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July 2012 Archives

July 2, 2012

California Grill to Close for Extensive Rehab

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort Gets Ready for a New Look

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Disney's California Grill will be closing for an extensive renovation beginning January 6, 2013. The restaurant is slated to reopen late summer.

Sporting a new look when it reopens, Chef Brian Piasecki is very excited about the "enhancements to the interactive kitchen - we'll be able to give a fresh spin to California Grill classics, and add some cutting-edge new selections to the menu."

Chef Brian Piasecki

There will be changes to the menu but Chef Brian explains "we'll still focus on a fresh, seasonal menu with top-of-the-line sushi. You can still look for creative flavors and techniques, and sophisticated cuisine."

California Grill's two private dining rooms are expected to remain.

The Cast Members in the kitchen as well as the dining room all plan to return.

California Grill sits high atop the Contemporary Resort offering spectacular views of not only the Magic Kingdom, but Epcot and the surrounding areas as well. It is one of the most popular spots for dinner and viewing the Magic Kingdom fireworks!

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Exciting News for DVC Members - Bay Lake Tower

From July 8-Aug. 25, 2012 - Summer Perk

The sleekly designed bar and lounge, typically available only to Members staying at Bay Lake Tower, operates from 5 p.m.-midnight daily and offers spectacular rooftop viewing of Wishes™ - the Magic Kingdom® fireworks spectacular - complete with the show's stirring musical soundtrack. The ability to access the lounge has been a frequent request from Members staying at other Walt Disney World Resorts since Bay Lake Tower opened in 2009, and Disney Vacation Club is thrilled to make that "wish" come true during this special summer period.

This perk is available exclusively to Members and those in their traveling party who are staying on that Member's reservation. At least one Member in the traveling party must accompany the group and present his or her current Key to the World card displaying a Disney Vacation Club Membership notation in order to gain admission to the lounge. If the Member's Key to the World card doesn't display a Membership notation, a Disney Vacation Club Member ID is required in addition to the Key to the World card to verify Membership.

Note that Members traveling from other resorts must use Walt Disney World Transportation, as parking will be unavailable to anyone not staying at Bay Lake Tower or Disney's Contemporary Resort. Upon arrival, Members must walk to the Bay Lake Tower main lobby entrance on the ground floor and check in at the Top of the World Lounge desk in the lobby.

This special Top of the World Lounge access is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the lounge reaches capacity. As the lounge is particularly popular during the Magic Kingdom fireworks, arriving as early as possible will give Members the best chance of gaining admission.

July 3, 2012

Beautiful Mosaics in the Be Our Guest Restaurant

Each week more details are revealed for unopened areas of the Fantasyland Expansion. This week, more photos of the inside the Be Our Guest Restaurant have been released:


One of the floor mosaics in the entrance is the Beast's enchanted rose trimmed in gold.


The mosaics on the walls tell the love story of Belle and the Beast.


This is the doorway to the restaurant. Notice the detail in the columns!

The Be Our Guest restaurant will begin taking reservations sometime in August and will open in time for the holidays.

July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July


July 5, 2012

HGTV Stars Coming to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival

HGTV stars are also known for their ideas and helpful hints for kitchen makeovers, party planning, and catering. Several will be appearing as special guests during this year's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

Here's the current schedule:

September 28-30 - "Design Star" Season 7 Winner (To be announced July 25)

Casey Noble
October 5-7 - Casey Noble - "Design on a Dime"

Alison Victoria
October 12-14 - Alison Victoria - DIY Network's "Kitchen Crashers"

Photo Not Available
October 19-21 - Brian Patrick Flynn - HGTV.com, "Design Happens" contributor

October 26-28 - Meg Caswell - "Meg's Great Rooms"

November 2-4 - Marianne Canada - HGTV.com, "Design Happens" contributor

November 9-12 - Emily Henderson - "Secrets From a Stylist"

July 9, 2012

Epcot Sounds Like Summer Concert Series - The Police Experience

The Police Experience
The Police Experience~ A Tribute to the Police Appearing July 8-14

From July 8-14 The Police Experience~ A Tribute to the Police will perform during the Sounds like Summer concert series at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

All performances are scheduled to take place at the open-air American Gardens Theater in World Showcase.

Show times are 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission. For the latest information and updated show times, guests may pick up an Entertainment Guide when entering the park.

July 10, 2012

WDW Encore Cast Performing Arts - July15-22, 2012

Finding Wonderland July 15-22, 2012

Have you ever felt that something was not quite right? Or maybe as though you had lost something? Or that there is a place where you are meant to be?

In "Finding Wonderland" we follow the journey of one person as they seek to discover a way back to a place they've always dreamed of.

Along the way they stumble upon friends and foes, triumphs and defeats, all the while certain they were meant for something more.

Performance Schedule

July 15, 16, 19, 20, 21 and 22, 7:30 p.m.

Premier Theater, Disney's Hollywood Studios

Ticketing Information

Prices - $15 to $35 , available at www.encorecentral.org

Proceeds benefit A Better Life Pet Rescue

About Encore! Cast Performing Arts

Encore! Cast Performing Arts is dedicated to providing Disney Cast Members and their families an outlet for creativity and expression in the performing arts as well as supporting charities that make Central Florida a better place to live.

Founded in 2002, Encore began with a handful of Walt Disney World Cast Members with a passion for music and a desire to benefit their local community. Assembling a small choir, dance troupe and pit orchestra, the team presented a cabaret-style collection of Broadway standards.

Since then, the group's repertoire has expanded to include pop favorites, Disney classics, patriotic anthems, gospel hymns, rock ballads and movie soundtracks. The group itself has expanded as well, now numbering over 500 volunteer singers, instrumentalists, dancers, actors, flag performers and support staff.

In 2012, the group adopted the name Encore! Cast Performing Arts to reflect this artistic diversity and commitment to creativity. As every member of Encore volunteers his or her time to participate, all proceeds from the group's concert spectaculars go directly to a Central Florida charity selected by the group. Since its inception, Encore has raised $175,000 for deserving Central Florida organizations dedicated to causes from medical research and wish granting to animal rescue and arts advocacy.

Annually, more than 50,000 volunteer hours go into preparing Encore performances from early concepts to sold-out shows. Encore is proud of the diversity the group's mission attracts. While many Encore members work in entertainment professionally, more than half of the group have daily roles in other lines of business at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, from park and resort operations to marketing, public affairs and information technology.

For more on Encore! Cast Performing Arts, including the 10th anniversary show "Finding Wonderland," visit the official Encore website at www.encorecentral.org.

DisneyanaMania Convention July 19 thru 22

DisneyanaMania Convention July 19 thru 22 at the Anaheim Crowne Plaza Resort

Would you like to spend an hour with Walt's Granddaughter? Want to have a Goofy dinner with a Disney Legend? Have you been wondering about the evil creative genius behind Phineas and Ferb? Have you had the urge to dress up like a pirate and have your costume judged by Alice Davis? Do you like to spend crazy amounts of money on Disney collectibles?

If you have answered YES to any or all of these questions, you need to come to our DisneyanaMania Convention July 19 thru 22 at the Anaheim Crowne Plaza Resort. Special Rates available. www.disneyanamania2012.eventbrite.com

Here is what you will be doing:

Thursday, July 19th

6:30 p.m. - Goofys Anniversary Celebration benefiting Ryman Arts

Here is your chance to sit with one of our famous Disney Guests at dinner and donate to a great cause. There will also be silent auction and live auction items donated by our special guests. Our special guests list includes:

Marty Sklar, Bill Farmer, Bob Gurr, Susan Egan, Rick Farmiloe, Mark Silverman , Margaret Kerry, Elisabete Gomes, Terri Hardin Jackson, Carolyn Carroll, Dick Jones, and Floyd Norman.

At least one of guests will be at your table! Don't miss out!

Seminar highlights for Friday and Saturday:

** Joanna Miller - Walt's Granddaughter

** ASIFA-Hollywood Aladdin Panel Moderated by Tom Sito and featuring Andreas Deja, Scott Weinger, Rick Farmiloe, and Duncan Majoribanks

** Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily

** Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh - Creators of Phineas and Ferb!
(Yes, yes they are)

** David Stollery- Marty from Spin and Marty series

Authors Panel:

Jack Lindquist, Sam Genneway, Bob Gurr, Dave Smith, Margaret Kerry, Carolyn Carroll and Dave Smith

Selling Disney - the Art (and Fun) of Movie Promotions with Robert Tieman

Luncheon with a Disney Legend honoring:
Glen Keane, Roger Broggie (Posthumously) and Roger Broggie Jr.

Celebration Banquet Dinner Panel with Alice Davis, Roger Broggie Jr., Ruby Pena and vocalist Nora Linden. We will be celebrating 45 years of Pirates of the Caribbean. Come dressed as your favorite pirate or red head!

Sunday, July 22 is our famous All Disneyana Show and Sale

If you are looking for a special piece of Disneyana, this is the place to be!

AllEars Readers get $1.00 entry to the Show and Sale. Click HERE for Coupon!

Don't miss out on one minute of the fun!

Limited number of packages left.

Registration is now open at
http://disneyanafanclub.org/ and

Also Our Host venue the Crowne Plaza Resort Anaheim is offering a special rate for us and you can book you room at this link:
or by calling the Hotel directly at

You can also Pre buy your All Disneyana Show And Sale Tickets at the link below.


Prince Eric's Castle in Fantasyland Expansion

Today we get a great look at Prince Eric's Castle which shapes the exterior of Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction.


Walt Disney Imagineering uses "forced perspective" to "trick" the eye into believing the towers are much taller than you think.

Here is the earlier artist rendering of Prince Eric's Castle.


Previous looks at Prince Eric's Castle and Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid:

Building a Grotto Under the Sea

Exterior Details

July 11, 2012

All-new Dine With Shamu At SeaWorld Orlando

Orlando's most immersive and memorable family dining experience -- Dine With Shamu at SeaWorld Orlando. Guests get closer than ever to SeaWorld's majestic whales while enjoying a delicious menu of seasonal and sustainable items at a reserved poolside table.

They'll get an incredible glimpse into the interactions that occur between SeaWorld's trainers and whales. They'll find out what makes killer whales such unique animals. And, everyone will learn about the many things we all can do to help save valuable ocean resources and habitats by enjoying sustainable and natural foods. It's a behind-the-scenes experience that will connect guests to the world we share like never before and it's only at SeaWorld Orlando. SeaWorld's commitment to the world we share extends into the food we serve. All items served at Dine With Shamu are seasonable, fresh and sustainable. The summer menu includes: • All-natural, grain-fed Black Angus strip loin

• 100% natural cinnamon-cured roasted pork loin

• Rosemary-glazed free range grilled chicken

• Filet of cod (certified sustainable)

• Seasonal sides including lemon butter herb-roasted red potatoes, summer vegetable lo mein, cucumber salad, mixed green salad, summer fruit salad, and coconut Caribbean rice

• Baked goods made fresh at SeaWorld

• Signature desserts

• Special kids' buffet

Dine With Shamu is $49 for adults and $24 for children (ages 3 through 9) and is not included with park admission. Prices do not include tax.

Advance reservations can be made at SeaWorldOrlando.com (starting July 14) or day-of inside the park at the reservations center.

July 12, 2012

Celebrate the Summer Games at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Swan and Dolphin Logo
A broadcast of the opening ceremony as well as a visit from past medal-winning athletes mark this special occasion

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - July 12, 2012 - The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is celebrating the summer games with a special event in the Dolphin lobby featuring the broadcast of the opening ceremonies in London displayed on large screen televisions, complimentary food and beverage and an opportunity to meet with past summer games medalists.

The event will take place on Friday, July 27 from 6 - 9pm and is open to hotel guests and the general public. (Please note, there is a fee for on-site parking)

On hand to interact, take photos and sign autographs with guests will be medalists:

Wendy Bruce-Martin ('92 gymnast)
Scott Johnson ('84 and '88 gymnast)
Fred Tyler ('72 swimmer).

"Gold medal" cookies, British-themed edible treats and recreational activities for kids will all be part of the festivities at the Orlando hotel.

For more information and to RSVP for the event, visit www.swandolphin.com/summergames. (Reservations are not required.)

About the athletes:

Bruce-Martin was part of gymnastics team USA in 1992 and helped the team bring home the bronze medal from Barcelona, Spain. Bruce-Martin now coaches gymnastics, with the goal of opening her own gym. Bruce-Martin was recently inducted into the USAG Gymnastics hall of fame in 2010 and the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Johnson is a two-time Olympian gymnast, winning the gold medal in 1984 and captaining the team in 1988. Since retiring from gymnastic competition in 1988, Johnson has continued to train up-and-coming gymnastic competitors in the Orlando, Fla. area.

Tyler earned a gold medal in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay and took fifth in the 200 meter free at the 1972 games in Munich, Germany. He currently teaches at Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Fla. and was previously the school's head aquatic coach where he trained numerous state champions and All Americans in both swimming and water polo.

July 13, 2012

Epcot Sounds Like Summer Concert Series - SouthBound and Company

SouthBound and Company A Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd
SouthBound and Company A Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd appearing July 15-21

All performances are scheduled to take place at the open-air American Gardens Theater in World Showcase.

Show times are 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. Sounds Like Summer concerts are included with Epcot admission. For the latest information and updated show times, guests may pick up an Entertainment Guide when entering the park.

July 17, 2012

Epcot's 30th Celebration - Merchandise

Product Developer Mary Myers has been working on merchandise for Epcot's 30th Celebration.

The shirts below are already available in Mouse Gear (Future World)

Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise

Here are examples of the merchandise that will be released this fall including shirts, pins, and "toothpick" holders sporting the original Future World icons!

Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise

Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise

Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise

Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise

Media Gets Update on Fantasyland Expansion


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., - July 12, 2012 - More than a dozen television stations and print publications got a peak behind-the-construction wall at Fantasyland. The largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history will create approximately 1500 jobs and nearly double the size of Fantasyland.

Since construction began in 2010, up to 700 construction jobs have been created, with an additional 800 operational jobs coming online over the next two years.

"By nearly doubling the size of Fantasyland, we will be able to accommodate more guests, and grow our business," said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president of Walt Disney World Parks. "Just as importantly, this expansion will add more attractions and experiences, giving guests even more reasons to return."

This multiyear expansion has been opening in phases. Recently, guests were able to enjoy Storybook Circus, which includes two carousels of Dumbo the Flying Elephant along with a new interactive indoor queue, a re-themed Barnstormer starring the Great Goofini, and Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station. By the holidays, several more experiences will be introduced, including Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston's Tavern and Ariel's Grotto.

In 2013, Princess Fairytale Hall is expected to open and in 2014, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will complete the multiyear project.

July 18, 2012

Frequent Dining Program at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin


Frequent diners at select Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin restaurants can begin earning Loyalty Points on their very first visit! Points accumulate with every purchase and are stored automatically on your Dining Passport. When enough points are accumulated, they can be redeemed for exclusive dining experiences, gift certificates and more.

The participating restaurants are: - Todd English's bluezoo, Shula's Steakhouse, Kimonos, and Il Mulino.

Simply stop by a participating restaurant to obtain a card. Go online to register your card and access your account!

Point rewards begin at 250 points with a $20 Resort Dining Gift Certificate.

Current Points and Rewards:

250 Points - $20 Resort Dining Gift Certificate
500 Points - $75 Resort Dining Gift Certificate
750 Points - $100 Resort Dining Gift Certificate
1,250 Points - $200 Resort Dining Gift Certificate
1,500 Points - Coach Don Shula's Autographed Football
1,700 Points - Sushi and Beverage Pairing for 4 by our Master Sushi Chef at Kimonos
2,000 Points - Wine and Cheese Experience for 4 in Coach Shula's Private Dining Room at Shula's Steakhouse
3,000 Points - 3 Course Tasting Menu and Wine Pairing for 4 at Il Mulino New York Trattoria
4,000 Points - Private Tasting Menu and Wine Pairing for 4 presented by our bluezoo Chef
5,000 Points - One Night Hotel Stay with 1-Day Disney Park Tickets for 4 and a $100 Dining Gift Certificate
8,000 Points - Two Night Hotel Stay with 1-Day Disney Park Tickets for 4 and a $200 Dining Gift Certificate
12,000 Points - Ultimate Dining and Fireworks Experience including Dinner for 4 at one of our Signature Restaurants of your choice (preset menu) and Private Dessert Reception aboard our Fant-A-Sea boat with an unmatched view on the water of the EPCOT Fireworks Spectacular.

* Orlando Residents - Round-trip transportation from your residence to the Resort is available for 750 Points. Reservations are required.


July 20, 2012

Disney Sponsored Turtles Compete in Annual Marathon


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- Fans at Disney's Vero Beach Resort will be able to cheer on "Peach" and "Pearl" as the two loggerhead sea turtles return to the Atlantic Ocean to compete in the annual Turtles Migration Marathon.

Named after characters from the Disney-Pixar movie Finding Nemo, Peach and Pearl are competing in the "Tour de Turtles: A Sea Turtle Migration Marathon" hosted by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) on July 28.

Peach is sponsored by Disney's Animal Programs and Disney's Vero Beach Resort, and Pearl is sponsored by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and Disney's Friends for Change. Joining them in the "marathon race" will be 12 other turtles starting at various locations. As all 14 turtles travel from their nesting sites to unknown feeding grounds, researchers will track them by satellite technology gathering vital information that will help conservationists and governing agencies make informed decisions about conservation methods and policies.

The turtle that swims the furthest distance will be named the winner. Audiences worldwide will be able to view the sea turtles' progress online at www.tourdeturtles.org and watch the marathon unfold.

"The marathon is important on the larger level because the CCC shares information with the National Marine Fishery Services which controls where people fish", said Anne Savage, Conservation Director of Walt Disney World Programs. "This will help determine where turtles swim in relation to where boats are, and to use that information to regulate the amount of time that people stay in those areas keeping the turtles out of danger."

During the marathon, each turtle will represent a "cause or threat" to their survival. Pearl's mission is to raise awareness on the entanglement effects caused by pollution, fishing lines and fishing nets. Peach's mission is to raise awareness on the effect of light pollution. Since sea turtle hatchlings rely on moonlight to find their way to the ocean, many become disoriented and drawn off-course by artificial light sources.

Among the oldest creatures on earth, sea turtles have remained essentially unchanged for the past 110 million years. In the United States, as much as 90 percent of sea turtle nesting occurs in Florida, which serves as home base for several species of endangered and threatened sea turtles. With as few as one out of 1,000 hatchlings surviving to adulthood, conservation efforts must focus on combating human-caused threats through education and research.

July 24, 2012

Walt Disney World Resort at Holidaytime

Walt Disney World Resort at Holidaytime Unwraps Festive Traditions, Glistening Ice Castle and Seasonal Spectacles


LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. - Disney elves blend yuletide traditions and Christmas cheer to create a wintry wonderland ready for holiday revelers at Walt Disney World Resort as early as November 9. There's an extra night of merry at the Magic Kingdom with 20 nights of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party; and at Epcot, singer/actress Olivia Newton John makes her debut as a celebrity narrator for the beloved Candlelight Processional. Highlights:
Magic Kingdom

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party will have its longest-ever run with 20 magical nights from November 9-December 21. For a quarter century, Walt Disney World guests have been mesmerized by this must-see event, a grandly festive tradition immersing families in the holiday spirit. Dates for 2012: Nov. 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30 and Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21.

Beginning at 7 p.m. (after regular park hours), guests with special event tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party can enjoy all the holiday splendor with lively stage shows, spectacular fireworks, a unique holiday parade and favorite holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. For more information, visit www.Disneyworld.com/Christmasparty. NOTE: this is a hard ticket special event after regular park hours; purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.

Entertainment, Fireworks and More: Santa's elves have transformed the Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland with festive wreaths, bows, garland, sparkling lights, parades and towering Christmas trees. The fun includes the Holiday Wishes nighttime spectacular: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks, plus live entertainment with Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays.

Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle:
Cinderella Castle transforms into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays - thanks to a special effects spectacle bathing the castle in 200,000 shimmering white lights. Magic Kingdom guests are treated nightly to the dramatic castle celebration and stage show.


Candlelight Processional is a timeless holiday offering at Epcot that combines seasonal music with the poignant reading of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a mass choir performing seasonal melodies, and a 50-piece live orchestra. Actress/Singer Olivia Newton John makes her debut as one of a dozen narrators to take to the stage at this year's event, performed nightly November 23 - December 30, at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. Crowd favorites Neil Patrick Harris, Isabella Rosellini and Gary Sinise all return to America Gardens Theater stage on select nights. Guests can purchase a Candlelight Dining Package, which combines lunch or dinner at select Epcot restaurants with guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional and VIP viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. For more information and reservations: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/candlelight-dinners/

Holidays Around the World: Storytellers from around the world share traditions and lore from their homeland throughout World Showcase. The merriment continues with meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus the nightly "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth," laser, light, fireworks display capped with a seasonal finale.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: This massive seasonal display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall. The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from Nov. 9, 2012 to Jan. 4, 2013.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Celebrate safari style as Disney's Animal Kingdom is wilder than ever this winter season. Mickey and his pals rejoice in traditional holiday music with a world beat twist during the daily "Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade."

Downtown Disney

Get all your Christmas shopping done at Downtown Disney during Festival of the Seasons. The shopping mecca is draped with yuletide cheer, plus live entertainment, holiday carolers, a lively street party, plus photo ops with Santa and Santa Goofy.

July 26, 2012

Chase Launches New Disney’s Visa Debit Card


Year-Round Perks from Disney and no Annual Fee

NEW YORK - July 25, 2012 - Chase today announced the launch of the new Disney's Visa® Debit Card. The new card gives customers access to special Cardmember perks when visiting Walt Disney World® and the Disneyland® Resorts and when shopping at DisneyStore.com and Disney Store locations. Disney's Visa® Debit Card is available now and has no annual fee.

Disney's Visa® Debit Cardmembers will receive the following year-round perks, including:

-- 10% off on select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at DisneyStore.com and Disney Store locations and at select locations at Walt Disney World Resort® and Disneyland Resort®

-- Access to a private Cardmember location at Walt Disney World Resort® and Disneyland Resort® where Cardmembers can meet some of their favorite Disney Characters and receive a complimentary 5 x 7 photo

-- 10% off select dining locations at Walt Disney World Resort® and Disneyland Resort® (meal period restrictions may apply)

-- 20% off the non-discounted price of select guided tours

-- $50 onboard credit when Cardmembers pay for their Disney Cruise Line® vacation in full with their Disney's Visa® Card and mention this offer

-- Access to a dedicated toll-free customer service phone number

Guests can visit DisneyDebit.com/Perks for more details on these benefits.

"Disney's Visa® Debit Card is perfect for fans of Disney who prefer to use a debit card for their everyday spending," said Ryan McInerney, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking. "With no annual fee, it provides access to Cardmember perks at Disney Theme Parks and Disney Store, and offers a choice of imaginative Disney card designs."

"We are delighted to introduce this new debit card with Chase, which offers great value and a bit of fun for Disney fans and families," said Jenny Cohen, Senior Vice President of Customer Relationship Management for The Walt Disney Company. "Disney's Visa® Debit Card enables us to better serve our customers with a choice of cards through Chase."

Disney's Visa® Debit Cardmembers will receive the same security and safety benefits as the standard Chase Visa® Debit Card, including real-time fraud monitoring, free security alerts, zero liability protection, guaranteed reimbursement for unauthorized purchases and BlinkTM tap & go functionality in markets where applicable.

The Disney's Visa® Debit Card is the latest addition to the suite of Disney's Visa® Cards offered by Chase. The Disney Rewards® Visa® Credit Card was introduced in 2003 and earlier this year, Chase launched Disney's Premier Visa® Credit Card from Chase.

Chase checking customers can switch their current Chase Debit Card to a Disney's Visa® Debit Card by visiting their local branch or calling Chase Customer Service at (800) 935-9935.

Disney's Visa® Debit Card is available with all Chase checking accounts excluding High School and Access Checking. Standard eligibility requirements apply.

Watching the Olympics While at Disney World


The 2012 Summer Olympic Games start in London on Friday, July 27.

Starting that day, and through Sunday, August 12 when the Olympics end, you'll find many televisions around Walt Disney World Resort tuned to the telecasts:

-- Animal Kingdom Lodge: Victoria Falls, Sanaa Lounge, Maji Pool Bar and Uzima Springs Pool Bar

-- Yacht Club: Crew's Cup Lounge

-- Beach Club Resort: Martha's Vineyard

-- Contemporary Resort: The Wave Lounge

-- Grand Floridian: Mizner's Lounge

-- BoardWalk: ESPN Club

-- Port Orleans Resort - Riverside: Muddy Rivers Pool Bar and River Roost Lounge

-- Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter: Scat Cat's Lounge

-- Old Key West Resort: Gurgling Suitcase

-- Saratoga Springs Resort: On the Rocks Pool Bar and The Turf Club Lounge

-- Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground: Crockett's Lounge

-- Wilderness Lodge: Territory Lounge

-- All-Star Sports Resort-- all three pool bars

-- Caribbean Beach Resort: Banana Cabana

-- Animal Kingdom: Rainforest Cafe

-- Coronado Springs Resort: Rix Lounge

-- Downtown Disney: Fulton's Crab House, Wolfgang Puck Cafe, Paradiso 37, House of Blues and Rainforest Cafe

-- Polynesian Resort: Tambu Lounge

Citricos at the Grand Floridian Announces Food and Wine Dinners


Chef de Cuisine Phillip Ponticelli and Keith Gimball, new area manager for Citricos, have announced several upcoming wine dinners:

August 30, 2012
Allamand Vineyards-Small family-owned winery in Mendoza. Owner-Winemaker Cristian Allamand and General Manager Martin Castro will be presenting

Sept 11, 2012
Chateau Tanunda, Barossa Valley with John Geber-Proprietor

Sept 12, 2012
Domaine Serene, Willamette Valley with Ginger Dollins-Southeast Regional Sales Director

Sept 19, 2012
Seresin Estate, Marlborough New Zealand with
Clive Dougall- Winemaker

Oct 10, 2012
Laurent-Perrier, Champagne with Sarah Halstead-Southeast Regional Director

Oct 24, 2012
Wines of Spain with Luis E. Garcia of The Matarromera Group Ribera del Duero

Nov 6, 2012
Meeker Winery, Sonoma with Lucas Meeker-Owner Winemaker

Time: 6-8:30 p.m.

Cost: $155 (includes gratuity) plus tax

These food and wine dinners are limited to 10 guests per dinner. You may book dinners directly by calling 407-824-3988. Credit card guarantee is required and there is a 72-hour cancellation fee. Please include a cell phone number when leaving a message or emailing for confirmation.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2013 Go Onsale Thursday, August 9, 2012

Discounted 2013 Tickets Available for a Limited Time
D23 Members Enjoy Additional Savings and Members-Only Benefits

BURBANK, Calif. - July 26, 2012 - On Thursday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m. PT, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will begin selling tickets for the next D23 Expo, which will open one year later and run from Aug. 9-11, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The largest Disney fan event in the world, the D23 Expo celebrates the entire world of Disney entertainment and brings together all parts of The Walt Disney Company under one roof, including The Walt Disney Studios; Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; Disney Consumer Products; Media Networks (including ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, and Radio Disney) and Disney Interactive. D23 Expo 2013 marks the third Expo held in Anaheim, following Expos in 2009 and 2011.

More than 40,000 Disney fans from around the world gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2011 for the second D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event. In anticipation of even bigger attendance, D23 Expo 2013 will feature an overflow theater for the D23 Arena, which will accommodate more than 2,000 guests for live streaming of the popular Arena presentations; nearly double the size of presentation venue Stage 23 (formerly 1,000 seats); and an expanded show floor, to include Halls A, B, C and D, as well as a larger Collectors' Forum to provide even more magical experiences for guests.

As in previous Expos, D23 Expo 2013 will showcase all of the latest stars in the Disney universe. In 2011, celebrity appearances included Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Willem Dafoe, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Jason Segel, Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, Michael Giacchino, Tony Baxter, Tom Bergeron, Regis Philbin, Jodi Benson, Lea Salonga, Linda Larkin, Paige O'Hara, Anika Noni Rose, David Arquette, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Kelly MacDonald, Kevin McKidd, Taylor Kitsch, Wilmer Valderrama, Melissa Joan Hart, Sean Astin, Chelsea Kane, and Kyle Massey, along with Disney executives and creative talent. They came together to bring special presentations, announcements, and performances to Disney fans throughout the three-day extravaganza.

D23 Expo 2013 will also feature the Disney Legends Awards-a stirring biennial event that pays tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy; an all-new Fan Art Contest themed to the upcoming 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins; the 12,000 square-foot Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit featuring costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney's rich history; plus amazing live events, celebrity appearances, panels and presentations, sneak peeks, and unique experiences that celebrate the past, present, and future of Disney.

2011 Disney Legends

Tickets for D23 Expo 2013 will be available at a discounted price for a limited time. From August 9-December 31, 2012, tickets will be $47 for a one-day adult admission and $37 for children 3-12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will be $40 for a one-day adult admission and $32 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available for both D23 Members and the general public, and D23 Members can save as much as $204 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for members and general admission, visit www.D23Expo.com.

In addition to these special advance-purchase savings, D23 Members can also buy D23 Expo VIP Sorcerer Packages, extremely limited tickets that are only available to members. These packages offer incredible, exclusive opportunities.

• Three-day admission ticket
• Reserved seating at all presentations in the D23 Arena and Stage 23
• Commemorative Sorcerer credential
• Pre-Expo tour of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit
• Exclusive shopping time in the D23 Expo Dream Store and the Treasure Trove the day before the Expo is open to guests
• Exclusive tour of the D23 Expo show floor the day before the Expo is open to the public
• Private welcome reception
• Special entrance to the Expo each morning
• Hardbound Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives catalog
• Hardbound Disney Legends ceremony commemorative program
• A voucher for an appointment with an on-site massage therapist
• Exclusive D23 Expo 2013 tote bag filled with gifts
• "Fond Farewell" reception on final day of Expo
• In addition, Sorcerer-level members have access to the Sorcerer Member Lounge

Sorcerer Package tickets will be available exclusively to both Gold- and Silver- level D23 Members at $1,500 per ticket. Members will also have the option to purchase up to two Sorcerer tickets. Additional details and benefit are highlighted at www.D23Expo.com.

D23 Members receive early admission to the Expo show floor, and D23 will once again give a special thanks to D23 Charter Members, providing them special access to the Expo's Charter Member Lounge.

Visit www.D23Expo.com to relive some of the extraordinary experiences from the first two Expo events and get a peek at what's to come in 2013.

About 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 unlocks the magic of Disney with a host of exclusive benefits, including a quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.D23.com; a weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; free gifts throughout the year; as well as exclusive events created especially for its members.

Gold-level D23 memberships are $74.99, and Silver-level memberships - which provide all benefits with the exception of a Disney twenty-three subscription - are just $34.99 a year. All discounts and special promotions are available to both Gold- and Silver-level D23 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.

July 27, 2012

D23 Magazine Fall Issue Details!

Disneytwenty-three Fall Cover
Disney Fans Also See the Making of D23's 'Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives,' Preview Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, and Get a Sneak Peek of Once Upon a Time's New Season

BURBANK, Calif. - July 27, 2012 - From the high-octane thrills of Cars Land to the immersive beauty of Buena Vista Street, the fall issue of Disney twenty-three, the flagship magazine of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, offers a complete insider's guide to the spectacular expansion of Disney California Adventure.

Available nationwide on Aug. 14, the fall issue of Disney twenty-three takes readers on a journey through the stunning reimagining of the park with exclusive interviews, breathtaking photography, and surprising details straight from Disney Imagineers, who designed the new buildings, attractions and entertainment featured in the park. Along with the new issue, D23 Gold Members will receive a special member-only gift: a colorful, commemorative magnetic postcard celebrating Disney California Adventure's incredible expansion.

"Disney fans around the world are flocking to Disney California Adventure to experience the extraordinary transformation of the park," said Steven Clark, head of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. "With the fall issue of the magazine, we decided to take D23 Members more deeply than ever into the making of 20 new attractions and shows that have been added to the park during the five-year expansion."

The fall issue also celebrates ABC's hit series Once Upon A Time, looking at the show's roots in Disney mythology and offering a sneak peek at its upcoming second season. The story features exclusive interviews with the show's creators and stars, including Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin - a D23 Member who opens up about her love of all things Disney.

Disney twenty-three also explores the most exciting new developments throughout Disney - while offering new insight into fan favorites. In its pages, Disney fans will be able to:

• Unlock the doors of D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives and see some of the iconic pieces now on display at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum

• Get early details from director Tim Burton on his latest monster of a movie, Frankenweenie

• Pay tribute to groundbreaking author and futurist Ray Bradbury with a heartwarming remembrance by Disney Legend Marty Sklar

• Celebrate Disney Legend Alice Davis, who just received a window on Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A., next to her late husband, Marc, one of Walt's Nine Old Men

• Get answers to "23 Questions" with Newsies star Bill Pullman

In conjunction with the release of fall issue of Disney twenty-three, for the first time www.D23.com will feature original and exclusive stories that complement the contents of D23's beautiful, glossy magazine. Only available on D23.com, beginning August 14:

• With exclusive artwork, Imagineer Kevin Rafferty reveals the initial plans and ideas for "Carland" - the car-themed land that was in development for Disney California Adventure before Cars Land

• Once Upon a Time showcases 23 "hidden" Disney references embedded in its first season

• Once Upon A Time stars Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Raphael Sbarge and Josh Dallas reveal their favorite Disney movies, characters, theme park attractions and memories

• Exclusive outtakes from Disney twenty-three's interview with Frankenweenie director Tim Burton

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.

July 30, 2012

Olympic Medalists Gather at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel to Celebrate 2012 Opening Ceremonies


Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- Olympic medalists (from left to right) Scott Johnson ('84 and '88 gold-medal gymnast), Fred Tyler ('72 gold-medal swimmer), Wendy Bruce-Martin ('92 bronze-medal gymnast) and David Oliver ('08 bronze-medal hurdler) gathered at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel on Friday for an opening ceremonies celebration. Hundreds of guests and locals turned out to meet the athletes, see their medals and take photos with the group before watching the opening ceremonies of the 2012 games on large screen TVs throughout the hotel lobby.


July 31, 2012

Maurice's Cottage in Fantasyland

Each week more details and photographs are released by Disney Parks Blog for the new Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World

Here is a look at Maurice's Cottage and some of the detail going into the exterior.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

This home has a tinkerer's touch both inside and out. The roof sports mismatched chimneys and a creative weather vane.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

On the ground level, the house is highlighted with heart shutters. Support beams line the house, which Imagineers intricately hand-carved and stained to look just like wood. Also, notice in this shot how the metal that affixes the beams to the house was designed to look aged and weathered.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

A wishing well and wooden fence, which has been repaired by the handy Maurice using extra wood found around the house, outline the property.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Here is more information about Maurice's Cottage

Tinkering with the interior light fixures

Storytime with Belle and Lumiere

A Peek behind the walls

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About July 2012

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

June 2012 is the previous archive.

August 2012 is the next archive.

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