Endangered Sea Turtles Displaced by Oil Spill Thriving at Walt Disney World Resort

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Two Disney animal care experts at Epcot’s The Seas take measurements of a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle as they track its rehabilitation progress. Photo courtesy DisneyTwo ailing Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles are on the road to recovery after being brought to Walt Disney World Resort last month from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss. to make room for animals directly impacted by the Gulf oil spill.

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D23 Announces Star Tours and Scavenger Hunt Events at Disneyland, Mixer at Walt Disney World

On Tuesday, July 20, D23 will be hosting a member mixer event at the House of Blues at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney West Side from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The event is free for members and does not require tickets attend the event. Proof of membership is required and easy D23 member may bring up to three non-members as guests. Each D23 member attending the event will also receive a coupon good for 15% off merchandise at the House of Blues as well as a special gift.

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WDW Refurb Update: Water Parks Seasonal Closures

The Walt Disney World Resort has confirmed the dates of the seasonal closures for the Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks for the 2010-2011 season.

Typhoon Lagoon will be closing first on October 31, 2010 and is scheduled to re-open on January 9, 2011. Keep in mind that — especially as temperatures get cooler — the park may close earlier for its refurb depending on weather conditions.

On January 9, 2011, Blizzard Beach will close for its seasonal refurbishment and is scheduled to re-open on March 20, 2011.

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Photo: Comedienne Mo’nique Visits Epcot’s ‘Captain EO’

Comedienne and Academy Award-winning actress Mo'Nique poses July 2, 2010 with a pair of 3-D glasses and one Mickey Mouse glove -- a la Michael Jackson -- as she prepares to visit "Captain EO" on the film's grand re-opening day at Epcot (Gene Duncan, photographer)Comedienne and Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique poses July 2, 2010 with a pair of 3-D glasses and one Mickey Mouse glove — a la Michael Jackson — as she prepares to visit “Captain EO” on the film’s grand re-opening day at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The musical 3-D film, which stars Michael Jackson, was presented at Epcot from 1986-1994. After a long hiatus, the space adventure film re-opened July 2 at the Walt Disney World Resort theme park. Mo’Nique, who received an Academy Award for her role in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” also was among the 135 artists, performers and executives invited on June 25, 2010 to join the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

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Orlando Officer Arrested for Illegally Selling Theme Park Tickets, Used Hotel Keys

According to WOFL, FOX Orlando, Orlando police officer Wendell Robey turned himself in this morning on charges that he illegally sold complimentary theme park passes. Investigators say Robey also sold used hotel key ‘add-ons’ so that guests could take advantage of certain perks limited to on-site guests such as Disney’s free parking and extra magic hour (EMH) access and Universal’s express line service for attractions. Robey was one of four that investigators were seeking out on related charges.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Expert Finds Species on Border of Extinction

Cotton-top tamarins at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom © DisneyA tiny Colombian primate known for its distinctive punk-rock hairstyle is in imminent danger of extinction, according to new research done by an animal expert at Walt Disney World Resort. The findings paint the clearest picture yet of a dwindling population at risk.

The endangered cotton-top tamarin is found in a small area of northwest Colombia. According to the research featured in the journal Nature Communication, there are now just 7,000 of the species left in the wild.

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Vinylmation: Release Dates Set for Urban #4 and ‘Have a Laugh’ at Walt Disney World

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We have previously advised that both the Urban #4 and Have a Laugh Vinylmation series will be released at the Disneyland Resort on July 2.

We can now confirm that both series will become available at D-Street at the Walt Disney World Resort’s Downtown Disney West Side exactly one week later on July 9.

Both series have already been on sale at the new Disney Store in Montebello, CA, the first Disney Store to sell Vinylmation figures. Although the store has also been selling the Toy Story series, no release dates for the Parks have been made available to us at this time.

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Disney Vacation Club’s Aulani Resort Accepting Sales Beginning Today

Epic Mickey Graphic Novel Disney Vacation Club began selling real estate interests for the company’s first family-friendly destination resort in Hawai`i today. Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, is scheduled to open its first phase in fall 2011 and will mark the eleventh resort for Disney Vacation Club.

“We are thrilled to give families joining Disney Vacation Club a new resort option in one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world,” said Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis. “Once Aulani opens, families will be able to immerse themselves in the culture of Hawai`i while knowing that they will get the quality vacation experience only Disney can deliver.”

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Walt Disney World Cast Member Choir Encore! Prepares for Make-A-Wish Benefit

Encore! Cast Members rehearse for performance © DisneyRehearsals are underway for the Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra’s summer production, Dream Our Dreams, A Musical Tribute to the Legacy of Disney. Known for staging spectacular charity concerts, the volunteer ensemble has chosen Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Northern Florida as their 2010 beneficiary.

Encore! offers Cast Members an outlet for their creativity and a chance to showcase their talents while performing great music for worthy causes. The troupe, founded in 2002, has grown to include roughly 330 singers, 100 instrumentalists, 50 dancers and a production team of 40. Encore! producer Bruce Light says at least half of the group has jobs outside of entertainment and aren’t performers by trade. For all involved, it’s a labor of love.

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Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain Becomes Second Attraction to Offer PhotoPass

In addition to Test Track at Epcot, the Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain is now offering new and unique options for Disney’s PhotoPass.

Beginning today, Space Mountain is offering a new range of PhotoPass options for the onride photo taken during the ride. The three available options are:

  • Purchase the photo as a print. A variety of print sizes and packages are available. These prints will be made directly by the systems inside the Space Mountain Merchandise Shop.
  • Purchase the photo as a digital download from the DisneyPhotoPass.com website

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