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August 2015 Archives

August 6, 2015

Minnie's Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine Disney's Holywood Studios

NEW this year for your holiday dining experience is Minnie's Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine!
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This a holiday character meal with Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Santa Goofy.

Minnie Mouse is your hostess for this festive experience. Enjoy special holiday themed decor, food, music and fun!

The cost is $46.99 for adults and $27.99 for children (counts as one table service entitlement). You can also book a Fantasmic Dinner package for $52.99 and $31.99 for children. Prices do not include tax or gratuity.

Reservations are now being taken for select dates between November 7, 2015 and January 3, 2016.

August 10, 2015

Fall Issue of Disney twenty-three Devoted To D23 Expo 2015

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DISNEY TWENTY-THREE TAKES GUESTS ON A JOURNEY THROUGH SHANGHAI DISNEY RESORT AND TOY STORY’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY

IN AN ISSUE DEVOTED TO D23 EXPO 2015, DISNEY’S OFFICIAL FAN CLUB ALSO SHARES ARCHIVAL DISNEYLAND TREASURES, EXPLORES DISNEY AND MARVEL’S COMIC BOOK COLLABORATION, AND PROFILES THE NEW DISNEY LEGENDS.

BURBANK, Calif. – AUGUST 10, 2015 – In celebration of D23 EXPO 2015, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is devoting its Fall publication of Disney twenty-three to some of the remarkable things guests will get to see and experience at the biennial event. And as The Walt Disney Company readies for the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort, readers will get an in-depth look at the amazing new park set to open next year—including spectacular concept artwork and a look at some of the new attractions being built right now in China.

Also in the Fall issue, available exclusively to D23 Gold Members, two of the members of the original Toy Story team reflect back on the earliest stages of the beloved film, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, including an unexpected encounter the film’s art director, Ralph Eggleston, had with Disney Legend and Apple founder, Steve Jobs.

In addition, the talented artists at Marvel and creative minds at Walt Disney Imagineering teamed up to create what is now a wildly successful line of new comic books based on theme park favorites -- Disney Kingdoms. Disney twenty-three looks at the three current titles -- Figment, Big Thunder Mountain, and Seekers of the Weird -- and gives readers a peek at what’s to come.

Also included in the Fall issue of Disney twenty-three:

-- Profiles of the 2015 recipients of the Disney Legends Award including George Lucas, Andreas Deja, Eyvind Earle, and Danny Elfman
-- A tribute to Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club, on its 60th anniversary
-- A look at the impact of the Silly Symphony cartoons by historian and world-renowned film critic Leonard Maltin
-- A look inside Walt Disney Archives Presents - Disneyland: The Exhibit with a preview of some of the classic and contemporary pieces included in the breathtaking display
-- The dazzling illustrations created by Disney animator Eric Goldberg for Shanghai Disney Resort and a new book
-- Regular features including A Walk with Walt, D Society, and Ask Dave

D23 Members are invited to visit D23.com for up-to-the-minute breaking news from D23 EXPO 2015, and recaps of some of the biggest, most exciting presentations at the event.

Disney twenty-three, which is delivered directly to fans’ doorsteps, is offered exclusively to D23 Gold and Gold Family Members as a benefit of their membership. The latest issue will begin arriving in mid-August.

August 11, 2015

Four Seasons Resort Orlando Offers a Series of Gourmet Culinary Experiences

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Calling all foodies: savour the fall season with not-to-be-missed festivals and special guest chef dinners

While Central Florida may be known year-round for theme parks, one thing is for certain, fall is the season for foodies. PEOPLE magazine recently named Orlando one of its “foodiest” cities in America, and with many food-centric festivals, events and new restaurants, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is excited to be a part of it all.

“The Orlando food scene is sizzling right now, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it,” says Stephen Wancha, Director of Food and Beverage for Four Seasons Resort Orlando. “The guest chefs we’re welcoming are some of the best in the nation. In addition to Magical Dining Month, plus the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, we have an incredible fall culinary line up.”

Magical Dining Month

Four Seasons Resort Orlando is participating for the first time in VISIT ORLANDO’s Magical Dining Month. The Resort’s Italian restaurant, Ravello, will offer a pre-fixe three-course menu for USD 33 per person. The menu includes an appetiser choice of carpaccio with beef, cured mushrooms, picked radish and watercress; Cesare salad with hearts of romaine, parmesan, anchovy and focaccia croutons; or grilled calamari with orange, fennel, arugula and capers. The entrée choices includes veal Milanese with oven roasted tomatoes and herb salad; grilled chicken with EVOO and herb crusted potato, seasonal vegetables and natural jus; or pan seared salmon with string beans, pancetta and fregola. Dessert offers choice of a granita-cassata in watermelon, lemon or peach with mascarpone; or a sweet grape focaccia with Nutella gelato. The special menu will be offered nightly in Ravello starting August 24 through September 30, 2015.


Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The renowned Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by CHASE is back for its 20th year in 2015. Four Seasons Resort Orlando will be participating for the second year in a row, at the popular culinary demonstrations and Party For the Senses event. The festival opens September 25 and runs through November 16, and will feature more than 30 global marketplaces for sipping and noshing throughout the park.

-- Saturday, October 17 - Capa Chef Tim Dacey will participate in the Party For the Senses event from 7:00 to 9:30 pm
-- Sunday, October 18 - Capa Chef Tim Dacey will give a pork culinary demo from 3:00 to 3:45 pm
-- Wednesday, October 21 - Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber will give a Pastry demo from 5:00 to 5:45 pm
-- Saturday, October 24 - Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi will give a lamb culinary demo from 3:00 to 3:45 pm


Guest Chef Series

For the second year in a row, Four Seasons has created a spectacular line up of guest chef dinners. The Resort will play host the following special dinners:

-- Tuesday, October 13: PB&G will host Kevin Nashan, multiple James Beard Award nominee and Chef/Owner of Sydney Street Café and The Peacemaker in St. Louis, Missouri. Chef Nashan will work alongside Executive Sous Chef Sam Faggetti and Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber. USD 65 per person.

-- Thursday, November 5: Capa will host Jonathon Sawyer, chef/owner of The Greenhouse Tavern and Trentina, in Cleveland, Ohio. Chef Sawyer will join Capa Chef Tim Dacey for a pre-fixe pairing dinner. Sawyer won the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes. USD 125 per person.

-- Saturday, December 5: Capa will host a James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour dinner, featuring award winning chefs including Gerard Craft, 2015 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef-Midwest, known as St. Louis’ preeminent chef-restaurateur at flagship Niche as well as at Brasserie by Niche, Taste and Pastaria; Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia in Chicago and Top Chef Masters; Ed Lee of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky and Top Chef; Stefan Riemer, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pastry Chef, Concept Development; Michael Sullivan formerly of Blackberry Farms, Tennessee, and more to be announced. USD 235 per person.

-- Saturday, January 16, 2016: Capa will host a special guest chef dinner with Philip Foss, chef/owner of El Ideas, a Michelin Star Chicago restaurant. Foss is known for his avant-garde preparations and techniques. USD 195 per person.

Reservations for Magical Dining at Ravello or any of the guest chef dinners can be made by calling 407 313 6161.

August 14, 2015

Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen To Open at Magic Kingdom Park

The Jungle Cruise, one of Magic Kingdom Park’s most popular attractions, has delighted guests for years. And as it was just announced at the D23 Expo moments ago, Jungle Cruise fans will have even more to look forward to later this year when the brand-new Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen restaurant opens in Adventureland.

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At the Jungle Skipper Canteen, guests will be able to experience “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” in one of several unique dining rooms – including a crew mess hall and a once-hidden secret meeting room of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers. The restaurant will also be staffed by Jungle Cruise Skippers.

The Jungle Skipper Canteen is currently under construction and will open its doors in late 2015.

-- Disney Parks Blog

August 15, 2015

News from the D23 EXPO 2015 Animation Presentation

Today at the D23 EXPO 2015 Walt Disney Studios and Pixar Studios Animation presentation, hosted by Chief Creative Officer John Lassiter, a number of announcements regarding upcoming films were made.

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"MOANA" ROCKS D23 EXPO 2015 -- Dwayne Johnson (“San Andreas,” “Furious 7,” HBO’s “Ballers”), who lends his voice to the mighty demi-god Maui in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana,” hit the stage at D23 EXPO 2015 this afternoon. Renowned directors John Musker and Ron Clements ("The Little Mermaid," "The Princess and the Frog," "Aladdin”), and producer Osnat Shurer (Oscar®-nominated Pixar shorts “One Man Band,” “Boundin’") shared dazzling early test footage and revealed plans for the film’s inspired music and the extraordinary team behind it. Tony®-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway’s hottest new hit “Hamilton,” Tony-winning “In the Heights”), Grammy®-winning composer Mark Mancina (“Speed”, “Tarzan” “The Lion King”) and Opetaia Foa’i (founder and lead singer of the world music award-winning band Te Vaka) blend their diverse and dynamic talents to help tell the tale of a spirited teenager who sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder. Foa’i capped the presentation with a show-stopping performance illustrating the magic of the movie’s music.

"Moana" introduces a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. She meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.

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SHAKIRA SHAKES UP "ZOOTOPIA" – International superstar Shakira is lending her Grammy®-winning voice to Gazelle, the biggest pop star in Zootopia, D23 EXPO fans learned via a taped message from Shakira today. Ginnifer Goodwin (ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” “Something Borrowed,” “Walk the Line”), the voice of the film’s rookie rabbit officer Judy Hopps, saluted fans alongside directors Byron Howard (“Tangled”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph”), and producer Clark Spencer (“Wreck-It Ralph”). Hilarious new scenes from the film were unveiled, plus a tease of the all-new original song, “Try Everything,” written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate, and performed by Shakira. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” opens nationwide March 4, 2016.

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“GIGANTIC” TAKES ROOT
- Things are looking up at Walt Disney Animation Studios - way up. “Gigantic,” Disney’s unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” will feature music from Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who greeted D23 EXPO fans in signature style -- in song -- alongside director Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and producer Dorothy McKim (“Get A Horse!”). Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s “Gigantic” follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality—and who knew giants were so down to earth? “Gigantic” hits theaters in 2018.

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"RILEY’S FIRST DATE?: MAKES ITS WORLD PREMIERE -- Pixar Animation Studios heads back inside the mind with an all-new short. “Riley’s First Date?” made its world premiere this afternoon at D23 EXPO 2015. Director Josh Cooley, along with “Inside Out” filmmakers Pete Docter (“Up,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and Jonas Rivera (“Up”), introduced the short, which revisits Riley, now 12, who is hanging out with her parents at home when potential trouble comes knocking. Mom’s and Dad’s Emotions find themselves forced to deal with “Riley’s First Date?” The short will be included as a bonus feature in the digital HD & Blu-ray releases of Disney·Pixar’s “Inside Out,” which will be available digitally Oct. 13 and on Blu-ray Nov. 3, 2015.

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T-REXES SPOTTED AT D23 EXPO 2015 -Anticipation for Disney·Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” was amplified when director Peter Sohn and producer Denise Ream shared breathtaking sequences with fans, including never-before-seen footage of a trio of T-Rexes in action. An Apatosaurus named Arlo must face his fears -- and three impressive T-Rexes -- in Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.” Featuring the voices of AJ Buckley, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott as the T-Rexes, “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015.

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DORY DIVES IN -- Ellen DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”), the voice of everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, took a dip with D23 EXPO attendees this afternoon, celebrating Disney·Pixar’s upcoming film “Finding Dory.” Joining DeGeneres on stage this afternoon were Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), who lends his voice to Hank, a cantankerous octopus; Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), the voice of Bailey, a misguided beluga whale; and Kaitlin Olson (“Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), who voices Destiny, a kind-hearted whale shark. Oscar®-winning director Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”), co-director Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”) offered new details of the all-new story, which reunites Dory with friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale? Also featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy, Disney·Pixar’s “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

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WOODY AND BUZZ MARK TWO DECADES - Pixar Animation Studios’ John Lasseter, who’s one of Pixar’s three founders, was joined on stage by several award-winning artists and filmmakers, including Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL·E”), Lee Unkrich (“Coco,” “Toy Story 3”), Josh Cooley (“Cars 2,” “Ratatouille”) and Galyn Susman (“Toy Story 4,” ABC’s “Toy Story OF TERROR!”). Celebrating 20 years since “Toy Story” transformed the animation industry and the art of storytelling, the Pixar team welcomed iconic two-time Oscar®-winning songwriter and longtime Pixar collaborator Randy Newman, whose Pixar credits include “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars.” Also joining in the celebration were writers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (“Celeste & Jesse Forever”), who are part of the “Toy Story 4” team, though details of Buzz and Woody’s return to the big screen were mysteriously missing. “Toy Story 4,” which will be directed by Lasseter and produced by Susman, is slated for release on June 16, 2017.

Star Wars-Themed Lands Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Today at the D23 EXPO 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced to an audience of more than 7,500 fans that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., allowing Star Wars fans to step into the stories from a galaxy far, far away.

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Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

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"I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars," said Iger. "We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance."

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These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

Iger also shared concept images of the Star Wars-themed lands, giving fans a glimpse at what is to come for Disney parks.

The partnership between Disney and Lucasfilm dates back to 1987, when the successful Star Tours attraction, inspired by George Lucas’s legendary Star Wars film series, opened at Disneyland. The attraction was then redesigned, emerging as “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue” in 2011 and featuring more than 50 different story outcomes and the possibility to visit five different planets.


Star Wars, Toy Story Land, Pandora - the World of AVATAR, Soarin' and Iron Man among new experiences coming for guests

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2015) – Today, Disney announced a line-up of new attractions and entertainment coming to its theme parks around the world during the D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, Calif.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek gave 7,500 lucky fans a behind-the-scenes look at what's to come. He was joined by Imagineers working on these projects as well as legendary filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau who shared new details about Pandora – The World of AVATAR including the names of the land and E-ticket attraction – AVATAR Flight of Passage. Fans also got a chance to see Marvel legend Stan Lee in a cameo appearance where he posed as an unsuspecting fan during Iron Man's dramatic entrance.

Among the many announcements Chapek shared were new and enhanced Star Wars experiences coming later this year to the Florida and California theme parks, plans for a new Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and more details on Pandora-The World of AVATAR, which is already under construction at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Chapek also shared that Soarin' Around the World will make its U.S. film debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure taking guests to new places around the world. Additionally, fans got a preview of exclusive video of the first Marvel attraction planned for Disney parks, coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016.

"From Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration to the anticipation of Shanghai Disney Resort, we're in the midst of unprecedented growth and expansion around the globe," said Chapek. "With these new announcements, we continue our legacy in creating innovative attractions, worldwide entertainment, and magical lands that take our guests into the worlds of stories they love."

In addition to these announcements, Chapek talked about the exciting news announced earlier in the day by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger for plans to bring Star Wars-themed lands to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland park in Anaheim. Each 14-acre land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

Details on each of the projects include:

Star Wars Enhancements & New Experiences

From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay, from a new Jedi Training Academy to "Season of the Force," soon guests will be part of both new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.

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• Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.

Jedi Training Academy - A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series "Star Wars Rebels."

Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more.

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Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida

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The reimagining of Disney's Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy's backyard. Guests will think they've been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions for any Disney park and one expanded favorite.

Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.

Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while "The Claw" looms over.

Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.

After Dark at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR

As part of the largest expansion in the park's history, Disney's Animal Kingdom will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

"Rivers of Light" – Expected to open next spring, "Rivers of Light" will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. "Rivers of Light" will magically come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney's Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.

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AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

Soarin' Around the World in Florida and California

Next year, guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world's most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin' Around the World makes its U.S. debut.

Iron Man Unveiled for Hong Kong Disneyland

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Iron Man landed at D23 EXPO today for a special appearance, and soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself. Set to open in 2016, Iron Man Experience will be the first Marvel attraction at any Disney park, taking guests on an epic adventure over the streets and in the sky above Hong Kong. The adventure will begin at the new Stark Expo where guests board the Iron Wing to take flight and battle Hydra alongside fan-favorite Avenger, Iron Man.

Star Wars Enhancements, New Experiences Coming Soon to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay and Season of the Force, guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts will soon be able to step into the Star Wars galaxy like never before!

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Star Wars Launch Bay will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with Super Heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.

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Season of the Force, a new seasonal event beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will also climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.

Finally, Jedi Training Academy – a favorite of younger fans – will be reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series, "Star Wars Rebels."

-- Disney Parks Blog

Toy Story Land To Come To Life At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek just unveiled plans for Toy Story Land, to be built at Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. The new land, inspired by the "Toy Story" film franchise, will allow guests to shrink to the size of a toy and explore the world of Andy's backyard.

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According to Imagineer Kathy Mangum, Toy Story Land was inspired by the overwhelming guest response to Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort.

"As all of you know, here in Anaheim, we've been quite successful with taking immersive experiences to a whole new level as we did with Cars Land. In fact, one of our favorite stories from opening day is that we overheard a little boy asking his mom, ‘Is this where they filmed the Cars movie?'" Kathy said. "That's exactly how we want people to feel – like they've stepped onto the set of their favorite film … like the quaint town of Radiator Springs or, in the case of ‘Toy Story,' the wild and adventurous outdoors of Andy's backyard."

When Toy Story Land opens at the park, guests will be able to play with some of their favorite toys at two new attractions that will be unique to the Walt Disney World Resort, plus one expanded favorite:

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Family-friendly roller coaster – Guests board Slinky Dog's back for a thrilling toy-filled coaster adventure that's ideal for the entire family.

Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers – but beware The Claw!

Toy Story Mania! – This current guest-favorite attraction, which allows guests to take aim at 3D objects in into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set, will expand with more midway track that takes you into the world under Andy's bed where he's built a carnival-style midway.


-- Disney Parks Blog

August 16, 2015

Star Wars Comes to Chase Disney Visa Credit Cards

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STAR WARS CARD DESIGNS AND CARDMEMBER-EXCLUSIVE STAR WARS MEET 'N' GREETS – A FIRST EVER FOR DISNEY

Chase’s new Disney Visa Credit Card Designs Feature Classic STAR WARS Characters:

Darth Vader, Yoda and R2-D2 with C-3PO

WILMINGTON, Del. – August 15, 2015 – Marking the first Star Wars brand collaboration for a credit card for The Walt Disney Company [NYSE: DIS], Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE: JPM] and Disney, are putting The Force in Cardmembers’ wallets with the introduction of three exclusive Star Wars designs to the Disney Visa Credit Card family, accompanied by exciting, new and exclusive Star Wars perks for all Disney Visa Credit Cardmembers.

Cardmembers will be able to carry the new double-sided card designs featuring Darth Vader, Yoda or R2-D2 with C-3PO.1

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In addition, all Disney Visa Credit Cardmembers can have access to the exclusive Star Wars Imperial Meet ‘N’ Greet, featuring the Supreme Commander of Imperial Forces, Darth Vader, at private Cardmember locations at the Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort.2, 3 The Star Wars Imperial Meet ‘N’ Greet experience opens at the Disneyland® Resort in fall 2015 and at Walt Disney World® Resort in early 2016.

All Disney Visa Cardmembers can also enjoy savings on select Star Wars merchandise purchases at Disney Store and select locations at Walt Disney World® and the Disneyland® Resorts and can have the opportunity to take advantage of upcoming Star Wars-related limited-time offers.

“Star Wars is one of the most iconic franchises in movie history, and we are thrilled to bring a piece of this classic to our Cardmembers,” says B.J. Mahoney, general manager, Chase Card Services. “The unique card designs and exclusive experiences help Disney and Star Wars fans celebrate this epic film series in a whole new way.”

The introduction of Star Wars into the Disney Visa Program continues Chase’s relationship with Disney that includes the Disney Premier Visa® Credit Card and Disney Rewards Visa® Credit Card. “Since first launching the Disney Visa Credit Cards with Chase in 2003, our priority has been providing a meaningful rewards program while also looking for new ways to bring excitement and fun to every aspect of the Disney experience,” says Priya Girishankar, Vice President, CRM & GM Consumer Financial Services. “We are delighted to add Star Wars Characters to our card designs and offer enticing perks tailored for the Star Wars and Disney fan alike.”

All Disney Visa Cards offer access to amazing perks2 365 days-a-year when visiting Walt Disney World® Resort and the Disneyland® Resort, including Character Meet ‘N’ Greets at private Cardmember locations and special savings at Disney’s U.S. Theme Parks, Disney Store and DisneyStore.com. In addition to the new credit card designs, Cardmembers can also choose from various already available designs featuring some of the most beloved Disney Characters. Disney fans who are interested in Chase’s Star Wars Visa® Credit Card can learn more and apply online at DisneyRewards.com starting August 18, 2015.

1 Card designs are subject to availability and may change without notice.

2 Offers and offer elements including, but not limited to, participating locations, are subject to availability and additional restrictions, and may change or be canceled without notice. Use a valid Disney Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card for special offers. Must mention the offer to receive the merchandise discount. Merchandise discount may not be used for certain items and is not available at certain locations including Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort Operating Participant locations. For entry into the Character Meet ‘N’ Greet Photo Opportunity, must present your valid Disney Visa Card. Not valid in combination with other offers, discounts, promotions or with any previous purchase. Minimum purchase and/or separate admission may be required. Offers are for personal use only and may not be transferred or resold. Please visit DisneyRewards.com/ParkPerks for full terms and conditions. Chase is not responsible or liable for fulfillment of these Disney Theme Park perks.

3 The Disneyland® Resort Character Meet ‘N’ Greet Photo Opportunities are offered daily during set hours–the Disney Character Meet ‘N’ Greet is at Disney California Adventure® Park and the Star Wars™ Imperial Meet ‘N’ Greet is at Disneyland® Park. The Walt Disney World® Resort Character Meet ‘N’ Greet Photo Opportunities are offered daily during set hours–the Disney Character Meet ‘N’ Greet is at Epcot® and the Star Wars™ Imperial Meet ‘N’ Greet is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. Separate Theme Park admission required for each Meet ‘N’ Greet Opportunity. Must present a valid Disney Visa Credit Card for entry for up to 6 people per cardmember account (each cardmember account may be used for entry only one time per day). Operating times, days of the week, locations and appearance of Characters may vary and are subject to restrictions and change or cancellation without notice. Not valid in combination with other offers, discounts or promotions. Offer is for personal use only and may not be transferred or resold. Please visit DisneyRewards.com/ParkPerks for additional information.

Disney Showcases Live Action Slate with Exciting News Exclusively for Fans at D23 EXPO 2015

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STARS AND FILMMAKERS OF UPCOMING DISNEY, MARVEL STUDIOS AND LUCASFILM MOVIES FEATURED AT TODAY’S LIVE ACTION EVENT

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2015) — Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm presented their live action film slates this morning at the D23 EXPO 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The presentations, which revealed exclusive news and details about the upcoming live action films, were aided by live and video appearances from talent and filmmakers. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn hosted the highly anticipated biennial event.

“It’s quite something to be able to have Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm all on the same stage, and it’s tremendously gratifying to unveil our upcoming projects to our most dedicated fans first,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “We always have an incredible time at the D23 EXPO.”

After welcoming the crowd to D23 EXPO 2015, Horn introduced Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, and Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, to present overviews of the Marvel Studios and Disney live action slates. Later Horn returned to the stage to present the Lucasfilm film slate to the enthusiastic audience.

A recap of the presentation follows:

· Kevin Feige led off with a glimpse into the world of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” featuring a video greeting by Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars as the title character, followed by a pre-production piece that offered fans a taste of the look and feel of the upcoming film, opening in U.S. theaters on October 26, 2016.

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· Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” marched into D23 EXPO with an introduction by its producer, Kevin Feige. To the delight of the audience, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie showed up on stage to help Feige show never-seen-before footage from the movie. Before the footage rolled, Feige revealed that there was a special “Easter egg” for fans to find: it was aptly a nod to D23 EXPO.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

The movie stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serve as executive producers and the screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in the U.S. on May 6, 2016.

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· Sean Bailey took the stage to introduce the first film in the Disney live-action lineup, “The Finest Hours,” which is based on the remarkable true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. Chris Pine, who plays Bernie Webber, the captain of the rescue boat, joined Bailey on stage to give fans a peak at the heroic action-thriller.

Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, the film, which is directed by Craig Gillespie and also stars Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana, transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

“The Finest Hours” is produced by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero and Doug Merrifield is the executive producer. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and the screenplay is by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. “The Finest Hours” storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016.

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· After an introduction by Sean Bailey, Jon Favreau, director of Disney’s upcoming “The Jungle Book,” welcomed to the stage newcomer Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of candidates to play man-cub Mowgli; plus Oscar® winners Ben Kingsley, who helps bring panther-turned-mentor Bagheera to life, and Lupita Nyong’o, who lends her voice to the protective mother wolf Raksha. Favreau treated fans to a sneak peek of footage from the film, and each guest received a copy of the dramatic teaser poster following the presentation. The all-new, live-action epic adventure showcases Mowgli’s journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s 1967 animated classic, the film features state-of the-art technology that immerses audiences in the lush world like never before. “The Jungle Book” also features the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor produce and the screenplay is by Justin Marks. “The Jungle Book” hits theaters in stunning 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15, 2016.

· Bailey welcomed Mia Wasikowska to the stage, where she thrilled fans with a preview of the all-new spectacular adventure, “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories. Director James Bobin brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” in which Alice (Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. The film, which once again features Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall, introduces several new characters as well: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father, and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd, and Tim Burton produce and John G. Scotti is the executive producer. The screenplay is by Linda Woolverton. Presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.

In addition to attending the film’s presentation in Hall D23 at the Convention Center, fans had the opportunity to transform themselves into their favorite characters from Underland with an interactive experience, Travel Through the Looking Glass. By means of a first-to-market face-tracking application, D23 EXPO participants entering one of four photo booths located on the show floor were able to become the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, the White Rabbit or the Cheshire Cat with full digital-makeup and cinematic 3D objects seamlessly—and instantly—applied to their reflections, and in real time. They were then emailed a 10-second video and still image, which they could share on their favorite social media platforms.

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· Bryce Dallas Howard joined Bailey on stage to talk about her starring role in “Pete’s Dragon,” a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film. The heartwarming adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon, “Pete’s Dragon” is directed by David Lowery, produced by Jim Whitaker, and executive-produced by Barrie Osborne, and also stars Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford. “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.

· Bailey, with the help of Lupita Nyong’o, introduced the crowd to the upcoming film “Queen of Katwe,” which is based on the inspirational true story of a girl from the poverty-stricken slums of rural Uganda who dreams of becoming a champion chess player. Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler based on the book by Tim Crothers, “Queen of Katwe” stars Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Medina Nalwanga.

· Bailey next presented “Beauty and the Beast,” including a musical greeting from stars Emma Watson, Josh Gad and Luke Evans—sent from the London set where they are currently filming. The live-action musical, a retelling of the studio’s animated classic, stars Watson, Dan Stevens, Evans, Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald and newcomer Nathan Mack. The film is directed by Bill Condon. Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated classic, provides the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Tim Rice, as well as several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

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· A surprise visit by Johnny Depp, who showed up on stage completely decked out as Captain Jack Sparrow, brought down the house and thrilled fans at Sean Bailey’s presentation of the next exciting film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean “ franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

The film is directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning and stars Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush. Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer and Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor serve as executive producers. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” releases in U.S. theaters on July 7, 2017.

· Alan Horn took the stage again to present the Lucasfilm slate and timeline to the D23 EXPO fans. Horn told the audience that there were only 124 days to the release of Episode VII, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” on December 18, 2015 and added that there have been record-breaking trailer views and fantastic fan response. Touching on “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” Horn reminded the audience that Rian Johnson will be directing the film slated for release on May 26, 2017. Then in a surprise announcement, Horn informed everyone that Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World”) has signed on to direct “Star Wars: Episode IX,” which is scheduled for release in 2019.

Moving on to the new Star Wars stories series, Horn touched on the “Untitled Han Solo” stand-alone film, slated for release on May 25, 2018 by reminding everyone that it will be directed by Christopher Miller & Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan writing the screenplay.

· Horn then took the audience by surprise, announcing the cast for “Rogue One,” the first of the standalone Star Wars stories to hit the big screen, which has commenced principal photography. Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) is directing “Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star.

The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award® for her leading role in “The Theory of Everything”; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar®-winning “Milk” and the critically acclaimed “Killing Them Softly”; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy® for his leading role in “Bloodline” and co-starring in the upcoming “Mississippi Grind”; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in “Ip Man” and “Blade II”; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning “Let the Bullets Fly” and “Devils on the Doorstep”; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and winner of an Academy Award® for his leading role in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in “The Hunt” and was the memorable villain from 2006’s “Casino Royale”; Alan Tudyk, who plays a performance-capture character in “Rogue One,” stars in the soon-to-be-released “Con Man” series and “Trumbo,” which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in “Nightcrawler” and starred in the BAFTA-winning film “Four Lions.”

The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.

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· “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ended the live-action presentation with a bang as J.J. Abrams introduced stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o. The crowd cheered when John Boyega announced that everyone there would get a Drew Struzan D23 EXPO commemorative poster to take home. Then, in a bringing-down-the house surprise moment, Harrison Ford, who is reprising his role as Han Solo, joined Abrams on stage to wild applause.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015.

In Celebration of Digital HD and Blu-ray Release of "Cinderella," Disney Launches "A Million Words of Kindness" Campaign

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BURBANK, CA, August 15, 2015 – In celebration of the Digital HD and Blu-ray™ release of Disney’s “Cinderella” on September 15, 2015, Walt Disney Studios is proud to announce the “A Million Words of Kindness” Campaign, launched on August 15, 2015. Inspired by the spirit of Cinderella, this online initiative invites fans everywhere to pledge their commitment to be courageous and kind in the hopes of achieving “A Million Words of Kindness” in time for World Kindness Day on November 13th, 2015.

In the film “Cinderella,” Ella is told by her mother, “Where there is kindness, there is goodness; and where there is goodness, there is magic.” Now families everywhere can create this magic themselves by submitting words of courage and kindness at www.cinderellakindness.com, using the hashtags #Cinderella and #bekind or the handle @Cinderellamovie. These kind words and their entrant’s names will then appear on the site’s interactive “Kindness Wall.”

To join the “A Million Words of Kindness” Campaign, visit www.cinderellakindness.com and use your words to help make the world a kinder, more magical place!

August 17, 2015

Happy HalloWishes Premium Dessert Package on Sale Now!

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Reservations open August 17 for the new Happy HalloWishes Premium Dessert Package, which will be available on certain nights at this year's Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

This package includes the following:

-- reserved viewing location for Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade (the center flag pole area of Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A.)

-- a dessert party that features Halloween-Inspired treats at the festively decorated Tomorrowland Terrace, where you have a cool view of Cinderella Castle during the Happy HalloWishes Nighttime Spectacular. Special goodies include Halloween-themed chocolate-dipped strawberries, ghost meringues, candy corn panna cotta, peanut butter-chocolate pretzel “witch fingers,” spiced pumpkin cheesecake brownies, peanut butter “spider” whoopie pies, seasonal fruits and cheeses, hot chocolate, signature lemonades and Halloween specialties, and coffee and tea. Little ones will love mummy and candy corn cupcakes and “worm and dirt pots.”

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-- a toast with sparkling cider

-- a skull mug filled with candy as a trick-or-treat takeaway

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Cost is $69, $39 ages 3 to 11. For reservations visit DisneyWorld.com/DINE or call 407-WDW-DINE. NOTE that the standard Wishes Dessert Party will not take place on nights the premium HalloWishes package is offered.

This year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held on certain dates from September 15 through November 1.

-- Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog

August 25, 2015

The Force is Strong! runDisney Star Wars Headed to WDW

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The Force is Even Stronger: Second runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Event Sprinting Toward Walt Disney World Resort in 2016
April 14-17 event in Florida joins Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort and features new Kessel Run Challenge and Dark Side Challenge

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – runDisney is summoning the Force today to announce another Star Wars-inspired intergalactic journey, this time to the dark side.

The “Star Wars Half Marathon -- the Dark Side” enters the galaxy April 14-17, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and pays homage to the dark side forces of the Star Wars universe. This new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.

“Ever since we launched the Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort, runners have been clamoring for more, so we’re thrilled to bring the Star Wars franchise together with the runDisney brand to Walt Disney World Resort,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “If the inaugural Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort is any indication, this new running adventure to the dark side is sure to be the out-of-this-world experience that runners have come to expect at runDisney events.’’

The new Star Wars race at Walt Disney World Resort will be a journey of personal achievement all its own, involving kids’ races, a 5K and a 10K in addition to the half marathon, plus a variety of Star Wars experiences, medals, events and merchandise inspired by a galaxy far, far away. Among its many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that propels runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge -- running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Jedi and Sith Lords who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing the Star Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative "Coast to Coast'' medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship. Race registration opens Sept. 22 at www.runDisney.com.

The addition of this second Star Wars race continues the recent wave of significant growth and popularity of runDisney events domestically and internationally. This is the second new runDisney race announced for 2016, joining the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 23-25 at Disneyland Paris), and the fourth addition to the runDisney series in the last two years (Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Jan. 2015 and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 2014).

Each year more than 200,000 runners sign up for runDisney events, which often sell out in record time.

“We are committed to creating extraordinary experiences and events that appeal to runners of all ages and attract even more fans of our various brands and franchises to the sport of running, creating opportunities for them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle,’’ said Bisienere.

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About August 2015

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

July 2015 is the previous archive.

September 2015 is the next archive.

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