Earlier today, The Smoking Gun published a claim filed by April Magolon of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania which claims that while visiting Donald Duck at Epcot Center [sic] in 2008, Donald had deliberately grabbed her ‘breast and molest[ed] her and then made gestures making a joke he had done something wrong.’ Magolon, who reportedly had her children with her, is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for negligence and seeking in excess of $50,000, claiming to have suffered ‘severe physical injury, emotional anguish and distress including, but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder.’
Thanks to a tip from The Disney Food Blog, we have learned that the preliminary brochures for the 2011 Disney Dining Plan have become available on the official Walt Disney World site. The Disney Food Blog covers the plan in more detail, but the brochures do confirm that as of March 1, 2011, Le Cellier will become signature dining (requiring two table service credits per person) for dinner only. Joining the Hollywood Brown Derby as the only signature dining experiences in the parks themselves, this is the first return of 2-credit dining to Epcot in years, since Coral Reef was dropped down to one credit (along with a menu change reflecting the lower cost).
Walt Disney World has announced that dinner packages for its Candlelight Processional will become available August 26. The package includes dinner at one of the table service restaurants around the World Showcase, priority admission to the American Gardens Theatre where the event is held and special viewing for the holiday edition of Illuminations.
The partial list of narrators for the 2010 Candelight Processional are as follows:
- Isabella Rossellini – 11/26 – 28
- TBD – 11/29 – 12/1
- TBD – 12/2 – 4
- TBD – 12/5 – 6
- Jodi Benson – 12/7 – 9
Patina Restaurant Group has opened a new casual pizzeria, called Via Napoli, adjacent to Tutto Italia Ristorante, its restaurant in the Italy pavilion in Epcot World Showcase at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. This becomes the first authentic Italian pizzeria to ever open in the park.
Restaurateur and longtime Patina Restaurant Group CEO Nick Valenti created the Via Napoli concept, based upon his travels in Southern Italy and his time developing and overseeing the successful Naples 45 Ristorante e Pizzeria in New York which was awarded the coveted certification of “La Vera Pizza Napoletana.” While in Naples, Valenti spent time studying the art of dough, crust, sauce and oven temperatures at the famous pizzerias Da Michele and Trianon. At Da Ettore, he discovered the art of pagnotiello, a folded round of pizza dough filled with mozzarella, ham and mushrooms.
Disney Parks has posted notices for auditions for a couple of new upcoming productions at the domestic Disney theme parks in the wake of the recent announcement of the Disney Channel Rocks! show.
At Disney California Adventure, the Disneyland Resort is preparing a new nighttime celebration in honor of TRON Legacy from Walt Disney Studios. For the show (reported working title of ElecTRONica), male and female contemporary and hip-hop dancers are being seeked out to perform on stages outside in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot and main entrance areas. Experience with martial arts is considered a plus.
Animal care experts from Disney’s Animal Programs returned Thursday from the Florida Panhandle with six Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles – among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world – and two Green Sea Turtles injured by the spill. The Disney animal care team stands ready to help in the Panhandle as needed and rehabilitation facilities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and at Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends are available for treating turtles and birds impacted by the spill.
Walt Disney World has just made its festival guide and map available for the 15th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival which takes place October 1 – November 14, 2010. The guide covers returning and new international marketplaces such as Belgium, South Korea and Charcuterie & Cheese plus events unique to the festival including brand new entries such as the Marketplace Discovery Passport sponsored by Disney Vacation Club, ‘First Bites Opening Reception,’ ‘”3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery,’ ‘Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French’ and more! Newer eateries such as Kouzzina and Paradiso 37 as well as some older favorites such as Bongo’s Cuban Cafe and Fulton’s Crab House are also joining in on the fun this year.
Tim will be offering signings at the festival gift shop near the Canada Pavilion on October 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 and November 6, 7, 13, 14 between 11 am and 9 pm.
The event runs from October 1, 2010 through November 14, 2010.
To preview the special festival merchandise available, see the official merchandise page here.
Two ailing Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles are on the road to recovery after being brought to Walt Disney World Resort last month from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss. to make room for animals directly impacted by the Gulf oil spill.
The sea turtles, suffering from pneumonia, were flown to Orlando June 25 and placed in the care of Disney animal experts. Kemp’s Ridley turtles are among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world. The two are being monitored in a special backstage area at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot and will require several months of rehabilitation before they are released back into the wild. Progress so far is favorable.
Comedienne and Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique poses July 2, 2010 with a pair of 3-D glasses and one Mickey Mouse glove — a la Michael Jackson — as she prepares to visit “Captain EO” on the film’s grand re-opening day at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The musical 3-D film, which stars Michael Jackson, was presented at Epcot from 1986-1994. After a long hiatus, the space adventure film re-opened July 2 at the Walt Disney World Resort theme park. Mo’Nique, who received an Academy Award for her role in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” also was among the 135 artists, performers and executives invited on June 25, 2010 to join the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Gene Duncan, photographer)