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May 2010 Archives

May 4, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup Excitement Headed to Walt Disney World Resort

ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill at Disney designated official live viewing location
for month-long international soccer event from South Africa


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 3, 2010) - Soccer fans in Central Florida can get swept up in the fever of 2010 FIFA World Cup through unique viewing opportunities at Walt Disney World Resort.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill at Disney has been designated as an official viewing location for the month-long global soccer tournament. Soccer fans can watch live World Cup matches televised on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 from South Africa involving their favorite soccer national teams on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill's many large high-definition screens.

In addition, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill will offer special viewing parties running for the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and third-place match (June 26-July 10), which will include guaranteed seating to view the matches and an all-you-care-to-eat buffet featuring Buffalo wings, hot dogs, seasonal fruit, build-your-own salads, a nacho bar, desserts and non-alcoholic drinks - all for $19.99/per person, per game (plus tax).

The beautiful game kicks off on the world stage June 11, with open seating for breakfast and lunch available at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill for the group stage of play running through June 25. A special viewing area will be available for the championship match July 11.

Reservations can be made starting May 27 by calling 407/WDW-DINE or by visiting espnwwos.com.

The official FIFA World Cup viewing location designation builds on the long-standing soccer tradition at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The 220-acre complex, the leading multi-sports venue in the nation, hosts nearly 300 sports events each year, including the Disney Cup International Youth Soccer tournament (July) and the coveted Disney Soccer Showcase (December), which features the most decorated youth soccer players in the nation.

For more information on soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, please visit espnwwos.com.

May 5, 2010

Davy Jones Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival Concerts May 7-9, 2010

Hey, Hey, It's Davy Jones -- The ever-so-dreamy Davy Jones, best known as the front man for the '60s sensation "The Monkees," rocks the house on May 7 - 9, 2010, during the Flower Power Concert series held during the annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this Mother's Day weekend.

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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. America Gardens Theatre shows at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m.

May 6, 2010

Walt Disney World Guests Can Find Summer Savings With Special Vacation Packages, Room Offers

Summer 2010 is a great time to visit Walt Disney World Resort with tons of special entertainment offerings. From June 6 through Aug. 14, "Summer Nightastic!" lights up the entertainment experience at the Vacation Kingdom with a megawatt parade, a fireworks extravaganza, a rockin' dance party, concerts and other surprises. Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot all present special events designed to add summertime energy to the after-dark theme-park experience.

Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will find a feast of savings for summer and early fall travel with a number of great vacation offers.

Free Dining

Guests booking a 5-night/6-day room and theme park ticket package at select Disney Value Resorts for stays most days from Aug. 15 to Oct. 2, 2010, can add the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan for FREE. The plan includes two quick-service meals and two snacks for each night of the package stay. The plan also includes one (1) Resort refillable drink mug per person, per package (eligible for refills at Quick Service locations only in the guest's Disney Resorthotel).

Guests booking a 5-night/6-day room and theme park ticket package at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts for stays most days from Aug. 15 to Oct. 2, 2010, can add the Disney Dining Plan for FREE. The plan includes one quick-service meal, one snack and one table-service meal at up to 100 restaurants for each night of the package stay.

With this special offer, a family of four can get a 5-night stay at select Disney Resorts and a 6-day Magic Your Way base ticket for each family member for as little as:
· $1,440 at a Value Resort*
· $1,843 at a Moderate Resort*
· $2,304 at a Deluxe Resort*
· $2,613 at a Deluxe Villa Resort*

The package can be booked now through August 14, 2010.

Kids Stay & Play Free

Guests can also take advantage of a "Kids Stay & Play Free" offer for summer travel. Kids, ages 3 to 9, can stay and play for free when guests buy a non-discounted 4-night/5-day room and ticket package at select Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts for stays most nights May 2 through Oct. 2, 2010. For Example: For stays most nights May 2 through June 3, 2010, packages start at only $499 per adult based on adult double occupancy in a standard room at select Disney Value Resorts. **

Other Savings

Walt Disney World guests can also find great rates for non-package accommodations for summer and fall travel. Guests can save up to 30 percent at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights through Aug. 14, 2010, and guests can save up to 40 percent at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights Aug. 15 through Oct. 2, 2010. Rooms at Disney's Value Resorts during value season (Aug. 15 through Sept. 30, 2010) start at just $58 plus tax per night. ***

How to Book

Guests can book these special offers at disneyworld.com/deals or by calling
407/W-DISNEY (407/934-7639) or their local travel agent.

* Prices are based on two adults, one junior (ages 10 to 17) and one child (ages 3 to 9) in a standard room at a Value Resort, Moderate Resort, Deluxe Resort or Disney's Deluxe Villa Resort.
** Number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets are for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Child must stay in same room with adult. Maximum of 4 Guests per room.
***The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals where applicable. Savings based on non-discounted price for the same room.

'‘The American Idol Experience’ Attraction Celebrates First Year with ‘Dream Ticket’ Recipient Among TV Show’s Top Five Finalists

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - In addition to recently celebrating its first year of operation in February 2010, "The American Idol Experience" attraction at Walt Disney World Resort can now celebrate the success of one of its top vote-getters - Aaron Kelly. The 17-year-old crooner from Sonestown, Penn., who began his "American Idol" journey at the Disney Parks attraction, advanced to the Top Five in the finals during season nine of the "American Idol" television show.

"The American Idol Experience," which officially opened Feb. 14, 2009, at Disney's Hollywood Studios, is the first and only theme park attraction in the world based on the smash-hit "American Idol" show. The attraction provides guests the thrill and pageantry of the television show, as excited theme park guests age 14 and older audition before Disney producers and directors to see if they have what it takes to perform on stage that day. If their auditions are successful, guests at the attraction are ushered through performance coaching sessions, cosmetology and stage rehearsals to prepare for their big moment on the theme park stage. Then, the lights go down and guests perform a hit tune in the theme park's 1000+-seat theatre.

While on-stage, judges provide critique and audience members at each preliminary show determine who will advance to the attraction's grand finale show that night. At the grand finale, the top vote-getter is awarded a "Dream Ticket," a ticket that allows an eligible guest to schedule a front of the line audition at one of the regional auditions for the "American Idol" television show.

"The American Idol Experience" attraction was developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in conjunction with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and 19 TV Ltd. It is based on the hit television show "American Idol" - produced by 19 TV Ltd. and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) - and is designed to immerse Disney's Hollywood Studios guests in the authentic feel of a live television production.

It was at Disney's Hollywood Studios that Aaron Kelly's road to "American Idol" stardom began.

Only four days after the grand opening of "The American Idol Experience" at the theme park in February 2009, Kelly put his talents on display for park guests and the attraction's judges.

Once he passed the audition stages and received the most votes at his preliminary show earlier in the day, Kelly's rendition of the Lonestar hit song "Amazed" earned him the most votes in the attraction's Grand Finale show. As that show's top vote-getter, Kelly was then awarded "The American Idol Experience" "Dream Ticket," which allowed him a front-of-line spot at a regional audition for the ninth season of the "American Idol" television show.

When the regional auditions for the popular television show were announced, Kelly utilized his "Dream Ticket" and scheduled his audition in Orlando, Fla., which started him on his "American Idol" road to stardom.

About the Dream Ticket:
Dream Ticket recipients must satisfy AMERICAN IDOL* TV program requirements in effect at time of use, such as age and residency (for Season 9 must have been between the ages of 16-28 on 6/12/09 and U.S. citizens or legal permanent U.S. residents eligible to work full-time in U.S.). Dream Ticket does not include travel, meals, lodging or other expenses.

About "The American Idol Experience" Audition:
Guests 14 or older inside Disney's Hollywood Studios may audition to sing onstage that day at the attraction, subject to requirements in FAQs at Disneyworld.com/idol. Only a few singers will be chosen to sing onstage for each show. FAQs subject to change.

Disney’s Harmony Barber Shop A Cut Above

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Whether it's a full cut or a little off the side, the Harmony Barber Shop at Magic Kingdom is a fun place for a haircut, and much more. The barber shop with its old-fashioned candy-striped pole has been a Magic Kingdom staple since 1975.

Regular clients range from babies and seniors to toddlers and teens. Barbers create a memorable experience with great conversation, plus a sprinkling of pixie dust, colored gels on request and even hidden Mickeys. My First Haircut is a popular choice for tykes. The young guests enjoy take-home embroidered mouse ears, a certificate and a priceless family memory.

The Harmony Barber shop welcomes about 400 Walt Disney World Resort guests a week and is located just past City Hall on the corner of Main Street, U.S.A. It is open to walk-ins daily from 9 a.m. -6 p.m. Prices range from $15-19.

May 7, 2010

Be The First To Be The Last, As Star Tours Prepares To Launch Its…LAST TOUR TO ENDOR

On August 14, Fan-Favorite Disney Theme Park Attraction
Gets the Ultimate, Out-of-this-World Send-Off

Exclusive Festivities Coincide with the Biggest Party
This Side of the Galaxy - Star Wars Celebration V


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - After more than a decade of interstellar travel, Disney Parks' Star Tours attraction is powering down to make way for its reimagining in 2011 - but Last Tour to Endor offers fans the opportunity to attend an out of-this-world, first-of-its-kind decommissioning party before Star Tours launches its final flights. Taking place on August 14 from 8:00pm - 1:00am at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Last Tour to Endor is a special event on the Saturday night of Star Wars Celebration V - THE official Lucasfilm fan convention and the biggest Star Wars party in the galaxy!

Fans and families attending Last Tour to Endor at the Walt Disney World Resort can enjoy a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience - including specially-themed intergalactic party zones, Star Wars shows, a Death Star Disco and much more. The evening will culminate with Symphony in the Stars - a Star Wars fireworks spectacular as only Disney Parks can create. Though the party begins at 8:00pm, Last Tour ticket-holders will also be allowed early entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios at 4:00pm - where they can be sure to secure a seat one of the StarSpeeder 3000's final voyages!

Disney Parks will also have a prominent presence on the Celebration V show floor at the Orange County Convention Center - including Jedi Training Academy for younglings and Padawans and a Disney merchandise booth featuring a host of exclusive items as well as Star Wars items only previously available at Disney park stores. CV attendees will also enjoy special room rates at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, specially-priced tickets with pre-arrival purchase savings for Walt Disney World parks and an exclusive, reserved room block at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - which will include complimentary round-trip transfers to and from the convention center.

To purchase tickets - and to take advantage of Last Tour to Endor special offers - visit www.starwarscelebration.com/Disney. For more information on Star Wars Celebration V visit www.starwarscelebration.com for the latest updates.

Featuring celebrities, costumes, live entertainment, screenings, autographs, collectibles, panels and much, much more, Star Wars Celebration V allows fans, friends and families to share their love of the Saga. There have been four Star Wars Celebrations in America to date, as well as a Star Wars Celebration Europe (2007) and Star Wars Celebration Japan (2008). Taking place in Orlando, FL from August 12-15, Star Wars Celebration V will commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and the ongoing, weekly adventures of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. For more information about Celebration V and to purchase tickets, visit www.starwarscelebration.com.

May 9, 2010

Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3 at Disney's Hollywood Studios

LOTSO FUN:

LotsoBear


Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear, the pink, plush and ultra-soft teddy bear from "Toy Story 3," is the newest character to join the Disney's Hollywood Studios family of stars. Seen here visiting the Pixar Place area inside the showbiz-themed park, Lots-o'-Huggin Bear (or "Lotso" for short) will make meet-and-greet appearances beginning May 9 inside The Magic of Disney Animation attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Also beginning May 9, Lotso will join his "Toy Story" pals in the "Block Party Bash" at the Walt Disney World theme park.

May 12, 2010

Chubby Checker & The Wildcats Epcot's Flower Power Concert Series

May 14 - 16, Chubby Checker & The Wildcats "The Twist": Flower Power Concert Series Fills Weekends with Special Music during 2010 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. America Gardens Theatre shows at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m.

Chubby Checker

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Announced!

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 12, 2010) - Work begins soon on an exciting new resort hotel built around the themes of Disney animation, Walt Disney World Resort announced today. Disney's Art of Animation Resort will be one-of-a-kind, featuring family suites designed around four themes: The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

Crowned by a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, the family-friendly resort will have themed room interiors in its nearly 2,000 new units - 1,120 family suites in The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings and 864 themed rooms in The Little Mermaid wings. Suites will have both a living room and a bedroom.

"These themes have both compelling storylines and vivid visuals which will come together to create a truly memorable, immersive resort experience," said Eric Jacobson, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering. "With more multi-generational families vacationing together, guests are looking for places where they can play together and stay together. This resort was designed with the needs of families in mind, as we continue the Disney tradition of providing a great guest experience for every taste and budget."

Added Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts: "We are always looking for opportunities to expand and enhance our Walt Disney World offerings, and Disney's Art of Animation Resort is a great example of those efforts. This new resort will feature some of our most beloved characters and stories in a unique and special way that we think our guests will really enjoy. This project also underscores our optimism about the future, as we continue to invest in new experiences for our guests around the globe."

Disney's Art of Animation Resort, the 26th resort at Walt Disney World, will be one-of-a-kind, with themed building exteriors and room interiors, and larger-than-life icons from the animated films in the courtyard areas. To be located next to Disney's Pop Century Resort, all of the themed suites and rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are expected to open by the end of 2012.

May 18, 2010

Pelican Plunge at Castaway Cay

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

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

May 20, 2010

Star Wars Weekends Brings Sci-Fi Saga to Life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Jedis, Wookiees and Ewoks, Oh My!

Once again, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney combine in May and June for Star Wars Weekends, a sci-fi fan-fest inspired by the popular film saga. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 21-June 13, 2010, Disney's Hollywood Studios becomes the galaxy's home for out-of-this-world characters including Sith, Bith, droids, bounty hunters, Twi'leks and Rodians.

Dates are May 21-23, May 28-30, June 4-6 and June 11-13. This year's event will celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back," which first appeared in theaters May 21, 1980.

More than 50 Star Wars characters will roam the streets of Disney's Hollywood Studios for meet-and-greets and photo opportunities. Also featured: the chance to purchase special- and limited-edition Star Wars memorabilia, Star Wars trivia contests, Jedi Training Academy, Star Wars parades, rides aboard Star Tours and the popular "Hyperspace Hoopla" dance party.

Celebrities from the Star Wars films and creative geniuses who helped create the saga will be on hand each weekend for star conversations and autograph sessions.
(*Talent subject to change)

The celebrity hosts for each weekend are Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett in "Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back" and "Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi")and Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano from "Star Wars: The Clone Wars").

Special guests making weekend appearances include:

May 21-23: Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett in "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones"), Daniel Logan (Boba Fett in "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones"), and Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Captain Rex in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars")

May 28-30: Matthew Wood (voice of General Grevious in "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith" and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars"), Lorne Peterson (model-maker who worked on all six Star Wars live-action films) and Tom Kane (voice of Yoda in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars")

June 4-6: Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian in "Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back" and "Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi"), Ray Park (Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace") and Dave Filoni (director of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars")

June 11-13: Ray Park (Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace"), Peter Mayhew (who played everyone's favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca, in four of the live-action films) and James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars").


Event activities are included in theme park admission. For more information, guests may go online to starwars.com, disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends or disneyparks.com/blog.

May 23, 2010

Walt Disney Family Museum - June 2010

The Walt Disney Family Museum June 2010 Events Calendar
 Walt Disney Family Museum Logo
Explore the Innovation in Animation Meet film producer and director Don Hahn In June at The Walt Disney Family Museum

FILM OF THE MONTH

Silly Symphonies (1929-1939)
1:00pm and 4:00pm, Theater
(except Tuesdays and June 19 and June 26.)

Tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Starting with The Skeleton Dance in 1929 and ending with The Ugly Ducking remake in 1939, the Silly Symphonies is a series of 75 cartoons based on musical themes. The film of the month comprises selections from the series, which feature a different cast of characters in each installment. Highlights include The Old Mill (1937), Flowers and Tress (1932), Music Land (1935) and The Three Little Pigs (1933).


JUNE LECTURES

June 19 - Innovations in Animation: Sound, Color, and Depth
3:00 pm, Theater
Tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Walt Disney tested new technologies in the Silly Symphonies and produced animated shorts with sound, color, and depth. Russell Merritt, professor of Film Studies at Berkeley and co-author of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies, will discuss Music Land, Flowers and Trees, and The Old Mill among other groundbreaking shorts.

June 26 - Firsts in Animation: A Look Back and Forward with Don Hahn
3:00 pm, Theater
Tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org

Learn how Walt took risks that pushed the boundaries in the industry and changed animation forever. Film producer (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast) and director Don Hahn discusses "firsts in animation" and highlights the new technological and artistic developments in the industry.

JUNE DISNEY DISCOVERIES! + LOOK CLOSER SERIES

DISNEY DISCOVERIES: Second Saturday of each month

June 12 - Disney Discoveries! Silly Cartoon Cranked Moviola
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.

LOOK CLOSER:

June 25, 26 + 27 - Look Closer: Multiplane Camera
11:00 am and 2:00 pm, Theater Lobby

Would you like to know more about one of the artifacts in the galleries? Our Look Closer series will give you that opportunity. In the 15 - 30-minute gallery talk, staff will reveal little known facts and information not on the gallery label.

The Look Closer series is free with paid admission to the Museum. Members are always free and no ticket is needed. Just show your membership card.


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

Admissions: Various: check Website for details.


WEBSITE: waltdisney.org

TWITTER: twitter.com/wdfmuseum

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

May 24, 2010

Baby Elephant Arrives at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 21, 2010 - The elephant herd at Disney's Animal Kingdom just expanded - by about 288 pounds. That amount represents the weight of the newborn female calf born late last night.

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Twenty-two-year-old Donna gave birth to the herd's fifth offspring after gaining more than 400 pounds during a 22-month gestation. This latest addition, which has yet to be named, is the second calf for Donna, which gave birth to a female calf, Nadirah, in 2005. This birth raises the number of elephants in the Disney's Animal Kingdom herd to thirteen, including five males and eight females.

"Elephant births are among the most amazing and complicated processes in the animal kingdom," according to Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president of Disney's Animal Programs. "A team of dedicated animal professionals have worked with the expecting mother attentively throughout the course of her pregnancy. At this point, we're optimistic for the calf's likelihood of survival and are thrilled that both Donna and her calf are doing well."

With assistance from the animal care team, the newborn, whose first tentative steps are becoming stronger and more confident, is now successfully nursing from her mother. Donna has been getting to know her calf, gently touching the young animal with her trunk. The next critical milestone is for the calf to continue the bonding process with her mother who will teach her important lessons and protect her as she is introduced to the rest of the savannah herd in several weeks.

Donna became pregnant through artificial insemination in July 2008 and received extensive pre-natal care throughout her pregnancy. Zookeepers added more exercises to her daily routine, hoping to strengthen the muscles needed during the birthing process. In addition to regular ultrasounds, veterinarians and elephant managers monitored her hormone levels on a daily basis to help them determine when she would give birth. Labor appeared imminent last night and the animal care team remained with her to provide round-the-clock care until the female calf was born May 20 around 11:30 p.m.

This is the fifth elephant born at Disney's Animal Kingdom. In addition to Donna's first female calf, Nadirah, Tufani, a male, was born in 2003; Kianga, a female, was born in 2004; and Tsavo, the youngest male, joined the herd in 2008. All remain on the savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Disney has been at the forefront of efforts to better understand and care for endangered elephants. Disney's Animal Kingdom is part of a breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in North America. AZA's Elephant Species Survival Plan has called for a five-fold increase in African elephant reproduction efforts - using both natural and artificial breeding methods - in order to create a self-sustaining elephant population among North American zoos and wildlife centers

Baby Elephant Facts

· Depending on the calf, it could take several days for the calf to coordinate trunk movements. Initially, it may only be able to wave it in the air, suck on it or trip over it. Typically within a week the calf has gained enough control to begin picking up small objects and food.

· Suckling up to 12 liters a day, baby elephants may depend on mother's milk for up to three years, although they can be weaned at two years of age.

· By the time a calf is nine months old, 40 per cent of its diet is vegetation. The calf learns how and what to eat by watching the older elephants.

May 26, 2010

Magic Kingdom's Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel – New Name

Cinderella's Golden Carrousel - is officially changing its name to Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. The name change takes effect June 1.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

The name change helps tell the rest of the Cinderella story that inspired the carrousel. Here's the official story behind it:

Following their fairy-tale romance and happily-ever-after wedding, Cinderella and Prince Charming took up residence in Cinderella's Castle. With peace throughout the kingdom, Prince Charming had time to practice for jousting tournaments. In the countryside near the castle, he built a training device of carved horses, on which he could practice the art of ring-spearing, a tournament event in which a knight rides his horse full speed, lance in hand, toward a small ring hanging from a tree limb, with the object of spearing the ring. This event was known by various names throughout the lands, but generally came to be called "carrousel."

The carrousel device drew the attention of the villagers, who wanted to take a turn on this amazing spinning contraption. So Prince Charming had a second carrousel constructed closer to the Castle, where everyone could take a spin on this wondrous invention. Instead of a working knight's training device, however, this new carrousel is more befitting its regal location in the Castle Courtyard - its rustic training horses replaced with ornately decorated prancing steeds adorned with golden helmets and shields, flower garlands, feathers and other festoons. Prince Charming invites one and all to test their horsemanship skills and to enjoy their own happy ending.

Floridians can enjoy the fun of Summer Nightastic! with a special “Play Pass”

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Floridians can enjoy the fun of Summer Nightastic! with a special "Play Pass" available only to residents of the Sunshine State.

The Florida Resident Play Pass comes in 3-Day and 4-Day versions that offer savings compared to generally available tickets and an enhanced expiration feature not generally available.

Here are the details:

The Florida Resident 3-Day Play Pass ($134 plus tax ages 10-up, $114 plus tax ages 3-9) and Florida Resident 4-Day Play Pass ($164 plus tax ages 10-up, $139 plus tax ages 3-9) provide admission to one theme park a day.

Florida Resident guests have 180 days from first use to experience the designated number of days on the ticket (generally available tickets expire in 14 days unless a non-expiration option is purchased).

Florida Resident guests can add the Park Hopper option and / or the Water Park Fun & More Option for 50 percent savings ($26 each). The Water Park Fun & More Option provides a number of visits to water parks and more equal to the number of theme park days on the ticket.

Proof of Florida residency is required to purchase this special ticket - as well as other offers available to Florida Residents. Information about other special offers for residents is available at www.disneyworld.com/floridians

Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular at Walt Disney World Resort

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Summer nights at Walt Disney World Resort will enchant theme park guests when glittering light magic, high adventure, dance fever, thrills and chills set the after-dark scene. From June 6 through Aug. 14, "Summer Nightastic!" lights up the entertainment experience at the Vacation Kingdom with a megawatt parade, a fireworks extravaganza, a rockin' dance party, concerts and other surprises.

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Vivid colors and visual effects will tell a thrilling story headlined by fairies and pirates during the Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular at Walt Disney World Resort. The limited-run show will dazzle guests with mystery, adventure and the romance of the Magic Kingdom at night. Summer Nightastic! will be orchestrated to classic Disney tunes and will be the largest nightly fireworks show ever shown at the Magic Kingdom.

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May 27, 2010

World Showcase Presents Delicious Discoveries Oct. 1-Nov. 14 at 15th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Chefs Whip Up Global Goodies from South Korea, Belgium, and More

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Like a fine wine that improves with age, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival celebrates 15 years Oct. 1-Nov. 14 with an unrivaled global tasting experience.

Where on the planet can foodies sample the cuisine, culture and entertainment of more than two dozen countries during a 1.3-mile stroll around a picturesque 40-acre lagoon? Only at Walt Disney World Resort, where more than 25 international marketplaces around the World Showcase promenade at Epcot invite guests to taste tapas-sized portions and sip wines, beers and spirits from six continents.

This year, Disney and celebrity chefs are teaming with winemakers and brew masters from around the world to commemorate 15 years of Delicious Discoveries. During the six-week festival, guests will discover:

§ Two new tasting marketplaces - Belgium and South Korea -plus new menu offerings at popular returning marketplaces including Singapore, Argentina, Chile, Poland, South Africa, Australia, U.S.A., Spain and others.

§ Celebrity chef appearances starring top culinarians like Warren Brown, Cat Cora, Todd English, Gale Gand, Robert Irvine, Art Smith, Andrew Zimmern and more.

§ A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited for the perfect scrapbook souvenir.

§ Daily wine seminars, bottle signings, author events and culinary demonstrations at the Festival Welcome Center.

§ Eat to the Beat! concerts three times nightly at America Gardens Theatre.

§ Two Epcot restaurants grand opening just in time for the festival: Via Napoli at the Italy pavilion and La Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion.

New Sips, Fresh Bites

Whether sampling steamed mussels with roasted garlic cream at the new Belgium marketplace or sipping the trendiest wines from South Africa and Chile, festival guests can make a day of grazing their way around the World Showcase promenade. Tapas-sized portions of regional specialties run $3-to-$8 each, and recommended wines and beers make perfect pairings at each marketplace. To make grazing simpler and more fun, guests can purchase a festival-themed mini-Disney Gift Card that can be loaded and reloaded at several park locations. The card comes attached to a band that can be worn conveniently on the wrist and used for purchases at park marketplaces, restaurants and shops.

Live regional entertainment includes music, acrobatics and improv performances along the promenade. Evening Eat to the Beat! concerts at America Gardens Theatre feature acts from many musical genres. Appearing for the first time on the Eat to the Beat! stage are: Sugar Ray, Air Supply, Howard Jones, 38 Special, Roger Hodgson (formerly of Supertramp,) Hanson and Rick Springfield. Kicking off the festival Oct. 1-3 is fan-favorite Taylor Dayne, and wrapping the event Nov. 12-14 is crowd-pleaser Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Each fall, the festival attracts a diverse audience of more than 1 million guests ranging from wine connoisseurs and epicures to novices wishing to boost their culinary IQs. Special culinary programs showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers participating in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.

Festival highlights include:

· The Festival Welcome Center, with a Wine Bar, Authentic Taste Seminars, Authors Without Borders weekend conversations and more.

· Some 250 chefs including Disney chefs and guest chefs from across the country conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting dinners and tasting events. Guest chefs on tap include Debbie Gold, Rock Harper, Jeff Henderson, Robin Miller, Jamie Deen and many other culinary stars.

· New events that include 3-D Disney's Dessert Discovery and a festival preview night, First Bites Opening Reception, on Sept. 30.

· Popular returning events that include Celebrating Family and Friends in the Kitchen, Epcot Wine Schools, Mexico Tequila Tastings and Food and Wine Pairings.

· The weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting event with tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.

Festival guests can enjoy fresh Epcot experiences including the latest Future World high-tech fun at Innoventions. They also can go "under the sea" at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, "up in the air" at Soarin' in The Land pavilion or "out of this world" at Mission: SPACE. In World Showcase, new and updated restaurants welcome guests at the Italy, Japan, Mexico and China pavilions.

Included with Epcot Admission

Authentic Taste seminars and Authors Without Borders programs with special book signings at the Festival Center, Eat to the Beat! concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.

Special Programming by Reservation

The Party for the Senses grand tasting events and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) for information and to make reservations for special events and programs. Festival details should be available at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine by mid-July.

May 28, 2010

Disneyland Hotel Renovations Plan!

Disneyland Hotel to Renovate Pool Area, Add New Dining Locations and Re-theme Hotel Towers

Work underway includes remodeling of all guest rooms and the hotel's exterior

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ANAHEIM, CALIF. May 27, 2010 - Disneyland Resort today announced substantial upgrades to the pool and courtyard areas of the Disneyland Hotel, continuing the landmark property's current renovation project. Changes will include building a new pool and water play area, renovating an existing pool, opening a new restaurant and bar, and re-theming of the hotel's three guest room towers.

"These exciting enhancements, along with our current Disneyland Hotel renovation and the expansion of Disney's California Adventure, underscore our ongoing investment in the Disneyland Resort and the Anaheim Resort District," said George A. Kalogridis, president of Disneyland Resort. "We are proud to collaborate with city and businesses leaders as we continue to evolve the area into a world-class, multiday tourist destination."

Changes will restore and highlight the original midcentury style of the classic hotel. The hotel's original two-story bungalows were built in 1955, just months after Walt Disney's first theme park opened its gates; the first tower was erected in 1962. The work will considerably open up the courtyard and pool area, allowing guests a clear line of vision and easy access across the property.

"Disney is all about storytelling, and these changes will weave a cohesive thread throughout the property and infuse the historic hotel with Disneyland nostalgia," said Tom Fitzgerald, executive vice president and senior creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering.

New Immersive Pool Experience

The most noticeable changes will be to the pool area, where guests of all ages will enjoy a new, immersive water play area. With a nod to the iconic original park signage, "Disneyland" will be spelled out in familiar blocks atop a platform supporting two thrilling water slides.

Reminiscent of the original Monorail station at the Disneyland Hotel, at each slide's entrance will sit a replica Monorail Car that guests will glide through as they twist and turn their way to the water below. The larger of the two main slides sits 26 feet high and stretches 187 feet until it plunges into a splash pool. The second slide is 13 feet high and 112 feet long. For younger guests, the area will include a third two-lane mini slide that sits just 3 ½ feet high and is 19 feet long, as well as a series of small bubble jets in which to play.

The existing 4,800-sq.-ft. Never Land pool will receive a complete cosmetic makeover but retain its unique footprint. A new 4-foot-deep pool will be built between the existing Never Land pool and the new water play area. A footbridge will stretch over the new pool, connecting both sides of the courtyard area and allowing guests easy access across the property without having to enter the sprawling gated pool area. The space also will include two spas at opposite ends of the pool area. The site of the current Cove pool will become a beautifully manicured lawn area, perfect for outdoor events. In addition, six new cabanas will be added; each features a flat screen TV, refrigerator, safe, phone, and ceiling fan.

New Iconic Dining Locations

New dining and lounge experiences will be introduced in the current location of Hook's Pointe, Croc's Bits 'n' Bites, the Wine Cellar and Lost Bar.

A new "smart casual" dining area will take its architectural cue from the original Tahitian Terrace restaurant in Disneyland Park and the Polynesian architecture that was popularized during the early era of the hotel. A new, fully enclosed bar will feature specialty drinks and surprises for guests.

Construction for the new water play area, pool, and food and beverage locations is scheduled to begin in August 2010 and be completed by summer 2011. The remodeled existing pool is slated for completion by summer 2012.

Re-theming of Guest Towers

Changes also include renaming of the hotel's three guest room towers for Disneyland's distinctive lands. The Dreams Tower, currently under renovation and scheduled to be completed in June 2010, will become the Adventure Tower. The Wonder Tower, next to undergo transformation and slated for completion in 2011, will be the Frontier Tower. Finally, the Magic Tower, which will be finished in 2012, will transform to the Fantasy Tower. Large marquees featuring classic artwork for Adventureland, Frontierland and Fantasyland will identify each tower.

Guest Tower Renovation Completed in 2012

The Disneyland Hotel renovation began in August 2009. The beautifully remodeled guest rooms feature exquisite Disney touches woven into the décor. A stunning new headboard with an artistically carved representation of Disneyland Park's famous Sleeping Beauty Castle serves as the focal point in each guest room. The background on the headboard uses fiber optics to create a magical skyline with fireworks - bringing the immersive park experience into the room.

The work at the Disneyland Hotel is a part of a larger expansion project underway throughout the Resort. Disney's California Adventure Park is undergoing a multiyear expansion project that includes new experiences, attractions and nighttime spectaculars, culminating in 2012 with the opening of Cars Land. The four-diamond Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa also underwent an expansion last year that added 203 hotel rooms and 50 two-bedroom villas that are part of the Disney Vacation Club, marking the club's West Coast debut.

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About May 2010

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

April 2010 is the previous archive.

June 2010 is the next archive.

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