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October 2012 Archives

October 2, 2012

Characters in Flight Balloon Returns to Downtown Disney

The Characters in Flight balloon has returned to Downtown Disney and is currently in a testing phase.

This balloon features a new red, yellow and blue color scheme, as well as a new set of flying characters: Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Buzz Lightyear, Dumbo, Jasmine and Aladdin.

Characters in Flight Balloon

Characters in Flight Balloon

Guest flights should resume sometime in the next week or so.

October 4, 2012

Celebrate the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

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Celebrate the Holiday at the Happiest Place on Earth
November 12, 2012, through January 6, 2013.

Here's a look at what's in store this year!

At Disney California Adventure park:

Buena Vista Street will be decked out in vintage-style ornaments and décor.

In Cars Land, each address along Route 66 - Flo's V8 Café, Fillmore's Taste-In, the Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi's Casa della Tires - will feature holiday decorations reflecting the personality of the "Cars" character who lives there.

New wintertime fun will rock the night at Mad T Party.

Returning favorites will include "a bug's land" holiday decor and "Phineas and Ferb's Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party: Holiday Edition."

At Disneyland park:

Santa's Holly Jolly Jamboree in Big Thunder Ranch is where Disneyland park guests can meet Santa Claus and participate in games, music and crafts.

Candlelight Ceremony and Processional performances from December 3-20 will be open to Annual Passholders and guests who book select dining packages.

Returning favorites include: Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle, "Believe" in Holiday Magic" fireworks show, "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, "it's a small world" holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday.


Pete's Silly Sideshow Sneak Peek!

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

At Pete's Silly Sideshow, the custom-designed character greeting location created exclusively for Storybook Circus, you are invited to choose a path to meet either Donald Duck and Goofy or Minnie Mouse and Daisy, each playing their own unique role at the circus.

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Donald is The Astounding Donaldo, the most charming of snake charmers.

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Goofy, of course, is The Great Goofini, circus stuntman extraordinaire.

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Daisy Duck plays the part of Madame Daisy Fortuna, a mysterious gypsy fortuneteller.

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Minnie Mouse is the "Siren of the Seine," that Parisian poodle trainer Minnie Magnifique.

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Detailed props and settings help reinforce each of their stories and fully immerse you in the world of the circus sideshow.tailed props and settings help reinforce each of their stories and fully immerse you in the world of the circus sideshow.

Beast's Library Updated at Disney California Adventure

The Beast's Library in the Disney Animation Building is the perfect place to relax and cool off during a day at Disney California Adventure park. And now you can discover even more about the character inside you with updated questions and new characters just added to the library's royal storybooks!

October 5, 2012

Monster's Inc 3D Opens December 19, 2012 in US Theatres

Monsters Inc 3D
Appearing in Select Theaters in 3D December 19, 2012


"Monsters, Inc.," one of Disney-Pixar's most beloved and visually imaginative feature films ever, returns to the big screen to delight a whole new generation of audiences and fans alike, this time in stunning 3D.

The now-classic Academy Award®-winning animated comedy adventure "Monsters, Inc." is set in Monstropolis, a thriving company town where monsters of all shapes and sizes reside. Lovable Sulley (voiced by John Goodman) and his wisecracking best friend Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) are the top scare team at Monsters, Inc., the largest scream-processing factory.

The main power source in the monster world is the collected screams of human children-and at Monsters, Inc., an elite team of scarers is responsible for gathering those precious natural resources. Believed by monsters to be toxic, children are strictly forbidden from entering Monstropolis. But when a little girl named Boo (voiced by Mary Gibbs) accidentally follows Sulley back into his world, he finds his career in jeopardy and his life in utter chaos. So pals Mike and Sulley plot to rectify the mistake and return Boo to her home. But when the trio encounters an unexpected series of complications, they become embroiled in a cover-up catapulting them into a mystery beyond their wildest dreams.

Directed by Oscar®-winner Pete Docter ("Up") and produced by Oscar nominee Darla K. Anderson ("Toy Story 3"), "Monsters, Inc." features a screenplay by Andrew Stanton and Daniel Gerson and music by Randy Newman. Rated G by the MPAA, the film is in theaters-again-December 19, 2012, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D® in select theaters.

October 9, 2012

Kids Sail Free with Disney Cruise Line in Texas

Disney Cruise Line Arrives in Texas

Disney Cruise Line announced that kids 17 and under sail free on select voyages from Galveston, Texas, with two full-fare guests in the same stateroom. It's time to don your cowboy hat and saddle up for some family fun with Mickey!

The offer is for most Disney Magic sailings from January 4 to March 1, 2013, making this the perfect holiday gift for your little cowboys and cowgirls! The offer is available for stateroom categories 4A-11B (government taxes and fees not included).

The hardest choice you'll have to make is which cruise to take" Bahamas or Western Caribbean?

On the eight-night Bahamas voyage, you'll stop at Castaway Cay, Key West and Port Canaveral (with the option to visit Walt Disney World Resort!). You can also explore the beautiful Western Caribbean for six nights (Grand Cayman, Cozumel) or eight nights (Key West, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel).

Be Our Guest Restaurant Exterior Details

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The faces that guard the Beast's Castle

If you remember in the film "Beauty and The Beast," Belle was originally a bit cautious when she entered Beast's Castle for the first time " before she was welcomed by Lumiere, Cogsworth and the castle's other enchanted (and enchanting!) staff members.

To create a similar effect here at the park, Imagineers included a host of beasts, minotaurs and other grotesques in the exterior design of the castle that make it truly the home of a conflicted Prince-turned-Beast. Once inside, guests will be welcomed at Be Our Guest Restaurant, which features a glittering ballroom, eerie West Wing dining room and Rose Gallery.

Be Our Guest Exterior


Be Our Guest Exterior


Be Our Guest Exterior


Be Our Guest Exterior


Be Our Guest Exterior


Be Our Guest Exterior


Be Our Guest Exterior


Be Our Guest Exterior


Be Our Guest Exterior

Test Track to Reopen December 6, 2012

Test Track - Epcot
Test Track will officially reopen on December 6.


When Test Track reopens, this reengineered attraction will allow guests to experience the fun 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 virtual custom concept vehicle. They then board a six-passenger SimCar for a test drive to see how their own design compares to the attraction's SimCar in Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.

Test Track - Epcot

And it sounds like the post-show will be just as much fun. Here, guests can see how well their car performed, and race it over changing terrains and extreme conditions on a digital driving table. Guests can also produce and star in a TV commercial for their custom cars, explore a Chevrolet showroom that will feature the latest models, and more.

October 11, 2012

Vacationers with Food Allergies Now Have New and Personalized Dining Options at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place Parks

Orlando, Fla. (October 10, 2012) - As many as 15 million Americans suffer from a food allergy. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has introduced this fall a new line of allergy-friendly dining initiatives for guests at its 10 parks including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place. These initiatives range from personalized service to new menu options.

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"We serve millions of guests each year and are committed to provide each a great experience. For families with allergen concerns, we understand how challenging it can be to safely dine out, especially while on vacation," said Jim Atchison, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Our new initiatives 'serve up' a family experience that everyone can enjoy."

The company partnered with the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN™) to educate and train more than 6,000 culinary employees to assist guests with allergen needs. With more than 22,000 members worldwide, FAAN is a trusted source of information, programs, and resources related to food allergy and anaphylaxis.

The new initiatives include:

• Increased personal attention to ensure the safety of each meal. Park restaurant managers and supervisors will work one-on-one with guests and oversee the preparation of each allergen-friendly meal from start to finish. "Chef Cards," filled out in advance by guests to outline the foods to avoid, are handed to a chef before the preparation of the meal.

• All park restaurants are equipped and trained to take care of guests with allergen needs.

• More menu options, ranging from gluten-free pizza to an allergen-friendly Shamu-shaped chocolate bar, enhance the experience for dining guests. For those on the go, the parks also provide prepackaged snacks such as cookies from companies that specialize in allergen-friendly foods including Divvies and Gluten Free to Go.

• To help guests plan, detailed information on allergen-friendly services and helpful safety tips can be found online at each park's web site. Guests can also download the Chef Cards and fill it out prior to their visit. At the parks, in-park educational handouts are available.

SeaWorld_Dining1.jpg

"We commend SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment for implementing a comprehensive food allergy training program, which we were pleased to help carry out," said John Lehr, FAAN's Chief Executive Officer. "Families often exhaustively research vacation options that will keep their loved ones with food allergies safe. SeaWorld has taken extra steps to educate its employees about the risks that families managing food allergies face on a daily basis."

For more information on the parks' allergen-free efforts visit www.seaworld.com, www.buschgardens.com and www.sesameplace.com. For additional resources about food allergies from FAAN, visit www.foodallergy.org.

October 12, 2012

Disney Animal Keeper Combines Art and Care to Help Endangered Rhino Species

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 5, 2012 - As a rhinoceros keeper at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Chad Harmon tends to some of the toughest, strongest animals on the planet. He recently channeled that passion into an arts auction that raised approximately $6000 for the endangered animals.

For the Horns to Heroes project, Harmon used one of the rhinos he cares for as a model to make 40 horns by hand using a process known as rotational casting. The pieces are made of foam-filled resin and stand 16 inches tall and 7 inches wide.

He then recruited Central Florida painters, tattoo artists, sculptors, graffiti artists, illustrators, photographers and special-effects artists to create original and unique works of art. Each one was auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the International Rhino Foundation which funds research programs and helps protect threatened rhino populations in Africa and Asia.

"By supporting the International Rhino Foundation, The Horns and Heroes Project will help fund programs that support the courageous and dedicated rangers who risk their lives to stop poaching and give rhinos a chance at survival," said Harmon. "We're hoping that these works of art will help spark more conversation about how to protect these species."

Though at one time there were 30 living species of rhino, only five species remain today, and those populations are facing the severe threat of extinction. Without immediate action, some rhinos could be extinct within the next 20 years, due to poaching, forest loss, habitat conversion and encroaching human settlements.

Disney's Animal Kingdom currently includes a herd of white rhinos. Since the park opened in 1998, nine rhinos have been born at Disney's Animal Kingdom as part of a white rhino breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The program focuses on sustaining the white rhino population in North America.

Alice In Wonderland-Themed Water Play Area Opens at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

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from the Disney Parks Blog

A new Alice In Wonderland-themed kids' water play area has debuted at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

The area features an upturned Mad Hatter's hat that dumps water when it fills up, as well as an oversized teapot that spills water into a series of teacups, showering the guests below.

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On the ground, kids can have fun playing under sprinklers and water spouts, or sliding down one of the area's two mini waterslides.

October 14, 2012

Walt Disney World Names 2013-14 Ambassadors

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 12, 2012 - Continuing a 47-year tradition created by Walt Disney himself, Walt Disney World Resort has selected two Cast Members to serve in the revered and sought-after role of Ambassadors.

In a ceremony held today at Epcot, Tye Arnold and Rich Tamayo received their official ambassador pins as part of the announcement, which was greeted with a burst of confetti and the applause of friends, family and Cast Members. The pair will represent more than 64,000 Cast Members as they share the magic of Disney throughout the resort and the Central Florida community from Jan. 1, 2013 - Dec. 31, 2014.

"Today, we celebrate two amazing people who exemplify the talent and excellence of Walt Disney World," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France. "The role of Ambassador is special, not just because it represents our more than 64,000 Cast Members, but because it is a tradition that began with Walt Disney. And today, our Ambassadors share the magic of Disney with our guests, our Cast and our community."

When Tye Arnold sent a letter to the Disney Channel from his small Northeast Arkansas hometown to ask how he could become a Cast Member, he never imagined the variety of roles he would play at Walt Disney World Resort. After interning with the Disney College Program in Magic Kingdom, he worked in various host, tour and Cast leader roles at several of the resort's parks. Chosen as a Dream Squad Specialist during "The Year of a Million Dreams," Tye has helped create magical moments for Guests as part of the Guest Relations team and as year-end leader for Magic Kingdom's Dream Squad.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Rich Tamayo has transformed his passion for sports into a successful Disney career. After starting out as an event service assistant at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, he's held a variety of roles in the company's sports and recreation sphere - from working with the Atlanta Braves during spring training to ensuring guest satisfaction at various Disney resorts in Central Florida and Hilton Head, S.C. Most recently, Rich continued building his hospitality skills by joining the front office team at Disney's Boardwalk Resort.

Today's ceremony was the culmination of an intensive, two-month search for candidates who demonstrate a commitment to fellow Cast Members and the community, an understanding of the company's heritage and, above all, Disney passion. Each year, thousands of Cast Members are invited to participate in the Ambassador selection process, which includes several rounds of interviews and, for the finalists, an opportunity to interact with Cast, visit non-profit organizations and test their presentation and media interview skills.

Following a two-month training, the new Ambassadors will begin their busy two-year term. With more than 3,500 events to attend throughout the year, the Ambassadors will be responsible for duties such as hosting Disney VoluntEAR events, making appearances with Disney characters at community presentations, serving as master of ceremonies at park events and recognizing Cast Members' milestones and achievements.

The Disney Ambassador tradition began during the 10th anniversary of Disneyland when Walt Disney was overwhelmed with requests for appearances and media interviews. The program has continued since he chose the first Disney Ambassador to represent the company, as well as its Cast Members and ideals, in 1964.

October 16, 2012

Imagineers Indepth Look at Be Our Guest - New Details

On the DisneyParksBlog live chat 10/15/2012, Creative director Chris Beatty shares new insights into the creation and final design of Be Our Guest Restaurant.

"Of all the videos we've released through the Disney Parks Blog, this is my favorite one. I think it really captures the three Imagineers and their love of building this and giving this to our guests."

The West Wing is meant to feel like any minute you're in there that the Beast could come busting in the door. There's a sense of foreboding to the room - the ambiance is very dark and heavy and it really takes on the personality of the Beast. You get this sense that you're trespassing in some place you should not have been. It's probably the most magical of the three rooms.

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Here you'll find the Enchanted Rose, which sheds its petals in a great illusion that brings it to life. There's a moment when you hear the storm rolling in and we hear the lightning get closer and closer, and when the final petal falls, you get this really great effect when the portrait turns from the prince to the Beast.

Early in design, we wanted to celebrate Belle & Beast's love and the moment they danced in the ballroom in special way. In Maurice's Cottage, the mirror was a gift given to Maurice by Beast so he could visit Belle anytime in the castle. We reversed this idea in the Rose Gallery, where Maurice gave Belle & Beast a music box to celebration of their love for each other. If guests look closely somewhere in Maurice's workshop, they'll see the maquette and drawings he used to build the music box.

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The Disney Parks Blog also announced during this live chat, they will host a Be Our Guest Meet-Up (with an appearance by Walt Disney Imagineers) at the restaurant on the evening of Nov. 17. The event will be open to a select number of Disney Parks Blog readers, and a confirmed RSVP will be required to attend. The opportunity to sign up will take place in November, so keep your eye on the blog for more.

October 17, 2012

Ring in a Happy New Year at Walt Disney World

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Ring in a Happy New Year with Special Dining, Dance Parties
and Fireworks Galore at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - New Year's Eve is one of the biggest fireworks evenings of the year at Walt Disney World Resort, a place where fireworks are both spectacular and an every-night occurrence. Fireworks and nighttime shows will light up the skies and create a mood of celebration at the parks on Dec. 31, 2012, while revelry of other sorts takes place elsewhere throughout the Vacation Kingdom.

Here's a snapshot of what's in store:

At Epcot, guests can dance away 2012 to the beat of the DJs stationed at select pavilions throughout the evening and watch "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" salute the new year at 7 p.m. and 11:42 p.m. A buffet dining experience inspired by Disney's classic animated films Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 will take place at World ShowPlace facility, with reservations available from 4:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Priced at $68.67 for adults and $44.37 for children. Park admission is required.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios rock in the New Year with resident family of landscapers/rock and roll musicians, Mulch, Sweat, and Shears! "The Mulch, Sweat, and Shears New Years Eve Spectacular" blasts off on a specially built stage in front of Disney's Hollywood Studios signature Sorcerer Hat icon and includes contemporary rock, funk, and classic rock and roll favorites. The four concert sets will feature pyrotechnics and special effects and lead up to ringing in the New Year with Mulch, Sweat, and Shears playing live accompaniment to a full scale fireworks spectacular in order to welcome the start of 2013 properly!

At DisneyQuest, located at Downtown Disney, there is a family-friendly cyber celebration from 8 p.m. -1 a.m. Guests are entertained with a DJ Dance Party, character meet and greets, plus unlimited access to games and DisneyQuest attractions including Pirates of the Caribbean, Virtual Jungle Cruise and CyberSpace Mountain. There's a confetti drop and festive party favors as the clock strikes midnight. Partygoers also get a coupon for a quick service entrée, side and drink. Tickets go on sale soon at 407-934-7639.

At Cirque du Soleil, located at Downtown Disney, all guests attending the Dec. 31 performances will receive a limited-edition Walt Disney World/Cirque trading pin. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. For pricing contact 407/WDW/SEAT

Disney Cruise Line offers a New Year's Party complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown to guests sailing on select cruises departing in late December. For booking, call 888-325-2500.

Registered guests at select Disney resort hotels will be treated to music and entertainment. At Narcoosee's restaurant (Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), for instance, there will be a four-course dining experience for $161.85 for adults and $77.19 for children, plus DJ, balloon artist and special fireworks viewing.

Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's Boardwalk Resort offers a special-ticket New Year's Eve party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with a video DJ and limited viewing of Epcot's Fireworks.

Disney Parks Announces "Limited Time Magic" for 2013

The Disney Parks Blog announced this morning:

We have 52 weeks of magical surprises planned for you at Disney Parks in 2013.

Regular Blog readers already know that next year is a momentous year - with New Fantasyland, the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom Park history at Walt Disney World Resort and the first full year of a re-imagined Disney California Adventure park. And now, we're adding "Limited Time Magic," featuring unexpected experiences with an extra sprinkle of Pixie Dust at Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort that'll appear, and then disappear when the next debuts.

As part of this morning's "Limited Time Magic" announcement, Mickey and pals helped unveil a three-story castle in the heart of Times Square in New York City. The fairytale castle is made of 45,000 pounds of ice and will be visible for a limited time thanks to the warm Autumn weather.

Disney Ice Castle Times Square

So, what can you expect with "Limited Time Magic" at Disney Parks when it begins in January? Here's an idea:

True Love: Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout Valentine's Week with special moments and entertainment geared to lovebirds. Disney Princes join their Princesses to meet park guests in special settings, prix fixe menus turn up at select restaurants and Valentine's collectibles will be offered for the week.

Independence Week: It's red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party - for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.

Long Lost Friends Week: Lesser-known Disney characters will move from the shadows to the spotlight meet-and-greets on both coasts. Photo opps with characters that could include Flik, Clarabelle Cow, Remy, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will surprise and delight guests. And Disney guests even have the chance to vote online for which characters they want to see.

Pirate Week: Why talk like a pirate one day when you could celebrate these scalawags all week long? The adventures of Jack Sparrow come to life like never before during a bicoastal buccaneer bash in which Disneyland and Walt Disney World become pirate-palooza: pirate bands, pirate meet-and-greets and more.

Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands: The Dapper Dans, the iconic quartet from Main Street, U.S.A., will add a special finale to their show, claiming the title of the "Original Boy Band" and delivering a medley of hits from One Direction, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.

Unleash the Villains: Friday the 13th in September 2013 is a special day, so Disneyland park and Disney's Hollywood Studios are staying open until the 13th hour (1 a.m.). Maleficent, Captain Hook, Jafar and other Disney Villains host a dance party, complete with limited-edition collectibles and other nighttime mischief.

Golden Horseshoe Revue: The fabled Frontierland show returns to Disneyland park for one month only, bringing back the corny jokes and enduring songs that were often enjoyed by Walt Disney himself.

SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration - Where the Season Meets the Sea

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SEAWORLD'S CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION" WHERE THE SEASON MEETS THE SEA

ORLANDO, Fla - Waves of holiday spirit splash over the park during SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration. Carols fill the air, a sparkling sea of trees light up the water and skaters dance on ice. Here in a wintery, watery wonderland, guests can journey to the North Pole on THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience, share a smile with a sea lion, and enjoy stunning live shows inspired by the natural world. With everything from elves to Elmo, and from Santa to Shamu, SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is where the season meets the sea. Events take place on select dates November 17 through December 31, 2012.

For the best deals and latest information about SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration visit SeaWorldOrlando.com and "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Returning Seasonal Favorites Include:

Families and friends can once again enjoy the spirit of Christmas during SeaWorld's holiday-themed shows and festivities:

• O Wondrous Night tells the greatest story never told, with more than 30 carols, based upon the Christmas Story and told through the eyes of a variety of live animals. Everyone will be entertained by this touching, light-hearted and glorious celebration featuring a host of angels, animals and the true glory of Christmas. And new this year, guests will have the opportunity to take photos with some of the stars from the show!

Oh Wondrous Night

• Winter Wonderland on Ice is an ice skating extravaganza where Christmas comes to life through towering water fountains, magnificent fireworks and some of the most talented ice skaters in the world. This is a don't-miss, holiday sensation.

• SeaWorld invites guests to experience the grace and beauty of our Shamu family at Shamu Stadium, during the night-time show, Shamu Christmas Miracles. Thrilling seasonal music rings out as whales soar through the air in a performance that will take the audience on a stirring voyage into the heart of the holidays.

Shamu Christmas Miracles SeaWorld

• Clyde and Seamore's Countdown to Christmas features Santa's helpers, Clyde and Seamore, who are bringing their own brand of comedy to Christmas this year. Our loveable sea lions, along with a few mischievous otters, a comical elf, and a wintery walrus or two, search for Santa.

Clyde and Seamore SeaWorld


• A Sesame Street Christmas is a festive and fun musical celebration that will have the little ones smiling all the way home. Through dance, laughter, and interactive sing-a-longs, Elmo, Telly Monster and the rest of Abby Cadabby's Sesame Street friends teach her what Christmas means to them.

• SeaWorld celebrates the season during Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale, with soaring fountains, dazzling lights, and festive fireworks, choreographed to joyous holiday musical favorites. Experience a wondrous SeaWorld Christmas connection that lights the night.

• All Aboard! At the park's Wild Arctic attraction, guests embark on a heart-warming journey to the North Pole aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience, based on the film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, inspired by the beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. Discover the sights, sounds, and smells of the season as family and friends are immersed in the dazzling wonder of this beloved holiday classic. Upon arrival at the North Pole, guests can meet Santa Claus himself, and encounter astounding animals in a wintery wonderland.

THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience is based on the film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, inspired by the beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg about a young boy doubting the magic of the holidays who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

The Polar Express Experience SeaWorld


In addition to the incredible seasonal shows and attractions, the amazing Sea of Trees includes more than 100 massive trees, each sparkling, lighted and choreographed to classic holiday tunes, making a dramatic display around SeaWorld's center lake.

The Christmas Market, located on the park's Bayside Pathway, features unique artisans and culinary delights. At this festive, bustling market, guests can find one-of-a-kind gifts and dine on scrumptious holiday delights.

Plus, enjoy a delicious dinner of Christmas favorites with Santa and Mrs. Claus during Santa's Fireside Feast, a charming, warm-hearted holiday experience. Meet Santa himself, and listen to a classic holiday poem told onstage as never before to create Christmas memories that will last a lifetime. This sumptuous, all-you-can-eat seasonal meal takes place weekends of SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration.

Reservations are required, and include reserved seating at select holiday shows. To book your reservation, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.

October 19, 2012

Celebrate Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Walt Disney Family Museum
November Exhibitions, Programs, and Events

SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic

November 15, 2012-April 14, 2013 | Special Exhibition Hall

Special ticket price for Snow White: $10 general | Special combination ticket which includes general museum admission: $25 adults; $20 seniors and students; $15 children ages 6 to 17.
On view from November 15, 2012 to April 14, 2013, The Walt Disney Family Museum's special exhibition celebrates Walt Disney's first feature-length animated film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The exhibition features more than 200 works of art including conceptual drawings, early character studies, detailed story sketches, and animation drawings. Also featured are delicate thumbnail layout watercolors, meticulously rendered pencil layouts, rare watercolor backgrounds, colorful cels, and vintage posters all illustrating how Walt Disney advanced the creation of an entirely new art form.

Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation

Through April 28, 2013 | Theater Gallery
Free for members or with Museum admission

Between Frames explores the evolution of stop motion animation in the United States in special effects, television, and film. 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 Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas and showcases stop motion innovators like Ray Harryhausen, Phil Tippett, Will Vinton, Tim Burton, Henry Selick, and more.

SCREENINGS + DISCUSSIONS

Film of the Month: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Screens daily at 11am, 1:30 & 4pm (except Tuesdays, 11/17 & 11/22) | Theater
Free for members or with Museum admission | Without Museum admission: $7 adult; $5 youth

From Page to Screen: The Evolution of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Saturday, November 17 | 3pm | Theater
General: $20 adult; $15 youth | Members: $18 adult; $14 youth

Join Lella Smith, exhibition curator and creative director of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, with author and Disney historian J.B. Kaufman, as they retrace the remarkable chain of adaptions that led to the classic Disney animated feature. After the presentation, Kaufman will sign copies of the exhibition catalogue and his latest book The Fairest One of All.

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING

Animate Your Night: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Opening Celebration
Friday, November 30 | 7-10pm | Museum-wide | Ages 18+
General: $10 | Members: $5

Look Closer: The Art and Production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Friday-Sunday, November 23-25
11am, 1 & 3pm | Gallery 4 | Free with Museum admission

Join us for a brief gallery talk to learn more about the art and production of Walt Disney's first feature-length animated film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

CLASSES + ACTIVITIES
Voice-over Workshop
Saturday, November 10
Class 1: 10am-1pm | Learning Center Media Studio
Class 2: 2pm-5pm | Learning Center Media Studio
General: $60 | Members: $55

Have you ever wondered how an animated character finds its voice? Learn how from Disney voice-over director and voice actor Ned Loft. This class focuses on performance for different applications in the art of voice-over acting. Don't miss this fun and inspiring class!
Space is limited. Registration required. Email: education@wdfmuseum.org to register or for more info.

Open Studio

The Art of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Character Model Sheets, and Inking and Painting
Saturday-Sunday, November 3-4 & 10-11
1-3pm | Learning Center Art Studio | Free for members or with Museum admission

Discover how animators and artists bring characters to life for a film like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Design your own character using model sheets like the ones on display in the museum galleries, and explore the process of inking and painting a character onto a clear animation cel.

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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

October 24, 2012

Irish Artist Graham Knuttel Debuts ‘Flock of Sheep’ Sculptures

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Irish Artist Graham Knuttel Debuts 'Flock of Sheep' Sculptures
At Festival of the Masters in Downtown Disney Nov. 9-11

Knuttel to Create Original Work on Raglan Road Irish Pub Patio to Benefit SPCA

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Famed Irish artist Graham Knuttel, known for his bold, stylized art works and celebrity following, will debut his sculpted wood-and-bronze "flock of sheep" to be installed at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant during the 37th Festival of the Masters Nov. 9-11 at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island. The distinguished Dublin painter and sculptor will unveil his sheep sculptures, weighing about 100 pounds each and standing more than 3-and-1/2-feet tall, Nov. 9 between 11 a.m. and noon on the Raglan Road patio.

During the festival, Knuttel also will create an original acrylic-on-canvas painting in front of festival passersby Nov. 9-11 on the Raglan Road patio. Guests can bid on the artwork-in-progress during a silent auction as Knuttel paints between noon and 4 p.m. each day, and proceeds will be donated to the local Humane Society SPCA of Central Florida. Festival guests can visit Knuttel's outdoor art display of limited-edition fine art prints of 12 of his popular paintings, with promotional pricing for purchases made during the festival weekend. Guests also can enter a "sheep quiz" drawing for a Knuttel limited-edition print.

"I have used sheep as an inspiration in my work ever since I was a child, but then I come from Ireland, so that shouldn't surprise you!" says Knuttel, Ireland's most successful living artist and designer who has sold his art to Bono, Robert DeNiro, Whoopie Goldberg, and other high-profile stars. "Over the years, I've made sheep in bronze, wood, paint, clay and, yes, even in wool. It's my way of saying, 'Thank you, sheep.' Thank you for all those woolly Aran pullovers and woolly socks. Thank you for putting me asleep at night and, most of all, thank you for being EWE!"

At last year's festival, Knuttel unveiled a 9-foot-by-4-foot painting based on a poem, "On Raglan Road" that was commissioned by the popular Irish restaurant. The painting hangs over Raglan Road's main stage fireplace and features more than two dozen unconventional Knuttel figures, including Irish rockers Bono and The Edge and writers James Joyce and Brendan Behan. This year, Knuttel's flock of four sculpted sheep will document their journey from Ireland to Downtown Disney on the Raglan Road Orlando Facebook page before their Raglan Road installation.

"We wanted Graham to return for this year's festival, and it's a bonus that he's bringing his stunning flock that represents a rich part of Irish history and commerce," says Raglan Road co-owner John Cooke. "The sheep will be standouts at this popular art fest, and it will be fun to watch Graham at work on a new painting."

Knuttel's works include his distinctive paintings, sculptures, tapestries and his whimsical Tipperary Crystal Café Collection. During Festival of the Masters, one of the South's most highly regarded juried art festivals, guests can purchase Knuttel pieces and commemorative gifts at Raglan Road.

Open for lunch, dinner and late-night grazing, Raglan Road Pub & Restaurant serves a wide selection of Irish beers at four bars and authentic cuisine such as creamy colcannon soup and Shepherd's pie by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, who has cooked for U2, Queen Elizabeth and Brad Pitt. Leaded glass and custom-carved wood furnishings help set the backdrop for live entertainment by award-winning Irish dancers and Creel, the house band that performs traditional music and ballads. Bands and dancers are scheduled to perform Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday from noon-to-3 p.m. during the festival.

To learn more about Graham Knuttel and Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant, visit www.knuttel.com and www.raglanroad.com.

October 30, 2012

DISNEY TO ACQUIRE LUCASFILM LTD.

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An investor conference call will take place at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT today, October 30, 2012. Details for the call are listed in the release.

Global leader in high-quality family entertainment agrees to acquire world-renowned Lucasfilm Ltd, including legendary STAR WARS franchise.

Acquisition continues Disney's strategic focus on creating and monetizing the world's best branded content, innovative technology and global growth to drive long-term shareholder value.

Lucasfilm to join company's global portfolio of world class brands including Disney, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel and ABC.

STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 feature film targeted for release in 2015.

Burbank, CA and San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 - Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

"Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas," said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. "This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value."

"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I'm confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney's reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products."

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and "evergreen" Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney's global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm's legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world's top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney's strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney's very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company's unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney's portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company's ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world's highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

Note: Additional information and comments from Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, and Jay Rasulo, senior executive vice president and CFO, The Walt Disney Company, regarding Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, are attached.

Investor Conference Call:

An investor conference call will take place at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT today, October 30, 2012. To listen to the Webcast, turn your browser to /investors/events or dial in domestically at (888) 771-4371 or internationally at (847) 585-4405. For both dial-in numbers, the participant pass code is 33674546.

The discussion will be available via replay on the Disney Investor Relations website through November 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM EST/2:00 PM PST.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, interactive media, and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company with revenues of over $40 billion in its Fiscal Year 2011.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.

Founded by George Lucas in 1971, Lucasfilm is a privately held, fully-integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties; Lucasfilm Animation; and Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses. Additionally, Lucasfilm Singapore, produces digital animated content for film and television, as well as visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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About October 2012

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

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