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March 2014 Archives

March 4, 2014

SeaWorld Orlando's Bands Brews and BBQ Festival

SeaWorld Orlando's Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival concludes this weekend, with signature mouth-watering BBQ, an array of thirst-quenching beer and an atmosphere that brings families together for much-loved foods and rockin' music.

Here's a look at last weekend's highlights:

Musical acts performing this weekend:

-- Saturday, March 8 at 4pm - Hank Williams Jr.
-- Sunday, March 9 at 4pm - Alabama

This event is free with SeaWorld Admission. Event area opens at 11:30 am. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Come early and plan to spend the entire beautiful day with live music, lots of great food and beer, including amazing BBQ and crafted brews.

Seats in the stadium are first come first served, but there is also incredible hillside seating, plus video screens all throughout the Bands, Brew & BBQ event area.

Buy tickets online and print from home -- skip waiting in lines and go straight to the turnstiles.

*Platinum Pass Member reserved seating is not available at this event.

Pass Member discounts are available by booking your reservation through the Pass Member website.

**Event times, dates and talent are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Announces Dates for 5th Annual Food and Wine Classic

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - March 3, 2014 - Culinary artistry, fine wine and celebrity chef meet-and-greets will once again highlight the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic. The event, back for its fifth year, will be held on Friday, Oct. 31, and Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, at the Epcot Resort Area hotel.

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.

Celebrity Chef Todd English will be in attendance to meet and greet with guests. English is a renowned restaurateur who has gained national acclaim through his line of restaurants and cookbooks, and other food-related enterprises. Todd English's bluezoo is located in the hotel and features fresh seafood in a vibrant atmosphere.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, and a distinguished culinary and beverage team, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel continually earns national recognition for its food and beverage program. The hotel features more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections.

Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are currently available as part of a hotel package or individually. For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500.

New Medal to Mark 5th Anniversary Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

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Commemorative medal only available for 2014 event; popular post-race party during Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to return; registration opens today for November race weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 4, 2014) - Registration opens today for the fifth anniversary Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, and runners who sign up will have the chance to earn a one-time-only fifth anniversary medal.

The all-new commemorative medal will be distinctive and unique, a collectors item for anyone who completes the 13.1-mile nighttime race through Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot. The race weekend will also include Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K and runDisney Kids races on Nov. 8.

Immediately after the half marathon, runners and their families have the opportunity to celebrate at the popular Finish Line Party during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival inside Epcot until 4 am (friends and family must purchase a party ticket for entry). The Finish Line Party features more than 25 kiosks offering fine cuisine and wine from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, plus Disney characters, musical performances and the opportunity to ride signature Epcot attractions.

There will also be a Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste on Nov. 7, at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This special ticketed evening event offers runners and fans a private reception on the set of Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, featuring food and beverages from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, music and meet & greets with Disney characters.

The race weekend kicks off with the Disney Health and Fitness Expo on Nov. 7-8, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The expo, which is free and open to the public, offers the latest in running apparel, technology and a speaker series featuring running experts such as runDisney official training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus.

To register for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend races and to purchase tickets for the Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste and Finish Line Party at Epcot, visit www.runDisney.com. Runners can access specially priced theme park tickets and accommodations after registering for the event by calling 407-939-iRUN.

Schedule of Events

Disney's Health and Fitness Expo

Nov. 7 - 8

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste

Nov. 7, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K

Nov. 8, 7 am

Disney's Animal Kingdom

runDisney Kids Races

Nov. 8, 10 am

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Nov. 8, 10 pm

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Finish Line Party

Nov. 9, 10 pm - 4 am

Epcot

March 5, 2014

The Guess Who Kick Off Flower Power Concert Series March 7-9

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The Guess Who will kick off the "Flower Power" concert series March 7-9 during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. and are included with Epcot admission.

March 7, 2014

Disney Dreamers Academy Kicks Off at Walt Disney World

Disney hosts select high school students for annual program

Dreamers to engage in career and mentoring workshops at seventh-annual Disney Dreamers Academy in March

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Steve Harvey, Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell, ESSENCES's Mikki Taylor, Minnie and Mickey with Dreamers in 2013 Magic Kingdom Parade
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Mar. 6, 2014) - This weekend, Walt Disney World Resort will host an exclusive group of teens for the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. The teens, along with a parent or guardian, received an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort March 6-9, but they aren't vacationing. Instead, they will be participating in a once-in-lifetime, innovative, outside-the-classroom, educational and mentoring program.

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

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

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

"Over the past six years, we have helped 600 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life," said Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. "The seventh Disney Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life."

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

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

This year's students were selected from nearly 10,000 applicants - the most applicants in the history of the program - by a panel of judges representing the best in their fields that included Powell, Harvey and Ebanks. Applicants answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and life dreams.

The rest of the 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy judging panel was comprised of: Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, ESSENCE Magazine); Dr. Steve Perry (education advocate and CNN commentator); Sonia Jackson Myles (founder and author, The Sister Accord); Jonathan Sprinkles (award-winning motivational speaker); Chef Jeff Henderson (celebrity chef and motivational speaker); Brandi Harvey (Corporate and Community Relations Director, the Steve Harvey World Group); Karli Harvey (Hair Artesian, U Salon, Atlanta) and Princeton Parker (Disney Dreamers Academy alumnus).

This accomplished group, along with others including Yolanda Adams (gospel music legend); Terrence J (actor and host of E! News); Stephen A. Smith (broadcaster and sports analyst); and Alex O. Ellis (CEO, Simply Ellis Custom Clothier), remains involved in Disney Dreamers Academy throughout the year, serving as the program's ambassadors and advisory panel as part of Disney Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group.

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

March 8, 2014

Finding "Frozen" in Disney Parks

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From the kingdom of Arendelle, guests can immerse themselves in the Oscar-winning animated blockbuster hit Frozen throughout Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. From meet and greets with royalty, to vacationing at the stunning sites that inspired the blockbuster film, here's where you can enjoy your own icy adventures:

Walt Disney World Resort:
• Meet Elsa and Anna inside the Prinsesse Plass, located in the Norway pavilion at Epcot (See photos from this meet and greet HERE.)
• Elsa and Anna will join the new daytime spectacular "Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade" at Magic Kingdom, when it debuts March 9
• Also at Magic Kingdom, the "Celebrate the Magic" nighttime projection show transforms Cinderella Castle with visuals from Frozen

Disneyland Resort:
• Meet Elsa and Anna in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park
• Olaf the snowman greets Disneyland park guests before they meet Elsa and Anna in Fantasyland
• Elsa appears in "World of Color - Winter Dreams," the holiday version of the popular after-dark spectacular at Disney California Adventure Park. "World of Color - Winter Dreams" may be seen during the Holiday season, which starts in November.

Adventures by Disney:
• A new vacation experience to Norway guides families through an eight-day, seven-night adventure across the stunning lands that inspired the movie Frozen: Fjords, Bergen and Oslo

Disneyland Paris
• Elsa, Anna and Olaf appear in the "Disney Magic On Parade"

Disney Cruise Line
• Anna is onboard the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream
• Olaf greets guests at the post office on Castaway Cay
• Guests can watch Frozen in the theaters on all four Disney cruise ships

March 11, 2014

Discovery Cove Welcomes Florida Residents with Limited-time Promotion

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- As the spring season approaches, now is the ideal time for Florida residents to experience an unforgettable getaway to Discovery Cove for a special rate.

Discovery Cove, located in the heart of Orlando, is an all-inclusive day resort where guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, rays and tropical fish and hand-feed exotic birds. Discovery Cove was ranked #1 in the 2013 TripAdvisor's Traveler's Choice Awards under "Top 25 Amusement Parks & Water Parks in The World" category.

An all-inclusive Dolphin Swim Day Resort Packages starts at $219 plus tax. Day Resort Packages are also available without the dolphin swim experience for $149 plus tax. For visitors seeking an underwater excursion, SeaVenture guides guests on a 30-minute journey along the bottom of The Grand Reef for only $49. Those seeking to visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, may upgrade their package for $22.

All packages include a light continental breakfast, freshly prepared lunch, and snacks and beverages throughout the day, dolphin-safe sunscreen, snorkel equipment, lockers, wetsuits and towels. All packages also include unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark in Orlando for 14 consecutive days around the date of your reservation. For more information about Discovery Cove, visit www.discoverycove.com.

March 13, 2014

New Offer for Disney Visa Card Holders

A new special vacation offer is now available for Disney Visa Card Holders. Save as much as 35% on stays of 6 nights or longer; save up to 30% on stays of up 1-6 days. Savings is based on resort selected and on the non-discounted price for the same room. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package.

Upgrade to a package and save even more. (Minimum 6-day Magic Your Way Ticket required.)

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length of stay requirements may apply.

Book with your Disney Visa® Card now through 6/6/14 for stays 6/15 - 8/28/2014.

Call 1-407-939-7217 or call your travel agent (AllEars.Net recommends MouseFanTravel.com) and mention code S499R.

This offer becomes available to the general public on March 17, 2014.

A New After-Dark Experience Treats Epcot Guests to One More Bite of Fun

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla " The magic doesn't end once the sun sets during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. A new after-dark experience gives guests one more taste of World Showcase excitement like never before.

After a day of blooms and bulbs, the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party bursts with color in the sky, and bubbles in the glass. Guests can sample decadent desserts from around the world, paired with the perfect international sparkling wines in an intimate and exclusive environment " all while watching Epcot's nightly fireworks spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Reservations begin March 12. The first IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party is March 15.

Here are details:

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party

Dates: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays

Time: 7:45 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.

Location: Showcase Plaza

Prices (including tax and gratuity): Adults $49, Children $29

Menu (subject to change):
• Italy: Tiramisu
• France: Vanilla Pot de Crème
• United Kingdom: Shortbread Cookies
• Morocco: Traditional Baklava
• American Adventure: Sugar Dusted Cronis with Strawberry Sauce and Whipped Cream
• Disney Parks ice cream novelties
• Lemonade, coffee, teas
• Sparkling wine from Washington State and Prosecco from Italy

How to Book: Call 407-WDW-PLAY.

March 18, 2014

D23 Expo Announced for August 14-16, 2015

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ALL THE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF DISNEY COME TOGETHER AT THE D23 EXPO-THE ULTIMATE DISNEY FAN EVENT- AUGUST 14-16, 2015 IN ANAHEIM, CALIF.

Advance Tickets on Sale August 14, 2014 for the Biggest Disney Fan Event Ever

PORTLAND, Ore. - March 18, 2014 - All the magic and excitement of the past, present, and future of Disney entertainment will come together once again under one roof when D23: The Official Disney Fan Club presents the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center the weekend of Aug. 14-16, 2015. Each of Disney's wonderful worlds will unite to celebrate what's new and what's on the horizon from theme parks, television, music, games, and films, including Pixar, the Muppets, Star Wars, and Marvel.

"The D23 Expo is the ultimate Disney fan event, created to honor and celebrate your love of all things Disney," Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger told shareholders and D23 Members at the Company's Annual Meeting today in Portland, Oregon. "And we hope to see you there."

The fourth event promises to be the biggest ever, following the success of D23 Expo 2013, which drew more than 65,000 Disney fans for three star-studded days and nights. Fans were treated to appearances by such superstars as Angelina Jolie, Chris Evans, Billy Crystal, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston; watched performances by Idina Menzel, and R5 featuring Ross Lynch; enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime concert from Disney Legends Alan Menken and Richard M. Sherman; explored the inner workings of Walt Disney Imagineering; looked back at Disney's rich history through extraordinary panels, presentations, and exhibits; and discovered the newest entertainment, technology, and products from The Walt Disney Company.

Highlights planned for D23 Expo 2015 include the 2015 Disney Legends Ceremony, which honors the talented men and women who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy; Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, a collection of one-of-a-kind assets, props, and costumes curated by the Walt Disney Archives; and the Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia, and merchandise. Once again the event will feature a massive show floor full of special opportunities to see what's on the horizon for Disney around the world-and guests may run into their favorite Disney stars, characters, Imagineers, animators, and filmmakers. Plus, the event will once again feature StagePass, the popular ticket distribution system that allows attendees to obtain a guaranteed seat for some of the Expo's most popular presentations.

Advance tickets for D23 Expo 2015 will go on sale at D23Expo.com beginning August 14, 2014. D23 Members will receive special pricing on both one- and three-day tickets to the event, which is open to the general public. D23 Gold and Silver Members will also be entitled to early admission to the Expo show floor. D23 Charter Members will enjoy access to the Expo's Charter Member Lounge. Members will also have an opportunity to purchase the Sorcerer Package, which provides a host of special benefits and amenities.

March 22, 2014

Epcot Egg-Stravaganza Returns

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Epcot Egg-Stravaganza Returns April 10 - 20

Have fun exploring the parks hunting for 'eggs' that portray Disney characters! Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specially themed Egg-stravaganza map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $4.95, plus tax at Epcot - Heritage Manor (American Adventure Pavilion), Disney Traders, International Gateway, Pin Central and Port of Entry.

There are a dozen reasons for you to love the event this year! I know what new characters have been added, but it's up to you to find them.

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Don't crack under the pressure! Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to a redemption location: Disney Traders in Epcot and participate in an 'egg-scramble' to pick up your surprise.

What is the surprise, eggs-actly? Let's just say it bears a striking resemblance to what you are already searching for!

Purchase as many maps as you'd like-while supplies last-and play again and again! No discounts apply. You should also know that separate admission is required to enter Disney Theme Parks and the experience is subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Check out the 2013 Epcot Egg Hunt!


SPOILER ALERT: Check out the 2013 event blog. The following video shows all the 2013 Character Egg locations. If you plan to visit Epcot during this time, you may not want to watch the video. If you won't be visiting during this time, enjoy virtually via the video!

This event is also being held at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

March 23, 2014

Eggs-istencial Event Returns to Disneyland Resort

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April 10 - 20th at Disney California Adventure and Disneyland!

Have fun exploring the parks hunting for 'eggs' that portray Disney characters! Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specially themed Egg-stravaganza map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $4.95, plus tax at:

Disney California Adventure park - Elias & Co., Oswald's, Radiator Springs Curios, Rushin' River Outfitters, Studio Store and Treasures in Paradise.

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Disneyland park - Disney Showcase, Fairy Tale Treasures, Gag Factory, Pieces of Eight and Pooh Corner

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There are a dozen reasons for you to love the event this year! I know what new characters have been added, but it's up to you to find them. Don't crack under the pressure! Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to a redemption location: Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park or Disney Showcase in Disneyland park and participate in an 'egg-scramble' to pick up your surprise.

Purchase as many maps as you'd like-while supplies last-and play again and again! No discounts apply. You should also know that separate admission is required to enter Disney Theme Parks and the experience is subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Maleficent - Trailer #3

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"Maleficent," the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the classic "Sleeping Beauty," reveals the events that hardened Maleficent's heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora, only to later realize that the child may hold the key to peace in the land.

Maleficent has wings:

March 25, 2014

Cast of ABC's "The Middle" Taping Season Finale at Walt Disney World

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The cast of the ABC series "The Middle" (L-R): Eden Sher, Neil Flynn, Patricia Heaton, Atticus Shaffer (front right) and Charlie McDermott (back right), pose March 24, 2014 with Mickey Mouse in the Magic Kingdom. The cast is currently at Walt Disney World Resort to tape the show's season finale that will air May 21. "The Middle" airs Wednesday nights at 8/9c.

SeaWorld’s 50th celebration is a Sea of Surprises

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Eighteen-month celebration kicks off on March 21, 2014 at all three SeaWorld parks

Orlando, Fla. (March 21, 2014) - Today SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ launched a multi-park celebration to commemorate a key event in the company's history: the opening of the original SeaWorld® in March 1964 on Mission Bay in San Diego.

SeaWorld Orlando opened nine years later, on December 15, 1973.

SeaWorld's 50th Celebration features a Sea of Surprises™ throughout an 18-month celebration highlighting the most memorable SeaWorld experiences in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio.

For nearly five decades, SeaWorld has surprised and amazed guests with unique entertainment, thrilling rides and up-close encounters with animals. During SeaWorld's 50th Celebration visitors will be invited to take part in the excitement through new interactive experiences, shows and pathway performances, even more up-close animal encounters throughout the park and "The SeaWorld Surprise Squad" treating guests with prizes every day.

SeaWorld Orlando's 50th Celebration Sea of Surprises™ Highlights

Park pathways come to life with spontaneous entertainment. "Bubble Blowout" is sure to be a guest favorite with a fantastical vehicle creating bubbles of all sizes and shapes throughout Shamu's Happy Harbor. Engaging performances with sea-inspired costumes and props will pop up at unexpected moments to surprise guests throughout the day, like "Splash Dance," near Nautilus Theater.

On June 21, a new nighttime Shamu show, "Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night", debuts. The high energy show will include new, original music and production elements, as well as new killer whale behaviors.

The "SeaWorld® Surprise Squad" will roam SeaWorld Orlando on a daily basis giving away, at random, prizes and special gifts, including exclusive access to rides, behind-the-scenes experiences, Shamu-themed merchandise, reserved show seating and more.*

SeaWorld guests are often greeted by an animal ambassador, many of whom were orphaned or injured in the wild and given a second chance thanks to the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team. As part of SeaWorld's 50th Celebration, there will be more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day.

Share the wonder of close-up encounters with amazing animal friends and learn how SeaWorld cares for the natural world at the all-new SEA Garden. Completely re-designed, the SEA Garden is where guests can learn more about SeaWorld's animals, many of them rescued, including eagles, spoonbills, opossums, and more.

To showcase SeaWorld's commitment to the environment and passion for protecting the ocean, four giant sea life sculptures will be displayed at the SEA Garden. SeaWorld commissioned environmental art group The Washed Ashore Project for a collection of larger-than-life sea-themed sculptures - many weighing more than half a ton. The material used to create these pieces comes from the billions of pounds of garbage - mostly plastics - that wind up in our oceans. These amazing works of art point to the urgent need to protect marine animals from such dangers and preserve their ocean habitats. On display at SeaWorld Orlando are a parrot fish, sea horse, sea anemone reef and octopus.

As part of its continuing commitment to new technology that enhances the guest experience, SeaWorld's 50th Celebration will include new ways for fans to connect to the parks and each other though digital devices. The parks will be launching a variety of enhancements, from interactive apps that provide fun new ways to experience the park to new games and video content.

Also this spring, at SeaWorld Orlando

Just For Kids: Shamu and crew invite the little ones to experience SeaWorld's 50th Celebration through the eyes of a child. Sing, dance and play the day away Saturdays, March 22 through April 12, at SeaWorld's Just for Kids festival. This kid-centric festival brings families together enjoying kid-sized rides, adorable animals and the all-new Rockin' Rockhopper Party. It's a festival that's Just for Kids, and only at SeaWorld!

Viva la Musica: Celebrate the food, fun, sights and sounds of Latin culture at this annual Hispanic festival for the entire family, featuring live concerts by internationally renowned Latin musical artists and savory Latin cuisine prepared by SeaWorld Orlando's own Executive Chef Héctor Colón. Join us Saturdays, April 26 through May 17.

Special ticket offers for SeaWorld Orlando

The best way to experience SeaWorld's 50th Celebration is with one of the following ticket offers:

50% Off Celebration Ticket -- Buy one ticket and get 50 percent off another.

Celebrate the weekdays with SeaWorld Orlando's $50 Weekday Ticket.

In addition to these amazing offers, Florida Residents can take advantage of:

SeaWorld Annual Passes starting at just $13 per month with EZpay to enjoy the 50th Celebration again and again.

For more information and continuing news about SeaWorld's 50th Celebration and the Sea of Surprises, visit www.seaworld.com/celebration. For complete details about ticket offers, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.

* SeaWorld® Surprise Squad: No purchase or park visit necessary. Open to park visitors and to legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends 9/7/15. For Official Rules, how to enter by mail, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit Guest Services or SeaWorld.com/OfficialRules. Sponsor: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc., 9205 SouthPark Loop, Suite 400 Orlando, FL 32189.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature and enable its customers to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world we share. The Company owns or licenses a portfolio of globally recognized brands including SeaWorld®, Shamu® and Busch Gardens®. Over its more than 50 year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 11 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind collection of approximately 67,000 marine and terrestrial animals. The Company's theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests. In addition to its theme parks, the company has recently begun to leverage its brands into media, entertainment and consumer products. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: SEAS). Copies of this and other news releases as well as additional information about SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. can be obtained online at www.seaworldentertainment.com. Shareholders and prospective investors can also register to automatically receive the Company's press releases, SEC filings and other notices by e-mail.

Disney Cruise Line Visits Norway in 2015

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Adventure Awaits During the Northern Europe Summer Season with First-Ever Cruises to Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands

CELEBRATION, Fla. (March 25, 2014) - In summer 2015, Disney Cruise Line is charting a magical new course for northern Europe - exploring for the first time the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Plus, Disney Cruise Line is returning to the Baltic for all-new itineraries, including sailings from Copenhagen, Denmark to St. Petersburg, Russia. Cruises to the Mediterranean, Alaska, Caribbean and Bahamas also are included in the summer lineup.

Bookings open to the public on March 27, 2014. More details on 2015 itineraries can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2015 section of disneycruise.com.

Norwegian Fjords

On seven and nine-night sailings departing from Copenhagen, Disney Cruise Line guests are immersed in the splendor and charm of Norway with exciting new ports, steeped in Viking history. An 11-night sailing on the Disney Magic takes guests to Iceland and the Faroe Islands for the very first time.

The Norwegian fjords served as the inspiration and backdrop for Disney's blockbuster animated film, "Frozen." Here, guests will discover breathtaking natural wonders such as magnificent mountain ranges, massive glaciers, steaming geysers and majestic fjords. The enchanting Scandinavian culture of the region comes to life through local attractions, stunning architecture, storybook villages and historic city centers.

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NEW Seven-night Norwegian Fjords

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway

Departure date: June 6

NEW Nine-night Norwegian Fjords

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger, Molde, Olden and Bergen, Norway

Departure date: June 20

NEW 11-night Norwegian Fjords and Iceland

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger Norway; Akureyri and Reykjavik (overnight), Iceland; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Dover, England

Departure date: June 29

Rates start at $1,561 per person for seven-night cruises, $2,133 per person for nine-night cruises and $2,453 per person for 11-night Norwegian fjords cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Northern Europe

On northern European cruises, the Disney Magic will sail the Baltic waters where guests will explore richly diverse cultures and national capitals including Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark and St. Petersburg - Russia's second largest city known as the country's cultural capital. These itineraries depart from Copenhagen, Denmark and Dover, England - just a quick jaunt from London.

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NEW Seven-night Northern European

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden

Departure dates: May 30, June 13

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12-night Northern European

Ports: Dover, England; Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany (July 10 cruise only); Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia

Departure dates: July 10 and 22

Rates start at $1,463 per person for seven-night cruises and $2,844 per person for 12-night Northern European cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Mediterranean

The Disney Magic returns to the Mediterranean, treating guests to popular European destinations. Departing from Barcelona, Spain, these sailings take guests on an exciting journey of cultures and locales, with romantic boulevards, iconic locations, mild climates and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea.

Five-night Mediterranean

Ports: Barcelona, Spain; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia) and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

Departure date: Aug. 10

Seven-night Mediterranean

Ports: Barcelona, Spain; Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Nice (Villefranche), France

Departure dates: Aug. 15, 22 and 29

Rates start at $1,255 per person for five-night cruises and $1,302 per person for seven-night Mediterranean cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Alaska

In 2015, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.

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

Seven-night Alaska:

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

Departure dates: June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20, 27; Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Rates start at $1,155 per person for seven-night Alaska cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Caribbean and Bahamas

In 2015, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Port Canaveral and Miami to the Caribbean and Bahamas on a variety of itineraries. These cruises include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

From Port Canaveral, rates start at $495 per person for three-night cruises, $662 per person for four-night cruises, $1,465 per person for five-night cruises and $1,145 per person for seven-night cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

From Miami, rates start at $400 per person for four-night cruises and $500 per person for five-night cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

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

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

March 26, 2014

Star Wars Weekends Dining Experiences

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Great news for our Star Wars™ fans and Guests! Beginning March 26, two new dining experiences will be available for booking for Star Wars™ Weekends from May 4 to June 15, 2014.

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars™ Dine at Hollywood and Vine

The Fantasmic! dinner experience at Hollywood and Vine has been transformed into a Star Wars™ themed venue where Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Chip & Dale will all be dressed as their favorite Star Wars™ characters (Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald, and Ewoks Chip & Dale). The characters will meet and greet and interact with Guests throughout the evening.

Dates: May 4 - June 15, 2014

Times: 4:15pm to 8 or 8:30 pm (sometimes 9pm to 9:30 - based on park close)
Price: Adult - $59.99 with Fantasmic! Package or $55.99 without
Child - $36.99 with Fantasmic! Package or $32.99 without

A digital photo of the party with the Ewoks Chip & Dale on a commemorative PhotoPass card is included.


Star Wars™ Dine-In Galactic Breakfast
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater becomes the Star Wars™ Dine-in Theater for this character dining experience. Characters include Stormtroopers, Jawa, Greedo, and Boba Fett and a Darth Vader Meet & Greet after check-in. Additionally, the traditional Sci-Fi clips will be replaced with Star Wars™ clips, trailers and music.

Dates: May 4 - June 15, 2014
Times: 8am - 12pm
Price: Adult - $47.99
Child - $29.99

A digital photo of the party on a commemorative PhotoPass card is included.

DISNEY LEGENDS AND LUMINARIES CELEBRATE THEME PARK FAVORITES OF YESTERYEAR AT D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND

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FROM AMERICA SINGS AND IF YOU HAD WINGS TO DISNEY'S GROUNDBREAKING PARTICIPATION IN THE 1964-65 WORLD'S FAIR, GUESTS WILL ENJOY PRESENTATIONS, SCREENINGS, UNIQUE SHOPPING, AND MUCH MORE, NOVEMBER 22 AND 23 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

BURBANK, Calif. - March 26, 2014 - Walt Disney once said, "We keep moving forward-opening up new doors and doing new things-because we're curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." It's in that spirit that guests this fall will have the opportunity to visit-or revisit-some of the most beloved Disney attractions of yesteryear. D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus will take place November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring Disney archivists, Imagineers, Legends, and luminaries together to celebrate fan favorites such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with rarely seen concept art and images; vintage video clips; and hours of revealing stories. In addition, there will be a full day of presentations dedicated to the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, which debuted beloved attractions like it's a small world and Carousel of Progress.

Presenters and panelists include Disney Legends Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, and Alice Davis; Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline; Disney and World's Fair historians Bill Cotter, Stacia Martin, and Michael Kelley-and more to be announced.

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During the weekend, guests will be able to explore a special exhibit designed by the Walt Disney Archives in honor of the event.

The weekend will end with an exciting evening event-Pleasure Island: Rewind. This celebration of the Downtown Disney nightlife district will include areas dedicated to the Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse, Mannequins, and 8 Trax. And of course there will be a "New Year's Eve" celebration to cap the night.

Plus, for the first time, Mickey's of Glendale, the famed Walt Disney Imagineering store, will set up a pop-up shop at the event for attendees, featuring a selection of exclusive Imagineering merchandise as well as limited-edition pins, T-shirts, and collectibles themed to the event. The shop will also carry a special line from H2O Plus, whose products are featured at Disney Resort Hotels.

Highlights of D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus will include*:

Disney Goes to the World's Fair: A look at how Disney became a part of the landmark event
Lost on the Way to the Fair: Pavilion concepts for the World's Fair that never came to be

Retro Rewind References: Nods to favorites of the past in current Disney Parks attractions

That Was Entertainment: Revisiting beloved theme park parades, shows, and spectacles

The weekend event will take place in the convention center at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Tickets, available Wednesday, April 16, are $190 each and available exclusively to D23 Gold and Silver Members for a limited time. Any remaining tickets will be made available to D23 Free Members on May 28 for $250 per ticket. All guests will receive a special gift in honor of Disney's contributions to the 50th anniversary of the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York City.

A limited number of "Top of the World" tickets will be available featuring reserved seating, early shopping on November 21, an exclusive dinner reception, special collectibles, gifts from H2O Plus and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, and more.

More details about the program and tickets for D23 DESTINATION D: ATTRACTION REWIND presented by H2O Plus, as well as a special offer just for members of D23, can be found at D23.com/Events. Additional schedule announcements will be made in the coming months.

About D23
The name "D23" pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney's 90-plus-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

About H2O Plus, LLC
H2O Plus, LLC is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of prestige, marine-based skincare products for the face and body. Their parent company, Pola Orbis, is the fourth-leading beauty care company in Japan. Celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, H2O Plus continues to develop innovative products based on their heritage of water-based formulas powered by exclusive marine blends and state-of-the-art technology. H2O Plus has a large and expanding global presence in more than 9,000 points of distribution, worldwide. For more information on H2O Plus, please visit www.h2oplus.com

Fans can join D23 at Gold, Silver, and Free Membership levels at D23.com and at www.DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us @DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.


Grand Floridian Hosts 3rd Annual Easter Egg Display

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Grand Floridian 3rd Annual Easter Egg Display April 4-22, 2014

Under the guidance of Master pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek, the pastry team at the Grand hand-paints the enormous eggs (16 to 20 inches tall) with tinted cocoa butter to amazing themes - the "Frozen" egg is sure to be a big hit this year. Look for eggs telling the stories of "The Little Mermaid," "Cinderella," "Pocahontas," "Lady and the Tramp," all created with modeling chocolate, fondant, sculpted sugar and royal icing.

There are 18 eggs in all this year, and each takes 18 to 20 hours to create, says Chef Erich. And, best of all, they're completely edible.

Here's a look at last year's Grand Floridan Easter Egg Display:


March 28, 2014

LEADING LADIES AND FEMMES FATALES: THE ART OF MARC DAVIS

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Marc Davis, visual development for Sleeping Beauty, ca. 1959; Collection Mike Glad; © Disney
THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM PRESENTS LEADING LADIES AND FEMMES FATALES: THE ART OF MARC DAVIS
April 30 - November 3, 2014


Exhibition Celebrates Award-Winning Work by one of Walt's infamous Nine Old Men

San Francisco, CA, March 25, 2014 - The Walt Disney Family Museum is excited to present the exhibition Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis. On view in the museum's Theater Gallery from April 30 to November 3, 2014, this exhibition co-curated by the museum's director of collections and exhibitions, Michael Labrie, and animator Andreas Deja spotlights some 70 original pencil animation drawings, conceptual artwork, paintings, cels, and photographs from animator and Imagineer Marc Davis (b. 1913). Davis, who was named a Disney Legend in 1989, was assigned and executed some of the most difficult animation for Walt Disney's leading ladies and femmes fatales from classics such as Peter Pan (1953), Sleeping Beauty (1956), and One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961). It was Davis' mastery of the human form and authority on anatomy and movement that brought these iconic female characters to life and made them believable.

Although his work and accomplishments could fill a much larger gallery, selected artworks mainly from Davis' personal collection, Walt Disney Imagineering, several private collectors, and the Walt Disney Family Foundation's collection, intend to focus on a part of Davis' life and career with his mastery of the human form.Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales highlights Davis' female characters in film-such as Peter Pan's Tinker Bell, Sleeping Beauty's title heroine Aurora, its villain Maleficent, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians' Cruella de Vil-as well as in live entertainment, his fine art, and through his beloved wife Alice Davis.

"If you can't draw it, you can't animate it," Marc Davis once told an interviewer. He was proud of his drawing ability and had all the reasons for being so. Basically a self-taught artist, he honed his skills through a lonely childhood, and from his life experience he developed a keen sense of observation and ultimately became an excellent draftsman. Davis' gift for dramatic storytelling coupled with his ability to inject humanity, humor, and emotion into his drawings is what made him stand out.

"Marc can do story, he can do character, he can animate, he can design shows for me. All I have to do is tell him what I want and it's there. He's my Renaissance Man," said Walt Disney of Davis.

Davis' sense of style and ability commanded admiration and respect. Employed at The Walt Disney Studio for forty-three years, Marc Davis was a master whose skills proved essential to a wide variety of projects both in film and live entertainment. As one of Walt's renowned "Nine Old Men," Davis was the only of the nine whom Walt asked to help in the planning of attractions at Disneyland the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair. His creative contributions include attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, it's a small world, and the Haunted Mansion, to name a few.

"Marc Davis became the most prolific Imagineer of his time in developing ideas and drawings for Disney Park attractions. There is a treasury of some of the world's best-known and most humorous characters," said Disney Legend and Imagineer Marty Sklar.

In 1947, Alice Estes-a promising artist from Long Beach, California-received a scholarship to the prestigious Chouinard Art Institute-a training ground for many Disney artists. With Alice's goals of becoming an animator crushed because of the male-dominance in the field at that time, Mrs. Chouinard herself assigned Alice to become a costume designer, and gave her the added task of assisting the new animation teacher, Marc Davis.

After her graduation, Alice married Davis, eventually working with him at The Walt Disney Studios and becoming one of the first female Imagineers. She designed costumes for a number of Disneyland attractions, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Carousel of Progress-many based on her husband's whimsical drawings.

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Marc and Alice at Tivoli Gardens on their honeymoon, c. 1958;
Collection Alice Davis.

Both Alice and Marc worked with a team of Disney artists and engineers to design and dress the Audio-Animatronics® figures for it's a small world, including famed artist Mary Blair, one of Walt's most recognizable leading ladies.

The exhibition is aptly timed with MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair, on view from March 13 through September 7, 2014 in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall.

Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000 square foot facility features the newest technology and historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney's achievements to life, with interactive galleries that include early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland and much more.

Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors and students, and $12 children ages 6 to 17.

Admission is free for members.

Admission to this exhibition is free with paid museum admission or for members.

www.waltdisney.org
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About March 2014

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in March 2014. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2014 is the previous archive.

April 2014 is the next archive.

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