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April 2017 Archives

April 6, 2017

The Polite Pig to Open April 10 at Disney Springs Town Center

Polite Pig logo

On April 10, 2017, The Polite Pig in Town Center at Disney Springs™ at Walt Disney World® Resort will open, the newest concept for award-winning Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis.The husband-wife team, also owners of The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons in Winter Park and Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport, are opening this newest concept with James Petrakis’ brother Brian.

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The Polite Pig will feature “modern barbecue” in an open kitchen, with Southern sides like a tomato and watermelon salad, mac and cheese and smoked corn with lime butter. There will also be a solid selection of craft beers and cocktails, and a bourbon bar with more than 50 selections, from small batch bourbons to a Pappy Van Winkle 23-Year Family Reserve.

Most of the menu will be exclusive to The Polite Pig: modern barbecue with The Ravenous Pig twist, like the Southern Pig Sandwich with pulled pork off the smoker, apple slaw, mustard sauce and Duke’s mayo; peel-and-eat shrimp with bourbon-cocktail sauce, and crispy Brussels sprouts with whiskey caramel. A featured appetizer is the Hop Salt Pretzel with beer cheese fondue and IPA mustard. One of the highlighted sandwiches is the Salmon BLT with bacon jam, marinated tomato, romaine and aioli.

In addition to Cask & Larder Brewery brews on tap, there will be other Florida/domestic craft beers and five house cocktails on tap.

Ravenous Pig/Cask & Larder veterans Jared Thate and Allie Weldon will be at helm of the new restaurant, under Chef James Petrakis’ guidance and inspiration.

The location will have 190 seats, and the decor features whimsical pigs on various adventures. Rustic touches are used for custom featured art pieces. Large faded graphics also adorn the main wall of the space adding to the feel of the long-time family run business.

The restaurant will operate under the "fast-casual" concept, which means that you will place your order at the main counter, then servers will bring it to your table when it's ready. The Polite Pig will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Disney Legends Announced for 2017 Honored During Upcoming D23 Expo

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NINE NEW DISNEY LEGENDS TO BE HONORED DURING
D23 EXPO 2017 IN ANAHEIM ON JULY 14
Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Julie Taymor, and Other Incredible Talents to be Honored at a Special 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony Hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger

BURBANK, Calif. (April 6, 2017) – Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Julie Taymor, and other remarkable contributors to the Disney legacy will be honored as official Disney Legends during D23 Expo 2017. Hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, the Disney Legends Award ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 14, in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Disney Legends Awards. The first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987.

“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor our company can bestow on an individual, reserved for those few who have truly made an indelible mark on the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “It’s a celebration of talent, a recognition of achievement, and an expression of gratitude to the men and women whose work has significantly contributed to Disney’s enduring reputation for creative excellence.”

The awards ceremony is just one of the dozens of spectacular events that Disney fans can enjoy during the three-day D23 Expo.

The 2017 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

CARRIE FISHER became an overnight sensation in 1977 with her iconic performance as Princess Leia in Star Wars. But throughout her career, Carrie took on many roles—as an actress, author, playwright, screenwriter, and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness. For Disney, Carrie appeared in Scream 3 (2000) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) for Dimension Films, and, in 2015, she returned to the role that made her famous, starring as General Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She reprised the role for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be released in December.

CLYDE “GERRY” GERONIMI joined the Disney Studio in 1931. His first assignments as an animator were for several memorable Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphony, and Pluto cartoons, and he eventually contributed to more than 50 of the Studio’s shorts. Gerry made the leap to sequence director with 1943’s Victory Through Air Power, and he subsequently contributed to The Three Caballeros, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He also directed segments for television’s Mickey Mouse Club and contributed to episodes of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. The apex of his Disney career came when he served as supervising director for the 1959 masterpiece Sleeping Beauty.

MANUEL GONZALES
was one of 33 artists selected from thousands of applicants to join Disney in 1936. In 1938, he took over penciling duties on the Sunday Mickey Mouse comic strip from Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson. He brought Mickey Mouse to newspapers nationwide for nearly 40 years. At its peak, his Mickey-starring comic strip appeared in 120 newspapers around the world with a collective circulation of more than 20 million readers each week. Manuel was presented a “Mousecar” award by Walt Disney in 1966.

MARK HAMILL began his career in 1970, appearing in numerous television series guest-roles and several TV movies, including a recurring role on ABC’s General Hospital and starring in MTM's acclaimed The Texas Wheelers. He achieved worldwide attention as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, which included The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He returned as Luke in The Force Awakens and will appear in the upcoming The Last Jedi. His stage career includes Broadway shows and the first national tour of Amadeus directed by Sir Peter Hall. A prolific voice-over actor, he has performed in countless animated television shows, feature films, documentaries, and video games. He appears on Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland and Milo Murphy’s Law, and has also provided the voice of The Joker in the Batman animated series, a role that recently earned him a BAFTA Award.

WAYNE JACKSON
began his career as a Walt Disney Imagineer in October 1965, and in the decades that followed he would put his technical skills and know-how to great use in the development and installation of Disney attractions around the world. Originally trained in aircraft tooling, he began as a technician and machinist assigned to rebuild the shows from the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair that were slated for installation at Disneyland. Instrumental in the early development of Audio-Animatronics® technology, Wayne would go on to help bring Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion to Disneyland. He went on to work on the construction and installation of attractions and show systems at Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Disneyland Paris.

STAN LEE got a job as an office assistant at a comic publisher in 1939 called Timely Comics—forerunner of the powerhouse we all know as Marvel. Stan made his debut with a Captain America story in 1941, and by the next year, at the age of just 18, he was promoted to editor. In 1961, Stan teamed up with Jack “King” Kirby to create the Fantastic Four and ushered in a spectacular new age of comics. Stan co-created an enormous roster of Marvel characters, including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Falcon. He became Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and eventually was named chairman emeritus. His well-known cameos in Marvel films began with 1989’s telefilm The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and since the release of X-Men in 2000 he has appeared in nearly every Marvel film project. Outside the super-hero realm, he has even popped up as a wedding guest in Disney’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

GARRY MARSHALL began his career in Los Angeles writing for a number of hit shows, including The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show. But his big break came in 1970, when he produced The Odd Couple for ABC, the first of many big hits he created for the network. Beginning with Happy Days in 1974, he developed a shared universe of spinoffs including Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and Joanie Loves Chachi. His other ABC sitcoms during these years included Angie, The New Odd Couple, and Blansky’s Beauties. Garry was also a successful movie director, with 18 films to his credit. At Disney, he made stars of two young actresses: Julia Roberts, in Pretty Woman, and Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries. He directed Bette Midler in Beaches, as well as in The Lottery, a short film that for years was a fixture of the Backstage Tour at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. Garry was known for his acting, as well, and he appeared in Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain, Chicken Little, and as the Devil in Hocus Pocus.

JULIE TAYMOR is a Tony®-, Emmy®-, and Grammy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated filmmaker who has changed the face of Broadway with her innovative direction. Her adaptation of The Lion King debuted in 1997, becoming the most successful stage musical of all time; 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people. The show has played in more than 100 cities in 19 countries. It received 11 Tony Award nominations, earning Julie Best Director, Costume Designer, and Best Musical for the show. Her production of The Magic Flute is currently in repertory at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Her films include A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Titus, The Tempest, the Golden Globe-nominated Across the Universe, and the Oscar-winning Frida. Taymor is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and an inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement. She is currently directing M. Butterfly on Broadway, opening Fall 2017.

OPRAH WINFREY is a renowned award-winning producer, actress, talk show host, and philanthropist. For 25 years she was the host of the award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 seasons on hundreds of stations domestically and in more than 100 countries around the world. Oprah is also an Academy Award®-nominated actress for her role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 hit The Color Purple. In 1998, she starred in Beloved for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, a film that she also produced. Oprah also produced and starred in ABC’s 1989 limited series The Women of Brewster Place, and would go on to produce many films for ABC, including Tuesdays with Morrie, Before Women Had Wings, and Their Eyes Were Watching God under the “Oprah Winfrey Presents” banner. She performed as Eudora in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog in 2009 and will co-star as Mrs. Which in Disney’s 2018 film A Wrinkle in Time.

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

Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to D23 Expo 2017.

Including this year’s honorees, a total of 276 Disney Legends have been named. Past Disney Legends include Tim Allen, Julie Andrews, Beatrice Arthur, Howard Ashman, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, Peter Jennings, Johnny Depp, Estelle Getty, George Lucas, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Rue McClanahan, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Sir Tim Rice, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters, Betty White, and Robin Williams. Beginning with the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, thousands of Disney fans have been able to enjoy the Legends Awards ceremony live.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2017 are available for $81 for one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Membersof D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $72 for a one-day adult admission and $53 for children 3–9. Multi-day tickets are also available. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2017, visit D23Expo.com.

April 11, 2017

35th Night of Joy Entertainment Announcement

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Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, Kirk Franklin to Play 35th Disney Night of Joy at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Sept. 8, 9

The hits just keep on coming – as they say – with this year’s Disney Night of Joy event featuring 15 of the greatest performers in Contemporary Christian music – Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9.

With Country Christian Music legends like MercyMe, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman and Kirk Franklin joining a new generation of Christian hit makers like Danny Gokey, Jordan Feliz and Rend Collective, the complex will be filled with two nights of awe-inspiring music.

Word has it that Amy and Steven might sing a couple of songs together!

We are also thrilled to welcome Night of Joy favorite, Matthew West as our host for the two-night event this year. Matthew will be running around the complex, introducing artists and just generally keeping things hopping.

This year’s event – our 35th actually – will feature one of the greatest concert lineups in Contemporary Christian music history. (Entertainment subject to change.)

Friday, Sept. 8 – MercyMe, TobyMac, Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey, Matt Maher, Colton Dixon, Rend Collective, Zach Williams.

Saturday, Sept. 9 – Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin, Jordan Feliz, Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Tye Tribbett.

Tickets will go on sale in early June.

April 14, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - New Teaser Trailer and Poster

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

The first official teaser trailer and teaser poster from STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI just debuted at Star Wars Celebration Orlando, April 14, 2017.

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April 17, 2017

Disney Parks Imagineers and Lucasfilm Share Details of Star Wars-Themed Lands

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Several days ago, during a panel discussion at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, representatives from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering discussed their unique partnership and shared details about the new Star Wars-themed lands being created at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

The panel, Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making, featured an exclusive video that gave some insight to this collaboration.

The team shared new details about the story behind this mysterious destination somewhere on the Outer Rim -- lying on the edge of the Unknown Regions: The remote village was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but the prominence of the outpost has been bypassed with the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer less attention, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.

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Unusual characters from across the galaxy have landed here, preferring the “no questions asked” environment as well as easy access to exotic supplies and an abundant supply of ready rogues looking to join a crew for their next adventure.

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As Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced last month, the Star Wars-themed lands are scheduled to open in 2019.

April 18, 2017

"A Pirates Life for Me" Walt Disney World Archives Exhibit at D23 Expo

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BRAND NEW WALT DISNEY ARCHIVES EXHIBIT, “A PIRATE’S LIFE FOR ME,” TO OPEN AT D23 EXPO 2017
Disney Archives - Pirates of the Caribbean Cannon
Hundreds of Props, Set Pieces, Photographs, and Costumes Will Be On Display to Celebrate Disney’s “Rascals, Scoundrels and Really Bad Eggs” at the Biennial Fan Event

BURBANK, Calif. (April 18, 2017) – The Walt Disney Archives returns to D23 Expo with an all-new exhibit, “Walt Disney Archives Presents––A Pirate’s Life for Me: Disney’s Rascals, Scoundrels and Really Bad Eggs.” Disney’s most memorable marauders, from Peter Pan’s Captain Hook to Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow, will be on display July 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center during the biennial event, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.

Disney Archives - Captain Jack's Compass


The 12,000-square-foot exhibit, located on the Expo show floor, will honor Disney’s treasured pirates from film, television, and the beloved Disney parks attraction that has thrilled guests from Anaheim to Shanghai. Hundreds of iconic and never-before-seen items will be on display.

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Objects featured in the exhibit include Audio-Animatronics® figures from the original Disneyland attraction, a ride vehicle from Peter Pan’s Flight, and artwork and imagery from Treasure Island, Peter Pan, as well as an unproduced Donald Duck animated short, featuring the irascible duck searching for swashbuckler gold.

Disney Archives -  Peter Pan's Flight


The action-packed film franchise is represented with original costumes worn by the star-studded cast, Davy Jones’ pipe organ, a 23-foot-tall set model of the Black Pearl ship, the Dead Men’s chest, and more original props and set pieces, including items from the new film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Disney Archives - Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest
Disney Archives - Model of the Black Pearl

Also on the show floor, the Archives will present “Fantastical Fashions,” a dazzling selection of dresses worn by beloved heroines and sinister villainesses. Costumes from six of Disney’s live-action fantasy films will be showcased including Enchanted (2007), Maleficent (2014), and Beauty and the Beast (2017).

Disney Archives -  102 Dalmations Cruella Flame Gown
Archives Maleficent Fur Robe


Tickets for D23 Expo 2017 are available for $81 for one-day adult admission, $59 for children 3–9. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $72 for a one-day adult admission, $53 for children 3–9. Multi-day tickets are also available. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2017, visit D23Expo.com.


About D23 Expo 2017

D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2017 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

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

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

Disneyland Resort Debuts a New Universe of Fun This Summer with Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

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Thrilling New Attraction Immerses Guests in a Thrilling Adventure with Awesome Music, As Summer of Heroes Launches May 27 at Disney California Adventure Park

Main Street Electrical Parade Extended to Aug. 20 at Disneyland Park; Fantasmic!, Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America Attractions Re-Open in Summer 2017

ANAHEIM (April 17, 2017) –Guests escaping to the Disneyland Resort in search of fun and adventure this summer will join forces with Guardians of the Galaxy as this intergalactic crew attempts its own escape in the fun and thrilling new attraction Guardians of the Galaxy –Mission: BREAKOUT!, opening Saturday, May 27, in Disney California Adventure Park. Heroes from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, some appearing for the first time in a Disney park, also come alongside legendary Super Heroes in new experiences during Summer of Heroes, a special celebration in Disney California Adventure, May 27-Sept. 10.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! launches guests into a chaotic and hilarious adventure that combines a breathtaking free-fall sensation with all-new visual and audio effects. The action jumps to the beat of the attraction’s “awesome mix tape” of music, inspired by the films soundtracks. Guests will discover multiple ride experiences as they help the unique hero Rocket in a daring plan to free the Guardians–a band of extraterrestrial misfits–from the fortress of The Collector, Taneleer Tivan.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opens as a permanent attraction just in time for summer 2017 at the Disneyland Resort, and the Summer of Heroes inaugurates an ever-expanding universe of Super Hero stories at Disney California Adventure that will become even bigger over time. In addition, guests in the park’s Hollywood Land will join some favorite Super Heroes for epic, new experiences for a limited time.

“Pick your spot for fun and adventure this summer at the Disneyland Resort,” said David Duffy, director of creative entertainment at the Disneyland Resort. “You can step into a rescue mission on a thrilling adventure with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and you can encounter legendary Super Heroes. You can step up to meet Groot for the first time, and find out if you have what it takes to join the Avengers. You can watch the Main Street Electrical Parade one more time, re-discover some of your favorite classics like ‘Fantasmic!’ and so much more.‘’

In Disneyland Park, the classic Main Street Electrical Parade has been extended by popular demand through Aug. 20, 2017. The nighttime parade features beloved Disney characters and stories, half a million twinkling lights, the synthesized music of “Baroque Hoedown” and the heartwarming joy of nostalgia. Summer 2017 also marks the return of the nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!,” the Disneyland Railroad and attractions on Rivers of America.

In Disney California Adventure:

Guests will enjoy some of the Super Hero experiences year-round:

  • Super Hero Encounters: For the first time, citizens of Terra (Earth) will come face-to-face with Groot. They also may encounter the First Avenger, Captain America, and everyone’s favorite web slinger, the friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man.
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!”: Star-Lord fires up his old-school boom box to get a party started. Everyone, including tree-of-few-words Groot, is bound to get in the groove and show off their moves during this awesome rock ‘n’ roll bash.

For a limited time (May 27 through Sept. 10), some new adventures will be exclusive to Summer of Heroes:

  • “Avengers Training Initiative”: Black Widow and Hawkeye assemble young recruits for a series of tests to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the Avengers.
  • Heroic Encounter: Black Widow: Black Widow arrives on the scene several times throughout the day in an armored Avengers vehicle for her heroic encounter with park guests.
  • Grab a Piece (or Bite) of the Action: Special themed merchandise, plus food and beverage items, will be available throughout Hollywood Land.

Another new, year-round show is fun for all ages:

  • “Disney Junior Dance Party”: Debuting Friday, May 26, this fun concert experience invites adults and kids to dance and sing along to the music. Popular Disney Junior characters from Disney Junior TV shows “Doc McStuffins,” “Sofia the First” and “The Lion Guard” are joined by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from the new series “Mickey and the Roadster Racers.”

In Disneyland:

Along with the Main Street Electrical Parade, some classic guest favorites have been enhanced and are set to return in Summer 2017. Dates will be available soon at Disneyland.com.

  • The summer months offer a last chance to view the lights, music and fun of the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade. Nightly performances through Aug. 20 feature favorites like Cinderella’s ball, Elliot, the smoke-breathing, tail-waggin “Pete’s Dragon” and the glittering “To Honor America” finale.
  • The popular nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!” is set to re-open this summer on the Rivers of America, enhanced with new scenes and features. Guests will find Mickey Mouse in more scenes than ever before, and they’ll discover new roles for Genie from “Aladdin,” “Tangled,” “The Lion King” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
  • As work continues on a new Star Wars-themed land, set to open in 2019, the iconic Disneyland Railroad is preparing to return this summer to take guests on a tour of the park. They’ll enjoy a new look along the Rivers of America, with a spectacular new vista of a waterfall, rocky cliffs and a dramatic gorge below.
  • Also returning later this summer are the Rivers of America attractions: the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes and Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island.
  • In Tomorrowland, Star Wars and Disney fans will step into out-of-this-galaxy experiences at Star Wars Launch Bay, meeting some Star Wars characters and getting an up-close look at replica props and models from Star Wars movies, including the latest “Rogue One: A Star Wars”

April 20, 2017

Alan Menken One Man Show at D23 Expo

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OSCAR®-WINNER AND DISNEY LEGEND ALAN MENKEN TO PRESENT NEW ONE-MAN SHOW AT D23 EXPO 2017
The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast Composer Will Perform Songs from Beloved Disney Films and Share Stories from His Incredible Career During Two Performances at the Ultimate Disney Fan Event


BURBANK, Calif. (April 20, 2017) – Disney aficionados, film buffs, and musical theater fans can expect a show like no other when eight-time Oscar®-winner Alan Menken performs his own music and shares entertaining anecdotes about his unrivaled career at D23 Expo 2017. His songs and music have enchanted audiences around the world, and now they will thrill D23 Expo guests with two performances of his exciting new one-man show, A Whole New World of Alan Menken, on Sunday, July 16, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center.

Menken has won more Academy Awards® than any other living individual. He has received 11 Grammy® Awards, seven Golden Globes, a Tony Award,® and 19 Academy Award® nominations. He has been credited with introducing a whole new generation to musicals through such box office hits as Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Enchanted, and Tangled, as well as the Broadway shows Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act, Newsies, A Bronx Tale, and the ABC television series Galavant.

The one-man show is written and performed by Menken and directed by Richard Kraft, the creative director of the highly acclaimed Disney’s The Little Mermaid in Concert at The Hollywood Bowl starring Sara Bareilles and Rebel Wilson, as well as the upcoming La La Land in Concert: A Live-To-Film Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl.

A Whole New World of Alan Menken is produced by Laura Engel and Richard Kraft and Alison Ahart Williams and Tim Fox, whose credits include The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Disney’s The Little Mermaid in Concert at The Hollywood Bowl, Live from Lincoln Center: Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton, which recently won two Emmy® awards for its PBS broadcast, and the upcoming La La Land in Concert: A Live-To-Film Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl.

Alan Menken’s music and lyrics have been an integral part of the fabric of our lives since his first works were produced nearly 40 years ago. Song and score credits for film musicals include The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast (animated and live-action versions), Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Home on the Range, Enchanted, and Tangled. His stage musicals include Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap of Faith, Newsies, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and A Bronx Tale. His television credits include writing songs for the ABC series Galavant, and his chart-topping songs include “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Whole New World,” “Colors of the Wind,” and “Go the Distance.” Menken's notable achievements include induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Billboard’s No. 1 single (“A Whole New World”) and No. 1 album (Pocahontas). In 2001, he received the distinction of being named a Disney Legend.

Experiences are subject to change. Additional details are available at D23expo.com.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2017 are available for $81 for one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $72 for a one-day adult admission and $53 for children 3–9. Multi-day tickets are also available. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2017, visit D23expo.com.


About D23 Expo 2017
D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2017 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

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

April 24, 2017

FREE DINING Returns to Walt Disney World!

Free Dining Offer - Fall 2017
Walt Disney World® Resort - Most nights 8/21/17 - 12/23/17

Here's a delicious way to make your vacation dreams come true! Book a non-discounted Walt Disney World® Magic Your Way package and get a select Dining Plan - Free*!

Book a Value & Moderate resort - Get Quick Service Dining Plan
Book a Deluxe or villa - Get the Disney Dining Plan

Valid for stays most nights:
Aug 21 - Sept 30
Nov 14 - Nov 20
Nov 25 - Nov 27
Dec 8 - Dec 23

Book by July 7, 2017

For details, contact our preferred travel provider at MouseFanTravel.com

Pandora - The World of Avatar Creates 1,500 jobs for Central Florida

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Growth at Walt Disney World Resort Sparks Job Creation
Pandora - The World of Avatar Creates 1,500 jobs for Central Florida


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 24, 2017 -- When Pandora – The World of Avatar opens May 27, it will cap the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, creating 1,500 jobs with 800 construction roles and 700 operational positions including engineering, attraction hosts, food and beverage and leadership positions.

This is the latest in a steady stream of growth at Walt Disney World, with previous expansions adding to the vitality of the local economy by adding jobs and drawing even more visitors to Central Florida.

Representing the most recent example of creativity and innovation at Walt Disney World Resort, Pandora – The World of Avatar is an epic new land where guests arrive on a world filled with unbelievable sights and experiences. The land becomes an attraction itself as guests walk through the awe-inspiring world of Pandora. Only here can guests soar through the skies on the back of a banshee in the attraction Avatar Flight of Passage, sail through a bioluminescent rainforest in the family-friendly attraction Na'vi River Journey and walk beneath towering floating mountains. New and unique merchandise and food and beverage locations will also complement the fun of Pandora, immersing guests in their in-park experience like never before.

The new land is one of many other recent additions, including the new Rivers of Light nighttime show, sunset safaris, other after-dark experiences and the opening of Tiffins, the first signature restaurant inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

“While guests will enjoy Pandora’s amazing expeditions and stunning floating mountains,” said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president of Walt Disney World Parks, “one of the many things they will long remember when they return home are the Cast Members who helped create magical memories during their Disney vacation.”

In addition to wearing costumes with a specialized name tag specifically for Pandora, Cast Members will be immersed in the Na’vi culture by learning about their language, environment and way of life. One example is the way Cast Members throughout the valley of Mo’ara will be able to welcome guests to this awe-inspiring land with the common Na’vi word for hello - Kaltxi (kahl-T’IH). “Anticipation is building among our Cast Members as we get closer to the unveiling of Pandora – The World of Avatar, which is the most mesmerizing land Disney Parks has created to date,” said Djuan Rivers, vice president of Disney's Animal Kingdom. “The attention to detail extends to the Cast Member experience, which includes Pandora-specific training in addition to specially designed costumes to fully engage our Cast Members in the story, which ultimately leads to a richer experience for our guests.” Walt Disney World Resort is a significant contributor to the economic well-being and vitality of Central Florida. Disney is the largest single-site employer in the United States, employing more than 73,000 Cast Members in Central Florida, in more than 3,000 different job classifications with total 2016 annual payroll of over $2 billion. Walt Disney World Resort is the largest single taxpayer in Central Florida, contributing $621 million in total state and local taxes paid and collected for 2016.

Classic Space Mountain Returns to Disneyland Park This Summer

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April 20, 2017 - Get ready to initiate power transfer in 3…2…1… when the classic Space Mountain returns to Disneyland park June 1! Just days after the 40th anniversary of this Tomorrowland favorite, space travelers will blast off once again for their intergalactic adventure.

A variation of a concept Walt Disney developed in the 1960s, Space Mountain first opened at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975, and construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland park began soon after. The attraction went on to become a guest favorite, seeing special themed versions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain.

April 25, 2017

Mission Accomplished: Brazil’s Samuel Souza Do Nascimento Conquers the Galaxy at the 2nd Annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side at Walt Disney World Resort

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Lakeland’s Sydney Devore is top women’s finisher; Over 17,000 Florida runners were among 45,500 participants in the second-largest runDisney half marathon weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (April 23, 2017) – Samuel Souza Do Nascimento of Limeira, Brazil, took the Dark Side by storm, winning all three race-weekend events, including the 2nd annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side at Walt Disney World Resort; the second largest runDisney half marathon race weekend.

Nascimento, 28, channeled the Force to run the half marathon through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1:07:14, smashing last year’s race record of 1:13:39. Tyler Andrews of Arlington, Va. was second (1:09:40) and Sam Montclair of Durham, N.C. was third (1:13:07).

“The thing that impressed me about this race is the overall energy of the run,” said Nascimento. “Other races I have run in the past, there have been one or two people on the sideline cheering and here there is a whole different energy to it, which helped me perform at an entirely different level.”

Earlier in the race weekend, Nascimento won the Stars Wars 5K, and Star Wars 10K before taking the half marathon on Sunday. When asked about winning the weekend’s three racing events, Nascimento simply replied, “Mission accomplished.”

Sydney Devore, 25, of Lakeland, Fla. was the first female finisher of the 13.1-mile race, setting the race record with a winning time of 1:20:15. The second-place female finisher was Jacki Wachtel of New Port Richey, Fla. (1:22:29) and third-place finisher was Georganne Watson of Gainesville, Fla. (1:25:44).

“This was a bucket list race for me, and I PR’d (set a personal record) by five minutes so I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” stated Devore. “It’s a dream come true, really.”

The 2nd annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side boasted a weekend of galactic family-friendly events, including the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo and the runDisney Kids Races, in addition to the Star Wars 5K, Star Wars 10K and half marathon. The weekend also included the 19.3-mile Star Wars Dark Side challenge, completing both the Star Wars 10K and half marathon in back-to-back days.

The Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side is the fourth race in runDisney’s nine-race series that encompasses Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris. Next month, runners can take flight with Tinker Bell and her friends during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry, taking place May 11-14.

D23 Announces Epcot 35 Events in Florida

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D23 has announced 2 new events celebrating Epcot's 35th Anniversary: A Fanniversary event and a Progressive Dinner.
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Join The Official Disney Fan Club as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of Epcot during D23’s annual Fanniversary celebration throughout the month of October! Inspired by Walt Disney’s vision for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, EPCOT Center opened on October 1, 1982, as the second theme park at Walt Disney World Resort.

Gold and Gold Family Members have the chance to kick off Fanniversary with a visit to Epcot on October 1 for a D23-exclusive celebration event!

The event will take place at the World Showplace Events Pavilion and includes three presentations that celebrate the magic of this fan-favorite theme park over the past 35 years. The presentations will include rare content and stories from Disney luminaries who played an influential role in the development of Epcot!

All attendees will also have the chance to enjoy a lunchtime look back at Epcot over the years while snacking on a boxed lunch at your table. No event would be complete without a one-of-a-kind gift created exclusively for this celebration.

Tickets are $135 per person, plus a $5 per person processing fee. Tickets go on sale May 2, 1t 1 pm ET. https://d23.com/d23-event/d23s-fanniversary-celebrates-35-years-of-epcot/

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D23 Behind the Scenes Experience: A Progressive Dinner Celebrating 35 Years of Epcot


The Fanniversary kick-off celebration continues on the evening of the 35th anniversary of Epcot with an intimate behind-the-scenes, progressive dinner taking place at a variety of private venues throughout Epcot. The multi-course meal will highlight fan-favorite foods found throughout Future World and World Showcase. Attendees will progress through dinner within private areas of Epcot including the General Motors Lounge above Test Track and The Living Seas Salon! Throughout the progressive meal, guests will have the opportunity to spend time with fellow Disney fans, as well as honorary Disney luminaries and special guests. At the conclusion of the dinner, guests will enjoy a special, behind-the-scenes experience of an iconic Epcot attraction.

The event begins at 6pm and lasts approximately 4.5 hours. Tickets are $250 per person, plus a $5 per person processing fee. Tickets go on sale May 3rd at 10:00am ET.

This one-of-a-kind experience wouldn’t be complete without a custom gift, created exclusively for you.

For more information visit: https://d23.com/d23-event/progressive-dinner-celebrating-35-years-epcot/

The Guardians of the Galaxy Arrive May 27 at Disney California Adventure Park

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Guests Will Step into a Guardians of the Galaxy Story for the First Time and Encounter Fun, Irreverent Characters to Launch Summer of Heroes

ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 25, 2017) – Whether guests know the quirky characters from Guardians of the Galaxy through comic books, animated television series or films, they have yet to step into their story – until now! Beginning May 27, this popular gang of misfits arrives at Disney California Adventure Park in the irreverent, new attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! In addition, guests will come face to face with Groot for the first time in a Disney theme park, and they’ll discover some of his pals in live entertainment shows and heroic encounters.

Groot, Rocket, Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians are cosmic adventurers who travel the galaxy to defend it from those who wish it harm. They are a few of the characters guests will encounter during Summer of Heroes, starting May 27, only at Disney California Adventure Park. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is a thrilling, hilarious adventure that blasts guests into the story of these characters with all-new visual and audio effects, plus the attraction’s own “awesome mix tape” of music inspired by the films’ soundtracks. Guests will experience multiple, random ride experiences as they join Rocket, one of the galaxy’s most unusual heroes, in a daring plan to free the captive Guardians from The Collector’s Fortress.

Characters in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Rocket (aka Subject 89P13)

Distinctive trait: Among his many quirks is an uncanny ability to break out of any confined space or prison.

A unique genetic creation, the tough-talking Rocket may resemble a certain Earth rodent, but it’s unlikely one of his kind could be found anywhere else in the galaxy. Rocket’s abrasive attitude sometimes causes friction with his partners, though his unparalleled genius in mechanics and engineering usually make up for any disagreeable tendencies.

Star-Lord (aka Peter Quill)

Distinctive trait: The leader of these cosmic adventurers likes to
dance and has a passion for 60s and ‘70s music.

A headstrong intergalactic adventurer, Star-Lord (aka Peter Quill) was taken from his Earthly home at a young age, growing up in outer space alongside the pirate-like Ravagers. As the intrepid Star-Lord, Quill travels the cosmos in his spaceship, the Milano, seeking his fortune. Equipped with a high-tech blaster and a mix-tape of music from home, Star-Lord leads an unlikely team of interstellar misfits–the Guardians of the Galaxy–in their attempts to do a little good, a little bad, or a little of both.
Guests may also join Star-Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” several times daily near Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Gamora

Distinctive trait: Highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, martial
arts and stealth techniques

A daughter of the evil Thanos, Gamora sought to escape her violent past and build a new life free from her prior sins. When an unlikely twist of fate caused her to join the Guardians, the one-time Most Dangerous Woman in the Galaxy found her skills put to a better use saving countless lives.

Guests also will see Gamora during “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” several times daily near Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Drax the Destroyer

Distinctive trait: Super-human strength, stamina and durability

Drax is a headstrong warrior whose reputation as The Destroyer is both feared and respected throughout the sector. Despite his formidable outward appearance, the fierce fighter’s lust for battle conceals a compassionate heart. Though once scarred by the
loss of his family, the peculiar Drax has found a new home with his equally eccentric allies in the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Groot (aka Flora Colossus)

Distinctive trait: Only says three words–“I am Groot!”

A tree-like creature of few words, Groot formed a bond with the creature known as Rocket. Joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot and his best friend Rocket travel through space getting into trouble wherever they go. Extremely powerful and resilient, Groot has the power of regeneration, allowing him to re-grow limbs and even his entire form very quickly.

Groot makes an appearance near the end of the “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” show as he arrives for heroic encounters with guests.

The Collector (aka Taneleer Tivan)

Distinctive trait: Eerie obsession with collecting one-of-a-kind items, be they
objects or species.

After foreseeing a vision showing the end of all life, Taneleer Tivan devoted his life to finding and preserving unique beings and artifacts from throughout the universe, which is how he became known as The Collector. He runs his large fortress like a dictator and threatens his employees if they do not comply. These employees have been “collected” from various planets throughout the galaxy. If The Collector is not pleased with their performance, they might find themselves as permanent parts of the collection.

Apheta

Distinctive trait: She is original to the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction.

A Krylorian female, Apheta is the director of operations for the Tivan Collection. Although this sounds somewhat important, she remains under the thumb of the Collector with her every order and every move scrutinized.

Mantis

Distinctive trait: Ability to sense the emotions of others

A strange alien, Mantis slowly ingratiates herself with the Guardians with the help of her empathic powers. These abilities allow her to read the underlying emotions at play within the group, which make for some embarrassing, hilarious, and touching moments in the new film, “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.” Mantis forms a special bond with Drax, who teaches her about the universe, and the meaning of family from his own unique perspective.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! Delivers Epic Action and Awesome Music!

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Disneyland Resort Guests Will Experience Six Different Ride Profiles Matched to Vintage Pop and Rock Songs

ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 25, 2017) – Moviegoers know that “Guardians of the Galaxy” adventures usually are accompanied by vintage pop and rock songs from Star-Lord’s awesome mix tape. So, when the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction opens May 27 at Disney California Adventure Park, it’s natural that this breathtaking experience will unfold to its own musical accompaniment.

Six of them, in fact.

Each time guests board this new attraction–a mission to rescue the Guardians of the Galaxy from a giant fortress–they will experience one of six randomized scenarios created by Disney Imagineers. Each ride profile utilizes the attraction’s hair-raising ascend-and-drop thrill, synchronized with a popular song from the ‘60s, ‘70s or early ‘80s.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! launches guests into a chaotic and hilarious adventure filled with exhilarating visual and sound effects. They will assist Rocket, one of the most unusual heroes, as he leads the escape mission. An "awesome mix" of songs, inspired by the films’ soundtracks, adds to the epic action.

  • “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar (1980)

  • “Give Up The Funk” by Parliament (1975)

  • “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf (1968)

  • “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 (1969)

  • “Free Ride” by The Edgar Winters Group (1973)

  • “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley (1972)

Each song accompanies a different version of the escape scenario, with a corresponding ride profile and visuals.

The multiple ride experiences are the result of extensive research, experimentation and ride testing by the creative team from Walt Disney Imagineering.

The Imagineering team worked from a list of nearly 100 fun, high-energy songs, winnowing the list to the final six as they boarded the attraction’s gantry lift, donned headsets, and played the different tracks to see which songs worked best with potential ride profiles.

“A strong identifiable back beat and a memorable hook were key points,” said John Dennis, executive creative director of music with Walt Disney Imagineering. “For example, ‘Free Ride’ has an iconic guitar hook to open the song, a killer bass line in the verse and, in the chorus, the backing vocals have this great ascending line. The rock ‘n’ roll music playing on board the ride is just plain fun. The songs, each paired with its own ride profile, give us six unique experiences.”

The songs enhancing the adventure in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! are just one way the attraction incorporates music from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies. “Guardians of the Galaxy” composer Tyler Bates wrote the music for The Collector’s Fortress lobby and office scenes. The attraction exit features additional songs from, and inspired by, the films’ soundtracks. And if guests listen closely, they might also hear sounds of some of the creatures from the Tivan Collection as they exit the attraction.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT is the result of a collaboration between the creative minds behind the comic books, the films and Walt Disney Imagineering.

April 26, 2017

GO BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS, PIXAR, MARVEL, STAR WARS, AND WALT DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS AT D23 EXPO 2017

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Fan-Favorite Events, Including the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony, Plus a New Concert by Alan Menken, Take Center Stage in the 6,800-Seat “Hall D23” Venue at the Anaheim Convention Center.

BURBANK, Calif., April 26, 2017 – D23: The Official Disney Fan Club has announced the lineup of the most highly anticipated presentations at D23 Expo 2017, July 14–16. The Disney Legends Awards Ceremony, hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, will kick off the Expo on Friday morning, July 14. Later that same day, The Walt Disney Studios will give fans a sneak peek at all the latest from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar. On Saturday morning, The Walt Disney Studios will preview the coming slate of live-action films from Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Then, on Saturday afternoon, fans will get a preview of what’s in store at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts during a presentation hosted by Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek. Sunday afternoon, Disney Legend Alan Menken will take fans on a musical journey during an all-new concert.

These Expo favorites will take place in “Hall D23,” the 6,800-seat venue located in Hall D of the Anaheim Convention Center. The schedule of Hall D23 Events and Presentations are as follows (all events subject to change):

The Disney Legends Awards Ceremony
will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, July 14. The ceremony, hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, will once again honor those visionaries and artists who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy. This year’s recipients are: Carrie Fisher, Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi, Manuel Gonzales, Mark Hamill, Wayne Jackson, Stan Lee, Garry Marshall, Julie Taymor, and Oprah Winfrey.

The Walt Disney Studios will present a behind-the-scenes look at its blockbuster collection of upcoming films in two jam-packed Hall D23 sessions. At 2:30 p.m. on Friday, fans will discover what’s on the drawing board for the acclaimed filmmakers at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. On Saturday at 10:30 a.m., Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm showcase the Studios’ exciting slate of live-action films. As always, attendees will be treated to exclusive footage, special guest appearances, and more!

On Saturday, July 15, at 3 p.m., step into the worlds of magic of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts with Chairman Bob Chapek to find out what’s new and what’s next for resorts around the globe.

To round out the weekend, Disney Legend Alan Menken will perform his exciting new one-man show, A Whole New World of Alan Menken. The eight-time Oscar®-winner introduced new generations to musicals through such box office hits as Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Enchanted, and Tangled, as well as the Broadway shows Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act, Newsies, and A Bronx Tale, as well as the ABC television series Galavant. Menken will perform his own music and share entertaining anecdotes about his unrivaled career during the show, which will be performed Sunday, July 16, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in Hall D23 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2017 are available for $81 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $72 for a one-day adult admission and $53 for children 3–9. Multi-day tickets are also available. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2017, visit D23expo.com.


About D23 Expo 2017

D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which will take place July 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2017 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

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

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

Disney Quick-Service Dine Gift Card Available with Some Walt Disney Travel Company Packages

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For a limited time, guests who book a Walt Disney Travel Company package at select hotels with a minimum 3-day ticket are eligible to purchase discounted prepaid dining gift cards to be used at quick-service restaurant locations at Walt Disney World Resort. Hotels included in this special package add-on are:

-- the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels
-- Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
-- Disney Springs® Resort Area Hotels
-- Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotels

Booking dates for this additional package option are now through Dec. 1, 2017 and travel dates are now through Dec. 31, 2017.

For each day of theme park admission, adults in the party will receive $40 and children will receive $15 on a Quick-Service Dine Gift Card. Guests will only be charged $35 per adult/per day and $12.50 per child/per day. For example, if you have a 3-day ticket included in your package, you will receive a $120 Disney Quick-Service Dine Gift Card for only $105. A child with the same ticket will receive a $45 dine gift card for only $37.50. The Quick-Service Dine Gift Cards may be redeemed at select quick-service dining locations or food carts in Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs and Disney resort hotels.

You can upgrade the Disney Quick-Service Dine Gift Card (up to a maximum value of $400 for adults and $150 for children) as long as you include a 3-day theme park admission ticket. Note that every person on the package must purchase a Walt Disney World Quick-Service Dine Gift Card with the equivalent value. The Disney Quick-Service Dine Gift Card can be purchased for 3 to 10 days -- it no longer needs to match the duration of the theme park ticket purchased.

You will receive your Disney Quick-Service Dine Gift Cards along with your theme park tickets upon check-in at your hotel. At that time, the Quick-Service Dine Gift Card will then follow these standard gift card policies:

· Cannot be redeemed for cash

· Will not be replaced if lost or stolen

· Unused Dining Gift Card balances are not eligible for a refund

· Cannot be used for merchandise

· Only eligible at Disney quick-service restaurant locations

· Remaining balances will be printed on receipts

· Disney Quick-Service Dine Gift Cards do not expire

For a free no obligation quote and more details, contact MouseFanTravel.com.

New Italian Restaurant Concept to Replace Portobello at Disney Springs

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JAMES BEARD AWARD-WINNING CHEF TONY MANTUANO DEVELOPING A NEW, ITALIAN RESTAURANT CONCEPT TO REPLACE PORTOBELLO AT DISNEY SPRINGS
The new concept will include a multi-million dollar renovation of the space currently occupied by Portobello

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (April 26, 2017) -- Levy Restaurants, a Chicago-based restaurant company which operates more than 100 food-service locations in the United States and Canada, is excited to announce the development of a new, Italian restaurant concept at Disney Springs. James Beard award-winner and Top Chef Master, Tony Mantuano, is leading the development of the restaurant, which will replace the space at Disney Springs currently occupied by Portobello Country Italian Trattoria. The new restaurant’s menu will feature dishes inspired by Chef Tony’s adventures across the many regions of Italy.

In order to accommodate the large-scale renovations, Portobello closed its doors April 24 with plans for the new concept to reopen in early Fall 2017.

“We've been grateful to serve our loyal guests at Portobello for the last seven years,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy Restaurants. “We look forward to welcoming our guests back to the location early this fall when we unveil a new concept at Disney Springs.”



April 28, 2017

The Music of Pixar LIVE - Dining Packages Available

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Reservations Now Open for ‘The Music of Pixar LIVE!’ Dining Package at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Reservations are now available for “The Music of Pixar LIVE!” Dining Package, a delicious way to reserve your seats for the new “The Music of Pixar LIVE!” a limited-time concert event featuring memorable music from beloved Pixar films, which will take place three times nightly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning May 26. With the Dining Package, guests will receive a voucher for reserved seating to redeem at the theater.

Make your evening even more magical by combining “The Music of Pixar LIVE!” and “Fantasmic!” Dining Package, which will include reserved seating for both the concert as well as the popular “Fantasmic!” nighttime spectacular.

Participating locations include Hollywood & Vine (Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine and Minnie’s Seasonal Dine), The Hollywood Brown Derby and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. Dining must occur no later than 2.5 hours prior to show time or 1.25 hours after show time; vouchers can be picked up at the restaurant (if dining prior to show time) or at the theater (if dining after the show). “The Music of Pixar LIVE!” Dining Package is Disney Dining Plan eligible and counts as one (1) table-service entitlement for Hollywood & Vine and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, two (2) table-service entitlements for The Hollywood Brown Derby.

Reservations are now available for dates beginning May 26 for The Music of Pixar LIVE! Dining Package, and can only be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE.


April 30, 2017

Disney Wonder Becomes First Passenger Vessel To Transit New Panama Canal Locks

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PANAMA CITY (April 29, 2017) – Today, the Disney Wonder transited the Panama Canal as the first passenger vessel to go through the canal’s new set of locks, marking a milestone for the cruise industry. The Disney Cruise Line 2,713-passenger ship was transformed in late 2016, expanding the length of the Disney Wonder to 984 feet.

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Headlining the ship’s enhancements are new imaginative spaces for children – including areas themed to the Marvel Universe and Disney’s “Frozen” – a jazzy restaurant inspired by Disney’s “Princess and the Frog,” and an authentic neighborhood English pub with subtle nods to classic Disney films. The Disney Wonder Panama Canal crossing is part of a 14-night voyage from Port Canaveral, Fla., to San Diego, where the ship will sail cruises to Baja, Mexico, before a summer season from Vancouver to Alaska.

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About April 2017

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in April 2017. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2017 is the previous archive.

May 2017 is the next archive.

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