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November 2, 2010

Enjoy a D-Lightful Yuletide Season With Disney Institute Holiday Tours

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- With the holidays just around the corner, Disney Institute is offering guests of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the opportunity to go behind the scenes of celebrations at various theme parks.

Yuletide Fantasy and Holiday D-Lights, both led by seasoned Disney Institute facilitators, offer guests a special look at holiday attractions and events, including a peak behind the curtain, where production of Disney's holiday season takes place. Yuletide Fantasy is a three-and-a-half hour tour that takes place in the morning and afternoon and costs $84 per person; Holiday D-Lights is a five-hour tour that takes place in the evening and costs $199 per person.

"These tours are great for guests interested in discovering what makes the Walt Disney World Resort a favorite place for families to celebrate the holidays," said Jeff James, vice president, Disney Institute.

Yuletide Fantasy uncovers the origins of holiday traditions as guests travel through the culturally diverse celebrations of World Showcase at Epcot before getting an up-close look at the bows and bells lining Main Street USA at Magic Kingdom. While in World Showcase, Disney Institute facilitators visit Germany, Italy and Japan to demonstrate how each country communicates the story of the holidays. The tour continues to the Magic Kingdom where guests learn about the birth of holiday traditions celebrated in the United States.

The last stop is a backstage visit to holiday services. This department produces and stores holiday decor for all Walt Disney properties on the East Coast, including two Disney Cruise Line ships. Guests are able to see the scope of Disney's holiday operations and how thousands of decorations are used.

Holiday D-Lights journeys through the history of Disney traditions, with visits to Epcot, the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Each location's interpretation of holiday lighting is showcased, kicking off with priority viewing for Epcot's Candlelight Processional. This event features the story of Christmas retold by a special celebrity narrator and is accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir. The next stop on the Holiday D-Lights tour is to the Magic Kingdom, where guests experience Cinderella's Holiday Wish before watching her castle illuminate with more than 200,000 LED lights.

Before traveling to Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will be treated to a light meal while marveling at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Lastly, guests get a behind-the-scenes look at how Disney creates holiday lighting displays while visiting decorating support. This unique department coordinates all of the lighting logistics for the entire Walt Disney World Resort.

The tours are open to anyone ages 16 years or older. All participants must present a valid government-issued photo ID. For more information or to book a Disney Institute holiday tour please call, (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687, or visit http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tours-and-experiences/.

Chris DiMarco and Golf Channel Contestant Mike Perez Join Celebrity Golfers Competing in PGA TOUR Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Disney

DiMarco and Perez enter as sponsor's exemptions; NBA Hall of Famer Julius 'Dr. J' Erving, Rays players Carlos Pena and James Shields, and former World Series champions A.J. Pierzynski and Aaron Rowand headline celebrity pro-am

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Three-time PGA TOUR winner and Orlando resident Chris DiMarco and Golf Channel's Big Break Disney Golf winner Mike Perez received sponsor's exemptions for the 40th Children's Miracle Network Classic Nov. 11-14 at Walt Disney World Resort, where they will compete alongside a host of celebrity pro-am golfers, such as Julius "Dr. J' Erving, Carlos Pena and A.J. Pierzynski.

DiMarco, who won the 2000 SEI Pennsylvania Classic, the 2001 Buick Challenge and the 2002 Phoenix Open, has competed on the U.S. Ryder Cup team (2004 and 2006) and the Presidents Cup (2003 and 2005). He has earned $400,040 on the tour this year and $21,235,123 for his career, as well as 61 career Top 10 finishes.

DiMarco has played at Disney 13 times in his career beginning in 1994, with his best result a runner-up finish to Bob Burns in 2002. Last year, he tied for 15th place.

Perez earned his sponsor's exemption after winning the Golf Channel's Big Break Disney Golf earlier this year at the Palm and Magnolia courses at Disney. In the Disney Classic, Perez will compete against his brother, Pat Perez, ranked 103rdon the money list.

"The DiMarco family has long been a part of the Disney Classic, dating back to Chris's father, Rich, who played in the Pro-Am, and continues to this day with Chris and his kids participating in the traditional father-child event here at Disney," said tournament chairman Kevin Weickel. "Mike Perez obviously knows our course well after winning Big Break Disney Golf, and we look forward to seeing his dream come true of playing in a PGA TOUR event here at Disney."

With DiMarco and Perez in the field, the Children's Miracle Network Classic has two remaining sponsor's exemptions to extend to players who otherwise wouldn't qualify for the field of 128 players that will tee off in the PGA TOUR Fall Series finale. The final two spots will be announced in the next couple weeks.

The two-day pro-am field, which will compete the Thursday and Friday of tournament week, is also nearly filled, headlined by Erving, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, San Francisco Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand and Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Pena and pitcher James Shields.

Defending champion Stephen Ames, who also won the tournament in 2007, is among an impressive group of former winners, which includes Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart and Raymond Floyd. Celebrating its 40th year, the event was initially held as the Walt Disney World Open Invitational shortly after the resort opened in 1971. This year's tournament will again be televised live each day on the Golf Channel.

Once again, guests also will have the opportunity to experience the Wine & Dine Walk, throughout the back nine of Disney's Magnolia Golf Course. Patterned after the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, five specialty locations will offer culinary pairings of tapas-sized appetizers, entrees, desserts and wines especially for the event.

Tickets for individual rounds ($10), badges for Classic week ($20) and a new one-day Wine & Dine ticket ($45) are available at www.ChildrensMiracleNetworkClassic.com or through www.ticketmaster.com. The new Wine & Dine ticket is good for five entrees, one at each location, and one beverage, along the back nine of the Magnolia Golf Course. Net proceeds go to Children's Miracle Network hospitals, including the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, and Shands Children's Hospital in Gainesville.

November 3, 2010

Holiday Enchantment Sparkles at Disneyland Resort with Fireworks, Parade, Snowfall Beginning Nov. 12

Heartwarming Favorites Make Spirits Bright at
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Oct. 27, 2010) - When it comes to enjoying the magic of the holiday season with family and friends, there's no place like Disneyland Resort. The holidays will shine brightly throughout the resort from Nov. 12 through Jan. 2, 2011, as guests create memories for a lifetime.

Guests will enjoy the return of Disneyland Resort's most popular offerings, including special holiday versions of "it's a small world" and Haunted Mansion, along with "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, colorful holiday décor and a nightly snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.

Other holiday highlights at Disneyland will include the traditional snowdrifts and icicles adorning Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle. After dark a sensational holiday lighting and special effects show will carry the magic of the holidays from the castle all the way to the Christmas tree in Town Square. The 60-foot-tall Disneyland Christmas tree is specially designed to present a nightly holiday light show like no other with more than 62,000 energy-efficient LED lights.

The Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle presentation unfolds throughout the evening in three acts, each of them featuring a touch of winter snow on Main Street, U.S.A. The finale of the show includes the legendary "Believe " in Holiday Magic" fireworks show, which takes guests on a journey of sights and sounds of the season and ends with a touching rendition of "White Christmas," along with a climactic snowfall swirling down on Main Street, U.S.A., "it's a small world" Mall and New Orleans Square.

A holiday tradition in Disneyland is "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, in which Disney characters join together to celebrate the magic of the season. Guests can watch as the characters wrap gifts, bake holiday treats and prepare for the arrival of Santa Claus, who shouts a jolly greeting to spectators along the parade route. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse even take to the ice for some skating fun.

Themed entertainment, sparkling decorations and tasty treats add festive warmth to holiday fun at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Guests also will be able to book guided holiday tours that provide entry into "it's a small world" Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday, reserved seating for the Disneyland "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, a keepsake remembrance, and entertaining information about the history behind Disneyland holiday traditions. For information and reservations guests can visit Disneyland City Hall or call 714/781-4400.

Returning holiday favorites at Disneyland park include:

  • "it's a small world" Holiday transforms "it's a small world" into a worldwide celebration of the season, boasting more than 300,000 glittering lights on its facade.
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday presents a madcap celebration as the traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide. The ghoulish but well-meaning Jack Skellington from the film "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" has come to Haunted Mansion to transform it with his skewed vision of the holidays.
  • Santa Claus and his reindeer will return to greet Disneyland guests at Santa's Reindeer Round-up in Big Thunder Ranch, Frontierland. Kids and their families will chat with St. Nick and see real reindeer grazing in a corral.
Disney California Adventure park celebrates the season with fanciful park-wide decorations and lively entertainment.
  • Guests approaching the park will immediately get in the holiday mood as they encounter the iconic "CALIFORNIA" letters transformed to appear as swirling red and white peppermint sticks.
  • "a bug's land" transforms as Flik and his bug buddies spread giant Christmas lights and oversized ornaments throughout their realm.
  • The holiday scene along the Paradise Bay boardwalk includes a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and lampposts decorated with seasonal wreaths.
  • Santa Claus will greet guests on the boardwalk near Ariel's Grotto on Paradise Pier.
Guests in Disney California Adventure won't want to miss the other park entertainment, highlighted by the all-new "World of Color" nighttime water spectacular, which brings its own brand of after-dark magic to the Paradise Bay lagoon. Meanwhile, in the entry plaza of Disney California Adventure and the adjoining Hollywood Pictures Backlot district, the immersive "ElecTRONica" nighttime street party will put guests of all ages "on the grid" and into the environment of the new Walt Disney Pictures feature, "TRON: Legacy." "ElecTRONica" parties take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and nightly from Dec. 17 through Jan. 2. "ElecTRONica"� will continue into spring 2011.

Also part of the regular Disney California Adventure attractions and entertainment lineup:

· "Pixar Play Parade" is complemented by two new shows: the energetic "dance-off" competition of "Disney Dance Crew" on the Backlot Stage in Hollywood Pictures Backlot, and the rock concert-style "Disney Channel Rocks," featuring music from Disney Channel movies and series, performed on the Palisades Stage in Paradise Park, alongside Paradise Bay lagoon.
· In Blue Sky Cellar at Golden Vine Winery, the Imagineers' workshop offers guests a preview of what's coming to Disney California Adventure, including The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure in 2011.
· Guests along Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure also will enjoy the newly enhanced Toy Story Mania! and Silly Symphony Swings attractions, along with such popular favorites as California Screamin' and Mickey's Fun Wheel.

The Downtown Disney district and the Disneyland Resort hotels will join in the merriment with twinkling lights and ornaments, special entertainment and holiday dining. Expanded hours at both Disneyland Resort theme parks will extend the holiday fun. For more information about holidays at Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com/holidays.

November 5, 2010

Sorcerer Mickey Now Adorns the Stern of the Disney Dream

The Disney Dream continues to take full form....

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November 7, 2010

AquaDuck Water Coaster on the Disney Dream

Disney Cruise Line introduces a cruise industry innovation on the Disney Dream with the debut of AquaDuck, the first-ever shipboard water coaster. Guests aboard the new Disney Dream can get swept away on the exhilarating high-speed flume ride which features twists, turns, drops, acceleration and river rapids. Stretching 765 feet in length and spanning four decks in height, AquaDuck uses powerful water blasters to propel guests around the perimeter of the ship's top deck.

November 14, 2010

Disney Dream Begins Journey to Completion During 'Conveyance' on River Ems

New Disney ship departs Meyer Werft shipyard for the North Sea, one step closer to its voyage to Florida

PAPENBURG, GERMANY, (Nov. 12, 2010) - The Disney Dream cruise ship departed the Meyer Werft shipyard today on its conveyance down the River Ems, traveling from the ship's inland birthplace in Papenburg, Germany to the North Sea at the port of Eemshaven, The Netherlands. The journey began with a firework display as the ship passed through the first sea lock exiting the harbor, completing yet another milestone as the ship moves closer to its maiden voyage on Jan. 26, 2011, from Port Canaveral, Florida.

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Caption: Disney Dream begins its journey from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, for the 'Conveyance' along the River Ems. Thousands of local residents lined the shore to wave good-bye to the largest ship completed by Meyer Werft shipyard. A unique process for ships built by Meyer Werft, the journey involves moving the ship some 26 miles down the winding River Ems to Eemshaven, The Netherlands

The conveyance process is a unique maneuver for ships built by the Meyer Werft shipyard, the only place in the world where this process occurs. The journey involves moving the ship some 26 miles down the winding River Ems. In some areas, railroad bridges have been dismantled with sections lifted out to allow the ship's passage.

"With the conveyance of the Disney Dream, we have reached yet another milestone for the third ship in our fleet," said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. "It won't be long before our guests finally experience the inspired innovation and extraordinary creative content that makes this ship so magnificent and so unique. From an exhilarating ride on the AquaDuck to dazzling stage shows and exquisite French cuisine at Remy, the incredible offerings on the Disney Dream will delight everyone who steps aboard."


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Caption: The Disney Dream passes through Leer, Germany on its conveyance along the River Ems from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg to Eemshaven, The Netherlands. The journey began with a firework display and performance by soprano Rachael Russell, of Liverpool, England. The conveyance is unique to ships built by the Meyer Werft shipyard and involves moving the ship some 26 miles down the winding River Ems. In some areas, bridges have been dismantled with sections lifted out to allow the ship's passage, such as this one in Le

Tens of thousands of local residents lined the shore to see the Disney Dream and some of its new and innovative features, like the AquaDuck water coaster, which winds around the ship's iconic funnels.

"All of us at Meyer Werft and throughout the community of Papenburg are very proud to see this 'Dream' ship through its historic conveyance," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. "As the largest ship this yard has built, our entire community feels a tremendous sense of achievement and a deep connection to this exceptional vessel."

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Caption: SAYING GOODBYE -- The Disney Dream embarked on its conveyance down the River Ems, traveling from the ship's inland birthplace in Papenburg, Germany to the North Sea at the port of Eemshaven, The Netherlands. The journey began with a firework display and performance by soprano Rachael Russell, of Liverpool, England, as the ship passed through the first sea lock exiting the harbor. Following the shipyard's

Prior to the conveyance, the Disney Dream underwent its float out on Oct. 30. For the last two weeks, testing on the ship's functional features has taken place in the Meyer Werft harbor, while work on the interior areas continued. As the ship concludes the conveyance, it will move into what is known as the test-and-adjust period, departing Eemshaven for sea trials. After sea trials, the ship will travel to Hamburg, Germany for a short final dry docking. The ship then returns to Bremerhaven, Germany, for the delivery ceremony in which Meyer Werft will officially deliver the Disney Dream to Disney Cruise Line. Here the ship will welcome its remaining crew members before departing for its home in Port Canaveral in Florida.

The Disney Dream is the first of two new Disney ships being built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The Disney Fantasy is also currently in production and is scheduled to set sail on its maiden voyage on April 7, 2012.

November 15, 2010

Pollo Campero and Fresh A-Peel Open in Downtown Disney® Marketplace

Latin chicken sensation launches first Orlando location, while innovative new restaurant concept unveils menu of nutritious, delicious foods
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ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starting today, visitors to Downtown Disney® Marketplace will experience the amazing flavors of Pollo Campero, an international Latin chicken quick service restaurant, and the first-of-its-kind Fresh A-Peel, featuring made-to-order fresh selections.

"Today is a landmark day for Pollo Campero"

At Pollo Campero, Walt Disney World® guests can savor combinations of freshly prepared Latin chicken, unique flavorful side dishes such as yuca fries and sweet plantains, and Latin drinks including horchata and tamarindo. Pollo Campero's fried and grilled chicken is marinated, sending the distinctive Pollo Campero flavor all the way to the bone. Fried chicken is hand-breaded in seasoned flour and slowly pressure-cooked without trans-fats, resulting in a flavorful and juicy meal. Grilled chicken features the taste of lime and orange juices, red bell peppers, and a special blend of Latin herbs and spices.

"Today is a landmark day for Pollo Campero," said Roberto Denegri, president and chief operating officer of Campero USA. "We're thrilled to open our newest restaurant at Disney, the No. 1 family vacation destination in the world. Most importantly, we're excited to introduce guests to the fantastic flavors of our legendary Latin chicken."

Inspired by Disney's commitment to offer its guests great-tasting more healthful options, award-winning restaurateur Larry Levy and Pollo Campero teamed up to create Fresh A-Peel. Operating in the same location as Pollo Campero, Fresh A-Peel features a nutritious and delicious array of hot-off-the-grill items and chef-prepared salads and wraps, as well as gluten-free cupcakes and bakery treats.

"Our menu relies on the freshest, most flavorful ingredients," said Mr. Levy. "I wanted to create nutritious foods even my grandchildren would love. All of them have favorites on the Fresh A-Peel menu, whether they are picky eaters or adventurous tasters."

The restaurant has a back-to-basics approach to serving family favorites that are prepared in a better-for-you way. Chef-prepared entrees including salads are made with locally grown produce and available in a bowl or as a wrap, and all-natural burgers are prepared to order and packed with flavor. Balanced kids meals are served with fresh fruit and healthy sides, while other delicious menu offerings are gluten-free, low-sodium and vegetarian.

"This single restaurant offers guests an incredible range of dining choices, all in one location," said Adam Cummis, president of the joint venture. "Not only can guests order Pollo Campero's legendary fried or grilled chicken and signature side dishes, but they can also indulge in Fresh A-Peel's nutritious and delicious meals. By pairing these two concepts together, we've created a destination that offers something for every diner, and we're changing the way people think about quick dining."

About Pollo Campero

The world's largest Latin chicken restaurant chain, Pollo Campero offers its customers "Flavor You Can't Campero." The company serves more than 85 million customers each year at more than 300 restaurants in 12 countries around the globe. This includes more than 50 locations already open in the United States, with additional stores slated for this year. For more information, visit www.campero.com.

November 16, 2010

Walt Disney World Resort Launches Annual Toys for Tots Drive with ‘Cuddliest Christmas Tree’ Featuring 1,200 Stuffed ‘Duffy’ Bears

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2010) - Walt Disney World Resort launched its annual Toys for Tots collection drive today with a little help from Duffy the Disney Bear and his pals Mickey and Minnie, creating the "Cuddliest Christmas Tree," a 20-foot-high, 10-foot-wide Christmas tree made of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears.

Topping the "Cuddliest Christmas Tree" with a giant red bow at today's ceremony were members of the U.S. Marine Corps, Walt Disney World Ambassador Clay Shoemaker and Walt Disney World VoluntEARS.

Each year, Walt Disney World VoluntEARS donate thousands of hours of service and tens of thousands of toys to Toys for Tots - all with the goal of making the holidays brighter for deserving children throughout Central Florida. For the next few weeks, Walt Disney World cast members will play the role of Santa's helpers by collecting new toys for the annual toy drive, which will be added to today's donation of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears from the "Cuddliest Christmas Tree."

"As the story goes, Minnie created Duffy as a pal for Mickey to bring him comfort and joy, and we hope that Duffy brings those same gifts to children throughout Central Florida during the holidays," said Walt Disney World Ambassador Clay Shoemaker. Duffy the Disney Bear was recently introduced at both Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California after becoming a phenomenon at Tokyo Disneyland. The plush has become an instant favorite with guests.

"Disney cast members have big hearts and time and again show their generous spirit," said First Sgt. Michael Diaz, who heads up the 2010 Central Florida Toys for Tots campaign. "As we head into the holiday season, we are seeing a record level of people in need and these donations will make a big difference in the lives of thousands of kids."

During the resort's annual collection drive for Toys for Tots, Disney cast members collect items appropriate for infants and teenagers alike, ranging from learning toys and board games to arts and crafts and sports equipment. Donations from cast members will continue to be accepted through Dec. 10, with a final tally on toys expected thereafter.

This year, Central Florida Toys for Tots expects to assist thousands of families from Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties in celebrating the holiday season with gifts for their children. The annual toy drive is meant to send a message of hope to youngsters by ensuring they have at least one new gift to open during the holidays. Nationwide, Toys for Tots has drop-off sites set up to accept toy donations. For locations, visit http://toysfortots.org.

The Walt Disney Company's involvement with Toys for Tots began more than 60 years ago when Walt Disney and his animators designed the original Toys for Tots logo that is still used today. In 2009, Disney VoluntEARS collected more than 23,000 toys for Central Florida Toys for Tots and gave more than 3,000 hours toward helping the U.S. Marines register families in need, sort and stock toys and assist with toy distribution.

The annual toy drive is one of many charitable activities underway at Walt Disney World Resort during the "Season of Sharing" that focuses on improving the lives of local children and their families during the holidays and beyond.

Santa has voted the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin his all-time favorite resort!

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It's been a busy year for Santa and his elves preparing for the upcoming holiday season, so he and Mrs. Claus have decided to take a little vacation during the months of November and December and chill out at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin!

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Santa says our Heavenly Beds are just the right thing to get him rested up enough for the big flight on Christmas Eve. Mrs. Claus loves the fact that they can pick from so many types of restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world.

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Of course, they are looking forward to making some special guest appearances while here! On select days, you will find Santa and Mrs. Claus lighting the Christmas tree in the lobby and hanging out with guests by their special Florida tiki hut. There's going to be lots of photo opportunities that you won't find anywhere else, so bring your cameras and get ready to party Florida style with Santa and Mrs. Claus!!!

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Enjoy daily holiday cheer with cookie decorating, choir performances and more.

Christmas Tree Lighting At 6:00pm on select nights, Mrs. Claus will choose one lucky family to help her light our beautiful poinsettia Christmas tree in the Dolphin lobby. Mrs. Claus will then invite everyone out to the causeway to help her find Santa Claus!

Santa and Mrs. Claus Santa and Mrs. Claus will entertain at their special Florida tiki hut on the causeway from 6:15pm - 8:30pm on select nights. Get ready for big laughs and photo opportunities you will not see anywhere else!


Story Telling With Mrs. Claus
Everyone loves to listen to a good story and Mrs. Claus really knows how to tell them! On select nights, she will share story-telling time with our guests at the tiki hut on the causeway from 8:00pm - 8:30pm.

Chestnuts and Teasers Stop by the causeway on select nights between 6:00pm and 8:00pm to enjoy chestnuts that have been carefully roasted on an open fire by our very own chefs! Also enjoy some refreshing holiday beverages compliments of our restaurants.

Pastry Decorating Create your own masterpiece as our cast members help you decorate cookies, brownies or cupcakes on alternating nights in the hotel lobbies.

Holiday Entertainment On select nights between 6:00pm and 8:00pm, you'll enjoy beautiful musical performances by carolers, choirs and musicians in the hotel lobbies or on the causeway and other public areas throughout the resort.

Holiday Hideout Children are invited to join us between 2:00pm and 5:30pm for fun arts and crafts, Rockband Showdown, Wii Sports match, Bingo, coloring pages build a plush ($12), board games and more! Stop by our activities room located on the first floor of the Dolphin near the central elevators. (Children must be accompanied by an adult or parent at all times).

Elf Tuck-In Invite Santa's Elves into your room on Christmas Eve to read a story and tuck you in. They'll even bring cookies and milk to help you drift off to sleep and await Santa's visit. Also included is a holiday plush toy, a magic key for Santa and "Twas the Night Before Christmas" Golden Book. (Charges apply and reservations are required). Please call 407-934-4264 for more information and reservations.


Children's New Years Eve Party
Children 4 - 12 will have the opportunity to ring in the New Year their way from 6:00pm - 1:00am with Camp Dolphin. Includes party hats, noise-makers, balloon drop, dinner (children must be dropped of before 7:00pm for dinner) and much more! Charges apply and reservations are required. Please call 407-934-4241 for details and reservations.

Chocolate Santa Masterpiece! Stop by the entrance to the Swan near Il Mulino New York Trattoria to marvel at a spectacular chocolate Santa sculpture hand-crafted by our two-time World Champion Pastry Chef, Laurant Branlard with the help of his Team Elf!

Team Elf! Man Hours: 300 hours
Dark Chocolate: 880lbs
Milk Chocolate: 132lbs
White Chocolate: 154lbs
Cocoa Butter: 120lbs
Calories: 2,956,818

Holiday Bake Shop See our talented pastry chefs get into the spirit of the holidays as the bakery outside the entrance to Garden Grove at the Swan is transformed into a seasonal wonderland of holiday goodies!

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making appearances on the following dates:
• November 26 - 27
• December 3 - 4, 9 - 11, 16 - 19

Rates start from $122 per night. But hurry, rooms are limited so book today to secure our best rates!

Call 888-828-8850 and ask for rate code SANTAEAR!

November 18, 2010

New Waterfront District Hyperion Wharf at Downtown Disney Walt Disney World

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Work will soon begin on a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island and other one-of-a-kind experiences as Walt Disney World Resort continues to bring new stories to life at Downtown Disney. Combined, the projects are expected to create an estimated 1,200 new jobs over the next three years.

"We have made great progress since first announcing our vision to bring new shopping, dining and entertainment experiences to Downtown Disney, many of which can't be found anywhere else and have already become guest favorites," said Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney. "We look forward to providing even more ways for our guests to enjoy Downtown Disney, while at the same time creating new jobs for Central Floridians."

A nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier will evolve Pleasure Island into "Hyperion Wharf." By day, the bustling port district will draw guests in with its stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.

New dining, shopping and entertainment experiences are in the works for Downtown Disney and today we're sharing a first look at what to expect in the future for the 120-acre complex. Look closely and you'll see that Pleasure Island will evolve into a vibrant waterfront district called "Hyperion Wharf."

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The district will come to life with a nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier. By day, stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants will draw you in and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.

Taking its name from Hyperion, the Greek god of light, as well as the street on which Walt Disney built his first major animation studio, the wharf district will also feature a relaxing lakeside park and enhanced pedestrian walkways. And its diverse eateries will expand dining availability at Downtown Disney by more than 25 percent.

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"Hyperion Wharf will offer guests of all ages a vibrant atmosphere and new experiences that can be enjoyed by day or by night," said Bradford. "Whether looking for a great place to dine with the whole family or a place to relax and enjoy live music, Hyperion Wharf will provide the perfect setting for guests to make new memories with us."

Along with the new wharf district, other projects are underway at Downtown Disney, including:

--An extensive renovation of Lego Imagination Center, which will increase its overall footprint by nearly 3,500 square-feet and add new Lego exterior models featuring scenes from classic Disney movies.

--Enhancements at AMC Theatres that will take the movie-going experience at Downtown Disney to the next level with new digital technology, a Concession Stand of the Future and Florida's first Fork & Screen Theater; and"

--Numerous new or renovated retail shops and merchandise vignettes, as well as additional atmosphere entertainment, throughout Downtown Disney.

Construction on the district begins immediately and it's scheduled to be completed in 2013.

November 19, 2010

World of Color, Disney Imagineer Receive Prestigious Industry Awards

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) recognized the achievements of Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, with its Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Nighttime Spectacular for World of Color at Disney California Adventure® park, calling it "a visual and technical marvel." TEA also recognized Imagineer Kim Irvine with The Buzz Price Award for her lifetime achievements.

Some of Kim Irvine's recent contributions include designs for the new Disney Gallery and interiors for the updated Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction.

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World of Color combines Disney and Pixar animation with music, lights, fire and nearly 1,200 fountains spanning an area that is bigger than a football field. The show - a major cornerstone in the multi-year expansion of the Disneyland® Resort - debuted in June and already more than one million guests have enjoyed it.

Imagineer Kim Irvine was recognized for numerous contributions to Disney parks. Irvine began her career at Walt Disney Imagineering in 1970, where she worked alongside Imagineering legends such as John Hench, Mary Blair and Mark Davis. She worked on attractions at Walt Disney World® Resort before joining the Disneyland Design Studio team in 1980.

As art director for Disneyland® park, Irvine was responsible for projects such as the Resort's 50th anniversary celebration, the Disneyland Dream Suite and adding 'new magic' to classic attractions such as 'it's a small world' and in locations like the Rivers of America.

Walt Disney Imagineering has received 34 awards for its talent within the themed entertainment industry since the Thea Awards' began 17 years ago. Disneyland® Resort's past recipients of Awards for Outstanding Achievement include Toy Story Midway Mania!, Soarin' Over California and Indiana Jones Adventure.

November 20, 2010

Disneyland® Resort Offers Healthy, Kid-friendly Foods

Guests on vacation at the Disneyland® Resort can expect to find a variety of delicious food including many healthy items that are appealing to kids and kids at heart. Options such as fresh fruit and vegetables provide guests with variety and balance - factors that are important, particularly to parents.

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At the Disneyland® Resort, kid-friendly, nutritious options are well thought out, beginning in the concept kitchen, where everything - from calorie count to color - is considered.

"We recently introduced a whole grain pasta dish for certain kids' meals," said Bill Orton, Disneyland® Resort certified executive chef. "In developing the new pasta, we wanted to make sure it was not too dark in color because some children are turned away simply by the color of a healthy choice."

In addition to whole grain pasta, families can find grilled chicken, turkey meatballs and even halibut as options for their children. Resort kids' meals are automatically served with low-fat milk, 100 percent fruit juice or water, along with side dishes such as apple sauce or carrots, making it easier for parents to give kids well-balanced meals while on vacation. Families opt for these healthy alternatives in nearly 60 percent of kids' meals.

These nutritious food choices support the Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a national initiative recently launched by The Walt Disney Company in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama to support parents in their quest to raise healthy, happy kids.

November 22, 2010

Disney, Gowalla Deliver the Magic of Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, In a New Way

Gowalla's Unique Product Features Inspire Visitors
To Experience Disney Parks Like Never Before


GLENDALE, Calif.(Nov. 18, 2010) - In its first foray into location services, Disney Parks has teamed up with Gowalla - the social network that inspires people to keep up with friends and share the places they go - to provide park-goers a new way to explore the magic of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. Starting today, visitors to these parks can engage with family and friends around the world through the custom Disney Gowalla pages and Passport Stamps, and track their experiences at Disney like never before.

"Gowalla is the perfect complement to the park visit by rewarding guests with exclusive digital stamps, and by suggesting new ways to explore the parks with fun trip itineraries," said Leslie Ferraro, executive vice president, Global Marketing for Disney Destinations. "We are excited to work with Gowalla to enhance the check-in experience for our guests. As we encourage our guests to make memories at Disney parks, Gowalla is a great way for them to share their Disney memories as they happen."

Capturing and Sharing the Magic of Disney
People are able to view park happenings with custom Gowalla Disney Passport pages for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts that include maps featuring a check-in stream, a list of popular places, exciting Trips, special Items and more.

Hundreds of locations within Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will feature custom Stamps created by Gowalla - the largest number of custom Gowalla Passport Stamps ever developed for a brand. The Stamps can be collected in their Gowalla Passports and kept as a virtual scrapbook by park-goers of their experiences at Disney. In addition, park visitors will discover and collect Pins as a special reward for visiting featured Spots, and Virtual Items will be placed around the parks. "Beware of the hitchhiking ghost taking residency in your Gowalla Passport," added Tom Aronson, digital marketing director, Global New Media, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Discovering the Magic of Disney
For guests looking for a creative way to explore the parks, Disney has developed Gowalla Trips that "bundle" attractions by age or interest. A sampling includes:

• "For the Little Ones (under 44 inches)" is a dream track fit for pint-sized park-goers to Magic Kingdom in Florida. It includes "Mickey's PhilharMagic," Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan's Flight and more.

• "Characters in the Wild" treats Disney's Animal Kingdom guests to a show track that includes "Festival of the Lion King," "Finding Nemo-The Musical," "Flights of Wonder" and more.

• Just in time for the holidays at the Disneyland park, "Santa's Reindeer Roundup," "Believe in Holiday Magic" fireworks and Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle are on the menu for the "Seasons Greetings" Trip.

Throughout the year, Disney will be highlighting special events at its parks via Gowalla. This feature allows park-goers to secure unique Passport Stamps for checking in at custom events to record all of their Disney Parks' experiences

"Part of what makes Gowalla special is our vision to inspire people to discover and explore truly remarkable places around the world and then share those experiences with friends and family worldwide. Disney has consistently created this kind of wonder and excitement with its park-goers, so teaming up to create something new has been a thrill for us," said Andy Ellwood, business development director, Gowalla. "This is the first time we've developed a partnership this comprehensive with a brand and it's only possible because of the remarkable number of places and experiences the Disney parks have to discover."

To participate, guests are encouraged to join Gowalla via the web or download the free application onto their smartphone. All the custom Stamps and Items guests collect will be added to their Gowalla Passport and each check-in can be shared via Facebook and Twitter. Guests can start their new Disney Parks adventure by going to Gowalla.com/WaltDisneyWorld, Gowalla.com/Disneyland or Gowalla.com/Disney.

November 23, 2010

The Walt Disney World Moms Panel and Celebrity Guests Star in New Vacation Planning Videos

Panelists and Celebrity Moms Provide Behind-the-Scenes Look At Park Attractions and Share Favorite Travel Tips

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (November 16, 2010) /PRNewswire/ - Need suggestions on how to plan an unforgettable family getaway? Look no further than the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Disney's 43 park-savvy parents have released a new set of online videos featuring their favorite one-of-a-kind experiences available to Walt Disney World guests. A special additional to the Moms Panel video collection, found at www.disneyworldmoms.com, celebrity "Disney Moms"� Whoopi Goldberg and Teri Hatcher share their own special family travel tips. Visitors also can tag along with panelists for a pirate-themed journey across the "seas"� of Walt Disney World Resort or learn what spectacular celebrations Disney has in store this holiday season.

"We are privileged to have such a knowledgeable group of moms and dads who are so eager to document their Disney fun and share it with others," said Leanne Jakubowski, director, Social Media, Walt Disney World Resort. "The Moms Panel videos provide families with an engaging, visual way to discover how they can experience the magic, helping them to plan a truly memorable and personalized vacation."

New Celebrity Videos

Grandma Whoopi's Wisdom - The highly accomplished funny woman makes it clear that she enjoys being a grandmother, and reveals that one of her favorite places to spoil her grandkids is at Disney parks!

Teri Hatches a Plan! - "Desperate Housewives" star and key contributor to website GetHatched.com, Teri Hatcher gives advice on how to calmly chase your kids around a theme park and have fun in the process!

New Walt Disney World Moms Panel Videos

'Twas The Night Before. . . - Panelist Amanda reads from her new "classic" storybook about the joys of visiting Walt Disney World Resort during the holidays.

Doug the Wedding Whisperer - Moms Panelist Doug Ingersoll helps a lucky couple plan their special day at Disney. This Disney dad makes sure every matrimonial moment is filled with magic.

Rustic Fun the Disney Way - Disney mom Dorothy Drakos says "yee haw!" and shows visitors how to have a rootin' tootin' good time at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

Join a Pirate Voyage! - Panelists Marc Lorenzo, Allison Valdes and Suzannah DiMarzio experience the "Wishes" fireworks spectacular and Electrical Water Pageant on the Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage, a pirate-themed nighttime voyage across Seven Seas Lagoon.

Bernie's Best Budget Tips - Disney dad Bernie gives guests the scoop on stretching those Disney dollars to have a magical vacation without breaking the bank.

Concierge Stays With Chris - Chris Gildea takes a stroll on the luxury side of Walt Disney World Resort and shows the VIP options available when staying at a Disney resort with concierge level accommodations.

These new videos and more are available through the Walt Disney World Moms Panel website, www.disneyworldmoms.com. Visitors to the panel will find additional "How-to" videos on a variety of topics from pre-trip packing to in-park pin trading, as well as an extensive library of celebrity travel tips from actress Angela Bassett, Joey Fatone of "Dancing with the Stars," television personality Joan Lunden, Lisa Whelchel from "The Facts of Life," Alfonso Ribeiro of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and many others!

Guests can also access a wealth of planning advice from the Walt Disney World Moms Panel in the "Tips & Advice - Walt Disney World" section of The Weather Channel online at www.weather.com.
About the Walt Disney World Moms Panel

Entering its fourth year in 2011, the Walt Disney World Moms Panel is an online forum where guests can get tips and insights for a Disney vacation from real moms, dads and even grandparents who have mastered the art of planning Disney vacations. Guests can pose questions to the panelists, as well as gain access to other valuable park insights and vacation-planning tools for booking a Disney vacation. For more information, visit www.disneyworldmoms.com.

November 24, 2010

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!: Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas

douglas.jpg

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!: Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas pose with their children, Dylan (left), age 10, and Carys (right), age 7, on Nov. 24, 2010, along with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in front of the Epcot theme park Christmas tree in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on Nov. 18. Epcot is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort. (Kent Phillips/Disney, photographer)

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About November 2010

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

October 2010 is the previous archive.

December 2010 is the next archive.

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