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Monday April 27, 2015
Two Walt Disney World Offers Released For 2015
Grand Opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Today
Restaurant creator took Minnetonka to Downtown Disney
Tokyo Disney Resort Reigns as World’s Least-Expensive Disneyland
Disney World, Universal Orlando report injuries
First Trailer Released for Disney’s ‘The Descendants’

Two Walt Disney World Offers Released For 2015

Inquistr - Every single year, fans of Walt Disney World wait for one offer in particular and hope that it will end up being released. Well, the time has come as Free Disney Dining has been released for the fall and winter of 2015, and the Internet is already going nuts for the promotion as people scurry and try to book it.
The Free Disney Dining discount that has been released gives guests the chance to save a lot of money during their vacation, but they need to hurry fast. Space is limited with the discount and that has many people doing whatever they can to book it in a hurry.

Those wishing to book the discount must do so through July 10, and here are the dates for it:

  • August 28 – October 2, 2015
  • October 25 – October 31, 2015
  • November 8 – November 19, 2015
  • December 15 – December 21, 2015

The Quick-Service Dining Plan comes with Disney Value Resort hotel packages while the Disney Dining Plan comes with Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa Resort hotel packages.

Some resorts are excluded from the discount as well and those are:

  • Little Mermaid rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • All-Star Movies Resort
  • Port Orleans French Quarter
  • Port Orleans Riverside (Excluded beginning Oct. 25)
  • Polynesian Village Villas and Bungalows
  • Bay Lake Tower
  • Grand Floridian Villas
  • 3-bedroom Villas
  • Campsites at Ft. Wilderness Campground

Those looking to book Free Disney Dining need to book a full vacation package with room, dining, and park tickets with the “Park Hopper” or “Water Park Fun & More” option. Reach out to Disney directly or your travel agent to book and full details.

There is a minimum stay of three nights required and a maximum of 14 nights, per Disney, and discounts cannot be combined with any other offers. Another offer was actually made available at the same time, and it’s a Disney World Room-Only discount.

For those with Disney Annual Passes or not needing tickets, you can save up to 30 percent off of select Walt Disney World Resorts for stays most nights August 15 through October 3. This discount needs to be booked by at least August 7.

  • Save up to 20% at Select Value Resorts
  • Save up to 25% at Select Moderate Resorts
  • Save up to 30% at Select Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts

Usually, Disney releases these promotions to those that have a Disney Visa credit card first, but that wasn’t the case this year. It hit the general public in a hurry and full force and it’s drawing a frenzy already.

Walt Disney World‘s new offers for Free Disney Dining and the Room-Only discount have only been out a few hours, but some are already saying that it’s sold out at some resorts. Your best bet is to get on it and get it now before it is too late.


Grand Opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Today

DisneyParks Blog - The collectible souvenir mugs are in at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and the doors officially open today.


Those coveted cups include the Uh-Oa!, Krakatoa Punch, Nautilus, Polynesian Pearl, HippopotoMai-Tai, Rum Flight shot glasses in the three colors and the Shrunken Zombie Head – all available only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

It’s a pretty popular spot, with waits some evenings up to two hours at peak times as guests ooh and ah over more than 1,200 pieces of memorabilia and have a good time with the staff. The handcrafted cocktails are delicious, and just order an Uh-Oa! and see what happens with the special effects.

If you want a table and there’s a wait, Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace is almost as cool as the lounge, with a lava rock waterfall and live Hawai’ian-themed entertainment every night with the gorgeous backdrop of Seven Seas Lagoon and a seat for the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks.

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts recently won a VIBE VISTA Award in the category of “Best Spirits Program in Hotels.” The award represents “exemplary creativity, execution and results in an extremely competitive field,” as judged by the faculty at Johnson & Wales University. And Trader Sam’s helped land the prestigious award.


Restaurant creator took Minnetonka to Downtown Disney

Star Tribune - For five years, Disney executives rejected new ideas pitched by Steve Schussler, the Twin Cities restaurant creator who made millions with Rainforest Cafe and other colorful dining destinations.

Then, he gave them Minnesota.

As Disney Co. redevelops Downtown Disney, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex near its Florida amusement parks, executives wanted something more sophisticated than the shrieking monkeys, bubbling geysers and dinosaurs in Schussler’s past restaurants.

So he turned to the lure and lore of Lake Minnetonka, near where he lives, to craft what is now the most lavish restaurant at the Disney complex — the Boathouse.

The 600-seat restaurant opened last week in quiet fashion by Disney standards. Company executives, Schussler and other partners spoke at a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, a low-key start compared to the star-studded frenzy when Schussler opened a Rainforest Cafe at the complex in 1996.

Crowds formed anyway, drawn in part by the restaurant’s most distinctive off-menu attraction: a fleet of six Amphicars, the car-boat convertible made in Germany in the 1960s that is now one of the rarest vehicles on the planet.

Schussler’s idea for the Boathouse began to form a few years ago when he drove his own Amphicar into Lake Minnetonka with his dog. “People were literally running from their homes pointing,” he said. “One person even called the police thinking a car had driven into the lake by mistake.”

But it took Schussler until 2012 to strike a deal for another venue in Disney’s Florida resorts, where three of his earlier restaurant concepts have been built. In addition to Rainforest, there’s Yak & Yeti, a Himalayan-themed outlet that opened in 1998, and dinosaur-themed T-Rex, which opened in 2008.

“They said they’d like to give other people an opportunity,” he said of the years he spent prodding Disney for a fourth outlet.

His track record of affordable, family-style restaurants didn’t match the company’s desire to push some of Downtown Disney in a more upscale direction.

For Schussler, Disney’s resistance was another example of a phenomenon he’s encountered throughout his career, one he calls with a pithy phrase — “No is yes waiting to happen.”

Schussler, 59, grew up in Queens, N.Y., and didn’t finish college. He sold ads for TV and radio in Miami and Chicago, where he moonlighted by starting a store that sold vintage jukeboxes. When that failed, he transformed the concept into a chain of nightclubs called Juke Box Saturday Night. He moved to Minnesota in the 1980s to manage a location in downtown Minneapolis.

After closing the nightclubs in the early 1990s, Schussler decided his experience in entertainment could be applied to theme restaurants, which were starting to become a phenomenon. Since then, Schussler battled financial constraints and skeptical investors to become a leader in the volatile segment of the restaurant industry called “eatertainment.”

As he refined the concept for the Boathouse, he suggested that Disney make greater use of the lake at Downtown Disney, which had been just a backdrop for its restaurants and shops. “For years, they fought the idea that the front of the restaurant should face the lake,” he said.

Then, he turned to Gibsons Restaurant Group, owner of the highly praised Chicago restaurants like Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse and operator of the RL in the Polo store on Michigan Avenue, to develop a more refined and expensive menu than he’s previously offered. That includes crab-stuffed lobster and smores-topped baked Alaska.

The upscale vibe in the restaurant breezes into the Ship’s Store gift shop too, a preppy, mahogany-accented dreamspace where many of the items come from Minnesota. Along with Rubba Ducks, the rubber duck characters from Minneapolis, there is Lake Girl clothing from Detroit Lakes, tote bags made of recycled sail cloth from the Wayzata Yacht Club and vintage, fully functioning toy boat motors supplied by a collector in Winona.

Schussler said he pressed Disney executives to allow the $20 Rubba Ducks. “I knew from my experience with selling Beanie Babies at Rainforest Cafe and Build-a-Dino at T-Rex that rubber ducks would fly off the shelves and they already have,” he said.

Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Downtown Disney, said Schussler’s sensibility is unique, and she likened the experience of his restaurants with stories that unfold for customers. “No one tells a story like Steve does,” she said. “He is a natural storyteller.”

Phil Edwards, a Brit vacationing in Orlando, liked the unusual selection at the Boathouse. “It’s quite swish — ugh — nice,” he said, translating for the American reporter. “This is stuff that you would literally have to come here to buy,” he said.

Schussler’s biggest ideas float outside the restaurant. In addition to the fleet of Amphicars, there’s a flotilla of multimillion-dollar vintage boats, including a 40-foot Italian water taxi that used to ply Lake Minnetonka and an 1880s steamboat replica once owned by the Cargill family.

On opening day, Patty and Vern Libke of Minocqua, Wis., were among the first to check out an Amphicar, though they didn’t go for a ride. “They are so cool, so fun,” Patty said. “I’d only seen photos of them before. We’ve already decided we’re coming back again next year to ride in one.”

Disney executives at the opening said they were glad they partnered with Schussler again. Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney, called the Boathouse the new standard for venues at the complex. “We will make every partner walk through the Boathouse and see what we have done,” he said.

Schussler, who co-owns the restaurant with investment partners, declined to say how much it cost to build, though he said it was in the same ballpark as his other restaurants. T-Rex in Orlando cost $30 million, he wrote in his autobiography.

Schussler’s ideas sometimes exceed his financial capabilities. Before he opened Rainforest Cafe at the Mall of America in 1994, he was $2 ­million over budget.

Lyle Berman, a Minneapolis venture capitalist who was an investor in Rainforest, recalls asking Schussler to watch the movie “Bugsy” about an entrepreneur who vastly overspent investors’ money in Las Vegas. “Steve is incredibly creative, but he doesn’t always look at the practicality of his creativity,” Berman said.

Schussler said he remembers Berman’s lesson but confessed he hasn’t mastered it. The Boathouse came in over budget, he said.

Even before opening Rainforest Cafe, Schussler spent $400,000 to create a rain forest in his home, complete with live tropical birds and tortoises, to attract Berman and other investors. After its success at the Mall of America, Schussler built it into a chain and sold it to Landry’s Inc. in 2000.

With the proceeds, he built a $15 million warehouse and laboratory in Golden Valley where he’s developed more than a dozen other concepts.

Because he spends so much time in Orlando, Schussler is often asked why he doesn’t move there. “My friends are here,” he replies.


Tokyo Disney Resort Reigns as World’s Least-Expensive Disneyland

Wall Street Journal - Japan’s Tokyo Disney Resort is now the world’s least-expensive Disney theme park, thanks to a weaker yen.

Visitors can spend a day at one of the Tokyo Disney Resort’s two parks–Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea–for ¥6,900 or $58.00, compared with $99 for one park at the Disneyland Resort in California and $75 in France. When the yen reached a postwar high of ¥75.31 against the dollar in 2011, a trip to the park would have cost nearly $92 in dollar terms.

It’s one example of the huge impact exchange rates could have on Japan’s tourist industry, said Junichi Miyagaki, head of the economic research department at NLI Research Institute. Mr. Miyagaki wrote a report on Tokyo Disney Resort becoming the least expensive among its peers.

He says destinations off the beaten path should take the weaker yen as a chance to invest, for example by hiring an English speaker or finding out how to attract Chinese tours.

The yen has weakened broadly against the dollar and other major currencies in the last two and a half years. That helped bring a record 13.4 million tourists to Japan in 2014.

“Now that Japan has cost competitiveness, it’s more likely foreign people will pay attention,” said Mr. Miyagaki. “If those foreigners learn once about the high quality of Japanese goods and services, they will likely keep buying those goods or using those services even if the yen strengthens a bit again.”

Though Tokyo Disney Resort now looks like a good deal for foreign visitors, the resort says its business is still overwhelmingly domestic. A spokesman at Oriental Land Co., the company that operates the Tokyo Disney Resort, said foreign visitors represented 3.9% of the total in the year ended March 2014.

“The weaker yen is a plus in some ways, but then again it also makes the cost of importing some goods more expensive,” the spokesman said.

A record 31.4 million people visited the park in the year through March 31, 2015, the highest for a year since the park opened in 1983, according to Oriental Land.


Local 6 - Three people fell ill while riding Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey at Universal Orlando during the first three months of 2015.

According to a quarterly theme-park injury report submitted to the state of Florida, Walt Disney World reported six injuries and Universal reported seven. There were no reported injuries at SeaWorld, Wet 'n Wild and Legoland.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the injuries on the Harry Potter ride include a 69-year-old man who felt chest discomfort, a 51-year-old man with a pre-existing condition had difficulty moving his extremities and a 76-year-old woman experienced "altered mental status."

At Disney's Magic Kingdom, a 64-year-old man hurt his ankle while stepping out of a car at the Speedway. Two people felt ill after riding Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.


Variety - The first trailer for the highly anticipated Disney Channel Original Movie, revolving around the teenage offspring of classic Disney villains, was released Sunday evening during the Radio Disney Music Awards telecast.


The official trailer gives the first glimpse of the modern-day fairytale that introduces Mal (Dove Cameron), Evie (Sofia Carson), Carlos (Cameron Boyce) and Jay (Booboo Stewart) — the children of Maleficent (Kristin Chenoweth), the Evil Queen (Kathy Najimy), Cruella de Vil (Wendy Raquel Robinson) and Jafar (Maz Jobrani).

Cameron, who stars on Disney Channel’s “Liv and Maddie,” plays Chenoweth’s daughter.

Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical”) directs, choreographs and exec produces the TV movie, which premieres this summer on Disney Channel.


Sunday April 26, 2015
No News Updates Today

Saturday April 25, 2015
No News Updates Today

Friday April 24, 2015
No News Updates Today

Thursday April 23, 2015
‘Frozen’ Friends to Take the Stage Aboard the Disney Magic
Dockside Margarita Now Open at Disney Springs

‘Frozen’ Friends to Take the Stage Aboard the Disney Magic

DisneyParks Blog - We’re just weeks away from our “Frozen” friends making their stage show debut at sea in the Walt Disney Theatre aboard the Disney Magic! Our creative team is hard at work preparing for Anna, Elsa and Olaf to join the line up of beloved Disney characters in our guest-favorite musical, “Disney Dreams … An Enchanted Classic.”

The new production number is a heartfelt, humorous and memorable tribute to the “Frozen” film. As with all of our shows, expect magical special effects. Where Elsa goes, there’s likely to be snow! Also, tune up your voices because you’re sure to be singing aloud to your favorite “Frozen” songs.

While you wait in anticipation to see Anna, Elsa and Olaf on the big stage at sea, hear more from the show’s producer about these brand-new scenes debuting on our European sailings this summer!



Dockside Margarita Now Open at Disney Springs

Disney News - The Brand New Dockside Margarita opened today at Disney Springs Market Place with a variety of Florida Craft Beers and Fruit Wines, Margaritas, Frozen Drinks and Snacks.

Dockside Margaritas has more seating than Captain Jack's which closed to make room for Dockside Margaritas along with a counter service window, bar counter seating and a lounge overlooking Village Lake.


Menu Prices range from $2.50 for bottled water to $13.00 for a Sunset Margarita.


Wednesday April 22, 2015
Show your DisneySide at the Final Expedition Everest Challenge at Walt Disney World Resort
Daredevil renewed for season 2
Be a Happy Camper with Limited-Release Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store on April 27
Stanley Tucci rounds out cast of Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast
Disney Channel Hit Movie Returns to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon with ‘Teen Beach 2:’ Beach Party

Show your DisneySide at the Final Expedition Everest Challenge at Walt Disney World Resort

DisneyParks Blog - On Saturday, May 2 runDisney will host its final Expedition Everest Challenge. This exciting nighttime 5K through Disney’s Animal Kingdom includes obstacles throughout the course and is followed by a scavenger hunt making it the ultimate adventure.


Get prepared for this final run on the wild side by showing your best Everest #DisneySide. Check out this gallery of some of my favorite outfits spotted during previous races.

To get you ready for the journey, Leslie Kay of DisneyBound put together this male look with pieces from Champion and New Balance.


Yeti or not, I can’t wait to see your wild outfit choices and share with you highlights from this year’s race in my next post. Good luck to all participants!


Daredevil renewed for season 2

EW - Daredevil will return! Marvel’s acclaimed superhero drama just received a second season order on Netflix.

But there’s a twist: EW can exclusively report that showrunner Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus) is stepping down from the series. Instead, writers Doug Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy)—who worked closely with DeKnight and creator Drew Goddard in the first season—will both serve as the showrunners for season two.

The next edition of Daredevil will debut in 2016 as Netflix gets ready to release several other Marvel dramas: A.K.A. Jessica JonesLuke Cage and Iron Fist. After all four shows debut, Marvel plans to team all its Netflix heroes for an Avengers-style series called The Defenders

Daredevil debuted last week and received some of the best reviews of any superhero TV series, with critics praising the show for bringing grown-up dramatics, a cinematic style, and more realistic violence to the small-screen genre. Its single-take hallway fight scene became an instant classic. A fair measure of the show’s creative success can doubtless be attributed to to DeKnight, who said he was trying to push Marvel’s comfort zone, and made many unique storytelling moves. (For instance: the show’s major villain, Wilson Fisk, was originally supposed to be introduced in the first episode, but DeKnight rather boldly pushed him back to the very end of the third hour to more effectively build suspense around the character.)

Clearly, the new showrunners will have to clear a high bar—but they both have strong past credits, and now have a great foundation to build on for season 2. 

“While previous commitments unfortunately prevent me from continuing on with Daredevil into its second season, I could not be happier that Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are carrying the torch,” DeKnight said in a statement. “They were invaluable collaborators during our first season, and I for one can’t wait to see what they do with the show moving forward.”


Be a Happy Camper with Limited-Release Shirts Coming to Disney Parks Online Store on April 27

DisneyParks Blog - T-shirts celebrating two long-time favorite destinations at Walt Disney World Resort will be featured this month on the Disney Parks online store.


From April 27 to May 3, we are releasing T-shirts for adults, women and kids inspired by Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, and one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history – Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. These vintage-style T-shirts were designed by Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra.


Richard told me that the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue shirt was inspired by some of the classic themed posters found around the stage area at Pioneer Hall. If you want a great look back at this dinner show, I invite you to read this article from last September by my fellow author Pam Brandon.


One of my favorite details that Richard included in the artwork is the small “Florida” flag above the Walt Disney World Resort logo. This flag reminds me of early 1970s merchandise for the “Vacation Kingdom of the World” like the postcard shown above from my personal collection.

The adults and women’s shirts will be printed on a Hanes Nano, while the kids’ shirts will be a Hanes Beefy-T.
Guests can find these limited release T-shirts online only starting April 27 at


Stanley Tucci rounds out cast of Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

EW - Stanley Tucci is the latest actor to sign on to Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast. Tucci will be portraying Cadenza the grand piano, a new addition to the story who is described as “a neurotic maestro.” Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Ewan McGregor also star. Bill Condon is directing. Production will begin later this year and Disney has slated the film’s release for March 17, 2017.

Paramount Pictures, New Regency and Plan B Entertainment have announced the addition of Steve Carell to The Big Short. Adam McKay will direct the film, also starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt, which is based on Michael Lewis’ bestselling non-fiction book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. The film tells the true story of the “genius contrarian investors who, recognizing just how insane the housing bubble had become, figured out how to ‘short’ the market prior to the financial collapse of 2008.” Production has begun in New Orleans.

Theo James (Divergent) has signed on to War on Everyone. The film is John Michael McDonagh’s third movie, and the follow up to 2014’s Calvary and 2011’s The Guard. The film revolves around two corrupt New Mexico cops who attempt to blackmail criminals, but find themselves dealing with an individual more dangerous than themselves. Principal photography has begun in Albuquerque.

Fred Armisen will be joining Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, among others, in Zoolander 2. In an Instagram video posted on Tuesday, Armisen is seen packing for a trip to Rome, where the sequel is filming. Armisen puts some items into a suitcase before holding a tray with three iced coffees and saying, “And for Ben and the crew, some nice American coffee, just in case they’re homesick.” Stiller confirmed the actor’s role by reposting his video and writing, “Excited @sordociego (Fred Armisen!!) is joining the #zoolander2 cast!” Zoolander 2 is set for a Feb. 12, 2016, release.


Disney Channel Hit Movie Returns to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon with ‘Teen Beach 2:’ Beach Party

DisneyParks Blog - Surf’s Up! As part of the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort, a new summertime dance party inspired by Disney Channel’s upcoming “Teen Beach 2” (sequel to the popular “Teen Beach Movie”) will hit the beach at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park.


From May 22 through July 5, guests can join in the “Teen Beach 2:” Beach Party at various times throughout day. The fun includes “bikers” and “surfers” who dance and play beach-themed games with guests as a DJ spins remixes of retro tunes. Taking over part of Typhoon Lagoon’s main beach area, guests can participate in relays on the sand, hula hoop spinning, water balloon and beach ball tossing, and the grooviest dance moves this side of Mt. Mayday.

Premiering this summer on Disney Channel, “Teen Beach 2″ is set months after surfer sweethearts Mack and Brady return from a summer adventure that transported them into Brady’s favorite 1960s beach party movie, “Wet Side Story,” only to receive a surprise real-world visit from Lela, Tanner, Butchy and their other newfound surfer and biker buddies.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is the perfect place to find cool thrills on attractions like “Crush ‘n’ Gusher” and “Humunga Kowabunga,” or you can just “hang 10” in North America’s largest wave pool or the lazy river. With Summer 2015 being the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort, there’s never been a better time to check out all the water-soaked action at Typhoon Lagoon, including the “Teen Beach 2:” Beach Party.

And don’t forget to check out “Teen Beach 2,” coming to Disney Channel this summer.


Tuesday April 21, 2015
New Experiences Coming to the Disney Dream When Transformed Spaces Debut This Fall
Kiki Tikis Splash Water Play Area now open at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Forbidden Disney Infinity 3.0 Details Arrive
Freshly Picked Music at the Garden Rocks Concert Series at Walt Disney World Resort: Taylor Dayne

New Experiences Coming to the Disney Dream When Transformed Spaces Debut This Fall

DisneyParks Blog - Just announced today, we’re bringing exciting new experiences to the Disney Dream when we transform spaces throughout the ship this fall! Headlining the enhancements are two new interactive youth areas, one themed to Star Wars and another to Disney Infinity. We’re also adding a whimsical sweet shop serving handmade gelato and the ever-popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Here’s a look at the new spaces and the fun in store for Disney Dream cruisers …


Star Wars: Millennium Falcon

In Disney’s Oceaneer Club, kids are in for an out-of-this-galaxy experience in a newly themed play, Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, inspired by the spacecraft from the legendary saga.

Upon entering the spaceship, younglings will join the Rebel Alliance in the epic battle of good versus evil by assisting with the navigation of this powerful space vehicle. Sitting in the cockpit, children can pilot this super-cool spaceship through hyperspace and trigger lightspeed jumps to different locations around the galaxy.

We’ll also offer Star Wars-themed crafts, games and activities in this space. Plus, kids can watch episodes from the new Disney XD animated series, “Star Wars Rebels,” on a large screen or virtually join the rebellion at gaming stations featuring the series’ action-packed adventures.

The excitement continues during a shipboard version of the popular Jedi Training Academy experience that invites young Jedi hopefuls – known as “Padawans” – to learn lightsaber moves from a Jedi Master. They can then use the Force and face off in a final test against the evil Darth Vader.

Disney Infinity Toy Box

Also in the Oceaneer Club, a high-tech interactive space based on the Disney Infinity video game offers more fun for kids.

In the Disney Infinity Toy Box area, children can experience a whole new way of playing together with exciting virtual experiences and immersive activities. Customized, on-screen adventures will bring to life characters and stories from across The Walt Disney Company.

The complete set of Disney Infinity character figures will be on display for creative inspiration and available for gameplay. Kids visiting this special room – found only on the Disney Dream – will be able to unlock exclusive Disney Cruise Line content that they can continue to enjoy when playing Disney Infinity at home.

Special activities will bring the virtual gameplay experience to life in the real world. For example, a life-sized Disney Infinity Base sets the stage where children take the place of character figures for a group gaming experience unlike any other. Lighting up in response to gameplay on a large screen, this interactive floor will allow kids to be immersed in the Toy Box.


Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats

Handmade gelato and ice cream, an assortment of candy, and delectable novelty treats are some of the deliciousness available for purchase at Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats. Resembling the whimsical candy land of the Sugar Rush race car game in “Wreck-It Ralph,” the sweet shop’s décor features nods to the film, including a race track and checkerboard patterned floor, gas pump-style gumball dispensers, Vanellope’s race car and King Candy’s throne. This specialty store coming to Deck 11 will have two entrances, inside Cabana’s restaurant and outside by the pool deck.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, coming to Deck 5 midship, will bring to life the storybook fantasies of young guests with pixie-dusted and piratical makeovers. This very special salon will offer aspiring princesses and knights ages three to 12 the chance to transform into royalty with the help of a fairy godmother-in-training. On pirate party night this boutique becomes The Pirates League where swashbuckling pirates of all ages will have the opportunity to unleash their inner buccaneer.

Satellite Falls

Exclusively for adults, Deck 13 forward will include a new water feature, Satellite Falls, a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that provides cool comfort. Around this upper deck, adult guests can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade under a canopy.

This wave of enhancements to the Disney Dream debuts on the October 26 four-night voyage from Port Canaveral, following the ship’s dry dock October 4-24, 2015 in Freeport, Bahamas.


Kiki Tikis Splash Water Play Area now open at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Yesterday Evening the walls finally came down at the new water play area at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort located directly next to the Lava Pool.

The New area named Kiki Tikis Splash will keep kids entertained for hours with it's waterfalls, wading pool, water sprinklers and two slides.


Now that the area is complete the quiet pool area will soon close for a refurbishment.


Forbidden Disney Infinity 3.0 Details Arrive

Gotta Be Mobile - Disney isn’t yet ready to talk about any potential Disney Infinity 3.0 figurines and game updates. That isn’t stopping details about the upcoming upgrade from reaching potential buyers this holiday season though. Early this morning a massive Disney Infinity 3.0 leak arrived. That leak included a breakdown of some of the new characters coming to the sandbox video game and collectible toy line.

Classic Disney characters, Mickey, Mulan, Olaf and Mini Mouse are among the characters coming to Disney Infinity 3.0, if leaked images taken from a Chinese website are an accurate indication of Disney’s plans. The figurines were first spotted by DisneyInfinityFans, a website dedicated to getting out news and information about Disney Infinity. It was Tabaoo, an online retailer that actually leaked pictures of the Disney Infinity 3.0 action figures.


Allegedly, also include din the Disney Infinity 3.0 line up of toys and games is Sam Flynn and Quorra, two characters taken from Tron Legacy, an epic live-action movie that debuted in theaters a few years ago. Characters from the movie Inside Out are included in the line up to, according to Polygon. DisneyInfinityFans discovered images of the new Disney Infinity 3.0 line up, and Infinity Inquirer was forced to pull its story by Disney Interactive. Disney Interactive is the part of Disney that makes Disney Infinity. In total, players can look forward to 11 different Disney Infinity 3.0 action figures.

Until today, we had no idea there was a Disney Infinity 3.0 upgrade coming. As such, details on how these figures will interact with the games remains unclear. It is clear that people who purchased Disney Infinity 2.0 and original Disney Infinity are in for some disappointment when Disney eventually makes its announcement. Before they were taken down, pictures of the packaging for these Disney Infinity 3.0 action figures indicated they wouldn’t work with previous versions of the game. As a big part of the Disney Infinity experience is collecting, having to upgrade to make use of these new figurines isn’t going to sit well with some. Complete compatibility is one of the biggest pains Lego pointed to when it announced it’s Lego Dimension collectible features and accessories.

Disney Infinity 3.0 would be the latest in a series of collectible sandbox video games. This new version will vie for users alongside Activision’s Skylanders toys and Nintendo’s own Amiibo figurines. Amiibo adds different power ups to Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U games. Skylanders and Lego Dimension give users a game world for them to add content to. The more physical characters you collect, the more unique activities you can do in the game world.

For its part, Disney isn’t confirming the existence of Disney Infinity 3.0 or any of the characters leaked by Tabaoo. That being said, issuing takedown notices to the websites in question certainly confirms that the company has something in the works related to the property that it doesn’t want spoiled.

The Disney Infinity 2.0 update added a slew of new characters. Mainly, it focused on introducing Marvel characters to the Disney Infinity world. Disney Infinity 2.0 is available on the Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii, PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. Presumably, Disney Infinity 3.0 will be available on each of those systems as well. The Marvel Super Hero’s Disney Infinity 2.0 Starter Pack currently sells for $74.99 at GameStop. It’s reasonable to assume that this coming update would cost the same or a bit more.

If Disney Infinity 3.0 figures are already in production, it’s reasonable to assume that we could see the new toy line-up and game arrive sometime before this holiday season starts. We could see the new figures and game discussed at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo this coming June.


Freshly Picked Music at the Garden Rocks Concert Series at Walt Disney World Resort: Taylor Dayne


DisneyParks Blog - Now that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full bloom, it reminds us of all there is to love about it. From the whimsical Disney character topiaries and spring-inspired delicious dishes to the expert demonstrations and Garden Rocks Concert Series, where some of the biggest names in music grace the stage.

We caught up with Taylor Dayne, who will soon play Garden Rocks for the first time (you may have seen her perform at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival). Starting with her smash 1987 single “Tell It to My Heart,” it’s hard to top this New York native for infectious dance pop.

RUSS: Growing up on Long Island, did you ever imagine all the success you’ve achieved?

TAYLOR: As a little kid, I had the vision of “I’m gonna be a rock and roll star,” singing to the radio or every commercial that came on. I was very passionate about working hard. To make music was always my goal and my dream as a very, very young girl. I’m just so blessed.

RUSS: We’ve heard you’re a pretty big Disney fan. True?

TAYLOR: Ya know, the beautiful thing about Disney is I grew up on the incredible animation. And, of course, on Sunday nights we got to watch Disney on TV. The shows, the movies, the parks—it’s pretty special and amazing. Just a big part of my life.

RUSS: Any favorite Disney memories?

TAYLOR: For me growing up, it was “it’s a small world.” I made my children (12-year-old twins Levi and Astaria) go on it because the music is just so incredible.

RUSS: As for the theme parks, adrenaline rush or milder thrills?

TAYLOR: I’m not a drop-from-the-sky kind of girl. No. My son will do that. I stand there and watch while he falls from the sky and does the roller coasters with all the drops. Though I was in to it when I was younger.

RUSS: Have a favorite attraction?

TAYLOR: I love Soarin’ at Epcot! You’re in the chair and floating. It’s incredible. You’re in that entire experience. You’re moving in it. It’s brilliant.

RUSS: Describe your music.

TAYLOR: When people ask me that, I say dance, pop, some R&B to a degree. But classic. So if you’re listening to the radio, you might hear “I’ll Always Love You,” “Send Me A Lover” or “Love Will Lead You Back.” I’ve always been incredibly passionate and people feel what I’m singing. Big voice, big passion.

RUSS: People are anxious to experience your show at the Flower & Garden Festival for the very first time. What do you have in store?

TAYLOR: I hope the fans get an experience so they feel like they’ve been to a show. There’s a beginning, a middle and end. There’s a story. I want them to feel like they got a piece of me. Music is just such a universal language. Why are people so inspired by music? Because it touches them in such a sensorial way. At this point, to a lot of them these songs are the soundtrack of people’s lives. You feel like, “Wow, I remember that.” So yeah, I always look forward to performing at Epcot. It’ll be awesome.

RUSS: Thanks so much for your time. One last question. What’s something your fans may not know about you?

TAYLOR: I’m a nature freak [laughs]. That’s what I do. I go out there and find my peace. My quiet time.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival continues through May 17. Taylor Dayne performs May 1 through 3. All performances take place at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and are included with Epcot admission.


Monday April 20, 2015
‘LIVE with Kelly and Michael’ Travels to California for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration
Disney's 'Tomorrowland' Character Posters Don't Hide Its Female Heroes
Disney Infinity 3.0 Will Include Classic Mickey Mouse
Disney CEO Bob Iger talks 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens,' says it 'achieves perfect balance' of past and future
Join the ‘Party for the Planet’ Starting on Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney Descendants First Look Photos Released

‘LIVE with Kelly and Michael’ Travels to California for Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

DisneyParks Blog - On today’s “LIVE with Kelly and Michael,” hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan announced that the top morning talk show will head west to Southern California for five shows originating from the Disneyland Resort, airing May 18-22, 2015! Main Street, U.S.A., and Sleeping Beauty Castle will provide the stunning backdrop for “LIVE’s” five broadcasts.

 Kelly Ripa Michael Strahan

Joining in the fun with Ripa and Strahan will be a stellar line-up of guests, including superstar Mariah Carey, action star Dwayne Johnson, late night host Jimmy Kimmel, “Scandal” star Scott Foley, “The Middle” star Patricia Heaton and more. The hosts also will showcase all that’s exciting and new with the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, in addition to taking a look back at the history of Disneyland, and sharing favorite memories of an A-list line-up of celebrity fans.

“LIVE” viewers who will be in Southern California are welcome to join Ripa and Strahan by attending one of the “LIVE” broadcasts at Disneyland park. Ticket information is available on “LIVE’s” website,


Disney's 'Tomorrowland' Character Posters Don't Hide Its Female Heroes

Forbes - And now for some non-Batman/Star Wars marketing news! Walt Disney DIS +1.43% released a handful of character posters today for Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland. It is always amusing when a studio drops character posters for a film filled with relatively unknown characters, but that’s the game these days. What is interesting, or at least worth a note, is that the four character posters feature two female protagonists and two male protagonists. Obviously we get posters for George Clooney’s grizzled inventor Frank Walker (or whatever he is, I’m trying not to read too much on this one) and Britt Robertson’s “would-be chosen one” who finds a gateway to the “Tomorrowland” and may or may not be the only person who can save the proverbial day. And you also get two character posters for two young children, a boy played by Thomas Robinson (I know who he is, but I’m not saying in case it’s a surprise) and “Athena” played by Raffey Cassidy.


It’s not usual for a major Hollywood release to be mostly boy-centric with only one or two major female roles at the center stage. And the most obvious acknowledgment of said disparity often comes in the form of character posters. Think back to Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb which had seven male characters and one female character gracing the various character posters. This emphasis on male advertising even comes into play with movies and television shows that actually have halfway decent female representation. Be it the McDonalds Happy Meal toy sets for Young Justice that didn’t have the female characters, Guardians of the Galaxy somehow losing Gamera on much of the team merchandise, or clothing for Big Hero 6 that was inexplicably missing Honey Lemon and Gogo.


And we all remember the campaign for Walt Disney’s Tangled that tried to sell the Rapunzel-centric fairy tale as a boy-friendly adventure told from the POV of roguish Flynn Rider with Rapunzel barely registering as more than the love interest in the trailers for her own movie. Now the sad thing is that this often works. Tangled earned $591 million worldwide back in 2010 and the lack of girl characters in Big Hero 6 fabric didn’t keep girls out of the theater to the tune of $651m worldwide. So we all started to panic a little when the first major poster for Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland dropped a few months ago and it featured only George Clooney and Thomas Robinson, even though the film’s protagonist is actually Casey Newton played by Britt Robertson. I mentioned when discussing the trailer (which was absolutely Casey-centric) that I hoped that initial poster was just that, an initial poster which would be followed by others that highlighted the film’s female lead.


After all, that the first Alice in Wonderland poster highlighted Johnny Depp’s The Mad Hatter didn’t mean we didn’t get posters (and due emphasis) on Mia Wasikowska’s title character.And now that these posters have dropped today, highlighting not just Casey but Athena (who seems to be something of an action-based character in terms of the trailers I’ve allowed myself to watch), I thought I should give Disney a token tip of the hat. It’s a minor thing, but it wasn’t a guarantee in this current marketing environment, so I took a moment to take notice. Besides, I’ll be on their case about the deluge of spoilery Avengers: Age of Ultron clips soon enough, so allow me this brief moment to nod in approval.


We were (thus far) wrong to worry that Disney was hiding Britt Robertson in the marketing materials for her own movie. May we continue to be wrong over the next month. Besides, I really wanted to write about something that wasn’t Star Wars or Batman v Superman, and this seemed like as good an opportunity as any.  Oh, and over the next month, I hope you’ll forgive me for being vague (and possibly inaccurate) about the plot of this film. It deserves coverage and needs every bit of press it can get as an ambitious original sci-fi project in a sea of sequels, but I also really want to be able to walk into the movie somewhat fresh so I’m trying not to learn too much about whatever secrets it has in store.

Tomorrowland opens May 22nd.


Disney Infinity 3.0 Will Include Classic Mickey Mouse

IGN - The next wave of characters set to come to Disney's popular toys-to-life franchise have reportedly been leaked, and will include the likes of Mulan, Olaf, and even Classic Mickey.

Infinity Inquirer managed to secure a number of images from Chinese retailer Taobao, which showcase a lineup of 11 new collectible toys based on Disney's vast library of beloved IP. The characters include Olaf from Frozen, Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tron: Legacy, and Mulan from, well, Mulan.

Both Mickey and Minnie Mouse in their classic forms are believed to be coming to Disney Infinity 3.0 as well, along with five characters from the upcoming flick Inside Out. Mind you, Disney has yet to confirm the validity of the leak, so take this report with a grain of salt for the time being.

Disney Infinity 2.0 Edition -- Marvel Super Heroes launched last year, bringing with it a slew of recognizable super-powered comic book heroes. Be sure to read Daniel Krupa's review to find out why he thought it was just "okay."


Disney CEO Bob Iger talks 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens,' says it 'achieves perfect balance' of past and future

Daily News - The fan excitement over the latest "Star Wars" trailer is nothing compared to what's to come in the full movie.

Disney CEO Bob Iger described last week's teaser release for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as "exciting," promising eager moviegoers the film, due out Dec. 18, will be "great."

"The most exciting thing was getting to shows fans of Star Wars the new trailer and being there in the arena where it was first shown to see the reaction. I got the chills. It was tremendous," he told the Daily News over the weekend at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts' 50th Anniversary Gala.

 Harrison Ford in the new teaser trailer for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'

Harrison Ford in the new teaser trailer for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'

Iger admitted he has seen parts of the full draft for the Sci-Fi flick.

"Well, what J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy had set out to do with our pre-supported approval was to respect the past in an incredibly strong way while also bringing the story telling and its characters into the future," Iger said.

 The teaser trailer for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' was released last week. 

The teaser trailer for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' was released last week. 

"They are attempting to achieve perfect balance between the greatness of what was and the greatness of what we believe is to come, and I think they have done that and when people see the film they will agree. It is great."

Iger also talked about the "Star Wars" attractions coming to Disney's theme parks.

"They are coming, it will be at a lot more than one concept park," he shared.

Other stars who flocked to the LACMA event, where the 50 for 50 Exhibition was unveiled at the museum, included Will Ferrell, Ryan Seacrest, Jim Carrey, Julie Bowen, Dustin Hoffman, Naomi Watts and more.


Join the ‘Party for the Planet’ Starting on Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

DisneyParks Blog - Over the next few weeks, a visit to Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch should be a must-do on your itinerary.

After arriving in the land of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, hop aboard the Wildlife Express Train to make your way to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Moments after disembarking from the train, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about exciting conservation efforts taking place around the world – some led by nonprofit organizations supported by the Disney Conservation Fund, and others supported by our own Disney’s Animal Programs researchers and educators.

Disney Parks Blog Exclusive: The fund recently opened a new gallery to showcase conservation programs implementing unique conservation solutions to address urgent threats facing today’s wildlife. If you’ve contributed to the Disney Conservation Fund, this is a great place to learn more about projects you have helped support, as well as ways our Disney cast members are leading conservation efforts around the world. On behalf of wildlife and wild places worldwide – thank you!


On Wednesday, April 22, exclusive Earth Day activities will be offered during our “Party for the Planet” Earth Day celebration. You can participate in interactive activities, explore limited time merchandise offerings, and interact with animal and education experts from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment and the Disney Conservation Fund team about conservation projects currently in progress.

This year’s “Party for the Planet” celebration includes two exclusive “research stations” at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and the Main Entrance of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. These research stations allow you to see behind-the-scenes footage from the newest Disneynature film, “Monkey Kingdom,” while exploring how technology is used to enhance conservation efforts. You will have the opportunity to get an up-close, hands-on look at the technology scientists use to learn about animals, as well as the valuable data that comes from special equipment called camera traps. Many of the tools showcased at these research stations were used throughout production of the newest Disneynature film, “Monkey Kingdom.” This limited time offering is in partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Conservation International.


Thankfully, the “party” doesn’t stop after Earth Day. One of the best things about “Monkey Kingdom” is that for every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2015), Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats! The Disneynature “Monkey Kingdom” research station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch will be open April 22 – May 20.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch has been one the best kept secrets at Disney’s Animal Kingdom … but hopefully not for long – we hope to see you soon!

Want to bring the fun of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disneynature “Monkey Kingdom” home? Download this free family activity packet for more information and fun activities for all ages.


Disney Descendants First Look Photos Released

Comic Book - For the next generation of evil, Disney is keeping the villainy in the family.

That’s because the studio is releasing “Descendants,” a Disney Channel original movie about the evil scions of Disney’s greatest animated villains. In a first-look at the film, the children of Jafar, Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, and the Queen from Snow White stand beside their nefarious parents.

The movie, which debuts this summer, will follow the troubled youngsters as they’re invited to live amongst the Disney Universe’s heroes. As they interact with noble descendants like Belle and The Beast’s son, will the vile children discover their inner light, or will nature trump nurture?

You can check out the images in the gallery below, courtesy of USA Today. 



Sunday April 19, 2015
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