Photo: Paula Abdul at Walt Disney World, Forever Minnie’s Girl

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Paula Abdul with Minnie Mouse (Gene Duncan/Disney)Entertainer Paula Abdul poses with Minnie Mouse February 14, 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

For the day, Minnie Mouse wore her special “Valentine’s Day” dress, with white hearts replacing her usual white polka dots.

Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort.

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Photos: Michelle Obama, Disney Channel Stars Visit Disney World for ‘Let’s Move’

First Lady, Disney stars and kids danced 'The Platypus Walk' (Gene Duncan/Disney)On a tour to celebrate the second anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to hundreds of children and parents at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex about the importance of healthy living. She also recognized the efforts of Disney Magic of Healthy Living, which partners with parents in their quest to raise healthy, happy kids.

“I want to thank Disney for all that they’ve done to support “Let’s Move” and to make sure our kids are eating right and being active,” Obama told the audience before joining Disney Channel and Disney XD stars for the new dance, “The Platypus Walk,” inspired by the hugely popular “Phineas and Ferb” character Perry the Platypus.

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LEAKED: “it’s a small world” NextGen Interactive Experience Concept Art

We have obtained what is essentially concept art for the next generation (NextGen) interactive queue for “it’s a small world” at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. Taking advantage of the NextGen infrastructure in which guests will be able to personalize their experiences at Walt Disney World, the “it’s a small world” interactivity begins at home. Using their computer or smart phone, guests will design their own “it’s a small world doll.” When they visit the attraction at the Magic Kingdom, monitors placed throughout the attraction will virtually ride along with the guest (or the monitors may be installed in the vehicles, this is an unknown at this time). Guests will also be able to send e-cards spotlighting their virtual trip aboard the happiest cruise to have ever sailed the seven seas.

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Disney Parks Moves Forward with ‘My Disney Experience,’ ‘MyMagic+’

Last year, we reported on several new domain names being registered by The Walt Disney Company which we speculated as being attributed to ventures in place by Disney Parks and Resorts. While these sites continue to remain dormant, Disney Parks recently applied for several trademarks which match up quite nicely with those registered domains as well as some new project names of note.

While all of the trademark applications describe the terms as nothing more than ‘Education and entertainment services,’ their names lend themselves to the looming XPass experience in which certain guests will be able to micromanage their Disney vacations months in advance and the fabled ‘NextGen’ project integrating RFID, customizable wristbands that will help customize and cater to individual guests.

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Unions File Lawsuit Against Walt Disney World Over Hiring Practices

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 631 and the Service Trades Council Union filed a complaint in Florida Middle District Court against Walt Disney World yesterday over labor hiring practices which they claim are in violation of the then-governing agreement and subsequent mediation rulings.

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‘Mickey’s Railroad Adventure’ Ink and Paint Cel Release on March 17 at Walt Disney World

'Mickey's Railroad Adventure' Ink & Paint Cel On Saturday, March 17, join Disney Design Group Artist Randy Noble and Disney Ink and Paint Artists: Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the premiere of the Mickey’s Railroad Adventure entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. The cel invites you to take a trip with Mickey, Minnie and Donald aboard the train.

Mickey's Railroad Adventures Limited Edition PinThe cel is hand-painted with an unknown edition size. As an extra bonus, the first 750 framed pieces sold will be accompanied by a matching limited edition pin created for the release.

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Downtown Disney Hotels to Award Walt Disney Vacations to Teachers Nominated by Students

he Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels has partnered with Walt Disney World® to once again honor outstanding K-12 teachers with its 2012 A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney essay contest.

The fourth annual contest, which kicks off today and runs through April 13, 2012, asks students in grades 1 through 12 to nominate their favorite teacher by writing a brief essay of no more than 300 words and submitting it via www.downtowndisneyhotels.com. The essay should explain how the teacher has made a difference in the student’s life and will be judged on its relevance to theme, creativity, originality, and the merit of the teacher’s accomplishments as outlined in the essay.

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Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort to Open Summer 2012

Earl of Sandwich at DTD Disneyland Concept ArtDisneyland Resort today announced that Earl of Sandwich will open a new location at Downtown Disney in early summer 2012. The restaurant will offer guests a unique, casual-quick dining option while visiting Downtown Disney.

‘We pride ourselves in giving our guests a unique experience at Downtown Disney through different retail and food offerings,’ said Tony Bruno, vice president of Resort Hotels and Downtown Disney. ‘This will be the only Earl of Sandwich in California and it is sure to be a favorite among our guests as it has been at Walt Disney World for nearly eight years.’

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WDW Refurb Update: Liberty Belle Extended Through May

With what was initially slated to be a week-or-so closure for the Liberty Square riverboat at the Magic Kingdom is now turning into a multi-month closure. The official Walt Disney World website is now reporting that the Liberty Belle attraction will now re-open on May 21, 2012. The announcement comes a day after the attraction had closed for its refurbishment.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch! The only Disney Parks refurbishment schedule that covers attractions, dining and resorts, lets you drill down to your own specific dates and even emails you when your dates are affected — and it’s completely free!

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CONFIRMED: ‘John Carter’ Early Screenings at Walt Disney World (Passholders)

'John Carter' Teaser PosterAs far as we’re concerned, impatience is a virtue. Yesterday we reported that we believed Walt Disney World would be offering free, pre-release screenings of Walt Disney Studios’ John Carter. Thanks to activity on the wdwscreeningtickets.com website, we are now able to confirm that the screenings will in fact be taking place and will be offered exclusively to passholders.

The screenings will take place at the Premier Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (the site notes valid theme park admission is required, but.. uh, it’s a passholder event) on the weekend of March 3 and 4. Showtimes will be at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm each day. Space is limited and registration for the event will only take place online. The film, which is rated PG-13 by the MPAA, will be shown in 3D.

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