‘Captain EO’ Completes World Tour; Returns to Disneyland Paris in June, Epcot in July

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Captain EO LogoAlthough there were perpetual rumors stemming from hope when the Disneyland Resort first announced the return of Captain EO for a limited time engagement, Disney Parks and Resorts successfully blindsided everyone this morning when they announced that it would not only return to Epcot this summer but would also return to Disneyland Paris, completing the circle of life.

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TEA Issues 2009 Theme Park Attendance Report: Disney Parks Dominate Globe

Despite a weakened economy and virtually all other parks in North America seeing a decline in attendance in 2009, most of Disney’s 11 theme parks worldwide saw improvement in performance according to the 2009 annual TEA/AECOM theme park attendance report issued today. All totaled, approximately 119.1 million guests visited Disney Parks worldwide last year.

Ranking the top 25 parks worldwide, the top 8 spots went to Disney Parks, with number one being — with no surprise — the Magic Kingdom with an annual attendance of about 17.2 million, a relatively minor increase over 2008. Ten of Disney’s theme parks ranked in the top 25, the only absentee being the Walt Disney Studios at the Disneyland Paris Resort.

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Photo: Turtle Talk with Crushcrushcrush? Paramore’s ‘World’ Tour

Paramore visits the Magic Kingdom (Todd Anderson/Disney)Platinum-selling band Paramore poses April 24, 2010 at the Magic Kingdom as daytime fireworks are shot over Cinderella Castle in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Franklin, Tenn.-based rock band — (L-R): Taylor York, Zac Farro, Hayley Williams, Josh Farro and Jeremy Davis — is performing a two-night engagement at the Walt Disney World “Grad Nite,” a private, after-hours event held annually for high school seniors. Williams, the lead singer of Paramore, also is featured on the B.o.B., single, “Airplanes,” which debuted in April 2010 at number 12 on the “Billboard” Hot 100 chart. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

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‘Flying’ Under the Radar, ‘Dining with an Imagineer’ Dinner Option Returns

Thanks to the Disney Food Blog, we have learned that the fabulous and exclusive ‘Dining with an Imagineer’  program is once again offering the dinner option, this time at the Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. Although the program has always offered a lunch option at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s, Hollywood Brown Derby, the dinner has been touch-and-go, last offered at Artist Point, but some time ago.

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Photo: Tina Fey Caught Goofing Around with Another Man

Tina Fey with Goofy at Disney's Hollywood Studios (Gene Duncan/Disney) Emmy Award-winning actress, writer & producer Tina Fey, star of the hit feature film “Date Night” and executive producer, head writer and star of the NBC series “30 Rock,” poses April 23, 2010 with Goofy at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Fey was visiting Walt Disney World Resort on vacation with her family. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

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Walt Disney World Character Brief: Bolt Makes Awesome Return as UP Toons Take Off

Sorry, Carl, but you’re being evicted from the Animation Building at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and no number of balloons are going to save you now. The final date for the UP crew of Carl Fredricksen, Russell and Dug is May 1. On May 9, Lotso from Toy Story 3 will be taking that spot as previously reported. We hear that Lotso’s backdrop will be that of the Sunnyside Daycare.

Thanks to @PaulChadkin, we have learned that while Muppet*Vision 3D is closed for its upgrade from tomorrow through May 14, Jessie from Toy Story and Bolt from Bolt will be making rare appearances, greeting the crowds.

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Report: Disney Bus Driver Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

WTSP-TV, Channel 10 in Tampa Bay, is reporting on a second round of arrests in a large scale child pornography investigation in Polk County, Florida. Among the fifty arrested is Mark Kephar whom the station reports as a Disney bus driver. The report also notes that Kephar, who is facing one count of  child porn, also operates a side business offering rentals for children’s parties.

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Rayovac Announces ‘Rayovac Powers Your Vacation’ Disney Parks Sweepstakes

Rayovac, the official provider of batteries at the Disney Parks, has announced its ‘Rayovac Powers Your Vacation’ sweepstakes in which one winner will receive a vacation for four to either the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort.

One grand prize winner will be awarded a 5 day/4 night vacation for four to the winner’s choice of either the Walt Disney World or Disneyland resorts including round trip coach airfare, airport to hotel transportation, a standard hotel room, theme park tickets, a $250 Disney Gift Card and a ‘magic wand’-themed gift basket.

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Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Rental Packages Now Available in Advance

Thanks to a tip from a valued Stitch Kingdom reader, we have learned that full packages that used to require same day rentals on a first-come, first-serve basis are now available in advance.

The package, which consists of: 1 cocktail table; 1 large umbrella; 2 lounge chairs; and 4 towels, may be reserved up to 180 days in advance at a cost of $40 plus tax, payable upon booking. There is a 24-hour cancellation policy and a full refund if the package is canceled by Disney due to inclement weather.

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Epcot’s 2010 Holidays Around the World Dates Announced

We have been told that Epcot will hold its annual Holidays Around the World this year from November 26 (the day after Thanksgiving) through December 30, 2010.

At this time we have no additional details as to what will be part of the annual tradition other than the Candlelight Processional will return and, of course, the tree. In addition to the Processional and tree lighting, countries from participating pavilions in the World Showcase have traditionally offered storytellers, most often in the form of their respective Santa Claus. Last year saw the first year without the  colorful Lights of Winter as the resort turns to more economical forms of lighting in the way of LEDs. No official word yet if it will be replaced this year.

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