifying round location will be flown with his or her guest to the final contest, which will take place at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood, Calif., on May 6. Each of these finalists will throw three pitches on Hollywood Boulevard. Any eligible finalist who throws one 100 mph strike (out of three pitches) will become a potential winner of the $1 million grand prize.

The nine finalists and their guests will be VIPs at the film’s premiere along with stars, filmmakers, major league players, coaches, scouts and celebrities.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Subject to Official Rules available at event or at http://disney.com/PitchingContest.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Based on a true story, sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career. In a last ditch effort to save his livelihood he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “The Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India, the boys, who have never left their rural villages, are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball, JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell), learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.

Directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay written by Tom McCarthy, Disney’s drama “Million Dollar Arm” stars Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell and Alan Arkin. The producers are Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray and Joe Roth. The executive producers are Palak Patel, Kevin Halloran, Bill Simmons and Connor Schell. The film will be release in the United States on May 16, 2014.

April 11, 2014

Epcot's After-Hours Wind Down - Lounges to Remain Open

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Have you ever wanted to hang out at Epcot after IllumiNations but you have to leave the park?

From April 17 - September 15 you'll now be able to wind down at La Cava del Tequila (Mexico), Spice Road Table (Morocco), Tutto Gusto (Italy) or the Rose and Crown (United Kingdom) from 9:20 to 11 p.m.

Each location will have small plates for noshing paired with a beverage flight. The cost is $35, plus tax and gratuity. You must make a reservation at www.disneyworld.com/spring, call 407-WDW-DINE or stop by Epcot Guest Relations.

April 2, 2014

FastPass+ Changes Coming

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Tom Staggs, Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts provided an update today on the Disney Parks Blog about My Disney Experience and specifically, FastPass+.

Beginning this week, Day Guests can now participate in MyMagic+ by creating an online account at My Disney Experience, utilizing FastPass+ and purchasing MagicBands on site if they want them.

Here's What the Future Holds:
Guest feedback has been very positive and about FastPass+ but they want more. According to Tom Staggs: "We’ve heard from a number of guests that they would like the opportunity to add additional FastPass+ entitlements during their visit, in addition to the three they can plan in advance. So, we’re working on providing them with the ability to add and enjoy additional entitlements on the day of their visit. Once they’ve used the three they’ve booked, we’ll enable them to select another at kiosks in the parks. And once they’ve used the fourth, they can select another, and so on. We also heard that other guests liked the fact that with the FastPass+ service they could use FASTPASS when they park hopped. So we’re working on a service enhancement to add that feature to FastPass+ as well."

RELATED LINKS:
Using FastPass+

Passholders can get Magic Bands

April 1, 2014

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Salutes World Autism Awareness Day by Lighting Hotel Blue

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Hotel continues to spread message of autism awareness throughout April with a specialty blue cocktail served in Todd English’s bluezoo;

Proceeds from drink the will be donated to Orlando’s Princeton House Charter School serving children with autism

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel will be joining other iconic buildings around the world -- including the Empire State Building in New York City and the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia -- and lighting up blue to raise awareness for autism and to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day on Wednesday, April 2.


Light It Up Blue
is a unique global campaign that kicks off Autism Awareness Month and helps raise awareness about the disorder. In honor of this historic day, thousands of iconic landmarks, buildings, hotels, bridges and retail stores are among the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities around the globe that illuminate blue to spread autism awareness.

In addition, one of the hotel’s signature restaurants, Todd English’s bluezoo has created a specialty blue cocktail, named blue sparkler, in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Through April 30, proceeds from sales of the drink will be donated to the Princeton House Charter School, an Orlando area school for children with autism.

The blue sparkler is a mixture of pavan liqueur, Florida 4 orange vodka, sparkling wine with orange and vanilla syrup. Todd English’s bluezoo is located in the lobby of the Dolphin and can be reached at 407-934-1111 or www.thebluezoo.com. For more information on Princeton House Charter School visit www.princeton-house.org.

Disney Legend Tony Baxter and Designer and Sculptor Terri Hardin to Appear at Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn in April


(Los Angeles, CA, Tuesday April 1, 2014): Disney Legend and Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Advisor Tony Baxter, and designer, sculptor and puppeteer Terri Hardin will be making an appearance at Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn on Sunday, April 20, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Tony is a 47-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company. He began his career working on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park, working his way up to Senior Vice President of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, before retiring last year. During his tenure, Tony worked on the design and creation of some of the most notable attractions in the Disney Parks, and had a large hand in the overall concept of Disneyland Paris. It was through Tony’s work on Disneyland Paris that he met Terri Hardin.

Terri is a renowned designer, puppeteer and sculptor in and out of Walt Disney Imagineering. She worked on the popular Disney Parks attractions Captain EO, Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D, and Disneyland Paris' Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, among others. Terri worked directly with Tony throughout the Big Thunder Paris project. Noticing her skill and work ethic, Tony gave her the job of creating Disneyland Paris' Dragon’s Lair attraction.

Terri will be signing copies of her autobiography, Tales from Terri: A Disney Sculptor’s Life. Tony will be signing copies of Poster Art of the Disney Parks, for which he wrote the foreword. Imagineers Vanessa Hunt and Danny Handke, authors of the book, will also be on hand to sign. The barn's souvenir shop will have both Tales from Terri: A Disney Sculptor’s Life and Poster Art of the Disney Parks for sale the day of the event for your convenience.

Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn is located at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum at 5202 Zoo Drive in Griffith Park. The barn is open the third Sunday of every month. Admission and parking are free. The barn is operated on behalf of the Walt Disney Family Foundation by the non-profit Carolwood Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity. The Foundation's mission is to preserve Walt Disney's railroad legacy. This is accomplished through: sharing our volunteers' and supporters' love of railroading; teaching our children to understand the role that railroads served in building America; and encouraging the continued appreciation of railroading.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Celebrates Easter with PEEPS

Guests can hop into the holiday with PEEPS-inspired menus, glow-in-the-dark egg hunt, and Easter Bunny photos

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – March 26, 2014 – Guests at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel will experience Easter magic during PEEPtastic Easter April 16 to 23, a celebration sweetened by thousands of free PEEPS brand marshmallow samples, PEEPS-inspired menu items, PEEPS decor and Easter-themed activities for families to enjoy.

During the week, guests will be treated to complimentary PEEPS marshmallow chicks upon check-in, during special appearances by the Easter Bunny and at other surprise moments. For some sweet eats, PEEPS-inspired menu items will be featured at several of the hotel’s restaurants. Menu items will include s’mores made using PEEPS, a PEEPS-inspired milkshake and chocolate-dipped PEEPS.

The Epcot Resort Area hotel's annual glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt - a favorite for kids - headlines a full schedule of Easter-themed activities at the hotel, including traditional Easter egg hunts, Easter egg races, a bunny hop relay, arts and crafts, and meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny. (Activities are all complimentary for guests, except for a small fee for various crafts. Please check the event website for pricing.)

For an added magical Easter morning experience, guests can order an Easter Basket, featuring a variety of candy, a solid milk chocolate bunny and a plush toy, delivered by the Easter Bunny himself to their guestroom. (Additional costs apply.)

Larger-than-life PEEPS will be found across property, as the iconic chick-shaped marshmallow will serve as inspiration for several approximately 3-foot, 50-pound white chocolate sculptures.

Other special features during the week will include a special Easter dinner buffet at Garden Grove restaurant, featuring Disney character appearances on Sunday, April 20, at 5 p.m., a campfire, glow-in-the-dark volleyball, family game night and a poolside showing of the movie HOP.

For more details about PEEPtastic Easter at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, including a full schedule of activities, visit www.swandolphin.com/easter. To make room reservations, call 1-800-227-1500 and mention “PEEPS.” Overnight rates start at $189 per night.

March 28, 2014

LEADING LADIES AND FEMMES FATALES: THE ART OF MARC DAVIS

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Marc Davis, visual development for Sleeping Beauty, ca. 1959; Collection Mike Glad; © Disney

THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM PRESENTS LEADING LADIES AND FEMMES FATALES:

THE ART OF MARC DAVIS

April 30 – November 3, 2014


Exhibition Celebrates Award-Winning Work by one of Walt’s infamous Nine Old Men

San Francisco, CA, March 25, 2014 — The Walt Disney Family Museum is excited to present the exhibition Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis. On view in the museum’s Theater Gallery from April 30 to November 3, 2014, this exhibition co-curated by the museum’s director of collections and exhibitions, Michael Labrie, and animator Andreas Deja spotlights some 70 original pencil animation drawings, conceptual artwork, paintings, cels, and photographs from animator and Imagineer Marc Davis (b. 1913). Davis, who was named a Disney Legend in 1989, was assigned and executed some of the most difficult animation for Walt Disney’s leading ladies and femmes fatales from classics such as Peter Pan (1953), Sleeping Beauty (1956), and One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961). It was Davis’ mastery of the human form and authority on anatomy and movement that brought these iconic female characters to life and made them believable.

Although his work and accomplishments could fill a much larger gallery, selected artworks mainly from Davis’ personal collection, Walt Disney Imagineering, several private collectors, and the Walt Disney Family Foundation’s collection, intend to focus on a part of Davis’ life and career with his mastery of the human form.Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales highlights Davis’ female characters in film—such as Peter Pan’s Tinker Bell, Sleeping Beauty’s title heroine Aurora, its villain Maleficent, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians’ Cruella de Vil—as well as in live entertainment, his fine art, and through his beloved wife Alice Davis.

“If you can’t draw it, you can’t animate it,” Marc Davis once told an interviewer. He was proud of his drawing ability and had all the reasons for being so. Basically a self-taught artist, he honed his skills through a lonely childhood, and from his life experience he developed a keen sense of observation and ultimately became an excellent draftsman. Davis’ gift for dramatic storytelling coupled with his ability to inject humanity, humor, and emotion into his drawings is what made him stand out.

“Marc can do story, he can do character, he can animate, he can design shows for me. All I have to do is tell him what I want and it’s there. He’s my Renaissance Man,” said Walt Disney of Davis.

Davis’ sense of style and ability commanded admiration and respect. Employed at The Walt Disney Studio for forty-three years, Marc Davis was a master whose skills proved essential to a wide variety of projects both in film and live entertainment. As one of Walt’s renowned “Nine Old Men,” Davis was the only of the nine whom Walt asked to help in the planning of attractions at Disneyland the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair. His creative contributions include attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s a small world, and the Haunted Mansion, to name a few.

“Marc Davis became the most prolific Imagineer of his time in developing ideas and drawings for Disney Park attractions. There is a treasury of some of the world’s best-known and most humorous characters,” said Disney Legend and Imagineer Marty Sklar.

In 1947, Alice Estes—a promising artist from Long Beach, California—received a scholarship to the prestigious Chouinard Art Institute—a training ground for many Disney artists. With Alice’s goals of becoming an animator crushed because of the male-dominance in the field at that time, Mrs. Chouinard herself assigned Alice to become a costume designer, and gave her the added task of assisting the new animation teacher, Marc Davis.

After her graduation, Alice married Davis, eventually working with him at The Walt Disney Studios and becoming one of the first female Imagineers. She designed costumes for a number of Disneyland attractions, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Carousel of Progress—many based on her husband’s whimsical drawings.

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Marc and Alice at Tivoli Gardens on their honeymoon, c. 1958;
Collection Alice Davis.

Both Alice and Marc worked with a team of Disney artists and engineers to design and dress the Audio-Animatronics® figures for it’s a small world, including famed artist Mary Blair, one of Walt’s most recognizable leading ladies.

The exhibition is aptly timed with MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair, on view from March 13 through September 7, 2014 in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall.

Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000 square foot facility features the newest technology and historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney’s achievements to life, with interactive galleries that include early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland and much more.

Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors and students, and $12 children ages 6 to 17.

Admission is free for members.

Admission to this exhibition is free with paid museum admission or for members.

www.waltdisney.org
www.facebook.com/WDFMuseum
www.twitter.com/WDFMuseum

March 26, 2014

Grand Floridian Hosts 3rd Annual Easter Egg Display

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Grand Floridian 3rd Annual Easter Egg Display April 4-22, 2014

Under the guidance of Master pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek, the pastry team at the Grand hand-paints the enormous eggs (16 to 20 inches tall) with tinted cocoa butter to amazing themes – the “Frozen” egg is sure to be a big hit this year. Look for eggs telling the stories of “The Little Mermaid,” “Cinderella,” “Pocahontas,” “Lady and the Tramp,” all created with modeling chocolate, fondant, sculpted sugar and royal icing.

There are 18 eggs in all this year, and each takes 18 to 20 hours to create, says Chef Erich. And, best of all, they’re completely edible.

Here's a look at last year's Grand Floridan Easter Egg Display:


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