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May 2, 2009

DISNEY JOINS FORCES WITH THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

DISNEY JOINS FORCES WITH THE NATURE CONSERVANCY TO PLANT 2.7 MILLION TREES IN CONJUNCTION WITH FIRST WEEK TICKET SALES FOR DISNEYNATURE'S DEBUT FEATURE, "EARTH"

Burbank, Calif. - April 29, 2009 -- Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has arranged with The Nature Conservancy to plant 2.7 million trees in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, one of the planet's most endangered rainforests, it was announced by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. In keeping with the Disneynature EARTH's themes of protecting the planet and its wildlife, Walt Disney Studios volunteered to plant a tree in honor of every moviegoer who saw the film during its first week of release. The motion picture grossed an impressive $16.1 million at the box office during week one and broke an opening day record as well as an opening weekend record for a nature documentary. The film also garnered the highest praise from critics and moviegoers alike.

Through its campaign to Plant a Billion Trees (www.plantabillion.org), The Nature Conservancy, one of the world's leading international conservation organizations and its local partners are working to reforest 2.5 million acres of land and re-connect more than 12 million acres in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, one of the planet's most endangered and ecologically significant rainforests. This restoration effort will allow hundreds of plants and animals to re-colonize their former habitats and will protect vital watersheds.

Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, "We're proud to be working with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world's most effective conservation organizations, in planting trees in the endangered Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Through the Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees campaign, we have an opportunity to honor those who supported 'EARTH' by making a tangible and lasting contribution to conserving globally-significant wildlife habitat. Our goal with Disneynature is to entertain and inform moviegoers about the wonders of our planet, and encourage them to learn more about what they can do to conserve nature."

"Disney has created a spectacular portrait of our planet with Disneynature's 'EARTH' and demonstrated their commitment to the planet by supporting our ambitious, large-scale reforestation effort to restore and preserve the magnificent Atlantic Forest," said Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. "We applaud Disney for their contribution to our effort to plant and restore one billion trees by 2015 in the Atlantic Forest, a global conservation priority area of rich biodiversity."

Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Environmental Affairs, The Walt Disney Company, added, "We are thrilled that through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund that we were able to expand a long relationship between Disney and The Nature Conservancy. The fund was established to support the study and protection of the world's wildlife and ecosystems, and 'EARTH' presented the perfect opportunity to give back to our planet in this tremendous way."

Where the Atlantic Forest survives, it presents some of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth. The region is home to more than 200 bird species and 60 percent of all Brazil's endangered species. And, on fewer than two and a half acres, scientists have identified more than 450 tree species - more species than are found on the entire eastern seaboard of the United States. The forest also is important because it is the source of clean drinking water for 120 million people. Today, however, only 7 percent of the original Atlantic Forest remains in well-preserved but isolated fragments. The Nature Conservancy's initiative in the Atlantic Forest contributes to the global effort by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year, with a cumulative goal for 2009 of planting 7 billion trees worldwide.

Narrated by James Earl Jones, "EARTH" tells the remarkable story of three animal families and their amazing journeys across the planet we call home. "EARTH" combines rare action, unimaginable scale and impossible locations by capturing the most intimate moments of our planet's wildest and most elusive creatures. Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, the acclaimed creative team behind the Emmy Award®-winning "Planet Earth," combine forces again to bring this epic adventure to the big screen.

About Disneynature

Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in over 60 years, was launched in April 2008 to bring the world's top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife subjects and stories with theatrical audiences. Earth, the first film to premiere domestically under the new label on Earth Day 2009, garnered a record-breaking opening weekend for a nature documentary. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1949 and 1960, winning 8 Academy Awards (R). For more information about Disneynature, go to: www.disney.com/nature

About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy at: www.nature.org

May 3, 2009

Disney Endurance Series' Fall Lineup

The Disney Endurance Series' fall lineup offers a full slate of new immersive features for guests including never-before-seen medals, new road races and exclusive post-race parties. Runners registering for Disney's Race for the Taste 10K and either the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K or the Expedition Everest Challenge presented by Champion will receive a bonus medal.

Finishers of two fall races to earn one-of-a-kind medal; events to feature expanded race options; registration now open


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (April 29, 2009) - Disney Sports is creating a one-of-a-kind bonus medal for runners who complete the Fall Race Challenge, competing in two of Disney's three fall endurance events at Walt Disney World Resort. Runners that record an official time for Disney's Race for the Taste 10K and either the Expedition Everest Challenge presented by Champion or The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K will receive the bonus medal in addition to individual race medals - a total of three race medals for running two races. Registration for all three fall events is now open.

"Disney is dedicated to providing guests with new, interactive features to make their race experience more fun, more exciting and more memorable," says Disney Endurance Series Director Kathleen Duran. "We are always looking for new ways to differentiate our Disney events by creating unique, immersive experiences."

Disney's fall lineup includes expanded race options. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13k event will feature a 5k and an exclusive post-race party. Disney's Race for the Taste 10k event will include a new 3k race designed for casual runners and those looking to compete in their first endurance event.

The Disney Endurance Series fall lineup includes:

Expedition Everest Challenge presented by Champion (Sept. 26, 2009): This second-year event is the first urban adventure race in Disney's Endurance Series. The two-person team competition features a 5k, scavenger hunt and an obstacle course designed to challenge runners physically and mentally. There is an exclusive post-race party at Disney's Animal Kingdom for the finishers. A portion of all entry fees will benefit the Himalayan Youth Foundation and Disney's Wildlife Conservation Fund.

Disney's Race for the Taste 10K (Oct. 11, 2009): This race takes runners through Disney's Hollywood Studios and around the 11 pavilions of Epcot World Showcase. Guests have access to a post-race picnic that includes food samples from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, live Disney entertainment, music, games and face painters.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K (Oct. 24, 2009): This road race returns for its third year and the journey includes a haunting course through the vacant streets of Disney's Hollywood Studios. The event includes an exclusive post-race party with family and friends.

To register for these and more Disney Endurance Series events including the Walt Disney World Marathon (Jan. 7-10, 2010), visit disneyenduranceseries.com.

About Disney's Endurance Series
Disney's Endurance Series gives recreational athletes of all ages and abilities the chance to walk, jog, run, bike and swim their way "around the world." From marathons to road races to triathlons, athletes from across the country and around the world compete to stay in shape, achieve personal-best times and raise donations for charitable causes. Popular Endurance Series events include the Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon (January), Disney's Princess Half Marathon (March) and the Disneyland Half Marathon (September).

May 7, 2009

Disney’s Animal Experts Ensure Mother-Child Bond Among Animals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 7, 2009 - The animal care team from Walt Disney World Resort has been busy since last Mother's Day, assisting with the births of more than 440 animals and more importantly, helping to ensure that the relationship between mother and child remains uncompromised.

While much focus is given to the expert care of the animals during the birthing process, equal attention is given to the delicate and complex mother-child bonding process which uniquely varies among species and among individual animals.

For example, animal care experts at Disney's Animal Kingdom were recently monitoring two baby vultures hatched from two different sets of new parents. One pair adapted quickly to their new parenting roles, while the other pair struggled and had difficulty feeding their new offspring. Concerned about malnourishment, the animal husbandry team intervened by providing supplemental food to the smaller bird. Eventually, the struggling parents began copying the behaviors of the adept parents and improved their parenting skills. Their efforts have been successful and today, both young chicks are of equal size.

"Disney's Animal Programs team constantly balances animals' physical needs such as food and shelter with the social needs of both mother and child." said Matt Hohne, animal operations director at Disney's Animal Kingdom. "By sharing this information with guests and with other researchers, Disney's Animal Programs hopes to protect species and learn more about breeding, animal behavior, health and natural habitats, which are paramount to the success of long-term conservation efforts."

Among mammals, nearly all of the primary caregivers are mothers, but in some groups, it may take an entire village to raise a child. For instance, Walt Disney World Resort welcomed a black and white colobus monkey baby - the first of its species born at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Animal keepers are typically more anxious about the parenting skills of any first-time mother, but this baby continues to thrive under the attentive and watchful eyes of first-time mother, Kabibi. She's also getting some extra help from three other adults that take turns watching the baby while the mother sleeps or eats.

Last June, second-time mother Moyo gave birth to a 327-pound male elephant calf - the heaviest animal yet to be born at Disney's Animal Kingdom. During the baby's first days, mother and son bonded quickly and the animal care team quickly became confident about the calf's future since nursing was early and successful. Some of that confidence may be attributed to experience. Having groomed and nursed a first-born, Moyo quickly remembered her prior parenting skills.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, animal experts carefully monitor the progress of mother and baby, starting with the infant's eating habits and activity levels. They also closely watch the care-giving habits of the mother to ensure the baby receives appropriate care and grooming. This level of attention is maintained not only during infancy but throughout an animal's entire lifespan.

Through successful breeding programs, Disney's animal experts are helping to increase the population of endangered animals such as the Key Largo woodrat and the Micronesian kingfisher. The goal is to eventually reintroduce these captive-born animals in the wild. Such was the case with a pair of endangered white rhinos that were born at Disney's Animal Kingdom and transferred to a wildlife preserve in Africa. This was the first reintroduction of white rhinos from the United States to Africa and marked the beginning of efforts to re-establish a rhino population -- extinct since 1972 when white rhinos were a casualty of civil unrest in the region.

This commitment to animals reaches beyond the boundaries of Disney theme parks through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, (DWCF). Since establishment in 1995, the DWCF has donated $13.8 million in funding to 750 projects in 110 countries. One of the current projects is a gorilla rescue center in the Democratic Republic of Congo where animal experts are working to rehabilitate and reintroduce orphaned gorillas that lost both parents due to poaching and other illegal activities.

May 11, 2009

Disney Channel Stars Ahoy! Kodak and Disney Cruise Line Bring Exclusive Fan Experience to the High Seas

Disney Channel stars set sail aboard the Disney Wonder during "Disney Channel Summer at Sea"

CELEBRATION, Fla. (May 11, 2009) - In a Disney exclusive, numerous Disney Channel stars will set sail this summer, joining thousands of Disney Cruise Line guests aboard the Disney Wonder for eight special sailings during the first-ever "Disney Channel Summer at Sea," presented by Kodak.

"We're thrilled to partner with Disney Channel and offer guests on our ship a unique opportunity to sail with Disney Channel stars," said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. "A cruise vacation with Disney Cruise Line is always a family-favorite and 'Disney Channel Summer at Sea' provides families another reason to set sail and experience the Disney difference."

Popular stars from Disney Channel shows like "Hannah Montana," "Sonny With A Chance," "Wizards of Waverly Place," "The Suite Life on Deck," "JONAS," "Camp Rock," "High School Musical" and "Hatching Pete" will sail with guests on three- and four-night Bahamian cruises taking place July 9 through August 2. During these themed sailings, Disney Channel stars will help pump up the volume during onboard deck parties and will join guests for Q & A and autograph sessions along with preview screenings of Disney Channel programming. The onboard fun culminates with a "Party with the Stars" event, an evening where guests can join the stars for a special live musical performance. As an added treat, Radio Disney will broadcast live from the ship during two of the cruises.

Aligning with Kodak's "It's Time to Smile" campaign, all Disney fans will be able to share in the ship-to-shore fun online. Select video-blog reporters onboard the ship will capture their magical vacation memories on a 'KODAK Zi6 Pocket Video Camera' and post video from their voyages at www.disney.com/summeratsea.

"At Kodak, we're all about relationships. We bring people together through images and are thrilled to work with the Disney Channel to help Disney fans share their magical vacation memories," said Kodak Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President Jeffrey Hayzlett.

Each cruise during "Disney Channel Summer at Sea" will include multiple Disney Channel stars. Among those scheduled to sail include Tiffany Thornton from "Sonny With A Chance" (July 9 & 12), Nicole Anderson "JONAS" (July 9 & 12), Jason Earles from "Hannah Montana" (July 16 & 19), Mitchel Musso from "Hannah Montana" (July 19), Jason Dolley from "Hatching Pete" (July 23 & 26), Debby Ryan from "The Suite Life on Deck" (July 30) and Alyson Stoner from " Camp Rock" (Aug. 2). More stars will be announced shortly, guests can visit www.disneycruise.com/summeratsea frequently for up-to-date information on the line-up of stars sailing. (Talent is subject to change without notice.)

"Disney Channel Summer at Sea" adds to the family-friendly fun found onboard a Disney ship. Disney Cruise Line provides a vacation experience that every member of the family feels was created just for them. Families enjoy award-winning Broadway-style entertainment at the Walt Disney Theatre, play together at high-energy deck parties featuring the only fireworks display at sea and dine in three uniquely themed restaurants. Kids delight in their own dedicated spaces and become immersed in Disney stories with their favorite characters and hosted by specially trained youth counselors. While the kids are at play, parents can slip away and relax at the spa, soak up rays at the adult-only pool, dance the night away in the clubs, or enjoy an exquisite Northern Italian meal at Palo.

A leader in the family cruise segment, Disney Cruise Line offers three-, four- and seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean with special voyages to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe on tap for 2010. Disney Channel Summer at Sea voyages are exclusive to three- and four-night itineraries on the Disney Wonder between July 9 and Aug. 2 with rates starting at $679 per person -- based on double occupancy for a category 12 inside stateroom, not including government taxes and fees. Land/sea vacation packages that include a stay at Walt Disney World Resort are also available.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit www.disneycruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500. Travel agents can call Disney Cruise Line at 888/325-2500 or visit www.disneytravelagents.com.

About the Disney Channel Summer at Sea Sweepstakes

Beginning Monday, May 11 guests can visit Disney.com (www.Disney.com/SummeratSea), to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of eight (8) Grand Prize Disney Cruise Vacation packages during the "Disney Channel Summer at Sea" program. Sweepstakes winners also receive an additional special meeting aboard ship with Disney Channel stars, and Kodak prize packages including a Kodak Zi6 video camera. Ten (10) second place winners will receive the 'KODAK Zi6 Pocket Video Camera' and Easy Share W1020 Digital Frame kit.

May 12, 2009

All Aboard For 'Disney's A Christmas Carol' Train Tour

FROM SNEAK PEEKS OF EXCLUSIVE 3D FILM FOOTAGE TO SUMMERTIME SNOW - DISNEY PULLS OUT ALL THE WHISTLE STOPS FOR 40-CITY TRAVELING EXPERIENCE

Departing Los Angeles May 22; Tour to Cover More Than 16,000 Miles

BURBANK, Calif., May 8 -- Disney is pulling out all the whistle stops and taking its show on the road with a spectacular immersive and interactive 40-city train tour including a 3D sneak peek of film footage from the upcoming movie "Disney's A Christmas Carol," it was announced today (05/08/09) by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. Set amidst a snowy backdrop -- complete with all of the sights and sounds of Christmas including carolers, decorations, giveaways and many more surprises in each of the 40 cities -- the Train Tour is being launched with HP on board as the title and technology sponsor and driven by Amtrak. This family event is for guests of all ages and is free to the public.

Starring Jim Carrey and directed by Academy Award(R)-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, "Disney's A Christmas Carol" opens in theatres November 6 in Disney Digital 3D(TM) and in IMAX 3D(R).

Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, "'Disney's A Christmas Carol' Train Tour is an incredibly fun way to introduce families across the country to the wonders and spectacle that is Robert Zemeckis' unique and spectacular new holiday film. We are so proud of the movie, and think the 3D footage is so incredible, we just had to give everyone a chance to see it in Disney Digital 3D. From Los Angeles to New York, and all points in between, guests are going to have a fabulous time discovering things about the making of this extraordinary film, participating in their own festive fantasies, and getting into the holiday spirit all year round. 'Disney's A Christmas Carol' is great entertainment for moviegoers of all ages, and this is the perfect introduction to a fun and exciting new holiday classic."

Among the highlights of the tour are authentic artifacts on loan from the Charles Dickens Museum of London; artwork, costumes and props from the film; demonstrations of performance capture technology; and a chance to morph your face into one of the film's characters using HP TouchSmart PCs. At each stop along the way, a state-of-the-art Disney Digital 3D Theatre will be erected, where guests can get a sneak peek of "Disney's A Christmas Carol" and see other exclusive behind-the-scenes materials from the movie. The latest details about tour stops and scheduled events are available at www.christmascaroltraintour.com.

Featuring four custom-designed vintage rail cars full of behind-the-scenes attractions, entertaining demonstrations, and fun activities, the tour will have its inaugural stop at Los Angeles' Union Station over Memorial Day Weekend, from May 22nd through May 25th. During the next 24 weeks, the train will make 40 stops in 36 states, as it travels its way across more than 16,000 miles of track. The tour will finish at New York's Grand Central Terminal over the weekend of October 30th through November 1st.

At every tour stop, Radio Disney will invite kids to enter for a chance to become a Movie Surfer representing their hometown. Each Hometown Movie Surfer will get a chance to appear on Disney Channel by filming their very own Movie Surfer's segment! They'll also receive a prize package of exclusive Movie Surfer and "Disney's A Christmas Carol" gear.

ABC television stations across the country will run local promotions. At each stop, guests will have the chance to win an HP TouchSmart PC and an HP Photosmart wireless printer. Additionally, Disney is working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America organization to provide an early Christmas experience to kids across the country. Disney will present the organization with a donation in the amount of $100,000 at the May 21st launch in Los Angeles to further the organization's efforts of helping kids grow up to be great and will invite Boys & Girls Club kids to be part of the tour when it comes to their town. Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the nation are impacting the lives of 4.8 million young people each year with after-school programs that emphasize education, career exploration, community service, technology skills, financial literacy, the arts and more to help them reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens.

A variety of innovative HP technologies helped to make the Train Tour possible. HP ProLiant servers and HP ProCurve switches will provide Disney with the computing power that will allow guests to collect and upload photos. Throughout the train exhibits, Disney is using HP TouchSmart PCs to run an interactive face morph application and HP monitors to showcase performance capture technology as well as images and digital effects from the film. Additionally, each train car will be wrapped with Disney's Train Tour logo using the versatility of HP Scitex printers.

"For decades HP and Disney have joined together to captivate audiences through technology innovation and digital entertainment," said Michael Mendenhall, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, HP. "HP technology used in the making of 'Disney's A Christmas Carol' has enabled Disney to push the boundaries in performance capture technology. The Train Tour offers an innovative way for guests to interact with HP's latest technology and experience the magic behind the film."

Amtrak locomotives and engineers will lead the four-car Train Tour (plus a private car), across the US, with stops ranging from 1-3 days along the way. Each train station will be themed with holiday decorations, and feature artwork from the film, Christmas Carolers, fun activities for the entire family, and snow!

"Rail travel continues to influence the way people connect with each other and celebrating the release of a true classic is a perfect way to further that connection," said Emmett Fremaux, Vice President Marketing and Product Management, Amtrak. "We couldn't be more thrilled to be teaming up with Walt Disney Studios for this 40 city tour to help educate Americans about the benefit of rail travel."

Dolby Laboratories will be supplying its Dolby(R) 3D Digital Cinema solution for the traveling Digital 3D theater, and Barco is providing the DP2000 digital projectors. Panasonic provides some of the latest high resolution large screen technology available to consumers today throughout the train cars. And, the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is encouraging guests traveling to and from the train to Buckle Up, Every Trip, Every Time!

ABOUT THE MOVIE

"Disney's A Christmas Carol," a multi-sensory thrill ride re-envisioned by Academy Award(R)-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, captures the fantastical essence of the classic Dickens tale in a groundbreaking, performance-capture 3D motion picture event. Ebeneezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) begins the holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk (Gary Oldman) and his cheery nephew (Colin Firth). But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey, revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it's too late. Through the magic of performance-capture technology, Jim Carrey tackles seven roles, including Scrooge and all of the Christmas spirits.

"DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL" TRAIN TOUR SCHEDULE

May 13, 2009

Coalition for the Homeless Receives Disney’s Top Grants Award

ORLANDO, Fla., May 12, 2009 - Shining a spotlight on services for homeless children in our region, the Walt Disney World Resort recognized the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida with its top Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grants honor - the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award - for the second year in a row.

Mickey Mouse, along with Walt Disney World Resort president Meg Crofton, Allen family members and other Disney dignitaries arrived at the Coalition's facilities on Monday with a prize patrol to award $60,000 to the non-profit's child development programs which aim to instill values such as trust, honesty, integrity, responsibility, personal power and self-esteem.

"It's humbling and a great honor to be recognized for our work with families," said Brent Trotter, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. "Families with children are the fastest-growing portion of the homeless population in Central Florida today. We've created a wide variety of services to meet the unique needs of the growing number of children who call the Coalition home, and are happy to have the support of Disney in our mission."

Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grants celebrates those who commit their time and talent to making a difference in the lives of Central Florida's children. One of its top awards - the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award - honors the late Bob Allen, who started his career at Disneyland in 1955 and ended his tenure with a decade-long period as vice president of Walt Disney World Resort. After his death in 1987, Allen's family formed an endowment fund that assists local social service, environmental and humanitarian organizations.

During the next two weeks, Disney will send prize patrols across Central Florida to surprise, reward and recognize a total of 34 Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grants recipients chosen by a panel of judges made up of Central Florida community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members. Prize patrol reports and pictures will be posted on www.shineontoday.com so you can follow along on the journey across Central Florida and track the total giving.

To learn more about the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, visit: http://www.centralfloridahomeless.org/.

May 14, 2009

Disney's D23 Fan Community Announces Summer 2009 Special Events Calendar

Unique Experiences Created Exclusively for Charter Members of "The Official Community for Disney Fans"
D23 Roars into Vegas with Its First Members-Only Contest
BURBANK, CALIF - May 14, 2009 - Disney's D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans today announced its Summer 2009 Special Events Calendar. From very special screenings and stepping behind-the-scenes with Mary Poppins to visiting the legendary Walt Disney Studios and Archives to being among the first to experience the new Walt Disney Family Museum, D23's inaugural slate of Members-only events promises outstanding, unforgettable opportunities that are exclusive to the fan community's Charter Membership.

"D23 Members are Disney's biggest fans, and they're always looking for distinctive, memorable ways to celebrate the things they love most about Disney," said Steven Clark, Head of D23. "For our inaugural season of events and contests, we've created an experientially and geographically diverse calendar that we know our Members will enjoy and remember fondly for years."

SUMMER 2009 CHARTER MEMBER-ONLY SPECIAL EVENTS:

May 28 D23 "Up All Night" at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre (FREE)

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Theatergoers across the country will soon meet the unlikely duo of 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen and 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer Russell in Disney-Pixar's latest adventure, Up. D23 Members will be among the first to see the film at this free event at the historic El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on May 28, 2009. The fun begins with a special pin trading event, followed by an all new Disney stage show and a screening of the new Disney-Pixar short Partly Cloudy and the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed Up! And it wouldn't be a D23 event without a few other special surprises and guests!


May 31 D23's Flowers & Fireworks Celebration at Epcot (FREE with park admission)

(Orlando, FL) - Join D23 at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate its members in all 50 states and more than 25 countries worldwide! Start the evening at the American Gardens Theatre with reserved seating for the Flower Power Concert Series Finale, starring the legendary Tony Orlando, to close the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Next, head to a VIP location to mix and mingle with your fellow D23 members over desserts and coffee, and then enjoy the spectacular nighttime extravaganza IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth from a private viewing area.

June 24 D23's Supercalifragilistic Night on Broadway

(New York, NY) -- Disney's award-winning musical Mary Poppins recently celebrated its 1,000th performance on Broadway and on June 24, 2009, D23 Members are being offered the opportunity to meet one another and share in the magic with premium seats, merchandise discounts and an opportunity to stay after the show for a special "behind-the-scenes" experience at the historic New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. D23 Members also will receive the recently released 2-Disc Mary Poppins 45th Anniversary Special Edition DVD, courtesy of our friends at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.


June 24 D23 and Poppins Breeze into The Windy City

(Chicago, IL) -- Mary Poppins blew into the Windy City on March 25, 2009 and original Broadway stars Ashley Brown and Gavin Lee have been delighting audiences at the Cadillac Palace Theatre ever since. On June 24, 2009, D23 Members will have the chance to experience the "practically perfect" Mary Poppins like never before, with premium seats, merchandise discounts, complimentary souvenir program and a once-in-a-lifetime "behind-the-scenes" experience. D23 Members also will receive the recently released 2-Disc Mary Poppins 45th Anniversary Special Edition DVD, courtesy of our friends at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.


June 27 D23 and The Lion King Roar in Vegas

(Las Vegas, NV) -- After entertaining more than 45 million guests in theatres around the world, Simba and Nala have roared their way onto the world famous Las Vegas Strip. On June 27, 2009, D23 will host a special night at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, with premium seating for The Lion King, a "behind-the-scenes" experience and more, available exclusively to D23 Members.

June 27 & Aug. 15 D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives (FREE)

(Burbank, CA) -- A rare opportunity for D23 Members to enjoy a 2-hour tour of The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Archives, hosted by D23 and Disney Archives staff. Only two dates are available for the Summer 2009 Calendar and space is limited.

July 17 D23 presents Disneyland, U.S.A. (FREE)

(Anaheim, CA) -- Celebrate Disneyland's 54th Anniversary with a special screening of Walt Disney's recently restored 1956 "People and Places" featurette Disneyland, U.S.A., as well as a panel discussion including Imagineer Tony Baxter, Disney Legend and Chief Archivist Dave Smith, and Disney Studios Film Archivist Ed Hobelman. The event will take place at Disneyland's Team Disney Anaheim Theater and will be followed by a D23 Member reception.


Sept TBD The Walt Disney Family Museum Preview (FREE)

(San Francisco, CA) - Prior to its October 2009 Grand Opening, D23 members will have the opportunity to experience The Walt Disney Family Museum, celebrating the life and achievements of the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctly American legacy. This special preview will be hosted by the Museum's Executive Director Richard Benefield. Dates and details will be available soon.


To find out more about D23's Summer 2009 Special Events Calendar, including admissions and how to register for events, visit www.disney.com/D23 and click on the "Expo & Events" tab. All D23 Special Events are subject to change without notice, have varying admission fees and registration processes, and may require advance reservations due to space limitations.

SUMMER 2009 CHARTER MEMBER-ONLY CONTEST:

In addition to D23's inaugural slate of special events, the fan community is also pleased to announce its first Member-only contest. This summer, one lucky D23 Member and a guest will have the chance to win an incredible getaway package to join the pack at Pride Rock and see The Lion King in Las Vegas including 2-nights accommodation at the Mandalay Bay Resort and much more. To enter, D23 Members are being asked to tell us what they love most about The Lion King in 300 words or less. A complete list of rules/ regulations and more information will be available at www.disney.com/D23 in early June.

ABOUT D23

The name "D23" pays homage to the wonder and excitement that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official community for fans in the Company's 85-year history. D23 gives its Members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.disney.com/D23; a new collectibles line, The Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, September 10-13, 2009.

Fans can join D23 at www.Disney.com/D23, all Disney Store locations within the United States, select shops at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, and www.DisneyShopping.com/D23.

May 15, 2009

UP, UP AND AWAY!

up.jpg

UP, UP AND AWAY!: Characters from the new Disney-Pixar animated comedy "UP" made a surprise visit May 14, 2009 to Disney's Hollywood Studios. The three stars -- (L-R): Russell, an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer; Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman; and Dug, a dog -- pose in front of the Sorcerer Hat. Beginning May 15, the characters will make meet-and-greet appearances inside the "Magic of Disney Animation" attraction. "UP," the 10th film from Disney-Pixar, debuts in U.S. theaters nationwide on May 29, 2009.

May 20, 2009

Walt Disney World Resort Says "Shine On" Central Florida with $700,000 in Grants and 15 Shining Star Awards

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 15, 2009 - Making a clear connection between itself and the recent "shine on" sightings in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is sending prize patrols across the region to surprise, reward and recognize recipients of its Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grants and Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars programs. By May 22, the prize patrols will have distributed a total of $700,000 to worthy non-profit organizations and 15 awards to local students.

"We are celebrating our community by shining a spotlight on some very deserving non-profits and students who help make dreams come true in Orange, Osceola, Lake, Polk and Seminole counties," says Eugene Campbell, vice president of Community Relations and Minority Business Development for Walt Disney World Resort. "Walt Disney World Resort is dedicated to building a better future for youth in Central Florida, and ultimately, a stronger community for us all."

Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grants celebrate those who commit their time and talent to making a difference in the lives of Central Florida's children. This year, Walt Disney World Resort is awarding grants to 34 Central Florida non-profit organizations that focus on children in four specific areas: connecting with adults, constructive use of free time, character development and compassion. Recipients are chosen by a panel of judges made up of Central Florida community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members.

Coalition for the Homeless Receives Disney's Top Grants Award

The season of giving started on Monday when Walt Disney World Resort recognized the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida with its top Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grant - the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award - for the second year in a row. Mickey Mouse, along with Walt Disney World Resort President Meg Crofton, Allen family members and a Disney prize patrol, awarded $60,000 to the non-profit's child development programs, which aim to instill values such as trust, honesty, integrity, responsibility, personal power and self-esteem.

"It's humbling and a great honor to be recognized for our work with families," said Brent Trotter, President/CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. "Families with children are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population in Central Florida today. We've created a wide variety of services to meet the unique needs of the growing number of children who use the Coalition's services, and are happy to have the support of Disney in our mission."

Disney Surprises Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida with $50,000

Mickey Mouse, joined by a Disney prize patrol, arrived at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida on Wednesday to honor the agency with the Dianna Morgan Children's Champion Award in recognition of the magic the organization creates through youth outreach and mentoring.

"We couldn't be more surprised or thrilled," said Jennifer Rider, Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, which received $50,000. "Thanks to Disney's funding, we'll be able to maintain our support staff that make and sustain our mentoring matches. They play a critical role in helping set our youth up for future success."

Dreamers and Doers Recognizes 15 Shining Stars

Out of the nearly 400 local students recognized as 2009 Disney Dreamers and Doers, 15 students have earned top honors as Disney Shining Stars - and visits from Disney prize patrols to celebrate their accomplishments.

Disney Dreamers and Doers rewards outstanding students who are improving their communities through volunteer service in Central Florida. Nominees are submitted by schools throughout Orange, Osceola, Lake, Polk and Seminole counties and chosen by panel comprised of community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members.

The recipients of the 2009 Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Star Award include:

Orange County
Elementary School: Jillian Ortner, Sunrise Elementary School
Middle School: Natalia Rivera, St. Charles Borromeo School
High School: Jeanine Sinanan-Singh, Trinity Prep

Osceola County
Elementary School: Joshua Almonte, Ventura Elementary School
Middle School: Dominic St. Germaine, Kissimmee Charter Academy
High School: Amber Pettit, Harmony High School

Lake County
Elementary School: Meagan Dickerson, Cypress Ridge Elementary
Middle School: Chandler Watkins, Carver Middle School
High School: Lacey Morgan, Leesburg High School

Polk County
Elementary School: Shelby Fallin, Griffin Elementary School
Middle School: Patrick Davis, Southwest Middle School
High School: Ashley Greene, Ridge Community High School

Seminole County
Elementary School: Branson Mann, Sweetwater Episcopal Academy
Middle School: Raevon Redding, Tuskawilla Middle School
High School: Lauren Snyder, Paul J. Hagerty High School

All Disney Dreamers and Doers receive four theme park tickets, a certificate and a special pin. In addition, the 15 Disney Shining Stars receive a Mickey Mouse statue and Walt Disney World Annual Passes for themselves and their immediate families.

Now in its 26th year, more than 11,000 students in Central Florida have been recognized as Disney Dreamers and Doers.

By May 22, a total of 34 Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grants and 15 top Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars will be awarded. Prize patrol reports and pictures will be posted on www.shineontoday.com so the community can follow the journey across Central Florida.

New ‘American Idol’ Will Be Seen – and Heard! – in Famous Disney Ad

'Adam Lambert or Kris Allen,

You've Just Been Named The New American Idol,

What Are You Going To Do Next?'

'I'm Going to Disney World!'

LOS ANGELES - To celebrate the newly opened "American Idol Experience" attraction at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Adam Lambert or Kris Allen will shout the famous words "I'm Going to Disney World!" immediately after being crowned the newest "American Idol" in the show's star-studded season finale on Wednesday night, May 20, in Los Angeles.

Camera crews will capture Adam Lambert or Kris Allen's celebratory pronouncement on the Nokia Theatre stage mere moments after "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest announces the champion's name to millions of viewers watching worldwide.

Not only will the newly crowned Idol shout "I'm Going to Disney World!" at the spot's conclusion, his voice also will be featured throughout the ad as he performs the iconic song, "When You Wish Upon A Star."

And with the same immediacy that has made the Disney spot one of the most beloved commercials of all-time, the newest "I'm Going to Disney World!" commercial is scheduled to air on television within hours of the "American Idol" finale.

Starring in a role usually occupied by sports stars - including Super Bowl heroes and World Series champs - Adam Lambert or Kris Allen will be the second singer to ever star in the Disney commercial in its 20+-year history. (2008 "American Idol" champion, David Cook, was the first.)

The "American Idol" champion's role in the newest "I'm Going to Disney World" commercial celebrates "The American Idol Experience," the new "American Idol"-themed attraction that had a February 2009 grand opening Disney's Hollywood Studios, part of Walt Disney World in Florida.

"The American Idol Experience" - the first major theme park attraction in the world based on the popular television series - was developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in conjunction with FremantleMedia Enterprises and 19 TV Ltd.

In the attraction, Disney guests are able to experience the glitz and glamour of the "American Idol" television show, whether they are auditioning for a Disney producer, performing on-stage in front of a packed theater or voting for their favorite performance from their audience seats.

Performers who receive the most audience votes in the preliminary shows return to star in that evening's grand finale show. In addition to their new-found theme park fame, the top vote-getting guest in the finale show receives "The American Idol Experience" Dream Ticket - which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition at a future regional audition for the "American Idol" television show.

By starring in the Disney commercial, Adam Lambert or Kris Allen joins a line-up of superstar professional athletes who have shouted the famous "I'm Going to Disney World" line.

Fittingly, the new "American Idol" will make his celebratory visit to Walt Disney World as Disney Parks asks guests "What Will You Celebrate?"

ABOUT "THE AMERICAN IDOL EXPERIENCE" DREAM TICKET:

Dream Ticket recipients must satisfy AMERICAN IDOL* TV program requirements in effect at time of use, such as age and residency (Season 8 - only ages 16-28 and U.S. citizens or legal permanent U.S. residents eligible to work full-time in U.S.). Dream Ticket does not include travel, meals, lodging or other expenses.

ABOUT "THE AMERICAN IDOL EXPERIENCE" AUDITION:
Guests 14 or older inside Disney's Hollywood Studios may audition to sing onstage that day at the attraction, subject to requirements in FAQs at Disneyworld.com/idol. Only a few singers will be chosen to sing onstage for each show. FAQs subject to change.

May 21, 2009

'Kris Allen, You’ve Just Been Named The New American Idol, What Are You Going To Do Next?'

krisallen.jpg'I'm Going to Disney World!'

New 'American Idol' is Seen - and Heard! - in Famous Disney Ad

LOS ANGELES - To celebrate the newly opened "American Idol Experience" attraction at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Kris Allen shouted the famous words "I'm Going to Disney World!" immediately after being crowned the newest "American Idol" in the show's star-studded season finale on May 20, 2009 in Los Angeles.

Disney camera crews captured Allen's celebratory pronouncement on the Nokia Theatre stage mere moments after "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest announced the champion's name to millions of viewers watching worldwide.

Not only does the newly crowned Idol shout "I'm Going to Disney World!" at the spot's conclusion, Allen's voice also is featured throughout the ad as he performs the iconic song, "When You Wish Upon A Star."

And with the same immediacy that has made the Disney spot one of the most beloved commercials of all-time, the newest "I'm Going to Disney World!" commercial aired on television within hours of the "American Idol" finale.

Starring in a role usually occupied by sports stars - including Super Bowl heroes and World Series champs - Allen is the second singer to ever star in the Disney commercial in its 20+-year history. (2008 "American Idol" champion, David Cook, was the first.)

The "American Idol" champion's role in the newest "I'm Going to Disney World" commercial celebrates "The American Idol Experience," the new "American Idol"-themed attraction that had a February 2009 grand opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios, part of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

"The American Idol Experience" - the first major theme park attraction in the world based on the popular television series - was developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in conjunction with FremantleMedia Enterprises and 19 TV Ltd.

In the attraction, Disney guests are able to experience the glitz and glamour of the "American Idol" television show, whether they are auditioning for a Disney producer, performing on-stage in front of a packed theater or voting for their favorite performance from their audience seats. Performers who receive the most audience votes in the preliminary shows return to star in that evening's grand finale show. In addition to their new-found theme park fame, the top vote-getting guest in the finale show receives "The American Idol Experience" Dream Ticket - which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition at a future regional audition for the "American Idol" television show.

By starring in the Disney commercial, Allen joins a lineup of superstar professional athletes who have shouted the famous "I'm Going to Disney World" line.

Fittingly, the new "American Idol" will make his celebratory visit to Walt Disney World Resort as Disney Parks asks guests "What Will You Celebrate?"

Golfers Can ‘Play All Day’ at Disney Over Memorial Day Weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 19, 2009) - Golfers who dream of literally playing golf all day can make that dream come true at Walt Disney World Resort this Memorial Day Weekend. Disney is offering golf enthusiasts the opportunity to play until their hearts are content through a special new "Play All Day" offer that is good May 22-25 at Disney's Palm, Lake Buena Vista and Osprey Ridge courses.

Through the "Play All Day" offer ($59 per person), guests can book their first tee time in advance and, after finishing that round, book a second tee time - based on availability - and repeat the process until sundown or no additional tee times are available.

Guests are allowed to play one or more of the three participating Disney courses. The upcoming Memorial Day Weekend all-day rate includes use of an electric golf cart, unlimited greens fees and pre-round practice balls.

To book a reservation, guests may call 407/WDW-GOLF.

May 22, 2009

Hall of Presidents to Reopen July 2009

A July reopening is planned for the Hall of Presidents, an iconic attraction in Magic Kingdom. An Audio-Animatronics version of President Barack Obama will join representations of the previous 43 presidents of the United States as part of an attraction that has been celebrating American history since Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971. Disney Imagineers also are updating a broad array of show elements.

President Obama


ALL THE RIGHT MOVES - Disney Imagineer John Cutry programs an Audio-Animatronics likeness of President Barack Obama in preparation for the July 2009 re-launch of the Hall of Presidents attraction at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The attraction in the Magic Kingdom Park features Audio-Animatronics representations of all the United States Presidents. President Obama's likeness will have a speaking role, along with "George Washington" and "Abraham Lincoln."

Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios During Star Wars Weekends 2009

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Once again, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney combine in May and June for Star Wars Weekends, a sci-fi fan-fest inspired by the popular film saga.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 22-June 14, 2009, Disney's Hollywood Studios becomes the temporary home for a band of out-of-this-world characters, including Wookiees, Sith, droids, Jedi, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Rodians. Dates are May 22-24, May 29-31, June 5-7 and June 12-14.

A giant, "A to Z" gathering of Star Wars characters - from Anakin Skywalker to Zam Wesell - will roam the streets of the theme park during meet-and-greet sessions. Jedi Training Academy - one of the interactive entertainment experiences featured in the theme park - takes place throughout the day on the event's main stage and allows young guests to learn from a Jedi Master before testing newly acquired skills in a battle with Darth Vader.

Also featured: the chance to purchase one-of-a-kind Star Wars memorabilia, Star Wars trivia contests, special Star Wars parades, rides on the famed Star Tours attraction, and autograph sessions and star conversations with famous Star Wars actors and creative geniuses.

StarWars2009_yoda.jpg


Star Wars Weekends At-a-Glance

Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays May 22-June 14, 2009

Celebrity Host -Jay Laga'aia ("Captain Typho") with special guest Ashley Eckstein ("Ahsoka Tano")

Activities

A Galaxy of Photo Opportunities - Encounter more than 50 Star Wars characters from the entire saga. From Darth Vader to Darth Maul and Greedo to Chewbacca, you'll find heroes, bounty hunters, droids and villains from throughout the galaxy.

Celebrities from Star Wars will attend each weekend and participate in:

Autograph Sessions
Legends of the Force - Star Wars themed motorcade

Stars of the Saga - Talk Show and Q&A hosted by Jay Laga'aia

Clone Wars: Behind the Force - A behind-the-scenes show that explores the excitement of Star Wars: The Clone Wars led by Ashley Eckstein,the talented voice behind "Ahsoka Tano." In addition to being the voice of "Ahsoka Tano" in The Clone Wars TV series and feature film, she has appeared on shows such as "That's So Raven" and in films including "Sydney White," which starred Amanda Bynes. She and her husband, Major League Baseball player David Eckstein (a two-time All Star who won the 2006 World Series MVP Award), were married at Walt Disney World Resort in 2005.

Jedi Training Academy - Each young "Obi-wanna-be" who is chosen will learn a lightsaber combination as they prepare to face the dark side!

Star Tours Attraction -Blast your starspeeder through the ultimate Star Wars adventure.

Padawan Mind Challenge - Kids under 12 can test their wits before the Jedi Council!

Hyperspace Hoopla - Star Wars characters and guests gather for an entertaining conclusion to each day's events.

Wicket's Warehouse - Shop a galaxy of Star Wars themed and limited-edition merchandise developed just for Star Wars Weekends 2009.

Weekend Celebrities

Weekend 1 (May 22-24)
Ray Park ("Darth Maul")
Warwick Davis ("Wicket the Ewok")
James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan in Star Wars: The Clone Wars)**

Weekend 2 (May 29-31)
Peter Mayhew ("Chewbacca")
Matthew Wood ("General Grievous")

Weekend 3 (June 5-7)
Jeremy Bulloch ("Boba Fett")
David Prowse ("Darth Vader")
Matt Lanter (voice of Anakin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars)**

Weekend 4 (June 12-14)
Dave Filoni (Director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Temuera Morrison ("Jango Fett")

** Guest appearances in Clone Wars: Behind The Force presentations

May 25, 2009

Walt Disney World Marathon News

NOTE: Registration for Goofy's Race and Half Challenge is reopened due to unprecedented demand and increased Half Marathon course capacity for 2010. Come celebrate the 5th anniversary of Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge with 7500 of your closest friends!

Ever thought you could run the Disney Marathon? How about in three minutes or less? Take a tour of the Walt Disney World Marathon from start to finish. See the sights, sounds and entertainment along the way on this 26.2 mile magical journey through all four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot) in just three minutes.

May 29, 2009

New 'American Idol' Kris Allen Celebrates His Crowning Achievement with His Fans at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 29, 2009) - Dreams keep coming true for new "American Idol" Kris Allen.

Last week, the 23-year-old singer from Conway, Ark., became the newest "American Idol" by garnering the most fan votes in the television series' thrilling Season Eight finale. Moments after his victory, Allen did what dozens of sports celebrities and heroes have done for more than two decades: He looked into a television camera and shouted, "I'm going to Disney World!"

This week, America's newest star lived out his post-finale show pronouncement when he basked in the glow of a victory parade and gala celebration at "The American Idol Experience," the new Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park attraction based on the "American Idol" television show.

Celebrating with Allen Friday at Walt Disney World was his new bride, Katy. The longtime sweethearts were married eight months ago.

Thousands of fans turned out May 29 for Allen's day in the Disney sun, which included a party-filled procession through the theme park and a chance for fans to see the newest "American Idol" amidst the celebratory setting.

In the iconic commercial shot on the Nokia Theater stage in Los Angeles following the May 20 season finale show, Allen not only shouts the famous "I'm Going to Disney World!" line, but his voice also is featured throughout the ad as he performs the famous song, "When You Wish Upon A Star." And with the same immediacy that has made the Disney spot one of the most beloved commercials of all-time, the newest "I'm Going to Disney World!" commercial debuted on television within hours of the "American Idol" finale.

By starring in the Disney commercial, Allen joins a line-up of superstar professional athletes and heroes who have shouted the famous "I'm Going to Disney World" line. He is the second singer ever to star in the Disney commercial in its 23-year history (2008 "American Idol" champion, David Cook, was the first).

Fittingly, Allen made his visit to Walt Disney World as Disney Parks asks guests "What Will You Celebrate?"

Allen's victory on "American Idol" took the country by storm and highlighted Season Eight of the show.

His journey on "Idol" began when he and his brother drove more than eight hours from Arkansas to Louisville, Ky., and then waited another 14 hours to audition. All of Allen's long hours and hard work were rewarded May 20 in the star-studded season finale when he was crowned the newest "American Idol."

"The American Idol Experience" at Walt Disney World Resort - which had a February 2009 grand opening - is the first major theme park attraction in the world based on the popular television series. Walt Disney Imagineering developed the interactive attraction in conjunction with FremantleMedia Enterprises and 19 TV Ltd.

"The American Idol Experience" lets Disney guests experience the glitz and glamour of the "American Idol" television show, whether they are auditioning for a Disney producer, performing on-stage in front of a packed theater or voting for their favorite singer from their audience seats. Attraction performers who receive the most audience votes in the preliminary shows return to star in that evening's grand finale show. In addition to their new-found theme park fame, the top vote-getting guest in the finale show receives "The American Idol Experience" Dream Ticket - which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition at a future regional audition for the "American Idol" television show.

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About May 2009

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

April 2009 is the previous archive.

June 2009 is the next archive.

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