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August 2011 Archives

August 1, 2011

ABC-TV Presents Exclusive Screenings at D23 Expo



"Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice," Screening Will Be Followed By a
Q&A with Directors and Producer, Set for August 19

"Once Upon a Time" Screening Will Be Followed By a
Q&A with "Lost" Writers Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz on August 20

Both Panels Will Be Moderated By "D23's Disney Geek" Host Jeffrey Epstein

Be among the first to watch ABC's most anticipated new fall series and animated holiday special and have a chance to learn the secrets behind how they were made. Fans will have those opportunities at the D23 Expo, where the entire world of Disney comes together, August 19 and 20, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Get a jump on the holiday season on Friday, August 19 at 12:45 p.m. in Stage 23, as the D23 exposition unwraps Walt Disney Animation Studios' festive new special, "Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice," with an exclusive premiere screening of the latest, nicest and naughtiest adventure in this multiple Emmy Award®-winning program. Santa's dauntless elves, Wayne and Lanny, find themselves up to their pointy ears in trouble, as they race to recover classified North Pole technology, which has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking Naughty Kid. Their mission to prevent Christmas from descending into chaos has some riotous twists, turns and surprises. A special "Christmas in August" presentation and Q&A, moderated by "D23's Disney Geek" host Jeffrey Epstein, will follow with Emmy Award-winning directors Kevin Deters & Stevie Wermers-Skelton, and producer Dorothy McKim.

Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz -- the esteemed executive producers/writers of "Lost" and writers of "Tron: Legacy" -- bring you ABC's "Once Upon a Time," a bold, new series where fairytale characters collide with our world. On Saturday, August 20 at 12:45 p.m. in Stage 23, join Eddy and Adam for a Q&A, moderated by "D23's Disney Geek" host Jeffrey Epstein, as well as a special screening of the show. Brace yourselves for a modern fable with thrilling twists and hints of darkness, brimming with wonder and filled with the magic of our most beloved fairytales. The series will premiere on Sunday, October 23 on ABC.

About D23 Expo 2011
The D23 Expo-The Ultimate Disney Fan Event-brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks. For schedules, live updates, interactive features and tools, polls and much more, check out the D23 Expo mobile app at www.D23mobile.com! To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo. For questions during the D23 Expo, get answers by sending tweets to @D23Expo.

About D23
The name "D23" pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney's 88-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.disney.com/D23; a new collectibles line, the Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 19-21, 2011.

Fans can join D23 at www.Disney.com/D23, all Disney Store locations within the United States, select shops at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort and at www.DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us @DisneyD23 on Twitter and Facebook.

August 2, 2011

Chiquita and Walt Disney World Resort Announce Multi-Year Alliance to Offer Fresh, Healthy Chiquita and Fresh Express Products to Disney Guests

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 29, 2011) - Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB) and Walt Disney World Resort announced an agreement today that will bring premium, healthy fresh Chiquita® and Fresh Express® products to a number of retail points at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and Disney Cruise Line. This new strategic alliance represents the commitment of both companies to provide consumers with healthy food options.

"We are pleased to work with Disney to offer healthy, nutritious Chiquita and Fresh Express products to the millions of guests who visit Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line each year," said Fernando Aguirre, Chiquita chairman and chief executive officer. "This alliance joins two companies with the shared commitment of providing quality experiences to consumers. This is yet another step in Chiquita's efforts to improve world nutrition by extending distribution of our healthy fresh products, now to include the world's favorite vacation destinations."

Throughout Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line, Chiquita and Fresh Express products will receive brand exclusivity within their respective categories and enjoy significant exposure to important consumer segments. The new agreement continues Chiquita's expansion into distribution points beyond traditional channels as well as providing an opportunity for Chiquita to educate consumers about the benefits of proper nutrition.

"This alliance complements our company's commitment to providing guests with high-quality, healthy food options," said George Aguel, senior vice president, Corporate Alliances for The Walt Disney Company.

As part of the agreement, Chiquita will serve as the sponsor of both the "Crush 'n' Gusher" at Typhoon Lagoon, themed around a tropical fruit processing center, and the "Living with the Land" attraction, where Chiquita will join forces with Disney to help teach guests about nutrition. In another joint effort, Chiquita will also participate in the "runDisney" marathon series to help promote healthy living and active lifestyles. Beginning with the upcoming Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend in September, Chiquita will share with guests and participants how its fresh and convenient products can help improve personal nutrition.

Chiquita and Fresh Express products add to Disney's existing portfolio of nutritious snack items as well as its ongoing effort to promote healthy lifestyles and nutrition for kids and families. Chiquita bananas and Fresh Express salad items will be featured throughout Walt Disney Resort and offer visitors convenient low calorie snacks.

The Walt Disney Company first pioneered groundbreaking nutritional guidelines in 2006 aimed at giving parents and children healthier eating options. Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a comprehensive initiative launched in 2010, builds on that commitment by inspiring kids and families to explore simple and fun ways to eat right and be active. Today, more than 85 percent of Disney's licensed food portfolio consists of healthier options, including produce and low-fat dairy.

August 4, 2011

Tiki Room Reopening Slated for Aug. 15, 2011


Original Hosts Ready to Squawk up a Storm Again, Giving Guests Even More to Chirp (and 'Tweet') About

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Sunshine Pavilion, featuring a show variously known as "Tropical Serenade" and "The Enchanted Tiki Birds," debuted on Oct. 1, 1971, in Magic Kingdom. In 1998, following substantial refurbishment, it re-launched as The Enchanted Tiki Room-Under New Management, with two famous Disney birds - Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King - taking control and trying to spruce up the show.

Now the "new management" has been let go and the future of the Adventureland landmark is in the wings and wit of José, Fritz, Michael and Pierre - four crooning parrot hosts who have been entertaining guests at California's Disneyland since 1963 in The Enchanted Tiki Room. Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, as the Magic Kingdom attraction now will be called, is being prepared for the premiere (tentatively on Aug. 15, 2011) of a show that will pay tribute to the Disneyland original - notable in theme park history for ushering in sophisticated Audio-Animatronics technology.

Prior to 1963, Walt Disney's creative team had produced movable figures, but none had the sophistication of the bird-brained cast of the Tiki Room. José, Fritz, Michael and Pierre produce movements when solenoid coils hidden inside receive signals recorded onto magnetic tape and are regarded as the first "true" Audio-Animatronics figures.

They introduce a musical presentation by more than 200 birds, flowers and tikis. Even the audience gets into the act, joining in during the musical ditty "Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing."

While the show is steeped in tradition and maintains the original intent created by Walt Disney and his original team of Imagineers, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room will feature the latest in technology - a state of the art show-control system, remastered audio, and a new versatile and energy efficient lighting system.

The attraction has shows throughout Magic Kingdom operating hours.

Pop Warner Super Bowl adds National Exposure through Multi-year Extension with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex


Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President of Disney Sports Enterprises, and Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner Little Scholars, pose with Mickey Mouse and two Pop Warner athletes to celebrate a new 10-year contract renewal at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 4, 2011) - Youth athletes competing in the Pop Warner Super Bowl will gain additional national exposure as part of a 10-year contract renewal with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Under the contract extension, which runs through 2019, more than 40 hours of live game coverage and game action cut-ins will be shown on ESPN3.com. In addition, the Division I Midget national championship game will be aired on ESPN2 and other networks.

The expanded national coverage of the Pop Warner Super Bowl is the result of the ESPN rebranding of the 250-acre Disney sports complex, which included the addition of 40 high-definition video screens (three are jumbo screens), 56 high-definition cameras and a state-of-the-art HD and 3D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles, which, collectively, gives more national exposure for the more than 350 events staged annually at the complex.

"We are thrilled to create more exposure nationally for the youth athletes who work so hard every season to reach the Pop Warner Super Bowl at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex,' said Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President of Disney Sports Enterprises and Downtown Disney. "Expanding the opportunities to showcase America's youth athletes is just one of the many ways we are working with our key partners, such as Pop Warner, to help take youth sports to the next level.'

The Pop Warner Super Bowl is part of the Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. (PWLS), the nation's largest and oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization. The PWLS is a national non-profit organization that endorses and promotes teamwork, responsibility, leadership and scholastic achievement among young boys and girls ages 5 to 16.

"We've had a wonderful relationship with Disney for the past 14 years and we're looking forward to continuing to work with them to make our event even better," said Jon Butler, Executive Director, Pop Warner Little Scholars. "With the re-branding and impactful technical upgrades from ESPN, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex maintains its position as the best venue to host a youth sports event."

Many NFL players got their starts playing Pop Warner football, including Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars), Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos). The NFL Players Association estimates that roughly 70 percent of current NFL players have played Pop Warner football.

This year's 55th annual Pop Warner Super Bowl (Dec. 3-10), which includes the Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships, will be held at Walt Disney World Resort for the 17th time, extending Disney's decades-long association with the event. Walt Disney himself attended the 1959 Pop Warner title game when it was held in Anaheim, Calif.

About Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc

Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, Pa, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the world's largest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Currently there are over 400,000 children in Pop Warner organizations in 42 states, Scotland, Germany, Russia, Japan and Mexico. The NFLPA estimates that 70% of all current NFL Players got their start in Pop Warner programs. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit www.popwarner.com or follow Pop Warner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Pop_Warner.

About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 250-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track & field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It is also home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom, as well as development of its new 3-D television channel. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, that can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD and 3-D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.wdwnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports.



Anaheim, Calif. - August 4, 2011 - Disney Consumer Products (DCP) will showcase an extensive collection of Disney merchandise and interactive experiences inside its Disney Living Pavilion at the ultimate Disney fan event, D23 Expo, held at the Anaheim Convention Center from August 19-21.

In the Disney Living Pavilion, D23 Expo attendees can explore the ultimate Disney lifestyle through the neighborhoods of "Style," "Play" and "Celebrations." From the latest toys and newest fashions to the ultimate Disney birthday party and some of the most beloved Disney classics such as Disney It's a Small World, guests can experience all things Disney through an immersive environment featuring: exclusive and never-before-seen products; meet and greets with artists, designers, authors and innovators; hands-on demos and activities; and live performances at the Disney Living Pavilion stage.

Guests can commemorate the event with specially released D23 merchandise including a new Hallmark keepsake ornament, a Toy Story Woody action figure and Finn McMissile Cars vehicle from Mattel, a Minnie Mouse plush from Just Play, limited-edition 25th anniversary items from Disney Store, and more.

Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with Disney Consumer Products' online communities in the Disney Living Social Media lounge. Watch favorite Disney Living videos, virtually check-in and join social networking activities like Tweet-ups and participate in giveaways.

DCP's exciting line-up of events and attractions includes:

Stage Shows

• On Stage 23, the United States Postal Service and Disney will celebrate the First Day of Issue Ceremony for the Disney-Pixar Send A Hello Commemorative Stamps featuring original designs of beloved characters from films such as Cars, Ratatouille, Toy Story, Up and WALL-E. With special guests John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, and Ronald A. Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, plus an artist signing following the ceremony, this is a must-see event. (Aug. 19, 4:15 p.m.)

• On Stage 28, guests can enjoy the "it's a small world: Celebrating 45 Years" panel discussion. Panel luminaries include experts from Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Parks and Resorts and Disney Consumer Products, as well as Disney legend Alice Davis - who along with fellow legend Mary Blair researched, designed and supervised the creation of more than 150 costumes for the original attraction. (Aug. 19, 1 p.m.)

Disney Play at the Disney Living Pavilion

With toys featuring everyone's favorite Disney characters and stories, there is something for all ages.

• Making its first public appearance, Rock Star Mickey, the new animated plush from Fisher-Price will rock out at D23 Expo. Don't miss a special performance with rocker and Broadway star Constantine Marioulis and Rock Star Mickey on the Disney Living Pavilion center stage. Releasing this holiday season at retailers nationwide, Rock Star Mickey is already generating buzz as a must-have holiday gift. Mickey really gets things going as he sings, bobs his head, dances across the stage and finishes with his signature move - the mouska-split - where he plays the guitar with his nose!

• At the Mattel booth, the whole family can enjoy some quality time playing with the newest Disney toys from Mattel including the latest Cars die-cast vehicles and new space-themed Toy Story playset and action figures. Plus, be the first to see the Ultimate Disney Princess castle and VIP doll collection inspired by the hottest Disney Channel stars releasing this fall just in time for the holidays. Fans can snap up specially released D23 merchandise from Mattel including a Toy Story Woody action figure and Finn McMissile Cars vehicle.

• In the JAKKS Pacific area, kids can live out their favorite stories with an exciting display of Disney Princess and Disney Fairies role play and playsets. They can also enjoy carnival-style games from Just Play and check out the limited-edition Minnie Mouse plush available for the first time at D23 Expo. And no visit to the Disney Play neighborhood is complete without a picture next to a life-sized Lightning McQueen created entirely out of LEGO® bricks.

Disney Style

Guests can experience an array of Disney-inspired apparel, accessories and art in the Disney Style neighborhood.

The Disney It's a Small World area will feature fashionable infant and children's clothing and accessories inspired by Mary Blair's original art of the iconic attraction. Kids can create Disney It's a Small World-inspired arts and crafts and participate in a shoe styling competition. A Nordstrom pop-up shop will feature the latest infant and toddler apparel collection, TOMS Shoes and BASQ personal care products.

• Guests can meet the artists and get an autograph from winners of fashion leader Uniqlo's "Mickey By" global t-shirt design contest. They can also preview and purchase Hallmark's cherished annual Disney keepsake ornament featuring a Pook-a-Looz style Steamboat Willie, available first for D23 Expo guests. And at Retro 51, makers of fine writing instruments, guests are invited to drop off the ugliest pen they own at their booth to compete for cool prizes because "Life is too short to carry an ugly pen!"™

• At the Disney Beauty lounge, guests can stop by for pampering and special beauty demonstrations. Kids can have fun, too, with Disney face art and hair styling. Nutrition, health and wellness will take center stage in the Disney Food and Health area. Here guests will receive tips about nutrition and exercise, get snack and meal ideas, learn fun ways to stay healthy and spin a prize wheel for giveaways.

• Guests can enjoy The Wonderful Words of Disney sponsored by Disney Publishing and discover classic tales and new adventures in this comfortable reading area. From paper to iPad, guests can immerse themselves in the Disney library. There are daily storytelling sessions, and guests can go "Behind the Page" at panel discussions and signings with Disney authors Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson and Don Hahn on Stage 28.

• Throughout the Disney Style neighborhood, collectors will find treasures and limited-edition offers. This is the place to meet Disney artists, see them at work, hear their inspirations and have pieces signed and dedicated. Guests may wish to participate in the "Disney Storytellers: Artists of Walt Disney Animation Studios" panel discussion (Aug. 20, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Disney Living Pavilion Center Stage)

Disney Celebrations
At the Disney Celebrations neighborhood, guests will not only be able to join the festivities and activities of a real party with balloons and games, but also have fun learning directly from party planning experts how to make magnificent balloon bouquets, decorate a winning cake and cupcakes, and find the best Disney party decorations. Guests will also be treated to daily birthday cupcake giveaways from DecoPac.

Disney Store
Be one of the first to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Disney Store in its 1,500 square foot pop-up shop at D23 Expo where guests can preview Disney Store's new fall line, as well as specially released D23 Expo items such as limited-edition anniversary merchandise (only available at the event, and to D23 Members shopping on DisneyStore.com after the event, while supplies last), Vinylmation, new Wish-a-Littles from the Kidada for Disney Store collection, and more. On the pavilion's center stage, guests can watch the unveiling of Disney Store's enchanting new Disney Princess Designer Dolls and a fashion parade debuting the 2011 Disney Store Halloween Costume collection. Additionally, Kidada Jones, celebrity jewelry designer, will also make a special guest appearance and unveil her all-new Vinylmation.

Disney Baby
Upstairs in the Baby Care Lounge hosted by Disney Baby, moms can enjoy a moment of serenity and tend to young ones in private. Special prizes will be given away in the lounge, which will be equipped with changing tables and product samples.

Tickets to D23 Expo 2011 are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 Expo and can be purchased for single days or for the full three days of festivities. Admission is $42 for a one-day adult ticket and $32 for children 3-12. Three-day passes are $121 for adults and $91 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on admission as well as early entry to each day of the D23 Expo for themselves and their guests. More details about D23 Expo entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23Expo.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" on Twitter and Facebook.

About D23 Expo 2011

The D23 Expo-The Ultimate Disney Fan Event-brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks. For schedules, live updates, interactive features and tools, polls and much more, check out the D23 Expo mobile app at www.D23mobile.com! To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo. For questions during the D23 Expo, get answers by sending tweets to @D23Expo.

About D23

The name "D23" pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923, when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney's 88-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.disney.com/D23; a new collectibles line, the Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 19-21, 2011.

About Disney Consumer Products

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and its affiliates that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel, toys, home décor and books and magazines to foods and beverages, stationery, electronics and fine art. This is accomplished through DCP's various lines of business which include: Disney Toys, Disney Fashion & Home and Disney Food, Health & Beauty. Other businesses involved in Disney's consumer products sales are Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, and www.DisneyStore.com and www.DisneyStore.co.uk, the company's official shopping portals. The Disney Stores retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America, Europe, and Japan. For more information, please visit Disney Consumer Products or follow us at www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving, www.Facebook.com/DisneyLiving and www.Twitter.com/DisneyLiving.

August 8, 2011


New Disney Store Princess Designer Dolls, 25th Anniversary Products, Kidada for Disney Store Wish-a-Littles and 2011 Halloween Costumes Unveiled

ANAHEIM, Calif. - August 8, 2011 - The spotlight will shine on Disney Store's spectacular product lines at the D23 Expo, held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Calif. from August 19-21. Disney Store will treat fans to a sneak peek of its fall and holiday 2011 products, as well as offer them a chance to meet and hear from the artists and designers who created them.

Disney Store guests will also get a first look at this year's hottest Halloween costumes, join in Disney Store's 25th Anniversary kick-off celebration and have the first look at the Disney Princess Designer Doll Collection-expected to be one of the most wanted items this holiday season. Daily at the convention, guests will enjoy Disney Store artist signings and special guest appearances, as well as witness events such as a Halloween costume parade and hear the latest news on what's next for Disney Store.

Guests can take home the Disney Store magic when they purchase exclusive merchandise in the 1,500 square foot pop-up store housed in Disney Consumer Product's Disney Living Pavilion. Featured products include items created especially for the D23 Expo, limited edition 25th Anniversary items, Vinylmation, and the always unique and whimsical Kidada for Disney Store Collection. Visitors will not want to miss the daily opening ceremony, where a special attendee will be chosen to "unlock imagination" each day at 9 a.m.

In addition, these other D23 Disney Store celebrations and events are not to be missed:

25th Anniversary Collection and Celebration Kick off: D23 guests will help Disney Store kick-off its celebration of 25 magical years. Since the opening of the first store in Glendale, California on March 28, 1987, Disney Store has become a global retail phenomenon with more than 350 stores in eight countries and foot traffic of more than 200 million guests per year worldwide. On Friday, Aug. 19 at 9 a.m., Disney Store president Jim Fielding will kick off the celebration with remarks prior to opening the store on the first day of D23. The first 25 guests in line will receive a special limited edition 25th anniversary pin. Disney Store artist Jim Salvati will sign exclusive 25th anniversary commemorative art. The pop-up store will offer the first 25th anniversary products ever.

Disney Princess Designer Doll Collection: At D23, Disney Store will debut ten spectacular designer dolls just in time for the holidays. Each classic doll dressed in a glamorous runway inspired gown comes in its own special collector case with a sleeve that showcases the beautiful sketch art created for each one. A limited number of complete sets will be available for pre-purchase at the D23 event, in addition to a special limited edition 25th Anniversary silver Cinderella.

As part of the worldwide debut at D23, the dolls will be given to the honorees at the Legends of Disney Awards ceremony on Friday, Aug. 19, where the extraordinary actresses whose voices brought to life many modern-day Disney Princesses including Jodi Benson (Ariel from The Little Mermaid), Paige O'Hara (Belle from Beauty and the Beast), Lea Salonga (singing voices of Jasmine from Aladdin and Mulan from Mulan), Linda Larkin (speaking voice of Jasmine from Aladdin), and Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog) will be named and honored.

Starting Aug. 22, 2011, one new Disney Princess Designer Doll will arrive in stores each week for 10 weeks in a random order not to be revealed to guests until each Monday when they go on sale. An assortment of home products (stationery and mugs) as well as special trend items (t-shirts, cosmetics, and accessories) inspired by the beauty of the new dolls will also be available at D23. D23 guests will be the first to see these beautiful dolls.

Halloween Costume Parade: The Halloween Costume Parade held Saturday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. will unveil the hottest costumes for 2011, including a beautiful limited edition Rapunzel costume (only 2,000 will be available this fall). Visitors can watch kids modeling the best Disney Store costumes on the Disney Living Pavilion Center Stage. Five lucky guests will win the opportunity to receive a complimentary costume, courtesy of Disney Store.

Vinylmation Artists Signing: On Sunday, Aug. 21 at 10 a.m., Vinylmation artists will sign the new Lion King inspired Vinylmation collection. Vinylmation toys are the latest pop culture phenomenon and are treasured by collectors of all ages.

New Kidada for Disney Store Wish-a-Littles Line: On Sunday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Disney Living Pavilion Center Stage, celebrity jewelry designer Kidada Jones will make a special appearance to welcome her newest friends to her exclusive line of jewelry and accessories. Wish-a-Littles are Kidada's design twist on Disney characters - each figure opens to reveal a secret jewelry charm. The new fall Wish-a-Littles include Alice, Ariel, Jasmine and Tinker Bell. Guests can make their D23 trip extra special and get their photo taken with Kidada following the reveal.

In addition to all the events and guest appearances, fans can chat with Disney Store president Jim Fielding and other surprise guests via Disney Store's Twitter, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the D23 experience by checking Disney Store's blog, The Buzz, at http://blog.disneystore.com

Disney Store at D23 can be found in the Disney Living Pavilion. Check the D23 Expo web site for event schedule details and 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.

The Disney Store retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America, Europe, and Japan. Disney Store is the retail merchandising arm of Disney Consumer Products, the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and its affiliates that extends the Disney brand to merchandise. Disney Store carries high-quality products, including exclusive product lines that support and promote Disney's key entertainment initiatives and characters. Disney Store opened its first store in Glendale, California and, in doing so, originated the themed retail business model.

There are currently more than 200 Disney Store locations in North America; more than 40 Disney Store locations in Japan; and more than 100 Disney Store locations in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Portugal, plus online stores www.DisneyStore.com and www.disneystore.co.uk. Each Disney Store location offers a magical shopping experience that can only be delivered by Disney, one of the world's largest and most successful entertainment companies. For more information, please visit www.disneyconsumerproducts.com/press/us/disneystore or follow us at www.facebook.com/DisneyStore and www.twitter.com/DisneyStore.

About D23 Expo 2011
The D23 Expo-The Ultimate Disney Fan Event-brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks. For schedules, live updates, interactive features and tools, polls and much more, check out the D23 Expo mobile app at www.D23mobile.com! To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo. For questions during the D23 Expo, get answers by sending tweets to @D23Expo.

About D23
The name "D23" pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney's 88-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.disney.com/D23; a new collectibles line, the Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 19-21, 2011.

August 9, 2011

2012 Disney World Half Marathon

2012 is the 15th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon event. To celebrate, a special medal has been designed.

"In honor of the race ConDUCKtor himself, Mr. Donald Duck, we proudly introduce the 2012 Walt Disney World Half Marathon 15th anniversary finisher medal!"

2012 Half Marathon Medal

Here are a couple previous images of WDW Half Marathon Medals:



Walt Disney Studios Takes Fans Behind the Scenes at Disney's D23 Expo, August 19-21


BURBANK, Calif. - August 9, 2011 - Exclusively at Disney's D23 Expo August 19-21 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Disney film fans will go behind the scenes to explore the exciting roster of projects on the horizon at The Walt Disney Studios, with a variety of panel discussions, sneak peeks, and exhibits.

On Saturday, August 20, Rich Ross, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios; Sean Bailey, president, Production, The Walt Disney Studios; John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; and Kevin Feige, producer and president, Marvel Studios, will present a not-to-be-missed look at The Walt Disney Studios' upcoming film slate, which includes Disney's The Muppets, John Carter, Disney-Pixar's Brave, Marvel's The Avengers, Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and more.

With projects from Disney, Pixar Animation Studios, and Marvel Studios, this special presentation will feature never-before-seen footage and all-star appearances by Jason Segel, Kermit, and Miss Piggy (Disney's The Muppets), Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, and Willem Dafoe (John Carter), Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd (Brave), Jennifer Garner (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), Jack McBrayer and Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It Ralph), cast members from Marvel's The Avengers, and other surprise guests.

In celebration of 25 years of moviemaking magic, five sessions will be devoted to the artistry and technical wizardry of Pixar:

* A Conversation with the Pixar Creative Team - Enjoy a rare opportunity to spend some time with the key figures responsible for Pixar's unprecedented success, including John Lasseter (chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios), Jim Morris (general manager, Pixar Animation Studios), Pete Docter (director, Monsters, Inc., Up), Andrew Stanton (director, Finding Nemo, WALL-E), Bob Peterson (co-director, Up), Lee Unkrich (director, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (director, Brave), and Dan Scanlon (director, Monsters University).

* The Characters of Monsters University - Director Dan Scanlon and Production Designer Ricky Nierva discuss how they combine hair, horns, and a lot of heart to bring the wonderful Monsters University characters to life.

* Michael Giacchino's Music of Pixar - In this musical presentation, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino explores his early influences through the creation of modern-day classic scores from Ratatouille, Up and Cars 2.

* The Art of Brave - Production Designer Steve Pilcher and Shading Art Director Tia Kratter show how they and their team put paint to canvas and fingers to computer keys to create the stunning visuals of Scotland for Disney-Pixar's upcoming film Brave.

* Pixar Shorts - This retrospective screening of the animation studio's legendary short films will be followed by a panel discussion with several of the filmmakers, including Ralph Eggleston (director, For the Birds), Andy Jimenez (director, One Man Band), Angus MacLane (director, BURN-E), Pete Sohn (director, Partly Cloudy), Teddy Newton (director, Day & Night), and Enrico Casarosa (director, La Luna).

Expo attendees will also have access to advance screenings of an all-new 3D version of The Lion King, presented by RealD 3D, coming to theaters and homes this fall, and the upcoming ABC holiday special Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Out on the Expo floor, fans can explore the world of The Walt Disney Studios at their leisure with comprehensive exhibits, including:

* Walt Disney Studios Animation Pavilion - Experience the art, technology, culture, and legacy of Walt Disney Animation Studios with filmmaker demonstrations, drawing classes, book signings, meet-and-greets, and art exhibits.

* Walt Disney Studios In-Home Entertainment Pavilion - Dive into cutting-edge home entertainment technology and learn what the future holds for Disney movie fans, with sneak peeks of upcoming films in breathtaking high-definition Blu-ray 3D™ and more.

* Inside Tides: Pirates of the Caribbean Film Prop Collection - Get an up-close look at an exclusive collection of detailed set pieces, props, and costumes from the billion-dollar blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Tickets to D23 Expo 2011 are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 Expo and can be purchased for single days or for three full days of festivities. Admission is $42 for a one-day adult ticket and $32 for children 3-12. Three-day passes are $121 for adults and $91 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on admission as well as early entry to each day of the D23 Expo for themselves and their guests. More details about D23 Expo entertainment, events and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all the news by visiting www.D23Expo.com, as well as by following "Disney D23" on Twitter and Facebook.

August 16, 2011

Apricot Lane Boutique to Open at Downtown Disney®

Fashion boutique features celebrity inspired trends


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., August 10, 2011 -Apricot Lane Boutique is pleased to announce they will be adding a new store at Downtown Disney® on August 12, 2011. The new shop will be located on Pleasure Island within the 120-acre retail, dining and entertainment complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Apricot Lane, an International Council of Shopping Centers "Hot Concept" award winner, carries an impressive collection of branded fashion apparel, jewelry, handbags, and accessories to create the most current looks at an affordable price. Brands carried include trend-setting lines such as Miss Me, Free People, Vintage Havana, Chaser and Good Works Make a Difference.

"Many of the designer labels found in Apricot Lane are worn by celebrities and seen in the pages of current fashion magazines," said Founder and CEO Ken Petersen. "We are excited to give the millions of guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort a place where they can replicate those looks."

The boutique that appeals to both mothers and daughters, recently opened at Downtown Disney in Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. to overnight success. Disney guests who are in need of a fun dress for dinner or a quick outfit for a day at the resort have found Apricot Lane to be the solution for the most fashion forward looks and trend-setting styles.

During the Grand Opening weekend, guests will receive 20% off one item in the store and a free gift with each purchase over $75.

"We're pleased to add Apricot Lane to our assortment of unique offerings at Downtown Disney," said Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney. "This boutique is another example of our commitment to bring new and compelling experiences to life at Downtown Disney and I'm confident that it will soon become a guest favorite."

Since opening in 2007, Apricot Lane continuously appears in Entrepreneur Magazine's Top Franchise List. With new items arriving almost daily, Apricot Lane is the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind outfits and unique gift items for women of all ages. The store carries a limited number of each item to ensure customers have a sense of individuality when making a purchase.

Family Suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

from the Disney Parks Blog......

Disney's Art of Animation Resort will have themed room interiors in its nearly 2,000 new units - 1,120 family suites in The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings and 864 themed rooms in The Little Mermaid wings. Suites will have both a living room and a bedroom, offering added space.

Family Suites will be available at Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King Courtyard areas at the resort. They'll be twice the size of standard rooms and can accommodate up to six guests. The Little Mermaid standard rooms will sleep up to four guests also be available in late 2012. Be among the first to stay in one of our family suites.

Finding Nemo Family Suite



Lion King Family Suite


Cars Family Suite



Read more about the Art of Animation Resort!

August 17, 2011

Disneyland Hotel Earns Prestigious Four Diamond Award from AAA

Two Disneyland Resort Hotels Now Represent Anaheim's Only Four Diamond Properties

ANAHEIM, Calif. Aug. 17, 2011 - AAA has bestowed its coveted 2012 Four Diamond award upon the landmark Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California making it the second property at the Disneyland Resort to secure such a high rating.

The designation was announced in a recent letter to the resort. The announcement noted that only four percent of the 31,000 hotel properties AAA reviews achieve this enviable distinction.

"This is tremendous news, especially for the 1,000 Cast Members who work at the Disneyland Hotel and create magical experiences for our guests," said Tony Bruno, vice president resort hotels and Downtown Disney. "The award underscores our continued investment in the guest experience and all our ongoing work, which has transformed the Disneyland Resort and Anaheim into Southern California's world-class, multiday tourist destination."

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa also is a AAA Four Diamond award winner and is home to yet another AAA Four Diamond recipient: the popular Napa Rose restaurant.

According to the Auto Club, AAA's Diamond rating program is the only hotel and restaurant review system in the nation that uses specially trained full-time field representatives. As part of AAA's national network, the Auto Club's own staff reviews establishments without prior notification using objective and detailed rating procedures.

"North America's AAA Diamond Rating System is a long-time trusted systematic method of rating lodgings and restaurants," said the Auto Club's Approved Accommodations Supervisor Patricia Marenco. "Southern California's hotels and restaurants that earn the AAA Four Diamond award maintain a very high standard of service in their hotels and restaurants in order to continue pleasing their guests."

Earlier this summer, the Disneyland Hotel marked a milestone in the property's major "re-imagination" project with the opening of a new courtyard, restaurant, bar, pool and water play area.

"This exciting renovation extends the immersion and magic of our park experience to this classic hotel," said Bruno. "We've woven important pieces of Disneyland park history into the Disneyland Hotel, particularly with the reopening of the pool and courtyard area. The Disneyland Hotel now features some one-of-a-kind enhancements as a result of the property-wide program."

The hotel's three guest room towers have been renamed for some of Disneyland park's distinctive lands: the Adventure Tower, Frontier Tower and Fantasy Tower. At the entrance of each tower, large marquees will feature classic artwork of Adventureland, Frontierland and Fantasyland identifying each building.

The hotel's beautifully remodeled guest rooms now feature exquisite Disney touches woven into the décor, including a stunning new headboard with an artistically carved representation of Disneyland park's famous Sleeping Beauty Castle. The background on the headboards uses fiber optics to create a magical skyline with fireworks - bringing the immersive park experience into the room.

The Disneyland Hotel also features a unique collection of suites including the Mickey Mouse Penthouse, and the Pirates of the Caribbean and Fairly Tale suites. The newest additions include the Adventureland Suite, which offers guests a two-bedroom hideaway complete with a grotto in the master bathroom that simulates -- through light and sound effects -- a rain forest and African savanna. The Big Thunder Suite hosts up to six pioneers and immerses them in luxurious rustic accommodations inspired by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park.

The new results at the Disneyland Hotel are a part of a larger expansion project underway throughout the Disneyland Resort. Disney California Adventure park is undergoing a multiyear expansion project that includes new experiences, attractions and nighttime spectaculars, culminating in 2012 with the opening of Cars Land. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa also underwent an expansion in 2009 that added 203 hotel rooms and 50 two-bedroom villas that are part of the Disney Vacation Club, marking the club's West Coast debut.

August 23, 2011

La Nouba Celebrates 6,000 Bravos at Downtown Disney


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., August 19, 2011 -- This week, Cirque du Soleil celebrated the 6,000th performance of La Nouba at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort. La Nouba features high wire and flying trapeze, acro-gymnastic performances and other displays of coordination and strength, set to live music and brilliant choreography. With an international cast of 67 artists, Cirque du Soleil welcomes more than 1,650 spectators, ten times per week.

"The partnership between Cirque du Soleil and Walt Disney World, represents the union of two of the world's most iconic brands in what is a very unique and ideal relationship," said Cirque du Soleil Company Manager Neil Boyd. "We continue to be thrilled with providing world-class family entertainment by presenting La Nouba to an international audience for nearly 13 years here at Downtown Disney."

The dynamic, white structure found on the Westside of Downtown Disney houses the multi-media stage and theatre which was the first permanent "Big Top" Cirque du Soleil ever built. Since Cirque opened the show for the first time on Dec. 23, 1998, multi-generations of Disney guests have made this theatrical circus a success over the years. This past July, La Nouba welcomed its 8,000,000th guest.

"Reaching the 6,000th performance of La Nouba demonstrates just how special, timeless and unique the show is," said Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney. "La Nouba appeals to guest of all ages, making it a perfect fit among our assortment of offerings at Downtown Disney."

The professional athletes and entertainers of La Nouba come from 14 countries around the globe and together deliver unparalleled artistic entertainment that sparks the audience's curiosity and imagination, 478 shows a year.

August 24, 2011

Celebrities Drew Carey and Megyn Price Headline Soldout Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

More than 20,500 Runners Taking Part in Labor Day Weekend Races as Part of RunDisney Series; Half Marathon Finishers to Receive New Medal; Kids Race Participants Receive Los Angeles Angels Game Tickets

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 24, 2011) - Hollywood actors Drew Carey and Megyn Price are expected to be among the throng of runners and fans at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, September 2-4. For the sixth straight year a record field of more than 20,500 runners will compete in the three-day event that's part of the runDisney series.

Carey, host of the popular game show "The Price is Right,' is one of the more than record 15,000 runners signed up to run the 13.1-mile half marathon. Price, star of the hit TV sitcom "Rules of Engagement,' will be part of the starting line festivities for the half marathon.

The Disneyland Half Marathon field, which encompasses runners from 49 states and 23 countries, will have the unique opportunity to run through two Disneyland Resort theme parks - Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Runners will pass by the Matterhorn, through Sleeping Beauty Castle and alongside California Screamin Roller Coaster before hitting the streets of Anaheim and running through Angel Stadium of Anaheim amid hundreds of spectators.

And awaiting them at the finish line this year will be a newly-created medal designed around Disneyland Resort's iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. Also, more than 2,750 runners, who ran a runDisney race at Walt Disney World Resort earlier this year, will qualify to receive Disney's Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal when they cross the finish line. All along the route runners will be greeted by cheering fans, Disney characters, music and live entertainers.

In addition to the half marathon, other weekend events include the "Star Tours' Family Fun Run 5K, Kids' Races and a Health and Fitness Expo where visitors can check out the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets as well as purchase runDisney merchandise and receive training information from former Olympian and runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway.

New this year is a special offer for participants in the kids' races Saturday who will receive a voucher for a ticket to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's 12:35 pm game Sunday against the Minnesota Twins (half marathon runners, friends and families can purchase a $10 voucher for the game at the Health and Fitness Expo). A special pre-game recognition ceremony will take place on the field to salute winners of the Disneyland Half Marathon.

August 28, 2011

New Baby Elephant Takes Center Stage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 25, 2011 - The elephant herd at Disney's Animal Kingdom got just a little larger with the birth of a baby calf. Weighing 311 pounds, the male African elephant was welcomed into the group by his mother Vasha, 10 herd members and a team of animal care professionals assisting with the birth.

The 25-year-old mother delivered the herd's sixth offspring after gaining more than 800 pounds during a 22-month gestation. This latest addition, which has yet to be named, is the second calf for Vasha, who gave birth to a female calf, Kianga, in 2004.

With support from the animal care team, the newborn, whose first tentative steps are becoming stronger and more confident, is now successfully nursing from his mother. Vasha has been getting to know the calf, gently touching the young animal with her trunk and keeping a watchful eye on him.

"The natural bonding between mother and calf is fascinating," said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president of Disney's Animal, Science and Environment Programs. "The team is encouraged by the early interaction between mother and calf and will continue to monitor them closely for the next several weeks."

The next critical milestone is for the calf to continue the bonding process with his mother who will teach him important lessons and protect him as he gradually acclimates to the rest of the savannah herd over the next several weeks. With 12 elephants, Disney's Animal Kingdom has one of the largest African elephant herds in North America, including four males and eight females.


Vasha became pregnant through artificial insemination in October 2009 and received extensive pre-natal care throughout pregnancy. Since early August, animal care teams have provided round-the-clock monitoring, regular ultrasounds and daily hormone monitoring to more accurately predict the beginning of labor. In the past few years, Disney's animal care teams have been able to narrow the birth window to within four days, which enables them to better prepare for the delivery. With this birth, the team had been on heightened baby-alert since Monday.

This is the sixth elephant born at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Others include:

•Tufani, a male, born in 2003;
•Kianga, a female, born in 2004;
•Nadirah a female, born in 2005;
•Tsavo, a male, born in 2008; and
•Luna, a female born 2010.

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

Baby Elephant Facts

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

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

•Calves learn how and what to eat by watching the older elephants.

Night of Joy Concert Schedule Released


Night of Joy 2011 is right around the corner. We are truly excited about the lineup this year, with artists representing a number of Christian Music genres including Praise & Worship, Rock, Pop, Urban and Contemporary Gospel. Hot off the press are the concert schedules for each night. Here's how they shake out. Of course, times, stages and performers are always subject to change.

Friday, September 9

Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage
• 7:45 p.m. - Jeremy Camp
• 9:50 p.m. - Newsboys
• :55 p.m. - Skillet

Galaxy Stage
• 7:30 p.m. - Francesca Battistelli
• 9:25 p.m. - Group 1 Crew
• 11:25 p.m. - Matthew West

Rockettower Plaza Stage
• 7:45 p.m. - Disciple
• 9:15 p.m. - Disciple
• 10:50 p.m. - Sidewalk Prophets
• 12:15 a.m. - Sidewalk Prophets

Saturday, September 10

Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage
• 7:45 p.m. - Jars of Clay
• 9:35 p.m. - Gospel Music Association Winner
• 9:55 p.m. - TobyMac
• 11:55 p.m. - MercyMe

Galaxy Stage
• 7:30 p.m. - Sanctus Real
• 8:35 p.m. - Disney Gospel Choir Fest Winner
• 9:45 p.m. - Kutless
• 11:50 p.m. - Marvin Sapp

Rockettower Plaza Stage
• 7:45 p.m. - Vashawn Mitchell
• 9:15 p.m. - Vashawn Mitchell
• 10:50 p.m. - Chris August
• 12:15 a.m. - Chris August

Night of Joy is an after-hours event, held Sept. 9 and 10, 2011, at the Magic Kingdom that requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. While artists are performing at several stages, many popular Magic Kingdom attractions also are available for Night of Joy guests. Tickets are on sale now. One-night tickets are $51.95 plus tax in advance, $59.95 plus tax day of. Two-night tickets are $92.95. Groups of 10 or more can purchase one-night tickets in advance for $46.95 plus tax each and two-night tickets for $87.95. Additional information is available at www.nightofjoy.com.

From the Disney Parks Blog

August 29, 2011

Walt Disney World Resort Links with Arnold Palmer Golf Management to Tee Up Even More Magic for Disney Golfers Plans include Arnold Palmer golf course design enhancements

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 24, 2011 - Walt Disney World Resort and Arnold Palmer Golf Management have signed a 20-year strategic alliance to create even more magic for Disney golfers. Beginning Sept. 25, Arnold Palmer Golf Management will operate, manage, maintain and help promote all five Disney courses including Disney's Palm and Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista, Osprey Ridge and Oak Trail golf courses.

As part of this long-term alliance agreement, golf legend Arnold Palmer and his golf course design team will be actively engaged in implementing strategic and innovative design features to several of the golf courses. Future enhancements include plans for a full renovation of Disney's Palm under his direction to become an Arnold Palmer designed course.

"After 40 years as a golf course architect, I'm looking forward to this opportunity to contribute to Disney's rich and storied golf legacy," said Arnold Palmer. "I've enjoyed a lifetime of memories playing golf and it will be a great reward to pass that on to those who share a passion both for Disney and the game of golf."

With an extensive following of serious golf enthusiasts, Arnold Palmer Golf Management is known for its excellent course conditions, pace of play, service standards and player development. In addition to course operation, the company also manages "Palmer Advantage", a reciprocal club and concierge service program, that provides members with unique travel benefits and access to more than 250 private clubs, resorts and golf courses around the world.

"Drawing on Arnold Palmer Golf Management's expertise and experience enables us to build on our mutual strengths and extend our appeal both among leisure players and avid golfers," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. "We're excited about this new collaboration, which will benefit Disney guests and Palmer Advantage club members wanting a destination golf experience."

The agreement gives Arnold Palmer Golf Management an opportunity to add a uniquely Disney, family-friendly golf destination to its portfolio of more than 70 private clubs and championship golf courses. Disney Golf will be promoted within the Palmer Advantage network of golf devotees, through a dedicated website and featured within the exclusive publication, "Kingdom Magazine," which celebrates Mr. Palmer's contributions to the game of golf and extensive philanthropic ambassadorship.

"With a reputation for service excellence and exceptional family entertainment, Walt Disney World is an ideal complement to our member offerings," said Jim Hinckley, president of Arnold Palmer Golf Management. "This collaboration will give our members both a superior golf experience and a one-of-a-kind family golf vacation."

Since Walt Disney World opened with two 18-hole courses in 1971, golf has been a key component of the resort. Over the past four decades, Disney World has hosted professional and amateur golf tournaments, including one of the longest-running events in PGA Tour history - the PGA Tour's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Disney has also hosted the LPGA Tour, NCAA golf championships and dozens of celebrity golf tournaments.

August 30, 2011

Adventures by Disney® Brings History to Life with New Privately Guided Itineraries in 2012

Guests Journey through Greece, Egypt and Northern France

Award-winning lineup of family-friendly group adventures offers hassle-free ways to experience culture in the world's most desired destinations

BURBANK, Calif. (August 30, 2011) - Adventures by Disney, the leader in guided family travel, announces the addition of two new destinations to its repertoire of immersive family vacations - Greece: "Greek Odyssey" and Northern France: "Esprit de France" - available to travelers in 2012. The adventure continues in Egypt with "Pyramids, Pharaohs & Ancient Treasures," an unforgettable expedition. New for 2012, Adventures by Disney will feature distinct enhancements to its Australia, London and Paris and Galapagos Islands departures - details, dates and rates are available at www.AdventuresbyDisney.com.

Over the last six years, Adventures by Disney has developed a collection of exhilarating tours with one goal in mind: help families experience the most sought-after and culturally stimulating destinations in the world. Led by knowledgeable Adventure Guides and authentic local experts, families unlock the wonders and stories of the world through unparalleled excursions and engaging activities designed for all ages and activity levels such as pizza-making at a farm in Italy, spending the night at a German castle and playing the role of an art detective at the Louvre. With the smallest details planned in advance, it's easy for parents to relax and immerse themselves in the most valuable experience of all - quality time with their family.

"Through our dedication to storytelling and exclusive hands-on experiences, families can get a glimpse of the history and beauty synonymous with Greece, France, Egypt and every vacation destination on our roster," said Josh D'Amaro, Vice President, Adventures by Disney. "We are in the business of creating unforgettable, VIP hassle-free itineraries so guests can focus on discovering and exploring a new world and creating priceless vacation memories that last a lifetime."

Adventures by Disney presents three featured adventures for 2012:

"Greek Odyssey" Athens, Santorini and Crete - the adventure starts in Athens where Greek mythology comes to life through moonlight storytelling at the Parthenon and sporting games at the home of the modern Olympics, Panathinaiko Stadium. Discovery continues on the volcanic island of Santorini where kids go feet-first into Greek grape stomping while adults enjoy a wine tasting at Volcan winery. After sailing the azure waters of the Aegean Sea, families travel to Crete and are immersed in mountain culture with local expert-led lessons in Tsatziki cheese making and Greek dancing.

"Pyramids, Pharaohs & Ancient Treasures" Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, the Nile and Sharm El Sheikh - uncover an ancient world of pyramids, mummies and man-made marvels as this expedition kicks off with a camelback tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza and a Nile River cruise to Luxor. Families will be in awe of the architectural wonder of the Sphinx and experience the secrets of Tutankhamen's tomb in the Valley of the Kings with a Junior Adventurer scavenger hunt at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. Activities like papyrus making, traditional cooking, and hieroglyphic writing give guests a first-hand view of life in ancient Egypt.

"Esprit de France" Paris, Normandy and Loire Valley - perfect for families looking to experience the arts, this itinerary features a drawing activity in Monet's Gardens, a visit to Château du Clos Lucé, the last known residence of Leonardo da Vinci, and a private dinner at the Louvre in Paris. A true taste of the French countryside, adventurers learn of the art of brandy-making on the Normandy Cider Route; enjoy a picturesque country bike ride and spend the night in an authentic Château. Guests continue the adventure with visits to Versailles, Mont Saint-Michel monastery, Omaha Beach and a viewing of the Bayeux Tapestry.

Adventures by Disney unveils three enhanced itineraries for 2012:

"Discovery Down Under" Australia and Tasmania - the action-packed Australian adventure will now include a visit to the island of Tasmania featuring a Eucalyptus forest zipline experience, an introduction to traditional cuisine at Kate's Berry Farm and Meadowbank Winery as well as a visit to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary to meet the infamous Tasmanian Devil.

"Grandiosos Galapagos" Galapagos Islands - Now families can spend more time discovering the flora and fauna of Darwin's famous islands with seven nights aboard the Galapagos Explorer cruise ship. Guests will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel with sea lions and penguins and come face to face with giant tortoises.

"Cities of Knights and Lights" London and Paris - Adventures by Disney's classic European itinerary now features an exquisite trip to the British Countryside where guests can play British lawn games and receive royal treatment on a privately-guided tour of Windsor Castle.

From VIP experiences and world-class accommodations to add-on excursions, Adventures by Disney has a quest to suit any traveler. For more information on Adventures by Disney, visit www.AdventuresbyDisney.com.

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About August 2011

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

July 2011 is the previous archive.

September 2011 is the next archive.

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