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April 2012 Archives

April 5, 2012

D23’s Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features

DISNEY LEGENDS DICK VAN DYKE AND ALAN MENKEN HIGHLIGHT D23'S DESTINATION D: 75 YEARS OF DISNEY ANIMATED FEATURES

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The Official Disney Fan Club Commemorates the Diamond Anniversary with Rare Screenings, Entertaining Presentations and Memorable Musical Performances Aug. 11 & 12 at the Disneyland® Resort


BURBANK, Calif. - April 5, 2012 - D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is celebrating the once-in-a-lifetime diamond anniversary of one of the most universally beloved and singularly unique film genres in the world-at DESTINATION D: 75 YEARS OF DISNEY ANIMATED FEATURES, Aug. 11 and 12 at the Disneyland® Resort.

The two-day event will offer a panorama of some of the most celebrated films and characters ever brought to life on screen and provide attendees with an unforgettable Disney experience.

From Walt Disney's groundbreaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph, guests will go on a "behind-the-magic" journey filled with classic cinematic moments of heart-tugging emotion, laughter, and song that have captivated generations the world over. Renowned historians, authors, and animators of today will host this trip through the artistry and imagination of Disney animated features, each day ending with an unforgettable nighttime concert featuring two incomparable Disney Legends.

Highlights of DESTINATION D: 75 YEARS OF DISNEY ANIMATED FEATURES will include*:

-- Salutes to the great Disney animators and artists of the past
-- A Saturday-evening concert by the incredible Dick Van Dyke and The Vantastix performing beloved Disney songs and pop standards
-- A Sunday-evening concert showcase starring eight-time Oscar®-winning composer/songwriter Alan Menken, who will perform some of his most memorable songs from many modern-day Disney film classics and more
-- A glimpse at how Disney animated features have influenced Disney Parks
-- Rare and never-before-seen artwork and film footage
-- A special salute to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the "fairest of them all"
-- An extraordinary reunion of Disney animation voice talent through the years
-- More screenings, presentations, and panels, to be announced in the coming weeks

The weekend event will take place in the Grand Ballroom of the newly "re-Imagineered" Disneyland® Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. Tickets, available Wednesday, April 18, are $225 each and available exclusively to D23 Members and their guests. A limited number of "Diamond Level" tickets will be available featuring VIP seating, a third day of experiences on Monday, Aug. 13, at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., special gifts, and more.

More details about the program and tickets for D23's DESTINATION D: 75 YEARS OF DISNEY ANIMATED FEATURES 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 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.

*Talent is subject to availability. All events are subject to change.

April 7, 2012

Disneyland Resort Presents Goofy in ‘The Art of Vacationing’

There's so much to do and see at the Disneyland Resort - how do you make the most of your vacation? With two theme parks, three hotels, the Downtown Disney District and all of the attractions, entertainment, shopping and dining, even Goofy can't see it all in just one day! Watch as he tries to make his Disneyland Resort vacation game plan in "The Art of Vacationing."


From the Disney Parks Blog

April 8, 2012

Party for the Planet – Including Chimpanzees – in Celebration of Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom is hosting a Party for the Planet in celebration of Earth Day. Guests can find out what they can do to make their backyards wildlife-friendly and discover other ways to conserve wildlife and protect nature, including chimpanzees, in celebration of the release of "Chimpanzee," Disneynature's newest True Life Adventure.

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Full-park festivities will take place on the first and last days of the celebration, April 13 and 22 (Earth Day). As guests enter the park, they can get the party started at two table displays in the main entrance area: one featuring wildlife-friendly backyard habitats and the other "Chimpanzee."

Activities in the park include:

Asia (Maharajah Jungle Trek)-Families can play a supermarket game and learn how their purchases can make a big difference for wildlife and wild places.

Africa (Pangani Forest Exploration Trail)-Children can observe and identify chimpanzee tracks and clues left behind along trails as they move through the forest.

Rafiki's Planet Watch, courtyard-Outside Conservation Station, guests will discover fun ways to spend time in nature with their families and find "Chimpanzee"-related merchandise, as well as face painters and caricature artists.

Rafiki's Planet Watch, inside Conservation Station-Families can visit the Chimpanzee Research Station and participate in a variety of activities based on real conservation work. Guests also can talk with cast members who work on conservation projects around the world and learn about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.

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Although the full-park festivities take place April 13 and 22, there will be lots for guests visiting April 13 through April 22 to see and do:

Outside the theme park's main entrance, a sand sculpture and display will celebrate the "Chimpanzee' film.

Families can visit the Chimpanzee Research Station inside Conservation Station.

Guests can visit with special artisans in Discovery Island.

Fun Facts:

Although we don't have chimpanzees at Disney's Animal Kingdom, we do have many other fascinating primates, including gorillas, siamangs, white-cheeked gibbons, colobus monkeys, cotton-top tamarins and lemurs.

Disneynature joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute 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 the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund in order to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.

Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, including "Seal Island" (1948), "Beaver Valley" (1950), "The Living Desert" (1953) and "Jungle Cat" (1958). The films earned eight Academy Awards®.

Upcoming 2012 wildlife conservation events at Disney's Animal Kingdom (as always, dates subject to change):

May 12: International Migratory Bird Day
May 23: World Turtle Day
June 6: Pollinator Day
August: Cotton-Top Tamarin Month
Sept. 5: International Vulture Awareness Day
Sept. 26: Elephant Awareness Day
Oct. 31: Bat Day

April 10, 2012

Tandoor Ovens, Mongolian Grill, and Real Gelato at Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer, recently spoke with Michelle Clegg, food & beverage operations manager for the soon-to-open Landscape of Flavors food court at the new Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

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They're still tweaking the menu, but all sorts of creative new items make this the next generation of Disney food courts. Even burgers are "create your own"; you can start with a beef, chicken or veggie burger, and then the kitchen will pile on your favorite toppings (say, pepperjack cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions and lettuce). But most fun are the four onstage tandoor ovens where chefs will bake bread and roast chicken, shrimp, sausage and acorn squash and other veggies - Michelle says that the roasted acorn squash is her favorite dish at the new restaurant. Tandoors are cylindrical ovens that reach very high temperatures and quickly bake, so it should be a grand onstage show for diners. The real treat is naan, a delicious Indian bread that's slapped directly onto the oven's walls and left to bake until puffy and lightly browned, perfect for wrapping all sorts of delicious food.

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And the restaurant's Mongolian grill is another new touch - 3 feet in diameter, the chefs will make everything onstage, from challah bread French toast for breakfast to grilled beef and fish for lunch and dinner.

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There's lot of attention on "better-for-you" options, so you'll find buckwheat waffles and pasta, multigrain rice, low-fat smoothies, egg white frittatas and make-your-own yogurt parfaits. But it's all about choices, so there are still pizzas and fries (and chocolate chip pancakes).

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And we're excited to see real gelato on the menu, the Italian version of ice cream with less butterfat but bigger flavor. That and a whole menu of coffee drinks, including iced French vanilla, iced mocha, cappuccino, espresso and mochachino. We'll carpool to the new resort for our 3 p.m. break!

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April 12, 2012

Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland - Time Lapse Video

For reference, the area on the left will be Enchanted Tales With Belle, Beast Castle (which will contain the Be Our Guest Restaurant), and Gaston's Tavern. The buildings and rockwork on the right side will house the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction.

April 13, 2012

Disney Kids and Nature Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort

DISNEY CHANNEL STARS JOIN YOUTH LEADERS
FOR DISNEY KIDS AND NATURE CELEBRATION
AT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

-- Two-Day Celebration Includes Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Awards Ceremony, World Premiere of Disneynature's "Chimpanzee" and Disney's Friends for Change Youth Summit

-- Hollywood Records' McClain Sisters to Perform "Rise," This Year's
Disney Friends for Change Anthem, at Event

Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan ("Jessie"), Bella Thorne and Zendaya ("Shake It Up"), Ross Lynch and Laura Marano ("Austin & Ally") will join more than 100 youth leaders from around the world for the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration April 13-14 at the Walt Disney World Resort. The two-day celebration recognizes youth efforts to help protect the planet and organizations that work to connect kids to nature.

The celebration begins Friday, April13 with remarks by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger at the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Awards Ceremony. The event honors five organizations for their efforts to create experiences and opportunities for kids to connect with nature. They are: Children and Nature Network, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy and Youth Service of America.

At the ceremony, Hollywood Records' McClain Sisters will perform their hit song "Rise," this year's Disney Friends for Change anthem, as featured in Disneynature's "Chimpanzee." The film will make its world premiere later that day.

As part of the weekend, Disney Channel stars will participate in workshops and discussions, alongside kids, during Disney Friends for Change Youth Summit.

On Saturday, April14, Disney Channel stars will help galvanize kids to make a difference during Disney's Friends for Change Youth Summit, a day-long event designed to inspire kids to think of creative ideas and solutions that generate positive change in the world. Through a series of panels, workshops and discussions, youth leaders, between the ages of 10-18, are encouraged to imagine their planet's future and discuss conservation efforts in order to return home with new ideas to put into action in their own communities. Radio Disney's lead on air personality Ernie D will host the event.

Activities include:

Friends for Change's Disney Planet Challenge Ceremony --
Ross Lynch and Laura Marano will recognize the grand prize winners of Disney's Planet Challenge, a national project-based environmental science competition for 3rd-8th grade students and the in-school edition of Friends for Change.

Inspiring and Adventurous Careers Panel --
Kids will engage with key Disney leaders whose careers merge creativity with stewardship of the planet.

Send Your Message On Workshop --
Youth participants will learn what it takes to reach audiences, encourage people to take action for the planet, and workshop the best practices for sharing messages through social media. Kids will come up with creative ways to tell their story in two minutes. Debby Ryan, Bella Thorne and Zendaya, Ross Lynch and Laura Marano will rotate through groups to help kids create their own messages.

Imagine Our Planet Youth Discussion --
Youth leaders will facilitate small-group discussions about what each participant plans to do once they return home. Students will present their "Conservation Charters." Debby Ryan, Bella Thorne and Zendaya, Ross Lynch and Laura Marano will divide among teams to help develop action plans.

Disney's Friends for Change is a multi-platform initiative that inspires kids and families to join together and make a positive impact on their world by helping people, communities and the planet. Activities are united by an overarching emphasis on fostering creativity, conservation and compassion. Through on-air PSAs and online action kits, the program provides useful resources to encourage kids to make small changes that add up to big differences. To date, Friends for Change kids in 33 countries around the world have taken almost five million actions, and $4.5 million dollars has been awarded to nonprofits with Friends for Change projects. For more information, please visit Disney.com/friends.

April 18, 2012

New Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park is a Blast to the Past

Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations reported on the DisneyParksBlog....


Imagineers are busy putting the final touches on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure park. This busy California street will take you back to 1923, when Walt Disney first arrived in California.

Part of the décor includes colorful murals made of tiles that create a story, while also reflecting the architecture and the Spanish influence in California during the 1920s. The video below goes behind the scenes with Imagineers as they work with a vendor in Los Angeles to create each tile. Make sure you take time to see these beautiful murals this summer at Disney California Adventure park when Buena Vista Street, Carthay Circle Theatre and Cars Land open on June 15.

The Voices of Liberty Will Soon Ring Out at Disneyland Park

Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment
reported on the Disney Parks Blog.....

After nearly three decades, the talented 8-part a cappella group The Voices of Liberty continues to "wow" guests at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort with their amazing harmonies on such American classics as "Ol' Man River" and "Yankee Doodle."

The Disneyland park is getting its very own Voices of Liberty, bringing one of the great traditions of Walt Disney World Resort to the Disneyland Resort for the first time. Soon, guests from sea to shining sea will be able to enjoy the impeccable sounds of this beloved group. The new Voices of Liberty will hold court at the Main Street Opera House, also home to The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of hearing The Voices of Liberty sing, I hope you enjoy this video of the group at Epcot. To truly appreciate The Voices, however, you simply must experience it in person!

VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot Opens April 22nd, Earth Day

Green Builder® Media Launches Inspirational New Green Home Exhibit: VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot
Vanguard Exhibit Proactively Addresses Sustainable Living Solutions. VISION House in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot launches on Earth Day.

Eastsound, WA (PRWEB) April 18, 2012

Green Builder® Media, North America's leading media company focused on sustainable living, has collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS, an innovative green home exhibit located in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

Opening on Earth Day (April 22), the purpose of the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS is to present green living ideas in a fun and informative manner that will empower guests with the knowledge that a sustainable future is possible. The exhibit will showcase a wide spectrum of environmentally appropriate products and options and provide homeowners with real solutions for contemporary green living.

"Sustainable living is about taking personal responsibility," says Green Builder® Media CEO Sara Gutterman. "Through the VISION House in INNOVENTIONS, we will illustrate that we can all provide our families with necessities like sustenance, and shelter, as well as comfort and convenience, while simultaneously preserving and protecting the environment."

As guests take a guided tour of the VISION House®, they will explore the major themes of green building, such as whole-home automation; energy generation and efficiency; water conservation; indoor environment quality; and high-performance materials and durability. Along the way, they will encounter intelligent products and advanced technologies, such as:

High efficiency heating and cooling systems and controls and innovative whole-home automation system and door hardware by Ingersoll Rand

Electronic vehicle charging station by SIEMENS

Chevy Volt electric vehicle by GM

Photovoltaic solar panels from Hanwha Solar

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

Ventilation solutions to improve indoor air quality by Panasonic

Energy efficient windows and doors from Pella

High performance glass products by Schott

Fire sprinkler information from the National Fire Protection Association

Sustainable hardwood flooring and cabinets from Armstrong World Industries

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

ENERGY STAR certified home appliances by Bosch

LED lighting solutions by SYLVANIA

The VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS is a part of Green Builder® Media's VISION House Series. These actual residences around the country are designed to demonstrate that a successful building is more than simple shelter-it is an interactive set of systems that combine to create a truly green living environment for inhabitants.

"Green Builder® Media has long been the leader in helping building professionals and consumers understand that the built environment and the natural environment need not be in conflict, and that green building is quality building," says Ron Jones, Green Builder® Media President. "Our early mission of defining green has evolved into a robust message that makes it possible for companies, governments, and individuals to make choices without compromise."

For more information about green products and breaking green news, visit http://www.greenbuildermedia.com.

April 19, 2012

Avengers Assemble On Three Collectible Covers Of Disney Twenty-Three Magazine’s All-New Summer Issue

Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Hawkeye and Nick Fury Unite as D23: The Official Disney Fan Club Celebrates the Eagerly Awaited Release of Marvel's The Avengers

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BURBANK, Calif. - April 19, 2012 - Marvel's The Avengers is so big, Disney twenty-three magazine needs not one, not two, but three eye-popping collectible covers to do it justice " and that's what D23: The Official Disney Fan Club has planned for the summer issue, which is available nationwide on May 1.

Coinciding with the worldwide theatrical release of Marvel's The Avengers, the summer issue of Disney twenty-three features a 10-page story on the creation of the biggest superhero film ever produced. Author and Disney Imagineer Jason Surrell spoke with the film's acclaimed writer-director Joss Whedon, as well as stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston and Clark Gregg, and producer Kevin Feige to get the behind-the-scenes details on the explosive film, from the complexities of bringing many of the world's most famous heroes together to nights out dancing in downtown Albuquerque.

Each of the magazine's three front and back covers feature different characters:
• Iron Man and Nick Fury on front; Hulk and Captain America on back
• Thor and Black Widow on front; Iron Man and Hawkeye on back
• Captain America on front; Hulk and Hawkeye on back

"Marvel's The Avengers is a groundbreaking film, so we had to do something equally exceptional with our flagship magazine that would thrill both Disney and Marvel fans alike," says Steven Clark, head of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. Along with the new issue, D23 Gold Members will receive a special member-only gift: one of seven collectible patches featuring the insignias of each Avenger.

Marvel's The Avengers is only part of what's in store in the summer issue of Disney twenty-three, which explores the most exciting new developments throughout Disney - while offering new insight into fan favorites. Among the articles in the summer issue:

• A Brave New World: Readers will travel to Pixar Animation Studios and meet the team bringing to life the mystical world of ancient Scotland in Pixar's 13th animated feature, Brave;

• A World of Fantasy: Climb aboard the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet and explore what makes the Disney Fantasy unlike any other vessel to set sail;

• To Annette, With Love: An in-depth interview with Glen Holt, the devoted husband of everyone's favorite Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello;

• Bon Anniversaire, Disneyland Paris: As Disney's only European theme park turns 20, Disney twenty-three looks back at its creation and ahead to its magical future;

• The World Will Know and Written in the Stars: Two articles that take closer looks at Disney's latest, critically acclaimed Broadway productions: Newsies and Peter and the Starcatcher.

• He Wrote the Songs: A touching remembrance of legendary Disney songwriter Robert B. Sherman;

The summer issue of Disney twenty-three also offers an exclusive interview with Newsies film director Kenny Ortega; a celebration of the history of the Disney Store, which first opened its doors 25 years ago; photos from the latest D23 events across the country - and rarely seen photos from the Walt Disney Archives in the magazine's popular PHOTOfiles section.

Disney twenty-three is delivered directly to the doorstep of all D23 Gold Members, along with a special gift. Disney twenty-three magazine is also available at retail locations across the country for $15.95, and can also be purchased online at DisneyStore.com and throughout the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts.

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 weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; free gifts throughout the year; and exclusive, member-only special events.

Disney fans can join the world's only Official Disney Fan Club by visiting www.D23.com, 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.


April 21, 2012

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree at Disneyland Park

Starting May 3, we'll be rounding up some good times and bringing a whole new energy to Frontierland at Disneyland park with the opening of the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

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Encompassing the former Festival Arena site, the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree will feature music, dancing, crafts, pin trading and plenty of Disney characters in their finest Western wear. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we'll be throwing a good, old fashioned Hoedown, where you can kick up your heels with the likes of Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Chip 'n Dale. From time to time, classic favorites like Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Clara Cluck or those silly Country Bears might even stop by!

What's more, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree is also going to be the newest spot to catch visiting performing ensembles as part of Disney Performing Arts. Disney Performing Arts provides an opportunity for middle and high school students and community groups from across the country to perform in Disney Parks as well as take workshops taught by entertainment professionals to improve their performance skills. You'll be able to enjoy some of these young instrumentalists, singers and dancers as they put on the performance of a lifetime onstage at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

From Shawn Slater at the Disney Parks Blog.

Entertainment at Cars Land Disney California Adventure

When Cars Land opens June 15, the tiny town of Radiator Springs will also be teeming with atmosphere entertainment inspired by the Disney-Pixar film, "Cars."

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Big and red on the outside, gentle and good-natured on the inside, Red the Fire Truck shows up with his sirens blaring and his bell ringing, heading to meet up with his good buddy, a Volunteer Firefighter. The Firefighter lets everyone know the flowers in the area need watering. It's "Red to the Rescue," but each time the Firefighter attempts to use Red's hose, it backfires on him! In all the fun, the plants manage to get wet, and you might too!

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Bringing a completely different kind of beat to the street is "DJ's Dance & Drive." DJ, the ultimate party car, rolls into town with his giant speakers, built-in disc changer and his very own dance party, led by a girl named Spinner. This gang stops traffic everywhere they go, creating a spontaneous, interactive dance party. Spinner and the crew teach us moves like the Overdrive, the Reverse and the Hairpin Turn, while DJ calls up the hits, from "Life in the Fast Lane" to "Car Wash." DJ's going to shift Cars Land into high gear!

Cruise on down to Cars Land this summer at Disney California Adventure park. The residents there will be glad you rolled into town!

From Shawn Slater Disney Parks Blog

Minotaurs coming to Fantasyland Expansion

This minotaur, a mythological figure that is a combination man and bull, was recently installed at the Be Our Guest Restaurant, part of the Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Two of these sculptures will welcome guests at the front entrance of the restaurant. Their design was inspired by animated footage from the "Beauty and The Beast" film, specifically the scene in which Belle enters the castle for the first time.

Reported by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Disney Parks Blog

April 23, 2012

Starbucks Coming to Disney Parks

Starbucks drinks and food items are coming to all of the theme parks at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

In June, the first of six planned Starbucks locations is scheduled to open at Disney California Adventure park. And more locations are planned at Disneyland park and Walt Disney World Resort (Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom).

The Starbucks locations inside our parks will be designed to fit the theme of their surroundings. At Disney California Adventure park, Starbucks will be located in the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café on Buena Vista Street, a place that transports guests to 1920s Los Angeles, when Walt Disney arrived in California and a cup of coffee was the perfect way to jumpstart a busy day. The store's location plays off the Spanish/Mexican architecture of the period, and baristas will wear 1920s-inspired attire.

The café will serve Starbucks items, including coffee and espresso beverages, Frappuccino® blended beverages, and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries. Guests also will have their choice of Disney favorites, including signature sandwiches and other items, as well as delicious desserts and sweet treats.

From the Disney Parks Blog

April 24, 2012

Art of Animation Resort - New Sneak Peek Video

The countdown continues to the opening of Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

This latest YouTube video by Disney shows the inside of the lobby area. The walls are covered with concept art of many popular characters before they hit the big screen!

You can also see the Finding Nemo area as it nears completion - look at the murals and icons that will be found here! Crush is three stories tall! Mr. Ray is over 30 feet tall with an approximate wing span of 26 feet! The Big Blue Pool is the largest pool outside of the Water Parks and even has an under water sound system! The landscaping was designed to give you the sensation of being on the ocean floor.


Disney/Pixar's BRAVE

Merida from 'Brave' is Coming to the Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World in mid-May for a meet and greet.

Here's the latest trailer for Brave!

BRAVE arrives in theaters everywhere on June 22nd!

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April 25, 2012

Chuck Negron to Perform April 27-29 at “Flower Power” Concerts

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Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night will perform April 27-29 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.

April 27, 2012

Magical Events, Exciting New Attractions and Interactive Experiences Add Up to a Memory-Making Summer for Guests at Walt Disney World Resort

Magical Events, Exciting New Attractions and Interactive Experiences Add Up to a Memory-Making Summer for Guests at Walt Disney World Resort

Summer Soars with New Fantasyland Experiences, Enchanting Tales at Disney's Newest Resort, Nonstop Interactive Fun and a trip to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Summer is the perfect time for a Walt Disney World vacation and
making memories with family and friends to last a lifetime. Talk about memory-making: guests can dive into the magical worlds of Disney animation at a brand-new resort, fly with Dumbo in the new - and expanding - Fantasyland, "hang 10" at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon or ship out on the first summer sailings of Disney Fantasy.

Here's a look at what's in store for this and more.

Dumbo Flies Again as First Phases of the New Fantasyland Spring to Life.
Fun-seekers can soar with a true Fantasyland icon or take a rollicking coaster ride with The Great Goofini as the first phases in the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history welcome summer guests

"The Magic, The Memories, and You!" summer show. Starting May 25, a new summertime version of "The Magic, The Memories, and You!" will project onto Cinderella Castle. The nightly spectacular - a park favorite since it debuted in early 2011 -- includes hundreds of photos of Magic Kingdom guests taken that day. Also projecting onto "it's a small world" at Disneyland Resort.

Stay Amid Enchanting Tales as Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
May 31 marks the opening of Disney's newest resort, consisting primarily of family suites immersing guests in the magical worlds of Disney and Disney-Pixar animated films. Landscape of Flavors food court will feature customized dining options at this value-category resort.

Game-Play Away the Day (and Night). Parks Come Alive with New Interactive Experiences. This is the first summer for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, an engaging interactive experience enabling guests - armed with magic spells in the form of special cards -- to defeat the Disney Villains. Coming this June, Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P's World Showcase Adventureturns Epcot guests into secret agents seeking clues that help Agent P defeat his nemesis Dr. Doofenschmirtz.

Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Galaxy in May-June.
With character appearances, themed parades, star conversations, behind-thescenes presentations and autograph sessions, the popular event brings a galaxy far, far away to Disney's Hollywood Studios weekends May 18 - June 10, 2012.

Everybody's Gone Surfin'"..at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. What says summer better than surfin? Guests this summer can cut, carve and "hang 10" as part of Craig Carroll's Cocoa Beach Surf School. It's at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, one of two award-winning Disney water parks that are a cooling option for summer guests.

First Summer for Caribbean Cruises of Disney Fantasy. Fresh from her March 31 maiden voyage, Disney Fantasy offers entertainment, activities and dining experiences made for seven-night cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean.

AAU Basketball National Championships come to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Boys and girls compete in events July 3 through Aug. 4. The competition features top high-schoolers and has historically been among the premiere collegiate basketball recruiting events in the nation.

Splitsville. Coming to Downtown Disney West Side this fall, Splitsville will be a
new daytime and nighttime hub for strikes, spares and nonstop family fun, boasting 30 bowling lanes on two floors.

Summer Version of “The Magic, The Memories, and You!” Coming May 25 to Walt Disney World

Debuting May 25 at Disneyland's "it's a small world", too

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Starting on May 25, Disney Channel stars Phineas and Ferb kick off a rockin' summer celebration that visits the beach, the jungle and under the sea with favorite Disney characters and cherished Disney music - and it all plays out on Cinderella Castle, famed icon of Walt Disney World Resort.

It's the newest performance of the award-winning "The Magic, The Memories, and You!" Castle projection show that has amazed Magic Kingdom guests since debuting 15 months ago. As part of Disney's "Let the Memories Begin," the ten-minute, nighttime spectacle features photos of guests captured in the park that very day making memories -- projected larger than life among the spires, towers and turrets of Cinderella Castle. In similar fashion, guest images are projected onto "it's a small world" at Disneyland Park in California. The popular Fantasyland attraction in Anaheim, Calif. also will feature the new summer show, starting May 25.

And what a show awaits guests on both coasts! Hang ten with surfin' Goofy, join Timon and Pumbaa in singing Hakuna Matata, and rock out with Ariel, Sebastian and the hot crustacean band at the bottom of the ocean.

Along the way at Disney World, the Castle goes through some dramatic, eye-filling transformations, from sand castle to ancient vine-covered ruin to colorful finger-painting to tropical aquarium. With a fast-paced musical score and plenty of visual surprises, this will be the latest must-see magic that has brought Cinderella Castle / "it's a small world" to life for the past 15 months - while retaining some of the most popular scenes that made it a hit with guests when the show bowed in 2011.

As always, the dazzling show will feature more than 500 photographs taken in each park daily, producers estimate, as guests make memories to last a lifetime.

Producers storyboarded the show as if it were a short animated film, explained Alan Bruun, creative director, Disneyland Resort. They weaved music, story, photography, video and animation into a new kind of nighttime entertainment.

"The images dance to favorite Disney tunes and culminate in a spectacular finish punctuated by animated and actual fireworks," Bruun said. "Guests see the Castle behave in ways they would have never thought possible."

Show times vary depending on park hours. "The Magic, The Memories, and You!" is included in theme park admission.

New Fantasyland Openings Announced!

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Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations for U.S. and France, announced general opening timeframes today, April 27, for several attractions in the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland project.

-- The second half of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction will open in July 2012, along with the Casey Jr. Splash 'n' Soak Station.

-- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston's Tavern, and Ariel's Grotto will open in time for the holidays. Disney has even released a sneak peek at the interior of the new restaurant here:

-- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will debut in 2014.

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Epcot's Test Track to Get Major Redesign

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The Disney Parks Blog has announced details and concept art relating to the redesign of Epcot's Test Track.

The revamped attraction will allow you to design your own custom concept vehicle, and then put it through its paces on the hills and switchbacks of the Test Track circuit. In the post-show, you'll be able to make a TV commercial featuring your concept car or truck. You'll also have the chance to race your car or truck on a virtual track and take a picture with your custom concept vehicle.


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The attraction is currently scheduled to reopen late fall.

April 30, 2012

New Tutto Italia Wine Cellar Opens May 1 at Italy at Epcot

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NEW YORK, NY April 30, 2012 - Patina Restaurant Group officially opens Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar at the Walt Disney World Resort on May 1. Located in a reproduction of the Medici Palace in the Italy pavilion at Epcot, the new wine cellar is a space that was "discovered" as Tutto Italia was being built. This "unearthed treasure" features 200 Italian wines and a selection of authentic Italian small plates.

"Tutto Gusto offers a refreshing place to relax and sample authentic tastes of Italy during a day at Epcot," said restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group, Nick Valenti. "It is a welcome addition to the popular dining options at the Italy pavilion."

"We are always looking at ways to keep Epcot fresh and vibrant for our Guests," said Erin Youngs, vice president of Epcot. "The new Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar and refreshed Tutto Italia are excellent enhancements to World Showcase. Both nicely complement Via Napoli and offer Guests a chance to enjoy the richness of Italian culture as they savor the authentic flavors of Italy."

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Bruschetta di Capri from Tutto Gusto


Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar offers a variety of delectable small plates, perfect for sharing, to pair with its wines. Menus feature sections devoted to simple, flavorful piccoli piatti such as bruschetta di Capri, pizze fritte, polenta funghi e taleggio. Artisanal Italian cheeses are on offer in the formaggi section, with everything from soft, creamy La Tur to salty-sweet aged Parmigiano Reggiano. Fresh hand-crafted mozzarella will be made in bufala and fior di latte styles. Also featured are cured, sliced meats in the affettati section - including prosciutto di Parma, mortadella, sopressata and more. The corkscrew-shaped cavatappi pasta is highlighted in its own section, with different preparations.

Chef Renzo Barcatta grew up in Cavalese, Italy and honed his skills in restaurants in Venice, Milan and Rome. He will prepare authentic dishes with choices sourced across Italy, offering the best of each region. In addition to pairing well with wine, Chef Baracatta's creations also match nicely with family-friendly agua frescas and other non-alcoholic beverages.

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Caponata from Tutto Gusto


Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar will be unveiled as part of Tutto Italia's grand re-opening. The architecture of both properties reflect classical antiquity and symmetry emblematic of the Italian Renaissance period. Tutto Italia has been completely refurbished along with a new enclosed patio to offer al fresco dining. Both the restaurant and wine cellar are furnished with authentic design elements directly from Italy: chandeliers, marble and limestone floors, wall hangings and more.

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar joins Tutto Italia and Via Napoli Pizzeria e Ristorante, also run by Patina Restaurant Group, in the Italy pavilion in Epcot World Showcase at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Tutto Gusto is not on the Disney Dining Plan. For reservations for Tutto Italia or Via Napoli (no reservations accepted for Tutto Gusto), call 407-WDW-DINE.

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About April 2012

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

March 2012 is the previous archive.

May 2012 is the next archive.

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