Disney Parks Offers New ‘Give a Day, Get a Day’ Program in 2010 – Volunteer for Free Admission

Walt Disney Company President and CEO, Robert Iger (left), is joined by Teri Hatcher, James Denton and HandsOn Network President, Amy Smith (right), are joined by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy for an announcement by Disney Parks at a volunteer event in Los Angeles, Calif., on Tuesday. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)Sept. 29, 2009 – Disney Parks today announced a new program that celebrates the spirit of volunteer service with a simple proposition: “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day.”

Disney hopes to inspire families to volunteer in their communities during 2010 through this first-of-its-kind program. One million people who perform volunteer service for a participating organization will receive a free one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park.

While the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program kicks off Jan. 1, right now guests can learn more about the program and how to get their free one-day admission to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme park by visiting www.DisneyParks.com (for the United States and Puerto Rico) or www.DisneyParks.ca (for Canada).

In the past year, guests have been celebrating all sorts of special moments in their lives at Disney parks – from birthdays and anniversaries to reunions and graduations – as part of the “What Will You Celebrate?” campaign.

“In 2010, we want to recognize and add one more reason for celebration: the contributions people make to their communities every day,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  “We want to inspire 1 million volunteers – people who will invest time and energy to make their own communities and neighborhoods a better place.”

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Villas at Grand Californian Hotel Grand Opening and Tour (Video)

Disneyland has just released this video of the grand opening of the Disney Vacation Club’s first west coast entry, the Villas at the Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort. Also featured are several cast members talking about the new addition to the DVC family as well as a tour of the rooms and facilities.

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Zero Takes to the Sky in Photo Preview of New Halloween Fireworks at Disneyland

Jack's dog Zero takes to the skies during the Halloween-themed fireworks at DisneylandNew this year to Halloween Time at Disneyland is Halloween Screams – A Villainous Surprise in the Skies. The new fireworks spectacular haunts the nighttime sky throughout the Halloween season.  To start the show, Master of Scare-omonies Jack Skellington appears in a flash of fire above Oogie Boogie makes an appearance during the Halloween-themed fireworks at DisneylandSleeping Beauty Castle.  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.  Disneyland guests are encouraged to participate in a bone-chilling Halloween Scream-Along during the show. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

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The Disney Gallery at Disneyland Set to Re-Open at New Location on October 2

Now located inside the Main Street Bank, the Disney Gallery is set to re-open on October 2 at Disneyland. Read a bit more about the exciting new location here.

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Disney Vacation Club Premieres First West Coast Disney Venture at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Photo © DisneyANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2009) – Disneyland Resort today unveiled a stunning new addition to its Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, including 203 new guest rooms and 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas, the first Disney Vacation Club property on the West Coast.  Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa immerses guests in the magic of the Disneyland Resort by capturing the spirit of early California through design and architecture.  Many of the new vacation villas offer guests spectacular views into Disney’s California Adventure Park.

“This expansion reinforces Disney’s long-term commitment to investing in Anaheim’s Resort District,” said Ed Grier, president of Disneyland Resort.  “Since opening in 2001, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa continues to impress our guests with its timeless sophistication and exquisite service.  The new villas and hotel rooms will give more guests the opportunity to enjoy the immersive vacation experience Disney is known for.”

The 2.5-acre addition to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which increases accommodations by more than 30 percent, is part of ongoing resort expansion work.  Currently underway is a multiyear expansion of Disney’s California Adventure Park, which will add new attractions, entertainment experiences and an entirely new 12-acre Cars Land.  In addition, the resort’s historic Disneyland Hotel also began a major three-year renovation last month.

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Welcome Foolish Mortals…Walt Disney Records Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of The Haunted Mansion with Two CD Releases

BURBANK, Calif. — On September 9, 2009 Walt Disney Records celebrates the 40th Anniversary of The Haunted Mansion with two CD releases — The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion and The Haunted Mansion. Both CDs were produced, fully restored and compiled by Grammy®-winning producer Randy Thornton.

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Jaeyung Hyung, 38, Places First in Disneyland Half Marathon

Disneyland Half Marathon 2009Jaeyung Hyung, 38, of Las Cruces, N.M., celebrates his victory Sept. 6, 2009 at the Disneyland Half Marathon, held at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. Hyung finished the 13.1-mile race in a time of 1:10:44. Thousands of participants from every U.S. state and 13 countries took part in the fourth annual event that is part of a three-day celebration of health, fitness and family fun. More than 18,000 athletes were registered in various races throughout weekend, including 13,500 for the Disneyland Half Marathon. (Will Norton, photographer)

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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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Fabulous Fantasmic! Facts About the New Maleficent Dragon at Disneyland; ‘Magical’ Fireworks Extended

026 A spectacular new dragon joins “Fantasmic!,” stretching as high as 45 feet tall and breathing great plumes of fire on the Rivers of America at Disneyland.  Performances of the show have been extended nightly through Sept. 7, and will continue weekends – Friday, Saturday, Sunday – as well as during holiday periods through the end of 2009.  Nighttime Disneyland guests can also enjoy the “Magical” fireworks show, which has been extended through Labor Day and weekends thereafter through Sept. 20.  Both Tinker Bell and Dumbo the Flying Elephant make special appearances in “Magical.”

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Disneyland’s Dragon Debutante Debuts Dtuesday (the d is silent) (Video)

Not the first miss of the summer in theme park news, but the Maleficent Dragon from Disneyland’s Fantasmic is finally ready to make her onstage debut at tonight’s performance as per this article in the LA Times.

Below is video footage of the Dragon in action courtesy of the Disneyland Resort:

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