Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Designer’s Life for Cast Member Turned Project Runway Contestant

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When Project Runway makes its seventh season debut on Lifetime on January 14, one of its contestants may seem familiar to millions of people worldwide. Designer hopeful / actor Jesse LeNoir, 25, who makes Orlando his home, counts being a performer in the Captain Jack Sparrow Pirate Tutorial at the Magic Kingdom among his previous jobs.

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Walt Disney World Resort Guests, You’ve Got Voicemail! Hyuk, Hyuk!

Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Disney owned and operated resort will now get a bonus when celebrating a special occasion during their vacation. When a guest notes that they will be celebrating the occasion during their stay, either through the Disney Reservation Center or via online check-in, they’ll receive a voicemail during their stay from a Disney character at no additional charge.

Guests who forget to mention the celebration before arrival can alert the lobby concierge at any time during their stay in order to receive the voicemail.

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WDW Refurb Update: Cantina de San Angel Refurb Begins Major Refurbishment and More

Cantina de San Angel, the quick service location in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, has just closed and begun its lengthy refurbishment. Expected to be replaced with a new, more convenient dining opportunity, the restaurant is slated to re-open on September 24, just a week shy of the 2010 Food and Wine Festival.

During the refurbishment, Taqueria Del Lago, the Mexican booth from the 2009 Food and Wine Festival will be operating for guests’ convenience.

We are also being advised that Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats, located near the World Famous Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, will be unavailable from January 8 through January 25.

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Walt Disney World Marathon Breaks Records Before Races Even Start

More than 55,500 expected runners – Disney’s largest marathon weekend field ever – are registered for the 17th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA Jan. 7-10, 2010.  This year’s capacity field tops last year’s record by 10,500 registered participants and aims to place the marathon weekend as the top combination race weekend in the country.

A record 55,500 athletes have registered for the variety of events that make up the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  In 2009 the Walt Disney World Marathon was the eighth largest in the nation and the second largest combination race weekend.  The main event – Sunday’s 26.2-mile journey through Disney’s four major theme parks – starts at 5:40 a.m. near Epcot.

Runners can look forward to VIP treatment as new “More Magic” options have been added.  A pre-race pasta party and a post-race private celebration are new ticketed events available to those in attendance.  On Thursday, Jan. 7, the Pasta in the Park Party at Epcot will give runners and their friends and family a chance to “carb load” before the race and see a special viewing of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” a nighttime fireworks display.  After the marathon on Sunday, the chance to ride select attractions and unwind with a live DJ and Disney characters is available when Disney’s Hollywood Studios hosts a private Victory Lap Celebration.

The VIP Race Retreat package is available again this year offering special race-day upgrades for participants and their friends and family, such as exclusive meet and greets with Disney characters and pre-registration for next year’s marathon.

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Walt Disney World Introduces ‘Dream Pass’ for Florida Residents; 4 Parks for $84/$99

Thanks to a new 4 Day Dream Pass, Florida Residents can enjoy Walt Disney World Resort at a real savings.
Now through May 25, 2010, in-state residents can get four days’ admission to any of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks for $99.  Not only does that spell incredible savings but it’s a time when the parks are less crowded and there are more ways than ever to enjoy the magic.

Details:

  • 4 Day Dream Pass
  • Admission to any of the 4 Walt Disney World theme parks any 4 days (excluding blockout period); 1 park per day.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Gerenuk Calf to Herd

Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently welcomed its 28th gerenuk calf weighing in at eight pounds and approximately 1 ¾ feet tall, after a seven-month gestation.

The female calf, named Squirt, was born November 25 to her five-year-old mother Sushaunna, and nine-year-old father Jingle. This latest birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Gerenuk Population Management Plan.

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Vinylmations Commemorating Cinderella, Space Mountain to be Released in January

Also courtesy of the official Vinylmation blog comes news of these anticipated releases from Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble.

Available in late January at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, Vinylmation presents a 3″ figure commemorating the 60th anniversary of Disney’s Cinderella and a 9″ figure commemorating the 35th anniversary of the legendary Space Mountain.

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First Look: Walt Disney World 2010 Marathon Vinylmations to be Released Jan 8

On its official blog, Disney Vinylmation has introduced three new Vinylmation special edition figures that will be released at the Walt Disney World resort on January 8 in honor of upcoming 2010 marathon events, each designed by Disney Design Group artist Maria Clapsis.

Pictured from top to bottom are the 3″ Walt Disney World 2010 Marathon figure, the 3″ Walt Disney World 2010 Half Marathon Figure and the 9″ Walt Disney World Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge 2010 figure.

Guests do not need to be marathon participants in order to purchase the special edition Vinylmation figures which will be available at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

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Walt Disney World Celebrates the U.S. Military in 2010 with Special Ticket and Lodging Offers

As Disney Parks ask “What Will You Celebrate?” and invite guests to turn their personal milestones into magical family vacations in 2010, America’s military personnel will have more reasons to celebrate: Special offers on theme park tickets and accommodations.

With Disney’s Armed Forces Salute, from Jan. 3 to July 31, 2010, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard and active members of the National Guard or Reservists) or their spouses can purchase Disney’s 4-Day Military Promotional Base Tickets for $99, plus tax, for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends for use at Walt Disney World Resort.  The Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options can be added for an additional $26, plus tax, per option, per ticket.  No more than six Disney’s 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets (with or without options) may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (and/or spouse) pursuant to this offer.

All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by Sept. 30, 2010.  However, the tickets and options are not valid for use on the following blockout dates: March 27, 2010, to April 9, 2010, for all Walt Disney World theme parks and other gated attractions; and July 3 to July 4, 2010, for the Magic Kingdom park.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel also can save up to 40 percent on rooms at select Disney resorts!  This offer is good for stays most nights Jan. 3-Sept. 30, 2010, except not available 3/28-4/10/10 and 7/1-7/5/10, and can be booked through July 31, 2010.  (The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.  Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.  Savings based on non-discounted price for the same room.  Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in.  No group rates or other discounts apply.  Advance reservations required.  Additional per-adult charges apply if more than two adults per room. )

For information regarding Disney’s 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets, or to make room reservations, military personnel may call 407/939-7830 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.  Information is also available at www.disneyworld.com/military.

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Walt Disney World Moms Panel Boasts 43 Panelists in 2010, Featuring 21 New Members

What do a ballet teacher from Alabama, a paralegal from North Carolina and a NASA rocket scientist from Maryland all have in common? An affinity for all-things Walt Disney World Resort! Announced today, 21 new panelists from the United States and Canada, hailing from different backgrounds, are named official members of the 2010 Walt Disney World® Moms Panel, www.disneyworldmoms.com. Additionally, due to the popularity of the site and an ever-growing number of questions, Disney welcomes back 22 panelists from 2008 and 2009 – totaling 43 members for 2010 to serve as online Disney-savvy vacation gurus, providing helpful tips to guests planning a Walt Disney World vacation.

The Walt Disney World® Moms Panel is an online question-and-answer venue that serves as a free resource for families looking for a touch of pixie dust to add to their Disney vacation. The Panel is led by everyday parents who have mastered the art of planning a vacation for their own families and are excited to share their pearls of wisdom with others. Through a comprehensive application process, the new panelists proved that they have the knowledge and desire to answer any and all questions that come their way.

Whether organizing multigenerational gatherings and large family reunions or navigating the parks with special needs children and adults, the panelists are accessible online with an abundance of their own Disney vacation experiences, memories and tips for making every moment magical. Additionally, the Moms Panel will include panelists who are skilled in Disney Cruise Line® and Adventures by Disney vacations.

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