‘Captain EO’ Completes World Tour; Returns to Disneyland Paris in June, Epcot in July

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Captain EO LogoAlthough there were perpetual rumors stemming from hope when the Disneyland Resort first announced the return of Captain EO for a limited time engagement, Disney Parks and Resorts successfully blindsided everyone this morning when they announced that it would not only return to Epcot this summer but would also return to Disneyland Paris, completing the circle of life.

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Epcot’s 2010 Holidays Around the World Dates Announced

We have been told that Epcot will hold its annual Holidays Around the World this year from November 26 (the day after Thanksgiving) through December 30, 2010.

At this time we have no additional details as to what will be part of the annual tradition other than the Candlelight Processional will return and, of course, the tree. In addition to the Processional and tree lighting, countries from participating pavilions in the World Showcase have traditionally offered storytellers, most often in the form of their respective Santa Claus. Last year saw the first year without the  colorful Lights of Winter as the resort turns to more economical forms of lighting in the way of LEDs. No official word yet if it will be replaced this year.

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Central Florida School Children Become Engineers for a Day During IBM’s Engineers Week at Epcot

Dr. Stefanie Chiras of IBM teaches Central Florida students about polymers and how these chains of molecules play an essential role in everyday life during IBM's annual Engineers Week (PRNewsFoto/IBM)IBM is hosting more than 850 students from schools throughout Central Florida during Engineers Week at IBM’s Smarter Planet exhibit at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort. The annual Engineers Week program, running April 13-15, is designed to help motivate and inspire young children in the local community to pursue technical careers and to excel in the core subjects of math and science.

Students, grades 2 through 8, are given a unique opportunity to meet real-life engineering experts from IBM and other program sponsors, and to think – and play – like engineers in a series of activities and rides. This year’s Engineers Week sponsors also include GM, HP, NASA, Red Hat, Siemens UL and Walt Disney World Engineering.

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‘Disney in Shadow’ Author Ridley Pearson Accompanies Local Fans on Epcot Journey

Ridley Pearson engages some of his local fans with the aid of Scuba MickeyIn honor of the release of his third entry in the Kingdom Keepers series, Disney in Shadow, New York Times best-selling author Ridley Pearson recently escorted a group of young fans from Windy Hill Middle School in Clermont, Florida on a special Kingdom Keepers tour through Epcot at the Walt Disney World resort.

Pictured in the photo are Pearson and some of the invited students as they discuss some of the clues from the book with the assistance of Mickey Mouse, in full scuba gear.

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Lawsuit Against Disney Parks Places $1M Pricetag on Trip’s Trip

Suffering ‘pain, shock and mental anguish’  and an inability to perform ‘normal activities’ since tripping and falling along a walkway in Epcot, Judith Franzen of New York has filed a federal lawsuit against Walt Disney World / Disney Parks and Resorts last Friday. The complaint, which seeks an even one million dollars in damages, asserts that Walt Disney World was previously aware of the unnamed condition of the walkway which caused the accident on April 22, 2008 and that the resort was ‘negligent, careless, reckless and grossly negligent.’

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Winner of PixieHollow.com’s ‘Design a Fairy House’ Contest Honored in Ceremony at Epcot

On April 3, Disney Online announced the winner of its “Design a Fairy House Art Contest,” which ran in February on the popular online world for girls, Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow (www.PixieHollow.com). The fairy house, inspired by 15-year-old winning designer, Zoe P., from Frazier Park, Calif., was revealed during a special reveal ceremony in the Pixie Hollow Garden at the 17th Annual Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival. Zoe and her family were in attendance to celebrate the momentous occasion, as her fairy house will be on display for the duration of the festival.

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The Kingdom Keepers Return to Guide Guests Through the Disney Parks by Day – and Protect the Parks from Disney Villains at Night

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadows by Ridley PearsonFive teenagers – the Kingdom Keepers – have been transformed into Disney Holographic Images (DHIs) that thrill guests as they guide them through each of the Disney parks. In truth, the Disney Imagineers created the DHIs to protect Disney’s theme parks from the Overtakers, classic Disney villains, who are trying to seize the parks and use them for their own evil agendas. Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers book series follows these heroes on behind-the-scenes adventures in the magical world of the Disney parks – and in Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow, the action happens in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. (Disney-Hyperion Books, ages 10 and up, $17.99)

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‘Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue’ Filmmakers to Appear at Epcot April 3

Director Brad Raymond and Producer Helen Kalafatic of 'Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue' Brad Raymond and Helen Kalafatic, director and producer of Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (available on Disney blu-ray and DVD on September 21) will be at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Saturday, April 3 greeting guests at the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden from 2:30 – 3:30 pm.

For more information on the film and to see stills and a sneak peek, click here.

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Vinylmation Announces Showcase Event at Epcot August 29; Tickets Now Available

Disney’s Vinylmation has announced that it will present a Vinylmation Showcase inside the World Showplace at Walt Disney World’s Epcot on Sunday, August 29 from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm as part of the Trade City, USA Disney pin event.

Tickets are $25 per guest and admission to Epcot is required, but participation in the Trade City, USA event is not.

EVENT ADMISSION INCLUDES:

  • First opportunity to purchase new Vinylmation™ Figures created for Trade City, USA and other select one-of-a-kind creations.
  • Silent auction featuring a variety Vinylmation™ items from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Vinylmation™ Trading opportunities.

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D23 Announces 2010 ‘Flowers and Fireworks’ Event at Walt Disney World May 15-16

The weekend blossoms Saturday evening as guests gather at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for a delicious beachside cookout. Enjoy a savory salad before diving into a grilled beef burger from the Evo Grill (veggie burgers too!) or chicken breast with Floridian citrus barbeque sauce glaze, served with all the fixings. Make sure to leave room for mouth-watering side dishes like creamy Southern-style cole slaw, slow-cooked vegetarian baked beans and Baked Mac ‘n’ Fine Cheeses. And don’t forget dessert! (We know we won’t!) Choose between Mickey Strawberry Shortcake or Hershey’s Chocolate S’mores Bread Pudding with Vanilla Crème Anglaise Sauce. Or enjoy both! During dinner, some of Disney’s most beloved characters will also hit the sand to visit with you.

Then sit back and watch a private viewing of the delightful Electrical Water Pageant as it sails by on the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Pageant — Disney’s longest-running parade, having launched in 1971 — boasts a bevy of colorful characters on barges illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights. Following the show, guests will be treated to an exclusive presentation about the creation of Walt Disney World’s fireworks spectaculars. And the night wouldn’t be complete without a private lakeside viewing of the Magic Kingdom’s beloved fireworks spectacular Wishes.

Sunday morning meet at 9 a.m. in the Grand Harbor Ballroom of Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts for a morning of special presentations, created just for D23 Members and their guests. After enjoying breakfast from the continental buffet including “A Spoonful of Sugar” breakfast scones with clotted cream and fresh jams and warm cinnamon loaf laced with fondant, “Mad Hatter” scrambled eggs (with assorted “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum toppings”!), Snow (Egg) White Vegetable Frittata, Tink’s Yogurt Parfaits and classic Mickey Waffles fresh fruit toppings and pecans and whipped cream, grab a seat as Epcot Vice President Dan Cockrell will kick off the morning, giving insider insight into the new additions currently being built at Epcot — a new authentic Neapolitan pizzeria at Italy’s pavilion and expanded outdoor for Cantina de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion. Michael Jenner, WDW Park Events Content Development Operations Manager, will give an exclusive sneak peek at what’s to come at this fall’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which will be celebrating its 15th year of cooking up delicious dishes for Disney guests! Eric Darden, Horticulture Manager of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, will present “The History and Behind the Scenes Secrets of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.” Then, Daniel Wasilick of Twinings Tea — one of the original partners at Epcot — will serve up something special just for guests, including a look at their refreshing teas that can only be found at Epcot. And of course, there will be some terrific surprises and gifts!

After a morning of enriching panels and presentations inside, it’s time to hit Epcot to see the International Flower & Garden Festival up close and personal. Guests will have several hours during the day to enjoy the park at their own pace.

That evening, get ready for some Flower Power as you head to the American Gardens Theatre to do the twist with Chubby Checker! D23 Members and their guests will enjoy reserved VIP seating for the concert. And after burning off some calories twisting the night away, it’s time for dessert! A selection of savory sweets — including some of Walt’s personal favorites — will be awaiting guests at Italy Isola, where everyone will also be able to enjoy private viewing of the Epcot signature spectacle, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Of course, no D23 event would be complete without some extra magic! We look forward to making once-in-a-lifetime memories over these two days of festivities.

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