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July 2015 Archives

July 2, 2015

Epcot Food and Wine Festival News: ABC’s 'The Chew' at the Festival; Two Future World Marketplaces Debut

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ABC’s “The Chew” is leaving its Manhattan studio for the first time in the show’s history to broadcast from the 20th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. The Emmy-Award® Winning lifestyle series will tape five shows with co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz on Oct. 7, 8 & 9 to air during the week of Oct. 12 -16 on “The Chew.”

“We are beyond excited to be invited to celebrate such an important food event,” said Gordon Elliott, executive producer of “The Chew.” “What a great way to kick off our fifth season. We are planning a terrific series of shows for our viewers and live audience that will use every available piece of magic the park and our show can muster. Stay tuned!” he added.

“The Chew” shows from Epcot will showcase festival highlights as well as food and beverage from “around the world” of Walt Disney World Resort. From stellar dining experiences to immersive dining that transports guests into cherished stories, “The Chew” will explore Disney Parks restaurants that offer innovative, fun and healthful dining choices and share some of their favorites.

In addition, “The Chew” will be featured in two themed marketplaces located at the new Next Eats area of Future World – the first time in the festival’s history that new culinary experiences have expanded into the Future World area of the park.

At the new Sustainable Chew Marketplace, festivalgoers can enjoy three delicious dishes inspired by “The Chew” co-hosts. From savory pork spareribs with red wine and fennel with cheesy mascarpone grits and ricotta & zucchini ravioli with tomato sauce to vanilla panna cotta with fresh figs and pistachio brittle, “The Chew” has something for everyone during this milestone 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival celebration. The eco-home-inspired marketplace will offer guests a chance to learn more about how food is grown and the importance of food sustainability. Herbs and vegetables harvested from The Land pavilion greenhouses at Epcot will flavor the marketplace dishes.

A second new Future World marketplace at Next Eats will feature the Chew Lab, where Disney chefs are collaborating with “The Chew,” to create a cutting-edge marketplace inspired by food-science labs and the hottest culinary tech trends.

Visit TheChew.com for information on how to obtain tickets to be part of the live audience during “The Chew” broadcasts at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

“The Chew” will continue to update viewers on additional festival plans throughout the summer. Tune in weekdays 1:00pm/ET and visit TheChew.com.

Learn Culinary Secrets of Disney Chefs in New Backstage Adventure at Walt Disney World Resort

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Photo courtesy Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 1, 2015) — Ever wonder how to make a buttery pasta noodle or fork-tender filet mignon? Beginning July 8, the new “Disney Family Culinary Adventure” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort whisks guests backstage for a fun, interactive evening that includes plenty of time with the Disney chefs, hands-on cooking and a festive, five-course dinner with beer and wine served in the kitchen by the professional catering staff.

Aimed at guests 9 and older, the evening starts at 5 p.m. with a friendly introduction to the massive catering kitchen. A maximum of 30 guests put on aprons, hats and gloves and are divided into five cooking groups. And every station has a wow technique, from the ease of making homemade butter (equal parts buttermilk and heavy cream) to a fresh pasta with just three ingredients.

“We want to show them the tricks of the trade,” says Chef Frank Brough. “It’s a guided experience but they do everything from making cheese and butter to rolling out pasta and breaking down a whole beef tenderloin.”

The five stations:

Garde manger, is the French term for food produced in the cold kitchen, where guests learn how to make farmer cheese, farmer cheese, from-scratch butter, and how to plate a gourmet salad on a rapidly moving electric belt in the professional kitchen.
Sushi, with sushi chefs teaching the art of rolling sushi and sashimi. (This station may rotate with other culinary ideas.)
Boucherie, or butcher station, where guests learn how to trim a beef tenderloin to make the perfect filet mignon.
Pasta, with just three ingredients (semolina, olive oil and egg), guests learn to make tender noodles from scratch, along with fresh basil pesto.
Patisserie, or bakery, where guests get to play with chocolate, mousse and other sweet endings.
Once the food prep is complete, guests move freely about the big kitchen to chat with the chefs – no culinary question goes unanswered. It takes about an hour for all the prep work, then everyone is seated at a long table in the center of the kitchen to enjoy the five-course meal they’ve just prepared. (Vegetarian, vegan and selections for guests with allergies are options for dinner.)

Lights are dimmed, background music plays, and a toast begins the special meal, where each course is served with wine and beer. At the meal’s end a special molecular gastronomy demonstration wows guests (we’ll keep that a secret), and they receive a special toque (chef’s hat) to take home, along with a Disney cookbook signed by the chefs. A Disney PhotoPass photographer will be on hand to capture photos of the group during the experience, and the photos will be available to view and purchase on DisneyPhotoPass.com.

“We really want them to leave the kitchen with ideas for a spectacular dinner party that they can do at home without opening a can or reaching for something frozen,” says Chef Brough.

The program is planned two evenings a week (days vary), starting at 5 p.m. Cost is $175 plus tax, $125 plus tax for ages 9 to 12. (Younger guests may have their own cooking station.) Complimentary transportation is provided for Walt Disney Resort hotel guests. To book or for more information, call 407-WDW-PLAY.

July 9, 2015

Travel + Leisure Readers Rank Disney Cruise Line Top Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line in 2015 World's Best Awards

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CELEBRATION, Fla. (July 7, 2015) – Travel + Leisure readers ranked Disney Cruise Line No. 1 on the list of Top Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines and the No. 1 Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line for Families in the 2015 World’s Best Awards reader’s survey. The World's Best Awards winners were selected by Travel + Leisure readers who participated in a survey rating cruise ships on the quality of cabins, food, itineraries and excursions -- in addition to value.

“This recognition is a tribute to the immersive storytelling and creative entertainment we provide to our guests of all ages, on all of our ships, wherever we sail.” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “To be named the best of the best by Travel + Leisure readers is an honor and speaks directly to the quality of the vacation experience delivered by our dedicated crew members.”

This is the seventh consecutive year that Travel + Leisure readers voted Disney Cruise Line as the No. 1 Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line for Families and the second consecutive year they rated Disney Cruise Line as the Top Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line overall.

Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has established itself as a leader in the cruise industry and continues to provide a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and kids can immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy only Disney can create.

Disney Cruise Line has received more than 100 distinguished awards from the travel industry. These awards have included all aspects of the operation from dining and entertainment, to youth activities and spa facilities. For additional information on Disney Cruise Line accolades, photos, and videos visit Disney Cruise Line Public Affairs.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit disneycruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at 888-DCL-2500. Travel agents can call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or visit disneytravelagents.com.

July 13, 2015

Disney Interactive Brings Blockbuster Star Wars and Disney Video Games to D23 Expo

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Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, Star Wars™ Battlefront™ and KINGDOM HEARTS III To Headline Disney Interactive’s Hall D23 Presentation and Expo Pavilion
BURBANK, CA – July 13, 2015 – D23 EXPO 2015 will feature the biggest Star Wars™ and Disney video games in a special presentation in the signature 7,500-seat Hall D23 theater and in Disney Interactive’s pavilion on the show floor.

In the Hall D23 presentation on Sunday, August 16 at 11 a.m., fans won’t want to miss never-before-seen gameplay, trailers, new reveals and surprises from Disney Interactive’s most anticipated games. Among the games participating in the presentation are: Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, Star Wars™ Battlefront™ from Electronic Arts and KINGDOM HEARTS III from Square Enix. Disney Interactive will showcase more Star Wars characters and Play Sets new to Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition and provide the entire audience with limited-edition giveaways exclusively for Hall D23. Electronic Arts will give guests an in-depth look at Star Wars Battlefront, the authentic Star Wars gaming experience coming November 17. Square Enix will also bring special guests and surprises to Hall D23 to reveal new information from KINGDOM HEARTS III.

In the Disney Interactive pavilion on the show floor, players can experience the latest and upcoming titles through hands-on demos, innovative interactive experiences and premium giveaways for all guests.

● Players will join forces with Star Wars, Marvel, Disney and Disney•Pixar characters in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, the next chapter in the best-selling "hybrid toy / video game" series. Guests will have the chance to play some of the new Disney Infinity Play Sets, Star Wars™ Twilight of the Republic, Star Wars™ Rise Against the Empire and Disney•Pixar's Inside Out, and the fully enhanced Toy Box mode. Pavilion guests will also be able to visit the “Only in the Toy Box” Experience. Using a new augmented reality technology, fans can step into a virtual Toy Box environment and interact alongside their favorite Disney, Disney•Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters found inside Disney Infinity. Disney Infinity will also be giving away thousands of pre-release Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition figures featuring popular characters from across The Walt Disney Company (while supplies last).

● Pavilion guests will also be able to live out some of their Star Wars battle fantasies by going hands-on with Star Wars Battlefront.

● Fans can experience the latest arcade sensation from Disney Interactive, Lucasfilm and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Star Wars™: Battle Pod™. Featuring cutting-edge, arcade-style video gameplay, Star Wars: Battle Pod brings players right into the action with a totally unique experience featuring a dome-shaped screen, air jets, and rumble seat.

● In the pavilion’s game lounge, fans can take a break from the show floor and try out the hottest mobile games including Star Wars: Commander, Frozen Free Fall and LINE: Disney Tsum Tsum.


Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

About Disney Interactive
Disney Interactive is the digital entertainment part of The Walt Disney Company. As one of the world’s largest creators of high-quality digital experiences, Disney Interactive produces interactive entertainment for the whole family including multi-platform video games, online short form video, mobile and social games and digital destinations across all current and emerging media platforms.

Entertaining guests of all ages, Disney Interactive’s key products include the video game platform Disney Infinity, top virtual world for kids Club Penguin, popular mobile franchises like Frozen Free Fall and LINE: Disney Tsum Tsum, top online destinations for kids, parents and fans including Disney.com, Oh My Disney, and Babble.com and the Disney social network reaching more than 1.5 billion guests on Facebook.

About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit marvel.com. © 2015 MARVEL

About D23 EXPO 2015
D23 EXPO—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. For the latest D23 EXPO 2015 news, visit D23EXPO.com. To join the D23 EXPO conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 on Twitter and use #D23EXPO.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It 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.

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

©Disney. STAR WARS © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

20th Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Announces Future World Marketplace Expansion

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photo courtesy Disney

Milestone Celebration Sept. 25-Nov. 16 to Offer New Tastings and Premium Events; Event Bookings Will Begin July 30

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 13, 2015) – Walt Disney World Resort announced today that four new food and beverage marketplaces will open in Future World during the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase Sept. 25-Nov. 16, 2015. It’s the first time in the festival’s 20-year-history that global marketplace experiences, now numbering more than 30, have expanded from the park’s World Showcase into Future World.

During the 53-day festival, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese area featuring the Cheese Studio and Wine Studio marketplaces will evoke the ambiance of Napa Valley with grape vines and welcoming pergolas along the walkway to Future World West.

At the Cheese Studio, a cheese sample platter will be served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines.
The Wine Studio will serve premium wines on tap and showcase palate-pleasing wine varietals organized by color in artful displays.

At the new Next Eats area near the Epcot Character Spot, Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces will be inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. “The Chew” announced July 2 that the show will broadcast from Epcot during the festival.

At Sustainable Chew Marketplace, guests can taste delicious dishes inspired by “The Chew” co-hosts.
At Chew Lab, food science meets the hottest culinary tech trends to present innovative dishes like the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.

“The Future World festival marketplace expansion gives our guests more reasons than ever to help us celebrate 20 delicious festival years,” says Jens Dahlmann, general manager of Epcot Food & Beverage. “Adding even more sizzle, our collaboration with ABC’s ‘The Chew’ brings the cachet of a major daytime network television series and its celebrity hosts.”

More news to celebrate:

One of a series of popular Party for the Senses premium events will be the first-time Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses 31, an elegant, dance-the-night-away, gourmet tasting party with Champagne, wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails paired with food. Guests will be encouraged to masquerade in chic yellow and black. Reservations will open July 30, 2015, for festival premium events also to include the Mexican Tequila Lunch, Japanese Craft Beer Tasting, French Family Meal Traditions and dozens of events including Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining.

“The Chew” cast will host a new premium event: the Rockin’ Burger Block Party 8, with specialty burgers and sliders inspired by top names in the music industry such as Dave Matthews and his Dreaming Tree Wines and Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble Tequila. Two additional Burger Block Parties are set for Sept. 25 and Nov. 6.

The Dominican Republic Marketplace will return with fresh flair, serving new dishes including Pescado con Coco – seared grouper, pigeon peas with rice and coconut sauce. And at the Festival Center, the new Monday-through-Thursday “Spotlight on Dominican Republic” will showcase the country’s culture, crafts and culinary delights with artists and chefs at the Festival Center.

Two 20th-year celebratory wines were created just for this fall’s festival: a Napa Valley Festival Chardonnay and a Paso Robles Festival Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests will be able to purchase tastes of both wines at the Sustainable Chew marketplace, and the Festival Center Wine Shop will carry bottles.

At the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese, each keg of premium wine on tap will hold the equivalent of 26 wine bottles, eliminating bottle, cork, cardboard and paper waste from labels. Recycling and repurposing of glass bottles and corks from other marketplace locations will be part of the 20th-year festival story.

July 14, 2015

Walt Disney Archives Stage Premieres at D23 Expo

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The Walt Disney Archives and D23 are excited to announce a new presentation space that will debut alongside an already-rich EXPO programming slate—the Walt Disney Archives Stage.

Through presentations and panel discussions that represent nearly every facet of Disney history, this intimate 275-seat theater will give fans “a peek behind the magic” with presentations and panels featuring the Disney Legends, luminaries, and historians who help make the Disney universe, well… magical!

Several engaging presentations for fans are planned throughout the weekend. These include:

Before Ever After
Friday, August 14, 12:30 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Based on his new book, Before Ever After, Disney author and producer Don Hahn offers a glimpse into the incredible true story of the Disney Studio’s early artist training program that Walt held in the build-up to his first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In Conversation: Julie Reihm Casaletto
Friday, August 14, 2:30 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Join an informal conversation with the first Disneyland Ambassador, Julie Reihm Casaletto, about her Disney career—from working with Walt to her appointment as “Miss Disneyland Tencennial” (1965), the post that would ultimately set the stage for today’s Disneyland Ambassador Program.

In Conversation: Carson Van Osten
Friday, August 14, 4 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Settle in for a fun conversation moderated by Disney Legend Floyd Norman with Disney artist Carson Van Osten about his long-time career with The Walt Disney Company. From comics to character merchandising and video game concepts, Carson has done it all!


Disney Did That?: 4 Artists Paint 1 Tree—A Celebration of an Inspirational Masterpiece
Friday, August 14, 5:30 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

“4 Artists Paint 1 Tree,” originally part of the Disneyland anthology series program An Adventure in Art, profiles how artists use their own perceptions and techniques to capture the way they view the world. Though the program was made in the context of informing the audience about the making of Sleeping Beauty, the approach and the care put into this film elevated it beyond the mundane, creating something extraordinary, a visual and inspirational document of the creative process. Hosted by Fox Carney, Manager of Research for Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Animation Research Library.

Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue—Frontierland: 1957–1961
Saturday, August 15, 10 a.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Ron and David DeFore recollect their exciting adventures growing up in Disneyland when their father, actor Don DeFore, owned a restaurant in Frontierland. A unique part of early Disneyland history will be rediscovered via vintage park imagery paired with humorous tales and cherished family memories.

Disney University and Its Professor Emeritus, Van France
Saturday, August 15, 11:30 a.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Join Doug Lipp, former head of the training team at the Disney Studios and author of Disney U, as he interviews Disney Legend Jim Cora, retired chairman of Disneyland International, for an engaging fireside chat about Van France, who helped create The Happiest Place on Earth. Learn rarely told stories as shared by Jim, who was a founding member of the Disney University with Van.

In Conversation: Donnie Dunagan
Sorcerer Guest-Only Presentation
Saturday, August 15, 1 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Disney author and historian Jeff Kurtti sits down with voice actor Donnie Dunagan to talk about his early film career. Dunagan is perhaps best known for having provided the voice for young Bambi in the 1942 animated epic of the same name.


Disney Animation: Preservation-Restoration-Reconstruction
Saturday, August 15, 3 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Theo Gluck, The Walt Disney Studios’ Director of Library Restoration and Preservation, will discuss and demonstrate the techniques and technologies used to digitally preserve the fragile original negatives of classic and iconic Disney films from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Mary Poppins.


Pixar Living Archives: The 20th Year of Toy Story
Saturday, August 15, 4:30 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Lead Archivist and Pixar historian Christine Freeman gives a behind-the-scenes look at what lives in Pixar’s archives—describing their collections, the work of their archivists, and the history of the Toy Story art collection.

In Conversation: Council of Disney Archivists
Saturday, August 15, 6 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

The Walt Disney Company has a long and storied past. Such history is currently saved by several groups across the company, all of which work toward the same goal of preserving and sharing the very best of Disney’s history with the world. Fans have the chance to sit in on this informal panel discussion with some of the archivists, librarians, and researchers who oversee several of The Walt Disney Company’s amazing historical collections


Sounds Delightful: Disneyland Edition
Sunday, August 16, 10 a.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin hosts Sounds Delightful: Disneyland Edition, an “Illustrated Audio Adventure” across the Disney decades via vintage vinyl recordings from her extensive personal collection. Enjoy forgotten favorites from the turntables of yesteryear, rare promotional and production tracks… and a special 60th anniversary salute to Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom of Disneyland!


Everyone Loves the Circus…Including the Mouseketeers!
Sunday, August 16, 11:30 a.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Thursday was “Circus Day” on the Mickey Mouse Club television show, but for the 1955–1956 holiday season at Disneyland every day was a circus: the “Mickey Mouse Club Circus”! Join Disney historian Paula Sigman Lowery as she explores Walt Disney’s love of this famed American tradition, and celebrates this unique event with rare stills, film footage, and Mouseka-memories from Disneyland’s past.

Disneyland: Fond Memories of the Past
Sunday, August 16, 1 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Didn’t get a chance to experience D23’s Destination D: Attraction Rewind? Well, let’s turn back the clocks! Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline and Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin revisit their popular 2014 event presentation taking fans on a journey through some of Disneyland’s most beloved attractions of yesteryear.

Walking with Giants: A Virtual Visit to Walt Disney’s Hyperion Studio
Sorcerer Guest-Only Presentation
Sunday, August 16, 3 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Not since 1940 has anyone been able to walk the historic halls of Disney’s Hyperion Avenue studio, birthplace of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey Mouse, and feature-length animation. Combining state-of-the-art technology with never-before-seen vintage imagery, fans will explore this legendary location where Walt and his team unlocked the secrets of animation and turned amusement into art. Hosted by animation historian Hans Perk.

In Conversation: Wilma Baker and Ginny Mack
Sunday, August 16, 4:30 p.m.—Walt Disney Archives Stage

Hand-inked and painted cels helped bring the magic of Disney animation to the silver screen. Join host Mindy Johnson, author of the forthcoming book Ink & Paint—The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation, for a sneak-peek—and lively conversation—with Ink & Paint artists Wilma Baker and Ginni Mack, who worked on Disney’s animated feature films from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Little Mermaid!

Eight New Disney Legends Announced!

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George Lucas, Danny Elfman, Susan Lucci, Andreas Deja and Other Remarkable Contributors To Be Celebrated In A Special Awards Ceremony Hosted By Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger On Friday, August 14.

BURBANK, Calif. – July 14, 2015 – Star Wars creator George Lucas, composer Danny Elfman, All My Children star Susan Lucci, Disney Animator Andreas Deja and other beloved contributors to the Disney legacy will be named and honored as official Disney Legends during D23 EXPO 2015 at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 14, in Hall D23 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The ceremony will be hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, and will include special musical performances.

The Disney Legends Awards program is a 28-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company, and the first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987. The three-day EXPO provides the opportunity for Disney fans to be a part of the memorable and prestigious event.

“The Disney Legend Award is our highest honor, and we are incredibly proud to recognize these eight talented individuals who have contributed so much to the world of entertainment and the Disney legacy,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “Their vision and dedication to their work have brought joy to audiences around the globe and earned them a place in Disney history.”

The 2015 Disney Legend Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

GEORGE BODENHEIMER,
who retired from his role as Executive Chairman of ESPN in May 2014, enjoyed a remarkable 33-year career that began in the company’s mailroom in 1981. Working his way through the ranks, he became executive vice president of sales and marketing in 1996, before being named the network’s fifth president in 1998. He held that role until 2012, when he stepped down from day-to-day operations.

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ANDREAS DEJA is a link to Disney’s past and one of the greatest animators of its modern era. Deja is known for his rich portraits of villainy, having animated Gaston for Beauty and the Beast, Jafar for Aladdin, and Scar for The Lion King. He has also brought life to heroes such as mighty Hercules, the precocious Lilo (Lilo & Stitch), regal King Triton (The Little Mermaid), wise Mama Odie (The Princess and the Frog), and loveable Tigger (Winnie the Pooh). In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Winsor McCay Award for his contributions to the art of animation.

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EYVIND EARLE, one of the greatest of Disney artists, brought his unique style to a number of memorable projects but perhaps the purest realization of his vision remains the visual styling and backgrounds for the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. Earle’s career with Disney began in 1951, working on background artwork for Peter Pan. He created the look of the 1953 animated short Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which won an Academy Award® for Best Short Subject, Cartoons in 1954. His most noticeable contribution, however, remains his work on Sleeping Beauty. The film’s eye-catching look, in its design and backgrounds, are the perfect representation of his unique style.

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DANNY ELFMAN
provided the songs and score for The Nightmare Before Christmas, for which he also provided the singing voice of Jack Skellington. He also scored several Disney films including Alice in Wonderland, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Dick Tracy, Dead Presidents, Flubber, Good Will Hunting (Oscar® Nomination: Best Score), A Civil Action, Instinct, Frankenweenie, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Elfman also wrote the theme for ABC’s Desperate Housewives and penned the music for the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland. His music is featured in Disneyland’s annual Haunted Mansion Holiday. His upcoming Disney projects include Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.

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GEORGE LUCAS, whose Star Wars films made him one of the most successful filmmakers of all time, is also a longtime Disney fan who has left an indelible impression on Disney parks. His first project with Disney was Captain EO, the 1986 3-D spectacular starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Star Tours and Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, as well as Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril in Disneyland Paris, and two blockbuster Indiana Jones Adventure attractions at Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea round out Lucas’ timeless work in conjunction with Disney.

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SUSAN LUCCI portrayed Erica Kane on ABC’s fabled soap opera All My Children for 41 years, a role that TV Guide deemed unequivocally the most famous character in the history of daytime television, earning Lucci 21 Daytime Emmy® nominations to which she won the prestigious Emmy for Best Actress to an industry-wide standing ovation on her 19th nomination. Shortly thereafter, she received her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, presented to her by Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. The iconic actress has also appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and Hope & Faith, as well as Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven. Lucci currently stars in the international hit Lifetime series, Devious Maids, produced by ABC Studios, as the wealthy and effervescent socialite, Genevieve Delatour.

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JULIE REIHM CASALETTO, who began her Disney career as a tour guide, became Disneyland’s first Ambassador in 1965—a role created to help Walt, who found it increasingly difficult to attend all the events to which he was invited. As Disneyland’s first Ambassador, she was chosen “as a personification of Disneyland’s world-famous spirit of friendliness and happiness.” She became the template upon which decades of Ambassadors would pattern themselves.

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CARSON VAN OSTEN
helped bring Disney characters to life in a variety of media, all around the world, for three decades. During Van Osten’s tenure, he oversaw creative content for motion picture tie-in advertising, many Disney publications, and also established some of the first licensing style guides for Disney Consumer Products. The talented artist designed logos for Mickey Mouse’s 50th and 60th birthdays, the Walt Disney Studios logo and water tower design, and the Disneyland Hotel clock tower “Mickey” logo in Paris.

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Each honoree receives a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to the Company. Disney Legends Award recipients will also participate in a handprint ceremony at the end of the event, and their bronzed prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Company’s Burbank headquarters.

Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to D23 EXPO 2015.

Including this year’s honorees, a total of 257 Disney Legends have been named. Past Disney Legends include Tim Allen, Robin Williams, Julie Andrews, Howard Ashman, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, Peter Jennings, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Sir Tim Rice, Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Walters. With the inaugural D23 EXPO in 2009, thousands of Disney fans were able to enjoy the Legends Awards ceremony for the first time. Honorees that year included Robin Williams, Beatrice Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Betty White, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Harry Archinal, Don Iwerks, and Leota Toombs Thomas.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

4th Annual 'Great Irish Hooley' to Unleash Top Bands, Dancers and Craft Beers at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant Sept. 4-7 in Downtown Disney

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The best of Irish entertainment featuring headliner Screaming Orphans will take over Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant Sept. 4-7 for the 4th annual “Great Irish Hooley.”

The rockin’ long weekend, celebrating the half-way mark to St. Patrick’s Day, also will commemorate the iconic pub’s 10th year at Downtown Disney with the high-voltage energy of seven top Irish bands, authentic step dancing, and first-rate contemporary Irish cuisine by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. In addition to its featured menu of beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails, Raglan Road will spotlight four limited-edition craft beers brewed just for the Hooley by Ireland’s Rye River Brewing Company: a Raglan Road Saison, a citrusy Raglan Road Fruit Salad Weiss Beer, a refreshing McGargles Jims CO2 Stout and a McGargles Francis Tropical American IPA.

Labor Day weekend guests can celebrate Orlando’s only boutique Irish festival with performances beginning at noon Friday through Monday, and continuing throughout each day and night. This year’s Hooley band lineup includes:

Screaming Orphans (pictured above) - Four talented sisters from Bundoran in County Donegal, Ireland, who combine original pop/rock music with the Ceili (kay-lee) traditional music of their family roots. Their dynamic show has taken the festival circuit by storm, with stops at the Great Irish Hooley between August shows at the Milwaukee Irish Fest and September appearances at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival.

The Raglan Roots Coalition – 10 years down the road, Raglan felt it was time to shake its boogie – Roots style, with this new Irish house band. Think soul-rocking Celtic bluegrass with some hip-swingin’, knee-shakin’ funky roots beats, and you’re only halfway there.

JigJam – The hottest new act on the Celtgrass music scene, this County Offaly, Ireland, trio blend the best of hard-driving American Bluegrass and Irish folk music.

The West Coast Trio -- This three-man band from Ireland’s west coast plays traditional and contemporary Irish songs on accordion, flute and guitar with plenty of reels and jigs.

The Blarney Stones – Three talented musicians from Ireland with a fresh take on Irish music and a new, exciting sound for our guests. Lead singer Hannah Carr may dance a step or two, as she’s a former Raglan Road Irish Dancer!

The Blaggards –Hailing from County Clare, home of traditional Irish music, these vibrant musicians honed their skills performing on the west coast of Ireland gig scene while studying at the Irish Music Institute in the University of Limerick.

Cooney & Ryan – One of the finest traditional Irish music duos around, these accomplished, energetic musicians often invite the crowd to sing along.

The Raglan Road Irish Dancers – Plucked from the cast and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, the Raglan Road Dancers perform throughout the long Hooley weekend. You can even learn some traditional Irish dance steps – no experience necessary!


A traditional Irish social celebration, the “Hooley” combines music ranging from traditional to rock tunes with entertainment and fun for the whole family. The Hooley also will feature Celtic face-painting Saturday through Monday. Throughout the Hooley, guests can step up to one of Raglan Road’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. A Trip Advisor “Certificate of Excellence” 2015 Hall of Fame honoree and 2014 “Best Restaurant” Orlando magazine readers’ poll award winner, Raglan Road is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist, delectable seafood and gluten-free entrees.

“Ten years since opening, and four years since our first Hooley – we’re still going strong, and we’re excited to share our traditions, as well as the best of Irish bands and entertainers,” says John Cooke, a Raglan Road founding partner and Dublin native. The complete entertainment schedule will be posted at www.raglanroad.com and www.greatirishhooley.com closer to the event.

Owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke, Paul Nolan and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon – famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland – Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Live entertainment nightly and during weekend brunch includes the new Irish house band Raglan Roots Coalition, plus the Raglan Road Irish Dancers. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Saturday and Sunday Rollicking Raglan Brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

July 15, 2015

Shanghai Disneyland Themed Lands to Include New Attractions, Live Shows

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Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger has unveiled new, exciting details on Shanghai Disney Resort, the area’s first Disney destination, and the six themed lands planned for the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

Shanghai Disney Resort will be a world-class family entertainment destination that blends the magic of Disney and the cultural spirit and beauty of China. And during a special event that included Disney COO Tom Staggs and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, Bob Iger shared a peek at what the Resort will look like with the unveiling of a spectacular scale model showcasing its two hotels, Disneytown – its international shopping, dining and entertainment district, Wishing Star Park’s beautiful gardens and six themed lands of mainland China’s first Disney theme park – Shanghai Disneyland.

“We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind destination that will delight and entertain the people of China for generations to come,” said Iger speaking to media during today’s presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre. “We are taking everything we’ve learned from our six decades of exceeding expectations – along with our relentless innovation and famous creativity to create a truly magical place that is both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”

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At Shanghai Disneyland, Disney stories will come to life at the tallest, largest and most interactive castle at any Disney theme park. The themed lands will offer something for everyone with live stage productions, world premieres and thrilling attractions ­­– many never seen before – that will appeal to guests of all generations. Guests also will be able to experience Disney characters in each land, including Mickey and his pals on Mickey Avenue and in Gardens of Imagination.

Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland

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In Tomorrowland, one of the six themed lands, guests will be able to experience the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, a new coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles for one of the most thrilling adventures at any Disney park.

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Along with Tomorrowland, we have a more detailed look at the lands coming to Shanghai Disneyland:

Fantasyland will be the largest land and home to the majestic Enchanted Storybook Castle. In this fairy-tale paradise, guests will float through familiar Disney stories on Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, hitch a rollicking ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and take flight over the skies of London on Peter Pan’s Flight. They may also explore the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh or follow Alice through a dazzling Wonderland maze.

Treasure Cove
– will be the first pirate-themed land in a Disney park. As guests explore this pirate world, they will enter Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of Sunken Treasure, an attraction that transforms a boat ride into a thrilling journey with cutting-edge innovations in robotics, animation, set design and multimedia. Adventurous spirits will be tempted to board a pirate ship, paddle through the scenic cove on Explorer Canoes and dine at Barbossa’s Bounty.

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Adventure Isle will immerse guests in a newly discovered lost world, filled with hidden treasures and a chance to explore its mysteries. The mighty Roaring Mountain will tower over guests and beckon them on their journey. Guests can blaze their own trails at Camp Discovery, travel around the world on Soaring over the Horizon, or embark on the thrilling rafting adventure Roaring Rapids, straight through the heart of Adventure Isle. There they discover the underworld realm of a mysterious, fearsome creature.

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Tomorrowland will not only include the TRON Lightcycle Power Run but also offer the chance for guests to go to infinity and beyond on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, a new space ranger adventure, or break the bonds of gravity on Jet Packs. The land will feature a massive, color-shifting canopy near the TRON Lightcycle Power Run.

Mickey Avenue will be the first main entry at a Disney park inspired by the colorful personalities of Mickey Mouse and his pals. In the neighborhoods of this welcoming, whimsical avenue, guests will share a hug and get a photo with some all-time favorite Disney characters. Avenue M Arcade, one of the many shops along the avenue, will feature the largest selection of gifts and collectibles inside the theme park.

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Gardens of Imagination will celebrate the wonders of nature and the joy of imagination, as guests leave everyday life behind to enjoy the seven whimsical gardens. Guests will take a spin on the Fantasia Carousel, soar on the back of Dumbo the Flying Elephant and enjoy the area’s iconic Disney entertainment, including Castle stage shows and “Ignite the Dream, a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.” From several places in this land, guests will enjoy “Mickey’s Storybook Express,” an exciting parade with its own musical soundtrack and colorful performers on the longest parade route in a Disney park.

Since breaking ground in 2011, Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group announced that they were expanding the park by adding additional attractions and entertainment to allow more guests to have a spectacular Disney experience at Grand Opening in spring of 2016.

Stay tuned for more updates on Shanghai Disney Resort.

(source: Disney Parks Blog)

Changes on the Disney Magic - Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Edge

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Beginning September 2015, when the Disney Magic transitions back to the United States, a new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will debut on Deck 10 forward. This new salon will provide services to children ages 3-12.

There are several "looks" to choose from including a Royal Princess, royal night and more.

On pirate night, the boutique transforms to the Pirate League where pirates of all ages can become a buccaneer.

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Also look the Edge, the tween club, moving to Deck 9 midship. The new space will feature a dance floor and high tech gaming stations. This area is reserved for cruisers aged 11-14.

July 16, 2015

ABC Television Announces Exclusive Autograph Sessions at D23 Expo

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THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK SPOTLIGHTS THE CREATIVE FORCES AND STARS FROM SOME OF ITS MOST EXCITING SHOWS AT D23 EXPO 2015, WITH EXCLUSIVE Q&As AND AUTOGRAPH SESSIONS
“Once Upon a Time” Panel Features Series Creators/Executive Producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, as well as Stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parrilla, Who Will Talk About Their Hit ABC Series
Find Out What It’s Like to Work with the Muppets in a Special Panel Featuring the Talented Performers Working on the New ABC Primetime Series “The Muppets”
Autograph Sessions Set Throughout the Weekend with Some of Your Favorite Stars from “black-ish,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “The Goldbergs” and “Once Upon a Time”


BURBANK, Calif. – July 16, 2015 – Be among the first to learn the secrets of what’s ahead on ABC’s most anticipated new and returning fall series; hear from some of the fairy tale residents of “Once Upon a Time” and the very talented performers from the new series “The Muppets”; and meet some of your favorite ABC stars in person during special signing sessions at D23 EXPO: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, where all the worlds of Disney come together, August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Panels and Presentations


The Magic Behind The Muppets
- Friday, August 14, 10:00 a.m., Stage 23

The Muppets

Calling all Muppet fans! Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work with the Muppets? Here’s your chance to find out firsthand when ABC presents a panel on the magic and art of being a Muppet Performer. Join these creative artists and some of your favorite characters, along with a few surprise guests, for a rare and unforgettable demonstration of what it takes to bring these iconic and enduring personalities to life.

Once Upon a Time: An Evening with Snow White & the Evil Queen - Saturday, August 15, 6:00 p.m., Stage 23

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“Once Upon a Time’s” savior has gone dark! As Emma Swan transitions into her role as the Dark One, join the resident fairy tale characters as they cope with Emma’s new role and begin the search for Merlin. This is a journey that will take our heroes from the Enchanted Forest to Camelot and along the way bring many surprises, including Merida from “Brave,” as “Once Upon a Time” introduces its first Pixar character. Join co-creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis (“LOST”) and Adam Horowitz (“LOST”) along with series stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parrilla as they discuss the upcoming season of unexpected twists, evolving characters, new adventures and new rivalries. This panel is sure to bring some surprises you don’t want to miss and an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming season premiere! The Q&A with this fairy tale team will be moderated by D23’s Jeffrey Epstein.


On The Show Floor

Autograph Signings

Meet and receive autographs from some of your favorite ABC stars at the Disney | ABC TV Pavilion booth, located on the show floor. Following is the appearance schedule (subject to change):

Friday, August 14

12:00-12:50 p.m. - "Dancing with the Stars" pro dancers Witney Carson (Season 19 champion) and Allison Holker (Season 20 runner-up)

Saturday, August 15

4:00-4:50 p.m. - "black-ish" stars Yara Shahidi (Zoey), Marcus Scribner (Andre Johnson Jr) , Miles Brown (Jack) and Marsai Marti (Diane)

5:00-5:40 p.m. "Once Upon a Time" stars to be announced

Sunday, August 16

10:00-10:50 a.m. - "Fresh Off the Boat" stars Randall Park (Louis), Constance Wu (Jessica), Hudson Yang (Eddie) , Forrest Wheeler (Emery) and Ian Chen (Evan)

5:00-5:50 p.m. - "The Goldbergs" stars Sean Giambrone (Adam) and Hayley Orrantia (Erica)

“Once Upon a Time” Snow White and Evil Queen Doll Collection

Limited Edition of 300, $129.95 -- Inspired by ABC Studios’ television series “Once Upon a Time,” this collection brings to life the beauty, magic and charm of the iconic fairy tale characters from the show. Exclusively available at Disney Store at D23 EXPO.

Doll Collection Autograph Signing Opportunity with Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Lana Parrilla (The Evil Queen)

Ginnifer and Lana will sign the “Once Upon a Time” Doll Collection, available exclusively at Disney Store at D23 EXPO. This autograph session will take place on Saturday, August 15 from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. at the ABC booth on the D23 EXPO show floor, and is exclusively for those guests who have purchased one of the dolls.


Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015
are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.


July 17, 2015

ABC Family Stars to Meet Fans at D23 Expo

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Fans Invited to Meet the Stars of ABC Family's Hit Series from “Young & Hungry,” “The Fosters,” “Switched at Birth,” “Stitchers,” and “Baby Daddy”

BURBANK, Calif. – July 17, 2015 – Fans can meet their favorite ABC Family stars and collect exclusive pin sets at D23 EXPO 2015, the ultimate Disney fan event, August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

ABC Family will give away exclusive pin sets each day at the Disney | ABC TV Pavilion booth, from our much anticipated new series “Shadowhunters” on Friday, August 14, from the network’s hit series “Pretty Little Liars” on Saturday, August 15 and from the network’s annual event 25 Days of Christmas on Sunday, August 16.

Fans can also meet some of their favorite network stars throughout the weekend in the Disney | ABC TV Pavilion booth, located on the show floor. Following is the appearance schedule (subject to change):

FRIDAY, AUGUST 14

11:00 – 11:50am -- “Young & Hungry” stars Jonathan Sadowski and Aimee Carrero

1:00 – 1:50pm -- “The Fosters” stars Sherri Saum and Hayden Byerly

5:00 – 5:50pm -- “Switched at Birth” stars Constance Marie and Lea Thompson

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15

12:00 – 12:50pm -- “Stitchers” stars Emma Ishta, Kyle Harris, Ritesh Rajan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Allison Scagliotti

6:00 – 6:50pm -- “Baby Daddy” stars Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Chelsea Kane and Melissa Peterman

*Schedule is subject to change.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

Additional details and updates about ABC Family star appearances and special activities will continue to be updated on www.D23EXPO.com and on Facebook and Twitter at “DisneyD23” as well as the ABC Family Media Relations Twitter and Instagram handle @ABC Family.

About ABC Family

Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in 94 million homes. ABC Family entertains and connects to audiences with bold, relatable programming that celebrates the epic adventure of becoming an adult, from first kiss to first kid. ABC Family's programming is a combination of network-defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. “WATCH ABC Family” is an authenticated service which allows viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on-demand access to such popular series at home and on-the-go via a wide array of devices. ABC Family is also the destination for annual holiday events with "13 Nights of Halloween" and "25 Days of Christmas."

About D23 EXPO 2015

D23 EXPO—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 EXPO 2015 news, visit D23EXPO.com. To join the D23 EXPO conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 on Twitter and use #D23EXPO

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It 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.

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

July 18, 2015

Disneyland Resort Celebrates 60th Anniversary;Announces Million Dollar Philanthropic Program Benefitting Local Nonprofits During Diamond Celebration

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Mickey Mouse and Friends Mark Anniversary with Guests Dressed ‘50s-Style, Celebration Cupcakes; Diamond Celebration Sparkles All Year with Dazzling New Nighttime Entertainment

ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 17, 2015) – Sixty years ago today, Walt Disney dedicated his dream project: Disneyland – a land beyond the boundaries of the motion pictures with which he’d made his reputation, a park where families and guests of all ages could be immersed in worlds of fantasy and adventure.

Today, as part of its Diamond Celebration, the Disneyland Resort honored 60 years of that dream by announcing “Million Dollar Dazzle” at a ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle. Each month during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the Million Dollar Dazzle Crew will surprise one or more local nonprofits that exemplify Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ Better Together philosophy with a $60,000 gift, totaling more than $1 million. Girl Scouts of Orange County was surprised with the first gift earlier today. The funds will support the organization’s Comadres outreach program that helps the Girl Scout experience transcend language and cultural barriers for girls in low-income neighborhoods.

“What makes our Diamond Celebration so special is the opportunity to share even more Disney magic with our guests in the parks, and our neighbors in the community,” said Michael Colglazier, president of the Disneyland Resort. “Our ‘Million Dollar Dazzle’ program proudly supports local organizations that enrich the lives of children and families.”

The ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle also included the tradition of playing the recording of Walt Disney’s July 17, 1955 welcome to the first Disneyland guests. Mickey Mouse and all his friends were in attendance, and Disney Legend and Academy Award-winning composer Richard M. Sherman (“Mary Poppins”) was joined by actress and singer Ashley Brown (star of “Mary Poppins” on Broadway) singing “Feed the Birds” and leading Disneyland park guests in singing “Happy Birthday.”

Later in the day, a cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., featured current Disneyland Resort cast members along with those who worked at Disneyland in 1955. Guests were invited to show their 1955 Disney side by dressing up ‘50s-style in the elegant manner of the guests on Disneyland opening day, and to enjoy special anniversary photo locations and ‘50s-inspired entertainment. Large video screens in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks and the Downtown Disney District displayed anniversary moments of the day. In addition, all guests were treated to special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration cupcakes. More than 100,000 were prepared for the occasion.

For six decades, Disneyland Resort has explored the frontiers of interactive storytelling and entertainment technology, bringing exciting attractions and inventive entertainment to life for guests from around the world. The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is highlighted by three new nighttime spectaculars that, once again, raise the bar on creativity and entertainment technology to keep the resort and its guests forever young.

Disneyland Lights Up the Night for Diamond Celebration

“Paint the Night – All-New Electrical Parade” – When the lights go down in Disneyland, the Diamond Celebration illuminates the park with a brilliant, new parade. The luminescent parade creates a river of color flowing down Main Street, U.S.A., with an array of Disney characters and more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights that flash and glow as Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to “Paint the Night.” With dazzling special effects, unforgettable music, energetic performances, fun surprises and spectacular floats, “Paint the Night” is more vibrant than any parade in 60 years at the Disneyland Resort.
“Disneyland Forever,” presented by Honda – The dazzling new fireworks spectacular “Disneyland Forever” is a street-to-sky, immersive experience like nothing seen before at the Disneyland Resort. Guests are surrounded by the worlds of timeless Disney tales, from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, thanks to the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park and surprising special effects. The “stage” for “Disneyland Forever” fireworks will extend from the sky above to the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A., the façade of “it’s a small world,” the Matterhorn and mist screens along the Rivers of America, with specially designed digital projections offering guests new experiences at each location.
“World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” – Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris joins Mickey Mouse on a magical water canvas to entertain guests in this fun-filled new presentation of the popular, nighttime “World of Color” spectacular in Disney California Adventure. Both epic and intimate in scope, “World of Color – Celebrate!” brings to life the remarkable story of Walt and The Happiest Place on Earth with animated imagery, live-action film, fountains, lasers, special effects and a stirring musical score.

All three of these electrifying new shows are presented nightly, making Disneyland Resort sparkle as never before during its Diamond Celebration.

July 21, 2015

The Good Dinosaur New Trailer and Image!

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"The Good Dinosaur" asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

Directed by Peter Sohn, “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theatres nationwide Nov. 25, 2015.

July 22, 2015

Walt Disney Studios Presents Upcoming Film Slate at D23 Expo

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‘Can’t Miss’ Offerings Include Frozen Sing-Along, Toy Story 20th Anniversary, Star Wars, and Secret Special Guests

BURBANK, CA – July 21, 2015 – The Walt Disney Studios offers an exclusive look at its upcoming projects from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm at D23 EXPO 2015, taking place August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Studio will unveil its animation and live-action film slates via two huge Hall D23 presentations featuring surprise guests and many unforgettable moments. Other not-to-be-missed events include a Frozen FANdemonium musical celebration with Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and the 20th anniversary celebration of Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story with John Lasseter and the original Pixar crew.

HALL D23 PRESENTATIONS:

Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films
Hosted by John Lasseter Friday, August 14, 3:00 pm - Hall D23

After meeting the Emotions inside the mind of an 11-year-old, taking a trip to San Fransokyo, where a boy genius and his robot save the world, and falling in love with a queen with icy powers who wants to “let it go,” come see where Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios plan to take you next. In what has become a D23 EXPO must-see, host John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, presents this in-depth look at the animation studios’ slate. Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage from Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory and Disney Animation’s Zootopia and Moana. The event will include surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by the films’ star voice talent.

Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios
Saturday, August 15, 10:30 am - Hall D23

Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm are home to some of the planet’s best storytellers, immersing audiences fully in the world of each film from beginning to end and beyond. In this exclusive Hall D23 presentation, join Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn for a tour of upcoming live-action projects from these legendary film studios. A bevy of special guests will be on hand to offer a look at an unparalleled slate that includes Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens—and much, much more.

Frozen FANdemonium: A Musical Celebration!
Sunday, August 16, 3:00 pm - Hall D23

Join host Chris Montan, president, Walt Disney Music, and the Oscar®-winning songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez as they take you on a once-in-a-lifetime musical journey through the world of Frozen. This one-day-only performance features your favorite friends from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film—including Anna and Elsa––with sing-along experiences and fascinating stories behind some of your favorite Frozen songs.


CALENDAR OF KEY EVENTS:

In Conversation with the Filmmakers and the Emotions Behind Inside Out

Friday, August 14, 11:30 am – Stage 28

Get the inside story on the making of Pixar’s latest summer release, Inside Out. Hear from Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up) as they reminisce and share their personal stories of creating a world that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen.

Welcome to Zootopia!
Saturday, August 15, 1:30 pm - Stage 28

Welcome to Zootopia, a magnificent mammal metropolis, and home to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ next feature, the comedy-adventure Zootopia. Join directors Byron Howard (Tangled, Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph, Bolt), and artists from the incredible production team as they introduce rookie rabbit-officer Judy Hopps, con-artist fox Nick Wilde and a host of dynamic animal characters, sharing footage and behind-the-scenes stories with D23 EXPO-goers.

Pixar Secrets Revealed! Hear the Stories They Didn’t Want You to Know!
Saturday, August 15, 3:00 pm – Stage 28

Ever wonder where your favorite Pixar stories began? Hear the stories you don’t know about the classic films that you love. Pixar senior development executive Mary Coleman hosts this experience, welcoming the storytellers behind some of Pixar’s most successful films, including Darla K. Anderson (A Bug’s Life,Monsters, Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Brave), Ronnie del Carmen (Up, Inside Out) and Dan Scanlon (Cars, Toy Story 3, Monsters University), as they talk about the twists and turns of crafting a narrative and share some of the crazy story ideas that didn’t make the final cut.

Toy Story: 20 Years Later, the Original Crew Looks Back
Saturday, August 15, 4:30 pm – Stage 23

From flipbooks to feature films, animation has taken audiences to fantastical new worlds, far beyond the limits of any real-world setting. Pixar Animation Studios has been at the forefront of this evolution, blurring the line between art and technology and bringing beloved characters to life with heart and humor. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1995’s Toy Story, the first computer-animated feature film, join members of the original crew, including filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Galyn Susman, Ralph Eggleston, Sharon Calahan, Eben Ostby, Bob Pauley and Bill Reeves as they share their stories and the challenges they faced along the way.

Aladdin – The Making of a Classic
Saturday, August 15, 6:00 pm - Stage 28

Join Walt Disney Animation Studios filmmakers, including legendary directors John Musker and Ron Clements, animators Eric Goldberg (Genie) and Mark Henn (Jasmine), as well as Jasmine herself, Linda Larkin, and the two actors who gave life to the character Aladdin: Scott Weinger and Brad Kane, as they unveil the stories behind one of the great Disney classics, Aladdin, a film that led to a “whole new world” for animation.

The Shorts of Walt Disney Animation Studios: from Paperman to Prep & Landing, Feast to Frozen Fever
Sunday, August 16, 11:30 am - Stage 28

When Walt Disney and his brother Roy founded the Disney Brothers Studio in 1923, their first medium for storytelling was the animated short. More than 90 years later, Walt Disney Animation Studios continues this tradition, making groundbreaking and award-winning shorts including Feast, Paperman and this year’s hit Frozen Fever. Join the filmmakers behind these shorts and so many others, including Get A Horse!, John Henry, Lorenzo and The Ballad of Nessie for a conversation about this truly animated art form.

The Tunes Behind the Toons: Screening/Q&A
Sunday, August 16, 6:00 pm, Stage 28

D23 EXPO invites you to a special screening and Q&A panel for The Tunes Behind the Toons, a short form documentary that celebrates the power of music in animation. From the silent film days when organists played live accompaniments, to the music within today’s animated features, this documentary traces the origins of cartoon music and its pioneers. Featuring interviews with Alan Menken, Randy Newman, Patrick Doyle, Mark Watters, Bruce Broughton, Richard Sherman and many others. Producer/director Dave Bossert will lead a star-studded Q&A following the presentation.


ON THE EXPO SHOW FLOOR:

The Walt Disney Studios – Show Floor Exhibition

Step into the worlds of The Walt Disney Studios in this wide-ranging showcase of exciting projects from Disney Live Action, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm. Among the many highlights:

- For the first time at D23 EXPO, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios have created a joint experience no Disney fan should miss. With live demonstrations, presentations, and autograph signings with top filmmakers from each studio, plus free giveaways and interactive displays featuring the filmsInside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Zootopia, Finding Dory and Moana, this is a can’t-miss attraction for animation fans.

- Explore costumes, props and photo ops from the Studios’ live-action films, including Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm.

Disney Movies Anywhere Tweet Suite

Take pics and share them in the Disney Movies Anywhere Tweet Suite. It’s also the perfect opportunity to learn more about Disney Movies Anywhere, Disney’s digital movie app that lets you watch your Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movie collection across your favorite devices, anywhere you go.

Say Aloha to John Lasseter’s Film-Themed Hawaiian Shirts

Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter takes Disney and Pixar animation to heart—literally. For nearly every film—fromFinding Nemo and Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen and Inside Out, Lasseter has commissioned an exclusive movie-themed Hawaiian shirt. And those who know the Oscar®-winning storyteller know that he loves his Hawaiian shirts—and dons one for almost every occasion. Animation fans will see their favorite film characters “materialize” before their eyes in this colorful collection, which will be exhibited on the show floor.

An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg

D23 hosts the first public exhibition anywhere of “An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg.” Celebrate Goldberg, whose artistry at Walt Disney Animation Studios began with his groundbreaking work on Genie in Aladdin, and continues to this day on projects such as the upcoming Moana and the 2014 Oscar®-nominated Mickey Mouse short Get A Horse! The exhibition features a collection of more than 100 of Goldberg’s caricatured creations of Disney characters, drawn in a style reminiscent of art seen on the famed walls of Sardi’s Restaurant and The Brown Derby. This incredible collection of art is from the newly released book An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg Draws the Disney Characters, and will be available for purchase in the Walt Disney Publishing pop-up shop on the EXPO show floor.

Frozen Album Signing

With the purchase of Frozen: The Songs or Frozen Picture Disc at the Disney Music Emporium, guests will be issued a wristband to secure a space for an album signing with Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez and Tom MacDougall (Co-Producer, Frozen Soundtrack) on Saturday, August 15 at 10:30 am.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

July 24, 2015

Disney Store to Unveil ALL-New Product Collections at D23 EXPO 2015

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Glendale, Calif. - July 23, 2015 - Disney Store today announced the all-new collections and Limited Editions set to launch at this year’s D23 EXPO 2015, Disney’s ultimate fan event held at the Anaheim Convention Center August 14–16. Located within the Disney Consumer Products Pavilion at D23 EXPO, the Disney Store shop will feature new and exclusive products showcased throughout more than 3,000 sq. ft. of retail space. New items celebrating everyone’s favorite characters will be unveiled each day throughout the weekend.

In addition to offering attendees the chance to shop special products not yet available to the general public, fans will also have the chance to meet the artists and designers who created these exciting new collections and be treated to the official Disney Store opening ceremony on Friday, August 14. During the ceremony, a special attendee will be chosen to “unlock imagination” at 9 a.m. alongside some of Disney's most famous characters.

D23 EXPO attendees will get a first look at collections making their debut at the event, including the next installment of the popular Disney Fairytale Designer Collection; a Limited Edition Doll Collection from ABC Studios’ television series Once Upon a Time; Toy Story 20th Anniversary; and Disney Tsum Tsum.

Highlights of the new collections include:

· Disney Fairytale Designer Collection – Happily ever after meets happily evil in Disney Store’s newest series of the Disney Fairytale Designer Collection being previewed at D23 EXPO. Featuring five sets of Limited Edition pairs, these collector doll sets were designed by Disney Store artists and carefully crafted to capture the beauty and romance of fairytale friends and foes.

Available for the first time at D23 EXPO, guests can pre-purchase the complete set of five Hero/Villain pairs prior to the general public pre-sale beginning online Monday, September 14.

Following the preview at D23 EXPO, the doll sets will be released and available for purchase in stores and online starting September 29, with a new pair released each week. Each set is limited to an edition of 6,000 globally and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

This line expands into a collection of apparel, mugs, journals, home décor and more, available to the general public in stores and online on September 14.

· Once Upon a Time – Continuing the ‘heroes and villains’ theme, Disney Store will introduce the Once Upon a Time Snow White and Evil Queen Doll Collection, available exclusively at D23 EXPO. Limited to an edition of 300, the doll collection, inspired by ABC Studios’ television series Once Upon a Time, brings to life the beauty, magic and charm of the iconic fairytale characters from the show.

Exclusively for guests who purchase the doll set at D23 EXPO, Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Lana Parrilla (The Evil Queen) will be available for an autograph signing at the ABC booth on the D23 EXPO floor from 4 – 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, August 15. This special opportunity will be followed by the Once Upon a Time panel taking place in Stage 23 from 6 – 7 p.m.

· Star Wars – Disney Store will launch an exclusive collection of Star Wars items at the EXPO on Friday, August 14. The collection will feature apparel, collectibles, and toys, including the Star Wars Elite Series, a new line of highly articulated and detailed die cast action figures, representing characters from Star Wars Episodes I-VI. The action figures will be sold individually at Disney Store locations beginning later this year; however, EXPO attendees have the opportunity to purchase the full set of Star Wars Elite Series action figures, which includes D23 EXPO-exclusive versions of R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Additionally at D23 EXPO, Disney Store will introduce Star Wars Legion Helmets, a series of eight vinyl collectible helmets inspired by the Star Wars Legion Helmet project launched in early 2014. Celebrating creativity and Star Wars, the project pulled together artists from across The Walt Disney Company, resulting in 300 stormtrooper helmets being transformed into diverse pieces of art, which inspired these collectible recreations – epic additions to every Empire.

· Toy Story 20th Anniversary – In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Disney∙Pixar's Toy Story, Disney Store gleaned art from the adored film’s archives to illustrate the evolution of the beloved characters, Buzz and Woody. Featuring toys, collectibles, apparel and more, this collection will be released at the Disney Store shop at D23 EXPO on Friday, August 14.

· Disney Tsum Tsum – All-new collections of everyone’s favorite stackable plush will be unveiled at D23 EXPO, with one releasing each day in limited quantities in mini, medium and large sizes. In addition, limited-edition mini box series – exclusive to D23 EXPO – will be released along with each collection, and a Mickey Mouse Tsum Tsum mini vinyl figure will be available for $5 with any purchase, while supplies last.

Also launching at D23 EXPO is Disney Store’s “Disney 3D Print Studio,” which offers fans the chance to personalize figures, including Marvel’s Iron Man, with their likeness through the use of facial-scanning kiosks. The figures ordered at the event will feature packaging unique to D23 EXPO.

New this year, in an effort to minimize wait times for guests, D23 is introducing StorePass at select D23 EXPO shopping locations, including the Disney Store shop. A limited quantity of StorePass tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 14, and while they last, at the StorePass desk located adjacent to the StagePass distribution area in Hall A. Guests can visit D23EXPO.com’s “Things to Know” page for more details.

The Disney Store shop at D23 EXPO can be found in the Disney Consumer Products Pavilion. Additional details and updates about Disney Store D23 EXPO events and activities will continue to be updated on www.D23EXPO.com, on Facebook, and Twitter @DisneyD23.

To find a local Disney Store, guests can visit www.DisneyStore.com/storelocator or call (866) 902-2798. Guests can also sign up for email alerts at www.DisneyStore.com/Updates, become a fan on Facebook www.facebook.com/DisneyStore or follow along on Twitter @DisneyStore.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

60 Years of Innovation - Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

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The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts show floor pavilion will give D23 EXPO 2015 guests a look into the much-anticipated Shanghai Disney Resort, as well as a preview of the Avatar project coming to Walt Disney World Resort’s Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Plus, in addition to the previously announced Hall D23 presentation on Saturday, August 15, guests will have the opportunity to hear from executives, Imagineers, designers, Disney Legends and others directly involved with various projects for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in five engaging panels.

On The Show Floor

Located in Hall C, the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion is a 12,500-square-foot exhibit that gives guests a glimpse of the creative process in designing and building Shanghai Disney Resort, along with a preview of the Avatar project coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In a celebratory exhibit on Shanghai Disney Resort, maquettes, artist illustrations, and media clips capture the designers’ journey as the resort comes to life. Guests can learn about the show design process and discover the tradition and innovation infused into the resort.

Guests will also get an in-depth look at Pandora when they explore what’s to come for the AVATAR project, with models, images, and exhibits on display.

Additionally, Mickey’s of Glendale, the Imagineering-exclusive merchandise store, will open an outpost at the Pavilion where guests will have the opportunity to purchase merchandise specially designed for D23 EXPO 2015.

Presentations and Panels

60 Years of Disney Parks Merchandise (Stage 28)
Friday, August 14 - 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Join our talented Disney Design Group artists, merchandisers, and special guests as they take you from concept to reality with behind-the-scenes storytelling about classic Disney souvenirs and how they have become tangible lasting memories. Guests will get a first look at some of the exciting new merchandise coming to Disney parks.

Safari So Good—60 Years of the World Famous Jungle Cruise (Stage 23)
Friday, August 14 - 3:15–4:15 p.m.

Skippers from throughout the years reflect on their experiences at the Jungle Cruise, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary as one of Disneyland’s opening-day attractions. They will also discuss changes to the attraction over the years including recent holiday overlays and other additions.

Imagineering 60 Years of Disneyland (Stage 23)
Friday, August 14 - 5–7 p.m.

In a two-part panel discussion about Disneyland with Disney Legends and current Imagineers, panelists will discuss how it all began, what it took to carry on Walt Disney’s legacy, and how Imagineers are continuing to deliver magic well into the future. The panel is moderated by Academy Award®- and Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks, who will present a new trailer from her forthcoming documentary about Walt Disney Imagineering.

Disney Kingdoms (Stage 28)
Sunday, August 16 - 10–11 a.m.

Guests will learn about Disney Kingdoms, a joint collaboration between Marvel Comics and Walt Disney Imagineering. Guests will hear how these popular comic book series got started and discover the creators and theme park inspirations behind these popular titles, including Seekers of the Weird, Figment, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Experience the World with Disney: Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, and Disney Vacation Club (Stage 28)
Sunday, August 16 - 3–4 p.m.

This panel will provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how Disney is creating new vacation experiences for families all around the world. The first 400 guests in attendance will get a D23 EXPO-exclusive pin set.

Four Seasons Orlando Celebrates First Anniversary

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Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is ready to celebrate its first anniversary on August 3, 2015, and what an incredible first year it’s been! The Resort recently received confirmation it has received the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award ranking for the second year in a row, still the first and only resort in Central Florida to receive the designation.

In its first year of operation, the Resort received accolades including:

** Named to Robb Report magazine’s annual list of the Best of the Best Awards in the Best Hotels & Resorts category

** Named the #1 hotel in Orlando by US News & World Report magazine, the only hotel in Central Florida to make the list of US News Best Hotels in the USA list

** Named to the 2015 Travel + Leisure magazine It List: Best New Hotels in 2015

** Named to the 2015 Conde Nast Traveler magazine Hot List of Best New Hotels and Resorts

There’s never been a better time to experience Central Florida’s first Five Diamond property. On the anniversary of the Resort’s opening day on August 3 Four Seasons is offering five ways to join in the celebration:

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Special Anniversary Dinner at Ravello

Enjoy a delicious three-course meal at the Resort’s Italian restaurant, helmed by Torino, Italy native Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi. All of the pasta, breads and pizza dough at Ravello are made fresh in-house daily, and many recipes Schenardi uses are from his grandmother’s kitchen, bringing an authentic taste of Italy to diners at Ravello. The Ravello dinner on August 3 is offered at USD 33 per person.

The three-course dinner menu includes:

First Course - Beef carpaccio with cured mushrooms, pickled radish and watercress; or Cesare with hearts of romaine, Parmigiano, anchovy and focaccia croutons; or grilled calamari with orange, fennel, arugula and capers

Second Course - Veal Milanese with oven-roasted tomatoes and herb salad; or grilled chicken with EVOO and herb crushed potato, seasonal vegetables and natural jus; or pan seared salmon with string beans, pancetta and fregola

Third Course - Fabrizio's tiramisu and gelato duo

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Special Anniversary Dinner at Capa

Celebrate with a three-course dinner at Capa, the Resort’s signature rooftop steakhouse, featuring prime meats, fresh seafood, and an array of Basque-inspired Spanish tapas. Capa features an open kitchen and stunning views of the lakes and woodlands. Diners can also step outside onto the terrace to watch the nightly Magic Kingdom Park fireworks. The Capa dinner on August 3 is offered at USD 55 per person.

The three-course dinner menu includes:

First Course – Fideos - smoked mussels with saffron and fennel; or albóndigas - lamb meatballs with plum and goat cheese

Second Course – Carne – bavette, foie, sunchoke and radicchio; or eschabache – tuna, tomato, saffron and potato

Third Course - Churros de Madrid with chocolate sauce; or crema Catalana with cinnamon hojaldre

Spa the Day Away

Spend the day at The Spa at Four Seasons and enjoy a glass of complimentary sparkling wine with any treatment. Guests who opt for an 80-minute treatment can use the Resort’s pools for the day, including the tranquil adult-only pool, aptly named The Oasis. The Spa offers 18 treatment rooms including six couples’ suites, a separate hair and nail salon, and sumptuous relaxation areas including a co-ed indoor and outdoor relaxation lounge, and his-and-hers locker rooms complete with an experience shower, steam room and outdoor whirlpool. Each guest who experiences a treatment on August 3 will be entered to win prize drawings, including a gift from Natura Bisse, Turo Men’s Skincare products, Amala Beauty products, a Rishi Tea set, Innovative Skincare products and much more.

Wardrobe and Fable

The Resort’s lobby level boutiques, Wardrobe and Fable, have become well-known for the vast assortment of everything from special gifts to designer outfits and one-of-a-kind custom jewelry. Everyone who takes time to pop into the boutiques on August 3 can have the opportunity to register to win one of several fashionable prizes.

Fore! Experience Tranquilo Golf Club.

Summer rates are in full swing at Tranquilo Golf Club, where during July and August 2015, afternoon rates for 18 holes of golf are as low as USD 55 per person. Take advantage of playing on one of Central Florida’s premier courses. With varying elevation, protected wetlands, and abundant wildlife, the course is picturesque and also challenging. Four sets of tees accommodate all skillsets.

For dinner reservations, Spa appointments, or tee times, call 407 313 7777.

July 28, 2015

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters Rolling into Disney California Adventure Park

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Luigi will be returning from Italy next year with his cousins from Carsoli, Italy. They will celebrate Race Day in Radiator Springs as the demonstrate the dances of their villages with Cars Land guests.

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters opens early 2016!

This will be a whole new attraction (different than Mater's)

Kid-Size Package for Preschool Families available for select 2015 dates

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney makes little dreams come true in big ways with the Fall Kid-Size Package ideal for preschool families. The vacation package provides special savings to experience all the fun of stories, characters and attractions that little ones love at Walt Disney World Resort, including the fun of Disney Junior during the golden days of the harvest season.

The fall Kid-Size Package includes three nights at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort and two-day theme park tickets for a family of three for $903*. Guests can book this package beginning July 20 through September 18. This package is available for Sunday – Thursday nights during select travel dates: Oct. 4- 8, Oct. 12- Nov. 5, Nov. 9-19, and Nov. 29- Dec.10, 2015.

There’s a bounty of festive offerings just right for preschool families. Guests can play along with favorite experiences including many Disney Junior offerings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

“Disney Junior Live on Stage!” is an interactive sing-along stage show with enchanting puppets from the popular Disney Junior shows, favorite Disney Junior songs, and lots of dancing and fun for everyone.

Meet Disney Junior pals in Animation Courtyard for fun-filled photos, hugs and autographs with Sofia, Jake and now Doc McStuffins.

Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine Character Dining at Hollywood & Vine is an entertaining interactive dining experience for kids to eat, play and dance along with friends from Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Never Land Piratesand Handy Manny. For reservations, visit com/dine, or call 407-WDW-DINE.

Here’s more ways to make little dreams come true during a stay at Walt Disney World Resort:

Enjoy a poolside good time with the new Disney Junior Pool Parties at all Walt Disney World Resort hotels. This 22-minute dance pool party includes sing-a-longs and games inspired by favorite Disney Junior shows.

With princess transformations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney, and pirate recruiting at Pirate’s League at Magic Kingdom, a princess-in-training or adventurous scallywag can experience a special makeover fit for the Captain of the Seas or Queen of Arendelle.

Walt Disney World Resort hotels make travel easy for preschool parents, with complimentary parking and transportation, close proximity to the theme parks, Extra Magic Hours for resort guests, and early access to Disney Fastpass+ planning (complete with complimentary MagicBands). Family-friendly resort amenities, including water slides and splash zones, children’s activity centers and character dining, provide preschoolers with Disney fun around the clock.

The Kid-Size Package is available for select dates throughout the fall season, one of the most exciting times of the year at the Walt Disney World Resort. With Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on select nights in September, October and November, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on select nights beginning Nov. 8, fall is the perfect time to surprise little pirates or princesses with a Walt Disney World vacation.

For more information about the Kid-Size Package, please visit DisneyWorld.com/Preschool, or call (407) 827-7183 and speak with a vacation planning expert about other great rates and dates.

July 31, 2015

D23 Expo Floor Fun - Trading Cards - Photo Ops!

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Official D23 EXPO Trading Card Quest Presented by Disney Visa® Card

Your favorite Disney characters—from Princesses to Villains and everyone in between—will come to life through a series of collectible Disney trading cards. You’ll receive a “starter pack” of cards in your D23 EXPO 2015 Souvenir Guide; then, throughout the weekend, search for opportunities to collect different cards from locations all over the show floor. (Check your D23 EXPO 2015 floor map for more information, and keep your eyes peeled for surprises!)

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Make sure to download the Official D23 EXPO 2015 Mobile App and follow D23 on social media all weekend long, because we’ll be announcing very special card “drops” you won’t want to miss. But that’s not all: Meet up with fellow fans at Trading Card Quest Headquarters at the Disney Visa® Card Booth in Exhibit Hall B all weekend to trade cards in hopes of completing your collection. There are 30 cards in all, and they’ll come together as singles, pairs, and even trios.

Augmented Reality with HP Aurasma

This year, you’ll be able to interact with D23 EXPO in a whole new way, thanks to HP Aurasma’s augmented reality technology. You can access Aurasma just by downloading the D23 EXPO Official Mobile App. Aurasma is an interactive “augmented reality” technology that brings everything around you to unexpected life! Find an Aurasma location, launch the Official Mobile App and open Aurasma in the menu to unlock special content. All you have to do is point your phone at the image, or object to enjoy. And make sure to check out the cover of the D23 EXPO 2015 Souvenir Guide for a special “Aura” to get you started! Aurasma locations are listed in the Guide Map and within the D23 EXPO Mobile App.

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Official Photo Spots Brought to you by D23

D23, the Official Disney Fan Club, presents a whole slate of photo opportunities at D23 EXPO 2015, located throughout the convention center. These photo spots are made up of figures and scenes from your favorite Disney films, TV series, and attractions—including Big Hero 6, Toy Story, Star Wars Rebels, and Frozen. It might be a fun item on display, like an actual vintage Skyway vehicle from Disneyland, or a colorful scene from The Pirate Fairy to pose in. And, as if that weren’t enough, celebrated Mouseketeer Annette Funicello’s actual Disney Legend handprints will be on display the entire weekend. Get those cameras and smartphones ready!

D23 Expo Mobile App Debuts in August

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The D23 EXPO 2015 Official Mobile App will help you navigate the D23 EXPO like the seasoned Disney pro you are. All the entertainment, presentations, shopping, photo opportunities, and magic that Disney has in store will be right at your fingertips—including maps to help you find everything you need, from stages and stores to photo spots; the full schedule of presentations and special entertainment; and up-to- the-minute info on StagePass availability.

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You’ll be able to personalize a schedule that helps you make those hard decisions about what to do next a little bit easier, and it’ll help you “shop ‘til you drop” with all our Disney and partner stores. Look for it in the App Store in August, available on iOS and Android.

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About July 2015

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in July 2015. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2015 is the previous archive.

August 2015 is the next archive.

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