Walt Disney World Resort Says “Shine On” Central Florida with $700,000 in Grants and 15 Shining Star Awards (Video)

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Shine On CampaignLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla – Making a clear connection between itself and the recent “shine on” sightings in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is sending prize patrols across the region to surprise, reward and recognize recipients of its Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants and Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars programs. By May 22, the prize patrols will have distributed a total of $700,000 to worthy non-profit organizations and 15 awards to local students.

“We are celebrating our community by shining a spotlight on some very deserving non-profits and students who help make dreams come true in Orange, Osceola, Lake, Polk and Seminole counties,” says Eugene Campbell, vice president of Community Relations and Minority Business Development for Walt Disney World Resort. “Walt Disney World Resort is dedicated to building a better future for youth in Central Florida, and ultimately, a stronger community for us all.”

Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants celebrate those who commit their time and talent to making a difference in the lives of Central Florida’s children. This year, Walt Disney World Resort is awarding grants to 34 Central Florida non-profit organizations that focus on children in four specific areas: connecting with adults, constructive use of free time, character development and compassion. Recipients are chosen by a panel of judges made up of Central Florida community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members. Continue reading…

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Registration for D23 Illuminations Event at Walt Disney World Now Open

As Stitch Kingdom reported earlier, D23 members who will be visiting Walt Disney World on May 31 are invited to a free Illuminations private viewing and dessert reception along with preferred seating to the final performance of this year’s Flower Power Concert Series featuring Tony Orlando.

D23 members may request one ticket for themselves and one additional guest. Theme park admission is not included in this offer and is required. Tickets will be available at Epcot’s Guest Relations beginning at 9 am on May 31st. A photo ID and your D23 membership card are required to pick up tickets. Event subject to change without notice.

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Walt Disney World Invites Golfers to ‘Play All Day’ Memorial Weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 19, 2009) – Golfers who dream of literally playing golf all day can make that dream come true at Walt Disney World Resort this Memorial Day Weekend.  Disney is offering golf enthusiasts the opportunity to play until their hearts are content through a special new “Play All Day” offer that is good May 22-25 at Disney’s Palm, Lake Buena Vista and Osprey Ridge courses.

Through the “Play All Day” offer ($59 per person), guests can book their first tee time in advance and, after finishing that round, book a second tee time – based on availability – and repeat the process until sundown or no additional tee times are available.

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2009 American Idol Winner (TBA) Will be Going to Disney World

LOS ANGELES – To celebrate the newly opened “American Idol Experience” attraction at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Adam Lambert or Kris Allen will shout the famous words “I’m Going to Disney World!” immediately after being crowned the newest “American Idol” in the show’s star-studded season finale on Wednesday night, May 20, in Los Angeles.

Camera crews will capture Adam Lambert or Kris Allen’s celebratory pronouncement on the Nokia Theatre stage mere moments after “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest announces the champion’s name to millions of viewers watching worldwide.

Not only will the newly crowned Idol shout “I’m Going to Disney World!” at the spot’s conclusion, his voice also will be featured throughout the ad as he performs the iconic song, “When You Wish Upon A Star.”

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Artist’s Rendering of the Villas at the Grand Californian, Opening Late September

Artist Rendering of the North Courtyard at the Villas at the Grand CalifornianWith the scheduled late-September opening of The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, vacationers at Disneyland Resort in California – whether Disney Vacation Club Members or overnight guests – will be able to unwind and stretch out in an environment that celebrates the influences of California’s renowned Arts & Crafts style of the late 19th and early 20th century. The villas are part of a Grand Californian expansion that also includes more than 200 new hotel rooms, a new swimming pool and underground valet parking. The hotel currently offers 745 rooms. Depicted in a rendering is the north courtyard of the Grand Californian.

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Disney Channel to Premiere Jonas Brothers Music Video for ‘Paranoid’ May 25, Special May 26

The Jonas Brothers’ music video for their newly released single, “Paranoid,” debuts SATURDAY, MAY 23 (7:55 p.m. ET/PT) on Disney Channel. The video was directed by Brendan Malloy and Tim Wheeler, who also directed the music video for their smash hit single, “Burnin’ Up.” Jonas Brothers will host a behind the scenes look at the making of the “Paranoid” music video Sunday, May 31 (6:00 p.m. ET/PT) on Disney Channel.

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A Look at Washington’s D.C. (That’s Disney Connections)

The internet’s all abuzz with the recent announcement that Disney has invested in some land in the National Harbor project with intentions of building a hotel right outside DC. The truth is that Disney has a long track record of promoting tourism not just to its own parks, but nationwide, and that especially includes our nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

In order to promote United States visitorship abroad, Disney produced and donated a seven-minute, cross-country odyssey that tells the story of American hospitality and friendship, through the faces of this country’s greatest asset – its people. The $2.5M video is currently shown to foreign visitors at 105 American consular and embassy offices worldwide, at several of the nation’s busiest international airports (including Dulles International) and even onboard various airlines on their way to the United States.

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T. Rowe Price Launches The Great Piggy Bank Adventure at Epcot and Online to Boost Family Financial Education

Interactive Experience at INNOVENTIONS and Online Virtual Board Game Offer Key Financial Lessons, Provide ‘Teachable Moments’ to Empower Parents to Discuss Saving and Investing Principles

Ribbon cutting ceremony of the Great Piggy Bank AdventureBALTIMORE, May 19 — T. Rowe Price, in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, today launched The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) — two interactive financial education and entertainment experiences that offer lessons on the key financial themes of setting goals, saving and spending smartly, staying ahead of inflation, and diversifying your assets. The Great Piggy Bank Adventure(SM) comes to life through a hands-on, interactive experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot(R) at the Walt Disney World(R) Resort in Florida, and through an online virtual board game at www.thegreatpiggybankadventure.com.

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Star Wars Weekends Event: Book Signing with Illustrator Matt Busch May 23

You Can Draw Star WarsCome meet the ‘rock star of illustrators,’ Matt Busch as he signs copies of his book, You Can Draw Star Wars, on Saturday, May 23 at Wicket’s Warehouse (at Soundstage 1 near the Backlot Tour entrance). Busch is a professor of Media and Communication Arts art Macomb College, north of Detroit, Michigan and will be signing his book from 11 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 6 pm.

You Can Draw Star Wars teaches you how to draw characters, vehicles, clothing, weapons, equipment and more from the world of Star Wars. You’ll also learn vital comic book skills such as penciling, inking and coloring.

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With National Harbor Land Purchase, Mr. Mouse May be Going to Washington (Area)

Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo with Milton V. Peterson, chairman of the Peterson CompaniesNATIONAL HARBOR, MD (May 19, 2009) – The Peterson Companies announced today the sale of land at its National Harbor development near Washington, DC to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney is considering using the 15-acre site overlooking the Potomac River in National Harbor, MD as the location for a resort hotel for families and others visiting the National Capital Region.

“We’re thrilled Disney has decided to invest in National Harbor,” said Milton V. Peterson, chairman of the Peterson Companies. “Disney is the top family entertainment company in the world, and its purchase is a great vote of confidence in the future of National Harbor and the Washington area as a top family tourism destination.”

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