Walt Disney World Cast Members Donate Almost $50,000 for Haiti Relief

Amid sunny skies at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, nearly a hundred Disney Cast Members gathered early this morning to show their support of the American Red Cross and give a ray of hope to the people of Haiti.

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Photo: Former ‘Bachelor’ Jake Pavelka and ‘Dancing With the Stars” Chelsie Hightower at Magic Kingdom

Jake Pavelka (second from left), star of ABC's "The Bachelor," strikes a dance pose March 13, 2010 with his fiancee, Vienna Girardi (left) while Mickey Mouse poses with professional dancer Chelsie Hightower (right), star of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," at the Magic Kingdom (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Jake Pavelka (second from left), star of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” strikes a dance pose March 13, 2010 with his fiancee, Vienna Girardi (left) while Mickey Mouse poses with professional dancer Chelsie Hightower (right), star of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Pavelka and Hightower are partners on the new season of “Dancing with the Stars” which premieres March 22, 2010. Pavelka, Girardi and Hightower were vacationing this weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

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U.S. Army Recognizes Walt Disney World Resort for Support of Military Families

Major General Reuben D. Jones presents the commendation to Walt Disney World President Meg CroftonWalt Disney World Resort received the Army Freedom Team Salute Commendation for Disney Parks’ “Armed Forces Salute Program” for military families and for Walt Disney World’s ongoing collaboration with Shades of Green, the Armed Forces Recreation Center resort that is on-site at Walt Disney World.

The commendation was presented to Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton by Major General Reuben D. Jones, commanding general of the United State Army’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.

MG Jones said Walt Disney World provides “a tremendous boost in morale for service members and their families, by offering wonderful family entertainment in safe and pleasant surroundings.”

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Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa, ESPN Wide World of Sports Rank Amongst Nation’s Top Uniforms

Announced during the 2010 North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Walt Disney World took home top prizes for its uniforms (costumes) during the Image of the Year Awards.

“From the officer who arrests criminals to the doorman who greets you when you arrive at a hotel, uniforms are an integral part of any customer-facing business,” said Richard Lerman, President and CEO of the NAUMD. “This year’s winners are a dynamic group of companies who have created a competitive edge in their businesses by placing a strong focus on the image of their staff.”

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D23 Anniversary Event: Steven Clark Talks D23 Expo, New Upcoming Events and WDI Drops Bombshells

Last night, Disney’s D23 held a private after-hours event for members who attended its (slightly early) first anniversary party in which most of the existing Fantasyland was turned into a bounty of attractions, unique character meet and greet experiences and dessert party.

Aside from the party, there were two key events. The first of which was a buffet style dinner inside the Diamond Horseshoe in which D23 head Steven Clark offered a presentation concerning the first anniversary of the first official community for Disney fans.

Marvel section at Disney Store Times Square Introduced by Walt Disney World ambassador Clay Shoemaker, Clark talked about his own personal experience as a fan prior to joining the company, attending an event in the early 90s in which many Disney legends (past, present and future) were in attendance and presented upcoming projects from The Walt Disney Company. He spoke of meeting Walt Disney Studios archivist Dave Smith whom he had recognized from Dave’s column in Disney Channel magazine. He spoke fondly of Smith’s warmth and how Smith had offered him a private tour of the Studios in Burbank. Clark recalled how he had encountered a custodian with a fanny pack at the Studios and watched as a squirrel ran up the custodian’s leg, took food out of the fanny pack and ran off, appearing to gesture a thank you along the way. It was then, Clark notes, he knew he ‘was at Disney.’ Clark then led the room in a toast saluting D23 and its members and both of their successes. He introduced several key members of the D23 group that were in attendance (and a couple that were not) and spoke of their contributions to the success of the club and the expo.

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Epcot’s 2010 ‘Sounds Like Summer’ Concert Line-up Announced

Sounds like SummerThe Walt Disney World resort has provided us with the (almost) full line-up of the annual Sounds Like Summer concert series at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre. Admission to the concert series which features established cover bands is free with paid admission to the park. This year’s series runs from June 12 through July 31 and includes the following acts:

  • June 12 – June 19: Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees)
  • June 20 – June 26: Hotel California (Eagles)
  • June 27 – July 3: Karin Lawson (Janet Jackson)
  • July 4 – July 10: Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)

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Epcot to Launch Community Garden and Instant Win Contest for Florida Residents March 8

Beginning March 8, Florida residents can head to EPCOTGARDENCONTEST.COM and enjoy two ways to celebrate Epcot’s annual International Flower and Garden Festival.

Through an Instant Win online game, Walt Disney World will be giving 54 pairs of 4 Day Dream Passes (good for one theme park per day, valid from 3/8/10 – 3/26/10 and 4/10/2010 – 5/25/2010). All entrants will also then have the opportunity to compose an original essay nominating a non-profit organization to receive the grand prize of a custom designed garden by Disney’s own professional horticulturists. The garden will even include elements from this year’s Flower and Garden Festival.

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AMC Theatres Announces ETX™, an Enhanced Theatre Experience Exclusively at AMC Pleasure Island 24 in Walt Disney World

AMC Theatres® (AMC), a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company, today announces that guests will be able to see movies in a new, entirely superior fashion when the AMC Enhanced Theatre Experience (ETXTM) makes its U.S. debut on March 5 at AMC Pleasure Island 24 at Downtown Disney® Area at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

ETX includes a 20-percent larger screen, 3D technology, digital projection and an upgraded sound system. Specifically, the digital projection system produces images comprised of 2 million pixels, which delivers a higher resolution than HD. This eye-popping image is then showcased on a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling screen that immerses guests in the image.

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Walt Disney World’s ‘Summer Nightastic!’ to Begin June 6

The Walt Disney World Resort reports that its previously announced ‘Summer Nightastic!‘ program which features the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade will begin on June 6 and run through August 14.

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Downtown Disney in Orlando to Receive D-Street, RIDEMAKERZ

Walt Disney World has officially announced that the Downtown Disney area in Walt Disney World will soon be receiving a couple of shops that have already recently made the Disneyland Resort their home.

Vinylmation will find its east coast home in D Street, an urban art-inspired shop that has already proven itself successful since opening in Anaheim just a few months ago.

DTD will also receive a RIDEMAKERZ, a place for guests to custom design and build their own radio controlled vehicles.

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