Downtown Disney Hotels Announce Third Annual ‘A+ for Teachers’ Contest; Nominations Now Being Accepted
Based on the positive response to their 2009 and 2010 initiatives to recognize and reward deserving teachers, the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels have partnered once again with AirTran Airways and Walt Disney World® to hold the 2011 A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney contest.
The third annual contest, which kicked off on January 17, 2011 and runs until April 15, 2011, asks students in grades 1 through 12 to nominate their favorite teacher by writing a brief essay and submitting it via www.downtowndisneyhotels.com. The essay should explain how the teacher has made a difference in the student’s life and will be judged on its relevance to theme, creativity, originality, and the merit of the teacher’s accomplishments as outlined in the essay.
Ten national winners will be chosen, and those students and their favorite teacher nominees each will win a vacation prize package that consists of:
- Four-day / three-night accommodations (for up to four family members) at one of the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels
- Free airfare to Orlando (for up to four family members) on AirTran Airways (only for non-Florida residents)
- Four free Walt Disney World® one-day, one-park passes
- Four free tickets to the DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive theme park
- Complimentary breakfast at the hotel each day (for up to four family members)
“Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels want to celebrate those teachers who truly make a difference in the lives of their students in spite of the many challenges their schools are facing,” said Laurence Richardson, chairperson of the organization’s marketing committee. “Each year we’re amazed at the stories students submit about their teachers; so it’s difficult to select just 10 winners. There truly are many gifted teachers who deserve the recognition this national contest provides.”
This year’s A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney contest winners will be notified directly by May 15, 2011 and also announced on the hotels’ website and Facebook page.
As we announced yesterday via twitter, Disney Design Group today confirmed the release of its Vinylmation Villains Series #1 will be taking place on January 31, 2011. The edition is exclusive to Disney Store, so it will only be available at Disney Store locations that sell Vinylmation as well as likely to become available online. You can view all of the figures from the series as well as the chaser here.
Also, the Flags series will be released at D-Street at the Walt Disney World resort on January 21 and at the Disneyland Resort on January 28.
Guests spending New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World Resort can choose from fireworks extravaganzas, evening dance parties, delicious dining experiences and more as nighttime activities. Here’s a look at what’s in store at the Vacation Kingdom on New Year’s Eve (show times and entertainment are subject to change without notice):
MAGIC KINGDOM (8 AM – 2 AM)
- “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” Street Party at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5:15 p.m.
- “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” at 12 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
- “Main Street Electrical Parade” at 7 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.
- “Holiday Wishes” fireworks at 8:30 p.m.
- “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m.
DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS (8 AM – 12 AM)
- “Block Party Bash” parade at 3 p.m.
- “Fantasmic!” nighttime extravaganza at 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
- Live performances by in-park band “Mulch, Sweat and Shears” at Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat at 8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
- “Lights, Camera, Happy New Year” fireworks starring “Mulch, Sweat and Shears” at 11:55 p.m.
EPCOT (8 AM – 1 AM)
- Special version of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” at 7:30 p.m. & 11:40 p.m.
DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM (8 AM – 8 PM)
- “Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade” at 3:45 p.m.
BAY LAKE AND SEVEN SEAS LAGOON
- “Electrical Water Pageant” at 10:25 p.m.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL — LA NOUBA (6 PM and 9 PM)
- Special New Year’s Eve champagne toasts
- Guests will receive a limited-edition La Nouba pin created for the New Year’s Eve event
- More info: 407/939-7328 or cirquedusoleil.com/lanouba
DISNEYQUEST (8 PM – 1 AM)
- Ring in the New Year at DisneyQuest with favorite cyber attractions and games, a DJ Dance Party with a New Year’s Eve countdown, party favors and a coupon for a personal pizza and soda at FoodQuest
- $39 per person, advance/$45 per person, day of
- More info: 407/934-7639 or disneyworld.com/disneyquestparty. Tickets may be purchased online or at the DisneyQuest Box Office.
ATLANTIC DANCE HALL (8 PM – 2 AM, AGES 21+ ONLY)
- Dance into the New Year at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk
- $35 for access to the main floor of the Dance Hall, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight
- $75 for a VIP ticket that adds a private upstairs area with seating; limited viewing for Epcot fireworks with guaranteed seating and coffee, tea or hot chocolate with dessert bar and a premium bar
- More info: 407/WDW-DINE
LA HACIENDA DE SAN ANGEL (9 PM, PARK ADMISSION REQUIRED)
- La Hacienda de San Angel is offering a special six-course prix-fixe menu and live music starting at 9 p.m. for $199 per person, or $225 with wine and spirits (plus tax and gratuity), $49.95 ages 3 to 9
- More info: 407/842-1107 or e-mail [email protected]
BISTRO DE PARIS (PARK ADMISSION REQUIRED)
Bistro de Paris is offering a special prix-fixe New Year’s Eve menu for $150 per person, $225 with wine pairings with each course
- California Grill will host a New Year’s Eve party featuring food stations, an open bar, a casino-style game room, DJ, dancing, Disney characters, live entertainment and a great viewing location for the Magic Kingdom fireworks
- $525 per person, all inclusive
- More info: 407/WDW-DINE
The official Disney Parks blog recently offered up details on New Year’s Eve events taking place around Walt Disney World this year, but it turns out there is one (incredibly) late entry this year that didn’t make the list: DisneyQuest. Seemingly a last minute entry, the resort recently registered domain names for websites that still don’t go anywhere including DisneyQuestNewYearsEve.com and DisneyQuestNYE.com.
The party will be held at DisneyQuest located at the West Side in the Downtown Disney District at the Walt Disney World Resort from 8pm – 1am. The family-friendly event for those wishing to avoid large crowds in the parks includes all games, a DJ dance party, party favors, one individual pizza and one large drink. Tickets, including sales tax, are $39 per person in advance (call 407-WDISNEY, visit the DisneyQuest Box Office or purchase online at Disneyworld.com/DisneyQuestParty) or $45 day of the event.
DisneyQuest will be closing to day-guests at 7 pm on December 31 in order to prepare for the event.
Disney Design Group has announced that its widely anticipated Dreamfinder 9″ figure with a Figment 3″ accompaniment from Park Series #5 will be released on December 17 at D-Street in the Downtown Disney Districts of both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The collectible, designed by Vinylmation artist Maria Clapsis, is limited to an edition size of 1500 and will retail for $74.95.
Also scheduled to be released on December 17 at both locations is the Park Series #5 limited edition 9″ Retro-Magic Kingdom figure by Rachel Sur which has an edition size of 800 and will retail for $44.95. The 9″ Attraction Poster figures by Alex Maher will be released at the Disneyland Resort only and will also retail for $44.95.
For more information and product images, visit the products’ release page.
In this video provided to us by Walt Disney World, Downtown Disney President Keith Bradford talks about some of the recent additions and changes to the Downtown Disney District at Walt Disney World as well as shares his plans and visions for transforming the former Pleasure Island section into Hyperion Wharf and how he plans to incorporate both the Marketplace and the West Side zones into the project.
Also making an appearance in the video is Walt Disney Imagineer Alex Wright who is a Senior Show Designer for the company. Alex briefly talks about the use and the importance of the lighting in the Hyperion Wharf area and how it will transition throughout the night.
Work will soon begin on a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island and other one-of-a-kind experiences as Walt Disney World Resort continues to bring new stories to life at Downtown Disney. Combined, the projects are expected to create an estimated 1,200 new jobs over the next three years.
“We have made great progress since first announcing our vision to bring new shopping, dining and entertainment experiences to Downtown Disney, many of which can’t be found anywhere else and have already become guest favorites,” said Keith Bradford, vice president of Downtown Disney. “We look forward to providing even more ways for our guests to enjoy Downtown Disney, while at the same time creating new jobs for Central Floridians.”
A nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city and amusement pier will evolve Pleasure Island into “Hyperion Wharf.” By day, the bustling port district will draw guests in with its stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.
Taking its name from Hyperion, the Greek god of light, as well as the street on which Walt Disney built his first major animation studio, the wharf district will also feature a relaxing lakeside park and enhanced pedestrian walkways. Its diverse eateries will expand dining availability at Downtown Disney by more than 25 percent.
“Hyperion Wharf will offer guests of all ages a vibrant atmosphere and new experiences that can be enjoyed by day or by night,” said Bradford. “Whether looking for a great place to dine with the whole family or a place to relax and enjoy live music, Hyperion Wharf will provide the perfect setting for guests to make new memories with us.”
In addition to the new wharf district, numerous other projects are underway at Downtown Disney, including:
- an extensive renovation of Lego Imagination Center, which will increase its overall footprint by nearly 3,500 square-feet and add new Lego exterior models featuring scenes from classic Disney movies;
- enhancements at AMC that will take the movie-going experience at Downtown Disney to the next level with new digital technology, a paradigm-shifting Concession Stand of the Future and Florida’s first Fork & Screen Theater; and
- numerous new or renovated retail shops and merchandise vignettes, as well as additional atmosphere entertainment, throughout Downtown Disney.
Combined, these projects are expected to create an estimated 600 construction jobs, 500 restaurant, retail and entertainment jobs and support 100 vendor and supplier jobs.
Pollo Campero Opens at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney Marketplace with First-of-its-Kind Fresh A-Peel
Starting today, visitors to Downtown Disney® Marketplace will experience the amazing flavors of Pollo Campero, an international Latin chicken quick service restaurant, and the first-of-its-kind Fresh A-Peel, featuring made-to-order fresh selections.
“I wanted to create nutritious foods even my grandchildren would love. All of them have favorites on the Fresh A-Peel menu, whether they are picky eaters or adventurous tasters.”
At Pollo Campero, Walt Disney World® guests can savor combinations of freshly prepared Latin chicken, unique flavorful side dishes such as yuca fries and sweet plantains, and Latin drinks including horchata and tamarindo. Pollo Campero’s fried and grilled chicken is marinated, sending the distinctive Pollo Campero flavor all the way to the bone. Fried chicken is hand-breaded in seasoned flour and slowly pressure-cooked without trans-fats, resulting in a flavorful and juicy meal. Grilled chicken features the taste of lime and orange juices, red bell peppers, and a special blend of Latin herbs and spices.
“Today is a landmark day for Pollo Campero,” said Roberto Denegri, president and chief operating officer of Campero USA. “We’re thrilled to open our newest restaurant at Disney, the No. 1 family vacation destination in the world. Most importantly, we’re excited to introduce guests to the fantastic flavors of our legendary Latin chicken.”
Inspired by Disney’s commitment to offer its guests great-tasting more healthful options, award-winning restaurateur Larry Levy and Pollo Campero teamed up to create Fresh A-Peel. Operating in the same location as Pollo Campero, Fresh A-Peel features a nutritious and delicious array of hot-off-the-grill items and chef-prepared salads and wraps, as well as gluten-free cupcakes and bakery treats.
“Our menu relies on the freshest, most flavorful ingredients,” said Mr. Levy. “I wanted to create nutritious foods even my grandchildren would love. All of them have favorites on the Fresh A-Peel menu, whether they are picky eaters or adventurous tasters.”
The restaurant has a back-to-basics approach to serving family favorites that are prepared in a better-for-you way. Chef-prepared entrees including salads are made with locally grown produce and available in a bowl or as a wrap, and all-natural burgers are prepared to order and packed with flavor. Balanced kids meals are served with fresh fruit and healthy sides, while other delicious menu offerings are gluten-free, low-sodium and vegetarian.
“This single restaurant offers guests an incredible range of dining choices, all in one location,” said Adam Cummis, president of the joint venture. “Not only can guests order Pollo Campero’s legendary fried or grilled chicken and signature side dishes, but they can also indulge in Fresh A-Peel’s nutritious and delicious meals. By pairing these two concepts together, we’ve created a destination that offers something for every diner, and we’re changing the way people think about quick dining.”
On October 29, Disney Vinylmation will release a followup to the Plane Crazy/Park Series 4 combo pack with a Sorcerer Mickey/Park Series 5 combo pack at D Street in the Downtown Disney Districts of both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
The 3″ Sorcerer Mickey figure was designed by Monty Maldovan and will be packaged with a random Park Series 5 Vinylmation in a blind box. As with its predecessor, it’s likely to retail for $24.99. You can read more about it on the official Vinylmation blog which has been previewing Park Series 5 and has today highlighted an upcoming 9″ limited edition (800) Halloween-inspired Holiday #2 figure by artist Lin Shih which will be released on October 22.
On his official blog, Disney Fine Artist Noah, known in part for his extremely popular custom hand-painted Vinylmation collectibles (ranging in size from 9″ to 5′), has announced the official TRON: Legacy Vinylmation by Noah release will take place November 21 at Downtown Disney’s D Street at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts.
According to the blog entry, more details on this highly anticipated event will be released tomorrow with photos available very soon. Be sure to check out his blog for more information as it becomes available.
In related events, the Noah Fine Art Gallery, which will be holding a special event in honor of fellow Disney Fine Artist Katie Kelly next weekend, has announced a sneak peek preview and sale on the official site featuring Katie’s Disney-inspired and other works which can be seen here.