Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Disney Dream debuts in January 2011 as newest cruise ship.

CELEBRATION, Fla. – When the Disney Dream debuts on Jan. 26, 2011, guests will begin embarking on innovation-infused journeys aboard a 4,000-passenger cruise ship where technology has been translated into eye-popping, jaw-dropping experiences – where activities, mealtimes and pastimes elicit smiles, giggles, “wows” and squeals of delight … and occasionally will take your breath away.

There’s a first-of-its-kind water coaster that sends guests racing above the upper decks of the ship.  An animated turtle engages children in conversation about life in the ocean.  Kids join Peter Pan on a virtual flight above London.

Talk about a “see cruise”: On this newest ship of the Disney Cruise Line fleet, atrium “paintings” come to life.  Guests in inside staterooms peer at a real-time view of the ocean outside.  In a sophisticated lounge, the sun sets over the skyline of a different world-famous city each night.

Just as Disney Cruise Line revolutionized the cruise industry with ships designed especially for families, the Disney Dream is technologically refining and enhancing world-class entertainment and legendary Disney guest services to offer a cruise experience that both caters to every guest and enthralls them.  The Disney Dream experience elevates entertainment to new heights, transforms mealtimes into occasions with a full course of fun, and even makes quiet times memorable.

Yet for all its wonderment and whimsy, the Disney Dream is warm and welcoming, featuring an elegant, richly detailed art deco interior design – throughout its entire 1,115-foot length, in its 1,250 staterooms and suites, its theaters and restaurants and clubs and lounges.
The Disney Dream will sail alternating three- and four-night cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla., to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.  During summer months, the ship will alternate four- and five-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay.

Distinctly Disney features guests will discover aboard the ship include:
AquaDuck Water Coaster. . .            Disney Cruise Line debuts a cruise-industry first: a shipboard water coaster … AquaDuck!  Guests aboard the Disney Dream will get swept away on an exhilarating high-speed flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids – all while traversing the upper decks of the ship.
Some 765 feet in length and spanning four decks in height, AquaDuck utilizes high-powered water jets that gush some 10,000 gallons of water per minute to push riders upward and forward – and at one jaw-dropping point take guests 13 feet over the side of the ship in a translucent “swing out” loop allowing them to look down on the ocean 150 feet below.
A Magical Porthole for Inside Staterooms. . .
Disney Cruise Line introduces another innovation with all inside staterooms on the Disney Dream featuring a Magical Porthole that provides guests with a real-time view outside the ship.  High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Magical Porthole.

As guests observe the impressive outside views, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters such as Peach the starfish from the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo,” the flying balloon house from the Disney•Pixar film “UP” or even Mickey Mouse.
A Magical Oasis for Children. . .Only on a Disney Cruise Line ship can children become immersed in their favorite Disney stories with the help of caring counselors, beloved Disney characters and a sprinkling of pixie dust.  The celebration of children’s creativity rises to a new level on the Disney Dream with nearly an entire deck of youth spaces designed to inspire, entertain and unlock the imagination of children ages 3 to 10.

At Disney’s Oceaneer Club, children can: 
  • Play among larger-than-life characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” in Andy’s Room
  • Explore the Laugh Floor with lovable monsters Mike and Sully from “Monsters, Inc.”
  • Dive under the sea with Nemo and friends or visit Tinker Bell’s fairy forest 
At Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, children feel as though they are embarking on a great seafaring adventure in a room filled with maps, maritime instruments and swashbuckling artifacts.  Here, children can try their hand at animation, become a pop star or navigate ships through digital seas.

Both youth areas offer magical interactions with the animated characters such as Crush, the sea turtle from the Disney•Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo,” and Stitch, the mischievous alien from “Lilo & Stitch.”  The characters chat, play and joke with children in live, unrehearsed conversations from their digital undersea and intergalactic environments via giant plasma screens.  

Both venues also feature a Magic PlayFloor, a cruise industry first that blends the latest in gaming technology with Disney’s panache for storytelling.  The interactive floor allows children to engage in group activities where their movements control the action.  Activities include controlling the pitch of a virtual tilt maze, flying over the streets of London with Peter Pan and riding the ocean waves with Crush.
Chill-Out Zones for Tweens and Teens. . .

Located inside the forward funnel of the Disney Dream is Edge, a lounge just for tweens (ages 11 to 13).  This tween pad is filled with a multitude of hi-tech entertainment including the ability to create and star in photo postcards and video karaoke using green-screen technology.

Teens have their own exclusive club with Vibe, a trendy, 9,000-square-foot club for guests ages 14 to 17.  Teens can create videos, play computer games and try their hand at mixing dance tracks.  Teens have a private outdoor area for sunbathing, deck games and cooling off with wading pools and water jets.
Personal Touches with Rotational Dining. . .
Disney Cruise Line continues its innovative rotational dining concept onboard the Disney Dream with elaborately themed restaurants, distinctly Disney touches, and world-class cuisine to create a magical dining experience.  Throughout the cruise, guests visit different restaurants for dinner – with their servers accompanying them, providing friendly, personalized service each night.  Restaurants include:
  • Animator’s Palate, a signature Disney Cruise Line restaurant that brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room for an amazing experience that will captivate the entire family.  The room is immersed in a vivid undersea environment and Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” makes a special appearance, swimming around the restaurant and engaging in live impromptu interactions with guests.  Crush asks guests about their experience onboard the ship and answers questions about his life under the sea.  Other characters such as Nemo, Dory, Squirt and Bruce the shark swim by and visit with guests.
  • Royal Palace, an elegant restaurant inspired by the classic Disney films “Cinderella,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
  • Enchanted Garden, a whimsical, casual restaurant inspired by the gardens of Versailles and featuring a dining environment that magically transforms from day to night. 
Just for Adults. . .
On the Disney Dream, while children are having the time of their lives in the elaborately themed youth areas, adults can look forward to incomparable indulgences and relaxation with exclusive areas and offerings designed exclusively for them.
  • Adults can escape into The District, a nighttime entertainment area on the Disney Dream with five unique venues.  This playground for grownups features sophisticated lounges, each with its own unique design, look, feel, and palate-pleasing delights.
  • Senses Spa & Salon offers adult tranquility with 17 private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas with indoor treatment rooms and private outdoor verandahs, and Rainforest, a special section of the spa offering the benefits of steam, heat and hydrotherapy to relax the mind and body.
  • At Palo, sweeping ocean views, rich décor and epicurean excellence create the setting for a romantic escape aboard the Disney Dream in a redesigned version of Disney Cruise Line’s signature specialty restaurant.  Guests also may dine al fresco on Palo’s private outdoor deck.
  • Remy debuts on the Disney Dream – Disney Cruise Line’s first-ever premier dining option.  With French-inspired, gourmet cuisine by two award-winning chefs, Remy melds classic and contemporary styles in a sophisticated new dining concept exclusively for adults. 
Entertainment for the Family to Enjoy Together. . .
From experiences when the cruise is just underway until “the time to say good-bye,” the family entertainment aboard the Disney Dream is mesmerizing and memorable.  Live theatrical productions, family-friendly “game-show” experiences, first-run Disney movies and high-energy deck parties are just some of the entertainment young and old will enjoy together.  The spectacles literally elevate cruise ship entertainment to new heights as a little mermaid soars over a stage in a stunning aerial ballet, pirates rappel from atop the ship’s funnel during a swashbuckling adventure and the evening sky lights up with a dazzling spectacle of sound and color. 
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones at WDW

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!: Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas pose with their children, Dylan (left), age 10, and Carys (right), age 7, on Nov. 24, 2010, along with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in front of the Epcot theme park Christmas tree in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on Nov. 18. Epcot is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort. (Kent Phillips/Disney, photographer)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Disney Season Holidays 2010: Walt Disney World Resort Offers Sleighful of Merriment with Festive Holiday Favorites Galore

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- From a sparkling ice castle and symphony of dazzling lights … to legendary international customs and wondrous displays … to magical entertainment and musical delights, Walt Disney World Resort unwraps an enchanting celebration of the holiday season in 2010.

Electrifying fireworks, charming parades and all the sounds of the season help transform the 40-square-mile resort into a winter wonderland where holiday fun begins as early as Nov. 8.  Guests who believe “there’s no place like home for the holidays” can enjoy the merriment at Disney and still curl up in a cozy place at home for Christmas ... while other guests can spend the holidays at Mickey’s place, since many seasonal happenings continue through Jan. 3, 2011.

Disney’s stocking full of cheer includes:
Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
– On 19 magical nights between Nov. 8 and
Dec. 19, holiday revelers can sip cocoa, catch a “snowflake” on a fingertip and catch the spirit of the season through enchanting entertainment that includes live shows, fireworks, carolers and special character meet and greets.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which kicks off at 7 p.m. on select evenings (after regular Magic Kingdom closing), is pure, time-honored Disney magic:

Dancing gingerbread, marching soldiers and Santa’s sleigh parade down Main Street, U.S.A. to seasonal melodies during the twice-nightly “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade” … Cinderella Castle is draped radiantly with 200,000 glistening white lights … and “Holiday Wishes, Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks lights the night sky during a pyrotechnics show orchestrated to holiday melodies.

The night wouldn’t be complete without the forecasted flurry of snowflakes along Main Street, U.S.A. and a warming cup of cocoa in hand.  Party-goers also enjoy complimentary cookies and apple slices and enjoy unlimited admission to favorite attractions.

This after-hours family-friendly outing takes place Nov. 8, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 28, 30 and Dec. 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 19.  The evening kicks off at 7 p.m. and continues until midnight.  Day-of-party ticket pricing is $59.95 ($53.95 for ages 3-9).  Advance tickets are available with $6 savings for most dates.  Guests can visit Disneyworld.com/christmasparty or call 407/W-DISNEY.

Castle Dream Lights – When daylight has passed during the holiday season, Magic Kingdom guests can behold a breathtaking transformation during the Castle Dream Lights ceremony.  Each evening Nov. 8, 2010, through Jan. 3, 2011, Cinderella and favorite characters decked out in holiday garb take to the stage and magically transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace aglow with 200,000 white lights – a perfect centerpiece to a park all decked out with wreaths, bows, garland and towering Christmas trees.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Spectacle of Dancing Lights – Millions of brilliant bulbs blanket the backlot with dancing lights and animated displays synchronized to high-energy holiday tunes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Nov. 8, 2010, through Jan. 3, 2011.

Colorful wreaths, twirling carousels, flying angels and Santa and his reindeer bedazzle park-goers amid swirling snow flurries during The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a megawatt, multi-colored spectacle that Show Director John Phelan calls “the ultimate Americana Holiday lights display.”

“Imagine it,” Phelan said.  “One private citizen (Jennings Osborne), overwhelmed by the spirit of the season, created his own ‘Holiday Wonderland,’ complete with a giant rotating globe with ‘Peace on Earth’ above it and a massive canopy of red lights that people could walk under.  He said he wanted the people to feel like they were inside the lights, looking out.  Only in America!”

In fact, originally it was only in Little Rock, at the home of Arkansas businessman Jennings Osborne.  The rich tradition began some 20 years ago when he strung 1,000 lights as a Christmas gift to his daughter.  After the exhibit grew larger and brighter – into millions of lights – it was transported to Walt Disney World Resort in 1995, where the light display now delights guests from all over the world each year.
Holidays Around the World Throughout World Showcase, storytellers share customs and lore from their heritage from Nov. 26-Dec. 30.  Strolling around 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 showcased as well.

The evening is capped by the visual splendor of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” the mesmerizing Epcot spectacular featuring fireworks, laser and water – all spruced up for the season with a spirited holiday finale.

Candlelight Processional – The poignant story of Christmas unfolds during this renowned event featuring celebrity narrators, a mass choir and 50-piece live orchestra at America Gardens Theatre.  On Nov. 26, Isabella Rossellini is scheduled to lead off the star-studded celebrity lineup that later in the season is scheduled to include Whoopi Goldberg and Jodi Benson among others (lineup of narrators is subject to change without notice).  To ensure a seat for this joyous favorite, Candlelight Dinner packages are available with dinner at select Epcot restaurants, a special spot for fireworks viewing and guaranteed seating for the heartfelt Candlelight Processional.  For bookings call 407/WDW-DINE.

JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the SeasonD’Vine Voices returns to Epcot Fountain Stage with a joyful and uplifting choral performance that blends Gospel with the sounds of R&B, jazz and urban-inspired music. The inspirational celebration of the season takes place daily Nov. 26-Dec. 26 at 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 and 4:15 p.m.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade – The wild side of Animal Kingdom blends with a playful spirit of the holidays during “Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade.”  Mickey and pals present seasonal melodies with a world beat twist during a whimsical cavalcade throughout the park.  The high-energy afternoon parade runs daily from Nov. 14, 2010, through Jan. 3, 2011.

Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village is adorned with festive décor and perfectly trimmed Christmas trees and crooning carolers.  And Santa Goofy and spirited friends greet guests for photo opportunities.
Downtown Disney

Festival of the Seasons – Santa Claus is coming to town – to Downtown Disney, that is – and he’ll be meeting kids, listening to wishes and posing for pictures daily from Nov. 19 through Dec. 24 at Santa’s Chalet.
Santa is at the center of Festival of the Seasons, during which school choirs and bands often perform at the dock stage to help ring in the season … and shoppers can enjoy holiday gift buying every day.

With dozens of shops from boutiques to gigantic toy stores, there is something for every style and budget.  Tren-D has hip fashions and accessories, D Street offers all the latest Vinylmations, the World of Disney store showcases character, princess and pirate merchandise, and lots more.  And you could fill Santa’s sleigh with all the games and goodies at Once Upon a Toy.  There’s also Ghirardelli chocolates, Basin (soaps and bath products), LEGO Imagination Center and much more.

Downtown Disney Waterfront Plans

Whether looking for a great place to dine with the whole family or a place to relax and enjoy live music, Hyperion Wharf will provide the perfect setting for guests to make new memories. By day, the bustling port district will draw guests in with its stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.

Work will soon begin on a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island and other one-of-a-kind experiences as Walt Disney World Resort continues to bring new stories to life at Downtown Disney. With a fresh take on early 20th century amusement piers, Hyperion Wharf will feature trendy boutiques, a lakeside park and unique dining among a wonderland of lights. Combined, the projects are expected to create an estimated 1,200 new jobs over the next three years.

Vibrant Waterfront District Among Plans for Downtown Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2010) – Work will soon begin on a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island and other one-of-a-kind experiences as Walt Disney World Resort continues to bring new stories to life at Downtown Disney.  Combined, the projects are expected to create an estimated 1,200 new jobs over the next three years.
“We have made great progress since first announcing our vision to bring new shopping, dining and entertainment experiences to Downtown Disney, many of which can’t be found anywhere else and have already become guest favorites,” said Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney.  “We look forward to providing even more ways for our guests to enjoy Downtown Disney, while at the same time creating new jobs for Central Floridians.”
A nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier will evolve Pleasure Island into “Hyperion Wharf.”  By day, the bustling port district will draw guests in with its stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.
Taking its name from Hyperion, the Greek god of light, as well as the street on which Walt Disney built his first major animation studio, the wharf district also will feature a relaxing lakeside park and enhanced pedestrian walkways.  Its diverse eateries will expand dining availability at Downtown Disney by more than 25 percent.
“Hyperion Wharf will offer guests of all ages a vibrant atmosphere and new experiences that can be enjoyed by day or by night,” said Bradford.  “Whether looking for a great place to dine with the whole family or a place to relax and enjoy live music, Hyperion Wharf will provide the perfect setting for guests to make new memories with us.”
In addition to the new wharf district, numerous other projects are underway at Downtown Disney, including:
·         an extensive renovation of Lego Imagination Center, which will increase its overall footprint by nearly 3,500 square-feet and add new Lego exterior models featuring scenes from classic Disney movies;
·         enhancements at AMC that will take the movie-going experience at Downtown Disney to the next level with new digital technology, a paradigm-shifting Concession Stand of the Future and Florida’s first Fork & Screen Theater; and
·         numerous new or renovated retail shops and merchandise vignettes, as well as additional atmosphere entertainment, throughout Downtown Disney.

Combined, these projects are expected to create an estimated 600 construction jobs, 500 restaurant, retail and entertainment jobs and support 100 vendor and supplier jobs.  

Other recent additions to Downtown Disney include:
·         new entertainment, such as the Characters in Flight tethered balloon ride, the ETX theater at AMC and an enhanced outdoor performance area;
·         unique shopping experiences like D Street, littlemissmatched, RIDEMAKERZ,
Tren-D and Disney’s Design-a-Tee; and
·         immersive dining, like T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, Paradiso 37 and the recently opened Pollo Campero and Fresh A-Peel, a new quick-service restaurant combining authentic Latin-style chicken and side dishes, as well as fresh, healthy creations such as salads, wraps and gluten-free desserts.

Walt Disney World Resort Launches Annual Toys for Tots Drive with ‘Cuddliest Christmas Tree’ Featuring 1,200 Stuffed ‘Duffy’ Bears

 LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2010) – Walt Disney World Resort launched its annual Toys for Tots collection drive today with a little help from Duffy the Disney Bear and his pals Mickey and Minnie, creating the “Cuddliest Christmas Tree,” a 20-foot-high, 10-foot-wide Christmas tree made of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears.

Topping the “Cuddliest Christmas Tree” with a giant red bow at today’s ceremony were members of the U.S. Marine Corps, Walt Disney World Ambassador Clay Shoemaker and Walt Disney World VoluntEARS. 

Each year, Walt Disney World VoluntEARS donate thousands of hours of service and tens of thousands of toys to Toys for Tots – all with the goal of making the holidays brighter for deserving children throughout Central Florida. For the next few weeks, Walt Disney World cast members will play the role of Santa’s helpers by collecting new toys for the annual toy drive, which will be added to today’s donation of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears from the “Cuddliest Christmas Tree.”
“As the story goes, Minnie created Duffy as a pal for Mickey to bring him comfort and joy, and we hope that Duffy brings those same gifts to children throughout Central Florida during the holidays,” said Walt Disney World Ambassador Clay Shoemaker.  Duffy the Disney Bear was recently introduced at both Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California after becoming a phenomenon at Tokyo Disneyland. The plush has become an instant favorite with guests.

“Disney cast members have big hearts and time and again show their generous spirit,” said First Sgt. Michael Diaz, who heads up the 2010 Central Florida Toys for Tots campaign. “As we head into the holiday season, we are seeing a record level of people in need and these donations will make a big difference in the lives of thousands of kids.”  

During the resort’s annual collection drive for Toys for Tots, Disney cast members collect items appropriate for infants and teenagers alike, ranging from learning toys and board games to arts and crafts and sports equipment. Donations from cast members will continue to be accepted through Dec. 10, with a final tally on toys expected thereafter.  

This year, Central Florida Toys for Tots expects to assist thousands of families from Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties in celebrating the holiday season with gifts for their children. The annual toy drive is meant to send a message of hope to youngsters by ensuring they have at least one new gift to open during the holidays.  Nationwide, Toys for Tots has drop-off sites set up to accept toy donations. For locations, visit http://toysfortots.org.

The Walt Disney Company’s involvement with Toys for Tots began more than 60 years ago when Walt Disney and his animators designed the original Toys for Tots logo that is still used today.  In 2009, Disney VoluntEARS collected more than 23,000 toys for Central Florida Toys for Tots and gave more than 3,000 hours toward helping the U.S. Marines register families in need, sort and stock toys and assist with toy distribution.  

The annual toy drive is one of many charitable activities underway at Walt Disney World Resort during the “Season of Sharing” that focuses on improving the lives of local children and their families during the holidays and beyond.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unique New ‘Wild Africa Trek’ at Disney's Animal Kingdom Brings Thrills of Faraway Adventure to Walt Disney World Resort

 LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Navigating a rickety footbridge over a river chasm can be dicey enough for explorers. In an all-new Disney adventure, what lurks below that bridge may quicken their step to get to the other side: Crocodiles!

A ravine of menacing-looking crocs, pools of hippos, bushwalks along untracked terrain and other thrills await guests on Wild Africa Trek, a unique wildlife experience scheduled to launch in early 2011 into the deepest, most-remote reaches of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Reservations can be booked beginning Oct. 15, 2010, for the three-hour, expert-led adventure that will immerse guests in the realms and wildlife thrills of far-off Africa – without leaving Walt Disney World Resort. In small groups, guests on the Wild Africa Trek will enjoy an “up-close-and-personal” experience with African wildlife species that make their home in Pangani Forest as well as other areas of the park’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve.
As part of the adventure, guests will clip onto a lifeline as they step to the very edge of a cliff to get amazingly close to the hippos and crocs waiting just below. Talk about cliff-hangers!

dventure-minded guests will have the experience of a lifetime as they get immersed in an authentic African safari experience that only Disney can deliver,” said Michael Colglazier, vice president of Disney's Animal Kingdom. “We are thrilled to be offering this unique outdoor adventure aimed at active vacationers, taking interactions with the incredible animals that inhabit the Harambe Reserve to the next level and literally blazing new trails in our park.”

 Highlights of what’s in store for guests on this add-on adventure:

  •  Trekking with experienced guides through areas of Harambe Wildlife Reserve that aren’t explored during regular Disney’s Animal Kingdom experiences.
  •  Navigating through fern and vine forests on a bushwalk that sets a course for adventure.
  •  Clipping into a harness attached to a safety line, crossing a seemingly precarious rope bridge over the Safi River and cliff-hanging at the edge of gullies that are home to hippos and crocodiles.
  •  Experiencing the thrill of “over-landing” in customized open-air vehicles following the edge of a magnificent, wide-open savanna.
  •  Unwinding from an unforgettable adventure at a private safari camp for wildlife viewing.  At this station elevated above the savanna, guests savor sample tastes of Africa as their adventure draws to a relaxing and satisfying close.
Wild Africa Trek will be offered several times daily at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Groups will be kept small, consisting of no more than 12 trekkers per safari.

Reservations for Wild Africa Trek can be arranged by calling 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687). Pricing for this unique adventure will vary seasonally. Guests who reserve a booking from Jan. 16-Feb. 26, 2011, may take advantage of an introductory offer starting at $129. Park admission is required for participants.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney Nov. 12-14, 2010

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Approximately 145 award-winning fine artists, 200 chalk artists and 40 folk artists will showcase their one-of-a-kind and limited-edition painting, photography, sculptures, jewelry and more at Festival of the Masters presented by Sharpie® Nov. 12-14, 2010, at Downtown Disney. 
One of the Southeast’s most highly regarded juried art festivals since 1975, Festival of the Masters features live entertainment and family-friendly activities each day.  Admission and parking are complimentary. More info: disneyworld.com/artfestival.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Boyz II Men Celebrating Essence Magazine's 40th Anniversary

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Grammy-Award winning R&B group Boyz II Men (L-R) Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris pose Nov. 1, 2010 with Minnie Mouse (center), Essence Magazine’s editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray (second from right) and Essence Communications Inc. president Michelle Ebanks (right) at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Burt-Murray and Ebanks were at Walt Disney World to celebrate Essence Magazine's 40th anniversary and met up with Boyz II Men, who also happen to be celebrating their 20th anniversary. Boyz II Men is performing Nov. 1-3 during the Eat to the Beat! concert series at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. (Garth Vaughan, photographer)

PGA TOUR Star Vijay Singh, Ryder Cup’s Cink, Fowler, Overton, Lehman and Love Headline Field At 40th Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Disney

Fowler and Baddeley chasing Merritt for $1 Million Kodak Challenge Purse; Huston, Mayfair and Micheel announced as final sponsor exemptions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Vijay Singh, who captured the 2003 Disney Classic, and United States Ryder Cup team participants Stewart Cink, Rickie Fowler and Jeff Overton, and assistant captains Tom Lehman and Davis Love III lead the field at the 40th annual Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World Resort, Nov. 11-14.

Cink, Fowler, Lehman, Love, Overton and Singh are among the 128 players vying for $4.7 million in prize money at Disney’s Magnolia and Palm golf courses. Fowler, Aaron Baddeley and Troy Merritt stand to win even more because they are also battling to win the $1 million Kodak Challenge. Several other players are fighting to finish the year among the tour’s Top 125 money list.

Overall, this year’s field includes five former Classic champions (Joe Durant, John Huston, Love, Ryan Palmer and Singh), 11 past major winners, (Rich Beem, Mark Calcavecchia, Cink, Ben Curtis, Todd Hamilton, Lee Janzen, Lehman, Justin Leonard, Love, Shaun Micheel and Singh) and five players who have earned more than $2 million on tour this year (Holmes, Overton, Palmer, Heath Slocum and Brendon de Jonge).   

Merritt currently leads the Kodak Challenge by one stroke over Fowler and Baddeley. Merritt had carded nine Kodak Challenge birdies before posting an eagle on the final day of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open to take the outright lead for the first time this season. Currently eight PGA TOUR pros are within three strokes of the lead.

Tour veteran D.A. Points of suburban Orlando is in the field again, partly because his 9-year-old nephew, Carson Chorney, was treated for neuroblastoma - a rare form of cancer - at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Shands Children's Hospital, two of Children's Miracle Network's 170 hospitals nationwide.

The two-day pro-am field, which will compete the Thursday and Friday of tournament week, is also set, headlined by Julius “Dr. J” Erving, recent World Series champion Aaron Rowand of the San Francisco Giants, White Sox star A.J. Pierzynski, and Tampa Bay Rays players Carlos Pena and James Shields. Two children who have been treated at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals will also compete in the pro-am, A.J. Selig, 16, and Raymond Parra, 12. Huston, a seven-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including two Disney Classic wins in 1992 and 1998, leads an accomplished list of sponsor exemptions, which also includes 2003 PGA Championship winner Micheel and five-time tour winner Billy Mayfair. Chris DiMarco was previously announced as sponsor exemption, but gained entrance into the tournament by way of his ranking this season. Mike Perez is the fourth sponsor exemption.

The winner of this year’s Classic will join an impressive group of former champions. That list includes 14 players who also have won “majors, such as Tiger Woods, Singh, Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart and Raymond Floyd. 

Tournament rounds on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 will begin at 6:45 a.m. on both the Magnolia and Palm courses. At the conclusion of the second round, the field will be cut to the low 70 scores for the weekend round on the Magnolia course. All four rounds will be televised live on The Golf Channel from 1-4 p.m. ET, but fans in attendance can also experience the Wine & Dine Walk - five specialty locations offering culinary pairings of tapas-sized appetizers, entrees, desserts and wines from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. 

Tickets for individual rounds ($10), week-long badges ($20) and a new one-day Wine & Dine ticket ($45) are available at www.ChildrensMiracleNetworkClassic.com or through http://www.ticketmaster.com/.  The new Wine & Dine ticket is good for five entrees, one at each location, and one beverage. All net proceeds from the tournament go to Children's Miracle Network hospitals, including the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, and Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville.

Children’s Miracle Network
Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals.  Each year the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. Thousands of special events and grassroots fund raisers are conducted year-round through a coalition of premier children’s hospitals, media partners and corporate volunteers working together to ensure healthy kids in their communities.  To donate or to learn more, go to http://www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org/.

Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon); 34 resort hotels (24 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, includes seven Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 81 holes of golf on five courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex encompassing the Marketplace, Pleasure Island and West Side.  Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages ofDisney Cruise Line.  Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971.  Open daily, year-round.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Disney Dream Makes First Public Appearance

DREAMS COME TRUE: As pyrotechnics light the sky, the Disney Dream cruise ship makes its first public appearance Oct. 30, 2010 in Papenburg, Germany as it exits an enclosed building dock, pulled by a tugboat, at the Meyer Werft shipyard. Thousands of local residents gathered to see the "float out" ceremony. The new ship is scheduled to sail its maiden voyage Jan. 26, 2011 from Port Canaveral, Fla. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

Tangled in Fairytale Garden in Magic Kingdom

TANGLED: Rapunzel (right) and Flynn Rider (left), stars of the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated feature “Tangled,” greet guests of all ages in a new interactive “play and greet” offering in the Fairytale Garden at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “Tangled” opens Nov. 24 in theaters nationwide. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Quick Facts

§The complex incorporates the signature elements of ESPN for a one-of-a-kind experience that is designed to take youth sports to the next level and make athletes, coaches and fans feel as if they made it to the “big time” and on to ESPN.
§The complex features a 20-zone audio system, 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 handheld and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, that can capture any competition at the complex and display live action, game highlights, player interviews and ESPN programming.
§A new 2,500-square-foot state-of-the-art Production Center with eight edit bays and uplinks to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles provides competition footage to various ESPN media platforms such as ESPN, ESPNRISE.com and ESPN3.com.
§The ESPN Innovation Lab, where new ground-breaking on-air products are developed and tested utilizing the athletes and events taking place at the complex.  Additionally, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex was recently designated as ESPN’s development hub for 3D telecast technology.
§A redesigned and renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill, a sports-themed eatery with high-definition TV screens, live radio remote capabilities and a SportsCenter desk.
§The PlayStation Pavilion features 17 PlayStation 3 systems, including a SingStar stage, and a collection of just-released sports-themed games and other titles.
§ The Welcome Center is an information hub for sports complex guests looking for sports event information as well as theme park information, dining reservation, golf tee times, etc.

U.S. Military Can ‘Let the Memories Begin’ in 2011 with Special Offers at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resorts

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. / ANAHEIM, Calif. (Oct. 24, 2010) – As guests of Disney Parks share Disney vacation memories through the “Let the Memories Begin” program in 2011, America’s military personnel will have opportunities to make memories through special offers on theme park tickets and accommodations.

At Walt Disney World Resort
– now through Sept. 28, 2011, 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 $138 each, plus tax
·         Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Parks Fun and More Option for $138 each, plus tax AND
·         Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More Options for $165 each, plus tax 

At Disneyland Resort
– now through Sept. 28, 2011, 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 $99 each

Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased by active and retired U.S. military personnel 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 Oct. 1, 2011 (certain blockout dates apply). Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also s
ave up to 40% on rooms at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels! This offer is valid for stays most nights now through Oct. 1, 2011, but is not valid at all Nov. 24-Nov. 26, 2010, and Dec. 26-Dec. 31, 2010, at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels or April 17-April 30, 2011, at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels.  (The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.  Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.  Savings based on non-discounted price for the same room.  Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in.  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.)
‘Let the Memories Begin’

Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are the perfect place to make family vacation memories that last a lifetime. “Let the Memories Begin” is about real guests making real Disney vacation memories. From now through 2011, Disney Parks will be inviting guests to share their favorite Disney vacation stories, videos and photos, thus collecting an amazing treasure trove of experiences that only Disney can provide. Guests can even categorize their Disney memory by theme, emotion and location. The website
disneyparks.com/memories will become a hub of vacation memories as we invite guests to share memories of their favorite Disney vacations.

For information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort, or to make room reservations at the Walt Disney World Resort, military personnel may call 407/939-7830 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices. For information regarding Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort, or to make room reservations at the Disneyland Resort, military personnel may call 714/956-6424 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices. 
Offer Details:
·      Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased Oct. 24, 2010 to Sept. 28, 2011 at participating U.S. military sales outlets ONLY by Eligible Service Members (defined below) or their spouses (but not both), for 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 actual prices charged at 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.
·      Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) who purchase Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort for themselves and their family members and friends will be required to activate those Tickets at Walt Disney World theme park ticket windows, no later than Oct. 1, 2011, in order for those Tickets to be used. Valid military identification will be required.
·      Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) who purchase Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort for themselves and their family members and friends will be required to show valid military identification, no later than Oct. 1, 2011, in order for those Tickets to be used.
·      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), and all six (6) must be purchased at the same time. Accordingly, no Eligible Service Member (or spouse) may purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets at any military sales outlet if that person (or that person's spouse) previously purchased Disney Military Promotional Tickets (whether at that same military sales outlet or at any other military sales outlet or at any other place). In addition, one of the six (6) Tickets purchased must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or his/her spouse.
·      Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort will not be valid unless and until activated (no later than Oct. 1, 2011).
·      Each Disney Military Promotional Ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days. Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be used ONLY by the Eligible Service Members, spouses, other family members or friends for whom they are purchased. In addition, a valid military ID may be required for admission.
·      Disney Military Promotional Tickets (including any options) expire and may not be used after Oct. 1, 2011. In addition, Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets (including any options) for the Walt Disney World Resort may not be used on the following blockout dates: Dec. 27, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2010 and April 17, 2011 through April 23, 2011, at all Walt Disney World Theme Parks and other gated attractions; and July 4, 2011 at Magic Kingdom Park; and Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for the Disneyland Resort may not be used on the following blockout dates: Dec. 24, 2010 through Jan. 1, 2011, Feb. 18, 2011 through Feb. 21, 2011, April 17, 2011 through April 23, 2011, and July 1, 2011 through July 4, 2011 at the Disneyland Theme Parks.