‘Star Tours II’ Previewed by Disney Parks in Queue Video First Look

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On its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts shared the following video today which was also shared at the Disney Parks panel at the Star Wars Celebration V convention currently taking place in Orlando.

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Disney to Donate $627,050 to Central Florida Community in August in Recognition of Walt Disney World Resort VoluntEARS Work in 2009

Walt Disney World Cast Member VoluntEARS celebrate the 2010 EARS To You Program. Photo courtesy DisneyThroughout August, The Walt Disney Company is donating $627,050 to the Central Florida community in recognition of the 251,000 hours given by Walt Disney World Resort VoluntEARS in 2009. From schools to shelters, Cast Members selected approximately 250 local non-profit agencies and community service groups to receive Disney’s EARS to You grants. Top recipients include Orange County Public Schools, A Better Life Pet Rescue and local chapters of the American Cancer Society.

“Disney VoluntEARS enjoy sharing their time and talents and have a vested interest in making Central Florida an even better place for all who live in our community,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations, Walt Disney World Resort. “The collective contributions of these Cast Members are impressive and impactful; they are truly making a difference during a time when it’s needed most.”

The Walt Disney Company, through the Disney VoluntEARS program, provides opportunities for Cast Members to give their time and expertise toward positively impacting their communities. Each year, the Company recognizes VoluntEARS who donate at least 10 hours of service with EARS to You grants, which are financial contributions of up to $1,000 to the non-profit organization of their choice.

This year, Walt Disney World Resort awarded more than 800 EARS to You grants. Disney dollars will go toward a wide array of worthy causes including local youth development groups, health and social services programs, environmental causes, community theatres and pet rescue organizations.

Disney VoluntEAR Maria Kirkland received an EARS to You grant of $500 for her active support of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “I feel very fortunate to be able to provide not only my time but a financial contribution to such a worthy organization,” said Kirkland. “It makes me feel so wonderful to know that I was able to help a family or individual to have one less stress in their life.”

(more…)

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Donald Duck Accused of Goosing a Guest at Walt Disney World, Claims Lawsuit

Donald Duck © Stitch Kingdom. All Rights Reserved.Earlier today, The Smoking Gun published a claim filed by April Magolon of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania which claims that while visiting Donald Duck at Epcot Center [sic] in 2008, Donald had deliberately grabbed her ‘breast and molest[ed] her and then made gestures making a joke he had done something wrong.’ Magolon, who reportedly had her children with her, is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for negligence and seeking in excess of $50,000, claiming to have suffered ‘severe physical injury, emotional anguish and distress including, but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder.’

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Cast Members Get Sick from Parking Lot Fumes

WESH Orlando is reporting that 18 cast members at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World have reported feeling ill today with six being transported to the hospital for care. Fumes as a result of repaving the parking lots were determined to be the source of the problem which had only affected the reporting cast members as they had experienced prolonged exposure to the fumes while working at the parking lot.

The report notes that no guests have reported becoming ill as a result nor has park operations been affected at all according to Reedy Creek officials.

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H2Whoa! Walt Disney World by the Numbers: Water

Even its hometown suggests a beautiful place of water. And Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista does not disappoint:

There are more than 850 acres of lakes featuring nearly 130,000 feet of shoreline. And that’s just on “the surface”: Beneath the surface of the seven largest lakes are a combined 3.122 billion gallons of water.

There are 66 miles of canals. Water parks. One of the world’s largest enclosed marine environments. Theme park attractions featuring water. Recreation in, on and above the water.

It’s a waterful world, after all. And here are some of the highlights by the numbers …

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Harmony Barber Shop at Magic Kingdom – Now By Appointment Too!

We have learned that the Harmony Barber Shop located on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom has recently begun accepting appointments in advance. This marks the first time that we are aware of in the shop’s history that guests have been able to reserve a time in advance as opposed to simply walking up and waiting until a spot becomes available.

The shop serves guests daily from 9 am – 6 pm with cuts averaging to just below $20 per adult, or $14 for children 12 and under with a special ‘baby’s first haircut’ option available. According to the Disney Parks blog, the shop serves about 400 guests of the Walt Disney World resort each week.

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Photo: Brendan Fraser Rubs Shoulders with Wicked Step-Mummy at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Brendan Fraser poses with Lady Tremaine from Cinderella (Scott Miller/Disney)(AUG. 8, 2010):  Actor Brendan Fraser, star of films “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns,” poses Aug. 8, 2010 with a “step-mummy,” aka Lady Tremaine, The Wicked Stepmother from “Cinderella,” at the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  (Scott Miller, photographer)

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Brochures for 2011 Disney Dining Plan at Walt Disney World Now Available; Signature Dining at Le Cellier Confirmed

Thanks to a tip from The Disney Food Blog, we have learned that the preliminary brochures for the 2011 Disney Dining Plan have become available on the official Walt Disney World site. The Disney Food Blog covers the plan in more detail, but the brochures do confirm that as of March 1, 2011, Le Cellier will become signature dining (requiring two table service credits per person) for dinner only. Joining the Hollywood Brown Derby as the only signature dining experiences in the parks themselves, this is the first return of 2-credit dining to Epcot in years, since Coral Reef was dropped down to one credit (along with a menu change reflecting the lower cost).

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First Ink & Paint Cel to Feature Walt Disney, ‘Dreams Come True,’ to be Released September 11 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

'Dreams Come True' Ink & Paint CelOn Saturday, September 11, join Disney Ink and Paint Artists: James Bonserio, Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger, Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the premiere of the Dreams Come True entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. Celebrating the genesis of The Walt Disney Company in which Walt Disney creates Mickey Mouse on a train ride from New York to Los Angeles, the creator is pictured seated on the train while Mickey Mouse is getting ready to board. This Ink and Paint Cel also represents the first in the series in which Walt Disney is depicted.

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Star Wars Meets Indiana Jones in Special Presentation at ‘Last Tour to Endor’ Event at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney Imagineer and show writer Jason Surrell offers just a tad more information than he has already shared with us for The Last Tour to Endor hard-ticketed event taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World on August 14.

One of the event’s festivities will be a ‘mash-up’ live-action stunt show in which Indiana Jones meets Star Wars. The show is appropriately titled ‘Raiders of the Lost Jedi Temple of Doom: A Fan Film of ‘Epic’ Proportions.’ The following clip from Walt Disney World provides the few details available:

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