On October 29, Disney Vinylmation will release a followup to the Plane Crazy/Park Series 4 combo pack with a Sorcerer Mickey/Park Series 5 combo pack at D Street in the Downtown Disney Districts of both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis announced that René Torrico, 29, and Jolie Hales, 28, will serve as the 2011-2012 Disneyland Resort Ambassador team. The pair will spend the two-year term taking the magic of the Resort into the community by participating in events, such as visiting children at local hospitals with Disney characters. Becoming an Ambassador is one of the highest achievements of a Disney cast member and is a unique part of the company’s heritage.
The Disneyland Hotel was built, owned and operated by Walt Disney’s friend Jack Wrather in 1955, opening just about five months after the Disneyland Park. In 1961, the Disneyland Monorail was expanded to allow transportation between the park and the hotel’s guests, making it the first monorail to cross over a public street. It wasn’t until 1988 that the Disneyland Resort acquired the hotel from The Wrather Corporation.
Earlier today, cast members from the Disneyland Hotel celebrated its 55th birthday in style, by slicing into this cake inspired by the Disneyland Hotel itself and one of its towers, prepared by the Resort’s central bakery.
Disneyland Resort cast members made magic for their favorite Southern California nonprofit organizations by donating more than $385,000. This month, cast members selected nearly 80 organizations – from local schools to social services – to receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
The Anaheim Interfaith Shelter was one of the organizations that received a $5,000 grant. The shelter will use the funds to provide healthy food options at its on-site food pantry, helping to counter obesity among underprivileged children. The organization assists families in need of short-term support due to one-time events that cause homelessness.
In 2011, Disney guests will become the stars of a nightly spectacular when photos taken in the park during the day become larger-than-life projections on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort or “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort. This groundbreaking new experience will celebrate the family vacation memories created in Disney theme parks every day.
And this week, Disney guests will begin starring on television, too, as part of the new “Let the Memories Begin” campaign. For the first time, Disney Parks is featuring the home videos and snapshots of real guests in television ads and other marketing that will allow an audience of millions to share in true-life, heartfelt moments.
As we previously mentioned, Disney Parks will be holding a press event in New York City this afternoon to make some upcoming announcements regarding Disney Parks and Resorts. The event, which is scheduled to begin at 12 pm, will be streamed live on the internet beginning at approximately 12:45 pm. Tom Staggs, chair of Disney Parks and Resorts, will lead the presentation which is expected to include — amongst other things — news on the upcoming fiscal year which begins October 1. This will most certainly include mentions of the ‘Fantasy Forest’ expansion in Fantasyland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and the CARSLand expansion and overall re-do at Disney California Adventure. 2011 will also see the maiden voyage of the first of two new Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream. Lastly, and certainly not least, October 1, 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom, so we can expect some news on that as well.
The Anaheim International Film Festival (AIFF) and Disneyland Resort will provide festival goers with an exclusive red carpet experience at the AIFF Black-Tie Awards Night Celebration, taking place October 16 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Hosted by Disneyland Resort, the awards gala is a red carpet affair honoring film industry icons with Lifetime and Career Achievement Awards for outstanding work and contributions to motion pictures. The dinner and awards presentation will be capped off with a VIP showing of “World of Color,” the new nighttime water spectacular at Disney California Adventure Park weaving water, color, fire and light into a kaleidoscope of fantasy and imagination.
Cast Members at the Disneyland Resort had the opportunity to meet with Duffy the Disney Bear before he assumes his official meet and greet duties later this year. The photo, provided by a cast member, affirms that Duffy will be appearing in full sailor regalia as he often appears at Tokyo DisneySea. According to WDW Character Hunt, Duffy will begin his appearances October 14 in Epcot. Although the date of his debut in the Paradise Pier area at Disney California Adventure is promised to be revealed to Annual Passholders attending Duffy’s preview event this weekend, sources indicate to us that there’s a good chance he may start along with ElecTRONica on October 8.
Walt Disney World has re-released this time-lapse photography video of the Halloween/fall decor being installed along Main Street USA and Mickey’s Toontown Fair at Magic Kingdom. According to the video description, more than 40 cast members are involved in the process which takes places over a period of five nights to install all of the holiday decorations.
The Disneyland Resort also released this video today highlighting some of its Halloween festivities including the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion overlay, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, World of Color, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and character meet & greets.
Paul Ngeny, 31, of Auburn, Calif., led a record field of more than 14,000 registered runners Sunday at the fifth annual Disneyland Half Marathon, crossing the finish line first with a time of 1:07:24, beating the fastest Disneyland Half Marathon time by 41 seconds.
“The course was very nice and comfortable,” Ngeny said. “I liked running through the parks and all the music. I could keep on going for a hundred miles.”
Finishing just behind Ngeny was Eric Marenburg, 27, of San Diego, Calif., with a time of 1:12:10. Kevin Broady, 48, of Brea, Calif., finished third with a time of 1:12:43.