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May 2013 Archives

May 6, 2013

Free Dining for Disney VISA Cardholders: September 2-25, 2013

Are you a Disney VISA cardholder? Here's a delicious way to make your vacation dreams come true! Book a non-discounted Walt Disney World® Magic Your Way package and get a select Dining Plan - Free!

Book a value resort - Get Quick Service Dining Plan- Free
Book a moderate, deluxe or villa - Get the Disney Dining Plan-Free

Valid for stays most nights:
September 2, 2013 - September 25, 2013

Book by July 31, 2013

For details, see the website of AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider, Mouse Fan Travel:


May 8, 2013

Disneyland Half Weekend Medals Unveiled

runDisney has revealed the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend collection of medals, including Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland Half Marathon, Disneyland 10K and Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K.

More than 25,000 runners are registered for the race weekend that winds through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the streets of Anaheim. Each finisher will receive a specially designed commemorative finisher medal.





May 9, 2013

Free Dining Offer - September 2013 Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World® Resort - Most nights 9/2/13 - 9/25/13

Here's a delicious way to make your vacation dreams come true! Book a non-discounted Walt Disney World® Magic Your Way package and get a select Dining Plan - Free*!

Book a value resort - Get Quick Service Dining Plan- Free

Book a moderate, deluxe or villa - Get the Disney Dining Plan-Free

Valid for stays most nights:
September 2, 2013 - September 25, 2013

Book by July 31, 2013

For details, see the website of AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider, Mouse Fan Travel:


Late Summer Room Offer - Save up to 30%

Walt Disney World® Resort - Most nights 8/15/13 - 9/28/13

Stay and experience the magic up close. Be close to the heart of all the magic, from the Theme Parks and entertainment to exciting nightlife, shopping and more. Save up to 30%* when you stay at a select Walt Disney World® Resort hotel

Save up to 20% - Select Value Resort Hotels

Save up to 25% - Select Moderate Resort Hotels & Cabins

Save up to 30% - Select Deluxe & Villa Resort Hotels

Book this special deal by 7/31/13
for stays most nights - 8/15/13 - 9/28/13

For details, see the website of AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider, Mouse Fan Travel: http://www.mousefantravel.com/disney-destinations/walt-disney-world-resort/latest-deals/late-summer-room-offer-save-30

Don't forget Free Dining Also Available to Disney Visa Card Holders!

Happy Mother's Day From Monsters University!

Monsters university poster

Enjoy this new Mother's Day video featuring Mrs. Squibbles and the other Monsters University characters.

First Marvel Animated Film Announced - Big Hero 6

Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2014 animated feature BIG HERO 6

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes "Big Hero 6," an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion a robot named Baymax "Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated "Big Hero 6" hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.


Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Return to the D23 Expo


The spectacular exhibit will feature imagery, costumes, props, set pieces and more, many displayed publicly for the first time by the Walt Disney Archives

BURBANK, Calif. - May 9, 2013 - D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and the Walt Disney Archives are proud to announce the return of the "Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives" exhibit to the D23 Expo. During the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, August 9 - 11, 2013, this all-new exhibit curated specifically for the D23 Expo 2013 will feature: the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins, ABC's hit television series Once Upon A Time, and a look at the longstanding connection between Disney and L. Frank Baum's beloved series of books about the land of Oz.

"Treasures" will showcase a selection of crown jewels from the Walt Disney Archives Collection, many of which will be displayed publicly for the first time by the Archives. As the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins approaches, the Archives will be presenting a wide array of pieces from the Academy Award®-winning 1964 film including concept art and matte paintings, Mary and Bert's carousel horses, the snow globe from the "Feed the Birds" sequence, costumes worn by many of the central characters and the recently acquired carpet bag, which Mary carries with her when she arrives at the Banks' household. Also part of the exhibit will be the Fan Art Gallery, themed to Mary Poppins. D23 Members were invited to submit their work as part of the D23 Expo Fan Art Contest, and the winners' colorful creations will be displayed in this year's gallery.

On the heels of the global success of Oz The Great and Powerful, the Archives is proud to assemble artifacts illustrating Disney's long association with L. Frank Baum's Oz books. Highlights include a costume from 1957's "Rainbow Road to Oz"-a segment from The Fourth Anniversary Show, which celebrated Walt's four years on television, starring many of the Mickey Mouse Club's Mouseketeers-as well as concept art from unrealized attractions and Disney Studio productions. Also featured are props and costume pieces from 1985's Return to Oz including the Tik-Tok puppet, "Powder of Life" tin, and Dorothy's costume and slippers. And, of course, there will be an assortment of costumes from this year's Oz The Great and Powerful.

Now finishing its second hit season, Once Upon A Time has become a huge hit among Disney fans for its ability to remain true to many of Disney's classic stories while expanding their worlds with a modern twist. The Archives is honored to be presenting a selection of elegantly designed costumes from the show.

The D23 Expo 2013 will also feature the Disney Legends Awards-a tradition that pays tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy; the return of the D23 Expo Dream Store, featuring a wide selection of unique merchandise; an expanded Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia and merchandise-and this year's Forum will also include the worlds of Marvel and Star Wars-plus amazing live events, special celebrity appearances, panels and presentations and unique experiences from every corner of Disney, from upcoming feature film and television sneak peeks to what's new and what's next from our theme parks around the world.

May 10, 2013

SeaWorld Announces Lauren Alaina to Promote Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins


Orlando, Fla. (May 9, 2013) - SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ has partnered with award-winning country artist Lauren Alaina to perform the official theme song for the new attraction at SeaWorld® Orlando, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™, opening May 24, 2013.

Alaina recorded two songs for SeaWorld, including the theme song for the ride in Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and a remix version called "Antarctica: One World, One Family." Alaina also will be performing the song live at SeaWorld Orlando for the attraction grand opening the week of May 24th. The remix version will be available for free download at www.SeaWorldOrlando.com/Antarctica starting May 9. Alaina is currently in the studio working on her forthcoming sophomore album, and is scheduled to perform her new single "Barefoot And Buckwild" on American Idol Thursday, May 9, airing nationwide on Fox networks.

"I have such great memories of growing up and going to SeaWorld with my family, so being a part of the theme park and their new attraction is so exciting," says Alaina. "Recording the official theme song for the ride was so much fun - SeaWorld even brought a penguin named Pete to the studio to help inspire me!"

Georgia native Alaina captured America's hearts when she appeared on Season 10 of American Idol. Her first album, Wildflower, debuted at no.1 on the iTunes Country chart and no.2 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart in 2011, and was the best-selling digital album by a debut country female. Alaina has been nominated for several Teen Choice and CMT Music Awards, and recently took home the Artist of the Year: New Artist trophy at the 2012 American Country Awards.

Alaina is also the Special Olympics Project UNIFY® Ambassador for North America and traveled to Pyeongchang, South Korea in January for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games. In celebration of this partnership and their mutual support, SeaWorld will make a donation to Special Olympics. A Special Olympics athlete and family members also will receive a special visit to SeaWorld Orlando for the grand opening of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, courtesy of Lauren Alaina.

"We're excited to continue our strategy of expanding beyond family theme parks into different types of entertainment enterprises," said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "We're so thrilled to welcome Lauren into our family and look forward to working with her on this project and many more into the future."

For the behind-the-scenes story of Lauren Alaina recording the theme song for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, watch an exclusive webisode at www.SeaWorldOrlando.com/Antarctica .

May 11, 2013

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Asks Food and Beverage Enthusiasts to Decide


Facebook voting will determine which of three seminars will be featured at this year's event

For the first time in its history, the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is giving food and wine lovers the power to decide the beverage seminar that will be featured during the outdoor festival at this year's event. This featured seminar will take place multiple times throughout the evening and is open to anyone with a ticket to the causeway festival. It is in addition to the event's separately ticketed classroom seminars that take place earlier in the evening.

Voting is currently open on the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel's Facebook page. Fans have the option of choosing between three different seminars: Cocktail 101, Straight from the Still or The Truth About Blush.

Cocktail 101: Stop by Crescent Terrace to enjoy a special presentation from one of our property's bar-certified mixologists. Learn how to concoct and sample a few of the Swan and Dolphin's favorite cocktails.

Straight from the Still: Learn about the origins of America's spirit, Bourbon. Sample some cocktails crafted with our mixologist's favorite varieties.

The Truth About Blush: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin celebrates PINKtober with this drink seminar. Join the women sommeliers of the hotel as they squash rumors of the "undistinguished blush wine" and reveal a variety of blushes any connoisseur can appreciate. All guests will leave this event thinking pink. Be sure to stop by and support Breast Cancer Awareness the wine-o way.

Voting will be open through May 31.

To vote, guests can visit www.facebook.com/swananddolphin and look for the Food & Wine Wednesday post.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will be held on Oct. 18 - 19, 2013. The outdoor festival will include food and beverage seminars, food and wine tastings and live music. Seminars will be led by the hotel's chefs and certified beverage experts, while the hotel's award-winning restaurants will showcase signature culinary selections to pair with tastings from more than 30 wineries.

Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are currently available as part of a hotel package or individually and can be purchased at www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com

May 12, 2013

Disney Welcomes Merida into the Disney Princess Royal Court


Gymnastics Gold Medalist, Gabby Douglas Hosts Royal Celebration With Her Mom At Walt Disney World On Mother's Day Weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 11, 2013) - In celebration of mothers and daughters everywhere, Disney today proudly welcomed Merida from Disney∙Pixar's Academy Award winning film, "Brave," into the Disney Princess royal court. With her mother Queen Elinor proudly by her side, the ceremony took place at the Magic Kingdom in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort in conjunction with Mother's Day festivities. Gymnastics Gold Medalist and All-Around champion, Gabby Douglas, hosted the celebration accompanied by her mother, and shared her personal story of strength, perseverance and courage - the true meaning of being a Disney princess.

Watched by hundreds of park guests, Merida's procession through the Magic Kingdom to Cinderella Castle was led by a troop of Scottish dancers and an authentic pipe and drum band. In true Merida fashion, she forged her own path, foregoing the traditional horse-and-carriage arrival and instead wowing the audience as she rode in on her trusty horse Angus. She was welcomed on stage by the entire Disney Princess court, and was crowned by her mother Queen Elinor in a touching moment of love and respect that highlighted the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. Over the last few years, the Disney Princess royal court has expanded to welcome new princess characters whose stories, personalities and inner qualities serve as role models inspiring girls around the world.

"I admire Merida for being determined and courageous as these are qualities that have had a big impact on my own life and helped me achieve my goals as an athlete," said Gabby Douglas, gymnastics gold medalist. "And like Merida, I have a strong relationship with my mom, whose support and belief in me has helped me recognize my own inner princess qualities. It's really special for us to be here and share in Merida's celebration, especially on Mother's Day weekend."

"As a Disney Princess, Merida sets an admirable example for all, being brave, strong, passionate, determined and confident," said Katherine Sarafian, "Brave's" producer. "When Queen Elinor placed the crown on Merida's head, it signified a moment of deep connection, as a mother recognized the spirit, heart and true personality of her daughter. It's moments like these that encapsulate what is special about being a princess, but also resonate with mothers across the world."

On hand to join in on the festivities were 10-year-old and six-year-old British singers and TV personalities of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, who celebrated their inner princess by performing an original song on stage. Also in attendance were young girls and their families from Give Kids The World, a 70-acre nonprofit "storybook" resort where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong cost-free family vacations.

As part of Merida's celebration, a group of 200 mom bloggers and their families attending the Walt Disney World Social Media Moms conference were treated to a first look at the latest video from the "I Am A Princess" campaign, which features Merida and a real-life young archer. The campaign's message encourages girls to believe in themselves and their inner strength.

Highlights from Merida's Royal Celebration ceremony will be available on May 15 at DisneyPrincess.com.

May 13, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Weekend Adds New Race, New Challenge and New Medals

Women-focused event to offer 10K, new challenge and special-edition medals fit for a Princess; Special Princess and Tinker Bell half marathon registration available June 11

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA (April 26, 2013) - Building on the success of its women-focused events, runDisney is broadening the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort next year by adding a 10K and a new two-race challenge.

The Princess 10K gives runners of various levels more opportunities to run through Disney theme parks and receive a specially-designed finisher medal. And runners looking for an even bigger challenge can sign up for the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday (19.3 miles total) to earn the inaugural Disney Glass Slipper Challenge Medal to go along with medals from each individual race.

The Princess Half Marathon Weekend, scheduled for Feb. 20-23, is one of two women-focused runDisney events. The other is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January at Disneyland Resort in California. Both races are among the largest women-specific running events in the country and focus on healthy active lifestyles for women and girls. For instance, after nearly 7,500 runners ran in the inaugural Princess Half Marathon event in 2009, the popularity of the race has grown considerably with more than 26,000 registered runners for last year's race.


Also new in 2014 is a special edition runDisney Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge Medal for runners participating in the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January and the 2014 Princess Half Marathon five weeks later at Walt Disney World. Finishers receive the coveted medal featuring the likeness of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse with a pink overlay and lanyard.

Registration for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon opens June 11 at www.runDisney.com. A limited number of runners will have the opportunity to register for both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon at that time. Those not securing an early registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon will have a second chance when on-line registration officially opens on July 9.

Both the Princess and Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekends include signature runDisney events including a health and fitness expo geared towards women, kids races, a family fun run 5K, as well as featured half marathons for both weekend.

For more information and to register for runDisney events, visit www.runDisney.com.

May 15, 2013

SeaWorld Designs New Conservation Minded Cup

Custom Technology Engages Guests on a Personal Level

Orlando, Fla., May 14, 2013 - This penguin-shaped cup may look cute and cuddly, but it has a noble purpose: encourage guests to help the planet, one refill at a time.

In conjunction with SeaWorld® Orlando's epic new attraction and ride Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™ opening Memorial Day weekend, SeaWorld has created the Cup That Cares™ -- a new reusable cup program with a twist of technology. The innovative, interactive cup was designed specifically to connect with Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage dispensers in the new realm.

The new Cup That Cares engages guests in a personalized manner to reuse materials and reduce their carbon footprint. An RFID chip embedded in each Cup That Cares interacts with software at Coca-Cola Freestyle® dispensers to calculate and tell guests how they are being more environmentally responsible by choosing to reuse.

Plus, SeaWorld will donate $1 from each Cup That Cares purchase to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens® Conservation Fund, a not-for-profit foundation that helps protect wildlife around the world.



Technology embedded in the Cup That Cares calculates the amount of CO2 each guest saves from entering the atmosphere when they choose to reuse the cup for refills at Coca-Cola Freestyle machines in Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. With each refill at the designated machines, exclusive software developed by Coca-Cola and SeaWorld serves up an onscreen message that is customized to that guest's Cup That Cares history. The message thanks the guest for choosing to reuse, tracks how many refills the Cup That Cares has been used for, and calculates the running total of CO2 the guest has saved from entering the atmosphere.

Each refill with a reusable cup prevents the emission of approximately 27 grams of CO2.


There are two options, both available exclusively in the new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin attraction at SeaWorld Orlando:

Cup That Cares souvenir reusable cup - available at the two beverage stations inside the attraction for $9.99 - is adorned with photos of Puck™ and his penguin family. Puck is the hero penguin character featured throughout the new realm,

Create A Cup That Cares - Guests may build their own personalized penguin-shaped character cup by choosing from more than 40 accessories such as eyes, hair, glasses, hats, bow tie, necklaces and even miniature Shamu ice cream bars and SeaWorld shopping bags. The Create A Cup That Cares will be sold in the Antarctica gift shop, and includes a free first fill at the nearby Antarctica beverage stations. Create A Cup That Cares experience starts at $15.95 with the option to add accessory items.

"Just as penguins do within their colonies, humans also can band together to make a big difference through small actions," said Dan Brown, Chief Operating Officer of SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica Parks. "We see great potential with this new program because it encourages guests to be more aware of their actions - and reduce their carbon footprint -- in an easy, fun and innovative way. Each step may be small, but it all adds up when we work together."

Refills throughout the park for both Cup That Cares options are $.99 each.

PLUS -- NEW custom Coca-Cola flavor served up only at Antarctica

The Cup That Cares concept was developed in partnership with the park's beverage partner Coca-Cola, whose Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers offer guests more than 100 different beverage brands. Also only in Antarctica, Coca-Cola Freestyle will offer an all-new, vanilla-infused choice -- South Pole Chill™.

For more information, visit www.SeaWorldOrlando.com

About Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin:

The biggest expansion in SeaWorld's history, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin opens Friday, May 24 and combines a state-of-the-art family adventure ride with up-close encounters with hundreds of penguins - kings, gentoos, Adélies and rockhoppers.

May 16, 2013

D23 Launches Reimagined Website June 17

Members Will Have Online Access to Vast Array of Exclusive Disney Content

Disney to Celebrate Expansion With New Free D23 Membership Level

BURBANK, Calif. - May 16, 2013 - On June 17, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, will launch a massive reimagining of its D23.com website, opening up the wonderful worlds of Disney like never before to its members. The site will provide access to newly digitized content that delves deeply into The Walt Disney Company's vault of material, past and present, along with exclusive glimpses of the future. The new gated content will be free to current D23 Members; plus D23 is launching a new free level of membership, which will include access to this incredible content. D23.com will continue to offer the latest Disney news free to all guests who visit the site. But D23 Members can unlock even more magic in each section by logging in and accessing content whenever a golden key is shown.

"We're creating a unique destination that celebrates, in all respects, the essence of Disney," says Steven Clark, head of D23. "We believe the new site will offer one of the most engaging Disney experiences yet-with even more to come in the future. We look forward to debuting the new D23.com to our current members as well as to new ones from around the world."
The reimagined D23.com will feature exclusive celebrity interviews; vintage film clips; rarely seen artwork and photography; treasures from the Walt Disney Archives; behind-the-scenes previews of new movies and theme park attractions; and more.

Website highlights at launch will include:

23 Questions - We enhance our popular feature with audio interviews with Once Upon A Time star Ginnifer Goodwin who reveals her Disney favorites-and what she's looking forward to in the next season of the hit ABC show. Plus an exclusive with Phineas and Ferb's popular "evil mastermind" Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz, who talks about his truly devious plans" and Christmas.

D'scovered - Treasures unearthed by the Walt Disney Archives. In the coming weeks the Archives will share extremely rare imagery from the proposed Mickey Mouse Park, a concept which evolved into Disneyland; spine-tingling alternative dialogue for the Haunted Mansion penned by Disney Legend X. Atencio; the illustrated story script for "The Karnival Kid," the 1929 short in which Mickey Mouse first speaks; and a very special memento created for Walt by legendary artist Salvador Dali.

Disney A to Z - A complete and newly-updated electronic version of the definitive Disney encyclopedia with more than 7,000 entries written by Dave Smith, founder and Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives

D23 Presents - A deeper dive into all parts of Disney from the opening of Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland to rarely seen footage of the former Disney Studio on Hyperion Avenue.

Disney Legends and the Walt Disney Archives - Two new microsites; Disney Legends will provide a deeper look at those who've made significant contributions to the Disney legacy, and the Archives site will open up the doors of this venerable institution so D23 can share more of The Walt Disney Company's expansive collections.

In addition, new departments and sections include: Weird Disney, looking at some of the more unusual and outrageous pieces of Disney's past; Characters, profiling the most beloved characters from television, film and comics with concept art and complete biographies; The Quotable Walt Disney, a digitized version of the out-of-print book featuring some of Walt's most enduring words; Ask a Legend, a video feature in which Disney Legends like Marty Sklar answer fans questions; First Look, which gives members a glimpse into what's new and what's next including Monsters University; Attraction Rewind, celebrating the beloved attractions of Disney's past which once delighted theme park guests; and Muppetology, which opens up the Muppet-acular universe of our fuzzy friends. D23's popular video series Armchair Archivist and Disney Geek will also return with all-new episodes.

And that's just the beginning-on launch day, D23.com will reveal even more surprises.

D23 Free Membership will include:

• Members-Only Website Content: Access to all exclusive content on D23.com.

• Exclusive Merchandise: D23 offers its members access to exclusive, limited-edition merchandise and collectibles.

• Subscription to Weekly D23 FanFare E-newsletter with breaking news and special offers. (You may opt out of receiving FanFare after your first e-newsletter arrives.)

• Discounted tickets to the D23 Expo 2013: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

Disney’s PLANES Takes Flight


Check out this new video of Disney PLANES

From above the world of "Cars" comes "Disney's Planes," an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty's not exactly built for racing-and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty's courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. "Disney's Planes" takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013.

May 17, 2013

Outstanding Students Selected as Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 16, 2013 - With the school year coming to a close, Walt Disney World Resort recognized 16 Central Florida students who have excelled in their academic achievements and civic efforts, naming them Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars.

Entering its 30th year, the Disney Dreamers & Doers program recognizes students who have a caring spirit, consistently demonstrate outstanding character and lead by example. The group of students receiving the Shining Star distinction includes a third grader who organized several food collection drives; a sixth grader who used social media to find homes for rescued animals and a high school senior who volunteered 1,350 hours helping people in need.

"We all know dreamers and we all know doers," said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort. "What makes these students so outstanding - true Shining Stars - is that they are dreamers who take positive steps to make their dreams a reality. They are changing our communities and our world, providing inspiration to their peers and giving us hope for a brighter future."

Approximately 400 students were chosen by their schools as 2013 Disney Dreamer & Doer. From that group, a panel of judges selected the Shining Stars from elementary, middle and high schools in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties as well as the Florida Virtual School.

"Having a Disney Dreamer & Doer as well as a Shining Star is a proud moment for Timber Creek High School," said Gabriel Berrio, principal of the school. "It adds to our excitement and to the pride we already have for our students and our community."

Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars receive a Mickey Mouse statue known as a "Mousecar," a gold medallion and annual theme park passes for themselves and their immediate family.

The 2013 Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars are:

Orange County

West Creek Elementary School - Robert Sena
Orangewood Christian Middle School - Nicholas Christian Reed
Timber Creek High School -Jessica Velázquez

Osceola County

St. Cloud Elementary School - Angelika Pabón
Trinity Lutheran - Rebecca Dupuis
Celebration High School - Jaime Kaplan-Perico

Seminole County

Lake Mary Elementary School - Mary Tracy
Annunciation Catholic Academy - Hannah Veigle
The Master's Academy - Kasen Raines

Lake County

Umatilla Elementary School - Annagrace Hall
Eustis Middle School - Camryn Rivers
South Lake High School - Heather LeBlanc

Polk County

Auburndale Central Elementary School - Jennifer Morales
Lawton Chiles Middle Academy - Holt Russell
All Saints Academy - Maxwell Hewett

Florida Virtual School

Bailey Ansbaugh

To date, more than 12,400 students have been recognized as Disney Dreamers & Doers. The program is just one of the ways that Walt Disney World Resort actively supports education in Central Florida. In the past year, Disney's involvement has included Disney Helping Kids Shine grants for local school districts and early learning coalitions, more than 18,000 hours donated by Disney VoluntEARS at local schools and more than 3 million school supplies donated to students at the start of the school year.



Umatilla Elementary - 3rd grade

Annagrace Hall began a food drive at her school after realizing that one of her friends was among the many recipients of a backpack program that provides meals to those in need. She wondered what would happen if the school's pantry ran out of food, and felt she needed to take action.

The drive was a huge success, allowing her to provide families with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners, holiday gifts and gift cards for families to use in the summer months. Her "small" idea blossomed into more than she expected, and she is now planning for her second annual holiday drive.

One of Annagrace's teachers admires her for wanting to help so many people at such a young age. She describes her as an exceptional child with a sense of caring and commitment.


Eustis Middle School - 8th grade

Camryn Rivers has been involved in various charities such as Kids Against Hunger, March of Dimes, and raising dollars for Haiti. When a teacher was diagnosed with cancer and was in danger of losing her life without proper medication, Camryn took action to help.

Camryn organized a 5K race, including the sale of t-shirts and team bracelets. To her surprise, over 700 participants attended to show their support, and her profit was $15,000. These dollars were donated to her teacher to assist in her recovery.

One of Camryn's teachers said that she is dedicated to her studies and helping people in need. She describes what an honor it is to know her, and that in her case, the student has inspired the teacher.


South Lake High - 11th grade

Heather LeBlanc discovered that a local animal services facility was euthanizing animals. She decided to become involved so that innocent animals could go to deserving, loving homes. She and her cousin opened Misfit Animal Rescue.

Heather takes the animals from the facility for vaccinations and finds loving, fur-ever homes for them. She has also attended city council meetings, and the county is now working on a resolution to save these animals as well. Since her involvement, over 150 impounded dogs and cats have been saved.

One of Heather's teachers said that she has made significant impact in her county. While many students are spending weekends on the beach, she is focused on humanitarian efforts.



West Creek Elementary - 5th grade

Robert Sena has overcome challenges with a positive attitude and optimism. After a job loss forced his family to move into a motel, Robert felt compelled to help others. He volunteers at Coalition for the Homeless, and also speaks to both students and adults about healthy life habits.

Robert recently applied for and received two grants to support his passion for encouraging a healthier generation. One grant will fund a new vegetable garden at his school, and the other will be used for a garden at the Community Food & Outreach Center.

One of Robert's teachers said that he shows true dedication to his community and his academics. He is involved in many activities and sets a wonderful example for his peers.


Orangewood Christian Middle - 8th grade

Nicholas Christian Reed has a best friend. His brother is a musician, equestrian, swimmer, and has a love for traveling. Nicholas said his brother is severely autistic, and his family's biggest blessing. He teaches his brother as much as his brother teaches him, and it is his job to protect and love him.

Nicholas believes he is lucky one to have the best brother anyone could want. Although his brother is the true Dreamer & Doer, he can't tell his story, so Nicholas will just tell others about his many gifts. The relationship they have inspires Nicholas to make his home, school and community a better place.

One of Nicholas's teachers said that he commits his time and service to others with specific needs. He leads and practices a lifestyle to emulate, and excels in all areas of service.


Timber Creek High - 12th grade

Jessica Velazquez leads service-learning projects at her school and the community. Her 1,350 hours of volunteering include a variety of activities from preserving the environment to clothing and food drives to helping migrant farm workers and those who are homeless.

Although Jessica has faced emotional and financial hardship like others, she feels that helping has infused her life with hope and joy. She encourages others to take action and participate now in order to make a difference in the lives of others.

One of Jessica's teachers describes her as role model and leader. As a foster child, she has faced difficulties, yet she focuses her energy on the well-being of others.



St. Cloud Elementary - 5th grade

Angelika Pabon's visit to a homeless shelter made her realize how blessed she is to have a safe place to live. It inspired her to start a donation drive to give pajamas to those in need. To date, she and her Girl Scout troop have donated 625 pajamas to shelters, foster homes, and children in hotels.

Angelika has begun reaching out to farmers' markets and rotary clubs to collect socks and underwear for foster children. She understands that collecting these items is not the same as providing a safe home, but she feels her efforts create awareness in the community to help more children in need.

One of her teachers describes Angelika's desire to give to others as very mature for someone her age. She strives to ensure that all students feel valued and included in activities.


Trinity Lutheran - 8th grade

Rebecca Dupuis is drawn to help others. She has volunteered at various places such as the Orlando Science Center and Teen Court, and sponsors a child at the Village of Hope in Haiti. She enjoys sending letters to soldiers in Afghanistan, and appreciates what soldiers do to help all children.

Volunteering helps Rebecca feel she can make a difference, and has taught her how lucky she is to have the life she has. Her view is that a community works when its members practice basic human decency and are considerate and helpful to one another.

One of Rebecca's teachers said that her positive spirit and academic drive make a difference in her community. She helps classmates and promotes school pride through her volunteer projects.


Celebration High - 12th grade

Jaime Kaplan-Perico builds relationships with students in her intern role with the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida. At first she did not understand their choices or their hardships, until she took the time to listen to their tales of homelessness, illness, and isolation.

Jaime said the children have taught her how to be more patient and to better appreciate the simple things in life. When a student thanked her for listening to her and allowing her to express her feelings, it melted her heart. This confirmed her important role with the "club kids".

One of Jaime's teachers said she demonstrates kindness to those who face difficulties. She is involved with other organizations and has become an advocate for those in need.



Auburndale Central Elementary - 4th grade

Jennifer Morales helps her 4 year old brother to read, write, and learn his letters. Because he has a hard time sitting still, she makes learning fun, such as creating an alphabetical train to teach him letters, or going on an alphabetical treasure hunt. She wants him to get a step closer to his future.

Jennifer's brother speaks in Spanish during the day, but switches to English when she gets home. She teaches him big words, like hypothesis and onomatopoeia. Jennifer said that teaching him helps her too, and because learning is fun, he is always eager to learn.

One of Jennifer's teachers describes her as a leader, both in school and at home. She is not afraid to try new things and does her best all the time. She can do whatever she puts her mind to.


Lawton Chiles Middle Academy - 8th grade

Holt Russell is a kite surfer and owner of Rejoyce Cotton Candy. After meeting a 2-year old in Guatemala who had been left in a garbage can by a mother who could not care for him, he decided to focus his efforts on building an orphanage for children in Africa.

Holt's company is named after his grandmother Joyce, who had an enormous heart for orphans. His cotton candy machine appears at many community events and he even went kite surfing from Miami to the Florida Keys to raise money for his cause.

One of Holt's teachers said that he gives 100% to anything he does. He is respectful, kind, and makes the extra effort to help other students and teachers.


All Saints Academy - 12th grade

For the past 5 years, Maxwell Hewett has accompanied his father, who is a dentist, to Guatemala to provide dental services in impoverished communities. Parents in these communities must pay $8 per month to send their children to school, yet families cannot afford to pay this amount.

Maxwell created a nonprofit with his sister called the Guatemala Awareness Project. On one of their trips, they purchased 500 handmade bracelets that are sold here, and all profits are sent to Guatemala so that more students are able to enroll in school.

One of Maxwell's teachers said that while most students spend their summers improving themselves, he spends his free time improving the lives of others. He is more than a dreamer - he is a doer.



Lake Mary Elementary - 5th grade

Mary Tracy has 4 siblings. Her brother and sister have extra needs, and she helps her family by doing a variety of chores. When her brother is afraid during thunderstorms, she sits with him. When her sister needs help in her wheelchair, she makes her comfortable so she can breathe better.

Mary's involvement in Girl Scouts allows her to also help others in need through volunteer projects. She knows she is not doing things that matter to the world, but she is doing things that matter to those she loves. She doesn't believe she has changed the world, but she knows she has changed herself.

One of Mary's teachers describes her as kind, caring, and responsible. Both Mary and her family work together to make the world a better place through kindness and good deeds.


Annunciation Catholic Academy - 8th grade

Hannah Veigle was diagnosed with diabetes in fifth grade. Although others felt she would have limits, Hannah wanted to prove them wrong. She started a walk team called Hannah's Troops and has raised over $20,000 to fight juvenile diabetes.

Hannah is active in other activities as well. She has a pen pal in Haiti who is an orphan and fighting HIV. Her pen pal inspires her and she hopes to meet her someday. She describes diabetes as a gift that pushes her to put her best foot forward, always be optimistic, and actively pursue her dreams.

One of Hannah's teachers admires her positive outlook and behaviors. She could have felt sorry for herself after her diagnosis, but instead used it as an opportunity to help others.


The Master's Academy - 12th grade

Kasen Raines found her passion while working in India in 2009. She undertook a project to rescue girls from slavery, and through this experience learned the power of listening, sharing, and hope. When she returned to the US, she began mentoring girls struggling with self-image and other issues.

Kasen's efforts have resulted in the collection of over 550 phones for Harbor House to help victims of child slavery. She also tutors students and serves as a mentor for several girls. She does not want to ignore the pain of those around her, and continues in her campaign to help girls around the world.

One of Kasen's teachers describes how her global perspective and outreach has touched the lives of students and teachers. Her cell phone drive was creative and inspirational.


Florida Virtual School - 6th grade

Bailey Ansbaugh went on a trip to Osceola County Animal Control, and that sparked a passion. When she found out she was too young to volunteer, she decided to collect loads of newspapers, blankets, and comfort items to make the dogs more comfortable.

Her next project was to find homes willing to adopt. Her first puppy save was a pit bull who was not going to be kept at the center very long, so she knew she had to do something fast. She began a Facebook campaign and was able to find a home for Cookie.

One of Bailey's teachers said that because of her involvement, animals have many of the supplies needed for their care. She continues her work on finding homes for all the animals.

May 19, 2013

New Marceline Neighborhood in Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort Now on Sale

Golden Oak Logo
Luxury resort residential community sees growing demand for homes

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (May 15, 2013) - Following brisk sales of home-sites, Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort announced plans for its newest neighborhood, Marceline. Sale of the first 19 home sites will begin today.

As part of the Golden Oak community, Marceline residents will enjoy a lifestyle surrounded by the Walt Disney World Resort. This quiet, luxurious enclave is located in close proximity to Disney theme parks and recreation. Taking advantage of its natural setting, more than half of the Marceline home-sites will offer water views and others will border on a nature preserve. Each home-site is approximately one-quarter acre in size and is within easy walking distance of Summerhouse, the private clubhouse for Golden Oak residents and their guests.

Marceline will showcase the same quality custom home building found throughout Golden Oak today, with residences drawing design and architectural inspiration from European and Caribbean influences. Buyers can select from three prestigious home builders to create custom homes ranging in size from approximately 3,800 to 4,500 square feet.

Golden Oak homes start at $1.6 million. Prices, inclusive of home-site, in the Marceline neighborhood will start at $1.7 million.

"We've been delighted by the positive response over the past 24 months," said Page Pierce, vice president of Disney Resort Real Estate Development. "Our first four Golden Oak neighborhoods are nearly sold out, so Marceline quite literally builds on that success."

Marceline is named after the Missouri town where Walt Disney grew up in the early part of the 20th century. Memories from those formative years profoundly influenced creative directions he took throughout his life.

Walt's animation legacy has roots in Marceline, where he first picked up a pencil and sketchpad to try his hand at drawing. The new Golden Oak neighborhood pays homage to that history with a planned sculpture park that will feature enchanting life-size sculptures of characters from Walt's animated masterpiece Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The sculptures are part of the exclusive Golden Oak "Disney Friends in Nature" sculpture series. Sophisticated interpretations of classic Disney animation will be found in parks and other common areas throughout the community.

"The sculpture series is just one example of subtle Disney touches artfully woven into the luxurious character of Golden Oak," Pierce said. "Our Disney Imagineers poured their talents into creating a community that's thoughtful in design, rich with details and home to a lifestyle like no other."

Marceline is just one of many new additions to Golden Oak. The recently opened Summerhouse, the private residential club facility, is the centerpiece of community activities and events. Reminiscent of a large Tuscan farmhouse, it offers delightful spaces for indoor and outdoor gatherings, a pool, fitness facilities with locker rooms, and a family game room. The Summerhouse restaurant and private lounge will debut later this year, offering dining in a casual, yet sophisticated environment.

Summerhouse is also home to Golden Oak Resident Services, the team that brings Disney's guest-service culture directly to residents. Resident Services can arrange personal, residential and resort requests. Services include assistance with travel and private transportation arrangements, tickets for Disney theme parks and special events, private VIP tours, golf tee-times, dinner reservations, and planning parties. It's like having a Fairy Godmother to handle every detail.

Golden Oak residents can also take advantage of "Disney Connection" amenities. These special services include door-to-park transportation to select locations at Walt Disney World Resort, Extra Magic Hours (at one Walt Disney World Resort theme park each day to enjoy select attractions), merchandise delivery from most Walt Disney World retail locations and discounts at all Walt Disney World golf courses.

For more information about Golden Oak, visit www.disneygoldenoak.com or call (407) 939-5593.


Golden Oak brings together family, friends, and cherished Disney traditions in a unique, luxury residential resort community of single-family custom homes with prices starting at $1.6 million. To live at Golden Oak is to enjoy a year-round resort lifestyle that includes distinctive neighborhoods, expansive nature preserves, and an unsurpassed array of amenities and concierge-style resident services. The community's resort and recreation options include a private clubhouse and, scheduled to open in 2014, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort and a championship golf course.

Golden Oak offers a refined interpretation of resort living. Home-sites are carefully placed to maximize privacy and landscape views, while home designs reflect the character and presence of century-old dwellings. Once fully developed, Golden Oak is anticipated to include approximately 450 homes and encompass 980 acres.

A Tour of Golden Oak

Press Releases

May 20, 2013

Canine Couples Don Tiaras & Tails for Doggy Prom

42 Pups "put on the dog" at Best Friends at Walt Disney World Resort

Prom season went to the dogs this week at Best Friends Pet Care at Walt Disney World Resort. More than 40 dogs donned bow ties, boas, tiaras and tails to attend the first-ever Doggy Prom.

The canine couples walked the red carpet into the Best Friends doggy day camp room, which was decorated in a Starry Night theme with dark blue and silver streamers and stars. There was doggy dancing under the disco ball and, just like at high school proms everywhere, a doggy prom King and Queen were crowned.


The staff, wearing prom attire too, took photos of each canine couple to send home to mom and dad.

"Our pet parents really got into the prom spirit with some fanciful prom wear for their canine kids," said Best Friends manager Jennifer Kratzer. "Prom was fun for the dogs, fun for our staff and fun for the parents, too."

Best Friends is a full service pet care center where Walt Disney World guests will find boarding, grooming and a wide range of special service and amenities. It is located 2510 Bonnet Creek Parkway in Lake Buena Vista, across from Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort. For information call 877-493-9738 or visit www.bestfriendspetcare.com/waltdisneyworldresort.

May 22, 2013

Sales Begin May 23 for The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney Vacation Club Members Can Now Own a Piece of Victorian Splendor Within View of Magic Kingdom Park

Celebration, Fla. (May 20, 2013) - The grandeur of one of the premier properties at the Walt Disney World Resort will meet the family vacation style that only Disney Vacation Club can provide when The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa opens this fall.

Beginning Thursday, May 23, current Disney Vacation Club members will be able to purchase real estate interests at what will be Disney Vacation Club's 12th resort. General sales will begin June 19.

"We are absolutely thrilled to add this casually elegant new resort to our Disney Vacation Club portfolio," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club. "This resort will welcome families home with modern luxury and style, in a location that can only be described as spectacular. Within walking distance of a monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will serve as an ideal setting for family vacations and create truly cherished memories for our members."

Disney Vacation Club is building 106 two-bedroom equivalent villas on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon as part of a previously announced expansion of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa that will also include a lively children's water-play area and other amenities.

Once opened, the new property will feature deluxe studios and one-bedroom villas that sleep five guests, as well as two-bedroom villas that sleep nine guests. Additionally, expansive grand villas will sleep 12 guests and will feature multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a media room with a home theater system, all designed to bring families closer to create memories that last a lifetime. All of the deluxe studios and villas will feature decor reminiscent of the Victorian era, made playful and relaxed with classic Disney touches.

"When Disney Vacation Club members and guests stay at our newest resort, they will have access to all of the wonderful amenities available nearby at the jewel in the crown of Disney's vacation kingdom - Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - including spectacular pools, award-winning dining, extensive recreation options, and transportation to all of the amazing theme parks at Walt Disney World," Potrock said.

Scheduled to open in October 2013, this Disney Vacation Club property will be nestled on the picturesque shores of Seven Seas Lagoon between the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Polynesian Resort. Conveniently located nearby is Senses - A Disney Spa, as well as Disney's Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses.

Disney Vacation Club revolutionized the timeshare industry when it debuted in October 1991 by offering a flexible, vacation point-based model versus the traditional fixed-week timeshare model. Today, more than 175,000 member families from all 50 states and approximately 100 countries have discovered the joys of membership with Disney Vacation Club.

Disney Vacation Club members are able to choose from among a variety of exciting vacation destinations, including a stay at any Disney Vacation Club resort or a jaunt to one of more than 500 other destinations around the world, and when they purchase directly from Disney, members also can take trips on one of the Disney Cruise Line ships or guided vacations with Adventures by Disney. Additionally, vacations at a Disney Vacation Club resort can last from one night to several weeks.

Monstrous Music

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Disney-Pixar's "Monsters University" Hits Campus with Music from Randy Newman and Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia
"Monsters University" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Set for Release on June 18

BURBANK, Calif. (May 22, 2013) - Disney-Pixar's "Monsters University" rocks theaters this summer featuring music from award-winning composer Randy Newman and Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia. Filmmakers also tapped the Atlanta-based hard rock band Mastodon to serenade one the film's new monsters. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, "Monsters University" hits theaters June 21, 2013, with the short film "The Blue Umbrella," which features music by composer Jon Brion and vocals by Sarah Jaffe.

"We wanted to capture the college feel in 'Monsters University,'" said Scanlon, "and music is a big part of that. The score and the inclusion of other great musicians like Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso [of Swedish House Mafia] and Mastodon help us convey a fun, freewheeling college atmosphere."

Newman Scores!
Oscar®- Grammy®- and Emmy®-winning composer/songwriter Newman is back, marking his seventh Disney-Pixar film. The 20-time Oscar nominee's wins include "If I Didn't Have You" for "Monsters, Inc." and "We Belong Together" for "Toy Story 3." The recently inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member created a full Alma Mater titled "Monsters University," establishing a recurring collegiate theme. "We recruited the team at Pixar Canada to record the Alma Mater," said Scanlon. "We needed a giant crowd of crazy monster students to be singing it and the Canada team was great for this-the end result is sort of perfectly 'off.' Actually, the first time we recorded it, it was really good. I had to say, 'Guys, these are college students at a sporting event, let's mess it up a little bit.'"

Newman added a unique flair to his score, calling on renowned international drum corps The Blue Devils to contribute a definitively collegiate sound. The composer also incorporated concert band music to exemplify the feeling of being in school. In fact, said Newman, "There's a little bit of Brahms' 'Academic Festival Overture' when Mike is riding the pig. I like to think Brahms would be extremely flattered by his inclusion in the score."

The score-recorded with a 112-piece orchestra-features a few character themes, including an accordion tune to help illustrate the less-than-cool status of the Oozma Kappa fraternity; a laidback shuffle to introduce Sulley; and the aspiring Scare student Mike Wazowski is often accompanied by a clarinet that, Newman notes, changes as Mike's character arc evolves.

May 23, 2013

Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa - On Sale


Limited-Time Pricing - Just for Members

From now to June 18, 2013, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is on sale only for Members at a price of $145 per vacation point.

On June 19, the price increases to $150 per vacation point-when the sale of this Resort also becomes open to the public.

Call your Vacation Club Guide today for more details.

You must be a current Member to take advantage of this limited-time opportunity.

This exclusive Member-only limited-time pricing of $145 per vacation point ends on June 18, 2013

If you would like to take advantage of this offer but do not know your Vacation Club Guide, call 888-603-4169

Launch Period Booking Window

As Home Resort Priority reservations for The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort will begin only 5 months before the Resort's scheduled October 23, 2013 opening date, Disney Vacation Club has temporarily altered traditional booking windows to ensure that Members who call this Resort "home" will still enjoy Home Resort priority.

Members who own at The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort may begin using their Home Resort vacation points to book stays at the Resort for check-in dates as far as 11 months out, as normal.

However, when reservations open to other Members beginning June 23, 2013, reservations with check-in dates ranging from October 23, 2013 through December 31, 2013 will be available in a 4-month booking window instead of the usual 7. Reservations with check-in dates beginning on or after January 1, 2014, will be available to be booked through their typical 7-month booking window starting on June 23.

This temporary alteration of traditional booking windows is designed to provide Home Resort Priority during the grand opening of this new Resort.

2013 Point Chart for Villas at Grand Floridian

2014 Point Chart for Villas at Grand Floridian

Disney Legends Richard Sherman and Alan Menken to Perform at D23 Expo

The two Academy Award®-winning composers share the stage for one night only performing "The Disney Songbook" at the D23 Expo 2013, Saturday, August 10

BURBANK, Calif. - May 23, 2013 - For one night only, two of the world's most celebrated songwriters and composers will take to the stage for "Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook." The concert will take place at the D23 Expo 2013 at the Anaheim Convention Center in the D23 Expo Arena on Saturday, August 10.

Together Sherman and Menken have won a combined 10 Academy Awards for their work with Disney, and have composed music and songs for more than three dozen Disney feature films, over two dozen Disney Park attractions and half a dozen Disney musicals on Broadway.

"I can't express how excited I am that my esteemed friend Alan Menken and I will be sharing the same bill for the very first time," said Sherman. "Alan is an incredible talent, and I know we're both thrilled to be performing for Disney's most ardent fans-they're the best and I can't wait to be a part of what promises to be a very special night for all of us."

"Richard Sherman and I share so many things; our cherished association with The Walt Disney Company, the blessing of having the opportunity to share our musical talents with "children of all ages" and a genuine mutual admiration-but one thing we've never gotten to share is a concert stage," said Menken. "This summer at the D23 Expo 2013, we will do just that. And I can't think of anyone I'd prefer to share that stage with. Richard, along with his brother Robert, wrote songs that filled my formative years with joy and fantasy. And, all these years later, I can say with complete honesty that there is no one I've met in our business who is more warm and generous than my friend and fellow songwriter, Richard Sherman."

Admission to the concert will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to the D23 Expo. In addition to the 4,000-seat D23 Expo Arena, the concert will be simulcast into a 2,000-seat overflow theater inside the Convention Center.

Richard M. Sherman and his brother Robert B. Sherman composed some of the most beloved songs in the Disney canon. The Disney Legends won two Oscars® for their work on Mary Poppins, and during their decades-long association with Disney they wrote more than 200 songs for 27 films and two dozen television productions. They made unforgettable contributions to such Disney films as The Parent Trap, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and the entire Winnie the Pooh series, as well as the family classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They also penned beloved songs for Disney Parks including the theme songs for Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, it's a small world, and Carousel of Progress. Richard wrote the song "Make Way for Tomorrow Today" for the blockbuster film Iron Man 2, and is working on a new stage musical based on Walt Disney's 1967 animated film classic The Jungle Book, premiering this June at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.

With eight Academy Awards, Alan Menken has received more Oscars than any living person. He has written songs and scores for some of the world's most beloved films: Tangled (Oscar nominee), Enchanted (three Oscar nominations) The Little Mermaid (two Oscar wins), Beauty and the Beast (two Oscar wins), Aladdin (two Oscar wins), Pocahontas (two Oscar wins), Hercules (Oscar nominee), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Oscar nominee), Little Shop of Horrors (Oscar nominee), Home on the Range and Newsies. His song "Star Spangled Man," was the patriotic anthem of the 2011 hit film Captain America: The First Avenger.

Menken's Broadway successes include his 2012 Tony Award® for Newsies, plus The Little Mermaid (Tony Award nominee), Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, and Sister Act (Tony Award nominee). His other stage productions include King David, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and his latest stage production Aladdin: The New Musical, opening next year. At Disney Parks, Menken added an exclusive ballad ("To Be Free") to his song score for Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure and penned "Compass of Your Heart," the catchy theme song for the attraction Sinbad's Storybook Voyage at Tokyo DisneySea

Tickets for the D23 Expo are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Though June 15, tickets are $52 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children 3-12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $45 for a one-day adult admission and $37 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available for both D23 Members and the general public, and D23 Members can save as much as $144 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate before June 15. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for members and general admission, visit D23Expo.com.

About D23 Expo 2013
The D23 Expo-The Ultimate Disney Fan Event-brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, and theme parks. For the latest D23 Expo 2013 news, visit D23Expo.com. To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo.

Walt Disney Family Museum - Explore a Gothic Wonderland

Walt Disney Family Museum


Camille Rose Garcia: Down the Rabbit Hole

Now through November 3, 2013 | Theater Gallery

Free for members or with Museum admission

Special exhibition Camille Rose Garcia: Down the Rabbit Hole features some 40 works by goth-inspired lowbrow artist Garcia alongside ten Alice in Wonderland concept paintings by Disney artist Mary Blair from the Museum's collection. Organized by guest curator Tere Romo, the exhibition celebrates not only Garcia and Blair's artistry across decades and artistic styles, but also the power of art to draw us into magical worlds that spark engagement and inspiration.

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Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons

Now through July 7, 2013 | Special Exhibition Hall

Free for members. Non-members ticket price: $10 general | Combination ticket which includes general museum admission: $25 adults, $20 seniors & students, $15 children ages 6 to 17.

For six weeks only, the Museum presents Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons, which features 50 works, by legendary author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, accompanied by 50 statements from celebrities, authors, and noted personalities on the influence of Sendak's work, all in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his universally revered book, Where the Wild Things Are.

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Film of the Month: Where the Wild Things Are

Screens through June, daily at 11am, 1:30 & 4pm (except Tuesdays & select times-check our calendar online for exceptions) | Theater

Free for members or with Museum admission | Without Museum admission: $7 adult, $5 youth

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PANEL DISCUSSION | Stealing from Sendak

Saturday, June 1 | 3pm | Theater

Members: $18 adult, $14 youth | Non-members: $20 adult, $15 youth

For more than 40 years, Maurice Sendak's books have nurtured children and adults alike. The New York Times wrote that Sendak's work, "has brought a new dimension to the American children's book and has helped to change how people visualize childhood." As an author and illustrator, Sendak influenced not only a generation of readers but also a new generation of picture book artists. This panel discussion brings together six award-winning Bay Area authors and illustrators to explore Sendak's influence on their own work and contemporary children's books. Join Ashley Wolff, Christy Hale, Lisa Brown, Jim Averbeck, Maria van Lieshout, and Julie Downing as they discuss how and why they, and so many others, have "stolen" from Sendak.

(Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition, Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons)

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TALKS | Disney/Pixar 101
Saturday, June 15 | 3pm | Theater
Members: $18 adult, $14 youth | Non-members: $20 adult, $15 youth
This multimedia event featuring Pixar producer Jonas Rivera and Disney historian Don Peri presents the stories of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, and their interconnection with The Walt Disney Company.

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LOOK CLOSER | Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons
Friday-Sunday, June 21-23
11am, 1 & 3pm | Theater Gallery
Free for members or with Museum admission
Dig deeper into the work of Fantasia-inspired visionary Maurice Sendak. This gallery talk is in offered conjunction with special exhibition Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons.

PANEL DISCUSSION | Disney and the Mechanized Magic of Audio-Animatronics®
Saturday, June 22 | 3pm | Theater
Members: $18 adult, $14 youth | Non-members: $20 adult, $15 youth

Join us for a conversation about the incredible story of theme park animatronics featuring Garner Holt and special guests, Bob Gurr and Bill Farmer, who helped transform Walt Disney's vision for dimensional animated characters into reality.

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OPEN STUDIO | Illustration and Storytelling in Children's Books
Saturday & Sunday, June 1 & 2, 8 & 9 | 1-4pm | Learning Center
Free for members or with Museum admission
Drop in to participate in illustration activities and storytelling inspired by children's books.

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS | Where Do the Wild Things Go?
Saturday, June 1 | 10am-12:30pm| Learning Center
Members: $55 | Non-member: $60 adult, $45 student (valid student ID required)
Like a movie, a picture book is not just a single picture, but a sequence of narrative and images that tell a story. The text and illustrations work together to create a story arc. The layout of the text and pictures allows the story to build to a climax and resolution. This hands on workshop focuses on how to establish the rhythm of a book. Using text from a simple picture book, participants will learn about creating a story arc, using the page turn to create drama and the importance of the marriage of text and pictures.

About the Instructor: Julie Downing has written and or illustrated over 40 books for children. Her books have received many awards including a Parent's Choice Award, Bank Street College of Education Silver Medal, and a NY Public Library Best Books award. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and currently teaches Watercolor and Children's Book Illustration to both graduate and undergraduate students at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her latest book, First Mothers, a biography of all the mothers of the presidents, was published in September 2012 by Clarion Books. She is currently working on a book about best friends, who just happen to be a mummy and a vampire.

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ANIMATE YOUR NIGHT | Enchanted Tiki Oasis Pre-Party
Friday, June 21 | 7-10pm | Museum-wide
Members: $8 | Non-members: $12 | Ages 18+

Welcome to our tropical hideaway, you lucky people you! Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room as we team up with the Tiki Oasis gang for an adventure-filled night of Hawaiiana. Join Charles Phoenix for a time travel tour extravaganza with his Retro Disneyland Slide Show. Enjoy eats from Wexler's and other food trucks. Sip on exotic cocktails from San Francisco's own Smuggler's Cove, while DJ Otto von Stroheim slings records all night long. Top your evening off with the Tiki Room's signature dessert, the Dole Whip.

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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 | Non-members: $20 adults, $15 seniors and students, $12 youth under 17, free for children 5 and under

May 24, 2013

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins - Cool Facts


For years, SeaWorld Orlando has taken guests on amazing journeys of adventure. Each time, the park opens a window to worlds guests could never experience on their own.

Now open, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is the single largest attraction expansion ever at SeaWorld Orlando and the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando. A combination of innovative technology and up-close encounters with penguins in their 30-degree world makes Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin an all-new realm and a thrilling, chilling adventure of a lifetime.

Here are a few icebergs of information:

The Icy Inspiration Behind Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin

• Antarctica - the continent - is largely unexplored. The land locked under 9,000 feet of ice in some places is not owned or claimed by any one country. The weather is always changing and always harsh. Yet this land at the bottom of the world is home to the most amazing animals in the world. Antarctica is the empire of the penguin.

• Temperatures can get as cold as -129 degrees Fahrenheit, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth! About 90% of our planet's ice is found in Antarctica, but it's melting away at an alarming rate.

• 70% of the world's supply of freshwater is stored there.

• Remote. Hostile. Beautiful. This extraordinary continent is critical for maintaining Earth's climate, ocean temperatures and all life on our planet. Although Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, highest and driest place on Earth, there's a lot of life both above and below the water's surface. Tiny plant and animal plankton, shrimp-like krill, squids, penguins and other seabirds, leopard seals, killer whales and big baleen whales are all part of the Antarctic food web.

The Feathered Stars of the Realm

• A colony of nearly 250 penguins -- gentoo, Adelie, king and rockhopper penguins -- welcome guests in to their freezing world and immerse them in their snowy, rocky, icy home.

• When joining the penguin colony, guests will be in frosty 30-degree temperatures.

• Penguins are attuned to the sun, determining courting, nesting and molting behaviors. The computerized lighting system is adjusted every 7 to 22 days to simulate sunrise and sunset, and seasonally to simulate springtime light and wintertime dark.

• A three-level viewing area with floor-to-ceiling windows invites guests to marvel at the underwater action of these "flightless" birds in the nearly 170,000-gallon saltwater, 16-foot deep, 40-degree pool.

A Chilly Reception for SeaWorld Guests

• Guests go through an acclimation process to prepare for the freezing temperatures found in the penguin colony. At various stages during the adventure - and before the guests join the penguins in their world - SeaWorld designers lower both temperature and humidity, priming explorers to enter the penguin habitat.

• During the journey to the penguin colony, guests also begin to grasp the unpredictability of the environment. SeaWorld reproduces blizzard-type conditions, showcasing the extremes of Antarctica's weather.
• Guests are immersed in temps as low as 30 degrees during their traverse throughout the realm, making this the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando.

• Technologically advanced airtight doors, humidifiers and air purifiers create Antarctic conditions for guests and penguins.

The Amazing Ride That Takes You On An Epic Voyage

• Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin combines state-of-the-art interactive ride technologies and up-close animal encounters for adventures that are different each time.

• The first-of-its-kind ride propels guests on a trackless, mobile simulator, using advanced magnetic technology. Guests are transported into the storyline as they travel on an adventure through the eyes of our special penguin host, Puck.

• Guests can choose how much motion they want during the journey to see the penguins. The Wild Expedition has a ride height minimum of 42" (under 48" with adult supervision). Mild Expedition riders need to be able sit up on their own, meaning that even seated toddlers can enjoy the experience (no children on laps).

• In the queue and throughout the attraction, the common theme of family is evident. Penguins are only able to survive in one of the harshest places on earth because of the strength of their colony. They cannot survive alone. Guests discover the mirror connection of penguin families to human families " that we, too, are stronger together.

Recreating Antarctica in Orlando

• Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando.

• Surrounded by the sights, sounds and awesome encounters found in this frozen land, guests embark on an incredible family adventure to discover an environment less than 1% of the population will ever experience.

• Hand-blown "icicles" made of Pyrex® and glass replicate the perfect clarity of the pure ice in Antarctica. SeaWorld even embedded the exterior ice rockwork with microscopic tumbled glass balls that glisten and sparkle in the sun like to mimic real ice crystals.

• Glaciers range from 10 to 50 feet tall.

• In addition to the majestic sounds of the penguin colony, a one-hour, all original score, drifts through the realm.

• It took nearly 400 designers, craftsmen, animators, a symphony orchestra, penguin experts, scenic and lighting designers, and ride experts to conceive, plan and build Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.

The Mystifying Music

• A 65-member piece orchestra recorded the music, which was recorded in a church in Seattle.

• The attraction features an all-original score that was written by a local Orlando composer, Mike Avila. It took 1 ½ years to create the musical score, record it with the orchestra and bring it all together inside the attraction.

• Creating a beautiful musicscape, there are five zones of music throughout the realm.

• When the full sound experience happens, guests will feel the chilly wind blowing at 22 MPH, which is considered blizzard-like conditions.

• Award-winning county music artist, Lauren Alaina, sings the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin theme song, Antarctica: One World, One Family.

The Fare Infused with Freshies

• Guests will enjoy the Expedition Café Marketplace featuring American, Asian and Italian cuisine, three major signatories of the original Antarctic Treaty.

• A hydroponic garden produces fresh herbs that chefs incorporate into the menu.

• Outside seating available under canvas-type sails and two Quonset-type huts, provide seating for 325 guests dining on a mix of cooked-to-order food and quick-serve delights.

• The Coca-Cola Freestyle dispenser gives guests more than 100 brands of beverages at their fingertips to quench their thirst.

The Souvenir of Science

• Perfect for the penguin palette, Glacial Collections gift shop offers everything for the penguin lover. The retail shop's color scheme of black, bright yellows, oranges and whites, and the penguin-shaped displays welcome guests to browse the cache of splendid penguin-related items.

• Hero Puck is anticipated to be the popular take home treasure. His journey, his love of family, and his connection, especially to children, make him a very desirable keepsake.

The Cup That Cares

• Conservation-minded guests will love the new Cup that Cares program. These souvenir cups are embedded with a programmable chip that can be personalized to the guest.

-- Every time a guest refills the cup at Antarctica's South Pole Chill, a personalized greeting is delivered thanking the guest for using the refillable cup and reducing their carbon footprint.

• A portion of the proceeds from each Cup That Cares purchase will be donated to the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens® Conservation Fund.

-- In addition to direct support of hundreds of environmental, research and conservation projects, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment provides millions of dollars in cash, support and human resources to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. A registered non-profit conservation foundation, the Fund has granted $9 million in support of projects around the world in more than 60 countries.

The Education Station

• Three SeaWorld educators are located throughout the realm to engage with guests, teach about penguins and Antarctica, and answer questions.

• Interactive touch screens invite kids to learn about penguin colonies and how working together as a community is key for survival.

• The global family of penguins -- 18 species found in the southern hemisphere - emerges from a large rock wall, giving guests the opportunity to "measure up" to life-size penguins and pose for great photos. The species found in Antarctica are located at the bottom of the display, a perfect height for little ones to get up close to.

• All 18 species of penguins are protected by international law and six species are endangered.

Penguin Puzzlers

• Can you find the king penguin carved into the "ice" somewhere in the queue?

• Our iconic hero Shamu® is hidden somewhere in the exterior realm of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin ice work. Have you seen him yet?

• Be sure to look down. Four species of penguin footprints can be found as you make your way toward the ride cars.

• The coordinates of the Antarctic continent show up on an exterior lighting pole. Another pole includes the date, December 1, 1959, when the original Antarctica Treaty was signed. Were you illuminated?

• How many countries were the original signatories of the Antarctic Treaty? (Hint: Count the flags at the Expedition Café for the answer.) These countries were also the first countries to participate in the scientific research on the continent.

• Watch out for a blizzard! A few times each hour a blizzard will pass through Antarctica in the soundscape and lighting effects. It's okay; you don't have to take cover.

• The pinnacle penguin puzzler: As you travel through the realm, how many penguins can you find imaginatively embedded into the scenery?

May 28, 2013


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2013 - Just six months after opening its doors, Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom Park earned national recognition for the groundbreaking dining experience being provided to guests in New Fantasyland.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts received an Operator Innovation Award from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) for the technology at the restaurant. An independent panel of expert judges recognized Disney for driving advancement in the foodservice industry.

"The 2013 Operator Innovations Awards winners redefine how the industry views innovation and will serve as the benchmark for other operators to apply the same innovative spirit within their own operations," said Jeffrey W. Davis, convention chair for NRA Show 2013.

At Be Our Guest Restaurant, state-of-the-art touch-screen terminals allow guests to customize their ordersso chefs can efficiently prepare and serve a meals to their liking. The personalized, streamlined experience enables Be Our Guest restaurant to serve more than 3,000 meals at lunch each day.

Be Our Guest Restaurant at New Fantasyland continues the evolution of Disney's food and beverage offerings with great storytelling and several other elements, including "flex" dining, transforming from a fast-casual location during lunch to a table-service dining experience each evening.

Monsters University - It All Began Here

Here's a new video clip for the upcoming Monsters University movie!

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer-and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.

May 30, 2013

Disney's Planes New Trailer!


Check out the latest trailer of Disney PLANES

Check out other video and photos from Disney's Planes

From above the world of "Cars" comes "Disney's Planes," an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty's not exactly built for racing-and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty's courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. "Disney's Planes" takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013. For more information, check out Disney.com/Planes, like us on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyPlanes and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyPictures.

D23 Expo Dream Store and Silent Auction Return



Special logo apparel, product debuts, artist signings, and a new silent auction
will highlight the Ultimate Disney Event for Fans and Families August 9-11

BURBANK and ANAHEIM, Calif. - May 30, 2013 - Bursting with D23 Expo-themed official merchandise and other specialty items from Disney Theme Park Merchandise, the D23 Expo Dream Store returns with something magical for Disney fans of all ages. From Disney-inspired apparel, art and collectibles, accessories, books and more, the D23 Expo Dream Store is a Disney enthusiast's dream come true. Highlights include:

Official D23 Expo Merchandise will allow Disney fans to take home a piece of the magic from this year's expo, with an assortment of official D23 Expo inspired merchandise including tees, baseball cap, fleece, jewelry, drink ware, accessories, pins, and Vinylmation™.

HARVEYS Seatbeltbags® are sure to make a statement at this year's D23 Expo. This new collection which features Sorcerer Mickey, classic D's and more on some of HARVEYS most popular silhouettes, were created especially for this year's 2013 Expo.

Disney Theme Park Merchandise will showcase some of its newest releases from Disney licensees and artists, including ACME Archives Limited, Dave Avanzino, Disney Design Group, Dooney & Bourke, Duffy the Disney Bear, Noah, Robert Olszewski, Precious Moments, Linda Rick, Jim Shore, and more.

ACME Archives Limited invites guests to make the magic come alive in your home with the latest releases from Disney-Pixar, Disney Studio Art, Disney Limited, Disney Underground and more.

Disney Design Group highlights a new Signature Collection of artwork including four captivating pieces filled with imagination, which bring to life Sorcerer Mickey and some of Disney's most beloved characters.

Disney Dream Collection and D23 Expo-Exclusive Jewelry will dazzle audiences with a sparkling new selection of fine jewelry debuting as part of this year's D23 Expo and featuring classic Disney icons and characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Tinker Bell, among others.

Dream Store Autograph Sessions will give Disney fans the opportunity to meet and greet some of their favorite authors, artists, Disney Legends and other notable celebrities. Autograph sessions will be posted daily at the D23 Expo Dream Store.

D23 Expo 2013 Silent Auction offers Disney enthusiasts the rare opportunity to bid on unique artifacts, artwork, experiences, props and more. The D23 Expo 2013 Silent Auction takes place Saturday, August 10, 2013. Tickets for the Silent Auction go on sale June 11, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific) via www.ArtofDisneyParks.com. Separate D23 Expo admission is required.

Please continue to watch as we release more details about Dream Store merchandise offerings, silent auction lots, and more on www.Disney.com/D23 and www.ArtofDisneyParks.com and on Facebook and Twitter at "DisneyD23".

The Art of Tyrus Wong - Walt Disney Family Museum

Walt Disney Family Museum
The Walt Disney Family Museum Presents Special Exhibition
Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong
At age 102, Wong is the oldest living Chinese-American Artist

May 28, 2013, San Francisco, CA - From August 15, 2013 to February 3, 2014, The Walt Disney Family Museum will present the exhibition Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong. Organized by Michal Labrie, the museum's director of collections, the exhibition will focus on the life and work of Chinese-American artist Tyrus Wong-a celebrated painter, muralist, kite maker, lithographer, Hollywood sketch artist, calligrapher, ceramicist, and Disney Legend. At age 102, Wong is still a practicing artist today.

This retrospective features more than 150 works including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, painted scarves, kites, and more. Although he never met Walt Disney, it was the ethereal beauty of Wong's Eastern influenced paintings that caught Walt's eye and became the inspiration for the animated feature Bambi, which changed the way animation art was presented, and continues to be an inspiration to contemporary artists.

Overcoming adversity, poverty, and racial discrimination, Wong used his passion and interpretation of the bold art of the Sung dynasty, and his experience working as a Depression- era muralist, California watercolorist, and film production illustrator, to become one of the bohemian artists whose creativity and drive helped shape the cultural, artistic life of Los Angeles during the 1930s and 40s.

In 1938, Wong took a job at the Walt Disney Studios as an inbetweener, one who goes through the tedious process of making "in-between" drawings that filled out the movement of the characters between the animators' key drawings. He recalled "At the end of the day, I thought my eyes were going to pop out," as he flipped through countless drawings of Mickey Mouse and stared at the light in the drawing board. When he heard that Disney's next feature-length film was going to be Bambi, he saw an opportunity to present his work.

Wong read Felix Salten's Bambi and "thought the story was very, very nice-the feeling-you could almost smell the pine," and made sample sketches creating the lush mountain and forest settings, inspired by Sung dynasty landscape paintings. He had a different approach and one that had never been seen before in an animated film. He explained, "I tried to keep it very, very simple and create the atmosphere, the feeling of the forest." Tom Codrick, the film's art director, was impressed with his sensitive style, which was vastly different from the more ornate style of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which preceded it. Tyrus's Chinese-inspired sketches and paintings set the look and tone for Bambi, and were some of the most strikingly beautiful art ever produced at the Walt Disney Studios.

In 2001, Wong was named a Disney Legend, and his work continues to inspire and influence the leading animators of today.

The exhibition also includes paintings, hand painted ceramics and silk scarves, original greeting cards, works on paper, and his latest work including handmade and hand-painted kites, which range in size from six inches to 100 feet.

About Tyrus Wong

Wong was born in Canton (now Guangzhou), China in 1910. In 1919, he and his father immigrated to America leaving behind Wong's mother and sister, whom they never saw again. Arriving in the United States, they were initially held on Angel Island because of the Chinese Exclusion Act. After their release from Angel Island, they settled in Sacramento, later moving to Los Angeles's Chinatown neighborhood.

Early Years
Wong's interest in painting and drawing emerged at an early age. Though they were poor, his father encouraged his talents by having him practice calligraphy by dipping his brushes in water and "painting" on newspaper. Indifferent to school, he dropped out of Benjamin Franklin Junior High in Pasadena, CA to attend the Otis Art Institute on a full scholarship. There he received formal western art training while studying the art of the Sung Dynasty at the Los Angeles Central Library in his free time.

Despite graduating in the midst of the Depression, Wong led an active life as an artist. He exhibited work throughout the country, including a 1932 group exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute that featured Pablo Picasso. Wong and other young Asian artists including Hideo Date and Benji Okubo gained recognition by exhibiting as the "Orientalists." Wong was also hired as part of the Federal Arts Project, a branch of the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration (WPA). His work during this period was heavily influenced by his friend, the highly regarded modernist painter Stanton MacDonald-Wright, best known for his use of rich harmonious colors (a style referred to as "synchrony") and his integration of Chinese compositions.

The Dragon's Den

Though he exhibited regularly, Wong and his fellow artists struggled to survive. Their answer was the Dragon's Den, a subterranean, trendy, Chinatown restaurant that attracted Hollywood stars such as Peter Lorre, Anna Mae Wong, and Sydney Greenstreet. It stood out among the chop suey joints of Chinatown and was the brainchild of close friend Richard See. It boasted wall to wall to murals and hand painted menus by Wong and his fellow artists. It was there that he met Ruth Kim, his future wife.

Walt Disney Studios

In 1938, following his marriage and birth of his first daughter, Wong said he "needed a job." It was at that time he began at Disney as an "inbetweener," drawing hundreds of sketches of Mickey Mouse. He found the work tedious and numbing. When he heard that the studio was in pre-production on the feature film Bambi, he went home and painted several pictures of a deer in a forest. These small, but evocative sketches captured the attention of Walt Disney and became the basis for the film's visual style.

Warner Brothers

From Disney, Wong headed to nearby Warner Brothers, where he switched from fantasy to realism. He was hired as a production illustrator and sketch artist where he painted and sketched concept art for hundreds of live-action films, including Rebel Without A Cause, Calamity Jane, Harper, The Wild Bunch, Sands of Iwo Jima, Auntie Mame, April in Paris, and PT 109. He was frequently loaned out to Republic Pictures where he worked on many John Wayne westerns, a genre that would become a favorite of his. He stayed at Warner Bros. for the next 26 years until his retirement in 1968.

Throughout his years at the studio, Wong continued to paint and exhibit his fine art. In 1954, he was featured in a short film produced by Eliot O'Hara demonstrating Oriental brushwork techniques. His commercial work included designing greeting cards for over 20 years, illustrating magazine covers and children's books, and painting calligraphic style designs on Winfield ceramic ware that sold in high-end department stores.

Kite Building

After retiring, he turned his attention to designing and building hand-made kites. His dozens of designs include multi-colored 100-foot centipedes, flocks of swallow, butterflies, and panda bears. In 1990, he and his kites were featured in the short film, Flights of Fancy. To this day, Wong flies his kites every month in Santa Monica.

Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum.

FREE Special Program
On Saturday, August 17 from 11am to 5pm, The Walt Disney Family Museum and the Presidio Trust will host a FREE Family Kite Day Festival on the Presidio's Main Post Lawn to celebrate the opening of the exhibition Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong. Watch spectacular kites flown high above the Presidio-from acrobatic kites of world champions to the hand-made entries of amateurs.

Enjoy food, games, and fun for the entire family including contests, kite making, and kite flying demonstrations, an antique ladder-climbing demonstration by the San Francisco Fire Department and much more. Free kites for kids will be available at the Make-a-Kite Pavilion so everyone will have a chance to soar!

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.

Honor Dad This Father's Day at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel


Give dad a gift that the entire family can enjoy -- a golf getaway in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - May 30, 2013 - Families looking to celebrate Dad this Father's Day can give him the gift of a golf getaway at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel. While staying at the Epcot Resort Area hotel, Dad can hit nearby links, thanks to the property's special golf packages.

Guests can book the Championship Golf package and play any Walt Disney World championship golf course of their choice. The package includes an overnight stay, a round of golf for two people and transportation to and from the course. Rates begin at $321 per room. Guests of the hotel also receive preferred tee times at these on-property courses, which were host to the PGA Tour's Walt Disney World Golf Classic from 1971-2012.

The Celebration Golf package includes a one-night stay at the Orlando hotel, 18 holes at the famed Celebration Golf Club for two, and round-trip transportation to the course. Rates start at $305 per room for two adults.

After a round of golf, Dad can enjoy a championship-caliber meal at Shula's Steak House, lounge by one of the property's five pools, relax at the nearby ESPN Club or spend time with the family in the Walt Disney World Theme Parks.

Reservations can be made online at www.swandolphin.com/offers or by calling 1-800-227-1500 and mentioning "DisGolf." Rates based on availability.

May 31, 2013

Monsters University - Final Trailer

Monsters university poster

Procrastination is never a good thing when studying for something as important as the release of MONSTERS UNIVERSITY.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY releases in theatres in 3D on June 21, 2013!

For more blogs on Monsters University CLICK HERE

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About May 2013

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

April 2013 is the previous archive.

June 2013 is the next archive.

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