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December 2012 Archives

December 3, 2012

Storybook Circus New Entertainment - The Giggle Gang!

As Walt Disney World readies for the Grand Opening of the New Fantasyland this week, more news has been released.


In addition to the Royal Majesty Makers; (1) Press Release (2) Photos; a new act for Storybook Circus has been announced, The Giggle Gang!


The boss clown is Chuckles Buffoon McMonkeyshine III and his protégés are Whinny Horselaugh and Snort. They engage in circus shenanigans, from classic calamities to clown calisthenics.


Also part of the Giggle Gang is the Silly Saxtet, that parade onto the circus grounds with their own unique twist on circus music standards. Wowzer is the featured clown, a specialty performer who takes center ring and keeps his audience enthralled with amazing feats of thrills, chills and hilarity.


Inspired by everything from Walt Disney's "Dumbo" to the music of Spike Jones, the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang also has its roots in the classic traditions of The Greatest Show on Earth. Several members of the ensemble are graduates of the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.


"I feel like I'm going back to my roots," said Show Director Mark Renfrow, himself a member of the Clown College Class of '83. "People are going to be really surprised by the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang. They're just so approachable and fun. They really bring the whole circus area to life."

Additional Links:
Official Disney Press Release Information

AllEars Comprehensive Coverage

December 4, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Announces 2014 Itineraries and Ports

Homecoming for Disney Magic Gives Guests More Opportunities
to Visit Disney's Private Island Castaway Cay

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Dec. 4, 2012) - The white sand beaches and azure waters of Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, take center stage in the early half of 2014 voyages for Disney Cruise Line. With all four Disney ships sailing from Florida ports, not only will guests have more options to visit Castaway Cay, but they may combine their cruise with a visit to Walt Disney World Resort and experience the expanded Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom.

In the early part of 2014, the Disney Magic will return to Port Canaveral, Fla., joining the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, while the Disney Wonder will homeport in Miami. During this time, guests will have more opportunities than ever to enjoy a Disney cruise that visits Disney's private island in the Bahamas reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, Castaway Cay.

Caribbean and Bahamas from Port Canaveral

In 2014, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Port Canaveral to the Caribbean and Bahamas on a variety of itineraries. Every cruise departing from Port Canaveral includes a stop at Castaway Cay.

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

Three-night Bahamian sailings
are perfect for a quick getaway. Rates start at $420 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Ports: Port Canaveral, Nassau, Castaway Cay
Dates: Disney Dream departures Jan.-Aug., 2014; Disney Magic departures Jan.-May, 2014

Four-night Bahamian
sailings include a day at sea to sample the one-of-a-kind Disney Cruise Line shipboard experience. Rates start at $480 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Ports: Port Canaveral, Nassau, Castaway Cay
Dates: Disney Dream departures Jan.-Aug., 2014; Disney Magic departures Jan.-May, 2014

Seven-night Eastern Caribbean. The Disney Fantasy will sail out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises, including St. Maarten and St. Thomas with three days at sea. Rates start at $1,155 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Ports: Port Canaveral, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay
Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan.-Aug., 2014

Seven-night Western Caribbean. The Disney Fantasy will sail out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Western Caribbean cruises, including Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel with two days at sea. Rates start at $1,120 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Ports: Port Canaveral, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan.-April, 2014

Seven-night Western Caribbean, including Jamaica. At Falmouth, Jamaica, guests can sample the city's history and culture, taste Jamaica's signature jerk recipes, enjoy lush tropical scenery on a bamboo raft river ride and visit the spectacular Dunn's River Falls located nearby. Rates start at $1,120 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Ports: Port Canaveral, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Castaway Cay
Departure dates: Disney Fantasy departures May-Aug., 2014

Bahamas and Western Caribbean from Miami (Jan.-May, 2014)

In 2014, the Disney Wonder will sail from Miami on four-night Bahamian and five-night Western Caribbean cruises. Rates start at $352 per person for four-night cruises and $440 for five-night cruises departing from Miami for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Four-night Bahamas

Ports: Miami, Castaway Cay, Nassau, Key West
Departure dates: Jan. 15, 29, Feb. 12, 26, March 12, 26, April 9, 23

Five-night Caribbean

Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Departure dates: Jan. 10, 24, Feb. 7, 21, March 7, 21, April 4, 18

Five-night Caribbean, including Castaway Cay

Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
Departure dates: Jan. 19, Feb. 2, 16, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27

All pricing reflects a category 11C standard inside stateroom. Government taxes and fees and Port Adventures are not included.

For a quote or reservations, contact Disney Cruise Line or the AllEars exclusive travel partner, MouseFanTravel.com

Tune in to the Magic on Christmas Morning! The 29th Annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Airs December 25 on the ABC Television Network


Lady Antebellum Headlines Star-Studded Special with Backstreet Boys, Colbie Caillat, Brad Paisley, Yolanda Adams, Classic Holiday Characters & Favorite Disney Friends

Anaheim, Calif. and Lake Buena Vista, Fla.,: Dec. 3, 2012 - Music, magic and merriment come together when Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida present the 29th annual "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" holiday TV special, airing December 25 on the ABC Television Network. Hosts Nick Cannon and Mario Lopez, along with co-host Maria Menounos, lead the two-hour telecast with GRAMMY® Award-winning trio Lady Antebellum headlining the seasonal celebration. Joining the trio during the coast-to-coast party are international superstars Backstreet Boys, soulful pop songstress Colbie Caillat, two-time CMA Award winner Brad Paisley, Christian music chart-topper TobyMac, American Idol Season 11 champion Phillip Phillips, Gospel legend Yolanda Adams and Disney Channel star Ross Lynch.

The award-winning television spectacular also features special appearances by Sarah Hyland, Nolan Gould and Aubrey Emmons-Anderson from ABC's hit comedy Modern Family, actor Patrick Warburton, Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, and the popular pint-sized duo from daytime TV, Sophia Grace & Rosie. Travel expert and television personality Samantha Brown checks in throughout the program, filling families in on the fun they can experience at Disney Parks in the upcoming year. Brown also will share other ways to vacation with Disney, including Aulani - A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line.

Don't Miss a Moment of the Magic!

Tune-in times are as follows, on the ABC Television Network (check local listings):

v Eastern Standard Time: 10 a.m.-noon

v Central, Mountain, Pacific Standard Time: 9-11 a.m.

The show also will air in Canada on CBC Network, and across the globe on the American Forces Network.

Viewers can visit disney.go.com/christmasparade for updates on the show and join the social media conversation before and during the telecast with the hashtag, #DisneyParade.

Star-Studded Sounds of the Season:

*talent and performances subject to change

From country crooners to princes of pop, some of today's top musical talents lend their voices to celebrate the holidays in this year's Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade TV special:

v Country/pop supergroup Lady Antebellum shares a song from their brand-new holiday album, On This Winter's Night;

v Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Backstreet Boys are back - just in time for the holidays - with a new single "It's Christmas Time Again";

v Acoustic queen Colbie Caillat shares a sun-drenched ballad from her newest album, Christmas in the Sand;

v Country superstar Brad Paisley joins his pals Lightning McQueen and Mater for a revved-up performance in the brand-new Cars Land at Disneyland Resort.

v Musician/actor Ross Lynch, from the Disney Channel hit show "Austin and Ally," keeps the party jumping with his high-energy tune, "Christmas Soul."

v Christian rock chart-topper TobyMac takes the stage in Disneyland Park to perform his hit tune, "Christmas This Year."

v "American Idol" Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips performs the Christmas classic, "I'll Be Home For Christmas."

v Gospel legend Yolanda Adams belts out a rendition of the inspirational tune, "Joy To The World."

v Cast members from Disney's Newsies: The Musical, "carry the banner" down Main Street, U.S.A., with a performance from the Tony® Award-winning musical;

v Olympian Gabrielle Douglas makes a golden appearance in the procession as the West Carteret High School Marching Patriots from Morehead, N.C., sounds an Olympic fanfare;

v "Pup Stars" from the new Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD holiday film "Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups" will help "deck the paws" with a special appearance along the parade route;

v The telecast will feature a special salute to our Armed Forces and Veterans, including: a star-spangled celebration when the United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band marches down Main Street, U.S.A., led by Drum Major Gunnery Sergeant Jesse Barta.

A Christmas Fantasy Comes to Life

*characters/floats subject to change

From fairy tales to classic Christmas carols, Disney friends and holiday characters spread joy and good tidings through Disneyland Park in California and the Magic Kingdom Park in Florida with fanciful floats and colorful cavalcades. Some of the featured floats and Disney friends in this year's festivities include:

v Princess Merida, from the Disney-Pixar animated film "Brave," makes her holiday parade debut. The bow and arrow-wielding heroine celebrates Scottish heritage with a troupe of dancers, bagpipers and drummers;

v Popular gadget-building brothers from the smash-hit Disney XD animated series, Phineas & Ferb, dance down the parade route to greet their fans (sharp-eyed viewers also might spot the mysterious Agent P lurking about);

v Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse show off their holiday best atop an ornate Christmas Tree float, accompanied by one of Mickey's good pals, Duffy the Disney Bear;

v Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy have a "soundsational" good time, following a drum line of merry musicians;

v May the holidays be with you! Star Wars villain Darth Vader and his legion of loyal Stormtroopers land in the Disney Parks galaxy with a "Force"-ful parade march;

v Disney Princesses Tiana, Rapunzel, Mulan, Pocahontas, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Aurora, Jasmine, along with their charming princes, join the procession in regal fashion. Direct from Disney Junior, Sofia the First makes her "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" debut in a royal, horse-drawn carriage.

v It's a "pirate-palooza" as Disney Junior stars Jake and the Never Land Pirates commandeer the holiday festivities with some help from the most infamous scallywags to sail the high seas, Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Barbossa from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film saga and theme park attractions;

v How about a little Hunny and Pixie Dust to start your Christmas Day? Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore lead the way on shiny sleds with Tinker Bell, her sister Periwinkle and a fleet of sparking snowflakes skating close behind;

v Viewers get a sneak-peek into Santa's factory where "Toy Story" saga stars Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie, Bullseye and Lotso spring to life in celebration of the season;

v Longtime 'toon favorites Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow join everyone's favorite chipmunks, Chip and Dale, and Duckburg's richest resident, Scrooge McDuck, on a float of Winter Wonderland fun;

v Plenty more Disney-Pixar pals join the party, including The Incredibles, Sully, Mike & Boo from "Monsters Inc.," Dug, Russell and Carl from "Up," and Remy from "Ratatouille."

v The famous Disney Parks Toy Soldiers and Gingerbread Men join enchanted elves, pretty paper packages and stuffed-to-the-brim Christmas stockings to let everyone know that the holidays are here;

v And what would a Christmas parade be without The North Pole's most famous red-suited resident? Holiday spirit is felt in every heart when Santa Claus and his reindeer make their holly jolly way down Main Street, U.S.A.

December 5, 2012

Epcot Guests Design Their Dream Wheels, then Buckle Up for Fun at the Re-Imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Walt Disney World Resort guests will enter the world of automotive design as never before, creating their own virtual concept, then boarding a "SimCar" ride vehicle to race through a thrilling series of performance tests when the re-imagined, multi-sensory Test Track Presented by Chevrolet grand opens Dec. 6, 2012.


The iconic Epcot attraction, a new collaboration between Chevrolet Design and the creative team of Walt Disney Imagineering, celebrates how meticulous design not only shapes the look of Chevrolet cars, trucks and crossovers, but drives their performance on the open road.

For inspiration for the project, Walt Disney Imagineers made numerous visits to Detroit, collaborating with Chevrolet designers and touring the inner sanctums of Chevrolet's design studios.

"As storytellers, to be able to tell Chevrolet's design story was fun for our Imagineers," said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president of WDI. "Chevrolet designers come from the same creative roots as Imagineers. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will become, for Epcot guests, an exciting part of their visit to Walt Disney World Resort."


Amid upbeat music, eye-popping lighting effects and a collection of Chevrolet concept and new vehicles, guests themselves become automotive designers - and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.

"Through an enduring partnership, Chevrolet and Disney continue to inspire generations to imagine the impossible and innovate," said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet Global Marketing. "The re-imagined Test Track reflects the personality and values of Chevrolet design and offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at a discipline that drives our business. This first-of-its-kind automotive design attraction represents the best of Chevrolet design and Disney innovation."


Test Track guests enter an all-new, interactive pre-show area with a future-focused design theme - from the fully realized Chevrolet Miray roadster concept car and the Chevrolet EN-V to dynamic media displays including models and sketches of vehicle design possibilities. The sleek new "Chevrolet Design Center" invites guests to create their own virtual custom-concept vehicle.

Car design wannabes get to shape their own virtual car, truck or crossover and learn how their choices perform against four important performance attributes that guide Chevrolet designers:

Capability - design your car to handle the roughest roads or most extreme weather conditions
Efficiency - create a car that saves on fuel, reduces your environmental footprint, cuts down on emissions or even uses recycled parts
Responsiveness - choose elements that will give you easy maneuverability through the tightest of turns
Power - choose the gear you need to make your car a racer or a hauler

At design kiosks, rows of touch screens become canvasses for guests to try their hand at automotive design. They can design alone or collaborate on their design with family and friends. Even choose from six different languages.

Here, they can virtual-draw - stretch and shape their vehicle design by length, width, height and engine size - and decide which performance attribute is most important to them. Once they create - from infinite possibilities - the design of their dreams, guests complete their creation with even more choices. They can make a design statement with an expressive front grill, tailored wheels of various sizes and styles, and custom paint with graphics and other vehicle accessories. And the crowning touch of every design - Chevrolet's world-famous bowtie logo.

Even FASTPASS and single rider guests can choose the performance attribute most important to them and select their virtual car's profile from a selection of pre-designed vehicles.

Their virtual custom-concept Chevrolet vehicle complete, the adventure then shifts into high gear as guests - armed with a card encoded with their personal specs that allows their design to ride with them and see how it performs - board their 6-person "SimCar" ride vehicle. Ahead: a thrilling journey into a dazzling multi-sensory, optically charged experience as guests put their personal design through a series of performance tests - the exhilarating heart of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet.

Along their route, riders experience changing terrain and extreme conditions as their designs are scored at checkpoints for Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power. How does their design stand up to the challenging hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit? How well does it navigate through bumpy roads, icy conditions, turn-on-a-dime curves and other surprises? Their design skills are put to the test - at speeds of up to 65 mph.

The fun and excitement extends to the post-show area, which continues the story of Chevrolet design:

Scoring their design. Guests get to compare their virtual car's performance results to that of a baseline "SimCar" - and see how they performed against their fellow "designers" and recent top scorers.
Guests as freshly-minted car designers can even create their own TV commercial - starring their virtual custom vehicle and adding location, narration and music - and email it to friends and family.
At a digital driving table laying out a road course, guests have an opportunity to race their virtual custom-concept vehicles against other guests' designs, over changing terrains and encountering extreme conditions.
In another experience, guests get to pose for photos with actual Chevrolet vehicles. Also, through green screen technology - with a few taps on their touch screen - guests suddenly find themselves posing with their virtual concept.
Chevrolet on the lunar surface, a polar landscape, arcing across the galaxies or other thrilling scenes. The images become easily sharable on social media, sending virtual postcard greetings to family, friends or co-workers back home.
New and concept Chevrolet vehicles are laid out showroom-style. Guests can get behind the wheel of Chevrolet's latest production models. Chevrolet product specialists are on hand to answer any questions.

Test Track Presented by Chevrolet continues a 30-year relationship between General Motors and Disney at Epcot dating to the opening of the park Oct. 1, 1982 with World of Motion.

December 9, 2012

Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Helps Rescue Animals from Hurricane Sandy and Other Disasters

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 5, 2012-The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) recently provided $250,000 to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), whose animal rescue team was among the first to help save hundreds of animals after Hurricane Sandy.

In addition to providing immediate supplies to help equip a disaster response trailer, the DWCF grant will also help IFAW to plan for the future by providing resources for future response efforts, as well as training sessions for disaster preparedness globally.

According to rescue team members, families affected by the storm were concerned about the welfare of the pets they had to leave behind and were relieved to know that organizations like IFAW were working to ensure that their animals would be safe.

Funding for this DWCF grant was provided by Disney Friends for Change, which contributed the proceeds from the iTunes downloads of various songs including "Rise" and "Send it On." Guests at Disney Parks and Resorts also help support the DWCF through contributions made at various parks and resorts and even while sailing with Disney Cruise Line. These contributions as well as the proceeds from various programs, tours and merchandise are all directed to the DWCF annual conservation grants program to help engage people and protect wildlife around the world. Disney matches guest contributions and covers all administrative costs.

This year the DWCF celebrated a $20 million milestone of giving through its various programs to support the study of wildlife, the protection of habitats and the development of community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems around the world.

The DWCF has supported IFAW's efforts for more than 10 years, including the rescue of 20,000 endangered penguins from an oil spill in South Africa in 2000, and support for the animal victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami and the Haiti earthquake.

December 14, 2012

D23 Expo 2013 Early Bird Discount Prices End December 31, 2012!

LAST CHANCE to purchase 2013 tickets at 2011 Prices!
D23 Members can save as much as $204 on Expo tickets before December 31st!*

The highly anticipated D23 Expo 2013: The Ultimate Fan Event returns to the Anaheim Convention Center from August 9 - 11, 2013, once again bringing the entire world of Disney under one roof, and offering attendees unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks as only D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can!

Highlights of D23 Expo 2013 will include:

• Disney Legends Awards-a stirring biennial event that pays tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy

• The 2013 Fan Art Contest themed to the upcoming 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins

• And all-new 12,000 square-foot Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit featuring costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney's rich history

• Plus amazing live events, celebrity appearances, panels and presentations, sneak peeks, and unique experiences that celebrate the past, present, and future of Disney

In 2011, celebrity appearances included Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Willem Dafoe, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Jason Segel, Tom Bergeron, Jodi Benson, Lea Salonga, Anika Noni Rose, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Sean Astin, along with Disney executives and creative talent.
Read more details on specific prices on the D23 Web site:

D23 Membership makes the perfect Holiday Gift! In addition to great savings on D23 Expo tickets, members enjoy valuable discounts and special events throughout the year.

Highlights of D23 Membership include:

• Disney twenty-three. A one-year subscription (4-issues) to D23's exquisite magazine created exclusively for Disney fans. Each issue comes with a surprise collectible gift. (Gold Membership level only)

• Special Offers and Discounts just for D23 Members

• Annual Membership Gift from the Walt Disney Archives Collection. 2011's gift is From Concept to Classic: A 23-Month Calendar Drawn From 75 Years of Disney Feature Animation

• Special Events. The opportunity to attend exclusive member events

• D23 FanFare. Bi-weekly e-newsletter sent just to D23 Members

• Personalized Membership Certificate and D23 Membership Card

For complete details on D23 Membership visit:

*Based on the purchase of four general admission, three-day adult passes.

December 15, 2012

SeaWorld Orlando Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin


Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin combines a state-of-the-art family adventure ride and closer-than-ever encounters with hundreds of penguins - kings, gentoos, Adelies and rockhoppers - to create Orlando's must-see 2013 new attraction. Immersing guests in a colony of penguins means Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin will be the coldest theme park attraction in the world.

The fourth installment of Behind The Freeze is now live. In this episode, we take you to our secret ride testing facility where designers are busy preparing the first-of-its-kind vehicles for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. You'll see the cars in action and how they'll take you into the icy wonders of our amazing new attraction opening next spring.

Creative Director Brian Morrow interviews SeaWorld's Corporate Ride Engineer, Mike Denninger, about how the cars move through the space, what you'll expect when on the ride and how these amazing vehicles will help you become part of the story as you follow a young penguin's adventures.

The Antarctica Website provides a way to stay tuned to Behind-The-Freeze 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.

December 17, 2012

New "Senses" Spa Opens at the Grand Floridian Resort


"This full-service spa is an elegant oasis - and you feel it the moment you walk through the door. The level of service from the cast and the attention to detail in a sophisticated design are all Disney. With 15 treatment rooms, there is everything from rejuvenating citrus facials and herbal wraps to couple's massages. Even young spa-goers can get the VIP treatment as their toes soak in a playful bright green pedi chair, just the right size. The organic and vegan product lines are an appreciated touch. (DisneyParksBlog)"

December 19, 2012


Runners Can Double Their Effort With Dumbo Double Dare; Race Registration Opens Next Month

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla (Dec. 19, 2012) -- The Happiest Race on Earth is getting a little happier starting next year. The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is expanding to include the Disneyland 10K at Disneyland Resort in California, Aug. 30 - Sept. 1, 2013.

The new 10K race, the latest in the popular runDisney series, will be a timed event and will take runners through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the streets of Anaheim. Each finisher will receive a specially designed commemorative finisher medal. Runners looking for an extra challenge can register for the Dumbo Double Dare, which involves running the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total). The limited number of participants who sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare will receive a Dumbo Double Dare running shirt and a special finisher medal, in addition to the Disneyland Half Marathon and 10K finisher medals.

The Disneyland 10K builds on the weekend of races and entertainment geared toward families and runners of all levels. In addition to the 10K, the weekend of events include the Kids Races, the Family Fun Run 5K, the Half Marathon and a two-day Health and Fitness Expo where guests can check out the latest in fitness apparel, running gear and high tech gadgets, plus learn from speakers such as runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway, runDisney nutrition consultant Tara Gidus and former Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton. Runners and guests can add to their race weekend experience by purchasing tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party.

"The 10K distance is the third most popular distance for runners next to the 5K and half marathon, so this race weekend will have it all," said Manager, runDisney Events Kathleen Duran. "We are excited to continue to add different distance races so runners at every level can experience a runDisney event and run through Disney theme parks."

Registration opens for all Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races on Jan. 22, 2013. Last year's half marathon sold out in a little more than a month. For more information about the race weekend and other runDisney events, go to www.rundisney.com.

For more information, visit runDisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @runDisney.

SeaWorld and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Announce Franklin and Friends Partnership

Internationally renowned book and TV series character Franklin embarks on new adventures at SeaWorld parks

(December 19, 2012) Orlando, Fla. - SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Corus Entertainment's Nelvana announced today a multi-platform partnership that combines the appeal of the popular Franklin and Friends characters with the beloved SeaWorld® brand. Beginning January 2013, the company's new SeaWorld Kids brand and Nelvana will team up to introduce kids and families to in-park Franklin characters, TV specials, books and merchandise.

Franklin will take up residence at the three SeaWorld parks for the year, where guests will be able to meet this classic character, take photos and get autographs. The parks include:

• SeaWorld Orlando beginning with the "Just For Kids" event January 2013
• SeaWorld San Antonio beginning with the "Just For Kids" event April 2013
• SeaWorld San Diego beginning with the "Spring into Night" event March 2013

Franklin and Friends' specialty merchandise, much of it exclusive to SeaWorld, will be available in the parks.

SeaWorld and Nelvana are collaborating on two Franklin and Friends on-screen specials which will focus on the natural world.

The SeaWorld Kids brand will be reflected in select Franklin products, including co-branded books published by Corus Entertainment's Kids Can Press.

Franklin's addition to SeaWorld Orlando's Just For Kids event kicks it up a notch. He'll be found near Pelican Preserve where guests can meet him, take photos and get autographs at select times throughout the day. Just For Kids is a kid-focused festival where little ones can sing, dance and play the day away while watching live performances from family favorite kid-acts. Just For Kids takes place Saturdays, January 12 through February 2, 2013, and is included in SeaWorld admission. The amazing line-up includes: Jan 12: Imagination Movers; Jan 19: Laurie Berkner - SOLO!; Jan 26: Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve; Feb 2: The Kratt Brothers, Featuring the Stars of Wild Kratts.

"Families throughout North America and from around the world look forward to their visits to SeaWorld parks in the U.S., and we are very excited to integrate the Franklin and Friends preschool brand into that experience," said Colin Bohm, Managing Director, Nelvana. "The theme parks and the new SeaWorld Kids entertainment and merchandising opportunities provide ideal platforms for kids and families to connect with Franklin and Friends."

"This partnership is a 'natural' for us to create fun, family experiences that connect young kids to animals and the world we share," said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "SeaWorld Kids is a brand dedicated to specifically connecting children with animals and nature, and Franklin is an enduring, much-loved animal character that brings adventure to kids. We look forward to working together to create unique opportunities for the Franklin and Friends' characters to have outdoor adventures and also educate viewers along the way."

SeaWorld Announces Acts for Just for Kids

Monster's Inc. 3D "Going 3D" Featurette

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.

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.

Monster's Inc 3D to Appear in Select Theatres

December 20, 2012

3 Kings Day Celebration Returns to Disneyland


Disneyland's Día de los Reyes Magos celebration last year featured special décor, entertainment, food and activities showcasing Western and Mexican heritage.

This year, the same celebration will move to a new space - Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland - and will run January 4-6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Three Kings Day entertainment will include folklorico dancing and Mariachi musical performers, Disney characters in festive, colorful costumes and holiday photo opportunities. Younger guests can participate in crafts like face painting, crown making and coloring.


Here's a look at the performers scheduled to appear at our Three Kings Day celebration:

January 4
10 a.m. - Baile Folklorico Teyacapan (Ballet Folklorico)
12:30 p.m. - Mariachi Tesoro de San Fernando (Youth Mariachi)
2 p.m. - Paramount Dance Company (Ballet Folklorico)
5:30 p.m. - Resurrreccion Mexican Folk (Ballet Folklorico)

January 5
10 a.m. - Garey High School Latin Jazz Ensemble (Latin Jazz Musicians)
12:30 p.m. - Sabor de Mexico (Ballet Folklorico)
2 p.m. - Ballet Folklorico Jalisciense (Ballet Folklorico)
5:30 p.m. - Ballet Folklorico Orgullo Mestizo (Ballet Folklorico)

January 6
10 a.m. - Grupo Folklorico Tierra del Sol (Ballet Folklorico)
12:30 p.m. - Ballet Folklorico Mixteco Juvenil (Ballet Folklorico)
2 p.m. - Ballet Folklorico Mixteco East Los Angeles (Ballet Folklorico)
5:30 p.m. - Ballet Folklorico de Riverside (Ballet Folklorico)

December 21, 2012

D23 Announces More 2013 Events

Check out these new events from D23!!!

Peter Pan Panel and Movie Night at the El Capitan
January 11, 2013 (Tickets available December 27)

D23 Members have the opportunity to purchase discounted, exclusively reserved orchestra seats for this once-in-a-lifetime event with a panel hosted by Leonard Maltin and featuring Kathryn Beaumont, Ted Thomas and Margaret Kerry; screening of the classic film; popcorn and soda; and a never-before-seen episode of the Disney Junior hit Jake and the Never Land Pirates with an appearance by Jake live on stage.

Disney Interactive Video Game Unveiling
January 15, 2013 (Tickets available January 3)

Our friends at Disney Interactive are inviting a limited number of D23 Members to attend the unveiling of their new gaming initiative at a global press event at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood with featured speaker John Lasseter. The announcement will be followed by lunch at the legendary Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and all guests attending this complimentary event will receive a commemorative gift created just for D23 Members in attendance.

Peter Pan 60th Anniversary Cross-Country Screenings January 24, 2013 (Tickets available January 7)

To celebrate the upcoming 60th anniversary and Diamond Release of Peter Pan, our friends at the Walt Disney Studios are hosting complimentary D23 Member-exclusive screenings of the beloved film in Chicago, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

D23's Practically Perfect Night at Mary Poppins on Broadway February 23, 2013 (Tickets available January 4)

For this SupercalExtravaganza, D23 Members will receive 50% off tickets to see the (appropriately) 23rd longest running show in Broadway history and an exclusive tour of the historic New Amsterdam Theatre.

All these are in addition to the slate of events we announced last month including our 10-city D23's Disney Fanniversary Celebration tour, Studio Lot and Archives tours, shopping days at Mickey's of Glendale, our "50 and Fabulous" and "From the Vaults" screening series and events at Walt Disney World including Sip & Stroll and D23's Holiday Splendor. And of course there's the D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event - the largest Disney event in the world - returning to the Anaheim Convention Center August 9 - 11 (December 31 is the last chance for "Early Bird" discounted tickets!).

Monster's University - First Look

Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS UNIVERSITY opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

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



Monster's Inc 3D Featurette

Monster's Inc 3D to Appear in Select Theatres

December 22, 2012

Celebrating 60 Years of Imagineering

Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative center behind Disney's theme parks, resorts, cruise ships and our other family entertainment experiences, turned 60 this week. Originally established to conceive, plan and build Disneyland, Walt's "backyard laboratory" now comprises 1,400 Imagineers who carry on a great legacy and commitment to bringing our iconic stories and characters to life in ways that constantly surprise and delight our guests. It's incredible to think that what began as a small team in a few buildings in Burbank was the genesis of all of our travel and leisure businesses across the globe.

Frozen - Walt Disney Animation Studios - First Look

Walt Disney Animation Studios' November 27, 2013 release

From the studio behind 2010's "Tangled" and this year's "Wreck-It Ralph," Walt Disney Animation Studios presents "Frozen," the coolest comedy-adventure ever to hit the big screen. When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna's sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.

The film is directed by Chris Buck ("Tarzan," "Surf's Up") and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, "Wreck-It Ralph"), and produced by Peter Del Vecho ("Winnie the Pooh," "The Princess and the Frog"). Featuring music from Tony®-winner Robert Lopez ("The Book of Mormon," "Avenue Q") and Kristen Anderson-Lopez ("In Transit"), "Frozen" journeys into theaters November 27, 2013, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters. For more information, like us on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyFrozen and follow us on Twitter: Twitter.com/DisneyAnimation.

In Frozen, Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven in an epic journey, encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), the Snow Queen, and save their kingdom from eternal winter.


December 24, 2012

SeaWorld Orlando Receives Second Round of Cold-Stress Sea Turtles from the New England Coast

(December 23, 2012) Orlando, Fla. - Earlier this evening, SeaWorld Orlando's Animal Rescue Team received four loggerhead sea turtles flown in on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) aircraft from the New England Aquarium. A mass stranding of hypothermic sea turtles occurred along the Cape Cod coast several weeks ago; this is the second shipment of turtles for SeaWorld to take in and rehabilitate.

The sea turtles were received by SeaWorld aquarists at the Orlando Executive Airport and then transported to SeaWorld Orlando's rehabilitation facility where the park's veterinarian and aquarium team quickly evaluated the sea turtles; they will perform a more extensive evaluation in the morning.

The mass stranding is attributed to an unseasonably warm November that delayed the turtles' exit from Cape Cod Bay to warmer waters. When the ocean temperatures dropped quickly, the sea turtles developed hypothermia and washed ashore. Once water temperatures are warm enough, the turtles will be returned to their natural habitat.

Distressed turtles are often found in Florida waters, too. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requests for those who see stranded, distressed or dead sea turtles to call Wildlife Alert at 1-888-404-3922.

Participating agencies and organizations include: U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA Fisheries Northeast Region Stranding Network, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, New England Aquarium, Sea World Orlando, Mote Marine Lab, Volusia Marine Science Center, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, and the Florida Aquarium.

December 25, 2012

2012 Disney Parks Christmas Parade

Tune in to ABC on December 25th for the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Check your local listings for air times.

December 27, 2012

Star Wars 2013 Weekends Announced

Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17 - June 9, 2013.

James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein are returning as celebrity hosts for the annual special event.

James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein

James, the voice behind many of the most famous animated characters in film, television and commercials, is known to Star Wars fans as the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series.

Ashley, who started her show business career as a parade dancer at Disney's Hollywood Studios, is the voice of Anakin's ambitious Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

James is the Official Celebrity Host of Star Wars Weekends 2013, and Ashley is Celebrity Host of "Behind the Force," a live show that takes fans behind-the-scenes in the Star Wars universe.

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About December 2012

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

November 2012 is the previous archive.

January 2013 is the next archive.

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