Over 13,000 Students Expected to Compete in ESPN RISE Games at Walt Disney World Resort

ESPN RISE and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the nation’s leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports, announced today that they have grown the ESPN RISE Games’ elite and competitive event offering and expect to host more than 13,000 student athletes during its 2010 event at the sports complex in suburban Orlando, Fla. Target has returned as the title sponsor for the second year of the ESPN RISE Games.  The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target will take place over a two week period, July 14-27. Events will air on both ESPNU and ESPN3.com.

The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target, a two-week long elite and competitive level student athlete focused event, will be anchored by four elite high school sports events. New for the 2010 event is the Champion High School Showcase, a US Lacrosse boys and girls event. Returning for the second year are the AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion®, the Under Armour High School Softball All-America game and the elite 7 on 7 high school football event Champion® Gridiron Kings.

The ESPN RISE Games has also increased its competitive channel youth sports; it has added boys and girls lacrosse: US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, softball: USSSA Fast Pitch World Series (U16 and U18) and football: the Florida Premier 7s, an invite only, 7-on-7 event to feature 64 Florida high school teams – the inaugural event will include Dr. Phillips, Miramar, Manatee and DeLand high schools. Returning to the schedule from the 2009 event are baseball: USSSA Global Baseball World Series, basketball: AAU Super Showcases (14U 15U and 16U) and AAU 14U National Championship, field hockey: Disney Summer 7s & 11s National Championships a USA Field Hockey event (U12, U14, U16 and U19) and track & field: AAU National Club Championships (13-18). The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target has grown from hosting 4,000 student athletes to more than 13,000 expected student athletes for the 2010 event.

ESPN RISE GAMES ELITE EVENT DETAILS:

  • Champion® High School Showcase a US Lacrosse Event is the “National All-Star Game” of high school lacrosse featuring the top high school players from across the country. The event is set-up in a final four format, with two semifinal games, a third place game and a championship game. All of the teams are guaranteed practice and scrimmage time. Girls: July 17-19 Boys: July 20-22
  • Under Armour High School Softball All-American game will feature 30 of the top high school players in the nation divided into two squads.  Players are selected by a committee of high school softball experts from ESPN RISE.  July 19-20
  • AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion® is part of the AAU National Championships held at the ESPN sports complex and features marquee 17-under club teams from across the country.  The event includes two days of pool play and a single-elimination tournament. The tournament is a breeding ground for future NBA stars including Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, as well as collegiate phenoms such as Tyler Hansbrough and JJ Redick. July 24-27
  • Champion® Gridiron Kings is an elite high school football event that features 64 of the best players in the game’s seven skill positions – quarterback, running back, tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback and safety.  The event includes performance training, position specific training, skills challenges and a 7-on-7 competition. July 24-25
  • Under Armour High School Softball All-American, Champion Gridiron Kings, AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion® and Champion® High School Senior Showcase a US Lacrosse Event (boys event) events will be presented on ESPNU live and as pre-recorded shows; ESPN3.com will air live competitive events.

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First Look: Lotso Joins Disney’s ‘Block Party Bash’

In addition to beginning his meet and greet opportunity, Lotso from Disney/Pixar’s <em>Toy Story 3</em> has joined the Disney’s Hollywood Studios parade, ‘Block Party Bash.’

Below is our gallery of photos from Lotso’s parade debut in which he replaced Little Bo Peep. Please excuse some of the duplicates as we had some issues uploading the photos and some are still missing. Otherwise, please sit back, relax and enjoy!

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Photo Gallery: Lotso Meet & Greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Lotso from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 began greeting guests at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park this morning and we were pleased to be amongst the first to welcome him to the World. Although we were warned that he would make his first appearance at 10:30, several guests showed up as close to the park’s 9 am opening as possible to stake their place in line. In fact, it wouldn’t be until around 9:45, when the queue already began wrapping around the corner that it would even see its first guest under the age of 15 (or so).

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First Look: Lotso Bear Meet & Greet Character from ‘Toy Story 3’ at Disney Parks

Lotso Meet & Greet Character from Disney ParksEvidently the Disney Parks blog let out a little strawberry-scented burp earlier today posted an early peek at Disney Parks’ newest meet & greet character, Lotso from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

Lotso (short for Lots-o’-Huggin’)  will be making his in-park debut on Sunday, May 9 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where he will be meeting & greeting guests in an area of the Animation Building made up to look like Sunnyside Daycare. In addition, he’ll also be appearing in the Pixar parades at both resorts: Block Party Bash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Pixar Play! at Disney California Adventure.

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Walt Disney World to Host ‘Last Tour to Endor’ Event for Celebration V Attendees

The Walt Disney World Resort and Celebration V (the premiere Star Wars fan event) have announced that in honor of the convention being held in Orlando this year along with the impending makeover of the Star Tours attraction to Star Tours 2 which will take the motion simulator film to a third dimension (and possible ‘multiple destinations’), there will be a special one-night-only event titled ‘Last Tour to Endor’ where Celebration V attendees are being invited to ‘be the first to be the last’ in an exclusive after-hours Star Wars party.

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Summer Nightastic at Walt Disney World Theme Song Preview

If you can’t wait for the Main Street Electrical Parade and the rest of Summer Nightastic at Walt Disney World this year, or if you can’t go, here’s a little taste to help bring the magic home to you.

The theme is titled I Want to Go and it pretty much explains it all, although I must confess it ends up sounding more like a commercial for Coney Island to me, if not Dave & Buster’s.

[wpaudio url=”/music/iwant2go.mp3″ text=”I Want to Go (Summer Nightastic) – Click to Play” dl=”0″]

And just for kicks, I’ve opted to transcribe the lyrics (as I hear them):

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New Posters for ‘Star Wars Weekends’ Flaunt the Force’s Lighter Side

Darth Maul receives an updated look on this poster promoting Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood StudiosEver wonder what it would be like to parallel park an AT-AT Walker, how Disney’s horticulturists really create all those neat character topiaries for the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival or what benefits having a couple of extra arms yields you at the parks?

Then look no further at the new batch of Orlando International Airport posters promoting this year’s Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. Studios Central has them all which also includes a makeover for Darth Maul (pictured) and Chewbacca along with Yoda, General Grievous and Darth Vader.

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ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill to Offer 2010 FIFA World Cup Viewing Parties

Soccer fans in Central Florida can get swept up in the fever of 2010 FIFA World Cup through unique viewing opportunities at Walt Disney World Resort.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill at Disney has been designated as an official viewing location for the month-long global soccer tournament.  Soccer fans can watch live World Cup matches televised on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 from South Africa involving their favorite soccer national teams on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill’s many large high-definition screens.

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Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Magical Express Welcomes its 10,000,000th Guest

The Ogurkis family Almost five years to the day after launching at Orlando International Airport, Disney’s Magic Express welcomed it’s 10,000,000th guest today.

The 10,000,000th guest, Lori Ogurkis and her family from Hazelton, PA, received a special reception at the airport, complete with a surprise visit and a gift basket from Mickey Mouse. The Ogurkis family then rode in their own private motor coach to Disney’s Polynesian Resort to begin their magical vacation.

Disney’s Magical Express provides complimentary motor coach transportation and luggage transfer services from Orlando International Airport to and from select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for passengers of all Orlando air carriers.

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