Sanuk, BLINK Coming to Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney Area

Disneyland Resort today announced two new retail stores coming to Downtown Disney this spring – Sanuk, a footwear shop and BLINK, a denim apparel store.

“We look forward to welcoming both Sanuk and BLINK to Downtown Disney,” said Tony Bruno, vice president, Disneyland Resort hotels and Downtown Disney. “Both locations will provide our guests with distinctive product and are a great fit with our unique blend of retail, dining and entertainment offerings.”

Sanuk’s new flagship location will offer the largest selection of product available outside of the company’s online store, including flip flops, surf sandals and other beach footwear, such as their signature yoga mat flip-flops.

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Ridley Pearson to Premiere ‘Kingdom Keepers IV’ Early at Walt Disney World

'Kingdom Keepers 4: Power Play' by Ridley PearsonNoted young adult author Ridley Pearson will be making a signing appearance at the Walt Disney World Resort on April 4 and April 5, 2011 to promote his latest entry into the popular Kingdom Keepers series, Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play. Available nationwide on April 5, 2011, Walt Disney World guests will have the exclusive opportunity to purchase it the day before at Once Upon A Toy, located in the Downtown Disney Marketplace.

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Disney Unveils New Celebrity Portraits by Annie Leibovitz

Penelope Cruz and Jeff Bridges © Annie Leibovitz

Via its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled the first few of a new series of portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz portraying celebrities in iconic classic Disney roles.

The first three images, with more on the way promised, include: Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs along with Alec Baldwin as the magic mirror, titled ‘Where magic speaks, even when you’re not the fairest of them all;’ Penelope Cruz as Belle and Jeff Bridges as the prince from Beauty and the Beast, titled ‘Where a moment of beauty lasts forever;’ and Queen Latifah as Ursla from The Little Mermaid, titled ‘Where memories take hold and never let go.’

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Hewlett-Packard Unveils HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports

HP Field HouseExpanding on its long-standing relationship with Walt Disney World Resort, HP (NYSE:HPQ) today unveiled the HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a project designed to deliver an immersive technology experience to the 2 million athletes, coaches and spectators that visit the complex each year.

The 165,000-square-foot complex – now branded the HP Field House – is a multipurpose facility that has been the cornerstone of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex since it opened in 1997. The facility will now deliver an elevated experience for sports enthusiasts through a variety of HP enhancements inside the facility and beyond.

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Jennifer Hanley-Pinto of Jacksonville, FL Takes 2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon

Holding off challengers virtually the entire race Sunday, Jennifer Hanley-Pinto of Jacksonville, Fla. survived long enough to cross the finish line first to win Disney’s 2011 Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort.

Caitlin Latimer of Lexington, Ky. came in second with a time of 1:23:14, which was just 24 seconds behind Hanley-Pinto, whose winning time was 1:22:50. Heather Schulz of Orlando was third (1:25:01) despite running a faster time than last year when she finished second.

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Photo: Aerosmith’s Joey Kramer and Goofy are Rock’n’Rollers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Joey Kramer of Aerosmith with Goofy at Disney's Hollywood Studios (Diana Zalucky/Disney)Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer poses with Disney character Goofy February 25, 2011 at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios in front of the “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith,” the Walt Disney World roller coaster that is named after the band.  The high-speed, indoor roller coaster features Aerosmith music combined with a high-speed launch and multiple inversions.

Photo by Diana Zalucky, courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort

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Sneak Peek: ‘Toy Story’ Topiaries at Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Woody and Buzz Lightyear topiaries (Gene Duncan/Disney)Disney horticulturists do some final snipping to ready Buzz Lightyear and Woody – of Toy Story fame – for their Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival debut on March 2 as topiaries – living, growing plants that guests will see in front of Spaceship Earth at the front entrance garden. The festival, which runs for 75 days through May 15 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, will feature dozens of Disney character topiaries.

For more information on the festival, follow this live bookmark.

Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy of the Walt Disney World Resort.

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2011 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Guide Now Available

2011 Epcot International Flower and Garden FestivalWalt Disney World has released the official guide for the 2011 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival taking place between March 2 and May 15. In addition to the park map indicating where all the new florals and topiaries are including those inspired by Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 and the new Winnie the Pooh film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the guide also covers guest and celebrity presentation schedules, the Flower Power concert series and previews the new merchandise created for the festival.

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Photo: DWTS’ Tony Dovolani Goes Dancing with the Princesses

Tony Dovolani with Belle (Matt Stroshane/Disney) Tony Dovolani, one of the professional dancers starring on the ABC-TV series “Dancing with the Stars,” joins Belle, the princess from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” Feb. 23, 2011 for a dance at the France pavilion in the Epcot theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Albanian-born dancer will be back on the reality show when it makes its season premiere March 21, 2011 on ABC-TV. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Walt Disney World

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Magic Kingdom to Offer FASTPASS to Meet Mickey Mouse Beginning Spring 2011

Concept art for new Mickey Mouse meet and greetMagic Kingdom officials have a hunch a really “hot ticket” in their realm this summer is going to be something other than a ride, a snack or a show. Rather, it’s a first-ever opportunity to nail down a time to meet with Mickey Mouse.

When meet-and-greets with Mickey move into a permanent new location in Town Square later this spring, Magic Kingdom guests will be able obtain a Disney’s FASTPASS ticket specifying a one-hour window when they can return to see the popular character for hugs, photos and autographs — without waiting in the standby queue. It will mark the first time the complimentary, computerized service has been available for a character meet-and-greet at any Disney Park.

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