First Look: Lotso Bear Meet & Greet Character from ‘Toy Story 3′ at Disney Parks

Lotso Meet & Greet Character from Disney ParksEvidently the Disney Parks blog let out a little strawberry-scented burp earlier today posted an early peek at Disney Parks’ newest meet & greet character, Lotso from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

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‘Toy Story 3′ Inspires New Game and New Characters for ‘Toy Story Mania!’ Attraction

Dino Darts at Toy Story Midway ManiaNew characters from the soon-to-be-released Disney•Pixar film “Toy Story 3” are being added to the joyful, toy-full adventure of Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  In addition to playing with new characters in Toy Story Mania!, there will be opportunities in both parks for up-close fun with another all-new character from “Toy Story 3” – Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. He’s the bossman at Sunnyside Daycare in the highly anticipated animated feature film.

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Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Celebrates the ‘Art of Flavor’ at Disneyland Resort April 16 – May 31

Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival will create a kaleidoscope of culinary experiences for guests of every palate April 16-May 31 at Disney’s California Adventure park and select locations across the Disneyland Resort.

Chefs, winemakers and brewmasters will celebrate The Art of Flavor at this year’s tantalizing festival, which features entertaining culinary demonstrations, outstanding wine and spirits seminars, and delicious food, wine and beer. General sales for Festival events began Feb. 16.

Look for chefs Guy Fieri and Cat Cora of Food Network, along with Disney culinary masters and special guests as they present their gastronomic talents in a full menu of complimentary demonstrations and signature paid events. The signature events include winemaker dinners, Sweet Sundays, Napa Rose Cooking School and Taste Food-Wine-Life, a night that celebrates the essence of the festival with a mosaic of food, wine and live entertainment.

Opening weekend features celebrity chef Guy Fieri, the popular television personality and “food dude” who appears on shows such as “Guy’s Big Bite” on the Food Network. Fieri will conduct complimentary food demonstrations on the Festival’s main stage.

“Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival is a great time,” Fieri said. “Of course the kids love Disneyland, but now this is something extra for the adults. It’s incredible chefs, great wines from around the world and Disney. You’re gonna dig it. See you there!”

Some events, including culinary demonstrations, are included with admission to Disney’s California Adventure park. Signature events are separately ticketed and require reservations. For details, visit www.disneyland.com/foodandwine.

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Walt Disney Imagineering Earns Top Award from Themed Entertainment Industry

Award winning Toy Story Mania! (photo courtesy of Disney)GLENDALE, Calif., Nov. 17, 2009 – Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was honored today with the top award within the themed entertainment industry.

TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) announced that Toy Story Mania! received the Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Attraction.  Toy Story Mania! is a high-energy, immersive, ride-through adventure that invites guests to test their skills at a variety of carnival midway games hosted by the characters from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films.  The attraction is located at both Disney’s California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

TEA announced the 16th Annual Thea Award recipients during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction’s (IAAPA) annual conference. The Thea Awards recognize achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. Recognized internationally as a symbol of excellence, the Thea Awards consider project submissions from all over the world. TEA praised Toy Story Midway Mania! as follows in their press release:

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New Entertainment, Cherished Favorites Sparkle with Holiday Magic at the Disneyland Resort

ANAHEIM, Calif., Nov. 13  — When it comes to celebrating the magic and sparkle of the holidays with friends and loved ones, there’s no place like the Disneyland Resort where, now through Jan. 3, 2010, the holidays shine more brightly than ever.

This holiday season, guests will get to see and meet the newest Disney princess, Tiana, the star of a new show in New Orleans Square at Disneyland Park. In addition, they will enjoy the return of special holiday versions of “it’s a small world” and Haunted Mansion, along with beautiful holiday decor, “A Christmas Fantasy” parade and a nightly snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.

With so much to celebrate this season, the Disneyland Resort is offering expanded park hours and special savings on vacation packages on selected days. For a preview of the holiday entertainment, along with games, video and special offers, visit www.disneyland.com/holidays.

For the first time during the holidays, guests in Disneyland Park will see “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee!” – inspired by the new Walt Disney Pictures animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” The rousing, colorful show has a jazz-filled holiday celebration vibe. It begins with a Mardi Gras-style cavalcade from New Orleans Square to the Mark Twain Riverboat in Frontierland. At the landing, Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and other “Princess and the Frog” characters move onboard and, as the boat takes to the river, Tiana and company entertain guests on shore with a musical show that includes songs from the motion picture. The show runs through Jan. 3, 2010.

Themed entertainment, sparkling decorations and tasty treats add festive warmth to holiday fun at both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure park.

At Disneyland Park, Sleeping Beauty Castle has been transformed into Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle where, after dark, a sensational holiday lighting and special-effects show carries the magic of the holidays from the castle all the way to the Christmas tree in Town Square. The Disneyland Christmas tree is specially designed to present a nightly holiday light show like no other, with more than 62,000 energy-efficient LED lights.

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Disneyland Resort Wins California’s Top Environmental Leadership Award

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 20  — Disneyland Resort has won the 2009 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California’s highest and most prestigious environmental honor. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment and building public-private partnerships. Governor Schwarzenegger recognized Disneyland Resort and 14 other GEELA recipients at a reception at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 2 in Los Angeles on September 30.

“I applaud the Disneyland Resort for their wonderful commitment to our state’s commerce and environment. They are an inspiration to many and I thank them for their outstanding leadership,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

“This honor recognizes Disneyland Resort’s ongoing commitment to developing socially responsible and environmentally friendly practices that promote environmental protection and economic growth,” said Frank Dela Vara, director of environmental affairs and conservation at Disneyland Resort. “We are proud of our commitment to exploring and implementing new technologies and practices that further the environmental legacy left by Walt Disney.”

Award recipients are chosen in 10 different categories based on their strength in eight specific areas including results, transferability, environmental impact, resource conservation, economic progress, innovation and uniqueness, pollution prevention and environmental justice. Disneyland received the award for several sustainable practices implemented at the Resort, including the environmentally conscientious efforts to refill the Paradise Bay at Disney’s California Adventure; the use of the Resort’s processed cooking oil to fuel its steam train locomotives; and the water and energy conservation features incorporated in the Resort’s new central bakery.

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Customize Your Asian Rice Bowl! Guests Select Ingredients at New Lucky Fortune Cookery in Disney’s California Adventure

Lucky Fortune Cookery at Disney's California Adventure

The colorful new Lucky Fortune Cookery, debuting Friday, Sept. 4, 2009, is the newest addition to the variety of dining options at Disney’s California Adventure park.  Located in the Pacific Wharf section of the park, Lucky Fortune Cookery offers guests the opportunity to create their own Asian Rice Bowl meals and enjoy them in an outdoor plaza.

* Lucky Fortune Cookery can be found in the location previously occupied by Cocina Cucamonga, which has relocated directly across the Pacific Wharf outdoor dining plaza

* The quick-service restaurant features colorful décor, paper lanterns, oversized pots filled with bamboo and iconic dragon designs.

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Chilling Halloween Changes at Space Mountain, Spooky New Fireworks Plus Favorite Halloween Traditions Create Fun for Everyone at Disneyland Resort

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 1, 2009) – Spooky new fireworks and ghoulish screams at Space Mountain add to the fun when Halloween Time returns to Disneyland Resort Sept. 25-Nov. 1.  Halloween Time offers families a chance to celebrate the season as they interact with some of Disney’s most beloved characters decked out in seasonal costumes at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure parks.  Guests will also enjoy a unique opportunity to experience some spooky fun with Disney’s more sinister characters, the Disney villains.  In addition, Mickey’s Trick-or-Treat Party returns for 12 special nights in October.

Space Mountain: Ghost GalaxyFor older kids and adults, Halloween Time offers a new attraction: Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy in Tomorrowland at Disneyland.  The scary new experience will begin as a typical Space Mountain adventure, but will suddenly launch voyagers into an uncharted and haunted section of the universe.  Ghosts appear out of the starry darkness and swirling galaxies of Space Mountain, reaching out as if to grab guests as they speed through space.  The exhilarating drops and curves of the journey are punctuated by piercing screams, creepy sound effects and haunting music.  The Halloween transformation occurs outside the mountain as well, as frightening images, audio and lights illuminate the Space Mountain exterior.

Also new this year is “Halloween Screams – A Villainous Surprise in the Skies.”  The new fireworks spectacular will haunt the nighttime sky throughout the Halloween season.  To start the show, “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington appears in a flash of fire above Sleeping Beauty Castle.  Thanks to Jack’s ghoulish charm, haunting melodies fill the air and a Halloween pyrotechnics extravaganza explodes into the night.  Such classic Disney villains as Maleficent, Ursula the Sea Witch and Oogie Boogie join in the “spirit” of the celebration, and even Zero, Jack’s faithful ghost dog, will make an appearance.  Spectators in Disneyland are encouraged to participate in a bone-chilling Halloween Scream-Along during the show.

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Disneyland Resort Introduces Summer Nightastic! PhotoPass Cards Offering Discounts

Disneyland Resort now offers Summer Nightastic! branded PhotoPass cards that include a discount for either either $10 off the PhotoCD when purchased online, or free shipping.

(and if anyone can send me a decent scan of one, I’d greatly appreciate it!)

Source: D23

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Halloween at Disneyland Combines New Additions with Old Favorites

Returning to life September 25 and continuing through November 1, Halloween Time brings fun for all ages to the Disneyland Resort with new screams at Space Mountain and a new, nightly fireworks show. Halloween Time offers families a chance to interact with some of Disney’s most beloved characters, dressed in seasonal costumes at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure parks. It also gives guests a unique opportunity to experience some spooky fun with Disney’s more sinister characters, the Disney villains.

For older kids and adults, Halloween Time offers a new attraction: Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy in Tomorrowland at Disneyland. For the first time, riders will experience not only the thrill of flying through the galaxy, but the exhilaration of ghosts and ghouls screaming through space trying to contact them. Creepy creatures lurk around every turn as the eerie attraction provides thrilling drops like never before.

New this year is a fireworks spooktacular that will haunt the nighttime sky throughout the Halloween season. Jack Skellington, the Master of Scaremonies, invites everyone to join in the celebration, including a cast of Disney villains who get into the sprit with a wicked sense of fun.

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