Jay DeMarcus (left) of the country music trio “Rascal Flatts,” and his mother Caron Myers (right) pose April 9, 2010 with Pluto in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. DeMarcus took his mother to Walt Disney World to celebrate her 60th birthday. (Diana Zalucky, photographer)
Resort Airline Check-In is the popular service that allows guests the convenience of checking their bags through to their final destination before leaving their hotel. With the addition of Southwest Airlines to the service, more than 90% of domestic passengers who depart Central Florida for Orlando International Airport will have Resort Airline Check-In service available to them at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels.
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.
Although 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.
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)
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.
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Five 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)
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.
Star 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.
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.