Baby Mandrill Welcomed into World at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Baby mandrill and mother

After six and a half months of waiting, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is welcoming a “colorful” addition to its animal family. A male baby mandrill was born May 30 to first-time mother, Kelley, and is the third one born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Mom and baby are doing very well.

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Photo: Super Bowl Champ Kurt Warner Helps Dreams Come True at Walt Disney World

Kurt Warner and family at Walt Disney World (Gene Duncan/Disney)Former NFL and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner (right), his wife, Brenda (left), and Mickey Mouse pose June 13, 2011 with Kenny Bender (center), age 6, and Landon Smith (far right), 4, at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Representing the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation, the Warners, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visited Walt Disney World Resort with a group of families from St. Louis, Arizona and Iowa. This marked the 10th annual visit by the First Things First Foundation to Walt Disney World.

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‘Radiator Springs Racers’ to Offer Next Generation of FASTPASS

In a recent newsletter update, the Disneyland Resort has announced that Radiator Springs Racers, part of the new Cars Land in Disney California Adventure and scheduled to open in summer of 2012, will offer an enhanced version of FASTPASS, designed — in part — to  ‘make the service more available,’ but stops short of any details, noting only ‘the details are still being worked out.’

The article quotes Abel Garay, Reporting Assistant for Global Park Operations, who was speaking in regards to the future of the FASTPASS system. The full quote follows:

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Walt Disney World and Disneyland Ticket Prices Increase June 12

Disney Parks has announced that its ticket prices will be increased effective June 12, 2011. At Walt Disney World, a one day base ticket will increase $3 for adults (10+) to $85 while a child’s ticket (3-9) will increase $4 to $79. Both the park hopping and water park fun & more options increase $1 to a flat-rate of $55 per ticket. The no-expiration option will also increase accordingly for applicable Magic Your Way tickets.

Annual passes also increase to $519 for adults and $478 for children and premium annual pass rates rise to $649 for adults and $598 for children.

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WDW Refurb Update: Tough to be a Bug, Shooting Arcade, Mermaid Extension and More

We have a bunch of refurbishment/closure updates at the Walt Disney World Resort to share with you today, starting with the Magic Kingdom, where the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade will be closed beginning today and expected to re-open on October 1, 2011.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the 4D attraction, It’s Tough to be a Bug, is scheduled to close on August 15, 2011 and also expected to re-open on October 1.

We previously announced that Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios would be going dark beginning August 15, but according to the official Walt Disney World site, that date may have been moved forward to August 13. It’s still expected to re-open on September 4.

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Golden Oak ‘Early Buyer’ Walt Disney World Benefits Announced

Early homebuyers in Disney’s unique residential resort community, Golden Oak at Walt Disney World ® Resort, will receive Disney VIP park passes to Walt Disney World ® Resort with no block-out dates, free parking, personalized service when making dining reservations at Walt Disney World ® Resort restaurants, access to special early or late theme park hours each day and select merchandise discounts.

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What’s Next: Disneyland Talks Cars Land, Carthay Circle Entrance, Aulani and More

As Disney Soundsational Summer gets underway, even more excitement is coming to Disneyland Resort, where the premiere of the all-new The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is just the latest milestone in the ongoing expansion of Disney California Adventure park. The distinctive peaks of the Cadillac Range are already visible on the horizon beyond Pacific Wharf, signaling the creation of Cars Land, the all-new 12-acre land set to open in 2012. And work on the newly themed Disney California Adventure entry gate into Buena Vista Street, complete with Red Car Trolleys and the distinctive Carthay Circle Theatre, will continue through 2011 for a 2012 opening.

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Disneyland’s ‘Soundsational Summer’ — Behind the Music

Since Mickey Mouse first whistled his way into entertainment history in “Steamboat Willie” (the first animated cartoon with synchronized sound), music has been one of the cornerstones of Disney enchantment, from movies and television to recordings and, of course, Theme Parks. And since magnificent music is one of the most magical forces behind the spectacular experiences you’ll enjoy during Disney Soundsational Summer at the Disneyland Resort, Disneyland asked three experts, who specialize in this artistry, to share some insider views.

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Photos: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Attraction at Disney California Adventure; Opens June 3

The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Kiss the Girl scene.

Guests will enter the enchanting story of “The Little Mermaid,” complete with characters and songs from the Academy Award-winning Disney animated motion picture, when they board The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, premiering Friday, June 3, in Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort.

Set in and around Ariel’s underwater world and located inside a new space on Paradise Pier, the new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney “dark ride” with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure adds to the excitement of Disney Soundsational Summer, June 3 through Sept 5, a season that offers guests even more ways to make special memories at the Disneyland Resort.

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‘Fantasyland Expansion’ at Magic Kingdom Gets Official Site Page

Although for the most part, there’s nothing new that’s currently mentioned there, the official Walt Disney World site has now added a New Fantasyland Expansion page which details some of the additions being added to the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort.

One element that does appear to be new, however, or at least not easily found with a Google search, is the Casey Jr. Roundhouse which will be located adjacent to the Toontown Fantasyland train station and will feature a ‘circus-themed immersive’ water play area. Little ones will ‘splish and splash as Casey Jr. billows off cool steam and water squirts from playful monkeys, elephants and camels.’

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