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December 2009 Archives

December 6, 2009

What’s New & What’s Next at Disneyland Resort?

Holiday Favorites, the Newest Disney Princess, The Return of Mr. Lincoln and 'World of Color' Coming Soon!

ANAHEIM, Calif. (December 4, 2009) - As the Holidays take center stage at Disneyland Resort through Jan. 3, 2010, guests will celebrate the season along with the return of some favorite attractions. Still to come are the return of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in December, and a milestone in the ongoing expansion of Disney's California Adventure park - the spring debut of "World of Color."

HOLIDAY FAVORITES: Disneyland Resort is the ideal place to celebrate the magic of the holidays with friends and loved ones. Holidays at Disneyland Resort features "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, "it's a small world" holiday, Haunted Mansion Holiday and all the special décor - including the 60-foot Christmas tree on Main Street, U.S.A. - that transforms Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure parks into a holiday wonderland. Santa Claus greets young and old alike at Santa's Reindeer Ranch in Frontierland, Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle once again sparkles with the shimmering magic of winter, and "Believe" In Holiday Magic" fireworks light up the night, concluding with a snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A., in front of "it's a small world" and along the riverfront in New Orleans Square. At Disney's California Adventure, guests can enjoy a bug's-eye view of the holidays by visiting Flik's Fun Fair, with its oversized holiday decorations. They can also visit Santa Claus in "Santa's Seaside Pavilion," a quaint Victorian gazebo next to the Christmas Tree along the Paradise Bay boardwalk.

TIANA'S SHOWBOAT JUBILEE!: An additional holiday highlight this year is "Tiana's Showboat Jubilee!" performed four times a day through Jan. 3, 2010, in New Orleans Square. Inspired by the new Disney animated feature "The Princess and the Frog," "Tiana's Showboat Jubilee!" invites guests to enjoy a rousing Mardi Gras-style cavalcade through to the Frontierland waterfront, where Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and other "Princess and the Frog" characters board the Mark Twain Riverboat. The boat then takes to the river where Tiana and company entertain guests on shore in New Orleans Square with a show that includes dancing and songs from the animated motion picture.

THE RETURN OF THE DISNEY GALLERY: Long a favorite of Disney fans and collectors of Disney art, The Disney Gallery has reopened in its new home - next to the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland in the space originally occupied by the Bank of Main Street. (Don't miss the special pieces on display inside the old bank vault!) The Gallery's inaugural show, "Enchanting the Classics," focuses on how the artists at Walt Disney Imagineering have kept beloved Disneyland attractions, such as Jungle Cruise, Submarine Voyage and Pirates of the Caribbean, fresh and exciting over the years with enhancements and surprises.

CELEBRATING THE MAGICAL HISTORY OF DISNEYLAND: Next door to The Disney Gallery, in the Lobby of the Main Street Opera House, is The Disneyland Story, an immersive display that takes guests behind the scenes in the 54-year history and development of Walt Disney's original theme park. A highlight is the continuous screening of "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years," co-hosted by Steve Martin and Donald Duck.

MR. LINCOLN RETURNS TO HIS MAIN STREET ADDRESS: In December, the beloved Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln will return to the auditorium of the Main Street Opera House. Walt Disney Imagineering has enriched this classic inspirational presentation, augmenting fondly remembered show elements with the most advance Audio-Animatronics technology, artwork and other enhancements.

A PREVIEW OF EXPANSION AT DISNEY'S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE: In Blue Sky Cellar at Golden Vine Winery, the Imagineers' workshop offers guests a wide-ranging preview - featuring models, concept art and film - of what's coming to Disney's California Adventure, including "World of Color" in 2010; a new ride in 2011 that takes guests into the undersea world of "The Little Mermaid," and the new, 12-acre Cars Land in 2012.

COMING IN 2010 - 'WORLD OF COLOR': The next big development in the expansion of Disney's California Adventure will be unveiled in spring 2010. "World of Color," a spectacular nighttime water show presented in Paradise Bay, will astound guests with its magnitude and creativity, bringing classic Disney and Pixar animation to life with hundreds of powerful fountains, larger-than-life projections, lasers, fire, surround-sound music and jaw-dropping effects. The show will employ stunning technical wizardry to create a breathtaking emotional experience, presenting beloved characters as you've never seen them before.

December 7, 2009

Happy Holidays from the Disney Cruise Line!

December 8, 2009

Disney Cruise Line Introduces Family-Friendly Port Adventures for 2010 Mediterranean and Northern Europe Sailings

Distinctly Disney Experiences, Exclusive Tours and Rich Storytelling

Bring One-of-a-Kind Excursions to Life

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2009) - In 2010, Disney Cruise Line will offer the most diverse itineraries in the line's history - sailing Mediterranean, Northern European, Caribbean and Bahamian routes. With a wide variety of European itineraries, Disney Cruise Line is working closely with local tour operators to create family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to best experience these culturally rich and exotic locales.

All Port Adventures will offer impeccable Disney guest service and are designed to entertain and inspire both children and adults - in true Disney fashion. Added touches such as more scheduled breaks, complimentary snacks and beverages, and fun port journals for kids are provided on all Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures.

While every port of call will offer Port Adventures for families to enjoy together, many tours integrate separate activities for children and adults. While kids are engaged in age-appropriate activities supervised by youth counselors from the ship, parents are given the opportunity to explore cultural sites and points of interest in greater depth.

For the 2010 European season, each itinerary will include at least one tour that features distinctly Disney touches, beloved characters and rich storytelling to help bring local culture and customs to life. Itineraries also will showcase authentic cultural experiences in intimate, upscale settings during Signature Collection tours.

Some of the Port Adventures exclusive to Disney Cruise Line guests include:

Distinctly Disney

At one port of call, on both Mediterranean and Northern European itineraries, a magical, one-of-a-kind experience brings local history and stories to life with the help of some Disney friends.

For example, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the majestic Catherine Palace provides the setting for an elaborate Royal Ball. The noble estate served as Russia's imperial family summer residence for more than 200 years, but on this Port Adventure it is Disney Cruise Line guests who are treated like royalty.

Catherine Palace is the stage for a grand gala hosted by Disney princesses such as Cinderella, Snow White and Belle. Arriving by horse-drawn carriages, the princesses and their princes will entertain guests in the gilded Grand Ballroom.

Live musicians and royal courtiers resplendent in period costumes and powdered wigs add to the ambiance and lead guests in song, dance and regal revelry.

Something for Everyone

At many ports of call during the 2010 European season, at least one Port Adventure will bring youth counselors from the Disney Magic ashore to join the tour and direct special activities for children. While kids are enjoying "mini adventures" designed just for them, adults on the tour continue on with a more in-depth exploration of the destination. Everyone reconnects later in the tour to share their experiences.

During a tour of Florence, families experience city highlights together then divide into separate groups for their own style of fun. Children spend about an hour honing their skills as the next Michelangelo as they create their own traditional Italian fresco painting. During this time, parents are free to explore the rest of the impressive Palazzo Vecchio and take a deeper dive into the masterpieces of this Florentine palace.

Family Adventures

Unique to Disney Cruise Line, one-of-kind family adventures will be offered at select ports of call. These immersive, interactive tours allow families to experience the sites and culture of the destination in a fun and entertaining way while spending quality time together.

In one instance, the Sidi Bou Said Treasure Hunt in Tunis guides families throughout focal points of this popular destination by following clues. This entertaining quest brings to life the culture, sites, sounds and flavors of the city.

As part of this Port Adventure, families visit a traditional Tunisian house, learn about the origin of Sidi Bou Said from a local storyteller, receive a hand-painted henna tattoo, bargain with local merchants for a keepsake water vessel, sip freshly prepared mint tea and get their name written in Arabic as a souvenir.

Signature Collection

Signature Collection tours are found on all Disney Cruise Line itineraries and will be available as part of the 2010 European season. These exclusive tours are customized for guests seeking deluxe experiences ashore in intimate, upscale settings.

In Florence, the Tuscan Cooking School and Wine Tasting takes guests on a northern Italian culinary journey. An authentic Tuscan farmhouse is the venue where guests learn how to create delectable Tuscan cuisine using fresh, local ingredients.

An Italian chef provides one-on-one instruction and guides the hands-on participation. Guests then enjoy their culinary creations such as antipasto, grilled meats, pasta, focaccia and cantucci - traditional Tuscan almond biscotti. A sampling of wines bottled onsite at the farmhouse provides the perfect pairing to the regional feast.

Celebrating the ‘Season of Giving,’ 26th Annual ‘Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade’ Broadcasts from Both Coasts, Airing on ABC-TV Dec. 25

Television holiday extraordinaire includes celebrity performances by Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder pop music sensations Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, plus more!

Welcome the holidays with festive favorites featuring 'Dancing with the Stars' talent, cheerful characters, Disney's newest princess debut and more from Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. / ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2009) - 'Tis the season to be merry at Disney parks when the 26th annual "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade," featuring award-winning musical talent and iconic stars performing in this year's television special, airs Dec. 25 on ABC-TV.

This year's show promises to dazzle viewers with must-see performances by Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder. Pop sensations the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato spread joy to all as enchanting sounds from world-renowned musical artist Yanni and his Yanni Voices echo through the park. "American Idol" Season 8 winner Kris Allen will perform and "Wizards of Waverly Place" star Selena Gomez will make a special appearance in the annual telecast.

From the newest Disney princess - Tiana - to Mickey Mouse and all his 'toon pals, beloved Disney characters will embrace the holiday spirit aboard awe-inspiring floats that "deck the halls" as they glide through the Disney theme parks.

Two of television's most popular celebrities will appear as the hosts of this year's program. From Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, popular morning show personality Kelly Ripa returns as host, doubling her duties while partner Regis Philbin recovers from recent surgery. At Disneyland Park in California, worldwide television and radio host Ryan Seacrest takes center stage for the West Coast festivities. Nick Cannon from "America's Got Talent" makes his "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" television debut as co-host/man-on-the-street for the telecast.

The two-hour televised special will air nationally in high-definition Dec. 25 on ABC-TV at 10 a.m. Eastern and 9 a.m. Central, Mountain and Pacific times.

'Tis the Season to Give Back: 'Give a Day, Get a Disney Day' in 2010

The season of giving has a special meaning this year as Disney Parks' nationwide volunteer initiative, "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day," is slated to kick off soon after the holidays. To celebrate volunteerism, Disney Parks will give a free, one-day admission to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park to 1 million people in the United States and Canada who perform volunteer service with a participating organization starting Jan. 1, 2010.

While parents and children prepare to offer their day of volunteer service in 2010, two families will share their encouraging stories during the parade telecast of how they've made a difference by volunteering in their hometown communities, the inspiring motives that moved them to give back and the lessons their children have taken with them along the way.

Stars Shine Bright from Coast to Coast

Throughout the telecast, chart-topping talent and award-winning artists from around the world come together to share in the Christmas merriment at Disney parks.

(Please note: all talent and floats subject to change)

* Ten-time Grammy winner Celine Dion will be featured singing her heartwarming ballad, "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day," and shares her own rendition of "O' Come All Ye Faithful."

* Legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder will have viewers singing along with his very own holiday classic, "What Christmas Means to Me."

* Worldwide pop stars Jonas Brothers- who also star in the hit Disney Channel series "JONAS" -put a rocking, tropical spin on the holidayswhen they perform their brand-new song, "Summertime Anthem." The high-energy tune is featured on "All Wrapped Up: Vol. 2," the new holiday CD from Hollywood Records.

* The star of the Disney Channel series "Wizards of Waverly Place," Selena Gomez, makes a special appearance amidst the festive magic at Disneyland park.

* Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose, voice of Princess Tiana from the new Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film "The Princess andthe Frog," performs a musical production inspired by "Tiana's Showboat Jubilee." During the number, she will be accompanied by Tony Dovolani and Cheryl Burke, two of the dancers from ABC's hit show "Dancing with the Stars." The musical, Mardi Gras-style celebration takes place in New Orleans Square at Disneyland.

* Yanni will bring his Yanni Voices toperform a reverent arrangement of "O Holy Night" featuring Nathan Pacheco.

* "American Idol" winner Kris Allen entertains the crowd with his rendition of a holiday favorite, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

* Straight from Southern California, the world-famous USC Marching Band beats to their own seasonal drums at Disneyland Resort.

* Demi Lovato, star of the Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" and "Sonny With A Chance," performs the Paul McCartney classic, "Wonderful Christmas Time."

* The irresistible puppies from Disney's popular series of "Buddies" movies will make a special appearance to celebrate their all-new and heartwarming holiday adventure on Disney Blu-Ray & DVD, "Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws."

* Known for his hit songs on the "Hannah Montana: The Movie," "The Suite Life on Deck" and "G-Force" movie soundtracks, Steve Rushton rings in the holidays with "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" - a tune he performs on the "Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws" Blu-Ray & DVD - as he is joined by the famed Florida A&M University Strikers.

* Travel Channel star Samantha Brown checks in with holiday greetings from Disney Cruise Line, aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship.

A Television Spectacular for Families to Share on Christmas Morning
What would the holidays be without old friends? Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy are joined by fairytale favorites Pinocchio, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine and gingerbread men, toy soldiers and reindeer as they spread cheer during a festive parade through the Disney parks.

* Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ride along a festive Christmas tree float greeting guests along the way.

* Phineas and Ferb make their Disney Parks debut at Disneyland park, delighting Disney Channel fans of all ages as they parade down Main Street, U.S.A.

* Disney's famed Toy Soldiers lead the way during "The Toyland March."

* Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater from Disney-Pixar's "Cars" will rev engines and holiday spirit as they motor down Main Street, U.S.A.

* All the way from Agrabah, Aladdin and Jasmine take a "magic carpet ride" through Magic Kingdom.

* Dreams really do come true as Disney princess favorites like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Mulan share in the royal holiday festivities.

* And where there is Snow White, her seven singing friends are never far behind - the Seven Dwarfs show off their hard work in the mines with a jewel-encrusted Christmas tree.

* Last, but definitely not least - the big man himself, Santa Claus, accompanied by his loyal reindeer, make a special appearance in Magic Kingdom, spreading goodwill and wishes to everyone on Christmas morning.

The 26th annual "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" airs Christmas Day on ABC-TV.

Additionally, Radio Disney will air a one-hour holiday special hosted by on-air personalities Ernie D. and Jake Whetter on Friday, Dec. 25 (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT). It will feature interviews with the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Meaghan Martin originating from Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Corresponding video segments will be featured on RadioDisney.com through Jan. 1, 2010.

December 10, 2009

Community Candlelight Glows with Charitable Spirit


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 8, 2009 - Warm holiday wishes filled the air at sunset on December 6 as more than 1,400 community leaders gathered to enjoy a performance of the Candlelight Processional at Epcot's America Gardens Theatre. A Walt Disney World Resort holiday tradition since 1971 (hosted at Epcot since 1994), the illuminating event showcases the reason for the season through memorable music and the retelling of the Christmas story.

Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Princess Tiana in Disney's new animated feature "The Princess and the Frog," provided heartfelt narration; joined by the Voices of Liberty, a mass choir comprised of local high school choruses and Walt Disney Cast Members and a 50-piece live orchestra.

In lieu of holding a reception after the performance, Walt Disney World Resort president Meg Crofton announced that donations would be made to the Health Care Center for the Homeless and Second Harvest of Central Florida's Kids' Café program. Both charities were pleasantly surprised by the announcement; each will receive $15,000 and can immediately put the funds to use.

"This is a great Christmas gift that a lot of our patients will benefit from," said Health Care Center for the Homeless CEO Bakari Burns, who shared they plan to use the funds toward their mammography services and denture sponsorship program.

"Disney's donation of $15,000 will go a long way in supporting our Kids' Cafés," said Second Harvest of Central Florida executive director Dave Krepcho. "After-school programs for children are even more important these days because the current economy has put a strain on many families' resources. The thousands of meals provided with these funds are much appreciated."

Health Care Center for the Homeless improves the lives of the homeless in Central Florida by providing quality health care services to indigent people; medical support that was once unavailable in our community prior to the charity's founding. To learn more, visit http://www.hcch.org/.

Second Harvest Florida Bank of Central Florida's Kids Café is an after-school program that provides nutritious meals to children from low-income families in a safe, secure environment. Find out more by visiting http://www.foodbankcentralflorida.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AboutUs_OurPrograms_KidsCafe.

December 11, 2009

Red Carpet rolled out for the 2009 Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show at Walt Disney World Resort

December 10, 2009, Hollywood glamour met the sports world at Walt Disney World 's Boardwalk Resort. The nation's top college football players were in town for the 2009 Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Texas QB Colt McCoy and Alabama running back Mark Ingram were just a few top players who traded shoulder pads for suits and ties to walk the red carpet. Cheering fans, television cameras and flashes greeted the athletes as they made their way to the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's Boardwalk Resort for the live awards show. Reporter Jenny Dunn caught up with the players and gives us the play by play of their red carpet experience.


Boston College Linebacker Herzlich Named Disney Spirit Award Recipient

Former All-American recognized for inspirational battle against rare cancer and fundraising efforts for cancer research

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2009) - Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, who recently overcame a rare form of bone cancer and helped inspire more than $120,000 in donations for cancer-related causes, has been selected for the Disney Spirit Award given annually by Disney Sports to college football's most inspirational figure.

Herzlich will be presented with the award during The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards at Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, Dec. 10. The 19th annual awards show is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN.

"The Disney Spirit Award is an award that means more to me than any award based on statistics and on-the-field achievements," Herzlich said. "I have had to battle a deadly rare disease this past year and, along with beating the disease, I was fortunate to be able to help others along the way. To be recognized with this award is an honor and I hope that it shows people around the world that there is hope and that it will encourage them to continue to battle."

In 2008, Herzlich emerged as one of the top linebackers in the country, earning All-American honors and being named the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. After he passed up a chance to go to the NFL as a junior, his football career was in jeopardy this summer when he was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a malignant tumor most often found in bone or soft tissue. A week later, Herzlich began treatment to ward off the cancer in his leg.

Following Herzlich's diagnosis, support poured in from both the Boston College community and around the country. His Eagles teammates created their own chapter of Uplifting Athletes, a national organization that works with college football players to fund rare disease research, holding a Lift For Life event which raised $28,000. Additionally, Boston College initiated a "Beat Cancer" campaign and sold gold T-shirts that honored Herzlich.

Beyond the Boston College campus, other schools and organizations such as Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and the Orange Bowl all donated to Uplifting Athletes in Herzlich's name. And Herzlich himself made personal visits to cancer patients near campus and on the road to share his story and offer words of encouragement.

On Nov. 2, Herzlich received his final chemotherapy treatment and is currently cancer free. Later this month, he will have a rod surgically inserted into his leg to strengthen the bone. After a two-week recovery process, he will begin his journey to rejoin the Eagles on the field for the 2010 season.

"Mark's indomitable spirit in the face of such a devastating illness and his extraordinary support of cancer research embodies the true essence of the Disney Spirit Award," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. "Disney Sports is proud to honor Mark for his courage, optimism, support of other cancer patients, and his determination to return to the football field next season. He is truly an inspiration to all of us."

The Disney Spirit Award is presented annually to college football's most inspirational figure. Herzlich becomes the 14th recipient of the award, joining past honorees Daniel Huffman (1996), Dwight Collins (1997), Matt Hartl (1998), East Carolina University (1999), Hameen Ali (2000), the United States Service Academy football teams (2001), Dewayne White (2002), Neil Parry (2003), Tim Frisby (2004), the Tulane University football team (2005), University of Louisville band member Patrick Henry Hughes (2006), Zerbin Singleton (2007) and Tim Tebow (2008).

Tebow was selected as the 2008 recipient on the merits of his remarkable humanitarian efforts, including juggling the extraordinary demands of being one of the marquee players in college football, with countless hours spent preaching and providing support to less fortunate people.

In 2007, U.S. Naval Academy slot-back Zerbin Singleton overcame several obstacles growing up, including leaving Alaska after his mother's incarceration to follow his dream of becoming a part of the U.S. space program. Initially accepted into the Naval Academy, Singleton's aviation dreams were derailed by injuries from a car accident one week before graduating as class valedictorian that left him unable to participate in the Navy's plebe summer. Singleton enrolled his freshman year at Georgia Tech until he was healthy enough to transfer to the Naval Academy.
Disney Spirit Award Recipients:
Date Recipient School (Hometown)
1996 Daniel Huffman Rossville High School (Rossville, Ill.)
1997 Dwight Collins Central Florida University (Lake Charles, La.)
1998 Matt Hartl Northwestern University (Denver, Colo.)
1999 East Carolina University * East Carolina University (Greenville, N.C.)
2000 Hameen Ali College of William & Mary (Dover, Del.)
2001 U.S. Air Force Academy ** U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
U.S. Military Academy ** U.S. Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.)
U.S. Naval Academy ** U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.)
2002 Dewayne White University of Louisville (Marbury, Ala.)
2003 Neil Parry San Jose State University (Sonora, Calif.)
2004 Tim Frisby University of South Carolina (Allentown, Pa.)
2005 Tulane University* Tulane University (New Orleans, La.)
2006 Patrick Henry Hughes University of Louisville (Louisville, Ky.)
2007 Zerbin Singleton United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.)
2008 Tim Tebow University of Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.)
2009 Mark Herzlich Boston College (Wayne, Pa.)

* presented to entire football team
** presented to football teams at all three service academies

Media Note: Media interested in attending the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show can apply for credentials atwww.espncollegefootballawards.com. For more information, please visit www.disneysports.com.

December 15, 2009

Disney Villains Cast a Comical Spell on New Stage Spectacular Aboard Disney Cruise Line Ships

CELEBRATION, Fla. - The malevolent world of the Disney villains takes a comical spin in "Villains Tonight!," a musical spectacular that Disney Cruise Line is premiering in spring 2010. The revue-style show will debut during the March 27 voyage aboard the Disney Magic and will delight guests aboard the new Disney Dream cruise ship in early 2011.

"Villains Tonight!" is the first full-scale musical production dedicated to the Disney villains. The show is a family-friendly, fun-filled musical extravaganza that places these famous evil-doers in some irreverent funny moments.

"We pride ourselves in delivering exceptional entertainment and magnificent stage spectaculars aboard our ships," said Jim Urry, Vice President of Entertainment for Disney Cruise Line. "With 'Villains Tonight!' we are bringing the lovable and loathsome Disney villains to life in a way never seen before - as the stars of the first musical comedy devoted to the anti-heroes of our films."

Disney Cruise Line assembled an all-star creative team headlined by the Broadway writing duo of Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen ("[title of show]"). They are joined by director Allison Narver, choreographer Karma Camp and musical director Ben Cohn.

"Villains Tonight!" begins as Hades and his faithful sidekicks, Pain and Panic ("Hercules"), welcome new souls (the audience) to the Underworld. But instead of a frightening realm, guests will discover that Hades has turned the Underworld into an upbeat and happier place. The lively fun comes to a halt when The Fates arrive and predict that Hades will lose his position as Lord of the Underworld if he doesn't ramp up the evil factor.

Worried by the news, Hades checks his Evil-O-Meter and discovers it is running dangerously low. So he comes up with a plan: He'll conjure up the very best of the worst - the most powerful Disney villains - to help him replenish the world of evil. What ensues is a comical journey as Hades, Pain and Panic embark on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers featuring everyone's favorite Disney villains and their sidekicks.

"Villains Tonight!"� features a "Who's Who" of the Disney villains, including Disney's newest crook, Dr. Facilier from "The Princess and the Frog." The show also features classic divas and scoundrels like Ursula ("The Little Mermaid"), the Evil Queen ("Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"), Captain Hook ("Peter Pan") and Scar ("The Lion King").

During "Villains Tonight!," the 977-seat Walt Disney Theatre becomes a hilariously wicked world through the use of elaborate sets and special effects, extravagant costumes and a fun-filled, contemporary musical score. The show's scenery takes guests on a dazzling journey through many villainous worlds, from the deck of Captain Hook's ship to Scar's Elephant Graveyard to Ursula's Undersea Lounge.

"Villains Tonight!" features irreverent versions of classic Disney villain tunes including a dance club version of "Cruella De Vil" ("101 Dalmatians"), a Copacabana-inspired take of "Poor Unfortunate Souls" ("The Little Mermaid") and an electrifying version of "Friends on the Other Side," from Walt Disney Pictures' newest animated feature, "The Princess and the Frog." In addition, Bell and Bowen developed two original songs especially for the show, "Welcome to the Underworld"� and "Villains Tonight."

The show was produced by Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, which has received acclaim for its productions around the world, including "Finding Nemo - The Musical" (Walt Disney World Resort in Florida), "Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular" (Disneyland Resort in California), "Twice Charmed" (Disney Cruise Line) and "The Golden Mickeys" (Hong Kong Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line).

"Villains Tonight!" joins the lineup of shipboard stage musicals as the Disney Magic gets ready to embark on an unprecedented five-month season of Mediterranean and Northern European cruises. Departing from Barcelona, Spain, Mediterranean cruises go from April 24 to May 26 and Aug. 7 to Sept. 8, visiting popular ports in Italy, France and North Africa. Departing out of Dover, England, the Northern European cruises will sail from June 12 to July 18, visiting St. Petersburg, Oslo, Copenhagen and other enchanting ports.

December 16, 2009

Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line Come Together to Create the Ultimate Mediterranean Vacation for Summer 2010

Guests Booking Specific Adventures by Disney/Disney Cruise Line Itineraries Are Treated to Special Onboard Activities and Privately-Guided Shore Experiences

(Dec. 15, 2009) BURBANK, Calif. - Adventures by Disney, named the World's Best Luxury Tour Operator by the 2009 World Travel Awards, and Disney Cruise Line announced today a special add-on option for a series of Mediterranean cruises in 2010 that will combine the best of both Disney vacations to create a one-of-a-kind family vacation experience at sea and on shore. Featuring Adventures by Disney's expertise in guided travel across the world and the magic of a Disney Cruise Line voyage, guests participating in this new vacation offering can enjoy onboard activities and unique shore experiences that immerse each member of the family in the cultures and sights of this European region.

This limited-time product offering may be booked now for 10- and 11-night Disney Cruise Line Mediterranean vacations on the following departure dates: May 5, 15, 26; August 7, 18, 28 and September 8.

"This new product brings the best of both Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line to families interested in the ultimate Mediterranean experience," said Karl Holz, President of Disney Cruise Line & New Vacation Operations. "Visiting some of Europe's most captivating destinations, the trip is designed to ensure that the guest's only agenda is to soak up the culture, relax and have fun in the Mediterranean."

A Mediterranean Adventure, On Land and By Sea

Adventures by Disney now brings the history and wonder of the world's best destinations to families taking a Disney Cruise Line Mediterranean voyage. The first-time add-on package combines Adventures by Disney's highly-trained Adventure Guides and incomparable itineraries designed specifically for families with the unparalleled Disney Cruise Line experience at sea.

Leveraging Adventures by Disney's signature "Disney Difference," the Adventure Guides oversee every aspect of the itinerary, serving as VIP host and expert tour guide for each traveler throughout the vacation. Families enjoy a hassle-free vacation, while the Adventure Guides handle all the details so parents and children can spend their time having the time of their lives in each port.

While at sea, guests may participate in many special shipboard activities and programs available only as part of the Adventures by Disney/Disney Cruise Line vacation package. As part of the Mediterranean trip, families are entitled to scheduled shore experiences and meals, a night of fine dining for adults, wine tasting at Palo aboard the Disney Magic, private receptions, and onboard and onshore photos.

While in ports of call, guests step into the region's must-see cities including beautiful Barcelona and scenic Naples, are immersed in the ancient history and culture of Tunisia, Malta and Corsica, and even explore the French Riviera. Another Adventures by Disney point of difference is that itineraries are developed with the family in mind and boast an array of activities that immerse each member in the culture and history of every city, including thrills created especially for children.

Featuring Adventures by Disney's signature service, guests take pleasure in daily outings that are nearly impossible to book on their own. For example, families who take the Mediterranean vacation embark on a powerboat ride to the Island of Gozo featuring its striking scenery and serene beaches, followed by an off-road tour to uncover the island's hidden charms - one of the many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities guests experience. Other special touches include a tasty behind-the-scenes tour of a Florence gelateria, granted expedited entrance into the Vatican or travel via coach to various destinations. All said, families receive a well-rounded tour of the Mediterranean matched with specific off-the-beaten-path experiences just for them.

To learn more about this new itinerary, visit adventuresbydisney.com/DCLMed.

December 17, 2009

Walt Disney Family Museum - February 2010 Events

The Walt Disney Family Museum
February 2010 Events Calendar

Fall in love this month at The Walt Disney Family Museum with special programming dedicated to romance, education and entertainment! Highlights of February's programming includes the film of the month, Lady and the Tramp, which plays from February 1-27, and a special food, wine & film pairing event with Jan Wahl on Valentine's Day. Legendary Imagineer Bob Gurr visits the Museum on February 6 for a discussion on innovation, audio animatronics and the majestic Mr. Lincoln.


Film of the Month: Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp runs from February 1 to February 27.
1:00pm and 4:00pm, Theater
(except Tuesdays, February 6, February 14 and February 21).
tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Unleash your heart and fall in love this February with Lady and the Tramp! Watch romance blossom between Lady, a high society cocker spaniel, and Tramp, a mutt from the wrong side of the tracks, over a spaghetti dinner. Now that's what we call Puppy Love!

February 14 - Reel Delicious: Food & Wine in Film

3:00 pm, Special Exhibition Hall
tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Join Jan Wahl for a fabulous feast through great moments with food and wine in movies. From Lady and the Tramp to Sideways, join us for the perfect pairing of gourmet food, wine, and film. Celebrate this Valentine's Day with some marvelous mouthwatering moments from the movies.


February 6 - Innovations: Audio Animatronics, Will the Real Mr. Lincoln Please Stand Up! 3:00 pm, Theater
tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

From the fluttering of birds wings to the graceful gestures of humans, animatronics mimics life in all its forms. Discover how the first successful audio animatronic, the majestic Mr. Lincoln, was conceived and engineered. Hear from the legendary Mr. Bob Gurr who worked alongside other Imagineers to help Mr. Lincoln talk and stand.


February 21 - This American Land: Music of the New World
4:00 p.m., Special Exhibition Hall
tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Artists' Vocal Ensemble takes a deep look into music of America. From Native Americans to Spanish missionaries to the film industry, our unique geography has shaped a beautiful and soulful tradition. We will celebrate Samuel Barber's centennial, and discover the power of early-American Shape-note music, the music of Spanish missionaries, and the voice of local composers. This is an opportunity to enjoy a late-winter's afternoon surrounded by magnificent music.


February 13 - Disney Discoveries: Valentines Pop-up Card
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Learning Center: Art Studio

Imaginations and creativity will soar with our new Disney Discoveries! The second Saturday of each month, join us for family fun and activities in the Learning Center. The activities planned by our education staff will inspire the hidden artist in young visitors while learning about the life and work of Walt Disney.

The Disney Discoveries! activities are free with paid admission to the Museum. No ticket is needed for members-just show your membership card.

February 26 & 27 - Look Closer: The Hat Bronzed with Love
11:00 am and 3:00 pm, Gallery 9, Lower Level

Blue Line

WEBSITE: waltdisney.org

TWITTER: twitter.com/wdfmuseum

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

December 18, 2009

Captain EO Returns to Disneyland Resort

Twenty-three years ago, at the height of his phenomenal entertainment career, Michael Jackson joined forces with Disney to create "Captain EO," a groundbreaking 17-minute 3D film experience.

We are excited to confirm that the classic musical spectacular that thrilled Disneyland park guests from 1986 - 1997, will return for an exclusive, limited engagement at Disneyland park beginning in February 2010!

Captain EO

The attraction's return to Tomorrowland will provide new audiences the opportunity to experience the original 3D production for the very first time, as well as a nostalgic look back for longtime fans wanting to see "The King of Pop" in a rare performance created for the big-screen, just one more time.

"Honey I Shrunk The Audience" will be closing sometime in the next few weeks to make way for the Captain's return.

A look back at the Captain EO attraction from our Walt Disney World archives!

December 20, 2009

Classic Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Returns to Disneyland, Utilizing Advanced Technology to Present Lincoln’s Inspiring Words


ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2009) - President Abraham Lincoln returns to the Main Street Opera House in Disneyland with stunning new Audio-Animatronics technology that makes this the most lifelike and expressive Lincoln figure yet.

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, a beloved Disneyland attraction for nearly 45 years and a historic landmark in the development of Audio-Animatronics technology, reopens Dec. 18 on Main Street, U.S.A. with the new Lincoln figure and an enriched presentation that combines the best elements of the park's original 1965 show and the most advanced technical enhancements. (The show first opened at the 1964 New York World's Fair.)

The new Abraham Lincoln figure represents several major milestones for Audio-Animatronics figures. The fully electric head - a first for human Disney Audio-Animatronics figures, which are traditionally hydraulically operated - is based on an all-new sculpt that is more lifelike than in previous versions of the show. With an expanded range of facial movement, Lincoln is more expressive than ever. He can purse his lips, form an "O" with his lips, smile, grimace and use his eyebrows to enhance his emotions.


The state-of-the-art figure of the 16th president of the United States will take the stage of the Main Street Opera House to deliver a speech composed of highlights from speeches made by Lincoln during his lifetime. (Walt Disney himself selected the highlights first included in the attraction.) The original readings by the late actor Royal Dano, recorded in the early 1960s, have been preserved and made sharper using digital technology, as has the original host narration by Paul Frees (a talented voice actor who also can be heard in the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean attractions).

Frees' narration includes passages never heard in past Great Moments with Mr. Lincolnpresentations. Thanks to the latest Audio-Animatronics technology, Lincoln also will appear more lifelike than ever before as he rises from his chair and speaks.

Upon entering the Main Street Opera House, guests encounter a redesigned lobby, including both The Disneyland Story - an entertaining display of the past, present and future of Disneyland - and a separate presentation of items relating to Abraham Lincoln's life and work. In the auditorium, guests will first view an onscreen program about Lincoln and the Civil War that features digitally enhanced versions of pictures and sound created for past versions of the show along with new material. Next, Lincoln takes the stage to deliver his speech. When the 15-minute show concludes, guests exit through a gallery depicting notable Americans who have followed in Lincoln's footsteps and continue to inspire others in areas such as perseverance, innovation and imagination.


December 21, 2009

Whoopi Goldberg with Minnie Mouse at Epcot - Dec. 19, 2009


Emmy, Grammy, Tony, Golden Globe, NAACP Image and Academy award-winning actress and TV personality Whoopi Goldberg poses Dec. 19, 2009 with Minnie Mouse at Epcot. Goldberg, also a co-host on ABC's "The View," was at Epcot to be the featured celebrity narrator in the Candlelight Processional, a Disney Parks holiday tradition which combines a retelling of the Christmas story accompanied by a 50-piece live orchestra and a mass choir. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort. (Preston Mack, photographer)

December 25, 2009

26th Annual ‘Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade’ on ABC-TV Dec. 25

Television holiday extraordinaire includes celebrity performances by Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder pop music sensations Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, plus more!

Welcome the holidays with festive favorites featuring 'Dancing with the Stars' talent, cheerful characters, Disney's newest princess debut and more from Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Celion Dion - Grammy Award-winning singer Celine Dion performs "O' Come All Ye Faithful" at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., while taping the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" holiday TV special.

Celine Dion

Stevie Wonder - Music legend Stevie Wonder, his daughter Aisha Morris, right, and Minnie Morris take a break during the taping of the 2009 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Wonder performs his classic song "That's What Christmas Means To Me".

Stevie Wonder

Demi Lovato and Pluto pal around while taping the 2009 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade special for ABC at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

Demi Lovato

Jonas Brothers - (L-R: Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas) perform in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Jonas Brothers performed their new holiday single, "Summertime Anthem," in a segment taped for the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.

Jonas Bros

Kelly Ripa poses on Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. while taping the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" TV special.

Kelly Ripa

SANTA PAWS: The canine stars from Disney's new holiday DVD "Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws" poseon Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom in Florida while taping a segment for the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade."

Santa Buddies

Ryan Seacrest tapes the 2009 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, airing December 25 on ABC, at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

Ryan Seacrest

December 28, 2009

Walt Disney World Resort Announces a Free Disney Gift Card Offer with Select Vacation Packages

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - To start the new year off right, guests can take advantage of a new Walt Disney World Resort package offer including a Disney Gift Card worth up to $750- free.

When guests purchase a 5-night/6-day non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Company room and ticket package at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels they'll get a free Disney Gift Card to use at participating locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort for merchandise, recreation and dining.

This Magic Your Way package includes:

· Accommodations for 5 nights right in the middle of the magic

· A 6-day Magic Your Way Base Ticket, with admission to one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks for each day of their stay

· Free $300 Disney Gift Card for stays most nights Jan. 3, Jan.10-12, Jan. 18-Feb. 9, Feb. 15-March 27 and April 11-June 3, 2010, at select Disney Value Resorts; OR

· Free $500 Disney Gift Card for stays most nights Jan. 3, Jan.10-12, Jan. 18-March 27 and April 11-June 3, 2010, at select Disney Moderate Resorts; OR

· Free $750 Disney Gift Card for stays most nights Jan. 3-11, Jan. 19-March 27 and April 11-June 3, 2010, at select Disney Deluxe Resorts or Jan. 3-11, Jan. 19-March 27 and April 11-June 3, 2010, at select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts

This special offer may be booked now through March 27, 2010, at 407/W DISNEY, www.disneyworld.com or through travel agents.

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About December 2009

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

November 2009 is the previous archive.

January 2010 is the next archive.

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