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)
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.
A 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.
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.
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.”
Rehearsals 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.
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
Grammy Award-winning singer Gloria Estefan poses June 26, 2010 with “Toy Story 3″ characters Jessie (left) and Woody (right) at the Magic Kingdom park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Estefan was on vacation at the Walt Disney World theme park with family and friends.
Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy of Disney.
Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating the accomplishments of Disney VoluntEARS, which gave a record 251,000 hours toward improving the lives of Central Floridians in 2009, by recognizing top standouts with awards and charitable donations.
This week, high honors were given to Steve Luttrell as VoluntEAR of the Year and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort VoluntEARS Team as the VoluntEAR Team of the Year. Both received $2,500 cash donations to the charity of their choice.
Pet lovers visiting Walt Disney World Resort can now plan to board the family pet in fun, luxurious new accommodations. Reservations are being accepted for pet boarding stays beginning August 27, 2010 for the new Best Friends Pet Care Resort.
The one-of-a-kind resort comprises more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space, 10,000 square feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas, and an expansive private dog park exclusively for the use of pet resort clients and their dogs.