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June 2012 Archives

June 1, 2012

Big Help for Hunger Relief Gets Underway

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 30, 2012 - Disney executives were among a group of community leaders who helped Second Harvest Food Bank break ground on a new $15 million facility that will provide hunger relief for thousands of Central Floridians in need.

On May 30, the construction of the 100,000-square-foot distribution center got under way marking a milestone in the "Building Solutions to Hunger" capital campaign. Last year Walt Disney World Resort donated $500,000 to this campaign and pledged 20,000 pounds of fresh produce to Second Harvest.

"We know that a contribution today in this new facility will benefit our community for decades to come," said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort. "I encourage other companies to join in this outstanding community effort."

Scheduled to open its doors in early 2013, the new facility will serve 55,000 people each week and will help provide one million more meals for children every year. Due to insufficient space Second Harvest is forced to turn away more than four million pounds of donated food each year.

"The worst part is, most of the rejected donations were nutritious, high-quality fresh fruits, vegetables and meals. It's heartbreaking," said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest.

Last year more than 730,000 people, half of them children, received emergency food in the six Central Florida counties served by Second Harvest.

Understanding this need, Walt Disney World has shown its commitment by providing financial support, sponsoring food drives and encouraging Cast Members to volunteer their time to sort food. Since 1971, Disney has also donated several million pounds of food through its "Harvest Program" which collects prepared and un-served food from eateries throughout the resort's properties and delivers it to the food bank five days a week.

Downtown Disney Revs Up All Things 'Cars' June 2-3

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - A classic car show with a modern twist and turn, Car Masters Weekend is back for its second year at Downtown Disney June 2-3, 2012. Celebrating everything "Cars," the free, two-day event features a car show presented by Hess Express, meet and greets with Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile.

In a race for Best in Show, car enthusiasts from the local Muscle Car Network of Central Florida will display more than 100 classic, muscle and exotic cars for families and judges to view. Guests are invited to vote for their favorite car to win the People's Choice and Kid's Choice awards.

Revving up the fun, legendary automotive designer Chip Foose will be making special appearances as one of the car show's guest judges. Foose, who contributed to the design of Ramone in the Disney-Pixar Cars film, also will be on-hand for a signing of his Cars-inspired images, including Doc Hudson, Lightning McQueen, Flo, Ramone and Mater.

New Car Masters elements this year include High Performance Karting from Richard Petty Driving Experience; vehicles from the new Exotic Driving Experience at Walt DisneyWorld Speedway; a LEGO interactive zone and "Cars"-themed topiaries. Jay Ward, Disney-Pixar Cars filmmaker, also will make an appearance. In addition, fans can purchase tickets for an all-day Cars and Cars 2 movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney 24.

Returning events will include a chance for guests to put the pedal to the metal with Ridemakerz model cars; Disney face painters & tattoo artists; a DJ and several local food trucks. General Motors also will have their latest Chevrolet models on display, including the Corvette Grand Sport, Camaro Convertible and the Volt.

The event will take place at Downtown Disney West Side from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. For more information, visit disneyworld.com/downtowndisney.

Mail a Smile Forever Stamps Celebrate Disney-Pixar Characters

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - Amid a sea of smiles, the U.S. Postal Service celebrated the issuance of 125 million new stamps today featuring popular Disney-Pixar characters. The Mail a Smile Forever stamps official First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony took place at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

Available nationwide today, all 125 million stamps can be purchased online at usps.com/shop, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724) or by visiting Post Offices.

"These delightful stamps lift spirits and touch hearts and remind us that when it comes to connecting with loved ones, technology is no match for the mail," said Jo Ann Feindt, Postal Service Southern Area vice president, in dedicating the stamps as part of the resort's grand opening.

Joining Feindt in dedicating the stamp featuring beloved Disney-Pixar characters was Jay Ward, legacy guardian for Pixar Animation Studios.

"We're thrilled 'to infinity and beyond' that these popular characters from Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo and other great Disney-Pixar films are featured on these colorful new stamps," said Ward. "This stamp issue will make posting a letter lots of fun for everyone in the family."

Following up on Send a Hello stamps issued in 2011, the eagerly awaited Mail a Smile stamp sheet includes five different designs spotlighting:

Flik and Dot from "A Bug's Life" (1998);
Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) and Dashiell "Dash" Parr from "The Incredibles" (2004), with "Dash" also shown running in the background;
Nemo and Squirt from "Finding Nemo" (2003);
Woody, Bullseye, and Jessie from "Toy Story 2" (1999); and
Boo, Mike Wazowski, and James P. "Sulley" Sullivan from "Monsters, Inc." (2001).

The back of the stamp sheet shows blue-pencil sketches of characters from these movies interspersed among text that exhorts readers to mail a smile to a loved one. Postal Service art director William Gicker of Washington, DC, worked with Disney-Pixar to design the stamp art.

Customers may view the Disney-Pixar characters Forever stamps, as well as many of this year's other stamps, and vote for their favorite stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service's online site for background information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Mail a Smile Stamp
Main Office - Orlando
10401 Post Office Drive
Orlando, FL 32862-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Aug. 1, 2012.

How to Order First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service Catalog Request

PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Philatelic Products

There are nine philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

470063, First-Day Cover Set of 5, $4.45.
470066, Postcards (20) 4 of each design, $15.95.
470067, First-Day-of-Sale Set of 5, $4.45.
470068, Digital Color Postmark (DCP) Set of 5, $8.
470084, Uncut Press Sheets, $36.
470091, Ceremony Program (random single), $6.95.
470092, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
470094, Stamp Deck Card w/DCP (random single), $1.95.
470099, Cancellation Keepsake (Random DCP w/Pane), $10.95.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Walt Disney World Ticket Price Increase June 3, 2012

source: Disney Parks Blog 6/1/12

Ticket prices at Walt Disney World Resort will increase on June 3.

AllEars.Net's preferred ticket vendor MapleLeafTickets.com will honor the pre-increase prices into next week.

Theme Park Ticket Options(*)
Days On Ticket Base Ticket Optional Add-Ons
Ages 10-up Ages 3-9 Park Hopper® Water Park Fun & More Park Hopper® & Water Park Fun & More No Expiration
10 days $318
($31.80/day)
$300
($30.00/day)
$57 $57 (10 visits) $79 (10 visits) $275
9 days $308
($34.22/day)
$290
($32.22/day)
$57 $57 (9 visits) $79 (9 visits) $250
8 days $298
($37.25/day)
$280
($35.00/day)
$57 $57 (8 visits) $79 (8 visits) $215
7 days $288
($41.14/day)
$270
($38.57/day)
$57 $57 (7 visits) $79 (7 visits) $190
6 days $278
($46.33/day)
$260
($43.33/day)
$57 $57 (6 visits) $79 (6 visits) $165
5 days $268
($53.60/day)
$250
($50.00/day)
$57 $57 (5 visits) $79 (5 visits) $130
4 days $256
($64.00/day)
$239
($59.75/day)
$57 $57 (4 visits) $79 (4 visits) $85
3 days $242
($80.67/day)
$226
($75.33/day)
$57 $57 (3 visits) $79 (3 visits) $40
2 days $176
($88.00/day)
$164
($82.00/day)
$57 $57 (2 visits) $79 (2 visits) $30
1 day $89 $83 $35 $57 (2 visits) $79 (2 visits) n/a

Base Ticket admits guest to one theme park each day of use. Park choices are: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Park Hopper option entitles guest to visit more than one theme park on each day of use. Park choices are any combination of Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom on each day of use.

Water Park Fun & More option entitles guest to a specified number of visits (between 2 and 10) to a choice of entertainment and recreation venues. Choices are Disney's Blizzard Beach water park, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park, DisneyQuest, Disney's Oak Trail golf course, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (includes 30-minutes of game play at The PlayStation® Pavilion), Disney's Fantasia Gardens (before 4:00 pm) and Disney's Winter Summerland (before 4:00 pm).

No expiration means unused admissions on a ticket have no expiration date. All tickets expire 14 days after first use unless No Expiration is purchased.

Theme Park Annual Pass Options (*)
Ticket Ages 10-up Ages 3-9
Annual Pass $574 $574
Annual Pass entitles guest to unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, as well as complimentary parking.
Premium Annual Pass $699 $699
Premium Annual Pass entitles guest to unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), Disney's Oak Trail golf course, DisneyQuest and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, as well as complimentary parking.
Attractions Outside the Theme Parks (*)
Ticket Ages 10-up Ages 3-9
Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach 1-Day 1-Park / Annual Hopper $52 / $99.95 $44 / $80.50
DisneyQuest 1-Day / Annual Pass $44 / $89 $38 / $71
DisneyQuest + Water Parks Annual Pass $129 $99
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex $14.95 $10.28
Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba $73-$128 $58-$102
Theme Park Miscellaneous Options (*)
Parking $14 (tax included) ($15 camper/trailer) per day
Single Stroller $15 per day ($13 per day for length-of-stay rentals)
Double Stroller $31 per day ($27 per day for length-of-stay rentals)
Locker Theme Parks: $7 per day (large lockers $9 per day) + $5 refundable deposit
Water Parks: $8 per day (large lockers $10 per day) + $5 refundable deposit
Wheelchair $12 rental per day ($10 per day for length-of-stay rentals)
ECV $50 rental per day + $20 refundable deposit

Stroller, Wheelchair and ECV rentals at Downtown Disney require a $100 refundable deposit.

Florida Resident Theme Park Tickets and Options (*)
Park Hopper® Water Park Fun & More Park Hopper® & Water Park Fun & More
Ages 10+ Ages 3-9
Florida Resident 4-Day Ticket $192 $178 $28.50 $28.50 $57
Florida Resident 3-Day Ticket $169 $157 $28.50 $28.50 $57
1-Day MYW Ticket $89 $83 $17.50 $28.50 $46

Valid proof of Florida residency per adult is required for purchase and use. Florida Resident 3-Day Ticket and Options and Florida Resident 4-Day Ticket and Options expire 6 months after first use or 12/18/2013, whichever comes first. Block-out dates apply.

Florida Resident Theme Park Annual/Seasonal Pass Options (*)
Ticket Ages 10-up Ages 3-9
Florida Resident Annual Pass $425 $425
Florida Resident Annual Pass entitles residents to unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, plus complimentary parking.
Florida Resident Premium Annual Pass $559 $559
Florida Resident Premium Annual Pass entitles residents to unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks, DisneyQuest, Disney's Oak Trail golf course and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, plus complimentary parking.
Florida Resident Seasonal Pass $299 $299
Florida Resident Seasonal Pass entitles residents to admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom except for "blockout" dates around Christmas/New Years, Easter/spring break, and peak summer vacation period; the pass expires 365 days after activation.


Florida residents can also take advantage of special pricing on 3-Day and 4-Day tickets and a popular monthly payment plan for annual passes.

Any of these ticket options enable guests to make the most of their Walt Disney World experience.

June 5, 2012

Fantasyland Expansion Continues - What's Next for Dumbo

As Fantasyland gears up for the next phase to open, the Disney Parks blog has shared some sneak peak photos for Storybook Circus.

While a new Dumbo and re-themed Goofy's Barnstormer has already opened, the next phase will include the 2nd Dumbo and the brand new interactive queue area!

According to Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager, "This innovative queue area will completely redefine what it means for guests to prepare for a Disney attraction. Here's how it will work: Guests arrive at Dumbo's big top and receive a circus ticket pager that virtually holds their place and notifies them when it's their turn to board the attraction. Kids (and kids of all ages) can then become part of the show inside the tent by enjoying circus-themed play experiences, while Dumbo flies high above."

Families no longer have to wait in outdoor lines in the hot sun! With 2 Dumbos and the new queue area, the Must Do Dumbo charge will hopefully turn into a more pleasant experience for all.

Dumbo Queue

Dumbo Queue


Sneak Peak at Prince Eric's Castle -Fantasyland Expansion

Prince Eric's Castle will house what will certainly be a very popular addition to the Fantasyland Expansion, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid. While the ride itself is almost identical to the version in Disney California Adventure, the exterior theming is completely different.

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June 6, 2012

Dumbo's New Interactive Queue

Disney has slowly been revealing the new elements of Storybook Circus, part of the Fantasyland Expansion.

One of the most talked about areas is the indoor interactive queue area that allows kids and families to wait out of the sun and also be self-entertained. This area is scheduled to open in July.

Show Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering Anne Kelly takes us through the new queue area:

Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features

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EVENT INFORMATION

August 11 and 12, 2012 - Grand Ballroom, Disneyland Hotel

COST: $225 per person

Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features is an unprecedented celebration of the art, storytelling, music, voices, imagination, and innovation of Disney's benchmark films.

From Walt Disney's groundbreaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph, guests will experience a two-day journey through the art of Disney feature animation - filled with fun, laughter and rarely or never-before-seen artwork, photos and film clips of beloved Disney characters and stories - all the while surrounded by some of the world's leading animation legends, artists and authorities.

While more announcements are forthcoming, the detail about Destination D below is current as of June 4, 2012.

This promises to be an extraordinary celebration with additional participants and presentations to be announced in the weeks ahead:

DAY ONE - SATURDAY, AUGUST 11

Walt Disney and the First Golden Age of Disney Animation

Walt and his original team of animators and artists invented an entirely new genre of filmmaking storytelling. Together they created unparalleled bodies of work that continue to delight audiences around the world.

Join our panelists who participated first-hand (or witnessed) the remarkable creation of Walt Disney's feature animated films:

Joe Hale-43-year Disney veteran who contributed his artistic talents to such films as Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Mary Poppins.

Burny Mattinson-Disney Legend and 50-year veteran of Disney animation who contributed his artistic talents to such "Golden Age" favorites as Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and The Jungle Book.

Ted Thomas-Son of legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas and director/writer of the acclaimed documentaries Frank and Ollie and Walt & El Grupo.

Roy E. Disney and the Second Golden Age of Disney Animation

Roundtable discussion of Roy E. Disney's influence on the "Second Golden Age of Disney Animation"-from The Black Cauldron and The Great Mouse Detective through the modern-day classics of the 1990s.

Join our panelists who participated first-hand (or witnessed) Roy E. Disney's remarkable stewardship of Disney's contemporary animation renaissance:

Dave Bossert-Author of an upcoming book on Roy E. Disney, and creative director and head of special projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios; artistic coordinator and visual effects supervisor on Fantasia/2000 and associate producer of the short "Destino" among many other accomplishments.

Roy P. Disney-Son of Disney Legend Roy E. Disney, former Disney Imagineer, and first-hand witness to Disney animation's second "Golden Age."

Don Hahn-Noted author, Disney animation historian, and producer of some of Disney's most successful animated films of the second golden age, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Emperor's New Groove.

The Greatest Disney Animation You Never Saw

Enjoy a "Behind-The-Magic" peek at the art of Disney feature animation. Academy Award®-nominated film producer and author Don Hahn and Creative Director for Walt Disney Animation Studios David Bossert present rarely seen (or never before seen at all) Disney artwork and animation from more than 75 years of Disney animated features.

Animating The Disney Parks

Disney Parks owe a great deal of their creative development and design to the roots of Disney animation. Join current and former Disney Imagineers as they discuss how legendary Disney Imagineers, including Marc Davis, Mary Blair, Claude Coates, Herb Ryman, John Hench, and many others, successfully transferred their skills and talents from the world of Disney feature animation to "animating the Disney Parks."

Join our panelists who personally worked with many of these Disney animation and Imagineering greats:

Tony Baxter-Senior vice president, Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, whose project credits include Disneyland Paris, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones™ Adventure, and Splash Mountain.

Eddie Sotto-Noted experiential designer, mixed-media producer, conceptualist, and former Disney Imagineer, whose projects included the design of Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Paris, early work on Indiana Jones™ Adventure at Disneyland, plus Mission: SPACE at Epcot and Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland.


An Evening Concert: Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix

The fun continues into the night with an unforgettable evening of harmony provided by Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix. The popular vocal quartet is comprised of legendary television, Broadway and film star Dick Van Dyke and three renowned west coast musicians-Mike Mendyke, Bryan Chadima, and Eric Bradley. Songs from Van Dyke's varied entertainment career, in addition to many well-known Disney hits and timeless pop standards, will be performed by Van Dyke and The Vantastix in a show rich in humor, pure entertainment, and sing-along favorites. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won't want to miss!

Exclusive Screening: Walt & El Grupo-The Director's Cut

Presented exclusively for D23 Members and their guests is the definitive director's cut (not available on DVD) of the acclaimed 2009 film documentary Walt and El Grupo. Hosted by Director Ted Thomas and Producer Kuniko Okubo, the film chronicles the amazing 10-week trip that Walt Disney and his hand-picked group of artists and filmmaking talent (later known as "El Grupo") took to South America in 1941 at the behest of the U.S. Government.

DAY TWO - SUNDAY, AUGUST 12

Wacky and Wild Disney Animation

Go on a wacky and irreverent ride through some of the most psychedelic and visually stunning animation ever put on film in this fun and humorous retrospective of Disney feature animation. Along the way you'll learn of the contributions of such "characters" as Disney Legend Ward Kimball, renowned artist Salvador Dali, and many others.

Your hosts through this animation "Wonderland":

Jerry Beck-Well-known animation historian, with 10 books and numerous articles to his credit. Jerry is an animation producer, and industry consultant to Warner Bros., and has been an executive with Nickelodeon and Disney and is also a popular blogger on the subject of animation.

Eric Goldberg-A veteran director, designer and animator, his Disney credits includes being the supervising animator of Genie in Aladdin, co-director of Pocahontas, animator of Phil in Hercules, followed by Fantasia/2000, which he directed, wrote, and animated two critically acclaimed sequences: "Carnival of the Animals" and "Rhapsody in Blue." His animation work can also be seen in the Tokyo Disney Seas attraction Magic Lamp Theatre and the recently unveiled Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

Tinker Bell: The Evolution of a Disney Character

Have you ever wondered how a character becomes a "Disney" character? As we take you on a
fascinating trip through the decades in a presentation filled with never-before-seen art,
photos, and film clips, you'll see how Tinker Bell developed into one of Disney's most iconic characters.

Your tour guides include:

Mindy Johnson-Author of the upcoming book Tinker Bell: An Evolution-(new for Fall 2013 from Disney Editions).

Margaret Kerry-Live-action reference model for Tinker Bell in Walt Disney's 1953 animated film classic Peter Pan.

Disney Feature Animation Stars-Drawing With Personality

The Walt Disney Studios is often credited with perfecting "personality animation," creating
from paper and pencil characters that seemingly live and breathe. In this
entertaining and educational presentation you'll discover the secrets behind the creation of
some of Disney's most beloved animated stars, plus you'll get the chance to design your own
Disney animated character under the guidance of a master Disney animator.

Your instructor:

Andreas Deja-30-year Disney animation veteran, whose impressive body of work includes serving as supervising animator on characters in several classic Disney animated features, including Gurgi in The Black Cauldron, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King, Mickey Mouse in Fantasia/2000, Lilo in Lilo & Stitch, Mama Odie in The Princess and the Frog, and Tigger in Winnie the Pooh. He's also a noted Disney animation historian and authority on the work of legendary Disney animator Milt Kahl.

Hearing Voices: A Salute to Disney Character Voice Artists

Meet the artists behind the voices. We put a spotlight on the many men and women who have
supplied some of the most familiar voices ever to grace movies screens. This unique
reunion of Disney character voice talent highlights some of the great voices of the past
as well.

Our roster of Disney character voice talent stars include (to date-more to be
confirmed over the next few weeks!):

Dick Jones-Voice of Pinocchio (Pinocchio, 1940)

Kathryn Beaumont-Voice of Alice (Alice in Wonderland, 1951) and Wendy Darling (Peter Pan, 1953)

Lisa Davis-Voice of Anita (One Hundred and One Dalmatians, 1961)

David Frankham-Voice of Sergeant Tibbs (One Hundred and One Dalmatians, 1961)

Bruce Reitherman-Voice of Mowgli (The Jungle Book, 1967) and Christopher Robin (Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, 1966)

Chris Sanders-Stitch (Lilo & Stitch, 2002)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Still "The Fairest of Them All"

Walt Disney's animation masterpiece Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs introduced an entirely
new filmmaking genre-the Disney animated feature-and put in motion the creation of an
unparalleled library of films that remain unrivaled in their artistic and storytelling achievements.

Join us as we salute this groundbreaking film with a rare west coast appearance by 93-years-young Marge Champion, the live-action reference model for the character of Snow White. Also joining the presentation will be Gabriella Calicchio, CEO of The Walt Disney Family Museum, to provide insights on the museum's upcoming Snow White exhibition and an exciting new D23 opportunity.


An Evening With Disney Legend and Oscar®-Winner Alan Menken

Please "Be Our Guest" as we conclude our celebration with a rare musical concert by Disney Legend Alan Menken. With eight Academy Awards®, Alan Menken has received more Oscars than any living person. He has written songs and scores for some of the world's most beloved films: Tangled (Oscar nominee), Enchanted (three Oscar nominations) The Little Mermaid (two Oscar wins), Beauty and the Beast (two Oscar wins), Aladdin (two Oscar wins), Pocahontas (two Oscar wins), Hercules (Oscar nominee), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Oscar® nominee), Little Shop of Horrors (Oscar nominee), Home on the Range, and Newsies.

Menken is currently the first songwriter in 13 years to have three new shows running concurrently on Broadway (Sister Act, Newsies, and Leap of Faith). His Broadway successes include The Little Mermaid (Tony Award® nominee), Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, and Sister Act (Tony Award nominee). His other stage productions include King David, Newsies, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Aladdin.

Exclusive Screening: Waking Sleeping Beauty - The Director's Cut

Presented exclusively for D23 Members and their guests is the definitive director's cut (not available on DVD) of the acclaimed 2010 film documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty. With screening hosted by director Don Hahn, the film chronicles how by the mid-1980s the fabled animation studios of Walt Disney had fallen on hard times. Waking Sleeping Beauty is the true story of how Disney regained its magic with a staggering output of hits-The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and more-over a 10-year period.

D23's Destination D series has become one of the fan club's most popular member events. Past "destinations" have celebrated 55 years of Disneyland and 40 years of Walt Disney World Resort. Now it's time to celebrate the diamond anniversary of one of the most universally beloved and unique film genres-the world of Disney animated features.

June 7, 2012

The Walt Disney Company Sets New Standards for Food Advertising to Kids

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BURBANK, Calif., June 5, 2012 - Building on its landmark nutrition guidelines established in 2006, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today became the first major media company to introduce new standards for food advertising on programming targeting kids and families. This significant undertaking marks the latest step in Disney's partnership with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles.

Under Disney's new standards, all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, and Disney-owned online destinations oriented to families with younger children will be required by 2015 to meet Disney's nutrition guidelines. The nutrition guidelines are aligned to federal standards, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and call for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.

"We're proud of the impact we've had over the last six years," said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. "We've taken steps across our company to support better choices for families, and now we're taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids. The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories gives us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives."

Since 2006 when Disney became the first major media company to establish nutrition guidelines, the company has successfully combined its unique storytelling, beloved characters, and unparalleled reach to make healthier lifestyles for families more appealing and more fun. Disney's unmatched efforts have received critical acclaim and recognition from moms, nutrition experts, and federal regulators.

"This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "This is a major American company - a global brand - that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives. With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the U.S. - and what I hope every company will do going forward. When it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell, they are asking themselves one simple question: "Is this good for our kids?"

"Mickey Check" Tool

In addition to its new advertising standards, Disney today introduced the "Mickey Check" tool, an icon that calls out nutritious food and menu items sold in stores, online, and at restaurants and food venues at its U.S. Parks and Resorts. By the end of 2012 the "Mickey Check" will appear on licensed foods products, on qualified recipes on Disney.com and Family.com, and on menus and select products at Disney's Parks and Resorts.

Disney Magic of Healthy Living on Vacation

In 2006, Disney pioneered new, well-balanced kids' meals served at its Parks and Resorts, which automatically include nutritious sides and beverages such as carrots and low-fat milk, unless parents opt out. Of the more than 12 million kids' meals served last year at Disney Parks and Resorts in the U.S., parents stuck with the healthier options 6 out of 10 times. Now, Disney will enhance its breakthrough efforts by further reducing sodium in kids' meals and introducing new well-balanced kids' breakfast meals.

Disney Magic of Healthy Living at Retail

Since 2006, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) has sold more than two billion servings of Disney licensed fruits and vegetables in North America, and has transformed its food offerings resulting in 85 percent of all U.S. licensed products meeting the company's nutrition guidelines and only 15 percent reserved for special occasion treats. Additionally, Disney will further reduce sugar and sodium in all licensed foods.

Disney Magic of Healthy Living On-Air

Disney's iconic characters, creativity, and family entertainment platforms offer a unique position from which Disney can help make nutritious eating and physical activity fun and rewarding. Disney Magic of Healthy Living includes online resources for families, live events, as well as informative short-form programming. The on-air spots, which today reach almost 100 million households in the U.S. on Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior, inspire and encourage kids and families to live healthier lifestyles through better eating habits and fun activities.

Disney's 2006 nutrition policy stipulated that promotions aimed at children 12 years old and under - most notably for films - would meet specific guidelines. Since then, Disney kid-targeted film promotional campaigns feature only healthier food and beverage products.

"Making healthy eating and physical activity fun is central to creating healthier generations to come," said Dr. James O. Hill, who worked with Disney to develop its nutrition guidelines, and is executive director of the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center at the University of Colorado. "Disney is using 'magic' - fun and creativity - to encourage kids and families to make positive changes, and it is working."

About Disney Magic of Healthy Living

Disney Magic of Healthy Living partners with parents and inspires kids and families to lead healthier lifestyles. This initiative includes engaging content, useful tools, as well as nutrition guidelines that pair the fun of Disney's stories and characters with a well-balanced portfolio of foods and healthier lifestyle choices. Disney's nutrition guidelines, which were first introduced in 2006, were developed with the help of experts and align to federal standards. For more information, please visit: www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/mohl

D23’s EPCOT 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

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COMMEMORATES 'THE DAWN OF A NEW DISNEY ERA' THAT BEGAN OCT. 1, 1982

The Official Disney Fan Club Salutes Three Decades of Epcot on Sept. 30, 2012, as the 21st Century Begins Again With the Most Comprehensive Retrospective Ever Mounted

BURBANK, Calif. - June 7, 2012 - Hailed as the most groundbreaking theme park of its time, Epcot marks its 30th anniversary on Oct. 1, 2012, and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is preparing a unique celebration of one of Disney's crowning achievements.

On Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, D23's Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration will whisk D23 Members back to a time touted as when "the 21st century begins"-those early Epcot years when guests first marveled at "Astuter Computers," "Smellitzers," and the novelty of "riding on sunshine," and were awed by a massive geodesic sphere called Spaceship Earth.

This journey to yesteryear, the future, and around the world takes place one day only: on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. inside Epcot (Park admission is required and not included in the event ticket price). Each D23 Member may bring up to three guests.
"When Epcot opened in 1982 it was a monumental achievement and its opening was an unforgettable moment for Disney fans everywhere," says Steven Clark, head of D23. "We know our members have a deep passion for this park, and we're producing a memorable experience that lets our members relive some of their favorite Epcot shows and attractions of the past while experiencing the incredible Epcot legacy that continues today."

D23's Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration will offer the most detailed look at the design, development, and evolution of Epcot ever presented by The Walt Disney Company and will include rare and never-before-seen artwork; film and video footage and photos; along with a number of pioneers of Epcot, including such Disney Imagineers, Legends, and Epcot luminaries as Marty Sklar (exclusive pre-taped presentation), Tony Baxter, Ron Schneider, Charlie Ridgway, Ron Logan, Bill Sullivan, Bob Garner, Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, Alex Wright, Duncan Dickson, and Steve Taylor.

Tickets will be available for purchase on June 21 at 10 a.m. on D23.com. There are two levels of D23 Member participation:
World Passport general admission is $65 per guest and includes:
- Access to all presentations
- A commemorative gift
- Access to exclusive D23 merchandise

World Key level admission is $185 per guest and includes:
- All features of the World Passport admission
- Reserved seating for all presentations
- A special dessert reception at 8 p.m. inside an exclusive Future World lounge
- Exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity with Disney Legends and Epcot luminaries
- Reception will also include screenings of rare film footage of Epcot's early days

Presentations Include:
• Hooray for the 21st Century - Disney Legend and former Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Creative Executive Marty Sklar joins D23 guests via a virtual presentation, where we see and hear what it was like to work with Walt Disney on his original vision for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Along the way, learn about Marty's favorite memories working on the EPCOT Center project with a team of passionate Imagineers.

• The Music of EPCOT Center - Some of Epcot's most passionate fans agree that the park's soundtrack has created one of its most lasting legacies that continue to help "makin' memories" around the world. Join Disney historians and songwriters as we explore the incredible world of Epcot music, celebrating the talents of such Epcot songwriters and composers as Bob Moline, Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, George Wilkins, Buddy Baker, X. Atencio, Peter Stougaard, Russell Brower, Edo Guidotti and others who have left a permanent musical mark on the park's creative legacy. Along the way, hear stories about the recording sessions, learn about some fascinating alternate versions of some of your favorite melodies, and sing along to your favorite Epcot tunes!

• "We Can Do It!" - Disney Legends and EPCOT Center creators review the immense challenge that loomed ahead of them when bringing Epcot to reality in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Guests will hear stories of trips to foreign countries to secure participants in the World Showcase concept, what life was like inside the largest private construction project in the world, and how they readied its highly anticipated opening day.

• "We've Just Begun to Dream" - Join Disney Legend Ron Logan and other key Disney entertainment veterans as they reminisce about the official EPCOT Center opening festivities that remain among the most elaborate Disney has ever staged. This presentation will include rare footage from the grand openings of various Future World and World Showcase pavilions, which were held throughout October 1982.

• "Makin' Memories: Epcot on Film" - Join former Disney Imagineer Bob Garner and Disney author and historian Tim O'Day as they cast a "Magic Eye" on the marvelous world of Epcot on film. Bob was closely involved in the creation of film documentation and production at Epcot, including special video elements of Future World and World Showcase pavilions and such promotional films as EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration.

• "Looking Back at Tomorrow" - Few Epcot visitors, even its most avid fans, realize The Land pavilion was almost called "Harvest Tomorrow" or that Figment was slated to co-host an "Images & Imagination" pavilion with "Professor Marvel." With recently discovered materials from the Walt Disney Archives, join Disney archivists as they examine how the "dreamers and doers" developed favorite Epcot attractions of the past including Horizons, Journey into Imagination, Kitchen Kabaret, World of Motion, the Astuter Computer Revue, and the original Universe of Energy.

• "The EPCOT Center That Never Was" - Using rare concept artwork, guests will glimpse what it was like to design Epcot with Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Vice President Tony Baxter, designer and producer for several beloved Epcot pavilions, and explore early versions of Epcot attractions that never made it off the drawing board.

• "Imagineering Epcot: An Extra Perceptive Close-up Of Things - Fans of wall-to-wall carpeting and leapfrog fountains unite! Disney Imagineers Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, and Alex Wright return with a humorous exploration of the details that make Epcot so unique. From miniature gardens to massive buildings (and every international food and beverage offering in between), they'll show what makes Future World and World Showcase like no place else on earth.

More details about the program and tickets for D23's EPCOT 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION can be found online at www.D23.com.

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.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.

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

June 12, 2012

Tinkering in Maurice's Cottage at New Fantasyland

The latest round of detailed photos of the Fantasyland expansion are from Maurice's Cottage (opening in time for the holidays).

Maurice's Cottage is the room that welcomes guests to the Enchanted Tales With Belle meet-and-greet experience. You can explore the tinkerer's humble cottage and workshop.


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Dining on Buena Vista Street - at Expanded Disney California Adventure Park

ANAHEIM, Calif. - "If Main Street, U.S.A., is the romanticized version of Walt Disney's hometown, Buena Vista Street is the next chapter of Walt's life when he came to California," says Ray Spencer of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI). "It's an extension of where we started at Disneyland Park . . . and now our guests can step across the plaza and get the rest of the story."

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A big part of that story was the premier of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles, and that landmark building is the inspiration for the spectacular Carthay Circle Theatre that anchors Buena Vista Street. This new landmark for Disney California Adventure Park becomes one of the premier dining locations at Disneyland Resort, the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge.

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The upstairs Carthay Circle Restaurant and downstairs Carthay Circle Lounge recall the grandeur of the original theater's 1920s Spanish Revival architecture with custom tiles, plaster arches, custom woodwork and other historic touches. The cuisine is the star of this production with artisan ingredients, locally sourced produce and seafood and meats from throughout Southern California. Executive Chef Andrew Sutton from Napa Rose at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa created the restaurant's seasonal menu, and Chef Gloria Tae, also from Napa Rose, is at the helm in the kitchen.

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"The culinary team is a group of true artists with passion and confidence for creating delicious food," says Sutton.

Located on the second floor, the 256-seat restaurant (200 inside, 56 on the terrace) is open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll
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Halibut Ceviche with Green Tomotillo Salsa and Plantain Chips
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Firecracker Duck Wings

On the ground floor, the 68-seat Carthay Circle Lounge features cocktails from the 1920s with tableside service for signature beverages including martinis and classic punches. "The focus in the lounge is appetizers and tapas - international tastes that celebrate the diversity and heritage of Los Angeles in the 1920s and '30s," says restaurant manager and sommelier Joy Cushing.

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Fried Banana Split Monte Cristo Sundae

Hours for both the restaurant and lounge are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

More Eats on Buena Vista Street

Buena Vista Street also offers four spots for quick bites: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe; Mortimers Market, Trolley Treats and Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream.

The 178-seat Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe (134 inside, 44 outside) offers Starbucks coffee drinks; signature sandwiches such as a turkey Rueben, paneer and roasted vegetable and salami with olive tapenade, and roast beef and cheddar, as well as savory soups including vegetarian cream spinach, chicken tortilla, classic chicken noodle and cheesy enchilada. Sweet rolls, pastries and breakfast sandwiches are on the morning menu along with specialty coffees.

Mortimers Market will offer whole and cut fruits, bottled water, juices and soft drinks. (According to Disney legend, Mortimer Mouse is the name Walt Disney gave his new creation in 1928. He later changed it to Mickey.)

Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream features Dreyer's ice cream, including bars dipped in milk or dark chocolate that guests can finish with sprinkles, pop rocks and other fun toppings. Hot fudge and strawberry sundaes and other frozen delights round out the sweet offerings.

June 14, 2012

Cars Land Celebrates Premiere at Disney California Adventure Park

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Bringing Radiator Springs to Life with Three New Attractions and Fuel-Driven Fun

ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 13, 2012) - The Happiest Place on Earth got even happier tonight as the Disneyland Resort celebrated a VIP premiere of Cars Land that featured Lightning McQueen and Mater from the Disney-Pixar movie "Cars," voice actors from the movie that inspired the land and a grand finale with fireworks that lit up the expansive mountain range in Cars Land.

The largest piece of the five-year expansion at Disney California Adventure Park, Cars Land adds 12 acres of immersive excitement to the park and offers freewheeling fun for everyone as it brings the town of Radiator Springs to life, just as guests remember it from the blockbuster movie.

The evening's festivities opened with red carpet VIP arrivals including Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and voice actors from the "Cars" movie. As celebrities walked the carpet, the Goodyear blimp "Spirit of America" flew overhead, providing aerial coverage of the celebration.

Grand opening ceremonies began with an onscreen remote broadcast of "Cars" stars Lightning McQueen and Mater racing across the highways of America on their way to welcome guests at the premiere. Staggs and Lasseter welcomed voice talent from the movie on the stage leading up to a spectacular grand finale - the arrival of Lightning and Mater in Cars Land, a chorus of roller-skaters and dancing mechanics, the electrifying light-up of the neon signs that line Route 66, and a stunning fireworks display over the mountain range of Ornament Valley.

"The crown jewel of our Disney California Adventure expansion, Cars Land is the extraordinary result of a close collaboration between the gifted filmmakers at Pixar Animation Studios and our talented Imagineers and cast members," Iger said "It's also a spectacular example of our ability to take our characters and stories and bring them to life in new and unexpected ways."

"More than five years ago, we embarked on a journey to realize Bob Iger's vision of transforming Disney California Adventure with new attractions featuring our most iconic characters, including Mater, Lightning McQueen and the residents of Radiator Springs," said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "Cars Land immerses guests in the world of 'Cars' like never before and combines the imagination of Pixar with the creativity, innovation and legendary storytelling that are the hallmarks of a Disney Parks experience."

"While I love all of the movies we've made at Pixar, the 'Cars' films are particularly close to my heart, so seeing Radiator Springs come to life at Disney California Adventure is a dream come true," Lasseter said. "The artistry and attention to detail throughout Cars Land is absolutely incredible, and I couldn't be more proud of the teams at Pixar and Walt Disney Imagineering who worked side-by-side to make this project a reality."

The thrilling additions of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure add to the storytelling magic of the Disneyland Resort, a world-class, family vacation destination in Southern California with two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district.

Cars Land invites guests to explore "the cutest little town in Carburetor County," where they will enjoy three family attractions showcasing places and characters from the movie: Luigi's Flying Tires, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Radiator Springs Racers, one of the largest and most elaborate attractions created for a Disney theme park.

Themed shops and restaurants also look familiar to fans of the movie, including Flo's V8 Cafe, Cozy Cone Motel and Ramone's House of Body Art. The Radiator Springs locals are at home, so Lightning McQueen and Mater make appearances and pose for photos near the Cozy Cone Motel.

"We want guests to think they are on this great road trip and, in a way, almost like they are going home," said Kathy Mangum, executive producer of Cars Land. "Cars Land will feel very familiar in so many different ways. I can't tell you how many people have seen it and said 'I can't believe I am in Anaheim."

Each attraction and facility will have its own personality, allowing guests to get to know more about the characters who live in Radiator Springs.

"A lot of the places you will find only inside Cars Land, so we took the theming and storytelling all the way through, in a way that guests will feel as if the town is being operated by the characters," Mangum said. "Everywhere you look there is a funny little car nod. After all, it is a land built by cars."

Many of the automotive winks were inspired by a research trip Imagineers took along Route 66. Others were inspired by working with the animators from Pixar.

The "Cars" gang gathers to prepare visitors for the big race in Radiator Springs Racers, the high-octane, indoor/outdoor adventure that revs through the beautiful mountains of Ornament Valley. Guests board cars, each with their own personality, for a scenic road trip that takes them through Radiator Springs, with a stop at either Luigi's Casa Della Tires or Ramone's House of Body Art. After getting some final racing tips from Doc Hudson, the cars zoom over the roadways in a nose-to-nose, high-speed race, never knowing which car may win.

Elsewhere in Cars Land, Luigi invites guests to the test-drive his new shipment of Fettuccini-brand "Cuscino D'Aria" tires - which are just like riding on air (or being on an enormous air hockey table). At this festival of flying tires, riders lean left and right aboard Luigi's Flying Tires, floating and bumping along in a 21st century attraction reminiscent of the classic Disneyland Flying Saucers attraction. Music plays and giant inflatable balls glide along the floor, adding to the fun.

Mater provides his own unique siren song, courtesy of a Junkyard Jukebox that has lured baby tractors into Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. There, the tractors dance to Mater's hoedown tune, swinging guests around in trailers they are pulling behind them. It's a "tow-si-do" square dance to a playlist of seven songs sung by Mater.

The streets of Radiator Springs are humming with entertainment, too. DJ, the ultimate party car - a big road-trippin' mobile boom box with giant speakers and built-in disc changer - invites his crew to "DJ's Dance 'n Drive," a spontaneous, interactive dance party. And Red the Fire Truck recruits guests of all ages to join "Red to the Rescue!" - helping water the flowers and clean up Radiator Springs. (Prepare to get wet!)

The road leading into Cars Land is dotted with large animated neon signs reminiscent of the '50s era of cross-country travel along Route 66. As with other aspects of the land, the neon signs are three-dimensional representations of recognizable landmarks from the movie "Cars," and they come to life each night at sundown when it's cruisin' time along the boulevard.

"Cars" fans and other interested shoppers will find a great selection of Cars Land and other Disney and Disney-Pixar gifts and souvenirs at the "local" retail shops in Radiator Springs. Although the interiors of most of these locales weren't seen in the movie, they were created for Cars Land by Walt Disney Imagineers with their characteristic attention to detail, drawing on inspiration from vintage stops along historic Route 66.

Sarge's Surplus Hut offers a broad selection of merchandise - kids clothing, costumes, hats, toys and plush - featuring Lightning McQueen, Mater and other "Cars" characters. Radiator Springs Curios is a country-style mercantile with special appeal for collectors of pins themed to all things "Cars." The shop also stocks magnets, antenna toppers and license plate frames. Ramone's House of Body Art features the signature items of the Low & Slow Car Club and Champion Custom Speed Shop collections in t-shirts, work shirts, hats and accessories.

Dining options in Cars Land include Flo's V8 Cafe, modeled on the quirky roadside eateries along old Route 66. The café serves full meals from a quick-service counter. A windowed "showroom" dining area and adjoining outdoor patio offer a breathtaking view of the Cadillac Mountain Range and the vehicles zooming by in Radiator Springs Racers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at Flo's, and specialties include chicken tamale with scrambled eggs, brioche French toast with salted caramel and bananas, home-style rotisserie classics such as pork loin or New York strip loin, plus the house-made Pie-O-Rama for dessert.

The distinctive, orange "cone" architecture of Sally's Cozy Cone Motel offers quick service cone-themed snacks from five different cones, including ice cream cones, chile "cone" queso, pop "cone" and other "cone"-coctions. Fillmore's Taste-in celebrates the Cars Land "new age" hippie-van-in-residence. His food and beverage kiosk offers the "high-octane" natural health benefits of fresh fruits, bottled water and juices.

Record-Setting Attempt at Disney’s Blizzard Beach

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Disney's Blizzard Beach joined 500 host locations for the World's Largest Swimming Lesson event June 14, 2012. It was part of a worldwide simultaneous effort to break the Guinness World Record set last year. The global swim lesson, aside from great fun, brings awareness to the importance of water safety.

June 18, 2012

Cars Wing Offers High-Octane Fun at Disney's New Family Suites Resort

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 18, 2012) - Lightning McQueen, Mater, Flo and other characters from the popular Pixar film "Cars" race into Radiator Springs just in time for the summer vacation season today as Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens the second phase of its new family suites property at Walt Disney World Resort. Less than a month ago, Disney's Art of Animation Resort opened its first phase of family suites, themed to Finding Nemo.

In the new Cars wing, featuring 480 family suites, a freshly paved road leads guests on the greatest road trip ever, a cruise down memory lane to small town America - Radiator Springs. Parked at the entryway Sheriff and the infamous Doc Hudson welcome folks into town, along with other car "faces" parked along the road. There's backdrops of Luigi's Casa Della Tires, Tow Mater Towing and the Wheel Well Motel, creating an authentic setting lifted from the super-charged adventure.

All roads lead to the 60's style Cozy Cone Motel where distinctive orange cone-shaped cabanas invite guests to kick back and then take a dip in the Cozy Cone Pool. High-octane theming is full-throttle inside the family suites, with orange cones imprinted in the carpeting and adorning the light fixtures plus animation-inspired artwork. Guests will feel as though they walked into a scene from the blockbuster film as a pull-out bed extends from the living room sofa (whimsically appearing as the back seat of an old hot rod), the tool chest is actually the dresser and the bathroom design is inspired by a car wash.

Opening in phases, each of four distinctly designed wings of Disney's Art of Animation Resort celebrates rich storytelling, spirited characters, original sketches and playfulness with colorful icons and whimsical theming inspired by classic Disney and Disney-Pixar films. The final family suites wing - "The Lion King" - opens Aug. 10 with 320 suites. All the themed areas offer elaborate storytelling both inside and out, from each beloved film depicted. Standard guest rooms will make up "The Little Mermaid" wing, the final phase set to open Sept. 15 with 864 rooms.

Opening in phases, each of four distinctly designed wings of Disney's Art of Animation Resort celebrates rich storytelling, spirited characters, original sketches and playfulness with colorful icons and whimsical theming inspired by classic Disney and Disney-Pixar films.

Disney Friends for Change Launches Ambassadors Program

DISNEY FRIENDS FOR CHANGE LAUNCHES AMBASSADORS PROGRAM
TO INSPIRE MILLIONS OF KIDS AND FAMILIES TO
MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES

Disney Channel Stars

Disney Channel Stars Debby Ryan ("Jessie"), Bella Thorne and Zendaya ("Shake It Up"), and Ross Lynch and Laura Marano ("Austin & Ally") Serve as Inaugural Ambassadors

$750,000 in Grants Awarded as Part of Program Launch

BURBANK, Calif., June 18, 2012 - Disney Friends for Change, a global
initiative that inspires kids and families to take action and make a difference
in their communities, today announced that Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan
("Jessie"), Bella Thorne and Zendaya ("Shake It Up"), and Ross Lynch and Laura
Marano ("Austin & Ally") will serve as Friends for Change Ambassadors,
encouraging kids and families to make a lasting, positive change by helping
people, communities, and the planet.

In collaboration with select non-profit organizations, Disney Friends for
Change Ambassadors will lead campaigns to engage millions of kids to take action
and volunteer. Each nonprofit will receive a Disney Friends for Change grant to
further the reach and impact of the themed campaign. In total, $750,000 will be
awarded to the following three efforts:


* "Helping Communities - Volunteer," led by Debby Ryan and in
collaboration with Free The Children (from June 29 - August 16)

* "Helping People - Be a Leader," featuring Bella Thorne and Zendaya,
and in collaboration with Free The Children (from August 17 - September 27)

* "Helping the Planet - Green Your Scene," championed by Ross Lynch
and Laura Marano, and in collaboration with TreePeople (from September 28 -
November 30)

"We are so excited about the real difference kids are making every day using
our action kits and volunteering in their communities," said Leslie Goodman,
senior vice president for Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy at The Walt
Disney Company. "Through the leadership and encouragement of our Disney Friends
for Change Ambassadors, we hope to inspire millions of more kids to take action
and change their worlds."

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide,
said, "The bond our viewers have with our talent is deep and powerful. As
ambassadors of Friends for Change, our talent can serve as a megaphone for the
importance of pro-active community involvement, motivating kids and their
families to discover the many rewarding ways we can all make our world a better
place to live." He continued, "I often talk to my team about extending our
value as a company beyond the TV screen, and this initiative does an exemplary
job of that - and for this, I could not be prouder."

As part of the program, Disney Channel will debut a series of interstitial
messages, featuring the Disney Friends for Change Ambassadors beginning MONDAY,
JUNE 18. Disney Channel, Radio Disney, and
Disney.com will chronicle the Ambassadors throughout the summer as they
volunteer and inspire kids of all ages to lead. Also part of the interstitial
series and debuting FRIDAY, JUNE 29, Debby Ryan will share her personal
experience volunteering in India through Disney Friends for Change with Free The
Children, where she helped build a new school for a local village. Inspired by
the stories and efforts of Disney Friends for Change kids, Debby helped to start
the Ambassadors program.

To coincide with the on-air interstitials, Friends for Change will offer tools
and resources at www.disney.com/friends where
kids and families can discover additional ideas on how to make a difference.
Site visitors are able to download action kits, learn more about the
Ambassadors' campaigns, and participate in the new Shout Out Module, an online
forum that allows kids and families to motivate each other and exchange tips on
actions to help their schools and neighborhoods. Families can also vote online
to further support each Ambassador's campaign and help thousands of more kids as
a result.

June 19, 2012

Building a Grotto Under the Sea in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom

Disney's imagineers are continuing to provide up close looks at the details to be found in the new Fantasyland Expansion.

Here's a sneak peak at the queue for Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.

Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid

The queue starts out by winding guests through the remains of an old shipwreck. The wood is faded from the sun, balustrades are missing, and the wreckage is dotted with starfish and algae.

Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid

Further along, guests will find themselves enveloped by the towering rocks on which the ship perished, with the path leading into caves under Prince Eric's seaside castle.

Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid


Examining the surrounding rocks up close, it looks like the wooden ship wasn't the only watercraft to meet its end in this area.

Opening in time for the holidays 2012!

June 20, 2012

President Obama and Mitt Romney to Address NALEO Conference at Disney

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 20, 2012 - Serving as the site for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) 29th Annual Conference, Disney's Contemporary Resort and Convention Center will be a hub of political activity today through Saturday as President Barack Obama, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and other special dignitaries are scheduled to address attendees.

"We're pleased that the President of the United States will be joining our nation's Latino leadership at this historic event," said Sylvia R. Garcia, NALEO President. "With the changing demographics and the growing Latino population, this conference is an opportunity for the President to address key elected officials and leaders regarding the Administration's efforts to address the unique issues and challenges facing the Latino community today."

"We are grateful that Governor Mitt Romney has accepted our invitation to join us and address the nation's Hispanic leadership at our annual conference," said Juan C. Zapata, Chairman of the NALEO Educational Fund. "Hispanic officials are eager to hear more about the Governor's plans for the country and his thoughts on the Hispanic community's aspirations and concerns."

Additional speakers include: US Senator Bill Nelson, US Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solís; Florida Governor Rick Scott and former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, among others.

The three-day convention is the nation's largest gathering of Latino leadership with nearly 1,000 Latino public officials who work in all levels of government. Conference participants will join political and policy leaders for panel discussions on education, health, financial empowerment, broadband adoption and the growing clout of Latino voters in American politics.

Click here to view the conference schedule.

NOTE: Possible traffic congestion and delays are anticipated during the President's visit on Friday, June 22. Guests and Cast Members should allow extra time for travel.

Also, now through Saturday, June 23, the guest parking lot at Disney's Contemporary Resort will only be available to Guests staying at the resort or with dining, spa or recreation reservations.

On Thursday and Friday, June 21-22, the following guest parking lots will be available only to Guests staying at the resort or with dining, spa or recreation reservations:

· Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

· Disney's Polynesian Resort

June 26, 2012

Halloween Time and Mickey's Halloween Party Dates at Disneyland Announced

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Dates Announced for this year's Halloween Time and Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland.

Halloween Time will run from September 14 through October 31st.

Disneyland park will host Mickey's Halloween Party on the following dates:

Friday, September 28 - 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Tuesday, October 2 - 6 to 11 p.m.
Friday, October 5 - 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Tuesday, October 9 - 6 to 11 p.m.
Friday, October 12 - 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Monday, October 15 - 6 to 11 p.m.
Friday, October 19 - 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Tuesday, October 23 - 6 to 11 p.m.
Friday, October 26 - 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Monday, October 29 - 6 to 11 p.m.
Wednesday, October 31 - 6 to 11 p.m.

Mickey's Halloween Party features:

++ Halloween Screams fireworks spectacular, exclusively for Mickey's Halloween Party guests

++ Admission to the Disneyland park up to 3 hours prior to the event's start time

++ Meet-and-greets with your Disney and Pixar pals and Disney Villains

++ Special treat stations offering both yummy candy and healthy goodies

++ Mickey's Costume Party Cavalcade

++ Special dance parties

++ Access to nearly all attractions, including all the Halloween-themed attractions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday

Tickets for Mickey's Halloween Party go on sale for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders on July 9 and for the general public on July 16.

Each ticket is valid for admission to the event and parking for one (1) vehicle (larger vehicles may require an additional fee) on the specified event date.

Double Dumbo Now in Flight Testing

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Magic Kingdom guests will blink back in amazement at the scene: not one, but two colorful Dumbos spinning through the sky above Storybook Circus as the expansion of the New Fantasyland continues.

To the delight of fans of the beloved Dumbo, the Flying Elephant attraction, a second Dumbo is in its soft-testing phase, with limited hours, taking its place alongside a Dumbo that opened in March. It's part of the multiyear, largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.

Not only are two Dumbos, side by side, unprecedented for a Disney park anywhere in the world, they even fly in opposite directions: one clockwise, the other counterclockwise. A real circus act, if you will. Official opening is set for July.

The iconic attraction was inspired by "Dumbo," the 1941 animated Disney feature film about a baby circus elephant born with huge ears. Dumbo and his mother suffer the taunts of other elephants and circus guests. But humiliation turns to triumph when Dumbo is surprised to discover, with the help of his faithful mouse friend, Timothy, that he can use the oversized ears to fly.

And "fly" is the sensation guests get aboard the Dumbo-shaped vehicles of Dumbo, the Flying Elephant. Young and old alike delight in controlling the up-and-down movement of their vehicles with the simple maneuver of a lever.

Both Dumbos feature shiny new red and gold colors (inspired by '50s- and '60s-era tin toys), beautiful newly-created signature illustrations from Disney animators and a new water feature circling the base of both attractions - a first for Dumbo.

The two Dumbos are connected to a new "big top" area (open limited hours in this soft-testing phase) allowing guests to immerse themselves in circus lore in a series of fun, interactive experiences before their spin with their favorite circus elephant.

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Guests receive a circus ticket pager that virtually holds their place and notifies them when it's their turn to board either Dumbo. In the meantime, fun-filled games and experiences are theirs to enjoy - in air-conditioned comfort. Guests electing the FASTPASS option bypass the tent en route to their flight with Dumbo.

Along with the two Dumbos, Storybook Circus now boasts the family-friendly Barnstormer coaster re-themed to The Great Goofini, the new Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station, a stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

Disney Cruise Line Unveils New Itineraries and Ports for 2013

First-Ever Miami Departures and New European Destinations Provide More Options for Disney Cruise Line Guests

CELEBRATION, Fla. (June 26, 2012) - In 2013, Disney Cruise Line will offer new itineraries, including an expanded portfolio of European cruises with new destinations such as Venice, Italy, and the Greek Isles. In addition, Disney Cruise Line will utilize a second homeport in Florida, with Caribbean sailings departing from the Port of Miami for the first time.

With the addition of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy to the fleet of cruise ships, Disney Cruise Line is able to take more families to more destinations around the world. Disney Cruise Line has always catered to the unique vacation needs of families, and next year will be enhancing the cruise options for guests - whether it's sun and sand in the Caribbean, outdoor adventures in Alaska or experiencing the wonders of Europe.

Highlights of the Disney Cruise Line 2013 schedule include:

Mediterranean from Barcelona

Beginning June 1, 2013, the Disney Magic returns to Europe with plenty of new twists to the Mediterranean itineraries, including a four-night option and special 12-night sailings in addition to seven-night itineraries that treat guests to the best of Europe during the three-month season.

The new 12-night sailings visit destinations such as Venice, Italy, and Croatia's Dalmatian Coast on one itinerary and Ephesus, Turkey and the Greek Isles including Athens, on another. Each itinerary will offer a sailing departing in June and another departing in July.

All itineraries depart from Barcelona, Spain, as the Disney Magic takes guests on an exciting journey of richly diverse cities, cultures and people. With romantic boulevards, bustling bazaars, iconic locations, mild climates, sun-drenched islands and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea, guests will enjoy a world-class family vacation with legendary Disney guest service.

Rates start at $796 per person for four-night cruises, $1,015 per person for seven-night cruises and $2,244 for 12-night cruises departing from Barcelona for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.


Four-night Mediterranean Getaway

Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Departure dates: July 9, Aug. 6

Seven-night Mediterranean Cruise

Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Naples, Italy

Departure dates: June 1, 8, Aug. 10, 17, 24, 31

12-night Mediterranean with Greece

Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Mykonos, Greece; Valetta, Malta

Departure dates: June 15, July 13

12-night Mediterranean with Venice

Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Naples, Italy; Venice, Italy (overnight); Dubrovnik, Croatia; Valetta, Malta

Departure dates: June 27, July 25

Bahamas and Western Caribbean from Miami

Disney Cruise Line will sail from Miami for the first time on Dec. 23, 2012. One six- and one seven-night Caribbean sailing set the stage for a schedule of three-, four- and five-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean. Ports of call include Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; Key West; Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

The itineraries offer families magical days at sea to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Wonder or Disney Magic and days in port to lounge on warm, golden beaches, to swim and snorkel in azure waters or to shop to their heart's content in exotic marketplaces.

Rates start at $609 per person for three-night cruises, $500 per person for four-night cruises and $575 for five-night cruises from Miami for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Five-night Caribbean

Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay

Departure dates: Jan. 5, 19, Feb, 2, 16, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27, Oct. 27, Nov. 10, 24, Dec. 8, 22

Five-night Caribbean

Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

Departure dates: Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, March 11, 25, April 8, 22, Nov. 1, 15, 29, Dec. 13

Four-night Bahamas

Ports: Miami, Key West, Nassau, Castaway Cay

Departure dates: Jan. 10, 24, Feb. 7, 21, March 7, 21, April 4, 18, May 2

Four-night Bahamas

Ports: Miami, Key West, Castaway Cay

Departure dates: Nov. 6, 20, Dec. 4, 18

Three-night Bahamas

Ports: Miami, Nassau, Castaway Cay

Departure dates: Dec. 27, 30

Western Caribbean from Galveston

Disney Cruise Line will begin sailing from Texas in 2012, from the Port of Galveston to the Western Caribbean. Six-, seven- and eight-night cruises from Galveston will continue through 2013.

Rates start at $750 per person for six-night cruises, $840 per person for seven-night cruises and $920 per person for eight-night cruises departing from Galveston for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Six-night Caribbean:

Ports: Galveston, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

Departure dates: Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 9, 23, March 9, 23, April 6, 20. May 4

Seven-night Caribbean:

Ports: Galveston, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel

Departure dates: Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30, Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28

Eight-night Caribbean:

Ports: Galveston, Key West, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel

Departure dates: Jan. 4, 18, Feb. 1, 15, March 1, 15, 29, April 12, 26, May 10

Alaska from Vancouver

Beginning May 27, 2013, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.

These cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Disney Cruise Line worked closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to best experience Alaska's natural beauty and rich history.

Rates for seven-night Alaska cruises departing from Vancouver start at $1,015 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Seven-night Alaska:

Ports: Vancouver, Tracy Arm (scenic cruising through fjord), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan

Departure dates: May 27, June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26, Sept. 2

Caribbean and Bahamas from Port Canaveral

The Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will continue to sail a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries departing from Port Canaveral.

The Disney Fantasy will sail out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Caribbean itineraries - alternating eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). Special Eastern Caribbean sailings, January through April 2013, stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico. All Disney Fantasy itineraries include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Rates for seven-night Caribbean cruises on the Disney Fantasy start at $1,085 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

The Disney Dream will sail three-, four- and five-night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Rates for three- and four-night Bahamian cruises on the Disney Dream start at $450 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Adventures By Disney

Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney will offer families unique land and sea experiences in the Mediterranean. Available on select departures, guests can maximize the magic with three-night or four-night pre-cruise Adventures by Disney vacation itineraries in Barcelona and Madrid. These immersive add-ons allow families to envelop themselves in the culture of the region with VIP access in the most-sought-after tourist destinations - such as the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona and the El Prado museum in Madrid - as well as hands-on lessons in archeology, flamenco dancing, local cuisine and stained glass crafting. Each Adventures by Disney departure is led by knowledgeable Adventure Guides who handle all the planning logistics so parents can relax and enjoy quality time with their family.

Families can also enhance seven-night and 12-night Mediterranean sailings with Adventures by Disney Onboard Experience packages. Throughout the voyage, guests will have access to exclusive Adventures by Disney activities and concierge service from dedicated Adventure Guides. These guides will also lead travelers at each port, helping them unlock the wonders of each destination through exclusive excursions and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Specific itinerary and pricing information for the 2013 Adventures by Disney experiences will be available in March 2012.

All Disney Cruise Line pricing reflects a category 11C standard inside stateroom, Government Taxes and Fees not included.

June 27, 2012

Be Our Guest Restaurant - Menu and Reservation News

Here's the latest information on the Magic Kingdom's newest dining experience, Be Our Guest restaurant, opening in time for the holidays 2012.

Braised pork for lunch and a grilled strip steak for dinner - Chef Michael Deardorff had a hard time choosing, but says those are two of his favorites from the new menu for Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

Guests can start making reservations in late August with the restaurant to be open for the holidays.

Chef Deardorff has been at the helm in Disney kitchens for 25 years, most recently as part of the opening of the restaurants at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i. Now he's back to open Be Our Guest, inspired by "Beauty and the Beast," with three dining rooms and seats for over 500 guests.

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"Lunch is quick service, but not traditional counter service," says Deardorff. Guest-activated terminals make ordering a snap (there also will be traditional cashiers for cash orders and special dietary requests). You order, take a seat and lunch is delivered to your table - on china, not paper.

Back to the menu. "It's all about simple, fresh ingredients," says Deardorff. "Just like your favorite quick-service restaurants across Magic Kingdom Park, you'll be able to enjoy sandwiches and salads at Be Our Guest Restaurant for lunch, but all with a twist that transports you to the French setting of 'Beauty and the Beast.'"

There's a little French bistro flavor with tuna Niçoise salad and a Croque Monsieur sandwich with carved ham, Gruyere cheese, béchamel and pommes frites (a fancy term for French fries). Or go for the carved turkey on a warm baguette with Dijon mayonnaise, or the grilled steak sandwich with garlic butter spread, both with pommes frites. Heartier fare includes braised pork that's cooked for eight hours, and for vegetarians, there's a loaded vegetable quiche or quinoa, shallot and chive salad.

Dinner is table service, with diverse starters such as a charcuterie plate with cured meats and sausages, mussels steamed in white wine, French onion or potato leek soup, and a salad with champagne vinaigrette. We're intrigued by the salad trio with three mini tastes of roasted beet, raisins and orange; green beans, tomatoes and roasted shallots; and watermelon, radish and mint.

Entrées include a thyme-scented pork rack chop with au gratin pasta, rotisserie rock hen with roasted fingerling potatoes, pan-seared salmon in leek fondue, grilled strip steak with pommes frites, sautéed shrimp and scallops with veggies in puff pastry with creamy lobster sauce, and an oven-baked ratatouille.

Oh, and dessert - we vote for the cupcakes, strawberry cream cheese or triple chocolate. If cupcakes aren't your favorite sweet ending, there's a chocolate cream puff and a passion fruit cream puff.

For kids 9 and under, the lunch entrées include a carved turkey sandwich, roasted pulled pork, Mickey meatloaf, seared mahi mahi, or whole-grain macaroni topped with marinara and mozzarella. For dinner, it's grilled steak, grilled fish of the day, whole-grain macaroni or grilled chicken breast.

"We think guests will be pleasantly surprised with the menu and the value," says Deardorff.

Previously shared videos of Be Our Guest Restaurant"

From the Disney Parks Blog

Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

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Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles in the prequel as the wise-cracking Mike Wazowski and lovable Sulley.

Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn't always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn't stand each other. "Monsters University" unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.



Screaming with laughter and fun, "Monsters University" is directed by Dan Scanlon ("Cars," "Mater and the Ghostlight," "Tracy") and produced by Kori Rae ("Up," "The Incredibles," "Monsters, Inc."). The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

Disney Named Conservationist of the Year by Wildlife Federation

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., - The Florida Wildlife Federation recently highlighted the efforts of the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) naming it "Corporate Conservationist of the Year" during its annual awards ceremony.

"The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund was chosen because of the very generous grants and remarkable efforts to support conservation projects, protect endangered species and conduct research in the field of conservation," said Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation. The Florida Wildlife Federation promotes the conservation, restoration, sound management and wise use of Florida's natural resources.

Through its grants program, the DWCF provides financial aid for the study of wildlife, the protection of habitats and the development of community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems around the world. In 2011, DWCF donated $20 million to support nearly 100 conservation projects from all over the world, including:

-- The Jane Goodall Institute's "Release of Wild Born Mandrills" back into the wild in the Republic of Congo
-- The Nature Conservancy's "Establishment of the New Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Population" in Florida
-- The World Wildlife Fund's "Chimpanzee Conservation Goes to School"
-- National Audubon Society's "Shorebird Conservation in The Bahamas"

In Florida, the DWCF has donated nearly $4 million to support 257 programs and 59 organizations. Some of the local initiatives include:

-- The Coral Restoration Foundation- The Coral Restoration Foundation is designed to help restore and expand the coral reefs not only of the Florida Keys region, but to the entire ocean.
-- Aiding Sea Turtle Conservation II- Sea Turtle Conservation monitors nursery habitats and movement patterns of green sea turtle hatchlings as they leave the Florida coast
-- Adopt-a-Turtle Nest- At Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom (Conservation Center), and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Disney's Epcot, guests are able to purchase an adoption package including a nest's tracking number. Proceeds from the program benefit turtle and beach conservation efforts throughout the state of Florida.
-- Restoring the Everglades ecosystems (Audubon of Florida) - To restore the Everglade ecosystems, wetland drainage, development and flood control are the key concerns.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is funded by Disney, which has committed to more than match guest contributions and cover all administrative costs. Guests help to support the fund in a variety of ways, from adding a dollar or more to their purchases of food and gifts at Disney's Animal Kingdom and select resorts to purchasing reusable shopping bags and other items and at Walt Disney World Resort.

To learn more about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund visit www.disney.com/conservation or email: Corp.Conservation@Disney.com

Okapi Baby Born at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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The cast at Disney's Animal Kingdom is happy to announce that late last week -- on June 21 -- they welcomed a new okapi calf to the family. The female calf has been named Nafuna, an African name meaning "delivered feet first."

First-time mom Zawadi and the calf, who weighed 35 pounds at birth, are doing very well and are being monitored closely by the animal care team in their backstage home at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The calf's dad, Akili, lives at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, where guests also can see okapi on the resort's savanna.

Guests will have two opportunities to catch a glimpse of the okapi calf a couple of months from now, when she goes out in the park's Ituri Forest. Guests can see okapi when they ride the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition and when they travel the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

In the wild, the okapi is considered rare, and they are threatened by habitat loss due to logging and human settlement, as well as by hunting.

Okapi fun facts:

-- The okapi's stripes work as camouflage when hiding in the partial sunlight that filters through the forest canopy.
-- Okapi are typically solitary animals, living alone or in mother-offspring pairs. They are extremely wary and secretive, making okapi very difficult to observe in the lowland rainforest of central Africa where they make their home.
-- The okapi's gestation period is about 14 months.
-- Adult okapi can reach weights of 550-720 pounds, with females typically being larger than males. They can live over 30 years in zoological facilities.
-- Normally silent, female okapi vocalize with a soft "chuff" during courtship and when calling to their calves. There are infrasonic qualities to their call, which are below the frequency that the human ear can pick up.

June 28, 2012

Finding Nemo - Coming in Digital 3D and Blue-Ray

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BURBANK, Calif. (June 2012) - Disney-Pixar's "Finding Nemo" dives back into theaters and homes this year in breathtaking Digital 3D™. The must-"sea," must-own Oscar®-winning underwater adventure-featuring the unforgettable Marlin, his forgetful friend Dory and the lovable young Nemo-returns to the big screen in a spectacular 3D theatrical release beginning September 14, 2012, and then swims into living rooms for the first time ever in high-definition Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and Digital platforms on December 4, 2012.

"'Finding Nemo' was originally shot in 3D," said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and the film's executive producer. "At last, with today's technological advances, this spectacular underwater world can be seen as it was intended-showcasing its eye-popping detail and breathtaking colors to both theatrical and in-home audiences and creating a truly immersive experience."

"Finding Nemo," first released in theaters in 2003, earned the Oscar® for Best Animated Feature Film and remains the fifth highest grossing animated film worldwide. In 2008, the American Film Institute named "Finding Nemo" among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made, and it is the second highest grossing Pixar film to date (behind "Toy Story 3").

The Blu-ray 2D and 3D debuts mark the first time "Finding Nemo" has ever been available in these hi-def formats. Featuring pristine high definition picture and sound, the Blu-ray creates an incredible at-home experience with a host of interactive features and bonus features including 3D Virtual Aquariums, 2D Virtual Aquariums, CineExplorer, a Filmmaker Roundtable and more.

The home entertainment release of "Finding Nemo" will be available this holiday season.

ABOUT "FINDING NEMO"

In this stunning underwater adventure teeming with memorable comedic characters and heartfelt emotion, "Finding Nemo" follows the momentous journey of an overprotective clownfish named Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and his young son Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould). When the two are unexpectedly separated in the Great Barrier Reef, Nemo is carried far from his ocean home and deposited in a fish tank in a dentist's office. Buoyed by the companionship of Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), a friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, Marlin embarks on a dangerous trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic effort to rescue his son--who hatches a few daring plans of his own to return safely home.

Directed by Oscar® winner Andrew Stanton, co-directed by Oscar winner Lee Unkrich and produced by Graham Walters, "Finding Nemo" also features the voices of Willem Dafoe (as Gill), Brad Garrett (as Bloat), Allison Janney (as Peach), Austin Pendleton (as Gurgle), Stephen Root (as Bubbles), Vicki Lewis (as Deb/Flo), Joe Ranft (as Jacques) Geoffrey Rush (as Nigel), Elizabeth Perkins (as Coral), Bob Peterson (as Mr. Ray), Barry Humphries (as Bruce), Eric Bana (as Anchor), Bruce Spence (as Chum), and director Andrew Stanton (as Crush).

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About June 2012

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

May 2012 is the previous archive.

July 2012 is the next archive.

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