CONFIRMED: Disney/Pixar Weekend Event at Epcot, May 13-15

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Disney/Pixar Weekend at EpcotVia the official Disney Parks blog, Walt Disney World has confirmed Stitch Kingdom’s original report on the gala celebration in honor of Pixar’s 25th Anniversary and the release of Cars 2 during the final weekend of Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival.

The official announcement does make note of a few differences, however, namely that many character greetings will take place inside the World Showplace and around the World Showcase, but not in the Future World area.

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‘Star Tours’ Custom Official Galactic Passport for Disney’s Hollywood Studios Now Available; In-Park Bonus Offered

Star Tours Official Galactic PassportWhether you’re a pod racer, a pilot for the Rebel Alliance, royalty or just a vanilla Jedi Knight, one thing is for certain: if you plan on departing from the Star Tours terminal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning May 20, 2011, you are going to need proper documentation and that means your very own Official Galactic Passport.

By visiting StarToursPassport.com, you can apply for — and instantly download — your very own custom Official Galactic Passport (* some assembly required). Connecting to your FaceBook account, simply select your role in the Star Wars universe, select a FB photo (or upload your own), fill out the form with your vitals and you’re ready to travel to Hoth, Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant, Kashyyyk and even the Death Star.

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‘Star Tours’ Flight #1401 Details Revealed – Could it be a Trap?

The power of the Force and the magic of Disney have combined to create “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park on May 20, 2011. The attraction also will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., on June 3, 2011.
Based on the Star Wars films, Star Tours will take Walt Disney World Resort guests to multiple Star Wars destinations where they will interact with characters from throughout the Saga. And it will all be in 3-D.

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Johnny Depp, Patti Smith Appear in Latest Disney Parks Campaign by Annie Leibovitz

Johnny Depp in Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz

The official Disney Parks blog has debuted the newest entry in the ‘Disney Dream’ celebrity portrait series by Annie Leibovitz, Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The advertisement, which will run as a special spread in the May 2011 issues of Oprah, Real Simple, InStyle and People, features the first time a Disney character is portrayed by the actual actor.

Inside the spread, titled ‘Where magic sets sail and adventures become legendary,’ Captain Jack Sparrow is joined by another pirate, portrayed by performer, writer and artist, Patti Smith.

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Photo: Lady Gaga Turns Fairy Tale Monster at Magic Kingdom (Hi-Res)

Lady Gaga (right) poses April 16, 2011 with the Evil Queen (left) (Todd Anderson/Disney)Grammy Award-winning singer Lady Gaga (right) poses April 16, 2011 with the Evil Queen (left) from Disney’s animated film Snow White at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Gaga was in town as part of her ‘Monster Ball Tour,’ a self-described ‘pop-electro opera,’ in support of her sophomore album, The Fame Monster.

Photo by Todd Anderson, courtesy of the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Ink & Paint Cel Release for ‘Ka-chow’ Featuring ‘Cars’ in ‘Lights, Motors, Action!’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios June 18

'Ka-chow!' Ink & Paint CelOn Saturday, June 18, join Disney Design Group Artist Costa Alavezos and Disney Ink and Paint Artists: James Bonserio, Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the premiere of the Ka-chow! entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. In the cel, Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and pals make their on-stage debut in the popular stunt show attraction, ‘Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.’ Ka-chow! is also the first entry in the Ink & Paint Cel Series to feature the characters of Disney/Pixar’s Cars.

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Walt Disney World Teases New ‘Senior Class Trips’ Program

Walt Disney World's 'Senior Class Trips' ProgramOn the Disney Grad Nite official Facebook page, Disney offered up an informal poll to see which of two ‘Disney Senior Class Trips’ logos (pictured) were favored by the page’s fans.

The new program will offer specially priced theme park tickets and exclusive experiences year-round for high school seniors who visit the Walt Disney World Resort on a class trip. More information on the new offering is promised after May 7.

In March, Walt Disney World announced it would be ending the Disney Grad Nite program after 2011.

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Disney Parks Study Shows Impact of Company on Florida’s Economy

A new study released today shows the magic Disney makes for guests at its parks and resorts and on its cruise ships translates into a strong economic impact not only in Central Florida but across the state.

The $18.2 billion in annual economic activity generated locally by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts accounts for a staggering 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product for the entire state.

Of the 7.2 million Floridians in the workforce in 2009, more than one out of every 50 had a job that can be directly or indirectly tied to the operations of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Locally, 6 percent of all jobs in Central Florida can be attributed to Disney’s operations.

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Photo: Dinos Meet Xtina-tion; Christina Aguilera at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Christina Aguilera and son Max at Disney's Animal Kingdom (Matt Stroshane, photographer) Grammy Award-winning singer Christina Aguilera poses with her son Max April 11, 2011 in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. In the early 1990s, Aguilera starred on “The New Mickey Mouse Club,” a musical variety series taped at Walt Disney World.

On April 26, 2011, Aguilera will debut as one of four musician coaches on the new NBC vocal competition series “The Voice.”

Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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EXCLUSIVE: Disney/Pixar Weekend at Walt Disney World’s Epcot to Offer Extremely Rare Treats (May 13-15)

Lightning McQueen 'Cars 2' topiary © Disney EnterprisesDisney/Pixar has already taken a prominent role in the 2011 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park, but despite the debut of the spectacular Toy Story 3 topiaries, featuring the strawberry-scented Lotso, and the Cars 2 topiaries as well as the Cars 2 ‘Race Around the World Showcase’ activity that leads guests through various checkpoints at countries related to the film for a prize, Walt Disney World is cooking up something extra special for the final weekend of the event, dedicated to Pixar Animation Studios, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and you will not want to miss any of it!

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