Leap Year 2012 Calls for ‘One More Disney Day’ As Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resorts Turn Feb. 29 Into 24 Hours of Nonstop Theme Park Magic
Historic Bi-Coastal Day for Disney Parks
Anaheim, Calif. and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Jan. 1, 2012) – Disney Parks guests can get the most out of February 29 when Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California celebrate Leap Year by keeping a theme park on each coast open for 24 hours of nonstop memory-making fun.
For the first time ever, both the Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park will stay open for 24 hours straight as part of a bi-coastal salute called “One More Disney Day.” From 6 a.m., February 29 to 6 a.m., March 1, 2012, local time, guests can fill the extra day of leap year with a marathon of Disney magic and fun.*
And for 60 days straight – from Jan. 1, 2012 to Feb. 29, 2012 – a daily winner will be chosen in the “Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes” to receive a Disney Parks vacation. One entrant each day will win a vacation for four to make memories at either Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.**
For the past year, Disney Parks has invited guests to “let the memories begin,” noted Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
“We’re honored that so many guests have shared their Disney memories with us as part of ‘Let the Memories Begin’, and I’m pleased to announce that the campaign will continue throughout 2012,” Staggs said. “To celebrate, for the first time ever, the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Parks will remain open for 24 hours on Leap Day, so that our guests can take advantage of every minute of their extra day to make memories with friends and family.”
In addition to the extra time, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California will feature a special offer:
Guests get one more day and night of memory making, free when they buy a 3-night/3-day non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Co. room and ticket package at select Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort hotels. The package offer is good for arrivals most nights Feb. 26 – March 10, 2012 and must be booked by Jan. 31, 2012. ***
In 2011, Disney Parks has encouraged families to “Let the Memories Begin,” with guests celebrating their only-at-Disney memories by sharing their vacation stories, photos and videos online at DisneyParks.com/memories.
Guests can find out more information about other Disneyland Resort offers and tickets at www.disneyland.com and other Walt Disney World Resort hotel and ticket offers at www.disneyworld.com. Guests can find out more information about “One More Disney Day” and get official rules for the “Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes” at www.OneMoreDisneyDay.com.
Disneynature Will Donate Portion of First Week Box Office for “CHIMPANZEE” to the Jane Goodall Institute Through “See ‘CHIMPANZEE,’ Save Chimpanzees” Program
BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Disneynature celebrates the April 20, 2012, theatrical release of the incredible new True-Life Adventure, CHIMPANZEE, by joining forces with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) for a special “See CHIMPANZEE, Save Chimpanzees” program. For every moviegoer who sees CHIMPANZEE during the film’s opening week (April 20-26, 2012), Disneynature will make a donation to JGI through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund in order to protect chimpanzees and their habitats, now and into the future.
CHIMPANZEE, directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, the award-winning team responsible for the acclaimed nature film EARTH, utilizes extraordinary, never-before-seen footage to introduce moviegoers to Oscar, an adorable young chimp, and his primate family living in the heart of the African forest.
“We are very excited to bring the story of Oscar and his chimpanzee family to the big screen. CHIMPANZEE showcases the incredible personalities and heartwarming relationships of these amazing animals,” said Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios. “As part of our company’s ongoing efforts to protect the environment and empower audiences to participate in global conservation, Disneynature is proud to join with the Jane Goodall Institute in its efforts to secure a future for chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo.”
“The Jane Goodall Institute is proud to work so closely with Disneynature on the release of CHIMPANZEE,” said Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. “JGI has been working in Africa for almost 35 years following on from my research begun in 1960. We are thrilled to extend our impact and efforts through this collaboration to support and celebrate such a wonderful film. Together, we can truly make a difference and are thrilled to have Disneynature join our efforts to protect chimpanzee habitats, care for orphaned chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo and educate a new generation of young people and connect them to nature.”
The film opens in North America on April 20, 2012. Tickets for groups of 20 or more are already available by calling 1-888-DISNEY6.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with CHIMPANZEE, a new True-Life Adventure that introduces an adorable young chimp named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph. Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps, who’d rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar’s family is confronted by a rival community of chimps, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever. Working together, Oscar’s chimpanzee family — including his mom, Isha, and the group’s savvy leader, Freddy — navigates the complex territory of the forest. Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“African Cats” and “Earth”) and Mark Linfield (“EARTH”), CHIMPANZEE swings into theaters on Earth Day 2012. For more information about the movie and the “See CHIMPANZEE, Save Chimpanzees” initiative, check out Disney.com/chimpanzee.
Celebrities and Wounded Veterans Join Record Disney Marathon Weekend
19th annual runDisney event to include new marathon relay option and commemorative 15th anniversary half marathon medal; weekend field to top 56,000
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2012) – Reality TV stars and wounded military soldiers are expected to be part of the more than 56,000 runners participating in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna this weekend.
Ethan Zohn (Survivor / Amazing Race), Jenna Morasca (Survivor / Amazing Race) and Trista and Ryan Sutter (The Bachelor) are among the celebrities entered in the weekend of events at Walt Disney World Resort. All are running in the half marathon on Saturday along with four wounded veterans who are part of the Achilles Freedom Team, which supports disabled runners. Workout guru Tony Horton, founder of the P90X workout, will be on hand to prepare runners for their race.
The marathon weekend also features a new relay option that gives runners the opportunity to pair up and split the 26.2 mile journey through all four Disney theme parks – Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios – and receive a special Chip and Dale medal. And to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the half marathon, all finishers will be awarded a one-of-a-kind Donald Duck half marathon medal.
The 56,000 total runners – a new Disney marathon record – includes more than 26,500 registered runners for the half marathon, 16,500 for the marathon and 8,000 for the Family Fiesta 5K featuring the Three Caballeros – 3,000 more runners than last year. Approximately 6,500 runners will compete in Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday – 39.3 miles. And about 3,000 young runners will join in the fun and participate in the Mickey Mile and Marathon Kids Fest events on Friday and Saturday.
There’s also a Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Thursday - Saturday. Vendors will showcase the latest running merchandise and equipment, plus there will be seminars by leading health and fitness authorities, including marathon training expert Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.
For more information on the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend or future runDisney events, visit www.rundisney.com. For coverage throughout the event follow us on Twitter (@disneysports), on runDisney Facebook and at www.disneysportsnews.com.
runDisney is a series of events providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks. Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in September and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November. Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend. More than 100,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit runDisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @DisneySports.
Disney and General Motors Renew Alliance and Create Magic for Guests at a Re-Imagined Test Track Experience
Two of the world’s most recognized brands extend an alliance that will create a new experience for millions of Guests at Epcot.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 6, 2012 – Disney and General Motors have renewed their long-term business relationship with a new multi-year corporate alliance.
As part of the new alliance, GM will be actively involved with Walt Disney Imagineering in the development of a re-imagined, design-centric Test Track experience. The refurbished Test Track will be presented by one of GM’s most famous brands, Chevrolet. As Chevrolet marks its 100th anniversary, the new alliance agreement enables General Motors to tell its story in new and exciting ways to millions of Guests from around the world and continue as the official vehicle sponsor of Walt Disney World Resort.
“We are excited to renew our long-term alliance with General Motors,” said George Aguel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Alliances for the Walt Disney Company. “This unique agreement extends collaboration between two of the most recognized brands in the world, a relationship that spans over 30 years. The re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will continue our shared goal of providing unique and innovative experiences that engage Disney guests in exciting and interactive ways.” ”
“As a global brand, Chevrolet is looking forward to welcoming Guests from around the world to the re-imagined Test Track,” said Joel Ewanick, Global Chief Marketing Officer for General Motors. “The best of Disney and the best of Chevrolet will come together to bring Guests an immersive experience in the design process of the vehicles they see on the road today and will see in the future.”
Plans call for closing the current GM Test Track in April 2012, with an anticipated opening of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet scheduled for fall 2012.
As part of the re-imagining, the Future World attraction will feature a sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot” immersing Guests in the fascinating world of automotive design. Amid upbeat music, engaging media, dramatic lighting and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers – and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.
At interactive design and styling workstations, Guests will be able to create their own custom concept vehicles. The adventure will then shift into high gear as Guests buckle into their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle and put their design through its paces on the exhilarating hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit.
Their performance testing complete, Guests will move into a post-show area filled with special effects and be scored on how well their custom concept vehicle did. And of course, Guests will be able see the very latest Chevrolet vehicles in an all-new state-of-the-art showroom.
Brazil’s Costa Establishes New Streak at Dramatic Walt Disney World Marathon
Fredison Costa Wins Second Consecutive Walt Disney World Marathon
Brazilian runner wins second straight Disney Marathon after fierce battle with perennial winner Adriano Bastos; Virginia Beach’s Renee High easily wins women’s title; field of more than 16,500 pushes weekend total to record 56,000 runners
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2012) - Brazilian runner Fredison Costa did it again, holding off his heavily-favored countryman Adriano Bastos on Sunday to win his second straight Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna.
Costa waged a fierce battle with the 7-time champion Bastos throughout the 26.2 mile race through Disney’s four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios – before narrowly winning. Costa crossed the finish line in 2:19:01 – just 14 seconds ahead of Bastos (2:19:15), who had won six Disney Marathons in a row before Costa’s back-to-back feat.
Renee High of Virginia Beach, VA., was the first woman to cross the line. High, who is scheduled to run the marathon at the US Olympic Trials next week in Houston, completed the race Sunday in 2:48:33 just ahead of Emily Kroshus (2:53:11) of Boston and Christa Stephens (2:55:10) of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Costa, 34, and Bastos 33, ran virtually shoulder to shoulder through much of the race. But with about two miles to go, Costa inched ahead slightly and maintained that slim lead until the end to become the first person other than Bastos to win back-to-back Disney Marathon titles since Brazil’s Santiago de Araujo did it in 1998 and 1999. Costa’s time was even quicker than a year ago when he won with a time of 2:21:15. Matt Hensley of Port St. Lucie, Fla. was third (2:23:11).
“I think a victory is a victory and they are always very special,” Costa said through an interpreter. “But I think this was such a difficult time overcoming some things for me. I’ve been through so many things that this race was very, very special to me.”
Douglas Morton of Sebring, Fla. won the men’s Masters Division (runners age 40 and over) with a time of 2:35:52 and Terri Rejimbal of Tampa won the women’s Masters Division (3:09:33). In the wheelchair division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga. (1:46:16) won for the fourth straight year.
On Saturday, Jose De Morais of Brazil won the 13.1-mile Disney Half Marathon with a time of 1:10.12. Rosa Chacha of Ecuador was the top woman finisher, posting a time of 1:16.43.
In all, runners from all 50 states and 60 other countries took part in a variety of Disney Marathon Weekend events, such as the Family Fiesta 5K, Kids Races and the Disney Half-Marathon in addition to the Disney Marathon. And once again more than 6,500 runners put themselves to the ultimate test – Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – by running the half-marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday.
Registration for the 2013 Disney Marathon Weekend opens this spring. To register or for more information on all runDisney events, visit rundisney.com. Also follow us on Twitter @disneysports and Facebook (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex).
Florida Residents Can Make More Memories in 2012 with 3-Day, 4-Day ‘Wild For Disney’ Passes
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Just in time for the new year, Florida Residents get added incentive to make more memories at Walt Disney World this spring, with an extra special ticket offer.
From now until May 21, 2012, Florida residents can purchase a “Wild for 3-Day Pass” for $99 (plus tax) or upgrade to a “Wild for 4-Day Pass” for $129 (plus tax), valid for entry into one Walt Disney World park per day. For even more memory-making, Florida Residents can also add “Park Hopper” or the “Water Park Fun and More” option for $27.50 per ticket.
3-Day “Wild for Disney” Pass
Price: $99, plus tax
Includes: admission to any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks any three days (excluding blockout period); one park per day.
4-Day “Wild for Disney” Pass
Price: $129, plus tax
Includes: admission to any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks any four days (excluding blockout period); one park per day.
Offer period: Jan. 4 – May 24, 2012
Purchase by: May 21, 2010
Blockout dates: Feb. 18, 2012 – February 20, 2012; April 1, 2012 – April 13, 2012
Proof of Florida residency required; pass is nontransferable and excludes activities/events separately priced.
To purchase or for more information: disneyworld.com/99.
PAPENBURG, GERMANY, (Jan. 9, 2012) - The newest Disney Cruise Line ship, Disney Fantasy, floated out of the enclosed building dock at the Meyer Werft shipyard yesterday as fireworks filled the sky. This symbolizes one of the final stages of this ship's construction and marks a significant milestone towards the March 31, 2012 maiden voyage.
The Disney Fantasy features many of the innovations found on her sister ship, Disney Dream, with several new guest experiences exclusive to the ship that are sure to delight every member of the family. New experiences found on the Disney Fantasy include two Broadway-style musical spectaculars for the Walt Disney Theatre, a dining experience at Animator's Palate where guests' own drawings magically come to life, an interactive adventure quest starring the Muppets, a splashtacular water play area called AquaLab, a sophisticated nighttime entertainment area for adults inspired by European travel and much more .
The Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. All voyages will depart from Port Canaveral, Fla. and include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
Young lion leaving Virginia Zoo in Norfolk for Florida
A young, male African lion will be leaving the Virginia Zoo and heading to Orlando, Fla., to become part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Dakari is the last of his siblings to move to a new home. His brothers went to the Pittsburgh Zoo and his sister went to the Knoxville Zoo, a news release from the zoo in Norfolk said. The four cubs were born at the Norfolk zoo on May 2, 2009, to father Mramba and mother Zola.
Hola Mickey! Disney Parks Celebrates 5th Annual Walt Disney World Moms Panel Allowing Guests to Ask Vacation Planning Questions in Spanish
Included in the Fifteen New Park-Savvy Panelists are the First-Ever Disneyland Resort and runDisney Specialists
Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Jan. 12, 2012- Disney Parks announced today the Walt Disney World Moms Panel has unveiled a new feature – the panelists can receive and answer guests’ questions in Spanish. In addition to the first-ever bilingual offerings, two new specialty areas will be added to the site − Disneyland Resort and runDisney. These features are available to guests at www.DisneyWorldMoms.com.
The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is an online forum that serves as a resource for planning Disney Parks vacations. From the most thrilling attractions at Disneyland Resort and how to make the most of Disney Vacation Club points at Walt Disney World Resort to the decks of Disney Cruise Line and immersive international itineraries of Adventures by Disney, the Walt Disney World Moms Panel advises and adds their own experiences to help turn dream vacations into reality. As the Moms Panel expands, Disney Parks will look to rebrand in 2012 with exciting details to come later this year.
“When we first launched the Moms Panel in 2008, we dreamed of offering guests the ability to ask questions in various languages. Launching the Spanish option in our fifth year turned our dreams into reality and we’re excited to see the questions and new visitors to the site that come as a result of these new features,” said Leanne Jakubowski, Director, Social Media; Walt Disney World Resort.” As Walt once said, ‘You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.’ The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is living proof of that statement and we believe Walt would be proud of the magic our panelists are making for families around the world.”
Disney Parks received thousands of applications from the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom to be considered for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Each panelist went through three rounds of interviews before they were selected to follow in the footsteps of more than 60 moms, dads, grandparents and guardians who have signed on to share their knowledge and passion for the Disney brand with others.
Meet the 2012 Walt Disney World Moms Panel:
- Amanda Ficili; Mendocino, Calif. (Disneyland Resort) – Known as the “Disney Go To Girl,” this stay-at-home mom is a coast-to-coast Disney Parks storehouse of knowledge. The proud holder of a Disney Premiere Passport, Amanda grew up a short while from Walt Disney World and now spends every moment she gets enjoying Disneyland Resort.
- Andrea Houston-Lingman; Jamison, Pa. (Disney Vacation Club) – A high school English teacher by day and a “Disney Sherpa” by night, this Disney Vacation Club Member enjoys Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes. When she’s not teaching, Andrea chaperones Walt Disney World trips for students and enjoys the parks with her husband and two children.
- Ari Krell; Reseda, Calif. (Disneyland Resort) – Growing up in the shadows of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Ari is now the father of two little princesses of his own, guiding his girls around Disneyland, from the twists and turns of Space Mountain to breakfast with Cinderella. Never far from the magic, this Disney dad thinks of Disneyland Resort as his own backyard.
- Ashley Forster; Suffolk, Va. - As a proud military wife, Ashley has visited Walt Disney World on her honeymoon, with her husband and two children, and on her annual solo “mommy time” trip. When this Disney vacation planning addict is not preparing for or enjoying a visit to the Mouse’s house, she and her crew like to explore the magic of their local area, taking road trips or soaking up the sun at the nearest beach.
- Elisabeth Lackey; Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Adventures by Disney) – From the Great Wall of China to the open planes of South Africa, Elisabeth and her family have traveled the world with Adventures by Disney. When she is not embarking on unforgettable global adventures, Elisabeth can be found teaching preschool, tucked away with her favorite book and of course, planning her family of six’s next Disney vacation.
- Jodie Hilson; Thomasville, Ga. – This registered nurse has grown up with Walt Disney World – from losing her first tooth on her first visit to the Magic Kingdom to riding Toy Story Mania with her four children. Jodie’s family of six loves all things Disney so much they named their gray colored cat “Pixie!”
- Kim Dillen; Charlotte, N.C. – A self-proclaimed ‘Type A’ planner, Kim has experience visiting Walt Disney World as the parent of a special needs child, and believes that it’s the little things that can add the most magic to a vacation. Along with her husband and two children, Kim has seen and done it all, from Hidden Mickey hunts to Magic Kingdom birthday celebrations.
- Kirsten Etmanski; Burlington, ON – Since she was seven years old, Kirsten has been making the journey from her home in Canada to Walt Disney World. A stay-at-home mom to a son and daughter, Kirsten spends her day dreaming of an “Around the World – a la Disney” vacation, planning her extended family’s next family reunion and helping friends and neighbors plan their own magical getaways.
- Laura Munkel; Elkhart, Ind. (Disney Vacation Club) - As a family practice physician, Laura is known as an expert around the office when it comes to anything and everything Mickey Mouse. Laura and her family have traveled around the globe with their Disney Vacation Club membership, from Orlando to Germany, Anaheim to Castaway Cay, this mother of three believes that fairytales truly do exist.
- Lori Lovell; Morganfield, Ky. (runDisney) - When she’s not participating in a runDisney event, this sports broadcasting major turned homeschooling mom is busy planning her family’s next Disney vacation. As a mom of two boys, Lori has celebrated many major milestones at Walt Disney World, including runDisney weekends with her husband, friends and family.
- Malanie Rivera; Jamaica, N.Y. (Spanish-Language) - This bilingual New Yorker is a single mom of two children and an occupational therapist for special needs children. Malanie enjoys helping others plan magical Disney moments, including her brother’s engagement at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
- Nancy Walshe; Lilburn, Ga. (Disney Cruise Line) – From the moment she first saw the Disney Wonder docked in Port Canaveral, this teacher of special needs students has been hooked on planning Disney Cruise Line vacations. Whether she is sailing the high seas with her extended family or running the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World, Nancy is dedicated to spreading pixie dust everywhere she goes!
- Scott Houston; Calhoun, Ga. – Much like the middle school children he works with daily as an assistant principal, Scott loves unleashing his inner child on his Disney vacations. Scott enjoys collecting priceless memories with his wife and son from Test Track to the decks of Disney Cruise Line.
- Stacy Cacciatore; Fort Mill, S.C. – As an author, tri-athlete and fitness guru, Stacy is passionate about making exercise and health fun for all ages. As a mom of a prince and princess, Stacy also loves making memories at Walt Disney World with her family, celebrating her children’s birthdays in the parks each year.
- Sue Farrell; Little Sutton, Cheshire (UK) – From across the pond, Sue is always preparing for her family’s next extended stay at Walt Disney World. Having experienced everything from Easter to a hurricane in the parks, this UK mum enjoys helping others plan their international magical escapes.
Alumni panelists will also join in and continue sharing their time-tested tips and advice on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Guests can find all panelists answers, an extensive library of how-to videos, some to soon be available in Spanish and more at www.disneyworldmoms.com.
Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line, takes us on the first inside look at the Fantasy after it floated out of Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany earlier this week.
Let’s start in the Art Nouveau-inspired atrium lobby, which expands three decks and includes a sweeping grand staircase, towering fluted columns, an exquisite marble and stone inlay floor and a cascading chandelier of stained glass and crystal beads.
Next stop: the whimsically designed Animator’s Palate restaurant, home to the brand new “Animation Magic” show that brings guests’ cartoon creativity alive during dinner.
Up on deck, the pools near completion, almost ready for the first guests take a refreshing dip.
And we’ll finish the tour at one of the water features brand new to the Disney Fantasy, Satellite Falls. Imagine yourself on a warm day sitting on the bench of the circular pool as the cascading rain curtain falls gently on you. It’s a great thought isn’t it?
Happy Lunar New Year! Celebration at Disneyland Park: Fact Sheet
With good wishes for 2012, the Disneyland Resort invites guests to celebrate the Lunar New Year season at Disneyland park from Jan. 20-29. The Happy Lunar New Year Celebration! at Disneyland is a joyous tribute to coincide with the traditional Lunar New Year, and it recognizes time-honored traditions of the season with exciting, live performances, fun activities and special food offerings.
Guests will enjoy the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration! from 10 am to 5 pm Jan, 20-29 at Small World Mall with special character appearances and family entertainment. Exhilarating live performances will be held Jan. 20-23, Jan. 25 and Jan. 27-29 (weather permitting).
Lunar New Year is a time when families and friends gather to wish each other good fortune and good health for the coming year. The Happy Lunar New Year Celebration! at Disneyland Resort pays tribute to the time-honored traditions and family celebrations that are observed within the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures.
Throughout the day, cultural groups perform in colorful attire along Small World Mall. These may include a Chinese Dragon dance troupe, lion dancers, ribbon wand dancers, Korean drummers, Vietnamese musicians and dancers, and martial artists.
In Mulan’s Chinese New Year Procession, seen at selected times throughout the day, Mulan and Mushu proceed in colorful costumes to the photo location area. There, guests will greet Mulan and Mushu, along with Chip ‘n’ Dale dressed in festive, Asian-inspired attire.
Small World Mall is decorated for the celebration with Chinese Zodiac symbols, ornamental lanterns, “Happy Lunar New Year” banners and more.
Signs explaining the meaning and traditions of various Lunar New Year celebrations are presented in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
The Lunar New Year begins at a different time each year according to the movements of the sun and moon, usually beginning in late January. It’s fitting to have the Disneyland celebration at Small World Mall, where “just one moon and one golden sun” are shared by children from around the globe in the “it’s a small world” attraction.
A colorful, photo location invites families to pose in front of themed backdrops, which include a variety of Disney characters and family photos. Disney’s PhotoPass Service will be on hand to help guests capture their magical experiences and share their memories.
Food carts at Small World Mall will serve special treats, including chocolate churros, eggrolls, edamame and almond cookies.
Southern California residents can join the Happy New Year Celebration! on two different days when they purchase a 2-day ticket for just $99. With the 2-day ticket, guests get their choice of one park per day, making memories with family and friends any two days through June 9, 2012.
President Obama at Walt Disney World: “America is Open for Business”
The eyes of the nation were focused on Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday as President Barack Obama unveiled a comprehensive set of initiatives to attract more international visitors and make the United States the world’s top tourism and travel destination.
“People want to come here. And China and Brazil are two of the countries with the biggest backlogs," Obama said. "So this is what it's all about – telling the world that America is open for business.”
With Cinderella Castle serving as his backdrop, the president outlined his plans to improve the U.S. travel visa process, especially for residents in emerging countries such as China, Brazil and India. He also detailed other strategies that will significantly increase foreign visitors in the U.S., which not only will contribute to the country’s economic growth but will help create jobs as well.
Each year, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and all of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' domestic businesses attract millions of international Guests, providing positive economic impact throughout the communities in which they operate. Disney has a long-standing history as an industry leader in initiatives to increase international visitation and supports the President’s efforts to further bolster the growth of potential markets such as Brazil, China and India.
President Obama was the fourth sitting U.S. president to visit a Disney theme park. The sitting Presidents who visited previously are Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Takes "Flight" at Disneyland Resort
TV sitcom star to be among the more than 17,000 runners in women-focused weekend of events centered on health, fitness and active lifestyles
ANAHEIM, Ca. (January 19, 2012) - Pixie dust and fairy wings will overtake Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim this weekend as thousands of runners participate in the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon (Jan. 27 - 29). TV sitcom star Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement) will be among the 17,000-plus runners taking part in this ultimate girls weekend, the latest event in the runDisney series and the second at Disneyland Resort.
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon, hosted by the city of Anaheim and Disneyland Resort, takes runners on a 13.1-mile trek through the Disneyland and California Adventure, as well as by several city of Anaheim landmarks. The half marathon, expected to draw 12,000 runners, will be filled with music, entertainment, Disney characters, runners in colorful Tinker Bell costumes and, of course, pixie dust, and finishing at Disneyland. Runners will receive a commemorative Tinker Bell "wings'' medal.
The weekend of events, all geared toward health, fitness and active lifestyles for women, features a variety of races including The Neverland 5K on Friday night, kids' races on Saturday and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday. There will also be a health and fitness expo featuring the latest running merchandise, products, apparel and guest speakers - all tailored for women - creating a weekend of camaraderie and wellness, plus a pinch of Tinker Bell's trademark sassiness and sense of adventure.
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is the second women-focused event weekend in the runDisney series. Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend takes place at Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 24 - 26. Both event weekends are among the largest women-specific events in the country.
Disney Cruise Line Unveils New Itineraries and Ports for 2013
First-Ever Miami Departures and New European Destinations Provide
More Options for Disney Cruise Line Guests
CELEBRATION, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2012) – In 2013, Disney Cruise Line will offer new itineraries, including an expanded portfolio of European cruises with new destinations such as Venice, Italy, and the Greek Isles. In addition, Disney Cruise Line will utilize a second homeport in Florida, with Caribbean sailings departing from the Port of Miami for the first time.
With the addition of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy to the fleet of cruise ships, Disney Cruise Line is able to take more families to more destinations around the world. Disney Cruise Line has always catered to the unique vacation needs of families, and next year will be enhancing the cruise options for guests — whether it’s sun and sand in the Caribbean, outdoor adventures in Alaska or experiencing the wonders of Europe.
Highlights of the Disney Cruise Line 2013 schedule (which can be booked beginning Jan. 26, 2012) include…
Mediterranean from Barcelona
Beginning June 1, 2013, the Disney Magic returns to Europe with plenty of new twists to the Mediterranean itineraries, including a four-night option and special 12-night sailings in addition to seven-night itineraries that treat guests to the best of Europe during the three-month season.
The new 12-night sailings visit destinations such as Venice, Italy, and Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast on one itinerary and Ephesus, Turkey and the Greek Isles including Athens, on another. Each itinerary will offer a sailing departing in June and another departing in July.
All itineraries depart from Barcelona, Spain, as the Disney Magic takes guests on an exciting journey of richly diverse cities, cultures and people. With romantic boulevards, bustling bazaars, iconic locations, mild climates, sun-drenched islands and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea, guests will enjoy a world-class family vacation with legendary Disney guest service.
Rates start at $796 per person for four-night cruises, $1,015 per person for seven-night cruises and $2,244 for 12-night cruises departing from Barcelona for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Four-night Mediterranean Getaway
Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Disney Cruise Line will sail from Miami for the first time on Dec. 23, 2012. One six- and one seven-night Caribbean sailing aboard the Disney Wonder will set the stage for a schedule of four- and five-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean between Jan. 5, 2013, and May 2, 2013. The four- and five-night cruises have a variety of itineraries. Ports of call may include Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; Key West; Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
The itineraries offer families magical days at sea to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Wonder and days in port to lounge on warm, golden beaches, to swim and snorkel in azure waters or to shop to their heart’s content in exotic marketplaces.
Rates for four- and five-night cruises departing from Miami start at $440 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
Departure dates: Jan. 5, 19, Feb, 2, 16, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27
Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Departure dates: Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, March 11, 25, April 8, 22
Ports: Miami, Key West, Nassau, Castaway Cay
Departure dates: Jan. 10, 24, Feb. 7, 21, March 7, 21, April 4, 18, May 2
Western Caribbean from Galveston
The Disney Magic, which will begin sailing from Texas in 2012, will continue to sail from the Port of Galveston through May 2013, to the Western Caribbean.
Rates start at $750 per person for six-night cruises and $920 per person for eight-night cruises departing from Galveston for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Ports: Galveston, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Departure dates: Dec. 15 and 29, 2012, Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 9, 23, March 9, 23, April 6, 20. May 4
Ports: Galveston, Key West, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Departure dates: Dec. 21, 2012, Jan. 4, 18, Feb. 1, 15, March 1, 15, 29, April 12, 26, May 10
Alaska from Vancouver
Beginning May 27, 2013, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.
These cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Disney Cruise Line worked closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to best experience Alaska’s natural beauty and rich history.
Rates for seven-night Alaska cruises departing from Vancouver start at $1,015 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Ports: Vancouver, Tracy Arm (scenic cruising through fjord), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan
Departure dates: May 27, June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26, Sept. 2
Caribbean and Bahamas from Port Canaveral
The Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will continue to sail a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries departing from Port Canaveral.
The Disney Fantasy will sail out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Caribbean itineraries – alternating eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). Special Eastern Caribbean sailings, January through April 2013, stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico. All Disney Fantasy itineraries include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
Rates for seven-night Caribbean cruises on the Disney Fantasy start at $1,085 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
The Disney Dream will sail three-, four- and five-night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
Rates for three- and four-night Bahamian cruises on the Disney Dream start at $450 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Adventures By Disney
Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney will offer families unique land and sea experiences in the Mediterranean. Available on select departures, guests can maximize the magic with three-night or four-night pre-cruise Adventures by Disney vacation itineraries in Barcelona and Madrid. These immersive add-ons allow families to envelop themselves in the culture of the region with VIP access in the most-sought-after tourist destinations – such as the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona and the El Prado museum in Madrid – as well as hands-on lessons in archeology, flamenco dancing, local cuisine and stained glass crafting. Each Adventures by Disney departure is led by knowledgeable Adventure Guides who handle all the planning logistics so parents can relax and enjoy quality time with their family.
Families can also enhance seven-night and 12-night Mediterranean sailings with Adventures by Disney Onboard Experience packages. Throughout the voyage, guests will have access to exclusive Adventures by Disney activities and concierge service from dedicated Adventure Guides. These guides will also lead travelers at each port, helping them unlock the wonders of each destination through exclusive excursions and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Specific itinerary and pricing information for the 2013 Adventures by Disney experiences will be available in March 2012.
All Disney Cruise Line pricing reflects a category 11C standard inside stateroom, Government Taxes and Fees not included. Bookings for the 2013 schedule open Jan. 26, 2012.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.
February 1st the New Romantic "The Magic, The Memories and You" Debuts!
The Disney Parks Blog has announced that a new show segment is set to debut Feb. 1, inspired by some of the most romantic moments in Disney animation. Cinderella Castle (Walt Disney World) and “it’s a small world” (Disneyland) will be covered in red roses for one sequence and turned into a beautiful, star-filled sky for another. During part of the show, spectacular stained glass windows will grace the façades, depicting the stories of Cinderella, Snow White and Belle.
Shawn Slater Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment shares: One of my favorite moments comes when the king and queen from “Tangled” appear on a balcony, lifting a single lantern to the sky for their missing daughter. It’s soon joined by hundreds of others, creating a magical sight sure to draw “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! "
The romance segment is planned to run as part of “The Magic, The Memories and You!” through mid-April.
CELEBRATE YOUR TEAM’S CONFERENCE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE WALT DISNEY WORLD SWAN AND DOLPHIN HOTEL
New York and New England fans can celebrate their teams’ successful seasons with a free night at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, while the residents of the champion’s state will be able to celebrate in style with a free room upgrade!
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – January 26, 2012 – Now that the match-up for the big game is set, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, is once again rewarding fans with the “I’m off to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel!” deal for residents of each team’s state.
Residents of both New York and Massachusetts will receive a free night at the Orlando hotel when booking two nights at the standard price before Feb. 29 for stays through Feb. 6, 2013.
And there is even more for in store for the champion of the big game…residents of that team’s state will get to celebrate in upgraded accommodations, as they will receive a complimentary automatic room upgrade.
While staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, fans will have access to many special Walt Disney World benefits, including complimentary transportation to Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Attractions, and the Extra Magic Hours benefit, where one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks opens one hour early or remains open up to three hours after regular Park closing time for hotel guests to enjoy select attractions. They also can enjoy a championship-caliber meal at any of the 17 restaurants and lounges located in the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, including Shula’s Steak House, the restaurant of the NFL’s winningest coach, Don Shula.
There’s no better place to celebrate a team’s victory than the place known for championship celebrations.
For additional information or to make reservations guests can call 1-800-227-1500 and mention their home state - New York or Massachusetts. Details of the offer are also available online at deals.starwoodhotels.com/promos/NAD-orlando-swan-dolphin-football. Guests must have valid appropriate state identification to present upon check-in. Based on rate schedule availability. Offer is not valid Dec. 22 - 31.Taxes, resort services fee and gratuities not included. Not valid with any other special offers, promotions, or for existing reservations or groups.
At AquaLab on the Disney Fantasy, families can frolic among pop jets, geysers and bubblers in this fun and fanciful water play area. Located near the entrance to the AquaDuck water coaster on deck 12, AquaLab features a variety of water "experiments" designed to drench the whole family. By turning wheels and moving levers at three wacky aqua stations guests "control" the speed and temperature of AquaDuck. At a leaky wall, kids cover holes in squirting and spurting pipes with their hands. In another area, water leaks and sprays from the Ducky Dinghy, suspended overhead.
Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World
From the Disney Parks Blog
“Better-for-you” options at five mini shops serving breakfast, lunch and dinner is the overarching theme of the new Landscape of Flavors food court still being tweaked for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, opening in May. The new restaurant will be adjacent to the lobby.
“The idea is that you customize your choice,” says Chef Ed Wronski, Director, Food & Beverage Concept Development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “From burgers to pasta, salads, ethnic flavors, omelets, even parfaits and gelatos, everything is made fresh as you order.”
There’s a big focus on beverages, too. Fresh fruit smoothies are made to order, ditto for lemonade and pomegranate limeade. They’re stocking organic teas, beer (including gluten free), wine, coffee and juices. You can get a plain cup of coffee or a French vanilla or mocha iced. And half bottles of wine are paired with cuisine from the food shops.
We got a sneak peek at the menu, and here are some of the highlights:
The Soup-Salad-Sandwich Shop lets you create your own salad (with beef or chicken) and offers a caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes on focaccia, or a Buffalo-style turkey sandwich with arugula and a blue cheese-Buffalo sauce-mayo spread. Both are served with delish house-made potato chips.
The World Flavors Shop adds Indian-African flair to breakfast, too, with scrambled eggs, tandoor potatoes, Portuguese sausage, slab bacon and a mini-naan; or a veggie flatbread sandwich on naan with cauliflower, spinach and paneer. Lunch and dinner is a choice of tandoori chicken or shrimp, Mongolian beef with vegetables, mahi mahi, Portuguese sausage or roasted acorn squash served with sides and naan bread.
The Pizza Shop features make-your-own pasta, cheese and pepperoni pizzas and meatballs on ciabatta bread. Room delivery is an option, too.
The Burger Shop includes a breakfast burger with chicken breakfast sausage, cheese and scrambled eggs on a multi-grain bun, and a steak-and-eggs breakfast burger with a burger topped with fried eggs, cheese and bacon. Besides the traditional burgers, lunch and dinner includes a surf and turf burger with crab cake and fried popcorn shrimp, and a pastrami cheeseburger topped with pepper jack cheese and a slice of fried green tomato.
The “grab ‘n go” Market Shop offers drinks, yogurt, bagels, pastries, gourmet cupcakes, cookies and gelato.
The food court will be part of the Disney Dining Plan, details to follow.
Star Wars Weekends Returns to the Walt Disney World Galaxy in May 2012
Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Resort during May and June 2012, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrates the Star Wars film saga and the hit animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The annual special event, included in regular theme park admission, will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10, 2012.
The power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as plenty of out-of-this-world characters – including Wookiees, droids, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for meet-and-greet opportunities with guests.
The centerpiece of the celebration is the spectacular 3-D attraction, “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.” The attraction, which opened last spring at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, uses eye-popping 3-D, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology to immerse guests in the Star Wars galaxy like never before.
“Jedi Training Academy,” one of the interactive entertainment experiences at the theme park, allows young guests to learn from a Jedi Master before testing their newly acquired skills in a battle with Darth Vader.
Also featured at Star Wars Weekends: the chance for fans to purchase one-of-a-kind Star Wars memorabilia, Star Wars games, plus there’s special Star Wars parades and motorcades, star conversations and autograph sessions with Star Wars actors and creative talent (celebrity lineup will be announced at a later date). The ever-popular “Hyperspace Hoopla” ends each Star Wars Weekends day with a show filled with comedy, dancing, high-energy music and many of the famed Star Wars characters.
More than 17,000 runners take part in women-focused weekend of events centered on health, fitness and active lifestyles
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2012) — Kellie Nickerson – looking apropos in her fairy wings and green tutu – flew away from the field to capture the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.
Nickerson, who hails from Albuquerque, N.M., captured her first win at Disney in 1:27:52, finishing ahead of Southern Californians Sharon Wilkinson of Winnetka (1:28:18) and Stacy Schafer from Carlsbad (1:28:54).
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon, hosted by the city of Anaheim and Disneyland Resort, led runners on a 13.1-mile trek through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, as well as by several city of Anaheim landmarks. The first year event featured music, entertainment, Disney characters and costumed runners donning fairy wings and pixie dust. Finishers received a commemorative Tinker Bell “wings” medal.
TV sitcom star Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement) and “Goonies,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Rudy” movie star Sean Astin were among the 12,000-plus registered runners to take part in Sunday morning’s race.
The weekend of events, all geared toward health, fitness and active lifestyles for women, featured a variety of races including The Never Land 5K on Friday night, kids’ races on Saturday and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday. There was also a health and fitness expo featuring the latest running merchandise, products, apparel and guest speakers – all tailored for women – creating a weekend of camaraderie and wellness, plus a pinch of Tinker Bell’s trademark sassiness and sense of adventure.
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is the second women-focused event weekend in the runDisney series. Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend takes place at Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 24 – 26. Both event weekends are among the largest women-specific events in the country.