Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Donate Over 2,000 Teddy Bears via ‘Dress-A-Bear’ Program

Walt Disney World Ambassadors Vanessa Rosas and Clay Shoemaker with Dress-A-Bear donationsA teddy bear is special gift. In an instant, it can become a child’s best friend. Partnering with the Salvation Army of Central Florida, Disney VolunEARS dressed more than 2,000 bears during this year’s Dress-A-Bear program.

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Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Walt Disney World to Offer Chef’s Table Experience

Fresh from a brief refurbishment, Kouzzina by Cat Cora, located at Walt Disney World’s Boardwalk Resort, has received a few new updates including a chef’s table experience.

Among the changes included are new exterior signage and a new Cat Cora presence in the lobby with three video monitors with images and text that flow from one to the next, showcasing the celebrity chef’s views on food, family and her culinary journey. Chef Cat’s branded product line also is for sale in the lobby, including Greek olive oil, olives, tapenades and spreads.

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Walt Disney World’s Newest Resort Expected to Create 1,550 New Jobs

Disney's Art of Animation Resort Concept ArtPlans for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort mean new construction jobs for Central Floridians now and new permanent resort hotel jobs when the property opens in 2012.

Already in the land clearing stage, the project is expected to create up to 800 construction jobs. Once open by the end of 2012, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also create 750 permanent resort hotel jobs, for a total of 1,550 jobs created.   Walt Disney World Resort features 24 uniquely themed, Disney owned-and-operated resort hotels with more than 26,000 guest rooms. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will likewise be unique, with themed building exteriors and room interiors that bring to life The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

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Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Donate 20,000 Toys to Toys for Tots Program

Mickey Mouse and Duffy the Bear deliver donated toys to 'Toys for Tots'With approximately 20,000 brand new toys in tow, Walt Disney World Resort VoluntEARS were on a mission this morning to make the holidays brighter for thousands of local children. Joined by Mickey Mouse and Duffy the Disney Bear, Disney VoluntEARS made a special delivery to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Central Florida Toys for Tots headquarters to drop off the sizable donation.

Walt Disney World Resort cast members have spent the past few weeks playing the role of Santa’s helpers by collecting tons of new toys as part of the resort’s annual effort to support the Toys for Tots campaign.

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First Element of Fantasyland Expansion Makes On-Stage Debut

'Beauty and the Beast'-inspired snack cart at Magic KingdomIf you’re wondering why this new snack cart at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World looks more like it was crafted by ‘crazy old Maurice’ rather than Walt Disney Imagineers, it’s because it will eventually find its home just beyond that blue wall, inside Gaston’s Village as part of the park’s Fantasyland Expansion project.

The Walt Disney World Resort recently announced that its Toontown Country Fair will be closed permanently as of February 12, 2011 to continue work on the expansion which involves the relocation and doubling of the Dumbo attraction into that area. The only remaining attractions will be the train station and Goofy’s Barnstormer, re-themed to the area.

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Get Up to Two Nights at a Gaylord Palms Executive Suite in Kissimmee for Just $199/Night (Very Limited Supply)

Act fast and you can spend up to two nights inside an executive suite at the Gaylord Palms hotel in Kissimmee, Florida, just a mile and a half away from Walt Disney World and home to the annual ICE! exhibition favorite, for just $199 per night (taxes and resort fees included). That represents a savings up to 66%. The catch? You’ll have to stay at the hotel by January 31, 2011 (excluding December 14, December 31 – January 1, January 15-18, January 24, and January 26) and supply is extremely limited. Once this deal is gone, it’s gone.

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WDW Refurb Update: Pool Closure at Port Orleans Riverside, Other Resort Pool Refurb Changes

Quite a few changes have just been introduced to the refurbishment schedule for pools at various Walt Disney World Resorts.

  • At Port Orleans Riverside, the Magnolia Bend leisure pool will close on February 8, 2011 and is expected to re-open on April 2.
  • The Cabanas leisure pool refurb has been rescheduled. The new closing date is January 18, 2011 and the re-opening date is February 12.
  • The Paddock leisure pool at Saratoga Springs has been extended one day with a new re-opening date of July 1.

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Mickey’s Toontown Fair at Magic Kingdom to Close Permanently in February

The Walt Disney World Resort has advised its cast members today that Mickey’s Toontown Fair will see its last date of operation on February 11, 2011. Beginning February 12, 2011, that area of the Magic Kingdom will be unavailable to guests as the park continues its work on the Fantasyland Expansion (FLE) project.

With respect to the attractions in Toontown Fair that will be removed as a result of this change:

  • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and the Disney Princess will eventually relocate to a new meet & greet area inside Exposition Hall. Should the meet & greet not be ready in time, the characters will remain available to meet & greet inside the park at locations to be determined later.

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Disney Vinylmation Dreamfinder and Figment Combo to be Released December 17

Disney Design Group has announced that its widely anticipated Dreamfinder 9″ figure with a Figment 3″ accompaniment from Park Series #5 will be released on December 17 at D-Street in the Downtown Disney Districts of both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The collectible, designed by Vinylmation artist Maria Clapsis, is limited to an edition size of 1500 and will retail for $74.95.

Dreamfinder Vinylmation by Maria Clapsis

Also scheduled to be released on December 17 at both locations is the Park Series #5 limited edition 9″ Retro-Magic Kingdom figure by Rachel Sur which has an edition size of 800 and will retail for $44.95.  The 9″ Attraction Poster figures by Alex Maher will be released at the Disneyland Resort only and will also retail for $44.95.

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Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Play Host to Life-Size Santa Chocolate Sculpture

Life-size Chocolate Santa by Executive Pastry Chef Laurent BranlardThis holiday season there will be no Santa sweeter than the one on display at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, an Epcot Resort Hotel. A life-size chocolate Santa – complete with armchair, fireplace and Christmas tree – sculpted entirely out of chocolate will be exhibited in the lobby of the Swan throughout December. A total of 1,200 lbs. of chocolate was used for the piece, which is colored to accurately portray Santa’s vibrant red suit, flowing white beard and green Christmas tree!

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