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March 1, 2012

D23’S DISNEY FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

A KALEIDOSCOPE OF MAGICAL MEMORIES TRAVELS TO SIX CITIES AROUND THE U.S. THIS SPRING IN D23'S DISNEY FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
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Never-Before-Seen and Rarely Shown Film Clips, Photos and Art Combine with Cherished Disney Creations in First-Ever FANNIVERSARY Show

BURBANK, Calif. - March 1, 2012 - From EPCOT Center to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, from Pirates of the Caribbean to Pete's Dragon, more than 40 unforgettable Disney creations come together as never before when D23: The Official Disney Fan Club brings D23's DISNEY FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION to six cities across the U.S. in April, May and June.

FANNIVERSARY is a fun-filled showcase of magical milestones celebrating Disney anniversaries in 2012. Produced and hosted by D23 and the Walt Disney Archives, the nearly two-hour show is an engaging blend of video, archival footage and never-before-seen artwork for Disney fans of all ages.

The kick-off of the FANNIVERSARY celebration will be at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, on April 27, then travel to San Francisco, Boston, New York City, Orlando and Chicago.

All FANNIVERSARY events are open to the public. Tickets are $18 for members of D23 and will be available Friday, March 16, at D23's website - Disney.com/D23. Remaining tickets will be available to the general public for $25 beginning Friday, March 30.
The touring schedule is as follows:

• April 27 - The Walt Disney Studios, Burbank
• April 28 - Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco
• May 20 - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
• May 22 - Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City
• June 23 - Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort
• June 24 - Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

"Fanniversary is a incredible opportunity to celebrate more than 40 beloved Disney anniversaries with our fans across the country. From the fairest of them all-Snow White-to Star Tours, which continues to take guests to a galaxy far, far away," said Steven Clark, head of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.

D23'S DISNEY FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION explores unforgettable movies, cartoons, theme-park attractions and other Disney creations that celebrate anniversaries in 2012, including:

• Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's first-ever, full-length animated film which premiered in 1937

• The 1997 launch of Star Tours

• EPCOT Center's grand opening on October 1, 1982

• The opening of Pirates of the Caribbean in 1967

• Memorable Mickey Mouse cartoons released in 1937, including "Clock Cleaners," "Hawaiian Holiday," "Lonesome Ghosts" and "Magician Mickey"

• The 1927 debut of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who Walt Disney created before Mickey Mouse

• Goofy's first-ever on-screen appearance, in 1932's "Mickey's Revue"

• The seminal science-fiction film TRON, released in 1982

• Unforgettable movies like Aladdin (1992), Pete's Dragon (1977), The Jungle Book (1967) and Bambi (1942)

• The 1972 premiere of the Main Street Electrical Parade and 1992 debut of Disneyland's Fantasmic!

More details about the full program for the D23 FANNIVERSARY celebrations can be found online at www.disney.com/D23.

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the remarkable past, present and future of Disney, taking its name from 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his world-famous company. D23 brings its members a host of exclusive benefits, including a bi-weekly email newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; free gifts throughout the year; as well as exclusive events created especially for its members.

Disney fans can join the world's only Official Disney Fan Club by visiting www.Disney.com/D23, or at select shops at the Disneyland® Resort, the Walt Disney World® Resort and www.DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow "DisneyD23" on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

Last Minute Preparations for Disney Fantasy Christening March 1, 2012

Later today, the Disney Fantasy becomes a cruise ship reality with a star-studded christening ceremony in New York City. But before that magic moment, thousands of crew members, chefs, dancers, deckhands and technicians are working to make everything perfect for the Fantasy's debut. Oh, and let's not forget Minnie Mouse, since it's her statue that guests see when they first walk into the Fantasy's art nouveau atrium. Here's a video look at the last minute preparations.

Live Twitter coverage of the ceremony begins at 7:45 p.m. EST on the @DisneyCruise account.


March 2, 2012

Weaving Costumes into the Storytelling Fabric of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Some of the first areas of our New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom Park will be opening by late March, featuring a re-imagined version of The Barnstormer and a relocated Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction. When they debut, cast members working in these areas will be wearing new costumes inspired by the "Big Top" setting of Storybook Circus.

The Creative Entertainment Costuming team worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to develop these designs to bring the environment of Storybook Circus to life. The bold colors evoke the spirit of the ringmaster or sideshow barker, while the tails and detailing provide a period look of the 1930s.

In this video, you'll see how the partnership between Walt Disney Imagineering and Creative Entertainment has produced an entire collection of unique costumes to be worn by cast members in each area of New Fantasyland, creating a rich sense of place and community.

From the Disney Parks Blog

Mariah Carey Christens Disney Cruise Ship During Star-Studded New York City Ceremony

NEW YORK (March 1, 2012) - The Disney Fantasy, the fourth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, was christened today during a star-studded christening celebration at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.

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On a night filled with celebrity performances from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Neil Patrick Harris, Nick Cannon and Heather Headley, it was Disney Fantasy godmother, Mariah Carey, who took center stage for the christening moment. Similar to the famed New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, Carey led the audience in a countdown that triggered a 6-foot tall bottle of champagne in the Atrium Lobby to erupt and shower onlookers with confetti and streamers as a traditional bottle of champagne broke against the ship's hull.

"The Disney Fantasy is a spectacular addition to our fleet and builds on the creativity, innovation and artistry that are hallmarks of the Disney Cruise Line," said Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger. "Like her sister ship, the Dream, the Fantasy will connect guests to iconic Disney characters and storytelling, creating unforgettable, one-of-a-kind vacation experiences for the entire family."

"At Disney Parks and Resorts, we strive to be the most trusted and highest quality provider of shared travel and leisure experiences in the world," said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs. "From stem to stern, the Disney Fantasy was designed and built with the singular purpose of surprising and delighting our guests, helping them make memories to last a lifetime."

When the Disney Fantasy begins sailing on March 31, 2012, it will continue the innovative approach Disney Cruise line brought to family cruise vacations with a collection of new guest experiences specifically developed for the ship's seven-night itinerary.

Highlights include:

Technological Wizardry. . .

Animator's Palate on the Disney Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room with a new show called "Animation Magic." At dinner, families are encouraged to draw a character of their own on a specially designed placemat. Once the placemats are collected, the magic begins as Mickey takes to the screens and brings the guests' characters to life as they march across screens around the dining room and even step into scenes from beloved Disney movies side-by-side with characters such as Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, Cinderella and Snow White.
The Muppets are coming to the Disney Fantasy! Guests can join the world-famous Muppets for interactive adventure quest to find missing show props by uncovering clues via more than a dozen pieces of Enchanted Art around the ship. Guided by a map and holding a unique game card in front of select pieces of Enchanted Art, guests unveil games and clues to find the missing items. "The Case of the Stolen Show" is a self-paced adventure game that features several possible endings and multiple randomized events - so each time a guest plays, they have a different game experience.

Splashtacular Family Fun. . .

Soaring above the upper decks of the Disney Fantasy, guests will find the AquaDuck a 765-foot long, twisting-and-turning water coaster that has been a huge hit with guests sailing on the Disney Dream. Several new water surprises are set to debut on the Disney Fantasy including AquaLab - a water play area on the upper deck filled with a variety of water "experiments," created by Donald Duck's nephews, designed to drench, soak and saturate guests. This fanciful 1,800-square-foot space features pop jets, geysers, bubblers, falling water, squirting walls and more.
On Deck 13 forward, guests 18-years of age and older will find a new relaxing respite. Satellite Falls is a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that provides cool comfort and is surrounded by ample deck space where adult guests can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade under a canopy.

World-Class Entertainment. . .

The launch of a new Disney ship includes the premiere of two new Broadway-style stage spectaculars in the lavish Walt Disney Theatre. The signature show "Wishes" is a 45-minute musical journey about three best friends who discover the secret to being a grown-up is staying connected to their inner child. "Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular" is a fast-paced musical comedy where Aladdin, the "street rat" of Agrabah, meets a Genie who grants him three wishes, battles the evil Jafar and falls in love with Princess Jasmine.

Club Hopping Across Europe. . .

Nightlife takes a European twist with Europa - an entertainment district of high-energy, sophisticated clubs and lounges inspired by the night spots of Italy, France, Ireland and London. Europa is a continent of adult nighttime fun without borders. La Piazza is a lounge that draws inspiration from stylish Italian plazas. Skyline is a chic bar that provides ever-changing birds-eye views of European cityscapes. O'Gills Pub is a rollicking Irish bar and Ooh La La is an elegant French champagne bar. The Tube transports guests to a vibrant metropolitan club reminiscent of swinging London.

The Disney Fantasy will sail from Port Canaveral, Fla. on seven-night Caribbean itineraries that alternate eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). All itineraries will include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Take a Look at the Suites Coming to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Animators may be the masterminds behind the theming of Disney's Art of Animation Resort, but Imagineers who designed the resort are making their own "suite" magic. There's enough space in the resort's family suites for the entire family to chill out, spread out, and feel like they are part of the story. Get this - the table even folds down to reveal a comfy bed that sleeps two!

From the Disney Parks Blog

March 6, 2012

Disney Fantasy Arrives at Port Canaveral after Castaway Cay Visit

Port Canaveral March 6, 2012


Disney Fantasy Arrives Port Canaveral

Disney Fantasy Arrives Port Canaveral


Disney Fantasy Arrives Port Canaveral


Disney Fantasy Arrives Port Canaveral

Disney Fantasy Arrives Port Canaveral


Disney Fantasy Arrives Port Canaveral


Disney Fantasy Arrives Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral photos thanks to http://portcanaveralwebcam.com/

Castaway Cay March 5, 2012

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Jose Feliciano to Perform at Epcot's Flower Power Concert Series

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Jose Feliciano will perform March 9-11 at the 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival "Flower Power" concert series.

Concerts are performed at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase. Show Times: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Concerts are included with Epcot admission.

Disney Fantasy Arrival at Port Canaveral

Here are the official photos and video of the Disney Fantasy's arrival today at Port Canaveral!

Disney Fantasy Arrives at Port Canaveral

Disney Fantasy Arrives at Port Canaveral

Disney Fantasy Arrives at Port Canaveral

Disney Fantasy Arrives at Port Canaveral

Disney Fantasy Arrives at Port Canaveral


March 8, 2012

Disney Nature's Chimpanzee to hold World Premiere at Walt Disney World

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The WORLD PREMIERE of the feature film "Chimpanzee," will take place beginning 11am on April 13, 2012 at the AMC Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World. Directors Alastair Fothergill ("African Cats" and "Earth") and Mark Linfield ("Earth"), as well as Dr. Jane Goodall will be on hand for the celebration to walk the red carpet.

Disneynature's newest True-Life Adventure features the wildly entertaining and heart-warming story of Oscar, an enchanting young chimpanzee whose life is caught on camera for the world to share.

Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with "Chimpanzee," a new True-Life Adventure introducing an adorable young chimpanzee 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. Working together, Oscar's chimpanzee family-including his mom, Isha, and the group's savvy leader, Freddy - navigates the complex territory of the forest.

The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimpanzees, who'd rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar's family is confronted by a rival band of chimpanzees, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever.

"Chimpanzee" swings into theaters on April 20, 2012, just in time for Earth Day 2012. "Chimpanzee" is rated G by the MPAA.

Disneynature joined 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.

For more information visit: http://disney.go.com/disneynature/chimpanzee/

Disneyland's Cars Land and Buena Vista Street to Open June 15, 2012

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CEO Bob Iger and Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, toured the soon to open Cars Land at Disney California Adventure on March 6th and announced the Grand Opening would be June 15th!

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On Buena Vista Street they rode the iconic Red Car Trolley, which explores the storefronts that line the street and continues to the Carthay Circle Theatre, the new icon of Disney California Adventure park.

This new entrance to the park will transport guests to a romantic, idealized version of 1920s Hollywood when Walt and Roy Disney first arrived in California to begin their careers as filmmakers. Buena Vista Street will be the perfect place for guests to shop and eat, watch the parade, or just sit and soak up the atmosphere.


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On to Cars Land, the 12 acre land highlighted by the Ornament Valley Mountain Range. Cars Land will include several new attractions including the E-ticket Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi's Flying Tires, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and the Red Car Trolley. There will also be new dining and shopping locations such as Flo's V8 Café, Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, Elias & Co. and Los Feliz Five & Dime.

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To accommodate a media preview and make final preparations for the opening, Disney California Adventure park will be closed for one day on June 14. Disneyland park, Downtown Disney District and the Disneyland Resort hotels will remain open for our guests on that day.

First Look: Walt Disney Imagineers Offer a Taste of the Be Our Guest Restaurant

"Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test!" Or so the song goes. Who doesn't love this playful scene from "Beauty and The Beast," in which the enchanted staff welcomes Belle to the castle in grand style?

And speaking of "style," Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) has been busy recreating the castle's very detailed beauty in the form of the Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

In this video, provided by WDI, Senior Concept Designer Ted Robledo presents our very first sneak peek inside this highly anticipated restaurant. Imagineers recently put the finishing touches on one of its major elements: a massive mural that will serve as the restaurant's backdrop. Here, Ted shows how WDI combined digital technology with traditional artistry to create a sweeping landscape that gives guests the feeling that they really are walking into a part of the film.

From the Disney Parks Blog

March 9, 2012

D23 Expo Returns to Anaheim August 2013

URBANK, Calif. - March 9, 2012 - All the magic and excitement of the past, present and future of Disney entertainment will come together once again when D23: The Official Disney Fan Club presents an all-new D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 9-11, 2013.

"The D23 Expo has become a phenomenal way for Disney fans to see everything they love about Disney all in one place - from Disney's biggest stars and latest innovations to unforgettable performances live on stage," said Steven Clark, head of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, which produces the bi-annual D23 Expo. "Our third Expo is sure to create even more magical new experiences and memories for our biggest fans attending from throughout the U.S. and around the globe."

"Anaheim is extremely pleased that the D23 Expo will be returning next year," said Charles Ahlers, president, Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau. "This exciting event is quickly becoming an industry icon, drawing Disney fans from around the world. The Anaheim community truly appreciates and enjoys this quality show and positive impacts it brings."

More than 40,000 Disney fans attended D23 Expo 2011, which brought together the entire world of Disney under one roof for three star-studded days and nights. Fans were treated to appearances by superstars like Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Regis Philbin and Billy Crystal; enjoyed performances by Dick Van Dyke, The Muppets and Disney princess voice talent Jodi Benson, Paige O'Hara, Lea Salonga and Anika Noni Rose; previewed concept art and attractions coming from Disney Parks and Walt Disney Imagineering; glimpsed back at Disney's rich history through extraordinary panels, presentations and exhibits; and discovered the newest entertainment, technology, and products from The Walt Disney Company.

Among the highlights of D23 Expo 2013 will be expanded capacities at some of our most popular venues; the 2013 Disney Legends Ceremony, which honors the talented men and women who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy; Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, a treasure trove of crown jewels from the Walt Disney Archives; the bustling aisles of the Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia and merchandise; and a massive show floor full of special opportunities to see what's on the horizon for Disney around the world-and where guests may bump into their favorite Disney stars, characters, Imagineers, animators and filmmakers.

Advance tickets for the D23 Expo 2013 will go on sale at D23Expo.com beginning August 9, 2012. D23 Members receive special pricing on both one- and three-day tickets to the event, which is also open to the general public.

D23 Members receive early admission to the Expo show floor, and D23 will once again give a special thanks to D23 Charter Members, providing them special access to the Expo's Charter Member Lounge. Members will also have an opportunity to purchase a special Sorcerer Package, which provides a host of special benefits and amenities.

D23 Expo2013 marks the third D23 Expo held in Anaheim - the first Expo was held in 2009 followed by a second in 2011. Each event played host to thousands of Disney fans from every corner of the globe. Starting today, guests can visit D23Expo.com to relive some of the extraordinary experiences from the first two Expo events and get a peek at what's to come in 2013.

Royal Guest Rooms Open today at Port Orleans Riverside

Disney Parks Blog has announced that the Royal Guest rooms officially opened today at Walt Disney World. 512 rooms are being transformed with all renovations expected to be completed by the end of June, 2012.

The rooms will have will have immersive decor and include stars from films such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Princess and the Frog. The bathroom sink design incorporates Genie's magic lamp from Aladdin. Characters from Pixar films are in the wallpaper boarder.

AllEars will be staying in one of the new rooms and have photographs, video and a report beginning Sunday.

March 13, 2012

Disney's Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World

'Dreaming Big' Mantra Comes Alive March 8-11, 2012 as 100 Students Get Fresh Perspective, Jump Start on Career Paths and Life

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Walt Disney World Resort is welcoming 100 high school students from across the U.S. who have been selected to attend the 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine.

Often described as the world's most creative classroom, the four-day power-packed program is hosted by Disney and renowned entertainer Steve Harvey. Disney's Dreamers Academy inspires and fuels the dreams of selected students to help them dream bigger, discover a world of possibilities and get a jump start on making those dreams come true.

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

A celebrity panel of judges led by comedian, author, philanthropist and Disney's Dreamers Academy Ambassador Steve Harvey reviewed more than 4,700 applications and selected the 100 students for the Class of 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy. Judging criteria included exhibiting curiosity, compassion and leadership skills.

During the 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy, students will engage in multiple activities, including interacting with a range of industry professionals and experience immersive introductions 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's theme parks and attractions.

"We are thrilled to announce this new class of 100 unique Dreamers who will graduate from the Academy with a whole new perspective on their future," said Tracey Walters-Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts. "We received more applications this year than any other and we have selected an amazing class for this historic fifth year anniversary of the Dreamers Academy."

"I've been with Dreamers Academy from day one and each year the program gets stronger as we add new interactive and experiential components for these students, so to hit the five-year mark is quite an accomplishment," said Steve Harvey, who has served as Ambassador of Disney's Dreamers Academy since the program started. "Investing and re-investing in these kids each year, you can really see the pay off as they leave the Academy and start to look at their future in a much different and much brighter light."

Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks said, "I am not going to divulge any secrets as to what's being planned for this important fifth anniversary, but if you know anything about Walt Disney World, you know this life-changing event is going to be a truly amazing spectacular for these students and we are proud to be a part of it."

Proving that Disney's Dreamers Academy graduates emerge with a new perspective on life and their career paths, two recent graduates from the Class of 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy - Diamond Sims of Miami 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 just started his first year of communications studies at the University of Southern California, 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."

Speakers Resource Group Added to Enhance Dreamers Academy

To increase the depth of experiences shared at Disney's Dreamers Academy, a formal speakers resource group has been formed that includes accomplished professionals who serve as program ambassadors and who share common goals: inspiring youth to believe in their dreams and giving them tools to jumpstart their dreams into reality. The Disney's Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group champions students in a variety of ways, including participating in the panel of judges who selected the 100 students to attending the flagship event at Walt Disney World Resort to offering insights about the four-day event curriculum. They also collaborate with Disney in extending Disney's Dreamers Academy program content into relevant community, educational and entertainment platforms.

The 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group will include: Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, ESSENCE Magazine); 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); and Brandi Harvey (Corporate and Community Relations Director, the Steve Harvey World Group) and Karli Harvey (Hair Artesian, U Salon, Atlanta).

For additional information and updates on the program please visit www.disneysdreamersacademy.com or www.facebook.com/disneysdreamersacademy. You can also follow on Twitter @dreamersacademy.

Disney Announces Heroes Work Here

Company-Wide Initiative To Hire, Train and Support Military Veterans

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KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 13, 2012 - Today at The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE: DIS) Annual Shareholder meeting in Kansas City, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger announced Heroes Work Here, a new company-wide initiative to hire, train and support returning veterans. The new program continues Disney's long history of respect and appreciation for the U.S. Armed Forces by expanding the company's commitment to recognize and honor the sacrifice and service of these men and women.

As part of the initiative, Disney will provide at least 1,000 jobs and career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years, support military families and veterans during their transition into civilian life, and launch a national public awareness campaign to encourage all employers across the U.S. to hire veterans.

In addition to providing career opportunities for veterans, Disney will also invest in select non-profit organizations that provide training and other support services. Through the Disney VoluntEARS program, employees will also engage in service projects with veterans' organizations in communities around the country. The public awareness campaign, featuring veterans currently employed in various businesses across The Walt Disney Company, will highlight their value, encourage companies to hire these highly skilled men and women, and direct them to the Joining Forces initiative for more information.

Mr. Iger debuted the first spot at the conference, which can be viewed here: http://di.sn/HeroesWorkHere

"As a new generation of America's military men and women transition into civilian life, we are increasing our commitment and support for these modern day heroes," said Mr. Iger. "It's a measure of our respect for how much they have sacrificed on our behalf, and our sincere gratitude for their extraordinary contributions to this country."

He added, "The military values of honor, integrity, commitment, and courage, along with the skills and experience they've gained through their service, make veterans incredibly valuable employees for any company."

Heroes Work Here includes recruitment efforts across all segments of The Walt Disney Company, including ESPN, the Disney-ABC Television Group, Disney Consumer Products, The Walt Disney Studios, and Disney Parks and Resorts. The company will host career fairs and participate in events designed to showcase opportunities for returning military personnel.

Information about Heroes Work Here and available positions for veterans can be found at a dedicated section of the Disney Careers Website.

March 16, 2012

Disney Fantasy Will Generate 500+ Jobs in Central Florida

New ship is expected to generate more than 500 jobs in Central Florida.

With the addition of the Disney Fantasy, Port Canaveral and the region is experiencing sizeable economic benefits. The Disney Fantasy is expected to generate more than 500 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the area and attract thousands of additional cruise guests to the port, according to an economic impact study by Martin Associates.

"Not only is the arrival of the Disney Fantasy an important milestone for our business, it will also have a positive impact on the Central Florida community," said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. "With our fourth ship, we are able to generate more jobs and economic activity for the region while delivering even more cruising options for families to share unforgettable cruise experiences with us."

To accommodate the expanded operation, new ships and increase in guest capacity, Disney Cruise Line worked with Port Canaveral to expand the dock area and terminal facility in early 2011. Along with the construction of a new parking structure and a sky bridge walkway, guests experience a state-of-the-art facility, making the transition from land to sea relatively seamless.

"We are excited to welcome the Disney Fantasy home," said Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer Stan Payne. "The arrival of the Disney Dream last year made a significant economic impact on Central Florida and we know the Disney Fantasy will add to that dramatically. We have seen our local businesses benefit when a ship of this magnitude and special Disney magic becomes part of our community."

Beginning with its maiden voyage on March 31, the Disney Fantasy will embark on seven-night sailings, alternating between Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, with a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney's own private island in The Bahamas.

With a tonnage of 130,000 and a guest capacity of up to 4,000, the Disney Fantasy is the second of two new, and significantly larger, ships that are being added to the Disney fleet. The Disney Dream arrived in early 2011 and is currently sailing three-, four- and five-night itineraries to the Bahamas, also from Port Canaveral.

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

With the addition of the two new ships, Disney Cruise Line will celebrate 2012 with its most diverse sailing itineraries to date. New in 2012, the Disney Magic will offer eight-night cruises to the Bahamas and five-night cruises up the New England coast sailing from New York, and seven-night western Caribbean itineraries departing from Galveston, Texas. The Disney Wonder will continue sailing seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises from the Port of Los Angeles, while spending its second summer sailing Alaskan itineraries from Seattle.

Most recently, the Disney Dream won the top spot for "Best Bahamas Cruises" and "Best Cabins" in the 2012 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards. Disney Cruise Line was recognized by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine as the top "Cruise Ships of the World," with the Disney Magic being voted No. 1 and the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder tying for No. 2. Travel + Leisure magazine also ranked Disney Cruise Line the No. 1 Large-Ship Cruise Line for Families.

March 20, 2012

The Guess Who to Perform March 23-25 at Flower Power Concerts

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The Guess Who will perform March 23-25 at the 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival "Flower Power" concert series.

Concerts are performed at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase. Show Times: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Concerts are included with Epcot admission.

AS Roma and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Create Italian Pro Soccer Presence for America’s Youth Athletes

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New multi-year agreement makes AS Roma the official professional football club of the renowned youth sports complex at the Walt Disney World Resort which becomes the team's official winter training home; Joint venture further cements the sports complex's stature as America's leading youth soccer venue and expands AS Roma brand into the U.S. soccer market

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 19, 2012) - Famed Italian football club AS Roma is teaming up with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to bring elite European professional football to youth athletes through a multi-faceted strategic agreement. The groundbreaking partnership also calls for Roma's first-team to train at the facility during its Serie A winter break, which is a first for an Italian League team.

As part of the six-year deal, the ESPN sports complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the leading multi-sports venue for amateur athletes in the United States, becomes the official winter training home of AS Roma, and the three-time Serie A champions become the sports complex's official professional football team. Additionally, AS Roma will have signage throughout the sports complex, serve as presenting sponsor of several Disney-owned youth soccer events there and have one of its youth academy teams compete in Disney's Soccer Showcase.

AS Roma's involvement with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex underscores the sports complex's stature as the nation's top youth soccer venue, which annually hosts pro soccer events as well as the country's most prestigious youth soccer tournament, Disney's Soccer Showcase. AS Roma joins the Atlanta Braves (Major League Baseball), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (National Football League) and the Orlando Magic (National Basketball Association) as professional sports franchises that have trained at the ESPN sports complex at Disney.

March 22, 2012

Momentum Continues to Build for the Cars Land Opening

The Disney Parks Blog has been sharing a variety of videos and news bites about Cars Land each week. With a grand opening on June 15th, it's all starting to fall into place now.

For this point-of-view video, a camera was mounted on the driver's side of a Radiator Springs Racers car during a recent test run in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park. Vehicles are being tested seven days a week, mostly at night. By the time each vehicle is commissioned, it will travel approximately 36,000 miles per year!

Today we take you "behind the music" in North Hollywood with song writer and composer Bruno Coon and the band, "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies." (Billy Hill and the Hillbillies have been entertaining at Disneyland park since the early 1990s.) In this recording session they performed the instrumental tracks for the songs heard on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.

Babies of the Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Resort

Animal Operations Director of Disney's Animal Programs Matt Hohne shares the excitement of the baby warthogs that were born in February. There are five baby warthogs, three males and two females.

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The piglets, which are still backstage, weighed 1 ½ to just over 2 pounds at birth. Adult females weigh 110-165 pounds and adult males are larger, ranging from 130-330 pounds. We expect the piglets to be out on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna with their mom by late April.

With the new additions, we now have four male and three female warthogs at Disney's Animal Kingdom. In the wild, warthogs are designated as vulnerable due to habitat destruction and being hunted for meat.

Warthog Fun Facts:

Although the upper tusks are more impressive, it is the sharper lower tusks that are the warthog's principal weapons.

Warts, which are prominent only on males, are skin growths and have no bony support. The warts are located on the side of the head and in front of the eyes. They serve to cushion blows sustained during battles over females.

Warthogs usually take over the abandoned burrows of other animals instead of making their own dens.

In the wild, warthogs' habitat is widespread-they live in all African countries south of the Sahara Desert.

Blue Line

Over at Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge, the baby okapi can now be seen on the Pembe savannah. For optimal viewing take the path back by the Kidani Village pool to the viewing area for Pembe. If they are out and about, this is where you will see mom and the now 187+ pound youngster.

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This female okapi was born in November, 2011. It's unusual to see an okapi in a mixed-species savanna habitat, and guests are enjoying this special opportunity to observe, and snap photos of mom, Zoe, and her 5-month-old calf, whom the team named "Makemba" (an African name that means "goddess"). The Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge animal care team and savanna guides are having a great time sharing okapi fun facts with the resort guests: Did you know that the okapi, despite its stripes, is a relative of the giraffe and not the zebra?

Art of Animation Resort Opening Update

Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks, has announced new opening dates for teh Art of Animation Resort on the Disney Parks Blog.

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The teams creating Disney's Art of Animation Resort tell us that the wings dedicated to popular films "Cars," "The Lion King," and "The Little Mermaid" will now be opening sooner than you can imagine after the grand opening of the "Finding Nemo"-themed wing on May 31. Here's the official schedule:

Finding Nemo (Grand opening) - Opens May 31
Cars - Opens June 18
Lion King - Opens August 10
Little Mermaid - Opens September 15


And guests can begin booking rooms March 23! It seems like just yesterday when we shared the first image of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) putting the finishing touches on the new resort's marquee and Nemo icons. Now, we're closing in on the big day - May 31.

Disney Imagineer Alice Davis to Receive a Main Street Window at Disneyland

Disney Legend Alice Davis will finally be getting her own special window on Main Street in Disneyland.

At a special Club 33 event on March 19th, Imagineer Kim Irvine officially announced the news! You can just see Alice's delight in the photo!

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Alice Davis began work in the Walt Disney Studios, but is best known for her costume design of some of the most beloved characters at Disney Parks - including those found in the classic attractions, "it's a small world" and Pirates of the Caribbean.

She continued to design costumes for the Walt Disney Studios until 1963, when she undertook a costuming project that would go on to become one of the most famous theme park attractions in the world. Along with fellow Disney Legend Mary Blair, Alice supervised the creation of more than 150 costumes for "it's a small world," helping to bring to life the iconic dolls who would sing the unforgettable theme song.

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Two years later, she translated her husband's, Imagineer Marc Davis, drawings for the Pirates of the Caribbean into designs and patterns for all the costumes that would be seen in the new attraction.

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In addition to the extraordinary work seen by thousands of Disney Parks guests through the years, Alice's influence at Walt Disney Imagineering extended to the development of manufacturing, quality control and refurbishment standards for the three-dimensional characters created by Walt Disney Imagineering.

Alice has always been very gracious to her fans in the Disney Community. She has made numerous appearances at special events sharing tales of what it was like to work in the early days of Disneyland!

March 23, 2012

SPRING INTO STYLE WITH CINDERELLA THIS APRIL AT THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM

San Francisco, CA - March 21, 2012-The Walt Disney Family Museum is exploring the quality, style, and nature of the art and design of Disney films by celebrating the timeless feature-length animated film Cinderella-the classic rags-to-riches story about a beautiful girl who finds her happily-ever-after with Prince Charming through a fairy godmother, a little magic, and a glass slipper.


After its release on February 15, 1950, Cinderella quickly became the highest grossing film of the year and the profits helped the Disney Studios produce more successful feature-length films throughout the decade including Peter Pan and Alice and Wonderland.


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Concept art for Cinderella by Mary Blair.
Photo courtesy The Walt Disney Company, ©Disney.

FILM SCREENINGS

Cinderella (1950) - Screens daily at 1 and 4 p.m. (except Tuesdays and April 14, 15, and 28)

Admission to the film is $7 general; $5 under 17; or free with paid Museum admission.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Cinderella Style: The Evolution of Disney Animation
Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m.
$12 general; $9 under 17

Oscar®-winning Pixar director and Disney expert Ralph Eggleston discusses the evolving design sophistication of Disney animation-specifically the post-war streamlining and innovations brought to the forefront with the production of Cinderella. Not simply focusing on art, Eggleston will also provide an understanding of the cultural context that helped shape Cinderella, and its impact on Walt's subsequent animation production. Illustrated with rare art, photos, and film clips, this program offers insight into Walt's effort to again make his Studio the reigning force in feature animation.

Look Closer: Concept Art for Cinderella

Friday, April 27, Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29 1 and 3 p.m.
Free with Museum admission.

Get a more detailed view of the concept art from Cinderella-predominantly painted by the legendary Mary Blair-as the Look Closer series offers a close-up view of The Ladies of the Ink and Paint Department at 1 and 3 p.m.

CLASSES + ACTIVITIES

Disney Discoveries

Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15 1-3 p.m. | Learning Center Art Studio
Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! Make all your wishes come true! Visit our Learning Center and create your very own magic wand in this month's Disney Discoveries.
Free with Museum admission.

Improv for Animators

Saturday, April 21 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Learning Center Art Studio

Learn the basics of improvisation through games and exercises. Tap into your creativity to be fearless and find the "truth" of the moment. Discover improvisational approaches to character creation. The class is taught by professional improviser, Jill Bourque, who created the international hit improv theater show, How We First Met.

Space is limited. Registration and additional fee required. Contact: education@wdfmuseum.org


Improv for Voice Over

Saturday, April 28 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Learning Center Art Studio

Led by professional improviser Jill Bourque, this course will teach the basics of improv and how to apply it to voice over work. Learn how to trust and use your instincts by tapping into your creativity. Improv games and exercises will help you find your creative flow, resulting in stronger choices when you're in the voice over booth.

Space is limited. Registration and additional fee required. Contact: education@wdfmuseum.org

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

# # #

ABOUT THE MUSEUM

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
415-345-6800

Website: www.waltdisney.org
www.facebook.com/thewaltdisneyfamilymuseum
www.twitter.com/WDFMuseum

March 26, 2012

The Spinners to Perform at Epcot's Flower Power Concert Series March 30-April 1

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The Spinners will perform March 30-April 1 at the 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival "Flower Power" concert series.

Concerts are performed at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase. Show Times: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Concerts are included with Epcot admission.

Disney Fantasy Fun Facts

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The Disney Fantasy's horn, a prominent element of the "Sailing Away" deck party at the start of the cruise, is quite the musical talent. It's able to perform not just the first musical line of "When You Wish Upon a Star" but also the second line of the song ("makes no difference who you are") plus, several measures of "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)," "It's a Small World," "Be Our Guest," "Hi Diddle Dee Dee (An Actor's Life for Me)" and "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes."

The characters Dumbo and Timothy on the Disney Fantasy's stern weigh in at more than 2,300 pounds. Dumbo is a little over eight feet long from head to tail with an "ear span" of seven feet. Timothy sits 2'6" tall on Dumbo's hat and is holding a paint brush that's about 3'10" long. Dumbo was sculpted from large foam blocks by Walt Disney Imagineering artists in Glendale, Calif. The sculpted pieces were then shipped to Florida where Disney craftsmen and artists created him in fiberglass and paint over a frame of marine-grade stainless steel. The duo was installed in Papenburg, Germany.

Looking upward in the ship's atrium lobby brings guests eye-to-crystal with a glowing piece of "Art Nouveau-inspired jewelry" - a cascading chandelier flowing downward from a massive, illuminated stained-glass flourish on the ceiling in peacock hues of greens and blues. The chandelier itself is more than 10 feet in diameter, a one-of-a-kind work of art evoking a peacock in stained glass and more than 60,000 clear Swarovski crystal beads.


Every Disney Cruise Line ship has an atrium lobby statue celebrating a classic Disney character. The Disney Fantasy's bronze-cast pièce de résistance is Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse, dressed in vintage fashion with a parasol and steamer luggage at her side - inspired by travel of the 1920s and 1930s. She will be the subject of as many memorable vacation photos as her counterparts: Mickey at the helm (Disney Magic), Ariel sitting pretty (Disney Wonder) and Admiral Donald striking a pose (Disney Dream).

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Walt Disney Imagineers elevated the AquaDuck water coaster in order to maximize space on the deck. And with the AquaDuck in place, they had room for their imaginations to concoct yet another "ducky" family activity - AquaLab! This 1,800-square-foot get-wet area on Deck 12 is filled with pop jets, geysers and bubblers " and ultimately a lot of silly laughter!

Sips, sights and sounds of the diverse cities, countries and cultures of Europe - that's what's in store all in one evening and all in one place aboard the Disney Fantasy. The adult nightlife district Europa features five clubs and lounges that treat the senses to a taste of Ireland, England, France and Italy plus stunning skylines and signature cocktails inspired by Russia, Greece, Hungary and Spain.

Two huge mosaic walls based on the Disney-Pixar animated film "Finding Nemo" are showcased in Cabanas casual-dining restaurant. Created for the Disney Fantasy by Italian artists, each wall is more than 25 feet wide and more than 8 feet high and contains approximately 194,500 tiles in 200 colors of hand-crafted Venetian enamel. A team of nine artists created the mosaics based on Pixar designs depicting the underwater world of Australia's Great Barrier Reef and characters featured in the motion picture. While similar scenes also appear on the Disney Dream, Walt Disney Imagineers note that each wall is a hand-crafted, unique work of art.

Guests can settle into luxurious comfort in staterooms and suites featuring plush bath towels and deluxe bed linens by Frette. Founded in 1860 in France and now based in Milan, Italy, Frette created custom-design bath towels and bed linens for the Disney Fantasy with what is regarded as the world's finest cotton, from El Amria in Egypt. Elsewhere on Disney Fantasy, the two adult-exclusive restaurants, Palo and Remy, use all Frette dining linens.

A "light point" is shipbuilders' lingo for "anything that's a light." There are approximately 80,000 light points on Disney Fantasy - "double the normal number for a ship this size," according to Meyer Werft, the shipyard in Germany where Disney Fantasy was built. The large number is the result of Disney's flare for theatrical experiences - accomplished primarily with LEDs and other environmentally friendly lighting.

The Disney Fantasy was worth the wait! From cutting the first piece of steel on March 16, 2010, until the Maiden Voyage on March 31, 2012, it was just over two years in the making. That's 747 days, and to get technical, that's 17,928 hours.

When the Disney Fantasy sailed into New York for her christening on March 1, 2012, the ship made the Statue of Liberty look slender. At 130,000 gross tons the Disney Fantasy is more than 500 times heavier than Lady Liberty. While the baby elephant Dumbo serves as the ship's stern character, in real life he would have to gather 24,266 adult male African elephants to match the weight of the Disney Fantasy.

At 1,115 feet, the Disney Fantasy is longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (1,063 feet) and longer than the height of New York City's famous Chrysler Building (1,047 feet).

Disney Fantasy Design

Disney Cruise Line Designs the Disney Fantasy
As a Modern Classic Vessel with Distinctive Touches

CELEBRATION, Fla. - The new Disney Fantasy joins a sisterhood of Disney Cruise Line ships
celebrating the golden age of ocean liners. Like the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder and the
Disney Dream before her, the Disney Fantasy blends the elegant grace of early 20th century
transatlantic ocean liners with contemporary design to create a stylish and spectacular cruise
ship.

"The 1930s time of travel was the most romantic, so that is where we started with our design,"
said Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. "We want our guests
to get excited just seeing the ship - evoking a beautiful, classic 1930s ocean liner."

Signature Design

Distinguished by gracefully sweeping lines and meticulous details, the Disney Fantasy, like her
fleet siblings, celebrates sea travel with unmistakable Disney touches.

The ship's exterior color scheme matches the iconic Mickey Mouse with a black hull, bold red
funnels and vivid yellow striping and lifeboats. Small touches, such as silhouettes of Disney
characters scrolled into the cruise line's signature yellow filigree ornamentation that stretches
from bow to stern, are subtle reminders that this is one of the most magical ships at sea.

Carrying the modern classic design inside, the elegant interior décor on the Disney Fantasy is
influenced by the Art Nouveau style - but with what Vaughn calls "a dash of Disney whimsy."�
"At our heart, we are storytellers," he said. "We take families on vacation and immerse them in
stories. We want to transport them out of everyday reality to a different reality."

Atrium Lobby

For guests sailing on the Disney Fantasy, that "different reality" begins in the three-deck atrium
lobby. Reminiscent of splendid ocean liners from the 1920s and 1930s, the stylish sophistication of the atrium is highlighted by a sweeping grand staircase, oversized portholes and three-story columns.

The entire three-deck expanse is graced with flowing Art Nouveau-inspired details. The stunning fluted columns "bloom" into golden-petal capitals. Balustrades overlooking the lobby are laced with whimsical golden designs. There are patterns in hues of vibrant blue, green, pink and gold.

From the ceiling hangs a cascading chandelier, grand-yet-delicate, that flows downward from a
massive stained-glass flourish on the ceiling in peacock hues of greens and blues. An exquisite
marble and stone inlay floor and the rich carpeting underfoot continue the effect.

Opulent furnishings complement the atrium design, with a grand piano providing atmosphere.
Original art work in bronze, bas relief and tile mosaics add elegance.

Blending with the ethereal effects - sometimes in ways so seamless that their discovery is
reserved for the very "keen eye" - are those dashes of Disney whimsy. Decorative bronze
friezes featuring Disney characters line the balconies, and a keen eye may notice Disney
characters in the balustrade rising up the grand staircase. Panoramic elevator columns that face into the atrium feature elaborate metalwork crafted in an Art Nouveau pattern with a hint of a familiar Mickey Mouse outline.

One touch of "Disney whimsy" truly stands out. As with each Disney Cruise Line ship that
launched before it, the Disney Fantasy has an atrium lobby statue celebrating a classic Disney
character. The pièce de résistance of the Disney Fantasy lobby is Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse,
cast in bronze and dressed in vintage fashion with a parasol and steamer luggage at her side -
"a big photo op," Vaughn says.


Enchanted Art

Vaughn says the Disney Fantasy was designed so that "it reveals itself gradually." Around the
atrium lobby and throughout the Disney Fantasy, there's an innovative example of that in
Enchanted Art, which magically comes alive as guests pause to admire individual art pieces.
For instance, a piece of art that appears to be an animation cel from the Disney classic film
"Bambi"� springs to life as Bambi's friends Thumper and Flower scamper and a butterfly flits
through the scene. Another piece, featuring a vintage photo of Walt Disney at his drawing
board, creates a magical moment for guests as the character Walt is creating becomes
animated.

Enchanted Art looks like other hanging art pieces around the ship but is actually a framed LCD
screen with technology that recognizes a guest is present. As a guest stops to view a piece of
Enchanted Art, several seconds of animation in the picture are activated. Guests may see new
and different animation as they come back and visit the Enchanted Art another time.

The gradual reveal uncovers something else about Disney Fantasy, Vaughn says.
"Complementing its classic elegance, this is one of the most innovative, modern ships at sea."

Disney Fantasy Technological Innovations

Technological Innovations Bring Stories and Characters to Life on the Disney Fantasy

CELEBRATION, Fla. - Throughout the Disney Fantasy, guests will discover creative and
whimsical technical innovations - whether it's mealtime, playtime or bedtime.

The Muppets make their debut in a new adventure game. Guests' own drawings dance with
Disney characters. "Paintings" spring to life. Interior staterooms have a porthole view of the sea
outside. Animated characters chat with guests.

Among the highlights:

"Animation Magic" at Animator's Palate

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Animator's Palate on the Disney Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining
room with a new show called "Animation Magic." The dinner show celebrates the magic of
Disney animation and allows families to create and participate in a whole new way.

As guests are seated at their tables, they are invited to draw a character of their own using a
simple template on their placemat. Then, just before dinner, house lights dim and a sprinkling of
pixie dust illuminates the room.

During dinner, Mickey invites guests to sit back, relax and enjoy a taste of animation as a
montage of memorable food-themed moments from Disney and Disney-Pixar films is displayed,
set to the show tune "Be Our Guest." After dinner, Mickey returns for the exciting finale. With a
musical crescendo, he works his magic and conjures the guests' drawings - now fully animated
and brought to life - into the onscreen action.

A parade starts as Mickey leads the guests' drawings in a march across the screens around the dining room. The animation of the drawings becomes increasingly more elaborate, and then the drawings step into scenes from beloved Disney movies and skip, skate and dance side-by-side with characters such as, Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, Cinderella and Snow White.

At the conclusion of the show, Mickey returns to say "so long" while credits roll on screen
showing each guest's name listed as a guest animator. To commemorate the experience,
guests' drawings are returned to them - with an added touch: a golden seal proclaiming them
an Official Disney Animator.

The Themed Entertainment Association awarded Disney Cruise Line the "Ingenious Use of
Technology" award for the "Animation Magic" show at Animator's Palate on the Disney Fantasy.


Muppets Adventure Game

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The Muppets are coming to the Disney Fantasy! While playing "The Case of the Stolen Show,"
guests take an interactive adventure quest around the ship, uncovering clues via more than a
dozen pieces of Enchanted Art and physical "evidence."

The adventure begins with the cast of Muppets preparing to stage a big performance. But
there's a problem: Kermit's banjo is missing, Fozzie's squirting flower has vanished, Gonzo's
crash helmet has gone astray, Animal's drum sticks have disappeared and the Swedish Chef
can't find his cleaver! All of the props for the big show have been stolen by a cunning thief (or
more likely, another Muppet).

Guided by a map and holding a unique game card in front of select pieces of Enchanted Art,
guests unveil clues and find missing props. Elsewhere on the ship, guests may check a
Muppets message board and find a Muppet-sized stateroom door to discover clues. Their
mission is to solve the crime before it's time to raise the curtain and light the lights on the
Muppets' big show.

"The Case of the Stolen Show" is one of a trio of self-paced, Midship Detective Agency games
that may be played through the ship's Enchanted Art. Each game features several possible
endings and multiple randomized events - so each time a guest plays, they have a different
adventure.

Enchanted Art

Throughout the Disney Fantasy, more than 20 pieces of Enchanted Art, inspired by classic
Disney characters and animations, immerse guests in Disney storytelling in a completely new
way. As guests pause to admire an individual piece of Enchanted Art, it magically comes alive.

Some examples of Enchanted Art new to the Disney Fantasy:

• Dual circus art posters featuring Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse flying from one frame
into the other - a nod to the Disney Fantasy stern characters.

• Walt Disney animating three new clips that spring from his sketch pad featuring the "Fab
Five" (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto).

• Fanciful animations of "Alice in Wonderland" inspired by Disney Legend Mary Blair's art.

• "Pinkie Daisy" inspired by Thomas Lawrence's painting "Sarah Barrett Moulton: Pinkie."

While Enchanted Art looks like other hanging art pieces around the ship, it is actually a framed
LCD screen that utilizes technology to create special effects. Enchanted Art "recognizes" a
guest is present and activates several seconds of animation. Guests may see new and different
animation when they visit the Enchanted Art another time.

Living Characters

In Disney's Oceaneer Club and Disney's Oceaneer Lab youth areas, Disney characters come to life and interact with children in one-of-a-kind experiences:

• Crush, the animated sea turtle from the Disney-Pixar motion picture "Finding Nemo,"� and
Stitch, the mischievous animated alien from the motion picture "Lilo & Stitch," appear on
a 103-inch plasma screen.

• The characters chat, play and joke with kids in live, unrehearsed, personalized
conversations, using sophisticated, voice-activated animation.

Magical Porthole

The Disney Fantasy carries on the spirit of innovation with a cruise industry first for all 150
inside staterooms - a "window" to the world with a real-time view outside the ship"

• High-definition cameras on the exterior of the ship feed video to each Magical Porthole.
The view corresponds stateroom location - port or starboard - forward, midship or aft.

• Animated Disney characters may pop by the Magical Porthole, including Peach the
starfish from the Disney-Pixar film "Finding Nemo," Dumbo the flying elephant or even
Mickey Mouse.

• All new Magical Porthole animations include a swinging Rapunzel from "Tangled," a
waving Mr. Potato Head from "Toy Story," and Scuttle and Flounder from "The Little
Mermaid" peeking in as they fly by.

Magic PlayFloor

Disney's Oceaneer Club and Disney's Oceaneer Lab feature a Magic PlayFloor, a cruise industry first that blends the latest in gaming technology with Disney's panache for storytelling

• Located in the main gathering space in both venues, the interactive floor allows children
to engage in group activities where their movements control the action.

• The PlayFloor is designed with 16 light pads on the perimeter that detect motion and
location and trigger actions. There are 28 monitors integrated with one another to create
a grid display 15 feet by 15 feet on the center of the PlayFloor.

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• The games are thematically tied to Disney stories and characters - from "Cars" and
"Tron" to "Peter Pan" and "The Princess and the Frog."

• Youth counselors use the Magic PlayFloor during storytelling activities where children fly
over the streets of London with Peter Pan, help a frog feast on a bug banquet, leap over
lasers with Stitch, race a car like Lightning McQueen and step into the world of Tron.

Skyline

On the Disney Fantasy, adult guests step into a world that's all their own at Europa - a
nighttime entertainment district exclusively for guests 18 and older that features sophisticated
bars and lounges inspired by the very best in European travel.

Skyline is a chic bar that provides ever-changing birds-eye views of stunning city skylines. The
venue's nine "windows to the world" are actually 65-inch LCD screens that depict different
locales in panorama. Guests glimpse ever-changing views of spectacular cities, such as Paris,
London, Barcelona, Florence, Athens, Budapest and St. Petersburg.

Water Features on the Disney Fantasy

Disney Fantasy Upper Decks a Splashing Delight for Kids
and Comfortable Retreat for Adults

CELEBRATION, Fla. - An array of wet and wonderful new surprises help guests cool off as they
enjoy soaking up the sun aboard the Disney Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line's newest ship.


AquaLab Debuts on the Disney Fantasy

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On the Disney Fantasy, guests can splash and play in the AquaLab - a brand-new water play
area on Deck 12, near the entrance to the AquaDuck water coaster. Families can frolic among
pop jets, geysers and bubblers in this fun and fanciful 1,800-square-foot space. As the story
goes, AquaLab was created by Donald Duck's nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, and features
a variety of water "experiments" designed to drench the whole family.

Children entering the AquaLab will see that the nephews are away for the time being, leaving
the young cruise guests in charge of the AquaLab. Through hand-painted notes left by the
nephews, kids are put in charge of the AquaDuck water coaster. By turning wheels and moving
levers at three wacky aqua stations, kids "control" the speed and temperature of AquaDuck.

At a leaky wall, the water fun is all hands on deck as kids try to keep the water circulating by
covering holes in squirting and spurting pipes with their hands. In another area, kids scramble to
stop leaky pipes from filling Uncle Donald's row boat with water. Water leaks and sprays from
the Ducky Dinghy, suspended overhead, and as the boat fills a fish pops his head out of a
bucket while everyone gets delightfully drenched.

In addition to AquaLab, the Disney Fantasy features another new area for guests of all ages to
cool off. On Deck 12 forward, a wading pool with a fountain water feature, ample seating and
lounge chairs under canopy offer a respite in the shade.

Exclusively for Adults

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In addition to Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar on the Disney Fantasy, a new adult-exclusive area
offers a retreat on the upper decks for guests 18 and older.

At Satellite Sun Deck on Deck 13 forward, a brand-new water feature called Satellite Falls is a
circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that provides cool comfort.
Around this upper deck, adult guests can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade
under a canopy.


More Fun on Deck

Like her sister ship the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy offers many options for sun and fun
on deck with a shipboard water coaster, fresh water swimming pools, a whimsical water play
area for little ones, a relaxing poolside oasis for adults and an interactive sports deck:

• The world's only shipboard water coaster - AquaDuck - sweeps guests away on an
exhilarating flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids - all
while traversing the upper decks of the ship.

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• Donald's Pool is a place where families gather to enjoy all of the activities up on deck.
Overlooking Donald's Pool, the giant Funnel Vision LED screen - more than 30 feet wide
and 18 feet high - shows Disney films, television shows and live broadcast events.

• Mickey's Pool for children continues a Disney Cruise Line favorite feature. An oversized
version of Mickey's hand supports a yellow winding slide that splashes down near the pool.

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• Children discover oceans of fun at Nemo's Reef, a water-play area featuring colorful,
interactive figures that move and spray water, including Nemo, Dory, Marlin and a pint-sized
water slide shaped like Mr. Ray.

• Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar is a retreat exclusively for adults to sunbathe and swim,
indulge in a cool drink or enjoy a relaxing dip in a nearby hot tub overlooking the ocean.

• The fun tees off with Goofy's Golf - a nine-hole miniature golf course where "lessons"
featuring Goofy and his son, Max, lead guests through nine themed holes of wacky fun.

• Goofy's Sports Deck features full-court basketball, table tennis and foosball tables.

• Two digital sports simulators offer virtual game experiences where guests participate in
high-action sports, such as golf, hockey, soccer, basketball, rugby, baseball and football.

March 27, 2012

Adventures by Disney® Introduces Families to the Far East in 2013

New Itinerary Brings Stories of Southeast Asia to Life in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

BURBANK, Calif. (March 26, 2012) - Continuing its tradition of creating award-winning immersive experiences around the globe, Adventures by Disney announced today an all-new destination for 2013 - Southeast Asia. Featuring Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the 12-day, 11-night itinerary will give travelers the opportunity to experience some of Asia's most exotic and culturally-rich cities - including Saigon, Hanoi, Hoi An, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat - in a way they may not have thought possible; as a family.

The leader in privately-guided group excursions, Adventures by Disney specially designs its itineraries to engage guests of all ages, providing authentic, hands-on experiences that leave each participant with memories to share and deeper knowledge of the world around them. In Cambodia, adults will have time to take in the unique architecture of the Temples of Angkor Wat while Junior Adventurers live the history of the ancient structure on a tuk tuk vehicle treasure hunt. Families will work together in Laos at an organic rice farm where they will have a hand in each of the 13 stages of rice production. Meal preparation is a team effort in Vietnam where guests will hand-pick ingredients from a Hoi An market, and then learn to make their own Vietnamese delicacies with the guidance of a local chef.

Beyond the popular tourist spots, Adventures by Disney gives families a unique view of each destination with another of its signature features - off-the-beaten path experiences. From a horseback ride through the rural villages of the Cambodian countryside to getting acquainted with students at a school in Laos, families will gain a true-to-life perspective of Southeast Asia and its people. Two knowledgeable Disney Adventure Guides lead explorers every step of the way, taking care of all the details and ensuring that each member of the group - even mom and dad - can let go and take in every moment. The Southeast Asia itinerary also includes time to enjoy some fun in the sun along the coast of the South China Sea and features luxurious hotel accommodations, such as the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, and private transportation throughout the trip.

"We are thrilled to invite families to experience new corners of the world with Adventures by Disney, as we expand our portfolio of more than 20 destinations to include Southeast Asia," said Josh D'Amaro, Vice President, Adventures by Disney. "This exotic new itinerary holds true to Disney's dedication to storytelling, exceptional customer service and incredible value. With our award-winning itineraries, families are treated to a worry-free experience, perfect for vacationers taking their first international excursion or even the seasoned traveler."

Also new, Adventures by Disney will launch a first-ever one-day tour of the Los Angeles area, "Lights, Camera, Magic," allowing families to discover the iconic locations and star-studded sites of Hollywood, The Walt Disney Studios and Beverly Hills. Guests will be transported back in time during a behind-the-scenes look at The Walt Disney Studios, which is both a working studio and the headquarters of The Walt Disney Company. Then, it's on to experience famous locations like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Hollywood's famed Sunset Strip.

Whether it's a brief journey close to home or an enchanting quest across the globe, Adventures by Disney provides families with the ultimate adventure. Additional details and dates for the new Southeast Asia itinerary and other 2013 offerings will be available on the Adventures by Disney website in late spring. In the meantime, guests are encouraged to contact the reservations center at 1-877-728-7282 with any questions.

About Adventures by Disney

Launched in 2005, Adventures by Disney provides immersive, hassle-free and unforgettable group guided-family vacation experiences to destinations in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Families traveling with Adventures by Disney receive exceptional service while taking part in extraordinary experiences at locations including: the South African plains, the great cities of Europe, North America's national parks, the ancient monuments of Egypt, Costa Rica's rich rainforest, the ruins of Pompeii and Machu Picchu, Australia's Outback and the Great Wall of China.

Over the last seven years, Adventures by Disney has been recognized by numerous travel organizations for its excellence in family tourism and was ranked #1 among Tour Operators and Safari Outfitters for Families in Travel + Leisure's World's Best awards 2011 readers' survey.

With Disney-trained Adventure Guides, engaging activities, VIP experiences and personal touches throughout, Adventures by Disney excites and delights everyone. Visit AdventuresbyDisney.com, call 1-877-728-7282 or contact a travel agent.

March 30, 2012

Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’-Themed Monorail to Debut This Spring at Walt Disney World Resort

Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager, reported on the Disney Parks Blog that the Avengers are coming to Walt Disney World this spring!

In Marvel's "The Avengers," super heroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.

Similar to the "Tron"-themed wrap, one of our Magic Kingdom Park Monorails is currently undergoing a Marvel's "The Avengers"-themed changeover to celebrate the May 4 opening of the film, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

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Merida from ‘Brave’ is Coming to Disney Parks

Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment reports on the Disney Parks Blog that the Merida is coming to the Disney Parks soon!

In the upcoming Disney*Pixar movie "Brave," Merida is a headstrong teenager with a vibrant spirit and a softness of heart, struggling to take control of her own destiny. You'll be able to discover Merida's story when "Brave" opens in theaters June 22 and, beginning in mid-May, Merida will be coming to Disney Parks in an all-new character greeting experience.

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At Magic Kingdom Park, Merida will appear in Fairytale Garden in a setting inspired by her Scottish Highlands home, where young guests will be invited to engage in archery lessons and other activities until it's their turn to meet her. Joining Merida will be the three bear cubs from the film, who will no doubt be up to plenty of mischief.

To prepare for Merida's arrival, Rapunzel will be moving from Fairytale Garden April 15, to a new spot at the outskirts of Adventureland where she will continue to greet her loyal fans and subjects.

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When visiting Disneyland park in California this summer, Merida and the cubs will find a home away from home near "it's a small world" in Fantasyland, where guests will also be able to participate in activities inspired by Merida's story.

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According to Creative Director Reed Jones, "These new play and greet experiences at both parks will immerse our guests in 'Brave,' giving them the opportunity to be a part of Merida's Scottish clan. And we're all excited to have the bear cubs join Merida with their silly antics, creating a whole new way to bring our beloved Disney Characters to life."

"Regardless of where they find Merida," said Reed, "Guests are really going to fall in love with her and the bears."

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About March 2012

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

February 2012 is the previous archive.

April 2012 is the next archive.

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