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August 16, 2018

Special 'Magic of Fall' Rates August 20-October 31 at Seven Disney Springs Hotels!

Special room rates provide a great way to experience the new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and enjoy the Extra Magic Hours and 60-Day FastPass+ Benefits at the Walt Disney World Theme Parks

The seven Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels are offering special "Magic of Fall" room rates for stays from August 20-October 31, 2018.

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In addition to their special Magic of Fall rates, guests staying at these hotels also enjoy many of the same benefits as guests staying at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, including:

-- Extra Magic Hours, which allows guests to experience extra time in at least one of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks each day, either before it officially opens or after it officially closes. This means you have the opportunity to enjoy select attractions like the new offerings at Toy Story Land and the popular attractions at the other three theme parks, such as Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Guests can view the Extra Magic Hours calendar at disneyworld.com/parkhours or request the printed Times Guide, available in each hotel's lobby.

-- the ability to book FastPass+ up to 60 days prior to arrival (available throughout 2018)

-- the ability to purchase Walt Disney World theme park tickets at the hotels' website, at their Guest Service Desk or the Disney Merchandise store located in the hotel

-- advance tee times and discounts at all Walt Disney World Resort golf courses

-- the ability to book advance dining and dinner show reservations for all restaurants across the Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Springs

The Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels are a short walk to Disney Springs, Disney's shopping, dining and entertainment complex that offers more than 150 retail, dining and entertainment establishments, including a collection of restaurants by award-winning chefs.

In addition, the hotels also provide shuttle transportation approximately every 30 minutes to all four Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks, two Disney Water Parks, and at night to the Disney Springs area.

As a bonus, guests at these hotels also receive the 2018 Disney Springs Passport, a booklet that features discounts and specials from Disney Springs merchants on entertainment, shopping and dining. Among the coupons featured in the booklet are discounts and special offers at House of Blues Restaurant & Bar, T-REX Café, Rainforest Café at Disney Springs Marketplace, The Polite Pig and STK Orlando.

The special Magic of Fall room rates for stays August 20-October 31, 2018 are:

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-- B Resort & Spa -- rates from $105 per room, per night

This lifestyle resort opened in June 2014 with 394 newly renovated guest rooms, the full-service B Indulged AVEDA Spa, and features American Kitchen Bar & Grill.

-- Best Western Lake Buena Vista *– rates from $99 per room, per night

This resort has views of the Walt Disney World Resort and offers two restaurants, a lounge and heated outdoor pools.

-- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando -- rates from $101 per suite, per night

This resort hotel features 229 one- and two-bedroom suites, and is the only all-suite resort hotel in the Disney Springs Resort Area.

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-- Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace – rates from $110 per room, per night

Just steps from Disney Springs, this hotel features two outdoor pools, beach-entry Float Lagoon, kids’ splash pad, four new restaurants and lounges, and a Disney Character breakfast.

-- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – rates from $101 per room, per night

Connected to Disney Springs via a Pedestrian Skybridge, this resort features two heated pools with Jacuzzi, seven dining options (including Benihana), exclusive Disney perks, a Disney Character Breakfast and more.

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-- Holiday Inn Orlando – rates from $103 per room, per night

Located steps away from Disney Springs, this hotel offers a "kids eat free" policy and complimentary Wi-Fi in all guest rooms and public areas.

-- Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista – rates from $79 per room, per night

This hotel features a Disney Character Breakfast three days a week, 394 guest rooms, six dining options, and the Oasis Aquatic Pool Playground with interactive water features.

The room rates are available for stays August 20-October 31, 2018, based on availability. Some blackout dates may apply, and availability may be limited. The rates do not include the Resort Services Fee or daily parking fee (if applicable), taxes or gratuities. The offer is not valid with any other special offers, promotions, existing reservations, or for groups.

For information on the special hotel rates, or to make a reservation, visit DisneySpringsHotels.com






August 15, 2018

Attn: Tables in Wonderland Members! Contemporary Resort Offering Chef's Table Experience!

UPDATED 8/15/18:

Due to popular demand, two dates have been added! The previously dates are SOLD OUT!

Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 7 p.m.
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This fall, Disney's Contemporary Resort Convention Center is presenting a number of special Chef's Table dining experiences exclusively for Tables in Wonderland members.

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These evenings with the Contemporary Catering chefs and service staff will be held at the exclusive Chef's Table located backstage at Disney's Contemporary Resort Convention Center.

The evenings begin with check-in in the East Rotunda on the first floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort Convention Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. There will be a reception and champagne toast in the Catering Kitchen, then you'll progress through a secret entrance to the Chef's Table.

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Attendees will enjoy six courses, all presented and finished on-stage and accompanied by an outstanding wine selection, with lots of interaction with the Contemporary's sommelier and chefs.

These special events will be held on the following Thursday evenings at 7 p.m.:

-- October 11, 2018
-- November 1, 2018
-- December 13, 2018

Because this is such a special "signature dining" experience, you're asked to adhere to the following dress code:

-- For men: Khakis, slacks or dress shorts and collared shirts are suggested. Jeans may be worn if in good condition. Sport coats are optional.
-- For women: Capri pants, skirts, dresses or dress shorts are suggested. Jeans may be worn if in good condition.

Tank tops, flip-flops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics are NOT permitted.

Price for the Chef's Table experience is $259 per person, plus tax, gratuity included. Discounts do not apply to this special event. You can make a reservation for a party of up to 10 guests, including yourself. Your valid Tables in Wonderland Member Card must be presented upon arrival. Note that the event is designed for those 18 years of age and older, and that you must be at least 21 to consume alcoholic beverages. A valid form of government ID will be required to verify your age.

To make reservations, call (407) WDW-7762. Be sure to inform the cast member of any dietary restrictions you may have when booking. Space is limited. Remember, there is a 24-hour cancellation policy.

Read more about Tables in Wonderland HERE.





August 13, 2018

Winner Found: AllEars.Net Kingdom Strollers Search and Surprise! Giveaway

Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner!

On Sunday morning (Aug. 12) we held our first-ever AllEars.Net Kingdom Strollers Search and Surprise! Giveaway!

We searched all over the Magic Kingdom, looking for families who had rented from our recommended stroller rental agency, Kingdom Strollers.

We started out with our prize gift bag, filled with an assortment of Disney and AllEars treats.

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As we made our way around Fantasyland, we spotted a number of the different styles of strollers that Kingdom Strollers offers.

We found several City Mini Singles:

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Then we spotted a City Mini Double:

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We even spotted this Summit X3 Double:

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Finally we settled on a winner, and left them their prize! We hope they enjoyed it!

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Follow us and keep an eye on our social media channels -- Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram -- for future "Search and Surprise!" Giveaways!






August 9, 2018

AllEars.Net Kingdom Strollers Search and Surprise! Giveaway

Here at AllEars.Net we're so excited to partner with Kingdom Strollers as our recommended stroller rental agency in Walt Disney World. And this weekend, we want to do a little something special for one lucky Kingdom Strollers family!

We'll be in the parks on Sunday morning, August 12, for our first-ever "AllEars.Net Kingdom Strollers Search and Surprise!" giveaway.

Follow us and keep an eye on our social media channels -- Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram -- to see the search LIVE!

At the end of the search, we'll give a magical surprise to one lucky Kingdom Strollers family!

Will YOU be in the parks this weekend with a Kingdom Strollers rental? Let us know!

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Halloween 2018 Means Specially Themed Novelties at Disney Parks

With Halloween on the horizon (the first Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World will be held on August 17!), Disney has released information on a number of new themed items that will be making their appearance at various times during this spooky season.

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Both coasts will feature this year's Happy Halloween Base Popcorn Bucket, which sports Mickey and Minnie in their Halloween outfits, followed by Chip and Dale costumed as bats! The base popcorn bucket can be found at various popcorn locations across Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.

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There's also a new 2018 Halloween Cauldron Premium Popcorn Bucket at Disney Parks. Starting in mid-September, this light-up bucket will be available at Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort and all four parks and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort! They say this bucket even has an elusive Hidden Mickey.

Disney California Adventure is the only place in which you'll find the Halloween 2018 Oogie Boogie Base Popcorn Bucket. "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" villain and the Headless Horseman adorn this bucket, which will be at the Buena Vista, Grizzly Peak, Pixar Pier, and Hyperion Popcorn Carts.

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If you'd rather go PREMIUM Oogie Boogie, that bucket is returning to Disneyland Resort and will be at the Disney California Adventure Popcorn Carts and at the New Orleans Popcorn Cart at Disneyland park. And a new version of this popular bucket will be available exclusively at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort. (It will turn up later in the season at Disneyland Resort.)

Note that all Disneyland Resort Premium and Base popcorn buckets are non-refillable. All Walt Disney World Resort Premium and Base popcorn buckets are refillable during your length of stay for $1.75 per refill.

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A Green Poison Apple Stein will be available throughout Disneyland Resort, as well as at various outdoor vending locations throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And to go IN the stein, you can find Poison Apple Glow Cubes in three different colors. At Walt Disney World, you can get the Green Poison Apple Glow Cube in specialty drinks at AbracadaBar at Disney’s BoardWalk or Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs. Disneyland Resort will have the Green and Red Poison Apple Glow Cubes at various locations.

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But there’s also a new color this year – a Purple Poison Apple Glow Cube! Sorry Walt Disney World visitors -- it's available exclusively at the Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure.

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Rounding out the Halloween novelty merchandise is a Headless Horseman Straw Clip available in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and throughout the Disneyland Resort, and a Tire Pumpkin Straw. This latter item is inspired by "Haul-o-ween" at Cars Land, and can be found at the Cozy Cone Motel and Flo’s V8 Café at Disney California Adventure. It's even made its way over to Walt Disney World -- it'll be at various quick-service locations throughout Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

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All these Halloween novelties are only available while supplies last during the spooky season, which begins with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on August 17 and with Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort on September 7.






August 19: PhotoPass Day at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

Mark your calendars for August 19! That's the day that Disney PhotoPass Day is returning to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts!

What IS PhotoPass Day? Well, August 19 is actually World Photo Day, so PhotoPass Day is Disney's way of celebrating that "holiday." (Yes, we know, there's a "day" for everything these days!)

During this event, Disney PhotoPass Service will offer a number of exclusive photo opportunities around its theme parks and other areas on both coasts. (Entertainment and photo opportunities are subject to change. Some locations could be affected by inclement weather.)

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Starting at Walt Disney World, you'll find special photo ops here:

Magic Kingdom

Character Experience:

-- Meet Pinocchio and Geppetto: near Pinocchio Village Haus from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Additional photo opportunities:*

-- Dole Whip Magic Shot: across from Sunshine Tree Terrace
-- Dumbo Magic Shot: near Dumbo the Flying Elephant
-- Mickey Mouse Magic Shot: on the bridge near Fairytale Garden
-- Jungle Cruise prop: near the attraction entrance
-- Pretzel prop: Purple Wall near Tomorrowland Terrace (available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

*These additional photo opportunities at Magic Kingdom Park are available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Character Experiences:

-- Meet Bolt: Discovery Island Trails from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
-- Meet Baloo and King Louie: Upcountry Landing in Asia from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Additional photo opportunities:*

-- Huey, Dewey and Louie Magic Shot: DinoLand U.S.A.
-- Kevin Magic Shot: near “UP! A Great Bird Adventure”
-- Russell’s grape soda bottlecap pin prop: near “UP! A Great Bird Adventure”
-- Finding Nemo prop: near “Finding Nemo – The Musical”
-- Kilimanjaro Safaris prop: near the attraction entrance

*These additional photo opportunities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Character Experience:

-- Meet Jawas: Star Wars Launch Bay Cantina from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additional photo opportunities:*

-- Rizzo Magic Shot: near Muppet★Vision 3D
-- Green Army Man Magic Shot: near the entrance to Slinky Dog Dash
-- Hollywood Tower Hotel luggage prop: Sunset Boulevard
-- Beauty and the Beast light painting next to Theater of the Stars (available from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.)

*These additional photo opportunities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Epcot

Character Experiences:

-- Meet Cruella de Vil: United Kingdom Pavilion from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
-- Meet Jafar: Morocco Pavilion from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Additional photo opportunities:*

-- Original Selfie Magic Shot: France Pavilion (available from noon to 8 p.m.)
-- World Traveler Magic Shots: available at all 11 countries in World Showcase (available from noon to 8 p.m.)
-- Baby Groot Magic Shot: Future World East at the galaxy-themed wall
-- Finding Nemo prop: near The Seas with Nemo & Friends
-- Spaceship Earth prop: near the attraction entrance

*These additional photo opportunities at Epcot are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

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Disney Springs

-- Peter Pan Shadow Magic Shot: between the LEGO® Store and World of Disney®
-- Original Selfie Magic Shot: outside of the Disney PhotoPass Studio
-- Special balloons virtual background: at the Disney PhotoPass Studio

Both Disney Springs Magic Shots are available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Virtual background at the Disney PhotoPass Studio is available from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

You can take home digital downloads of all your Disney PhotoPass photos from the day for one price with Memory Maker One Day!* Memory Maker One Day will be available at the Disney PhotoPass Centers located in each of the four parks and at Disney Springs for the special price of $39, only on August 19, 2018, and only at these five locations. (Not available for online or in-app purchases. Cannot be combined with any other promotion and discount. No adjustments to prior purchases.)

At Disneyland Resort

Disney California Adventure Park

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Character Experiences:

-- Meet Joy and Sadness: Paradise Gardens Park across from Jumpin’ Jellyfish from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-- Doctor Strange or Loki heroic encounter: near the Hollywood Backlot Stage from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Additional photo opportunities (available until 7 p.m.):

-- Koda Magic Shot: near the sawmill in Grizzly Peak
-- Huey, Dewey and Louie Magic Shot: near the entrance to the Hyperion Theater
-- Russell’s grape soda bottlecap pin prop: Grizzly Peak waterfall
-- Piston Cup prop: entrance to Cars Land
-- Clapperboard prop: “Storytellers” statue on Buena Vista Street


Disneyland Park

Character Experiences:

-- Meet Marie: Toon Park in Mickey’s Toontown from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
-- Meet Hook and Mr. Smee: near “it’s a small world” from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Additional photo opportunities (available until 7 p.m.):

-- Dumbo Magic Shot: next to Dumbo the Flying Elephant
-- Mickey Ice Cream Bar Magic Shot: at the Town Square flagpole
-- Fairy Wings Magic Shot: near Pixie Hollow
-- Mickey pretzel prop: in front of Main Street Photo Supply Co.

Purchase Disney MaxPass to get unlimited downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos captured during the entire day. Plus you'll have the added convenience of mobile Disney FASTPASS selections while in the Parks through the Disneyland app!*

Whether you’re celebrating August 19 at Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort, share your photos using #DisneyPhotoPassDay!

You can read all about Disney PhotoPass HERE.

August 2, 2018

Vampirina to Appear at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in Time for Halloween

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Vampirina, a young vampire-like girl who has moved from Transylvania and is now attending school in the human world, will soon be making theme park appearances at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

Since its debut last fall on Disney Channel and Disney Junior, the show "Vampirina" has become a hit for both kids and families. The show blends spooky fun and Broadway-caliber music in stories that follow Vampirina (aka “Vee”) as she deals with being the new kid in town and making friends.

Vampirina will arrive at Disneyland Resort this fall for Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure starting September 7. Vee will also make special appearances during the Frightfully Fun Parade at Mickey’s Halloween Party on select nights September 19 through October 31. Later this year, Vee will join the cast of the new “Disney Junior Dance Party!”

Over at Walt Disney World, Vee will join breakfast at Hollywood and Vine's Disney Junior Play 'n Dine as of September 30. Later in the fall Vampirina will be a part of the character meet-and-greets in Disney's Hollywood Studios' Animation Courtyard. And when the new “Disney Junior Dance Party!” opens in that theme park, she’ll be part of that show as well.

August 1, 2018

Get Reserved Seating at Festival of the Lion King with New Dining Packages

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has announced two all-new Festival of the Lion King Signature Dining Packages.

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Starting August 2, you can purchase a Signature Dining Event Package that includes a meal at Tiffins Restaurant followed by special VIP seating at one of the most popular shows at Walt Disney World. This event package is available from August 13 through November 21, 2018.

The dining package offers the option of two tiers.

Tier I:

Three-course meal (appetizer, entree, dessert) at Tiffins

VIP seating at Festival of the Lion King

Commemorative cast photo

Plus you'll get a unique safari tour through the African outback, where more than 34 distinct wildlife species seemingly roam free. Escorted by a special guide, you’ll ride through rugged terrain to see some of the world’s most exotic animals in their habitats. Tour guides will provide interesting information on the land and its residents for an expedition you’ll never forget!

Tier II:

Three-course meal (appetizer, entree, dessert) at Tiffins

VIP seating at Festival of the Lion King

Commemorative cast photo

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In addition to your three-course meal -- available at lunch or dinner -- you'll receive your choice of wine, beer, or a non-alcoholic beverage.

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The seasonally inspired menu features dishes from around the world. On the appetizer menu, you’ll find items such as Avocado-and-Tomato Salad, Spiced Chickpea Falafel, and Charred Octopus. And for the main course, you’ll get to choose from a selection of entrees like Kamo Ramen (duck confit, soft-poached egg, spiced coconut broth, alba mushrooms, and chili-lime cashew), Shrimp and Grits (with Gulf white shrimp, Anson Mills grits, applewood-smoked bacon, heirloom tomatoes, and smoked pepper jam), Surf and Turf (with grilled local beef tenderloin, butter-poached lobster tail, Yukon gold potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and Cape Mountain Whiskey butter), or Fort McCoy Beef Tenderloin (with char-crusted beef tenderloin, loaded crushed potato, seasonal vegetables, bacon-sherry vinaigrette, and crispy shallots).

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Of course, save some room for a decadent dessert. Guava Mousse, South American Ganache, and Whipped Cheesecake are among the sweet finales on offer.

During your your meal, you’ll receive special vouchers for priority reserved VIP seating at Festival of the Lion King, a Broadway-style show filled with pageantry, puppetry, and popular songs from the film.

The Tier I Festival of the Lion King Signature Dining Package (lunch or dinner at Tiffins Restaurant, priority VIP seating at Festival of the Lion King, and a safari tour) is $99 per adult and $49 per child ages 3-9 (tax and gratuities not included).

The Tier II Festival of the Lion King Signature Dining Package (lunch or dinner at Tiffins Restaurant and priority reserved seating at Festival of the Lion King) is $74 per adult and $29 for children ages 3-9 (tax and gratuities not included).

The Festival of the Lion King Signature Dining Packages are available daily starting August 13 through November 21, 2018. Space is limited so be sure to book your experience in advance! Starting August 2, reservations can be made online at the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) WDW-DINE (407 939-3463). All menu items and event experiences are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

July 26, 2018

New UP-themed Statues Delight Animal Kingdom Guests

We spotted the cutest new additions to Disney World's Animal Kingdom today!

You've known that the UP! Great Bird Adventure debuted in Animal Kingdom during the park's 20th Anniversary celebration...

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... But we're loving this even newer addition to the park. Russell and Dug turned up in stone statue form on our visit to the park today and WE ARE IN LOVE!

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We're already planning our next photo op with them.

Have you seen these new statues in Animal Kingdom...or the UP Bird Show itself? Let us know if it's on your next trip plan!

July 24, 2018

New at Walt Disney World: V.I.Passholder Nights Announced

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Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders will have the opportunity to enjoy special after-hours access to some favorite experiences on select dates starting August 2018 with new V.I.Passholder Nights.

Passholders will receive an email invitation to register for these events, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.*

The dates announced so far are:

-- Sunday, August 5 at Magic Kingdom from 10 p.m. to midnight
-- Thursday, September 6 at Epcot from 9 to 11 p.m.
-- Thursday, October 25 at Epcot from 9 to 11 p.m.

At Magic Kingdom, the V.I.Passholder Night will allow you to experience more than 25 popular attractions and Character Greetings. V.I.Passholder Nights at Epcot during this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will include access to select festival marketplaces, as well as some favorite attractions. Complete details will be communicated to registrants closer to the event.

There is no charge for the V.I.Passholder Nights, but due to the limited nature each guest will only be able to register for ONE event. You may register up to three other Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus or Premier Passholders linked in your friends and family list to join you. A valid annual pass and photo ID will be required at event check in.

*Note that emails have been sent out to some passholders at the time of publication, but not all passholders have received them as yet.

July 20, 2018

Christmas in July! Preview New Holiday Merchandise, Entertainment and More!

Walt Disney World held a special "Christmas in July" event for media to share a preview of what will be new in the parks this coming holiday season.

First Up -- lots of new merchandise!

There's a line of new merchandise this year with a Nordic Winter pattern, replacing the retro style that was featured the last few years. This motif contains icons and images from the parks and various attractions like the Enchanted Tiki Room, "it's a small world," the Walt Disney World Railroad, Dumbo, toy soldiers and more. See if you can spot the attractions in the sample of the pattern below.

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This design is also featured in a new Dooney & Bourke line of handbags -- scheduled to be released in October.

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There's also a collection of housewares -- plates, bowls, and the like -- with a design that's sure to go with every decor.

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Also new this year is a collection of unique holiday ornaments for the resorts. Here's a sample from Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation, Polynesian Village, Grand Floridian and Contemporary Resorts.

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There is also a line of products with Minnie smooching Mickey. These are the notecards, but there are pillows and much more.

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Of course there are the obligatory pins. So many new and limited edition collections!

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And headgear...

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And plush!

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(Yes, Chip and Dale give us a chance to show off the Dooney & Bourke again!)

That's Entertainment!

There are a number of new surprises to be found all around the World as far as new and enhanced entertainment offerings.

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In Disney's Hollywood Studios -- the holidays will be front and center in a number of ways.

First of all, Sunset Seasons Greetings is being amped up. This year, four new groups of multi-colored lasers will be added to the show. The focal point of the festivities is the Hollywood Tower Hotel, and lasers will be coming from the very top of the tower as well as its mid-section, sending beams of light over your head, lighting up the "snow" much more. The projections along the boulevard will play Nov. 8, 2018, to Jan. 6, 2019.

Other holiday happenings in the Studios include:

-- The Frozen Sing-Along Celebration's Christmas edition will return.

-- The new Toy Story Land will receive a holiday overlay, which means attractions, and maybe even the characters, will sport a holiday theme.

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-- The nighttime projection show Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! returns on Nov. 8 and runs through Jan. 6, 2019.

-- Echo Lake will have TRIPLE the decorations it had last year as it celebrates a "Flurry of Fun."

Disney Springs will celebrate the season with the return of the popular Christmas Tree Trail.

In its first year, the Christmas Tree Trail had more than 500,000 visitors, while last year more than 950,000 folks visited the 20 trees. This year, however, there will be *25* trees. New this year:

-- Haunted Mansion Tree - everything you know about the attraction will be in this tree. The topper will be the famous Haunted Mansion Bride with a Heart.

-- Star Wars Tree - the light sabers will become garland.

-- A Four-Parks Tree - Monorail will be the garland for this one.

-- Nordic Winter Tree - will match all the new merchandise.

-- Mickey and Minnie Nostalgia Tree.

In the Magic Kingdom you'll find that the annual Christmas Parade will be available to all guests once MIckey's Very Merry Christmas Parties end their run, from Dec. 22 until Dec. 31. But in a switch from previous years, the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show will begin over Thanksgiving Weekend.

Over at Fort Wilderness, they will be offering sleigh rides again, too.

There are more holiday surprises to be announced soon! Be sure to check back as we add more details when they are released.

Holiday Sleigh Rides Return to Fort Wilderness Nov. 23

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Starting November 23 and running nightly through December 30, Fort Wilderness Campground and Resort will be offering holiday sleigh rides around its grounds.

The 25-minute rides will accommodate four adults, or two adults and three small children, and will cost $84 per sleigh. Participants will also get one limited edition commemorative pin per booking.

Rides will be available from 5 to 10 p.m. every evening.

You can make reservations by calling 407-WDW-PLAY (939-7529).

To read more about sleigh rides at Walt Disney World visit our page on Wagon and Carriage Rides.

July 9, 2018

Joy Through the Walt Disney World Resort this Holiday Season

Sunset Seasons Greetings

Enchanting experiences, characters, specialty treats and spectacular entertainment make it the most wonderful time of the year to visit the Vacation Kingdom

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 9, 2018) – From captivating décor and unique character experiences to delicious treats and magical moments, there is something for everyone during the holiday season at Walt Disney World Resort, starting Nov. 8. Here is a preview of the festivities that await guests.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guests will experience a Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nov. 8-Jan.6, with festive entertainment and exciting holiday touches around the park.

-- The new Toy Story Land will feature special seasonal fun, such as holiday songs on Alien Swirling Saucers.
-- Sunset Seasons Greetings returns this year with impressive new laser effects and “snow.” Guests will witness spectacular projections of beloved Disney Characters – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Olaf and others – sharing their favorite seasonal stories as holiday magic transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season.
-- The nighttime spectacular Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! will combine state-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects and music to create a one-of-a-kind holiday experience.
-- Guests will meet Santa at the Once Upon a Time shop Nov.10-Dec. 24, and Santa Goofy after he steps in Dec. 25.

Magic Kingdom Park

Charming decorations, holiday treats, a sparkling icy castle and more will await guests at Magic Kingdom Park, transforming it into an enchanting holiday wonderland.

The holiday festivities at the park will also include Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a specially ticketed, limited-attendance celebration that will take place on select nights starting Nov. 8. Each night of the event will feature an exclusive showing of Holiday Wishes fireworks and performances of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show. Guests will also experience the beauty of a scintillating Cinderella Castle, meet characters in their festive finery and even enjoy complimentary cookies and cocoa.

Epcot

Guests will discover joyous holiday traditions from 11 World Showcase nations during Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. Beginning Nov. 18, this year’s festival will deliver a yuletide extravaganza.

-- Seasonal tastes from around the globe are served at special Holiday Kitchens.
-- World Showcase pavilions come alive with the sights and sounds of special entertainment celebrating each country’s holiday heritage.
-- Chip and Dale will be collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree. In Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree scavenger hunt, guests will purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise locations and travel around World Showcase looking for the famous chipmunks with their ornaments. Guests will then return their completed maps for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip and Dale. Maps are available for $6.99 (plus tax).
-- The nightly fireworks display, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, will feature an additional holiday finale.
-- One of the most popular Epcot traditions, the Candlelight Processional, returns. This retelling of the Christmas story will feature a celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a choir. Performances will run three times each night from Nov. 22-Dec. 30.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

New this year, the magic of nature will receive a holiday touch with the inclusion of Diwali, the holiday Festival of Lights in India, as part of the new live show UP! A Great Bird Adventure. Starting Nov. 8, guests will join fun-loving pals Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s “Up” in discovering some of the world’s most exotic birds.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs will be the perfect destination for holiday shopping, dining and entertainment, with the chance to experience holiday magic along the way. Festivities run Nov. 8-Jan. 5:

-- Guests will stroll through the Christmas Tree Trail and view custom-decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme featuring characters like Mary Poppins, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, among others.
-- At Santa’s Chalet, Santa Claus will accept Christmas wish lists and welcome guests. From Dec. 25-Dec. 31, Santa Goofy will take over after Old Saint Nick heads back to the North Pole.
-- Guests will take part in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt and discover where the mischievous Experiment 626 is hiding.

Holiday Fun at Resort Hotels

Resorts across Walt Disney World will be decked out for the holidays. Special offerings include:

-- Life-size edible creations will take shape at select resorts. A holiday gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be home to The Bake Shop, where guests will pick up holiday treats, including the namesake gingerbread. A life-size, edible spinning carousel is a holiday tradition at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, while a holiday village with a miniature train takes center stage at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
-- In the lobbies of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, guests will take in the grandeur of massive Christmas trees.
-- No holiday is complete without a special dining experience. Holiday menus that celebrate the season will be found at restaurants throughout Walt Disney World. For holiday dining information and reservations, guests can call (407) WDW-DINE.

Ring in the New Year at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel

To celebrate the New Year, guests will be able to choose between two New Year’s Eve celebrations at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration and Disney Countdown to Midnight, including an option to purchase VIP access to the Ink and Paint Club. Both celebrations will feature entertainment, music, food and refreshments, plus a viewing of the Magic Kingdom New Year’s Eve fireworks to cap off the night.






A New Annual Pass for Florida Residents: Theme Park Select

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Florida Residents are now eligible to purchase a new type of annual pass.

Known as the Theme Park Select Pass, it gives you the chance to enjoy at least 325 days of access at select theme parks. It also gives you at least 175 days of access to all four theme parks throughout the year.

In addition, Disney occasionally may lift blockout dates to provide additional access.

Currently, Theme Park Select Passholders are blocked out as follows: Magic Kingdom on Saturdays; Epcot on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival; and multiple Theme Parks during RunDisney events. Other specific blockout dates are listed on the Walt Disney World annual passholder page. (Note that blockout dates and times of operation are subject to change without notice.)

The Theme Park Select Pass also offers a 20 percent discount on select dining and in-store merchandise. The Pass also offers 20 percent off select Shop Disney Parks online purchases.

The Theme Park Select Pass starts at $439 per year (or $29 per month with a downpayment of $125). It can be purchased online or at any theme park vacation planning window beginning July 9, 2018.






June 30, 2018

Fall into Magic this Year at Walt Disney World Resort

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Parties, races, culinary delights and more await guests during the upcoming fall season

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Tastes, toys, treats and more are all on the menu this fall at Walt Disney World Resort. From culinary creations to sporting events to special parties, there are many different ways to fall into magic during the cool-down season, both in the theme parks and all across the resort.

23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Offers New Tastes

The aromas and flavors of more than 30 global food and beverage marketplaces, plus a full menu of new offerings such as “Sunday Brunch with the Chef,” welcome guests during the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Aug. 30-Nov. 12. One of America’s top food festivals since 1996, the 75-day Epcot dine-around extravaganza will surprise guests with new and inspiring sips and bites throughout the park’s World Showcase and several Future World venues. Highlights include:

The grandest of the festival’s don’t-miss tasting events, Party for the Senses in World ShowPlace, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 22, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and Nov. 10. They will showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment.
“Eat to the Beat” concerts – 225 in all – will rev up the America Gardens Theatre stage three times nightly with new musical acts including Vertical Horizon, 98 Degrees, Sheila E. and others. Selections span a broad range of eras and genres from rock and pop to rhythm and blues.
“Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops Wednesdays and Thursdays provide new opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, mixologists and other pros.

Throughout the festival, guests will find something for everyone in the family:

A Ratatouille-inspired adventure is back as Chef Remy encourages families to play together during Remy’s Ratatouille Hid ‘n’ Squeak scavenger hunt.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, enjoy an interactive Character Dance Party.
In the new Junior Chef Kitchen, children become the chefs and eat what they make in this complimentary experience each Sunday in the Festival Center.

This is just an appetizer for what’s to come this fall. The 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is included with theme park admission, but certain programs require a separate ticket and/or reservation; for full details, visit TasteEpcot.com.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Starts Sooner than Ever

Let’s boo this! There are even more nights to celebrate the spooky season this year during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This special-ticket event runs select nights Aug. 17-Oct. 31 at Magic Kingdom Park – the earliest in the calendar year it’s ever started. It’s also the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures’ “Hocus Pocus,” so what better way to celebrate the film than the spellbinding Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular at Cinderella Castle, where the Sanderson Sisters take “stage fright” to another level.

Guests should keep their eyes open for dancing ghosts, the Headless Horseman, plus Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan and many more beloved Disney Characters in the Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade. There will also be plenty of sweets for all trick-or-treaters around the park, including allergy-friendly options. And each night during the party, the skies above an eerily lit Cinderella Castle come alive during Happy HalloWishes, a magical fireworks extravaganza that definitely goes bump in the night!

Advance tickets start at $75 for adults and $70 for ages 3-9 (plus tax). For a full list of event dates, visit MickeyHalloween.com. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as space each night is limited. For more information, call (407) WDISNEY (934-7639).

New Toy Story Land: A Perfect Place for Fall Fun

Where better to spend a beautiful fall day than playing in Andy’s backyard, the young toy owner from Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story films. In this extraordinary new land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests are “honorary toys” surrounded by Andy’s favorites – Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and many more.

Across 11 fun-filled acres, guests can hop on the all-new Slinky Dog Dash for a family-friendly roller coaster ride, take a spin and enjoy some interstellar beats on Alien Swirling Saucers and go for the high score playing midway games inside the 4D world of Toy Story Mania! When toys get hungry, there’s no better place to grab a bite than Woody’s Lunch Box, a walk-up window featuring a bevy of nostalgic delights – from a grilled three-cheese sandwich to a Lunch Box Tart and much more.

Toy Story Land also offers a collection of new merchandise items, allowing guests to take their special memories home with them. Among the many highlights: a Buzz Lightyear Bubble Blower and a Slinky Dog headband.

Disney Junior Dance Party Shimmies into Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Later in fall, the new Disney Junior Dance Party premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This live performance will feature high-energy music, a vibrant party atmosphere, special effects and characters from popular Disney Junior TV shows. Guests are invited to join all the fun with the stars of “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” “Doc McStuffins,” “The Lion Guard” and the newest hit series, “Vampirina.”

Two New Restaurants, Reimagined World of Disney Opening at Disney Springs

James Beard Award-winning Chef José Andrés – one of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2018” according to Time.com – will open a new location of his popular Jaleo this fall. It will offer an extensive menu of tapas that reflects the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine. Designed by renowned Spanish designer Juli Capella, the new multi-level restaurant will feature breathtaking exterior architecture and a vibrant, theatrical décor representing the colorful, dynamic culture of Spain. Andrés’ Disney Springs venue will be his largest and most ambitious location to date.
A new restaurant by James Beard Award-winning Chef Wolfgang Puck will also open this fall. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will modernize the traditional “bar and grill” concept in a setting inspired by traditional farmhouses – with a touch of elegance. The restaurant will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular by Puck’s Spago, his flagship restaurant in Los Angeles.
In late fall, Disney Springs will reveal the newly reimagined World of Disney store, where guests will discover the products they love from Disney Parks in a dynamic and distinctly Disney environment. The flagship store remains open throughout the enhancement process.

Ready, Set, Go for Wine & Dine Half Marathon

The runDisney race season begins Nov. 1-4 with the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, featuring a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids’ races. It includes the Disney Two Course Challenge – a 10K and half marathon on consecutive days. This is one of five runDisney events scheduled for this race season, which stretches into early 2019. Register at www.runDisney.com.

New Hotel and Ticket Package Available Labor Day Week

The “Ultimate Disney Fall into Magic Package” is available this year for the week of Labor Day. The limited-time offer, available for booking through Aug. 19, includes a five-night stay at a select Disney Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa resort hotel for arrival Sept. 3 and departure Sept. 8, 2018. The package also features four-day Magic Your Way tickets and an itinerary full of special experiences in all four parks – including access to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and two hours of exclusive evening access to Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Packages start at $149 per person, per night for a family of four in a standard room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. For more information, visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/ultimate-fall-magic-package.





June 29, 2018

Lightning McQueen to Star in Cars Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, More on New Attractions, Restaurants

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 29, 2018) – As Toy Story Land is about to become part of the Incredible Summer at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney executives today provided updates on other exciting projects at the resort – including news of a high-revving addition coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The updates precede Saturday’s much-anticipated grand opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests to this new land become “honorary toys” and play with their favorite Toy Story characters in fun adventures throughout Andy’s backyard.

“Disney World is enjoying the most significant period of growth in the last two decades, thanks in large part to Toy Story Land,” said George A. Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Resort. He noted the new land is part of a “Disney Theme Park trifecta” with last year’s opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge coming in 2019 to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “In the run-up to 2021 and the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, more exciting new attractions and experiences are planned that position the resort for continued growth and galvanize Disney’s place as the leading vacation destination in the world.”

Kalogridis was joined by Catherine Powell, President, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts – Western Region, as well as executives from Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks Live Entertainment.

In news announced today, speeding into Disney’s Hollywood Studios early next year will be – Ka-chow! – Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. The all-new show-attraction, to be located in Sunset Showcase near Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, will immerse guests in the world of Cars and bring them face to face with racing legend Lightning McQueen. With help from friends Mater and Cruz Ramirez, McQueen will demonstrate racing techniques on a new simulator and share career highlights with his guests. Of course, this is Lightning McQueen, so a few twists and turns are to be expected on the road ahead.

Incredible Summer 2018…and Beyond

Disney executives also provided updates on previously announced attractions and experiences aimed at creating magical Walt Disney World vacations for guests both now and in the future, starting with Disney’s Incredible Summer already underway.

From Supers to an intergalactic concert and much more, Incredible Summer highlights include:

-- Magic Kingdom Park is home to the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo, featuring character appearances, dancing, special activities, Incredibles-themed décor and more.

-- Star-Lord and Gamora are part of daily cosmic concerts at Epcot in Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!, with an alien band playing timeless classics from the ’70s and ‘80s in the America Gardens Theatre.

-- Donald’s Dino-Bash at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a prehistoric party in DinoLand USA hosted by Donald Duck and featuring Disney characters in dino-themed attire.

-- UP! A Great Bird Adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom invites guests to discover some of the world’s most exotic birds during an all-new show starring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s “Up.”

Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Midst of Multi-Year Transformation

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Toy Story Land and Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy are part of a multi-year transformation of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where guests will experience their own adventures in the worlds of their cinematic imaginations and make cherished memories like never before. Upcoming attractions and experiences in and around the park include:

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Late fall 2019 is liftoff for the new 14-acre land inviting guests to live their own Star Wars adventures, taking them inside stories from a galaxy far, far away. Guests will explore Black Spire Outpost, the largest settlement on the remote planet Batuu. Here they will meet characters both familiar and new and experience the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and adventures of the Outer Rim and Wild Space.

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One attraction will be an epic Star Wars adventure unlike anything Disney has ever created. It will put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Elsewhere in the land, guests will step aboard the Millennium Falcon and pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy, firing laser cannons and steering the starship through deep space.

In summer 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will also open at Disneyland Park in Southern California.

Immersive Star Wars-Themed Resort Hotel

Fans will live out their Star Wars adventures beyond the theme parks with an epic experience at a groundbreaking new Star Wars-themed hotel concept located near Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests will enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in the Star Wars galaxy, as adventures unfold around their starship. An opening date will be announced later.


Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

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Opening in 2019, the first ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will feature a new original story and lovable theme song as it takes Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. New technologies will transform the two-dimensional cartoon world into an astounding multi-dimensional experience.

Disney Junior Dance Party

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In fall 2018, the new Disney Junior Dance Party premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This interactive performance will feature high-energy music, a vibrant party atmosphere, special effects and characters from popular Disney Junior TV shows. Guests join all the fun with the stars of “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” “Doc McStuffins,” “The Lion Guard” and the newest hit series, “Vampirina.”

Play Disney Parks App Encourages Families to Play Together

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Launching June 30 at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, the Play Disney Parks App will turn wait times into play times for the entire family to enjoy together. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play, the app offers all-new interactive experiences and activities created for select attraction queues, including Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania! Guests using the app earn uniquely themed achievements as rewards for playing games, answering trivia, completing challenges and experiencing select attractions. The app also allows guests to celebrate the songs of Disney by accessing playlists directly from Apple Music – a curated audio experience inspired by Disney Theme Park lands.

Disney Springs Continues to Offer Wide Range of Dining and Entertainment Experiences

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Wine Bar George by Orlando Master Sommelier George Miliotis is now open, offering more than 130 selections by the ounce, glass and bottle in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. And coming summer 2019 is the new NBA Experience that will offer a mix of games, competitions, hands-on immersive experiences, a retail store and more.

Exciting Expansions on the Way for Disney’s Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach Resorts

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Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will open a new 15-story tower in summer 2019, including 500-plus new rooms and suites, as well as concierge-level services, a rooftop restaurant and other enhancements. As part of the transformation of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort later this year, Old Port Royal will provide a new centralized location with more convenient access to services, amenities and dining with a tropical flare.

Disney’s Riviera Resort to Become 15th Disney Vacation Club Property

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The proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property will be located near Epcot with a rooftop restaurant showcasing panoramic views of nighttime spectaculars at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. An opening date will be announced later.

Minnie Van Service Now Open to All Walt Disney World Resort Guests

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Now available to everyone at Walt Disney World Resort, Minnie Van service offers a comfy, convenient and expedient way for guests to travel to and from theme parks, to dining reservations at resort hotels, to shopping sprees at Disney Springs and much more. Minnie Van service to and from Orlando International Airport is also available.

New Disney Skyliner Will Connect Select Resort Hotels with Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Starry-eyed guests will glide in overhead gondolas to two Disney Theme Parks from any of four Epcot-area hotels aboard this new transportation system. Disney Skyliner will offer Tinker Bell views as guests float to either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios on roundtrips from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the proposed Disney’s Riviera Resort. An opening date for Disney Skyliner will be announced later.






June 26, 2018

PhotoPass Back at Water Parks for Summer; Adds Special Shots for Independence Day

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Now through September 3, Disney PhotoPass photographers will be available at Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks, both in the water and out. They will also be stationed at the water park Character Experience locations, some of which have special props.

Disney PhotoPass has also added special photo opportunities celebrating Independence Day around the theme parks.

At the Magic Kingdom's The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History a Disney PhotoPass photographer will be located near Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square at certain times on July 3 and 4, and will feature a Magic Shot featuring the stars of the show.

There will also be a PhotoPass photographer near the replica of the Liberty Bell on July 4th, taking star-spangled photos that celebrate the nation’s birthday.

Cinderella’s Coach will be in Fantasyland all day on July 3 and 4, and a Disney PhotoPass photographer will be there to capture a photo of you in front of it. And in the evenings, Ariel’s Grotto will have its own PhotoPass photographer with a special photo op.

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The Disney PhotoPass Studio in the Disney Springs Marketplace is featuring special red, white and blue virtual backdrops now through July 7.

And finally, at all four theme parks on the Fourth of July, select photographers will have a festive Stars and Stripes prop that you can include in your photos.

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June 12, 2018

Special Offers for Florida Residents

If you’re a Florida Resident, there are two special deals going on now at Walt Disney World.

First, there are the special Florida Resident Discover Disney tickets. For a limited time, enjoy three days at a Walt Disney World theme park for $159 per person, plus tax. You can also add a fourth day for just $20 more per person, plus tax. Tickets and options are nontransferable and nonrefundable, and exclude activities/events separately priced. Three- and four-day Discover Disney Tickets expire on June 24, 2018.

You can also take advantage of Florida resident status with a “Fun & Sun” discounted resort hotel room and Discovery Disney Tickets.

For example, a family of four can enjoy a three-night stay at a select Disney’s All-Star Resort with four-day Discover Disney tickets for $1,246 -- that’s just $78 per person, per day.

Check availability among all valid Resort hotels and then add the Discover Disney ticket to make it a package. Sample package price is valid for stays most Monday through Wednesday nights through June 20, 2018 for 2 adults, 1 junior (ages 10 to 17) and 1 child (ages 3 to 9) when you book by June 20, 2018. Or, as a Florida resident, you can take advantage of special rates at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels now through June 24, 2018.

Sneak Peek of the All-New Play Disney Parks App

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The Disney Parks Blog has shared a sneak peek of the all-new Play Disney Parks mobile app that is coming to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts this summer.

Play Disney Parks will allow guests to play with family and friends while waiting in line for some favorite attractions. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, from activities that interact with select attraction queues to games that bring favorite Disney stories to life in immersive new ways.

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Guests can also earn and share digital collectibles when they receive themed achievements, earned for experiences both in the app and across the Disney parks. And with the Disney trivia feature, family and friends can band together to see if they have what it takes to become Disney trivia masters as they discover fun facts about their favorite theme parks.

While the My Disney Experience app at Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland App at Disneyland Resort will continue serving guests in their vacation planning before and during their visit, the all-new Play Disney Parks app will soon allow guests to discover even more ways to enhance their in-park experience.

The Play Disney Parks app is available now for preorder on the App Store and Google Play.





June 1, 2018

Major Changes to Disney's Lost and Found System

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Walt Disney World Resort has introduced an online tool to make it even easier and more convenient for you to report lost items.

If you lose something in a Disney theme park, water park, Disney Springs, ESPN Wide World of Sports or on Disney transportation, visit DisneyWorld.com/lostandfound and input information about your lost item. Disney will then search for the item for you, sending periodic updates right to your email address, whether you’re still visiting Walt Disney World Resort or have already returned home.

All it takes is a few simple clicks on any smart device.


Step 1: Visit DisneyWorld.com/lostandfound to get started.
Step 2: Enter information about your lost item.
Step 3: Fill in your contact information and click submit.

If you have additional questions, ask a cast member. More information is available at DisneyWorld.com/lostandfound.






Minnie Van Service Now Open to All Disney World Resorts

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The Disney Minnie Van service introduced last year is now available for everyone at Walt Disney World Resort, through the Lyft app.

The service offers a comfy and convenient way for guests to travel to and from the theme parks, to dining reservations at Disney resort hotels, family gatherings, shopping sprees at Disney Springs and much more in a jiffy.

The private vans are roomy, comfortable and usually only minutes away. Each driver is a friendly Disney Cast Member trained to take you where you need to be—safely and with a smile.

How does it work? Just download the Lyft app on your mobile device, open it from anywhere at Walt Disney World Resort and select the Minnie Van service option. Then, follow the steps below:

Confirm your current pickup location.

Enter your Walt Disney World Resort destination and tap “Request.”

The app will display a map tracking the vehicle en route and give you an identifying vehicle number to help you spot your car.

With Lyft, you can request your ride from your smartphone and pay right through the app. The new Minnie Van service is an easy and friendly way to whisk your family off to the magic!

There is a flat $25 fee per trip for the service, which is available between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. (Hours subject to change.)

May 29, 2018

Celebrate Father's Day at Walt Disney World!

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort is the place to give Dad the special treatment this Father’s Day. Day or night, it’s all about celebrating dads, husbands and all the special guys who deserve the very best on their special day.

DAYTIME WITH DAD

If Dad’s an adrenaline junkie, start the day with exhilarating rides and shows at any of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

-- For the ultimate out-of-this-world adventure, take Dad to Pandora – The World of Avatar to experience Avatar Flight of Passage, the top-rated attraction at Walt Disney World Resort. Fly on the back of a banshee and soar between floating mountains in this one-of-a-kind journey.
-- After returning to Earth, guests can grab their passports and head to Asia for a thrilling, high-speed climb into the Himalayas on Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain.

Epcot

-- Car aficionados will get their fix on Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, where guests design a virtual concept vehicle and take it for a high-octane spin. Afterwards, Dad can pose for a picture with a Chevrolet dream car.
-- Head over to Soarin’ Around the World for a breezy, airborne adventure above some of the most breathtaking wonders the world has to offer.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

-- Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! In this show, viewers can get a behind-the-scenes look at movie-making magic. Dad can even volunteer to be part of the action.
-- Take a trip down memory lane on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, where Dad can relive his rock star days in a super-stretch limo featuring songs by Aerosmith.

SPORTS AND SNACKS

If sports are Dad’s thing, head over to the ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk. With nearly 100 video monitors, each featuring global satellite feeds, families can watch virtually any televised game while enjoying a pub-style menu that includes popular items such as wings, loaded tots and craft-beer batter fish & chips. Dad can relax with delicious specialty cocktails and craft beers on tap, while surrounded by the best in televised sports entertainment—including a 108-square-foot video wall!

A Round of (Foot) Golf with Dad
What’s better than hitting the course with Dad? This Father’s Day, golfers 18 years-old and under play for free with Dad at all Walt Disney World Golf courses.

And for the very first time, Walt Disney World Golf, operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, is proud to offer the game of FootGolf on Disney’s Oak Trail golf course. The 18-Hole FootGolf course is certified by the American FootGolf League (AFGL), the governing body for the sport of FootGolf in the United States. For more information, visit golfwdw.com/footgolf

SUMMER NIGHT DELIGHTS

After a day of park-hopping and sports, head to Disney Springs and treat Dad to specialty shops, amazing dining and entertainment. Here’s a sampling of what’s in store:

-- The Boathouse is the only place in the world where Dads can thrill to a Captain’s Guided Tour in a vintage Amphicar that drives on land and enter the waters of Lake Buena Vista with a splash. The Boathouse is also home to one of the world’s largest collections of fully restored Dream Boats from the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s – from classic Chris-Crafts to a one-of-a-kind jet boat that once reached speeds of over 200mph.
-- Live Entertainment – Treat Dad to great music and entertainment with any of the 25 live performers and acts that appear nightly at Disney Springs.
-- Tommy Bahama, the retail location known for its island flair and garden-grove ambiance, is celebrating Dads and the “Boys of Summer” with MLB® With its new MLB Collection, on the field or in the stands, Dads can be game-ready in ball club gear.
-- The Art of Shaving serves up high-end grooming greatness for the modern man. Fathers can choose from essentials that go from brushes and creams to razors and travel kits.

With over 50 food and beverage locations, including five restaurants by James Beard Award-winning chefs, Disney Springs is the go-to place for a lunch or dinner date with Dad.

-- Start with a meal fit for a champ at Paddlefish. This on-the-water restaurant will serve a special “T-Bone & Tail” Father’s Day meal – a 20oz T-Bone and cold water lobster tail with a classic béarnaise sauce for $59.
-- Families can treat Dads to tasty drinks carefully paired with delicious dishes in the new Discover Bourbon at Disney Springs experience. Whether Dad is a bourbon aficionado or just enjoys sipping and savoring new drinks, this experience is perfect for an afternoon stroll or an evening out with family.
-- For a sweet snack, Amorette’s Patisserie will offer dipped “Tuxedo” strawberries and special treats honoring a beloved Disney Dad – Geppetto from “Pinocchio.” The treats will be available June 14-17, 2018.

May 26, 2018

Incredible Summer Starts at Walt Disney World

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – (May 25, 2018) The fun is heating up at Walt Disney World Resort with all-new entertainment and more set to debut Memorial Day weekend rounding out a simply incredible kick-off to summer.

Donald’s Dino-Bash! is a lively celebration with festive decor and character greetings galore, premiering May 25 in DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. During this prehistoric party Donald and pals take over DinoLand U.S.A. to celebrate Donald’s new-found discovery that ducks are actually descendants of dinosaurs. Guests will enjoy photo ops and greetings in several locations with feathered friends like Donald, Daisy, Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack, and others during a rip-roaring party. The day culminates with a nightly Dino-Riffic dance party with Chip ‘n Dale, along with a DJ spinning wild tunes.

At Magic Kingdom Park, Super Heroes take center stage with the May 25 premiere of the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo. This celebration of all things super welcomes Edna Mode – the legendary supersuit designer for the Supers – to Magic Kingdom Park for the first time ever. Mr. Incredible, Frozone, Mrs. Incredible and other characters from the Disney●Pixar film, “The Incredibles,” and the upcoming “Incredibles 2,” join together for an interactive celebration featuring incredible decor and high-energy music. Families can even get their groove on during “Super Party Time,” a continuous dance party and show on the Rockettower Plaza Stage with themed games and engaging performances by up-and-coming Supers.

More Big Fun in Store
Incredible summer fun continues at Epcot with more Super Hero action. Star-Lord and Gamora, from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies take guests on a musical journey through the cosmos in the Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! concert series. Featuring hits from Star-Lord’s Awesome Mixtapes – fun and favorite tunes from the two movie soundtracks – the show will take place five times daily June 9 through Aug. 19.

The big thing happening June 30 is also really small. That’s the grand opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where guests will “shrink” to the size of a toy in a playful land inspired by the hit Disney●Pixar “Toy Story” films. Encompassing eleven fun-filled acres, Toy Story Land will be home to two all-new attractions, Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, and one expanded favorite – Toy Story Mania!

More Memorial Day Fun at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is in on the incredible summer fun, too. The Memorial Day Summer Kickoff Fan Zone is a two-day, festival-style event that is free and open to the public. Guests will enjoy a variety of food and beverage options, high-energy music by a popular DJ, event merchandise, vendor booths presented by brands such as GoGo Squeeze, Apex and Puma, and a television viewing party Saturday afternoon for the UEFA Champions League title match between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

The sports complex’s packed summer schedule also gets underway May 25-28 with three major events – the Disney Memorial Day Soccer Tournament presented by Danimals, the Disney Memorial Day Baseball Classic and the AAU Basketball Memorial Day Classic. Combined, these three events will encompass more than 16,000 athletes and coaches from 21 different states, Puerto Rico, Canada and Argentina, making it one of the most active weekends of the year at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

One-Year Anniversary for Pandora – The World of Avatar
Memorial Day weekend also marks the one-year anniversary of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The jaw-dropping land continues to amaze guests, letting them journey to an alien world where they soar on the back of banshees, marvel at floating mountains and sail thru a bioluminescent rainforest.

The glowing world of Pandora was the inspiration for a limited-release, interactive banshee that is set to fly into the Windtraders merchandise location on May 27, the land’s one-year anniversary. Banshees – available in myriad colors – have been a treasured take home for guests since Pandora opened. The new banshee is inspired by Pandora’s bioluminescent landscape and features a moving head, mouth and wings.

May 3, 2018

Disney's Animal Kingdom Welcomes Grevy's Zebra Foals

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom announced the recent births of two female Grevy’s zebra foals today.

The first foal was born April 26 to Layee, and the second was born May 1 to Zuri. Currently, the foals are nursing and bonding with their moms backstage. All will join the herd on Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail overlook soon.

Originating from Africa, Grevy’s zebras are the most endangered species of zebra, with approximately 2,500 in the world.

These zebra births mark another success for Disney’s animal care experts and the Species Survival Plan, a program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that helps ensure a diverse, healthy population of threatened and endangered species. These zebra foals are making an important contribution toward the worldwide conservation and understanding of the Grevy’s species, which will help ensure a future generation for these endangered animals.

Disney's commitment to the care and conservation of Grevy’s zebras goes beyond the Animal Kingdom theme park. Through the Imperiled Species Conservation Project (ISCP), which gives cast members the opportunity to personally support the species they love through existing conservation programs, Disney has made contributions toward the care and protection of Grevy’s zebras in the wild. Recently, two of zebra keepers traveled to Kenya through the ISCP to participate in the Great Grevy’s Rally, a population survey used to document the total number of Grevy’s zebras in the wild.

The conservation work with Grevy’s zebras contributed by the cast is just the beginning. Later this year, several other cast members will travel across the world to support endangered animals such as painted dogs, dolphins, gorillas, Guam rails and kingfishers, rhinos, sharks and vultures.

Disney says that its cast is the most valuable resource it has in delivering on world-class animal care and conservation and that it is proud to see cast members making a difference, developing stronger interaction and partnering skills, and sharing their experiences with guests.

You can learn more about zebras and Disney’s efforts to reverse the decline of at-risk animals in the wild by visiting DisneyAnimals.com.

source: Disney Parks Blog





April 24, 2018

Dig into a Delicious FREE DINING Offer for Walt Disney World!

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Savor the chance to experience an unforgettable stay in the middle of the magic! Enjoy a FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day Magic Your Way package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and a ticket with a Park Hopper® Option.

Note: Packages for other lengths of stay may be available.

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 2 - Aug 19 - Disney VISA card members only
Aug 20 - Sept 29
Nov 24 - Nov 27
Dec 7 - Dec 23

Book by July 7, 2018.

Contact AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider MouseFanTravel for more details.

April 21, 2018

Gods of the Vikings Exhibit Opens in Norway

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‘Gods of the Vikings’ Exhibit Debuts April 20th at Epcot

The Stave Church Gallery in the Norway Pavilion now showcases a brand-new exhibit called “Gods of the Vikings.”

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Celebrating the legendary Norse gods and goddesses that inspired the ancient Vikings of Scandinavia in their daily lives, guests can stop in to learn more about the popular Viking gods Thor, Odin, Freyja, and Loki through displays of authentic Viking artifacts.

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Historically, Norse gods and goddesses were as real and as important to the Vikings as the air they breathed. Through this exhibit, guests will discover how Norse mythology helped the Vikings live their lives and understand the world around them.

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April 18, 2018

All-New Play Disney Parks App Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland This Summer

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All-New Play Disney Parks App Coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort This Summer


Guests can soon explore Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort in a whole new way using the all-new Play Disney Parks app! Coming this summer on iOS and Android, guests can play in the parks like never before using this soon-to-launch mobile app to access exclusive experiences at both locations through activities that interact with the surrounding environment. The app will be free to download.

With the touch of a button, wait time turns into play time with family and friends at certain locations. And the more you explore in Disney parks, the more there is to discover on the app.

Since the launch of My Disney Experience at Walt Disney World Resort in 2013, Disney continues to reinvent digital offerings at its parks around the world. The My Disney Experience app, guests’ go-to vacation companion, has continued to evolve – including the Get Directions feature, Online Check-In and the recently launched Digital Key. Guests are also loving the Disneyland App, Disney MaxPass and soon mobile order at Disneyland Resort – currently available at Walt Disney World.

Message, data and roaming rates may apply. Availability subject to handset limitations and features may vary by handset or service provider. Coverage and app stores not available everywhere. If you’re under 18, get your parents’ permission first. Apple, the Apple logo and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

April 9, 2018

Look at What's in Woody's Lunch Box! Coming to Toy Story Land

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What’s in Woody’s Lunch Box?

In the toy-filled back yard that is Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests “shrink” to the size of a toy and explore the world of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and friends. In the middle of all the fun, Andy has taken his vintage Woody-themed lunch box and propped it open with a thermos, turning it into a walk-up window where his toys can grab a bite to eat. From a nearby tower, green army men stand at the ready, keeping watch for Andy’s return.

Opening June 30, Woody’s Lunch Box will dish up all sorts of sandwiches and sides that blend classic flavor combinations with a modern twist, plus nostalgic soda floats and specialty beverages. The team at Flavor Lab -- the concept development kitchen -- shared how much fun (and how challenging) it was to take sentimental food favorites and give them a modern make-over…in flavor and presentation.

“Everyone has a special food memory, so it can be tricky putting a modern spin on the favorites,” explained Lenny DeGeorge, Concept Development Culinary Director for Walt Disney World, about the year-long menu development process. “We honored these classic dishes by using the best ingredients to elevate the flavors. How we constructed the sandwiches was important, such as layering the ingredients in a specific order, to maximize textures and flavors. Why have a cold sandwich when you can have a toasted hot, gooey cheese-filled one?”

Here is a peek into Woody’s Lunch Box.

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S’more French Toast Breakfast Sandwich -- Oozy goodness in a chocolate ganache-and-marshmallow-stuffed French toast topped with graham cracker crumbles. Inspired by the classic American campfire treat.


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Smoked Turkey, Eggs, Swiss, Peppers, and Onions on Sourdough - The perfect hand-held stack of breakfast goodness.


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Breakfast Bowl – The green army men line up for this hearty bowl of potato barrels, brisket-country gravy, and scrambled eggs.


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BBQ Brisket Melt -- With a nod to cowboy Woody, this Texas-style smoked brisket features cheddar, Monterey Jack, pickles, and BBQ sauce on garlic butter-grilled sourdough.


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Monte Cristo with Raspberry Jam -- Woody’s version of this classic sandwich has layers of ham, turkey, Swiss, and raspberry jam…and is grilled to a golden brown.


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Totchos -- Potato barrels, corn chips, chili, and cheese


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Sides include tomato basil soup, vegetable macaroni salad, and potato barrels. Mini Babybel snack cheese, the official snack cheese of Walt Disney World Resort, is also an option to eat with your meal or as an on-the-go snack.


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Raspberry Lunch Box Tart garnished with Icing and Dried Fruit and Chocolate-Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart garnished with Icing and Caramelized Bacon – Even toys need a sweet treat! Inspired by breakfast toaster pastries, this modern interpretation, with its uniquely delicate crust, is the perfect hand-held pastry.


The littlest toys can enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich or turkey sandwich, both served with potato barrels and mandarin oranges. For toys looking for more lighter options, they can grab one of these tasty bites at Woody’s Lunch Box or check out the many other healthful offerings available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios including fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, and grilled meats and fish.


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Banana Split Yogurt Parfait – Layers of banana-vanilla Greek yogurt (with a hint of honey), fresh bananas, strawberries, and pineapple topped with granola and chocolate chips. A delicious and healthful way to start the day!


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Smoked Turkey, Tomato, and Lettuce on Multigrain Bread – This quintessential lunch box sandwich is a light and fresh option. And to give it a kick of flavor, we add a creamy Dijonnaise.


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Soda Floats -- All toys would agree that a refreshing soda float is the perfect nostalgic beverage!


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The adorable Alien Sipper may be purchased and filled with any fountain drink or the signature Mystic Portal Punch – Powerade Mountain Berry Blast with flavors of lemon-lime and tangerine.


The big kids can enjoy the backyard with Grown-Up’s Lemonade cocktail (cherry vodka, Odwalla Lemonade, and black cherry purée), beer, or hard cider.

So what do you think? Ready to dine at Woody's Lunch Box? What looks good to you?






April 2, 2018

Digital Key Feature Coming Soon to My Disney Experience App

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Walt Disney World today unveiled another new feature coming soon for the My Disney Experience app: a digital key.

Coming soon to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the new feature will allow guests to quickly unlock their hotel room using their mobile devices, providing them with a seamless room entry option that brings added flexibility.

Guests can also use the digital key to unlock the hotel entrance gate and common area doors that require a key, such as at pools, fitness centers, elevators and club level lounges. Arriving travel parties who have checked in online may even use their digital key to bypass the front desk, giving them the opportunity to go directly to their room when it is ready to start their vacation even faster.

The feature represents the latest evolution of keyless room entry, which Disney World began offering with the MagicBand. Guests may use either or both options to enter their room during their stay.

How does it work? To use their digital key, guests opt in and activate the feature on their check-in day through a brief set-up process in the app. To enter their room, guests tap the “Unlock Door” button and then simply hold their phone against the door lock.

Bluetooth®-enabled mobile devices with the latest version of the My Disney Experience app are required to take advantage of a digital key for room entry.

March 29, 2018

New Wine-Tasting Experience at Old Key West Debuts April 15

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New Wine-Tasting Experience Debuts April 15 at Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Olivia Farnsworth, legendary founder of Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, is among the inspirations behind a weekly wine-tasting experience that’ll begin serving Disney Vacation Club Members at the restaurant on April 15 as part of Membership Magic.

According to our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, “Olivia Farnsworth is 60 going on 20. She arrived in Conch Flats [the setting of Disney’s Old Key West Resort] longer ago than you’ll get her to talk about … moved into a small cottage along Turtle Krawl, turned on her stove and changed everything around here for the ‘batter.’ Upwind from downtown, Olivia’s cooking was a hard secret to keep. Dinner traffic boomed. Soon, she began doubling recipes, then double-doubling, then triple-doubling until the math got ugly. She pulled up more chairs, added more tables and sat people on the porch until the floor plan got all cattywhumpus. Finally, to the town’s great relief, Olivia made it official, cinched up her apron and hung out her shingle.”

The new Disney Vacation Club wine-tasting experience at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, scheduled to accommodate as many as 20 Members (ages 21 or older) each Sunday (excluding holidays) from 3-4 p.m. at Olivia’s Cafe, will further explore the legend of Olivia Farnsworth and the resort that surrounds her namesake restaurant, all while Members enjoy a sampling of wines accompanied by bite-sized foods. The price of $30 a person includes tax and gratuity.

Call Member Services for more details or reservations.

March 27, 2018

Wine Bar George to Host DVC Member Events

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Wine Bar George, one of the newest additions to Disney Springs and Florida’s only Master Sommelier-led wine bar, is hosting weekly wine tasting experiences and monthly wine dinners for Disney Vacation Club Members and special guests as part of Membership Magic.*

Presented on Tuesdays from 3:30-5 p.m., and designed to help as many as 30 people taste wine like a Master Sommelier, the weekly wine tasting experience includes samplings of six types of wines from well-known and also up-and-coming wineries. Each week features a different collection of wines paired with a sampling of cheese and charcuterie. The cost of $45 a person (maximum of six people in a party) includes tax and gratuity.

The monthly wine dinners, meanwhile, accommodate as many as 10 people on select Wednesday evenings from 6-8 p.m., and are hosted by George Miliotes and, when available, a featured winemaker. This monthly experience, which includes a reception and three-course dinner with wine pairings, is priced at $115 a person, inclusive of tax and gratuity.

Located in The Landing neighborhood of Disney Springs near The BOATHOUSE and Morimoto Asia, the two-story, 6,000-square-foot, 210-seat Wine Bar George is the vision of Master Sommelier George Miliotes, regarded as one of the restaurant industry’s foremost wine experts. Miliotes developed his skills and reputation in part at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where he opened California Grill and managed the venue from 1995-2002.

Wine Bar George draws design inspiration from a winemaker’s home estate and features more than 100 wines available by the bottle and glass, along with a selection of small plates, cheese and charcuterie boards, family style plates and desserts.

The Disney Vacation Club Member events at Wine Bar George reflect the venue’s commitment to delivering wine education in a fun, approachable manner. Call Member Services beginning on March 29 for event registration or more information, and learn more about Wine Bar George online at WineBarGeorge.com.

*Please note that cancellations must be made at least 48 hours in advance to avoid surrendering full payment. Guests must be 21 years old or older with photo ID to consume alcohol. Disney Dining Plan Entitlements cannot be used for this experience. Culinary Magic Experiences are not eligible for any additional special offers or discounts, including the Disney Vacation Club Member 10 percent food and beverage discount. Menu items, pricing and hours are subject to change without notice. Guests younger than 18 must be accompanied by a paying participating parent or guardian. A valid Disney Vacation Club Membership Card with photo ID will be required at check-in. Please note food allergies at the time of booking.

March 22, 2018

An Incredible Summer - Two New Offers to Save

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Staying in the middle of the magic will help make a Walt Disney World Resort vacation even more super—especially when there are new and exciting experiences debuting at all 4 parks.

INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS KID-SIZE OFFER

Get a FREE dining plan for your kids (ages 3 to 9) when you buy a non-discounted Magic Your Way package for you and the kid(s) that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel, theme park tickets and a dining plan. For arrivals most nights from May 28 through August 30, 2018 when they book through August 1, 2018.

All 3 dining plans – Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan and Disney Deluxe Dining Plan – are eligible with this offer, but everyone in the reservation must be on the same package.

Are you planning a longer stay? Check availability for packages that can accommodate other lengths of stay and party sizes.

Booking Window:
March 21 – August 1, 2018

Travel Window:
most nights May 28 – August 30, 2018

AllEars Recommends MouseFanTravel for your Vacation Needs.

SAVE UP TO 25% - INCREDIBLE SUMMER AWAITS

Staying in the middle of the magic will help make a Walt Disney World Resort vacation even more super—especially when there are new and exciting experiences debuting at all 4 parks.

With this offer, you can save on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights June 11 through August 1, 2018:


Booking Window:
Save up to 25% - when you book by May 22, 2018.
Save up to 20% - when you book by August 1, 2018

Ask about great rates for stays most nights May 28 through June 10 and August 2 through August 30, 2018.


AllEars.Net Recommends MouseFanTravel for your Vacation Needs.

March 16, 2018

Special Character Greetings for Easter at Walt Disney World

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Starting March 19, the Easter Bunny will begin making appearances at Magic Kingdom. Easter Bunny will greet guests through April 1 in the Town Square Courtyard. On March 31 and April 1 (Easter Sunday), a special pre-parade will make its way down Main Street, U.S.A., that will feature Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny, Daisy, Duck, Thumper & Ms. Bunny, White Rabbit, Yellow Rabbit, Clara Cluck, Hippos, Ostriches, Dancing Chicks and the Azalea Trail Maids from Mobile, Alabama.

All entertainment is subject to change without notice. Check the Times Guide or the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit for the most up-to-date information.

Parking Fees Increase at Walt Disney World

Thanks to everyone who has left a comment regarding the new parking fees. We are now closing this for comment on 3/29/18. The blog was originally posted 3/16/18.

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Effective for reservations made March 21, 2018 and thereafter, standard overnight self-parking is available to registered Guests for a fee that will be applied to their hotel folio upon check-out. All parking fees include applicable tax.

Standard Overnight Parking charges per Resort Category:

Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night

Complimentary standard parking is available to Guests staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Each campsite provides parking space for one (1) motorized vehicle.


Valet Parking

Valet Parking is available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night (sales tax included).

Guests with Disabilities

Designated parking areas are available throughout Walt Disney World Resort for Guests with disabilities. A valid disability parking permit is required.

Disney Vacation Club Members
Members will not be charged for standard overnight self-parking when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa, regardless of whether they use vacation points or another form of payment. Members also will not be charged to park when using vacation points to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Day Guests

Complimentary standard self-parking is available while enjoying select dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation experiences at Disney Resort hotels.

Theme Parks

Guests pay one fee for a parking pass good all day at all 4 theme parks—Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. Our special preferred parking lots are located conveniently close to the theme park entrances. All parking fees include applicable sales tax.

Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45 per day
Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $22 per day
Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer - $27/day

Registered Guests of Disney Resort Hotels, select Annual Passholders, Premium Passholders and Disney Premier Passport holders may enjoy complimentary standard self-parking at Disney Theme Parks.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations For your convenience, a number of ChargePoint charging stations are now available in parking lots at Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and Disney Springs. Arriving Guests may ask a Cast Member for directions to these charge ports, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Epcot: 4 stations at the front of the Journey Parking Lot
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park: 4 stations in the Medical Parking Lot
Disney Springs: 6 stations: 3 on the 5th floor of the Orange Garage and 3 on the 5th floor of the Lime Garage

To use this service, you will need a credit card or a pre-ordered ChargePoint card—available at chargepoint.com. The cost to charge at these stations is $0.35 per kilowatt hour, with a minimum service amount of $1.50. Charging will stop once the vehicle’s battery is fully charged. ChargePoint will “ping” the owners to alert them when their car is ready.


Water Parks

Standard parking at the water parks—Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach—is complimentary for all Guests.

Disney Springs

Standard self-parking is complimentary at the Disney Springs area.

The Disney Springs area, an exciting reimagining of the former Downtown Disney area, is undergoing a dazzling expansion and transformation! As a result, we recommend that Guests arrive 60 minutes prior to their show time or reservation. On busy days, simply follow the signs to available parking, which may be located across the street—just a short walk to Disney Springs.

Valet parking is also available, at a flat rate of $20 per day (sales tax included).

Please note: Payment will be collected at time of pick-up, and gratuity is not included in the cost.

Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel may take advantage of complimentary transportation by Disney bus, monorail or boat, as parking may be limited. Many area accommodations also provide or arrange transportation to and from Disney Springs.


ESPN Wide World of Sports

Standard parking is complimentary for all Guests.

Parking for Guests with Disabilities

Designated parking areas are available throughout Walt Disney World Resort for Guests with disabilities. A valid disability parking permit is required.

Theme Park Parking
Guests with the ability to walk short distances and step onto courtesy trams should park in the main parking lots of Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. Courtesy trams will then transport Guests to each theme park’s Main Entrance.

Disability Parking Lots
Guests with mobility disabilities—including those traveling with personal wheelchairs, electric scooters or other mobility devices—should park in our Disability Parking Lots, located a short distance from the Main Entrance of each to each of the 4 theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort. Please note that courtesy trams do not stop at these locations.

For further directions on parking options, Guests should inquire at the 4 Auto Plazas located at the entrance to each of the 4 Walt Disney World Theme Park Parking lots, or call Guest services at (407) 824-2222.

March 15, 2018

Incredible Summer Begins May 25 at Walt Disney World Resort

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Fun includes new entertainment in all four theme parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom 20th anniversary celebration, a new Typhoon Lagoon nighttime party and the June 30 opening of Toy Story Land

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 15, 2018) – From Super Heroes to an intergalactic concert, from eye-popping shows to a nighttime beach party to get your glow on, from new reasons to love Disney Springs to an all-new land where toys reign supreme, there’s only one way to describe summer 2018 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Incredible!

When Disney kicks off its Incredible Summer over Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, guests will kick up their sandals to nonstop fun, immersed in favorite Disney films, entering the worlds of beloved characters and experiencing exciting new attractions and entertainment.

And, with the addition of a nighttime party at Typhoon Lagoon, this summer will be even more incredible.

At Magic Kingdom Park from May 25 through Sept. 3, favorite Disney•Pixar Super Heroes will take over Tomorrowland as part of the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo that celebrates all things super. Guests will interact with Mr. Incredible, Frozone and other characters from Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and upcoming “Incredibles 2.” And, for the first time ever, guests will get to see Edna Mode, the world’s greatest costume designer for the Supers. Tomorrowland gets decked out for this Supers celebration with Incredibles décor and the sounds of incredible music. High-energy fun builds to a “SUPER” dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage. “Incredibles 2” opens in theaters nationwide June 15.

There will be more Super Hero action at Epcot where Star-Lord and Gamora, from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, take guests on a musical journey through the cosmos. The Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! concert series will feature hits from Star-Lord’s Awesome Mixtapes – fun and favorite tunes from the two movie soundtracks. There will be five show times daily, running June 9 through Aug. 19.

up a great bird adventure

This summer, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two super new experiences:

-- UP! A Great Bird Adventure premieres April 22, Earth Day, coinciding with the start of the park’s 20th anniversary celebration. The show features Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug, from the Disney•Pixar animated film “UP,” as they discover bird species from around the world.

-- Donald’s Dino-Bash! is a “dino-tastic” celebration where Donald Duck takes over Dinoland U.S.A. The world’s most famous duck is celebrating his recent discovery that ducks are descendants of dinosaurs. He’s brought along feathered friends Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack, plus other Disney characters to meet guests. In addition to bringing his own decorating touch to the land, Donald puts on a nightly dance party where everyone can shake their tail feathers. The dance party is the newest addition to the lineup of after-dark entertainment that keeps the fun going past sundown at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In addition to the fun new entertainment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests can still thrill to the park’s newest land, Pandora - The World of Avatar. There they can experience Avatar Flight of Passage, which quickly became the top-rated attraction at Walt Disney World.

New Nighttime Fun at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Just announced, Rex and his “Toy Story” pals will be throwing a glow party bigger and better than ever at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. Disney H2O Glow Nights will transform the water park like never before. Rex, a.k.a. Partysaurus Rex, serves as host and promises a sudsy good time. All attractions will be open for guest enjoyment and, as part of the fun, a DJ will host dancing on the beach. This special-ticket event will crank out the fun Thursdays and Saturdays only, June 21 through Aug. 11, from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. Tickets go sale March 19 and are $55 per person plus tax for adults and $50 per person plus tax for children ages 3-9. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (407) 939-1872.

Exciting Adventures and Delicious Delights at Disney Springs

Summer 2018 also marks the first summer for incredible new offerings at Disney Springs, including “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,” a hyper-reality experience from Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID; and new restaurants and bars have popped up to tempt any appetite. These include The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant and bar; Maria & Enzo’s, an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by Sicily; Terralina Crafted Italian, a new concept from James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano; and Wine Bar George, the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida, brought to Disney Springs by former California Grill manager and Master Sommelier George Miliotes (opening this spring).

Toy Story Land Opens

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The capstone of the Incredible Summer at Walt Disney World is the June 30 opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Part of a multi-year reimagining of the park, this new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will experience two new attractions. Slinky Dog Dash is a family-friendly coaster that will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky and his coils to the max. “Toy Story” pals also come to life in another fresh-from-the-box themed attraction – Alien Swirling Saucers. This Pizza Planet toy play set is loaded with aliens circling about in their flying saucers pulling along rocket ships full of guests. The new land will also encompass Toy Story Mania! Already one of the most popular attractions, it will feature a brand-new entrance designed to look like a play set filled with carnival games. Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service kiosk serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats inside Toy Story Land.

Immersive New Pixar Character Experience for Children

Disney’s Contemporary Resort will soon be home to an immersive new Pixar character experience that is exclusively for children ages 4-12 and takes place nightly from 5-10:30 p.m. Pixar Play Zone will offer a playful and exciting evening that will transport kids on an adventure with their favorite characters from “Toy Story” and “The Incredibles.”

Kids will learn how to battle the enemies of Star Command in Space Ranger Training, and they’ll learn the ropes of the Wild West with Woody and Jessie during Woody’s Roundup. As part of The Piston Cup Challenge, youngsters will build and race cars on the Radiator Springs Racetrack. Kids will also will learn some sweet dance moves during the Incredible Dance Party with Mr. Incredible and Mrs. Incredible. The evening includes dinner, other activities and arcade games.

The new Pixar experience is $65 per child plus tax. For more information and to make reservations, call (407) 824-5437.

To learn more about planning a Walt Disney World vacation, see your local travel agent, visit DisneyWorld.com or call (407) 934-7639.

March 9, 2018

Sakura Festival at Morimoto Asia (March 15- April 15)

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The festival will celebrate the arrival of spring and cherry blossoms at Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs. The restaurant will be decorated with Instagram-worthy decor, the pink blooms of the Sakura. The festival will feature themed menu specials that will be available to order during lunch and dinner. Throughout the month-long festival, the restaurant will host multiple events dedicated to the cherry blossoms.

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The first event that will kickoff the festival will take place on March 15 (5-7 p.m.). Join the brewmasters from Crooked Can Brewing Company for a Happy Hour featuring the Sakura Kolsch, only available only at Morimoto Asia, paired with Pan-Asian bites. To purchase tickets ($25) http://bit.ly/2oYnVCu

MARCH 15TH MENU

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce - Yogurt marinated chicken, grilled over binchotan, with spicy peanut sauce

Shrimp and Mint Summer Rolls - Rice wrapper filled with local vegetables, Cape Canaveral Shrimp, served with hoisin sauce

Sakura Ebi and Ginger Onigiri - Sakura shrimp, and pickled ginger mixed with our Koshihikari polished rice shaped into a ball with a nori wrapper

Sakura Mochi -Soft rice pancakes filled with sweet red azuki bean paste

Pulled Soy-Ginger braised Pork Sliders,Sakura Slaw

Braised pork ribs, Japanese BBQ sauce

March 8, 2018

D23 Celebrates 20 Years of Animal Kingdom

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April 22, 2018 join D23: The Official Disney Fan Club to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. D23 Gold and Gold Family Members have the opportunity to purchase a “20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass,” adding fan-favorite activities to your day in the park, such as reserved viewing for the 20th anniversary dedication moment, FastPasses, 20th Anniversary Commemorative D23 digital photo, and more!

Check-in will take place from 8:45-9:45 a.m. in the Oasis near the entrance of Rainforest Cafe inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

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Join The Official Disney Fan Club as we celebrate 20 years of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. D23 Gold and Gold Family Members have the opportunity to purchase a “20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass” including the following:

Reserved viewing for the 20th anniversary moment at the Tree of Life

20th Anniversary Commemorative D23 digital photo

Three FastPasses at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (excluding Pandora – The World of Avatar)

Reserved viewing for a specified Rivers of Light performance

20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass: $20, plus a $5 per-person processing fee.
Tickets on sale Monday, March 19, at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. EST).

D23-exclusive gift created specifically for this event, in partnership with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

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Plus, a limited number of attendees have the opportunity to purchase a “VIP 20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass” that includes all of the above listed activities in addition to the following premium experiences:

VIP Viewing for a Festival of the Lion King performance

Private Mix and Mingle reception in DinoLand U.S.A.

Behind-the-Scenes Dinner inside the Festival of the Lion King theater

Additional D23-exclusive commemorative keepsake

VIP 20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass: $275, plus a $5 per-person processing fee.
Tickets on sale Monday, March 19, at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. EST).

PLUS, during this commemorative day, Disney’s Animal Kingdom special guests will stop by to help us celebrate.

D23 Gold and Gold Family Members may reserve a ticket for themselves and one (1) guest for either “20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass” or “VIP 20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass.”

Due to the nature of this experience, all attendees must be at least 3 years of age or older to partake in this “20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass” and 12 years of age to partake in the “VIP 20th Anniversary FAN Celebration Pass.”

Alcohol will be served during portions of the VIP experience. Legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age or older. Valid photo identification will be required to partake in drinking alcohol during the event.

This event does not include admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests will need to have or purchase admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to attend. If planning to use a Walt Disney World Annual Passport to attend, each guest should check blockout dates to verify that the pass is valid for admission on Sunday, April 22, 2018.

Food allergy and restrictions must be communicated to our Guest Services team prior to the event.

There is a limited number of tickets available. D23 Members will be required to provide their membership number when reserving tickets. Tickets may be picked up only with a valid photo ID AND D23 MEMBERSHIP CARD. D23 Members who do not bring their membership cards may not be admitted to the event. Ticketed Members who do not attend the event forfeit their place as well as all experiences, benefits, and gifts associated with the event.

All D23 Special Events are subject to change without notice. There are no cancellations or refunds, and tickets are not transferable. This experience will take place rain or shine.

Tickets on sale March 19th via D23.com

February 16, 2018

Toy Story Land Opens June 30, 2018

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It’s official! Toy Story Land, the highly anticipated toy-filled land inspired by the beloved “Toy Story” films, will open to guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios June 30, 2018.

When it opens, guests visiting Toy Story Land will “shrink” to the size of a toy and join in on the fun Woody, Jessie, Buzz, and Andy’s other beloved toys are having in Andy’s backyard. Here, guests can take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit and topped off with Slinky and Jessie.

Families will also be able to take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won from Pizza Planet. Here, adorable little green aliens swirl about in their flying saucers with guests in tow in their rocket ship toys, while “The Claw” hangs overhead.

Guests can also walk through a new carnival game box to experience Toy Story Mania!, which has been a guest-favorite attraction at the park since it opened in 2008. Now expanded with a third track, the popular attraction will put even more guests in the action taking aim at 3D objects – using everything from baseballs to cream pies – in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

Woody’s Lunch Box – actually, Andy’s lunch box that he’s set on its side – will serve up tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats from a walk-up window setting. The entire land will serve as a visual celebration of toys, with Crayons, Cooties, Green Army Men, Rubik’s Cubes, Tinkertoys, and other familiar toys and game pieces incorporated into the land’s design.

February 11, 2018

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Unveils Details on Spectacular Disney Parks Experiences

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Celebrated stories are coming to life – from a new Marvel-themed attraction set for Disneyland Paris, to Star Wars and Pixar encounters around the world

TOKYO (Feb. 12, 2018) – Today at D23 Expo Japan 2018, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek shared exciting new details about the many ambitious projects underway around the world, from reimagined favorites to entirely new ways that guests can encounter Super Heroes, Jedi, classic characters and life-long Pixar pals.

Building on the tremendous excitement from D23 Expo in Anaheim last July, Chapek welcomed more than 2000 fans to learn more about some of the most anticipated projects in development for guests all over the world. D23 Expo Japan guests were the first to hear that the Marvel Super Hero universe will come to Disneyland Paris. Guests were also treated to a sneak peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort, and more.

“We are hard at work creating even more ways to experience Disney magic at our parks and resorts around the world,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “And with our incredible library of beloved stories and characters, we know exciting adventures and magical memories are in store for all our guests.”

Larger Than Life Super Heroes

Following the news that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is preparing to incorporate popular stories and characters into Disneyland Paris, Chapek shared that the Marvel Super Hero universe will come to Walt Disney Studios Park, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will be totally reimagined as a high-speed, hyper-kinetic adventure where guests will team up with Iron Man and their favorite Avengers.

Fans also got a peek into one of the rooms that will open at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel in 2020. And for those guests who just can’t wait to encounter Marvel at Disneyland Paris, starting this June, Marvel Summer of Super Heroes will bring guests face-to-face with Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord and Black Widow.

Super Heroes have already descended on Hong Kong Disneyland with Iron Man Experience, the most popular attraction at the resort, and more is soon to come with an entire Marvel-themed area underway. Today, Chapek shared new details about the second new Marvel attraction set for Hong Kong Disneyland, where guests will be invited to team up with Ant-Man and The Wasp to fight Arnim Zola and his army of Hydra swarm bots in a thrilling new adventure.

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Buzz is also building around Star-Lord and his fellow Guardians of the Galaxy coming to Epcot, where the real becomes fantastic and the fantastic becomes real. This one-of-a-kind family attraction will feature a brand-new, innovative ride system – and will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world!

Star Wars Comes to Life

After a groundbreaking Star Wars-themed hotel concept was announced last year, fans have been eager to hear more. It will combine a luxury resort with complete immersion into an authentic Star Wars story at Walt Disney World Resort. From the moment guests arrive, their journey through space will begin as everyone boards a starship and departs together for a multi-day Star Wars adventure. Today, Chapek announced it will be seamlessly connected to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Chapek also shared details on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as it comes to life at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Fans caught a glimpse of the Millennium Falcon and an impressive fleet of life-size X-wing star fighters, which are being created for the opening of these jaw-dropping new lands. Imagineers are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible as they prepare to place fans in the middle of the action where they can live their own Star Wars stories next year.

Twenty Years of Pixar

For 20 years, Pixar has entertained guests at Disney parks all over the world – from the introduction of It’s Tough to be a Bug! and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Walt Disney World in 1998, to Cars Land at Disney California Adventure in 2012 – Pixar’s iconic storytelling has been a long-time favorite.

This year will surely be the “Year of Pixar” at Disney parks, with Disney•Pixar Toy Story Land opening at Shanghai Disney Resort in April, and at Walt Disney World Resort this summer. Today, fans were thrilled to learn the highly-anticipated Pixar Pier will open at Disney California Adventure on June 23, including the Incredicoaster and a future attraction themed to Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out.” Fans also learned that a new Incredibles float will join Paint the Night this June. The popular parade returns to the Disneyland Resort – this time to Disney California Adventure – when Pixar Fest launches on April 13.

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Just in time for the 20th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, fans also learned that a new, family-friendly show will debut April 22, featuring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s “Up,” as they discover species of birds from around the world.

Celebrating Classic Disney Stories

Soon, fans will be able to celebrate the mouse that started it all when Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The first-ever ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse will feature a new original story and lovable theme song as it takes guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel's Emmy Award-winning "Mickey Mouse" cartoon shorts using new technologies that transform the two-dimensional cartoon world into an incredible multi-dimensional experience.

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Even More Disney Magic Coming to Japan

Chapek shared that starting next year, Adventures by Disney will take guests to the beautiful and storied country of Japan. Guests are also excited about the new experiences coming to Tokyo Disney Resort as part of the biggest expansion since the opening of Tokyo DisneySea. The first-ever attraction inspired by “Big Hero 6” is coming to Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland, where guests will ride around with Baymax. There will also be an entirely new area in Fantasyland themed to “Beauty and the Beast,” with an attraction set to the award-winning music guests know and love. The Fantasyland expansion will also include the first full-scale, live entertainment theatre at Tokyo Disneyland, and Toontown will see a new design studio where guests can meet the one-and-only Minnie Mouse. At Tokyo DisneySea, guests will soon be able to experience a version of Soarin’, one of the most popular attractions across all Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

With so much underway, Disney parks all over the world continue to elevate the guest experience with one-of-a-kind attractions, lands, entertainment and lodging. For more information, please visit http://aboutdisneyparks.com.

Steve Harvey Is Taking His Daytime Talk Show “STEVE” To Walt Disney World

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LOS ANGELES, CA – On the heels of the show’s second season pick up, Steve Harvey’s daytime series “STEVE” is traveling to Walt Disney World Resort for an all-new week of exciting shows set to air March 19 – 23.

The week will feature celebrity families and couples including The Bella Twins, Eric Christian Olsen and Sarah Wright Olsen, Tracey Edmonds and Deion Sanders, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker as well as celebrities Josh Henderson, Terry Crews and more.

True to “STEVE” form, these special episodes will be filled with exciting games, prizes and giveaways. Viewers will learn about an incredible summer in store for Walt Disney World guests, which includes the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

One deserving couple will even get the wedding of a lifetime after their hometown wedding landed the bride in the hospital. Throughout the week, the couple’s family and friends will help celebrate with all things Disney to make the couple’s dreams come true.

Steve will also proudly honor students from the 2018 Class of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. Disney Dreamers Academy is an annual empowerment program featuring 100 select high school students from across the country who are looking to dream big and learn how to put dreams into action. The academy aims to prepare students for the future by developing networking and interviewing skills and showcasing a variety of career opportunities.

“STEVE” will tape March 9 -11 before a live studio audience from Epcot at Walt Disney World. This is the first time the show has visited Walt Disney World and the first time the show has taped from a remote location since its premiere this past fall.

To attend a “STEVE” taping at Walt Disney World, visit www.getstevetix.com.

ABOUT “STEVE”

“Steve” is produced by EPs Steve Harvey, Shane Farley and IMG’s Mark Shapiro, Mike Antinoro and Will Staeger. “STEVE” is where celebrities come to play in the daytime. The one-hour show is hosted by Comedian and Emmy® Award winning host Steve Harvey and features some of the biggest names in film, television and music. “STEVE” also features talented and funny human interest guests, as well as daily audience games offering a chance to win prizes. In addition to “STEVE,” Mr. Harvey hosts “Family Feud,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Little Big Shots,” “Little Big Shots: Forever Young,” “Funderdome,” “Showtime at The Apollo,” “Miss Universe” and the hugely popular syndicated radio program “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

Follow “STEVE” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SteveTVShow, on Instagram @SteveTVShow and on Twitter @SteveTVShow #SteveTVShow

February 3, 2018

Walt Disney World Announces an Incredible Summer

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Walt Disney World Resort’s ‘Incredible Summer’ Will Bring New Experiences to All Four Parks

(LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb. 2, 2018) –Starting Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27, Walt Disney World Resort will launch an incredible summer for 2018 with guests being immersed in their favorite Disney films, entering the worlds of their beloved characters and experiencing exciting new attractions and entertainment.

Here are some of the highlights:

All four Walt Disney World theme parks – plus Disney Springs – will delight guests with new attractions and experiences for Summer 2018, with most of the festivities starting Memorial Day Weekend.

At Magic Kingdom, favorite Disney•Pixar super heroes will take over Tomorrowland – celebrating all things super. Guests will party with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone from Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and upcoming “Incredibles 2.” And, for the first time ever, guests will get to see Edna Mode, the greatest superhero costume designer. These Supers will interact with guests throughout the land. And the festivities culminate with a “SUPER” dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage. “Incredibles 2” opens in theaters nationwide June 15, 2018.

Super Heroes take over the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot. Star-Lord and Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy will join an alien band, taking guests on a journey through the cosmos. The party will feature hits from Awesome Mixtapes 1 and 2 – fun and favorite tunes from the two movies’ soundtracks – building the anticipation for a new Epcot Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.

This summer, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two super new experiences: A “dino-tastic” celebration where Donald Duck takes over Dinoland U.S.A. with prehistoric elements in a new and exciting character celebration; and Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure, where Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug, from the Disney•Pixar hit film “Up,” discover species of birds from around the world. In addition to all the new fun offerings, guests continue thrills on Pandora – The World of Avatar including Avatar – Flight of Passage, which has quickly become the top-rated attraction at Walt Disney World.

Summer 2018 also marks the first summer for new offerings at Disney Springs including “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,” a Hyper-Reality Experience from Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID; and a host of new restaurants and bars have popped up to tempt any appetite. These include The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant and bar; Maria & Enzo’s, an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by Sicily; Terralina Crafted Italian, a new concept from James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano; and Wine Bar George, the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida, brought to Disney Springs by former California Grill manager and Master Sommelier George Miliotes (opening this spring).

Toy Story Land Opens

As summer gets into full swing, the capstone of Incredible Summer at Walt Disney World opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The ongoing reimagining of the park takes guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land.

This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will experience two new attractions, including Slinky Dog Dash, a family-friendly coaster which will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky and his coils to the max. “Toy Story” pals also come to life in another fresh-from-the-box themed attraction — Alien Swirling Saucers. This Pizza Planet toy play set is loaded with aliens circling about in their flying saucers pulling along rocket ships full of guests. The new land also will encompass – Toy Story Mania! – which has been expanded to add a third track to the existing popular attraction. Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service kiosk serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats inside Toy Story Land.

January 15, 2018

AllEars.Net Announces Kingdom Strollers as Exclusive Stroller Rental Company

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(January 15, 2018, Florida) AllEars.Net announced today a new advertising partnership with Orlando-based Kingdom Strollers, a Disney featured stroller provider.

Owned and operated by Matt and Angela Wilhite, Kingdom Strollers has been in business since 2010. With the goal of making its guests' vacations a little less stressful, Kingdom Strollers strives to offer a range of clean, comfortable strollers at an economical price. Its strollers come in a variety of styles, have padded seats, and fully recline. In addition, Kingdom Strollers' "Disney Featured" status means that they can deliver (and pick up) your rental to Disney hotels and bell stands directly at the time you specify without requiring you to be present, giving you added freedom and flexibility.

"We are very excited to enter into this advertising partnership with AllEars.Net," said co-owner Matt Wilhite. "Like AllEars.Net, one of our goals has always been to make our guests' vacations easier and more enjoyable. We make every effort to keep things as simple as possible."

"We are thrilled to introduce AllEars.Net readers to this first-class stroller rental company," added AllEars.Net Founder Deb Wills. "Kingdom Strollers' high standards of premium customer service reflect the quality that our readers have come to expect from our advertisers, and we happily welcome Kingdom Strollers to our 'family.'"

About Kingdom Strollers:

Founded in 2010 by husband and wife Matt and Angela Wilhite, Kingdom Strollers offers clean, comfortable strollers in a range of styles for rental in the Orlando, Fla., area. They also feature stroller accessories, such as child trays, rain covers and coolers; strollers for children with special needs; and cribs. They have been named a "Disney Featured Stroller Provider" along with only a few other stroller rental agencies, which means that they are able to deliver and pick up rentals at Disney resort hotels without the renter being present.

About AllEars.Net:

Long-regarded by travel experts around the country as the leading independent resource of Disney vacation planning information on the internet, AllEars.Net just celebrated its 22nd year online. With more than 13,000 pages of information and photos, AllEars.Net provides readers with details on every aspect of the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Line to aid in their vacation planning. It also features special sections for vacationers with special needs, such as mobility and size issues, disabilities, and special diets (kosher, allergies, vegetarians). The site's free weekly newsletter, AllEars®, goes out via email every Tuesday to more than 125,000 subscribers.

Kingdom Strollers website: https://www.kingdomstrollers.com/

Kingdom Strollers Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kingdomstrollers/

January 11, 2018

New Background Music at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Every great Hollywood story has a soundtrack that sets the tone and supports the narrative, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is no exception. Debuting Jan. 11, updated arrangements around the park will put a bounce in your step, and you’ll feel as if you’ve walked right into your own adventure.

At the park’s Main Entrance, big band arrangements of familiar Disney tunes get your day started off right. As you enter the park, the music transitions to popular songs from the 30s and 40s, also in the big band style that comes to a crescendo as you approach the Chinese Theater. Throughout the park, the music complements each area’s setting and timeframe perfectly. From brassy horns near Echo Lake and jazz at the BaseLine Tap House, to the sounds of live performances outside Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, it’s music to your ears!

Of course, music is just one part of your experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There’s also the park’s unprecedented growth that features even more of what today’s Hollywood has to offer, whether it be in movies, music, television or theater. In 2018, we’re rolling out the red carpet for Guests to experience the first part of the park’s blockbuster expansion with Toy Story Land where Guests will step right into Andy’s backyard and play alongside his toys. And in 2019, another of our Guests’ favorite worlds will come to life when Guests will play a starring role in their own story at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019.

With new experiences, music and more, the Disney’s Hollywood Studios of the future is a place where imagined worlds become real adventures to explore together. Here’s to Hollywood!

January 10, 2018

Experience a Whole New World of Disney

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Shopping at Disney Parks is an adventure with hundreds of shops and boutiques to explore. The largest of these shops, World of Disney, serves as the “must see” destination for finding many beloved souvenirs from stylish apparel to home décor.

Now, as part of continued enhancements to guests’ shopping experiences at Disney Parks, the World of Disney store locations in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort and in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort will be reimagined beginning in mid-February 2018.

When the interior redesign work is completed, guests will discover the products they love from Disney Parks in a dynamic and distinctly Disney retail environment.

Work will be completed in phases throughout 2018, so Guests can continue shopping in the World of Disney stores during construction.

Shops in Town Center at Disney Springs, such as Ever After Jewelry Co. or The Disney Corner (opening in mid-February), will carry select merchandise while World of Disney undergoes renovations.

At Downtown Disney District in California, World of Disney will remain open during the renovation. Additionally, Guests can find great shopping in the recently opened Dream Boutique, as well as the Disney Home store opening February 2018 in the former D-Street location.

December 31, 2017

2018 Brings More Magic Than Ever to Walt Disney World Resort

Happy Gnu Year

It’s a year to celebrate with Toy Story Land grand opening, exciting new Disney Springs dining concepts, a magical Theme Park milestone and more

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – From a toy-inspired land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to a milestone year for Disney’s Animal Kingdom to exciting additions at Disney Springs to an encore year for an Epcot festival, there’s plenty in store for guests to Walt Disney World Resort – and beyond – in 2018.

Here’s a look around:

Toy Story Land Comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In summer 2018 Disney unwraps a joyful, toy-full surprise for its guests with the opening of the all-new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Stepping into their favorite Pixar blockbuster films, guests will feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of a toy as they play in Andy’s backyard with their favorite Toy Story pals, including Woody and Buzz. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land. This new 11-acre play space will include two new attractions and one expanded favorite:

-- Inspired by the playful dachshund spinoff of Slinky, the American toy classic, Slinky Dog Dash will be a family-style coaster that will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky and his coils to the max.
-- Bathed in music, lighting and sound effects, Alien Swirling Saucers is designed as a play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Famous little green aliens from the movie are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”
-- A third track has recently been added to the hugely popular Toy Story Mania!, which invites guests to take aim at 3D objects in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

When it’s time for refreshment, Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service window serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats. Walt Disney World Resort will collaborate with Mini Babybel to bring Woody’s Lunch Box to life.

New Dining and Entertainment at Disney Springs

Eight new dining concepts debut at Disney Springs in 2018, joining the stellar line-up of award-winning restaurants at this one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment complex:

Opening this winter, The Edison is a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that will feature live entertainment, including cabaret. Adjacent to The Edison guests will enjoy a trio of modern Italian restaurant and bar concepts. Maria & Enzo’s will be an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by Sicily. Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and offer hearty Roman dishes. Pizza Ponte will be the perfect place for a quick bite, with pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches and espresso on the menu.

Chicago-based Levy Restaurants introduces Terralina Crafted Italian with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano. The new restaurant will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy.

In spring 2018, Master Sommelier George Miliotes will bring his expertise to Disney Springs with Wine Bar George. With more than 100 wine selections by the bottle and glass, Miliotes will serve up wine education along with shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie.

Other openings slated for 2018 at Disney Springs include Jaleo, a Spanish concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, a modern concept inspired by laid-back California dining.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Celebrates 20 Years

Majestic in its grandeur and showcasing the magic of nature with inhabitants that roam, run, crawl, fly, slither and swim; Disney’s Animal Kingdom will mark its 20th anniversary in 2018.

The vast, 500-acre park is Disney’s largest, providing a grand stage for the celebration of the world of animals and their natural habitats. Live creatures from mite-sized to mammoth call Disney’s Animal Kingdom home. Lush landscaping, Broadway-quality live shows, conservation themes and rides, attractions and adventures for all ages complete the scene.

As the park continued to evolve, it added a distant moon in 2017. Pandora–The World of Avatar transports guests to a mystical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences. Inspired by the blockbuster motion picture, AVATAR, the new land invites guests to explore a glowing landscape, encounter a larger-than-life Na’vi shaman and soar on the back of a fearsome banshee.

And debuting just in time for the park’s 20th anniversary is a new show featuring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s film “UP” This new experience will offer guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur Village. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures.

An Expanded Festival of the Arts at Epcot

Returning to Epcot for a second year, the expanded Epcot International Festival of the Arts will celebrate all things art – performing, visual and culinary – from January 12 to February 19 – with festivities running seven days a week and Disney on Broadway performing each weekend (Fridays through Mondays) throughout the festival.

Guests can kick off 2018 with world-class cuisine, remarkable visual art and an extraordinary lineup of live entertainment. Festival highlights:

Seminars and workshops from top Disney, local and nationally-renowned artists including classes on drawing animation, photography and the art of making topiaries
More than a half a dozen specially-created food studios offering a wealth of “artistic” culinary delights
A host of performing artists that build on the already stellar lineup of authentic Epcot performers
An encore performance of the Disney on Broadway series featuring Disney on Broadway stars singing favorite songs from award-winning Broadway shows.

Another returning favorite is Disney on Broadway dining packages, where guests can pair a meal at one of the participating Epcot restaurants with priority seating for the Disney on Broadway concert series.

For more information on the festival visit www.disneyworld.com/ArtfulEpcot or call 407-WDW-DINE (3463).

New Multi-Use Venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports will open a new multi-use sports and entertainment venue in 2018. It will seat more than 8,000 guests and have the ability to host six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or concert configurations. For cheer and dance events, it will accommodate performance and warm-up space and include a flexible design for one large competition space that can be set up for as many as four competition areas. Additional areas can be tailored for warm-up and practice, along with areas for judges and officials. There will be concessions throughout the building, and additional box office and entry to the complex.

December 8, 2017

Details on the New Disney Skyliner Transportation System

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Earlier this year, Disney released news on a new Disney Skyliner transportation system that will give resort guests an unforgettable journey and a picturesque view of Walt Disney World Resort as they take to the sky to travel from select Disney resorts to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Today, the Disney Parks Blog revealed new details on what you can expect from the Disney Skyliner system.

Select Disney Skyliner cabins will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior design to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests, such as characters from the ‘Fab Five,’ figures from Disney attractions, fan favorites from movies, and more.

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The design of the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot (pictured at the top of this page) will be inspired by the park’s nearby European Pavilions, and will be covered with metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals and ornamental steel structures that harken back to the early 18th century Art Nouveau style. Guests traveling to Epcot via the Disney Skyliner will be welcomed to the park with a rare birds-eye view of World Showcase.

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The Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station will be the hub of activity for Disney Skyliner. This station is inspired by the open air village marketplaces of the Caribbean and will showcase the nearby resort’s architectural detailing and color schemes. At this station, passengers will be able to transfer gondola routes to reach their destination, or are invited to sit and admire the waterfront resort setting.

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The design style of the station at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will fit with that of the park’s main entrance and bus stations. Passengers traveling here from the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station can expect a new aerial perspective of the park’s iconic attractions, like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will share a Disney Skyliner station that feels whimsical and contextual with both resorts. Upon departing the gondola station, Skyliner passengers will ascend over Hourglass Lake and enjoy a panoramic view of these two colorful resorts.

Finally, cabins will slow down at the Disney Skyliner turn-station along Buena Vista Drive, where guests can see the mechanical and aerial components that make up the Disney Skyliner.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates, including an opening date on this incredible new guest option.

December 6, 2017

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Transformation Details Revealed

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Earlier this year, Disney announced that the Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World would undergo some transformations. Today, as part of the 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas news series, the Disney Parks Blog shared new colorful details about those enhancements debuting late this summer.

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Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be reimagined as the port of entry where guests will check in before embarking on their island vacation. This centralized location will offer resort guests more convenient access to services, amenities and dining, including an all-new Centertown Market for casual eats, an all-new Shutters restaurant offering waterfront dining adjacent to the new Banana Cabana outdoor bar and lounge, and Calypso Trading Post for shopping.

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Centertown Market will be expanded and enclosed, creating a quick-service restaurant with an indoor street market vibe. Guests will enter the space under a large palapa-like structure, accented with glowing colored light pendants made from glass bottles. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for a specialty coffee and quick bites.

Shutters, a Caribbean-inspired table-service restaurant, will be located on the waterfront of Old Port Royale, transporting guests to a beachfront home in the tropical islands. Large open shutters will allow the sun to cast a warm light into the space adorned with handmade items that appear as they’ve been found on the islands. Leaves and floral design motifs will fill the space, celebrating the natural beauty of the Caribbean.

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A festive poolside bar, Banana Cabana will be a great place to gather for food and drinks, immersing guests into the fun and relaxation of island life. Cabana-style drapes will flank seating areas and re-purposed steel drums will illuminate a central communal table made from a wooden boat.

Forget something? No worries! With its history of being the port’s import and export facility, Calypso Trading Post will offer shoppers Disney merchandise and other vacation essentials.

The Disney Parks Blog will reveal more details on these enhancements coming to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort in the coming weeks.

November 28, 2017

The Saga Continues with OtterBox: Star Wars-themed Cases Available Now

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FORT COLLINS, Colo., Nov. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Force is strong with this one. Defend iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus from drops, dings and galactic threats with Star Wars-themed Symmetry Series cases.

From Star Wars: A New Hope to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, OtterBox has a protective case designed for every Star Wars fan. Cases are also compatible with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

"Star Wars has awakened a new generation of enthusiasts and Symmetry Series cases featuring Star Wars designs provide the perfect companions for wherever your epic journey takes you," said OtterBox CEO Jim Parke. "Now fans can express their inner Jedi while defending their devices from real-world pitfalls."

Symmetry Series protects every fan's device from the dark side of phone ownership with a slim and sleek form. The dual-density case slips easily in pockets while a raised beveled edge keeps the touchscreen tucked away from harm during drops. Star Wars afficiandos can show off their favorite icons and characters with the new designs on Symmetry Series cases.

Symmetry Series Star Wars Collection cases are now available at otterbox.com for iPhone 8 and iPhone 7, $44.95; and iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus, $54.95. For more information, visit otterbox.com. OtterBox is the "Official Protective Case" of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

November 17, 2017

Disney Parks and Superstars to Light Up ABC's Primetime Holiday Special on Nov. 30

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Merry holiday moments from Disney theme parks around the world and a star-studded cast of entertainers will launch a “25 Days of Christmas” countdown when “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” airs Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, from 9:00–11:00 p.m. EST on The ABC Television Network.

The magical two-hour event will be hosted by Emmy® Award-winner Julianne Hough, multiplatinum recording artist and television personality Nick Lachey, and sports star, broadcast correspondent and commentator Jesse Palmer. The show will give viewers a front-row seat to a Disney Christmas party like no other – a family holiday tradition brimming with colorful lights, snow flurries, memorable music and more. From the Cinderella Castle stage at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Hough and Lachey will perform a spectacular opening number named for the primetime special.

Tony Award-winning actress Idina Menzel will join fellow “Frozen” star Kristen Bell to perform together for the first time on primetime television. The pair, who voiced the characters of Elsa and Anna in the animated blockbuster, will perform in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park in California accompanied by a 30-voice choir. The two stars of stage and screen will sing “When We’re Together” from the brand-new Walt Disney Animation Studios featurette, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.”

The holiday special’s other unforgettable, wish-come-true moments will include an extraordinary castle lighting extravaganza from Disney theme parks around the world – traveling the globe from California and Florida to Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

A Sneak Peek at New Star Wars– and Toy Story-Themed Lands

The force will be with all who tune in for a sneak peek at Disney’s new Star Wars-themed lands, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening at both Disneyland Park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in 2019. The new lands promise adventure on a galactic scale when guests steer the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission in one attraction and engage in a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance in another.

From the edge of the galaxy “to infinity and beyond,” viewers will discover Andy’s world in the new Toy Story Land to open next year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The new family-friendly Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster and the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction will join the original Toy Story Midway Mania! attraction to give Woody, Buzz and Andy’s entire toy collection a backyard play land scaled to render park guests seemingly toy-sized.

Musical performances in the primetime special will include:

Ciara will perform a joyful Christmas medley, including “Jingle Bells” and “Jingle Bell Rock” from a sparkling Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort.
Grammy Award-winning country artist Darius Rucker will sing “Winter Wonderland.”
Emmy-nominated actress and singer Lea Michele will be joined by special guest Joey McIntyre to sing the classic holiday duet, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”
Multiplatinum-selling group Fifth Harmony will sing “Can You See,” from The Star soundtrack, plus “The Christmas Song.”
Fitz and the Tantrums will perform their platinum-certified hit, “HandClap,” and their original Christmas song, “Santa Stole My Lady.”
Multi-Grammy-nominated trio Hanson will light up the night singing “Finally It’s Christmas,” from their recently released Christmas album.
Boy band In Real Life will sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Multiplatinum powerhouse Jason Derulo will perform “This Christmas.”

Viewers at Home Will Be Able to “Glow with the Show”

For the first time, viewers will be able to “Glow at Home” during select performances in the holiday special, thanks to the brand new “Made with Magic® 3.0: Connected Ear Hat” and the Shop Disney Parks app. Leveraging Bluetooth® technology, the Shop Disney Parks app enables viewers wearing the new 3.0 edition ear hats at home to sync with the ABC holiday special playing on the viewers’ TVs or other devices. Viewers will feel like they are part of the show.

The app also has a remote-control feature to adjust the ear colors and speed of the strobe – a brand-new feature for the Made with Magic® Ear Hats. If viewers at home don’t have the special edition ear hats, not to worry. The Shop Disney Parks app will allow them to enjoy a second screen experience as their mobile phone comes alive, mirroring the spectacle on-screen during select performances. The Made with Magic® 3.0: Connected Ear Hat and the interactive ear hat remote control feature on the Shop Disney Parks app will both be available Nov. 17.

Holiday magic is endless as Disney theme parks transform into winter wonderlands filled with seasonal attractions, joyful entertainment, festive décor and special treats that make every day feel like a holiday. The spirit of the season shines even brighter in these magical places where families share traditions and make memories together.

For more details about Disney Parks holiday magic, visit Disney Parks Blog and follow Disney Parks news @DisneyParks #DisneyHolidayCelebration and #DisneyChristmasCelebration.

November 13, 2017

NEW Announcements Star Wars Galactic Nights

New Celebs, Stunning Projections & More Announced for Star Wars Galactic Nights
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Disclaimer: This post includes new information about the Star Wars: The Last Jedi film.

(Disney Parks Blog, November 13, 2017) We’re nearly a month away from the debut of the highly anticipated film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi – and the return of the Star Wars Galactic Nights event to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Some thrilling updates to this year’s event were just announced moments ago on “The Star Wars Show” on StarWars.com that we had to share with you, as this year’s Star Wars Galactic Nights is truly a can’t-miss offering.


First up – Wicket. Wald. Willow. Wollivan
. Warwick Davis has long been part of the Lucasfilm family and beloved by Star Wars fans since his career-starting performance as Wicket the Ewok in “Return of the Jedi.” An established film and television actor, Davis is known for other Lucasfilm roles in “Ewoks: Battle for Endor” and “Caravan of Courage,” and for portraying the title character in “Willow.” He returned to the galaxy far, far away for the prequels as well, with several roles in “The Phantom Menace.” He recently played Wollivan in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and will appear in this year’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and 2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”


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Actor David Collins will also appear at the event to host a special “Inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” panel discussion with members of the Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm team. The panel, which will include Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering; Robin Reardon, Executive Creative Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering; Chris Beatty, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering and Doug Chiang, VP/Creative Director at Lucasfilm, will give guests an inside look at the making of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park. Attendees will also get an exclusive peek into the progress being made and learn what it’s like to bring the epic saga to life in the theme parks.

Guests can’t miss Star Wars: Galactic Destinations on the Sunset Boulevard area of the park. Through state-of-the-art projections, the facade of the Hollywood Tower Hotel will transform to showcase stunning locations from across the galaxy. Favorite film moments, special effects, lighting, and of course the stellar Star Wars cinematic score supports each galactic location moment all evening long.

Star Wars Galactic Nights will also be a great opportunity for guests to celebrate the release of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi at different park attractions, such as the Star Wars Launch Bay, Star Wars: Path of the Jedi and “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” which will debut new touches inspired by the film that night.

Previously announced event offerings include: The Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks and Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show, which will both be enhanced with special elements from the entire saga; park-wide photo ops, including three new backdrops inspired by Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; encounters with Star Wars characters; specialty food and beverage and merchandise, and much more. Guests are also welcome to dress in their favorite Star Wars attire – please be sure to check our costuming guidelines. Attendees can also enjoy little-to-no wait-times at some of the park’s most iconic attractions.

Park access and activities will be exclusive to Star Wars: Galactic Nights ticket holders. Event hours on Dec. 16 are 7 p.m.-midnight. Tickets are priced at $129 adults, $124 ages 3-9 (discounts available for Annual Passholders & DVC Members). Purchase Star Wars: Galactic Nights tickets here or call 407-W-DISNEY (407 934-7639).

November 7, 2017

Surprise Visits from Mickey Mouse to Delight His Biggest Fans around the World

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To Celebrate His Birthday, Disney’s Brightest Star Will Visit Fans in England, China, Japan and Other Destinations, Culminating with an Appearance on “Good Morning America.”


BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To celebrate his upcoming birthday, Mickey Mouse is surprising some of his biggest fans in eight locations around the globe. Leading up to the big day—November 18—Mickey will take off to such exciting destinations as Japan, Chile, Canada, China, England and the United States. These magical moments will be captured and shared on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Facebook and Instagram pages. Mickey will bring a few more surprises when he visits the Good Morning America studios in New York City on November 15. Fans are encouraged to join the fun on social media using #HappyBirthdayMickey.

Disney Stores and shopDisney.com

In honor of the occasion, Disney’s e-commerce site shopDisney.com will feature special Mickey birthday merchandise from November 16–23, and on November 18, all Disney Stores in the U.S. will host celebrations throughout the day with entertainment and activities.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

On Mickey’s birthday, the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, as well as Disney Stores in the United States, will be distributing commemorative “Happy Birthday, Mickey!” buttons. Disneyland Park in Anaheim will host a special cavalcade featuring some of Mickey’s friends along with the Disneyland Band; and at Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, FL, characters and performers will dance in a special birthday-themed song during Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! There will also be commemorative merchandise, treats and photo locations throughout both resorts. Celebrations will also take place at all of Disney’s international theme parks including Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort.

Disney Channel and Disney Junior

Special marathons of Mickey and the Roadster Racers and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will air throughout the weekend of November 17 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior, and a new Mickey Mouse-themed Disney Junior Music Nursery Rhymes short entitled “Happy Birthday” debuts November 17 on Disney Junior YouTube. On November 18, Disney Channel will air Mickey Mouse shorts every half hour throughout the day, starting with the premiere of “The Birthday Song,” a new short in which Minnie Mouse loses the notes to Mickey’s birthday song and needs to recover them to save the festivities.

Disney’s Digital Worlds

In addition, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Oh My Disney, Babble and other Disney sites will be posting Mickey-related videos, galleries, stories, crafts, recipes and shareables leading up to and on his birthday. And a selection of Disney games and apps will feature special Mickey-themed content and giveaways, including Disney Magic Kingdoms, Kingdom Hearts Union Cross, Disney Tsum Tsum, Disney Magical Dice, Disney Story Central, Disney Jigsaw Puzzles! and Color by Disney.

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honor of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on November 18, 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior in Mickey and the Roadster Racers

Rover's Christmas Carousel of Progress Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card


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First Look: Rover’s Christmas Carousel of Progress Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
returns to Magic Kingdom Park November 9, and this year Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom fans can pick up a special Carousel of Progress-inspired game card on party nights.

In case you’re new to the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom interactive game, guests can team up with Merlin to help defeat Disney Villains who are scheming to take over Magic Kingdom Park. Guests locate villain hideouts throughout the park and visit magic portals where they use special spell cards to ward off the villain’s attack. Each spell card stars a different Disney character, each with their own unique powers.

The game begins at the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., where you can pick up complimentary key cards, spell cards and maps (additional cards can be purchased at select merchandise locations).

This year’s party-exclusive card, “Rover’s Christmas Carousel of Progress” features our trusty companion Rover from Carousel of Progress. According to Imagineer Jonathan Ackley, Carousel of Progress was chosen to be featured on this season’s card “because Merlin is inspired by the Carousel of Progress’ celebration of human innovation.”


November 1, 2017

Updates on Sumatran Tiger Cubs and Conservation Efforts

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Back in August, Disney shared the news about the birth of two endangered Sumatran tiger cubs – the first tigers to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Today, there's an update about efforts to save their species in the wild, along with a progress report on the cubs.

Disney is supporting the efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and their partners to reverse the decline of Sumatran tigers by conducting a tiger population survey in Indonesia and taking steps to increase the wild population of Sumatran tigers by 25 percent in the next decade. In the video below, Anne Savage, PhD, conservation director, explains the significance of this project, funded in part by guests unlocking a $100,000 contribution to the Wildlife Conservation Society through Connect to Protect, a digital mobile adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney Parks, through the Disney Conservation Fund, has committed $1 million to protect and restore habitats of at-risk wildlife through the Connect to Protect program.

Speaking of Sumatran tigers… the cubs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are two months old and now have names: Jeda, the male cub, (above left) and Anala, the female cub.

The cubs continue to bond with their mother, Sohni, and are really showing their personalities, which inspired their names.

Jeda is very laid-back, just like his father Malosi. His name means “pause” in Malay. It is inspired by his markings. You might notice that Jeda has two parallel lines inside a stripe on his head that resemble a pause button.

Anala has an independent spirit and is very quick to explore new things. Her name means “fiery, sizzling” in Hindi.

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“The cubs wrestle with each other constantly and love jumping on plants and logs,” said Erin Heavey, an animal care specialist who cares for the tigers. “Jeda in particular loves ripping the bark off the logs and playing with all the pieces that come off. Anala is becoming more adept at sneaking and pouncing and loves hiding behind things (even when she isn’t entirely hidden) and trying to surprise attack Sohni or her brother. This is actually something she gets from Sohni, who loves to “hide and sneak” even though she isn’t always very covert about it.”

Disney will share more about when Jeda and Anala will go on stage in their habitat on Maharajah Jungle Trek. In the meantime, Guests can continue to visit their parents and learn about how they can join Disney in reversing the decline of these beautiful tigers in the wild at DisneyAnimals.com.

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October 25, 2017

Disney-Pixar's 'Coco' Family Celebration Kicks Off This Friday at Disney Springs

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While Disney•Pixar’s ‘Coco’ will debut on the big screen November 22, Disney Springs guests can celebrate early with a family-friendly fiesta that will take place at Disney Springs West Side from October 27 through November 26, 2017.

In the film, aspiring musician Miguel teams up with charming trickster Héctor on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead. At Disney Springs, guests will get a taste of the bright and vibrant world of “Coco” through a medley of themed music, food, and décor daily from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

With a flurry of colorful papel picados planned and décor depicting scenes from the movie, Exposition Park will be a lively cornucopia of family-friendly fun. On weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), there will also be face-painting and activities for kids. Hungry for more? Springs’ Street Tacos Food Truck will serve up vanilla flan for a limited time, alongside their signature taco offerings.

October 23, 2017

Unwrap a World of Disney Memories This Holiday Season - Or Any Occasion - With New Gift of Disney Vacations

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Celebrate the Season of Giving by Sharing the Magic

BURBANK, Calif. — Ready to put a little pixie dust in your gift-giving this holiday season or any time of year? Give the gift of Disney!

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Disney has made it easier than ever to give magical Disney vacations, theme park tickets or special Disney experiences as gifts for those lucky friends and family on your gift list. The new GiveDisneyVacations.com website is the way to unwrap Disney memories that will last a lifetime. It takes the guesswork out of what to give. And there’s no worry about size, color or some assembly required.

It’s Easy to Gift an Entire Disney Vacation

For the first time ever, guests can select from a full portfolio of Disney destinations and experiences to gift — all in one, easy-to-navigate place. Guests can explore GiveDisneyVacations.com and open a dedicated feature page profiling each Disney destination available. From an unforgettable escape on an Adventures by Disney trip or a voyage aboard Disney Cruise Line, or a vacation at the sun-drenched beaches of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina Hawai’i to exciting Disney Vacation Club properties, the vacation gifting options are endless. Or gift them the experience of a lifetime with a visit to the enchanting world of magic and make-believe at the Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney Park Tickets and Gift Cards Offer More Gifting Options

The gift of Disney is the most magical gift of all. Big things – magical things – can come in small packages. GiveDisneyVacations.com offers guests a quick and easy option to gift just about any Disney experience with the purchase of Disney Gift Cards. Imagine the joy on Christmas morning, birthday, anniversary, graduation, new baby or any occasion gifting a Disney experience. Disney Gift Cards can be redeemed for practically all-things Disney including merchandise, theme park tickets, dining experiences, entertainment, resort stays and experiences onboard Disney Cruise Line ships. And with the convenience of email, it makes for a great last-minute gift idea, too.

Guests can simply choose a Card design, activate and give the gift of Disney magic. Cards themselves are like a Disney vacation in your pocket, colorfully designed in Disney themes from Mickey at Christmas to Minnie and Mickey for Valentine’s Day, Goofy to Donald, Pirates to Princesses.

Cards may be purchased in set amounts of $25 up to $150, plus denominations of $200, $300 and $500. The activated Card with amount specified can even be e-delivered to the gift recipient or for a memorable unwrapping moment sent via traditional mail, enclosed in a themed gift card holder. The Card ships free to any U.S. address, when standard shipping is selected.

Regardless if mailed or shared as an eGift, senders can pair the Card with a personalized message. And because the Disney Gift Card charges no fees and never expires, senders can gift friends and family worry-free and let the magic begin.

For a Limited Time Only:

At Walt Disney World Resort, it easier than ever this holiday season to unwrap the magic of a Disney vacation with a gift beyond belief. Through Nov. 15, guests may purchase a Walt Disney World Resort vacation – a 6-night/7-day room and ticket package for a family of four for travel throughout 2018 — with rates as low as $96 per person, per day at a select Disney’s All-Star Resort. And you’ll get a specially designed gold-trimmed gift box that includes limited-edition Magic Bands for your group to mark the special occasion. What an exciting time to make it a Walt Disney World vacation, too, with the much acclaimed Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and exciting openings on deck, including Toy Story Land coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in summer 2018.

At the Disneyland Resort, guests continue to enjoy the thrilling, new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure Park, and the beloved nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland Park, now more brilliant than ever. This holiday season, anyone can give the gift of a Disneyland experience to family or friends with a special offer to visit early in the new year. A package priced from $144 per person, per day, for a family of four includes a 3-day/2-night hotel stay, along with park tickets and hotel dining certificates. Guests also receive a fun surprise prior to arrival. Booking is available from Nov. 16 to Nov. 27, 2017 for travel on select nights from Jan. 7 to Feb. 1, 2018. And even more magic is on the way in 2018!

Beyond the theme parks, there are even more magical offerings to make your family’s holiday wishes come true. Enjoy winter in paradise at Aulani Resort with savings up to 30 percent on 5-night stays in select ocean view rooms, plus receive $50 resort credit per night when you book your stay before Oct. 25, 2017. Or, why not give your family something they can enjoy for years to come – the gift of Disney Vacation Club Membership. Now through Oct. 31, 2017, you can save $2,600 or more on membership at select Disney Vacation Club Resorts.

For more information and more detailed information about the variety of Disney experiences available, visit GiveDisneyVacations.com.

September 2, 2017

Walt Disney Presents Opens September 8th

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Imagineers Put Final Touches On The Toy Story Land Model For Walt Disney Presents

Walt Disney Presents will officially open on September 8th!

In addition to historic sketches, photos and storyboards, guests can also view ride vehicle maquettes, a portion of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge model, concept art for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction, and an all-new Toy Story Land model – which is being completed at Walt Disney Imagineering right now.

Here are some sneak peeks at the Imagineers putting on the final touches to the Slinky Dog Dash section of the Toy Story Land model.

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August 30, 2017

Slinky Dog Dash Ride Vehicle Arrives at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Family-Style Coaster Part of All-New Toy Story Land Opening Summer 2018

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2017) – Fittingly on National Slinky® Day today, Walt Disney World Resort revealed the first attraction vehicle for Slinky® Dog Dash, a brand-new family coaster coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Slinky® Dog Dash will be among the toy-riffic experiences found in the all-new 11 acre Toy Story Land that opens next summer. It’s all part of a multi-year transformation of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Toy Story Land will invite guests to step into the whimsical world of Pixar Animation Studios’ blockbuster films where playtime stretches longer than a Slinky® Dog. Guests will feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of a toy as they play in Andy’s backyard with their favorite Toy Story pals.

Inspired by the playful dachshund spinoff of Slinky®, the classic American toy, Slinky® Dog Dash will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky® and his coils to the max.

Slinky® Dog Dash will be joined in the new land by more beloved Toy Story pals in another fresh-from-the-box themed attraction — Alien Swirling Saucers. This Pizza Planet toy play set is loaded with Aliens circling about in their flying saucers pulling along rocket ships full of Guests.

The new land will also encompass what’s already one of the most popular Walt Disney World attractions - Toy Story Mania!

In 2019, Disney’s Hollywood Studios adds another major expansion when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. It will give fans the opportunity to live their own Star Wars stories.

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August 22, 2017

Country Bear Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card to Be Released at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
returns to Magic Kingdom Park Friday, August 25, and this year, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom fans can pick up an event-exclusive game card inspired by The Country Bear Jamboree attraction.

According to Imagineer Jonathan Ackley, the County Bears were chosen to be featured on this year’s card to really celebrate the “party” atmosphere of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

“What better way to help celebrate a party than with a performance by the world’s favorite ursine band?” Jonathan Said. “And on Halloween, anything scary will have no choice but to flee before the happy music of the Country Bears!”

In case you aren’t familiar, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an in-park interactive experience that allows guests of all ages to join Merlin’s quest to stop Disney Villains from taking over Magic Kingdom Park. Guests use a map to search for villain hideouts throughout the park, and visit magic portals where they use spell cards to fight back against a villain’s plan. The journey begins at the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., where you can pick up everything you need to play.

This special event card will be distributed separately (and in addition to) the regular Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card packs you’re given at this location. Guests must register to play with their party ticket and event wristband in order to get one.

August 11, 2017

U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division Celebrated at Walt Disney World

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., August 10, 2017 – Magic Kingdom Park guests stood proudly alongside more than 130 veterans and soldiers this evening during a special flag retreat ceremony, honoring the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army’s centennial year.

An elite airborne infantry unit, the 82nd Airborne Division was established in August 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War I – the same war in which Walt and Roy O. Disney both served.

“As a company founded by two brothers who served their nation in uniform during World War I, Disney has always had a strong connection to the armed services and looks for ways to show our support of active-duty military, veterans and their families,” said Dan Cockerell, vice president of Magic Kingdom Park.

With the 82nd Airborne Division commemorating its centennial year at the National Association Convention in Orlando earlier this week, Disney took the opportunity to honor the service and sacrifice of those who have bravely served in uniform since World War I.

Among the veterans attending the flag retreat ceremony this evening at Walt Disney World Resort was 89-year-old Mel Greene. Greene joined the division after World War II and, following his service, continued to support active-duty 82nd Airborne soldiers. During tonight’s event, Greene learned he will be this year’s recipient of The All-American Medal of Honor—an annual award given to an 82nd Airborne veteran for distinguished service to this elite division.

“I was overwhelmed,” Greene said. I can’t believe that I’m getting that award tonight, because it’s the highest award that the Airborne gives every year. And I don’t know if I even deserve it or not.”

Following the ceremony, the 82nd Airborne Division completed a unit march down Main Street, U.S.A. The division’s 16-member chorus and brass quintet band also delighted guests earlier in the day with musical performances in Liberty Square and Town Square.

August 4, 2017

Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID Announce New Hyper-Reality Experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

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New VOID Experience Centers Coming to Downtown Disney and Disney Springs This Holiday Season

BURBANK, Calif. – August 3, 2017 – Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID today announced the new Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire hyper-reality experience. This ground-breaking experience will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World beginning this holiday season, giving Star Wars fans the opportunity to step beyond reality and into a galaxy far, far away.

“At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”

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ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s Immersive Entertainment division, created this first-of-its-kind experience, in collaboration with The VOID. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy. Guests will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multi sensory experience as they interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters.

“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories,” explained Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of the division. “Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire marks an important milestone in the continued expansion of The VOID, which also joined the 2017 Disney Accelerator earlier this year.

July 19, 2017

Minnie Van Service Starts at Walt Disney World

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Starting this month at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, the Minnie Van service is a whimsical, point-to-point transportation service that will help guests get around Walt Disney World Resort in a jiffy. Guests can order their own private Disney vehicle right from their smartphone and a Disney Cast Member will drive them wherever they want to go around Walt Disney World Resort. There is a flat fee of $20 to/from any location on Walt Disney World Resort property.

“Since we’re all about exceeding guest expectations and making every aspect of your vacation uniquely Disney, we’re creating a new point-to-point transportation service in a way that only Disney can do,” Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said.

July 15, 2017

Toy Story Land to Open at Walt Disney World Resort in Summer 2018

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Today, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts announced that Toy Story Land in Disney's Hollywood Studios will open in the summer of 2018.

When the land opens, you’ll find yourself shrunk to the size of a toy to explore the world of Andy’s backyard with your favorite Toy Story characters, including Woody and Buzz. And Toy Story Land will feature two new themed attractions.

Slinky Dog Dash will be a family coaster attraction where you’ll zip, dodge and dash around many turns and drops that Andy has created to really make Slinky and his coils stretch to his limits.

Alien Swirling Saucers will also be a new attraction at Toy Story Land. It’s designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Plans Unveiled for Star Wars-Inspired Themed Resort at Walt Disney World

Plans Unveiled for Star Wars-Inspired Themed Resort at Walt Disney World


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Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, just confirmed that a Star Wars-inspired resort will debut as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept.

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According to Bob, this revolutionary new vacation experience will be a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling.

“It’s unlike anything that exists today.” Bob said. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”

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Source: Disney Parks Blog

June 20, 2017

Disney Believes in Magic!

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Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando Magic Extend Community Sponsorship Agreement

ORLANDO, FLA., (June 20, 2017) – The Orlando Magic will have the power of pixie dust in its court starting next season, as Walt Disney World Resort becomes the basketball team’s first jersey sponsor. Starting with the 2017-18 NBA season, fans will feel the magic when the Disney logo is added on players’ jerseys as part of this expanded relationship.

“With Orlando as our hometown, magic has always been a key strand of our DNA,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “This expanded agreement with Disney brings our story full circle and represents the coming together of two dynamic organizations that have become synonymous with Orlando.”

Since becoming a Champion of the Community sponsor with the Magic in 2010, Disney has been working with the Magic on outreach initiatives that benefit the local community and make Central Florida a better place to live, work and play. The uniform sponsorship strengthens the relationship between Disney and the Magic and will connect both fan bases, provide shared marketing opportunities and cement Central Florida’s reputation as a global sports destination.

“At Walt Disney World Resort, we naturally believe in all things magic and are happy to support our hometown team,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “This long-term relationship symbolizes our shared focus of solidifying Orlando as a world class city for sports.”

As part of this multi-year agreement, Disney will expand its presence at the Amway Center by adding a special seating and hospitality area that may be used for annual passholder upgrades during select Orlando Magic home games. Disney-branded Orlando Magic jerseys will also be available for purchase at the Amway Center.

The Orlando Magic becomes the seventh NBA team to announce a jersey sponsorship. The Disney name will appear on the front left of the jersey and measure about 2½ by 2½ inches.

June 7, 2017

Walt Disney World is offering up to a $500 New Hire Incentive Bonus

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Walt Disney World Resort is offering up to a $500 New Hire Incentive Bonus for Bus Drivers, Lifeguards, Culinary and Housekeeping Positions, both full- and part-time opportunities, hired before June 30, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 7, 2017 – With summer right around the corner, Walt Disney World Resort is offering up to a $500 New Hire Incentive Bonus for select roles. Now through June 30, 2017, successful hires into full- and part-time opportunities in Housekeeping, Culinary, Bus Drivers and Lifeguards will be eligible to receive a new hire bonus.

Interested candidates should visit our website at www.WaltDisneyWorld.jobs for full eligibility requirements* and to see current openings.

Walt Disney World Resort is committed to providing Cast Members with opportunities to reach their professional goals through access to a wide range of benefits and training in transferable skills.

The Walt Disney Company offers a comprehensive total rewards package inclusive of complimentary theme park admission, access to onsite childcare centers, Cast-exclusive offerings and events, as well as discounts at select merchandise, dining and recreation locations throughout the resort. Full-time Cast Members may also be eligible to receive medical, dental and vision benefits, as well as paid time off. Benefits are subject to change.

*To be eligible for the sign-on bonus, Cast Members must be in the position continuously for at least 30 days after hire and be employed by The Walt Disney Company at time of payment. A Cast Member is hired after the successful completion of Disney Traditions or one full day of employment. To be eligible for an incentive bonus after 90 days, Cast Members must remain employed in the position continuously for at least 90 days and be employed by The Walt Disney Company at the time of payment. Payments will be made approximately two weeks after the 30 and 90-day milestones, respectively. Bonus payments are subject to applicable taxes and other legal withholding. Disputes concerning eligibility to a bonus payment shall be resolved by Walt Disney World Recruitment in its sole and absolute discretion. The incentives offered herein are subject to change at any time, with or without notice.

Disney is an equal opportunity employer, drawing creativity from diversity.

May 9, 2017

May is for Moms: 10 Ways to Celebrate Mom at Walt Disney World Resort

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Mother’s Day is the special time of year when you get to celebrate mom, and at Walt Disney World Resort you can treat mom to some truly unforgettable experiences that she will cherish forever. Whether mom enjoys getting pampered with a spa experience, indulging in delicious dining, or spending time exploring the attractions and shows inside the theme parks, there’s something special for every mom this Mother’s Day and throughout the month of May.

Here are 10 ways to spoil mom at Walt Disney World Resort:

1. Relax with a Spa Day

Treat mom to a relaxing spa experience Senses – A Disney Spa at either Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa or at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. Both offer a therapeutic haven of pampering and wellness with services including aromatherapy massages, water therapy, sugar exfoliation body treatments, rejuvenating citrus facials and more. Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort also offers a whimsical new nail treatment: Disney Nail Designs by Jamberry. Make it a mother/daughter day and have young spa-goers get matching Mickey, Minnie or Frozen nail decals with mom. To book a treatment at either spa, call 407-WDW-SPAS.

2. Try Your Hand at Cake Decorating

A new pastry experience at Disney Springs is sure to delight mom and all the sweettooths in the family. Amorette’s Patisserie, located next to the World of Disney store, offers a 90-minute cake decorating class led by expert pastry chefs. Participants will get to decorate their own iconic Mickey Character Cake. This experience is only available to those age 10 and up, with a minimum of two guests. Reservations can be made online at DisneyWorld.com/dining.

3. Indulge in Bountiful Brunch at Walt Disney World Restaurants

Show mom how important she is with a delicious brunch at one of Walt Disney World’s top-rated restaurants. Several, such as The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Garden Grove at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort, offer special Mother’s Day brunches on May 14 to celebrate mom. Several other Disney eateries offer a daily brunch. Dining reservations can be made online at DisneyWorld.com/dining or call 407-WDW-DINE.

4. Enjoy Dinner and a Captivating Show

Treat mom to an enchanting evening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a Rivers of Light dining package. Mom will enjoy a delicious meal from one of two restaurants and receive guaranteed seating for Animal Kingdom’s newest nighttime spectacle, Rivers of Light. The show combines water and light to celebrate the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world. Families can dine at either Tiffins or Tusker House for their pre-show dining experience. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dining or call 407-WDW-DINE.

5. Get Closer to Nature

Take mom on Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s newest nature tour, Caring for Giants. This hour-long expedition lets guests get a closer look at the African elephant herd on Kilimanjaro Safari’s savannah and learn what it takes to care for them. A dedicated animal specialist will detail how the animals are cared for and talk about the habits of these pachyderm. Guests must be at least 4 years old to participate. The tour is $30 per person. Reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-PLAY.

6. Tour the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Enjoy one of the many exclusive tours offered during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. In the Gardens of the World Tour, guests join horticulture experts to learn about the landscaping that goes into preparing for and maintaining the flora and fauna of this festival, including the artistic topiaries found throughout the park. In the English Tea Garden Tour Presented by Twinings of London, mom can stroll through an English tea garden and learn about the importance of this classic beverage in British culture. These tours, along with others, can be booked by calling (407) WDW-TOUR.

7. Explore Unique Resort Adventures

Take mom on a one-of-a-kind adventure at one of many Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Mom can fly high above Bay Lake with a parasailing excursion at Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. All fliers must be at least 6 years of age to take to the skies. Reservations can be made by calling (407) 939-7529. If she prefers to keep her feet closer to the ground, take her to Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. There, guests can see the horses that pull Cinderella’s carriage or trot up and down Main Street, USA. There are also pony rides, horse rides, carriage rides and more. Prices vary based on experience. Reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-PLAY.

8. Take in a Stage Show

Enjoy a theatrical day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by taking in all of the exciting stage shows in the park. Start mom’s day off with Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. This 25-minute experience retells the classic story of Beauty and the Beast in a Broadway-style musical complete with live renditions of the film’s songs, enchanting choreography and favorite characters. After experiencing the tale as old as time, stroll over to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. This action-packed, 30-minute show gives guests a peek into how stunt scenes are executed for thrilling movies like the Indiana Jones series. Cap off the day with Fantasmic!, a 30-minute nighttime show where Cheer on Mickey Mouse and friends as they fight to win back his imagination from the hands of various Disney villains.

9. Live Adventurous Thrill Rides

The daring mom will love a day taking on the exciting attractions at Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can complete the mountain challenge by riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain all in one day. Once those are conquered, they take a ride to see where ‘a million diamonds shine’ on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland. If younger ones are in tow, take flight on The Barnstormer located in Storybook Circus.

10. Give Mom a Night Out

Guests at Walt Disney World Resort can enjoy a grown up night out and drop the kids off at one of the Children’s Activity Centers. There are four convenient locations on property that provide supervised childcare for children ages 3-12. Centers include arts & crafts, video and board games, Disney movies, dinner and activities. For reservations, see the resort’s front desk or call (407) 939-3463.

Camp Dolphin, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
Lilo’s Playhouse at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Sandcastle Club, Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Simba’s Cubhouse, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

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 26, 2017

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.

April 24, 2017

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.

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

March 24, 2017

Fast Pass+ Reservations for Pandora Now Online

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IMPORTANT: You will not be able to book a FastPass+ for both Pandora attractions on the same day.

Great news for those of you anxiously counting the days until the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27 – FastPass+ reservations are now open to experience the land’s never-before-seen attractions for guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

As you may know, Pandora – The World of Avatar will transport guests to a visually stunning world with floating mountains, bioluminescent plants and more. It’ll also feature two one-of-a-kind attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage, which will allow guests to fly on a banshee over the world of Pandora and the family friendly Na’vi River Journey, which will send guests down a mystical river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest.

Guests at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can reserve FastPass+ selections for the two attractions up to 60 days prior to check in, beginning today. For all other guests who have pre-purchased valid park admission, reservations will be available starting 30 days prior to their visit, beginning May 27, 2017. You may select one of these two attractions in your first set of Disney FastPass+ selections, depending on availability.

And beginning May 27 (through July 4), guests staying in select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have the opportunity to experience Pandora — The World of Avatar with special nighttime Extra Magic Hours. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with a valid theme park admission can fly on the back of a banshee, navigate a mystical river and walk under floating mountains beyond regular park hours – from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. This benefit is in addition to the Extra Magic Hours already available to you at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

DIsney Parks Blog

Music of Pixar Live Debuts May 26th

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The Music of Pixar Live! Will Debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios This Summer

This summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will present “The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters.” This limited-time concert event will showcase memorable music from Pixar Animation Studios films, complete with a live orchestra and appearances by beloved Disney•Pixar characters.

Starting May 26, “The Music of Pixar LIVE!” will be presented three times nightly at Theater of the Stars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (following the regular daily performances of “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage”). The show will also feature highlights from some of Pixar’s greatest scores, from films like “Toy Story” to “Cars 3.” Guests can also expect appearances by Woody, Jessie, Mike and Sulley, the Incredibles and more.

January 31, 2017

Celebrate your team’s conference football championship at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

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Atlanta and New England fans can celebrate their teams’ successful seasons with a free night at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, while the residents of the champion’s state will be able to celebrate in style with a free room upgrade!

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Jan. 30, 2017 – The winners of this year’s big football game between Atlanta and New England will celebrate their victory in style – and now their fans can, too. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is once again rewarding fans with the “I’m off to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort!” deal for residents of each team’s state.

Residents of both Georgia and New England will receive a free night at the Epcot Resort-area resort when booking two nights at the standard price before February 28, 2017 for stays through Jan. 31, 2018.

For fans of the big game’s winner, there is even more in store. Residents of that team’s state will celebrate in style with a complimentary room upgrade.

Fans also can enjoy a championship-caliber meal at any of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s 17 restaurants and lounges, including Shula’s Steak House, the restaurant of the NFL’s winningest coach, Don Shula.

There’s no better place to celebrate a team’s victory than the place known for championship celebrations.

For additional information, or to make reservations, guests can call 1-800-227-1500 and mention their home state –Georgia or New England. Details of the offer are also available online at www.swandolphin.com/offers/biggame.html. Guests must have valid appropriate state identification (valid New England states include Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) to present upon check-in. Based on rate schedule availability. Offer is not valid Dec. 22 – 31, 2017. Taxes, resort services fee and gratuities not included. Not valid with any other special offers, promotions, or for existing reservations or groups.

January 20, 2017

ABC's 'The View' Comes to Walt Disney World Resort March 6-10

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Lucky Viewers Can Enter for a Chance to Join the Festivities in 'The View's "Magic Is Endless" Sweepstakes

The magic kicked off on The View recently as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto joined Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Jedediah Bila and Sunny Hostin live in studio to share the exciting news that “The View” will broadcast from Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. March 6-10 (11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET). The co-hosts will experience the endless magic of all four Walt Disney World theme parks, enjoy entertaining conversations on the hottest topics and welcome celebrity guests to the talk show’s stage at the majestic “Tree of Life.”

“The View” continues its year-long celebration of season 20 with its first-ever broadcast from Walt Disney World and ratings up across the board, making it the only broadcast daytime show to see gains in the key demos this season. The show previously broadcast for one week from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif. in March 2009 and from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. in Nov. 2013.

The excitement continues with “The View”’s “Magic Is Endless” Sweepstakes presented by American Tourister, offering the chance for three lucky viewers to win grand-prize packages including a trip for themselves and up to three guests each to Walt Disney World Resort, attend the taping of “The View” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and receive a $500 Disney gift card. Plus each grand-prize winner and their guests will receive a hardside carry-on suitcase featuring Disney and Star Wars characters courtesy of American Tourister.

The entry period ends Jan. 29 at 11:59 p.m. ET. “The View”’s “Magic is Endless” Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. No purchase necessary. Winners must travel between March 3-8, 2017. Viewers can learn more and enter for a chance to win at www.TheViewMagicIsEndlessSweepstakes.com or by visiting The View’s homepage at abc.com/theview, which contains full details and Official Rules.

January 4, 2017

"Delicious Disney, A Chef Series" Continues in 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort

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Imagine an intimate evening filled with delicious cuisine prepared just for you by an award-winning culinarian from Walt Disney World Resort. This year, the Walt Disney World Resort chefs launched a new dinner series to showcase the stellar talents of the culinary team; with unique and inspired culinary creations coupled with deliciously creative wine pairings. And the “Delicious Disney, A Chef Series” will continue in 2017 with the theme of “storytelling with food.” These dinners are a wonderful opportunity for epicureans to meet amazing chefs as they prepare specially themed meals for you.

The dinners are often intimate (no more than 60 guests), and the kickoff for 2017 will be Jan. 31 at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom Park. There will be nine dinners in all, in other locations including Markham’s at Golden Oak, Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Park, and backstage at the Walt Disney World Tree Farm. See the full schedule below.

All reservations may be booked by calling 407.939.5773 daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Prices range from $199 - $499 and includes tax, gratuity, and wine.

January 31st at 7:45 p.m. Fireworks Reception – 9 p.m. Dinner
Celebrate the Magic Kingdom Parks’s 45th Anniversary!
Featuring Magic Kingdom’s Culinary Director Robert Gilbert and Team
Location Cinderella’s Royal Table, Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park

February 22nd at 6:30pm
Come Explore a Journey around the World of Flavors
Featuring Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Culinary Director Robert Adams and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

April 26th at 6:30pm
Enjoy Legendary Culinary Moments from Disney Animation History
Featuring Victoria & Albert’s Chef de Cuisine Aimee Rivera and Team
Markham’s at Golden Oak

May 31st at 6:30pm
Celebrating the Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees Anniversary
Featuring Park Event’s Culinary Director Chef John Clark and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

June 28th at 6:30pm
A Culinary tribute to Ratatouille’s 10th Anniversary
Featuring Citricos’s Chef Dominque Filoni and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

July 19th at 6:30pm
Enjoy the exotic and exquisite tastes of a journey Under the Sea
Featuring Flying Fish’s Timothy Majoras and Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

August 16th at 6:30pm

A Walk around the World with Disney
Featuring Culinary Director Edwin Wronski and the Flavor Lab Team
Location Markham’s at Golden Oak*

September 5th at 8:30pm
Enjoy a sampling of the Beast’s favorite French Cuisine
Featuring Flavor Lab’s Chef de Cuisine Roland Muller with Magic Kingdom Park’s Culinary Director Robert Gilbert
Location Be Our Guest, West Wing, Magic Kingdom Park

December 6th at 6:30pm
Farm to Table Dining Experience
Featuring a collaboration of our Disney Chefs
Location The Tree Farm

*Markham’s at Golden Oak Events are hosted by Chef de Cuisine Phillip Ponticelli

December 8, 2016

Morimoto Asia Rings in the Holidays

Ready to ring in the holidays? Visit Morimoto Asia for new and inovative holiday cocktails!

Winter Wonderland, Fuji Apple Holiday Cider and more. (Click on the photo for a detailed image.)

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How about an Asian Whisky Flight? (Click on the photo for a detailed image.)

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Morimoto Asia is located in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.

December 6, 2016

New Land of Fantasy and a New Year Full of Magical Additions at Walt Disney World

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The unveiling of a magical, mythical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees anchors an exciting 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort – a year filled with new water park fun, a new festival for Epcot, more openings at Disney Springs, an awe-inspiring nighttime experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and much more.

Here’s a roundup at what the new year has in store:

Pandora – The World of Avatar – A transformational experience unlike any other, Pandora – The World of Avatar, opens in summer 2017. In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s epic film AVATAR, in a breathtaking new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Avatar Flight of Passage will send guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee. Bioluminescent rainforests dramatically wrap around Na’vi River Journey, a family-friendly boat ride.

Hungry adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the main dining location, or Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner. Shoppers can stock up on Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders. “From the place making to the two extraordinary attractions that will be in the land…these promise to set new high-watermarks for the experiential magic we give our guests,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Disney Parks and Resorts.

More Additions to Disney Springs in 2017 – With the multi-year makeover of this hip, happening district for dining, shopping and entertainment in the homestretch, still more exciting openings are on tap for 2017. Great new food and beverage venues lead the way.

Paddlefish – Sleek and modern after a bow-to-stern transformation from the former Fulton’s Crab House, Paddlefish will serve fresh seafood, steaks and chops. Unique menu choices for seafood lovers include a build-your-own boil. A new rooftop lounge will serve up a late-night menu and shipshape views of the water and Disney Springs. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Planet Hollywood Observatory – Longtime Downtown Disney-goers will remember the iconic domed restaurant that drew celebrities and fans of the Hollywood scene. The reborn space will be themed to stars of a different kind: a turn-of-the-20th-Century observatory serving up amazing burgers and sandwiches created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and craft cocktails whose names are inspired by the planets and space travel. Movie memorabilia, video screens, contemporary music and themed merchandise complete the scene.

The Polite Pig – A sister restaurant to the Ravenous Pig, a favorite with Orlando locals, The Polite Pig will bring the same focus on genuine Florida cuisine to a broader global audience at Disney Springs. Lunch and dinner menus will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including beer, wine and cocktails.

Wine Bar George – Orlando master sommelier George Miliotes uncorks his first Disney wine bar in a space reminiscent of a winemaker’s estate warmed by oak wood and cozy lighting. Small plates dominate the food menu but it will be the wines with a starring role: more than 100 selections both by the bottle and the glass in a range of varietals and vintages.

Home to four distinct neighborhoods, Disney Springs treats guests to a world of beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs, arcing foot bridges and waterfront charm. Venues have doubled – to approximately 150.

New Family Raft Ride at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Aboard this family-style raft adventure, guests will be immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer. Legend holds that this treasure hunter roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her at Typhoon Lagoon. Guests gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they will encounter some of Mary’s deep sea booty. When it opens in spring 2017, it will be one of the longest attractions (2 minutes) at Disney’s Water Parks.

Rivers of Light – Coming in 2017, this powerful theatrical production takes Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests on a magnificent emotional journey – a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark show on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world. With innovative and never-before-seen technology, Rivers of Light will be unlike any other production ever staged at Walt Disney World Resort.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts – Epcot welcomes an all-new festival playing winter weekends and treating guests to a triple scoop of artful fun. For six colorful weekends (Fridays through Mondays) Jan. 13-Feb. 20, visual, culinary and performing arts will take center stage. Each weekend will feature taste bud-tempting and eye-dazzling creations from the Disney culinary team. Meantime, exciting new art from various media will tempt art lovers. Because the artwork will change out, it’s a new art festival every weekend. In addition, the lagoon-side stage at American Gardens Theatre will pulse with favorite showtunes performed by Broadway talent. In a collaboration with Disney Theatrical, songs from some of Disney on Broadway’s award-winning shows including The Lion King, Newsies and Aladdin will be performed.

Unique All-New Experiences for Dining, Star Wars Fans – A new adventure in Disney dining and the ultimate Star Wars tour are being offered to guests in 2017.

Disney’s famed monorail is your connection in a movable feast called Highway in the Sky Dine-Around. The new experience gives guests priority boarding on the monorail for a distinctly Disney dining experience with stops for cocktails, appetizers, dinner and dessert. From a welcome cocktail at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, guests call at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (apps), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (entree) and back to the Contemporary for dessert, cordials and coffee. Offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

For the ultimate Star Wars fan comes the ultimate tour. An all-new Star Wars Guided Tour is a seven-hour immersion in all current Star Wars experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Character greetings, themed dining, ride experiences, insider’s tours, dessert party and VIP viewing of Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular are among highlights. Offered Mondays and Saturdays, it’s part of several new Star Wars additions announced in December 2016 for the park, including a new onstage sequence in the daytime experience “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.” Star Wars-themed lands are planned for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

New Cabins and Deluxe Villas coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – In 2017, a proposed new Disney Vacation Club Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is scheduled to open, featuring new Resort accommodations that include plans for Deluxe Villas and unique waterfront cabins. Other enhancements coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge include a brand-new bar & grill, in addition to a quick-service restaurant. A sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool, part of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is also scheduled to open in summer 2017. Named Boulder Ridge Cove, this area will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool.

New Cheerleading, Dance Venue for ESPN Wide World of Sports – A first-of-its-kind venue specifically designed for the high-energy world of cheerleading and dance team competition opens its doors in 2017 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The complex is collaborating with Varsity Spirit, the nation’s top cheerleading organization, in bringing the new multi-use venue to life. The venue will include a flexible design that allows for as many as four competition areas. With the ability to seat more than 8,000 guests, the sports and entertainment venue also can accommodate six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or be configured for concerts.

December 3, 2016

New PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs

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A brand-new Disney PhotoPass Studio just debuted in the Marketplace at Disney Springs, and is the perfect place to snap a family portrait.

At the Studio, guests can choose from the original standard background or new virtual backgrounds that place you front and center at some of your favorite Disney scenes. A Disney PhotoPass Photographer will be onhand to find the perfect virtual background for your portrait.

Along with additional portrait spaces, new view stations have been installed for you to easily preview, purchase and print all of your vacation memories linked to your Disney account with the assistance of a Disney PhotoPass Photographer*.

Reservations are not needed to visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio, and photos taken at this location will be linked to your My Disney Experience account. Studio photos are also included as part of an active Memory Maker entitlement.

*Online account registration required. Disney PhotoPass Service and Memory Maker are subject to the Disney PhotoPass and Memory Maker terms and applicable policies available at https://mydisneyphotopass.disney.go.com/help-and-support/policies. Photos in your account will expire pursuant to the expiration policy Downloads are restricted to personal use only. Not responsible for missing, lost or damaged photos. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

November 29, 2016

Highway in the Sky Dine-Around Launches Dec. 2 at Walt Disney World Resort

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The new Highway in the Sky Dine-Around will give guests priority boarding on the monorail for a dining journey around the circuit between Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

The journey starts with check-in at The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You then board the monorail to be whisked off to Disney’s Polynesian Resort to celebrate the spirit of the South Pacific with island-inspired sips and appetizers.

Afterward, you return to the monorail and head to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where you will enjoy a sumptuous wine dinner at award-winning Citricos. After dinner, sip sparkling wine and sample artisanal cheese in the Grand Floridian's lobby.

The monorail then takes you to your final stop -- Disney’s Contemporary Resort for dessert, cordials and coffee on a private patio with a view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks over Cinderella Castle.

Highway in the Sky Dine-Around is offered Tuesday, Friday and Sunday beginning December 2. Reservations open November 29. (No dine-around between Dec. 18 and Jan. 3). Cost is $150 plus tax and gratuity. Valet parking is included. For reservations, 407-WDW-DINE.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

November 16, 2016

New Special Ticket Offer Lets Guests Discover Endless Magic Starting this Holiday Season at All Four Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2016) – With so many new attractions and experiences to discover at each of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, there has never been a better time to plan a visit to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and a new special ticket offer, the 4 Park Magic Ticket, gives guests the chance to experience the distinctive magic in each park for only $70 per day plus tax.

Guests will be able to purchase the new 4 Park Magic Ticket, which provides one admission to each of the four theme parks on four separate days. Only available for a limited time, this special ticket offer may be used Nov. 15, 2016 through May 26, 2017, with block out dates including Dec. 17, 2016 – Jan. 2, 2017 and April 10 – 21, 2017.*

Here’s a look at some of the new experiences guests can look forward to:

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

-- New this holiday season, guests can experience the jolliest new nighttime spectacular, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Each evening through Dec. 31, the night is lit up with stunning projections, dazzling fireworks and state-of-the-art special effects that tell the story of Disney animated characters on a spirited yuletide adventure to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve.

-- Guests can venture to a galaxy far, far away anytime they would like with Star Wars Launch Bay, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular stage show, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, and special appearances by Star Wars characters.

Epcot

-- The spirit of the holidays comes to life around World Showcase with new Holidays Around the World marketplaces offering tasty bites and beverages, the Candlelight Processional with celebrity narrators sharing the Christmas story, and larger-than-life holiday decorations throughout the park.

-- Adventurers can take to new heights on Soarin’ Around the World, with new destinations that transport guests on a journey throughout the globe. Frozen fun awaits on the new Frozen Ever After attraction, taking guests into Arendelle.

Magic Kingdom Park

-- Guests can celebrate the spirit of the season with festive décor that sparkles throughout the park, with a gigantic Christmas tree welcoming guests to Main Street, U.S.A. and more, plus the Jungle Cruise transforms during the holiday season to the Jingle Cruise—with the skippers cracking holiday jokes and jolly decorations all around.

-- New this fall, the ‘Once Upon a Time’ nighttime spectacular illuminates Cinderella Castle and immerses guests in some of the most beloved Disney stories in an all-new projection show.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

-- Guests can now encounter the wonders of nature with rare animals both day and night. From the Tree of Life ‘awakening’ as the sun goes down, to taking an after-dark ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris, to soaking in the fun aboard Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest both day and night, there’s more to experience than ever before.

Guests may purchase this special ticket starting Nov. 15, 2016 through March 5, 2017 at DisneyWorld.com/tickets or by calling (407) 939-5277.

November 14, 2016

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil Special Performances Sunday November 20

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Two Special Performances - Sunday November 20th Only!

This Sunday, La Nouba will perform two shows deviating from its regular schedule of Tuesday - Saturday.

Enjoy a special matinee performance at 3pm. La Nouba will also have a performance at 6pm.

Families can save big on the performances, with tickets for children nine and under 50% off. With the discount, kids’ tickets start at just $24 with the purchase of an adult full price ticket. Tickets can be purchased at www.lanouba.com.

November 7, 2016

Baseball World Champions Celebrate Historic Victory with Magical Visit to Walt Disney World

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 5, 2016) – America’s love affair with its newest baseball heroes made its way to Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park on Saturday afternoon when baseball’s world champions did what so many sports champions do: They “go to Disney World!’’

Championship MVP Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell and Javier Baez, who all helped lead the Chicago Cubs to the world championship earlier this week, rode along with Mickey Mouse in a celebratory parade at Walt Disney World Resort. A throng of cheering fans, many dressed in the team’s colors, lined the parade route at Magic Kingdom waving “W’’ flags and holding signs. Mickey Mouse and Goofy both dressed for the occasion, wearing their classic baseball uniforms!

The players and their families enjoyed some of the theme park’s signature attractions, including Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Plus, they spent time hanging out with Mickey Mouse and Goofy and took photos to capture the memory.

“I can’t believe how many (Cubs fans) there were at the parade. It’s just unbelievable,’’ said Zobrist. “It’s an amazing following of people right here at Disney World.’’

The parade was the perfect exclamation point on a championship celebration that was 108 years in the making. The team last won baseball’s Fall Classic in 1908, the longest interval between championships in sports history.

The parade was also one of the most heart-warming salutes in Disney Parks’ long tradition of sports champions celebrating their victories by “Going to Disney World’’ which dates back to 1987.

The Cubs rallied from the brink of defeat (they were down 3-1 in the best-of-seven-game series) to win a nail-biting Game 7 in 10 innings. Zobrist hit a double in the 10th inning that scored the go-ahead run that led to their momentous victory.

Likewise, Russell and Baez were both huge contributors throughout the Cubs’ playoff run. Baez accounted for the Cubs’ only run – a solo homer – in their 1-0 win over the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series. And Russell hit a grand slam home run in Game 6 that helped force the deciding Game 7, keeping the team’s title hopes alive.

Three Holiday Specials Featuring Star-Studded Performances from Disney Parks and Disney|ABC Television Group

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Nov. 2, 2016–Disney kicks off the holidays with three musical specials originating from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. The shows will be presented on Disney|ABC Television Group platforms, including ABC Television Network, Disney Channel, the ABC and Disney Channel apps and VOD, among other branded digital platforms. The holiday specials will include performances by some of the world’s most popular recording artists, celebrity hosts, Disney character appearances and heartwarming wish-come-true moments for three lucky families from across the country.

Julianne Hough (“Grease: Live”) and Derek Hough (“Hairspray Live”) are set to host two specials on ABC – “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, Nov. 24 (8:00–10:00 p.m. EST), and “The Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration” on Christmas morning, Sunday, Dec. 25 (9:00–11:00 a.m. EST; airtimes vary, check local listings). Julianne, who will also act as executive producer on the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials, and Derek are longtime “Dancing With the Stars” fan favorites with multiple Emmy Awards and mirror ball trophies between them.

Stars of “Descendants 2,” the highly anticipated sequel to the global smash hit “Descendants,” will host and perform holiday songs in “Disney Parks Presents: A Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration” on Disney Channel on Friday, Nov. 25 (8:00–9:00 p.m. EST). Hollywood Records recording artists Forever In Your Mind and Sofia Carson will also perform holiday songs.

Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks join the festivities, performing on all three holiday specials. The multi Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning artists will light up the night singing duets from their newly released album, “Christmas Together” (Pearl Records, Inc.), plus solo performances, all from the steps of the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.

Multi Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson will also perform on all three holiday specials. From iconic locations across the Walt Disney World Resort, the talented singer, songwriter and author will perform songs from her 2013 Christmas record, “Wrapped in Red,” in addition to one of her most popular hit songs.

On each of the specials, ABC and Disney Channel stars will also grant wishes to families throughout the Disney theme parks, part of Disney’s “Share the Joy” campaign, inspiring families to spread goodwill this holiday season by giving back and volunteering to help others.

“Disney Channel Holiday Hits,” an album featuring holiday songs performed during “Disney Parks Presents: A Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration” will be released from Walt Disney Records on Friday, November 18. The album features four songs: “Jolly to the Core,” a holiday rendition of “Rotten to the Core” from “Descendants” (performed by Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce and Booboo Stewart); “Silent Night” (performed by Sofia Carson); “This Christmas” (performed by China Anne McClain) and “Celebrate,” an original song from Forever In Your Mind.

The holiday specials are being produced by Disney|ABC Television Group and IMG.

The multi-platform programming schedule is:

THANKSGIVING – THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24

“The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” premieres on the ABC Television Network (8:00–10:00 p.m. EST) and on the ABC app. Join Emmy Award-winners Julianne and Derek Hough as they host the magical two-hour special from the Walt Disney World Resort. They join “Descendants 2” star Sofia Carson to kick off the holiday season in a way only Disney can, showcasing extraordinary music performances, special appearances and some unforgettable Disney magic moments.

Musical performances include:

Solo and duet performances by Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks from their newly released album, “Christmas Together.”
Kelly Clarkson performing “Underneath the Tree” and “”

Additional performances will be announced in the coming weeks.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25

“Disney Parks Presents: A Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration” premieres on Disney Channel (8:00–9:00 p.m. EST) and on the Disney Channel app and Disney Channel VOD, beginning at 12:01 a.m. PST. The special will be available on-demand and will be featured in encore presentations on Disney Channel through Tuesday, December 20.

Musical performances include:

“Jolly to the Core,” performed by Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson and Booboo Stewart.
“Descendants 2” star China Anne McClain performing “This Christmas.”
“Silent Night,” performed by Hollywood Records and Republic Records recording artist Sofia Carson.
Forever In Your Mind performing “Celebrate.”
Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks perform a holiday duet from their newly released album, “Christmas Together.”
Kelly Clarkson will also be performing a song.

ABC stars and Disney Channel stars Jenna Ortega and Isaak Presley, of “Stuck in the Middle,” and “Bizaardvark” stars Olivia Rodrigo and Madison Hu will join Carson and Boyce in surprising families from around the country, who are dedicated to various philanthropic efforts, with once-in-a-lifetime experiences throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

CHRISTMAS – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25

“The Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration” will air on the ABC Television Network (9:00–11:00 a.m. EST; airtimes vary, check listings) and on the ABC and Disney Channel apps. This Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates the joy of the holiday season, as hosts Julianne and Derek Hough take viewers on a magical ride down Main Street and beyond. The Christmas Day celebration will be bigger and brighter than ever before, bringing together the beloved Christmas day parade, magical musical performances, surprise celebrity guests and heart-warming family stories to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Musical performances include:

Solo and duet performances by Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks from their newly released album, “Christmas Together.”
Kelly Clarkson performing “Underneath the Tree.”

Sofia Carson performs “Silent Night,” featuring an alternate musical arrangement from her performance on Disney Channel, and also hosts from backstage.
“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire)” performed by Jordan Fisher, who will also make his Broadway debut in “Hamilton” on November 22.

Additional performances will be announced in the coming weeks.

October 28, 2016

Walt Disney World Resort Sparkles with Endless Magic During the 2016 Holiday Season

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Deck the halls! Walt Disney World Resort does that and plenty more this holiday season -- turning up the yuletide magic with new shows, thrilling spectaculars, beloved characters to create lasting memories, yummy and festive holiday treats, and theme parks and resort hotels all aglitter with holly, jolly decorations.

Here’s a sampling of the holiday fun in store for guests:

Magic Kingdom

· Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: It’s a Christmas party like no other, with joyful music, a shimmering Cinderella Castle, characters in their festive finery and the Magic Kingdom decked out and even more magical for merry-making guests of all ages. Disney princes join princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall. Guests can meet Nick and Judy from “Zootopia” in Tomorrowland. The special party – complete with cookies, cocoa and snow flurries – begins at 7 p.m., after regular park hours. Dates for this year:

November 7 ,8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29

December 1, 2, 4 ,6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16 ,18, 22

For more information and to purchase tickets for this after-hours spectacular: Disneyworld.com/Christmasparty

· All new! Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration: New to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Mickey and his pals host some of their friends for an unforgettable Christmas soiree filled with medleys of delightful classic and contemporary holiday songs, and magical holiday projections on Cinderella Castle building to a sensational, snowy finale. (Also available Dec. 23 – 31 during regular park operating hours).

· Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade: The enchanting holiday parade during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party transforms Main Street, U.S.A. Santa Claus, gingerbread men, elves, reindeer, toy soldiers and other friends from the North Pole join Mickey and his pals. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf from “Frozen” join in the fun.

· A Frozen Holiday Wish (Castle Dream Lights): This season, the wintry wonder and magic of Disney’s blockbuster “Frozen” enchants park guests as Queen Elsa transforms Cinderella Castle into a glimmering, shimmering ice palace for the holidays.

· Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season: The night sky bursts with color high above Cinderella Castle with a holiday fireworks spectacular.

Epcot

· New Holidays Around the World Marketplaces – Explore what the holidays taste like around the globe at five new marketplaces: indulge in duck confit and dumplings from the Alpine Haus Marketplace, celebrate with the shredded beef tamale from the Three Kings Feast Marketplace, toast with Williams Punch from the Germany Marketplace, and more.

· Holidays Around the World entertainment – Enjoy the sights and sounds of the nations of World Showcase, as each country’s holiday heritage comes to life amid joyful music and time-honored traditions.

· A cherished Epcot tradition, the Candlelight Processional captures the spirit of the season in the retelling of the Christmas story by celebrity narrators, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and choir. The Candlelight Processional is performed three times each evening, 5:00, 6:45 and 8 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre from Nov. 25-Dec. 30. Narrators in 2016 include Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Meredith Vieira, and Cal. Ripken, Jr. Candlelight dinner packages are available through Disneyworld.com/holiday.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

· An all-new nighttime spectacular, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!,” premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Nov. 14-Dec. 31, sending beloved Disney animated characters on a spirited yuletide adventure to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” combines state-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects and Christmas music to create a dazzling, one-of-a-kind holiday experience for guests – capped by a special message from Santa himself.

· A new dessert party themed to the show will be offered nightly, one hour prior to each performance, in the courtyard of the Chinese Theater. Guests who book the “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Holiday Party enjoy holiday-inspired snacks, decadent desserts and specialty beverages. Guests can call 407/WDW-DINE or visit Disneyworld.com to reserve their spot (November 14-December 17, $69 adults, $39 children, including taxes and gratuities; December 18-31 $79 adults, $45 children, including taxes and gratuities).

· New for 2016 is the opportunity to meet Santa Claus at the Once Upon a Time shop. The beautiful and vintage setting reflects the bygone days of Santa’s visits to the great department stores across the country.

· During the holiday season, “Tinsel Town” takes on a new meaning at the theme park celebrating the magic of movies and television. A giant Christmas tree towers over the main entrance, holiday displays capture the imagination, shops along Hollywood Boulevard welcome holiday shoppers and colorful garlands and lights sparkle throughout the park.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s adventure park presents holiday themes in a whole new “dark.” Decorations park-wide frame new daytime-into-night experiences, including Tree of Life transformations, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali Rivers Rapids and Expedition Everest.

· Guests will be greeted, at the park’s entrance, by a dramatic, animal-themed holiday tree.

· Mickey and Minnie don their holiday best to meet and greet guests at Adventurers Outpost. Their friends Santa Goofy, Baloo, King Louie, Donald and Chip and Dale also show off their holiday finest.

Disney Springs

With a multi-year makeover nearly complete, every corner of Disney Springs is wrapped and ready for its first full season of holiday cheer. Disney Springs becomes “the place to be” as each of its four neighborhoods is transformed through festive décor, entertainment and holiday shopping at exciting new retail locations, from name-brand to cozy boutiques to everything in between.

A sampling of what’s new:

· Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail: To capture the spirit of the holidays, Marketplace guests can stroll among 15 custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme.

· At the Once Upon a Toy Fountain (Marketplace), toys have magically come alive for an interactive holiday dance party nightly on the plaza. There’s pin trading, a nightly tree lighting ceremony and more.

Marketplace will be a holiday shopper’s delight. Seasonal offerings will fill shelves at Disney’s Days of Christmas, Art of Disney, Wonderful World of Memories, Marketplace Fun Finds and Marketplace Co-Op. Goofy’s Candy Co. is the place for yummy holiday treats. At Art of Disney, guests can find sketch artists doing holiday artwork. Meantime, some of the most recognizable names in retailing have opened their doors at Town Center, alongside venues unique to central Florida.

At Every Corner of Our World: Holiday Displays

Disney bakers and magic-makers transform Disney resort hotels and theme parks for the holidays. Just a few of the festive sights to greet guests:

· Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will feature an African Marketplace – made of gingerbread.

· Guests of Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Grand Canyon Concourse) will marvel at a world of majestic mountains and fjords anchored by a 17-foot-tall Gingerbread Holiday Ice Castle, inspired by Frozen and adorned with sugar snowflakes, gingerbread shingles and chocolate-coated trees.

· An annual treat, a life-sized holiday gingerbread house, is an eye-filling (and aroma-savoring) sight in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The Bake Shop uses a classic gingerbread recipe from Austria for its cookies and ornaments.

· A life-sized, edible spinning carousel is a holiday tradition at Disney’s Beach Club Resort while a holiday village with miniature train holds forth at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.

No holiday is complete without a special dining experience. Holiday menus that celebrate the season may be found at restaurants throughout Walt Disney World Resort. For holiday dining information and reservations, call 407 WDW-DINE.

October 3, 2016

2017-2018 Ambassadors Selected to Represent Walt Disney World Resort

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – When it comes to making magic at Walt Disney World Resort, every role Disney Cast Members play is a starring role. But there’s one that stands out among the rest, represents more than 74,000 Cast Members and shares the inspiration of Disney throughout the resort and community – the role of Walt Disney World Ambassador.

Ken Facey and Brandon Peters learned they were selected for this highly esteemed position, as the pair were named the 2017-2018 Walt Disney World Ambassador team. Prior to the announcement, Ken served as a leader at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, supporting the housekeeping and custodial team, while Brandon was in entertainment as a performer and part of the 2016 Disney University Traditions team.

“Today we selected two Cast Members who will continue the tradition of bringing to life the values that make Disney special, such as innovation, optimism and exceptional service,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “As they represent more than 74,000 Cast Members who call Central Florida home, Ken and Brandon will share our heritage and legacy with our guests, Cast Members and community.”

In a special ceremony, the 2017-2018 Disney Ambassador team was surprised with news of their new roles by Kalogridis and an executive selection panel. Current Walt Disney World Ambassadors Caitlin Busscher and Nathaniel Palma, as well as several Walt Disney World Ambassador alumni, joined the close-knit group of well-wishers congratulating the new team.

A South Florida native, Brandon Peters grew up with the Walt Disney World Resort in his backyard. Knowing from a young age that he wanted to be a performer, Brandon got the coveted role of part-time Walt Disney World performer as he worked toward a fine arts degree at the University of Central Florida. After years of dancing down Main Street U.S.A. and waltzing on the Cinderella Castle stage, Brandon moved to Louisville, Ky. to be an apprentice at the prestigious Actors Theatre of Louisville. He returned to Walt Disney World Resort as an equity performer for Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial.

Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., Ken dreamed of working at Walt Disney World Resort. His dream came true when he joined the Disney College Program as an attractions host in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park. Since then, Ken has continued to share the magic of Disney with roles in operations, guest relations, lodging and custodial guest services. Along the way, he served the Disney University Traditions program, helping to welcome and inspire thousands of new Disney Cast Members. Ken also spent time as a guest correspondent, responding to letters from guests about special moments created by Disney Cast Members.

Today’s ceremony was the culmination of an intensive, two-month search for candidates who demonstrate enthusiasm for community service, passion for Disney guest service, knowledge of Disney heritage and business, professionalism, integrity, compassion and character. Every two years, thousands of Cast Members are invited to participate in the ambassador selection process, which includes several rounds of interviews.

Following a three-month training in Florida and California, the team will begin their busy two-year term, which lasts from Jan. 1, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018. With thousands of events to attend throughout the year, the Ambassadors are responsible for duties such as championing the Disney VoluntEARS program, supporting company programs and business initiatives, serving as master of ceremonies at park events and recognizing Cast Members’ milestones and achievements.

The Disney Ambassador tradition began during the 10th anniversary of Disneyland when Walt was overwhelmed with requests for appearances and media interviews. Since he chose the first Disney Ambassador to serve in 1965, the program has evolved to represent the company, its Cast Members and ideals throughout 50 years of Disney milestones.

October 1, 2016

New Benefits Coming to Walt Disney World Passholders During Resort's 45th Anniversary Year

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Wrapped in exciting fall events, the merriest of holiday happenings and a 2017 filled with spectacular openings, Walt Disney World Resort is marking its 45th anniversary — and unwrapping three special offers for passholders.

Popular Walt Disney World passes, good for theme park admission, valuable Disney savings and other perks throughout the year, gets even sweeter to mark the anniversary:

-- New dining and merchandise benefits – Passholders will receive 10 percent off food and nonalcoholic beverages at select table-service restaurants at theme parks and Disney resort hotels and 20 percent off purchases at Disney owned-and-operated merchandise locations. These new benefits will continue even after the anniversary comes to an end on Sept. 30, 2017.

-- Even more savings exclusively during the 45th anniversary – In addition to the ongoing benefits, passholders can save up to 20 percent off the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages at select restaurants in the theme parks, resort hotels and Disney Springs, as well as dinner shows. Passholders can choose from 45 restaurants participating in this special offer during the 45th anniversary year that runs now through Sept. 30, 2017. Among the great restaurant choices: Signature Dining (Flying Fish, Artist Point, Citricos) and Family Dining (Jungle Skipper Canteen, Wave of American Flavors). And, for the first time in forever, savings are available at select quick-service locations.

-- Get 13 months for the price of 12 – Guests who purchase a 12-month pass will enjoy 13 months of unsurpassed passholder magic filled with seasonal events, unique attractions and stellar entertainment. New passes must be purchased between Oct. 2, 2016 and Jan. 3, 2017. Prices vary depending on pass type selected – Weekday Select, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus.

In addition to offering theme park admission, passes include special savings on resort hotel rooms, merchandise, recreation, sports, tours and spa treatments. Passholders will find still more savings on admission to special events and entertainment. Passes also add value and convenience with benefits like standard parking, park-hopping privileges and a Magic Band.

With all the magic happening now and coming soon to Walt Disney World Resort, there’s never been a better time to be a passholder. Here’s just a sampling of events and happenings:

-- The 21st Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, on now through Nov. 14, features celebrated chefs, more than 30 marketplaces, wine seminars, workshops, dining and tasting events, and the Eat to the Beat Concerts.

-- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, on select dates now through Oct. 31, brings spooktacular fun to the Magic Kingdom with a Halloween parade, themed fireworks, trick or treating, and a stage show featuring Disney villains.

-- Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort means enchanting fun with dazzling lights, spirited song and snow flurries. Events include Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and an all-new stage show at Magic Kingdom, Candlelight Processional at Epcot, plus caroling, tree-lighting ceremonies and visits by Santa himself.

-- Pandora – The World of Avatar (2017) – The awe-inspiring land envisioned by filmmaker James Cameron comes to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with floating mountains and bioluminescent rain forests.

-- Disney Springs completes its build out, reimagined from Downtown Disney. There’s more shopping, dining and entertainment than ever before all set among beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm. With more than 150 establishments, Disney Springs include trendsetting brands like UNIQLO, kate spade new york and Zara along with and one-of-a-kind boutiques. Foodies can savor everything from tasty food-truck treats to celebrity-chef restaurants.

For more information on either offer or to sign up for a pass, guests can visit DisneyWorld.com/passholders

September 29, 2016

Disney Parks Salutes U.S. Military with Special Tickets, Room Rates for 2017

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — At Walt Disney World Resort from Sept. 28, 2016 through Dec. 16, 2017, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active or retired members of the National Guard, Reservists, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)) or their spouses can purchase:

-- Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $209 each, plus tax.
-- Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $209 each, plus tax.
-- Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $246 each, plus tax.
-- Disney 5-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $224 each, plus tax.
-- Disney 5-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $224 each, plus tax.
-- Disney 5-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $261 each, plus tax.

Walt Disney World Resort tickets may be used Jan.1, 2017, through Dec. 19, 2017, except that the tickets may not be used April 9-23, 2017.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by Dec. 19, 2017.

At the Disneyland Resort - from Nov. 1, 2016 through Dec. 16, 2017, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active or retired members of the National Guard, Reservists, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA))) or their spouses can purchase:

-- Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $156 each.
-- Disney Military Promotional 4-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $181 each.

Disneyland tickets may be used Jan. 1 - Dec. 19, 2017, except that the tickets may not be used April 9 - 23, 2017.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by Dec. 19, 2017.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also take advantage of specially priced rooms at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels.* This offer is valid for stays most nights from Jan. 1 - Dec. 19, 2017, except for April 9-23, 2017.

For information on Disney 4-Day/5-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to Walt Disney World Resort, or to make room reservations at Walt Disney World Resort, military personnel may call 407-939-5684 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices. For information regarding Disney 3-Day/4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort, or to make room reservations at the Disneyland Resort, military personnel may call 866-943-7872 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices. Information is also available at DisneyMilitaryOffers.com.

Here are some other details guests should know about:

-- Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets ONLY by Eligible Service Members (defined below) or their spouses (but not both), for use by themselves and other family members and friends, as provided herein. These Tickets may not be otherwise transferred, distributed or resold.

-- “Eligible Service Members” are active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

-- The actual prices charged at the individual U.S. military base ticket offices for Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be less than the prices set forth above.

-- Participating military sales outlets must require that Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) present valid military identification to purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets.

-- Subject to certain exceptions, Disney 4-Day/5-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort are not valid until activated by the Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) at Walt Disney World theme park ticket windows. Tickets and options expire and may not be used after December 19, 2017. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

-- Disney 3-Day/4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort expire and may not be used after December 19, 2017. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

-- No more than six (6) Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased and (if applicable) activated by any Eligible Service Member or spouse (regardless of the place of purchase and whether purchased by that person or that person’s spouse). In addition, one of the six (6) Tickets purchased must be used by the Eligible Service Member or his/her spouse.

-- Each Disney Military Promotional Ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days.


*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply. Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in, and military member (or spouse) must stay in the room. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Additional per-adult charges apply at the Walt Disney World Resort if there are more than two adults per room. Other restrictions apply.

September 26, 2016

Walt Disney World Resort Celebrating a Season of WonderFALL Experiences

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The arrival of fall marks one of the best times of the year to indulge in sips, savors, songs and scares across the Walt Disney World Resort. Special events and seasonal celebrations all add up to create the “WonderFALL” world of Disney.

Here’s some of what’s in store this fall:

Epcot

The most delicious time of year is underway at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Running now until November 14, the 21st epicurean adventure features five new marketplaces, and for the first time in the Festival’s history, an expansion into the Disney resorts. At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa there’s a fabulous “brunch with a twist” prepared by top chefs from across Walt Disney World Resort. Guests can also get a behind-the-scenes look at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney Polynesian Village Resort. Interactivity is also a star of the Festival this year, providing guests the chance to prepare food and drinks along-side Disney and celebrity chefs and mixologists.

Eight new acts join the Eat to the Beat concert series, including Plain White T’s, Soul Asylum and Jeffrey Osborne. For those who want a music-and-meal combination, dining packages guarantee seats to popular restaurants including Le Cellier, Les Chefs de France and Spice Road Table and to that evening’s concert. This year, premium events like the themed Party for the Senses and Rockin’ Burger Block Party include different live entertainment each night.

While guests explore the 30 marketplaces around World Showcase, they can stop by the Norway Pavilion to visit the kingdom of Arendelle in the new Frozen Ever After attraction. Beloved characters, songs from the hit movie “Frozen” and an icy-blast await. Princesses Elsa and Anna are also in residence at their nearby Royal Sommerhus vacation cabin where guests can meet them in person.

After tasting their way around the globe, guests can fly around it: Soarin’ Around the World is a multisensory, hang-gliding-like adventure over the most popular landmarks and stunning sights across six continents.

Magic Kingdom

Happy haunts come out to socialize when Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place at Magic Kingdom Park on 29 select nights now through October 31. Favorite Disney Characters join the fun, decked in costumes and ready for trick-or-treating. In between the treat trails and attractions, live entertainment stirs up mischief: the Sanderson Sisters return to the Cinderella Castle stage for the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. Partygoers can also catch the eerie and whimsical procession of “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” before the “HalloWishes” fireworks spectacular lights up the sky.

For guests who prefer their treats during daylight hours, the Magic Kingdom is all decked out with festive fall decor. New park entertainment includes the new Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire that brings together Mickey Mouse and his pals for a musical celebration on the castle stage. The daily show features Disney’s contemporary characters and classic songs.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A bewitching dance party awaits at Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Every Friday and Saturday night in October (and of course on Halloween, Oct. 31), Dr. Facilier hosts a lineup of dastardly dancing divas – Maleficent, the Queen of Hearts, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen – Potion Bar beverages and New Orleans-inspired cuisine. For tickets, guests can call 407-WDW-DINE/407-939-3463.

An out-of-this-world fireworks and projection show fueled by The Force paints the sky over Disney’s Hollywood Studios nightly in Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Set to the stirring and unforgettable music from the saga, this visual journey takes guests scavenging with Rey on Jakku, navigating through an asteroid field, soaring down the trench of the Death Star and delivering the final blow to destroy Starkiller Base, transporting guests to a galaxy far, far away.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Mystery and majesty come alive as night “falls” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The theme park’s iconic Tree of Life undergoes extraordinary “awakenings” throughout the evening as animal spirits are brought to life by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment. Animal encounters shift at twilight, too, as darkness camouflages the boundaries between wildlife and guests on sunset excursions with Kilimanjaro Safaris. Guest can also dance alongside African performers in Harambe and indulge in the new signature restaurant, Tiffins.

Disney Springs
The four neighborhoods of Disney Springs are now open, bringing guests 150 new establishments for world-class shopping, unique dining, and high-quality entertainment. Wrapped in Florida-inspired, made-for-strolling promenades, arcing footbridges, flowing streams and small-town charm, the waterfront district is a collection of unique and high-end brand names, James Beard award-winning chefs, and even amphibious cars.

Florida’s ideal fall weather means it’s the perfect time to sip a cocktail or indulge in a meal created by a celebrity chef at one of the many new waterfront restaurants.

To learn more about all that’s happening around the WonderFALL world of Disney, guests may visit Disneyworld.com or call (407) 939-5277.

August 30, 2016

Fall Finale Announced for Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire

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As colors change along Main Street, U.S.A. with the onset of fall at Magic Kingdom Park, “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” is also preparing to mark the season with enhancements to the show’s grand finale.

Beginning September 2, the finale scene in “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” will feature new costumes, décor and choreography. You’ll also hear an original song celebrating autumn, from the songwriting duo of Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn who composed the show’s catchy tune “On This Day.”

Presented on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage, “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” brings to life beloved Disney stories both classic and contemporary in a spectacular performance featuring memorable music, lively dancing, delightful costumes and special effects magic. Mickey and his troupe of Merry Makers have invited friends from other lands to join them in a grand celebration. In addition to favorites like Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy, the show also brings together a wonderful cast of characters including Anna, Elsa and Olaf from “Frozen;” Rapunzel, Flynn Rider and the gang from the Snuggly Duckling in “Tangled;” and Tiana, Naveen and Louis from “The Princess and the Frog.”

Also starting this weekend is the special fall edition of the popular Main Street Trolley Show, greeting everyone along the avenue with a joyous song all about “the magic that can happen when it’s autumn.” So be sure to head on out to Magic Kingdom Park this fall and take in all the wonderful sights and sounds of the season!

August 16, 2016

Celebrate Disney PhotoPass Day August 19th

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On Friday, August 19, PhotoPass teams at both the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will celebrate the art and fun of photography at Disney Parks through the first-ever #DisneyPhotoPassDay, a one-day celebration that will feature exciting offerings and experiences for guests.

Special Character Experiences At Magic Kingdom Park & Epcot

Enjoy special character experiences at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, where Disney PhotoPass photographers will capture your encounter with Pinocchio, Gideon and Foulfellow in Storybook Circus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At Epcot, a friend or foe will join some of your favorite Disney characters around World Showcase, including Mushu and Mulan in the China Pavilion; Snow White and Dopey in the Germany Pavilion; and the Queen of Hearts, who will join Alice in the United Kingdom Pavilion. Check the My Disney Experience app or the Epcot Times Guide on August 19 for these Disney characters’ schedule.

Complimentary Photo Locations at All Disney Parks & Disney Springs

There will be one location at each of the four theme parks (and Disney Springs) at the Walt Disney World Resort and at both parks at Disneyland Resort where a Disney PhotoPass photographer will capture your special moment. That photo will be available in the My Disney Experience app at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland app at Disneyland Resort to download and share at no charge as part of the #DisneyPhotoPassDay celebration. (Normal My Disney Experience registration is required to access the image). Check out Disney’s PhotoPass Service Facebook page on Tuesday for a list of participating photo locations.

Participate in a Disney PhotoPass Challenge

Complete a Disney PhotoPass Challenge at any of our parks at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort to get a Disney PhotoPass photo on us. All you need to do is get your photo taken by a Disney PhotoPass Photographer at each of the designated challenge locations on August 19. Once you’ve stopped by all of the locations, visit a Disney PhotoPass Sales Center to claim your Disney PhotoPass photo. At the Walt Disney World Resort, participants will receive a voucher for one Disney PhotoPass download. Participants at Disneyland Resort will receive one 5×7 print of a Disney PhotoPass photo. Challenge locations and details will be posted on the Disney’s PhotoPass Service Facebook page on Wednesday.


(Note: All theme park offerings are included in park admission and any character experiences are subject to change).

Two New Holiday Event Packages Now Available at Walt Disney World Resort

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Groups can Celebrate the Season with a Festive Catered Experience

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Available just in time for the 2016 holiday season, groups can now enjoy two new event offerings at Walt Disney World Resort including the Winter Wonderland Escape package available at Disney's Contemporary Resort and the Holiday Memories offering available at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. From gatherings of family and friends to corporate and social groups, it has never been easier to celebrate the holidays -- with a touch of Disney magic.

Available December 2 through December 29, the new event packages include immersive theming and specially designed menus offering an affordable way for teams, organizations or families to experience the wonder of the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort.

At Disney's Contemporary Resort Convention Center, guests will enter an elegant ballroom and find themselves transported into a world of snow-capped evergreens and larger-than-life snowflakes through the Winter Wonderland Escape package. Available for groups of 20 to 200 guests, the customizable holiday experience offers lunch and dinner menus featuring festive holiday fare such as Herb Panko-Crusted North Atlantic Cod, Turkey Meatballs tossed with Maple-Granny Smith Apple Gastrique and Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake.

Classic holiday merriment abounds through the Holiday Memories package at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort Convention Center where guests will be immersed in a classic atmosphere featuring red, green and gold tables decorated with assorted ornaments and flickering candlelight. Lighting projections will illuminate the walls with holiday gifts, candy canes and holly, adding a joyful tone. Available for groups of 20 to 80 guests, this holiday event offers lunch and dinner menus featuring festive bites such as Carved Maple-Glazed Turkey with Thyme Jus, Mama's Pot Roast with Pan Gravy and a variety of holiday dessert selections.

Pricing for both event options start at $45 inclusive* per person** for lunch and $70 inclusive* per person** for dinner. Additional enhancements are available to customize event experiences including culinary action stations with renowned Disney chefs, festive performances by a string trio or small group of carolers, or an appearance by a beloved Disney character such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in their best holiday attire.

In addition to these exciting new event offerings, guests can also enjoy other seasonal activities available at Walt Disney World Resort including Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party available select nights at Magic Kingdom Park or the popular Candlelight Processional at Epcot. ***

These affordable new holiday event packages are just two of many customizable options available at Walt Disney World Resort, offering unique locations, décor, culinary experiences, group activities and character appearances. With more than 700,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, Walt Disney World Resort also features four theme parks, two night nighttime entertainment districts, three championship golf courses, world-class spas and endless recreation opportunities for meeting attendees and their guests.

To learn more about hosting a Disney holiday event visit www.disneymeetings.com or call 321-939-7129.

*Includes tax and service fees.
**Minimum of 20 attendees required.
***Valid Theme Park admission or special event ticket required. Events and dates are subject to change.

August 9, 2016

Free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD

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Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland?

Perhaps you are wishing you were planning a trip and want to feel a little of the magic!

A free Disney DVD is available to you now.

The Walt Disney World DVD will give you a tour of the 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and over 20 resort hotels in Orlando Florida.

The Disneyland DVD tours the Disneyland Resort in California and includes both theme parks and the 3 resort hotels.

Both DVDs offer affordable ways to play and stay during your vacation, plus personalized tips and information.

Simply Click below and you are on your way!

July 10, 2016

"The Great Irish Hooley" Returns to Raglan Road

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Raglan Road will host its 5th annual ‘Great Irish Hooley’ Sept. 2-5 at Disney Springs. Labor Day weekend guests can celebrate Orlando’s only boutique Irish festival with authentic Irish cuisine and beverages and a memorable long weekend of top Irish talent, including award-winning bands and performances by the Raglan Road Dancers.

A line-up of celebrated Irish bands will play traditional, folk and rock tunes on the restaurant main stage and outside on the pub patio. This year’s line-up features top acts Screaming Orphans, The Raglan Roots Coalition, Flat Out, The Marianne Fraser Band, The High Road, Swingin’ On The Gate, Cooney and Ryan and Jake Richardson. Additional bands and show times will be announced over the coming weeks.

Headline act the Screaming Orphans are the four Diver sisters from Bundoran, Co. Donegal, Ireland. They have carved a great reputation of being a captivating and entertaining live band in Europe and America, combining their own original pop/rock music with the Céilí traditional style of music that was inherited from their family roots. Their mesmerizing, dynamic and highly electric live performances and stage presence have taken the festival circuit by storm.

Performances begin at noon Friday, Sept 2, through Monday, Sept. 5, and continue throughout each day and night.

June 29, 2016

Sand Sculpting Festival Coming to Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

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Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – June 29, 2016 – For the first time, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort will host Sandtastic Weekends on August 26-28 and September 2-4. Open to both resort guests and the public, the event will feature activities for all ages, with the highlight being 100 tons of intricately sculpted sand art designed by award-winning world-class sculptors from Team Sandtastic and constructed right on the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s private beach.

The event will offer guests a variety of different ways to take part in the action, from watching the masterpieces being created up close to learning the tips and techniques of sand sculpting during a sand sculpting clinic. Those with a competitive side can take part in amateur sculpting contests or try to stump the professionals by giving suggestions for speed sculpting demonstrations, where a piece is created in just 10 minutes.

The fun will extend beyond the sand sculpting, with plenty of indoor and outdoor food selections featuring creations from the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team, including the resort’s own Phins and Feathers craft beer; games on the beach like corn hole and table tennis; a DJ; and to close the day, a campfire and s’mores.

The fun continues to Labor Day Monday, September 5, with special tributes to celebrate the Kickoff Classic college football game between Florida State and Ole Miss taking place in Orlando. Fans of each team will find a giant sand sculpture in honor of the game incorporating a tribute to both teams and the lights on the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort causeway will feature team colors. Coverage of the Kickoff Classic between the Florida State Seminoles and Ole Miss Rebels will be shown on an outdoor oversized projection screen.

Overnight accommodations during Sandtastic Weekends start at just $168 per night. To reserve a room or for more information, including a full schedule of events, please visit www.sandtasticweekends.com.

Parking at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is $18 for self-parking and $26 for valet.

June 16, 2016

Statement from The President of Walt Disney World

George A. Kalogridis offered the below statement regarding the tragic accident that occurred yesterday at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:

“There are no words to convey the profound sorrow we feel for the family and their unimaginable loss. We are devastated and heartbroken by this tragic accident and are doing what we can to help them during this difficult time.

On behalf of everyone at Disney, we offer them our deepest sympathy.”

George A. Kalogridis,
President, Walt Disney World Resort

June 6, 2016

Reservations Now Open for New Magic Kingdom Dining Package

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Tony's Town Square Restaurant Offers New Dining Package

There’s a new way to enjoy the Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom Park! You can now make reservations to take a mid-day break and enjoy a three-course lunch at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. Indulge in a delicious Italian meal, knowing you’ll also receive reserved viewing for the Main Street Electrical Parade, right in front of the flagpole on Main Street U.S.A.

The dining package includes your choice of appetizer, entrée, dessert and a beverage. Start your meal with delicious soup, salad or the addictive Zucchini Fries. Choose from favorites like Chicken Parmigiana, Spaghetti with meatballs or Margherita Pizza. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with classic Tiramisú or decadent chocolate cake layered with a chocolate-hazelnut filling.

Cost is $45 for adults, $17 for children plus tax and gratuity, or is one table-service entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan. Reservations open June 7, and can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or calling 407-WDW-Dine.

SOURCE: Disney Parks Blog

May 24, 2016

Name Changes at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Enrich Storytelling

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Disney Vacation Club is pleased to announce an enhanced name for The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge that deepens the Resort’s roots in Disney storytelling.

Since welcoming its first Members home in 2000, this rustically elegant Disney Vacation Club Resort has celebrated the optimistic journey of Americans who rode the rails west to forge a new way of life. The villas draw inspiration from the quaint residential communities established by those pioneers along the tracks that enabled their mass migration.

The Resort’s new name – Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – gives that rustic community a more distinctive identity and allows Walt Disney Imagineers to bring the community’s story to life in new ways, including through the re-imagined (and soon to be renamed) Hidden Springs Pool area.

The new, more richly themed name also distinguishes the Resort’s condominium association from any proposed new Disney Vacation Club developments at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

The naming evolution is not new to Disney Vacation Club. Disney’s Old Key West Resort, which opened in 1991 as Disney Vacation Club Resort, later adopted its more richly themed name as other Disney Vacation Club Resorts joined the neighborhood. Just as the Disney’s Old Key West Resort name distinguished the Resort from its neighbors and allowed Imagineers to more deeply explore the Resort’s thematic connections to the Florida Keys, the transition from The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge allows Imagineers to further explore the Resort’s rugged roots.

Look for updates to signage and other materials at the Resort in the months ahead, and watch future editions of Disney Files Magazine for more details about the enhanced pool area and its connections to the story of Boulder Ridge.

May 20, 2016

Walt Disney World Resort Launches Summer Vacation Season with Magical Premieres in All Four Parks

jungle-book-alive-with-magic.jpg


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – An incredible lineup of new attractions and experiences open to guests starting this Memorial Day Weekend and kick-off summer vacation season with new magic across all four Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Springs and beyond.

The fun heats up starting May 27 when new nighttime experiences awaken at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with stunning animation on the Tree of Life, new after dark adventures on favorite attractions such as Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids and more, as well as festive new nighttime entertainment across the park.

A day later on May 28, Disney’s hit live-action film The Jungle Book provides inspiration for a new nighttime show, The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, that comes to life on Discovery River.

And starting June 17, guests can experience the enhanced Soarin’ Around the World attraction at Epcot; the star-studded new stage show “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” at Magic Kingdom Park; and the new “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Starting June 21, the all-new Frozen Ever After attraction and Royal Sommerhus, where Anna and Elsa will greet guests in authentically Norwegian-inspired settings, opens to guests at Epcot.

More Magic, More Memories, More Fun

Across its four theme parks, multiple resort hotels and diverse shopping and dining offerings, guests will find unforgettable experiences to share with family and friends at Walt Disney World Resort, making every moment as magical as it can be:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

For the first time in its 18-year history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will debut new day-into-nighttime experiences that celebrate the magic of nature, starting May 27.

-- The park’s iconic Tree of Life will awaken each night amid a lively celebration of Discovery Island music and dance. Through stunning visuals, animal spirits appear and enchanted fireflies reveal stories of wonder as the tree morphs to showcase the magic of nature.

-- Kilimanjaro Safaris transitions to a new nighttime adventure in the extended orange glow of a setting sun. For the first time, hyenas and African wild dogs join the safari trail creature feature.

-- Discovery River becomes the stage for music and pageantry in a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film The Jungle Book. Premiering May 28, The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic (photo above) is a live show filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.

-- Hungry adventurers can have lunch or dinner at the new Tiffins signature restaurant on Discovery Island beginning May27. Guests seated in the restaurant’s travel-themed dining rooms or on the waterfront patio can sip libations and savor dishes featuring African, Asian and South American flavors.

Tiffins

-- Across the park, guests can experience wondrous new nighttime experiences and entertainment celebrating marvels in nature and enjoy long-time favorites such as Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, Kali River Rapids and more – in a whole new light.

Epcot

Anna, Elsa and other beloved characters from the blockbuster film, “Frozen,” will give the summer season a warm hug at Epcot beginning June 21. Meanwhile “Turtle Talk with Crush” makes fun waves and Soarin’ Around the World takes guests to new heights starting June 17.

Frozen Ever After

-- Anna, Elsa and their “Frozen” friends will welcome guests aboard the new Frozen Ever After boat ride that sails into a “Frozen” world at the Norway Pavilion starting June 21. Passengers on their way to Arendelle’s Winter in Summer Celebration for Queen Elsa visit the ice palace and hear beloved film tunes plus new lyrics by Oscar-winning “Let It Go” songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

-- Also at the Norway Pavilion, Anna and Elsa will greet guests in the new Royal Sommerhus, modeled after a traditional Norwegian cabin.

Soarin'

-- In Future World, guests will celebrate the U.S. debut of the expanded Soarin’ Around the World attraction at The Land Pavilion on June 17. Now with a third Epcot theater, plus new digital screens and projection systems, the enhanced attraction takes guests on an exhilarating “flight” above spectacular global landscapes and man-made wonders.

-- Guests can now find new additions at “Turtle Talk with Crush” with characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory”. When Crush the sea turtle swims up to the “Human Tank” at Epcot, he’ll be joined by Dory and some of her new friends that guests will get to know better when “Finding Dory” swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.


Magic Kingdom

Classic Disney characters will join contemporary animated film stars beginning June 17 in a new extravaganza on the grand Cinderella Castle stage, and Magic Kingdom guests can experience a new dining adventure.

Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire

-- For the first time, Tiana of “Princess and the Frog,” and Rapunzel of “Tangled,” co-star with Anna and Elsa of “Frozen,” and a host of favorite Disney characters in the new Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire. Performed on the grandest stage in the kingdom, the star-studded tale of friendship presents Mickey Mouse and his troupe of Merry Makers – Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy – who invite 10 new friends from different animated worlds to join the celebration. This “timeless fairytale” of a show combines grand dance, fireworks and stunts with memorable music, an original song and special effects.

Elena of Avalor

-- Disney Parks will welcome Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures. Elena of Avalor will appear at Walt Disney World Resort later this summer and at Disneyland Resort in the fall, following her television debut in a new animated series this summer on Disney Channel.

-- Next door to the legendary Jungle Cruise, guests can enjoy the bold flavors of “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” served by the wisecracking crew of the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. It’s the first Disney full-service restaurant themed after a specific park attraction.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In the galactic wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, new Star-Wars-themed experiences shift into light speed.

-- The next generation of Star Wars-themed fireworks shows, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will premiere June 17 with new themed fireworks, lasers, special effects and video projections of iconic characters and scenes from the complete saga, all set to the unforgettable score of the film series.

-- The live stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” debuted April 4, celebrating iconic moments from the Star Wars saga with live vignettes featuring popular characters such as BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul.

first-order-stormtroopers-captain-phasma.jpg

-- First Order Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma march from Star Wars Launch Bay to the park’s Center Stage, adding menace to the entertainment. Star Wars Launch Bay showcases large-scale artifacts and encounters with characters including Kylo Ren. The re-imagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple experience also features new characters. And at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests buckle up for an enhanced high-speed journey with new Star Wars: The Force Awakens characters and a visit to Jakku.

Disney Springs and Water Parks Make a Splash

Inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs is a charming district filled with unique retailers and restaurants from award-winning chefs. Throughout the summer, new stores and restaurants will open as Disney Springs more than doubles the number of retail, dining and other venues for guests.

-- As Disney Springs continues to expand and diversify its dining, shopping and entertainment, more exciting high-profile tenants are coming onboard, including Anthropologie, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Lucky Brand, among others. Other new shops opening in 2016 include Zara, Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, UNIQLO and PANDORA.

-- More than 30 new tenants will be coming to Disney Springs this summer, including retail shops and dining venues.

-- Home to world-class dining, Disney Springs is shaping up to be a culinary dream. With its chic style and Pan-Asian flavors, Morimoto Asia offers just a taste of what’s to come as more new eateries are gearing up to open in the coming year, including Tablas Frontera by Chef Rick Bayless; Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar by Chef Art Smith; STK Orlando, a modern steakhouse with the ambience of a sleek lounge; Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a modern-day “pizza joint” with artisanal pies; and the reimagined, Planet Hollywood Observatory with new outdoor terrace and live entertainment.

-- Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless and Chef Art Smith join master Chef Masaharu Morimoto in a growing collection of James Beard Award winning chefs at Disney Springs.

-- At Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba,” the new B-Boys hip-hop, breakdancing threesome showcases a rare mix of rhythm, strength and “how-did-they-do-that?” moves. As part of the show’s ongoing evolution, the masterful Aerial Bamboo act joins recent additions of madcap clowns and a breathtaking rolla bolla juggling act.

Meanwhile, Disney’s Water Parks ramp up with playful spirits and summer fun faster than Olaf can beg for warm hugs.

Frozen Games at Blizzard Beach

-- At Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Olaf from Disney’s animated hit “Frozen,” will be living his “In Summer” dream as he and Kristoff host The “Frozen Games” of friendly, fun competitions that begin May 27 and run through Aug. 21.

-- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park castaways can splash down on a sandy summer beach with a cold ale and savory snack after a wild slide on Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster.

Disney guests will have a magical summer experience wherever they play, dine, relax or celebrate at Walt Disney World theme parks, entertainment venues and resort hotels. For more information about Walt Disney World Resort, visit www.disneyworld.com and www.disneyparksblog.com.

Awaken Summer Announcements

Today is a blockbuster day for announcements of attractions and events happening this summer at WDW.

Here is a summary of the dates announced, more details to follow:

May 21 - FP+ Reservations Open for Frozen Ever After

May 21 - Reservations Open for Tiffins

May 21 - Reservations open for Dining Packages at Animal Kingdom that include reserved seating for The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

May 27 - The original Epcot Soarin' Over California attraction returns until June 16.

May 27 - Animal Kingdom begins its night openings with the Tree of Life awakenings, Wildlife Parti and Discovery Island Carnival

May 28 - The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic debuts on Discovery River at Animal Kingdom


May 28 - Tiffins and Tusker House begin dining packages that include reserved seating for The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

June 17 - New Soarin' Around the World Film Debuts - FP+ now available

June 17 - 'Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire' show debuts at Magic Kingdom

June 17 - Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks Debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios

June 21 - Frozen Ever After and Royal Summerhus Open in Epcot

April 25, 2016

WDW Announces Free Dining for Late Summer and Fall

50s-primetime-cafe-12.jpg

Walt Disney World announced today that a free dining plan MAY BE available when you purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day package that includes a room at a select Disney resort hotel and a ticket with the Park Hopper Option.

The offer must be booked April 25, 2016-July 8, 2016, for arrival dates between August 23-October 1; November 15-21; November 26-28, or December 10-21, 2016.

AllEars recommends you price this offer out carefully to see if it meets your needs and saves you money!

AllEars recommends MEI and MouseFanTravel for all your Disney (and non-Disney) trips!


April 20, 2016

Magical New Experiences Will Debut This Summer Across All Four Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Tree of Life

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – An incredible lineup of new attractions and experiences will debut this summer across all four Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond.

A flurry of fireflies awakens the iconic Tree of Life with colorful animation, and the songs of Disney’s new hit film “The Jungle Book” come to life on Discovery River, just two of the many new experiences as Disney’s Animal Kingdom introduces nighttime hours for the first time in the park’s 18-year history.

“Frozen,” the top animated film of all time, comes to life for the first time in an enchanting, music-filled attraction in the Norway pavilion at Epcot.

Princesses Tiana and Rapunzel join a rousing show on the grandest stage of all in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park.
An awe-inspiring new Star Wars fireworks and projection spectacular premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney Springs welcomes more top shopping destinations and celebrity chef restaurants in a glittering new setting.
Across its four theme parks, multiple resort hotels and diverse shopping and dining offerings, guests will find unforgettable experiences to share with family and friends, making every moment as magical as it can be.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

For the first time in its 18-year history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will debut new day-into-nighttime experiences that celebrate the magic of nature beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

The park’s iconic Tree of Life will awaken each night amid a lively celebration of Discovery Island music and dance. Through stunning visuals, animal spirits appear and enchanted fireflies reveal stories of wonder as the tree morphs to showcase the magic of nature.

Kilimanjaro Safaris transitions to a new nighttime adventure in the extended orange glow of a setting sun. For the first time, hyenas and African wild dogs join the safari trail.

Discovery River becomes the stage for music and pageantry in a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film The Jungle Book. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic is a live show filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.

Hungry adventurers can have lunch or dinner at the new Tiffins signature restaurant on Discovery Island Memorial Day Weekend. Guests seated in the restaurant’s travel-themed dining rooms or on the waterfront patio can sip libations and savor dishes featuring African, Asian and South American flavors.

Across the park, guests can experience wondrous new nighttime experiences and entertainment celebrating marvels in nature and enjoy long-time favorites such as Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, Kali River Rapids and more – in a whole new light.

Epcot

Anna, Elsa and other beloved characters from the blockbuster film, “Frozen,” will give the summer season a warm hug at Epcot beginning this June. Meanwhile “Turtle Talk with Crush” makes fun waves and Soarin takes guests to new heights.

Anna, Elsa and their Frozen friends will welcome guests aboard the new Frozen Ever After boat ride that sails into a “Frozen” world at the Norway Pavilion. Passengers on their way to Arendelle’s Winter in Summer Celebration for Queen Elsa visit the ice palace and hear beloved film tunes plus new lyrics by Oscar-winning “Let It Go” songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

Also at Norway Pavilion, Anna and Elsa will greet guests in the new Royal Sommerhus, modeled after a traditional Norwegian cabin.

In Future World, guests will celebrate the U.S. debut of the new Soarin’ Around the World attraction at The Land Pavilion June 17. Now with a third Epcot theater, plus new digital screens and projection systems, the expanded attraction takes guests on an exhilarating “flight” above spectacular global landscapes and man-made wonders.

Guests will also find new additions at “Turtle Talk with Crush” beginning in May with characters from Disney•Pixar film “Finding Dory”. When Crush the sea turtle swims up to the “Human Tank” at Epcot, he’ll be joined by Dory and some of her new friends that guests will get to know when “Finding Dory” swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.

Magic Kingdom

Classic Disney characters will join contemporary animated film stars this June in a new extravaganza on the grand Cinderella Castle stage, and Magic Kingdom guests can experience a new dining adventure.

For the first time, Tiana of “Princess and the Frog,” and Rapunzel of “Tangled,” co-star with Anna and Elsa of “Frozen,” and a host of favorite Disney characters in the new Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire show. Performed on the grandest stage in the kingdom, the star-studded tale of friendship presents Mickey Mouse and his troupe of Merry Makers – Minnie Mouse, Donald, Daisy and Goofy – who invite 10 new friends from different animated worlds to join the celebration. This “timeless fairytale” of a show combines grand dance, fireworks and stunts with memorable music, an original song and special effects.

Disney Parks will welcome Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures. Elena of Avalor will appear at Walt Disney World Resort later this summer and at Disneyland Resort in the fall, following her television debut in a new animated series this summer on Disney Channel.

Next door to the legendary Jungle Cruise, guests can enjoy the bold flavors of “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” served by the wisecracking crew of the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. It’s the first Disney full-service restaurant themed after a specific park attraction.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In the galactic wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, new Star-Wars-themed experiences shift into light speed.

The next generation of Star Wars-themed fireworks shows, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will premiere this June with new themed fireworks, lasers, special effects and video projections of iconic characters and scenes from the complete saga, all set to the unforgettable score of the film series.

The live stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” debuted April 4, celebrating moments from the Star Wars saga with live vignettes featuring popular characters such as BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul.

First Order Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma march in formation from Star Wars Launch Bay to the park’s Center Stage, adding menace to the entertainment. Star Wars Launch Bay showcases large-scale artifacts and encounters with characters including Kylo Ren. The re-imagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple experience also features new characters. And at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests buckle up for an enhanced high-speed journey with new Star Wars: The Force Awakens characters and a visit to Jakku.

Disney Springs and Water Parks Make a Splash

Inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs is a charming district filled with unique retailers and restaurants from award-winning chefs. Throughout the summer, new stores and restaurants will open as Disney Springs more than doubles the number of retail, dining and other venues for guests

As Disney Springs continues to expand and diversify its dining, shopping and entertainment, more exciting high-profile tenants are coming onboard, including Anthropologie, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Lucky Brand, among others. Other new shops opening in 2016 include Zara, Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, UNIQLO and PANDORA.

More than 30 new tenants will be coming to Disney Springs this summer, including retail shops and dining venues.

Home to world-class dining, Disney Springs is shaping up to be a culinary dream. With its chic style and Pan-Asian flavors, Morimoto Asia offers just a taste of what’s to come as more new eateries are gearing up to open in the coming year, including Tablas Frontera by Chef Rick Bayless; Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar by Chef Art Smith; STK Orlando, a modern steakhouse with the ambience of a sleek lounge; Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery; Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a modern-day “pizza joint” with artisanal pies; and the reimagined, Planet Hollywood Observatory with new outdoor terrace and live entertainment.

Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless and Chef Art Smith join master Chef Masaharu Morimoto in a growing collection of James Beard Award winning chefs at Disney Springs.

At Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba,” the new B-Boys hip-hop, breakdancing threesome showcase a rare mix of rhythm, strength and “how-did-they-do-that?” moves. As part of the show’s ongoing evolution, the masterful Aerial Bamboo act joins recent additions of madcap clowns and a breathtaking rolla bolla juggling act.
Meanwhile, Disney water parks will ramp up with playful spirits and summer fun faster than Olaf can beg for warm hugs.

At Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Olaf from Disney’s animated hit “Frozen,” will be living his “In Summer” dream as he and Kristoff host The “Frozen” Games of friendly, fun competitions.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park castaways can splash down on a sandy summer beach with a cold ale and savory snack after a wild slide on Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster.

Disney guests will have a magical summer experience wherever they play, dine, relax or celebrate at Walt Disney World theme parks, entertainment venues and resort hotels. For more information about Walt Disney World Resort, visit www.disneyworld.com and www.disneyparksblog.com.

March 22, 2016

Summer Savings Await Preschool Families with Walt Disney World Resort Vacation Package

summer-offer-for-families-with-preschoolers.jpg

You’re Never Too Young for Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Summertime fun awaits guests at Walt Disney World Resort with a special package just right for preschool families. Beginning May 30 - Aug. 25, 2016, guests can enjoy a three-night, two-day vacation package with theme park tickets starting at $1,021 for a family of three at one of Disney’s All-Star Resorts.

There’s never been a better time to visit Walt Disney World Resort with something new in every corner of our world. Rekindling childhood memories and creating new family traditions are easy at Walt Disney World’s 40-square-mile playground where some 60 attractions and entertainment options are relevant to preschoolers. Here’s what’s new:

-- In late spring, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park has embarked on a historical expansion offering new nighttime experiences sure to delight little ones. The wondrous new Rivers of Light show will take center stage at the park, along with Kilimanjaro Safaris extending into the evening hours, plus a lively nighttime street party filled with food, song and dance, and lots more.

-- This Summer at Epcot, youngsters can take in an all-new Frozen-inspired attraction called Frozen Ever After boat ride at the Norway pavilion, or meet Anna and Elsa at the Royal Sommerhus.

-- The Force grows even stronger at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the new Symphony in the Stars Spectacular fireworks show, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular stage show, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, plus meet and greets with iconic characters like Chewbacca at Star Wars: Launch Bay. And kids can make magical memories at several Disney Junior experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios including Disney Junior Live on Stage, Play ‘n’ Dine at Hollywood & Vine, and Character Greetings with Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First and Captain Jake.

-- Preschoolers can enjoy “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” when it premieres this summer at Magic Kingdom. For the first time, contemporary Disney characters Tiana of “Princess and the Frog,” and Rapunzel of “Tangled” co-star with Anna and Elsa of “Frozen,” and a host of Disney characters take to the grandest stage at Walt Disney World Resort. Plus, there’s don’t miss classics including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid.

Guests can book this offer now through June 10, 2016, for most stays Sunday through Thursday nights. For more information, visit DisneyWorld.com/special-offers.

March 2, 2016

Blockbuster Experiences Will Debut This Summer Across All Four Walt Disney World Theme Parks

rivers-of-light-concept.jpg


New ‘Star Wars’ Stage Show Premiere April 4; ‘Rivers of Light’ Set for Earth Day Opening and Finding Dory Swims into Epcot this Summer

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 2, 2016)– An unbeatable lineup of blockbuster attractions will debut at Walt Disney World Resort this year starting with the April 4 launch of a new live stage show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On Earth Day, April 22, a sweeping immersive, animal-themed theatrical production, “Rivers of Light,” will premiere as the first-ever nightly show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

An epic array of shows and attractions will continue to open throughout summer, creating exciting new guest experiences across all Disney theme parks and entertainment venues. A new Magic Kingdom castle show will bring favorite characters from “Tangled” and “Princess and the Frog” for the first time to the grandest stage in Walt Disney World. Stars of the runaway Disney hit, “Frozen,” will take a bow in multiple Disney parks, and the first Frozen-themed attraction will sail into guests’ hearts at Epcot. Even more Star Wars-themed original entertainment, nighttime Animal Kingdom experiences and Disney Springs openings will set the stage for endless summertime fun.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The magic of nature after dark takes center stage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when the all-new Rivers Of Light waterside show premieres April 22, Earth Day — marking the Walt Disney World theme park’s thrilling transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience.

“Rivers of Light,” an immersive nighttime extravaganza blending performers, floating lanterns, special effects and stunning theatrical imagery projected upon giant water screens, will premiere in a new Discovery River waterside theater.

The park’s iconic Tree of Life will awaken each night amid a lively celebration of Discovery Island music and dance. Through stunning visuals, animal spirits appear and enchanted fireflies reveal stories of wonder as the tree morphs to showcase the magic of nature.

Kilimanjaro Safaris transitions to a new nighttime adventure. Each evening, the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris daytime experience is artfully bathed in the look of sunset with special lighting allowing guests to explore and enjoy this attraction well into the night.

For the first time, hyenas and African wild dogs join the safari trail creature feature.

Hungry adventurers can have lunch or dinner at the new Tiffins signature restaurant, opening later this summer on Discovery Island. Guests seated in the restaurant’s travel-themed dining rooms or on the waterfront patio can sip libations and savor dishes featuring African, Asian and South American flavors.

Across the park, guests can experience long-time favorites such as Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, and Kali River Rapids with more time to enjoy them into the night.

Epcot

Anna, Elsa and other beloved characters from the blockbuster film, “Frozen,” will give the summer season a warm hug at Epcot and several other Disney parks. Meanwhile “Turtle Talk with Crush” makes fun waves and Soarin’ takes guests to new heights.

frozen-ever-after-rendering.jpg

Anna, Elsa and their latest-generation Audio-Animatronics co-stars will welcome guests aboard the new Frozen Ever After boat ride that sails into a “Frozen” world at the Norway pavilion. Passengers on their way to Arendelle’s Winter in Summer Celebration for Queen Elsa visit the ice palace and hear beloved film tunes plus new lyrics by Oscar-winning “Let It Go” songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson.

Also at Norway pavilion, Anna and Elsa will greet guests in the new Royal Sommerhus, modeled after a traditional Norwegian cabin.

In Future World, guests will celebrate the U.S. debut of the new Soarin’ Around the World attraction at The Land pavilion this summer. Now with a third Epcot theater, plus new digital screens and projection systems, the expanded attraction takes guests on an exhilarating “flight” above spectacular global landscapes and man-made wonders.

Guests will also find new additions at “Turtle Talk with Crush” beginning in early-May with characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory.” When Crush the sea turtle swims up to the “Human Tank” at Epcot, he’ll be joined by Dory and some of her new friends that guests will get to know when “Finding Dory” swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.


Magic Kingdom

Classic Disney characters will join contemporary animated film stars this June in a new extravaganza on the grand Cinderella Castle stage; and Magic Kingdom guests can experience a new dining adventure.

mickeys-friendship-show-1.png

For the first time, modern Disney characters Tiana of “Princess and the Frog,” and Rapunzel of “Tangled,” co-star with Anna and Elsa of “Frozen,” and a host of classic characters in the new Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire. Performed on the grandest stage in the kingdom, the star-studded tale of friendship presents Mickey Mouse and his troupe of Merry Makers — Minnie Mouse, Donald, Daisy and Goofy – who invite 10 new friends from different animated worlds to join the celebration. This “timeless fairytale” of a show combines grand dance, fireworks and stunts with memorable music, an original song and special effects.

Next door to the legendary Jungle Cruise, guests can enjoy the bold flavors of “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” served by the wisecracking crew of the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. It’s the first Disney full-service restaurant themed after a specific park attraction.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In the galactic wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, new Star-Wars-themed experiences shift into light speed.

The next generation of Star Wars-themed fireworks shows, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will premiere this summer with new themed fireworks, lasers, special effects and video projections of characters and scenes from the complete saga, all set to the iconic score of the film series.

star-wars-galactic-spectacular-rendering.jpg

The live stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” will debut April 4, celebrating iconic moments from the Star Wars saga with live vignettes featuring popular characters such as BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul.

The March of the First Order Stormtrooper procession led by Captain Phasma from the Star Wars Launch Bay to the park’s Center Stage adds menace to the entertainment. The just-opened Star Wars Launch Bay showcases large-scale artifacts and encounters with characters including Kylo Ren. The re-imagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple experience also features new characters. And at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests buckle up for an enhanced high-speed journey with new Force Awakens characters and a visit to Jakku.

In the park’s Hyperion Theater, the Royal Historians of Arendelle host a jolly sing-along tale of their “Frozen” kingdom with special appearances by Anna, Elsa and Kristoff. And at Celebrity Spotlight, guests can meet Olaf and give him a warm hug.

Disney Springs and Water Parks Make a Splash

Disney guests will spend their first summer at Disney Springs as it continues its transformation. The charming waterfront town, comprising The Landing, Marketplace and West Side, expands to debut its fourth neighborhood, Town Center, adding more shops, restaurants and architectural detail than ever.

New high-profile tenants are coming onboard at Disney Springs, including Anthropologie, Under Armour, kate spade, Sephora and Lucky Brand, among others. Other new shops opening in 2016 include: Zara, Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, UNIQLO, PANDORA, UGG, L’Occitane en Provence and Edward Beiner.

A total of 32 new tenants will be coming to Disney Springs this summer, including 29 retail shops and three new dining venues.

Morimoto Asia recently celebrated its grand opening and more new eateries are firing up the scene in 2016 including the upscale STK steakhouse with the only rooftop dining in Disney Springs; The Edison, a lavish, “industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination; Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery; Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a modern-day “pizza joint” with artisanal pies; and the reimagined, star-themed Planet Hollywood with new outdoor terrace and live entertainment.

Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless and renowned Chef Wolfgang Puck join master Chef Masaharu Morimoto in a growing collection of James Beard Award winning chefs at Disney Springs.

At Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba,” the new B-Boys hip-hop, breakdancing threesome showcase a rare mix of rhythm, strength and “how-did-they-do-that?” moves. As part of the show’s ongoing evolution, the masterful Aerial Bamboo act joins recent additions of madcap clowns and a breathtaking rolla bolla juggling act.

Meanwhile, Disney water parks will ramp up with playful spirits and summer fun faster than Olaf can beg for warm hugs.

At Blizzard Beach, Olaf from Disney’s animated hit “Frozen,” will be living his “In Summer” dream as he and Kristoff host The Frozen Games at Blizzard Beach of friendly, fun competitions.

Typhoon Lagoon castaways can splash down on a sandy summer beach with a cold ale and savory snack after a wild slide on Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster.

Disney guests will have a blockbuster summer wherever they play, dine, relax or celebrate at Walt Disney World theme parks, entertainment venues and resort hotels.


March 1, 2016

Spring Break Blockout Dates Lifted for Florida Resident Disney Select Ticket


Experience the Force, Flowers, and New Food at Walt Disney World Resort

Florida residents can enjoy a Walt Disney World Resort vacation during Spring Break now that blockout dates in March have been lifted for those with Florida Resident Disney Select tickets. While other blockout dates still apply, March 19 - April 1 are now available for those ticketholders.

During Spring Break, guests can savor the tastes of outdoor kitchens during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Or, their dark and light sides with encounters with Kylo Ren and Chewbacca at Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And, with the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen now accepting same-day reservations, guests can sample exotic flavors while visiting Magic Kingdom.

The Florida Resident Disney Select ticket pricing is $68 per day for a 3-day ticket (total price: $202), and $56 per day for 4-day ticket (total price: $223). It provides access to one theme park per day, includes FastPass+ and expires six months after first use or by December 17, 2017. Summer blockout dates apply. For terms and conditions, and more information about the Florida Resident Disney Select Ticket, visit Disneyworld.com/resident.

Disney Springs Water Tower Raised

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The new water tower at Disney Springs was recently installed.

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The water tower will serve as the new marquee for Disney Springs and welcome guests as part of the property’s entrance gateway.

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February 27, 2016

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 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.

February 8, 2016

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 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.

February 3, 2016

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

January 12, 2016

New Lion Guard Adventure at Animal Kingdom Limited Time

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Fans of "The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar" will be able to play The Lion Guard Adventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom beginning February 7th.

This interactive experience will allow young guests to explore the park in search of five main characters from “The Lion Guard” – Kion, Bunga, Fuli, Beshte, and Ono, who are represented as colorful statues that are perfect for a kid-sized photo-ops. Like the movie, the experience encourages interest in protecting animals and caring for nature. Once they complete the adventure, each child can take a special pledge to become an honorary member of “The Lion Guard” and receive a special button.

The experience will be offered in Disney’s Animal Kingdom through late March, as one of many activities celebrating the debut of “The Lion Guard” series on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

December 23, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 22, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Explore Kilimanjaro Safaris at Night

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

4. Experience Frozen Ever After at Epcot

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

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

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

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

This new, themed restaurant opens in December 2015 and gives guests the chance to experience “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” in one of several unique dining rooms, including a crew mess hall and a once-hidden secret meeting room of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers. The restaurant is staffed by friendly Jungle Cruise Skippers, known for their clever jokes.

7. Try New Dining Offerings at Disney Springs

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

8. A Shopper’s Paradise at Disney Springs

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

9. Staying Fit While Having Fun With runDisney Events

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

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

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

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

11. Enjoy Walt Disney World’s Springtime Events

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

12. Soarin’ Around The World at Epcot

Guests onboard the popular Soarin’ attraction will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its debut at Epcot in 2016.

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

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

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

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

15. Experience Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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

16. Share An Unforgettable Fall & Holiday Season

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

December 17, 2015

Metal Detectors Installed at Walt Disney World Theme Parks

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 14, 2015

Sunday Brunch at California Grill Debuts February 7!

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

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

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

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

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

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Then you can choose your next course, delivered tableside:

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

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

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

December 10, 2015

Painted Dogs and Hyenas Join the Kilimanjaro Safari

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

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

Hyenas

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

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

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

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


Painted Dogs:

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

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

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

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

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


December 8, 2015

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

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Tune in for the Magic December 25 on ABC


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

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

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

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

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

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

*performance lineup subject to change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 14, 2015

Goodbye Captain EO - Hello Disney*Pixar Film Festival

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Captain EO, Fuzzball and Major Domo's last days are here! After returning on July 2, 2010 (after a 16 year hiatus), the movie is moving on to Yesterdayland! The show officially closes on December 6, 2015!

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A new 4D experience is coming to the Magic Eye Theatre called the "Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival". Inside the theater, guests can put on their 3D glasses and enter the imaginative worlds of three animated shorts, which will burst to life on the big screen (and in the theater) like never before.

No start date for the Film Festival has been announced.

Check out our Captain EO Pages from its revival in 2010!

Here is our archive from the original showing, which went from September 12, 1986 until July 6, 1994.

November 6, 2015

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs Showcases Seasonal Dishes Featuring Local Pork

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Pasture Prime Berkshire Pig Breed a Local Treasure with British Origins

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 4, 2015) – Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant master chef Kevin Dundon introduces local farm-raised pork from Pasture Prime Family Farm to the menu in three featured dishes now through February at the Disney Springs location.

For starters, “An Irish Egg” features a fresh farm egg coated in crispy Guinness and Onion Sausage served on a bed of pickled cabbage with saffron aioli. Dundon’s “Pork by Pork” entree (pictured above) is a sage-and-onion-stuffed pork loin with cider-braised pork fricassee served with mashed potatoes and applesauce. And risotto lovers will get a spicy kick out of “Rinky Risotto,” a grilled chorizo and mushroom risotto. Dundon uses Pasture Prime pork with smoked paprika, cilantro and garlic for the house-made chorizo sausage.

“Pasture Prime raises a breed of pig, the Berkshire pig, which we also have at home in Ireland,” says Dundon, host of the award-winning PBS/Create TV cooking series, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food” and “Kevin Dundon’s Back to Basics.” The Berkshire is known for succulent marbling and intense flavor and was first mentioned in stories of British army exploits nearly 300 years ago, according to Pasture Prime Family Farm.

“I decided to use this Central Florida farm, in particular, because I love to see passion when it comes to producing good food, and Pasture Prime has an abundance of passion,” Dundon says.

This past summer, Dundon’s seasonal menu showcase was a hit with three dishes featuring Wild Ocean Seafood from Port Canaveral, Fla.

To complement the seasonal pork dishes, Raglan Road now offers an autumn trio of brews that include Terrapin Pumpkinfest, Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest and Woodchuck Private Reserve Pumpkin Cider.

And Raglan Road guests can toast the season with new fall cocktails including “The Great Pumpkin” made with Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Calvados apple brandy, egg white, Terrapin Pumpkinfest and the pub’s own house-made Guinness Glaze. A second Raglan Road seasonal libation with a kick is the “Spiced Carmel Apple Martini” made with Calvados, butterscotch Schnapps, Magners cider and freshly muddled apples served in a glass with cinnamon-sugar rim and spiced apple skewer.

Raglan Road delivers a dining experience infused with genuine Irish hospitality for guests seated inside the restaurant’s multiple dining rooms, as well as those choosing to dine on the patio overlooking Disney Springs. The restaurant’s custom furnishings include those designed and built by Irish craftspeople, as well as century-old antiques, ornamentation and bric-a-brac shipped to Central Florida from Dublin. Traditional and contemporary Irish music and step dance performances create a spirited ambience daily from late afternoon through closing and during the Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch.

Know for its beer-battered fish and chips, seasonal farm-to-fork specialties and the freshest cold-water seafood flown in regularly, Raglan Road also offers a menu of gluten-free dishes. Dundon, one of Ireland's most celebrated chefs, works with a large culinary team to develop dishes with modern flair and Celtic creativity.

Raglan Road serves lunch from 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.

November 3, 2015

A Feast of Disney Tastes Featured on Thanksgiving Day

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Walt Disney World Resort guests can indulge in a fresh take on an American tradition by enjoying their Thanksgiving feast Nov. 26, 2015 with a bounty of Disney tastes. With more than 30 different dining choices at Disney theme parks and resorts, families and friends can come together for a variety of Thanksgiving lunch and dinner offerings.

Special holiday menus include roasted turkey breast with all the trimmings plus traditional Norwegian meatballs and pan-seared salmon at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, poppy seed lavash, house-made naan, and apple-cranberry achar at Sanaa, roasted heirloom beets with candied walnuts and mulled apple cider at Artist Point, and other unique dishes to enjoy with the holiday classics.

At Epcot, guests can dine on Thanksgiving menus during lunch and dinner seatings at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Biergarten Restaurant, Coral Reef Restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse, Restaurant Marrakesh, and Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, as well as quick service at Sunshine Seasons.

Holiday menus also are offered at 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood & Vine and The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Within the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, special Thanksgiving dining options are available at:

Artist Point and Whispering Canyon Café at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Port Orleans Resort Riverside
California Grill, Chef Mickey’s and The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Captain’s Grille and Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Citricos, Grand Floridian Café, Narcoossee’s and Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
End Zone Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
Flying Fish Café and Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
Mickey’s Backyard Thanksgiving Feast and Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas-Disney’s Kidani Village
Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Sanaa at Disney’s Kidani Village Resort
Shutters at Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Availability is limited and dining events are subject to change. For information and reservations, guests can call 407-WDW-DINE or book online at DisneyWorld.com/dine.

October 20, 2015

Minnie's Hollywood and Vine Dinners now Year Round

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In August, Walt Disney World announced Minnie Mouse would be hosting a holiday dining experience at Hollywood and Vine in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Today WDW has announced that Minnie will now host a seasonal dinner year 'round. From January 4 to March 20, Minnie wil be celebrating the magic of the movies and the glamour of Hollywood. Other themes may include Delightful Spring, Excitement of Summer and Frightening Fun for Halloween.

Reservations open October 27th.

October 19, 2015

Event: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Opening Night

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Walt Disney World has announced a special ticketed event on December 17th for Star Wars movie fans to be held at the AMC Theatre in Disney Springs. Ticket prices reflect a variety of format options for the movie, including 2D ($94.99), 3D ($98.99) and 3D ETX ($99.99).

Starting at AMC Disney Springs 24 between 7 and 8 p.m., guests of the Opening Night Event will have a confirmed seat at the first few public showings of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and then enjoy a private after-hours party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios until 2 a.m. The party will include access to the new Star Wars Launch Bay exhibit, the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction, and a DJ dance party. The night will be highlighted with the preview of a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic “Star Wars” score. Event attendees will also get a commemorative souvenir event ticket. Guests of the Event are encouraged to come dressed in costume showing allegiance to the light side or dark side of the Force.

HOW TO GET TICKETS:

The newest “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer will debut in ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Monday, October 19, during halftime of the National Football League (NFL) game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. Tune in to ESPN to watch the premiere of the final trailer or join your fellow Star Wars fans at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA to watch the trailer on a giant screen outside AMC Downtown Disney 12 theatres. The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. counting down to the trailer release.

Following the trailer launch, tickets to the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Opening Night Event will be on sale. For tickets to the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Opening Night Event at Walt Disney World Resort, visit amctheatres.com/starwarswdw to purchase.

For more information read the FAQ on the event!

October 4, 2015

Annual/Seasonal Pass and Tables in Wonderland Price Increases

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Walt Disney World has announced a number of price increases that go into effect today, October 4, 2015.

1. Annual and Seasonal passes have been renamed and given a new price structure.

OLD NAME: Premium Annual Pass
NEW NAME: Platinum Plus Pass
PRICE: $729 for Florida Resident/DVC Member / $829 Otherwise

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), Disney’s Oak Trail golf course, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

OLD NAME: Annual Pass
NEW NAME: Platinum Pass
PRICE: $649 for Florida Resident/DVC Member / $749 Otherwise

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

NEW TIER: Gold Pass
PRICE: $549 for Florida Resident/DVC Member

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's and Easter/spring break
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges
-- Disney PhotoPass (unlimited downloads)

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

OLD NAME: Seasonal Pass
NEW NAME: Florida Resident Silver Pass
PRICE: $389 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- unlimited admission from the activation date to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's, Easter/spring break, and peak summer vacation period
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

NEW TIER: Florida Resident Weekday Select Pass
PRICE: $259 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- admission on weekdays only to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom except for “blockout” dates around Christmas/New Year's, Easter/spring break, and peak summer vacation period
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand
-- park hopping privileges

The pass expires 365 days after activation.

TIER: Epcot After 4 P.M. Pass
PRICE: $249 for Florida Resident

Entitles guest to:
-- admission to Epcot, after 4 p.m.
-- theme park parking
-- complimentary MagicBand

The above prices DO NOT include tax. For a table with the complete listing of all Walt Disney World admission prices, including tax, as well as renewal prices, visit our Ticket Price Comparison Chart.

2. Tables in Wonderland prices have increased.

-- NEW PRICE: $175 for Florida Residents (was $125)

-- NEW PRICE: $150 for Annual / Seasonal Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members (was $100)

Add a second membership for your spouse or partner for $50 more.

Tables in Wonderland memberships are good for one year.

October 3, 2015

The Good Dinosaur Preview Scenes at Disney Parks October 16

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Preview Scenes from Disney•Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’ at Disney Parks Starting October 16

Imagine if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct. That’s the premise behind Disney•ŸPixar’s epic adventure, “The Good Dinosaur,” coming to theaters this Thanksgiving.

Beginning October 16, guests visiting Disney Parks will be able to catch a preview of scenes from “The Good Dinosaur” in sneak peeks planned for Disney California Adventure park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

At Disney California Adventure park, “The Good Dinosaur” preview will be presented at the Bug’s Life Theater with special in-theater effects. Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get to see this advance look at clips from the film, as part of the One Man’s Dream attraction on Mickey Avenue.

In “The Good Dinosaur,” Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

Directed by Peter Sohn (“Partly Cloudy”) and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”), DisneyŸ•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters on November 25, 2015.

September 8, 2015

Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise Debuts October 4

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A new nighttime fireworks cruise will debut at Walt Disney World on October 4. Called Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise, the cruise is the perfect way to take in a breathtaking view of the Magic Kingdom Park night time spectacular fireworks from an exclusive spot on Seven Seas Lagoon with dazzling desserts and drinks.

The cruise on the double-stack ferryboat departs from the Ticket & Transportation Ferryboat Dock one hour prior to “Wishes” Nighttime Spectacular, which is offered select nights weekly. The boat's decks are laden with sweets such as “The Grand” key lime tart; pineapple upside down cake from the chefs at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort; spiced flourless chocolate cake from the pastry kitchen at Disney’s Contemporary Resort; “Main Street” Mickey Balloon Tarts; mini “fireworks” cupcakes with a pop; Cinderella’s Sugar Slipper with Orange Financier; no-sugar-added Florida mango panna cotta; and a fabulous fruit and cheese spread. You can toast the evening with specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in souvenir glow glasses.

While you sample the sweets, “Wishes” will light the sky overhead. The medley of famous Disney songs and the voices of Disney characters will be piped through the boat’s sound system. And you can bet there will be some special “magical moments” Disney style (REMEMBER: On Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very-Merry-Christmas Party nights, the fireworks display will be Happy HalloWishes or Holiday Wishes- Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, not the usual “Wishes” Nighttime Spectacular.)

Space is limited for each sailing. Price is $99 for adults, $69 ages 3 to 9, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/DINE or call 407-WDW-DINE.

(source: Disney Parks Blog)

September 2, 2015

Morimoto Asia Announces September 30 Opening Date as Downtown Disney Nears its Transition to Disney Springs

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Chef Morimoto’s first pan-Asian restaurant will sit in the heart of the new Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

(NEW YORK) Sept. 2, 2015 – Morimoto Asia, a highly anticipated collaboration between Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group, is pleased to announce a scheduled opening date of September 30, 2015 as Downtown Disney nears its transition to Disney Springs. The Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience will showcase flavors from across the Asian continent, all with Morimoto’s creative touch.

Morimoto Asia’s eye-catching, 36-foot tall, two-story layout has been designed by STUDIO V Architecture. It includes lounges, dining spaces, and an exhibition kitchen that allows guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the culinary action. The second-level sushi bar and lounge have a separate entrance. Morimoto Asia will debut as part of The Landing, one of four neighborhoods in the new Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

“This has been a project of passion for our team and Chef Morimoto. We can’t wait to open our doors to everyone visiting Disney Springs this fall and beyond,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.

Morimoto Asia will offer an entirely new experience for the diner, due to the creativity of Chef Morimoto, already one of the most inventive forces in Asian cuisine. The menu is Chef Morimoto’s eclectic take on his favorite Asian flavors including moo shu pork, Peking duck, lobster chow fun, sweet and sour crispy whole fish, and kung pao chicken. Dim sum will be served during weekend brunch service, and will include a variety of dumplings, shumai, bao, spare ribs and more. Being a true family-friendly destination, kids will have a variety of Asian-infused dishes including chicken ramen, kakuni pork bao, and karaage fried chicken.

The sushi bar will be a culinary experience unto itself. The intimate, 14-seat counter will offer pristine sushi and sashimi options from around the world. Items include toro, kanpachi, Japanese red snapper, uni, sea eel, hamachi, fluke, and salmon, as well as more ocean delicacies. A variety of specialty sushi rolls and selections from the raw bar will also be offered. While traditional sushi service will be limited to the guests seated at the sushi bar, a selection of specialty rolls and sushi platters will be available to the main restaurant’s diners.

Not to be outdone, the beverages at Morimoto Asia will also be destination-worthy. The beers will feature mostly Asian varieties in both bottle and on draft, including the Morimoto signature beer by Rogue Ales.

In addition to the collector’s edition Imperial Pilsner and Morimoto Soba Ale and the highly coveted Black Obi Soba will also be available by the bottle. The restaurant will also offer an assortment of sake, including the Morimoto signature line, plus a wine list showcasing wines of the world, signature cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.

“I am excited to create a menu that allows so many of my favorite Asian flavors to come alive all in one place,” said Chef Masaharu Morimoto. “I hope the guests at Morimoto Asia have as much fun eating this food as I have creating it.”

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Morimoto Asia will be a visually stunning addition to Disney Springs. The restaurant’s main entrance features a three-story glass corner, revealing the dramatic interior design including a multi-level bar and spiraling chandelier made of illuminated glass bottles. The sculptural bar at over 270 feet in length is one of the largest in the world, as it leaps through the soaring 36-foot tall space to connect the grand dining room on the ground floor with the upper level, wrapping around the grand stairway. Custom glass beaded chandeliers evoke the ocean delicacies of Chef Morimoto’s cuisine, and are reflected in antique mirrors, interspersed with glass mosaic artworks based on ancient Japanese prints. Chef Morimoto’s exclusive sushi bar is sculpted from hundreds of pieces of hand-selected ash wood, backed with a wall of hammered copper. Morimoto Asia’s two-story outdoor terrace provides patio seating with sweeping views of Disney Springs.

Morimoto Asia will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with dim sum. www.morimotoasia.com

March 26, 2015

New Menu Coming to Studio Catering Company at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Studio Catering Company at Disney's Hollywood Studios has announced new menu offerings!

Braised Pulled Brisket Sandwich with Munster Cheese, Arugula, and creamy horseradish

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Deli Sandwich with Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, Provolone cheese, creamy pesto spread, pepper relish and Balsamic glaze.

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Panini with Turkey, Swiss, Provolone and Honey Mustard with Tomato Basil Soup

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Lighter fare includes the new Vegetable Wrap with Garlic Herb Spread

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There are 2 new sides: House-made chips and Tomato Basil Soup.


March 6, 2015

Soarin and Toy Story Updates

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In response to overwhelming guest demand for Epcot's Soarin' and Toy Story Mid Way Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World has announced plans for expansion and updates of the popular attractions.

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Another theater is being added to Soarin' as well as new screens and a projection system bringing a visually enhanced experience.

Toy Story Midway Mania will be adding more track to accommodate more riders.

Preparation and construction for both have been underway for a few months. Completion date for both attractions is late 2016.

February 22, 2015

Walt Disney World Raises Ticket Prices

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After several weeks of rumors, it has become official that the US Disney Parks have raised prices as of February 22, 2015.

For Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, it will now cost $105 plus tax to spend one day at the Magic Kingdom. The other 3 Orlando park one day tickets are now $97 each.

The biggest change, however, is the elimination of "No-Expiration Options". Now, your multi-day ticket will expire 14 days from first use.

Florida resident and other annual pass prices are also higher.

For new prices visit our Ticket Price Charts!

Like wise at Disneyland, ticket prices also were increased. The one-day ticket to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure have gone from $96 to $99.

AllEars Recommends Maple Leaf Tickets for discounted Orlando Theme Parks and show.

MapleLeaf is offering tickets at the lower price while supplies last!

MapleLeafTickets.com is excited to offer AllEars readers an extra discount via our dedicated ticket order form. All our prices include tax with no other hidden fees or gimmicks attached! We look forward to saving you both time and money on your attraction ticket needs - You must use this special link to get the special AllEars Pricing!

October 27, 2014

New Morimoto Asia Restaurant to Open at Disney Springs

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NEW YORK: October 27, 2014 - Chef Masaharu Morimoto is teaming up with Patina Restaurant Group to open Morimoto Asia as Walt Disney World Resort brings to life Disney Springs, an entertainment-dining-retail district re-imagined from Downtown Disney. To open in summer 2015 at The Landing, in the heart of Disney Springs, Morimoto Asia is the Japanese master chef's first pan-Asian dining experience.

Morimoto Asia's extraordinary, 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes a vast range of areas to explore including open terraces, grand hall, private rooms, long bar, cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more. The restaurant is being designed by STUDIO V Architecture.

"We are delighted to work with Morimoto to create this one of a kind restaurant, which will be a spectacular dining destination at the new Disney Springs," said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.

"I'm very excited to bring this new concept to Disney, something I've always dreamed of," said Chef Morimoto. "It's a wonderful chance to share some of my favorite foods from across the Asian continent."

Morimoto Asia's culinary elements will provide flavors from across Asia, while exhibition kitchens will showcase the continent's traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Morimoto's inspiration and perspective will create an unmatched dining experience in this richly layered setting.

"We're thrilled to bring Chef Morimoto's renowned culinary style to Disney Springs as we expand the range of dining experiences for our resort guests as well as local Florida residents," said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

For dining reservations and more information about Morimoto Asia, guests will be able to visit Disneyworld.com in the future.

October 17, 2014

Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero 6 Coming to Disney Parks

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The DisneyParksBlog announced in August that Big Hero 6 characters would be coming to Disney Parks in the US this fall.

Although the start date has not been announced (mid-November is all we know right now), the locations of the Meet and Greet have. In Disney's Hollywood Studios, look for Hiro and Baymax inside the Magic of Disney Animation attraction. The themeing of the area will be the lab from the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and then you'll find the characters inside Hiro's garage workshop.

The current Meet and Greet for Wreck-it-Ralph will close on October 24th to prepare for Big Hero 6!

In Disneyland, Hiro's robotic workshop will be located near the Starcade in Tomorrowland. Also right now in Disneyland you can see a preview of the new film in Tomorrowland's Magic Eye Theatre.

September 9, 2014

Trattoria al Forno Costumes - Lakeside Casual

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In July, 2014, Disney announced that Trattoria al Forno (Italy) would replace Kouzzina (Greece) at Boardwalk.

Today Disney shares the costume designer renderings of the costumes for the cast members. These were designed by Walt Disney Imagineer Celina Lung. Lung has also designed costumes for Epcot's Coral Reef restaurant as well as various locations in Disney parks around the world.

The attire is "charming, casual, a little upscale", said Lung, and will match the restaurant color palette.

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Burgundy shirts and blouses will be paried with khaki-colored pants. To provide a more refined finish the bladed leather belt will have an antique brass buckle. Serves will also wear bistro aprons.

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A classic tweed jacket will complement the outfits in the colder months.

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The restaurant is scheduled to open in December 2014. Kouzzina closes at the end of September. While Kouzzina is closed, breakfast will be offered at the Flying Fish Cafe.

July 23, 2014

New Fall Offer at Walt Disney World!

Save up to 30 percent on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels, valid for stays most nights October 4 through November 25, and November 29 through December 23, 2014. Book by October 3, 2014.

Select Disney Deluxe Villa Resort Hotels Save up to 30 percent
Select Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels Save up to 30 percent
Select Disney Moderate Resort Hotels Save 20 percent
Select Disney Value Resort Hotels Save 15 percent

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.

Length of Stay Requirements

Minimum - 1 night
Maximum - 14 nights
Discounted room rate will only be applied to travel dates that are valid offer travel dates.

Offer Restrictions

Advance reservations required.
Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
Offer excludes campsites and 3-bedroom villas.

To book by phone, call Disney at (407) 939-1896 and speak with a vacation planning expert or call your travel agent. AllEars.Net's preferred travel service provider is MouseFanTravel.com.

June 27, 2014

Two New VIP Tours at Walt Disney World

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Two new tours, The Ultimate Day of Thrills - A VIP Tour Experience and The Ultimate Day for Young Families - A VIP Tour Experience, are now available for booking at Walt Disney World.

Each tour lasts six to seven hours and features rides on attractions at Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Toy Story Midway Mania! and Expedition Everest. The tours also include a meal at a Walt Disney World table-service restaurant. (Note that the Ultimate Day for Young Families will include attractions specifically meant for young children, as well.)

These tours will be offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and cost $299 per person. Disney Vacation Club Members, Disney VISA Cardholders and Annual Passholders can receive a 15 percent discount.

Call 407-WDW-TOUR for more information or to book one of these tours.

source: The Disney Parks Blog

May 20, 2014

Petty Holdings, LLC and Pixar Animation Studios Roll Out Piston Cup Junior Ride-Along Cars

Custom character cars include Aiken Axler and Sage VanDerSpin from the movie "Cars"

CONCORD, NC (May 19, 2014) - Petty Holdings, LLC and Pixar Animation Studios are bringing to life two characters from the Academy Award-nominated 2006 animated feature film "Cars" - Aiken Axler and Sage VanDerSpin at Walt Disney World Resort. Petty Holdings initially began their relationship with Pixar when Richard Petty became the voice of "The King" in the original "Cars" movie.

The two full-size custom character cars, created by "Cars" creative director Jay Ward, will enter the line-up for the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World® Speedway near Orlando, Fla. beginning Saturday, June 14. The #28 Aiken Axler and #80 Sage VanDerSpin cars will be used in the new Piston Cup Junior Ride-Along program. For just $59, the Junior Ride-Along program gives children ages 6 to 13 (and at least 48 inches tall) the chance to experience real-life racing excitement as they ride shotgun with a professional driving instructor for three thrilling laps in a specially equipped Piston Cup race car.

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"We're thrilled to have Sage and Aiken join the Richard Petty Driving Experience team and know they'll provide a truly magical element to our popular Junior Ride-Along program," said Chris Kirby, Petty Holdings director of marketing. "Jay did an amazing job bringing these two characters to life in the form of two full-sized, high-performance, 600HP race cars."

According to their official biographies, #80 VanDerSpin races for Team "Gask-its" and is the youngest winner of the Junior Piston Cup Pro Series. Axler is the #28 Nitroade racer who captured the Vitoline Rookie of the Year honors in his first full season of Cup competition. Both will be sporting their team colors and sponsors, along with their larger-than-life personalities, thanks to a specialty window wrap.

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"The window wrap makes it possible to see the character eyes from the exterior, which really brings them to life, but doesn't interfere with the view of the track," added Kirby. "Once passengers are inside the car, the track can be clearly seen so they can fully enjoy the experience of racing around the track."

Ward has also been named guardian of the "Cars" franchise due to his in-depth knowledge and love of cars. Ward's position allows him to have a hand in developing consumer products, interactive games, theme parks, marketing and ancillary projects involving "Cars," - which led to his role in developing the VanDerSpin and Axler Piston Cars. Since joining Pixar in 1998, Ward has worked in the art department on a number of other Pixar movies including "Ratatouille," "Monster's Inc." and "Brave."

Both cars feature custom racing seats designed by The Joie of Seating - a premier fabricator of custom-fitted aluminum racing seats, owned and operated by two-time NASCAR Nationwide series champion Randy LaJoie. Specifically designed to ensure the safety and security of smaller bodies, these full containment racing seats feature built-in shoulder and head protection and a five-point safety harness with the same design used by NASCAR drivers.

Junior Ride-Alongs do not require reservations and are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Find out more information about program offerings, dates and times by visiting Drivepetty.com or call 800-237-3889.

'Rock Your Disney Side' as Disney Parks Kicks Off Summer Vacation Season With 24 Hours of Magic on Both Coasts, May 23-24

Three Disney Parks Celebrate Summer Fun with a Rockin' Bi-Coastal All-Nighter

ANAHEIM, Calif. and LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 15, 2014) - Disney Parks will kick off the summer travel season with a 24-hour, coast-to-coast celebration that invites guests to "Rock Your Disney Side" at three Disney theme parks ­­- Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in California, and Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

From 6 a.m. Friday, May 23, to 6 a.m. Saturday, May 24, 2014*, on each coast, guests will spend 24 hours laughing, screaming, dancing and embracing their own Disney Side - that fun, playful side that emerges as they enter a Disney park. (* Hours of operation: 6 a.m. on 5/23/14 to 6 a.m. on 5/24/14; subject to capacity restrictions. Only select attractions, entertainment and services will be available. Valid theme park admission required. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.)

Disney pirates, princesses, villains and a few rarely seen characters will stay in the parks all day and all night, inviting guests to dress up for the occasion, too. Guests may join the party dressed in costume, perhaps as their favorite Disney Hero or Villain. Costumes should be child-friendly and adhere to any guidelines determined by Disney.

The 24-hour celebration of summer also features special entertainment in all three parks.

At Walt Disney World Resort, near Orlando, Florida
In Florida, a cast of Disney Villains will have a special place in the Magic Kingdom 24-hour celebration, including Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and such rarely spotted miscreants as the Big Bad Wolf, Stromboli from "Pinocchio," and Bowler Hat Guy from "Meet the Robinsons." They will appear in locations throughout the park and also join in the "It's Good to Be Bad" cavalcade preceding Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade.

Guests at the Magic Kingdom will enjoy nighttime dancing around Cinderella Castle and in Frontierland. The "#IncrediblesSuperDanceParty," a nightly feature throughout the summer, will be followed during the All-Nighter by special screenings of "The Incredibles" at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland.

At the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California
In California, the 24-hour fun begins in the Esplanade outside the entrances to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, where guests will discover Olaf, the lovable snowman from Disney's blockbuster animated film "Frozen, represented by a larger-than-life sand sculpture. Fireworks and live entertainment will entertain guests as the parks open at 6 a.m. Pacific Time.

At Disneyland, exciting entertainment will include the "Avengers Super Hero Movie Marathon" throughout the day and overnight in the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland. Nighttime highlights will feature an after-midnight performance of "Mickey's Soundsational Parade" and dance-till-dawn parties at the Tomorrowland Terrace Dance Club and the Sleeping Beauty Castle Forecourt Dance Club. In addition to 24 hours of atmosphere entertainment and appearances by Disney characters, the Disney Villains are planning an overnight "takeover" of the Royal Hall in Fantasy Faire.

Disney California Adventure invites guests to kick off summer with an all-night "Mad T Party," dancing in Pacific Wharf and Paradise Garden, and a special 3 a.m. performance of "World of Color," the water spectacular with nearly 1,200 dancing fountains.

Just the Beginning
The All-Nighter is just the beginning of the summer fun at Disney Parks on both coasts.

At Walt Disney World, the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction, opening May 28, takes guests on a rollicking musical ride into the mine "where a million diamonds shine" and becomes the crowning jewel of New Fantasyland, the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Also at Magic Kingdom, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade brings the magical stories of New Fantasyland to Main Street, U.S.A., through fantastic and innovative parade floats, vibrant costumes and an original soundtrack that features beloved songs from favorite Disney films along with a new parade theme song.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, the popular and highly interactive musical show "Festival of the Lion King" returns this summer in the new Harambe Theatre. The park will offer Harambe Nights on Saturday evenings, June 7 through August 9, featuring a dazzling theatrical experience and energetic street party to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Disney's acclaimed "The Lion King."

Vacationers can stay in the middle of the magic this summer with special savings at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. For reservations, contact 407-934-7639, or visit Disneyworld.com.

At the Disneyland Resort, guests will enjoy the thrills of the newly reopened and enhanced Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, along with dazzling summer entertainment that, beginning in mid-June, will include "Frozen" characters in a special pre-parade float for "Mickey's Soundsational Parade." The pre-parade unit features Princess Anna and snowman Olaf frolicking in the snow while Queen Elsa is depicted in her icy domain.

Other summer entertainment in Disneyland includes daily performances of the enchanting "Mickey and the Magical Map" stage show, nightly performances of both "Fantasmic!" and "Magical" fireworks, featuring aerial flights by both Tinker Bell and Dumbo, and a variety of new entertainment daily in Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. At Disney California Adventure, guests continue to enjoy the thrills and fun of Cars Land and the after-dark excitement of "World of Color" and "Mad T Party."

Vacationing families may take advantage of special Disneyland Resort room and ticket packages at the resort and at nearby Good Neighbor hotels, with a selection to match every budget. For details, call 714-520-5060 or look for vacation packages at Disneyland.

Guests who choose to stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel - Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel or Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa - have the added benefits of Extra Magic Hour early admission to the parks (selected locations), easy access to Disney Character Dining in hotel restaurants, an exclusive entrance into Disney California Adventure park through Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and special wake-up calls from Disney characters. Visit the Disneyland Resort Hotels page for details.

April 22, 2014

Disney Dreamers and Doers Accepting Student Self-Nominations

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Walt Disney World Resort recognizes Central Florida students who have excelled in their academic achievements and civic efforts, naming them Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 21, 2014 - Central Florida's youngest humanitarians and community service leaders are invited to come forward and be recognized as Disney Dreamers and Doers. Through April 25, the Disney Dreamers and Doers Program is accepting nominations for local students who inspire others as role models in their community, at school or in their homes.

Whether their energies are focused on helping their families, classmates and fellow kids, or community causes - students are asked to nominate themselves for their good deeds and service. From tutoring younger students to leading a food drive to overcoming challenges and improving their grades - Disney Dreamers and Doers nominees make a difference through dedication and kindness.

"It's an honor to recognize the compassion, vision and hard work of these exceptional young people, who act on their dreams of changing the world for the better," said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort. "The positive impact these students make on Central Florida is an inspiration to everyone here at Walt Disney World Resort."

Based on self-nominations from students, school principals throughout Central Florida will select one student to represent their classmates as Dreamers and Doers. From the students chosen as their school's Dreamer and Doer, a panel of Disney judges will select up to 15 Shining Stars from public and private elementary, middle and high schools in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties. Considered the best of the best, these students consistently demonstrate outstanding character, lead by example and have a caring spirit.

In recognition of their accomplishments, Disney Dreamers and Doers receive four Walt Disney World theme park tickets, an honorary certificate and award medallion. Students later selected as Shining Stars will receive a Mickey Mouse statue known as a "Mousecar," Walt Disney World annual theme park passes for themselves and their immediate family, a gold medallion and recognition at their respective schools.

Last year, about 400 students were recognized as Disney Dreamers and Doers, bringing the total to more than 12,000 since the program began. As part of its ongoing commitment to local children and education, Walt Disney World Resort has awarded Disney Grants for five school districts and early learning coalitions, sponsored of A Gift For Teaching, as well as donated clothing and millions of school supplies to students in the past year.

March 26, 2014

Star Wars Weekends Dining Experiences

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Great news for our Star Wars™ fans and Guests! Beginning March 26, two new dining experiences will be available for booking for Star Wars™ Weekends from May 4 to June 15, 2014.

Jedi Mickey's Star Wars™ Dine at Hollywood and Vine

The Fantasmic! dinner experience at Hollywood and Vine has been transformed into a Star Wars™ themed venue where Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Chip & Dale will all be dressed as their favorite Star Wars™ characters (Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald, and Ewoks Chip & Dale). The characters will meet and greet and interact with Guests throughout the evening.

Dates: May 4 - June 15, 2014

Times: 4:15pm to 8 or 8:30 pm (sometimes 9pm to 9:30 - based on park close)
Price: Adult - $59.99 with Fantasmic! Package or $55.99 without
Child - $36.99 with Fantasmic! Package or $32.99 without

A digital photo of the party with the Ewoks Chip & Dale on a commemorative PhotoPass card is included.


Star Wars™ Dine-In Galactic Breakfast
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater becomes the Star Wars™ Dine-in Theater for this character dining experience. Characters include Stormtroopers, Jawa, Greedo, and Boba Fett and a Darth Vader Meet & Greet after check-in. Additionally, the traditional Sci-Fi clips will be replaced with Star Wars™ clips, trailers and music.

Dates: May 4 - June 15, 2014
Times: 8am - 12pm
Price: Adult - $47.99
Child - $29.99

A digital photo of the party on a commemorative PhotoPass card is included.

March 13, 2014

New Offer for Disney Visa Card Holders

A new special vacation offer is now available for Disney Visa Card Holders. Save as much as 35% on stays of 6 nights or longer; save up to 30% on stays of up 1-6 days. Savings is based on resort selected and on the non-discounted price for the same room. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package.

Upgrade to a package and save even more. (Minimum 6-day Magic Your Way Ticket required.)

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length of stay requirements may apply.

Book with your Disney Visa® Card now through 6/6/14 for stays 6/15 - 8/28/2014.

Call 1-407-939-7217 or call your travel agent (AllEars.Net recommends MouseFanTravel.com) and mention code S499R.

This offer becomes available to the general public on March 17, 2014.

March 8, 2014

Finding "Frozen" in Disney Parks

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From the kingdom of Arendelle, guests can immerse themselves in the Oscar-winning animated blockbuster hit Frozen throughout Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. From meet and greets with royalty, to vacationing at the stunning sites that inspired the blockbuster film, here's where you can enjoy your own icy adventures:

Walt Disney World Resort:
• Meet Elsa and Anna inside the Prinsesse Plass, located in the Norway pavilion at Epcot (See photos from this meet and greet HERE.)
• Elsa and Anna will join the new daytime spectacular "Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade" at Magic Kingdom, when it debuts March 9
• Also at Magic Kingdom, the "Celebrate the Magic" nighttime projection show transforms Cinderella Castle with visuals from Frozen

Disneyland Resort:
• Meet Elsa and Anna in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park
• Olaf the snowman greets Disneyland park guests before they meet Elsa and Anna in Fantasyland
• Elsa appears in "World of Color - Winter Dreams," the holiday version of the popular after-dark spectacular at Disney California Adventure Park. "World of Color - Winter Dreams" may be seen during the Holiday season, which starts in November.

Adventures by Disney:
• A new vacation experience to Norway guides families through an eight-day, seven-night adventure across the stunning lands that inspired the movie Frozen: Fjords, Bergen and Oslo

Disneyland Paris
• Elsa, Anna and Olaf appear in the "Disney Magic On Parade"

Disney Cruise Line
• Anna is onboard the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream
• Olaf greets guests at the post office on Castaway Cay
• Guests can watch Frozen in the theaters on all four Disney cruise ships

March 7, 2014

Disney Dreamers Academy Kicks Off at Walt Disney World

Disney hosts select high school students for annual program

Dreamers to engage in career and mentoring workshops at seventh-annual Disney Dreamers Academy in March

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Steve Harvey, Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell, ESSENCES's Mikki Taylor, Minnie and Mickey with Dreamers in 2013 Magic Kingdom Parade
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Mar. 6, 2014) - This weekend, Walt Disney World Resort will host an exclusive group of teens for the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. The teens, along with a parent or guardian, received an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort March 6-9, but they aren't vacationing. Instead, they will be participating in a once-in-lifetime, innovative, outside-the-classroom, educational and mentoring program.

Entering its seventh year, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies.

It all takes place in a magical setting: the Walt Disney World theme parks. Both on stage and behind the scenes, the parks become vibrant classrooms, leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

"Over the past six years, we have helped 600 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life," said Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. "The seventh Disney Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life."

Walt Disney World Resort along with Steve Harvey, syndicated television and radio personality, and ESSENCE Magazine will host the selected Dreamers during their four-day power packed career and educational exploration. Harvey, speaking on the program, says, "Disney Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities. We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold."

ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, "We are excited about the seventh Disney Dreamers Academy. This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level. This year we plan to go above and beyond to encourage Dreamers. Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey represents our commitment to the leaders of tomorrow."

This year's students were selected from nearly 10,000 applicants - the most applicants in the history of the program - by a panel of judges representing the best in their fields that included Powell, Harvey and Ebanks. Applicants answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and life dreams.

The rest of the 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy judging panel was comprised of: Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, ESSENCE Magazine); Dr. Steve Perry (education advocate and CNN commentator); Sonia Jackson Myles (founder and author, The Sister Accord); Jonathan Sprinkles (award-winning motivational speaker); Chef Jeff Henderson (celebrity chef and motivational speaker); Brandi Harvey (Corporate and Community Relations Director, the Steve Harvey World Group); Karli Harvey (Hair Artesian, U Salon, Atlanta) and Princeton Parker (Disney Dreamers Academy alumnus).

This accomplished group, along with others including Yolanda Adams (gospel music legend); Terrence J (actor and host of E! News); Stephen A. Smith (broadcaster and sports analyst); and Alex O. Ellis (CEO, Simply Ellis Custom Clothier), remains involved in Disney Dreamers Academy throughout the year, serving as the program's ambassadors and advisory panel as part of Disney Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group.

For more information, visit www.disneysdreamersacademy.com, www.facebook.com/disneysdreamersacademy or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dreamersacademy.

February 4, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith "Goes to Disney World"

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Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith rides Feb. 3, 2014 with Mickey Mouse in a parade through the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Smith, a linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, helped lead his team to a 43-8 victory last night over the Denver Broncos in East Rutherford, N.J. After the game, Smith became the NFL's first defensive player to star in the iconic Disney Parks commercial where he proclaimed "I'm Going to Disney World!"

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2014) - The victory atmosphere moved south from New Jersey to Walt Disney World Resort Monday where Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith celebrated his team's stunning Super Bowl XLVIII championship win as thousands of fans lined Main Street, U.S.A.

Just hours after his title win against the Denver Broncos, Smith was riding high atop a convertible smiling and waving to guests at Walt Disney World Resort.

Flashing lights, a whirlwind of fluttering confetti, balloons and Mickey Mouse himself accompanied the Super Bowl MVP down the famous street at the Magic Kingdom. It was a remarkable dream come true for Smith, who went from being the last player the Seahawks drafted in 2011 (No. 242 overall) to the hero of the Super Bowl.

In the frenzied moments following his team capturing the National Football League championship Sunday night in New Jersey, Smith stood in front of a TV camera and shouted five words that have become an almost iconic reaction to milestone achievement: "I'm going to Disney World!"

The commercial aired Monday morning and is the 47th of a series that began in 1987 following Super Bowl XXI featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms. The campaign pays tribute to personal achievements of athletes and celebrities and continues to be an iconic celebration as only Disney can do.

Smith set another mark Sunday night. He became the first defensive player to star in the Disney commercial.

This year's commercial marks a "Frozen" first. Idina Menzel, who voiced Elsa in Disney's Academy Award®-nominated animated feature film "Frozen," sings the traditional "When You Wish Upon a Star" to accompany the iconic ad. Menzel, who performs the Academy Award®-nominated hit song "Let It Go" in the film and the all-new hit "Frozen" soundtrack, becomes the first contemporary artist to perform "When You Wish Upon a Star" in the Disney Parks Super Bowl ad. She recorded the vocal track in New York City on Jan. 26, 2014 and it was paired with the orchestral track recorded the previous week at London's famed Abbey Road Studios.

Smith joins an all-star lineup of heroes from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments in "I'm going to Disney World" commercials.
- See more at: http://wdwnews.com/releases/2014/02/03/super-bowl-xlviii-mvp-malcolm-smith-goes-to-disney-world/#sthash.woZNwePR.dpuf

January 14, 2014

Festival of Fantasy Parade - Maleficent

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Maleficent the Dragon!

Details are slowly emerging about the new Magic Kingdom Parade called Festival of Fantasy, which will debut this spring. The new parade celebrates Fantasyland and the floats bring to life characters that can be found in Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, and Tangled.

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The Maleficent float is 35 feet long and 26 feet high. Michael Curry, a Tony Award Winner, is collaborating with Walt Disney World on this parade. Previously he worked with Disney Parks on the Tapestry of Nations parade and Finding Nemo the Musical.

Here are some additional photographs released by Disney Parks Blog:

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January 10, 2014

Groundbreaking for AVATAR-Inspired Land at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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Using Na'vi-inspired shovels and assisted by a Na'vi, (left to right) George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort; Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France; Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; a Na'vi; Jon Landau, AVATAR Producer; Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering; and Joe Rohde, creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, pose Jan. 8, 2014 during the ceremonial groundbreaking of an AVATAR-inspired land at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The multi-year and largest expansion in Disney's Animal Kingdom history, the new land will invite Walt Disney World Resort guests to experience the wonders of Pandora when they fly with the banshees, encounter the Na'vi and explore a rich cultural environment with mountains that float and interactive plants that glow at night.


January 7, 2014

Spring Offer Save Up to 30% on Select Rooms at Walt Disney World Resort

Spring is a great time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort. This year, the return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Atlanta Braves Spring Training games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the return of Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios are just a few of the things our guests have to look forward to.

If you're considering booking a spring vacation, now is the time to do so. Guests who book their resort stays now through March 31, 2014, (for vacations taking place March 14 - April 12, 2014, and April 20 - June 15, 2014) may receive up to 30% off the cost of their room. Plus, when you upgrade to a Magic Your Way package with a minimum four-day theme park tickets, you'll get one more ticket day for free.

Visit the AllEars recommended Travel Agency: MouseFanTravel.com

December 23, 2013

2014 Night of Joy Full Line-Up

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The 2014 Night of Joy will be held in the Magic Kingdom on September 5th and 6th. The entertainment line-up has now been fully announced:

Friday, September 5, 2014:

Hillsong United
Chris Tomlin
Matthew West
For King & Country
Mandisa
Building 429
Matt Maher
The Neverclaim

Saturday, September 6, 2014:

Skillet
Casting Crowns
MercyMe
Israel Houghton & New Breed
Britt Nicole
Colton Dixon
Rhett Walker
We As Human
One Girl Nation

The Night of Joy is a special separate ticketed event held in the Magic Kingdom.

November 9, 2013

Marketplace Co Op Coming to Downtown Disney in 2014

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The Disney Parks Blog announced yesterday that a new merchandise location is coming to Downtown Disney Marketplace in spring 2014.

The Marketplace Co Op will occupy the site that currently houses Team Mickey, next to TrenD. Team Mickey will close in early January 2014 to make way for the new Co Op.

According to the Disney Parks Blog, the marketplace will act as a collection of shops within a shop -- a sort of "incubator," serving to introduce new Disney specialty retail shops and products to the public.

The current building will be slightly redesigned, but will retain its original ceiling elements, including the skylight.

When it opens, The Marketplace Co Op will house:

-- Beautifully Disney - featuring make-up, fragrance and beauty accessories.

-- Cherry Tree Lane - accessories such as scarves, shoes, bags and jewelry.

-- D-Tech on Demand - personalized, customized electronic accessories.

-- The Trophy Room - vintage inspired, lifestyle sports apparel and collectibles.

-- Centerpiece - room furnishings, textiles and everyday ware with a touch of Disney.

-- Zoey and Pickles - the latest trends and glamour for young girls.

October 31, 2013

New $999 Walt Disney World Vacation Package Offer

Purchase a 3-night, 2-day Magic Your Way Room and Ticket Package PLUS Quick Service Dining at a select Disney Value Resort hotel (in a standard room, excluding Disney's Art of Animation Resort) for a family of three (two adults plus one child ages 3-9) for $999* for stays most nights January 5 - February 12, 2014!

This package includes:

-- 2-day theme park tickets
-- the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan
-- 3 nights in a standard room at a Disney Value Resort hotel (excluding Disney's Art of Animation Resort), valid for stays most nights January 5 through February 12, 2014.

Ask about other great rates for other lengths of stay, alternative family configurations and other Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights January 5 - March 5, 2014.

Rates may vary based on Disney Resort hotel, room type, party size and length of stay. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort and The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Book by December 31, 2013.

The number of packages available at this rate is limited. Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities. Children ages 3-9 must choose from the children's menu, if available.

To book, call (407) 939-7750 or call your travel agent. AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider is Mouse Fan Travel.

*Sample package price based on 2 adults and one child (ages 3-9) for a 3-Night/2-Day Magic Your Way room, ticket and Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan package.


October 7, 2013

Frozen Coming to the Disney Parks this Fall

The Disney Parks Blog has announced that Frozen (arriving in theatres November 27, 2013) will have a presence at Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort.

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Anna and her sister Elsa, will appear in the Norway pavillion at Epcot for meet and greets. Also in Norway, the current exhibit in the Stave Church will be transformed to show how Norway inspired the filmmakers to create Frozen.

At Disneyland, you will find Olaf in Fantasyland and as previously announced in Disney California Adventure, Olaf will host the new World of Color version called "World of Color - Winter Dreams"


October 4, 2013

New Special Offers for Disney VISA Card Holders

Disney VISA card holders can save up to 35% when staying at a select Walt Disney World® Resort hotel with one of these new offers.

NOTE: These offers are currently just for Disney VISA cardholders. They will be available to the general public as of October 8, 2013.

1) Disney VISA -- Stay, Play & Dine Offer

Stay, Play Dine and Save up to $600* with the purchase of this 5-Night/6-Day Walt Disney Travel Company room, ticket and dining plan package at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels (based on a family of four).

-- Book a 5-night, 6-day Magic Your Way package with Disney Dining Plan and save up to $600*!

-- Book a 5-night, 6-day Magic Your Way package with Quick Service Dining Plan and save up to $400*!

Book a Moderate or Deluxe Resort or Villa and get the Dining Plan.
Book Value Resort and get the Quick Service Dining plan.

For stays most nights January 5 - March 5, 2014
Book by December 31, 2013.

This vacation package offer becomes available to the general public on October 8, 2013.
Call 407-939-7737 or contact AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider MouseFanTravel.com.

Book by December 31, 2013, with your Disney Visa® Card and use code JJQ for Value Resorts and code TRJ for Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts.

* The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price of the same package for 2 adults, 1 junior and 1 child. Tickets valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites and 3-bedroom villas and is not valid at Disney's Art of Animation Resort and Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Children ages 3-9 must choose from the children's menu, if available. Excludes gratuities and alcoholic beverages. Some Table-Service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.

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2) Disney VISA - Room Offer - save up to 35%

Stay and experience the magic up close. Be close to the heart of all the magic, from the Theme Parks and entertainment to exciting nightlife, shopping and more. Save up to 35%* when you stay at a select Walt Disney World® Resort hotel

Save up to 20% - Select Value Resort Hotels
Save up to 25% - Select Moderate Resort Hotels
Save up to 35% - Select Deluxe & Villa Resort Hotels


For stays most nights -
January 5 - March 5 & March 14 - April 12, 2014.

book by December 31, 2013.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price of the same room. Length of stay requirements may apply. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Moderate and Deluxe Resort suites may be available at a lower discount; please call for information. Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas, campsites and villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and is not valid at Disney's Art of Animation Resort - The Little Mermaid standard rooms.

For more details, visit https://disneyrewards.com/offers/wdwroomoct14/

To book, contact Disney directly at 1-407-939-7737 and mention code JHO or contact AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider, MouseFanTravel.com

October 1, 2013

Air Supply to Perform October 2-4 in Epcot's "Eat to the Beat" Concert Series

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Air Supply ("All Out of Love") will perform October 2-4, 2013, as part of the 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival "Eat to the Beat" concert series.

Shows are nightly at America Gardens Theatre in Epcot's World Showcase at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.

Performances are included with Epcot admission.

September 28, 2013

The Go-Gos Perform Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in "Eat to the Beat" Concert Series

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The Go-Go's ("We Got the Beat") will perform September 30-October 1, 2013, as part of the 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival "Eat to the Beat" concert series.

Shows are nightly at America Gardens Theatre in Epcot's World Showcase at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.

Performances are included with Epcot admission.

September 25, 2013

Starship Starring Mickey Thomas Kicks Off 2013 "Eat to the Beat" Concert Series

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Starship starring Mickey Thomas ("We Built This City") will perform September 27-29, 2013, as part of the 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival "Eat to the Beat" concert series.

Shows are nightly at America Gardens Theatre in Epcot's World Showcase at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.

Performances are included with Epcot admission.

September 20, 2013

Downtown Disney Offers "Foodtopia" in October

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Fantastic flavors from some of Downtown Disney's signature restaurants will take center stage this fall and feature some of the restaurants' most popular dishes during "Downtown Disney Foodtopia," Oct. 1-Oct. 31.

Seven restaurants are rolling out three-course dinners for $30, with a $60 option at Fulton's Crab House (tax and gratuity extra). The seven restaurants include Bongo's Cuban Cafe, House of Blues, Paradiso 37, Planet Hollywood, Portobello, Splitsville Luxury Lanes and Wolfgang Puck Cafe.

Each of the flavorful menu options include three full courses and a non-alcoholic beverage. For instance, at Wolfgang Puck Cafe, guests can start with garlic and white bean hummus, a Caesar salad or butternut squash soup. Entrees include pesto chicken, crispy pork loin or spaghetti Bolognese. Desserts are key lime pie, carrot cake or a brownie sundae.

Paradiso 37 is offering blackened mahi sliders, a hearty beef burrito or chicken enchiladas paired with a starter and dessert, while Planet Hollywood has a choice of their Celebrity BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, lasagna or their gargantuan Southwest Salad for your entree options. Splitsville lets guests choose from eight appetizers and 10 entrees, with a brownie with ice cream for dessert.

For guests craving savory seafood, the Fulton's Crab House menu includes either shrimp cocktail, steamed clams and mussels or jumbo lump crab cake to start; a whole Rhode Island lobster, cioppino or filet mignon for an entrée, and a Tollhouse Cookie sundae, key lime pie or root beer float for dessert.

Guests can sample all that Foodtopia has to offer any day of the week between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Reservations and payment are required at least 48 hours in advance by calling 407/WDW-DINE. Reservations can be made starting Sept. 28.

And for those wanting to make it a dinner-and-a-show evening, guests who make a Foodtopia reservation can save on tickets to Cirque du Soleil "La Nouba" with a 20 percent discount for everyone in their party.

To make dining reservations for Foodtopia, guests can call 407/WDW-DINE.

September 10, 2013

New Interactive Glow With the Show Mickey Ear Hats Let Guests Shine During After-Dark Spectaculars at Walt Disney World Resort

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Guests of the Walt Disney World Resort will light the night thanks to new Glow with the Show Ear hats that will magically change colors in sync with fireworks, shows and each other at Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Fun interactive versions of the famous Mickey Ear hats will debut on Oct. 15 during the 15th anniversary of Fantasmic!, the nighttime spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

These magical Ear hats glow in myriad colors, commanded with the latest technology to complement the imagery and beat of the fireworks and spectaculars. When not activated by these experiences, more surprises are in store for participants as the magical ears glow with other ears and settings around the Vacation Kingdom.

"Technology allows the Ear hats to dance and play along with each musical and illuminated sequence. They truly bring the show's environment out of the lagoon and the sky, and into the audience in an amazing and dazzling new way, making our guests truly Glow With the Show," said Dara Trujillo, manager of merchandise marketing, communication, synergy and integration, Walt Disney World Resort.

And beginning Oct. 19, guests will be able to experience the Wishes fireworks extravaganza at Magic Kingdom with the new Glow with the Show Ear hats. And during the holiday season guests can don their hats and "glow" with Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and at Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks display and Celebrate the Magic, the nighttime projection show at Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom.

Each set of Glow with the Show Ear hats is available for $25 at select locations throughout the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

For more than 55 years, the classic, black Mickey Mouse Ear hat has been a Disney Parks favorite and signature souvenir item. Across the decades, there have been more than 200 different ear hats including limited and novelty editions. The new Glow with the Show Ear hats made their debut at Disney California Adventure in 2012 at World of Color.


Here's a look at 2 Glow with the Ears segments from World of Color:

September 3, 2013

Fountain View at Epcot Reopens; Includes Starbucks Products

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Reopening September 4, Fountain View has a new look and new offerings for Epcot guests -- featuring Starbucks products. Popular Disney-made treats will be served alongside Starbucks favorites like coffee, espresso and Frappuccino-blended beverages, as well as breakfast sandwiches and pastries.


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Fountain View is the second Starbucks location at Walt DIsney World Resort. Like Main Street Bakery's nostalgic design on Main Street, U.S.A at Magic Kingdom, Fountain View was designed to match the futuristic theme of Future World. More locations are planned for Walt Disney World Resort as well as Disneyland Resort in California.

Friday the 13th Mischief Is Bi-Coastal at Disney Parks During Unleash the Villains Event Sept. 13, 2013

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Disney's dastardly villains are ready to unleash some Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks on September 13 -- Friday the 13th.

Both Disneyland Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort will stay open until the 13th Hour (1 a.m.). To celebrate the momentous evening, notorious Disney villains like Maleficent, Capt. Hook, Hades will host a wicked dance party, plus lots more spooky fun.

The hub of the villains' festivities will be staged "dead" center of Disney's Hollywood Studios at Hades' Hangout -- the hottest club north of the Underworld.

The "Lord of the dead," Hades, will host spine-tingling fun while his henchmen, dancers, interactive DJ and hot house band keep the nighttime activities on fire. Hades' 13 devilish Disney brutes will be waiting in Villain Encounters surrounding Hades' Hangout for greetings and autographs with guests.

To celebrate the imminent arrival of the midnight witching hour "Villainy in the Sky" will set the sky ablaze with spectacular fireworks, and keep the party going until the 13th hour.

It's all happening for a limited time only from 8 p.m. - 1 a.m. on Friday, September 13, 2013 as part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks. Limited Time Magic features 52 weeks of magical experiences -- big and small -- ranging from park-wide events to special culinary treats to special moments of surprise and delight.

On this spooktacular evening, villains will take over Disneyland as well. Town Square is transformed for the party where guests may see villains like Captain Hook, the Queen of Hearts, Judge Frollo and Lady Tremaine. Cobwebs and vines, Halloween-themed projections, lighting effects and an eerie fog set the tone for the evening. Witches and warlocks will get the dance party started, spinning a mix of upbeat Halloween tunes and Disney-friendly Top 40 hits.

Later in the evening, the twisted celebration spills over to New Orleans Square Train Station with lurking Disney villains ready for the Unleash the Villains Dance Party featuring a lit-up dance floor and raised platforms, spooky decor and lighting effects. A mischievous station master DJ conducts this party -- announcing the arrival of a different ghoulish Disney villain at the 13th minute after every hour. Villains will be on the prowl after dusk for photo ops and character greetings, plus a few special surprises.

For more information, visit www.limitedtimemagic.com.

July 23, 2013

Disney Parks Salute U.S. Military with Special Tickets, Room Rates

Disney has announced special pricing on theme park tickets and accommodations for active duty U.S. military personnel, retirees and their families.

At Walt Disney World Resort : From August 12, 2013, through September 24, 2014, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

-- Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $169 each, plus tax
-- Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $169 each, plus tax
-- Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $198 each, plus tax

Walt Disney World tickets may be used September 29, 2013, through September 27, 2014, except December 20 - 31, 2013; April 13 - 20, 2014, at all theme parks and all Water Park fun and more locations; and July 4, 2014, at Magic Kingdom Park only. For more details, visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/military-4-day-ticket/

At Disneyland Resort : From August 12, 2013, through September 25, 2014, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

-- Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $129 each

Disneyland Resort tickets may be used September 29, 2013, through September 27, 2014, except December 19 - 31, 2013; April 13 - April 20, 2014; and July 4, 2014, at both theme parks.

For more details visit:
http://disneyland.disney.go.com/offers-discounts/#/?int_cmp=ILC-US_EN-DPSOtoDLRFY13Military&,

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also take advantage of specially priced rooms at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels! This offer is valid for stays most nights from September 29, 2013, through September 27, 2014, except for November 28 - November 30, 2013, December 23-31, 2013, and April 14 - April 19, 2014.

For more details, visit the official Disney site.

May 12, 2013

Disney Welcomes Merida into the Disney Princess Royal Court

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Gymnastics Gold Medalist, Gabby Douglas Hosts Royal Celebration With Her Mom At Walt Disney World On Mother's Day Weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 11, 2013) - In celebration of mothers and daughters everywhere, Disney today proudly welcomed Merida from Disney∙Pixar's Academy Award winning film, "Brave," into the Disney Princess royal court. With her mother Queen Elinor proudly by her side, the ceremony took place at the Magic Kingdom in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort in conjunction with Mother's Day festivities. Gymnastics Gold Medalist and All-Around champion, Gabby Douglas, hosted the celebration accompanied by her mother, and shared her personal story of strength, perseverance and courage - the true meaning of being a Disney princess.

Watched by hundreds of park guests, Merida's procession through the Magic Kingdom to Cinderella Castle was led by a troop of Scottish dancers and an authentic pipe and drum band. In true Merida fashion, she forged her own path, foregoing the traditional horse-and-carriage arrival and instead wowing the audience as she rode in on her trusty horse Angus. She was welcomed on stage by the entire Disney Princess court, and was crowned by her mother Queen Elinor in a touching moment of love and respect that highlighted the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. Over the last few years, the Disney Princess royal court has expanded to welcome new princess characters whose stories, personalities and inner qualities serve as role models inspiring girls around the world.

"I admire Merida for being determined and courageous as these are qualities that have had a big impact on my own life and helped me achieve my goals as an athlete," said Gabby Douglas, gymnastics gold medalist. "And like Merida, I have a strong relationship with my mom, whose support and belief in me has helped me recognize my own inner princess qualities. It's really special for us to be here and share in Merida's celebration, especially on Mother's Day weekend."

"As a Disney Princess, Merida sets an admirable example for all, being brave, strong, passionate, determined and confident," said Katherine Sarafian, "Brave's" producer. "When Queen Elinor placed the crown on Merida's head, it signified a moment of deep connection, as a mother recognized the spirit, heart and true personality of her daughter. It's moments like these that encapsulate what is special about being a princess, but also resonate with mothers across the world."

On hand to join in on the festivities were 10-year-old and six-year-old British singers and TV personalities of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, who celebrated their inner princess by performing an original song on stage. Also in attendance were young girls and their families from Give Kids The World, a 70-acre nonprofit "storybook" resort where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong cost-free family vacations.

As part of Merida's celebration, a group of 200 mom bloggers and their families attending the Walt Disney World Social Media Moms conference were treated to a first look at the latest video from the "I Am A Princess" campaign, which features Merida and a real-life young archer. The campaign's message encourages girls to believe in themselves and their inner strength.

Highlights from Merida's Royal Celebration ceremony will be available on May 15 at DisneyPrincess.com.

May 9, 2013

Free Dining Offer - September 2013 Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World® Resort - Most nights 9/2/13 - 9/25/13

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 resort - Get Quick Service Dining Plan- Free

Book a moderate, deluxe or villa - Get the Disney Dining Plan-Free

Valid for stays most nights:
September 2, 2013 - September 25, 2013

Book by July 31, 2013

For details, see the website of AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider, Mouse Fan Travel:

http://www.mousefantravel.com/disney-destinations/walt-disney-world-resort/latest-deals/free-dining-offer-september-2013


Late Summer Room Offer - Save up to 30%

Walt Disney World® Resort - Most nights 8/15/13 - 9/28/13

Stay and experience the magic up close. Be close to the heart of all the magic, from the Theme Parks and entertainment to exciting nightlife, shopping and more. Save up to 30%* when you stay at a select Walt Disney World® Resort hotel

Save up to 20% - Select Value Resort Hotels

Save up to 25% - Select Moderate Resort Hotels & Cabins

Save up to 30% - Select Deluxe & Villa Resort Hotels

Book this special deal by 7/31/13
for stays most nights - 8/15/13 - 9/28/13

For details, see the website of AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider, Mouse Fan Travel: http://www.mousefantravel.com/disney-destinations/walt-disney-world-resort/latest-deals/late-summer-room-offer-save-30

Don't forget Free Dining Also Available to Disney Visa Card Holders!

May 6, 2013

Free Dining for Disney VISA Cardholders: September 2-25, 2013

Are you a Disney VISA cardholder? 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 resort - Get Quick Service Dining Plan- Free
Book a moderate, deluxe or villa - Get the Disney Dining Plan-Free

Valid for stays most nights:
September 2, 2013 - September 25, 2013

Book by July 31, 2013

For details, see the website of AllEars.Net's preferred travel provider, Mouse Fan Travel:

http://www.mousefantravel.com/disney-destinations/walt-disney-world-resort/latest-deals/disney-visa-cardholders-free-dining-offer


April 25, 2013

Disney Parks to Kick Off a ‘Monstrous Summer’ With 24 Hours of Magic on Both Coasts

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ANAHEIM, Calif. and LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (April 25, 2013) - Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will kick off a Monstrous Summer by keeping three theme parks open for 24 hours nonstop on Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of the family travel season.

The Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park in California will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, local time* marking the beginning of a summer of fun inspired by the upcoming Disney-Pixar comedy adventure Monsters University.

The oversized fun of a 24-hour Disney park "All-Nighter" called for an equally epic announcement, and the huge sphere of Spaceship Earth was transformed from Disney Parks icon to Disney-Pixar "Eye-con," becoming a 180-foot-tall, fully animated Mike Wazowski, the loveable green-bodied, one-eyed monster who joins best pal James P. Sullivan ("Sulley") in the prequel to Monsters, Inc., this summer as college students with hopes of becoming Scarers.



Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis joined Mike to share the news of the first-ever, three-park All-Nighter.

"This summer, Disney Parks are bursting with a monstrous lineup of new thrills, shows and happenings," said Kalogridis. "Guests can start Memorial Day Weekend with a 24-hour-marathon of memory-making as three Parks stay open all day and all night to celebrate the bi-coastal kick-off of a Monstrous Summer at Disney Parks."

Mike and Sulley will take a break from collegiate life and their Scare studies at Monsters University to host the All-Nighter, dropping in to scare up some school spirit. Guests will scream and giggle with delight at the lineup of thrills and entertainment that promises to make this a day and night to be remembered for a lifetime.

In Florida, the Magic Kingdom will feature a Monsters University theme where Mike and Sulley will be the Grand Marshals of the "Celebrate a Dream Come True" day parade - complete with pomp and circumstance - and make appearances in Tomorrowland. Guests also will find extra entertainment throughout the day and night, including characters in their pajamas in Town Square during the late night and early morning, and late-night dance parties in and around the courtyard of Cinderella Castle.

In California, guests can party the night away at both parks with special entertainment, including a Monsters University "TLT Monstrous" Dance Club and Star Wars characters in Tomorrowland, and late-night Character Pajama Party in Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland. The new Fantasy

Faire Royal Theatre at Disneyland will become a Royal Dance Hall late at night with a live band and dancing, and guests of Disney California Adventure will find Monstrous photo opportunities with new Monsters University "Dorms" in Hollywood Land and a new Monsters University float leading the Pixar Play Parade.

All three parks will feature limited-edition specialty merchandise and food and beverage offerings plus other surprises throughout the entire day.

The All-Nighter is just the beginning of the fun. In California, vacationers at "The Happiest Place on Earth" will see how Disneyland Resort "Just Got Happier" with great new attractions such as the "Mickey and the Magical Map" stage show. It is also the first summer for guests to experience the new Fantasy Faire with Disney Princesses at Disneyland, and they continue to enjoy the exciting new offerings of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure.

Walt Disney World Monstrous Summer includes new offerings and popular favorites in all four parks. This is the first summer for New Fantasyland, which has received rave reviews from guests since its December grand opening as the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Guests also will find new, engaging offerings for the entire family throughout the Walt Disney World Resort this summer such as an interactive "Pirates Adventure" game at Magic Kingdom, the newly re-imagined Test Track at Epcot, the new Disney Junior show, featuring Sofia The First and Doc McStuffins, as new additions at Disney's Hollywood Studios, plus Wilderness Explorers at Disney's Animal Kingdom that will bring families together in exciting new ways.

ABOUT "MONSTERS UNIVERSITY"

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer-and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. Screaming with laughter and oozing with heart, Disney-Pixar's "Monsters University" is directed by Dan Scanlon ("Cars," "Mater and the Ghostlight," "Tracy"), produced by Kori Rae ("Up," "The Incredibles," "Monsters, Inc.") and features music from future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and award-winning composer Randy Newman ("Monsters, Inc.," "Toy Story 3"). For more information, like us at facebook.com/PixarMonstersUniversity, and follow us on twitter.com/disneypixar. The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in 3D in select theaters. For more information, check out disney.com/MonstersU.

For more information on Monstrous Summer, check out http://www.disneyparks.com/MonstrousSummer

Monstrous “Monsters University” Monorail Pulls Into Walt Disney World Resort

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Just in time for a monstrous summer at Walt Disney World Resort, a special themed monorail featuring Mike, Sulley and a few of their classmates from Disney-Pixar's new movie "Monsters University" made its debut April 24 on the Magic Kingdom Park/Resorts loop. The new movie, in theaters in 3D June 21, takes a fun look back at how mismatched monsters Mike and Sulley met during college and eventually became the best of friends.

Here's a video of the "monsterrail" in action:

Summer Soars at Walt Disney World Resort

Shows, Attractions, Events and More Add Up to Monstrous Fun

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - How big is summer 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort? So big that only one word describes the attractions, shows, events and more awaiting summer guests to the Florida Vacation Kingdom: MONSTROUS.

Disney's Monstrous Summer is bursting with good times for the entire family, whether it's the first summer of fun in New Fantasyland or the nonstop thrills of a re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet. Whether it's the next surprise and delight experience of Limited Time Magic or all-new adventures letting guests play pirate in the Magic Kingdom or wilderness explorer in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The "Monstrous" lineup includes entertainment enhancements celebrating the June 21 release of the Disney-Pixar animated feature, "Monsters University." Mike and Sulley are dropping in from MU to scare up monstrous surprises all summer long. Guests will find all-new collegiate settings for meeting their favorite aspiring scarers. On the Backlot at Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will find the Monsters University Student Union, complete with a view of the campus. Over at Magic Kingdom, the gang at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor have been studying new jokes and are ready to graduate to new comedy bits in honor of their alma mater.

Throw in Star Wars Weekends, the grand reopening of California Grill, a new spa for Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and more and it adds up to a summer that's exciting, thrilling, magical - Monstrous!

"With top-flight new experiences and classic favorites, Walt Disney World celebrates summer like never before," said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "Summer season is always in-season for family vacations. For families and friends, our parks and resorts are poised to deliver memories to last a lifetime."

Here's a look around:

MONSTROUS FIRST SUMMER FOR.
New Fantasyland - From the lofty spires of Beast's Castle to the fathoms-deep world of Ariel, New Fantasyland pours on its first summer of fun for Magic Kingdom guests. The new space doubles the size of Fantasyland and is the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Be Our Guest Restaurant features a lavish dining experience in an elegant ballroom inspired by Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" animated film classic. By day it's "great food fast" for lunch while at night it's full-service table dining featuring French-inspired cuisine. Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid puts guests in clamshells traveling with Ariel and friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves. Enchanted Tales with Belle takes guests to a far-off French village and right into the world of Belle, Lumiere and Madame Wardrobe - feeling transformed in the process.

Guests can refresh with a frothy LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern. Meantime over at Storybook Circus, guests can take a spin on one of two Dumbos, dip and soar aboard The Barnstormer Featuring the Great Goofini or meet Disney characters at Pete's Silly Sideshow. There's more New Fantasyland to come as late 2013 sees the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall and all is on track for the spring 2014 opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a rollicking family coaster attraction.

Test Track Presented by Chevrolet -The re-imagined iconic attraction puts guests in the designer's studio for an immersive experience as they create their own virtual concept vehicle before boarding a "SimCar" to race through a thrilling series of hills, hairpin turns and straightaways.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes - If bowling is right up your alley, come experience the hottest trend going by rolling over to Splitsville, at Downtown Disney West Side. The hip, retro-style emporium features 30 lanes across two levels, live entertainment, lively indoor and outdoor bars and upscale dining including sushi, filet mignon sliders and more.

Limited Time Magic - Magical experiences in all shapes and sizes that appear and disappear as the next special surprise debuts will continue with a weeklong Independence Day celebration highlighting the summer season - all part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks. Independence Week will be red, white and blue as Disney Parks celebrates America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party - for an entire week. Guests enjoy an extra dash of pixie dust each week in 2013. Limited Time Magic takes its inspiration from those special, but fleeting, moments when families spend time together with shared experiences.

Disney Junior - Live on Stage! - Disney's Hollywood Studios guests get a real summer treat as Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First have been added to the onstage fun - joining the latest, most popular characters and stories from the Disney Junior line-up on television. Sofia the First as a series premiered earlier this year on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow experience - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow gives Disney's Hollywood Studios guests a chance to become immersed in the action and adventure of the four "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. Buccaneer wannabes journey deep into an eerie lost grotto, where they are put to the test to see if they have what it takes to sail with Captain Jack's crew.

MONSTROUSLY NEW
Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort - Joining later this summer its sister spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, the new Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs will be inspired by the healing properties of natural springs that have drawn people for centuries to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. A completely redesigned space, Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort, will feature 10 treatment rooms offering an array of services including water therapy, massage and facials. Senses will incorporate the springs, nature and the storyline of health in its design and theming. Call 407-WDW-SPAS.

Wilderness Explorers Comes to Disney's Animal Kingdom - Coming soon, Disney's Animal Kingdom guests will be invited to become Wilderness Explorers and experience the park in engaging and challenging ways aimed at deepening their understanding of animals and the natural world we live in. Taking the official pledge, armed with field guides and earning sticker badges along the way as they complete their challenges, guests explore the park at their leisure. Aimed at guests 7-10 but fun for the entire family, Wilderness Explorers will be self-guided and encourage more "up close and personal" time with the animal inhabitants of the park. Wilderness Explorers will be included in Disney's Animal Kingdom admission.

New Meet-Up with Mickey, Minnie at Disney's Animal Kingdom - Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are scheduled to welcome Disney's Animal Kingdom guests to their new exploration headquarters, Adventurers Outpost, on Discovery Island, beginning this spring. The all-new indoor retreat is the perfect spot for guests to meet the globetrotting duo as they get ready to set off on their next adventure.

A Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas - Coming soon, "A Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas" will be a new interactive adventure where Magic Kingdom guests participate in pirate raids throughout Adventureland. Pirate maps lead to fabulous treasures as guests join Captain Jack Sparrow and fight off the Royal Navy, Captain Barbossa, headhunters, curses - and the greatest threat of all, Calypso, the sea goddess. If they help Jack succeed in all the missions, they will be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they face the wrath of the cruel sea alone. The adventure is divided into 5 different raids, each comprising a series of interactive tasks.

"Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection" - Epcot guests can journey through 400 years of African-American achievement and contribution at this just-opened exhibit at the American Adventure pavilion. Exhibits draw from an extensive collection of rare art, artifacts, documents and books amassed by philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who share a passion for African-American history. Included in Epcot admission.

Disney Dining - Coming by summer's end: a re-imagined California Grill crowning Disney's Contemporary Resort. Guests will experience a beautiful new dining room, onstage kitchen and new dining choices - chef Brian Piasecki will keep the focus on creative, fresh, seasonal dishes and top-of-the-line sushi. At Epcot, what says summer better than ice cream? In France, L'Artisan des Glaces, an artisan ice cream and sorbet shop, debuts in mid-June with 16 yummy flavors, all made in-house with fresh ingredients (with the option of adding a shot of liquor on top, for grown-up tastes). Guests to France also will find Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, with delightful French sweets and savories, and Monsieur Paul for upscale dining that pays homage to celebrated chef Paul Bocuse.

Summer Latte, Anyone? More Starbucks Locations Coming to Disney Parks -Starbucks will be opening locations at Disney theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. When it reopens in early summer, Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom will keep its name and theming and continue to serve Disney favorites such as cookies, brownies and seasonal cupcakes, in addition to Starbucks signature beverages and other menu items.

At Epcot, Starbucks products will be featured when the Fountain View location reopens for midsummer. Each Starbucks location inside a Disney Park will reflect the theme of its surroundings.

New Summer Line of Disney Parks Cosmetics - In time for summer, fairy tale legends and secrets come to life with the captivating new Unlock the Spell collection from Beautifully Disney, Disney Parks' line of cosmetics and beauty products. The new-for-summer collection - inspired by the spellbound Tiana, Belle and Rapunzel - is rich in lush colors: soft, pretty yellow, rosy golds, and punchy purples. Unlock the Spell will make its debut at Trend-D at Downtown Disney.

MONSTROUS SUMMER EVENTS
'Star Wars' Weekends Returns to the Disney Galaxy in May and June - Star Wars Weekends, the Force-filled fun-fest that takes place annually at Disney's Hollywood Studios, returns to the Walt Disney World Resort galaxy every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17-June 9, 2013. Among the features: a special Star Wars-themed parade, appearances by Star Wars celebrities, special additions to Jedi Training Academy, a Star Wars-themed talk show, behind-the-scenes presentations, limited-edition merchandise, a nightly dance celebration and more.

Downtown Disney Revs Up for Car Masters Weekend June 14-16 -Car Masters Weekend, now in its third year, is the perfect way to celebrate Father's Day as Downtown Disney West Side hosts a classic car show with a modern twist June 14-16, 2013. Featuring all things "Cars," the event showcases more than 150 classic, muscle and exotic cars; a chance for guests to meet "Cars 2" stars Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile; and special appearances by automotive designer Chip Foose and Disney-Pixar "Cars" filmmaker Jay Ward. Completing the car-nucopia of events, fans may purchase tickets for a "Cars" & "Cars 2" movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney 24, "test drive" Ridemakerz "Cars" models, and enjoy caricatures, themed food and beverage, live entertainment and more. Entertainment subject to change.

MONSTROUSLY GOOD DEAL FOR FLORIDA RESIDENTS
Discover Disney - From now until early June, Florida residents can kick-start their summer - and score real savings with the Discover Disney ticket, offering three days of park-going fun for $119 (plus tax) for adults and children age three and up. The special Florida resident ticket can be purchased through June 3, 2013 for use any day (excluding block-out dates) from now through June 7, 2013.

March 14, 2013

Disney Unveils Vision for Disney Springs

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Downtown Disney Expansion Brings New Shops, Dining, Entertainment to Guests and Economic Boost for Central Florida

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 14, 2013 - Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.

"Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they'll instantly feel at home," said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create."

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Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. In addition, Staggs noted, Central Florida stands to benefit from the expansion with more jobs, tax revenues and business opportunities.

Drawing inspiration from Florida's waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. In addition to a new gateway with a signature water tower and grand entry, the destination will feature:

-- The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.

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-- A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.

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-- The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.

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-- A West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.

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Collectively, these efforts will not only have an impact within Walt Disney World, but will also have an economic ripple effect on Central Florida. The project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles.

Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.

February 21, 2013

Character Changes at Animal Kingdom - Adventurers Outpost Announced

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Beastly Bazaar located in the Discovery Island area of Animal Kingdom closed last August. It was announced a new character meet and greet would open in that building later in the year.

Walt Disney World has finally been announced (via the Disney Parks Blog) that the location will open this spring as The Adventurers Outpost, a character Meet and Greet with Mickey and Minnie.

With Mickey and Minnie moving out of Camp Minnie-Mickey, who will take their place? According to Disney Communications Manager Shawn Slater, "some of the friends you might find there include Chip 'n' Dale, Baloo, King Louie or Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. The best thing to do is to check with a Cast Member on the day of your visit."

Taking Pooh and Tigger's place at the Discovery Island Character Landing will be Daisy and Donald Duck.


February 4, 2013

Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco Went to Disney World!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2013) - Fresh from his team's 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco made good on his "I'm Going to Disney World" proclamation by quarterbacking a gala celebration Monday at Walt Disney World Resort.

Smiling and waving from a red convertible alongside Mickey Mouse in the shadow of Cinderella Castle, Flacco -- named the game's Most Valuable Player -- greeted cheering Magic Kingdom guests along a parade route lined with colorful red, white and blue balloons. Cheerleaders, Disney characters in football gear and a Florida blizzard -- of confetti -- completed the festive scene as Flacco quarterbacked another drive, this time down Main Street, U.S.A.

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Flacco was one of the game's standout players, firing three first-half touchdown strikes en route to 287 total passing yards. It capped a remarkable post-season in which Flacco connected on 11 TD passes, throwing no interceptions.

His "I'm Going to Disney World" - anchoring one of TV's most enduring and iconic Super Bowl commercials - was captured seconds after the final whistle Sunday night. A produced commercial from that moment aired on networks just hours before Flacco's appearance at the Magic Kingdom.

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Flacco's declaration became the 26th Super Bowl commercial aired in the Disney series that began in 1987 following Super Bowl XXI. The first "I'm Going to Disney World" commercial featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms was considered a groundbreaking concept - a produced commercial involving a current event, airing on major networks within hours of its conclusion. Flacco joins an all-star lineup of heroes from sports and beyond who have celebrated milestone accomplishments in "I'm Going to Disney World" commercials.

February 2, 2013

A Preview of the New California Grill at the Contemporary Resort

The Contemporary Resort's popular restaurant, California Grill, closed yesterday for an extensive refurbishment.

The Disney Parks Blog recently released renderings of what the new California Grill dining room and onstage kitchen will look like when it opens later this summer.

Designed by the Puccini Group in San Francisco, the restaurant will feature a wall of wines at the entrance and will showcase the spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom below.

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Chef Brian Piasecki has already begun working on the restaurant's new menu. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the menu will have updated versions of some of the restaurant's classics, like the beloved pork and polenta. This dish will become "Pork Two Ways" -- wood-fired tenderloin with goat cheese polenta, and braised lacquered pork belly with country applesauce.


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The Parks Blog also revealed a new 24-hour braised beef short rib with truffle whipped potatoes, vol-au-vent (puff pastry) with roasted vegetables and natural jus.


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As previously announced, sushi chef Yoshie is retiring, but the new sushi chefs will continue her legacy with such creative new tastes as Sea Urchin Nigiri with mamanori (soybean paper), salmon roe and freshly grated wasabi root.


January 28, 2013

Wheel of Fortune and Disney Come Together to Make Magic Memories for Contestants and At-Home Viewers

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Collaboration includes On-Air "Making Disney Memories Week" and "Wheel of Fortune Making Memories Sweepstakes"

CULVER CITY, CALIF. (January 2013) - It's "Disney Time" at Wheel of Fortune as the fun of America's Favorite Game Show and the magic of Disney come together in the game show's 30th season for a fully integrated, multiplatform collaboration including a week of shows and a sweepstakes for at-home viewers.

"Wheel of Fortune Making Disney Memories Week," airing January 28-February 1, 2013, will feature a custom set including three different scenes depicting Sleeping Beauty Castle, Cinderella Castle and the Disney Dream cruise ship. Additionally, Disney is providing iconic elements from the Disney Parks including a Disney teacup from the Mad Tea Party attraction, Lightning McQueen from the new Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, a pirate ship from Peter Pan's Flight and a Dumbo car from Dumbo, the Flying Elephant. And show hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White will be greeted on set by beloved Disney characters.

During the week of shows, Wheel of Fortune contestants can win Magical Vacations to Disney Parks or on Disney Cruise Line. The cars available through the 1⁄2 Car Tag game element will alternate between Honda and Chevrolet models, sponsors of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, respectively.

In preparation for the broadcast, Vanna White and the Wheel of Fortune crew went on location to shoot customized segments at Disneyland theme park, Disney California Adventure theme park, Magic Kingdom theme park, Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, Epcot and the Disney Dream cruise ship.

The Wheel of Fortune Making Memories Sweepstakes encourages viewers to watch Making Disney Memories Week on Wheel of Fortune and enter each night's bonus puzzle solution at www.wheeloffortune.com. Ten winners will each enjoy a vacation for four to the winner's choice of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California.

The sweepstakes will live on a co-branded mini-site, accessible via www.wheeloffortune.com that will feature links to various Disney websites as well as photo and video galleries from Vanna's shoots.

Additionally, Wheel of Fortune will be able to offer its nearly 8 million members of their loyalty program, the Wheel Watchers Club, the chance to find their own Happily Ever After with Disney vacation offers.

Walt Disney World Resort Turns Up the Romance During "True Love" Week All Part of Limited Time Magic

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Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- Love is in the air at Walt Disney World Resort as fairytale princesses find true love with their princes, and "happily ever after" becomes reality. It all happens during True Love Week February 11-17, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.

The weeklong love fest is all part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks, where each week in 2013 guests will be treated to a sprinkling of Disney magic where unexpected surprises and delights enhance vacation memories.

During True Love Week, a tapestry of romance is woven throughout the resort - from limited- time Valentine's merchandise and special entertainment, to romantic dinners for two and new themed photo locations offering greetings with beloved Disney sweethearts - all for a limited-time only.

The weeklong event celebrates the love of friends and family, and invites couples to rekindle the flame. Here is the lineup:

-- Romantic Setting: Guests will feel the romance at every turn, as banners proclaiming True Love, heart-shaped signage and sweetheart-themed décor adorn the Magic Kingdom.

-- Blushing Castle: At dusk, hues of pink, red, lavender and blue bathe Cinderella Castle with themed lighting synced to a musical melodies adding to the ambiance.

-- Dinners for Two: Candlelit dinners for two with prix fixe menus at select restaurants during the most romantic week of the year. Specially-created menus at Artist Point (Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort); The Wave of American Flavors (Disney's Contemporary Resort); Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney's Hollywood Studios); Yachtsman Steakhouse (Disney's Yacht Club Resort) make an ideal setting for a romantic evening. To book visit Disneyworld.com or call 407/WDW-DINE.

-- Valentine's-themed Takeaways: Limited-edition pins, plushes, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations available at select merchandise locations.

-- Royal Gathering: The rare opportunity to get a photo with Disney Princes as they escort their Princesses to enchanting character greeting locations.

In Town Square Theater you may find Mickey and Minnie, Aurora with Phillip or Rapunzel and Flynn. Mary Poppins joins Bert in Fantasyland, while Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana meet guests in the Enchanted Glade in Liberty Square.

Romantic Photo Locations in Magic Kingdom with your Sweetie:

-- Carriage Awaits: New Fantasyland invites lovers to create memories alongside Cinderella's Glass Coach situated by the new Castle wall for True Love Week.
-- Wishes Come True: Hearts and flowers enhance Cinderella's Wishing Well creating the perfect backdrop for a cherished moment.
-- Rose Walk: The Rose Garden in Central Plaza is all decked out with enchanting decor.

And more--

Romantic Touches: Long stem roses, chocolate covered strawberries, the finest champagne, or scattered rose petals create a romantic scene for lovebirds, all available through the Disney florist at www.disneyflorist.com.

Elegant Oasis for Relaxation: An aromatherapy couples' massage is just the escape after a day with the kids in the theme park. Couples' massages are available at the newly opened, full-service Senses, A Disney Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.

Perfectly Princess: Join your prince for the ultimate fairytale come true with a customized Disney wedding or honeymoon getaway. More than 1,000 couples get married, or renew their wedding vows in romantic settings in various locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort every year. Visit disneyweddings.com for more information.

Disneyland Park in California will celebrate True Love week with similar in-park offerings. Visit Disneyland.com for updates.

January 11, 2013

Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles Opens in France Pavilion

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Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles has opened in Epcot's France pavilion, in the space adjacent to the movie theater exit.

The new bakery, which replaces the former Boulangerie Patisserie in the pavilion, is much more spacious and offers a new, expanded menu. Offerings include pastries and other sweets, soups, sandwiches, salads and authentic French dishes such as quiche, Croque Monsieur (grilled ham and cheese) and pissaladiere, a pizza-like dish from the South of France.

The bakery opens at 9 a.m. every morning, before the official 11 a.m. World Showcase opening time.

The Disney Dining Plan is accepted for many items at this location.

The former patisserie is being remodeled and will soon reopen as an ice cream shop called Glacier.

January 1, 2013

Disney’s Animal Programs Works with New England Aquarium to Aid Sea Turtles

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 28, 2012 --The Seas with Nemo & Friends welcomed some new swimmers recently, with the addition of eight Kemp's Ridley sea turtles suffering from hypothermia after a recent cold snap in New England.

As a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center, Walt Disney World Resort is one of several organizations working with the New England Aquarium to provide medical care for the weak sea turtles after the New England Aquarium sea turtle hospital reached capacity. Disney's Animal Programs' team members picked up the sea turtles and provided thorough medical assessments including x-rays and blood tests.

Sea turtles are vulnerable to cold weather and frigid waters that lower their body temperatures and slow their metabolism, which could lead to life-threatening comas.

"The team at Disney's Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends celebrate and conserve turtles and tortoises every day," said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president, of Animals, Science and Environment for Disney Parks. "Over the years, our animal care team has nursed more than 300 endangered sea turtles back to health and released them back to the wild."

Currently, Disney's animal care experts are focused on increasing the turtles' body weight and strength for open water swimming in the ocean. According to the care team, the sea turtles are eating well and recovering nicely. The ultimate goal is to release them into the wild, under direction of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In addition to caring for the Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, Disney's Animal Programs Cast Members have transported cold-stunned loggerhead sea turtles to other rehabilitation centers in Florida.

Did you know?

-- Disney's Animal Programs often is called upon to help distressed animals. Disney animal care experts help to support the rescue and rehabilitation of hundreds of injured and orphaned animals every year.

-- Since its inception, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has directed more than $1.1 million to sea turtle conservation efforts.

November 26, 2012

The Village People and Tommy Roe Among Acts to Rock Flower Power Stage

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - A blooming bounty of festival firsts will welcome Disney guests to the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort. First, the news:

-- Epcot chefs will cook up first-time festival food and beverage fun, with special cooking stations offering exclusive-to-the-festival bites along the park's World Showcase promenade.
-- A new circus-like "Land of Oz Play Area," based on the Disney fantastical film adventure "Oz: The Great and Powerful" to be released in March 2013, will debut a kaleidoscope of interactive fun.
-- Disney topiary experts will grow, shape and manicure a Fab Five Disney character topiary with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) featured in a celebratory floral cookout scene in living topiary color at the park's front entrance.
-- New illuminated gardens in the park's Future World and World Showcase will cast a colorful glow over each festival evening.

Throughout the 75-day garden party, guests will discover festival surprises around every corner including new topiary triumphs, colorful garden displays, a butterfly bounty, HGTV celebrity designers, interactive gardening seminars and whimsical children's play areas. On weekends, top Flower Power rockers of the 1960s and '70s will perform.

Every Friday through Sunday, HGTV design celebrities will host Festival Center seminars. During opening weekend, March 8-10, Chris Lambton of "Going Yard" will appear; other designers scheduled to take the stage include Brandon Johnson of "My Yard Goes Disney" and Meg Caswell of "Meg's Great Rooms."

Now the details:

-- Festival-themed flavors: Guests will discover culinary creations and refreshing libations at multiple festival-themed food and beverage locations. Chefs are tweaking the menu to include backyard barbecue and a variety of garden-inspired and global tastes. Around the World Showcase promenade
-- Fab Five topiary barbecue: 14-foot-tall topiary Goofy will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms. At Epcot Front Entrance
-- Land of Oz Play Area: This interactive new children's play zone will feature play systems adorned with giant flowers and designed to stretch kids' imaginations and muscles. Midway-style games, red-and-white circus-themed tents and the "Oz Movie Garden" of intriguing plants will capture the spirit of the upcoming "Oz: The Great and Powerful." Also on tap: fun games, photo opportunities, the "great and powerful Oz's" crashed hot-air balloon and lush plants inspired by the movie. On the Imagination Walkway
-- Illuminated Gardens: Every night when the sun sets, many of the festival's world-famous Disney topiaries and gardens will twinkle and shine in a new light. Throughout World Showcase and Future World
-- "Monsters University" topiary: Floral representations of Mike and Sully from the hit Disney-Pixar film "Monsters, Inc." and stars of Disney-Pixar's June 2013 release, "Monsters University," will join the festivities as new topiary family members. On the Future World Walkway
-- Phineas and Ferb topiary: The popular Disney Channel animated celebs limit their shenanigans to go green for a family photo-op. Behind Spaceship Earth
-- "Radiator Springs" interactive play zone: Race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck "Mater" of the Disney-Pixar film "Cars 2" will be the well-maintained topiary stars of this play area. On the Test Track Walkway
-- Flower Power Firsts: 1970s top disco band The Village People (April 19-21) and 1960s singer-songwriter Tommy Roe (May 3-5) bring on the Flower Power beat when they take the concert stage. At America Gardens Theatre

And a new twist:

-- Fawn's Butterfly House: Eight fanciful fairy topiaries of Pixie Hollow, including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence, take over the Butterfly House this year where hundreds of colorful winged beauties flit to life. On the Imagination Walkway

In all, more than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape. Daily hands-on gardening seminars, and other Festival Center events will offer innovative ideas, design tips and gardening know-how to park guests.

The Flower Power concert series kicks off March 6-10 with Micky Dolenz ("I'm a Believer") and continues each weekend with pop favorites including:

March 15-17: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats

March 22-24: The Guess Who

March 29-31: Nelson

April 5-7: The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie

April 12-14: Paul Revere & the Raiders

April 19-21: The Village People (new!)

April 26-28: The Orchestra, Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO II

May 3-5: Tommy Roe (new!)

May 10-12: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone

May 17-19: Starship starring Mickey Thomas.

While Disney guests celebrate spring during their festival visit, they also can explore the reimagined, design-centric Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, the hang-gliding sensation of Soarin' and other high-tech Future World marvels. In World Showcase, where the spotlight will shine on topiaries of Disney princesses, storybook characters and even pandas and trolls, guests will discover the attractions, shops and restaurants that represent cultures and cuisine of 11 countries.

For more information about the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

November 10, 2012

Starbucks Locations at Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot Set to Open Next Year

According to the Disney Parks Blog, two Starbucks locations will open in Walt Disney World Resort next year, one in the Magic Kingdom and one in Epcot.

The Magic Kingdom's Main Street Bakery will close for refurbishment in January 2013 and reopen as a Starbucks in early summer. The cast members there will wear a costume consistent with the early 20th century look and feel of Main Street, U.S.A.

Over in Epcot, the Fountain View will close in March 2013 and reopen as a Starbucks location in midsummer. The cast member costumes there will be themed to match the park's futuristic theme.

The Starbucks locations at Magic Kingdom and Epcot will both offer the full complement of Starbucks signature beverages, artisan breakfast sandwiches and a wide selection of baked goods, including muffins, scones and specialty treats.

In June, a Starbucks location opened at Disney California Adventure park in the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe. More Starbucks locations are slated for both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland.

November 9, 2012

Buckle up for Fun! Epcot Guests “Drive their Design” at the Re-Imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Walt Disney World Resort guests will experience the thrill of designing their very own virtual vehicle - then putting their design through its paces - when the re-imagined, multi-sensory Test Track Presented by Chevrolet grand reopens Dec. 6, 2012.

The iconic Epcot attraction, a new collaboration between Chevrolet Design and the creative team of Walt Disney Imagineering, celebrates how meticulous design not only shapes the look of Chevrolet cars and trucks, but drives their performance on the open road.

For inspiration for the project, Walt Disney Imagineers made numerous visits to Detroit, collaborating with Chevrolet designers and touring the inner sanctums of Chevrolet's design studios.

"As storytellers, to be able tell Chevrolet's design story was fun for our Imagineers," said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president of WDI. "Chevrolet designers come from the same creative roots as Imagineers. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will become, for Epcot guests, an exciting part of their visit to Walt Disney World Resort."

Amid upbeat music, eye-popping lighting effects and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers -- and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.

"Through an enduring partnership, Chevrolet and Disney continue to inspire generations to imagine the impossible and innovate," said Chris Perry, vice president, U.S. Marketing, General Motors. "The re-imagined Test Track reflects the personality and values of Chevrolet design and offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at a discipline that drives our business. This first-of-its-kind automotive design attraction represents the best of Chevrolet design and Disney innovation."

Test Track guests enter an all-new, interactive pre-show area -- completely retooled and re-imagined from the garage-like testing area of the former GM Test Track. The sleek new "Chevrolet Design Center" invites guests to create their own virtual custom-concept vehicle. Car design wannabes will get to shape their own virtual car, truck or crossover vehicle and learn how their design choices perform against four important attributes:

Capability
Efficiency
Responsiveness
Power

At design kiosks, rows of touch screens become canvasses for guests to try their hand at design magic. Here, they can virtual-draw -- maneuver their vehicle design by shape, length, width and engine size. Once they create the design of their dreams, guests complete their creation with even more choices. They can make a design statement with an expressive front grill, order up wheels by size and style, add paint and other graphics and trick out their vehicle -- top to sides, front to back -- with the latest accessories. Then comes the crowning touch of their design -- adding Chevrolet's world-famous bowtie logo.

Their virtual Chevrolet vehicle complete, the adventure then shifts into high gear as guests -- armed with a card encoded with their personal design that travels with them -- board their 6-person "SimCar" ride vehicle. Ahead: a thrilling journey into a dazzling multi-sensory digital experience as guests put their personal design through a series of performance tests -- the exhilarating heart of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet.

Along their route, riders experience changing terrain and extreme conditions as their designs are scored for Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power. How does their design stand up on the challenging hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit? How well does it navigate through bumpy roads, icy conditions, turn-on-a-dime curves and other surprises? Their design skills are put to the test -- at speeds of up to 65 mph.

The fun and excitement continues in the post-show area.

Scoring their design. Guests get to compare their car's results to that of a baseline SimCar -- and also see how they performed against their fellow "designers."
At a digital driving table laying out a road course, guests can race their virtual custom-concept vehicles against other guests' designs, over changing terrain and encountering extreme conditions.
Brand-new car designers can create their own commercial -- starring their virtual car.
In another experience, guests get to pose with actual Chevrolet vehicles. Through green screen technology -- with a few taps on their touch screen -- guests can suddenly find themselves posing with their Chevrolet on the lunar surface, arcing across the galaxies, navigating the bright-white of a polar landscape or other thrilling scenes. The images become easily sharable on social media, sending virtual postcard greetings to family, friends or co-workers back home.
New and concept Chevrolet vehicles are laid out showroom-style. Guests can get behind the wheel of Chevrolet's latest models. Chevrolet product specialists are on hand to answer any questions.

Test Track Presented by Chevrolet is included in Epcot admission. For more: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/attractions/test-track/

October 17, 2012

Disney Parks Announces "Limited Time Magic" for 2013

The Disney Parks Blog announced this morning:

We have 52 weeks of magical surprises planned for you at Disney Parks in 2013.

Regular Blog readers already know that next year is a momentous year - with New Fantasyland, the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom Park history at Walt Disney World Resort and the first full year of a re-imagined Disney California Adventure park. And now, we're adding "Limited Time Magic," featuring unexpected experiences with an extra sprinkle of Pixie Dust at Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort that'll appear, and then disappear when the next debuts.

As part of this morning's "Limited Time Magic" announcement, Mickey and pals helped unveil a three-story castle in the heart of Times Square in New York City. The fairytale castle is made of 45,000 pounds of ice and will be visible for a limited time thanks to the warm Autumn weather.

Disney Ice Castle Times Square

So, what can you expect with "Limited Time Magic" at Disney Parks when it begins in January? Here's an idea:

True Love: Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout Valentine's Week with special moments and entertainment geared to lovebirds. Disney Princes join their Princesses to meet park guests in special settings, prix fixe menus turn up at select restaurants and Valentine's collectibles will be offered for the week.

Independence Week: It's red, white and blue as Disney Parks salutes America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party - for an entire week, with patriotic lighting bathing the Disney castles on both coasts. Mickey Mouse appears in his patriotic finest and guests will find special USA shirts, Ear Hats and other limited-edition souvenirs.

Long Lost Friends Week: Lesser-known Disney characters will move from the shadows to the spotlight meet-and-greets on both coasts. Photo opps with characters that could include Flik, Clarabelle Cow, Remy, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will surprise and delight guests. And Disney guests even have the chance to vote online for which characters they want to see.

Pirate Week: Why talk like a pirate one day when you could celebrate these scalawags all week long? The adventures of Jack Sparrow come to life like never before during a bicoastal buccaneer bash in which Disneyland and Walt Disney World become pirate-palooza: pirate bands, pirate meet-and-greets and more.

Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands: The Dapper Dans, the iconic quartet from Main Street, U.S.A., will add a special finale to their show, claiming the title of the "Original Boy Band" and delivering a medley of hits from One Direction, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.

Unleash the Villains: Friday the 13th in September 2013 is a special day, so Disneyland park and Disney's Hollywood Studios are staying open until the 13th hour (1 a.m.). Maleficent, Captain Hook, Jafar and other Disney Villains host a dance party, complete with limited-edition collectibles and other nighttime mischief.

Golden Horseshoe Revue: The fabled Frontierland show returns to Disneyland park for one month only, bringing back the corny jokes and enduring songs that were often enjoyed by Walt Disney himself.

October 14, 2012

Walt Disney World Names 2013-14 Ambassadors

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 12, 2012 - Continuing a 47-year tradition created by Walt Disney himself, Walt Disney World Resort has selected two Cast Members to serve in the revered and sought-after role of Ambassadors.

In a ceremony held today at Epcot, Tye Arnold and Rich Tamayo received their official ambassador pins as part of the announcement, which was greeted with a burst of confetti and the applause of friends, family and Cast Members. The pair will represent more than 64,000 Cast Members as they share the magic of Disney throughout the resort and the Central Florida community from Jan. 1, 2013 - Dec. 31, 2014.

"Today, we celebrate two amazing people who exemplify the talent and excellence of Walt Disney World," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France. "The role of Ambassador is special, not just because it represents our more than 64,000 Cast Members, but because it is a tradition that began with Walt Disney. And today, our Ambassadors share the magic of Disney with our guests, our Cast and our community."

When Tye Arnold sent a letter to the Disney Channel from his small Northeast Arkansas hometown to ask how he could become a Cast Member, he never imagined the variety of roles he would play at Walt Disney World Resort. After interning with the Disney College Program in Magic Kingdom, he worked in various host, tour and Cast leader roles at several of the resort's parks. Chosen as a Dream Squad Specialist during "The Year of a Million Dreams," Tye has helped create magical moments for Guests as part of the Guest Relations team and as year-end leader for Magic Kingdom's Dream Squad.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Rich Tamayo has transformed his passion for sports into a successful Disney career. After starting out as an event service assistant at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, he's held a variety of roles in the company's sports and recreation sphere - from working with the Atlanta Braves during spring training to ensuring guest satisfaction at various Disney resorts in Central Florida and Hilton Head, S.C. Most recently, Rich continued building his hospitality skills by joining the front office team at Disney's Boardwalk Resort.

Today's ceremony was the culmination of an intensive, two-month search for candidates who demonstrate a commitment to fellow Cast Members and the community, an understanding of the company's heritage and, above all, Disney passion. Each year, thousands of Cast Members are invited to participate in the Ambassador selection process, which includes several rounds of interviews and, for the finalists, an opportunity to interact with Cast, visit non-profit organizations and test their presentation and media interview skills.

Following a two-month training, the new Ambassadors will begin their busy two-year term. With more than 3,500 events to attend throughout the year, the Ambassadors will be responsible for duties such as hosting Disney VoluntEAR events, making appearances with Disney characters at community presentations, serving as master of ceremonies at park events and recognizing Cast Members' milestones and achievements.

The Disney Ambassador tradition began during the 10th anniversary of Disneyland when Walt Disney was overwhelmed with requests for appearances and media interviews. The program has continued since he chose the first Disney Ambassador to represent the company, as well as its Cast Members and ideals, in 1964.

August 24, 2012

Frost Fairy Periwinkle from Disney’s ‘Secret of the Wings’ Will Soon Join Tinker Bell at Disney Parks

A new character will soon join Tinker Bell at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, to coincide with the release of the Disney Fairies movie "Secret of the Wings," which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD October 23.

In Secret of the Wings, Tinker Bell journeys into the mysterious world of the Winter Woods, where curiosity and adventure lead her to an amazing discovery and reveal a magical secret that could change her world forever. In the Winter Woods. Tinker Bell meets Periwinkle, a frost fairy who turns out to be Tink's sister, born of the same baby's laugh.

Periwinkle and Tinkerbell

Soon, you'll be able to meet Periwinkle with upcoming appearances at Tinker Bell's Magical Nook at Magic Kingdom Park and Pixie Hollow at Disneyland park. These areas will receive a sparkling layer of snow and ice, creating the perfect environment to greet Periwinkle and make her feel at home. Even Tinker Bell will be dressed for the occasion, wearing her warm, wintry ensemble from the film.

Look for Periwinkle to join her sister at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom parks, beginning in mid-September.

August 7, 2012

Pete's Silly Sideshow Coming to Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


The one section of Storybook Circus that hasn't opened yet is the area that houses 3 huge big-top tents. We know one will be merchandise, one will probably be food and the other will house Character Meet and Greets.

The Disney Parks Blog has announced details for Pete's Silly Sideshow!

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

This new character greeting area has two entrances: One line leads to Minnie Magnifique (Minnie Mouse as a circus star) and Daisy Fortuna (Daisy Duck as a fortuneteller), while the other line leads to The Great Goofini (Goofy as a daredevil stunt pilot) and The Amazing Donaldo (Donald Duck as a snake charmer).

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Once inside the tent, guests have two options: Join a line that leads to Minnie Magnifique (Minnie Mouse as a circus star) and Madame Daisy Fortuna (Daisy Duck as a fortuneteller), or head to see The Great Goofini (Goofy as a daredevil stunt pilot) and The Astounding Donaldo (Donald Duck as a snake charmer).

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


In case you were wondering, Mickey Mouse will continue to greet guests in his current location at Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A. And as usual, all entertainment is subject to change.

July 31, 2012

Maurice's Cottage in Fantasyland

Each week more details and photographs are released by Disney Parks Blog for the new Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World

Here is a look at Maurice's Cottage and some of the detail going into the exterior.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

This home has a tinkerer's touch both inside and out. The roof sports mismatched chimneys and a creative weather vane.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

On the ground level, the house is highlighted with heart shutters. Support beams line the house, which Imagineers intricately hand-carved and stained to look just like wood. Also, notice in this shot how the metal that affixes the beams to the house was designed to look aged and weathered.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

A wishing well and wooden fence, which has been repaired by the handy Maurice using extra wood found around the house, outline the property.


Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Here is more information about Maurice's Cottage

Tinkering with the interior light fixures


Storytime with Belle and Lumiere

A Peek behind the walls

July 26, 2012

Watching the Olympics While at Disney World

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The 2012 Summer Olympic Games start in London on Friday, July 27.

Starting that day, and through Sunday, August 12 when the Olympics end, you'll find many televisions around Walt Disney World Resort tuned to the telecasts:

-- Animal Kingdom Lodge: Victoria Falls, Sanaa Lounge, Maji Pool Bar and Uzima Springs Pool Bar

-- Yacht Club: Crew's Cup Lounge

-- Beach Club Resort: Martha's Vineyard

-- Contemporary Resort: The Wave Lounge

-- Grand Floridian: Mizner's Lounge

-- BoardWalk: ESPN Club

-- Port Orleans Resort - Riverside: Muddy Rivers Pool Bar and River Roost Lounge

-- Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter: Scat Cat's Lounge

-- Old Key West Resort: Gurgling Suitcase

-- Saratoga Springs Resort: On the Rocks Pool Bar and The Turf Club Lounge

-- Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground: Crockett's Lounge

-- Wilderness Lodge: Territory Lounge

-- All-Star Sports Resort-- all three pool bars

-- Caribbean Beach Resort: Banana Cabana

-- Animal Kingdom: Rainforest Cafe

-- Coronado Springs Resort: Rix Lounge

-- Downtown Disney: Fulton's Crab House, Wolfgang Puck Cafe, Paradiso 37, House of Blues and Rainforest Cafe

-- Polynesian Resort: Tambu Lounge

July 17, 2012

Epcot's 30th Celebration - Merchandise

Product Developer Mary Myers has been working on merchandise for Epcot's 30th Celebration.

The shirts below are already available in Mouse Gear (Future World)

Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise

Here are examples of the merchandise that will be released this fall including shirts, pins, and "toothpick" holders sporting the original Future World icons!


Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise


Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise


Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise


Epcot 30th Celebration Merchandise

July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

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July 3, 2012

Beautiful Mosaics in the Be Our Guest Restaurant

Each week more details are revealed for unopened areas of the Fantasyland Expansion. This week, more photos of the inside the Be Our Guest Restaurant have been released:

beourguestmosaic1.jpg

One of the floor mosaics in the entrance is the Beast's enchanted rose trimmed in gold.

beourguestmosaic2.jpg

The mosaics on the walls tell the love story of Belle and the Beast.

beourguestentrance1.jpg

This is the doorway to the restaurant. Notice the detail in the columns!

The Be Our Guest restaurant will begin taking reservations sometime in August and will open in time for the holidays.

July 2, 2012

California Grill to Close for Extensive Rehab

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort Gets Ready for a New Look

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Disney's California Grill will be closing for an extensive renovation beginning January 6, 2013. The restaurant is slated to reopen late summer.

Sporting a new look when it reopens, Chef Brian Piasecki is very excited about the "enhancements to the interactive kitchen - we'll be able to give a fresh spin to California Grill classics, and add some cutting-edge new selections to the menu."

Chef Brian Piasecki

There will be changes to the menu but Chef Brian explains "we'll still focus on a fresh, seasonal menu with top-of-the-line sushi. You can still look for creative flavors and techniques, and sophisticated cuisine."

California Grill's two private dining rooms are expected to remain.

The Cast Members in the kitchen as well as the dining room all plan to return.

California Grill sits high atop the Contemporary Resort offering spectacular views of not only the Magic Kingdom, but Epcot and the surrounding areas as well. It is one of the most popular spots for dinner and viewing the Magic Kingdom fireworks!

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

June 27, 2012

Okapi Baby Born at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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The cast at Disney's Animal Kingdom is happy to announce that late last week -- on June 21 -- they welcomed a new okapi calf to the family. The female calf has been named Nafuna, an African name meaning "delivered feet first."

First-time mom Zawadi and the calf, who weighed 35 pounds at birth, are doing very well and are being monitored closely by the animal care team in their backstage home at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The calf's dad, Akili, lives at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, where guests also can see okapi on the resort's savanna.

Guests will have two opportunities to catch a glimpse of the okapi calf a couple of months from now, when she goes out in the park's Ituri Forest. Guests can see okapi when they ride the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition and when they travel the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

In the wild, the okapi is considered rare, and they are threatened by habitat loss due to logging and human settlement, as well as by hunting.

Okapi fun facts:

-- The okapi's stripes work as camouflage when hiding in the partial sunlight that filters through the forest canopy.
-- Okapi are typically solitary animals, living alone or in mother-offspring pairs. They are extremely wary and secretive, making okapi very difficult to observe in the lowland rainforest of central Africa where they make their home.
-- The okapi's gestation period is about 14 months.
-- Adult okapi can reach weights of 550-720 pounds, with females typically being larger than males. They can live over 30 years in zoological facilities.
-- Normally silent, female okapi vocalize with a soft "chuff" during courtship and when calling to their calves. There are infrasonic qualities to their call, which are below the frequency that the human ear can pick up.

June 20, 2012

President Obama and Mitt Romney to Address NALEO Conference at Disney

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 20, 2012 - Serving as the site for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) 29th Annual Conference, Disney's Contemporary Resort and Convention Center will be a hub of political activity today through Saturday as President Barack Obama, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and other special dignitaries are scheduled to address attendees.

"We're pleased that the President of the United States will be joining our nation's Latino leadership at this historic event," said Sylvia R. Garcia, NALEO President. "With the changing demographics and the growing Latino population, this conference is an opportunity for the President to address key elected officials and leaders regarding the Administration's efforts to address the unique issues and challenges facing the Latino community today."

"We are grateful that Governor Mitt Romney has accepted our invitation to join us and address the nation's Hispanic leadership at our annual conference," said Juan C. Zapata, Chairman of the NALEO Educational Fund. "Hispanic officials are eager to hear more about the Governor's plans for the country and his thoughts on the Hispanic community's aspirations and concerns."

Additional speakers include: US Senator Bill Nelson, US Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solís; Florida Governor Rick Scott and former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, among others.

The three-day convention is the nation's largest gathering of Latino leadership with nearly 1,000 Latino public officials who work in all levels of government. Conference participants will join political and policy leaders for panel discussions on education, health, financial empowerment, broadband adoption and the growing clout of Latino voters in American politics.

Click here to view the conference schedule.

NOTE: Possible traffic congestion and delays are anticipated during the President's visit on Friday, June 22. Guests and Cast Members should allow extra time for travel.

Also, now through Saturday, June 23, the guest parking lot at Disney's Contemporary Resort will only be available to Guests staying at the resort or with dining, spa or recreation reservations.

On Thursday and Friday, June 21-22, the following guest parking lots will be available only to Guests staying at the resort or with dining, spa or recreation reservations:

· Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

· Disney's Polynesian Resort

June 14, 2012

Record-Setting Attempt at Disney’s Blizzard Beach

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Disney's Blizzard Beach joined 500 host locations for the World's Largest Swimming Lesson event June 14, 2012. It was part of a worldwide simultaneous effort to break the Guinness World Record set last year. The global swim lesson, aside from great fun, brings awareness to the importance of water safety.

June 12, 2012

Tinkering in Maurice's Cottage at New Fantasyland

The latest round of detailed photos of the Fantasyland expansion are from Maurice's Cottage (opening in time for the holidays).

Maurice's Cottage is the room that welcomes guests to the Enchanted Tales With Belle meet-and-greet experience. You can explore the tinkerer's humble cottage and workshop.


maurice1n.jpg


maurice2n.jpg


maurice3n.jpg

June 5, 2012

Sneak Peak at Prince Eric's Castle -Fantasyland Expansion

Prince Eric's Castle will house what will certainly be a very popular addition to the Fantasyland Expansion, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid. While the ride itself is almost identical to the version in Disney California Adventure, the exterior theming is completely different.

Eric-Castle1.jpg

Eric-Castle2.jpg

Eric-Castle3.jpg

Fantasyland Expansion Continues - What's Next for Dumbo

As Fantasyland gears up for the next phase to open, the Disney Parks blog has shared some sneak peak photos for Storybook Circus.

While a new Dumbo and re-themed Goofy's Barnstormer has already opened, the next phase will include the 2nd Dumbo and the brand new interactive queue area!

According to Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager, "This innovative queue area will completely redefine what it means for guests to prepare for a Disney attraction. Here's how it will work: Guests arrive at Dumbo's big top and receive a circus ticket pager that virtually holds their place and notifies them when it's their turn to board the attraction. Kids (and kids of all ages) can then become part of the show inside the tent by enjoying circus-themed play experiences, while Dumbo flies high above."

Families no longer have to wait in outdoor lines in the hot sun! With 2 Dumbos and the new queue area, the Must Do Dumbo charge will hopefully turn into a more pleasant experience for all.

Dumbo Queue

Dumbo Queue


June 1, 2012

Walt Disney World Ticket Price Increase June 3, 2012

source: Disney Parks Blog 6/1/12

Ticket prices at Walt Disney World Resort will increase on June 3.

AllEars.Net's preferred ticket vendor MapleLeafTickets.com will honor the pre-increase prices into next week.

Theme Park Ticket Options(*)
Days On Ticket Base Ticket Optional Add-Ons
Ages 10-up Ages 3-9 Park Hopper® Water Park Fun & More Park Hopper® & Water Park Fun & More No Expiration
10 days $318
($31.80/day)
$300
($30.00/day)
$57 $57 (10 visits) $79 (10 visits) $275
9 days $308
($34.22/day)
$290
($32.22/day)
$57 $57 (9 visits) $79 (9 visits) $250
8 days $298
($37.25/day)
$280
($35.00/day)
$57 $57 (8 visits) $79 (8 visits) $215
7 days $288
($41.14/day)
$270
($38.57/day)
$57 $57 (7 visits) $79 (7 visits) $190
6 days $278
($46.33/day)
$260
($43.33/day)
$57 $57 (6 visits) $79 (6 visits) $165
5 days $268
($53.60/day)
$250
($50.00/day)
$57 $57 (5 visits) $79 (5 visits) $130
4 days $256
($64.00/day)
$239
($59.75/day)
$57 $57 (4 visits) $79 (4 visits) $85
3 days $242
($80.67/day)
$226
($75.33/day)
$57 $57 (3 visits) $79 (3 visits) $40
2 days $176
($88.00/day)
$164
($82.00/day)
$57 $57 (2 visits) $79 (2 visits) $30
1 day $89 $83 $35 $57 (2 visits) $79 (2 visits) n/a

Base Ticket admits guest to one theme park each day of use. Park choices are: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Park Hopper option entitles guest to visit more than one theme park on each day of use. Park choices are any combination of Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom on each day of use.

Water Park Fun & More option entitles guest to a specified number of visits (between 2 and 10) to a choice of entertainment and recreation venues. Choices are Disney's Blizzard Beach water park, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park, DisneyQuest, Disney's Oak Trail golf course, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (includes 30-minutes of game play at The PlayStation® Pavilion), Disney's Fantasia Gardens (before 4:00 pm) and Disney's Winter Summerland (before 4:00 pm).

No expiration means unused admissions on a ticket have no expiration date. All tickets expire 14 days after first use unless No Expiration is purchased.

Theme Park Annual Pass Options (*)
Ticket Ages 10-up Ages 3-9
Annual Pass $574 $574
Annual Pass entitles guest to unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, as well as complimentary parking.
Premium Annual Pass $699 $699
Premium Annual Pass entitles guest to unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except activities/events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), Disney's Oak Trail golf course, DisneyQuest and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, as well as complimentary parking.
Attractions Outside the Theme Parks (*)
Ticket Ages 10-up Ages 3-9
Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach 1-Day 1-Park / Annual Hopper $52 / $99.95 $44 / $80.50
DisneyQuest 1-Day / Annual Pass $44 / $89 $38 / $71
DisneyQuest + Water Parks Annual Pass $129 $99
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex $14.95 $10.28
Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba $73-$128 $58-$102
Theme Park Miscellaneous Options (*)
Parking $14 (tax included) ($15 camper/trailer) per day
Single Stroller $15 per day ($13 per day for length-of-stay rentals)
Double Stroller $31 per day ($27 per day for length-of-stay rentals)
Locker Theme Parks: $7 per day (large lockers $9 per day) + $5 refundable deposit
Water Parks: $8 per day (large lockers $10 per day) + $5 refundable deposit
Wheelchair $12 rental per day ($10 per day for length-of-stay rentals)
ECV $50 rental per day + $20 refundable deposit

Stroller, Wheelchair and ECV rentals at Downtown Disney require a $100 refundable deposit.

Florida Resident Theme Park Tickets and Options (*)
Park Hopper® Water Park Fun & More Park Hopper® & Water Park Fun & More
Ages 10+ Ages 3-9
Florida Resident 4-Day Ticket $192 $178 $28.50 $28.50 $57
Florida Resident 3-Day Ticket $169 $157 $28.50 $28.50 $57
1-Day MYW Ticket $89 $83 $17.50 $28.50 $46

Valid proof of Florida residency per adult is required for purchase and use. Florida Resident 3-Day Ticket and Options and Florida Resident 4-Day Ticket and Options expire 6 months after first use or 12/18/2013, whichever comes first. Block-out dates apply.

Florida Resident Theme Park Annual/Seasonal Pass Options (*)
Ticket Ages 10-up Ages 3-9
Florida Resident Annual Pass $425 $425
Florida Resident Annual Pass entitles residents to unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, plus complimentary parking.
Florida Resident Premium Annual Pass $559 $559
Florida Resident Premium Annual Pass entitles residents to unlimited admission for 365 days from the activation date (except events separately priced) to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks, DisneyQuest, Disney's Oak Trail golf course and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, plus complimentary parking.
Florida Resident Seasonal Pass $299 $299
Florida Resident Seasonal Pass entitles residents to admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom except for "blockout" dates around Christmas/New Years, Easter/spring break, and peak summer vacation period; the pass expires 365 days after activation.


Florida residents can also take advantage of special pricing on 3-Day and 4-Day tickets and a popular monthly payment plan for annual passes.

Any of these ticket options enable guests to make the most of their Walt Disney World experience.

Mail a Smile Forever Stamps Celebrate Disney-Pixar Characters

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - Amid a sea of smiles, the U.S. Postal Service celebrated the issuance of 125 million new stamps today featuring popular Disney-Pixar characters. The Mail a Smile Forever stamps official First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony took place at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

Available nationwide today, all 125 million stamps can be purchased online at usps.com/shop, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724) or by visiting Post Offices.

"These delightful stamps lift spirits and touch hearts and remind us that when it comes to connecting with loved ones, technology is no match for the mail," said Jo Ann Feindt, Postal Service Southern Area vice president, in dedicating the stamps as part of the resort's grand opening.

Joining Feindt in dedicating the stamp featuring beloved Disney-Pixar characters was Jay Ward, legacy guardian for Pixar Animation Studios.

"We're thrilled 'to infinity and beyond' that these popular characters from Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo and other great Disney-Pixar films are featured on these colorful new stamps," said Ward. "This stamp issue will make posting a letter lots of fun for everyone in the family."

Following up on Send a Hello stamps issued in 2011, the eagerly awaited Mail a Smile stamp sheet includes five different designs spotlighting:

Flik and Dot from "A Bug's Life" (1998);
Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) and Dashiell "Dash" Parr from "The Incredibles" (2004), with "Dash" also shown running in the background;
Nemo and Squirt from "Finding Nemo" (2003);
Woody, Bullseye, and Jessie from "Toy Story 2" (1999); and
Boo, Mike Wazowski, and James P. "Sulley" Sullivan from "Monsters, Inc." (2001).

The back of the stamp sheet shows blue-pencil sketches of characters from these movies interspersed among text that exhorts readers to mail a smile to a loved one. Postal Service art director William Gicker of Washington, DC, worked with Disney-Pixar to design the stamp art.

Customers may view the Disney-Pixar characters Forever stamps, as well as many of this year's other stamps, and vote for their favorite stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service's online site for background information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Mail a Smile Stamp
Main Office - Orlando
10401 Post Office Drive
Orlando, FL 32862-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Aug. 1, 2012.

How to Order First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service Catalog Request

PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Philatelic Products

There are nine philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

470063, First-Day Cover Set of 5, $4.45.
470066, Postcards (20) 4 of each design, $15.95.
470067, First-Day-of-Sale Set of 5, $4.45.
470068, Digital Color Postmark (DCP) Set of 5, $8.
470084, Uncut Press Sheets, $36.
470091, Ceremony Program (random single), $6.95.
470092, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
470094, Stamp Deck Card w/DCP (random single), $1.95.
470099, Cancellation Keepsake (Random DCP w/Pane), $10.95.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

May 31, 2012

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens, Putting Hundreds More Cast Members to Work in Central Florida

AoA grand opening

Central Florida Leaders Gather for Historic Moment at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. May 31, 2012 - Disney's Art of Animation Resort opened its doors for the first time today as hundreds of Cast Members welcomed guests and community leaders from across Central Florida who shared in the historic moment.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort supported 800 jobs during construction and once completely open later this year, will employ 750 Cast Members.

"Disney's Art of Animation Resort is part of our continued investment in Central Florida and helps keep our region squarely on the map as the world's premiere family vacation destination," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, US and France. "As more and more families travel and make memories together, they also want to stay together, which has created demand for family suites."

The big blue world of Nemo and friends comes to life as Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens its first phase today with 320 Finding Nemo family suites, which sleep up to six guests. Cars will open June 18 with 480 suites, and The Lion King opens Aug. 10 with another 320 suites. All the themed areas offer elaborate storytelling both inside and out, from each of the classic films. Standard-sized guest rooms will make up The Little Mermaid wing, the final phase set to open Sept. 15 with 864 rooms.

The three-story, value-priced resort hotel tells the story of the animation process in phases from pencil drawings to close ups. It immediately transports guests into the worlds of favorite Disney characters and animated films beginning at check-in. Pencil drawings of Nemo, Ariel, Lightning McQueen and Simba adorn the entryway, and a chandelier composed of 77 animation storyboards enhances the lively and modern Animation Hall lobby.

At each wing of the resort, giant sketchbooks filled with favorite characters pave the way to each storyline revealed. And the character sketches become three dimensional with some 2,500 sculpted figures decorating the resort's exterior and interior.

"Our goal is to make guests feel like they have been immersed in the artistry and enchantment of Walt Disney and Disney-Pixar animated classics," said Walt Disney Imagineer Frank Paris.

Inside the guestrooms, everything from linens and carpeting to fixtures and furniture, all tie to the storyline. In Finding Nemo, there's coral-shaped chairs and bubble ceiling lights; rusty metallic tiles in the bathroom make guests feel as though they are in the submarine.

Kids of all ages can make a splash at the "Big Blue" pool, the largest resort hotel swimming pool at Walt Disney World Resort measuring 11,859 square feet. Guests will feel like they are swimming with Dory and Nemo as underwater speakers periodically pipe in music and messages from film characters. Guests will enter scenes from the animated world and can explore the colorful reef and East Australian Current with a giant-sized Mr. Ray whose wings span 27 feet, pose for a picture with Crush or frolic with Squirt in the Righteous Reef, a children's play area.

The food and beverage offerings at Disney's Art of Animation are drawn from guest feedback received at restaurants across Walt Disney World Resort. As a result, the Landscape of Flavors food court will feature new offerings that include fresh smoothies, hand-scooped gelato and a Mongolian grill.

The Pixel Play Arcade, Drop Off pool bar and Ink and Paint gift shop round out the offerings. Kids will enjoy the daily character artist in the main lobby and nighttime movies poolside.

Disney Imagineers continue to put finishing touches on the three wings of the resort opening throughout the summer and into September. At Cars, a freshly paved road will lead to the Cozy Cone Motel complete with a Cozy Cone pool and cone-shaped cabanas. It's a journey through an African landscape in The Lion King complete with an elephant graveyard play area that invites youngsters to seek hakuna matata time. Treasures from the human world fill Ariel's grotto in an under-the-sea kingdom in The Little Mermaid courtyard.

Situated adjacent to Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Art of Animation Resort will open in phases with family suite rates from $248 per night. The 1,120 family suites include two bathrooms, a kitchenette and three separate sleeping areas that can sleep up to six. The 864 standard rooms sleep up to four, with rates as low as $95.

Those staying at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are treated to complimentary transportation, Extra Magic Hours and other benefits available to a Disney Resort hotel guest.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens, Immerses Guests in the Middle of the Story With Enchanting Tales

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. May 31, 2012 - The big blue world of Nemo and friends comes to life just in time for the summer vacation season as Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens its doors today with "Finding Nemo," the first phase of the new resort offering at Walt Disney World Resort.

Opening in phases, each of four distinctly designed wings celebrates rich storytelling, spirited characters, original sketches and playfulness with colorful icons and whimsical theming inspired by classic Disney and Disney-Pixar films.

Family suite wings will showcase "Finding Nemo" opening today with 320 suites, "Cars" opening June 18 with 480 suites, and "The Lion King" opening Aug. 10 with 320 suites. All the themed areas offer elaborate storytelling both inside and out, from each beloved film depicted. Standard guest rooms will make up "The Little Mermaid" wing, the final phase set to open Sept. 15 with 864 rooms.

The three-story, value-priced resort tells the story of the animation process in phases from pencil drawings to close ups. It will immediately transport guests into the worlds of favorite Disney characters and animated films beginning at check-in as pixilated patterns and wavy ribbons of bold colors decorate the resort's exterior. Pencil drawings of Ariel, Lightning McQueen, Nemo and Simba adorn the entryway, and a whimsical chandelier composed of 77 animation storyboards enhances the lively and modern Animation Hall lobby.

"Our goal was to make guests feel like they have been immersed in the artistry and enchantment of Walt Disney and Disney-Pixar animated classics," said Walt Disney Imagineer Frank Paris.

Giant sketchbooks filled with favorite characters seem to come to life as they pave the way to each storyline revealed. Scenic settings, icons-including a brightly-colored coral landscape, a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, a towering Mufasa and more-immerse guests into the playful world of animation. At the "Cars" wing, a freshly paved road will lead to the Cozy Cone Motel complete with a Cozy Cone pool and cone-shaped cabanas. It's a journey through an African landscape in "The Lion King" complete with an elephant graveyard play area that invites youngsters to seek hakuna matata time. Treasures from the human world fill Ariel's grotto in an under- the-sea kingdom in Little Mermaid courtyard.

From linens and carpeting to fixtures and furniture, all details of the guestrooms tie to the storyline. In "Finding Nemo," there's coral-shaped chairs and bubble ceiling lights; rusty metallic tiles in the bathroom make guests feel as though they are in the submarine. Zazu takes center stage on the headboards in "The Lion King," while Pumbaa and Timon decorate the shower curtain.

Kids of all ages can make a splash at the "Big Blue" pool, the largest resort swimming pool at Walt Disney World Resort measuring 11,859 square feet. Guests will feel like they are swimming with Dory and Nemo as underwater speakers periodically pipe in music and messages from film characters. Guests will enter scenes from the animated world and can explore the colorful reef and East Australian Current with a giant-sized Mr. Ray whose wings span 27 feet, pose for a picture with Crush or frolic with Squirt in the Righteous Reef, a children's play area. And the character sketches become three dimensional with some 2,500 sculpted figures decorating the resort's exterior and interior.

The Pixel Play Arcade, Drop Off pool bar, and Ink and Paint gift shop round out the offerings. Kids will enjoy the daily character artist in the "Finding Nemo" lobby, and nighttime movies poolside. There are two additional pools under way in the "Cars" and "The Lion King" wings as well.

Dining options include a poolside snack bar, pizza delivery and Landscape of Flavors food court. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food court features items such as fresh smoothies, hand-scooped gelato and Mongolian barbecue. Original backgrounds from featured films decorate the walls in the dining area, adding to the attention to detail and sense of immersion.

The whimsical property, situated adjacent to Disney's Pop Century Resort, will open in phases with rates from $248 per night. The 1,120 family suites include two bathrooms, a kitchenette and three separate sleeping areas that can sleep up to six. The 864 standard rooms sleep up to four, with rates as low as $94.

"Disney's Art of Animation Resort is part of our continued investment in Central Florida and helps keep our region squarely on the map as the world's premiere family vacation destination," said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, US and France. "As more and more families travel and make memories together, they also want to stay together, which has created demand for family suites."

Those staying at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are treated to complimentary transportation, Extra Magic Hours and other benefits available to a Disney Resort hotel guest.

For reservations, guests can call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or contact their travel agent.

May 29, 2012

Savor Global Tastes, First Vegan Marketplace, Florida Flavors at 17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 28-Nov. 12

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Festival Planners Add Extra Day of Tasting Fun

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - For a record 46 days beginning Sept. 28, 2012, Disney guests can taste their way around the world during the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort. The culinary event, which includes daily Eat to the Beat! pop concerts, will continue through Nov. 12 -- adding one extra day of festival fun.

Festival chefs are firing on all burners with menus designed for every palate and a new Marketplace VIP Access Chef Tour geared toward the foodie who wants the inside culinary scoop.

Fresh from festival planners:

New festival marketplaces debut - TERRA Marketplace will offer all vegan menu items including Trick'n Chick'n Curry with Basmati Rice and Chili Colorado with House-Made Chips and Cashew Cheese; FLORIDA Marketplace will introduce fresh twists on regional flavor samplings. More than 25 ethnic and regional marketplaces with tantalizing new aromas and flavors will tempt guests in the World Showcase.

Marketplace Chef Tours give VIP access - Each Wednesday, festival chefs will host a walking-and-tasting tour around World Showcase with stops at several international marketplaces. Guests will taste five marketplace dishes and five beverage items to include beer, wine and cocktails while learning chefs' culinary secrets.

Newly crafted beverages are geared toward family dining - Children of all ages can try inventive new sips during the family's marketplace dine-around. Child-friendly bites to pair will include beef empanadas and cheese fondue.

Fan favorites debut at Eat to the Beat! Concerts - Pop acts like Smash Mouth (Oct. 11-12) and Javier Colon, winner of "The Voice" (Oct. 13-14) will sizzle during their first Epcot nightly concerts included with other festival activities in admission. Eighteen Eat to the Beat! acts are slated, including other new bands Blues Traveler (Nov. 5-6) and Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX (Nov. 7-8). Night Ranger kicks off the concert series Sept. 28-30, and other returning fan favorites include Boyz II Men, The Pointer Sisters, Sister Hazel and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

HGTV sets the table - Superstar HGTV designers host home entertaining seminars every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Celebrity chefs bring it - Renowned chefs like Robert Irvine and Rock Harper share their talents during culinary demos.

Festival Welcome Center buzzes with extras - Guests can make the most of complimentary Authentic Taste seminars. Culinary demonstrations and wine seminars feature new tastes and sips for a nominal fee.

Reserved culinary events kick tastings up a notch - Special culinary programs showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers participating in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.

Other festival highlights include:

-- More than 270 chefs including Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting dinners and tasting events.
-- A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited for the perfect scrapbook souvenir.
-- Party for the Senses grand tasting events Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 and Nov. 3 featuring tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.
-- "3D" Disney's Dessert Discovery on select Fridays.

What's Included with Epcot admission:

Authentic Taste seminars, HGTV seminars, special book signings, Eat to the Beat! concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.
Special Programming by Reservation:

The Party for the Senses grand tasting events and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations. Information and reservations for select events and programs will be updated periodically this summer at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.

May 18, 2012

New Fantasyland Model On Display at One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The model for the New Fantasyland expansion, which was last on display for media during the Summer to Remember press event and for Disney fans at the 2011 D23 Expo, is currently being placed into the One Man's Dream exhibit at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

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May 9, 2012

White Rhino Gives Mother’s Day Special Meaning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 9, 2012 - Mother's Day may be a little more memorable this year for a Disney "mom" that recently gave birth to a white rhino calf at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

After a 16-month gestation period, Kendi delivered her fourth calf Friday, May 4. The healthy male, which has not yet been named, is the ninth white rhino born at Disney's Animal Kingdom; his mother, 13-year-old, Kendi, was the first.

"The birth of a white rhino calf is certainly something to celebrate since the population of this species is endangered in the wild," said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president of Animals, Science and Environment for Disney Parks. "It's encouraging that with protection and careful management, the global population of white rhinos continues to grow."

The calf and mother doing well and are currently off the savannah bonding at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Guests will be able to see them when they return to the herd in the coming weeks.

Disney's Animal Kingdom participates in a white rhino breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The program focuses on sustaining the white rhino population in North America.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, the success of the rhino breeding program has directly contributed to the conservation of other white rhinos in the wild. In 2006 two rhinos born at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Nande and Hasani, joined four others at Ziwa Sanctuary to help reestablish a white rhino population in Uganda. So far, Nande has been responsible for two offspring - a male calf born in 2009 was the first rhino born in Uganda since the 1980s followed by a female white rhino born in 2011.

Disney's commitment to conservation and rhinos goes beyond breeding. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Disney Foundation have provided more than $1 million in support to programs in Africa and Asia to protect the last five remaining species of rhino. For more information on the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund visit www.waltdisneyworld.com/about.

White rhino fun facts:

-- White rhinos are named not for their color, which is gray, but for the shape of their mouths. The word "weit" in Afrikaans means wide.
-- The white rhino is among the world's largest land mammals, second only to the elephant. A male rhino can grow to more than 5,000 pounds as an adult.
-- A rhino can move its ears independently to pick up sounds but it depends most on smell.
-- The receptors responsible for the rhino's sense of smell are larger than the animal's entire brain.
-- The white rhinoceros has the widest set of nostrils of any land based animal.

May 4, 2012

Splitsville Rolls into Downtown Disney in Fall 2012

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla, April 27, 2012 - Each year, 55 million people try their hand a bowling around the world. Everyone finds a bit of joy in the experience from the avid league bowler to the weekend warrior. But the age-old image of bowling is about to change with the new opening of Splitsville, America's Bowling Alley, at Downtown Disney this Fall.

"We're really excited to be opening our doors in such a special place," said Guy Revelle, co-founder of Splitsville. "Bowling is a perfect experience for groups of all sizes. It's where families come together to create memories, children can teach adults, and friendly rivalries are born. Guests laugh, shout, cheer and bring back the timeless high-five. And that's just in the first frame!"

If you think that this is your father's bowling alley, think again. Splitsville's 50,000-square foot, two-story Downtown Disney location will have 30 lanes, two kitchens, a dramatic balcony, ample outdoor seating, billiard tables and live entertainment.

"In a world of smart phones, tablets, texting and social media, people need an outlet to connect again," said Mark Gibson, co-founder of Splitsville. "We believe that a concept centered around the classic sport of bowling, but with an improved atmosphere, upscale food and pleasant service, results in a surprising destination for people to have fun together."

Located in the heart of Downtown Disney's West Side, Splitsville puts a whole new spin on bowling with its emphasis on unique design. Guests will be greeted with upscale sushi bars, plush booths and dynamic decor overlooking the bowling lanes. The design blends both hip and retro elements, resulting in an energetic yet comfortable atmosphere.

"One of Splitsville's differentiating features is its innovative interior design," said Gibson. "The lanes are separated into several clusters, which create unique lines of sight and allow guests to view bowling from a perspective that you can't find anywhere else. It makes for a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience."

"Splitsville is clearly going to be a great place to bowl," said Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney. "But I think our guests are going to be surprised that they can also go there for great food and to watch sports. That's what makes Splitsville a perfect fit and such a great addition for Downtown Disney."

Splitsville has taken great care to develop an exceptional menu that combines traditional and upscale offerings. With the help of award-winning chef Tim Cushman, Guests will find surprising elements such as fresh rolled sushi, grilled mahi-mahi with "Voodoo" shrimp and hand-cut steaks alongside alley-classics like cheeseburgers, crinkle-cut fries and pepperoni pizza.

"We have created a collection of sharable foods combined with unique beverages and signature desserts," said Revelle. "Splitsville truly has something for everyone. We invite you to Roll in and Rock out!"

May 1, 2012

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant Salutes Belfast-Built Titanic

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100th Anniversary Giftware Collection

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant celebrates the legacy of the R.M.S. Titanic, built in Belfast, Ireland, with its gift-shop introduction of the Titanic Official Merchandise Giftware Collection.

One hundred years after the Olympic-class luxury cruise ship sank on her maiden voyage, Raglan Road presents a selection of gifts and memorabilia as a tribute to the world-class liner and its passengers.

"It was a beautiful ship with such an incredibly poignant story that touched so many hearts," says Lorraine Gorham, Raglan Road marketing director. "As the world pays tribute to the Titanic and its legacy, we are pleased to offer these fine collectibles for Titanic enthusiasts."

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The shop's Titanic Official Merchandise Giftware includes a wide range of items such as key rings, shirts, hip flasks, spoon sets, shot
glasses and other items from $7-$25. There's a spoon rest with a haunting image of the ship that's perfect for the home cook, and a collection of shot glasses with different images of the ship and its White Star Line flag on each. The shop will add additional gifts to the collection through the year.

And on October 4, Raglan Road celebrity chef Kevin Dundon will present a Titanic-themed Signature Dinner as part of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival's culinary lineup.

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located on Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Live entertainment nightly includes Irish house band Creel (Monday through Saturday) and Irish band Tuskar Rock (Sundays) plus Irish dance performances. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late.

Contact Raglan Road at 407-938-0300.

April 27, 2012

Epcot's Test Track to Get Major Redesign

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The Disney Parks Blog has announced details and concept art relating to the redesign of Epcot's Test Track.

The revamped attraction will allow you to design your own custom concept vehicle, and then put it through its paces on the hills and switchbacks of the Test Track circuit. In the post-show, you'll be able to make a TV commercial featuring your concept car or truck. You'll also have the chance to race your car or truck on a virtual track and take a picture with your custom concept vehicle.


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The attraction is currently scheduled to reopen late fall.

Magical Events, Exciting New Attractions and Interactive Experiences Add Up to a Memory-Making Summer for Guests at Walt Disney World Resort

Magical Events, Exciting New Attractions and Interactive Experiences Add Up to a Memory-Making Summer for Guests at Walt Disney World Resort

Summer Soars with New Fantasyland Experiences, Enchanting Tales at Disney's Newest Resort, Nonstop Interactive Fun and a trip to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Summer is the perfect time for a Walt Disney World vacation and
making memories with family and friends to last a lifetime. Talk about memory-making: guests can dive into the magical worlds of Disney animation at a brand-new resort, fly with Dumbo in the new - and expanding - Fantasyland, "hang 10" at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon or ship out on the first summer sailings of Disney Fantasy.

Here's a look at what's in store for this and more.

Dumbo Flies Again as First Phases of the New Fantasyland Spring to Life.
Fun-seekers can soar with a true Fantasyland icon or take a rollicking coaster ride with The Great Goofini as the first phases in the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history welcome summer guests

"The Magic, The Memories, and You!" summer show. Starting May 25, a new summertime version of "The Magic, The Memories, and You!" will project onto Cinderella Castle. The nightly spectacular - a park favorite since it debuted in early 2011 -- includes hundreds of photos of Magic Kingdom guests taken that day. Also projecting onto "it's a small world" at Disneyland Resort.

Stay Amid Enchanting Tales as Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
May 31 marks the opening of Disney's newest resort, consisting primarily of family suites immersing guests in the magical worlds of Disney and Disney-Pixar animated films. Landscape of Flavors food court will feature customized dining options at this value-category resort.

Game-Play Away the Day (and Night). Parks Come Alive with New Interactive Experiences. This is the first summer for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, an engaging interactive experience enabling guests - armed with magic spells in the form of special cards -- to defeat the Disney Villains. Coming this June, Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P's World Showcase Adventureturns Epcot guests into secret agents seeking clues that help Agent P defeat his nemesis Dr. Doofenschmirtz.

Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Galaxy in May-June.
With character appearances, themed parades, star conversations, behind-thescenes presentations and autograph sessions, the popular event brings a galaxy far, far away to Disney's Hollywood Studios weekends May 18 - June 10, 2012.

Everybody's Gone Surfin'"..at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. What says summer better than surfin? Guests this summer can cut, carve and "hang 10" as part of Craig Carroll's Cocoa Beach Surf School. It's at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, one of two award-winning Disney water parks that are a cooling option for summer guests.

First Summer for Caribbean Cruises of Disney Fantasy. Fresh from her March 31 maiden voyage, Disney Fantasy offers entertainment, activities and dining experiences made for seven-night cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean.

AAU Basketball National Championships come to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Boys and girls compete in events July 3 through Aug. 4. The competition features top high-schoolers and has historically been among the premiere collegiate basketball recruiting events in the nation.

Splitsville. Coming to Downtown Disney West Side this fall, Splitsville will be a
new daytime and nighttime hub for strikes, spares and nonstop family fun, boasting 30 bowling lanes on two floors.

April 23, 2012

Starbucks Coming to Disney Parks

Starbucks drinks and food items are coming to all of the theme parks at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

In June, the first of six planned Starbucks locations is scheduled to open at Disney California Adventure park. And more locations are planned at Disneyland park and Walt Disney World Resort (Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom).

The Starbucks locations inside our parks will be designed to fit the theme of their surroundings. At Disney California Adventure park, Starbucks will be located in the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café on Buena Vista Street, a place that transports guests to 1920s Los Angeles, when Walt Disney arrived in California and a cup of coffee was the perfect way to jumpstart a busy day. The store's location plays off the Spanish/Mexican architecture of the period, and baristas will wear 1920s-inspired attire.

The café will serve Starbucks items, including coffee and espresso beverages, Frappuccino® blended beverages, and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries. Guests also will have their choice of Disney favorites, including signature sandwiches and other items, as well as delicious desserts and sweet treats.

From the Disney Parks Blog

April 13, 2012

Disney Kids and Nature Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort

DISNEY CHANNEL STARS JOIN YOUTH LEADERS
FOR DISNEY KIDS AND NATURE CELEBRATION
AT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

-- Two-Day Celebration Includes Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Awards Ceremony, World Premiere of Disneynature's "Chimpanzee" and Disney's Friends for Change Youth Summit

-- Hollywood Records' McClain Sisters to Perform "Rise," This Year's
Disney Friends for Change Anthem, at Event

Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan ("Jessie"), Bella Thorne and Zendaya ("Shake It Up"), Ross Lynch and Laura Marano ("Austin & Ally") will join more than 100 youth leaders from around the world for the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration April 13-14 at the Walt Disney World Resort. The two-day celebration recognizes youth efforts to help protect the planet and organizations that work to connect kids to nature.

The celebration begins Friday, April13 with remarks by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger at the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Awards Ceremony. The event honors five organizations for their efforts to create experiences and opportunities for kids to connect with nature. They are: Children and Nature Network, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy and Youth Service of America.

At the ceremony, Hollywood Records' McClain Sisters will perform their hit song "Rise," this year's Disney Friends for Change anthem, as featured in Disneynature's "Chimpanzee." The film will make its world premiere later that day.

As part of the weekend, Disney Channel stars will participate in workshops and discussions, alongside kids, during Disney Friends for Change Youth Summit.

On Saturday, April14, Disney Channel stars will help galvanize kids to make a difference during Disney's Friends for Change Youth Summit, a day-long event designed to inspire kids to think of creative ideas and solutions that generate positive change in the world. Through a series of panels, workshops and discussions, youth leaders, between the ages of 10-18, are encouraged to imagine their planet's future and discuss conservation efforts in order to return home with new ideas to put into action in their own communities. Radio Disney's lead on air personality Ernie D will host the event.

Activities include:

Friends for Change's Disney Planet Challenge Ceremony --
Ross Lynch and Laura Marano will recognize the grand prize winners of Disney's Planet Challenge, a national project-based environmental science competition for 3rd-8th grade students and the in-school edition of Friends for Change.

Inspiring and Adventurous Careers Panel --
Kids will engage with key Disney leaders whose careers merge creativity with stewardship of the planet.

Send Your Message On Workshop --
Youth participants will learn what it takes to reach audiences, encourage people to take action for the planet, and workshop the best practices for sharing messages through social media. Kids will come up with creative ways to tell their story in two minutes. Debby Ryan, Bella Thorne and Zendaya, Ross Lynch and Laura Marano will rotate through groups to help kids create their own messages.

Imagine Our Planet Youth Discussion --
Youth leaders will facilitate small-group discussions about what each participant plans to do once they return home. Students will present their "Conservation Charters." Debby Ryan, Bella Thorne and Zendaya, Ross Lynch and Laura Marano will divide among teams to help develop action plans.

Disney's Friends for Change is a multi-platform initiative that inspires kids and families to join together and make a positive impact on their world by helping people, communities and the planet. Activities are united by an overarching emphasis on fostering creativity, conservation and compassion. Through on-air PSAs and online action kits, the program provides useful resources to encourage kids to make small changes that add up to big differences. To date, Friends for Change kids in 33 countries around the world have taken almost five million actions, and $4.5 million dollars has been awarded to nonprofits with Friends for Change projects. For more information, please visit Disney.com/friends.

April 8, 2012

Party for the Planet – Including Chimpanzees – in Celebration of Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom is hosting a Party for the Planet in celebration of Earth Day. Guests can find out what they can do to make their backyards wildlife-friendly and discover other ways to conserve wildlife and protect nature, including chimpanzees, in celebration of the release of "Chimpanzee," Disneynature's newest True Life Adventure.

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Full-park festivities will take place on the first and last days of the celebration, April 13 and 22 (Earth Day). As guests enter the park, they can get the party started at two table displays in the main entrance area: one featuring wildlife-friendly backyard habitats and the other "Chimpanzee."

Activities in the park include:

Asia (Maharajah Jungle Trek)-Families can play a supermarket game and learn how their purchases can make a big difference for wildlife and wild places.

Africa (Pangani Forest Exploration Trail)-Children can observe and identify chimpanzee tracks and clues left behind along trails as they move through the forest.

Rafiki's Planet Watch, courtyard-Outside Conservation Station, guests will discover fun ways to spend time in nature with their families and find "Chimpanzee"-related merchandise, as well as face painters and caricature artists.

Rafiki's Planet Watch, inside Conservation Station-Families can visit the Chimpanzee Research Station and participate in a variety of activities based on real conservation work. Guests also can talk with cast members who work on conservation projects around the world and learn about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.

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Although the full-park festivities take place April 13 and 22, there will be lots for guests visiting April 13 through April 22 to see and do:

Outside the theme park's main entrance, a sand sculpture and display will celebrate the "Chimpanzee' film.

Families can visit the Chimpanzee Research Station inside Conservation Station.

Guests can visit with special artisans in Discovery Island.

Fun Facts:

Although we don't have chimpanzees at Disney's Animal Kingdom, we do have many other fascinating primates, including gorillas, siamangs, white-cheeked gibbons, colobus monkeys, cotton-top tamarins and lemurs.

Disneynature joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute for a special "See 'Chimpanzee,' Save Chimpanzees" program. For every moviegoer who sees "Chimpanzee" during the film's opening week (April 20-26, 2012), Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund in order to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.

Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, including "Seal Island" (1948), "Beaver Valley" (1950), "The Living Desert" (1953) and "Jungle Cat" (1958). The films earned eight Academy Awards®.

Upcoming 2012 wildlife conservation events at Disney's Animal Kingdom (as always, dates subject to change):

May 12: International Migratory Bird Day
May 23: World Turtle Day
June 6: Pollinator Day
August: Cotton-Top Tamarin Month
Sept. 5: International Vulture Awareness Day
Sept. 26: Elephant Awareness Day
Oct. 31: Bat Day

March 30, 2012

Merida from ‘Brave’ is Coming to Disney Parks

Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment reports on the Disney Parks Blog that the Merida is coming to the Disney Parks soon!

In the upcoming Disney*Pixar movie "Brave," Merida is a headstrong teenager with a vibrant spirit and a softness of heart, struggling to take control of her own destiny. You'll be able to discover Merida's story when "Brave" opens in theaters June 22 and, beginning in mid-May, Merida will be coming to Disney Parks in an all-new character greeting experience.

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At Magic Kingdom Park, Merida will appear in Fairytale Garden in a setting inspired by her Scottish Highlands home, where young guests will be invited to engage in archery lessons and other activities until it's their turn to meet her. Joining Merida will be the three bear cubs from the film, who will no doubt be up to plenty of mischief.

To prepare for Merida's arrival, Rapunzel will be moving from Fairytale Garden April 15, to a new spot at the outskirts of Adventureland where she will continue to greet her loyal fans and subjects.

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When visiting Disneyland park in California this summer, Merida and the cubs will find a home away from home near "it's a small world" in Fantasyland, where guests will also be able to participate in activities inspired by Merida's story.

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According to Creative Director Reed Jones, "These new play and greet experiences at both parks will immerse our guests in 'Brave,' giving them the opportunity to be a part of Merida's Scottish clan. And we're all excited to have the bear cubs join Merida with their silly antics, creating a whole new way to bring our beloved Disney Characters to life."

"Regardless of where they find Merida," said Reed, "Guests are really going to fall in love with her and the bears."

Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’-Themed Monorail to Debut This Spring at Walt Disney World Resort

Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager, reported on the Disney Parks Blog that the Avengers are coming to Walt Disney World this spring!

In Marvel's "The Avengers," super heroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.

Similar to the "Tron"-themed wrap, one of our Magic Kingdom Park Monorails is currently undergoing a Marvel's "The Avengers"-themed changeover to celebrate the May 4 opening of the film, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

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February 14, 2012

American Federation of Musicians, Local 389, Ratifies New Labor Agreement with Walt Disney World Resort

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New 6-year agreement covers more than 400 musicians performing across Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb. 13, 2012 - Members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), Local 389, have voted to approve a new labor agreement with Walt Disney World Resort that extends through June 2018.

Walt Disney World Resort's new agreement with the AMF, Local 389 includes:

-- Guaranteed pay raises for cast members each of the next six years;
-- Bonus pay of up to $750.

"The positive working relationship between Walt Disney World and Local 389 is the centerpiece of our success," said Mike Avila, president of AFM, Local 389. "We're pleased we could come together on an agreement that meets the needs of both Disney and our musicians."

"Throughout every step of the negotiation process the team at AFM, Local 389 worked hard with us to find common ground," said Steve Eisenhardt, vice president of labor relations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "Our new agreement recognizes the unique contributions the musicians make at Walt Disney World Resort and helps set up our musicians and our company for success in the coming years."

For more than 40 years, Walt Disney World Resort has maintained a positive working relationship with unions and regards their members as a key part of the company's business success. Across the resort, 18 unions currently represent approximately 36,000 Cast Members.

February 10, 2012

VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS Pella® Partners with Green Builder® Media to Showcase Products

New exhibit helps families experience green, state-of-the-art home

PELLA, Iowa, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- It sounds like a futuristic movie scene: a woman at work uses her smart phone to remotely unlock her front door for a repairman. As the sunny winter day turns into evening, her time-activated home automation system lowers the blinds in the family room to help prevent heat loss.

Innovative home technology like this -- including a new product from Pella Corporation -- will soon be a reality in the new green home exhibit at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® -- an experiential exhibit created by Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with Green Builder® Media, highlights the major themes of whole-home automation, energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, security, multi-generational design and durability. The home will utilize Pella Designer Series® windows in its design.

"As an industry leader dedicated to innovation, Pella is pleased to participate in this project that helps visitors learn how to make sustainable, energy-efficient choices in their own homes," said Polly Tousey, Pella strategic programs manager.

Throughout the exhibit, opening in early spring in honor of Earth Day 2012, children and adults are encouraged to consider how they can reduce their personal impact on the planet, as well as changes they can implement in their own homes to help make them more sustainable, healthier, safer and more durable.

Why Pella Designer Series windows? From their energy-efficient design to the stylish and innovative technology options, Pella Designer Series windows and patio doors are a smart choice for any home. Benefits include:

Home automation - Designer Series windows with the new Pella SmartSync(TM) technology can control optional snap-in shades or blinds with a smart home automation system, like Nexia(TM) Home Intelligence. Pella SmartSync technology -- available for the emerging smart home market later in 2012 -- is designed to quickly and conveniently adjust blinds or shades in Pella windows to control light, privacy and help save energy in a home or business.

Energy efficient - With their solid wood construction and superior insulating qualities, Pella Designer Series windows with triple-pane glass are up to 74 percent more energy efficient(1) and can help save nearly one-third on heating and cooling costs(2).

Improved indoor air quality - Optional between-the-glass blinds or shades help prevent and reduce certain indoor airborne allergens from accumulating on the surface area of blinds or shades. Windows with ordinary roomside blinds accumulate 200 times more of certain airborne allergens than Designer Series products with between-the-glass blinds.(3)

Safer design - Between-the-glass blinds and shades are a great choice for multi-generational homes because the blinds and shades are protected from dust and damage, requiring less maintenance and cleaning. They're also safer for homes with children and pets because there are no potentially hazardous roomside cords.

Good for the environment - The water-based Pella factory finish for Designer Series windows and patio doors means fewer chemicals are used in the process, contrasted with solvent-based finishes that may be applied on the job site.

About VISION House in INNOVENTIONS

Inspired by Green Builder Media's VISION House demonstration home series, the INNOVENTIONS exhibit teaches visitors that each house is a set of interactive systems and that proper management of those systems can maximize comfort and minimize operational costs.

Incorporated into the exhibit will be Pella SmartSync technology -- an integrated system that allows shades or blinds to be controlled simply by a remote control or by a home or building automation system through Web-enabled devices like computers and most smart phones. In the VISION House, Pella SmartSync technology is powered through the Nexia(TM) Home Intelligence home automation system supported by brands like Schlage® and Trane® from Ingersoll Rand.

It's a green worldPella earned the ENERGY STAR® partner of the Year 2011 award and ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award 2011 -- recognizing the commitment Pella has shown in successfully managing energy use and promoting ENERGY STAR products.

"Pella started recycling in 1925, the year our company was founded," Tousey said. "Today our roots still run deep in recycling, sustainability and innovative ideas. SmartSync is our newest product designed with a purpose to help add convenience and peace of mind to today's time-pressed and energy-conscious consumers."

In addition to Pella Designer Series wood windows with SmartSync technology, the home will include these advanced products and technologies:

Electronic vehicle charging station by SIEMENS

Chevy Volt electric vehicle by GM

High efficiency heating and cooling systems and controls by Trane, door hardware by Schlage and an innovative whole-home automation system supported by both Ingersoll Rand brands

Durable and environmentally friendly exterior systems, including smog-eating tile roofs, cultured stone, bricks, permeable pavers and trim by Boral

Ventilation solutions by Panasonic

Water-conserving fixtures, faucets, showerheads and home standby generators by KOHLER


About PellaPella Corporation is a leader in designing, testing, manufacturing and installing quality windows and doors for new construction, remodeling and replacement applications.

As a family-owned and professionally managed privately-held company, Pella is known for its 87-year history of making innovative products, providing quality service and delivering on customer satisfaction. Headquartered in Pella, Iowa, the company is committed to incorporating new technologies, increasing productivity and practicing environmental stewardship to create satisfied customers.

Pella manufactures quality windows, patio doors and entry door systems sold through a Direct Sales Network operating Pella Window & Door Showrooms across the United States and Canada and select building materials retailers. For more information, call 888-847-3552 or visit pella.com. Follow Pella on Twitter.com @Pella_News, on Facebook at facebook.com/pellawindowsanddoors and on YouTube at youtube.com/pellawindowsanddoors.

About VISION House in InnoventionsOpening this spring, the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® is a groundbreaking green show home exhibit presented by Green Builder Media® in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering. This experiential exhibit in the heart of Epcot® highlights the very best in green residential design and sustainable living. Visitors will leave with a greater understanding of green design, technology, and products as well as a host of sustainable living ideas that they can incorporate in their lives the minute they get home from vacation.

In addition to Pella, other sponsors for this exciting project include Siemens, GM, Ingersoll Rand, Armstrong, Boral, Hanwha, Kohler and Panasonic.

About INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®INNOVENTIONS is located in the heart of Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Creativity and imagination abound as guests celebrate inspiration and innovations that improve their lives and expand their horizons. Hands-on, interactive exhibits allow children and adults to be immersed into ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. For more information about INNOVENTIONS, visit www.innoventions.disney.com .

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

February 3, 2012

Habit Heroes Exhibit Debuts at Innoventions at Epcot

from the Disney Parks Blog:

A new interactive exhibit, Habit Heroes presented by Florida Blue and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, debuted at Innoventions at Epcot today.

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This new experience encourages children of all ages to learn healthy lifestyle habits and become more active. Guests can join forces with Habit Heroes Will Power and Callie Stenics to fight off villains like Sweet Tooth and The Snacker.

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Two Habit Heroes even made a special in-person appearance today for the kick-off of the exhibit.

Can't make it to Epcot? Kids can visit www.HabitHeroes.com to create their own avatar and learn how to fight bad habits.

February 1, 2012

Walt Disney’s Mantra for ‘Dreaming Big’ Remains Alive as Disney’s Dreamers Academy Celebrates Five-Year Milestone

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Celebrity Panel of Judges Led by TV host Steve Harvey to Select Next 100 Students for Dreamers Academy Class of 2012

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The legacy of visionary Walt Disney includes an impressive list of trail-blazing accomplishments. One outcome of his passion for motivating those around him to "dream big" inspired Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine, a four-day power-packed program for high school students uniquely designed to inspire youth to chart successful career paths.

Now entering its fifth year, more than 500 high school students will have participated since Disney's Dreamers Academy opened its doors in 2008.

On Dec. 4th, 2011, a celebrity panel of judges led by "Family Feud" TV show host, philanthropist and Disney's Dreamers Academy champion Steve Harvey will gather in Atlanta to review applications and select the next 100 high school students who will become the Class of 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy. The criteria used to select the Disney Dreamers includes exhibiting curiosity, compassion and leadership skills.

Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine, scheduled for March 8-11, 2012, takes place in what many have called the world's most creative classroom - the Walt Disney World Resort. The Academy inspires and fuels the dreams of the selected students to help them dream bigger, discover a world of possibilities and get a jump start on making those dreams come true.

The students engage in multiple activities, including interaction with a range of industry professionals to an immersive introduction to various career paths. Disney's Dreamers Academy students participate in workshops on a variety of subjects including entertainment, entrepreneurship, the medical field, culinary arts and creative inspiration from Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative gurus behind Disney Parks' theme parks and attractions.

"Many years ago, Walt Disney himself said, 'If you can dream it, you can do it,'" said Tracey Walters-Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts. "Dreaming big and encouraging students to pursue their dreams are at the core of Disney's Dreamers Academy and reaching this five-year milestone means we've touched the lives of more than 500 students and given them that boost of confidence that everyone needs."

"I am so thrilled to celebrate five years of teaching teenagers how to dream big" said Steve Harvey, who has served as Ambassador of Disney's Dreamers Academy since the program started. "These kids already have the big dreams when they walk through those doors. We simply show them how to achieve those dreams. We encourage them to believe in themselves and to focus on their future now. We tell them how we achieved our successes, and suddenly you see the light bulb turn on for them."

Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks said, "All you need to do is talk to some of the students who have participated in Disney's Dreamers Academy to hear how it has impacted their lives in such an incredible way. There are so many success stories and we keep adding more and more each year."

Two recent graduates from the Class of 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy - Diamond Sims of Miami, Florida, and Princeton Parker of Los Angeles - were invited to share their stories on the popular blog Huffington Post.

"Disney's Dreamers Academy was a part of my life that I will never ever forget," said Sims, who is now a freshman at University of Florida. "I met people who are from the same place as I am. I met people from all types of professions who were willing to provide advice, guidance and encouragement. In only a few days, they helped mold me into the young woman that I am today."

Parker,17, who will start his first year of communications studies at University of Southern California next year, said: "Disney's Dreamers Academy changed my life not only by enlarging my dreams and understanding, but also by introducing me to more than 100 other young visionaries who possess the same drive, tenacity, vigor, and capacity to dream."

Celebrity Panel of Judges to Select Class of 2012

Judges for the Class of 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy class will include: Harvey; Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, Essence Magazine); Walters-Powell (Executive Champion, Disney's Dreamers Academy); Yolanda Adams (Gospel Music Legend); Terrence J (BET host of 106 and Park); Stephen A. Smith (Broadcaster and Sports Analyst); Dr. Steve Perry (Education Advocate and CNN commentator); Sonia Jackson-Myles (Founder and Author, The Sister Accord); Jonathan Sprinkles (Award-winning Motivational Speaker); Chef Jeff Henderson (Food Network TV host of The Chef Jeff Project); Brandi Harvey and Karli Harvey (Co-founders of Young, Fit and Fly)

January 25, 2012

February 1st the New Romantic "The Magic, The Memories and You" Debuts!

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The Disney Parks Blog has announced that a new show segment is set to debut Feb. 1, inspired by some of the most romantic moments in Disney animation. Cinderella Castle (Walt Disney World) and "it's a small world" (Disneyland) will be covered in red roses for one sequence and turned into a beautiful, star-filled sky for another. During part of the show, spectacular stained glass windows will grace the façades, depicting the stories of Cinderella, Snow White and Belle."

Shawn Slater Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment shares: One of my favorite moments comes when the king and queen from "Tangled" appear on a balcony, lifting a single lantern to the sky for their missing daughter. It's soon joined by hundreds of others, creating a magical sight sure to draw "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! "

The romance segment is planned to run as part of "The Magic, The Memories and You!" through mid-April.

January 20, 2012

President Obama at Walt Disney World: “America is Open for Business”

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The eyes of the nation were focused on Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday as President Barack Obama unveiled a comprehensive set of initiatives to attract more international visitors and make the United States the world's top tourism and travel destination.

"People want to come here. And China and Brazil are two of the countries with the biggest backlogs," Obama said. "So this is what it's all about - telling the world that America is open for business."

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With Cinderella Castle serving as his backdrop, the president outlined his plans to improve the U.S. travel visa process, especially for residents in emerging countries such as China, Brazil and India. He also detailed other strategies that will significantly increase foreign visitors in the U.S., which not only will contribute to the country's economic growth but will help create jobs as well.

Each year, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and all of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' domestic businesses attract millions of international Guests, providing positive economic impact throughout the communities in which they operate. Disney has a long-standing history as an industry leader in initiatives to increase international visitation and supports the President's efforts to further bolster the growth of potential markets such as Brazil, China and India.

President Obama was the fourth sitting U.S. president to visit a Disney theme park. The sitting Presidents who visited previously are Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

January 10, 2012

Florida Residents Can Make More Memories in 2012 with 3-Day, 4-Day ‘Wild For Disney’ Passes

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Just in time for the new year, Florida Residents get added incentive to make more memories at Walt Disney World this spring, with an extra special ticket offer.

From now until May 21, 2012, Florida residents can purchase a "Wild for 3-Day Pass" for $99 (plus tax) or upgrade to a "Wild for 4-Day Pass" for $129 (plus tax), valid for entry into one Walt Disney World park per day. For even more memory-making, Florida Residents can also add "Park Hopper" or the "Water Park Fun and More" option for $27.50 per ticket.

Details:

3-Day "Wild for Disney" Pass
Price: $99, plus tax
Includes: admission to any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks any three days (excluding blockout period); one park per day.
4-Day "Wild for Disney" Pass
Price: $129, plus tax
Includes: admission to any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks any four days (excluding blockout period); one park per day.
Both Passes
Offer period: Jan. 4 - May 24, 2012
Purchase by: May 21, 2010
Blockout dates: Feb. 18, 2012 - February 20, 2012; April 1, 2012 - April 13, 2012
Proof of Florida residency required; pass is nontransferable and excludes activities/events separately priced.

To purchase or for more information: disneyworld.com/99.

January 9, 2012

Brazil’s Costa Establishes New Streak at Dramatic Walt Disney World Marathon

Fredison Costa Wins Second Consecutive Walt Disney World Marathon

Brazilian runner wins second straight Disney Marathon after fierce battle with perennial winner Adriano Bastos; Virginia Beach's Renee High easily wins women's title; field of more than 16,500 pushes weekend total to record 56,000 runners

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2012) - Brazilian runner Fredison Costa did it again, holding off his heavily-favored countryman Adriano Bastos on Sunday to win his second straight Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna.

Costa waged a fierce battle with the 7-time champion Bastos throughout the 26.2 mile race through Disney's four theme parks - Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios - before narrowly winning. Costa crossed the finish line in 2:19:01 - just 14 seconds ahead of Bastos (2:19:15), who had won six Disney Marathons in a row before Costa's back-to-back feat.

Renee High of Virginia Beach, VA., was the first woman to cross the line. High, who is scheduled to run the marathon at the US Olympic Trials next week in Houston, completed the race Sunday in 2:48:33 just ahead of Emily Kroshus (2:53:11) of Boston and Christa Stephens (2:55:10) of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Costa, 34, and Bastos 33, ran virtually shoulder to shoulder through much of the race. But with about two miles to go, Costa inched ahead slightly and maintained that slim lead until the end to become the first person other than Bastos to win back-to-back Disney Marathon titles since Brazil's Santiago de Araujo did it in 1998 and 1999. Costa's time was even quicker than a year ago when he won with a time of 2:21:15. Matt Hensley of Port St. Lucie, Fla. was third (2:23:11).

"I think a victory is a victory and they are always very special," Costa said through an interpreter. "But I think this was such a difficult time overcoming some things for me. I've been through so many things that this race was very, very special to me."

Douglas Morton of Sebring, Fla. won the men's Masters Division (runners age 40 and over) with a time of 2:35:52 and Terri Rejimbal of Tampa won the women's Masters Division (3:09:33). In the wheelchair division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga. (1:46:16) won for the fourth straight year.

On Saturday, Jose De Morais of Brazil won the 13.1-mile Disney Half Marathon with a time of 1:10.12. Rosa Chacha of Ecuador was the top woman finisher, posting a time of 1:16.43.

In all, runners from all 50 states and 60 other countries took part in a variety of Disney Marathon Weekend events, such as the Family Fiesta 5K, Kids Races and the Disney Half-Marathon in addition to the Disney Marathon. And once again more than 6,500 runners put themselves to the ultimate test - Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge - by running the half-marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday.

Registration for the 2013 Disney Marathon Weekend opens this spring. To register or for more information on all runDisney events, visit rundisney.com. Also follow us on Twitter @disneysports and Facebook (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex).

December 30, 2011

New Year's Eve Fireworks at Walt Disney World

Continuing a grand Disney tradition from past years, New Year's Eve is one of the biggest fireworks evenings of the year at Walt Disney World Resort, a place where fireworks are both spectacular and an every-night event. Magic Kingdom presents "Holiday Wishes" at 8:30 p.m. and the classic "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks display at 11:51 p.m. Epcot's "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" salutes the approaching 2012 at 7:00 and 11:42 p.m. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, the 25-minute spectacular "Fantasmic!" will be presented at 6:30 and 8 p.m., with the popular "Lights! Camera! Happy New Year!" fireworks display at midnight.

December 9, 2011

Neil Patrick Harris Narrates Epcot's Candlelight Processional December 10-12

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Neil Patrick Harris, the Emmy Award-nominated star of the hit television series "How I Met Your Mother" and former star of the hit series "Doogie Howser, M.D.," will be the guest narrator for the Candlelight Processional at Epcot December 10-12 2011

November 14, 2011

Petty Holdings Adds Exotic Driving Experience

The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway will be new home to "supercars"

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Combine some of the world's finest automobiles with a track specifically designed for drivers to safely experience their awe-inspiring acceleration, speed and handling and you have "Exotic Driving Experience", the latest offering from Petty Holdings.

Best known as owner and operator of Richard Petty Driving Experience, the worldwide leader in the stock car ride and drive business, Petty Holdings has applied its expertise in delivering safe, accessible, exciting automotive entertainment to develop an experience allowing anyone with a driver's license the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a "supercar" - a rarified class of automobile.

It will officially begin on January 16, 2012.

Exotic Driving Experience will feature supercars by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche. Future plans include the addition of other exotic models, as well.

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"This exotics business is the most significant new offering from our company since the creation of Richard Petty Driving Experience in 1994" said Brian Flynn, Petty Holdings Chief Executive Officer. "This was a strategic decision intended to expand our customer base by diversifying our experiential offerings."

Plans call for Exotic Driving Experience to operate approximately 150 days annually on The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway, a new track configuration (see below) at the motorsports complex located on the grounds of the world-famous theme park.

Driving Experiences will start at $189 for six laps around the circuit. Thrill Rides with a professional driver at the wheel will be available for $99.

The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway®

Built in 1994, the one-mile oval at Walt Disney World Speedway® has been home to Indy Racing League (IRL), NASCAR Truck series and United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctioned races. Since 2000, it has been operated year-round exclusively by Richard Petty Driving Experience, which has seen more than 250,000 people drive or ride in one of its NASCAR race cars.

Petty Holdings recently completed an interior road course-style section at the track, specifically for Exotic Driving Experience, which features a series of quick, challenging right and left-hand turns, known as "switch backs." Complete with barriers and rumble strips, this section replaces the frontstretch of the oval when the supercars are on track and, together with the backstretch, comprises another one-mile layout which has been named The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway®.

"We needed a circuit that would allow customers to really get a sense of what these incredible cars are capable of" said Rick Fedrizzi, President and Chief Operating Officer, who designed the new interior section. "Drivers can rapidly accelerate to high speeds on the backstretch of the oval and, when they come into the interior section, feel the incredible braking and handling characteristics of whichever exotic they've selected."

"It is an absolute blast to drive this course in any one of these cars," Fedrizzi said.

Although Exotic Driving Experience officially begins after the new year, reservations for 2012 can be made at exoticdriving.com or by calling 855-822-0149.

November 2, 2011

UPDATED: Joyful Celebrations and Timeless Traditions Delight Guests at Walt Disney World Resort

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[UPDATED 10-31-11 to include information about The Magic, The Memories and You plus new dates for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios and new dates for Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom.]

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - It's the month before Christmas and throughout Mickey's house, the trees are all glowing, bringing smiles to The Mouse. Choirs are singing, bakers taking great care, sounds and smells of the season are filling the air"

At Walt Disney World Resort in 2011, it begins to look a lot like Christmas as early as Nov. 8. Santa's elves bedazzle every corner of the Vacation Kingdom for a seasonal spectacle filled with heartwarming stage productions, enchanting parades, garlands and wreaths, millions of sparkling lights and even the first flakes of winter.

And with a ho, ho, whole lot of cheer being spread over more than a month, guests have more choice as to when they join in the magical, one-of-a-kind celebration.

MAGIC KINGDOM
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - On 19 special nights, holiday revelers can delight during this cheery, family-friendly event. Party-goers embrace the joys of the season - sipping cocoa, catching a "snowflake" and enjoying merry shows, fireworks, carolers and special character meet and greets.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party will take place Nov. 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16 and 18, 2011, from 7 p.m. until midnight. Day-of-event pricing is $62.95 and $57.95 for ages 3 to 9. Savings of $6 per ticket are available if tickets are purchased in advance. Visit Disneyworld.com/holidays.

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This after-hours party on select nights between Nov. 8 and Dec. 18, 2011, features a sleigh full of merriment:

• An enchanting Cinderella Castle adorned with Castle Dream Lights (through Jan.8)

• Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, complete with a special appearance by Santa Claus himself

• An exclusive holiday fireworks extravaganza - Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

• Live entertainment featuring Disney characters

• Meet and greet opportunities throughout Magic Kingdom theme park with favorite Disney characters

• Complimentary cookies, apple slices and hot cocoa

• A magical snow fall on Main Street, U.S.A.

• Many popular Magic Kingdom attractions open for fun

• Complimentary family photo


Castle Dream Lights
- Each evening of the season, Cinderella Castle shimmers with lights brought to beaming brightness during a ceremonial show performed at dusk. Beginning Nov. 8 and continuing through Jan. 3, 2012, Cinderella and favorite Disney characters decked out in festive holiday garb take center stage and magically transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace draped with 200,000 ice cycle-white lights - a breathtaking focal point to a park ready for revelers with wreaths, bows, garland, towering Christmas trees and scarlet poinsettias dominating the landscape.

The Magic, The Memories and You! - The nightly light show on Cinderella Castle gets in "the spirit" throughout the holidays with a special segment that wraps the Magic Kingdom landmark in colorful bows and boughs, gift paper and ribbons, ornaments, candy stripes and multi-colored strands of lights " and gingerbread.

EPCOT
Candelight Processional - An inspirational retelling of the Christmas story accompanied by a mass choir and 50-piece live orchestra punctuates the reason for the season during this time-honored Epcot tradition. Each evening Nov. 25-Dec. 30, 2011, a celebrity narrator (from a lineup that includes Steven Curtis Chapman, Marlee Matlin and Neil Patrick Harris) takes to the America Gardens Theatre stage and shares the story of Christ's birth. Guests can sing along as the trumpeters and full orchestra offer a riveting performance featuring seasonal melodies. Shows are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.

To ensure a seat for this memorable performance, Candlelight Dinner packages are available at select Epcot restaurants. They include a special fireworks viewing area and guaranteed seating for Candlelight Processional. For bookings call 407-WDW-DINE.

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Holidays around the World
- Throughout World Showcase, international storytellers share traditions and tales from their homeland. Strolling along the promenade during the Holidays around the World celebration may put you face-to-face with the good-hearted witch La Befana, known in Italy for filling children's shoes with treats, or the jolly gift-bearer Father Christmas in the United Kingdom. There are meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the American Adventure, plus other legendary icons who share messages of goodwill. The celebrations of Kwanzaa and Hanukkah are celebrated as well.

The evening is capped by "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth," the mesmerizing Epcot spectacular on World Showcase lagoon featuring fireworks, laser lights and water choreographed to a musical soundtrack - with a holiday finale.

DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights - Entering the Hollywood Studios backlot, guests discover a virtual city of lights. On, over and among the cityscape buildings are millions of dazzling bulbs, dancing lights and animated displays synchronized to high-energy holiday tunes at Disney's Hollywood Studios Nov. 10-Jan. 7, 2012. The spectacle will not be operational Dec. 8.

It's truly a mega-watt spectacle for the eyes with colorful wreaths, twirling carousels, flying angels, Santa and his reindeer, swirling snow flurries, and amazing 3-D effects around every corner.

The tradition began in 1986 in Arkansas, at the home of businessman Jennings Osborne, who strung 1,000 lights as a Christmas gift to his daughter. After the exhibit grew larger and brighter each year, it was transported to Disney in 1995 where the light exhibit now mesmerizes guests from all over the world each year. The tradition continues after Jennings' death on July 27, 2011.


DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGD0M

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade - King Louie and Baloo lead a rousing musical cavalcade - safari style - through the park from Nov. 10 to Jan. 3, 2012, during Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade. The wild side of Disney's Animal Kingdom blends with a playful spirit of the holidays as Chip & Dale, stilt walkers and savannah friends dance alongside decorative floats at 4 p.m. daily. The savory scent of chocolate floats thru the air as Minnie's candy cane and hot cocoa float roll by.

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Santa Goofy's Holiday Village at Camp Minnie-Mickey
has decked the halls big time with festive décor. A perfectly trimmed Christmas tree adorned with animal crafted ornaments welcomes guests at the park's entrance. Carolers spread holiday cheer and Santa Goofy and friends greet guests for photo opportunities.


DOWNTOWN DISNEY

With dozens of shops that stretch from the Marketplace to the West Side (and plenty of taste-bud-tempting treats!), Downtown Disney is a shopper's delight. There are one-of-a-kind boutiques such as TrenD, a sports shop at Team Mickey, plus enough toys, games, character merchandise, and costumes to fill Santa's sleigh at Once Upon a Toy and World of Disney. There's also Fuego by Sosa Cigars, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Basin (soaps and bath products), LEGO Imagination Center and much more - including Disney's Days of Christmas where guests can choose Disney ornaments and decorations any season of the year.

School choirs and bands often perform at the dock stage to ring in the season. Kids can pose for pictures and sit with Santa Clause, Nov. 19 - Dec. 24, 2011.

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RESORT HOTELS
Disney resort hotels are dressed up for the holidays, offering an ideal home-away-from-home during the season. An intricate, life-size gingerbread house cooked up by Walt Disney World pastry chefs is a must-see at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The yummy sugar shack is baked with 1,050 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 35 pounds of spices and more. It even has a chimney that puffs out delicious cinnamon smoke.

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A magnificent gingerbread carousel complete with chocolate and soft-candy ponies and oversized candy-cane poles takes center stage at Disney's Beach Club Resort. Other hotels are spruced up with wreaths and trees decorated with miles of garland, ribbon and glistening ornaments. Check each hotel for holiday dining offerings and special entertainment.

October 24, 2011

Boyz II Men - Eat to the Beat Concerts

Eat to the Beat concert series features Boyz II Men on October 24-26, 2011.

The concerts, which are included with Epcot admission, will be at the America Gardens Theatre nightly at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m.


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