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February 2009 Archives

February 2, 2009

A Look Back at "I'm Going To Disney World!"

First Spot: Super Bowl XXI (Phil Simms, New York Giants)

Number of Spots Since Inception: 40

Chronology of "I'm going to Disney World" Spots:

2009 Super Bowl XLIII (Santonio Holmes and Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers)

2008 Super Bowl XLII (Eli Manning, New York Giants)
American Idol (David Cook, Singer)

2007 Super Bowl XLI (Tony Dungy and Dominic Rhodes, Indianapolis Colts)

2006 Super Bowl XL (Hines Ward, with Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers)

2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII (Tom Brady, New England Patriots)
Major League Baseball World Series Champions (Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox)

2003 Super Bowl XXXVII (Jon Gruden and Brad Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

2002 Super Bowl XXXVI (Tom Brady, New England Patriots)

2001 Super Bowl XXXV (Trent Dilfer, Baltimore Ravens)
Major League Baseball home run record (Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants)

2000 Super Bowl XXXIV (Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams)

1999 Super Bowl XXXIII (Terrell Davis and John Elway, Denver Broncos)
Women's World Cup (United States Championship Team)

1998 Super Bowl XXXII (John Elway, Denver Broncos)
Major League Baseball home run record (Mark McGwire, St. Louis Cardinals)

1997 Super Bowl XXXI (Desmond Howard, Green Bay Packers)
Holiday Gift-Giving (Santa Claus)

1996 Super Bowl XXX (Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys)

1995 Super Bowl XXIX (Jerry Rice and Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers)

1994 Super Bowl XXVIII (Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys)
Winter Games XVII (Nancy Kerrigan, U.S. Figure Skater)

1993 Super Bowl XXVII (Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys)
Stanley Cup (Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens)

1992 Super Bowl XXVI (Mark Rypien, Washington Redskins)

1991 Super Bowl XXV (Ottis Anderson, N.Y. Giants)
NBA (Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls)

1990 Super Bowl XXIV (Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers)
Graduation (Jim Thompson of Temple University, and
Matt Kaldenberg, Phyllis Kaldenberg and Laura McEwen of Simpson College)

1989 Super Bowl XXIII (Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers)
NHL (Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames)
NBA (Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons)

1988 Super Bowl XXII (Doug Williams, Washington Redskins)
Miss America (Gretchen Carlson)
World Series (Orel Hershiser, L.A. Dodgers)
NBA (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers)

1987 Super Bowl XXI (Phil Simms, N.Y. Giants)
America's Cup (Dennis Conner)
NBA (Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers)
World Series (Frank Viola, Minnesota Twins)

The Super Bowl has been the catalyst for the most "I'm going to Disney World" spots (22)
There have been four "I'm going to Disney World" repeaters: Joe Montana (1989 and 1990), Emmitt Smith (1994 and 1996), John Elway (1998 and 1999) and Tom Brady (2002 and 2004).

"I'm going to Disney World" spots immediately following the Super Bowl have featured non-Super Bowl MVPs eight times: 1989, 1995 (shared), 1996, 1998, 1999 (shared), 2001, 2003 and 2007.

How Are Santonio Holmes and Ben Roethlisberger Celebrating Their Super Bowl Heroics? They're Going to Disney World Monday (Feb. 2) for Victory Parade

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - So how are Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger celebrating their heroic play in Super Bowl XLIII? In the frenzied moments just after their team claimed the National Football League championship Sunday night in Tampa in dramatic fashion, they stood in front of a TV camera and shouted five words that have become an almost iconic reaction to milestone achievements: "I'm going to Disney World!"

Their pronouncement, part of the production for one of TV's most enduring and celebrated commercials, was captured after the Steelers' 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals - a game during which Holmes earned the MVP honor, catching nine Roethlisberger passes for 131 yards, including a game-winning 6-yard TD reception with 35 seconds left. Roethlisberger finished with 21 completions in 30 attempts for 256 yards. During Pittsburgh's decisive 78-yard drive in the final 2:37, the pair connected four times for 73 yards as the Steelers earned an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl victory.

On Monday (Feb. 2), Holmes and Roethlisberger will go to the place where millions of vacationers celebrate their personal milestone moments. They will be joined in the Magic Kingdom by NFL Youth Football players from Jacksonville, Fla., who will participate with the Steeler stars in a Super Bowl celebration parade down Main Street, U.S.A.

This latest commercial is the milestone 40th of a series that began in 1987 following Super Bowl XXI. The first " I'm going to Disney World" commercial, featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, was regarded as a groundbreaking concept - a produced national commercial involving a current event, airing on major networks within hours of its conclusion. Holmes and Roethlisberger join a lineup of people from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments in "I'm going to Disney World" commercials.

And this latest installment, airing just hours after the conclusion of the game, followed a similar script just ahead of Holmes' and Roethlisberger's visit.

February 3, 2009

Super Bowl Hero Santonio Holmes Celebrates With Victory Parade at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - "Steeler Nation" shifted the victory celebration east from Tampa to Walt Disney World Resort Monday as thousands of black-and-gold-clad, Terrible Towel-twirling fans of the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers lined Main Street, U.S.A. They came to Magic Kingdom to be part of something that has become an iconic moment of post-Super Bowl celebration - to cheer one of their newest conquering heroes, Super Bowl MVP wide receiver Santonio Holmes, in a victory parade.

Just hours after he and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hooked up for a surgically precise touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining to earn Pittsburgh a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, Holmes was riding high, smiling and waving back from a convertible as he celebrated at Walt Disney World Resort.

Holmes was doing precisely what he said he was going to in the latest episode of the long-running Disney commercial that asks people who have just experienced a milestone, "You are celebrating your (accomplishment) " What are you going to do next?": In chorus with Roethlisberger, Holmes beamed and screamed, "We're going to Disney World!"

At Disney World, a shower of red, white and blue confetti fluttered down on hundreds of similarly colored mouse-eared balloons interspersed with football-shaped balloons in Steelers black and gold. The police escort - six Orange County Sheriff's officers aboard motorcycles leading the procession - added more color with flashing red, white, blue and golden yellow lights.


Mickey Mouse in full game uniform sat next to Holmes in the blue convertible while a group of NFL Youth Football players from Jacksonville, Fla., walked behind holding bouquets of colorful balloons. Goofy in Steelers colors was part of the procession, too, as were Chip 'n' Dale wearing referee stripes.

Holmes earned the MVP honor and the celebratory parade at Walt Disney World by catching nine Roethlisberger passes for 131 yards, including the game-winning 6-yard TD reception with 35 seconds left. Roethlisberger finished with 21 completions in 30 attempts for 256 yards. During Pittsburgh's decisive 78-yard drive in the final 2:37, the pair connected four times for 73 yards as the Steelers earned an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl victory.

The commercial that was shot immediately after the game and aired Monday morning is the milestone 40th of a series that began in 1987 following Super Bowl XXI. The first " I'm going to Disney World" commercial, featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, was regarded as a groundbreaking concept - a produced national commercial involving a current event, airing on major networks within hours of its conclusion. Holmes and Roethlisberger join a lineup of people from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments in "I'm going to Disney World" commercials.

February 5, 2009

'it's a small world' Returns To Disneyland With New Magic

'What Will You Celebrate' Kicks Into High Gear This Spring at Disneyland Resort; Special Vacation Packages Add Value Now Through April

Anaheim, CA / FEBRUARY 5, 2009 /PRNewswire/ - A favorite Disneyland attraction returns to Fantasyland, Friday, Feb. 6, when "it's a small world" opens with some new storytelling magic. With the premiere of a new "Spirit of America" scene, new musical enhancements and a new look for some of the attraction's familiar child dolls, "it's a small world" will once again take guests of all ages on "the happiest cruise that ever sailed."

This classic attraction has been renovated and enhanced while retaining the world-renowned charm that holds such a special place in the hearts of Disneyland guests. The "it's a small world" journey continues to celebrate children of the world and their message of harmony and friendship. And now, for the first time, guests will be able to find some of the child dolls dressed as their favorite Disney characters, in the countries where their stories take place. For example, dolls dressed in Aladdin and Jasmine costumes are in the Middle East scene, and a doll dressed as Alice from "Alice in Wonderland" appears in the Great Britain scene.

Guests will enjoy riding "it's a small world" again and again as they search for the 29 Disney and Disney·Pixar characters now represented in the attraction. The new doll costumes and playful toy decorations are fashioned in the same artistic style that was created by art director, color stylist, Disney Legend and Imagineer Mary Blair, whose sense of design shaped "it's a small world" from the beginning.

Also among the enhancements is an entirely new "Spirit of America" scene. It's based on original concept art by Mary Blair and maintains the "it's a small world" theme that friendship crosses all nationalities, including that of the United States. Additional fresh touches may be found in the augmented "it's a small world" soundtrack. As the familiar "it's a small world" plays throughout the attraction, now some subtle film music is seamlessly woven into the song as counterpoint melodies fitting the characters represented in certain scenes.

The "it's a small world" attraction made its debut as an exhibit at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. After two hit seasons at the fair, the attraction moved to Disneyland in California where it was expanded and then dedicated by Walt Disney himself on May 28, 1966.

The refreshed "it's a small world" is just one highlight of the year in which guests are invited to celebrate milestones, large and small, at the Disneyland Resort. The year will also see a variety of new shows and other immersive experiences in Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure parks as the Resort asks, "What Will You Celebrate?"

Disneyland's it's a small world Alice

Disneyland's it's a small world  Jasmine

Disneyland's it's a small world Woody

In addition, now through April 30 the Resort offers special travel values that make celebrating easier than ever.

Guests may book a three-day vacation package for as little as $68 per person, per day with the "Everyone Plays for the Kid's Price" package. Travel must be completed by April 30. Each package includes two-night hotel accommodations at a nearby Good Neighbor Hotel, three-day Park Hopper Tickets, Magic Morning entrance (to enjoy select theme park attractions before Disneyland opens to regular guests), an interactive Disney character experience in Mickey's Toontown, and preferred seating at select attractions and restaurants at Disneyland Resort. For more information, contact your travel agent, visit www.disneyland.com or call Disney at 1-866-276-6780.

Now through April 30, guests who stay at one of the three on-site Disneyland Resort hotels - Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa - will receive a Disney Gift Card: $50 for a two-night stay, $100 for a three-night stay, or $150 for a four-night stay. The gift cards are provided upon check-in and available for use at any of the Disney-owned restaurants and stores located inside Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure theme parks, Disneyland Resort hotels and Downtown Disney.

New This Spring, as Disneyland Resort asks "What Will You Celebrate?"

Throughout 2009, Disneyland Resort will introduce new experiences and planning options to help guests celebrate the special moments in their lives, including birthdays, anniversaries and graduations. Mementos, souvenirs, food and dessert options will be introduced throughout the year.

Free On Your Birthday - To put everyone in a celebration mood, for the first time ever Disneyland Resort is offering guests free admission to one theme park on their birthdays. Guests can register at www.disneyparks.com.

Celebrate! A Street Party - Beginning Friday, March 27, at Disneyland, a cast of dancers, DJs and Disney characters will invite guests to join the celebration as they take to the street for a high-energy street party featuring lively music, colorful costumes, confetti and streamers. Guests can join in twist dancing, a conga line and all the colorful fun of a celebration on Main Street, U.S.A., or at "it's a small world" mall.

Celebration Roundup and Barbecue at Big Thunder Ranch - Disneyland guests can celebrate any occasion cowboy-style when the Celebration Roundup opens this April at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland. Disney characters will join in the rootin' tootin' entertainment, while diners enjoy Western-style ribs and chicken in the new outdoor Big Thunder Family Barbecue restaurant.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - Every little girl's dream of becoming a Disney princess can come true in this magical makeover location, opening in April in Fantasyland. Fairy Godmothers-in-training will transform would-be princesses with makeover options including hair, makeup and nail polish designs.

Blue Sky Cellar
- As the multi-year expansion continues at Disney's California Adventure Park, the Walt Disney Imagineering preview center/workshop inside the park will be changing and adding new concept art and other sneak peeks at the exciting new projects coming soon. Meanwhile, some newly transformed attractions will reopen this spring.

Mickey's Fun Wheel - The thrilling giant Ferris wheel attraction (formerly the Sun Wheel) on Paradise Pier will return this spring with a new look and a fun new Mickey Mouse theme. Riders will board newly redecorated cars to swing along the circular route around a giant replica of Mickey's face.

Games of the Boardwalk - The Paradise Pier Boardwalk games, closed for renovation when the dazzling, immersive Toy Story Mania! attraction opened in summer of 2008, will return this spring with a colorful new look featuring, for the first time, Disney characters as part of the play experience.

Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks - Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney's California Adventure park - plus the downtown Disney District composed of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort's three guest-welcoming hotels are the luxurious 745-room Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the magical 988-room Disneyland Hotel and the "day-at-the-beach" fun of the 489-room Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. For further information on attractions, events and vacations at Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com, call (866) 60-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.

Free theme park admission details: - To receive free admission to one of the Disneyland or Walt Disney World theme parks on your birthday in 2009, guests must bring valid ID including proof of birth date. Guests who already hold a valid multi-day ticket they will use on their birthday may choose from other birthday treats instead, however, no cash refunds or credits will be given. To register your birthday and find out more details, visit www.disneyparks.com.

February 9, 2009

Disney Vacation Club Plans to Open "Doorway" To New Preview Center in New York

Disney's Doorway to Dreams, to be located at Roosevelt Field on Long Island, is planned to feature full-scale, two-bedroom vacation home model, interactive zones, children's play area and more

CELEBRATION, Fla. - Scheduled to open later this summer, Disney's Doorway to Dreams will offer Roosevelt Field visitors and Long Island, N.Y.-area residents a convenient and exciting way to learn firsthand about Disney Vacation Club, an innovative vacation-ownership program that helps families enjoy flexibility and savings on decades of future vacations.

Disney's Doorway to Dreams will showcase the accommodations at Disney Vacation Club resort hotels, which are spacious and offer numerous home-like amenities. These vacation villas provide families with a place to relax and spend quality time together either at Disney destinations worldwide or at more than 500 other popular vacation locations around the world. This convenient mall location will give them a glimpse of the choices they have, from a magical stay at the Walt Disney World Resort or a relaxing cruise aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship to a family-friendly, interactive Adventures by Disney trip or an exotic jaunt to South America.

"Our first Disney's Doorway to Dreams location has been very popular and a great way for Chicago-area residents and visitors to learn more about the family vacation experiences available through Disney Vacation Club," said Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis. "Now, we are delighted to bring Disney's Doorway to Dreams to New York, which is one the top markets for our rapidly growing membership base, so that more people can discover all that Disney Vacation Club has to offer."

To help families envision just what those vacations will entail, Disney's Doorway to Dreams, located at Roosevelt Field on Long Island, NY, will feature a full-scale, two-bedroom model of the vacation home accommodations Disney Vacation Club members and their families can expect to find at Disney Vacation Club resort hotels.

"Disney has always been a unique and innovative leader in the timeshare industry," said Howard C. Nusbaum, chief executive officer of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). "Now, Disney's Doorway to Dreams allows New York-area families the chance to experience how a timeshare ownership can help ensure years and years of memorable family vacations."

Designed to create a fun and immersive experience, Disney's Doorway to Dreams is planned to go beyond featuring model accommodations to offer an interactive family vacation discovery zone, comfortable discussion areas and a supervised children's play area within its approximately 6,900 square feet of retail space.

Celebrating more than 50 years of offering more choices, Roosevelt Field is located at the intersection of Old Country Road and the Meadowbrook Parkway in Garden City and is managed by Simon Property Group, Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The mall offers unparalleled customer service with amenities including Simon Giftcards, good everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted and Simon American Express Giftcards, which can be used everywhere American Express cards are welcomed; Ticketmaster at Simon Guest Services, valet parking; complimentary wheelchairs; strollers and a post office. It is anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's, JC Penney, Bloomingdale's and Dick's Sporting Goods and has more than 270 specialty stores. For more information, please go to www.simon.com.

For more information about Disney Vacation Club and the new Disney's Doorway to Dreams preview center, please visit www.disneyvacationclub.com.

February 10, 2009

American Idol Experience Audition Process

The above video gives a glimpse into what the Auditioning process is like for the new attraction, American Idol Experience, opening February 14, 2009, in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Also, take a look at the list of songs available for you to audition with:

Disney Songs

* Best of Worlds
* Bet On It
* Breaking Free
* Circle of Life
* Colors of the Wind
* Ever Ever After
* Go The Distance
* Part of Your World
* Play My Music
* Reflection
* Rock Star
* This Is Me
* You'll Be In My Heart


* Achy Breaky Heart
* All-American Girl
* Amazed
* Boot Scootin' Boogie
* Breathe
* Do You Believe Me Now
* How Do I Live (Without You)
* I Hope You Dance
* I Like It, I Love It
* I Told You So
* Independence Day
* It's Good to be Us
* Life is a Highway
* Lost
* Man, I Feel Like A Woman
* My Wish
* Our Song
* Sweet Home Alabama
* This Kiss
* Walkin' After Midnight
* What Hurts The Most


* Dance Best of My Love
* Fame
* Hot Stuff
* I Will Survive
* Knock On Wood
* Last Dance
* Never Can Say Goodbye
* Turn Your Love Around
* You're The First, The Last, My Everything


* 1-2-3
* Bailamos
* Just Another Day
* La Bamba
* Smooth
* Turn The Beat Around
* Waiting for Tonight

Rock/Pop Up Tempo

* Big Girls Don't Cry
* Black Horse and a Cherry Tree
* Bohemian Rhapsody
* Breakaway
* Don't Stop The Music
* Express Yourself
* Face Down
* Footloose
* Hit Me With Your Best Shot
* I Can See Clearly Now
* I Feel The Earth Move
* I Wanna Dance With Somebody
* If Everyone Cared
* No One
* Old Time Rock and Roll
* Over You
* Rock With You
* Since U Been Gone
* Somebody to Love
* Suspicious Minds
* Sway
* The Great Escape
* Walk Away
* Walking On Sunshine
* You Really Got Me Now
* You're My Best Friend

Rock/Pop Ballad

* A Moment Like This
* Alone
* Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
* Drops of Jupiter
* Home
* If It Makes You Happy
* Iris
* Just Once
* Kiss From a Rose
* Looks Like We Made It
* Stand By Me
* Unchained Melody
* Walkin' In Memphis
* What a Wonderful World
* Your Song


* 100 Ways
* Ain't No Mountain High Enough
* Ain't Too Proud To Beg
* For Once In My Life Meduim
* Get Ready
* I Heard It Through the Grapevine
* I Want You Back
* I Wish
* I'll Be There
* Midnight Train to Georgia
* New Attitude
* Reach Out, I'll Be There
* Signed, Sealed, Delivered
* Stop In The Name of Love
* Superstition
* Then Came You
* Vision of Love
* You Are The Sunshine of My Life
* You Keep Me Hangin' On
* (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
* You're All I Need To Get By

February 11, 2009

Disneynature will premiere its first film on Earth Day 2009

Disneynature will release its first film "Earth," on April 22, 2009. For more information, click here. http://disney.go.com/disneynature/


February 15, 2009

"The American Idol Experience" World Premiere: Motorcade and Blue Carpet

(Feb. 12, 2009) -- LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - All seven "American Idol" winners and dozens more finalists gathered Thursday night at the Walt Disney World Resort for the world premiere of a groundbreaking attraction that includes all the thrills and suspense that have made "American Idol" into a television and pop culture phenomenon.

"The American Idol Experience" at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park captures the energy and excitement of the TV series with some park guests auditioning to take the spotlight onstage while other guests cheer them on from the audience, voting for their favorite singer with instant results.

For tonight's grand opening, "American Idol" winners, finalists and celebrities who have performed on the actual "American Idol" set in California came to see the twirling neon signs and multi-layered backdrop of "The American Idol Experience." The 1000-seat venue is the most technologically advanced theater found at Walt Disney World Resort, created by Walt Disney Imagineering and the Hollywood set designer who designed the actual TV show set for "American Idol."

"The American Idol Experience" includes an audition process open to Disney's Hollywood Studios guests 14 and older (audition slots are limited and interested guests are encouraged to arrive early). These guests perform live in front of a Disney's Hollywood Studios casting director for the opportunity to be cast in one of the preliminary theme park shows that same day.

If shown to have that special "star quality" during the multi-step audition process, it's on to performance training, hair and make-up. Then, the lights come up and it's showtime for the singers as they try to impress an audience of theme park guests, plus a panel of three expert judges. Fellow park guests will be able to enjoy the performances just like at a live television taping. Then, audience members vote for their favorite performance using the armrest touchpads, with their votes tallied to determine the top singer.

Performers with the highest votes during the preliminary shows will return for a high-energy, grand finale show that same evening. After their encore performances, the big moment arrives. It's a super-charged, eye-popping scene as audience votes are tallied, the other performers drop off, music builds and the spotlight shines down, amid a blizzard of confetti, on the day's top singer.

The American Idol Experience was developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in conjunction with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and 19 TV Ltd and based on the smash-hit television show "American Idol" - produced by 19 TV Ltd. and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA).

February 20, 2009

Raytheon to launch “The Sum of All Thrills” at Epcot in 2009

WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 9, 2009 - Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) plans to unveil an interactive, math-based experience called "The Sum of All Thrills" at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The exhibit, set to open fall 2009, will engage children through a fun and educational experience that helps instill a lifelong passion for math, science and technology.

"The Sum of All Thrills" will be a core component of Raytheon's MathMovesU program, an initiative designed to engage middle school students in math and science, and help create the next generation of innovators for the U.S. It will be located in the INNOVENTIONS pavilion at Epcot, a unique area of the park that contains 100,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on exhibits that allow visitors to celebrate the inspiration and innovation that improve their lives and expand their horizons.

"Raytheon is working to foster young students' interest and success in math and science, two of the primary fundamentals on which American competitiveness has been built," said William H. Swanson, Chairman and CEO Raytheon Company and 2009 MATHCOUNTS honorary chairman. "Raytheon shares The Walt Disney Company's commitment to innovation and education through imagination. We're proud to offer INNOVENTIONS visitors a unique experience that combines all of these attributes and that seeks to unlock the math and science potential within every student."

In addition to the experience at INNOVENTIONS, Raytheon will be supporting another 2009 initiative at the Walt Disney World Resort - the 2009 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition. Taking place May 7-10, 2009, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, the competition is the culmination of an enrichment and coaching program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement in every U.S. state and territory. Raytheon is the title sponsor of the MATHCOUNTS National Competition for the next three years, through 2011.

About MathMovesU

Since its inception in 2005 to help spur interest in math and science, Raytheon's MathMovesU program has touched the lives of more than 700,000 students, teachers and parents. Through interactive learning programs, contests, live events, scholarships, tutoring programs and more, MathMovesU engages and inspires students. Core components of the program include:

· An innovative approach to engaging students in math and science through a partnership with the Kraft family and The New England Patriots at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon

· www.mathmovesu.com, a virtual space to educate and entertain middle school students through games and activities that showcase the math behind students' favorite pastimes

· A scholarship and grants program that awards $1million annually to students, teachers and schools.

More information may be found at www.raytheon.com/stewardship/mmu/

Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.

About INNOVENTIONS at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort

INNOVENTIONS is located in the heart of Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Creativity and imagination abound as guests celebrate inspiration and the innovations that improve their lives and expand their horizons. Hands-on, interactive exhibits allow children and adults to be immersed into ideas that inform, entertain and inspire - conquer the most dangerous house in America, find solutions to "sticky" problems, experience the most cutting edge products at the "House of the Future," protect the environment from the daily waste we create, and push the limits of everyday products as we make the world a safer place. For more information on INNOVENTIONS, please visit www.innoventions.disney.com

February 21, 2009

ESPN The Weekend Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods Returns to Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 27-March 1

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- ESPN and Walt Disney World Resort are again offering fans the opportunity to see and hear ESPN personalities and current and legendary athletes during ESPN The Weekend presented by Dick's Sporting Goods, a one-of-a-kind sports-themed special event at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 27-March 1.

ESPN personalities John Anderson, Colin Cowherd, Jay Crawford, Mike Golic, Mike Greenberg, Dana Jacobson, Chris McKendry, Karl Ravech, Stuart Scott and Trey Wingo are scheduled to participate, along with more than 30 athletes, including NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Kurt Warner and recently retired Brett Favre; 2009MLB Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson; and U.S. Olympic gold medalists Shawn Johnson and Misty May-Treanor, among many others. The ESPN personalities and sports celebrities expected to attend the sixth annual event are listed at www.espntheweekend.com (click on Who's Coming).

ESPN The Weekend will feature on-site telecasts of popular ESPN programs (beginning Thursday, Feb. 26), including Baseball Tonight, First Take, Mike & Mike in the Morning, NFL Live and interview segments on SportsCenter; motorcades and Q&A sessions with athletes and ESPN personalities; Inside ESPN sports shows with commentators and athletes; live ESPN Radio broadcasts; and the ESPN Sports Zone interactive area. Guests also will be able to enjoy all the popular shows and attractions at the theme park during Disney's "What Will You Celebrate?" celebration. Dick's Sporting Goods will serve as presenting sponsor of the event for the third straight year.

ESPN will present live daily telecasts -- including First Take (10 a.m., ESPN2) and NFL Live (4 p.m., ESPN, Feb. 26-27 -from a set in front of Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Park guests will have a chance to appear on-air via crowd shots while watching the programming on in-park video screens. Popular ESPN Radio shows Mike & Mike in the Morning and The Herd with Colin Cowherdwill be broadcast live from the ESPN Club at Disney's BoardWalk on
Feb. 26-27.

As Major League Baseball Spring Training games get underway in Florida, ESPN's on-site program lineup will feature the Atlanta Braves' home game against the Houston Astros at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex (Feb. 26, 1 p.m.). Also, Karl Ravech will host a special two-hour Baseball Tonight with analysts Peter Gammons, John Kruk, Steve Phillips and Chris Singleton from the theme park March 1 at 4 p.m. as ESPN's popular baseball news, information and highlights show kicks off its 20th season.

Live stage shows will bring fans and guests behind-the-scenes of some of the network's most popular programs, including SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, First Take, NFL Live and Stump the Schwab. The shows will provide an inside look at favorite athletes, teams and ESPN programs. Fans can get into the action themselves by asking questions directly to ESPN personalities and athletes.

Guests who think they have what it takes to be on SportsCenter can experience what it's like to audition for ESPN. Select contestants will go through a series of "on-air" tasks and the audience will select the best "sportscaster" during each show. ESPN personalities and sports celebrities will help mentor contestants as part of the experience.

Periodically throughout each day, sports stars will motorcade up the park's Hollywood Boulevard to the stage at the base of Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat and join ESPN commentators for conversations about their careers and Q&A sessions with park guests.

The ESPN Sports Zone will give guests of all ages the opportunity to test their skills at a wide variety of sports, including biking on an X Games dirt course. MLB-, NBA- and NFL-themed interactive areas within the Zone will have fans swinging for the fences, shooting baskets and throwing passes, as well as Dick's Sporting Goods' Sports Caravan, a multi-sport interactive area.

The ESPN Sports Zone will also include an ESPN Play Your Way playground. A fitness initiative launched in May 2004 to address youth obesity, Play Your Way was designed by Team ESPN, the corporate outreach program for ESPN, Inc., to inspirekids 7-12 years old to use their imagination and create their own physically active games.

A new addition to ESPN The Weekend, this 5K race through Disney's Hollywood Studios (Sat., Feb. 28 at 7 a.m.) will challenge runners along the course with ESPN and sports trivia and will feature athletes and ESPN personalities, including Anderson, Ravech and Wingo. Presented by Dick's Sporting Goods, the 5K will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research, and all participants will receive a T-shirt and finisher's medal. There will also be a Fun Run for kids at 8:30 a.m. To register, visit www.disneyenduranceseries.com

Event activities are included in regular admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park. Walt Disney World Resort's innovative ticket pricing system "Magic Your Way" provides guests with the opportunity to customize their vacations, and Florida residents can save on tickets all year long.

Pittsburgh-based Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. is an authentic full-line sporting goods retailer offering a broad assortment of brand name sporting goods equipment, apparel and footwear in a specialty store environment. As of Jan. 31, 2009, the Company operated 384 Dick's Sporting Goods stores in 39 states primarily throughout the eastern half of the U.S. The Company also owns Golf Galaxy, Inc., a multi-channel golf specialty retailer, with 89 stores in 31 states, ecommerce websites and catalog operations and Chick's Sporting Goods, Inc., which operates 14 specialty sporting goods stores in Southern California.

February 24, 2009

Atlanta Braves Spring Training at Disney's Wide World of Sports

The Atlanta Braves report to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex for baseball spring training. The On-Field Spectator Experience is one of several new immersive options for fans attending the games. A few baseball fans - including Goofy - have fun snapping photos of all the action.

February 25, 2009

Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival Celebrates Flavors of the World in 2009

Tickets for Premier Events Go On Sale Beginning Feb. 24;
Hundreds of Culinary and Tasting Experiences Are Complimentary

ANAHEIM, Calif., February 19, 2009 - Disney's California Food and Wine Festival will celebrate the international cultures, people, food and traditions that have made California one of the most diverse culinary destinations in the world. With a theme of "World Celebration," the Festival expands to six weeks in 2009 - April 24 through June 7 - featuring daily complimentary demonstrations and premier ticketed events at Disney's California Adventure park and throughout the Resort.

Tickets for the premier events - which include unique opportunities to go "Behind the Scenes With " celebrity chefs and winemakers - go on sale beginning Tuesday, Feb. 24, at www.disneyland.com/foodandwine.

More than 600 complimentary experiences will be available at the fourth annual Disney's California Food & Wine Festival, including culinary demonstrations, children's programs and wine and spirits seminars. In addition, food and wine aficionados will get tips from Disneyland Resort chefs, mingle with noted winemakers and celebrate at the spectacular ticketed events, including the gala Festival finale "Taste Food-Wine-Life."

"The 2009 Disney's California Food and Wine Festival will take guests on a delicious journey around the globe," said Gary Maggetti, director of food and beverage for Disneyland Resort theme parks. "We invite guests to celebrate their favorite foods and wines with our great variety of events, and to explore new tastes and flavors with our outstanding chefs and wine experts."

Food & Wine Festival events held in Disney's California Adventure require park admission, which is not included in the event price. Some events may require an additional fee and pre-registration.

Featured celebrity chefs, including Guy Fieri of the Food Network, along with nearly 100 Disneyland Resort chefs will conduct cooking demonstrations that showcase their talents and an international mix of delectable dishes. Guests will collect cooking tips while they watch the pros in action, discovering new twists on timeless classics and sampling the festival cuisine. Guests will also taste delicious festival-inspired dishes at the Wine Country Trattoria, Pacific Wharf Café, Farmer's Market and other eateries inside Disney's California Adventure park.

New Events for 2009
Guests will enjoy several new signature events this year.
• Behind the Scenes With" - Unique opportunities to share food, wine and conversation with cooking personalities from popular television programs and celebrity winemakers. The stars include Guy Fieri ("Guy's Big Bite"), Keegan Geerhard ("Food Network Challenge), Tommy Lasorda (Lasorda Wines), and John and Nancy Lasseter (Lasseter Family Winery). The evenings begin with tasty appetizers and exquisite wines, followed by question-and-answer sessions hosted by Chef Jamie Gwen.
• Sweet Sundays - The sweetest of all events features a light buffet breakfast and sparkling wine at the Golden Vine Winery at Disney's California Adventure. Guests will see demonstrations and taste three signature desserts created by acclaimed pastry chefs, including chefs from Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. in San Diego and Cake Monkey Bakery in Los Angeles.
• Festival Wine Walks - Guests will explore wines of the world, or a single region, when they purchase a tasting passport and select up to four tastes of spectacular wines. A tasting tour that features craft brews will also be available. Delicious wine country tapas that complement the beer and wine will be available at The Lounge at the Golden Vine Winery.
• World Celebration Dinners - Disneyland Resort chefs will create an elegant menu that blends the food, wine and celebrations of regions around the world. France, Japan, Korea, Italy and Spain will be featured.
• Master Sommelier Michael Jordan, of the award-winning Napa Rose restaurant, will add a new class to his "Introduction to Wine Tasting." The "Advanced Wine Class" includes three two-hour sessions that take guests to the next level in their knowledge of wine regions, varietals, growing and harvesting style. Both entertaining classes will offer training as well as a blind tasting to test the participants' skills.

Popular Returning Events
Events returning for 2009 feature Disneyland Resort chefs and premier winemakers.
• Winemaker Dinners - Disneyland Resort chefs will partner with premier California winemakers to prepare outstanding culinary delights at six exclusive "Winemaker Dinners," on selected Friday nights. Each Festival meal will be paired with award-winning vintages and served at Steakhouse 55, inside the Disneyland Hotel.
• Napa Rose Cooking School - Disney Executive Chef Andrew Sutton will once again lead this hands-on course that sells out quickly. Each class will create and enjoy a themed meal paired with wines and each class member will go home with an official chef's coat to commemorate the experience. This amazing opportunity takes place in the show kitchen of the renowned Napa Rose restaurant at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Guests must be at least 18 years of age and advance reservations are required.
• Festival Wine Receptions - Guests will have an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful sunset and weekend evening under the stars, on the patio of the Golden Vine Winery inside Disney's California Adventure park. While sampling from a variety of selected wines and enjoying hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, guests will meet fellow wine enthusiasts, make new friends and discover new favorite wines.

For more details and pricing information, visit www.disneyland.com/foodandwine

Celebrating Best Picture

Photo © Disney

(February 23, 2009) Child actors from "Slumdog Millionaire" celebrate the film's Oscar win for Best Picture with Mickey Mouse at Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Monday. Pictured: Ayush Mahesh Khedekar (Young Jamal), Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail Sheikh (Young Salim), Rubina Ali Rafiq Qureshi (Young Latika), Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar (Middle Latika), Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala (Middle Salim), Tanay Hemant Chheda (Middle Jamal) and Madhur Mittal (older Salim). (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Two Disneyland Resort Jungle Cruise Skippers 'Spiel' Their Way to Tokyo Disney Resort

ANAHEIM, CALIF., February 16, 2009 - Earlier this year, Jungle Cruise skippers all around the world were preparing their funniest material for a chance at representing their respective Disney Parks in Tokyo this month. Since the attraction debuted at Disneyland in 1955, the skipper role has always been one of interaction and fun, telling the story of the Jungle Cruise through silly jokes.

As part of Tokyo Disney Resort's 25th Anniversary Celebration, a total of eight Jungle Cruise skippers from Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort have been chosen to represent their resorts during a nine-day excursion to Tokyo Disney where they will participate in a unique dream opportunity.

In conjunction with the milestone anniversary, the Oriental Land Company, the Japanese company that owns and operates the resort, made 25 dreams come true for Cast Members. The Jungle Cruise skipper dream is one of the most unique being fulfilled. The request came from Kenichi Ito, a supervisor for Jungle Cruise, who dreamt to have Jungle Cruise skippers worldwide gather at Tokyo Disneyland and create an occasion where they could exchange best practices and, of course, best jokes!

In Anaheim, Jungle Cruise skippers Kevin Lively and Mickey Wright were chosen as representatives of the original attraction.

At the Disneyland Resort, the competition began in January with 60 skippers. On Feb. 6, six finalists took to the jungle delivering their finest skipper antics to a panel of surprise celebrity judges including - Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios John Lasseter and his wife, Nancy, Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering Tony Baxter, and Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Director and Concept Writer Kevin Rafferty.

Each finalist had one shot to deliver his or her spiel to the judges. Rain poured down throughout the skippers' spiels making for a well-themed trip through the rainforest. Although conditions were soggy, the skippers were cool, calm and collected while delivering punch line after punch line.

"All the skippers were terrific, every single one," said Sklar. "They were all able to use their own unique style during their performances to make the jokes funny every time. We had a tough time deciding the winners."

The excursion takes place Feb. 27 through Mar. 6, and will include a two-day tour of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, Jungle Cruise skipper training on the Tokyo attraction, and the opportunity to present their personal spiel's to the group.

Updated ‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln’ Will Return to Disneyland Later This Year

Photo © Disney

Disney Gallery Will Find a New Home
In the Current 'Bank of Main Street'

Hiatus for 'Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years'
Begins March 16 as Main Street Opera House Prepares
For 'Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln' Homecoming

ANAHEIM, Calif. (February 25, 2009) - A longtime favorite of Disneyland guests will return as "The Disneyland Story, featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln," an enhanced version of the show which appeared, in various forms, in the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland park from 1966 through 2004 . The attraction will reopen later this year in celebration of the 200th anniversary year of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

The current Opera House presentation, "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years," will go on hiatus beginning Monday, March 16, in preparation for the new "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" show. When the updated "Disneyland Story, featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" opens later this year, "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years" will be presented as part of the "Disneyland Story" display of art, models and mementos in the Opera House lobby.

Also planned for fall 2009 is a prominent new home on Main Street, U.S.A., for The Disney Gallery. Formerly located above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square, The Disney Gallery houses treasured Disney artwork and collectibles representing creative efforts from throughout The Walt Disney Company. A frequently changing exhibit area often includes never-before-displayed art. The Disney Gallery's new home will be in the Bank of Main Street building, located next door to the Main Street Opera House and currently serving as the headquarters for Disneyland Resort Annual Passport processing. The Bank will continue to operate as an Annual Passport center until mid-summer 2009. After that, Annual Passport processing will move to the Plaza Pavilion, near the entrance to Adventureland.

The original "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" was created by Walt Disney and his Imagineers for the State of Illinois Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair and featured the world's first fully animated human Audio-Animatronics figure, built by Walt Disney Imagineering. The show, made its Disneyland debut in the Main Street Opera House on July 18, 1965.

February 28, 2009

Shawn Johnson, Gold Medal-winning gymnast appears at ESPN The Weekend 2009 - Feb. 27, 2009

Shawn Johnson, Gold Medal-winning gymnast and "Dancing with the Stars" contestant, appears at ESPN The Weekend 2009 - Feb. 27, 2009

2008 Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson strikes a dance pose with Mickey Mouse Feb. 27, 2009 at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Johnson, 17, is the youngest celebrity to ever compete on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Her appearance today is part of "ESPN The Weekend," a special event that continues through March 1, 2009 at the Walt Disney World theme park. Johnson makes her debut on "Dancing with the Stars" when Season 8 of the ABC show premieres Monday, March 9.

Shawn Johnson

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About February 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in February 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2009 is the previous archive.

March 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.