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.

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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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Photo: Ryan Seacrest with Minnie Mouse at 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

Ryan Seacrest with Minnie Mouse (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Ryan Seacrest poses with Minnie Mouse Dec. 3, 2010 while taping the “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  The annual holiday telecast airs Dec. 25, 2010 on ABC-TV.  Seacrest hosts the special from the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Nick Cannon hosts from Disneyland Resort in California.  Performers include Mariah Carey, Amber Riley, Selena Gomez, Lee DeWyze, Debby Ryan, Darius Rucker, Jackie Envancho and Sean Kingston.

Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy of the Walt Disney World Resort

For more of our coverage regarding the 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, click here.

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Lotso New Topiaries, Attractions to be Featured at Epcot’s 2011 Flower & Garden Festival

The heroes of Toy Story 3 have left the toy box. Woody and Buzz Lightyear meet arch-enemy Lotso the teddy bear on the Future World playground for the 18th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 2 through May 15, 2011, at Walt Disney World Resort.

The popular Disney/Pixar characters hit the sandbox as seven- and eight-foot-tall topiaries at the Epcot front entrance flower bed featuring a sand castle, strawberry-scented field and playground toys. Created by Disney gardeners and topiary experts with bold strokes of seasonal color, the topiary display marks the first time that “Toy Story” characters have been featured at the festival. It’s also the first time in seven years that the front-entrance floral spectacle showcases all-new topiary characters, says festival horticulture manager Eric Darden.

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Video: Walt Disney World Union Workers Release ‘MouseTrapped 2010’ for Public Viewing

With a contract set to expire on December 11 and contract negotiations which have not seen any significant movement over the past six months, workers from the 20,000+ strong Service Trades Council Union have produced and released an updated edition of ‘MouseTrapped’ to make their appeal to the company and (now) the public at large. At the heart of the dispute appears to be a proposed 3% wage increase vs. rising cost of living expenses including the cost of health care and needed medication. The film also makes some sharp accusations that the company’s emphasis on safety is nothing more than lip service to boost its own public image.

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Disney D23 Announces Slate of Member Exclusive Events in 2011; Disney Legends Ceremony Returns

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is pleased to announce the coming year’s slate of special events, designed especially for its diverse and growing membership base.

Among the exciting offerings for 2011 are exclusive D23 Studio Tours throughout the year, four free 50 and Fabulous film screenings on the Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank, D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World, the highly anticipated Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, the perennial favorite Sip & Stroll event during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a D23/Disney Junior ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ event on the Burbank Studio Lot for the budding Disney fan, the festive Magic and Merriment event at the Walt Disney World Resort to kick off the holiday season and, of course, D23 Expo 2011.

D23 Members receive advance notification of all special events through D23’s biweekly FanFare email, and all events are offered on a space-available basis. More details on events, and on becoming a D23 Member, can be found at www.D23.com.

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