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December 2015 Archives

December 1, 2015

D23 Announces 2016 Events

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D23 WILL BRING THE MAGIC OF DISNEY TO FANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN 2016

Member favorites return as Disney’s official fan club expands offerings.

BURBANK, Calif. – December 1, 2015 – In 2016, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will expand member events with more experiences on the East Coast and new twists on current favorites.

D23 BEHIND-THE-SCENES EXPERIENCES: In 2015, D23 Members had the opportunity to explore hidden Disney gems—such as the Animation Research Library—while hearing stories from Disney luminaries such as Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith and animator Andreas Deja. In 2016, D23 will bring back this popular event with incredible guests and new locations, while adding even more surprises and a special gift.

SCREENINGS ON THE DISNEY STUDIO LOT AND AT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT: In 2016, D23 will once again offer special screenings on both coasts of Disney favorites including Alice in Wonderland, Finding Nemo, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Plus, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Reluctant Dragon, D23 will hold a special screening event on the Studio lot including special guests, picture spots, and more surprises.

D23’S LUNCH WITH A DISNEY LEGEND: Following a year that included exclusive luncheons with such luminaries as former Imagineer Orlando Ferrante and voice actress Kathryn Beaumont, D23 will be bringing back the popular event series on the Walt Disney Studios lot, as well as adding events on the East Coast. The first event will be at Walt Disney World Resort with Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway, who helped open Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, and Disneyland Paris.

D23 DAY AT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS AND ARCHIVES: D23 Gold Member-exclusive tours of the historic Studio lot and Walt Disney Archives in Burbank return, highlighting historic moments from Disney film, television, and theme parks—and in 2016 we will be enhancing the experience with a very special new location to be announced soon.

ADVANCE SCREENINGS: This year, D23 Members were able to attend previews of Cinderella and Inside Out in cities such as New York, Orlando, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Next year, in partnership with The Walt Disney Studios, D23 will screen a selection of upcoming releases. And for those guests who may not live in the cities where movies are screened, D23 Gold Members across the country will be selected at random to receive complimentary movie passes, which will be included in issues of Disney twenty-three, D23’s quarterly publication.

D23 MEMBER NIGHTS AT NEWSIES—ON TOUR: Disney fans are cheering for the Tony® Award-winning Newsies, now on tour. In 2016, guests in Salt Lake City, Portland, and other cities around the country are invited to see the show with premium seats on special nights and a talk-back with the cast following the show.

MEMBER MIXERS AROUND THE COUNTRY: After giving members a peek at the reimagined Disney Stores in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Kentucky, in 2016, Disney Store will once again invite D23 Members for exclusive mornings of shopping, discounts, games, and goodies. Also this past year, D23 held mixers including Breakfast on Broadway in New York and Never Had a Friend Like D23 events to celebrate Aladdin in Phoenix, Sacramento, and Seattle. Look for more mixers in cities around the country in 2016.

MICKEY’S OF GLENDALE: The Walt Disney Imagineering employee store will once again offer shopping opportunities to D23 Gold Members at Walt Disney World Resort and in Southern California. Guests will be able to peruse collectibles and pick up official Imagineering merchandise. Dates to be announced in 2016.

D23 DISNEY FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION—BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Following D23’s first “Home Edition” of Fanniversary, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Lady and the Tramp, D23 in 2016 will bring fans around the world unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the spectacular, Academy Award®-winning animated feature Beauty and the Beast, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year.

SIGNATURE EVENTS: Look for the return of some favorites, including SIP & SCREAM (a Halloween twist on D23’s Sip & Stroll event at Walt Disney World in the fall), as well as special holiday events on both the East and West Coasts. More details will be announced in 2016.

Dates, ticketing information, and more D23 events will be announced throughout the year. Full details on D23’s lineup of 2016 special events can be found on the Fan Club’s website at www.D23.com/events. All events and dates are subject to change.

Current event calendar:

* January 29: D23 Behind-the-Scenes Experience, TBA, Burbank, Calif.
* February 20: Alice in Wonderland, Burbank, Calif.
* March 18: Lunch with a Disney Legend: Charlie Ridgway, Walt Disney World Resort
* March 19: Alice in Wonderland, Walt Disney World Resort
* April 8: Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA, Burbank, Calif.
* April 9: D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives, Burbank, Calif.
* April 20: D23 Member Night at Newsies—On Tour, Portland, Ore.
* May 21: Finding Nemo, Walt Disney World Resort
* June 4: Finding Nemo, Burbank, Calif.
* June 8: D23 Member Night at Newsies—On Tour, Salt Lake City, Utah
* June 25: D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives, Burbank, Calif.
* July 18: D23 Behind-the-Scenes Experience, TBA, Burbank, Calif.
* August 20: The Reluctant Dragon 75th anniversary screening event, Burbank, Calif.
* September 23: Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA, Walt Disney World Resort
* September 24: Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Walt Disney World Resort
* Fall: D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration: Beauty and the Beast, more info coming in 2016
* October 8: Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Burbank, Calif.
* October 22: Sip & Scream, Walt Disney World Resort
* November 18: Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA, Burbank, Calif.
* November 19: D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives, Burbank, Calif.

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; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($74.99), Gold Family Membership ($99.99), and General Membership (complimentary) 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, Instagram, and YouTube.

December 7, 2015

Dick Van Dyke Travels Down Memory Lane - Jolly Holiday Special

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A “JOLLY HOLIDAY” WHEN DICK VAN DYKE TRAVELS DOWN MEMORY LANE TO CHERRY TREE LANE AS THE HOST OF “‘THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY’ PRESENTED BY TARGET BRINGS YOU ‘MARY POPPINS,’” DECEMBER 12 ON ABC
Presented by Target, Disney’s Academy Award-Winning Film to Be Broadcast on ABC for the First Time in Over 13 Years

Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke, who portrays Bert, the carefree Cockney chimney sweep in “Mary Poppins,” will host interstitials throughout ABC’s broadcast of “‘The Wonderful World of Disney’ Presented by Target Brings You ‘Mary Poppins’” on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET). Van Dyke will be joined by the Target’s mascot, “Bullseye,” the lovable bull terrier. This holiday event marks the first network television broadcast of “Mary Poppins” in 13 years. It also will be the first time that Target’s Holiday Odyssey story – told through a series of broadcast commercials – will be shown in its entirety on TV.

In all-new footage, Mr. Van Dyke, with a little help from Bullseye, takes viewers on a magical journey into Disney’s Archives where they can spot treasures including iconic props from “Mary Poppins” and other Disney favorites, and he shares insights about a movie that continues to delight generations of families.

Set in Edwardian London, the film features no-nonsense nanny Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews), who flies out of the windy London skies and into the home of two mischievous children of the wealthy and strict Banks family, Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber). With the help of Bert (Mr. Van Dyke), the spirited nanny sets off on a series of fantastic adventures with the children, and teaches their parents some lessons about love along the way.

Disney’s beloved classic received a total of 13 Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture and won five, including Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”), Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Music Score.

The movie features many classic songs, including "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Jolly Holiday," Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Feed the Birds," "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Let's Go Fly a Kite.”

Released in 1964, “Mary Poppins” combines live action and animation and in 2013 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

December 8, 2015

The 32nd Annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Promises to be the Most 'Unforgettable' Special Yet!

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Tune in for the Magic December 25 on ABC


Robin Roberts Returns to Host the "Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration" with Performances by Jason Derulo, Ariana Grande, Seal, Reba McEntire and more

ANAHEIM, Calif. and LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., (Dec. 8, 2015) -- This Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates not only the joy of the holiday season, but the unforgettable family moments it has helped guests create over the past sixty years. “Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration” airs Friday, Dec. 25, 2015 (10:00 am.-12:00 p.m ET; airtimes vary; check local listings) on the ABC Television Network.

Now in its 32nd year, the unforgettable Christmas special welcomes back Robin Roberts of ABC’s “Good Morning America” (GMA) as lead host. Reporting from the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Roberts is accompanied by Jesse Palmer, who joins the event for the first time as a correspondent. New to the GMA team as a special contributor, Palmer shares key parade updates in the midst of the action on Main Street, U.S.A. Janel Parrish, star of the ABC Family hit show “Pretty Little Liars” – which will debut under the new network name, Freeform for its winter premiere on Jan. 12, 2016 – serves as music correspondent alongside Stitch from Cinderella Castle.

The holidays have long been cherished for their ability to bring family and friends together from near and far to create heartfelt memories to last a lifetime. In the spirit of “Unforgettable Happens Here,” throughout the celebration Disney Parks will tell the inspiring real-life stories of three families whose personal connection to Disney Parks will make their Christmas dreams come true. It all culminates with an unforgettable Christmas Day surprise that is sure to warm the hearts of television audiences across the country, providing the perfect toast to the most festive time of the year.

For a dose of nostalgia, viewers are also treated to magical memories from the Disney Christmas shows of yesteryear, along with beloved Disney Park moments shared by actors and actresses from both classic and current Disney films.

Bringing together the biggest names in music and entertainment, music industry legend, David Foster, joins today’s top artists to sing their interpretations of Disney classics from the “We Love Disney” album, along with a mix of Christmas favorites. The star-studded lineup includes the following:

*performance lineup subject to change

Jason Derulo shakes up this year’s parade with his rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – available on the “We Love Disney” album

International superstar, Ariana Grande pays tribute to the Greek demi-god, Hercules with the Disney favorite “Zero to Hero,” also available on the “We Love Disney” album, along with her latest single, “Focus”

GRAMMY® winning artist, Seal dazzles parade spectators with his interpretation of “This Christmas” and new hit, “Every Time I’m With You”

Country music legend, Reba McEntire sings her original song, “Going Out Like That” and the popular Christmas tune, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

Breakout musical artist, Andy Grammer delights the crowd with medley of “Honey I’m Good” and his new single “Good to be Alive,” along with the iconic Christmas song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Rising pop star, Charlie Puth adds Christmas cheer with “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and his own single, “One Call Away”

“Should’ve Been Us” singer, Tori Kelly spreads Disney magic with the beloved classic “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas” – available on the “We Love Disney” album – and the holiday favorite, “Winter Wonderland”

Soulful singer, Charles Perry jazzes up the festivities with a “World of My Own/Ev’rybody Wants to be a Cat” medley and his own spin on the famous Christmas duet, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

The cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Descendants,” Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, and Sofia Carson, pay tribute to Disney’s most infamous villains with “Rotten to the Core”

Featuring floats and characters from movie favorites including “Toy Story,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Inside Out,” and the wildly-popular “Frozen,” along with the all-new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and upcoming “Finding Dory” movie, slated for release next summer, this year’s Disney Christmas Parade is expected to be the most spectacular of all. Viewers can also look forward to watching other Disney parade stars take the spotlight, such as beloved Disney princesses, characters from Disney Junior, a special performance from the stars of the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Descendants,” and of course, the iconic Disney Toy Soldiers and Santa Claus.

The 32nd annual Christmas celebration airs nationwide on December 25 at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. CST, MST and PST on ABC-TV. The show will also air in Canada on CBC Network and across the globe on the American Forces Network.

For more information, visit Disney.com/DisneyParksChristmas to learn about the special telecast, including local broadcast times and a full list of parade talent. Guests can also join in fun online by using the hashtag #DisneyParade.

December 10, 2015

Painted Dogs and Hyenas Join the Kilimanjaro Safari

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Information and photos from the Disney Parks Blog article by Dr. Jackie Ogden

As promised at the D23 Expo in August, two new species have joined the Kilimanjaro
Safari ride in Animal Kingdom: Hyenas and Painted Dogs. Both share the same space on the savannah.

Hyenas

Groups of Hyenas are referred to as clans. The clans sometimes come together to hunt and defend their territory, but most activities are done solo or in small groups. In the wild, they hunt their own food and – contrary to public opinion – do not often scavenge another animal’s meal.

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The ranking of hyenas’ social structure and clans are also very important to a hyena’s way of life. Females are the leaders of the clans, with the lowest-ranking female ranking above the highest-ranking male. The low-ranking males will often be found on the outskirts of the clan and only participate in hunting or fights.

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Although hyenas are doing better than many species in the wild, because of their wide range and large population, they are still facing a population decline. Loss of habitat is a significant threat, as well as local communities treating them as pests and hunters poaching them.

By having hyenas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we hope to show our Guests that the misconceptions about this species are not true. These animals deserve our consideration.


Painted Dogs:

The name “painted dog” originates from their scientific name Lycaon pictus, which means “painted wolf-like animal” in Greek and Latin. Painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs, are known for their large round ears (They look a lot like Mickey Mouse ears!) and multi-colored fur coats. Each individual dog has unique paint-like splotches on their coat that are similar in their distinctiveness to a human fingerprint. Most also have bushy white-tipped tails.

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Painted dogs are among the most endangered species in Africa. By introducing painted dogs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we hope to raise awareness of the species and the threats they face, including human-habitat infringement and illegal hunting. The Disney Conservation Fund has been supporting painted dog conservation work in the wild since 1996 and has given more than half a million dollars to support painted dog conservation and research organizations.

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Painted dogs are fascinating in their social behaviors. They operate as a family unit with all members of the pack caring for each other. They will even share food with ailing members of their pack or nursing mothers. The entire pack cares for pups after they are born. Both males and females will stay back with them as “babysitters” during hunting excursions.

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When you’re on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna, I hope you can catch one of their elaborate greeting ceremonies. Each dog tries to interact with every other dog in the pack each time they wake up or return to the pack. Their yips and squeals are vocalizations that are unique to each dog and help others identify them.

The painted dogs and hyenas will share the same spot of the savanna, but at different times of the day and evening. As always, guests will experience a different safari every time they ride.


December 14, 2015

Sunday Brunch at California Grill Debuts February 7!

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A new Sunday brunch is set to open at the California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort on February 7, 2016.

Dubbed "Brunch at the Top," the new meal launches a whole new menu as the restaurant opens for daytime dining for the first time.

As part of the dining experience, you get the chance to interact with Chef Brian Piasecki's culinary team in the open show kitchen.

The brunch offers a Bloody Mary Bar, cocktails and craft brews, as well as a signature brunch cocktail (included in the brunch price) and faux “mimosas” for kids. There is also a custom-roast French press coffee.

Brunch starts with an assortment of house-made breakfast pastries delivered to your table (for example, caramel apple Monkey bread, Tillamook Cheddar biscuit and cranberry scones pecan) with house-made jam and orange blossom honey butter. Then you head to the show kitchen for small tastes, such as house-smoked orange honey ham, deviled Lake Meadow Naturals eggs, Greek yogurt with vanilla-scented granola and fresh berries, kale and apple salad, baby iceberg wedge with Cherrywood bacon and avocado-buttermilk Ranch dressing, hardwood smoked salmon, California rolls with jumbo lump crabmeat, spicy tuna rolls and shrimp tempura with orange drizzle and mango.

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Then you can choose your next course, delivered tableside:

--Pan-Fried Buttermilk Organic Chicken Cutlet with Haricots Verts, Toasted Almonds, Frisée, Beurre Noisette
-- Sweet Potato Pancakes with Caramelized Heirloom Apples, Dried Cranberry and Raisin Compote, Vanilla Custard, Warm Canadian Maple Syrup
-- Shrimp and Grits, Gulf White Shrimp with Tillamook Cheddar Grits, Spicy Tomato Broth, Espellette-Spiced Tomato Ragout
-- Poached Lobster Benedict with Butter-Poached Tail, Two Soft-Poached Eggs, Honey Ham, Yuzu Hollandaise, Marble Potato Hash
-- Chef’s Frittata with Three Lake Meadow Farms Eggs, Florida Heirloom Tomatoes, Roasted Poblanos, Chorizo, Creamy Goat Cheese, Marble Potato Hash
-- Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Soft Poached Eggs, Chimichurri, Marble Potato Hash and Charred Red Onion.

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Mini-desserts, macarons and chocolate truffles close out the meal.

Cost is $80 (includes signature cocktail) for adults, $48 ages 3 to 11. The meal is two dining credits if you're using the Disney Dining Plan. Tables in Wonderland discount is accepted. Reservations open December 16, and can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

December 15, 2015

‘Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular’ Celebrates More Than 14,000 Performances at the Disneyland Resort

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Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie and Cast to Take Final Bows Jan. 10

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 15, 2015) – For nearly 13 years, “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” has presented the magical tale of Aladdin in a lavish, immersive production at the Hyperion Theater in Disney California Adventure Park. The dynamic stage show became an instant hit with guests and the cast has performed it more than 14,000 times. Now, guests are invited to experience the “Wonderful! Magnificent! Glorious!” musical – with words such as those from the Genie and other memorable characters – before the final, flying carpet ride on January 10, 2016. An exciting, new stage presentation of “Frozen” will open at Hyperion Theater in the summer of 2016.

Since its premiere on Jan. 16, 2003, “Disney’s Aladdin” has entertained more than 13 million visitors. Based on the popular Disney animated film, “Aladdin,” with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice, the theme park show is filled with music, comedy, dancing and fantastic special effects — plus countless timely quips by the show’s magical Genie.

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“Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” performs several times a day and now has Disney FastPass service, to reserve a show time. The schedule is available in the park’s show times guide.

‘Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular’ By the Numbers

13,000,000+ – Guests who have experienced the show since it opened
14,000+ – Total performances
20,000+ – Makeup applications to prepare the Genie
110+ – Total performers in the company
48 – Pieces of scenery on stage
32+ – Cast members who perform each day
10+ – Cast members from the show who have performed on Broadway or in the touring casts of Broadway hits
8 – Original performers who are still with the cast
5 – Timeless songs
3 – Wishes granted by the Genie

Fun Facts

Puppets for the show, including the original Iago, Elephant, horse and snake puppets, were created by Michael Curry Designs, the same team that designed the Tick Tock the Croc seen in “Fantasmic!” and the Sebastian puppet in “Mickey and the Magical Map.”

The song “To Be Free” was written by Alan Menken, specially for the musical stage show at Disney California Adventure.

Opening-day makeup artist Brad Hardin continues to prep performers for the daily shows.

Memorable Genie Quips

Genie’s advice to help Aladdin impress Princess Jasmine: “Be yourself! It’s what’s inside that counts.”
“Do I have lamp breath?”
While on the flying carpet: “Hey, I’m soarin’ over California!”
On the restrictions in the Genie Rule Book:
“I can’t bring anyone back from the dead – but there’s an app for that!”
“Ixnay on wishing for more wishes.”
“Hey Carpet! Nice weave!”
Genie, as he reluctantly uses his powers to name Jafar the Sultan of Agrabah: “You look good as the new Sultan. You look good up close. You would look much better from Jafar!”

Captivating Scenes from the Show

As he introduces himself to Aladdin, Genie shows off his powers with bright lights, magical tricks and an extravagant musical number, “Friend Like Me,” featuring energetic and acrobatic clones of himself.

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Aladdin and Jasmine discover “A Whole New World” as they soar above guests’ heads aboard a flying Magic Carpet, passing by breathtaking monuments around the world.

Under the guise of “Prince Ali,” Aladdin makes a grand entrance into the Hyperion Theater by riding an “elephant” through the seating area, followed by a trail of dancers carrying priceless treasures and animals.

Genie’s jokes frequently change to reference popular culture and current events, making each performance a unique experience.

December 17, 2015

Metal Detectors Installed at Walt Disney World Theme Parks

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According to reports from local Orlando media, including the Orlando Sentinel and WESH-TV, Walt Disney World has added metal detectors at the entrances to its theme parks as part of new security measures. Initial reports are that guests will be selected randomly for screening with these detectors.

The parks have also added special canine units and uniformed security guards to patrol the property. Similar measures are expected to be put in place at Disneyland Resort in California.

Attendees of the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" tonight at the AMC Theatre in Disney Springs may also pass through a metal detector before the screening.

Other security measures are also being implemented throughout the parks. Toy weapons are no longer permitted in the parks, and Disney has stopped the sale of such toys, including squirt guns and toy blasters, at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Disney has also changed its policy on wearing costumes in the parks: costumes are now not permitted for those 14 years old and up, not even at Halloween.

Both Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando also have increased security for the holiday season.

You can read more about Disney's current Park Rules HERE.

December 19, 2015

The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special Returns!

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The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special is back at Disney's Hollywood Studios for the 5th year.

This is a family-friendly improvisational comedy show, where a cast of seasoned performers takes suggestions from guests to invent festive poems, scenarios, songs and stories. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving, since every performance is different thanks to input and interaction from the audience.

“’The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special’ is like a family reunion of the cast of the former Comedy Warehouse on Pleasure Island,” said Show Director Chris Oyen. “We’re so happy to be able to bring everyone together again for the holiday season and to put on this show. It’s a gift from our family to yours!”

Look for “The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special” on Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, near The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Starting this Saturday, you can catch the show six times daily, with performances scheduled between 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. – just before the lights go on for the night!

(Please note that the show schedule will be modified for New Year’s Eve, with eight showings between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m.)

December 21, 2015

Scat Cat's Cafe Holiday Dining Port Orleans French Quarter

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For a limited time, this holiday season, the former Bonfamille's restaurant has been turned into Scat Cat's Cafe! The cafe serves dinner nightly from December 21-30 from 5 - 10pm night!

Family Style Offerings:

House Salad with sweet roasted garlic vinaigrette; house made corn bread

Grilled Andouille Sausage
Cajun-roasted Chicken
Slow-cooked Pot Roast
Vegetable Jambalaya

Maque Choux, Mashed Potatoes, Collard Greens and Mac and Cheese

Deep South Bread Pudding with Banana-Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Reservations can be made at the podium from noon - 10pm.

All You Care to Eat Cajun Style cuisine is $25.99 for adults and $14.99 for children 9 and younger.

December 22, 2015

16 Reasons 2016 Will Be An ‘Unforgettable’ Year at Walt Disney World Resort

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – 2016 is shaping up to be truly unforgettable for guests at Walt Disney World Resort with the debut of new attractions and stunning shows, delectable new dining options, signature shopping locations and returning guest-favorite annual events.

Here are the top reasons to start packing your bags for a Walt Disney World vacation:

1. The Galaxy Is Sweeter Than Ever Before: New Star Wars Experiences Debut

Starting Jan. 5, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will launch its latest Star Wars-inspired experience with the addition of the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party.” As the enthralling fireworks show lights up the sky, guests can enjoy out-of-this-world desserts and specialty drinks in this separate ticket offering until March 19. This experience complements all of the other new ways to experience Star Wars in the park, including Star Wars Launch Bay, which takes guests into the Star Wars saga, including the newest movie adventure, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, special merchandise and opportunities to encounter Chewbacca and Darth Vader.

2. Light Up The Night With “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will come alive at night with new nighttime entertainment and experiences, the most spectacular being the “Rivers of Light” show debuting this spring. With a waterway as its stage, the innovative new show will feature entertainers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery in a performance that truly brings the animal kingdom to life at night.

3. Explore Kilimanjaro Safaris at Night

Starting in spring, guests will get to experience the African savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in a whole new light: amid the orange glow of the setting sun. During the nighttime adventure, guests can extend their travels on the safaris into the evening.

4. Experience Frozen Ever After at Epcot

The new “Frozen”-inspired attraction will open its doors in the Norway pavilion at Epcot in spring. In it, guests will be transported to the Winter in Summer Celebration where Queen Elsa creates a special day for the kingdom. Guests also will travel to Elsa’s Ice Palace, the ice-blue world of the North Mountain, and the Bay of Arendelle.

5. Stop By The New Frozen Character Greeting Location at Epcot

Guests can meet the royal sisters Anna and Elsa at Epcot at a new character greeting location in the Royal Sommerhus at the Norway pavilion starting in spring.

6. Experience New Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

This new, themed restaurant opens in December 2015 and gives guests the chance 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 is staffed by friendly Jungle Cruise Skippers, known for their clever jokes.

7. Try New Dining Offerings at Disney Springs

Disney Springs will continue to grow in 2016, with plans to add new eateries including STK steakhouse, The Edison, Sprinkles, Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, as well as two new restaurant concepts by chefs Art Smith and Rick Bayless.

8. A Shopper’s Paradise at Disney Springs

As Disney Springs nears completion with the opening of Town Center, 2016 will bring some new, must-do retail shops to Disney Springs, including Edward Beiner, Lilly Pulitzer, L’Occitane en Provence, PANDORA, Tommy Bahama, UGG, UNIQLO and Zara.

9. Staying Fit While Having Fun With runDisney Events

The 2016 runDisney racing season kicks off Jan. 6-10 with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This will be the first of four racing weekends held at Walt Disney World Resort in 2016, which include:

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Feb. 18-21
Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side April 14-17
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 4-5.

10. Save On A Magical Stay at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Guests visiting early in 2016 can take advantage of a special Disney resort hotels offer for stays most nights Jan. 2 – April 13 and save up to 25 percent on rooms at select Disney resort hotels. Guests can book the offer by visiting DisneyWorld.com/special-offers or by calling (407) 939-7709.

11. Enjoy Walt Disney World’s Springtime Events

Epcot will be in full bloom this spring when the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, with its colorful topiaries and dozens of Outdoor Kitchens, returns for 90 days starting March 2 through May 15, the longest the festival has ever run. And, more fun grows at Disney Springs with Raglan Road’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival March 17.

12. Soarin’ Around The World at Epcot

Guests onboard the popular Soarin’ attraction 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 debut at Epcot in 2016.

13. Dine at Tiffin’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The parks’ newest eatery will open its doors this spring to offer a menu inspired by the places the Imagineers traveled to when developing Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner, Tiffin’s will celebrate the art of traveling and include waterfront views from both indoor and outdoor seating areas. “Tiffin” is an Indian English word meaning midday meal or type of container used to carry food while traveling.

14. Celebrate The Invictus Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports

The Invictus Games will come to the United States for the first time ever in 2016. The games celebrate our wounded servicemen and women from around the world competing in a variety of sports events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex May 8-12.

15. Experience Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Grown-up guests can party with the Disney Villains in a soiree led by Dr. Facilier from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” at the new Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The fun starts Jan. 16 and is a separate ticket event. Tickets to Club Villain can be purchased for $99 per person, tax and gratuity included. Reservations can be made online at DisneyWorld.com, or by calling (407) 939-3463.

16. Share An Unforgettable Fall & Holiday Season

A new year means the return of festive fall events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and more.

December 23, 2015

Disney*Pixar Short Film Festival Debuts Today - 12/23/15!

As previously announced by the Disney Parks Blog, Epcot would be filling the space left by Captain EO with the "Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival!" The Short Film Festival debuts today, December 23, 2015.

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"This new experience will feature a look into the visionary minds behind some of the world’s most iconic animated films today. Once inside the theater, guests can put on their 3D glasses and enter the imaginative worlds of three animated shorts – “Get A Horse,” “For The Birds” and “La Luna” – which will burst to life on the big screen (and in the theater) like never before.

“Get a Horse” stars Mickey Mouse and features Walt Disney himself as the voice of the iconic character. This black-and-white, hand-drawn short follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they delight in a musical wagon ride — until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.

“For The Birds” opens to show one by one, a flock of small birds perch on a telephone wire. Sitting close together has problems enough, and then along comes a large dopey bird that tries to join them. The birds of a feather can’t help but make fun of him—and their clique mentality proves embarrassing in the end.

And lastly, “La Luna” is the timeless fable of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way amidst their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?"

December 30, 2015

D23 Member Gift for 2016

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D23 MEMBER GIFT FOR 2016 OFFERS A RARE GLIMPSE INTO DISNEY’S RICH LEGACY
Members will receive a collection of 23 items reproduced “From the Office of Walt Disney.”

BURBANK, Calif. – December 29, 2015 – D23: The Official Disney Fan Club didn’t have to look far for inspiration for its 2016 Gold Member gift, “From the Office of Walt Disney.” To celebrate the restoration of Walt Disney’s office suite on the Studios’ Burbank lot, the Walt Disney Archives worked with D23 to meticulously reproduce 23 unique pieces from Walt’s career that trace his path from America’s heartland to the world stage.

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Included in the assortment are items from Walt’s early years in business such as his 1923 Laugh-O-gram Films Inc. business card and the famous 1928 “Everything OK” telegram, which Walt cryptically wired his brother Roy when he lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Also in the collection are the 1955 Disneyland invitational press preview pass and Walt’s notes on pages from the “EPCOT Film” script from 1966. Pieces representing animation, live action, television, and theme parks—as well as Walt’s own personal life—make up this one-of-a-kind set.

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The gift comes in a “book” designed specifically to hold all the items and will be sent to all D23 Gold and Gold Family Members who join or renew from January 1 through December 31, 2016. Guests can see images from the gift—and learn more about the 23 rare items—at D23.com/OfficeOfWaltDisney. As previously announced, D23 Gold Members will have the opportunity to tour Walt Disney’s restored office during tours and select special events throughout 2016.

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Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($74.99), Gold Family Membership ($99.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. D23 Members save when renewing their membership and may renew up to 90 days prior to their membership expiration.

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; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

December 31, 2015

Minnie's Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood and Vine Arrives Just in Time for Academy Awards Season

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Minnie Mouse and her friends celebrate the magic of the movies and glamour of Hollywood with an epic feast at the new Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The all new character dining experience is hosted by Minnie and her pals and begins just in time for Academy Awards season.

Dinner guests will walk the red carpet and get ready for their close-up with some of the biggest stars of the silver screen. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy will all be there and dressed in their designer best. Mickey will greet guests and pose with them for photographs in the midst of the glitz and glamour before escorting them into the dinner party, where guests get the chance to meet Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy as they enjoy classic cuisine, themed to old Hollywood. This new party at Walt Disney World Resort is filled with dazzling décor, a sweeping musical score, award-winning food, activities and more.

Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine runs from Jan. 4 to March 20, 2016. Guests can make reservations by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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About December 2015

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

November 2015 is the previous archive.

January 2016 is the next archive.

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