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September 2012 Archives

September 4, 2012

Gaston's Tavern - Fantasyland Expansion

A New Brew for Gaston's Tavern!

New details have emerged from Disney regarding Gaston's Tavern! The quick service restaurant has a new brew called LeFou's Brew. It is no-sugar added frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam, served in souvenir steins and goblets.

If you've been out to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, it may taste familiar to you. The brew made its debut out there at the Cozy Cone.

Gaston's will be a comfy lodge in the French countryside and provide a respite from the hot sun (or rain).

One of the items that will be served all day are warm, gooey cinnamon rolls.


Stay up to date on all the Fantasyland Expansion News!

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel to "Elect" a Candidate for a "Presidential" Vacation

One lucky contest winner will be awarded a stay in the hotel's luxurious presidential suite

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - As the nation prepares for the next race to the White House, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is making its own presidential headlines by giving one lucky guest and their family the opportunity to be treated like a president with their very own presidential vacation to this iconic Walt Disney World hotel.

In honor of the 2012 presidential election, this Epcot resort area hotel will be selecting a candidate to stay in one of their eight spacious and luxuriously appointed presidential suites on a vacation fit for a leader of the free world. This is only the second time the hotel has offered a presidential suite prize. Coincidentally, the hotel's presidential suites have hosted the likes of President H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, presidential hopefuls like Senator John Kerry and other prominent world leaders.

As the presidential guest, the winning candidate will be invited to bring up to five "cabinet members" on a 3-day/2-night term. They will arrive via luxury transport from the airport (sorry, no motorcade!), be treated to a red carpet welcome at the hotel and can celebrate their victory with a "state" dinner using a $250 dining certificate at any of the hotel's 17 restaurants and lounges, which include Shula's Steak House, celebrity chef Todd English's bluezoo and Il Mulino New York Trattoria.

The "elected" candidate (chosen by random drawing) along with their guests will receive complimentary Walt Disney World theme park three-day Park Hopper passes as well as all the other amenities offered by the hotel, including complimentary transportation to all Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Attractions; the opportunity to dine with loveable Disney characters at Garden Grove restaurant; Extra Magic Hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks offers additional time for guests to enjoy select attractions and advance tee times on four championship Walt Disney World golf courses. The total prize package is valued at $4,825. No caucuses, campaigning or primaries are needed for this vote - guests simply nominate themselves by visiting www.swandolphin.com/election and signing up anytime before the polls close on Nov. 6.

And just like the current race, only time will tell who will be the winning candidate. The winner will be announced on Nov. 7 at www.swandolphin.com/election and has a year to "take office".

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel offers eight presidential suites featuring elegant bathroom and bedroom appointments richly designed in residential-style décor. Presidential suites feature amenities including: multiple 42" flat-screen TVs, deluxe private bathrooms, Westin Heavenly Beds, kitchens with a private bar and dining room table and extraordinary views of Walt Disney World Resort.

September 6, 2012

Manatee Day at Epcot Helps Educate Guests


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Sept. 6, 2012 - In ancient days, sailors may have mistaken manatees for mermaids, but many Epcot guests won't be making that same mistake after visiting The Seas with Nemo and Friends during International Manatee Day on Sept. 7.

The one-day event is designed to help dispel myths about these endangered marine mammals and offer ways to better protect them. Belonging to a group of aquatic, plant-eating mammals called sirenians, manatees can only be found in a few places, including Florida, South America, Africa, and Australia. With only 5,000 manatees located around the state, they are considered an endangered species in Florida.

As a designated rehabilitation site for rescued manatees and sea turtles, the Seas with Nemo and Friends serves as a "halfway house" working with the manatees after they are out of "intensive care" to ensure they resume a normal diet and are ready to return to the wild.

A team of marine mammal experts at The Seas is currently caring for two manatees - Lou and Vail. Both were injured during separate watercraft strikes and will remain in the facility until they are well enough to be returned to their habitats.

Simple actions can help protect them. For example, recycling used fishing line and plastic bottles will help keep waterways where manatees live, clean and healthy.

September 8, 2012

2013 Itineraries Departing from Galveston, Texas


In early 2013, Disney Cruise Line will offer a variety of new itineraries departing from Galveston, Texas, providing even more cruise options for guests. In addition to six-night Western Caribbean sailings, new choices include four-night Caribbean getaway cruises and eight-night itineraries that take guests to Walt Disney World Resort and Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

"We are excited to add even more variety to our offering of itineraries from the Port of Galveston," said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. "The addition of shorter getaway cruises and voyages that call on our most popular port of call, Disney's Castaway Cay, rounds out an impressive array of itinerary options from Galveston."

Highlights of the 2013 Galveston itineraries include:

In the early part of 2013, the Disney Magic will sail from the Port of Galveston to the Western Caribbean and Bahamas with four-, six- and eight-night itineraries.

NEW: Four-night Caribbean sailings are perfect for guests looking for a quick getaway and include two days at sea to sample the one-of-a-kind Disney Cruise Line shipboard experience.Ports: Galveston, Cozumel
Departure dates: Feb. 1, 5, March 15, 19, April 12, 16
Rates start at $400 per person for four-night cruises departing from Galveston for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Six-night Western Caribbean cruises offer a tropical vacation with world-class entertainment and impeccable guest service found only on Disney Cruise Line.
Ports: Galveston, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Departure dates: Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 9, 23, March 9, 23, April 6, 20. May 4
Rates start at $750 per person for six-night cruises departing from Galveston for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

NEW: Eight-night Bahamas sailings include a day at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay; and a stop at Port Canaveral, Fla., giving guests an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World Resort. As part of this itinerary, each guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between their Disney ship and the resort.
Ports: Galveston, Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral, Key West
Departure dates: Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 1, 29, April 26, May 10
Rates start at $960 per person for eight-night cruises to Castaway Cay and Florida departing from Galveston for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Eight-night Western Caribbean cruises include stops in Mexico and Key West Fla.
Ports: Galveston, Key West, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Departure dates: Jan. 4
Rates start at $920 per person for eight-night Caribbean cruises departing from Galveston for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Later in 2013, the Disney Wonder is scheduled to sail seven-night cruises from Galveston to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

All pricing reflects a category 11C standard inside stateroom. Government taxes and fees and Port Adventures are not included. The number of staterooms allocated for this offer is limited. See Disney Cruise Line website for details and applicable terms and conditions.

September 11, 2012

Apply for the 6th Annual Walt Disney World Moms Panel!

Disney Parks is seeking Sports Team Moms and bilingual panelists to join the 2013 panel

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Sept. 10, 2012) - Have a passion for planning unforgettable Disney vacations? Know how to organize the ultimate team sports events at Walt Disney World Resort? Disney Parks today announced the 2013 Walt Disney World Moms Panel call for entries, featuring the search for its first-ever Sports Team Moms. The best draft picks for this position will have experience organizing team travel to sporting events at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex while incorporating the magic of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Disney is also seeking bilingual panelists and international travelers to provide valuable expertise for its visitors. Visit disneymomspanelsearch2013.com through September 14 to apply.

Kicking off its sixth year, the online trip planning forum's park-savvy super Disney fans assist guests in creating memorable Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani/Adventures by Disney, Disney Vacation Club and runDisney vacations. Since 2008, millions of visitors have accessed the immense library of questions and answers that have helped our guests plan the perfect Disney vacation. Guests can also access personal tips from both panelists and celebrities alike through the dozens of videos live on the site that cover a wide-range of topics including fun and "insider" tips.

"We are excited to continue the expansion of the Moms Panel this year, adding a new Sports Team Mom specialty and bilingual panelists to our team of Disney vacation planners," said Leanne Jakubowski, Director, Social Media; Walt Disney World Resort. "This diverse panel of Disney fans has helped countless guests turn their vacation dreams into a reality. Some families return from their trip and respond to the panelists, thanking them for the magical vacation they had a hand in creating. Many of our panelists feel it is an honor to assist travelers from all over the globe in making memories that will last a lifetime."

"For the past two years I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my love and appreciation for the most 'Magical Place on Earth' as a member of the Moms Panel," said Marisol Lopez, bilingual panelist and Disney Cruise Line specialist. "Disney has provided my family with countless pixie-dusted moments we will never forget. I literally become emotional as I write my answers because I feel as if I am planning a trip for my family for each guest. Fun does not even describe it. It has truly been a life-changing experience for me. I encourage anyone who wants to share their Disney passion to apply. I still have 'pinch me' moments and cannot believe I have been given this amazing opportunity."

How to Apply
Disney Parks will accept applications for the 2013 Walt Disney World Moms Panel from 9 a.m. EDT on September 10, 2012 through September 14, 11:59 p.m. EDT., or when 14,000 applications have been received. Those interested should visit disneymomspanelsearch2013.com to enter. The application process includes a series of written questions and submissions, with the final round in the form of a brief phone interview. Once the search is complete, the top candidates will be officially announced as members of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel in January 2013. Panelists must be available to attend a training session at Walt Disney World Resort in December 2012.

Disneyland Resort Donates Matterhorn Bobsleds Vehicles and Materials to Museum



ARLINGTON, Texas --- More than 53 years after opening the world's first tubular steel roller coaster, Disneyland is donating two vehicles from the iconic Matterhorn Bobsled ride at Disneyland to the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives. First open in 1959, the 1/100th replica of the real Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland, was a dream of Disneyland founder Walt Disney.

"This is the 'holy grail' of artifacts for the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archive (NRCMA)," NRCMA Chairman Gary Slade said. "The Matterhorn started the modern era of roller coaster design and launched the themed ride industry."

Tame by today's standards, the Matterhorn remains a thrilling ride for young riders and a memory-maker for families. Described as a roller coaster ride to an icy encounter with the Abominable Snowman, the Matterhorn speeds two-car sleds 18 miles-per-hour along its nearly 2,100 foot track.

"We're delighted to provide these pieces of Disneyland Resort history to the National Roller Coaster Museum, an organization that celebrates our industry," said George A. Kalogridis, president of the Disneyland Resort. "The Matterhorn Bobsleds vehicles and California Screamin' signage represent two of our most beloved attractions, from the first tubular steel-tracked roller coaster in the world to one of the longest and most thrilling."

The Matterhorn Bobsleds was a marvel of engineering when it opened at Disneyland. The 14- story "mountain" was built like a skyscraper with multiple floors and cooling units. In addition to the bobsled cars, Disney graciously donated signage from the California Screamin' roller coaster from Disney's California Adventure. California Screamin' is the second longest steel roller coaster in North America. It features a musical soundtrack and the only outdoor inversions at any Disney park in the U.S.

The official presentation of the donation was made at the Golden Ticket Awards at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. on Sept. 8, 2012.

September 12, 2012

Disney Vacation Club Membership Perks Sneak Peek


Today, Claire Bilby, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club, announced on the Disney Vacation Club member website via video exciting new member perks coming soon.

From October 1 through December 31, 2012, Members will be able to purchase a Walt Disney World Premium Annual Pass for just $399 (that's a savings of $300 off the regular price!)*. Premium Annual Passholders enjoy unlimited admission to four Theme Parks, a year's worth of unlimited access to Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Parks, DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course (greens fees only) and more!

Insider's Tip: A Premium Annual Pass certificate is not activated as a ticket until it is used the first time. So, if you've already purchased an Annual Pass, you can still take advantage of this offer by purchasing it now (between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012), but waiting to activate it until after your current pass has expired. Passes purchased on this offer must be redeemed by December 31, 2013.

October 1 will also mark the launch of a new ongoing Member perk - 10% off merchandise** at all Disney owned and operated merchandise locations at Parks and Resorts at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai'i.

Visit dvcmember.com on October 1 for more details!

September 14, 2012

Be Our Guest Restaurant - Storytelling Through Dining

At both a media preview and on the DisneyParksBlog, new details were revealed yesterday about the Be Our Guest dining experience. Deb Wills attended the media reveal - look for her blog coming soon.

The big announcement that has Disney fans buzzing is that beer and wines will be served with dinner at Be Our Guest.

It's all about the mysterious new Magic Kingdom Park castle that's home to Beast from "Beauty and the Beast," with a majestic Ballroom with 20-foot-tall ceilings, elegant chandeliers and a wall of 18-foot-tall windows that overlook the French countryside where a light snow is falling; the Rose Gallery, with a large music box centerpiece that's almost 7 feet tall, with Belle and the Beast slowly twirling atop; and the forbidden, dramatic West Wing, with the warm glow of the Beast's enchanted rose.

Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages

A team of Disney chefs, including longtime Disney Chef Roland Muller, a native of Alsace, France, has spent more than three years developing the French-inspired menu, creating both a quick-service menu for lunch and a more elegant table-service menu for dinner.

Mussels Provencal

"Our role is to finish the story," says Walt Disney World Executive Chef Lenny DeGeorge. And while the quick-service lunch is more of a French bistro, dinner is a more elegant affair with dishes themed to the film: a whole roasted hen, a pork rack chop, pan-seared salmon with leek fondue and saffron potatoes.

Grilled Steak with Pommes Frites

Gourmet cupcakes and mousse-filled cream puffs are finished tableside.

Gourmet Cupcakes
Mousse Filled Cream Puffs

"As part of the overall theming, we wanted to offer wine that enhances the guest experience and complements the French-inspired cuisine," says Stuart McGuire, Beverage Director, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "The wines focus primarily on France's famous wine-growing regions, including Champagne, Alsace, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux.

"We'll also offer the leading French beer, Kronenbourg 1664," says McGuire. "And, staying in the general region, we'll also offer Belgian beers."

Servers complete the picture, dressed in a style inspired by European fashions from the 1400s to the 1600s: a royal purple embroidered doublet, or vest, over a shirt with knickers that reach just below the knee. For evening service, a jabot or ruffle, buttoned at the throat, is added.

"From the moment they cross the bridge into the castle, it's all about immersing our guests in the dining experience," says Bisienere. "Every detail is part of the story."

September 17, 2012

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion Holiday

It's officially Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, and once again Jack Skellington has taken over the Haunted Mansion to create Haunted Mansion Holiday.


The holiday overlay at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is a must see! Each year the attraction closes down in late August/early September for 2-3 weeks, while the mansion is transformed into Jack Skellington and the Nightmare Before Christmas. And as a special treat, Jack and Sally have Meet and Greet appearances throughout the day!



You do not have to have seen the movie to love the decorated mansion!

Here are some fun facts Joe told me about Haunted Mansion Holiday:

More than 400 flickering candles create the Mansion's eerie nighttime glow
More than 100 jack-o-lanterns illuminate the exterior
7,500 feet of fresh snow is used each year
At night, several guests have been able to spot Zero protecting the Mansion

Technical director Joe Peters shares some of the preparation details

September 18, 2012

Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Announces 2012 Grant Recipients

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Sept.18 - The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) released its 2012 annual grants, awarding more than $1.8 million to 75 conservation projects around the globe including $130,000 to Florida based projects.

Since its beginnings in 1995 DWCF has donated nearly $4 million benefiting 257 programs from 59 organizations in Florida. This year, six projects supporting the conservation of Florida wildlife were selected, including:

--The Sea Turtle Conservancy
--The University of Florida
--Marine Resources Council of East Florida
--The Wildlife Foundation of Florida
--The Coral Restoration Foundation
--The Ecostudies Institute

"Disney's commitment to protect the planet and help create connections between kids and nature around the world in 40 countries is amazing," said Dr. Beth Stevens, Senior Vice President, Disney Corporate Citizenship, Environment & Conservation. "We are grateful to the many scientists, educators and community conservationists who devote their lives to conservation and are very proud to work with our guests, fans, employees and cast members to help ensure a better future for our planet."

Through its grants program, DWCF is helping to preserve habitats, protect endangered species, foster kids' connections to nature and ensure future generations can enjoy wildlife and wild places.

Highlights of the six Florida-based projects include:

--The Coral Restoration Foundation has developed a project dedicated to restoring coral reefs in the Florida Keys through an offshore nursery.
--The Sea Turtle Conservancy combines educational workshops with hands-on activities, to encourage awareness of a vital sea turtle nesting site located on Florida's East Coast.
--The Ecostudies Institute has designed a program to raise awareness about the ecosystems in South Florida and promote the conservation of the Mangrove Cuckoo, a species whose populations have shrunk by up to 95% in recent years.
--The Wildlife Foundation of Florida explores water temperatures in Florida to determine the best habitat-rebuilding sight to promote manatee recovery.

Globally, DWCF has awarded $20 million to support conservation programs in 112 countries on six continents since 1995. For a complete list of grant recipients and to view The Walt Disney Company's most recent Conservation Report, visit www.disney.com/conservation

SeaWorld Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin Behind the Scenes

SeaWorld Orlando Gives First Behind-the-Scenes Look at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin

SeaWorld Orlando now has all-new ways for fans to dive deeper into the world of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the park's new attraction opening spring 2013. A dedicated website launched today, allowing everyone to follow the freeze and stay connected to all things Antarctica: www.SeaWorldOrlando.com/Antarctica. The new site includes ways to watch feathery friends live on a Penguin Cam, learn about what makes Antarctica a land of extremes or sign up to receive exclusive email updates.

The website also provides a way to stay tuned to the series of webisodes that will continually take fans behind-the-scenes with the designers and animal experts as they create Orlando's coolest, must-see 2013 experience, even revealing icy secrets along the way. The first webisode provides the first sneak peek into the Making of Antarctica and reveals a never-before-seen trailer.

SeaWorld's epic new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, transports you into the icy world of the penguin like never before. Experience the mysterious land through the penguins' eyes on a first-of-its-kind family ride, connect with a colony above and below the water and be inspired to make a difference.

September 19, 2012

Frankenweenie - New Featurette!

Frankenweenie Poster

From creative genius Tim Burton ("Alice in Wonderland," The Nightmare Before Christmas") comes "Frankenweenie," a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life-with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor's fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new "leash on life" can be monstrous.

A stop-motion animated film, "Frankenweenie" was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D. The talented voice cast includes: Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder.

Presented by Disney, "Frankenweenie" is directed by Tim Burton, produced by Tim Burton and Allison Abbate, from a screenplay by John August, based on a screenplay by Lenny Ripps, based on an original idea by Tim Burton. "Frankenweenie" releases in U.S. theaters on October 5, 2012.

Special Events/Merchandise for Epcot's 30th Anniversary

Spaceship Earth

October 1 marks Epcot's 30th anniversary, and Walt Disney World has announced several special events to mark the occasion.

Throughout the day on October 1, you can attend Epcot history presentations in World Showplace courtesy of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. These presentations are included in park admission and are limited in seating.

-- 1-2 p.m.: Designing the Future - Past and Present: A panel of Disney Imagineers remembers 30 years of building tomorrow

-- 4:30-6 p.m.: Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar

-- 6:30-8 p.m.: Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar

You can also attend an anniversary moment at the America Gardens Theatre at 3 p.m., which will feature appearances by Disney leaders and include performances by Mariachi Cobre and Voices of Liberty. (Seating for this presentation is also limited.)

That evening, the October 1 presentation of "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" will feature a special 30th anniversary tag.

Special Epcot 30th anniversary merchandise will also be available.

September 20, 2012

"Frankenweenie Weekend" Takes Over Downtown Disney Sept. 28-30, 2012


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - In celebration of Disney's new stop-motion animated movie "Frankenweenie," directed by acclaimed filmmaker Tim Burton and opening October 5 in 3D, Walt Disney World Resort is hosting a variety of engaging experiences inspired by the new movie, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Alice in Wonderland." The fun takes place at Downtown Disney West Side Sept. 28 - 30, 2012.

Here's a look at what's in store for guests:

-- Special 3D screenings of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Alice in Wonderland," featuring a 3D extended preview of "Frankenweenie," which debuts Oct. 5. Tickets may be purchased for $6. The fun takes place at AMC Downtown Disney 24. Show times:

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" 4:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.
"Alice in Wonderland" 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

-- New Holland Pet Cemetery picture spot presented by HGTV will place guests in one of the key locations of "Frankenweenie" among tombstones of beloved turtles, rabbits, cats and of course, dogs. Located between AMC Downtown Disney 24 and Something Silver boutique, available 6-11 p.m.

-- The first-ever meet and greet with Jack and Sally from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" at Walt Disney World Resort. Located between AMC Downtown Disney 24 and Harley Davidson, available 6-11 p.m.

-- Special merchandise inspired by "Frankenweenie" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" will be available for purchase at D-Street boutique and mobile carts throughout Downtown Disney West Side. Special treats, such as Franken Fusion Lemonade and Frankenweenie hotdogs will be available near the New Holland Pet Cemetery picture spot.

September 21, 2012

Wreck-it Ralph Characters Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz, two of the main characters from Disney's newest animated adventure comedy "Wreck-It Ralph," will soon be making their debut at Disney Parks.

Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz


For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has been overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, Jr. (voice of Jack McBrayer), the good-guy star of their game who always gets to save the day. Tired of playing the role of a bad guy, Ralph takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a journey across the arcade through multiple generations of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.

On his quest, Ralph meets tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero's Duty, and feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, who may just be his first real friend. But everything changes when a deadly enemy is unleashed, threatening the entire arcade and Vanellope herself. Ralph finally gets his chance to save the day-but can he do it in time?


At The Magic of Disney Animation attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios, you'll step through Game Central Station, catching glimpses of the various game worlds from the film on your way to "Sugar Rush," where Vanellope and Ralph are waiting to meet you at the finish line. The Production Gallery at the Magic of Disney Animation is now showcasing concept art from Wreck-it Ralph!

Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope in the Parks

At Disneyland park, the arcade world of "Wreck-It Ralph" comes to life within the Tomorrowland Starcade. When Ralph and Vanellope are there, you'll have an opportunity to meet them at the portal to "Sugar Rush" and can even play a round on the classic arcade game "Fix-It Felix, Jr."

Look for each of these experiences to open this November, and be sure to catch "Wreck-It Ralph" in theaters November 2 in 3D!

September 24, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Galveston with Texas-sized Fanfare

Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Texas
Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Galveston with Texas-sized Fanfare

The Disney Magic arrived in Galveston, kicking off the Disney Cruise Line inaugural season sailing from the Port of Galveston.

Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Texas

To salute its arrival to the Lone Star State, the Disney Magic donned a Texas-sized cowboy hat on the ship's funnel as crew members and Disney characters waved from the upper decks of the ship. In 2012 and 2013, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Galveston on a variety of itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas, with some cruises taking guests to Walt Disney World Resort and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Texas

This hat is an astonishing 19-feet tall and 14-feet wide. To put it in perspective for you, if a real cowboy was to wear this hat he would need to be about 43 feet tall! Amazingly, the hat was installed while the ship was at sea, just one mile out from the Port of Galveston.

Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Texas
Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Texas

The larger-than-life cowboy hat was actually printed on a polypoplene cover, and engineers created a frame for the hat that includes the shape of the funnel's Mickey ears. Check out this behind-the-scenes shot as the riggers bolted the frame in place.

Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Texas

September 25, 2012

Test Track Epcot Update

Epcot's New Test Track SimCar
Epcot's Test Track is entering final stages of a major rehab.

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

New images of the "SimCar" have been released and a model can now be viewed outside the attraction at the nearby Cool Wash Station in Epcot.

Epcot's New Test Track SimCar
Epcot's New Test Track SimCar

When Test Track reopens later this fall, the attraction will allow guests to experience the fun and fascinating world of automotive design firsthand. Guests will first enter a Design Studio and make a series of selections (as an individual or a group) to create their ideal custom concept vehicle - they can even pick the color. Guests then board a six-passenger SimCar for a test drive, and see how their design compares to the SimCar in Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.

Epcot's New Test Track SimCar

September 26, 2012

Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Bog Exhibit is a Feast for the Eyes

Ocean Spray Cranberry bog at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival
Ocean Spray's Cranberry Bog Exhibit is a Feast for the Eyes at
2012 Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival
Cranberry cooperative shares the secrets behind the taste, health, and heritage of the exceptional cranberry

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. (Sept. 26, 2012) - What do you get when you combine the imagination and magic of Walt Disney World with the mystery of fall's favorite fruit? A truly exceptional exhibit- an over 1,300 square-foot free-standing cranberry bog to be exact! From Sept. 28 to Nov. 12, visitors to the 2012 Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival will have a chance to feast their eyes on the beauty of the cranberry harvest and discover the cranberry's secrets - from its unique taste to its rich heritage and long history of health benefits.

Ocean Spray Cranberry bog at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival

Multi-generation Ocean Spray® cranberry growers and Disney cast members will be on hand to share the mystery of the cranberry through this awe inspiring display complete with 1,500 pounds of fresh, floating cranberries. Visitors will also have an opportunity to sample Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries, the official fruit snack of the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts, and enjoy them in an assortment of menu items at participating restaurants inside the theme park.

"The cranberry is an exceptional autumn fruit that people know very little about," said Larry Martin, vice president global marketing, Ocean Spray. "Our collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering on this exhibit gives us an opportunity to showcase the cranberry to thousands of visitors who may never have the opportunity to see how truly stunning a cranberry harvest is, and then show them how to incorporate cranberries into everyday dishes and cuisines around the world."

In addition to the harvest demonstration, guests visiting the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival are encouraged to explore culinary demonstrations by Disney chefs, who will share their secrets on how to transform ordinary fare into full-flavored dishes using Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries.

For more tasty cranberry secrets and recipes, visit www.oceanspray.com.

Cranberry lovers are also encouraged to share their exceptional secrets with Ocean Spray at Facebook.com/oceanspray or @oceansprayinc on Twitter.

Discover the Secrets of the Exceptional Cranberry

- Cranberries are one of only three native fruits cultivated in North America.

- Inside the cranberry are four secret chambers. These tiny air chambers help the cranberries stay afloat when the bogs are flooded for harvest.

- If you strung all the cranberries produced in North America last year, they would stretch from Boston to Los Angeles more than 565 times.

- Over the years, there have been more than 1,000 cranberry recipes added to Ocean Spray's Cranberry Kitchen.

- Cranberry products contribute to whole-body health and are rich in powerful nutrients. Find out more at www.cranberryhealth.com.

September 30, 2012

D23 Celebrates Epcot's 30th Anniversary


More than 1,000 Epcot enthusiasts, members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, gathered at Epcot's World Showcase on Sunday, September 30, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the theme park, which first opened on October 1, 1982. A day of special panels and presentations, all created by D23, marked the anniversary.



Panelists of the "We Can Do It" presentation (above) included (left to right) Disney Legend, original Tom Sawyer on Tom Sawyer Island, and former manager of distribution services at Walt Disney World Tom Nabbe; Disney Legend and executive vice president of Parks, Walt Disney World Bob Matheison; Disney Legend and former vice president of the Magic Kingdom Bill Sullivan; former Walt Disney World vice president of purchasing and contract services Howard Roland; Disney author and Imagineer Jason Surrell; former president of Disney Participant Relations Jim McCaskill; former director of Walt Disney World Casting Duncan Dickson; and Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway, who helped launch the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971 and EPCOT Center in 1982, among other Disney theme parks around the world.

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About September 2012

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

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