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February 3, 2016

Disneyland Resort Offers 16 Unforgettable Experiences To Brighten a Spring or Summer Visit in 2016

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Star Wars Experiences and Diamond Celebration Spectaculars Continue
to Thrill Guests, with New Excitement on the Way: New ‘Frozen’ Musical,
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Soarin’ Around the World

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2016) – Spring and summer at the Disneyland Resort will be more
thrilling than ever this year with new family vacation fun and spectacular entertainment.
Guests continue to discover the excitement of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration
and its nighttime spectaculars, plus new and enhanced Star Wars experiences. At Disney
California Adventure Park, Cars Land will soon debut its newest attraction, Luigi’s Rollickin’
Roadsters.

Guests planning a summer vacation at the Disneyland Resort also will enjoy a new “Frozen”
musical, based on the blockbuster Walt Disney Animation Studios film, and the
unforgettable, new Soarin’ Around the World attraction. Magic awaits guests of all ages in
2016, including these 16 special experiences.

At Disney California Adventure Park

Disney California Adventure celebrates its 15th anniversary Feb. 8, 2016, with adventures
from Buena Vista Street to Cars Land, and something for guests of all ages, including the
thrilling California Screamin’ coaster, the uplifting Pixar Play Parade and the high-scoring
action of “Toy Story Mania.”

1. The new live “Frozen” musical premieres in late spring 2016, immersing audiences in
the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater. The
entertaining musical adaptation will include elaborate costumes and sets, stunning
special effects, show-stopping production numbers and some unique theatrical
surprises. The show will play at the Hyperion Theater.

2. The fun-filled Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters attraction, debuting soon at Casa Della
Tires in Cars Land, is rolling with fun as Luigi’s cugini (cousins) have come from
Carsoli, Italy, to help celebrate Race Day in Radiator Springs. Park guests join in the
fun by hopping aboard miniature Italian roadsters, in the style of late 1950s micro
cars. The cars perform the traditional dances of their village, moving to upbeat music
and Luigi’s singing in a precision-choreographed dance across what appears to be a
trackless “dance floor.” Each car has its own routine, so guests will enjoy different ride
experiences depending on which car they board.

4. The Star Wars-themed transformation of Space Mountain into Hyperspace Mountain
thrusts guests into an X-wing Starfigher battle as they race through the darkness. The
experience is enhanced by a new soundtrack, inspired by the Star Wars films’ musical
themes and re-orchestrated to match every move in the attraction.

5. At the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction, guests encounter a new
adventure and characters from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” while journeying
aboard a Starspeeder 1000.

6. Guests will relive stories from the Star Wars saga – or discover them for the first time
– through the short “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi” film which connects iconic scenes
from the iconic films in fun new ways.

7. The popular interactive show Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple has been
reimagined with Darth Vader and the Seventh Sister Inquisitor from the popular
Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels.

8. As preparations begin in 2016 for a new Star Wars-themed land, guests will enjoy
unique limited-time opportunities to experience some of their favorite attractions in
new ways. While the Disneyland Railroad is temporarily closed, guests at the Main
Street and New Orleans Square Train Stations will be able to get up-close with the
historic steam engines that have circled Disneyland park for decades and learn about
them firsthand from Disneyland Railroad engineers. Limited-time experiences for the
Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia will debut throughout the year.

9. Super Hero fans will have their own special encounters at Super Hero HQ. They’re
invited to learn more about their favorite Super Heroes, such as Thor and Spiderman,
and meet some of them in person.

60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration Continues in 2016

The stunning entertainment found every year at the Disneyland Resort is now even more
dazzling, with three nighttime spectaculars that are part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond
Celebration, continuing through Sept. 5, 2016.

10. The sparkling “Paint the Night” parade builds on the tradition of breathtaking
nighttime parades in Disneyland Park that began with the “Main Street Electrical
Parade.” Illuminated almost entirely by LED lights, “Paint the Night” is a state-of-the
art, vibrant wonder that immerses guests in the magical, luminescent worlds of many
Disney and Disney●Pixar characters, including Ariel, the Little Mermaid; Woody and
Buzz Lightyear from “Toy Story”’; Lightning McQueen from “Cars,” Disney Princesses
and Mickey Mouse and his pals.

11. The “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular entertains guests from the tips of
their toes to the sky high above, surrounding the audience with music, dazzling visual
projections and other special effects that bring the pyrotechnics to life in surprising
new ways. Guests may enjoy the projections from multiple locations, including Main
Street, U.S.A., and Small World mall.

12. At Disney California Adventure, “World of Color – Celebrate!The Wonderful World
of Walt Disney” is a fun-filled version of the popular, nighttime “World of Color”
spectacular. Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris joins Mickey Mouse on a
magical water canvas, bringing to life the remarkable story of Walt Disney and The
Happiest Place on Earth with animated imagery, live-action film, fountains, lasers,
special effects and a stirring musical score.

Special Offer for Southern California Residents and Themed Dining

13. Special two-day and three-day Southern California Resident tickets* make this an ideal
time for Southern California residents to visit the parks. Purchase options include a twoday
ticket with a choice of one park per day for $149, a two-day Park Hopper ticket for
$189, a three-day ticket with a choice of one park per day for $179, or a three-day Park
Hopper ticket for $219. These tickets are available through May 19, 2016 and valid
through May 26, 2016. For details, visit http://Disneyland.com/flex

14. Any visit to the Disneyland Resort becomes more special with themed dining and
refreshments, and the resort presents some tasty new surprises in 2016. At Disneyland,
the Star Wars-themed menu at Galactic Grill includes the Darth Tamale, a First Order
Specialty Burger with Angus beef and chorizo on a dark bun, and The Pastry Menace
éclair. Plaza Inn is ideal for family dining with a menu that features fried chicken, pot
roast and made-to-order salads. Children and the young at heart are delighted to
encounter Disney characters at the “Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park” at
Plaza Inn, one of several character meals at the resort.

15. At Disney California Adventure, guests will enjoy the recently opened Smokejumpers
Grill, decorated with mementos from courageous, forest firefighters with a menu that
features burgers and other favorites. The popular Cove Bar along Paradise Bay serves
beverages and appetizers in an expanded patio area in 2016. The elegant Carthay
Circle Restaurant continues to provide an ideal location for fine dining and adult
relaxation in its lounge. And guests who want to meet Disney Princesses will find them
at the character dining at Ariel’s Grotto.

16. Hotel restaurants at the Disneyland Resort include Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland
Hotel, Napa Rose and Storytellers Café in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
and Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. For dinner at Disney’s PCH
Grill, guests enjoy a menu inspired by the California beach scene, with smoked tri-tip,
spice-rubbed ribs, fish and vegetarian tacos, fried chicken, and hot dogs right off the
grill.

For more information about the Disneyland Resort, see www.Disneyland.com or visit
www.DisneyParksBlog.com

Mickey and Minnie's All New Date Ideas for the Month of Love in 2016 at Walt Disney World Resort

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love and romance are in the air at Walt Disney World. Guests can celebrate this month of love near the most famous couple of all, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

A variety of offerings and memorable experiences are available all month long – from Valentine’s Day merchandise and special entertainment to romantic dinners for two. With so many of Cupid’s arrows flying about, guests should be sure to book early and perhaps celebrate their love any time during this sweet month of February.

1. A romantic ride on Italian Water Taxi Cruise/VIP Wine Tour – Guests can experience the unforgettable romance of an intimate cruise aboard Venezia, the breathtaking 40-ft Italian Water Taxi. Couples will relax and unwind to beautiful Italian music, savor award-winning wines and feast on an array of delicious hors d’oeuvres. The BOATHOUSE’S trusted captain and crew take guests on a whimsical water journey through the waters of Lake Buena Vista and the gorgeous scenic riverway. Sweetheart Wine Tasting Cruises embark Friday. Call 407-939-2628 to make a reservation.

2. The new Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise – Couples can take in a breathtaking view of the Magic Kingdom Park night time fireworks from an exclusive and romantic spot on Seven Seas Lagoon with desserts and drinks. Guests can enjoy this sweet ending to their day, before watching the “Wishes” nighttime spectacular overhead, the largest fireworks show at Walt Disney World Resort. The medley of famous Disney songs and the voices of Disney characters are piped through the boat’s sound system for this magical viewing. For reservations, visit com/DINE or call 407-WDW-DINE. Anchors Aweigh!

3. The new Brunch at the Top at California Grill – Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday and the Brunch at the Top is a fabulous way to indulge. Chef Brian Piasecki’s team launches a whole new menu in February to showcase their fresh, market-driven cuisine. Of course a glass of bubbly or wine (the restaurant has more than 1,600 bottles on display) pairs nicely. And there’s an over-the-top Bloody Mary Bar as well as cocktails and craft brews (though guests can also stick with the custom-roast French press coffee). Reservations can be made by visiting com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

4. An out-of-this-world evening – Sweets and stars collide at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as guests look to the sky January 5 – March 19, for a special viewing of the Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks. Guests enjoy a selection of sweets as the night sky erupts with an arsenal of impressive fireworks, set to the most dramatic and memorable Star Wars themes of all time. On the menu are Star Wars-themed desserts treats, including the popular Droid and Darth Vader cupcakes and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

5. Disney Springs shopping spree – Disney Springs continues to expand and transform with all new shopping options. The World of Disney in Disney Springs Marketplace recently expanded with an additional 6,000 sq. feet of retail selling space. Couples can spend the day searching for some new Disney merchandise to celebrate their love for each other … and Disney. Nothing says “love” like chocolate so the shopping spree can continue with a stop for some handcrafted sweets at The Ganachery. Or perhaps couples are looking for an all-vegan treat? Erin McKenna Bakery NYC is a unique bakery with savory offerings and an all-vegan and gluten-free menu.

6. Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood & Vine – Just in time for Academy Awards season, 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. Dinner guests will walk the red carpet and get ready for their close-up with some of the biggest stars of the silver screen, beloved Disney characters dressed in their designer best. Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine runs from Jan. 4 to March 20, 2016. Reservations can be made by visiting com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

7. All new acts at La Nouba at Disney Springs – La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary and stimulates the imagination from beginning to end with daring acrobatics, dazzling choreography, vibrant music and whimsical characters only at Disney Springs. As part of the show’s ongoing evolution, La Nouba continues to bring new acts: B-Boy, commonly referred to as breakdancing, and Aerial Bamboo, a technique mastered by only a handful of performers worldwide. The acts join the recent additions of uproarious clowns and a breathtaking juggling rolla bolla act. For more information about La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil, visit DisneyWorld.com/entertainment.

8. Sushi Bar at Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs – Morimoto Asia is a one-of-a-kind dining experience from Chef Masaharu Morimoto. From Feb. 12 – 14, a special Valentine’s Day romantic dinner for two includes a four course, prix-fixe menu starring Chef Morimoto’s signature Peking Duck for two. For an even more exclusive and intimate culinary experience on Feb. 14 only, it’s chef’s choice with a five-course Omakase dinner at the intimate second-level 14-seat sushi bar. With a “hidden” VIP entrance along the side of the building, the Forbidden Lounge is a great place to hang, late-night, at Disney Springs any night in February. An exclusive menu is featured upstairs from 10pm to 2am and features a variety of late-night dining. For reservations, call 407-939-6686 (MOTO).

9. Monsieur Paul Proposal-popping and Vow Renewal dinner at Epcot – In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower (replica), indulge in a decadent meal by new chef Nicolas Lemoyne who just joined the restaurant from Monsieur Paul Bocuse’s restaurant in Lyon, France. Peer out of the second story windows that overlook the World Showcase Lagoon, toast with champagne, and dessert is served with an extra sparkle on the plate: the big question, and your token of “l’amour.” Reservations can be made by visiting com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

10. Sunset and cocktails at the Polynesian – Disney has some spectacular beaches that are perfect locations to watch the sunset, like the one at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Sip on some champagne and strawberries against the backdrop of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the beautiful new Bora Bora Bungalows. Take a moonlit stroll along the torch-lined waterfront and visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, the latest addition to the newly reimagined Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Located off the Great Ceremonial House, the themed lounge will serve exotic drinks and small plates, while offering scenic views of the marina and Seven Seas Lagoon.
- See more at: http://wdwnews.com/releases/2016/02/02/mickey-and-minnies-all-new-date-ideas-for-the-month-of-love-in-2016-at-walt-disney-world-resort/#sthash.NfR4TE1J.dpuf

February 5, 2016

High School Students Nationwide Chosen for 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

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Approximately 100 “Dreamers’’ selected from thousands of applicants across the country for ninth-annual career and mentoring event taking place in March; Group includes more than 50 students from the Southeast and more than 10 from the Northeast, Southwest, West and Midwest regions


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Feb. 2, 2016 – Approximately 100 students from across America will soon pack their bags for a fabulous, fun-filled and educational trip to Walt Disney World Resort as part of this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE, March 3-6, 2016.

The teens, along with a parent or guardian, will take off on an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they will experience once-in-a-lifetime educational and mentoring program designed to inspire them to dream big and discover a world of possibilities that will help them prepare for their future.

The students, known as “Dreamers,” are taken on stage and behind the scenes, where Disney theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms’ and students discover new careers and pursue their dreams while also creating fun memories that last a lifetime.

During Disney Dreamers Academy, students participate in hands-on, immersive career-oriented workshops, ranging from animation to zoology. Each student is given important tools such as effective communication techniques, leadership skills, and networking strategies.

Additionally, Dreamers are exposed to acclaimed motivational speakers and popular celebrities who share their stories and insight on achieving success and DREAMING BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while gaining first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

“Disney Dreamers Academy is a one-of-a-kind program that, since its inception, is helping more than 800 students achieve their dreams,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vice president of deluxe resorts. Powell serves as Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “As we prepare for our ninth annual event, the greatest reward has been seeing so many of our previous Dreamers use their experience at Disney Dreamers Academy to expand their dreams and move even closer to making them a reality. After all, that is what the program is all about,” said Powell.

Walt Disney World Resort, along with syndicated television and radio personality Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Communications, will host the selected Dreamers during their magical four-day career and educational exploration.

“Disney Dreamers Academy provides an excellent learning environment to help young students with their aspirations and to dream even bigger,” said Harvey. “I can’t wait to meet this year’s new students and kick off the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in March.”

Michelle Ebanks, president of ESSENCE Communications, added: “We are excited to once again join with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey to encourage our youth to dream big. Our expectation is that this group of remarkable teens will be the leaders of tomorrow and positively impact the world for years to come. It is our honor and commitment at ESSENCE to be part of that process.”

This year’s students were selected from thousands of applicants who answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future. The students were chosen by a judging panel that included: gospel music legend Yolanda Adams; ESSENCE magazine editor-at-large Mikki Taylor; education advocate Dr. Steve Perry; The Sister Accord founder and author Sonia Jackson Myles; award-winning motivational speaker Jonathan Sprinkles; Simply Ellis Custom Clothier CEO Dr. Alex O. Ellis; Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation executive director Brandi Harvey; Steve Harvey Products creative director Karli Harvey; and professional speaker Princeton Parker and Disney Dreamers Academy alumnus.

For more information, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. Regular updates about Disney Dreamers Academy are also available on social media at Facebook/DisneyDreamersAcademy or Twitter/DreamersAcademy.

For a list of 2016 Dreamers and Bios, please visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com/dreamers/2016

*Participation is subject to verification and return of the required documentation.

Menus Announced for Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Feb. 5, 2016 – The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will return for its seventh year Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29, with exciting new dishes debuting alongside returning festival favorites. Fans can now visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com to view the 2016 food menu as well as book overnight packages and purchase tickets.

Highlights of the 2016 menu include: an American wagyu beef slider with avocado-bacon aioli and Applewood smoked bacon on a toasted brioche from the Fountain; a salt-roasted prime New York strip loin served with mashed potatoes and sauce bordelaise from Shula’s Steak House and seared striped bass with fall artichokes, Nicoise olives in a Spanish caper emulsion from Garden Grove. Returning dishes include the popular shrimp cocktail steamroller from Todd English’s bluezoo and dragon sushi roll from Kimonos. Original dessert offerings will once again be served by world champion pastry chef Laurent Branlard. For a full list of current menu offerings, please visit http://www.swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com/eat/menu/all.html.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at more than 40 stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from more than 30 wineries amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. Upgraded ticket options allow guests to enjoy access to a beer garden featuring a wide selection of craft beers and Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine. The event also includes hands-on seminars with the hotel’s chefs and certified beverage experts.

Overnight and multiple-night package options are available for the seventh-annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and can be booked by phone at 1-888-828-8850:

· One-night packages start at $392, and include room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee)

· Two-night packages start at $750, and include room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival for both nights (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee)

Individual ticket options are also available for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic and can be purchased at www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com (pricing is inclusive of tax and service fees):

· Advance-purchase, event-only tickets to enjoy unlimited tastings on the causeway are $105 per person

· Upgraded tickets, including unlimited tastings on the causeway and access to the beer garden, are $130 per person

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

For the latest information about the event, visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com, like www.facebook.com/swananddolphin or call 1-800-227-1500.

February 8, 2016

Disney's The Jungle Book - New Trailer

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Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat.

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Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

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The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong'o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.

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The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016. For more information, check out Disney.com/thejunglebook, like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyJungleBook, and follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thejunglebookand Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneythejunglebook/.

Celebrate Black History Month at Walt Disney World Resort

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Epcot’s Tapestry of America: Celebrating African American Heritage

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2016) – Guests can celebrate Black History Month throughout the month of February with special experiences at the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot. From historical displays and intriguing artifacts to book signings by Celebrity Chef G. Garvin and best-selling author Terry McMillan, guests can take a stroll through the pages of America’s history and learn about the influence of African-American culture.


Black History Month Author Series

In honor of Black History Month, guests have the opportunity to meet three renowned African-American authors and cultural icons select Saturdays during the month of February. Book signings are open to all guests and hosted at the American Adventure Pavilion, where books written by each guest author are also available for purchase throughout the month.

Terry McMillan, author of “Who Asked You?”
Saturday, Feb.6, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.: Critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Terry McMillan is known for her powerful novels and short stories about African American women. Her novel, “Waiting to Exhale,” was adapted into a film starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett in 1995. Many of McMillan’s other novels, including the award-winning “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “Disappearing Acts,” and “A Day Late and a Dollar Short,” have also been brought to life for film and television audiences. McMillan recently published her eighth novel, “Who Asked You?,” a story about the challenges and strength of a family.

Chef G. Garvin, author of “Turn Up The Heat With G. Garvin: More Than 200 Incredible Recipes from the Chef Who Keeps it Super Simple”
Saturday, Feb.13, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.: Acclaimed chef and television host, Chef G. Garvin (pictured above) has mastered the art of cooking as well as writing. His first cookbook, “Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin: More Than 200 Incredible Recipes from the Chef Who Keeps it Super Simple,” received an American Literacy Award and nomination for an NAACP Image Award. Chef Garvin has enjoyed continued success with his subsequent cookbooks and television show “Road Trip with G. Garvin” on The Cooking Channel.

Terrence Roberts, author of “Lessons from Little Rock”
Saturday, Feb. 27, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.: Terrence James Roberts, Ph.D. is one of the “Little Rock Nine,” a group of history-making African American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Roberts was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton in 1999. His book, “Lessons from Little Rock,” is a memoir of his experience during the integration of Little Rock Central High School and the lessons learned from that historic episode.

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New pieces at Epcot’s Kinsey Collection exhibit

“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” a collection of pieces displayed at the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot, draws from an extensive assortment of rare art, documents, books and artifacts attributed to African American history. Philanthropists Bernard, Shirley and their son Khalil Kinsey share some of their vast personal collection of artifacts spanning 400 years of history. Touch screens and guest-activated lanterns with narration by Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Sawyer and other celebrities help bring the history to life. Three new pieces recently have been added to the exhibit which is open daily.

“Banneker’s Almanack and Ephemeras” by Benjamin Banneker, is the mathematical and mechanical work of Benjamin Banneker. Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State, read and approved of Banneker’s work. The almanac was published in 1771.

“My Bondage and My Freedom” by Frederick Douglass, is an autobiography recounting Frederick Douglass’s life as a slave and that as a freeman. Published in 1855, the book is a first edition.

“Survivor” by Elizabeth Catlett, is a beautiful Linoleum block print inspired by a photograph taken by Dorthea Lang titled “Ex-slave with a Long Memory.” The print was created in 1983.

“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” is included in Epcot admission. For more information about the collection, visit TheKinseyCollection.com.


Legacy Portraits Tell a New Story

As guests explore the American Pavilion Rotunda, they are greeted by images of influential men and women who contributed to the progress of America. New portraits have been added to the collection for the month of February to further illustrate the contributions of many African American notables.

The new displays feature African American figures such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice; Ronald Erwin McNair, the second African American to fly in space; and Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to stage a public airplane flight in America.

Taste of Southern Comfort

Mrs. Abby Fischer was one of the first African American authors to publish a cookbook dating back to 1881. “What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking,” includes 160 Southern-style recipes. One popular dessert recipe featured in the cookbook, Mrs. Fisher’s Peach Cobbler, is available for guests to purchase and enjoy at Liberty Inn at the American Adventure Pavilion.

February 9, 2016

2016 Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival Runs March 11-17, 2016

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2016 Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival Runs March 11-17, 2016 at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Never call Ireland’s most famous holiday “St. Patty’s,” and avoid green beer if you want an authentic St. Patrick’s Day experience. Celebrate as the Irish do during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs March 11-17. Award-winning Irish bands and quick-stepping Irish dancers will showcase their roots during Central Florida’s most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration that also will feature inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef and PBS/Create TV personality Kevin Dundon.

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Guests can enjoy a mighty selection of beers, spirits and craft cocktails with Dundon’s authentic Irish dishes while musicians and dancers perform on multiple stages. Headline acts during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival include Irish bands JigJam, The Raglan Roots Coalition, Cooney & Ryan, Avi McGourty and The High Road:

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

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

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

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Avi McGourty -- Award winning singer-songwriter McGourty from County Tipperary, Ireland, is a rising star on the Irish music scene with her soulful lyrics and joyful musical renditions.

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The High Road -- These young, traditional Irish musicians who met in University in Ireland exude musical chemistry. A predominately Irish traditional group, they also play British folk, blues and soul.

The entertainment schedule will be posted at raglanroad.com. St. Patrick’s festivities will include complimentary face painting and giveaways. Mighty Festival hours are 4 p.m.-1:30 a.m. March 11, 14, 15 and 16; noon until 1:30 a.m. March 12 and 13; and 11 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. March 17. The pub opens weekdays at 11 a.m. for lunch and weekends at 10 a.m. for brunch.

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If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like the Irish,
here are seven fun facts to keep in mind:

1. Never call the holiday “St. Patty's.” It's either “St. Patrick's Day” or “St. Paddy's.”

2. A shamrock has three leaves (not four – that would be a clover).

3. Americans invented the St. Patrick's Day parade in 1737 in Boston.

4. Most Irish pubs do a full month's business on St. Patrick's Day.

5. Guinness sells 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day versus the usual 5 million daily.

6. Raglan Road is America's #1 Irish Pub.

7. Green beer is an American invention. Raglan Road does not serve green beer.

Guests can order from Raglan Road’s popular lunch, dinner and bar menus that include new dishes just introduced by Chef Dundon. The dinner menu features loin of bacon and cabbage, the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick’s Day, plus other Irish classics created with Dundon’s modern twists. Throughout the event, the restaurant’s Cooke’s of Dublin counter-service eatery will offer Irish favorites, as well, including fish and chips.

On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older. Reservations can be booked for other festival days by calling 407/938-0300.

During the festival, Dundon will host an exclusive four-course luncheon and culinary demonstration March 14 and a signature dinner and wine event on March 15. Details are available at www.raglanroad.com.

Owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke, Paul Nolan and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon – famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland – Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando.

Live entertainment nightly and during weekend brunch includes Irish house band Raglan Roots Coalition, plus the Raglan Road Irish Dancers. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Saturday and Sunday Rollicking Raglan Brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Disney Springs in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

Music Legend Sir Elton John To Perform On ‘The Wonderful World Of Disney: Disneyland 60

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Sir Elton Will Debut the Title Track from His Upcoming Release “Wonderful Crazy Night”
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21


Fans at Home Can Participate in the Evening’s Interactive Light Shows via Sync Capabilities in the Disney Applause App; a Virtual Reality Experience From Key Park Destinations Will Be Available in the Jaunt VR App and on ABC.com

One of the most successful solo artists of all time, Sir Elton John will perform two sensational songs on “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60.” The multi-talented singer, songwriter, musician will captivate audiences in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park by singing the Oscar®-nominated song “Circle of Life,” from Disney’s “The Lion King,” and his new song “Wonderful Crazy Night,” from his upcoming album. “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60,” airs SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network.

Fans watching the show at home can participate in Sir Elton’s performance with the Disney Applause app. Using Walt Disney Imagineering’s Made with Magic technology, Applause delivers a second screen, interactive experience that will sync directly to the broadcast’s major musical segments, displaying colorful light shows and original content on viewers’ phones. Their display will be in harmony with the illuminated accessories worn by guests and elaborate lighting design during the performance. Disney Applause is available for iOS and Android.

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Fans will also have a rare opportunity to experience this once-in-a-lifetime performance via virtual reality. Viewers will join in the celebration as they are instantly transported to Sleeping Beauty Castle for the musical superstar’s concert and to Main Street, U.S.A. for a very special dance routine. The full VR experience can be accessed through the Jaunt app and the VR elements can also be viewed in a 360 degree video on ABC.com/VR. Jaunt VR is available for iOS, Android and GearVR.

In his five-decade career, Sir Elton John has sold over 300 million records, achieving 37 gold and 27 multi-platinum albums. He is one of the most highly acclaimed solo artists of all time, earning six Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award, a Tony Award, and a Disney Legend Award. Sir Elton was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Billboard named him the third most successful male solo artist on “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists.” “Wonderful Crazy Night,” which will be released on February 5, 2016 will be his 32nd studio album.

More performers will be announced shortly.

The Disneyland Resort will continue its 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration through Summer 2016, extending the three spectacular after-dark shows created for the special anniversary – the “Paint the Night” parade, the immersive “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show and the all-new “World of Color–Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney.” The exciting celebration, which also features sparkling décor, themed food and merchandise, will conclude on Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016.

Super Bowl 50 Champion Manning Celebrates Unforgettable Victory in a Parade at the Happiest Place on Earth

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ANAHEIM, Calif., (Feb. 8, 2016) – Celebrating the victorious quarterback of Super Bowl 50, the Disneyland Resort saluted Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos Monday with a champion’s parade down Main Street U.S.A., in Disneyland park. Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, smiled and waved to fans as he rode on a float with his family in an unforgettable moment.

Some favorite Disney characters joined the magical parade as Disneyland guests cheered for Manning and the Broncos, on their first Super Bowl championship together. The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 to win the title game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Sunday. The victory adds to an impressive list of accomplishments. Manning is the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes in an 18-year career that includes 14 Pro Bowl selections, two Super Bowl championships and an NFL-record five regular-season MVP awards.

After the game, Manning talked about what he was going to do next: “I’m going to Disneyland.”

At Disneyland park on Monday, Manning said: “It was an honor to celebrate our Super Bowl victory at Disneyland.”

The parade, coming one day after the NFL staged Super Bowl 50, was held at the Disneyland Resort, which is celebrating its 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration through summer 2016.

Manning joins an all-star lineup of heroes from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments by celebrating at either the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, or Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The lineup includes Peyton Manning’s brother Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Emmitt Smith, Coach Jon Gruden, Joe Montana, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Doug Williams, NBA stars Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul- Jabbar and Magic Johnson, and NHL goalie Patrick Roy.

ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort Announces Mega Cheerleading, Dance Team Venue

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2016) — With its sports business continuing to grow, specifically in the cheerleading and dance team space, ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World Resort is preparing to break ground on a new state-of-the-art cheerleading and dance team competition venue.

ESPN Wide World of Sports is planning to team up with the nation’s top cheerleading organization, Varsity Spirit, to create the first venue in the world specifically designed for cheerleading and dance team competitions. The venue will include a flexible design for one large competition space that can be set up for as many as four competition areas. Additional areas are being tailored for warm up and practice, along with areas for judges and officials.

With the ability to seat over 8,000 guests, plus performance and warm-up space, the new multi-use sports and entertainment venue will also have the ability to host six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or concert configurations. There will be concessions throughout the building, and an additional box office and entry to the complex.

“As our sports business continues to grow, we’re thrilled to work alongside Varsity Spirit to create a sporting and entertainment venue that will not only complement our existing venues, but will be a model for cheerleading and dance team competitions,” said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of ESPN Wide World of Sports. “We value our young athletes and want to give these incredible guests an experience that can only be achieved at Disney.”

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Varsity Spirit will continue to host the world’s most prestigious cheerleading events at the complex, including Varsity Spirit’s annual National High School Cheerleading Championships. This event draws more than 650 teams from more than 30 states and is the only National Championship endorsed by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Winning a coveted white satin National Champion jacket is seen as the pinnacle of success for thousands of cheerleaders from across the country.

“Varsity Spirit invented the modern day cheerleading and dance competition, and we are proud to be the force behind this project, which represents our commitment to providing the very best and safest environment in the world for our athletes and coaches,” said Jeff Webb, Founder and Chairman of Varsity Brands. “Since this building has been designed specifically for spirit teams, we can’t wait to provide an even more high quality competition experience to thousands of athletes each year.”

According to Varsity Spirit, cheerleading continues to rise in popularity around the nation, as well as around the world. The competitive side of cheerleading focuses on

athleticism and entertainment, in addition to the traditional crowd-leading role of the cheerleader. Cheerleaders are the most visible representation of a school’s spirit, whether at a pep rally or on the field and that spirit can play an important role in a school’s success. According to research by Varsity Brands, students with higher levels of school spirit perform better academically, are more civically engaged, and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts six cheer and dance team events annually through its collaboration with Varsity Spirit, bringing tens of thousands of athletes and spectators to Walt Disney World Resort. With an aggressive growth strategy that will include more competitions and record-setting participation, this new venue will draw athletes, spectators and fans from around the country and provide an even stronger, positive economic impact on Central Florida. While the venue will primarily host cheer and dance competitions and volleyball and basketball games, the venue will also be incorporated into the numerous new sports and entertainment offerings at the complex.

Construction is slated to begin in February 2016, and is expected to be complete by mid- 2017.

February 15, 2016

Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Returns!

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The Disney Parks Blog announced that the California Adventure Food and Wine Festival will return (finally) weekends in April, 2016.

"This month-long festival, taking place during weekends in April, will celebrate some of the best of delicious California cuisine. A distinguishing feature will be new Festival Marketplaces, where guests can sip and savor delicious flavors from throughout the state of California. The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will also include culinary demonstrations, appearances by celebrity chefs and informative seminars.

We’ll have more information to share soon, including how you can reserve your seat at the premium experiences taking place during the festival. Mark your calendar now for the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, weekends beginning April 1 at Disney California Adventure park."

February 16, 2016

Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire Castle Show Debuts this Summer

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Joining the lineup of unparalleled Walt Disney World Resort entertainment, “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” will immerse guests in a royal musical celebration set to debut this summer on the Cinderella Castle stage at Magic Kingdom Park.

Mickey Mouse and his pals unite in a tale of friendship featuring songs and characters from Disney’s contemporary classics “Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled” and “Frozen.”


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From the land of the bewitching bayous, Goofy has invited Princess Tiana, Naveen and Louis to add a little spice of New Orleans jazz to the party. Donald Duck brings some new friends he met in the land of the enchanted woods, where Daisy Duck introduces us to her special guests, Rapunzel and Flynn. Finally, Mickey Mouse shares a surprise with Minnie Mouse, as he has traveled to the land of the mystic mountains to invite Olaf, Princess Anna, and Queen Elsa, who swirls a blast of her icy magic.

The celebration culminates in a grand dance, marked by a magical fireworks finale. “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” will be presented multiple times daily.

Mad Tea Party Ends March 30 Disney California Adventure

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The very popular Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure will close on March 30th. The show will be open on weekends through March 13 and then nightly from March 18-30.

No word yet on any replacement.

February 18, 2016

D23 Celebrates the Unparalleled Storytelling of Walt Disney Animation

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JOHN LASSETER, ED CATMULL, AND THE FEATURE ANIMATION “STORY TRUST” SIT DOWN TO REVEAL THE SECRETS BEHIND HITS SUCH AS TANGLED AND FROZEN WITH A LOOK AT THE UPCOMING FILMS ZOOTOPIA AND MOANA.
PLUS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS WITH GINNIFER GOODWIN, CHRIS EVANS, AND THE JUNGLE BOOK DIRECTOR JON FAVREAU
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BURBANK, Calif. – February 17, 2016 – In the 10 years since John Lasseter and Ed Catmull took over the reins of what is now Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney has enjoyed incredible creative and box office success with such films as Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, and, of course, Frozen. The spring 2016 issue of Disney twenty-three looks at the creative talents—from writers and directors to producers and animators—who have driven this wave of superior filmmaking that has resulted in two Academy Awards® for Best Animated Feature for the studio.

Disney twenty-three, available exclusively to D23 Gold Members, includes exclusive interviews with Lasseter and Catmull, as well as the teams behind Walt Disney Animation Studios’ run of hits, discussing the secrets behind their work and how a Disney animated film goes from concept to creation. Plus, Disney twenty-three unveils rarely seen visual development art created for the Studio’s most recent films. There are also advance looks at the upcoming animated films Zootopia—including a revealing one-on-one with star Ginnifer Goodwin—and Moana.

In addition to the animation celebration, the issue offers a sneak peek of Captain America: Civil War, featuring exclusive interviews with star Chris Evans and one of the film’s directors, Joe Russo. And director Jon Favreau details the incredible work behind crafting the stunning live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, including how he snared Bill Murray to voice Baloo the bear.

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

Three cheers for the 10-year anniversary of High School Musical, including interviews with the director and members of the cast

A look at the colorful concept art from the 1967 animated hit The Jungle Book, with stories from Disney Legend Floyd Norman, who worked with Walt Disney on the film

A walk through Walt Disney’s office suite on the Studio lot, recently restored by the Walt Disney Archives

Regular features including A Walk with Walt, D Society, and Ask Dave

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 late February.

About D23

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

Fans can join D23 at Gold 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.

February 19, 2016

Star Wars Takes to the Skies This Summer in New Blockbuster Nighttime Spectacular at Walt Disney World

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Epic Fireworks and Projection Show, Live Onstage Entertainment and Stormtrooper Marches Join Force-Filled Lineup at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2016) -- Following the extraordinary popularity of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Walt Disney World Resort is unveiling even more Star Wars-themed entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting this spring -- including one of the most elaborate fireworks and projection shows in the park’s history.

Just in time for spring, that “galaxy far, far away’’ will be closer than ever with the April 4th arrival of the new Star Wars live entertainment experience Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away and a menacing First Order stormtrooper procession at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And to kick off summer, the park is launching a new nightly fireworks and projection show called Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular that will eclipse anything of its kind in the park’s history.

These new Star Wars entertainment elements, coupled with other recently added Star Wars experiences, make Disney’s Hollywood Studios the place for fans to celebrate their Star Wars passion.

Here are details on these latest entertainment features coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this spring and summer:

APRIL 4:

Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away: This new live, stage show celebrates iconic moments from the Star Wars saga with live vignettes featuring popular Star Wars characters, such as Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and Darth Maul. The show will take place multiple times each day at the Center Stage area near The Great Movie Ride.

Stormtroopers march:
At various times each day, the menacing Captain Phasma will lead a squad of First Order stormtroopers as they march in formation from Star Wars Launch Bay to the Center Stage area in an intimidating demonstration of the First Order’s indomitable strength.

SUMMER:

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular: As the next generation of the current Star Wars-inspired fireworks show, this blockbuster nightly show, unprecedented in Disney’s Hollywood Studios history, will light up the sky with Star Wars-themed fireworks, lasers, light projections and other special effects combined with Star Wars-themed music and iconic characters and scenes from throughout the saga.

Through these state-of-the-art special effects that project onto the nearby Chinese Theatre and other surrounding buildings, guests will gaze at the twin suns of Tatooine, push through a field of battle droids, navigate through an asteroid field, soar down the trench of the Death Star and deliver the final blow to destroy Starkiller Base. The show, which will unfold through a series of acts, will be punctuated by a tower of fire as well as powerful spotlight beams that create lightsabers in the sky.

These latest Star Wars experiences join other new Star Wars elements recently launched at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, such as Star Wars Launch Bay. Since its debut in December, Star Wars Launch Bay has become a popular and central location where guests immerse themselves in the Star Wars saga through themed galleries, large-scale artifacts and Star Wars character encounters, including recently-added Kylo Ren, the menacing character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Other recent additions that have attracted legions of fans since their December debut include:

-- Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, a cinematic reel celebrating the Star Wars
-- The enhanced Star Tours – The Adventures Continue that includes new characters and a new journey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
-- The reimagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, featuring new characters, including the Seventh Sister from the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels.
-- The “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular,’’ a nightly fireworks show set to Star Wars-themed music that will be reimagined as Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular this summer.
-- First Order stormtrooper patrols.
-- Star Wars-inspired food and beverage offerings.

With these new entertainment elements, Walt Disney World Resort guests can enjoy even more extensions of the record-setting movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens and further immerse themselves into the Star Wars galaxy like never before. Each entertainment element offers guests a uniquely immersive Star Wars experience, all adding to an unforgettable day and night at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

And more Star Wars experiences are on the way with the upcoming Star Wars-themed lands planned for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in California. Guests can join the conversation online using #StarWars.

New Meet and Greet with Olaf to Debut at Disney's Hollywood Studios This Spring

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — For the first time in forever, a new character experience with everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf, debuts this spring at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From Disney’s blockbuster film “Frozen,” Olaf will be living his dream “In Summer,” chilling on the beach and ready with warm hugs for all his friends. He’ll greet guests in the all-new Celebrity Spotlight in the Echo Lake area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Also opening this spring is "Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams," a character meet and greet that will be located just off Commissary Lane near the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. In this new spot you can walk the red carpet to step into a scene with Minnie Mouse. Nearby, Mickey Mouse will be appearing as the Sorcerer's Apprentice from "Fantasia."

This new opportunity to meet Olaf is just one location at Walt Disney World Resort where guests can immerse themselves in the magic of the blockbuster film, “Frozen”. Also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests can join the Royal Historians of Arendelle at “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” for a funny and comedic retelling of the unique story of the kingdom, with special appearances by Anna, Elsa and Kristoff.

At Magic Kingdom, Anna and Elsa can be seen every day in the Festival of Fantasy parade. And this summer, Epcot, the Frozen Ever After attraction will transport guests to Arendelle just in time for “Summer Snow Day” celebration, while Princess Anna and Queen Elsa will greet guests at the Royal Sommerhus – both at the Norway Pavilion in World Showcase.

Adventures by Disney Offers New Ways to Explore America in 2016

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BURBANK, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2016) – Adventures by Disney, an award-winning leader in guided group travel worldwide, has announced three new United States vacations available beginning this summer. Exhilarating, educational and entertaining, these vacations showcase the diverse destinations of Central Florida, Montana, and Washington, D.C. & Philadelphia, offering families unforgettable ways to bond and explore America.

Each of these weeklong trips is filled with activities unique to the destinations visited. In Central Florida, families will enjoy unprecedented backstage access and VIP experiences at Walt Disney World Resort, airboat through Florida marshlands and thrill in a visit to the “Space Coast.” Montana offers glamorous camping, or “glamping,” near Yellowstone National Park and a stay at a dude ranch in Big Sky. And American history comes alive during a visit to the nation’s capital, and the United States’ first capital city.

“Adventures by Disney is proud to showcase the majestic landscapes, riveting history and diverse experiences available throughout America on these and other itineraries,” said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Adventures by Disney. “Now is a wonderful time to explore the United States, and with the addition of these vacations we’ve found new ways to offer exciting, varied activities that appeal to every member of the family.”

Highlights of these new Adventures by Disney itineraries include:

Walt Disney World Resort & Central Florida
This unforgettable and unprecedented trip includes backstage access and magical VIP experiences at the Walt Disney World theme parks, exclusive dining opportunities, outdoor adventures in the wilds of Florida, a private lunch with an astronaut and more.

Take part in a privately guided safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and go behind the scenes of the revolutionary Rivers of Light show before taking a VIP seat to enjoy this new nighttime spectacular.
Savor unique world-class dining opportunities, such as an exclusive dinner at Disney’s Contemporary Resort chef’s kitchen.
Learn how Disney magic is created and receive special behind-the-scenes access during one-of-a-kind experiences with Walt Disney Imagineers.
Enjoy special Disney FastPass+ selections at the Walt Disney World theme parks, including premium access to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Toy Story Mania! and other popular attractions.
Explore Central Florida’s unique natural wonders on land – by zipline, swamp buggy and on horseback – and on water in kayaks and aboard an airboat.
Go in-depth with an astronaut and learn firsthand what it takes to soar into space.

Montana
This exhilarating adventure includes “glamping” (glamorous camping) adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, a dude ranch experience in beautiful Big Sky, and active excursions through amazing natural landscapes.

Enjoy the adventure and serenity of upscale camping, explore nature while biking in the backcountry and listen to storytelling under the stars.
Get hands-on at an authentic dude ranch complete with fun family activities like horseback riding, whitewater rafting, fly-fishing and a private riverside cookout.
Experience the wonders of Yellowstone National Park during the centennial of the National Parks Service and witness the explosive power of Old Faithful.

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Washington, D.C. & Philadelphia
Experience American history in an exciting, interactive way as it comes alive on this immersive adventure at some of America’s most iconic landmarks, including delightful encounters with characters from the past, a fun-filled scavenger hunt and storytelling at every stop along the way.

Delight in a sweeping tour of Philadelphia on a privately guided trolley excursion to remarkable landmarks such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Reading Terminal Market.
Walk in the footsteps of such historical figures as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Ross while visiting Washington, D.C. landmarks, including the Capitol, Library of Congress, the Newseum and more.
Discover the history of Gettysburg on a fun, interactive tour that details this famous battle, President Lincoln’s speech and the lifestyle of the era.

These new adventures join an existing line-up of more than 30 other Adventures by Disney guided group vacations to some of the world’s most exciting destinations. Two Disney-trained Adventure Guides, along with local experts, ensure that every detail of the vacation is taken care of, allowing travelers to create everlasting memories without the stress of planning.

For more details and to book reservations, call 1-800-543-0865 or contact a travel agent.

February 22, 2016

University of Virginia Student Gets Kick Out of Disney Princess Half Marathon Victory

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Former soccer player Shannon Crawford from Bronxville, NY notches first half marathon title
More than 24,000 mostly-women runners participate in 13.1-mile race through Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - (Feb. 21, 2016) - If soccer had any chance of staying near and dear to Shannon Crawford's heart, those hopes likely disappeared in a cloud of pixie dust Sunday at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

An avid soccer player since her childhood days in suburban New York City, the University of Virginia senior recently took up distance running and, in just her third 13.1-mile race ever, she won the popular Disney Princess Half Marathon title at Walt Disney World Resort.

To Crawford, who isn't even on her school's cross country team, it was...well, magical.

"Disney is probably my second favorite thing in the world besides my family and friends, so I just decided to run this race,'' she said. "It was the most incredible feeling ever. I'm still in shock.''

Crawford, 21, easily won the race through Magic Kingdom and Epcot, covering the entertainment-filled course in 1:24:49. That was nearly two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Brooke Adams of Randolph, New York (1:26:10). Heather Schulz of Orlando, Florida was third (1:27:06).

Needless to say, after winning her first half marathon, Crawford is totally hooked on running. As for soccer's place in her life, it's in a deeper slumber than Sleeping Beauty.

"I don't really play soccer anymore,'' she said. "I just run.''

The Princess Half Marathon capped the four-day race weekend that featured various races and events all geared toward women, including the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, runDisney Kids Races and the Glass Slipper Challenge, which involved runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. In all, more than 44,000 mostly-women runners participated.

The weekend event also included a health and fitness expo which featured the latest running apparel and equipment, plus a speaker series involving running experts such as runDisney's official training consultant Jeff Galloway. And there were several family-oriented events such as the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast, the Pasta in the Park Party and the Happily Ever After Party.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is one of nine annual runDisney events and one of two women-focused events taking place in 2016. The other women-focused event is the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry, which takes place in May at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women's empowerment, women's health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation's largest race weekends geared towards women.

New Details About Star Wars-Themed Lands Released!

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On Sunday, February 21, during the “Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60” special that aired on ABC-TV, actor Harrison Ford, Star Wars' Han Solo, shared some exciting new details about the Star Wars-themed lands planned for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

Walt Disney Imagineering has joined forces with the imagination of Lucasfilm to bring this galaxy to life, and the illustrations shared during the TV special show the epic scale of these new lands, which will each span 14 acres.

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Guests will be able to step aboard The Millennium Falcon and actually pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy, steering the vessel through space, firing the laser cannons, in complete control of the experience. And with the arrival of the First Order to the planet, visitors will find themselves in the middle of a tense battle between stormtroopers and Resistance fighters.

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No dates or timeframes were given for the development of these new lands, and construction has not officially begun, although many attractions in both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios are closing to make room for the new lands.


Pete's Dragon New Trailer

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A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.

“Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.

Disneyland Resort and Make-A-Wish Invite Fans to "Share Your Ears" to Help Grant Wishes

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Disney Parks to donate up to $1 million to Make-A-Wish

ANAHEIM, Calif., Feb. 22, 2016– To honor the 100,000th Disney wish granted globally, and in celebration of Disneyland Resort’s 60th Anniversary, Disneyland and Make-A-Wish® are inviting fans to Share Your Ears and share the power of a wish®.

Disney and Make-A-Wish fans around the world can make a difference for children with life-threatening medical conditions by unlocking a donation with a simple photo. Disney Parks will donate $5 to Make-A-Wish, up to a total of $1 million, for each photo taken and shared of people wearing Mickey Mouse Ears – or any creative “ears” at all. Photos can be uploaded to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ShareYourEars between now and March 14, 2016.

“For 35 years, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been proud to work with Make-A-Wish to make dreams come true for thousands of children, and now we’re excited to give Disney fans the opportunity to help us make a difference for even more,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Actor and Disney fan-favorite Neil Patrick Harris helped kick off the campaign in style last night during the ABC special, “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60.” Sporting an assortment of ears and a “dazzled” Mickey Mouse Ear hat, Harris shared the importance of wish-granting and the impact it makes on the lives of children and families. The exclusive dazzled Ear hat – adorned with a diamond “D” – will be part of a Make-A-Wish sweepstakes campaign to raise additional funds for wish-granting.

Guests visiting Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, can also purchase collectible 60th Anniversary Ear Hats that say “Wishes Really Do Come True.” Only 7,500 hats will be sold, and all proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish – up to an additional $150,000.

Nearly 8,000 Disney-related wishes are granted worldwide every year – including experiences at Disney theme parks, voyages on Disney Cruise Line, meetings with Disney characters, and visits to TV and movie sets – making Disney the most popular request by Make-A-Wish children.

“The Share Your Ears campaign captures the excitement and creativity that we all associate with Disney. Since the very first wish, Disney has provided wish kids and their families with experiences beyond their wildest imaginations,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. Jon Stettner, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish International added, “Disney continues to surprise us with its ingenuity and generosity, allowing its guests and fans around the world to share in Disney’s passion for our mission. We couldn’t be more grateful.”

For more information, visit www.ShareYourEars.org.

February 23, 2016

CHEF MORIMOTO INTRODUCES CHEF YUHI FUJINAGA AS EXECUTIVE CHEF FOR MORIMOTO ASIA AT DISNEY SPRINGS

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A culinary relationship 17 years in the making comes full circle in Orlando

(Orlando, Fla. – Feb., 2016) – Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group today announced the appointment of Yuhi Fujinaga as Executive Chef of Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. Beginning immediately, Chef Yuhi will be overseeing the day-to-day culinary operations at The Iron Chef’s first-ever pan-Asian restaurant.

“I met Chef Morimoto as a young chef in Hawaii, where I grew up. We bonded quickly over our love of fresh fish, big flavors and new cooking techniques,” said Chef Yuhi. “Through working alongside him at a variety of events throughout the country, I have been inspired by him and his approach to cooking and am thrilled that it’s come full circle.”

Previously, Chef Yuhi was Executive Chef at Patina Restaurant Group’s New York City-based, Sea Grill. A protégé of Chef Ed Brown, who established the restaurant as one of the top seafood destinations in the city, Chef Yuhi has also worked at New York’s Bar Basque. He lived and worked in Spain at the esteemed Echaurren with Chef Francis Paniego, at Casa Solla with Chef Pepe Solla, and at Gaminiz with Chef Aitor Elizegi. He held posts at the Michelin-starred restaurants Eighty-One and Alain Ducasse at the Essex House.

Known for his modern cooking style, Chef Yuhi draws inspiration from his Japanese heritage and upbringing in Hawaii, where he learned to cook from his grandmother. From her, he learned that the quality of the ingredients is as important as the technique in which used to prepare them. Over the years, he has developed techniques that keep the food simple, yet full of flavor.

“Being a great chef comes from within and I know Chef Yuhi is dedicated and passionate to creating inspirational, world-class dishes,” said Chef Masuharu Morimoto. “I am confident that he will continue to showcase his talent and vision to our guests at Morimoto Asia.”

Morimoto Asia is Chef Morimoto’s newest and first Pan-Asian style restaurant. The menu is an eclectic take on some of Chef Morimoto’s favorite Asian flavors including L.A. BBQ kalbi ribs, pad Thai, Peking duck, Chinese-inspired sticky ribs, sweet-and-sour whole fried fish and Singapore laska noodles. Chinese dim sum includes items such asdumplings, shumai, shrimp har-gao and grilled chicken bao.

The restaurant also includes an intimate 14-seat sushi bar offering unique ocean seasonal specialties from Japan and around the world. A variety of specialty sushi rolls, sushi platters and seafood towers featuring highlights from the raw bar are also offered to guests not seated at the sushi bar.

Morimoto Asia is open Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant’s second floor Forbidden Lounge late-night menu is served daily from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

February 26, 2016

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters to Open March 7 at Disney California Adventure Park

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Luigi has invited his cousins from Carsoli, Italy, to Radiator Springs for a special celebration! Today, I’m very eccitata to tell you that the celebration will begin when Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, presented by Alamo, opens March 7 at Disney California Adventure park.

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In this all-new attraction, Luigi will turn the tire storage yard behind his Casa Della Tires into a dance floor! Cars Land guests will be able to ride along with Luigi’s cousins as they move and spin to upbeat Italian music, performing the traditional dances of their hometown village.

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Each dancing car will have its own high-spirited personality and signature dance moves – making every ride unpredictable, as you won’t know which way they will turn and spin next! Take a look at how Walt Disney Imagineering created this carefully choreographed dance in this behind-the-scenes video:

Table-Service Dining Coming to The Diamond Horseshoe

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Starting March 13, the Diamond Horseshoe, located in the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square, will be open daily for table-service lunch and dinner.

Meals will be "all-you-care-to-enjoy" and will begin with a Frontier Salad made of mixed greens, tomatoes, roasted corn, cornbread croutons with a house-made chipotle-ranch dressing. There’s also cornbread for the table to share.

Entrees available will be BBQ pulled turkey served over cornbread, spit-roasted ham served with country beans or stewed beef served with mashed potatoes. Each entree will be served with a side of seasonal veggies.

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For dessert, you can choose from an apple tart or the Campfire Brownie, a rich chocolate brownie on a graham cracker crust, topped with toasted marshmallow.

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Soft drinks, tea, coffee and milk are included with your saloon feast. Cost is $33 plus tax for adults, $19 for children ages 3-9.

Reservations are now available for dates from March 13 to May 30 and can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

February 27, 2016

New Palo Menu Items for Disney Cruise Line

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New menu items have been announced for Palo, the adult only Italian restaurant on all four of the Disney Cruise Ships!

(source: Disney Parks Blog)

A stand-out addition to the dinner selection is a whole roasted chicken, marinated for 24 hours in lemon, sea salt and rosemary. Beautifully presented in a copper serving dish with roasted baby vegetables, asparagus and potatoes, the entree is topped with a Barolo wine reduction typical to the mountainous region of Piedmont in the northwest. Intended for sharing, this dish serves two.

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From the seafood selection, a piquant Dover sole is filleted tableside and served with regional staples like capers, anchovies, sundried tomatoes and thyme potatoes. An exquisite Prosecco and black truffle reduction gives new life to classic sea scallops. And, returning to the menu with a new twist, seared ahi tuna steak is prepared with blanched green beans, roasted new potatoes and peppered quail eggs.


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Sweet endings are a Palo specialty, and the enhanced dessert menu includes a variety of warm, cold, sweet and tangy offerings. These include light, creamy tiramisu—a coffee-infused classic—and a limoncello tart for a refreshing pop of citrus. One thing that hasn’t changed is the signature Palo chocolate soufflé, prepared fresh to-order and served piping hot with luscious vanilla bean and chocolate sauces, plus a scoop of ice cream for good measure.

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Buon appetito!

New Seasonal Pricing on Disney 1-Day Tickets

The Disney Parks Blog Announces: Seasonal pricing for a 1-Day ticket and price increases for multi-day tickets go into effect at Disney Parks on Sunday, Feb. 28

As you may have read in the news, the demand for Disney Parks continues to grow, particularly during peak periods. At the same time, we have an unwavering commitment to exceeding the expectations of all our guests. That is why we continue to expand our parks with new attractions like those noted above, as well as entire new themed lands based on AVATAR, Star Wars and “Toy Story.”

It is also why we continue to look for ways to help spread out visitation. So, beginning tomorrow, we are shifting to seasonal pricing for 1-Day tickets. It’s an approach that you are probably familiar with from many other areas, including sports, entertainment and travel.

How does it work? Each month is divided into value, regular and peak days with an 8-11 month calendar available for viewing online. Here’s an example, if guests plan their visit for September, they’ll have a variety of options, including many days in the value period, which will give them the opportunity to pay less for a 1-Day ticket. If they plan to visit during a peak period, like the winter holidays, they will pay more. Purchasing a 1-Day ticket in a non-peak period, or choosing multi-day tickets and annual passes, will provide additional flexibility and value.

February 29, 2016

Disney Springs Continues to Grow

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Popular Brands Add Unique Touches and Disney Springs Exclusive Products

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 29, 2016) – As Disney Springs continues to expand and double its dining, shopping and entertainment options at Walt Disney World Resort, more exciting high-profile tenants are coming onboard, including Anthropologie, LACOSTE, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Lucky Brand, among others.

Today, a total of 30 new tenants were announced as coming to Disney Springs, including new retail shops and dining venues.

Disney Springs is nearing completion on its largest expansion in history and emerging as an exciting new waterfront district for world-class shopping, unique dining, and high-quality entertainment. Inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs has four distinct outdoor neighborhoods; The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center; all interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. Guests can expect a sophisticated mix of restaurants and high-quality retailers -- including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options.

“Disney Springs has quickly become a favorite destination for our guests and they are going to love what’s to come,” said George A. Kalogridis, president Walt Disney World Resort. “Guests will enjoy an experience unlike any other in Central Florida with even more opportunities to shop in unique and distinctive stores and enjoy world-class dining. Disney Springs offers something for everyone and does it in a way that only Disney can. It truly is the place to be.”

TOWN CENTER RETAIL

Announced today as coming to Disney Springs are 28 new stores to be located in Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect with each other. Town Center features Spanish “Revival” style architecture, drawing from a rich history of explorers that landed in Florida centuries ago.

The following Town Center shops are slated to open in phases beginning May 15:

-- Anthropologie: Anthropologie’s unique and eclectic product assortment includes women’s casual apparel and accessories, intimates, shoes, beauty, home furnishings and a diverse array of gifts and decorative items.

-- LACOSTE: Since the very first polo shirt was created in 1933, LACOSTE relies on its authentic sportive roots to spring optimism and elegance on the world thanks to a unique and original lifestyle for women, men and children and offers a range of products: apparel, leather goods, fragrances, footwear, eyewear, homewear, watches and underwear.

-- kate spade new york: Crisp color, graphic prints and playful sophistication are the hallmarks of kate spade new york. From handbags and clothing to jewelry, fashion accessories, fragrance, eyewear, shoes, swimwear, home decor, desk accessories, stationery, tabletop and gifts, the brand’s exuberant approach to the everyday encourages personal style with a dash of incandescent charm.

-- Sephora: The new Disney Springs Sephora store will offer guests the opportunity to try, test, and play with thousands of products from classic and up-and-coming cosmetic and fragrance brands. Sephora at Disney Springs will feature the latest in beauty services and technology at their expanded Sephora Beauty Studio including Mini Makeovers, Sephora + Pantone Color IQ and complimentary Beauty Classes.

-- Under Armour: Covering two-stories of retail space with a large array of athletic apparel, footwear, and equipment for men, women, and youth, the Disney Springs Under Armour Brand House will have an interactive experience geared toward young athletes who want to test their skills and talents.

-- M·A·C Cosmetics: Collaborating with leading talents from fashion, art and popular culture, M·A·C is a leader in professional makeup and celebrates diversity and individuality.

-- Vince Camuto: A lifestyle brand offering a range of innovative, stylish, trendy products including footwear, handbags, sportswear and much more.

-- Vera Bradley: Celebrating the unique signature style of Vera Bradley in an exciting and modern way, this store designed just for Disney Springs, will bring to life the rich history and heritage of Vera Bradley, showcasing a wide range of their distinctive signature collections and a myriad of specially-created Disney-themed products.

-- Lucky Brand: Staying true to the rich heritage and authentic, all-American spirit of denim, Lucky Brand crafts comfortable vintage-inspired jeans and casual clothing with an irreverent rock and roll attitude.

-- Oakley: Oakley infuses technology, performance and style into eyewear, apparel and accessories for those who are passionate about sports and outdoor lifestyles.

-- Coca-Cola Store: Building on its long-standing relationship with Disney, the new store, inspired by a 1920’s-era Coca-Cola bottling plant design, will feature a wide selection of Coca-Cola merchandise, a Coca-Cola Polar Bear experience and refreshing rooftop beverage bar.

-- TROPHY ROOM: Founded by Marcus Jordan, son of NBA legend Michael Jordan, TROPHY ROOM is an elevated and unique athletic retail boutique experience, inspired by the trophy room in the Jordan family estate. Opening its first location at Disney Springs, the store offers footwear, apparel, memorabilia and exclusive merchandise.

-- ALEX AND ANI®: Meaningful, eco-conscious jewelry and accessories designed to connect people. ALEX AND ANI products are proudly MADE IN AMERICA WITH LOVE®.

-- Na Hoku – Hawaii’s Finest Jewelers Since 1924: A collection of fine jewelry that captures the essence of Hawaiian and Island Lifestyle.

-- Shore: A fashionable American lifestyle brand featuring swimwear, fitness wear, everyday comfort clothing, exclusive products and a new line of limited-edition Shore Brand apparel, only available at Disney Springs.

-- American Threads: Opening a flagship location at Disney Springs, American Threads offers women’s clothing inspired by the free American spirit.

-- Volcom: Volcom was founded on the belief that there is a higher level of consciousness to be found within one’s self through the internal and external journeys that board-sports, music, art and film provide. The company prides itself on making quality apparel, outerwear, footwear and accessories that not only exemplify the lifestyle, but also enhance the ability to live it.

-- Kipling: An international accessories brand offering lightweight and ultra-functional handbags, backpacks, luggage and more to lighten one’s day.

-- francesca’s: With new merchandise arriving daily and in limited quantities, guests will find unique, fashion-forward clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry and gifts.

-- Melissa Shoes: As the pioneer in jelly shoes manufacturing, this Brazilian footwear company offers guests innovative and stylish plastic footwear.

-- UNOde50: Founded in Madrid, Spain, this jewelry retailer offers unique, highly hand-crafted designs that break away from the norm.

-- Johnston & Murphy: Known for its heritage in designing high-quality, well-crafted footwear and apparel, Johnston & Murphy offers modern classics for the new traditional customer.

-- Everything But Water: Known for providing the perfect getaway wardrobe for fashionable women, Everything But Water offers an extensive collection of designer swimwear, resortwear and accessories.

-- Free People: Free People offers a unique merchandise mix of casual women’s apparel, intimates, shoes, accessories, activewear and gifts.

-- JOHNNY WAS: Beautifully crafted bohemian womenswear brand, with a curated selection of jewelry, books, and gifts and a signature line of colorful printed silk scarves, dresses, and tunics.

-- Columbia: Creating innovative apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment for outdoor and fishing enthusiasts since 1938. The new store at Disney Springs will feature the Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) collection designed with fabrics and industry leading technologies that allow for comfortable wear and use for enjoying long days on the water or under the sun.

-- Sperry: From the invention of the world’s first boat shoe to a full collection of sea-tested lifestyle products, Sperry offers the tools for life’s adventures.

-- Luxury of Time by Diamonds International: An industry leader of fine timepieces and jewelry in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexico, Luxury of Time by Diamonds International will feature some of the world’s most prominent designer watch brands and a large collection of fine jewelry.

TOWN CENTER DINING

Also announced today as coming to Disney Springs are several new dining venues at Town Center overlooking The Spring, the heart and soul of the property.

At D-Luxe Burger, a Disney owned and operated concept, burger aficionados are in for a treat with gourmet burgers made from a signature blend of beef, unique toppings and freshly baked buns. All-natural chicken and vegetarian burgers round out the menu with hand-cut fries and house-made dipping sauces as the perfect complement. Artisanal gelato shakes (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) and floats will also be featured, as well as hard sodas, draft beer and cider.

Celebrating the art of pastry making, Amorette’s Patisserie features elements of an artist’s loft and art gallery side-by-side within the comforts of a small town patisserie. Amorette’s means “little loves,” which is evident in the care poured into creating the shop’s sweet treats. Timeless classic and contemporary pastries are the stars in this unique high-end pastry shop owned and operated by Disney. Custom cakes are truly a work of art and are available for immediate purchase or for pre-order. Champagne selections by the glass and handcrafted hot chocolates only a pastry artist could create allow for a truly indulgent experience.

In addition to these owned and operated restaurants, we are bringing new restaurants to Town Center by award-winning celebrity chefs.

The newest contemporary Mexican-themed restaurant joining Disney Springs has a new name. Tablas Frontera will delight friends, family and food-lovers with exciting flavors and a contemporary Mexican experience. Warm colors, an open kitchen and a lively atmosphere frame an inviting exploration of the many delights from the kitchen of renowned chef Rick Bayless. The delicious, enticing presentation of grilled meats, seafood and vegetables served on planks (tablas) promote sharing and togetherness.

Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar by Chef Art Smith will showcase farm-to-fork cuisine inspired by the Sunshine State. The menu will feature Southern favorites like homemade pimento cheese, deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, and fried chicken.

ADDITIONAL ENHANCEMENTS

As guests enter Town Center around The Spring area, they will be warmly greeted at the Welcome Center, a place where guests can relax and take in the beauty of the clear water with lush landscape along the water’s edge. Themed to early Florida settlements, the architecture around The Spring is based on timber frame structures that were once used in the citrus and ranching industries.

Over in the Marketplace, Fulton’s Crab House will open a new concept this fall. The re-imagined restaurant will welcome guests with a bow to stern update including interiors reflecting the crisp luxury of modern yachting, and new spaces include a lushly appointed rooftop lounge overlooking Disney Springs, outdoor waterfront bar featuring a “build your own” fish boil and private dining areas. The new menu stars fresh seafood with an oyster shucking bar, Florida stone crab and Alaskan king crab, with hearty steaks and chops, as well as classic and curated cocktails.

In addition, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will move from its current location at World of Disney into a new and expanded location near Once Upon a Toy in the Disney Springs Marketplace. Guests ages 3-12 will receive the royal treatment, getting made up like their favorite Disney princess with the help of their own Fairy Godmother-in-Training. This country parlor-inspired location will include an expanded salon to welcome royal attendees and a uniquely designed photo room to capture memories. Be among the first to experience this new location by booking your royal makeover at 407-WDW-STYLE (407-939-7895).

Disney Springs can be easily accessed from I-4 West, Central Florida’s major thoroughfare, via a new connection that leads directly to a convenient parking garage featuring smart technology that identifies open parking spaces. Self parking is complimentary. Valet parking is also available on site.

Stay tuned for more updates on Disney Springs. Follow at @DisneySprings on Twitter and Instagram.

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About February 2016

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in February 2016. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2016 is the previous archive.

March 2016 is the next archive.

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