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November 2009 Archives

November 6, 2009

The Walt Disney Family Museum December 2009 Events


December 12th - String Circle Quartet4:00pm, Special Exhibition Hall, 122 Riley Avenue
tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Concerts in our Special Exhibition Hall continue to shine light on composers of Fantasia with Schubert's String Quartet in G. Henry Purcell's delightful Suite from The Faery Queen-a bit of musical fantasy-is also performed. Joseph Edelberg, Anthony Martin, and Kati Kyme, violins, and Thalia Moore, cello.

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December 19th and 20th - Artists' Vocal Ensemble Concert: A Candlelight Christmas4:00pm, Special Exhibition Hall, 122 Riley Avenue
tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Nothing is more magical than a choir performing classic Christmas songs and carols. Our candlelight program will include European Renaissance motets and carols, contemporary American carols and anthems, and an audience sing-along led by Jonathan Dimmock.

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Film of the Month: Christmas with Walt Disney
Christmas with Walt Disney runs until January 4
12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:30pm, Theater

(except Tuesdays, December 25, January 1, and December 5th at 12:30pm and 3:30pm)
tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

This special holiday screening includes The Nutcracker Suite from Fantasia (1940), Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952), scenes from the television Christmas specials, and rarely seen home movies of Walt and his family. See how Walt celebrated Christmas at the Studio, at Disneyland, and at home.

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December 5th - Memories of Walt: A Conversation with Legends
2:00pm, Theater
tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Join us on Walt's birthday as we hear from Disney Legends Blaine Gibson, Rolly Crump, and Richard Sherman as they share special memories of Walt. Blaine is the sculptor behind the Hall of Presidents, Rolly is one of the Imagineers behind "It's a Small World" and "Haunted Mansion" and Richard wrote such Disney music classics as "It's a Small World" and "Chim Chim Cher-ee". It will be an extraordinary afternoon filled with stories, laughter, and reflection.

December 25th - Christmas Day
Museum is closed

WEBSITE: waltdisney.org

TWITTER: twitter.com/wdfmuseum

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/TheWaltDisneyFamilyMuseum

November 12, 2009

Festival of the Masters - Prestigious Art Festival Returns to Downtown Disney Nov. 13-15

Longtime Festival of the Masters Artist Jeannie Maddox Bridges Spectrum between Photo-Realistic and Abstract Painting

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - If you think photo-realistic art is across the spectrum from abstract art and "ne'er the twain shall meet," then you haven't seen the works of Jeannie Maddox, an artist from Dothan, Ala., who has been making Disney's Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort a kind of home-away-from-home virtually every fall since 1975.

When the 2009 Festival of the Masters presented by Sharpie takes place Nov. 13-15, Maddox will be among the nearly 150 award-winning artists who will be participating. Some work in clay. Others wood, metal or mixed media. Others watercolors.

Maddox's specialty is oils on canvas. And while she depicts her style as "photo realistic," her husband, Sam, isn't quite sure that's an accurate description. "She's an abstract painter who paints realistically," he says.

To explain: Maddox's topical passion is swimmers - in the water. Thus, reality is a visually distorted view of the body beneath the surface, with ripples and bubbles adding to the abstract quality of the painting.


As she has done 32 previous years - including the very first Festival of the Masters in 1975 -Maddox will be showing off her works at Downtown Disney. Five of those previous festivals, she claimed a first-place award in painting. Her dream? "Best in show, of course,"� Maddox says. For a preview glance at her work, visit www.jeanniemaddox.com.


Festival hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are complimentary. For more information about Festival of the Masters, guests can contact 407/824-4321 or visit disneyworld.com/artfestival.

November 14, 2009

Celebrate Mickey's Birthday at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Celebrate Mickey Mouse's birthday with us on November 18!
Walt Disney early1930s

Although he had appeared in the animated short Plane Crazy six months earlier, November 18, 1928 is widely recognized as Mickey Mouse's birthday as it was the day that Steamboat Willie-the first Mickey Mouse cartoon with synchronized sound-was released.

Explore the galleries and discover the Earliest Known Drawings of Mickey Mouse and so much more, including vintage Mickey merchandise, the creation of Mickey's friends, an interactive station that demonstrates how sound is synchronized to animation, and a special section dedicated to the Mickey Mouse Club. Come celebrate and learn about the birth, history and life of the leader of the club that's made for you and me: M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

The Museum is open from 10AM to 6PM, Wednesday through Monday. For more information, visit www.waltdisney.org or call 415-345-6800.

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WEBSITE: waltdisney.org

TWITTER: twitter.com/wdfmuseum

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/TheWaltDisneyFamilyMuseum

November 17, 2009

Disney Raises the Curtain on Rebranding Efforts at Disney’s Wide World of Sports


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 5, 2009 -- Glimpsing into the future, Walt Disney World Resort today provided new details about ongoing efforts to re-imagine Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex with the ESPN brand.

With an expected grand re-opening on February 25, several signature ESPN elements will be added throughout the 220-acre facility, providing new entertainment and immersive experiences for guests and athletes. As part of the plan to take youth sports to a new level, the soon-to-be named ESPN Wide World of Sports will include:

* 20 video screens, including two JumboTrons that will include customized videos, highlight reels featuring the daily competitions and interviews involving ESPN sports personalities.

* A new 2,500 square foot state-of-the-art broadcast center with eight edit bays and a direct uplink to ESPN in Bristol, Conn.

* A new ESPN Innovation Lab facility where the ESPN Emerging Technology Group will develop ground-breaking on-air products and test them with the hundreds of sports events and athletes at the complex.

* A redesigned and renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill, a sports-themed eatery with high-definition TV screens and live radio remote capabilities.

* Complex-wide audio system.

"The collaborative re-branding of Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex with ESPN is part of an aggressive growth strategy for our sports business aimed at leveraging the power of sports with the leisure travel business," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises.

By aligning the world's No. 1 family vacation destination with the worldwide leader in sports, Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN will create an entertaining and immersive experience for the nearly 2 million athletes, coaches and spectators who come through the Disney sports complex each year.

November 20, 2009

ROCKING WITH GOOFY: Jon Bon Jovi visits Disney's Hollywood Studios

Singer Jon Bon Jovi poses with Goofy Nov. 16, 2009 on the New York Street backlot set at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Bon Jovi and his band, who have sold more than 120 million records in a career that spans 26 years, released their newest album, "The Circle." The group will begin a world concert tour in early 2010.

Bon Jovi

November 22, 2009

Christmas with Walt Disney

The Walt Disney Family Museum Premieres a Special Holiday Film Christmas with Walt Disney November 27, 2009 - January 4, 2010

In the spring of 2009, The Walt Disney Family Museum approached veteran filmmaker Don Hahn with a proposal to create a film that would celebrate the holidays through the eyes of Walt Disney. Under the direction of Diane Disney Miller, her husband Ron, and executive director Richard Benefield, the genesis of this idea became Christmas with Walt Disney, an enchanting fifty-one minute film filled with the joy and merriment of the holidays.

Mr. Hahn, whose credits include The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, was tapped to produce this film that will now become an annual event for The Walt Disney Family Museum to stage and entertain their guests each year during the holidays.

Christmas with Walt Disney is full of surprises including scenes from the television specials and vintage commercials from early Disney sponsors such as Kodak and Coca Cola. The studio Dixieland band, Firehouse Five plus Two makes a spirited appearance, as do clips from dozens of Disney's films including Swiss Family Robinson, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia and a clip from The Happiest Millionaire featuring Fred McMurray and Greer Garson singing "It Won't be Long 'til Christmas-" a very rare clip since this song was cut out of the picture.

"During our first screening of some selected clips to Ron and Diane, we showed clips of Walt skiing and ice skating with Lillian (Walt Disney's wife), intercut with clips of Mickey and Goofy on ice," said executive producer Craig Murray. "The quick cuts from Walt to Goofy did the trick and showed how much this man's life became his art."

What: Christmas with Walt Disney

Where: The Walt Disney Family Museum Theater
104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94129

Admissions: $4-$10; check Website for details

When: November 27, 2009 - January 4, 2010
(except Tuesdays, December 25 and January 1)

Show Times: 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm and 6:30pm

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WEBSITE: waltdisney.org

TWITTER: twitter.com/wdfmuseum

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/TheWaltDisneyFamilyMuseum

November 23, 2009

Sleigh rides featured as a special holiday treat at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

THROUGH THE WOODS Ft. Wilderness Sleigh Rides

The same seasonal magic that brings "snow" flurries to central Florida during Disney Parks holiday events now gives guests the opportunity to experience a horse-drawn "sleigh" ride. And where? Over the river and through the woods, of course!

This year, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground at Walt Disney World in Florida is offering sleigh rides through the secluded beauty of the 700-acre backwoods resort. From Nov. 29-Dec. 30, 2009, four adults - or two adults and three small children - can climb into a shiny, fire engine-red sleigh, decked out with garland and twinkling holiday lights, and take a relaxing, 25-minute sojourn into the lush forest.

And while the resort's woodland paths may not be blanketed with drifts of driven snow to glide through, the magic-makers at the resort's Tri-Circle-D Ranch utilize sleighs equipped with tires to insure a smooth sleigh ride behind one of the ranch's gentle steeds.

Cost is $60 per sleigh. Children ages 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Sleighs depart from the Blacksmith's Shop near the Settlement area inside Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Guests driving to the resort can park at the entrance of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and board a Disney motorcoach to be transported to the Settlement area.

For reservations and more information, guests can call 407/WDW-PLAY.

November 24, 2009

Victoria & Albert’s World-Class Experience Serves Up a Decade of Diamonds


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 24, 2009 - For the 10th year in a row, Victoria & Albert's restaurant at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award. As one of only 52 restaurants to receive this symbol of excellence in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, Victoria & Albert's delivers "haute cuisine" with seven-course prix-fixed menus, wine pairings and the finest ingredients from the world market.

At the helm of this critically-acclaimed restaurant is 15-year Victoria & Albert's veteran, Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel.

"It takes every individual on the team to achieve such a great honor consistently, from the reservationists to the wait staff and culinary team," remarked Hunnel about reaching this prestigious milestone. "The secret to our success is realizing that it's a continuous journey of reinvention in the restaurant and what we're doing today has to be better tomorrow."

Only 0.27 percent of AAA's 60,000 Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants in North America received this honor for 2010. According to AAA's ratings guidelines, to achieve Five Diamond status, restaurants must "consistently provide a world-class experience."

The culinary team's impeccable artistry and unique recipes, combined with an expert service staff and maître d', is what exceeds guest expectations daily in an effortless and unobtrusive manner.

"Our guests expect more and that's why we travel extensively to keep our minds open to develop new and exciting delicacies," said Chef Scott. "Over the years, we've visited other highly ranked restaurants in Paris, New York and Barcelona to get a perspective on what the competition is doing and to keep bringing the freshest and most original ideas home to our guests only the way Disney can."

To keep up the world-class culinary standards, the team at Victoria & Albert's inspect every detail of the presentation and are totally immersed in the delivery of the operation. Under Chef Scott's direction, the focus for 2010 is on taking the restaurant to the next level and in pleasing guests with new and exciting gastronomic surprises.

November 27, 2009

A Reason to Give Thanks! National Thanksgiving Turkey Will Celebrate Presidential Pardon at New Home in Disneyland Park

Photo ©Disneyland

'Courage' Will Join Local Volunteers Honored in Disneyland Parade

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 25, 2009) - The National Thanksgiving Turkey will really have something to celebrate following today's traditional presidential pardon ceremony on the White House North Lawn. "Courage" and his alternate, "Carolina," are going to Disneyland! It starts with a ride to Dulles International Airport. Then the birds will "fly" on United Airlines Flight "Turkey-1" to their new home at Disneyland Resort in Southern California.

The trip from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles will mark the fifth consecutive year that the National Thanksgiving Turkey has celebrated his pardon at a Disney resort. Accompanied by National Turkey Federation Chairman Walter Pelletier of Butterball LLC, Courage, a 20-week-old, 45-pound tom turkey, will be the honorary grand marshal in the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" Thanksgiving parade down Main Street, U.S.A. Following Thursday's parade, Courage and his alternate, Carolina, will find a home at Santa's Reindeer Round-Up at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, where they'll remain throughout the holidays and the rest of their lives.

Joining Courage and Carolina in the Disneyland Park parade on Thanksgiving Day will be 200 volunteers who, as part of National Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, Nov. 21, packed 20,000 boxes of food for Thanksgiving for those in need. Marching behind a Thanksgiving banner, the volunteers are being celebrated for their spirit of community service, the focus of Disney Parks' "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program in 2010. Disney Parks hopes to inspire 1 million people to perform a day of volunteer service for a participating organization by giving them a free one-day admission ticket to a Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort theme park.

"It is a tremendous honor to represent the turkey industry at the White House and to continue this 62-year-old tradition," said Pelletier. "Like all Americans, the men and women of our industry faced a very challenging year economically, so it will be gratifying to be at the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation and then participate in Disney's Thanksgiving event to reflect on the true meaning of Thanksgiving and the holiday season."

Added Captain Bob Hart of United Turkey-1: "Flying from coast to coast is a 2,288-mile journey and would be exhausting for a turkey. United is going to make sure that this flight is the most enjoyable and smooth cross-country journey these birds will ever take and a memorable experience for all customers onboard."

U. S. President Harry S Truman was the first commander-in-chief to be presented with a Thanksgiving turkey (in 1947) by the National Turkey Federation. This year's presentation marks the 62nd anniversary of a tradition that has continued through 11 successive White House administrations. The 2009 National Thanksgiving Turkey was raised under Chairman Pelletier's supervision on a farm in Goldsboro, N.C.

The National Turkey Federation is the advocate for all segments of the U.S. turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities which increase demand for its members' products, as well as enhance the ability to effectively and profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious turkey products.

To participate in the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program beginning Jan. 1, 2010, guests can go to www.DisneyParks.com for the United States and Puerto Rico, or www.DisneyParks.ca for Canada, to search for volunteer opportunities available in those areas through a participating organization and sign up for a day of volunteer service. Many of the opportunities will be for projects that most families can participate in together.
"Give a Day. Get a Disney Day" details:

Must pre-register and sign up for eligible volunteer opportunity at disneyparks.com. Ticket quantities for this program are limited. Must be at least age 6 to participate. One ticket per person. Other terms and conditions apply. For details see disneyparks.com in the United States and Puerto Rico. In Canada, see disneyparks.ca.

November 30, 2009

Santa Claus Soaks Up Florida Sun at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort

Guests can grab a sighting of Santa in his swim trunks and sandals before he heads out for his big night of work

Santa at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - November 25, 2009 - Paparazzi seeking THE photograph of the holiday season will have the opportunity to catch one of the world's most beloved celebrities out of his element this December.

Santa Claus, who among the world's most experienced travelers, has decided to enjoy some rest and relaxation and is taking off to spend the weeks leading up to Christmas at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Temporarily ditching his red suit for some swim trunks and tropical shirts, Santa will be laying back at the Grotto pool, resting up on his Heavenly Bed and indulging at the resort's 17 restaurants and lounges. And while the elves are preparing his winter sleigh, he'll be riding around in style in his personalized golf cart.

It won't be all play for Santa during his Florida vacation though, he will be taking the time to meet with boys and girls of all ages, gathering wish lists and taking photos in his Florida tiki hut, his customized Florida base complete with beach chair, holiday lights, mail box for letters to Santa, flamingos and reindeer on surf boards.

Santa at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

"The North Pole winters are frigid. Even I like to get away and spend some time in the Florida sun," said Santa. "I'll be finishing up my list while on vacation, so I invite everyone to come and visit me at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Ho, ho, ho!"

Santa arrives and will make public appearances at the resort Dec. 3 through Dec. 23. Anyone who would like to vacation with Santa at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort can take advantage of a special holiday offer leading up to Christmas (12/25) with rooms starting at $122.50 per night through Dec. 24. In addition, those who purchase an entrée at one of the resort's signature restaurants will receive a free photo with Santa. For details guests can visit www.santasfavoriteresort.com. To book please call 1-800-227-1500 and ask for rate code "SANTA".

Meeting Santa is just one reason to celebrate the holidays at The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort this season. Located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the resort provides convenient and complimentary transportation to the Disney theme parks and special Disney holiday events including The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.

Other holiday activities taking place at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort throughout December include cookie decorating, carolers performing in the lobbies and s'more camp fires on the beach. The resort will also showcase its signature 45-ft. tall Christmas tree in the Dolphin lobby.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the whimsical Garden Grove restaurant will offer a special Christmas buffet with guest appearances by Disney characters.

In the heart of the Walt Disney World® Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is your gateway to Central Florida's greatest theme parks and attractions. The resort is located in between Epcot® and Disney's Hollywood StudiosTM, and nearby Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Magic Kingdom® Park. Come discover our 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds® and the luxurious Mandara Spa. Enjoy five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, and many special Disney benefits, including complimentary transportation to Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Attractions, and the Extra Magic Hours benefit.

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About November 2009

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

October 2009 is the previous archive.

December 2009 is the next archive.

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