Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Designer’s Life for Cast Member Turned Project Runway Contestant

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When Project Runway makes its seventh season debut on Lifetime on January 14, one of its contestants may seem familiar to millions of people worldwide. Designer hopeful / actor Jesse LeNoir, 25, who makes Orlando his home, counts being a performer in the Captain Jack Sparrow Pirate Tutorial at the Magic Kingdom among his previous jobs.

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WDW Refurb Update: Cantina de San Angel Refurb Begins Major Refurbishment and More

Cantina de San Angel, the quick service location in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, has just closed and begun its lengthy refurbishment. Expected to be replaced with a new, more convenient dining opportunity, the restaurant is slated to re-open on September 24, just a week shy of the 2010 Food and Wine Festival.

During the refurbishment, Taqueria Del Lago, the Mexican booth from the 2009 Food and Wine Festival will be operating for guests’ convenience.

We are also being advised that Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats, located near the World Famous Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, will be unavailable from January 8 through January 25.

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Say Au Revoir to Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee… For Now

Even before the show set sail back in November, Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee was causing waves of excitement at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. With the show advertised to end on January 3, many were disappointed but then turned optimistic when the official site began listing the show as continuing beyond the expected final date.

While we are sad to report that the show is in fact ending today (and is explicitly listed as being performed only today on the Magic Kingdom’s Times Guide for this week), we thought we’d offer some hope of our own for those who missed the opportunity to see the moving spectacle.

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Photo: Boston Celtics Fill the Magic Kingdom with Hoop Dreams

Boston Celtics players (L-R): J.R. Giddens, Ray Allen, Eddie House and Tony Allen huddle Dec. 24, 2009 with Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  The NBA players visited the theme park on the eve of their Christmas Day game against the Orlando Magic.  The Celtics and Magic tip-off in a nationally televised game Dec. 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET at Amway Arena in Orlando, Fla. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

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Muppets to Lead Disney Parks Afternoon Parades in 2010

Beginning January 8, 2010, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Sweetums will join the Disney’s Honorary VoluntEARS Cavalcade which will act as the pre-parade for the afternoon parades at both the Magic Kingdom and at Disneyland.

The Muppets and parade dancers, wearing outfits that celebrate the work of volunteers, will join special floats and vehicles celebrating volunteerism and presenting Honorary VoluntEARS serving as Grand Marshals of the parades.

On February 11, Walt Disney World’s Epcot will also be hosting the Disney Parks’ Celebration of Volunteerism event which will be a Disney star-studded event, celebrating family volunteering.

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Photo: Justin Bieber at the Magic Kingdom with Aladdin’s Genie

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber poses Dec. 19, 2009 with the “Genie” from Disney’s animated film “Aladdin” at the Magic Kingdom. Bieber was in central Florida to perform at a Radio Disney concert at the Celebration Town Center in nearby Celebration, Fla. Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort. (Preston Mack, photographer)

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Disney Parks Offers Sneak Peek at Christmas Day Parade on YouTube

It’s a day that ends in -y so that means two things: new pins and a new tilt-shift video. This time, Walt Disney World managed to capture its portion of the days-long taping of the 2009 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade and condense it into what amounts to a commercial break. Enjoy!

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Photo: Magician Penn Jillette Pulls a Rabbit out of a Crowd at Magic Kingdom

ILLUSIONIST PENN JILLETTE AT WALT DISNEY WORLD (Garth Vaughan/Disney)Penn Jillette, the vocal half of the famed illusionist/comedy duo “Penn and Teller,” tries to figure out how to pull a rabbit out of a hat as he poses Dec. 13, 2009 with Thumper, the lovable rabbit from Disney’s classic film, “Bambi.” Appropriately, Penn and Thumper met in the Magic Kingdom, as the magician vacationed with his family. (Garth Vaughan, photographer)

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Walt Disney World Delays Saturday Parade Taping Until Sunday

Due to weather concerns, Walt Disney World has decided to move the parade taping events scheduled for Saturday, December 4 to Sunday, December 6. Earlier today, the performance by the Jonas Brothers had to be delayed until Sunday and Celine Dion’s performance was moved to the Grand Floridian because of heavy rain conditions.

Guests who had tickets for this morning’s 7 am taping are eligible to attend the taping on Sunday. In addition, Walt Disney World is extending an option to those with tickets for tomorrow’s 11:30 am session to show up for the 7 am session if they so wish.

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Details Revealed for the 26th Annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. and ANAHEIM, Calif., Dec. 4 — ‘Tis the season to be merry at Disney Parks, when the 26th annual “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade,” featuring award-winning musical talent and iconic stars performing in this year’s television special, airs December 25 on ABC-TV.

This year’s show promises to dazzle viewers with must-see performances by Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder. Pop sensations the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato spread joy to all as enchanting sounds from world-renowned musical artist Yanni and his Yanni Voices echo through the park. “American Idol” Season 8 winner, Kris Allen, will perform and “Wizards of Waverly Place” star Selena Gomez will make a special appearance in the annual telecast.

From the newest Disney Princess – Tiana – to Mickey Mouse and all his ‘toon pals,’ beloved Disney characters will embrace the holiday spirit aboard awe-inspiring floats that “deck the halls” as they glide through the Disney theme parks.

Two of television’s most popular celebrities will appear as the hosts of this year’s program. From the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, popular morning show personality Kelly Ripa returns as host, doubling her duties while partner Regis Philbin recovers from recent surgery. At Disneyland Park in California, worldwide television and radio host Ryan Seacrest takes center stage for the West Coast festivities. Nick Cannon, from “America’s Got Talent” makes his “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” television debut as co-host/man-on-the-street for the telecast.

The two-hour televised special will air nationally in High-definition December 25 on ABC-TV at 10 a.m. Eastern and 9 a.m. Central, Mountain and Pacific times.

While parents and children prepare to offer their day of volunteer service in 2010, two families will share their encouraging stories during the parade telecast of how they’ve made a difference by volunteering in their hometown communities, the inspiring motives that moved them to give back and the lessons their children have taken with them along the way.

Throughout the telecast, chart-topping talent and award-winning artists from around the world come together to share in the Christmas merriment at Disney Parks. (Please note: all talent and floats subject to change)

(more…)

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