Disney Celebrates Rare White Rhino Birth in Uganda; Mom Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Uganda’s first white rhino born in 27 years has a family tree with Disney roots. First-time mother Nande, a 10-year-old female white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gave birth June 24 to a healthy male calf at the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda after a 16-month gestation period. © Disney

Uganda’s first white rhino born in 27 years has a family tree with Disney roots. First-time mother Nande, a 10-year-old female white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gave birth June 24 to a healthy male calf at the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda after a 16-month gestation period. © Disney

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Report: Dining with a Disney Imagineer at The Hollywood Brown Derby

After many trips to Walt Disney World contemplating the idea, I finally bit the bullet and invested into the Dining with an Imagineer program which takes place during lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby. Offered only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the program which costs $60.99 + tax and 18% gratuity per adult (bringing the per adult total to about $75) and $34.99 (or about $45 total) per child, brings the group (maximum of eight guests) face to face with a bonafide Disney Imagineer at Walt Disney World.

Booking proved to be a bit of a challenge as, if I recall correctly, the 90 + 10 didn’t work too well. After a few days of trying, however, I was able to secure my reservation. A credit card is required at time of booking (there is a 48 hour cancellation policy), but you are not charged. Instead, you are presented a bill at the end of the event as with any dining. For booking purposes, it also appears to help if the Cast Member starts looking at The Hollywood Brown Derby moreso than for the experience itself.

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Walt Disney World’s Extreme Makeover: Character Edition

Mr. Smee, we thought we knew you. There was no doubt that once the Pirates League moved into town and started offering pirate makeovers that major changes would be afoot. Consider the following photo that compares Mr. Smee’s old look to his new look. Seams a bit different, don’t it? And who knew Mr. Smee lacked a belly button? He must have lost it in a battle with Peter Pan. He now also sports a more texture/plasticized set of eyebrows, a completely different mouth and all over has a more cartoony look, particularly with his eyes (and I think he might have had a nose job too). I might be going overboard when I suggest I think he even shrank a bit considering the height of his eyes compared with Hook’s nose (even more dramatic when it appears that Hook is even leaning forward in the old look photo while he’s standing upright in the new look photo).

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Magic Kingdom’s ‘The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains’ Tour On Hold Until October

A photo taken backstage during the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour. © Brad K. All Rights Reserved.

A photo taken backstage during the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour. © Brad K. All Rights Reserved.

For reasons unspecified, although presumably because of the proximity of the Monorail barn during the tour, ‘The Magic Behind our Steam Trains’ tour has been canceled through at least October 12, after which it will resume a Monday – Saturday schedule.

Guests who have already booked the tour are currently being notified of the change by Disney.

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Walt Disney Studios and Disney Parks Team Up at National Association of Black Journalists Convention; Tiana to Make In-Person Debut

WASHINGTON, July 10  — Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are combining forces at this year’s National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Annual Convention and Career Fair to present an exciting lineup of entertainment, including a sneak preview of special footage from Walt Disney Pictures’ animated comedy adventure, “The Princess and the Frog,” and the debut of Disney’s newest princess, Tiana, voiced by Tony Award(R) winning-actress Anika Noni Rose.

Rose will also perform a song from “The Princess and the Frog.” The performance and the sneak peek of select footage from the upcoming film are part of the NABJ Convention’s “NABJ Presents” event on Thursday, Aug. 6 at the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel and Marina.

“Disney’s magic is in full-force again this year and we are especially thrilled they have chosen the NABJ Convention to highlight ‘The Princess and the Frog,'” said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. “We are also proud of Disney’s involvement in the African-American community through multiple initiatives including Disney’s Dreamers Academy. And we are pleased that convention attendees are offered the opportunity to experience the theme parks of Walt Disney World Resort first-hand.”

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will unveil Princess Tiana live and in-person, just as she will appear to park guests, at the NABJ Convention — two months before her scheduled debut at Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Park in California.

“This is the first time anyone will see the new princess,” said Craig Dezern, vice president of Global Public Relations for Disney Destinations. “We’re excited for NABJ attendees to see first and first-hand our newest Disney princess.”

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Beaches and Cream Breakfast Menu

Quick Service Breakfast Served 7 – 11 AM

Bounty Breakfast Platter
Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Potatoes, Biscuit and Pancake – $8.29

Pancakes with Bacon – $5.19

Ham and Cheese Omelet with Breakfast Potatoes – $6.99

Assorted Pastries – $2.29-$2.59

Yogurt Parfait – $4.29

Fruit Cup – $3.39

Cereal with Milk – $3.09

Kids Picks
Pancakes or Scrambled Eggs with Bacon and Applesauce – $4.39

Cereal with Milk with choice of Beverage –  $4.39

source

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Dining Updates: Beaches and Cream Serves Up Breakfast, Victoria & Albert’s Reduces Dinners

DisneyParks has recently announced via its twitter that Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club Resort is now offering breakfast. It has also reported that until September 13, Victoria and Albert’s will have only one seating time of 6pm from Sunday – Thursday and seating times of 5:30 – 6:30 pm and 9 – 9:45 pm on Friday and Saturday.

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Mickey Monsters Invade Disney Parks

Mickey MonstersMickey Monsters are here to visit the Disney Theme Parks. They try to blend in by disguising themselves as Mickey and a host of other characters that they encounter on their visit. Keep any eye open for Mickey Monsters – They could be right in front of you!

The first series of six Mickey Monster characters’ names are Murff, Cheeky Bubbles, Ogg, Keeti, Ralf, and Eeku.  They will each come with a special hang tag that contain stories about the character and therefore bring the character to life for our guests.  Each character will retail for $12.95.

Mickey Monsters have been designed to bring smiles to kids of all ages. Which Mickey Monster is right for you? Read on to find out!

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A Look Inside the Princess Diana Exhibit at Downtown Disney (Updated)

Please note that this review is based on the soft opening of the exhibit. All information is subject to change prior to official opening and this should be considered when reading the following article.

With the exception to a couple of hours for a Cast Member preview the day before, Diana: The People’s Princess officially soft opened its doors on July 4, with a scheduled grand opening/media event for Tuesday, July 7. Because of a computer-related issue, the doors opened approximately 20 minutes later than the scheduled opening time of 11 am.

The exhibit is located on the West Side of Downtown Disney, in the building formerly occupied by the Virgin Megastore, sandwiched between the AMC 24 theater and DisneyQuest. Reportedly due to issues with exposure to the exhibit from the sun/weather elements, the main doors are currently not being used (they are closed, but remained unlocked that day, causing confusion for several guests). Instead, the small door all the way to the left of the front is being used as the entrance.

Despite the policy posted on the building window (which prohibits flash photography), photography is not permitted at all so I have nothing from the exhibit to share with you. I was told the confusion with the policy was in error and that it will soon be corrected. The printed tickets do specify No Photography however.

The first item you encounter is a dress of Princess Diana’s and a tiara, arranged in what strikes me as a funeral parlor-esque display (grey faux granite columns topped with large bouquets of white flowers surround the display). With the tiara, you run into the first major issue with the exhibit, which will soon be corrected with any luck: lack of signage. In the extreme majority of the cases, there is absolutely no placard or any time of information associated with the objects on display that give you any indication as to what they are or what they mean to the exhibit. The best example of this is a small, bright orange chair placed directly in the middle of the Charles area with much ado. I also lost a considerable amount of time trying to read a 2 page letter hand-written by Diana trying to identify its content, finally coming to the conclusion that it was just a letter and there wasn’t much more to it than that.

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NTSB Releases Factual Information on its Investigation of the Monorail Collision at Walt Disney World

The National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual information from its investigation of the collision of two trains on the monorail system at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, that occurred early Sunday morning:

At about 2 a.m. on July 5th, a Walt Disney World monorail train, designated the Pink train, backed into another monorail train, designated the Purple train, near the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) monorail station. The operator of the Purple train was fatally injured; the six passengers on that train were treated at the scene. The operator of the Pink train, who was transported to the hospital, treated and released, was the only one aboard that train at the time of the collision.

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