Goofy’s Sky School, New Dining Options Come to Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Pier, July 1

Guests will enjoy wild, hilarious flying lessons beginning July 1 at Goofy’s Sky School, one of several new attractions and restaurants opening in Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure park. Along with the debut of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, these new experiences will complete the transformation of Paradise Pier, a section of the park reminiscent of a seaside amusement park of the 1930s.

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PHOTOS: ‘American Idol’ Scotty McCreery Performs at Walt Disney World

American Idol Scotty McCreery with Minnie and Mickey Mouse (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Newly crowned “American Idol” Scotty McCreery poses May 30, 2011 with Mickey and Minnie Mouse in front of “The American Idol Experience” attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  McCreery was honored in a parade at the Disney theme park and performed his new song, “I Love You This Big.”  On Wednesday, the 17-year-old singer was crowned the new “American Idol” on the season finale which was viewed by an estimated 29.3 million people.

Photo by Matt Stroshane,  courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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WDW Refurb Update: Primeval Whirl Re-opening Pushed Back for Third Time

Karma is taking its toll on Primeval Whirl in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. The attraction, which has been plagued with problems during its refurbishment, including causing injuries and even death to cast members, closed on January 17, 2011 and was initially scheduled to re-open on April 6 which was later extended to April 17, then to June 2 and now has been pushed back much further with a new scheduled re-opening date of September 15, 2011.

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Photo/Video: ‘Star Tours 2.0′ Grand Opening with George Lucas and Bob Iger

Bob Iger and George Lucas at 'Star Tours' opening (Todd Anderson/Disney)Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Bob Iger (left) talks with Star Wars creator George Lucas as they walk through Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. May 20, 2011 during grand opening ceremonies for “Star Tours — The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction based on the “Star Wars” films. The attraction, which features more than 50 possible random ride experiences, opened May 20, 2011 at Walt Disney World in Florida and will open June 3, 2011 at Disneyland Resort in California. Photo by Todd Anderson.

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Star Wars Creator George Lucas and Disney’s Bob Iger Launch Star Tours Attraction at Walt Disney World

Star WarsTM creator George Lucas and Disney President and CEO Bob Iger wielded lightsabers amid a legion of stormtroopers Friday to open “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D adventure at Walt Disney World Resort.

A cast of hundreds of Star Wars characters and performers – including Anthony Daniels, who has played the golden droid C-3PO since the first film debuted in 1977 – converged on Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the launch of the attraction destined to send millions of guests on virtual journeys throughout the Star Wars galaxy.

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Disney Parks’ ‘Let the Memories Begin’ Tour to Launch This Summer

Beginning in Chicago, IL, on May, 30th, 2011, Disney Parks and Resorts will launch a national ‘Let the Memories Begin’ Tour. According to the tour’s website, found at letthememoriesbegintour.com, it sets out to take ‘Disney memory-making into towns across America where children and adults of all ages are enjoying a sample of the magic and fun that people enjoy every day in the Disney Theme Parks.’ The tour will also offer a photo-op for which photos can be claimed online at the site.

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Speculation: ‘Newsies’ Stage Musical Heading to Disney Parks in 2011

Sometimes we manage to weave a tale so peculiar and convoluted that we can barely believe it ourselves. This is one of them.

Enter the 1992 cult-classic Disney musical, Newsies. Back in March of 2010, we first reported about Disney Theatrical working on a staged adaptation of the film, purportedly destined for Broadway. This was later confirmed to be true and announced earlier this year that the musical would premiere this fall at the Paper Mill Playhouse (September 15 – October 16, to be exact).

Which then begs the question, what of the show come mid-October? If you’re still with us, great, because all of this is standard, known stuff.

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Disney’s ‘Art of Animation Resort’ to Immerse Guests in Animated Film Classics (Concept Art, Room Photos)

IMG_4810 During the Walt Disney Imagineering presentation at the Disney D23 Destination D: Walt Disney World event, Imagineer Gary Hoffman provided new insight into the resort’s newest hotel, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, expected to open in stages, beginning May, 2012.

On the site of what was once destined to be the second half of the Pop Century resort, the Legendary Years, the Art of Animation will allow guests to step into the world of their favorite Disney films and come face to face with their favorite characters from The Little Mermaid and The Lion King and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Cars — with some major exceptions.

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Walt Disney World Launches ‘Senior Class Trip’ Programs Site

Walt Disney World's Senior Class Trip ProgramConsidered the replacement for the Disney Grad Nites program at Walt Disney World (they will continue at Disneyland for now), Walt Disney World has established DisneySeniorClassTrips.com which redirects to the program’s page on the Youth Programs site.

The site, which promises that tickets will be offered soon, offers the opportunity for schools to purchase admission media in bulk at a reduced cost for high school seniors to spend time at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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‘Cars 2′ Disney/Pixar Weekend at Epcot Event Map Now Available

'Cars 2' merchandise exclusive to Disney ParksWalt Disney World has released the official special event park map for the Disney/Pixar Weekend taking place this Friday through Sunday, May 13-15, as part of the final weekend of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

The map, which you can download here as a PDF, offers meet and greet times and locations as well as other special opportunities taking place during the weekend.

In addition, the event map announces that Cars 2 merchandise, exclusive to the theme parks, will be available for purchase at MouseGear, Test Tracks and Pin Central.

Pixar Weekend at Epcot event map

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