Disneyland Resort Wins California’s Top Environmental Leadership Award

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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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Disneyland Helps Online Guests Visually Get in Touch with Their ‘Inner-Villain’

Using the same type of technology Disneyland debuted earlier this year in which visitors to the Disneyland.com website were able to bring a little bit of Fantasmic! into their living-rooms, site visitors with a webcam now have the ability to transform themselves into their favorite Disney villains. This video posted on the DisneyParks YouTube channel demonstrates the new interactive experience:

When you’re ready to give it a ghost — er, go — click here. You’ll find the ‘What Villain Are You?’ experience under Games.

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UPDATE: Disney’s PhotoPass PhotoCD Pre-Order Offer No Longer Available to Public

The big PhotoPass news keeps on coming and this one is sure to disappoint even more people than the last item we reported about the extension fees.

A Stitch Kingdom reader has made us aware that the link to pre-order PhotoPass is no longer working. Sure enough, the page now automatically gets re-directed to this page which specifically affirms the already established policy that the offer is meant solely for those who are invited to participate by email.

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Ghoulish Gift Cards from Disney Make for Some Spooky Spending on Treats this Season

Halloween-themed Disney Gift CardApologies for being a bit late on reporting this, but available at select retail locations at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts are these Halloween-themed Disney Gift Cards, pictured to the left. Where the image is white, the card is actually transparent.

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Disney’s PhotoPass Formally Offers Photo Extensions for a Fee

The official storage policy for Disney’s PhotoPass photos is that they will be available online for editing and ordering for at least 30 days after being added to one’s account. Afterwards, deletions were sure to occur (although the occasional rogue photos may have managed to escape their fate a la Logan’s Run). From the very beginning, many users had struggled to complete all of the editing within the 30 day timeframe and with additional enhancements to both the website and the actual PhotoPass system itself over the years, the 30 day period has proven to become increasingly difficult for many customers.

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Disney Executive George Kalogridis Named President of the Disneyland Resort

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 12  — George Kalogridis, a 38-year Disney veteran and former Disneyland executive, has been named president of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Kalogridis most recently served as chief operating officer for Disneyland Resort Paris, where he was responsible for leading the operations team and overseeing the highly successful 15th anniversary celebration of the resort.

Kalogridis, 55, will report to Al Weiss, president of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He replaces Ed Grier, who is retiring from the company.

“George is a proven strategic thinker whose operational expertise and strong leadership skills will serve him well in leading the Disneyland Resort,” said Weiss. “We are excited to welcome him back to California and look forward to his leadership as we continue to expand and grow this beloved place.”

From 2000 to 2002, Kalogridis served as senior vice president of Resort Operations for the Disneyland Resort, where he played a significant role in the first expansion of the resort – the opening of Disney’s California Adventure park and Downtown Disney. In addition, he was responsible for the daily operations of both theme parks and three hotels, as well as Downtown Disney.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Disneyland, particularly during this exciting time of significant expansion,” said Kalogridis. “I look forward to working with the Cast who make the magic for our Guests everyday and partnering with the Orange County community to ensure the Anaheim Resort Area continues to thrive.”

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D23 Announces Holiday Events Exclusively for D23 Members in Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Los Angeles

BURBANK, CA – October 8, 2009 — D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans today announced complete details for three incredible holiday events this December. D23 Members will get a chance to deck the halls and experience the wonder of the season like never before through incredible offerings at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts as well as a very special “Disney and Dickens” event celebrating Christmases past and present in Hollywood.

“The winter wonderland season at a Disney Park is unlike any other and this December we are offering D23 Members a chance to experience some of our most heartfelt holiday traditions like never before,” said Steven Clark, head of D23. “All three of these events are sure to create lasting magical memories and I couldn’t be more excited to cap off this incredible year of D23 with our Charter Year Members.”

HOLIDAY 2009 D23 CHARTER MEMBER-ONLY SPECIAL EVENTS:

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Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings Engages Couples-to-be with Brand New Website

If you’ve visited the Disney Weddings website before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Although it still maintains an element of simplicity along with elegance, the Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings site has been re-launched and is better than ever.

The new site seamlessly integrates tons of information, planning tools and shopping for both weddings and honeymoons at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts as well as the Disney Cruise Line. There’s even a unique honeymoon registry system available. Instead of a Contact section, there’s  Connect which provides all sorts of options for keeping tabs with the DFTW team of experts, including a blog in the near future.

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The Disney Gallery Announces Artist Signings and Nightmare Before Christmas Events in October

In honor of its re-opening at Disneyland on October 2, the Disney Gallery has announced two events in October to introduce new releases as well as artist signings.

On October 10, celebrate the art of Disneyland with exclusive new paintings and sculptures and other collectibles from notable artists such as Jim Crouch, Jody Daily, Jeremy Fulton, Kevin Kidney, Larry Nikolai, Maggie Parr, George Scribner, SHAG and Yakovetic. See here for the complete details on the items being released.

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Disney Parks and the Muppets Announce ‘Give a Day, Get a Day’ Tour and Vacation Contest

Along with the new ‘Give a Day, Get a Day’ program announced earlier today by Disney Parks, there will also be a national tour launched to promote the program and volunteerism.

Beginning September 29, visitors to the official website can learn more about the campaign as well as enter to win a vacation package to either the Walt Disney World or Disneyland resorts.

Five winners will be selected at random on or about April 2, 2010 and will each receive a 5 day/4 night vacation package for four to either the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort which includes round-trip air fare, hotel accommodations, park tickets and a Disney Gift Card.

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