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August 2009 Archives

August 3, 2009

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to Offer a Glimpse “Behind the Magic” at Disney’s D23 EXPO, Sept. 10-13

Burbank, Calif., Aug. 3, 2009 - What will Disney's theme parks and resorts look like in the future? Fans will learn the answer to that question and many more as they take a "behind-the-magic" tour of their favorite Disney destinations at the inaugural D23 EXPO, where the entire world of Disney will come together under one roof at the Anaheim Convention Center in California from September 10-13.

Through a series of stunning displays and not-to-be-missed presentations, D23 EXPO attendees will explore the rich legacy and future of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts - a story that began in 1955 with Disneyland and has since grown to include 11 theme parks at five vacation destinations around the globe, as well as new immersive vacation experiences including the Disney Cruise Line, Adventures By Disney and the Disney Vacation Club. On Saturday, Sept. 12, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo will share some "behind-the-magic" details as he pulls back the curtain on several new projects - including the 12-acre Cars Land that's set to open at Disney's California Adventure in 2012.

Here's a sampling of exciting Disney Parks experiences that D23 EXPO attendees will discover:

• Never-before-seen models of classic Disney attractions and glimpses of coming projects that will surprise and delight even the most knowledgeable Disney fans.
• An exclusive sneak peek at the expansion of Disney's California Adventure that's so big, it won't fit inside the Blue Sky Cellar.
• The chance to meet, up close and personal, Lucky the Dinosaur and Wall-E.
• A preview of the most advanced Audio-Animatronics figures ever created.
• Displays showcasing cutting-edge effects technologies that are being developed for Disney attractions, shows and venues.
• New Disney Cruise Line itineraries for 2011.

Also, in the 500-seat Storytellers Theater, Imagineers and Cast Members who create and operate Disney's parks, resorts, cruise ships and other vacation experiences will take fans behind-the-magic with a variety of presentations including:

World of Color - Imagineer Steven Davison brings to life World of Color, the water-and-fire spectacular that will debut next year at Disney's California Adventure.
• The Making of Toy Story Mania! - From its interactive elements and innovative ride system to its cutting-edge Audio-Animatronics figure of Mr. Potato Head, Toy Story Mania! represents a new kind of Disney theme park attraction. Meet the team who helped bring it to life.
• "So You Want to Become an Imagineer" - A panel of Imagineers will answer one of the most frequently asked questions of Walt Disney Imagineering - "How does one become an Imagineer?" - and will share what it's like to be one.
• The Making of the U.S. Presidents - Imagineers will talk about updating both Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland and Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
• An Afternoon With Imagineering Legends - Disney Legend Marty Sklar will lead a celebration of the careers and accomplishments of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Cast Members who have been named Disney Legends.

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is $37 for a one-day adult ticket and $27 for children 3-12. Four-day passes are $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on up to four same-day admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.

Special vacation packages including Disneyland Resort hotel accommodations, D23 EXPO tickets and theme park admission are available at the D23 EXPO website. Packages are available from both the Walt Disney Travel Company and the Anaheim/ Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, which is offering a limited number of area hotel rooms at special rates to those attending the D23 EXPO.

Many more details about D23 EXPO entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" at Twitter and on Facebook.

August 5, 2009

Disney Channel Fans are Invited to a Magical Afternoon at D23

DISNEY CHANNEL FANS ARE INVITED TO A MAGICAL AFTERNOON WITH THE CAST OF THE HIT COMEDY "WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE" AT DISNEY'S D23 EXPO, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

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-- Exclusive Screening of Season Premiere Episode and
Surprise Live Musical Performance Included

-- Radio Disney's Ernie D Joins Fans on Expo Floor


Disney Channel will present a fun-filled, must-see event for kids, tweens and families, "A Magical Afternoon with the cast of 'Wizards of Waverly Place'" -- Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera and David DeLuise, and executive producer Peter Murietta -- at the largest Disney fan gathering ever, D23 EXPO on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 (2:00-5:00 p.m.) at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Summer to date, "Wizards of Waverly Place" is TV's #1 program among Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14. This D23 EXPO exclusive Q&A session provides a chance for fans to ask their favorite stars about the Emmy-nominated series and the Disney Channel Original Movie it has inspired.


The afternoon will include an exclusive preview screening of the "Wizards of Waverly Place" season premiere episode and a surprise musical performance.

Popular radio personality Ernie D from Radio Disney, the 24-hour contemporary hits radio network and the only radio broadcaster for kids and families, will join in the fun at "A Magical Afternoon with 'Wizards of Waverly Place'" event. Ernie D will also make appearances with the Radio Disney on-air team - Jake, Candice and Blake - Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 13 (schedule to be announced) on the D23 EXPO floor. In addition, the Radio Disney Road Crew will be on hand with the "JONAS" Fan Van, playing music and inviting young fans to win prizes.

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is $37 for a one-day adult ticket and $27 for children 3-12. Four-day passes are $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on up to four same-day admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.

Many more details about D23 EXPO entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" at Twitter and on Facebook.

Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in over 97 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group.

Radio Disney is the #1, 24-hour radio network devoted to kids, tweens and families. Kids help pick the music that is played and are encouraged to interact via a toll-free phone line to the Radio Disney studio. The network's current playlist, driven by listener requests and representing major record labels, includes recording artists Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, David Archuleta, Jordin Sparks and Mitchel Musso. The network is available on 49 terrestrial radio stations and via RadioDisney.com, Sirius and XM satellite radio, iTunes Radio Tuner, XM/DIRECTV and mobile phones. Its brand extensions include multiple Radio Disney Jams CDs from Walt Disney Records and iTunes offerings.

August 6, 2009

International Veterinary Team Helps Swaziland Save Habitat and Care

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 5, 2009 - Led by Disney's Animal Programs, an international coalition of veterinarians from conservation groups, zoos, universities and private industry have returned from Africa after effectively sterilizing seven bull elephants in Swaziland's Big Game Parks.

As a result of this effort, Swaziland wildlife officials will be able to better manage the elephant population in wildlife parks and reserves over the next decade.

Elephant overpopulation in wildlife parks and reserves in Swaziland and other southern Africa countries is a growing concern that can have devastating effects on the natural habitat as well as other animal species that live there. Wildlife officials in several countries are considering culling elephants in order to control the population growth. One of the ways to address this concern is with an innovative population management tool developed by an international veterinary team to help save habitat without harming elephants.

"Surgical vasectomy helps reduce elephant birth rates, while maintaining normal hormone levels and common elephant social behaviors," according to veterinarian Dr. Mark Stetter, director of Animal Health at Disney's Animal Programs. "With this procedure, we're pleased to help wildlife officials in Africa balance the need to provide quality elephant care with an eye toward sustaining the ecosystem for other native animals."

In July 2004, this team of experts performed the first ever sterilization of free-ranging elephants. In 2005, the group began its work with bull elephants and started developing laparoscopic vasectomy techniques for sterilizing males in the wild. During the last four years, the team has sterilized 24 bull elephants at a variety of locations including Welgevonden Wildlife Reserve, Songimvelo Wildlife Reserve, Pongola Game Reserve and Swaziland's Big Game Parks.

During this most recent trip, the international team helped teach the procedure to veterinarians from the South African National Parks Board and the University of Pretoria Onderstepoort Veterinary Hospital, enabling local experts to perform the surgery when necessary. Developing regional expertise is critical to the long-term success of the program.

"As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Disney's Animal Programs is committed to pioneering creative solutions to problems facing all wildlife by using the technology and tools available to address conservation and wildlife issues," said Stetter.

Elephants are unique among most mammals since their testes are internal and require abdominal surgery to perform a vasectomy, making the relatively simple procedure much more complex to conduct on elephants in the wild.

This innovative procedure involves state-of-the-art medical equipment specifically developed for this project and scaled from human to elephant proportions. The elephant laparoscopic equipment was built by KARL STORZ at their headquarters in Germany.

Laparoscopic surgery allows the surgeon to view the internal organs on a monitor and use long thin instruments to perform the surgery. With this type of minimally invasive surgery, the risk of infection is greatly diminished, procedure time is significantly reduced and post-operative discomfort is minimized.

This coalition, along with Swazi elephant behavioral researchers, will monitor the elephant populations over the next several years as part of a long term behavioral study investigating potential changes in elephant behavior associated with this population management plan.

This international collaborative effort brings together conservation groups, universities and private industry including Disney's Animal Programs, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, KARL STORZ, Catchco Africa Specialized Wildlife Capture, the Veterinary College at the Onderstepoort campus of the University of Pretoria and Swaziland's Big Game Parks to address this complex problem.

August 7, 2009

Sneak Peek - The Walt Disney Family Museum - Gallery 3

Galleries 3 New Horizons: The Emergence of the Walt Disney Studio (1928 to 1940)
Walt Diane Tricycle

The success of Mickey Mouse let Walt Disney expand the newly renamed Walt Disney Studios and improve the quality of Studio animations, so he embarked on a series of ambitious projects, including the "Silly Symphonies," one-reel shorts that let him experiment with images, music, and story lines. In the following years, the Studio created the first Technicolor cartoons, introduced a multiplane camera to create the illusion of depth in animated films, and developed distinctive styles of movement and personality in their characters. Also in this period, Walt and Lillian's family grew to include daughters Diane and Sharon.

The Goof

Skeleton Dance


The continuing success of Walt's cartoons led to a revolution in the art and technology of animation. Vintage artifacts, animation art, character merchandise, and family photos chronicle the creative explosion of the 1930s, Walt's sudden world fame, and Diane and Sharon.

The website (www.waltdisney.org) is now up and running! Tickets for the museum are now available online. Those who purchase Museum memberships now could get the opportunity to visit the Museum for a special preview weekend before its opening day in October.

Adopt-A-Nest at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Vero Beach Resort

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Guests at Disney's Animal Kingdom can support sea turtle conservation by participating in the Adopt-A-Nest program at Conservation Station's Out of the Wild merchandise shop.

Here's how the program works: During sea turtle nesting season, a team from Animal Programs surveys the beach near Disney's Vero Beach Resort looking for new sea turtle nests. They examine a selection of the nests, and mark and numbers them for research purposes. At the end of the week, the team provides an update to the Merchandise team on the new nests, including nest number, date laid and species. The Animal Programs team later follows up on the nest once the hatchlings have emerged and collects information on the nest's success.

Guests who participate in the Adopt-A-Nest program receive an adoption certificate with a specific nest number on it, plus a plush Squirt from Finding Nemo and a Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) Conservation Hero button. Guests can track their nest's status by visiting www.disney.com/conservation Adopt-A-Nest link and look up their nest number. Each adoption is registered within a week, and Guests can expect news on their hatchlings about two months after the nest is laid.

The fee to adopt a nest is $50, with 74 percent benefiting DWCF and sea turtle conservation efforts in Florida. Out of the Wild is the only Walt Disney World theme park location that offers the Adopt-A-Nest program. The only other location that offers the program is the Island Grove Packing Company merchandise shop at Disney's Vero Beach Resort.

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Adopt a Turtle Nest at Disney's Vero Beach Resort

Guests at Disney's Vero Beach Resort now can donate to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund's sea turtle conservation efforts through the resort's new Adopt-A-Nest Program.

The program, which launched July 5, offers Guests adoption packages for $50 that includes: a Squirt plush toy (from Finding Nemo); a Disney Worldwide Conservation Hero Button; and an adoption certificate that lists the species of turtle and location of the nest. Guests can use their certificate number to track their nest's success and possible hatchings on DisneyConservation.com.

Proceeds from the program will benefit turtle and beach conservation efforts throughout the state of Florida.

Anne Savage, Ph.D., senior conservation biologist, Disney's Animal Programs, explains that this program is a great way to educate resort guests while raising funds for a great conservation effort, as all the funds raised through the program will go to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and sea turtle conservation efforts in Florida.

"Many of our guests who visit the resort are very interested in sea turtles," Anne said. "You can imagine how exciting it is for our guests to see a sea turtle nest and wonder how many hatchlings will make it to the ocean. Well, now they can adopt a sea turtle nest and not only learn how many hatchlings were in their nest but they also know that their contribution is helping to protect Florida's sea turtles."

So far the program has been a hit with Disney's Vero Beach Resort guests.

"The Adopt-A-Nest program, offered exclusively at Disney's Vero Beach Resort, has been a hit with our Members and Guests," said Sheryl Koenes, general manager, Disney's Vero Beach Resort. "The program began in early July and to date over 41 nests have been adopted. This is an exciting way for our Guests to continue learning about sea turtles, as they track their nest and become further educated on all Disney does to conserve wildlife. It creates a connection long after they have traveled home."

Disney's newest Princess Tiana theme park character makes first public appearance

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(AUG. 6, 2009): Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose (left), who provides the voice of Disney's newest princess, Tiana, in the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film "The Princess and the Frog," poses with the new Princess Tiana character (right) as she will soon appear at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Thursday night's event marked the very first public appearance of the Princess Tiana theme park character and took place during the 2009 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Annual Convention in Tampa, Fla. In addition, Rose performed a song from the film for convention-goers. "The Princess and the Frog" film will premiere in theaters nationwide Dec. 11, 2009. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

August 14, 2009

Sneak Peek - The Walt Disney Family Museum - Gallery 4

Gallery 4 - The Move to Features: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White Concept Art

Having redefined the art of animation, Walt dares to produce a feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. During the four years that it was in development, Disney and his brother Roy secured six-figure loans - each loan enough to finance an entire movie - time after time, and skeptics called the film "Disney's Folly."

Disney brought in an art instructor to work with his team and insisted that the animators study live models and animals. The studio created a Character Model Department, which constructed small sculptures of characters which let animators study characters in the round. Snow White premiered on December 21, 1937, and Disney won a unique Academy Award™ for the innovative movie: a standard-sized Oscar™ and seven miniatures.

Snow White Nomination

Original art from Snow White, three-dimensional model figures, magazines of the period, audio clips, and a wide array of related 1930s merchandise will help recreate the story of Disney's pioneering effort to produce Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Dopey Statue

Haunted Mansion Celebrates 40 Years of Happy Haunts!

Its been 40 years since the Grim Grinning Ghosts first opened their doors and invited guests into the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. Take a look back to the beginning with Walt and the Imagineers who created the beloved attraction. From stretching rooms to hitch hiking ghosts the 999 Happy Haunts never disappoint and always invite guests to hurry back!

New Vacation Package Offers Fall Savings at Disneyland Resort, With ‘Halloween Time’ Entertainment

Stay and play in the heart of the magic and save $400

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2009) - Value-minded vacationers have plenty to celebrate this fall with a special travel offer: savings of $400* at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California.

From Aug. 12 through Dec. 19, 2009, guests will save $400 when they book a 4-Day/4-Night Disneyland Resort vacation package, featuring Disneyland Resort hotel accommodations - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Paradise Pier - and park hopper tickets. The offer is valid for arrivals Aug. 23 through Dec. 20, 2009. Pricing starts as low as $87 per person, per day, at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel.*

Each package includes four-day park hopper tickets and many extras, such as one Magic Morning admission per person. Magic Morning admission allows families to enjoy select Disneyland attractions - including Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage, Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and King Arthur Carrousel - before the park opens to the general public. The new package also provides guests the opportunity to interact with some classic Disney characters in Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness one hour before Mickey's Toontown opens to the general public. (Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness and Magic Morning early entry do not operate daily and are subject to restrictions.) Preferred seating at select attractions and restaurants in Disney's California Adventure are also included.

Seasonal Fun
Beginning Sept. 25 through Nov. 1, the resort celebrates Halloween Time, a season filled with whimsical décor, a new fireworks show and some traditional spooky fun. This season of tricks and treats will feature some of Disney's most popular villains and will unveil Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, a themed experience with haunting music and ghoulish sound effects. A new, nightly fireworks display will light up the autumn sky with a wicked sense of fun, while the traditional giant Mickey Mouse jack-o'-lantern returns to Disneyland Town Square. Also, the eerily popular Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction in New Orleans Square and Disney's Happiest Haunt Tours will return for guests to enjoy.

Disney Difference
Park hopper tickets included in the special fall savings offer make it easy to experience the best of both theme parks. Guests can aim for the highest scores aboard the exciting new Toy Story Mania! attraction at Disney's California Adventure park. Then they can hop over to Disneyland park for a journey aboard the recently enhanced "it's a small world" attraction - the happiest cruise that ever sailed. 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 classic attraction.

Whether it's discovering whimsical Disney art at Disneyland Hotel, stepping back in time to the golden days of California beachfronts at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, or indulging your senses at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, staying at any of the resort hotels provides the Disney magic from check-in to check-out. Guests are steps away from two of the world's most famous theme parks and a vibrant dining and entertainment district, Downtown Disney.

August 17, 2009

D23 Expo News - ABC Television Network

August 17, 2009
ABC TELEVISION NETWORK PRESENTS THE STARS OF TV'S MOST ANTICIPATED FALL SERIES, LIVE ON STAGE, AT THE D23 EXPO, SEPTEMBER 10-13

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Fans Have the Chance to Visit the "ABC House Screening Room" and Be The First to Sneak a Peek at ABC's New Fall Schedule Throughout The D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center

Enter the World of ABC's Hit Series "Lost,"
Receive a Special Collector's Pin, Exclusively at the D23 Expo

Want to be among the first to watch ABC's new series? Would you like the chance to see some of television's biggest stars in person? Fans will have those opportunities and many more at the inaugural D23 EXPO, where the entire world of Disney comes together under one roof, Sept. 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

ABC proudly presents "The ABCs of Disney," an exclusive D23 EXPO event in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, September 10 at 3:00 p.m. Hosted by Emmy®-nominated Tom Bergeron ("Dancing with the Stars," "America's Funniest Home Videos"), "The ABCs of Disney" presentation features Steve McPherson, President of the ABC Entertainment Group, unveiling sneak peeks at many of the fall TV season's most anticipated new shows.

Joining Steve McPherson and Tom Bergeron on stage are some of the most beloved television actors of our time, the stars of ABC's new Wednesday night comedies, Patricia Heaton ("The Middle"), Kelsey Grammer ("Hank") and Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family"). Actor Joseph Fiennes (perhaps best known for his starring role in the Oscar®-winning film "Shakespeare in Love") will introduce his new series, the much buzzed-about drama, "FlashForward."

"The ABCs of Disney" concludes with a thrilling dance performance by two of "Dancing with the Stars" professional champions, including Cheryl Burke (two-time winner with partners Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith). After the presentation, fans will have a chance to receive autographs and take photos with the stars. (Please note: though the talent listed are confirmed, appearances are contingent on production schedules.)


ABC Screening Room

Throughout the four-day D23 EXPO, guests can enter the "ABC House Screening Room" to see sneak peeks of ABC's new Fall schedule. The "ABC House Screening Room" is set up to be as comfortable as a living room -- where guests are encouraged to put up their feet, relax and enjoy the best that television has to offer. (Screening schedule to be announced).


ABC's Lost


Also on display Sept. 10-13 is ABC's "Lost." In celebration of the Emmy® Award-winning series "Lost" entering its final, thrilling season, ABC Television Network presents a can't-miss experience for all fans. Guests will be able to step into the world of "Lost" and see a selection of props, set pieces, costumes and collectors' artifacts from key moments in the series, as well as sign up for Lost University, a special Blu-ray™ and online experience, and receive a limited edition collectors' pin, available only at D23 Expo.

Prep and Landing


Fans will also have a chance to sneak a peek at ABC's first TV special by Walt Disney Animation Studios, "Prep & Landing". On Sept. 12, "Prep & Landing's" directors, Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton, will present the holiday special and answer fans' questions.

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is $37 for a one-day adult ticket and $27 for children 3-12. Four-day passes are $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on up to four same-day admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.

Special vacation packages including Disneyland Resort hotel accommodations, D23 EXPO tickets and theme park admission are available at the D23 EXPO website. Packages are available from the Walt Disney Travel Company and the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, which is offering a limited number of area hotel rooms at special rates to those attending the D23 EXPO.

Many more details about D23 EXPO entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" at Twitter and on Facebook.

AllEars® will be at the D23 Expo and reporting on the events all week long!


Disney Cruise Line Guests Have More Flexibility When Booking at the Walt Disney World Resort

Guests have greater flexibility than ever when looking to combine a Disney cruise with a stay at the Walt Disney World Resort. For travel beginning in 2010, Disney Cruise Line guests will enjoy a wide selection of add-on options to complement their cruise experience, including resort stays and theme park tickets, all conveniently booked under one reservation.

Disney Cruise Line


For all cruise itineraries originating from Port Canaveral, including seven-night cruises on the Disney Magic, guests have the option to purchase pre- or post-cruise stays at 18 select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, for any length of stay.

Guests will have the option to add a one- to five-day Magic Your Way Ticket with Park Hopper Option, with a one-night minimum Walt Disney World resort stay.

Adding to the hassle-free experience of a Disney Cruise Line vacation, guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel prior to their cruise may check in for their cruise at select hotels, with a two-night minimum resort stay.

Disney Cruise Line offers a variety of itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean with special voyages to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe in 2010.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can contact their travel agent (AllEars® recommends MouseFanTravel.com), visit disneycruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500.

August 18, 2009

David Cook Takes a Magical Flight

Singer, musician and "American Idol" season seven champion David Cook takes a ride Aug. 17, 2009 aboard the Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Joining Cook on the family vacation to Walt Disney World were his nieces and nephews: Pictured are Gracie (right), age 6 and Marshall (held by Cook), 18 months.

 David Cook American Idol

Dan Rather Visits Walt Disney World

TWO LEGENDS: Journalist and TV anchor Dan Rather poses with Mickey Mouse Aug. 16, 2009 at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Rather was on vacation at the Walt Disney World theme park.

Dan Rather and Mickey Mouse

Disney.com is offering Disney fans a chance to attend the inaugural D23 EXPO

CALLING ALL DISNEY FANS: ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A TRIP TO THE D23 EXPO FROM DISNEY.COM

Text D23 to DISNEY (347639) for a Chance to Win!*

D23 Contest Image

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif., August 13, 2009 - Disney.com is offering Disney fans a chance to attend the inaugural D23 EXPO, where the world of Disney will come together under one roof at the Anaheim Convention Center in California from September 10-13, 2009. Fans can enter exclusively through Disney.com's popular mobile Web site by texting D23 to DISNEY (347639) now through August 21, 2009. The winner will receive the ultimate Disney fan experience including travel accommodations, tickets the to the D23 Expo and Disneyland Resort tickets for a group of four.**

From September 10-13, the D23 Expo will transform the Anaheim Convention Center into the single largest gathering of all things Disney ever assembled in one place at one magical time. The incredible experiences, exhibits and presentations at the Expo are another way D23 will connect fans to the timeless stories, characters and amazing worlds that we create here at Disney.

Many more details about D23 EXPO entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by signing up for mobile alerts from Disney.com by texting D23 to DISNEY (347639).*

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is $37 for a one-day adult ticket and $27 for children 3-12. Four-day passes are $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on up to four same-day admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.

*Msg & data rates may apply. If you're under 18, get your parents' permission first.

**ONE GRAND PRIZE: A four day / three night trip for winner and three guests to Anaheim, California, arriving September 10, departing September 13, 2009, to attend the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, consisting of the following elements for the Group: hotel accommodations (one standard room/quadruple occupancy, including room tax) for three nights; airport/hotel transfers; four 4-day passes to the D23 Expo and eight 1-day Park-Hopper tickets redeemable at Disneyland Resort.

August 19, 2009

The Walt Disney Studios Adds to D23 Expo Excitement

THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS ADDS TO D23 EXPO EXCITEMENT WITH PRESENTATIONS BY DISNEY STUDIOS CHAIRMAN DICK COOK AND ANIMATION CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER JOHN LASSETER, PLUS U.S. PREMIERES OF "TOY STORY" FILMS IN DISNEY DIGITAL 3D™ AND DIGITALLY RESTORED DEBUTS OF "SNOW WHITE" AND "TRON"
Walt Disney Studios

Burbank, California - August 19, 2009 -- The Walt Disney Studios is jumping on the D23 Expo bandwagon with four-days (September 10-13) of exciting programming that includes major overviews of upcoming films by Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook and Disney-Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, plus a full schedule of events spotlighting new releases and newly restored digital versions of classic favorites.

Cook will present exclusive sneak peeks at such highly anticipated Disney features as "Disney's A Christmas Carol," Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," "Old Dogs" (with Robin Williams and John Travolta), "Prince of Persia" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (both from producer Jerry Bruckheimer), "Tron: Legacy," plus updates on many more exciting projects. Lasseter will discuss and show materials from such upcoming Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' motion pictures as "The Princess and the Frog," "Rapunzel," "Toy Story 3," etc. Both presentations will be held at The Anaheim Convention Center in a 4000-seat arena.

All other film screenings and programs will take place in The Walt Disney Studios Theater (at the Anaheim Convention Center), a custom-built state-of-the-art venue with 3D capability, located within the Convention Center. All Disney Digital 3D™ presentations will be shown in RealD 3D, the world's most widely used 3D cinema technology. Among the U.S. premieres at the D23 Expo will be new Disney Digital 3D™ versions of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2," the digital conversion of the original "Tron," and a newly restored digital version of the Walt Disney classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Expo guests will get an exclusive look at all things Muppets, as well as meet the filmmakers and see exclusive presentations for such highly anticipated new Disney features as "The Princess and the Frog," "Toy Story 3" (from Disney-Pixar), "Tron: Legacy," "Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure" (from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment), and the new ABC-TV holiday animated special, "Prep and Landing."

The Expo will also debut selected scenes from the upcoming Disney Digital 3D™ version of the Studio's 1991 modern classic, "Beauty and the Beast." Other highlights of the four-day event include a program devoted to the music from "The Lion King," a panel discussion and screening of "Sleeping Beauty," and the first U.S. screening of "Trail of the Panda" (Disney's second co-production with China). There will also be presentations on two recent documentaries - "the boys: the sherman brothers' story" and "Walt & El Grupo."

A special screening series, "Fifty and Fabulous," will unspool at 10:00 pm in the Studio Theater on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights spotlighting films that are celebrating their 50th anniversary - "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," "The Shaggy Dog," and "Sleeping Beauty."


D23 EXPO - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS THEATER
PROGRAM OF EVENTS

THURSDAY 9/10

1:00 PM "Beauty and the Beast" panel discussion;
and screening of selected scenes in Disney Digital 3D™
4:00 PM "The Lion King" music program

7:00 PM "the boys: the sherman brothers story" panel discussion/ screening

10:00 PM "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" screening


FRIDAY 9/11

11:00 AM Dick Cook / Walt Disney Studios presentation (in the Arena)

1:00 PM Screening of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" in Disney Digital 3D™ plus Tim Burton shorts, "Frankenweenie" and "Vincent"

4:00 PM "Tron"/ "Tron: Legacy" presentation;
Digital debut screening of original "Tron"

7:30 PM "Walt & El Grupo" presentation;
Followed by screening of "Saludos Amigos"

10:00 PM "The Shaggy Dog" screening


SATURDAY 9/12

10:00 AM Disneynature presentation

12:00 PM "Snow White" panel discussion;
Followed by screening of Restored Print

3:00 PM "Princess and the Frog" presentation

5:30 PM "Prep and Landing" presentation

7:30 PM "Trail of the Panda" screening

10:00 PM "Sleeping Beauty" screening


SUNDAY 9/13

11:00 AM John Lasseter / Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios presentation (in the Arena)

1:00 PM "Muppets" presentation

4:00 PM "Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure" screening

6:30 PM "Toy Story 3" presentation;

7:00 PM "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" debuts in Disney Digital 3D™

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is $37 for a one-day adult ticket and $27 for children 3-12. Four-day passes are $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on up to four admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.

Many more details about D23 EXPO entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" at Twitter and on Facebook.

August 20, 2009

Think You Can Make ‘Joyful Noise’? Prove It!

Celebration Ministries, Inc., Spearheading Talent Spotlight In Conjunction with Night of Joy at Disney's Hollywood Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- So you think you can make "joyful noise"?

Celebration Ministries, Inc., is inviting you to prove it. The Texas-based ministry is conducting auditions of Christian musicians and singers -- groups and soloists -- that will give the most talented Christian music acts time on stage either Sept. 11 or Sept. 12 during Night of Joy 2009 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Talent Spotlight presented by Celebration Ministries, Inc. marks the first time in the 27-year history of Disney's Night of Joy that the contemporary Christian music event will host an amateur talent showcase. As many as 40 music acts will be invited back from auditions to perform at a special stage location near the Star Tours attraction at the Studios.

Solo artists and bands can audition two different ways: online or in-person. Online auditions are currently underway -- through Aug. 29. In-person auditions will take place between Aug. 26 and Aug. 29 at Walt Disney World Resort. Pre-audition registration is required by visiting the Celebration Ministries Web site, www.cmievents.com. On the home page, click on Talent Spotlight. There is a registration fee of $80 per performer.

While Talent Spotlight is not billed as a "competition," performances at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be judged, with "a leading Christian record company artist relations executive" among the judges.

Disney Consumer Products to Offer First Looks At D23 Expo!

DISNEY CONSUMER PRODUCTS TO OFFER A SERIES OF FIRST LOOKS AND MAGICAL ACTIVITIES AT D23 EXPO
Disney Consumer Products

ANAHEIM, Calif. - August 20, 2009 - Disney's spectacular product lines will come to life like never before in over 20,000 square feet of fun-filled interactive experiences and activities at the inaugural D23 EXPO, where the entire world of Disney will come together under one roof at the Anaheim Convention Center in California from Sept. 10-13. Disney Consumer Products (DCP) will treat fans to a sneak peek of the latest and most innovative Disney products as well as the chance to meet and hear from the artists and designers that bring them to life.

D23 EXPO attendees will have the premier opportunity to visit the first-ever Disney Dream Home, stroll through 30 years of Disney-inspired Hallmark keepsake ornaments, witness Disney Fine Art created right before their eyes, and immerse in the magic of a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding where guests will get a first look at the yet-to-be-unveiled Princess Tiana wedding gown inspired by the upcoming animated feature The Princess and the Frog. They will go behind the scenes of Disney products through a series of events and presentations including fashion shows, art galleries, appearances by best-selling authors such as Ridley Pearson and artists such as Thomas Kinkade, and seminars describing the creative process by Disney toys and electronics designers. Plus, they will be part of a special introduction to the history and future of Disney Store by Disney Stores Worldwide president, Jim Fielding, and much more.
There will be fun for the whole family at the Disney Creativity Center hosted by Crayola, the Disney Princess Story time and Royal Manners event, the Baby Einstein World of Discovery Center, and a magnificent live LEGO building event of Disney characters with the help of Master Builders.

Additional highlights of DCP's exciting line-up at the D23 EXPO include:

• Disney Store and www.DisneyStore.com guests will get a first look at this year's hottest Halloween costumes, exclusive The Princess and the Frog product assortment (available only at Disney Store and DisneyStore.com) and limited edition collectible Snow White deluxe dolls; and on September 12, a special presentation by President Jim Fielding on exciting new developments coming soon to Disney Store retail.

• Guests will stroll through the ultimate showcase house and experience the first-ever Disney Dream Home featuring Disney furniture, carpeting and rugs, paint, lighting, bedding and home decor. They will preview the new color collection from Disney Color by Behr and wall-to-wall imagination from Shaw Carpets. Eight beautifully designed rooms will come to life including a central courtyard, nursery, boys and girls rooms, living and dining rooms, home office, master bedroom and even a Lillyput Play Home in the backyard.

• Guests will travel back through time as Hallmark and Disney introduce the Disney Hallmark Keepsake Museum featuring more than 30 years of Disney keepsake ornaments.

• Disney Toys and LEGO Master Builders will host a live building event where guests can join in the fun and help construct a life-size mural of Disney characters paying homage to innovation.

• Families are invited to Early Bird Books, seminars from renowned Disney Publishing authors including Ridley Pearson, who will discuss the Kingdom Keepers series and Peter and the Starcatchers books where he will be joined via satellite feed by co-author Dave Barry.

• Additional luminaries speaking at Early Bird Books panels include author Don Hahn, acclaimed producer of The Lion King, who will discuss The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age; author and animation historian JB Kaufman, who will speak about his book South of the Border and reveal the story behind Disney's contribution to Nelson Rockefeller's "Good Neighbor" program; and Jason Surrell, author of The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, who will discuss the evolution from beloved attraction to major motion picture.

• The Disney Creativity Center hosted by Crayola will bring to life Andy's room from Disney/Pixar's Toy Story where guests will learn drawing techniques from DCP character artists John Quinn and George McClements.

• Disney Fashion & Home will host a series of fashion shows featuring the latest styles from Disney Couture, Disney Couture kids and the Wizards of Waverly Place collection inspired by the hit Disney Channel series starring Selena Gomez.

• Guests will go "behind the fairy tale" at the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings showcase; they will hear from celebrity wedding designer David Tutera and couture wedding gown designer Kirstie Kelly who will unveil the first public viewing sketch of the Princess Tiana-inspired wedding gown releasing this October.

• Collectors Editions will showcase beautiful art displays and host an all-star list of artists, voice talent and legendary Disney personalities, including Margaret Kerry (the original Tinker Bell model), Dick Jones (original Pinocchio voice), Eddie Carroll (current Jiminy Cricket voice) and Paige O'Hara (original Belle voice from Beauty and the Beast).

• BOOM! Comics will present comic legend and writer Mark Waid.

• Disney Toys and MINDstyle will introduce Disney's Stitch: The Experiment 626 Project custom art tour - a collection of interpretive Stitch vinyl figures.

• The original art program "Mickey By" will make its first public debut. These artistic interpretations of Mickey Mouse, in a classic pose, come from Disney artists of every style and genre. The result is a celebration of one of the most recognizable and beloved characters around the globe.

• eFX Inc, will preview an astonishing four foot replica of Captain Nemo's iconic Nautilus from the classic Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, based on the Jules Verne novel.

• S/R Laboratories' artists will demonstrate how animation art backgrounds are made for the new Courvoisier Miniatures art collection.

• EK Success will showcase its latest Disney crafts products, from scrapbooking to stamping to paper crafting, and share tips and techniques.

• The Disney food, health and beauty group will offer samplings from the latest Disney food product lines and fun beauty activities for girls featuring Disney beauty products that are age-appropriate, fun and easy-to-use.

• Disney and Retro 51 will host an hourly raffle for a D23 collectors pen. Plus, Retro 51 will introduce a unique design-your-own-pen contest in which guests will have the opportunity to use a Retro 51 pen template to design their own Disney-themed pen. At the conclusion of the D23 EXPO, 23 winning designs will be chosen to be featured in Disney Twenty-three magazine, and souvenir pens with those designs will be produced for the winners by Retro 51.

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at http://www.D23EXPO.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is $37 for a one-day adult ticket and $27 for children 3-12. Four-day passes are $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on admission, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.

Many more details about D23 EXPO entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" on Twitter and Facebook.

About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel, toys, home décor and books and magazines to foods and beverages, stationery, electronics and fine art. This is accomplished through DCP's various lines of business which include: Disney Toys, Disney Fashion & Home, Disney Food, Health & Beauty, and Disney Stationery. Other businesses involved in Disney's consumer products sales are Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, and DisneyStore.com, the company's official shopping portal. The Disney Stores retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America and Europe. The Disney Stores chain in Japan is operated under a license agreement with Disney. For more information, please visit www.disneyconsumerproducts.com or watch us on www.youtube.com/disneyliving.

August 21, 2009

Sneak Peek - The Walt Disney Family Museum - Gallery 5

Gallery 5 - New Success and Greater Ambitions
Pinocchio Concepts

The worldwide success of Snow White let Disney Studios create new studio buildings in Burbank, CA, and produce even more ambitious features, such as Bambi, Pinocchio and Fantasia. The last film featured classical music and an orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Although well regarded by critics, none of the films was immediately financially successful, in part because overseas revenues were affected by World War II.

Highlights of the gallery will include one of the studio's original multiplane camera cranes, an animator's desk and rare production art.

Bambi Concept Art

Fantasia Hippo Concept Statue

August 24, 2009

D23 EXPO SCHEDULE DETAILS FOUR DAYS OF EXTRAORDINARY ENTERTAINMENT AND SURPRISES AT THE ULTIMATE DISNEY FAN EVENT

Event Schedule and Additional Details Revealed as the Ultimate Disney Fan Event Readies for Its Premiere Sept. 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center

legends.jpg

"In the Company of Legends" is the official artwork of the D23 Expo created by artist Tim Rogerson featuring more than two dozen individual characters, props and historic Disney icons.

ANAHEIM, Calif. - August 24, 2009 - For four incredible days beginning September 10, fans of Disney entertainment will revel in new discoveries, special panels and presentations, movie screenings, celebrity appearances and autograph signings, plus new insights into movies, TV shows, theme parks, animation, Disney history and more. It's all part of the first-ever D23 EXPO from Sept. 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Exciting details about the activities and events planned for the four days of Disney's inaugural D23 EXPO have just been announced, and a complete, up-to-the-minute schedule can be found online at www.D23Expo.com. The D23 EXPO is open to the public. Tickets for individual days or the full four days of this Ultimate Disney Fan Event are available at the website. Highlights of the D23 EXPO include:

Exclusive Screenings & Sneak Peeks

The D23 EXPO will offer guests the chance to get sneak peeks of upcoming Disney movies like The Princess and the Frog, TRON: Legacy, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Rapunzel, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and many others. The D23 EXPO also will present the U.S. premiere screenings of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in Disney Digital 3D™. More than that, the D23 EXPO will present several classic movies on the big screen, including the original Tron, Sleeping Beauty, The Shaggy Dog, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, along with other exciting screening events. The ABC House Screening Room will present screenings of new television entertainment, including ABC's vibrant new fall schedule.

Special Presentations and Panels

The D23 EXPO will offer fascinating explorations of the past, present and future of Disney. Throughout the four days, scores of special panels and presentations will bring new insight into Disney history, let guests go "behind the magic" of Disney theme-park attractions and movies, and get fans up close and personal with the Disney legacy of unforgettable entertainment.

D23 EXPO Show Floor

A giant show floor filled with incredible pavilions and interactive areas assembles the entire world of Disney under one roof. From Disney's global theme parks to the Company's environmental initiatives, the show floor includes a collector's area, a gathering of Disney licensees, an eight-room "home" showcasing an amazing array of Disney merchandise, and new technologies being developed by Walt Disney Imagineering. The show floor is the heart of the D23 EXPO. It will also be home to the "ABC House Screening Room," a sign-up area for the "Lost University," and kid-friendly play areas that make the D23 EXPO an exciting event for all ages of Disney fans.

"Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives"

The legendary Walt Disney Archives will assemble a never-before-seen collection of more than 100 props, costumes and one-of-a-kind items from more than eight decades of Disney creativity. For the first time ever, the Archives also will present a retrospective of props and costumes from the classic "Captain EO" attraction in which Michael Jackson thrilled theme-park audiences in 3D.

Arena Presentations

The 4,000-seat Anaheim Convention Center Arena will be home to spectacular presentations throughout the four days of the D23 EXPO. Disney President and CEO Bob Iger will kick off the entire event with an unforgettable presentation that includes a 30-minute glimpse at the upcoming animated feature The Princess and the Frog and a live performance by its vocal star, Anika Noni Rose. Other Arena presentations will incorporate surprise celebrity appearances as D23 EXPO guests learn about the future of ABC, Disney movies, theme parks, animation and more.

Celebrity Appearances

Celebrities from both current and classic Disney projects (both on screen and behind the scenes) will be on hand throughout the D23 EXPO, and are currently scheduled to include: X Atencio, Jake T. Austin, Kathryn Beaumont, Richard Bellis, Tom Bergeron, Bruce Broughton, Cheryl Burke, Maria Canals-Barrera, Marge Champion, Ron Clements, Mary Costa, Alice Davis, David DeLuise, Joseph Fiennes, Michael Giacchino, Blaine Gibson, Selena Gomez, Kelsey Grammer, Don Hahn, David Henrie, Patricia Heaton, Tommy Kirk, Steve Lisberger, Joel McNeely, Brendan Milburn, John Musker, Ed O'Neill, Marty Sklar, Jennifer Stone, Valerie Vigoda and many more.

Family Activities

Disney Consumer Products will give D23 EXPO guests the chance to explore a host of activities for the entire family, including a Disney Creativity Center hosted by Crayola, the Disney Princess Storytime and Royal Manners event, the Baby Einstein World of Discovery Center, and a magnificent live LEGO building event in which Master Builders will invite guests to join them to construct a life-sized mural of Disney characters, paying homage to the innovation of Disney and LEGO. There will be appearances by best-selling authors, fine artists, and toy designers. There will also be a series of fashion shows featuring the latest styles from Disney Couture, Disney Couture kids and the Wizards of Waverly Place collection. Guests will have the opportunity to tour the first-ever Disney Dream Home and to go "behind the fairy tale" at the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings showcase.

SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS

The four days of the D23 EXPO are packed with excitement and activity. Below are selected highlights from the four-day D23 EXPO schedule. Please note that because the D23 EXPO is a first-of-its-kind live experience, schedules, locations and descriptions are subject to change -- so be sure to visit www.D23Expo.com for full updates and even more schedule details and surprises.


THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2009

Bob Iger Presentation, 10 a.m. - Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger will launch the first-ever D23 EXPO with an hour-long presentation in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, exploring the incredible future of Disney and exciting projects that are taking shape around the globe. Arena.


Disney Legends Awards, 11 a.m. - Men and women who have contributed to the creative legacy of The Walt Disney Company will be honored in a special presentation, hosted by Tom Bergeron and open to all D23 EXPO guests. The full list of honorees will be announced shortly, and includes renowned celebrities, actors and artists. Arena.


The ABCs of Disney, 3 p.m. - Steve McPherson, president of the ABC Entertainment Group, and Emmy®-nominated Tom Bergeron host a D23 EXPO-exclusive presentation as many of the biggest TV stars of today preview ABC's new series, with a very special "Dancing with the Stars" performance. Arena


An Afternoon With Imagineering Legends, 4:30 p.m. - Recently retired Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering Marty Sklar hosts a panel of extraordinary artists who shaped classic Disneyland attractions, including X Atencio, Alice Davis, Blaine Gibson and Bob Gurr. Storytellers Theater


Top Ten for the Toy Chest: The Making of the Next Great Disney Toy, 12:30 p.m., Stage 23


Beauty and the Beast 3D Preview and Panel Discussion, 1 p.m., Studio Theater


The Magic of Disney in the Art of Disney Stamps, 1:30 p.m., Stage 23


The World of Vintage Disneyland - In Color, 2 p.m., Storytellers Theater

The Music of The Haunted Mansion, 3:30 p.m., Stage 23

The Music of The Lion King Panel, 4 p.m., Studio Theater

the boys Screening and Panel, 7 p.m., Studio Theater

Fifty and Fabulous Film Festival Presents Darby O'Gill and the Little People,
10 p.m., Studio Theater


FRIDAY, Sept. 11, 2009

Disney Movie Magic: Inside The Walt Disney Studios, 11 a.m. - The Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook offers Disney fans an unprecedented sneak peek at new live-action movies from Walt Disney Pictures, incorporating exclusive footage from such movies as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Disney's A Christmas Carol, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and more. Special celebrity guests also will join in on the fun. Arena

Tron Presentation, 4 p.m., - Steven Lisberger, director of 1982's Tron, is a special guest as the D23 EXPO offers an exclusive exploration of the science-fiction classic, including glimpses of the upcoming TRON: Legacy. A fascinating discussion will be followed by the first-ever digitally converted screening of the original Tron. Studio Theater

Disney Rarities, 5:30 p.m. - Academy Award-nominated producer and author Don Hahn joins Walt Disney Animation Studios' creative director Dave Bossert to present several rarely seen animated short films from Disney history, including some of Walt Disney's earliest animation efforts. Some of these shorts have not been seen in more than 60 years. Stage 23 Theater

The Making of "Toy Story: The Musical", 5:30 p.m. - A preview of the newest stage extravaganza for Disney Cruise Line and the Disney Parks. Michael Jung, Vice President of Creative, and Matt Almos, Creative Director, host this musical sneak peek, and composers Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn will perform. Storytellers Theater

Walt and El Grupo and Saludos Amigos, 7:30 p.m. ­- Filmmakers Ted Thomas and Kuniko Okubo and Disney historian and author J.B. Kaufman lead a panel discussion about the upcoming Walt and El Grupo, a new documentary that reveals the story behind Walt Disney's influential 1941 trip to South America. After the discussion, D23 EXPO guests will be treated to a rare screening of Saludos Amigos, the colorful animated feature that grew out of Walt's goodwill expedition south of the equator. Studio Theater

Early Bird Books: Kingdom Keepers, 8:30 a.m., Stage 23

Sailing to New Horizons with Disney Cruise Line, 9 a.m., Storytellers Theater

A Day in the Life of an Adventures by Disney Guide, 12:30 p.m., Storytellers Theater

Happy Haunts: 40 Years of The Haunted Mansion, 12:30 p.m., Stage 23

Nightmare Before Christmas 3D Screening, Plus Tim Burton Shorts Frankenweenie and Vincent, 1 p.m., Studio Theater

Special Preview: "The Wonderful World of Color," 2 p.m., Storytellers Theater

History and Preservation of Disney Animation Art: The Courvoisier Tradition,
2 p.m., Stage 23

We Make the Music: Conversations with the Creators of Disney Theme Park Music, 3:30 p.m., Storytellers Theater

The Evolution of Mickey with Dave Pacheco and Andreas Deja, 3:30 p.m., Stage 23

Fifty and Fabulous Film Festival Presents The Shaggy Dog, 10 p.m., Studio Theater

SATURDAY, Sept. 12, 2009

So You Want to Be an Imagineer, 9 a.m. - Marty Sklar hosts a conversation with more than half a dozen guest Imagineers, who will discuss the challenges and rewards of their careers ... and the special skills that are needed to "make the magic." Storytellers Theater

Disneynature Presentation, 10 a.m. -The latest updates from Disney's newest film label, Disneynature. This prestigious production banner literally goes to the ends of the earth to tell the remarkable stories of nature. Studio Theater

Imagineering the Future of Disney Theme Parks, 11 a.m. - Go behind the scenes with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo as he unveils the magical entertainment and experiences on the horizon at Disney's Parks and Resorts around the world " and offers a surprise or two. Arena

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 12 p.m. - Don Hahn hosts a compelling discussion about the making of Walt Disney's first animated feature film. Following the discussion, D23 EXPO guests will enjoy a screening of a newly restored digital version of this landmark film. Studio Theater

Disney Store: The Magic is Back, 2 p.m. - Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide, looks at the vibrant future of the Disney Stores around the world. Arena

The Princess and the Frog, 3 p.m. - All-new footage from Disney's upcoming animated musical The Princess and the Frog will be screened, followed by a panel discussion with the film's creators, including John Musker, Ron Clements, Andreas Deja and Eric Goldberg. Studio Theater


Prep and Landing, 5:30 p.m. - The directors of Disney's new TV special explore the creation of this new holiday-time treat. Studio Theater

D23 Expo Live Auction, 7 p.m. - 49 lots of extraordinary rarities and specially designed items will be front and center at this D23 EXPO exclusive event, including a check personally signed by Walt Disney, a progressive dinner through the Disneyland Resort plus a stay in the Presidential Suite of the Disneyland Hotel, original animation production cels, movie premiere tickets, an authentic attraction vehicle, a very special "Lot 23" exclusive, and much more. 7 p.m., Arena (Note: Auction admission is free; bidders must purchase a $40 bidder's package.)

Trail of the Panda Screening, 7:30 p.m. - The D23 EXPO presents the U.S. premiere of Trail of the Panda (Xiongmao Huijialu), the second Disney Chinese-language film production, created specifically for audiences in China. Studio Theater

Early Bird Books: The Alchemy of Animation with Don Hahn, 8:30 a.m., Stage 23

Behind the Fairy Tale - Disney Weddings with Kristie Kelly and David Turturro,
11 a.m., Stage 23

The Science of Imagineering, 12:30 p.m., Storytellers Theater

Growing Up Disney with Roy P. Disney, 12:30 p.m., Stage 23

Refreshing a Classic: Remaking "it's a small world" for the 21st Century, 2 p.m., Storytellers Theater

Sneak Preview of The Walt Disney Family Museum, 2:30 p.m., Stage 23

The Making of the U.S. Presidents, 3:30 p.m., Storytellers Theater

Disney Kids' Fashion Show, 4 p.m., Performances Stage

Lost Chords - Never-Heard Music from Disney Animation with Russell Schroeder, 5:30 p.m., Stage 23

Fifty and Fabulous Film Festival Presents Sleeping Beauty, 10 p.m., Studio Theater


SUNDAY, Sept. 13, 2009

The Future of Disney and Pixar Animation, 11 a.m. - Get a glimpse of what the future holds at Disney and Pixar Animation Studios as Chief Creative Officer, John Lasseter, shares sneak peeks of such exciting upcoming films as The Princess and The Frog, Rapunzel, Toy Story 3 and more. Arena

A Magical Afternoon With the Cast of Wizards of Waverly Place,
2 p.m. - Cast members Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera and David DeLuise join executive producer Peter Murietta for an exclusive preview screening of the season premiere episode of Wizards of Waverly Place. Popular Radio Disney personality Ernie D also will join in the fun! Arena

Toy Story 3 Special Presentation, 6:30 p.m. - Sneak a peek at what's in store when Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story gang make their big-screen return - this time in 3D. Pixar filmmakers Lee Unkrich and Darla Anderson host. Studio Theater

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 Double Feature Premiere Screening, 7 p.m. - Following the 5 p.m. sneak peek of Toy Story 3, the D23 EXPO will host the U.S. premiere screening of this 3D double feature. (Note: There will be a 10-minute intermission between the films.) Studio Theater


Early Bird Books: South of the Border with J.B. Kaufman, 8:30 a.m., Stage 23

The Making of Toy Story Midway Mania, 9:30 a.m., Storytellers Theater

Collector's Edition Fine Art Panel Discussion, 12:30 p.m., Performances Stage

The Science of Imagineering, 1 p.m., Storytellers Theater (an encore presentation)

Silver Banjo Barbeque Panel with David and Ron DeFore, 12:30 p.m., Stage 23

Special Muppets Presentation, 1:30 p.m. - The Muppets Studios takes you inside the Muppet world for an exclusive frog's-eye-view of what Kermit and Company have been up to in 2009 - and all the fun and mayhem they have planned for 2010 and beyond! Studio Theater

Disneyana Detective with Tom Tumbush, 3 p.m., Stage 23

Imagineering Pixar for the Disney Parks, 3 p.m., Storytellers Theater

From Annette to Miley, 3:30 p.m., Stage 23

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is $37 for a one-day adult ticket and $27 for children 3-12. Four-day passes are $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on admission, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" at Twitter and on Facebook.

August 25, 2009

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Reaches Capacity Fourth Consecutive Year

2008DLHMstart_low.jpg
Photo © The Walt Disney Company

Weekend Celebrates Health, Fitness and Family Fun

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 24, 2009) - A full field of more than 18,000 participants is gearing up for the fourth annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Sept. 4-6. The weekend features activities for the whole family, including a Health & Fitness Expo, Mickey's Main Street, U.S.A. 5K, Kids' Races and the main event -- a 13.1-mile half marathon affectionately dubbed "The Happiest Race on Earth."

Participants from all 50 U.S. states and 13 countries are set to compete in weekend races. More than 13,500 are registered to participate in the Half Marathon Sept. 6, and 5,000 are registered in the Family 5K and Kids' Races Sept. 5.

The Disneyland Half Marathon features a course unlike any other in the world. Passing through the two Disneyland Resort theme parks - Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure - and the streets of Anaheim, participants will experience a race full of inspiration only Disney can provide. There are flaming cannons at the start, live entertainers along the route and Disney characters as cheerleaders. Many participants come dressed in costume, and some might even stop mid-race to pose with their favorite Disney characters.

"We've had tremendous success with the Disneyland Half Marathon, reaching capacity months before the race for the fourth year in a row, said Ed Grier, president of the Disneyland Resort. "In partnership with the City of Anaheim, we provide a unique and entertaining Half Marathon course, giving participants another reason to celebrate during this year's 'What Will You Celebrate?' initiative."

In 3 1/2 hours or less, runners will pass Disneyland icons such as Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Matterhorn, and Anaheim landmarks such as the Anaheim Convention Center, Honda Center and the Angel Stadium of Anaheim, before finally crossing the finish line in the Downtown Disney District.

The road race has become popular for its flat loop course and mild climate - ideal for personal best times. Hosted by the Disneyland Resort and the City of Anaheim, it reached registration capacity in July.

Half Marathon race finishers will earn a commemorative medal depicting Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, one in a series of Disney race-specific medals. An estimated 1,751 runners are also eligible to earn a special medal for the second annual Disney's Coast to Coast Challenge Race.

To be eligible, runners must have completed the Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon or Disney's Princess Half Marathon this year at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., in addition to completing the 2009 Disneyland Half Marathon. The Coast to Coast medal showcases the iconic statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse (known as the Partners Statue).

The Anaheim Community Foundation (ACF) will receive a monetary donation as part of this year's race.

The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend builds off the successful 16-year history of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend held annually in January at Walt Disney World Resort. More than 225,000 runners, joggers and wheelchair athletes have successfully participated in the previous Walt Disney World Marathon Weekends.

To kick off the weekend, participants can check out the Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel starting Sept. 4. The two-day expo features information sessions on last-minute race tips and exhibits related to training, nutrition and the latest running equipment. Expo hours are 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 4 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 5.

The Half Marathon is just one of 11 weekend events that make up the Disney's Endurance Series, which gives recreational athletes of all ages and abilities the chance to walk, jog, run, bike and swim their way "around the world." From running marathons to road races and triathlons, participating athletes at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World compete to stay in shape, achieve personal-best times and raise donations for charitable causes.

The next Disneyland Half Marathon will take place Sept. 5, 2010.

August 26, 2009

DANCING WITH THE STARS’ DONNY OSMOND TO APPEAR AT THE D23 EXPO, SEPTEMBER 10

Osmond to Join an All-Star Lineup at "The ABCs of Disney," September 10th at the D23 EXPO Arena

Donny Osmond -- singer, entertainer, longtime Disney collaborator, and season nine cast member of the ABC hit show, "Dancing with the Stars" -- will join the all-star lineup at "The ABCs of Disney," a special presentation at the D23 EXPO, September 10, 3 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center arena.

In a first for "Dancing with the Stars" fans, Osmond will be joined by his professional ballroom partner, Kym Johnson, and preview his dance abilities for D23 EXPO goers, long before his televised premiere on September 21st on the ABC Television Network.

ABC proudly presents "The ABCs of Disney," an exclusive D23 EXPO event in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, September 10 at 3:00 p.m. Hosted by Emmy®-nominated Tom Bergeron ("Dancing with the Stars," "America's Funniest Home Videos"), "The ABCs of Disney" presentation features Steve McPherson, President of the ABC Entertainment Group, unveiling sneak peeks at many of the fall TV season's most anticipated new shows.

Joining Steve McPherson and Tom Bergeron on stage are some of the most beloved television actors of our time, the stars of ABC's new Wednesday night comedies, Patricia Heaton ("The Middle"), Kelsey Grammer ("Hank") and Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family"). Actor Joseph Fiennes (perhaps best known for his starring role in the Oscar®-winning film "Shakespeare in Love") will introduce his new series, the much buzzed-about drama, "FlashForward."

"The ABCs of Disney" concludes with a thrilling dance performance by two of "Dancing with the Stars" professional champions, Cheryl Burke (two-time winner with partners Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith) and Derek Hough (season seven champion with Brooke Burke). After the presentation, fans will have a chance to receive autographs and take photos with the stars. (Please note: though the talent listed are confirmed, appearances are contingent on production schedules.)

Throughout the four-day D23 EXPO, guests can enter the "ABC House Screening Room" to see sneak peeks of ABC's new Fall schedule. The "ABC House Screening Room" is set up to be as comfortable as a living room -- where guests are encouraged to put up their feet, relax and enjoy the best that television has to offer. (Screening schedule to be announced).

Also on display Sept. 10-13 is ABC's "Lost." In celebration of the Emmy® Award-winning series "Lost" entering its final, thrilling season, ABC Television Network presents a can't-miss experience for all fans. Guests will be able to step into the world of "Lost" and see a selection of props, set pieces, costumes and collectors' artifacts from key moments in the series, as well as sign up for Lost University, a special Blu-ray™ and online experience, and receive a limited edition collectors' pin, available only at D23 Expo.

Fans will also have a chance to sneak a peek at ABC's first TV special by Walt Disney Animation Studios, "Prep & Landing". On Sept. 12, "Prep & Landing's" directors, Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton, will present the holiday special and answer fans' questions.

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is $37 for a one-day adult ticket and $27 for children 3-12. Four-day passes are $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on up to four same-day admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.

Special vacation packages including Disneyland Resort hotel accommodations, D23 EXPO tickets and theme park admission are available at the D23 EXPO website. Packages are available from the Walt Disney Travel Company and the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, which is offering a limited number of area hotel rooms at special rates to those attending the D23 EXPO.

Many more details about D23 EXPO entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" at Twitter and on Facebook.

Celebrities Add Star Power to the Online Forum with Vacation Tips and Exclusive Videos

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug.24, 2009) - Looking to plan an unforgettable Walt Disney World vacation? Stars Joey Fatone of "Dancing with the Stars," Lisa Whelchel from "The Facts of Life" and Alfonso Ribeiro of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" have teamed up with the Walt Disney World Moms Panel to share vacation planning tips in helpful, funny and practical "How-to" videos available at www.disneyworldmoms.com - home of the Moms Panel. From keeping up with their own little princesses to sharing personal in-park memories, these family-focused celebrities step in front of the camera to offer guests their favorite Disney tips.

"When we began filming the Walt Disney World Moms Panel celebrity videos, we never imagined how much Disney knowledge we would find - these stars definitely know how to have a good time at Disney," said Leanne Jakubowski, drector, Social Media. "Each star has a unique perspective on vacation planning and together with our Moms Panel we can offer even 'famous' insight into navigating the prks."

Star-Studded "How-to" Videos
· Joey Fatone and Alfonso Ribeiro, Dads to Princesses - Best friends and both dads to little princesses, Fatone and Ribeiro travel to Walt Disney World Resort on a daddy-daughter vacation and give their real-guy vacation tips.

· Lisa Whelchel and the Facts of Family Travel - Former star of "The Facts of Life," motivational speaker and author, Whelchel reminisces about her favorite trips to Walt Disney World Resort and gives moms the lowdown on how to keep a large family happy on the road.

These never-before-seen videos will live solely on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, www.disneyworldmoms.com, alongside existing videos from television personality Joan Lunden, actor/comedian Brad Garrett and actress/singer Angela Bassett.

The Moms Panelists also have jumped into the spotlight to create new videos - featuring unique in-park family activities, special surprises and new attractions, to name a few. Here's a sampling:

New Panelist Videos
· "Kris Allen Press Conference" - Whitney and Doug jump behind the velvet rope when Kris Allen makes his historic visit to Walt Disney World Resort.
· "Characters in Flight" - Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Cathy takes her family 400 feet in the air in the newest attraction at Downtown Disney - a giant tethered balloon offers her a breathtaking, 360 degree view of Walt Disney World Resort and more!
· "Sanaa" - Panelists Jackie and Jennifer take their families on a culinary adventure at the newest eatery at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

DISNEY DREAM BEGINS: Newest Disney ship centerpiece of ceremony in Papenburg, Germany

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DISNEY DREAM BEGINS: In a ceremony held in Papenburg, Germany on Aug. 26, 2009, Captain Tom Forberg and Donald Duck did the honors of placing a special Disney Cruise Line coin under the keel of the Disney Dream, Disney's newest cruise ship, currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg. In maritime tradition, the ceremony marked a momentous occasion when the first block of the ship is lowered into the building dock and a coin is placed under the keel for good fortune. Both of Disney's new ships, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, scheduled to debut in 2011 and 2012, respectively, are destined to expand family cruise options to more people in more places around the world. Each ship will have 1,250 staterooms and be 128,000 tons. Captain Tom has been named as Master of the Disney Dream. (Diana Zalucky, photographer)

August 28, 2009

Sneak Peek - The Walt Disney Family Museum - Gallery 6

Gallery 6: The Late '30s to Mid '40s
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This difficult period in Walt's life included the deaths of his parents, a studio strike that threatened the company's viability, and a period when the U.S. military used part of the studio as a base. The company released Dumbo and produced training films for the military, public service shorts, and morale- boosting films, and Walt embarked on a goodwill tour of South America to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Latin American countries. He later produced two Latin American-themed animated movies based on the trip.

Walt Disney Family Museum Peruvian Boy


Photos and union flyers from the 1941 Disney animators' strike as well as samples of Disney films in support of the war effort will be among the gallery highlights. Also on view will be original art from Dumbo and insignias that the Studios created for numerous regiments and squadrons.

New La Cava del Tequila Serves Up Tastes of Mexican Tequila Heritage

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Tasty tequilas and mouthwatering margaritas are on tap at La Cava del Tequila, a new offering for Epcot guests to explore the heritage and tradition of tequila-making in Mexico.

Tucked away in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot, La Cava del Tequila beckons guests with more than 70 types of authentic tequila, ranging from the simplest to the rarest of them all, aged to perfection and made from the finest distilled spirits from the agave plant. Tequilas range in price from $8 to $50 for a specialty tequila.

Amid warm décor, art work and original artifacts all celebrating the Mexican heritage, a "Tequila Ambassador" is on hand to educate Walt Disney World guests on the history of tequila-making.

Also on the drink menu: Exotic and uniquely blended margaritas, introducing a variety of flavored salts, spices and tropical fresh fruits masterfully prepared by experienced mixologists. A variety of quick tastes, tapas style, will be available, including freshly made guacamole and ceviche as well as mahi mahi tostadas with diced mango and avocado and blue crab tostados with chipotle mayo and Valentina sauce.

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The 30-seat La Cava del Tequila is open from noon until Epcot park closing time. It is connected to the famous San Angel Inn as part of the Mexico pavilion, a popular stop for Walt Disney World guests.

IN THE WILD: More than a new guestroom wing of Kidani Village, a Disney Vacation Club property, is scheduled to open Sept. 1

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IN THE WILD: More than a new guestroom wing of Kidani Village, a Disney Vacation Club property, is scheduled to open Sept. 1. The new Pembe Savanna, adjacent to the expansion, will treat Kidani guests to a rare look at okapis, a typically shy animal closely related to the giraffe. The distinctly marked okapis, along with red river hogs, impala, waterbuck, blue cranes and spur-winged geese, will claim Pembe Savanna as their new home. The new six-acre savannah anchors the Kidani Village expansion featuring 160 two-bedroom equivalent vacation villas. The additional rooms complete the build-out of Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas for a total of 449 two-bedroom equivalent vacation villas at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

August 31, 2009

Disney Cruise Line Creating More Magic at Castaway Cay

Pixie dusting Disney's private island to provide more family fun, interactive play areas, upscale luxury and even greater convenience for guests

Castaway Cay Expands

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Aug. 31, 2009) - Castaway Cay, Disney's private island paradise in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, is getting an extra dose of pixie dust. Enhancements will provide guests with more water-based family-fun, additional conveniences and a slice of beachside luxury all designed to complement the idyllic island setting. The additional island amenities are scheduled to be complete by summer 2010, in time for special five-night cruises aboard the Disney Wonder with two stops at Castaway Cay, and the Disney Dream cruise ship which starts sailing in early 2011.

Castaway Cay is consistently rated by Disney Cruise Line guests as their favorite port of call - the ultimate private island escape for adventure, relaxation and quality time with the family.

"The numerous enhancements and additions planned for Castaway Cay will take the already extraordinary guest experiences on our private island to the next level," said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. "Whether our guests are seeking recreation or leisure - or a combination of both - they will find it at Castaway Cay, all complemented by unparalleled Disney service."

Walt Disney Imagineers designed Castaway Cay with one-of-a-kind areas and activities for every member of the family, while celebrating the natural beauty of the 1,000-acre island. Among the crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and lush landscapes, guests soon will find the following transformations.

Expanded Family Beach

The Castaway Family Beach will be extended by more than 700 feet for families to enjoy the pristine white sand, build sand castles, relax in the shade under an umbrella and take a dip in the warm azure waters of the lagoon. As an added convenience for guests, enhancements to this area of the island will include:

New Cookies Too family lunch buffet location serving mouth-watering, all-you-care-to-eat barbeque, island spiced rotisserie chicken, burgers, grilled fish, fresh salads, flatbreads, ice cream, complimentary soda and more, in a covered pavilion just steps away from the expanded family beach.

New Sand Bar beach bar mixing up drinks like Castaway Cay's signature Konk Kooler, other tropical concoctions, cold beer and non-alcoholic beverages.

New Flippers & Floats beach rentals providing inner tubes, snorkels, masks and fins.

New Buy the Sea Shore merchandise location selling a variety of Castaway Cay-exclusive items along with towels, sunscreen and other beach essentials - a complement to the island's other merchandise location, She Sells Sea Shells & everything else.

New Water Feature and Water Play Areas

Guests can slide and splash at a new water feature called Pelican Plunge. The 2,400-square-foot floating platform, located within swimming distance from shore, celebrates the island's native pelicans. Various flotsam and jetsam - such as nautical rope, cargo nets, buoys, signaling flags and starfish-like ornamentation - adorn the platform. Two exciting water slides - an enclosed corkscrew slide and a 140-foot-long open slide - take guests on a twisting ride, ending with a splash into the lagoon. A giant "bucket dump"� delivers hundreds of gallons of water, soaking eagerly awaiting guests. Four water cannons provide sharp-shooting fun with floating nautical targets approximately 20 feet away.


Pelican Plunge


On the island, a brand-new, 2,400-square-foot water play area called Spring-a-Leak helps guests cool off while immersing them in what appears to be the remnants of a washed-away beach dwelling leaning in the direction of the prevailing winds. The watery fun begins as guests enter the storm-ravaged structure, greeted by dripping pipes, broken plumbing and hissing misters, exposed and twisted by the tropical tempest that wiped out the original structure.

A "splash pad" is the focal point and gives the impression of water pooled on the ground. Water jets squirt, spray and saturate guests. Shade is provided by leftover pieces of the corrugated steel roof, aged and distressed fabric and the occasional palm tree growing up through the floor foundation. Parents can relax and have a seat - or, better yet, join in the fun - as kids frolic in the wet and whimsical setting.

The "hub" of youth activities on the island, Scuttle's Cove, will feature a new water play area for the youngest Disney Cruise Line guests to splash and enjoy as part of supervised youth activities on Castaway Cay. A 1,200-square-foot soft wet deck area provides fresh-water fun with an array of pop jets, geysers and bubblers. Overhead, shade sails circle the area like a compass and marine props - a captain's wheel, boat oars, life preservers and nautical rope - complete the castaway theme.


New Beach Cabanas

Guests can have a little piece of paradise all to themselves at one of 20 new private cabanas. The premium rental cabanas provide the privacy and luxury of a deluxe beach retreat with an option to add the personalized service of a cabana host.

Castaway Cay New Beach Cabanas

The majority of the exclusive 325-square-foot beach cabanas will dot the far side of Castaway Family Beach, giving guests more privacy along with a spectacular view of their Disney cruise ship from the cabana's large front patio deck. A handful of private cabanas will be located on Serenity Bay Beach, exclusively for adults, providing the ultimate in upscale seclusion.

Each well-appointed cabana is furnished with comfortable cushioned chairs, luxurious chaise lounge chairs, stylish side tables and a dining table. Other convenient features include a refrigerator, lockable storage unit, outside fresh water shower and sail cloth for shade on the deck.

Amenities included with a beach cabana rental include non-alcoholic beverages, suntan lotion and fluffy towels. A variety of a la carte services and packages will be offered, including special food and beverage options.


Other Enhancements and Additions

The popular Castaway Ray's Stingray Adventure will be moved to a different location in the lagoon, adjacent to the existing Gil's Fins & Boats beach rental. Once complete, guests will be able to swim and interact with stingrays in an even larger area within the private lagoon.

Teens will enjoy Hide Out, an all-new secluded area on the island just for them. Off the beaten path, but near everything, this teen retreat is a great place to hang out and soak up the sun, just steps away from the beach, activities, food, ice cream and refreshments. Multi-colored deck chairs and sail cloth shades create the ideal getaway to gather, kick back, listen to music and watch the action at the nearby beach volleyball and soccer areas.

In Da Shade Game Pavilion provides guests wanting to take a break out of the sun a place to play games such as table tennis, foosball, billiards and basketball. The new shaded structure is centrally located, near Castaway Family Beach.

To provide additional adult pampering, three new massage cabanas will be added to the adults-only Serenity Bay Beach. For unparalleled relaxation, adults will be able to enjoy a therapeutic massage, or couples massage, at one of eight private cabanas overlooking the ocean.

Guest transportation is provided to and from various points on the island via tram. For greater convenience, additional tram paths will be created and a new Pelican Point Tram Stop will be located farther down Castaway Family Beach, near most of the new additions to the island.

Marge's Barges & Sea Charters Dock will be expanded to accommodate additional excursion boats for parasailing, fishing tours and more.

The cruise ship dock at Castaway Cay eliminates the need to tender, making the ship easily accessible throughout the day. To accommodate Disney Cruise Line's new ships, additional mooring dolphins will be installed to lengthen the dock.

Disney Cruise Line sails to Castaway Cay on all itineraries originating from Port Canaveral, Fla. 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 in 2010. Land/sea vacation packages that include a stay at Walt Disney World Resort provide the ultimate Disney vacation experience.

A leader in the family cruise segment, Disney Cruise Line delivers a vacation experience that every member of the family feels was created especially for them.


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About August 2009

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

July 2009 is the previous archive.

September 2009 is the next archive.

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