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January 2, 2010

Give a Day of Volunteer Service in 2010, Get a Day of Disney Theme Park Fun – Free

Disney Parks Hopes to Inspire 1 Million Volunteers Beginning Jan. 1

Disney Parks is launching a program that celebrates the spirit of volunteer service with a simple proposition: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day."

Disney hopes to inspire families to volunteer in their communities during 2010 through this first of its kind program. One million people who perform volunteer service for a participating organization will receive a free one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park.

While the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program kicks off Jan. 1, right now guests can learn more about the program and how to get their free one-day admission to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme park by visiting www.DisneyParks.com (for the United States and Puerto Rico) or www.DisneyParks.ca (for Canada).

In the past year, guests have been celebrating all sorts of special moments in their lives at Disney parks - from birthdays and anniversaries to reunions and graduations - as part of the "What Will You Celebrate?" campaign.

"In 2010, we want to recognize and add one more reason for celebration: the contributions people make to their communities every day," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "We want to inspire 1 million volunteers - people who will invest time and energy to make their own communities and neighborhoods a better place."

To enable people to sign up for an eligible volunteer project, Disney is working with HandsOn Network, the nation's largest volunteer network. Part of Points of Light Institute, HandsOn Network has 250 on-the-ground volunteer action centers across the country and connects volunteers to more than 70,000 nonprofit agencies that need their help.
"Wherever we live, our communities need our hands-on help to thrive," said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute. "We are thrilled at this unprecedented effort by Disney Parks to help mobilize 1 million volunteers into action. 'Give a Day, Get a Disney Day' has the potential to reach so many families and instill the volunteer spirit in a new generation."

Bob Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said, "'Give a Day, Get a Disney Day' fits perfectly with our long history of supporting and participating in volunteer efforts. It's a great way to honor guests who are making a positive contribution to their communities."

Starting 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 HandsOn Network and sign up for a day of volunteer service. Many of the opportunities will be for projects that entire families can participate in together.

To raise awareness for grass-roots community volunteerism and the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program, Disney VoluntEARS and volunteers from Southwest Airlines are joining with local volunteers on projects coordinated by HandsOn Network in cities across North America this fall and winter. Southwest Airlines also is providing transportation for the initiative.

"Southwest Airlines strives to make a positive difference in the communities we serve, from protecting the environment to supporting a local cause," said Linda Rutherford, vice president of Communications and Strategic Outreach, Southwest Airlines. "Southwest employees give back both locally and nationally through volunteerism, with individual and personal efforts, serving together as teams or through companywide efforts. The opportunity with Disney unites two companies that are devoted to the spirit of volunteerism."

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. Other terms and conditions apply. For details, see disneyparks.com in the United States and Puerto Rico. In Canada, see disneyparks.ca.


-- Visit www.DisneyParks.com or www.DisneyParks.ca, search for a volunteer activity and sign up. The opportunities are being coordinated by HandsOn Network, which includes more than 70,000 nonprofit, school and community-based organizations - all of which rely on volunteer efforts to accomplish their missions in communities. Many of the activities provide opportunities for families to volunteer together.
-- Complete the volunteer activity selected.
-- When the completed day of volunteer service has been verified by HandsOn Network, print out a certificate online (instructions will be included in a follow-up e-mail from Disney Parks) and redeem it at a Disney park - in California at Disneyland Resort or in Florida at Walt Disney World Resort - for a one-day, one-park ticket. If a guest determines that they won't be able to visit a Disney park (certificates must be redeemed and tickets used by Dec. 15, 2010), they can donate the ticket to a charity designated by Disney.

January 4, 2010

The Walt Disney World Moms Panel 2010!

The Walt Disney World Moms Panel Boasts 43 Panelists in 2010, Featuring 21 New Members; New and Returning Mouse-Savvy Parents Offer 'Best-Of' Park Tips and Strategies

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2010) -- What do a ballet teacher from Alabama, a lawyer from North Carolina and a NASA rocket scientist from Maryland all have in common? An affinity for all-things Walt Disney World Resort! Announced today, 21 new panelists from the United States and Canada, hailing from different backgrounds, are named official members of the 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panel, www.disneyworldmoms.com. Additionally, due to the popularity of the site and an ever-growing number of questions, Disney welcomes back 22 panelists from 2008 and 2009 - totaling 43 members for 2010 to serve as online Disney-savvy vacation gurus, providing helpful tips to guests planning a Walt Disney World vacation.

The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is an online question-and-answer venue that serves as a free resource for families looking for a touch of pixie dust to add to their Disney vacation. The panel is led by everyday parents who have mastered the art of planning a vacation for their own families and are excited to share their pearls of wisdom with others. Through a comprehensive application process, the new panelists proved that they have the knowledge and desire to answer any and all questions that come their way.

Whether organizing multigenerational gatherings and large family reunions or navigating the parks with special needs children and adults, the panelists are accessible online with an abundance of their own Disney vacation experiences, memories and tips for making every moment magical. Additionally, the Moms Panel will include panelists who are skilled in Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney vacations.

Each panelist brings a unique perspective to the vacation planning process, providing personal answers to questions which remain online as a reference for future site visitors.

"This is the largest group of panelists we've ever had," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "Because interest in the Web site has grown so quickly, and we had so many highly qualified applicants, we started out searching for 10 knowledgeable parents, and eventually selected 21. Now we'll be able to share even more Disney park secrets and travel tips with families visiting the Moms Panel site."

The Moms Panel was created to answer the demand made by families going online to research vacation planning options. After only its second year, the panel touts nearly 45,000 original questions answered to-date.

Get to Know the New 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panelists:

Amanda Allen; Raleigh, N.C.
Suzannah DiMarzio; Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Dorothy Drakos; Dundas, ON
Bernie Edwards; Columbia, Md.
Kathie Flood; Greer, S.C.
Portia Gadson; Cleveland, Ohio
Chris Gildea; Boston, Mass.
Diane Gonzales; San Antonio, Texas
Kaylene Jablecki; Cape Cod, Mass.
Joel Kennedy; Milwaukee, Wis.
Jonas Lehmann-Karp; Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Marc Lorenzo; Corning, N.Y.
Maria Marquez; Doral, Fla.
Terry McKinney; Charleston, S.C.
Dannee Neal; Indianapolis, Ind.
Amanda Pursch; Austin, Texas
Amy Rueffert; Talking Rock, Ga.
Andi Sims; Birmingham, Ala.
Allison Valdes; Johns Creek, Ga.
Amanda White; Atlanta, Ga.
Maribel Zambrana-Garcia; San Juan, PR

Visit www.disneyworldmoms.com to catch-up on our returning alumni panelists:

Kara Bacon; Omaha, Neb.
Kay Belin; Valparaiso, Ind.
Bret Caldwell; Evanston, Ill.
Diane Campagna; Bristol, R.I.
Beth Choisez; Floral Park, N.Y.
Margaret Fries; Oak Lawn, Ill.
Jodi Grundig; Natick, Mass.
Doug Ingersoll; Carmel, Ind.
Diane Luba; Plymouth, Conn.
Darcie Maranich; Vail, Ariz.
Tanya McNally; Basking Ridge, N.J.
Michelle May; Lebanon, N.J.
Joanne McCabe; Ottawa, ON
Heather Murry; Social Circle, Ga.
Brigitta Noer; Nanoose Bay, BC
Whitney Pickering; Laurel, Miss.
Karen Prince; Plymouth, N.H.
Heather Roberts-Nault; Louisville, Ky.
Cathy Schikowski; Richfield, Ohio
Anna Skamarakas; Bellmawr, N.J.
Jennifer Wilkes; Acworth, Ga.
Erin Foster; Scarsdale, N.Y.

About the Walt Disney World Moms Panel

Entering its third year, the Walt Disney World Moms Panel is an online forum where guests can get insider tips and insights for vacationing at Walt Disney World Resort from real moms and dads who have mastered the art of planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Each panelist was selected to share their vast knowledge of the resort and personal secrets of success with other families who are considering a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Guests can pose questions to the panelists, as well as gain access to other valuable park insights and vacation planning tools for booking a Walt Disney World vacation. Featuring just 12 members during its inaugural year in 2008, the panel now boasts 43 park-savvy parents as a result of the popularity of the site and an ever-growing number of questions submitted by curious parents. For more information and to meet the moms and dads, visit www.disneyworldmoms.com.

January 5, 2010

The 2fer Ticket is Back at Disneyland Resort: Valuable Offer For Southern California Residents Available Through April 12

How to Enjoy Two Parks on Two Days, With One Day Free

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 5, 2010) - Southern California families looking for value and the best way to spend their entertainment dollars will find an unbeatable offer at the Disneyland Resort in the new year. With the "Southern California Resident 2fer Ticket," guests will be immersed in the magic of fun attractions and high quality entertainment at Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure park on one day, and then come back on another day to play in the other park - for free.*

Now that the 2fer ticket is back, here are some tips on how to make the most of a deal that gives fans of the Disneyland Resort two days of magic and adventure for only $36 a day per person.**

Plan ahead: This is a limited-time offer. Guests must purchase and use a "Southern California Resident 2fer Ticket" in one theme park by April 12, 2010. Then they can bring the ticket back within 30 days to play all day in the other park - for free.

Double the fun: Go wild in both Disney parks, making this a special time for residents of Southern California to enjoy the fun, entertainment, restaurants, shows and attractions that are found in Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure parks. The two parks feature a mix of classic attractions and immersive experiences that will entertain guests of all ages.

Celebrate special occasions at the Disneyland Resort: With a 2fer ticket, guests can visit one park in honor of a special day - perhaps their birthday or anniversary - and come back to play in the other park for a second celebration. It could be a championship season, an engagement or a child's first visit to see Mickey Mouse.

Can't choose? The 2fer ticket allows guests to enjoy some of their favorite attractions in both theme parks on separate days. Ride Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain and Peter Pan's Flight on one day, and then come back on another day to try Soarin' over California, California Screamin' and Toy Story Mania!

Visit the two parks on consecutive days: Southern California residents can turn the 2fer ticket into a mini-vacation and it's easier than ever to make that happen this year with special offers at the Disneyland Resort hotels. Guests can save up to 30 percent when they book a two-night hotel stay by April 1, 2010, for stays during select dates through April 29, 2010. +

The 2fer ticket can be purchased now at Disneyland.com/2fer, The Disney Stores, Vons, Pavilions, Albertsons, Ralphs, Stater Bros, Gelson's, Food 4 Less, Toys R Us, Dearden's, Korea Daily, Irvine Spectrum and other locations. Guests who purchase online can print their tickets at home and avoid waiting in ticket lines.

For more information on the 2fer ticket, visit www.disneyland.com/2fer or call 714/781-7290.

*Tickets valid for Southern California residents within ZIP Codes 90000-93599 and Northern Baja California residents within ZIP Codes 21000-22999. Proof of residency required for admission. Admission valid for one day at Disneyland® Park, and another day at Disney's California Adventure® Park, but not for both Parks on the same day. Tickets are valid 30 days from first use. First use must occur between 1/5/10 through 4/12/10. Each day of use constitutes one full day of use. May purchase up to 8 tickets per person per day with valid ID. Tickets may not be sold or transferred for commercial use. Offer may not be combined with other discounts or promotions. Offer not valid before 1/5/10. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

**$36 per day price is based on the purchase of an Adult 2fer Ticket for $72.

+ 30% savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room at the same hotel. Must stay two (2) consecutive nights or longer. Offer valid for arrivals January 5, 2010 through April 29, 2010 when booked by April 1, 2010. Blockout dates of 1/15-1/17, 2/12-2/14, and 3/28-4/10 and other restrictions apply. Applies only to standard and concierge level rooms. Rates for other room types will vary. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is restricted. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and five (5) people maximum per room. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Subject to change without notice.

January 7, 2010

Walt Disney World Full and Half Marathon Weekend

Runners get the unique chance to high-five favorite Disney characters during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. About 50,000 athletes are anticipated for the weekend's race events. The four-day "weekend" (Jan. 7-10, 2010) includes a Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a 5K "Fun Run" at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, Kids' Races at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the event's two signature races -- the Disney Half Marathon and Disney Full Marathon. Also featured -- Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, for runners who challenge themselves to complete both the Half Marathon and the Full Marathon on consecutive days.


January 8, 2010

Inaugural Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in 2010

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Disney's Endurance series is adding a mouth-watering half marathon to its list of already popular race weekends. The inaugural Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is set to take place Oct. 1-2, 2010, culminating with a 13.1-mile nighttime race and after-hours party inside the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Combining characteristics of some of the most popular races, the half marathon is sure to please runners of all types. Participants will brave the night on a never-before-trekked course through multiple Disney theme parks, with the finish line inside the Epcot Food & Wine Festival for an exclusive after-hours party. Spectators can purchase tickets to the party and help kick off the 15th annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

"Teaming up with the 15th Epcot Food & Wine Festival is the perfect way to showcase the wonderful and unique events we seek to offer with our endurance races," said Disney's sports event director Paul Lambert. "From food and wine, to theme parks and sports, Disney adds a touch you can't experience anywhere else."

Events are planned for the entire weekend, starting with a Health and Fitness Expo hosted at Jostens Center at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex Oct. 1-2. All members of the family can join in on some hauntingly good fun with Disney Kids' Races and Mickey's Halloween Family Fun Run 5k. Kids' Races will take place at the complex while the Family Fun Run 5k takes participants through Magic Kingdom. Both races are during the morning on Oct.2, with staggered starting times to invite participation in all events. The weekend culminates with the half marathon on the evening of Oct.2.

The half marathon will be open to ages 14 and older and offers a relay option for two-person teams. Half marathon registration opened Nov. 16, 2009. To reserve your spot and find out more information on the race, visit disneywinedinerun.com.

January 11, 2010

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Results

Bastos Prevails in Dramatic Walt Disney World Marathon

Brazilian overcomes chilly weather and strong competition to claim sixth straight Disney victory and seventh overall; Mizutani claims back-to-back women's titles; field of nearly 24,000 runners pushes record marathon weekend total to more than 55,500


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - (Jan. 10, 2010) - Adriano Bastos weathered the elements and a late-race challenge Sunday to snag his sixth consecutive Walt Disney World Marathon present by CIGNA and seventh overall. Likewise, Lisa Mizutani won the women's title for the second straight year.

Unlike last year when Bastos, 31, led the 26.2 mile race virtually from start to finish, the colorful Brazilian battled temperatures in the low-30s and was pushed much of the race by several competitors, creating the tightest finish among Bastos' seven victories at Disney. With about three miles to go, Bastos opened a small lead and crossed the finish line at 2:22:08 - 33 seconds ahead of fellow Brazlian Fredison Costa (2:22:41). Jay Lumpkins of Ocoee, Fla., was third (2:24:24).

"The real challenge wasn't the cold weather, but it was the fact that I had someone challenging me for first place,' said Bastos, whose goal is to win 10 straight Disney Marathons. "This is the first time that I felt that I had runners at the same level with me. I was scared. I thought my streak might be broken.'

Mizutani, 24, of Japan won just as easily as she did a year ago, this time crossing the finish line in 2:51:20 - more than five minutes ahead of Christa Benton of St. Petersburg, Fla (2:56:43).

Matthew Dobson of Jay, Fla., was the top men's Masters Division finisher (runners age 40 and over) with a time of 2:38:15 and Terri Rejimbal won the women's Masters Division with 3:14:26. In the wheelchair division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga. (1:42:35) and Shirley Reilly of Tucson, Ariz. (2:22:30), both won the men's and women's divisions, respectively, for the second straight year.

The Disney Marathon capped a weekend of endurance events at Disney, including the Disney Half Marathon, the Disney-Pixar Up and Away Family Fun Run 5K, Disney's Kids Races and a Health & Fitness Expo. In all, more than 55,000 runners registered for events throughout the weekend, making this the largest Disney Marathon Weekend since the event's debut in 1994.

Registration for the 2010 Disney Marathon Weekend (Jan. 6-9, 2011) begins Monday Jan. 11, 2010. To register for the marathon or for any Disney endurance race, visit www.disneyworldmarathon.com or www.disneyenduranceseries.com

Johnson, Mortensen Blaze to Chilly Walt Disney World Half Marathon Victory

Johnson notches second Disney half marathon title; Johnson and Mortensen members of elite Hanson's Brooks Distance Project Running Club of Rochester, Mich.; field of nearly 23,000 runners contribute to record Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - (Jan. 9, 2010) - Michigan runners Chad Johnson and Emily Mortensen weathered near freezing temperatures Saturday to take home the men's and women's Walt Disney World Half Marathon division titles.

Braving freezing rain and temperatures in the low-30s, Johnson won for the second time after streaking to the finish at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon presented by CIGNA in 2008. Johnson, 33, who trained for the Disney event by running at times in snowy conditions in Rochester Hills, Mich., battled fellow Hanson's Brooks Distance Project Running Club member Sage Canaday for nearly 10 miles before pulling away and finishing at 1:07:02 - 18 seconds ahead of Canaday. Luis Rivera from Puerto Rico was third at 1:08:55.

After the race, Johnson said he and some of his Hanson's Brooks running club teammates were going to celebrate by going to the Magic Kingdom.

Mortensen, 27, took the women's title with a time of 1:20:58, finishing just ahead of Jen Blue (1:21:37) and Elizabeth Foster (1:21:52).

Jon Williams, 41, of Miami won the Masters division (ages 40 and up) with a time of 1:18:09. Ramilya Burangulov, 48, from Gainesville, Fla. ran away with the women's Masters race with a time of 1:22:22.

In the Wheelchair division, Germantown, Tenn. resident John Payne won for the second straight year, this time crossing the finish line at 1:40:26.

Despite the unseasonably cold Florida weather, the field featured nearly 23,000 runners who covered the 13.1-mile course while being entertained with fireworks, music and appearances by several Disney characters.

Combined with the Disney Marathon on Jan. 10, more than 55,000 people are expected to take part in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA - the most since the event began in 1994. The weekend also includes the Disney-Pixar Up and Away Family Fun Run 5K, Disney's Kids Races and a Health and Fitness Expo.

Registration for the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend begins Monday Jan. 11. To register or for more information visit www.disneyworldmarathon.com. The 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is Jan. 6-9, 2011.

YEAR TO VOLUNTEAR: Muppets highlight new "VoluntEars Cavalcade" at Disneyland and Walt Disney World


MUPPET-MANIA: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Sweetums take part in the new "Disney's Honorary VoluntEars Cavalcade" at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida. The cavalcade celebrates volunteerism and also features special floats and vehicles festooned with bright balloons and flanked by parade dancers. "Disney's Honorary VoluntEars Cavalcade" precedes "Celebrate! A Street Party" at Disneyland park and "Celebrate a Dream Come True" at Magic Kingdom park.


January 12, 2010

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Gerenuk Calf to Herd

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan.6, 2009 -- Disney's Animal Kingdom recently welcomed its 28th gerenuk calf weighing in at eight pounds and approximately 1 ¾ feet tall, after a seven-month gestation.


The female calf, named Squirt, was born November 25 to her five-year-old mother Sushaunna, and nine-year-old father Jingle. This latest birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Gerenuk Population Management Plan.

A gerenuk, which in Somali means "giraffe-necked," is an African antelope with a unique long neck allowing them to eat leaves off trees. Unlike other gazelles and most antelopes that graze on grasses, gerenuks often stand erect on their hind legs and stretch their long necks to browse on taller bushes. They are typically found in areas of dry, bushy shrub. Gerenuk are very well adapted to an arid habitat and do not need to drink much since they get enough water from the plants they eat. Most adult gerenuk reach approximately three feet at the shoulder and range in weight from between 80 to 115 pounds.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, guests can see gerenuk when they visit the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, a self-guided walking tour of native African wildlife. Pangani means "place of enchantment," and the exploration trail is an enchanting adventure into a lush, tropical forest and a verdant valley that are right out of the heart of Africa. In addition to gerenuk, animals Guests can find on the trail include gorillas, hippos, okapi, naked mole rats, meerkats and many species of exotic birds.

January 15, 2010



Disney's Official Community for Fans Creates New Experiences
and Surprises to Entertain and Delight Its Growing Membership

BURBANK, Calif. - Jan. 14, 2010 - D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans today unveiled a host of special events that have been designed especially for its growing worldwide membership base.

Among the exciting offerings for 2010 are exclusive D23 one-year anniversary parties at the Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort, free "50 and Fabulous" film screenings at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, and a special 40th anniversary celebration event to honor the Walt Disney Archives.

"In our first year, D23 created some truly memorable event opportunities for our members, and this year we plan to outdo ourselves with a mix of all-new events and encores of fan favorites," said Steven Clark, head of D23. "D23 Members are going to have more opportunities than ever to be part of the Disney magic through the events we have planned in 2010, and we hope they'll be as excited as we are to experience them alongside their fellow members."

D23 Members will receive notification of special events and reservation times via e-mail, and all events are offered on a space-available basis. More details on events, and on becoming a D23 Member, can be found at www.disney.com/D23.

SAVE THE DATE! D23's special-event lineup includes:

January 22, 2010: A Practically Perfect Night of Surprises with D23 and Mary Poppins

D23 Members will attend a performance of the critically acclaimed Mary Poppins at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles - plus an exclusive post-show experience with the Mary Poppins cast" and a top-secret surprise guest. (Hint: It's an actor from the classic 1964 film.) D23 Members will receive 20 percent off select tickets for the January 22 performance (in various seating locations and price ranges). Visit the D23 website at www.disney.com/D23 for ticket information and availability.

February 13, April 10, August 14 and November 13, 2010: D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives

D23 Members will get a behind-the-scenes look at the legendary Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank and at the Walt Disney Archives on a two-hour tour hosted by D23 and Archives staff members. Three tours will be held on each date, and each tour can accommodate 50 people. In D23's Charter Year, these special tours sold out almost immediately. Tickets for the February 13 and April 10 tours will be available at 10 a.m. Pacific time Tuesday, January 26, and are $50 per person.

March 5, 2010: D23's First-Anniversary Party at the Walt Disney World® Resort

Hundreds of D23 Members are expected to gather from around the country - and around the world - for a once-in-a-lifetime night of magic and memories. The evening's festivities include a private dinner inside the Magic Kingdom's Diamond Horseshoe Saloon, followed by an exclusive D23 viewing of Mickey's PhilharMagic. Afterward, guests will hear insider details about the upcoming Fantasyland expansion from Walt Disney Imagineering. The celebration will also feature a sumptuous dessert party, a special commemorative pin for everyone attending, and a host of surprises. More details, including reservation availability and pricing, will be announced shortly on D23's website at www.disney.com/D23.

March 10, 2010: D23's First-Anniversary Party at the Disneyland® Resort

D23 will hold its one and only West Coast anniversary celebration in the most magical land at the Happiest Place on Earth: Fantasyland. D23 Members will take over all of Fantasyland for one amazing night filled with classic attractions, familiar characters (as well as a few you may not have seen in a while!), and a chance to see rare pieces of Disneyland history up close. Plus, D23 Members and their guests will enjoy an array of delicious Disney-inspired desserts, a special commemorative pin for everyone attending, and other surprises. Additional information, including reservation availability and pricing, will be announced shortly at www.disney.com/D23.

March 27, 2010: "50 and Fabulous" Screening of Toby Tyler

At last year's D23 Expo, Disney fans had a chance to see Disney masterpieces that were celebrating their Golden Anniversaries" a new D23 tradition that continues in 2010, this time in the recently renovated, state-of-the-art, 400-seat Studio Theater on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank. Tickets to the "50 and Fabulous" screenings are free for D23 Members and their guests, and the series kicks off with a movie that hasn't been seen on the big screen since its first release in 1960: Toby Tyler, or 10 Weeks with a Circus. D23's screening of this lighthearted, live-action comedy will combine with special D23 surprises and the opportunity to enjoy a movie in this exclusive cinematic venue. Reservations may be made beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, January 26. (A $5 processing fee for each ticket will apply.)

As with all live events, dates and times are subject to change.

Additional D23 special events are planned throughout 2010, including:

• May 8: "50 and Fabulous" screening of Pollyanna at the Walt Disney Studio Theatre;
• May 29-30: "Flowers and Fireworks" event at the Walt Disney World® Resort, adding all-new elements as D23 expands the festivities to two days;
• June 26: A special celebration at the Walt Disney Studios marking the 40th anniversary of the Walt Disney Archives;
• July 10: "50 and Fabulous" screening of Swiss Family Robinson at the Walt Disney Studio Theatre;
• October 15-16: "Sip & Stroll" at the immensely popular Epcot International Food and Wine Festival;
• October 23: "50 and Fabulous" screening of The Sign of Zorro at the Walt Disney Studio Theatre
• December 11-12: "Magic and Merriment" weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort;

D23 is also in the planning stages for even more exciting 2010 events, details of which will be revealed in the coming months.

For more details on becoming a member of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans, or renewing existing memberships, visit www.disney.com/D23.

January 16, 2010

New Dining Room at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - True Disney foodies know you haven't arrived until you've dined at the crème de la crème of restaurants - Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. But now the top-rated dining room has a new "must do": the gorgeous Queen Victoria's Room.

Queen Victoria's Room is behind closed doors just off the main dining room. With just four tables, restaurant manager Israel Perez promises attention to your every whim. They've brought back French gueridon service - a gueridon is a fancy rolling cart that goes from table to table for customized service and "wow" factor - a flourish of Himalayan sea salt atop your filet, a decadent wine sauce or a lavish display of cheese, for instance.

Anyone who's tasted Chef Scott Hunnel's exquisite creations knows this is a memorable affair. How often do you savor perfectly seared Kurobuta pork tenderloin and belly, or butter-poached lobster with bisque and lobster roe foam? And vegans and vegetarians are Hunnel's favorite challenge. The sommelier happily will pair something delicious with each of the 10 courses. Yes, 10 courses, but they're small. Still, plan on three to four hours of leisurely dining.

It's worth the price of a baby-sitter - no kids under 10 are allowed in the dining room, so you're guaranteed an evening of blissful quiet. Be advised, men must wear jackets (tie optional) for this formal affair.

You'll float out the door with a long-stemmed rose for women and personalized menus for everyone to carry home. Cost for Queen Victoria's Room is $200 per person, plus $95 for wine pairings. The restaurant has its own reservation line, 407/939-3862. There is just one seating nightly.

Disney Marathon Runners Leave Warm-Hearted Mark on Central Florida

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 13, 2010 - Thousands of runners braved record cold temperatures to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna and left behind a trail of donations that will benefit Central Florida charities.

Disney Marathon organizers collected more than 26,000 pounds of clothing shed by runners who layered on winter attire to keep warm along the 26-mile race route. From Epcot to Magic Kingdom, runners left behind approximately 30,000 pieces of clothing including coats, hats, sweaters, shirts and gloves that will be laundered at Disney textile services and later delivered to Central Florida organizations such as Harvest Time International, Salvation Army and Coalition for the Homeless.

Some runners also used the weekend as a way to raise funds for charitable causes. For example, several groups of runners collectively raised $5.4 million dollars for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Locally, friends and colleagues teamed up to put their best foot forward. The Burnham Institute's Team Burnham raised $140,000 for blood cancer research, while two teams from Florida Hospital raised more than $54,200 for the Florida Hospital for Children. "I have never been a runner but decided since this was for a good cause to give it a try," said Samantha O'Lenick, organizer for Florida Hospital's Females in Training or F.I.T. team.

More than 55,000 runners registered for events such as the Disney Half Marathon, the Disney Pixar Up and Away Family Fun Run 5K, Disney's Kids Races and a Health & Fitness Expo, marking the largest Disney Marathon Weekend since the event's debut in 1994.

With record participation, the four-day event earned the title of top combination race weekend in the United States. Runners came from more than 50 countries and all 50 states with Florida leading the pack with 6,312 registered racers. Jay Lumpkins of Ocoee, Fla., won third place in the full marathon with a time of 2:24:24. Registration for the 2011 Disney Marathon Weekend (Jan. 6-9, 2011) is already underway.

AllEars Note: Team AllEars raised over $23,000 for Deb's Avon Walk for Breast Cancer!!!!

January 19, 2010

Disney Announces Name and Launches Web Site for New Family Destination Resort on O‘ahu

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai'i conveys the connection of the new resort to the islands

KO OLINA, Hawai'i (Jan. 19, 2010) - The highly anticipated Disney destination resort currently under construction on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu now has an official name and a dynamic new Web site offering an inside look at the project. The resort's name - Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai'i - reflects the company's deep commitment to celebrating the islands' rich history and traditions. Plans call for the first phase of the resort to open in fall 2011.

"We want this resort destination to reflect the vibrant culture that surrounds it. The name 'Aulani' expresses a connection to tradition and deep story-telling - and its roots are here in this land," said Joe Rohde, senior vice president, Creative for Walt Disney Imagineering. "We're so grateful to the local Hawaiians who led us to the discovery of this name, and our goal is to live up to its meaning."

Rohde noted that Aulani translated from the Hawaiian language to English means "the place that speaks for the great ones" or "the place that speaks with deep messages."

The Resort

Nearby to historical sites on the western side of O'ahu, Aulani will be located on 21 acres of oceanfront property in the Ko Olina Resort & Marina development. The resort is planned to have 360 hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas.

Design plans call for amenities to engage every member of the family, a hallmark of a Disney vacation. Among the recreational highlights planned for the resort are pools and sunset-facing hot tubs, a snorkeling lagoon, a variety of kids' club and other play programs for children, and a river, suitable for tube floating, running through a specially created volcanic outcropping.

The resort will also include an 18,000-square-foot spa designed with families in mind. The resort, built adjacent to a crystal-blue lagoon and a white-sand beach, is planned to also have two restaurants, a 14,545-square-foot conference center and 48,685 square feet of outdoor venues. Located nearby are the existing Ko Olina Marina and a Ted Robinson-designed, 18-hole championship golf course.

The Web Site

Disney has launched a new preview Web site, www.DisneyAulani.com, to provide updates and background information on the resort now under construction. The site also details some of the adventures and amenities under development, and includes conceptual art, descriptions of resort highlights, regularly updated resort information and photos of Aulani as it nears completion.

"We are looking forward to welcoming guests to Aulani to share the fun, immersive family vacation experiences Disney is known for combined with the beauty and culture of Hawai'i," said Djuan Rivers, vice president, Disney Vacation Club and Resort, Hawai'i. "We are turning to the Hawaiian culture for inspiration in everything we are doing at Aulani, and we hope our guests will not only enjoy the Disney experience, but will also embrace the unique culture of Hawai'i and its diverse people."

January 25, 2010

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Endangered White Rhino to Growing Herd

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 25, 2010 -- Disney's Animal Kingdom welcomed a healthy white rhino to the family last week with the addition of a female calf born Sunday, Jan. 17. Kendi, an 11-year-old white rhino, gave birth to her third baby after a 16-month gestation period. The baby, which has not yet been named, is the eighth white rhino born at Disney's Animal Kingdom; her mother, Kendi, was the first.


"A rhino birth is considered to be a significant event since the species was once nearly extinct and is currently endangered," according to Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president of Disney's Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives. "Under protection and careful management, this species has grown to approximately 11,000 worldwide, with 190 residing in North American zoos."

During her first weigh-in on Jan. 22, the newborn weighed 178 pounds. The calf and mother are currently off the savannah bonding at Disney's Animal Kingdom, but will return to the herd in the coming months.

Disney's Animal Kingdom participates in a white rhino breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The program focuses on sustaining the white rhino population in North America. Many older rhinos in the population have not bred and it is important for the long term survival of the North American population for this species to continue to reproduce.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, the success of the rhino breeding program has enabled team members to make a direct contribution to the conservation of white rhinos in the wild. In 2006, Nande and Hasani, two rhinos born at Disney's Animal Kingdom, traveled to Africa to join four others at Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda, reestablishing a white rhino population there that had been extinct since the 1980s. Last year, Nande gave birth to the first white rhino born in Uganda in 27 years.

Walt Disney World's commitment to conservation and rhinos goes beyond rhino breeding. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has supported more than $250,000 in rhino protection and research projects in partnership with non-profit organizations throughout the world. For more information on the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund visit www.disney.com/conservation

White rhino fun facts:

White rhinos have no incisors or canine teeth and use their square lips to graze or browse large areas of grassland.

White rhinos are named not for their color, which is gray, but for the shape of their mouths. The word "weit" in Afrikaans means wide.

January 26, 2010

Two-time MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo Headline Inaugural Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic

Pre-season tournament helps launch Re-imagined ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 21, 2010) - Four Major League Soccer clubs, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC, will compete in the inaugural Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Feb. 25 and 27, 2010.

The Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic kicks off the re-launch of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and is part of the 2010 ESPN The Weekend presented by Dick's Sporting Goods.

On Thursday, Feb. 25 the Houston Dynamo face the New York Red Bulls at 6 p.m. followed by FC Dallas versus Toronto FC at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 27, the two losing teams will kick off at 6 p.m. with the two winners playing in the championship game at 8:30 p.m.

FC Dallas finished the 2009 season as one of the league's hottest teams, narrowly missing the post-season under the direction of Coach Schellas Hyndman. The FC Dallas squad was anchored by the MLS leading goal scorer, Jeff Cunningham, who notched 17 goals in his second season with the team. With key players from last season returning for the 2010 season including David Ferreira, Heath Pearce and Dax McCarty, FC Dallas are ready to start the MLS campaign and their quest for a playoff berth.

In their first two seasons, the Houston Dynamo won back-to-back MLS Cup championships in 2006-07. Led by head coach Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo have also finished first (2008) and tied for first (2009) in the Western Conference in the last two seasons and represented the United States consistently in international competition.

The New York Red Bulls look to get off to a flying start in 2010, opening their brand new stadium, Red Bull Arena, in Harrison, N.J. this March. On the field, the Red Bulls are led by 2007 MLS Most Valuable Player finalist, Juan Pablo Angel, as well as new Coach Hans Backe. The Red Bulls look to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs and advance to the MLS Cup Final as they did in 2008.

Toronto FC begins their fourth season in MLS with hopes of reaching the post-season for the first time. Playing in the Eastern Conference, the League's lone Canadian club finished with 39 points in 2009 and 10 wins, their best showing since their inception. With their new Coach, Preki, a strong nucleus of players led by two-time MLS Cup MVP Dwayne De Rosario, and a new grass pitch at their home BMO Field, Toronto FC is hoping for big things in 2010.

"Bringing four Major League Soccer teams to Central Florida to play in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic is very exciting and a big win for all of our local soccer players, fans, parents and spectators," said Disney Sports Area Manager Patrick Dicks. "ESPN The Weekend is serving as a major platform for these teams to prepare for the upcoming season and we are proud to have them be a part of this re-branding weekend."

Disney Sports plays host to some of the top youth soccer tournaments worldwide. Disney's Soccer Showcase is one of the largest and most elite recruiting tournaments in the country, pulling in over 500 boys and girls youth soccer teams that compete for both medals and collegiate scholarships. The Disney Cup International is one of the premier international youth soccer tournaments in the world and since 1999 has brought in teams from more than 20 countries.

Opened in 1997, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a premier multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States and has recently undergone changes to incorporate signature ESPN elements, ultimately taking the sports experience to the next level. High-definition video cameras, along with high-definition video screens and two Jumbotrons, have been added throughout the complex. Game highlights and action will be broadcast across the complex, in all Walt Disney World Resort rooms and will also feed into a new state-of-the-art digital center with a direct uplink to ESPN in Bristol, CT.

Daily tickets to the Disney Pro Soccer Classic will include admission to the complex for both games and entrance to ESPN The Weekend events that are taking place at the complex. Tickets can be bought on-site at the complex box office or through ticketmaster. For a full list of ESPN The Weekend events and ticket packages, visit www.disneysports.com and www.espntheweekend.com.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Opened in 1997 at Walt Disney World Resort, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States, hosting more than 250 events each year, and accommodating 60 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. In 2008, ESPN and Disney partnered to incorporate signature ESPN elements and re-imagine the complex, ultimately taking the sports experience to the next level. On Feb. 25, 2010 the ESPN Wide World of Sports will re-open with more than 44 high-definition and robotic video cameras, plus 10 handheld cameras, and 40 high-definition video screens, including two Jumbotrons placed throughout the complex. Game highlights and action from the complex will be fed into a new 2,500 square foot state-of-the-art digital center with eight edit bays and a direct uplink to ESPN in Bristol, CT.

The sprawling 220-acre state-of-the-art complex features the Milk House, a 165,000-square-foot field house which seats 5,500 for basketball; the 9,500-seat Champion Stadium ballpark; the Hess Sports Fields, which include multiple baseball, softball and soccer fields; and the Jostens Center, an 80,000 square foot multi-sport field house. In addition, the complex has 11 tennis courts, including a stadium court, and a track and field complex. The complex is home to the Major League Baseball Atlanta Braves spring training, the Pop Warner Super Bowl, Chelsea Football Club events, the Special Olympics Florida Summer Games and AAU National Championship events, among others. Please visit www.disneysports.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @DisneySports.

ESPN The Weekend

ESPN The Weekend presented by Dick's Sporting Goods is a one-of-a-kind experience for sports fans of all ages. Visit Disney's Hollywood Studios and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to get up-close and personal with star athletes and ESPN personalities. Take your best shot at the Interactive Sports Zone and catch live telecasts of Mike & Mike in the Morning, NFL Live, Baseball Tonight and more. For a schedule of events please visit www.espntheweekend.com.

Disney Cast Members Help “Hope for Haiti” Telethon

Local VoluntEARS Play Supporting Role in Worldwide Broadcast


LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA, Jan. 26, 2010 - Lending a helping hand through their expertise in guest service, approximately 400 Walt Disney World Cast Members volunteered to answer more than 15,000 calls for the "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon and route donations to disaster relief organizations participating in the historic event. The benefit, which featured more than 100 of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, aired worldwide on major networks and cable outlets on Jan. 22 and raised more than $61 million for earthquake disaster relief.

"I feel like my heart is in Haiti," said Wendy Richard, a Disney Cast Member who helped field calls and process donations for the global broadcast from the Disney Reservations Center in Orlando. Like thousands of Walt Disney World Cast Members, Richard has close personal ties to Haiti and has lost friends and family in the region. "Anything I can do to help from here, I really want to do it," said Richard.

Accepting donations ranging from five dollars to $15,000, Cast Members kept their enthusiasm and energy up Friday night as the calls kept coming for more than two hours.

"Disney Cast Members are generous, compassionate and know how to rally when people are in need," said Shannon McAleavey, senior vice president of Walt Disney World Resort Public Affairs, who noted that every donation was equally powerful and every dollar will make a difference.

Funds raised from "Hope for Haiti Now" will benefit The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, the United Nations World Food Programme and Yele Haiti Foundation. Donations are still being accepted online at www.hopeforhaitinow.org.

Offering to help with the "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon is one of many ways The Walt Disney Company and Disney Cast Members are extending their support to the people of Haiti. The Walt Disney Company has committed $100,000 in humanitarian aid through the Red Cross International Fund to support relief efforts and is working closely with Cast Members from Haiti to accommodate their needs during this difficult time. Cast Members also have the option to make a direct contribution from their paycheck to the Red Cross Crisis Relief Fund.

Disney Cruise Line Brings Fun in the Sun, Water Play For Little Ones and Goofy’s Golf on the Disney Dream


CELEBRATION, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2010) - An elaborately themed interactive sports deck, whimsical water play area, and relaxing poolside oasis for adults join the first-ever shipboard water coaster - AquaDuck - to provide fun in the sun for guests sailing on the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Dream.

These additions, announced today, one year from the maiden voyage of the Disney Dream, offer new experiences for guests of all ages.

Goofy's Sports Deck
On Goofy's Sports Deck, the magic tees off on deck 13 with Goofy's Golf - a miniature golf course where "lessons" featuring Goofy and his son, Max, lead guests through nine themed holes of wacky fun. Each hole offers special golf instructions - with a goofy twist. Lessons include:
• "Handling a dog leg" - Guests avoid a fire hydrant and use Pluto's dog bone to guide them to the hole.
• "Stuck in the rough" - Goofy shows golfers how to avoid the tall turf and steer clear of a lawn mower.
• "Reading the green" - Stacks of books and a large magnifying glass are obstacles to circumvent on this undulating green.
• "Attacking the green" - Yo ho, yo ho! Golfers and landlubbers take a swashbuckling approach to sinking their putt on this pirate-themed hole.

Guests can choose to use the Goofy or Max tee on each hole, offering twice the fun. Family-friendly competitions and tournaments will keep the excitement on par while quirky golf clubs, some crooked and bent, will challenge golfers to stay on course. Goofy and Max may even swing by to interact with guests and offer some tips on club selection, stance or just goofing around.

Also on Goofy's Sports Deck, two digital sports simulators provide a variety of virtual game experiences such as soccer, tennis, basketball, golf and more. With the simulators, guests can kick, swing and throw, participating in favorite high-action sports without the hassle of chasing the ball.

Max's Courts are two mini-sized sports courts for little ones to enjoy soccer, basketball or group play. There's full-court basketball that may also be transformed into a mini soccer pitch or volleyball court, plus table tennis and foosball tables. A walking track rings Goofy's Sports Deck.

Nemo's Reef
Little ones discover oceans of fun at this fanciful water-play area overflowing with pop jets, bubblers and lovable underwater friends like Nemo, Dory, Marlin and other favorites from the Disney-Pixar film, "Finding Nemo."

Shaded for protection from the sun and featuring a soft wet-deck surface, the 1,500-square-foot Nemo's Reef is a place for children to cool off and play among colorful, interactive figures that move and spray water. Children will delight as they splash alongside Nemo swimming in a sea anemone, glide down a pint-sized water slide shaped like Mr. Ray and frolic near Pearl the octopus who "inks" herself with a mist of water. Kids can even get soaked in a water curtain that undulates back and forth like the EAC (East Australian Current).

Nemo's Reef is surrounded by a glass enclosure, with a main guest entrance and a wheelchair-accessible entrance.

Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar
Reserved exclusively for guests 18 and older, the Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar is a retreat for adults to sunbathe and swim, indulge in a cool drink or enjoy a relaxing dip in a nearby hot tub overlooking the ocean.

One of three fresh-water pools on the Disney Dream, Quiet Cove Pool features varying depths for taking a dip, sunbathing in comfort and enjoying a poolside cocktail. A series of connected circular pools includes a 4-foot-deep plunge pool and a 6-inch-deep sunbathing pool with built-in loungers and a mister. Guests also can splash up to Cove Bar, which is part of the pool, and sip a refreshing beverage.

Nearby, on the sides of deck 11, guests can soak in a whirlpool hot tub while overlooking the ocean. Four "infinity" whirlpool hot tubs - two for families and two just for adults - provide spectacular views of the ocean beyond.

AquaDuck and More!
The Disney Dream will feature the world's first shipboard water coaster - AquaDuck - which will sweep guests away on an exhilarating high-speed flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids - all while traversing the upper decks of the ship.

Donald Pool is the place for families to gather and enjoy all of the activities up on deck. Overlooking Donald Pool is the giant Funnel Vision LED screen - more than 30 feet wide and 18 feet high - showing Disney films and other live broadcast events. A retractable floor extends over the pool, providing an ideal dance floor for deck parties.

Continuing a favorite feature of the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream will also have a Mickey Pool for children. The shape of Mickey Pool resembles the beloved Disney character, and an oversized version of Mickey's hand supports a yellow winding slide that splashes down near the pool.

As an added convenience for parents with children of different ages, Donald Pool, Mickey Pool and Nemo's Reef are all located within the same vicinity, on deck 11 between the forward and aft funnel.

January 28, 2010

"ESPN Wide World of Sports" entrance sign installed at Disney Sports Complex in Florida - Jan. 28, 2010

The 220-acre sports complex at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. has been rebranded by ESPN, and will officially relaunch Feb. 25, 2010 as "ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex."


Pictured, the "E" of the ESPN logo is lowered into place on the complex's entrance sign on Jan. 28, 2010. Disney's multi-sport venue hosts more than 250 sporting events each year for amateur and professional athletes. On Feb. 25, ESPN Wide World of Sports will re-open with more than 40 high-definition and robotic video cameras, plus 10 handheld cameras, and 40 high-definition video screens, including two Jumbotrons placed throughout the complex. (Gene Duncan, Photographer)

January 29, 2010

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil Adds ‘Happy Hour’ to the Party

World-Renowned Juggler Joins the 90-Minute Show at Downtown Disney


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2010)- La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil announced today that an incredible new act featuring world-renowned juggler Anthony Gatto will be added permanently to the 90-minute spectacle at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort beginning Feb. 5, 2010.

Anthony Gatto comes to La Nouba from the tour of KOOZA by Cirque du Soleil and holds 11 world records in juggling. In the nine-minute act, Gatto juggles balls, hoops and clubs in unprecedented numbers at amazing speed with seemingly impossible accuracy.

Gatto joins the ranks of professional athletes, dancers, vocalists, musicians and comedic performers in the cast of 67 artists in the incredibly creative and dynamic gem La Nouba.

"Anthony is a true showman and we are pleased to have him join the dedicated and talented cast of La Nouba. The juggling act is fast-paced and will add to the energy on stage," said Neil Boyd, company manager. "This act is an amazing new addition for our fans that come to see the show year after year."

Time magazine calls Gatto, "simply the best juggler ever."

The new act is entitled "cinq-a-sept" which means "five-to-seven," generally known as "happy hour." This fits well with the meaning of La Nouba - "to party" or "live it up."

This new act replaces the chair balancing act in the show.

Florida residents can purchase tickets at 30 percent off of the regular price of Category 2 seats for shows from Feb. 2 through March 27. Discounted tickets are $58.85 for adults and $47.77 for children (ages 3 - 9). Tickets are available by calling 407/939-7328, in person at the box office located at the plaza level of the theater, or by logging on to cirquedusoleil.com/lanouba. For discounted group reservations of 12 or more, call 866/353-5625. For more information and to receive news alerts and priority sale details, visit facebook.com/lanouba.

Tuesdays through Saturdays at 6 and 9 p.m. The theater is dark Sundays, Mondays and select times throughout the year.

La Nouba is performed exclusively at Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World Resort.

From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major international organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. Since its founding, Cirque du Soleil has thrilled close to 90 million spectators in more than 200 cities on five continents.

n addition to presenting La Nouba at Downtown Disney West Side, Cirque du Soleil presents seven equally unique and innovative productions in Las Vegas: Mystère™at Treasure Island, "O"™ at Bellagio, Zumanity™, The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil™ at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, KÀ™ at MGM Grand, The Beatles™, LOVE™, at The Mirage, CRISS ANGEL Believe™ at Luxor and Viva ELVIS™ at ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter.

January 31, 2010

Walt Disney Family Museum - March 2010 Special Events

The Walt Disney Family Museum
March 2010 Events Calendar
Disney Innovators, Sean Connery and a String Quartet top the list of March 2010 activities at the Walt Disney Family Museum

March Lectures

March 20 -Disney Innovator Don Iwerks discusses the Nodal Point Camera invented by his legendary father, Ub. The making of Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959) presented particular challenges. Walt Disney wanted the audience to believe that Darby was talking and singing with the King at the Leprechauns but the scale had to be perfect. To tackle this technical problem, he turned to Ub Iwerks, Join Don Iwerks-former Disney executive, founder of Iwerks Entertainment, and son of Ub as he talks about Ub's creation, the Nodal Point Camera. 3:00 pm, Theater - tickets available online at waltdisney.org

March 28 -Disney's first Female Imagineer, Harriet Burns, visits during Women's History Month - Harriet Burns became the first woman to work at WED Enterprises, adding her special touch to Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty's Castle, the Haunted Mansion, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. Her daughter, Pam Burns-Clair, and Don Peri, author of "Working with Walt: Interview with Disney Artists," will introduce you to a woman who worked beside legends and became one herself.
3:00 pm, Theater - tickets available online at waltdisney.org


Darby O'Gill and the Little People - Before he was James Bond, actor Sean Connery was Michael Murphy, an Irishman caught up in the magical adventures of Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959). Follow Darby (Albert Sharpe) as he tries to out trick the King of the Leprechauns and reach that pot of gold. Does he succeed? You will have to come to one of our screenings to find out.

1:00pm and 4:00pm, Theater (except Tuesdays, March 13, March 20 and March 28. - tickets available online at waltdisney.org


March 13 - String Circle Quartet - 4:00 p.m., Special Exhibition Hall -
This musical adventure will pair the last string quartet of Mozart's with the first of Benjamin Britten's; these are both pieces of sparkling wit, great beauty, and off beat character. Jonathan Dimmock will join the quartet on piano in a quintet arrangement written by Mozart for glass harmonica. - tickets available online at waltdisney.org


DISNEY DISCOVERIES: Second Saturday of each month

March 13 - An Enchanted Tiki Bird - 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.

Would you like to know more about one of the artifacts in the galleries? Our Look Closer series will give you that opportunity-staff will reveal little known facts-and behind the scenes information during the 30-minute gallery talk. The Look Closer series is free with paid admission or paid membership.

March 26 & 27 - Inside Audio-Animatronics: The Making of Mr. Lincoln - 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

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About January 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in January 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2009 is the previous archive.

February 2010 is the next archive.

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