Photo: Duffy the Disney Bear Helps Kick Off Walt Disney World ‘Toys for Tots’ Drive

(L-R) US Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jahir Jimenez, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Duffy the Disney Bear and US Marine Corps First Sgt. Michael Diaz (Gene Duncan/Disney)(L-R) US Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jahir Jimenez, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Duffy the Disney Bear and US Marine Corps First Sgt. Michael Diaz, head of the 2010 Central Florida Toys for Tots campaign, pose Nov. 15, 2010 in front of the “Cuddliest Christmas Tree” at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 20-foot-high, 10-foot-wide Christmas tree made of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears was created for the launch of Walt Disney World Resort’s annual Toys for Tots collection drive. For the next few weeks, Walt Disney World Resort cast members will play the role of Santa’s helpers by collecting new toys for the annual toy drive, which will be added to Monday’s donation of 1,200 stuffed Duffy bears from the “Cuddliest Christmas Tree.” The annual toy drive is one of many charitable activities under way at Walt Disney World Resort during the “Season of Sharing” that focuses on improving the lives of local children and their families during the holidays and beyond. (Photo by Gene Duncan/Disney)

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Pollo Campero Opens at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney Marketplace with First-of-its-Kind Fresh A-Peel

Starting today, visitors to Downtown Disney® Marketplace will experience the amazing flavors of Pollo Campero, an international Latin chicken quick service restaurant, and the first-of-its-kind Fresh A-Peel, featuring made-to-order fresh selections.

“I wanted to create nutritious foods even my grandchildren would love. All of them have favorites on the Fresh A-Peel menu, whether they are picky eaters or adventurous tasters.”

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Mariah Carey to Perform at Walt Disney World Portion of Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

According to Mariah Carey tracker, MariahDailyJournal.com, future mom-to-be Mimi is scheduled to record a performance for the 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade at the Magic Kingdom on Friday, December 3. The Disneyland portion, which has already been taped, featured performances by Selina Gomez and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and hosted by Mr. Carey himself, Nick Cannon, making it truly a bicoastal event. There’s little doubt Mariah will be performing a track from her recently released holiday album Merry Christmas II You. She has also recently taped a holiday television special which is scheduled to air on ABC December 13 and one of her tracks will be featured in the ABC Family original movie Christmas Cupid which airs the prior evening.

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Disney World: Christmas Parade Tickets Nothing but a Snow Job

Yesterday we were proudly one of the first to report that free tickets for the 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day parade had become available for the Walt Disney World portion taping on December 3 and 4. Within several hours, registration for the event had closed.

However our source contacted us later on in the day and guests who reach out to the email address provided by the registration are confirming that the Walt Disney World Resort is stating that the tickets issued were only intended for cast members and parade volunteers, not the general public. Instead, guests are being told that they can watch the parade taping if they are in the park, but that park admission is explicitly required.  Walt Disney World has been responding to all ticket inquiries with the following boilerplate response:

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Registration for 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade at Walt Disney World Now Open (December 3 – 4)

Registration is now open to participate as a spectator for the taping of the Magic Kingdom portion 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration is the same as last year and one registration form allows you to sign up for both (or either) Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4. Typically, staged events are taped on Friday while the parade portion itself is taped on Saturday.

Note that registration for the site is NOT required, you may elect to ‘order’ the free tickets as a guest. Also, an email indicating that you have successfully registered does NOT guarantee you access to the parade, you must receive additional confirmation at a later date.

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WDW Refurb Update: Quiet Pool Closures at Polynesian, Coronado Springs; American Adventure Exhibit

We have a late entry of the American Heritage Gallery at Epcot’s American Adventure in the World Showcase. The exhibit is currently closed beginning today and will re-open on November 17.

Moving into the future, but not too distantly, we have scheduled quiet pool closures at both the Polynesian Resort (closing January 10, opening February 19) and Coronado Springs Resort (Cabanas pool closing January 3, opening January 29). In both cases, the respective main feature pool will remain open as will any other quiet pools at the resort.

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Rehabbed Osprey Released Back Into Wild at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort

Osprey release at Coronado Springs Resort. Photo courtesy Walt Disney World ResortAfter a four-month rehabilitation at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, an adult male osprey was recently released at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort near the site where he was rescued earlier this summer. An eager group of Walt Disney World Cast Members and resort guests looked on as the bird took to the air for the first time since June.

The osprey was emaciated and listless when he was found on June 17. After receiving emergency care from Disney animal care experts, the raptor was transported to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Fla. for further treatment. After several months of intensive care, the bird was moved to the Center’s Magic of Flight barn to stretch his wings and complete the rehabilitation process.

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WDW Refurb Update: Liberty Belle Short Refurb; Studio Backlot Tour and More All of January

It’s shaping up to be one of those days. Although not confirmed as of yet through our official sources, WDWMagic.com and Walt Disney World Cast Member Paul Chadkin are reporting additional refurbishments added to the operations schedule for Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in January.

The Liberty Belle / Liberty Square Riverboat located in the Liberty Square area of Magic Kingdom is scheduled to close on January 29, 2011 and re-open on February 5.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, both the Studio Backlot Tour and the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure playground are set to close on January 3 and re-open on January 30.

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WDW Refurb Update: ‘Playhouse Disney – Live On Stage!’ Dark in Late January thru Early March

The official Walt Disney World Resort website began reporting yesterday that the ‘Playhouse Disney – Live On Stage!’ show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closing for refurbishment on January 30 and scheduled to re-open on March 6. Although there is speculation that the refurbishment may be to change the limited references to those of ‘Disney Junior’ (which is likely), it’s also almost the exact same time period the attraction closed last time to debut as its current incarnation in 2008 which means that there could be some show changes in the works as well. If that were to be happening, it’s most likely to remove the canceled ‘My Friends Tigger and Pooh’ and inject some more current and relevant content such as ‘Special Agent Oso’ (who would actually fit in quite perfectly with the current show) or even ‘Timmy Time’ if licensing allows. On a side note, the last change ‘replaced’ human Jamie with Casey and as of yet, no public casting notices have been published to that effect (still plenty of ambiguous names to go!).

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Ink & Paint Cel Release for ‘Bone-Appetit’ Featuring Goofy and Scar at Disney’s Hollywood Studios December 18

'Bone-Appetit' Ink & Paint Cel ReleaseOn Saturday, December 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 Bone-Appetit entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. Goofy’s on safari and might have bitten off more than he can chew when he runs into Scar and the Hyenas from Disney’s The Lion King. Bone-Appetit is also the first entry in the Ink & Paint Cel Series to feature the Tree of Life from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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