Winner of PixieHollow.com’s ‘Design a Fairy House’ Contest Honored in Ceremony at Epcot

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On April 3, Disney Online announced the winner of its “Design a Fairy House Art Contest,” which ran in February on the popular online world for girls, Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow (www.PixieHollow.com). The fairy house, inspired by 15-year-old winning designer, Zoe P., from Frazier Park, Calif., was revealed during a special reveal ceremony in the Pixie Hollow Garden at the 17th Annual Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival. Zoe and her family were in attendance to celebrate the momentous occasion, as her fairy house will be on display for the duration of the festival.

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Character Changes Coming to Disney World for April/May 2010: Ariel’s Grotto Closes, Lotso Arrives

Prince Eric with Ariel during a Pirate and Princess Party at the Magic Kingdom in 2007Although most character meet & greets at the Walt Disney World Resort are fairly standard from day to day, there are a couple of times per year when there are significant changes. These changes usually occur in April/May and September/October. In 2010, these changes are further complicated by the closure of Toontown and the Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom. Since we’re already getting into April, it’s time to take a look at some of the expected upcoming changes.

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Photo: Let Her Fly — Hootie’s Darius Rucker with Family at Magic Kingdom

Darius Rucker with family at the Magic Kingdom. (Gene Duncan/Disney)Singer/songwriter Darius Rucker (front, left) takes flight April 6, 2010 on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. with daughter Dani, 9, (front, center), son Jack, 5, (front, right), daughter Cary, 14, (back, right) and family friend Rachel Herman, 15, (back, left). Rucker, former lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning band Hootie & The Blowfish, won “New Artist of the Year” at the 2009 Country Music Association Awards. Rucker is vacationing with his family at the Walt Disney World Resort. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

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WDW Refurb Update: Stormalong Bay Slide Closure in May

The pool slide at Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club will close on May 2 for refurbishment. At this time we do not have an exact re-opening date other than ‘late May’ so we are assuming May 31 for the time being.

Although the pool and play areas other than the slide will remain open during this time, guests are invited to use the pool and slide at the Boardwalk Inn if desired.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch!

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The Kingdom Keepers Return to Guide Guests Through the Disney Parks by Day – and Protect the Parks from Disney Villains at Night

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadows by Ridley PearsonFive teenagers – the Kingdom Keepers – have been transformed into Disney Holographic Images (DHIs) that thrill guests as they guide them through each of the Disney parks. In truth, the Disney Imagineers created the DHIs to protect Disney’s theme parks from the Overtakers, classic Disney villains, who are trying to seize the parks and use them for their own evil agendas. Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers book series follows these heroes on behind-the-scenes adventures in the magical world of the Disney parks – and in Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow, the action happens in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. (Disney-Hyperion Books, ages 10 and up, $17.99)

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Disney Pook-A-Looz: Classic Disney Favorites with an Irresistibly Cute Twist (Plus Limited Time Offer!)

825236999_ij8p2-o Now available at Toys ‘R’ Us, the Disney Store, DisneyStore.com and the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, we first came across Disney Pook-A-Looz last year at the Disney D23 Expo and instantly fell in love. Their official tagline is Too cute for their own good and we couldn’t agree more!

The quirky, offbeat take on classic Disney characters was inspired by the urban vinyl toy culture which has progressively been taking the nation by storm and helps to accentuate physical features that the characters are traditionally known for.

‘We focused on capturing one key element, gesture or trait of each character during the design process. We wanted the look to be very unique, quirky and cool,’ said Jose Zamora, lead designer. ‘When you think of the Queen of Hearts, you think of her mouth, so we brought that out in the design. With the Cheshire Cat, you think of the teeth. So we focused on that famous grin.’

The initial collectible set of 20 is available from DisneyStore.com and some individual Pook-A-Looz can be found Disney Store retail locations, the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort and at Toys ‘R’ Us which also sells Pook-A-Looz-inspired accessories such as keychains and clothing with more on the way. Some Pook-A-Looz, such as the Jack Skellington and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas can only be found at the Disney theme parks and keep an eye out for seasonal and other Pook-A-Looz in the future such as the Muppets collection which is expected to be released in Fall of 2011 (and consider this our request for Maleficent). Be sure check out the official Disney Pook-A-Looz website for more information and photos (including their really cute backsides).

PLUS: For a limited time only! Purchase the entire 20 piece Disney Pook-a-Looz set and get FREE shipping on your entire shipment at DisneyStore.com! (offer valid only through 4/4 so act fast!)

With special thanks to Disney Consumer Products, we have hi-res images of the initial collection. We do advise that if you own a pair of sunglasses with cuteness protection factor of at least 15, that you wear them before clicking the thumbnails below. We’ve also thrown in a few of our own photos from the Disney D23 Pook-A-Looz exibit including our most prized possession — the D23 exclusive Steamboat Willie keychain.

The Disney Pook-A-Looz plushes retail for $12.99 each while the keychains retail for $7.99 each.

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Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2010 Update – More Exclusive Merchandise and New Characters

Annual Passholder and DVC Member Exclusive Star Wars Weekends 2010 PinsStar Wars Weekends 2010 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort is slowly creeping upon us and the news is starting to seep in. So far we’ve learned about the extremely limited edition and extremely awesome Stitch as the Emperor’s Hologram action figure (buy us ten!), the celebrity guest list and little more.

Today, the tides have changed a bit (probably due to the Forest Moon of Endor) and we have news from the Disney Parks blog on upcoming SWW exclusive pins, including Annual Passholder and — for the very first time — DVC Member exclusive items as well as special pins and sets commemorating the 30th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back.

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‘Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue’ Filmmakers to Appear at Epcot April 3

Director Brad Raymond and Producer Helen Kalafatic of 'Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue' Brad Raymond and Helen Kalafatic, director and producer of Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (available on Disney blu-ray and DVD on September 21) will be at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Saturday, April 3 greeting guests at the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden from 2:30 – 3:30 pm.

For more information on the film and to see stills and a sneak peek, click here.

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Child Hit and Killed by Bus at Walt Disney World Near Fort Wilderness

WESH and Orlando Sentinel are reporting on a 10 year old boy who was tragically struck and killed by a bus earlier today shortly before 2 pm near Fort Wilderness at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Not too many details are currently available but WESH indicates that the accident occurred at Fort Wilderness Trail and Big Pine Trail.

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Vinylmation Announces Showcase Event at Epcot August 29; Tickets Now Available

Disney’s Vinylmation has announced that it will present a Vinylmation Showcase inside the World Showplace at Walt Disney World’s Epcot on Sunday, August 29 from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm as part of the Trade City, USA Disney pin event.

Tickets are $25 per guest and admission to Epcot is required, but participation in the Trade City, USA event is not.

EVENT ADMISSION INCLUDES:

  • First opportunity to purchase new Vinylmation™ Figures created for Trade City, USA and other select one-of-a-kind creations.
  • Silent auction featuring a variety Vinylmation™ items from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Vinylmation™ Trading opportunities.

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