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August 5, 2012

D23’S DISNEY FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION BRINGS DISNEY MAGIC AND MEMORIES TO FOUR ADDITIONAL CITIES THIS FALL

After Sold-Out U.S. Tour This Spring, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club
to Thrill Disney Enthusiasts in Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas and Atlanta

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BURBANK, Calif. - August 2, 2012 - Following a sold-out, six-city tour that brought a kaleidoscope of Disney memories tofans across the country, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club announced today that D23'S DISNEY FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION will come to four more cities in September and October.

FANNIVERSARY brings together more than 40 unforgettable Disney creations - from EPCOT Center to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, from Pirates of the Caribbean to Pete's Dragon - in one fun-filled, two-hour multi-media presentation produced and hosted by D23 and the Walt Disney Archives.
The new cities in the FANNIVERSARY tour are:

1. PHILADELPHIA - Sept. 14, 7 p.m., Penn Museum, Rainey Auditorium
2. SEATTLE - Sept. 16, 7 p.m., Seattle Public Library, Microsoft Auditorium
3. ATLANTA - Oct. 6, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., High Museum of Art
4. DALLAS - Oct. 7, 7 p.m., Dallas Museum of Art, Horchow Auditorium

All FANNIVERSARY events are open to the public. Tickets are $18 for members of D23 and will be available exclusively to members beginning 10 a.m. PT Wednesday, Aug. 15, at D23's website - Disney.com/D23. Remaining tickets will be available to the general public for $25 beginning 10 a.m. PT Thursday, Aug. 23.

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

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's first-ever, full-length animated film which premiered in 1937
2. The 1987 launch of Star Tours
3. EPCOT Center's grand opening on October 1, 1982
4. The opening of Pirates of the Caribbean in 1967
5. Memorable Mickey Mouse cartoons released in 1937, including "Clock Cleaners," "Hawaiian Holiday," "Lonesome Ghosts" and "Magician Mickey"
6. The 1927 debut of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who Walt Disney created before Mickey Mouse
7. Goofy's first-ever on-screen appearance, in 1932's "Mickey's Revue"
8. The seminal science-fiction film TRON, released in 1982
9. Unforgettable movies like Aladdin (1992), Pete's Dragon (1977), The Jungle Book (1967) and Bambi (1942)
10. The 1972 premiere of the Main Street Electrical Parade and 1992 debut of Disneyland's Fantasmic!

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

August 7, 2012

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant Hosts Central Florida’s First Boutique Irish Festival ‘The Great Irish Hooley’ August 31-Sept. 3 at Downtown Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Labor Day weekend guests at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island can eat, drink, dance and celebrate during Central Florida's first boutique Irish festival -- The Great Irish Hooley -- August 31 through Sept. 3.

A traditional Irish social celebration, the "Hooley" combines music ranging from traditional to rock tunes with entertainment and interactive fun for the whole family. Raglan Road's Great Irish Hooley will make the long weekend memorable with a mix of great Irish bands, Irish Dance Workshops for anyone in the family, structured set dancing known as the Ceili (pronounced kay-lee), Celtic face-painting Saturday through Monday and authentic food and beverages for all.

"At last, Orlando has its own boutique Irish festival like those found back home in Ireland and in certain other U.S. cities," says John Cooke, a founding partner of Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant. "This unique Irish festival will be jam packed with the best of Irish music and entertainment outside of Ireland."

The four-day party kicks off Friday, August 31 at 5 p.m. and continues through midnight Monday, Sept 3. The Great Irish Hooley entertainment lineup includes six top Irish bands and a troupe of acclaimed dancers:

o Full Set, a popular Irish band that released its successful debut album last year. The band plays the festival Friday through Monday to begin a U.S. tour that includes the Milwaukee Irish Fest.

o Elevation, the U2 Tribute Band. Elevation will play the pub stage Saturday and a full show under the Florida sky on the patio stage Sunday evening.

o Creel, Raglan Road's popular house band, will play all weekend.

o The Raglan Rogues, here from Dublin with their energetic expression of Irish folk and traditional tunes, will play Thursday through Monday.

o Danny Burns brings his unique blend of Irish ballads and contemporary Irish music to Raglan Friday through Monday.

o Johnny "Snaggs" Norton is a renowned Dublin entertainer in the tradition of the great Irish folk and ballad groups who has toured worldwide with Riverdance. His performances Saturday through Monday include sing-along songs from the great Traditional Irish Songbook.

o The Raglan Road Irish Dancers, the resident six-strong troupe of champion Irish dancers plucked from the stages of the most famed Irish dance shows, perform throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, guests can participate in Irish Dance Workshops -- "From Our Roots to Riverdance" -- with renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast and the Raglan Road Dancers. Ronan will chart and demonstrate the origins and traditional styles of Irish Dance through to the contemporary styles of dance made famous by Riverdance. And on each of those three afternoons, guests can step up for a two-hour Ceili (kay-lee) - a traditional music and structured set-dancing event that was the precursor to today's popular country line dancing.

Throughout the Hooley, guests can belly up to one of Raglan Road's 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. The restaurant, a Diners' Choice 2012 award winner, is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, as well as its Shepherd's pie with a contemporary twist, delectable seafood, Kevin's Heavenly Ham and other popular entrees. Desserts like the Bread & Butter Pudding and the decadently chocolate Dunbrody Kiss are just as popular. Raglan Road also offers gluten-free items including scallops, fish and chips, calamari, onion rings and pasta dishes.

Owned and operated by Irish partners and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon - famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland - Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant's warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Live entertainment nightly includes Irish house band Creel (Monday through Saturday) and Irish duo Johnny and Justin (Sundays) plus The Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform seven nights a week. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located on Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

Disney Parks Unveils New Annie Leibovitz Disney Dream Portraits

Last week, Disney shared two new images by photographer Annie Leibovitz from the ongoing Disney Dream Portrait series. All the portraits feature well-known celebrities transformed into the roles of famous Disney characters, and now, in a first for the series, feature characters who originated in the parks.

British comedian Russell Brand stars as Peter Pan's arch nemesis, Captain Hook, narrowly escaping the jaws of the hungry crocodile who has chased him for years. The caption reads, "Where every moment leaves you hungry for more."

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From the Haunted Mansion attraction, Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Jason Segel star as Phineas, Ezra and Gus, better known to millions around the world as the Hitchhiking Ghosts. The caption reads, "Where you can go on the ride of your afterlife."

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You'll find these images and more as part of a special insert in fall issues of GQ, O - The Oprah Magazine, People, People En Español, Vanity Fair, Real Simple, Essence, and InStyle.

Pete's Silly Sideshow Coming to Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


The one section of Storybook Circus that hasn't opened yet is the area that houses 3 huge big-top tents. We know one will be merchandise, one will probably be food and the other will house Character Meet and Greets.

The Disney Parks Blog has announced details for Pete's Silly Sideshow!

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

This new character greeting area has two entrances: One line leads to Minnie Magnifique (Minnie Mouse as a circus star) and Daisy Fortuna (Daisy Duck as a fortuneteller), while the other line leads to The Great Goofini (Goofy as a daredevil stunt pilot) and The Amazing Donaldo (Donald Duck as a snake charmer).

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Once inside the tent, guests have two options: Join a line that leads to Minnie Magnifique (Minnie Mouse as a circus star) and Madame Daisy Fortuna (Daisy Duck as a fortuneteller), or head to see The Great Goofini (Goofy as a daredevil stunt pilot) and The Astounding Donaldo (Donald Duck as a snake charmer).

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


In case you were wondering, Mickey Mouse will continue to greet guests in his current location at Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A. And as usual, all entertainment is subject to change.

August 13, 2012

Preview, Grand Opening Dates Set as Expansion Continues for the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

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

To the delight of fans of the beloved Dumbo, the Flying Elephant attraction, a second Dumbo flies alongside. The playful pachyderm is joined in Storybook Circus by the Barnstormer Coaster re-themed to the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station - all part of the multiyear, largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.

There's more to come as the expansion of the New Fantasyland -- nearly doubling in size -- continues at Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, so many more attractions are coming on line later this year that Dec. 6, 2012 has been set as the Grand Opening of Fantasyland. Previews begin Nov. 19.

Slated to make their debuts:

-- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major attraction where guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves - all against a musical backdrop of songs from the film. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney "dark ride" with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean's surface. Once "under the sea," guests will find themselves immersed in the story of "The Little Mermaid," sharing Ariel's adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along. The fun continues at "Ariel's Grotto," a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.

-- The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill across an old stone bridge from Ariel's new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious "West Wing" of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer "great food fast" service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle's Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston's Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

-- Just outside the village is Belle's cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice's workshop, where a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: guests will be transported to the Beast's library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive re-telling of the "tale as old as time."

"Fantasyland is a place where a very special kind of memory is made: where children just old enough to understand the moment come in contact with princesses and heroes and meet their most beloved friends," said Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France.

"We are excited about sharing our treasured stories in new ways and giving guests the opportunity to interact with their favorite characters like never before."

Beyond 2012, there's more in store for Fantasyland guests:

-- Located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home for visiting royalty in the Magic Kingdom. The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows, opening up into a large gallery - an airy space with a high ceiling, where portraits of the Disney princesses adorn the walls. When it's time for their audience with a princess, guests will proceed to elegantly finished rooms to meet Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel (2013).

-- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine "where a million diamonds shine." The coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs (2014).

Cotton-top Tamarins celebrated throughout August

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 3, 2012 - While lions may be known as the king of the jungle, a tiny, one-pound monkey will have top billing at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Throughout the month of August, guests will be invited to join in activities centered around the cotton-top tamarin, a critically endangered primate from northern Colombia.

August 15th, is the official Day of the Cotton-top Tamarin in Colombia so we've created a celebration for our guests to enjoy. Get ready to participate in a variety of activities from learning how scientists track tamarins in the forest, what cotton-tops like to eat, and how people in Colombia are helping to recycling plastic bags into amazing tote bags called eco-mochilas. But a cotton-top tamarin celebration wouldn't be complete unless you learned the cotton-top tamarin dance and enjoyed a tasty cotton-top tamarin cupcake.

Sometimes called the "punk rock primates" because of their wild manes of white hair that outline their black faces, their numbers are dwindling because of habitat loss and the pet trade. Because of efforts by Dr. Anne Savage, Conservation Director for Disney's Animal Programs and other conservationists, the cotton-top tamarin has been added to the critically endangered species list, giving them international protection from the federal government to prohibit them from being hunted or captured.

"We created this celebration as a way to highlight the effects that humans have on natural habitats," said Anne. "Conservation celebrations are important because it helps people of all ages understand and appreciate these amazing animals and learn what it takes to protect them for future generations."

Guests can see cotton-tops in Discovery Island in a habitat in front of the Tree of Life and also at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Habitat Habit!, a fun and educational wildlife trail between the Wildlife Express Train and Conservation Station. Cotton-tops have been on exhibit at Disney's Animal Kingdom since 1998 and serve as ambassadors for the species so that guests can better understand the importance of conservation efforts to help protect them.

August 14, 2012

Gaston in Belle's Village - Fantasyland Expansion

Earlier this month, Gaston's statue arrived in Belle's Village at the Fantasyland Expansion.

The first image is the artist rendering, the second is the actual statue. Notice the differences between the two.

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Disney Imagineers Ted Robledo and Chris Kelly share the back story of Gaston's Statue and also discuss the creative process that brought Gaston to "life"!


Disneyland Resort APs: Register Now for Your Chance to ‘Glow With the Show’ at ‘Fantasmic!’ on August 28

Attention Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders!
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Registration is open right now for a special opportunity for Annual Passholders to "Glow With the Show" at a private viewing of "Fantasmic!" on August 28.

Bring your "Glow with the Show" Ears and be among the first to see this magical new experience! That's right - the premiere showing of this special technology during "Fantasmic!" will be a private viewing exclusively for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders. Register now to attend, because space is limited and based on availability!

Here are the details:

One night only - Tuesday, August 28
10 p.m. - 12 a.m.

Private viewing of "Fantasmic!" will begin at 11:30 p.m.

Select attractions, shops and food offerings will be open for event guests until 12 a.m.

Attendees are strongly encouraged to bring their own "Glow with the Show" Ears. Hats are not required for event attendance, but strongly encouraged for optimal viewing experience.

And here's how you register:

Registration applies to Annual Passholder and up to 3 Annual Passholder guests

Visit any open ticket booth in the Disneyland Resort Main Entrance Esplanade

Present your active Annual Passport and a valid, government-issued photo I.D., as verification of your eligibility to register for the event

Based on availability, cast member will complete your registration and give you a voucher, required for admission to the event. Limit one (1) voucher per eligible Annual Passholder; multiple vouchers will not be honored

Important additional information:

Annual Passholders must be at least 18 years old to RSVP for this event, but their guests (up to 3 additional Annual Passholders) may be younger than 18.

Registration will close at 10 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday, August 23, 2012, or as soon as capacity for the event is reached.

Registration must occur in person at a Disneyland Resort Main Entrance Ticket Booth.

Each eligible Annual Passholder is limited to one (1) registration voucher, and voucher does not guarantee admission.

Registered Passholders and each of their guests must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event and must use their Passports for park entry.

Valid Photo I.D. may be required at check-in.

"Glow with the Show" Ears are not provided for event participation.

The event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Medal Unveiled

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 14, 2012) - Today, runDisney revealed the much anticipated commemorative 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon medal giving runners extra incentive to finish the 26.2 mile course.

The medal's unique design features a classic circular shape and two spinning elements, including a medallion with classic and modern images of Mickey Mouse, and two inspirational quotes from Walt Disney himself.

"For 20 years runDisney medals have set the standard in the running industry," said Faron Kelley, Director of Marketing and Communication for Disney Sports. "This medal builds on that rich tradition and is an extraordinary keepsake that celebrates the 20 years of marathon experiences for people from around the world who have run in this time-honored event."

The unveiling of the medal culminates a two-week runDisney social media campaign - "The Great Medal Caper' - in which fans unlocked clues about the design of the medal.

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The Walt Disney World Marathon anchors the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna at Walt Disney World Resort, Jan. 10 - 13, 2013. In addition to earning the commemorative anniversary marathon medal, runners competing in the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon will experience several unique features, such as an enhanced course that goes through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex's Champion Stadium; special entertainment at Mile Marker 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary; and a new post-race party at Downtown Disney.

The marathon weekend, which is expected to draw a sellout field of more than 20,000 for the 26.2-mile marathon, will again feature Kids' Races throughout the weekend, including the Mickey Mile, a Family Fun Run 5K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. There is also Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the Half Marathon and the full Marathon - 39.3 miles! The Health and Fitness Expo runs throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts such as Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDIsney.

For more information and to register for the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend or other runDisney events, go to www.rundisney.com.

Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality’ Opens at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort September 1

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"Phineas & Ferb" will invade another area of Walt Disney World Resort: Beginning September 1, guests of all ages can participate in a complimentary augmented reality offering at Downtown Disney called "Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality."

The experience, which will take place next to Bongos Cuban Café, will allow guests to step onto a platform and virtually interact with Phineas, Ferb, Dr. Doof and Agent P (in their animated forms) on a screen above. Fans can expect to experience any one of 20 different interactions, from dancing "The Platypus Walk" to getting caught in Dr. Doof's Freeze-inator.

Afterward, guests can digitally share a complimentary souvenir photo of their animated interaction with their family and friends.

Special "Phineas & Ferb" merchandise will also be available.

"Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality" will run through December 1, and is open from 2-9:30 p.m., daily.

From the Disney Parks Blog

August 15, 2012

2012 Candlelight Ceremony and Processional at Disneyland

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Disneyland will enjoy 20 nights of the Candlelight Processional in 2012

The Candlelight Ceremony and Processional has been a Disneyland Resort tradition since 1958, bringing holiday magic to Main Street, U.S.A., with the help of celebrities like Cary Grant, John Wayne, Dick Van Dyke and, in 2011, Gary Sinise.

This holiday season - for the first time in its history - the Candlelight Ceremony and Processional is being extended to a total of 20 nights at Disneyland park, with two performances each night. The first two nights, December 1-2, will be invitation-only events; however, performances from December 3-20 will be open to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders and guests booking special, to-be-announced dining packages for the 2012 holiday season.

The Candlelight Ceremony and Processional is a beautiful evening performance of beloved holiday music and the telling of the first Christmas Story in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. The first performance was in 1958 and has continued every year since. These classic performances touched off another tradition at the Walt Disney World Resort - the popular Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

These are all the details we have at this time, but stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more information on registration for Annual Passholders and booking for the new dining packages. We'll share more details on the 2012 Candlelight Ceremony and Processional at Disneyland park as they become available.

August 16, 2012

Carey, Marini, Hoover, Astin, Zohn and Morasca Join Celebrity-Filled 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Hollywood personalities are latest celebrities to join star-packed marathon weekend; The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney and ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd already in the field; uniquely-designed commemorative race medal for every finisher

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 16, 2012) - Several additional celebrities are joining in the fun of the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna.

Comedian and The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, actor Gilles Marini (Sex in the City: The Movie, Switched at Birth and Dancing with the Stars), Access Hollywood co-host Kit Hoover, reality TV stars Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca (Survivor, The Amazing Race and Everyday Health) and actor Sean Astin (The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings and Rudy) are participating in the historic runDisney race weekend, Jan. 10-13.

Zohn , Morasca, Marini and Hoover are running the 13.1-mile half marathon at Disney, while Carey and Astin are taking on the 26.2-mile marathon. They join celebrities Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser) and Colin Cowherd (ESPN radio personality) who already signed up for the half marathon.

For many of these celebrities, competing in a runDisney event will be a familiar experience. This will be the second runDisney race for Carey, who ran in the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon. Likewise, Zohn and Morasca both ran in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon earlier this year and the Princess Half Marathon last year. And Astin ran in the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort earlier this year. This will be the first runDisney event for Hoover, an avid runner, and Cowherd and Marini, who are both first-time half marathon runners.

In all, nearly 50,000 runners are expected to compete in various events throughout the weekend with the 26.2-mile marathon field comprised of roughly 55 percent women - the first time ever that women have outnumbered men in the Disney Marathon field.

The celebrity participants are just some of the new features of the Disney Marathon. Among the other new features are:

• A specially-designed 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse commemorative finisher's medal with two spinning elements and engraved with two famous quotes from Walt Disney himself

• Enhanced entertainment at Mile 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary

• New course routes through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

• A new post-race party at Downtown Disney

The Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna will again feature Kids' Races throughout the weekend, including the Mickey Mile, as well as a Family Fun Run 5K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. There is also Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the half marathon and the full marathon - a total of 39.3 miles. The Health and Fitness Expo runs throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts such as Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.
Runners can register for the race and get more information at rundisney.com.


August 17, 2012

Walt Disney Family Museum September Events

Walt Disney Family Museum
FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM SHOWCASES OLD YELLER


September Programs, Exhibitions, and Events

San Francisco, CA - August 13, 2012-Animal lovers rejoice! Our furry friends will be in the spotlight all throughout September at The Walt Disney Family Museum, where we will be screening the classic Disney live-action film Old Yeller daily. Based on Fred Gibson's Newberry Honor-winning book of the same name, Old Yeller tells the moving tale of the mutual devotion between animals and their human companions.

Through the production of Old Yeller, Walt Disney sought to combine the popularity of his nature films as well as that of The Mickey Mouse Club by bringing to life a story that emphasized both animals and children-a story that would go on to capture the heart of audiences across the country. Old Yeller opened to great success in 1957, and was well-received by critics and audiences alike. The extraordinarily positive reception of Old Yeller encouraged Walt to continue his endeavors in the field of live-action. Since then, many more animal films have been made, but this tried and true Disney feature is perhaps the finest of its genre.

Old Yeller


SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS

Heinrich Kley: From Fantasy to Fantasia

Through September 16, 2012 | Theater Gallery - Free with Museum admission.

Heinrich Kley: From Fantasy to Fantasia features drawings by Heinrich Kley-Walt Disney's most admired European illustrator-paired with art from Disney's famed animated film Fantasia (1940). The exhibition includes 29 drawings by Kley alongside more than 25 sketches, concept art, and maquettes from the Walt Disney classic film. Also on view are three of Kley's sketchbooks which feature some 50 pages of intricate drawings. The Kley artworks are from Walt Disney's personal collection and are on view for the first time as a collection in the United States.

Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation

September 27, 2012-April 28, 2013 | Theater Gallery - Free with Museum admission.

This special exhibition explores the evolution of stop motion animation in the United States in special effects, television, and film. Between Frames tells the story of a 100-year-old art form that launched Walt Disney's career in animation. The exhibition features behind-the-scenes photographs, rare armatures and puppets, and original storyboards from cult favorite films and television including King Kong, Gumby, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Robot Chicken, and The Nightmare Before Christmas and showcases stop motion innovators like Ray Harryhausen, Phil Tippett, Will Vinton, Tim Burton, Henry Selick, and others.

SCREENINGS + DISCUSSIONS


Film of the Month: Old Yeller (1957)

Screens daily at 11am, 1:30 and 4pm (except Tuesdays, September 22, 29 and 30. No 4pm screening on September 15) | Theater
Free with Museum admission | Without Museum admission: General: $7; Child: $5

Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary
The Bridge on the Big Screen: Movies Starring the Golden Gate Bridge
Monsters vs. Aliens
Saturday, September 15 | 6pm | Theater

Free on a first-come, first-served basis, tickets available at 10am
Jim Van Buskirk, author of Celluloid San Francisco, will introduce the film with a presentation titled, On Location: the Golden Gate Bridge on the Silver Screen. Offered in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Bay Area's beloved icon, this program features hilariously horrifying film depictions of the Bridge. After the presentation we will be screening Monsters vs. Aliens.

Old Yeller conversation with Ron Miller and actor Kevin Corcoran, moderated by Don Peri

Saturday, September 22 at 3pm | Theater

General: $12 adult, $9 youth | Members: $10 adult; $7 youth

Old Yeller, one of Walt Disney's most memorable and poignant films, will be the focus of a discussion featuring Kevin Corcoran, who played the part of Arliss in the movie, and former Disney CEO Ron Miller, who served as second assistant on the film. Disney historian Don Peri will moderate the discussion as the speakers share their stories and memories about the making of this 1957 Disney favorite.


Disney Films with Dogs: Weekend Long Marathon Screening

Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30
All Day | Theater | Free with Museum admission

Saturday: 101 Dalmatians, The Shaggy Dog, GreyFriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog
Sunday: Lady and the Tramp, The Incredible Journey

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING

Animate Your Night: Where It's AT-AT™!
Friday, September 28 | 7-10pm | Museum-wide
Members: $5 | General: $10

Join us as we celebrate the opening of our new special exhibition Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation, which reveals the magic behind movie creatures such as King Kong, the Jurassic Park Velociraptors, and the revered Star Wars AT-AT!

San Francisco SPCA and The Walt Disney Family Museum Adopt-a-Thon

Saturday, September 29 | 12-3pm | Main Parade Ground in the Presidio | Free

The WDFM has gone to the dogs during the month of September and is hosting its first Doggie Adopt-a-Thon in partnership with the SFSPCA and other local rescue groups. Join in the fun on the front lawn as we participate in animal education and help our furry, four-legged friends find new homes.

Look Closer: The Family Saddles
Friday, September 28, Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30
11am, 1 and 3pm | Gallery 8 | Free with Museum admission

Join us for a brief gallery talk to learn more about the Disney family's riding saddles.


CLASSES + ACTIVITIES

Open Studio
Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2

1-3pm (drop-in activity) | Learning Center Art Studio | Free with Museum admission
Come experience, explore, and experiment with us in Open Studio. Every first weekend of the month we will be experimenting with different art forms such as performance, fine art, and design.

Disney Discoveries
Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9

1-3pm | Learning Center | Free with Museum admission
In the spirit of classic Disney westerns, join us to make your very own dreamcatcher! This Native American craft is intended to ensnare nightmares and let good dreams through.

# # #

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

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

Tickets: Free for members | General: $20 adults, $15 seniors and students, $12 youth under 17, free for children 5 and under

Where: 104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94129
415-345-6800

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

August 20, 2012

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Returns for Third Season

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Appearances and tastings from celebrity chefs Michael Mina and Todd English highlight the two-night culinary event

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Food and wine tastings, educational experiences and meet-and-greets with celebrity chefs will once again be the focus at the Third Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel on Oct. 12-13, 2012. The event will include an outdoor festival featuring culinary selections from the Walt Disney World hotel's award-winning restaurants and lounges, a series of beverage seminars taught by the hotel's certified experts, and opportunities to meet with celebrity chefs Todd English and Michael Mina.

Keeping consistent with past years, guests can participate in beverage seminars, sample savory dishes and stroll through the iconic causeway while being serenaded by live music.

The two-night event will be held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, with chefs from the hotel's 17 award-winning restaurants and lounges serving samplings of numerous tasty options. This year's selections will include free-form lasagna, delicately presented by Il Mulino New York Trattoria and shrimp cocktail steam rollers, an event favorite, from Todd English's bluezoo.

Beverage stations will offer mini-learning experiences and feature offerings such as wine, sake and beer. Those looking for a more in-depth experience can choose from a variety of hour-long beverage seminars taught by certified wine sommeliers and beer and cocktail specialists from the hotel's team. Attendees will learn drink origins, pairing tips and enjoy an informative tasting experience. Seminars will be offered both evenings and include Wine Blending; Modern Mixology; Riesling Rendezvous; Base to Bubbles; Beer, Please!, All Things Sake and Spanish Wines.

Throughout the evening, attendees will have additional opportunities to learn about beverage through a Cocktail 101 recurring class that will take place during the outdoor festival.

To finish, guests can delight in a selection of desserts from the only two-time World Pastry Champion, Laurent Branlard, the hotel's executive pastry chef. And for those interested in taking home a taste of the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, bottles of all the evening's wine samplings will be available for purchase along with other event merchandise.

New to this year's event is the appearance of Chef Mina, as he joins Chef English to meet with guests and serve a special sampling of his cuisine.

Mina is an award-winning chef and author of Michael Mina: The Cookbook. He is the executive chef at his two namesake restaurants in San Francisco and Las Vegas; has been featured in multiple national print magazines and cooked for celebrities and notables including three U.S. presidents.

English is a world-renowned restaurateur who has gained national acclaim through his line of restaurants and cookbooks, and his countless other food-related enterprises. His concept, Todd English's bluezoo, is a AAA four-diamond restaurant and one of the signature restaurants of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel.
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With 17 restaurants and lounges, a distinguished culinary and beverage team and unmatched customer service, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel continually receives national recognition for its food and beverage program. The hotel features more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections, including organic and rare vintages.

Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are available as part of a hotel package or individually. For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500.
What:

Third Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13
4:30pm - 5:30pm - Beverage Seminars
5:30pm - 9:00pm - Tasting Stations Open on Causeway

Ticket Information:
• One and two-night packages including tickets to the outdoor festival for two and overnight accommodations are available, starting at $285 per night

• Advance purchase event-only tickets are available for $80 including taxes and include unlimited food and beverage samples on the causeway

• Seminars are $45 per person, per class including taxes

For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500

August 21, 2012

Be Our Guest Restaurant Reservations Update 8/22/12

UPDATE: August 21st; 8am: Walt Disney World Reports:

Disney Dining is still experiencing heavy call volume today. Expect longer than average wait times. Except for Be Our Guest, which opens online booking 8/22, you can make ressies online to save time.

If you made a reservation on Monday, August 20 for Be Our Guest, Disney is staying as long as you have a reservation number, it is a valid reservation. If you dd not leave a credit card on August 20th, your reservation will NOT be cancelled

If you tried to call and cancel a different dining reservation yesterday so you wouldn't be charged the no show fee, you will not be charged. This applies to dining reservations through 8/22.

*********************************

UPDATE: 8/21 afternoon: We're being told by readers that at this point, reservations made for Be Our Guest via the automated system that do not have a credit card guarantee will not be cancelled

IMPORTANT: If you booked a Be Our Guest Reservation today via the automated system and did not provide a credit card, your reservation may be in danger of cancellation.

Our friends at the DISNEY FOOD BLOG Report:

.... those who booked reservations for Be Our Guest Restaurant through the automated booking service this morning (i.e. you did NOT speak to an actual human being), these reservations have not been held with a credit card guarantee and may be cancelled today due to a glitch in the system. You will need to call back on the dining line today and modify your reservation, adding a credit card number guarantee.

If you do this, continue to confirm your reservations today and tomorrow as a precaution.

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Be Our Guest Restaurant
Reservations for the brand new Be Our Guest Restaurant began at 7am August 20 at 407-WDW-DINE.

There will be three themed dining rooms: the mysterious West Wing with the "enchanted rose"; the Rose Gallery with twirling, larger-than-life figures of Belle and Beast; and the elegant Ballroom with domed ceiling, twinkling chandeliers and glimpses of softly falling snow outside.

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.

"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.

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.


For more on the menu click HERE!

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

Be Our Guest Restaurant

You can make reservations up to 180 days out - the very first seating will be for dinner on November 19 by calling 407-WDW-DINE (3463), or visiting any Guest Relations theme park location or Guest Services desk at a resort. Online reservations will be available August 22 by visiting www.disneyworld.com/dine.

Menus: http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm#mk

Endless Waves of Halloween Fun at SeaWorld Orlando Every Weekend in October

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SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular takes place every weekend in October

ORLANDO, Fla. - (August 2012) - SeaWorld Orlando invites families to dive in and explore an underwater "fantasea" at SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular. Lifetime memories are created during Central Florida's ultimate family-friendly event where children can trick-or-treat, dance with fanciful sea creatures, and create sea-themed arts and crafts. Back and better than ever this year, SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular returns with added trick-or-treat stations and even more colorful characters.

SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular takes place every weekend in October: 6-7, 13-14, 19-21 and 26-28. This daytime event runs from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., leaving the littlest of trick-or-treaters wide-eyed for the fun-filled activities. The best way to experience all of SeaWorld's year-round events, as well as exclusive savings and perks, is with an Annual Pass. For more details or to purchase visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.

Sea World Halloween
Spooktacular Highlights Include: Penelope's Party Zone

Join the Halloween party of the season that immerses children in the wonders of the sea through kid-friendly music, games, and playful characters. Located at SeaWorld's Bayside area, this dynamic underwater environment comes to life when guests dance and play along to the spooky sound waves broadcast by a live DJ. With countless bubbles floating overhead and colorful pumpkin fish gliding beside you, this Halloween party is sure to provide non-stop fun for all ages.

Trick-or-Treating Under the Sea

Offering more than one million pieces of trick-or-treat sweets, costumed youngsters can search for hidden "sea" treasures using their Spooktacular maps at fifteen different locations. Each station features an assortment of ghoulish goodies and candies.

Sweet Treat Decorating

Kids and parents alike can have a "splash" creating their own sweet treats at this interactive station located inside of Penelope's Party Zone. Tasty apples dipped in decadent caramel and chocolate-covered rice crispy treats are available to decorate to your sweet tooth's desire with a variety of tasty toppings.

Strolling Entertainment

Stroll among colorful, playful schools of pumpkin fish welcoming trick-or-treaters throughout the park and get the chance to meet other whimsical characters like Penelope Pumpkin fish, Shamu, Dolly Dolphin, Shivers the Polar Bear, Pete and Penny Penguin, a mermaid, and a walking-talking spider-crab! Photo opportunities with these "spook-tastic" characters create lasting memories.

More SeaWorld Halloween Fun:

SeaWorld's Holiday Family Sleepovers (6 p.m. - 9 a.m. on Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27)
Families can snuggle into a spooky slumber surrounded by exotic fish, rays, and sea dragons inside the floor-to-ceiling aquariums at Manta. Cost is $78 per person or $103 (includes next-day park admission). A pizza dinner and breakfast are included. Program is for children in grades K-5 and their families. Reservations can be made by calling: 1-800-406-2244. For more info, visit seaworldorlando.com.

August 22, 2012

"Keep Moving Forward" Epcot Segway Tour and Breakfast Debuts September 17

Beginning September 17, Epcot guests will be able to enjoy a new Segway tour that explores Walt Disney's vision for a better tomorrow, and the results of that vision: The Florida Project and Epcot.

"Keep Moving Forward: See the World, Share the Dream Segway Tour" is a new three-hour experience that includes a Segway training lesson, breakfast at Sunshine Seasons, an in-depth tour of World Showcase, and an exclusive Disney pin.

The tour will cost $99 (plus tax) for ages 16 and older. (A parent or guardian must sign a waiver for participants age 16-17.) Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members will receive a 15 percent discount.

For more information or to book, call (407) WDW-TOUR (939-8687).

August 23, 2012

Celebrate the Magic - New Magic Kingdom Nightime Show

Celebrate the Magic
Celebrate the Magic - a Magic Kingdom Exclusive

A brand new nightime projection show on Cinderella Castle will debut in November!

Popular elements from the Magic, the Memories and You will be retained along with all new music, stories and special effects. Celebrate the Magic will be exclusive to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

"'Celebrate the Magic' takes us on a journey to the heart of the most beloved Disney stories and characters," said Show Director Katy Harris. "This amazing show will magically transform Cinderella Castle with spectacular projection effects, choreographed to a new music soundtrack. The show will be full of emotion and storytelling, proving that, with imagination and magic in our hearts, anything is possible." Guest photographs will no longer be displayed on the Castle.

To make way for the new show, the Magic, the Memories and You will end on September 3, 2012.

Fantasyland Expansion Update

Disney recently released several "signature" images of the Fantasyland expansion and a new sneak peek video of Maurice's Cottage.

The first image offers a view of New Fantasyland in detail from the very top turret of Cinderella's Castle. The landscape stretches from Maurice's Cottage on the left, all the way to the colorful Storybook Circus on the right.

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Belle is enjoying a book right outside Maurice's Cottage, with Beast's Castle high up on the mountains in the background.

Fantasyland-signature-photo2.jpg

And finally, Ariel gazes at Prince Eric's Castle while the tide rushes in.

Fantasyland-signature-photo3.jpg

Now Imagineers Chris Beatty, Chris Kelly and Ted Robledo show you a glimpse inside Belle's Cottage and her magic mirror!

The grand opening of New Fantasyland will take place on December 6, 2012. Attractions included in this opening are Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariels Grotto, Gaston Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts. Previews of these attractions will begin November 19.

The New Fantasyland expansion will continue with the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall in 2013 and the debut of a new Disney mountain in the form of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.

August 24, 2012

Frost Fairy Periwinkle from Disney’s ‘Secret of the Wings’ Will Soon Join Tinker Bell at Disney Parks

A new character will soon join Tinker Bell at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, to coincide with the release of the Disney Fairies movie "Secret of the Wings," which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD October 23.

In Secret of the Wings, Tinker Bell journeys into the mysterious world of the Winter Woods, where curiosity and adventure lead her to an amazing discovery and reveal a magical secret that could change her world forever. In the Winter Woods. Tinker Bell meets Periwinkle, a frost fairy who turns out to be Tink's sister, born of the same baby's laugh.

Periwinkle and Tinkerbell

Soon, you'll be able to meet Periwinkle with upcoming appearances at Tinker Bell's Magical Nook at Magic Kingdom Park and Pixie Hollow at Disneyland park. These areas will receive a sparkling layer of snow and ice, creating the perfect environment to greet Periwinkle and make her feel at home. Even Tinker Bell will be dressed for the occasion, wearing her warm, wintry ensemble from the film.

Look for Periwinkle to join her sister at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom parks, beginning in mid-September.

Celebrate Halloween with Disney Cruise Line – 25% Off!

Disney Cruise Line has announced a special sale of 25% off prevailing rates for the October 27 Western Caribbean Disney cruise from Galveston, Texas!

Disney Cruise Halloween

During late October, all Disney ships transform into a ghoulish wonderland filled with hair-raising activities. There are special decorations, unique menu items in the restaurants, and themed dance parties on deck.

Check out the details of the deal at this link, and read on for a glimpse at the treats awaiting your family aboard a Disney ship this Halloween:

Haunted Parties: Your favorite Disney characters, wearing special Halloween costumes just for the occasion, will join you for a fun-filled Halloween costume party - Disney Cruise Line style, complete with live music, dancing and lots of candy! For adults, the nighttime entertainment district on the Disney ships becomes the ghoulish setting for a costume
contest and party sure to bring chills to everyone.

Spooky Movies: Halloween-themed movies will be shown on Funnel Vision by the family pool and in guest staterooms.

Ghoulish Delights: Disney Cruise Line chefs have conjured some very special treats for Halloween, including chocolate cake with pumpkin filling, spider cakes and "Witch's Brew."

The current itinerary for this cruise is:

7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on Disney Magic

October 27 to November 3
Disney Magic

Day 1 Embarkation in Galveston, TX
Day 2 and 3 Sea Days
Day 4 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Day 5 Costa Maya, Mexico
Day 6 Cozumel, Mexico
Day 7 At Sea
Day 8 Disembarkation Galveston, Texas

Guest ashore times and onboard times are subject to change without notice.

Night of Joy September 7-8, 2012 Magic Kingdom

This is the 30th year of hosting the top Contemporary Christian and Gospel artists at the Walt Disney World Resort

Night of Joy is an after-hours event in the Magic Kingdom that features contemporary Christian music. It requires a special ticket. Event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each evening. While artists are performing at several stages, many popular Magic Kingdom attractions also are available for Night of Joy guests.

Here's the night-by-night Night of Joy 2012 lineup:

-- Friday, September 7, 2012: Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, NEEDTOBREATHE, Red, Francesca Battistelli, Brandon Heath, Royal Tailor, Disciple.

-- Saturday, September 8, 2012: MercyMe, Third Day, Kutless, Chris August, Lecrae, Yolanda Adams, Thousand Foot Krutch and Dara Maclean.

Advance purchase: $52.95 plus tax per ticket; Days of the event (if available): $62.95 plus tax. Two-night ticket available in advance only: $94.95.

Purchase by calling 407-W-DISNEY or at www.nightofjoy.com.

August 25, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Monitoring Weather Conditions in Bahamas and Caribbean

UPDATE August 25, 2012 3:00pm

At this time, we have not made any changes to the following itineraries:

Disney Fantasy August 25th, 7-night sailing to the Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 25th, 8-night sailing to the Bahamas
Disney Dream August 29th, 4-night sailing to the Bahamas

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The safety of our Guests and Crew is always our first priority at Disney Cruise Line.

We are closely monitoring the current weather conditions and path of Tropical Storm Isaac in the Caribbean and Tropical Storm Joyce in the Atlantic through the National Weather Service.
At this time, we have not made any changes to the following itineraries:

Disney Dream August 24th, 5-night sailing to the Bahamas
Disney Fantasy August 25th, 7-night sailing to the Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 25th, 8-night sailing to the Bahamas
Disney Dream August 29th, 4-night sailing to the Bahamas

Should weather conditions change, our Captains can alter the ship's course or itinerary for the safety and well being of our Guests.

August 27, 2012

Imagineer Reveals Details about Test Track Redesign

new-test-track-marquee.jpg

Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick revealed details about the "re-imagined" Test Track attraction that is currently under development in Walt Disney World's Epcot during an online chat via the Disney Parks Blog on Monday, August 27.

The revamped attraction, due to open in late Fall 2012, will feature a new marquee, pictured above. Some of the other key changes being made to the attraction include the following:

-- The attraction will be sponsored by Chevrolet.

-- The queue has been completely redesigned. According to Jesselnick, the space will be used to introduce guests to Chevrolet's Automotive Design process -- how it starts with a line and ends with the cars you can buy on the showroom floor. There will be actual sketches, cars, models from GM that have never been seen before by anyone outside the Chevrolet family.

-- There will be four show scenes. Capability is where your car is tested for rough road and weather conditions. Efficiency tests your car design's environmental footprint. The Responsiveness phase tests maneuverability, and finally, Speed is tested.

-- In the attraction's Design Studio, you have a chance to design your own custom concept vehicle. That design follows you into the ride, which is still the same physical ride as before. You'll ride in a sim car, and as you move through the space, your custom design will be scored in the areas of Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Speed.

It's an interactive design kiosk, so in the full experience you can start from a line, then shape your vehicle and add attributes -- the colors, the tires, etc., and make it truly your dream vehicle.

Everybody in the vehicle will have their ride design, whether they designed individually or as a group. As you move through the four scenes, you'll see how the design stacked up against the sim car design.

-- The pre-show is integrated with the experience, and then in the post-show, your ride vehicle travels through the entire experience. You can continue to interact with your ride vehicle afterward.

-- Of the number of different customization combinations available, Jesselnick says, "The possibilities are endless."

-- The post-show will kick off with a scoring opportunity, not just with the guests in your car, but guests throughout the day. From there, there will be other opportunities to play with your design with multiple interactive elements. The show room space will still be there with Chevrolet cars, and there will be photo ops with different concept cars.

-- There will be new, futuristic music for the attraction. Jesselnick says there will be "a whole new soundtrack," along with special sound effects.

-- The experience will be dark, but as it pushes the envelope as far as the use of new technology, it's not a traditional "dark ride."

Other points of interest:

-- The track layout will remain the same as the original Test Track.

-- There will be a single rider line, and the attraction will still use FastPass. The full experience allows you to do a lot of customization with your vehicle; the FastPass and Single Rider lines allow for an expedited queue experience. You can still select a custom vehicle of your choosing to take with you on your ride all the way through the post-show.

-- All of the software is custom for this attraction.

August 28, 2012

Discovery Cove Announces Fall Dates for Special Florida Resident Rate

SeaWorld Dolphin Interation
Discovery Cove Announces Fall Dates for Special Florida Resident Rate Includes Unlimited SeaWorld and Aquatica Pass through January 2013


ORLANDO, Fla. (August 28, 2012) - There's never been a better time than now for Florida residents to experience an exciting fall getaway. With Discovery Cove exclusive savings available through December 31, 2012, Florida residents can enjoy a "Dolphin Swim Day Resort" admission for $199 plus tax or "Day Resort" admission (full day, without dolphin swim experience) for $129 plus tax. This great offer includes an unlimited admission pass to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica through January 31, 2013, valid after the date of Discovery Cove visit.

Discovery Cove features a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel among thousands of tropical fish and rays in The Grand Reef and hand-feed exotic birds in a free-flight aviary.

SeaWorld The Grand Reef Snorkel

All new is Freshwater Oasis, where guests can relax and explore. They'll wade and wander in the water-filled trails and discover two new species of animals -- marmoset monkeys and playful Asian otters.

SeaWorld Freshwater Oasis


Not only are Florida residents able to experience an unforgettable day at Discovery Cove, but with unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica through January 2013 included, they can also experience incredible family-friendly events such as SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular, SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration and January's Just for Kids. Featuring an ocean of Halloween fun, Halloween Spooktacular allows children to trick-or-treat, dance with whimsical sea creatures, catch silly and spooky shows and create sea-themed arts and crafts. And this winter, guests will feel a wave of holiday spirit splash over them at SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration. With everything from elves to Elmo, and from Santa to Shamu, holiday traditions are made at SeaWorld Orlando. Then Saturdays in January, little ones can sing, dance and play the day away at Just for Kids, featuring live shows from kid-favorite popular artists, our kid-sized rides, and amazing animals.

Just across the street at Aquatica, guests can enjoy high-speed water slides, exhilarating wave pools, tranquil beaches and the remarkable animal habitats that are the hallmark of SeaWorld. Aquatica's exclusive attractions promise unlimited fun for every age, sending guests on amazing undersea adventures and through breathtaking animal exhibits.

"Dolphin Swim Day Resort" admission for Florida residents at Discovery Cove includes:

• Reserved dolphin experience

• Unlimited access to signature experiences including: Freshwater Oasis, The Grand Reef, free-flight Explorer's Aviary, Serenity Bay, and Wind-Away River

• Freshly prepared breakfast and lunch plus snacks throughout the day

• Beverages all day long, including sodas, water and alcoholic drinks (for those 21 years and older)

• All swim gear (mask, snorkel and swim vest or wetsuit), towels, locker, sunscreen and other first-class amenities

• All day self-parking at Discovery Cove

• A complimentary photo portrait of guest and their party upon entry to park

• Unlimited admission pass to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica valid after date of Discovery Cove visit through January 31, 2013

Proof of valid Florida residency for each adult is required upon check-in at guest reception. Book online at DiscoveryCove.com or call 1-877-434-7268 for more information.

August 29, 2012

Ariel's Grotto Meet and Greet in Fantasyland Expansion

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Ariel's Meet and Greet Prince Erik's Castle

A new character greeting location, Ariel's Grotto, will be opening later this year in the Fantasyland Expansion. You'll find Ariel within the base of the seaside cliffs upon which Prince Eric's Castle sits, but is separate from the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.

Stay Up-To-Date with all the lastest Fantasyland Expansion News!

Disneyland Resort Guided Tours: Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour

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Your Tour Guides - Disney's Happiest Haunts Tour!


Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is lurking around the corner, and today you can book an experience that is unique to this spooky time of year. Disney's Happiest Haunts Guided Tour takes you on a journey throughout the Disneyland Resort for a night of chilling tales, eerie sights and Halloween treats! Your mysterious "Ghost Host" will take you on an adventure as you track the mischievous Disney Villains, experience thrilling attractions and discover that the fate of the Disneyland Resort in your hands!

Here are some things you should know about the Disney's Happiest Haunts Guided Tour:

* Tour is offered each night from September 14 through October 31.

* The tour is approximately three hours long.

* Theme park admission for Disneyland park is required to attend the tour.

* Attractions and entertainment are subject to change without notice. Some tour attractions have a 42-inch height requirement and physical considerations.

* Each tour guest will receive a collectible souvenir pin and a tasty treat.

For even more Halloween fun, be sure to ask about the "Ultimate Experience"! On select nights, you can combine Disney's Happiest Haunts Tour with the trick-or-treating fun of Mickey's Halloween Party. The "Ultimate Experience" is available on September 28 and October 2, 5, 9, 12, 15, 19, 23, 26, 29 and 31.

For pricing and booking information (and to find out about a special discount for Disney Rewards Visa and AAA card holders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disneyland Resort Annual Passport holders) call 714-781-TOUR (8687). Also, be sure to check out the other Disneyland Resort Guided Tours at Disneyland.com/Tours.

August 31, 2012

Enchanted Tales with Belle - Fantasyland Expansion

Disney Imagineers Imagineers Chris Beatty, Chris Kelly and Ted Robledo are back with even more details about the new Enchanted Tales with Belle experience. Last week we shared the first part of the story with you via the Imagineers video.

Now we have stepped through the portal and are greeted by Madame Wardrobe and Lumiere. This video will show you part of the actual experience. If you want to be totally surprised, don't watch the video.

Five years in the making, Enchanted Tales with Belle takes us all to the next generation of character experiences!

Stay up to date on all the Fantasyland Expansion News!

Finding Nemo 3D

Finding Nemo- 3D
Begins a limited theatrical engagement on Sept. 14, 2012

"Finding Nemo" returns to the big screen-for the first time ever in thrilling Disney Digital 3D™-introducing a whole new generation to the stunning underwater adventure. Director Andrew Stanton, a two-time Oscar® winner for "Finding Nemo" and 2008's "WALL-E," says that the 3D version of the film is breathtaking-literally. "Watching the first few scenes from 'Finding Nemo' in 3D was like I'd never seen a 3D movie before," says Stanton. "It took my breath away. It felt like I was more underwater. It makes the scary moments scarier. It makes the beautiful moments more beautiful. It really drops you deeper into the story. It just amplifies everything."

Teeming with memorable comedic characters and heartfelt emotion, "Finding Nemo" follows the momentous journey of an overprotective clownfish named Marlin and his young son Nemo--who become separated when Nemo is unexpectedly taken far from his ocean home in the Great Barrier Reef to a fish tank in a dentist's office. Buoyed by the companionship of Dory, a friendly-but-forgetful blue tang, Marlin embarks on a dangerous trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic journey to rescue his son--who hatches a few daring plans of his own to return safely home.

"Finding Nemo" won the 2003 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature; the film was nominated for three additional Oscars (Best Writing, Original Screenplay; Best Music, Original Score; Best Sound Editing). It was also nominated for a Golden Globe® Award for Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical. In 2008, the American Film Institute named "Finding Nemo" among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made. At the time of its release, "Finding Nemo" was the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time. It remains the fifth highest grossing animated film worldwide.

"'Finding Nemo' was an amazing film to work on and it exceeded our expectations at every step of the process," says producer Graham Walters. "Throughout the production, people on the crew would walk into the dailies and be blown away by what they were seeing."

With an Oscar®-nominated screenplay by Stanton, Bob Peterson and David Reynolds, "Finding Nemo" is co-directed by Lee Unkrich, who went on to direct the Oscar® -winning "Toy Story 3." John Lasseter is the executive producer. Award-winning composer Thomas Newman ("The Help," "WALL-E") contributed an exciting and sophisticated score that earned him an Oscar® nomination, among other nominations and awards.

"'Finding Nemo' is the perfect movie in 3D," says Lasseter, who creatively oversees all films and associated projects from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. "We didn't realize it when we made it originally. Every scene has what we call particulate matter in the water to give it a sense of place. When you see that in 3D, it's unbelievable. There's so much depth. From the layers and layers of coral reef to the rows of teeth in Bruce the shark's mouth, it's absolutely amazing."

"Finding Nemo" will be released in Digital 3D™ for a limited theatrical engagement on Sept. 14, 2012, and will be released for the first time ever in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™ on Dec. 4, 2012.

Return to Blog Central

About August 2012

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

July 2012 is the previous archive.

September 2012 is the next archive.

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