Report: Disney Bus Collision at Epcot Injures Eight; One Seriously Hurt

WESH and the Orlando Sentinel are reporting that a Disney Bus rear-ended a Mears Transportation near the Epcot Toll Plaza earlier today at approximately 2:30 pm ET, injuring eight with the driver of the Disney Bus having been airlifted to the hospital in a ‘very  serious condition.’  There were 20 guests in all aboard the Disney Bus with only the driver aboard the Mears bus.

UPDATED at 3:35 pm

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Pre-Registration Now Open for the 2010 Disney Gospel Choir Fest at Epcot

Disney's Gospel Choir Fest

Billed as part of the ‘Night of Joy Weekend,’ the Disney Gospel Choir Fest will take place at the American Gardens Theatre across from the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase on Saturday, September 11.

The lively competition of gospel choirs from around the country will be emceed by Grammy Award winner Smokie Norful and feature judge: Myron Butler, record producer and Grammy Award winner; Ken Pennell, President of EMI Gospel; and Larry Blackwell, Vice President of EMI Gospel.

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Details for 2010 Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon Announced

The Walt Disney World resort has announced the details for the upcoming Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon events taking place October 1 – 3, 2010.

On Friday, October 1, 2010, the Disney’s Kids’ Races will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Track & Field Complex beginning at 4 pm for children ages 8 and under. Registration includes: Commemorative T-shirt; Personalized Bib (Must register by September 3, 2010 for name to appear on bib); Trick-or-Treat bag of refreshments; Commemorative finisher medallion.

Race details and age groups are as follows:

  • 12 months and under – Diaper Dash for crawlers
  • 1 – 3 years old – 100m dash
  • 4 – 6 years old – 200m dash
  • 7 – 8 years old – 400m dash

On Saturday, October 2, at 7:00 am will be the Mickey’s Halloween Family Fun Run 5K. The only 5K run to take place inside the Magic Kingdom, runners are encouraged to dress in costume (with safety in mind) as they travel along the course filled with Halloween-themed entertainment. Registration includes: Admission to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the night of Sunday, October 3, 2010; Commemorative Champion® T-shirt; * Goody Bag; Personalized Bib (must register by August 2, 2010 for name to appear on bib); Trick-or-Treat bag of race refreshments; Commemorative 5K finisher medallion.

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Epcot’s 2010 ‘Sounds Like Summer’ Concert Line-up Announced

Sounds like SummerThe Walt Disney World resort has provided us with the (almost) full line-up of the annual Sounds Like Summer concert series at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre. Admission to the concert series which features established cover bands is free with paid admission to the park. This year’s series runs from June 12 through July 31 and includes the following acts:

  • June 12 – June 19: Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees)
  • June 20 – June 26: Hotel California (Eagles)
  • June 27 – July 3: Karin Lawson (Janet Jackson)
  • July 4 – July 10: Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)

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Epcot to Launch Community Garden and Instant Win Contest for Florida Residents March 8

Beginning March 8, Florida residents can head to EPCOTGARDENCONTEST.COM and enjoy two ways to celebrate Epcot’s annual International Flower and Garden Festival.

Through an Instant Win online game, Walt Disney World will be giving 54 pairs of 4 Day Dream Passes (good for one theme park per day, valid from 3/8/10 – 3/26/10 and 4/10/2010 – 5/25/2010). All entrants will also then have the opportunity to compose an original essay nominating a non-profit organization to receive the grand prize of a custom designed garden by Disney’s own professional horticulturists. The garden will even include elements from this year’s Flower and Garden Festival.

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Sneak Peek: Miniature Train Garden at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

Horticulturist Julia E. Clark tends to the Germany pavilion's miniature train garden at Epcot as part of the 11th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (Photo by Kent Phillips/Disney) Many Walt Disney World Resort guests are familiar with the miniature train garden located outside the Germany pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. But we’re willing to bet a much smaller number of them realize that the garden is actually specially decorated for holiday seasons and festivals going on inside the park. Today, Walt Disney World released this photo showing horticulturist Julia Clark working on the garden for this year’s International Flower and Garden Festival which kicks off March 3 and shows off one of the neatest feature of this year’s decor: miniature horticulturists working on a dollhouse-size topiary of Snow White. Photo by Kent Phillips.

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Guide for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Now Available

Walt Disney World has released the Official Storybook Program which is your detailed guide to the Princess Expo and the half marathon itself. Every runner participating in the event should download and review the guide for helpful  hints and information.

The final race instructions have also been made available.

Both can be downloaded from the Princess Half Marathon website.

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Epcot 2010 International Flower and Garden Festival Guide Now Available

Walt Disney World has released the Guide for the 2010 International Flower and Garden Festival which kicks off March 3.

Despite the lengthy 2 1/2 month festival, only a few special weekends are noted in the guide: Art in the Garden Celebration (March 26-28) in which guests can get a unique look at nature through the eyes of “Plein Air” artists and see one-of-a-kind works of art; Fresh From Florida (April 23-25) which features Florida’s native agriculture in the Florida’s Farmer Market in Garden Town; and the annual favorite I Dig Bugs (May 1-2) in which experts from Disney’s Animal Kingdom come share some of their favorite friends with Epcot guests.

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Schedule for Epcot’s 2010 Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Available

Although Walt Disney World has confirmed that the annual Sounds Like Summer concert series will be taking place in 2010, it has yet to announce any formal dates or line-up. The concert series, which takes place at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot, features tribute bands for some of music’s most legendary recording artists.

Although we are currently without a full schedule, the following performers and dates have been confirmed via their respective published touring schedules:

  • June 12 – June 19: Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees)
  • June 20 – June 26: Hotel California (Eagles)
  • June 27 – July 3: TBD

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IBM Debuts New Smarter ‘SmarterPlanet’ Exhibit at Epcot’s Innoventions (Video)

A look at IBM's New SmarterPlanet Exhibit at Epcot's Innoventions. Photo courtesy of IBM.IBM today unveiled a new experiential exhibit at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort, which invites guests to discover the possibilities of building a smarter planet.  The exhibit is powered by a new Smarter Data Center, providing a real-life demonstration of optimized computing that reduces energy costs by up to 25 percent.

SmarterPlanet presented by IBM offers visitors to the park a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse of how technology is helping solve the world’s most complex problems – from reducing road traffic and city crime to improving food safety and local water supplies.

The experience encourages guests to think about their individual role in creating a smarter planet as well as understand how smarter data centers are the heart of a more sustainable, technology-enabled world.

For example, hands-on interactive kiosks offer guests a “match” game that reveals societal and technological implications of creating a smarter planet.  Guests will discover how more than two billion people are using mobile phones to open and use bank accounts for the first time; or that only 11 percent of the United States money supply is cash; or that by unplugging household appliance while not in use homeowners can save cash, up to $286 every year; or how smarter food systems track the temperatures of foods from one location to another to prevent spoilage.  From the same kiosks, guests can take a Smarter Planet poll and compare their answers with those of other visitors.

The exhibit also features Runtime, created by Walt Disney Imagineering, which transforms guests into personalized avatars as part of the video game experience.  Players run, jump and dance through a timeline of IBM’s achievements in the history of computing, journeying from the Babbage computer, through vacuum tubes and chips and bits, to the Internet.  Guests can also email their personalized version of the game to any computer, extending the Runtime experience to their home.

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