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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Walt Disney World Satellite Maps by Robo Updated

It’s been over a year since the incredibly popular Walt Disney World Satellite Maps by Robo section has been added to Stitch Kingdom and it was long due for an update. Thanks to Robo, many of the maps have now been updated to reflect changes in the resort over the past year as well as some additional maps added, most notably those for Downtown Disney and individual lands in the Magic Kingdom.

I also took the opportunity to address the fact that users needed to click Search in order to view all maps initially. Now all maps will be shown automatically by default while still allowing users to filter by category and optional subcategory.

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‘Imagineering the Magic: Magic Kingdom’ DVD Now Available at Theme Parks

Imagineering the Magic: Magic KingdomA follow-up to the immensely well received Imagineering the Magic: Disneyland, Richard Skillman’s Imagineering the Magic: Magic Kingdom is now available through Disney Theme Park Merchandising.

Hosted by Imagineer Diego Parras, the documentary uses historical and rare film footage to show the story of the transformation of swampland in central Florida to the most visited theme park in the world today through the stories and direct recollections of respected Imagineers such as Tom Fitzgerald, Tony Baxter, Kathy Rogers, Eric Jacobson, Kevin Rafferty and — of course — Marty Sklar, the only individual to open all 11 Disney parks.

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