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February 2012 Archives

February 1, 2012

Walt Disney’s Mantra for ‘Dreaming Big’ Remains Alive as Disney’s Dreamers Academy Celebrates Five-Year Milestone


Celebrity Panel of Judges Led by TV host Steve Harvey to Select Next 100 Students for Dreamers Academy Class of 2012

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The legacy of visionary Walt Disney includes an impressive list of trail-blazing accomplishments. One outcome of his passion for motivating those around him to "dream big" inspired Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine, a four-day power-packed program for high school students uniquely designed to inspire youth to chart successful career paths.

Now entering its fifth year, more than 500 high school students will have participated since Disney's Dreamers Academy opened its doors in 2008.

On Dec. 4th, 2011, a celebrity panel of judges led by "Family Feud" TV show host, philanthropist and Disney's Dreamers Academy champion Steve Harvey will gather in Atlanta to review applications and select the next 100 high school students who will become the Class of 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy. The criteria used to select the Disney Dreamers includes exhibiting curiosity, compassion and leadership skills.

Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine, scheduled for March 8-11, 2012, takes place in what many have called the world's most creative classroom - the Walt Disney World Resort. The Academy inspires and fuels the dreams of the selected students to help them dream bigger, discover a world of possibilities and get a jump start on making those dreams come true.

The students engage in multiple activities, including interaction with a range of industry professionals to an immersive introduction to various career paths. Disney's Dreamers Academy students participate in workshops on a variety of subjects including entertainment, entrepreneurship, the medical field, culinary arts and creative inspiration from Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative gurus behind Disney Parks' theme parks and attractions.

"Many years ago, Walt Disney himself said, 'If you can dream it, you can do it,'" said Tracey Walters-Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts. "Dreaming big and encouraging students to pursue their dreams are at the core of Disney's Dreamers Academy and reaching this five-year milestone means we've touched the lives of more than 500 students and given them that boost of confidence that everyone needs."

"I am so thrilled to celebrate five years of teaching teenagers how to dream big" said Steve Harvey, who has served as Ambassador of Disney's Dreamers Academy since the program started. "These kids already have the big dreams when they walk through those doors. We simply show them how to achieve those dreams. We encourage them to believe in themselves and to focus on their future now. We tell them how we achieved our successes, and suddenly you see the light bulb turn on for them."

Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks said, "All you need to do is talk to some of the students who have participated in Disney's Dreamers Academy to hear how it has impacted their lives in such an incredible way. There are so many success stories and we keep adding more and more each year."

Two recent graduates from the Class of 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy - Diamond Sims of Miami, Florida, and Princeton Parker of Los Angeles - were invited to share their stories on the popular blog Huffington Post.

"Disney's Dreamers Academy was a part of my life that I will never ever forget," said Sims, who is now a freshman at University of Florida. "I met people who are from the same place as I am. I met people from all types of professions who were willing to provide advice, guidance and encouragement. In only a few days, they helped mold me into the young woman that I am today."

Parker,17, who will start his first year of communications studies at University of Southern California next year, said: "Disney's Dreamers Academy changed my life not only by enlarging my dreams and understanding, but also by introducing me to more than 100 other young visionaries who possess the same drive, tenacity, vigor, and capacity to dream."

Celebrity Panel of Judges to Select Class of 2012

Judges for the Class of 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy class will include: Harvey; Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, Essence Magazine); Walters-Powell (Executive Champion, Disney's Dreamers Academy); Yolanda Adams (Gospel Music Legend); Terrence J (BET host of 106 and Park); Stephen A. Smith (Broadcaster and Sports Analyst); Dr. Steve Perry (Education Advocate and CNN commentator); Sonia Jackson-Myles (Founder and Author, The Sister Accord); Jonathan Sprinkles (Award-winning Motivational Speaker); Chef Jeff Henderson (Food Network TV host of The Chef Jeff Project); Brandi Harvey and Karli Harvey (Co-founders of Young, Fit and Fly)

February 2, 2012


San Francisco, CA - January 31, 2012-February is awards season, and The Walt Disney Family Museum is celebrating with film presentations and visitor programs throughout the month.

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to several Oscar® winners, including Pixar and Lucasfilm, but there is only one place where you can get an up-close look at more than 20 of the famous statuettes-The Walt Disney Family Museum. Walt Disney personally won 32 Academy Awards® throughout his career. To this day, Walt still holds the record for the most awards won by an individual. Former Oscar host Bob Hope once quipped, "The management has informed me that they're not responsible for Oscars left over 30 days. After that, they're automatically turned over to Walt Disney."

Screening this month in the Museum's state-of-the-art digital theater is a collection of Walt's award-winning True-Life Adventures films. Produced between 1948 and 1960, these shorts and features won a cumulative 8 Academy Awards, and have inspired naturalist filmmakers and conservationists for decades (see below for a complete program). Among the films being screened in February will be the Best Documentary Feature winners The Vanishing Prairie (1954) and The Living Desert (1953); and the Best Short Subject winners Bear Country (1953), Water Birds (1952), Nature's Half Acre (1951), Beaver Valley (1950) and Seal Island (1948, the first film in the series). Admission to film presentations is free with paid Museum Admission.

On Saturday, February 18 at 3:00 pm, the special program And the Award Goes to...Walt Disney offers a one-of-a-kind showcase of Walt Disney's Award Winners. Hosted by author, Disney historian and friend of the Museum Jeff Kurtti, this program offers a look at highlights of Walt Disney's Oscar-winning films, including rarities such as Parade of the Award Nominees (1932), Ferdinand the Bull (1938), and Grand Canyon (1958); as well as trailers and rare footage and photos of Walt at the Oscar ceremonies. (Separate admission required.)

On Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 pm, the special program Walt Disney's Worlds of Nature will feature Academy Award-nominated producer Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Matchgirl) and a presentation about Walt's pioneering and frequently-emulated True-Life Adventures films, and showing the relationship between that series and the acclaimed Disneynature documentaries (Earth, Oceans, African Cats, and the upcoming Chimpanzees) for which Hahn serves as executive producer. (Separate admission required.)

Tickets for all films and programs are available at the Member Services and Reception Desk at the Museum, or online at www.waltdisney.org.


February 1 through 7 (Daily at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm)
Seal Island (27:00)
Beaver Valley (32:00)
Nature's Half Acre (33:00)

February 8 through 14 (Daily at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm)
Water Birds (30:00)
Vanishing Prairie (71:00)

February 15 through 21 (except February 18) (Daily at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm)
Bear Country (33:00)
The Living Desert (69:00)

February 22 through 29 (except February 25 and 26) (Daily at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm)
Mysteries of the Deep (24:00)
Secrets of Life (70:00)


Friday, February 24; Saturday, February 25; and Sunday, February 26
Look Closer: Cameras used for the True-Life Adventures series
1:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Gallery 8 (Museum Admission Required)
Take a more detailed look at the creation of the pioneering True-Life Adventures films, and the cameras used in their filming.

Sunday, February 5
Sunday Story Time
3:00 pm - 3:45 pm
Theater Lobby (Museum Admission Required)
True stories unfold all around us! The stories this month will reflect the magic of the natural world and its inhabitants. This special program is designed for families with young children.

Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 19
Disney Discoveries!
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Learning Center Art Studio (Museum Admission Required)
Are you going on a great adventure? Don't leave home without your very own adventurer's bag! Use it as a camera case, a collector of nature's treasures, or a tote for everyday travels! These fun totes will be made from recycled materials.


Saturday February 11
A Musical Tribute to Walt Disney
3:00 pm
Special Exhibitions Hall (Separate Admission Required)
Paulway Chew is a renowned vocalist with over ten years of musical theater experience. She performed with a Chinese Malaysian theater group in Kuala Lumpur and has received nominations for Best Supporting and Best Leading Role as a Female Performer. Now residing in San Francisco, Paulway is a huge Disney fan and a Founding Member of the Museum. Her performance combines a beautiful story, amazing vocals, and audience participation for Disney fans of all ages.

# # #

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000 square foot facility features the newest technology and historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney's achievements to life, with interactive galleries that include early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland and much more.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays through Monday; closed on Tuesdays and the following public holidays: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors and students, and $12 children ages 6 to 17;
Admission is free for members.

Where: 104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94129

Website: www.waltdisney.org

February 3, 2012

Habit Heroes Exhibit Debuts at Innoventions at Epcot

from the Disney Parks Blog:

A new interactive exhibit, Habit Heroes presented by Florida Blue and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, debuted at Innoventions at Epcot today.


This new experience encourages children of all ages to learn healthy lifestyle habits and become more active. Guests can join forces with Habit Heroes Will Power and Callie Stenics to fight off villains like Sweet Tooth and The Snacker.


Two Habit Heroes even made a special in-person appearance today for the kick-off of the exhibit.

Can't make it to Epcot? Kids can visit www.HabitHeroes.com to create their own avatar and learn how to fight bad habits.

La Brea Bakery Café to Expand at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort

From the Disney Parks Blog

If you've been to the Downtown Disney District lately, you've likely noticed the exciting changes underway. On January 3, La Brea Bakery Café began a significant refurbishment of its current location including expanding the restaurant's footprint, creating a new exhibition bakery, adding a new kitchen in the express area, and placing an awning over the outdoor seating in the full-service dining section.


The remodel, as seen in this early concept artwork, also will allow La Brea Bakery Café to produce fresh baked items at the restaurant, which will include a selection of breads, pastries, sweets, flatbreads and foccacias.

The café will feature menu items inspired by La Brea Bakery's founder, Nancy Silverton. From double-dipped French toast and fontina strata at breakfast to burgers, salads, panini and authentic Italian focaccias made fresh throughout the day, the focus will be on fresh, healthy and flavorful foods.

La Brea Bakery's full-service restaurant remains open during the refurbishment through mid-March. The restaurant will reopen its doors with a fresh new look in April.

February 6, 2012

D23's Disneyland Off the Map


On Tuesday, March 6th, D23 members have a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Walt's apartment above the fire station and much more! Tickets go on sale February 9th and are $250. More more details be sure to visit http://d23.disney.go.com/events/2012/02/01/d23s-disneyland-off-the-map/

You've been to Disneyland. You've experienced every attraction, watched every spectacle, and sampled every delicacy the resort has to offer. Or have you? During your daylong Disneyland adventure, you will visit legendary locales seldom (if ever) seen by Disney fans-places that are, shall we say, off the map?

Included in your unforgettable visit will be a tour of Walt Disney's private apartment above the Fire Station on Main Street, U.S.A. This quaint studio apartment was built during the construction of Disneyland so that Walt could sometimes spend the night and watch his beloved dream of Disneyland became a reality. Once the park opened, Walt and his family would occasionally spend the night-or just use the fully functional apartment (complete with shower and small kitchenette!) as a respite from the busy park below. Lillian would use the outside patio for afternoon tea and for entertaining guests while Walt would conduct studio business using the (still-working) Victorian-era rotary phone.

Interested in a grand circle tour of Disneyland? How about taking a ride in the Lilly Belle VIP parlor car on the Disneyland Railroad? Named after Walt's wife, Lillian, the car was originally the "Grand Canyon" observation car of the original Disneyland passenger train that was built at the Disney studio in 1955 for the opening of the park. For the park's 1975-1976 celebration of the American Bicentennial, the car was re-christened the Lilly Belle, and converted into an elegantly furnished parlor car whose guests have included heads of state and legends from all corners of the world. Now it's your turn to be treated like royalty aboard the Disneyland Railroad!

Then it's time for a dream come true. In 2008, The Disney Gallery above Pirates of the Caribbean was transformed into Disneyland Dream Suite. The space was originally intended as an apartment for Walt to entertain guests and spend the night, but he passed away before it could be completed. As part of the Disney Parks Year of a Million Dreams celebration, the apartment was brought to life by Imagineers, who not only stayed faithful to many of Walt's original ideas for the space, but enhanced it with some truly magical touches that include a quintessentially Disney "kiss goodnight."

Of course there will be ample time to enjoy many of the park's signature attractions, including Haunted Mansion and it's a small world, but don't fill up on churros. We will be meeting at 6 p.m. for a very special dinner (and drinks) inside one of the resort's most unique restaurants.

With surprises, special gifts, and more than a little bit of pixie dust thrown in for good measure, we are confident this will be one D23 event you will want to put on your map.

NOTE: Available only to D23 Members in good standing. Members may reserve a ticket for themselves and one (1) guest. There are a limited number of tickets available. Guests will be divided into groups to visit each of the three main locations, so guests may not necessarily visit in the order the venues are listed. In the event of rain, the Lilly Belle portion of the experience may be canceled. Theme park admission not included and required. D23 Members will be required to provide their membership number when reserving tickets. Tickets may be picked up only with a valid photo ID AND D23 MEMBERSHIP CARD. D23 Members who do not bring their membership card may not be admitted to the event. Ticketed Members who do not attend the event forfeit their place as well as all experiences, benefits, and gifts associated with the event. If you wish to request sign language interpreting services for this event, please submit your request to d23.guestservices@disneystore.com at least two weeks prior to the event date. All D23 Special Events are subject to change without notice. There are no cancellations or refunds, and tickets are not transferable.

Eli Manning is Coming to Disney World!

Eli Manning is planning to come to Walt Disney World Resort!

Eli stared into a TV camera and shouted those famous words - "I'm going to Disney World!" It was the 45th time a superstar athlete or celebrity has screamed that line that will be part of the now iconic Super Bowl commercial airing nationally over the next several days.

Eli will be whisked to Walt Disney World Resort on Monday to toast the team's 21-17 win with a grand parade down Main Street, U.S.A., in Magic Kingdom Park. He will also interact with some NFL Youth kids and maybe experience an attraction or two, creating some lasting Disney memories just like millions of guests at Disney Parks all around the world. Then he'll jet back home where undoubtedly the Super Bowl celebrations will continue.

Hero’s Welcome Greets Quarterback Eli Manning, MVP of Super Bowl XLVI, at Walt Disney World


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2012) - After leading his team to a game-winning drive and the Super Bowl championship Sunday night, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning led another drive Monday: down Main Street, U.S.A. to cheering fans at Walt Disney World Resort.

"I'm going to Disney World!" proclaimed Manning Sunday shortly after his team scored a dramatic 21-17 win over the New England Patriots to capture Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. In a gala parade Monday at Magic Kingdom, Manning made good on that promise, waving and smiling alongside Mickey Mouse from a red convertible in the shadow of Cinderella Castle.

Fans of the Giants and Manning, including those sporting team jerseys Monday, got to see their hero up-close in the place where memories are made. New York Giants balloons mixed in with red, white and blue balloons along the parade route, Mickey Mouse was joined by other Disney characters and confetti in the shape of the Lombardi Trophy (awarded to the NFL champion) rained down on the happy scene. Manning was joined in the Magic Kingdom by NFL Youth football players.

Manning - who was named the game's MVP - is no stranger to storybook finishes. Sunday's late, game-winning drive marked the seventh fourth-quarter comeback Manning led this season. His 15 fourth quarter touchdown passes set an NFL single-season record.

Manning's "I'm going to Disney World!" - anchoring one of TV's most enduring and iconic Super Bowl commercials - was captured seconds after the final whistle. Monday's visit marked his second "What's Next"?" appearance in the Disney commercial. In 2008, Manning was celebrated following the Giants' 17-14 upset win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

This latest commercial is the 45th in a series that began in 1987 following Super Bowl XXI. The first "I'm going to Disney World" commercial, featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, was regarded as a groundbreaking concept - a produced national commercial involving a current event, airing on major networks within hours of its conclusion. Manning again joined a lineup of people from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments in "I'm going to Disney World" commercials.

Disney Characters Make Rounds with Special Dose of Magic


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb. 3, 2012 - Drawing wisdom from Mary Poppins, a dedicated team of Disney Cast Members is using a dose of Disney magic much like "a spoonful of sugar" to help the medicine go down.

Throughout the year, Disney's Animals, Science and Environment team ventures into local hospitals to spread cheer at the Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Accompanied by all sorts of exotic animals on these special visits, Disney animal keepers and education instructors bring the joy and wonder of wildlife to young patients who get a therapeutic benefit from being able to focus on the fun at hand.

Special visitors make the rounds as well; Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck and Chip 'n' Dale have all been known to appear toward the end of the program.

"When Mickey Mouse walks into the room, you don't feel like you're in a hospital anymore," says Gabriel Burns, a Cast Member who travels along on many of these journeys. "It's really incredible. Pluto, Chip 'n Dale and other Disney characters have the unique ability to help the kids forget what's ailing them."

"I've seen Pluto lay on the floor next to a 4-year-old cancer patient during his chemotherapy because the young boy typically holds his Pluto plush doll on the floor during his treatments," Burns says. "The child was smiling, and his mom was crying because her son was happy."

Disney has a rich heritage of compassionate support of children that can be traced back to the early days of the company. Walt Disney frequently visited children in hospitals and guided company giving toward supporting children in need.

This tradition continues today through fulfilling wish trips and accommodating children who are affected by life-threatening medical conditions. While granting Disney-related wish requests remains a key initiative at Disney Parks, many Disney wishes are fulfilled in hospitals when illness prevents a child from leaving.

From sending a child's favorite Disney character to visit at their bedside, to hand-delivering a Disney movie to enjoy with the family, opportunities that extend the magic of Disney to children in hospitals are as abundant as a child's imagination.

February 7, 2012


The World's Greatest Hot Sandwich® Available this Summer at the Disneyland Resort

ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Feb. 7, 2012 - Disneyland Resort today announced that Earl of Sandwich will open a new location at Downtown Disney in early summer 2012. The restaurant will offer guests a unique, casual-quick dining option while visiting Downtown Disney.

"We pride ourselves in giving our guests a unique experience at Downtown Disney through different retail and food offerings," said Tony Bruno, vice president of Resort Hotels and Downtown Disney. "This will be the only Earl of Sandwich in California and it is sure to be a favorite among our guests as it has been at Walt Disney World for nearly eight years."

The new restaurant, which continues to have historical ties to the inventor of the sandwich, the Sandwich family, will be adjacent to AMC Theatres. Signature hot sandwiches will be available including The Original 1762, a sandwich of freshly roasted beef, sharp cheddar and creamy horseradish sauce all on freshly baked artisan bread. Soups, salads, wraps and desserts also are on the menu. Earl of Sandwich offers a vast array of hot and cold beverages including The Earl's Grey Lemonade. Breakfast sandwiches and pastries will be available in the morning and a variety of catering options will be offered at this location.

"We are looking forward to the grand opening of our newest location at the Disneyland Resort," stated Robert Earl, chairman of Earl of Sandwich. "The success we've experienced at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris and our other 15 locations has proven that the quality of our food and our dining experience will bring guests back time and time again."

Earl of Sandwich joins approximately 50 retail, dining and entertainment venues that comprise Downtown Disney. Bridging the two theme parks and hotels, the 20-acre entertainment, dining and shopping district offers an eclectic experience that includes the World of Disney store, Build-A-Bear Workshop, ESPN Zone and House of Blues.

February 9, 2012

Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels to Reward A+ Teachers in 4th Annual Contest

Students can nominate favorite teacher for chance for both to win Disney vacation

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 8, 2012 -- The Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels has partnered with Walt Disney World® to once again honor outstanding K-12 teachers with its 2012 A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney essay contest.

The fourth annual contest, which kicks off today and runs through April 13, 2012, asks students in grades 1 through 12 to nominate their favorite teacher by writing a brief essay of no more than 300 words and submitting it via www.downtowndisneyhotels.com . The essay should explain how the teacher has made a difference in the student's life and will be judged on its relevance to theme, creativity, originality, and the merit of the teacher's accomplishments as outlined in the essay.

Seven winners will be chosen, and those students and their favorite teacher nominees each will win a vacation prize package that consists of:

Five-day / four-night accommodations (for up to four family members) at one of the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels

Four free Walt Disney World® one-day, one-park passes

Four free tickets to the DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive theme park

Complimentary breakfast at the hotel each day (for up to four family members)

One $100 gas card

"We're excited to kick off our fourth annual contest to celebrate those teachers who truly make a difference in the lives of their students in spite of the many challenges their schools are facing," said Kevin Renzi, chairperson of the organization's marketing committee. "We've been amazed by the stories we've received in prior years, so we look forward to selecting even more gifted teachers for the recognition they deserve."

Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels has awarded 60 vacation trips to deserving teachers and their students since starting the annual essay contest in 2009. Prior winners have been recognized for home schooling students struggling with challenging illnesses, persevering in their teaching careers despite life-threatening medical conditions, supporting the work of non-profit organizations, helping their students excel academically, inspiring learning in the classroom, and other professional and personal feats.

This year's A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney contest winners will be notified directly by May 1, 2012 and also announced on the hotels' website and Facebook page at : http://www.facebook.com/DtnDisneyHotels

Finding Fixtures in the Ink & Paint Shop at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

From the Disney Parks Blog

When Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens this coming May, guests will find a colorful new merchandise location called the Ink & Paint Shop. For the past several months, Lyndsey Vincent, a recent intern on the Walt Disney World Professional Internship Program, has been diligently working on one important thing for the new shop. She has the unique job of designing the merchandise fixtures,\ and we recently spoke about her experience.

"I've grown up with Disney and visited Disneyland Resort every summer with my family," said Lyndsey. "I graduated with an Interior Design degree last spring and moved from Idaho to work for Walt Disney World Resort. I didn't know what to expect when I got here but the experience has been fun!"

Ink and Paint Art of Animation Resort

Now a full-time member of the Global Retail Development team at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, Lyndsey worked closely with several departments "to put together the puzzle" that is a new location.

"Location planning was a key department that helped with the design process," explained Lyndsey. "They provided me the number of 'faceouts' or areas that will carry merchandise. My job then was to design fixtures that would achieve their number while balancing other factors like traffic flow and shop design."

Ink and Paint Art of Animation Resort

Walt Disney Imagineering designed the wall spaces for the location which resemble oversized paint jars. Lyndsey explained that the fixtures will be clean and simple in form and will be neutral in color to complement the colorful palate that Imagineering used.

"We had several different versions of fixtures during the development process," continued Lyndsey. "Ultimately, we chose clean, simple designs that remind me of an animator's workspace. For this project, I wanted materials that had recycled content, had Greenguard certification for indoor air quality, and were manufactured in the US. The fixtures I am most excited about are the nested tables, which are made from a recycled concrete material."

Lyndsey said she learned the importance of details from her Imagineering partners.

"Throughout this process, Imagineering taught me the importance of paying attention to the details," remarked Lyndsey. "Guests don't visit Disney and remark, 'Wow - look at those amazing fixtures!' Yet, they are an important part of any shop. When designed well, they create a great immersive shopping experience that is all Disney."

You can see these fixtures and the location come to life when the resort begins opening in phases on May 31

Disney Fantasy Delivery Ceremony Holds Special Meaning

from the Disney Parks Blog

Delivery is the final milestone in the ship's construction journey and is particularly meaningful to everyone who has worked to bring the ship to life - no matter how long we have been on the project - and to the crew members who now call the Disney Fantasy their home.

Disney Fantasy crew members from all over the world, some who are new to Disney Cruise Line and some who have sailed with our other ships, joined the delivery celebration.

Fantasy Delivery Ceremony

Their enthusiasm could only be matched by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, who celebrated the occasion with (from left to right) Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, Captain Wolfgang Thos, also from Meyer Werft, Captain Tom Forberg, and Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line.


After 18 months of construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, Disney took possession of its newest ship as we watched the Meyer Werft flag lower to the German national anthem and the Disney Cruise Line flag rise, transferring ownership from the shipbuilder to Disney.

Lowering the Meyer Werft Flag and Watching the Disney Cruise Line Flag Rise, Transferring Ownership from the Shipbuilder to Disney


Captain Tom will take the helm of the Disney Fantasy for its voyage home, which begins February 16 and culminates in a March 6 arrival in Port Canaveral, Florida. As part of the Disney Cruise Line ship construction team, Captain Tom was responsible for launching Disney's first three ships, the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder and the Disney Dream.

Soon the Disney Fantasy will be ready to welcome guests on her maiden voyage on March 31.

February 10, 2012

VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS Pella® Partners with Green Builder® Media to Showcase Products

New exhibit helps families experience green, state-of-the-art home

PELLA, Iowa, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- It sounds like a futuristic movie scene: a woman at work uses her smart phone to remotely unlock her front door for a repairman. As the sunny winter day turns into evening, her time-activated home automation system lowers the blinds in the family room to help prevent heat loss.

Innovative home technology like this -- including a new product from Pella Corporation -- will soon be a reality in the new green home exhibit at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® -- an experiential exhibit created by Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with Green Builder® Media, highlights the major themes of whole-home automation, energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, security, multi-generational design and durability. The home will utilize Pella Designer Series® windows in its design.

"As an industry leader dedicated to innovation, Pella is pleased to participate in this project that helps visitors learn how to make sustainable, energy-efficient choices in their own homes," said Polly Tousey, Pella strategic programs manager.

Throughout the exhibit, opening in early spring in honor of Earth Day 2012, children and adults are encouraged to consider how they can reduce their personal impact on the planet, as well as changes they can implement in their own homes to help make them more sustainable, healthier, safer and more durable.

Why Pella Designer Series windows? From their energy-efficient design to the stylish and innovative technology options, Pella Designer Series windows and patio doors are a smart choice for any home. Benefits include:

Home automation - Designer Series windows with the new Pella SmartSync(TM) technology can control optional snap-in shades or blinds with a smart home automation system, like Nexia(TM) Home Intelligence. Pella SmartSync technology -- available for the emerging smart home market later in 2012 -- is designed to quickly and conveniently adjust blinds or shades in Pella windows to control light, privacy and help save energy in a home or business.

Energy efficient - With their solid wood construction and superior insulating qualities, Pella Designer Series windows with triple-pane glass are up to 74 percent more energy efficient(1) and can help save nearly one-third on heating and cooling costs(2).

Improved indoor air quality - Optional between-the-glass blinds or shades help prevent and reduce certain indoor airborne allergens from accumulating on the surface area of blinds or shades. Windows with ordinary roomside blinds accumulate 200 times more of certain airborne allergens than Designer Series products with between-the-glass blinds.(3)

Safer design - Between-the-glass blinds and shades are a great choice for multi-generational homes because the blinds and shades are protected from dust and damage, requiring less maintenance and cleaning. They're also safer for homes with children and pets because there are no potentially hazardous roomside cords.

Good for the environment - The water-based Pella factory finish for Designer Series windows and patio doors means fewer chemicals are used in the process, contrasted with solvent-based finishes that may be applied on the job site.


Inspired by Green Builder Media's VISION House demonstration home series, the INNOVENTIONS exhibit teaches visitors that each house is a set of interactive systems and that proper management of those systems can maximize comfort and minimize operational costs.

Incorporated into the exhibit will be Pella SmartSync technology -- an integrated system that allows shades or blinds to be controlled simply by a remote control or by a home or building automation system through Web-enabled devices like computers and most smart phones. In the VISION House, Pella SmartSync technology is powered through the Nexia(TM) Home Intelligence home automation system supported by brands like Schlage® and Trane® from Ingersoll Rand.

It's a green worldPella earned the ENERGY STAR® partner of the Year 2011 award and ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award 2011 -- recognizing the commitment Pella has shown in successfully managing energy use and promoting ENERGY STAR products.

"Pella started recycling in 1925, the year our company was founded," Tousey said. "Today our roots still run deep in recycling, sustainability and innovative ideas. SmartSync is our newest product designed with a purpose to help add convenience and peace of mind to today's time-pressed and energy-conscious consumers."

In addition to Pella Designer Series wood windows with SmartSync technology, the home will include these advanced products and technologies:

Electronic vehicle charging station by SIEMENS

Chevy Volt electric vehicle by GM

High efficiency heating and cooling systems and controls by Trane, door hardware by Schlage and an innovative whole-home automation system supported by both Ingersoll Rand brands

Durable and environmentally friendly exterior systems, including smog-eating tile roofs, cultured stone, bricks, permeable pavers and trim by Boral

Ventilation solutions by Panasonic

Water-conserving fixtures, faucets, showerheads and home standby generators by KOHLER

About PellaPella Corporation is a leader in designing, testing, manufacturing and installing quality windows and doors for new construction, remodeling and replacement applications.

As a family-owned and professionally managed privately-held company, Pella is known for its 87-year history of making innovative products, providing quality service and delivering on customer satisfaction. Headquartered in Pella, Iowa, the company is committed to incorporating new technologies, increasing productivity and practicing environmental stewardship to create satisfied customers.

Pella manufactures quality windows, patio doors and entry door systems sold through a Direct Sales Network operating Pella Window & Door Showrooms across the United States and Canada and select building materials retailers. For more information, call 888-847-3552 or visit pella.com. Follow Pella on Twitter.com @Pella_News, on Facebook at facebook.com/pellawindowsanddoors and on YouTube at youtube.com/pellawindowsanddoors.

About VISION House in InnoventionsOpening this spring, the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® is a groundbreaking green show home exhibit presented by Green Builder Media® in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering. This experiential exhibit in the heart of Epcot® highlights the very best in green residential design and sustainable living. Visitors will leave with a greater understanding of green design, technology, and products as well as a host of sustainable living ideas that they can incorporate in their lives the minute they get home from vacation.

In addition to Pella, other sponsors for this exciting project include Siemens, GM, Ingersoll Rand, Armstrong, Boral, Hanwha, Kohler and Panasonic.

About INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®INNOVENTIONS is located in the heart of Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Creativity and imagination abound as guests celebrate inspiration and innovations that improve their lives and expand their horizons. Hands-on, interactive exhibits allow children and adults to be immersed into ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. For more information about INNOVENTIONS, visit www.innoventions.disney.com .

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Kilimanjaro Safari Changes at Disney's Animal Kingdom


Beginning this spring, Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park will undergo some wild changes, aimed at giving guests the opportunity to see more of their favorite animals, specifically zebras, during the 20-minute open-air ride.

Though zebras have long been part of Kilimanjaro Safaris, they are often overlooked because of their location on the savanna. By creating a new habitat for the zebras, Guests will have more of an opportunity to see them.

The audio-animatronics "Little Red" elephant and related "poacher" set pieces will be removed as the theme park adds a new savanna space, including a watering hole for live animals. Work will begin in March and construction is scheduled to be complete in fall 2012. Kilimanjaro Safaris will remain open during the construction.

February 12, 2012

Michelle Obama Celebrates Let’s Move! and Disney Magic of Healthy Living at Walt Disney World Resort

On a tour to celebrate the second anniversary of her Let's Move! initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to hundreds of children and parents at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex about the importance of healthy living. She also recognized the efforts of Disney Magic of Healthy Living, which partners with parents in their quest to raise healthy, happy kids.

Michelle Obama at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

"I want to thank Disney for all that they've done to support "Let's Move" and to make sure our kids are eating right and being active," Obama told the audience before joining Disney Channel and Disney XD stars for the new dance, "The Platypus Walk," inspired by the hugely popular "Phineas and Ferb" character Perry the Platypus.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson welcomed the crowd of nearly 1,500 children and families, demonstrating his own commitment to physical fitness by completing 50 push-ups on stage.

Michelle Obama at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

After addressing the audience, Obama welcomed the children to visit five Disney Magic of Healthy Living activity stations along with Disney Channel Stars Debby Ryan ("Jessie"), Roshon Fegan ("Shake It Up"), and Disney XD stars Doc Shaw and Kelsey Chow ("Pair of Kings") and Olivia Holt ("Kickin' It"). There, professional athletes helped children hone their physical fitness skills. Children ran sprints with renowned football coach Tom Shaw, completed drills with members of the Orlando City Soccer team and practiced their tennis serve with tennis professional James Blake.

Michelle Obama at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Brandon Delfosse, a 13-year-old student at Orlando Science School and member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, attended the event and was pleased Obama and Disney supported healthy living. "It's very cool knowing someone cares about you. It's smart. Disney is popular, and it helps get the word out."

Disney Magic of Healthy Living provides children and families with engaging content, useful tools and unique experiences to help make healthier lifestyles simple and fun. The 2010 launch of Disney Magic of Healthy Living included a series of public service announcements featuring the first lady that inspire children to take control of their own health, fitness and nutrition, and encourage their families and friends to do the same.

For more information about the program, as well as recipes, tips and videos, visit Disney.com/TryIt and Family.com/TryIt.

Obama's Let's Move! initiative has made significant progress since launching in February 2010. Parents, businesses, educators, elected officials, members of the military, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders and children themselves have made substantial commitments to improve the health of children. Through working together with Let's Move!, these groups have provided children with healthier food and greater opportunities for physical activity in schools and communities, helped get families the information they need to make healthier decisions, supported a healthy start in early childhood, and have worked to ensure more people have access to healthy, affordable food.

For details about the Let's Move! initiative, visit LetsMove.gov.

February 14, 2012

American Federation of Musicians, Local 389, Ratifies New Labor Agreement with Walt Disney World Resort


New 6-year agreement covers more than 400 musicians performing across Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb. 13, 2012 - Members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), Local 389, have voted to approve a new labor agreement with Walt Disney World Resort that extends through June 2018.

Walt Disney World Resort's new agreement with the AMF, Local 389 includes:

-- Guaranteed pay raises for cast members each of the next six years;
-- Bonus pay of up to $750.

"The positive working relationship between Walt Disney World and Local 389 is the centerpiece of our success," said Mike Avila, president of AFM, Local 389. "We're pleased we could come together on an agreement that meets the needs of both Disney and our musicians."

"Throughout every step of the negotiation process the team at AFM, Local 389 worked hard with us to find common ground," said Steve Eisenhardt, vice president of labor relations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "Our new agreement recognizes the unique contributions the musicians make at Walt Disney World Resort and helps set up our musicians and our company for success in the coming years."

For more than 40 years, Walt Disney World Resort has maintained a positive working relationship with unions and regards their members as a key part of the company's business success. Across the resort, 18 unions currently represent approximately 36,000 Cast Members.

February 16, 2012

Making Mountains for Cars Land at Disney California Adventure

Kathy Mangum, Executive Producer & Vice President, Walt Disney Imagineering provides this great update!

When it came to building Ornament Valley - the mountain range that serves as the backdrop to Radiator Springs in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park - we just didn't have that kind of time! So, we did what comes naturally to us at Disney and we hired the best rockwork artisans in the business.

Led by Zsolt Hormay, our rockwork art director, this incredible team of artisans from around the world have spent approximately two years growing, sculpting and painting our mountain. It's been fascinating to watch it grow.

We're getting ready to say goodbye to this talented team of folks as the mountain nears completion. Click on this video and take a look at Zsolt explaining the process and what it takes to speed up Mother Nature. I think you'll agree that our finished product is spectacular!

From the Disney Parks Blog

February 18, 2012

Come Fly with ‘Minnie’s Fly Girls Charter Airline’ at Disney California Adventure Park

"Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline" opened February 17th at Disney California Adventure park. This tune-filled "travelogue" of song, dance and audience interaction takes place in Condor Flats, across from Soarin' Over California, featuring songs from the '40s, '50s and '60s in a colorful new show sure to appeal to the young and young at heart.


Creating something to delight multiple generations was a central focus during production and a personal passion of the creative team. Senior Writer Carolyn Gardner said, "I've been surrounded by pilots ever since I can remember. My dad was a private pilot [and] flight instructor, my mom flew her own 'solo' flight, my big brother worked at our local airfield and my cousin's an air traffic controller. I hope audiences feel their own hearts take wing when the show's flight crew launches into the fun-filled, flight-themed songs."


"Come Fly with Me," originally performed by Frank Sinatra, introduces the crew - Amanda, Pat, Kate and Lee - to all their potential "passengers" (the audience). Minnie makes her grand entrance during "Straighten up and Fly Right," a hit song by Nat King Cole. The performance also includes two medleys, incorporating a number of other musical favorites. "Destination Medley" is a fun, 'round-the-world collection of standards such as "Brazil," "I Love Paris" and "Lady of Spain." The Disney "Flying Medley" is an uplifting blend of Disney tunes, including "Let's Go Fly a Kite" and "When I See an Elephant Fly."

Art Director Brian Sandahl's challenge was to design a stage that doesn't look like a stage. "When the show is not being performed, the stage fits nicely into the aged look of Condor Flats, and you'd almost not even notice it," says Brian. "The décor for the stage looks very industrial, very much like found objects you would see in Condor Flats; however, when the show begins, a common flight sign becomes the 'show sign,' a steel drum magically becomes a check in counter and an old trunk becomes a prop trunk for the many props in this show."

The music, costumes and props send this latest addition to Disney California Adventure park soaring to new heights. You'll definitely want to "book a flight" with "Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline" on your next visit!

From the Disney Parks Blog

‘Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom’ Game Debuts February 22nd

Villains Beware! New 'Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom' Game Coming Soon to Walt Disney World Resort

When the new "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom" game debuts at Magic Kingdom on February 22, it will be up to guests to discover and defeat the Disney villains who are wreaking havoc behind the scenes at the Walt Disney World Resort theme park.

In this role-playing game, guests become apprentice sorcerers and embark on a challenge to stop these animated villains from stealing one of the four shattered pieces of Merlin's powerful crystal ball. Armed with spells in the form of special cards, guests follow magic symbols that lead them to different villain hideouts in Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Main Street, U.S.A. Once there, apprentices use magic keys to access the villain's lair, and "spell" cards to halt the evildoers in their tracks.


Seventy different spell cards are part of this trading card game, and guests will receive five complimentary cards every day they play. Each of the cards features a different Disney character that offers a spell unique to his or her personality. Individually created by Disney artists and trading card game experts, these beautiful cards will become a new Disney collectible and trading opportunity.

According to Jonathan Ackley, Project Producer & Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, one of the most exciting aspects of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is how guests become active players in the game, interacting with Disney characters at an entirely new level.

"Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom gives our guests a whole new way to become the hero of the Disney story, taking Disney innovation to a new level," he said. "It's a great game of discovery and excitement that plays off our wonderful theme park and incredible family of Disney animated characters."

Imagineers spent more than four years creating and perfecting this unique experience, which can be played in 15- to 20-minute segments throughout guests' visits to the Magic kingdom, or continuously for up to three to four hours. More than 95 minutes of original animation was created for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom - the equivalent of a full-length animated film.

While trading card games are popular with about 60 million people in the U.S., this is the first time players can experience the challenge at a Disney theme park. Guests of all ages will love the storytelling, the engagement with Disney characters and the discovery of hidden details at the Magic Kingdom.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is included in the price of theme park admission.

February 21, 2012

A Marquee Milestone at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

Last week, Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) put the finishing touches on the new resort's marquee. Measuring in at 46 feet, six inches, the resort's sign now holds the record as the largest freestanding marquee at Walt Disney World Resort. (Incidentally, it's 18 inches taller than the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign in Los Angeles, Calif.).

Art of Animation Resort Marquee

The photo, supplied by WDI, shows three layers of development the marquee went through in its creation - from digital design, to model, to full-scale installation.

From the Disney Parks Blog

Kelly Clarkson Visits Walt Disney World

On Feb. 5, the Grammy Award-winning singer performed "The Star Spangled Banner" at the NFL championship game in Indianapolis. Just a few days later, her newest single - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" - soared to the coveted number one spot on the "Billboard Hot 100" songs chart. Then, on Feb. 12 she joined country music artist Jason Aldean to perform their hit song, "Don't You Wanna Stay," during the 54th annual GRAMMY Awards telecast.

What did she do next? She went to Disney World!

Kelly Clarkson, Belle and Beast at the Magic Kingdom

Kelly joined family and friends in our theme parks yesterday, pausing for a moment to pose in the famed Magic Kingdom "Rose Garden" with a couple that knows a thing or two about roses - Belle and Beast. And from the looks of this snapshot, it seems that Belle, Beast and Kelly all enjoyed "A Moment Like This."

February 22, 2012

Disney Performing Arts Launches Search for Alumni

Participants invited to showcase their unique Disney Performing Arts experiences and achievements

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (February 21, 2012) - What do television star Jennifer Morrison,School of Rock's Caitlin Hale and renowned musicians Jessy J, Mike Scheuchzer of MercyMe, and Jerry DePizzo of O.A.R. have in common? They are all distinguished alumni of Disney Performing Arts (formerly Magic Music Days).

Now the search is on for other Disney Performing Arts alumni who have achieved success in the performing arts or related careers. The new alumni search celebrates former participants of Disney Performing Arts workshops, clinics, performances and competitions. Disney wants to hear from some of the millions of students who since 1955 have marched, danced, performed or sung in Disney parks as part of music and dance ensembles. Inductees can profile their success and shine a spotlight on their school bands, dance teams, and choral and theater groups.


Today's students will find inspiration in the stories of past Disney Performing Arts participants and learn firsthand about the value of performing arts education. These stories reflect the diverse opportunities available through performing arts, from performance-based careers such as theatre and dance, to leadership careers including talent management, marketing and promotions. The discipline and energy derived from a performing arts background can also serve as a foundation for other successful careers beyond entertainment.

One Disney Performing Arts alumnus is Tim Hill, Director of Special Programs for Disney Destinations. As part of his role, Tim oversees the Disney Performing Arts Program at Disney theme parks around the world.

"My original Disney Performing Arts experience played an important role in my career," said Hill. "In 1979, I performed with my high school band at the Walt Disney World Resort. That trip solidified my passion for music and education, though I never dreamed that I would one day lead the team responsible for the Disney Performing Arts program. I'm looking forward to hearing more stories from other alumni."

Since 1955, Disney Performing Arts has built a family of the world's most elite singers, dancers and musicians. These performers have a common bond by performing for international audiences at Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Today, millions of student performers representing all 50 U.S. states and six continents have become a part of the Disney Performing Arts family, and many have continued to have a career in music, on stage or on screen.

For more information about the Disney Performing Arts Alumni and other Disney Youth Programs, visit www.disneyyouth.com

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant ‘Gets Its Green On’


Non-Stop St. Patrick's Day Festivities March 15-17

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Whether you're Irish or wish you were, there's one sure place in Central Florida where you'll find St. Patrick's Day festivities as authentic as the Emerald Isle's lush green countryside. Genuine Irish music, dance and cuisine headline a lively weekend of St. Patrick's Day events beginning March 15 at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.

The fun begins when Raglan Road's celebrity chef Kevin Dundon presides over a four-course kickoff Luncheon and Culinary Demonstration March 15 at 1 p.m. in the restaurant's Grand Dining Room. Dundon will demonstrate how to create each course, including a Loin of Traditional Irish Bacon with Irish Mist Glaze. Guests ready to "get their green on" can check out events that continue throughout late Saturday:

-- March 15 and 16, beginning at 6 p.m. Irish bands Murphy's Law, known for modern Irish music, and The Irish Rogues, popular for ballads and other Irish folk tunes, perform on the restaurant's patio. At 6 p.m., house band Creel performs on the Raglan Road Main Stage - expect a few surprise guest appearances. Guests can order from the restaurant's lunch menu (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) and dinner menu (3-11 p.m.), which include favorites like fish 'n chips and Shepherd's pie.

-- March 17, St. Patrick's Day, doors open at 11 a.m. House band Creel performs on the main stage at noon and at various times throughout the day. Entertainment on the patio steps off at 1 p.m. with Irish dancing from The Raglan Road Dancers and performers from the Watters School of Irish Dancing, established in Central Florida more than a decade ago to train young dancers for championship performances. U2 tribute band Elevation will bring down the house with renditions of U2's greatest hits. Guests can order from Raglan Road's dinner menu throughout the day, which includes the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick's Day -- loin of bacon and cabbage.

Pubs in Ireland have long been considered a place for families to gather. Following that tradition, Raglan Road is a place to meet friends and family and experience the Irish culture on St Patrick's Day and every day. Guests are encouraged to proudly wear a sprig of Shamrock as is the tradition in Ireland and participate in "the wearin' of the green."

Festivities at Raglan Road and in surrounding Pleasure Island areas will include face painting, stilt walkers, competitions, giveaways and plenty of St. Patrick's Day memorabilia. Throughout the event, the restaurant's Cooke's of Dublin will offer counter service favorites like fish and chips, battered sausages and deep-fried candy bars.

To book a table at the Signature Lunch ($45 per person, plus tax and gratuity), call 407/938-0300 or 407/WDW-DINE, or visit www.raglanroad.com. On St. Patrick's Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis and a $10 cover charge (March 17 only) applies for guests 12 and older. Reservations can be booked on March 15 and 16.

Owned and operated by Irish partners and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon - famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland - Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant's warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Live entertainment nightly includes Irish house band Creel (Monday through Saturday) and Irish band Tuskar Rock (Sundays) plus Irish dance performances. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located on Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

February 23, 2012

Leap Day Sale at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin



Guests can celebrate the uncommon calendar date with an uncommon deal, offering a savings of more than 50 percent on a two-night stay in a deluxe alcove room

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - February 23, 2012 - To celebrate the 2012 leap year, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel will offer an exclusive one-day "Leap Into Summer" sale on Feb. 29. In honor of the 366 days of the leap year, guests can get a leap on their summer vacation planning and book a two-night stay in a deluxe alcove room for $366 for dates Aug.1 - Sept. 30. The price represents a savings of more than 50 percent off the standard rates.

Tucked away in the corners of the hotel, each deluxe alcove provides a scenic view of the majestic property. These rooms
are larger than a standard guest room and feature a distinct alcove for dining and/or working. The rooms also feature a number of amenities, including a sleeper sofa, desk and chair, 32" flat panel television and much more.

Reservations can be made online starting at 12:01am on Feb. 29 at www.swandolphin.com/offers or by calling 1-800-227-1500 between 8:00am - and 7:00pm EST and mention "Leap Year." Based on rate schedule availability. Offer is valid for stays Aug. 1 - Sept. 30. Taxes, resort services fee and gratuities not included. Not valid with any other special offers, promotions, or for existing reservations or groups.

February 25, 2012

Disney Mobile Magic App Now on iPhone

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Mobile Magic, the first official Disney Parks app, is now ready for iPhone users to download for free from iTunes HERE.

Also, if you're a Verizon Wireless customer, you now have access to new premium features, including videos and games within the app.

Verizon Premium Features

-- More than 100 behind-the-scenes, seasonal, sneak peak videos.
-- 'Pirates' games that test your knowledge of the famous attraction.
-- Guess the character before the timer expires with Disney Character Puzzle.
-- Find out which character is most like you with the Disney Character Quiz.

If you haven't tried the app out yet, it offers accurate wait times as well as official Disney FASTPASS return times and availability for the park you're in. The same system that powers wait times and Disney FASTPASS in the park, powers this app. With the new iPhone version, the wait times are also integrated into the Park maps, making it easier for you to decide where to go next.

Also, there are GPS-enabled park maps to get you to your favorite characters, mobile games and more to explore, including the ability to make dining reservations.

Not an iPhone user? Disney Mobile Magic is also available on a wide variety of feature phones as well as Android phones. Read more about the app HERE.

February 28, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Makes Inaugural Visit to New York

Disney Fantasy in New York City

In a photo taken Feb. 28, 2012, the Disney Fantasy, newest ship of Disney Cruise Line, sails past the Statue of Liberty Tuesday after traveling nearly 3,800 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Bremerhaven, Germany.

Disney Fantasy in New York City

The 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy will be christened in New York on March 1, then sail to her home port of Port Canaveral, Fla. With a maiden voyage on March 31, the Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night cruises to the Caribbean and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Disney Fantasy in New York City

Behind the Scenes of Matterhorn Bobsleds Refurbishment

The Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland park closed January 9, 2012 to be refitted with new vehicles. The new vehicles will have three seats in each bobsled, with two bobsleds linked together holding a total of six guests. The attraction is due to reopen June 14, 2012.

The Disney Parks Blog has released a behind-the-scenes video showing how the rehab is progressing.

One More Disney Day

With fans spending 24 hours in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World has announced their entertainment, attraction and restaurant schedules.

A variety of special park merchandise will be available for purchase. Embroidered Mickey Ears will be offered for sale at The Chapeau, Curtain Call Collectibles, and Sir Mickey's at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. The nice part is that these apparel items will also be sold via the Disney Parks Online Store from February 29 through March 1.

The Leap Day logo will also be found on an artisan watch that will be offered at Uptown Jewelers at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. There will also be cupcakes, caramel apples and cake pops with the Leap Day logo being offered at both parks.


In addition to regularly scheduled park entertainment, Magic Kingdom Park guests on One More Disney Day will be treated to:

• Two performances of the Main Street Electrical Parade, at 10 p.m. and midnight

• Four showings of "The Magic, The Memories and You!" at 7:45 p.m., 9 p.m., 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. (March 1)

• The Frontierland Hoedown near Country Bear Jamboree, at 2:45 a.m., 3:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

• Disney's Dance the Night Away Party at Cinderella Castle, from 1 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.

• Character greetings throughout the night, including:
• Phineas and Ferb in Tomorrowland
• Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Fantasyland
• Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Town Square, wearing their pajamas for the party in Florida before heading out west to visit guests at Disneyland park

Please remember that all show times and Disney character appearances are subject to change. Be sure to check the park Times Guide on that day for show times and character availability.

These Magic Kingdom restaurants will be open during One More Disney Day on February 29th:

Casey's Corner (11 am Wed. until 6 am Thursday);
Columbia Harbour House (11 am to 10pm);
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café (10 am Wed. to 6 am Thursday);
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (10:30 am Wed. through 2 am Thursday);
Pinocchio Village Haus (10:30 am to 10 pm);
Tortuga Tavern (11 am to 3 pm);
Plaza Restaurant (open til 3:00 a.m. on Thursday).

Breakfast will be available from 3am to 6am at The Lunching Pad, Main Street Bakery, Sleepy Hollow, Westward Ho Refreshments, and Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe.

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About February 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in February 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2012 is the previous archive.

March 2012 is the next archive.

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