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February 2013 Archives

February 1, 2013

A New Place to Meet the Disney Princesses! Fantasy Faire Makes Regal Debut at Disneyland Park March 12

Enchanted Village Features Royal Hall for Princess Greetings,
Royal Theatre for Interactive Storytelling
'Mickey and the Magical Map' Live Show Also Opens in 2013;
Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins Join 'Disney Junior - Live on Stage!'

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2013) - For many guests at Disneyland Park, the encounter with a Disney Princess and her story is an essential part of any visit. Beginning March 12, 2013, Disney Princesses will await these guests at the new Fantasy Faire, a storybook world that extends Fantasyland and brings its timeless tales to life in fun and surprising ways.

Fantasy Faire creates an enchanting, immersive environment for guests who treasure magical fairy tales. Designed in the charming, old world style familiar to lovers of Fantasyland, this regal village fair is located on the west side of the "Hub" or Central Plaza, expanding Fantasyland beyond its current boundaries and into a location (the former Carnation Plaza Gardens) near the forecourt of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Visitors will walk a beautiful pathway leading into the corridors of the Royal Hall, where Princesses await them. Along the way, they will encounter whimsical design touches, including Geppetto's cat Figaro dozing (and occasionally waking) on a window sill, and "Clopin's Music Box," a fascinating, interactive mechanical toy representing the Feast of Fools from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Guests may also explore a charming village square highlighted by Tangled Tower, a magical sculpture inspired by the story of Rapunzel. After dark, Rapunzel's hair, twisting around the tower sculpture, comes to life with twinkling lights.
A highlight of the Fantasy Faire experience is the Royal Theatre, where guests will be treated to two different shows: the tales of Rapunzel ("Tangled") and Belle ("Beauty and the Beast") as presented by Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones, a pair of vaudeville-style Renaissance storytellers. The princess heroine, Rapunzel or Belle, will join in the fun and remain with the audience to greet guests following the conclusion of the story.

Fairytale Treasures, a shop found inside Fantasy Faire, offers all kinds of Princess dresses, accessories and gifts. For guest refreshment, Maurice, Belle's inventor father, has transformed an old gypsy wagon into a colorful food cart, Maurice's Treats, serving bread twists - cheddar cheese garlic and strawberry almond cream flavors - along with a signature beverage, the Boysen Apple Freeze.

The addition of Fantasy Faire will be one of the highlights of the guest experience for Spring-Summer 2013 at the Disneyland Resort. Also coming to Disneyland in time for summer is "Mickey and the Magical Map," a new, live show presented in the Fantasyland Theatre. And at Disney California Adventure Park, new characters Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins join the show "Disney Junior - Live on Stage!" beginning March 22.

New 'Mickey and the Magical Map'
"Mickey and the Magical Map" presents Mickey Mouse in his timeless role as the sorcerer's apprentice. Sorcerer Yen Sid sets his Mapmakers to work and this ensemble cast of male and female performers paints a wondrous map - capable of taking dreamers to any place imaginable and so large it spans the entire stage of Fantasyland Theatre.

Apprentice Mickey lets his curiosity get the better of him and stumbles upon the map's magical powers. Mickey's youthful mischief takes him, along with the audience, on a fantastic journey of imagination in the company of the Mapmakers, who help bring his adventures to life.

The journey, presented through amazing theatrical wizardry, colorful visuals and wonderful music, includes encounters with such classic Disney characters as Pocahontas, Mulan, King Louie from "The Jungle Book," Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog" and others. "Mickey and the Magical Map" is designed for Disneyland guests of all ages and represents Disney storytelling at its most thrilling.

Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins Join 'Disney Junior - Live on Stage!'
Fans of the Disney Junior television hits "Sofia the First" and "Doc McStuffins" will enjoy interacting with these characters at "Disney Junior - Live on Stage!" They join the gang from "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" in a show that invites preschoolers to sing, dance and play with enchanting puppets, fanciful scenery and lively music.

Sofia the First, Disney's first little girl princess, and other characters in the show share ideas with guests, encouraging them to become part of the stories. Sofia is known for showing every little princess-in-training how to sparkle - inside and out. Doc McStuffins cares for and nurtures toys in need. When the Doc is in, she really knows her stuff, consulting her Big Book of Boo Boos to help diagnose and mend her toy friends.

"Disney Junior - Live on Stage!" is presented several times a day at Disney California Adventure Park.

Fantasy Faire, "Mickey and the Magical Map" and the new stories at "Disney Junior - Live on Stage!" add to the excitement at the Disneyland Resort, a world-class, family vacation destination where guests continue to enjoy Cars Land and Buena Vista Street at the newly expanded Disney California Adventure.

SEAWORLD ORLANDO’S BANDS, BREW & BBQ FESTIVAL STARTS NEXT WEEKEND

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Featuring live concerts by top names in the music industry


ORLANDO, Fla. (February 1, 2013) - SeaWorld Orlando hosts an exciting concert lineup for its Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival, Saturdays and Sundays, February 9 - March 17. This year's event will be bigger and better than ever with two additional weekends of sizzling BBQ and incredible concerts.

Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with park admission. And the best way to experience this festival is with a Fun Card where you pay for a day's admission and come back all year - with no blackout dates - to experience all of SeaWorld's remarkable events.

The 2013 Bands, Brew & BBQ concert lineup includes:
• Saturday, February 9 Chris Young with Jerrod Niemann
• Sunday, February 10 Merle Haggard
• Saturday, February 16 The Beach Boys
• Sunday, February 17 Styx
• Saturday, February 23 Big & Rich
• Sunday, February 24 Third Eye Blind
• Saturday, March 2 Daryl Hall and John Oates
• Sunday, March 3 Darius Rucker
• Saturday, March 9 Michael McDonald
• Sunday, March 10 Josh Turner
• Saturday, March 16 Rodney Atkins with Uncle Kracker
• Sunday, March 17 Sheryl Crow

Enjoy a cornucopia of all things BBQ featuring SeaWorld's signature mouth-watering BBQ, along with local favorites such as Tony Roma's, Cecil's Texas Style Bar B Q and Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q, who will be on hand serving BBQ foods tendered to perfection.

For those who want to feel like a rock star, the VIP package and Craft Brew Sampler are available. Guests who take advantage will enjoy the best seats in the house, mouth-watering food and a unique experience that they'll never forget as they get up-close and personal with some of today's hottest classic rock and country music performers.

There is a side stage showcasing local bands and for those who want to show off their line dancing and boot scootin' skills, a DJ will be spinning music to satisfy movers and shakers of all ages and levels.

And through March 3, in between all the barbeque eatin' and side steppin', event-goers can take in the sights of the proudly displayed 2013 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. For all Harley lovers who ride their Harley to Bands, Brew & BBQ, parking is free!

For more details about Bands, Brew & BBQ visit www.SeaWorldOrlando.com

AllEars will be attending the first weekend! Look for tweets and a full report!!

February 2, 2013

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin

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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.

Go behind the scenes with the attraction's creators:

A Preview of the New California Grill at the Contemporary Resort

The Contemporary Resort's popular restaurant, California Grill, closed yesterday for an extensive refurbishment.

The Disney Parks Blog recently released renderings of what the new California Grill dining room and onstage kitchen will look like when it opens later this summer.

Designed by the Puccini Group in San Francisco, the restaurant will feature a wall of wines at the entrance and will showcase the spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom below.

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Chef Brian Piasecki has already begun working on the restaurant's new menu. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the menu will have updated versions of some of the restaurant's classics, like the beloved pork and polenta. This dish will become "Pork Two Ways" -- wood-fired tenderloin with goat cheese polenta, and braised lacquered pork belly with country applesauce.


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The Parks Blog also revealed a new 24-hour braised beef short rib with truffle whipped potatoes, vol-au-vent (puff pastry) with roasted vegetables and natural jus.


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As previously announced, sushi chef Yoshie is retiring, but the new sushi chefs will continue her legacy with such creative new tastes as Sea Urchin Nigiri with mamanori (soybean paper), salmon roe and freshly grated wasabi root.


February 3, 2013

D23 Fanniversary Road Show

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D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is hitting the road with D23's Disney Fanniversary celebration, commemorating dozens of unforgettable Disney milestones celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2013!

The Official Disney Fan Club is bringing the magic to ten different cities so Disney fans can have the chance to get the Disney experience without having to travel to the parks. Tickets go on sale to D23 members February 5 at 10 a.m., PST. The remaining General Admission tickets will be available February 12 at 10 a.m., PST.

D23 will lead guests on a 90 minute journey through dozens of unforgettable Disney moments that have delighted generations of Disney fans, including beloved movies like Peter Pan, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and the first Pirates of the Caribbean film; classic characters like Mickey Mouse and Chip 'n' Dale; favorite attractions and entertainment spectaculars at Disney parks such as Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, Horizons, and Mickey's Toontown; the openings of Disney's Animal Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland, the launch of The Disney Channel; the first voyage of Disney Cruise Line; and the momentous founding of The Walt Disney Company in, of course, 1923.

Following each presentation, guests will have the opportunity to briefly mix and mingle with presenters and fellow Disney fans. Plus, we will have a special treasure from the Walt Disney Archives available on display!

D23's Disney Fanniversary Celebration events will be held in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C so we can "Unlock the Magic" of Disney and D23 from coast to coast!

PRICES:
D23 Member Price: $21
General Admission Price: $35

For the most up to date information visit:
http://d23.disney.go.com/events/2013/01/23/d23s-disney-fanniversary-celebration-2013/

About D23
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the remarkable past, present, and future of Disney, taking its name from 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his world-famous company. D23 brings its members a host of exclusive benefits, including a weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; and exclusive, member-only special events.
Disney fans can join the world's only Official Disney Fan Club by visiting www.D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow "DisneyD23" on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

February 4, 2013

Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco Went to Disney World!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2013) - Fresh from his team's 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco made good on his "I'm Going to Disney World" proclamation by quarterbacking a gala celebration Monday at Walt Disney World Resort.

Smiling and waving from a red convertible alongside Mickey Mouse in the shadow of Cinderella Castle, Flacco -- named the game's Most Valuable Player -- greeted cheering Magic Kingdom guests along a parade route lined with colorful red, white and blue balloons. Cheerleaders, Disney characters in football gear and a Florida blizzard -- of confetti -- completed the festive scene as Flacco quarterbacked another drive, this time down Main Street, U.S.A.

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Flacco was one of the game's standout players, firing three first-half touchdown strikes en route to 287 total passing yards. It capped a remarkable post-season in which Flacco connected on 11 TD passes, throwing no interceptions.

His "I'm Going to Disney World" - anchoring one of TV's most enduring and iconic Super Bowl commercials - was captured seconds after the final whistle Sunday night. A produced commercial from that moment aired on networks just hours before Flacco's appearance at the Magic Kingdom.

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Flacco's declaration became the 26th Super Bowl commercial aired in the Disney series that began in 1987 following Super Bowl XXI. The first "I'm Going to Disney World" commercial featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms was considered a groundbreaking concept - a produced commercial involving a current event, airing on major networks within hours of its conclusion. Flacco joins an all-star lineup of heroes from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments in "I'm Going to Disney World" commercials.

February 6, 2013

SeaWorld Orlando Returns Manatee to Central Florida Waters after Rehabilitation

February 6, 2013 (Orlando, Fla.) - A manatee was returned to the St. Johns River in Blue Spring State Park this morning after rehabilitating at SeaWorld Orlando for the last year.

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"Slip" was brought to SeaWorld Orlando on January 4, 2012, after being rescued from Crescent Lake near Palatka, Fla., due to symptoms he suffered from cold stress.

After he was medically cleared for today's return, the park's Animal Rescue Team transported the 21-year old manatee to Blue Spring State Park, an area well-known for its manatee population.

Slip's health was evaluated upon arrival at the park by SeaWorld animal experts and Sea2Shore Alliance. The 1,100-pound manatee was then carried by more than a dozen people into the spring, where a group of manatees were seen swimming nearby.

In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world's most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the waters. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 22,000 animals in need - ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned - for more than four decades. So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued two manatees and returned one.

All manatee rescue footage produced by SeaWorld under FWS Permit Number MA7701911.
If you see injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 1(888) 404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.


Disney Dreamers Academy announces 100 selected students for 2013 program

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Students will engage in career and mentoring workshops at sixth-annual event in March

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2013) - Walt Disney World Resort has announced the 100 teens who will participate in the next Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. The teens, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Walt Disney World Resort March 7-10, but they won't be vacationing. Instead, they will participate in a once-in-lifetime innovative outside-the-classroom educational and mentoring program.

Entering its sixth year, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Each year, 100 students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies.

It all takes place in a magical setting: The Walt Disney World theme parks. Both on stage and behind the scenes, the parks become vibrant 'classrooms' leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and "DREAM BIG." Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

"Over the past five years, we have helped 500 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life," said Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. "The sixth Disney Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and Essence Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life."

Walt Disney World Resort along with Steve Harvey, syndicated radio and television personality, and Essence Magazine will host the selected Dreamers during their four-day power packed career and educational exploration. Harvey, speaking on the program, says, "Disney Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities. We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold."

Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, "We are excited about the sixth Disney Dreamers Academy. This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level. This year we plan to go above and beyond to encourage Dreamers. Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey represents our commitment to the leaders of tomorrow."

This year's 100 students were selected from among more than 5,000 applicants by a panel of judges representing the best in their fields that included Powell, Harvey and Ebanks. Applicants answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and life dreams.

The rest of the 2013 Disney Dreamers Academy judging panel was comprised of: Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, ESSENCE Magazine); Yolanda Adams (gospel music legend); Terrence J (actor and host of E! News); Stephen A. Smith (broadcaster and sports analyst); Dr. Steve Perry (education advocate and CNN commentator); Sonia Jackson Myles (founder and author, The Sister Accord); Jonathan Sprinkles (award-winning motivational speaker); Chef Jeff Henderson (celebrity chef and motivational speaker); Alex O. Ellis (CEO, Simply Ellis Custom Clothier) Brandi Harvey (Corporate and Community Relations Director, the Steve Harvey World Group) and Karli Harvey (Hair Artesian, U Salon, Atlanta).

This accomplished group remains involved in Disney Dreamers Academy throughout the year serving as the program's ambassadors and advisory panel as part of the Disney Dreamers Academy's Speaker Resource Group.

Steve's message to those that did not get in this year.

For more information visit www.disneysdreamersacademy.com, www.facebook.com/disneysdreamersacademy or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dreamersacademy.

February 7, 2013

Peter Pan Now on Blu-ray and HD Digital

See Never Land like never before in the Peter Pan Diamond Edition, now on Disney Blu-ray and HD Digital!

Think of the happiest things as Peter Pan soars to spectacular new heights for the first time on Blu-ray! Now more sensational than ever with digitally restored picture and brilliant high-definition sound!

Bid your cares goodbye as Wendy and her brothers embark on fantastic adventures with the hero of their bedtime stories...Peter Pan! With faith, trust and Tinker Bell's pixie dust, Peter teaches them how to fly and leads them to the "second star to the right" and beyond...to Never Land!

February 12, 2013

Disney Cruise Line Unveils New 2014 Itineraries and Ports

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First-Ever Venice and San Juan Departures and New Destinations in Greece, Sicily, Spain and Grenada

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2013) - In 2014, Disney Cruise Line will offer new itineraries, including an expanded collection of European cruises highlighting the Greek Isles. Plus, Disney Cruise Line will depart for the first time from homeports in Venice, Italy and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Disney Cruise Line was designed to cater to the unique vacation needs of families, and next year will continue to enhance cruise options for guests - from the wonders of Europe to sun and sand in the Caribbean to outdoor adventures in Alaska.

Highlights of the Disney Cruise Line 2014 schedule include:

Mediterranean from Venice and Barcelona

From May to August 2014, the Disney Magic returns to the Mediterranean with exciting new ports and popular destinations, treating guests to the best of Europe.

New for the European season, Disney Cruise Line will use Venice, Italy as a homeport for select sailings. During these cruises, the Disney Magic overnights in Venice, giving guests the opportunity to experience an evening in the spectacular city.

Disney Cruise Line also will visit new destinations in the Greek Isles and Sicily for the very first time, including Katakolon, Rhodes, Heraklion (Crete), Santorini and Corfu, Greece and Catania, Sicily.

NEW Nine-night Mediterranean Greek Isles

Ports: Venice; Katakolon; Pireaus; Kusadasi; Rhodes; Mykonos; Venice (overnight)

Departure dates: June 26, July 5

Throughout the summer season, Disney Cruise Line is offering a rich array of European itineraries with a variety of cruise lengths and ports of call. Guests will experience richly diverse cities and cultures, showcasing iconic locations, romantic boulevards, bustling bazaars, sun-drenched islands and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea.

Details on all Disney Cruise Line European itineraries can be found on the Europe destinations section of disneycruise.com.

Rates start at $796 per person for four-night cruises, $995 per person for five-night cruises, $1,015 per person for seven-night cruises, $1,827 per person for nine-night cruises and $2,388 for 12-night European cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Southern Caribbean from San Juan

Disney Cruise Line will homeport in San Juan for the first time in 2014. The Disney Magic will sail four cruises to the Southern Caribbean, including Grenada - a new port of call for Disney.

Known as the "Spice Isle," Grenada offers Disney Cruise Line guests a lush and lively destination filled with spice estates, tropical gardens, beautiful beaches, thrilling diving, snorkeling, fishing and exploration through mountain landscapes and waterfalls. A picturesque harbor is home to shops stocked with spices and restaurants serving unique cuisine combining Creole, Caribbean and West Indian flavors.

Rates start at $945 per person for seven-night cruises from San Juan for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

NEW Seven-night Southern Caribbean from San Juan

Ports: San Juan; Antigua; St. Lucia; Grenada; Barbados; St. Kitts

Departure dates: Sept. 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11

Alaska from Vancouver

In 2014, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska. One special nine-night cruise calls on Sitka, Alaska - a first for Disney Cruise Line.

These cruises combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney ship. Disney Cruise Line works closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to experience Alaska's natural beauty and rich history.

Rates start at $1,015 per person for seven-night cruises and $1,305 per person for the nine-night Alaska cruise for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Seven-night Alaska:

Ports: Vancouver, Tracy Arm (scenic cruising through fjord), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan

Departure dates: June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25, Sept. 1

NEW Nine-night Alaska:

Ports: Vancouver, Sitka, Tracy Arm (scenic cruising through fjord), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan

Departure date: May 24

Bahamas and Western Caribbean from Miami

In 2014, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Miami on four-night Bahamian and five-night Western Caribbean cruises. Rates start at $460 per person for four-night cruises and $575 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

Dates: Disney Wonder Jan.-April; Disney Magic Oct.-Dec.

Five-night Caribbean

Ports:Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

Dates: Disney Wonder Jan.-April; Disney Magic Oct.-Dec.

Five-night Caribbean, including Castaway Cay

Ports:Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay

Dates: Disney Wonder Jan.-April; Disney Magic Oct.-Dec.

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 Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Details on all Disney Cruise Line itineraries sailing from Port Canaveral can be found on the Bahamas cruises and Caribbean cruises sections of disneycruise.com.

Rates start at $450 per person for three-night cruises, $600 per person for four-night cruises and $910 for seven-night cruises departing from Port Canaveral for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

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

Journey to Oz Balloon Tour

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BURBANK, CALIF. (February 12, 2013)-Disney announced today the launch of the "Journey to Oz Balloon Tour," sponsored by leading multichannel retailer HSN and IMAX Corporation, in support of its upcoming fantastical adventure "Oz The Great and Powerful," opening in U.S. theaters and IMAX® on March 8, 2013. The colorful, "Oz The Great and Powerful"-emblazoned hot-air balloon began its tour this morning from the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, Calif.

Stops for the "Journey to Oz Balloon Tour" to date include:

-- "Oz The Great and Powerful" premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood (February 13)

-- Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. (February 17)

-- Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 20)

-- Central Park in New York City (March 5 & 6)

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On February 15, the "Journey to Oz Balloon Tour" app will go live on the official Facebook page for the film (facebook.com/OzTheGreatAndPowerful). Starting then, fans will have the opportunity to unlock screenings in cities near them. Users will vote by Tweeting with a custom hashtag for their city (e.g. #DisneyOzSeattle) or by sharing on Facebook.

"Oz The Great and Powerful," directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking-that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.

"Oz The Great and Powerful" is produced by Joe Roth, with screen story by Mitchell Kapner and screenplay by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Grant Curtis, Palak Patel, Josh Donen and Philip Steuer are serving as executive producers.

February 16, 2013

Land of OZ Garden Opens in Epcot

The 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV will be held March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Among the new features for this year's festival is the Land of Oz Garden.

The new play area/garden is based on the Disney film, "Oz The Great and Powerful," which stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Zach Braff, and opens in theaters March 8. based on the new Disney film,

To help create a buzz about the new movie, the Land of Oz Garden has opened before the official start of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival. The Land of Oz Garden is a new circus-like play area. Enter via the yellow-brick road and find yourself in an interactive children's play area that features carnival-style games.

The garden features both real flowers and fantastical art-glass poppies. While the kids play in and around a giant custom Oz-themed play structure, parents can enjoy shaded, comfy chairs just a few steps away.

Take a peek:

The Land of Oz Garden will appear for the complete run of the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, through May 19. Walt Disney World Resort horticulturists will keep updating the flowers throughout the festival as the weather warms up in late April, keeping the garden in a constant state of growth and color.

February 19, 2013

SeaWorld's Aquatica Offers College Discounts

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SHOW YOUR COLLEGE ID FOR EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS AT AQUATICA

Aquatica, SeaWorld Orlando's one of a kind waterpark, is offering an incredible deal for college students and faculty just in time for spring break. Now through June 16, 2013, students and faculty can purchase admission to Aquatica for just $29 for themselves and up to five friends with a valid school ID - a savings of up to $25 per person!

From high-speed water slides and exhilarating wave pools, to tranquil beaches and the remarkable animal habitats that are the hallmark of SeaWorld, Aquatica delights all ages and interests. This one-of-a-kind waterpark is home to some of the world's most thrilling water rides, featuring 38 slides, rivers and lagoons and 84,000 square feet of sparkling white, sandy beaches. Aquatica's exclusive attractions promise unlimited fun, sending guests on amazing undersea adventures and through breathtaking animal exhibits.

This limited-time offer is available for purchase at Aquatica's front gate only. A valid student/faculty ID must be presented in order to receive the discount. Each student or faculty member may purchase a ticket for themselves and up to five friends. Additional tickets may be purchased at the regular admission price of $55 plus tax. This offer is available now and is valid for visits through June 16, 2013. For more information about Aquatica, visit: www.aquaticaorlando.com.

February 20, 2013

RUNNERS DONNING TIARAS AND TUTUS FOR PRINCESS HALF MARATHON AT DISNEY THIS WEEKEND

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More than 26,000 mostly women runners - nearly 20,000 more than the inaugural year in 2009 - are set to run the 5th anniversary Disney's Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. The 13.1-mile course starts just outside Epcot and takes runners through the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella Castle before finishing back at Epcot.

All runDisney races typically feature colorful runner costumes, Disney entertainment and characters. Runners completing the half marathon will receive a commemorative 5th anniversary tiara medal.

More than 26,000 runners in the half; 8,000 in the 5K and 1,700 in Kids Races; many from throughout Central Florida

The half marathon includes more than 24,500 female runners and 1,700 male runners

Runners represent all 50 states and 32 countries

Youngest participants are 14; the oldest woman is 78

Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo (open to the public)
Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K and runDisney Kids Races
Saturday, February 23
5K Starts at 6:30 am, Kids Races at 8:45 am
Epcot

Disney's Princess Half Marathon
Sunday, February 24
Race starts at 5:35 am (live trucks must be in place by 4 am) Epcot

SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin to open May 24

ORLANDO, Fla. (February 19, 2013) - Construction is on-schedule at SeaWorld Orlando's new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and the park has announced May 24 as its grand opening date.



Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin - sure to be Orlando's must-see new attraction - will transport families into a rarely seen, icy world. They'll feel the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the penguins' eyes on an exhilarating, first-of-its-kind family ride. They'll explore a massive penguin colony in an expanse that envelops them in cool extremes, both above and below the penguins' icy world. It's a must-see, one-of-a-kind theme park experience only at SeaWorld in Orlando.

Fans wanting to explore even more of SeaWorld's thrilling, chilling new adventure of a lifetime should download the free Antarctica app, available now for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. The app can be downloaded at SeaWorldOrlando.com/Antarctica.

The app is full of incredible create-and-share videos and photos, where fans can swim, march and dance with penguins. They can place their face onto an Antarctic explorer. And the best part? All of videos and photos can easily be shared with family and friends through social media channels -- Facebook, Twitter and You Tube - and can be emailed, too.

The app is also the place to get the cold, hard facts about penguins and Antarctica, watch incredible behind-the-scenes teaser videos about the "making of" SeaWorld Orlando's newest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Fans can even enter the Family Voyage Sweepstakes to win a trip to Orlando!

February 21, 2013

Character Changes at Animal Kingdom - Adventurers Outpost Announced

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Beastly Bazaar located in the Discovery Island area of Animal Kingdom closed last August. It was announced a new character meet and greet would open in that building later in the year.

Walt Disney World has finally been announced (via the Disney Parks Blog) that the location will open this spring as The Adventurers Outpost, a character Meet and Greet with Mickey and Minnie.

With Mickey and Minnie moving out of Camp Minnie-Mickey, who will take their place? According to Disney Communications Manager Shawn Slater, "some of the friends you might find there include Chip 'n' Dale, Baloo, King Louie or Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. The best thing to do is to check with a Cast Member on the day of your visit."

Taking Pooh and Tigger's place at the Discovery Island Character Landing will be Daisy and Donald Duck.


February 24, 2013

Rachel Booth Delivers Record-Setting Performance Again at Disney’s Princess Half Marathon

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Louisiana runner breaks her own event record to become first woman to win an unprecedented four runDisney titles; race weekend total of 36,000 participants is event's largest ever in five-year history

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - (Feb. 24 2013) - Rachel Booth etched her name in the runDisney record books - again - by winning Disney's Princess Half Marathon on Sunday for the second straight time, beating her own race record from a year ago.

Perhaps even more significant, Booth stands alone as the only woman to win four runDisney races - two Princess Half Marathons (2012 and 2013) and two Disneyland Half Marathons (2010 and 2011).

This latest win, a 13.1-mile journey through Epcot and Magic Kingdom on an unseasonably warm February morning at Walt Disney World Resort, was fairly routine. Booth charged to the front of the pack of 26,000 runners at the start and was never seriously threatened, even though she could hear the cheers for second-place finisher Mia Elbon and third-place finisher Megan Jaswell behind her.

Booth of Mandeville, La., crossed the finish line in 1:17:38 - 33 seconds faster than her then-record time of 1:18:11 a year ago. Elbon of Nashville, TN, came in at 1:18:04 and Jaswell of Johnston, RI, ran a 1:26:47.

"It never gets old, for sure,' said Booth, who was greeted at the finish line by her husband and two small children. "As I got to Mile 7 and 8 and through Mile 10, I got to see some people (cheering) and that definitely gave me extra incentive.'

In all, more than 36,000 runners - mostly women - competed in various events during the weekend, the largest weekend total in the race's five-year history. The weekend included the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K, Kids' Races and Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo in addition to Disney's Princess Half Marathon. The Expo featured the latest running apparel and equipment, plus a speaker series involving running experts such as runDisney's official training consultant Jeff Galloway.

Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend is one of seven annual runDisney events and the second women-focused event. The other is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, which takes place in January at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women's empowerment, women's health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation's largest race weekends geared towards women.

February 25, 2013

FIRST-EVER D23 EXPO JAPAN TO BE HELD OCTOBER 12–14, 2013

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Meguro-ku, Tokyo, February 25, 2012-The Walt Disney Company Japan announced today that it will stage the first-ever D23 Expo Japan, a special event for Disney fans created by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. D23 Expo Japan, the first Expo to be held outside the U.S., will feature an array of engaging presentations, hosted by senior Disney creative executives, showcasing what's on the horizon from across The Walt Disney Company, including theme parks, movies, television, music, and interactive gaming.

Fans will enjoy unique experiences; have the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind merchandise and collectibles; meet many of their favorite Disney characters; and delight in countless other surprises. D23 Expo Japan will take place October 12-14, 2013, at the Tokyo Disney Resort® in the Maihama area. Expo ticketing and program information will be announced in March.

D23 Expo Japan will also feature two special exhibitions celebrating landmark Disney milestones. First, to pay homage to The Walt Disney Company's 90th Anniversary, D23 and the Walt Disney Archives will present Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, featuring nine decades of treasures from the Archives' vast collection. Plus, the Tokyo Disney Resort will celebrate its 30th year with a special retrospective exhibit. This special exhibition, presented by Oriental Land, operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, celebrates this milestone year by making D23 Expo Japan possible. Further details will be posted at http://disney.jp/D23 as they become available.

"We are thrilled to host this extraordinary, three-day event where all the wonderful worlds of Disney come together," said Paul Candland, president, The Walt Disney Company Japan. "2013 marks The Walt Disney Company's 90th anniversary, Disney Channel's 10th, Disney Mobile's fifth, the Disney-JCB Card's fifth, Dlife's first, and Tokyo Disney Resort's 30th! The D23 Expo Japan allows us to show Disney's tremendous appreciation to its fans."

This event is supported by JCB Co., Ltd, and The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited as official sponsors.

Disney fans from around the globe flocked to Anaheim, Calif., for the first D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, in September 2009, followed by a second in August 2011. The next D23 Expo will take place August 9-11, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center and will feature: the 2013 Disney Legends Ceremony; a special exhibit from the Walt Disney Archives; the Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia, and merchandise; an all-new Fan Art Contest themed to the upcoming 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins, and a massive show floor full of special opportunities to see what's on the horizon for Disney around the world.

About D23: The Official Disney Fan Club
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the remarkable past, present, and future of Disney, taking its name from 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his world-famous company. D23 unlocks the magic of Disney with a host of exclusive benefits, including a quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.D23.com; a weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; and free gifts throughout the year; as well as exclusive events created especially for its members.

February 26, 2013

OZ the Great and Powerful - New Clip

OZ the Great and Powerful

Disney's fantastical adventure "Oz The Great and Powerful," directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking-that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.


Visit the website: http://www.disney.com/ozthegreat

"Like" OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/ozthegreatandpowerful

"Follow" OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneyozmovie

February 28, 2013

Raglan Road Celebrates ‘Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival’ March 14-17

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Downtown Disney Pleasure Island guests can embrace their inner Irish and celebrate the most authentic St. Patrick's Day festivities in town March 14-17 at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant. Live Irish music, dance and authentic cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon headline a spirited long weekend dubbed the Mighty St. Patrick's Festival.

Guests ready to "get their green on" can participate in festivities that run from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. March 14 and 15 and from noon until 1 a.m. March 16 and 17. The lineup of Irish band performances begins with a festival kickoff March 8-10 by The Willis Clan, a family of artists and musicians who merge their Irish roots with other music and dance genres to create a unique style.

Beginning March 14 and culminating March 17, events will feature:

• Performances by The Willis Clan, Girsa, Three Dollar Band and Johnny & Justin, The Farrell Bros, Raglan Road house band Creel

• World-famous U2 tribute band Elevation, playing Saturday and Sunday

• The Raglan Road Dancers, seven full-time champion dancers, performing daily

• Renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast, leading Irish Dance Workshops "From Roots to Riverdance" Friday through Sunday

• Distinguished Dublin-born multi-instrumentalist Declan Masterson, recent touring musical director of Riverdance, leading Irish Music Workshops "Between the Jigs and the Reels"

• Ceili (kay-lee) traditional music and structured set-dancing event on Saturday, inviting guest participation

• "The Electric Ceili," Sunday evening, with more than 50 musicians and dancers on the Waterfront Stage

Festivities at Raglan Road and in surrounding Pleasure Island areas will include face painting, stilt walkers, competitions, giveaways and plenty of St. Patrick's Day memorabilia. Thursday through Saturday, guests can order from Raglan Road's popular lunch, dinner and bar menus. The dinner menu, which includes loin of bacon and cabbage, the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick's Day, is available all day Sunday. Throughout the event, the restaurant's Cooke's of Dublin counter-service eatery will offer Irish favorites like fish and chips, battered sausages and deep-fried candy bars; guests will discover additional food offerings across Pleasure Island.

On Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Saturday, the pub and restaurant cover charge of $5 will apply to each guest 18 and older; on Sunday, the cover charge is $10. Reservations can be booked for March 14 and 15 by calling 407/938-0300.

Pubs in Ireland have long been considered a place for families to gather. Following that tradition, Raglan Road is a place to meet friends and family and experience the Irish culture on St Patrick's Day and everyday. Guests are encouraged to proudly wear a sprig of Shamrock as is the tradition in Ireland and participate in "the wearin' of the green."

During any visit to Raglan Road, be it brunch, lunch or dinner, guests can belly up to one of the restaurant's 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare. The restaurant, a Diners' Choice 2012 award winner, is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, as well as its Shepherd's pie with a contemporary twist and other popular entrees. Raglan Road offers gluten-free items including scallops, fish and chips, calamari, onion rings and pasta dishes.

Owned and operated by Irish partners Paul Nolan, John Cooke and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon - famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland - Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located on Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

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About February 2013

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in February 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2013 is the previous archive.

March 2013 is the next archive.

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