Wall*E Still Expected to Appear at Disney Parks… Eventually

On covering the Walt Disney Living Character Initiative (LCI)’s Remy, Orlando Sentinel Theme Park Ranger

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Celebrities for Star Wars Weekends 2009 Announced – Jay Laga’aia (Captain Typho) to Host

SWW 2009 PosterTime to start planning for Star Wars Weekends! Starting in May, fans get to meet an impressive lineup of special guests attending four weekends of Star Wars fun at the Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida. From May 22 to June 14, 2009, fans of all ages will converge to celebrate the heroes, villains, creatures and droids of the saga. In addition to Star Wars costumed characters, fun activities, and the Star Tours theme park ride, celebrity guests will be in attendance for meet-and-greet sessions, star conversations, and a classic Hollywood-style motorcade.

Here’s a look at the celebrity guests which include Star Wars cast members from the entire saga. Please check back here for future updates to the guest list as it may be subject to change.

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Downtown Disney’s ‘Characters in Flight’ Scheduled for Soft Opening Friday, April 10

Characters In FlightThe fun soars to new heights at Downtown Disney West Side with an iconic new tethered balloon that takes guests on ascents of up to 400 feet above the waterfront.

Characters In Flight operated by Aerophile is a 72-foot-diameter balloon with a whimsical design featuring silhouettes of a dozen of Disney’s “flying characters” – such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Dumbo. The vibrantly colored balloon can lift up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute trip – thanks to its enclosed volume of 210,000 cubic feet of lighter-than-air gas. The ascents, by day or night, provide guests with an unparalleled, 360-degree view of up to 10 miles.

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Walt Disney World Resort Continues to Stand StormReady®

StormReady

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Apr. 9, 2009 – With picture-perfect skies outside his window most days, Walt Disney World Emergency Operations Coordinator Eric Alberts dedicates his time to preparing for inclement weather. “Safety for everybody that works or stays here is our top priority,” Alberts says as he checks the latest forecasts.

By expertly planning for severe weather in advance, Walt Disney World Resort made history in 2006 as the first theme park and resort area to be recognized by the National Weather Service as a StormReady® Community. Committed to maintaining its leadership in emergency management, Walt Disney World Resort just renewed its StormReady status through 2012 and remains the only recognized commercial site in Florida. Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca. has also earned recognition as StormReady.

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Paradiso 37 to Open Early May at Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island

Paradiso 37, a high-energy restaurant and bar featuring cuisine from North, South and Central America, welcomes guests to its table in May at Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort.

The lakeside eatery will offer a delectable variety of menu offerings representing the 37 countries of the Americas, plus an international wine bar, 37 varieties of tequila and 10 signature frozen margaritas.

The new concept was developed by Orlando-based E-Brands Restaurant Group, a multi-concept restaurant group which currently owns and operates Timpano Chophouse, Samba Room, Taqueria Canonita, Aquaknox, David Burke, Salsa Orlando and Canonita Express in a number of locations across the United States.

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United Vacations to Give Away $7K+ Dream Trip to Walt Disney World

MILWAUKEE, April 8 — For the first time ever, the team at United Vacations has custom-designed a vacation giveaway in celebration of the Disney fan base from around the world. Their phenomenal grand prize valued over $7,000 opens the door to a whole other world inside the Walt Disney World(R) Resort where one lucky family will have the opportunity to experience aspects of the destination that the average vacationer rarely, if ever, has access to in one visit.

From the 70-year old who sports a Mickey Mouse watch to the first grader whose bedroom is decorated in pixie dust and Dalmatian spots, Disney fans are truly one of a kind – and they are the focus of this very special vacation giveaway.
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New Limited Edition Sculpture of Simba to be Released April 17

Simba: Little King, Big Roar by Bruce Lau

Simba: Little King, Big Roar by Bruce Lau

Mischievous Simba is well aware that as the son of Mufasa, he’s next in line to rule over all the other critters as king. In a wild-and-wooly celebration of his fantastic future, Simba even imagines what he’ll look like with a grown-up mane by popping his head through a wreath of fire-red blossoms. Plussed with a pewter tail, the lovable cub gains the lion’s share of praise as our Spring Premiere Event’s “mane” attraction. So roar on by and let this cute cub make you feel like royalty.

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Grand Floridian to Host EASY-BAKE 2009 ‘Baker of the Year’ Contest

EASY-BAKE 2009 "Baker of the Year" finalist Catherine Ralston, 12, from New Albany, Ohio pictured with her "sous chef," mother Teresa, presents her creation "Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart." (Photo: Business Wire)

EASY-BAKE 2009 "Baker of the Year" finalist Catherine Ralston, 12, from New Albany, Ohio pictured with her "sous chef," mother Teresa, presents her creation "Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart." (Photo: Business Wire)

After searching America’s kitchens since last summer, Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) today announced the names of the seven talented child bakers selected to participate in the EASY-BAKE 2009 “Baker of the Year” contest finals. Representing different states across the country, the seven finalists will be flown to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, where they will compete for the title of EASY-BAKE 2009 “Baker of the Year” on May 7, 2009.

“We were impressed by the caliber of recipes that we received for the EASY-BAKE 2009 ‘Baker of the Year’ Contest that it was difficult to choose just seven finalists!” said Kim Losey, Senior Brand Manager Global Marketing and Development, for Hasbro’s EASY-BAKE Brand. “The kids participating in the finals really stood out – not only were their recipes outstanding but we were equally impressed by the amount of time, thought, and creativity put forth by each of them.”

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