PHOTO: ‘Bachelor’ Juan Pablo Galavis Kickin’ It with Mickey at Epcot

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Juan Pablo Galavis (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Juan Pablo Galavis, star of the upcoming edition of ABC’s ‘The Bachelor,’ poses yesterday, December 29, 2013 with a soccer-clad Mickey Mouse at the Epcot theme park located in the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Galavis, a former professional soccer player, will star on the 18th season of the reality series when it debuts on January 5, 2014.

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Disney’s ‘Flamingo Crossings’ Names New Mystery Occupant

With the big to-do that is the Downtown Disney-to-Disney Springs makeover, it’s probably easy to forget DTD’s sparser little sibling, Flamingo Crossings. Announced in 2007, with a small website erected in 2009 to hopefully garner interest from businesses, the promised ‘fun-filled, value-oriented, themed tourist district being developed directly outside the western gateway to Walt Disney World Resort’ has done little since to fulfill those promises. The last big news came in October of 2011, when Disney laid down some of the legal groundwork for tenancy as well as announced its agreement with Walgreens.

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Nikon Named Official Camera of Disney Parks North America

Nikon Inc. and Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts today announced a multi-year strategic alliance naming Nikon the official camera of Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca. Bringing together a global leader in imaging and the world’s leading family vacation destinations, this relationship continues the longstanding commitment to help guests capture every moment of their vacation.

“The alliance between Nikon and Disney allows us to connect with millions of passionate Disney guests who want to tell their stories through the capture of amazing imagery,” said Nobuyoshi Gokyu, president, Nikon Inc. “Through this agreement, Nikon will play an integral role in helping Disney guests to preserve and share every unforgettable moment.”

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Muppets to Take Center Stage at 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Kermit the Frog will find it is easy being green when his artfully-crafted character topiary debuts during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 5 to May 18, 2014 at Walt Disney World Resort. With flamboyance to spare, a floral Miss Piggy will join Kermit and his blooming banjo in the World Showcase topiary display.

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Photo: Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi Visits Walt Disney World

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi at Walt Disney World (Photo by Matt Stroshane / Disney)Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi (right) poses September 27, 2013 with fiancé Jionni LaValle (center) and one-year-old son Lorenzo (left) inside the Italy pavilion in the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Polizzi is currently a celebrity contestant on ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars.’

Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy Walt Disney World

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Disney’s Club 33 Expanding … to Orlando?

We are officially filing this in the ‘not in anyone-you-know’s-lifetime’ file, but on the heels of official confirmation that Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33 will be expanding at the Disneyland Resort beginning next year, Disney has preemptively registered domain names CLUB33DISNEYWORLD.COM and CLUB33WALTDISNEYWORLD.COM, suggesting that the expansion may take up just a tad more space than New Orleans Square’s Court des Anges.

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PHOTO: Maisie Williams at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Maisie Williams at Magic Kingdom (Gene Duncan/Disney)Actress Maisie Williams, who portrays Arya Stark on the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones,’ is seen here pulling the sword from the stone earlier today at the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The 16-year-old English actress has starred on the award-winning series since its premiere episode.

Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

 

 

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Jennifer Hudson as Tiana in Latest Disney Dream Portrait by Annie Leibovitz

Jennifer Hudson as Tiana in Disney Dream Portrait by Annie LeibovitzVia its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled the first few of a new series of portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz portraying celebrities in iconic classic Disney roles.

The new image features Jennifer Hudson as Tiana from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature film, The Princess and the Frog.

The image has been added to the beginning of our gallery of Disney Dream portraits below:

The image will be included as a special inserts in upcoming issues of Vanity Fair, O – The Oprah Magazine, and People.

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Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ WDW Casting Notice; Appearances to Start September

Elsa and Anna from Disney's FrozenWalt Disney World has placed its first casting call to find Cast Members looking to portray both Elsa and Anna from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen, for meet and greets.

The audition will take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Rehearsal Facility at the Walt Disney World Resort on Sunday, August 18, 2013 beginning at 9:00 AM with a second session beginning at 7:00 PM. Cautioning that performers should be available to begin work within the next four weeks, giving the impression that formal meet and greets may start as early as September, the advertisement suggests only those local to central Florida should consider applying.

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Polynesian Resort Vaction Club Plans All But Confirmed

As Disney Vacation Club launches its latest venture, the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and begins transitioning Disney’s ‘best kept secret’ to ‘vacations you never outgrow,’ a recent permit application to the South Florida Water Management District appears to outline some pretty large plans for one of Walt Disney World’s original resorts, the Polynesian. In short, permit application ‘130729-2′ seeks to include ‘new parking, vehicular circulation, pedestrian pathways, utilities, and fire access. It also includes the installation of pilings along the neighboring lagoon that will support future structures, redesigned landscaping, and new amenity areas to serve the building expansions for this resort hotel,’ with the final portion of the request pretty much saying it all.

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