CONFIRMED: Disney World Actively Restricting Use of Refillable Mugs

It literally sent shockwaves across the internet last year when we first reported that it appeared Walt Disney World was looking into closing current loopholes regarding the refillable mug system currently in place in which any cup could be used indefinitely at the soda fountain dispensers located in the food courts of the Walt Disney World resorts.

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Disneyland Debuts Enhanced Edition of Audio Description Device for Visually Impaired

Disneyland Enhanced Audio Description ServiceBeginning today, guests with visual disabilities will be able to explore Disneyland park in a whole new way through an enhanced Disney-designed device that provides detailed audio description of outdoor areas. This feature compliments the audio description inside Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks’ attractions and theaters that was launched over a year ago.

“Disney Parks have long been at the forefront of providing accessibility for guests with disabilities,” said Greg Hale, chief safety officer and vice president of Worldwide Standards and Auditing for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “We are pleased to build on this legacy with new technology that enables us to do something that has never been done before – provide rich audio description in moving attractions and outdoor environments.”

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‘Downtown Disney Bridal Stroll’ to Take Place November 6 at Walt Disney World Resort

Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels will host the Downtown Disney Bridal Stroll on Sunday, November 6 from 11 am to 3 pm, featuring consultations with wedding specialists, bridal vendors, sample appetizers, and prizes.

Brides-to-be will have an opportunity to consult with experienced wedding specialists at each of the seven Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels as well as sample cuisine and meet the chefs from each hotel. They also can do some one-stop-shopping at wedding vendors who will present distinctive possibilities for wedding cakes, linens, floral arrangements and other bridal-related products and services.

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WDW Refurb Update: Dining Closures, Port Orleans Quiet Pool

In an effort to be the first to bring the news to you, we’ve been clubbing you over the head with refurbishment updates at the Walt Disney World Resort lately and, unfortunately, we’re not quite done. In addition to what we’ve announced recently, we now have the following announced temporary closures for dining experiences:

At the Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland’s The Lunching Pad will be closing on August 29, 2011 with an expected re-opening date of September 17, 2011. Casey’s Corner on Main Street USA is scheduled to close on August 30, 2011 with a re-opening date of September 15, 2011.

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WDW Refurb Update: Studio Backlot Tour, HISTK Playground Closures in September

The official Walt Disney World website has begun listing closures for both the ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure’ and the ‘Studio Backlot Tour’ beginning on September 4, 2011 and re-opening on September 25.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch! The only Disney Parks refurbishment schedule that covers attractions, dining and resorts, lets you drill down to your own specific dates and even emails you when your dates are affected — and it’s completely free!

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Judge OKs Class Action Lawsuit Against Disney Parks on Behalf of Legally Blind

Earlier this week, Judge Dolly Gee of the United States District Court Central District of California has validated claims against Disney Parks and Resorts on behalf of plaintiffs Cari Shields, Amber Boggs and Teresa Stockton. The decision, which is available online via the plaintiffs’ attorney, offers a play-by-play in the ruling and demonstrates how each side has argued its point of view along each step of the decision process and thus, the court’s ruling.

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Disneyland Resort Details 2011 Halloween Season Beginning September 16

The spirit of Halloween Time will invade Disneyland Resort this fall with Disney villains, Mickey Mouse and his friends in Halloween costumes, and the seasonal transformations of Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain into Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort begins Friday, Sept. 16, and will continue through Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31.

The after-hours Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separate-ticket event* which has become an annual highlight of Halloween Time for trick-or-treating families, will take place in Disneyland park on 10 special Monday, Tuesday and Friday nights: Sept. 30 and Oct. 3,7,11,14,18,21, 25, 28 and 31. Tickets are now on sale at Disneyland.com/halloween.

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‘Tinker Bell Half Marathon’ Wings Medal Revealed

Via its official Facebook page, Disneyland 'Tinker Bell Half Marathon' MedalrunDisney has shared a photo of the medal for the inaugural ‘Tinker Bell Half Marathon’ taking place at the Disneyland Resort January 27 – 29, 2012. The medal prominently features Tinker Bell who doubles as a spinner feature.

With the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, Disneyland Resort will be hosting two of runDisney’s five signature events. Disneyland currently hosts the Disneyland Half Marathon during Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 2-4 in 2011). In all, more than 10,000 runners are expected to participate in the inaugural Tinker Bell event, making it one of the nation’s largest endurance races geared toward women.

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Disneyland Teams with KaBOOM! and Others to Build Playground Designed by Children

Mickey and Minnie join children and volunteers who built new playground (Rob Sparacio/Disneyland)Nearly 300 volunteers from the local community, Disney, city of Anaheim, Thomas Edison Elementary School and Anaheim Family YMCA joined together to build a new KaBOOM! playground and learning garden for hundreds of Anaheim children.

The new playground, which was based on designs created by the children it will serve, was fully assembled in two days. The new learning garden at nearby Thomas Edison Elementary School will teach children how to grow vegetables, furthering their knowledge about healthy food and nutrition.

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Parks Prez Al Weiss Announces Retirement After Nearly 40 Years of Service

Nearly 40 years after he began working at the Walt Disney World Resort at the age of 18 in 1972, Al Weiss, President of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has announced his retirement from The Walt Disney Company, effective November 1, 2011. Weiss has held his current position since 2005 after leaving his role of President of Walt Disney World.

Weiss sent the following e-mail to cast members earlier today:

Fellow cast members,

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