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January 4, 2011

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2011) - The newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Dream, sailed into its home port of Port Canaveral, Fla., this morning after a 16-night trans-Atlantic voyage from Germany, where it has been under construction for nearly two years. Beginning with a maiden voyage on January 26, the Disney Dream will sail three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas, calling Port Canaveral home.

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

The launch of the Disney Dream brings sizable economic benefits to Port Canaveral and the region, given the increased capacity of the new ship over the current Disney ships. According to an economic impact study by Martin Associates, the new ship is expected to generate nearly 450 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the area, and attract thousands of additional cruise guests to the port.

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

"We are delighted to welcome the Disney Dream to its new home port," said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. "As we grow the Disney Cruise Line business, not only does this mean a positive economic impact for the region, but this allows us the flexibility to provide even more options to our guests. With new innovations onboard and new destinations to explore, ultimately we're providing even more ways for guests to enjoy a family cruise vacation."

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

The recent construction project for Disney's cruise terminal and dock area in Port Canaveral has also delivered economic benefits. Enhancements include an expanded dock area and terminal facility, along with the construction of a new parking garage connected to the terminal by a sky-bridge walkway.

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

"This is a special time for us," says Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer J. Stanley "Stan" Payne. "We're thrilled to welcome the Disney Dream home to her expanded terminal facility. We continue to have a great relationship with Disney Cruise Line and we look forward to continuing that for many years to come."

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

In addition to the expansion at Port Canaveral, Disney Cruise Line has also made enhancements to its private island Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, to further accommodate the new ship and more guests. From extended beaches and more dining locations, to the addition of private beach cabanas and Pelican Plunge, a new floating water play structure with water slides, the island boasts even more offerings and activities for families to enjoy.

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

With the arrival of the Disney Dream to its home port in Florida, preparations are underway for its inaugural cruises and events, including the traditional christening of the vessel. Other Disney Dream inaugural events include a Benefit Preview Cruise in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, sailing Jan. 21-23.

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

Accommodating up to 4,000 guests, the 130,000-ton Disney Dream takes Disney's special brand of family cruising to a whole new level with industry firsts such as the AquaDuck water coaster and Magical Portholes that transform inside staterooms into rooms with magnificent views. All of the ship's new features - combined with Disney quality entertainment, unique dining experiences and age-specific areas for children, teens and adults - create an unforgettable cruise experience for the entire family. A sister ship, the Disney Fantasy, is under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and will arrive in early 2012. It will sail seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, also from Port Canaveral.

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

With the addition of two new ships, Disney Cruise Line is offering a wider variety of itineraries and will sail to more destinations around the world, including a repositioning of the Disney Wonder to the West Coast of the United States, sailing Mexican Riviera and first-ever Alaskan itineraries in 2011. Meanwhile, the Disney Magic will spend another summer sailing European itineraries in 2011.

Disney Dream Arrives in Port Canaveral

Disney Cruise Line established the blueprint for family cruising when the business launched in 1998. The first two ships, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, which set sail in 1998 and 1999, respectively, were purpose built for families to reconnect, adults to recharge and kids to immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy only Disney can create.

January 6, 2011


Disney's Official Fan Club Launches New URL http://Disney.com/D23Offers
Dedicated to Discount Updates, Details and Procedures

BURBANK, Calif. - Jan 6, 2011 - D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, today announced a host of new and continuing money-saving discounts and special offers, all designed to bring fantastic opportunities to D23 Members throughout the coming year. D23 is also launching http://Disney.com/D23Offers, a URL dedicated to the most up-to-date information on all benefits and discounts.

"D23's membership of passionate Disney fans is ever-growing, so we wanted to ensure that our members have an easy way to stay informed about the newest ways membership benefits can enhance their already amazing Disney experiences," says Steven Clark, head of D23. "With these offers, the ways to save expand beyond discounts on events and outings, and offer added value to D23's already outstanding benefits."

D23 Members enjoy the quarterly Disney twenty-three magazine, which explores the incredible past, vibrant present and exciting future of Disney. Single issues of the lavishly produced, oversized Disney twenty-three retail for $15.95 each, but Gold-level D23 Members get each issue sent directly to them in special protective packaging, with surprise member gifts-including the 2011 annual gift, a striking analog watch featuring Bandleader Mickey Mouse with a black leather strap-that aren't available anywhere else.

The magazine, gifts and signature one-of-a-kind special events are only the start of the D23 experience. D23 has also created a host of money-saving discounts and special 2011 offers outlined below:


Mary Poppins on Broadway NEW
D23 Members can save over 40% on seats at select performances on this "practically perfect" Broadway musical now through April 17, 2011.

Sammy Duvall's Watersports Centre & CURL by Sammy Duvall NEW
Sammy is offering D23 Members 10% off all waterfront activities-including parasailing, water skiing, wake boarding, and personal watercraft rentals-at Walt Disney World as well as 10% off most purchases at CURL on Downtown Disney's Pleasure Island.

ABC is offering D23 Members a 20% discount year round on all purchases made at their online store! There's something for every TV fan, with terrific items from many fan-favorite ABC shows!

Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group NEW
D23 Members receive 10% off their bill at all Ralph Brennan restaurants including Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney Anaheim and their New Orleans establishments: Red Fish Grill, Ralph's on the Park, and the Courtyard Cafe at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

ESPN Zone® at Downtown Disney, Anaheim
Show a valid D23 membership card prior to ordering and receive a burger, a non-alcoholic beverage and a $15 game card for only $20!

House of Blues Orlando Downtown Disney
D23 Members save 15% off their meals at House of Blues Orlando in Downtown Disney.

Sanders Art Studio
D23 Members receive free framing and shipping on all items from Sanders Art Studio, an authorized gallery of Disney Fine Art. Choose from dozens of stunning pieces of beloved Disney characters from Mickey Mouse to Jack Sparrow.

eFX Collectibles
D23 Members receive special pricing on meticulously crafted, limited-edition Disney collectibles produced by eFX including Captain Nemo's Nautilus and the Evil Queen's Heart Box.

Scrapblog and D23 have teamed to bring Disney memories to life. D23 Members have access to member-exclusive content including logos, images and art to create scrapbooks, calendars, travelogues, yearbooks, greeting cards and any other creations they make on Scrapblog.

Mandara Spa
The luxurious Mandara Spa offers D23 Members 10% discount off their treatments at all of its locations across North America, Mexico, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Mandara has spas in both Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and the Walt Disney World Dolphin & Swan.

D23 Members will receive a discount on tickets to the ultimate Disney event for fans and families, taking place in Anaheim, Calif., from August 19-21, 2011. It's the greatest gathering of all things Disney under one roof! Members who purchase tickets by June 30, 2011 can save as much as $144 off the general admission price of tickets.

All discounts and special promotions are available to both Gold and Silver-level D23 Members. Additional offers and discounts will be announced throughout 2011.

Gold-level D23 Memberships are $74.99, and Silver-level memberships (which provide all benefits with the exception of a Disney twenty-three subscription) are just $34.99 a year.

For more details on becoming a member of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, or renewing existing memberships, visit www.D23.com.

* Check http://Disney.com/D23Offers for rules and restrictions that may apply.

January 7, 2011

Disney Parks Welcomes 15 New Park-Savvy Panelists to Help Families Plan Magical and Memorable Vacations

Actress Geena Davis Shares Beloved Disney Memories in New Moms Panel Video

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2011) - What do you get when you combine a hibachi chef, a pastor, one "mum,"� two Canadians, two non-profit workers, four teachers, three stay-at-home moms and one special aunt with a passion for Disney and a touch of pixie dust? The 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panel! Announced today, 15 new panelists hailing from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom were named official members of the 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panel www.disneyworldmoms.com. As the popularity of the Moms Panel site grows, 30 alumni panelists will continue offering their park-savvy smarts to guests planning Disney vacations.

Also helping spread the magic, Oscar-winning actress and mom of three, Geena Davis, serves as an honorary guest to celebrate the new panelists. Davis shares her personal tips and treasured Disney memories in an exclusive Moms Panel video, available in the celebrity video library at www.disneyworldmoms.com.

The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is an online forum that serves as a resource for families planning a Disney vacation, offering a diverse pool of one-of-a-kind insights and personal advice from real Disney fans who are passionate about sharing their knowledge with others.

"This year's Moms Panel search generated the most applications we have ever received," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "The Moms Panel has become an integral part of the Disney vacation planning process. We deeply appreciate all that the panelists have done to help guests create magical memories with Disney, and look forward to what the new members will offer to families in 2011."

Following an extensive application process, each panelist was selected based on their personal Disney experience and brings their own unique perspective to the table. From traveling on a budget to creative ways to commemorate a Disney vacation, there is a Moms Panel member who can offer advice on almost any Walt Disney World topic. In fact, designated panelists are also available to answer questions related to Disney Vacation Club, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney.

Introducing the 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panel:

Angelo Alomar
Simpsonville, S.C.- Electrical engineer by day and Hibachi chef by night, this Disney dad is devoted to spending quality time with his family, and, of course, to his love of the Mouse. Angelo wows patrons by making Mickey Ears out of fried rice!

Carrie Burrows
Georgetown, ON- Much like Mickey, fitness instructor Carrie works every day to help her clients' "dreams come true." When she isn't running boot camps, this mom of three helps friends plan Disney vacations with good nutrition in mind.

Ca'Sandra Phillips
College Park, Ga.- Since her first visit in 1987, this mom of two has been hooked on all things Disney. In between dreaming up her next family vacation, Ca'Sandra works at a non-profit and enjoys volunteering in her spare time.

Emma Nicholson
Morecambe, Lancashire (UK)- Family time at Disney is number one to this magic-loving mum. Since visits from across the pond can be costly, Emma plans all of her trips well in advance to take advantage of money-saving options like the Disney Dining Plan.

Jill Cooper
Hillsborough, N.J.- A self-proclaimed planning-pro, this high school teacher/college counselor uses her career experience to help others get the most out of their Disney vacations. Jill's Disney experience also includes an anniversary trip to Germany with Adventures by Disney.

Johnetta Scott
Plainfield, N.J. - Families come in all shapes and sizes" just ask Johnetta, who serves as the official Disney vacation planner to her seven nieces and nephews. This self-proclaimed "Princess" enjoys volunteering and learning foreign languages.

Krista Curtis
Maryville, Tenn. - An avid reader and mother of two, Krista spends her days working as a middle school English teacher. Whenever she visits Walt Disney World, she and her husband make sure to incorporate little "extras" to make every trip memorable.

Marisol Lopez
Lakeland, Fla. - As a Florida resident, Marisol has visited Walt Disney World more than 200 times. She works daily to spread her love of all things Mickey to her two kids and husband daily.

Monina Wagner
Avon, Ohio - From her first memory of riding Dumbo with her dad, Monina has been hooked on the Mouse. As a media relations manager for a non-profit, she uses her skills to chat it up and share tips with other Disney fans.

Ritzy McCarthy
Barrington, R.I. - Born in Cuba, this bilingual mom of two currently works as a part-time Spanish teacher. From the Magic Kingdom to Castaway Kay, for the McCarthy family, Disney is the only way to travel!

Deborah Bowen
Land O Lakes, Fla. - Known as the "go to planner" amongst her friends, Deborah helps others experience the magic by creating customized vacation itineraries. Besides coordinating Disney getaways, Deborah teaches literature, film and popular arts at the University of South Florida.

Leslie Krzan
Holiday, Fla. - Since her first visit as a little princess, Leslie has had a special love of Disney, even celebrating her nuptials in Epcot. When she isn't busy being the best stay-at-home-mom she can be, she enjoys baking special celebratory cakes for others.

Lynn Lane
Ottawa, ON - A devoted wife and mom to two teenage girls, this crafty Canadian enjoys making custom greeting cards and scrapbooking her magical memories. Distance makes no difference to the Lane family; they have logged more than 72,000 miles driving to and from the park.

Teronya Holmes
Kingsport, Tenn. - An exercise psychologist turned stay-at-home-mom, Teronya spends her days caring for her two sons and putting in volunteer time at her church. Aside from her passion for planning Disney vacations, she enjoys outdoor activities and reading.

Wes Holloman
Pearland, Texas - Describing himself as "fun, fast and full of energy," this devoted dad to five dreams of playing Peter Pan in the Magic Kingdom. Wes is currently working to get his Masters Degree while serving full-time at his church.

Guests can also visit www.disneyworldmoms.com to catch-up with the 30 returning alumni panelists, who will continue to share their vacation planning advice through the Moms Panel site.

Join Jane Goodall for an Exclusive VIP Weekend at Walt Disney World


While many people dream of going to Africa to live like renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, most of us just don't have the time to pack up and fly around the world, particularly those of us with children. The Jane Goodall Institute, together with our longtime friends at Walt Disney World, would like to offer you and your family the next best thing: An Exclusive VIP Weekend at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge® featuring the chance to spend time with Jane over President's Day Weekend.

Trip Highlights Include:

• Private VIP transportation provided to and from Orlando International Airport;
• Three nights in a savannah view room in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge®;
• Exclusive breakfast with Dr. Jane Goodall and some of Disney's famous characters;
• Intimate campfire with Jane Goodall overlooking Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge® savannah including stories, hot chocolate, s'mores and more;
• Opportunity to get up close to a variety of spectacular and majestic animals in their backstage habitats on Disney's special Backstage Safari Tour;
• Gala dinner featuring an exclusive private performance of the Festival of the Lion King;
• Access to Disney's theme parks with Park Hopper® passes. Transportation to any of the Disney parks is included, along with a Dining Card valid at a variety of locations; and
• More!

Package is for Presidents Day Weekend (February 18-21, 2011). Complete experience includes capacity of up to 30 people. Includes hotel, select meals, unlimited three-day admission to all Disney theme parks, transportation to and from the Orlando airport, and all scheduled events.

Cost: $8,500 per adult and $7,500 per child, ages 7 and up. Includes hotel, select meals,unlimited three-day admission to all Disney theme parks, transportation to and from the airport, and all scheduled events.

See janegoodall.org/travelwithjgi for more information.

January 11, 2011

Brazil's Fredison Costa Establishes New Era With Surprising Victory in 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon

Costa Establishes New Era With Surprising
Walt Disney World Marathon Victory

* Brazilian snaps fellow countryman's six-race win streak for his first Disney Marathon win;
* Perennial champion Bastos finishes 15th;
* Clad as Tinker Bell, Thorvilson captures women's title on her birthday;
* Field of more than 17,000 competes in the annual 26.2-mile event through Walt Disney World theme parks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - (Jan. 9, 2011) - In perhaps the biggest upset in Walt Disney World Marathon history, Fredison Costa of Brazil upstaged fellow countryman Adriano Bastos to win the Disney Marathon on Sunday and abruptly end Bastos' six-year dominance at Disney.

After finishing second to Bastos at last year's Disney Marathon, Costa, 33, crossed the finish line first this time, posting a time of 2:21:15 to lead the field of more than 17,000 runners who ran through all four Disney World theme parks along the 26.2-mile course. Bastos, who had won the past six Disney Marathons and seven of the last eight, finished 15th (2:45:09). Michael Wardian from Arlington, Va., (2:27:37) was second followed by Paul Nielsen from Orlando, Fla. (2:31:45).

Leah Thorvilson from Little Rock, Ark., was the top women's finisher (2:42:11), celebrating her 32nd birthday by pulling a mild upset of her own in halting Lisa Mizutani's streak of back-to-back Disney Marathon women's victories. Karen Simmonds-Brady from Auburn. NY, was second (2:51:14) and Jessica Crate from Melbourne, Fla., was third (2:51:53). Mizutani from Japan was 12th (3:02:34).

Costa, who now lives in El Paso, Tex., ran near the front of the lead pack early in the race, but then quickly charged into the lead well before the 10-mile mark and then steadily pulled away, winning by more than six minutes.

"I felt very strong the entire race, probably could have pushed the pace if I had to," said Costa, who aspires to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. "The weather was great and I knew the course very well after running here last year."

Pat Bragassa of Rigby, Idaho., was the top men's Masters Division finisher (runners age 40 and over) with a time of 2:38:41 and Myriam Grenon from Canada won the women's Masters Division with 2:58:30. In the wheelchair division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga. (1:47:13) won for the third straight year, while Shannon Schaffer of Kissimmee, Fla. (2:47:39), was the first wheelchair woman to cross the finish line.

On Saturday, Tim Young of Rochester Hills, Mich., won the 13.1-mile Disney Half Marathon with a time of 1:05.35. Jenny Scherer, Delavan, Wisc., was the top woman finisher, posting a time of 1:17.35.

In all, runners from all 50 states and 60 other countries took part in a variety of Disney Marathon Weekend events, such as the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Mickey Mile and Mickey Marathon Kids Fest and the Disney Half Marathon in addition to the Disney Marathon. And, once again more than 5,000 runners put themselves to the ultimate test -- Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge which involved running the half-marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday.

Many runners are celebrating their accomplishments by participating in "Marathon Monday" -- all runners who participated in the marathon receive complimentary entry into Walt Disney World the day after the race.

Registration for the 2012 Disney Marathon Weekend opens March 2011. To register or for more information on all runDisney events, visit www.rundisney.com. Also follow us on Twitter (@disneysports) and Facebook (Disney Sports).

January 12, 2011

Disney Store Announces 2011 Multi-National Store Opening Slate

Disney Store's Innovative New Design to Open in Canada, Puerto Rico and New International Markets

PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Disney Store continues to break ground with plans to unveil its innovative concept store in new North American and international markets. Building on the successful launch of its interactive and immersive stores in 2010, the international specialty retail chain is on target to add more than 25 new and remodeled locations in 2011 ultimately transforming all 350+ locations in countries around the world. Today at the National Retail Federation's "Big Show" in New York City, Disney Store announced the first 11 North American and 10 European locations, and plans to reveal additional locations later this year. With a retail strategy focused on securing locations in premier mall and shopping centers, Disney Store is in prime position to deliver "the best 30 minutes of a child's day" to the more than 85 million children, families and tourists who visit it each year.

"Guests told us that we brought the magic back to Disney Store with the launch of our new design and responded by staying in the stores longer and purchasing more," said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide. "The future of Disney Store is brighter than ever as we expand our reach by opening in new markets, leverage the latest technology to enhance the guest experience and improve efficiency, showcase incredible new Disney content, and bring a magical Disney experience to local communities everywhere."

In 2011, Disney Store will open newly designed stores in six new North American markets and in three new European countries:

Disney Store Locations: US, Canada & Puerto Rico

* The first newly designed Disney Store in Georgia will open in Atlanta's Perimeter Mall
* Guests in Washington will celebrate the opening of two Disney Store locations in Seattle's Westfield Southcenter mall and at Bellevue Square
* Mall of America in Minnesota, the second largest mall in the United States, will open its first ever Disney Store
* For the first time in 10 years, Puerto Rico will have its very own Disney Store when an experiential new store opens at Plaza Las Americas this summer
* The first newly designed Disney Store in Canada will open in the remodeled Square One Mall in Mississauga, Ontario and Metropolis in Vancouver, British Columbia will also open an inaugural store.
* Additionally, Disney Store will open four remodeled stores at Westfield in Culver City, CA; Palisades shopping center in West Nyack, NY; Chandler Fashion Center in Arizona, and Northstar mall in San Antonio, Texas.

Disney Store Locations: Europe

* Three new European countries will unveil a Disney Store for the very first time -- Copenhagen, Denmark, which will be the very first Disney Store in Scandinavia, Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and Antwerp in Belgium
* The new Disney Store location on Oxford Street in London is expected to be a top attraction for both tourists and local guests
* Bromley and Nottingham in the UK, Lyon in France, and Naples in Italy will be remodeled to the new design
* Two Spanish locations, Cadiz in the Southwest and Las Arenas on Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands, will also be remodeled locations.

To find a local Disney Store, guests can visit www.DisneyStore.com/storelocator or call (866) 902-2798. Guests can also sign up for email alerts at www.DisneyStore.com/Updates, become a fan on Facebook www.facebook.com/DisneyStore or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/DisneyStore to stay connected to your favorite destination.

Disney Junior – Live on Stage! Set for Spring Debut at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 5, 2011 - As Disney Channel prepares to launch a new multiplatform brand, Disney Junior, in February, both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's California Adventure are set to debut the new "Disney Junior - Live on Stage!" attraction in March.

It's a prime example of Disney putting synergy in motion across its various business units.

Beginning next month, Playhouse Disney - a block of programming on Disney Channel and about two dozen Disney international channels - will be rebranded as Disney Junior.

At Disney Parks, a new 22-minute stage show will update the popular "Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage!" attraction. The new show brings back three audience favorites - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Little Einsteins - and also introduces a brand new segment based on Disney Junior's newest series that will debut in February 2011, "Jake and the Never Land Pirates."

"Disney Junior - Live on Stage! demonstrates the agility of our company in meeting the expectations of our guests," said Rilous Carter, vice president of Disney's Hollywood Studios. "We go to great lengths to ensure something special for all of our guests, including very young children. Disney Junior - Live on Stage! will be unique entertainment that, at its core, is developed specifically for parents and small children to enjoy together."

Carter says that television is a rapidly changing medium, with new shows and new stories every season, and adds that guests want to see those stories and characters in person, in Disney Parks.

In early 2012, an expanded Disney Junior will premiere on cable and satellite television channel lineups, reaching about 75 million homes. The new Disney Junior channel will provide 24-hour children's programming currently available only on the Playhouse Disney block of Disney Channel.

January 13, 2011

Disneyland Resort Salutes Medal of Honor Recipient U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta


Anaheim, CA - January 12, 2011 - The Disneyland Resort and its cast members, including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis, today recognized U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta at a special flag retreat ceremony. Giunta was recently presented the Medal of Honor - the nation's highest military honor - by President Obama for his heroic actions in Afghanistan. He is the first living service member to receive the medal for action in any war since Vietnam. Also honored was U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Erick Gallardo, Silver Star recipient and Southern California native from Chula Vista. Giunta and Gallardo served together in Afghanistan and were decorated for their heroism during the same battle. Both honorees enjoyed the day at Disneyland Resort with their families.

In front: Staff Sgt. Erick Gallardo and wife Jacqueline.
In back: Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and wife Jen.

Lighthouse Key Resort & Spa Offers Spring Travelers Orlando Vacation Value

Kissimmee, FL, January 11, 2011 - Travelers planning a spring Orlando vacation can maximize their vacation dollar at Lighthouse Key Resort & Spa.

Just four miles from Walt Disney World® Resort, Lighthouse Key Resort & Spa provides guests the complete Orlando vacation experience with on-site resort amenities, free transportation to the Disney theme parks plus flexible and spacious accommodations to meet any size group or budget.

Travelers can choose from Disney area vacation condo rentals with up to four bedrooms that sleep from six to ten. Each condo features a fully equipped kitchen, living area, dining area and a private patio ideal for enjoying the spring weather. Additional amenities like Plasma TVs and complimentary wireless Internet access offer guests a great way to relax and keep in touch.

During their stay, travelers can also enjoy Lighthouse Key's Orlando vacation resort amenities that include two heated swimming pools with poolside beverage service plus events like cookouts, holiday celebrations and kids activities.

In addition, the resort features a clubhouse with game and billiard rooms, a fitness center, a business center with Internet cafe and a 52-seat movie theatre.

For casual Orlando dining, guests can order sandwiches, soups, salads and light breakfast offerings at the on-site Beacon Deli.

Relaxing Orlando spa services are available at The Spa at Lighthouse Key, including in-condo massages, body treatments and couples packages. Manicures and pedicures are also offered and feature lake and resort pool views.

Additional services available to guests include discounted Orlando theme park tickets and complimentary Disney theme park transportation.

About Lighthouse Key Resort & Spa

Located four miles from Walt Disney World®, Lighthouse Key Resort and Spa features 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom villa style vacation condominium rentals in four distinct floor plans that range from over 1,100 to over 2,100 square feet and include fully equipped kitchens, living and dining areas, and spacious covered patios. Resort amenities include: a full service European style spa, two heated swimming pools, fitness center, game and billiard rooms - plus on-site food and beverage, a gift shop, a 52-seat movie theatre, a business center with Internet cafe, complimentary Disney park transportation and meeting space. For more information visit www.LighthouseKeyCondos.com or call 1-877-561-5946.

Sara Moore
Lighthouse Key Resort & Spa

January 17, 2011

Disney Executives Reflect on the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 14, 2011 - As the nation celebrates the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Dr. King's message of opportunity and inclusion resonates as strongly as ever today. Dr. King is an inspiration to many, including Disney executives across the company.

Disney leaders Eugene Campbell, vice president Minority Business Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Rilous Carter, vice president Disney's Hollywood Studios both pointed to one of Dr. King's most famous quotations as they shared their thoughts on Dr. King's legacy:

Eugene Campbell, vice president Minority Business Development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" This quote above Dr. King is particularly poignant for me when I reflect on my roles within Public Affairs. I've been fortunate to lead efforts that harness Disney's treasure chest of resources and opportunities to benefit people in the communities where our businesses operate - from children in need, professional associations and diverse entrepreneurs alike. Although all that Dr. King envisioned has not yet fully come to pass, his legacy inspires me to always remain action oriented, courageous and mindful that I stand on the shoulders of those who marched, fought and sacrificed for the rights and opportunities we enjoy today. So, on this day of tribute to Dr. King, I am humbled as a beneficiary of the challenges that others faced on my behalf.

Rilous Carter, vice president, Disney's Hollywood Studios: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is " What are you doing for others?" As we celebrate his birthday we should be cognizant of this message and look to help those in need and who do not have a voice. Dr. King not only looked to help people of color, he also assisted those who suffered due to injustice and disenfranchisement. After all, as he wrote in his letter from the Birmingham jail, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives, Walt Disney World Resort: The celebration of Martin Luther King Day makes me think of my Aunt Jean, a very strong woman who taught me to use as fuel my passion for nature and wildlife. She also taught me to be willing to take risks, and to take the road less traveled, including taking every opportunity to experience and learn from other cultures-a path that led me, with a few twists, turns and detours, to my current role as vice president of Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives for Disney Parks. I'm now nearing my 14th anniversary as cast member, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity Disney has given me and my team to help families connect with wildlife, learn about nature, and take action to conserve the Earth's resources to protect the natural world for the future.

David DeLoach, general manager Entertainment Operations, Disney's Hollywood Studios: This national holiday allows me to reflect upon how one person can make a monumental difference in the lives of millions. Dr. King's passion, drive, persistence, bravery and eloquence inspire me to strive to become a better leader, American citizen and human being. Walt Disney World is a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds, experiences, ethnicities, lifestyles and ideas. Immersion into this wonderful variety of life is, for me, priceless. I've been able to widen my view of the world and its inhabitants in a very unique, unusual and powerful way.

Perry Crawley, director, Food & Beverage Line of Business, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts: Martin Luther King Day is a day we celebrate a great American. Dr. King was a man of faith who had a simple dream-everyone has the right to pursue and achieve their own dream regardless of who they are. For many years I had the dream of becoming a major decision maker for a large restaurant organization and by joining the Walt Disney Company nearly twelve years ago I was able to achieve my dream. When I reflect on how hard my grandparents worked in positions considered by many to be menial all the while thinking it was unlikely any of their descendants would have greater opportunities than they received, I am humbled. I thank God for the many blessings I have received as a result of my being a part of the Walt Disney Company.

Manny Vazquez, general manager Merchandise, Disney's Hollywood Studios: To me, paying homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is something that should be done every day. Leaders like Dr. King inspire and show us that indeed mountains can be moved. Today, our focus on fairness and equality is stronger which allows everyone to have the same chance at opportunity without prejudice. I celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the person and his legacy. I am very proud and feel blessed to be a Disney cast member. Disney has not only afforded me with a grand opportunity to continue pursuing my own goals, I am encouraged to dream, create, and inspire daily. With this in hand, my mission is to also help my fellow cast members pursue their goals and dreams. I hope to leave this as my legacy one day.

January 18, 2011

Largest Expansion in Magic Kingdom History Will Nearly Double the Size of Fantasyland

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history is underway, a project that will nearly double the size of Fantasyland and deliver a new home for Ariel, new ways to interact with favorite Disney princesses, an exciting new family coaster, a double dose of Dumbo and more.

Scheduled to open in phases beginning in late 2012, the new Fantasyland will immerse guests in Disney stories as never before.


Among the highlights planned:

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major, all-new attraction during which guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves - all against a musical backdrop of songs from the classic film.


The castle of the Beast, standing majestically upon a hill just across an old stone bridge from Ariel's new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious "West Wing" of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer "great food fast" service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle's Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston's Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Just outside the village is Belle's cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice's workshop, where a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: Guests are transported to the Beast's library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive, re-telling of the "tale as old as time."

But that's just the beginning of what guests will discover when the multi-phase project is completed.

Here's more of what's in store:

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine "where a million diamonds shine." The coaster will feature a first-of-its kind ride system with a train of ride vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs.


In Princess Fairytale Hall, Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel, will greet guests in their new home, an elegant royal court on the site where Snow White's Scary Adventures stands today.

The sound of the calliope will lead guests to the brand new Storybook Circus and not one but two circling carousels of airborne pachyderms on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Before taking to the skies on this Fantasyland favorite, guests can experience an array of fun-filled family games and interactive wonders for kids of all ages inside the Big Top.


Next door in Storybook Circus, the classic Barnstormer gets a bright new look as well, featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini. It's a twisting, turning roller coaster "flight" high above the circus fun.

January 21, 2011

The Walt Disney Family Museum February 2011 Events Calendar

Love is in the air this February, and so are puppies
" 101 of them, to be exact!

Join us for 101 Dalmatians-themed screenings, activities and fun!

Celebrate Disney Academy Award-winning films with KRON's Jan Wahl

Look Closer at Mrs. Disney's Oscar-Charm Bracelet

FILM OF THE MONTH - February 1 - February 28
101 Dalmatians (1961)
1:00pm and 4:00pm daily, Theater-
(except Tuesdays and February 12, 13, 14 + 20)
Tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org
Cruella De Vil is out to kidnap Pongo and Perdita's 101 Dalmatian puppies. Watch as the puppies tromp through snow and trek o'er the countryside to escape the fate of an evil fashionista.

February 12 - Designing a Contemporary Classic: The Art and Process of 101 Dalmatians
With Floyd Norman, Andreas Dejas, and Don Iwerks
3:00pm, Theater
Tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org
This panel of Disney animators and innovators will discuss the unique style of 101 Dalmatians, how it differed from other Disney films, and why it was such a successful and revolutionary film. Hear about the groundbreaking new technological advancement of the Xerox® process, what this new technology meant to the animation industry, and how the Disney team produced all those spots!

February 20 - REEL GLAMOROUS with Jan Wahl
3:00pm, Special Exhibition Hall
Tickets available online at www.waltdisney.org
We're rolling out the red carpet with KRON's Jan Wahl as we celebrate Disney Academy Award®-winning (and nominated) films. Watch clips from Flowers and Trees to Mary Poppins and learn about the 26 Academy Awards won by Walt Disney for individual achievements. This event will be paired with wine from Silverado Vineyards and snacks from Wolfgang Puck Catering. This is a seated event with limited tickets.

Sunday, February 13 + Monday, February 14 - Celebrate Valentine's Day
11:00am-4:00pm, Theater and Learning Center
Celebrate Valentine's Day at The Walt Disney Family Museum! We will be screening shorts throughout the day and you'll have the opportunity to snap a series of photo-strip pictures with your sweetheart, just like Walt and his wife Lily did!

DISNEY DISCOVERIES: Saturday, February 12 + Sunday, February 20
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Learning Center Art Studio
In honor of the film of the month, you can make your own 101 Dalmatians picture frame. Using recycled materials, decorate a picture frame that will have you seeing spots!

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.

February 25, 26 + 27 - Look Closer: Lily Disney's Oscar® Bracelet
3:00 pm, Gallery 7b
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, behind the scenes information, or just additional information during the 5 to 8-minute gallery talk.

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

Admissions: Various: check Website for details.

Website: www.waltdisney.org

Main Phone: 415-345-6800

January 28, 2011

‘small world’ Becomes a Big Canvas As ‘The Magic, the Memories and You!’ Projection Show Conjures Vacation Memories at Disneyland


ANAHEIM, Calif., January 27, 2011 - Starting tonight, the façade of "it's a small world" in Disneyland park is being transformed each night into a breathtaking display of moving, ever-changing photography, video, animation and music as Disneyland celebrates guests' memories with an innovative new show - "The Magic, the Memories and You!"

Guests of all ages will be reminded of their Disney memories, and may even see themselves in the nightly show, as a kaleidoscope of larger-than-life images is projected onto the classic Fantasyland "it's a small world" attraction. Included in the thousands of photographs each night will be approximately 500 photos of guests who made memories in Disneyland that very day - resulting in a different "The Magic, the Memories and You!" presentation every night.

"Disneyland has been making very special memories for families and guests of all ages for more than 55 years," said Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis. "Now guests recalling and cherishing those memories will become stars of the show as well."
After the sun goes down, the 10-minute spectacle combines that day's photos with photos and videos taken from Disney's "Let the Memories Begin" online hub, and brings them to life with the help of amazing new projection technology that transforms the architecture of "it's a small world" in never-before-seen ways. Classic Disney music is woven into the new "Let the Memories Begin" theme song and, via some magical effects, even the singing dolls from inside the "it's a small world" attraction find their way outside to appear in the show. The finale features a burst of fireworks over "it's a small world."

"We're really taking it to the Nth degree and we're doing it for our guests," observes show director Alan Bruun, associate creative director, Disney Destinations Entertainment. "Some guests will spot their own photographs in the show, and yet our goal is for everyone watching the show to be able to say, 'These are my memories. I recognize that moment, that emotion.' "

The visual and musical journey that takes place in "The Magic, the Memories and You!"� traces the family vacation experience, from planning and travel all the way through arrival and fun in Disneyland. The show closes, appropriately, with a classic Disney memory. A similar show featuring guest images projected onto the soaring spires of Cinderella Castle premiered Jan. 18 in the Magic Kingdom park, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida.

Disney Parks guests also are becoming the stars of television commercials. For the first time, Disney Parks is featuring the home videos and snapshots of real guests telling their own Disney stories in television ads and other marketing.
At the online memories hub that launched Sept. 23, guests have been celebrating their only-at-Disney memories by sharing their stories and by uploading photos and videos. To access the site, visit www.DisneyParks.com/memories.

Vacation memories hold a special place in the hearts of families, according to a recent survey of Americans and Canadians conducted by Ypartnership, a leading research firm that tracks consumer insights and trends in travel. Nine out of 10 parents polled said they plan their vacations with the express hope of creating a lasting family memory. And most memories don't fade with the passage of time. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they think back "often" or "very often" on their most cherished vacation memories.

Blue Sky Cellar Update Showcases Upcoming Little Mermaid Attraction

New Displays Feature Models and Drawings by Disney Imagineers,
and New 'Animated' Map of Disney California Adventure Park

ANAHEIM, Calif., January 28, 2011 - The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure becomes the newest star in the 2011 update of Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar, the place where Disney California Adventure park guests find an exclusive preview of what is new and what is coming next for the expansion of the Disneyland Resort. Beginning Friday, January 28, a refreshed Blue Sky Cellar show will feature new models and a new video, along with dozens of concept drawings for the Little Mermaid attraction and other upcoming enhancements to Disney California Adventure park.

In the Blue Sky Cellar screening room, a new, birds-eye view painting of Disney California Adventure comes to life with projected animation that will delight guests with fun surprises. An updated film presentation features Disney Imagineers describing their work, along with footage of model-making, sculpting, "blue sky" meetings and all the aspects of bringing a Disney concept to life.

Other highlights include:

  • Sketches and layout diagrams for the new attraction, along with three-dimensional models and other art work, all crafted by Disney Imagineers, the creative minds behind the design and construction of Disney theme parks and attractions.
  • A preview of Goofy's Sky School attraction and the new Paradise Pier dining locations that will open later this year.
  • All-new attraction posters for California Screamin', Mickey's Fun Wheel and Silly Symphony Swings - designed in the style of traditional Disney theme park attraction posters which have appeared at the entrance to Disneyland for more than 50 years.
  • Concept art for the new park entrance, the Buena Vista Street entry plaza, and the Red Car Trolleys which will transport guests from the park entrance through Hollywood Land to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The "coming soon" area of Blue Sky Cellar continues to look even further ahead to 2012 and Cars Land, the 12-acre expansion of the Park that will bring to life the town of Radiator Springs from the Disney?Pixar animated film Cars, complete with three new attractions for families and kids of all ages.

Based on the belief that idea gathering is best when "the sky's the limit," the Blue Sky Cellar is designed to resemble an Imagineering "charette," an extended creative idea development meeting. Guests receive an inside-look at how Imagineers take "blue sky" ideas and refine them into the classic storytelling that characterizes Disney theme park attractions and adventures.

In this whimsical immersive setting, Imagineers have taken over a former wine cellar and set up shop. Wine barrels have turned into work stations and the former wine tasting room has become a screening room where videos showcase the behind-the-scenes magic that goes into the creation of new and upcoming attractions for Disney California Adventure.

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About January 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in January 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

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