Seven prestigious homebuilders have been selected by Disney to design and construct the luxury homes in the unique resort community of Golden Oak at Walt Disney World® Resort. Each of the builders is purchasing initial individual homesites, allowing construction of the first showcase and spec homes to begin immediately.
Disneyland Resort cast members made magic for their favorite Southern California nonprofit organizations by donating more than $385,000. This month, cast members selected nearly 80 organizations – from local schools to social services – to receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
The Anaheim Interfaith Shelter was one of the organizations that received a $5,000 grant. The shelter will use the funds to provide healthy food options at its on-site food pantry, helping to counter obesity among underprivileged children. The organization assists families in need of short-term support due to one-time events that cause homelessness.
This weekend D23: The Official Disney Fan Club announced The Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament as an exciting addition to the already highly anticipated D23 Expo 2011. The tournament will allow Disney enthusiasts to compete for the title of Disney Trivia Champion at “The Ultimate Fan Event” to be held next August 19-21 in Anaheim, California.
In a little more than a year, D23 has grown into a community of tens of thousands of Disney fans from every state in the U.S. and more than 30 different countries.
With blue and silver pixie dust in hand, Mickey Mouse today presented the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard with a “mouse warming” gift in celebration of the team’s new home and a multi-year agreement making Disney Parks a “Champions of the Community” sponsor for the franchise and Amway Center.
“We are honored to have the global brand of Disney, which has been such a fixture of this community for nearly 40 years, join us as a ‘Champions of the Community’ sponsor,” said Orlando Magic President Alex Martins. “As a long-standing member of the Central Florida community, Disney has established a great legacy that we hope to build upon at the Amway Center. We look forward to working together to make continued impact on our Central Florida community for one common purpose… becoming champions both on and off the court.”
Walt Disney World has shared with us two new concept photos of the upcoming new tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the ‘Wild Africa Trek.’ Initially announced on the official Disney Parks blog as starting later this fall, Walt Disney World now confirms a Stitch Kingdom report that the tour will not start being offered to guests until ‘early 2011.’
In 2011, Disney guests will become the stars of a nightly spectacular when photos taken in the park during the day become larger-than-life projections on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort or “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort. This groundbreaking new experience will celebrate the family vacation memories created in Disney theme parks every day.
And this week, Disney guests will begin starring on television, too, as part of the new “Let the Memories Begin” campaign. For the first time, Disney Parks is featuring the home videos and snapshots of real guests in television ads and other marketing that will allow an audience of millions to share in true-life, heartfelt moments.
As we previously mentioned, Disney Parks will be holding a press event in New York City this afternoon to make some upcoming announcements regarding Disney Parks and Resorts. The event, which is scheduled to begin at 12 pm, will be streamed live on the internet beginning at approximately 12:45 pm. Tom Staggs, chair of Disney Parks and Resorts, will lead the presentation which is expected to include — amongst other things — news on the upcoming fiscal year which begins October 1. This will most certainly include mentions of the ‘Fantasy Forest’ expansion in Fantasyland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and the CARSLand expansion and overall re-do at Disney California Adventure. 2011 will also see the maiden voyage of the first of two new Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream. Lastly, and certainly not least, October 1, 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom, so we can expect some news on that as well.
Walt Disney World Cast Member Paul Chadkin reports that as of October 3, the Future World section at Walt Disney World’s Epcot will remain open until park close at 9 pm as opposed to its regularly scheduled closing time of 7 pm.
Despite the scheduled early closing, many locations in Future World have remained open past the 7 pm mark on a daily basis: attractions which remained open until 9 pm daily include Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Mission:Space, Soarin’ and the entire Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion (minus the manatee rehabilitation area). Sunshine Seasons, Electric Umbrella and Mouse Gear have all traditionally continued to operate until at least 8 pm.
Social gaming developer Playdom, which was recently purchased by The Walt Disney Company, has integrated the Disney theme parks into its ‘Social City’ Facebook app. Game players can participate in an in-game raffle in which the prize is one of the iconic attractions at the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom Parks: Matterhorn Bobsleds, ‘it’s a small world,’ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Mad Tea Party, Haunted Mansion and the Partners statue.
Players who manage to collect all seven items will unlock Cinderella Castle which comes complete with its own fireworks.
Walt Disney World held a preview of the arrival of Duffy the Disney Bear at Epcot today for annual passholders. Although we couldn’t be there to report on the event first-hand, Kristin Ford of the Orlando Sentinel’s A Mom and the Mouse tweeted some of the news that was announced at the event.