WDW Refurb Update: Old Key West Pool Closed for the Month of February

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The feature pool at the Old Key West resort will be closed for the entire month of February 2010. Guests will continue to be able to use the leisure pools as well as as the feature pool at Saratoga Springs Resort. Shuttle service between the resorts will be provided.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch!

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Is the University of Oregon Duck Swimming in Hot Water with The Walt Disney Company?

A trio of University of Oregon students: Brian McAndrew, Jamie Slade and Michael Bishon, also known as Supwitchugirl, have come into the limelight recently with a music video they produced and released on YouTube singing (and/or rapping) their praises of the school’s football team, the Oregon Ducks.

They’ve also produced a little bit of controversy and it may not be reasons that you’d immediately think of. The problem, some are finding, including the UO Athletic Department, is the prominent appearance in the video by the school’s mascot, the Duck (and often just the head of the Duck on someone’s body).

What this has to do with controversy (and — more importantly — Disney) is that the UO Duck, although not an identical twin by any stretch of the imagination, is a licensed version of Donald Duck. Donald was licensed to the University by Walt himself in a famous anecdote in which the deal was sealed with a simple handshake. Upon Walt’s death, when the question of the legitimacy of the claim came up, a photograph featuring Walt wearing a UO Letterman’s jacket featuring Donald was accepted as grounds for continuation of the deal, this time on paper.

What some are afraid of is that the unauthorized use of the mascot in the video may be subject to legal action by The Walt Disney Company as Disney would need to explicitly provide consent for anything beyond the already agreed upon use of Donald’s likeness. While the licensing contract details haven’t been revealed, some are concerned this may be the beginning of the end of the agreement altogether and have asked the students to remove the mascot from the video, a Herculean task which the students have respectfully declined.

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First Look: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Logo on Basketball Court (Time Lapse Video)

It took eight workers about eight hours to re-brand the basketball court last used by the NCAA Women’s Final Four last year in honor of the Wide World of Sports Complex’s rebranding taking place in February. The court will next be used over Thanksgiving Weekend for the Old Spice Classic.

Below is a time-lapse video courtesy of Disney which shows the new logo being put into place.

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Win ‘Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws’ on Disney Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

Santa Buddies on Blue-ray/DVD Combo PackThanks to our friends at Walt Disney Home Entertainment, we have two copies of the newest Buddies movie, Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws on Disney Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (November 24) desperately in need of a good home with a couple of our readers.

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ABC.com Debuts New ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Webisode Series Spin-off, ‘Seattle Grace: On Call’

Dedicated to expanding its network and channel brands across multiple platforms and connecting viewers with their favorite shows anytime and anywhere, Disney/ABC Television Group announced the debut of a new “Grey’s Anatomy” webisode series entitled “Seattle Grace: On Call.” Sponsored by Bertolli, the new online series consists of six individual webisodes, each four to five minutes in length, as well as a special behind-the-scenes episode which chronicles the making of “Seattle Grace: On Call.” The first webisode will be available online tonight, November 19, beginning at 10:00 p.m., ET, following the broadcast airing of the latest episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“Our goal with the web series is to expand the ‘Grey’s’ universe by offering a unique perspective of the various happenings at Seattle Grace, while paralleling some of the same storylines seen on the show. The intent is to put everything fans love about Grey’s into these short, four-minute mini-episodes that have been designed solely for the Internet,” said “Grey’s Anatomy” creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes. “We hope our fans will enjoy a new take on the familiar ‘Grey’s’ world – which will appear exclusively on our website during the time our actual episodes repeat, from November through January.”

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Sixth and Final Season of ‘LOST’ Kicks Off With Recap Special, 2 Hour Premiere Feb 2

ABC announces the premiere of the sixth and final season of “Lost,” with a special all-night event on Tuesday, February 2. A recap special will kick off the night from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET, followed by the much anticipated two-hour premiere from 9:00-11:00 p.m.

The series will then air in its regular time period – Tuesday nights from 9:00-10:00 p.m., ET – beginning the following week, on February 9.

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The Walt Disney Family Museum Starts Its Own Holiday Tradition of ‘Christmas with Walt Disney’

In the spring of 2009, The Walt Disney Family Museum approached veteran filmmaker Don Hahn with a proposal to create a film that would celebrate the holidays through the eyes of Walt Disney.  Under the direction of Diane Disney Miller, her husband Ron, and executive director Richard Benefield, the genesis of this idea became Christmas with Walt Disney, an enchanting fifty-one minute film filled with the joy and merriment of the holidays.

Mr. Hahn, whose credits include The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, was tapped to produce this film that will now become an annual event for The Walt Disney Family Museum to stage and entertain their guests each year during the holidays.

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iPhone App Review: Prep & Landing

Disney's Prep & Landing for the iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle: Prep & Landing (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 19, 2009
Cost:
$.99
iTouch?:
Yes (WiFi/Internet required for some)
Pros: A couple of entertaining games/features
Cons: Long, frustrating gameplay with little payoff, promoted items missing
Review: On December 1, ABC will air its first ever original holiday special produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. That’s the good news. The bad news is they want to charge you for downloading the promotional app and it falls way short on expectations and even promises.

After watching a surprisingly brief promo for the special, you are presented with two menu options. Kringle Academy is where you’ll find 3 mini-games and P&L Specialized Equipment is where you’ll find the ‘extras,’ which are often more entertaining than the games themselves, unfortunately.

As a  general rule with the game, sound effects are nil (Christmas carols are your only source of audio candy) and gameplay is exceptionally long with repetitive movements. There’s also no scoring system so you’re really only competing for ‘distance’ and colored rewards such as gold, silver and red (and other, ‘lesser’ colors) which seem to offer no benefit other than a virtual pat on the iBack.

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Universal Orlando to Host Biggest Holiday Celebration in Event History; Special FL Resident Offer

HAPPY WHO-LIDAYS - This holiday season, the beloved Dr. Seuss classic 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!' is brought to life in Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of AdventureORLANDO, Fla. (November 18, 2009) – Universal Orlando Resort will soon kick off the largest Holidays celebration in the event’s history, featuring more entertainment than ever before. This year, Universal Orlando adds a brand-new Holiday Concert Series, featuring three chart-topping holiday musical acts – Mannheim Steamroller, Chris Isaak and Natalie Cole – to the already beloved Grinchmas celebration and the Macy’s Holiday Parade.

Holiday celebrations at Universal Orlando Resort begin Dec. 5 and run through Jan. 1, and all entertainment is included in the price of regular admission.  Mannheim Steamroller – the iconic holiday music masters who have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide – performs at Universal Studios on Dec. 5.  Chris Isaak performs on Dec. 12 and Natalie Cole performs on Dec. 19.  Each concert begins at 7:00 p.m.

The Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios features the world-renowned balloons and floats from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  At Islands of Adventure, the popular Dr. Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is brought to life in Grinchmas, a live stage show featuring an original recorded musical score by Mannheim Steamroller.

The celebration continues at the three on-site hotels at Universal Orlando– Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort – all of which will glisten with holiday decorations.  Hotel guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with tree-lighting ceremonies, special musical performances, holiday “dive-in” movie presentations and holiday dining events.

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Motown Comes to O-Town for CityWalk-wide New Year’s Eve Celebration at Universal Studios Orlando

Guests can bid an exciting farewell to 2009 while rocking into 2010 at Universal CityWalk. Tickets are on sale now for one of Orlando’s hottest New Year’s Eve parties – featuring live performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Temptations and The Four Tops.

Tickets are on sale now for one of Orlando’s hottest New Year’s Eve parties – featuring live performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Temptations and The Four Tops. The Temptations and The Four Tops are two of the most popular R&B/soul groups of all time. Both have sold tens of millions of albums worldwide. Some of The Temptations’ most popular hits include “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone;” The Four Tops are known for such hit songs as “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”

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